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
96
world-class

1,587 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,587
Reviews: 839
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.7%
Wants: 188
Gots: 243 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,587 | Reviews: 839 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 bottling, Sampled January 2004:
The cork explodes from the bottle. A deep ruby color that is topped by a dark tan head. Aromas of plum, raisin, lots of dark malt aromas, and slight notes of alcohol emanate from my glass. The taste is rich and sweet with dark fruit (cherry, raisin, and fig) and alcohol in the finish. The mix of fruit and alcohol is evocative of brandy. Ends with a bit of acidity, which is a nice balancing note. The fruitiness is perhaps most reminiscent of dark cherries, though there are some subtle notes of peach as well.

This is quite good, very rich and a definite brew to savor. Could perhaps use something to balance the sweetness and fruitiness; maybe some Belgian yeast complexity or some off-setting spice notes. This beer is very smooth, with no harsh components despite the high alcohol.

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

08/10/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.

Presentation- Vintage 2004, as printed on the neck bottle label. Caged and corked. Huge pop lets go and a bit overflows. Only lost about an ounce though. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Liquid milk chocolate brown in color. Clouded with microscopic yeast particles floating around. Larger than life head. Fills the tulip to the top with large bubbled foam. Excellent small chunks and streaks clinging to the side.

Smell- Rich caramel and dark malt. This one smells like a winner. Maybe a touch of chocolate and definte spices.

Taste- Caramel explodes into your mouth. Sweet brown sugar, mollasses and even some light coffee grounds round out the flavor. A tiny bit of anise and maybe some corriander spices it up. It;s very malty and fairly well roasted.

Mouthfeel- After seeing the explosion from the bottle I prepared for lots of bubbles. Suprisingly it was very mellow and less carbonated than expected. Creamy and mouthcoating.

Drinkability- Wonderful brew here. The 10% hits pretty hard and fast. I shared the bottle and was feeling pretty good after the 12oz I had. Will seek this out in the future for sure. Not sure how it fares fresh, but the 2 years I had it didn't hurt it, that's for sure.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a dark red/brown umber with a full white/tan head with good retention and good lacing.

S: Was actually not getting much until the beer warmed up, nice fruit and molasses, sugary malt.

T: Very tasty, I've only had this beer once before, but it is a great tasting BSDA. Great taste of dark fruit, raisin and prune, molasses and rum/brandy, very fruity and sweet, but not cloying at all, just a delicious, full beverage.

M: Smooth, full-bodied, good carbonation, though I would have liked a little richer mouthfeel.

D: This is one of the standards for this style, I think Charles V would be proud, a really good ale.

Photo of Gavage
4.18/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: hazy brown color with some copper highlights. Short 1" head slowly falls to a surface foam.

Smell: general sweetness from molasses, honey, and caramel. Some alcohol is detectable by the nose.

Taste: sweetness dominates but does not offend. Brown sugar, raisins, prunes, molasses, honey, hint of licorice, mild alcohol, and a soft bitterness are all easily detectable.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth at the start, and the finish leans towards syrupy. Sweetness lingers well into the aftertaste.

Drinkability: very enjoyable slow sipper, but the alcohol reminds you this can be a dangerous brew if several glasses are consumed. This is a must find and try.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1.5 Litre bottle: 2011 version. Shared at home with the wife, daughter and son-in-law during a random tasting night on 23 Nov 2012.

Every had Dandelion and Burdock? This reminded me of that old staple from my youth: more body and less fizz than the old pop bottles but still very simular in smell, taste and look.

Demerara sugar and raisins also came to mind in this fairly sweet yet very drinkable brew. The alcohol is detectable but it adds to the enjoyment rather than hindering as some weaker/watery beers often suffer with because their flavours are not strong enough: these flavours certainly are hefty enough to take the alcohol and help it to enhance the brew.

I had the lions share of the bottle and knew I'd had enough when I stopped drinking and started making my notes: just about readable!

Photo of orangesol
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of imperialking
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of dbrauneis
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 Vintage

A: Pours a clear dark amber to brown in color with a half finger tall beige head. The head reduces to some extremely thin patches and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate lacing is observed.

S: A very sweet yet inviting aroma to this beer with some sweet malts as well as lots of dark fruits (fig) and just a hint of spice.

T: Dark toasted/charred and sweet malts including some bready and caramel notes as well, followed by some serious amounts of dark fruits (primarily figs), and just a hint of the yeast spices in the finish. There is also a light hint of oak or wood.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate to high amounts of carbonation. Very creamy.

O: Very enjoyable, the taste and the smell of the alcohol are very well hidden. A really great beer though I would recommend more sipping (considering the ABV) than as a session beer. I will get this one again.

Photo of yourefragile
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 mL 2009 bottle poured into a snifter.

I have been meaning to try this for a few years and finally got around to picking up a bottle. Pours a deep, dark clear mahogany with a thick, dense tan head that appears to have an imaginary slight pinkish hue. Glass is coated sticky lacing and overall has nice retention but eventually fades a large bubbly cap. At cooler temperatures the aroma is rich with dark fruits, yeast, sugars, etc and is very pleasant but as it warms up the alcohol dominates and detracts from the nose. The mouthfeel is my favorite part of this beer. Medium full, silky with light carbonation and a rich, sweet fruity finish. Like the nose, the flavors become dominated by alcohol as this beer warms up. Even when cold, flavors are dominated by ripe, dark fruits, sugars, caramel malt, light spices, occasionally tart and all of these flavors are intensified as it warms up. Overall, an amazing Belgian, probably should have let this sit a little longer and a little too sweet for my own personal tastes, but the amazing mouthfeel and carbonation nearly makes up for those points.

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -7%

Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes taken on 12/30/10. A 2010 corked and caged bottle I popped open and shared with a couple friends.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a clear dark ruby brown color with 2 fingers of dark brown head. The cap recedes fairly fast leaving a wall of lace along the glassware. Swirls revive the head back to a finger of creamy tan.

The aroma of this brew is sweet smelling alcohol laden with darker fruits. Quite sweet, almost candy like with an indication of vanilla overtop the scent of plums and raisins.

The taste is also candy sweet with a light spiced character of clove, banana and bold alcohol. It is quite sweet upfront with a bold character of fruity alcohol that balance it out a bit. The sweetness is somewhat caramel-like in the finish with a lingering bitterness from earthy and herbal hops.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The alcohol is very evident throughout the experience and it is quite drinkable. My only gripe is that this brew was a little too sweet for me to enjoy more than a single glass of. The bold combination of alcohol and sugar would present an interesting example for aging. I'd give it a try again if I could get an older bottle.

Photo of corby112
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes:

Pours a dark chestnut amber color with a 2.5 finger foamy tan head that has decent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with patches of soapy lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with hints of peppery spice and a prominent dark fruit presence. Hints of plum, raisin, dark cherry and grape balanced by subtle hops licorice, nut and alcohol.

This beer has a wonderful mouthful and is very flavorful. Nice soft carbonation up front with lots of peppery spice that is nicely balanced by a slight medicinal presence, dark fruit and alcohol warmth. Hints of chocolate, caramel, fig, raisin, date and dark cherry all bouncing off of each other. Incredibly complex with the perfect balance of roasty, spicy, sweet and heat. The high ABV is excellently masked however, making this beer dangerously drinkable. Highly recommended!

Photo of superspak
4.43/5  rDev +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.

Photo of weeare138
4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to witbier for hooking me up with this for my homebrew services of his requested beer...
Appears a hazy, dark brown with auburn edges when held up to the light. A 1 finger, tan head slowly fades out into a foamy cap. Scattered streaks of lacing are left all around the glass.
Smell is up front of brown sugar, caramel, raisins, candi sugar, and some spices and ripe fruit.
Taste is of the aromas with a sweet caramel and raisin flavor winning out over the other sugary sweet flavors being pumped from this fine beverage.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sugary, somewhat syrupy, and a bit boozy.

Photo of Billolick
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2003 corked bottle. Cork explodes out. BE CAREFUL. This is a monster of a beer, not for the faint of heart. Currents, prunes and figs in the nose. sweet with very present alcohol. silky, oily mouthfeel. Tastes kind of bready. Lots of fruit. Makes you want to sip and try more to explore the complex flavors and layers of intrigue. would go well with hearty meats and dessert

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

2010 vintage bottle purchased for me a year ago by @epiclurk. Shared with @tobeerornottobe and @LaitueGonflable. So around 2 years of age on it.

Pours a deep ruby red tending to brown, with a hazy, bubbly and somewhat inconsistent head of off-white. Lacing is patchy but fine and streaking. Colour is amazing, weight in the body is very pleasant. Looks really great.

Nose is deep, complex and pungent, with big dark fruit characters carrying spicier, drier notes and even a hint of acidity. Everything is smoothed by a big, slightly estery vanilla character, and a big whack of rounded Belgian yeast. Fantastic stuff: another effortless example of Belgian superiority.

Taste is phenomenal. Smooth and sweet, with a balance that somehow keeps it from being too cloying. It has a bright, slightly dry, slightly coppery feeling on the edges that stops the sweetness from overwhelming the palate. There's spicy poached oranges coming through as well: it's like the suggestion of bright fragrance, that still gets covered with brown sugar and toffeed up into subjugation. Absolutely amazing stuff. Complex, but so, so well balanced.

Feel is incredibly smooth and perfectly weighted. It aids the palate in every respect.

Absolutely fantastic stuff. Clean, balanced but also masterfully complex and deep. The alcohol is so well hidden, and hidden in a light, airy way that only the Belgians do. It makes it supremely drinkable despite its hefty ABV. Oh yes, this is a phenomenally good beer: and so effortless. Absolutely amazing.

Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a good head and good lacing.Head fades a little quicker than I would like. Aroma is very nice indeed,very full bodied, a little sweet, a little alcohol.Sweet malts and spice predominate. Taste is similar, but with a nice depth. More sweet malt and spice, as well as brown sugar and dark fruit. Very balanced and creamy. Although a little on the sweet side, the beer isn't sticky or tiresome at all. Delicious, and my favorite from this brewery.

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

2009 Vintage

Poured into Duvel glass.

Pours 1/2 finger of beige tan head. Color is a ruby hued copper. Very appealing color.

Aroma: Sweet caramel, dark dried fruits, raisins, molasses, apples. Big malty aroma. Caramel apples.

Taste: Rich and malty. Sweet. Caramel, raisins, toffee, dark dried fruits, more raisins. Booze showing. Then grapes and apples in the background. Lots of solid flavors.

Mouthfeel: Sweet, creamy, and a bit warming. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends with some spice notes, booze showing, and a bit of dryness.

Overall, a very well done BSDA. Lots of good flavors. A sipper at such a big beer, but I do like it. Fairly drinkable. This is a beer that you need to be in the mood for big time.

Photo of tempest
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was a pretty good beer. Poured a dark red with a tan head and a bit of lacing. Smelled and tasted of dark fruity malts with a touch of yeast. Taste is a mix of plum and raisony goodness. A thick, rich and sweet beer, the kind you can sip for a couple hours. Go find a bottle and split it with your best friend.

Photo of Gonzoillini
3.75/5  rDev -12.8%

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

2007
Poured a deep reddish brown color with great caronation.Nose is rich caramel, dried dark fruits and candy. Taste is caramel, sweetness, dark fruits, booze and candy. Mouthfeel is booze, sticky, sweet and dark fruits. This is a big, rich beer and it is very good.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

A: Pours a deep, mahogany brown. A 1.5 finger, tan head forms and lasts for quite some time. Some nice lacing clings to the glass.

S: A thick aroma of caramelized sugar, dark fruits, some raisins, and plums, lights spices, some belgian yeast, and bruised apple.

T: A heavy raisin flavor along with caramel, brown sugar, some cherries, and almost a brandy like flavor.

M: Medium to full bodied with carbonation that is a bit prickly. Very creamy and almost syrup like. Quite filling.

O: A very well made beer, not sure it lived up to my expectations, but its still very good. Would like to try it again someday.

Photo of wl0307
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

Photo of DoubleJ
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last night's decible caused by Hardcore IPA will be tough to recover from. To help ease the pain, I have prescribed Gouden Carolus D'Or. 2007 vintage bought recently at the Wine Exchange (Orange, CA), on to the beer:

Poured into a chalice, the head pours a good thickness, but has a loud fizzying nose on top this ruby brown beer with reddish and violet hues. The color is good, the head is so-so. There's a great mix of aromas pleasing my nose. Where to start? Toffee, ripe dark fruits, yeast, hint of chocolate, figs, brown sugar. Good good. Now to drink.

Now I understand what all the fuss is about....sort of. Tasty....and very alcoholic (my bottle is listed at 10%). Big snap of hot booze and spicy pepper on the palate at first. Soft fruity yeast creeps in, apples and... HOT HOT HOT!! Jalapenoes? It sure feels like it. Assorted dark fruit flavors apply, but again this is a very hot beer.

No question this is a good beer, but the alcohol cut into the overall enjoyement of this beer. My bottle is one year old, so maybe more time underneath the cork will cool it off. But how much remains the question.

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,587 ratings.