Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas | Brouwerij Het Anker

BA SCORE
89
very good
869 Ratings
THE BROS
67
poor
Read the review
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
Ratings:
869
Reviews:
499
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
15.37%
 
 
Wants:
38
Gots:
107
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 869 |  Reviews: 499
Photo of vinicole
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark ruby. Thick tan head. Looks great.
Sweet smelling dried fruit, caramel fudge and molasses.
The taste reflects the aroma. The sweetness lingers.
Smooth carbonation with only a moderate body.
This went down well on Christmas day 2016.

 243 characters

Photo of jdkitchi
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The anise was too overpowering, otherwise well made brew.

57 characters

Photo of puck1225
3.79/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On draft in a snifter on Christmas Eve. Dark brown color, beige head and good lacing. Warm spice and sweet spice smell. Taste is sweet with root beer and dark raisins, cola and orange. A decent Christmas beer.

 209 characters

Photo of dwagner003
2.69/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Complete licorice bomb. I'm not sure if it was actually added, but it's really overwhelming. If you do not like black licorice, there is a good chance you will dislike this beer. It's lost most of the dark fruit qualities of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but the alcohol burn is very prominent. Not a particularly enjoyable beer.

 326 characters

Photo of FBarber
3.19/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of delta490
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It is a deep murky brown with about a finger of creamy light tan head that settles down to about a quarter of that. But it manages to hold on throughout and leave some patches of tight sticky lacing. The aroma is dark fruity, sweet, with a little bit an of herbal tinge. The taste is much the same and I actually get a little bit of anise. The body is lighter but not thin, with a nice smooth feel throughout.

 409 characters

Photo of tdiers
4.8/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This is my favorite Belgium dark ale. It is my base line and I now compare every dark ale to this. I love the dark bread like and fruity sweetness along with the thick smooth feeling. I buy as much of it as I can when it's available

 235 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.28/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

If you like black licorice you'll like this beer. Dark pour, creamy head, smells like anise, tastes like pure black licorice. Nice licorice waxy feel too. A licorice beer through and through.

If you like licorice you'll love it. If not, pass.

 244 characters

Photo of KCarr
4.31/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of citizencane
3.49/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Looks good. Tastes of roasted Malta and toothpaste. Nothing to write home about but not bad.

94 characters

Photo of jvgoor3786
3.5/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of FatsoSvuLLo
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bruno74200
4.05/5  rDev +2%
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

 243 characters

Photo of BeerForMuscle
4.08/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Wer34truh
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque color with a smallish head.

Smells of raisins, fruit, tobacco, and miscellaneous spices. The smell is unique and sticks to the nose. The tobacco smell is emphasized.

Wow! This is both delicious and smooth. While I would not call it complex, there is a delightful but moderate sweetness present, alongside some toffee, sweet bread, and raisins. Mouthfeel is light with low-to-average carbonation.

Most excellent!

 435 characters

Photo of Marius
4/5  rDev +0.8%
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 IckyT2012
3.77/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of briancathy
4.42/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of babaracas
3.58/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear deep ruby-tinted brown with two fingers of creamy light brown colored foam, sheet of thin lace down half the glass. Smell: anise, caramelized banana, dark brown sugar, mint, nutmeg-realm spice, some hawaiian roll breadiness lurks behind all that. Taste: the anise hits early and often. Otherwise you've got a brown sugar and orange motif with black pepper, dates, pear. Medium-plus bodied, creamy feel, sticky and spice filled finish. It drinks like a 10.5% dessert christmas beer. Less anise would be much preferred. 21/07/2015 bottling.

 552 characters

Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cellared 2013 bottle served in a Belgian snifter at about 45F.
Dark brown body that's opaque in the glass. Fragile, bubble white head but good lacing.
Aroma: Slightly bready and very fruity with loads of raisins.
Flavor: lightly sweet, moderately complex; fruity with notes of dates and golden raisins. Lightly spicy.
Full bodied with medium carbonation.

 359 characters

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

Poured from the tap at the Taco Mac in Cumberland, GA. The appearance is a dark reddish-brown color with a small off-white head. The aroma is fruit and cinnamon with some black licorice. Has a very nice flavor of licorice and the alcohol blends in well.

 256 characters

Photo of Fettpopps
2/5  rDev -49.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Photo of Aoyoc
4.39/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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 Beginner2
4.3/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This probably is my second-most favorite Christmas/holiday ale. (Anchor's Special Ale is as much an annual tradition as my #1 favorite.)
Het Anker has the advantage of producing two world-class strong darks, so Noel is easier to make great.

While just a dark beauty, even a hard pour leaves surprisingly little foam and lace. OK for a sipper.
Aromas say Christmas; fruity, spicy, cinnamon and even some anise that wafts in-and-out.
Taste is full on-set of similar flavors, but has that warming alcohol that must be honored over-time.
Feel also is full; buttery like the season's foods.
I've found this goes best with desserts and after-wards... assuming I'm not driving.

Reviewed in the "1001 Beers", Noel unquestionably deserves to be on the list. I will seek it every year.

2/1/17 Had again next to Cuvee de Keizer and decided that the Cuvee was richer, more complex and the Noel is less derived from it than I originally remembered. I reduced my rating .14.

 965 characters

Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
3.97 out of 5 based on 869 ratings.
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