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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1348   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.82   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 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
JCW (1277) - Cincinnati, Ohio, USA - NOV 25, 2004
UPDATED: JUL 23, 2005 Dark brown, with a brown head. Aroma is yeasty(like a brown bread), brown sugar(dark Belgian candi) and slightly hoppy. Flavor is syruppy sweet and slightly bitter(maybe hallertau?) . Full bodied. Well made/

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
MAP (1133) - Lakewood, Ohio, USA - NOV 19, 2004
Dark brown color with a thin layer of head. The aroma is a very spicy one, mostly marked by an anise with hints of cherries in the background. Flavor is rather smooth, with a nice combination of sweetness and spice, followed by an overall warming sensation. Another quality brew by this brewer.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
ThomasE (5174) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - NOV 15, 2004
Dark brown colour with nice lasting head. Aroma is sweet and malty, with hints of licorice. Flavor is malty with a clear taste of licorice, some alcohol in the finish.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 15/20
Jukkabro (3484) - Tampere, FINLAND - NOV 13, 2004
Dark amber color, lasting yellow head. Sweet caramel, licorice and bubble gum aroma, slight alcohol comes up too. Strong licorice with sweet roasted notes in flavor. Medium to full bodied, still little bit of thin for 10.5% ABV. High carbonation is little surprise, but it fits here well. Warm mouthfeel with high alcohol, although it is covered pretty well. Licorice lasts in aftertaste.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
TBone (14613) - Pori, FINLAND - NOV 11, 2004
UPDATED: DEC 6, 2004 Bottled (0.75l), alc. 10.5% (BB 10/2006)
Dark red portwine-like color with small tanned head. Aroma has anis, licorice, plum, fruitcake and chocolate. Par to flavor: lots of salty licorice. Mouthfeel is (a bit too) carbonated. Alcohol jumps from palate in the finish. Aftertaste is salty and malty. Really interesting and complex brew. (9/4/7/4/16 4.0)
Draught, alc. 11%
Deep clear red, huge creamy brown head. Sweet berries in a nose. Sweet, wineous portwine-like, tasting grapes. Easy to drink and warming, hides ABV well. Totally different than bottled version - but almost as good. (8/5/7/4/15 3.9)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
sayravai (4691) - Helsinki, FINLAND - NOV 7, 2004
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2006 (Bottled, 0.75l, 6 months old, sampled 2/2005) Deep, dark red-amber color with a largeish, light beige, lacy head. Sweetish-caramely, slightly alcoholic aroma with lots of anise and licorice. Very smooth, sweet, very anise-licorice-malty, spicy and herby, cough-syrup-like flavor. Long, sweetish and sticky anise finish. Medium to full-bodied, quite soft-carbonated, slightly liqueur-like palate. Alcohol is quite well hidden. A nicely spiced and herby, sweet herb-liqueur-like brew. Maturing even for a few months makes the brew clearly more balanced and enjoyable. A quite original brew, no matter what. (15 months old, sampled 11/2005, BBE 10/2006: no real change, maybe some smoothing in the flavor and flowery hops, too. Alcohol is now perfectly hidden. Still not quite ready yet - or maybe it just is what it is. Stored too cold (in +6 C), though. Quite sweet - like anise liquour.) (18 months old, sampled 2/2006, stored in room temp) Clearly dried flavor with immense fruitiness and huge amounts of salty licorice. Quite yummy, but not close to its peak, I guess.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
MiP (14519) - SÝnderborg, DENMARK - OCT 26, 2004
Bottle. Sweet, spicy, anisy aroma. Dark chestnut colour, small light-brown head. Flavour is sweet, spicy, anisy, cough-syrup-like. Very complex.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
muzzlehatch (4420) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - OCT 7, 2004
750 ml bottle, 2003-4 presumably. Dark, rich molasses in color, soupy off-white head. Rich bourbon-vanilla in nose, with hints of orange, juicy thick spicy Seville orange. Whiskey and smoke join the lusciously complex fruit on the tongue, combining for a very drinkable, "wet" approach, alcohol well-hidden throughout, great sweet-sour balance; another work of art from Het Anker.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
harvey (40) - Milano, ITALY - OCT 5, 2004
Great beer! Dark brown/red with a wonderful beige creamy head. Mature and dried fruits aroma with powerful alcohol hints. Taste has notes of orange peel, raisins, chocolate, ruhm and a lot more. Great body, very balanced in carbonation, hops and sweetness.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Crosling (1864) - Fort Collins, Colorado, USA - OCT 3, 2004
Pours with an amazing color. Purple with ascents of yellow, orange and red. Beautiful color, it glows in the light. However, a pretty lousy Belgian head. Smells like fruit punch. WOW! Sour red grapes, cherries, red licorice, raisins and caramel up front. Finishes with a somewhat sour, sweet malt and chocolate-caramel combination with a hint of alcohol. Tastes unbelieveable!

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