I started this blog with the intention of doing periodic beer reviews. I guess I’ve never really gotten around to it until now. I got a four-pack of Gouden Carolus Noel last week. I’ve never had the Noel before, though I have had their Tripel and Ambrio. Without further ado, let me tell you about this beer.
Gouden Carolus Noel pours out a deep, dark brown-red with little head. The bouquet is surpringly light and fruity, without a heavy dominant scent. The first taste shows it as complex, but not heavy. Raspberry, raisin, and malt flavors play strongest on the front and mid-palette. What is immediately impressive with the Noel is for a bottle conditioned beer that weighs in at 10% alcohol, there’s almost no boozey flavor. It isn’t a terribly deep flavor, but is about easy to drink as a dubbel with a third less alcohol content. The upside is that it really is complex, more so than the spicy food I had for dinner is allowing me to adequately express unfortunately.
I’m a fan of Belgian dubbels – it may be may favorite single variety of beer. This strong, dark, bottle conditioned beer is somewhat similar and really something I’ve enjoyed drinking. In fact, I’m hardpressed to think of a beer with double-digit ABV that I’ve enjoyed that comes in something smaller than 750 mL. It’s a seasonal, so I may try to track down some more before it’s gone for the year, because this is something I really liked. If you can track it down, I highly recommend it.