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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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Reviews: 879 | Ratings: 1,799
Photo of MbpBugeye
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I set out today with the agenda of knocking out some more of the top 100s. This is on the list. I have seen it around but didnt previously know what exactly it was. There were plenty of these at Pace - High so I got a bottle. 2008 vintage.

Poured into a Chimay goblet.
A- Deep reds and browns when held to the light. This beer is almost black looking in this big, wide glass. The head gets fairly large and wants to stick around for a while but eventually fades. There is still a pillow floating in the middle, sustained by the laser etching in the glass. Some moderate lacing is thrown from the collar of foam.

S- Nice, big, powerful smell. I could smell it as soon as I popped the cork. Lots of dark fruits. Figs, plums, raisins, cherries, brown sugar, and sour dough. This is pretty complex and really good. Alcohol is there in the nose as well.

T- This is a strong beer. Loads of cherries and raisins. The alcohol is making no attempt to hind amongst the cherries and other dried fruits. The finish has some sour dough and lots more alcohol.

M- Medium body with lots of carbonation. Goes down somewhat warm with alcohol. Finishes with lingering fruits, sour dough and alcohol spice.

D- This is a big, strong beer. I can enjoy this glass by myself very easily. The entire 750ml is another story.

 1,303 characters

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
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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Photo of jeremytroy
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark maroonish red. An average sized off-white head dies down momentarily to a smaller head which stays around for a bit longer. Adequate lacing is left.

S - Lightly fruity and bitter. Not overwhelming, but complementary to the flavor. Something in the scent, especially after the lacing has faded, reminds me of cognac.

T - Dark and subtly fruity on the intake, slight bitterness and yeasty flavor in the swallow.

M - Thick and free from the carbonated feeling often associated with ales. Slight resistance in the swallow accompanying the bitter flavor.

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Photo of Onibubba
4.04/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Christmas Eve beer. Poured a very dark brown, reddish hues when held to the light. Very little head, even with an aggressive pour. What there was, was white and left some lacing. Potent aromas let me know that I am in for a pleasant evening. Sweet berries, figs, sugar and spice vie for my attention. No auslese wafts of alcohol getting in the way either. Very nice. These aromas are less evident in the taste. What is quite strong though is the overwhelming sweetness of this beer. Surprisingly, this is not a cloying sweetness, but fades rather quickly, leaving you ready for the next sip. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but does not detract. Drinkability is quite high considering the sweetness and the alcohol level. Wonderful stuff for a special occasion. One of the best sweet beers I have had the pleasure of drinking.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 bottle purchase in 2006, cellared 6 months at 55-60 degrees F.

Pours a bubbly dark chestnut, almost mahogany with purple-ruby highlights. Lace is thick, clingy, and with minute yeast particles floating in it.

Smells very yeasty with rum, raisons, fruit bread, toffee, and some licorice. Kind of boozy and quite candy like.

Tastes immediately warming and boozy with a real sweet, candied sugar sensation. Smooth and mellows as you drink it but manages to keep a zesty edge. Toffee, orange-chocolates, sugarcane rum, cloveish spice, and raisons swell into torrents of flavor.

Very drinkable. Strong and boozy yet easy to down. A 750 is gone in minutes.

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Photo of bunnyhustle
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into Duvel Tulip. Deep, dark ruby in color with a massive and rocky off-white head. Amazing retention and lacing. Smell was instantly of dark fruits, alcohol, yeast, and bread...pretty much what I'd expected. Taste was really strong of cherry, raisin, pear, and grape with a sweet malty undertone. A warming alcohol burn as it goes down the back of the throat. Really nice taste but at first it was not what I expected. Carbonation was slightly high with a thicker, smooth mouthfeel. Overall a great beer, the ABV will kick ya in the pants but sip it slowly and enjoy.

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Photo of TasteTester
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 750-ml bottle.

Nice belgian.

A-Pours a nice, off-white/beige head. Doesn't stick around. Deep amber, red color. Little sediment floating.

S-Strong, fruity, malty, alcohol. Notes of caramel.

T-Surprising at first, but a great, smooth drink. Not overpowering but not too weak. Citrus.

M-Smooth and sticky. The right flavors last as you down a sip.

D-Too much for more than 1 750-ml bottle at a time. Could drink a couple of 12-ozers.

 443 characters

Photo of chumba526
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
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 MattSweatshirt
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 750ml bottle poured into a chalice.

A finger of off white/faint brown head is produced. The body is brown with an abundance of ruby red hues when held to the light. Dare I say this is a sexy looking beer? I must. Lots of eye candy lacing is left.

On the nose this has a definite alcohol presence which at 11% it gets a little hard to totally hide. There is also some caramel sweetness, dark fruits, and bready notes to balance out that alcohol and make it a pleasant smelling brew.

Mmm...big bready notes, a bit of molasses, caramel, dark fruits like raisins and figs with an alcohol kick.

There is a full body here that is fairly smooth. The carbonation isn't too much and works nicely. Slightly sticky on the lipsss.

This thing is pretty wonderful. I was hoping to keep it around for a little bit before cracking it, but I broke down and I'm glad I did. If the sweetness and alcohol levels were toned down ust a tad this would be a home run. It's still amazing, like a Bengie Molina triple.

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Photo of kbutler1
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. Shared amongst several people who all wanted to try this highly rated beers. I don't drink too many Belgian Strong Ales so this is fairly new territory for me. Pours a dark reddish brown mahogany color with a tan head. Smells of sweet dark fruit and raisins. Boozy but smooth. Medium mouthfeel. Almost has "legs" like wine. Good but this would be tough to drink a lot of IMO.

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Photo of deanhead
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Deep rich mahogony color, nicely laced head.
Aroma is sweet and earthy. Hints of bubble gum
Malty and toffee like, very rich tasting, raisiny, smooth aroma of currants.
Sweet and viscous with a medium mouthfeel.
I have several of these in bottles from vintage 2004-2008. It seems to be growing. It certainly is one of them keeper beers.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
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.

 502 characters

Photo of tr4nc3d
4.03/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as a gift from my wife. Came in a 1PT 9.4Fl.OZ bottle that was corked(which I hate corked bottles). There a bitch to take off.

Poured this into my chalice, it was a light brown mahogany like color with a huge off white head that fades away decently and leaves sticky lacing on the side of the glass.

Smells of dark brown sugar, rasins, plums, figgy, caramel.

Nice warm caramel like flavor, roasted almonds.

Medium body with decent carbonation, smooth, no bite at all at the end.

Decent beer, would go good with desert.

 532 characters

Photo of dalebert4
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Left a nice lattice. Found what looked like an owl in the design.

S: Complex yeast, little boozy, dark fruits, over ripe orange, caramelized sugars

T: Sweet, raisins, brown sugar, some vanilla

M: ABV comes through, but is not overbearing, crisp, live yeast.

O: Really, really pleasant. A sipper that could sneak up on you.

 329 characters

Photo of RedHaze
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage, 750ml bottle.

Pours a very dark chestnut, with some red tinged highlights. The head peaks around one finger, and fades very slowly to a thick frothy cap. The lacing almost completely coats the interior of the glass.

Smell; tons of dark fruits with plums, dates, raisins and surprisingly a hint of oranges. There's also a solid malt presence with toffee, brown sugar, with a little bit of bread dough. Add in a little bit of an alcohol presence, and this reminds me a little bit of my grandmothers fruit cake. Very nice.

Taste; very fruity up front with dates, plums, raisins and as with the nose there's a little bit of citrus in there as well. Toffee, brown sugar and molasses give this a very sweet almost sugary profile, and has a significant alcohol presence. This is very good, but would be even better if it were not quite so sweet.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, with a very smooth almost creamy carbonation. The drinkability is pretty good, put is hurt a little by the alcohol and sugary sweetness.

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Photo of MisterClean
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Manderes' (Folsom) 1 year anniversary pour.

A - Pours a light brown, almost mahogany, with a peanut clored head, which dissipates fast. Leaves a light trail of lacing.

S - Roasted caramel, hazelnut, and dark belgian candi sugars.

T - Dark candi sugars, hazelnut and roasted caramel.

M - Overly sweet. Wow! Full mouthfeel and little to no hop presence.

D - Good overall, but slightly too sweet and rich for me.

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Photo of drewbage
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark chocolate brown with low fluffy tan head.

Aroma is figs and dark jellied fruits and a large fruited wines

Molasses and caramelized brown sugars with a spicy ginger and pepper like gingerbread rides through to the finish.

Overall an interesting spin on a Belgian dark, leaning towards a holiday brew with its intense spiciness, even though the nose is more like the complexity of a port.

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Photo of Truh
4.02/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wore all of my bling with this one on 12/10/2004. 1 pt. 9.0 fl. oz. corked and caged bittle poured twice in a sweet Allagash glass.

Huge plume subsides to an active, fine mesh of lightly singed matrix. Impressive, succulent mahogany hue that is quite deep and can’t be penetrated. Plum and raisins are huge on nose with an acidic malt tinge and red licorice thrown in – aroma is quantifiable nine inches away. Molasses sweetness with a juniper hit and a port-like front that is blasted through with a pile driver of malty alcohol that subsides quite neatly. This seems to be so much more complex than others in style, and that much more enjoyable.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle with Jaargang 2007 on the label. Poured into a tulip glass, it was a pretty garnet color with a small white head. It had a pleasant dark fruit, spicy aroma. So far, so good. Downhill from there. It had a sweet, root beer taste. Noticeable alcohol, intrusive and medicinal. I had to work hard to finish the bottle.

I just had the 2008 version. I think I bought it without remembering my previous review. Which was a good thin, because this was far better than last year. The aroma was dark fruit and licorice. Taste was anise, dark fruit, and a good malt presence. Much more fun to drink.

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Photo of BillyB
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with ruby highlights when held up to the light.

Medium off white head.

Strong smell of wine and dark fruits such as plum and raison.

Strong alcohol aroma and taste, slightly sherry-like.

Taste of dark fruit, figs, raisons, plums. Not much hop aroma

or taste. More malty and candy sugar sweetness than hop


Quite drinkable for the alcohol content.

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Photo of beerhan
4/5  rDev -6.8%
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 Gmann
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured out of a 750ml cage & corked bottle. Pours a cola like brown color with an average tan head that dissipated into a ring around the glass. The smell is of figs and the newton, brown sugar, prunes, roasted/bready malt, spicy. The taste is of alcohol soaked rum raisin bread, cane sugar, and red grape juice. The feel is moderate to well bodied with tight and fizzy carbonation that finishes slick and syrupy; sticky and sweet. A very flavorful brew but is almost cloyingly sweet and sticky and the ABV can put a small horse down.

 534 characters

Photo of TexIndy
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml corked and caged bottle into my DT snifter. 2008 edition. It was a deep ruby color with tons of carbonation but no lacing which wasn't surprising considering the 11% ABV. It had a large brown fizzy head that settled into a thin foam and thick collar that was fed by the carb from the bottom.

BSDA aromas are hit or miss for me. I really don't like the darker fruit and overly strong raisin smell that you find in most of them. Too sweet with no spice to offset. This one had that balance. There are dark fruits and currants but there is also dark brown sugar and cinnamon to tame that. Still very sweet smelling but in a much more pleasing way. The taste also had that balance. Surprisingly the high ABV never really showed in the aroma or the taste. You can definitely feel it but not really smell or taste it. The taste starts out sweet then gets even sweeter and then fades with a bit of a bitter finish to end it. Again, sweet but not too sweet. I find the 750ml bottle to be too much for one sitting. Not necessarily the ABV but this would get to be too much sweet at the end. Good for splitting.

Overall, a rather good BSDA that I really enjoyed. Highly recommend as it's a great example for the style. For me, one is enough unless the circumstances were just right.

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Photo of BeanBone
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: A bit of a gusher on opening, but nothing too extreme. Pours a dark brown body with ruby-red highlights. Up top, over a finger of creamy off-white head with good retention and stellar lacing.

Aroma: A mix of ripe bananas, a host of various other dark fruits, mustiness, and sweet brown sugar malt.

Flavor: Essentially, the same profile found in the nose--dark fruit, mustiness, spiciness, and rich caramel malt. The alcohol is masked excellently, adding just a dash of spice and heat. Raisins and brown sugar in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with smooth carbonation and just a hint of warmth from the alcohol.

Drinkability: Tasty and deceptively quaffable, this drinks a lot faster than the alcohol content would suggest.

Verdict: While I'm a little disappointed that it didn't quite live up to the hype I've seen, Cuvée Van De Keizer is still a solid, complex, and thoroughly drinkable Belgian Strong Dark Ale well worth a try.

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Photo of beerhandy
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 bottle..Duvel Tulip
Pours murky brown with a beige head that fades to a foam lace .As it warms it clears to a rich copper.

Aroma is of dark jaggery, alcohol and some fruitiness maybe liquid mincemeat

Taste is very sweet and rich with no hops. Dark candy sugar and lots of it. Hints of spiciness nutmeg maybe cinnamon it’s very subtle. Finishes sweet with a warming from the alcohol

Medium to full mouth feel its so full of residual sugar its hard to place
If you like sweet dark Belgians this is a keeper

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,799 ratings.
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