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: 884 | Ratings: 1,819
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.67/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with a good head and good lacing.Head fades a little quicker than I would like. Aroma is very nice indeed,very full bodied, a little sweet, a little alcohol.Sweet malts and spice predominate. Taste is similar, but with a nice depth. More sweet malt and spice, as well as brown sugar and dark fruit. Very balanced and creamy. Although a little on the sweet side, the beer isn't sticky or tiresome at all. Delicious, and my favorite from this brewery.

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

Pours a very dark but clear brown color with a loose full finger light tan head that fades quickly. Some lacing present.

The smell is incredibly sweet and full of dark fruit, molasses and brown sugar.

Full bodied, the mouth feel is creamy and sweet without being syrupy. Full flavored, it tastes much like the aroma of dark fruit. Adequately carbonated enjoys a velvety character. I understand that it gets even better with age, which is hard to imagine.

Drinkability - Wow, this is a Cadillac.. so to speak. Really glad that i had the opportunity to experience this one...and fully plan to cellar a number of these to experience the improvement with age. Ranked 3 or 4 in the Belgian Strong Dark Ale style!?! My FAV style is being re-considered.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.33/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage

A - A deep ruby brown/mahogany with a thin off white head.

S - Sweet caramel, rum soaked raisins, spice, bready yeast and candy sugar.

T - Candy sugar and booze with some dark fruits, spice and rum soaked raisins.

M - Medium body with light carbonation, slightly sweet but with a nice dry finish.

D - Boozy but still extremely drinkable.

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

The beer poured a dark amber with a lovely white head. The aroma was of toasted caramel and sweet malt. The tase stared with toasted caramel malt and then closed with a fine alcohol burn. The feel was heavy and dry giving a pleasant weight to the drink. A very wonderful grand cru that I will be searching out in the future.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.88/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - A very hazy tea colored large head. Tons of lacing.

S - Slightly fruity with caramel malt and faint toffee, dates, dried figs. Some alcohol.

T - Sweet dark fruits with a very sweet caramel that evolves to a slightly boozy presence with a complex sweetness. Aftertaste is a slightly boozy, lingering caramel sweetness with a mild bitterness.

M - High carbonation, thick, pretty refreshing.

D - Delicious worth having, I'll definitely have this again (if I ever come across another oppurtunity to have it). A little too sweet perhaps.

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

my corked and caged bottle set me back $9.48 at my local North Coast Coop. Poured a dark red to brown with a moderate tan head that left really sticky lacing as it settled. This was the 2006 version and checked in at 10% ABV. Nose is very fruity, with banana first, but in the background is a very complex set of odors with plums, raisins, and citrus. Mouthfeel is very full bodied and rich and sweet, and flavors are molasses, fruit, and chocolate malts. Finish is sweet. Very unique strong ale,and I guess I will have to go back and get some more and let it age some more. I plan to open a bottle every February 24th.

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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 zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

jaargang 2006

A - Poured out a dark brown/burgandy color with a foamy, caramel colored, one-finger head. Left a little lace.

S - It smelled of dried fruit and malt.

T - Tasted very malty, and had a strong dried fruit quality. A subtle spicy hoppiness, too. A relatively strong alcohol presence.

M - The mouthfeel was crisp and soft. A heavy-bodied beer.

D - This is a very good Belgian beer. Great character and flavor. Next time I'll try an older Grand Cru.

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Photo of kimcgolf
2.4/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I’m sorry to swim against the tide on this, but I did not find it appealing at all, hich is a shame since I was looking forward to drinking it.

The appearance was okay, but the aroma reminded me of a mixture of cane syrup and alcohol. The flavor had possibly a hint of dark fruit, but it was hard to tell over the predominantly sweet alcohol taste. Finish was likewise a thick, sweet syrupy sensation.

Belgian Strong Ales are not my absolute favorites, but there are many that I have really enjoyed. Unfortunatley, this was not one of them, and I finally poured the last quarter down the drain...which really sucks given the price.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.53/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

jaargang 2005

rich, crisp & dark of an orange origin, thinly-covered by a smoked glassine haze. lacing spots are placed randomly, as are some cascading columns of crust. big fat vanilla and berry nose, with a touch of sweet grapey belgian malts. nose hairs singe a bit from alcohol wafts, but i don't mind. lack of hops is a nice change for me.. time to revisit the deep and rich side of malt-heavy beverages.

slight must from age appears quick on the tongue, i soon adjust. the evolved mapley sweetness of a belgian or scotch ale is amplified here, and leaves the indulgence of rum-soaked dates on the palate post-sip. the body is a little thin for all that is happening here, but the carbonation still kicking after two years helps to fill out the feel. some raisin notes make way for a distinct note of the chianti-soaked leather of an old wineskin. surprisingly dry in the finish, and pleasantly boozy without hop distraction, this brew almost tastes like a red wine after all of the lupulin giants i've been consuming lately.

this beer holds up like christopher walken over time, and still tastes like a fresh bottle with minor age adjustments. could easily go another two years with happy results. as far as anker's beers go, this is top-shelf. it was my last bottle and by god i sure as shit enjoyed it.

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Photo of jhu1995
2.83/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a rich brown color with minimal head. Smell is malty and sweet with some mild fruity notes - prune and plums mostly. Taste was sweet with lots of caramel flavors and some mild chocolate. Thought it was close to a dubbel with the high caramel taste. Sticky sweetness on the tongue. Overall, I thought this was tough to drink, but I am not a fan of dubbels and this one reminded me too much of that style. Not a bad beer but not a fan of beers with lots of caramel flavors and taste.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.98/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Big brown ale with some highlighting, off white has good retention. Lacing okay.
Sweet malts big in the aroma, full of nutty proteins and sharp alcohol.
Flavor is more caramel malt flavor with a lot of dark fruit, finishes off-sweet with a lot of warming alcohols. Body is medium to full, a pretty decadent treat.
This is a good one to split with some friends, a very rich Belgian strong. Try with some bittersweet chocolate.

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Photo of montageman
4.85/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2000 Vintage. A special I have been saving for a special occasion - I turned in my masters essay today, so I thought I'd finally pop the cork. Speaking of which, the cork smelled like fine wine.

I poured into a chalice - dark reddish brown with a nice 1 finger white head that goes away quickly and leaves some concentrated lacing. There's also tons of sediment floating around, as you might expect. The smell is all kinds of wonderful - grapes, red apple, & honey - all of it melds together well and is totally inviting. The taste is like candy - there is a port like sweetness followed by an green apple like sourness and it finishes clean. There is no cloying sweetness - a wonderfully balanced taste. The slight carbonation offers more complexity and adds a slight chewiness. Man, this is easy drinking - quite simply a delicious treat. 7 years of aging was no problem for this brew. Highest recommendation.

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Photo of OutlawJoseyWales
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance was dark brown with 1 finger of head. great lacing, and head retention.

smell- very complex, sweet raisin bread, hints of cinnamon

taste - sweet bread, raisins, dates, figs, spice. very complex and pleasing malt sweetness. dark chocolate showed up as well. a great dessert beer.

mouthfeel - nice and viscous, just like i would expect from a beer like this.

drinkability: very easy to drink almost like a dessert. went great with carrot cake. however, alcohol became present about 2/3 of the way through, and i would recommend sharing it with someone if you get a 750ML.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2006 vintage

a - pours a deep chestnut brown, one-finger off-white head with decent retention for a high abv beer, slight lacing

s - caramelly maltiness dominates the nose, slight nuttiness, some booze

t - much like the nose, dominated by big caramelly malt flavors, I'll echo other reviewers' mention of rum soaked raisins, dark fruits, lingering sweetness on the finish with slight alcohol burn

m - lots of carbonation, medium-bodied, warming from the alcohol

d - not overly drinkable, one 750ml is enough for me, a bit too sweet and obviously too hight abv to drink this one all night

Nice Belgian brew overall. Not my favorite style, but I appreciated this one.

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

Poured dark, ruddy brown with garnet highlights and a full off-white head. The head quickly fades into subtle lacings, while a gentle swirl keeps it alive.

Sweet esters in the nose with lots of bubblegum, banana, plum, raisin and cherry. Subtle hints of malt, brown sugar and cinnamon offer a pleasing balance.

The taste is sublimely sweet. Any sweeter would be cloying. The doughy yeast and esters are as dominant as in the nose with banana, plum, cherry, golden raisins and a bit of kiwi. The complex esters are off the chart in this brew. There is a balancing malt body with caramel, toffee and brown sugar mid-sip followed by a warming, spicy, alcohol aftertaste.

This is a sipping brew to be sure, with a full body, subtle carbonation and viscous mouthfeel.

This is one of the finer versions of Gouden Carolous, and a pleasant after dinner treat. It drinks like a port wine. In fact, I've heard unsubstantiated reports that port is actually added to this brew.

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

Split with a friend on a night of fantastic beer. This was a great find at Total Wine in Cherry Hill, NJ. 2006 Vintage.

APPEARANCE: A very dark brown that has bright ruby red highlights when held to the light. A thick head forms at first and develops into a rocky collar and foamy patches all across the glass.

SMELL: A bready and fruity aroma. Belgian yeast, cherry, raisin and other dark fruits. Vague hints of alcohol. Overall the aromas are not that strong.

TASTE: Taste is very strong on cherries with a sharp pungent breadiness and hints of alcohol. The finish comes quickly and is very clean but a belgian yeastiness lasts almost forever. The beer is not so much sour as it is a little musky. I'm much more appreciative of Belgian Strong Darks after this.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium bodied and syrupy with a fine sharp carbonation. Nice.

DRINKABILITY: The 10% is hidden very well despite being able to detect some alcohol presence in this. The carbonation almost makes this a thirst-quencher. This is a very easy drinking beer.

A real eye-opener. I've had countless Belgian Strong Darks before, but this one really showed me what one can be, and how well this can represent the style. I'm very appreciative of what they've done with this and will seek it out again.

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Photo of jim102864
4.85/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I just happened to read from a fellow BA about a package store in Manchester that was highly rated when I found this absolute gem of a Belgian. Somewhat suprising, given that overall beer selection was good but not as strong as my usual place. The appearance of this 2004 Belgian got me stoked up right off the bat. I'm a big strong brown fan, and this one did not disappoint. A beautiful molasses brown with a thick tan head as I poured it into my Duvel tulip glass. The lace graced the glass deep into the session. And the aroma ! Sweet, candied sugar with an alcohol accent. Dates, raisens and prunes rose from the glass and again presented themselves in the taste. The candied sugar was highly evident along with hints of cinnamon. Mind you, the aroma and flavor were balanced with sweet overtones, but the sweetness did not overwhelm either. A warm, alcohol presence with explosions of flavor with each sip. The mouthfeel was thick and chewy, precisely what makes for a wonderful strong brown belgian. This is a highly drinkable session brew that the Belgian fan will absoultely savor. It is also added to my personal favorites list.

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Photo of jeffaz02t
1.8/5  rDev -58%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

A: Dark beer, allows just a little light to shine through. Decent head, went away fairly quickly.

S: Very malty with a lot of spice in the scent. There is also a scent that I have never smelled before. It almost smells like an off smell, but probably not.

T: It is interesting, but I am not sure this is for me. There is a spicy character, and a very malty taste, but there is a taste I have never experienced before that ruins this beer to me.

M: Average, carb. levels are good.

D: The strange taste makes this un-drinkable to me.

Maybe I got a bad bottle. I will get a new one and review again ASAP.


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

Appearance: Stately 75cl bottle from the 2006 batch. Pours a handsome garnet-brown color, with a wispy, almost ephemeral head. Retention is quite temporary, giving way to beige ring around the glass.

Smell: Big malty aromas suggesting butterscotch, sweet corn bread, and molasses. Also present are wiffs of musty yeast, and a faint, nectar-like hoppiness.

Taste: The rich, almost decadent, malty taste confirms what the nose suspected. Fabulously tasty, combining flavors of molasses, plum, dark and doughy bread, honey, and ginger. A sort of earthy nuttiness is also detectable, with a slight residual hoppiness at the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a delightful creaminess. Applies a tingle to the palate, and warming sensations of alcohol to the mouth and throat.

Drinkability: Tremendous flavor, with an alcohol presence that remains well hidden throughout. Superb beer.

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

NOTE: This is the same as "Grand Cru of the Emperor"; labeling seems to vary at random between countries and years.

750mL, 2006 vintage. pours dark, darkass reddish-brown; slightly unfiltered but kinda clear. lacy tan carbonation that mostly disappears, leaving a thin rim at the top of the glass. Enough raisins, figs, and berries to rip a hole in your nose (and I mean that in a good way.) It tastes like it smells, fruit out the ass with a little kick of belgian yeast at the end.

the alcohol is not in evidence. you could get yourself in trouble here.

super-drinkable for ten points, but you're not gonna be playing edward fortyhands with these. the mouth feel is slick and heavy.

this is an exquisite beer.

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Photo of sterstar1
4.84/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is my new favorite beer. Picked up a dusty 2005 at a bottle shop in Littleton CO. I won't name the place because they were a-holes and I will never shop there again. Anyway, the beer - what a wonderful discovery. The color as it pours out into my Duvel glass glass is a lovely sight to behold, the smell is fantastic and really accounts for a good percentage of this beer's quality. The taste is truly amazing. Sweet, but not too sweet. Wonderfully balanced. Mind you, I am NOT a hop-head so anything too bitter will end up down the drain at my house. Anyway, this beer is SO good. If anyone knows where in Denver to find more, please let me know. Cheers!

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
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 FtownThrowDown
4.37/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2000 Vintage.

Served in a St.B chalice.
Pours a brown color with a rose tint to it. Slight off white head that quickly recedes to nothing.
Smell is belgian candy sugar with some fruits and a bit of underlying alcohol. This bottle has held up incredibly well for being 7 years old.
Taste is incredible! This is a very good beer. You get more of the fruits in the taste. Especially what seems to be plums, and rum soaked raisins.
The mouthfeel is smooth and velvety. This beer goes down a little too easy. This is a very good candidate for cellaring. One of the best, highly recommended.

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

Poured from a 22oz corked bottle. 2006 vintage. Pours a deep mahogany brown that's very opaque. Moderate head with minimal lacing. The smell is somewhat strange. I want to say that it smells like turpentine, but in a good way, if that makes any sense. The alcohol is definitely there in the nose, but in a very nice way. It combines with citrus and other fruit scents to make a very interesting and very good nose. Taste is amazing. I loved this beer instantly. The alcohol is fairly well hidden, which makes it very easy to drink. Once the head is gone, it's very hard to tell this appart from a dessert wine. The taste is sweet with citrus and sugar and only a moderate alcohol taste. Do I taste a bit of chocolate on the aftertaste? Maybe I'm crazy but I think there's some there. Complex would be a great way to describe this beer. As the beer warms, the alcohol comes out more but only reinforces the dessert wine quality of this beer. Perhaps this is a bit too sweet, and that might push away some hop-heads like myself, but I think for this style it's not a problem.

Bottom line: this is a killer brew, pick some up now while you can; I'll definitely be picking up another bottle soon.

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,819 ratings.
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