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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,488 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,488
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 318
Gots: 363 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Originally brewed exclusively for Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, ME.

(Beer added by: brewandbbq on 08-23-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,488 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerArchivist
BeerArchivist

California

5/5  rDev +17.9%

11-18-2011 05:16:12 | More by BeerArchivist
Photo of profondo
profondo

Sweden

5/5  rDev +17.9%

11-03-2012 09:12:37 | More by profondo
Photo of Cedromar
Cedromar

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +17.9%

Sampled on tap at Ebenezer's Pub, thanks again Chris! Aroma is chocolaty, with some vanilla and coffee mixed in. Appearance is a beautiful black with a 1 inch head. Flavor is a wonderful mix of bitter chocolate and coffee with caramel notes to help make it extra smooth. Mouthfeel is amazing as well. I cannot get enough of this brew smooth with small carbonation.
Overall the best RIS I've ever had.
It beats Kate, Darklord and Darkness all in the arse. When it finally is available in bottle I will be buying up every bottle I see.

03-25-2008 00:32:08 | More by Cedromar
Photo of coldmeat23
coldmeat23

Oklahoma

5/5  rDev +17.9%

GLASS: Imperial Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

When poured, slowly, this black liquid still manages to be the bottom third of the glass with a massive tan head filling the other two thirds. Wow. Minimal lacing but great head retention.

Dark fruits and sweet roasted malts. Slight yeastiness mixes with apples and pears. Mild vanilla notes. It actually hints at the smell of a nice top-shelf Rum.

Oh, yeah. That's what I'm talking about, right there. B-A-L-A-N-C-E. Man oh man.
Dark roasted malts mix with sweet candy sugars and a slight hops bite to create ambrosia. Alcohol is very well hidden. Chocolate covered dark fruit flavors. Slight hint of coffee. Toffee and vanilla sweetness. An ever so slight hint of licorice.
All through this, it retains a nice earthy/grainy quality.

Nice and velvet-like in the mouth. Just the way I like it. Very creamy and smooth. Slight touch of oily-ness.

Exceptional! This is one amazing brew. I could drink this everyday from now on out and be completely happy.
Super tasty and super easy to drink. My very first 'perfect' rating for a beer.

10-30-2008 20:08:04 | More by coldmeat23
Photo of greg202stewart
greg202stewart

Rhode Island

5/5  rDev +17.9%

All hail Black Albert! A dark dark soy sauce color with a thin head. It has a sweet smell with hints of fruit and coffee. The taste of this one is amazing, the best part being the signature De Struise Belgian-style sweetness that I think makes this stout exceptional. The mouth feel is very slippery yet nice and thin and easy to sip on. I have tasted great Belgians and great Imperial Stouts and this seems to be a hybrid of the two making for the most unique and delicious beer I've had to date.

07-27-2009 13:53:31 | More by greg202stewart
Photo of eerbayman
eerbayman

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +17.9%

11-15-2011 11:26:18 | More by eerbayman
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Viciousknishs

Virginia

5/5  rDev +17.9%

12-02-2011 21:06:46 | More by Viciousknishs
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Localdrinklax

Wisconsin

5/5  rDev +17.9%

02-28-2014 08:49:59 | More by Localdrinklax
Photo of todisht
todisht

Alabama

5/5  rDev +17.9%

12-01-2011 03:00:27 | More by todisht
Photo of sincereNc
sincereNc

South Carolina

5/5  rDev +17.9%

12-11-2011 05:16:17 | More by sincereNc
Photo of Bonko_the_sane
Bonko_the_sane

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +17.9%

07-05-2013 05:24:11 | More by Bonko_the_sane
Photo of unibrew
unibrew

New Hampshire

4.97/5  rDev +17.2%

This is a wonderful brew! I just wish I didn't have to travel 350 miles to get it! It's everything an RIS should be, and more. Not coffee...not chocolate...sort of enigmatic. 13%...yup, it's in there! It's a cornucopia of malty goodness and well hidden alcohol. IF you smell it close up, you will smell the booze, but, it's highly drinkable. If you're at Ebenezer's, don't pass it up. One of the best beers on the menu!

09-02-2010 01:15:41 | More by unibrew
Photo of Damian
Damian

Massachusetts

4.97/5  rDev +17.2%

Drank from a 330 ml bottle
BA No.14
Lot A; Best before April 2013
Served in a chalice
Acquired in a trade with deepsouth

What was once the number one beer in the world, Black Albert has slowly fallen down the charts over the past year. (As of this review, it was no longer one of the top 100 beers on planet earth.) Let us see what the hype (and the controversy) was all about.

The beer poured a deep, ashy black color with brown tinges when held to the light. An impressive looking (especially for a beer this high in alcohol), dense, creamy, silky smooth, saddle brown head slowly faded to a resilient cap of froth. Small blocks of lacing stuck along the sides of the glass.

The aroma was intense and extraordinarily complex. Dark, sweet, fruity and earthy with indications of must and leather. A distinctly Belgian yeast note was apparent. The yeast gave off a fragrant, almost floral nuance. (Perhaps some jasmine or lavender.) Indications of dark Belgian candi sugar came through strong. Toffee and roasted nuts were also noticeable. Dark rum and brown sugar notes appeared as the liquid warmed. All in all, the aroma was unlike anything I have experienced before in a beer.

The taste was every bit as impressive and as intense as the aroma. Fruity, raisiny, plummy and sweet up fronts with lots of dark malt flavor. The alcohol warmth appeared immediately but it was balanced by a plethora of captivating flavors. Slightly roasty and woody in the center. Dark chocolate, molasses, rum and vanilla notes also came though strong. A milky, lactic-like flavor was detectable as well. Slightly coffee-ish on the back end. This stout was definitely geared more toward "fruity and sweet" than "roasty and bitter" however. The finish was sublime. Yeasty and silky smooth with no hint of the 13% ABV detectable.

The mouthfeel was simply flawless. Super creamy, frothy, slick and silky smooth with a medium-full body. This beer was heavier than a typical Belgian quad but lighter than most Russian imperial stouts. After each sip, the residual sugars in the beer left a sticky coating on my lips.

Drinkability was literally off the charts. I never have (and probably never will) sample a 13% ABV beer that goes down so easily. I did however feel some numbing on my tongue near the drink's end. This beer was simply a joy to consume.

Simply put, Black Albert was one of the finest beers to have ever touched my lips. I am perplexed as to the reason behind this beer's quick descension down the charts. (I did hear however that different batches taste remarkably dissimilar. This may explain some of the discrepancies.) If you have not tried this beer before, I suggest you to do so. If you have tried it and did not experience what I did, I urge you to try it again.

09-17-2009 22:28:00 | More by Damian
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johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.97/5  rDev +17.2%

Had on tap at Ebenezer's, Thanks for the opportunity Chris!

Pours a dark brown/black with a tan head that sticks around for a bit. The aroma is amazing. Chocolates, vanilla, dried fruit, spicy citrusy hops, a bit of alcohol too. Taste is smooth chocolate, followed by some roasted grains, then a lingering coffee and hoppy aftertaste. Does have a bit of an alcohol hotness, but that melds into the whole experience quite well. Very Creamy mouthfeel. Ample carbonation, thick bodied. Excellent brew all around, makes me want to pay eBay prices for some bottles.

06-22-2008 13:45:37 | More by johnnnniee
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ggaughan

Pennsylvania

4.95/5  rDev +16.7%

On tap at the Struise farm thanks to Urbain.
The beer poured a deep black, opaque color, no light going through. The head was a deep tan, almost orange color, very thick bubbles. The aroma has strong malty, sweet notes, some dried fruits.

The taste, very nice. I got some very pleasing malty sweet notes up front, complimented by a chocolate and coffe-ish taste but not as heavy as other imperial stouts. There was an excellent balance of the strong coffee tastes with the subtle yet sweet malt. There were also some yeast notes on the back end of the beer, a bit earthy but it melds well with the overall quality of the beer.

The beer started off a bit cold from the tap but as it warmed in my hands the taste and aroma intensify. The high abv comes through more on the backend and compliments the malty sweetness very well. Overall this beer has a nice full body but doesn't weight you down like other imperials I have had.

05-14-2008 20:27:14 | More by ggaughan
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joepais

Maine

4.93/5  rDev +16.3%

I finally went to Ebenezer's Pub as soon as I made it to the bar I asked Chris what I should try. I was a little overwhelmed by the tap selection and sure enough he went for the Black Albert. I ended up having two glasses before the day was thru.
Chris brought it to me in a tulip glass it was jet black in color with a finger worth of tan head that dissipated to a small sheet of lace across the glass.

The aromas that I normally associate with a RIS were there in there normal fashion. Along with them was a nice sweet note from the Belgian Yeast I can only guess

The flavors were sublime a bit earthier than I expected but in a good way again followed by your typical RIS flavors. It surprised me again by being a little dryer than expected in the finish. I really could not detect the alcohol heat wise in the flavor or nose maybe this batch is smoother or older

Like I said I did have a second glass before I left "one for the road" so to say. It was a great way to end my time at a wonderful establishment

2-12-10 Revisited in an impromptu stout tasting and have to say that time has not been good to the bottle I held onto. Drink them fresh

10-24-2008 18:59:38 | More by joepais
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beerboy9960

Oklahoma

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Finally getting to try Black Albert for the first time thanks to BarrytheBear and his generosity. Thanks again Barry!!

A: Pours a very dark black with a very thin mocha colored head. Very nice, thick lacing on the glass.

S: Lots of cacao and expresso on the nose. Also picking up hints of dark fruits! Lots of smells going on here!

T: Wow! This is a very complex full bodied stout! Expresso, cacao, and dark fruit dominate the initial taste, followed by an almost milk chocolate/sweet taste on the finish. Lots of bitterness on the after taste as well!! Very nice!!

O: Overall this is a very complex Russian Imperial Stout! Very smooth and hides the 13% ABV very well! I will be looking for more of this in the future! Thanks again Barry!!!

06-17-2012 21:22:34 | More by beerboy9960
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frothyhead

New Jersey

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%

Pours deep dark chocolate brown/black with a quickly dissipating one finger tan head. Just a bit of lacing left behind on the glass as I enjoy it.

Nose is interesting with peanut butter and chocolate notes and a bit of sweetness. Roasted malt, coffee, and a tad whiff of tobacco smoke and alcohol. As it warms, a big fruity strawberry and raspberry aroma comes into play. Tantalizing!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation and a silky smooth feel. A little bit of dry residue sticks to your teeth and gums in the linger. Carbonation is prickly and light and takes a bit off the body of this one.

Taste is just like the nose, with peanut butter and chocolate leading the way with a roasty bitter coffee finish. Like the nose, those fruity berry flavors come out as it warms and add some tartness. This is 13% ABV? Seriously? Alcohol is almost completely hidden.

Drinkability is dangerously high. The silky mouthfeel and balanced taste with subtle dry finish and hidden alcohol just makes you keep coming back for more.

Overall, this is an amazing beer. Perfectly balanced and tremendously enjoyable. This is my third offering from De Struise, and stands alongside Pannepot as one of the most well balanced, subtle, complex and flavorful beers I've ever had. Nearly every sip offers something new. Highly recommended!

04-28-2009 03:49:25 | More by frothyhead
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Habanero58

United Kingdom (England)

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%

And so to the beer that shares its acronym with Beer Advocate!

I was initially a little cynical about this new beer on the block when it arrived sweeping all before it, and doubted I'd ever get to try it for myself unless I made the journey from Kent to Ebenezer's in Maine, but thanks to a well known auction site 6 x 330ml of Black albert arrived on my doorstep earlier this week.

I can understand why many other reviewers have been unable to really nail Black Albert into a definite category as you can't really. It proclaims itself as a Royal Belgian Stout on the bottle and it's appearance would certainly support this with midnight hour blackness and a rusty tanned head.

It's the taste where BA becomes hard to place
It has a complexity that matches Westy 12 (no mean feat) whereby one sip just amplifies in the mouth and cascades into such a myriad of flavours that your brain (well, my brain) just loses the plot and says "this is pure heaven in a glass"
I would agree with those who have mentioned it tipping into quad territory as my main thought afterwards was that was like drinking a botte of Westy 12 that had had an identity crisis and had decided it wanted to be a Russian Imperial Stout. The stout flavour is strongly apparent but with the rich chocolatey fruit cake qualities of a good quad there as well.

Mouthfeel was excellent. Very creamy with just the hint of an exciting fizzz. This beer is a valuable addition to Planet Earth and long may it buzz!! It should end up cementing a place in the top five at the very least.

A final word for the label. A design award surely with regard to matching the external bottle presentation to the quality of the beer within.

06-14-2008 11:38:05 | More by Habanero58
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ygtbsm94

Virginia

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%

I've had the pleasure of tasting this brew during several different occasions from the tap and from the bottle and I must say this is by far one of the best Imperial Stouts brewed; bar none! First, I don't even know if this should be in the same class with other Imperial Stouts; it has its own distinctive style. The appearance of this brew has to be one of the darkest stouts I have ever seen. The head was so thick and velvety brown head that it looked like a shot of espresso...superb! It had a magnificent scent of sweet chocolate, dark roasted coffee beans and molasses along with roasted malt. The taste is just out of this world. Started off with a blitz of dark chocolate, espresso, and roasted malts; followed by light vanilla hoppy presence and fruit flavors with a touch of bitterness. The mouthfeel wasn't too thick along with soft carbonation keeping the brew from tasting too syrupy. The complexity of this brew is such that 13% ABV is totally absent until the glass is almost empty and then you begin to say Wow, this is one hell of a beer! For me this was like drinking a fine Port that I could have sipped all night. I can't say enough about the brews that are being produced at the Struise camp, but I do know that the rating of number one brewer in the world is without doubt; justified! This brew has taken Stouts to a whole new level!!!

09-18-2008 20:54:24 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of OWSLEY069
OWSLEY069

Pennsylvania

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%

Pours jet black with a brown-ish head. In the aroma, chocolate and alcohol. In the taste, chocolate, dark fruit and a small alcohol burn at the end. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry alcohol and hint of coffee in the aftertaste. What a great stout!

09-29-2011 21:46:49 | More by OWSLEY069
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Thickfreakness

New York

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%

2010 bottle that I received on one of my first trades a couple of years ago. He also sent a first bottling Black Albert (2007) which I waxed and still have in my cellar. Wish I could remember your BA handle so that I could hook you up again!

A- Pitch black pour into my Ithaca Excelcior tulip! Two fingers of caramel/sand colored foam billows and dances like a cloud atop of this dense, chewy stout! It fades slowly and leaves little islands of lacing as it settles into oblivion. No carbonation or movement on the surface.

S- Holy Shit! Sour Cherries covered in chocolate... that got rolled around in a barnyard! This brew has some serious funk to it! Never had an Imperial Stout with this much compost/manure in it! Delightful dark fruit bite with a tender and sweet chocolate overlap! Some roasted bitter coffee, figs, cranberry/raisin/prunes with an underlying pine hop... really weird, unusual and delicious!

T- Just like the nose! Damn! Like dark, bitter, Belgian Chocolate that was dragged thru a Horse stall! LOL!!! Dark cherries, mission figs, raisins, compost, horse blanket, cocoa, jazzy black coffee, and just a touch of pine sap and smoked peat/malt. This is really intense! Every inch of my tongue is begging for more! Each time I swallow, something different is happening and confusing my taste buds! I've NEVER had my taste buds "thinking" like they are now!

M- Full, chewy, funky, tart, sweet, bitter (in 3 ways), and vivid!!! It really sticks to your tongue and glides down! The bitter doesn't strip the mouth.. but it cleans it so that the tart, sweet, and funky can shine thru! This is rediculous!!! More depth than any beer I've EVER had!!!

O- Eat a rich and delicious 85% chocolate bar, while drinking Kona coffee and sucking on cranberries while sitting in a stall at Saratoga Raceway... that's it... and it's perfect! The "subtleties" will slap you in the face... and the "in your face" tart/manure/cocoa notes will KISS you gently and make you close your eyes and forget where you are! If you've been searching for a RIS with everything you want, and even things you didn't know you wanted... it's perfection in a glass!!! Who knew tart poop and chocolate went so well together? I don't want this glass to end! DAMN!!!

11-24-2012 00:20:08 | More by Thickfreakness
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Brabander

Netherlands

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%

I had a beertasting yesterday evening with my cousin Bert and his son Michael. After a while Mrs. Brabander joined the tasting. I used small Westvleteren and La Trappe tastinglasses.

I am visiting the Struise Brouwers once a month when i am picking up the Westvleteren. Always fun at Urbains and Carlo's place. Never drank the Black Albert though. During this tasting we tried this one.

The ones who know me know that i am not really a stout lover. This beer however is spectacular and i can say that this is one of the best beers Urbain has ever made.

Poured in the glass this beer is really pitchblack with the best head i have ever seen on a stout. The foam has millions of the smallest bubbles.

Great smell, everything a stout should smell like is in this beer.

Superb taste with something in this taste which i could not point out. But this extra taste made the beer extraordinary.

Plain and simple; this is a super beer!

05-05-2011 09:46:44 | More by Brabander
Photo of DeanMoriarty
DeanMoriarty

California

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%

Been meaning to try this one for years now - saw that it popped up at Holiday Wine in Escondido and had my brother snag me a 11.2 oz bottle for $10. - comes in capped dark brown bottle.

A: Pours, as my wife exclaimed, looking like molasses with a thick brown head that dissipates a bit early giving way to small amounts of lacing.

S: Noticeable hop up front - earthy & mossy, fresh baked brownies, charred wood, cherry & vanilla bean, trippy yeast strain, slight hint alcohol.

T: Dark chocolate, taffy, dried figs, woody coconut, cherry spiced rum (really balances the the 13% abv well with the cherry flavor) earthy hop lingers well beyond the hint of booze on the finish - outstanding!

M: Big fulled bodied, lightly carbonated - which is nice for the style, lending well to the creaminess of this one. Hop oils leave a bitter finish like a good IPA which is rare for this style, but is just another dimension it reveals, especially as it warms up a bit.

A pricey brew, but one that won't let you down!

12-06-2012 03:24:35 | More by DeanMoriarty
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%

Sampled on tap at Ebenezer's on Chris' Birthday.

Without question one of the top beers I've ever had.

Drawn with a two finger head, the appearence was black as night.

Smell was dark chocolate, green piney hops, sweet roasted malt and expresso.

Taste was otherworldly. A perfect balance of fresh, green hops and roasted malt. Notes of toffee, chocolate, malted milk balls and vanilla.

Mouthfeel was exceptional. Plenty of viscosity but the 13 percent alcohol remained at bay.

I could easily drink two or three of these in a sitting.

A very unique beer that, to me, comes across as a blend of a fresh hop IPA and an Imperial Stout.

08-25-2007 03:20:19 | More by Rochefort10nh
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,488 ratings.