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:
885
Ratings:
1,820
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
10.26%
 
 
Wants:
259
Gots:
331
For Trade:
15
User Reviews
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Reviews: 885 | Ratings: 1,820
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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Photo of Ljunkan
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep red/brown color with a nice white head.

Smells excellent, vinous, notes of berries, some nuttiness. Nice.

The taste is very complex and good; lots of bitter berries, liquorice, caramel, brown sugar, fruityness. Sweet, but not too sweet. Some warming alcohol in a good way.

It's very filling in the mouth. Also very smooth and nice.

Drinkability is rather hig for such a high abv beer, but of course you cannot drink a lot of it...

One of the best belgian beers I've had. Amazing!

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Photo of silverblaze540
4.94/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Dark brown, minimal light seeping through. Small cream colored head, dissipates quickly. Active bubbles.

S - Malt, dates, prunes, rains, cherry, sweetness.

T - Very sweet and malty. All the fruity smells come through in the taste. Minimal alcohol taste and almost no bitterness.

M - Some carbonation burn, very smooth.

O - Wonderfully tasty beer. Even non-beer drinkers could enjoy this one.

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Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

My first sip of this was a "wow" and I wasn't sure I meant it in a good way....But, the more I drank, the more I came around to embracing everything popping in this one. A dark brown pour, this one has moderate, but sticky lacing. The first thing you notice is how rich and thick this ale is--and then the burst of caramelized malts, molasses, plums, figs and even dark cherries. This one almost has a wine feel--and a cognac intimation. You know this one is high in alcohol as it warms your belly. Its rich, and it is meant to be sipped--I sipped mine with a nice cigar. Would be marvelous with lamb or cheeses. The mouthfeel is thick and finishes with medium carbonation and a sticky, malty tartness. This ale is super full-bodied and really, you can't do anything but sip this. Whoa. I really started to enjoy this the more I sipped, but it isn't for the light-hearted or Belgian Dark Ale newbie.

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

My local store still has 3 cases of the 2006, have revisted this beer twice in the last two weeks and tonight I followed it up with a Rochefort 10. Let just say not even close. Guess I am going to buy a case of the 2006 for my cellar.My local store still has 3 cases of the 2006, have revisted this beer twice in the last two weeks and tonight I followed it up with a Rochefort 10. Let just say not even close. Guess I am going to buy a case of the 2006 for my cellar.

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Photo of DPFRD
3.76/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml, poured into chimay chalice.

A- Dark and ominous... just what I want. Coffee hued head that dissapates quickly.

S- Sweet, with some biscuit. Toffee, Rasin, Booze.

T- Sweetness and Alcohol dominate on this for me... It seem like they hit first, with some raisin and other spices peering through. Very complex, reminds of a port.

M- Full bodied, kind of syrupy imo.

D- Very fine brew. Very strong flavor wise and booze wise, so it isn't the best session selection. I'd drink it again.

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Photo of SoonerNY
4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml bottle from 2008

This was suggested to me by careful placement on the checkout counter. Like a kid staring at eye level candy I grabbed it and I'm so glad I did.

It pours a purple brown opaque color with excellent lacing and a 2 finger head that hung around for a while.

You definitely smell the spicy alcohol but the fruity plum-raisins shine through.

Although present, the alcohol isn't nearly as pronounced in the taste as it is in the smell. A superb balance makes this brew dangerously drinkable. Sweet and spicy plums are present with delicious Belgian candy and a gentle alcohol warming. I plan to grab a few to cellar for later if I have the patience.

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Photo of mbrasi
3.67/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Vintage 2007 drank 9/11/9. Cork pops off nicely and aromas of dark fruit and yeast fill the air. Pouring brings out some sweet carmalized malt and bannana. Pours brownish-red with a head that dissipates fast to an off white lace around the glass. Flavor is sweet, there is some bannana that hits you up front and a nice caramel and fig finish. A little alcohol burn in the finish but not too bad for a big beer. Mouthfeel is oily with low carbonation. Overall this brew hits you with strong fruit flavors and a shot of alcohol in the finish. This brew had 2 years on it, I think it can go easily 2-4 more years possibly up to 10 years.

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Photo of sessycuban
2.89/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

2006 vintage. Purchased at Whole Foods.

A: The beer pours a dark amber, leaving a thin head that quickly dissolves. Very minimal lacing.

S: The beer is overwhelmingly dominated by the smell of bananas and caramel; also, lots of spices which I can't quite distinguish.

T: I'm experiencing a very strong maple taste that I don't particularly enjoy. The high alcohol content is very evident and the spices are overwhelming any other taste in this beer. I have to admit, this is probably the sweetest beer I've ever had.

M: The beer is medium bodied and coats the mouth well, but because I didn't particularly enjoy the taste, it's not really a beer I plan to sip.

D: I'll probably never try this beer again. In my estimation, the beer is overspiced and way too sweet. Some, however, may enjoy these qualities and would appreciate the beer more than do I.

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

Tried the large format bottle poured into my favorite snifter. Pour a dark brown almost mahogany color with a course tan full head. The head had good retention but ended with little lacing. The smells at first hinted of yeast and some dark full fruit perhaps blackberries with a strong sweet edge. The taste was full with hints of caramel, dates, apricot and plum. The carbonation was low but appropriate for the style. The bottle I enjoyed was a 2008 and could stand up to another year or so of aging. Overall this was a good beer and I would try it again soon.

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

2006 edition

Served at cellar temp and poured into a Weizen glass.

Appearance is good. Dark copper colored brew with many tiny bubbles racing up toward the tan, thick, crater-like head. Not as murky as I assumed.

Smell is very good. A lot going on here. Sweet sugary malts, honey-glazed raisins, sweet ripe plums, and a small amount of bubblegum and alcohol. Very nice indeed.

Taste exceptional. Much like the smell yet more pronounced on the dark fruits and alcohol. Brown sugar and a green apple sweetness rounds things out. As complex a flavor that you can find for the style. Absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel is very good. Medium bodied yet very much a presence on the palet. Carbonation level is very good for the style.

Drinkability is very good. Killing this 750ML bottle won't be a problem. Once again, if it wasn't for the slight alcohol burn I would have given a 5.

Overall:
Everytime I drink this brew I get amazed how complex it is. One of the best Dark Strong Belgium Ale's you can find. Highly recommended.

 1,026 characters

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

It's a liquid fig newton, and it rocks...

Poured into a chalice with an impressive unfiltered raisin hue. A gentle dark tan head dissipated into a foam-like halo halfway down the glass. This beer had wonderful smells of sweet malt, brown sugar, and mild trailing yeasty tones. The taste was fairly close, warm banana bread, sweet figs, and subtle appearances of malt. This medium to heavy bodied dark ale finished with semi sweet, fresh wheat bread-like notes. This beer paired great with Port Salut cheese, double cream brie, and tart green apple wedges...Enjoy

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

Had it on tap @ beachwood BBQ. Good head, swirls nicely releasing aroma of raisin and brown sugar. Lighter bodied than I imagined it would be. Dark, good head, slightly carbonated. Better as it warms up, the tastes of fruits, possibly citrus and sugars really come out.

Tasty, but not a session beer.

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Photo of Wanne
3.8/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice brown beer, with a beige head. Malty aroma, combined with plum and raisin accent. The alcohol is remarkably present in the taste which causes for a port- or sherry-like taste. There is also a taste of spices to detect. Unfortunately the bottle was already opened a while before I drank of it, which compromised the taste a bit, especially the aftertaste. Will rate this again in the right circumstances.

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Photo of cro250klr
4.9/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I have a picture of myself and three other friends standing under a train depot sign in Belgium. The sign reads, 'Mechelen'. And to think that the first time I ever had this beer was, in Scranton, Pa., three months after coming home from Europe. Hopefully, I will tour Europe again this year. I have got to try this, if available, in it's home town. I had this on tap after the keg traveled 3500 miles and it was incredible. I can only imagine how good it must be in Belgium. This brew IS fit for a king! Complex, to say the least. Banana, brown sugar, vanilla, homemade bread, plum, sweet, and malty. A very light head sits on top of the lightly carbonated reddish/brown liquid and laces till the very end. As with most Belgian browns, I took my time and let it warm a bit. The taste and the aroma just explode. One sip yielding banana, the next, maybe some rum and so on, till the very end. The high abv isn't really hidden in this one but your taste buds and olfactory glands are working overtime, leaving little time to worry about alcohol. After two half liter chalices, I was ready to call myself king. Instead I called the bartender and had one more. I gave this a 4.5 on drinkability only because of it's sweet taste. (It's similar to a Kasteel Brune a far as sweetness.) That, not the 11% abv, only prevented me from having anymore than I did at one sitting. I went back a few days later only to learn that the Carolus had kicked. Since their tap stock is rotated I will have to wait some time before they have this on tap again. Maybe, until I get back to Europe. This one though, is worth the wait.

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Photo of bwyker
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

On tap, poured into a pint glass, around cellaring temperature.

Appearance: Very dark mahogany. Nearly opaque from the dark hue of the body; however, when put up to light, it appears to be a clear, haze-free deep-red brew. A very thin ochre tinted head dangles in the middle and sticks to the sides of the glass. Lacing completely coats the side of the glass forming a slightly discolored screen.

Smell: Immediately notice toffee and molasses, with an alcohol backbone.

Taste: Similar to the nose. Smokey, roasted malts with hints of cherry at the start, followed by a slight maple syrup flavor and a splash of alcohol in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Although this one is heavy in the malts, the mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth, with only a slight stickyness in the finish. The first few sips are a bit dry from the alcohol, but this soon fades to a nice silkiness once your palate adjusts.

Drinkability: This is a big one that will demand some slow sipping. It gets easier with each sip, but I can’t imagine having more than one or two of these in a sitting. Overall, a well-crafted beer that was very much enjoyed.

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

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

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

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

2008 Edition

Bought this brew off of liquorama.net. Though I have become bored with the style, I took a chance based on some good reviews.

Appearance: Poured a foggy golden color with a rich white, three-finger head with good retention. Even with a gentle pour, this brew nearly overflowed with foam.

Smell: Rich scent of banana, citrus, spices, nutmeg, vanilla, and some other spices cascade my nostrils.

Taste: Definitely very rich and full-bodied; its everything I hoped it would be. I can pick up the hefty sweet malts and candied sugar and another unfamiliar flavor with Belgian Strong Ales...licorice? Yes, Licorice! Some hops and citrus were also detected. It was pretty complex and delicious but the alcohol seemed to throw off a lot of the richer flavors within. It was still very delicious and enjoyable. The brew also had a nice warming finish and after taste I enjoyed it very much.

Mouthfeel: The brew is thick and syrupy but has a nice carbonation level that stimulates my taste buds.

Drinkability: The brew can be a little overwhelming in terms of sweetness but if you enjoy a good Belgian Strong Dark Ale it is right up your alley. In a market overflowing with overly sweet and less complex BSDAs, this one definitely stands out. I have been telling myself that I am done with BSDAs, as they all seem so alike. Although this one shares similar characteristics, it definitely stands out compared to others. This brew reminded me that there still exists some good stuff from the BSDA style.

I was a little worried when I first opened my Cuvee Van De Keizer... I noticed a tiny leak-like appearance at the base of the cork, stopped only by a dried (formerly)syrupy substance. As you can see, the brew was unharmed. *Sigh!*

Cheers!

-Dotson

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,820 ratings.
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