Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers
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Ratings: 1,385 | Reviews: 798 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by falloutsnow:
3.63/5 rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5
Bottle from Ultimate Wine Shop in NJ
No bottled on date. "Lot B-6-BB," whatever.
(supposedly from June 2007)
Poured into a standard US pint glass
If a fresh Black Albert is at all like my aged variety, then this is a dried plum and grape-forward RIS with some noticeable ethanol characters. Despite the fairly high rating to this beer, it does not live up to the hype of being particularly noteworthy, aside from its cost and limited availability. Some reviewers seem to pick up characters that I cannot find at all in the beer, a testament to either individual wishing or poor quality control. I would be curious to try a fresh bottle of this out, but considering there is no easy way to tell on the bottle when it was brewed, I will refrain.
The pour produces a 2cm head of dense, small, dark tan to light brown bubbles. This fades, in a few minutes, to a 0.5cm cap atop the beer throughout the drinking session. As the head descends, it leaves some pleasant washes of lacing along the sides of the glass. Body is dark brown to black in color, totally opaque, only the slightest of hints of amber-brown highlights. Carbonation is not even visible through this. An excellent looking RIS.
Aroma is of sweet, syrupy raisins and prunes, as if cooked into a compote. The back of the sweetness is roasted malt, slight rum, even more sparse vanilla, and a bit of ethanol is hiding in the nooks between these two. I don't know where people are citing chocolate and coffee in this beer: I know what both smell like, and this has neither. Scents are kind of one-dimensional, disappointing, this comes across as a stronger Samuel Smith's or Big Eddy RIS in terms of dried fruit sweetness.
Taste is equally dominated by syrupy raisin and prune flavors in the front of the tongue. Rum arises mid-palate with continued dried fruit sweetness. Back of palate picks up a flash of sharpness from ethanol and not much else. Char, roasted malt, and some chocolate are only noticeable in the aftertaste. For a stout, it seems strange that the most desirable part of its flavor is in the ghost of its main taste.
Beer is medium-bodied with gentle carbonation that creates a foaming, but rolling effect that makes this very pleasant on the palate initially. Ethanol heat felt from mid-palate through close, in nostrils and throat. Closes with a spicy ethanol burn on the back of the throat. Finish is expectedly dry, but a bit sticky from the sweetness contained in the beer.
Serving type: bottle
04-16-2012 05:35:00 | More by falloutsnow
More User Reviews:
4.01/5 rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
11.2oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.
A: Pours as black as black gets. The half inch of brown head retains well. Lacing is sparse and spotty.
S: Dark chocolate fudge, blackstrap molasses, woody roast, jerky/leather, brownie batter. Raspberry jam. Fleeting tropical esters of dried apricot.
T: Bakers chocolate up front, though this is soon washed away as sweet malt flavors build and intensify. Dark chocolate fudge, blackstrap molasses, mocha, chocolate sauce,, espresso, woody roast, and jerky. Raspberry jam, fig, dried apricot. Hollow hop bitterness and some smokey/clovey phenols set in late. Spicy alcohol is stifled by the heavy malt body. Long sweet finish of dark fudge, blackstrap molasses, and woody roast.
M: Huge, thick, and weighty in body. Chewy,syrupy, and viscous texture. Low prickling carbonation. Just a tingle of alcohol.
O: This big honkin' imperial stout gets its identity from both massive syrupy malt character and some subtle Belgian influence. The latter creates a layered fruity impression and some clovey/medicinal bitterness that provides a bit of balance. The bourbon barrel aged version of this must really be something.
Serving type: bottle
03-13-2014 00:53:28 | More by ryan1788a5
4.39/5 rDev +3.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
Poured from a bottle purchased June, 2013 into a Stone IRS snifter. The pour is black as pitch with a massive (no, MASSIVE) mass of light brown foam on top that is stubbornly retentive. When it finally does die down, it condenses into a super-fine, whipped-cream-like consistency (wow!). The nose has all the characteristics of the style: rich malt, husky roasty notes, dark fruit, and a hint of booze.
The beer has a full body and a nice, rich, balanced flavor. I get lots of sweet malt, dark chocolate, and a hint of sarsaparilla up front. These flavors gradually give way to a sweet, rummy, roasty flavor and a faint, espresso-like bitterness in the back of the mouth. This beast hides it's alcohol extremely well. The alcohol adds richness to the flavors and enhances the drinkability.
A really excellent RIS with a sweeter flavor than I expected (100 IBUs? No way!). It's very reminiscent of Ten FIDY, with just a shade taken off the feel. It might even be a little sweeter than Ten FIDY. Whatever, I really enjoy a good RIS and this is a darn good one.
Serving type: bottle
02-26-2014 01:19:27 | More by deadonhisfeet
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,385 ratings.