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

859 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

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Reviews: 859
Hads: 1,690
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 10.28%
Wants: 224
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: 859 | Hads: 1,690
Photo of drtth
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A bottle of the 2011 vintage poured into a Duvel tulip. Glass of water on the side to sip from as well.

The beer is rich dark Mahogany brown color with a slight degree of haziness. The 1/8" head is ivory white in color and soon recedes to an island of foam and a ring around the liquid where it meets the glass. There are patches of solid lacing and leggy lacing on the sides of the glass except where it is "washed" away by sipping. The foam patch and lacing persist for quite a while.

The Aroma is relatively complex but the first thing one can tell is that this is a Belgian style beer with its characteristic dark fruit and brown sugar elements. The alcohol is detectable but not unpleasant.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose. There is dark orchard fruit (e.g., plum and dates) along with some brown sugar sweetness but the alcohol is not really noticeable. There is also a trace of earthy bitterness. The whole complex of flavors gradually fades during the finish until the tongue and palate are left feeling like there should be more. So one sip easily follows another. The bottle age has been kind to this beer as the flavors seem much smoother and better integrated than I remember from last year.

The mouth feel is pretty much medium bodied and there is persistent, light prickly carbonation that also fades in the finish.

Overall this is a very nice Belgan Strong Dark Ale which I've enjoyed and am looking forward to seeing what happens to it by next year at this time. However, that said I'm also thinking that I'm, to a degree, losing my taste for beers with much ABV regardless of how much I enjoy the flavors. But for those who have not tried it I am happy to recommend it as something that has a well deserved place among those beer considered to be world-class. (1,809 characters)

Photo of don1481
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (549 characters)

Photo of rand
4.66/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

From 750 mL bottle to Mikasa tulip glass

2009 batch...been looking forward to this.

A: The brew appears deep mahogany in color, cloudy and completely opaque. It seems effervescent, but the beers own weight prevents any real chance of a head. Tiny patches of lacing speckle the glass.

S: The bouquet is rich and sweet and layered, with prominent notes of ripe fruit and butter-rum. Drying notes of oak attempt to contain the big, yeasty aspects and banana esters. Distinct buttery notes linger.

T/M: Ripe fruit hits the palate first, more prominently than the nose led to expect. The butter-rum notes are there, but they're tucked under a layer of sweet, chewy bread and oak. You can parse subtleties all day with this, but it seems age has formed a singular experience on the palate, as none of the nuances overlap the others. Booze is noted, especially toward the finish, which helps dry and cleans, leading to a medium and slightly sweet close.

This is up there with the best of the Belgian Strongs I've had. YOu could use this for a clinic...the esters, the oak-y dryness, the body and balance. I'd like to see what this tastes like after a few more years in the cellar. (1,178 characters)

Photo of Durge
4.41/5  rDev +3%
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!! (716 characters)

Photo of DenisKolkin
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle purchased from LCBO for $7.80 CDN. Nice value on this volume of what appears to be a world class beer. Left out for about 40 minutes after being in fridge for a few days. Served into oversized wine glass.

Appearance - Dark chestnut brown color with 1.2 finger of off-white head. Head fizzles away moderately leaving a nice soapy feature the edges of the glass and wispy accumulation of foam on top of the beer.

Smell - Burnt sugar, and a bit of booze here and caramel. Second time around a few dark fruits begin to creep in and also the faint hint of peach-like smells. Butterscotch, toffee as well as the funky Belgian yeast although it is not overly pronounced here. Also a bit of a cooked marshmallow smell to it.

Taste - Sugar, caramel and that booziness on the aromas shines through. Also tons of that toasted marshmallow flavor in conjunction with the aforementioned dark fruits namely dates, prunes and cheery. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Overall really delicious but definitely a sipping type of beer.

Mouthfeel - Super smooth, rich and great warmth in the back of the throat. Medium carbonation and medium bodied, but shading towards the lighter side which is impressive given the breadth of flavors and high ABV here.

Overall - World class all the way, one of the best with other greats in the style but really enjoyed the toasted marshmallow feature here which seemed more pronounced than I've had in other beers in the style. Definitely would recommended but you may want a couple of friends around or risk feeling light headed after a bottle of this stuff.

EDIT ** March 8, 2015 - Had a bottle of this the other day and I actually feel like I've underrated this beer a little, as it was magical, velvety and really damn easy to drink especially as far as big beers go. (1,801 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a dark brown mahoghany with a bit of red coming through. There's a bit of off white/light brown head.

The aroma has just tons and tons of sweetness dark caramel, toffee. It moves onto overly painfully sweet dark fruits like raisin, figs. A bright red wine character as well, which is a surprising note.

The flavor follows with almost a port like quality. Tons of overly sweet raisins, figs, and then some grape and bittering tanins. The general theme is the brown sugar and toffee sweetness that just lingers along with fruit bread.

A medium silky mouthfeel without much carbonation.

The alcohol is well hidden. Granted, I'm having a 2012 vintage and it is over a year old, but still, so drinkable. A lovely sweetness and a great dessert beer. (765 characters)

Photo of Flachs
3.52/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This was a great beer to drink. I just know what I like and this us one that works for me. I liked the way it pored into my tulip glass. At first it was a little over powering but as I got further into the beer it turned out great? Will be drinking this again. (260 characters)

Photo of REDAMI
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750ml bottle into Chimay goblet.

A - Pour is a muddy, copper-brown topped with a paper-thin ivory foam.

S - Sharp alcohol on the nose. Buttered bread, raisins, toffee sugar.

T - Moderately sweet, metallic, raisins or plums, with a cereal aftertaste.

M - Fine, light carbonation, moderate to thin mouthfeel, not overly hot from the alcohol.

Has a sharp alcohol nose but the sweetness and mouthfeel hide the alcohol well. Slightly warming with a distinct raisin-like quality. Lacked the yeast candy of a bottle conditioned beer, it would be better with this extra yeast. (585 characters)

Photo of jmdrpi
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

750 mL corked and caged bottle, 2012, so between 1 and 2 years old.

appears chesnutt brown. thin head of very fine bubbles. good retention and lacing from the head. rich malty and slightly boozy aroma as it warms. a little nutty & earthy. taste is similar. great balance of sweetness & a dry finish. very complex, smooth. easy to drink, super smooth as silk mouthfeel. low carbonation.

overall a great dark Belgian (418 characters)

Photo of Mrappinin
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A review of the 2013 batch:-) possibly the best looking brew I have seen in a while. Pours a dark ruby held up to the light it almost glows. A rocky head that persists all the way threw, sticking to the glass as you drink. Not the best smelling brew. Not a foul smell just not much to it. Heavy booze not with the slight fruity esters of Belgium yeast and not much else. Fortunately this does not translate over to taste. A taste of booze fruity esters, darkfruits , candy sugers . the mouth feel is smooth and velvety like an imperial stout. The carbonation seams to only add to head retention and does not dull the flavor at all. Trying to broaden my Belgium horizons, not a dad addition (689 characters)

Photo of Teleweizen2
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - pours a deep murky brown. almost completely opaque but in better lighting there are nearly neon bright red highlights 3 fingers of off-white foam slowly dissipate showing great retention. Leaves thick webs of lacing.

S - the nose is sweet. Very desert-like. Brown sugar and chocolate. Lots of fruit esters. Mostly raspberries, figs, and raisins.

T - sweet flavors upfront. Brown and granulated sugar. Hints of flaky bread crust underneath. The center is full of juicy dark fruits. Raisins, figs, pomegranate, raspberries and dried cherries. The fruit flavors blend nicely with the yeasty flavors. Finish is slightly peppery.

M - full bodied. High carbonation. Creamy texture. Tight bubbles.

O - great dessert beer. A bit on the sweet side but still very drinkable and very flavorful. (791 characters)

Photo of RhyminBelmont
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at the map room in bucktown, chi il

A- inky and opaque, looks thick before taking a sip at all. Not much head, but it's a pretty full pull from the tap, so maybe the bartender didn't leave room.

S- fruity, boozy, sweet

T- out.rageous. sweet, wet dark fruit. Slightly present fairly warming alcohol. Hard to put into words. Plenty of character, fucking delicious.

M- oily, warming, light if any carbonation, not drying at all and surprisingly refreshing.

O- outstanding. This is the 2012 vintage and I'm loving it. Highly recommended. (545 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, 2010 vintage. Pours moderately hazy and cloudy dark reddish brown color with a 2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Good spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big caramel, raisin, plum, fig, molasses, toast, toffee, brown sugar, dark bread, dark candi sugar, pepper, light clove, light chocolate, light roast, and yeast earthiness. Fantastic aromas with huge complexity and great balance of dark malt and fruity/spicy yeast esters; with big strength. Taste of caramel, molasses, toast, raisin, prune, fig, brown sugar, toffee, dark bread, light chocolate, herbal, light roast, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, molasses, toast, brown sugar, toffee, raisin, prune, dark bread, light chocolate, light roast, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Absolutely incredible complexity and balance of molasses/bready malt and dark fruit flavors; with a big malt presence and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and full bodied; with a creamy, slick, and lightly crisp mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a small warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Belgian strong dark ale! All around incredible balance and complexity of dark malt and dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the gravity. An insanely delicious offering. (1,452 characters)

Photo of Bung
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
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 GeorgiaBeerGuy
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, Served at 34°F, allowed to warm as the bottle was enjoyed. Served in a snifter.

A: Reddish brown, thick and foamy initially, with a thin lacing that clings to the glass as I enjoy...

S: FRUIT! Sweet, spicy, delicious.

T: Follows the nose, and raisins, plums, figs and dates. dark fruit, sugar, spices, and wow.

M: thick, syrupy, and wonderful. tight carbonation. coats, and is full on the swallow.

O: Great beer. would definitely enjoy again, and will look for the RED to compare. (494 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Gouden Carolus Blue on tap at the Thirsty Monk in Asheville. {review largely confirmed and lightly tweaked based on bottles consumed April 2014 and 2015}

Very dark reddish-brown; clear, with a small but very durable head. Decent lacing.

Nice, fruity, plum dominated aroma. Slight solvent-like note to the flavor, probably an alcohol ester. Still, not terribly boozy for 11% ABV. Raisins and dates in the flavor.

Medum plus body; very smooth.

O: a little disappointing given my very high expectations. (505 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured from tap into signature chalice at flying saucer in charlotte, NC.
Deep brown/ruby color with half finger of white foam. Nice sweet dark malts and dried fruit aroma. Similar flavor...dried fruit and dark coffee and lots of chocolate malts. Scary easy to drink as the abv is +10. Really nice brew, but a tad over sweet for me. (332 characters)

Photo of deereless
4.19/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Finger of foam that fell pretty quickly leaving a few spots of lace along the interior of the glass, deep burgundy to maroon in color, nice presentation in a caged and corked bottle – 4.25, S: Strong aromas of plums, figs and molasses, lots of distinct smells that remind me of maraschino cherries and fruitcake, some chalkiness and a touch of candied sugar – 4.50, T: Slightly medicinal, significant alcohol burn, sweet caramel malt flavors as well as dark fruits including, sweetness borders on cloying, great deal of spiciness and even a bit of port, lots going on in this beer – 4.25, M: Creamy and velvety with a drying aftertaste presumably from the high alcohol – 3.50, D: A very nice example of the style though a slight departure from the Belgian Strong Dark Ale that I tend to prefer, incredibly complex and turning up new flavors and smells by the sip – 4.00 (882 characters)

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

From: Binny's, Champaign, IL
Date: 2012 release
Glass: New Belgium globe glass

Het Anker has an excellent Belgian Strong Dark Ale with Cuvee van de Keizer Blauw. The beer manages to combine a substantial dried fruit sweetness with some spices, yet never come across as cloying or even boring. The thick, heavy mouthfeel of the beer reinforces the flavors and adds another, pleasant dimension to the beer. Dangerously drinkable and delicious, you'd never guess that this was 11% ABV. One to definitely seek out and enjoy repeatedly.

Pours a 2cm tall mass of khaki colored foam, made up of tiny bubbles, creating a very dense, nearly meringue-like texture. Retention is excellent, lasting several minutes in a slow decline to a 0.5cm cap atop the body of the beer. Lacing is also excellent, a large, interconnected pattern of medium-thick squiggles and dots, coming together to resemble something like a maze pattern on the insides of the glass. Body is dark brown to black in color, light bringing out a very dark amber brown hue to the beer. Carbonation not visible through the functionally opaque body.

Aroma of dense, fruity sweetness, like spiced plums with amber Belgian candi sugar syrup, heavy sugars from caramel malts, dried dates and figs, anise, and port wine.

Front of palate experiences amber Belgian candi sugar syrup, ripe plums, anise, and caramelized sugar sweetness. Mid-palate switches to intense and dense flavors of dried plums, dates, and figs, all stewed in amber Belgian candi sugar syrup, notable anise, intensely sweetened light roasted malts. Back of palate finds syrupy amber Belgian candi sugar, caramelized malt sugars, dried dates, figs, and plums, slight ethanol. Aftertaste is of prunes, amber Belgian candi sugar, heavy caramel sweetness, anise, slight ethanol.

Beer is medium to medium-heavy in body with medium-low carbonation intensity, resulting in a foamy, smooth, fairly thick mouthfeel. Ethanol heat can be slightly felt in the nostrils and back of throat when the beer becomes warm, quite good for an 11% ABV beer. Closes semi-dry, with substantial stickiness on the palate. (2,120 characters)

Photo of Vladimiriuz
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Got the bottle of the year 2000, brewed at February the 24th of 2000.

Add the nice dark, ruby like in a Gouden Carolus chalice. There was no thick foam, the beer went complete dead when I poor it in the glass. Cause of there was no foam in it it have to do cause this is a 13 years old aged bottle. I heard that than the foam complete fades away when you pour it in the chalice.

Nice colour, and the nose gives a very warm and a red fruits appearance. Also some dark chocolate is there.

For a alcohol of 8,5% (not 11%, on this bottle what I have stands 8,5%), it is a very delicate and good to drink. The strongest of the alcohol is not there. The sparklings is a little on the background, not so much on this great fantastic beer.

The taste is very warm, delicate have some sweetness in it. Red fruits, some caramel, some chocolate. Very pleasant. One of my favourites and highly recommended for those who like warm and strong dark ales.

The 2000 years bottles are quite rare to get. Hopefully if you will find one! Than you have a very special and a fantastic collector's item. (1,086 characters)

Photo of wl0307
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(2006 Vintage) Coming in a 750ml straight brown bottle, bottle-conditioned, corked and caged; BB 27/02/16, served cool in a long-stemmed, narrow rimmed wine goblet.

Appearance: pours fairly dark brown colour, coming with a nice layer of dark beige froth settling slowly to a thin sheet to last, while the carbonation is generally very mild after so many years of ageing in the bottle.
Smell: full of lightly stale and sour-sweet raisins, black cherries, jammy black prunes, fig jam and black sugar on the nose, uplifted by a wave of wonderfully lively and creamy floral&fruity esters with an interesting touch of fragrant hop resins and honey comb, which manifest following a few good swirls; the base remains oily dark malty, with hints of Munich malts and burned caramel. All in all, the smell is very much like an old-style, darker-hued barlywine boosted with extra sugary notes and esters. Also a mild hint of warming alc. is revealed in the remote corner, but never so pronounced.
Taste: the carbonation is still softly tingling after so many years of ageing, underlining a complex and lovely profile of smooth, prune-ish fruitiness and mixed dried forest berries, against a rather light & soothing dark malt background with additional spicy & sour-sweet fruity elements; the mid-taste turns mildly dry as well as estery, leaving lingering undertones and aroma of delicious black prunes, black sugar, and a more faint presence of liquorice candy in the end. The flavour is in general quite sweet, and still tastes very different than an English barleywine in lacking a lightly sherry-like palate in the end, whereas the supplement of fruity esters is definitely welcomed to help reach a balance.
Mouthfeel & Overall: soft and lubricating on the palate, this full-bodied and fulsome vintage strong ale is absolutely gorgeous, ageing well following a good 7 years in the bottle, never tasting sickly or heavy as far as my palate is concerned. The time has been well spent, I think, but this is not to say a younger vintage would’ve been any less complex. (2,061 characters)

Photo of polloenfuego
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2014 bottle

This is a beer that lives up to its reputation. Pours a beautiful deep dark brown with a thin head. The smell is pure Belgian. Dark fruits, malts, Candi and yeast. The taste is rich and sweet and has potential to improve with age. One of the standards of the style, and a fantastic sipper. (305 characters)

Photo of Ricelikesbeer
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An old seasonal classic, I really need to set some of these beauties aside for aging and side by sides.

A: murky brown, slightly purple or ruby in certain lights or lack thereof; slight head and not overly carbonated

S: burnt malts, cherries, plums, malt malt malt, candy syrup, prunes, some slight melanoidins, estery dark fruit, and raspberries.

T: more dark fruit, and slightly tart (especially when paired with food.) Some heavy caramel sweetness, but not in a cloying way. the dark fruit melds well with the sweetness, and the flavor is dry enough to not overwhelm despite the large nature of the beer. Complex and you can find nuances as the beer warms or ages.

M: thick but not chewy, It remains deceptively light despite the residual sugar and the lower carbonation.

O: I'm amazed that such a monster can be so well balanced, and the obvious lack of hops presence (whatsoever) can still lend to a dry, balanced beer. The beer is tilted toward the malt, caramel, and dark fruit flavors of a classic quad/strong dark ale, but this one remains a classic in my eyes, and the expected gummy/ sugary flavors of the Corolus yeast are tamed by the candy sugars and residual sugar of the malt monster. I will continue to buy these each year for the rest of my life. (1,273 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
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 Rutager
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Appearance. Pours a clear, deep amber-brown with a finger of off-white, maybe light khaki head.

Smell. Spicy belgian yeast, demerara sugar and tobacco, caramel, and some raisins and candied cherries.

Taste. Raisins and brown sugar, belgian yeast, tobacco, cloves, and caramel. Very nice.

Mouthfeel. Fuller body, medium carbonation, just a bit sticky.

Overall. Much better than I expected it to be. Good stuff. (413 characters)

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
95 out of 100 based on 859 ratings.