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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) | Brouwerij Het Anker

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)
BA SCORE
4.3/5
Outstanding
1,861 Ratings
Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker
Belgium
hetanker.be

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
Ranking:
#553
Reviews:
898
Ratings:
1,861
pDev:
10.23%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
264
Gots:
345
Trade:
13
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,861 |  Reviews: 898
Photo of BobZ
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle, 2009 vintage, Poured into my Duvel Tulip.

Appearance: Deep dark brown, nice light tan head that builds initially to about an inch but quickly fades to about a 1/16", excellent lacing.

Smell: Wow, really nice nose with a caramel malty sweetness, dark fruits and nicely complex undertones.

Taste: Very delicious beer, deep complexity, but malty sweetness is up front, the dark fruit (raisin) comes through nicely. This is sweeter quad but not cloying at all.

Mouth feel: Extremely smooth and although sweet it does not coat the palate.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, maybe too much so due to the high ABV. It was very easy to down this whole bottle pretty quickly because it goes down so easily and so flavorful.

 728 characters

Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
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 SD-Alefan
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage
Pours a deep brown with brick red highlights in the light. A dense and creamy tan head. Spotty lace all down the glass.
The aroma is toffee, fig, raisin and winey.
The taste? It's complicated and layered. Toffee, caramel, fig, raisin, plum, prune. It's vinous
and sweet with a bit of banana in the aftertaste. Just a hint of warming alcohol, which is a bit surprising, given its strength.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooth with very little carbonation.
Overall, a great after-dinner sipper. Need to put a few away for some extended cellaring...

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Photo of tjthresh
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby reddish-brown with a light brown head. Aromas of caramelized raisins, cherries, licorice, and alcohol. A lot of the same flavors with a touch of smoke and heavier on the cherry. Full body with lots of carbonaton. Semi sweet finish. This is pretty damn yummy.

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Photo of scootny
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow. An amazing beer on the level of Chimay Blue. Lovely mahogany liquid with a tight, khaki head. A goodly about of lacing decorates the glass as gentle carbonation rises up and feeds a light covering that stays on top of the glass after a slow fade.

The nose offers sweet and spicy Belgian notes. Caramel and dark fruits. Lots of figs dates and raisins. Peppery alcohol and fresh dough. A slightly oaken touch.

A feel just short of luxurious.

Taste is otherworldly. So smooth and tasty. Lower bitterness really shows off the malt base. Caramel and those dark fruits. Some cherries and quite a bit of vanilla. Again so smooth and complex. It has notes of sherry and while sweet and malty up front surprisingly dry in its finish. I was drinking this with a Sunday night pasta and tomato sauce. Kicks any red wine in the whatever.

Feel is just short of luxurious. A superior creaminess. A perfect and surprisingly lighter weight. Not to say this had no girth. It does. Just a drinkable, medium body for such a strong beer.

This is a near perfect beer. Really.

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Photo of 0x4a64
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
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.

 1,831 characters

Photo of alcstradamus
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown/ruby pour with a monster 3 fingers of cascading head that leave being some nice lacing and retention.

The aroma is dark fruits up front with surprisingly subdued spiciness. Yeast, earthy hops, and some alcohol heat round out a nice nose.

The flavor starts out quite odd and unique. Dark fruits and a sweetness that is difficult to pinpoint engulf the mouth with tons of flavor. There are some spices in the finish, but they are subdued for the style. Alcohol is very slightly noticeable, but this drinks pretty damn well for 11%

The body is on the full side of medium and the carbonation is soft. Very good for the style.

Overall, this beer is a winner and is most definitely a world class BSDA. Rich and complex, yet easy drinking for the ABV. Right up there in the conversation with any top Belgian beer you can name.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark, hazy reddish-brown. Some orange highlights when held up to light. The head has a similar coloration and is quite tall, with good density and a thick, frothy texture. Retention is very sturdy. There is also plenty of sticky lacing that clings to the glass as the head glacially melts away.

S: Spicy, boozy, and sweet aromas are in contention here. Slight fruity notes contribute to a brandyish twang. Hints of apple and raisin. Spicy notes of tobacco. Sweet honey and toffee/caramel character.

T: Restrained and well-blended in flavor. Some definite sweetness up front: light breadiness accompanied by honey and toffee notes. Fruity notes of raisin, plum, and apple peel, contributing a pleasant, vague tartness. Alcohol is noticeable and lends lots of character - little roughness or heat, mostly just a brandy/bourbon flavor that works really well with a mild tobacco spiciness. Mildly phenolic, but much less so than many Belgian ales.

M: A wonderfully luscious, thick mouthfeel. Sticky but never quite cloying, with a perfect, sipworthy heftiness. Carbonation is just less than medium.

D: Just an excellent beer - I just drank the 2009 version and this drinks amazingly easily for 11% abv. The alcohol is still abundantly present, but it adds as much to this beer as it has with anything else I've tried. Supremely well-blended and articulate. Instantly one of my favorite Belgians.

 1,409 characters

Photo of HOMEPL8
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cheah
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of RochefortChris
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of captaincoffee
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a medium head that leaves a lot of lace. Nose is big for a quad with lots of sweet dark malt, dried fruits, and brown bread. Taste is similar with a bit more risidual sweetness than most. Damn...This is up there with the top quads. Really big flavor while retaining balance. Honestly in the same league with R10, StB12, and W12. Damn good.

 367 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SStein
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Priced at just 9.99 this brew is a steal, one of the most complex and fortifying Belgian ales I've tasted to date. I used to drink this beer when it just had the Blue sticker running across the 750ml bottle. I like the new packaging, pretty snazzy. It pours a dark ruby brown body with a huge effervescent light tan head. Fine layers of Belgian style lacing line my chalice, what a nice visual experience.

Aromatics to go along with this brew include roasted caramel malts and candied sugar coated plums and raisins with some green apples flowing as well. Mild spicy yeast backing reminiscient of a great strong Belgian dark ale.

Flavor flows heavy with caramel and mild vanilla with slight oak like finish. I know it has never touched the barrel but this brew has something that brings that charateristic to mind. Bold juicy malts with roasted edges are so nice in a Belgian Strong ale, soothing alcohol edges surround the palate with tart fruit playing it's role to entice and deliver quite the sensory experience.

Mouthfeel weighs in with some effervescent attributes but it also weighs in with some heavy carmael malts and alcohol. A toasted burnt caramel flavor with some sticky residual sugars that burn and soothe the throat almost like one of popular lozenges on the market.

Drinkability overall is excellent a brew that you should share with friends or indulge in alone if your feeling up to a big brew like this. Great complexity and flavor brings you back for another sip again and again, quite dangerous.

 1,523 characters

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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 Backer2004
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An excellent version of a Belgian Strong Ale because it's not overwhelming for those not ready for this style and easy to drink. At 11%, could not tell the alcohol content at all. Nice balance, good notes of prunes and candy sugar. Not the absolute best, but worthwhile. One of the cooler bottles as well.

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Photo of roddwolff
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Once poured in my goblet "Gouden Carolus". Look: Purplish brown, thin foamy head with a thick finger, seems ice cream, very good lacing; Smell: Roasted malt, coffee, purple grapes and figs; Taste: Similar, roasted malt, coffee, purple grapes and sugar, few traces of alcohol without being disagreeable, grapes prevails over the other ingredients; Mouthfeel: Clean, very bitter with sweet moments, extra thick body, creamy and robust; Drinkability: Like drinking wine-beer, very good, combining the warmth of the wine with the freshness of beer.

 544 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

CvdK, pronounced with an umpty. 2014 version, this has been in the cellar for awhile.

Dark, rusty brown color. Not particularly foamy. Grape drank aroma bursts out of the bottle as soon as the cork pops. Smells like sugared dates, figs and steely cola malt. Taste is aggressive yet subtle and full of details. Sweet, sugar coated candied plum and rich caramel. Still super sweet considering it's been in my parents basement for 4 years. No trace of alcohol.

This is a slow pontifical beer.

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Photo of BostonHops
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

the nose is robust and malty sweet, replete with dark fruits (notably cherry and raisin), belgian yeast, brown sugar, and maybe a touch of molasses. pretty much what i look for in my belgian strong darks. flavor closely follows the aroma, opening with a strong cherry presence and followed in short order by spice and other dark fruits (plum, raisin, fig), and molasses, along with generous helpings of caramel and brown sugar. complex and nicely balanced; definitely on the sweet side but not overly so. bit of warming alcohol to the finish, though other than that the 11% ABV is very well-hidden. tasty, tasty.

full bodied mouthfeel with a bit of chew to it; adequate carbonation. very drinkable and a nice surprise as i knew very little about this one when i picked it up. nothing like going in without expectations and being very pleasantly surprised. exceptional belgian strong dark ale.

originally reviewed: 11-15-2010

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Photo of gerardoluna
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

[Eyes] Wonderful deep color, excelent foamy creamy head.
[Nuse] Floral malty and hoppy flavor, with notes of caramel and alcohol.
[Mouth] Sweet malt, fruit and fresh. Strong and sweet. notes fruit of apple and bananas, a little touch of yeast. i will storage some bottles for the next year.

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Photo of ujsplace
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice.

This is a deep burgundy colored brew with a nice foamy head that is a yellow-ish white color. Settles to a nice coverlet of chunky lace that sits atop the brew.

Smells of big candied malts, dark fruits - raisins, cherries and plums; there is also bananas, cloves, spices, bready yeast and a sour apple note. Smells delicious.

Tastes as rich and complex as it smells. Big sweet Belgian candied malts, followed by dark fruits, banana, maybe some sour apple as well as some woody notes in the middle. Finishes dry.

Thick and creamy - a luscious brew.

I love this style and this is simply a must try. An amazing brew here.

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Photo of Allagashkegger
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage 750 ml corked.

When I uncorked this bottle there was an explosive pop from the cork and an incredible aroma of berries and other fruits that made my mouth water...I figured I was in for a treat.

Appearance - Dark Red with a thick creamy off white head.

Smell - berries, many different fruits, port-like

Taste - again, port-like. Get a lot of wine flavors; This beer will get really great with some aging.

Mouthful - Mildly carbonated and really light.

Drinkability - with the exception that it's 11 percent alcohol, I could drink numerous of these. Very easy to drink, not to over the top and really well balanced. Does not drink like an 11 percent ABV.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A long time favorite of mine. Bottle shared by Paul during an impromptu session.

2009 vintage

The beer appears sunburst brown with a half inch of thick, tan head. As the head slowly recedes, it leaves a sheet of thick, heavy lacing behind.

The aroma is delectable, with scents of sweet malt, Belgian yeast, and dark fruits.

The flavor brings more of the same, with an awesome bouquet of Belgian yeast and dark fruit. The beer is still a bit sweet, and could easily sit in the cellar for a few more years. Alcohol presence is noticeable throughout, particularly in the finish. Overall, a terrific beer and a great addition to one's cellar.

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 1,861 ratings
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