Gouden Carolus Ambrio | Brouwerij Het Anker

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Gouden Carolus AmbrioGouden Carolus Ambrio
Very Good
368 Ratings
Gouden Carolus AmbrioGouden Carolus Ambrio

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 09-15-2003

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 368 |  Reviews: 211
Photo of JTuomi
3.82/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OlaB
3.74/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cleat light brown color with a huge top of white head that dissolves slowly and leaves some thick lacings.
Aroma is of caramel,tofee, matured fruits,raisins,dates,brown sugar and spices. The taste start of with a fruity and sugary sweetness with strong malty notes in the back. The flavours has notes of dark/dried fruits and caramel and tofee. The flavours then get more herbal/spicy and the finish has slight bitterness and a decent lenght in the aftertaste. Medium body with a high carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky and smooth.
A good enough dark ale, but nothing extremely exiting about it.

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Photo of NightINgale
3.84/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BeerGlassesCollector
3.99/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Radome
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted from a 330 ml bottle into a snifter.

L - Copper color with lots of orange; slightly hazy. Initial head is a huge fluffy pillow, filling 2/3 of the glass when poured. It slowly sinks to a solid, thick, opaque sheet of foam and permanent lace on the glass.

S - Strong, sweet malt with raisins, dates, prunes and a hint of sharpness like molasses. The yeast is also a major component, providing a fruitiness and a brandy-like alcohol note and some higher alcohol esters.

T - Malt flavors reflect the aromas closely, but in the mid-palate the sharp, almost bitter molasses-like note becomes dominant and maintains through the finish. No sign of hops, and even the yeast doesn't make a significant showing.

F - Medium body. Strong carbonation that fills the mouth. Medium hops bitterness. Moderate alcohol heat.

O - This is an enjoyable Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but it is not as decadent and sumptuous as some of my favorites. The sharp turn the flavors take in the mid-palate is not offensive or a flaw, but it does distract and detract from the other fine qualities of this beer.

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Photo of Walnut
3.4/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dandy14
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BdM
3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of BenMaalouf
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BelgianBeerChef
3.61/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of GoHabsGo
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Davedrinkinbeer
4.34/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thehyperduck
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle from the LCBO; the last of 4 included in a Het Anker mixed pack. Best before May 26 2019 and served slightly chilled.

Pours a translucent orange-amber colour, supporting one finger of soapy, off white-tinged head that dissipates within the next several minutes. A modest ring of foam around the perimeter survives, along with a soapy film on the surface. The aroma is a bit muted and, frankly, uninteresting - there's light notes of caramel, spice, overripe orchard fruit and toasted bread, but that's all she wrote. It doesn't open up much as it warms, either.

The taste is a bit of an improvement, but not an enormous one - it's still very subtle and sparse for this type of beer. The malts in particular seem almost diluted for the style, offering up only a touch of caramel, plum and vague breadiness, while a one-note candi sugar sweetness is left to fill in the gaps. The hops, too, are barely worth acknowledging, generating only a perfunctory herbal quality that is easy to miss amidst the yeasty back end. Indeed, the yeast tries its best to add some depth, imparting a pleasant spiciness to the finish, but winds up abruptly halting just in time for the lightly sweet aftertaste. Medium in body, with reasonably lively carbonation that prickles the surface of the palate and foams up slightly in the mouth. Definitely not a bad beer, nor is it a great one - though one compliment I will bestow upon it is that it's quite easy to knock back.

Final Grade: 3.75, barely making the cut for a B+. Gouden Carolus is a well-respected name in beer geek circles, but Ambrio is not their most superlative offering. I'll point out that I found the other three brews in this mixed pack (the Classic, Hopsinjoor, and Tripel) to be uniformly excellent, so I think it's safe to say that this bottle of Ambrio wasn't mishandled or otherwise abused. I just wasn't terribly impressed with it - easily the most underwhelming of the four. I'd consider drinking it again, but I wouldn't pay a premium for it, and there are plenty of other BSDAs from Belgium or Quebec that I would seek out again long before I will feel the need to repeat this one. Worth a look, but not a world-class beer.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.09/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is my eighth from Het Anker (probably making it my second most Hads among Belgium brewers.)
Het Anker's darks have become my "go-to" particularly in the winter. Having enjoyed their Tripel, I was glad to find Ambrio and bridge the gap.

There is lots going on for the eyes and nose to keep it interesting. A dark, rusty amber has a decent head. The nose seems balanced with a prominent bready, maltiness with yeasty fruits. I detect enough hops.
The Taste is fuller, sweeter. Ambrio Fells creamier than expected yet, mostly interestingly, also finished dry. This combination helped it go great with food... and, I hope, will again.
Buy. Enjoy.

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Photo of Bf_89
3.92/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of The_Bujon
3.54/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Ok so being in Belgium recently, I opted to tackle a few new brews (as you do!), and this one came out in the highly scientific 'close eyes and point' to the beer menu.

It looks very inviting, and the dark Amber is exactly what you get, with a fluffy white head which retains til your last couple of gulps.
The Malty lingering after taste really isn't for me, and I do find Kwak a better alternative. That said, some will love this brew, I just found it a touch harsh.

Worth quaffing?, absolutely, worth buying a case? Perhaps not.
Bujon's verdit, if you have it, booof it!

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Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Zet
3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Orange amber with a full head of foam that sinks slowly but keeps the surface well covered. Smell of grassy hops, light fruits (apple, pear), yeast and booze. Same flavours in the taste, which contains a pleasant mix of sweet and sour flavours. The hops have moved to the background here. The alcohol is manifest, but mixes well with the other flavours. The taste does get a bit dull near the end though. Mouth feel is medium, carbonation is a bit too high. I had no idea what to expect from this bottle, but it is basically a belgian tripel in my opinion. A fine one, worth a try, but not exceptional. In fact, this brewery has a beer called "tripel" that is, in fact, a better tripel.

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Photo of yancot
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of polloenfuego
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A nice brew, but it doesn't live up to the quality and standard of other beers from this brewer (Blauw, Rood etc).

Pour is nice and color is a nice amber true to the name. Gigantic head that lasts for days.

Smell is about right for the style,fruity and yeasty. That smell is one of my favorite things.

Taste is good, dark fruits, malts and that Belgian yeast.

Feel has it having very prickly carbonation, and a medium to full body. That carbonation is a bit of a put off.

Would probably score a 4 if not for that carbonation.

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Photo of kevinlater
3.97/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nullbort
4.03/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Cramshawbar
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

The nose is of robust dark Belgian, yet it is of light hue. Love how a slight head lingers.
But what is inside?
Well, it is quite boozy for its style, which is fine, but with the combination of its carbonation, it kind of burns the sides of your tongue and the roof of your mouth, almost champagne style. Slightly annoying only.
The yeast is strong in this one and frankly, too strong.
All in all, glad that I had the opportunity to try through a taster's pack.

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Photo of taxandbeerguy
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle served cold into a tulip. Purchased as part of the holiday tasters pack that just arrived in LCBO stores. Best before May 2019.

Appearance - cloudy with loads of bubbles. Impressive two plus fingers of rocky off- white head. Incredible retention and brilliant weaving spider silk lacing.

Smell - boozy with some caramel and some faintcoarse grain. Not as malty as I'd suspected. Some hints of dark fruits.

Taste - fairly light and booze is present but not overwhelming. Funky yeast, restrained bitterness. Just a bit of caramel and cherry and possibly some prunes mixed in. A little sourness mixed in for added complexity.

Mouthfeel - light bodied yet a chewier texture than you'd expect. Carbonation is high but light and spritzy at the same time. An airy feel.

Overall - a bit of a contradiction is that this is a light beer as far as Belgian dark strong ales go and also light in color for a Belgian dark strong ale. Tasty, sufficiently boozy and quite easy to drink, The first beer in the tasters pack is a hit and the others have a reputation that exceeds even this. Thumbs up for the Ambrio.

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Gouden Carolus Ambrio from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 368 ratings