Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas | Brouwerij Het Anker

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89
very good
478 Reviews
THE BROS
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poor
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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
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Reviews: 478 | Ratings: 829
Photo of spiffylubes
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dark brown/amber with about a finger of slowly dissipating head, leaving a couple millimeters of creamy head at the top. Little lacing while head dissipates, but considerable amount while being drunk. Very strong smells of cherries, spices like cinnamon and maybe some clove. Slight alcoholy sweet smell as well. Similar tastes, with loads of cherry and sweet alcohol. Mouthfeel is smooth, slight warmth from alcohol, with a sweet aftertaste. Fairly drinkable, one bottle is more than enough (as it is with most 750 mLs for me)

 536 characters

Photo of sweethome
3.23/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours with cloudy dark amber to brown color. An off white head, leaves little lace. Poured in a belgian goblet.

Nose of coriander and anice. Fruitiness present - dried cherries and plums. The mouthfeel is full and quite alcoholic. Rather chewy malts, but the spiciness just overpowers the malts. Hops can't cut through the spice either.

It does not take long for the alcohol strength to show itself - provides quite a warming feeling.

The spice just dominates...anice is most powerful, with plenty of coriander. Some dried fruit in the midmouth, but spice lingers on the finish.

Tone down the spice and this 750 ml would be much more drinkable. My belgian beer fan friend I shared this with couldn't drink much more than a few sips due to "over spicing." I concur.

So close, but yet so far from being a great belgian Christmas beer...

 849 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a cloudy brown color with a one finger head. The head slowly falls to a spotty surface foam. Some spotty lacing develops through the drink.

Smell: spices, caramels, and alcohol.

Taste: this beer is flavor packed and fits the season it is brewed for. Cinammon, raisins, brown sugar, caramel, ripe plums, hints of licorice, yeast, and alcohol are neatly balanced with a spicy bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium to heavy in body. Lightly crisp at the start with a long smooth finish of the sugary sweetness, spiciness and alcohol.

Drinkability: this is a wonderful "sittin' by the fire" sipping type of beer. I finished the bottle in a little over an hour. Worth seeking this out.

 703 characters

Photo of arguemaniac
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An aged example from… Damn, 2003…

A strong and delicious Belgium ale with multi-faceted fruitiness: certainly dark fruit flavors (raisins, dates, etc) but also some light fruits as well, such as some appely sweetness up front and a touch of acidic green grape in the finish (just a hint though). Of course there is the robust, sugary maltiness with notes of caramel, toffee, and even chocolate. Thrown into the mix is a pleasant spice profile featuring nutmeg, cinnamon, and some clove. A sharp alcohol bite tops of this brew’s flavor pretty much from start to finish. Highly recommended!

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Photo of evh883
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Being that the Belgian brews are my favorites, I loved this one. It had a very dark and opaque amber/brown color with a nice head that faded rather quickly. I loved the aroma of the beer which had some cinnamon and nutmeg standing and also a slight fruitiness. I picked up a ton of molasses flavor with some berry notes along the aromatic flavor mentioned before. This is a truly exceptional beer and made my Christmas Eve evening a memorable one.

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Photo of mmmbeer
3.43/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 mL cork-n-cage bottle that could be a year or two old as the label has some wear. Served in a Chimay chalice on Christmas eve. Pours a deep garnet with a 1 finger tan head that reduces to a quarter inch of creamy foam. Smells of holiday spices and some malts. The most prominent flavors are cinnamon and anise, but they're followed with spiciness, yeast, ginger?, clove?, and alcohol. Good spices, but not enough beer flavor. The body is medium to thick and it's easy enough to drink for the 10% beer it is, but I was expecting something more from my first winter Belgian.

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Photo of paterlodie
3.48/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

BB16-10-06. Good brown head and nice darkbrown almost black beercollor. Nose is very esterfruity making it into a bubblegum and bananamix. Some darkmalt arome comming trough aswell as some candy and high alcohol content obvious. Taste is sweet and alcoholic with good roastnote that goes well with the alcohol and bitterness aswell as a good nutty arome. Highly carbonated with it making taste even more bombastic but IMO very unbalanced to the sweet and alcoholic side. Certainly something else and drinkable but to me one glass is enough.

 540 characters

Photo of carln26
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark copper to brown in color. Very hazy with a light fluffy tan colored head. The nose is a mélange of toffee, nuts, dates, cinnamon, all spice and mild orange on the finish. The flavor is spice up front. Coriander, and orange peel. There is a lot of malt sweetness. Figs, dates, and toffee come through in the middle. Then some fresh bread. Mild bitterness throughout accentuated by the orange in the finish. This has a thinner mouth feel than the Cuvée Van De Keizer. A bit slick. Mild alcohol warming and a nice drinkability. Merry Christmas.

 548 characters

Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.75/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

wow another awesome xmas ale. wow another good gouden carolus...

appearance: nice dark brown amber. lacing was sparce. nice thick head.

smell: somewhere in the vein of chocolate covered bananas. a bit of hops and slight traces of alcohol, sugar cane, and plums.

taste: man there's a lot goin on here. sugar cane, plums, raisins, a nice bouquet of spices; cinnamon or nutmeg perhaps?

mouthfeel: nice and robust. the flavors really showed through as it warms to the taste. a lil hoppy.

drinkability: excellent. despite the high alcohol content, this beer could be drank, or sipped and enjoyed rather, until memorial day.

 633 characters

Photo of davidchollar
4.32/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a very dark brown with red on the edges when held to the light, thousands of tiny bubbles make an active carbonation leading to a massive tan head that stays forever. this looks similar to others of this style, and it looks so so yummy.

smells like raisin bread beer. fruity, wheaty, even some sweet bubble gum. definitely a strong abv but pretty subtle considering. there is a lot going on in the nose, and the alcohol takes a back seat to the complex bouquet of aromas.

i'm never going to drink wine again. why waste your time with that shit when there's beer out there like this. complex, powerful, creamy, bitter dry and strong. if i had to come up with any negatives, i would say this is perhaps a bit rummy. maybe it's intentional for the christmas style, but i taste rum and eggnog. not a bad thing at all. this is an excellent one to sip and quaff, sip and quaff ...

 880 characters

Photo of farHillsBrewer
3.96/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tasted 3 Belgian Christmas Ales and prefered this one.
The color was reddish brown with a slight brownish head.
The taste was quite complex: bread pudding, plums, caramel, cinnamon and just the barest trace of alcohol.
Wonderful warming mouthfeel and quite drinkable.
After the other 2 I tried, I wanted another of these.

 327 characters

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.17/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml corked bottle. Gouden Carolus Noel pours out a dark brown color with a big tan head. The aroma is nutmeg, licorice, and fruit. Lots of licorice flavor in this beer, along with dark fruit and spices. A little caramel and some flavor that is sort of smokey. Surprisingly smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is pretty well hidden. Great drinkability. This 750 ml bottle went down very easily, and it's at 10% abv. Perhaps not as complex as some Belgians, but the flavor is very nice anyway.

 484 characters

Photo of Sephiroth
4.35/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this is a 2005 bottle. Pours a nice rosewood, with a lasting head. Some lacing is noticed. I could not begin to discern the individual aromas. Spices abound.

Taste is really good. I usually steer clear of holiday spiced beers, but Brennan at Kahn's seemed pretty stoked to have this on the shelf, so I got two. This beer is heavily spiced, and I expect to buy more for cellaring until next year. Mouthfeel is heavy, and moderately carbonated. More drinkable than I expected, 750ml is no problem.

 507 characters

Photo of stof0048
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 Bottle
A: Dark brown/red, mildly cloudy, nice fluffy white head about 1/8" with moderate lacing.

S: Plums, dark sugars, touch of alcohol... nice sweet smell.

T: Hints of anise, plums, brown sugar, dark malts... This one has a slightly "bitier" taste than the 2003 I recently had. Somewhat stronger taste of alcohol than '03 as well.

M: Moderate carbonation on the tongue, rolls over the palate smoothly, medium body.

D: A little on the strong side to drink more than one in an evening, but a wonderful winter beer nevertheless. This is one of my all-time favorites!

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Photo of veggiemafia
3.68/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On tap at Fathead's in a goblet.

Good dark ruddy reddish black with some remnant of a light bone colored head. Almost no lacing.

Smell is nice, rum, cherries, honey, and a good bit of alcohol. The alcohol has a character like bourbon or something.

Taste is big on a few things to me, cherries, plums, honey and alcohol. The cherry component though tastes kind of sour, like wild cherries, but it tastes somewhat artificial, and I thought it was just me, but my buddy said the same thing when he tried it. It's kind of like whatever artificial cherry flavor they add to Pepsi.

Mouthfeel is substantial and sticky, pretty nice, and carbonation really makes a pleasant appearance when you take a big sip.

I probably couldn't have more than a couple of these, that cherry thing is weeeeird.

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Photo of sinistrsam
4.03/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a dark-amber pour, with a small head dissapating quickly. It smelled of cinnamo and sweet malt, with dark fruits and a lot of complex spiciness. The taste definitely confirmed all of this; lots of dark fruits and spices (cinnamon, nutmet, pepper), alcohol, hops, malt. The finish was once agin very smooth and crisp, pleasant, very warming.

 349 characters

Photo of JanM
3.44/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is supposed to be an exceptional beer but I have to say that I was not that impressed. It had a nice dark red-brown color and good beige foam. But the smell was rather faint. The taste was sweet and fruit-candy like with a streak of must. Alcohol burn in the throat and some liqourice taste after a while. It's a beer that will not disappoint anyone but I think it lacks a distinctive character. Maybe I got a bad bottle?

 426 characters

Photo of Dogbrick
4.22/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2004 Bottle: Sample at WFM. Dark brown with a thin beige head and decent lacing. Lots of sweet malts and spices in the nose. The body is pretty chewy with more sweet malt, ginger and fruit flavors. The finish is flavorful, with more spices and a nice woody character. The alcohol is kept in check very well too, making for an enjoyable brew from start to finish.

 362 characters

Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.52/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Utterly fabulous. I poured the first glass of this baby and just inhaled the aroma for a matter of minutes. Without a doubt the best aroma i have yet encountered in a beer. It had me entranced.

Flavor is just a *tad* forward on the alcohol, but still marvelous. Quite drinkable considering the intense flavor, ABV, and complexity. Definitely spiced, but subtly so that nothing jumps out at me. I'm drinking it thinking "this is spiced" but i don't think of one spice in particular, which is how spicing should be. Hops are present on the follow through, but just enough to keep the balance.

World class all the way.

 621 characters

Photo of tesguino
3.78/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Abelgian corked beer in 3/4 of liter bottle; smell tarred scent, also presents displays fruity touch, carbolic too; full bodied taste, thickness, a little carameled; serve in a belgian goblet glass, try with variety of goat mexican cheese, a premium gourmet beer, try too with mexican haute cuisine, like appetizer; 90% recommended.

 332 characters

Photo of ypsifly
4.55/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Undated 750 that is corked and caged poured into a chalice.

Deep brown with slight reddish edges and two dense fingers of light tan that has unreal retention and leaves a lumpy sheet of lace that coats the inside of the glass. Beautiful!

Lots of yeast and spices in the nose. Bananas, bubblegum, clove, nutmeg, dark sugars, raw fruitcake dough, and something that smells a bit like a freshly made holiday wreath. Awesome!

Malts and dark fruits upfront with something that tastes like Pepsi, licorice, nutmeg, sweet yeast flavors, and a dash of peppery alcohol in the background. The flavor reminds me of the '96 Anchor OSA, but much bolder with a sweeter finish. I really like this one.

Nice full velvety mouth, no oils left in its wake. Delicious. If it wasn't for the abv I could sip this in front of the fire all night.

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Photo of Sigmund
3.73/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, corked "champagne" style. ABV is 10.5%. Deep chestnut colour, large light tan head, nice lacing. Malty sweet and spicy aroma - aniseed, cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, cloves(?) Notes of oak and leather too. Flavour is also dominantly malty sweet (too sweet) with caramel and spices, a certain hoppy bite too. Alcohol is evident, but not overwhelming. A fairly complex beer, but too much malty sweetness keeps me from giving it a top rating.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.69/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, no evidence of dating of any sorts.

brilliant ruby color, smooth re-forming thin layer of tightly microscopic bubbles.. lacing dries hardcore quicker than i can drink the beer. gets your fingers all sticky. aroma exemplifies the perfect boozy belgian.. big candi sugar with muted cherries, green apples, and a large biscuity heaviness in the nose. caramelized sugar. slight perfumed spice in the end of scent absorption. at a barely-cool temperature, the flavor expands on the tongue from the more pronounced flavors (warming liqueur like estery alcohol) to the lesser quirky notes (pear, caramel, apple).

thicker mouthfeel without being syrupy.. moves around spryly and goes down easy. gravity serves more to encourage sipping than to limit drinkability. very sweet for the holiday beer requirements, but big helpings of malt and yeast balance the nectar qualities with beeriness. cherries soaked in brandy.. clean herbal botanicals. liquor sting is expected like it is with a nice sipping scotch.

this is a huge beer, a special occasion beer. as far as their dark offerings go, het anker remains one of the top shelf belgian breweries doing business today.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.36/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Cork released without a struggle into a Duvel tulip that filled ‘er up with an impressive 50/50 pour of head to body. Let’s describe: Body is of dark ruddy brown cloudy pour without any light escaping save for the bottom of the tulip. Could this get any better? No. A superlative tan khaki head cap of two inch froth that is statuesque and smooth containing pour dents and thick painted on lace.

Sweet nutmeg, cinnamon and dark fruit malts pervade the nose. Some bunt cake, musty biscuit and spice aromas. [Jeepers, is this head cap incredible or what???]

First swigs: Dessert like spice wafer malt treat. Spiced dark fruit of plum, date and cocoa. Caramel and Dr. Pepper meet roasted malt notes. True to style, bold Belgian Ale with almond extract and maple syrup.Yeasty slightly coconut and bread dough. Dry lingering molasses aftertaste.

What a creamy smooth texture that needs to be experienced. Soft yet cushiony spongy and medium to full body. A bit complex and malty to be overly quaffable.

Last swigs: Molasses and sweet cocoa rummy Noël. Borders along Englisg style BarleywineAt $8.25 for a 10% ABV 1 PT 9.4 Fl OZ bomber. What a killer deal!

Beer is good. Happy beering.

 1,199 characters

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

Everything about this beer seems to be black - color is a super blackened ruby oil capped by a tall, softly whipped yet lumpy, cinnamon dusted, light tan head. Settles off to a thin, uneven skim and the lacing is whimsically placed in thin and webby broken sheeting.

Aroma is airy and pleasantly soft yet robust of black licorice, dirt, and the blackest of black malts without much sweetness at all. Cindering hints of bright pepper phenols and anise percolate right over the top.

Taste nearly mirrors the aroma with a tender sweet black malt, fainter dark fruity nuances, and cola sryup masked in a ever present black licorice spice. Finishes with shadowy cinnamon, anise, ginger, minty skoal tobacco juice, earthy pine needles; quick, yet muffled, phenol laced alcoholic heat, some leftover cola sweetness and a drying of light throat burning sweetness.

Complexly characterized in girth that sits just above a medium body but somehow keeps a general softer sweetness and spice that's magnificently handled. Lots of subtle spicy layering and a finely heated throat burn, belly warming, and mind-boggling play between sweet and dark; and, warm and spicy. Fun stuff. It really grows on ya as you engage in its presence.

Even with all its finely set warming and spice this makes for a really nice drinker and an even finer treat. I'm becoming more of fan to these Noel/Winter Warmer-type brews and I'm thinking Winter isn't really that bad here in MN as long as I have this kind of beer around to keep me company.

 1,524 characters

Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
89 out of 100 based on 478 ratings.
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