Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas | Brouwerij Het Anker

BA SCORE
89
very good
869 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:
869
Reviews:
499
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
15.37%
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
107
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 869 |  Reviews: 499
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 IronCitySteve
1.89/5  rDev -52.4%
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 oelergud
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
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 vcoggins
4.25/5  rDev +7.1%

Photo of Libeertarian
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
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 srgj88
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%

Photo of lgmol
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of StevieW
4.7/5  rDev +18.4%
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 +13.4%
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 GatorCoop
3/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours very dark. This is a strong dark ale.

43 characters

Photo of ypsifly
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

 834 characters

Photo of Lunch
4.05/5  rDev +2%
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 -3.3%
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%.

 1,000 characters

Photo of nomad
4.49/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

 964 characters

Photo of rapidsequence
3.98/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

 999 characters

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

750 ml corked bottle. Gouden Carolus Noel pours out a dark brown color with a big tan head. The aroma is nutmeg, licorice, and fruit. Lots of licorice flavor in this beer, along with dark fruit and spices. A little caramel and some flavor that is sort of smokey. Surprisingly smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Great drinkability. This 750 ml bottle went down very easily, and it's at 10% abv. Perhaps not as complex as some Belgians, but the flavor is very nice anyway.

 484 characters

Photo of reitzbrewing
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of craftbeersweden
3.06/5  rDev -22.9%
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!

 666 characters

Photo of QuakeAttack
4/5  rDev +0.8%

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

Pours a dark reddish brown with a thin, dark tan head. Almost no lacing. Aromas of dark stewed fruit, anise, chocolate covered cherries, pumpernickel and the obligatory nutmeg and cinnamon. Strong flavors of brown sugar, overripe banana, caramel, and anise. A flavor reminiscent of "circus peanut" candy in the back palate. The body is milky and rich. It seems to melt into the palate, creating a lingering finish. Very pleasant fresh, but I prefer bottles with a few years on them.

 482 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage 22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, cloudy, murky, deep mahogany color with a finger of oatmeal-colored head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed a few wispy clouds that gathered in the center of the top of the beer.

Aroma: Tons of dried stone fruit, such as prunes, dates, cherries and raisins. I get notes of candied sugar, malt and Belgian yeast and some spices such as nutmeg, all-spice and brown sugar.

Taste: Delicious! Good, god there’s a lot of toffee! Tons of nutty, caramel-like brown sugar-like sweetness, balanced beautifully with toasted malt and Belgian-yeast! Fantastic!

Mouthfeel: Chewy, with no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10.5%, there is a definite alcohol presence on the palate, imparting a very pleasant warmth in the mouth.

Overall: Goddamn, this is an absolutely AWESOME beer! I love the strong flavors of toffee and dried fruit. Absolutely, fantastically, delicious!


2013 vintage 22 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, cloudy, murky, deep mahogany color with a finger of oatmeal-colored head that quickly dissolved into a halo of foam that gripped the sides of the glass and formed a few wispy clouds that gathered in the center of the top of the beer.

Aroma: Tons of dried stone fruit, such as prunes, dates, cherries and raisins. I get notes of candied sugar, malt and Belgian yeast and some spices such as nutmeg, all-spice and brown sugar.

Taste: Delicious! Again, strong notes of dried stone fruit, such as prunes, dates, cherries and raisins, beautifully balanced with some roasted malt, Belgian yeast, and candied sugar. Absolutely delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy, with no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 10.5%, there is a definite alcohol presence on the palate, imparting a very pleasant warmth in the mouth.

Overall: Goddamn, this is an absolutely awesome beer, but not quite as AWESOME as the aged 2011. I love the strong flavors of the dried fruit and candied sugar, which is balanced perfectly with the malt and yeast. Absolutely delicious!

 2,155 characters

Photo of wdarcy77
4/5  rDev +0.8%

Photo of cfh64
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%

Photo of zookerman182
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy red color with a very small and non existent head.
Aroma is very boozy and full of dark fruit and cherries.
Taste is cherries, raisins, prunes, figs, very nice holiday beer.
Mouthfeel is really nice, almost creamy.
Sweet tasting beer with nice carbonation.

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Photo of carln26
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper to brown in color. Very hazy with a light fluffy tan colored head. The nose is a mélange of toffee, nuts, dates, cinnamon, all spice and mild orange on the finish. The flavor is spice up front. Coriander, and orange peel. There is a lot of malt sweetness. Figs, dates, and toffee come through in the middle. Then some fresh bread. Mild bitterness throughout accentuated by the orange in the finish. This has a thinner mouth feel than the Cuvée Van De Keizer. A bit slick. Mild alcohol warming and a nice drinkability. Merry Christmas.

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Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
3.97 out of 5 based on 869 ratings.
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