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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
871 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:
#6,260
Reviews:
499
Ratings:
871
pDev:
15.82%
Bros Score:
2.88
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
108
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 871 |  Reviews: 499
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 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 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"

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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 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.

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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/

 339 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 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 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.

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Photo of oelergud
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged bomber. The label says 10% abv, not 10.50.
Very dark almost opaque brownish red body. Light brown head mostly medium bubbles. Great retention and clumpy lace.
Sweet caramel and molasses. Lots of spice and butter.
Soft sweet and round malts with just abit of hops. Quite strong but not overwhelming. The alcohol is only faintly noticeable. Shortlived aftertaste of sweet toffee malts and spice.
Full body smooth yet not much coating.
Highly drinkable winter brew.

-Oelergud

 497 characters

Photo of reitzbrewing
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of vcoggins
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of srgj88
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of lgmol
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of StevieW
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml brown bottle with the cork and cage. Non-descript blue label. $9.50 price tag....yea I said $9.50, so I read the reviews and Its Christmas so what the hell, right ?
Murky brown color, like the Ohio River in the spring. Head thicker and more dense than your average Denny's Nightime Dishwasher. (Sorry..that was uncalled for.) Smell was super smooth and rich. Full of fruits, and traditional Christmas spices. First taste was a rich combination and ample amounts of plums, figs, earthy fruits and a bottle and a half of cinnamon. Taste stayed creamy and rich. Sediment swirl yeiled anouther explosion of smells.Christmas in a bottle about sums it up. Alcohol sneeks by at 10.5%, but at one point was just shy of Cherry Nyquil. I guess you could say, slightly medicinal. Not a bad thing at all, IMO. This bottle got better and more flavorful as the night went on. Took me about 2.5 hours to drink, and savor. Medium bodied, perfectly carbonated, and super smooth. A Christmas beer to enjoy. Cheers to all the ba's who tried this before.

 1,042 characters

Photo of BeerBuilder
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany in color with a creamy tan head. Nice lacing after each sip. The aroma is malty sweet and spicy. It has a anise and nutmeg aroma, along with a bit of mint. It has some oily, resiny aromas as well. The flavor is malty with the nutmeg and anise. It has a hidden Anchor OSA flavor to it. Kinda resiny and piney. It is smooth and creamy. It is medium-full in body and very easy drinking for its strength. Very nice.

 420 characters

Photo of ypsifly
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Undated 750 that is corked and caged poured into a chalice.

Deep brown with slight reddish edges and two dense fingers of light tan that has unreal retention and leaves a lumpy sheet of lace that coats the inside of the glass. Beautiful!

Lots of yeast and spices in the nose. Bananas, bubblegum, clove, nutmeg, dark sugars, raw fruitcake dough, and something that smells a bit like a freshly made holiday wreath. Awesome!

Malts and dark fruits upfront with something that tastes like Pepsi, licorice, nutmeg, sweet yeast flavors, and a dash of peppery alcohol in the background. The flavor reminds me of the '96 Anchor OSA, but much bolder with a sweeter finish. I really like this one.

Nice full velvety mouth, no oils left in its wake. Delicious. If it wasn't for the abv I could sip this in front of the fire all night.

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Photo of Lunch
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 330ml bottle, purchased at Wells in Baltimore, MD, back in winter of 2006/2007, into my Gouden Carolus goblet at an appropriate temperature (01/21/10).

A: Pours a murky, dark, mahogany brown with slight faint ruby hues and two fingers of a creamy off-white head with excellent retention and lacing.

S: Pleasant aroma of dark fruits, blueberries, Belgian yeast, raisins, plums, and clove.

T: Raisins and blueberries hit first with lushes layers of dark fruit and an estery Belgian yeast. This beer has aged nicely, maturing into a much more well-rounded and balanced Belgian Strong Dark Ale with nuances in its flavor profile coming more to the surface.

M: Medium to thick-bodied with creamy, smooth carbonation. I found this to be the best part of the beer.

D: Easy to drink, especially since the 10.5% abv is well hidden, but the richness of the flavor and rather thick mouthfeel limit its consumption to just a couple bottles.

Overall this is a very nice Belgian Strong Dark Ale with a winter seasonal flair. With about three years of age under its belt, this beer as matured nicely and seems superior to it fresh. Recommended.

 1,150 characters

Photo of KFBR392
3.84/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown color on the edges that sits very dark brown/black in the glass. About a finger of head on the pour but subsides quickly to a thin head which was present while drinking. Low active carbonation in glass while drinking.

Smell: Grassy herbal tones greet the drinker right away. Heavily spiced yet balanced yeast character warms up the body. Getting plenty of traditional belgian characteristics with bready, banana, and clove accents.

Taste: Cinnamon, ginger, and heavy spices dominate the front of this brew. Spices continue to comes in waves on the palate for a long time. Tones on the front linger through the body and slightly yield toward the back end for dough, fruit, soap, and leafy greens.

Mouthfeel: A great combination of soft drinkable tones and surprising complexity.

Overall: I tend to avoid Christmas style beers but this is a very good one. The spiced tones are done well without completely taking over this brew. Outstandingly drinkable especially at 10.5%.

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Photo of craftbeersweden
3.06/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clear, dark mahogny colored beer with a two finger high, offwhite head.

Nose: licorice, herbs, toth-paste! (I know it's crazy), peppermint, milk and ice-cream.
Taste: Licorice, salmiak, peppermint, honey, syrup, brown sugar and sugar, sugar, sugar.... This is SWEEET!
Body: Medium body with a light, crisp, carbonation. The sweetness is overwhelming. The ABV: 10.5% is well hidden.

WTF is this? I'm not shure if I like it or hate it... Not what I expected. Almoust like a big bottle of Jägermeister. Well I have to decide... For this money you can buy great beer - This is not great, it is strange... I don't want strange... So conclusion - Buy something else!

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Photo of nomad
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A dark beer with reddish corners, it poured out with little head or lace. Oh well. Smelled like an artisanal laundry list: chocolate, dark malt, licorice, cherries, sour esters, apricot. Had that only-Belgians-could-do aspect of a yeasty funk covered in malt that has been vigorously chewed by attenuation. Complex without being muddled, this beer is wonderful for its immediately comforting profile with obvious connections to wintry aromas. Christmas in a bottle, indeed.

Tastes of dark malt with some undistinguished fruity flavors, most like cherries in a sense, yet pleasing in its estery fruit punch mix. Shows lots of alcohol with opening, yet never noxious because its complex in a winey and big Beligan way. A chocolate-like earthiness supports the whole profile. For me, the moderate mouthfeel comes across a little too low, and does need a little carbonation.

A tasty beer, and one of the best Christmas beers. A big, strong, and impressive beer.

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Photo of rapidsequence
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Corked and caged 750.

Appearance: What a great looking beer. Clear dark ruby color with a big frothy, rocky head. Every pour leaves another huge head that fades to 1/2 inch or so, leaving some nice lacing.

Smell: Sweet, spicy, and richly malty. Chocolately, bready malt. Licorice, orange, and alcohol. Interesting, complex, but not as broad as some.

Taste: Bready, spicy, boozy, and sweet. Midway back, there is a fair amount of bitter/sourness that I assume is from orange peel. The licorice I smelled is also a pretty prominent flavor. Lots of other spices and pepperiness too. Sweet, bready finish. A little too sweet and too orangey. Nice though.

Mouthfeel: Nice carbonation, creamy and pretty nice in the mouth.

Drinkability: Its a nice beer, a Christmas treat, but not something you'd really want to buy over one of several better Belgian darks. The sweetness would be fine, but there's not quite enough huge maltiness to balance it. The bitter orange and pepper also becomes overbearing.

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Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 871 ratings
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