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

1,677 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,677
Reviews: 863
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 218
Gots: 276 | 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: 1,677 | Reviews: 863
Photo of goschool
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I first tried this beer at Bohemian Caverns in Washington, D.C. when I was getting into craft after my 21st birthday. One of the regulars gave me a chalice full of the bottle he was drinking from (I don't know why he drank it from the bottle), which I loved for the taste and for the novelty of a $20 beer brewed once a year. I never saw, or noticed (I had forgotten what it was until semi-recently), this beer around LA until tonight when I was checking out the Belgian section of Whole Foods.

2005 edition. Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. The off-white to tan head starts off at about two fingers and fades to a small ring of lace. The nose has dark fruit, toffee, brown sugar, fig, liquorice, mocha, yeast, and booze. The taste starts with sweet malts, brown sugar, dark fruit, liquorice, and mocha with the 10% ABV constantly looming. I'm glad to revisit this gem now that I've have the palate and experience to truly appreciate it.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this from a bottle at the Stuffed Sandwich in Los Angeles. It was served in a paper cup (!) as that's how they do it there. If you ever go there bring a glass... They said the bottle was >5 yrs old, and it was kind of small (25cl). The color was brown and it had a sweet sugary aroma.

The flavor was kind of wierd, almost like a sweet cough syrup. Honestly I don't think it was my style of beer. Maybe it tasted different when it was newer.

Maybe I'll try it again someday to see if it's different fresh.

Photo of beerogre
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer was a real treat. I was looking for something a little bit special when I visited the beer store after work on Friday, and I made an excellent choice here. Obviously it can go either way when you try a beer for the first time, but the description on the shelf next to this beer indicated that this one was going to be right up my street, and so it proved.

If like me you are a big fan of licorice then you can't go wrong with this beer. There are plenty of other flavours in there as well, but that's the one that dominated my taste buds. I felt at times like I was drinking a really top quality wine, such was the strength and mouthfeel.

I don't like to give 5's, because to me, I feel it doesn't give you anywhere else to go if you find an even better beer, but frankly unless I drink a beer that blows the top of my head off, I think I'd be hard pressed to discover one that tops this.

A great reward for a hard week's work.

Photo of Naerhu
2.26/5  rDev -47.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This beer in the top 100? You must be joking.

I had to take a $20 cab ride and spend another $20 bucks to get this beer, so I was anticipating something special.

A - Beautiful amber body with small brown head and decent lacing.
S - Sweet yeast, molasses and iodine.
T - Extremely sweet, flabby with no balancing acidity or bitterness. This malty soup of sweetness is a desert. Divided among four beer drinkers, the bottle went unfinished.
M - Minimal carbonation, fat with unbalanced sugars.
D - I cant abide by this unbalanced sweetness. This beer is to sweetness as Stone's Ruination is to bitterness. Only times two.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A perennial favorite beer since arriving on locals shelves a few years ago. I am always taken back and question why my refrigerator isn't stocked with the beer.

The beer opens with a highly carbonated pour that allows a 1/3 pour before the foam breaches the top of the chalice. The first pour from the 750 delivers nearly perfect clarity and aggressive effervescence. Subsequent pours bring much more haze (from bottle conditioning) and lightened carbonation. A lightly tanned foamstand carries sprinkles of spices and yeast while taking on an airy and loosely-knit appearance.

Aromas strongly favor the fruity esters. Plumbs, grapes, figs, dates, apples, cherries, raisons, and prunes all culminate for a complex and richly sweet sensation to the nose. Candied malts ride along, just beyond the fruitiness. Finally spicy orange, white pepper, paradise seed, and cinnamon all seem yeast derived (not added later) and decorate the aromas quite nicely.

Flavors, like the aroma, show aggressive fruitiness up front and ultimately dominate the beer. While pilsner malts provide the slightest of foundations for flavor, the candi-sugars have as much (maybe more) of an impact than do the softer grains. Fruitcake flavors, spices, and a alcoholic, rum-like flavor balances out the fruity esters and spicy phenols and give another layer of complexity. Finishes with some residual sugar flavors on the tongue that at times resemble cola.

The textures straddle the fence of dry and drinkable vs. sugary and mouth coating. Alcohols and well attenuated maltiness ultimately drive the beer into a dry finish with light residual sweetness left on the palate. Otherwise, full, rich, and expansive because of the onslaught of carbonation and sweetness.

The first pour from the bomber brings cleaner fruit flavors with a less muddled character; however it may lack richness and complexity. Later pours bring a deeper, maltier flavor from the sediment in the bottle, and left the beer less dry and palatable. I prefer the later pours after the sediment had been aroused. As for Strong Dark Belgian Ales, this beer applies a very fruit-driven signature rather than a malt-forward base as do most.

Photo of doubleipa
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer has been in the cellar for a year and a half. No real difference from a fresh version. Long lasting off-white head. Strong aroma of grapes and dark fruit. A bit different than a Chimay Bleu, for example. Can't really taste the 11% alcohol. Doesn't seem to have the richness of the Chimay. I have a few more 2004's that I hope to try in another year or so. Will re-rate at that time.

Photo of scruffwhor
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle capped and corked. Dated 2005 and also says 10% abv.

Appearance- Pours a liquid brown with slight blood highlights. Head lasts about a minute tops, but leaves a ring of foam for the entire 750ml inbibery. No visible lacing.

Smell- A mild sugary sweet malt aroma mixes well with the light dry hopped floral essence. Black, black, BLACK cherries mxed with dar vanilla nde hints of black licorice mixed with burning.

Taste- Starts out with a hint of cinnamon mixed with browned malts in a reduction sauce of brown sugar and black cherries, and roasted pine wood.

Mouthfeel- Good carnonation mixes weel with this light to medium bodied brew. Lots of strong sugars that remind me of molasses.

Photo of TastyTaste
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

Photo of Bierschenker
4.51/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2004
Bought a gift box at “Het Ankertje aan de Dijle” (Vismarkt, Mechelen) with two bottles and two glasses. A bottle of Cuvee and a bottle of Triple.
Poured it in the chalice and received a great scent, but no head. Only a thin white film on top.
The colour is a very dark orange. Smells very sour-bitter. Malt and strong hop. Dried figs and grapes (raisins).
Taste is very soft, Strong malt and slight hopyness. Ginger, figs, raisins, mint, pepper.
Mouthfeel is great, well balanced taste, not sticky or slimy. Warm feeling, bit like liquor. Full-bodied
Aftertaste is quite the same: mint, pepper, malt, meat like, stronger hops, celery, sheer sugar. Bit medicinal syrupy sweet.

Real gem, but what else to expect from het Anker.

Ut Vivat, Crescat, Floreat!

Photo of rajendra82
3.79/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up this 2004 vintage corked and caged bomber from Bullock’s in Marietta. Although great care was exercised in not shaking the bottle during the uncaging and uncorking ceremony, I still found a gusher in my hand that lost about an ounce of liquid on the desktop. I had never seen a beer form a head in the bottle before this one. The body was deep burgundy in color and after the initial rush of carbonation; there was little head to speak of. The beer looked cloudy in the wine glass, while little light coming through. The bouquet was rich and layered with aromas of fig, plum, raisin, toffee, chocolate, and maple. The malt also presented itself on the tongue as a sweet and warm taste reminiscent of port wine. Alcohol was not as well hidden as I though it would be, with distinct warmth that was pleasing. Not much to counter the sweetness, as there was hardly any hop presence. The beer was smooth and slippery on the palette with a prickly, peppery, and alcoholic aftertaste. Two years of aging was not enough, as the rough edges were still a little grating. Can do better with eight more years I think.

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. This beer pours out a partially hazy brown color with a large head. The aroma is chocolate, licorice, spices, and dark fruits. The flavor is very malty, with chocolate, cherries, cloves, and pepper. There is some licorice flavor, but not as much as the aroma would have you believe. Hoppier than the average dark Belgian ale, but not overly hopped. The hops lend a welcomed bitterness to this otherwise sweet beer. Thick mouthfeel. Drinkability is good, considering this beer is so high in alcohol. This beer is good in the bottle, but it's excellent on tap.

Photo of francisweizen
4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby ruby red tawny brown with off-white edges and a big head of close-to-white foam. Head has good retention. Aromas are spicy and big with an alcoholic kick. Typically Belgian in its spice profile and clean biscuity maltiness and light hopping. This is a showcase for sweetness and spices and it shows. In a good way. The taste is a bit hot with this young example, but this is only a small hindrence. The spices mingle well with the clean malts and hops and the alcohol, whilst hot, is warming and pulls this one together. The mouthfeel is a bit oily for my liking, but it works, and the drinkability is nice for this 11% famed Belgian. He is a good emperor.

Photo of Shovelbum
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger off-white head that has the creamy appearance of frothed milk. The body is a dark garnet color that is almost impervious to light except at the edges. The head slowly recedes leaving ever-so-delicate bands of lace down the glass. Aromas of sweet vinous fruit mingle with earthy aromas. A bit of alcohol peeks through in the aroma as well. The flavor is, well, awesome. A light smooth creamy mouthfeel belies the underlying complexities of flavor. A decent amount of Beligian candi sweetness combines with dark berries, plums, cherries, earth, mild caramel, a touch of oak and a very subtle hop bitterness balancing things out in the background. Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel.

Happy birthday to Charles the Fifth (I’m four days early) and praise be to the Anker brewery of Mechelen! This bunch knows what they are doing. Too bad this masterpiece is only brewed once a year. Trying to pick apart the complexity of this ale nearly overloaded my neural circuitry, yet it is so smooth and well balanced that I can just as easily sit back and sip this to my hearts delight. Fine, I’ll do just that.

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

My 100th review. I figured if it's good enough for Charles V, its good enough for my 100th.

Pours a murky brown hue with a definite orange tint. The carbonation is visible, as a constant stream of bubbles struggle their way to the surface. Monstrous head... 3" or so... cream in color, rocky in consistency. Gargantuan chunks of lace cling to the side. Very pretty.

Significant alcohol smell.... very bourbon-esque... reminds alot of some of the Brit Barleywines out there. A certain wine quality to it as well... of the red varietals of course... lots of distinct plum and grape and dark fruit. This is a slap to your nostrils.. I dig it.

Flavour is highly correlated to the taste... huge bourbon flavour. Not quite as strong as I was expecting, much more subtle and refined... once again... alot of plum in the flavour. Some oak and malt in the background. Barely perceptible licorice and maybe a bit of molasses. Very warming.

This is interesting... as it hits the tongue, the brew originally seems very active (as the appearance would suggest), however, it quickly dies away to a smooth, thick, mouth-filling concoction. Wonderful.

While this brew is thoroughly enjoyable, and not offensive at all for the abv, I couldn't drink more than a couple of these. That being said...this is a very unique brew.. unlike any other brew I have ever had of this style. If I was Charles V, I think I may have been a lush =D.

Photo of MuddyFeet
4.66/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005: Grand Cru of the Emperor. Thanks to the li'l bro for this Christmas gift (and to BeerPanther for suggesting it to him). Such a better beer than I was expecting--even though I knew not what to expect.

Poured a dark amber in color. This would be a great colorfor a gem stone. Slight head that was not much more than a thin layer of carbonation. Some layering lace and some spotty lace--very different throughout the glass. Nose is wonderfully sweet with loads of sugars and hard candies. How I would love to be in the brewery on brewing day.

Flavor is thick and syrupy in feel. Very sweet with hardly a hint of hops (I think I ma have noticed them towards the finish of the finish. Extremely sweet. Would make a wondeful dessert beer like a glass of port in Porto. Also got a bit of spiciness... some pepper and just a slight hint of coriander. Thick and full mouthfeel that was a bit cloying. Such a nice dessert wine.

Photo of bruachan
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i think i bought this at arrowine in arlington, va

my bottle says "grand cru of the emperor" but i won't split hairs
extremely pungent: the immediate area around my st. bernardus goblet is shot through with the smell of bready, yeasty, nutty, winey. up close i pick up complex odors of aging and some ethanol, along with that smooth roasted nuttiness i adore in rochefort

deep dark (but clear) ruby with inverted cascades of carbonation that keep a great billowy, creamy head alive. fantastic sheets of lacing

the flavor profile is just as complex as the nose. huge special B raisin and warming alcohol spice are preceded by a brief smooth nut character. a blackcurrant bitterness camoflauges well the 11% at the finish

not a particularly big mouthfeel, but enough to let all of the secrets linger

this is a fantastic brew. goddam

Photo of BillyB
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light.

Medium off white head.

Strong smell of wine and dark fruits such as plum and raison.

Strong alcohol aroma and taste, slightly sherry-like.

Taste of dark fruit, figs, raisons, plums. Not much hop aroma

or taste. More malty and candy sugar sweetness than hop

bitterness.

Quite drinkable for the alcohol content.

Photo of bennetj17
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Only about a 1/4 inch head on top, it dissipates speedily. The color is a deep brown/red or plum. Very cloudy. Somewhat bubbly. Smell is captivating with notes of wine, citrus fruits, honey, and alcohol. The taste is intense. Very strong malt flavors including rasins, candies, grapes, and brown sugar are present. Finish is strong and phenolic, and the alcohol rides a bit high. Has a rich feel with perfect carbonation. Very strong on malt, low on hops, its a slow sipper as the alcohol is not artfully hidden, but good nonetheless.

Photo of Pepeton
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought a 3-bottle case of these beers for my next three birthdays. Never thought how bittersweet the circumstances would be.

Shared the bottle with my Dad, two weeks from the passing of my mother. My Dad isn't into craft beer, but I figured that I should celebrate my B-day and his fatherhood (I'm his first born), and have a little remembrance of my Mom, now that all the fuzz is gone.

As BAs database says: Outstanding.

Vintage 2005, so this bottle was almost one-year old.

Appearance: Dark copper with red hues, compact head that resembles to me the foam of a Turkish coffee, and a nice thick lacing.

Smell: Complex: Ripe plums, raisins, roasted malts, some hops and more.

Taste: My first impression is of a brew more prone to the malty side, with a peppery and spicy presence; but then the hops come into action. Excellent balance in a full bodied beer. Very well hided alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Fuzzy due to carbonation and mildly bitter, with alcohol hints (with an ABV of 11% I'm surprised I couldn't find it more easily).

Drinkability: Dangerous ale. It's really so mild you can't believe it's an 11% ABV, until you feel the alcohol warmth. Just hope I could try this one on tap.

¡Salud!

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.87/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I hope this is the right spot for this review. My bottle says Grand Cru and is from 2003.

Appearance - dark, ruddy brown with red highlights. An inch of soapy light mocha bubbles rests on top, leaving thin, patchy lace behind. Dark, rich-looking.

Aroma - the nose is fantastic. Maple, banana, and butterscotch on top of the malts, a tingling of alcohol woven through it all.

Taste - a malt monster ale. Dark fermented fruit, honey, banana, maple syrup, chocolate, fruitcake. marshmallows, clove, allspice, what a range of tastes here!! Some hops show up around the swallow, but why bother? Slight bitter finish with very warm alcohol clarify and enhance the wonderful profile.

Mouthfeel - very alive with carbonation, medium body, lets the flavor stand on its own.

Drinkability - it's a beer dream come true. Worth keeping a few of these around for special occasions.

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a warm brown leather body that is opaque with a faint hint of light in the thin part of the chalice. The head is a nice creamy vanilla ice cream color with a few big bubbles on top. The head stays but turns into a thin film. This beer has some nice loose lacing all the way to the last drop.

S- The smell of sweet rich dark malt is evident even during the pour. Smells of dark brown sugar and brown malt also have a quality of Munich malt and some faint notes of dark fruit.

T- This beer has a faint sweetness to the dark malt with some dark brown sugar hints. The finish has a nice dry crystal malt taste with a carbonic fizz note and some soft alcohol.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with some soft champagne fizz through the sip. There is a very smooth alcohol warmth after the sip.

D- This is a nice smooth beer that has very good complexity although subtle. The dark sweet malts in the front are balanced by a dry light malt in the finish similar to that taste I get from a good fresh Kolsch. The alcohol is smooth but adds some character. My bottle says 8%ABV but it doesn't taste like that at all.

Photo of jaluria
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A highly drinkable & rich beer that is hard to put down.

Pours a rust-brown color, almost crimson with loads of foam that rests at the top of my glass and dissipates slowly leaving behind some lacing. Aromas of alcohol, plums, baked peaches, and melted sugar. The taste is just incredible with a blend of sweetness from different souces (various fruits, candy, etc.) that never overpowers but simply persists. Subtle spices and fruit flavors seem to pop up at different times. An elegant beer that exudes excellence and smoothness. The softness of this beers texture leaves a bit too be desired in the mouthfeel and aftertaste. However, the alcohol is well masked (seems more like a 7%-8% ABV) and the richness of the beer lends itself to be had again and again.

Photo of stcules
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My bottle is 8.5 ABV, not 11.

Beautiful dark mahogany hue, with ruby reflexes. Beautiful foam, creamy, brownish color, compact, sticking. And persitent.
The smell is sweet, velvety, with marzipan, yeast, breadcrust. A good velvety/alcoholic, typical of the Het Anker beers.
At the taste is very soft, with the same velvety /alcoholic notes, and a lot of marzipan again. And a good sweet and soft peaches velvet.
It has an effect of roundiness, that mitigates the alcohol, still present, but not too bothering. Full, soft. Even notes of cocoa and hazelnut.
Then red fruits, more evident in the aftertaste, where there are again the marzipan and cocoa notes. And, overall, the velvety/alcoholic character. Maybe, in the end, a little too alcoholic.
Medium-high body.

Photo of ggaughan
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What an exceptional beer. I have had it a few times in bottles over the past few years but having it on tap a few weeks back at Monk's was the best tasting so far.

This beer pours a very deep, clowdy brown color with a sweet brownish head to it. The smell is nice and sweet but don't let that food you, it is 11% of pure Belgian beauty.

It had a nice sweet/chocolately taste but not overpowering or too syrupy. What a rich and complex beeer. I think they get better each year they release it and the older bottles get better with age as well.

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,677 ratings.