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

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

858 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 858
Hads: 1,686
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 7.24%
Wants: 223
Gots: 278 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 858 | Hads: 1,686
Photo of Pingotas
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
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! (625 characters)

Photo of ypsifly
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Corked and caged 750 from the '05 vintage, poured into a chalice.

Deep brown with a light tan head that stays at two fingers for a while before it leaves thick foam inside the glass.

Spicy yeast, clove, coriander, lemon zest, toffee, figs, powdered sugar, leather and licorice. Just a touch of peppery alcohol underneath. Lots going on here....outstanding!

Figs, plums, licorice, holiday spices, earth, cloves, cookie dough, brown sugar, and a finish that starts out sweet but fades into slightly bitter with a dry aftertaste. Slight pepper at the end as well, but this is the closest flavor to alcohol that registers....WOW!!! This one earns a five, no doubt. So much going on here. The mouthfeel is full and velvety. Really glides over my tongue and seeks out every nook and cranny in my mouth without being chewy or leaving any syrup. 10% abv or not, I could drink this all night, but I would force myself to sip and savor.

I have a new favorite belgian. Do your soul a favor and get a bottle of this ASAFP!!!! (1,025 characters)

Photo of phisig137
4.97/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is quite possibly the best beer I have ever consumed. Absolutly perfect in every way as far as I'm concerned. I had a couple bottles last year (2004), and I think that the 2005 is slightly better. I bought one bottle this year the first time I saw it, and it was so good that I went back the next day and purchased a whole case! (It comes in a really sweet wooden crate too)

Mouthfeel is exceptional, with flavors of dark dried fruits, caramel, and a slight hint of mocha. This beer hides it's alcohol exceptionally well, but still will warm you from the insides out. The aroma is dominated by sweet caramel, with hints or raisons and dates shining through. Head dissapates relatively quickly, but a fair amount of lacing remains. While most belgians (doubles, triples, any really) should be served mostly warm, I enjoy chilling this one, and letting it develop as it warms.

When I bought the twelve bottle case, I removed the heavy duty staples from the lid, and opened it to make sure that everything looked OK on the inside. I then used nails to re-seal the case, and don't plan on opening it for at LEAST 3 years. The info sheet I found inside the case lists the shelf life of this beer in a cellar as "10+ years". After tasting it, I plan to buy a full case every year, and to start a vertical tasting every year with some good friends.

Honestly though.... this beer is pure nirvana. I find it to be similar in flavor and character to Rochfort 12, but for some reason, I give the edge to the Cuvee Van De Keizer. Simply the best beer in the world. Unmatched in every category as far as I'm concerned! (1,621 characters)

Photo of FreshHawk
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Very dark plum color with some dark ruby hues on the edge. Fairly large, creamy, sticky, toasted marshmallow colored head. Decent retention and a beautiful layer of creamy, sticky lace.

S - Plenty of dark fruit consisting of plum, raisin, and date. Nice sweetness as well with molasses, dark candi sugar, licorice/anise, and a touch of bubblegum. Well spiced with clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a touch of coriander. Hints of rum/brandy soaked fruit as well. Some dark malt and a touch of breadiness make the base. Pretty complex aroma.

T - Good mix of dark fruit, spice, and sweet bread flavors throughout the sip. Similar to the nose. Starts with a strong dark, spiced fruit at first. Mid sip has a strong licorice and bubble gum flavor come out. The dark fruit then comes on strong at the end with a bit more of a rum/brandy flavor to it. The sweet bready flavor is a nice persistent undertone throughout the sip.

M - Medium, maybe slightly toward full, body. Has a lush, creamy, persistent kind of feel to it though. Good amount of carbonation.

D - Well balanced and complex beer with a great mix of flavors that had me wanting to drink more. I could see it potentially being a little too sweet/cloying, but I like sweeter beers on occasion and I think it works for the style.

Notes: Vintage 2009. Great beer that is very complex and has a lot of bold, big flavors. Inclusion of licorice and bubblegum flavor is interesting for the style. I really liked the beer, like I said before, some may think it is a bit too sweet, but it makes a great dessert or night caper (although I could see me drinking this other times too!). (1,634 characters)

Photo of Brushkanna
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I am drinking desert. This is as far away from a traditional beer as I have had. I’m a novice when it comes to Belgian dark strong ales. The Grand Cru of the Emperor pours with a short creamy head, there are great strong flavors of sweet dark raisins, caramel, brown sugar & hints of fine chocolate.

My wife who likes darker sweeter beers said, "this is the best beer ever". Some have said that the high ABV was noticeable and a negative but I did not get that feeling. It has 11% ABV but it fits well, reminds me of a fine desert wine.

We really enjoyed this beer I will be looking for it again as a great holiday treat. (627 characters)

Photo of silverblaze540
4.94/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown, minimal light seeping through. Small cream colored head, dissipates quickly. Active bubbles.

S - Malt, dates, prunes, rains, cherry, sweetness.

T - Very sweet and malty. All the fruity smells come through in the taste. Minimal alcohol taste and almost no bitterness.

M - Some carbonation burn, very smooth.

O - Wonderfully tasty beer. Even non-beer drinkers could enjoy this one. (406 characters)

Photo of dstc
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours very dark with ruby highlights. Big foamy head that fell to nothing with little to no lace.

Smells very sweet and malty. Yummy.

Big sweet malts, raisins, plums and brandy come to mind. Nice alcohol finish. Just perfect.

Full and smooth in the mouth with a nice alcohol bite.

My favorite at the moment, almost the perfect beer. Hell, maybe it is the perfect beer. (372 characters)

Photo of beerceller99
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

75 cl. bottle from 2003. Has a ruby brown hue with an off white head. Massive fruity aroma of raisons, plums, pudding bread, and dark caramels. The flavor profile runs the spectrum, from malty caramel, vanilla extracts, to raisons, dates, and Hawaiian sweet bread. All this wrapped in a smooth, medium body. Finishes with a warming alcohol mellowness.

This brew is carbonated cognac; Excellent. (397 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very nice dark brown body, hazy, with visible carbonation. Head raises up about 1/2" fades slow, leaving a thin creamy layer on top of the beer.

Smell: Strong and sweet, grape-fruitiness, slightly woody.

Taste: Rich and fruity, malt is big, very big, with brown sugar. Fantastic and complex, toffee and cream, spicy and bold.

Drinkability: Excellent a smooth sipper that is very tasty on the way down. I bet this one would age excellently, and mellow even more than it already is. Fantastic. (512 characters)

Photo of StoutPiper
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I can't say this is my favorite beer, because (depending on what mood I'm in) I could feel a good Imperial stout is the best, and another day i crave a good hoppy IPA. But, if you want a belgian ale, this is the best beer I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.

I've only had it once, and i can't find it again, i got it somewhere in NJ, but it was an amazing experience. The beer poured a dark brown, with a respectable head, and lacing you would expect from a perfect belgian ale. the smell fits the beer, strong, spicy, nutty, cinnamon-y, it was a true experience.

The taste followed suit. It was borderline quadrupel, because it was such a bold taste, but i got everything from cherries to almonds out of it, the taste varying from sip to sip.

If i could find this beer again, i would buy several cases and drink it almost exclusively. Again, i cannot emphasize enough how much i enjoyed this beer. Worth a try or seven! (930 characters)

Photo of King_KongDCO93
4.92/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Having a 2003 bottle oh my goodness the cork was aching to get out. At bottling was was at 10% ABV

A: Dark Belgian brow color that you can't see through but now the

Smell: aroma is AMAZING!!! Fruity and floral more complex than traditional Belgian beers

Taste: incredibly smooth for how old this beer is. Nice notes of caramel, toasted malts, and fruit. Really got a lot of dark fruits flavors mixed in with mild bitterness complex of a pungent Belgian quad.

Mouthfeel: wet

Overall: all around great Belgian beer. Verdict A+ (530 characters)

Photo of DogFood11
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is simply one of the greatest beer I've ever consumed. I was looking through the coolers at Naja's in Redondo Beach and was deciding between a saison and a grand cru. Jason the owner suggested this is a perfect nightcapper BOY WAS HE RIGHT!!! Pour is so silky just like the mouthfeel it curls its way around every taste bud. some chocolaty/fruity aroma's. A full flavored boquet ready for gobbling. I just about fell of my bar stool after the first drink I was so impressed (or buzzed). Nutty up front with a malty/rich body that finishes sweet/Fruity with a slight bitter cleansing. I don't know how they could improve this beer as it is fit for an emperor. I will now go on a quest to get one of my local stores to order a case for me. I will beg, barter, bribe. (769 characters)

Photo of cro250klr
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
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. (1,609 characters)

Photo of Vipsanius
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2003 750ml bottle

Poured a dark reddish brown into a chalice with a slight light tan head. Doesn't have great lacing but that's about the only downfall to this great beer.

The smell and taste are very complex. Each time you bring the glass to your lips you can pick up on something new. I could pick up on hints of molasses, figs, plums, and fresh baked banana bread (others were spot on picking up on that). It's a 10% ABV beer and you can pick up on it but there are so many other flavors that it usually gets pushed to the wayside. Overall, a very, very drinkable beer.

Whenever I cook a good steak, this is the first beer I want to grab out of my cellar. I try to keep this stocked at all times. (708 characters)

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.89/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw | 750 ml. | 2009 vintage | 11% ABV

Brewer: Het Anker, Belgium
Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale (BDSA)

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

On the label:
"The unique brewing of the Cuvee Van de Keizer, with only extra fine Belgian hops and a higher alcohol level of 11%, guarantees this beer to age excellently over several years time with a complexity and intensity usually reserved for the finest of wines. Attesting to the inate mystery and intensity of a cellarable beer is this brew's beautiful ruby brown, almost henna color. With a light brown, velvety head and sweet, powerful notes of wood, yeast and plums, the Cuvée Van De Keizer surprises one's palate with subtle hints of caramel and even fresh green apples. Drinking a Cuvée Van De Keizer is a fully sonsory experience, so be certain to breathe in its fruity, almost delicate aroma that compliments a richly roasted malted, yet softly dense body. It's a truly sugary brew in every sense, erring on the natural fresh and refreshing side of sweetness."

Presentation:
The bottle features a stylized thick white line drawing of Charles V on a horse (presumably) with a couple five point stars in the background. A blue sash covers the diagonal of the bottle. Written on it in gold is the name of the brew. The neck features more gold writing that says "Jaargang 2009". The bottom of the bottle has "Gouden Carolus" also in gold lettering. It looks fittingly imperial.

Appearance:
Pours a beautiful deep burgundy into an Ommegang chalice. The off-white head barely rises above 0.5", and quickly recedes to a swampy, languid film.

Aroma:
Dried fruit: figs, plums, raisins and cherries. Sweet brown sugar and toffee. Big, bold, bready malts and a murmur of potent alcohol in the background closes out the whiff.

Taste:
The first sip sucked me into a dizzying whirlpool of sumptuous, tart dark fruits, chewy caramel, fresh bready malts, and a downpour of alcoholic heat at the finish. Estery flavors are prominent, while spices are largely left out of the picture. Drinking the Keizer is like biting into some succulent mythical fruit: tangy skin, sumptuous flesh dripping juicy flavor, and a hearty infusion of boisterous alcoholic aftertaste. Minutes after my last sip, I am left with a sweet syrupy texture mixed with some mild green apple tartness.

Mouthfeel:
Smooth and silky. Medium to heavy-bodied. Tingly carbonation is uniform throughout.

Harmony:
Everything about this drink is confident but tempered by a sort of regal refinement. The alcohol is bold and noticeable, and it's not so much masked as embraced. The dark fruits, sweet caramel and brown sugar coat the bready malts which feel like they've been soaked in alcohol. The sweetness and tasteful infusion of alcohol sets this BSDA apart from its peers. It probably won't appeal to everyone, but it is certainly a high quality but decidedly different take on the style.

Brewed on: Feb. 24, 2009 (bottled 14 months ago) (3,041 characters)

Photo of jayhawk73
4.88/5  rDev +14%
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! (1,529 characters)

Photo of Pepeton
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought a 3-bottle case of these beers for my next three birthdays. Never thought how bittersweet the circumstances would be.

Shared the bottle with my Dad, two weeks from the passing of my mother. My Dad isn't into craft beer, but I figured that I should celebrate my B-day and his fatherhood (I'm his first born), and have a little remembrance of my Mom, now that all the fuzz is gone.

As BAs database says: Outstanding.

Vintage 2005, so this bottle was almost one-year old.

Appearance: Dark copper with red hues, compact head that resembles to me the foam of a Turkish coffee, and a nice thick lacing.

Smell: Complex: Ripe plums, raisins, roasted malts, some hops and more.

Taste: My first impression is of a brew more prone to the malty side, with a peppery and spicy presence; but then the hops come into action. Excellent balance in a full bodied beer. Very well hided alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Fuzzy due to carbonation and mildly bitter, with alcohol hints (with an ABV of 11% I'm surprised I couldn't find it more easily).

Drinkability: Dangerous ale. It's really so mild you can't believe it's an 11% ABV, until you feel the alcohol warmth. Just hope I could try this one on tap.

¡Salud! (1,219 characters)

Photo of Bisho
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This Christmas/Quad/BSDA brew knocked my socks off (and the missus too!) We were not expecting this complex beer to be challenging the famous Rochefort 10 for the mantle but it sure matched it!

Poured from a 750ml bottle into two tulips. It has a deep ruby red appearance and leaves a little lacing but not too much in the way of carbonation.
The smell was of sweet burnt caramel and toffee.
The taste was just as gorgeous as the sweet smell. It is big and slightly chewy but never cloying and has a nice dry spice on the finish. Impeccably balanced throughout and the high ABV is hidden pretty well too.
This helped us to turn two of these things into a session :)
I have 6 more of these 2009 Vintage stored away and plan on pulling one out each year to see how it evolves.
You must get yourself a few of these if like me, you love this type of complex brew. (860 characters)

Photo of Squaretooth
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - Enjoyed in a nice Westmalle goblet this pours with a thick tan had that quickly dissipates. Very little lacing. Color is a dark translucent plum. Reminiscent of a fine quadruple.

T - lovely malty goodness, complex fruity flavors throughout. Starts out with just a very slight bitter taste that finished quite sweet. Quite an amazing taste I must admit.

M - light sting that indicates that high alcohol content. Lightly coats the palate and back of throat. Quite pleasant.

D - At 10% ABV (stated on bottle) this will leave a nice warm feeling. You want to sip this to enjoy every bit of it. This ranks among the best

S - Wonderful dark fruity smell. (658 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I hope this is the right spot for this review. My bottle says Grand Cru and is from 2003.

Appearance - dark, ruddy brown with red highlights. An inch of soapy light mocha bubbles rests on top, leaving thin, patchy lace behind. Dark, rich-looking.

Aroma - the nose is fantastic. Maple, banana, and butterscotch on top of the malts, a tingling of alcohol woven through it all.

Taste - a malt monster ale. Dark fermented fruit, honey, banana, maple syrup, chocolate, fruitcake. marshmallows, clove, allspice, what a range of tastes here!! Some hops show up around the swallow, but why bother? Slight bitter finish with very warm alcohol clarify and enhance the wonderful profile.

Mouthfeel - very alive with carbonation, medium body, lets the flavor stand on its own.

Drinkability - it's a beer dream come true. Worth keeping a few of these around for special occasions. (882 characters)

Photo of sartoric
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Opened a 2009 bottle.
Poured in a Tulip for vintage wine it looked Dark brown color with minimal head.

Very complex aroma. You can smell caramel, chocolate, banana, licorice, raisin, vanilla. The aroma seems to change continuosly

Sweetness slightly prevale on the bitterness but it's well balanced. You can also feel a spicy flavour in the background.

Very nice full thick (not too much) body

Food pairing : Excellent served with the slowly roasted piglet's leg, cooked in apple juice and served with roasted apples (lightly frosted with honey).
Simply fabulous coupled with dark bitter chocolate (70% and a cru 100% cocoa) and an home made shortbread apple pie Recommended +++ (688 characters)

Photo of jminsc76
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

(While BA's title for this beer is under Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or - Cuvée Van De Keizer, my review is for the aged version on tap at Lucky Baldwin's in Pasadena on 3/19/09)

This beer is listed as Gouden Carolus The Emperor 2002 Het Anker on Lucky Baldwin's menu. The color is a very dark brown with a vivid reddish/purplish tinge. Not much head from the pour, and agitation does little to bring it up, but it doesn't take long to figure out why. A strong smell of raisins, plums, figs, and other deep, fruity aromas; some molasses in there as well.

It's been aging since 2002, so don't expect the more beer-ey tones to be present, but my God, the flavors are incredibly sweet and powerful, yet smooth. No yeasty alcoholic taste, just pure fruity goodness. Retains all of its alcoholic properties, as my rapidly progressing inebriation can attest to. Very enjoyable, and not because it's less attainable. Get thee to Lucky Baldwin's for this aged version, the unaged, and what is presently three or four other Gouden Carolus beers. Nummy num. (1,049 characters)

Photo of batlash
4.86/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I generally shy away from large bottles when trying something new, but took a chance on this (and found myself glad for doing so).

As soon as I popped the cork I caught the aroma of sweet, dark fruits and maybe even a hint of maple. A very rich air about this one. It pours a dark, reddish-brown with a modest head.

The taste is exactly what the aroma promises: lots of sweet malts and sugars with just enough hop presence to temper, but not obscure the sweetness. There's a slight hint of the 11% abv, but it's tantalizing, just enough to add warmth, but not overwhelm. The carbonation is just about right with just enough fizz to keep this from spilling over into barleywine territory. It's definitely rubs shoulders with the best Trappist and Trappist-style ales, but it reminds me in some ways of some of the English Harvest ales such as J.W. Lee's without the Port-like density.

This is an incredibly easy beer to drink (especially considering its strength) and a new favorite. (985 characters)

Photo of Dukeofearl
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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. (1,073 characters)

Photo of jim102864
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I just happened to read from a fellow BA about a package store in Manchester that was highly rated when I found this absolute gem of a Belgian. Somewhat suprising, given that overall beer selection was good but not as strong as my usual place. The appearance of this 2004 Belgian got me stoked up right off the bat. I'm a big strong brown fan, and this one did not disappoint. A beautiful molasses brown with a thick tan head as I poured it into my Duvel tulip glass. The lace graced the glass deep into the session. And the aroma ! Sweet, candied sugar with an alcohol accent. Dates, raisens and prunes rose from the glass and again presented themselves in the taste. The candied sugar was highly evident along with hints of cinnamon. Mind you, the aroma and flavor were balanced with sweet overtones, but the sweetness did not overwhelm either. A warm, alcohol presence with explosions of flavor with each sip. The mouthfeel was thick and chewy, precisely what makes for a wonderful strong brown belgian. This is a highly drinkable session brew that the Belgian fan will absoultely savor. It is also added to my personal favorites list. (1,138 characters)

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
95 out of 100 based on 858 ratings.