Two years ago, I reviewed a fresh bottle of Brouwerij Het Anker‘s Gouden Carolus Christmas. This year, I stumbled upon a bottle from 2011. I can’t vouch for how the beer was stored; it wasn’t in my control during that time. This bottle was labeled as “Gouden Carolus Noel.” You’ll need to check the production date on the back of the label.
Appearance: Brown with amber highlights, tan head, great retention.
Aroma: Rum, sherry, molasses, figs, raisins, toffee, cinnamon, chocolate, alcohol.
Taste: Toffee, spice, dried fruit, rum, alcohol.
Overall Impression: Considering the unknown provenance, this bottle held up very well, especially at the smallest packaging size of 330ml (when aging beer, size matters. Larger bottles will age longer). There’s a touch of alcohol burn, but it creates a nice warming effect that you want in a winter ale. The mouthfeel is a touch on the thinner side, but the finish is nice. Overall, I’m very impressed with the way this beer handles time. At 4 years old with uncertain conditions, the beer still had a lively vibrance. It had developed some nice sherry notes but hasn’t developed any of the negative effects aging. I’d recommend keeping this beer in mind when you’re looking for a good cellar project. It’s really tasty fresh and really tasty cellared.
Availability: Nationally during the fall and winter where beers from Wetten Importers are sold.
Notes: Produced on 01/08/11 (August 1, 2011) and Tasted on 11/29/2015 (November 29, 2015)