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)
1,862 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

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Ratings: 1,862 |  Reviews: 898
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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Photo of thierrynantes
4.42/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer bottle (75 cl. 2006 vintage), tasted in 2010.

Appearance : dark brown color, with tan foamy head (not persistent).
Smell : roasted malt aromas with notes of wood.
Taste and mouthfeel : sweet and full bodied, dark fruit and chocolate.
Drinkability : a very nice beer in the style Belgian strong dark ale. To drink at cellar t°, you can taste it with chocolate ;-)

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

The beer is dark amber, a honey colored head, a few lacings, very good curtains.

The smell is much in the sweet area, honey, sherry and nuts.

The taste is earthy, stables, leather, cream, sherry and Madeira.

Small carbonation, mild, smooth, oily but a very full body - nearly enormous.

This was the 2004 vintage, enjoyed at Akkurat in Stockholm, Sweden. In company of great beers man stands small ...

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Photo of hardy008
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 Vintage.

Pours a dark brown color, much like the color of raisins. The beer has a 3 finger light beige head with nice retention and lacing. Looks like a classic BSDA.

The aroma is quite nice, and has dates, plums, caramel, brown sugar, and green apple.This smells like it should be quite sweet. This beer tastes exactly like it smells. Dates, plums, caramel, brown sugar, and green apple combine beautifully too make a beer which is sweet, smooth, and delicious.

Medium to full bodied and well carbonated. This beer is unbelievably smooth and easy to drink. The alcohol is noticeable, but not in the way at all. The mouthfeel on this beer is incredible. I need to buy several bottles of this to cellar.

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

Poured into a tulip.

A - a really nice dark brown caramel color with a cafe late-colored head on top. Some nice bubbles as well.

S - caramel, brown sugar, spice, raisins and dark fruit. Malt sweetness.

T - everything in the nose is here, with a little more sweetness than expected. This sweetness fades a bit as the beer warms, which is a good thing.

M - really nice carbonation and flavors that leave my palate wanting more.

D - the only thing that will slow me down is the 11%. Otherwise, I could drink this baby all night.

Really nice Belgian dark ale here. One of the best I've tasted.

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Photo of collinsroth
3.97/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle of the 2010 vintage.

I had high hopes for this beer as I am fan of several of the other Gouden Carolus.

Rich dark amber complexion, with a medium head. The smell might be the best part of the beer - very complex, with the sweetness of the beer coming through. Raisins and maple syrup dominate the smell and make it a really different and attractive. The taste is dominated by the syrup - and this was the disappointing part. The beer if full of some amazing combination of flavor, but I found that after a small glass that it was too sweet to drink further.

Bottom line was that this is a unique beer - its the sweetest beer I have ever tasted. But thats its best and worst part - its not in my book a "drinkable" beer as a result.

I could see serving this with a desert in small servings....

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Photo of chumba526
4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This ale appears midnight black with a solid brown head.

It smells of molasses, caramel, raison and other dried dark fruit. A slight apple quality is also noted. Normally the descriptions written on beers are not very accurate but so far I smelt most of the characteristic written on the bottle.

It tastes almost identical to the smell. There is a strong caramel/ molasses flavor. I also get a bit of a brown sugar flavor as well. Though it is sweet the sweetness is smooth. There is a nice fruity raison taste as well. Though this is a malt forward beer, there is a nice balance to the beer.

The carbonation feels natural. It has a medium carbonation. It goes down smooth. The carbonation seems perfect for this beer.

The drinkability is not too bad this is a strong beer but it is quite easy to drink.

Overall this is a great beer. I am not a fan of very sweet beers but this is very well made and complex sweet beer. Though it is sweet it is complex and it is not one dimensional.

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

750ml corked and caged bottle served in an oversized wineglass. 2008 vintage.

pours an opaque deep mahogany tone with ruddy highlights; finger plus of a creamy khaki colored head; decent retention, nice walls of lacing. nice looking brew.

the nose is malty sweet, replete with dark fruits, cherry, spice, fig, belgian yeast, and maybe a touch of molasses. pretty much what i look for in my BSDAs.

flavor closely follows the aroma, opening with a strong cherry presence, followed by spices, plum, raisin, fig, and caramel malts. bit of warming alcohol to the finish, but other than that the 11% ABV is very well-hidden. tasty, tasty.

has a full bodied mouthfeel with adequate carbonation; very drinkable for a beer this big. exceptional belgian strong dark ale.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
3.08/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Just a quickie today - lots of football to watch! And honestly, what guy doesn't like one every now and then? This is the 2009 version of the ale, btw...

Pours a dark amber, like dark maple syrup, with good carbonation. Two finger rocky head settles into a nice, short creamy head and leaves sheets of lacing. Nice. You can really smell the 11% ABV in here. Some other things apparent in the smell are sweet apple, some tart berry notes, like strawberry, and some minor metallic notes (which I don't like). Surprisingly subtle, actually. Whoa, the flavor is sweet. Like honey. It's slick and syrupy, but only slightly so. This will be cloying to many. The alcohol is very forward in this. Some other items in the flavor = fig, candy corn, and also a hint of blackberry jam. Very expensive at $11.99/750ml bottle. This is a novelty beer by all accounts.

What I like most: The nice looking pour and aspects of the crazy flavor profile.

What I like least: Price and excessive alcohol notes in the nose and flavor.

Verdict: Too expensive to be worth it, many better in the style can be found.

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Photo of BucBasil
4.6/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 750mL corked and caged bottle into a chalice. This is the 2009 version.

A: The beer is a pure brown, cloudy and murky with a quickly dissolving 1 finger tan head.

S: A bit alcoholic, but with plenty of dark fruits in there (plum, raisin). Rum. Anise. Clove. Hint of cherry. The aroma is not faint - it's complex and very much there - but the different notes seem to run all together. Earthy aroma in the middle, but then toast and brown sugar. All over the map here.

T: Surprisingly sweet with dark fruits (plum, raisin) and brown sugar or even molasses. Berries and cherries flash in there, as well as a touch of lighter fruits, and the sweetness is very fresh. However, it's not all sweetness - it's very well balanced with a nice malt backbone of toasted bread. Spice character is not as evident, but definitely there. Finishes with a yeasty kick and a touch of rum or port-like alcohol that is quickly covered again by clove and fruit. Fantastic taste, and may quickly grow to become a favorite.

M: Surprisingly crisp on the tongue but velvet smooth going down. Fantastic.

D and Notes: What a great beer. I had high expectations coming into this one, and it definitely did not disappoint. The beer is just so flavorful and complex, but still somehow approachable and avoids being cloying. Incredible and I will definitely pick this one up again.

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Photo of jsh420
4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


pours muddy amber brown with a 2 finger tanish head with tight bubbles - great lacing and retention

smells very strong of rich dark fruit malt but also has lighter fruit (apples and pears)

taste is up there with some of the best BSD's - nutty sugary spiced fruit - very complex

mouthfeel is so smooth but still has plenty of carbonation

drinkability is crazy good for a brew @ 11% abv - drinking this beer makes me happy to know that there are still plenty of beers still out there that will amaze me

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Photo of firemedic1343
3.92/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Beautiful appearance, almost opaque. Lovely dark brown color.

S: Not really much smell here. The only real smell was a little bit of malt, but mainly fruit.

T: Very complex. Malty. Very sweet, actually much to sweet for an standalone drink. It may be best accompanied by something that goes well with something that goes well with this sweet and fruity beer.

M: Nice thick mouthfeel. Feels like you're getting your monies worth!

D: Couldn't drink more than 5 ounces due to it's sweetness. Dessert beverage.

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Photo of ButterScotch
4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have visited Mechelen 10-12 times so far....I am blessed indeed.

This is among my favorite Belgian brews. My own preferences are for sweetness over dryness or hopiness, but with a reasonable balance. If your tendencies are in this direction try this one!

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.05/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at new Paradiso in Old Town Alexandria, VA.

A: Nice reddish brown color thats semi clear with a nice bubbly head. Very Elegant and clean looking beer.

S: Lots of Dark Fruit, Malts of many variaties appear, spices, and a definite sugary confection type smell.

T: Overall very sweet but dry. Plum, alcohol burn/sugar, dark fruits, very malty. Dessert wine comes to mind with this one, maybe a little too sweet for me but very complex and good.

M: Good overall, medium bodied and nice carbonation.

D: This is a sipper for dessert for sure. A solid brew all around.

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 1,862 ratings
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