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
895 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:
For more than 35 years we had to miss the Christmas beer but in 2002 the tradition was restored with Gouden Carolus Christmas. It’s a strong, dark ruby red beer with character and contains an alcohol percentage of 10.5 % alc.vol. Brewed in August, the beer rests a few months to reach an optimal balance. Three kinds of hops and 6 different kinds of herbs and spices define the rich taste of this Christmas beer. Top-class!

Added by Gusler on 11-24-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#7,411
Reviews:
508
Ratings:
895
pDev:
15.56%
Bros Score:
2.88
 
 
Wants:
40
Gots:
116
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 895 |  Reviews: 508
Photo of LennyBound
1/5  rDev -74.5%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Rating relative to style. Drain pour.

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

Photo of SpongeHop
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L - red-ish mahogany brown, voluptuous creamy foam on top
S - raisins up front, honey sweetness, toast bread maltiness, lingering beautiful christmas spices of clove and a very prominent note of anise seed
T - see smell, with the gorgeous raisins and star anise being most prominent
F - nice body, without being overpoweringly fizzy

O - my favorite christmassy beer. puts a smile on my face, and full disclaimer, this is coming from someone who does not like the ordinary gouden carolus classic. In fact, this is the beer that inspired my first homebrew. That probably says something...

I absolutely recommend this one.

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Photo of paulish
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of r-m-kaylor
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle dated 09 August 2011 - pours a deep, clear, effervescent red into a Gouden Carolus Challis with a tight off-white head which settles into a thin ring. On the nose, caramel and classic Gouden Carolus yeast/water - one looks forward to this - mouthfeel is full with bright cleansing up front, middle and back with a soothing caramel aftertase - again, classic Gouden Carolus taste- IMHO this is the quintessential Belgian Biere de Hiver en Terre et Terrior. Prost!

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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 stephenlee
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kjkinsey
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Silke_Neryn
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The missing link between liquor and liquorice.

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Photo of The_Bujon
4.69/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This Christmas beer is an absolute belter! What can I say other than pure velvet to drink, with a combination of caramel and liquorice in aroma. I prefer to have this lightly chilled then aired a touch. Super creamy head which remains providing you are consuming from a suitable delivery system. If you're not a liquorice fan, then you may find it a bit too much....thank the lucky stars I am!
The BA reviews here do not do justice to this epic brew at all, it's still the highest rated beer I have scored thus far, truly hard to beat....The Bro's got this one MASSIVELY wrong with a poor rating, and I suspect that has influenced a fair few reveiwers.....mark my words this is as good a beer as you will find.

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Photo of vidisad
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

the whole here is better than its elements on the score sheet, but thats the way it goes sometimes. this is a 2011 vintage, mostly cellared by little liquor on downing, been in my cellar about a year, the time was now. its murky auburn colored with a nice white belgian head on it, maybe the cloudiness is a product of its age somehow, i dont remember this being cloudy in the past. the aroma and flavor are great though, no oxidation or old beer flavor at all, it has matured really nicely. lots going on here, rich grain at the heart of it, notes of chestnut, dried cherry, clove, anise, brown sugar, and and a cool fruity belgian yeast, pears and apple cider hints to it. there is a lot of sugar here still, especially in the finish, but what there isnt, is too much alcohol. its warming and cozy, but it doesnt burn and it doesnt slow me down at all. gingerbready spice in the finish here, the malt has held up well too. very holiday in overall vibe, but not as belgian yeast driven as a lot of others in this family. id love to do a side by side with a freshy, but this 2011 has to be near its prime. quality beer, better than its ratings!

 1,144 characters

Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

As other reviews has stated, there is a strong presence of anise going on in this beer. I personally like it, even preferring it over Chimay blue in a side-by-side. I did notice that as the beer warmed, the flavors seems to get awkward; thus, I prefer it cold.

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Photo of JamFuel
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JohnTurano
3.04/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

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

Photo of PJCarnell
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PMarcy78
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of opieo
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

There is nothing special about this brew. No taste stand out. Slight grain front. Slight hop after. Totally non-descript. Not even the atmosphere of the Heigel Geist church restuarant in Mainz GE helped the flavor.

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Photo of Heeenrik
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of vinicole
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark ruby. Thick tan head. Looks great.
Sweet smelling dried fruit, caramel fudge and molasses.
The taste reflects the aroma. The sweetness lingers.
Smooth carbonation with only a moderate body.
This went down well on Christmas day 2016.

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Photo of jdkitchi
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The anise was too overpowering, otherwise well made brew.

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Photo of puck1225
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On draft in a snifter on Christmas Eve. Dark brown color, beige head and good lacing. Warm spice and sweet spice smell. Taste is sweet with root beer and dark raisins, cola and orange. A decent Christmas beer.

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Photo of StoutSnob40
2.69/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Complete licorice bomb. I'm not sure if it was actually added, but it's really overwhelming. If you do not like black licorice, there is a good chance you will dislike this beer. It's lost most of the dark fruit qualities of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but the alcohol burn is very prominent. Not a particularly enjoyable beer.

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Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 895 ratings