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

1,625 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,625
Reviews: 852
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 193
Gots: 261 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,625 | Reviews: 852 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of schwaeh
3.8/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle from 2010.

A: Pours a murky dark brown color, some specks of yeast and such. Minimal cream head and light carbonation.

S: Big alcohol in the smell. Lots of the usual dark fruits, figs, plums, raisins, cloves, and belgian yeast.

T: A very sugary sweet beer with lots of alcohol just as the nose hinted, or screamed. The predominant flavor characteristic is rum soaked raisins with some plum in the background. Has some spiciness with the light clove and belgian yeast. Complex and simple at the same time.

M: Heavy side of medium mouthfeel. Not much carbonation to speak of, kind of syrupy.

O: I like this beer for what it is; Its very solid for the style. I think I expected more from this from it's place on the top 100 and mentions of it all the time. It fell slightly short of my expectations but is still a solid BSDA. I'm positive I would enjoy this beer with a lot more time on it though, it is a very hot %11, it makes no efforts at hiding it. I want to grab another bottle and hide it to enjoy years from now.

Photo of rdilauro
3.68/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok, this one was extremely interesting. The pour was beautiful. A medium to full dark color, less than any stout or porter, but bold. The creamy yellow white frothy head stood on top for a good while.

I spent a long time just enjoying all the bouquets and various aromas in this brew. I could sense a lot of malt, a good amount of barley, and just a hint of hop. What I would expect out of a Belgian ale.

The first taste, the ale exploded inside my mouth filling every possible part of my tongue with different tastes and spices.
But honestly, none of them seemed to blend themselves in any type of harmony. Instead I felt a series of different tastes that really didnt match all that well

I tasted a bit of burnt caramel with some degree of sweetness, almost what I would see from an ale seasoned inside a bourbon or rum wooden cask.

I think my expectations, especially from the look and feel of the bottle, the initial pour and visualization, it just didn't meet up to what I was looking for.

I think this is part of what beer tasting is all about. There have been some brews that I have enjoyed more than you can imagine and can not wait to have it again, while there are some while others rave about its characteristics, it all becomes so subjective in the end

Photo of AgentMunky
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Gouden Carolus chalice. Vintage 2011.

A: The heads settles into a a finger of almost rocky, off-white foam. The beer is a pleasantly nutty brown that proves brilliantly wine-dark in direct light, with ruby glints. Scattered lace. Very pretty, but not exceptionally so.

S: Sugars and dark fruits. Plums are fresher and tarter than one might expect. Alcohol, if present, lurks in the background. The yeast has a banana feel to it.

T/M: Beer gods be praised! It doesn't get much better than this. Malty and round, subtly spiced in the manner of fresh red apples sprinkled with cinnamon. After a few more sips, it seems that the fresh apples are occasionally present, but more often the apples are stewed and canned -- more sweet than tart. Both are pleasing, and the interplay between them makes for interesting drinking. Alcohol is definitely present, but only adds to the general effect. Sweet, dessert-like, and magnificently dense. A carbonation enlivens the body and prevents any sort of cloying stickiness. An almost-dry yeast emerges on the aftertaste, a pleasing finale to a beer otherwise dominated by sweet fruits.

O: I feel comfortable placing the Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw in the top 1% of beer. I will be buying another, perhaps to age, and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys anything but hop bombs. At $9.99, I consider it a steal. Go out of your way to acquire this beer. At 750mL, it's a sharer, so decide who your real friends are.

Notes: Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw is brewed on February 24th every year on the birthday of Charles V.

Photo of Meerkey
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1 finger of pale beige head. Rich, nutty raw umber. Dark and murky, gets lighter at edges.

S: Sweet, dark fruits -the bottle mentioned plums. Sugary, caramel. A little roasted. Some alcohol.

T: Dark fruits overwhelm. Followed by sugars, some faintly sour yeast and some apple and..cinnamon? Delicious.

M: A little carbonation. Sweet and heavy, smooth. Lingers heavily on the tongue.

O: Really good. This is all around tasty and wonderful. Quite drinkable, I think. But look out, it's 11%. Go have one.

Photo of Krakistophales
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours dark burgundy with a finger of head that disappears quickly.

S: Banana, assorted spices, red wine, cherries, and booze.

T: Very sweet, banana, cinnamon/spices, fig, and creaminess.

M: Sticky, bubbly, very warming.

O: Amazing brew. Got this on a recommendation from the guy at the liquor store, and I'm glad I asked. Will definitely buy this again.

Photo of KanataKerry
4.68/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Smells of lemon zest and fruit. Pours a rich mahogney hue. Smooth, balanced taste, like liquid fig/fruit cake. Rich in raisins, currants, and candied sugar that masks the alchol beautifully. Not heavy, not light, a sipper beer that goes down way too easily. Highly recommended; extremely palatable; very delectable.

Photo of AdamBear
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

reviewed from a 2001 bottle.

A-dark brown with a reddish tint and a thin cream colored head

S-smells like whiskey with dark fruits and a woody goodness. extremely unique.

T-comes in with a good taste of plums, grapes, and whiskey. its a subtle but complex taste and is semi-sweet. the after-taste is very woody along with some plums. this is such a fantastic and unique beer.

M-low carbonation with a very dry finish

O-this is a great beer. i highly appreciate the uniqueness in this one. i rarely get a new belgian that really surprises me. i could this whole bottle and will be searching this one out.

Photo of drummermattie02
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage, poured into a St. Bernardus goblet.

Color is dark brown with an off-white head that disappeared quickly. Virtually no lacing.

Smell is very sweet and boozy, lots of caramel, banana, and spice -- maybe some fig/prune in there too. Taste is very similar, the yeast comes through a bit more here though and is pleasant.

A very good beer, although the feel was a bit thin, but not in a way that really detracted from overall enjoyment.

Photo of dalebert4
4.02/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Left a nice lattice. Found what looked like an owl in the design.

S: Complex yeast, little boozy, dark fruits, over ripe orange, caramelized sugars

T: Sweet, raisins, brown sugar, some vanilla

M: ABV comes through, but is not overbearing, crisp, live yeast.

O: Really, really pleasant. A sipper that could sneak up on you.

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

A: dark brown with tan head nice carbonation

S: a wine quality to this, deep sweetness with a nice yeasty complexity

T: more sweet then I was expecting form the smell, really nice complex taste. I would not say its overly sweet but its really good. this one really is surprising me. I get some alcohol but for 11% its very well masked.

M: med mouth with high carbonation

Overall: really good beer, that you can just go buy in the beer store at any time. I really dig this one, might have to age one.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.17/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes.

A: Pours a deep, mahogany brown. A 1.5 finger, tan head forms and lasts for quite some time. Some nice lacing clings to the glass.

S: A thick aroma of caramelized sugar, dark fruits, some raisins, and plums, lights spices, some belgian yeast, and bruised apple.

T: A heavy raisin flavor along with caramel, brown sugar, some cherries, and almost a brandy like flavor.

M: Medium to full bodied with carbonation that is a bit prickly. Very creamy and almost syrup like. Quite filling.

O: A very well made beer, not sure it lived up to my expectations, but its still very good. Would like to try it again someday.

Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a brown body with minimal head that dies and leaves lace patches. The malts come out in full force in the aroma, complete with a dry woodiness/nutty yeastiness and there is a minor sweet touch and some fruit flavors I pick up. Smooth, medium-bodied, almost creamy mouthfeel that makes for an easy to drink brew. I pick up tart fruit like cherry and something akin to apple or plum and also a touch of citric like orange. Also a good deal of residual sticky sweet malt. Caramel, figs, possibly chocolate (possibly) - no matter there is some definite sugary goodness in here and it is balanced w/ the fruits and combines with the yeast for a sweet and also dry (also bready) malt balance. Lots going on and then it finishes real crisp, not due to ABV which is well-hidden, but due to some minor clove and pepper spices. All in all a fruity, sweet and dry ale that doesn't taste heavy and is a dangerously great sipper.

Photo of gdfullwv
4.52/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Has this on tap at Church Key in Washington, DC this week. It was exclusive to them to be on draught, so I may have had a different experience than in a bottle.

Overall, I find it to be a very good beer. I don't typically like "sweet" beers, but this had a nice balance of fruity/plumy taste to malt. Even at a 11% the alcohol doesn't really come through except for the nice warm feeling when swallowed.

If you are a fan of the Three Philosophers, Black Albert or other strong Belgian style beers that are just a touch sweet, then I would definitely give this beer a try.

Photo of jayhawk73
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- Dark brown color w/ perfect one finger head, which sticks around a little bit. Decent carbonation and excellent lacing. 2011 vintage, served in my Gouden Carolus glass. While this beer isn't quite a black hole, you can't see through it at all. Very serious and tasty looking.

S- Smell is very complex. Lots of smells going on here. Malt, yeast, sweetness, spices, fruit, alcohol. Very well balanced, in spite of all the amazing aromas happening here. Gets markedly better the warmer it gets. Needs to be close to room temperature to get the full greatness of this beer- that really opens it up.

T- First off, I've had the 2007, 08, 09, and 2010 vintage, and 2011 is by FAR the best I've had. It's simply amazing. This particular 2011 ranks right up there w/ Rochefort 10 as one of the best Belgian beers I've ever had. Best beers, even. Only Westy 12 is possibly better among the beers I've enjoyed. There seems to just be something extra special about this one, and I'm going to have to go buy several more.... soon!

M- Mouthfeel is amazing. It's smooth, sweet, super luxurious feeling... Words cannot do it justice, you just have to experience it. Everything about this beer is balanced, including the feel. Perfect- I wouldn't change anything.

O- This vintage of Gouden Carolus Grand Cru of the Emperor is simply the best I've had. It's definitely one of the best beers I've ever had, and I will continue to look for this one everytime I go beer shopping. Highly recommended, especially if you like this style. Cheers!

Photo of BeardedBoffin
3.98/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with slightly ruby highlights. The beer is capped with a creamy foam that left lacing down the glass. Dark fruit, raisins, dates and the like, mix with boozy esters in the nose. Layers of aroma waft into the nose. A significant body to this brew, and lots of character. The dark fruit is overlain with dark roasted malts. Sweet but not quite syrupy. The alcohol peppered the profile and provided ample warmth. The beer has respectable complexity and depth of flavor, a certain desired richness. This beer is well suited for yet another chilly May night in Minnesota.

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

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: dark brown with a 1 finger off white head

smell: dark fruits, raisons, figs, sweet

taste: sweet, caramel, dark fruits,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body, sticky,

overall: very sweet not what I was expecting. glad I tried but probably won't have again.

Cheers,
The CPJ

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into Lost Abbey stemware.

A: Standard pour yields a 1.5 finger light cream colored dense head with great retention. Beer is a clear dark purple-mahogany. Lacing is stringy and spotty with decent stick. An attractive beer overall.

S: Nose is aromatic, sweet, and fruity. Purple grapes, plums, Belgian yeast, chocolate, and some subtle booziness. Lively and crisp where I want something a bit deeper. Still, very complex and to style.

T: Opens sweet purple grapes, plums, and clove. Belgian yeast creates a certain spiciness that predominates towards the middle. Some more dark fruit and hints of chocolate and candied sugar at the end. Finish is spicy and yeasty with a candied sugar and caramel aftertaste. Very complex but again, similar to the flavor, more crisp and lively than deep and inviting. Very well balanced though.

M: Medium bodied and highly carbonated. Lively and prickly in the mouth and spicy and abrasive going down. Accented finish with a lingering aftertaste. Very to style and easy to drink.

O: Blauw is probably one of the best beers in its style and one that I'm sure would benefit greatly from a little bit of age. The flavor, complexity, and body is there, but this beer needs to be just slightly less alive and a bit smoother. Still, I haven't come across many other BSDAs that are better than this offering. Definitely worth a try.

Photo of liamt07
4.62/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared with Steve and co., 750 into a few snifter type glasses. Recall this being an 07-08 vintage? Regardless..

Poured a dark brown/burgundy, unfiltered with some small floaties. Fluffy tan head falls quickly, with some mild retention and spotty lace. Nose is dry and vinous, lots of dark fruits, grape skins. Taste is big on the brown sugar, dark fruits, mild vinous notes. Some green apple/grape skins. Sweet overall, but not overpoweringly so. Well balanced with a fantastic, full mouthfeel. Smooth, silky and creamy. Some mild dryness in the finish. Just awesome.4/4/45/45/45

Re-reviewed November 13, 2011. Part of the QuadShowdown. Beautiful softness to the nose, plums, dark fruits, sugar/brown sugar. Concise, condensed and exceptional bouquet. Taste reflects the nose quite well. Plums, brown sugar, vanilla, light syrup. Gentle and complex. Soft carbonation, full feel and a touch of back-end alcohol. Absolutely outstanding BSDA/Quad, great complexity, feel and smoothness. 4/45/45/5/5

Photo of ColdPoncho
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage

This cork is a real pain in the butt. Had to take a corkscrew to it.

A - Pours a dark murky brown/red with a big tan head that settles slowly. Only very faint hints of light come through the thinnest parts of the glass.

S - Strong dark fruits, a bit of booze, chocolate caramel, belgian spice. I said to myself: "man, this smells really fuckin good." A beautifully balanced nose with all great components.

T - Dark fruits and toffee, chocolate, all lightly sweetened. A touch of heat from alcohol and the spicy belgian flavors. This is exquisite. Touch of tartness in the back. These Belgians really know what theyre doing.

M - Who cares, really? A beer that tastes like this can feel like anything and it would be still pretty perfect. This mouthfeel is very nice, big-bodied, somewhat smooth, and lively with carbonation. Not ideal, but pretty good.

O - This is a really beautifully-crafted beer. It tastes fantastic, looks and smells quite good...A really great beer. I am going back and buying the store out of these bottles. Would love to see this one age a bit more.

Photo of Brabander
3.88/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this beer in a trade with Apophis666 a week ago, together with the blond version. I drank them both yesterday with a buddy.

Let's start with this one although we drank it after the blond. Poured in the Struise glass the beer looks good, darkdarkred to brown fluid with a very nice two finger head, bubbly and creamy. The hed disappears after a while and a small ring of foam sticks to the glass.

Sweet smell. The taste is good, not complex, rather simple but good. Dark candysugar and some spices but the spices they added could have been a bit more to give the beer a complexer taste.

Mouthfeel is good, simple and drinkable.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A long time favorite of mine. Bottle shared by Paul during an impromptu session.

2009 vintage

The beer appears sunburst brown with a half inch of thick, tan head. As the head slowly recedes, it leaves a sheet of thick, heavy lacing behind.

The aroma is delectable, with scents of sweet malt, Belgian yeast, and dark fruits.

The flavor brings more of the same, with an awesome bouquet of Belgian yeast and dark fruit. The beer is still a bit sweet, and could easily sit in the cellar for a few more years. Alcohol presence is noticeable throughout, particularly in the finish. Overall, a terrific beer and a great addition to one's cellar.

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

750 ml vintage 2010
Poured into my tulip glas

A: Pours a dark brown mahogany with a decent light brown head.

S: Lots of dark fruits, cherries, and some more earthy dried fruits as well. Plenty of yeasty goodness.

T: Much luck the smell with a little bit of extra candy sugar sweetness thrown in, raisin , dried fruit

M: Fairly full-bodied and creamy. Not too much alcohol taste.

D: Quite drinkable. Split this one with my wife

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2010 bottle

A: Pours a dark ruby red/mahogany color with almost no head

S: Dark fruits, sugar, oak, and yeast all come together for an extremely complex nose

T: Big on the dark fruits and sugar as well as caramel, followed by hints of oak. This one is definitely complex, and the alcohol is hidden extremely well

M: Full bodied with medium carbonation. Surprisingly doesn't coat the mouth or throat going down

D: One bottle is definitely enough, but this brew is extremely deceptive because the 11% is nowhere to be found in the taste or nose

Photo of Hojaminbag
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage.

Grand Cru of the Emperor has a dark brown body with ruby highlights. The tan colored head is fairly solid looking, and it manages nice retention and lacing.

The yeast provides a pretty spicy nose, with hints of fruit also. The malt has a lot going on, adding caramel, molasses, a hint of cocoa and a bit of tobacco.

Grand Cru of the Emperor smelled pretty good, but it tastes even better. There is a lot going on in the flavor department, but it is all balanced pretty well. The flavor remains fairly spicy as the nose portends, but less than I would have expected. I think this a good thing, because the medicinal qualities of the nose were too powerful for my tastes. A good bit of fruit flavor comes through in the form of a port-like grape flavor, a bit of banana and some dates. The malt profile is fantastically varied in and of itself, with all kinds of molasses, caramel, toasted flavors, cocoa and tobacco. The finish shows off just enough alcohol to provide a bit of warming, which was just enough to be pleasant without being hot.

The mouthfeel is great, but tough to describe. Although the body isn't full (more medium), the beer is substantial and smooth on the tongue; I guess this should lead me to think that the carbonation has been expertly crafted.

I've been passing this beer by at local stores for years. I finally decided to grab one, and I am sure it will not be years until I buy another. Complex, balanced, and strong without being unpleasant, this beer is a classic.

Photo of DaveBlack
2.95/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

2010 vintage, poured into a Chimay chalice

A: Dark brown with almost a rose color at the edges of the glass. The light tan head is pretty small, maybe 1/2 a finger's width, and does not have much retention, though it leaves some nice lacing and keeps a patchy covering on the surface of the beer.

S: Some sweet malts and a heavy dose of grapes, mixed with some bready yeast. Really interesting and lovely aroma.

T: Wow. I was sold on this beer until I actually tasted it. Up front, the taste is lovely and matches the aroma: some malts, a nice hit of yeast and the grape flavor. Unfortunately, after that flavor there is nothing but sweetness. Overt, cloying unbalanced sweetness. That flavor lingers in the back of the throat for a while, and is actually pretty nice once the majority of the flavor fades. Alcohol gently warms the throat, though it is well hidden in the actual flavor profile. I am pretty sure that there is a good beer here, just hidden behind a disgusting amount of sweetness.

M: Pretty heavy body, lots of carbonation and slightly sticky.

D: Honestly, I do not find this beer drinkable at all. It is way too sweet, and I don't even know if I can finish a single glass, let alone an entire 750 bottle. So unbalanced, and if I wanted something that tasted like this I would buy some grape syrup.

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,625 ratings.