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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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1,490 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,490
Reviews: 827
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.67%
Wants: 186
Gots: 214 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website

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: 1,490 | Reviews: 827 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Drew966
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%

Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or - Grand Cru of the Emperor 2006 pours a medium brown that has cherry highlights when held to the light with a thin off white head from a brown 750 ml Bottle into my Cuvee Van De Keizer chalice. It has a nice aroma that's mostly dark fruit, perhaps some honey on bread too. The mouthfeel is quite nice, a little on the thick end of the spectrum. The flavor is nice, dark fruit and brown sugar come to mind. A very enjoyable brew.

Drew966, Aug 24, 2007
Photo of mickeymac
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%

Serious looking bottle: 750 ml brownie with a black and gold label and "Grand Cru of the Emperor" on a blue band running diagonally across the label. The cork was a bit tough to pull out (fortunately my teeth are in good shape). Pours a deep cherry that looks nice when held up to the light. The smell is a mouth-watering mix of dates, raisins, plum, toffee, and just a hint of hops. At 10%, the smell of alcohol also comes through but it just balances everything else nicely. The taste is amazingly complex. I'm probably drinking this stuff too soon, but I really don't care. It's a real knock-out. Every time it seems to be on the verge of cloyingly caking up the mouth, something new jumps in to keep things working: a bit of sour apple, hops, and just a bit of the good old barnyard funk. The mouthfeel is nice and chunky. I'm going back for more.

I just tried this again six months later and am upping my review. It has opened up a bit more. It still has an amazing array of ripe fruit, but it's not quite as overwhelming as it was at the beginning of the year. This may be one of my top 5 beers by '05.

mickeymac, Jan 09, 2004
Photo of meatyard
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%

Vintage: 2008 holding on to this for a while.

Pours a dark, very clear (when held up to a light), ruby/mahogany with a 1-finger, tan head that has splotchy chunks of lacing after a fairly quick falling head.

The smell is dark, dried fruits (figs, raisins plus just about any other that comes to mind).

The taste is comprised of the dark, died fruit in the aroma plus plum. A very light spiciness shows up in the taste and it's a pleasant addition. There is also a fairly high level of sweetness that borders on being cloying or just too sweet but holds off on being too much. There is an alcohol awareness here but it doesn't slap you in the face.

Mouthfeel is medium with ample carbonation.

Drinkability: Really good on your own or sharing with a friend. This beer deserves it's ranking (on BA) above many other BSDAs only behind 2 really great beers. This one is a natural with a nice, strong flavored cheese. A great one worth a try.

meatyard, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of MSchae1017
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%

This beer was tasted in a Goblet from the 750mL bottle.

The beer pours a burgundy-brown with a frothy tan head. The head dissipates down to a thin film, leaving minimal lace. The aroma is full of caramel and sweet dark fruits. The taste is up front with chocolaty and caramel flavors and is then followed up by some dark fruity sweetness. The beer finishes with a spicy yeasty character. The alcohol presence is surprisingly at a minimum. The body is medium-full bodied with a creamy carbonation. Overall, it is a good Belgian Strong Dark Ale with plenty of complexity. Quite a nice beer.

MSchae1017, Jul 09, 2008
Photo of Shaw
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%

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.

Shaw, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%

2008 vintage poured into my Westvleteren chalice. Poured a deep brown color with a little bit of some ruby highlights when held to the light. It poured with a thin bubbly and fizzy covering which quickly dissipated.

Aroma has a big malty and sweet flavor to it. It has a lot of dark fruits going on with plums, figs and raisins all present. It has a rum like alcohol presence in the nose as well. It showcases the malt very nicely in the aroma overall.

The taste like the nose is not surprisingly malt focused. It has a bit more caramel and cherries then the nose suggested but it does have the dark fruit, plum and fig flavors to it. It has a little alcohol in the finish but not too bad for being 11%.

Mouthfeel is on the heavier side and carbonation is low. Drinkability is very good, the malt flavors are delicious. This is usually one of my least favorite styles but when done so well as this I really enjoy them. I love the big malty and fruity flavors this one had. One of the best of the style I've tried for sure.

billab914, May 14, 2010
Photo of tewaris
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%

One of my favorite beers that I believe doesn't get enough press. Classy looking 750 ml cork & caged bottle (2009 vintage) poured into a snifter at approximately two and a half years of age.

Pours caramel brown with moderate clarity and a medium light brown head. Medium retention, good lacing. Smells dark and sweet from the Belgian candi sugar used I suppose. Dark fruits, prominently raisins, hint of figs, prunes and dried cherries. Touch of spice, and perhaps some oxidation.

The taste is decadent with a great balance of sweet and dark: very fruity (raisins, dates, figs), slightly chocolaty, with a moderately tannic finish very reminiscent of the said fruits. Very vinous, with some sherry like notes. The sweetness lingers.

The body is bigger than most Belgian ales, but still in the Belgian territory; the carbonation is alive and kickin'. As noted, there's a tannic note in finish but it's still sweet, and the beer damn smooth.

Overall, a very unique and great beer. Stands out from other Quads in its heightened sweetness and proximity to English Barleywines.

Appearance 4/5; Aroma 4/5; Taste 4.5/5; Mouthfeel 4.5/5; Overall 4.5/5

tewaris, Sep 02, 2011
Photo of bobsy
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%

I picked up this bottle in Buffalo based on its reputation as one of Belgium's top beers.

Pours a murky deep oak, with a finger of tan head that quickly drops to a collar. Only a few sticky fingers of laces touch the edge of the glass, and the ho-hum appearance belies the fact that this is an extremely impressive beer. Rich nose of dark fruit, chocolate, and clove. I found the alcohol a little prominent at first, but once the palate had acclimatised I realise what a smooth, easy drinking beer this is, and apart from that initial burst, the alcohol is not remotely apparent. Extremely malt-forward, with an emphasis on milk chocolate, dates, figs and plums. Some brown sugar and spicy cloves in the finish. Smooth, full body with restrained carbonation, which accentuates the richness and decadence of the flavours.

Certainly one of the better Belgian Strong Dark Ales I've come across, and more complex and balanced than many of its compatriots. Only a slightly mediocre appearance lets things down, but that aside this is a phenomenal brew, and one of the best from an excellent brewery.

bobsy, Nov 23, 2009
Photo of mhewes
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%

A : Poured a dark brown with a good tan head that stuck around for a while.

S : Really sweet with a strong malt aroma. I picked up some brown sugar, caramel, and fruits.

T : Really sweet and malty. A lot of good fruit and spice flavor in it. A pretty complex brew

M : Syrupy, rich, and chewy

D : An awesome beer. The alcohol sneaks up on you. Definitely one I will have again.

mhewes, Jun 23, 2008
Photo of SLeffler27
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%

Pours dark brown walnut with ruby red highlights while a slight, beige head produces little lace.

Has the full, rich aroma one would expect with spice and dark fruits. Rather sweet with plums, fresh figs, and brandy. Caramelized sugar continues to develop with warmth.

A mélange of dark fruits and spices just as the nose had suggested. This one is rich and complex and could easily be considered a benchmark for the style. The balance is slightly to the sweet side but still well in check. A lingering finish. Warms amazing well.

Full body with modest carbonation and syrupy texture. Alcohol is present but a minor player.

Perfect for contemplation of memories or reading as one sips. Enjoyed this in a tulip glass, as that is what was available, however, I would have preferred a chalice or snifter.

SLeffler27, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of biboergosum
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%

750ml caged and corked bottle, sashed and mounted regent image on the bottle - solid.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark ruddy amber hue, with a teeming tower of creamy, foamy pale beige head, which leaves some consistently abstract layered lace around the glass in its well-strewn wake.

It smells of sweet dark bready malt, tangy black fruit, a touch of stewed apple, softly oily nuts, spicy Belgian yeast, and mildly astringent alcohol. The taste is more sweet, grainy dark caramel malt, candi sugar, zingy aged black fruit - plum, cherry liqueur, and blackberries, a strange bit of cough syrup warming, and sedate, but not for the lack of trying, earthy hops.

The carbonation is mostly average, but frothy in a playful way at times, the body medium-full in weight, predominately from the dense sugary malt, and smooth by default, with a well-established attendant creaminess. It finishes still fully stuffed with fruity, malty goodness, barely tempered by a goofy, somewhat try-hard, and less-than-obvious booze edginess.

Despite the very perceptible sweetness quotient, a decent balance is deftly maintained - so no real sugar overload manifests - all amidst an agreeable, and at times, locally inexplicable drying character, though booze and underground hops seem to be the prime suspects. Not so weirdly drinkable, as flavour trumps strength, until that inevitable wall is met, QED.

biboergosum, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of Jimmys
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%

330mL bottle poured into tulip. bottled on 11/07/11. lot number 11059.

A: pretty murky chestnut hued body. head is combrised of tight bubbles that are more on the brown than white side. retention is great. TONS of lacing left behind. if the clarity was a little better it would have gotten the 5.

S: a little woody, super sweet. molasses. candied walnuts. caramel. pretty much every visit to the glass is making me think sugar. however, different sugary scents are much appreciated.

T: no glaring alcohol heat might be my favorite thing about this brew. tons of chewy, sweet candied fruit. that with some mild chocolate flavor makes for a lot of complexity on the palate. sweet without being cloying.

M: moderate amount of carb. you can tell there was some conditioning of the bottle variety. however, wouldn't have hated for a touch more fizz. full bodied.

D: do yourself a favor and let this thing warm up. I didn't even realize that this beer had a year plus on it when I picked it up from a Total Wine in VA. Glad it was tucked away on the bottom shelf and out of direct light. im would imagine it is not much different fresher, but I like it just like this. well done.

Jimmys, Mar 13, 2013
Photo of Seemore
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%

Seemore, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

Got this on-tap at Brickstore Pub in Atlanta in a logoed small goblet.

Pours one shade less than black that is dark brown when held up to the light. Great one-finger off-white head that is very smooth. Lacing is fun to watch - very smooth at first that gently turns into a cascade.

Smells very sweet and syrupy. Almost like a liquor.

Tastes very good. Again, like the smell, it's very sweet and syrupy. There are hints of dark fruit, and after drinking it when I lick my lips I can still taste the sugars. Just the slightest hint of the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is also very good. Very smooth, with the carbonation just enough to bring out the flavors. Pretty thick.

Drinkability is good, but it's too sweet to be great.

Overall this is an exceptionally smooth beer. Good and thick and goes down smooth. It's very sweet, but not quite too sweet. It's almost like a smooth liquor, but in beer form.

glid02, Aug 23, 2008
Photo of jbphoto88
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

A 2008 bottle that is corked and caged. Once opened the beer pours dull mahogany brown. It's opaque on the fringe of clear and leathery looking with a very poor head. There is a constant stream of bubbles that feeds a collar and a light layer of tan suds.

The nose is fantastically diverse. It's an assortment of raisin, breads, caramel and molasses. As it warms some spices become even more evident.

The taste is even better then the nose which frankly doesn't do the beer justice. The spices are subdued and end up being a little peppery and really shines in the finish. Dark fruits like plum and raisins mix with caramel and molasses. Each sip is a slightly different combination of flavors and all of them are pleasing.

The mouthfeel is pleasing. The soft smooth texture is complimented by a peppery spice, slight sizzle of carbonation and healthy warmth of ABV. Quite drinkable. Good thing it was a $10 bottle or I would have bought them all and drank to a problem because it's so easy and good. Great find.

jbphoto88, Feb 04, 2010
Photo of TAMU99
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

This Grand Cru of the Emperor is brewed yearly in remembrance of Charles the Fifth.
It pours a deep, rich mahogany brown. Clear with a thick persistent foam. The scent is sweet with tones of caramel and candy. The taste is even more forceful. Again with caramel and candy. Aftertastes of toffee and praline. It is very smooth, as you'd expect a beer this sweet to be. It feels like a double or triple and at times is cloyingly sweet which at times detracts from it's drinkability. Overall, this is a masterful brew and definitely should be on the list of ones to try if you can get your hands on some.

TAMU99, Nov 25, 2006
Photo of MrBen
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

Just finished a bottle of the 2003 vintage. This is very dark brew, full of sweetness, dried fruits, nuts, and malty goodness. This is big beer. The alcohol is obvious on the nose and tongue, which accounts for my 4.0 rating on drinkability. Otherwise, the presentation, pour, and overall experience are excellent. This is something to save for a special time.

MrBen, Jan 01, 2005
Photo of lightindarkness
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

Thanks to Prototypic for throwing this my way! Very quickly it rises among my top favorite beers.

Caged and corked 750 mL bottle. This one says 10%abv. Pours a dark burnt ruby brown color with a full smooth cream head. Nice patchy sticky lace.

Nose is wonderful, with rich warm grains and dark fruits. Notes of banana bread, pear, date and fig, and some toasty grains. A little alcohol wraps it all up neatly.

Taste very fully expands on the nose, with a nice sweet fruit bread overtone supported by plenty of grain and alcohol. Again, notes of fig and date, banana bread, pear, and plum. Nice bready middle, on the brink of fullness without being overdone. Finishes with some sweetness lingering and soft bread fading with alcohol warmth.

Feel is smooth and full, with a medium body and plenty of soft carbonation. Sweetness adds a mild syrupy feel to the body, but not unpleasant.

Not at all weak or thin, this dark ale is very satisfying and full with good fruit depth. Very well crafted, only lacking in drinkability due to strength of abv, and the sweetness that makes it great for sipping.

lightindarkness, May 06, 2008
Photo of BelgiumBill
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

Vintage 2010, consumed July 16, 2011.

750ml caged bottle purchased at Costco for about $7

Poured at 43 degrees into a Duvel Tulip glass which yielded a 1.5 inch beige head. Beer was dark caramel in color and the head held up for several minutes, slowly receding leaving good lacing all around.

The fragrances were of sweet malts, raisins, banana bread, warm caramel syrup.

The flavors were of sweet raisins, caramel, brown sugar, molasses. The bottle said something about erring on the side of sweetness - they definitely did that. It was sugary sweet with dark candied fruit flavors in abundance. I got some of the banana and date bread but didn't pick up any apple as the bottle and other reviewers claim.

It was complex on the sweet end of the spectrum.

The mouthfeel was silky, lingering sweet, desert-like finish. I found the 11% alcohol to be barely noticeable unless you interpret the sweetness as alcohol. There was no alcohol drying or boozy effects (like I got with the Leviathan Quad).

Overall, exceptional so long as you are in the mood for sweet.

BelgiumBill, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of ToasterChef
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

Reviewed from my tasting notes of a bottle dated 2009. The beer has a big soapy tan head. The liquid is clear and ruby colored. Great film and lace are left behind after each swirl. The aroma is sweet, with notes of dark chocolate and black cherries. Also present is some black licorice.

The flavor is quite big. Alcohol is noticeable, but it is tempered by some black cherry sweetness. Also produced by the malts are some crystallized brown sugar and/or molasses flavors. I can also taste some burst, woodsy flavors. It's all very complex. I think I taste quinine. There is a slight burn going down, but it isn't unwelcome.

The body is of medium consistency, but kind of syrupy. There isn't much carbonation. A sweet coat is left behind, but it isn't all that sticky. Long after I swallow I can taste and feel the alcohol left behind. A glass of water to accompany this beer would not be uncalled for.

For a strong Belgian dark, I find this beer to be very drinkable. The heat makes me think it would be better to consume it during the cooler months. I'll finish this 750ml, but it is certainly worth sharing if you think you may not like it (or want to consume that much strong beer at once).

ToasterChef, Aug 18, 2010
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

2008. And I must say that is quite the pretty bottle. Got a gusher here. Slightly fogged gold with a thick off-white head. Nose is sugars and citrus. Slight funk. Flavor is nice. Sugary citrus funk and a slight alcohol burning edge. But it doesn't really mess with things. Real rounded flavor profile. Feel has a smooth liquid touch and the carbonation is low. Extremely easy to drink. I don't really want to think about this one too much. I just want to sip, savor, and enjoy.

RblWthACoz, Aug 26, 2008
Photo of callmemickey
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

A: Rich red-brown body. Light beige head. Quickly recedes leaving behind nice lacing.

S: Dark fruits. Raisins, figs, caramel, grape skins. An ever so slight hint of booze.

T: This delicious beer is defined by delicious dark, sweet fruits. Almost like a fig newton with prominent raisin and grape components. Slight caramel, chocolate, toffee malts.

M: Medium-full bodied. Clean carbonation. Rich.

D: This is a wonderful beer. A bit to rich to be more than a slow sipper. Can't wait to get this beer again every year.

callmemickey, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of ommegangpbr
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

2004 vintage poured into a chalice. The label says Grand Cru of the Emperor as opposed to the french translation. The percent by volume also says 10% as opposed to 11% which both this site and the brewery's official site list. Perhaps this was brewed specifically for the American marketplace?
Pours with a moderate head and is opaque deep deep red so that it's almost black; appears ruby red when held to the light.
Smells very much like quadruples I've had (this probably qualifies as one), and specifically reminds me of Three Philosophers by Ommegang.
The flavor profile is also like the afformentioned- dark fruit flavors, most noteabley prunes, raisins and dark, dark cherries. Very deep, dark and rich flavors, with a sweet malty mouthfeel and taste; similar to a dopplebock in finish with that lingering sweetness.
Alcohol is very well hidden in the taste but makes itself known through a warming of the cheeks.
Definately worth a try. I payed $9 for the 750mL bottle and I'd consider doing it again.

ommegangpbr, May 04, 2005
Photo of brewcrew76
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

2006 vintage

A - A deep ruby brown/mahogany with a thin off white head.

S - Sweet caramel, rum soaked raisins, spice, bready yeast and candy sugar.

T - Candy sugar and booze with some dark fruits, spice and rum soaked raisins.

M - Medium body with light carbonation, slightly sweet but with a nice dry finish.

D - Boozy but still extremely drinkable.

brewcrew76, Jul 05, 2007
Photo of tpd975
4.35/5  rDev +0.9%

A: Pours a nice chestnut brown hue with tinges of red showing thru. No real head, basically flat looking. No lace either.

S: Nice big blast of dark fruit and sweet malt. Hints of brown sugar and booze.

T: Wow very nice. I really like this beer. Tons of ripe dark fruit. Bold charred brown sugar with hints of cinnamon, banana, and booze.

M: Medium in body, very smooth. Despite the lack of noticible carbonation this one is rather creamy.

D: Very, I really enjoyed sipping this one until the bottle was empty.

Wonderful beer, one of the best Belgian Strongs I have ever had.

tpd975, Aug 16, 2008
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,490 ratings.