From time to time, I will put a particular beer in the spotlights and give you guys some additional background information on it. I’ll start with Carolus Classic from brewery Het Anker in Mechelen, because it has just been elected as one of the seven best beers in the world on the World Beer Awards 2012 in London.
An international jury had to make a selection from some 600 beers, divided in seven categories. Gouden Carolus Classic came out as winner in the category ‘World's Best Dark Beer’. The judges described the beer as: ‘Full, rich nose of molasses, toffee and pear drops. Powerful yet smooth. Strong toffee flavour and raisins on the palate. Rich, spicy and sweet. Lovely warming alcohol and chocolatey notes. Plenty of body with rich fruit flavours and a long warming finish.’
Gouden Carolus Tripel, from the same brewery, received a nice prize as well. It won the subcategorie ‘World's Best Belgian Style Tripel’. The judges were convinced by the complex aromas of the golden beer.
The brewery where Golden Carolus is brewed exists since the Middle Ages (1471). Emperor Charles of Spain, who grew up in Mechelen, even had his favorite beer delivered to him in Spain. In order to honor him, the beer was given the name Gouden Carolus (Golden Carolus) after the golden coins that were used during his reign. Even today, both Gouden Carolus Classic and Gouden Carolus Tripel are still brewed in the antique brewing hall with its copper kettles.
Of course, the two Golden Carolus beers were not the only Belgian beers to win a prize at the World Beer Awards, Mort Subite Oude Gueuze was also elected best in the world in the category ‘World best Sour Beer’ and amongst others Mort Subite Kriek, Brugse Zot, Petrus Aged Ale and Rodenbach Vintage 2009 won in their respective subcategories. But that is something for another time …