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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1240   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 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Brodie (540) - Blowing Rock, North Carolina, USA - JAN 31, 2003
Ruby color, poor head retention and no lacing. The best aspect of this beer is its aroma - malt, figs, spice, and a hint of alcohol. The flavor is a bit disappointing given the nose, but definitely not bad, just a little thin. Effervescent, medium body, a bit of alcohol in the finish. Not on the same level as some of the elite Belgian strong ales, but quite enjoyable and one of the better Christmas beers I've tried.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Gunshy (479) - Ohio, USA - JAN 26, 2003
This beer poured a deep reddish amber color and formed a light tan bubbly head that left some circular lace. Quite a bit of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, caramel, spices and dark fruit. A flavor of malt, caramel and fruits. Some elements of spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg are also present. A very heavy flavor presence to this beer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Bov (9602) - Bienne, SWITZERLAND - JAN 24, 2003
dark ruby-brown colour, fine head, deep aroma of banana and port wine with notes of spices and licorice, full-bodied, sweet and heavy with a long dry bitter and alcohol finish

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - JAN 20, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 23, 2003 ReRate: 750 corked [2003 fresh]:Murky mahogany copper rests in the glass as a patch-work of wispy taupe coloured clouds disperse like the Pangaea of old. . . The aroma fills my nostrils and head with sharp anise, nutmeg, tea leaves, cherry skin and fruity dough. Full spicy flavour that begins with white grape skin, buttered toast , bitter cranberries and finishes with coarse black pepper and other spices.

Orginal [2002 fresh] (3.5): Dark brown, minimal head, but lingering. . . Nice nutty/malty aroma. . . Good amount of alcohol on the palate, good spices in the back of the mouth and on the way down. Lingering malty flavours with some fruit, another great Christmas present.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Ringo (963) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JAN 19, 2003
Very tasty ale. Malty and creamy, the mouthfeel is so soft that you hardly know it's there. The aroma is fantastic, I don't know what it is but it smells great. I need an air freshener that smells like this. 10.5% very well hidden. I like this brewery so far.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
hopscotch (9214) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - JAN 18, 2003
The aroma is malty and soapy with notes of caramel, yeast, winter spices and a whisper of mint and alcohol. Sparkling clear, deep ruby hue with a copper tint. Large, frothy khaki-colored head. Mostly lasting with very impressive lacework. The flavor starts with pears and fuzzy fruits with blasts of caramel, toffee and butter. Nicely balanced with light bitterness on the backside. The high ABV is fairly well-hidden. Medium-bodied with a creamy mouthfeel and lively carbonation. Medium-length, acrid and dry finish. Very good Belgian ale excepting an unfamiliar, and not entirely welcomed, hop or spice addition.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 17, 2003
Pours a deep red color with a nice tan/off-white head. The aroma is sweet and fruity, marked by apples, cherries, prunes, raisin, and alcohol. Nice fruit in the flavor, but also a bit of nut, whole grain, caramel and subtle spices. A nice holiday brew even though it's been awhile.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
TAR (2503) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - JAN 3, 2003
UPDATED: JAN 18, 2004 2002: Light chestnut. Dense, rocky, light tan foam. Fruitcakey malt amid oodles of plum, fig, and bubblegum notes. Hints of icorice, ginger, butter rum, clove, aniseed, mint, and rock candy. Firm, velvety carbonation. Chewy. Huge fruitiness mixed of aniseed and plummy malts. Traces of mint and ginger. Beautiful finish shows long notes of caramel malt breadinesss and licorice. Lingering fruitcake flavors with soft spices.There's nothing quite like this. A winner of a holiday brew.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
jaymobrown (1676) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - DEC 29, 2002
Medium brown color with a good sized head sittin atop. Muted dark flavors with black licorice, plum, raisins, and some cherries. Noticable alcohol with some balanced hops.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
beerslayer (753) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 28, 2002
Good ale goes down warm. Creamy malty carmel flavor. Well hidden Abv. Recommended

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