1. American Craft Beer Fest is this weekend in Boston, Mass. Join us for 640+ beers from 140+ brewers! Tickets for Friday, May 29 are still available. Cheers!

Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,625 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,625
Reviews: 826
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 334
Gots: 380 | FT: 26
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewandbbq on 08-23-2007

Originally brewed exclusively for Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, ME.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
to view more.
Ratings: 1,625 | Reviews: 826
Reviews by Rifugium:
Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Teresa's, Paoli, PA

They didn't have it in stock when we visited Ebenezer's, but I finally broke down and purchased the bottle from Teresa's fridge. Split between myself and the wife, I poured my half into an Ebenezer's snifter, and her half into a Pinocchio's tulip glass. The beer poured out a thick, oily black, with a pinky finger of chocolatey brown head that receded to a mere ringlet, leaving a few trails of lacing behind. Smell was booze-heavy, with notes of cocoa and dark fruits. Taste improved as the temperature rose, with a blend of dark roasted malts, molasses, rum-soaked dark fruits, charcoal, and hints of dark chocolate. Pretty complex, but still a bit more thin than I'd expect overall, so I felt the full range of flavors didn't completely come out like it should have. Medium body, and pretty drinkable, but not as good as say, a DFH World Wide Stout...not that many things are.

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Great to get my paws on this one,poured as black as an oil slick,I mean no light getting thru this,a 1/2 finger light moch head atop leaving shotty lace.Aromas of dark fruit and espresso roast coffee,a tinge of hardwood shows thru as well.Lush mouthfeel,full and velvity,to me its perfect hence the rating.Complex flavors with a mix of heavy roast and dark fruit sweetness,some molasses-like flavors add to the sweetness,a big drying somewhat earthy finish is a great to end this brew.Its a sipping brew and can get a little sticky after a bit but this a gem of a beer.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.48/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked up a bottle at Bier Temple in Brussels. I'm immediately impressed by the huge boozy dark fruit nose. This is very comparable to a Baltic Porter. In fact, after tasting it I would have certainly assumed as much. As the beer warms chocolate and molasses shine through in the scent but the beer remains dominated by sweet/sour prunes, dried apricots, and currants. The flavor follows - booze soaked plums and raison served over espresso. This one is hot, full bodied, and at times syrupy. Very good beer but not as interesting as I would have guess from the hype. Not particularly drinkable. Too boozy and syrupy.

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

A: Jet black and considering the high ABV the brown head is quite big. The head settles quite fast. Some retention.

S: Eclectic mix of sweet fruits (plums, cherries), spices, some chocolate, and roasted and slightly burnt malts. The alcohol becomes noticeable with deeper breaths. Very deep and round smell overall.

T: A very intense flavor fills the mouth with flavors in an instant. Sweet fruits and a light tartness, faint taste of tannins. Nice backbone of roasted and slightly burnt malts. Coffee, dark chocolate, spices, wood and general burnt flavors. The flavors are presented in a "Belgian package" that is quite hard to describe. The finish is quite bitter, but not as intense as the 100 IBU might suggest. Plenty of alcohol with a faint phenolic touch. Lingering notes of coffee, roasted malts and spices.

M: Full bodied, oily viscosity, but still plenty of carbonation. The finish is slightly dry.

D: A very powerful and rather complex stout with an interesting character. Highly recommended.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

After all the hype, I finally got to try this beer. It lived up to its reputation. Served in a tulip, the beer was an impenetrable black with a medium tan head. It had a coffee and chocolate aroma, like most RIS, but to my usually impaired nose, was fairly pronounced. A coffee/espresso and chocolate taste, very well balanced. If not for the high ABV, could drink a lot of these.

Photo of warnerry
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - A vigorous pour yields one finger of brown head. Color is typical impenetrable RIS black. Beautiful and very inviting.

S - Dark chocolate, a bit of cookie dough. Surprisingly sweet aroma. Some deep roasted malts, maybe a bit of anise. Not what I was expecting, but very interesting and good.

T - Earthy, slightly burnt undertones. Really not any sweetness in the taste. Predominately dark chocolate, especially on the finish. Also a bit of hops on the finish.

M - Surprisingly light mouthfeel, but not at all thin. A bit sticky, but pleasantly so.

O - Really enjoyed this. The strong earthy and slightly burnt flavors would prevent me from having more than one in a sitting, but this was a great RIS.

Photo of Beaver13
3.59/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle. Pours an opaque black with a medium creamy brown head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is chocolate malts, some sharp tart vinous fruits, black licorice and a little vanilla and roast.

The flavor is smooth lactic chocolate malts and vanilla with a bit of slightly tart fruit leading to a bitter roasty finish. The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with creamy carbonation and a bit of a watery texture.

Overall, a pretty well balanced big beer with a lot of complexity. The tart fruitiness seemed a bit out of place to me and was very distracting.

Photo of tjthresh
3.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours onyx black with a dense medium brown head. Robust aroma. I get some chocolate, coffee and creamer, some dark berries, and a bit of smoke. The flavor is a bit different. Kind of a fruity mocha with plenty of bitterness and alcohol. Silky, milky mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation. The finish is a bit bitter and hot. Still, this is a fine beer and is recommended.

Photo of merlin48
4.12/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 bottle pours a pitch black body with a small tan head that quickly falls into some sheet lacing.

Complex aroma has fusel alcohol, cherries and prunes, Vienna coffee, dark chocolate, and a herbal hops note.

Mouthfeel is medium full bodied with subdued carbonation.

Taste opens with a nutty dark chocolate note, followed by roasty coffee, powdered cocoa, and dried dark fruits. Alcohol is noticed, but is concealed pretty well considering the strength. A serious hop presence makes itself known, with a herbal hop element. Candy sugars are also easy to identify. Finishes with a dark roasty bitterness.

Seems to have influences of a Belgian tripel with the candy sugars, and of a Belgian IPA with the hopping. Very interesting and complex, but not one of my top ten stouts.

Photo of Billolick
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Small bottle, no feshness/vintage info, except for more marks on the side of the label which are of no help. Purchased at Julio's in Mass. all I remember about about the price was it was a lot! Over $5 for the 11.2 ounce bottle at least. Cool art on the label. Pours BLACK. Creamy, rich/dense dark mocha head, unrelenting retention and plenty of sheeting/lace. The nose is intensly and impresivly of dark chocolate, and double expesso. Thick and luxorious, loads of more bitter dark chocolate, expresso, nuts, brnt grains and everything doubly stouty and boldly delicious. World class stuff, go get some and enjoy.

Photo of Mora2000
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My brother picked this one up for me at Phillipe's in Lafayette. Great find.

Pours dark brown to black with a dark tan head. The head stays around throughout the entire drinking process. Aroma is strong on the dark fruits along with some coffee and chocolate as the beer warms. Very complex. The flavor is heavy on the roasted malt, almost burnt in flavor. You also get some more dark fruit and coffee and the beer finishes with some alcohol and sweetness. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of clocktownbrewing
3.28/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into oversized snifter from a bottle - Batch No 14 Lot: B6BB

Jet black translucent liquid with a tightly bubbled head. Half finger of foam that dissipates quite slowly for a 13% booze bomb and then leaves a thin layer on top. Light spots of lace stay down the sides of the glass but these too fade as the beer begins to breathe and warm up.

Nose is lacking a little. Apples soaked in booze. Faint hints of dark bitter chocolate. It smells more like a Belgian strong dark than an imperial stout.

Taste is thin and follows the nose. Finishes with stronger bitter dark chocolate flavor.

Not too bad overall. Boozy and bitter though.

Photo of Altenor
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark, almost totally black with a chocolately head that dissipates fairly quick. No signs of lacing on the sides of the glass but good looking RIS nontheless.

S: Black cherries, chocolate powder, raisins, some gooey dates, light booze and a touch of funk. Enjoyed the smell quite a lot. It was sweet smelling and welcoming. Couldn't wait to try my first sip.

T: Lots of sweet dark fruits, molasses, a touch of vanilla and nutmeg. Very round and a long, long chocolate milkshake finish. I don't know why but I get a little of a marshmallow taste as well. So yes, it's sweet. A touch of roasted malt and caramel is present too. I just have one question, where's the 13% ABV? It goes down so easy, a little too easy for 13% which makes it dangerous.

M: Good carbonation in the palate gives it a creamy, silky mouthfeel. I wouldn't say it's full bodied, more medium that moves quite nicely and full of flavor.

O: A great beer. I was expecting a lot from it and don't know if it really lived up to the hype, but it is well made and full of flavor. Definetly would recommend, especially if you prefer sweeter stouts.

Photo of deebo
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 330 ml bottle of Batch 0 BA No. 14, lot A with a BB date of Dec.31, 2017 picked up in December at De Struise shop in Bruges for a hefty $4.70 Euro.

Poured into a snifter this brew is black as a bowling ball with a little head that is mocha in color-no lacing present as the head quickly recedes. Smells like a big RIS, heavy boozy malts with notes of molasses. bourbon vanilla. Initial taste is big smoky, heavily roasted malt with an alcohol kick. As it warms I get a hint of that estery Belgian yeast but it is dominated by the wealth of malts. Dark fruity character as it warms, lower in bitterness than most. A rich heavy body but not sticky or oily. Low carbonation. This high alcohol content volatilizes the beer through your nose very noticeably. This is a big fucking beer. A beer to sip and contemplate. A must for fans of big rich RIS.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a Barik tulip at Ebenezer's Pub during the 6th annual Belgian beer fest.

Damn, black with a dark brown tight head with lots of bubbles. Nose is malty, rich & sweet with lots of coffee & Chocolate.

Very sweet and thick, malty with a bit of booze but it's pretty subtle. Sweet and drinkable. Better than the bottles I've had in the past. It's much creamier and more palatable I felt like some of the older vintages I had were a bit harsher.

Photo of Kraken
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 8/21/09

Poured from a capped 11.2 oz bottle. I have been sitting on this one for about 6 months, and I cannot for the life of me recall why I was saving this.

Firm pour calls fourth about a quarter inch of coco head. Very nice thick fuzzy lace. Color is absolute black, the absence of light.

Nose- Still a bit cold from the fridge but starting to open up. Some coco bakers chocolate, lots of very dark fruit. Raisins dominate the nose. Dark Rum, some burnt caramel, dates.

Taste- Very different. Its like a quad and a stout combined. Initially I get some very quad-esque flavors, raisins, dates a bevy of dark fruits. Stout characteristics come through in the second portion of the flavor profile. Some nice coco, coffee and bakers chocolate. Alcohol is fairly apparent. Long dry finish.

Mouthfeel- Exceedingly smooth, not as heavy as one would think.

Drinkability- This is a beast. Truly a sipper, one is more then enough.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.94/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black I color with penetration to light. There's a fingernail of khaki colored head on top. The aroma is sweet dark malt with notes of chocolate. The flavor is more on the sweet side. Initially there is roasted barley, but it is quickly overtaken by sweet chocolate and plum. The mouth is thick, sticky, and syrupy.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle at cellar temp poured into a snifter. batch number 14, LOT A 4 BB notched on the side indicates it was bottled in april of 2007 (been in the bottle for almost 4 years)

pours out a thick opaque black with a big 2 1/2 fingers of creamy light brown/ mocha colored head that slowly faded to a thick creamy retentive layer. lots of sticky lace as well as some nice legs on the glass. small bits of sediment visible in the bottom of the glass. looks delicious!

the initial aroma holds some strong solvent alcohols. as it settles a bit, heavily roasted malt, dark raisony like fruits, chocolate, and some roasted coffee beans. something else is in there i dont quite have words for. as it warms, the alcohol sort of becomes the main player.

very nice taste. solvent alcohol is there, but its not as prevalaint as i might have expected. it seems to blend with the other flavors nicely. milk chocolate in the begining and some bitter dark chocolate in the finish, heavily roasted malt, an array of fruits, ripe to dark fruits, almost similar to a quad in this aspect. slightly smokey. finishes rich and only slightly bitter.

quite smooth and soft over the tongue, rich and creamy with a big heavy body, chewy towards the finish. carbonation is on the lighter, finer side as it should be. starts out heavy and after the sip ends up lighter than you would expect.

goes down too easy, i would have never guessed 13%.

overall: this is definatly an interesting beer. lots of classic RIS qualities with something else thats hard to find words for. a good try for sure, i would recommend it.

Photo of ehammond1
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle

Pour It Black
Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Nearly black but truly a very, very dark brown with a thin brown head. Spots and specks of lacing are left down the glass.

Rich aroma and a lovely combination of roasted malts, rich dark chocolate, a bit of coffee, and plenty of dark fruit characteristics (prunes, black cherry, and currant).

The flavor follows the aroma, though leading with the roasted malts and rich chocolate flavors. The dark fruit flavors are more of an afterthought when compared to the aroma.

The highlight of this beer is its mouthfeel. It's thick, creamy, with relatively low carbonation, but rich and luscious. Velvety. Delightful.

A wonderful, complex, big RIS. A joy to drink, particularly because of the rich mouthfeel.

Photo of ohmybock
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought at Bruisin' Ales for $10. I let the bottle warm up a bit before opening it. The aroma isn't that great. It's actually fairly mild for an impy stout. I get a little roastiness, but a fruity character takes the lead. I've smelled that same thing in some Belgian quads. The taste is a mix of sweetness and roastiness. To me, it tastes like what I would imagine a mixture of something like Expedition stout and Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or (Cuvée Van De Keizer) or heck...how about Expedition and Pannepot would taste. The 13% alcohol content is well hidden. It has a Belgian character, but a mild one, and not something which is sour, funky, brett-ish, etc. Again, the mild, Belgian-style, sweetish, fruitiness is the main character I'm getting in this brew. It's sort of a dark, stewed fruit character. If I had been blindfolded and had been given this beer, I doubt I would have guessed it was an imperial stout. Whatever the case, it's a nice, drinkable, dark-Belgian brew. Is it worth $10 to me? No, but it was fun to try once.

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.71/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Sept 2015. Batch 0, lot D. Purchased from a Belgian webshop quite a while back, and stored in my garage. 'Belgian Royal Stout' - indeed.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Black as night; utterly inpenetrable. Large chunks of yeast can be seen floating around at the bottom of the glass. Produces a massive head of creamy brown foam with excellent retention; this slowly subsides to a surface layer. Aroma of dark, fruity malt with notes of brown sugar, molasses, marzipan, dried fruit and yeast esters. A warming whiff of booze in the background.

Tastes of rich, fruity malt with a spicy, alcoholic finish. Notes of dried fruit, molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, yeast and stewed hops. Very boozy; an astringent, almost solventy alcoholic character. Mild bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth, with tingly carbonation and great body. The booze lends it a spicy quality. Dries the palate, and leaves an aftertaste of fruity malt.

Decent, though not as good as the hype led me to imagine. Fruity and boozy - a daunting concoction. I was expecting there to be a more obvious roasted malt character with a defining bitterness, rather than the sweet fruitiness that is actually present. Both the aroma and flavour lacked something undefinable; the result was a well-constructed but sub-par RIS. Worth trying, just lower your expectations a little.

Photo of far333
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp in a crystal snifter. Brownish black with a light brown head of soapy bubbles that slowly settles out and leaves a ring around the insides of the glass.

Rich aroma of vinous grapes, bitter chocolate, and port wine.

Flavors of dark chocolate, rich espresso, sasafrass, licorice, notes of woody oak, brandy, leather and smoke. Velvety flavors meet a fruity tangy finish as hints of raspberry and currant rise up.

Full mouthfeel, pretty round, moderate carbonation but tingles on the tongue and warms the cheeks. Dry and powdery tannic finish.

Very tasty, good sipper, scary smooth for such high ABV. Thanks to barleywinefiend for pssing this beauty my way.

Photo of mj001jk
4.61/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and viscous as motor oil with a thick and creamy hazel-colored foam.

The aromas are subtle with dried raisins, blackstrap molasses and fresh yeast. There is only a hint of roasted aromas, more so of chocolate and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy but not cloying. Considering the whopping 100 IBU, the hops are considerably restrained, mostly accentuating the intense cocoa nibs, vanilla and toffee flavors.

This is really a dessert in the glass, displaying a perfect balance between sweetness, hops and roasted barley. The finish is long, tenderly bitter and delicious.

Photo of TKEbeerman
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured into my pint glass, this stout really does pour black as hell with a rich chocolate colored head that leaves some very nice lacing for 13%.

S: The aroma is similar to Parabola, rich mouth-watering chocolate. Lots of roasted notes, and some liquorice notes.

T: The flavor is heavy in liquorice and chocolate. A little boozy, but very well hidden. Very small notes of coffee and dark fruit.

MF: Mouthfeel is light for the style, especially coming from Belgium.

D: Drinkability is good. Hey, 13% is hard to make drinkable, but Black Albert definitely hit the mark.

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another bottle drank during the epic March Madness '11 week.

Poured out a Saturday morning I believe, while many were still hungover, I pretty much drank this one to myself, black ass beer, deep tan head, mocha like in appearance. Aroma was heavy on the coffee and strong roast, but nothing too special going on, nothing offputting.

Taste is quite good at hiding the high abv. Obvious shout outs to dark chocolate and deep roasted malts (coffee). Stays bitter, but not to where it becomes a challenge or a negative. Belgian yeast seems to round the beer out nicely without detracting from the sturdy malt viscosity. I didn't really catch much in the way of dark fruit stuff that other reviewers did.

Enjoyable, but at almost $1 an ounce, this one has many more options of comparable quality at a much better price, which takes its overall score down a smidge.

to view more.
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 1,625 ratings.