Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) - Brouwerij Het Anker
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Ratings: 1,468 | Reviews: 825 | Display Reviews Only:
4.4/5 rDev +2.1%
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.
09-02-2006 19:54:27 | More by Tbone
3.88/5 rDev -10%
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 cant imagine having more than one or two of these in a sitting. Overall, a well-crafted beer that was very much enjoyed.
09-01-2006 13:19:27 | More by bwyker
4.72/5 rDev +9.5%
1/5/2005 $7.99 750 mL 10.00% Brewed February 24th every year, this is the 2004 vintage.
Pours a beautiful deep dark brown with hints of orange and ruby within. Fine bubbles of carbonation stream in perfectly straight lines from bottom to top (a never before seen sight by me).
This one is intense! Ripe plum mixed with candied sugar and fino port (the predominant odor) make an intriguing blend.
Mouthfeel is sublimely smooth. First flavor to strike the palate is an intense sugary sweetness, followed immediately by a portlike robust flavor that is coupled with some nuttiness when aerated. Finish is exquisite, with the nuttiness giving way to a warming balanced alcohol sensation that glides down the throat, as your taste buds beg for another sip. A simply amazing beer!
08-28-2006 19:22:44 | More by cbl2
3.9/5 rDev -9.5%
Poured this out of a brown 11.2 oz bottle, ABV 8%. This ale has a great color, a dark copper accented with a cranberry glow. A rather weak, though lacey, head disspated quickly in a large tulip glass. The pleasing bouquet was filled with notes of chocolate, plum, and rich malt. The taste offered malt and various spices on the front palate, moving to a candy coated and stong alcohol finish. Mouthfeel was lively and full, yet the candy-alcohol finish was overpowering and almost deadened my tongue for future sips. However, I grew used to the finish and it compared nicely with other ales of its ilk.
08-25-2006 03:53:27 | More by Osiris9588
4.35/5 rDev +0.9%
A label marked "Jaargang 2006" was wrapped around the neck, and unlike in the photo uploaded, the blue stripe running diagonally across the front label read, in English, "Grand Cru of the Emperor." Imported in Lorton, VA.
I had never heard of this beer and purchased it based on a recommendation from the liquor store manager. He had never tried it either but had heard it was good, so I was REALLY going out on a limb, especially at $10.99 for the bottle.
I poured this brew into a Stone IRS tulip glass. It emerged an opaque and very dark reddish brown with a 2 finger bubbly tan head that settled to a thick halo.
The first scent that hit my nose was that of alcohol. After swirling the glass a bit and straining to identify the odors, the first image that was conjured was that of candied plums, followed by caramel and toffee. Not terribly intense, but mouth watering nonetheless.
First sip: wow, very nice. This one starts off with that candied fruit sweetness, then evolves to carmelly, and finally settles into a warming mixture of alcohol and subtle hints of coffee. Yes, the alcohol definitely makes its presence known, but what can you expect at 11% ABV? It works well with the other flavors, countering the fruity/candy sweetness and making for a richer and more full-bodied drinking experience.
After several additional sips, the flavor continues to impress and bloom.
Mouthfeel is dominated by the burning of alcohol, and while its intensity is not uncomfortable, it is just strong enough to slightly detract from my drinking enjoyment. Again, the alcohol doesn't disrupt the flavor, just the mouthfeel. Outside of that minor flaw, everything else is fantastic: the carbonation is just right, and the finish is amazingly clean given the richness of flavor going in; clean enough to average out the mouthfeel to "good."
This is just an awesomely flavorful and comforting beer. After only consuming about half of one bottle, I can already say that this one definitely beats out Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Special Brown and takes over as my new favorite Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It actually reminds me a bit more of quadrupels like St. Bernardus 12 and Rochefort 10, and is almost as good.
That $10.99 for 750mL doesn't seem so bad anymore. I must get my hands on some more of these, some for immediate consumption with friends and some for storing. I bet after a year or two of cellaring, this beer would be bordering on perfect.
However, electing to select this beer for consumption while attempting to work from home was a bad idea. My head started getting fuzzy before I had even finished half the bottle.
08-17-2006 02:41:38 | More by instrumentality
4.5/5 rDev +4.4%
750ml corked & caged bottle.
Pours a reddish-brown color with plum accents. Thin off-white ring of foam leaves random patches of lacing behind.
A plethora of dark fruits, molasses, and sweet brown sugar in the aroma.
Tastes very sweet, like liquid candied fruit. Licorice, cherry, and oaky malt flavors melt on the tongue with each sip. Great Belgian yeast character carries all of the flavors tremendously.
Absolute velvet mouthfeel. Smooth and dangerously easy to drink even at 10+% alcohol.
Even at room temp, this is simply a privilege to drink..the flavors absolutely jump out at you. Fantastic brew.
08-14-2006 02:03:34 | More by hero27
District of Columbia
4.13/5 rDev -4.2%
*As this beer is only brewed once a year and can have drastically different flavors from year to year, I would suggest that there be separate entries for each year that it's created.*
Pours a moderately dark brown thats very hazy. Head is generous and continues to grow long after pouring has stopped. Smell is mostly of alcohol, and faintly resembles candied fruits and caramel. The taste is big and intricate, but oddly simple at the same time. The two most dominant tastes are of the aforementioned alcohol and candied fruits, but the amount of carbonation makes it so neither one can take hold on your tongue and leaves you begging for more. It's also reminiscent of Belgian quadruples, but much more drinker-friendly and a little less intense. This beer also goes down easy, something I was not expecting.
08-13-2006 23:54:04 | More by Toddv29424
4.2/5 rDev -2.6%
This is a 750 mL bottle of Grand Cru of the Emperor (in English) 2005 served in a Chimay goblet. The ale is cool.
A: The ale is a darker beer, trending towards dark brown but with hints of lighter tones. The ale has a nice head that laces.
S: Wow, does this ale have a ramped up spice content! From first smell, deeper spices jump out at me. The one that immediately springs to mind is thyme (as I recognize it from N'ice Chouffe). The aromas are deep and tantalizing, giving a hint of the alcohol punch in this beer.
T: The ale tastes like it smells, full of depth and spices. The hop quotient here is fairly low, allowing the spices to shine, with the thyme taking the cake. The alcohol, while not overt, is clearly here.
M: The ale tastes wonderful and well worth the one-day-a-year brewing cycle.
D: Very drinkable, even at 10% or so. The spices keep the taste buds guessing and the beer itself is not overpoweringly strong.
08-13-2006 22:52:19 | More by akorsak
4.33/5 rDev +0.5%
2000 vintage. 8% ABV, not 11% for this year.
Poured dark scarlet brown with a meek white head. The dominant note in the nose is cherries and maybe rum. Maybe a little red licorice too. Taste is kind of syrupy sweet cherries, lots of floral notes, caramel, and more red licorice. Mouth is nice. A bit thick with carbonation that feels active as you let the liquid play around the mouth. If I had money to burn I could see buying this often. Luckily I have access to many aged vintages ... for the right price.
08-12-2006 06:14:21 | More by TheBungyo
4.5/5 rDev +4.4%
08/10/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA.
Presentation- Vintage 2004, as printed on the neck bottle label. Caged and corked. Huge pop lets go and a bit overflows. Only lost about an ounce though. Poured into my Duvel tulip.
Appearance- Liquid milk chocolate brown in color. Clouded with microscopic yeast particles floating around. Larger than life head. Fills the tulip to the top with large bubbled foam. Excellent small chunks and streaks clinging to the side.
Smell- Rich caramel and dark malt. This one smells like a winner. Maybe a touch of chocolate and definte spices.
Taste- Caramel explodes into your mouth. Sweet brown sugar, mollasses and even some light coffee grounds round out the flavor. A tiny bit of anise and maybe some corriander spices it up. It;s very malty and fairly well roasted.
Mouthfeel- After seeing the explosion from the bottle I prepared for lots of bubbles. Suprisingly it was very mellow and less carbonated than expected. Creamy and mouthcoating.
Drinkability- Wonderful brew here. The 10% hits pretty hard and fast. I shared the bottle and was feeling pretty good after the 12oz I had. Will seek this out in the future for sure. Not sure how it fares fresh, but the 2 years I had it didn't hurt it, that's for sure.
08-11-2006 15:47:48 | More by GClarkage
4.15/5 rDev -3.7%
2003 edition, enjoyed in august 2006
A- pours extremely dark, almost looks blood red when held to the light, a bit cloudy, whitish head, dissapates quicklly, doesn't really retain or lace too well
S- fruity sweet smell, with notes of alchohol very present
T- very dark, rich, smooth sweetness, fruity taste, alchohol is not as pronounced in taste
M- thick, good carbonation despite low head, coats mouth with flavor for quite a while, feels bubbly
D- only lower than the rest because this is a serious beer, a definite sipping beer, Grand Cru's are very strong
08-09-2006 09:37:29 | More by gonzo138
4.88/5 rDev +13.2%
Vintage 2003. 750 ml bottle purchased at LaBodega in Riverside, CA, for unknown amount. Tasted in August 2006.
I tried a 2005 of this a few months back, and fell in love. This is one great beer. This one seems a little sweeter, a little more alcohol burn, but still marvelous.
Beuatiful ruby highlights shown through the deep rich brown in my St Bernardus goblet, a creamy head foreshadowing a creamy mouthfeel as it settles to a beautiful cover. Head not as rich as the 2005.
The aroma is really good. Full aroma, caramel and brown sugar and dates and figs. Better than the 2005. Slight alcohol nose.
Flavor- brown sugar, dates, delicious black cherries, and a very nice mix of spices all dance together wonderfully. The alcohol content is well hidden, but present- a slight afterburn at the end of the swallow.
The flavor and rich, lucious mouthfeel just made this so drinkable- alcohol be damned! Wow, that's all I can say, Wow.
I wanted to taste the 2005 and 2003 side by side, but it wasn't to be. I don't care. This is an instant all-time favorite.
08-04-2006 01:24:44 | More by Dukeofearl
4.4/5 rDev +2.1%
750ml corked and caged from 2004.
Pours a very hazy brown, very thin tan head that fades away quick. Teensy spots of lacing. Aroma has alot of alcohol. Vinous notes, cream sherry and black ripe fruit. Sweet spice, clove and ginger.
Taste is very sweet. Candy sugar and black fruit, spiced raisins and cream sherry. Orange zest and coriander. Lots of flavors jockeying for position but somehow they all mesh wonderfully. Mouth is rich and sticky yet wonderfully smooth. A bit sweet but a nice sipper.
07-17-2006 20:17:39 | More by ViveLaChouffe
3.68/5 rDev -14.6%
A - It poured a nice deep clear copper color with an off white head that laces nicely.
S - I dont know if this bottle is a little bit old or what but i'll review it anyways. I get strong aromas of plum, brown sugar, some honey, maybe alittle orange, and definitley the sweet malts.
T - All of the above, but turns to a slight vinous flavor and complex chocolate and malts.
M - smooth but a little bit over carbinated, the bitterness brings up the rear.
D- If this bottle is old...then let me drink it all the time.
07-06-2006 00:27:13 | More by quasimoto
3.98/5 rDev -7.7%
Poured from a 750ml bottle. Appearance was a light/pale brown color with some copper hints. Head was smallish and tan in color. No haze, virtually clear. Aroma was malt first, followed by caramel and bubblegum. Alcohol peeked through. Flavor was extremely complex, with caramel and honey dominating for me. The mouthfeel was creamy, and this is really where the alcohol could be picked up as a warmth. Otherwise, 11% was well hidden. I enjoyed this, and would have again.
07-05-2006 15:00:43 | More by
4.8/5 rDev +11.4%
Wow! Pours a mahogany brown but settles in the glass a blurry black with a dark cherry glow. Immense capping of orangey tinted ivory foam thats very smooth, thick, and fluffy. Sits without moving as it barely reduces itself to take on a thicker, cake batter appearance as the fluffyness dissolves into the foam. Lacing coats the glass in thick moth-holed sheeting all the while that cap hardly diminishes.
Aroma is of old, soggy, sugared banana bread thats dark, deep, and dull with slight plum, raisin, fig, and molasses soaking within the deepness. Quite deceptive on the nose as it seems to build while it sits and gets fairly deep and complexly so in that deepness. Nice little noting of spicy orange zest, cinnamon, and cardamom is evident as well.
Oh, my what incredible soaking smoothness and softness this stuff creates as it floats across the palate with amazing ease. Mild, dull flavors of dark fruit bread sink in with raisin, plum, dry fig, molasses, and soft citrusy orange notes that tender up a warming sense of spicyness with cardamom, cooked sugar, and raisin skins making for a lengthy finish. Middle has a creamy center of caramel, banana, and dark sugary sweetness. Its ever changing in its profile, sometimes more warming and spicy, other times, super tender and malty with dark dull sugary stuff. Wonderful play on the palate and on the mind.
Feel is perfect. Soft, supple, giving, full, smooth, warming, sweet, a little bit spicy, and a whole lot of yum! Amazingly soft texture of sugared bread thats soaked in dark fruityness. There's even a slight hoppy, vitamin coated, citrus bittering that comes across within certain sips thats very intriguing.
The smoothness is incredible; top notch. The warmth will catch ya every time, nearly every sip in fact, which slows it down for enormously fine, big, sippage. Damn fine stuff!
06-16-2006 23:37:08 | More by tavernjef
4.45/5 rDev +3.2%
This looks like one big beer upon pouring. Deep, dark mahogany brown that shows ruby highlights. Big, sticky head that never quite lets up. The aroma hints at very, very sweet treats waiting to be tasted. Candi sugar, sugared figs, raisins, faint chocolates and a touch of sharp spices. Deep. On the palate, this beer explodes with sweetness and evolves into a mouth coating, tingling bundle of sensations that ends with a bit of alcoholic burn. Those sticky sweet flavors of dark fruits and treacle continue acting on the palate long after the beer is gone, much like a primo barley wine or hard liquor. All this is pulled off with strength and panache at the same time -- quite a feat.
This is one big beer, sumptuous and bold, one to savor. This is so rich that it should be paired carefully -- only the richest meats, creamiest/funkiest cheeses, or earthiest desserts will survive.
06-13-2006 04:47:19 | More by geexploitation
4.18/5 rDev -3%
Appearance: hazy brown color with some copper highlights. Short 1" head slowly falls to a surface foam.
Smell: general sweetness from molasses, honey, and caramel. Some alcohol is detectable by the nose.
Taste: sweetness dominates but does not offend. Brown sugar, raisins, prunes, molasses, honey, hint of licorice, mild alcohol, and a soft bitterness are all easily detectable.
Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth at the start, and the finish leans towards syrupy. Sweetness lingers well into the aftertaste.
Drinkability: very enjoyable slow sipper, but the alcohol reminds you this can be a dangerous brew if several glasses are consumed. This is a must find and try.
06-10-2006 14:31:31 | More by Gavage
4.38/5 rDev +1.6%
This was a pretty good beer. Poured a dark red with a tan head and a bit of lacing. Smelled and tasted of dark fruity malts with a touch of yeast. Taste is a mix of plum and raisony goodness. A thick, rich and sweet beer, the kind you can sip for a couple hours. Go find a bottle and split it with your best friend.
06-05-2006 05:18:23 | More by tempest
4.72/5 rDev +9.5%
750 mL bottle, corked and caged, with "Jaargang 2005" printed on the cork. It pours into the balloon glass a deep, sedimented garnet with a 1 finger tan head that leaves a decent amount of lace and reduces to a cap of fine bubbles. It is hugely aromatic with a chalky yeast character hidden behind rich, fruity malts that contribute cherries, pears, banana/plantain, honeydew, watermelon, green apple, anise, and a bit of a floral character. The flavor mimics the bouquet quite nicely, tasting almost the same, on top of a medium to thick body that begins almost prickly, but smooths out as I drink. This is a truly wonderful Belgian... I need to go get another bottle before they sell out.
06-01-2006 17:50:38 | More by mmmbeer
4.38/5 rDev +1.6%
I first tried this beer at Bohemian Caverns in Washington, D.C. when I was getting into craft after my 21st birthday. One of the regulars gave me a chalice full of the bottle he was drinking from (I don't know why he drank it from the bottle), which I loved for the taste and for the novelty of a $20 beer brewed once a year. I never saw, or noticed (I had forgotten what it was until semi-recently), this beer around LA until tonight when I was checking out the Belgian section of Whole Foods.
2005 edition. Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. The off-white to tan head starts off at about two fingers and fades to a small ring of lace. The nose has dark fruit, toffee, brown sugar, fig, liquorice, mocha, yeast, and booze. The taste starts with sweet malts, brown sugar, dark fruit, liquorice, and mocha with the 10% ABV constantly looming. I'm glad to revisit this gem now that I've have the palate and experience to truly appreciate it.
06-01-2006 06:56:54 | More by goschool
3.3/5 rDev -23.4%
I had this from a bottle at the Stuffed Sandwich in Los Angeles. It was served in a paper cup (!) as that's how they do it there. If you ever go there bring a glass... They said the bottle was >5 yrs old, and it was kind of small (25cl). The color was brown and it had a sweet sugary aroma.
The flavor was kind of wierd, almost like a sweet cough syrup. Honestly I don't think it was my style of beer. Maybe it tasted different when it was newer.
Maybe I'll try it again someday to see if it's different fresh.
05-21-2006 22:37:04 | More by TurdFurgison
4.72/5 rDev +9.5%
This beer was a real treat. I was looking for something a little bit special when I visited the beer store after work on Friday, and I made an excellent choice here. Obviously it can go either way when you try a beer for the first time, but the description on the shelf next to this beer indicated that this one was going to be right up my street, and so it proved.
If like me you are a big fan of licorice then you can't go wrong with this beer. There are plenty of other flavours in there as well, but that's the one that dominated my taste buds. I felt at times like I was drinking a really top quality wine, such was the strength and mouthfeel.
I don't like to give 5's, because to me, I feel it doesn't give you anywhere else to go if you find an even better beer, but frankly unless I drink a beer that blows the top of my head off, I think I'd be hard pressed to discover one that tops this.
A great reward for a hard week's work.
05-20-2006 17:16:47 | More by beerogre
2.2/5 rDev -49%
This beer in the top 100? You must be joking.
I had to take a $20 cab ride and spend another $20 bucks to get this beer, so I was anticipating something special.
A - Beautiful amber body with small brown head and decent lacing.
S - Sweet yeast, molasses and iodine.
T - Extremely sweet, flabby with no balancing acidity or bitterness. This malty soup of sweetness is a desert. Divided among four beer drinkers, the bottle went unfinished.
M - Minimal carbonation, fat with unbalanced sugars.
D - I cant abide by this unbalanced sweetness. This beer is to sweetness as Stone's Ruination is to bitterness. Only times two.
04-23-2006 00:30:12 | More by Naerhu
4.45/5 rDev +3.2%
A perennial favorite beer since arriving on locals shelves a few years ago. I am always taken back and question why my refrigerator isn't stocked with the beer.
The beer opens with a highly carbonated pour that allows a 1/3 pour before the foam breaches the top of the chalice. The first pour from the 750 delivers nearly perfect clarity and aggressive effervescence. Subsequent pours bring much more haze (from bottle conditioning) and lightened carbonation. A lightly tanned foamstand carries sprinkles of spices and yeast while taking on an airy and loosely-knit appearance.
Aromas strongly favor the fruity esters. Plumbs, grapes, figs, dates, apples, cherries, raisons, and prunes all culminate for a complex and richly sweet sensation to the nose. Candied malts ride along, just beyond the fruitiness. Finally spicy orange, white pepper, paradise seed, and cinnamon all seem yeast derived (not added later) and decorate the aromas quite nicely.
Flavors, like the aroma, show aggressive fruitiness up front and ultimately dominate the beer. While pilsner malts provide the slightest of foundations for flavor, the candi-sugars have as much (maybe more) of an impact than do the softer grains. Fruitcake flavors, spices, and a alcoholic, rum-like flavor balances out the fruity esters and spicy phenols and give another layer of complexity. Finishes with some residual sugar flavors on the tongue that at times resemble cola.
The textures straddle the fence of dry and drinkable vs. sugary and mouth coating. Alcohols and well attenuated maltiness ultimately drive the beer into a dry finish with light residual sweetness left on the palate. Otherwise, full, rich, and expansive because of the onslaught of carbonation and sweetness.
The first pour from the bomber brings cleaner fruit flavors with a less muddled character; however it may lack richness and complexity. Later pours bring a deeper, maltier flavor from the sediment in the bottle, and left the beer less dry and palatable. I prefer the later pours after the sediment had been aroused. As for Strong Dark Belgian Ales, this beer applies a very fruit-driven signature rather than a malt-forward base as do most.
04-22-2006 01:31:21 | More by BEERchitect
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,468 ratings.