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 cpetrone84
3.61/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-pours dark ruby red with a hint of haze, light tan creamy head and good lace left behind.

S-the nose brings lots of bready malts, notes of diacetyl, toffee and caramel behind, a good bit of anise, rum soaked cherries in the back.

T-follows the nose, bready malts, diacetyl, toffee and caramel, anise, rum soaked cherries in the back.

M-smooth and creamy on the palate, chewy and full body, good carbonation and nice crisp finish.

D-seems to be a bit of a mess and shows a good bit of alcohol in the back. also has a fair amount of diacetyl. must need age or something imo.

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Photo of mdwalsh
3.62/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Sort of a orange/golden/amber color beer with a little haze and some pretty good active carbonation. The head poured huge and is still about a finger tall. Way to light and foamy, though the bottle does call it a blonde.

S: Vanilla, a little fruit, particularly bananas. Also just a little of that standard Belgian smell. Though you know, there is almost just the slightest hotness of alcohol to the smell. And it's not that strong.

T: Taste is pretty identical to the smell, though no alcohol. Very smooth, but I wish it was more hard hitting. I don't find it particularly dark or hard, but the bottle's description was accurate enough. I don't know, I'm not finding a lot to say about this beer, I'm just not finding much there. Maybe there's some corriander or something that I'm getting just at the very end.

M: Kinda has a little bit of carbonationy sharpness to it. But other than that, nothing to complain about, sort of thick, but not heavy? Does that make sense?

D: Drinkable, but not very high drinkability to me. Much too light, though the ABV is well hidden.

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Photo of marksto
3.62/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark with a reddish tinge when held to light. Medium tan head, large effervescent bubbles stream the sides of the glass to maintain a light froth on top.

Aroma displays lots of esters and some phenolics. Bubble gum, dark fruit, and sweet malt all interplay nicely. Flavor displays strong bubble gum phenolics, along with significant sweetness and cherry-like fruit. Some alcoholic flavors in the background as well.

I find the phenolics in this one a bit overpowering - would like to see more complexity and balance with other flavors. This is a very highly rated beer and it was not as good as I had expected. Overall, certainly a good Belgian dark but I believe there are better examples of the style out there.

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Photo of papat444
3.64/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

***2014 Vintage***

Best before 02/04/2024.

Opaque brown body. ecru colored head with a bit of lacing but not as much as i would expect from a Belgian ale of this pedigree. Smell of dried fruits and chestnuts. Getting a real nutty flavor mixed with dark fruits, a bit sweet. The feel isn't really full and while good, it ends a bit too abrupt. I expected more from this one and have to admit to being disappointed.

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Photo of WTexas
3.65/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jaargang 2008 served from a 750ml bottle into chalice.

Poured a medium mahogany color with an insubstantial light tan head, though it did retain some nice lacing. Initially smelled of figs and currants though later I detected a woody scent. Easy to drink with little to no alcohol detected despite the advertised 11% abv. Taste was on the thin side -- not a lot of complexity while in the mouth or after swallowing. Easy on the pallet but harder on the wallet.

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

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

Bottom Line: Well made beer!

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.66/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky red colour. Spooky. Head is beige, thin. Lace is beautiful and thick. Why can't head retain more?

Banana, and booze, on the nose. Sweet wheat characters with a touch of brandy on there, vanilla, slight chocolate note and toffee. Bit strong and sweet for me, but I'm holding out hope.

Taste is more grounded with more sweet characters running through it, and not so much booziness. Lots of banana flavour, some rum, maple syrup and a touch of vanilla at the end. It's a very sweet brew, and I would like some hopping or more phenolic spice at the end, but it's not overblown and fairly well tamed. So, you know, kudos.

Bit prickly, mostly foamy, on the feel, with an expectedly sticky body. Pretty fluid. Quite interesting.

Bit sweet for me, but there's a fair amount of love and care, and interest in big, boozey beers that's really plain here. I couldn't drink it all night and I probably wouldn't order another, but, you know, kudos?

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Photo of BeerBelcher
3.66/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Huh, I'm actually a little surprised to see this beer rated so highly on this site. I thought it to be good, but not exceptional. Part of that opinion is no doubt due to my flavor prejudices where I value hoppiness, sourness, and roastiness; predilections no doubt shared by many members of this site (an opinion backed by the majority of beers in the top-100). This beer doesn't really have those flavors, yet here it is.

Appearance is brown, cloudy, and a little on the flat side (little head). Aroma is very malty: my schnoz detected caramel, spice, wine-like notes, and a certain booziness. There was also a sugary sweetness in the smell. Flavor was also caramel-y and spicey (and boozy), but that sugary sweetness in the nose became a butterscotch taste in the mouth. I also got some floral tastes. Well, I'll give it this - it is complex (there's a lot in there to enjoy). Mouthfeel wasn't flat (as I remember it).

I would recommend this beer. SurlySober brought this over to my house for a tasting with Flyer. We had Beatification, Allagash Black, Westvleteren 8 and Westvleteren 12 before this beer, so maybe it was just upstaged and I might have thought it exceptional on any other night.

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Photo of mbrasi
3.67/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Vintage 2007 drank 9/11/9. Cork pops off nicely and aromas of dark fruit and yeast fill the air. Pouring brings out some sweet carmalized malt and bannana. Pours brownish-red with a head that dissipates fast to an off white lace around the glass. Flavor is sweet, there is some bannana that hits you up front and a nice caramel and fig finish. A little alcohol burn in the finish but not too bad for a big beer. Mouthfeel is oily with low carbonation. Overall this brew hits you with strong fruit flavors and a shot of alcohol in the finish. This brew had 2 years on it, I think it can go easily 2-4 more years possibly up to 10 years.

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Photo of rdilauro
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ok, this one was extremely interesting. The pour was beautiful. A medium to full dark color, less than any stout or porter, but bold. The creamy yellow white frothy head stood on top for a good while.

I spent a long time just enjoying all the bouquets and various aromas in this brew. I could sense a lot of malt, a good amount of barley, and just a hint of hop. What I would expect out of a Belgian ale.

The first taste, the ale exploded inside my mouth filling every possible part of my tongue with different tastes and spices.
But honestly, none of them seemed to blend themselves in any type of harmony. Instead I felt a series of different tastes that really didnt match all that well

I tasted a bit of burnt caramel with some degree of sweetness, almost what I would see from an ale seasoned inside a bourbon or rum wooden cask.

I think my expectations, especially from the look and feel of the bottle, the initial pour and visualization, it just didn't meet up to what I was looking for.

I think this is part of what beer tasting is all about. There have been some brews that I have enjoyed more than you can imagine and can not wait to have it again, while there are some while others rave about its characteristics, it all becomes so subjective in the end

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Photo of UpToMeBeer
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at Choice City Butcher in Fort Collins.
A: Copper-brownish with a thin sudsy head featuring many many tight bubbles. Lots of lacing.
S: Fig and dark candied fruits.
T: Light and sweet. A bit of booze that's muted by the sweetness. Subtle fruits.
MF: Moderate carbonation. Pleasant and gentle. Underwhelming. Lacked body.
O: Decent. Given the ABV, I was expecting more intensity or something more pronounced in the flavors.

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Photo of KyleVick4
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Decent lacing with a clear clarity, good head.

S: Smells extremly sweet. Liquorice and molasses etc. A bit of alcohol present.

T: Very sweet as expected, with hints of bananna and fruit. Raisin and maybe fig. Not bad but not great.

M: Lots of carbonation which is ok for this style, yet still pretty chewy which is what I personally like.

D: Im a fan of it, nothing special nothing uperb but a good overall beer which I may buy again.

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Photo of nickfl
3.68/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with one finger of light tan foam on top of a dark brown body with good clarity. The head settles slowly and leaves nice lace.

S - Dark, malty notes of brown sugar and caramel with some plum, dark cherry and cola notes.

T - Dark brown sugar up front with lots of malt sweetness. Some spicy notes of coriander, cinnamon, and caramel dipped red apple. Finishes with more brown sugar, clove, and cinnamon.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a sweet finish.

D - Dense, sugary malt with lots of yeast character but an excessively sweet finish. Oddly cloying for a beer that I remember being much dryer and more balanced the last time I had it. Not a drain pour but a bit of a disappointment.

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Photo of Dope
3.7/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

No exact date listed, just says 2010 on the neck of the bottle. So at least 2 years old.

A: Pours a very dark reddish-amber. Big dense tan head. Fades at a moderate pace, nice island of foam remains behind. Tufts of lacing left behind as well.

S: Strong dark fruits. Raisin and cherry are heaviest for sure. Rich caramel in there as well. Very sweet in general.

T: Tons of rich dark fruit up front. Again, raisin and cherry are strongest. Some grape in there too perhaps? Touch of cocoa. There is a strong sweet presence in the middle and in the finish that I can't quite place. Almost tastes like molasses, honey and wine mixed together. Sickly sweet and cloying. Some breadiness in there too.

M: Heavy, heavy, heavy. Very sweet.

O: Very unique BSDA. I have a hard time deciding if I like it or not. Loaded with fruits but has a certain odd tart wine-like aspect that I'm not a fan of. Very complex, yes. But tasty and enjoyable? Not so sure about that one.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.7/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - It poured a nice deep clear copper color with an off white head that laces nicely.

S - I dont know if this bottle is a little bit old or what but i'll review it anyways. I get strong aromas of plum, brown sugar, some honey, maybe alittle orange, and definitley the sweet malts.

T - All of the above, but turns to a slight vinous flavor and complex chocolate and malts.

M - smooth but a little bit over carbinated, the bitterness brings up the rear.

D- If this bottle is old...then let me drink it all the time.

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Photo of portia99
3.72/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml bottle (2009 vintage) poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - A careful pour yields a muddy brown color with a very thin skim coat of foam that never really goes away. No real lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - Very fruity in the nose with tons of Belgian yeast character. Heavy on bubblegum and banana esters, raisins, light caramel and some buttery diacetyl.

T - Flavor follows the aroma pretty well - intense and complex. Bubblegum, banana, raisins, more caramel than in the aroma and a lot more buttery diacetyl. Additional complexity with some straight up, sweet and sugary malt (too much?), alcohol and some light breadiness. Very much a liquid candy bar.

M - Pretty full bodied beer. Carbonation is medium and extremely creamy. Some light alcohol warmth. Very sweet overall.

D - Not an especially easy drinker. All of the flavors are on the intense side, alcohol is noticeable, diacetyl is high and a bit distracting (but I am especially sensitive to diacetyl). Came in really wanting to like this beer, I do - but not nearly as much as I wanted to.

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Photo of amphion1065
3.72/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle from 2010, served in a Duvel tulip.

Pours a very dark shade of plum, almost like eggplant. A one-finger light tan head made of medium bubbles lasts for some time. Very nice lacing.

Huge, unmistakable aroma of butterscotch from this beer. It's quite similar to smelling a whole bowl of Werther's Originals. Caramel and vanilla abound. Some familiar dark fruit smells underneath, but they are a comparatively minor aspect of the aroma.

The taste, at first, follows closely on the smell. Big and very pure butterscotch and vanilla notes up front, with plums and figs in the finish. Saccharine sweet, with a lingering taste of brown sugar. However, unlike the aroma, there is a very noticeable alcohol kick - perhaps not one befitting an 11% ABV beer, but it's present. Taken in totality, the flavor approximates that of a scotch ale.

Mouthfeel is a touch too thin for me, though I enjoy the low level of carbonation. I think a wee De Molen-sized bottle of this would be ideal.

A unique take on the style, though not one I'm particularly crazy about. It seems a little over-the-top, a little out of control for me - I would be interested in trying an older bottle.

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Photo of atigerlife
3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with reddish highlights. Small light brown head that has decent lasting power.

Aroma is malty with sweet toffee and raisins.

Taste is of dark malts, raisins, toffee and alcohol. Strong flavor...not subtle.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium+ bodied.

Overall, a good brew. Nice sipper after dinner.

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Photo of thetomG
3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage...

Pours a very nice murky dark brown with some lovely tan foam that leaves lacing around the glass.

Aroma is good but quite mild compared to the HUGE flavors coming out of this one... massive notes of funky yeast, dark fruits, and alcohol.

Seems well carbonated with just a nice slightly syrupy coating in the mouth. It is a very flavorful beer, and I'm glad I tried it but not sure I'd seek it out again - the funky taste and alcohol flavors that come through just don't really float my boat.

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Photo of stcules
3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My bottle is 8.5 ABV, not 11.

Beautiful dark mahogany hue, with ruby reflexes. Beautiful foam, creamy, brownish color, compact, sticking. And persitent.
The smell is sweet, velvety, with marzipan, yeast, breadcrust. A good velvety/alcoholic, typical of the Het Anker beers.
At the taste is very soft, with the same velvety /alcoholic notes, and a lot of marzipan again. And a good sweet and soft peaches velvet.
It has an effect of roundiness, that mitigates the alcohol, still present, but not too bothering. Full, soft. Even notes of cocoa and hazelnut.
Then red fruits, more evident in the aftertaste, where there are again the marzipan and cocoa notes. And, overall, the velvety/alcoholic character. Maybe, in the end, a little too alcoholic.
Medium-high body.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 750ml corked bottle into a pair of pint glasses.

Pours a reddish brown, medium head, good lacing, little visible carbonation. No visible sediment, very slightly cloudy.

Smells sweet and musty, mostly cherry and a very tiny bit of banana.

Taste is dominantly sweet and syrupy with a lot of cherry, strong sour aftertaste with some bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thick, dense, syrupy, and sticky. Feels fizzy and effervescent (which is surprising, since I can't see any carbonation).

Too strong and too sweet to be terribly drinkable to me, but still a good beer. Maybe it need to breathe or warm up a little, or maybe it needed to spend some time in the cellar, I'm not sure.

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Photo of Arbitrator
3.74/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Chilled bomber into a glass. Purchased at Perry's in Livermore.

A: Poured an opaque mahogany color with ruby / orange highlights when held to a lamp. I dumped it into a 1L mug, and the off-white head was literally half the mug with even a careful pouring technique. Took 10+ minutes to recede into a drinkable half-fingers' worth of head, which remained steady throughout the drink. Left substantial lacing down the glass. Unbeatable appearance.

S: Bananas, cloves and other Belgian spices upon the pop. The brew itself gave off more and more green apple (acetaldehyde) as it warmed, with raisins, brown sugar, and a little candy yeast rounding it out. Noticeable fusel sting that really detracts from the aroma.

T: An initially sweet taste of banana, raisin, and brown sugar. The mid-taste gave way to candy yeast and sour green apple, with the end taste largely a combination of cloves and spice. The finish was very sweet, and it lingered, but the aftertaste eventually become one of grassy hops and a little alcohol heat (particularly fusel burn).

M: Medium-to-full-bodied, with medium carbonation despite the active head. Does a lot for the style. The alcohol is not well-masked, and it stings the mouth and nose a bit.

D: Decent. I feel there are other Belgian and Belgian-style ales available in this flavor profile for a cheaper price and more regular attainability. I don't doubt the quality of this beer but I don't think it's worth waiting a year for. Also, despite proper hydration and eating with this beer, I had a headache the next morning -- and it was the only thing I drank. I blame the fusel, but who knows...

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Photo of DPFRD
3.76/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml, poured into chimay chalice.

A- Dark and ominous... just what I want. Coffee hued head that dissapates quickly.

S- Sweet, with some biscuit. Toffee, Rasin, Booze.

T- Sweetness and Alcohol dominate on this for me... It seem like they hit first, with some raisin and other spices peering through. Very complex, reminds of a port.

M- Full bodied, kind of syrupy imo.

D- Very fine brew. Very strong flavor wise and booze wise, so it isn't the best session selection. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2006 vintage

a - pours a deep chestnut brown, one-finger off-white head with decent retention for a high abv beer, slight lacing

s - caramelly maltiness dominates the nose, slight nuttiness, some booze

t - much like the nose, dominated by big caramelly malt flavors, I'll echo other reviewers' mention of rum soaked raisins, dark fruits, lingering sweetness on the finish with slight alcohol burn

m - lots of carbonation, medium-bodied, warming from the alcohol

d - not overly drinkable, one 750ml is enough for me, a bit too sweet and obviously too hight abv to drink this one all night

Nice Belgian brew overall. Not my favorite style, but I appreciated this one.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2009 release poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains brown sugar, dark fruit, caramelized malts, some Belgian yeast and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sweet with flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit. Then a hearty malt character and Belgian yeast breadiness comes in. The hops presence is mild but complementary creating a good balance and there’s some spice in the background that creeps in. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a decent dark Belgian to sip on for a while.

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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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