Whisky Advocate

Gouden Carolus Single Malt Whisky

February 18th, 2009

For those of you who don’t know, I wrote about beer long before I started writing about whisky. In fact, Malt Advocate was originally On Tap, a beer publication (but that was a long time ago). I still drink more beer than whisky and I still review beers for All About Beer magazine.

So it was with great interest that I received a note today from Ali Bosmans of the Het Anker brewery in Belgium. I love Belgian beers. In fact, the two beers on tap at my house right now are Chimay Tripel and Dupont’s Avec Les Bons Voeux. (This is probably more than you need to know about me and my love of Belgian ales. Sorry for the digression.)

I’ve been to Belgium a few times, touring breweries. I toured the Het Anker Brewery in 1994. This is where the delicious Gouden Carolus beer is made. It turns out that they are now making single malt whisky. The first series of releases were made at a different distillery (that makes Genever), but they are installing pot stills at the brewery and will be making their own whisky at the brewery. Here’s the info from Ali:

I know, you know a lot of beer…So I think you certainly know the Gouden Carolus and Cuvee van de Keizer etc…  from our brewery “Het Anker” in Belgium. All high quality beers! In 2003 we decided to do a test… we distilled the Gouden Carolus Tripel mash and let it sleep in first fill Jim Beam casks.

Last year we bottled the first edition. At the end of 2008 we decided to release a limited edition “Connoisseur’s Pack”.

The whisky is so successful that we decided to build our own pot still distillery. (The first whisky we made is distilled by Filliers in column stills.)  Our new distillery will have pot stills: a  5000l wash still and a 3200l spirit still producing 538 L spirit/day.We will be the first in Belgium to do so. The first middle cut will take place at 31 December 2009 at midnight!

I know that we export a lot of beer to the States, and we also have a good reputation. So, I think that in 3 years time we will also export the Gouden Carolus Single Malt.” And maybe one day (it is a dream) I will come to the WhiskyFest Chicago or San Francisco to present this NEW Belgian product!

We would love to have you join us at WhiskyFest, Ali, pouring your new whisky. It’s something we can look forward to.

7 Responses to “Gouden Carolus Single Malt Whisky”

  1. Lucas says:

    How good is that:D There actually are people out there who have courage to do things.

    In the past in Scotland many distilleries were bound to breweries or converted from them. It is super interesting to see that happening in Het Anker.

  2. Ali Bosmans says:

    Lucas, thank you for the flattering words!
    We will keep you all informed about the progress of the distillery!
    Ali Bosmans
    Global Brand Manager – Brouwerij Het Anker

  3. Mike Dereszynski says:

    Hi John and Hi Ali,
    Its “Fat Tuesday” and I’m looking forward to celebrating. And as for celebration its a day of mutiplicity. My favorite tavern owner and friend Bill Rogers is celebrating his birthday by tapping one of your wonderful offerings Cuvee van de Keizer.As you well know a beer made in honor of Emperor Charles V of the H.R.E.,or as some call him Charlie Quint.A beer brewed only on this day. I will celebrate Billy,Charley, Ali and Mardi Gras while savoring this wonderful concoction.
    A question or two for you Ali.
    You mentioned the first batch of Gouden Carolus Whisky as the “Connoisseur’s Pack”.Do you know who sold it in Europe and if any sources might still have it.I’d love to locate some for Billy and his Malt House. Also a suggestion for your casks of the 2nd release,since Emperor Charles V was also King of Spain,any chance of using some Pedro Ximinez Sherry Casks? After all Pedro seved in Charles V navy !!
    In any case I will salute you tonight.I also think you have the best 2009 New Years Eve Party location,I want to be there to welcome in the New Spirit !

  4. Ali Bosmans says:


    Since we have almost no stock (at the moment)we don’t sell the whisky abroad. This of course will change in the future!
    The casks we use at the moment are first fill Jim Beam. We will use the sherry or portocasks (maybe)to finish the whisky. But to be honest, I like our whisky just like it is. A honest product, no chill filtering, no caramel!
    Regards to Bill! I think he was here in Belgium last year…
    Ali Bosmans
    Global Brand Manager – Brouwerij Het Anker

  5. Ted says:

    I have had the privilege of tasting this whisky at the brewery, and it is mighty good. The sooner it arrives in my favorite bar the better. Of course, my liver may disagree….

  6. Ali Bosmans says:

    I remember Ted standing with in his one hand the whisky and in his other hand the Golden Carolus Tripel! And this was the day after the beerfest in Brussels! RESPECT MAN!

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