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

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,590 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,590
Reviews: 840
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 188
Gots: 243 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,590 | Reviews: 840 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Shaw:
Photo of Shaw
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very dark, only allowing light through around the edges. It doesn't have much of a head, just a thin ring of foam.

The smell: Wow! It's so complex. Rum mixed with raisins and grapes and sugar plus a whole lot more I can't identify.

The rum aromas carry over to the taste. This is a complex beer with lots of dried fruit notes mixed with malt sweetness and a nice warmth from the alcohol. Plus flavors of dark candy sugar.

The body is slick and substantial. It has chewy qualities but that's balanced by glassy alcohol qualities.

Overall this is an excellent beer. Especially considering its price. Highly recommended and well worth seeking out.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Photo of don1481
4.41/5  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.

Photo of RoyalT
4.97/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Photo of braugon
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
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.

Photo of beerhunter13
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of ricke
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

Photo of atomeyes
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%
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.

Photo of brownbeer
4.6/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of theParish
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of mplittman
5/5  rDev +16.3%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.43/5  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.

Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
3.5/5  rDev -18.6%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev -7%
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.

Photo of freshflesh
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of DaftPatrick
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of dieBlume
4.75/5  rDev +10.5%

Photo of shapudding
4.43/5  rDev +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!

Photo of Callmecoon
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of Doomcifer
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%

Photo of tjthresh
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby reddish-brown with a light brown head. Aromas of caramelized raisins, cherries, licorice, and alcohol. A lot of the same flavors with a touch of smoke and heavier on the cherry. Full body with lots of carbonaton. Semi sweet finish. This is pretty damn yummy.

Photo of BeerIsland
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I'm not a huge fan of the Belgians but this beer was enough to almost turn my head around. Had it on tap at Max's this week and I'm glad I did. It came out in a goblet without any head to speak of but had a deep, rich mahogany color that hinted of complex flavors yet to come. This is probably the best smelling beer I’ve ever had, lush and malty with toffee, plumy notes. It just wafted out of the glass. The taste was great, all kinds of malt, not sweet at all, jammy, pruney flavors and no real alcohol bite. It’s a sipper but why hurry? The mouth feel was extremely smooth and drinkability was right up there. Wow! I like these pleasant surprises. Truly a great beer and a once in a long while on tap availability.

Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 corked bottle. Cork explodes out. BE CAREFUL. This is a monster of a beer, not for the faint of heart. Currents, prunes and figs in the nose. sweet with very present alcohol. silky, oily mouthfeel. Tastes kind of bready. Lots of fruit. Makes you want to sip and try more to explore the complex flavors and layers of intrigue. would go well with hearty meats and dessert

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,590 ratings.