In the ancient town of Mechelen, cozily between Brussels and Antwerp — and between the long traditions of brewing and distilling, there’s the Hek Anker Brewery. It was founded in 1471, and renamed to Gouden Carolus in 1960, after the Holy Roman emperor Charley V, who was born in Mechelen. After half a millennium of existence, the brewery built a proper Whisky distillery, a perfect companion to beer-making. As you know, beer and Whisky are cousins, and Gouden Carolus distills the Spirit from the mash of Gouden Carolus Tripel beer. To show that they mean business, the founders also ordered a handmade copper pot still from coopers in Scotland, first of its kind in Belgium.
Gouden Carolus Belgian Single Malt Whisky is matured in first-fill Bourbon casks for three years and finished in custom-made "Hek Anker" oak casks. The Spirit is uniquely refined, and it has a full and balanced palate. It got a ton of awards since its release in 2013, including gold at the International Spirits Challenge in 2017. It’s perfect neat or with a splash of water, and as they say in Mechelen, it’s "lekker."
Apple smell with a mild apple flavor. Many flavors in the sip almost too many that are not distinct. Did not love.
It’s a shame that so many people rate this very low. This is an amazing whisky 🥃
A very unique whiskey which I enjoyed. Strong vanilla - on the nose and on the tongue. Not very complex but easy to drink and smooth
I got this in a tasting box and wasn't sure what to expect but I absolutely loved this. Very smooth, interesting chocolatey taste. Oddly I didn't really pick up on any vanilla. Good stuff...would buy.
Awful, just awful. I tried mixing it with coke and, nope, still awful
Very solid. I’m a fan
I loved this after the first couple sips. The more I drank it the more it tastes like chocolate. Kind of weird.
First taste hit is the sweet vanilla then the woody and chocolate flavors come forward as an aftertaste. Smooth with nearly no burn. Didn’t love the woody chocolate aftertaste. Adding water obscures the sweet vanilla flavors and bring the woody chocolate front and center.
Soft in the mouth, hot at swallow with some sort of musty flavor, nondescript down the throat. Strange but not totally awful.
Lots of flavors very pleasant.
Nice and sweet whiskey
Tastes like I got done chewing on a bitter rotten piece of wood. Not a fan at all.
I would politely drink this if offered at someone's home but it's not my jam. I get burnt orange and leather mitt finish.
Smooth. Strong character. Vanilla and citrus Flavors really come out in this whiskey.
Delicious with a smooth finish
Tons of vanilla and a hint of orange. Comes on sweet but then sneaks up behind you with a potent alcohol burn.
A little sweet at the start mildly smooth finish
Hints of orange, a bit of a burn. A fine whiskey but nothing special to me.
Good initial smell but at first taste it took me back to my swisher sweet smoking days. Once you get past the smoker tobacco sensation it does bring out orange and chocolate leaving you with a thick mouthfeel. Just not my taste preference but someone who smokes would find it a familiar comfort with rich flavor
Just pleasant, ...
Fruity, muscato, feminine whiskey.
Tasted like flat beer someone added pure grain spirits to in an attempt to make it "whiskey". Only had a sample and gave me flat beer burps for hours.
Better than I was expecting. Added a bottle to home bar.
Nose: Cooked mash and grainy. Some vanilla and stone fruits as well. A sweetness that is usually found in heavier malted spirits.
Palate: More vanilla and an oakiness hits first but a citrus hoppiness quickly dominates the palate.
Finish: It has the chocolate covered orange peel taste. Sweet with a citrus bitterness that tends to linger long but improves as it does so.
Smooth, good scent and flavor. A solid single malt.
Hints of Apple and peach. Not my style
Orange finish. Great bottle.
Hits the roof of your mouth, and bitter with a little orange finish
I really enjoyed this Belgian Single Malt, big vanilla and fruit throughout, hints of wood on the finish, super unique.
I think this is woodier than advertised. Not a lot of vanilla. Bittersweet for sure. Bit of orange peel. Almost savory.
Rich with Apple/peach/and even some maple syrup type flavor. More comparable to a bourbon than a scotch in sweetness
Don’t know why but tastes like fall in the best way possible
It’s all right...
Solid choice. Very smooth.
Not my usual style but I really enjoyed it
Great pour! Big biscuit nose with a bit of oak/wood. The initial palate is a little small and simple vanilla, but opens up really excitingly to a big chocolate flavor. Probably the biggest chocolate note I’ve gotten in a spirit. From Belgium, make sense, ha! Really love that finish, some nice wood and i do get the orange too.
When I did the taste test the first sip was strong and I didn’t think I liked it. But when I poured half of the tester into a glass with cooling rocks and drank it neat it was very good. I found that the apple flavor was definitely there along with the peach, bitter sweet and Woody flavors. I did not taste the vanilla very well. Overall this is a good single malt whiskey. A little pricey but definitely on my list.
I don't care for this one, but it's probably not the whiskey's fault -- I'm not very experienced with Scotch whiskeys, but I think this might resemble one. Maybe it's the woody character.
Great aroma! Smooth.
Very good. Strong. Caramel
Fruit forward. Notes of chocolate. Very drinkable.
A little too fruity for me.
Quite enjoyed the sample; longlisting it for a buy. Found it very chewy and toasted-biscuity; IDK if that was suggestion because the Welsh sample in the pack claimed to have that note, but I didn't get it there as much. Anyway it makes sense that this one would be bready since it's from Belgian beer malts. Kind of like whisky comfort food; I'm into it.
Fruity and sweet with earth tones.
I tried this in a tasting pack, and ended up buying a bottle. I think this whiskey drinks inconsistently. Sometimes, it's delicious and warm vanilla, with varied fruits, but sometimes it's straight bitter. When it's right, it's a delight, but after the first few pours, I've had a variety of experiences in one bottle.
Yellow gold with moderate legs and rim. Nose is yeasty sweetness, a bit tight but can smell some bitterness of dutch cocoa powder. Palate very grain forward - toasty cereal. Pure beer flavor on the finish. Mouthfeel is oily and full-bodied. Unique to be sure, so worth a try. If you like ales you'll probably love this, too.
Strong sting up front , bitter after taste , aromatic but gives a false impression on the taste... not a big fan .
Nice flavor with a smooth aftertaste. Loved it.
Smooth and fruity. Interesting taste but I am glad it was a sample and not a full bottle.
Nice nose. Middle notes were spicy and fruity with long lasting mild burn. Smooth finish. Couple drops of water mellowed the middle burn. Nice overall.
Somehow I got a very spicy taste, which I wasnt a fan of.
Smells like apples, taste like sweet fruit and peaches. I love it!
After taste is bitter.
Not much to it early on and has a harsh bitter after taste that lingers. It's very okay
Not my jam. Aftertaste leaves a woody taste. Smooth but I’d pass this one up.
Definitely taste the Belgian influence. Smooth and rich whiskey.
Too woody for my tastes. Smooth finish though
This one is very strange and surprising. The nose and palate are quite pleasant and fruity. The finish is extremely surprising with a strong hint of marijuana (!). Several of my friends who tasted it had the exact same impression.
Unique, something funky herbal going on, kinda like it for its novelty
Best on of the sample pack I picked up. Got the bottle for a buddy's birthday and even his coworkers and family made comments thanking me for it. Smooth and a little sweet. Great packaging as well to make that great first impression.
It's a drink on the sweater side. It does have a citrus finish. I was able to taste some of the fruits in it. I would say it's a average drink on a daily. Not for special occasions.
Wow. And not in a good way. Good to the nose but not the pallet. Bitey with a harsh finish.
I like it, maybe not love it, but I like it. The start and middle are quite food, little bit fruity, and generally enjoyable. The end is...a little rough. The aftertaste is very pleasant though.
Fruity and the most complex of the a taste of three whiskies tasters
Fruit flavors of apple and peach come through. Great smelling, pleasantly smooth and enjoyable.
Nice smell... harsh finish
Sweet nose, sweet start but gets tart soon. A little think but overall a very good flavor with complexity and just a hint of smoke. Will probably get this again
It is a very good, complex, Single Malt Whisky that has a fresh & aromatic birth; while a full & elegant life leads to a quick & bittersweet death with notes of chocolate, orange zest.
Woah can taste all the fruit, just very good and smooth. Love this!!!
Up, it's a light fruit nose and sharp lime on the palate with a long dessert wine-like finish. On the rocks, the nose is more complex and the palate more flashy, but less distinct.
Apricots , complex
Tastes like a blend of beer and whisky - a little heavier on the whisky. Interesting but I don’t need any more of it.
Finish is reminiscent of a Belgian beer
Color is a light gold color. Nose is rich with malt and vanilla. Deeper notes of oak and subtle fruit are also present. First sip is complex, with notes of vanilla, malt, brief flashes of bright fruit, and mild oak. Further sips have mild chocolate notes. Finish is a short burst of baking spice. Overall this a solid entry by a newer player. I look forward to future longer aged varieties of this offering.
I like this one. Fruits are very prominent I sort of miss the vanilla. Jumps from Apple to woody then trails off with orange and chocolate.
Decent, but lacks a definitive punch of flavor that makes it distinct.
Very fruity, a little planty.
Very reminiscent of a Belgian beer...delicious!
Sweet vanilla with apple and orange. Also get a nice oak taste.
Interesting dram. Great aroma of vanilla. Taste is citrus and vanilla,but the citrus is interesting, almost like orange and lime
Light apple on the nose. Much more apple on the taste, along with citrus playing through. The vanilla is overpowered by the apple and citrus, but this isn't a negative. There is orange peel lingering on the tongue with the aftertaste. This whisky is certainly sweet, but since it is entirely fruit based rather than caramel, honey, or chocolate like other whiskies it comes through as a pleasant novelty. Overall, this is an extremely unique whisky that is a lot of fun to drink!
Right down the middle..smooth, smells and tastes of vanilla. Boring
Aroma of citrus and apples but taste was less complex.
Delightfully smooth with notes of citrusy fruity vanilla. Would definitely buy again.
Interesting, but a little too sour with all the citrus.
Smooth and flavorful.
A bit too floral for what I like.
It’s ok. It’s just ok. Buy something else for the money, for pick this up if you ever find it for $40 bucks, but don’t drop $100 for it ever