1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,491 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,491
Reviews: 827
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 10.67%
Wants: 185
Gots: 214 | FT: 12
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,491 | Reviews: 827 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ohmybock
1.98/5  rDev -54.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

I poured this (newer label) 2008 beer into a Chimay goblet. It looked enticing, but the aroma wasn't very good. As I inhaled, I detected some phenols that weren't pleasant. Upon the first sip, the funky phenols came into play. Now, the funkiness wasn't like a Lambic or red/brown Flanders ale with a "good" funkiness. This funkiness wasn't acerbic, but it was a bad funkiness that rested lightly in the background of the more dominant candy sweetness of this brew. The bad characteristics reminded me of a mix of: hints of Testors Glue, some sweaty neoprene, perhaps some "new tire", and/or wisps of unwanted phenols (like when some American breweries let a German weizen yeast get totally out of control). All of this is then wrapped up in a dominating sugary sweet glaze. Sound appetizing? It wasn't, and I ended up doing a drain-pour. I've had this one on a couple of occasions in the past and thought I remembered it being pretty good, but this latest bottle has discouraged me from buying this brew again. I know sometimes a person's tastes and preferences change, but I don't see how they could have changed *that* much with me and this brew. I don't know...maybe this is a brew that just needs lots of aging before it becomes drinkable, and I've only had aged versions in the past? Now that I think about it, I've had some brews with perfectly "good" phenolics which were aged, and those characteristics sadly disappeared. I think this is a brew which needs some age so that the "bad" phenols will disappear. I bet that's why I liked the aged versions of this brew I had in the past. Whatever the case, and whatever vintage you might find of this brew, hopefully you'll like it...and I still have hope that it can be a good brew.

ohmybock, Apr 06, 2009
Photo of deanhead
4.03/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Deep rich mahogony color, nicely laced head.
Aroma is sweet and earthy. Hints of bubble gum
Malty and toffee like, very rich tasting, raisiny, smooth aroma of currants.
Sweet and viscous with a medium mouthfeel.
I have several of these in bottles from vintage 2004-2008. It seems to be growing. It certainly is one of them keeper beers.

deanhead, Apr 02, 2009
Photo of dotsonjamesg
4.25/5  rDev -1.4%
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!*



dotsonjamesg, Mar 31, 2009
Photo of PeprSprYoFace
2.9/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I really don't see what all the buzz is about with this beer. Had the 2008 version. It was way too sweet with a super thick mouthfeel. I can't put my finger on it but I think it is the huge amount of Belgian esters combined with a ton of candy sugar and malts. I think it's too much and I drain poured.

PeprSprYoFace, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of jminsc76
4.88/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(While BA's title for this beer is under Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or - Cuvée Van De Keizer, my review is for the aged version on tap at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena on 3/19/09)

This beer is listed as Gouden Carolus The Emperor 2002 Het Anker on Lucky Baldwin's menu. The color is a very dark brown with a vivid reddish/purplish tinge. Not much head from the pour, and agitation does little to bring it up, but it doesn't take long to figure out why. A strong smell of raisins, plums, figs, and other deep, fruity aromas; some molasses in there as well.

It's been aging since 2002, so don't expect the more beer-ey tones to be present, but my God, the flavors are incredibly sweet and powerful, yet smooth. No yeasty alcoholic taste, just pure fruity goodness. Retains all of its alcoholic properties, as my rapidly progressing inebriation can attest to. Very enjoyable, and not because it's less attainable. Get thee to Lucky Baldwin's for this aged version, the unaged, and what is presently three or four other Gouden Carolus beers. Nummy num.

jminsc76, Mar 21, 2009
Photo of roopy40
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark ruby color when light hits it, but more dark brown in color. Soapy looking head that didn't stick around for very long, but left some sweet lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet, candy smell. Like cherry sweet tarts or something similar. Sweet bread, candied raisins.

T - Just as sweet as the smell. Cherry sweet tarts again. Alcohol is present, but not accounted for. Bready, spicy, delicious.

M - Full bodied, well carbonated, loses some of that when it warms. Very well balanced and a wonderful mouthfeel overall.

D - Very drinkable. Almost scary as it's 11%. Beware the sweetness and just keep in mind that it packs a punch.

roopy40, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of srandycarter
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark cola, not much head, nice webby lacing.

S - BANANA. Maybe more even, the hard banana candy, like sweet tarts. Imitation banana.

T - Deep nice malt. Lots of cooked fruit and tropical/banana competing.

M - Excellent balance. Great carb, super creamy and coating.

D - Very big in every way. Would tire.

srandycarter, Mar 19, 2009
Photo of joe1510
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Binny's, Plainfield

2007 Release
10% ABV

I picked this bottle up about 15 months ago and it's been in the cellar ever since. Grand Cru of the Emperor fills this here little goblet with a murky, deeply red liquid that appears black unless backlit. When the light sits directly behind the glass there are tiny yeasties suspended throughout and large, slow rising carbonation making its way to the surface. A soft pour brought about a one finger head that settled to a solid cap and thick creamy collar that leaves behind some impressive sheet lacing.

The first thing that hits me when I stick my nose in the glass is anise but as my nose gets deeper somehow dips into dark molasses. There are handfuls of dark fruits loaded into this brew with prunes, figs, and spicy rum soaked raisins being most prominent. Bready caramel stays steady throughout the nose and mild fruity esters float through the background with banana leading the way. When this hits room temperature a surprising cherry note leaps from the glass and is very prominent. That just boosted the score! A deep pull brings forth some spicy alcohol that adds to the overall aroma.

This beer is the essence of what these BSDAs are all about in their glory. Hugely complex flavors layer each other and seem to shift after every drink. Bready and caramel sweetness lay it down while the dark fruits have a hand in all the intricacies. The banana is mild but noticeable while the Bing cherry plays a large role as this beer warms. There's a spicy alcohol on the finish that adds yet another layer of depth to an already deeply complex beer.

The body of this beer is what I've come to love in the finest brewed Belgians out there. This beer weighs in at 10% and has a moderate body with an airy enough carbonation to bring out that perfect velvety texture. There's not a hint of alcohol in the flavor but there is a faint fume or two rising through my nose. You can't ask for any better than this!

This beer goes down incredibly easy, so easy in fact the booze can catch up to you fairly quickly. Besides that this is a beer to be sipped and savored. It really opens up for the better as it breathes and is purely drinkable for such a bruiser.

I've sampled this beer a few times over the years and have thoroughly enjoyed every bottle I've come across. This year-plus old bottle is outstanding just like the others. This truly is a classic and one of the best in its loose fitting style.

joe1510, Mar 16, 2009
Photo of RomanW70
4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 version 3/14 @ Armsby Abbey. Pours dark caramel brown with minimal white lacing. Aroma of molasses, caramel, and candied sugar. Delicious flavor. Sweet malts and caramel descend into a candies sugar, yeasty finish. Very sweet, but not overly so. Thick mouthfeel with minimal carbonation. Super delicious beer.

RomanW70, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of soupyman10
4.83/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle of this months ago in preparation for my wife getting a job. Finally, we're good to go!

Pours a deep maroon color with a nice big fluffy tan head on top. Really a nice red to this beer. Solid lacing.

Nose is phenomenal. Strong cookies, huge caramel, spiciness, a ton of fruits (raisins and dates, maybe), and some chocolate.

Flavor is likewise delicious. Cookies, chocolate, light licorice. A touch of sourness. Caramel. A highly vinuous beer, with a monstrous flavor. Really amazing.

Carbonation is budy, and works with the aroma and flavors. A velvetty beer.

Overall, this is incredible. A huge, delicious beer, one that I'd definitely try again.

Wine Specialist/$9.99/750 ml

soupyman10, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of ballewblake
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my duvel tulip, probably in my fridge for a year, at least.

No real head that last any amount of time, dark brown body. Nose, banana bread, alcohol, hypothesizing smell as it warms. yum. Alcohol comes out more as it warms up. Taste, great, some cherry licorice in there, banana. Mouthfeel is nice, carbonation great. Drinkability is supurb. I'm really diggin this one but I'm a Belgian nerd. Highly recommended.

ballewblake, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of ibbjamin
4.28/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paid $13.99 for a 750ml bottle from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA. Poured into my Chimay Chalice.

Leaves a small 1/3 inch fizzy white head after a fairly aggressive pour. Dark brown, turns transparent ruby when held to light. Quite carbonated despite the small head that dissipates quickly leaving minimal retention. Some lacing.

Taste is relatively sweet, yet not over the top. Smells delicious. Sweet malt, some light Belgian yeast, purple grapes, candied figs, molasses and raisin. This one becomes more complex as you start to get into it.

Taste brings a baking spice out more, still candied figs and raisins, sweet malts, grapes and molasses.

Could go down smoother. A bit crisp from heavy carbonation. Still relatively creamy and thick. Medium to full bodied. Great drinkability.

ibbjamin, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of NoHipTee
4.2/5  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.

NoHipTee, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of champ103
4.53/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A 2007 bottle

A: Pours a cloudy ruby/brown color. A two finger beige head forms and recedes after a few moments. Some sticky lace is left behind.
S: Dark fruits invade the nose on first pop of the cork. Bananas, plums, raisins. Sweet malt and a bread/biscuit aroma. Some yeast and a rum like alcohol. This is amazing.
T: Sweet malt and lots of dark fruit that follow the nose. Cinnamon spice. Bread and yeast. Kind of tannin like. Plenty of alcohol.
M/D: A full body that is creamy and velvety smooth. There is plenty of alcohol, even after almost two years. Though it is a good beer to sip on.

This is a great beer. A beer to savor every drop of. Highly recommended, and something for the cold winter months.

champ103, Mar 13, 2009
Photo of TexIndy
4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into my DT snifter. 2008 edition. It was a deep ruby color with tons of carbonation but no lacing which wasn't surprising considering the 11% ABV. It had a large brown fizzy head that settled into a thin foam and thick collar that was fed by the carb from the bottom.

BSDA aromas are hit or miss for me. I really don't like the darker fruit and overly strong raisin smell that you find in most of them. Too sweet with no spice to offset. This one had that balance. There are dark fruits and currants but there is also dark brown sugar and cinnamon to tame that. Still very sweet smelling but in a much more pleasing way. The taste also had that balance. Surprisingly the high ABV never really showed in the aroma or the taste. You can definitely feel it but not really smell or taste it. The taste starts out sweet then gets even sweeter and then fades with a bit of a bitter finish to end it. Again, sweet but not too sweet. I find the 750ml bottle to be too much for one sitting. Not necessarily the ABV but this would get to be too much sweet at the end. Good for splitting.

Overall, a rather good BSDA that I really enjoyed. Highly recommend as it's a great example for the style. For me, one is enough unless the circumstances were just right.

TexIndy, Mar 11, 2009
Photo of csmiley
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2008, 750ml, served in a tulip

A - Pours dark brown with just a hint of red that comes through in the right light. The light tan head tops out at well over an inch. Shows good retention. It eventually settles to a nice thick cap. Lacing is moderate.

S - Dark fruit comes through first. Raisin and fig come to mind. Some dark bread and alcohol aromas have a showing about midway. Sweet spice pops in at the end - cinnamon and brown sugar.

T - Wow. I can see why this beer is so highly respected. Big dark fruit flavors - raisin, plum, and cherry. Very bready in the middle. Getting granola and toasted bread crust. Alcohol is present through out but does not get in the way of the other flavors. A heavy spiciness pushes through the tail end. This is a very tasty brew.

M - Fuller bodied with a little too much carbonation. Given time to warm, this issue will correct itself for the most part. Finish is sweet and shows a nice warmth from the alcohol.

D - Drinkability is good. This is a very well rounded Belgian ale. The only real flaw is a light over carbonation. All other aspects of this brew are very nice. The 11% stays out of the way and only adds a nice subtle heat throughout. Het Anker has something special with the Cuvée Van De Keizer. Highly recommended.

csmiley, Mar 09, 2009
Photo of chaz410
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I split this beer with my roommate after letting it age for TWO years! I absolutely recommend you let this beer age, it's a beauty!
This beer pours dark amber brown with obvious yeast excrements. It has a nice thick tan head with muddled brown clouds.
The smell is absolutely intoxicating. Malty raisen and citrus notes. Tons of spices that are fruit based. Little hop hints here and there with some alcohol underlaying.
The taste is full of thick, rich, raisen and date like malts. Slight peaty roastyness. There's a nice sharp alcohol plus hops finish. A great beer that I highly recommend. Not very drinkable to the average drinker but a must have for belgian and strong ale fans!!!!

chaz410, Feb 28, 2009
Photo of WTexas
3.65/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jaargang 2008 served from a 750ml bottle into chalice.

Poured a medium mahogany color with an insubstantial light tan head, though it did retain some nice lacing. Initially smelled of figs and currants though later I detected a woody scent. Easy to drink with little to no alcohol detected despite the advertised 11% abv. Taste was on the thin side -- not a lot of complexity while in the mouth or after swallowing. Easy on the pallet but harder on the wallet.

WTexas, Feb 24, 2009
Photo of mithrascruor
4.5/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle [2008] poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a dark amber/brown color. Head is a very light tan and very big with good retention: fades down into a big film and leaves great lacing..

Smell: Rich malty aroma of brown sugar, banana, and figs. A bit of alcohol is present in the scent; otherwise really good.

Taste: Great taste of dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, and a hint of toffee. Something about it is delicate, but in a good way. No alcohol present in the taste.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, yet light on the tongue, and very smooth. Very mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Strong in the ABV department, but the alcohol is only present (and only slightly so) in the smell.

Another excellent beer to add to my list of great Belgian strong dark ales! Despite being a tad more expensive than other similar beers (Chimay Blue, etc.) this is definitely worth trying for the couple extra bucks. I'll definitely get this again the future.

mithrascruor, Feb 22, 2009
Photo of hopdog
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Capones.

Poured a deeper and cloudy/muddy brownish color wih virtually no head. Aromas of dark fruits (prunes and raisins) and fruity. Tastes of the same dark fruitiness (plums and raisins), caramel, toffee, and some lighter spiciness. All around on the sweeter side. Lighter alcohol in the finish.

hopdog, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of BARFLYB
4.18/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Review #100! Served on tap in a 9oz snifter. Never had this one and saw it on tap, even better.

A- Van De Keizer came to me with a very faint off white head that eventually left the building. The color is a mixture of dark red and brown really giving off a maroon color almost mahogany like. Very dark all around.

S- Cuvee gives off some vinious scents with dark fruits and some grapes present. Some burnt sugars as well as roasted malt. More brown sugar with warming as well as molasses and a hint of vanilla. Raisins as well as cinnamon and pear come through with time.

T- Wow, now this is a well rounded BSDA. A lot of the dark fruit comes through initially with apple and pear following and brown sugar. A lot of sweet malts in the middle as well as figs dates and cinnamon. The 11% is well masked but alcohol does make an appearence. A bit of clove and banana.

M- Very smooth with a creamy mouthfeel with ample carbonation. Liked the way the fruit appeal stuck around for a bit. This 11%er gave off some warming hints which was expected. You get the whole array of flavor from the smallest coating the mouth. Medium to full bodied. Thick and full flavored, good stuff.

D- 11%, you kidding me. A night time beer for sure. The 9oz serving I had was a good size portion for a beer this complex. I would never think of drinking a whole bottle to myself, even though i would like to try a bottle to compare. I was not impressed with Het Ankers Noel offering but this restored my faith in this brewery.

BARFLYB, Feb 20, 2009
Photo of sprucetip
3.95/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 into snifter, shared. From notes.

Dark amber, modest tan head fades to film and ring. Pretty clear, no lacing.

Dark fruit, sweet, heat, yeasty

sweet malty and candy sugar, dark fruity, Belgian yeasty, heat, slight bitterness. Complex, but pretty sweet.

Moderate carb and fiz, rich, full, warming, somewhat viscous, clean finish.

I probably would have gone a 4, but my two companions let me finish the last third or so. Big and sweet. Methinks it would age well. I'd have it again.

sprucetip, Feb 17, 2009
Photo of tjthresh
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby reddish-brown with a light brown head. Aromas of caramelized raisins, cherries, licorice, and alcohol. A lot of the same flavors with a touch of smoke and heavier on the cherry. Full body with lots of carbonaton. Semi sweet finish. This is pretty damn yummy.

tjthresh, Feb 13, 2009
Photo of falcon1
4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The Goulden Carolus Cuvee van de keizer is an outstanding Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It is a silky and smooth sipping beer with a very refined taste and aroma. I had the pleasure of pairing a 2007 vintage bottle with a Gurkha Centurian Perfecto cigar and the combination was superb. Liquid dessert!

falcon1, Feb 10, 2009
Photo of Kraken
4.83/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Reviewed 2/1/09 during the Superbowl.

Label had a best by date of 12/4/16. The neck of the bottle stated "Jaargang 2006" Thanks Dad for the nice gift.

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a 20oz pint glass. Cork was stubbornly removed from the bottle with a considerable amount of effort. Form pour evokes a 1/4 inch of very fine Guiness-esque white/tan head. Head shows resilience and diminishes reluctantly leaving a great lace. Color is a deep mahogany.

Nose- Deep caramel, earthy figs, raisins, dates, and alcohol.

Taste- Wow, this is truly complex. Silky smooth caramel. preserved figs, and dates. Light nuttiness. Sweet with notes of vanilla and grape. Booze is totally masked. Freaking delicious.

mouthfeel- Dry and velvety.

Drinkablility- This is a rare treat. Seek out if you are at all into quads.

Kraken, Feb 07, 2009
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,491 ratings.