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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Ratings: 1,828 |  Reviews: 889
Photo of GoHabsGo
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of jshaski
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Sparky44
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of swgwilt
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of schopenhauerale
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of CrellMoset
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2006 vintage, bottle from Five Points Bottle Shoppe, Athens, GA. Poured into a cervoise.

Appearance: Pours a dark, rich-looking brown, glittery and smooth, and though the head is initially foamy and dull-looking (that sort of "I'm about to fade quickly look"), it eventually settles out into something solider, smoother, more permanent. Very permanent, in fact, and the one-finger tan head actually sat right at the top of my cervoise until I began sipping. The lacing is glittery, puffy, and forms outcroppings and formations all over the sides of the glass.

Aroma: Mainly delicate fruits here, tart, sweet, ripe, underripe, a huge array of cherries, candied figs, and spiced plums. Pleasant, though not as dynamic as the taste.

Taste: Wow, where to begin. Firstly, there're a ton of fruits here. On the darker sides, you got your raisins and figs. Moving on up the scale, you get grapes, cherries, pears, and banana in varying intensities. Brown sugar and molasses add a nice layer of complexity to this one, as well. Delicate spices complement the alcohol heat nicely - clove, white pepper, a number of nondescript phenols which really open up the sinuses. There is unfortunately still a hint of alcohol heat, which is where we lose the half point. Other than that, this is an exemplary Belgian Strong Dark.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth and fantastically even. Carbonation is mild, but enough to lighten the body somewhat. What should be cloying really isn't here.

Drinkability: Just a really great beer in about every category imaginable, and well-deserving of the praise it gets. This is drinking pretty well at 2 years old, but I imagine another few years could still do a little more for this beer, so if you got 'em, save 'em - you'll thank yourself. The alcohol is a little high on this one ... "you know you're a BA when 11.0% is 'a little high'" ... but it's for the most part hidden well, so that's where the dock comes from, but it's a minor quibble. This is one of the better Belgian beers out there, and is truly an impressive exemplar of the style. Seek it out, age it, drink it, enjoy it. Cheers.

 2,119 characters

Photo of srgj88
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of jjheinrichs
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of Hootie159
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Lucnifter
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of ummswimmin
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This was served at a very nice restaurant nearby, Mohawk House. I commend the owner because he features a beer list in the same vein that most restaurants would list wines.

They presented this beer in a chalice style glass. It is very dark brown with light brown coming out around the edges. There wasn't much foam, but I'm not sure if that wasn't due to the bartender.

The flavor and smell were very rich. You get a lot of dark fruit and caramel. I also got a decent amount of sweetness. This sweetness really contributed to a very nice mouthfeel.

I would really put this beer out there as a good example of luxuriousness in beer.

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Photo of KristofH
4.25/5  rDev -0.9%

Photo of drummerdwzp
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of charlesw
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful head with great lasting power and lasting. Opaque brown/dark brown in a clear way (not muddy but you can't see through it). Smells like candi sugar - cooking gently on the stove. Rich, dark, sweet, mouth-watering, bitter. Some brown sugar, bitter right in the middle of the tongue (not back or sides at all), tiny hints of grapes up front but not much else in the way of fruit. Fizzy, of course. Interesting. If I could get it easily I'd have it more often given that I think it's pretty good and the wife loves it!

 525 characters

Photo of thehyperduck
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL corked bottle picked up at the LCBO; 'best before' June 19 2023 (very precise for a date that won't come for nearly a decade). I picked this bottle up a few months ago intending to hold onto it for a year or two, but I later decided it'd be a good way to celebrate my 600th review. This is the 2013 version, served at cellar temperature.

This strong ale pours a lovely garnet-brown colour, topped with just over one finger of silky-smooth, light beige-coloured head. A virtual army of tiny bubbles constantly rushes to the surface, to reinforce the extraordinarily long-lasted froth floating there. Great retention, lots of lace, and a very enticing aroma that features raisins, sherry, toffee sweetness and dates, in addition to yeast and some ethanol. Quite sweet and fragrant; very fruity.

Very full-flavoured, and certainly leaning toward the saccharine side. Brown sugar, toffee and candi sugar are easily detectable, followed by some sweet orchard fruit flavours including sultanas, dates and plums. The sherry vibes are still noticeable, but not as prominent as on the nose. It finishes with a bit of a rum-raisin flavour, as well as a touch of spicy clove and anise. Sweet, warm aftertaste; the first sip was positively hot but my palate eventually adjusted to the high alcohol content. Full-bodied and silky-smooth on the tongue, with moderate carbonation; perhaps a little less spritzy than I prefer from this style. A delicious sipper that will warm your bones on a cold evening.

Final Grade: 4.26, a fabulous A-. Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw is a world-class beer, but it's definitely not for everyone. The flavours are quite bold and the sweetness can border on cloying at times, with the high alcohol content being immediately noticeable. That being said - none of those are necessarily deal-breakers in this style, and it's probably my fault for cracking open such a young bottle anyway. This is a very solid Belgian strong dark ale that is worth seeking out for cellaring purposes. I know I'll be on the lookout for it, especially if the price remains so staggeringly low - $7.80 for a high-quality 11% Belgian beer is a virtual steal!

 2,160 characters

Photo of projectflam86
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and caged bottle. 2011 vintage.

A- Pours a very murky muddy brown color with a decent sized white foam head that fades away rather quickly. Some scattered lace left behind.

S- Belgian candy sugar and caramel malt are most pronounced in the nose. Some light spice is there as well.

T- Now we're talking! Very nice sweetness upfront with a lightly toasted flavor throughout. Complex flavor profile as it warms with some caramel, candy sugar, spice, dark fruit, tobacco, clove, and maybe even some vinous qualities. I'm surprised to see this at 11% because it tastes closer to 9%.

M- Medium/full bodied with great spritzy carbonation.

O- One really nice brew. Easily up there with Abt 12, Rochefort 10, and Chimay Blue yet it doesn't seem to get nearly as much attention. The only real knock I have against it is the murky pour but maybe I hadn't given it enough time to settle after grabbing it from the fridge. Very tasty and one I will pick up again.

 978 characters

Photo of spointon
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml brown, corked/caged bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice glass.

A= At fridge temp, this ale poured a dark but clear mahogany brown color with a nice reddish glow. The first pour produced a light tan head that was only 1/4" but retained very well. The second pour (with the ale much warmer) put up a 1/2" head. Retention was incredible and the stickage on my glass looked like emulsified foam...Beautiful.

S= I noted lots of alcohol up front in the nose, but it was never off-putting. Underneath that, there was a malty sweetness, rum-soaked raisins, molasses, and some yeast character.

T= Not that the aroma was bad, but the flavors were way better. Dark malts and caramel/treacle sweetness gave way to a rich estery fruit character. Dark cherries, plums, and figs all made an appearance. The yeast lent a bit of mustiness, but for the most part the malt sweetness trumped that. The finish was long sweet, with a beautiful chest warming alcohol nip.

MF= Full bodied, with a medium carbonation level that stopped well short of effervescence. Sort of a think tongue coating feel.

D= Good complexity here and despite the ABV, this never really feels too hot. Nicely done!

 1,194 characters

Photo of bulletrain76
4.26/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl, 2008 vintage bottle split with LarryLSB at Brasserie Beck. Dark caramel brow color with a lasting beige head of fine bubbles. Vinous, yeasty, and fruity aroma with dates and cherry. The flavor is sweet, yet well balanced, with complex yeast, brown sugar, and dried fruit flavors of dates and prune. Medium-full is body with lively carbonation that lets it glide over your tongue. This was outstanding with chocolate mousse for dessert. Wonderful on its own, but the pairing was truly sublime. I was looking forward to this, and it more than delivered.

 557 characters

Photo of beerluvr
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 2002. Pours with a creamy, just off-white head sitting atop hazy amber/red liquid. The nose is of liquorice, some maltiness and subtle hints of dark fruit. Taste is rich in yeasty Belgian "Horse Blanket" esters and dark fruits, such as fig and prunes backed by a short shot of malty sugar followed by note of powdery yet creamy mouthfeel, and then a wave of alcoholic warmth spreads across the throat and chest as I swallow this elixir. Finishes complex and potent as Hell...nice malt sweetness bows down to alcohol notes, with a hoppy ending. A great sipper to be enjoyed on an East coast storms' aftermath!

Thanks to Pabobcat!

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Photo of BigIrishman
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2006 Bottle, Aged nicely

Pours a dark brown with a pale small head that dissipates quickly. Smells of plums/raisins, rather sweet, similar to a sherry. Taste has a lot of grapes, sweet but yet the alcohol content leaves the taste buds a with a dry red wine flavor. Mouthfeel is syrupy, not like a RIS in terms of heaviness but rather heavy like a bristol cream, having texture but still viscous. Drinkability is scary, the dryness has you asking for more and the alcohol content can sneak up on you.

notes: This is a very different strong belgian ale, shares little in comparison with a traditional SBA like any of the Chimay's. This is one that I will come back to again. Age helps this brew achieve an amazing flavor.

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Photo of philipquarles
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into the proper glassware at the Ankertje (Het Anker brewpub) in Mechelen.

A nice copper brown with a tan head that has decent staying power and decent lacing. Little carbonation evident and no sediments.

Smells of malt, dark caramelized sugar, and plums. Alcohol is well masked.

Taste is very much like what I had expected from the nose, but even richer and more full bodied. The malt really comes through here, as does the sugar. Certain spices, along with the plum-like esters again. Pretty complex.

Mouthfeel is great; very thick, just what one would expect a 'quadrupel' to be.

Pretty drinkable beer, though the ABV doesn't really allow for it. Overall, pretty impressive.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a slightly reddish brown, with a huge 3 inch head, and a lot of lacing. Classic Belgian look.

Smells really, really strongly of dark fruits, plums and raisins. Smells slightly musty, in a good way.

This is very sweet, but fortunately doesn't verge on cloying territory. There's some yeasty esters, chocolate, caramel, toffee, Candi sugars, plums, and raisins. Classic, amplified quad flavor- so intensely flavored. It's great.

This has a very creamy mouthfeel, with a very low amount of carbonation. It's pretty syrupy and thick bodied.

One of the better quads you can find.

 653 characters

Photo of ibbjamin
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Paid $13.99 for a 750ml bottle from Healthy Spirits in San Francisco, CA. Poured into my Chimay Chalice.

Leaves a small 1/3 inch fizzy white head after a fairly aggressive pour. Dark brown, turns transparent ruby when held to light. Quite carbonated despite the small head that dissipates quickly leaving minimal retention. Some lacing.

Taste is relatively sweet, yet not over the top. Smells delicious. Sweet malt, some light Belgian yeast, purple grapes, candied figs, molasses and raisin. This one becomes more complex as you start to get into it.

Taste brings a baking spice out more, still candied figs and raisins, sweet malts, grapes and molasses.

Could go down smoother. A bit crisp from heavy carbonation. Still relatively creamy and thick. Medium to full bodied. Great drinkability.

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Photo of RWACKO
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jtrigonis
4.27/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
4.29 out of 5 based on 1,828 ratings.
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