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: 885 | Ratings: 1,820
Photo of voteforgoat
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
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 DrDogbeer
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared with Tom at the Brewhouse- Thanks, TP!
2008 vintage, Poured from bottle into a Tulip. Pours a hazy dark yellow/orange with a huge pilowy white head. Smells of alcohol, some citrus and some spice.
Tastes strong. I get a good amount of alcohol, and a decent fruit bitterness. Nice flavors working together, though.
Good amount of carbonation feel and pretty drinkable, even though the abv is high and the fact I can really taste the alcohol. Great belgian style!

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Photo of beveragecaptain
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. This beer pours out a partially hazy brown color with a large head. The aroma is chocolate, licorice, spices, and dark fruits. The flavor is very malty, with chocolate, cherries, cloves, and pepper. There is some licorice flavor, but not as much as the aroma would have you believe. Hoppier than the average dark Belgian ale, but not overly hopped. The hops lend a welcomed bitterness to this otherwise sweet beer. Thick mouthfeel. Drinkability is good, considering this beer is so high in alcohol. This beer is good in the bottle, but it's excellent on tap.

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Photo of Buebie
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
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 clayrock81
4.05/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a brown body with minimal head that dies and leaves lace patches. The malts come out in full force in the aroma, complete with a dry woodiness/nutty yeastiness and there is a minor sweet touch and some fruit flavors I pick up. Smooth, medium-bodied, almost creamy mouthfeel that makes for an easy to drink brew. I pick up tart fruit like cherry and something akin to apple or plum and also a touch of citric like orange. Also a good deal of residual sticky sweet malt. Caramel, figs, possibly chocolate (possibly) - no matter there is some definite sugary goodness in here and it is balanced w/ the fruits and combines with the yeast for a sweet and also dry (also bready) malt balance. Lots going on and then it finishes real crisp, not due to ABV which is well-hidden, but due to some minor clove and pepper spices. All in all a fruity, sweet and dry ale that doesn't taste heavy and is a dangerously great sipper.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,820 ratings.
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