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


on tap

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RATINGS: 1285   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.82   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 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
patrickfannon (1241) - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 11, 2010
Bottle. 25.4 oz. Courtesy of and split with my good pal Vin. Pours a deep mahogany, bloody plum red-amber with a massive, meringue, creamy beige head. The nose begins with a rush of raisins, soft, buttery dough, and sweet yeast, following through on soft, warm sugar cookies, plums, dark cherries, figs, slight oak, molasses, toffe, Belgian candied sugars and finishes with subtle notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and banana bread. The body is as huge, warm, round, and jolly as Ol Saint Nicholas himself. Heavy. warm, comforting, and as smooth and clean as the freshest winter snow. This is, perhaps, the best Christmas ale I have ever had the privilege and pleasure to sip and snjoy. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night. Cheers.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
BeerSherpa (10) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - DEC 17, 2011
My every new years beer. If I was going to make a crappy new years movie with a bunch of crappy actors that no one will remember next new years, and had to forget how crappy it was, Id drink a case of these.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
shanepardue (110) - Raytown, Missouri, USA - MAR 26, 2009
Very rich, sweet Belgian. Pours dark walnut brown with thick head. Excellent strong ale!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
yankeefan21 (131) - New York, USA - DEC 20, 2010
Bottle: Pours a deep black walnut with a nice tan head. One whiff of this beer and I just knew this was the brew for me. I was pulled in by the delicious aroma of sweet malts and fig with just an undercurrent of alcohol. My first sip? Angels are singing "Merry Christmas!" There is a medium sweet quality to a complex host of flavors. There is a little fig, there is a little sweet cherry, there is a little vanilla... Each sip reveals a new flavor and before I know it the bottle is gone! This has a medium body slightly creamy mouth feel with a smooth warming alcohol finish that is pleasing rather than overpowering. My God is this a great beer! Right in my wheel house. It went down so easy I hardly notice the 10% ABV - which means its probably a good thing I only had the 1 330ml bottle! This is as close to perfect as Ive ever rated a beer. Im going to buy out the store tomorrow!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
bark (255) - Linkping, SWEDEN - DEC 6, 2004
Vintage 2003, matured on keg for one year.

The colour is clear brown with a small hint of red. The firm beige foam is two-finger thick and made of medium sized bubbles.

The smell is very complex and intense: Among the flavours I noticed marzipan, dark rum, cinnamon, caraway, preserved cherries, milk chocolate and a full apple pie. Wow!

The carbonation is robust and grand with small bubbles.

The taste starts with some sweet lactose-notes that slowly change into a full-bodied taste of apple pie, complete with cinnamon and butter. There is a slight flavour of alcohol, but it isnt dominating at all. The long and multifaceted aftertaste includes such flavours as sweet Madeira wine, candid apples, clotted cream and, for that special contrast, a hint of bitter hops.

This is indeed a world-class yuletide beer. Yummy!

I talked to the publican at The Rover (in Gothenburg, Sweden) about this beer. He had stored it for a year in his cellar, just for fun. At that point, he wasnt even sure that the beer had survived the maturing! We agreed that the keg probably needed to settle for a few days to reduce the carbonation a little.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
ads135 (3078) - Lawrence, Kansas, USA - DEC 16, 2012
An exceptional Belgian strong, and easily one of the best Belgian (or any other) Christmas Ales. Malty, rich, near syrupy in texture. This beer is a must on an Christas beer list and was a part of the Winter beer tasting in Lawrence, Dec. 2012.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
NeoHippie2 (1068) - Louisville, Kentucky, USA - DEC 24, 2012
Merry Christmas! What a beer! Pours very dark brown into the glass with a small tan head. Awesome aromas of malt, yeast, and some notes of spice. Wonderful mouthfeel with the abv creating a warming sensation and increasing the complexity. Nice fireside sipper for sure. Absolutely delicious!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 19/20
jafj_1920 (4) - Morelia, MEXICO - MAY 5, 2013 does not count
Hail Christmas !!! This beer is a great choice to drink before the feast of Christmas Eve. The aroma is complex, but with presence of caramel, bread, nuts, and a little coffee touch. Great influence of toast. Hops giving a presence of resin, spruce and herbs, very woody indeed. Some touches of dough and ginger. A great appereance, with a black/brown color, a hazy but sparkling liquid, and a minimal but creamy head, a little frothy too. Awesome taste, with presence of medium sourness, light sweetness and a little bitter. The sense to palate is great, full body, creamy, medium thickness and a little oily. Soft carbonatation and a long and little bitter finish. One of the greatest beers ever brewed, and with a rich flavor like christmas, literally like christmas.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 19/20
SuperTiti33 (603) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - DEC 9, 2013
Brune au reflet rouge. Nez: anis. Caramel. Malt. Fruit confit. Menthe. Bouche: onctueuse. Très sucré. Épicé. Dominance-anis. Girofle. Bien caramélisé. Riche. Vanille. Fruité. Figue. Un vrai bon dessert de Noël!

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 20/20
Icedwarf (424) - Etten-Leur, NETHERLANDS - SEP 28, 2014
Donker roodbruin bier met schuim. Smaak is een zoet licht bitter en een explosie van anijs, drop en vanille, in de mond, enorm intens. Voor mij absoluut een topbier. Blijft redelijk lang hangen.

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