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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1416   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 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - MAY 16, 2005
75cl bottle, unknown age. Pours dark with NO head...strong spicey aroma also includes a sort of sweet fruit...chocolate cherries sweet plum sauce...Big sweet alcohol...lingering burn...my lips stick to the glass when I drink...Good as a nightcap...It starts to look ruby red as I finish my glass, and I think this is something to be thought of like a big, jammy red wine...but it does seem a little lifeless to me...a beer to sit and sip, and very enjoyable by the end!

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
MesandSim (7117) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - MAY 14, 2005
UPDATED: OCT 13, 2007 A Mes rate: 33cl bottle from Kris Wines.
Awesome jet black appearance with a good tan head then can be added to whenever you wish by a quick swill. Wonderful nose of heavy liquorice, malt, vanilla and spice. Stunning creamy alcohol type notes. Flavour more of the same but just slightly let down by the huge huge alcohol. Plenty of burn that is just about tollerable but in a so wrong itís good way. Full bodied and sweet and fruity and all round excellent. Aged bottles are fantastic.

Original numbers: 8/4/8/4/17

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 11/20
ghawener (1553) - San Salvador, EL SALVADOR - APR 17, 2005
Bottle: Dark, red-brown color with a medium short lived beige head. Aroma is bittersweet, caramel, coffee and chocolate. Unfortunately the taste is overpowered by a strong alcohol presence; licorice and caramel notes.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 10/20
oh6gdx (24352) - Vasa, FINLAND - APR 12, 2005
Tapped. Hazy brown colour, big foamy beige head. Strong caramel and licorace in aroma along with hints of alcohol. Stinging very sweet flavour of plum, fruit and alcohol.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
Shag (2765) - Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA - APR 3, 2005
Thanks again Wunderbier. A very nice belgian seasonal this one is. It poured a cloudy brown. A nice malty and spice filled aroma. A complex flavor consisting of raisins, ginger, cinammon, chocolate, and some mint. The aftertaste is sweet and warming. Enjoyable in small amounts.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
leaparsons (9505) - Leicester, Leicestershire, ENGLAND - APR 2, 2005
Bottle from "The Offie", Leicester. Very dark red/browen/purple with an off-white head. Aromas are fruity and very floral with spices, sweet malts and aniseed. Very Xmassy (even in April). Flavours are sweet malts and aniseed with bready yeast, winter fruit and a good deal of boozed-up Xmas pudding. Very herblal with more aniseed towards the finish with complementing floral hops. Warming alcohol vapours on the finish. Xmas in a (big) bottle.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
LilKem (1213) - Marietta, Ohio, USA - APR 1, 2005
I was surprised that I liked this so much, but I so did. Tasted of raisins, ginger, carmel, brown sugar, hints of indian food ingredients. aftertaste was like dishsoap and mint, but whatever.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 15/20
wunderbier (1434) - Tampere, FINLAND - APR 1, 2005
UPDATED: AUG 26, 2010 from old notes Rusty brown hue under a buff, frothy head. Spicy and sweet noseónot unlike root beerótoffee, nutty and very lightly roasted; ginger and nutmeg in the background. Begins quite sweet with caramel and malt before a soft acidity, eventually thinning out into a lengthy finish of spices, lightly bitter and roasty. Creamy texture, lively carbonation, medium bodied made quite palatable by the alcohol slickness.

Intense, well attenuated and drinkable even with a little bit of heat.

75 cl bottle, best before 8 October 2011.

750 mL, snifter. Deep brown red body with a large, creamy, off-white, frothy head. Ginger, caramel, candi sugar, anise, dark fruits...it goes on and on. Heavily sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter flavor becomes a moderately sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter finish. Medium full body, creamy texture, lively carbonation. The bottom line is: good! Really good! Took me a minute to íget into ití for some reason, but I repeat, good!

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
goldtwins (4320) - Nesconset, New York, USA - MAR 24, 2005
Pours a reddish brown color with a medium head. Aroma is very spicy with mint and a fruity sweet malt. Spicey flavors. Malt at the beginning becomes minty. Upon warming was getting a fair amount of bubble gum. Complex beer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - MAR 20, 2005
Everything about this beer seems to be black - color is a super blackened ruby oil capped by a tall, softly whipped yet lumpy, cinnamon dusted, light tan head. Settles off to a thin, uneven skim and the lacing is whimsically placed in thin and webby broken sheeting. Aroma is airy and pleasantly soft yet robust of black licorice, dirt, and the blackest of black malts without much sweetness at all. Cindering hints of bright pepper phenols and anise percolate right over the top. Taste nearly mirrors the aroma with a tender sweet black malt, fainter dark fruity nuances, and cola sryup masked in a ever present black licorice spice. Finishes with shadowy cinnamon, anise, ginger, minty skoal tobacco juice, earthy pine needles; quick, yet muffled, phenol laced alcoholic heat, some leftover cola sweetness and a drying of light throat burning sweetness. Complexly characterized in girth that sits just above a medium body but somehow keeps a general softer sweetness and spice thatís magnificently handled. Lots of subtle spicy layering and a finely heated throat burn, belly warming, and mind-boggling play between sweet and dark; and, warm and spicy. Fun stuff. It really grows on ya as you engage in its presence. Even with all its finely set warming and spice this makes for a really nice drinker and an even finer treat. Iím becoming more of fan to these Noel/Winter Warmer-type brews and Iím thinking Winter isnít really that bad here in MN as long as I have this kind of beer around to keep me company.

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