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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(Send Samples)
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 bruachan
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

i think i bought this at arrowine in arlington, va

my bottle says "grand cru of the emperor" but i won't split hairs
extremely pungent: the immediate area around my st. bernardus goblet is shot through with the smell of bready, yeasty, nutty, winey. up close i pick up complex odors of aging and some ethanol, along with that smooth roasted nuttiness i adore in rochefort

deep dark (but clear) ruby with inverted cascades of carbonation that keep a great billowy, creamy head alive. fantastic sheets of lacing

the flavor profile is just as complex as the nose. huge special B raisin and warming alcohol spice are preceded by a brief smooth nut character. a blackcurrant bitterness camoflauges well the 11% at the finish

not a particularly big mouthfeel, but enough to let all of the secrets linger

this is a fantastic brew. goddam (846 characters)

Photo of BillyB
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light.

Medium off white head.

Strong smell of wine and dark fruits such as plum and raison.

Strong alcohol aroma and taste, slightly sherry-like.

Taste of dark fruit, figs, raisons, plums. Not much hop aroma

or taste. More malty and candy sugar sweetness than hop

bitterness.

Quite drinkable for the alcohol content. (397 characters)

Photo of bennetj17
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Only about a 1/4 inch head on top, it dissipates speedily. The color is a deep brown/red or plum. Very cloudy. Somewhat bubbly. Smell is captivating with notes of wine, citrus fruits, honey, and alcohol. The taste is intense. Very strong malt flavors including rasins, candies, grapes, and brown sugar are present. Finish is strong and phenolic, and the alcohol rides a bit high. Has a rich feel with perfect carbonation. Very strong on malt, low on hops, its a slow sipper as the alcohol is not artfully hidden, but good nonetheless. (555 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 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 CDBeerDisappear
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a Nearly opaque reddish brown color with a fine, full head. Head dissipates to leave a ton of lacing, actually more like foam on the sides of the glass than lacing.

s Very fruity smell enhanced by the fact that I am drinking it warmer than the recommended 45 - 50 degrees. The aroma is that of dried dark fruits; raisins, prunes, with a pleasant rumminess.

t Tastes like a high alchol ale. My bottle says 10%. Sweet chocolate malt flavor.

m Feels good in my mouth, a little thin but again I am drinking it warm.

d I would drink this again and again. Too expensive to be an everyday beer but I will enjoy this ale many more times. (633 characters)

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

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a warm brown leather body that is opaque with a faint hint of light in the thin part of the chalice. The head is a nice creamy vanilla ice cream color with a few big bubbles on top. The head stays but turns into a thin film. This beer has some nice loose lacing all the way to the last drop.

S- The smell of sweet rich dark malt is evident even during the pour. Smells of dark brown sugar and brown malt also have a quality of Munich malt and some faint notes of dark fruit.

T- This beer has a faint sweetness to the dark malt with some dark brown sugar hints. The finish has a nice dry crystal malt taste with a carbonic fizz note and some soft alcohol.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with some soft champagne fizz through the sip. There is a very smooth alcohol warmth after the sip.

D- This is a nice smooth beer that has very good complexity although subtle. The dark sweet malts in the front are balanced by a dry light malt in the finish similar to that taste I get from a good fresh Kolsch. The alcohol is smooth but adds some character. My bottle says 8%ABV but it doesn't taste like that at all. (1,173 characters)

Photo of jaluria
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A highly drinkable & rich beer that is hard to put down.

Pours a rust-brown color, almost crimson with loads of foam that rests at the top of my glass and dissipates slowly leaving behind some lacing. Aromas of alcohol, plums, baked peaches, and melted sugar. The taste is just incredible with a blend of sweetness from different souces (various fruits, candy, etc.) that never overpowers but simply persists. Subtle spices and fruit flavors seem to pop up at different times. An elegant beer that exudes excellence and smoothness. The softness of this beers texture leaves a bit too be desired in the mouthfeel and aftertaste. However, the alcohol is well masked (seems more like a 7%-8% ABV) and the richness of the beer lends itself to be had again and again. (765 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My bottle is 8.5 ABV, not 11.

Beautiful dark mahogany hue, with ruby reflexes. Beautiful foam, creamy, brownish color, compact, sticking. And persitent.
The smell is sweet, velvety, with marzipan, yeast, breadcrust. A good velvety/alcoholic, typical of the Het Anker beers.
At the taste is very soft, with the same velvety /alcoholic notes, and a lot of marzipan again. And a good sweet and soft peaches velvet.
It has an effect of roundiness, that mitigates the alcohol, still present, but not too bothering. Full, soft. Even notes of cocoa and hazelnut.
Then red fruits, more evident in the aftertaste, where there are again the marzipan and cocoa notes. And, overall, the velvety/alcoholic character. Maybe, in the end, a little too alcoholic.
Medium-high body. (772 characters)

Photo of ggaughan
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What an exceptional beer. I have had it a few times in bottles over the past few years but having it on tap a few weeks back at Monk's was the best tasting so far.

This beer pours a very deep, clowdy brown color with a sweet brownish head to it. The smell is nice and sweet but don't let that food you, it is 11% of pure Belgian beauty.

It had a nice sweet/chocolately taste but not overpowering or too syrupy. What a rich and complex beeer. I think they get better each year they release it and the older bottles get better with age as well. (549 characters)

Photo of bark
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2005.

The liquid is somewhat cloudy; the colour is deep, deep amber. The low foam looks nice with the beige colour, the fine lacing and the small bubbles. There are more bubbles in the liquid than I have seen in any other beer.

A note of cacao/dark chocolate dominates the semi-sweet smell. I found a particular rum-flavour that usually indicates that the beer is matured on wooden casks and a sweet note of dried fruits (raisins).

The taste is sweet and creamy with a complex of dried fruits, raisins, strong wine and caramel sauce. There is no bitterness at all. It finishes with a strong flavour of dark, matured rum. The aftertaste is sweet with a dry, almost roasted touch of raisins and creamy chocolate.

The carbonation is gentle with small bubbles; the mouthfeel is creamy.

I have some friends that are almost religious when it comes to this beet. OK, it is a very fine Belgian ale, but not exceptional. Maybe it needs some more time to mature? (979 characters)

Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
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 AlexJ
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (787 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

25.4oz bottle from beerhandy as part of BIF 24. Thanks for the opportunity. Neck label notes "Jaargang 2005", corked and caged.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the bright burgundy brew. Headgrows for awhile, before settling down to drinkable levels after 10 minutes, with heavy foam lacing. Aroma is lightly spicy, with a banana sweetness . Taste is as good as the nose portended, with perhaps a little room for more flavor intensity, but I'm nit-picking. Mouthfeel is oh-so creamy and smooth, and drinkability is tremendous, especially for something of this abv. Just stupid drinkable. A brew fit for a king, in my book. (656 characters)

Photo of barknee
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sample is a 25.4 ounce Vintage dated bottle from the one-time, once a year, February 24th 2004 limited production. (A small quantity of this brew is made on this date each year)
Pours a magnificent deep dark cloudy brownish-amber color, with some suspended particulate. A deep ½” mocha colored head, dissipates to a slick on top. The nose of massively rich butterscotch sours from the glass and is accompanied by warm caramelized sweet malts. The nose is unusual and distinguished; building uncontrollable anticipation for the tasting, which promises to be something very special.
OMG! The taste is out of this world!! Mature & complex roasted malts and fresh young turbinado sugar on the tip of the tongue. This (I almost wrote wine) brew is multi-dimensional, perfectly balanced and unbelievably delicious. The alcohol, at 10%, is completely undetectable, as tons of flavors impact the entire mouth. The interaction of the nose of this creation, and the simultaneous tasting of it is as harmonious as it gets; the very heady butterscotch with a negligible sour lining wrapped gently around the nose, and the impact of the slightly sweet caramelzation of the malts is virtually indescribable.
This brew you would expect to be a broodingly rich and flabby mess from the massiveness of the nose. That’s the surprise; it is lean to medium bodied, but super-concentrated on flavor, highly refined and flamboyant. The essence of the taste is remotely reminiscent to a lighthearted version of a fine young unadulterated tawny port, such as Taylor Fladgate’s 10 year. The mouthfeel is primo, perfect acid-sugar ratio, light and clean in the mouth, you could drink this endlessly. You would never expect this of the mouthfeel based on the unbelievable massiveness of the nose. The flavors last more than a minute in the mouth.
I will go on record to say that this is the most exciting and complex brew I have ever had the pleasure of partaking. It is indeed a nectar of and for the gods, formulated and prepared with the utmost of love and respect, it is a rare opportunity that simply cannot be missed. Bravo!! (2,112 characters)

Photo of carln26
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, very clear with a thick off-whiye head. The head leaves a nice lace as I drink the beer. Wonderful aroma of caramel, figs, sherry, and a little bit of mandarin orange. There’s just a little spice (cloves I believe) on the back end. The taste has a bit of toffee/pralines with more of the sherry. Orange and clove come across in the finish. Just a touch of alcohol heat. Full, mildly oily mouth feel. Good drinkability. Thanks so much to Jake of 33 who got this for me. (487 characters)

Photo of stof0048
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a Watou chalice. Very deep brown with a hint of red when held in the light. Very little to no head with lacing that sticks to the glass.

S: A bit of a molasses smell, somewhat malty. Sweet, dark candies also present.

T: Decadent. Dark candy, a slight hint of anise, malt, amost no hop taste, alcohol is present but nicely balanced and faintly noticeable. Plums, brown sugar, molasses...

M: Goes down like silk. Very creamy mouthfeel with a bit of bite from the alcohol when you let it sit on your tongue for a moment.

D: Very easy to drink despite alcohol content. Don't know if I'd be able to polish off multiple bottles, but it's a wonderful beer that is wonderful in every aspect. Highly recommend! (728 characters)

Photo of Lnedrive14
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Rochefort chalice from a 750ml bottle. 2005.

The bottle says it gets better with age, but I couldn't wait. It pours a rich mahagony with a small head. Reminds me of the St. Bernadus. Beautiful beautiful.

Fruity smell is mellowed by the maltiness. Figs, cloves, and maybe even a little banana really come out in this brew. Very complex and delicious.

It tastes a bit sweeter than I had anticipated. Definitely malty, but slightly more subdued than other beers of similar style. It's an amazing brew, but I do think it will become more complex with age. Wish I had another bottle to cellar.

I don't think I've ever enjoyed having a beer in my mouth more than this. I almost wanted to drink faster just so I could get an explosion of it all at once, but at the same time I didn't want the experience to be over so fast. I didn't even taste the alcohol.

This is one of the best brews I've ever had. I think I enjoyed the St. Bernadus 12 a bit more, but this one might have had even more complexity to it.

Go grab one. Now! (1,054 characters)

Photo of gimmehead
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Note: 2003 vintage consumed 6/15/05

A rich, burgundy brown hued brew with a soft, sticky beige head that lasts forever and lovingly coats the glass. Smell is very sweet; candy sugar and buttery malts, cotton candy springs to mind. I just couldn't get enough of the aroma, I stuck my face in the chalice and breathed deeply for the better part of half an hour. It has a beautiful estery, vinous quality which fades to rich sweetness and hints of lush dark fruits. Amazing. If it tastes like it smells I'm afraid I'll weep. Nothing for it but to part lips and pour... sweet mercy, it does! Holding back sobs of joy I enjoy the soft vinous character, the ripe apples and cherries. The buttery malts and candy sugar are toned down a bit compared to the nose but still very flavorful. The finish is very winey and has a perfect alcohol warmth. The mouthfeel is perfect as well, thick and substantial with some soft carbonation tickle. Just right.

I have never reviewed a beer as a perfect 5 before, and I do so with some trepidation. How can a beer be perfect? Can it not be improved upon? Questions that I don't take lightly. The only answer I can come up with is that this is simply the best beer I've ever had. Every aspect was perfect in my mind: sweetness, fruityness well blended alcohol, etc. This is the standard to which I'll hold all Quads and Belgian Strong Darks to. The bar is set. (1,395 characters)

Photo of whynot44
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish mahogany color with a moderate fluffy tan head that disipates to just a ring fairly quickly but still leaves some decent lace.

The aroma is figs, plums, raisins, caramel, yeasty fresh bread, rum.

The taste is winy and fruity with nuts, brown sugar, caramel and spicy, peppery, yeasty bread - brandy soaked fruitcake without the lumps. Full bodied and a little sweet up front but balnced by the spiciness and alcohol content. Smooth and easy to sip.

Definitely recomended. (490 characters)

Photo of neonbrown82
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer is hardcore. I'm glad I had a friend to share it with, because I got a hell of a buzz off of only half of the 750mL bottle. Pours to a dark nutty brownish amber color with very little head. Leaves no lacing on the glass, but does leave a syrupy film of sorts.

The smell is great. Smells very malty and sweet with some dark fruity esters and candi sugar. Below that is a bit of a vanilla rum bozziness. I could bury my nose in this for quite some time, and I did.

The taste is just as good as the nose. Very sweet at first, but the flavors begin to really show as it warms from cellar temp. The alcohol is quite noticiable, but not harsh. Very mellow, but with a decent bite to let you know it's there.

The drinkability is high on the "would I try it again" scale, but on the sessionability scale this scores very low. This stuff is hella strong... a sipper to the core of its very being. Quite savoury indeed. (928 characters)

Photo of ybnorml
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First This beer is called "Grand Cru of the Emperor" Dated 2003 and the label says 10% by Volume.
An opaque brown beer . Has a small egg shell white head and a little bit of lace. The aroma is a strong sweet dried fruit , figs, raisins and plums. There is a soft doughy aroma in the background with the alcohol. The taste is ful of dried fruit, some fig, then some raisin, some plum, then back to fig etc. All with a hint of tabacco at the back of the throat and a dry finish. I finisihed off the whole bottle while eating dinner . That is how easy drinking this is. A real treat. I Will Be Looking For More! (610 characters)

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice crystal clear deep amber brown with a tan and frothy head which rose tall and fell slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was very fruity with a slightly floral aspect. The fruits were dark and included raisins and prunes/plums. Also presence was a peppery spice and Belgian yeast characteristic. A strong dark caramel was present as well as some higher alcohol phenolics.

The flavor was deep dark caramel with a strong fruit component of prunes coupled with plums and raisins. The fruit was strong and biscuity with fruit in the beginning, middle and end. The flavor contained a nice spice which was peppery and also had some other spice aspects which were not dicernable. The flavor was slightly sweet and malty but was restrained with the other flavors and the alcohol level of the beer.

The finish was dry with a lasting deep dark caramel and fruit flavor that lingers well into the aftertaste. The body was medium with a nice carbonation level. The alcohol was prevalent throughout. With warming after consumption being a strong component of the beer. As the beer warmed a nutty characteristic and a strong sweetness emerged in the flavor after consumption.

750 ml corked and bailed bottle. 2005 on neck label. $8 at Wine Warehouse in Charlottesville, VA. Label says 10% ABV. (1,322 characters)

Photo of texashammer
3.43/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

very dark but shows red notes in light. extremely thick head. very pretty.
smells of candy sugar and earthy sweetness and alcohol. tastes like molasses. warming alcohol. some floral notes, and caramel, and more molasses.
mouthfeel is somewhat slick, very full and kind of syrupy. not something I'm terribly excited about. (323 characters)

Photo of beerhandy
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 bottle..Duvel Tulip
Pours murky brown with a beige head that fades to a foam lace .As it warms it clears to a rich copper.

Aroma is of dark jaggery, alcohol and some fruitiness maybe liquid mincemeat

Taste is very sweet and rich with no hops. Dark candy sugar and lots of it. Hints of spiciness nutmeg maybe cinnamon it’s very subtle. Finishes sweet with a warming from the alcohol

Medium to full mouth feel its so full of residual sugar its hard to place
If you like sweet dark Belgians this is a keeper (522 characters)

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