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: 357
Photo of Sludgeman
3.94/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. A small 330 ml bottle. Lot 26/01/14, 11010 – not sure how to interpret, maybe "drink by" Jan 1, 2014?

A very nice complex BDSA. On the malty side balanced with some spice and alcohol.

A – Pours a slightly cloudy amber with a dense off-white 3-finger head. (did not pour the bottom of the bottle into the glass). Average to below average lacing.

S – Slightly sweet, raisins, figs (faintly?), maybe a very slight spiciness as well.

T – Rich with some bitterness to balance dark fruits and a slightly caramelly malt character.

MF – Well carbonated, medium to heavy bodied, medium dry finish. Sort of a sharp start with a fizziness in the finish.

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Photo of newton99
3.68/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | 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 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 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.

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

1471 on bottle
(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer pours a slightly hazy garnet red body with a light beige head that is bubble with a gentle carbonation supporting it. The head sticks to the glass in a light film.

S- The woody oxidized aroma has a dry candy note and a vinous hint in the finish. There is a fruit punch ester note that comes through as the beer opens.

T- The dry flavor has some light toasted malt sweetness in the finish with candy sugar notes that turn more like cider as it opens. There is a woody finish with hints of wine tannins.

M- The medium-light mouthfeel has no alcohol heat and some tight light fizz in the finish.

O- This beer has a nice flavor and a bit of candy sugar grows but it seems like it is showing some oxidation and other signs of too much age.

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Photo of KingSlayer
3.25/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

330ml bottle, expiration date due 2015. bought at a local supermarket. poured into a standard pint.

A: poured a caramel semi translucent ale. no head formed, no lacing, no visible carbonation.
S: banana bread, pear juice, vainilla, metallic.
T: metallic component initially assaults the buds, quickly subsides and reveals a sweetness to it, little hops present, bitterness accentuate a little bit towards the end. pear juice aftertaste, mildly alcoholic.
M: medium body, kind of smooth, strange tongue tingling sensation almost like spicy, totally FLAT.
O: palate and nose are OK, the thing that upset me was the complete absence of carbonation (hence no head). for me the mouthfeel was a comlplete let down. would this brew be properly carbonated and it will be great.

Maybe it was the sellers fault/misshandling/ shelf time/ etc.. will revisit again hoping to find that lost precious carbonation.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
3.83/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in a tulip glass.

A: Pours a deep and clear amber color forming a medium bubbled light yellow head. Good retention and lots of lacings formed and left in the glass

S: Caramel malts and flowery hops, mainly. Quite fruity and a bit spicy too. Notes if caramel malts, candy sugar, plums, brown bread, Belgian yeasts and grassy hops

T: Sweet malts upfront with notes of caramel and toffee which turns quickly into a citrus and grassy hops bitterness in the end. Good bitterness, BTW. Again, quite fruity with notes of dark fruits, plums mainly. Brown bread, Belgian yeasts and hops

M: Medium body and good carbonation. Molasses. Aftertaste is mainly made of a mix of sweet malts and bitter grassy hops. Classic Belgian bittersweet Ale

O: Good drinkability. In between a Belgian Strong Pale Ale and a Strong Dark Ale. Het Anker quality

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Photo of n2185
3.61/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a slightly hazy copper with three fingers of beige head that recedes into a thin cap with a solid sheet of lacing.

S: Belgian spices with candy sugar, bubblegum, and sweet breads dominate the nose with a chalky yeast finish.

T: Light spice flavors up front with bubblegum and candy sugar. Sweet bready flavors follow with some subtle fruit notes and a yeasty finish.

M: Medium body with highish carbonation, this beer is a little heavier than I'd prefer, though still nicely attenuated.

O: A solid BSPA overall, though it is almost a BSDA or dubbel. It's a little on the simple side with the yeast dominating the aroma and flavor (despite being carefully decanted), but still enjoyable.

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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.

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Photo of Jamesthebrit
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Hazy pumpkin color with a massive white tan head.

S: Strong alcohol and musty notes.

T: Some nice spice notes, alcohol has a good kick to it which accentuates the spice. Finishes a little musty and wet.

M: Sits pretty nice with a light medium body. Some nice flavor developments.

Overall I was very impressed at first but then as it warmed the spice and alcohol really seemed to overpower the beer. Not the best showing but it's pretty good.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.48/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Smells more like a Dubbel than a BSDA, which is a great thing. The pour is brown, not pale. Friohy watery off white head. Kind of one sided, but not bad. More dry and grainy than anything, which I wanted more sweetness. Goes down insanely easy, and feels slightly slick late. Slightly metallic.

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3.59/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle. Delirium Tremens Snifter glass. Enjoyed on jun´12. Deep orangish amber color, chill haze appearance. Off-white froth shows creamy texture & nice retention. Copious lacing collars. Strawberry hues, yeast & sugar to the nose. Sweet malty & ripe fruity flavors. Medium body, moderate carbonation. Not the best of the sisters, eventhough it´s worth to try. Typical belgian warming ABV.

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

B/B 17/11/12. Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Medium amber with slight orange glow along the bottom. One finger of fluffy white head.

S - Sweetness up front with caramel, pepper, floral/herbal notes and yeast. Some honey and grainy/bready notes too.

T - Sweet caramel, raisins, toffee, candy up front. Some yeast flavours in the background along with some lighter grainy notes. A fairly big sweetness with some warming alcohol to balance it out.

M - Medium body. Moderate carbonation.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.96/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Copper body, mostly clear but murky towards the top, where the super tight foam forms an initially nice cap that blooms after a minute. Aroma of fruit with a hint of spice, but so muffled by the cap it comes out rather clean.

Very nice flavor with notes of, shockingly, amber malts - spicy, nutty, pepper finish with a slight boozy heat. Sweet but not cloying, spiciness is under control, and attenuation is professional. Perfect sudsiness. Easy to drink but full enough in body.

I had this one a few years ago with no reviewing notes, so I'm glad I had a chance (in Mexico!) to enjoy another bottle. Not a pleasant import price here, but neither outrageous - and definitely worth it for the chance to drink the beer that every Mexican 'obscura' wishes it could be.

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

Ambrio indeed pours an amber color. It’s a bit hazy, and it has quite a few yeasty particles swimming about. I was even careful with the pour. Backlighting gives it a really nice crimson look. The head is off-white and stands about a finger and a half tall. It’s quite slow to recede, holding at a surface covering for quite a while. Good looking stuff.

The nose is good. It features a nice mix of caramel malts, grains, and bread-like notes up front. It’s definitely an interesting mix, but smells good. It smells a little spicy. It’s a bit reminiscent of fruit cake honestly. There are some light fruit notes of apple, pear, and perhaps even peach. Belgian yeast is noted and smells nice. Grainy and earthy notes emerge on the tail. Alcohol is noticeable, but isn’t overwhelming. 8% seems about right.

The flavor is pretty good. Not great. The malt base does feature some sweet caramel. There’s also a very strong bready flavor. There’s definitely a spicy quality to it, but I can’t identify individual spices beyond pepper. It does have a fruit cake flavor that’s subtle. It’s earthy and grainy throughout. Fruit flavors are there, but are more subtle. Apple and pear are most notable. They seem a little at odds with the spicy notes though. Belgian yeast is probably responsible for the spiciness. Its presence is easily noted. It definitely adds something positive overall though. Alcohol isn’t too noticeable. Finishes yeasty, fruity, spicy, and grainy.

Ambrio has a medium body. Carbonation is active, but soft. It does have a nice, smooth feel and goes down rather easily. It’d be even easier if the flavor were just a little better. Not bad at all here though.

Gouden Carolus Ambrio is not the best beer I’ve experienced from Brouwerij Het Anker. Having said that, it’s far from bad. The interplay between the fruit and the spiciness not all that great. Definitely worth trying out though. It's pretty far from bad.

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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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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.

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Photo of keithmurray
3.58/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a chalice

Appearance - murky amber color with fluffy white head

smell - honey, coriander, ginger, apricot

taste - honey, yeast, muted apple, really bready flavor

mouthfeel - ample carbonation, medium bodied, sour, unbalanced finish

Overall - a decent beer that falls somewhere in the middle of the class for the style.

Price Point - $4.69/11.2oz single

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

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – light red amber color, hazy, with about four fingers’ worth of frothy light-khaki colored foam that dissipates somewhat slowly.

Smell – fairly rich smell for such a light-looking body. Earthy and a bit herbal. It almost has a rye-like quality to it.

Taste – earthy and herbal indeed. The taste has a raw, unfiltered quality to it. The abv is hard to notice unless you focus on the concentration of the taste…meaning that it doesn’t have that obvious bite to it that some higher abv beers do. It finishes a but musky, but otherwise much how it began.

Mouthfeel – pretty well-balanced over all, not leaning more toward the watery or creamier sides.

Overall – not a bad brew at all, and fairly interesting to contemplate over while tasting.

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Photo of MoreThanWine
3.86/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 2.5" beige head with decent retention. Color isn't really amber to me, it's more of a dar raw umber brown. The smell is divine, very rich with malt, caramel, fig, dried fruit. Taste is actually milder than the smell and the deep rich malt comes to the front. It has a medium to long finish. The higher alcohol is noticeable but not distracting or overdone.

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Photo of Rapax
4.11/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big head with small bubbles. Settles quickly but leaves plenty of lacing. Nice orange-amber color.

Starts malty in my nose. Candy sugar and a touch of metal. Floral and a little acidic, but not disturbingly so.

Malt does not come out as much in the taste. There is pear, orange peel, flowers and some almonds. Low bitterness, even for the type, but it gives a crisp finish.

Appropriate body, on the light side of medium. Low carbonation for the type, but that appeals to me.

Excellent beer. Nice and elegant.

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

A: This poured a clear dark gold with tons of white head.
S: It smelled like earthy lemon and grassy hops with metallic and some candi sugar.
T: It tasted like earthy lemon and grassy hops with light caramel and candi sugar and sour yeast. It has a mellow bitter aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with lots of smooth natural carbonation. Very nice and slick body.
D: This was a great delicate and balanced beer. The scent and taste were very nice, and the body was excellent. Probably best fresh. It didn't blow my mind, but it was really enjoyable.

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Photo of smakawhat
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.

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Photo of jnn4v
3.87/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Slightly hazy amber / light brown color. Hints of red and orange in the shade, but overall is more brown than not. Very light tan / off-white colored head filled 1/5 of the glass. No sediment.

S: Caramel, copper, Belgian yeast, toffee, butterscotch. Very subtle hint of a floral element.

T: Belgian yeast, hops and the caramel malts all assault the palate in a rush to see who will be more dominant. In the end, they are all fairly balanced elements of the flavor, despite the malts victory in the scent. And I'm not sure that's a good thing - the taste left me wishing it matched up more to the scent.

M: Very carbonated with moderate size bubbles. I'd actually prefer it a bit more toned down - like some Dubbels are. Although the malty elements could do well with a barleywine texture as well. Too fizzy for my tastes.

O: Good beer that's not excellent but had no major complaints. My only minor quibble was texture. Although if the scent was true to the flavor and mouthfeel, it would have been phenomenal.

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