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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

1,522 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,522
Reviews: 829
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.67%
Wants: 187
Gots: 223 | FT: 13
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: 1,522 | Reviews: 829 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billab914
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage poured into my Westvleteren chalice. Poured a deep brown color with a little bit of some ruby highlights when held to the light. It poured with a thin bubbly and fizzy covering which quickly dissipated.

Aroma has a big malty and sweet flavor to it. It has a lot of dark fruits going on with plums, figs and raisins all present. It has a rum like alcohol presence in the nose as well. It showcases the malt very nicely in the aroma overall.

The taste like the nose is not surprisingly malt focused. It has a bit more caramel and cherries then the nose suggested but it does have the dark fruit, plum and fig flavors to it. It has a little alcohol in the finish but not too bad for being 11%.

Mouthfeel is on the heavier side and carbonation is low. Drinkability is very good, the malt flavors are delicious. This is usually one of my least favorite styles but when done so well as this I really enjoy them. I love the big malty and fruity flavors this one had. One of the best of the style I've tried for sure.

billab914, May 14, 2010
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage. Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to spimptastikx for this one.

4.0 A: Clear dark amber brown color. One and a half fingers of frothy light tan head with average retention and some spotty lacing.

4.5 S: Very nice. Dark fruits with a lot of plum. Sugary cake icing. Light to moderate booziness. Touch of raisin and touch of tobacco. Peppery spiciness.

4.0 T: A ton of peppery spiciness. Way more than in the nose. Raisin and tobacco are also more prominent while the plum is less so. Moderate to high booziness this time, which is okay for 11% ABV, but not ideal.

3.5 M: Lighter medium body. This is the first time I've ever thought this for a Belgian brew, but I'd say there's too much carbonation. I'm producing some formidable belches. Otherwise, the carbonation is spritzy. Boozy throughout and a little extra on the finish.

3.5 D: Good brew, but the carbonation is too high and the brew itself is a bit too boozy for this to be very drinkable. I bet this ages well.

DavoleBomb, May 12, 2010
Photo of BeerNemesis
4.9/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw | 750 ml. | 2009 vintage | 11% ABV

Brewer: Het Anker, Belgium
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale (BDSA)

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw is brewed on February 24th every year on the birthday of Charles V.

On the label:
"The unique brewing of the Cuvee Van de Keizer, with only extra fine Belgian hops and a higher alcohol level of 11%, guarantees this beer to age excellently over several years time with a complexity and intensity usually reserved for the finest of wines. Attesting to the inate mystery and intensity of a cellarable beer is this brew's beautiful ruby brown, almost henna color. With a light brown, velvety head and sweet, powerful notes of wood, yeast and plums, the Cuvée Van De Keizer surprises one's palate with subtle hints of caramel and even fresh green apples. Drinking a Cuvée Van De Keizer is a fully sonsory experience, so be certain to breathe in its fruity, almost delicate aroma that compliments a richly roasted malted, yet softly dense body. It's a truly sugary brew in every sense, erring on the natural fresh and refreshing side of sweetness."

Presentation:
The bottle features a stylized thick white line drawing of Charles V on a horse (presumably) with a couple five point stars in the background. A blue sash covers the diagonal of the bottle. Written on it in gold is the name of the brew. The neck features more gold writing that says "Jaargang 2009". The bottom of the bottle has "Gouden Carolus" also in gold lettering. It looks fittingly imperial.

Appearance:
Pours a beautiful deep burgundy into an Ommegang chalice. The off-white head barely rises above 0.5", and quickly recedes to a swampy, languid film.

Aroma:
Dried fruit: figs, plums, raisins and cherries. Sweet brown sugar and toffee. Big, bold, bready malts and a murmur of potent alcohol in the background closes out the whiff.

Taste:
The first sip sucked me into a dizzying whirlpool of sumptuous, tart dark fruits, chewy caramel, fresh bready malts, and a downpour of alcoholic heat at the finish. Estery flavors are prominent, while spices are largely left out of the picture. Drinking the Keizer is like biting into some succulent mythical fruit: tangy skin, sumptuous flesh dripping juicy flavor, and a hearty infusion of boisterous alcoholic aftertaste. Minutes after my last sip, I am left with a sweet syrupy texture mixed with some mild green apple tartness.

Mouthfeel:
Smooth and silky. Medium to heavy-bodied. Tingly carbonation is uniform throughout.

Harmony:
Everything about this drink is confident but tempered by a sort of regal refinement. The alcohol is bold and noticeable, and it's not so much masked as embraced. The dark fruits, sweet caramel and brown sugar coat the bready malts which feel like they've been soaked in alcohol. The sweetness and tasteful infusion of alcohol sets this BSDA apart from its peers. It probably won't appeal to everyone, but it is certainly a high quality but decidedly different take on the style.

Brewed on: Feb. 24, 2009 (bottled 14 months ago)

BeerNemesis, May 11, 2010
Photo of TrippnFiasco
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
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

TrippnFiasco, May 04, 2010
Photo of Pahn
4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. 2008 vintage.

Appearance: Rather vigorous pour yields a one inch frothy, off-white head that dissipates quickly leaving a ring of lacing. Pours a dark amber/ruby that approaches black and is almost fully opaque. Leaves occasional spots and swatches of lacing.

Smell: Right away, the smell is huge. Very boozy at first, with a ton of dark fruit notes (fig and raisin mainly), sugar, cake, fresh bread, and some dungeony (yes, dungeony) mustiness. As it warms, a dominant Belgian yeast aroma emerges, with the fig and raisin notes staying strong. Smells like a deep, chewy, sugary, Belgian strong dark ale. No complaints.

(Oddly enough, the cork smells strongly of cinnamon)

Taste: First sip: beautiful; sweet and a little tart, very bready (especially the finish), with just as much dark fruit estery complexity as in the nose. Lots of sugary caramel, Belgian yeast, and fresh bread. Really mellow alcohol in the taste. Mildly spicy, but more sugar and ester flavors than spice. This is a delicious and rewarding, straight ahead, big Belgian ale that's worth cellaring for a few years then savoring.

Mouthfeel: A little fuller than medium bodied--really fills up the mouth, but not unpleasantly. Mild carbonation. Approaches sticky and "very sugary" but doesn't get there. Rather, the feel is nice and balanced.

Drinkability: The 11% ABV has mellowed with age, but it's not exactly hidden. A great sipper.

There isn't much I can verbalize to set this apart from other top notch Belgian strong dark ales. I guess I'll just say that it delivers on the promise of its style, and its unique character is (like most beers) easier to appreciate by drinking than by reading about it. It's a solid representation of the style; not the exemplar, but possessing a delicious flavor and no flaws in the aroma, taste, or feel to note.

Pahn, May 03, 2010
Photo of compass40204
4.05/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours darker than expected. Maple syrup sort of color. Big head on it but disappears. No lacing to speak of. Aroma of plum and dark fruit. Flavor also has the plum or prune flavors. Dark candi sugar comes out after fruit subsides. Thin body. Sweetness grows as it warms. Starts a little sour. 2007 vintage has aged nicely, but its on the verge of cloying.

compass40204, Apr 28, 2010
Photo of punkrkr27
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 Bottle. Opaque mahogany pour with little off-white head. Aroma of fig, peat smoke and cinnamon. Deep rich malt flavor with a slight ester character, dark fruit, nutmeg and spices. Medium-full body with moderate carbonation.

Note: I have a few various ages of this beer now and it tends to develop a very nice sipping spicy, boozy fruit quality right around the 2 year old mark which seems to be the best IMO.

punkrkr27, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of MbpBugeye
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I set out today with the agenda of knocking out some more of the top 100s. This is on the list. I have seen it around but didnt previously know what exactly it was. There were plenty of these at Pace - High so I got a bottle. 2008 vintage.

Poured into a Chimay goblet.
A- Deep reds and browns when held to the light. This beer is almost black looking in this big, wide glass. The head gets fairly large and wants to stick around for a while but eventually fades. There is still a pillow floating in the middle, sustained by the laser etching in the glass. Some moderate lacing is thrown from the collar of foam.

S- Nice, big, powerful smell. I could smell it as soon as I popped the cork. Lots of dark fruits. Figs, plums, raisins, cherries, brown sugar, and sour dough. This is pretty complex and really good. Alcohol is there in the nose as well.

T- This is a strong beer. Loads of cherries and raisins. The alcohol is making no attempt to hind amongst the cherries and other dried fruits. The finish has some sour dough and lots more alcohol.

M- Medium body with lots of carbonation. Goes down somewhat warm with alcohol. Finishes with lingering fruits, sour dough and alcohol spice.

D- This is a big, strong beer. I can enjoy this glass by myself very easily. The entire 750ml is another story.

MbpBugeye, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of ne0m00re
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this in a bottle poured into a tulip glass at Spagio's in Columbus, Ohio. 750 mL dated 2008.
A: Mahogany, reddish-brown with ruby hues. Poured with a medium cream head that died to a collar.
S: Rustic, cherry sweetbread with brown sugar and leafy, moldy hops.
T: Creamy tart cherry with molasses and a somewhat "moldy" backbone. There is some raisin and slightly apparent alcohol with lingering fruits.
M: Slightly syrupy, but very creamy and frothy.
D: Excellent. I wouldn't even know it was 8% ABV, let alone 11%!

ne0m00re, Apr 11, 2010
Photo of AmberMan22
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

popped open a 750ml of this with my dad last night. Man I forgot how much I missed Belgian beers.
Poured into the tulip glasses we got over in Europe.

Pours a very cloudy plum color with ruby highlights at the edge. One finger of micro-bubbled head adorns the top, fairly good retention thanks to the glass. Not much lacing sticks though.

Smell is a magical wonderland of sweetness. Sugar, plums, tons of malt, and other candied fruit steps forward.

Taste really is fantastic. The amount of malt put into this definitely took me by surprise on my first sip. Even better however, in addition to the perfect mixing of the fruity and sugary flavors, is how hoppy bitterness manages to balance it all out in the end.

Mouthfeel: non-intrusive levels of carbonation, good medium heft to it.

At 11%, you likely won't be drinking much of this beer, but you sure as heck will savor and enjoy it. Positively great BSDA.

AmberMan22, Apr 02, 2010
Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.7/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured in my Grimbergen chalice. 2006 Vintage.

That's a fantastic beer! Really, not much more to say about it. Top 50 Belgium, for sure.

A: Brown cloudy color. Nice small (one finger) creamy head.
S: The nose is just fantastic. Dark fruits (plums), toffee caramel, the wonderful (really wonderful) Belgium yeasts, oak and wine.
T: Even better. Wonderful malt taste. Strong and Fruity. Balanced sweet. And, once again, the wonderful Belgium yeasts taste.
M: Medium body. Very well balanced sweetness-bitterness, medium to low carbonation.
D: Excellent. Despite the high ABV it's very drinkable.

Highly recommended.

eduardolinhalis, Apr 01, 2010
Photo of DefenCorps
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage that Dan shared this weekend. Thanks a bunch, man, this beer was GREAT!

The pour is mildly murky ruby red with a dense off-white head with excellent retention and lacing. Very pretty.
The nose is great. Red apples, brown sugar, caramel, honey, jaggery are all present. Very fruity, I get some plum character as well. The yeast profile is great,

The palate opens big and fruity with plenty of brown sugarm caramel, mild toffee and jaggery. Just a touch of cocoa is present, lingering into the finish. Did I mention this was fruity? Red apples, plums and maybe, a little stone fruit? Great finish with lingering sweetness, alcohol and fruitiness. The mouthfeel is stunning, medium-high in body with a medium-low level of carbonation that feels just right. The finish is great too, with a bled of sweetness, spicy alcohol. Despite the ABV, this is very drinkable.

**Edit 27 July 2012**

I shared a bottle of the 2000 vintage with the guys last night. Josh, this was for you.

Sherry, cola, spices (allspice, clove), red apples and candy. The palate is super fruity with lots of red delicious apple, moderate spice, very mellow with mild raisin character. Excellent flavors but the palate is a little thin. Nice sherry notes, along with some cola. Solid.

4/4/3.5

DefenCorps, Mar 31, 2010
Photo of rhinos00
4.75/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided to pull this one out of the cellar. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a chalice.

2007 vintage

A- Pours a dark brown with ruby / amber hues throughout. Nice clarity, especially when held into light. Produced a fingers width of off-white colored head. Reduced to a ring around the glass as consumed.

S- My god is this intoxicating. Potent...just infiltrates the olfactory senses. Sweet malts, prunes and figs drizzled in caramelized brown sugar. There is a pleasant orange flavor akin to something you would find in a bottle of Grand Marnier. Extremely developed and complex. The aromas come in waves...relentless.

T- Exactly like the aroma, except even more complex. Layers of sweet malts, prunes, figs, caramel, brown sugar, liquor soaked oranges, ripe pears and alcohol just settle on the palate. So much going on, yet so cohesive. Did I mention it passed the burp test?

M- If there was any part I can criticize, it would be here...and that's being really picky! Medium bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation. Left the palate semi-dry.

D- After the first sip, I really took my time and slowly drank it. As drinkable as beers of this style can come, especially at 10% abv.

Overall, probably the best result I have ever had from aging. This beer is just phenomenal. Tons of layer and depth, yet balanced and cohesive. Really wishing I had another bottle in my cellar.

rhinos00, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of jdklks
4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a really a nice looking beer. looks a lot like an english barleywine. deep, transparent mahogony amber color with a nicely brownish-tan head that lingers for a good amount of time. The smell is also great. Lots of sugars. burnt caramel, brown sugar, roasted toffee, figs, maybe even some chocolate, and a slightly sweet spiceyness reminiscent of mexican candy. a bit of belgian yeastiness.

Great taste too. a little overwhelming on the sweetness, but definitely good. orange dipped in alcohol. Up front is a lot of burnt brown sugar and caramel. Fruitiness through the middle, especially figs, green apple, and some orange sweetness. The finish is alcohol and toffee. Overall, very good, a little too sweet.

The mouthfeel is lighter than I want it to be, and if it weren't for the sweetness this would help the drinkability. However, the sweetness is a big issue here, and I have to take away drinkability points accordingly.

Overall a great beer. I'm glad I picked it up and will definitely buy it again.

jdklks, Mar 23, 2010
Photo of BillyBoysPie
4.72/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage .75L into a goblet. Well, the same goblet several times.

Marvelous woody brown with a slightly toasty inch head that never lets any beer show. Plenty of lacing, as noted, excellent retention for an 11% beer.

Very warm from the high alcohol, some sweet chocolate and rich malts. A little fruit comes through: all dried stuff like prunes and figs. Some spices like cinnamon are present as well.

Wow. I'm really happy this is as delicious as it is. Simply because life is better because this tastes good. Very, very rich beer - dense yet creamy mouth feel, quick and diverse delivery of flavors... I'll be running out for a second bottle of this to either age - or drink! Rich dried fruit dominates the palate: figs, plums, and a little raisin. Cinnamon and allspice are present as well. Rich malt backbone with sweet chocolate in the mix. Some light metallic flavors towards the end with a smooth, creamy finish and short, dry aftertaste. Hard not to like this, and it really likes you at 11%.

Like aforementioned: creamy and dense, well balanced, good carbonation.

I love it. Great beer, I'll be annually seeking this out - or having others buy it for me and sending it to me.

BillyBoysPie, Mar 21, 2010
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
4.97/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Brewed in 2008. Ten and a half ounce pour, served in a tulip. $8 and worth every penny. I've seen cases of 750's for $115 and the purchase is a looming consideration.

A: BEAUTIFUL! Dark, cloudy garnet body. Small tan head fizzes out quickly. No lacing. I can look past the small head and lack of lacing since I'm not sure these qualities ever stood a chance really. Besides, the richness and depth of the body alone more than make up for it. This beer wants to be still. A vigorous swirl will bring about a small head but, within seconds, it will be gone again.

S & T: Incredible complexity, somehow intense but extremely delicate at the same time. Malt forward. Toasty. Aroma is of molasses and dark, overly ripe alcohol soaked fruits: Raisins, prunes, plums & dates. Brown sugar plus caramel mixed with a moderate amount of earthy spiciness which showcases the clove. Harmonious blend of ALL flavors. At 11%, it's no surprise and not to a fault, that a warm yet soft alcohol flavor/aroma comes through a bit. Perfect.

M: Smooth, velvety, plush. Admirable alcoholic warmth and mouth coating sweetness is perfectly balanced by the champagne-esque effervescence. Semi cloying, creating an incredibly long lasting flavor duration.

D: Each sip is better than the last. This brew is single-handedly responsible for my recent pursuit of BSDA's. Unfortunately for me, nothing has even come close to stacking up to this. As I'm sure my score will reflect, this is my all time favorite beer.

Note: I've had the bottled version from 2009 as well which was not nearly as impressive. This brew improves SIGNIFICANTLY with age. Draft might be important as well.

FeDUBBELFIST, Mar 19, 2010
Photo of Flashsp2
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw 750 into oversized pinot noir glass,Feb 2008 vintage in July 2009

Super deep mahogany with gold highlights. A pretty aggressive pour (for a bottle conditioned Belgian anyway) reveals a two inch light tan head, good retention and spotty stick on the way down.

Sweet malt and granny smith apple peel. Nice tartness, not intense, just enough to have a refreshing aroma. Some other dark fruit in there, under ripe plum comes to mind.

Caramel sweet bread, dry yeast, more tangy green apple peel, More of the plum, a touch of raisin, and a good tartness that is unexpectedly tasty and brings a brightness to an otherwise dark tasting beer. Their is a touch of bitterness on the finish as well, hard to tell if its from the hops of some other aspect. The alcohol makes a warming presence on the palette as it warms, but still doesn't overpower the beer.

Mouthfeel starts heavy and almost syrupy, but then the prickly carbonation breaks it up and makes it feel a bit more lively and lush.

Pretty high on the drinkability for the ABV (11%). Nice balance of sweet and tangy, I like this quite a bit. Top 100 worthy, maybe, maybe not. Probably so, just quite a bit different than what I was expecting.

Flashsp2, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of BeanBone
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A bit of a gusher on opening, but nothing too extreme. Pours a dark brown body with ruby-red highlights. Up top, over a finger of creamy off-white head with good retention and stellar lacing.

Aroma: A mix of ripe bananas, a host of various other dark fruits, mustiness, and sweet brown sugar malt.

Flavor: Essentially, the same profile found in the nose--dark fruit, mustiness, spiciness, and rich caramel malt. The alcohol is masked excellently, adding just a dash of spice and heat. Raisins and brown sugar in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with smooth carbonation and just a hint of warmth from the alcohol.

Drinkability: Tasty and deceptively quaffable, this drinks a lot faster than the alcohol content would suggest.

Verdict: While I'm a little disappointed that it didn't quite live up to the hype I've seen, Cuvée Van De Keizer is still a solid, complex, and thoroughly drinkable Belgian Strong Dark Ale well worth a try.

BeanBone, Mar 14, 2010
Photo of alcstradamus
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown/ruby pour with a monster 3 fingers of cascading head that leave being some nice lacing and retention.

The aroma is dark fruits up front with surprisingly subdued spiciness. Yeast, earthy hops, and some alcohol heat round out a nice nose.

The flavor starts out quite odd and unique. Dark fruits and a sweetness that is difficult to pinpoint engulf the mouth with tons of flavor. There are some spices in the finish, but they are subdued for the style. Alcohol is very slightly noticeable, but this drinks pretty damn well for 11%

The body is on the full side of medium and the carbonation is soft. Very good for the style.

Overall, this beer is a winner and is most definitely a world class BSDA. Rich and complex, yet easy drinking for the ABV. Right up there in the conversation with any top Belgian beer you can name.

alcstradamus, Mar 11, 2010
Photo of beerwolf77
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage.

Poured into my goblet the beer is a dark red purple with tons of sediment floating around. About one finger of tan head dissapates rather quick. Just a tiny bit of soapy lace.

The aroma is rich and sweet. Dark fruits drizzled with candied sugar are mainly what comes to mind. Some malt and belgian yeast can be picked out.

The flavor is much the same as the nose. Rich dark fruits. Lots of sugary sweetness. A bit of pears and apples. Along with some yeast in the finish.

Medium to full body. Lively carbonation.

Overall a nice Belgian Dark.

beerwolf77, Mar 07, 2010
Photo of david18
3.5/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure if this is a new brewery. It seemed to have popped up out of nowhere. I saw the beer on tap at my local and now it's available in numerous varieties at numerous beer stores.

Strong Dark is not my favorite Belgian style but this is pretty good considering. Very strong in flavor, a little lighter than expected in color, more coffee than chocolate, great carbonation, decent aroma. I'm looking forward to trying some of their other varieties.

david18, Mar 06, 2010
Photo of HeroJH
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was great. A real treat. Some really fun fruity flavors to pull out of this. This review is for the 2009 bottling.

A - Dark brown. lasting stoft head, good lacing

S - A lot of different aromas to pick out here. A lot of fun. Light sweet sugar. Celery. Honey Dew Melon. Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream. Cherry Coke.

T - Cherry sweet and full (not fake cherry flavor, and not overdone). Honey Apple. Plume. Prune. Takes time, starts strong and tart but worth sticking with. It becomes very easy to drink and delicious once your palette gets acquainted.

M - Coating w/sweet tart dry back and front.

D - Well, it's great if you have enough, hehe.

HeroJH, Mar 04, 2010
Photo of HeyItsChili
3.75/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - 2009 bottle poured into a chalice. Pours a brilliant reddish brown with heavy amber highlights and a velvety khaki head that sticks around a long while.

S - Overwhelmingly sweet. Brown sugar dominates with some faint dark fruits, malt, and other assorted nasal curios. Sort of mild earthy yeast aroma like in a lot of other strong Belgian beers.

T - Again, quite sweet. Lingering alcohol flavor on the tongue. Just a little bit of raisiny flavor. Dark brown sugar.

M - Waterier than I expected. Mouthfeel usually isn't a huge issue for me but this detracts just a bit from the overall quality.

HeyItsChili, Mar 03, 2010
Photo of haz77
2.63/5  rDev -39%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A - 2005 vintage. Pours a deep, clear chestnut brown, with a couple of fingers of light-tan head. If allowed to settle it falls to a thin ring leaving behind plenty of lacing, but is easily refreshed to a finger in depth.

S - Masses of sweet dried fruit - dates/raisins/fig, molasses, dark rum, cinnamon, orange peel buried in the back. There's more there, but tough to define what it is. Really appealing.

T - Rich, dried fruit comes to the fore immediately. The alcohol is fairly well masked, but only because sweetness dominates. Unfortunately this also stops any other flavours showing prominence. Long, lingering aftertaste of tobacco. Huge letdown.

M - Very coating, syrupy mouthfeel. Cloying. Carbonation is very light, which doesn't help to cleanse the mouth and add some balance. Disappointing, possibly due to its age.

D - I'd held high hopes here and the beer showed initial promise. Let down by its complete imbalance. Might revisit with a fresher bottle, but can't imagine the overpowering sweetness being brought into check.

haz77, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of irishking1977
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a ruby red/brown into my St. Bernardus chalice, with virtually no head and little lacing.

S: Aromas of dark candi sugar and dark fruits. Very pleasant.

T: Quite sweet. Hints of brown sugar and dark fruits, as suggested by the aromas, including raisins and grapes. Mild spiciness at the finish, probably due to the ABV. Speaking of the high alcohol content, with the exception of the spicy finish, it is almost undetectable. A very drinkable brew.

M: Somewhat syrupy, but that is to be expected with this type of brew. The high sweetness is probably a reason for this. Middle of the road carbonation and a moderately full mouthfeel.

D: Not as complex as some other Strong Dark Belgian ales, (Chimay Grand Reserve) but still amazingly drinkable. I think the first time I had this, I thought it was going to be a golden ale, and was disappointed to find it was a dark ale. This second time around, knowing what I was getting, I've appreciated this that much more. Excellent interpretation of the style, and quite possibly one of the top ten in the style. Wine drinkers, or those who do not like excessively hoppy or bitter brews, could appreciate this one.

irishking1977, Feb 21, 2010
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,522 ratings.