Saturday, January 14, 2012

Gouden Carolus Noël

Today I'm drinking Gouden Carolus Noël, another Christmas beer that I snagged on post-holiday sale for $4. This beer is brewed by Brewery Het Anker in Mechelen, Belgium. Let me start with the label. Santa is flying over a quaint snow-covered town with a Christmas tree and some holly in the foreground. Let me tell you--Santa in this depiction hardly has reindeer flying his sleigh. Those are freakin' Clydesdales!

There's a story on the side that starts with how this beer is "brewed exceptionally for Christmas". Hmmm. Perhaps they really meant to say "especially"? I wouldn't admit it if so, LOL. You can read the story for yourself below, but it apparently "improves with age" (don't tell Total Wine their $10 bottle could have been $12 if they'd have hung on to it). Bottled 08/08/11 in a wine-sized bottle.

Caramel and brown sugar and raisin aroma, nicely sweet and rich, with some all-spice added on top. Prunes and raisins and cherries, fruitful flavors with a hefty dose of the 10.5% alcohol. Fruit soaked in booze, but not overdone, pretty yummy.

Candi sugar, still pretty sweet, and add in some brown sugar and caramel and you might think you're headed for some ridiculous mess. But the high alcohol adds quite the muscle, cutting and thinning the sweetness, while simultaneously adding some burn and zing. Belgian yeast and spicy cinnamon add some fun nuances. Creamy texture. In the end, yes, the beer was a little too sweet. But it's a nice bottle to share (which I did not). Actually, as I finished, I said to myself, "Damn, this really grew on me!" Nice beer. I'd probably check it out again in another after-Christmas sale.

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