Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas | Brouwerij Het Anker

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
89
very good
478 Reviews
THE BROS
67
poor
Read the review
Gouden Carolus Noël / ChristmasGouden Carolus Noël / Christmas
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker
Belgium | website

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
Reviews:
478
Ratings:
829
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
20.4%
 
 
Wants:
34
Gots:
96
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 478 | Ratings: 829
Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

 241 characters

Photo of MrDell
4.86/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

02.04.2016

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.

 1,104 characters

Photo of dacrza1
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: January 10, 2016... GLASSWARE: Affligem chalice... OCCASION: a low-key, high-family Sunday... APPEARANCE: dark burgundy/brown body that releases light only when held to it...head is cloudy with a marshy topography... small bubbles and some lily pads, but more head than expected from a beer fronting a 10+ ABV... AROMA: heavy on the anise, with spruce also making this a formidable brew to encounter... fig, fruitcake, plum and some pungent scents too... PALATE: begins with a vibrant, virile rush at the teeth, before approximating cola mid-body... the finish is lingering with warmth and weight... TASTE: anise-heavy licorice, plum, dates and fig ramp up the sugar rush, while earthy hops allude to a brown ale base...some toasted elements add to a wintry feel... OVERALL: a veritable dessert in itself, this beer ponies up the fruit bowl and purees that into a sweet, sugary winter warmer...I made the mistake (?) of gifting two friends with this before trying it myself, but no mistake after all--the cork and cager delivers with strength and flavor... I would rate this higher, but its core flavors (see above) are not ones I seek out when eating or drinking--no insult to this brew...

 1,203 characters

Photo of hardy008
4.5/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Murky dark brown with a two finger beige head, with good retention and lacing. The aroma has dark fruit, spices, pears, brown sugar, and Belgian yeast.

Tastes just like it smells. Has a sweet taste, without being overly sweet. I can't tell what all of the spices are, but am thinking cloves, coriander, and possibly nutmeg.

Medium to full bodied with above average carbonation. A pleasure to drink.

 401 characters

Photo of Viaduck
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
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 Monkeefartz
2.99/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One thing to note about this beer is the anise favor initially presented more like mint. It was strange, but let it warm a bit and the flavors of Annie and dried fruits come out. It is an interesting beer, but not one I would have again.

 237 characters

Photo of unclekeith
3.72/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

2015 version 750 into a Teku

A: Dark amber, impressive 2-finger off white head that lingers which eventual leaves minimal lacing
S: Black licorice, dark fruits,
T: Sweet anise again, malt, Belgian esters,
M: Full bodied, syrupy, great carb
O: Overwhelmed by the licorice and sweetness, good beer but I'll go for the Kaiser Blue next time

 340 characters

Photo of beergoot
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle date: 06/08/2015, ABV 10,5%

Mahogany hued body with a thick, frothy head. Fruits and nuts aroma; pineapple, lemon and orange peel; spicy; citrus and pine. Candied fruits with touches of peppermint and anise in the flavor; caramel. Heavy body; dense and sweet on the palate.

The damn thing smells like a holiday fruitcake and packs in many of the flavors (and none of this is meant in a disparaging way). Wow! For a big, seasonal Belgian dark ale, this beer pretty much nails the classical European sweets available during the winter holidays. There's no way this would be a regular heavy, dark ale treat, but it just seems to the occasion. Yes, its heavy and sweet, but the load of additional smells and flavors that you pickup are truly amazing. A very fitting beer for the start of the winter holidays.

 813 characters

Photo of Fear4Beer
4.49/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Did some of us drink a different brew? I drank this in 2015 from a bottle made in 2015. I poured this beer out into a wheat beer glass and this beer just looks incredible. Nice a head, a dark amber color, and it smells so good. When I smell it I get anise, the sort of anise you would get from a Canoli or a Pizzelle and a bunch of other spices blended together harmoniously. The taste was wonderful. I got a lot of malt up front (trying to remember from memory here) and I remember thinking it had a rootbeer taste to it with added "christmas spices" clove, anise, etc. The beer was not bitter, it was malt forward and it was very pleasant. It had 10% abv which is quite high, so drink with caution, it can't sneak up on you!

Just a delicious brew! I tried another "Christmas Ale" right after I drank this bottle and it didn't compare to this one. It felt watered down to this beer. This brew just delivered imo. I don't know what the beeradvocate "bros" drank, but it must have been years ago with a different recipe at that time. I drank this cold and it was outstanding. Maybe if I let it warm up a bit it would have tasted much different? Usually that happens with beer with many spices, it becomes even more intense. I'd recommend drinking this cold, because I can say without a doubt it tasted wonderful.

 1,313 characters

Photo of KonigObHops
3.03/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours from the bottle as what I would call a cola color with a beige head that was about one finger width thick.

The aroma is anise with some fruity notes. It was pretty strong and sweet, but almost buttery at the same time.

The initial taste was slightly sweet, but the alcohol in this beer is present right off of the bat. In the middle, the beer has some slight fruitiness, but it finishes rather flat.

I would describe the mouthfeel as somewhat biting. The alcohol hits the tongue, and then it finishes dry.

I was disappointed because I bought a four pack of this beer on the recommendation of a guy at the beer store who was raving about it. I have about 20 beers that I will suggest to him if I ever see him again. It was OK overall, but I would not purchase this Christmas ale over other varieties like Corsendonk, Ommegang, or St. Bernardus.

 866 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled August 6th 2015.

It pours a clear chestnut with a small off white head of foam.

The smell I noticed as soon as I removed the cork. Anise in abundance. It's hard to get past that. Some sweet candi sugar notes. .

Anise, candi sugar, quite sweet this is. Okay, now that palate familiarity has set in, I can taste some dark pitted fruit goodness. Plum and raisin. Despite the temporary reprieve from the anise, I reckon that this Noel is too 1 dimensional for the style.

High end of medium bodied, lively carbonated, more than a little boozy, this doesn't bring out any Christmas cheer for me. Super glad that I got a chance to try it.

 645 characters

Photo of Whiteturtle
2.92/5  rDev -26.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.75

*Disclosure* I had this beer 3 years ago and remember not liking it due to the overbearing licorice aroma and taste. I have not had it since, but I am going into with optimism.

Eyes: Poured into a corsendonk christmas chalice. A moderate 1 inch head that is dissapating quickly. To my recollection the smallest head from a any belgian beer I have ever poured (good belgian beer). Pours a muddy brown/ruby hue. A lovely misting of head and bigger bubbles surround the rooftop.

Nostrils: Anise, clove, and yeah... licorice :( I don't think its as pungent as I remember from 2 years ago, but its definitely there. I also get a big chunk of chocolate on the nose too. Cinnamon, mint, and cherries close it out.

Tongue: Anise and cinnamon right from the start. Very sugary- more so than your typical BSDA, even winter seasonals. The licorice flavor seems to be a bit tamer than what I experienced 2 years ago, but it is still prevalent. When you let it sit in your mouth for a few seconds and then swallow it tastes like a mint brownie. The 10% is masked very well.

Body: Thick and creamy. Typical belgian beer carbonation tickles the inner cheeks. Its hard to discern the beer mouthfeel with the foam that forms. A strong anise and chocolate hang follow.

Overall: I shouldn't, but I have to compare it somewhat to my 2013 beer. Its not as boozy and as licoricey as I remember, so thats good. But while those flavors seemed to have been pulled back, no other flavors really seemed up to the job. Its still an anise/minty/cinnamon bomb. Its a good beer, but the flavor profile just doesn't match my interests. If we were dating profiles on a website, I would have to swipe left even though I know a lot of people are swiping right. I think there are plenty of other winter seasonals (foreign and domestic) that I would much rather have.

Hoppy Holidays

 1,853 characters

Photo of PatrickCT
2.7/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

11.2 ounce bottle poured into a tulip.

a: A vibrant dark Ruby body with a 2 finger creamy beige head. The head dissipated rather quickly, as did the carbonation. Settles into a very calm beer with moderate lacing.

s: The brewery site boasts the use of six kinds of spices and 3 different hops. I know that one of the spices is anise. Whatever is under the licorice aroma is beyond my noses capabilities. Maybe a little caramel and nuttiness. Slight unidentifiable pepper and spice from the yeast maybe.

t: Sweet malts. Candi sugar. Then menthol and anise dominates the taste. Slight hint of plums, apricot and golden currents. Lingering burn from the alcohol or the anise-menthol onslaught. Or both.

mf: Starts off smooth and creamy then it kind of derails. Minimal carbonation and it runs hot with the alcohol that seems to take over the whole beer.

o: This beer has a lot of good reviews so this may be my personal tastes but I don't like it. It is almost unpleasant. The alcohol is the dominate force right after the anise and has a lingering but non warming aftertaste. I like the label though. I may take it off and tape it over a bottle Trois Pistoles and make that my Christmas beer.

 1,195 characters

Photo of DuffDaddy
2.25/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 2.25 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

Had a couple of slugs from a bomber in Uncle Ronnie's garage. A lot of flavor in this, but it had a real boozy feel. I wouldn't want to drink more that a little of this at one time.

 183 characters

Photo of JaimeLondon
4.34/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer is really awesome. Of a dark color with tones of amber and a delicious foam.
Taste and smell are spicy, floral and hoppy (6 spices and 3 kinds of hops are used). Some roasted/caramel malts in the end with a nice bitterness. It's also mild and of a delicate body. The highlights go to the star anise/liquorice and the nutmeg notes.

 340 characters

Photo of JayQue
3.94/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into my Chimay goblet. Clear amber color with lots of initial carbonation and a light tan colored bubbly white head. Head retention is average or less. Lacing is minimal.

Aroma is sweet malt and toffee. Not that pronounced. Taste is better. Sweet malt, toffee, spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg and dark fruit (plums and raisins). Mouthfeel is rich, lighter than some BSDAs, with plenty of sweetness, very little alcohol presence. An excellent winter warmer/sipper with good flavor and rich feel.

 528 characters

Photo of pat61
4.33/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Brilliant ruby tinted chestnut under a 1” cream colored persistent foam collar that hugs the side of the glass.
S: Raisin, nutmeg, spice and faint chocolate.
T: Essence of fruitcake in a glass with dark dried fruit, light caramel, faint chocolate and a touch of anise and nutmeg.
F: A smooth, moussey texture supported by very fine soft carbonation to produce an airy, medium body.
O: A Belgian strong dark Christmas ale with a very fine creamy texture.

 462 characters

Photo of keithmurray
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
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

 292 characters

Photo of ninkasibrew
3.93/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 't Brugs Beertje.
Pours brown with medium carbonation
smell is sweet and candy.
Taste is sweet but mostly dominated by licorice. mouthfeel is medium to full.

 168 characters

Photo of captaincoffee
3.81/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful color...deep amber brown with an average head of large bubbles. Nose is underwhelming with some stale euro hops, malt, allspice, and stale raisins. Taste is better with full sweet malt and very good mouthfeel...a hint of licorice and dates, and some warmth from the ABV. Overall, not as good as I was hoping for, but reasonable for the price.

 355 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 janubio
4.41/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep broown colour, with red reflections to the light. Medium beige head that does not hold for too long, but leaves a good lace. Smell of earth, spices, maybe pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, dried fruits, candy, anis, licorice... Medium body and carbonation, it felles great in the palate, creamy and rich. Taste of licorice, dried fruits, clove, vanilla, cinnamon, caramel. Great.

 385 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
4.91/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a St. Bernardus glass.

Look: Dark mahogany with ruby showing through the light. The head is cream colored, leaves a wisp of cloud cover after dissipation. Light dots of lacing.

Aroma: Cinnamon, apples, mint, bread.

Taste: Bready malts come first, then cinnamon, raisins, and apples. A little touch of mint in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, carbonated.

Overall: One of the most delicious "holiday" beers I've ever had. I will buy this again next December.

 478 characters

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 Zach136
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up Christmas Eve 2014, bottle said 30/07/2013. So I'm guessing it's the 2013 vintage.

Appearance: Deep ruby/brown, off white head with pretty good lacing.

Aroma: Fairly intense sugar plum candy, raisons and assorted dark fruit with some bready/biscuity character. No alcohol.

Flavor: More of the same as the nose, dark fruit and candy sweetness, hints of chocolate, but a much more present booze.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, with a warming boozy finish.

 463 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 478 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe