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)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker
Belgium
hetanker.be

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
887
Ratings:
1,823
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
10.26%
 
 
Wants:
258
Gots:
331
For Trade:
15
User Reviews
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Reviews: 887 | Ratings: 1,823
Photo of BigIrishman
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 Bottle, Aged nicely

Pours a dark brown with a pale small head that dissipates quickly. Smells of plums/raisins, rather sweet, similar to a sherry. Taste has a lot of grapes, sweet but yet the alcohol content leaves the taste buds a with a dry red wine flavor. Mouthfeel is syrupy, not like a RIS in terms of heaviness but rather heavy like a bristol cream, having texture but still viscous. Drinkability is scary, the dryness has you asking for more and the alcohol content can sneak up on you.

notes: This is a very different strong belgian ale, shares little in comparison with a traditional SBA like any of the Chimay's. This is one that I will come back to again. Age helps this brew achieve an amazing flavor.

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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 jim102864
4.85/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I just happened to read from a fellow BA about a package store in Manchester that was highly rated when I found this absolute gem of a Belgian. Somewhat suprising, given that overall beer selection was good but not as strong as my usual place. The appearance of this 2004 Belgian got me stoked up right off the bat. I'm a big strong brown fan, and this one did not disappoint. A beautiful molasses brown with a thick tan head as I poured it into my Duvel tulip glass. The lace graced the glass deep into the session. And the aroma ! Sweet, candied sugar with an alcohol accent. Dates, raisens and prunes rose from the glass and again presented themselves in the taste. The candied sugar was highly evident along with hints of cinnamon. Mind you, the aroma and flavor were balanced with sweet overtones, but the sweetness did not overwhelm either. A warm, alcohol presence with explosions of flavor with each sip. The mouthfeel was thick and chewy, precisely what makes for a wonderful strong brown belgian. This is a highly drinkable session brew that the Belgian fan will absoultely savor. It is also added to my personal favorites list.

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Photo of Filosoof
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a great great beer. An excentric style. There are dessert wines; this looks like a dessert beer. So powerful. It is very sweet, but functionally sweet.

L: need I say more? A great top, Deep dark.
S: this is a complete fruit garden and candy shop in one. Candy rock/stick. Orange, prunes, figes and many more.
T: in line with the smell; great combination with Stilton;
M: lovely.
O: top of the bill.

A bit too heavy and sweet to drink it very often, but great as a finish of a wonderful dinner.

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Photo of Chelsea1905
3.95/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008. Probably one of the best Belgians I have ever had, except for that one girl on a damp summers night in....hold on, back to the beer!

Anyway, pours a nice ruby red, dark brown hue with a lively head that disapates after some time, but leaves great markings after each swallow.

Smells of vanilla and pear, which is really quite light and floral for a beer as dark as this pours.

tastes, for me all belgians do this, initially of gas and alcohol, but after that subsdes there is a candy-like sweetness from whatever malt was used. Not as over poweringly wheat or yeast tasting as other belgians I have had.

Very smooth after the inital rush of bubbles.

At 11% I dount youd be knocking many of these back, but the mouthfeel is quite light for something that appears so dark!

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Photo of meatmallet
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 750 ml bottle. Dark reddish brown color with a thick head that that quickly dissipates. Heavier alcohol smell than I was expecting but was not bad. Also smells of yeast, rasins, and spices. Taste is sweet with a bit of alcohol burn at the end. A heavy malt taste with fig and rasins. Feels good in the mouth with the right ammount of carbonation.

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Photo of Flashsp2
4.6/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cuvee Van De Keizer Blauw 750 into oversized pinot noir glass,Feb 2008 vintage in July 2009

Super deep mahogany with gold highlights. A pretty aggressive pour (for a bottle conditioned Belgian anyway) reveals a two inch light tan head, good retention and spotty stick on the way down.

Sweet malt and granny smith apple peel. Nice tartness, not intense, just enough to have a refreshing aroma. Some other dark fruit in there, under ripe plum comes to mind.

Caramel sweet bread, dry yeast, more tangy green apple peel, More of the plum, a touch of raisin, and a good tartness that is unexpectedly tasty and brings a brightness to an otherwise dark tasting beer. Their is a touch of bitterness on the finish as well, hard to tell if its from the hops of some other aspect. The alcohol makes a warming presence on the palette as it warms, but still doesn't overpower the beer.

Mouthfeel starts heavy and almost syrupy, but then the prickly carbonation breaks it up and makes it feel a bit more lively and lush.

Pretty high on the drinkability for the ABV (11%). Nice balance of sweet and tangy, I like this quite a bit. Top 100 worthy, maybe, maybe not. Probably so, just quite a bit different than what I was expecting.

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Photo of bskrtz
3.25/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle poured to open beer challice. Served 'chilled' at approx. 55 degrees

A) Very dark brown, clear with small lacy head.

S) Like a bakery -- sweet bread, pie, cookie dough. A lot going on here. Hint of citrus and spice

T) Very sweet, brandy, sticky thick maple syrup. Malty with mild hops

M) A bit flat. Could use a bit more bottle conditioned fiz.

D) A tad too sweet for me

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Photo of dbmernin83
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2009

Pours a very dark, burnt brown with a one inch head.

Rich dark fruits in the nose, light booze. Very Port-like.

Huge dark fruits, very sweet. A slight earthiness.

Creamy, thick mouthfeel. This is a big one. Light carbonation and heavy booze and all the flavors coat your mouth and stay for long after a sip.

Thick, syrupy, and delicious. A nightcap sipper and should be shared with a friend.

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Photo of Lukie
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first beer review in a long time, and what better to do it with, then the speciality from one of my favourite Belgian Brews.

2009 Edition.

Pours out an off-dark brown, with hints of ruby. Hard to see through. Big frothy head, that drops into a cm of foam sitting atop the liquid.

Notes of honey, brown sugar, toffee and dark fruits (fig, dark plum). Hints of an orange-citrus in the background.

First mouthful is heavenly. Absolutely remarkable. Big hits of sweet, dessert-like dark fruits, with that sugared fig predominant in the regular version, coming across in such an amazing way here. Big brown sugar flavour resonates in the back of the pallate, adding more, and bringing forth the big fruit flavours. Port-like characters is a good way to call this one. Just so much happening.

Silky smooth mouthfeel, with a lower end of carbonation. A slight stickiness, like a good dessert wine, lingers in the mouth with every sip. The beer just overtakes the entire mouth, and ever tastebud. Dangerously drinkable for a beer that is 11% alcohol. If this is how good this is now, I must put a couple away to see how it mellows with age.

Exceptional.

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

Sample is a 25.4 ounce Vintage dated bottle from the one-time, once a year, February 24th 2004 limited production. (A small quantity of this brew is made on this date each year)
Pours a magnificent deep dark cloudy brownish-amber color, with some suspended particulate. A deep ½” mocha colored head, dissipates to a slick on top. The nose of massively rich butterscotch sours from the glass and is accompanied by warm caramelized sweet malts. The nose is unusual and distinguished; building uncontrollable anticipation for the tasting, which promises to be something very special.
OMG! The taste is out of this world!! Mature & complex roasted malts and fresh young turbinado sugar on the tip of the tongue. This (I almost wrote wine) brew is multi-dimensional, perfectly balanced and unbelievably delicious. The alcohol, at 10%, is completely undetectable, as tons of flavors impact the entire mouth. The interaction of the nose of this creation, and the simultaneous tasting of it is as harmonious as it gets; the very heady butterscotch with a negligible sour lining wrapped gently around the nose, and the impact of the slightly sweet caramelzation of the malts is virtually indescribable.
This brew you would expect to be a broodingly rich and flabby mess from the massiveness of the nose. That’s the surprise; it is lean to medium bodied, but super-concentrated on flavor, highly refined and flamboyant. The essence of the taste is remotely reminiscent to a lighthearted version of a fine young unadulterated tawny port, such as Taylor Fladgate’s 10 year. The mouthfeel is primo, perfect acid-sugar ratio, light and clean in the mouth, you could drink this endlessly. You would never expect this of the mouthfeel based on the unbelievable massiveness of the nose. The flavors last more than a minute in the mouth.
I will go on record to say that this is the most exciting and complex brew I have ever had the pleasure of partaking. It is indeed a nectar of and for the gods, formulated and prepared with the utmost of love and respect, it is a rare opportunity that simply cannot be missed. Bravo!!

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

2009 bottle. pours a dark amber color with good to large off white head and lacing. lively fizzy carbonation. sweet raisin like smell, taste is the same with hints of carmel, and molasses. very sweet with a slight bitter finish. medium body, thin oily texture, and average flavor duration. very good brew. alcohol is fairly well hidden but creeps up on you fast.

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Photo of shambeano
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2011 vintage, 750ml shared with a mate and poured into a tulip.

A-Pours a syrupy looking dark dark brown with a tinge of amber, about an inch of thick head that slowly subsides, leaving a nice laving. looks pretty good.

S- straight up there is a bunch of malt sweetness, theres some alcohol in there, dark dried fruits, sultana, raisin, dried fig. A nice belgian yeastiness comes through at the end, a but spicey, peppery. pretty nice.

T- raisin and dark fruit to begin with, sultana, raisin and fig like on the nose. followed by a sweetness that reminds me of golden syrup. that golden syrup flavour really lasts for quite some time. there is a touch of spicy yeast in the background, but it takes some searching for. there is some alcohol there but it doesn't detract from the beer. quite good.

M- mid to heavy bodied, a little carbonation lightens the whole thing, has a nice length of flavour, there is a touch of alcohol prickliness but it adds to everything. good feel.

O- i like it, very alcoholic and tasty. had half a mind to give the taste a 4.5, really wish i could give it a 4.25 but anyway, its a tasty drop. and i would definitely have it again.

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Photo of Meerkey
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1 finger of pale beige head. Rich, nutty raw umber. Dark and murky, gets lighter at edges.

S: Sweet, dark fruits -the bottle mentioned plums. Sugary, caramel. A little roasted. Some alcohol.

T: Dark fruits overwhelm. Followed by sugars, some faintly sour yeast and some apple and..cinnamon? Delicious.

M: A little carbonation. Sweet and heavy, smooth. Lingers heavily on the tongue.

O: Really good. This is all around tasty and wonderful. Quite drinkable, I think. But look out, it's 11%. Go have one.

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

750ml bottle. All black with a black ribbon that states "Grand Cru of the Emperor" bottled in 2004 and 10% abv.
Pours a deep brown with a nice 1 inch head that sticks around and leaves good lacing. Aroma was faint at best but got stronger as it warmed. Aromas of plums and raisins with some wine like esters and slight alcohol in the background.
Taste was all malt, caramel, sweet, raisiny with hints of dried fruits. It was full bodied yet smooth and danced on the tongue slightly leaving a nice alcohol warmth in the stomach. Very nice beer indeed.

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Photo of dblinkhorn
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a corked and caged 750ml bottle into a goblet.

Appearance - Pours a very murk dark orange/brown. The head is about one finger and somewhat soapy and tan at first. It quickly settles at a thin but very creamy light-tan head that leaves good lacing on the way down.

Smell - Rich dark ripe fruits, mainly fig and cherry. Some slight smokey character, and some peppery spiciness with just a hint of clove. A huge bread pudding-like malt character that acts as a foundation for the rest of the aroma. Some background sweetness of rich caramel and molasses. Slight warmnth on the nose from the alcohol.

Taste - Lots of ripe cherry and fig right away, with some moderate alcohol warmnth. Some earthy notes right away, though they are mild. Floral and herbal hops mixed with some caramel and candied fruit sweetness. Again a huge bready malt with more earthiness mixed in. The finish mellows from the fruits and transforms into a mild sweetness with a full and rich malt character which tasts slightly toasted (but only toward the finish). Alcohol warmnth all the way through, but mainly at the beginning of a taste.

Mouthfeel - Luxuriously smooth mouthfeel with a medium body. Would have been a perfect mouthfeel (it really is heavenly), but the beer turns completely to foam toward the finish. Extremely smooth, though, and no unpleasantness at all from the carbonation.

Drinkability - Very strong flavors and at 11% ABV and noticeable, this beer takes a hit in this category.

A wonderfully full-flavored Belgian strong dark ale. The flavors are fantastic and complex, and it has a sublime mouthfeel. A must have!

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Photo of cooler4life
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Bottle

A: Poured a one finger head that settles to a thin cap. Color is a deep mahogany brown. Lacing is moderate. Carbonation can be seen racing to the top. I can see some particulate swirling about.

S: Smell is a standout! Raisons, figs, brown sugar, green apples. With deeper breaths I get the alcoholic twinge with some butterscotch.

T: Wow. Figs at first, followed by burnt sugar, roasty malt, dark fruits, rum soaked cherries, and cocao. The first sip almost knocked my socks off.

M: Extremely creamy and smooth. Light-medium mouth presence. Carbonation is delicate...Mellow.

O: For a brew of this ABV with such a multidimensional taste and smell, the drinkability factor is fantastic. Well done!

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

a Nearly opaque reddish brown color with a fine, full head. Head dissipates to leave a ton of lacing, actually more like foam on the sides of the glass than lacing.

s Very fruity smell enhanced by the fact that I am drinking it warmer than the recommended 45 - 50 degrees. The aroma is that of dried dark fruits; raisins, prunes, with a pleasant rumminess.

t Tastes like a high alchol ale. My bottle says 10%. Sweet chocolate malt flavor.

m Feels good in my mouth, a little thin but again I am drinking it warm.

d I would drink this again and again. Too expensive to be an everyday beer but I will enjoy this ale many more times.

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Photo of Chambic
4.82/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

02.02.10 at City Beer, courtesy of Frank

A: beautiful dark brown, with a ruby tint

S: like booze, fruit, and sugar

T: ripe, dark fruit, caramel, and jammy; sometimes it almost tastes like liquid Reese's Pieces

M: nice and rich, really malty

D: love this beer, though I've never had the whole thing myself

Love the beer, love the bottle -- GC can do no wrong.

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

Poured from a 750ml caged and corked bottle

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of ryannosaurus
4.24/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 poured to snifter

Dark reddish brown, opaque appearance. Nice tan head that settles to a consistent film.

Smell is sweet and spicy: brown sugar, banana and clove most evident

Loads of residual sugars... flavor is very sweet with caramel and molasses and fig notes on the front.... banana, spice, brown sugar and a hint of hop bitterness and alcohol on the back end

Mouth feel is nice: significant body thinned by the alcohol, and sharpened by the carbonation

I expect a big Belgian to be on the sweet side, and this certainly hits that... maybe a little too sweet on the front of the tongue. Slight hop bitterness adds some needed contrast, and while some fruit esters are evident, they are somewhat mixed and indistinct under the sweetness. It would be interesting to see how this one ages further, but overall just too sweet for a 5 star rating in my estimation.

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Photo of FleeVT
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml brown bomber poured into a Chimay goblet. Bottle born on date is presented as a year on the neck label and in the story of how it is brewed every year on February 24th on the birthday of Charles V.

A: Pours a beautiful crimson brown which glows on the edges. Capped by an off-white thick head that sticks to the glass and looks like it would require chewing.

S: Delicious. Red delicious apples, brown sugar, caramel, raspberries, and a firm but not overpowering alcohol backbone.

T/M: Big beer! A decadent mix of caramel, chocolate covered berries, oak soaked in dark rum, overripe cherries, and a touch of spice. Just a perfectly balanced beer with hint a hops. The body has a creamy texture that is cut nicely by the higher alcohol volume. Carbonation is moderate.

Like a fine port this seems like it would get better with age. Go slow with this one and savor every last drop.

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

pours a dark brown and unasuming. Smells deep, dark and malty. Aromas of caramel, tobacco and leather. The taste is deep malt, spicey, sweet, but not sugary. Caramel flavors dominate with very little alcohol, despite the 10% abv. Wow, drink slowly and enjoy, this is a dark, enjoyable beer. I highly recommend it

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Photo of ojiikun
3.43/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage. Shop also had the 2001, but it was twice the price.

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Gulden Draak tulip glass. Body is a deep reddish-brown, and suprisingly clear with a bit of suspended particulate matter. No fogging whatsoever. Head was off-white and dissipated slowly but steadily.

Smell has lots of up-front booze and an incredible amount of old brandy oak. There is a bit of a bacterial lambic-ish fruity smell as well. Minor notes are of caramel and raisins.

Taste is at first sour then immediately sweet, then with another bit of sour at the end. Initial brandy notes continue, along with good dark german bread. The sour notes of the smell develop into cherry and currant as the sweetness comes into play. What hops are there are all herbal, no bitter or floral notes of which to speak. Belgian funk goes without saying for the style. I suspect a bit of spontanious fermentation in this vintage, that lactic smell is just signature.

Mouthfeel is aggressive thanks to good, strong carbonation and high ABV. The constant balance between sweet and tart is a bit much at times, but the best parts of the flavour that hide inside each sip are enough to keep you going.

I realized about halfway thru the first glass that I am drinking this beer MUCH too early. 9 months wasn't long enough for this beer to really finish conditioning. The flavours are all there and are brilliant, but they haven't yet come together in a way that only age can bring.

I will have to grab another 2006 while they're cheap and put it away for two years, and update accordingly. I think this could be an incredible icon of the grand cru world, given it's time.

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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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