Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas | Brouwerij Het Anker

Gouden Carolus Noël / ChristmasGouden Carolus Noël / Christmas
BA SCORE
72.5%
Liked This Beer
3.93 w/ 870 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:
#5,578
Reviews:
499
Ratings:
870
Liked:
631
Avg:
3.93/5
pDev:
15.78%
Alströms:
2.88
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
108
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 870 |  Reviews: 499
Photo of Resuin
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of aubrey
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of 12owls
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

Photo of yankees27
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of profondo
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of MadScientist
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is a dark copper with excellent clarity. The light tan head is rocky with decent retention and leaving moderate lacing on the glass.

S: Moderate raisins and red cherry esters with a some alcohol sweetness and very light molasses are the first smells to greet you. There is a light aroma of dark malts and some prunes as well. No hops a light diacetyl. There are very light spicy phenols.

T: A mix of dark cherry fruitiness, caramel malt sweetness and alcohol dominate the flavor at moderate levels. There is a moderately-low hops bitterness and no perceived hops flavor. The spiciness is far more pronounced in the flavor than the aroma coming to dominating in the finish with the alcohol and some slight bitterness. The balance is fruity and spicy with a slight tilt towards the bitterness while having a dry finish.

M: A medium-light body with moderately-high carbonation and a light slickness that makes it feel a bit heavier on the palate. There is a substantial amount of heat with out being hot and some creaminess.

O: This is a dark complex beer that doesn't hide the booze but certainly makes it go down some. While not my favorite style this one hits most of the style points but manages to be a bit of a mess for my taste with a syrupy fruit start and a fairly dry finish.

Bottle mark is "26/08/11"

 1,327 characters

Photo of mmilyko
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of cortez
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of beerpadawan
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lucky Baldwin’s Delirium Cafe in Sierra Madre, CA.

Pours a murky dark brown with a foamy tan head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, medicinal spices, and licorice. Taste is much the same with a licorice flavor on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer with some nice aromas and flavors that make it easy to drink.

 555 characters

Photo of Eddxii
3.05/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottled in September 2010, this particular bottle of Gouden Carolus Noël has definitely had some time to ferment further in the bottle. The result is enhanced sweetness and an unfortunate muddling of its several spicy and fruity flavors into a solid, if uninteresting, dark strong ale. It pours a cloudy dark amber with a medium head that dissipates immediately. A healthy off-white lacing around the surface carries on from start to finish.

It begins with a medium body, but as it finishes the syrupy side comes though to add thickness. The aroma is soft and sweet, but overly underwhelming. I will say that for a 10%ABV, you can hardly taste the alcohol elements behind the dark fruit. The Noël carries the spiciness you’d expect from a Christmas beer, but nothing too overpowering and nothing too “Christmas-y”. The sorts of spices that come out beneath the fruit notes are just as welcome in May as they are in front of the fire in winter. A subtle licorice pervades every taste, but it never goes fully into raw anise. Its muddy nature does a disservice to the various fruit flavors therein, with only a dark cherry really emerging from the more general dark fruit flavors.

Overall the Gouden Carolus Noël represents a decent Christmas beer. There are better and there are certainly worse. Though on tap this beer was not the best, the flavors that emerged from that serving far outweigh the cloudiness of tastes that take over after aging.

 1,457 characters

Photo of Gww1864
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of cfh64
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of ajs4bd
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%

Photo of falloutsnow
3.96/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle from Beertopia in Omaha, NE
Bottled 2010-09-16
Poured into a New Belgium globe glass

Gouden Carolus Noel is one of my preferred winter Belgians, as I can always expect it to feature robust anise and malt flavors blended to perfection. While a bit "hot," the spice and malt flavors are strong enough to overpower this in all but the mouthfeel. A nice, pleasant, warming beer that is superb for winter sipping.

Pours a 2cm head of light tan bubbles, small in size and fairly dense, with good retention, eventually descending to a 0.5cm cap atop the beer. Head leaves a complex labyrinth of lacing as it descends, and is modified and reinforced with every sip. Body is a very dark brownish-red amber color, fairly transparent, with plenty of visible carbonation streaming up along the sides of the glass.

Aroma of strong anise atop caramel malts, dried cherries, and modest ethanol. The dominant scent is definitely anise, but it's supported nicely by the other fruit and malt components.

Flavor opens with a complex arrangement of spices that range from anise to mild cinnamon and cumin. Just below the spices is a rich, dark maltiness, very similar to a dubbel malt bill, that introduces some caramel or diluted molasses flavor with dark Belgian candi sugar. Belgian yeast esters add dried cherries and dates. A mild flash of ethanol in the close, more complimentary than anything else, leading to an aftertaste of candi sugar sweetness and some residual anise flavor.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy bodied, with medium level carbonation that is rather "soft." Alcohol is fairly well felt, warming and mild burning along the tongue, nostrils, and back of the throat. Aside from the ethanol, the beer is pleasant to sip, the mouthfeel being smooth and pillowy, aside from the heat of the fusel alcohols. Finish is semi-dry with little remaining stickiness.

 1,866 characters

Photo of jjm2503
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of TheResidentialOP
2.5/5  rDev -36.4%

Photo of jeremy13586
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A bottle from this past Christmas that I found tucked away.

The color was a very deep amber, with ruby around the edges. The head was a shade light of khaki and it disappear rather quickly.

I didn't get too much in the nose other than spice and alcohol. Some faint dark fruits.

Spicy and herbal. Some mint and booze. A bit of a sweet backbone. A bit muddy. Finishes with the slightest hint of chocolate.

Pretty smooth overall. Medium bodied.

I've had this in years past, but found it pretty unexciting this time around. I've only had it on draft before and found it to be more enjoyable in that format (or at least from what I can remember). I'll have to buy and drink a fresh bottle next winter and see how it compares.

 727 characters

Photo of tripledbrew
4/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%

Photo of Brianito
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of Ricelikesbeer
4.49/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I made sure to buy one of these (750 ml bottle) around Christmas time this year to see what I thought of it at a later date. Today is 4-14-2012. The date on the bottle reads 9-8-2011.

A:

Hazy pour, heavily carbonated, The bottle gave off plenty of smoky-looking fumes from all of the co2 escaping. the beer is a murky dark brown, almost a purple-ish color with red highlites held up to light.

S:

A heavy whiff produces plenty of spice character, mostly licorice or anise. There is a sweetness there behind that smell, but it is pretty overpowering. I can pick up a slight hint of bready malt as well.

T:

A deep gulp gives me a huge burst of flavor on the tongue, mostly sweetness up front, then spice and more anise, then booziness and a good balanced dryness. This is a big beer all around, and the dryness really helps drink this beer. I get a lot of the typical gouden carolus candy sweetness. I am reminded of gummy bears or jolly ranchers. The maltiness is really juicy and complex. A bit more layers even produce the typical stone fruit flavors. This one is really quite sweet though, which I typically enjoy. There is no hop presence here anywhere in the experience.

M:

Medium-heavy body, but the carbonation/dryness of this lends to a velvet-like smoothness. Their is a lot of alcohol and warming sensation, but the alcohol isn't super solvent.

O:

This is a big/sweet monster. The anise flavor is almost overwhelming, but the overall complexity of the yeast and other sugars dials this one in for me. It is very sweet and more of a nightcap or dessert beer, but I really enjoy it. I'll buy this one each Christmas time, and I even was inspired to brew something quite similar.

 1,699 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
3.66/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle, best by 3rd August 2010. I bought this at Chevy Chase back in 2008 IIRC.

Pouring a very dark brown, black almost, with reddish brown highlights, this beer is capped with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and very nice lacing. The nose is a spice bomb. A blend of mace, nutmeg and anise, with some eucalyptus, cola, mildly burnt sugar, this is a little too spiced for my liking. The cola notes here bring to mind discount sodas. Alcohol is reasonably well hidden. In addition, there's quite a bit of dark fruit present, with prunes and figs.

The palate opens with the mildly burnt sugar and cola being most noticeable, with the spices following. Again, the dominant notes are mace and nutmeg, with a little bit of clove and cinnamon thrown in. The burnt sugar does pair well with the fruity notes, making this rather dessert-like.The mid-palate is moderately sweet, with buckwheat honey, more cola and a mildly minty alcohol note. A little sweet yet drying on the finish with lingering burnt sugar, cola and mace, this beer is medium bodied and has a nice, creamy carbonation. One thing I haven't mentioned yet is the yeast, which adds a mildly bubblegum-like flavor. The flavors here are nice, but really, not quite for my palate. Recommended, this is one of those beers where the whole is better than the sum of the parts (and hence, my overall score of 4 despite the S/T/M being 3.5s)

 1,413 characters

Photo of MassiveBeerReviews
4.75/5  rDev +20.9%

Photo of aztraz
2.75/5  rDev -30%

Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 72.5% out of 100 with 870 ratings
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