overall
98
99
style
Brewed by Brouwerij Het Anker
Style: Belgian Strong Ale
Mechelen, Belgium

bottled
available

on tap
available

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1502   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.81/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 11   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
COMMERCIAL DESCRIPTION
For more than 35 years we had to miss the Christmas beer but in 2002 the tradition was restored with Gouden Carolus Christmas. It’s a strong, dark ruby red ale with character and contains an alcohol percentage of 10.5 % alc.vol. Brewed in August, the beer rests a few months to reach an optimal balance. Six different kinds of herbs and spices and three different kinds of hops define the rich taste followed by a long, well-seasoned aftertaste. Perfect combination with wild, stews or ripened, strong cheeses. Top-class!

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4.1
SoundsLikeJoe (13) - Rock Hill, South Carolina, USA - NOV 19, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 30, 2007 Nice aroma...very nice appearance... flavor is great but not FANTASTIC. A bit too sweet for me with a hint of something... clean and hides the alcohol well. Palate is smooth and creamy..... Overall very pleasing. Not an everyday beer but a damn fine treat. ====================== After finding this on draft, I must recount. This beer has a great flavor; semi-sweet, hides acohol well, ....

2.5
ekstedt (6782) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - NOV 16, 2007
UPDATED: MAY 2, 2009 Bottle (33 cl) from Barley Wine, Copenhagen, Denmark. Deep copper with a creamy large beige head. Sticky caramelly aroma with sweet liquorice and spices. Medium bodied and very smooth. Way too sweet.

3.8
mjg74 (3106) - La Mesa, California, USA - NOV 15, 2007
UPDATED: OCT 17, 2008 Bottle (10%) from BevMo. Dark ruby in color. Sweet aroma. Some interesting spices, maybe ginger and anise. Some yeast and a root type of scent. Smooth mouthfeel. Flavor is somewhat spicy. Quite a bit of roasted dark fruitiness and more black licorice. Very rich. Good winter beer. Too bad we’re having Santa Anas. Alcohol is well hidden. Enjoyable brew.

4.2
Plovmand (8312) - Helsinge, DENMARK - NOV 14, 2007
Bottle. You dont get a much better balanced spiced Belgian Strong Ale than this one. Dark brown colour with a nice head. Aroma is dark fruits and spices. Flavor is dark fruits, caramel, anis and malts. A beautifull mouthfull.

3.7
FatPhil (16102) - Tallinn, ESTONIA - OCT 31, 2007
UPDATED: NOV 8, 2015 750ml bottle (Gallows Bird, Espoo, Winter Ales 2004)
Rich brown. Sweet winey strongly spiced malts on the nose. Salty salmiakki in the taste, ginger and dark fruits. Very complex, very potent.
Rerate: 750ml bottle - shared by Janne - thanks! (7:4:8:4:14=3.7)
Apple, marzipan aroma. Crisp palate, lively carbonation. Apple in taste too. No hint of 10.5%.
Rerate: 750ml bottle (Pikkulintu, Helsinki) BB2011 (7:4:7:4:14+=3.6+)
Lovely apricotty aroma. Super mellow fruity body. Light palate, soft, has no sign of any strength at all. Lovely malty brew, aged wonderfully, but perhaps beginning to weaken.

3.5
GRM (4050) - Aylmer, Quebec, CANADA - OCT 31, 2007
Brown bottle, 33 cl, best before 25.09.09, via Importations Privées Bièropholie, savoured on Halloween 2007; eye: ruby, clear, good effervescence, voluminous beige head that turnes into a carpet, lacing; nose: alcohol, caramelized malt, candied fruits, spices; mouth: caramelized malt, alcohol, candied fruits, spices, pepper from the alcohol, Amaretto, finale in caramelized malt with a good presence of alcohol, creamy and alcoholic texture, full body, mildly sweet, not much carbonation; overall: fine FRANÇAIS Bouteille brune, 33 cl, meilleure avant 25.09.09, via Importations Privées Bièropholie; savourée à l’Halloween 2007; œil : rubis, claire, bonne effervescence, mousse beige abondante qui se transforme en un tapis, dentelle; nez : alcool, malt caramélisé, fruits confits, épices; bouche : malt caramélisé, alcool, fruits confits, épices, poivre de l’alcool, Amaretto, finale en malt caramélisé avec une bonne présence d’alcool, texture crémeuse et alcoolique, corsée, moyennement sucrée, peu carbonatée; en résumé : bien

4.3
BDR (2534) - Roseville, Minnesota, USA - OCT 26, 2007
UPDATED: APR 18, 2008 Thanks to Joebrew for sharing this ’07 vintage. Spectacular, but will be better with some age on it. Sweet malty nose with spice revealed as the beer warmed. Similar taste with some dark fruits.

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Had to up the rating a little. HUGE anise flavor in this latest batch, one of my favorite Christmas beers.

3.8
BuckeyeSammy (617) - Palo Alto, Ohio, USA - OCT 24, 2007
UPDATED: MAR 8, 2008 Aroma of liquerish, alcohol and spice. Dark deep brown amber color, darker then i expected. Spiced amaretto liquor taste with traces of plum raison and spice, enjoyable but different then most other belgians. Deffinately drink this on a cold winter night.

3.2
beachbum25 (1092) - Powellville, Maryland, USA - OCT 14, 2007
750 ML Bottle-Clear brownish color w/almost no head. Spiced Belgian aroma. Dark Belgian flavor w/traces of plum, raisens & spice. Traces of pine to it. This beer has some kick to it; I’d call it a real Winter warmer. I drank it at the wrong time of year; save this one for a cold winter night around the fire & you will really enjoy it!

4
blklab2007 (2120) - Connecticut, USA - OCT 12, 2007
bomber corked and caged poured a thick looking brown red in color with a tan layer of foam on the beer. smell is yeast, plumb, alcohol, spice, pine, and some sweetness. the taste is really quite smooth, midrange on mouth feel, and finishes with a spicy alcohol snap. quite a layer of dried dark fruits like figs and plums, definitely some sweetness but not in a way that is over the top, many interesting subtle flavors like anise and licorice, and there is a light bit of mint. very interesting beer that warmed on me, perhaps because i drank the whole bomber myself.


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