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)

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: 1,830 |  Reviews: 889
Photo of nickd717
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottle from Whole Foods in Los Altos.

A - Dark reddish brown appearance with a small beige head and good lacing.

S - Aroma of dark fruits, caramel, and Belgian yeast.

T - Heavily malty, with plum, date, raisin, brown sugar, caramel, spices, alcohol, and yeast. Some bittering hops noticeable. Complex and good but not outstandingly so.

M - Medium to heavy on the mouthfeel. Warming on the finish.

D - Average-plus.

A well-crafted Belgian Strong Ale overall.

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Photo of jnn4v
4.5/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown / mahogany color. Tons of tan, foamy head on top. A continuous stream of tiny bubbles rising from the bottom of the glass becomes evident when held to the light. No haze and no sediment in the first pour. It's bottle conditioned, so there is more yeast in the dregs of the bottle.

S: Dried fruits, dark fruits and candied fruits are the three general scents right up front. I'll go with figs, prunes, and dates to name the first that come to mind. Some molasses and brown sugar are there as well. Overall, probably the sweetest smelling Belgian quad I've ever had.

T: Sweetness, but not to the point of being cloying, seems to be the overall dominant trait. Specifically, some of the dried or candied dark fruits from the scent do come through in the flavor. Definitely some Belgian yeast profile as well. Overall, it's wonderful. Reminds me a bit of bread pudding or plumb spice cake at times.

M: Very smooth, velvety texture. Absolutely wonderful as it hits your mouth. Lots of very fine carbonation throughout from the bottle conditioning. Not overly carbonated or too syrupy, but very rich.

D: Despite its 11% ABV it doesn't seem "hot" to me. Very nice to drink start to finish.

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Photo of bloberglawp
4.69/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pour a rich red-brown, exellent head. No lace. Head sticks around nicely.

Aroma of rich caramel brulée, dried dark fruits and candy. Flavor, taste like a scotish strong ale. Alot of malty sweetness, dark caramel candy. Fruity esters and a balanced hop bitternes.

Awesome ale, I wish I had purchased more than just the one 750 ml bottle.

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Photo of supercolter
4.43/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good beer that I am happy I could get the opportunity to try. Appearance is thick like velvet with a dark brown hue and slight head. Smell and taste are fairly similar, however the complexities of the beer are just more overwhelmingly apparent in the taste. Brown sugar, milk chocolate are the dominating flavors up front. Very sweet but not overpoweringly so. Lots of dark fruit esters make the slight boozy taste fade away at the end. Very complex and delicious. Mouthfeel is thick and velvety, amazing. Drinkability is so good, expecially given the alchohol content.

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Photo of kaseydad
4.42/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Snifter pour with a murky dark brown colored brew produced. A nice bubbly cream colored, two-finger foamy head is present.

Dark fruits, pears, sugary sticky candy aroma. A faint whiff of bozzy substance is also in the air.

Major explosion in the taste! So much going on with this beer once it hits the palate. A small swish in the mouth definitely kicks up some of the hidden characteristics of this fine beverage. The lingering aftertaste gets the mind wandering even more to the complexity of the brew.

Drinkability is somewhat high but polishing off a 750 ml on one's own will have you talking to the pink elephants....who won't leave!

A very well done ale!

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Photo of Hullabaloo2
4.82/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Sweet, dark fruity esters, dark sugars. Malty sweetness. Alcohol. Just a bit phenolic.

Appearance - Dark brown with a beautiful red hue. Tan head that poured two fingerwidths and dissipated to one. Good lacing. A lot of visible carbonation.

Taste - Complex taste similar to the aroma. Sweet, dark fruity esters. Malty sweetness. Soft, but noticable alcohol. Slightly phenolic. Balanced toward the malt. Not quite cloying. Wonderful yeast character that I can not quite describe. It comes through in all of the Gouden Carolus beers.

Mouth Feel - Medium to heavy body. Smooth; almost creamy. High alcohol, but with no bite. Notice able alcohol, but not hot.

Overall Impression - Wonderful beer! My favorite beer, in fact. This is a review of the 2008 vintage. I love every aspect of this beer. I encourage everyone who can get this beer to go buy it immediately. What more can I say?

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Photo of mntlover
3.79/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a almost clear brown, dark but almost no head to speak of on either pour for me.

Aroma is the highlight of this beer big sweet candy sugars dancing with plums, liquorish and cherries. Very inviting aroma on this one.

Taste is lots of candy sugars, malty, fruity sugars defiantly linger on your tongue. Flavors linger for a while then the cherries come out and turn tart. Finish is lingering sugary malt and tart cherries. Also notes of liquorish, yeasts and light minty hops.

Mouthfeel is a big medium with nice medium carbonation, which is nice as too many of these brews are over carbonated.

Drinkability is ok not great but not really bad either.

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Photo of spointon
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml brown, corked/caged bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice glass.

A= At fridge temp, this ale poured a dark but clear mahogany brown color with a nice reddish glow. The first pour produced a light tan head that was only 1/4" but retained very well. The second pour (with the ale much warmer) put up a 1/2" head. Retention was incredible and the stickage on my glass looked like emulsified foam...Beautiful.

S= I noted lots of alcohol up front in the nose, but it was never off-putting. Underneath that, there was a malty sweetness, rum-soaked raisins, molasses, and some yeast character.

T= Not that the aroma was bad, but the flavors were way better. Dark malts and caramel/treacle sweetness gave way to a rich estery fruit character. Dark cherries, plums, and figs all made an appearance. The yeast lent a bit of mustiness, but for the most part the malt sweetness trumped that. The finish was long sweet, with a beautiful chest warming alcohol nip.

MF= Full bodied, with a medium carbonation level that stopped well short of effervescence. Sort of a think tongue coating feel.

D= Good complexity here and despite the ABV, this never really feels too hot. Nicely done!

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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 FleeVT
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml brown bomber poured into a Chimay goblet. Bottle born on date is presented as a year on the neck label and in the story of how it is brewed every year on February 24th on the birthday of Charles V.

A: Pours a beautiful crimson brown which glows on the edges. Capped by an off-white thick head that sticks to the glass and looks like it would require chewing.

S: Delicious. Red delicious apples, brown sugar, caramel, raspberries, and a firm but not overpowering alcohol backbone.

T/M: Big beer! A decadent mix of caramel, chocolate covered berries, oak soaked in dark rum, overripe cherries, and a touch of spice. Just a perfectly balanced beer with hint a hops. The body has a creamy texture that is cut nicely by the higher alcohol volume. Carbonation is moderate.

Like a fine port this seems like it would get better with age. Go slow with this one and savor every last drop.

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Photo of TLove
3.93/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

(From Notes)

750 ml bottle (2008 vintage) to collins glass. Reviewing after the third one I had. This beer and Corsendonk Brown will likely facilitate my financial ruin.

Chestnut brown with hazy body and creamy, strong head. Well-carbonated, but extraordinarily soft to the taste. Smells of brown sugar, dark fruits, toffee, prune, and carrots. Full-bodied, soft and supple consistency that is a touch too sweet, but very well-rounded and very smooth.

Banana and spice on the tongue, with tart sweetness of cherry and plum and roundness of fig and oats. Finish is sweet and tart with a pourous balance and barely-noticeable 11% ABV. Flows smooth from front to back.

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

This is a nice corked and caged 750 I bought at Peace St in Raleigh for $10.

Appearance: Poured a little hazy at first, but cleared to a nice amber-ruby shade with a thick off white head. Good retention fueled by a continuous stream of bubbles from the bottom of my wine glass. Thick, sticky lacing.

Smell: Lots of spice. Raisins and dates and yeasty bread. It almost smells chewy. There is a slight hint of the 11%.

Taste: This is super complex. So much going on. There is sweet dark fruit-- raisins and dates and tons of breadiness like fruitcake. Spicy. Its a little boozy, like a port maybe. The aftertaste lingers wonderfully and my stomach warms.

Mouthfeel: Pretty full. Good carbonation. Really coats your mouth and tongue with perfection.

Drinkability: I have to force myself to sip rather than gulp. It is amazing. The 11% is a little unfortunate, but that in no way makes me less inclined to drink it. Try to stop me.

I haven't had the classic Gouden Carolus in a long time, long before I started reviewing, so I cant compare to that. I can say its about as good a BSDA as I've had, and its hard to imagine much improvement.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.63/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a gorgeous beer, dark, reddish-tinted, with a colossal head of smooth, creamy foam on top, and excellent lacing. The nose is delicious, with a soft buttery caramel, ripe fruit, subtle yeasty spiciness, and a light tartness. The flavor is a delight of Belgianness: a near-perfect blend of sweet milky maltiness that's never over-heavy, lightly raisiny, lightly caramelized pear fruitiness, maybe a hint of cherries in the slightly tart finish. The body is smooth and creamy, but the alcohol is almost undetectable, except perhaps as it warms up a bit.

An amazing piece of beer craftsmanship, and one of the best beers I've had in months. Every part blends together perfectly, each component delectable, but it's the beer as a whole that's truly wonderful.

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Photo of SShelly
4.59/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007- grand cru of the emperor

Thick aroma of chocolate, dark fruit, belgian esters, powerful and awesome.

Rich dark malt with fruity esters, dark fruit, slight sweetness left on the pallet.

Very lively in the mouth, warms up the chest nicely, no hot alcohols...very impressed with the feel of this beer

One of my favorite beers, had it on tap a month ago and thought it was excellent then as well, a definite must whenever you see it!

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Photo of drumrboy22
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage. Poured from 750mL bottle into a Westvleteren chalice. Beer was a deep red color, with a velvety, creamy, tan head. Heavy lacing around the glass.

Aroma was caramel, dark fruits and brown sugar.

Taste was caramel, raisins and other dark fruits, light spices. Delicious.

Very full bodied beer. Creamy, thick mouthfeel. Nice light to moderate carbonation.

Fantastic all around beer. I think this one would age very well.

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

(2008 bottling) Simple, presentable one finger of light brown micro-foam, more lacing than expected, very credible. Offers a red-brown base color with an orange tinge, you can easily see the steady streams of bubbles which reinvigorate the head. The sweetness in the nose is consistent and stays within bounds, mix of poached apricots, maraschino cherry, golden raisins, caramelized brown sugar, glazed nuts and cinnamon stick, looks more for balance and follow-through than any one big thrust. Full-bodied, there's a broad, creamy foaminess to support the concentration and prevent heaviness. Here the caramel, molasses, brown sugar leads clearly into the cherry, apricot, peach, pear fruit, less emphasis on raisin or fig. At times you get banana notes. Serves up nutmeg, cinnamon spice with a hint of clove. Some licorice too. Retains that creamy texture to extend the finish. Even with its relatively high density easy to quaff.

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

Priced at just 9.99 this brew is a steal, one of the most complex and fortifying Belgian ales I've tasted to date. I used to drink this beer when it just had the Blue sticker running across the 750ml bottle. I like the new packaging, pretty snazzy. It pours a dark ruby brown body with a huge effervescent light tan head. Fine layers of Belgian style lacing line my chalice, what a nice visual experience.

Aromatics to go along with this brew include roasted caramel malts and candied sugar coated plums and raisins with some green apples flowing as well. Mild spicy yeast backing reminiscient of a great strong Belgian dark ale.

Flavor flows heavy with caramel and mild vanilla with slight oak like finish. I know it has never touched the barrel but this brew has something that brings that charateristic to mind. Bold juicy malts with roasted edges are so nice in a Belgian Strong ale, soothing alcohol edges surround the palate with tart fruit playing it's role to entice and deliver quite the sensory experience.

Mouthfeel weighs in with some effervescent attributes but it also weighs in with some heavy carmael malts and alcohol. A toasted burnt caramel flavor with some sticky residual sugars that burn and soothe the throat almost like one of popular lozenges on the market.

Drinkability overall is excellent a brew that you should share with friends or indulge in alone if your feeling up to a big brew like this. Great complexity and flavor brings you back for another sip again and again, quite dangerous.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.73/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 750ml corked bottle into a pair of pint glasses.

Pours a reddish brown, medium head, good lacing, little visible carbonation. No visible sediment, very slightly cloudy.

Smells sweet and musty, mostly cherry and a very tiny bit of banana.

Taste is dominantly sweet and syrupy with a lot of cherry, strong sour aftertaste with some bitterness.

Mouthfeel is thick, dense, syrupy, and sticky. Feels fizzy and effervescent (which is surprising, since I can't see any carbonation).

Too strong and too sweet to be terribly drinkable to me, but still a good beer. Maybe it need to breathe or warm up a little, or maybe it needed to spend some time in the cellar, I'm not sure.

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

A: Rich red-brown body. Light beige head. Quickly recedes leaving behind nice lacing.

S: Dark fruits. Raisins, figs, caramel, grape skins. An ever so slight hint of booze.

T: This delicious beer is defined by delicious dark, sweet fruits. Almost like a fig newton with prominent raisin and grape components. Slight caramel, chocolate, toffee malts.

M: Medium-full bodied. Clean carbonation. Rich.

D: This is a wonderful beer. A bit to rich to be more than a slow sipper. Can't wait to get this beer again every year.

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

Ahh, "De Keizer", so we meet at last. 750ml corked & caged bottle (2008) into a Chimay chalice.

Body pours an attractive plum-mahogany color that turns to a brilliant burnt copper hue in the light. Thin streams of carbonation encircle the glass's edge, rising upward to fuel a well-retained, blotchy cap of custard foam. The aroma practically leaps out of the chalice, hitting me with bouquets of dark fruit and darker sugars: caramel-covered raisin, green grape rinds, chocolate pudding, toffee, ground white pepper, and a slight trace of grainy alcohol.

My first thought is: "Holy shit, this is 11%??" Needless to say, the alcohol is well-hidden, except for a tiny evaporative heat on the back of the palate. Rich, creamy malts coat the front and sides of the tongue, while the yeast adds fruity esters of raisin rum and currant. Body is thick, but doesn't weigh heavily upon the palate, thanks in part to an uppity carbonation level that blends well with the spiciness. A sipper? Certainly, but less "laborious" than most other 10%+ Belgian bigs. Quite drinkable, in fact. Glad I have the rest of the bomber to keep me company.

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Photo of goatgoat
3.38/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2008 on neck. Served in Chimay goblet.

Pours a clear dark ruby-brown. A finger's worth of tan head falls quickly. About half the glass is covered in sheets of foam that diminish to a fine lace.

Aroma is strong and prominent during the pour. Brown sugar and dark fruits. Doughy bread. Spice with a hint of clove. Heavy handed alcohol.

Flavor starts heavily sweet, syrupy, which is cut by spice. Alcoholic heat and dryness take over the finish. A medium light body but with a syrupy quality. Lively carbonation that is alternatively tamed by the syrup and distractingly prickly.

This is a tricky brew. Light, but sweet, coating, and filling. The alcohol and sweetness make it interesting for a glass, but wearying after that.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.82/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose is aggressively malty and sweet-smelling. Mild sour funky tones slowly come into focus. Some dark grape-like fruit. Hints of vinegar. Smells good.

Pours a deep brown (almost red or purple) with limited-to-no clarity. Mild head with quick dissipation. Small piece of cork surfaced when the head disappeared. I'd guess the corker had too much gusto. Other than that, it looks pretty good.

A surprisingly flat body hits the tongue with less sweetness than I expected and an array of odd flavors. Some caramel, ripe dark fruit (raisin, prune, etc...), soft medicine, and a beef-like notion that reminds me of a very rare steak. Some mild vinegar, earth, and smoke. Flavor eventually settles upon sweet malt with funky yeast and more of that steak with a side of vinaigrette. Tastes good. Feels pretty good. Pretty good drinkability.

An odd Belgian. Tasty, but different.

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

Corked bottle labeled 2008: This brew is a stark black color with crimson highlights if held to a strong light source. The head is thick, tan, and long lasting. What a smell! Incredible fruit smell...prunes and molasses, peaches, cherry, pear. All of the fruit smells are very ripe and's almost like fruit on the verge of decaying. The smell is intense, and backed with just a shade of alcohol. The brew's taste is sweet and malty, with lots of raisin and chocolate (think good milk chocolate). The beer is very thick...thick and almost sticky-sweet. Mouthcoating. The flavors are so strong that they obscure the alcohol, which creeps up on you. Great beer!

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Photo of bulletrain76
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl, 2008 vintage bottle split with LarryLSB at Brasserie Beck. Dark caramel brow color with a lasting beige head of fine bubbles. Vinous, yeasty, and fruity aroma with dates and cherry. The flavor is sweet, yet well balanced, with complex yeast, brown sugar, and dried fruit flavors of dates and prune. Medium-full is body with lively carbonation that lets it glide over your tongue. This was outstanding with chocolate mousse for dessert. Wonderful on its own, but the pairing was truly sublime. I was looking forward to this, and it more than delivered.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

An excellent version of a Belgian Strong Ale because it's not overwhelming for those not ready for this style and easy to drink. At 11%, could not tell the alcohol content at all. Nice balance, good notes of prunes and candy sugar. Not the absolute best, but worthwhile. One of the cooler bottles as well.

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,830 ratings.
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