Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas | Brouwerij Het Anker

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Gouden Carolus Noël / ChristmasGouden Carolus Noël / Christmas
BA SCORE
3.92/5
Very Good
891 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#6,664
Reviews:
505
Ratings:
891
pDev:
15.56%
Bros Score:
2.88
 
 
Wants:
40
Gots:
115
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 891 |  Reviews: 505
Photo of scottoale
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

 926 characters

Photo of JTuomi
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Rastacouere
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
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 Twal
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of PappyVans
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of CHADMC3
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
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.

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Photo of ajs4bd
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of crookedhalo
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
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 +21.7%
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.

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Photo of Jredner
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
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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Photo of HopDerek
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of ThisSeasonsWaifu
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Photo of PatrickCT
2.7/5  rDev -31.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

11.2 ounce bottle poured into a tulip.

a: A vibrant dark Ruby body with a 2 finger creamy beige head. The head dissipated rather quickly, as did the carbonation. Settles into a very calm beer with moderate lacing.

s: The brewery site boasts the use of six kinds of spices and 3 different hops. I know that one of the spices is anise. Whatever is under the licorice aroma is beyond my noses capabilities. Maybe a little caramel and nuttiness. Slight unidentifiable pepper and spice from the yeast maybe.

t: Sweet malts. Candi sugar. Then menthol and anise dominates the taste. Slight hint of plums, apricot and golden currents. Lingering burn from the alcohol or the anise-menthol onslaught. Or both.

mf: Starts off smooth and creamy then it kind of derails. Minimal carbonation and it runs hot with the alcohol that seems to take over the whole beer.

o: This beer has a lot of good reviews so this may be my personal tastes but I don't like it. It is almost unpleasant. The alcohol is the dominate force right after the anise and has a lingering but non warming aftertaste. I like the label though. I may take it off and tape it over a bottle Trois Pistoles and make that my Christmas beer.

 1,195 characters

Photo of BJSmit
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of MadScientist
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
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"

 1,327 characters

Photo of reitzbrewing
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of whynot44
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
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 -41.6%
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 Libeertarian
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

From notes taken 02/02/17:

I have two of these, and the second one I bought was marked down about 50%, so that’s nice. Will probably re-review the other next year.

Fairly clear, a brown along the lines of cola or dark spiced rum. Large, thick, tannish-brown, fine foamy and almost creamy head of moderate retention. Before even pouring it, get an aroma of anise/licorice. Much the same in the glass. Whiffing deeper, it is hard to get anything else, but I detect, faintly, some alcohol and some vinegar or other tartness. Letting it sit for a few minutes, these are all still present but weaken and expose a banana quality. That’s good. As much as I appreciate anise, etc., it can be a little overwhelming in large quantities, so heres hoping the palate isn’t so strong with it. To taste, anise still strongest flavor, too strong but I can take it. Also heavy with rum- and brandy- and liqueur-like booze flavors. And then an abundance of dark fruit, berries, but still somewhat subdued by everything else. It tastes like an attempt at a mixed drink more than a beer, mouthfeel notwithstanding. Full-bodied, pure cream, it practically soaks in, little need to gulp. Plenty of heat, as 10.5% ABV would indicate. Take the time to enjoy this.

 1,247 characters

Photo of AlaskanYoung
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of GatorCoop
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours very dark. This is a strong dark ale.

43 characters

Photo of timontheroad
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a dark reddish brown with a sparse tan head that faded immediately to a thin film. The aroma is sweet, with lots of licorice, some dark fruit notes and some spiciness. The taste is licorice and more licorice, with some cherry, raisin, figs, and kind of a "winey" taste. The mouthfeel is medium to light, with a bit of alcohol burn, very little carbonation. It seems like there's a lot of different flavors in this beer, but they aren't melded well. Not the best Christmas Ale out there, but a solid drinker nonetheless.

 527 characters

Photo of IronCitySteve
1.89/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Had on tap at Fatheads Pittsburgh.

A: Pours a dark brown color that does not let in any light. Provides a thick foam head with nice retention and some nice lacing.

S: Alcohol, dark fruit, sugared candy and lots of anise.

T: A lot of alcohol up front with some dark fruit. Has a cough syrup type taste with too much alcohol dominating. As this warms, the malt character comes out a tad more, but the alcohol still dominates.

M: Leaves a biting alcohol taste on the palate.

D: Not really a brew for me, high on alcohol taste.

 530 characters

Photo of QuakeAttack
4/5  rDev +2%

Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 891 ratings