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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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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,505 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,505
Reviews: 828
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.67%
Wants: 186
Gots: 217 | FT: 13
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: 1,505 | Reviews: 828 | Display Reviews Only:
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5/5  rDev +16%

muskiesman, Mar 07, 2013
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cbeer88, Apr 28, 2012
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rab53, Dec 01, 2011
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tkdchampxi, Aug 12, 2013
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5/5  rDev +16%

ncworster, Jul 11, 2012
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5/5  rDev +16%

randylangford, Dec 11, 2011
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5/5  rDev +16%

Campodog, Feb 19, 2012
Photo of jtothamo
5/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Suggestion: The bottle purchased is large...several servings. So, it's best shared among friends or to be consumed by a "seasoned pro".

A- A beautiful maple syrup brownish color. A beautiful off-white, airy head.

S- Incredible! Fruity, with hints of alcohol, and reminders of the woods. In fact, my wife who is not a beer drinker (she prefers cosmo's) mentioned, "Wow, that smells amazing!"

T- Superb! For the ABV, it goes down extremely smooth. Just a beautiful blend of the ingredients. Incomparable!

M- Playful! A good amount of carbonation that tickles the mouth and throat. But, also extremely smooth.

D- This ale is amazing!

This beer, referred to by many as Grand Cru of the Emperor, is by far one of my favorite beers. Due to the price and ABV, it's not an every day beer. But, it's excellent for special occasions! I am thankful to have been introduce to this beer by a friend!

jtothamo, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of RoyalT
4.97/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

RoyalT, Oct 30, 2003
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.97/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed in 2008. Ten and a half ounce pour, served in a tulip. $8 and worth every penny. I've seen cases of 750's for $115 and the purchase is a looming consideration.

A: BEAUTIFUL! Dark, cloudy garnet body. Small tan head fizzes out quickly. No lacing. I can look past the small head and lack of lacing since I'm not sure these qualities ever stood a chance really. Besides, the richness and depth of the body alone more than make up for it. This beer wants to be still. A vigorous swirl will bring about a small head but, within seconds, it will be gone again.

S & T: Incredible complexity, somehow intense but extremely delicate at the same time. Malt forward. Toasty. Aroma is of molasses and dark, overly ripe alcohol soaked fruits: Raisins, prunes, plums & dates. Brown sugar plus caramel mixed with a moderate amount of earthy spiciness which showcases the clove. Harmonious blend of ALL flavors. At 11%, it's no surprise and not to a fault, that a warm yet soft alcohol flavor/aroma comes through a bit. Perfect.

M: Smooth, velvety, plush. Admirable alcoholic warmth and mouth coating sweetness is perfectly balanced by the champagne-esque effervescence. Semi cloying, creating an incredibly long lasting flavor duration.

D: Each sip is better than the last. This brew is single-handedly responsible for my recent pursuit of BSDA's. Unfortunately for me, nothing has even come close to stacking up to this. As I'm sure my score will reflect, this is my all time favorite beer.

Note: I've had the bottled version from 2009 as well which was not nearly as impressive. This brew improves SIGNIFICANTLY with age. Draft might be important as well.

FeDUBBELFIST, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of Pingotas
4.97/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep, rich obscure hues with some reluctance to head up heavily. Long lacing. Roasted brown sugars dominate the subtle aroma.

The assault of vine fruits and very ripe bananas are immediate on the tongue; however, each taste brings added overtones of flavors as complex as citron, cardamom, rum...to name a few.

Absolutely delicious, particularly since I tend to favor this degree of sweetness - it provides a velvety, almost syrupy smoothness that carries delicately over the fine carbonation.

I would accept purgatory for this one, a truly masterful preparation and clearly one of the best brews I have ever tasted!

Pingotas, Mar 28, 2005
Photo of ypsifly
4.97/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged 750 from the '05 vintage, poured into a chalice.

Deep brown with a light tan head that stays at two fingers for a while before it leaves thick foam inside the glass.

Spicy yeast, clove, coriander, lemon zest, toffee, figs, powdered sugar, leather and licorice. Just a touch of peppery alcohol underneath. Lots going on here....outstanding!

Figs, plums, licorice, holiday spices, earth, cloves, cookie dough, brown sugar, and a finish that starts out sweet but fades into slightly bitter with a dry aftertaste. Slight pepper at the end as well, but this is the closest flavor to alcohol that registers....WOW!!! This one earns a five, no doubt. So much going on here. The mouthfeel is full and velvety. Really glides over my tongue and seeks out every nook and cranny in my mouth without being chewy or leaving any syrup. 10% abv or not, I could drink this all night, but I would force myself to sip and savor.

I have a new favorite belgian. Do your soul a favor and get a bottle of this ASAFP!!!!

ypsifly, Aug 02, 2005
Photo of phisig137
4.97/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is quite possibly the best beer I have ever consumed. Absolutly perfect in every way as far as I'm concerned. I had a couple bottles last year (2004), and I think that the 2005 is slightly better. I bought one bottle this year the first time I saw it, and it was so good that I went back the next day and purchased a whole case! (It comes in a really sweet wooden crate too)

Mouthfeel is exceptional, with flavors of dark dried fruits, caramel, and a slight hint of mocha. This beer hides it's alcohol exceptionally well, but still will warm you from the insides out. The aroma is dominated by sweet caramel, with hints or raisons and dates shining through. Head dissapates relatively quickly, but a fair amount of lacing remains. While most belgians (doubles, triples, any really) should be served mostly warm, I enjoy chilling this one, and letting it develop as it warms.

When I bought the twelve bottle case, I removed the heavy duty staples from the lid, and opened it to make sure that everything looked OK on the inside. I then used nails to re-seal the case, and don't plan on opening it for at LEAST 3 years. The info sheet I found inside the case lists the shelf life of this beer in a cellar as "10+ years". After tasting it, I plan to buy a full case every year, and to start a vertical tasting every year with some good friends.

Honestly though.... this beer is pure nirvana. I find it to be similar in flavor and character to Rochfort 12, but for some reason, I give the edge to the Cuvee Van De Keizer. Simply the best beer in the world. Unmatched in every category as far as I'm concerned!

phisig137, Aug 20, 2005
Photo of FreshHawk
4.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Very dark plum color with some dark ruby hues on the edge. Fairly large, creamy, sticky, toasted marshmallow colored head. Decent retention and a beautiful layer of creamy, sticky lace.

S - Plenty of dark fruit consisting of plum, raisin, and date. Nice sweetness as well with molasses, dark candi sugar, licorice/anise, and a touch of bubblegum. Well spiced with clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of coriander. Hints of rum/brandy soaked fruit as well. Some dark malt and a touch of breadiness make the base. Pretty complex aroma.

T - Good mix of dark fruit, spice, and sweet bread flavors throughout the sip. Similar to the nose. Starts with a strong dark, spiced fruit at first. Mid sip has a strong licorice and bubble gum flavor come out. The dark fruit then comes on strong at the end with a bit more of a rum/brandy flavor to it. The sweet bready flavor is a nice persistent undertone throughout the sip.

M - Medium, maybe slightly toward full, body. Has a lush, creamy, persistent kind of feel to it though. Good amount of carbonation.

D - Well balanced and complex beer with a great mix of flavors that had me wanting to drink more. I could see it potentially being a little too sweet/cloying, but I like sweeter beers on occasion and I think it works for the style.

Notes: Vintage 2009. Great beer that is very complex and has a lot of bold, big flavors. Inclusion of licorice and bubblegum flavor is interesting for the style. I really liked the beer, like I said before, some may think it is a bit too sweet, but it makes a great dessert or night caper (although I could see me drinking this other times too!).

FreshHawk, Aug 08, 2010
Photo of Brushkanna
4.95/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am drinking desert. This is as far away from a traditional beer as I have had. I’m a novice when it comes to Belgian dark strong ales. The Grand Cru of the Emperor pours with a short creamy head, there are great strong flavors of sweet dark raisins, caramel, brown sugar & hints of fine chocolate.

My wife who likes darker sweeter beers said, "this is the best beer ever". Some have said that the high ABV was noticeable and a negative but I did not get that feeling. It has 11% ABV but it fits well, reminds me of a fine desert wine.

We really enjoyed this beer I will be looking for it again as a great holiday treat.

Brushkanna, Jan 07, 2012
Photo of dstc
4.93/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours very dark with ruby highlights. Big foamy head that fell to nothing with little to no lace.

Smells very sweet and malty. Yummy.

Big sweet malts, raisins, plums and brandy come to mind. Nice alcohol finish. Just perfect.

Full and smooth in the mouth with a nice alcohol bite.

My favorite at the moment, almost the perfect beer. Hell, maybe it is the perfect beer.

dstc, Oct 03, 2008
Photo of beerceller99
4.93/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

75 cl. bottle from 2003. Has a ruby brown hue with an off white head. Massive fruity aroma of raisons, plums, pudding bread, and dark caramels. The flavor profile runs the spectrum, from malty caramel, vanilla extracts, to raisons, dates, and Hawaiian sweet bread. All this wrapped in a smooth, medium body. Finishes with a warming alcohol mellowness.

This brew is carbonated cognac; Excellent.

beerceller99, Oct 10, 2004
Photo of TastyTaste
4.93/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very nice dark brown body, hazy, with visible carbonation. Head raises up about 1/2" fades slow, leaving a thin creamy layer on top of the beer.

Smell: Strong and sweet, grape-fruitiness, slightly woody.

Taste: Rich and fruity, malt is big, very big, with brown sugar. Fantastic and complex, toffee and cream, spicy and bold.

Drinkability: Excellent a smooth sipper that is very tasty on the way down. I bet this one would age excellently, and mellow even more than it already is. Fantastic.

TastyTaste, Mar 29, 2006
Photo of StoutPiper
4.93/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I can't say this is my favorite beer, because (depending on what mood I'm in) I could feel a good Imperial stout is the best, and another day i crave a good hoppy IPA. But, if you want a belgian ale, this is the best beer I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.

I've only had it once, and i can't find it again, i got it somewhere in NJ, but it was an amazing experience. The beer poured a dark brown, with a respectable head, and lacing you would expect from a perfect belgian ale. the smell fits the beer, strong, spicy, nutty, cinnamon-y, it was a true experience.

The taste followed suit. It was borderline quadrupel, because it was such a bold taste, but i got everything from cherries to almonds out of it, the taste varying from sip to sip.

If i could find this beer again, i would buy several cases and drink it almost exclusively. Again, i cannot emphasize enough how much i enjoyed this beer. Worth a try or seven!

StoutPiper, Dec 31, 2007
Photo of King_KongDCO93
4.93/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Having a 2003 bottle oh my goodness the cork was aching to get out. At bottling was was at 10% ABV

A: Dark Belgian brow color that you can't see through but now the

Smell: aroma is AMAZING!!! Fruity and floral more complex than traditional Belgian beers

Taste: incredibly smooth for how old this beer is. Nice notes of caramel, toasted malts, and fruit. Really got a lot of dark fruits flavors mixed in with mild bitterness complex of a pungent Belgian quad.

Mouthfeel: wet

Overall: all around great Belgian beer. Verdict A+

King_KongDCO93, Dec 17, 2012
Photo of DogFood11
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is simply one of the greatest beer I've ever consumed. I was looking through the coolers at Naja's in Redondo Beach and was deciding between a saison and a grand cru. Jason the owner suggested this is a perfect nightcapper BOY WAS HE RIGHT!!! Pour is so silky just like the mouthfeel it curls its way around every taste bud. some chocolaty/fruity aroma's. A full flavored boquet ready for gobbling. I just about fell of my bar stool after the first drink I was so impressed (or buzzed). Nutty up front with a malty/rich body that finishes sweet/Fruity with a slight bitter cleansing. I don't know how they could improve this beer as it is fit for an emperor. I will now go on a quest to get one of my local stores to order a case for me. I will beg, barter, bribe.

DogFood11, Aug 18, 2005
Photo of jayhawk73
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Dark brown color w/ perfect one finger head, which sticks around a little bit. Decent carbonation and excellent lacing. 2011 vintage, served in my Gouden Carolus glass. While this beer isn't quite a black hole, you can't see through it at all. Very serious and tasty looking.

S- Smell is very complex. Lots of smells going on here. Malt, yeast, sweetness, spices, fruit, alcohol. Very well balanced, in spite of all the amazing aromas happening here. Gets markedly better the warmer it gets. Needs to be close to room temperature to get the full greatness of this beer- that really opens it up.

T- First off, I've had the 2007, 08, 09, and 2010 vintage, and 2011 is by FAR the best I've had. It's simply amazing. This particular 2011 ranks right up there w/ Rochefort 10 as one of the best Belgian beers I've ever had. Best beers, even. Only Westy 12 is possibly better among the beers I've enjoyed. There seems to just be something extra special about this one, and I'm going to have to go buy several more.... soon!

M- Mouthfeel is amazing. It's smooth, sweet, super luxurious feeling... Words cannot do it justice, you just have to experience it. Everything about this beer is balanced, including the feel. Perfect- I wouldn't change anything.

O- This vintage of Gouden Carolus Grand Cru of the Emperor is simply the best I've had. It's definitely one of the best beers I've ever had, and I will continue to look for this one everytime I go beer shopping. Highly recommended, especially if you like this style. Cheers!

jayhawk73, May 07, 2011
Photo of Vipsanius
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2003 750ml bottle

Poured a dark reddish brown into a chalice with a slight light tan head. Doesn't have great lacing but that's about the only downfall to this great beer.

The smell and taste are very complex. Each time you bring the glass to your lips you can pick up on something new. I could pick up on hints of molasses, figs, plums, and fresh baked banana bread (others were spot on picking up on that). It's a 10% ABV beer and you can pick up on it but there are so many other flavors that it usually gets pushed to the wayside. Overall, a very, very drinkable beer.

Whenever I cook a good steak, this is the first beer I want to grab out of my cellar. I try to keep this stocked at all times.

Vipsanius, Jul 26, 2004
Photo of cro250klr
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have a picture of myself and three other friends standing under a train depot sign in Belgium. The sign reads, 'Mechelen'. And to think that the first time I ever had this beer was, in Scranton, Pa., three months after coming home from Europe. Hopefully, I will tour Europe again this year. I have got to try this, if available, in it's home town. I had this on tap after the keg traveled 3500 miles and it was incredible. I can only imagine how good it must be in Belgium. This brew IS fit for a king! Complex, to say the least. Banana, brown sugar, vanilla, homemade bread, plum, sweet, and malty. A very light head sits on top of the lightly carbonated reddish/brown liquid and laces till the very end. As with most Belgian browns, I took my time and let it warm a bit. The taste and the aroma just explode. One sip yielding banana, the next, maybe some rum and so on, till the very end. The high abv isn't really hidden in this one but your taste buds and olfactory glands are working overtime, leaving little time to worry about alcohol. After two half liter chalices, I was ready to call myself king. Instead I called the bartender and had one more. I gave this a 4.5 on drinkability only because of it's sweet taste. (It's similar to a Kasteel Brune a far as sweetness.) That, not the 11% abv, only prevented me from having anymore than I did at one sitting. I went back a few days later only to learn that the Carolus had kicked. Since their tap stock is rotated I will have to wait some time before they have this on tap again. Maybe, until I get back to Europe. This one though, is worth the wait.

cro250klr, Mar 29, 2005
Photo of BeerNemesis
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw | 750 ml. | 2009 vintage | 11% ABV

Brewer: Het Anker, Belgium
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale (BDSA)

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw is brewed on February 24th every year on the birthday of Charles V.

On the label:
"The unique brewing of the Cuvee Van de Keizer, with only extra fine Belgian hops and a higher alcohol level of 11%, guarantees this beer to age excellently over several years time with a complexity and intensity usually reserved for the finest of wines. Attesting to the inate mystery and intensity of a cellarable beer is this brew's beautiful ruby brown, almost henna color. With a light brown, velvety head and sweet, powerful notes of wood, yeast and plums, the Cuvée Van De Keizer surprises one's palate with subtle hints of caramel and even fresh green apples. Drinking a Cuvée Van De Keizer is a fully sonsory experience, so be certain to breathe in its fruity, almost delicate aroma that compliments a richly roasted malted, yet softly dense body. It's a truly sugary brew in every sense, erring on the natural fresh and refreshing side of sweetness."

Presentation:
The bottle features a stylized thick white line drawing of Charles V on a horse (presumably) with a couple five point stars in the background. A blue sash covers the diagonal of the bottle. Written on it in gold is the name of the brew. The neck features more gold writing that says "Jaargang 2009". The bottom of the bottle has "Gouden Carolus" also in gold lettering. It looks fittingly imperial.

Appearance:
Pours a beautiful deep burgundy into an Ommegang chalice. The off-white head barely rises above 0.5", and quickly recedes to a swampy, languid film.

Aroma:
Dried fruit: figs, plums, raisins and cherries. Sweet brown sugar and toffee. Big, bold, bready malts and a murmur of potent alcohol in the background closes out the whiff.

Taste:
The first sip sucked me into a dizzying whirlpool of sumptuous, tart dark fruits, chewy caramel, fresh bready malts, and a downpour of alcoholic heat at the finish. Estery flavors are prominent, while spices are largely left out of the picture. Drinking the Keizer is like biting into some succulent mythical fruit: tangy skin, sumptuous flesh dripping juicy flavor, and a hearty infusion of boisterous alcoholic aftertaste. Minutes after my last sip, I am left with a sweet syrupy texture mixed with some mild green apple tartness.

Mouthfeel:
Smooth and silky. Medium to heavy-bodied. Tingly carbonation is uniform throughout.

Harmony:
Everything about this drink is confident but tempered by a sort of regal refinement. The alcohol is bold and noticeable, and it's not so much masked as embraced. The dark fruits, sweet caramel and brown sugar coat the bready malts which feel like they've been soaked in alcohol. The sweetness and tasteful infusion of alcohol sets this BSDA apart from its peers. It probably won't appeal to everyone, but it is certainly a high quality but decidedly different take on the style.

Brewed on: Feb. 24, 2009 (bottled 14 months ago)

BeerNemesis, May 11, 2010
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,505 ratings.