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)

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker

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

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Reviews: 885 | Ratings: 1,820
Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My first sip of this was a "wow" and I wasn't sure I meant it in a good way....But, the more I drank, the more I came around to embracing everything popping in this one. A dark brown pour, this one has moderate, but sticky lacing. The first thing you notice is how rich and thick this ale is--and then the burst of caramelized malts, molasses, plums, figs and even dark cherries. This one almost has a wine feel--and a cognac intimation. You know this one is high in alcohol as it warms your belly. Its rich, and it is meant to be sipped--I sipped mine with a nice cigar. Would be marvelous with lamb or cheeses. The mouthfeel is thick and finishes with medium carbonation and a sticky, malty tartness. This ale is super full-bodied and really, you can't do anything but sip this. Whoa. I really started to enjoy this the more I sipped, but it isn't for the light-hearted or Belgian Dark Ale newbie.

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Photo of asabreed
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Corked and Caged bottle into a Duvel pint glass. This is my goodbye to Carytown Wine and Beer in Richmond, which is now closed. I got this in the final week they were doing liquidation, in the back, in a cooler. It was a great place, and will be sorely missed.

Appearance: A deep dark amber, and since this glass had been in the cabinet and needed a wash, I gave it one. And the head seemed to billow nicely but then died down immediately. I used mainly hot water, but there's probably a lot that got in here. The taste and smell haven't undergone huge changes, but I imagine that's the reason for what presented itself. Still, the color's amazing, and there's still some nice lacing going on to boot.

Smell: Huge presence of candied raisins, vanilla, and ripe cherries, apples, banana cream, wood bark and earth, biscuit and dough yeast, with a slight hop citrus presence. So much going on here, with more each pour, swirl, and degree of warmth.

Taste: The presence of candied raisins again comes through the most, with a rich fruit backbone of tart cherries, ripe berries, minimal citrus twang, rich apples, and lemon grass. Along with some visceral earth, slight barnyard, and tree bark, mild bread crust and dough. The finish is wonderfully long, with a burst of alcohol, followed by mild tartness, rich strawberry, and citrus rind, backed by yeast and candi sugar. Just incredible.

Mouthfeel: This is a very rich brew, and that means carbonation levels are fairly minimal, which in this case means great things. More so and the flavors would be hidden. Some might find it cloying, but I think it's where it needs to be, extremely coating and heavy, and taken in small sips and enjoyed over a period of time that works perfectly.

Drinkability: A brew that I imagine could certainly be cellared for a long, long time. It was around $8 for the bottle, which is good considering how long it took me to drink it by myself, as this is certainly a sipper. The Gouden Carolus Trippel is one of my favorites, and this ranks up there with it. Huge complexity, tons of flavors, and continually changes and grows as it gets warmer. I have another bottle cellaring, and I hope I can wait at least a few years until it gets cracked open. A fantastic brew overall -- pick it up if you can.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of three Brouwerij Het Anker ales offered on-tap at Lucky Baldwins this holiday season. This was labeled "Gouden Carolus Cuvee d' le Empereuer 2003". I consulted with TheLongBeachBum, the SoCal Belgian beer guru, to make sure I was reviewing the right beer and not some previous unheard arrival. He assured me they are one and the same.
Served up in the large Grottenbier chalice I handed to the waitress, the Empereuer arrived looking very majestic. Dark, opaque burgandy coloring, a monstrous, densely creamy vanilla head and clots of spidery lace made for a wonderful brew to eye.
I think I spent five minutes inhaling the delicious aromas of this Grand Cru. Staggeringly sweet, with notes of caramel-dipped fruits, candy sugars, pears, dates, and some modest cognac fumes. What an incredible blend of scents!
As I took a sip, I simply leaned back in my chair and reveled in the complexity of this beer. The flavors of raisins, pears, dates, and brandy-soaked cherries washed across the tongue, blending seamlessly with a dusting of chocolate, toasty, rum cookie-ish malts, and hints of orange liquer. The variety of fruits that kept popping up was simply amazing. With the addition of the confectioner sugar sweetness and, as it warmed, an increasingly boozy alcohol warmth, this brew became more and more like a liquid fruitcake. Not like the one that ends up as a doorstop, though. The feel was full, rich and almost chewy but never syrupy.
Damn, what an outstanding beer! The flavors effortlessly meld togther for a singularly wonderful drinking experience. This Grand Cru is just about prefect. You have to be in the mood for sweet but I can't think of many nicer liquid desserts than this. Very highly recommended!

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Photo of StephenRich
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I've never been disappointed by anything bearing the name Gouden Carolus. Actually, more accurately, I have always been severely impressed by everything bearing the name Gouden Carolus. Their latest beer to grace Ontario was the Ambrio, which came here for the Spring Release and was really spectacular. Then when I think about the Classic, and the Hopsinjoor I get goosebumps.

This past weekend, for my 25th birthday, one of my best friends brought me a bottle of the Gouden Carolus Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw, which is essentially their dark vintage ale. It is brewed on February the 24th every year to commemorate the birthday of Charles the Fifth. Het Anker calls it an "exclusive adaptation of the traditional Gouden Carolus Classic"; my knees just buckled from under me.

I was fortunate enough to enjoy this beer on my quarter century mark, in Grand Bend, at my buds cottage on the patio, by the lake, under the sun, with my good friends, and also with a nice fine cigar. It don't get much better than this!

The Cuvee comes in two sizes, the classic 750ml corked bottle, and a striking 1.5L rounded magnum (which I WILL get my hands on). It is listed by Het Aker as a Special Dark Beer, and to me strongly resembles a Belgian Quadrupel. It is 11% abv, brewed with only Belgian Hops and Het Ankers unique ale yeast, and is also lagered for two weeks. They do suggest that this beer could be cellared for 10 years or more, and I strongly agree. However I only see this as a possibility if I has a good case or so to spare.

Immediately I was infatuated with this beer. The bottle design is classic and just screamed amazement right at me. The simplistic design implied to me something very very special. Then, without surprise, as I poured this deep dark and luscious beer, huge aromatic and ripe malt and fruit flavors erupted directly at me. The Cuvee pours gently with a smooth flow into the glass, but quickly develops live and a lightly dense one and a half inch off white, creamy and pillowy head.

The Cuvee itself is a deep amber red with golden browns, orange highlights, and a maroon and purple depth to it. It is lightly opaque, but relatively transparent with bubbles floating generously throughout it. The nose is rich and deep with huge and round aromas of dried fruits, plums, raisins, dark malts, caramel, butterscotch, cherries, figs, bitter chocolate, bread, light leather and herbal spice. It is very full powered and anxious to get out of the glass. Aromas constantly waft into the air bringing sweet malty and spice notes to my nose.

I was very excited for this beer, obviously, so I opened up and let in a good wave of beer to fully engulf my palate - and engulf it did! The Carolus flows in strong with rich sweet fruity malts, a complexity of roast and caramel malts, wide flavors of raisins, dark cherries, almonds and plums. It is warming and luscious and packed with so much flavor that every time you sip some you will get new and exciting flavors and aromas.

Easily, more soft and chewy malts make their way into your cheeks with banana, dates, figs, dark berries, sugary dough, plum cake and dark chocolate. It is big with much sweetness, but bitter chocolate and roasts help balance and clean up the beer. Light hops bring spice and slight bitter to the beer, but it is very clean and slight without really affecting the beer's overall powerful character.

It really pours across your entire mouth bringing flavors everywhere it goes with a uniquely Belgian smoothness. Spices like black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger show up on your tongue aided by natural carbonation and a slight yeast and earth aroma. This beer is packed with juicy and lively flavors; I just can't get enough of it. The finish is warm and soft lingering gently and enticing me to come enjoy more. Which I will!

With the Gouden Carolus Cuvee I also enjoyed the Alec Bradley Vice Press 6T2, a massive 6.5 inch box pressed cigar with a meaty 62 ring gauge. I had been saving this cigar since the summer of 2009 for exactly this purpose, and not a better beer could have been paired with it. I love the box pressed shape and overall stance of this cigar - it had a very soft and easy draw bringing with it loads of elegant and filing smoke without being heavy or extreme. It was lightly sweet with a soft woody and leather note, and overall extremely aromatic. The malty sweet flavors in the Cuvee along with its slightly tart carbonation were a perfect quencher for this cigar, and they complimented each other beautifully.

This was a very significant beer for me, I have already started contemplating it as the best beer I have had in 2010, and among the best I have ever had. I would easily recommend this as a game changing beer, but its exclusivity and high cost makes it more of a treat for celebrations.

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Photo of TrippnFiasco
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Looks almost like a light-colored red wine (not so light as to be rose though). No head or lacing. Maroon color.

S: Smells fairly sweet, mostly of apples with a hint of caramel. The most prominent smell being a slightly cidery apple aroma.

T: Tastes of green apples/cider. Very mild tartness that enhances, rather than inhibits, the flavor. Caramel taste on the back of the palate after swallow. Sweetness is perfectly balanced with flavor.

M: Very smooth, medium-bodied. Refreshing.

D: Very drinkable Abbey Ale, one of these large bottles is great to split with one other, or have alone if you feel like getting a good buzz while enjoying a refreshing sweet beer

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Photo of Deuane
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2004 bottle: aged 3+ loving years in my cellar.

A - Ruby brown with a full tan head...laced nicely throughout

S - Whoa! Big wiff of Bourbon, Prune and leather. Very aromatic

T - Holy Cow...this is some beer. Deep rich dark fruit notes with undertones of bourbon...absolutely delicious.

M - Big, deep and rich. An absolute carnival in the mouth.

D - For an 11% beer I could carry around a snifter of this all day! Truly fantastic. I made sure to go out and purchase another bottle to let sit for a few years....will see if that one comes out as good..I hope so!

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at The Trappist in Oakland in the proper Gouden Carolus glass.

A: Pours a murky brown with a thick white head. Lots of lacing and outstanding head retention.

S: Some brown sugar in the nose along with some ripe dark fruits. The alcohol is also rather apparent.

T: Lots of sweet overly ripe dark fruits such as raisins and figs. There is also some caramel, toffee, and maybe a little bit of molasses. It's very complex and a joy to sip. It is also very alcoholic. The alcohol nips at the end and slightly burns the back of the throat. It seems to mellow a bit as it warms.

M: Outstanding creamy mouthfeel with excellent carbonation.

D: A dinged it a bit on drinkability due to the alcohol. The delicious flavors make it an outstanding beer. A great brew for my 100th review.

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Photo of ColdPoncho
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage

This cork is a real pain in the butt. Had to take a corkscrew to it.

A - Pours a dark murky brown/red with a big tan head that settles slowly. Only very faint hints of light come through the thinnest parts of the glass.

S - Strong dark fruits, a bit of booze, chocolate caramel, belgian spice. I said to myself: "man, this smells really fuckin good." A beautifully balanced nose with all great components.

T - Dark fruits and toffee, chocolate, all lightly sweetened. A touch of heat from alcohol and the spicy belgian flavors. This is exquisite. Touch of tartness in the back. These Belgians really know what theyre doing.

M - Who cares, really? A beer that tastes like this can feel like anything and it would be still pretty perfect. This mouthfeel is very nice, big-bodied, somewhat smooth, and lively with carbonation. Not ideal, but pretty good.

O - This is a really beautifully-crafted beer. It tastes fantastic, looks and smells quite good...A really great beer. I am going back and buying the store out of these bottles. Would love to see this one age a bit more.

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Photo of manleyphoto
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I tend to be pretty conservative with my money, I prefer to call it frugal but most of my friends call it cheap. As a result, when I see a beer listed as $7.00 for 12 ounces, I need to do some serious weighing of the cost benefit ratio.
One taste, however, and you know where your money went. This beer is cram-packed with flavor. The wispy sweet aroma of cloves and raisins preview the crazy complex taste of the beer. The flavor is filled with dark fruit, and a hint of caramel apple with a pleasant warming alcohol that really makes this a cool weather treat.
Don't let the fancy name throw you. Carolus D'or Cuvee Van de Keizer is simply the Belgian way of saying, good beer of the emperor. More specifically it's a birthday beer commemorating one of Belgium's greatest sons, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V's birthday on February 24th 1500 A.D. in Ghent, Belgium. The beer is brewed once a year in limited quantities and intended for aging.
Admittedly, this beer is not cheap but in this case the kingly price tag does reflect the quality of the product inside. Almost always listed as one of the best beers in the world, I have to imagine that the Grand Cru of the Emperor would please the palette of Charles V and meet his holy roman hopes.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

Corked and Caged 750ml
A: Nice dark tan almost black but not quite some off colored head

S: deep rich dates, raisins, cloves, honey and some alcohol

T: this beer drinks like a perfect quad get deep dark fruit tastes almost a little barrel characteristics toffee and an Oakiness very inviting alcohol is completely hidden maybe as it warms it will come out

M: thick on the tongue but not super viscous like a great stout and well carbonated Belgians always have more carb

O: Stellar beer if you see it buy it you won't be disappointed top notch quad

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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 roopy40
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark ruby color when light hits it, but more dark brown in color. Soapy looking head that didn't stick around for very long, but left some sweet lacing on the glass.

S - Sweet, candy smell. Like cherry sweet tarts or something similar. Sweet bread, candied raisins.

T - Just as sweet as the smell. Cherry sweet tarts again. Alcohol is present, but not accounted for. Bready, spicy, delicious.

M - Full bodied, well carbonated, loses some of that when it warms. Very well balanced and a wonderful mouthfeel overall.

D - Very drinkable. Almost scary as it's 11%. Beware the sweetness and just keep in mind that it packs a punch.

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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 GrandpaCarp
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%

In addition to previous comments, I'd say that the carbonation, although present, is very light so it doesn't get in the way of a spectacular flavor. After nearly 2 years of searching for a beer to match or exceed my favorite - I have found it!

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Photo of jwc215
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cage-corked bottle - Bottled on February 24, 2007 - Poured into glass chalice:

Pours deep brown with ruby highlights. A creamy tan head tops it off. It slowly descends and stays around. Awesome head retention for abv level. Some rings of frothy lacing stick to the glass.

The smell is of dark fruits - raisins and plums with dark cherries peeking through. Vanilla and chocolate intermingle. Spicy, earthy notes add to deep complexity.

The taste is of dark fruits that take turns coming through with dark cherries - super-complex fruitiness. Vanilla and vinuous notes weave in and out. Peppery spiciness fades in at out making this at times sweetish, at times spicy. Chocolatish maltiness becomes caramelish and toffeeish as it progresses. The flavors are incredibly layered, and converge so nicely. It is almost like reading a book. The f./lavors are delicate and complex, yet bold and lingering...Amazing - a work of art.

The feel is full and lush. Carbonation level is perfect. Long finish that is at once sweetish and spicy dryish.

Wow - what a treat. So smooth for abv level. The alcohol integrates itself so well that it is deceiving - very drinkable for abv level.
And the beer gods rejoice...

Thanks to Wasatch for the recommendation! One of the best beers I've had to date...

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Photo of robbyc1
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle labled 2007, deep garnet clear color, nice head with lace left. Very inviting.

The nose has sweet malt, deep, deep nose of plums, cherries, and a bit of alcohol, very nice.

This may be the perfect Belgian stong dark ale, intriguing deep malt taste, beyond plums and a bit of oak, tastes include a sign of port, chocolate, yeast esters, yes that deep, very good, super!

Perfect fizzy mouthfeel, so it doesn't get to sweet on the tongue, just right.

Despite the abv, very drinkable, after dinner for sure with figs, chocolate, pie, whatever, love this beer.

As these are made in Feb, this one 2007, it has aged nice for almost 1 1/2 years, great.

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Photo of hops4me
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 2006 bottle. I loved this beer. Deep deep red to brown. Frothy off white head. Smells of peach, plum, raisins. Tastes alot the same except it finishes with a nice vanallia oakiness. I was suprised at how little to no alcohol heat there was. I would buy again if found. Great beer to have after a big meal or sitting around a fire in the winter.

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Photo of Edmund
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Found this beer in Whole Foods, of all places. I figured: it's brewed on the birthday of the most powerful man in the 16th century so it must be good.

Turns out I was right.

Appearance: Clear mahogany. Significant, even head that diminishes steadily.

Smell: Caramel and fruit and a little bit of maple syrup sweetness.

Taste: Malty, strong taste of raspberries and figs, with more of the maple coming through. A bit like a fine port!

Mouthfeel: Smooth, and a little syrupy. Carbonation is a little sharp, but in a good way.

Drinkability: After a big bottle I feel ready for another one. Not a session beer, but definitely something to sit and enjoy on a rainy day.

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Photo of WhatsNewinBooze
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Every year on the 24th of February Gouden Carolus brews the Cuvee de Keizer Blauw, or "Grand Cru of the Emperor" to celebrate the birthday of Charles V. The Cuvee de Keizer is brewed uniquely with only fine Belgium hops and with it being 11% ALC/VOL. this beer will age extremely well over the next several years with a complexity and intensity usually reserved for only the finest wines. This beer pours with a deep caramel color and golden tan head with aromas plums, raisins and wood leaping out of the glass. The palate starts of with sweet caramel that soon gives way to fruity flavors of figs and plums with a slight tart quality. The finish is long and mouth filling as the Belgium hops flex their muscles making it both sweet and bitter at the same time. It is still a little young so if you can keep your hands off of it the 2008 Cuvee de Keizer will only continue to develop over the next couple of years. What a treat!

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml. bottle. Leaves less than a one finger head that recedes to long lasting surface skim, some decent lacing. Body is a hazy dark garnet. Looks quite beautiful.

Smell - horse blanket sourness, sour plums, sour cherries, raisins, malt bread, and medicinal alcohol. Mouthwatering sourness.

Taste - like the smell. Horse blanket, sour cherries, plums, raisins, malt bread, all washed down with spicy, and medicinal, but not harsh, alcohol. Very good.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, fluid, and semi-dry.

Drinkability - this is excellent ale, very complex and rewarding. High abv obviously limits sessionability. Enjoy with food.

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Photo of warrenout330
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml caged and corked bottle

A- pours a deep mahogany color brown... Ruby highligths to the light... off white head... dissolves to a thin cap over the beer ... moderate to minimal lacing

S- dark candies sugars, caramelized raisins and figs.... sweet bready malts... muskat grapes for overly sweetness

T- we'll pronounced dark sugars, burnt caramelized raisins.. dried figs, earthy suagry malt...

M- sweet sugary candy.... thick oily body... decent carbonation for a sugary beer

O- damn good... up there with the trappiest quads

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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 rhinos00
4.74/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally decided to pull this one out of the cellar. Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a chalice.

2007 vintage

A- Pours a dark brown with ruby / amber hues throughout. Nice clarity, especially when held into light. Produced a fingers width of off-white colored head. Reduced to a ring around the glass as consumed.

S- My god is this intoxicating. Potent...just infiltrates the olfactory senses. Sweet malts, prunes and figs drizzled in caramelized brown sugar. There is a pleasant orange flavor akin to something you would find in a bottle of Grand Marnier. Extremely developed and complex. The aromas come in waves...relentless.

T- Exactly like the aroma, except even more complex. Layers of sweet malts, prunes, figs, caramel, brown sugar, liquor soaked oranges, ripe pears and alcohol just settle on the palate. So much going on, yet so cohesive. Did I mention it passed the burp test?

M- If there was any part I can criticize, it would be here...and that's being really picky! Medium bodied with the perfect amount of carbonation. Left the palate semi-dry.

D- After the first sip, I really took my time and slowly drank it. As drinkable as beers of this style can come, especially at 10% abv.

Overall, probably the best result I have ever had from aging. This beer is just phenomenal. Tons of layer and depth, yet balanced and cohesive. Really wishing I had another bottle in my cellar.

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Photo of ehammond1
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle (2010)

Holiday Wine Cellar
Escondido, CA

(Aged 1 year)

A deep, dark, rich and ruby mahogany with a very small head. Leaves little lacing but the color is breathtaking.

The initial nose is of muted candied figs and alcohol-soaked grapes. The nose grows exponentially as the beer warms however; I wasn't getting much scent upon initial cork-popping, but now I smell sweet cherries, vine-ripe grapes, sugary toffee candy, alcohol, and some floral hoppy notes.

Sweet toffee, raisins, warm baking bread, spicy tobacco, and brandy-soaked cherries on the palette. A cornucopia of flavor. Truly terrific.

Chewy, bubbly and relatively thick mouthfeel. A sipper.

Beers like this are what make me a beer enthusiast. So much aroma, character, and flavor packed inside one, inexpensive bottle.

Truly terrific!

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Photo of StuporJew
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage, poured into DFH tulip.

A - Dark, Murky brown, with a 1 to 2 finger head, that recedes slowly, leaving behind tons of lacing. A good amount of bubbles suggest lively carbonation. Sweet...

S - Fruit. Lots of it. Figs mostly, but also hints of persimmon, plum, and even a little balsamic funk. ERMAGERD, this beer smells good!

T - The nose was right... Balsamic Vinegar right up front! (And I know that sounds strange, but if you've ever had GOOD balsamic, or a really funky sour ale, you know what I mean.) There is SO much going on in this beer, I could review it over and over, and never nail it all down!
There are some hints at bread pudding, fig (again), and even Bing cherry. Nice spice notes also, with little kisses of cinnamon and some nutmeg on the mid-palate. MY LORD, this beer is good.
Hello beer, goodbye Christmas cash from Grandma....

M - Velvety and smooth, with a level of carbonation that almost begs you to take another sip, almost not even detectable. Full and juicy to the max. Those fine folks in Belgium sure do make some FINE beer.

O - An all-around feast for the senses, although disappointing due to the fact that it is a once-a-year brew. I look forward to purchasing and aging at least 4 bottles of this, to see how it does at 6/12/18 and 24 months. Grab some when you can find it, friends... It's worth the money, for sure.


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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,820 ratings.
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