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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
875 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:
#6,335
Reviews:
499
Ratings:
875
pDev:
15.82%
Bros Score:
2.88
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
109
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 875 |  Reviews: 499
Photo of steinz
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of MarcSolo
1/5  rDev -74.5%

Photo of GRUUMSH
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a corked 750ml into a Chimay Chalice.

A: Pours dark chestnut / mahogany with a one finger toffee colored head which dissipates relatively quickly to a thin cap.

N: Very strong licorice / anise nose when cold, this settles down a bit once the beer warms, but never really goes away. Additional scents of rum soaked stone fruit, vanilla, spices. Smells relatively boozy.

T: Follows the nose. For me the licorice is pretty dominant when the beer is cold. If you like that, pop and drink this pretty cold. If anise / licorice is not your thing , open it and let it warm for 20 minutes, a totally different beer. Nice dark fruits , bourbon / rum notes, vanilla, spice, and a little peppery on the finish, which is nice. You might almost guess that this was aged in bourbon barrels or similar. Nice complex warming booziness, without burning.

MF: Quite nice and silky, with a medium to heavy body but balanced by solid carbonation which helps to spread the flavors out.

Overall, a nice Belgian strong Christmas ale, but probably not my favorite (Corsendonk, Delirium or St B). The licorice notes were a little offputting for me. Nevertheless a relatively complex and well-assembled ale. I recommend letting it warm to 50 - 55F.

 1,239 characters

Photo of rickyleepotts
4.77/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Oh man, I am excited for this one! This season I decided to try every Christmas beer that came out. I started at Total Wine & More and made my way through the list. I also attended a winter beer class at the Scottsdale location, and this beer was on the list. Nearly every seasonal beer I tried was boring, and didn’t live up to my expectations. Not sure what my expectations were, but nothing like what I was tasting. Then I tried this one… and my mind was blown! I was SO impressed with the flavor in this beer. It is sweet, loaded with booze, and has a LONG lingering aftertaste. Everything about this beer is enjoyable. The only thing I have had recently that comes close is the Terrible from Unibroue. Guess this is why I like Belgian beers!

I hope Total Wine & More lowers the price on these before they are gone. I would love to have one of these sitting in the cellar. Let’s start drinking. I can’t sit here and smell this any longer! Bottoms up, people.

In the Glass: I don’t even want to drink this. It looks GREAT in the glass. The head has been sitting there for a good five minutes. I could literally take a spoon to it… it’s that thick! The tasting notes mention red… but there isn’t any red here. It’s black. Coffee black. Hence the style, I guess! This looks nice and thick sitting there, and just begs for me to smell it! Let’s see what she smells like.

Nose: The nose is insanely fruity. I am getting a ton of raisins right off the bat. On a second whiff, I am picking up additional dark fruit notes… think plums and apricots. The beer looks great. Now it smells incredible. I can’t imagine what this will taste like. Like I said, I had this in a beer class a few weeks ago. I am sure a few months in the bottle and my attention to detail here will help me enjoy this beer even more. Let’s drink!

(Oh, I forgot to mention the lace. When I swirl this, the head just sticks to the side of the glass. It’s like glue. PERFECT lace.)

Flavor: Holy crap. This is just as good as I remember. The raisin flavor kicks things off, and your mouth just journeys through several dark fruit flavors including those same notes I was grabbing in the nose. You would never know this is 10.5% ABV. The mouthfeel is also nice, but we will get to that. I am just so impressed with the flavor. I can close my eyes and imagine myself by a fire just enjoying good conversation and good food. I wouldn’t even know where to begin pairing this with food. From meets and cheeses to breads and salads, this is a beer best served with a meal. Such a great flavor!

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel here is incredible. It is thick, almost like syrup… but drinks and goes down nice. The burp is also amazing. Those same flavors I was talking about come rushing back, and while a burp is not an enjoyable experience, you will want to burp to this one! The mouthfeel also gets smooth as this beer heats up. The flavors change, and the overall beer drinking experience changes.

Aftertaste: This might be the most impressive aftertaste I have had to date. It is not overwhelming, but there is a subtle sweetness that just sits on your palate for a while. As the beer slides down your throat, the fruity flavors turn dry, and the sweetness kicks in. Every time I swallow the flavor profile changes just a little, and I have a hard time going back for another sip!

The beer manager at Total Wine & More loves Belgian beers. He likes this one and the Gouden Carolus Easter. This is better than the Easter offering. But they are both good beers. We drank this one cold, but it has been sitting out for a good thirty minutes. If you have the chance to try this, get two. Throw one in the cellar for a few years… because this beer will only mellow out with time. Hands down the best Christmas offering of 2012. Can’t wait to try this again next year!!!

 3,865 characters

Photo of cozmo
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of Hopswagger
2.53/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.75

P: Dense mahogany body with bright ruby highlighted edges. Minimal silky khaki head that dissipates to a cola like roof. Beautiful lacing that climbs the glass.

S: Licorice bomb! Notes of candied malt, oak, caramel apples, pepper and a pinch of cayenne.

T/M: Taste follows the nose but more aggressive spices and spiced rum soaked figs. Full sticky body with spicy numbing carbonation. Finish is dry with lingering smoke, aggressive booze, apple peels and pepper.

O: I was let down with this one. The licorice was way too powerful and the customary flavors were faint and hidden. Once it warms it become much easier to drink but is still far from great. A hot mess of a BSDA that is not one to hunt down.

 710 characters

Photo of wdarcy77
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of javahead71
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of mrebeka
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of s4s
2.25/5  rDev -42.6%

Photo of dvanhandel
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of kew
2.25/5  rDev -42.6%

Photo of szmnnl99
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Mymancave
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of BJasny
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Tupperwolf
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Merry Christmas to me!

Pours a thick, extremely dark amber into a tulip glass, a 1/4" blonde head cap soon falling to a sticky ring that clings to the walls as I sip.

The smell is sweet and cloying, and immediately hits me with licorice or anise; There's a definite festive sweet spiced quality to this, bringing to mind Christmases past.

Each sip is a massive burst of flavors - licorice and aged whiskey with lots of vanilla, rum and blackcurrant, lemon and orange. So many flavors my palate hardly knows how to separate them!

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a light fizz on each swallow that spreads the delicious flavors of this brew over the tongue.

Overall a fantastic brew, this one really hits the spot on Christmas night. I love licorice and this beer has that flavor in plenty, but if you're not a licorice fan it has much else to recommend it.

 865 characters

Photo of Pegasus
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Opaque amber body, surmounted by a small, dense off-white head., which quickly fades The lacing is thick and unbroken.

Aroma: Lots of dark fruit, bourbon, burnt caramel, sugar, molasses, and earth. It really is as complex as that.

Taste: Opens with molasses, brown sugar, soon afterward, sweet alcohol, then dark fruits. Midway through the taste, there are a profusion of spices: cinnamon, cloves, ginger and nutmeg. Dark fruits are also a dominating presence, particularly plums and raisins. Throughout the taste, there is a strong presence of whiskey flavors, as if the beer had been fermented in bourbon barrels. The ABV of this beer (10.00%) makes itself known with an strong undercurrent of sweet, vinous alcohol. The taste draws to a close with a lingering , sweet whiskey note and a strong licorice presence.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft and velvety. Simply superb.

Drinkability/notes: An over-the-top example in terms of quality.

Presentation: Packaged in a twenty-five point four ounce Belgian-style brown glass bomber with a cork and cage, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

 1,155 characters

Photo of zapahoppa
4/5  rDev +2%

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 ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of YamagamiTravis
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of scottyb88
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a very dark, almost black, cloudy brown with a really nice head and decent lacing

S-brown sugar, pecan, a little bit of spice like nutmeg or cinnamon, apple skin, a doughy smell as well, some raisin

T-up front sweetness with a dry back end; apple skin soaked in brown sugar syrup with pecans; the spice, whatever it is, is faint-might become more noticeable as it warms; it's well balanced, but doesn't pop out at me

M-a little more carbonated than expected, but fairly smooth with pleasant aftertaste

O-a solid beglain dark ale with spices. Its dangerously drinkable at 10%. Either its so well balanced out, or I can't detect it as easily anymore. I have other favorites out there when it comes to xmas ales (corsendonck probably still being my favorite), but this holds up pretty well. A bit disappointed, however, being that I really enjoyed this brewery's kaiser blue I had too high expectations

 911 characters

Photo of Dreamer
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Lukass
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 875 ratings
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