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)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2002

BEER STATS
Reviews:
878
Ratings:
1,794
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
14.69%
 
 
Wants:
249
Gots:
325
For Trade:
17
User Reviews
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Reviews: 878 | Ratings: 1,794
Reviews by kegerator:
Photo of kegerator
4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle. All black with a black ribbon that states "Grand Cru of the Emperor" bottled in 2004 and 10% abv.
Pours a deep brown with a nice 1 inch head that sticks around and leaves good lacing. Aroma was faint at best but got stronger as it warmed. Aromas of plums and raisins with some wine like esters and slight alcohol in the background.
Taste was all malt, caramel, sweet, raisiny with hints of dried fruits. It was full bodied yet smooth and danced on the tongue slightly leaving a nice alcohol warmth in the stomach. Very nice beer indeed.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4.97/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark, reddish-brown in color with a gorgeous head. This one looks serious.

Smell - This is grand cru heaven. The malt base is covered in sweet toffee, caramel, and orange flavors that are big as Mt. Rainier. The brown sugar sweetness is almost palatable on the nose.

Taste - This is perfection. The deep, sweet flavors of brown sugar, orange, liquid toffee, and caramel meld together in an incredible blend. The slightly toasted malt flavors are there as well, but this is all about that sticky, sweet taste of sugary perfections that is the Belgian Grand Cru. There's also just a hint of alcohol notes to warn of the typically high 10.0 ABV.

The chewy nature of this flavor is complimented by hearty plums, some tobacco, thick, rich apricots, and maybe even some apples. This is sugar at its best.

Mouthfeel - The slight carbonation, in accordance with the style, is complimented by the amazing buttery smoothness of the sugary ingredients.

Drinkability - If you have a sweet tooth and love fine Belgian ales, this is the one for you. God forbid you should be a Grand Cru fan - you HAVE to try this ale.

Comments - The label reads, "Gouden Carolus," over the top and, "Carolus D'or," on the bottom. There's a blue banner with gold writing that looks to be labeled diagonally across the bottle, although it is clearly part of the manufactured label, that reads, "Grand Cru of the Emperor." This is indeed fit for royalty.

Update - I popped a vintage 2000 in 2004. The aroma is even deeper than when it was fresh, but the flavors were washed out a bit. The musty, dirty, cellared flavors though were a delight. Four years is probably too old for this guy; maybe two or three max. It has been my experience that Grand Crus are usually good fresh and almost always peak at a year or two in the cellar.

Update - I had a 2005 at the end of the 2005 year. I'm convinced that this brew should not be cellared.

Fresh this is absolutely incredible! It's really one of the best beers that I've ever had. It represents exactly to me what I think of when hearing the term "grand cru". It's thick yet super sweet. It is incredibly complex. It melts in your mouth. It makes you feel like a king.

Update - I had a 2010 in 2010 just to test my theory that Grand Crus are really just cellared BSDAs and I think I proved my point. This is smooth, well-aged, with even some musty characters, and is incredibly drinkable after just a few months in the bottle.

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Photo of JMS1512
4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On the docket: 750 mL cork and cage bottle of Brouwerij Het Anker’s Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) bottled: 2/24/2012

Poured into: Hand-washed Maredsous stemmed goblet

S: A luxurious raisin-brown body sits beneath a beige head that builds, then dies. Some soapish suds hang around, plus a round bubble-peninsula formed on one side of the goblet.

A: A date-lover’s dream. Rich aroma of dark fruit, fig, dates. Plums. Subtle spicy phenols, and tell-tale fruity yeast esters (plus a small hint of bubblegum). A bouquet fit for a king (or an emperor). The hops here are quite muted at the outset. The alcohol too, is well integrated into the beer, as I can’t detect from sniffing this beauty that it’s 11% abv.

T: Oh. My. God. Dark notes of molasses, Belgian candi-sugar, bittersweet chocolate. Fruit overtures of… is that raspberry? A slightly tart and medicinal cherry. Plums. Dates and figs bow to the tongue. This guy also contains port notes (not to be confused with Portnoy- an emperor in his own right). Hey, don’t forget the light impression of leather and tobacco– that one takes a bit to show up, but it’s there. Call me a joker, but I also get a little bit of soy sauce and yeah, I’ll go there- umami. Just a hint of bitterness and astringency, but in a pleasant way.

F: I don’t say this often about mouthfeel, but this beer has it all. It possesses great carbonation, especially on the roof of the mouth. Slick and regal, and at the same time, made deceptively light due to the aforementioned carbonation. It’s got a long finish, and this is where the alcohol is most present. Give it a few seconds. A rampant lion, that booze.

O: This Belgian Strong Dark is more than capable of expanding his empire into your mouth and subjugating your senses. However, this is more of a friendly annexation, not a hostile-takeover. Though I’m not truly an expert (in my head I am), I’d say it’s fair to theorize that an older bottle might have more port, and a younger bottle feel a bit hotter in the alcohol department. 4 years? Perfect. Though this is not Chimay Grand Reserve, this is truly a regal libation.

S: 4 A: 4.25 T: 4.75 F: 4.5 O: 4.5

Suggested food pairing: Korean beef barbecue, creamy and pungent cheese, fruit cakes, candied fruit

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Photo of spacecake9
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

I was checking out beers in my local beer store and decided not to buy anything unless it jumped out at me. Then I saw this. Been on a Belgian kick lately so here we go.
A - Pours a dark brown with 1 finger head of tight little bubbles. In the light you get amber around the edges.
A - Aroma is raisins or figs.
T - Flavor is - wonderful. Sweet, dark fruit, raisiny, with a little bite of alcohol.
M - Quite carbonated, medium body.
O - Wow, I really like this. Definitely going back to buy a few more. Outstanding! Whenever I have a beer like this I wonder why I drink anything else.

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Photo of stortore
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml into a tulip, 2014 bottle dated 4/3/14.

Dark for the style. Decent, tight head. Clings to the glass after the head dissipates. Smells of malt, caramel. A little yeasty, a hint of coffee. Taste is pretty incredible. Sweet and malty. Getting some raisins and dates, caramel continues from the nose. Very nicely carbonated, coats the tongue.

This is an awesome beer that should be on everyone's list to try. Seeing other recent reviews, I guess I should get another and let it age? Where's my car keys?

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Photo of Libeertarian
3.81/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Vintage 2013. I think (and hope) this one will improve with age. Not to say it was an awful beer. (It's mainly because I have 3 more and generally get a kick out of the fact that you can age a beer).

Semi-opaque, wine-dark brown. Nearly black. As I drink it and look down, brightens nearly to bronze or sienna. Foamy, medium-retention head. Film forming and quite lacy. Aromatically, it's boozy sweetness, light banana and other esters, spicy phenols, roasted malts. Together, very much like balsamic vinegar. Tastes a bit too estery for my normal drinking palate, but that's okay since this beer is meant to be sipped. Good opportunity to pair it with something that will make it seem less sweet. Other than that, it's pretty much all malt. Alcohol is mostly blended with esters and there is no hop-character or even spice to speak of. Plenty of carbonation, but gentle and smooth drinking. Thick, a little chewy. ABV and sweetness make for a wet finish, with a little bit of that warming/tingling sensation, and a slight burn going down. In the mouth, overall, it's like cola syrup with rum and tonic water.

Anyone catch the Homer (not Simpson) reference?

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Photo of Tele
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Serving Type: Bottle (2015 vintage)
Consumed: 1.13.16

A: 4.5 Pours a slightly hazy, reddish-brown. The large khaki head lasts a few minutes and leaves lots of lace in the glass.

S: 4.25 Smells a bit oxidized at first – musty basement and a bit of cardboard. Caramel, vanilla, and raisins come through as the beer warms. As does the Belgian yeast with lots of phenols and spice.

T: 4.5 Starts off rather sweet but tons of flavor to balance it out. Toffee, raisins, caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, and clove are right up front with a bit of ground coffee, dark chocolate, and mild oxidized flavors in the background. Just a hint of booziness and bitterness lingering on the finish.

M: 4.75 Really terrific feeling beer with just the right amount of carbonation. Quite drinkable considering the abv and how much flavor there is; I think the slightly dry finish helps in this regard.

O: 4.5 Pretty great Belgian strong ale. Up there with some of the best quads.

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Photo of desertcom1
4.93/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I consider this one of my favorite sipping beers. The Belgians have been brewing beer for hundreds of years and I think they nailed this one for a BSDA. I totally understand why they call this the "Grand Cru of the Emperor". This heavy bodied beer pours a dark ruby red with a fine frothy head. It has a complex taste of caramelized malts, raisins and figs come to mind, maybe a little cardamon with a pinch of allspice. This beer/wine is intended to be drunk at around 52 to 54 degrees F. I know we Americans like ice cold beer but this really goes down good at that temperature. I honestly can't get enough of this beer. My hats off to Charles Leclef of the Van Breedam family for introducing this beer in 1999. Thanks Charlie, keep it com'en.

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Photo of khmel
4.74/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a deep, opaque brown with a small, light tan head with decent retention. Nice lacing. The nose is caramel, molasses, mascerated cherries, and malt/wort — with a hint of homemade marshmallow. The flavor is deep and complex. Sweet, caramel malt flavors, cherries, with some more bitter bourbon notes towards the finish. The mouthfeel is rich and silky. Really extravagant with very mild carbonation and a slightly dry finish. This beer really is exquisite and should be savored. Try it!

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Photo of MrDell
4.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

16.04.2016

Gouden Carolus – Cuvée van de Keizer Blauw 2014
Belgian Strong Dark Ale – 11% - 750ml Bottle – Brewed 24.02.2014 - Best before 23.06.2024


Appearance: Loads of smoke when I popped the cork on this one. Pots a deep brown with one finger off white head. Very lively, and noisy, carbonation. Loads of lacing being left on the glass. Looks very nice served from the 750ml corked bottle into the correct, gold rimmed, glass.

Aroma: Tobacco, dried dark fruits. Smells a little musty. Dark malts and burnt toffee. Can just pick up the alcohol but it's not overpowering considering the ABV. Licquorice and all the classic dark Belgian strong ale aromas.

Taste: WOW! Very complex and an absolutely huge finish. Very sweet malt upfront, then a huge hit of yeast flavour and then strong liquorice, dark fruits and alcohol. The finish is phenomenal and goes on evolving forever. It's a difficult one to describe as there is so much going on and it's all good. I’m also getting black treacle, demarara sugar and golden syrup (sounds sickly, and while it is sweet, it is not overly sweet like some). Reminds me of a nice port wine, but with the added bonus of all of the above flavours.

Mouthfeel: Full bodied, just the right amount of carbonation. Perfect for the style.

Overall: This is an extreme beer from Belgium, its very strong, very dark and very complex. This bottle is two years old and tastes absolutely fantastic but I can tell that any younger and it would be too harsh. This is one of those beers that needs time to soften and is then going to get better and better. Looking forward to sampling this again at 5 years old. For now though, this is the best beer I've had in a long time. 10/10.

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

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

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Photo of don1481
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of braugon
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 bottle purchase in 2006, cellared 6 months at 55-60 degrees F.

Pours a bubbly dark chestnut, almost mahogany with purple-ruby highlights. Lace is thick, clingy, and with minute yeast particles floating in it.

Smells very yeasty with rum, raisons, fruit bread, toffee, and some licorice. Kind of boozy and quite candy like.

Tastes immediately warming and boozy with a real sweet, candied sugar sensation. Smooth and mellows as you drink it but manages to keep a zesty edge. Toffee, orange-chocolates, sugarcane rum, cloveish spice, and raisons swell into torrents of flavor.

Very drinkable. Strong and boozy yet easy to down. A 750 is gone in minutes.

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Photo of beerhunter13
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

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

Bottle. 2009 vintage.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of t2grogan
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of atomeyes
4.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had a bottle I brought from Amsterdam. 2007 vintage. cellared it and we decided to have it tonight.

Very little head upon pouring. it was a beautiful murky brown colour with a slurry-like consistency. you could see little pockets of carbonation in it. some yeasties floated to the top of our chalices.

I couldn't really discover a strong bouquet. Fig is present, but not punching me in the nose.

Flavour: I assume its the aging that did it. so tasty. it had a cognac aftertaste, or almost like Cherry Coke. That sweet with a weee bit of sour (not strong) was delicious. cannot taste any alcohol whatsoever. just told my wife that its an 11% alcohol beer and she adamantly said NO! The cherry coke comment could be felt in the aftertaste...that sour with some underlying cola bitterness. its a reasonably sweet beer with that dark molasses/fig flavour you expect from this type of dark beer.

Mouthfeel: very smooth.

Overall: i'd buy this and cellar it in a heartbeat. we had another bottle of this that we opened 2 years ago and we were relatively unimpressed. this cellared one, tho....yeah. me likies.

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Photo of brownbeer
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 Vintage

A- poured red-brown with a small frothy head into a Chimay glass.

S- Rum cake, dried raisiny fruit, port- like grapiness and a doughy yeastiness. Rich and complex.

T- Powerful plum and raisin notes, caramel and apple, fruity yeast character and light carbonation with full body hits about mid-palate, swift alcohol. Similar to a Rochefort 10 but with bolder flavors IMO.

A really solid, loveable Belgian. A pleasure, too bad it's the last one of these at my local store.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.46/5  rDev +4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage Sampled January 2014

APPEARANCE- Deep bronze with ruby highlights, chill haze that gradually improves with warmth, and low, off-white head with very poor retention and little lace. No legs.

NOSE- big spicy red grape aroma hits first, pinot noir?,...notes of licorice and of course, big, deep, caramel maltiness, cherry skin and plum skin, dates, creamy character of vanilla and cinnamon probably attributable to oxidized alcohol, some acetlaldehyde and a hint of fusel, complex, intense, and deep aroma. Lovely.

FLAVOR- thick base of caramel, cream, and amber honey supports very subdued phenols, moderate-strong dark fruit esters including a notable blackberry, and a brighter raspberry character. More licorice character, a dusting of walnut, hints of dark rum, very faint hint of orange rind lurks far beneath the surface, pleasantly minty here and there... damn. Huge vanilla in the finish. Maybe a little diacetyl, but you really gotta hunt for it w all the other stuff going on... no noticeable hop bitterness, though I suspect some portion of the licorice/mint/blackberry thing must be hop-derived. I swear for split second I get a note of kiwi. I'd do desperate things to get crème brulee next to this beer, cuz I swear theres one in it, garnishes and all.

MF- The hallmark of all Het Anker's ales is unquestionably the rich, luxurious, velvety, creamy mouthfeel. This is full-bodied, naturally, but never heavy on the palate. I will fault this vintage for retaining a little heat over the years, and going lightly astringent...probably from oxidation. Medium and beautifully fine carbonation.

OVERALL- I have at this point had 3 or 4 bottles of Cuvee van de Kaizer, both blue and red. I am in the habit of consuming them between 3-5 years old. I have been both beautifully rewarded and horribly disappointed. I'm sure it all comes down to storage practices. If you are into cellaring beer, this is certainly one to try, and I'm sure a vertical project would be a very enjoyable experiment. I am always caught off-guard over and over by how Het Anker's huge, full-bodied beers float on the palate and offer up so many bright and spritely flavors.

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Photo of theParish
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of mplittman
5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of SkiBum22
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - It pours a purple brown opaque color with excellent lacing and a 2 finger head that hung around for a while.

S - Raisons, figs, brown sugar, green apples.

T - The taste follows the nose. This is a very sweet beer. Candied sugars seem to dominate, but yeasty breadiness couples with toffee nicely underneath. Flavors of dark fruits don't shine through as well on the taste as they did the nose.

M - Medium bodied, light burn from the alcohol in a good way.

O - A great belgian that I finally got around the try. Can't wait to try this with some age on it.

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Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
3.5/5  rDev -18.4%

Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with Jaargang 2007 on the label. Poured into a tulip glass, it was a pretty garnet color with a small white head. It had a pleasant dark fruit, spicy aroma. So far, so good. Downhill from there. It had a sweet, root beer taste. Noticeable alcohol, intrusive and medicinal. I had to work hard to finish the bottle.

I just had the 2008 version. I think I bought it without remembering my previous review. Which was a good thin, because this was far better than last year. The aroma was dark fruit and licorice. Taste was anise, dark fruit, and a good malt presence. Much more fun to drink.

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,794 ratings.
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