Gouden Carolus Ambrio | Brouwerij Het Anker

very good
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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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Ratings: 360 |  Reviews: 207
Photo of Sammy
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Amber colour with good soapy head.Fresh tasting. Corriander and spicy.Challenger and Golding hops, an above average hoppy Belgian. Medium mouthfeel. Good brandy-like finish. Ingredients clearly list corn and sugar in multiple languages. Expiry February 2010. I would think better with food.

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Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%

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 oriolesfan4
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of metter98
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy reddish brown in color and has a high amount of visible carbonation. It poured into a snifter glass with a two finger high dense beige head that slowly died down and consistently left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light aromas of dark fruits and spices in the nose.
T: Flavors of dark fruits stand out in the taste, which also has notes of caramel and notes of malty sweetness. The finish has some mild notes of hop bitterness; while the hops aren't that noticeable in the overall taste they help to balance out the fruity and sweet flavors from becoming overpowering.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate with a moderate to high amount of carbonation. There are notes of dryness in the finish.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and the alcohol is well hidden from the taste.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.2/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Never been disappointed by any brews from Brouwerij Het Anker. Naturally I expected great things from the 'amber'. The beer pours an impressive, well headed, rust colored hue, with a mild haze. Firm aromas of caramel malts, heavy bready / yeasty notes, and a firm spicy tartness. Flavors ride a little sweeter than aromas suggest, but keep the fresh bread flavors and textures. Sweetness shows a lot of caramel maltiness with fresh fruits (peaches, cherries, and apricots). The texture is full, but not heavy, very creamy. Finishes with a lot of sweetness, tartness, and a little astringency. Another fine brew.

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

Another souvenir from LCBO-land...

This beer pours a murky orange-tinged brown colour, with more foamy white head than I know what to do with (brava, refermentation en bouteille), which leaves a thin painting of lace as it slowly, slowly recedes. It smells of banana esters, booze, and a bit of funky yeast. The taste is barley malt, mild candy sugar, soft banana, tropical fruit, and a soft metallic alcohol edge. The carbonation is on the low side, the body well weighted, smooth, and a bit sticky, and it finishes sweet and sugary.

A very approachable, and drinkable strong Belgian ale, once you get past the onslaught of blocking foam from even the gentlest of pours...

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Photo of brentk56
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a bounteous head that sticks well and provides swathes of lace

Smell: Malty/yeasty aroma, with a hint of caramel and pepper

Taste: Opens with a malty flavor, that has a very dry caramel character; by mid-palate, there is a sense of floral hops; after the swallow, a bitter presence linger, along with some golden fruit and orange zest

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate to high carbonation; some warmth on the finish

Drinkability: Nice flavor profile; very well balanced

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep hazy amber color ale with a huge foamy white head with good retention. Aroma of light caramel malt with the usual yeast presence. Taste is mostly dominated by some caramel malt, light spices and light bitter finish. Very good for the style but still nothing special that would make me crave for this again.

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Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle into chalice, no bottle dating(older label). Pours very hazy dark reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of raisin, prune, molasses, caramel, toffee, biscuit, herbal, light pepper, earth, and yeast spiciness. Nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of raisin, caramel, toffee, prune, molasses, biscuit, herbal, light pepper, earth, and yeast spiciness. Lingering notes of toffee, caramel, molasses, dark fruit, earth, bread, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Very nice flavor balance and complexity; there is a very prominent toffee flavor to the beer, likely due to the age of the bottle. No cloying sweetness at all. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slick mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with hardly any warming noticed at all after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Belgian amber ale. Very nice malt flavor complexity and balance; and very smooth to sip on. Really enjoyable, I wonder how a newer bottle of this compares.

 1,152 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a very hazy reddish brown in color with heavy amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass and moderate amounts of garnet red highlights. The beer has a four finger tall foamy beige head that slowly reduces to a large patch of medium thick film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of acing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark fruit (figs and dates) and spices.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of dark malts with a light to moderate amount of caramel + brown sugar sweetness. That is followed by moderate to strong flavors of dark fruits (fig and dates) and moderate flavors of spicy/peppery Belgian yeast. There is a moderate flavor of spices in the finish as well. Light amounts of bitterness in the finish and a hint of booze which fades away pretty quickly.

M: Medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Smooth with light to moderate amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Alcohol is pretty well hidden considering the strength of the beer and is definitely an enjoyable slow sipper with nice complexity of flavor.

 1,187 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.75/5  rDev -1.8%

Photo of dcmchew
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

330ml bottle - $4.99 at Total Wine & More in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours a foggy, dusky amber-brown body with a medium-tall, off-white head.

Smell: Bready, toasty malts with a sugary, sweet-scented element in there. Fruity touches of spiced golden raisins and baked apple. and faint, underlying basement quality to it.

Taste: As with the nose, it's bready and toasty malts sweetened up with a little nibble of brown sugar and rock candy. A little bit of sultana with skins-on orchard fruits (maybe even some strawberry as it warms and the suds die out). Modest spiciness, a touch of alcoholic warmth, faintest funk, and a hint of leather-flavored Chiclets all run together at the tail-end. Finishes quite effervescent -- prepare for loud, unstoppable burps, if you're in polite company.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Highly carbonation, quite spritely moving across the tongue.

Overall: Flavorful, pretty decent.

 925 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.15/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, rich, bronzed orange peel. The only thing amber about Ambrio's appearance is a thin sliver of that color where beer meets glass. The expansive, airy, rocky, sticky crown of foam is typical for a Belgian ale. I like the thick streamers of sudsy lace, I just wish they were more numerous.

The brewery considers Ambrio to be a hybrid of sorts (my words). They call it an amber ale, hence the name, and say that it has the 'powerful taste' of a brown beer and the 'freshness' of a blonde beer. That's exactly what it smells like. Spiced, overripe apples and figs gets it about right.

The flavor profile hits me the same way. It's darker than the average Belgian pale and lighter than the average Belgian dark. Thanks to what tastes like a healthy amount of caramel malt and a dollop of fig jam and raisin puree, it favors the darker end of the spectrum. Challenger and Goldings hops provide a surprising amount of countering bitterness, keeping things balanced in the end.

Each sip is sweet, bitter, musky and spicy (cinnamon, clove). Like all beer from this brewery, there's a lot of complexity to be had. My first thought was to call the mouthful *merely* good. With time and warming, though, it has developed a lush creaminess that expands to fill every nook and cranny.

On the strength of five fantastically delicious ales from Brouwerij Het Anker, I'd have to consider them my favorite non-American brewery. The fact that this incredibly drinkable beer comes in at the bottom of the pack is a testament to just how special their lineup is. If you love Belgians and want something a little off the beaten path, give Gouden Carolus Ambrio a home in your glass. You won't be sorry.

 1,689 characters

Photo of Slatetank
3.81/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Presentation - poured from an 11.2 oz brown bottle with a crimson coin displayed on the label depicting Emperor Charles V. According to the information provided this ale was first brewed in the town of Mechelen in 1471.

A - A deep amber/bronze ale with a quickly rising and falling off white head that left a thin residue of lace.

S - Sweet plum and sour cherries with nutty scents and a brown sugar accent that blends with a subtle clove aroma

M - A drying spicy feel with sugary dry powdery texture a-la fig or raisiny sweetness and generous effervescence.

T - A gentle raisin sweet, earthy flavor and a candied fig-like element steps forward in this delectable belgian red. A nice nutty spiced quality and mysterious cherry tomato sweetness enhances the taste. Nuts and mild chocolate notes creep in as it warms. Great herbal flavors add depth as the sweet sugary essence gives way.

D - A sweet, well crafted ale with restrained spice and surprising drinkbility for it's 8% strength.

 1,001 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3.53/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Gouden Carolus chalice.

1471? Shit, this thing's origins predate Chuckie Vee himself. It pours a clear earthy amber topped by over a finger of off-white micro-foam. The nose comprises figs, rye bread, banana, cloves, light caramel, and a hint of booze. The taste holds notes of pepper, rye bread, nutmeg, caramel, citrus and floral hops, and orange peel. The body is a light medium, with an active carbonation and a somewhat dry finish. Overall, I was abit underwhelmed by this brew. It was alright, but nothing really near special.

 545 characters

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

Photo of InspectorBob
3.52/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of imbibehour
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into an official Gouden Carolus glass.

A really beautiful slightly cloudy body with a gorgeous orange and brown color. Head is once again a creamy whipped off white with a smooth blanket topping.

Bouquet is malty and some dry yeast with a sweet dark prune.

Taste is dubbel dry and carbonated. Big soda water texture, and quinine tastes in the palate. Some creaminess in the palate as well but even some tartness.

Overall I'd say true to style, but not probably something I would want to have again.

 526 characters

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.

 773 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.1/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a completely murky brown with an orange tint. Minimal crème head. Odd nose. Dough and ink. Seems to calm down a slight bit and morphs into a citrus funk with sugar. Flavor is nice and deep. A little bit of sugar and a fairly firm amount of funk mix in with a defined earthy deep character. Feel has a slightly lower but good carbonation to it. Liquid is good as well. Drinkability is good. This is easy to put down. Even though it is a strong ale, you never see it coming with the abv. Just a nice smooth easy drinker with a little bit of funk.

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