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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:
#6,269
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 IntriqKen
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Mmmmm....
Dark amber with a very creamy, thick full finger head that is just off-white. Slowly, every so slowly melting to very, very sticky lacing while maintaining dense cream-type head.

Aroma is just a touch of bubblegum under the sweet amber malts and Belgium sugars.

Tastes of golden candy malts...nicely sweet and warming for a holiday season. Some fruitiness in the swallow along with hefty alcohol burn.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth...Aftertaste is sweet malts and a little of the bubblegum noticed before. Alcohol continues to warm all of the way down for a very long time.

This is a big bottle. It will take a good hour and a half to finish it alone.
Poor me.
Poor poor pitiful me.
<grin>

 722 characters

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - an 11.2 ouncer poured into a standard tulip yields a brownish amber brew in the bottom half and a creamy light tan pack of suds in the top half. Very sticky as it falls back, leaving thick trails and waved of sheeted lacing. Some big bubbles popping leave craters in a few spots, messing up the even drop of foam.

Aroma - licorice, a fruity dark spiciness of some sort. An essence of estery vapor hints at the potency of the brew. A touch soapy at times and I sometimes think I'm picking up a touch of metal, but it could just be the anise with the other spices.

Taste - anise immediately, some chocolate notes, wow, some serious abv warmth at the back of the throat and on down into the belly. Sweet malt sugars pair up with the anise for a sugary, estery rush. Some spicy, earthy depth to the anise on the swallow. The finish doesn't stray too far from that; a dry, berry sort of flavor, some chocolate still (chocolate covered cherry?).

Mouthfeel - very full in the mouth as the high carbonation really blossoms this open once you get a sip past the teeth. Slightly syrupy and heavy, I think it does the beer well.

Drinkability - I enjoyed it. It is a slow sipper, a good choice while watching Christmas shows or wrapping gifts. Probably worth aging one to see what time would do the the hotness. A fine choice to celebrate one more week until Christmas Day. :-)

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

Picked up a bottle in late October from Total Wine for $8.99. The gabby guy from Diamondback Distributing mentioned this is the 2010 edition.

Beer poured brown with a decent off white head on the initial pour.

Nose is dark fruits.

Taste is dark fruits and some pepper. Balance is nice. A nice backbone and a decent hoping keep this from being overly sweet.

Mouthfeel is classic belgian smoothness, definitely medium to full bodied. Very satisfying to sip on.

Overall a very tasty brew, definitely fits the mode of the style. Glad i had a chance to try it!

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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 BrazilianAussie
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of frasergrove
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of glid02
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at the Brick Store in Atlanta.

Pours a clear deep brown color with a one-finger white head. The head dissipates into a patchy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. The lacing leaves a nice webbing on the glass.

Smells of licorice and anise, alcohol, and dark fruits, in that order. Very interesting.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet Belgian candy sugar hits up front for a split second before it's overtaken by licorice and anise. The licorice and anise stick around all the way through the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a very nice thickness that's backed up by subtle carbonation. This goes down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I'm not the biggest fan of licorice, but I still like this beer. Just know what you're getting yourself into.

Overall this is one of the more interesting Christmas beers that I've tried. Give this one a shot if for no other reason than for how unique it tastes.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml Bottle - thanks to iguenard for this one

Appearance - The beer pours a dark brown colour with a huge size frothy dark beige coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due the darkness of the beer and there is some really good lacing on the sides of the glass. The head lasted for 7 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, raisins, all spice, licorice

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a low amount of carbonation and it feels very creamy on the tongue. I can taste malts, raisins and licorice. There is also an earthiness and some notes of all spice. It ends with a malty dark fruit aftertaste.

Overall – You'd never know this beer had 10% alcohol. My bottle was best before Nov 2011, so I'm assuming it's been aged to some extent. It's so smooth and delicious. It's a perfect sipping beer for the holidays/colder weather.

 833 characters

Photo of zookerman182
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

 271 characters

Photo of sinistrsam
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a dark-amber pour, with a small head dissapating quickly. It smelled of cinnamo and sweet malt, with dark fruits and a lot of complex spiciness. The taste definitely confirmed all of this; lots of dark fruits and spices (cinnamon, nutmet, pepper), alcohol, hops, malt. The finish was once agin very smooth and crisp, pleasant, very warming.

 349 characters

Photo of Viaduck
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The cork pops out with a moderate pop & pours a tea colored medium brown & medium head. Smells like hickory farms, a weird sausage aroma. Tastes initially salty & then caramel, lots of of caramel, some grain & hop. Sweet, I like sweet. Nicely balanced. Very good.

 263 characters

Photo of GregMcQ
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in Bruges during my last visit there (on recommendation by the store owner).

Pours with a very light head; dissipated quickly to just whisps of head on the top. The head-color was an off-white... not quite cream, but close. Color of the body was a deep caramel; almost a rose-brown color; very clear.

Smell is what initially sold me on the idea that this is a really good beer... my first thought was "licorice"; followed by spices; a very strong nose to this one. This is a big beer.

Taste... for me at least, I could definitely taste a sweet-licorice; maybe the candi sugar? It's a sweet beer, as a lot of the strong dark ales are, but it's also a BIG beer... very tasty and very full.

It's billed as a Christmas beer... I can definitely see why.

This one goes on to my "Buy List" next time I'm in Belgium. A very good beer.

 856 characters

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves a two finger head that quickly fades to a long lasting surface layer ( i.e. excellent retention ) , and leaves excellent lacing. Body is a hazy garnet.

Smell - medicinal alcohol, solvent alcohol, horse blanket, raisins, and a hint of malt bread.

Taste - figs, raisins, horse blanket washed through with phenolic, medicinal alcohol. Solvent alcohol present in the nose, just does not show up on the palate, and the alcohol ends up being pleasingly warm and medicinal, not harsh like I had feared from the nose, nor is it overly dominating.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, semi-dry, and somewhat fizzy.

Drinkability - this is very good, but the high abv makes it not sessionable.

 721 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the caged, corked 750 ml. bottle. 2012 batch with a marking of 08/09/11-11066. Sampled on Christmas Day 2012.

It pours a very dark amber brown with a small beige head that does not linger terribly long.

The aroma has a lot of character including dark malts, Belgian sugars, yeast, cranberry, cherries, and licorice but despite all of that the main character is hard liquor.

The body is strong and bold

The taste is like a fruity barleywine with lots of alcohol-enhanced malts, sweetness, and a kind of dark fruit juiciness with a slightly lingering finish. Something I will remember.

 594 characters

Photo of jsh420
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

guessign this bottle to be 2 years old

pours cloudy amber brown with a 1 finger tan head that left no lacing

smells of nutty fruit malts belgian yeast and some booze

taste - oh yeah thats the stuff - semi sweet nutty caramel toffee fruity malts leaves a nice aftertaste of chocolate malt

mouthfeel is light little thin with low carbonation - very smooth

drinkability is good - very easy driniking for a 10.5% brew

 419 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a review of the 2008 brew which was stored at the brewery for two years and opened at the 16th Essen Christmas beer festival 2010.

My bottle review wasn't overly kind to this beer, what a diffence a couple of years in a cask makes!

The liquorice flavours that almost ruined my bottle review were almost completely gone, to be replaced by blackberries and plums.

The aroma was Port like with sweet molasses and Christamssy spices added, as was the rich taste and mouthfeel. Someone mentioned 'cough sweets' in the beer tasting notes at the festival and that is a good choice of the words too. That liquorice flavour from my bottle review now coming back into play as the mouth dries giving the beer an alcoholic, malty, cough sweet sort of taste.

Anker matured this specially for two years, I thank them for that.

 824 characters

Photo of rfgetz
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark rusty copper/brown color with minimal cap of khaki bubbles, little lacing. Strong notes of anise with notes of prune and fig lead with notes of brown sugar and light molasses. Taste leads with initial bite of spice from the anise, sweetness expected from the nose isn't as pronounced and gives a light pastry like quality - pizzelle cookies come to mind and peg the season perfectly. Rum soaked prune and fig on the back end and settles into a pleasant, lightly sweet brown sugar note. Medium bodied, could use a touch more heft to stand up to the bold flavors. Overall, pegs the season perfectly and quite unique with its flavor profile - only a few minor concerns with body and ability to drink more than 10oz or so.

 731 characters

Photo of johnd513
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a redish brown color with a nice two finger tan head. I gotta say this one looks great in my Duvel tulip. Smells of sweet fruits - cherries, figs and raisins and a cherry, a liquor smell that i can't quite place and alcohol at the end. Tastes of tart/sweet fruits - raisins, dark malt and alcohol at the end. The mouthfeel is light yet very smooth. Drinkability is decent but I don't think I would have another because of the high alcohol content and high price tag.

 482 characters

Photo of Rod_J
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | 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 tbryan5
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of reitzbrewing
4/5  rDev +2%

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.

 184 characters

Photo of Janeinma
4/5  rDev +2%

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