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)
1,893 Ratings
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:
Every year on the 24th of February, Het Ander brews Gouden Carolus Cuvée van de Keizer Blauw (‘Grand Cru of the Emperor’) to celebrate the birth of Charles the 5th.

This exceptional ale ages well, developing a refined complexity and intense aromas. An imperial brew to cherish and enjoy in moderation.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,893 |  Reviews: 909
Photo of impending
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


750ml into a tulip, nice bottle. Pours a rich dark clear walnut copper, backlit in the glass it is a royal dark ruby. Minor coffee ice cream colored head, nice lacing.

Strong vinous aromas reach me from the bottle. Once again someone has spilt port wine upon dark fruits that had begun to rot . . . this . . . is wonderful . .

Big long lasting flavor. Very rich in the dark fruits with a bit of singed caramel or maple. Sweetness is perfectly appropriate and balanced by the perfectly obvious, but not boozy, alcohol. This is a big brew. Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Warms most excellent.

Big to the level of a quad. If you swish this around your mouth you will taste this still in ten minutes time !

the remains of a 750 at room temp morph into a belgian barleywine

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Photo of biboergosum
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml caged and corked bottle, sashed and mounted regent image on the bottle - solid.

This beer pours a slightly hazy, dark ruddy amber hue, with a teeming tower of creamy and foamy pale beige head, which leaves some consistently abstract layered lace around the glass in its well-strewn wake.

It smells of sweet, dark bready malt, tangy black fruit, a touch of stewed apple, softly oily nuts, spicy Belgian yeast, and mildly astringent alcohol. The taste is more sweet, grainy dark caramel malt, candi sugar, zingy aged black fruit - plums and blackberries - a strange bit of cherry cough syrup warming, and sedate, but not for the lack of trying, earthy hops.

The carbonation is mostly average, but frothy in a playful manner at times, the body medium-full in weight, predominately from the dense sugary malt, and smooth by default, with a well-established attendant creaminess. It finishes still fully stuffed with fruity, malty goodness, barely tempered by a goofy, somewhat try-hard, and less-than-obvious booze edginess.

Despite the very perceptible sweetness quotient, a decent balance is deftly maintained - so no real sugar overload manifests - all amid an agreeable, and at times, locally inexplicable drying character, though booze and underground hops seem to be the prime suspects. Not so weirdly drinkable, as flavour trumps strength, until that inevitable wall is met, QED.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deep mahagony / garnett color sits in the glass, transparent with a thin off white head and a floating island of carb. Light lacing makes itself known. Aroma is detected from a good foot away. Raisins, thick molasses bread, doughy and dense. I enjoy this beer more as it warms becoming more smooth. Raisins, spice, plum, cherry and brown sugar are the flavors here. Dense and a bit chewy.
A sipper, but with well hidden alcohol and no burn. A nice beer I will seek out to lay down and age for later.

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Photo of vandemonian
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Gouden Carolus Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw has a cloudy dark brown colour and a cream-coloured head that starts out about 5 mm thick and fades to excellent lacing (especially considering the ABV). The smell is very malty with a hint of toffee and alcohol. The taste is very sweet, dark and fruity. The finish is extremely smooth and sweet. There may be a hint of sourness there too. The texture is thick and slightly syrupy. This is a very nice and very strong Belgian. Yum.

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Photo of nataku00
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 2009 bottle into a shaker pint. Beer is dark brown, tinged with red on the edges. A half a finger of off white tan colored foamy head that left a lot of lacing. The head stuck around for a while, aided by the large amount of small bubble carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

Nose is mostly dark fruits (figs, cherries), bready malt, and spiciness (cloves and a bit of anise).

The taste follows the nose, dark fruit sweetness hitting the tongue, continuing into caramel and spicy bread malts. A bit of alcohol on the finish, but expected for the high ABV. Good balance of sweetness and spice though.

Medium bodied beer with ample soft carbonation that just keeps the tongue engaged in flavor. Lingering alcohol flavor on the tongue ensures that this is a bottle to share, and to savor slowly.

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Photo of deadliest
3.85/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From 2010 vintage.

A - Dark brown with red edges against the light. Fair head with light lacing from modest retention.
S - Mild alcohol hides behind dark fruit and Belgian spiciness and a little caramel.
T - Raisins > Brown sugar > Caramel > Alcohol > Belgian spiciness.
M - Medium+ body, fairly dry.
D - This is good, but considering it's ranking and style, I expected to love it. Maybe this needs some age on it before I try another one.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of KAP1356
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml. bottle, 2010 vintage, poured into a Weyerbacher tulip glass...

A - Pours a deep dark ruby, brown color. Nice light tan creamy head forms about 1.5 fingers thick. Nice retention and lovely lacing on this guy.

S - Caramel, raisins, figs and cherries right up front. Lots of nice sweet fruity notes. Slightly yeasty and slight with some really nice light spice to it.

T - Dark sweet fruits, cherries, and rum soaked raisins right uo front. Some brown sugar and slight spiciness coming through as well. Some apples and banana waaay in the background. Really very nice and extremely tasty.

M - Medium bodied with some nice carbination to it. Very nice and creamy on the palate.

D - Really enjoyable beer and one that I will definitely seek out again. The alcohol does make itself known as the bottle disappears. Overall a really great beer.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a nice fluffly marshmellow light brown head. I could sit back and star at this beer the same way one admires a fine painting. Smells of maple(both the wood and syrup) and fresh pipe tobacco. Taste like raisin bread, plums, lot's of sugary sweet flavors. Overripe banannas and what sets this apart from others is the big bold grannysmith apple flavor. I love Grannysmith apples. Carbonation is spot on and the body is on the lighter side of full. This one is a sipper for sure but it's nice to just enjoy over the course of an evening. Great beer!!

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Photo of depechemode1983
4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep mahogany with reddish hues. Has a brown fluffy head with excellent retention. Plenty of lacing on this one.

S- Super sweet and winy. Lots of grape, sugars and other dark fruits. Smells like a port. Also some alcohol coming through with a bit of grains.

T- Sweet maple and caramel notes up front with grape, cherries and toasted sugars. Very malty. With a bit of alcohol warmth. Awesome.

M- Smooth soft and bordering full bodied. Carbonation is low on this but work great with all the flavors and aromas.

D/N- So drinkable and flavorful. Lots of fruit flavors in this one. Excellent beer. Im going to buy some more for sure. Try this if you get a chance.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
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 jds1469
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fantastic beer. I thought the guy telling me about this at the store was just trying to push off some random beer. NOPE.

A - Extremely dark copper color, good amount of head right after being poured into my sniffer. There was a good amount of lacing down the inside of the glass.

S - Smells like a good dark hard cider to start with. Then the raisin, hops, sugars, and other fruits come out.

T - Tastes just like it smells. A little alcohol finish to to the taste but its just enough to balance out the sweetness.

M - A little thin on the feeling and flat.

D - Almost perfect. The flatness keeps it from getting a 5 on this one.

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Photo of cavedave
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thought this was a recent release, but cork says 2008.

Like its brother, Rood, this beer is beautiful. Glowing, cloudy brown, tall crown of thick tan foam, and at last a lively cap, with sheets of resiny lace on the glass.

Ah, the perfume of sweet caramel, flowers, figs, raisins, with a spicy note behind, and an edge of light herbal bitter. Taking nose away from glass proves difficult.

Cellar temp. (45 deg. is my guess). Full flavored. Starts with a clean blast of sweet and fruit. Some alcohol warmth sneaks in, doesn't intrude, and the sip opens into some nice yeasty tart, very subdued, that brings out the figs and raisins, also some very earthy notes give a real boost to the light herbal bitter and floral. As it warms I think I can taste every fruit flavor known. Along the way I taste cherry, nectarine, watermelon, grape. Other flavors come in and out of the sip, mysterious underflavors beyond my palate to describe. To say this is complex gives full usage to the word. Ends juicy, a touch of alcohol vapor to it, with the complexity continuing on palate in the mouth for the entire glass, providing a smorgasbord of resiny goodness to the pleasure center of my brain.

Mouthfeel? Let me tell you, not gonna go long here, this is the poster boy for the feel of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale in terms of carb. creaminess, viscosity, and finish.

This beer is on par with the finest I've tried, fantastically drinkable.

Impression: For any lovers of this style- GET THIS. All others? GET THIS. Absolutely, stunningly delicious.

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Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage:

A - Pours a dark mahogany with a rich red hue into my goblet. Only about a finger of head with little retention or lacing.

S - Sweet caramel malts, apples, brown sugar, clove, spice, raisins and cherries with a touch of alcohol.

T - Very sweet and candy-like, caramel malts, clove, brown sugar, apple and banana, raisin and a bit of alcohol warmth.

M - Medium in body and fairly well balanced.

D - Very tasty sipper! A little on the sweet side for my personal preference, but overall really nice and very enjoyable.

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Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.11/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml bottle into Chalice.

A. POured 2 fingers of off white head. Very thick lacing left all along the glass. Great retention. Color is dark brown with some amber hues.

S. Great belgian smell. Dark fruit, yeast, candi sugar. Raisins, figs, nice dark grape smell. Not much of any hop or alcohol aroma.

T. Different. Not exactly what I was expecting to tell you the truth. Pretty dry. Not a whole lot of sweetness or typical dark fruit taste. Taste is actually more along the lines of caramel, brown sugar.

M. Full bodied. Nice thick mouthfeel. Really only sweetness in the beer is on the finish, otherwise it is pretty dry. Good carbonation.

D. Drinkable for sure. Hides ABV flawlessly. I have to say I find this one different in the flavor than many other BSDAs. I didn't get a lot of the dark fruit flavor in the taste as I was expecting. It was present in the aroma, but not the taste. A great beer nonetheless.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought 750ml from Whole Foods and poured into a dimple glass. Poured a slightly hazy chestnut brown with a wispy head. The aroma was quite light, with subtle brandy/caramel notes. It somehow doesn't do justice to what comes next. A sip reveals a deliciously balanced sweetness of figs, melted brown sugar and nutmeg. My two-year old bottle may have softened out any bitterness, imparting a feather-light mouthfeel at the end. One of my favorite Belgian strong dark ales indeed!

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Photo of bonkers
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I split a 750 ml bottle with a friend, poured into oversized wine glasses. The pour is a muddy plum color with a moderate white head, light lacing. The aroma is sweet, spicy and has a hint of bubblegum? The flavor is great, cotton candy, bubble gum, and dark fruit, with a lingering sweet finish. The beer is full/medium in body, average carbonation, and the alcohol is well hidden. The beer went down way too easy for such a big beer, highly recomended.

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Photo of number1bum
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 vintage. Pours a dark mahogany color with a scarlet tint to it when held to the light. About two inches of tan head settle to a thin lace, although it does leave some nice webbing on the sides of the glass as it falls.

Smells of rich candied fruits, brown sugar, caramel, candi sugar, raisins, black cherry and other dark fruits. Some alcohol wafts over the nose as well, which gives it a sort of brandy-like quality. Very nice.

Taste is also very rich and robust, with lots of dark malts - caramel, brown sugar, candi sugar - and dark fruits as well. Raisin, in particular, is a strong flavor, as is plum and fig. Like the nose there is some booze here, although it doesn't remind me quite as much of a brandy as the nose did. It's sweet yet pretty clean in the finish, and not cloying.

Mouthfeel is a medium-full body which at first feels a touch thin for the strength of the beer, but then as the sweetness takes over the mouth it begins to coat and feel fuller.

This is a very nice sipper, a robust, warming sort of beer that's perfect on this snowy evening. It's a little hot and I'd like to try a vintage with a couple of years on it to see how it melds together and smooths out. I'm sure it's a real treat with a couple of years on it.

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Photo of Mess
4.17/5  rDev -3%
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 claspada
4.35/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 Version:
Aromas of dark fruits (cherries are predominant but also some raisins, figs), typical Belgian yeast banana and clove notes, fairly strong in fact, some sweet brown sugar/burnt caramel fruity malts or maybe from some dark candy sugar. Smells really great, no signs of alcohol at all.

Tastes of strong dark fruits, banana, clove, with some lesser caramel malts, brown sugar and treacle. A nice complex Belgian taste, but the alcohol does make an appearance here, but it is 11% ABV after all.

Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Very smooth and creamy. Thick but not the least bit syrupy or cloying.

Overall, the extreme malt bill and high ABV are so well-integrated that any warming present is easily mistakable for the spice of Belgian yeast. This is one of the most velvety smooth and crazy drinkable Belgian quadruple/dark ales I've had to date.

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Photo of stakem
3.95/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes taken on 12/30/10. A 2010 corked and caged bottle I popped open and shared with a couple friends.

Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a clear dark ruby brown color with 2 fingers of dark brown head. The cap recedes fairly fast leaving a wall of lace along the glassware. Swirls revive the head back to a finger of creamy tan.

The aroma of this brew is sweet smelling alcohol laden with darker fruits. Quite sweet, almost candy like with an indication of vanilla overtop the scent of plums and raisins.

The taste is also candy sweet with a light spiced character of clove, banana and bold alcohol. It is quite sweet upfront with a bold character of fruity alcohol that balance it out a bit. The sweetness is somewhat caramel-like in the finish with a lingering bitterness from earthy and herbal hops.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation. The alcohol is very evident throughout the experience and it is quite drinkable. My only gripe is that this brew was a little too sweet for me to enjoy more than a single glass of. The bold combination of alcohol and sugar would present an interesting example for aging. I'd give it a try again if I could get an older bottle.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.3/5  rDev 0%
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 metter98
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is relatively clear but very dark brown in color and poured with a two finger high beige head that slowly dissipated and left lacy patterns of bubbles covering the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible.
S: The nose has moderate aromas of dark fruits along with some notes of malty sweetness.
T: Like the smell, the taste is quite fruity and has flavors of cherries, plums and raisins. There is a moderate amount of malty sweetness and hints of apples and cherries. Overall, the taste is rather complex and well balanced.
M: It feels medium-bodied and very smooth on the palate with a moderate of carbonation. There is a mild amount of warming from the alcohol in the finish.
D: The beer tastes like it is strong, but nowhere near the level of 11%, and the well masked nature of the alcohol makes this beer very drinkable compared to others in the style.

Note: 2010 vintage

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Photo of cjacobsen
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to sweemzander for sharing this one.

Pours a hazy brown with a slim, tan head on it. Slight reddish hints around the edges in the light.

Smells of dark fruits, cherry, lots of raisin. Plum was suggested.

There is a lot of flavor and it hits you big right out of the gate. The blend is flawless. Very fruity with plenty of sweetness to it. Blackberries and black cherry is prevalent. The alcohol is hidden very well.

There is a slight bite up front but its smoothes out well afterward.

The Belgians really know what they are doing. This brew has a hefty percentage attached to it, but it drinks very very easily. It was pretty filling due to the sweetness.

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Photo of dbossman
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A nice ruby/amber hue with a thin but steady beige head; lacing is okay

S: Alcohol is prevalent but so is a strong cherry and oaky aroma; cherry sweetness coupled with a subtle yeasty funk (orange and coriander) makes this a really nicely smelling beer; a bit vinous all in all

T: Strong cherry and oak up front with a subtle oak quality; a bit of a caramel raisin maltiness; still a bit yeasty with maybe subtle orange and apples; this is a nice fruity quad

F: A touch thin but decent overall

D: A great quad though the alcohol and cherry sweetness become a tad wearing

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 1,893 ratings