Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas | Brouwerij Het Anker

BA SCORE
89
very good
870 Ratings
THE BROS
67
poor
Read the review
Gouden Carolus Noël / ChristmasGouden Carolus Noël / Christmas
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker
Belgium
hetanker.be

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gusler on 11-24-2002

BEER STATS
Ratings:
870
Reviews:
499
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
15.62%
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
108
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 870 |  Reviews: 499
Photo of Murrhey
3.71/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330-ml bottle into a tulip glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live. Expectations are relatively high. Either bottled date or best-by date is Jan. 8, 2012. I really hope it is the former and not the latter. Although with the high ABV, I imagine it wouldn't be ruined by a year anyway. I could be wrong.

A- Three-finger thick, attractive light brown color. Amazingly long retention for the ABV. Thick fluffy core with fairly large bubbles. Lasts about three minutes. Clingy spotty lacing. Murky walnut colored brew with very little clarity.

S- Deep alcohol notes and spicy. Very fragrant and boozy. Nice notes.

T- Boozy and nice even-handled flavors. Spices and yeasts are very present here.

M- Vinous and wet. Sticky remainder on the feel.

O- Booze-bomb and it tastes like it.

 807 characters

Photo of Winter
3.8/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy leathery brown with a bubbly tan head that flattens out and breaks up across the surface of the body. Sweet candied aroma with a pleasant fruitiness. There's some yeast and anise in the nose also. Mouthfeel is full-bodied with moderate carbonation. Sweet molasses-like front with a nice candied fruitiness to it. Bready malt steps up right behind it. Black licorice follows. Somewhat sour and vinous finish has some very subtle and slight chocolate tones to it. Alcohol is masked nicely when chilled, but becomes more noticably when the ale warms to room temperature. This is a nice Chirstmas/Winter brew to warm the heart during the cold winter months.

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Photo of marburg
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glistening varnished wood look with a blistering tan head. A slick, not-quite-sweet assortment of licorice fragrances. Jagermeister, plum skins, dried roots, and cooked brown sugar highlight the aroma. Baked woodchips and sweetened caramel malt are initial notable flavors on the palate. Allspice and cardamom, some roasted chocolate, and rich, dark pumpernickel. Just spicy enough to fit the Xmas beer mold but not wild or outlandish. A solid holiday beer for anyone.

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Photo of riversider76
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours redish brown,with a thin tan head. Not much retention,and just a bit of lacing. Aroma is of cherry cola,licorice,spice,and dark fruits. Body is medium to heavy with a bit of carbonation. Taste is of dark sweet cherries,spice,and black licorice.Excellent!

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Photo of elricorico
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before says 03/08/09, unless Alberta received old beer, this is the 2006 edition. I've yet to be disappointed by this brewery, so I was really looking forward to this one.

In the glass this beer is the colour of a brown crayon. No head could be coaxed out of it. Not exciting, but nice enough colour.

The smell is fruity and has a spicy alcohol kick to it. Red licorice sweetness, cherries and grapes. Pleasant to smell over and over.

Smooth and warm in the mouth, the alcohol is there but not biting at all. Malty sweet, red licorice and raisins. Slightly spicy finish, and faint coffee rests in the lingering flavour.

Dangerously drinkable, slightly thinner than I expected, but still very smooth. Het Anker is still yet to disappoint. I plan on aging a couple of bombers of this one.

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Photo of DuffDaddy
2.25/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Had a couple of slugs from a bomber in Uncle Ronnie's garage. A lot of flavor in this, but it had a real boozy feel. I wouldn't want to drink more that a little of this at one time.

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Photo of YamagamiTravis
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of scottoale
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This seasonal comes in a 750ml. brown bottle with a code that looks like L0870 on the left side of the large front label. This brew pours a deep, dark mahogany with red highlights and a thick finger plus of tan head. The head recedes slowly and laces quite well.

The smell is sweet...really sweet, fruity and spicy. Most noticeable is banana, yeast, cotton candy and over-ripened plum.

The taste is equally as sweet and very fruity with some notable clove spice. Again, lots of banana, plum, cotton candy, yeast and a very subtle note of alcohol. Overall just a little too sweet with a lack balance to the finish. Light-medium body with acceptable carbonation for this style, the mouthfeel is a bit watery and the sweetness becomes a bit much, before long. Although quite drinkable with the alcohol hidden fairly well, my expectations for this brew were a bit stifled. Probably opt for a tastier holiday selection next time.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy dark brown, good off-white film, fully lasting. Spicy nose, christmas spruce, minty. Mild alcohol comes through, but you’d never guess 10%. Spiced old ale reminiscent. Very yeasty, cloves, maybe chocolate, christmas cake fruitiness+prunes+dates and other dark fruits, leafy, coffeeish. Complex like most of its kind. Red licorice and toffee malt sweetness, very tea-like in mouth, lemon notes. Fluffy heavy body, high carbonation...Marvellous christmas beer, stylish and flavorful. Props to you Larry!

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Photo of PappyVans
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of Twal
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%

Photo of CHADMC3
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich chestnut brown with ruby hues beneath the light tan head that fades quickly but leaves traces of lacing for the duration of the beer.

Generous dark fruit aromas float from the glass such as cherries, grapes, and raisins with hints of winter spices, dark malts, and Belgian yeast to accompany them.

The flavor offers abundant dark fruits similar to the aroma with sweet cherries and vinous grapes. More dark malts in the flavor with spices and woody notes and a fruity finish that offers cherries and plums.

Medium to full in body with medium carbonation and offering a smooth and warming finish.

Great Belgian Christmas beer. Just the right blend of traditional Belgian Strong Dark characteristics with the woody and spice notes one may expect from a Christmas brew.

 785 characters

Photo of ajs4bd
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of crookedhalo
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark rum colored with a small beige ring of bubbles. Complex aromas; star anise, prune, gingerbread, an all-round malty and spicy smelling beer, even down to the subtle hopping which comes across herbal and minty. This is one syrupy muther of a beer. Good thing it is amply carbonated to keep the maltiness of the beer in check. It does retain a slickness on the tongue. Flavors abound similar to the aroma; but more molasses and brown sugar come through in its heavy maltiness. The finish gets drier and more medicinal as all the flavors meld together. A nice Christmas offering.

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Photo of yelterdow
4.77/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750ml corked and caged bottle from last year's stash. Cellared for one year and served in a Chimay chalice at about 55°.

Appearance- Pours a crystal clear ruby/chestnut color, with a fast-growing light tan crown that grows to three fingers, eventually settling to a thin layer. The beautiful sound is the classic muted, insulated impact of beer to an expanding head. A phenomenal geyser of effervescence launching from the etched bottom of my glass replenishes the middle constantly. Sheets of paper-thin walls of lacing line the insides.

Smell- Notes of evergreen ferns, peppermint (maybe spearmint), lemon rind, sassafras, brandy, and some residual alcohol boom from the glass... this is Winter in the deep woods! Candy canes, wreaths, twigs, it's incredible the pictures that come to mind with aromas like these. With each swirl, the character grows deeper and even more enjoyable.

Taste- Gingerbread, cinnamon, mulled holiday wine, sassafras, peppermint tea... obviously with 6 different herbs and spices (none of which are divulged on Het Anker's site), this is a thrill ride for the tastebuds. The Belgian hops that linger long after the swallow just go on for days... and the alcohol isn't quite so much a "burning" as it is a soft fire. As it opens up, it disappears completely. Stupendous sipping.

Mouthfeel- The soft, prickly sensation in the mouth tickles the tongue... then it softens eloquently and expands like soapsuds in a perfect, exquisite progression. After the swallow, there is a charming afterglow that is hard to put into words. Extraordinary.

Drinkability- Let's see... I've been sipping and reviewing this beer for over an hour and a half. I still have ½ remaining in the bottle, with no desire for this tasting to end anytime soon. In a nutshell, it would be a tragedy to miss out on sampling this wonderful beer.

 1,857 characters

Photo of Jredner
3.9/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Rich sweet malt and dark fruits flood the nose. There is a musky perfumey flourish as well. Body is a murky brown and holds two fingers of mocha thickness in the creamy, but bubbly, head. Fore is somewhat toasty with malts and there are mild sweet fruit flavors. Alcohol is fairly hot and assertive through the middle and the finish is midly bitter and almost tart and acidic. Some very mild spiciness as well. Overall a good beer, but doesn’t tie things together nearly as well as the Carolus Classic.

 503 characters

Photo of HopDerek
3.97/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear dark red/almost purple color with some sediment. 2+ fingers of foamy beige-tan head made up of tiny bubbles has good retention and leaves nice lacing. Smells of caramel, sugar plums, bananas, molasses, butter, Christmas spices, bread, and alcohol. The taste follows the aroma; caramel, banana, molasses, bread, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and dark fruits with a touch of licorice and enough of an alcohol warmth in the finish. Medium to medium full in body with good carbonation, syrupy but smooth with a nice sweetness from both malt and fruit but a little medicinal as it warms. A nice holiday ale, but the high alcohol notes leaves it at a once a year type brew.

 676 characters

Photo of JTuomi
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of BJSmit
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of DMcGirr
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of MadScientist
3.76/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is a dark copper with excellent clarity. The light tan head is rocky with decent retention and leaving moderate lacing on the glass.

S: Moderate raisins and red cherry esters with a some alcohol sweetness and very light molasses are the first smells to greet you. There is a light aroma of dark malts and some prunes as well. No hops a light diacetyl. There are very light spicy phenols.

T: A mix of dark cherry fruitiness, caramel malt sweetness and alcohol dominate the flavor at moderate levels. There is a moderately-low hops bitterness and no perceived hops flavor. The spiciness is far more pronounced in the flavor than the aroma coming to dominating in the finish with the alcohol and some slight bitterness. The balance is fruity and spicy with a slight tilt towards the bitterness while having a dry finish.

M: A medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation and a light slickness that makes it feel a bit heavier on the palate. There is a substantial amount of heat with out being hot and some creaminess.

O: This is a dark complex beer that doesn't hide the booze but certainly makes it go down some. While not my favorite style this one hits most of the style points but manages to be a bit of a mess for my taste with a syrupy fruit start and a fairly dry finish.

Bottle mark is "26/08/11"

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Photo of whynot44
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A rich hazy copper/mahogany color with a substantial creamy light tan head that persists and leaves some nice sticky lacing.

The aroma is cloves, plums, figs, brown sugar, malt, yeast, pine and alcohol.

The taste is the same with some additional hints of dates, coriander and chocolate with some herbal notes as well. Every sip seems to turn up something new, licorice?, cherries?, ginger?. mint? There's no end to the complexity on this one. Brandy/wine flavors creep in.

Full bodied, creamy smooth, easy to drink, but this one is for sipping and savoring. Finishes still sweet but offset by the spices and substantial alcohol warmth. This one doesn't sneak up on you like some Belgian strong ales. You know the alcohol is there but it is just so smooth. Not an everyday beer but would be great after dinner on a cold winter day.

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Photo of Minkybut
2.29/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I poured this gross beer into my tumbler at 50 degrees. It was a nice mahoganny color with a pretty tan head that was teaming with tiny fine bubbles and looking great. Then I smelled, whew, sour apples or vineger. Then I tasted and again sour yuk to me. Some like the sour brews but since tis is my review I say YUK ! I will not buy again/

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Photo of PJCarnell
3.89/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of keithmurray
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance - reddish mahogany with off white head

Smell - anise, clove, mint, caramel

Taste - Malt, clove, mint, menthol, black licorice

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, ample carbonation, mint and menthol dominate

overall - inoffensive Christmas beer.

Price Point - $8.99/4pk 11.2 oz bottles

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Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
3.97 out of 5 based on 870 ratings.
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