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


on tap

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RATINGS: 1237   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 3/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
Petkus331 (263) - Redford, Michigan, USA - FEB 7, 2014
Wow! Taste is perfect! Aroma is light oak and faint banana. Appears reddish brown, with foam on the rim and white lace. Taste is brown sugar and toffee with raisins and cherry, sweet, but not too sweet, very very nice. Palate is a little fizzy and somewhat thin overall, the taste makes this a very good beer!

   AROMA 4/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 4/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 11/20
Hopswagger (197) - South Carolina, USA - FEB 1, 2014
P: Dense mahogany body with bright ruby highlighted edges. Minimal silky khaki head that dissipates to a cola like roof. Beautiful lacing that climbs the glass. S: Licorice bomb! Notes of candied malt, oak, caramel apples, pepper and a pinch of cayenne. T/M: Taste follows the nose but more aggressive spices and spiced rum soaked figs. Full sticky body with spicy numbing carbonation. Finish is dry with lingering smoke, aggressive booze, apple peels and pepper. O: I was let down with this one. The licorice was way too powerful and the customary flavors were faint and hidden. Once it warms it become much easier to drink but is still far from great. A hot mess of a BSDA that is not one to hunt down.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
superspak (2602) - Michigan, USA - JAN 31, 2014
750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 8/6/2012. Pours lightly cloudy very dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger dense khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, cherry, plum, prune, fig, licorice, molasses, toast, candi sugar, brown bread, herbal, light clove, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great complexity and balance of dark malt/candi sugar and fruity yeast ester notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, prune, cherry, fig, licorice, molasses, candi sugar, toast, herbal, light pepper, clove, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of raisin, plum, prune, fig, cherry, licorice, molasses, toast, candi sugar, pepper, light clove, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible balance and complexity of dark malt/candi sugar and fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; with a great malt/yeast balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick, smooth, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding Belgian strong dark ale. All around awesome complexity and balance of dark candi sugar malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 18/20
ladnewton (1413) - London, Greater London, ENGLAND - JAN 30, 2014
Bottle at home on 31st January 2014 - Christmas gift. Pours deep brown with pale brown head of lacing foam. Strong aromas of aniseed and Christmas fruitcake. Fruity and spicy in-mouth with fruitcake, nuts, roastiness and citric tang. Rich earthiness and nuttiness in finish. Plenty of body, noticeable carbonation and clinginess of texture. Splendid bottle.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
JulienHuxley (3041) - Hilversum, NETHERLANDS - JAN 27, 2014
33cl bottle from Willem’s. Dark brown pour, almost black with reddish tint, solide creamy tant foam. I could smell anise while pouring it. Aroma is quite herbal, lots of black licorice, rich malty caramel notes, molasses, fruity alcohol esters, very nice. Taste is rich, sweet, molasses like sweetness, toasted malt, black licorice, cardamom. Palate is full bodied, strong carbonation. A great BSA, a very cozy sipper.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 16/20
ABT_S54 (148) - West Midlands, ENGLAND - JAN 25, 2014
1.5l bottle shared in a Trappist glass. Pours a dark brown with good viscosity and lively carbonation for such a strong beer. The taste is much the same as the Van Der Kaizer Blauw but is even more malt dominated. The only issue I have with this beer is the overpowering aniseed flavour - it really is too much. The flavours are all excellent and well proportioned but the aniseed takes over. However, it is probably the most Christmassy beer I have tried.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
Douberd (2285) - Arnhem, NETHERLANDS - JAN 23, 2014
Gouden Carolus Christmas. Bottle 330 ml at home, into a tulip glass. ABV 10.5% Deep brown red colour on the body, with deep red ruby shades when hold against the light. Two fingers of thick beige head with very good retention. Heavy lacing left around the glass. Aroma of spices, anice, light alcohol, light caramel. Taste is sweet with malts, caramel, fruity notes as well, even some bubblegum on the finish. The spices present again but quite subtle. The high alcohol is very well hidden, its presence given away only by a warming feeling on the body. Really good! Medium to medium thick body, the carbonation on good levels. Overall a very tasty beer and a great warmer, I got much more than I expected.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
aleksander9 (425) - Oslo, NORWAY - JAN 22, 2014
-Backlog- My favorite Christmas beer of 2011. With multiple layers of complexity, it is in its own league.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
biirusaikou (679) - - JAN 21, 2014
Anise, plum, smokey aromas. Liquorice flavor, grape, caramel malt, peppery finish. Very smooth xmas brew despite the alcohol content, good way to keep yourself warm while enjoying lovely anise flavors.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 14/20
Maakun (588) - The Hague, NETHERLANDS - JAN 20, 2014
Very dark brown, small bubbly tan head. Liquorice, spices, speculaas, caramel, salmiak. Taste is sweet, but with a slight tart finish and I swear I taste salty salmiak in there. Medium-light bodied, average carbonation, way thinner than I expected. Hmmm, bit weird stuff, but not bad.

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