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: 887 | Ratings: 1,823
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.65/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 vintage.

I cannot beleive this beer does not have more reviews! This is by far one of my favorite belgians. This beer pours a deep dark brown with little head ( this varies by vintage). The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and creamy, by far the smoothest beer i have ever drunk at 10% abv. taste is typical of the het anker brewery, similar to the classic but much richer and warmer. impressively almost no alcohol on the finish. tastes of dark fruit and a tasty version of a strong french or belgian amber. This beer only improves with age and should be appreciated slowly ( as hard as that may be) in front of a warm fire on a cold night alone or with a very good friend. Zalig Genieten!

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Photo of willjschmidt
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at The Trappist in Oakland in the proper Gouden Carolus glass.

A: Pours a murky brown with a thick white head. Lots of lacing and outstanding head retention.

S: Some brown sugar in the nose along with some ripe dark fruits. The alcohol is also rather apparent.

T: Lots of sweet overly ripe dark fruits such as raisins and figs. There is also some caramel, toffee, and maybe a little bit of molasses. It's very complex and a joy to sip. It is also very alcoholic. The alcohol nips at the end and slightly burns the back of the throat. It seems to mellow a bit as it warms.

M: Outstanding creamy mouthfeel with excellent carbonation.

D: A dinged it a bit on drinkability due to the alcohol. The delicious flavors make it an outstanding beer. A great brew for my 100th review.

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Photo of Absumaster
4.12/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A slightly murky brown beer with a steady stream of carbonation rising to the top. A thin head that forms a ring against the glass.

Smell of lots of caramel and sweet candisugar with a fruity Belgian yeast profile, which gives some woody smells. I can also smell the alcohol, a sharp feeling in my nose. Hidden behind this is a solid malt base.

Taste is malty with strong sweet caramel and candisugar. The dark malt gives a mellow maltbitterness and adds to the complexity of the beer. The first sip I get a slap in the face of the pungent alcohol, but every following sip this gets less and the malt and full body draw away the attention. The yeast gives a fruity profile and reminds me of dark cherries. It is not the most abundant yeast profile I have come across, it does the job and gives light fruit and a little solvent. Also some spiciness, I think I can taste cumin, which is their usual choice, but it is very subdued and I am guessing. Body is medium to full and the beer is very sticky.

For me the alcohol content is way too much, what is the point of having 11% alcohol and let it cover by a huge sweet body? So for mouthfeel I took some points off, nevertheless a good beer.

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Photo of russpowell
4.55/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2007 vintage, may have to go back grab a few more for aging

Pours a garnet hued chestnut with 4+ fingers of tan colored head into my Vondel chalice. Superior head retention & very good lacing, takes on viscous tendencies as it warms

S: Oaky with fruit (raisins, dates, figs) , leather notes, a bit of cherry,

T: Dry with chocolate, fruittyness, leather, vanilla, cherry & leafy hops up front. Oaky dryness asserts itself as this warms along with figs, molasses, raisins, a bit of booze warmth, some herbal hops, mint notes, & just bit of licorice

MF: Slick, with fairly low carbonation, starts to get chewy as this warms.

Drinks pretty good, dryness slowed me down a bit; for the complexity & abv, I believe you could lay this down at least 3 years no problem

If you like complex chewy Belgians, buy this, you won't be sorry

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Photo of WYVYRN527
4.52/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, almost burnt walnut with almost no haze. The head is thin, but retains on the surface. The aroma is of rasins, caramel, and vanilla, with a hint of oak. Upon tasting, the beer begins with dark fruit. Prune, fig, and banana pour through. The finish is strong and sweet. with toffee and vanilla. This beer is full-bodied, strong, yet amazingly smooth. It's not what I expected. For it's strength, it is almost too easy to drink. I had to hold back from taking it all to myself. It's not for the beginner by any means. This is one that needs to be worked up to. It's definitely a beer that I will buy in future vintages. The bottle I had was from 2006, and it would probably hold up to at least another five to ten years of age.

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Photo of Deuane
4.77/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2004 bottle: aged 3+ loving years in my cellar.

A - Ruby brown with a full tan head...laced nicely throughout

S - Whoa! Big wiff of Bourbon, Prune and leather. Very aromatic

T - Holy Cow...this is some beer. Deep rich dark fruit notes with undertones of bourbon...absolutely delicious.

M - Big, deep and rich. An absolute carnival in the mouth.

D - For an 11% beer I could carry around a snifter of this all day! Truly fantastic. I made sure to go out and purchase another bottle to let sit for a few years....will see if that one comes out as good..I hope so!

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

On tap at the Bodega in LaCrosse, Wisconsin. Pours a dark amber with a short, creamy head. Nose is slightly spicy, notes of cinnamon and a faintly cloves. Decent mouth feel, thought not the same velvety smoothness of the bottled version. Good body. Nice clean finish. While this is better than 90% of the beers out there, the bottled version blows this away. That being said, still a great beer.

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Photo of BeerNutta
5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2005 Vintage

A = Poured into chalice with a deep dark brown colour and thin foam head.

S = Sweet rich smell of prunes and blackcurrant with a hint of alcohol.

T = Big malt flavour. You can also taste prunes and sultanas. Slight bitter finish. So so slight. Delicious.

M = Medium bodied with a warming alcohol finish that leaves you warm and satisfied. Amazing

D = Very VERY drinkable.

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

2006 vintage. Pours a cloudy dark brown with amber hues, a medium sized light tan to cream head slowly recedes with minimal lacing. Aroma is sweet dark fruits, plums and raisins and overripe fruit. Also a softer sweetness of brown sugar and caramel, nice breadiness and hints of banana as well as some vinuous qualities like cherries, very complex. Outstanding aroma, at times there are some classic Belgian qualities while at others it is like a nice aged English barleywine, sweet and malty. Taste follows suit with strong aged barleywine characteristics of sweet dark fruits and caramel malts. Still some hoppiness in this vintage with some hints of crispness mixing with a bite of the alcohol strength. Medium to heavy in body, carbonation is low, but soft and creamy where present. Outstanding beer, very unique and quite complex, can’t wait to try some older vintages and see how it progresses.

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Photo of joepais
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage, 750ml bottle Poured a wonderful burgundy color with a slight white head . Aromas of wine fresh bread and malts . Medium-bodied and slight carbonation . This Ale drinks like a cognac . Big fruity flavors along with some malty sweetness but not overly sweet .This bottle was a well balanced. I will enjoy this Ale watching the Red Sox’s tonight nomatter what the outcome (Go Sox’s)

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Photo of oelergud
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Corked and caged 2007.
Opaque mahogany body with a light brown head of tiny to medium bubbles. Retention is pretty good but there is not much in the way of lace.
Strong smell of prune, raisen and alcohol. Lots of spice and an overall heavy element to the scent.
Ripe and sweet dark fruit flavors swirling around a rather alcoholic core with a cone of hop poking through here and there. Pear and cherries appear as the beer warms. Sweet, spiced and sparsely hopped aftertaste.
Full body, plenty of residual sugars and decent coating.
This is a very drinkable and delicious sipper of a beer. Full, sweet and very aromatic.


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

2006 Edition.

A – This poured a very dark, almost a hazelnut color of brown, with a slightly reddish tint to it. Very hazy and cloudy and with a good amount of sediment running through it. A good two inch plus of head formed on the top, a nice tan colored pillow like but sticky head formed on the top and really never faded. It sort of settled , nut even then was still quite strong. This was definitely a full bodied looking brew and something that looked like it was getting ready to sink its teeth in. A good amount of side glass lace flowed down the glass throughout and gave it the final touch of a full looking brew.

S – Whew, that was strong. Now this meant business. There was definitely an alcohol presence here, but not in an overpowering or derogatory way, more of a subtle, just letting you know it was there. Lots of dark spices here. I could pick up even some dark fruits, plums and maybe even a bit of grape in the nose. The deep caramel like sweetness was also present here and gave it a good lifet and a nice fullness.

T – For as strong as this was, I would actually consider the overall flavor profile to be nice and mellowed compared to what it probably could have been. First notice was a very nice warming feeling coming over as I took the first sip. Lots of mellowed yeast here. Some apples and plums, maybe a fig mixed in seemed to bring out the lighter notes. Meanwhile, underneath that was a deep caramel like flavor that blended in with a earthy or bready like back. Very complex and yet remarkably smooth. There were just enormous flavors here, but yet it was so finely blended that nothing really dominated, nor did it really overwhelm. Just a really well crafted thing here and something that was just better as it kept going on. The finish was a touch brandy like and left you a bit dry, good and very solid.

M – Very full, and I mean very full. The carbonation here was more then adequate and really helped to pull the overall profile together and really tighten it up. There was just a smooth, very smooth fell to it. The carbonation was very light and it made it pretty much roll over the tongue and let the flavors to the work. A slight warming and a good overall robust feel.

D – This was definitely a sipper, there was just no other way about it. It was so full that you had to just sit back, relax, let it warm up and enjoy. I can see why they only brew it once a year, that it really all that you need to be honest. This was not overally powerful that you could not have it, but you really just did not need more then one. Very solid and one of the best after dinner relaxers I have had in a very long time.

Overall I really like this. I did not know what to expect when going in, but this was really quite fantastic. It had a full body and feel, and such a robust and complex flavor profile, that at times you just did not know where to turn to next. A more then balanced feel and approach led to this being one of the favorites of the night. Now don’t get me wrong this was not for the faint of drink, rather something that was to be appreciated by those who knew how to appreciate it. A fine choice that you should definitely try and seek out.

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Photo of dogger6253
4.83/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A deep, rustic brown with touches of amber and ruby. Huge head, huge bubbles, pillowy, mocha color - awesome retention. Nothing I do to it will make it fall. So beautiful. So very beautiful.

The aroma is mostly fruity with grapes, figs, dates coming through first. I also noticed almond and oak, cloves, corriander. Sort of smells of brown sugar too, molasses?

The taste is very woody with pine and oak both coming out. Grapes enter, figs as well. A bit of alcohol. A bit of corriander, some hops, brown sugar/molasses, caramel, vanilla, honey. There is a lot of complexity in the taste, layers and layers of flavor. Overall, sweet and very tasty.

Kind of heavy, but not too much so actually, lightly carbonated. Very smooth and silky. Huge taste for such a smooth beer. This was absolutely wonderful!

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Photo of dnichols
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
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 GbVDave
4/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Gouden Carolus goblet at Hopleaf 9/9/07. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Cloudy brown-like melted milk chocolate. Small skimmy head.

S: Rich malty sweetness with hints of chocolate, prunes, figs, and molassas.

T: See directly above with the addition of a mild alcohol heat.

M: Smooth, creamy, and very rich.

D: Very drinkable, to say the least. The 11% is incredibly well hidden.

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Photo of Foxman
4.7/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a slightly hazy, ruddy mahogany with flashy amber edges. Three fingers of tight, creamy light tan head display a considerable half-life. Molten lacing flows slowly like lava along the inside of the glass.

The aroma carries earthy sweet malt with dark cherry, fig, brown sugar, molasses, and the merest nip of tanginess. A general estery crispness joins distant clove, some other softer spice notes, and a mellow draft of alcohol.

Upon sipping, the syrupy sweet malt, sugary with molasses and brown sugar, goes fruity with plum, cherry, and raisin. The esters are more pronounced and specific here, boasting green apple and pear, and subtly spiced with a clove lead-in and muted citrus. The alcohol is toasty but nicely and well played. Residual sweetness matches a brave dry crispness that mingles and lingers. It stands tall with a blended, complex, regal nature.

Full bodied, it slips and slides sinuously, with a zesty refreshing dryness that matches the sweetness in the end.

Cuvee, Grand Cru, call it what you will, it is bold, blended, and craftily marvelous with a full flavor slate and an impressively assertive character. The ABV is mighty and apparent, but it also works in smooth step with a fetching result and a very drinkable sensibility. Hell, call it anything, call it Ishmael, I don't care, but please just make sure you call me when you break one open.

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Photo of KingG
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 edition

Served at cellar temp and poured into a Weizen glass.

Appearance is good. Dark copper colored brew with many tiny bubbles racing up toward the tan, thick, crater-like head. Not as murky as I assumed.

Smell is very good. A lot going on here. Sweet sugary malts, honey-glazed raisins, sweet ripe plums, and a small amount of bubblegum and alcohol. Very nice indeed.

Taste exceptional. Much like the smell yet more pronounced on the dark fruits and alcohol. Brown sugar and a green apple sweetness rounds things out. As complex a flavor that you can find for the style. Absolutely delicious.

Mouthfeel is very good. Medium bodied yet very much a presence on the palet. Carbonation level is very good for the style.

Drinkability is very good. Killing this 750ML bottle won't be a problem. Once again, if it wasn't for the slight alcohol burn I would have given a 5.

Everytime I drink this brew I get amazed how complex it is. One of the best Dark Strong Belgium Ale's you can find. Highly recommended.

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Photo of genog
4.13/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown in color with a large, creamy tan colored head. Head disappears a little quickly and leaves some sticky lacing along the side of the goblet. Smell is of belgian candied sugar and some sweet malt. The taste on this beer resembles somewhat of chimay at first then other flavors come in and almost overpower. Figs, raisins, molasses, almost overpowering... but good. Medium to full bodied makes this a sipper with a slight warming presence. At 11% this is a nice heavy beer that I am intimidated to finish since I work early tomorrow, but I think I will enjoy it!

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Photo of Drew966
4.35/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or - Grand Cru of the Emperor 2006 pours a medium brown that has cherry highlights when held to the light with a thin off white head from a brown 750 ml Bottle into my Cuvee Van De Keizer chalice. It has a nice aroma that's mostly dark fruit, perhaps some honey on bread too. The mouthfeel is quite nice, a little on the thick end of the spectrum. The flavor is nice, dark fruit and brown sugar come to mind. A very enjoyable brew.

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

Pours a dark belgian with a huge creamy head that sticks to the glass throughout. This is a big boy no doubt about it. Smells of fig, dried fruit, molasses and malt. Tastes nicely sweet with sugar, caramel, fig, apricot, and butterscotch. Feels like a delicous dessert with alcohol warming throughout. Medium to thick on the tongue. Nice carbonation finishes this tasty brew. If you want a trappist like beverage this dark beauty is a winner. Could have another but I would be drinking my dinner. A must try.

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Photo of elricorico
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2006 version. I'd been looking forward to this beer for a while. Through the hot summer days I kept thinking it wasn't the right time for it. Today has been cold and rainy all day, so I jumped at the chance.

The beer is a very deep brown red, and generates a tan head that can get thick is poured quickly. A bit of lacing as it goes down.

It smells like candy. Red licorice whips and mixed berries with icing sugar on top. Very faintly underneath is a suggestion of red wine type of alcohol aroma.

Tastes of candy sugar, cherry cola, mixed dark berries. Liquor soaked raisins. Licorice in the finish. Very sweet, decadent. The right beer for a rainy day, a true treat.

Mouthfeel has a bit of syrupy stickyness, and the carbonation is just enough to cut through it without creating sharpness. Very nice.

I certainly wasn't disappointed. This is one to keep around for a day when you really deserve something special.

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Photo of bluegrassbrew
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle dated 2005 into a snifter.

Pours a deep brown nearly black with a small head that doesn't last.

Smell is of alcohol and ripe dates.

Taste is what bumps this one up a notch. Malty sweetness on the front then into a nice mesh of very potent alcohol and fruit. Dates and raisons are followed by a hint of bourbon. Fantastic!

Overall, this beer started off slow for me, but really impressed in the end. The head retention, or lack there of is probably because of the high abv. The heat provides a solid backbone for both the nose and the flavor profile. Packs a punch! Recommended.

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Photo of sessycuban
2.89/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

2006 vintage. Purchased at Whole Foods.

A: The beer pours a dark amber, leaving a thin head that quickly dissolves. Very minimal lacing.

S: The beer is overwhelmingly dominated by the smell of bananas and caramel; also, lots of spices which I can't quite distinguish.

T: I'm experiencing a very strong maple taste that I don't particularly enjoy. The high alcohol content is very evident and the spices are overwhelming any other taste in this beer. I have to admit, this is probably the sweetest beer I've ever had.

M: The beer is medium bodied and coats the mouth well, but because I didn't particularly enjoy the taste, it's not really a beer I plan to sip.

D: I'll probably never try this beer again. In my estimation, the beer is overspiced and way too sweet. Some, however, may enjoy these qualities and would appreciate the beer more than do I.

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Photo of session1979
4.57/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 Vintage – DFH Snifter

Appearance: Pours a hazy deep chestnut color with a huge creamy beige head clinging to the glass and leaving an intricate web of lacing.

Smell: Twizzlers, yes that is right twizzlers licorice are the forefront of this wonderful aroma. Very sweet with brown sugar, caramelized fruits and malt, butterscotch, figs and maraschino cherries.

Taste: Wonderfully rich taste full of sweet malt, raisins, brown sugar and more. After the first sip I decide to stop overanalyzing and just sit back and let this beer wow me.

Mouthfeel: Medium to Heavy body, moderately high carbonation. Nice warming sensation on the finish.

Drinkability: A definite smooth sipper although it is quite drinkable and goes down with warmth and ease.

Final Comments: I had this on a Friday night and on Saturday morning I was back buying every bottle they had left. It would definitely age nicely but what’s the point when it is already so fuggin fantastic?

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,823 ratings.
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