Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas | Brouwerij Het Anker

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Gouden Carolus Noël / ChristmasGouden Carolus Noël / Christmas
Very Good
892 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by Gusler on 11-24-2002

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 892 |  Reviews: 506
Photo of CaptainHate
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of beeragate
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Twal
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%

Photo of uturn
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of skaboom420
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

Photo of bkaj21
5/5  rDev +27.6%

Photo of gavroche
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of Jason
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of silverking
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

First off, let me say that the cork is a nice touch. It pours a deep, beautiful, transparent Mahogony with a tan head. The head begins to recede, but never really dissapears. The lacing is exquisite. It holds for a second or two and then forms rivers and trubutaries through itself that all eventually lead to the sea of delectable belgian ale that lies below. The aroma carries warming notes of anise, dark fruit, yeast, and alcohol. The palate is very much like a nice glass of cabernet. It is a bit tart up front but then it rounds off nicely with rich notes of bread and anise. The anise carries over into the finish and joins yeast in a wonderful union of flavor. The carbonation is a little heavy, but its full mouthfeel counteracts it. It leaves a slight tackiness on the lips from it higher than average gravity. I usually frown upon this and I think that it is the downfall of many winter brew's, but somehow this beer makes it work. This beer forced a smile across my face from sheer joy.

 998 characters

Photo of adamcthomp
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of 2GOOFY
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Jwale73
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz. bottle served in my Gouden Carolus chalice. Lot number 12071 indicated on the back label. Pours a dull mahogany hue with a consistent, 1.5 inch, light tan head the sizzles and pops as it slowly recedes into a clumpy quarter inch cap. Nose suggests dark fruit, anise and orange Aspergum. Tastes pretty much like it smells - no real surprises here. There's also a slightly oxidized quality that comes out towards the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium (but closer to light) with an even carbonation that falls just shy of being lively. There's also just a kiss of residual heat that lingers between quaffs as well as a slight acidity. Overall, not a bad example of the style, but not my favorite from this brewer. Not sure what a little age might do to this, but it might be worth laying down a bottle for a year or two.

 825 characters

Photo of Darkmagus82
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap in a snifter

Appearance – Pours a chestnut/mahogany color with a two finger tan colored head. The head has a good level of retention slowly fading over time to leave a great level of lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma has a big spicy and roasty aroma. There is a strong roasted bready aroma mixed with notes of Christmas spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, anise and licorice). These stronger aromas are accompanied by notes of dark fruits, a lighter yeasty smell as well as a moderate presence of a boozy smell.

Taste – The taste starts with flavors a blend of roasted malt breadiness and some dark fruit flavors of raisin and prune. Spice flavors of nutmeg, licorice and anise then come to the tongue. At this point the tastes create a rather smooth flavor on the tongue. The breadiness and sweeter flavors of the dark fruits start to fade. A more red wine like flavor then starts coming to the tongue. It starts out light and smooth, but gets more tannin like in flavor as the taste moves to the end. At the end, the boozy taste is quite strong and with all the flavors it leaves a nice warming aftertaste that tasted somewhat like a mix of warming spiced mulled wine fruity brew to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the brew is on the medium side in its creaminess for a brew of 10.5 % with a carbonation level that was a little on the higher side. for the style it was rather nice creating a good drinkability but yet keeping one in check of its strength.

Overall- This is a rather nice Belgian Christmas brew. It has a decent boozy flavor, but yet is still very flavorful and pleasant to drink.

 1,650 characters

Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into my Pumking chalice. Dark brown in color with a thin, sticky head to it. Really nice lacing as I drank it.

The aroma has a big dark fruit presence to it with notes of plum, fig and raisin all present. I get some notes of clove and anise to it as well. The spices are nicely balanced with the malty flavors. Nice aroma for a holiday spiced beer.

The taste follows up with some very rich and sweet dark fruit flavors. Fig and plum seem to lead the way. The spices are a little more reserved but I do get more of the clove and anise towards the finish. Enough bitterness comes out in the finish to keep the sweet dark fruits from becoming cloyingly sweet. It comes together very well and again the spices are nicely balanced with the malt flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being about average for the style. Overall, I thought it was a very good holiday spiced beer. They didn't go overboard on the spices, which I appreciate. The dark fruit flavors were also particularly nice in it. It came together very well and is one of the better holiday spiced beers I've had in a while.

 1,133 characters

Photo of admonster00
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

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%

Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 3.92 out of 5 with 892 ratings