Gouden Carolus – Easter Ale

I have always enjoyed drinking different Belgian beers.  For my birthday this year I had my wife take me to Granville Moore’s.  If you have never been there you need to find the time to go. Or, if you don’t live in DC and you come to visit, you should find your way over to this excellent establishment.   It isn’t easy to get in the door, but if you go during the week you have a better chance of getting in.  That aside, one of the fine beers I had there was by Gouden Carolus.  They are a great Belgian brewery, and when I saw this bottle in Rick’s (VA) I knew I would have to review this one this week.  Earlier this year I purchased Gouden Caolus’s Noel which was fantastic.  So that just gave me another reason to look into this beer.

As my regular readers will notice, I didn’t put the whole picture of the bottle up for this one.  I just love the label on this particular beer.  The king on the horse, the flying bells, the easter eggs laying all over the grass, and of course a very excited bunny with some easter eggs.  Come on, who could walk by this bottle and not buy it.  I am a little embarrassed to say I must have walked by at least twice in the store without noticing it.  However, once I saw this beautiful label I knew I had found my beer to review this week.

As always, you have to take note of the look and smell of the beer before even tasting it.  This beer has a very nice rich caramel color to it.  This of course is always a good sign for me.  Pouring out my first glass I was surprised by just how much head was developing despite my excellent pouring abilities.  There is also a very rich smell to this beer.  Unlike some others that I have had recently, there definitely wasn’t the hoppy smell to this one.  The smell on this one has a much fruitier odor to it.  But it is more of a sweet-smelling fruity beer smell.  Needless to say, I was very interest in how this one would taste.

Taste wise, there were a few really striking things that stuck out to me.  First of all, there is a lot of carbonation to this beer.  I didn’t really expect there to be so much carbonation, but it really isn’t bad.  It also it’s too harsh.  I just would call it to more surprising.  Second, there are some very obvious fruit and caramel tastes that come through.  The finish on it has almost a meaty feel to it.  I decided to have my wife give it a try and use a few of her descriptive words to use as well (since she hates beer).  So the wife review is that it tastes like “bloody meat / beef jerky”.  Really I don’t know if that is a good review, but i do agree that there is a meat flavor in there as well.  Finally, there is some really interesting tangy feel that sits on the tongue at the very end.  It really really leaves a lasting impression.

According to the bottle, it says this beer is only brewed once a year (duh easter time).  But also, that only 2000 cases are brewed each year as well.  I’m not really sure how much beer that translates to; but, that means that you need to get on this beer.  There really isn’t much time left to get it.  I may have jumped the gun on this beer because it says on the bottle that this should be enjoyed with Easter dinner.  I couldn’t wait till Easter dinner, but maybe that will be good for all my loyal readers.  Go get this beer and enjoy it tomorrow night. You need to get this beer! Go now!

Teacher Grade: A


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