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)

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862 Reviews
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Reviews: 862
Hads: 1,712
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 231
Gots: 292 | 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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 862 | Hads: 1,712
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of jaluria
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of stcules
3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
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.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of bark
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2005.

The liquid is somewhat cloudy; the colour is deep, deep amber. The low foam looks nice with the beige colour, the fine lacing and the small bubbles. There are more bubbles in the liquid than I have seen in any other beer.

A note of cacao/dark chocolate dominates the semi-sweet smell. I found a particular rum-flavour that usually indicates that the beer is matured on wooden casks and a sweet note of dried fruits (raisins).

The taste is sweet and creamy with a complex of dried fruits, raisins, strong wine and caramel sauce. There is no bitterness at all. It finishes with a strong flavour of dark, matured rum. The aftertaste is sweet with a dry, almost roasted touch of raisins and creamy chocolate.

The carbonation is gentle with small bubbles; the mouthfeel is creamy.

I have some friends that are almost religious when it comes to this beet. OK, it is a very fine Belgian ale, but not exceptional. Maybe it needs some more time to mature?

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Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this was a pleasant surprise. bought it without knowing anything about it. read the label and it looked like something interesting. plu i'd never had a grand cru until this bottle, so when i saw it was a special grand cru, i was all over it...

appearance: my god, there was so much going on in my duvel tulip i could have watched it all day. super dark brown/red, ok head. the lacing was all over the place. a sign of what was to come.

smell: molasses? sugar cane? very sweet.

taste: super sweet and fruity. very full bodied. alcohol was slightly masked but still present, especially as it warmed up.

mouthfeel: smooth and creamy. almost stout-ish. the alcohol really comes out here.

drinkability: one was it for me. couldn't finish the bottle. had this one in 2 sittings. very enjoyable. i will definitely be trying this one again in the newar future. it was an awesome compliment to my thanksgiving dinner. cheers!

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Photo of AlexJ
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in Bruno's basement, does this guy hook it up or what!
Dark mahogany brown body with a chill haze (a bit too cold) and a thin but creamy oatmeal hued head that settles into a lasting veil, adorning my goblet with thick sheets of lace.

Aroma is an intoxication blend of sweet raisins, figs, vanilla-spice, banana, tropical fruit, green apple, toffee, and floral hops. Very powerful nose here, i can smell it from several feet away!

Flavor begins with a mouthfull of rum soaked raisins and figs, dark candi sugar, honey, molasses, mango, tart green apple, sour cherry, candied nuts, vanilla, and subtle yeat spice notes. Complex and very rich.

Body is just huge, with a creamy thick texture that glides down your throat like warm butter. Delicious and perfect for dessert.

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Photo of ppoitras
4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

25.4oz bottle from beerhandy as part of BIF 24. Thanks for the opportunity. Neck label notes "Jaargang 2005", corked and caged.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the bright burgundy brew. Headgrows for awhile, before settling down to drinkable levels after 10 minutes, with heavy foam lacing. Aroma is lightly spicy, with a banana sweetness . Taste is as good as the nose portended, with perhaps a little room for more flavor intensity, but I'm nit-picking. Mouthfeel is oh-so creamy and smooth, and drinkability is tremendous, especially for something of this abv. Just stupid drinkable. A brew fit for a king, in my book.

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Photo of barknee
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sample is a 25.4 ounce Vintage dated bottle from the one-time, once a year, February 24th 2004 limited production. (A small quantity of this brew is made on this date each year)
Pours a magnificent deep dark cloudy brownish-amber color, with some suspended particulate. A deep ½” mocha colored head, dissipates to a slick on top. The nose of massively rich butterscotch sours from the glass and is accompanied by warm caramelized sweet malts. The nose is unusual and distinguished; building uncontrollable anticipation for the tasting, which promises to be something very special.
OMG! The taste is out of this world!! Mature & complex roasted malts and fresh young turbinado sugar on the tip of the tongue. This (I almost wrote wine) brew is multi-dimensional, perfectly balanced and unbelievably delicious. The alcohol, at 10%, is completely undetectable, as tons of flavors impact the entire mouth. The interaction of the nose of this creation, and the simultaneous tasting of it is as harmonious as it gets; the very heady butterscotch with a negligible sour lining wrapped gently around the nose, and the impact of the slightly sweet caramelzation of the malts is virtually indescribable.
This brew you would expect to be a broodingly rich and flabby mess from the massiveness of the nose. That’s the surprise; it is lean to medium bodied, but super-concentrated on flavor, highly refined and flamboyant. The essence of the taste is remotely reminiscent to a lighthearted version of a fine young unadulterated tawny port, such as Taylor Fladgate’s 10 year. The mouthfeel is primo, perfect acid-sugar ratio, light and clean in the mouth, you could drink this endlessly. You would never expect this of the mouthfeel based on the unbelievable massiveness of the nose. The flavors last more than a minute in the mouth.
I will go on record to say that this is the most exciting and complex brew I have ever had the pleasure of partaking. It is indeed a nectar of and for the gods, formulated and prepared with the utmost of love and respect, it is a rare opportunity that simply cannot be missed. Bravo!!

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Photo of carln26
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, very clear with a thick off-whiye head. The head leaves a nice lace as I drink the beer. Wonderful aroma of caramel, figs, sherry, and a little bit of mandarin orange. There’s just a little spice (cloves I believe) on the back end. The taste has a bit of toffee/pralines with more of the sherry. Orange and clove come across in the finish. Just a touch of alcohol heat. Full, mildly oily mouth feel. Good drinkability. Thanks so much to Jake of 33 who got this for me.

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Photo of stof0048
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a Watou chalice. Very deep brown with a hint of red when held in the light. Very little to no head with lacing that sticks to the glass.

S: A bit of a molasses smell, somewhat malty. Sweet, dark candies also present.

T: Decadent. Dark candy, a slight hint of anise, malt, amost no hop taste, alcohol is present but nicely balanced and faintly noticeable. Plums, brown sugar, molasses...

M: Goes down like silk. Very creamy mouthfeel with a bit of bite from the alcohol when you let it sit on your tongue for a moment.

D: Very easy to drink despite alcohol content. Don't know if I'd be able to polish off multiple bottles, but it's a wonderful beer that is wonderful in every aspect. Highly recommend!

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Photo of Lnedrive14
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Rochefort chalice from a 750ml bottle. 2005.

The bottle says it gets better with age, but I couldn't wait. It pours a rich mahagony with a small head. Reminds me of the St. Bernadus. Beautiful beautiful.

Fruity smell is mellowed by the maltiness. Figs, cloves, and maybe even a little banana really come out in this brew. Very complex and delicious.

It tastes a bit sweeter than I had anticipated. Definitely malty, but slightly more subdued than other beers of similar style. It's an amazing brew, but I do think it will become more complex with age. Wish I had another bottle to cellar.

I don't think I've ever enjoyed having a beer in my mouth more than this. I almost wanted to drink faster just so I could get an explosion of it all at once, but at the same time I didn't want the experience to be over so fast. I didn't even taste the alcohol.

This is one of the best brews I've ever had. I think I enjoyed the St. Bernadus 12 a bit more, but this one might have had even more complexity to it.

Go grab one. Now!

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Photo of gimmehead
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Note: 2003 vintage consumed 6/15/05

A rich, burgundy brown hued brew with a soft, sticky beige head that lasts forever and lovingly coats the glass. Smell is very sweet; candy sugar and buttery malts, cotton candy springs to mind. I just couldn't get enough of the aroma, I stuck my face in the chalice and breathed deeply for the better part of half an hour. It has a beautiful estery, vinous quality which fades to rich sweetness and hints of lush dark fruits. Amazing. If it tastes like it smells I'm afraid I'll weep. Nothing for it but to part lips and pour... sweet mercy, it does! Holding back sobs of joy I enjoy the soft vinous character, the ripe apples and cherries. The buttery malts and candy sugar are toned down a bit compared to the nose but still very flavorful. The finish is very winey and has a perfect alcohol warmth. The mouthfeel is perfect as well, thick and substantial with some soft carbonation tickle. Just right.

I have never reviewed a beer as a perfect 5 before, and I do so with some trepidation. How can a beer be perfect? Can it not be improved upon? Questions that I don't take lightly. The only answer I can come up with is that this is simply the best beer I've ever had. Every aspect was perfect in my mind: sweetness, fruityness well blended alcohol, etc. This is the standard to which I'll hold all Quads and Belgian Strong Darks to. The bar is set.

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Photo of whynot44
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish mahogany color with a moderate fluffy tan head that disipates to just a ring fairly quickly but still leaves some decent lace.

The aroma is figs, plums, raisins, caramel, yeasty fresh bread, rum.

The taste is winy and fruity with nuts, brown sugar, caramel and spicy, peppery, yeasty bread - brandy soaked fruitcake without the lumps. Full bodied and a little sweet up front but balnced by the spiciness and alcohol content. Smooth and easy to sip.

Definitely recomended.

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Photo of neonbrown82
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is hardcore. I'm glad I had a friend to share it with, because I got a hell of a buzz off of only half of the 750mL bottle. Pours to a dark nutty brownish amber color with very little head. Leaves no lacing on the glass, but does leave a syrupy film of sorts.

The smell is great. Smells very malty and sweet with some dark fruity esters and candi sugar. Below that is a bit of a vanilla rum bozziness. I could bury my nose in this for quite some time, and I did.

The taste is just as good as the nose. Very sweet at first, but the flavors begin to really show as it warms from cellar temp. The alcohol is quite noticiable, but not harsh. Very mellow, but with a decent bite to let you know it's there.

The drinkability is high on the "would I try it again" scale, but on the sessionability scale this scores very low. This stuff is hella strong... a sipper to the core of its very being. Quite savoury indeed.

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Photo of ybnorml
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First This beer is called "Grand Cru of the Emperor" Dated 2003 and the label says 10% by Volume.
An opaque brown beer . Has a small egg shell white head and a little bit of lace. The aroma is a strong sweet dried fruit , figs, raisins and plums. There is a soft doughy aroma in the background with the alcohol. The taste is ful of dried fruit, some fig, then some raisin, some plum, then back to fig etc. All with a hint of tabacco at the back of the throat and a dry finish. I finisihed off the whole bottle while eating dinner . That is how easy drinking this is. A real treat. I Will Be Looking For More!

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear deep amber brown with a tan and frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was very fruity with a slightly floral aspect. The fruits were dark and included raisins and prunes/plums. Also presence was a peppery spice and Belgian yeast characteristic. A strong dark caramel was present as well as some higher alcohol phenolics.

The flavor was deep dark caramel with a strong fruit component of prunes coupled with plums and raisins. The fruit was strong and biscuity with fruit in the beginning, middle and end. The flavor contained a nice spice which was peppery and also had some other spice aspects which were not dicernable. The flavor was slightly sweet and malty but was restrained with the other flavors and the alcohol level of the beer.

The finish was dry with a lasting deep dark caramel and fruit flavor that lingers well into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a nice carbonation level. The alcohol was prevalent throughout. With warming after consumption being a strong component of the beer. As the beer warmed a nutty characteristic and a strong sweetness emerged in the flavor after consumption.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. 2005 on neck label. $8 at Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA. Label says 10% ABV.

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Photo of texashammer
3.43/5  rDev -20%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

very dark but shows red notes in light. extremely thick head. very pretty.
smells of candy sugar and earthy sweetness and alcohol. tastes like molasses. warming alcohol. some floral notes, and caramel, and more molasses.
mouthfeel is somewhat slick, very full and kind of syrupy. not something I'm terribly excited about.

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

2005 bottle..Duvel Tulip
Pours murky brown with a beige head that fades to a foam lace .As it warms it clears to a rich copper.

Aroma is of dark jaggery, alcohol and some fruitiness maybe liquid mincemeat

Taste is very sweet and rich with no hops. Dark candy sugar and lots of it. Hints of spiciness nutmeg maybe cinnamon it’s very subtle. Finishes sweet with a warming from the alcohol

Medium to full mouth feel its so full of residual sugar its hard to place
If you like sweet dark Belgians this is a keeper

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

750ml bottled corked and caged with 2005 around the neck label. Dark and murky reddish brown with a quickly erupting tall light tan head. Great lacing was left as a tight cap of foam held together. Sweet ripe dark fruit really come on strong with a bit of caramel coating. Some mixed spices come out nicely as does a bit of yeast aroma. Big fruitiness starts off the flavor also with figs, raisins and plums covered with a bit of caramel and a light alcohol. Good spiciness and yeast flavor add to the complexity. Ends on a spicy sweet dark fruity note. Pretty thick body with a very creamy smooth texture to it, though I think a touch more thickness would be nice. Greatly drinkable as well. Overall a great fruity Belgian dark that is all around delicious.

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Photo of egajdzis
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 Poured a hazy reddish brown color with no head or lacing. Aroma of apples, plums, cardamom, sweet caramel malt, chocolate, and some alcohol. Sweet malty, and spicy (cinnamon) taste with a dry, earthy finish. Light carbonation, and alcohol was noticed at the end.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

From a 2004 corked and caged brown 750 ml bottle, thanks in advance to Phyl21ca for the bottle.

Poured into a chalice a rich hazy brown, bright chestnut highlights on the nimbus, decent beige head with minimal retention, but does settle to a firm thin cap.

Strong aroma of rum-soaked raisins, sweet fig newtons, rich English toffee, mildly vinuous. There is a presence of sweet sponge-cake as well, a very sugary, bready character.

Holy living hell Batman, I'm not sure what the heck is in here, but I like it right from the start. Sweet off the top, like original date Turkish delight, rum raisins, toffee and caramel, dates and figs, buttery Belgian milk chocolate, rose water in the mix. The alcohol content is masterfully hidden. This is malt heaven, seriously. I can't remember tasting something so intense and fantastic in a very long time, and I'm only a half-dozen sips into this thing.

Smooth rich mouthfeel that tends to stick to the roof of the mouth after a while. Who the hell cares after a while given the intensity of the flavour?

Well-rounded all the way through, this stuff whips the pony's ass, I could easily revert back from my hop-head ways for more of this malty goodness, I never knew it was ever made so well. Exceptional in its execution of its flavour profile, a limited edition, but I hope they make more along this line in the future, this is the alpha and omega of fine malty Belgian goodness. I've had hits and misses regarding Carolus, but this reaches the top of the mountain and lets off a shower of fireworks as far as what they are capable of producing. A deep bow to Phyl21ca for the trade, he is a gentleman for his good taste.

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Photo of medic25
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby red color, with very little of a head. Nose is quite sweet, very raisiny. First sip is overpowering with it's sweetness! Deliicious malty flavor, with a strong, rumcake-type of flavor that goes down very easily. For 11% ABV the alcohol flavor is masked quite well. The complexity of flavors definitely improves as the beer warms from the fridge. The sugary flavor also makes this beer quite drinkable, which is a little scary for something packing such a punch!

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Photo of phisig137
4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is quite possibly the best beer I have ever consumed. Absolutly perfect in every way as far as I'm concerned. I had a couple bottles last year (2004), and I think that the 2005 is slightly better. I bought one bottle this year the first time I saw it, and it was so good that I went back the next day and purchased a whole case! (It comes in a really sweet wooden crate too)

Mouthfeel is exceptional, with flavors of dark dried fruits, caramel, and a slight hint of mocha. This beer hides it's alcohol exceptionally well, but still will warm you from the insides out. The aroma is dominated by sweet caramel, with hints or raisons and dates shining through. Head dissapates relatively quickly, but a fair amount of lacing remains. While most belgians (doubles, triples, any really) should be served mostly warm, I enjoy chilling this one, and letting it develop as it warms.

When I bought the twelve bottle case, I removed the heavy duty staples from the lid, and opened it to make sure that everything looked OK on the inside. I then used nails to re-seal the case, and don't plan on opening it for at LEAST 3 years. The info sheet I found inside the case lists the shelf life of this beer in a cellar as "10+ years". After tasting it, I plan to buy a full case every year, and to start a vertical tasting every year with some good friends.

Honestly though.... this beer is pure nirvana. I find it to be similar in flavor and character to Rochfort 12, but for some reason, I give the edge to the Cuvee Van De Keizer. Simply the best beer in the world. Unmatched in every category as far as I'm concerned!

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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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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
95 out of 100 based on 862 ratings.