Gouden Carolus Ambrio | Brouwerij Het Anker

very good
360 Ratings
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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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 360 |  Reviews: 207
Photo of Marc33
1/5  rDev -73.8%

Photo of cfalovo97
1/5  rDev -73.8%

Photo of Harkrank
2/5  rDev -47.6%

Photo of Underrower
2.03/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2

750 ml bottle in a goblet

Label says amber-looks amber. Not much head. What there is dissipates quickly.

Smells, sweet, a little funky, maybe over riper fruit and yeast.

Taste- disappointing. Tastes like overripe plums or some other fruit. Later there is a bitterness like you licked an ash tray. I had to go back and lower the taste score. The farther I got into this bottle, the worse it gets. The taste is awful. Rotten plum then ashtray.

Great mouth feel if you can ignore the funky tart taste.

Overall-disappointment. On tap the Gouden Carolus Couvee Van de Kaiser Blau is my favorite beer of all time. The only IPA I like it Gouden Caroulus Hopsinjoor. I was expecting more from this. I really wished this was better. Would not ever want to taste this again.

 770 characters

Photo of AZbelgian
2.34/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A - Pours a cloudy brown with a huge off-white head. Decent lacing and retention.

S - Strong smell of alcohol, yeast and some floral notes.

T - Starts with a hint of candy sugar. Hops and malts combine to make the primary flavor something like brown bread. Flavor finishes with a dry tapering bitterness.

M - Lots of carbonation in the mouth.

O - Overall I was very disappointed, I really like a lot of the other Gouden Carolus'. This is not too complex and the flavors that are there don't work at all to make me want to try this one again.

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Photo of adamette
2.34/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Live review. Poured from the 750ML bottle that I purchased yesterday for $7.89 at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor. "Belgian Amber Ale" printed on top of right side of label but no observed "best by" date. Poured into my silver rimmed Westvleteren goblet.

A Light creamy brown head that was not thick but stayed around for several minutes. Body is a rather boring light amber, translucent body. I really like the head on this beer which the Carolus D'Or lacked. 4.0

S Medium roast malt with a significant dark fruit/anise smell. I do not particularly like the dark fruit/anise aspect of the smell. 2.5

T Yeah, that dark fruit and anise smell carries right over into the taste in a kind of a tart funk that I find not pleasing. That funky tartness stayed really consistently from the first taste all the way into the aftertaste, another aspect of the taste of this beer that did not impress me (it was pretty simple really). 2.0

M By looking at it I would have thought/hoped that it would have a nice, creamy feel but instead the harsh tartness of the anise/dark fruit really made it anything but smooth to the feel. I realize, though, that an amber usually has a bit of that harshness. 3.0

D Not very good. I finished a whole goblet of it over a period of 15 minutes to see if it changed with warmth but it really did not. I did not finish the whole 750ML bottle.

Notes: Dissapointed in this one from Gouden Carolus/Het Anker.

 1,436 characters

Photo of smares2
2.36/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I'll say this, this was an interesting review experience. It's a Belgian Ale that bills itself as an amber, which definitely caught my attention in the store.

This beer is very highly carbonated (it's refermented in the bottle so...). I could only pour less than half in the glass in the first go. Once I was able to get it all poured...

Appearance: Lots of head which clings and ripples up the side of the glass. Some of the head dissipates well along the sides, and the remainder remains thick forming a center crown. It looks like you'd expect a Belgian to look but when you hold it up to light that's when you can see the amber color come out and it's a bit less cloudy than many Belgians.

Smell: nothing real significant about the smell, not the rich experience you'd expect out of an 8% Belgian

Taste: Tries to balance between an amber ale and a strong Belgian, succeeds at neither. Fruity but bland for a Belgian, and not smooth like an amber. Though considering its flavor profile it hides the alcohol taste well.

Mouthfeel: Active on the tongue due to the carbonation

Drinkability: Fine, not what I was hoping

This is not a "bad" beer, but I rate beers relative to their price and their ambition. This one does not live up to what you'd expect out of a high end beer that should lend itself to a single-serving experience. I know I'm one of the few people who isn't at least fairly impressed by this beer, but there are so many Belgian options out there. So for the money or in the Belgian category, I'd recommend other options.

 1,544 characters

Photo of TheHammer
2.42/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: What the heck, I started with a modest pour and the head just wouldn't stop climbing. I understand a lot of Belgian beer should have a lot of head but it produced a full hand worth of head, which is excessive. It does lace like crazy and retains very well The body is a murky amber filled with an ungainly amount of sediment.

Smell: A lot of alcohol and a bit of grape scent with an overwhelming amount of yeast and the barest amount of malt. Warming helps it's case out quite a bit more.

Taste: It starts with a mild malt taste but then turns into a taste I would best describe as bad and musty white wine as the yeast makes it's presence far too well known, as does the alcohol which isn't poorly disguised. It ends with herbal and earthy hops.

Mouthfeel: Very bad transitioning, as the early malt doesn't lead nicely at all into the rest of the beer, and the carbonation seems off, likely because it was all expended in the head. The aftertaste though is nice, with light malt and white grape juice taste.

Drinkability: It's just not there, it's trying too hard to be high class to be an everyday drinker, and there are much better instances of this style and other Belgian styles that conceal their alcohol content a lot nicer.

Final Thoughts: To me, this is a beer that seems out of touch. It has massive carbonation, but it hurts it's case. It has ample yeast, but it also hurts it's case. I don't doubt a lot of effort went into making this beer, but it strangely strike me as someone who is trying to force a great beer. I honestly can't recommend it.

 1,576 characters

Photo of bylerteck
2.47/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle at a friend's house in Melbourne. From notes.

A - Poured cloudy dark copper with a film of white head. Good carbonation with no lace and no retention.

S - Alcohol, very mild, odd spoiled yeast and some egg. Woo hoo.

T - Alcohol, light dark fruit, very mild.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body and a sweet finish.

O/D - A boring Belgian ale. For the strength and reputation of the brewery, this is a giant letdown. Flavours were barely coming through and it was pretty uninteresting.

 495 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
2.7/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Brown 33cl bottle, best before Sept 2007, drank March 2007.

Poured slowly, oh so slowly into a Straffe Hendrik bowl, or chalice glass, whichever is the correct terminology.

Slightly hazy, teak wood brown with a biege white foaming head, which stayed.

Toffee apple and caramel aroma, sweet and almost sickly at first, the smell weakens as the beer hits the air, the bottle neck before pouring gives off an increadible cloying smell.

Sour, clogging, yeasty, almost nasty, tinny, bitty taste. The alcohol is also oppresive, an altogether not nice taste.

The aftertaste does sweeten up, but the overal taste doesn't match the aroma what-so-ever, a very strange beer.

I have one more bottle left, I intend to age it, the beer can only get better. I look forward to reading this in 5 years.

 802 characters

Photo of decimator
2.76/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

330ml bottle poured into a goblet.
ABV 8.0%

A - Poured a cloudy golden brown with a 1 cm head. After a few sips the head is still around as a thin cap.

S - Pears, peaches, apples, bananas, hint of spice, and some earth in the background.

T - Sweet malts, plenty of sour fruitiness, a bit of hops and booze in the finish.

M - Medium-low carbonation, creamy, sticky sweetness, wine like dry finish.

O - Comes off pretty sour at first but it mellows a bit as the beer warms up but the balance is a bit too sour for my liking.

 527 characters

Photo of jrallen34
2.92/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

I drank this in Brussels at Delirium Cafe from a chalice.

The aroma is alcohol and malt.

It has a whiteish brown head and is amber in color with a great amount of lacing.

The taste is malty and slightly caramely, with a hint of hops in the bitter aftertaste.

 263 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of TastyIsBeer
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of bmccarthy
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of DrNo
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of Joaco
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of TerryW
3.06/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a great big coarse overactive head that settles to a heavy film and gives up lots of lace.

Nose is rather lightweight for a Belgian. Yeast, spice, some dark fruit - but nothing that really stands out. Similarly light taste and mouthfeel. Clean and slightly spritzy. Fruit and yeast and gently boozy. Slight alcohol sting to finish. Again, nothing that really stands out. Overall a fairly average beer that hints at being a Belgian more than anything.

 457 characters

Photo of Glickj
3.08/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Photo of brianjay
3.09/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A disclaimer: The store I purchased this from has a habit of keeping beers past their prime. I thought this was quite the find as it is rare, not sure how long they have kept this one on the shelf.

A very cloudy appearance, this body is brown with red hues and has a thick, fluffy, bright-white head which quickly fades to a thin, surface level sea foam.

There are strong fruity notes on this one. You can smell the alcohol. The taste reminds me of dried bread crumbs and meat. The fruitiness is the most overpowering characteristic, however. It sticks on the tongue. The finish is like jam/chutney and dry fruits.

All the things that make it a strong Belgian ale are there, but this one felt much more dry. Not a bad brew to accompany a dinner, but on it's own it feels a bit overwhelming.

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Photo of Absumaster
3.1/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A brown, clear beer with lots of carbonation and a big and rough bubbled head.

Smell of caramel and wort that remind me of sweet strawberries. The yeast adds a spicy character, maybe with the addition of cumin? In the nose is a trace of metallic.

Taste is malty with strong caramellic scents. A bot astringent and here the metallic taste comes out a bit too strong. It makes the mouthfeel rough and unpleasant. Some bitterness, but only supporting and hoppiness is absent. The yeast is spicy and a little fruity with exotic fruits. Some flavors of cumin and maybe cinnamon. Basically this is a good beer, but the iron-taste spoils the whole beer.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.13/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Holybrew for supplying this beer.
Hazy, dark copper/amber color looks good up to the light. Some floaters present. Head is slightly diminished and flat. What is there is white, sticky and chunks a bit.
Smells like a malt bomb. Grain, maltiness. Slight hints of soft fruit like banana or plum. Yeasty.
Taste somewhat follows the nose. Sweet malt and soft fruit. Yeast is "dumbed" down a bit, seems flat and oily. Taste isn't bad, just not outstanding. Caramel comes through a bit in the finish.

While drinkable this one lacked some punch and flavor. Slick feeling to it, alcohol comes out somewhat.

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Photo of mwckiltedsavage
3.14/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of Dope
3.14/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A deep red pour with a ridiculously huge head. The head appears to be white with just a tinge of pink oddly enough. I'm not sure if my eyes are deceiving me. The head is big, fluffy and dense. Retention is incredible, it never goes away. Big wall of lacing too.

S: Smells faintly like raspberries and a little bit of caramel.

T: A little bit of caramel and belgian yeast. Some odd tart berries. What am I drinking?

M: Medium bodied, fairly high carbonation.

O: A strange beer, I can't tell if I got a bad bottle, an old bottle, or if it's just not very good. The carbonation is over the top and the flavors are odd. Doesn't taste oxidized or infected though. Strange is all I can say.

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Gouden Carolus Ambrio from Brouwerij Het Anker
3.82 out of 5 based on 360 ratings.
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