Review: Gouden Carolus Single Malt

The Gouden Carolus Whisky Infused is a beer that has been one of my favourites for a very long time. It’s made from their Imperial Dark beer, which they infuse with their own Gouden Carolus Single Malt. In turn that same single malt is distilled from the mash of their Tripel beer. How is that for some whisky/beer inception?!

Now, I will admit that I am a little biased when it comes to this distillery. I’m part Belgian myself and my family originates from Willebroek – the home of the Molenberg Distillery – where they make the Gouden Carolus Single Malt. Whenever I enjoy a dram of this whisky it’s like a little mindtrip to the place my father was born (and where most of my family still resides). Objectively though, I do think it’s worth a bit of your time as well. So, lets continue to the tasting notes where I will tell you why.

Tasting Notes: Gouden Carolus Single Malt

Stats:

ABV: 46 % (92 proof)

Age: NAS

Distillery: De Molenberg

Owned by: Het Anker

Category: Belgian Single Malt Whisky

Awards: International Spirits Challenge Gold (2017), San Francisco World Spirits Competition Silver (2017, 2019), IWSC Silver Outstanding (2017), The Spirits Business Gold (2015, 2016), The Spirits Business Master (2017), WWA Best Belgian Single Malt (2018)
Chill-Filtered: No

Natural Colour: Yes

Setting:

I started the day nice and easy by taking my better half out for a lovely breakfast. After which I had to get back to work. It’s been a rough couple of days, with my dad progressing for the worse with his struggle with Parkinson’s. So, after work today I felt like enjoying a nice dram of this lovely single malt. Perhaps not the best of mindsets, but I definitely did set out to enjoy this thoroughly and it’s a good thing to put my focus on something else for a while.

Nose:

There’s a very light and sweet nose on this dram, with plenty of floral influences. I’m getting notes of grass and daisies, backed up with hints of caramel syrup sweetness. If you’re familiar with their Tripel beer, you’ll find it there as well. Which leaves me wandering in between thoughts. One puts me on the soccer field near my childhood home – which was always overgrown with daisies – while I’m laying down in the grass, catching a breath after kicking the ball for hours on end. The other puts me in the café of the hotel where we used to stay with the whole family during summers, where I learned how to enjoy a good strong beer.

Palate:

On the tip of the tongue, it’s all vanilla. That starts turning into oak bitterness and loafs of fresh baked bread as I spread it across my mouth. There’s some apple in here as well and a slight peppery note that I can’t quite put my finger on. But as soon as you go in for the swallow, and that lovely golden liquid hits the back of your tongue? It turns into Tripel beer galore. For a second there it felt like I was drinking beer instead of whisky, even despite its proof! The flavours are all very much on the surface though, and I find myself wishing for a little more depth. There are not really any flavours evolving while sipping the dram.

Finish:

On the finish a little bit of liquorice starts popping up its head. But the beer notes are still there as well. Between the two of them it’s like a game of hide and seek, where as soon as you find the one note the other one disappears again. And this goes back and forth for quite a while. It’s not a long finish by any means, but I’d put it a little bit above a medium length finish still. Definitely not complex here either, as it really is just the two notes playing their game on the back of your tongue. The back and forth is entertaining in its own way though.

Verdict:

As I stated before, I have a special bond with this whisky. But I will still try to be as objective as possible. To that end I will admit that this is not a very spectacular dram. It does its own thing pretty well, but never really surprises like the better drams can. I bought it on discount for about 40 euro, and for that money there’s a lot of better-quality whiskies out there. The whisky infused beer is truly outstanding and a must try though!

Now, you might find yourself wondering why then I would have stated this was a dram worth your time earlier on… That’s because if you like Tripel beers, drinking this whisky is a very fun experience. This dram holds more beer influence than I’ve ever experienced in a whisky before. And though it might not be very complex, or score a very high score on my chart, I do find it a mighty interesting dram. In conclusion, I’d recommend any beer lover to try the Gouden Carolus Whisky Infused. But I would only recommend the Single Malt to whisky lovers who have a hankering for Tripel beers as well.

Verdict:

80/100

Value:

C

Click here to learn more about how I come up with my tasting notes and how I determine rating and value.

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