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)
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Het Anker
Belgium | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
878
Ratings:
1,789
Avg:
4.29
pDev:
14.69%
 
 
Wants:
249
Gots:
325
For Trade:
18
User Reviews
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Reviews: 878 | Ratings: 1,789
Photo of tavernjef
4.78/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Pours a mahogany brown but settles in the glass a blurry black with a dark cherry glow. Immense capping of orangey tinted ivory foam thats very smooth, thick, and fluffy. Sits without moving as it barely reduces itself to take on a thicker, cake batter appearance as the fluffyness dissolves into the foam. Lacing coats the glass in thick moth-holed sheeting all the while that cap hardly diminishes.

Aroma is of old, soggy, sugared banana bread thats dark, deep, and dull with slight plum, raisin, fig, and molasses soaking within the deepness. Quite deceptive on the nose as it seems to build while it sits and gets fairly deep and complexly so in that deepness. Nice little noting of spicy orange zest, cinnamon, and cardamom is evident as well.

Oh, my what incredible soaking smoothness and softness this stuff creates as it floats across the palate with amazing ease. Mild, dull flavors of dark fruit bread sink in with raisin, plum, dry fig, molasses, and soft citrusy orange notes that tender up a warming sense of spicyness with cardamom, cooked sugar, and raisin skins making for a lengthy finish. Middle has a creamy center of caramel, banana, and dark sugary sweetness. Its ever changing in its profile, sometimes more warming and spicy, other times, super tender and malty with dark dull sugary stuff. Wonderful play on the palate and on the mind.

Feel is perfect. Soft, supple, giving, full, smooth, warming, sweet, a little bit spicy, and a whole lot of yum! Amazingly soft texture of sugared bread thats soaked in dark fruityness. There's even a slight hoppy, vitamin coated, citrus bittering that comes across within certain sips thats very intriguing.

The smoothness is incredible; top notch. The warmth will catch ya every time, nearly every sip in fact, which slows it down for enormously fine, big, sippage. Damn fine stuff!

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Photo of geexploitation
4.47/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This looks like one big beer upon pouring. Deep, dark mahogany brown that shows ruby highlights. Big, sticky head that never quite lets up. The aroma hints at very, very sweet treats waiting to be tasted. Candi sugar, sugared figs, raisins, faint chocolates and a touch of sharp spices. Deep. On the palate, this beer explodes with sweetness and evolves into a mouth coating, tingling bundle of sensations that ends with a bit of alcoholic burn. Those sticky sweet flavors of dark fruits and treacle continue acting on the palate long after the beer is gone, much like a primo barley wine or hard liquor. All this is pulled off with strength and panache at the same time -- quite a feat.

This is one big beer, sumptuous and bold, one to savor. This is so rich that it should be paired carefully -- only the richest meats, creamiest/funkiest cheeses, or earthiest desserts will survive.

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Photo of Gavage
4.15/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: hazy brown color with some copper highlights. Short 1" head slowly falls to a surface foam.

Smell: general sweetness from molasses, honey, and caramel. Some alcohol is detectable by the nose.

Taste: sweetness dominates but does not offend. Brown sugar, raisins, prunes, molasses, honey, hint of licorice, mild alcohol, and a soft bitterness are all easily detectable.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body. Smooth at the start, and the finish leans towards syrupy. Sweetness lingers well into the aftertaste.

Drinkability: very enjoyable slow sipper, but the alcohol reminds you this can be a dangerous brew if several glasses are consumed. This is a must find and try.

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

This was a pretty good beer. Poured a dark red with a tan head and a bit of lacing. Smelled and tasted of dark fruity malts with a touch of yeast. Taste is a mix of plum and raisony goodness. A thick, rich and sweet beer, the kind you can sip for a couple hours. Go find a bottle and split it with your best friend.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.72/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, corked and caged, with "Jaargang 2005" printed on the cork. It pours into the balloon glass a deep, sedimented garnet with a 1 finger tan head that leaves a decent amount of lace and reduces to a cap of fine bubbles. It is hugely aromatic with a chalky yeast character hidden behind rich, fruity malts that contribute cherries, pears, banana/plantain, honeydew, watermelon, green apple, anise, and a bit of a floral character. The flavor mimics the bouquet quite nicely, tasting almost the same, on top of a medium to thick body that begins almost prickly, but smooths out as I drink. This is a truly wonderful Belgian... I need to go get another bottle before they sell out.

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

I first tried this beer at Bohemian Caverns in Washington, D.C. when I was getting into craft after my 21st birthday. One of the regulars gave me a chalice full of the bottle he was drinking from (I don't know why he drank it from the bottle), which I loved for the taste and for the novelty of a $20 beer brewed once a year. I never saw, or noticed (I had forgotten what it was until semi-recently), this beer around LA until tonight when I was checking out the Belgian section of Whole Foods.

2005 edition. Pours a dark brown with ruby highlights. The off-white to tan head starts off at about two fingers and fades to a small ring of lace. The nose has dark fruit, toffee, brown sugar, fig, liquorice, mocha, yeast, and booze. The taste starts with sweet malts, brown sugar, dark fruit, liquorice, and mocha with the 10% ABV constantly looming. I'm glad to revisit this gem now that I've have the palate and experience to truly appreciate it.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.33/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this from a bottle at the Stuffed Sandwich in Los Angeles. It was served in a paper cup (!) as that's how they do it there. If you ever go there bring a glass... They said the bottle was >5 yrs old, and it was kind of small (25cl). The color was brown and it had a sweet sugary aroma.

The flavor was kind of wierd, almost like a sweet cough syrup. Honestly I don't think it was my style of beer. Maybe it tasted different when it was newer.

Maybe I'll try it again someday to see if it's different fresh.

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

This beer was a real treat. I was looking for something a little bit special when I visited the beer store after work on Friday, and I made an excellent choice here. Obviously it can go either way when you try a beer for the first time, but the description on the shelf next to this beer indicated that this one was going to be right up my street, and so it proved.

If like me you are a big fan of licorice then you can't go wrong with this beer. There are plenty of other flavours in there as well, but that's the one that dominated my taste buds. I felt at times like I was drinking a really top quality wine, such was the strength and mouthfeel.

I don't like to give 5's, because to me, I feel it doesn't give you anywhere else to go if you find an even better beer, but frankly unless I drink a beer that blows the top of my head off, I think I'd be hard pressed to discover one that tops this.

A great reward for a hard week's work.

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Photo of Naerhu
2.26/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

This beer in the top 100? You must be joking.

I had to take a $20 cab ride and spend another $20 bucks to get this beer, so I was anticipating something special.

A - Beautiful amber body with small brown head and decent lacing.
S - Sweet yeast, molasses and iodine.
T - Extremely sweet, flabby with no balancing acidity or bitterness. This malty soup of sweetness is a desert. Divided among four beer drinkers, the bottle went unfinished.
M - Minimal carbonation, fat with unbalanced sugars.
D - I cant abide by this unbalanced sweetness. This beer is to sweetness as Stone's Ruination is to bitterness. Only times two.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.45/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A perennial favorite beer since arriving on locals shelves a few years ago. I am always taken back and question why my refrigerator isn't stocked with the beer.

The beer opens with a highly carbonated pour that allows a 1/3 pour before the foam breaches the top of the chalice. The first pour from the 750 delivers nearly perfect clarity and aggressive effervescence. Subsequent pours bring much more haze (from bottle conditioning) and lightened carbonation. A lightly tanned foamstand carries sprinkles of spices and yeast while taking on an airy and loosely-knit appearance.

Aromas strongly favor the fruity esters. Plumbs, grapes, figs, dates, apples, cherries, raisons, and prunes all culminate for a complex and richly sweet sensation to the nose. Candied malts ride along, just beyond the fruitiness. Finally spicy orange, white pepper, paradise seed, and cinnamon all seem yeast derived (not added later) and decorate the aromas quite nicely.

Flavors, like the aroma, show aggressive fruitiness up front and ultimately dominate the beer. While pilsner malts provide the slightest of foundations for flavor, the candi-sugars have as much (maybe more) of an impact than do the softer grains. Fruitcake flavors, spices, and a alcoholic, rum-like flavor balances out the fruity esters and spicy phenols and give another layer of complexity. Finishes with some residual sugar flavors on the tongue that at times resemble cola.

The textures straddle the fence of dry and drinkable vs. sugary and mouth coating. Alcohols and well attenuated maltiness ultimately drive the beer into a dry finish with light residual sweetness left on the palate. Otherwise, full, rich, and expansive because of the onslaught of carbonation and sweetness.

The first pour from the bomber brings cleaner fruit flavors with a less muddled character; however it may lack richness and complexity. Later pours bring a deeper, maltier flavor from the sediment in the bottle, and left the beer less dry and palatable. I prefer the later pours after the sediment had been aroused. As for Strong Dark Belgian Ales, this beer applies a very fruit-driven signature rather than a malt-forward base as do most.

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

This beer has been in the cellar for a year and a half. No real difference from a fresh version. Long lasting off-white head. Strong aroma of grapes and dark fruit. A bit different than a Chimay Bleu, for example. Can't really taste the 11% alcohol. Doesn't seem to have the richness of the Chimay. I have a few more 2004's that I hope to try in another year or so. Will re-rate at that time.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.44/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle capped and corked. Dated 2005 and also says 10% abv.

Appearance- Pours a liquid brown with slight blood highlights. Head lasts about a minute tops, but leaves a ring of foam for the entire 750ml inbibery. No visible lacing.

Smell- A mild sugary sweet malt aroma mixes well with the light dry hopped floral essence. Black, black, BLACK cherries mxed with dar vanilla nde hints of black licorice mixed with burning.

Taste- Starts out with a hint of cinnamon mixed with browned malts in a reduction sauce of brown sugar and black cherries, and roasted pine wood.

Mouthfeel- Good carnonation mixes weel with this light to medium bodied brew. Lots of strong sugars that remind me of molasses.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.92/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Very nice dark brown body, hazy, with visible carbonation. Head raises up about 1/2" fades slow, leaving a thin creamy layer on top of the beer.

Smell: Strong and sweet, grape-fruitiness, slightly woody.

Taste: Rich and fruity, malt is big, very big, with brown sugar. Fantastic and complex, toffee and cream, spicy and bold.

Drinkability: Excellent a smooth sipper that is very tasty on the way down. I bet this one would age excellently, and mellow even more than it already is. Fantastic.

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Photo of Bierschenker
4.51/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2004
Bought a gift box at “Het Ankertje aan de Dijle” (Vismarkt, Mechelen) with two bottles and two glasses. A bottle of Cuvee and a bottle of Triple.
Poured it in the chalice and received a great scent, but no head. Only a thin white film on top.
The colour is a very dark orange. Smells very sour-bitter. Malt and strong hop. Dried figs and grapes (raisins).
Taste is very soft, Strong malt and slight hopyness. Ginger, figs, raisins, mint, pepper.
Mouthfeel is great, well balanced taste, not sticky or slimy. Warm feeling, bit like liquor. Full-bodied
Aftertaste is quite the same: mint, pepper, malt, meat like, stronger hops, celery, sheer sugar. Bit medicinal syrupy sweet.

Real gem, but what else to expect from het Anker.

Ut Vivat, Crescat, Floreat!

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Photo of rajendra82
3.79/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up this 2004 vintage corked and caged bomber from Bullock’s in Marietta. Although great care was exercised in not shaking the bottle during the uncaging and uncorking ceremony, I still found a gusher in my hand that lost about an ounce of liquid on the desktop. I had never seen a beer form a head in the bottle before this one. The body was deep burgundy in color and after the initial rush of carbonation; there was little head to speak of. The beer looked cloudy in the wine glass, while little light coming through. The bouquet was rich and layered with aromas of fig, plum, raisin, toffee, chocolate, and maple. The malt also presented itself on the tongue as a sweet and warm taste reminiscent of port wine. Alcohol was not as well hidden as I though it would be, with distinct warmth that was pleasing. Not much to counter the sweetness, as there was hardly any hop presence. The beer was smooth and slippery on the palette with a prickly, peppery, and alcoholic aftertaste. Two years of aging was not enough, as the rough edges were still a little grating. Can do better with eight more years I think.

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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 francisweizen
4.1/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ruby ruby red tawny brown with off-white edges and a big head of close-to-white foam. Head has good retention. Aromas are spicy and big with an alcoholic kick. Typically Belgian in its spice profile and clean biscuity maltiness and light hopping. This is a showcase for sweetness and spices and it shows. In a good way. The taste is a bit hot with this young example, but this is only a small hindrence. The spices mingle well with the clean malts and hops and the alcohol, whilst hot, is warming and pulls this one together. The mouthfeel is a bit oily for my liking, but it works, and the drinkability is nice for this 11% famed Belgian. He is a good emperor.

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Photo of Shovelbum
4.8/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a two finger off-white head that has the creamy appearance of frothed milk. The body is a dark garnet color that is almost impervious to light except at the edges. The head slowly recedes leaving ever-so-delicate bands of lace down the glass. Aromas of sweet vinous fruit mingle with earthy aromas. A bit of alcohol peeks through in the aroma as well. The flavor is, well, awesome. A light smooth creamy mouthfeel belies the underlying complexities of flavor. A decent amount of Beligian candi sweetness combines with dark berries, plums, cherries, earth, mild caramel, a touch of oak and a very subtle hop bitterness balancing things out in the background. Medium bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Incredibly smooth mouthfeel.

Happy birthday to Charles the Fifth (I’m four days early) and praise be to the Anker brewery of Mechelen! This bunch knows what they are doing. Too bad this masterpiece is only brewed once a year. Trying to pick apart the complexity of this ale nearly overloaded my neural circuitry, yet it is so smooth and well balanced that I can just as easily sit back and sip this to my hearts delight. Fine, I’ll do just that.

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Photo of nickss
4.28/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My 100th review. I figured if it's good enough for Charles V, its good enough for my 100th.

Pours a murky brown hue with a definite orange tint. The carbonation is visible, as a constant stream of bubbles struggle their way to the surface. Monstrous head... 3" or so... cream in color, rocky in consistency. Gargantuan chunks of lace cling to the side. Very pretty.

Significant alcohol smell.... very bourbon-esque... reminds alot of some of the Brit Barleywines out there. A certain wine quality to it as well... of the red varietals of course... lots of distinct plum and grape and dark fruit. This is a slap to your nostrils.. I dig it.

Flavour is highly correlated to the taste... huge bourbon flavour. Not quite as strong as I was expecting, much more subtle and refined... once again... alot of plum in the flavour. Some oak and malt in the background. Barely perceptible licorice and maybe a bit of molasses. Very warming.

This is interesting... as it hits the tongue, the brew originally seems very active (as the appearance would suggest), however, it quickly dies away to a smooth, thick, mouth-filling concoction. Wonderful.

While this brew is thoroughly enjoyable, and not offensive at all for the abv, I couldn't drink more than a couple of these. That being said...this is a very unique brew.. unlike any other brew I have ever had of this style. If I was Charles V, I think I may have been a lush =D.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
4.66/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005: Grand Cru of the Emperor. Thanks to the li'l bro for this Christmas gift (and to BeerPanther for suggesting it to him). Such a better beer than I was expecting--even though I knew not what to expect.

Poured a dark amber in color. This would be a great colorfor a gem stone. Slight head that was not much more than a thin layer of carbonation. Some layering lace and some spotty lace--very different throughout the glass. Nose is wonderfully sweet with loads of sugars and hard candies. How I would love to be in the brewery on brewing day.

Flavor is thick and syrupy in feel. Very sweet with hardly a hint of hops (I think I ma have noticed them towards the finish of the finish. Extremely sweet. Would make a wondeful dessert beer like a glass of port in Porto. Also got a bit of spiciness... some pepper and just a slight hint of coriander. Thick and full mouthfeel that was a bit cloying. Such a nice dessert wine.

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

i think i bought this at arrowine in arlington, va

my bottle says "grand cru of the emperor" but i won't split hairs
extremely pungent: the immediate area around my st. bernardus goblet is shot through with the smell of bready, yeasty, nutty, winey. up close i pick up complex odors of aging and some ethanol, along with that smooth roasted nuttiness i adore in rochefort

deep dark (but clear) ruby with inverted cascades of carbonation that keep a great billowy, creamy head alive. fantastic sheets of lacing

the flavor profile is just as complex as the nose. huge special B raisin and warming alcohol spice are preceded by a brief smooth nut character. a blackcurrant bitterness camoflauges well the 11% at the finish

not a particularly big mouthfeel, but enough to let all of the secrets linger

this is a fantastic brew. goddam

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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

bitterness.

Quite drinkable for the alcohol content.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.17/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Only about a 1/4 inch head on top, it dissipates speedily. The color is a deep brown/red or plum. Very cloudy. Somewhat bubbly. Smell is captivating with notes of wine, citrus fruits, honey, and alcohol. The taste is intense. Very strong malt flavors including rasins, candies, grapes, and brown sugar are present. Finish is strong and phenolic, and the alcohol rides a bit high. Has a rich feel with perfect carbonation. Very strong on malt, low on hops, its a slow sipper as the alcohol is not artfully hidden, but good nonetheless.

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Photo of Pepeton
4.88/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought a 3-bottle case of these beers for my next three birthdays. Never thought how bittersweet the circumstances would be.

Shared the bottle with my Dad, two weeks from the passing of my mother. My Dad isn't into craft beer, but I figured that I should celebrate my B-day and his fatherhood (I'm his first born), and have a little remembrance of my Mom, now that all the fuzz is gone.

As BAs database says: Outstanding.

Vintage 2005, so this bottle was almost one-year old.

Appearance: Dark copper with red hues, compact head that resembles to me the foam of a Turkish coffee, and a nice thick lacing.

Smell: Complex: Ripe plums, raisins, roasted malts, some hops and more.

Taste: My first impression is of a brew more prone to the malty side, with a peppery and spicy presence; but then the hops come into action. Excellent balance in a full bodied beer. Very well hided alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Fuzzy due to carbonation and mildly bitter, with alcohol hints (with an ABV of 11% I'm surprised I couldn't find it more easily).

Drinkability: Dangerous ale. It's really so mild you can't believe it's an 11% ABV, until you feel the alcohol warmth. Just hope I could try this one on tap.

¡Salud!

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.87/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I hope this is the right spot for this review. My bottle says Grand Cru and is from 2003.

Appearance - dark, ruddy brown with red highlights. An inch of soapy light mocha bubbles rests on top, leaving thin, patchy lace behind. Dark, rich-looking.

Aroma - the nose is fantastic. Maple, banana, and butterscotch on top of the malts, a tingling of alcohol woven through it all.

Taste - a malt monster ale. Dark fermented fruit, honey, banana, maple syrup, chocolate, fruitcake. marshmallows, clove, allspice, what a range of tastes here!! Some hops show up around the swallow, but why bother? Slight bitter finish with very warm alcohol clarify and enhance the wonderful profile.

Mouthfeel - very alive with carbonation, medium body, lets the flavor stand on its own.

Drinkability - it's a beer dream come true. Worth keeping a few of these around for special occasions.

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Cuvée Van De Keizer Blauw (Blue) from Brouwerij Het Anker
95 out of 100 based on 878 ratings.
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