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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.

865 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 865
Hads: 1,722
Avg: 4.29
pDev: 14.69%
Wants: 233
Gots: 300 | 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: 865 | Hads: 1,722
Photo of GeorgiaBeerGuy
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

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Photo of chinchill
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.06/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of deereless
4.19/5  rDev -2.3%
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

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Photo of falloutsnow
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

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Photo of Vladimiriuz
3.87/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of wl0307
4.16/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.48/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of Ricelikesbeer
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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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.

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Photo of Rutager
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of themind
3.66/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok this is a well crafted beer. Has a slight kinda sour aspect to it and had a broad flavor profile. I really cant narrow it down, almost slightly sweet. Has very good carbonation and the taste is good. It's very different, then again I just drank an Everett which was Legendary. All in all this is a good beer and worth drinking.

Bottom Line: Well made beer!

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Photo of Blindpigbiz
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

VAN DE KEIZER BLEAUW '09; consumed in 2011


Smell: neutral

Taste: barley-wine, dark-ripened plums, cognac, black licorice, maraschino cherries, candied sugar and warm scotch

Pair this beer with smoked goose, a rare filet minion, a truffle wagyu burger with blue cheese, or a funnel cake with Madagascar vanilla bean ice cream with a dark-fruit syrup

This beer is fantastic! Normally for beer, or any kind of liquor, one has to search for flavor and have an immensely discerning palette in order to extract all of the flavors; not this time. This beer aged is probably the BEST DARK BEER EVER MADE, or at least that I've tried. This beer brazenly smacks you in the face and tells you what it tastes like; it's like hunting in a forest with no trees and large game animals at a stand still; the flavors are immensely dominant.

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Photo of teromous
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Bottle

A: A dark shade of brown, but still retains some color in the body. The thin creamy head is a light tan color, and quickly fades to a ring in the glass. Minor spots and haphazard lines of lacing are left on the glass.

S: I get a bit of chocolate at first, and then it shoots to the scent of a raisin box, then the smell of banana bread.

T: There's a lot of flavor going on in there. Fig at first, followed by a faint taste of a cracker (like one of those multi-grain crackers), then some of the alcohol flavor floods in and is pushed out of the way by the taste of banana and a sweet cream flavor. After-taste is like a mild coffee, which does not persist on the palate.

M: The mouthfeel is very wonderful. It is an easy drinking beer that is heavy but not thick or syrupy. There is no alcohol burn.

O: Overall I really liked the beer and I would most definitely drink it again. It's a very good example of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. I did not find it too sweet, malty, or syrupy. I did find that it had a lot of flavor, complexity, and body. It is very easy to drink, but a person should be careful because of the high alcohol content that does not rear its head too much in the flavor or mouthfeel.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ML bottle poured into a snifter . vintage 2011.

pours a darker brown color with a very light head. smell is very sweet and the taste is even sweeter. strong raisin / fig taste. i wasn't expecting this to be so sweet, but it's a very nice surprise. tastes more like a quad. alcohol is very well hidden, i'd guess this was an 8%er as opposed to the 11% ABV. overall obviously this one is a sipper but one i'd seek out again. i'd like to try different years to experience the difference aging makes.

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Photo of bashiba
3.39/5  rDev -21%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured a murky dirty brown with a thin off white soap ring head.

The smell has some nice belgian yeast notes along with hints of fig, raison, and plum with a touch of banana esters. Very sweet candy like.

The flavor is overly sweet to me, almost just a big blast of brown sugar and dark fruit, not much else going on.

The mouthfeel is very creamy and silky smooth.

Not real high on my list of Belgian Darks.

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Photo of Tone
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark brown color. 1/4 inch head of an off-tan color. Good retention and good lacing. Smells of tartness, sourness, sweet malt, slight pale malt, and a hint of hop. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and clean, with a low carbonation level. Tastes of sweet malt, alcohol, slight pale malt, hint of roasted malt, slight hop, slight dark citrus, and slight yeast. Overall, good appearance, feel, body, and complexity.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Pours dark brown with a quickly fading head.
Nose shows chocolate fudge, rum and raisin, dried prunes, spicy phenols, golden syrup. Lovely.
Equally rich and decadent flavours. Brown sugar, rum and raisin, dried dark fruit, soft booze, gingerbread. Stunning.
Carbonation could be just a bit higher.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into a chalice glass

Appearance – The beer pours a chestnut-mahogany color with some red highlights shining through. Upon pouring there is a small tannish colored head that forms on the surface of the brew. The head fades very slowly over time, leaving a great level of lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is sweet of dark fruits, with a big dose of prune and raisin as well as a small amount of cherry. Mixed with the sweet fruit is a caramel and candied sugar aroma as well. While heaviest in the sweeter aromas there are other nice aromas present as well. An oaky and woody aroma as well as a nutty aroma meld well with the fruit sweet aromas. When all are mixed with a nice boozy rum like smell, a very pleasingly sweet and warming smell is put forth.

Taste – The taste begins with the big dark fruit aromas detected in the nose. Raisin, prune, cherry and fig all show up big at the start and are mixed with a bit of a roasted malt and vanilla. Some light yeasty notes bring with them a light banana and spice flavor more toward the middle of the taste. Along with the yeasty tastes so too comes a light caramel sweetness as well as a little bit of a woody taste. More toward the end a light booziness, much lighter then what would be expected from the nose, is sensed by the tongue. Overall a nice sweet and robust lightly warming flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average to slightly thinner side for a Belgian strong dark of 11% abv with a carbonation level that is on the average side. Both are nice for the sweeter dark fruit flavors of the brew and make this one a little too easy to drink even though it is at 11 % abv.

Overall – A rather nice Belgian strong dark with a big sweet dark fruit flavor and a nice lighter boozy and yeasty spiced flavor that rounds out the sweet well when mixed with a lighter malty taste. It is overall quite enjoyable.

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Photo of newton99
4.38/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pouring a very dark brown, black almost, with reddish brown highlights, this beer is capped with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention and very nice lacing. The nose is a spice bomb. A blend of mace, nutmeg and anise, with some eucalyptus, cola, mildly burnt sugar, this is a little too spiced for my liking. The cola notes here bring to mind discount sodas. Alcohol is reasonably well hidden. In addition, there's quite a bit of dark fruit present, with prunes and figs.

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Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Westmalle Chalice. 2012 vintage, probably a tad too cool when I first popped and poured.

A: A very dark chestnut / maple brown with a fair amount of murk to it. Even with an aggressive first pour, the head was less than a finger of caramel colored lacey head. Nice retention. Looked better on the second pour with nearly 2 fingers of thick Belgian head.

N: Amazingly complex aroma bucket. Primarily dark fruits like prunes, figs and raisins, but light citrusy and apple esters as well. Background of roasted nuts and sweet caramel malts. Smells very sweet and a bit boozy, but in a good way.

T: Wow. As expected, a very complex tasting beer which really evolved over the 45 minutes it took me to sip down this 750ml bottle. In a blind taste, I would guess this were a quadrupel, not a strong dark ale. A very sweet beer, actually a little too sweet for me, with an emphasis on sugared figs and very ripe prunes. Nice foundation of caramel malts is complemented by the slightest hint of pear or apples. But primary flavors are sweet dark fruits and roasted nutty malts. Delicious. I found this 11%ABV to be less well disguised than other BSDA / quads, and I think the sweetness kind of punctuated and accentuated the alcohol for me.

MF: A very smooth and silky, luxurious mouthfeel, on the lighter side of medium for me. A little more carbonation in the mouth than you see in the glass, but I would still call it a low carbonation beer. Pleasantly warming without being stinging or astringent.

Overall, this is a lovely beer. I'm sure it would age well, and I would recommend letting it warm to 52F before even popping the cork. Not something you could session and definitely a slow sipper, but this is a lovely , big Belgian Strong Dark Ale, with all the intricacy you would expect, and more.

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Photo of Rast
4.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle with cork blasted out rocket-style by fellow beer advocate, eastcoast153.

Appearance is near immaculate: deep ruby red with a dense light tan head. Lacy residue coats the glass interior over the course of consumption. Smell is fruity & delightful: prune notes over warm malt. Mouthfeel is smooth, rich, and creamy as all-get-out. Tastes royal: the prune and the malt play hopscotch across the courtyard of my tongue, like an emperor in waiting. Finishes as smooth as it began. Deceptively alcoholic. Please be sure to have a comrade to help you with the bottle. Who is Keizer Söze?

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Photo of Jimmys
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330mL bottle poured into tulip. bottled on 11/07/11. lot number 11059.

A: pretty murky chestnut hued body. head is combrised of tight bubbles that are more on the brown than white side. retention is great. TONS of lacing left behind. if the clarity was a little better it would have gotten the 5.

S: a little woody, super sweet. molasses. candied walnuts. caramel. pretty much every visit to the glass is making me think sugar. however, different sugary scents are much appreciated.

T: no glaring alcohol heat might be my favorite thing about this brew. tons of chewy, sweet candied fruit. that with some mild chocolate flavor makes for a lot of complexity on the palate. sweet without being cloying.

M: moderate amount of carb. you can tell there was some conditioning of the bottle variety. however, wouldn't have hated for a touch more fizz. full bodied.

D: do yourself a favor and let this thing warm up. I didn't even realize that this beer had a year plus on it when I picked it up from a Total Wine in VA. Glad it was tucked away on the bottom shelf and out of direct light. im would imagine it is not much different fresher, but I like it just like this. well done.

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Photo of glb3
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I didn't find a great deal of difference between this Belgian Strong Dark Ale and a top shelf Belgian Quad. I've had Westvleteren 12, and my 2011 Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) was not far behind. Both are great examples of the sweet candied fruit, high ABV, complex flavored, and finely crafted beers that Belgium is noted for. I've cellared some of my stash to drink in later years to see what changes occur. This was a beautiful thing to sip and savor from a snifter.

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Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4.64/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

750ml bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a very dark amber color with two fingers of extremely dense foam. Amazing retention. Even better lacing. It couldn't look better.

S: Strong prunes and raisins upfront in this beer - I get dried apricots behind it. Lots of orange bitters and light clove keep this beer from smelling too sweet. Actually extremely well balanced and fairly dry smelling for the style.

T: Prunes are still quite strong in this beer, but I get some caramel sweetness as well. The beer tastes sweeter than it smells. Orange bitters and cloves are still there to balance, but not nearly as strong as in the aroma. Aftertaste has some nutmeg and a bit of booze.

M: Medium thickness with fairly high, but very creamy carbonation.

O: Simply amazing. This is one of the most complex beers I've ever had, but it's so balanced. The taste is maybe a tad sweet, but I'm splitting hairs. An array of dark fruits, spice, a bit of caramel, what more do you want in a BSDA?

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
95 out of 100 based on 865 ratings.