Het Anker “Gouden Carolus”
This Belgian tripel pours a hefty head which is very fizzy. We’re talking loads of carbonated bubbles stuck to the inside of the glass. It retains very well, especially for such a large goblet. Long runs of bubbly lacing are left behind.
The aroma immediately touches on bubblegum. The character of the malt reminds me a bit of a pilsner, with a grainy feel. Very light, floral hops, and citric. Yeast doesn’t play as big a role as the typical tripel, but manages to add a pleasing honey spice. Mild toffee. Lemon highlights the malt base nicely. Sort of has an odd lotion note too, which I’ve never experienced before in a beer.
The flavor is quite original and dynamic. It’s crisp, though creamy. Sweet yet dry. There are several complementary dualities to this beer that I appreciate. A most dominant lemon character comes in quickly and stays long after the finish in a floral hop fashion. It has a strong grain presence, with notes of white pepper. Bitterness is very minimal, with a perfect sweetness that gets squelched at the end by a pleasant dryness. As detected on the nose, yeast takes a backseat, while still adding that characteristic banana clove vibe Belgians are known for. At 9%, the alcohol is incredibly well-hidden, but manages to add some nice fruity esters to the mix. The negatives: not quite creamy enough (though it’s crispness allows for nice drinkability). Very smooth and balanced. Interesting flavor blend.
Overall, this beer lacks an underlying complexity I’ve come to expect from a Belgian beer. Yeast is too understated as well. The palate isn’t off the charts, but this is certainly an enjoyable beer. This is a commercial brewery that doesn’t have anything on the Trappists. However, I still recommend it.