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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858 Reviews
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Reviews: 858
Hads: 1,686
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 7.24%
Wants: 223
Gots: 278 | 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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 858 | Hads: 1,686
Photo of Chambic
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

02.02.10 at City Beer, courtesy of Frank

A: beautiful dark brown, with a ruby tint

S: like booze, fruit, and sugar

T: ripe, dark fruit, caramel, and jammy; sometimes it almost tastes like liquid Reese's Pieces

M: nice and rich, really malty

D: love this beer, though I've never had the whole thing myself

Love the beer, love the bottle -- GC can do no wrong. (364 characters)

Photo of bilyboy65
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a 1pt p.4 oz bottle from the 2006 vintage into a pint glass.

A: Dark brown and hazy. Tan head that was very bubbly and clingy. Head stuck to glass almost the entire life of glass.

S: Very sweet scents with a heavy carmel, brown sugar, honey and pears mixture.

T: Phenomenal with its fruits up front in the caramel coated pear flavor gave way to honey coated apples and finally finished very sweet with a brown sugar taste.

M: Med bodied, low carbonation. Left a decent film behind to enjoy the beers flavor longer.

D: Very sweet beer. Probably couldn't drink a couple bottles of this, but would make an excellent desert beer. (639 characters)

Photo of halfP1NT
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown with ruby highlights, creamy off white head that left some foamy lacing. Subsides and leaves a foamy cap.

The first smell to hit my nose was light fruits; apple, apricot, pear. Upon further inhalation and warming of the beer, darker fruits came across; raisin, plum, lots of alcohol.

Taste is very complex and delicious! Dark fruits dominate; cherry, raisin, plum, dried apricot. Alcohol is very evident but works well in this beer. Reminds me of a very strong dubbel. Leaves a sugary sweet taste in my mouth, but not at all cloying. All the flavors work really well together in this beer.

Mouthfeel is almost creamy, really nice amount of carbonation. Not syrupy like some Strong Belgian Ales can be. Although it took me almost 2 hours to finish a pint, it was very enjoyable from start to finish. This beer was so delicious, I will absolutely pick it up again. (879 characters)

Photo of bosco1
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml jaargang 2008

Look: dark brown with red hues / frothy head with excellent lace (especially for the ABV 11%)thet sticks to glass with every sip.

nose: The nose excites with bready, molasses, brown sugar, raisins, and bannana.

taste: raisins, molasses, peppery spice, bannana bread with sugar on top.

mouth: stickey, sweet then dry ,peppery,
perfect carbonation tickles the tongue.

drinkability: very drinkable beer, especially on a cold winters day. Perfect call in sick and drink all day beer in the winter. (524 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. 2006 edition.

Earthy, dark pigskin brown body. Yeasty haze. Thick, rocky dirty light khaki-beige head. Good lacing. Big, intense, complex nose on this one! Rich, sweet, stewed fruits (pear, fruit cocktail, Concord grapes) mix with raisins, rum, doughy caramel roll, and even some tangy vinous notes. Exceptional

Lightly toasted malts are a quick prelude to sweet, doughy caramel and toffee malts. Sugary, yet not cloying. Very caramelly. Deep fruit notes mix in. Rummy pears, cooked apples (think apple pie), and a fruit punch/tropical milieu. Figs and dates near the finish, with hints of vanilla and sweet cherry. Wow. Yeasty, sweetish finish with a mild earthy bitterness--very mild. Amazing complexity and off the scales delicious. Full-bodied and almost chewy with a smooth feel. Fantastic! (812 characters)

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful reddish-brown appearance with a perfect head. Fabulous Brussel's Lace forms as I contemplatively sip on one of my favorite beers in the world.

A wonderful fresh made caramel smell wafts from the glass. Notes of raisin and plum combined with dark chocolate to counter the slightly boozy nose.

Taste is otherworldly. The caramel smell is delivered in the taste as is sultana raisins, creme-brulle, crushed grapes and slight notes of port.

Mouthfeel is tremendous. A well-balanced weight that is perfect for this big, bold brew.

This is the perfect night cap beer. Sweet with a perfectly balanced vinous quality. Alcohol is definitely present but adds to the complexity.

The Emperor can reign over me anytime. A perfect substitute for a late bottled vintage port. (778 characters)

Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the 2011 bottle aged for nearly 4 years

This one pours a very dark brown with a reddish tinge to it and has a very delicate long lived head that leaves good lacing down the glass. The appearance of this beer for this style is spot on perfect.

The smell is quite fruity and spicy with notes of bread, caramel, coriander, grass, plums and a tinge of hops.

The taste is sublime and delicate. The beer is rich and lasting in flavors that coats the palate in bliss and finishes clean.

Overall it is a near perfect beer, the alcohol was a bit pronounced, beyond that it is as close to perfect as you can get without being totally perfect.

The recommendation on this one it to age it for at least 4 years, we had a special occasion and had it 6 months early. (764 characters)

Photo of Kraken
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed 2/1/09 during the Superbowl.

Label had a best by date of 12/4/16. The neck of the bottle stated "Jaargang 2006" Thanks Dad for the nice gift.

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a 20oz pint glass. Cork was stubbornly removed from the bottle with a considerable amount of effort. Form pour evokes a 1/4 inch of very fine Guiness-esque white/tan head. Head shows resilience and diminishes reluctantly leaving a great lace. Color is a deep mahogany.

Nose- Deep caramel, earthy figs, raisins, dates, and alcohol.

Taste- Wow, this is truly complex. Silky smooth caramel. preserved figs, and dates. Light nuttiness. Sweet with notes of vanilla and grape. Booze is totally masked. Freaking delicious.

mouthfeel- Dry and velvety.

Drinkablility- This is a rare treat. Seek out if you are at all into quads. (827 characters)

Photo of Shovelbum
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger off-white head that has the creamy appearance of frothed milk. The body is a dark garnet color that is almost impervious to light except at the edges. The head slowly recedes leaving ever-so-delicate bands of lace down the glass. Aromas of sweet vinous fruit mingle with earthy aromas. A bit of alcohol peeks through in the aroma as well. The flavor is, well, awesome. A light smooth creamy mouthfeel belies the underlying complexities of flavor. A decent amount of Beligian candi sweetness combines with dark berries, plums, cherries, earth, mild caramel, a touch of oak and a very subtle hop bitterness balancing things out in the background. Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel.

Happy birthday to Charles the Fifth (I’m four days early) and praise be to the Anker brewery of Mechelen! This bunch knows what they are doing. Too bad this masterpiece is only brewed once a year. Trying to pick apart the complexity of this ale nearly overloaded my neural circuitry, yet it is so smooth and well balanced that I can just as easily sit back and sip this to my hearts delight. Fine, I’ll do just that. (1,162 characters)

Photo of thekanna
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Beautiful mahogany hue that looks like rich apple cider; espresso and milk foam-like head that settles to a thin white froth.

Smell: Where to begin? Pervading maple-syrupy sweetness gives way to toffee, cloves, molasses, and faint phenols.

Taste: Mildly tart inception with hints of dark coffee. A chocolate brownie-like middle which is almost chewy; I get a similar mouthfeel from eating good caramels. Slight spice at the end that is reminiscent of cloves, cinnamon, and peppercorns. The alcohol finally rears its head near the end.

Notes: This is definitely a sipping beer; very wine-like. Good for complimenting desserts made with dark chocolate or dark chocolate itself.

UPDATE: Had a 2006 Vintage bottle of this; found at The Beer Depot in Ann Arbor, MI. This bottle was similar to the vintage above but with even greater pungency in smell and taste. Especially in taste, the "chewiness" of the middle completely shines through with a Belgian truffle/ maple syrupy-flavor. Absolutely gorgeous. However, this needed to be taken in even smaller quantities to fully appreciate the aroma and the complexity of every meaningful sip. (1,152 characters)

Photo of MaillardRx
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Out of the beautiful bottle and into an oversized wine glass

A: Dark and luscious. Looks almost like a Coca-Cola: deep auburn. Not much head (may be because of my pour) but leaves a great lace

S: Malts, fruit, serious fig notes, brown sugar (you make me feel so good)

T: Figs, and lots of it! Cherry, and maybe like a hint of cognac. Sweet candi, brown sugar, red grapes. So much flavor, it's ridiculous. It's like a port or dessert wine almost, yet without an overbearing alcohol content.

M: Medium bodied, silky smooth. It soaks the tongue.

O: Great, well crafted beer. Very delicious. Could drink it over and over. A good drunk too. (650 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

25.4oz bottle from beerhandy as part of BIF 24. Thanks for the opportunity. Neck label notes "Jaargang 2005", corked and caged.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the bright burgundy brew. Headgrows for awhile, before settling down to drinkable levels after 10 minutes, with heavy foam lacing. Aroma is lightly spicy, with a banana sweetness . Taste is as good as the nose portended, with perhaps a little room for more flavor intensity, but I'm nit-picking. Mouthfeel is oh-so creamy and smooth, and drinkability is tremendous, especially for something of this abv. Just stupid drinkable. A brew fit for a king, in my book. (656 characters)

Photo of ButterScotch
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have visited Mechelen 10-12 times so far....I am blessed indeed.

This is among my favorite Belgian brews. My own preferences are for sweetness over dryness or hopiness, but with a reasonable balance. If your tendencies are in this direction try this one! (257 characters)

Photo of kegerator
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle. All black with a black ribbon that states "Grand Cru of the Emperor" bottled in 2004 and 10% abv.
Pours a deep brown with a nice 1 inch head that sticks around and leaves good lacing. Aroma was faint at best but got stronger as it warmed. Aromas of plums and raisins with some wine like esters and slight alcohol in the background.
Taste was all malt, caramel, sweet, raisiny with hints of dried fruits. It was full bodied yet smooth and danced on the tongue slightly leaving a nice alcohol warmth in the stomach. Very nice beer indeed. (552 characters)

Photo of Beerzebub
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 bottle, alc. 10% vol. Served 61 degrees F.

Erupted everywhere upon opening. Very attractive ruby red, thick beige head. Big sheets of lace speckled with tiny holes like Havarti.

Smells of agave, fig, toffee, bread dough, black tea, musty earth, cocoa, nuts, cedar, some delicate solvent, and spice - clove, cardamom, cinnamon. Notes that I can't pin down. Elusive, exotic and good.

Tastes sweeter than it smells. Sweet caramel, roasted agave, figs, white grapes, cookie dough. Deeper notes of chocolate cake, cedar, and spice linger in a long drying finish. No discernible hops, yet totally balanced. Utterly delicious.

Smooth, decadent mouthfeel. Ridiculously drinkable.

Great beer. (703 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a brown/mahongy color, very nice carbonation (POP upon opening), nice creamy off-white head, nice creamy sticky lacing and small islands abound. The nose is malty, yeasty, lots of dark fruits, and caramel. The taste is absolutly delicious, sweet, malty, slight yeast tones, figs, raisins, plums, caramel. Nice little chewiness, smooth as hell, alcohol is hidden pretty well, nice warming effect. Full body, complex brew. Very drinkable, AWESOME brew, highly recommended. (525 characters)

Photo of jds1469
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic beer. I thought the guy telling me about this at the store was just trying to push off some random beer. NOPE.

A - Extremely dark copper color, good amount of head right after being poured into my sniffer. There was a good amount of lacing down the inside of the glass.

S - Smells like a good dark hard cider to start with. Then the raisin, hops, sugars, and other fruits come out.

T - Tastes just like it smells. A little alcohol finish to to the taste but its just enough to balance out the sweetness.

M - A little thin on the feeling and flat.

D - Almost perfect. The flatness keeps it from getting a 5 on this one. (635 characters)

Photo of rapidsequence
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a nice corked and caged 750 I bought at Peace St in Raleigh for $10.

Appearance: Poured a little hazy at first, but cleared to a nice amber-ruby shade with a thick off white head. Good retention fueled by a continuous stream of bubbles from the bottom of my wine glass. Thick, sticky lacing.

Smell: Lots of spice. Raisins and dates and yeasty bread. It almost smells chewy. There is a slight hint of the 11%.

Taste: This is super complex. So much going on. There is sweet dark fruit-- raisins and dates and tons of breadiness like fruitcake. Spicy. Its a little boozy, like a port maybe. The aftertaste lingers wonderfully and my stomach warms.

Mouthfeel: Pretty full. Good carbonation. Really coats your mouth and tongue with perfection.

Drinkability: I have to force myself to sip rather than gulp. It is amazing. The 11% is a little unfortunate, but that in no way makes me less inclined to drink it. Try to stop me.

I haven't had the classic Gouden Carolus in a long time, long before I started reviewing, so I cant compare to that. I can say its about as good a BSDA as I've had, and its hard to imagine much improvement. (1,140 characters)

Photo of yinzer
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle, Vintage 2000, $9 somewhere in MD in 2006

appearance: deep mahogany, some particles in suspension, small head

smell: brown sugar, sweet malt

taste: pure liquid pleasure, cherries, brown sugar (but not as sweet as fresh), slight oxidized finish.

mouthfeel: a bit dusty on the finish, still full for it's age

drinkability: wish I had more of this year (361 characters)

Photo of AmberMan22
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

popped open a 750ml of this with my dad last night. Man I forgot how much I missed Belgian beers.
Poured into the tulip glasses we got over in Europe.

Pours a very cloudy plum color with ruby highlights at the edge. One finger of micro-bubbled head adorns the top, fairly good retention thanks to the glass. Not much lacing sticks though.

Smell is a magical wonderland of sweetness. Sugar, plums, tons of malt, and other candied fruit steps forward.

Taste really is fantastic. The amount of malt put into this definitely took me by surprise on my first sip. Even better however, in addition to the perfect mixing of the fruity and sugary flavors, is how hoppy bitterness manages to balance it all out in the end.

Mouthfeel: non-intrusive levels of carbonation, good medium heft to it.

At 11%, you likely won't be drinking much of this beer, but you sure as heck will savor and enjoy it. Positively great BSDA. (915 characters)

Photo of LVituri
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Uma cerveja com certeza muito poderosa e de valor. Uma coisa que me incomodou um pouco foi o excessivo dulçor. Mas mesmo assim ela tem muita personalidade. É forte, marcante e com uma notável licorosidade. Foi uma honra degustá-la. Uma ótima experiência. (260 characters)

Photo of tavernjef
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Pours a mahogany brown but settles in the glass a blurry black with a dark cherry glow. Immense capping of orangey tinted ivory foam thats very smooth, thick, and fluffy. Sits without moving as it barely reduces itself to take on a thicker, cake batter appearance as the fluffyness dissolves into the foam. Lacing coats the glass in thick moth-holed sheeting all the while that cap hardly diminishes.

Aroma is of old, soggy, sugared banana bread thats dark, deep, and dull with slight plum, raisin, fig, and molasses soaking within the deepness. Quite deceptive on the nose as it seems to build while it sits and gets fairly deep and complexly so in that deepness. Nice little noting of spicy orange zest, cinnamon, and cardamom is evident as well.

Oh, my what incredible soaking smoothness and softness this stuff creates as it floats across the palate with amazing ease. Mild, dull flavors of dark fruit bread sink in with raisin, plum, dry fig, molasses, and soft citrusy orange notes that tender up a warming sense of spicyness with cardamom, cooked sugar, and raisin skins making for a lengthy finish. Middle has a creamy center of caramel, banana, and dark sugary sweetness. Its ever changing in its profile, sometimes more warming and spicy, other times, super tender and malty with dark dull sugary stuff. Wonderful play on the palate and on the mind.

Feel is perfect. Soft, supple, giving, full, smooth, warming, sweet, a little bit spicy, and a whole lot of yum! Amazingly soft texture of sugared bread thats soaked in dark fruityness. There's even a slight hoppy, vitamin coated, citrus bittering that comes across within certain sips thats very intriguing.

The smoothness is incredible; top notch. The warmth will catch ya every time, nearly every sip in fact, which slows it down for enormously fine, big, sippage. Damn fine stuff! (1,861 characters)

Photo of asabreed
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Corked and Caged bottle into a Duvel pint glass. This is my goodbye to Carytown Wine and Beer in Richmond, which is now closed. I got this in the final week they were doing liquidation, in the back, in a cooler. It was a great place, and will be sorely missed.

Appearance: A deep dark amber, and since this glass had been in the cabinet and needed a wash, I gave it one. And the head seemed to billow nicely but then died down immediately. I used mainly hot water, but there's probably a lot that got in here. The taste and smell haven't undergone huge changes, but I imagine that's the reason for what presented itself. Still, the color's amazing, and there's still some nice lacing going on to boot.

Smell: Huge presence of candied raisins, vanilla, and ripe cherries, apples, banana cream, wood bark and earth, biscuit and dough yeast, with a slight hop citrus presence. So much going on here, with more each pour, swirl, and degree of warmth.

Taste: The presence of candied raisins again comes through the most, with a rich fruit backbone of tart cherries, ripe berries, minimal citrus twang, rich apples, and lemon grass. Along with some visceral earth, slight barnyard, and tree bark, mild bread crust and dough. The finish is wonderfully long, with a burst of alcohol, followed by mild tartness, rich strawberry, and citrus rind, backed by yeast and candi sugar. Just incredible.

Mouthfeel: This is a very rich brew, and that means carbonation levels are fairly minimal, which in this case means great things. More so and the flavors would be hidden. Some might find it cloying, but I think it's where it needs to be, extremely coating and heavy, and taken in small sips and enjoyed over a period of time that works perfectly.

Drinkability: A brew that I imagine could certainly be cellared for a long, long time. It was around $8 for the bottle, which is good considering how long it took me to drink it by myself, as this is certainly a sipper. The Gouden Carolus Trippel is one of my favorites, and this ranks up there with it. Huge complexity, tons of flavors, and continually changes and grows as it gets warmer. I have another bottle cellaring, and I hope I can wait at least a few years until it gets cracked open. A fantastic brew overall -- pick it up if you can. (2,288 characters)

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of three Brouwerij Het Anker ales offered on-tap at Lucky Baldwins this holiday season. This was labeled "Gouden Carolus Cuvee d' le Empereuer 2003". I consulted with TheLongBeachBum, the SoCal Belgian beer guru, to make sure I was reviewing the right beer and not some previous unheard arrival. He assured me they are one and the same.
Served up in the large Grottenbier chalice I handed to the waitress, the Empereuer arrived looking very majestic. Dark, opaque burgandy coloring, a monstrous, densely creamy vanilla head and clots of spidery lace made for a wonderful brew to eye.
I think I spent five minutes inhaling the delicious aromas of this Grand Cru. Staggeringly sweet, with notes of caramel-dipped fruits, candy sugars, pears, dates, and some modest cognac fumes. What an incredible blend of scents!
As I took a sip, I simply leaned back in my chair and reveled in the complexity of this beer. The flavors of raisins, pears, dates, and brandy-soaked cherries washed across the tongue, blending seamlessly with a dusting of chocolate, toasty, rum cookie-ish malts, and hints of orange liquer. The variety of fruits that kept popping up was simply amazing. With the addition of the confectioner sugar sweetness and, as it warmed, an increasingly boozy alcohol warmth, this brew became more and more like a liquid fruitcake. Not like the one that ends up as a doorstop, though. The feel was full, rich and almost chewy but never syrupy.
Damn, what an outstanding beer! The flavors effortlessly meld togther for a singularly wonderful drinking experience. This Grand Cru is just about prefect. You have to be in the mood for sweet but I can't think of many nicer liquid desserts than this. Very highly recommended! (1,731 characters)

Photo of StephenRich
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've never been disappointed by anything bearing the name Gouden Carolus. Actually, more accurately, I have always been severely impressed by everything bearing the name Gouden Carolus. Their latest beer to grace Ontario was the Ambrio, which came here for the Spring Release and was really spectacular. Then when I think about the Classic, and the Hopsinjoor I get goosebumps.

This past weekend, for my 25th birthday, one of my best friends brought me a bottle of the Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw, which is essentially their dark vintage ale. It is brewed on February the 24th every year to commemorate the birthday of Charles the Fifth. Het Anker calls it an "exclusive adaptation of the traditional Gouden Carolus Classic"; my knees just buckled from under me.

I was fortunate enough to enjoy this beer on my quarter century mark, in Grand Bend, at my buds cottage on the patio, by the lake, under the sun, with my good friends, and also with a nice fine cigar. It don't get much better than this!

The Cuvee comes in two sizes, the classic 750ml corked bottle, and a striking 1.5L rounded magnum (which I WILL get my hands on). It is listed by Het Aker as a Special Dark Beer, and to me strongly resembles a Belgian Quadrupel. It is 11% abv, brewed with only Belgian Hops and Het Ankers unique ale yeast, and is also lagered for two weeks. They do suggest that this beer could be cellared for 10 years or more, and I strongly agree. However I only see this as a possibility if I has a good case or so to spare.

Immediately I was infatuated with this beer. The bottle design is classic and just screamed amazement right at me. The simplistic design implied to me something very very special. Then, without surprise, as I poured this deep dark and luscious beer, huge aromatic and ripe malt and fruit flavors erupted directly at me. The Cuvee pours gently with a smooth flow into the glass, but quickly develops live and a lightly dense one and a half inch off white, creamy and pillowy head.

The Cuvee itself is a deep amber red with golden browns, orange highlights, and a maroon and purple depth to it. It is lightly opaque, but relatively transparent with bubbles floating generously throughout it. The nose is rich and deep with huge and round aromas of dried fruits, plums, raisins, dark malts, caramel, butterscotch, cherries, figs, bitter chocolate, bread, light leather and herbal spice. It is very full powered and anxious to get out of the glass. Aromas constantly waft into the air bringing sweet malty and spice notes to my nose.

I was very excited for this beer, obviously, so I opened up and let in a good wave of beer to fully engulf my palate - and engulf it did! The Carolus flows in strong with rich sweet fruity malts, a complexity of roast and caramel malts, wide flavors of raisins, dark cherries, almonds and plums. It is warming and luscious and packed with so much flavor that every time you sip some you will get new and exciting flavors and aromas.

Easily, more soft and chewy malts make their way into your cheeks with banana, dates, figs, dark berries, sugary dough, plum cake and dark chocolate. It is big with much sweetness, but bitter chocolate and roasts help balance and clean up the beer. Light hops bring spice and slight bitter to the beer, but it is very clean and slight without really affecting the beer's overall powerful character.

It really pours across your entire mouth bringing flavors everywhere it goes with a uniquely Belgian smoothness. Spices like black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger show up on your tongue aided by natural carbonation and a slight yeast and earth aroma. This beer is packed with juicy and lively flavors; I just can't get enough of it. The finish is warm and soft lingering gently and enticing me to come enjoy more. Which I will!

With the Gouden Carolus Cuvee I also enjoyed the Alec Bradley Vice Press 6T2, a massive 6.5 inch box pressed cigar with a meaty 62 ring gauge. I had been saving this cigar since the summer of 2009 for exactly this purpose, and not a better beer could have been paired with it. I love the box pressed shape and overall stance of this cigar - it had a very soft and easy draw bringing with it loads of elegant and filing smoke without being heavy or extreme. It was lightly sweet with a soft woody and leather note, and overall extremely aromatic. The malty sweet flavors in the Cuvee along with its slightly tart carbonation were a perfect quencher for this cigar, and they complimented each other beautifully.

This was a very significant beer for me, I have already started contemplating it as the best beer I have had in 2010, and among the best I have ever had. I would easily recommend this as a game changing beer, but its exclusivity and high cost makes it more of a treat for celebrations. (4,827 characters)

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
95 out of 100 based on 858 ratings.