838: Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor

838 - Gouden Carolus HopsinjoorName: Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor
Brewery: Brouwerij Het Anker
Country of Origin: Belgium
City & State: Mechelen, Belgium
Style: Belgian IPA
Alcohol Content (ABV): 8%
First Brewed: 2008
Price: $4.29

Tasting Notes
Pours a hazy yellow straw color and is topped with a big rocky head. Nose is spicy, yeasty, and herbal, with a noble hop presence. Taste is fruity and spicy, with some sweet malt, and a fine hop bitterness that works well with the other flavors.

Ricky’s Thoughts

Everything I have had from this brewing company is amazing. William, the beer manager at Total Wine & More in Scottsdale is obsessed with Belgian beers. He prefers the Belgian dark strong ales, but this one is an IPA. This is a newer brew, as well. By the way, their Easter beer is AMAZING! Oh, and their Christmas might be even better than that.

The last few Belgian pale and India pale ales I have had did not impress me. The hop profile is usually much lower, and being a hop head I love a hoppy bitter beer. So I am going in expecting the hop profile to be much lower than what I have come to expect from the expected American styles. The price, however, makes me think this is a really good offering. Makes me want to go back to Belgium! Let’s drink.

In the Glass: I could smell this as I was pouring, but it didn’t smell like hops. Not the kind of hoppy aroma I expected, anyway. Maybe I need to lower my expectations when we drink a Belgian IPA. In the glass it is LOADED with bubbles and has a ridiculous head. This is a fresh bottle, too. Grabbed this theater night at Total Wine & More. It has a nice golden straw color, and is somewhat cloudy when I try to look through it. I wonder if the aroma is more pronounced in the glass.

Nose: Imagine taking an orange and a lemon, smashing them together, and fermenting their juices. That is what this smells like. Yeah, it has some hop aromas in there… but mostly I am getting citrus. It is also ice cold, but for an IPA like this, I would prefer to drink them a little bit colder.

Flavor: There aren’t as many bubbles as I expected on the tongue, and the flavor is very similar to the aroma. That is rare for most beers. I am a big fan of the flavor, and while it is not all that hoppy, this is a beer that I could easily drink six of and not even know it. You never taste the 8% ABV, either. This is a very nice flavor for a beer trying to compere with the American styles.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is actually quite nice. It’s not thick, but it has a nice pillowy thing going on. As you swallow some of the bubbles really start to come forward, but you never feel like this is a carbonated beer. Not what I expected from the initial pour. Oh, and let me mention this… the glass still has a thin layer of lace all around it. No matter where I look, the suds are hanging on. That is a good sign.

Aftertaste: The aftertaste is where the hops really come forward. It’s not all that bitter, but what bitterness is there hang on and gets more pronounced as you swallow. I actually like the aftertaste so much, I don’t want to take another drink! But I will, because the flavor here is good. When we were in Belgium, I had a couple of beers from Het Anker. Our next trip will be during Belgian Beer Weekend, and we will just chug beers like this. We have an extra week of vacation this year… maybe we will go to Belgium!

Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor – The bottle says: “The brewery “Het Anker”, renown for its beers such as Gouden Carolus Classic, Carolus Tripel, and Carolus Ambrio, completes its range with Carolus Hopsinjoor. The Hopsinjoor is an intensely hopped, unfiltered, pale ale. Refermented in the bottle. The name Hopsinjoor has a dual meaning. First it refers to the unique combination of food kinds of hops: Goudling Spalt, Hallertau and Saaz. Second, the name is derived from the Opsinjoorke, a puppet from Mechelen dating from 1775.”

Rating: 5/5

Sheryl’s Thoughts

I thought that today I would make things a little bit different with my review.  Normally, I don’t bother trying to find out what beer we are drinking before we do it.  Sometimes I happen to know, other times I have no idea.  So today I thought I would look it up and see.  Looks like this is the Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor, a Belgian IPA.  I like Belgian, and some IPAs are ok, but I’m not nearly as big of a hophead as Ricky is.  So we’ll see how this is.  I’m pretty sure I’ve had a Gouden Carolus beer before, but I don’t know that it was this one.  So let’s see how it is.

The beer had a lot of head when Ricky poured it out – it almost overflowed the glass.  It’s that thick marshmallow type of foam.  The beer looks really thick, almost like orange juice.  It’s not quite the same color, a bit lighter than orange juice, but it looks almost as thick.  It’s got a lot of little bubbles, too.  It smells spicy and citrusy, definitely a distinct flavor.  Time to find out how it’s going to taste!

It tastes pretty much exactly as it smells, very citrusy and spicy.  It also does have some carbonation in it, as evidenced by the bubbles.  It doesn’t really taste all that hoppy to me, not like an IPA, but I do get a sort of Belgian feel to it.  It’s nothing that I would write home about, though.  Not bad, but not something likely to hit my radar again.  But if you like citrus, this is one to try… maybe something expand your horizons from wheat beers.  Give it a shot!

Rating: 3/5

837 bottles of beer on the wall…

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