Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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.

865 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 865
Hads: 1,722
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 14.69%
Wants: 233
Gots: 300 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 865 | Hads: 1,722
Photo of JasW
4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The 2014 edition pours a splendidly foamy 3 finger tan head over a dark chestnut body. There is a pleasantly musty yeast aroma. The mouthfeel is spectacular: lightly carbonated for the style but nonetheless with a lingering effervescence that I found unusual, and quite pleasing. The dark fruits, banana, and yeast are there with a mild sweetness that just manages to stop short of being too upfront. The higher alcohol content is virtually unnoticeable. This is a spectacular BSDA that is a must try for anyone who is a fan of the style, or just anyone.

 555 characters

Photo of cichief
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A bottle of the 2014 edition. Very dark brown, nice light brown head. Smells nice and spicy. Overall very well balanced. I would like to put one of these down for a year.

 174 characters

Photo of ojv
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

 312 characters

Photo of SitkaSteve
4.09/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2013 bottle.
This was poured into a snifter and shared with a good buddy for Christmas.
The appearance was a nice looking dark brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute. Light lacing was left in rings here and there.
The smell had a nice sweet raisin to light champagne-like effervescence. Nice and sweet booze amplifies in a sticky Belgian sort of way.
The taste had a modified sweetness, light boozy sweet raisin again with a standard light Belgian spice. There's a nice Belgian sweet semi-yeasty/bready raisin aftertaste leading to a sweet sticky finish.
The mouthfeel sat about a medium on the body with a good sipping quality about it. The carbonation was fairly smooth and rolled nicely across my tongue.
Overall, this was a really nice Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It really held up well from 2013.

 844 characters

Photo of Kuaff
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

In my tulip at cellar temperature. A bottle from 2013!

Beautiful burgundy color with a small, frothy tan head. Lively carbonation bubbles.

The aroma is an enticing mix of sweet and yeasty bread, raisins, dates, currents, cherries, citrus, molasses, and vanilla. Smells quite similar to a dark fruitcake I made just today, in fact.

What a stunning flavor profile... the initial onset of those dark fruits followed by a downright velvety breadiness as notes of molasses, chocolate, earth, and toasted nuts unfold throughout the finish.

It's got a nice full body with sprightly effervescence, just like a Belgian ale should.

I'm really fond of this one. It has potency of flavors, and also balance. Not too sweet, nor too bitter. A quintessential example of a dark Belgian ale, if I do say so.

 796 characters

Photo of spoony
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml bottle (2012 vintage) into a chalice.

A-A normal pour produces about a half-finger of long lasting mocha colored head. Retention is really impressive. The beer is very dark with just a little bit of ruby coloring getting through the edges of the glass.

S-The aroma is fruity and sweet. I get plum, raisin, and cherry mostly, along with a bit of alcohol burn and some mild phenols. The sweetness comes in the form of brown sugar and fruity alcohol.

T-The taste tracks the smell pretty closely. There is lots of dark fruit, as well as some earthy tobacco flavor and burnt sugar/brown sugar. There is no attempt to hide the alcohol here and it burns just a bit, even in this two-year bottle. Phenols are mild.

M-The beer is medium in heft with an ultra creamy carbonation. It is slightly sticky on my palate.

O-I had been sitting on this bottle for a while and I'm glad I finally popped the cork because it was great. There is no barrel aged business to alter the flavors or provide unnatural sweetness and there is no effort to bury the alcohol -- you get what you get here, and what you get is a great, big beer.

 1,130 characters

Photo of SebD
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown color to it with some ruby hues shinning through. It has a nice light beige head that dies down moderately slow and leaves great lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of dark fruit (raisins, plums, figs), caramel, toffee and Belgian yeast.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some sweet dark fruit upfront (loads of raisins, plums, figs) followed by caramel and toffee, Belgian yeast and some breadiness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low-med carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by great flavors and aromas. Fantastic Belgian Dark!

Serving type: bottle

 676 characters

Photo of GrandpaCarp
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

In addition to previous comments, I'd say that the carbonation, although present, is very light so it doesn't get in the way of a spectacular flavor. After nearly 2 years of searching for a beer to match or exceed my favorite - I have found it!

 245 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 653 characters

Photo of delta490
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated Nov. 21, 2013, pours a deep brown with a short-lived beige head. Light soapy lacing. The aroma has hints of dark fruit, caramel and spice. The taste is nothing short of spectacular. The aroma, plus vanilla and a delicious sweetness. Incredibly smooth body. This is a world-class Belgian beer.

 305 characters

Photo of babaracas
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 (bottled in June, so slightly < 5 months in the bottle). Pours a garnet tinged dark brown, clear, with a two finger thick khaki colored head, settles to a thin ring; haphazard spray of lace down the glass. Smell: toasted brown bread, dark brown sugar, dates, prune, mild earthiness and an interesting note of stale-ish grain that cut through the sweet as best they can. Taste: cola, cherry, brown sugar, prune; toasted grain towards the finish with earth and hints of baking spice. Yes, this is sweet, but there's some extra grain character towards the finish that keeps it out of cloying / 'beetus territory. No alcohol all; yikes! Medium bodied with very fine carbonation, lending a velvety feel. This is plenty sweet but it's also really inviting and tasty.

 765 characters

Photo of MDDMD
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%

A-maroon brown color with a nice light tan head with good lacing

S-raisins, figs, caramel, toffee, spices, tawny port

T-raisin bread, figs, toffee,caramel, clove, licorice, little cinnamon, hint of vanilla, port/sherry-like finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth, alcohol well-integrated

O-what a great beer, could savor this all night

 355 characters

Photo of cjgiant
4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Bottle (7/2014) :
Beer pours what I am guessing is a ruby-brown (dark bar). Head is foamy and lasts, although there are some rather large bubbles produced as well. Lacing is medium light, some alcohol lines present.

The nose almost makes me think brandy or port, dark cherry, raisin, caramel, toffee, maybe a hint of orange zest. There's also a weird almost musty scent in there as well, but it seems to fit so well to me.

Taste is similar to nose, muted, with raisin and date coming through a bit more than any cherry from the smell. Sweetness is more cola or even birch beer in nature, and again, subdued. Finish is actually a bit carbonated.

The beer has a strange "flatness" to it, which is not representative of the level of carbonation. It's actually rather light despite the darker flavors. The alcohol does come through in some sips, but is mostly well hidden.

I really enjoyed this beer tonight. Maybe it's a situational thing, as I had some salty food earlier, and the dark sweetness of this beer may have balanced that perfectly. Definitely gonna grab this to make sure.

Follow up (4/2015): a little older (but constantly refrigerated) beer showed a little more alcohol in the feel. Still a lovely brew, but with a little more fruit tartness (apricot, peach maybe).

 1,291 characters

Photo of kkleu357
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was fun. One person brought a 2007 and another brought a 2013 to the bottle share. The score reflects the 2013. The 2007 was fairly flat. It also picked up the banana bread taste. The 2013 was much more carbed. Had a much more pleasant sweetness to it. Nice Belgian taste. 8 years was way to long for the person to cellar this one.

 336 characters

Photo of SomethingClever
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Corked and Caged 750ml
A: Nice dark tan almost black but not quite some off colored head

S: deep rich dates, raisins, cloves, honey and some alcohol

T: this beer drinks like a perfect quad get deep dark fruit tastes almost a little barrel characteristics toffee and an Oakiness very inviting alcohol is completely hidden maybe as it warms it will come out

M: thick on the tongue but not super viscous like a great stout and well carbonated Belgians always have more carb

O: Stellar beer if you see it buy it you won't be disappointed top notch quad

 552 characters

Photo of pmarlowe
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tulip glass.

A: Pours a cola-like brownish, kind of dull, with two fingers of fluffy off-white head. Excellent retention but minimal lacing.

S: Primarily dark fruit: currant, raisin, some black cherry.

T: Rich, fruity malt with prominent notes of dark fruit, esp. blackcurrant, a touch of oxidized character like you’d get from a sherry (odd since this is not aged?), with a moderate-high sweetness.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, per the style, with medium high carbonation on a medium body. Hides the alcohol extremely well.

O: A well constructed ale, but it’s a style I don’t really know what to do with it, being super fruity, sweet, and high alcohol. I don’t partciularly feel like drinking it on its own, but I could see it pairing well with some beef stew or other dark meat dish.

 797 characters

Photo of Phigg1102
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%

Poured a deep black with the slightest hints of deep amber. Bananas come through in the aroma predominately with hints of oak,plum, raisin, and vanilla. A lot of the same flavors come through in the taste with some cherry, chocolate, and red wine on the finish. Thick body with little carbonation. Alcohol is hidden fairly well. Great pickup! I can see how aging would make this golden!

 386 characters

Photo of patre_tim
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

A: Ruby brown, hard to see any carbonation in the body, and looks clear as opposed to cloudy on the first pour. One finger of beige head. The foam remains for a long time.

S: Creamy, bananas, dark fruits, fruity and floral, shaving cream, cherries, rubbing alchol, raisins, dates, dark breadiness.

T: Bananas, then a sweet dark raisin almost coke like consistency and flavor comes in, then just pure brown sugar, it opens to figs, hides the alcohol very well for 11%, slight vanilla, clean linen. Little burn in the throat, but very well hidden alcohol. Shaving cream unfolds after several sips. Really smooth.

M: Smooth, doesn’t stick to the mouth in spite of the sugars, medium foamy carbonation helps achieve this.

O: Drank Feb 25, 2014 and this was a 2012 vintage brewed as stated on the bottle from Feb 24th, 2012. Drank in Kunming China, so its practically the 24th in Belgium, and I only noticed this before pouring it and after chilling it tonight. Coincidence? I think not. Its been sitting on my shelf for months.

 1,035 characters

Photo of mlhyatt
2.12/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass

This beer was such an interesting twist on what I had expected. First off the beer pours like a quad, light brown with a good amiunt of head. That was the best part of this beer. After that all I could smell and taste was sweetness. It's like the brewer took tons of sugar and mixed it with a pound of yeast and hops. A lot of these reciews say to age for 4 years before it becomes good. But why would you want to buy a beer you have to age that long before it becomes good. To me if they would have lowered the sweetness it could have been much better.

 598 characters

Photo of laituegonflable
3.66/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky red colour. Spooky. Head is beige, thin. Lace is beautiful and thick. Why can't head retain more?

Banana, and booze, on the nose. Sweet wheat characters with a touch of brandy on there, vanilla, slight chocolate note and toffee. Bit strong and sweet for me, but I'm holding out hope.

Taste is more grounded with more sweet characters running through it, and not so much booziness. Lots of banana flavour, some rum, maple syrup and a touch of vanilla at the end. It's a very sweet brew, and I would like some hopping or more phenolic spice at the end, but it's not overblown and fairly well tamed. So, you know, kudos.

Bit prickly, mostly foamy, on the feel, with an expectedly sticky body. Pretty fluid. Quite interesting.

Bit sweet for me, but there's a fair amount of love and care, and interest in big, boozey beers that's really plain here. I couldn't drink it all night and I probably wouldn't order another, but, you know, kudos?

 953 characters

Photo of ahommell
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into Tulip Glass from 750 ML Bottle. 2012 Bottle

A: Deep brown that, under light, turns a deep orangish hue. White to off white small bubbled head. It sticks around for quite a while. Lacing throughout.

S: Belgian yeast. Dark fruits. Cherries. Very light hops... smooth and mellow.

T: Surprisingly sweet. But... FANTASTIC. Cherries, prunes, elderflower. Belgian yeast. Can't find the 11% alcohol at all. Some sips... I wonder if I am tasting a sweet/sour wine.

M: Medium to light body. Hard to believe it is so light for the amount of materials to make style/alcohol.

O: This is very tasty. I have read some great reviews saying I should age longer... I would agree. I think this is fantastic brew, but slightly green. 2 years are just not enough to really pull the flavors that other reviewers are finding.

 823 characters

Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.81/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the 2011 bottle aged for nearly 4 years

This one pours a very dark brown with a reddish tinge to it and has a very delicate long lived head that leaves good lacing down the glass. The appearance of this beer for this style is spot on perfect.

The smell is quite fruity and spicy with notes of bread, caramel, coriander, grass, plums and a tinge of hops.

The taste is sublime and delicate. The beer is rich and lasting in flavors that coats the palate in bliss and finishes clean.

Overall it is a near perfect beer, the alcohol was a bit pronounced, beyond that it is as close to perfect as you can get without being totally perfect.

The recommendation on this one it to age it for at least 4 years, we had a special occasion and had it 6 months early.

 764 characters

Photo of Bouleboubier
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: dark ruby liquid, brown highlights, subtle haze... 1"+ of cappuccino-like foam, holds then fades in ~3 min... webby lace

S: dark grape, brown sugar, hint of alcohol, ripe raisin... fairly bold and intense aromas

T: gloriously-balanced, extra-rich, creamy caramel and dark, vinous fruits (concord grape, raisin, maybe even date)... malty as hell... moderately red wine like alcohol in the finish

M: super-luscious, plump-round, silky body backed by a dangerously subdued booze... the body may be too full, the booze too well-hidden (it'd be nice to have a little more exposed kick)... supreme decadence for malt-heads, like myself

O: that chick wasn't kidding - this is a real treat - she hoards this stuff like its a vaccine for the plague, always informs me that we are close to being out of stock... there seems to be a new case in every week, so I pay no mind... this may very well be in the top 3 of quintessential Belgian "strong dark" ales one must try - one to measure the style's greatness by

 1,007 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

 2,160 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage.
Dirty brown/bronze in color, small one finger head for a short time, thin sticky lace for the rest of the drink.
Red grapes/wine is easy to get right after pouring it. Giving it a closer smell, banana, lots of brown sugar, raisin, fig, faint chocolate, Belgian-type spices.
The smell prepared me for a sweet brew, and the first sip delivered. Dark fruit and caramel meld from start to finish: dry figs, dates, raisins, forest berry jam, juicy plums paired with brown sugar caramel and Belgian candi sugar. A mild toasted malt throughout. Lots of spices, from clove, faint licorice, cinnamon and pepper to vanilla (nice oaky notes from time to time). Warmth of the alcohol gets felt soon enough, reminding of mulled wine and dark rum. Some bittering hops in the finish to counter the sweetness of it all.
Very smooth body, lwo carbonation, silky. A bit too sweet later on, clinging in the aftertaste more than i'd like. Helps cover up the booze tho, so that's ok.
A great tasty BSDA, nicely in control of its abv. Pretty sure a wine barrel aged version of this would be incredible, until then, just very good.

 1,122 characters

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
95 out of 100 based on 865 ratings.