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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 MrSeth
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown in color, poured into a chalice [thanks Nick] with a small, but hearty tan head. Huge tan rings of suds around the glass. A thin layer of velvety suds stays the duration and leaves lots of lace all over.

Wonderful aromas drift toward me before I even go to smell it.. fresh and dried fruits, dates, marzipan, red licorice.. oh, the list goes on!! It's is not everyday that you find an ale with a nose this grand.

Medium bodied, wet mouthfeel with full flavor.. taste is dates and red licorice, maraschino cherries, with a toasted malty back that balances out the candy with cereal flavors. The alcohol comes out as the ale warms and hits right at the end, POW! giving a nice twist to an already amazing balance. I'm told that you can get quite carried away with this ale, and I can see why!

Total Respect.

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Photo of ommegangpbr
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2004 vintage poured into a chalice. The label says Grand Cru of the Emperor as opposed to the french translation. The percent by volume also says 10% as opposed to 11% which both this site and the brewery's official site list. Perhaps this was brewed specifically for the American marketplace?
Pours with a moderate head and is opaque deep deep red so that it's almost black; appears ruby red when held to the light.
Smells very much like quadruples I've had (this probably qualifies as one), and specifically reminds me of Three Philosophers by Ommegang.
The flavor profile is also like the afformentioned- dark fruit flavors, most noteabley prunes, raisins and dark, dark cherries. Very deep, dark and rich flavors, with a sweet malty mouthfeel and taste; similar to a dopplebock in finish with that lingering sweetness.
Alcohol is very well hidden in the taste but makes itself known through a warming of the cheeks.
Definately worth a try. I payed $9 for the 750mL bottle and I'd consider doing it again.

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Photo of Shultzerdugen
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clouded reddish brown with tan froth.

Fruity esters in the smell, along with caramel and toffee from the malts. Alcohol is well hidden considering.

Medium, lightly grainy mouthfeel with generous carbonation. Tart fruits and sweet malts fade into a dry finish. Alcohol becomes apparent with a warming in the breadbasket and a bite in the back of the mouth.

Not too shabby at all. A beer worth looking up again for this dude.

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

Excellent strong dark ale. Poured from a 750ml into a goblet. 2005 vintage. Nice, lasting head. Aromas of fruit, some spiciness. Taste is quite intense and complex. Pretty sweet, rich, malty, some ripe fruits, spices and alcohol are present. A touch of port wine perhaps also. Mouthfeel is full and rich. Drinkability is limited only by the intensity and alcohol content. I feel as though this beer could benefit from some signifiant cellaring to mellow the beer and make it a bit more subtle. Still, an excellent beer when fresh. Drink some now, save some for later.

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Photo of dgallina
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml 2004 edition. Sampled April 2005. Pours a deep cloudy brown with small tan head which diminishes quickly and leaves light lace. Smells of sweet candi malts, dark fruit, and vinous alcohols. Tastes quite sweet. Lots of sticky malt sweetness on aged, port wine-like base. Slightly dry and yeasty finish. Quite syrupy in the mouth, with only a slight prickle of carbonation. Not a bad beer by any means, but too sweet for my palate and lacking any significant layers of complexity.

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now this is waht I call a beer. Absolutely wonderful. It poured a nice ruby color with a fizzy beige head. The smell was of caramel and wood. The flavor provided incredible complexity yet wonderful balance. Wood, caramel, fruit, and so much more combine into one of the better tasting beers I've ever had. You absolutely have to try this.

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Photo of cro250klr
4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have a picture of myself and three other friends standing under a train depot sign in Belgium. The sign reads, 'Mechelen'. And to think that the first time I ever had this beer was, in Scranton, Pa., three months after coming home from Europe. Hopefully, I will tour Europe again this year. I have got to try this, if available, in it's home town. I had this on tap after the keg traveled 3500 miles and it was incredible. I can only imagine how good it must be in Belgium. This brew IS fit for a king! Complex, to say the least. Banana, brown sugar, vanilla, homemade bread, plum, sweet, and malty. A very light head sits on top of the lightly carbonated reddish/brown liquid and laces till the very end. As with most Belgian browns, I took my time and let it warm a bit. The taste and the aroma just explode. One sip yielding banana, the next, maybe some rum and so on, till the very end. The high abv isn't really hidden in this one but your taste buds and olfactory glands are working overtime, leaving little time to worry about alcohol. After two half liter chalices, I was ready to call myself king. Instead I called the bartender and had one more. I gave this a 4.5 on drinkability only because of it's sweet taste. (It's similar to a Kasteel Brune a far as sweetness.) That, not the 11% abv, only prevented me from having anymore than I did at one sitting. I went back a few days later only to learn that the Carolus had kicked. Since their tap stock is rotated I will have to wait some time before they have this on tap again. Maybe, until I get back to Europe. This one though, is worth the wait.

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Photo of Pingotas
4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep, rich obscure hues with some reluctance to head up heavily. Long lacing. Roasted brown sugars dominate the subtle aroma.

The assault of vine fruits and very ripe bananas are immediate on the tongue; however, each taste brings added overtones of flavors as complex as citron, cardamom, rum...to name a few.

Absolutely delicious, particularly since I tend to favor this degree of sweetness - it provides a velvety, almost syrupy smoothness that carries delicately over the fine carbonation.

I would accept purgatory for this one, a truly masterful preparation and clearly one of the best brews I have ever tasted!

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Photo of Hefe
4.82/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Edition 2004, poured from a corked and caged bottle into a Unibroue tulip.

Beautiful looking beer, Brownish/mahogany with little light showing through, tan coloured head that is dense and pillowy. The head eventually degrades to delicate lacing around the rim of the glass. An absolute smorgasbord of aromas are immediately detectable. Dark malt, plum, raisin, licorice, apricot. All of this rides a yeasty undercurrent. The flavors are layered and seem to come in waves. Toffee, prune, brown sugar, spice, dark rye bread, plum, yeast, milk chocolate, orange rind. Full bodied, with seemingly mild carbonation. Beutiful for sipping, though I would certainly pair this with some big cuts of beef, game, barbecue, and really strong cheeses. There was a slight cloying character that I took off points for, though I think If I let this age for a year or two it would have been 5's across the board. Stellar stuff!

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Photo of Truh
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wore all of my bling with this one on 12/10/2004. 1 pt. 9.0 fl. oz. corked and caged bittle poured twice in a sweet Allagash glass.

Huge plume subsides to an active, fine mesh of lightly singed matrix. Impressive, succulent mahogany hue that is quite deep and can’t be penetrated. Plum and raisins are huge on nose with an acidic malt tinge and red licorice thrown in – aroma is quantifiable nine inches away. Molasses sweetness with a juniper hit and a port-like front that is blasted through with a pile driver of malty alcohol that subsides quite neatly. This seems to be so much more complex than others in style, and that much more enjoyable.

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

Cuvee Van de Keizer- The American version seems to be "Grand Cru of the Emperor". This beer, by any name, would still be one heck of a brew. My bottle was the 2005 edition.

Appearance: In my tulip glass it sits, dark mahogany brown with a persistant though thin bone white head. When held to the light, it becomes a saphire jewel, indicating the treasure in store for the drinker.

Smell: Alcohol, sweet ripe fruit. No overly strong aromas, but the taste more than make up for it.

Taste: Wonderful. Very reminsent of Westy 12 and St. Bernadus Abt 12. Noticably sweeter than either of these, but perhaps that is just because my bottle is so green. Sweet fruit when it first touches your tongue, then warming, pleasant alcohol notes. finishes with a bit of bitterness, perhaps from a larger than normal addition of hops, perhaps some other belgian brewing magic.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with ample carbonation, and a hefty ABV, this one dances on the tongue more than most.

Drinkability: Very good but a bit too sweet to drink several of. Also, the $18 I paid for one 750 will prevent me from drinking as much of this as I would like.

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Photo of putnam
4.23/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3


Intense, plump perfume of bubblegum, vanilla and prunes rise from a red/brown, brilliant liquid. A pearlescent, milk chocolate-colored top retires as a translucent paint -- a sticky smear of cloudiness.
The prune aromas are key. They unlock Indian Oceans of spices. Brandy, cocoa, rum and coffee are intermixed with aromas of drawn cream and butter.
Whereas the aromas are dense with confectionary, cream-puff fruits, the flavors are boozy and brown. Cocoa, black tea, tawny port and intricate, peppery spicings conspire to pull a surge of alcohol-enriched sweetness into shape. Roasted hull tannins bind the opulent, brown sugar and plum fruits.
Woozy, laden with sweet incense, it is undrinkable now. All indications are that this will drink better in decades to come.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Label Lingo and bottle babble: 2003 Vintage. Grand Cru of the Emperor. Brewed 24th of Feb.

Easily released cork with a “fewp!” into a narrow Flying Fish tulip. A dark murky mahogany russett pour with plenty of yeasty chunks, topped with a khaki taunt cap settled down to a wafer thin coating. A few swirls easily arises a frothy cap which leaves nil trace of lace in the glass. Bumped up my 4 to 4.5 from the yeasty pour delivering heaps and heaps of brown tan head lace.

Initial scents are of ripe brown sugared bananas, some nutmeg and blended citrous fruits of orange and lemon. Some bright soft malty whiffs orange sherbert. Slightly rum boozy aromas. Olfactory delights abound.

First Swigs: Fruit cake malts and vast fruity characters. Complex flavors. Pecan pie and cherry tastes with dry pancake malts. Dry yet awl-kee-hawl lingering warming rummy aftertaste. Vinous, even aged malty English barleywine meets brown sugar.

Medium to full bodied with some welcome cola awl-kee-hawl feel.

Last Swigs: Dry warming Belgian quad like. Seems to be a bridge between Quad and Belgian Strong sans yeasty buttered bread overtones. (While reviewing, Francisweizen called to wish me a Happy New Year.) Flavors are chameleon like through the warming. Better thru the chilled, not cold stages. At 10 % ABV, a bit warming yet quite drinkable.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of aracauna
3.6/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This one pours a dark brown with a good, tan head that that is slow to fade. The carbonation is high and it continues in sheets of bubbles long after the pour. The aroma is heavy in overripe and dried fruits with a noticeable alcohol presence. The body is very sweet, almost cloying and heavy in the overripe bananas and raisins. Perhaps it woudl be a tad better if it were dried out a touch, but it’s possible the alcohol would be too strong and unbalance the beer that way.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 Bottle: Poured a rusty and cloudy amber ale with a medium brown head with surprisingly great retention. Aroma is quite port-like sweet with strong malt also noticeable. Taste is sweeter then expected and I was glad I drank this after dinner since the sweetness would have been too overpowering before a meal. Body is quite full and alcohol is not discernable which I always appreciate. Overall, I would say that this si another great beer from a sometime underappreciated brewery – I very much appreciated the creamy, fruit/sweetness of this one.

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Photo of BenConnery
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I'm not sure about this vintage as this was shared with me from a friend of a friend's aging shelf.
One sip and I really liked the guy!!!!
Deep deep red with a light tan head, the aroma was that lovely dark brown sugar, spicey, fruity belgian style that could almost be a liquer.
The first mouthfull blew me away. I suspect this had been sitting for a while as it had really smoothed out and presented all the flavours in a great balance.
You could taste the malt that gave this beer it's strength but in no way did it overpower the brew.
There where so many flavours competing I don't have the knowledge or palate to name them all. Lovely caramel sugar taste, spices and christmas pudding fruits or something similar.
This was a truly exceptional beer for me, even from a country that has produced so many.
The only bad thing about this beer was the fact that there where other people who had to share it... (very selfish I know but it was really tasty...) At 11% or whatever it is you couldn't get through too many but all the better to let it age I suppose...

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Photo of maxpower
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2003 corked and caged 750ml bottle, pours deep cloudy reddish-brown, foamy tan head that lasts and clings to the sides of my glass, sweet malty, chocolate and brown sugar aroma. Dark chocolate, fruity and yeasty flavors, full body, perfect creamy mouthfeel, finishes sweet. This is an awesome ale.

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Photo of cooperrip
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004-Corked and caged 750ml. Paid 8.99 for this at Yankee Spirits in Sturbridge MA. Deep mahogony with reddish hints with some light peaking through.One finger tan head that settled fairly quickly.The nose was a generous amount of malted cherries.Quite a full mouthfeel with strong carbonation felt on the tongue.Taste is somewhat alcholic, sweet, creamy, and fruity.Pear and cherries definately come through.This beer kind of reminded me of Three Philosophers in smell and taste, which is not a bad thing.Watch out for this one the 10% abv while tasted is still fairly well hidden.

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Photo of MrBen
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just finished a bottle of the 2003 vintage. This is very dark brew, full of sweetness, dried fruits, nuts, and malty goodness. This is big beer. The alcohol is obvious on the nose and tongue, which accounts for my 4.0 rating on drinkability. Otherwise, the presentation, pour, and overall experience are excellent. This is something to save for a special time.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of three Brouwerij Het Anker ales offered on-tap at Lucky Baldwins this holiday season. This was labeled "Gouden Carolus Cuvee d' le Empereuer 2003". I consulted with TheLongBeachBum, the SoCal Belgian beer guru, to make sure I was reviewing the right beer and not some previous unheard arrival. He assured me they are one and the same.
Served up in the large Grottenbier chalice I handed to the waitress, the Empereuer arrived looking very majestic. Dark, opaque burgandy coloring, a monstrous, densely creamy vanilla head and clots of spidery lace made for a wonderful brew to eye.
I think I spent five minutes inhaling the delicious aromas of this Grand Cru. Staggeringly sweet, with notes of caramel-dipped fruits, candy sugars, pears, dates, and some modest cognac fumes. What an incredible blend of scents!
As I took a sip, I simply leaned back in my chair and reveled in the complexity of this beer. The flavors of raisins, pears, dates, and brandy-soaked cherries washed across the tongue, blending seamlessly with a dusting of chocolate, toasty, rum cookie-ish malts, and hints of orange liquer. The variety of fruits that kept popping up was simply amazing. With the addition of the confectioner sugar sweetness and, as it warmed, an increasingly boozy alcohol warmth, this brew became more and more like a liquid fruitcake. Not like the one that ends up as a doorstop, though. The feel was full, rich and almost chewy but never syrupy.
Damn, what an outstanding beer! The flavors effortlessly meld togther for a singularly wonderful drinking experience. This Grand Cru is just about prefect. You have to be in the mood for sweet but I can't think of many nicer liquid desserts than this. Very highly recommended!

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Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, murky looking burgandy tone. Thin cream of light brown coloring tops the brew. Retention is adequate. Lacing more than sufficient. Aroma is quite pleasant. Notes of yeast, candy, musty, raisin, rum and fruitbread. Palate follows suit. Boozy rum cake. Raisins, dates... Sweet candy tones. A nice unassuming body and mouthfeel. Light and airy. This is a beer I'd return to, although I'm not sure if it'll be available again soon.

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Photo of counselor
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a dark brown and unasuming. Smells deep, dark and malty. Aromas of caramel, tobacco and leather. The taste is deep malt, spicey, sweet, but not sugary. Caramel flavors dominate with very little alcohol, despite the 10% abv. Wow, drink slowly and enjoy, this is a dark, enjoyable beer. I highly recommend it

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Photo of tomthumbsblues
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark brown-orange color. The head was slight and looked tan and slightly green. Head left a nice ring about the glass and left some lacing. Smell was a melange of fruit, chocolate, and roasted malt. Taste was overall very sweet and was composed of chocolate and fruit with a hint of spice. Mouthfeel was smooth and rich. This was a wonderful beer, but, in the end, the sweetness proved to be overpowering.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown with a bit of red around the edges. Small sticky head.

Smell: Big caramel malt.

Taste: Big and round, great body, nice maltiness and strong alcohol finish. A terrific Beer to warm up to on a cold winter night.

Many thanks to StevieW for the sample!

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Photo of Sammy
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pour of non stop creamy foam and bubbles. OK once its in the glass. Fresh 2004. Corriander clove overdose and almost sugary malts but drinkable with meal. Auburn raisin brown.Bannana in yeast aroma. Alcohol knocked us out. Upped rating based on another tasting 5 months later.
Two and a half years later, tried a 2002 and it was a mellow yeasty treat with an orangey lace colour and taste.
Had a 2002 8 years later and it really mellow and gave forth dark fruit. Smooth.

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