Gouden Carolus Ambrio | Brouwerij Het Anker

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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

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Reviews: 207 | Ratings: 356
Photo of Moe55
4.77/5  rDev +24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a Gouden Carolus glass. Thick creamy head lingers above a dark brownish amber colored beer. Can barely see small bubbles rushing to top. Can smell malt and belgian yeast. Taste is a little caramally and honey. After tasting the beer, I can smell the caramel. Yeasty with a taste of alcohol at the end. Very good taste, just like the smell. Great mediumbodied mouth. Solid beer. I think I'll have another.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.56/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I think this beer is seriously underrated! pours a deep amber color with significant head. very smooth and incredible belgian amber taste, unique to het anker. its got that taste detectable in all het anker strong dark(ers) but totally unique in its own right, very drinkable. fantastic with a good cohiba.

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Photo of jtell
4.55/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy amber color with a nice fluffy head. Decent lacing and retention on the glass. The smell is malty and bready with a slight hop finish. Taste is great. Sweet malts with a great Belgian yeast taste. Slight hops finish off the beer and boy and I ready for another sip. The mouthfeel is phenomenal. So rich and smooth it is absolutely perfect. I wish other beers could be as smooth as this. Bottle says 8% and at that strength this is very drinkable. The smooth mouthfeel and great flavors also make this a very drinkable beer. I love the beers from Gouden Carolus and this beer did not disappoint. One of the best I have had in a long while.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.52/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a 5+ (and this is very slowly) finger off-white head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Good carbonation and light bodied. Sweet caramel nose. Flavor is light caramel and raisins. Higher ABV is hidden. $4.25 for a 330ml bottle from Gillingham's Woodstock, VT.

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Photo of Shovelbum
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a two finger rocky off-white head over a semi-hazy deep red-brown body. The head has excellent staying power, and leaves a web of lace coating the glass. Strong aromas of tart and sweet red berries, light pear and citric fruit, and miscellaneous Belgian yeasty goodness. Significant sweetness carries flavors of caramel, sweet orange and berry fruit. An earthy musty character lurks along with a mild cotton candy and marshmallow. A touch of pepper. Citric and earthy hop flavor and bitterness adds balance. Lively carbonation keeps the beer light on the tongue, yet the mouthfeel is smooth. Full bodied.

Yet another excellent example of the under-recognized Belgian ambree style. Wonderful complexity that as usual defies my ability to do it justice with words.

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Photo of Mike_Aguirre
4.5/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Estilo: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol: 8.0 ABV

Apariencia: Color ámbar intenso, dorado antiguo y marrón rojizo, con una amplia corona de espuma color marfil de alta retención.

Aroma: Frutos del bosque, bayas, caramelos, azúcares, notas florales, notas de madera quemada.

Sabor: Interesantes sabores a maltas y azúcares con regusto sutil a alcohol. Frutos rojos, frutos frescos y cítricos. Notas ácidas.

Sensación: Cuerpo medio con carbonatación alta.

Maridaje recomendado: Bife de chorizo a la leña. Costillas al bbq.

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Photo of Billolick
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small 11.2 ounce bottle, "Ambrio 1471" on the label, expensive stuff at over $14 for a four pack! No freshness or bottled on info offered on the packaging. Pours a glowing dark honey shade of amber, Pretty clear, until the slightly yeasty final pour mixes things up. Lifts an initially huge tan head, this beauty very slowly settles down to meringue and then finally to a thick film and leaves behind all kinds of crazy spotty and knit lacing. Bubbles continue to rise to the top. Alcohol in the nose, also some raisins, confectionary sugars and tropical fruits, yum. Warming and tasty brew, plenty of fruity notes, also moderate rum, raisins, maple sugars, spicy yeasty notes, very nice, plenty of complexity and interest to go around. Well worth seeking out and savoring.

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Photo of saintwarrick
4.45/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber or garnet with a nice lacy head that clings to the sides. Aromas is heavy on the plums, grapefruit and brown sugar. Taste is smooth at first, malty and fruity with molasses and rum-raisin, before a nice bite at the end from some citrusy bitter hops. Alcohol has a nice warming feel as it goes down.

This is a very well balanced brew I need to have more often.

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Photo of craytonic
4.43/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, cloudy, rich amber. Substantial sudsy head which laces beautifully down the glass.

Tastes and smells fresh, nose is malts, citrus, and golden raisins.

Rich taste and texture, malts, medium-bodied fruits like figs and raisins. The hopes are _perfectly_ balanced, it could not be more in harmony with the sweetness. Light and subtle spices.

Mouthfeel has a lush creaminess that lingers, great carbonation, well balanced. Leaves you wanting more. As it warms the alcohol starts to show.

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Photo of jikvig
4.42/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

It got a cobberbrown colour, with a huge head. The foam sits on top for a long 5 minutes before it settels.

On the nose the is a smell of freshly made bread, only it´s not baked yet. Which is strange, because I do get a "baked" aroma aswell. Also get some dried fruit, raisins and a beautiful maltaroma.

Wow, really rich in taste and even if it´s 8% you don´t feel it. The foam is compact, the aftertaste last for a loong time and hops is suddle. It´s kinda sweet, but it´s not to much. Just a hint of bitterness.

A really wellmade beer, with a beautiful balance and alot of taste!

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Photo of yesferro
4.41/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: goblet

Poors really nicely, I ended up with a 2'' head. It smelled sweet and fruity and the flavor didn't disappoint, some hints of caramel but mainly a fruity aftertaste, sadly that aftertaste doesn't laste long at all. A great beer though, very easy to drink.

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


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.

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Photo of geexploitation
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This lovely beer pours with a light brown color possessing bright amber highlights and a fine-bubbled head with marvelous stickiness. The nose has that familiar Belgian yeasty note, as well as some rich orange/chocolate notes (which I'm thinking is a Gouden Carolus staple) and some vague spiciness. On the tongue this beer adds a few wrinkles. The orange/chocolate note is there, but added to it is a fresh, lively bubblegum flavor that lightens things considerably. Some substantial sweetness matches against light hop bitterness. A raw alcohol characteristic adds to the liveliness of the flavors. Mouthfeel is full of carbonation and some surprisingly potent acidity, considering the sweetness of this beer. Overall, this is a terrific Belgian amber ale. It doesn't belong in the pale ale category in my opinion; it belongs in a separate, small category of Belgian ambers typified in the US by Ommegang Rare Vos. Very good flavors, good balance of sweetness and acidity and bitterness. Another winner from Gouden Carolus.

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Photo of atsprings
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice slightly hazy amber with a decent lasting head. The aroma is some sweet fruits and sweet malt some floral earthy hops. The beer had a unique balance with likely the most hops I've ever tasted in an authentic Belgian outside of a Belgian IPA. The beer is medium bodied with a decent bit of carbonation. The alcohol certainly provides warmth and the hops provide an interesting bitterness. This is a very enjoyable beer, however, I like to leave my hoppy beers to the Americans.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.38/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ambrio pours a cloudy brown with ruby highlights with a thick finger of off-white head that yields ample lacing with moderate duration--a fine first impression. Good nose, with lots of grape and berry, as well as a healthy dash of pepper.

The taste grew on me more and more--good thing I had 25 oz. of it to sample. The beginning was mostly sweet without being cloying, plenty of the aforementioned grape and berry with cherry, quite nice. The second half was rather spicy and peppery, a nice contrast that didn't completely shed the sweet side. Very good complexity. Splended mouthfeel, very creamy and effervescent without going overboard, a fine balance maintained throughout. Though the alcohol flared up a bit near the end, this was restrained enough for the most part.

Excellent BSPA, quite well done, and another good selection from Friar Tuck on a very Belgian day. Cheers.

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Photo of TLove
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First brew of the night, poured into a Stella Artois tulip glass. I may first note that this beer is COMPLETELY different between the first and last sip. The beer comes alive out of the bottle and I think it is imperative that you let the intense carbonation settle before digging in. Served really cold and left set at room temperature for 10 minutes after pour.

Great, yeasty brown color with great carbonation, a full, creamy head and light retention. Scents of some light dark fruits of cranberry and fig, as well as apples, brown sugar, and toffee. Taste rolls into abovementioned, subtle tastes with exceptional balance and crisp/creamy feel on the tongue.

Fantastically sugary and yeasty, with a really full mouthfeel all the way through to the finish. A fantastic beer from front to back, first sip to last. One of the best ambers I've had in a long time.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a great beer. An instant classic. Pours to a dark amber color with a brownish tint. No visible carbonation. Has a nice head that settles out to a film after several minutes. Lacing could be better.

The smell is awesome. Has a very nice estery profile of bubblegum and cotton candy. Also has some sweet candi sugar in the aroma, as well as a balancing hops bouquet.

The taste is just as wonderful. Has a nice barley malt flavor on the tip of the tongue that fades into the bubblegummy esters. An assertive crisp hops flavor cleans up the palate in the finish, leaving the drinker with only a memory of the deliciousness.

Very good. Furthermore, after just having recently tried a fresh sample of Westvleteren 8 (and loving it), I find that this is a good subsitute, as well as cheaper and easier to come across.

edit: my bottle also claims 8% ABV, as opposed to the 6.5% in the BA database.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.37/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful ruby-amber-brown with a tremendous, effervescent tan head that goes from half the glass to a couple inches of fluffy cream. Great retention; perfectly even chunky lacing. Poyfect!

Sweet dough, flowers, clove, roasty malt. Spicy and sugary. Warm.

Rich, rummy, spicy, yeasty, aromatic. The taste comes onto the tongue spicy and warm. It progresses through sweet maltiness and subtle dry hoppiness before a lingering boozy finish with yeasty spice.

Round, coating, and warm. The body is a touch past medium. On the whole it is velvety with really subtle carbonation. Awesome.

Fantabulous beer in every way!
This is not the best representation of its style if we are judging it that way (I'm not) but is a very good beer. I can think of other beers that I would judge as "better" but this is a very tight package that is exactly what it should be, which I can't say about them (if that makes any sense).
One of the most perfect-looking beers that I have ever had with an alluring spice-laden nose and a taste that shys away from copying the smell. The velvety palate and lingering booze warmth make for a complete package.
Will have again; find it.

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Photo of jim102864
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this GC gem at Delaney's in New haven recently. As usual, served in proper glassware; a gold rimmed Gouden Carolos short goblet. Sort of a murky brown color with a creamy thin head and nice legs. The nose was rather light and somewhat difficult to discern. Butter and almonds come to mind. The taste, however, was very buttery and creamy with malt and candied sugar and a hint of bitterness in the finish. Mouthfeel was rich and creamy and somewhat bready.

Yet another truly enjoyable treat from Gouden Carolos. Could be a session beer if you bring along a DD. Enjoy.

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Photo of Epicedion
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 750mL bottle, poured into my favorite little multipurpose beer glass. Nice caramel color, thick cream-colored head about an inch thick, good retention. Many fine bubbles.

S: Toasty, malty, lots of caramel. A hint of fruit.

T: Caramel is a theme with this beer. It looks kind of like caramel, smells kind of like caramel, and now it tastes kind of like caramel -- in the best way possible. There's a little grain, somewhat sweet malt, some hops bitterness, and then a long smooth caramel flavor that finishes a bit dry and tart.

M: Medium. Smooth and silky with enough bubbles to keep it from feeling too coating.

D: All night long.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.33/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from a bottle into a wine glass. Beer is brown and hazy with an aggressive and gigantic off-white head made up of tiny bubbles. Head falls away leaving a lot of lacing. Carbonation is moderate but cannot hold up the monstrous head.

Beer smells yeasty / bready, and has some characteristic ethers and some alcohol in the nose. Smells good, like a Belgian ale.

Beer is slightly bitter in flavor. Sweetness comes up later. Finishes cleanly, very drinkable. Carbonation plays a big role in translating flavors to surprising parts of the palate. The mouthfeel is great, medium bodied. One of the greats here.

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Photo of Filosoof
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I don't like ambers, but this one is interesting. The looks are one of the best I have ever seen. Great, big top. Lovely light amber colour.

Last year I thought the smell is very one dimensional. But since the beer/cheese pairing in Het Anker I know better.

The taste is vanilla and toffee. Spicy. Great to be paired with spicy cheeses.
Nicely hopped. Faint taste of the great Blauwe Band. Round, nice finish.

Overall: fascinating, different amber.

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Photo of weeare138
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to doppel07 for breaking this corked 750 mL bottle open...
Appears a medium light transparent amber with a small white head that fades into a mild cap. Streaky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of vanilla, light citrus, a mild dose of sugar, earthy hay, spices, and fruit.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas that seems to be very appealing for my palate. A bountiful mix of an earthy, spicy brew.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, smooth, and sugary.
I don't think the other guys dug this as much as I did but I would seek this out again.

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Photo of robbyc1
4.32/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A belgian strong pale served at the Goose Island Clybourn tasting in April 2010. Fruity and earthy with a yeast palate you will find elsewhere from Het Anker. Very complex with notes of honey, caramel, and apples, augmented by a raisiny depth. Round and full and balanced, this complex ale is a bit overly carbonated, but finishes balanced and is very drinkable with no sign of any alcohol burn, just a nice drinker for any season.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
4.3/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap, at Pizzeria Paradiso (Washington DC, Dupont Circle):

The beer was served in a tulip glass, a cloudy amber/dark amber maybe a shade of orange, served with a nice white head that was well retained with decent lacing. Noticeable carbonation.

The aroma was good and what you would expect from this style.

Taste was excellent. Nice Belgian flavors that would be expected and it also had a spicy kick to it, which I didn't expect.

The beer had a medium body, very good carbonation and was extremely easy to drink but the elevated ABV will get you in the end, yet I could have drank them all not long and paid for it later. Overall, very tasty and well done beer.

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Gouden Carolus Ambrio from Brouwerij Het Anker
3.82 out of 5 based on 356 ratings.
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