Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe 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.

862 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 862
Hads: 1,712
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 230
Gots: 292 | 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: 862 | Hads: 1,712
Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

this was a pleasant surprise. bought it without knowing anything about it. read the label and it looked like something interesting. plu i'd never had a grand cru until this bottle, so when i saw it was a special grand cru, i was all over it...

appearance: my god, there was so much going on in my duvel tulip i could have watched it all day. super dark brown/red, ok head. the lacing was all over the place. a sign of what was to come.

smell: molasses? sugar cane? very sweet.

taste: super sweet and fruity. very full bodied. alcohol was slightly masked but still present, especially as it warmed up.

mouthfeel: smooth and creamy. almost stout-ish. the alcohol really comes out here.

drinkability: one was it for me. couldn't finish the bottle. had this one in 2 sittings. very enjoyable. i will definitely be trying this one again in the newar future. it was an awesome compliment to my thanksgiving dinner. cheers!

 931 characters

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

 1,425 characters

Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes taken on 12/30/10. A 2010 corked and caged bottle I popped open and shared with a couple friends.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a clear dark ruby brown color with 2 fingers of dark brown head. The cap recedes fairly fast leaving a wall of lace along the glassware. Swirls revive the head back to a finger of creamy tan.

The aroma of this brew is sweet smelling alcohol laden with darker fruits. Quite sweet, almost candy like with an indication of vanilla overtop the scent of plums and raisins.

The taste is also candy sweet with a light spiced character of clove, banana and bold alcohol. It is quite sweet upfront with a bold character of fruity alcohol that balance it out a bit. The sweetness is somewhat caramel-like in the finish with a lingering bitterness from earthy and herbal hops.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The alcohol is very evident throughout the experience and it is quite drinkable. My only gripe is that this brew was a little too sweet for me to enjoy more than a single glass of. The bold combination of alcohol and sugar would present an interesting example for aging. I'd give it a try again if I could get an older bottle.

 1,228 characters

Photo of sprucetip
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750 into snifter, shared. From notes.

Dark amber, modest tan head fades to film and ring. Pretty clear, no lacing.

Dark fruit, sweet, heat, yeasty

sweet malty and candy sugar, dark fruity, Belgian yeasty, heat, slight bitterness. Complex, but pretty sweet.

Moderate carb and fiz, rich, full, warming, somewhat viscous, clean finish.

I probably would have gone a 4, but my two companions let me finish the last third or so. Big and sweet. Methinks it would age well. I'd have it again.

 490 characters

Photo of Chelsea1905
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008. Probably one of the best Belgians I have ever had, except for that one girl on a damp summers night in....hold on, back to the beer!

Anyway, pours a nice ruby red, dark brown hue with a lively head that disapates after some time, but leaves great markings after each swallow.

Smells of vanilla and pear, which is really quite light and floral for a beer as dark as this pours.

tastes, for me all belgians do this, initially of gas and alcohol, but after that subsdes there is a candy-like sweetness from whatever malt was used. Not as over poweringly wheat or yeast tasting as other belgians I have had.

Very smooth after the inital rush of bubbles.

At 11% I dount youd be knocking many of these back, but the mouthfeel is quite light for something that appears so dark!

 781 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
3.94/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dec 31, 2009

750ml bottle, 2009. Pours very dark copper/brown with a one finger light beige head. Very nice, complex beer that evolves and changes.

Aromas range from very fruity, dark fruits, cherries, light apple, some yeast.

Flavors are predominantly fruity, cherries, dark fruits, sometimes some chocolate really comes through, some pear, yeasty, bready belgian goodness. Alcohol is quite present. Only real knock I have, but I think it will get better with age.

Mouthfeel is rich, but with high carbonation for the style.

Very rich and delicious beer overall. Glad to finally try this one.

 602 characters

Photo of wisrarebeer
3.94/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage.

A: deep copper color - great rocky head
S: earthy, musty, caramel nose, vanilla undertones, alcohol presence
T: the taste is very different than the nose, full, rich, chocolate, very, very good, pleasant surprise
M: smooth, easy drinking, carbonated but not like some other Belgians that are too gassy
D: nice sipping beer

 338 characters

Photo of oberon
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A beer that dont come around often,pours a deep brown with some reddish tints with to be expected a hug rocky head.Aroma is of spiced cherries and alcohol,taste is spices and of dried fruit(cherries) and ginger-like and the alcohol really comes thru as it warms.It would be tough to finish a bottle of this brew but it is very appetizing to say the least.

 355 characters

Photo of nickd717
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle from Whole Foods in Los Altos.

A - Dark reddish brown appearance with a small beige head and good lacing.

S - Aroma of dark fruits, caramel, and Belgian yeast.

T - Heavily malty, with plum, date, raisin, brown sugar, caramel, spices, alcohol, and yeast. Some bittering hops noticeable. Complex and good but not outstandingly so.

M - Medium to heavy on the mouthfeel. Warming on the finish.

D - Average-plus.

A well-crafted Belgian Strong Ale overall.

 469 characters

Photo of TLove
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

(From Notes)

750 ml bottle (2008 vintage) to collins glass. Reviewing after the third one I had. This beer and Corsendonk Brown will likely facilitate my financial ruin.

Chestnut brown with hazy body and creamy, strong head. Well-carbonated, but extraordinarily soft to the taste. Smells of brown sugar, dark fruits, toffee, prune, and carrots. Full-bodied, soft and supple consistency that is a touch too sweet, but very well-rounded and very smooth.

Banana and spice on the tongue, with tart sweetness of cherry and plum and roundness of fig and oats. Finish is sweet and tart with a pourous balance and barely-noticeable 11% ABV. Flows smooth from front to back.

 669 characters

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 6.4.13
2012 Vintage

A - Pours a very dark ruby-black with a foamy dark tan head with good retention.

S - Spices, Belgium yeast, cola-like.

T - Tart, spicy, earthy. Belgian - plum colas.

D - Good carbonation with a mediumb body.

O - A touch of tartness adds a twist to the Belgian spices and earthiness.

 324 characters

Photo of pinotboy007
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at Total Wine, Chantilly, VA. "Jaargang 2007."

A - Looks like root beer; mahogany with a mocha cap and some lacing.

S - Bubble gum, root beer, malt.

T/M - Sweet banana with cinnamon on toast; cream soda; toffee. Light, creamy, complex.

D - Very good, but at 10% ABV, there's only so much drinkability.

Bottle says it improves with age, but I didn't have the patience!

 383 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage.

Pour: 750 mL silkscreened bottle into Westvleteren goblet. Dark mahogany color with an inch of light tan foam. Nice fine carbonation, filmy lace.

Nose: Spicy dark dough with coriander and peppery alcohol. Sweet bread and a slight chocolate tinge. The booze is a little strong, calling to mind notes of nail polish.

Mouth: Flavors of dark caramel, cocoa, pumpernickel, tobacco, banana pith, honey, bubblegum, cherry, dates, peanut skins, and alcohol. Nice complexity but still too hot. Carbonation is obtrusively high; some swirling and time is needed before I can comfortably sip this beer. Dry warming finish.

 627 characters

Photo of TripelJ
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now Quaffing: Gouden Carolus D'or 750 ML

Pours a ruddy reddish-brown with a dense tan head that recedes after a few minutes. Aroma is simply sweet, with a hint of spicy alcohol. Taste is much more mellow than I remember, although I have only previously had this beer in the smaller, 12 oz. bottle. Mostly sweet apple and light caramel with just a hint of acidic bitterness. A small piece of "Red Delicious" Apple with the peel, dipped in caramel... Mouthfeel is medium-bodied and drinkability is very good, when considering the 8% abv.

 538 characters

Photo of ricke
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. 2009 vintage.

The pour is dark reddish brown with a big off-white head that leaves nice lacings.

The smell is big an spot on. Lots of malty aromas of caramel, brown sugar and toffee. Pleasant heavy fruit aromas, yeast and alcohol.

The flavor is really sweet. From start to finish this one is all about sweetness - toasty malts, caramel, brown sugar, toffee. Notes of vinous fruits, wood, yeast and grass. The finish has some bitterness to it, more sweetness and notes of alcohol, hops and spices.

It has a full body and quite a lot of carbonation, which is welcome here since it lightens the heavy character, if only just a bit.

All in all, a complex, balanced and tasty beer. Due to the sweetness, it gets quite demanding after a while.

 751 characters

Photo of crwills
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Part of a tasting with northyorksammy, biegaman, grub, and derek. Thanks guys!

This is the second bottle of this I've reviewed, a vintage 2002 (the other was 2005, I think).

Poured a cloudy, brownish gold into the sample glass. Aroma is boozy candy sugar.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thick and oily. Dominant flavours are toffee/caramel malts with a lot of sherry or port flavour showing up at it warms. Alcohol also becomes more and more obvious at room temperature.

Very nice, not sure which I liked better.

 520 characters

Photo of firemedic1343
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful appearance, almost opaque. Lovely dark brown color.

S: Not really much smell here. The only real smell was a little bit of malt, but mainly fruit.

T: Very complex. Malty. Very sweet, actually much to sweet for an standalone drink. It may be best accompanied by something that goes well with something that goes well with this sweet and fruity beer.

M: Nice thick mouthfeel. Feels like you're getting your monies worth!

D: Couldn't drink more than 5 ounces due to it's sweetness. Dessert beverage.

 513 characters

Photo of tmoneyba
3.92/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Corked Bottle from Party Source, KY.

Poured a clear brown color with an average creamy off-white head that mostly lasted with good lacing.

Moderate to heavy caramel yeasty aroma.

Medium body with a smooth tingly texture.

Medium sweet malt flavor with a medium sweet finish of moderate duration.

Nice beer to have with spicy food.

 334 characters

Photo of PatronWizard
3.91/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 release - patiently aged. 750ml to glass....

Dark caramel to light ruby. Ridiculously bountiful head that is contantly replenished by steady streams of fine bubbles. The head is eternal. In fact, I spilled a drop on my desk and it had a five minute head.

Lot of alcohol in the nose. Maybe something else like dates, prunes, or figs.

Taste of molasses, caramel, dark fruits, dates. The alcohol is less apparent on the tongue than in the nose.

Feel is champagney. Light, dry, fine bubbles. Each swallow disappears like a phantom, leaving only a sweet taste on the lips.

I'll be carefully gauging the drinkability of this 11% over the next hour.

Preceding was from notes. Here it is actually a little over two hours later and I'm on the final glass. Warming has brought out the 11%, but I'm hanging in there like a champ. This glassful will die.

Overall: worth a try

 876 characters

Photo of Osiris9588
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured this out of a brown 11.2 oz bottle, ABV 8%. This ale has a great color, a dark copper accented with a cranberry glow. A rather weak, though lacey, head disspated quickly in a large tulip glass. The pleasing bouquet was filled with notes of chocolate, plum, and rich malt. The taste offered malt and various spices on the front palate, moving to a candy coated and stong alcohol finish. Mouthfeel was lively and full, yet the candy-alcohol finish was overpowering and almost deadened my tongue for future sips. However, I grew used to the finish and it compared nicely with other ales of its ilk.

 602 characters

Photo of GilGarp
3.9/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage. Dated good though November 2017 but I just couldn't wait.

Pops softly but soon starts gushing out of the bottle. Luckily, I have a glass in hand and pour it in carefully. Color is a dark redish brown with lots of sediment in suspension despite careful handing. The head settles quickly to a thin layer on top.

Aroma is rich, malty, and full of fruity esters. There also seems to be a hint of sherry or bourbon but that may just be the alcohol.

The taste is surprisingly sweet with cherries, plum, apricot, and fig. The Belgian yeast is very pleasant adding dark bread, nuts, and spice. Although there is a wide variety of flavors at work here, it's the sweet dark fruits that really dominate.

Mouthfeel is good, nice level of carbonation and good body. All appropriate for the style.

Drinkability is alright for the style but it's intense, sweet, and strong so a little goes a long way.

All in all a good BSD but the lumpy appearance and overly sweet flavor hinder this one.

 995 characters

Photo of Bung
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11.2oz. 2011. Rootbeer or prune juice type brown pour, frothy thin layer of off white head. Some lacing.

Aroma, a lot of raisin and brown sugar. Some winey white grape.

Taste, Raisin, yellow and otherwise. Brown sugar, caramel. Caramel covered white grape. Some vanilla and sugar cookie.

A lower level of carbonation and nicely coating. The body is not real heavy so this is ok, not cloying. The big abv is non-existent.
Very good, but I think the uber high score is due to the plethora of average Belgian Darks that are considered better than they are.

 556 characters

Photo of BMoney575
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 1-25-08
Bottled on 2-24-06

Pours a foamy translucent brown, with glass-covering off white lacing. Little bubbles rise from the bottom to the surface.

Smell is very sweet, caramel, lots of chocolate and a little cinnamon, with dark fruit buried beneath. No real alcohol smell, and surprisingly non-Belgian.

Taste is very tart and fruity. Not like the smell, much more subtle, and a bit more boring. A pleasant floral flavor comes in next, leaving a hoppy balance near the end.

Mouthfeel is good for the style, not too thick.

Drinkability is very good, considering the abv.

Overall, a standard strong dark ale. Good, but I've had much better.

 657 characters

Photo of clvand0
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark brown color with a large tan head that died off quickly and left very little lacing on the glass. The aroma was fruity, with orange being the most upfront and there was a yeasty spice as well. The flavor had a nice Belgian spice character and an orange citrus flavor. Caramel and other malts give it a nice body and flavor. Seems just a tad thin, but very enjoyable.

 390 characters

Photo of Brabander
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

 635 characters

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
95 out of 100 based on 862 ratings.