Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) - Brouwerij Het Anker
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Ratings: 1,365 | Reviews: 819 | Show All Ratings:
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4.26/5 rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
750 mL corked bottle picked up at the LCBO; 'best before' June 19 2023 (very precise for a date that won't come for nearly a decade). I picked this bottle up a few months ago intending to hold onto it for a year or two, but I later decided it'd be a good way to celebrate my 600th review. This is the 2013 version, served at cellar temperature.
This strong ale pours a lovely garnet-brown colour, topped with just over one finger of silky-smooth, light beige-coloured head. A virtual army of tiny bubbles constantly rushes to the surface, to reinforce the extraordinarily long-lasted froth floating there. Great retention, lots of lace, and a very enticing aroma that features raisins, sherry, toffee sweetness and dates, in addition to yeast and some ethanol. Quite sweet and fragrant; very fruity.
Very full-flavoured, and certainly leaning toward the saccharine side. Brown sugar, toffee and candi sugar are easily detectable, followed by some sweet orchard fruit flavours including sultanas, dates and plums. The sherry vibes are still noticeable, but not as prominent as on the nose. It finishes with a bit of a rum-raisin flavour, as well as a touch of spicy clove and anise. Sweet, warm aftertaste; the first sip was positively hot but my palate eventually adjusted to the high alcohol content. Full-bodied and silky-smooth on the tongue, with moderate carbonation; perhaps a little less spritzy than I prefer from this style. A delicious sipper that will warm your bones on a cold evening.
Final Grade: 4.26, a fabulous A-. Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw is a world-class beer, but it's definitely not for everyone. The flavours are quite bold and the sweetness can border on cloying at times, with the high alcohol content being immediately noticeable. That being said - none of those are necessarily deal-breakers in this style, and it's probably my fault for cracking open such a young bottle anyway. This is a very solid Belgian strong dark ale that is worth seeking out for cellaring purposes. I know I'll be on the lookout for it, especially if the price remains so staggeringly low - $7.80 for a high-quality 11% Belgian beer is a virtual steal!
Serving type: bottle
04-02-2014 04:32:46 | More by thehyperduck
4.5/5 rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Dirty brown/bronze in color, small one finger head for a short time, thin sticky lace for the rest of the drink.
Red grapes/wine is easy to get right after pouring it. Giving it a closer smell, banana, lots of brown sugar, raisin, fig, faint chocolate, Belgian-type spices.
The smell prepared me for a sweet brew, and the first sip delivered. Dark fruit and caramel meld from start to finish: dry figs, dates, raisins, forest berry jam, juicy plums paired with brown sugar caramel and Belgian candi sugar. A mild toasted malt throughout. Lots of spices, from clove, faint licorice, cinnamon and pepper to vanilla (nice oaky notes from time to time). Warmth of the alcohol gets felt soon enough, reminding of mulled wine and dark rum. Some bittering hops in the finish to counter the sweetness of it all.
Very smooth body, lwo carbonation, silky. A bit too sweet later on, clinging in the aftertaste more than i'd like. Helps cover up the booze tho, so that's ok.
A great tasty BSDA, nicely in control of its abv. Pretty sure a wine barrel aged version of this would be incredible, until then, just very good.
Serving type: bottle
03-31-2014 15:50:30 | More by dcmchew
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,365 ratings.