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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) - Brouwerij Het Anker

Not Rated.
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

865 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 865
Hads: 1,724
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 14.69%
Wants: 233
Gots: 300 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 865 | Hads: 1,724
Reviews by Neffbeer:
Photo of Neffbeer
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle marked 2011
poured into a tulip

A: It pours a deep amber color with burgundy hues. A soft pour yields a solid looking two finger off white head. It is a very firm cap with tight little bubbles that fade away really slowly coating the sides of the glass with lacing.

S: Caramel, brown sugar, and stone fruits emerge first from the glass. Some apples and spices are also present; clove, vanilla and cinnamon. There is a sweet biscuit/bready aroma in the background that leans towards dessert.

T: Up front it is very sweet with caramel, and a sugary sweetness coming through initially. That smoothly transitions into some figs, plums and raisins with a hint of apple. As it moves to the back of my palate the sweetness vanishes and it finishes rather dry with a slight metallic tang.

M: Medium to thick. There is a chewy feel going on that is really viscous, accentuated by the lush carbonation.

O: A very good example of the style. It is a bit young and bold right now, but with another year in the cellar I can see this one becoming something extraordinary.

 1,069 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark, reddish-brown in color with a gorgeous head. This one looks serious.

Smell - This is grand cru heaven. The malt base is covered in sweet toffee, caramel, and orange flavors that are big as Mt. Rainier. The brown sugar sweetness is almost palatable on the nose.

Taste - This is perfection. The deep, sweet flavors of brown sugar, orange, liquid toffee, and caramel meld together in an incredible blend. The slightly toasted malt flavors are there as well, but this is all about that sticky, sweet taste of sugary perfections that is the Belgian Grand Cru. There's also just a hint of alcohol notes to warn of the typically high 10.0 ABV.

The chewy nature of this flavor is complimented by hearty plums, some tobacco, thick, rich apricots, and maybe even some apples. This is sugar at its best.

Mouthfeel - The slight carbonation, in accordance with the style, is complimented by the amazing buttery smoothness of the sugary ingredients.

Drinkability - If you have a sweet tooth and love fine Belgian ales, this is the one for you. God forbid you should be a Grand Cru fan - you HAVE to try this ale.

Comments - The label reads, "Gouden Carolus," over the top and, "Carolus D'or," on the bottom. There's a blue banner with gold writing that looks to be labeled diagonally across the bottle, although it is clearly part of the manufactured label, that reads, "Grand Cru of the Emperor." This is indeed fit for royalty.

Update - I popped a vintage 2000 in 2004. The aroma is even deeper than when it was fresh, but the flavors were washed out a bit. The musty, dirty, cellared flavors though were a delight. Four years is probably too old for this guy; maybe two or three max. It has been my experience that Grand Crus are usually good fresh and almost always peak at a year or two in the cellar.

Update - I had a 2005 at the end of the 2005 year. I'm convinced that this brew should not be cellared.

Fresh this is absolutely incredible! It's really one of the best beers that I've ever had. It represents exactly to me what I think of when hearing the term "grand cru". It's thick yet super sweet. It is incredibly complex. It melts in your mouth. It makes you feel like a king.

Update - I had a 2010 in 2010 just to test my theory that Grand Crus are really just cellared BSDAs and I think I proved my point. This is smooth, well-aged, with even some musty characters, and is incredibly drinkable after just a few months in the bottle.

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.81/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Vintage 2013. I think (and hope) this one will improve with age. Not to say it was an awful beer. (It's mainly because I have 3 more and generally get a kick out of the fact that you can age a beer).

Semi-opaque, wine-dark brown. Nearly black. As I drink it and look down, brightens nearly to bronze or sienna. Foamy, medium-retention head. Film forming and quite lacy. Aromatically, it's boozy sweetness, light banana and other esters, spicy phenols, roasted malts. Together, very much like balsamic vinegar. Tastes a bit too estery for my normal drinking palate, but that's okay since this beer is meant to be sipped. Good opportunity to pair it with something that will make it seem less sweet. Other than that, it's pretty much all malt. Alcohol is mostly blended with esters and there is no hop-character or even spice to speak of. Plenty of carbonation, but gentle and smooth drinking. Thick, a little chewy. ABV and sweetness make for a wet finish, with a little bit of that warming/tingling sensation, and a slight burn going down. In the mouth, overall, it's like cola syrup with rum and tonic water.

Anyone catch the Homer (not Simpson) reference?

 1,159 characters

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A beer that dont come around often,pours a deep brown with some reddish tints with to be expected a hug rocky head.Aroma is of spiced cherries and alcohol,taste is spices and of dried fruit(cherries) and ginger-like and the alcohol really comes thru as it warms.It would be tough to finish a bottle of this brew but it is very appetizing to say the least.

 355 characters

Photo of don1481
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

1 pt 9.4 oz bottle poured into a glass.

Appearance: pours with a lingering head. Not obnoxiously so, was able to pour cleanly into the glass.

Smell: smells sugary with a little booziness. Some hints of cloves. Sweet smelling for sure.

Taste: first sip is... Different. A little less sweet and a little more boozy than what others have said. After waiting for a moment, another sip definitely gives that sweet, smooth delicious taste. So good. Wow.

Mouthfeel: very very smooth. Doesn't really linger.

Overall: wow. Just... Wow. Yes please more.

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Photo of braugon
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 bottle purchase in 2006, cellared 6 months at 55-60 degrees F.

Pours a bubbly dark chestnut, almost mahogany with purple-ruby highlights. Lace is thick, clingy, and with minute yeast particles floating in it.

Smells very yeasty with rum, raisons, fruit bread, toffee, and some licorice. Kind of boozy and quite candy like.

Tastes immediately warming and boozy with a real sweet, candied sugar sensation. Smooth and mellows as you drink it but manages to keep a zesty edge. Toffee, orange-chocolates, sugarcane rum, cloveish spice, and raisons swell into torrents of flavor.

Very drinkable. Strong and boozy yet easy to down. A 750 is gone in minutes.

 668 characters

Photo of beerhunter13
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of ricke
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. 2009 vintage.

The pour is dark reddish brown with a big off-white head that leaves nice lacings.

The smell is big an spot on. Lots of malty aromas of caramel, brown sugar and toffee. Pleasant heavy fruit aromas, yeast and alcohol.

The flavor is really sweet. From start to finish this one is all about sweetness - toasty malts, caramel, brown sugar, toffee. Notes of vinous fruits, wood, yeast and grass. The finish has some bitterness to it, more sweetness and notes of alcohol, hops and spices.

It has a full body and quite a lot of carbonation, which is welcome here since it lightens the heavy character, if only just a bit.

All in all, a complex, balanced and tasty beer. Due to the sweetness, it gets quite demanding after a while.

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Photo of t2grogan
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of atomeyes
4.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a bottle I brought from Amsterdam. 2007 vintage. cellared it and we decided to have it tonight.

Very little head upon pouring. it was a beautiful murky brown colour with a slurry-like consistency. you could see little pockets of carbonation in it. some yeasties floated to the top of our chalices.

I couldn't really discover a strong bouquet. Fig is present, but not punching me in the nose.

Flavour: I assume its the aging that did it. so tasty. it had a cognac aftertaste, or almost like Cherry Coke. That sweet with a weee bit of sour (not strong) was delicious. cannot taste any alcohol whatsoever. just told my wife that its an 11% alcohol beer and she adamantly said NO! The cherry coke comment could be felt in the aftertaste...that sour with some underlying cola bitterness. its a reasonably sweet beer with that dark molasses/fig flavour you expect from this type of dark beer.

Mouthfeel: very smooth.

Overall: i'd buy this and cellar it in a heartbeat. we had another bottle of this that we opened 2 years ago and we were relatively unimpressed. this cellared one, tho....yeah. me likies.

 1,108 characters

Photo of brownbeer
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage

A- poured red-brown with a small frothy head into a Chimay glass.

S- Rum cake, dried raisiny fruit, port- like grapiness and a doughy yeastiness. Rich and complex.

T- Powerful plum and raisin notes, caramel and apple, fruity yeast character and light carbonation with full body hits about mid-palate, swift alcohol. Similar to a Rochefort 10 but with bolder flavors IMO.

A really solid, loveable Belgian. A pleasure, too bad it's the last one of these at my local store.

 487 characters

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage Sampled January 2014

APPEARANCE- Deep bronze with ruby highlights, chill haze that gradually improves with warmth, and low, off-white head with very poor retention and little lace. No legs.

NOSE- big spicy red grape aroma hits first, pinot noir?,...notes of licorice and of course, big, deep, caramel maltiness, cherry skin and plum skin, dates, creamy character of vanilla and cinnamon probably attributable to oxidized alcohol, some acetlaldehyde and a hint of fusel, complex, intense, and deep aroma. Lovely.

FLAVOR- thick base of caramel, cream, and amber honey supports very subdued phenols, moderate-strong dark fruit esters including a notable blackberry, and a brighter raspberry character. More licorice character, a dusting of walnut, hints of dark rum, very faint hint of orange rind lurks far beneath the surface, pleasantly minty here and there... damn. Huge vanilla in the finish. Maybe a little diacetyl, but you really gotta hunt for it w all the other stuff going on... no noticeable hop bitterness, though I suspect some portion of the licorice/mint/blackberry thing must be hop-derived. I swear for split second I get a note of kiwi. I'd do desperate things to get crème brulee next to this beer, cuz I swear theres one in it, garnishes and all.

MF- The hallmark of all Het Anker's ales is unquestionably the rich, luxurious, velvety, creamy mouthfeel. This is full-bodied, naturally, but never heavy on the palate. I will fault this vintage for retaining a little heat over the years, and going lightly astringent...probably from oxidation. Medium and beautifully fine carbonation.

OVERALL- I have at this point had 3 or 4 bottles of Cuvee van de Kaizer, both blue and red. I am in the habit of consuming them between 3-5 years old. I have been both beautifully rewarded and horribly disappointed. I'm sure it all comes down to storage practices. If you are into cellaring beer, this is certainly one to try, and I'm sure a vertical project would be a very enjoyable experiment. I am always caught off-guard over and over by how Het Anker's huge, full-bodied beers float on the palate and offer up so many bright and spritely flavors.

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Photo of theParish
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of mplittman
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - It pours a purple brown opaque color with excellent lacing and a 2 finger head that hung around for a while.

S - Raisons, figs, brown sugar, green apples.

T - The taste follows the nose. This is a very sweet beer. Candied sugars seem to dominate, but yeasty breadiness couples with toffee nicely underneath. Flavors of dark fruits don't shine through as well on the taste as they did the nose.

M - Medium bodied, light burn from the alcohol in a good way.

O - A great belgian that I finally got around the try. Can't wait to try this with some age on it.

 563 characters

Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with Jaargang 2007 on the label. Poured into a tulip glass, it was a pretty garnet color with a small white head. It had a pleasant dark fruit, spicy aroma. So far, so good. Downhill from there. It had a sweet, root beer taste. Noticeable alcohol, intrusive and medicinal. I had to work hard to finish the bottle.

I just had the 2008 version. I think I bought it without remembering my previous review. Which was a good thin, because this was far better than last year. The aroma was dark fruit and licorice. Taste was anise, dark fruit, and a good malt presence. Much more fun to drink.

 602 characters

Photo of freshflesh
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of SD-Alefan
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage
Pours a deep brown with brick red highlights in the light. A dense and creamy tan head. Spotty lace all down the glass.
The aroma is toffee, fig, raisin and winey.
The taste? It's complicated and layered. Toffee, caramel, fig, raisin, plum, prune. It's vinous
and sweet with a bit of banana in the aftertaste. Just a hint of warming alcohol, which is a bit surprising, given its strength.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooth with very little carbonation.
Overall, a great after-dinner sipper. Need to put a few away for some extended cellaring...

 557 characters

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of dieBlume
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of shapudding
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark rootbeery with lots of carbination seen coming to the top where it rested at as a nice creamy, khaki milkshakey head that covered nicely made a thick ring at the edges. Scent of sherry and sasafrass, cola, slightly vineous-more merlot-like....
Intensely smooth... Sweet and honeylike. Bing cherries, red delicious apples. Medium carbination in the taste which is surprising since you can see so much rising in the tulip glass...
The sweetness is not cloying, just nice. Alcohol makes it's presence know, but is not overpowering and does not keep this from being decently drinkable. This is damn good stuff!

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Photo of StoutFox
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Callmecoon
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
95 out of 100 based on 865 ratings.