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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

865 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 865
Hads: 1,724
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 14.69%
Wants: 232
Gots: 300 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 865 | Hads: 1,724
Photo of spoony
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml bottle (2012 vintage) into a chalice.

A-A normal pour produces about a half-finger of long lasting mocha colored head. Retention is really impressive. The beer is very dark with just a little bit of ruby coloring getting through the edges of the glass.

S-The aroma is fruity and sweet. I get plum, raisin, and cherry mostly, along with a bit of alcohol burn and some mild phenols. The sweetness comes in the form of brown sugar and fruity alcohol.

T-The taste tracks the smell pretty closely. There is lots of dark fruit, as well as some earthy tobacco flavor and burnt sugar/brown sugar. There is no attempt to hide the alcohol here and it burns just a bit, even in this two-year bottle. Phenols are mild.

M-The beer is medium in heft with an ultra creamy carbonation. It is slightly sticky on my palate.

O-I had been sitting on this bottle for a while and I'm glad I finally popped the cork because it was great. There is no barrel aged business to alter the flavors or provide unnatural sweetness and there is no effort to bury the alcohol -- you get what you get here, and what you get is a great, big beer.

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Photo of SebD
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice dark brown color to it with some ruby hues shinning through. It has a nice light beige head that dies down moderately slow and leaves great lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of dark fruit (raisins, plums, figs), caramel, toffee and Belgian yeast.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has some sweet dark fruit upfront (loads of raisins, plums, figs) followed by caramel and toffee, Belgian yeast and some breadiness.

Mouthfeel: It has a low-med carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied by great flavors and aromas. Fantastic Belgian Dark!

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of GrandpaCarp
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

In addition to previous comments, I'd say that the carbonation, although present, is very light so it doesn't get in the way of a spectacular flavor. After nearly 2 years of searching for a beer to match or exceed my favorite - I have found it!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a slightly reddish brown, with a huge 3 inch head, and a lot of lacing. Classic Belgian look.

Smells really, really strongly of dark fruits, plums and raisins. Smells slightly musty, in a good way.

This is very sweet, but fortunately doesn't verge on cloying territory. There's some yeasty esters, chocolate, caramel, toffee, Candi sugars, plums, and raisins. Classic, amplified quad flavor- so intensely flavored. It's great.

This has a very creamy mouthfeel, with a very low amount of carbonation. It's pretty syrupy and thick bodied.

One of the better quads you can find.

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Photo of delta490
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated Nov. 21, 2013, pours a deep brown with a short-lived beige head. Light soapy lacing. The aroma has hints of dark fruit, caramel and spice. The taste is nothing short of spectacular. The aroma, plus vanilla and a delicious sweetness. Incredibly smooth body. This is a world-class Belgian beer.

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Photo of babaracas
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2014 (bottled in June, so slightly < 5 months in the bottle). Pours a garnet tinged dark brown, clear, with a two finger thick khaki colored head, settles to a thin ring; haphazard spray of lace down the glass. Smell: toasted brown bread, dark brown sugar, dates, prune, mild earthiness and an interesting note of stale-ish grain that cut through the sweet as best they can. Taste: cola, cherry, brown sugar, prune; toasted grain towards the finish with earth and hints of baking spice. Yes, this is sweet, but there's some extra grain character towards the finish that keeps it out of cloying / 'beetus territory. No alcohol all; yikes! Medium bodied with very fine carbonation, lending a velvety feel. This is plenty sweet but it's also really inviting and tasty.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%

A-maroon brown color with a nice light tan head with good lacing

S-raisins, figs, caramel, toffee, spices, tawny port

T-raisin bread, figs, toffee,caramel, clove, licorice, little cinnamon, hint of vanilla, port/sherry-like finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth, alcohol well-integrated

O-what a great beer, could savor this all night

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Photo of cjgiant
4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Bottle (7/2014) :
Beer pours what I am guessing is a ruby-brown (dark bar). Head is foamy and lasts, although there are some rather large bubbles produced as well. Lacing is medium light, some alcohol lines present.

The nose almost makes me think brandy or port, dark cherry, raisin, caramel, toffee, maybe a hint of orange zest. There's also a weird almost musty scent in there as well, but it seems to fit so well to me.

Taste is similar to nose, muted, with raisin and date coming through a bit more than any cherry from the smell. Sweetness is more cola or even birch beer in nature, and again, subdued. Finish is actually a bit carbonated.

The beer has a strange "flatness" to it, which is not representative of the level of carbonation. It's actually rather light despite the darker flavors. The alcohol does come through in some sips, but is mostly well hidden.

I really enjoyed this beer tonight. Maybe it's a situational thing, as I had some salty food earlier, and the dark sweetness of this beer may have balanced that perfectly. Definitely gonna grab this to make sure.

Follow up (4/2015): a little older (but constantly refrigerated) beer showed a little more alcohol in the feel. Still a lovely brew, but with a little more fruit tartness (apricot, peach maybe).

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Photo of kkleu357
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was fun. One person brought a 2007 and another brought a 2013 to the bottle share. The score reflects the 2013. The 2007 was fairly flat. It also picked up the banana bread taste. The 2013 was much more carbed. Had a much more pleasant sweetness to it. Nice Belgian taste. 8 years was way to long for the person to cellar this one.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Corked and Caged 750ml
A: Nice dark tan almost black but not quite some off colored head

S: deep rich dates, raisins, cloves, honey and some alcohol

T: this beer drinks like a perfect quad get deep dark fruit tastes almost a little barrel characteristics toffee and an Oakiness very inviting alcohol is completely hidden maybe as it warms it will come out

M: thick on the tongue but not super viscous like a great stout and well carbonated Belgians always have more carb

O: Stellar beer if you see it buy it you won't be disappointed top notch quad

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Photo of pmarlowe
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tulip glass.

A: Pours a cola-like brownish, kind of dull, with two fingers of fluffy off-white head. Excellent retention but minimal lacing.

S: Primarily dark fruit: currant, raisin, some black cherry.

T: Rich, fruity malt with prominent notes of dark fruit, esp. blackcurrant, a touch of oxidized character like you’d get from a sherry (odd since this is not aged?), with a moderate-high sweetness.

M: Creamy mouthfeel, per the style, with medium high carbonation on a medium body. Hides the alcohol extremely well.

O: A well constructed ale, but it’s a style I don’t really know what to do with it, being super fruity, sweet, and high alcohol. I don’t partciularly feel like drinking it on its own, but I could see it pairing well with some beef stew or other dark meat dish.

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Photo of Phigg1102
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%

Poured a deep black with the slightest hints of deep amber. Bananas come through in the aroma predominately with hints of oak,plum, raisin, and vanilla. A lot of the same flavors come through in the taste with some cherry, chocolate, and red wine on the finish. Thick body with little carbonation. Alcohol is hidden fairly well. Great pickup! I can see how aging would make this golden!

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Photo of patre_tim
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

A: Ruby brown, hard to see any carbonation in the body, and looks clear as opposed to cloudy on the first pour. One finger of beige head. The foam remains for a long time.

S: Creamy, bananas, dark fruits, fruity and floral, shaving cream, cherries, rubbing alchol, raisins, dates, dark breadiness.

T: Bananas, then a sweet dark raisin almost coke like consistency and flavor comes in, then just pure brown sugar, it opens to figs, hides the alcohol very well for 11%, slight vanilla, clean linen. Little burn in the throat, but very well hidden alcohol. Shaving cream unfolds after several sips. Really smooth.

M: Smooth, doesn’t stick to the mouth in spite of the sugars, medium foamy carbonation helps achieve this.

O: Drank Feb 25, 2014 and this was a 2012 vintage brewed as stated on the bottle from Feb 24th, 2012. Drank in Kunming China, so its practically the 24th in Belgium, and I only noticed this before pouring it and after chilling it tonight. Coincidence? I think not. Its been sitting on my shelf for months.

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Photo of mlhyatt
2.12/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1.75

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a tulip glass

This beer was such an interesting twist on what I had expected. First off the beer pours like a quad, light brown with a good amiunt of head. That was the best part of this beer. After that all I could smell and taste was sweetness. It's like the brewer took tons of sugar and mixed it with a pound of yeast and hops. A lot of these reciews say to age for 4 years before it becomes good. But why would you want to buy a beer you have to age that long before it becomes good. To me if they would have lowered the sweetness it could have been much better.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.66/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky red colour. Spooky. Head is beige, thin. Lace is beautiful and thick. Why can't head retain more?

Banana, and booze, on the nose. Sweet wheat characters with a touch of brandy on there, vanilla, slight chocolate note and toffee. Bit strong and sweet for me, but I'm holding out hope.

Taste is more grounded with more sweet characters running through it, and not so much booziness. Lots of banana flavour, some rum, maple syrup and a touch of vanilla at the end. It's a very sweet brew, and I would like some hopping or more phenolic spice at the end, but it's not overblown and fairly well tamed. So, you know, kudos.

Bit prickly, mostly foamy, on the feel, with an expectedly sticky body. Pretty fluid. Quite interesting.

Bit sweet for me, but there's a fair amount of love and care, and interest in big, boozey beers that's really plain here. I couldn't drink it all night and I probably wouldn't order another, but, you know, kudos?

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Photo of ahommell
4.31/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into Tulip Glass from 750 ML Bottle. 2012 Bottle

A: Deep brown that, under light, turns a deep orangish hue. White to off white small bubbled head. It sticks around for quite a while. Lacing throughout.

S: Belgian yeast. Dark fruits. Cherries. Very light hops... smooth and mellow.

T: Surprisingly sweet. But... FANTASTIC. Cherries, prunes, elderflower. Belgian yeast. Can't find the 11% alcohol at all. Some sips... I wonder if I am tasting a sweet/sour wine.

M: Medium to light body. Hard to believe it is so light for the amount of materials to make style/alcohol.

O: This is very tasty. I have read some great reviews saying I should age longer... I would agree. I think this is fantastic brew, but slightly green. 2 years are just not enough to really pull the flavors that other reviewers are finding.

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Photo of AtrumAnimus
4.81/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the 2011 bottle aged for nearly 4 years

This one pours a very dark brown with a reddish tinge to it and has a very delicate long lived head that leaves good lacing down the glass. The appearance of this beer for this style is spot on perfect.

The smell is quite fruity and spicy with notes of bread, caramel, coriander, grass, plums and a tinge of hops.

The taste is sublime and delicate. The beer is rich and lasting in flavors that coats the palate in bliss and finishes clean.

Overall it is a near perfect beer, the alcohol was a bit pronounced, beyond that it is as close to perfect as you can get without being totally perfect.

The recommendation on this one it to age it for at least 4 years, we had a special occasion and had it 6 months early.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: dark ruby liquid, brown highlights, subtle haze... 1"+ of cappuccino-like foam, holds then fades in ~3 min... webby lace

S: dark grape, brown sugar, hint of alcohol, ripe raisin... fairly bold and intense aromas

T: gloriously-balanced, extra-rich, creamy caramel and dark, vinous fruits (concord grape, raisin, maybe even date)... malty as hell... moderately red wine like alcohol in the finish

M: super-luscious, plump-round, silky body backed by a dangerously subdued booze... the body may be too full, the booze too well-hidden (it'd be nice to have a little more exposed kick)... supreme decadence for malt-heads, like myself

O: that chick wasn't kidding - this is a real treat - she hoards this stuff like its a vaccine for the plague, always informs me that we are close to being out of stock... there seems to be a new case in every week, so I pay no mind... this may very well be in the top 3 of quintessential Belgian "strong dark" ales one must try - one to measure the style's greatness by

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Photo of thehyperduck
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL corked bottle picked up at the LCBO; 'best before' June 19 2023 (very precise for a date that won't come for nearly a decade). I picked this bottle up a few months ago intending to hold onto it for a year or two, but I later decided it'd be a good way to celebrate my 600th review. This is the 2013 version, served at cellar temperature.

This strong ale pours a lovely garnet-brown colour, topped with just over one finger of silky-smooth, light beige-coloured head. A virtual army of tiny bubbles constantly rushes to the surface, to reinforce the extraordinarily long-lasted froth floating there. Great retention, lots of lace, and a very enticing aroma that features raisins, sherry, toffee sweetness and dates, in addition to yeast and some ethanol. Quite sweet and fragrant; very fruity.

Very full-flavoured, and certainly leaning toward the saccharine side. Brown sugar, toffee and candi sugar are easily detectable, followed by some sweet orchard fruit flavours including sultanas, dates and plums. The sherry vibes are still noticeable, but not as prominent as on the nose. It finishes with a bit of a rum-raisin flavour, as well as a touch of spicy clove and anise. Sweet, warm aftertaste; the first sip was positively hot but my palate eventually adjusted to the high alcohol content. Full-bodied and silky-smooth on the tongue, with moderate carbonation; perhaps a little less spritzy than I prefer from this style. A delicious sipper that will warm your bones on a cold evening.

Final Grade: 4.26, a fabulous A-. Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw is a world-class beer, but it's definitely not for everyone. The flavours are quite bold and the sweetness can border on cloying at times, with the high alcohol content being immediately noticeable. That being said - none of those are necessarily deal-breakers in this style, and it's probably my fault for cracking open such a young bottle anyway. This is a very solid Belgian strong dark ale that is worth seeking out for cellaring purposes. I know I'll be on the lookout for it, especially if the price remains so staggeringly low - $7.80 for a high-quality 11% Belgian beer is a virtual steal!

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Photo of dcmchew
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage.
Dirty brown/bronze in color, small one finger head for a short time, thin sticky lace for the rest of the drink.
Red grapes/wine is easy to get right after pouring it. Giving it a closer smell, banana, lots of brown sugar, raisin, fig, faint chocolate, Belgian-type spices.
The smell prepared me for a sweet brew, and the first sip delivered. Dark fruit and caramel meld from start to finish: dry figs, dates, raisins, forest berry jam, juicy plums paired with brown sugar caramel and Belgian candi sugar. A mild toasted malt throughout. Lots of spices, from clove, faint licorice, cinnamon and pepper to vanilla (nice oaky notes from time to time). Warmth of the alcohol gets felt soon enough, reminding of mulled wine and dark rum. Some bittering hops in the finish to counter the sweetness of it all.
Very smooth body, lwo carbonation, silky. A bit too sweet later on, clinging in the aftertaste more than i'd like. Helps cover up the booze tho, so that's ok.
A great tasty BSDA, nicely in control of its abv. Pretty sure a wine barrel aged version of this would be incredible, until then, just very good.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2009 release poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, dark fruit, caramelized malts, some Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit. Then a hearty malt character and Belgian yeast breadiness comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary creating a good balance and there’s some spice in the background that creeps in. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a decent dark Belgian to sip on for a while.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2008 Vintage. One of the older beers in my cellar, well by that I mean longest lasting. I have been aging this beer for about 4-5 years now.

Served in a balloon glass. The cork came out with not much effort and without much "pop", but there was a decent amount of head. The glass of beer looks like murky water, with a muddy brown hue that carries highlights of purple rose. The head starts with a thick crown (only when poured aggressively) which slowly dissipates and leaves behind a coating of lace.

The aroma is wonderfully rich. It shows off mature signs of aging, with a sherry and brandy-like quality coming out of the glass. There are hints of molasses and black cherry. Some signs of oxidation. Brown sugar, maple, vanilla bean. There are some sweet aromas here, and I'm not complaining! It really smells excellent.

The full-bodied beer isn't supported much by carbonation. It isn't flat, but the carbonation is fairly low. The flavor is a jam-packed mix of dark malts and dark fruits. The various flavors of brown sugar, molasses, chocolate, raisins, cherries, alcohol, and a light tartness all cross the palate in waves of flavor. The alcohol makes it's presence known in the aftertaste and at the swallow. But there is no burn here....it's not "hot" which is very important for a higher abv beer.

This is an excellent beer. The aroma and flavor are strong, complex, and truly delicious. Aging has worked for this beer. The oxidation qualities have completely worked alongside the already complex and delicious flavor. I didn't drink this alone, but I could have. It's a very good beer that deserves more attention than it gets. I wish I would have tried this side by side with a new bottle.

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Photo of dlcoblen
4.84/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled in year 2012.

A: Murky dark brown, Henna color. Small head, the bottle describes the head as velvety and I would agree.

S: Sweet Caramel upfront, with the smell of fruity sweetness. Also I smell apples.

T: I gave this a 5.0 for taste. It has everything im looking for when buying a Belgium strong ale. Its very sweet, has a dark fruit complex aided with roasted pecans. Plus the belgium yeast gives so much dimension.

M: I'd say not quite full bodied but close, the carbonation cuts through the sweetness leaving the mouth feeling refreshed so your tongue doesn't mistake it for syrup.

O: A perfect belgium beer, I will be buying again for sure

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.39/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A beer I'd really been impressed by in my early days of craft beer, I'm giving it a revisit and proper review.

I pour it into a Belgian flute glass held straight up and this produces a huge frothy head. The foam is light and compact and has a tan color to it. The body is almost pitch black save for some hues of grape skin color.

A huge nose awaits me with an abundance of potent dark fruit aroma. Prunes and plums dominate, although I do detect some pineapple, Belgian candy syrup and sweet, thick malt. I do notice some peppery yeast as well.

Many of the aromas find their way on to my palate, but I also get a thick, raisiny malt flavor. Prunes, Belgian candy syrup, and some wine-like grape character are in there.

As far as how this beer drinks, it's alternately sweet, effervescent, creamy and thick, with a slight tartness and wine-like quality. It's enjoyable to drink and quite smooth for a burly beer with numerous flavors and aromas.

I'd say I'm not as blown away as I was the first time I tried this beer, but it's an excellent beer all the same. I may be biased because part of my mind wants me to love this beer as much as I did the first time, but it's not far off from that first experience.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage Sampled January 2014

APPEARANCE- Deep bronze with ruby highlights, chill haze that gradually improves with warmth, and low, off-white head with very poor retention and little lace. No legs.

NOSE- big spicy red grape aroma hits first, pinot noir?,...notes of licorice and of course, big, deep, caramel maltiness, cherry skin and plum skin, dates, creamy character of vanilla and cinnamon probably attributable to oxidized alcohol, some acetlaldehyde and a hint of fusel, complex, intense, and deep aroma. Lovely.

FLAVOR- thick base of caramel, cream, and amber honey supports very subdued phenols, moderate-strong dark fruit esters including a notable blackberry, and a brighter raspberry character. More licorice character, a dusting of walnut, hints of dark rum, very faint hint of orange rind lurks far beneath the surface, pleasantly minty here and there... damn. Huge vanilla in the finish. Maybe a little diacetyl, but you really gotta hunt for it w all the other stuff going on... no noticeable hop bitterness, though I suspect some portion of the licorice/mint/blackberry thing must be hop-derived. I swear for split second I get a note of kiwi. I'd do desperate things to get crème brulee next to this beer, cuz I swear theres one in it, garnishes and all.

MF- The hallmark of all Het Anker's ales is unquestionably the rich, luxurious, velvety, creamy mouthfeel. This is full-bodied, naturally, but never heavy on the palate. I will fault this vintage for retaining a little heat over the years, and going lightly astringent...probably from oxidation. Medium and beautifully fine carbonation.

OVERALL- I have at this point had 3 or 4 bottles of Cuvee van de Kaizer, both blue and red. I am in the habit of consuming them between 3-5 years old. I have been both beautifully rewarded and horribly disappointed. I'm sure it all comes down to storage practices. If you are into cellaring beer, this is certainly one to try, and I'm sure a vertical project would be a very enjoyable experiment. I am always caught off-guard over and over by how Het Anker's huge, full-bodied beers float on the palate and offer up so many bright and spritely flavors.

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
95 out of 100 based on 865 ratings.