Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas | Brouwerij Het Anker

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Gouden Carolus Noël / ChristmasGouden Carolus Noël / Christmas
Very Good
895 Ratings
Gouden Carolus Noël / ChristmasGouden Carolus Noël / Christmas

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker

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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 895 |  Reviews: 508
Photo of FBarber
3.19/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of delta490
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is a deep murky brown with about a finger of creamy light tan head that settles down to about a quarter of that. But it manages to hold on throughout and leave some patches of tight sticky lacing. The aroma is dark fruity, sweet, with a little bit an of herbal tinge. The taste is much the same and I actually get a little bit of anise. The body is lighter but not thin, with a nice smooth feel throughout.

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Photo of tdiers
4.93/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I am no expert on beers. I only know what I like. This is my favorite Belgium Strong Dark Ale. It is my base line and I now compare every dark ale to this. I love the dark bread like, spicy, and fruity sweetness along with the thick smooth feeling. I buy as much of it as I can when it's available. Which is hardly ever on the small island of Okinawa, Japan. It is a fantastic Christmas Ale. I only wish it was available year round and in greater quantity globally. The 10.5% alcohol content will definitely sneak up on you by the time you finish the 750ml bottle.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

If you like black licorice you'll like this beer. Dark pour, creamy head, smells like anise, tastes like pure black licorice. Nice licorice waxy feel too. A licorice beer through and through.

If you like licorice you'll love it. If not, pass.

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Photo of KCarr
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of citizencane
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Looks good. Tastes of roasted Malta and toothpaste. Nothing to write home about but not bad.

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Photo of jvgoor3786
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of FatsoSvuLLo
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bruno74200
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's a great beer with a good complexity with the dark fruits, the spices, the toffee and the warming alcohol. It's very smooth and not boozy even if it warms you good. The only problem is the presence of the anise which is a bit strong for me

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Wer34truh
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque color with a smallish head.

Smells of raisins, fruit, tobacco, and miscellaneous spices. The smell is unique and sticks to the nose. The tobacco smell is emphasized.

Wow! This is both delicious and smooth. While I would not call it complex, there is a delightful but moderate sweetness present, alongside some toffee, sweet bread, and raisins. Mouthfeel is light with low-to-average carbonation.

Most excellent!

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

2008 vintage shared by kermis. Dark caramel with a thin tan head. Notes of caramel, fudge, licorice, sherry. Smooth texture, medium body, low carbonation and a sticky sweet aftertaste.

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Photo of IckyT2012
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of briancathy
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of babaracas
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep ruby-tinted brown with two fingers of creamy light brown colored foam, sheet of thin lace down half the glass. Smell: anise, caramelized banana, dark brown sugar, mint, nutmeg-realm spice, some hawaiian roll breadiness lurks behind all that. Taste: the anise hits early and often. Otherwise you've got a brown sugar and orange motif with black pepper, dates, pear. Medium-plus bodied, creamy feel, sticky and spice filled finish. It drinks like a 10.5% dessert christmas beer. Less anise would be much preferred. 21/07/2015 bottling.

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Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cellared 2013 bottle served in a Belgian snifter at about 45F.
Dark brown body that's opaque in the glass. Fragile, bubble white head but good lacing.
Aroma: Slightly bready and very fruity with loads of raisins.
Flavor: lightly sweet, moderately complex; fruity with notes of dates and golden raisins. Lightly spicy.
Full bodied with medium carbonation.

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

Poured from the tap at the Taco Mac in Cumberland, GA. The appearance is a dark reddish-brown color with a small off-white head. The aroma is fruit and cinnamon with some black licorice. Has a very nice flavor of licorice and the alcohol blends in well.

 256 characters

Photo of Fettpopps
2/5  rDev -49%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of Aoyoc
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours deep brown, clear with a very wide brown foam head, excellent retention. Aroma is complex and spicy, lots of anise, licorish, pepper and clove. Taste is complex, strong very spicy, alcohol is there. No hops. Strong beer for the winter.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This probably is my second-most favorite Christmas/holiday ale. (Anchor's Special Ale is as much an annual tradition as my #1 favorite.) Het Anker has the advantage of producing two world-class strong darks, so Noel is easier to make great.

While just a dark beauty, even a hard pour leaves surprisingly little foam and lace. (This is OK for a sipper.)
Aromas say Christmas; fruity, spicy, cinnamon and even some anise that wafts in-and-out.
Taste is full on-set of similar flavors, but has that warming alcohol that must be honored over-time.
Feel also is full; buttery like the season's foods.
I've found this goes best with desserts and after-wards... assuming I'm not driving.

Reviewed in the "1001 Beers", Noel unquestionably deserves to be on the list. I will seek it every year.

2/1/17 Had again next to Cuvee de Keizer and decided that the Cuvee was richer, more complex and the Noel is less derived from it than I originally remembered. I reduced my rating .14.
12/2/17 Had again with cherry pie and vanilla ice-cream. All was rich and the ale's combo with cherries seemed classic.

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Photo of degerrit
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Vylo
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of MrDell
4.86/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


Gouden Carolus – Christmas
Belgian Strong Dark Ale - 10.5% - 330ml Bottle - Best before 21.09.2018

Appearance: Very very deep brown, almost black until held up to light, then it reveals a lovely deep red colour and medium levels of carbonation. Half finger solid milk coffee coloured head.

Aroma: Complex and very moreish with a strong scent of aniseed and fruit gummy sweets, sweet malt. Toffee apple, brown sugar and dark fruit cake.

Taste: Aniseed and sweet malt flavours up front. Lovely burnt sugar in the middle and an exceptionally long sweet finish of a dark moist rasain cake, fresh from the oven. Nice warm sensation from the alcohol as it fades out.

Mouthfeel: Mouth feel Really smooth, heavy bodied as you'd expect from 10.5% abv. Slightly prickly carbonation just to help it move around the palate.

Overall: hy, oh why didn't I buy more of this when I had the chance!!! I was a little disappointed by the Gouden Carolus Classic, finding it a little bland, but this anything but bland. It's absolutely wonderful. Looking forward to trying more from this brewery. 10/10.

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

Poured from 0.33l bottle into Gouden Carolus goblet.
L: Very dark brown with a biege foam head.
S: Plumbs, rasin, sweets.
T: Tart and sweety. Red grape. Complex.
F: Tight body , medium carbonation.
O: Definatly over avarege bsda.

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