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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

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Reviews: 881 | Ratings: 1,807
Photo of Vipsanius
4.89/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2003 750ml bottle

Poured a dark reddish brown into a chalice with a slight light tan head. Doesn't have great lacing but that's about the only downfall to this great beer.

The smell and taste are very complex. Each time you bring the glass to your lips you can pick up on something new. I could pick up on hints of molasses, figs, plums, and fresh baked banana bread (others were spot on picking up on that). It's a 10% ABV beer and you can pick up on it but there are so many other flavors that it usually gets pushed to the wayside. Overall, a very, very drinkable beer.

Whenever I cook a good steak, this is the first beer I want to grab out of my cellar. I try to keep this stocked at all times.

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Photo of murrayswine
4.18/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I hunted thid one down for quite a bit, picked up a 4-pack of the 11.2's.

On opening the aroma was actually rather unattractive with a slightly musky smell mixed with loose citrus and toffee.

On pouring I was presented with a deep sienna colored body with a 1 1/2 inch head that leveled to a nice permanent lace.

The taste is slighly walnut with deep belgium chocolate and anise tart.

The mouth feel is perfect, the corect mix of bubbles and silk.

Overall an extremely drinkable beer that I highly recommend.

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Photo of Minotaur
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a 2008 bottle.

A golden, hazy with light brown shadow: honey colored with a thick head that leaves little lacing but hangs as a bubbly skim atop the chalice.

The aroma is yeasty and bready, also having elements of clove and honey. There is a significant hop spice and sourness present in the aroma.

It has a robust, thick and filling mouthfeel and satisfies with a high level of drinkability.

The taste of this ale is totally unique. it is unmistakably Belgian but has a strong element of honey and herbs. It almost grants a metheglin/mead like quality. The malt presents a sweet but crisp background along with significant flavor hops. There is a sour/spice flavor that distinctly comes from hops but there is little bitterness to upset the malt-honey interplay. There is an apple-pear flavor on the sides of the tongue that lingers after each sip.

One of the more interesting and challenging Belgian ales I've tasted.

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

very dark but shows red notes in light. extremely thick head. very pretty.
smells of candy sugar and earthy sweetness and alcohol. tastes like molasses. warming alcohol. some floral notes, and caramel, and more molasses.
mouthfeel is somewhat slick, very full and kind of syrupy. not something I'm terribly excited about.

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Photo of RomanW70
4.62/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 version 3/14 @ Armsby Abbey. Pours dark caramel brown with minimal white lacing. Aroma of molasses, caramel, and candied sugar. Delicious flavor. Sweet malts and caramel descend into a candies sugar, yeasty finish. Very sweet, but not overly so. Thick mouthfeel with minimal carbonation. Super delicious beer.

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Photo of atpben
3.51/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured 2008 bottle into a Duvel glass. Appearence of dark reddish brown with a rather quickly dissipating head. Aromas of mostly raisins and dates with light brown sugar. Quite sweet in the taste. Tastes of mostly raisins and brown sugar. Has a long sweet finish that lingers for a while (the best aspect of the beer). I think this beer will pair well with Creme Brulee. I couldnt have more than one glass in a sitting. Not bad.

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

This was great. A real treat. Some really fun fruity flavors to pull out of this. This review is for the 2009 bottling.

A - Dark brown. lasting stoft head, good lacing

S - A lot of different aromas to pick out here. A lot of fun. Light sweet sugar. Celery. Honey Dew Melon. Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream. Cherry Coke.

T - Cherry sweet and full (not fake cherry flavor, and not overdone). Honey Apple. Plume. Prune. Takes time, starts strong and tart but worth sticking with. It becomes very easy to drink and delicious once your palette gets acquainted.

M - Coating w/sweet tart dry back and front.

D - Well, it's great if you have enough, hehe.

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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 clabaugh
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Stately 75cl bottle from the 2006 batch. Pours a handsome garnet-brown color, with a wispy, almost ephemeral head. Retention is quite temporary, giving way to beige ring around the glass.

Smell: Big malty aromas suggesting butterscotch, sweet corn bread, and molasses. Also present are wiffs of musty yeast, and a faint, nectar-like hoppiness.

Taste: The rich, almost decadent, malty taste confirms what the nose suspected. Fabulously tasty, combining flavors of molasses, plum, dark and doughy bread, honey, and ginger. A sort of earthy nuttiness is also detectable, with a slight residual hoppiness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a delightful creaminess. Applies a tingle to the palate, and warming sensations of alcohol to the mouth and throat.

Drinkability: Tremendous flavor, with an alcohol presence that remains well hidden throughout. Superb beer.

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Photo of jabocu
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown caramel color with a one finger cap that settled to thin fish-eye lacings. Aroma of dark caramel, raisins, toffee, rum-soaked currants, vanilla, oak, sour cherry, slight banana, candy and earthy wheat. Some alcohol on the nose. Flavor is powerfully full of fruity esters of raisins, sour cherry, and pomegranates. Deeply malty with caramel and honey. Vanilla and Oak hang in the background and there's a slight sourness to break up the sweetness. Bitterness is mild with slight spicy/peppery notes. Alcohol is noticible and warm. Body is medium-full, and carbonation is medium. Very excellent beer!

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Photo of dlcoblen
4.84/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottled in year 2012.

A: Murky dark brown, Henna color. Small head, the bottle describes the head as velvety and I would agree.

S: Sweet Caramel upfront, with the smell of fruity sweetness. Also I smell apples.

T: I gave this a 5.0 for taste. It has everything im looking for when buying a Belgium strong ale. Its very sweet, has a dark fruit complex aided with roasted pecans. Plus the belgium yeast gives so much dimension.

M: I'd say not quite full bodied but close, the carbonation cuts through the sweetness leaving the mouth feeling refreshed so your tongue doesn't mistake it for syrup.

O: A perfect belgium beer, I will be buying again for sure

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Photo of halfP1NT
4.82/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown with ruby highlights, creamy off white head that left some foamy lacing. Subsides and leaves a foamy cap.

The first smell to hit my nose was light fruits; apple, apricot, pear. Upon further inhalation and warming of the beer, darker fruits came across; raisin, plum, lots of alcohol.

Taste is very complex and delicious! Dark fruits dominate; cherry, raisin, plum, dried apricot. Alcohol is very evident but works well in this beer. Reminds me of a very strong dubbel. Leaves a sugary sweet taste in my mouth, but not at all cloying. All the flavors work really well together in this beer.

Mouthfeel is almost creamy, really nice amount of carbonation. Not syrupy like some Strong Belgian Ales can be. Although it took me almost 2 hours to finish a pint, it was very enjoyable from start to finish. This beer was so delicious, I will absolutely pick it up again.

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Photo of TMB0424
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ML cork-caged bottle. Poured into chalice. Dated 2006

Pours a deep, murky mahogany brown, with almost orange-ish edges when held to the light. A nice off-white head that steadily reduces to a fine ring. Nice lacing throughout, streaky, with tons of bubbles rising up to meet the head.

Smells of heaven. Sweet caramel, sugar, ripe fruits. Black cherries even. A touch of maple and a touch of banana-like yeast. Wow. Somewhat wine-like.

Tastes absolutely amazing. Red wine-like (Cab/Merlot/maybe even Port) with smooth caramel/maple syrup thrown in there. Great balance of a little hop kick with a dash of funkiness from the yeast. Incorporates sweetness, twangs of funkiness, bitterness, and pepper perfectly. One aspect never overpowers the other in a way that is undesirable. Delicious. It just doesn't get any better than this. It's aged splendidly after 2 years, and I can only imagine it getting better with time.

This beer is so smooth and so clean on the palate. It has a syrupy mouthfeel and a slightly light, but perfect amount of carbonation. It finishes well and the aftertaste is somewhat funky/bitter to me... but it's so good.

Definitely a drinkable brew. Perfect for sipping throughout the night, or during dessert, whatever. The alcohol content is a plus in my opinion, as it's hidden pretty well and feels great. It's just so enjoyable.

Definitely, by far, the best Belgian strong I've encountered. If you can find this... pick it up. Well worth it!

As it warms, this beer only becomes smoother and more enjoyable. Awesome.

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Photo of raoulduke37
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I tried the Het Anker Gouden Carolus Noel on tap at Toronado and that one was certainly a treat. Gouden Carolus D'Or does not fall far behind. Careful when pouring from a bottle, lots of head.

Appearance - Beautiful Spiced Peach Color

Smell - Syrupy, smelling of ripe fruit.

Taste - Superb, no doubt about it: Sour Apple initially followed by Caramel and other sweet, malty flavors. Your burps will taste good.

Mouthfeel - Smooth, with very little hops except for up front. Slight tingle in the middle of your tongue on the way down.

Drinkability - I think someone before said "scary." Definitely. Delicious, alcohol flavor is disguised but abv is high so beware.

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Photo of REDAMI
4.22/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 750ml bottle into Chimay goblet.

A - Pour is a muddy, copper-brown topped with a paper-thin ivory foam.

S - Sharp alcohol on the nose. Buttered bread, raisins, toffee sugar.

T - Moderately sweet, metallic, raisins or plums, with a cereal aftertaste.

M - Fine, light carbonation, moderate to thin mouthfeel, not overly hot from the alcohol.

Has a sharp alcohol nose but the sweetness and mouthfeel hide the alcohol well. Slightly warming with a distinct raisin-like quality. Lacked the yeast candy of a bottle conditioned beer, it would be better with this extra yeast.

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

2008 vintage .75L into a goblet. Well, the same goblet several times.

Marvelous woody brown with a slightly toasty inch head that never lets any beer show. Plenty of lacing, as noted, excellent retention for an 11% beer.

Very warm from the high alcohol, some sweet chocolate and rich malts. A little fruit comes through: all dried stuff like prunes and figs. Some spices like cinnamon are present as well.

Wow. I'm really happy this is as delicious as it is. Simply because life is better because this tastes good. Very, very rich beer - dense yet creamy mouth feel, quick and diverse delivery of flavors... I'll be running out for a second bottle of this to either age - or drink! Rich dried fruit dominates the palate: figs, plums, and a little raisin. Cinnamon and allspice are present as well. Rich malt backbone with sweet chocolate in the mix. Some light metallic flavors towards the end with a smooth, creamy finish and short, dry aftertaste. Hard not to like this, and it really likes you at 11%.

Like aforementioned: creamy and dense, well balanced, good carbonation.

I love it. Great beer, I'll be annually seeking this out - or having others buy it for me and sending it to me.

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Photo of hops4me
4.75/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This was a 2006 bottle. I loved this beer. Deep deep red to brown. Frothy off white head. Smells of peach, plum, raisins. Tastes alot the same except it finishes with a nice vanallia oakiness. I was suprised at how little to no alcohol heat there was. I would buy again if found. Great beer to have after a big meal or sitting around a fire in the winter.

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

Every year on the 24th of February Gouden Carolus brews the Cuvee de Keizer Blauw, or "Grand Cru of the Emperor" to celebrate the birthday of Charles V. The Cuvee de Keizer is brewed uniquely with only fine Belgium hops and with it being 11% ALC/VOL. this beer will age extremely well over the next several years with a complexity and intensity usually reserved for only the finest wines. This beer pours with a deep caramel color and golden tan head with aromas plums, raisins and wood leaping out of the glass. The palate starts of with sweet caramel that soon gives way to fruity flavors of figs and plums with a slight tart quality. The finish is long and mouth filling as the Belgium hops flex their muscles making it both sweet and bitter at the same time. It is still a little young so if you can keep your hands off of it the 2008 Cuvee de Keizer will only continue to develop over the next couple of years. What a treat!

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Photo of ohmybock
2.02/5  rDev -52.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

I poured this (newer label) 2008 beer into a Chimay goblet. It looked enticing, but the aroma wasn't very good. As I inhaled, I detected some phenols that weren't pleasant. Upon the first sip, the funky phenols came into play. Now, the funkiness wasn't like a Lambic or red/brown Flanders ale with a "good" funkiness. This funkiness wasn't acerbic, but it was a bad funkiness that rested lightly in the background of the more dominant candy sweetness of this brew. The bad characteristics reminded me of a mix of: hints of Testors Glue, some sweaty neoprene, perhaps some "new tire", and/or wisps of unwanted phenols (like when some American breweries let a German weizen yeast get totally out of control). All of this is then wrapped up in a dominating sugary sweet glaze. Sound appetizing? It wasn't, and I ended up doing a drain-pour. I've had this one on a couple of occasions in the past and thought I remembered it being pretty good, but this latest bottle has discouraged me from buying this brew again. I know sometimes a person's tastes and preferences change, but I don't see how they could have changed *that* much with me and this brew. I don't know...maybe this is a brew that just needs lots of aging before it becomes drinkable, and I've only had aged versions in the past? Now that I think about it, I've had some brews with perfectly "good" phenolics which were aged, and those characteristics sadly disappeared. I think this is a brew which needs some age so that the "bad" phenols will disappear. I bet that's why I liked the aged versions of this brew I had in the past. Whatever the case, and whatever vintage you might find of this brew, hopefully you'll like it...and I still have hope that it can be a good brew.

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

A label marked "Jaargang 2006" was wrapped around the neck, and unlike in the photo uploaded, the blue stripe running diagonally across the front label read, in English, "Grand Cru of the Emperor." Imported in Lorton, VA.

I had never heard of this beer and purchased it based on a recommendation from the liquor store manager. He had never tried it either but had heard it was good, so I was REALLY going out on a limb, especially at $10.99 for the bottle.

I poured this brew into a Stone IRS tulip glass. It emerged an opaque and very dark reddish brown with a 2 finger bubbly tan head that settled to a thick halo.

The first scent that hit my nose was that of alcohol. After swirling the glass a bit and straining to identify the odors, the first image that was conjured was that of candied plums, followed by caramel and toffee. Not terribly intense, but mouth watering nonetheless.

First sip: wow, very nice. This one starts off with that candied fruit sweetness, then evolves to carmelly, and finally settles into a warming mixture of alcohol and subtle hints of coffee. Yes, the alcohol definitely makes its presence known, but what can you expect at 11% ABV? It works well with the other flavors, countering the fruity/candy sweetness and making for a richer and more full-bodied drinking experience.

After several additional sips, the flavor continues to impress and bloom.

Mouthfeel is dominated by the burning of alcohol, and while its intensity is not uncomfortable, it is just strong enough to slightly detract from my drinking enjoyment. Again, the alcohol doesn't disrupt the flavor, just the mouthfeel. Outside of that minor flaw, everything else is fantastic: the carbonation is just right, and the finish is amazingly clean given the richness of flavor going in; clean enough to average out the mouthfeel to "good."

This is just an awesomely flavorful and comforting beer. After only consuming about half of one bottle, I can already say that this one definitely beats out Abbaye Des Rocs Grand Cru Special Brown and takes over as my new favorite Belgian Strong Dark Ale. It actually reminds me a bit more of quadrupels like St. Bernardus 12 and Rochefort 10, and is almost as good.

That $10.99 for 750mL doesn't seem so bad anymore. I must get my hands on some more of these, some for immediate consumption with friends and some for storing. I bet after a year or two of cellaring, this beer would be bordering on perfect.

However, electing to select this beer for consumption while attempting to work from home was a bad idea. My head started getting fuzzy before I had even finished half the bottle.

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Photo of Paddez
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2003

Hands down one of the best dark brews I've ever had.

A: Pours a very dark brew which has a copper hue once you hold it against the light. A hard pour produced a medium head that disappeared after a few minutes leaving a small layer of tannish foam.

S: Interesting, but weird, very weird. It had something that reminded me of applepie somehow but nevertheless I couldn't quite place it. Sweety aroma's & funky fruits dominate the smell. There's a vague trace of malts and a whiff of alcohol. But really after 5 years in my cellar the beer's had so much time to mature & assimilate its many aspects that the only way to accurately describe its perfume is "One big mix of bizarre Funkyness".

T: Now here's where the real quality of this brew shows. An increbidbly complex armada of different flavours roll into eachother. This stuff has so much depth to it, it's really hard to actually describe it. It's sweet & powerful with lots of spicy, fruity & candy-like flavours mellowed into one harmonious wave of flavour. The yeast creates a unique nutty and almost vinious finish that reminded me of sherry & port.

M & D: Full bodied with a gentle carbonation; this beer is a real sipper. I wouldn't go as far as to call the brew syrupy but it's definitely thick. At 11% it hits like a sledgehammer, however it does so gently. The alcohol is present, but not overwhelming and blends in well so it doesn't become a nuisance. It's obviously not one of those "I'll have another one"-beers. But finishing a 75cl bottle with a friend works great.

Conclusion: I've had different vintages of this brew before which failed to impress me nearly as much. Most probably I was just too impatient though because this 2003 brew shows me what a helluvah beer the Cuvée van de Keizer can actually be. If conserved right & long enough, this one's a true gem.

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Photo of stjarnflikka
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2004 edition

Pours a reddish, rather dark beer with practically no foam and just some carbonation. Theres some yeast droppings in there as well, as it should be that is ;)

Smell comes on faint of berries, dark sugar and somewhat sour. Clearly alcohol is there along with some malts and a faint hop character. Reminds a lot of wine with its fruity and alcoholic head.

Hits palatte somwhat sour. Strong alcohol with tobacco, great big fruits (oranges, melon) and a nice sweetness. More sugar in here with a somewhat burnt tone. Ends strong with lots of fruit, some yeast and a hint of bitterness. Very well balanced and intriguing, fairly complex also and a really fruity drink.

Nice beer that certainly made a great choice after dinner. Fairly complex and alcoholic, nice brew either way you look at it.

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Photo of Philly82785
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

(2008 bottle) Pours like a cola with a slight red tint; very minimal carbonation. Has a spicy taste that flows off the palate. The only beer that remotely resembles this one is the Delirium Noel for is spiciness.This has a fantastic lingering finish.

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Photo of Mess
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, cellar temp. Poured into a wine glass.

(A) Pours deep reddish-brown with cappuccino head. Tight bubbles clinging to top of the glass.

(S) Smells of rich, sweet rum and raisin-carrot cake. Waft of fine, sweet port.

(T) First taste is of sweet dried plums/prunes, rich red wine - really does have a tremendous port character. Sweet caramel, raisins. Chocolate. Plum wine. Toward the end of the bottle the likeness to a port was very strong.

(M) Coats the tongue with a silky smoothness. Not overly viscous, but lingers a bit on the tongue.

(D) Rich, but what a treat. A great sipper to share after dinner or in my case during a movie and snow storm. Novices may find it too sweet.

Probably best to cellar for a year though I believe 2 years to be ideal. I have an '07 I plan to pop soon.

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,807 ratings.
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