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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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,627 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,627
Reviews: 852
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 195
Gots: 262 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website
Belgium

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,627 | Reviews: 852 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of charlesw
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful head with great lasting power and lasting. Opaque brown/dark brown in a clear way (not muddy but you can't see through it). Smells like candi sugar - cooking gently on the stove. Rich, dark, sweet, mouth-watering, bitter. Some brown sugar, bitter right in the middle of the tongue (not back or sides at all), tiny hints of grapes up front but not much else in the way of fruit. Fizzy, of course. Interesting. If I could get it easily I'd have it more often given that I think it's pretty good and the wife loves it!

Photo of thehyperduck
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL corked bottle picked up at the LCBO; 'best before' June 19 2023 (very precise for a date that won't come for nearly a decade). I picked this bottle up a few months ago intending to hold onto it for a year or two, but I later decided it'd be a good way to celebrate my 600th review. This is the 2013 version, served at cellar temperature.

This strong ale pours a lovely garnet-brown colour, topped with just over one finger of silky-smooth, light beige-coloured head. A virtual army of tiny bubbles constantly rushes to the surface, to reinforce the extraordinarily long-lasted froth floating there. Great retention, lots of lace, and a very enticing aroma that features raisins, sherry, toffee sweetness and dates, in addition to yeast and some ethanol. Quite sweet and fragrant; very fruity.

Very full-flavoured, and certainly leaning toward the saccharine side. Brown sugar, toffee and candi sugar are easily detectable, followed by some sweet orchard fruit flavours including sultanas, dates and plums. The sherry vibes are still noticeable, but not as prominent as on the nose. It finishes with a bit of a rum-raisin flavour, as well as a touch of spicy clove and anise. Sweet, warm aftertaste; the first sip was positively hot but my palate eventually adjusted to the high alcohol content. Full-bodied and silky-smooth on the tongue, with moderate carbonation; perhaps a little less spritzy than I prefer from this style. A delicious sipper that will warm your bones on a cold evening.

Final Grade: 4.26, a fabulous A-. Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw is a world-class beer, but it's definitely not for everyone. The flavours are quite bold and the sweetness can border on cloying at times, with the high alcohol content being immediately noticeable. That being said - none of those are necessarily deal-breakers in this style, and it's probably my fault for cracking open such a young bottle anyway. This is a very solid Belgian strong dark ale that is worth seeking out for cellaring purposes. I know I'll be on the lookout for it, especially if the price remains so staggeringly low - $7.80 for a high-quality 11% Belgian beer is a virtual steal!

Photo of projectflam86
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle. 2011 vintage.

A- Pours a very murky muddy brown color with a decent sized white foam head that fades away rather quickly. Some scattered lace left behind.

S- Belgian candy sugar and caramel malt are most pronounced in the nose. Some light spice is there as well.

T- Now we're talking! Very nice sweetness upfront with a lightly toasted flavor throughout. Complex flavor profile as it warms with some caramel, candy sugar, spice, dark fruit, tobacco, clove, and maybe even some vinous qualities. I'm surprised to see this at 11% because it tastes closer to 9%.

M- Medium/full bodied with great spritzy carbonation.

O- One really nice brew. Easily up there with Abt 12, Rochefort 10, and Chimay Blue yet it doesn't seem to get nearly as much attention. The only real knock I have against it is the murky pour but maybe I hadn't given it enough time to settle after grabbing it from the fridge. Very tasty and one I will pick up again.

Photo of spointon
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml brown, corked/caged bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice glass.

A= At fridge temp, this ale poured a dark but clear mahogany brown color with a nice reddish glow. The first pour produced a light tan head that was only 1/4" but retained very well. The second pour (with the ale much warmer) put up a 1/2" head. Retention was incredible and the stickage on my glass looked like emulsified foam...Beautiful.

S= I noted lots of alcohol up front in the nose, but it was never off-putting. Underneath that, there was a malty sweetness, rum-soaked raisins, molasses, and some yeast character.

T= Not that the aroma was bad, but the flavors were way better. Dark malts and caramel/treacle sweetness gave way to a rich estery fruit character. Dark cherries, plums, and figs all made an appearance. The yeast lent a bit of mustiness, but for the most part the malt sweetness trumped that. The finish was long sweet, with a beautiful chest warming alcohol nip.

MF= Full bodied, with a medium carbonation level that stopped well short of effervescence. Sort of a think tongue coating feel.

D= Good complexity here and despite the ABV, this never really feels too hot. Nicely done!

Photo of bulletrain76
4.26/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl, 2008 vintage bottle split with LarryLSB at Brasserie Beck. Dark caramel brow color with a lasting beige head of fine bubbles. Vinous, yeasty, and fruity aroma with dates and cherry. The flavor is sweet, yet well balanced, with complex yeast, brown sugar, and dried fruit flavors of dates and prune. Medium-full is body with lively carbonation that lets it glide over your tongue. This was outstanding with chocolate mousse for dessert. Wonderful on its own, but the pairing was truly sublime. I was looking forward to this, and it more than delivered.

Photo of beerluvr
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 2002. Pours with a creamy, just off-white head sitting atop hazy amber/red liquid. The nose is of liquorice, some maltiness and subtle hints of dark fruit. Taste is rich in yeasty Belgian "Horse Blanket" esters and dark fruits, such as fig and prunes backed by a short shot of malty sugar followed by note of powdery yet creamy mouthfeel, and then a wave of alcoholic warmth spreads across the throat and chest as I swallow this elixir. Finishes complex and potent as Hell...nice malt sweetness bows down to alcohol notes, with a hoppy ending. A great sipper to be enjoyed on an East coast storms' aftermath!

Thanks to Pabobcat!

Photo of BigIrishman
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 Bottle, Aged nicely

Pours a dark brown with a pale small head that dissipates quickly. Smells of plums/raisins, rather sweet, similar to a sherry. Taste has a lot of grapes, sweet but yet the alcohol content leaves the taste buds a with a dry red wine flavor. Mouthfeel is syrupy, not like a RIS in terms of heaviness but rather heavy like a bristol cream, having texture but still viscous. Drinkability is scary, the dryness has you asking for more and the alcohol content can sneak up on you.

notes: This is a very different strong belgian ale, shares little in comparison with a traditional SBA like any of the Chimay's. This is one that I will come back to again. Age helps this brew achieve an amazing flavor.

Photo of philipquarles
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the proper glassware at the Ankertje (Het Anker brewpub) in Mechelen.

A nice copper brown with a tan head that has decent staying power and decent lacing. Little carbonation evident and no sediments.

Smells of malt, dark caramelized sugar, and plums. Alcohol is well masked.

Taste is very much like what I had expected from the nose, but even richer and more full bodied. The malt really comes through here, as does the sugar. Certain spices, along with the plum-like esters again. Pretty complex.

Mouthfeel is great; very thick, just what one would expect a 'quadrupel' to be.

Pretty drinkable beer, though the ABV doesn't really allow for it. Overall, pretty impressive.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a slightly reddish brown, with a huge 3 inch head, and a lot of lacing. Classic Belgian look.

Smells really, really strongly of dark fruits, plums and raisins. Smells slightly musty, in a good way.

This is very sweet, but fortunately doesn't verge on cloying territory. There's some yeasty esters, chocolate, caramel, toffee, Candi sugars, plums, and raisins. Classic, amplified quad flavor- so intensely flavored. It's great.

This has a very creamy mouthfeel, with a very low amount of carbonation. It's pretty syrupy and thick bodied.

One of the better quads you can find.

Photo of ibbjamin
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paid $13.99 for a 750ml bottle from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA. Poured into my Chimay Chalice.

Leaves a small 1/3 inch fizzy white head after a fairly aggressive pour. Dark brown, turns transparent ruby when held to light. Quite carbonated despite the small head that dissipates quickly leaving minimal retention. Some lacing.

Taste is relatively sweet, yet not over the top. Smells delicious. Sweet malt, some light Belgian yeast, purple grapes, candied figs, molasses and raisin. This one becomes more complex as you start to get into it.

Taste brings a baking spice out more, still candied figs and raisins, sweet malts, grapes and molasses.

Could go down smoother. A bit crisp from heavy carbonation. Still relatively creamy and thick. Medium to full bodied. Great drinkability.

Photo of shambeano
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage, 750ml shared with a mate and poured into a tulip.

A-Pours a syrupy looking dark dark brown with a tinge of amber, about an inch of thick head that slowly subsides, leaving a nice laving. looks pretty good.

S- straight up there is a bunch of malt sweetness, theres some alcohol in there, dark dried fruits, sultana, raisin, dried fig. A nice belgian yeastiness comes through at the end, a but spicey, peppery. pretty nice.

T- raisin and dark fruit to begin with, sultana, raisin and fig like on the nose. followed by a sweetness that reminds me of golden syrup. that golden syrup flavour really lasts for quite some time. there is a touch of spicy yeast in the background, but it takes some searching for. there is some alcohol there but it doesn't detract from the beer. quite good.

M- mid to heavy bodied, a little carbonation lightens the whole thing, has a nice length of flavour, there is a touch of alcohol prickliness but it adds to everything. good feel.

O- i like it, very alcoholic and tasty. had half a mind to give the taste a 4.5, really wish i could give it a 4.25 but anyway, its a tasty drop. and i would definitely have it again.

Photo of ElGuapo
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

As the cork shoots across the room, I am hit with a massive nose of alcohol. Thankfully as I watch a murky dark brown brew fill my glass, the alcohol disappears into the air. This brew is at first topped in a healthy topping of tannish foam, but it dies to almost nothing in no time at all. Lots of sweet fruits and spicy cloves in the aroma. There is also a lot of alcohol, too much. A big whiff of molasses tunes down the alcohol a bit to make it a bit nicer on the old whiffer.

Pretty rich in body, I would say full, but not really full, just full. You are started off with a nice rich helping of fruits (cherries for the most part). Molasses comes in a bit to keep the sweetness in check. It is then joined by a very nice portion of spices. Alcohol comes in very big at times, but it stays hidden for a few swigs here and there. The aftertaste lets the alcohol slip away, and you are left with a delicious mouthful of dark grains with a very nice roasty flavor. The complexity of this beer is certainly top shelf. The drinkability is pretty good. It is very smooth with light carbonation, and the finish is very rich and creamy. This one has a nice warming character as well.

This is an excellent beer on those gulps where the alcohol is kept in check. The flavor, aroma, and drinkability would be better if it were hidden more. I found that once it sit in my glass a bit, the alcohol spice died down a bit. Very nice.

Photo of meatmallet
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 750 ml bottle. Dark reddish brown color with a thick head that that quickly dissipates. Heavier alcohol smell than I was expecting but was not bad. Also smells of yeast, rasins, and spices. Taste is sweet with a bit of alcohol burn at the end. A heavy malt taste with fig and rasins. Feels good in the mouth with the right ammount of carbonation.

Photo of grahuba
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of zero_signal
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of nataku00
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2009 bottle into a shaker pint. Beer is dark brown, tinged with red on the edges. A half a finger of off white tan colored foamy head that left a lot of lacing. The head stuck around for a while, aided by the large amount of small bubble carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is mostly dark fruits (figs, cherries), bready malt, and spiciness (cloves and a bit of anise).

The taste follows the nose, dark fruit sweetness hitting the tongue, continuing into caramel and spicy bread malts. A bit of alcohol on the finish, but expected for the high ABV. Good balance of sweetness and spice though.

Medium bodied beer with ample soft carbonation that just keeps the tongue engaged in flavor. Lingering alcohol flavor on the tongue ensures that this is a bottle to share, and to savor slowly.

Photo of scottoale
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage 750ml. cork/caged brown bottle.

Poured into a 13.5oz snifter, a dark cherry-mahogany with just a bit of haze and a small finger of off-white head that settles leaving some nice thick lace behind. Good looking brew.

Healthy sweet malty nose that excels as it warms. Rich sweet cherries, bananas, candi-sugar, spices and yeasty notes coming through. Waivering alcohol in the back-drop comes forth as it warms.

The taste is of the smell but refined, yet amplified. Very tasty sweet malt character of booze-soaked cherries, raisens, bananas and a spicy yeast, wrapped in a candi-sugar envelope. A nice warming as it washes down. There is a balance from the hops that takes the sweetness to a dry, warm finish. Damn tasty Belgian here!

Big body, big alcohol that leads to big smooth and full mouthfeel...rich and rewarding, thus highly recommended. You really don't want to pass this one by...truly, Belgian!

Photo of allouez86
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Been on the site for a while but this is my first review, so bear with me ;)

2008 vintage picked up at my backup shop. Bottle still has good carbonation as I still got a good pop as I uncorked it.
Appearance is as expected for a quad/dark ale. Reddish brown appearance with about a small off white head after a relatively vigorous pour.
Smell is very enticing. Plums, Raisins, and some booze.
Taste is much of the same, delicious fruits and the alcohol.
Mouthfeel is very dry.

Overall this is one of my favorite beers from one of my favorite styles. I believe that I enjoy the 2008 vintage better than the 2010 that I had a few months ago.

Photo of Tone
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown color. 1/4 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of tartness, sourness, sweet malt, slight pale malt, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, alcohol, slight pale malt, hint of roasted malt, slight hop, slight dark citrus, and slight yeast. Overall, good appearance, feel, body, and complexity.

Photo of OleDixie
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ojv
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is for a 2009 bottle, so about 6 years old. Held up remarkably well (the high alcohol content, no doubt). I would have wished to have a more recent vintage for comparison to better gauge the aging process.

Smooth, full mouth feel. Sweet, complex fruits and mellow spice. An enjoyable beer, worth the wait.

Photo of BeersAndBears
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of damienblack
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Happy 24th birthday to me!

Pours a dark, dark amber-brown. One finger head, but nice and full. Always leaves neat lacing all around the glass, like it was spray-painted on. Whenever it's disturbed, there's always a burst of fizz going on - a great looking beer. Smells strongly of raisins, a little other stuff like date, maybe fig. A bit tart. Very sweet at the same time, also very boozey.

On the sweet side, lingering impression on the palate is very sweet malt. Also got something funky going on that's hard for me to pinpoint, either it's licorice, or something similar. Sweet malt and candied sugar, raisiny, very lightly hopped. A very rich, thick beer with those layers of complexity that you love to feel. A bit spicy at the end. Chewy, yet super smooth, and it just loves to roll off the tongue. Pretty high carbonation for the style. Drinkability is high because of the above, but I also think it's a bit boozey, and that detracts a bit. It's been a great sipper for me tonight, where normally I would be all over something like this. Still very worthy, though.

Photo of drumrboy22
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. Poured from 750mL bottle into a Westvleteren chalice. Beer was a deep red color, with a velvety, creamy, tan head. Heavy lacing around the glass.

Aroma was caramel, dark fruits and brown sugar.

Taste was caramel, raisins and other dark fruits, light spices. Delicious.

Very full bodied beer. Creamy, thick mouthfeel. Nice light to moderate carbonation.

Fantastic all around beer. I think this one would age very well.

Photo of Sarlacc83
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle consumed 9-8. Split 4 ways. Reviewed from notes.

A: Thick brown with a fluffy lasting head. Sticks to the glass.

N: Malty raisins. Lots of estery yeast. Cloves. Plume and caramel/toffee. Candi sugar.

T: Belgian yeast, raisin, bananas. Plums and raisins. Noticeable alcohol, but as is the case with most BDSAs, it melds well with the flavor profile. Lots of the sweet sugar flavors, caramel and toffee.

M: Very smooth with a light, airy overall feel.

O: It is so incredibly difficult to match what the Belgians do so easily with their big beers. In an era when sub 300 bottle counts are king and the readily available is oft avoided, this is a reminder to pick up these traditional beers off the shelf more often.

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,627 ratings.