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

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue)

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

For Trade:
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Reviews: 879 | Ratings: 1,799
Photo of Gavage
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: hazy brown color with some copper highlights. Short 1" head slowly falls to a surface foam.

Smell: general sweetness from molasses, honey, and caramel. Some alcohol is detectable by the nose.

Taste: sweetness dominates but does not offend. Brown sugar, raisins, prunes, molasses, honey, hint of licorice, mild alcohol, and a soft bitterness are all easily detectable.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth at the start, and the finish leans towards syrupy. Sweetness lingers well into the aftertaste.

Drinkability: very enjoyable slow sipper, but the alcohol reminds you this can be a dangerous brew if several glasses are consumed. This is a must find and try.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.99/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Last night's decible caused by Hardcore IPA will be tough to recover from. To help ease the pain, I have prescribed Gouden Carolus D'Or. 2007 vintage bought recently at the Wine Exchange (Orange, CA), on to the beer:

Poured into a chalice, the head pours a good thickness, but has a loud fizzying nose on top this ruby brown beer with reddish and violet hues. The color is good, the head is so-so. There's a great mix of aromas pleasing my nose. Where to start? Toffee, ripe dark fruits, yeast, hint of chocolate, figs, brown sugar. Good good. Now to drink.

Now I understand what all the fuss is about....sort of. Tasty....and very alcoholic (my bottle is listed at 10%). Big snap of hot booze and spicy pepper on the palate at first. Soft fruity yeast creeps in, apples and... HOT HOT HOT!! Jalapenoes? It sure feels like it. Assorted dark fruit flavors apply, but again this is a very hot beer.

No question this is a good beer, but the alcohol cut into the overall enjoyement of this beer. My bottle is one year old, so maybe more time underneath the cork will cool it off. But how much remains the question.

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Photo of liamt07
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle shared with Steve and co., 750 into a few snifter type glasses. Recall this being an 07-08 vintage? Regardless..

Poured a dark brown/burgundy, unfiltered with some small floaties. Fluffy tan head falls quickly, with some mild retention and spotty lace. Nose is dry and vinous, lots of dark fruits, grape skins. Taste is big on the brown sugar, dark fruits, mild vinous notes. Some green apple/grape skins. Sweet overall, but not overpoweringly so. Well balanced with a fantastic, full mouthfeel. Smooth, silky and creamy. Some mild dryness in the finish. Just awesome.4/4/45/45/45

Re-reviewed November 13, 2011. Part of the QuadShowdown. Beautiful softness to the nose, plums, dark fruits, sugar/brown sugar. Concise, condensed and exceptional bouquet. Taste reflects the nose quite well. Plums, brown sugar, vanilla, light syrup. Gentle and complex. Soft carbonation, full feel and a touch of back-end alcohol. Absolutely outstanding BSDA/Quad, great complexity, feel and smoothness. 4/45/45/5/5

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 2/2010 notes. Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a dark mahogany brown with ruby highlights. Nice off-white one finger head with good retention and lacing. Aroma of dark and caramel malt, dark and dried fruit, slight cherry and a hint of Belgian spicing. Flavor is intense dark and dried fruits, caramel malt and delicious light tartness with fruits dominating middle and finish with slight hops in the finish. A bit on the sweet side, but the complex flavor carries this ale through. Medium to heavy bodied with some creaminess. A very nice dark Belgian.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 Vintage

Poured into a chalice a brown/mahongy color, very nice carbonation (POP upon opening), nice creamy off-white head, nice creamy sticky lacing and small islands abound. The nose is malty, yeasty, lots of dark fruits, and caramel. The taste is absolutly delicious, sweet, malty, slight yeast tones, figs, raisins, plums, caramel. Nice little chewiness, smooth as hell, alcohol is hidden pretty well, nice warming effect. Full body, complex brew. Very drinkable, AWESOME brew, highly recommended.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Review #100! Served on tap in a 9oz snifter. Never had this one and saw it on tap, even better.

A- Van De Keizer came to me with a very faint off white head that eventually left the building. The color is a mixture of dark red and brown really giving off a maroon color almost mahogany like. Very dark all around.

S- Cuvee gives off some vinious scents with dark fruits and some grapes present. Some burnt sugars as well as roasted malt. More brown sugar with warming as well as molasses and a hint of vanilla. Raisins as well as cinnamon and pear come through with time.

T- Wow, now this is a well rounded BSDA. A lot of the dark fruit comes through initially with apple and pear following and brown sugar. A lot of sweet malts in the middle as well as figs dates and cinnamon. The 11% is well masked but alcohol does make an appearence. A bit of clove and banana.

M- Very smooth with a creamy mouthfeel with ample carbonation. Liked the way the fruit appeal stuck around for a bit. This 11%er gave off some warming hints which was expected. You get the whole array of flavor from the smallest coating the mouth. Medium to full bodied. Thick and full flavored, good stuff.

D- 11%, you kidding me. A night time beer for sure. The 9oz serving I had was a good size portion for a beer this complex. I would never think of drinking a whole bottle to myself, even though i would like to try a bottle to compare. I was not impressed with Het Ankers Noel offering but this restored my faith in this brewery.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.32/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2003 bottling, Sampled January 2004:
The cork explodes from the bottle. A deep ruby color that is topped by a dark tan head. Aromas of plum, raisin, lots of dark malt aromas, and slight notes of alcohol emanate from my glass. The taste is rich and sweet with dark fruit (cherry, raisin, and fig) and alcohol in the finish. The mix of fruit and alcohol is evocative of brandy. Ends with a bit of acidity, which is a nice balancing note. The fruitiness is perhaps most reminiscent of dark cherries, though there are some subtle notes of peach as well.

This is quite good, very rich and a definite brew to savor. Could perhaps use something to balance the sweetness and fruitiness; maybe some Belgian yeast complexity or some off-setting spice notes. This beer is very smooth, with no harsh components despite the high alcohol.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 750 picked up at Erickson's Fine Wines for $9.50 .... shared with Brenda ... mine poured into a Kasteel tulip .. chilling on my Friday, listening to Cowboy Junkies Live at the BBC.

Nice lite tan head that drops to a good collar and substantial lacing... Deep chesnut brew with beautiful dark ruby highlites when held to the light.

Aroma is deceptively complex .. alot of well hidden spice with brandy mascerated dark fruits... plums.. raisins.. figs.. and dark caramel.. smell is not as sweet as expected.

Flavor is amazing.. hugely complex profile.. a touch more spicy than the nose led me to believe. Tawny port notes without nearly as much booze... alcohol is there but only the tie that binds all these great spicy fruits together. Big plum and swelled prunes ... dried sweet cherries and a very present sweet cigar characteristic. Fairly thick viscosit.. with the perfect amount of carbonation.

I love this beer and always have access to it, but judging by notes, this only the 2nd time I've take the time to enjoy it... count on it (I am a label whore and am taken by shiny wrappings)... I will buy more, possibly many more.. and hopefully will be able to restrain myself to actually cellar some.

This is the type quality, that I will pull out of the cellar and give to some of my more micro-novice buddies and coworkers and proudly exclaim "This is what beer CAN taste like."

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Photo of biegaman
4.29/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Jaargang 2007. Enjoyed November 2009.

The Keizer isn't much to look at. My chalice isn't filled with a drink that looks suitable for a king, but rather some sort of mucky, scummy, possibly prune derived nectar seemingly better fit for the peasants. Light yields no change to the beer's clammy, lifeless complexion. And what is a Keizer without his crown? Its head is entirely bare of bubbles.

The aroma, on the other hand, has an essence fit - not for royalty - but for the Gods. This sweet, ambrosial serum exhumes a potent and rather pacifying character, one that puts the soul (or, more accurately, the senses) at peace with the world. (*In the interest of full disclosure it should be noted that perhaps a snippet of that tranquility might very well be derived from the rather immodest and lulling 11% alcohol.)

The beer's soothing character could reasonably be equated to a tawny port, and this is in large part because of its flavour profile. Fans of the fortified wine would enjoy this Belgian ale not only for its commanding sweetness but also the lush and nuanced notes of oak, peppery spice and tannic fruitiness. It shows its strength, albeit modestly.

I taste black currant but I'm thinking Cassis. I get maybe a hint of orange but it much more closely resembles Grand Marnier or Triple Sec than it does anything that's grown on a tree. The yeast also plays games - there's a slight hint of bruised banana and it wouldn't be at all far fetched to note herbs or spices, I get clove especially.

Upfront the fruits taste lively and ripe (i.e, plum, grape and black cherry). By finish, however, they become dry (now prune and raisin). The palate, too, seems to dry out alongside them. The tastes that linger most are those of strawberry jam, elderberries, and, just perhaps, a drop or two of coffee. Warming does it no harm, only good.

Cuvée Van De Keizer is only brewed on one day a year, February 24th. I don't see much need to brew it more often than that. It seems to be in fairly wide distribution and, although it is, in all respects, a very good beer I would consider the other Gouden Carolus offerings to be great beers. Keep in mind, however, as the high score posted above shows, that even this brewery's "good" beer ranks above the average brewery's best.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

750 mL 2009 bottle poured into a snifter.

I have been meaning to try this for a few years and finally got around to picking up a bottle. Pours a deep, dark clear mahogany with a thick, dense tan head that appears to have an imaginary slight pinkish hue. Glass is coated sticky lacing and overall has nice retention but eventually fades a large bubbly cap. At cooler temperatures the aroma is rich with dark fruits, yeast, sugars, etc and is very pleasant but as it warms up the alcohol dominates and detracts from the nose. The mouthfeel is my favorite part of this beer. Medium full, silky with light carbonation and a rich, sweet fruity finish. Like the nose, the flavors become dominated by alcohol as this beer warms up. Even when cold, flavors are dominated by ripe, dark fruits, sugars, caramel malt, light spices, occasionally tart and all of these flavors are intensified as it warms up. Overall, an amazing Belgian, probably should have let this sit a little longer and a little too sweet for my own personal tastes, but the amazing mouthfeel and carbonation nearly makes up for those points.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.41/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a dark red/brown umber with a full white/tan head with good retention and good lacing.

S: Was actually not getting much until the beer warmed up, nice fruit and molasses, sugary malt.

T: Very tasty, I've only had this beer once before, but it is a great tasting BSDA. Great taste of dark fruit, raisin and prune, molasses and rum/brandy, very fruity and sweet, but not cloying at all, just a delicious, full beverage.

M: Smooth, full-bodied, good carbonation, though I would have liked a little richer mouthfeel.

D: This is one of the standards for this style, I think Charles V would be proud, a really good ale.

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

Pours a DEEP dark clear ruby brown.

Smells extremely complex, malt, banana, raisins, dates, brown sugar, basically it smells like grandmothers banana bread. Also reminds me of a good expensive sherry.

Tastes sweet, and bready. Lots of nut flavor and fruit and spices, tastes a lot like good banana bread. This has a nice warming effect that makes it PERFECT for a winter beer.

Mouthfeel is thinner than you would expect for such a flavor packed beer.

Definitely drinkable, this makes a superior holiday brew.

Screw eggnog; give me this at Christmas time!

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.85/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1.5 Litre bottle: 2011 version. Shared at home with the wife, daughter and son-in-law during a random tasting night on 23 Nov 2012.

Every had Dandelion and Burdock? This reminded me of that old staple from my youth: more body and less fizz than the old pop bottles but still very simular in smell, taste and look.

Demerara sugar and raisins also came to mind in this fairly sweet yet very drinkable brew. The alcohol is detectable but it adds to the enjoyment rather than hindering as some weaker/watery beers often suffer with because their flavours are not strong enough: these flavours certainly are hefty enough to take the alcohol and help it to enhance the brew.

I had the lions share of the bottle and knew I'd had enough when I stopped drinking and started making my notes: just about readable!

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a good head and good lacing.Head fades a little quicker than I would like. Aroma is very nice indeed,very full bodied, a little sweet, a little alcohol.Sweet malts and spice predominate. Taste is similar, but with a nice depth. More sweet malt and spice, as well as brown sugar and dark fruit. Very balanced and creamy. Although a little on the sweet side, the beer isn't sticky or tiresome at all. Delicious, and my favorite from this brewery.

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Photo of flagmantho
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750mL bottle into a tulip. This is the 2012 vintage.

Appearance: very dark brown/amber hue which shines a beautiful ruby when held up to the light. There's a nicely active effervescence, and head is a thick finger of pillowy ivory foam. Nice.

Smell: nice mixture of sweet caramel and dusty dark fruits. Cherry, plum and raisin are evident. I like it.

Taste: huge, rich flavor with a much greater intensity than the aroma. Caramel sweetness provides a backdrop for more of the same fruits as in the aroma, but everything is brighter and bigger. Alcohol bite and fruitiness contribute a lot to the flavor. Toward the end, the flavor rounds out with a light breadiness. I love it!

Mouthfeel: medium-thick body with a big carbonation and a big, thick creaminess. Love it.

Overall: what a delicious beer. I was worried from the low-key smell that this beer would not be as wonderful as I'd hoped, but in the end it's delicious and drinkable despite its huge ABV. Wonderful stuff.

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Photo of John_M
4.64/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's (have not seen this on tap at too many places).

The beer pours a reddish amber color that is just a bit murky. On the nose... this is what Belgian beers are all about. I get a huge aroma of sugar daddy, cherry, chocolate, orange citrus, and a hint of root beer. This smells just incredible. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose almost exactly and are just as impressive. There's a bit more anise then there is on the nose, but that only helps to buoy the moderate sweetness a bit more. This beer is just incredibly delicious. Mouthfeel is good, with decent length and a full, fairly long finish. Alcohol is fairly well disguised, but lets not kid ourselves. This is clearly a rich, heady, no holds barred Belgain strong ale. Unless you're a masochist, you're not going to be pounding down pints of these bad boys.

Fabulous stuff. If you don't like this, then you probably don't like beer. Yummm....

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a slightly reddish brown, with a huge 3 inch head, and a lot of lacing. Classic Belgian look.

Smells really, really strongly of dark fruits, plums and raisins. Smells slightly musty, in a good way.

This is very sweet, but fortunately doesn't verge on cloying territory. There's some yeasty esters, chocolate, caramel, toffee, Candi sugars, plums, and raisins. Classic, amplified quad flavor- so intensely flavored. It's great.

This has a very creamy mouthfeel, with a very low amount of carbonation. It's pretty syrupy and thick bodied.

One of the better quads you can find.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: This beer pours burgundy with a thick creamy tan head that slowly dissipates into rich lacings.

S: Rich sweet chocolate and caramell malt. Dark dried fruits; raisins and cherries. Syrupy and spicey.

T: Very vineous; sweet malt, both chocolate and caramell. Loads of dark dried fruits; cherries, raisins, figs and plums. Complex and well balanced.

M: Long warm aftertaste with mostly sweetness. A bit alcoholic. Full syrupy body with very low carbonation.

D: A very nice beer. This a beer for connoisseurs. I guess it will take me all night to slowly enjoy this one.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this during Julio's Belgian Beer Festival on August 14, 2011. It pours a handsome looking dark amber to mahogany brown with red hues affixed to the side of the glass. The head is thin but long lasting. There is an enticing balance of sweet malts and a zing of hops on the nose. The body ends up at about medium to good. As for the taste think of smooth candied sweetness and a slightly harsher finish to remind you of what you have just experienced. Very drinkable in the end.

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Photo of Derek
4.2/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2002 vintage at 8.5%.

A: Deep amber-brown, light tan head, great retention & lace.

S: Candy floss fruityness, toffee, caramel, bubblegum.

T: Spicy cider, pineapple, brandy, warming alcohol (but not overly assertive), phenolic. Plenty of byproducts from the Belgian yeast, which haven't been tamed with time. Very 'Belgian'.

M: Moderate to full body, moderately high carbonation. Well attenuated & digestable (as a Belgian should be).

D: The yeast character is a little overbearing... I think the fermentation temperature was a little high for my liking.

Thanks for the sample sammy!

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Photo of weeare138
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Much thanks to witbier for hooking me up with this for my homebrew services of his requested beer...
Appears a hazy, dark brown with auburn edges when held up to the light. A 1 finger, tan head slowly fades out into a foamy cap. Scattered streaks of lacing are left all around the glass.
Smell is up front of brown sugar, caramel, raisins, candi sugar, and some spices and ripe fruit.
Taste is of the aromas with a sweet caramel and raisin flavor winning out over the other sugary sweet flavors being pumped from this fine beverage.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, sugary, somewhat syrupy, and a bit boozy.

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Photo of dar482
4.71/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

The beer comes in a dark brown mahoghany with a bit of red coming through. There's a bit of off white/light brown head.

The aroma has just tons and tons of sweetness dark caramel, toffee. It moves onto overly painfully sweet dark fruits like raisin, figs. A bright red wine character as well, which is a surprising note.

The flavor follows with almost a port like quality. Tons of overly sweet raisins, figs, and then some grape and bittering tanins. The general theme is the brown sugar and toffee sweetness that just lingers along with fruit bread.

A medium silky mouthfeel without much carbonation.

The alcohol is well hidden. Granted, I'm having a 2012 vintage and it is over a year old, but still, so drinkable. A lovely sweetness and a great dessert beer.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a five+ finger pillowy, cream head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Deep cloudy amber/brown color. Nose is dark fruit and some alcohol. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is sweet dark fruit and hints of alcohol. $12.99 for a 750ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT. Bottled 2008.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.85/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 vintage bottle purchased for me a year ago by @epiclurk. Shared with @tobeerornottobe and @LaitueGonflable. So around 2 years of age on it.

Pours a deep ruby red tending to brown, with a hazy, bubbly and somewhat inconsistent head of off-white. Lacing is patchy but fine and streaking. Colour is amazing, weight in the body is very pleasant. Looks really great.

Nose is deep, complex and pungent, with big dark fruit characters carrying spicier, drier notes and even a hint of acidity. Everything is smoothed by a big, slightly estery vanilla character, and a big whack of rounded Belgian yeast. Fantastic stuff: another effortless example of Belgian superiority.

Taste is phenomenal. Smooth and sweet, with a balance that somehow keeps it from being too cloying. It has a bright, slightly dry, slightly coppery feeling on the edges that stops the sweetness from overwhelming the palate. There's spicy poached oranges coming through as well: it's like the suggestion of bright fragrance, that still gets covered with brown sugar and toffeed up into subjugation. Absolutely amazing stuff. Complex, but so, so well balanced.

Feel is incredibly smooth and perfectly weighted. It aids the palate in every respect.

Absolutely fantastic stuff. Clean, balanced but also masterfully complex and deep. The alcohol is so well hidden, and hidden in a light, airy way that only the Belgians do. It makes it supremely drinkable despite its hefty ABV. Oh yes, this is a phenomenally good beer: and so effortless. Absolutely amazing.

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Photo of corby112
4.56/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes:

Pours a dark chestnut amber color with a 2.5 finger foamy tan head that has decent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with patches of soapy lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with hints of peppery spice and a prominent dark fruit presence. Hints of plum, raisin, dark cherry and grape balanced by subtle hops licorice, nut and alcohol.

This beer has a wonderful mouthful and is very flavorful. Nice soft carbonation up front with lots of peppery spice that is nicely balanced by a slight medicinal presence, dark fruit and alcohol warmth. Hints of chocolate, caramel, fig, raisin, date and dark cherry all bouncing off of each other. Incredibly complex with the perfect balance of roasty, spicy, sweet and heat. The high ABV is excellently masked however, making this beer dangerously drinkable. Highly recommended!

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,799 ratings.
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