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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BA SCORE
95
world-class

859 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 859
Hads: 1,687
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 224
Gots: 278 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 859 | Hads: 1,687
Photo of largadeer
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage.

Appearance - Dark chestnut brown, nearly black. Pours with half an inch of tan-colored head, which quickly disappears. A small amount of spotty lacing is left on the glass.

Smell - Fruity esters, caramel, toasted nuts, chocolate, port, raisins and subtle spices. A bold aroma that increases in complexity as the beer warms.

Taste - Rich caramel flavors followed by notes of dried fruit, bittersweet chocolate, toasted almonds and spices. The finish is fairly mild and clean on the palate, with no strong aftertaste and only a mild bitterness.

Mouthfeel - A very full mouthfeel. Not as carbonated as I was expecting, but it works to the beer's advantage as it really brings out the many layered flavors.

Notes - This beer has a port-like quality that makes it very unique to me. Excellent stuff. (813 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jaargang 2005. The beer is a gorgeous conflagration of dark bronze, dark orange and dark red, with shimmering edges of bonfire orange. Equally as attractive is a tremendous looking crown of lightly toasted marshmallow-like foam. Cementing BSDA perfection is an array of delicate lace that easily qualifies as eye candy. What a start!

The nose may need a little time to open up, so I'll continue to go back to it throughout the '750'. My initial impressions are of a spicier and less sweet beer than expected. Tobacco notes seem especially prominent. Warming helps to some degree, but the aroma lags behind the flavor profile for sure.

I have no qualms about proclaiming this ale incredibly delicious right from the first mouthful. Man oh man, I love Brouwerij Het Anker beer! The Emperor is a regal sort of BSDA that earns its name with no trouble at all. It's as deep and as complex as all but the very best versions... and it hasn't even warmed yet.

While it isn't quite as spicy as the nose portended, it's definitely on the spicy side of the style average. Let's see... dark caramel, light molasses, dates macerated in tawny port, plum jam, tobacco, clove, maybe even a little bruised banana. The contrast between sweet, tart and bitter (all present in roughly equal proportions) is at least as interesting as the dizzingly display of intertwining flavors.

Cuvee Van De Keizer reminds me that BSDAs are a close second to tripels as my favorite Belgian style. The mouthfeel is as glorious as the rest of the beer. It's no more than medium, yet has a mouthfilling quality and a stick-to-it-iveness that is admirable. I wish all the world's brewers were as proficient with carbonation as the Belgians.

I've now had the four most widely distributed Brouwerij Het Anker offerings and I've been gobsmacked by each and every one. I had no idea this was the case, but on scores alone, this is my favorite Belgian brewery. Grand Cru of the Emperor (as my bottle reads) or Cuvee Van De Keizer... whatever you call it, call it an outstanding example of the brewer's art. (2,079 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle, sashed and mounted regent image on the bottle - solid.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark ruddy amber hue, with a teeming tower of creamy, foamy pale beige head, which leaves some consistently abstract layered lace around the glass in its well-strewn wake.

It smells of sweet dark bready malt, tangy black fruit, a touch of stewed apple, softly oily nuts, spicy Belgian yeast, and mildly astringent alcohol. The taste is more sweet, grainy dark caramel malt, candi sugar, zingy aged black fruit - plum, cherry liqueur, and blackberries, a strange bit of cough syrup warming, and sedate, but not for the lack of trying, earthy hops.

The carbonation is mostly average, but frothy in a playful way at times, the body medium-full in weight, predominately from the dense sugary malt, and smooth by default, with a well-established attendant creaminess. It finishes still fully stuffed with fruity, malty goodness, barely tempered by a goofy, somewhat try-hard, and less-than-obvious booze edginess.

Despite the very perceptible sweetness quotient, a decent balance is deftly maintained - so no real sugar overload manifests - all amidst an agreeable, and at times, locally inexplicable drying character, though booze and underground hops seem to be the prime suspects. Not so weirdly drinkable, as flavour trumps strength, until that inevitable wall is met, QED. (1,396 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Edition.



A – This poured a very dark, almost a hazelnut color of brown, with a slightly reddish tint to it. Very hazy and cloudy and with a good amount of sediment running through it. A good two inch plus of head formed on the top, a nice tan colored pillow like but sticky head formed on the top and really never faded. It sort of settled , nut even then was still quite strong. This was definitely a full bodied looking brew and something that looked like it was getting ready to sink its teeth in. A good amount of side glass lace flowed down the glass throughout and gave it the final touch of a full looking brew.



S – Whew, that was strong. Now this meant business. There was definitely an alcohol presence here, but not in an overpowering or derogatory way, more of a subtle, just letting you know it was there. Lots of dark spices here. I could pick up even some dark fruits, plums and maybe even a bit of grape in the nose. The deep caramel like sweetness was also present here and gave it a good lifet and a nice fullness.



T – For as strong as this was, I would actually consider the overall flavor profile to be nice and mellowed compared to what it probably could have been. First notice was a very nice warming feeling coming over as I took the first sip. Lots of mellowed yeast here. Some apples and plums, maybe a fig mixed in seemed to bring out the lighter notes. Meanwhile, underneath that was a deep caramel like flavor that blended in with a earthy or bready like back. Very complex and yet remarkably smooth. There were just enormous flavors here, but yet it was so finely blended that nothing really dominated, nor did it really overwhelm. Just a really well crafted thing here and something that was just better as it kept going on. The finish was a touch brandy like and left you a bit dry, good and very solid.



M – Very full, and I mean very full. The carbonation here was more then adequate and really helped to pull the overall profile together and really tighten it up. There was just a smooth, very smooth fell to it. The carbonation was very light and it made it pretty much roll over the tongue and let the flavors to the work. A slight warming and a good overall robust feel.



D – This was definitely a sipper, there was just no other way about it. It was so full that you had to just sit back, relax, let it warm up and enjoy. I can see why they only brew it once a year, that it really all that you need to be honest. This was not overally powerful that you could not have it, but you really just did not need more then one. Very solid and one of the best after dinner relaxers I have had in a very long time.



Overall I really like this. I did not know what to expect when going in, but this was really quite fantastic. It had a full body and feel, and such a robust and complex flavor profile, that at times you just did not know where to turn to next. A more then balanced feel and approach led to this being one of the favorites of the night. Now don’t get me wrong this was not for the faint of drink, rather something that was to be appreciated by those who knew how to appreciate it. A fine choice that you should definitely try and seek out. (3,216 characters)

Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

jaargang 2006

A - Poured out a dark brown/burgandy color with a foamy, caramel colored, one-finger head. Left a little lace.

S - It smelled of dried fruit and malt.

T - Tasted very malty, and had a strong dried fruit quality. A subtle spicy hoppiness, too. A relatively strong alcohol presence.

M - The mouthfeel was crisp and soft. A heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good Belgian beer. Great character and flavor. Next time I'll try an older Grand Cru. (473 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A beer that dont come around often,pours a deep brown with some reddish tints with to be expected a hug rocky head.Aroma is of spiced cherries and alcohol,taste is spices and of dried fruit(cherries) and ginger-like and the alcohol really comes thru as it warms.It would be tough to finish a bottle of this brew but it is very appetizing to say the least. (355 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours from a corked and caged 750ml bottle a dark ruby red with a thin head that fades quickly. Aroma of brown sugar and sweet malts. Tastes similar to the nose with some spice. (177 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of light tan foam on top of a dark brown body with good clarity. The head settles slowly and leaves nice lace.

S - Dark, malty notes of brown sugar and caramel with some plum, dark cherry and cola notes.

T - Dark brown sugar up front with lots of malt sweetness. Some spicy notes of coriander, cinnamon, and caramel dipped red apple. Finishes with more brown sugar, clove, and cinnamon.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Dense, sugary malt with lots of yeast character but an excessively sweet finish. Oddly cloying for a beer that I remember being much dryer and more balanced the last time I had it. Not a drain pour but a bit of a disappointment. (714 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a beautiful clear mahogany with tow fingers of tan head and good retention.

Smell: sweet fruity caramel malt, dark fruit and bananas, some yeast spice.

Taste: very sweet, malty, hints of banana, dark fruits, caramel. Yeast spice, mildli bitter with some warm alcohol in finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, mildly syrupy, tingly carbonation, dry finish.

Overall: very smooth given the abv. Good mix of flavors, would have it again. (485 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From a 750 ml brown bottle, corked and caged. 2002. Cellared at 60F. The label reads 8% alc by volume (although it may actually be a bit stronger).

The Grand Cru of the Emperor (Charles V) pours a clear dark chestnut brown body with ruby highlights beneath a frothy head of ivory foam that holds exceptionally well and leaves very nice, wide sheets of thin Brussels lace. Very nice!!!

The nose entices you to partake with notes of toffee; darkened brown sugar; sweet, crusty, honey-glazed bread; some dark fruit (mainly raisins); brandy; and a quick spritz of orange.

In the mouth it's delicately zesty on the tongue, and then quite creamy with a very fine, natural-carbonation and medium body.

The flavor offers a briliant, sugary mix of raisins and rich toffee with a hint of orange-chocolate in the background. The yeast also tosses in some mild bubblegum-like phenolics (sugar and clove-like spice) that turns it a touch candyish. Some herbal hops appear at the swallow and lend it an earthy, mineralish edge that helps to round out its candyish character. The bitterness is a touch limited as might be expected, but it punches through the malt midway, and there's enough there to keep it from becoming cloying in the long-lingering finish. The alcohol appears once it warms a bit, but keeps to the wings (except in the finish); and it actually adds a touch of spiciness that's welcome against the candyish malt.

Tasted side by side with a bottle of the Classic Carolus, this is clearly just a bumped up version of the standard that might include better malts (perhaps some Munch malts) and a longer, cooler fermentation and maturation period. They are very much the same beer, but this one is much more nicely done. It's thoroughly enjoyable, and as it can age at least 3 years, I'd highly suggests you grab a few bottles and pull one out during special occassions each year. I can easily see this working with a Thanksgiving dinner (before, during, or after), or as a toasting beer during the holiday season. It will work with numerous food pairings, including glazed pork chops, BBQ ribs, and char-grilled steak. Highly recommended! (2,157 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2009 release poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, dark fruit, caramelized malts, some Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit. Then a hearty malt character and Belgian yeast breadiness comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary creating a good balance and there’s some spice in the background that creeps in. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a decent dark Belgian to sip on for a while. (826 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to tenderbranson69 for sharing this at my cousin's birthday shindig on 8/7 -taken from notes. The 750 was poured chilled into a goblet.

The color is a deep brown color w/ beige crown, there are reddish hues visible when held to the light -the clarity is translucent bordering on opaque. The cap of beiges leaves streaks on the glass that cling as lace. The aroma is full and fruity with slight alcohol note and caramel on first whiff. The sweet candy-like dark fruit odor is dense with gentle hints of toffee and subtle belgian yeast which gives a slight spice accent w/ mild toasted nutty aroma with slight alcohol presence into the first sip. The feel is thick and viscous with plenty of residual sugar drenched texture with the malt sweetness dominating the feel somewhat and the light alcohol tinge with subtle woody texture and mild caramel creaminess.

The feel is less appealing than the taste which carries a nice spice flavor with gentle cinnamon and come cocoa from the malt which also provides a light biscuit element and a mild flavor of apple from the yeast with mild molasses tinges and slight grainy flavor with some dark sugar notes in the the later sips as it nears cellar temperature. The flavor becomes more alcoholic and spicy as it warms with some slight cedar elements and mild medicinal tinges which augment the deep molassess quality from the malt. I enjoyed this -it was certainly a nightcap beer for me -the intensity at 11% makes that seem a reasonable statement and it displays some of the abv in the flavor and aroma which detracts from an otherwise top quality quad. (1,607 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008. And I must say that is quite the pretty bottle. Got a gusher here. Slightly fogged gold with a thick off-white head. Nose is sugars and citrus. Slight funk. Flavor is nice. Sugary citrus funk and a slight alcohol burning edge. But it doesn't really mess with things. Real rounded flavor profile. Feel has a smooth liquid touch and the carbonation is low. Extremely easy to drink. I don't really want to think about this one too much. I just want to sip, savor, and enjoy. (477 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage, may have to go back grab a few more for aging

Pours a garnet hued chestnut with 4+ fingers of tan colored head into my Vondel chalice. Superior head retention & very good lacing, takes on viscous tendencies as it warms

S: Oaky with fruit (raisins, dates, figs) , leather notes, a bit of cherry,

T: Dry with chocolate, fruittyness, leather, vanilla, cherry & leafy hops up front. Oaky dryness asserts itself as this warms along with figs, molasses, raisins, a bit of booze warmth, some herbal hops, mint notes, & just bit of licorice

MF: Slick, with fairly low carbonation, starts to get chewy as this warms.

Drinks pretty good, dryness slowed me down a bit; for the complexity & abv, I believe you could lay this down at least 3 years no problem

If you like complex chewy Belgians, buy this, you won't be sorry (831 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had: on tap at Iron Abbey, Horsham, PA

Damn tasty beer right here. Dark chestnut brown in color, mostly translucent, with a small off-white head that receded to a tiny ringlet, but still left a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma rich with honey and dark fruits. Taste is dominated by rich sugars--honey and molasses, mainly--and prunes, afterthoughts of bready yeast, raisins, cotton candy, earthy hops. Full of flavor, heavy-medium body, and quite a pleasant drink overall. Cheers! (488 characters)

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

Priced at just 9.99 this brew is a steal, one of the most complex and fortifying Belgian ales I've tasted to date. I used to drink this beer when it just had the Blue sticker running across the 750ml bottle. I like the new packaging, pretty snazzy. It pours a dark ruby brown body with a huge effervescent light tan head. Fine layers of Belgian style lacing line my chalice, what a nice visual experience.

Aromatics to go along with this brew include roasted caramel malts and candied sugar coated plums and raisins with some green apples flowing as well. Mild spicy yeast backing reminiscient of a great strong Belgian dark ale.

Flavor flows heavy with caramel and mild vanilla with slight oak like finish. I know it has never touched the barrel but this brew has something that brings that charateristic to mind. Bold juicy malts with roasted edges are so nice in a Belgian Strong ale, soothing alcohol edges surround the palate with tart fruit playing it's role to entice and deliver quite the sensory experience.

Mouthfeel weighs in with some effervescent attributes but it also weighs in with some heavy carmael malts and alcohol. A toasted burnt caramel flavor with some sticky residual sugars that burn and soothe the throat almost like one of popular lozenges on the market.

Drinkability overall is excellent a brew that you should share with friends or indulge in alone if your feeling up to a big brew like this. Great complexity and flavor brings you back for another sip again and again, quite dangerous. (1,523 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage! 1 pint 9.4 fl oz brown glass bottle with hood and wire cap over a cork served into a Uinta brewing pilsner glass (it was all that was available) in me gaff in low altitude Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are very high given the brewery and style. I'm hoping it beats Chimay Blue.

Served after a rest period from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a 1.5 finger khaki colour head of nice cream, good thickness, and excellent retention for the high ABV. Colour is a very dark yet vibrant and evocative brown. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Nontransparent. Opaque.

Sm: Magnificent dark malts, biscuit malt, clean malts, dark malts, biscuity yeast, fantastic caramelization, cream, plum, and heavy wine notes (mostly red, with even a tannin-like character). Surprisingly acidic. A delightfully fruity, rather subtle aroma. Really quite remarkable. I can't wait to try it.

T: Great cream throughout, with plum, wine grape, and other indistinct fruit notes. The gentle malt backbone lends it body but doesn't intrude on the flavour. Hops are floral if present; no bitterness comes through at all. Nor does any alcohol, which is quite a feat at this ABV. Some nectar on the back end. It's nicely yeasty, which I think helps complement those fruit notes. Some raisin here and there. It's not as winey as suggested by the aroma but still maintains that distinct character, especially on the climax. Tinges of caramelization help keep it interesting. It's full of surprises, and boasts an impressive depth of flavour as well as an interesting complexity. Quite subtle. It's brought off quite well; I adore it. A touch too acidic.

Mf: Just enough cream. Smooth and wet, aiding the drinkability. Supports the flavours without intruding upon them. Good (though fairly high) thickness. It can feel a bit viscous at times, but overall it's quite alright. It could use a touch more coarseness, but I'm nitpicking. Carbonation is near perfect; it drinks well now - even after five years.

Dr: I think the age likely did it well. Maybe one more year and it'd peak. Very drinkable for its incredibly well concealed ABV. I'd definitely get this again. Worth picking up some bottles for the cellar as well. A fantastic beer in the style, giving even Chimay Blue a run for its money in my book. Indeed, I think I prefer this one. And it isn't even priced all that highly for its quality. This is something of an overlooked treasure. I'd definitely recommend it to friends. One thing that does bother me is the proliferation of grapey notes, which can tip the balance of the flavour off at times.

B+ (2,705 characters)

Photo of smcolw
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the 2008 Jaargang versions of Gouden Carolus. This one has 10% ABV.

Very thick bright white head. Settles on the glass leaving a large dollop of froth in the glass center. Fluffy and spotty lace. Clear and very light color of straw.

Fresh and crisp aroma. More malt than anything else. Lots of tropical spice (bitter orange zest, anise, ginger). Some alcohol warmth.

Very potent flavor--lots of alcohol to the sip. Almost seems like a lowland malt scotch. The body is so surprising--the liquor coats the tongue. Some cream in the swallow and aftertaste. Definitely a Belgian.

This is a strong beer with strong flavors. It's great as an extreme beer but I couldn't regularly drink it. (695 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pop! Goes the cork...pours a dark, plummy, raisinish color, with a small-to-nonexistent head, poof!, she's gone....

Aroma is a heady blend of dark fruits, the aforementioned and more, cherries, etc., and a rich, sweet, molasses-like component that soon blends together to provide a brandyish feel. Dark and mysterious, urging me to finally put lips to cup.

Huge mouthfeel, lush and delicious, and...hooo! It's happening, that uncommon feel from an ale that washes a sort of wonderfulness all throughout the senses, lays waste to the skeptical mindset, the analytical eye, and provides nothing but pleasure...whoa...sweetness resides in every sip, but never cloys, malt is large, and the texture is so rich and warm, the ABV appearing in full force, that the flavor never leaves the mouth.

Oh, wow, this is good. goodness upon goodness, tasty to the max...I haven't said yum yet, but it'll come in handy here! (911 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip. 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one and a half fingers of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for two to three minutes and leaves nice lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of dark fruits, spices, Belgian yeast, sweet fruity malts, and molasses. Smells really great, no signs of alcohol at all.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, Belgian yeast, molasses, spices, fruity malts, molasses, and some alcohol. A nice complex Belgian taste.but it is 11% ABV afterall.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

d - A very good Belgian dark ale. It smells really great and has a great mouthfeel. The smell and taste are very complex and enjoyable; I wish there was a little less alcohol in the taste but at 11% ABV what can you do. None the less a great beer I've had several times and will certainly have again. (923 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip glass. Beer is dark brown and clear. Carbonation is steady and moderate. Made up of small bubbles that rise through the beer with medium velocity feeding a thin tannish head of small bubbles that is diffuse but leaves a lot of lacing on the glass and managed to stay contiguous.

I could smell this beer when I was pouring it. It is bright, sweet, tons of fruity esters. Smells great. Aroma is quite complex.

Beer is sweet and has a nice fruit character to it. I would like maybe a bit of bitterness to balance out the sweetness but overall its really good. Medium bodied so it drinks nicely. Drinkability is good. Not much carbonation in the mouth. I would definitely buy this beer again.

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Serving type: on-tap

look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on draft at a local beer bar. Served in a slender tulip. I've already reviewed this beer in the bottle, but on draft it was significantly different enough to warrant a second review. This is one of those beers that I totally think should be served in a bottle and not NOT on draft. My experience was totally different.

Beer is dark brown and clear. Carbonation is low. Head falls away to almost nothing, leaving very little lacing on the glass.

Aroma is mostly malt and caramel with a hint of alcohol. A little boozier than the bottle I had but overall a great smelling beer.

Beer is initially sweet but then it hits you, in the face with alcohol. VERY VERY BOOZY! I noted the taste of alcohol in my first review, this time it was the dominant and really only flavor there. It overwhelmed everyone else.

Seriously, if you like liquor you may like this way better than the bottle version, my wife did. I don't like a beer that tastes too much like liquor and use the descriptor "unbalanced" to describe it. Both flavor and drinkability suffer. (1,864 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.75/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cage-corked bottle - Bottled on February 24, 2007 - Poured into glass chalice:

Pours deep brown with ruby highlights. A creamy tan head tops it off. It slowly descends and stays around. Awesome head retention for abv level. Some rings of frothy lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of dark fruits - raisins and plums with dark cherries peeking through. Vanilla and chocolate intermingle. Spicy, earthy notes add to deep complexity.

The taste is of dark fruits that take turns coming through with dark cherries - super-complex fruitiness. Vanilla and vinuous notes weave in and out. Peppery spiciness fades in at out making this at times sweetish, at times spicy. Chocolatish maltiness becomes caramelish and toffeeish as it progresses. The flavors are incredibly layered, and converge so nicely. It is almost like reading a book. The f./lavors are delicate and complex, yet bold and lingering...Amazing - a work of art.

The feel is full and lush. Carbonation level is perfect. Long finish that is at once sweetish and spicy dryish.

Wow - what a treat. So smooth for abv level. The alcohol integrates itself so well that it is deceiving - very drinkable for abv level.
And the beer gods rejoice...

Thanks to Wasatch for the recommendation! One of the best beers I've had to date... (1,289 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (1,452 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Gouden Carolus Blue on tap at the Thirsty Monk in Asheville. {review largely confirmed and lightly tweaked based on bottles consumed April 2014 and 2015}

Very dark reddish-brown; clear, with a small but very durable head. Decent lacing.

Nice, fruity, plum dominated aroma. Slight solvent-like note to the flavor, probably an alcohol ester. Still, not terribly boozy for 11% ABV. Raisins and dates in the flavor.

Medum plus body; very smooth.

O: a little disappointing given my very high expectations. (505 characters)

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beautiful reddish-brown appearance with a perfect head. Fabulous Brussel's Lace forms as I contemplatively sip on one of my favorite beers in the world.

A wonderful fresh made caramel smell wafts from the glass. Notes of raisin and plum combined with dark chocolate to counter the slightly boozy nose.

Taste is otherworldly. The caramel smell is delivered in the taste as is sultana raisins, creme-brulle, crushed grapes and slight notes of port.

Mouthfeel is tremendous. A well-balanced weight that is perfect for this big, bold brew.

This is the perfect night cap beer. Sweet with a perfectly balanced vinous quality. Alcohol is definitely present but adds to the complexity.

The Emperor can reign over me anytime. A perfect substitute for a late bottled vintage port. (778 characters)

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
95 out of 100 based on 859 ratings.