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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1241   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.83   SEASONAL: Winter   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
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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 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
rauchbier (3617) - Isle Of Beer, Lincolnshire, ENGLAND - FEB 20, 2005
Bottle conditioned, at Essen Kerstbierfestival 2004. Deep red brown, thin off white head and moderate condition. Sweet caramel, butterscotch and a hint of liquorice in the nose. Alcohol, caramel and butterscotch with a gentle roasted bitterness in the mouth and a slightly burnt note in the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
envane (567) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 11, 2005
From memory, I can’t really tell the difference between this and regular Carolus. Maybe a little more alcoholic. I am ashamed to admit I just love the decadent Carolus sweetness - the citrus/coriander really balances it out.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Padron4KM (540) - Chandler, Arizona, USA - FEB 4, 2005
750ml bottle no date code, poured into a grottenbier glass.
Pours the color of maple syrup, with a creamy short lived head.
Alcohol floats on top
Big fruity aroma, melons, dates, raisins, with some brown sugar and spice thrown in for good measure.
Flavor is sweet, prunes, oranges, anise, candied fruit. a little pithy on the finish.
after it warms it takes on a cream sherry like feel. almost a dessert wine type beer.
ABV is well hidden, so use caution when drinking.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
eloid (9) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 4, 2005 does not count
Dark ruby color with a creamy head fading quickly. A very estery nose (pineapple, citrus), very malty, a lot of curaçao there, thick coating mouth, pretty complex with this dominance of bitter orange. it finishes very long, with all the alcohol creating a feeling of Grand Marnier... Nice holliday beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
bu11zeye (11972) - Frisco (Dallas), Texas, USA - FEB 3, 2005
UPDATED: OCT 9, 2007 (750ml bottle) Pours a cloudy dark brown body with a large rocky beige head. Complex aroma of banana, raisins, plums, licorice, and nutmeg. Flavor of dark fruits and malt. Alcohol is nicely hidden for 10% abv. Creamy palate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
yayforbeer (753) - Orange Park, Florida, USA - JAN 29, 2005
750ml Served in a St. Bernardus goblet. Pours a clear mahogany brown with a short lived tan head. Strong aromas of fruit and booze. Flavor is heavy dark fruits and dark rum with caramel. Sweet malt and fruit really comes through strong. Some carbonation lightens it up a bit otherwise this ale would be too heavy and syrupy. The high alcohol is fairly well hidden, although there is some warming in the swallow. There is an odd candy flavor that I am not able to place, and some spicyness. Tasty and interesting. A very nice seasonal brew and change of pace, but this is far from the mainstream. I can appreciate the quality here but I couldn’t drink a 750 of this often. Best to share this one, but my lady don’t drink the same stuff I do.. took one look at it and passed... she wanted a Bailey’s Irish Cream.. oh, well..

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
arjoseph (639) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 29, 2005
GABF 2004 (Dr. Bill’s tasting @ Falling Rock) and Christmas, 2004, Bellevue NE. Gold raisins all up in this piece, this is a great Belgian strong. Mouthfeel is rich and full but not syrupy, despite the considerable sweetness of the beer. Light melon flavor with a sublte hopiness and prominent caramel maltiness. Beautiful in a trappist glass, huge frothy head with great retention, dark transluscent orange in the bulb. It’s better after some time in the bottle (my Christmas sampling was about a 13 months old).

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
PorterPounder (5596) - Tallahassee, Florida, USA - JAN 28, 2005
UPDATED: APR 18, 2005 Rerate Have had this several time in the last few weeks - my girlfriend’s favorite beer - it kind of grows on you, the flavors just melt in your mouth, licorice, mint, chocolate, you name it is there.Original 4.3 750 ml. botle - Market Square Liquors, Tallahassee, Fl. Pours a dark, sparkling copper with a thin, wispy off-white head. Aroma is delectable. Pick up hints of bourbon, brandy, mint, dates, raisins, like a liquor soaked fruit cake. Flavor is sweet and malty with hints of brown baked bread (the kind in the can), some mint, bourbon and brandy - like the aroma. Finishes strong and the alcohol is hidden extremely well. Mouthfeel is thick and sturdy - holds up well, missing that spritziness that I find distracting.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
ElGaucho (2220) - Minnetonka, Minnesota, USA - JAN 23, 2005
Fruity, spicey aroma. Deep ruby red and beautiful, graceful , playful carbonation. If I could have given it more points for appearance I would. Large tan head. Caramel notes, high alcohol profile. Under carbonated.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
DarkElf (3035) - La Jolla, California, USA - JAN 19, 2005
(Draft: O’Brien’s in San Diego, CA) The flavor is driven by a sweet maltiness and plenty of winter spices like nutmeg. Candi sugar and yeast are prevalent in the flavor. Sweet on the palate, but not sticky or cloying. Aromas of candi and spice, predominantly nutmeg, plus very malty. Chestnut brown in color, nearly still in appearance. Light tan head fades away to nothing almost immediately. Decent carbonation considering the still appearance and total lack of head. Damn fine beer. I could drink this all night, but the wallet says no.

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