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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.

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 bwyker
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On tap, poured into a pint glass, around cellaring temperature.

Appearance: Very dark mahogany. Nearly opaque from the dark hue of the body; however, when put up to light, it appears to be a clear, haze-free deep-red brew. A very thin ochre tinted head dangles in the middle and sticks to the sides of the glass. Lacing completely coats the side of the glass forming a slightly discolored screen.

Smell: Immediately notice toffee and molasses, with an alcohol backbone.

Taste: Similar to the nose. Smokey, roasted malts with hints of cherry at the start, followed by a slight maple syrup flavor and a splash of alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Although this one is heavy in the malts, the mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth, with only a slight stickyness in the finish. The first few sips are a bit dry from the alcohol, but this soon fades to a nice silkiness once your palate adjusts.

Drinkability: This is a big one that will demand some slow sipping. It gets easier with each sip, but I can’t imagine having more than one or two of these in a sitting. Overall, a well-crafted beer that was very much enjoyed.

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Photo of SoonerNY
4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle from 2008

This was suggested to me by careful placement on the checkout counter. Like a kid staring at eye level candy I grabbed it and I'm so glad I did.

It pours a purple brown opaque color with excellent lacing and a 2 finger head that hung around for a while.

You definitely smell the spicy alcohol but the fruity plum-raisins shine through.

Although present, the alcohol isn't nearly as pronounced in the taste as it is in the smell. A superb balance makes this brew dangerously drinkable. Sweet and spicy plums are present with delicious Belgian candy and a gentle alcohol warming. I plan to grab a few to cellar for later if I have the patience.

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Photo of dotsonjamesg
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 Edition

Bought this brew off of liquorama.net. Though I have become bored with the style, I took a chance based on some good reviews.

Appearance: Poured a foggy golden color with a rich white, three-finger head with good retention. Even with a gentle pour, this brew nearly overflowed with foam.

Smell: Rich scent of banana, citrus, spices, nutmeg, vanilla, and some other spices cascade my nostrils.

Taste: Definitely very rich and full-bodied; its everything I hoped it would be. I can pick up the hefty sweet malts and candied sugar and another unfamiliar flavor with Belgian Strong Ales...licorice? Yes, Licorice! Some hops and citrus were also detected. It was pretty complex and delicious but the alcohol seemed to throw off a lot of the richer flavors within. It was still very delicious and enjoyable. The brew also had a nice warming finish and after taste I enjoyed it very much.

Mouthfeel: The brew is thick and syrupy but has a nice carbonation level that stimulates my taste buds.

Drinkability: The brew can be a little overwhelming in terms of sweetness but if you enjoy a good Belgian Strong Dark Ale it is right up your alley. In a market overflowing with overly sweet and less complex BSDAs, this one definitely stands out. I have been telling myself that I am done with BSDAs, as they all seem so alike. Although this one shares similar characteristics, it definitely stands out compared to others. This brew reminded me that there still exists some good stuff from the BSDA style.

I was a little worried when I first opened my Cuvee Van De Keizer... I noticed a tiny leak-like appearance at the base of the cork, stopped only by a dried (formerly)syrupy substance. As you can see, the brew was unharmed. *Sigh!*



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Photo of tobyandgina
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed thin one in a tulip glass.

Dark brown in colour, clear. Nice tan, frothy head, diminishes a little too quick.

Great aroma. Honey, molasses, caramel, burnt sugar, alcohol, a little maltiness and yeast.

Pretty good mouthfeel - not too lasting.

Very sweet on the palate. Caramelized sugar, molasses. A little thick. Alcohol that warms your chest.

Really enjoyed this one.


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Photo of gerardoluna
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

[Eyes] Wonderful deep color, excelent foamy creamy head.
[Nuse] Floral malty and hoppy flavor, with notes of caramel and alcohol.
[Mouth] Sweet malt, fruit and fresh. Strong and sweet. notes fruit of apple and bananas, a little touch of yeast. i will storage some bottles for the next year.

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Photo of theWrkncacnter
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz corked bottle. 2006 vintage. Pours a deep mahogany brown that's very opaque. Moderate head with minimal lacing. The smell is somewhat strange. I want to say that it smells like turpentine, but in a good way, if that makes any sense. The alcohol is definitely there in the nose, but in a very nice way. It combines with citrus and other fruit scents to make a very interesting and very good nose. Taste is amazing. I loved this beer instantly. The alcohol is fairly well hidden, which makes it very easy to drink. Once the head is gone, it's very hard to tell this appart from a dessert wine. The taste is sweet with citrus and sugar and only a moderate alcohol taste. Do I taste a bit of chocolate on the aftertaste? Maybe I'm crazy but I think there's some there. Complex would be a great way to describe this beer. As the beer warms, the alcohol comes out more but only reinforces the dessert wine quality of this beer. Perhaps this is a bit too sweet, and that might push away some hop-heads like myself, but I think for this style it's not a problem.

Bottom line: this is a killer brew, pick some up now while you can; I'll definitely be picking up another bottle soon.

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Photo of KCHopHead
4.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

How is this beer not ranked higher? First chance I get I'm going to do some side by side comparisons with this beer. It is quite amazing.

A - Pours a dark plum, brown.
S - Tons of complexity with yeasts, fruits and not much alcohol.
T - Just as complex as the smell. I was mainly getting raisins, but there is so much going on there. Alcohol is sitting in the background.
M - Lots of carbonation but not a bomb when you open the bottle. Just enough for the effervesence.
D - I am happy this is in 750 ml and not just 12 oz. I could drink a bottle of this in a night and be quite satisfied.

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

Just finished a bottle of the 2003 vintage. This is very dark brew, full of sweetness, dried fruits, nuts, and malty goodness. This is big beer. The alcohol is obvious on the nose and tongue, which accounts for my 4.0 rating on drinkability. Otherwise, the presentation, pour, and overall experience are excellent. This is something to save for a special time.

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Photo of Blindpigbiz
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

VAN DE KEIZER BLEAUW '09; consumed in 2011


Smell: neutral

Taste: barley-wine, dark-ripened plums, cognac, black licorice, maraschino cherries, candied sugar and warm scotch

Pair this beer with smoked goose, a rare filet minion, a truffle wagyu burger with blue cheese, or a funnel cake with Madagascar vanilla bean ice cream with a dark-fruit syrup

This beer is fantastic! Normally for beer, or any kind of liquor, one has to search for flavor and have an immensely discerning palette in order to extract all of the flavors; not this time. This beer aged is probably the BEST DARK BEER EVER MADE, or at least that I've tried. This beer brazenly smacks you in the face and tells you what it tastes like; it's like hunting in a forest with no trees and large game animals at a stand still; the flavors are immensely dominant.

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Photo of NoHipTee
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this based solely on the reviews I read on Beeradvocate.

A: rich thick head that lasts and lingers. Significant carbonation that makes it difficult to pour this without foaming over the edges of the glass. Dark dark beer that has a redish hue when held up to the light.

S: sweet with hints at a very complex beer fruity but malty with a mere suggestion of the alcohol.

T: A very pleasing flavor but not as complex as I had hoped for based on the appearance and smell. I cannot get past the very pleasing flavor. This is what a dark belgian ale should taste like.

M: the carbonation hides any alcochol burn. It is not as thick as I would have expected based on the dark rich appearance.

D: This is a very drinkable beer.

A very good experience. I will buy more.

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

This is for the 2005 vintage with English label and 10% ABV.
They release in April, so it had a bottle age of about 18 months.

A-As per my usual, poured the entire 750 ml bottle at once into a large glass pitcher. It was highly carbonated, filling alomst the whole pitcher with foam. It has a very dark amber color.

S-Very rich and pleasing aroma of plum and molasses.

T-More of the same in the taste. Expectedly sweet, but a complex palate of flavors of plum, molasses, and a nice roasted malt.
I detect no off flavors.

M-A silky and creamy texture with just the right density (although this was in part due to releasing much carbonation through a hard pour).

I will definitely be getting more of this and will seek out other vintages.

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Photo of Nowhereman529
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This poured a nice dark dark amber color into a wine chalice with a good bit of white bubbly head.

Smell is very heavy on the alcohol combined with a good bit of fruit, something along the lines of apples, pears.

Taste does not disappoint. I didn't know what to expect exactly, but this beer tastes of fall fruit, a good bit of sweetness with a bit of a honey aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is what I would expect from a good ale, a good bit of bubbliness, but it's not overwhelming.

I would for sure drink this again, but wait until winter time. It's definitely not a summer time beer at all. Flavor, alcohol content, even bottling suggests a solid cold weather beer.

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Photo of Hullabaloo2
4.82/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Sweet, dark fruity esters, dark sugars. Malty sweetness. Alcohol. Just a bit phenolic.

Appearance - Dark brown with a beautiful red hue. Tan head that poured two fingerwidths and dissipated to one. Good lacing. A lot of visible carbonation.

Taste - Complex taste similar to the aroma. Sweet, dark fruity esters. Malty sweetness. Soft, but noticable alcohol. Slightly phenolic. Balanced toward the malt. Not quite cloying. Wonderful yeast character that I can not quite describe. It comes through in all of the Gouden Carolus beers.

Mouth Feel - Medium to heavy body. Smooth; almost creamy. High alcohol, but with no bite. Notice able alcohol, but not hot.

Overall Impression - Wonderful beer! My favorite beer, in fact. This is a review of the 2008 vintage. I love every aspect of this beer. I encourage everyone who can get this beer to go buy it immediately. What more can I say?

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Photo of silverblaze540
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown, minimal light seeping through. Small cream colored head, dissipates quickly. Active bubbles.

S - Malt, dates, prunes, rains, cherry, sweetness.

T - Very sweet and malty. All the fruity smells come through in the taste. Minimal alcohol taste and almost no bitterness.

M - Some carbonation burn, very smooth.

O - Wonderfully tasty beer. Even non-beer drinkers could enjoy this one.

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Photo of jeffaz02t
1.8/5  rDev -58%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A: Dark beer, allows just a little light to shine through. Decent head, went away fairly quickly.

S: Very malty with a lot of spice in the scent. There is also a scent that I have never smelled before. It almost smells like an off smell, but probably not.

T: It is interesting, but I am not sure this is for me. There is a spicy character, and a very malty taste, but there is a taste I have never experienced before that ruins this beer to me.

M: Average, carb. levels are good.

D: The strange taste makes this un-drinkable to me.

Maybe I got a bad bottle. I will get a new one and review again ASAP.


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Photo of kirkmichel
3.86/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 1PT9.4FL.OZ. bottle purchased at Green's, Atlanta, GA
2006 vintage
Used a pint glass - no chalice, which I would have liked

appearance - Opaque, rust-brown, lacy lasting foam

Poured a somewhat dark, semi-opaque, rusty brown with decent caramel-tinted dense foam head.
The foam stayed for a long time, which was nice, and clung to the periphery of the glass. Foam lacing actually stuck to the glass even when the liquid was gone. The miracles of beer science.

smell - Kind of subtle and malty and yeast-y.

When I could get I smelled spice, prunes/fgs and maybe some brown sugar and molasses, though I can't be sure that the color of it didn't influence me on this last bit.

taste - Sweet on the front, strong alchol on the way down.

The tase was a sweet malt with dried fruits like golden and brown raisins and that sugary finish. Super raisiny. the taste lasts and seems fairly complex, making this a nice sipping beer.

mouthfeel - Medium body, but smooth.
The mouthfeel was medium bodied. Not too much carbonation, despite the thick head.

drinkability - This beer is nice as what I like to call "an appetizer". Can't drink a bunch, and really who would want to? It would spoil the treat of having just one.
Considering that strong, dark ales are not my "thing" and I actually really like this, I think that those who love this style would be missing out if they didn't give it a try. Plus, I suppose because of the ABV, it stores well - mine was labelled 1996 and here I am drinking it in 2008 and it is outstanding! If you see it, pick it up...

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Photo of montecristo2
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This IS the stuff reserved for the emperor.

A 2007 vintage poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a chalice.

Aromas of malts, fruity esters, and extremely faint banana yeast.

Dark chestnut color, cloudy and small head, maybe one finger max.

First sip...malts and fruits-candy sugars, grapes and raisins.

Bottom of the bottle tastes more of candied sugars, cinnamon, spiced plums.

This is awesome stuff.


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Photo of lionchow
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The cork pops with a a loud, sharp snap. Pours copper/amber with a thick tan head that lingers slightly.

Aroma is filled with caramel and candi sugar, a hint of milk chocolate candy. There is a mild but bright cinnamon spice note. Some butterscoth is also apparent.

Flavor is super caramelly, lightly buttery. They complement each other well. One of the few beers I have found where diacetyl works well in the beer. There is also raisin, fruitcake, and a mild clove like spice. It is very drinkable and tasty.

The moutfeel is slick and mouthcoating.

This is an excellent beer. It would be great for dessert. More sweet and caramelly than other quads, but it does it right. Not cloying, just outstanding.

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

1pt. 9.4oz. bottle poured into tulip shaped glasses:

A: Dark amber like a medium grade maple syrup with an egg shell colored frothy half inch thick head. Leaves thin lacing all over the glass as the beer is consumed.

S: Sweet green apple, banana, maple syrup drizzled on warm Belgian waffles, finishing off with a touch of black strap molasses. All scents blending together harmoniously creating an enticing aroma... to say the least.

T: Warm apple pie, maple syrup, hazelnuts, all coated with brown sugar, and cinnamon. Then some banana bread pulls through along with hints of clove bringing together all the delicious complexities of this wonderful Belgian.

M: Syrupy body, low carbonation, alcohol warmth in the chest... all in all outstanding.

D: Cuvee can Van De Keizer us anytime(We know it doesn't make sense but it sounded good at the time).... this beer was exceptional! We paired it with a Brown sugar spiral ham, and they complimented each other beautifully.

The Kings Of Hop

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Photo of newton99
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring a very dark brown, black almost, with reddish brown highlights, this beer is capped with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and very nice lacing. The nose is a spice bomb. A blend of mace, nutmeg and anise, with some eucalyptus, cola, mildly burnt sugar, this is a little too spiced for my liking. The cola notes here bring to mind discount sodas. Alcohol is reasonably well hidden. In addition, there's quite a bit of dark fruit present, with prunes and figs.

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Photo of Lupin
3.38/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pop the cork in a sink to be safe. Mine overflowed, but I had a glass ready and only lost about a half an ounce.

Wow.. I have to agree with anyone who said that the odor of bananas was profound. That's pretty much all I smell. This is going to be a sweet quaff.

Poured into a thin 12 oz pilsner. Head is pretty standard for the style. Minimal lacing. Thick, tiny bubbles. Head settles to about 1/4". Pours a little darker than the brown glass bottle.

First taste, my buds are inundated by the banana odor and I can think of nothing else. Phenols, yeast, sugar. Too sweet. Very thick. Malt and earthy fruits dominate this beer, as they should any belgian ale, but this is almost absurd. If you like that sort of thing, more power to you. The flavors are just a little too intense here, and they cling to the palate for a long time after you swallow a sip. Even swishing with water can't clean things off.

There is no need for me to have 750ml of this beer. Unless you are sharing this with someone else, there is no reason for you to do the same.

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Photo of Bisho
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This Christmas/Quad/BSDA brew knocked my socks off (and the missus too!) We were not expecting this complex beer to be challenging the famous Rochefort 10 for the mantle but it sure matched it!

Poured from a 750ml bottle into two tulips. It has a deep ruby red appearance and leaves a little lacing but not too much in the way of carbonation.
The smell was of sweet burnt caramel and toffee.
The taste was just as gorgeous as the sweet smell. It is big and slightly chewy but never cloying and has a nice dry spice on the finish. Impeccably balanced throughout and the high ABV is hidden pretty well too.
This helped us to turn two of these things into a session :)
I have 6 more of these 2009 Vintage stored away and plan on pulling one out each year to see how it evolves.
You must get yourself a few of these if like me, you love this type of complex brew.

Update: After staying at the brewery in 2011, I managed to send home a mixed case of 2009 & 2010 vintages. I have since sat down to enjoy seeing how they have evolved over the years. I still collect at least 4 of each vintage back home in Australia each year so I can continue my ageing journey. The 2009 opened recently is probably almost past it. Not as good as it was two years ago. The 2010 is borderline too. The 2011 is at it's peak and probably the best damn bier I have ever enjoyed. Cracked a 2012 just last week and I am in heaven! 2014 vintage has just hit my favourite store and I am about to outlay a small fortune for another six of them. Cheers!

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Photo of fairdinkum2
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured in to a tulip glass. First impressions - creamy, off white head that formed from a not too vigorous pour. Lasted for several minutes.Glass coating. Earthy, dried fruit aromas of figs, dates and roasted malt. Another excellent Belgian beer offering.
High degree of drinkability. Excellent carbonation and balance of dried fruits, some initial sweetness on the front palate with a crisp finish at the back. The high gravity is masked by the complexity of this beer.

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Photo of dino213aa
4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Deep cordovan reddish-brown with some haze. Beautiful tan head that maintains and clings to the side of the glass.

S: Hints of fruit, grass, malty with a light nuttiness.

T&M: Very fruity almost bordering on syrupy. Wonderful luscious mouthfeel with a good dose of malts. Finishes with some notes of vanilla and sweet caramel

D: This just goes down too easy. Very well balanced in every way. This beer is just so rewarding to drink. If I had to be nit-picky I'd say it might be a little sweet, but it really doesn't bother me at all.

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Photo of TrippnFiasco
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Looks almost like a light-colored red wine (not so light as to be rose though). No head or lacing. Maroon color.

S: Smells fairly sweet, mostly of apples with a hint of caramel. The most prominent smell being a slightly cidery apple aroma.

T: Tastes of green apples/cider. Very mild tartness that enhances, rather than inhibits, the flavor. Caramel taste on the back of the palate after swallow. Sweetness is perfectly balanced with flavor.

M: Very smooth, medium-bodied. Refreshing.

D: Very drinkable Abbey Ale, one of these large bottles is great to split with one other, or have alone if you feel like getting a good buzz while enjoying a refreshing sweet beer

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