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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Ratings: 1,824 |  Reviews: 887
Photo of Bouleboubier
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

A: dark ruby liquid, brown highlights, subtle haze... 1"+ of cappuccino-like foam, holds then fades in ~3 min... webby lace

S: dark grape, brown sugar, hint of alcohol, ripe raisin... fairly bold and intense aromas

T: gloriously-balanced, extra-rich, creamy caramel and dark, vinous fruits (concord grape, raisin, maybe even date)... malty as hell... moderately red wine like alcohol in the finish

M: super-luscious, plump-round, silky body backed by a dangerously subdued booze... the body may be too full, the booze too well-hidden (it'd be nice to have a little more exposed kick)... supreme decadence for malt-heads, like myself

O: that chick wasn't kidding - this is a real treat - she hoards this stuff like its a vaccine for the plague, always informs me that we are close to being out of stock... there seems to be a new case in every week, so I pay no mind... this may very well be in the top 3 of quintessential Belgian "strong dark" ales one must try - one to measure the style's greatness by

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Photo of terraism
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%

Photo of mcrawford
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of scruffwhor
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle capped and corked. Dated 2005 and also says 10% abv.

Appearance- Pours a liquid brown with slight blood highlights. Head lasts about a minute tops, but leaves a ring of foam for the entire 750ml inbibery. No visible lacing.

Smell- A mild sugary sweet malt aroma mixes well with the light dry hopped floral essence. Black, black, BLACK cherries mxed with dar vanilla nde hints of black licorice mixed with burning.

Taste- Starts out with a hint of cinnamon mixed with browned malts in a reduction sauce of brown sugar and black cherries, and roasted pine wood.

Mouthfeel- Good carnonation mixes weel with this light to medium bodied brew. Lots of strong sugars that remind me of molasses.

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Photo of impending
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


750ml into a tulip, nice bottle. Pours a rich dark clear walnut copper, backlit in the glass it is a royal dark ruby. Minor coffee ice cream colored head, nice lacing.

Strong vinous aromas reach me from the bottle. Once again someone has spilt port wine upon dark fruits that had begun to rot . . . this . . . is wonderful . .

Big long lasting flavor. Very rich in the dark fruits with a bit of singed caramel or maple. Sweetness is perfectly appropriate and balanced by the perfectly obvious, but not boozy, alcohol. This is a big brew. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Warms most excellent.

Big to the level of a quad. If you swish this around your mouth you will taste this still in ten minutes time !

the remains of a 750 at room temp morph into a belgian barleywine

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Photo of spoony
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml bottle (2012 vintage) into a chalice.

A-A normal pour produces about a half-finger of long lasting mocha colored head. Retention is really impressive. The beer is very dark with just a little bit of ruby coloring getting through the edges of the glass.

S-The aroma is fruity and sweet. I get plum, raisin, and cherry mostly, along with a bit of alcohol burn and some mild phenols. The sweetness comes in the form of brown sugar and fruity alcohol.

T-The taste tracks the smell pretty closely. There is lots of dark fruit, as well as some earthy tobacco flavor and burnt sugar/brown sugar. There is no attempt to hide the alcohol here and it burns just a bit, even in this two-year bottle. Phenols are mild.

M-The beer is medium in heft with an ultra creamy carbonation. It is slightly sticky on my palate.

O-I had been sitting on this bottle for a while and I'm glad I finally popped the cork because it was great. There is no barrel aged business to alter the flavors or provide unnatural sweetness and there is no effort to bury the alcohol -- you get what you get here, and what you get is a great, big beer.

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Photo of Glorithm
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very nice! Limited quantity at times, but should stock up! Recommended!

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Photo of shapudding
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark rootbeery with lots of carbination seen coming to the top where it rested at as a nice creamy, khaki milkshakey head that covered nicely made a thick ring at the edges. Scent of sherry and sasafrass, cola, slightly vineous-more merlot-like....
Intensely smooth... Sweet and honeylike. Bing cherries, red delicious apples. Medium carbination in the taste which is surprising since you can see so much rising in the tulip glass...
The sweetness is not cloying, just nice. Alcohol makes it's presence know, but is not overpowering and does not keep this from being decently drinkable. This is damn good stuff!

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Photo of santoslhalper
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now this is waht I call a beer. Absolutely wonderful. It poured a nice ruby color with a fizzy beige head. The smell was of caramel and wood. The flavor provided incredible complexity yet wonderful balance. Wood, caramel, fruit, and so much more combine into one of the better tasting beers I've ever had. You absolutely have to try this.

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Photo of supercolter
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good beer that I am happy I could get the opportunity to try. Appearance is thick like velvet with a dark brown hue and slight head. Smell and taste are fairly similar, however the complexities of the beer are just more overwhelmingly apparent in the taste. Brown sugar, milk chocolate are the dominating flavors up front. Very sweet but not overpoweringly so. Lots of dark fruit esters make the slight boozy taste fade away at the end. Very complex and delicious. Mouthfeel is thick and velvety, amazing. Drinkability is so good, expecially given the alchohol content.

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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 cvstrickland
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On draft at Tyler's in Durham;

Draft arrives shimmering in its own gold-rimmed chalice, sporting a hazy blonde-orange-toffee body capped with a bulging finger of marshmallow-thick white foam that retains well and leaves a bit of fine lacing on the glass.

Smell is fruity, floral, yeasty and wonderful.

Taste is malty, juicy, and refreshing. Notes of ripe apple, banana, cloves and green melon rinds crispen and freshen the drink, but are kept in check by a solid, refined bitterness.

No hint of alcohol whatsoever detected in the amazingly-smooth drink. The drink is deceivingly burly! It was gone in a curious sip plus five intrigued near-gulps. I could have enjoyed this light-medium bodied beauty all day...or at least right until it knocked me flat on my ass!

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

750 ml bottle purchased from LCBO for $7.80 CDN. Nice value on this volume of what appears to be a world class beer. Left out for about 40 minutes after being in fridge for a few days. Served into oversized wine glass.

Appearance - Dark chestnut brown color with 1.2 finger of off-white head. Head fizzles away moderately leaving a nice soapy feature the edges of the glass and wispy accumulation of foam on top of the beer.

Smell - Burnt sugar, and a bit of booze here and caramel. Second time around a few dark fruits begin to creep in and also the faint hint of peach-like smells. Butterscotch, toffee as well as the funky Belgian yeast although it is not overly pronounced here. Also a bit of a cooked marshmallow smell to it.

Taste - Sugar, caramel and that booziness on the aromas shines through. Also tons of that toasted marshmallow flavor in conjunction with the aforementioned dark fruits namely dates, prunes and cheery. Slightly bitter aftertaste. Overall really delicious but definitely a sipping type of beer.

Mouthfeel - Super smooth, rich and great warmth in the back of the throat. Medium carbonation and medium bodied, but shading towards the lighter side which is impressive given the breadth of flavors and high ABV here.

Overall - World class all the way, one of the best with other greats in the style but really enjoyed the toasted marshmallow feature here which seemed more pronounced than I've had in other beers in the style. Definitely would recommended but you may want a couple of friends around or risk feeling light headed after a bottle of this stuff.

EDIT ** March 8, 2015 - Had a bottle of this the other day and I actually feel like I've underrated this beer a little, as it was magical, velvety and really damn easy to drink especially as far as big beers go.

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Photo of garymuchow
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A guy just has to do a top 100 every once and awhile.
Jaargong 2006. Thanks Linda, it's greatly appreciated.
Chimay goblet. Chilled on my deck to a perfect 45 degrees. Ahhh, late November fall weather in MN.
Rich, sweet dark malt and dark fruit. Alcohol sweetness and slight heat.
Surprisingly small head (largely a creamy brown low cap). Brown with a pretty red highlights in light. quite clear.
Boy this is rich and creamy. Minimal heat considering the alcohol. (I'm gonna' need something to eat with this to cut through the richness). Pleasant sweetness with different fruit than aroma (more berry like). The finish is quite short really. This increases the desire to take another drink and the richness slow ti down. Vanilla! Slight banana. Cherry. Pineapple. Wow!
Best feel I ever recall for this style. Creamy and soft with low carbonation that matches body well.
Funny contrasts (see flavor notes) that ultimately leaves me wanting more (even with the richness). So many flavors appear. Each drink is a new experience. This leads to higher drinkability. Sweet enough to use as syrup on ice cream. Lives up to its ranking. Even my youngest chillin' could tell this was an exceptional beer.

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Photo of cnally
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

And for tonight's offering...

This has a massive off-white to tan head, which falls to a decent cloud, with some lacing. The body is a beautiful dark brown with a bright red as the light shines around the edges.

Very nutty aroma. Estery cherry, dark caramel malt.

The flavor is absolutely amazing. Creamy, caramel malt is the largest component. But there is such is a fruity flavor as well, with cherry, white grape...and an underlying nuttiness, buttery. The flavor is hot, as the alcohol is certainly noticible, but under control.

Slick, yet highly carbonated mouthfeel.

Just heavenly, dangerously alcoholic, filling, great looking, what more can I say. I love it.

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Photo of TheJollyHop
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A clear and dark chestnut brown with a red tinge, beneath a light tan hued mousse-like head; superb retention.

Scents of dark candi sugar, fresh plums, cherries, and hints of yeast and other esters; faint alcohol.

On the taste, candy sweet, ripe dark fruits (possibly concord grapes), toasted grain, dates, and a very hidden alcohol presence. Bitterness is just enough to keep the beer from becoming cloying. Bready finish and has some wine-like elements.

Medium to full bodied, creamy, and overall a vibrant and crisp, flavorful beer; slightly tongue drying. The soft, creamy, coating mouth feel is just fantastic. Texturally this beer could not be improved. Despite high gravity, it is an amazingly easy beer to drink.

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

Photo of josanguapo
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

From elcervecero. In Maredsous chalice. Shared with Carlos.So softly drinkable you wouldnt guess its high ABV. Not too expensive (6€) To repeat. 2014 bottle

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Gouden Carolus “Grand Cru of the Emperor”

Poured this caged & corked 750ml bottle to twin Chimay goblets. Labeled with “Jaargang 2006” on the bottle neck. Enjoyed on 02/25/07, one day after the birthday of Belgium’s former Emperor Charles V, for whom this drink honors.

A: Deep, deep maroon brown. Capped with ½ finger of creamy ivory head. Little streams of carbonation rise and gorgeous clinging lace clings to the sides of the glass.

S: Mmm…sugary sweet caramel. Spiced fruit, rich malts and yeast. A little bit of apple cider and barnyard aroma, a little tingly in the nose.

T: Complex flavors evolve in the mouth. Rum-soaked raisins, vanilla, caramel, sugary candy, light sourness. Finishing with ripe cherries and a pleasing dryness. Whew – really good!

M: Thick and creamy, almost a syrup. A gently carbonation tingle and some alcohol warming filling the cheeks and grabbing onto the tongue. Mouthfeel is full and feels at times like velvety butter.

D: A fine ale, perfect for sipping on a special occasion (Happy Birthday!) and for pairing with foods. In our case it was a terrific medley of cheeses and meats on our weekend excursion to the rainy and cold Oregon coast. Not every cheese or meat was perfectly matched, but throughout it all, this fine beer was a nice compliment, spicy, warm and rich. Highly recommended.

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Photo of dcmchew
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage.
Dirty brown/bronze in color, small one finger head for a short time, thin sticky lace for the rest of the drink.
Red grapes/wine is easy to get right after pouring it. Giving it a closer smell, banana, lots of brown sugar, raisin, fig, faint chocolate, Belgian-type spices.
The smell prepared me for a sweet brew, and the first sip delivered. Dark fruit and caramel meld from start to finish: dry figs, dates, raisins, forest berry jam, juicy plums paired with brown sugar caramel and Belgian candi sugar. A mild toasted malt throughout. Lots of spices, from clove, faint licorice, cinnamon and pepper to vanilla (nice oaky notes from time to time). Warmth of the alcohol gets felt soon enough, reminding of mulled wine and dark rum. Some bittering hops in the finish to counter the sweetness of it all.
Very smooth body, lwo carbonation, silky. A bit too sweet later on, clinging in the aftertaste more than i'd like. Helps cover up the booze tho, so that's ok.
A great tasty BSDA, nicely in control of its abv. Pretty sure a wine barrel aged version of this would be incredible, until then, just very good.

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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 petewheeler
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Mar02x
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My father in law is sharing this beer with me. Thanks Piet! He bought it at the Hopduvel, were we went together.

A - A bright red-brown beer with a beige head that quickly disappears (I think the glass is dirty).

S - A nice wine or brandy oder mixed with a toffee aroma and yeast.

T - A rather sweet beer, candy sugar, spices and a light cognac taste make it delicious.

M - The carbonation is medium. The mouth feeling was nice and the tastes evolves when going over your tongue. The aftertaste is slightly syrupy and there is no bitter finish, but there is a nice alcohol warmth.

O - A very nice after-dinner beer. One has to try this and buying it over and over again!

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

2009 vintage. Poured from a caged-and-corked 750mL bottle into my Trappist Westvleteren goblet.

Dull clear falu red body with carnelian highlights and a healthy dense frothy topping of beige micro-foam which subsides to a few fine layers of slick surrounded by a thin yet very dense collar. Excellent star-field of lacing, dragged down by the clear dark matter of tears.

Candied plums, toasted cinnamon, rye, apricot pits, rich dark malt, and dark fruit esters create a heavenly bouquet.

Tart, almost salty (mineral forward) palate entry backed quickly by scalded sugar, figs, prunes, and cloves. Beeswax, hints of orange liqueur, green coffee, and a slow growing yeasty bread note come out next. The finish is somewhat dry with lingering suggestions of dried berries and stone. Subtle, pure, but with some complexity.

Medium-bodied, chewy, lightly effervescent, and moderately warming both from the alcohol and the suggestion of spice.

A classic and superior example of the style - a great value and well suited to the cellar.

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Photo of bditty187
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Murky, chestnut red in hue with strong brown influences, the color has great depth and is very attractive. A smallish beige head reached a sad half finger in height, the head retention was poor and it quickly dissipated to a sparse, bubbly cap. The subsequent lacing was almost zilch. This aspect of the beer is disappointing. The nose is awesome, great potency, alcoholic black licorices upfront, supple warm maltiness follows, lots of plums and soft grape notes, figs, raisins, a bit of raw rubbing alcohol too but it is largely rounded and blended perfectly with a yeasty spice. I’m in love with the nose, there is so much going on yet every aroma has a voice and I like what it is saying. It is time to drink-up! Upfront the palate is momentarily empty, I could sense the flavor sensation ready to explode but for a brief moment there was anticipation, a pause, it was like Christmas morning as a kid. Man, I knew this was going to be good! And then it happened, I swallowed this nectar and I finally tasted it! At first it was very peppery, clovey, green grape skins, citrus zest, rubbing alcohol, a bit of spiced rum, juicy maltiness, and caddied sugar. This beer is just a puppy, it has bite and it could use some maturing but I really like it “as is.” I do think the mouthfeel is a little too empty; it is a little over-carbonated yet I can’t downgrade it that much. Maybe I am nitpicking. This is a lovely beer, very drinkable and very wantable; I bought a 750ml corked-and-caged bottle in Lincoln a few months ago. Sadly, the last time I checked there was no more. Damn. If you see it, buy it, and then enjoy it. Recommended.

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,824 ratings.
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