Gouden Carolus Ambrio | Brouwerij Het Anker

BA SCORE
86
very good
357 Ratings
THE BROS
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Gouden Carolus AmbrioGouden Carolus Ambrio
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker
Belgium
hetanker.be

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
357
Reviews:
207
Avg:
3.82
pDev:
12.83%
 
 
Wants:
11
Gots:
34
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 357 |  Reviews: 207
Photo of Davedrinkinbeer
4.34/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thehyperduck
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
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 +7.1%
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.

 648 characters

Photo of Jaisell
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Bf_89
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of The_Bujon
3.54/5  rDev -7.3%
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!

 575 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Zet
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

 686 characters

Photo of yancot
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of polloenfuego
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of kevinlater
3.97/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of nullbort
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Cramshawbar
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

 463 characters

Photo of DenisKolkin
4/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

 1,117 characters

Photo of Dentist666
3.92/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hazy reddissh/brown/amber beer with huge bubbly off-white head, long retention, some laces.
Smell - caramel, spices, bread, candied fruits.
Taste - semisweet, some alcohol, caramel, yeast spiciness, dark fruits hues.
Medium body, high carbonation.

 248 characters

Photo of igl
4.75/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of drmeto
3.18/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

L:
-pours a cloudy,glowing amber with a huge,frothy,offwhite head
-high carbonation visible
-big chunks of yeast settling at the bottom of the glass
S:
-not reallly willing to open up
-bready,caramel,sugar,earthy,slight funk,iced coffee,grainy, tea
T:
-also very subdued
-caramel,toffee,bready,strawberries,faint coffee,plums
F:
-low to medium carbonation
-medium body
-alcohol noticeable
O:
One thing about these Gouden Carolus Beers is, that they are quite different from eachother.
This at times seemed like a Blend of English Brown Ale & Flamish Red.
Unfortunately, this didn't want to open up.

 598 characters

Photo of Fettpopps
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Keith_R
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of teromous
3.23/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From the back label, stamped: "03/06/2013 13054"

Appearance: This beer was just itching to come out. It was forming a cloud of white foam at the top of the bottle before pouring. In the glass it is a nice brown and amber color with some opalescence showing light and shapes at a beautifully refracted spectrum of light tea colored browns and sun-burnt gold. The head is pure white and short but fluffy. It retains a short head and leaves nice lacing on the glass. It is a picture-worthy beer.

Aroma: Buttered popcorn and dates with a strong whiff of sulfur that wanes and waxes. The aroma is not the most flattering.

Taste: There is a decadent alcoholic caramel flavor with just a touch of burnt flavor at the edges. It is a bit like tasting a very well made caramel followed by some alcoholic caramel liqueur. As a whole it works well together. It has a sweetness about it that the beer does not counter on its own. It would be best paired with some crackers and cheese. Diving deeper into the sweetness there is a nice date flavor and a bit of brown sugar. I did notice that over the course of drinking the bottle that there was a bit of skunkiness to the beer but given that it is in a bottle and just over three years old I don't find it at fault.

Mouthfeel: This is a sipper and not because of the ABV but because of the sweet nature of the beer. Drinkability is hampered slightly because of this. The beer is dextrinous and gives quite a bit of texture.

Overall: It is an enjoyable Belgian Strong Dark Ale but it will take some effort on the part of the drinker to cut at the sweetness with some sort of food to achieve an equitable balance. The beer I am drinking is enjoyable but it is nothing that would blow my socks off. I purchased it at just over three years old (did not cellar it myself) and I do not know how it compares to a fresh variant of the beer. I would be open to trying a fresh version of the beer but I doubt I would pick it up again at three years of age. It is enjoyable enough but the light skunkiness and hints of sulfur throw a few curve-balls that this can't quite swing at.

 2,111 characters

Photo of Dzu
4.03/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 0.33 bottle into goblet.
L: Turbid copper-color with a weak foam head.
S: Belgian yaest, caramel.
T: Bittersweet, spices.
F: Medium carbonation and body.
O: Worth to try bsda.

 187 characters

Photo of sergevernaillen
4.48/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

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

Photo of MrDell
4.4/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

14.05.2016

Gouden Carolus – Ambrio
Belgian Strong Ale – 8% - 330ml Bottle - Best before 04.11.2017

From the Het Anker website:
Gouden Carolus Ambrio is aromatically brewed according to the ancient recipe of the Mechelschen Bruynen. Ambrio is a 'white' beer brewed with 'brio'. This white beer of high fermentation finds its origin in the traditional beer of the city of Mechelen. As each city had its own typical beer, the Mechelenians drunk their amber beer: "Mechelschen Bruynen" for hundreds of years.
Our brewery is the only brewery that still brews this type of beer. According to the tradition the basic recipe of this beer dates from 1421 and is therefore the oldest beer from the brewery.
The current version is slightly heavier than the original and finer hopped. The balance between the different malts, the fine hops and typical aromas with herbs ensure that this beer combines the whole-hearted nature of brown beers with the freshness of blonde beers.
This flavored and spicy light brown tasting beer should be served fairly fresh. Refermentation in the bottle.

Appearance: Pours Amber colour with a huge fluffy, just off white head. Beer is clear and has loads of tiny fast moving bubbles throughout the glass.

Aroma: On the nose I'm getting loads of fruity yeast, it's spicey, grassy, lots clove. Smells very fresh.

Taste: Clove and bubble gum upfront, lots of flavours coming from the yeast then you get the alcohol warmth on the way down.

Mouthfeel: It's medium-full bodied, finishes quite dry.

Overall: Very pleasant beer. They also say on het anker's website that this has the depth of a dark beer and is as refreshing as a blond and I can see what they're getting at, as an amber it does have elements of both light and darker Belgian beers. 8.85 / 10.

 1,784 characters

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

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Gouden Carolus Ambrio from Brouwerij Het Anker
3.82 out of 5 based on 357 ratings.
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