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


on tap

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RATINGS: 1512   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.82/5   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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madsberg (11866) - Søborg, DENMARK - NOV 23, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 4, 2009 Rerate: The appearance is the same. Aroma is incredible. Caramelly, full of liqourice, has cloves and anise notes, marzipan and I could go on. Very smooth and rounded. Flavour as well is fantastic. Much more rounded and subtle than the fresh one. This in my book is a perfect beer to keep in the cellar for several years. It only grows. Bottled: Dark ruby coloured. Clear. Has a light brown quite quickly diminishing head. Aroma is fruity and malty with a good spicy character. Flavour is impressive and complex. Loads of liqourice, fruit (plums and dates) and spices in this co. The high ABV is perfectly hidden. Very well balanced beer, that has a smooth, sweet and alcaholwarming finish. Great beer. 8-4-9-4-18

FlacoAlto (4247) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - NOV 23, 2003
As I pop the cork on the 750 a blast of raisin aroma emanates form the bottle. Plum aromas mixed with alcoholic rum like notes escape as I pour this lightly hazy amber-brown beer. A dense tan to light brown head tops the Noël. There are some notes of dried fig in the aroma as well, overall a phenomenally enticing aroma to this beer, and I have yet to taste it.

The taste; a rich brew, though light bodied given its 10.5% alcohol by volume, by no means light though. There is some definite spiciness here, seems like some coriander along with some other spices have been used, though because this beer is so rich and fruity it may just be the Belgian yeast character. This beer finishes with a definite alcoholic bite, though it is not overbearing and goes well with the spice notes. Lightly sweet with raisin and other dark fruit notes are in the fore front of this beer. There is no real bitterness, the spices and alcohol counter-point the sweetness and fruity flavors. This beer is incredibly good, and incredibly under-rated. I am certainly going to get a couple more bottles of this to age, next winter these could be stunning. This is just a damn good winter seasonal beer, certainly the best I have had yet this year.

apoptosis (1317) - Denver, Colorado, USA - NOV 21, 2003
Sticky-sweet caramel highly malty aroma. No head on a reddish brown body. Mild carbonation, and a slightly hoppy, but very festively spiced finish. The flavor is strong with unbalanced malts. Strange BSA, but overall is a decent beer.

notalush (6006) - Lakewood, Colorado, USA - NOV 21, 2003
Deep amber in color, little carbonation - begins with a small head that disappears completely - big, "festive" nose, full of plums, figs...fruitcake smelling - flavor has lots of plums, spices, brown sugar, cloves - quite interesting and complex - the finish falls short and is a bit thin - alcohol is well-masked, considering, but is noticable - I think this will really improve with age.

davesarman (159) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - NOV 21, 2003
Cork needs little persuasion to leap from the bottle. POP! Aroma reaches my nose before I have a chance to even lift the glass! Deep, dark, sweet roasted fruits. Raisins, figs, licorice. Quite an amazing and complex nose! Color is deep ruby red/amber and clear. Carbonation is light, and what little head there is fades very quickly. (Could it be because of the 10.5% abv?) Quite lively on the tongue. Lots of character. This is very warming, the alcohol is not hidden as well as in some other strong beers. Malt and fruit complexity weave in an out and around and finishes with a warming sensation that is quite relaxing!

Ungstrup (39318) - Citizen of the universe, DENMARK - NOV 13, 2003
The aroma is sweet and fruity with notes of caramel, cloves, and dates. The color is dark brown and it has a beutiful though disappearing beige head. The flavor is very complex - malt sweet with notes of fruits, cloves and dates. A great Christmas brew.

jeffc666 (1984) - Fairfax, Virginia, USA - NOV 11, 2003
Murky brownish red body topped by a frothy tan head. Lacing is nice and appealing. The aroma is Sweet and malty with a firm yeast backing. The flavor is big and sweet. Much sweeter then the average Beligian Strong. I really like the flavors. The aftertaste is woody and sweet. The body is big and warming. The alcohol is quite noticeable and is very pleasant to drink in cold weather.

LoveCaissa (873) - Copenhagen, DENMARK - NOV 11, 2003
UPDATED: APR 17, 2004 Nice and strong(!) Belgian ale. Roasted toffee like aroma. Full body and a warming sweetness ending in a well balanced bitter finish. Perhaps a bit too sweet for me (I had it with duck); am I the only one who notes some licorice?!?

Hildigöltur (5103) - København, DENMARK - NOV 7, 2003
UPDATED: DEC 6, 2004 A very nice and full bodied christmas brew. Loads of dark fruits and warming sweetness. Notes of mint. Very tasty.

jfm (1724) - Holbæk, DENMARK - NOV 7, 2003
Nice dark amber/copper color with a almost non existing beige head. The taste is plums, fruits, slight malt and spices. Finishes very nice with almost port like palate.

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