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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)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2002

User Reviews
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Reviews: 877 | Ratings: 1,779
Photo of BucBasil
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 750mL corked and caged bottle into a chalice. This is the 2009 version.

A: The beer is a pure brown, cloudy and murky with a quickly dissolving 1 finger tan head.

S: A bit alcoholic, but with plenty of dark fruits in there (plum, raisin). Rum. Anise. Clove. Hint of cherry. The aroma is not faint - it's complex and very much there - but the different notes seem to run all together. Earthy aroma in the middle, but then toast and brown sugar. All over the map here.

T: Surprisingly sweet with dark fruits (plum, raisin) and brown sugar or even molasses. Berries and cherries flash in there, as well as a touch of lighter fruits, and the sweetness is very fresh. However, it's not all sweetness - it's very well balanced with a nice malt backbone of toasted bread. Spice character is not as evident, but definitely there. Finishes with a yeasty kick and a touch of rum or port-like alcohol that is quickly covered again by clove and fruit. Fantastic taste, and may quickly grow to become a favorite.

M: Surprisingly crisp on the tongue but velvet smooth going down. Fantastic.

D and Notes: What a great beer. I had high expectations coming into this one, and it definitely did not disappoint. The beer is just so flavorful and complex, but still somehow approachable and avoids being cloying. Incredible and I will definitely pick this one up again.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2003 bottle that luckily had been forgotten in the back of my fridge since the day I purchased it.

Appearance: Dark brown, hazy, cola like color with a brownish tan head that has smooth sand look to it. Very good head retention and slippery lacing on the side of the glass.

Smell: Vinous, caramel, raisins, figs, and a very hearty and sweet malt flavor. The aroma on this beer is very appealing and much like an after dinner wine.

Taste: Lively and slightly floral maltiness with rich brown sugar, molasses, raw sugar, and an alcohol warmth to it. There is no alcohol flavor, just a light warmth. More fruity flavors emerge as the beer warms. Grapes and chocolate with a roasty and toasty component to the malt developing. There's a slight starchy/vegetable flavor towards the end. The ending is long and malty sweet with flutters of candy sugar. The aftertaste is surprisingly crisp wiht a saltine cracker like flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth and velvety with a mild syrupy character. For all the sweetness in this beer it is still leaves a nice dry feeling on the palate.

Drinkability: Yes please. I wish I had forgotten a few more bottles of this in my fridge. This was excellent with a robust and well balanced flavor. Aging definately did this beer some good.

Notes: We paired this beer with some chocolates from Belgium including Galler Lait (bar), Cote D'or Lait with hazelnuts (bar), Callebaut Lait (bar), Demaret Lait bar, and Demaret Lait assorted pralines. The Galler bar was by far the best pairing with this beer but the Demaret chocolates (from Verviers) were the best all around chocolate and would go well with any beer that matches well with chocolate. I recommend pairing this beer with good Belgian chocolate.

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown-orange color. The head was slight and looked tan and slightly green. Head left a nice ring about the glass and left some lacing. Smell was a melange of fruit, chocolate, and roasted malt. Taste was overall very sweet and was composed of chocolate and fruit with a hint of spice. Mouthfeel was smooth and rich. This was a wonderful beer, but, in the end, the sweetness proved to be overpowering.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- this is about the deepest darkest red you can get. small white head that bubbled fiercely and then quickly went away.

S- Sweet malts with dark ripe fruits (plums, figs, cherries). faint odor of alcohol. its pretty well hidden for something this strong (10% is what the bottle claims, not the 11% its listed here as).

T- Very complex. Similar to how it smells, but everything comes off as magnified. delightful.

M- medium body with a perfect level of carbonation. leaves the mouth feeling a little dry.

D- Way too strong to drink all day, but if it tastes like this id be tempted. the bottle i had is just over 18 months old (bottled feb 24 07). im going to search this one out fresh. highly recommended

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Photo of ryanonline
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours deep dark mahogony with a thick foamy off white head and great lacing.

cherries and figs on the nose with a little raisin and sugary candy also. a deep alcohol scent is present.

a deep sugary sweetness resounds right off the first sip. the cherry and fig still present, not as raisiny as the nose would imply. what's weird about this beer is that the body leads me to think i should be tasting the yeast, but i don't.

mouthfeel is nice, the bubbles leave an initially foamy presence but they quickly fade into the clean somewhat rich body. It's thick but not heavy.

I love the taste in this beer, and the overall experience is excelent (body is even, not overly carbonated and what is there is very delicate), but it is very complex and i don't think i could have more than one maybe two. but at 11 % abv that is all you really need.

i tried it once and for some reason, i don't think i liked it (or it was another beer from gouden carolus im confusing this one with), but having re-tasted it i can say this beer is awesome. i wanna cellar a bottle.

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Photo of RomanW70
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 version 3/14 @ Armsby Abbey. Pours dark caramel brown with minimal white lacing. Aroma of molasses, caramel, and candied sugar. Delicious flavor. Sweet malts and caramel descend into a candies sugar, yeasty finish. Very sweet, but not overly so. Thick mouthfeel with minimal carbonation. Super delicious beer.

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Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a Nearly opaque reddish brown color with a fine, full head. Head dissipates to leave a ton of lacing, actually more like foam on the sides of the glass than lacing.

s Very fruity smell enhanced by the fact that I am drinking it warmer than the recommended 45 - 50 degrees. The aroma is that of dried dark fruits; raisins, prunes, with a pleasant rumminess.

t Tastes like a high alchol ale. My bottle says 10%. Sweet chocolate malt flavor.

m Feels good in my mouth, a little thin but again I am drinking it warm.

d I would drink this again and again. Too expensive to be an everyday beer but I will enjoy this ale many more times.

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Photo of Franchise
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This offering has been aged since 2004, so it is about 3 years old. It pours a dark brown, with some light penatration. Leaving no head at all, the aroma is dark pitted fruit, plum, pears, raisins, dark syrup, wow so complex and sweet leaving a port like quality for all to admire. The taste starts cordial, moving to just a faint amount of hops but showcasing a malty, sweet, syrupy delight. The taste mirrors the nose dark fruit, raisins, plums, prunes, and finishes syrupy in the back of the palate. This is one fanastic aged brew and I'm glad I got a full growler of this one.

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Photo of liamt07
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared with Steve and co., 750 into a few snifter type glasses. Recall this being an 07-08 vintage? Regardless..

Poured a dark brown/burgundy, unfiltered with some small floaties. Fluffy tan head falls quickly, with some mild retention and spotty lace. Nose is dry and vinous, lots of dark fruits, grape skins. Taste is big on the brown sugar, dark fruits, mild vinous notes. Some green apple/grape skins. Sweet overall, but not overpoweringly so. Well balanced with a fantastic, full mouthfeel. Smooth, silky and creamy. Some mild dryness in the finish. Just awesome.4/4/45/45/45

Re-reviewed November 13, 2011. Part of the QuadShowdown. Beautiful softness to the nose, plums, dark fruits, sugar/brown sugar. Concise, condensed and exceptional bouquet. Taste reflects the nose quite well. Plums, brown sugar, vanilla, light syrup. Gentle and complex. Soft carbonation, full feel and a touch of back-end alcohol. Absolutely outstanding BSDA/Quad, great complexity, feel and smoothness. 4/45/45/5/5

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Photo of cmmprez
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Grand Cru of the Emperor '06
I don't like giving beers glowing reports, but this one deserves it.

Appearance - Dark, ruby hue. Light lacing. Dirty white head. Pretty straightforward..

Smell - Berry nose, inviting malt, candy sugar. Strong mouth watering aroma.

Taste - Sweet taste that crescendos across tongue. Aftertaste dries and fades nicely. It begs for another sip. Right up there with your very best Trappists.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Not sticky but doesn't need to be as the flavor is there. Gets you in the back of the throat with that Abbey Ale flavor (like tea spice).

Overall - A great beer. In league with Rochefort 10 and Westmalle Dubbel.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle states 2004, 10% alc, and Grand Cru of the Emperor. When I popped the 750ml bottle which was caged and corked, it immediately started to foam out the top. I lost a couple of ounces.

Pours out a cloudy dark brown with a small head that seems to be building. The smell is superb. Reminds me of Ommegang. Chocolate, raisins and figs come through. Solid malt and brown sugar as well.

Taste is a bit sweeter than I expected. At least in the beginning. The middle and end give way to more of the chocolate and sugar as well as a slight alcohol note. Overall a wonderful beer. I would love to try any of their other beers as well.

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Photo of cooler4life
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottle

A: Poured a one finger head that settles to a thin cap. Color is a deep mahogany brown. Lacing is moderate. Carbonation can be seen racing to the top. I can see some particulate swirling about.

S: Smell is a standout! Raisons, figs, brown sugar, green apples. With deeper breaths I get the alcoholic twinge with some butterscotch.

T: Wow. Figs at first, followed by burnt sugar, roasty malt, dark fruits, rum soaked cherries, and cocao. The first sip almost knocked my socks off.

M: Extremely creamy and smooth. Light-medium mouth presence. Carbonation is delicate...Mellow.

O: For a brew of this ABV with such a multidimensional taste and smell, the drinkability factor is fantastic. Well done!

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Photo of allengarvin
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a gorgeous beer, dark, reddish-tinted, with a colossal head of smooth, creamy foam on top, and excellent lacing. The nose is delicious, with a soft buttery caramel, ripe fruit, subtle yeasty spiciness, and a light tartness. The flavor is a delight of Belgianness: a near-perfect blend of sweet milky maltiness that's never over-heavy, lightly raisiny, lightly caramelized pear fruitiness, maybe a hint of cherries in the slightly tart finish. The body is smooth and creamy, but the alcohol is almost undetectable, except perhaps as it warms up a bit.

An amazing piece of beer craftsmanship, and one of the best beers I've had in months. Every part blends together perfectly, each component delectable, but it's the beer as a whole that's truly wonderful.

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Photo of montecristo2
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This IS the stuff reserved for the emperor.

A 2007 vintage poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Aromas of malts, fruity esters, and extremely faint banana yeast.

Dark chestnut color, cloudy and small head, maybe one finger max.

First sip...malts and fruits-candy sugars, grapes and raisins.

Bottom of the bottle tastes more of candied sugars, cinnamon, spiced plums.

This is awesome stuff.


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Photo of Blindpigbiz
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

VAN DE KEIZER BLEAUW '09; consumed in 2011


Smell: neutral

Taste: barley-wine, dark-ripened plums, cognac, black licorice, maraschino cherries, candied sugar and warm scotch

Pair this beer with smoked goose, a rare filet minion, a truffle wagyu burger with blue cheese, or a funnel cake with Madagascar vanilla bean ice cream with a dark-fruit syrup

This beer is fantastic! Normally for beer, or any kind of liquor, one has to search for flavor and have an immensely discerning palette in order to extract all of the flavors; not this time. This beer aged is probably the BEST DARK BEER EVER MADE, or at least that I've tried. This beer brazenly smacks you in the face and tells you what it tastes like; it's like hunting in a forest with no trees and large game animals at a stand still; the flavors are immensely dominant.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

For Belgian Independance Day Week.

Body is more brown than black, but its dark for sure. The light produces a few translucent brown hues. Initial white head fades into big bubbles and a ring around the glass.

Booze laden smell. Lots of prunes and sweet dark cherries. Thick booze smell still dominates. Slightly sweet, kind of like sweet cherry syrup.

Not overly complex, but exactly what you want from a Belgian Dark. The booze is all but gone. Yeast comes out straight away, blitzkrieging away. It fades, and you get the underlying sweet dark fruits that are just great. Then comes this insanely smooth sweet monster. It finishes out just so smooth. Just sweet enough to be great, but not overly sweet. Notes of black cherries, plums, and sweet, sweet blackberries. Finishes light and slightly sweet.

Yeast is perfect here. Only enough of it to make a Belgian ale, but adds a nice presence. Low carbonation also helps the drinkability.

Feels light (way too light for 11%). Slick from the dark fruits, but still enough body to make it great.

What a gem and a lucky find on my part. Now I have to try to find a better BSDA (which is going to be tough).

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Photo of Matteox3
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed from a 25oz Bottle purchased over 6 months prior at Wine and More, Delaware. Tulip glass.

Poured with a 1/4 inch head, slightly malty aroma. Taste matched the aroma spot on, but with surprising dryness at the end.

Very impressive beer. My girlfriend is a huge fan of tripels and I am more into the dubbel and strong dark ale. However, this beer caused her to re-evaluate her attitude towards the darker belgians.

I would buy again next time I make a trip to Delaware.

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Photo of Ljunkan
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red/brown color with a nice white head.

Smells excellent, vinous, notes of berries, some nuttiness. Nice.

The taste is very complex and good; lots of bitter berries, liquorice, caramel, brown sugar, fruityness. Sweet, but not too sweet. Some warming alcohol in a good way.

It's very filling in the mouth. Also very smooth and nice.

Drinkability is rather hig for such a high abv beer, but of course you cannot drink a lot of it...

One of the best belgian beers I've had. Amazing!

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Photo of John_M
4.64/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's (have not seen this on tap at too many places).

The beer pours a reddish amber color that is just a bit murky. On the nose... this is what Belgian beers are all about. I get a huge aroma of sugar daddy, cherry, chocolate, orange citrus, and a hint of root beer. This smells just incredible. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose almost exactly and are just as impressive. There's a bit more anise then there is on the nose, but that only helps to buoy the moderate sweetness a bit more. This beer is just incredibly delicious. Mouthfeel is good, with decent length and a full, fairly long finish. Alcohol is fairly well disguised, but lets not kid ourselves. This is clearly a rich, heady, no holds barred Belgain strong ale. Unless you're a masochist, you're not going to be pounding down pints of these bad boys.

Fabulous stuff. If you don't like this, then you probably don't like beer. Yummm....

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.64/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark mahogany brown with massive head that leaves heavy lacing

S: aroma of biscotti, dark overripened plums, caramelized sugars, and light malt

T: dark purple plum overripened to the point where you can taste the fruit has completely finished ripening and is completely sugar / no starch remaining. The biscuit aromas carry through for the true Belgian strong dark ale flavors mixing with yeast and stale brown bread dough.

M: Very light in carbonation, and relatively thick in mouthfeel.

O: Overall this is a very smooth beer. This beer has been crafted carefully over time and it is a mature and very well crafted brew. Strongly recommended if you have never tried this before. I had seen this for years and passed it by, probably due to its labeling which for whatever reason did not appeal to me.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.64/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a very dark amber color with two fingers of extremely dense foam. Amazing retention. Even better lacing. It couldn't look better.

S: Strong prunes and raisins upfront in this beer - I get dried apricots behind it. Lots of orange bitters and light clove keep this beer from smelling too sweet. Actually extremely well balanced and fairly dry smelling for the style.

T: Prunes are still quite strong in this beer, but I get some caramel sweetness as well. The beer tastes sweeter than it smells. Orange bitters and cloves are still there to balance, but not nearly as strong as in the aroma. Aftertaste has some nutmeg and a bit of booze.

M: Medium thickness with fairly high, but very creamy carbonation.

O: Simply amazing. This is one of the most complex beers I've ever had, but it's so balanced. The taste is maybe a tad sweet, but I'm splitting hairs. An array of dark fruits, spice, a bit of caramel, what more do you want in a BSDA?

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage.

I cannot beleive this beer does not have more reviews! This is by far one of my favorite belgians. This beer pours a deep dark brown with little head ( this varies by vintage). The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and creamy, by far the smoothest beer i have ever drunk at 10% abv. taste is typical of the het anker brewery, similar to the classic but much richer and warmer. impressively almost no alcohol on the finish. tastes of dark fruit and a tasty version of a strong french or belgian amber. This beer only improves with age and should be appreciated slowly ( as hard as that may be) in front of a warm fire on a cold night alone or with a very good friend. Zalig Genieten!

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Photo of Filosoof
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great great beer. An excentric style. There are dessert wines; this looks like a dessert beer. So powerful. It is very sweet, but functionally sweet.

L: need I say more? A great top, Deep dark.
S: this is a complete fruit garden and candy shop in one. Candy rock/stick. Orange, prunes, figes and many more.
T: in line with the smell; great combination with Stilton;
M: lovely.
O: top of the bill.

A bit too heavy and sweet to drink it very often, but great as a finish of a wonderful dinner.

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Photo of jsh420
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


pours muddy amber brown with a 2 finger tanish head with tight bubbles - great lacing and retention

smells very strong of rich dark fruit malt but also has lighter fruit (apples and pears)

taste is up there with some of the best BSD's - nutty sugary spiced fruit - very complex

mouthfeel is so smooth but still has plenty of carbonation

drinkability is crazy good for a brew @ 11% abv - drinking this beer makes me happy to know that there are still plenty of beers still out there that will amaze me

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Photo of tonytuffnuts
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Somehow this 2008 sat in my cabinet for 4 months, something I suppose is ultimately for the better.

A rich, brown, opaque body trimmed w red hues cascades from a beautiful, classy bomber. Huge, rocky head leaves a sticky lace and a full ceiling that tells stories about the yeast.

From the second the cork loudly popped off, I caught a whiff of berry, prune, dried fig, dark cherry, and boozy rum. A rich toffee malt and finest quality Belgian yeast complete the scent.

Tastes very rich: 2-1 ratio of dark to caramel malts, plus some unmalted barley. Dark, dried fruits start front and center, then the spiced-rum/booze sweeps front of my tongue, vanilla & toffee the back, and fine carbonation massages all over.

Especially after airing out for 5 minutes, the dark, dried fruit character hides beneath the alcohol.

I'm a strong dark ale fan, and this is just heaven... esp a $12 bottle bought at $5 on clearance! I had no idea what a gem this was when I came across it at Charles St Liquors, Beacon Hill.

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
95 out of 100 based on 877 ratings.