When I worked in Holland, I couldn't really figure out when "het" was to be applied as it seemed to be that it never was used as often as "the" would be - but going from the crest that's on the brewery's website, I bet this translates as "The Anchor Brewery". The translation difficulties may be reciprocal if this passage on the brewery's website about its recent success in the export trade is anything to go by:
In spite of that small-scaliness , a large part of the beer has been nevertheless intended for the foreign country. The foreign consuming market is rather large. For example Japan, Mexico, United States, Denmark, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Scandinavia, Australia: they all belong to the export countries of the brewery. And the beer is really tasted in more than 25 countries. Proofs of it are the international prices which Gouden Carolus, named after the golden currencies of Charles the Fifth, has pinched.Sure priggishness is entirely unwarranted when one remembers the work of the brewery is in their beer and not their PR - kind of a relief in these days of over branding when you think about it.
These two brews came to me through the good graces of Roland + Russell, Canadian importers. Last week, I noticed the were on the shelf at Finger Lake Beverages in Ithaca as well. [Ed.: There in the back...no, more to the left. There you are.] I had the tripel a few weeks ago and was quite surprised with a little nod to apricot coaxed out of the pale malt.
- Gouden Carolus Classic is an 8.5% Belgian strong dark ale, a style that I reviewed a little over three years ago now. This one pours a translucent mahogany under a fine rocky tan head fresh bread, prune and demerara sugar on the schnoz. In the mouth, it's the Maritime/Boston brown bread and great water softness are the things that first strike me. A bit of date in there, too, along with a good level of heat. A slight peppery tickle in the finish. Plenty of BAer love.
- Gouden Carolus Ambrio is a little lighter at 8%. The brewer explains the style:
In the past, every town in Belgium had its own beer typical of the area. Ambrio has its roots in the traditional beer of Mechelen known as "Mechelschen Bruynen" or "Mechelen Brown". Our Brewery is the only one still brewing this type of beer. The recipe has its origin in the 14th century.So, needless to say, it's the best example of this sort of beer available. The head explodes to fill the straight sided 4 decilitre Kolsche glass...because I was studying what the average guy in Koln would think about a Mechelen brew, see? Now I know that the rocky light cream head will stand an inch and a half above the rim. The yeast clouded deep smoked amber ale is quite active with carbonation. On the nose, it smells like a tripel crossed with a Christmas fruitcake. Very pleasant. In the mouth, this one is a little less rich with a bit more drying hop, accentuated by bubble prickling. Still, there is plenty of dark malt providing an array of dried fruit notes within that drier setting...and again, that bit of a peppered finish. As expected, strong BAer support.