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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
96
world-class

1,634 Ratings
THE BROS
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(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,634
Reviews: 855
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.47%
Wants: 197
Gots: 264 | 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
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Ratings: 1,634 | Reviews: 855
Photo of Pahn
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. 2008 vintage.

Appearance: Rather vigorous pour yields a one inch frothy, off-white head that dissipates quickly leaving a ring of lacing. Pours a dark amber/ruby that approaches black and is almost fully opaque. Leaves occasional spots and swatches of lacing.

Smell: Right away, the smell is huge. Very boozy at first, with a ton of dark fruit notes (fig and raisin mainly), sugar, cake, fresh bread, and some dungeony (yes, dungeony) mustiness. As it warms, a dominant Belgian yeast aroma emerges, with the fig and raisin notes staying strong. Smells like a deep, chewy, sugary, Belgian strong dark ale. No complaints.

(Oddly enough, the cork smells strongly of cinnamon)

Taste: First sip: beautiful; sweet and a little tart, very bready (especially the finish), with just as much dark fruit estery complexity as in the nose. Lots of sugary caramel, Belgian yeast, and fresh bread. Really mellow alcohol in the taste. Mildly spicy, but more sugar and ester flavors than spice. This is a delicious and rewarding, straight ahead, big Belgian ale that's worth cellaring for a few years then savoring.

Mouthfeel: A little fuller than medium bodied--really fills up the mouth, but not unpleasantly. Mild carbonation. Approaches sticky and "very sugary" but doesn't get there. Rather, the feel is nice and balanced.

Drinkability: The 11% ABV has mellowed with age, but it's not exactly hidden. A great sipper.

There isn't much I can verbalize to set this apart from other top notch Belgian strong dark ales. I guess I'll just say that it delivers on the promise of its style, and its unique character is (like most beers) easier to appreciate by drinking than by reading about it. It's a solid representation of the style; not the exemplar, but possessing a delicious flavor and no flaws in the aroma, taste, or feel to note.

Photo of scottfrie
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from old notes.

A: Pours a rusty-fruity brownish-red with a thick light than head that slowly faded into a very thick/fluffy film that left solid sheets/rings of thick lacing don the glass.
S: Big notes of vanilla with lesser notes of butterscotch, orange zest, dark fruits, and a hint of alcohol vapor.
T: Fruitier than the nose suggested and very sweet. I get notes of raisins, sweet fruit juices, clove, blueberries, plums, and sugary syrup. The aftertaste is dry and nutty and reminds me of port. I get some flashes of Dr. Pepper every couple of sips.
M: Very creamy and soft mouthfeel with soft bubbly carbonatikon and a smooth medium body.
O: A solid beer and easy to drink. Rich flavors were smooth and complex.

Photo of Durge
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fresh from Ohoove's cellar into a pint glass this fine 2008 vintage brew shows a deep dark root beer color with a solid but thin light tan head and a nice broken sheet of lacing. The aroma brings a delicate but sweet currant and red wine theme with dark fruits. Very refined with none of the classic Belgian traits I often expect. Very nice but definitely concentrated on the wine idea. The flavor hits with more dark fruits over deep chocolate malt and champagne - red wine. There are some floral hints and cotton candy sweetness, but again, the dominant flavor combines red wine and sugary malt. The body is at least medium with modest carbonation and a pretty aqueous feel. Quite a tasty treat worth waiting for!!

Photo of BradtheGreat7
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review taken a week ago from notes(Late January 2013)
*Vintage 2011*

330 ml brown Belgian style bottle with a stunning label design. It screams that whatever is inside is pure class. Poured into a Gouden Carolus abbey style goblet.

A - deep and dark amber with dark orangey brown hues. Maroon/dark purple character to the overall color. A semi cloudy opaque with semi clarity presenting a nice bubble effect. A fluffy tan head sits gracefully on top providing the walls of the glass with stickiness just before settling into a creamy ring of lace.

S - Rich dark fruits of plum, dried raisin, fig, and cherries followed by dark malt and hints of caramel, butterscotch, and bittersweet chocolate. A nice yeast aroma paired with a touch of bread and Belgian spice.

T - Flavor is stunning. Dark fruit, dates, plum, dried raisins, dark cherry, and banana. This flavor is big on sweetness, but the Small notes of bitter dark chocolate and roasted dark malt balance things out brilliantly. Slight hop flavors bring in some spice. Small notes of black pepper, cinnamon, and ginger are faint but noticed. This Belgian yeast flavor is top shelf and adds to the spice with a delicious lingering finish.

M - Big and rich bodied with a number of lively flavors in the mouth. Thickness is spot on for the style as it coats the mouth in a world class manner. Enjoyable and smooth despite the abv.

O - Het Anker and their Gouden Carolus brews are thoroughbred Belgian ales. This is the best of the best and is done in a traditional Belgian style. Its complex yet balanced flavors are truly stunning and it's beautifully colored body claims perfection. Perfection is a word that's boldly used in the craft beer world, but this Belgian gem just may be what perfection is all about. I'll buy this beer everytime I see it. I'm going to seek out the 2013 when it's released to try it fresh, but for now the 2011 that's been sitting awhile is out of this world good.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a dark red/brown umber with a full white/tan head with good retention and good lacing.

S: Was actually not getting much until the beer warmed up, nice fruit and molasses, sugary malt.

T: Very tasty, I've only had this beer once before, but it is a great tasting BSDA. Great taste of dark fruit, raisin and prune, molasses and rum/brandy, very fruity and sweet, but not cloying at all, just a delicious, full beverage.

M: Smooth, full-bodied, good carbonation, though I would have liked a little richer mouthfeel.

D: This is one of the standards for this style, I think Charles V would be proud, a really good ale.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Jaargang 2005. The beer is a gorgeous conflagration of dark bronze, dark orange and dark red, with shimmering edges of bonfire orange. Equally as attractive is a tremendous looking crown of lightly toasted marshmallow-like foam. Cementing BSDA perfection is an array of delicate lace that easily qualifies as eye candy. What a start!

The nose may need a little time to open up, so I'll continue to go back to it throughout the '750'. My initial impressions are of a spicier and less sweet beer than expected. Tobacco notes seem especially prominent. Warming helps to some degree, but the aroma lags behind the flavor profile for sure.

I have no qualms about proclaiming this ale incredibly delicious right from the first mouthful. Man oh man, I love Brouwerij Het Anker beer! The Emperor is a regal sort of BSDA that earns its name with no trouble at all. It's as deep and as complex as all but the very best versions... and it hasn't even warmed yet.

While it isn't quite as spicy as the nose portended, it's definitely on the spicy side of the style average. Let's see... dark caramel, light molasses, dates macerated in tawny port, plum jam, tobacco, clove, maybe even a little bruised banana. The contrast between sweet, tart and bitter (all present in roughly equal proportions) is at least as interesting as the dizzingly display of intertwining flavors.

Cuvee Van De Keizer reminds me that BSDAs are a close second to tripels as my favorite Belgian style. The mouthfeel is as glorious as the rest of the beer. It's no more than medium, yet has a mouthfilling quality and a stick-to-it-iveness that is admirable. I wish all the world's brewers were as proficient with carbonation as the Belgians.

I've now had the four most widely distributed Brouwerij Het Anker offerings and I've been gobsmacked by each and every one. I had no idea this was the case, but on scores alone, this is my favorite Belgian brewery. Grand Cru of the Emperor (as my bottle reads) or Cuvee Van De Keizer... whatever you call it, call it an outstanding example of the brewer's art.

Photo of don1481
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

1 pt 9.4 oz bottle poured into a glass.

Appearance: pours with a lingering head. Not obnoxiously so, was able to pour cleanly into the glass.

Smell: smells sugary with a little booziness. Some hints of cloves. Sweet smelling for sure.

Taste: first sip is... Different. A little less sweet and a little more boozy than what others have said. After waiting for a moment, another sip definitely gives that sweet, smooth delicious taste. So good. Wow.

Mouthfeel: very very smooth. Doesn't really linger.

Overall: wow. Just... Wow. Yes please more.

Photo of deltatauhobbit
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First time I had it was on bottle at Lakes Brew Festival. Bought a new bottle so my notes would be more accurate.

Pours dark, ruby hues on the edges when held up to the light, good head and retention.

Smell is an assortment of goodies, some fruitiness to it coupled with chocolate and caramel and other spices.

Taste is very close to the smell department, with lots going on from the dark fruits to the malt to all the various spices intermingling with each other. Carbonation was a bit low but it worked for this, although I couldn't see myself drinking too much of this beer, the complex tastes would be too overwhelming.

Photo of IBUnit63
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From corked and caged 750 to Ommegang chalice...

Only a subtle "poof" as the cork comes off. Don't fret, as there's ample carbonation from the deep bourbon barrel-colored body rising to a 2-finger, ginger-colored bready head that is thick, dense and lumpy. Awesome.

Beautiful scent of apple and pear esters are first wave. With warmth, more banana, yeast and malt emerge. Bountiful and beautiful.

Silky, sweet, thick malt presence with well-balanced esters of banana, pear and apple. Carbonation blends in Beautiful Chemistry with yeast, copious amounts of malt and mild ginger, clove and cinnamon. Malt and spice emerge even more profoundly with warmth.

The power of this offering rests in a full, deep finish. Carbonation provides tingle as a counterweight to cut the fat. Stellar effort.

Complex with balance in abundance. This is immense and a pleasure. Sip and savor.

Photo of joaombj
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of Ultrarunner100
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of antilogic
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had it on tap @ beachwood BBQ. Good head, swirls nicely releasing aroma of raisin and brown sugar. Lighter bodied than I imagined it would be. Dark, good head, slightly carbonated. Better as it warms up, the tastes of fruits, possibly citrus and sugars really come out.

Tasty, but not a session beer.

Photo of PVMT
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of DrJay
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, deep chestnut with a strong reddish hue when held to the light. It poured with a modest cap of light tan foam that left a solid sheet of bubbles on the glass as it subsided. Subsequent sips yielded plentiful streaky lacing, right to the end of the glass. Sweet, boozy aroma with lots of plum and figs. Notes of caramel and bread crust were also evident, along with brown sugar and plump raisins. Toffee and honey sweetness hit my palate right away, evening out into a more fruity middle with prunes and plums taking over. A little spicy as well, but very subdued. Bready towards the end, it finished with lingering earthy raisins, caramel and soft alcohol. Medium to full bodied, the carbonation was well integrated and supported the near syrupy texture. Significant alcohol warmth, particularly in the finish, with some creaminess. Very tasty and highly recommended. I really liked the way the flavours balanced each other without the need for much bitterness. It went down very smooth, even with the high alcohol, so watch out!

Photo of roadhouse
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml bottle of 2007 vintage into a snifter.

Appears a dark brown, ruby when held up to some light. Creamy off-white head just short of an inch thick. Massive sheets of lacing on the side.

Aromas of plums, figs, sweet sugars, and bubble gum esters.

Taste begins with a spicy, yeasty character then plums come out followed by a sweet syrupy taste while the spiciness lingers on. Very light amount of earthy hops at the very end.

Mouthfeel is medium, and extremely creamy. It just slides down the throat.

This is an excellent beer for sure. Highly recommend picking up a bottle of this if available.

Photo of perrymarcus
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle served in an oversized wineglass. 2008 vintage.

pours an opaque deep mahogany tone with ruddy highlights; finger plus of a creamy khaki colored head; decent retention, nice walls of lacing. nice looking brew.

the nose is malty sweet, replete with dark fruits, cherry, spice, fig, belgian yeast, and maybe a touch of molasses. pretty much what i look for in my BSDAs.

flavor closely follows the aroma, opening with a strong cherry presence, followed by spices, plum, raisin, fig, and caramel malts. bit of warming alcohol to the finish, but other than that the 11% ABV is very well-hidden. tasty, tasty.

has a full bodied mouthfeel with adequate carbonation; very drinkable for a beer this big. exceptional belgian strong dark ale.

Photo of Tbone
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is for the 2005 vintage with English label and 10% ABV.
They release in April, so it had a bottle age of about 18 months.

A-As per my usual, poured the entire 750 ml bottle at once into a large glass pitcher. It was highly carbonated, filling alomst the whole pitcher with foam. It has a very dark amber color.

S-Very rich and pleasing aroma of plum and molasses.

T-More of the same in the taste. Expectedly sweet, but a complex palate of flavors of plum, molasses, and a nice roasted malt.
I detect no off flavors.

M-A silky and creamy texture with just the right density (although this was in part due to releasing much carbonation through a hard pour).

I will definitely be getting more of this and will seek out other vintages.

Photo of Trizzle
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

When I was big in to the Belgian Tripels and Quads, this was one of my favourites.. I should point out, I'm not so into Belgians these days, but will be objective.

2010 Vintage.

Pours a very dark burgundy, clear with beautiful highlights. A good dense head fades leaving a great blanket of just off white bubbles with quite good lace. Esp considering the abv.

Belgian yeast strains, christmas pudding, plums, raisins, and oak notes in the nose. Alcohol is vaguely present, along with some candi sugar and port.

Flavour is full of liquor soaked plums and raisins. Sweet malt with the dark malts adding a very complimentary hint of dry earth. Alcohol is in the mix, but perfectly so. Some yeast on the finish.

Mouth is ,edium full, with some great fine carbonation really filling it out.

For a beer of the ABV and sweetness the drinkability is 1st class.

Not as good as the 15yo bottle of this I tried last year, but still a great beer.

Photo of macster
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage. Pours a fairly clear burgundy-brown with ruby red highlights. Creates a beige thick, rocky head which maintains a thin covering throughout the glass. Lots of sticky web-like lacing as snifter drains. Incredibly rich, intense aromas of brandy-soaked dried dark friuts, plums, cherries, brown sugar, bubblegum and oak all amped up by a big alcohol punch. Mouthfeel is well balanced; smooth, full and silky with a pleasant spritzy carbonation. Big and round for a 10%’er. Flavors very similar to the nose. Head spiningly sweet intense notes of brandy soaked black cherries, raisins, figs, caramel and plums. Just a hint of anise, wood and spice in the background. The 10% abv comes to the rescue here with a faint hop presence to prevent this superb Belgian from becoming too cloyingly sweet. In the final analysis a rich, pleasing, complex and very warming slow sipper to be enjoyed on a cool winter night.

Photo of cultclassic89
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of AlexJ
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap in Bruno's basement, does this guy hook it up or what!
Dark mahogany brown body with a chill haze (a bit too cold) and a thin but creamy oatmeal hued head that settles into a lasting veil, adorning my goblet with thick sheets of lace.

Aroma is an intoxication blend of sweet raisins, figs, vanilla-spice, banana, tropical fruit, green apple, toffee, and floral hops. Very powerful nose here, i can smell it from several feet away!

Flavor begins with a mouthfull of rum soaked raisins and figs, dark candi sugar, honey, molasses, mango, tart green apple, sour cherry, candied nuts, vanilla, and subtle yeat spice notes. Complex and very rich.

Body is just huge, with a creamy thick texture that glides down your throat like warm butter. Delicious and perfect for dessert.

Photo of MDDMD
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sticker on neck of bottle indicates 2009 vintage.

Pours a clear root beer color with a 1/2 inch tan head that fades to an oily film. Broken rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is awesome with sweet biscuit-like malt, caramel, molasses, dark fruits, and alcohol aromas. Taste is exactly like the smell with a very sweet and rich set of complex flavors. This beer has a good carbonation level with a crisp and slightly prickly mouthfeel. The alcohol hits the back of the throat with each sip and creates a warming on the drink down. Overall, this is a very good beer with awesome dark fruit/molasses flavors.

Photo of delta490
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

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

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
96 out of 100 based on 1,634 ratings.