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

from an 11.2 oz bottle

A pours a murky dark copper color with a hugh fluffy khaki head and ton of sticky lacing

S- is of dark candied fruits and malts with some sour yeat

T- is sweet dark/light fruits..lots of pear plums and apples ,then a candied malt and bread middle has a slight musty earth finish

M- sweet and carbonated with a malt and dank taste..

O- worth a try but im not overly enjoying this brew its candied sweet and reminds me of a dubbel

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Photo of rvdoorn
3.26/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Look: the beer pours an amber color with a medium head.
Smell: Some malts, yeast, caramel and some fruits. All very faint.
Taste: Malts, caramel, hints of orange zest with a light spicy hoppy finish.
Mouthfeel: medium carbonation, medium bodied
Overall: very single dimensional

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Photo of ridelacruz
3.7/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber-red color, with a small head, retains a nice ribbon of foam, the bubble is of medium size, has little but plenty beads.

S: Caramel with some fruit, it feels a little alcohol in the aroma.

T: It's sweet at first with a touch of oak and fruit at the end feels a touch of alcohol and a little bitter, a nice touch to balance the sweet in the beginning.

M: Medium-bodied, with "discreet" carbonation

A nice beer, without being outstanding, I would recommend it without a problem.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.08/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured into a snifter this classic Belgian has the beautiful look of a red amber body and the head off off white. It starts out an inch tall and fades slowly.

S - It has a cola and boozy aroma with a strong malty licorice.

T - The flavors of molasses and licorice on moderate quantities. The flavors also include a hint of alcohol.

M - Light and airy with a firm amount of carbonation providing an evaporation texture.

~ This is a strong Belgian beverage that I truely enjoyed. I would certainly try it again, especially if I were able to find it on tap. I recommend you give it a try.

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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.

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Photo of STKPICR0720
4/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just had this brew very simple. Nice tangy with a touch of fig and pear taste. Pour was brown and lightly carbonated. Overall a great brew good hops full of yeast and sweet malts. A abv of 8% and this brew does not drink like and 8%. Nice bite and clean finish

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Photo of rarbring
3.78/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The brew is dark, slightly hazy, amber, has an off-white head that is rather small and leaves little lacing, some curtains however.

The smell is rather unobtrusive, ripe pears, some acidity and yeast.

The taste starts sweet, fermented honey, tropical fruits, peach but also canned pears, not much bitterness.

High carbonation, small intense bubbles, soft and oily texture.

This one has good properties, but I lack something ... age?

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Photo of bark
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The colour is red-brown, the liquid is almost clear. The offwhite head is finger thing and compact.

The smell is sweet with notes of raspberry jam with a minld sour notes. I recon a phenolic house taste from other Het Anker brews. It is a bit simple.

The taste is sweet; I notice distinct flavours of wine gums and raspberry jam. Mild hops in the background. Dry notes of marzipan, apple-peel and red berries in the aftertaste.

The carbonation is strong; the bubbles sharp. The liquid is a bit sticky.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.05/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Massive 3" cream coloured head, very amber coloured beer.

S: Lemon and brown sugar.

T: Citrus and brown sugar, some malt, sour finish but quite nice.

M: Medium thickness and high carbonation.

O: A nice and refreshing beer. Would be quite enjoyable with a suitable meal pairing.

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Photo of SmokinSmyth
3.82/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a duvel tulip glass, big fizzy head, liberal lacing. A very hazy brown, bordering on cloudy.

Smell is malty and nutty, mild.

Taste malty with a hint of peat. Even after a long sit outside it still has a foamy feel to it in the mouth.

Goes down easy, little to no after taste. A nice beer.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.22/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Hazy orange/brown colour with a massive size fizzy and frothy beige coloured head. I can’t tell how much carbonation there is due to the haziness and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for close to 10 minutes before it was gone.

Smell – malts, raisins (port wine), smoke, roasted/toasted notes

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an above average amount of carbonation. I can taste malts mixed with dark fruits (raisins) and a bit or a roasted/smoky flavour. I also picked up on a woodiness and a bit of a butterscotch flavour. It finishes with a malty slight sweet aftertaste.

Overall – There are a whole bunch of flavours going on and the beer has a complex taste. It’s very well balanced and the alcohol is hidden nicely. I’m not sure I’d want more than one at a sitting, but I will definitely be buying this beer again.

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.23/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark golden-amber body with one finger ecru-white head. Excellent head retention and good lacing.

Nose is musky and tart... hard to pin down.

Taste on the other hand is interesting: malt and even peat, faint smoked wood, alcohol dryness keeps these from being overpowering. Dark for an amber in terms of color and flavor. Faint appley fruit undertone.

Mouthfeel is creamy, almost foamy. Quite nice and spreads out the flavor to avoid syrup or cloyingness. Typical for Het Anker, and quite pleasant.

I was nervous: Gouden Carolus is a fantastic brown (Classic) and Cuvee and a bland/average tripel. I wasn't sure what to suspect, but was pleasantly surprised, but I never expect to be disappointed by Het Anker.

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

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Gouden Carolus chalice. Best before 17 November 2012.

A: Even a relatively gentle pour netted an enormous head, filling more than half the glass. Although it recedes, it does so quite gradually, retaining its fluffiness and form throughout. Big clumps cling to the sides. The beer reveals itself to be a hazy copper, full of bubbles and lustre, that is moderately clear.

S: Not too impressive, but nothing to gripe about either. Cloves, cinnamon, heavy fruit (banana? red apples?).

T: Mm, I think it is banana. A bit like a hefeweizen, but creamier. Darker fruits -- figs -- meet hops...but only sometimes. Some sips are nothing but sweet, confectionary whimsies, while others are significantly more textured, offering tart apple, bitter hops, and zesty yeast. The worst of the bunch is an occasional (happened maybe three or four different sips) metalleity; however, this is rare enough to be untroublesome. The aftertaste is lightly drying, but largely unremarkable.

M: The creaminess is splendid, but other feelings don't deliver. The bitterness doesn't stimulate so much as irritate the mouth, and carbonation is lackluster.

D: Not my favourite Gouden Carolus, perhaps, but still a good beer. No trouble at all to sip empty. Recommended.

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Photo of MrOH
3.31/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dirty blond to light brown, very cloudy, with a big foamy head

earthy, funky, apricot, spice, white pepper, anise

metallic, spice, earthy, touch fruit, pepper, anise, clove, vegetal

light, good carb

goes down easy enough, but kinda harsh on the finish

Drank 9-26-10 from notes

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Photo of treque
3.85/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: an amazing huge no white head, it take a while to disspate to get the first sip, a reddish color with some brown/orange hues. semi traslucent, tiny bubbles on the carb which is constant

S: nice smell, some belgian "taste", fruits i would say apple, raisins and touchs of caramel, you can smell from a far position

T: some sweet notes at the beggining, and then appear a nice sensation on mouth, like a warming but not so heavy, also some bitter while the sweet dissipates at the end, an alcohol note is present at the very end

nice for a beer at night

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Photo of argock
3.91/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.2oz brown bottle into aDuvel tulip. Refermented in the bottle 10/12/09. Purcahsed as part of Het Anker 4-pack sampler for $15.49 at Market Street Wineshop (Charlottesville, VA).

A: Hazy peach hue with prodigious foamy 3-4 finger head with good retention and clumpy lacing all down the glass.

S: Floral, herbal hops aromas meet yeast, brown sugar, and apple skin

T: Very crisp with a light balance on the palate. Bitterness is more than expected but not unwelcome as it counters the sweet fig and brown sugar notes well. It also complements more of the malty crackery flavors and fruity yeast. The hops component is floral and herbal with some orange zest in there too.

M: Very light on the palate with very active crisp cleansing carbonation. Finishes with moderate dryness.

D: Another Het Anker brew, another thumbs up. This is not their strongest, but it is still very solid and very good, and a change of pace frmo their more malt oriented brews. Have Cuvee de Kaiser left to try from their lineup and very much look forward to it.

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Photo of megahurts4
3.6/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Gouden Carolus Ambrio

Appearance: Amber, large head, and some good lacing.

Smell: yeast, spices, very faint fruit, and malts.

Taste: yeast, slight hop, some spices, faint fruit, and a very subtle dark fruit.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light and bitter finish.

This is a decent Belgian. The smell seems dark and slightly yeasty. The most noticeable part of this is the bitter finish. I am not used to most Belgians being this bitter.

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Photo of mariposafan
4.06/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Big, billowing fluffy cream colored head over a red amber body. Simply gorgeous.

The aroma is yeasty but with lots of sweet fruits as well. Maybe a little malt in there but mostly it almost smells of fermented fruits (though not rotting fruits.)

Sweet fruitiness again in the taste, with lots of yeasty goodness and some maltiness as well. The only downside is the alcohol - it's just too outfront for the rest of the flavors.

The mouthfeel is a bit astringent. Lots of carbonation coupled with a bunch of upfront alcohol keep it from being as enjoyable as I'd like.

Everything but the amount of alcohol is very good, but it's a little hot and heavy for me to consider it as more than a one per night treat.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.02/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a chalice from a bomber. Appears light brown, off white head and some lace. Aromas of malt, booze soaked fruit and apple. Flavor is slightly tart, in a belgian sense, with some roasted malt in the background. Hops are modest here. All in all, nicely tart, dry and malty. A nice dry belgian style amber ale. Would recommend to the beer savvy.

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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.

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

A: Pours a murky bronze with orange highlights. The head has a soft khaki tone and is extremely tall, light, and foamy. Retention is impressive, and random splotches of lace stick to the glass.

S: Some sugary sweetness in the nose - some firm caramel notes. Lightly phenolic and spicy notes go along with an herbal hop presence. Some moderate notes of orchard fruit add a bit of depth.

T: A short flash of caramel sweetness at first. Yeasty characteristics dominate - fruity esters of bruised red apples and ripe pears, along with light spicy phenols. Herbal hop bitterness is fairly pronounced for a Belgian style. Lightly metallic and alcoholic into the finish.

M: Fairly full-bodied. Rescued from stickiness by aggressive carbonation that doesn't seem to lend too much smoothness. Crisp and dry overall.

D: A pleasant but somewhat scattered Belgian ale. A bit different, but definitely a not an all-time favorite. If you're a fan of the style, you'll probably dig it.

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

This held up well after several months in my beer fridge. Apricot cognac hue, very small bubble steady carbonation supports a dense, foamy head, impressive fruity bouquet. Taste is bitter, fruitier backdrop makes it crispy and pleasing on the palate. Gets better with air, more complexity, full bodied with an overlapping sweetness that makes it really interesting to sip and savour. Nice job, decent Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

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

Pours a murky brown color with s huge tan head. Head falls very slow yet stays. Thin lace.

Aroma is of sweet candied sugar and malt yet is somewhat tinny.

Nice sweet malt taste that turns sharp on the tongue. Ends with a lingering sweetness.

Medium bodied and rather sharp on the tongue.

Nice, easy sipping brew. Love that Goudon Carolus.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.13/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Updated label form what is shown here. No mention of 1471 until you read the back label.

Stamped 90/04/11. Didn't realize the Belgian April had so many days!

Served cool into a chalice. Ambrio has color that ranges from orange to red to brown as I look at it in the glass. The head is very thick and that's after a very careful pour down the side of the glass. It settles slowly and leaves a nice sheet of lace behind. Simply a great looking beer.

The aroma is very pleasant and, most likely seems to foreshadow the tastes to come. Rich malty sweetness, caramel, orchard fruits, a little musk and damp wood.

Flavor is indeed much the same. Dark dried fruits are added to the mix as are common in darker Belgian styles. Many layers of flavor but not all completely integrated. The alcohol seems stronger than 8% just based on the drying finish.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and fully carbonated. Maybe a little too much for the style.

And that brings me to my last point: I'm surprised this isn't considered a strong dark or dubbel. The color, aroma, and flavor all point to this being a darker style. Blind taste tested, I would've said it's a dubbel. Either way, it's a very good 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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