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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1427   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 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 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
holdleder (328) - Kongerslev, DENMARK - DEC 24, 2013
UPDATED: DEC 30, 2014 75 cl. champagne-flaske. 10,5 %. En. Suvern god julel der passer perfekt til en juleaften. Strk smag af lakrids. Re-rated 30/12-14. Suvern lakridssmag

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
leghorn99 (239) - Livorno, ITALY - JAN 16, 2015
Osservazioni: Si presenta di color tonaca di frate, limpido; la schiuma color ocra, molto persistente, a trama fine, cremosa. Laroma pulito e molto complesso: al variare della temperatura nel bicchiere possiamo trovare zucchero a velo, canditi, spezie da lievito, glassa, banana matura, prugna, uvetta, ciliegia, mirtilli rossi. Un ottimo bouquet che crea grandi aspettative in bocca, dove arriva con un corpo da medio a pieno, carbonazione contenuta, consistenza oleosa. E morbida e gradevole, regalando subito note di toffee e frutta sotto spirito, datteri, prugne ed uvetta; limbocco molto dolce ma gi a met percorso emerge una nota amaricante di liquirizia a bilanciare; allaumentare della temperatura il livello di liquirizia cresce notevolmente, diventando un po il sapore dominante. Ha un finale abbastanza secco; il palato abbastanza pulito per assaporare un retrogusto caldo e morbido, abboccato, di frutta sotto spirito e liquirizia.

   AROMA 10/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
vicdelrio (1) - Madrid, SPAIN - JAN 18, 2015 does not count
Afrutada, agradable, sabor a regaliz y ans. Muy rica. La segunda mejor que hemos probado

   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 (135) - 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 5/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 20/20
Teran (290) - Belgrade, SERBIA - FEB 14, 2016
Nice chestnut red colour, clear with good beige top. Tobacco, licorice, malt, candy brown sugar caramel, anise, etc. Very nice taste, superb aroma. Distinguished Christmas beer. Sugar is high, but for Christmas it must be.

   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 (4254) - Omaha, Nebraska, 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.

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