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 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Miguel (1181) - Saint-Ours, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 18, 2005
Robe brune surmontée d’une mousse blanche qui s’estompe. Arômes de caramel, de malt et d’épices. Saveurs de malt caramélisé, de levure et d’épices.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Gorbalev (3000) - Ontario, CANADA - DEC 17, 2005
Bottle shared with Hogtown Harry, GregClow, Jerc, and blankboy, courtesy of Harry. Last bottle of a solid tasting. Dark brown, huge bubbly thick tan head. Big strong aroma - floral, sweetness, bubblegum, candy, and root beer - incredible. Medium mouthfeel. Taste is good - sweet candy giving way to alcohol. Bubblegum, yeast, and hops at the end. Spicy as well. A special occasion beer for sure. Excellent. A perfect beer to end our Christmas tasting with a great bunch of guys - thanks for the fantastic 2005 tastings lads.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
jercraigs (9849) - Toronto, Ontario, CANADA - DEC 16, 2005
Bottle. Hazy dark brown body with a small creamy khaki head. Huge fruity aroma with moderate spices - nutmeg? cinnamon? Reminds me of egg nog for some reason. Fairly complex aroma. Sweet malt and some sugars in the flavour, with a subtle malt complexity and more spice similar to those in the aroma. Creamy medium palate. Very nice, and a perfect Christmasy end to the evening. Almost worth waiting an hour for the bus for!<P> "...there’s going to be like vikings and sh*t in there!" - Blankboy

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
HogTownHarry (6375) - Toronto (Harbourfront), Ontario, CANADA - DEC 15, 2005
UPDATED: DEC 25, 2005 Bottle (750ml). Shared with blankboy, GregClow, jerc, tupalev - courtesy of yours truly. Poured murky ruby-brown with a huge light brown creamy-foamy lasting head, beautiful lacing. Aroma of hard candy, vanilla, caramel and brown sugar, yeast, mild spices (nutmeg, cinnamon), gets darker and richer as it warms - oh yeah, this says "Christmas" to me. Taste follows the nose, but man, there’s the 10.5% alcohol - lovely, warming, spicy - a comfort beer that could make you wake up under a bridge with a huge smile on your face. Mouthfeel thick, syrupy, long lingering .... terrific seasonal strong beer, I’m proud to have had it and shared it.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Ratman197 (13284) - Arvada, Colorado, USA - DEC 15, 2005
750 ml bottle 2004 vintage poured a cloudy reddish brown with a large, long lasting tan head. Aromas of raisins, plums and some spice. Palate was medium bodied and smooth. Flavors of dark fruit, spices, carmel and molasses with a sweet, warming finish.

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
RAYBOY01 (2012) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 13, 2005
Just too overpoweringly medicinal...with VERY strong licorice and alcohol. Just couldn’t get past the anice assault on my senses...although the alcohol assault pulled me through to save the day.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Moz (613) - Gothenburg, SWEDEN - DEC 13, 2005
Bottle, Dark ruby. Aroma of... everything? Notes of solvent and banana. Sweet taste, sweet finish, mmm

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Schroppfy (2360) - Łódż, Warsaw, Poland; Michigan, Ohio, USA - DEC 12, 2005
Has a bit of dry, chalky dustiness that conveys the spiciness, kind of nutmeggy, I guess. Sweet but not overly so, nicely malted with hints of biscuit and caramel, this is a very easy drinker for 10.5% (although my bottle said more - 11.5%)...Good Christmas beer for sure. Thanks for the bottle, Andre.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
Cornfield (5570) - Oak Forest, Illinois, USA - DEC 11, 2005
This ale is what the adjective "medicinal" was created for. Ultimately I liked the beer, a lot, but the intial hit of the aroma, a strong licorice and alcohol base blended with spices, reminded me of some of the cough drops that I had as a kid. But it grows on you. Brown with red highlights, it sports a solid tan head. The flavor is built on a rich, dark caramel malt laden with anise and containing elements of black cherries, spices, and alcohol. There’s a light sweetness to the medicinal, alcohol filled finish. Both interesting and warming to drink.

<font size=-4><a href=http://www.ratebeer.com/events-detail.asp?eve & Winter Beer Tasting at Delilah’s, Chicago, IL 12/10/2005<font size=-1>

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
heemer77 (5294) - Urbandale, Iowa, USA - DEC 10, 2005
Very dark ruby body that is almost brown. The head is a very light khaki color and sticks around. The aroma is alcoholic with some cherry cough syrup, cinnamon and herbal tea. The taste is maraschino cherries with some light cinnamon spice. There is also some herbal tea and a warming alcohol finish. This has a thin and slick mouthfeel for such a big beer. Well made and lends itself to sipping and enjoying. However, it is a bit medicinal.

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