Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas | Brouwerij Het Anker

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89
very good
497 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
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
Reviews:
497
Ratings:
865
Avg:
3.97
pDev:
15.37%
 
 
Wants:
37
Gots:
106
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 497 | Ratings: 865
Photo of bheilman
4.4/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed drinking this beer. Didn't have a strong alcohol flavor. Had a beautiful malty fruity flavor. The Map Room in Chicago described a banana flavor and although I'm not one to compare beer to fruit very often, I would say their description was pretty good. The taste is very complex where every sip evolved into a different flavor.

 344 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 wmtxbb
2.74/5  rDev -31%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into pint glass

Appearance: Hazy dark brew with a finger sized head on top.

Scent: Pears, dates, cinnamon, pepper and a little alcohol.

Taste: Liqourish, an assortment of fruits, molasses, maple syrup, toffee, sweet malts, peppermint, and alcohol. Finish is dry. Flavors don't seem to mix well.

Drinkability: Incredibly complex. Not something to drink on a whim. By the time I got to the end of the bottle I poured the rest of this beer out. It's a shame; I really can't put my finger on what's wrong with this beer.

 536 characters

Photo of johnd513
4.02/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a redish brown color with a nice two finger tan head. I gotta say this one looks great in my Duvel tulip. Smells of sweet fruits - cherries, figs and raisins and a cherry, a liquor smell that i can't quite place and alcohol at the end. Tastes of tart/sweet fruits - raisins, dark malt and alcohol at the end. The mouthfeel is light yet very smooth. Drinkability is decent but I don't think I would have another because of the high alcohol content and high price tag.

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Photo of jahred
3.47/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Had a glass of the Gouden Carolus Noel at my winter beer tasting with friends. Pours a very red color with slight brown tones and a medium-to-small head.

The scent? I wasn't able to describe the strong scent of this beer. Something sweet. Maybe anise? Licorice? Some other spice. It's very noticeable, but I wasn't able to come up with the right words for a decent descrption. Interesting, that's for sure.

The taste is minty, with licorice and anise tones. As it warmed, the best word I came up with was "meaty." Not really sure what that means or how it applies to beer, but as with the scent, this beer really confused me. The mouthfeel, as expected with something described as meaty, was quite heavy.

Though very interesting, this beer was very hard to drink. Maybe it would be easier if consumed with some red meat, but it's certainly not a sipping beer.

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Photo of ojiikun
4.65/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bought a bottle of this in November as a christmas present to myself. Being probably the most pricey brew I've ever had, expectations are high.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tupil glass. Strongly carbonated - the cork nearly came out on it's own. Well-controleld head that can be coaxed up with swirling - plenty of potential but no mess. Body is dark reddish-brown, beautifully translucent but not chunky. Champagne bubbles play along the sides for the whole bottle.

Smell is intensely of sweet bubblegum, cardamom, bread, pears, caramel and too many other complexities to list. Notably absent is a strong hop smell of any sort. Nothing but candi sugar and yeasty malts. The sweetness suggests the alcohol content to the beer-wise, but the booze itself is well-masked.

Taste is briefly sweet, then more on the peppery, dry side. Deep and balanced spice and citrus notes. Never tart or bitter, despite the complexity. The bubblegum flavour nearly conflicts at this point, but fades by the end of the sip. As the bottle warms, the belgian yeast really opens up.

Mouthfeel is silky, sparkly, and clean. Leaves the palate incredibly clean and ready for more. I imagine this could pair well with many foods, if it weren't such a waste of a gourmet brew.

Incredibly drinkable for over 10%. Probably dangerous to have more than one bottle in the house!

Smell and taste are exciting, but taste is actually unremarkable. However, the experience of a beer this drinkable and this strong is something to be sought. A near-perfect expression of the concept of very strong beers, suited for both the newcomer and the snob alike.

 1,639 characters

Photo of mjw06
3.62/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Looked gorgeous in my snifter, rich head that left a faint lacing on top of a cherry black color.

The smell is of liquor, dark cherries, caramel, and a bit of tropical fruit. Very full smell that feels the nose. I'm sure there's much more in there that I had difficulty picking out.

Taste is full and mildly complex, but thin, and leaves only the taste of alcohol when its all said and done. I don't know if this more attributed to the taste or the feel, but either way, they don't work very well together. Every bit of flavor is just that, a bit, that hits at the beginning but disappears completely by the finish.

This style can be particularly difficult to drink, at least relative to the manner in which most drink other beers. But truthfully, when I drink a belgian dark, the warm alcohol taste and feel is of course expected, but I'd like to get cozy with a little more than that. This beer kind of fails in that area, as I wouldn't seek this beer out again, though I still think its a good beer/winter selection.

 1,022 characters

Photo of capeannbass36
4.2/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Amesbury Ale House. Served in a Boulevard Brewery tulip.

A- A cloudy cocoa brown with slightly red highlights. Small tan head. Minimal lacing.

S- Sweet and spicy. Caramel.

T- Caramel. Sweet malt. Clove and coriander. Dark fruits. Pretty complex for my semi-educated, beer related taste buds.

M- Light carbonation. Slick. Smooth.

O- Definitely a taste bud pleaser. Could not imagine attempting 3 of these. Atleast not if I were driving. YUM!

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Photo of Chinon01
4/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Rum butter, toffee, candied fruit, roasted malt, a little chocolate, and bubble gum sneaking through; but intensifying in the finish with chocolate covered raisin and blue fruit. Gentle hop bitterness in the back. Fantastic mouthfeel and very good drinkability.

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Photo of bigkahunas4
4.21/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml into a wine glass.

Poured a rich cola body, with hints of cranberry. A nice tan head emerged, with some really nice lace. The nose revealed some serious sugar, with notes of raisin.

This smoothness of this is second to none - incredibly velvetty. Taste is rich in fig, with hints of nutmeg bringing in a winter warmer profile. Slight alcoholic finish.

Quite spectacular. Perhaps a bit too sweet, but a really nice bottle to pick up for the holidays.

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

Appearance: Brown body with a light tan head

Aroma: black licorice, sweet fancy raisin, coffee,

Flavors: the black licorice stands out to me … reminds me of Smith Brothers Licorice Cough Drops, then the coffee hits the palate and then hints of sweet fancy raisin, fig, and a touch of chocolate. I do not notice the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: low carbonation, very light bitter note hits the mid palate if you are paying attention, black licorice and a light roasted coffee with milk lingers on the aftertaste. Body weight seems to be medium-full. That 10.5% abv does not even seem to be a factor so, watch out.

Overall: at first I did not like this and then when I started to think about what I was smelling and tasting then, I started to like this ale. After all I love a good stick of black licorice but, this strong of licorice in beer ...

 844 characters

Photo of fido
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a nice red amber color, Short head and a little bit of lace; Smell is fruity, very nice aroma; Taste is sweet, flavor of caramel or honey, fruits and malt; Mouthfeel is dry; Drinkability is good, easy to drink.

Nice Chrtistmas brew.

¡Feliz Navidad!

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

Not sure on vintage. 750ml served into my St. Feullien chalice.

A murky brown brew with a lovely fine khaki head, and even though it recedes quickly. does leave a nice edge.

Sweet, luscious, rum soaked dark fruits dominates the nose. Some cherry, vanilla, and oak remnants, though the malt base is on the rather extreme side of things. Some notes of brown sugar, clove and cinnamon. A bit boozy, though approachable nonetheless.

Approaches with such a fruit filled boquot your mouth starts watering even before your lips reach the glass. The experience really plays off the mid palate, dancing between the rum soaked raisins that dominate the malts to the spice notes that trickle down your throat. Well spiced. Excellent flavors, lovely balance and a nice warming kick that says this is a winter beer through.

A bit sticky, though not thick. Well balanced. Fine, fine compliment to the style though out of place with the majority of the BSDA's you see out there today. Looking forward to my next.

 1,005 characters

Photo of ProudBeerSnob
4.15/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle into Hoppin Frog snifter. Beautiful mahogany color with sparse head, but impressive considering I've been cellaring this for 2 years. Smells of dried fruit and a faint barnyard funk. Nice.

I've heard this beer is notoriously sweet. So true. Normally this would be a drawback as far as I'm concerned, but in this case, the sweetness accentuates ands is accentuated by the Belgian yeast flavors. Flavors of dark fruit, a sweet biscuit, and tart limes.

Will be enjoying this one again next christmas.

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Photo of Trizzle
1.68/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Pours lively - a shaken coke, and like a shaken coke it's big sparse head fades in seconds. Body is a not unpleasant red brown but hazy even at room temp.

Aroma is big and there is plenty going on.. Candy sugar, acetone, cherrys, stale port, orange rind, alcohol and some Belgian yeast. A motley and jarring combination.

Taste? Fuck. Well, nail polish remover and cherry sherbet dominate. Cheap white rum, more stale port , some cola and toffee syrup' Very cloying. I know I've mentioned white rum but the alcohol is actually reasonably well hidden. (behind cherry sherbet and acetone)

Medium light in the malt, low carbonation.

Obviously not my sort of drop and very undrinkable for mine.

This was supposed to be my after work Friday treat. I'm tipping it and switching to my Bunnahabhain single cask. So there.

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Photo of 6string
4.82/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Hands down, the best Christmas brew I've had so far in my quest for good beer. My wife first picked one up for me in France, so when we made a 2nd trip, I picked up two more bottles (and continue to regret not buying more!).

Poured in my Delirium glass, mild head, poured a dark but clean (no sediment) appearance. Hints of chocolate, cinnamon, nutmeg, a real Christmas aroma, if you will. The taste was very smooth rich, leaving hints of caramel, coffee and chocolate. No bitter aftertaste, and you can feel the 10% but there's no aggressive attack. My first bottle cooled in the fridge just over two hours and was nice and frosty when it came out. I let it warm a few minutes before I really dove in!

I know 5's are supposed to be rare, but I truly believe, personally, that for me this beer could not be improved. It's an awesome beer, I'd easily buy a case to keep on hand for friend and family occasions.

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Photo of ChillMike
3.02/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Picked this up on sale at BevMo, they were trying to get rid of some of their holiday brews so I couldn't resist.

A: Very opaque mulberry red color that has a nice medium sized tan head that recedes quite quickly but leaves a nice bit of lacing around the glass.

S: Scents of cloves, bananas, brown sugar and almost a wine-ish alcohol smell. Almost reminds me of Glühwein you'd have during Christmas time at a German outdoor market.

T: Very sweet taste, overly sweet, wow like tons of sugar sweet. A bit of some spice, but I can't seem to get passed the sweetness of it, it's like drinking bubblegum juice that has been saturated with more sugar. Then again it does have an oddly sour type taste as well. Sweet and sour should be reserved for chicken not Belgians.

D: Nothing too drinkable to me about this beer, it's a bit pricey, the taste is just a bit too off for me and the alcohol a bit much.

MF:Kind of a thin body but pretty good for the style.

Overall I just didn't really care for this one too much, it's a shame I was really looking forward this one as I usually really enjoy winter Belgians.

 1,110 characters

Photo of jeremy13586
3.55/5  rDev -10.6%
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.

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Photo of beerking1
4.26/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black, almost opaque, until raised to the light, when beautiful garnet highlights shine through. Head is huge, leaving a tan lace on the glass with each sip. Aroma is dark malt, candi suger and loads of dark fruit, including figs, dates and even some figgy pudding. Alcohol notes shine through in aroma. Flavor reveals more candi sugar, alcohol and dark fruits. Warming all the way down, leaving rich dark chocolate aftertaste. Body is suitably light for a Belgian style beer.

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Photo of scottyb88
4.12/5  rDev +3.8%
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

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

a: pours a hazy, molasses colored ruby with bountiful off-white head that patiently subsides to cake the sides of the glass...

s: richly sweet, i'm reminded almost of bubble gum in the yeast and malt combination, light and fresh florals..

t: sappy sweet in taste, on the backend the malts again meld into the breadiness of the yeast...

m: very smooth and sweet on the palate, balanced carbonation...

d: surprisingly light and refreshing given the +10% alc. content, this brew is a nice treat that i wouldn't mind trying again...

salud!

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

Pours dark ruby-brown with a small head. The aroma is sweet malt and fruity. The taste is slightly sweet malt, with dark fruits and complex spices and molasses. Nice mouth feel and warming when swallowed. We enjoyed this as our Christmas Eve beer. The high ABC went down very smoothly.

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Photo of TMB0424
3.54/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

on tap @ blind tiger ale house.

Poured a dark ruby body with a slight off white head. Disappeared very quickly into a small cap, leaving very light lacing along the tulip.

Aroma is extremely sweet and nice smelling. Sugary caramel, molasses, gingerbread, and tons of cinnamon. Honey-coated plums lurk in the background. Extremely nice smelling - the cinnamon is very pleasing.

It tastes pretty much how it smells - although sweeter, which is not a good thing. The cinnamon aroma takes somewhat of a backseat to the honey coated dark fruit and molasses, and it's just too sweet. It's nice to sip on (it went well with my lunch there) but it just got old halfway through the glass because of its intense sweetness.

Mouthfeel is decent, as it has somewhat of a soda-like feel to it. Very odd. It's full bodied with a slightly syrupy mouthfeel. This is not a poor brew by any means, as it definitely has one of the more unique and pleasing aromas I've encountered recently. It's just not my thing, way too sweet. The mouthfeel is kind of "off" as well.

 1,053 characters

Photo of raoulduke37
4.58/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Toronado SF in December, and now in a bottle that I purchased from Healthy Spirits. I've been looking for this one for a while.

Served it into a goblet for myself and a large Duvel tulip for a friend. Head looks phenomenal in the tulip, but not so great in the goblet. Beautiful dark black with ruby highlights.

Smell is subtle but molasses, figs, and raisins are detectable.

Taste is spicy up front, followed by bananas, chocolate cake, and some ripe fruit, spice on the exit, too. Very complex and tasty.

Much smoother than Cuvee VDK, which is also very good. But this is creamy and leaves only a slight tingle on the tongue. Despite the high a.b.v., I'd still love to drink these all night. Just wish it was easier to find.

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Photo of rustymoore
3.38/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours an deep brown with large creamy tan that seems to last forever with excellent lacing. Easily best part about this beer.

S: Interesting but nothing that could really pick out...I think there might be too much going on in the aroma.

T: Ok but really just tastes more like a mediocre Belgian rather than much of a Christmas beer. Very sweet (too much so in my opinion) somewhat watery with several fruit notes coming through as well as caramel.

M: Somewhat flat after I expected a good amount of carbonation.

D: Definitely wouldn't recommend more than a sampling of this...too sweet.

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Gouden Carolus Noël / Christmas from Brouwerij Het Anker
3.97 out of 5 based on 865 ratings.
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