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)
1,875 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-03-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,875 |  Reviews: 902
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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Photo of Axic10
4.32/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 Vintage split with my uncle on Christmas Eve.

Appearance: Cola colored with a finger or two of fluffy head that settles after a few minutes.

Smell: Candied fruits, yeast, sugar and an alcohol sting.

Taste: Sweet candied fruits, sugars, yeast, and an alcohol burn on the palate.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with decent carbonation.

Drinkability: I enjoyed this for the style, I've passed this up a lot in the past, but that will change after I had this.

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Photo of taigor
3.31/5  rDev -23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 2008 vintage bottle into chimay glass.

A - Poured dark brown color with huge head that slowly dissipated leaving lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Very boozy with earthy scents. Lots of sweetness, dark fruits, nuts, and bready aroma.

T - Alcohol just explodes at the start hiding almost everything else in this beer. Sweetness is followed and stays there towards the finish.

M - Full bodied with high carbonation.

D - Definitely a sipping beer with alcohol not masked at all. It dominates everything else. I would avoid this beer in the future.

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

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip glass. 2009 vintage.

Appearance-deep garnet brown with ruby highlights. Clear. Moderate light tan head with good retention, fine bead, and some lacing.

Aroma-Enormous overpowering aroma, huge dark/dried fruit esters (prunes, plums, grapes, raisins) with some licorice and belgian dark candi sugar. Perfumy, rose-like and slightly peppery alcohols are background to the fruit. No hops.

Flavor-Very sweet, just shy of cloying. Rich and fruity, like biting into a plum, with flavors of raisins and prunes as well. Lighter flavors of dark belgian candi sugar fade to rose-water, peppery alcohols. The sweetness lingers just a bit longer than it should before being dried out by the alcohol. Still, quite good.

Mouthfeel-Moderately full, moderate carbonation. Smooth, despite high alcohol, though with definite alcohol warmth.

I probably wouldn't want to drink a whole bottle of this by myself, but due to the high alcohol content, that's not really an issue. I find this beer extremely delicious, and have loved it everytime I've had it.

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Photo of Trizzle
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

When I was big in to the Belgian Tripels and Quads, this was one of my favourites.. I should point out, I'm not so into Belgians these days, but will be objective.

2010 Vintage.

Pours a very dark burgundy, clear with beautiful highlights. A good dense head fades leaving a great blanket of just off white bubbles with quite good lace. Esp considering the abv.

Belgian yeast strains, christmas pudding, plums, raisins, and oak notes in the nose. Alcohol is vaguely present, along with some candi sugar and port.

Flavour is full of liquor soaked plums and raisins. Sweet malt with the dark malts adding a very complimentary hint of dry earth. Alcohol is in the mix, but perfectly so. Some yeast on the finish.

Mouth is ,edium full, with some great fine carbonation really filling it out.

For a beer of the ABV and sweetness the drinkability is 1st class.

Not as good as the 15yo bottle of this I tried last year, but still a great beer.

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Photo of Long813
4.84/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

BBE: 2020
Vintage: 2010

A: Dark and murky brown body with two fingers of dark mocha head. Retention is decent and leaves some lacing.

S: Huge front of sweet candy, molasses, caramel, some spice. Wow. Gingerbread is what I'd call the wheat I smell and a collection of dark fruits.

T: Following the aroma, it's just as good if not better. Very creamy caramel with nice spices and gingerbread. The flavour is intense.

M: Thick bodied and medium carbonation. Thick oily texture leaving a great sticky feeling of caramel. Some alcohol comes through at the very end of a drink, but it's not that noticable.

D: I wish I had more of this, it's such a great brew. Besides it's appearance, it's perfect.

For Record:
Had a 2014-Dec in 2015-Dec - Very good.

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Photo of DPFRD
3.76/5  rDev -12.6%
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 voteforgoat
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

from a 2008 bottle.

A -this pours out as a picture-perfect "dark beer". If one of the dwarves from Snow White had to drink a dark beer, he would be drinking something that looks like this -dark, dark brown, almost black, with pleasant ruby reflections, huge coffee ice cream-colored foam head that dissipates in beautiful thick lacing, with thousands of micro-bubbles forming as you swirl the glass.

S-sweet, slightly bready smell, smells a bit like rhum cake and gingerbread, a small amount of alcohol after a few deep sniffs.

T- dark syrup sweetness up front, and some gingerbread and fruitcake flavor (but good!), a bit of warming alcohol (though well hidden compared to many barley wines and imperial stouts of the same strength), def. that awe-inspiring belgian yeast presence. Some licorice or anise taste in there, maybe prunes too. Actually reminds me a bit of "Syrop de Liege", a dark, thick syrup spread from Belgium made from pears and apples I ate as a kid. Complex and hard to pin down. Absolutely great beer if you are in the mood for it.

M- Produces a fine, light carbonation.
A bit syrupy and thick, which is appropriate for a beer of this strenght.

D- You really have to be in the mood for this one. I do wish it had a dryer finish. I've had my valleys and peaks with this beer. For a while I was drinking it a LOT and loving it. Then, I cracked open a bottle at the end of a drinking night with the neighbor..during a SoCal summer..and it was the wrong choice. We knew it after a sip. That cooled my appetite for Cuvee van der Kaiser for a while. I revisited it once in a while, but it never got a hold of me as it did in the past. Kinda didn't like it for a while.

It truly is a "cold or rainy winter night at home" beer.
I've been cellaring this beer for a couple years. Since Los Angeles may actually surpass Seattle in rainfall this month (, I decided to try it again.

As this long review indicates, do not drive after drinking this beer on an empty stomach. Make sure you are alone as you will bore your friends and significant other with descriptions of how wonderful and complex this beverage is.

If it had even a slightly dryer finish, I would gain a lot of weight from drinking it too often, and would up its drinkability score. I guess I need to try the 2010, and the 2009 again!

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Photo of Bisho
4.94/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This Christmas/Quad/BSDA brew knocked my socks off (and the missus too!) We were not expecting this complex beer to be challenging the famous Rochefort 10 for the mantle but it sure matched it!

Poured from a 750ml bottle into two tulips. It has a deep ruby red appearance and leaves a little lacing but not too much in the way of carbonation.
The smell was of sweet burnt caramel and toffee.
The taste was just as gorgeous as the sweet smell. It is big and slightly chewy but never cloying and has a nice dry spice on the finish. Impeccably balanced throughout and the high ABV is hidden pretty well too.
This helped us to turn two of these things into a session :)
I have 6 more of these 2009 Vintage stored away and plan on pulling one out each year to see how it evolves.
You must get yourself a few of these if like me, you love this type of complex brew.

Update: After staying at the brewery in 2011, I managed to send home a mixed case of 2009 & 2010 vintages. I have since sat down to enjoy seeing how they have evolved over the years. I still collect at least 4 of each vintage back home in Australia each year so I can continue my ageing journey. The 2009 opened recently is probably almost past it. Not as good as it was two years ago. The 2010 is borderline too. The 2011 is at it's peak and probably the best damn bier I have ever enjoyed. Cracked a 2012 just last week and I am in heaven! 2014 vintage has just hit my favourite store and I am about to outlay a small fortune for another six of them. Cheers!

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Photo of Idler
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had the 2009 vintage, Christmas 2010. It's not Christmas beer, but I think that it is. This beer feels like a mouth full of liquid velvet, thanks to the unctuousness of the liquid and its myriad tiny bubbles. Divine. The aroma is fruity, vinous. The taste is complex, definitely, banana, dates and figs. Only its cloying over-sweetness (excessive caramel?) lets it down. Great with Christmas cake, Christmas pudding, or to send you off to the land of nod when a day with the relatives has been just too exacting.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.94/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008 Vintage.

A: deep copper color - great rocky head
S: earthy, musty, caramel nose, vanilla undertones, alcohol presence
T: the taste is very different than the nose, full, rich, chocolate, very, very good, pleasant surprise
M: smooth, easy drinking, carbonated but not like some other Belgians that are too gassy
D: nice sipping beer

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Photo of sartoric
4.87/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Opened a 2009 bottle.
Poured in a Tulip for vintage wine it looked Dark brown color with minimal head.

Very complex aroma. You can smell caramel, chocolate, banana, licorice, raisin, vanilla. The aroma seems to change continuosly

Sweetness slightly prevale on the bitterness but it's well balanced. You can also feel a spicy flavour in the background.

Very nice full thick (not too much) body

Food pairing : Excellent served with the slowly roasted piglet's leg, cooked in apple juice and served with roasted apples (lightly frosted with honey).
Simply fabulous coupled with dark bitter chocolate (70% and a cru 100% cocoa) and an home made shortbread apple pie Recommended +++

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Photo of Buebie
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

With moving comes pulling beer from the cellar. So here is a 2007 bottle. I picked it up a couple years ago for under $10.
Popped the cork and into an oversized snifter it went. A pale deep brown, looking like burnt caramel.
Leaving a thin cap of retention and generous collar.
Aroma of dark fruit, banana and malt mostly. Sweet and inviting.
mouthfeel is slick, a bit of creaminess and carbonation to balance.
Taste is a mixture of caramel sweetness and tart fruits, but predominantly caramel and figs. Its sweet but not overpowering. Cant say I've had a BSDA with s much balance and deliciousness as this one here.
Really enjoyable. Sipped for 30 or so minutes.

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Photo of beerhan
4/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 (2009 batch) into a delirium snifter. Very light white head that does remain with a lot of legs. Smells uber fruity and tastes like the entire spectrum of fruit. There is a lot of alcohol present and it hits you fast. It may taste great but that booze catches up fast. I split a bottle but could have had it to myself but was careful. Great for the price. I recommend.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2008 750ml cork'n'caged bottle into a Duvel tulip. Served just under cellar temp.

A: After removing the rather recalcitrant cork through the good old fashioned bite and pull technique, a slow, careful pour fills the tulip perfectly: beer up to the middle of the letters and creamy tan head everywhere else. The body is a shockingly clear persimmon hue, and the head demonstrates remarkably fine retention and leaves some frothy lace in patches around the sides of the glass. Stunning beverage - a little more lacing would have made it a perfect 5.

S: Big, bold, vinous aroma. I'm shocked at how much this reminds me of a light, spicy red wine more than a typical BSDA - the substantial alcohol throughout definitely helps bring out its winey side, but the real culprits are the notes of grape skins, plums, raisins, and pepper. Some candi sugar, molasses, and malt assert themselves at it warms, but the vinous nature remains noticeable. I like it, but it's not quite up there with my favorite examples of the style.

T: Much lighter on the fruit and heavier on the malt than the nose, with molasses, port, cocoa, and brown sugar all standing out. Dates and raisins are present as well, and everything is bound up in a finish redolent of fruity, lightly spicy booze - perfect for an 11% sipper. Amazingly smooth for the strength. Delicious beer.

M: Only one word comes to mind to describe the feel of this one: supple. The body is a little north of medium, and the moderate dose of velvety carbonation waits just long enough to makes its satisfying presence felt. Fabulous.

D: I'll be sipping on this 750 for a while, and that's fine with me. A bit boozy, but it's a style that definitely allows for that.

Notes: Great beer. At almost three years old, this bottle is holding up terrifically, and could probably have benefitted from more time still. If the store where I got this has more of this vintage, I'll definitely scoop them up. Otherwise, I may start setting up a vertical with more recent ones - I have to imagine that this beer would be a bit of a beast fresh out of the gate. I'll certainly be including it whenever I get around to doing a Quad/BSDA tasting - I'm curious to see how it would compare side by side with something like Pannepot, St. Bernardus 12, or Unibroue La Terrible.


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Photo of corby112
4.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From notes:

Pours a dark chestnut amber color with a 2.5 finger foamy tan head that has decent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that coats the glass with patches of soapy lacing.

Roasted malt aroma with hints of peppery spice and a prominent dark fruit presence. Hints of plum, raisin, dark cherry and grape balanced by subtle hops licorice, nut and alcohol.

This beer has a wonderful mouthful and is very flavorful. Nice soft carbonation up front with lots of peppery spice that is nicely balanced by a slight medicinal presence, dark fruit and alcohol warmth. Hints of chocolate, caramel, fig, raisin, date and dark cherry all bouncing off of each other. Incredibly complex with the perfect balance of roasty, spicy, sweet and heat. The high ABV is excellently masked however, making this beer dangerously drinkable. Highly recommended!

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Photo of mdfb79
4.2/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Duvel tulip. 2010 vintage.

a - Pours a dark mahogany brown color with one and a half fingers of fluffy off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Head lasts for two to three minutes and leaves nice lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of dark fruits, spices, Belgian yeast, sweet fruity malts, and molasses. Smells really great, no signs of alcohol at all.

t - Tastes of dark fruits, Belgian yeast, molasses, spices, fruity malts, molasses, and some alcohol. A nice complex Belgian taste.but it is 11% ABV afterall.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

d - A very good Belgian dark ale. It smells really great and has a great mouthfeel. The smell and taste are very complex and enjoyable; I wish there was a little less alcohol in the taste but at 11% ABV what can you do. None the less a great beer I've had several times and will certainly have again.

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Photo of Natural510
4.72/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On-tap offering at The Trappist in Oakland, served in its own glassware.

Pours a dark, tobacco-brown color with nice swath of creamy head, which dissipates to a more scant lacing.
The scent is pungent, mesmerizing. Deep malts which give off a sweet odor of molasses and red licorice.
The flavor is similar to the aroma; heavy malts, sweet with brown sugar, molasses, cinnamon and licorice. Yeast and hops come through in the finish to round out the drink with a discernible balance.
Body is full, complementing the other characteristics of the brew. Creamy & complex.
Excellent offering I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to taste from the tap. It would definitely keep one warm & happy in the winter months.

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

Pours a five+ finger pillowy, cream head that fades very slowly leaving a good lace. Deep cloudy amber/brown color. Nose is dark fruit and some alcohol. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is sweet dark fruit and hints of alcohol. $12.99 for a 750ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT. Bottled 2008.

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 1,875 ratings