Brewed by Brouwerij Het Anker
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Mechelen, Belgium


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1426   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.81/5   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
For the Christmas and New Year festivities the Gouden Carolus range is now extended to include this seriously heavy strong brown ale. Het Anker are thus rekindling a long lost tradition from the days of yore when they marketed Cardinal Christmas and Anker Christmas.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
HopheadHans (804) - Bay Area, California, USA - DEC 30, 2006
Bottle, 2005 Edition. Pours with a dark color and a nice head. There is a subtle spiciness in the aroma as well as in the finish. Otherwise, toffee aroam and a hint of sweet fruit. Flavor is a combination of many subtle components, Belgian yeast of course, as well as strawberriy, caramel and the mentioned spicy finish. When it warms up the alcohol becomes a bit more pronounced. Good stuff.

   AROMA 5/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 8/20
NosirIwont (2352) - Frederikssund, DENMARK - DEC 30, 2006
Bottle. Pours a golden brown with a yellowish/light brown head. Sweet candy aroma wine gums maybe. Sweet licorice. Spicy. Interesting but cloying. Flavour is sweet and candy-like like the aroma. Notes of plums. Slightly bitter finish. Again, interesting, but cloying. Overall this was an experience, but its like I said just too damn cloying. Couldnt even finish it. So Ill have to go against the grain on this one. 29-12-06.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TipsyMcStager (1139) - Calgary, Alberta, CANADA - DEC 28, 2006
Nice aroma of ripe fruit, spicy yeast and candy. Pours a deep copper, thin head. Fruit sweetness up front, candy makes an appearance again. Hops also show up, along with warming alcohol. An enjoyable beer

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jhumphries69 (1034) - Tyrone, Georgia, USA - DEC 26, 2006
Pours very deep, dark brown (nearly opaque) with a lovely tan head consisting of very fine bubbles that lace the glass heavily. The aroma starts strongly with bubble gum, freshly mowed grass, and funky, funky yeast. Some malt and dark fruit also make a subdued appearance. The flavor starts off spicey - nutmeg and licorice. It is sweet on the tip of the tongue, too, though also quite carbonated and tingly. The middle of the tongue shows some acidity, lots of fruit (banana, prune), sweet malts with the brief suggestions of caramel and chocolate, and more tingly carbonation. The finish is dry and full of alcohol, but also other flavors like caramel, spice, more fruit, and yeast. The mouthfeel is surprisingly thin for a beer that is this strong and sweet (no doubt thanks to dark candi sugar) and it is very highly carbonated. As I swirl the beer in its snifter, agitating it to release carbon dioxide, the mouthfeel gets smoother and creamier. Overall, very nice and quite memorable.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
Grovlam (4207) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - DEC 26, 2006
Bottle. Fantastic reddish dark colour with a nice off-white head. Aroma was raisin, prunes, caramel, liquorish, roast, cinnamon and some characteristic Gouden Carolus yeast in there as well. This almost makes you think of a good Port wine. Full bodied with a creamy texture and a lively carbonation. Medium sweet flavour, but some hoppy bitterness to balance it with. Finish is sweet and average lasting. Wow this beer is just so smooth and defiantly the best Christmas beer we had at the evenings Christmas party. Great for sipping while unwrapping the presents.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
OldMrCrow (2405) - Seattle, Washington, USA - DEC 25, 2006
Rating number 600. Last night was a 2004 bottle of Gouden Carolus Cuvee de Kaiser; tonight (Christmas day 06) this 2006 bottle of Noel.

As before, the cork comes out with an explosive pop, though maybe not with quite the force of last night. The beer pours nicely but not with the full elegance of the other.

The aroma offers rich dark caramel again; orange zest and a bit of spice, dried fruit -- and the flavor comes through with bits of all of these, though dominated by spice and alcohol. Perhaps in part, the flavors of this young beer have not yet had time to meld and soften adequately.

The mouthfeel is adequate though not quite as luscious as the Cuvee de Kaiser, and overall the beer - while nice - pales in comparison that other offering from the same brewery.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
Brewso (238) - Mt Kisco, New York, USA - DEC 25, 2006
Taste is of dark chocolate, smoked almond and baked apple. Big and delicious with enough holiday spice and licorice to justify its noel status. This is what big belgians are all about.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
TheEpeeist (3709) - Media, Pennsylvania, USA - DEC 25, 2006
25.4 oz bottle marked 04-05. Hazy copper brown with a slightly tan head and coating lace. Nose of caramel, raisin and alcohol notes that remind me of rubber cement; maybe this is the yeast. Roasty chocolate and raisin with some subtle spicing. A little thin body-wise with light carb. I expected more richness but still a nice holiday brew.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
BitchesBrew (715) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - DEC 25, 2006
[bottle] Deep, dark brown color, with a coarse, tan head that quickly diminishes. Aroma is alcoholic, sweet and fruity. Flavors are very malty and sweet, with dark fruits and caramel. A hit of licorice and plenty of booze finish things off. Very dense, syrupy mouthfeel, with moderate carbonation. Really seems to warm you up quite nicely. Overall a really tasty, complex beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Papsoe (25063) - Frederiksberg, DENMARK - DEC 25, 2006
(Bottle 75 cl) Vintage 2003. Pours a hazy orangey brown with a tall, dense beige head leaving laces. Extremely complex aroma - roasted malt, prunes, raisins in rum. Full, rich and sweet body with roasted malt, again raisins in rum and soft accents of port. Some licorice and other chrismasy spices as well. A well balanced and beautifully complex beer. 241206

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