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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) - Brouwerij Het Anker

Not Rated.
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

865 Reviews
no score

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

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 865 | Hads: 1,722
Photo of dcmchew
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

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Photo of tempest
4.37/5  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.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
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!

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Photo of liamt07
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared with Steve and co., 750 into a few snifter type glasses. Recall this being an 07-08 vintage? Regardless..

Poured a dark brown/burgundy, unfiltered with some small floaties. Fluffy tan head falls quickly, with some mild retention and spotty lace. Nose is dry and vinous, lots of dark fruits, grape skins. Taste is big on the brown sugar, dark fruits, mild vinous notes. Some green apple/grape skins. Sweet overall, but not overpoweringly so. Well balanced with a fantastic, full mouthfeel. Smooth, silky and creamy. Some mild dryness in the finish. Just awesome.4/4/45/45/45

Re-reviewed November 13, 2011. Part of the QuadShowdown. Beautiful softness to the nose, plums, dark fruits, sugar/brown sugar. Concise, condensed and exceptional bouquet. Taste reflects the nose quite well. Plums, brown sugar, vanilla, light syrup. Gentle and complex. Soft carbonation, full feel and a touch of back-end alcohol. Absolutely outstanding BSDA/Quad, great complexity, feel and smoothness. 4/45/45/5/5

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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

Pours a DEEP dark clear ruby brown.

Smells extremely complex, malt, banana, raisins, dates, brown sugar, basically it smells like grandmothers banana bread. Also reminds me of a good expensive sherry.

Tastes sweet, and bready. Lots of nut flavor and fruit and spices, tastes a lot like good banana bread. This has a nice warming effect that makes it PERFECT for a winter beer.

Mouthfeel is thinner than you would expect for such a flavor packed beer.

Definitely drinkable, this makes a superior holiday brew.

Screw eggnog; give me this at Christmas time!

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Photo of weeare138
4.42/5  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.

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Photo of biegaman
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jaargang 2007. Enjoyed November 2009.

The Keizer isn't much to look at. My chalice isn't filled with a drink that looks suitable for a king, but rather some sort of mucky, scummy, possibly prune derived nectar seemingly better fit for the peasants. Light yields no change to the beer's clammy, lifeless complexion. And what is a Keizer without his crown? Its head is entirely bare of bubbles.

The aroma, on the other hand, has an essence fit - not for royalty - but for the Gods. This sweet, ambrosial serum exhumes a potent and rather pacifying character, one that puts the soul (or, more accurately, the senses) at peace with the world. (*In the interest of full disclosure it should be noted that perhaps a snippet of that tranquility might very well be derived from the rather immodest and lulling 11% alcohol.)

The beer's soothing character could reasonably be equated to a tawny port, and this is in large part because of its flavour profile. Fans of the fortified wine would enjoy this Belgian ale not only for its commanding sweetness but also the lush and nuanced notes of oak, peppery spice and tannic fruitiness. It shows its strength, albeit modestly.

I taste black currant but I'm thinking Cassis. I get maybe a hint of orange but it much more closely resembles Grand Marnier or Triple Sec than it does anything that's grown on a tree. The yeast also plays games - there's a slight hint of bruised banana and it wouldn't be at all far fetched to note herbs or spices, I get clove especially.

Upfront the fruits taste lively and ripe (i.e, plum, grape and black cherry). By finish, however, they become dry (now prune and raisin). The palate, too, seems to dry out alongside them. The tastes that linger most are those of strawberry jam, elderberries, and, just perhaps, a drop or two of coffee. Warming does it no harm, only good.

Cuvée Van De Keizer is only brewed on one day a year, February 24th. I don't see much need to brew it more often than that. It seems to be in fairly wide distribution and, although it is, in all respects, a very good beer I would consider the other Gouden Carolus offerings to be great beers. Keep in mind, however, as the high score posted above shows, that even this brewery's "good" beer ranks above the average brewery's best.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage poured in to snifter.

A -Very dark ruby, almost opaque with one finger of light brown head.

S - Caramel, toffee, raisins, spice and hints of rum.

T - Sweet caramelized sugar, rum soaked raisins, sticky toffee, figs and spice. A really nice flavour profile.

M - Medium body. Creamy. Moderate carbonation.

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

2006 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a brown/mahongy color, very nice carbonation (POP upon opening), nice creamy off-white head, nice creamy sticky lacing and small islands abound. The nose is malty, yeasty, lots of dark fruits, and caramel. The taste is absolutly delicious, sweet, malty, slight yeast tones, figs, raisins, plums, caramel. Nice little chewiness, smooth as hell, alcohol is hidden pretty well, nice warming effect. Full body, complex brew. Very drinkable, AWESOME brew, highly recommended.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.85/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

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Photo of John_M
4.64/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's (have not seen this on tap at too many places).

The beer pours a reddish amber color that is just a bit murky. On the nose... this is what Belgian beers are all about. I get a huge aroma of sugar daddy, cherry, chocolate, orange citrus, and a hint of root beer. This smells just incredible. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose almost exactly and are just as impressive. There's a bit more anise then there is on the nose, but that only helps to buoy the moderate sweetness a bit more. This beer is just incredibly delicious. Mouthfeel is good, with decent length and a full, fairly long finish. Alcohol is fairly well disguised, but lets not kid ourselves. This is clearly a rich, heady, no holds barred Belgain strong ale. Unless you're a masochist, you're not going to be pounding down pints of these bad boys.

Fabulous stuff. If you don't like this, then you probably don't like beer. Yummm....

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 750 picked up at Erickson's Fine Wines for $9.50 .... shared with Brenda ... mine poured into a Kasteel tulip .. chilling on my Friday, listening to Cowboy Junkies Live at the BBC.

Nice lite tan head that drops to a good collar and substantial lacing... Deep chesnut brew with beautiful dark ruby highlites when held to the light.

Aroma is deceptively complex .. alot of well hidden spice with brandy mascerated dark fruits... plums.. raisins.. figs.. and dark caramel.. smell is not as sweet as expected.

Flavor is amazing.. hugely complex profile.. a touch more spicy than the nose led me to believe. Tawny port notes without nearly as much booze... alcohol is there but only the tie that binds all these great spicy fruits together. Big plum and swelled prunes ... dried sweet cherries and a very present sweet cigar characteristic. Fairly thick viscosit.. with the perfect amount of carbonation.

I love this beer and always have access to it, but judging by notes, this only the 2nd time I've take the time to enjoy it... count on it (I am a label whore and am taken by shiny wrappings)... I will buy more, possibly many more.. and hopefully will be able to restrain myself to actually cellar some.

This is the type quality, that I will pull out of the cellar and give to some of my more micro-novice buddies and coworkers and proudly exclaim "This is what beer CAN taste like."

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of wl0307
4.16/5  rDev -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.

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

Pours a five+ finger pillowy, cream head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Deep cloudy amber/brown color. Nose is dark fruit and some alcohol. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is sweet dark fruit and hints of alcohol. $12.99 for a 750ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT. Bottled 2008.

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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 LiquidAmber
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 2/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark mahogany brown with ruby highlights. Nice off-white one finger head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of dark and caramel malt, dark and dried fruit, slight cherry and a hint of Belgian spicing. Flavor is intense dark and dried fruits, caramel malt and delicious light tartness with fruits dominating middle and finish with slight hops in the finish. A bit on the sweet side, but the complex flavor carries this ale through. Medium to heavy bodied with some creaminess. A very nice dark Belgian.

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Photo of akorsak
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a 750 mL bottle of Grand Cru of the Emperor (in English) 2005 served in a Chimay goblet. The ale is cool.

A: The ale is a darker beer, trending towards dark brown but with hints of lighter tones. The ale has a nice head that laces.

S: Wow, does this ale have a ramped up spice content! From first smell, deeper spices jump out at me. The one that immediately springs to mind is thyme (as I recognize it from N'ice Chouffe). The aromas are deep and tantalizing, giving a hint of the alcohol punch in this beer.

T: The ale tastes like it smells, full of depth and spices. The hop quotient here is fairly low, allowing the spices to shine, with the thyme taking the cake. The alcohol, while not overt, is clearly here.

M: The ale tastes wonderful and well worth the one-day-a-year brewing cycle.

D: Very drinkable, even at 10% or so. The spices keep the taste buds guessing and the beer itself is not overpoweringly strong.

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Photo of Tone
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown color. 1/4 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of tartness, sourness, sweet malt, slight pale malt, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, alcohol, slight pale malt, hint of roasted malt, slight hop, slight dark citrus, and slight yeast. Overall, good appearance, feel, body, and complexity.

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

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip. This is the 2012 vintage.

Appearance: very dark brown/amber hue which shines a beautiful ruby when held up to the light. There's a nicely active effervescence, and head is a thick finger of pillowy ivory foam. Nice.

Smell: nice mixture of sweet caramel and dusty dark fruits. Cherry, plum and raisin are evident. I like it.

Taste: huge, rich flavor with a much greater intensity than the aroma. Caramel sweetness provides a backdrop for more of the same fruits as in the aroma, but everything is brighter and bigger. Alcohol bite and fruitiness contribute a lot to the flavor. Toward the end, the flavor rounds out with a light breadiness. I love it!

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body with a big carbonation and a big, thick creaminess. Love it.

Overall: what a delicious beer. I was worried from the low-key smell that this beer would not be as wonderful as I'd hoped, but in the end it's delicious and drinkable despite its huge ABV. Wonderful stuff.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ML bottle poured into a snifter . vintage 2011.

pours a darker brown color with a very light head. smell is very sweet and the taste is even sweeter. strong raisin / fig taste. i wasn't expecting this to be so sweet, but it's a very nice surprise. tastes more like a quad. alcohol is very well hidden, i'd guess this was an 8%er as opposed to the 11% ABV. overall obviously this one is a sipper but one i'd seek out again. i'd like to try different years to experience the difference aging makes.

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Photo of corby112
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
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!

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