Home > Belgian Strong Ale > Gouden Carolus Classic (291 of 1001)

Gouden Carolus Classic (291 of 1001)

Rating: 4.0

Another Belgian beer from the 1001 beers list now, this time one of three Gouden Carolus beers that appear in the book and sadly the only one I picked up when I made my last order at Beers of Europe’s online shop. My original plan was to grab all three beers on the list and review them in fairly quick succession but so many other beers caught my eye and in the end I opted to pick up this bottle from the brewery alone. The beer is one that was brewed from an old recipe in the years before World War II and was known as ‘Keizersbier’ until 1961 when it was re-branded as simply Gouden Carolus, presumably the ‘Classic’ part was added later when several other year round, and seasonal offerings, took up the Gouden Carolus wording for the first part of their names. The beer is sometimes referred to as ‘The Emperor’s Beer’ and is a top-fermenting, bottled condition offering that undergoes a lengthy maturing process that makes the beer a great one for aging as well as drinking young.

Gouden Carolus Classic

Appearance (4/5): An opaque dark brown colour that borders on black, the beer is topped with a slightly off-white head that is foamy and sits about a centimetre tall before halving in size fairly quick.
Aroma (8/10): Quite a rich smelling beer with a lot of ripe, dark fruits and plenty of sugar coming through early on; most notably some plums, dates and raisins. There beer smells quick sweet as a result of this with a few faint hints of alcohol appearing around the middle as well before some yeast sees things out.
Taste (8/10): Taste-wise the beer is quite similar to the nose with a lot of dark fruits and rich, ripe flavours coming through. These flavours are backed up by some sugars and the fruits coming through include dates, raisins and plums with some prunes in there as well.
Palate (4/5): Smooth with a medium body and a rich, sweet taste that hints at being boozy thanks to the alcohol content but remains quite an easy beer to work your way down. There is little to no carbonation coming through and the beer seems slightly sticky towards the end.

Overall (16/20): Quite a good beer from the Het Anker brewery, an enjoyable beer that proved easy enough to drink but in truth didn’t really strike me as a memorable offering or one that I’d be all that likely to go back to in the future. There was nothing wrong with the beer as such, it just seemed to be missing that special something that would have found be rating it higher. This was partially down to the beer following a fairly predictable pattern from nose to taste with the ripe fruits and sweetness staying consistent throughout; a decent beer but there are better Belgian offerings out there to be had.

Brewed In: Mechelen, Flanders, Belgium
Brewery: Brouwerij Het Anker
First Brewed: circa. 1930’s
Type: Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Abv: 8.5%
Serving: Bottle (330ml)
Purchased: BeersOfEurope.com
Price: £2.89

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