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 | website

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:
878
Ratings:
1,790
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
14.69%
 
 
Wants:
249
Gots:
325
For Trade:
18
User Reviews
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Reviews: 878 | Ratings: 1,790
Photo of wl0307
4.16/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(2006 Vintage) Coming in a 750ml straight brown bottle, bottle-conditioned, corked and caged; BB 27/02/16, served cool in a long-stemmed, narrow rimmed wine goblet.

Appearance: pours fairly dark brown colour, coming with a nice layer of dark beige froth settling slowly to a thin sheet to last, while the carbonation is generally very mild after so many years of ageing in the bottle.
Smell: full of lightly stale and sour-sweet raisins, black cherries, jammy black prunes, fig jam and black sugar on the nose, uplifted by a wave of wonderfully lively and creamy floral&fruity esters with an interesting touch of fragrant hop resins and honey comb, which manifest following a few good swirls; the base remains oily dark malty, with hints of Munich malts and burned caramel. All in all, the smell is very much like an old-style, darker-hued barlywine boosted with extra sugary notes and esters. Also a mild hint of warming alc. is revealed in the remote corner, but never so pronounced.
Taste: the carbonation is still softly tingling after so many years of ageing, underlining a complex and lovely profile of smooth, prune-ish fruitiness and mixed dried forest berries, against a rather light & soothing dark malt background with additional spicy & sour-sweet fruity elements; the mid-taste turns mildly dry as well as estery, leaving lingering undertones and aroma of delicious black prunes, black sugar, and a more faint presence of liquorice candy in the end. The flavour is in general quite sweet, and still tastes very different than an English barleywine in lacking a lightly sherry-like palate in the end, whereas the supplement of fruity esters is definitely welcomed to help reach a balance.
Mouthfeel & Overall: soft and lubricating on the palate, this full-bodied and fulsome vintage strong ale is absolutely gorgeous, ageing well following a good 7 years in the bottle, never tasting sickly or heavy as far as my palate is concerned. The time has been well spent, I think, but this is not to say a younger vintage would’ve been any less complex.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a warm brown leather body that is opaque with a faint hint of light in the thin part of the chalice. The head is a nice creamy vanilla ice cream color with a few big bubbles on top. The head stays but turns into a thin film. This beer has some nice loose lacing all the way to the last drop.

S- The smell of sweet rich dark malt is evident even during the pour. Smells of dark brown sugar and brown malt also have a quality of Munich malt and some faint notes of dark fruit.

T- This beer has a faint sweetness to the dark malt with some dark brown sugar hints. The finish has a nice dry crystal malt taste with a carbonic fizz note and some soft alcohol.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with some soft champagne fizz through the sip. There is a very smooth alcohol warmth after the sip.

D- This is a nice smooth beer that has very good complexity although subtle. The dark sweet malts in the front are balanced by a dry light malt in the finish similar to that taste I get from a good fresh Kolsch. The alcohol is smooth but adds some character. My bottle says 8%ABV but it doesn't taste like that at all.

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

This is a 750 mL bottle of Grand Cru of the Emperor (in English) 2005 served in a Chimay goblet. The ale is cool.

A: The ale is a darker beer, trending towards dark brown but with hints of lighter tones. The ale has a nice head that laces.

S: Wow, does this ale have a ramped up spice content! From first smell, deeper spices jump out at me. The one that immediately springs to mind is thyme (as I recognize it from N'ice Chouffe). The aromas are deep and tantalizing, giving a hint of the alcohol punch in this beer.

T: The ale tastes like it smells, full of depth and spices. The hop quotient here is fairly low, allowing the spices to shine, with the thyme taking the cake. The alcohol, while not overt, is clearly here.

M: The ale tastes wonderful and well worth the one-day-a-year brewing cycle.

D: Very drinkable, even at 10% or so. The spices keep the taste buds guessing and the beer itself is not overpoweringly strong.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a brown body with minimal head that dies and leaves lace patches. The malts come out in full force in the aroma, complete with a dry woodiness/nutty yeastiness and there is a minor sweet touch and some fruit flavors I pick up. Smooth, medium-bodied, almost creamy mouthfeel that makes for an easy to drink brew. I pick up tart fruit like cherry and something akin to apple or plum and also a touch of citric like orange. Also a good deal of residual sticky sweet malt. Caramel, figs, possibly chocolate (possibly) - no matter there is some definite sugary goodness in here and it is balanced w/ the fruits and combines with the yeast for a sweet and also dry (also bready) malt balance. Lots going on and then it finishes real crisp, not due to ABV which is well-hidden, but due to some minor clove and pepper spices. All in all a fruity, sweet and dry ale that doesn't taste heavy and is a dangerously great sipper.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle
2008 Vintage

A- Corked and caged 750ml bottle poured into a large tulip glass. Pours a dark brownish color with a little dark red when held up to the light with a huge light tan colored head that possesses amazing retention and lacing qualities. Absolutely beautiful!

S- The aroma is filled with dark fruits (most notably plums and raisins), sweet brown sugar, hints of spices and even a touch or orange and alcohol soaked cherries. The aroma is very aromatic and entices the palate. Can't wait to jump into the taste!

T- The taste is dark fruits and spices and unbelievably smooth. The alcohol is definitely there but is incredibly integrated into the flavor. This is an extremely well-crafted brew. This bottle is also very fresh at less than a year old, it will be great to see how this one mellows out even more with some age.

M- The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a high amount of carbonation.

D- As mentioned in the description of the taste, this one is pretty drinkable considering the high ABV but it will eventually catch up to you as the bottle gets a little emptier. This review is based on a fresh bottle, things should get even better with some age. Highly Recommended!

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

330ML bottle poured into a snifter . vintage 2011.

pours a darker brown color with a very light head. smell is very sweet and the taste is even sweeter. strong raisin / fig taste. i wasn't expecting this to be so sweet, but it's a very nice surprise. tastes more like a quad. alcohol is very well hidden, i'd guess this was an 8%er as opposed to the 11% ABV. overall obviously this one is a sipper but one i'd seek out again. i'd like to try different years to experience the difference aging makes.

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

I picked this bottle up on my last trip to Ft Collins.

It pours a nice ruby brown colour with a 1" head of foam. It doesn't leave much lacing in my glass and the foam shrinks quickly to a fine ring around the glass but the colour is gorgeous. Hmm..

The smell has some good dark fruit going on with plum being the most noticeable. There's also some candy sugar and some caramel malt and...a bit of alcohol. Ok, more than a bit but it's still a goodish whiff.

The taste is big and tasty. Plum, figs, toffee, candy sugar, a little caramel...overall definitely on the sweet side but in a darn good way.

The alcohol is very well hidden, the mouthfeel is fairly light bodied, and the carbonation is light but perfectly suited for this brew. This is very very tasty and very enjoyable but I may not be able to finish the entire 750 at this one sitting. No worries, I'll put a stopper in it and finish it tomorrow. I want a fine drinking experience, which I am having,...I don't want to get drunk. ;^)

I've seen this brew in Colorado before and have always passed on it. I'm glad I decided to give it a try as it is some seriously good beer!

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Photo of Haybeerman
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Slightly murkey caramel/chestnut color. Poured a 1 finger beige head that dissipated to a skim; thick on the edges. Lacing washed down the glass.

S: Sweet and fruity; figs, raisins, cherries. Toasted malts and candi sugar. Alcohol. Very complex nose.

T: Figs, raisins and cherries up front. Toffe, candi sugar and butter. Lots of flavors linger in a mild bitter that ends with warming alcohol.

M: Medium body. Moderate carbonation. Hearty, dry and warming with genrous alcohol bite.

D: Big beer. Complex. Definitely a sipper.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 8$

Appearance - Dark brownish copper colour with an above average size fizzy and frothy beige head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 5-6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, caramel, banana

Taste & Mouth - There is a slightly above average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, banana, and some caramel. There is also a lot of ripe dark fruit flavour and a bit of leather and a hint of chocolate/vanilla. It ends with a dark fruit and banana aftertaste with a bit of a lingering spiciness.

Overall - Quite the beer.. the scent is pretty basic for a belgian dark, but the flavour is very complex. I can pick up on the booze a bit but this is a 2012 so some age would help with that I'm sure. Every beer from this brewer is a winner in my books.

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Photo of wordemupg
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2008 750ml corked and caged bottle poured into Unibroue chalice oct22 2009

A clear brownish amber with two finger tan head that has average retention and leaves decent lace

S lots of brown sugar and toffee with some dark fruits

T very nice indeed, the dark fruit becomes focused on cherries, lots of toffee, a bit of rum, molasses, and some booze but not even close to the 11% I read on the bottle. I'm loving this beer it's one of the best beers I've tasted recently. I pick up on some spice that I could not smell too, If your not opposed to a sweet beer this one is a winner.

M thick but no knife and fork needed, good carbonation makes it feel quite creamy.

D this beer is dangerously drinkable, you could tell me it has half the booze it dose and I would not doubt it, well maybe not half but not the listed 11% that's for sure. I could see this beer causing problems If I had more then the single bottle I have, it's just that smooth

drink this beer whenever you get the chance, it is worth looking for if not available at your local beer store. I'm so pleased with this beer I'm wondering if it's worth aging

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

25.4oz bottle from beerhandy as part of BIF 24. Thanks for the opportunity. Neck label notes "Jaargang 2005", corked and caged.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1 1/2" tan head above the bright burgundy brew. Headgrows for awhile, before settling down to drinkable levels after 10 minutes, with heavy foam lacing. Aroma is lightly spicy, with a banana sweetness . Taste is as good as the nose portended, with perhaps a little room for more flavor intensity, but I'm nit-picking. Mouthfeel is oh-so creamy and smooth, and drinkability is tremendous, especially for something of this abv. Just stupid drinkable. A brew fit for a king, in my book.

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Photo of bluejacket74
3.97/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml caged and corked bottle from 2007. Served in a chalice, the beer pours a hazy dark brown/mahogany color with a very thin tan head that went away quickly. Not much lacing at all. The aroma is mostly dark fruit (raisins, plums, cherries), along with some molasses, banana and Belgian yeast. Taste is similar to the aroma, but there's also some booze and licorice noticable. But like the aroma, the dark fruit taste is the strongest compared to the other flavors. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's a bit creamy and coating and has moderate carbonation. Drinkability is good, it's easy to drink and goes down smooth. However, this one is a sipper because of the 11% ABV. I think this is a good overall brew, I'd buy it again in the future.

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

Poured from a 750ml bottle capped and corked. Dated 2005 and also says 10% abv.

Appearance- Pours a liquid brown with slight blood highlights. Head lasts about a minute tops, but leaves a ring of foam for the entire 750ml inbibery. No visible lacing.

Smell- A mild sugary sweet malt aroma mixes well with the light dry hopped floral essence. Black, black, BLACK cherries mxed with dar vanilla nde hints of black licorice mixed with burning.

Taste- Starts out with a hint of cinnamon mixed with browned malts in a reduction sauce of brown sugar and black cherries, and roasted pine wood.

Mouthfeel- Good carnonation mixes weel with this light to medium bodied brew. Lots of strong sugars that remind me of molasses.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Back label says 11/07/11.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a full inch of light tan head that retains a good while before dropping down to an 1/8 head and bubbly surface foam. Soft, sticky lacing.

S- Sweet and very rich with jabs of alcohol fume coming through here and there. Notes of pecan and hazelnut.

A- Oh boy. Incredibly balanced flavors of yeast, sweet malt and alcohol. Notes of Belgian candy sugar, light butter and nuts. The sweet-to-booze ratio is nearly spot-on with the booze just barely inching ahead. Taking sip after sip to unlock the mystery only leads to a warming sensation in the stomach that's totally welcome.

M- Slick and smooth with some alcohol bite and a perfect amount of snap from the medium carbonation.

O- Now I see why this has such high acclaim. Sure, it's a bit hot but it's a perfect wintertime brew...too bad it's August but that's why I'm definitely cellaring one of these bad boys!

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Photo of DrJay
4.4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear, deep chestnut with a strong reddish hue when held to the light. It poured with a modest cap of light tan foam that left a solid sheet of bubbles on the glass as it subsided. Subsequent sips yielded plentiful streaky lacing, right to the end of the glass. Sweet, boozy aroma with lots of plum and figs. Notes of caramel and bread crust were also evident, along with brown sugar and plump raisins. Toffee and honey sweetness hit my palate right away, evening out into a more fruity middle with prunes and plums taking over. A little spicy as well, but very subdued. Bready towards the end, it finished with lingering earthy raisins, caramel and soft alcohol. Medium to full bodied, the carbonation was well integrated and supported the near syrupy texture. Significant alcohol warmth, particularly in the finish, with some creaminess. Very tasty and highly recommended. I really liked the way the flavours balanced each other without the need for much bitterness. It went down very smooth, even with the high alcohol, so watch out!

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

Vintage 2005.

The liquid is somewhat cloudy; the colour is deep, deep amber. The low foam looks nice with the beige colour, the fine lacing and the small bubbles. There are more bubbles in the liquid than I have seen in any other beer.

A note of cacao/dark chocolate dominates the semi-sweet smell. I found a particular rum-flavour that usually indicates that the beer is matured on wooden casks and a sweet note of dried fruits (raisins).

The taste is sweet and creamy with a complex of dried fruits, raisins, strong wine and caramel sauce. There is no bitterness at all. It finishes with a strong flavour of dark, matured rum. The aftertaste is sweet with a dry, almost roasted touch of raisins and creamy chocolate.

The carbonation is gentle with small bubbles; the mouthfeel is creamy.

I have some friends that are almost religious when it comes to this beet. OK, it is a very fine Belgian ale, but not exceptional. Maybe it needs some more time to mature?

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Photo of avalon07
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Had a dark brown color and a thick texture. There was about a quarter inch of long-lasting head and good lacing.

S: Malt, molasses, a melange of different mild fruits. Doesn't knock you over when you smell it, but it is nicely done.

T: The flavor of this beer is pretty potent. Malt, molasses, possibly some caramel, pears and some spices. There is a definite presence of alcohol.

M: A highly carbonated beer, with a smooth finish. Full-bodied.

D: This is one of those beers I can respect more than love. It's undeniably well made, but there's a certain harshness to it (possibly due to the alcohol in the taste) that would make me think twice before getting it again. Still, you can't argue with quality.

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

750mL corked and caged bottle poured into a tulip. 2010 vintage.

(A)- Pours a fairly dark mahogany with reddish highlights. Produced a great off-white head with decent retention. Lots of lacing.

(S)- Lots of dark fruits: plum, raisin, dates, and cassis or cherry. Hints of a creamy vanilla and lightly earthy clay/yeast.

(T)- A huge fresh burst of the above mentioned dark fruits. A big creaminess to it. A bit sweet. Finishes dry and very subtle earth. Its very Jam/Jelly-like.

(M)- A bigger yet great carbonation level and balance. Smooth, rich, and creamy. Superb ABV integration. Just a tad too sweet.

(D)- A world class Belgain Strong Dark. Ripe full of jammy flavors. Easy on the palate and downright enjoyable to drink, but it definitely fills you up with how rich & sweet it is.

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

Pours an attractive auburn color, cap of dense khaki colored head, good retention, mild lacing. Scent is of spiced apple cider opening into notes of plum, burnt sugar and alcohol as it warms. Taste begins with the spiced cider qualities, notes of plum and sugar more forward, touches of wood, vanilla and fresh bread and only a mild kick of alcohol. Great smooth creamy body and perfect level of moderate carbonation. A pleasure to drink slow as I enjoyed the bottle over 3 hours.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage that Dan shared this weekend. Thanks a bunch, man, this beer was GREAT!

The pour is mildly murky ruby red with a dense off-white head with excellent retention and lacing. Very pretty.
The nose is great. Red apples, brown sugar, caramel, honey, jaggery are all present. Very fruity, I get some plum character as well. The yeast profile is great,

The palate opens big and fruity with plenty of brown sugarm caramel, mild toffee and jaggery. Just a touch of cocoa is present, lingering into the finish. Did I mention this was fruity? Red apples, plums and maybe, a little stone fruit? Great finish with lingering sweetness, alcohol and fruitiness. The mouthfeel is stunning, medium-high in body with a medium-low level of carbonation that feels just right. The finish is great too, with a bled of sweetness, spicy alcohol. Despite the ABV, this is very drinkable.

**Edit 27 July 2012**

I shared a bottle of the 2000 vintage with the guys last night. Josh, this was for you.

Sherry, cola, spices (allspice, clove), red apples and candy. The palate is super fruity with lots of red delicious apple, moderate spice, very mellow with mild raisin character. Excellent flavors but the palate is a little thin. Nice sherry notes, along with some cola. Solid.

4/4/3.5

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

Second time on this one. Pours a hazy brown/ruby, big off white head, nice lacing, great retention. Smell is sweet, tons of toffee, alcohol, spices, yeasty, some banana, real strong. Taste is very sweet at first, big toffee and apples, alcohol, spices and banana. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation, lots of heat, but a nice strong Belgian.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.68/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle from Slowbeer. From notes.

A - Poured bright with a deep red colour. Strong carbonation and a two finger, creamy head of a beige persuasion. Great lace rings and great retention.

S - Tons of dark fruit. Plum, raisin, etc. Really lovely. maybe a hint of spice and a touch of booze but really dark fruit dominated.

T - Sweet fruits, lot's of dark fruit again, some yeast ester, mild sugar, dates, and a touch of booze. A beautiful flavour combo. A bit of light spice was there too and the alcohol was so mild that is was complimentary. Lovely.

M - Mild carbonation, medium to full creamy body, slightly sweet/fruit finish. So smooth.

O/D - Absolutely delicious. A great example of a dark Belgian beer. Flavourful and so balanced. Easy to drink but so worth savouring. Probably one of the best beers I've ever had.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, murky looking burgandy tone. Thin cream of light brown coloring tops the brew. Retention is adequate. Lacing more than sufficient. Aroma is quite pleasant. Notes of yeast, candy, musty, raisin, rum and fruitbread. Palate follows suit. Boozy rum cake. Raisins, dates... Sweet candy tones. A nice unassuming body and mouthfeel. Light and airy. This is a beer I'd return to, although I'm not sure if it'll be available again soon.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle opened on 6.4.13
2012 Vintage

A - Pours a very dark ruby-black with a foamy dark tan head with good retention.

S - Spices, Belgium yeast, cola-like.

T - Tart, spicy, earthy. Belgian - plum colas.

D - Good carbonation with a mediumb body.

O - A touch of tartness adds a twist to the Belgian spices and earthiness.

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
95 out of 100 based on 878 ratings.
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