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


on tap

Broad Distribution

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RATINGS: 1486   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.81/5   SEASONAL: Winter   IBU: 11   EST. CALORIES: 315   ABV: 10.5%
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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   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
CaskMonger21 (4) - - JAN 6, 2017 does not count
Ottima birra, l’alcool c’è e si sente tutto (10,5%).. Al palato spicca subito la liquirizia che sembra poi evolvere in qualcos’altro.. L’aspettativa è un po’ delusa. Tutto sommato una delle migliori birre di Natale assaggiate.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
Mishnok (187) - Tyne & Wear, ENGLAND - JAN 6, 2017
From 330ml bottle. Pours black with eventually little head. Aroma is of fruit and taste is quite sweet. Reminds me of dandelion and burdock. Flavours do mask the alcohol strength, which is high. Some soft carbonation ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
cglans (47) - - JAN 3, 2017
black color with a red tone. smell of liquorice and maybe saison yeast. nice light white/brown head. taste of liquorice, malt, maybe some chocolate. better than expected.

   AROMA 6/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 6/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 13/20
Hamirubi (577) - Waarschoot, BELGIUM - JAN 3, 2017
75cl bottle at home (26 XII 2016), shared with friends. A yellow-ish, golden white collar tops a black mass with a firm dark brown gloom. This for sure is a good looking Christmas ale. The nose already has heavily sweet, cloying scents with different hints at Liegeois syrup, anise and a firm Iberian red wine, even gluhwein hint. All this is backed with a malt character. The mouthfeel keeps on being sugar-intensive, even - sweetish rather than sweet - artificial in this respect. The taste is full of that typical Belgian dark pear syrup, anise, old-fashioned cough pastilles, liquorice, Ochsenblut (ox blood). On the tongue there is a little roast, with hints of chestnut, even one or two raisins as well. All this is very subtle though. The whole however is not that complex. Thank God, the ending is well balanced: Not that sweet, not that heavily spiritful. This alcohol almost has a genever quality. This nature grants a spicy hops, almost coriander feeling to the Christmas brew. Quite a good - although with one or more artificial dashes - Belgian Christmas ale with strong Ricard anisette backbone.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Johnstledger8 (1036) - Dublin, IRELAND - DEC 31, 2016
Bottle. Dark opaque reddish brown with a quickly fading light brown bubbly head. Aroma is of caramel, liquorice, dark fruits, raisins, plums, treacle. Taste is of liquorice, plums, raisins, treacle, ginger. Oily mouthfeel, soft to medium carbonation.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 14/20
jzi (310) - POLAND - DEC 28, 2016
Backlog, ocena przepisana z untappd, w ramach uzupełniania profilu na ratebeer.

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
DerGantzel (401) - Aarhus, DENMARK - DEC 28, 2016
Aroma of roasty malt, chocolate and fruits with hints of banana. Dark brown liquid with a white head. Medium-high sweetness and light-medium bitterness, nicely balanced. Average carbonation and full body. Long lasting taste. Definately recommandable. I like it a lot.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 17/20
AtronSeige (1421) - Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA - DEC 28, 2016
Aroma: Medium malty, molasses, tobacco, licorice.No hops. Light alcohol. Appearance: Brilliant, dark brown body. Small, light-brown head, fine bubbles with low retention. Flavour: Medium malty, licorice, tobacco. Balancing bitterness, but no hops. Dry finish with lingering light licorice. Mouthfeel: Medium warming. Full bodied with medium carbonation, soft. Overall: Very nice sipping beer. Great maltiness, but missing some complexity from more basic beer flavours. 330 ml bottle, poured. 26D. Belgian Dark Strong Ale

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 10/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 16/20
EithCubes (5709) - New Jersey, USA - DEC 27, 2016
Thick 750, corked and caged, back dated 25/06/2014, so some gentle age. Nose is beautifully spicy, red berry leads the characteristic house esters, and there’s medium caramel and alcohol. Is that licorice? Or mint? Pour dull chestnut with a little underlying ruby in the glass, sort of reminds me of an Altbier, supports a soapy-rocky beige head. Taste a little plummier, brings out the licorice/anise character much more, but that’s only about medium in the big picture, a perfect compliment to the inky plum and caramel. Smooth full body but not fat, edged with some thin and wispy alcohol, subtle clove, throat warming, sticky lips. Faint pepper, faint mint, possibly some faded orange peel but mostly that enjoyable drop/anise, even woodruff - just a lovely bouquet of woodsiness, herbs, and none of it is too bold or overplayed. About as classy as a boozer can be, happily flashes its refinement, balanced but accented, a perfect holiday drink for me, again just lovely. [2016.12.27: 4.2]

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 5/5   OVERALL 14/20
ringwraith24 (2) - Union City, New Jersey, USA - DEC 27, 2016 does not count
Anise aroma and aftertaste. Pours deep red and eminently drinkable. On tap at Het waterhuis, Ghent.

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