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: 887 | Ratings: 1,823
Photo of Cains1066
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2007 Vintage - Expiry dated at 29th March 2017 - 750cl bottle served into a Gouden Carolus 0.33l Goblet.

Pops and pours with a nice shell white half inch of head, supplemented by a steady stream of minute bubbles rising fast through the clear mid brown liquid. Still a lively beer for its years, the head clings to the glass when tipped, crackles nicely then dissipates. Looks great for its age.

Nose to Glass:
Pungent on first pour, smells of sherry, port, slightly musty.

Sherry and port notes apparent in the taste, slightly different profiles as we proceed down the glass, vanilla, burnt figs, molasses, for an aftertaste burnt caramel just sits in the throat, very nice.

Smooth mouthfeel, subtle bubbles tickle then meld with the tongue, the slightest tinge of alcohol sometimes apparent though not every swig.

Very impressed, held up well for its age and surprisingly easy to drink for its Abv, up there with its strong Belgium peers, drinks like a quad though light in color by comparison. Had intended to defeat this monster in 2 sittings but it reeled me in and was polished off like a Pale Ale. Typically a high Abv sipper by all accounts however age may have mellowed this example, throw sipping to the wind and you will be rewarded.

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

This has been held in high regard so long as I can remember, but in the years I was actively paying attention to such things I never saw it, and since moving east I see it sporadically but somehow I always assumed I had drank it before. I hadn't.

My urge is to compare it right away to other blue-colored, high-ABV Belgians. Which... now that I type that, it actually makes sense. This beer's branding is quite directly inviting us to judge it in a certain context, as a peer to Chimay Blue, and Westmalle 12, and St. Bernardus 12. That's some stern company.

So... the bottle art compares. As does the pour. The aroma is more bready than its purported peers, less fruity, yeasty, or alcoholic. It's a fine scent, but rather straightforward, and so lacking most of the wonderful complexity of the other Belgian giants.

Tastes fruitier. Large nodes of cantaloupe, then some yeast and light molasses, then some candy sugar on the back end. It does an excellent job of hiding its ABV, but overall I really wish there was more to it. It's well brewed and enjoyable, for sure, but a distant cousin to the beers it seeks to emulate.

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Photo of captaincoffee
4.46/5  rDev +4%
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.

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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 donkeyrunner
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
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 Dentist666
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours opaque dark brown with 2-finger beige head, moderate retention, some laces.
Smell - dark fruits, peppery, candi sugar.
Flavour - creme brulee, dark fruits, licorice, very complex.
Full body, smooth, high carbonation.

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Photo of Dzu
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: Dark turbid brown with a weak white foam head.
S: Roasted bread, red wine notes, raison.
T: Sweet dark fruits, licorice,apples. Interesting aftertaste.
F: Tight body, meduim carbonation.
O: Impressive bsda! Worth a try.

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Photo of chrismilner20
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2008 magnum
Poured 6/18/16
Thank you Randy K. For this one.

Eight years on it and the time was a great addition. Poured dark brown almost black on color. The nose was fig, candy sugar and spice. Taste was loads of dried fruits fig, date very aged tawny port like. Was one of the best beers I have had this year.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.34/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks luscious.
Smells all-malt and just as much dark fruit.
Mismo sabor, pero mas rico. (Same flavor, only much richer.)
This Cuvee keeps from getting too sweet, probably by its correct choice of hops.
Mouthfeel is equally luscious. And the 11% alcohol... well, is it really there ? (Answer: yes, but it is well concealed.)
OA: one of the great Belgian darks. Have it, then have it again on February 24... you will learn more about beer and maybe even yourself.
But since I am so limited in my experience, take the word from MJ's "Great Beers of Belgium" that says Cuvee is " a magnificent beer that reminds me of what Carolus could be; a majestic example Belgian brewing."

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of kevinlater
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2014 vintage, best before jun 18 2024, consumed mar 20 2016. 11% abv, but the lcbo has insisted on putting a sticker on the bottle that says 9.1% abv. uh, alright. dull brown with bone-hued head. excellent nose of rich brown sugar, creme brulee, toasted marshmallow, plums, and dates, with a mild and complementing alcohol aroma. decadent, sweet, and layered malt profile in the taste with the aforementioned fruit flavours in the background. some slight toasted coconut and milk chocolate flavours. really sweet and delicious all around. low yeasty spice presence. somewhat reminiscent of a whisky due to the melange of alcohol and caramel. medium feel with tame carbonation for a belgian ale, and a mild bitterness on the finish. such a phenomenal and lovable beer that has the best malt flavours!

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Photo of mkh012
3.46/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle served in a Chimay Chalice. Bottled a year ago this month. I planned to age this one longer but got impatient.

Very dark brown with hints of red and mahogany when held up to the light. A beautiful beer. A finger of fluffy tan head thins but never fully dissipates. The nose is a bit odd. I get dark fruits, as expected, but can't quite put my finger on the predominant note. Molasses maybe. Regardless, it is sweet. A sign of things to come...

This beer tastes like nothing I've had before, and I've had plenty of BSDAs and Quads. I get raisins, caramel, a touch of chocolate, but it's the finish that perplexes me. It's too sweet. The alcohol is well-masked - a feat, no doubt, at 11% ABV - but I can't help but think the finish is cloying. Almost like buttered popcorn or a Werthers candy. A little disappointed here, as I've heard great things about this beer. When compared to my favorite dark Belgians like Rochefort 8 and Gulden Draak, it falls way short. This is more of a dessert beer. The mouthfeel is nice and creamy but a bit too slick.

Frankly scratching my head at this one. The flavor profile is different than anything I've tried, but any semblance of balancing spice is over-shadowed by sweetness. Bad bottle? But others seem to have had the same experience. The word "sweet" is used 50 times on the 1st page of lowest reviews.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter
Bottled 7/4/2014

A- pours a deep brown color with a small foamy off-white head that reduces to a ring around the edge

S- aromas of sweet plumb mix with Belgian candied sugar, along with red apple skin, prune & fig. Closes with candied orange and peppery yeast

T- candy sugary sweetness up front opens up with flavors of plumb & raisin, rum soaked fruit cake & brown sugar. Finishes with peppery yeast and more dark fruit

M- medium body and carbonation leads a slightly foamy mouthfeel and a slightly warming finish

O- a delightful sipper that is loaded with dark fruits

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.49/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2015 version poured into my St Bernardus goblet. This Belgian Strong Dark Ale (I'll call it a Quad as that is how it tastes to me) is worthy of it's acclaim. Beautiful depth on the palate and nose, very drinkable for its ABV. Extremely well done and now I'd like to seek prior year releases as well. :-)

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

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

Poured into: Hand-washed Maredsous stemmed goblet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving Type: Bottle (2015 vintage)
Consumed: 1.13.16

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of tlema1
3.87/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: dark brown with a thin lacy head
S: some fruit, not a big nose
T: figs, plums and other dark fruit
F: great mouthfeel, warm, slightly boozy
O: very, very good sipper

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Photo of KTCamm
4.08/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12/24....pouts very dark brown, inner bubbles, patchy off white foam. Warm bready inviting nose. Milk chocolate and subtle fruits. Taste is a complex fruit blend, sweet, figs and jammy. Booze hits back! Roasted, yet soft. And experience.

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Photo of Quonmisc
4.36/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a deep, clear tanned garnet, claret color. Brownish maroon. More Maroon than brown. Very clear. Not cloudy at all. Medium head. Nice lacing. Phenol, molasses, dates, figs. Nuts. The alcohol is evident but not so much for 11%. This one sneaks up on you fast. Not as sweet as some other strong darks. The flavor is deep, complex a hint of "sweet umami". The mouthfeel is sweet and silky with a lingering effervescence that fades to molasses and an darkened, Cayman rum fruitcake. Luxurious with mild but evident carbonation and a slightly dry finish. This beer is rich, exquisite and delicious.

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Photo of thepenguin
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2011 vintage poured into a Grimm taster glass

L: Pours a very dark ruby-amber with a solid head and some seriously pretty lacing. Just the right amount of head retention without losing carbonation.

S: Incredibly berry-forward with tons of phenols. Loads of tart cherries, raspberries and some strawberries and cranberries (think I’m actually getting some snozzberries too). A hint of bourbon, Belgian yeastiness, some sherry notes, cherry cheesecake and a decent amount of ethanol.

T: Sweet and bready with strong berry flavors. Dough, pastry, cherry, vanilla, cranberry. Has a sweet, syrupy finish that is quite tasty but can become a bit cloying after awhile.

F: Medium-full body, but definitely lighter than the abv or maltiness would warrant. Velvety and somewhat fluffy mouthfeel, and medium carbonation. Leaves a thick, syrupy feel on the palate with surprisingly little alcohol presence.

O: A rich winter Belgian ale if I’ve ever had one. Not the most drinkable, but a pretty tasty sipping dessert beer. If you like fruitiness, particularly berries, this is a good one to check out.

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Photo of JackRWatkins
2.76/5  rDev -35.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.75

750 ml bottle in snifter glass at 1 year and 4 months
A: sudsy subtle 1 finger head, deep brown almost opaque with subtle hints of ruby
S: instant pilsner malt, some thick chocolate richness and dark fruit, full and sweet
T: wow this beer is sweet, I mean not even a hint of hoppy bitterness, caramel malts and a lighter bodied chocolate dominate this beer, but there's a bit of that pilsner malt that hangs around and is odd but not off putting, some cherry notes come in and marry with the caramel malts and add a tartness to the sweet
M: a bit dry but not too dry, pleasant, the sweetness in the taste distracts from the dryness in a way that I wish it did not
O: quite pleasant, but too sweet for me, I think the prominence of the pilsner malts is a nice and interesting touch, would be a great introduction to belgian strong dark ales, very accessible, but suitably complex, not my favorite, but not bad, will age some in hopes that the sweetness will dissipate some

Observation made later, after this original review: I CAN'T LIE TO MYSELF ANYMORE, THIS IS NOT A GOOD BEER, IT IS UNBEARABLY SWEET

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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 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 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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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,823 ratings.
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