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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) - Brouwerij Het Anker

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,367 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1367
Reviews: 819
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.67%


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: 1,367 | Reviews: 819 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of ryannosaurus
ryannosaurus

Arizona

4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 poured to snifter

Dark reddish brown, opaque appearance. Nice tan head that settles to a consistent film.

Smell is sweet and spicy: brown sugar, banana and clove most evident

Loads of residual sugars... flavor is very sweet with caramel and molasses and fig notes on the front.... banana, spice, brown sugar and a hint of hop bitterness and alcohol on the back end

Mouth feel is nice: significant body thinned by the alcohol, and sharpened by the carbonation

I expect a big Belgian to be on the sweet side, and this certainly hits that... maybe a little too sweet on the front of the tongue. Slight hop bitterness adds some needed contrast, and while some fruit esters are evident, they are somewhat mixed and indistinct under the sweetness. It would be interesting to see how this one ages further, but overall just too sweet for a 5 star rating in my estimation.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2014 00:18:37 | More by ryannosaurus
Photo of gr0g
gr0g

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, 2012 vintage.
Hazy, dark mahogany, about one finger of foam. Retention is pretty good while some sparse, tattered lacing is left. Aroma is awesome: candied dark fruits soaked in rum, more than a little bit of alcohol, a bit of yeastiness underneath.

Loads of sweetness upfront, to a fault. Gouden Carolus Classic is quite sweet, but there's enough bitterness to maintain balance; not so here. Plenty of dark candi sugar in this, for sure. That's really the only major fault, though. Tons of rum-soaked, candied dark fruit. Some clove/banana in the background. Carbonation is nicely restrained. Alcohol definitely rears its head, but stops short of being boozy.

This is really a great dark Belgian ale, but the sweetness is almost cloying and holds it back from being epic. Still makes a great after-dinner sipper.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 23:07:45 | More by gr0g
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CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark mahogany with ample cherry glints. The smallish, crackly off white cap is pretty shortlived. The aroma is rich caramel malts, raisins, field berries. An intense wall of malt hits in the first sip. Rum soaked Christmas cake, sangria, plum, cinnamon, vanilla and a million other flavors fill the palate. Hops are scarce, as is the lofty 11% ABV. Its amazing how well the booze heat is hidden. The mouthfeel is full bodied verging on viscous with a medium carbonation level. The finish is fruity with a light hop bitterness and a bit of herbal hop character.

Overall this is a sweet but not overly so beer. Lots of malt complexity and fruityness and the very high ABV is surprisingly (and dangerously) well hidden. Try this.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 21:18:56 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of IPA35
IPA35

Netherlands

4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Being a great fan of their Classic and the Christmas, but being the only true beerlover in the household I decided to pick up a bottle even though I will have to drink it by myself.

2013 version

Look very dark amber/ruby. No yeast on the first pour ofcourse.
The head dissappears quickly.

Smells good, nice dark fruits and caramel malts. Just as one would expect really.
One of those beers you will love if you like dubbels and quadrupels.

Taste much like the smell. A tasty beer. Nice and sweet, warming alcohol and nice dark fruits and caramel. Some spice too. Good stuff!

Some more fresh fruity notes too, light red apple and maybe red grapes.

The alcohol does not overpower it.

Mouthfeel is medium to full. Smooth and the carbonation is perfect for this kind of beer.

Very good. Worth trying if you like their other dark ales or Rochefort for example.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2014 19:51:50 | More by IPA35
Photo of keithmurray
keithmurray

New York

4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage poured into a chalice

Appearance - reddish brown liquid with a small amount of tan head

Smell - raisins, plums, dates, cherries, brown sugar

Taste - raisins, dates, prunes, plums, caramel, grapes

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, lighter carbonation, very sweet upfront and in the finish, flavors linger, boozy but the alcohol isn't overwhelming

Overall - nice Belgian ale worth a shot

Price Point - $17.99/4 pk 11.2 oz bottles

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 23:30:42 | More by keithmurray
Photo of BeerGod27
BeerGod27

South Carolina

2.45/5  rDev -43.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (2012)
This beer seems to be enjoyed by most and came highly recommended, yet it did not live up to the fanfare. This was recommended based on my love of quads, yet this is a strong dark ale, not a quad. I don't know why two different guys at two different beer stores told me this was a quad.
This pours a dark brown, looks beautiful and rich. Minimal head.
Nose is very sweet and when swirled brings out a pungent smell of alcohol.
Taste is very sweet, to a fault. Dark fruits, brown sugar and alcohol are prominent on the tongue. Have I mentioned it's far too sweet?
I shared this with several friends and no one else liked it either. We can't all be wrong about this highly rated beer can we? Is it possible I got a bad bottle? I hope so.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2013 15:48:20 | More by BeerGod27
Photo of ssmack
ssmack

Ontario (Canada)

4.14/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a large wine.

Root beer colour. Dark brown with light brown highlights. Quarter in beige head that thins to a surface of foam. Fair lacing with solid lacing.

Smells of raisins and phenol. Mild chemical smell. Caramelized sugar.

Very sweet taste. Candied fruit, prunes, molasses with a bright edge. Boozy warmth but no alcohol taste.

A full rich, creamy feel. Mild buzz throughout the mouth.

Overall this ale is delicious. The sweetest beer I have ever had.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2013 02:56:10 | More by ssmack
Photo of don1481
don1481

Wisconsin

4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

1 pt 9.4 oz bottle poured into a glass.

Appearance: pours with a lingering head. Not obnoxiously so, was able to pour cleanly into the glass.

Smell: smells sugary with a little booziness. Some hints of cloves. Sweet smelling for sure.

Taste: first sip is... Different. A little less sweet and a little more boozy than what others have said. After waiting for a moment, another sip definitely gives that sweet, smooth delicious taste. So good. Wow.

Mouthfeel: very very smooth. Doesn't really linger.

Overall: wow. Just... Wow. Yes please more.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2013 01:38:22 | More by don1481
Photo of rand
rand

California

4.66/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

From 750 mL bottle to Mikasa tulip glass

2009 batch...been looking forward to this.

A: The brew appears deep mahogany in color, cloudy and completely opaque. It seems effervescent, but the beers own weight prevents any real chance of a head. Tiny patches of lacing speckle the glass.

S: The bouquet is rich and sweet and layered, with prominent notes of ripe fruit and butter-rum. Drying notes of oak attempt to contain the big, yeasty aspects and banana esters. Distinct buttery notes linger.

T/M: Ripe fruit hits the palate first, more prominently than the nose led to expect. The butter-rum notes are there, but they're tucked under a layer of sweet, chewy bread and oak. You can parse subtleties all day with this, but it seems age has formed a singular experience on the palate, as none of the nuances overlap the others. Booze is noted, especially toward the finish, which helps dry and cleans, leading to a medium and slightly sweet close.

This is up there with the best of the Belgian Strongs I've had. YOu could use this for a clinic...the esters, the oak-y dryness, the body and balance. I'd like to see what this tastes like after a few more years in the cellar.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 10:16:06 | More by rand
Photo of Durge
Durge

Connecticut

4.41/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fresh from Ohoove's cellar into a pint glass this fine 2008 vintage brew shows a deep dark root beer color with a solid but thin light tan head and a nice broken sheet of lacing. The aroma brings a delicate but sweet currant and red wine theme with dark fruits. Very refined with none of the classic Belgian traits I often expect. Very nice but definitely concentrated on the wine idea. The flavor hits with more dark fruits over deep chocolate malt and champagne - red wine. There are some floral hints and cotton candy sweetness, but again, the dominant flavor combines red wine and sugary malt. The body is at least medium with modest carbonation and a pretty aqueous feel. Quite a tasty treat worth waiting for!!

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2013 06:14:20 | More by Durge
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DenisKolkin

Ontario (Canada)

4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle purchased from LCBO for $7.80 CDN. Nice value on this volume of what appears to be a world class beer. Left out for about 40 minutes after being in fridge for a few days. Served into oversized wine glass.

Appearance - Dark chestnut brown color with 1.2 finger of off-white head. Head fizzles away moderately leaving a nice soapy feature the edges of the glass and wispy accumulation of foam on top of the beer.

Smell - Burnt sugar, and a bit of booze here and caramel. Second time around a few dark fruits begin to creep in and also the faint hint of peach-like smells. Butterscotch, toffee as well as the funky Belgian yeast although it is not overly pronounced here. Also a bit of a cooked marshmallow smell to it.

Taste - Sugar, caramel and that booziness on the aromas shines through. Also tons of that toasted marshmallow flavor in conjunction with the aforementioned dark fruits namely dates, prunes and cheery. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Overall really delicious but definitely a sipping type of beer.

Mouthfeel - Super smooth, rich and great warmth in the back of the throat. Medium carbonation and medium bodied, but shading towards the lighter side which is impressive given the breadth of flavors and high ABV here.

Overall - World class all the way, one of the best with other greats in the style but really enjoyed the toasted marshmallow feature here which seemed more pronounced than I've had in other beers in the style. Definitely would recommended but you may want a couple of friends around or risk feeling light headed after a bottle of this stuff.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 04:15:14 | More by DenisKolkin
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

4.71/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a dark brown mahoghany with a bit of red coming through. There's a bit of off white/light brown head.

The aroma has just tons and tons of sweetness dark caramel, toffee. It moves onto overly painfully sweet dark fruits like raisin, figs. A bright red wine character as well, which is a surprising note.

The flavor follows with almost a port like quality. Tons of overly sweet raisins, figs, and then some grape and bittering tanins. The general theme is the brown sugar and toffee sweetness that just lingers along with fruit bread.

A medium silky mouthfeel without much carbonation.

The alcohol is well hidden. Granted, I'm having a 2012 vintage and it is over a year old, but still, so drinkable. A lovely sweetness and a great dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2013 02:01:47 | More by dar482
Photo of Flachs
Flachs

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was a great beer to drink. I just know what I like and this us one that works for me. I liked the way it pored into my tulip glass. At first it was a little over powering but as I got further into the beer it turned out great? Will be drinking this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 00:38:02 | More by Flachs
Photo of REDAMI
REDAMI

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750ml bottle into Chimay goblet.

A - Pour is a muddy, copper-brown topped with a paper-thin ivory foam.

S - Sharp alcohol on the nose. Buttered bread, raisins, toffee sugar.

T - Moderately sweet, metallic, raisins or plums, with a cereal aftertaste.

M - Fine, light carbonation, moderate to thin mouthfeel, not overly hot from the alcohol.

Has a sharp alcohol nose but the sweetness and mouthfeel hide the alcohol well. Slightly warming with a distinct raisin-like quality. Lacked the yeast candy of a bottle conditioned beer, it would be better with this extra yeast.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2013 18:52:39 | More by REDAMI
Photo of jmdrpi
jmdrpi

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 mL corked and caged bottle, 2012, so between 1 and 2 years old.

appears chesnutt brown. thin head of very fine bubbles. good retention and lacing from the head. rich malty and slightly boozy aroma as it warms. a little nutty & earthy. taste is similar. great balance of sweetness & a dry finish. very complex, smooth. easy to drink, super smooth as silk mouthfeel. low carbonation.

overall a great dark Belgian

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2013 02:50:45 | More by jmdrpi
Photo of Mrappinin
Mrappinin

Virginia

3.9/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A review of the 2013 batch:-) possibly the best looking brew I have seen in a while. Pours a dark ruby held up to the light it almost glows. A rocky head that persists all the way threw, sticking to the glass as you drink. Not the best smelling brew. Not a foul smell just not much to it. Heavy booze not with the slight fruity esters of Belgium yeast and not much else. Fortunately this does not translate over to taste. A taste of booze fruity esters, darkfruits , candy sugers . the mouth feel is smooth and velvety like an imperial stout. The carbonation seams to only add to head retention and does not dull the flavor at all. Trying to broaden my Belgium horizons, not a dad addition

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2013 01:18:07 | More by Mrappinin
Photo of Teleweizen2
Teleweizen2

New Jersey

4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - pours a deep murky brown. almost completely opaque but in better lighting there are nearly neon bright red highlights 3 fingers of off-white foam slowly dissipate showing great retention. Leaves thick webs of lacing.

S - the nose is sweet. Very desert-like. Brown sugar and chocolate. Lots of fruit esters. Mostly raspberries, figs, and raisins.

T - sweet flavors upfront. Brown and granulated sugar. Hints of flaky bread crust underneath. The center is full of juicy dark fruits. Raisins, figs, pomegranate, raspberries and dried cherries. The fruit flavors blend nicely with the yeasty flavors. Finish is slightly peppery.

M - full bodied. High carbonation. Creamy texture. Tight bubbles.

O - great dessert beer. A bit on the sweet side but still very drinkable and very flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2013 01:09:03 | More by Teleweizen2
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2010 vintage. Pours moderately hazy and cloudy dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Good spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, plum, fig, molasses, toast, toffee, brown sugar, dark bread, dark candi sugar, pepper, light clove, light chocolate, light roast, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with huge complexity and great balance of dark malt and fruity/spicy yeast esters; with big strength. Taste of caramel, molasses, toast, raisin, prune, fig, brown sugar, toffee, dark bread, light chocolate, herbal, light roast, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, molasses, toast, brown sugar, toffee, raisin, prune, dark bread, light chocolate, light roast, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Absolutely incredible complexity and balance of molasses/bready malt and dark fruit flavors; with a big malt presence and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly crisp mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Belgian strong dark ale! All around incredible balance and complexity of dark malt and dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the gravity. An insanely delicious offering.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2013 04:09:53 | More by superspak
Photo of Bung
Bung

North Carolina

3.89/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz. 2011. Rootbeer or prune juice type brown pour, frothy thin layer of off white head. Some lacing.

Aroma, a lot of raisin and brown sugar. Some winey white grape.

Taste, Raisin, yellow and otherwise. Brown sugar, caramel. Caramel covered white grape. Some vanilla and sugar cookie.

A lower level of carbonation and nicely coating. The body is not real heavy so this is ok, not cloying. The big abv is non-existent.
Very good, but I think the uber high score is due to the plethora of average Belgian Darks that are considered better than they are.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 02:20:54 | More by Bung
Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
GeorgiaBeerGuy

Georgia

4.61/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, Served at 34°F, allowed to warm as the bottle was enjoyed. Served in a snifter.

A: Reddish brown, thick and foamy initially, with a thin lacing that clings to the glass as I enjoy...

S: FRUIT! Sweet, spicy, delicious.

T: Follows the nose, and raisins, plums, figs and dates. dark fruit, sugar, spices, and wow.

M: thick, syrupy, and wonderful. tight carbonation. coats, and is full on the swallow.

O: Great beer. would definitely enjoy again, and will look for the RED to compare.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2013 00:39:42 | More by GeorgiaBeerGuy
Photo of deereless
deereless

Colorado

4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Finger of foam that fell pretty quickly leaving a few spots of lace along the interior of the glass, deep burgundy to maroon in color, nice presentation in a caged and corked bottle – 4.25, S: Strong aromas of plums, figs and molasses, lots of distinct smells that remind me of maraschino cherries and fruitcake, some chalkiness and a touch of candied sugar – 4.50, T: Slightly medicinal, significant alcohol burn, sweet caramel malt flavors as well as dark fruits including, sweetness borders on cloying, great deal of spiciness and even a bit of port, lots going on in this beer – 4.25, M: Creamy and velvety with a drying aftertaste presumably from the high alcohol – 3.50, D: A very nice example of the style though a slight departure from the Belgian Strong Dark Ale that I tend to prefer, incredibly complex and turning up new flavors and smells by the sip – 4.00

Serving type: bottle

07-24-2013 01:52:02 | More by deereless
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: 2012 release
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Het Anker has an excellent Belgian Strong Dark Ale with Cuvee van de Keizer Blauw. The beer manages to combine a substantial dried fruit sweetness with some spices, yet never come across as cloying or even boring. The thick, heavy mouthfeel of the beer reinforces the flavors and adds another, pleasant dimension to the beer. Dangerously drinkable and delicious, you'd never guess that this was 11% ABV. One to definitely seek out and enjoy repeatedly.

Pours a 2cm tall mass of khaki colored foam, made up of tiny bubbles, creating a very dense, nearly meringue-like texture. Retention is excellent, lasting several minutes in a slow decline to a 0.5cm cap atop the body of the beer. Lacing is also excellent, a large, interconnected pattern of medium-thick squiggles and dots, coming together to resemble something like a maze pattern on the insides of the glass. Body is dark brown to black in color, light bringing out a very dark amber brown hue to the beer. Carbonation not visible through the functionally opaque body.

Aroma of dense, fruity sweetness, like spiced plums with amber Belgian candi sugar syrup, heavy sugars from caramel malts, dried dates and figs, anise, and port wine.

Front of palate experiences amber Belgian candi sugar syrup, ripe plums, anise, and caramelized sugar sweetness. Mid-palate switches to intense and dense flavors of dried plums, dates, and figs, all stewed in amber Belgian candi sugar syrup, notable anise, intensely sweetened light roasted malts. Back of palate finds syrupy amber Belgian candi sugar, caramelized malt sugars, dried dates, figs, and plums, slight ethanol. Aftertaste is of prunes, amber Belgian candi sugar, heavy caramel sweetness, anise, slight ethanol.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body with medium-low carbonation intensity, resulting in a foamy, smooth, fairly thick mouthfeel. Ethanol heat can be slightly felt in the nostrils and back of throat when the beer becomes warm, quite good for an 11% ABV beer. Closes semi-dry, with substantial stickiness on the palate.

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2013 04:17:43 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of Vladimiriuz
Vladimiriuz

Netherlands

3.88/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Got the bottle of the year 2000, brewed at February the 24th of 2000.

Add the nice dark, ruby like in a Gouden Carolus chalice. There was no thick foam, the beer went complete dead when I poor it in the glass. Cause of there was no foam in it it have to do cause this is a 13 years old aged bottle. I heard that than the foam complete fades away when you pour it in the chalice.

Nice colour, and the nose gives a very warm and a red fruits appearance. Also some dark chocolate is there.

For a alcohol of 8,5% (not 11%, on this bottle what I have stands 8,5%), it is a very delicate and good to drink. The strongest of the alcohol is not there. The sparklings is a little on the background, not so much on this great fantastic beer.

The taste is very warm, delicate have some sweetness in it. Red fruits, some caramel, some chocolate. Very pleasant. One of my favourites and highly recommended for those who like warm and strong dark ales.

The 2000 years bottles are quite rare to get. Hopefully if you will find one! Than you have a very special and a fantastic collector's item.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2013 13:07:12 | More by Vladimiriuz
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wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

4.16/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(2006 Vintage) Coming in a 750ml straight brown bottle, bottle-conditioned, corked and caged; BB 27/02/16, served cool in a long-stemmed, narrow rimmed wine goblet.

Appearance: pours fairly dark brown colour, coming with a nice layer of dark beige froth settling slowly to a thin sheet to last, while the carbonation is generally very mild after so many years of ageing in the bottle.
Smell: full of lightly stale and sour-sweet raisins, black cherries, jammy black prunes, fig jam and black sugar on the nose, uplifted by a wave of wonderfully lively and creamy floral&fruity esters with an interesting touch of fragrant hop resins and honey comb, which manifest following a few good swirls; the base remains oily dark malty, with hints of Munich malts and burned caramel. All in all, the smell is very much like an old-style, darker-hued barlywine boosted with extra sugary notes and esters. Also a mild hint of warming alc. is revealed in the remote corner, but never so pronounced.
Taste: the carbonation is still softly tingling after so many years of ageing, underlining a complex and lovely profile of smooth, prune-ish fruitiness and mixed dried forest berries, against a rather light & soothing dark malt background with additional spicy & sour-sweet fruity elements; the mid-taste turns mildly dry as well as estery, leaving lingering undertones and aroma of delicious black prunes, black sugar, and a more faint presence of liquorice candy in the end. The flavour is in general quite sweet, and still tastes very different than an English barleywine in lacking a lightly sherry-like palate in the end, whereas the supplement of fruity esters is definitely welcomed to help reach a balance.
Mouthfeel & Overall: soft and lubricating on the palate, this full-bodied and fulsome vintage strong ale is absolutely gorgeous, ageing well following a good 7 years in the bottle, never tasting sickly or heavy as far as my palate is concerned. The time has been well spent, I think, but this is not to say a younger vintage would’ve been any less complex.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2013 19:03:12 | More by wl0307
Photo of Ricelikesbeer
Ricelikesbeer

Colorado

4.29/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An old seasonal classic, I really need to set some of these beauties aside for aging and side by sides.

A: murky brown, slightly purple or ruby in certain lights or lack thereof; slight head and not overly carbonated

S: burnt malts, cherries, plums, malt malt malt, candy syrup, prunes, some slight melanoidins, estery dark fruit, and raspberries.

T: more dark fruit, and slightly tart (especially when paired with food.) Some heavy caramel sweetness, but not in a cloying way. the dark fruit melds well with the sweetness, and the flavor is dry enough to not overwhelm despite the large nature of the beer. Complex and you can find nuances as the beer warms or ages.

M: thick but not chewy, It remains deceptively light despite the residual sugar and the lower carbonation.

O: I'm amazed that such a monster can be so well balanced, and the obvious lack of hops presence (whatsoever) can still lend to a dry, balanced beer. The beer is tilted toward the malt, caramel, and dark fruit flavors of a classic quad/strong dark ale, but this one remains a classic in my eyes, and the expected gummy/ sugary flavors of the Corolus yeast are tamed by the candy sugars and residual sugar of the malt monster. I will continue to buy these each year for the rest of my life.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2013 02:24:11 | More by Ricelikesbeer
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,367 ratings.