Jan 24, 2008

2006 Gouden Carolus Noel

This is my last review from the winter beers that had been in the basement for the last year. Of the two that had been in there the longest, I was really looking forward to this one the most. The Delirium Noel was a tasty brew in its own right, but I’m a much bigger fan of the Gouden Carolus beers overall — their tripel is by far my favorite of the genre. And luckily, I was a bit more prepared for this tasting, as my notes from last year are much more detailed and coherent, instead of the normal monkey-with-a-pen scribblings I usually produce for reviews.

As I pulled that bottle from the box it was stored in, a glorious light poured into the dark from from no where, accompanied by a heavenly choir of angels. You don’t believe that do you? Ok, fine. After telling my daughter to not shine her flashlight in my face she fled the room (her squeals of delight following her out), I set about opening up this little treasure.

Beer Label: Gouden Carolus Noel


The beer poured nearly as dark as my notes (and memory) had the original looking. The head was a nicely toasted toffee in color.


The dark fruits (fig and raisin) are much more defined than they were a year ago. There’s also a slight licorice in the background that I don’t recall the original tasting having. It’s very subtle and quite welcoming. As far as the spices go, there’s a nice bit of nutmeg present as well.


The taste has changed a good deal over the year. My initial notes had this tasting like a sweet dessert cake — much like this bourbon pound cake my wife makes, but without the bourbon. Over the year the dark fruits have come out more and the bready yeastiness that I got last year has subsided a bit. The licorice plays but the smallest role in the finish of the beer, complimenting the spices nicely.


I’m not sure if this one got better with age, but it certainly was tasty. I really enjoyed the dessert characteristic that the original tasting had, but overall I think I prefer the aged version of the beer by the slightest margin. I love how the dark fruits have emerged to the forefront of the brew and the spices that have also developed over time. I really need to get a few more bottles of this to experiment with in terms of aging lengths.

Rating: 4/5