1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,642 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,642
Reviews: 855
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 198
Gots: 265 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website
Belgium

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: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 1,642 | Reviews: 855
Photo of Haybeerman
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Slightly murkey caramel/chestnut color. Poured a 1 finger beige head that dissipated to a skim; thick on the edges. Lacing washed down the glass.

S: Sweet and fruity; figs, raisins, cherries. Toasted malts and candi sugar. Alcohol. Very complex nose.

T: Figs, raisins and cherries up front. Toffe, candi sugar and butter. Lots of flavors linger in a mild bitter that ends with warming alcohol.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Hearty, dry and warming with genrous alcohol bite.

D: Big beer. Complex. Definitely a sipper.

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

The first time I had this was on the day of my 21st birthday, and though I loved it, I was not ready for it. This will be my third experience with the beer, enjoying it now on my 25th birthday!

A: Pours a fairly delicate brown, fairly close to the henna color described on the bottle, but collects in my snifter in a dark brown hue with lovely ruby highlights.

S: Sugar plums, prunes, and figs are the main contenders. I think the bottle is right on when it mentions scents of green apples, and there is a delightful biscuity, rich english barleywine-like maltiness in the background as well. Some alcoholic phenols linger in the background.

T: Very rich and complex. Starts with the rich maltiness. In the middle the dark fruits come in with a bit of tartness from the green apples. There is also an alcoholic burn that starts here and lasts into the latter stages of the sip; it isn't unpleasant, but I don't feel adds to the taste too much. The end brings a faint return to the maltiness the sip started out with. The flavors are all big and intense, but are well-balanced.

M: A decent amount of carbonation keeps the intense flavors of this beer from destroying the palate, while still leaving a full and somewhat creamy mouthfeel.

D: For a beer of its strength, richness, and complexity, I think this is quite drinkable.

One of my all-time favorites. The traditional BSDA characteristics are enhanced by a larger than usual presence of rich malts. A prime candidate for cellaring, especially since they bumped up the abv % from 9, and a prime candidate for a special day, or to make a regular day special. Also, only $10 for this?! Crazy good deal, considering all of the $15 and $20 beers who should bow their heads in reverence to this gem.

Photo of Snamnoum
4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle of 2008 with 2 years on it

Appearance - pours a deep, dark, brown/garnet with a smallish beige head. Giant clumps of lace all over the glass. Think and syrupy looking.

Smell - is metallic. Notes of fruit, biscuity malt, and warming heat from the alcohol dominate my nose.

Taste - Is massively rich and complex, a ton of stuff going on here. Malt, malt, malt, up front followed by crazy fruit. Plumbs and cherries mostly. A little tinniness then boom here comes the alcohol. Smacks you square across the face and warms your throat and stomach, very whiskey-like. Finish is spicy with more fruit, malt, and alcohol.

Mouthfeel - is full bodied and chewy. Low to medium carbonation. As it is being drunk it creamily envelops you mouth, tongue, and taste buds, causing the favors to linger luxuriously. Finish lasts minutes.

Drinkability - this beer is IMO stunning. One bomber is absolutely enough for one person but Had I access I would definitely buy a case. This beer is truly orgasmic :)

Photo of Daniellobo
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Intense and long dark ale with a great sipping quality.

Presentation: 12 oz draft serving. Menu offers a short but well crafted description. Notes year (2009), and Alc. by Vol. (11.0%) Served on a Golden Carolus Goblet.

A - Dark brown serving with a 1/4 " creamy head, fair retention, lumpy surface memory with good strokes of lacing.

S - Nice nose, rather sweet, hinting at a complexity of caramel and dark fruits.

T - Complex range, pretty hefty, with brown sugar, caramel, dark fruits... Raisins, plums. Memories of port. Yeasty touch in the back with a gentle bitter touch and a hint of spiciness..

M - Medium-full body with generous carbonation that fades adequately as the brew progresses. Boozy lingering finish.

D - Rich and pleasing sipper.

Notes: First Carolus I have had, and as a slow brew with a broad range it is rather pleasing. A bit overpriced on this draft import serving, but that aside the experience was well worth it.

Photo of cbutova
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Finally got around to this one at a tasting with Chico1985 and Atremains. 2007 vintage been sitting around in my closet/basement and now fridge forever. Reviewed from notes.

A- Aging certainly had a huge impact here. The typical head from an aged beer builds up with huge bubbles and fizzes out like champagne or soda eve. Shows its age.

S- Lots of molasses and dark fruit going on. The strength is something to be admired. Malt, brown sugar and fruit in an excellent balance.

T- Age has done this very well. Amazing balance of dark red fruit, molasses, brown nutty malt, cherry and even vinous notes. I even get caramel, vanilla, smoky and spice notes. A dark fruit forefront with all of those great flavors going on behind, splendid.

MF- Moderate body that is very creamy and smooth. Warmth hits the tongue but not too badly. Great coat of dark fruit and molasses.

DB- Great price for such an amazing vintage. Love the taste and balance, age has really improved this ale. Hard to explain the flavors at one point but I know one beer that I will age for 3.25 years.

Photo of Chico1985
4.12/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

cbutova breaks out another beast, 750ml 2007 vintage.

Pours dark brownish-red, small head disappears very quickly. Age I'm sure is the culprit. Decent amount of sediment.

Smell is similar to a scotch ale or old ale. Vanilla, spice, malt, caramel. Quite musty like most aged Belgians.

Still lots of old ale-ness in the taste. Reminds me of aged Old Stock a little. Licorice, molasses, spice, brown sugar, caramel, a little bit of smoke. Surprisingly non-Belgian tasting. Very nice complex flavors.

According to the label this ages very well, but I'd like to try it fresh. A little more carbonation would've done well here, this was nearly flat. Booze is there but held back and has a nice warming quality.

Photo of charmcityboh
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a large tulip glass. 2009 bottle consumed 7/10. Head was respectable but brief. Color, on the other hand, impressed. A wonderful deep red. Smell of fresh cut sour apples, brown sugar. Slight hop bitterness on first contact with the tongue is quickly pushed aside by a wonderful sweetness, apples, cherries maybe? Almost more of a carbonated red wine. Complex taste that changes dramatically from sip to sip as the beverage warms. Nicely carbonated. Thickens as it warms as well. Alcohol is present but subtle for the 11%. A superb beer all around, a real pleasure to drink and savor. Will buy a few to cellar.

Photo of MrMcGibblets
3.08/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

07 on-tap at 3Fs pub.
A: served in tulip. deep ruby/chestnut/amber. slight haze. nice light tan head.
S: dark candied fruits mostly. rummy booze. some earthy spice and funk and dark caramel/nutty malts.
T: dark belgian candy sugar, dark dried fruit, roasted nuts. has a cough syrup thing going on. hops very understated.
M: medium bodied, well-carbonated, a bit of a sweet and sour finish. bit of a lingering medicinal cough syrup thing in the aftertaste.
D: definitely a sipper, tough to finish.

Photo of philbe311
4.37/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Three fingers worth of chunky light khaki colored rapidly fizzes away in a slightly mesmerizing fashion leaving a thick rich creamy lacing... A murky caramel coloring with a faint crimson colored hue... A modest bit of small bubbled slow paced carbonation can be detected when back lit...

S - An absolutely stellar aroma... Sweet and fruity without becoming cloying... Fig... Rum soaked raisins... Cherries... Touches of toffee and brown sugar... Apple... A modest bit of booze... Wonderful complexity...

T - The complexity alluded to by the nose continues through to the palette... First is the fruit in the form of fig, raisins, and cherries... Next is the increasing sweetness of brown sugar and buttery toffee... Then the alcoholic warmth rises on the finish... Simply this one is yummy...

M - Medium to full bodied... Sleek and slightly sticky... Hearty... A bit chewy... Just a the slightest carbonated bite... Some serious alcoholic heat on the finish...

D - This is a big time offering... Enjoyable all the way around... Memorable... A stellar BSDA that is bursting with complexity... Sophisticated and worldly... A sipper that is terrific to relax with...

Photo of mothman
4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 Vintage

Poured into Duvel glass.

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

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

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

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

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

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

My first beer review in a long time, and what better to do it with, then the speciality from one of my favourite Belgian Brews.

2009 Edition.

Pours out an off-dark brown, with hints of ruby. Hard to see through. Big frothy head, that drops into a cm of foam sitting atop the liquid.

Notes of honey, brown sugar, toffee and dark fruits (fig, dark plum). Hints of an orange-citrus in the background.

First mouthful is heavenly. Absolutely remarkable. Big hits of sweet, dessert-like dark fruits, with that sugared fig predominant in the regular version, coming across in such an amazing way here. Big brown sugar flavour resonates in the back of the pallate, adding more, and bringing forth the big fruit flavours. Port-like characters is a good way to call this one. Just so much happening.

Silky smooth mouthfeel, with a lower end of carbonation. A slight stickiness, like a good dessert wine, lingers in the mouth with every sip. The beer just overtakes the entire mouth, and ever tastebud. Dangerously drinkable for a beer that is 11% alcohol. If this is how good this is now, I must put a couple away to see how it mellows with age.

Exceptional.

Photo of thetomG
3.73/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage...

Pours a very nice murky dark brown with some lovely tan foam that leaves lacing around the glass.

Aroma is good but quite mild compared to the HUGE flavors coming out of this one... massive notes of funky yeast, dark fruits, and alcohol.

Seems well carbonated with just a nice slightly syrupy coating in the mouth. It is a very flavorful beer, and I'm glad I tried it but not sure I'd seek it out again - the funky taste and alcohol flavors that come through just don't really float my boat.

Photo of HeckYeah
3.83/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2007 edition of the beer that is only brewed once a year.

A: after carefully removing the wire cage I slowly worked the cork...which proceeded to eject out of the bottle and ricochet off the ceiling. The bottle then immediately erupted with more force than any bottled beer or champagne that i have ever seen. My entire room is covered in this beer so I hope it ages well.

After it calmed down i only had about 2/3 of a pint left, but it looked interesting still. The enormous foamy head dissipated into a thin line. The beer itself is a dark copper with lots of floating sediment that appears to stay suspended in the fluid no matter how long it sits.

S: the sweet smell of buttery toffee comes through immediately, but this smell isn't overpowering or lingering.

T: Very sweet up front with a creamy caramel/toffee flavor with a raisin-y backdrop and ends with a sweet and only slightly more bitter boozy tingle.

M: Soft and velvety with more creamy viscosity than a normal amber-colored beer.

D: With an excellent mouthfeel and the mellow alcohol taste, this beer is all too drinkable. The only thing preventing me from drinking another one back-to-back is the somewhat cloying taste that just seems too much to repeat right away.

I'll likely buy another one of these bombers (and open it in the shower) to see if my opinion changes after attempting to avoid an eruption. I will update this post When I do. Despite the overflow, this beer is intriguing, but too sweet to drink repeatedly.

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

ST: 2009 vintage 750 ml poured into a sambuca snifter

A: Brown syrup sugar with slight yellow on the bottom, a decent brown head that does not stick around but leaves a thin covering on top with nice lacing on the side.

S: Caramel, malt, apples, syrup and dough.

T: Caramel, fruity, apple, doughy, finishes syrupy.

M: Heavy though with carbonation, finishes a little thick on the throat.

D: Thick with a lasting taste in the back, lots of flavor and high alcohol does limit how much one can drink of this beer.

Overall: What a beer! I tried it to soon, it has a lot of potential. I couldn't stop myself from trying it and it was still delicious. It has a lot going on and is as complex as some great wines.

Photo of portia99
3.72/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle (2009 vintage) poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - A careful pour yields a muddy brown color with a very thin skim coat of foam that never really goes away. No real lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - Very fruity in the nose with tons of Belgian yeast character. Heavy on bubblegum and banana esters, raisins, light caramel and some buttery diacetyl.

T - Flavor follows the aroma pretty well - intense and complex. Bubblegum, banana, raisins, more caramel than in the aroma and a lot more buttery diacetyl. Additional complexity with some straight up, sweet and sugary malt (too much?), alcohol and some light breadiness. Very much a liquid candy bar.

M - Pretty full bodied beer. Carbonation is medium and extremely creamy. Some light alcohol warmth. Very sweet overall.

D - Not an especially easy drinker. All of the flavors are on the intense side, alcohol is noticeable, diacetyl is high and a bit distracting (but I am especially sensitive to diacetyl). Came in really wanting to like this beer, I do - but not nearly as much as I wanted to.

Photo of jjanega08
4.34/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A= Pours a dark brown not quite black color. The head is a one finger high off white color with some everage retention and some pretty nice lacing on the side of the glass.

S= Bubblegum comes to mind first. Loads of bannanas. There is a slight estery undertone as well as some nice caramel malts in it.

T= The taste is a lot of bubblegum and bannana. There's a little bit of a caramel malt taste to it. The yellowest bannanas in the world mixed with dubble bubble bubble gum. Put a little caramel in your mouth and you got this beer.

M= A nice thick mouth on this with a short lasting flavor that keeps you coming back.

D= Great beer. I would drink this again in a heartbeat. Worth every sip. A little different but what you want in a good Belgian. Worth seekng out.

Photo of berpwillie
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 bottle. pours a dark amber color with good to large off white head and lacing. lively fizzy carbonation. sweet raisin like smell, taste is the same with hints of carmel, and molasses. very sweet with a slight bitter finish. medium body, thin oily texture, and average flavor duration. very good brew. alcohol is fairly well hidden but creeps up on you fast.

Photo of PittBeerGirl
2.29/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.75

A- Body is a dark brown, nearly black that pours with a 1/2 finger head and leaves traces of light lacing in the glass.

S- Biscuity raw dough, strong alcohol, toffee, licorice, anise, raisin, a hint of butter.

T- Lots of licorice and anise upfront with an offensive buttery biscuit backbone. There is a good amount of spicy belgian yeast underneath. Finish is quite medicinal with a bite of alcohol.

M- Moderate carbonation with a medium to heavy weight full body that has a slightly doughy consistency.

D- I'm really hoping that this was a bad bottle. The buttered biscuit is quite overwhelming and masks the more complex components of the brew. I am willing to give this another try-but couldn't finish it this time- luckily this was shared amongst a few of us do it didn't go to waste. Side note- I don't like their tripel either...

Photo of cpetrone84
3.61/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours dark ruby red with a hint of haze, light tan creamy head and good lace left behind.

S-the nose brings lots of bready malts, notes of diacetyl, toffee and caramel behind, a good bit of anise, rum soaked cherries in the back.

T-follows the nose, bready malts, diacetyl, toffee and caramel, anise, rum soaked cherries in the back.

M-smooth and creamy on the palate, chewy and full body, good carbonation and nice crisp finish.

D-seems to be a bit of a mess and shows a good bit of alcohol in the back. also has a fair amount of diacetyl. must need age or something imo.

Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged bottle. 2007 vintage served at 53 degrees in my Gouden Carolus chalice. Poured a hazy mahogany with a half inch, loose, off-white head that quickly dissipated into a broken skim and a band that coalesced around the shoulders. Nose is vinous, with lots of dark fruit (figs and plums) and a slightly caustic alcohol nose that somewhat drowns out the other characteristics. Taste follows nose, but there's also a hint of chocolate in the mix, as well as an artificial sweetener quality, toffee and a buttery character. Mouthfeel is medium-light with a smooth, even carbonation. I've been looking forward to trying this one for a while, but I have to say that I was a little let down. The alcohol is a little too forward and it definitely crosses the line between complex brew and muddled mess. Probably my least favorite offering from this brewery.

Photo of billab914
4.37/5  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.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.89/5  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)

Photo of TrippnFiasco
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
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

Photo of Pahn
4.42/5  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.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,642 ratings.