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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)
1,863 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: 1,863 |  Reviews: 899
Photo of Westsidethreat
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 vintage

A: Mysterious brown sugary syrup color with an unfiltered appearance to it. Light sediment hangs out at the bottom of the glass disrupting the gentle streams of bubbles coming to the surface. Head is large in true Belgian style with the color of oatmeal.

S: Roasted dark fruits, rum raisin, toffee, brown sugar, banana and some soy.

T: Starts with majestic fig juice, prune preserve and raisin extract. The balance of sweet malts and dark sugars is stunning. One can find oily brown sugar, gentle molasses, blackberry jam and rum barrels mixed into the group. Complexity runs deep, multiple layers with flavors popping every sip along the way. Finishes almost mineralistic with limestone thoughts. A deep set dough accompanies the dark sugars all the way to fruition with some alcohol showing signs as it warms.

M: Full bodied with a syrupy mouthfeel and smooth carbonation.

D: Delicious. Tremendous depth with awesome flavor. Could even use a few more years of aging to showcase the tastes. Really a proper example of a good dark Belgian ale

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

Poured into the proper Gouden Carolus chalice.

Beautiful color! Dark mahogany with hints of ruby and magenta. Long lasting head stayed till the last sip but the slippery lace fell apart...damn.

The nose was full of discarded banana peel that had been baking in the sun for three days, brandy, clove, sugar, red licorice, sweet dark fruits and alcohol. Nice nose on this one!

This was one excellent tasting beer! Raisins, plums, figs, banana peel, clove, lots of sugar, brandy, red licorice and a hint of alcohol. As the ale warmed the alcohol became less pronounced which was really impressive. So many diverse and dynamic flavors while being so smooth and drinkable. Warming mouthfeel and very heavy in the mouth.


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

It was a 750 ml caged and corked bottle poured into a challis. This was one of several beers imacoug returned to Washington with after a vacation in Florida. We got together to share a few newbies and watch some pro-football…the beer trumped the games!

A: This beer has a warm oolong tea hue that is largely opaque. At first pour it was reminiscent of a bottle of light chocolate coco. It had a modest caramel head that lasted long into the experience.

S: The aroma was fruity with hints of plums and malty with a strong presence of milk chocolate and a splash of caramel.

T: The taste was strongly influenced by the lightly roasted malts. It had sweetness akin to milk chocolate with hints of dark brown sugar hints. The finish has a nice light malt flavor with a wonderful warm dry note influenced by the alcohol.

M: It was medium bodied and richly smooth throughout its residence in my mouth. There was a slight aftertaste that was sweet and warming.

D: It was a nice smooth beer with excellent subtle complexity and great character. It’s a nice after dinner brew that may be too sweet for a long day of drinking. However, it is a beer that deserves to be returned to over and over again.

Comment: After a couple of brews that left a bitter chemical aftertaste this was a treat. It really makes one appreciate it when a brewer gets the concepts of balance and subtlety.

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

2006 vintage. 750 ml bottle I purchased from Five Points Bottle Shop in Athens, GA. Served up in a goblet. Lets ride the lightning.

A: Pours a nice wood like, dark brown. Light filtering through lightens this puppy up and turns it a bit red in color. This beer really doesn't want to let light in. Got a half finger of white head that didn't have much in the retention department. The patchy froth on the top leaves some nice lacing on the glass. Very nice to look at.

S: Smell is pretty nice. Lots of alcohol soaked fruit. Plum raisins and prunes are there. A bit of sour Granny Smith apple coming in there. Sweet citrus orange in there. Malt comes in with some sweetness. Along with the malt comes some caramelized brown sugar. This is very nice. Sweet and sour in the nose. Very appetizing. This beer smells juicy.

T: Taste is fantastic. FAN-tastic. There is a sense of semi-sour good rock candy coming over first. Just a perfect balance of sweet and sour. Big, juicy green apple comes in first. Then come the dark fruits in the form of dark cherries, plum, raisin and prunes. These fruits come in with a touch of sour but are tamed by a touch of sugar and alcohol. These flavors approach the nice brown sugar flavors. Malt is there as well. This is just a tasty brew. Candied and tasty. So damned good.

M: Medium to full in body. The carbonation is perfect, adding to the flavor experience. Making this crisp and refreshing as if you were eating fruit. A touch of tartness lingers on the palate. This beer works slowly across the palate and down the throat. Must be savored and demands you to enjoy this beer.

D: This beer is so easy to drink. Goes down nice and crisp. The flavors and smells are just damned perfect. I want more. Lots more. These flavors are awesome. This beer is amazing. Big props to Will at Five Points talking this brew up. This beer should be enjoyed by all. It truly is an experience. Fine beer. Expertly crafted.

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

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

Poured into my duvel tulip, probably in my fridge for a year, at least.

No real head that last any amount of time, dark brown body. Nose, banana bread, alcohol, hypothesizing smell as it warms. yum. Alcohol comes out more as it warms up. Taste, great, some cherry licorice in there, banana. Mouthfeel is nice, carbonation great. Drinkability is supurb. I'm really diggin this one but I'm a Belgian nerd. Highly recommended.

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

750ml Bottle, 2009 vintage, Poured into my Duvel Tulip.

Appearance: Deep dark brown, nice light tan head that builds initially to about an inch but quickly fades to about a 1/16", excellent lacing.

Smell: Wow, really nice nose with a caramel malty sweetness, dark fruits and nicely complex undertones.

Taste: Very delicious beer, deep complexity, but malty sweetness is up front, the dark fruit (raisin) comes through nicely. This is sweeter quad but not cloying at all.

Mouth feel: Extremely smooth and although sweet it does not coat the palate.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, maybe too much so due to the high ABV. It was very easy to down this whole bottle pretty quickly because it goes down so easily and so flavorful.

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Photo of JudgeRoughneck
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2010 Vintage Sampled January 2014

APPEARANCE- Deep bronze with ruby highlights, chill haze that gradually improves with warmth, and low, off-white head with very poor retention and little lace. No legs.

NOSE- big spicy red grape aroma hits first, pinot noir?,...notes of licorice and of course, big, deep, caramel maltiness, cherry skin and plum skin, dates, creamy character of vanilla and cinnamon probably attributable to oxidized alcohol, some acetlaldehyde and a hint of fusel, complex, intense, and deep aroma. Lovely.

FLAVOR- thick base of caramel, cream, and amber honey supports very subdued phenols, moderate-strong dark fruit esters including a notable blackberry, and a brighter raspberry character. More licorice character, a dusting of walnut, hints of dark rum, very faint hint of orange rind lurks far beneath the surface, pleasantly minty here and there... damn. Huge vanilla in the finish. Maybe a little diacetyl, but you really gotta hunt for it w all the other stuff going on... no noticeable hop bitterness, though I suspect some portion of the licorice/mint/blackberry thing must be hop-derived. I swear for split second I get a note of kiwi. I'd do desperate things to get crème brulee next to this beer, cuz I swear theres one in it, garnishes and all.

MF- The hallmark of all Het Anker's ales is unquestionably the rich, luxurious, velvety, creamy mouthfeel. This is full-bodied, naturally, but never heavy on the palate. I will fault this vintage for retaining a little heat over the years, and going lightly astringent...probably from oxidation. Medium and beautifully fine carbonation.

OVERALL- I have at this point had 3 or 4 bottles of Cuvee van de Kaizer, both blue and red. I am in the habit of consuming them between 3-5 years old. I have been both beautifully rewarded and horribly disappointed. I'm sure it all comes down to storage practices. If you are into cellaring beer, this is certainly one to try, and I'm sure a vertical project would be a very enjoyable experiment. I am always caught off-guard over and over by how Het Anker's huge, full-bodied beers float on the palate and offer up so many bright and spritely flavors.

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Photo of SD-Alefan
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 Vintage
Pours a deep brown with brick red highlights in the light. A dense and creamy tan head. Spotty lace all down the glass.
The aroma is toffee, fig, raisin and winey.
The taste? It's complicated and layered. Toffee, caramel, fig, raisin, plum, prune. It's vinous
and sweet with a bit of banana in the aftertaste. Just a hint of warming alcohol, which is a bit surprising, given its strength.
Mouthfeel is medium and smooth with very little carbonation.
Overall, a great after-dinner sipper. Need to put a few away for some extended cellaring...

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Photo of tjthresh
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark ruby reddish-brown with a light brown head. Aromas of caramelized raisins, cherries, licorice, and alcohol. A lot of the same flavors with a touch of smoke and heavier on the cherry. Full body with lots of carbonaton. Semi sweet finish. This is pretty damn yummy.

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Photo of scootny
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow. An amazing beer on the level of Chimay Blue. Lovely mahogany liquid with a tight, khaki head. A goodly about of lacing decorates the glass as gentle carbonation rises up and feeds a light covering that stays on top of the glass after a slow fade.

The nose offers sweet and spicy Belgian notes. Caramel and dark fruits. Lots of figs dates and raisins. Peppery alcohol and fresh dough. A slightly oaken touch.

A feel just short of luxurious.

Taste is otherworldly. So smooth and tasty. Lower bitterness really shows off the malt base. Caramel and those dark fruits. Some cherries and quite a bit of vanilla. Again so smooth and complex. It has notes of sherry and while sweet and malty up front surprisingly dry in its finish. I was drinking this with a Sunday night pasta and tomato sauce. Kicks any red wine in the whatever.

Feel is just short of luxurious. A superior creaminess. A perfect and surprisingly lighter weight. Not to say this had no girth. It does. Just a drinkable, medium body for such a strong beer.

This is a near perfect beer. Really.

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Photo of 0x4a64
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Westmalle Chalice. 2012 vintage, probably a tad too cool when I first popped and poured.

A: A very dark chestnut / maple brown with a fair amount of murk to it. Even with an aggressive first pour, the head was less than a finger of caramel colored lacey head. Nice retention. Looked better on the second pour with nearly 2 fingers of thick Belgian head.

N: Amazingly complex aroma bucket. Primarily dark fruits like prunes, figs and raisins, but light citrusy and apple esters as well. Background of roasted nuts and sweet caramel malts. Smells very sweet and a bit boozy, but in a good way.

T: Wow. As expected, a very complex tasting beer which really evolved over the 45 minutes it took me to sip down this 750ml bottle. In a blind taste, I would guess this were a quadrupel, not a strong dark ale. A very sweet beer, actually a little too sweet for me, with an emphasis on sugared figs and very ripe prunes. Nice foundation of caramel malts is complemented by the slightest hint of pear or apples. But primary flavors are sweet dark fruits and roasted nutty malts. Delicious. I found this 11%ABV to be less well disguised than other BSDA / quads, and I think the sweetness kind of punctuated and accentuated the alcohol for me.

MF: A very smooth and silky, luxurious mouthfeel, on the lighter side of medium for me. A little more carbonation in the mouth than you see in the glass, but I would still call it a low carbonation beer. Pleasantly warming without being stinging or astringent.

Overall, this is a lovely beer. I'm sure it would age well, and I would recommend letting it warm to 52F before even popping the cork. Not something you could session and definitely a slow sipper, but this is a lovely , big Belgian Strong Dark Ale, with all the intricacy you would expect, and more.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown/ruby pour with a monster 3 fingers of cascading head that leave being some nice lacing and retention.

The aroma is dark fruits up front with surprisingly subdued spiciness. Yeast, earthy hops, and some alcohol heat round out a nice nose.

The flavor starts out quite odd and unique. Dark fruits and a sweetness that is difficult to pinpoint engulf the mouth with tons of flavor. There are some spices in the finish, but they are subdued for the style. Alcohol is very slightly noticeable, but this drinks pretty damn well for 11%

The body is on the full side of medium and the carbonation is soft. Very good for the style.

Overall, this beer is a winner and is most definitely a world class BSDA. Rich and complex, yet easy drinking for the ABV. Right up there in the conversation with any top Belgian beer you can name.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a dark, hazy reddish-brown. Some orange highlights when held up to light. The head has a similar coloration and is quite tall, with good density and a thick, frothy texture. Retention is very sturdy. There is also plenty of sticky lacing that clings to the glass as the head glacially melts away.

S: Spicy, boozy, and sweet aromas are in contention here. Slight fruity notes contribute to a brandyish twang. Hints of apple and raisin. Spicy notes of tobacco. Sweet honey and toffee/caramel character.

T: Restrained and well-blended in flavor. Some definite sweetness up front: light breadiness accompanied by honey and toffee notes. Fruity notes of raisin, plum, and apple peel, contributing a pleasant, vague tartness. Alcohol is noticeable and lends lots of character - little roughness or heat, mostly just a brandy/bourbon flavor that works really well with a mild tobacco spiciness. Mildly phenolic, but much less so than many Belgian ales.

M: A wonderfully luscious, thick mouthfeel. Sticky but never quite cloying, with a perfect, sipworthy heftiness. Carbonation is just less than medium.

D: Just an excellent beer - I just drank the 2009 version and this drinks amazingly easily for 11% abv. The alcohol is still abundantly present, but it adds as much to this beer as it has with anything else I've tried. Supremely well-blended and articulate. Instantly one of my favorite Belgians.

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Photo of HOMEPL8
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of cheah
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of RochefortChris
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of captaincoffee
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a medium head that leaves a lot of lace. Nose is big for a quad with lots of sweet dark malt, dried fruits, and brown bread. Taste is similar with a bit more risidual sweetness than most. Damn...This is up there with the top quads. Really big flavor while retaining balance. Honestly in the same league with R10, StB12, and W12. Damn good.

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Photo of ZEB89
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SStein
4.46/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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 rhoadsrage
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a warm brown leather body that is opaque with a faint hint of light in the thin part of the chalice. The head is a nice creamy vanilla ice cream color with a few big bubbles on top. The head stays but turns into a thin film. This beer has some nice loose lacing all the way to the last drop.

S- The smell of sweet rich dark malt is evident even during the pour. Smells of dark brown sugar and brown malt also have a quality of Munich malt and some faint notes of dark fruit.

T- This beer has a faint sweetness to the dark malt with some dark brown sugar hints. The finish has a nice dry crystal malt taste with a carbonic fizz note and some soft alcohol.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with some soft champagne fizz through the sip. There is a very smooth alcohol warmth after the sip.

D- This is a nice smooth beer that has very good complexity although subtle. The dark sweet malts in the front are balanced by a dry light malt in the finish similar to that taste I get from a good fresh Kolsch. The alcohol is smooth but adds some character. My bottle says 8%ABV but it doesn't taste like that at all.

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Photo of Backer2004
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
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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Photo of roddwolff
4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Once poured in my goblet "Gouden Carolus". Look: Purplish brown, thin foamy head with a thick finger, seems ice cream, very good lacing; Smell: Roasted malt, coffee, purple grapes and figs; Taste: Similar, roasted malt, coffee, purple grapes and sugar, few traces of alcohol without being disagreeable, grapes prevails over the other ingredients; Mouthfeel: Clean, very bitter with sweet moments, extra thick body, creamy and robust; Drinkability: Like drinking wine-beer, very good, combining the warmth of the wine with the freshness of beer.

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
Beer rating: 4.3 out of 5 with 1,863 ratings
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