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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1359   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.82/5   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
bask (305) - Leuven, BELGIUM - JUN 29, 2006
Dark brown colour, nice smooth beige head. Caramel, toffee, raisins, spices in the malty aroma. Outspoken spicy initial flavour, malty. Malty finish but with some light hoppy notes. Some cherry. Medium to heavy bodied.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
eaglefan538 (2966) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - JUN 11, 2006
Poured a caramel-brown color with a nice respectable smooth head that thinned but maintained coverage. Lacing was weak. The aroma was of caramel and spices. Some sort of bourbon or whiskey in there. I was ready for a flavor that was underdeveloped, but this one actually was quite smooth, as the alcohol and spices didn’t overwhelm. Caramel was for sure the feature flavor, almost like caramel candy. The mouthfeel was moderate for the style.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
wxman (1613) - O’Fallon, Illinois, USA - JUN 9, 2006
Bright garnet color with active carbonation. Big thick off-white head. Aroma of cherries and spice. Sweet and thick mouthfeel with flavors of cherries, prunes, maple, chocolate, and some alcohol. Aftertaste is roasted malt, alcohol warmth, and some yeasty notes. I’m enjoying this in June since it was part of a 1/2 off sale on winter seasonals. Glad I waited, it’s delicious even in warm weather!

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - JUN 7, 2006
Courtesy of MrWalker. 2005 Bottle <!-- P --> Rich sweet malt and dark fruits flood the nose. There is a musky perfumey flourish as well. Body is a murky brown and holds two fingers of mocha thickness in the creamy, but bubbly, head. Fore is somewhat toasty with malts and there are mild sweet fruit flavors. Alcohol is fairly hot and assertive through the middle and the finish is midly bitter and almost tart and acidic. Some very mild spiciness as well. Overall a good beer, but doesn’t tie things together nearly as well as the Carolus Classic.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
vyvvy (5014) - Florissant, Missouri, USA - MAY 31, 2006
Nice opening pop from the corked bottle. Pours dark amber wtiha small off-white head that end up in little patches. Aroma has caramel malt, earthy yeast, toffee, dark fruits (raisins, prunes) and bits of alcohol. Medium to full bodied with soft frothy carbonation. Taste has earthiness and caramel first, then comes anise, spiciness and peppery flavors. Spiciness and sourness linger around on the finish. However, the sourness mellows down further down the glass. Also as it warms dark fruits and earthiness join in on the finish. There is beautiful lacing on this beer. At the end some sharp citrus seems to sneak in. Overall a very nice winter beer that is also enjoyable in spring.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
jhliesen (786) - West Melbourne, Florida, USA - MAY 27, 2006
Bottle-Shared with a friend, poured a deep, deep brown with a small brown head that didn’t stick around. The aroma was nutmeg and cinnamon with an undercoating of berries. The taste followed along with the aroma. A nice little kick of hops finished off the drink.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
SoLan (1550) - Florida, USA - MAY 8, 2006
No date. Dark ruby brown with large, spongey, tan head. Nose of toasty caramel malt, licorice, peppery yeast, dark fruits, mint. Same flavors with some tequila, herbs, alcohol, and chocolate. A touch of absinthe in the finish. Dry, roasty, bittersweet, yeasty, alcoholic aftertaste. Can I say complex? Full, balanced body. Definitely a brew to savor slowly. Excellent.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
maeib (8749) - Wootton, Northampton, Northamptonshire, ENGLAND - APR 14, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2010 75 cl bottle. BBE 10/11/08. A dark brown coloured beer which pours with tan bubbles but these don’t stick around long enough to be described as a head. The aroma is sticky plums and port like vinuous. some aniseed and some licquorice thrown in for good measure. A really big, welcoming aroma. The taste is big and fruity. Some more spices including a dash of cinnamon combine with the alcohol to produce a big Christmas warmer. The depth of flavours are maybe not as brash and as complex as I’d have liked, nor the body as big, but it’s still a good bevvy. Score 3.9
Subsequent rating scored 4.2. Average becomes 4.0

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
tenghave (403) - Taastrup, DENMARK - APR 13, 2006
UPDATED: OCT 7, 2006 Orange-rød ufilreret belgisk øl købt i sverige. Øllens er en typisk belgisk klosterøl tilsat alle julens kryderier. Duften er meget krydret - mest tydelig er appelsin. Skummet er let brunt med store bobler. Smagen er varm, stærk og krydret. Øllen er ikke så tung - men stærk. Efter et år aftager kryderismagen en del, og øllen er aldeles rund.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Dedollewaitor (14917) - Odense, DENMARK - APR 5, 2006
UPDATED: NOV 9, 2006 One of the best kerst beers I have ever tasted. This one deserves all the hype! Brown with creamy white head. Very filling and has a complex variation of the regular christmas spices. Long lasting finish!

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