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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 milwaukeeclassic
milwaukeeclassic

Wisconsin

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%

Had this one a while ago, on tap at Erasmus in Brugge in early March 2008. I agree with some earlier reviewers that this is not as heavy as some imperial stouts I've had. I remember that there was tremendous head retention. Coffee notes in the aroma and the taste. Great satin mouthfeel. The alcohol level was not overly (negatively) noticeable. I can't wait until I can get more of this back at home.

06-04-2008 02:46:27 | More by milwaukeeclassic
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
GratefulBeerGuy

New Hampshire

4.88/5  rDev +15.1%

11.2 oz. bottle batch #14 13% 100 IBU's

Very dark brown with very little light getting through. The head is crazy, thick, creamy and smooth look, dark khaki color, lively but dense, amazing retention strength and plenty of sticky brown lace to enjoy visually.

The aroma is delectible! Soft, thick chocolate, cocoa nibs, graham crackers, hot cocoa with mini marshmellow's, subtle and very hearty herbal hops, dry and earthy notes from hops and yeast. Herbal heat tingle, sun-dried wheat and corn fields with some strawberry rhubarb pie included. Very unique and rich aroma.

The first sip = Mindblowing. Megaton complexity, the yeast used is totally rightous stuff, earthy, hearty notes come together with the dry, subtle herbal hops that make good balance for the massive attack of malty flavor's. Copious amounts chunky roastie chocolate, bitter-herbal graham crackers with a dry-rye effect. The smooth chocolate and vanilla current with a subtle but obvious black berry, dark fruit sweetness in the back. French roast coffee comes from the semi-bitter, earthy hops and roastie edge to the malt. The feel is just as complex as the flavor's, lot's of life and zip but a huge, smooth, full on creamy feel to, a perfect blend of Belgian-feel and hefty RIS beefiness. a long and lucious, dry at first then smooth finish is icing on the cake!!

I thought I might've been going crazy to pay $10.95 for 11.2 oz's but with a beer this rightous, i have no guilt. A beautiful and beastie brew for the ages!

06-11-2010 14:58:42 | More by GratefulBeerGuy
Photo of tendermorsel
tendermorsel

Massachusetts

4.88/5  rDev +15.1%

I was lucky enough to get this off the tap at Ebanezer's Belgian beer fest.

Great jet black color. The head looked like the crema on a good shot of espresso.... a thin layer of brownish foam. It had a wonderful oder of sweet chocolate

There is so much going on with this beer. Roasted malts, coffee and chocolate notes. The finish was superb. Unlike some of the other high powered stouts this one did not stick in your mouth. In fact I had no problem transitioning to a Lou Pepe as my next glass. Truly a hand crafted beer. Very drinkable also as despite it's 13% alcohol content went down real smooth. A sipping beer for sure.

Definitely recommended.... If you can get it. I wish I could get a bottle or two to age or maybe a barrel aged version would be nice. I have a hunch that this gem would be even better with age.

08-28-2007 00:25:14 | More by tendermorsel
Photo of BenZ
BenZ

Virginia

4.88/5  rDev +15.1%

This is a Batch 0 bottle fresh from De Struise. Perhaps this should be a separate beer from normal Black Albert?

A: Dark, dark brown. Tiny milk chocolate head that lingers.

S: Not at all what I was expecting. There some mixed herbs, a tiny bit of coffee/roastiness, and lots of mixed berrries (?). There was just the tiniest bit of booziness as it warmed.

T: Terrific balance of roasty, sweet, a small amount of tartness, and just plain awesomeness. The berries were not in the taste like they were in the smell - this is just fine, though.

M: Creamy and just plain perfect.

D: At first this was going to be a 5, but after about half way my senses were pretty much shot.

Surprisingly, this isn't exactly what I'd call an "intense" RIS; it's just "full" of everything. I'm pretty sure this is the best RIS I've ever had - no exageration and I've had quite a few.

09-25-2010 15:21:23 | More by BenZ
Photo of Casey10
Casey10

Maine

4.88/5  rDev +15.1%

Appearance is black tan head that thas at least 1 1/2 finger lacing . Smell has coffee dark chocolate feeling. Taste is exceptional. Mouthfeel is typcial of a high ABV stout but delicious non the less. The drinkfeel is great if you can get your hands on this beer it is highly recommended !!

04-09-2009 01:36:59 | More by Casey10
Photo of thickerfreakness
thickerfreakness

Texas

4.88/5  rDev +15.1%

Many thanks go out to bgramer for the chance to try this beer.

I poured this into a chalice with a little too much vigor at first and I had to wait for a few minutes for the head to die down to pour the rest. The color was absolutely black with a fluffy mocha colored head. Pretty much one of the darkest beers I've seen with only a very slight hint of ruby around the edges when held up to the light.

This does indeed smell almost exactly like a mix of a quadrupel and imperial stout. Tons of prunes, raisins and dark fruits from the quad side and a bitter roasty, chocolate, coffee edge from the imperial stout side. I also get some breadiness, yeast, and a bit of brown sugar.

The smell was great but nothing can quite live up to this taste. As someone said a review or two before me it is almost too much to comprehend. If there was a bit more of the imperial stout in the smell it sort of fades to the back in the taste. It begins very quad-like with tons of ripe dark fruits and chocolate with a sweet belgian yeastiness and bread. Then in the middle of the taste I get an amazing tart-like vinous taste that just overpowers my palate. It finally ends with quite a bit of bitter roastiness and coffee along with some more dark chocolate that just lingers on my tongue for minutes after each sip.

The mouthfeel is so silky smooth and there is hardly any notice of the alcohol for a beer at 13% ABV. Silky smooth, pleasantly carbonated, tingly across my palate.

Aside from the high ABV this one is just stellar. One of the best of beers I have had and definitely not easily classified into a style. As others have said this is one that is definitely worth the hype and one that you should seek out. The first and last thing that came to mind with this beer was the just "wow." Thanks again to bgramer for the chance to try this one.

06-15-2008 19:43:22 | More by thickerfreakness
Photo of jscondon
jscondon

Massachusetts

4.88/5  rDev +15.1%

here is the review i am providing for black albert! i have got to tell you that it is true, being a beer advocate pays off. jen told me they were not serving black albert due to its depleted stock, but i got some on the condition that i would rate this beverage on the beer advocate. a wonderful world we live in, eh?

the beer is dark, i am talking shut the car lights off on a moonless back road in the middle of no where dark. the smell is very subtle, i got a lot of chocolate, a hint of hops and a nice malt touch. there was a slight tartness up front without an overpowering presence of alcohol. the middle has some hop flavor and a very slight a hint of cherries, finishing with a good grain flavors. the mouthfeel is one of the best i have had.

DAMN! this is one good beer. I only had a taste and can't wait to get back for a normal sized serving. In fact even thought the tap list is one of the best i have seen, i would get this beer every time i went to ebenezer's (and i definitely plan on going back).

01-30-2008 23:25:16 | More by jscondon
Photo of Benjiehorn
Benjiehorn

Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +15.1%

This beer poured pitch black with no head, and little lacing. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, toffee, and a hint of vanilla. Full frontal taste of chocolate, belgian yeast, slight alcohol, with a nice, subtle coffee finish. An excellent brew, and a difficult one to come by. Well worth the 12 dollar price tag for an 11 oz.

04-07-2009 21:00:15 | More by Benjiehorn
Photo of asabreed
asabreed

New York

4.85/5  rDev +14.4%

11.2 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. I think this bottle was around $10, but at the time I didn't know if and / or when I'd see it again, so I figured I'd snag one. Also, I'm moving to NY in about 10 days, and I'm certainly not traveling with this for fear of obvious breakage, so here we go.

Appearance: Pretty much opaque on all accounts. Hugely billowing mocha-colored head, with a dense, rock candy-like dissipating, slowly leaving some sheets of lacing on the glass. Not the best rounds of lacing ever-clinging, but it takes a ton of time for the head to dissipate, releasing some pretty heady aromas.

Smell: This is a wild and beautiful anomaly, and you can immediately tell the quality of this brew. Rich ripe strawberries backed by cocoa powder, dark mocha, burnt chocolate and charred roasted malts, tar, a bit of wood, and what I like to think of as an almost wild yeast strain, adding an amazingly heady sense of funk to the whole thing. More barnyard and earth than medicinal. Yet I also get more fruit as it warms, some ripe citrus and cherries, and a rich caramel-vanilla combination, almost like caramel-drizzled apple cake, with some sour apple skin, maybe granny smith, going on.

Taste: First off: the balance between the sweetness and sourness and bitterness here at the finish is wonderful and rich and complex and one of the best I've ever found in a brew. Though that's just the start, I suppose it, even though technically it's the end. And the balance between the sweetness of the ripe fruit and somehow juicy citrus is complimented by the nuanced, and somehow subtle, charred assault of tar, blackened malts, black coffee, and dark chocolate. Just absolutely incredible, and probably, as far as taste goes for a beer, in my top 10. Tons of luscious 2-cream-and-2-sugar coffee, while maintaining the bitterness, with the juiciness of orange and strawberry in there, and again, somehow everything mingles so well. Rather than an over-the-top-RIS like many American versions, this one puts the stamp on quality, because there's a wealth of riches going on, all of it somewhat unbelievable as I keep drinking, since I've never really had a brew like this in my entire life in some ways.

Mouthfeel: Rich and viscous and heavy and not cloying at all. Nuance nuance nuance. Thick and rich as all hell, but there maintains a litheness to the carbonation that for a 13% ABV brew is astounding. Velvety and fantastic.

Drinkability: This was tough for me, because it's one of the most expensive beers for the amount in the bottle that I've ever purchased, but it's been one of the best experiences I've ever had with a beer, through and through. Huge alcohol, almost indiscernible at every angle, balance with the subtleties of flavor and complexity that seem almost unparalleled to me in most other beers. This is definitely worth the $10-ish price tag, especially if you're looking for something worth that price, because more and more often I'm finding I'm not displeased as much as maybe very slightly disappointed with the price to quality ratio these days. Here? Not at all.

08-05-2009 21:51:52 | More by asabreed
Photo of kaos14
kaos14

California

4.85/5  rDev +14.4%

Edit: This review ONLY applies to Black Albert had on tap. Out of the bottle it is entirely different and not deserving of the lofty numbers in this review.
---

What can I say that hasn't already been said...

First off this is most definitely NOT a Russian Imperial Stout that someone just decided to call a Belgian stout just cause it is brewed in Belgium. It is clearly a different breed of beer with it's own individual characteristics. The most similar beer that I have had (and I am by no means an authority on the subject) is the Russian River Salvation. They have an extremely similar flavor while each provides a different presentation.

Appearance: midnight black with .75" of dark tan head, a crimson intermingling of the beer and the head shows as the beer sloshes around the glass

Smell: I enjoyed the smell, I found it to be earthy with hints of what I would expect from a belgian strong dark. I have a terrible sense of smell and this is my least reliable rating category.

Taste: Just fantastic. Honesty, I enjoyed the taste too much to sit there breaking down the deferent aspects. It was complex and dark, a little boozy and warming, but WITHOUT the bitter coffee and sugary molasses you would expect in other "Imperial" stouts.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant carbonation with a lovely full stout body that steered clear of being cloyingly thick

Drinkability: Impressive for a beer with that kind of ABV to go down so smoothly. I have had a lot of beers that were astonishingly smooth for their ABV but I think this one is right up there with the very best of them.

All in all I am already looking forward to my next trip to Maine and another taste of this fine beer.

01-11-2008 02:40:43 | More by kaos14
Photo of eric5bellies
eric5bellies

Australia

4.85/5  rDev +14.4%

Poured into my Westvleteren Chalice

A - Pours a beautiful thick black oily appearance with a tight bubbled tanned head that does not reduce at all/

S - So many different aromas of roastyness vanilla, coffee etc

T - Immense flavours of chocolate, coffee, bread , yeast, smokey roast (Just a little)

M - Fuller than full body with pewrfect carbonation.

D - Every now and then you come across a beer that is hard to fault ... This is one of those. We need a Belgian Royal Stout Category as well because this beer is in a league of it's own.

09-24-2010 16:56:25 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of MrMonkey
MrMonkey

New Hampshire

4.85/5  rDev +14.4%

Poured at Ebenezer's Pub during the 3rd annual Belgium Fest, into a commemorative snifter. I was fortunate enough to sample this beer with Chris and the brewers from De Struise on both Tuesday and Wednesday nights, as well as at its official unveiling Thursday night. This was a truly amazing experience, so without further ado:

It poured as black as night and as thick as molasses, with a 1-1.5" thick, creamy brown head that lasted for quite some time. Once the head dissipated, it left beautiful lacing around the entire snifter. When held up, not the slightest bit of light could be seen through the glass. Absolutely beautiful.

Wow! The most incredible, powerful nose of chocolate, dark roasted coffee beans and molasses, with a very noticeable floral hop aroma.

The taste as well is dominated by dark chocolate and coffee right up front, followed by roasted malts with just a hint of dark red wine fruits sneaking in the background. A definite and pronounced hop presence with a remarkably long, dry finish. For such a strong beer, the alcohol is well hidden behind the complexities of its taste, but it warms you and stays with you for some time after your sip is over. Like the guys from De Struise said, it tattoos you from the inside.

The mouthfeel is a bit thick and heavy to say the least, but it is perfectly carbonated which keeps everything nicely balanced and makes it go down oh so smooth.

Very easily drinkable, despite the high alcohol content. This is one to be savored very slowly, though, letting the strength of the brew warm your entire body.

I cherish the glasses that I was fortunate to enjoy this week, and I thank Chris and Jen, as well as Carlo and Urbain from De Struise, for providing us with this incredible experience.

08-24-2007 19:17:38 | More by MrMonkey
Photo of goethean
goethean

Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +14.4%

Autumnaldave and I were drinking this on tap at the Lisle Bavarian Lodge. We decided that it had the elegant body of a tripel. The guy next to us detected some cellar notes, but I drank mine too quickly to pick it up. It combines a complex flavor profile with shocking drinkability.

01-16-2009 19:43:57 | More by goethean
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4.85/5  rDev +14.4%

P: 4.5 - 12oz brown glass bottle. Black Albert. Royal Belgian Stout. Gold Crown. Imported by Horizon Wines of Canada.

A: Dark cola black/brown with big starbucks frap foam head. Good legs, lace, and sheets.

S: Vinous, and big with chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, dark fruits, and more.

T: Big and bolshy with big dark fruit, roasted malts, chocolate, coffee, and more.

M: Mouthfeel is a bit thin for a beer of this level, but honestly it makes the drinkability that much better.

D: SUPER drinkable for the 13%ABV that this one yields....A real achievement in the brewing arts.

O: I'm thinking 4.7 material here. Big bolshy Belgian Imperial Stout....NIIICCCCEEEE

10-01-2008 07:56:01 | More by francisweizen
Photo of wcudwight
wcudwight

North Carolina

4.83/5  rDev +13.9%

Thick black beer with some tan hues. Large fizzy brown colored head. Lot's of carbonation. The bottled spewed all over my floor when I opened it. Smells of dark chocolate, coffee, and bananna. The combination smells much better than it sounds. The flavor is very rich and complex without being too strong. In fact it's the smoothness of the beer that impresses me the most. Dark chocolate, black coffee, Belgian yeast flavors with some tropical fruit like hoppiness. The mouthfeel is thick yet velvety smooth with lot's of carbonation. Great beer. Worth the price imo.

03-27-2011 13:00:45 | More by wcudwight
Photo of Seanniek91
Seanniek91

Rhode Island

4.83/5  rDev +13.9%

On tap at Pigs fly. 10oz pour.

A- What beer is blacker than this? The answer is none. None more black. Thin mocha head. Killer lacing.

S- Tons of coffee and chocolate. Slight booze. Malts and hops galore.

T- coffee, chocolate, booze, hops. So well balanced.

M- thick and clean, but too vicous. Slight booze warmth.

O- one of the best RIS I've had.

02-20-2013 17:07:39 | More by Seanniek91
Photo of HopasaurusRex
HopasaurusRex

New Hampshire

4.83/5  rDev +13.9%

Sampled on draft at Ebenezer's Pub:

Dark brown, approaching black in color. Opaque. Off-white head of tiny bubbles recedes quickly into darkness.

Nose of Belgian dark chocolate, vanilla, and toasted almonds. Some woodiness and oaklike tannins present. It smells almost bourbony although I know it is not barrel-aged.

The first sip is smooth and chocolatey just as suggested in the aroma. Vanilla, coconut, and roasted barley meld together nicely. Some fusels due to presence of high alcohol. Vinuous legs. Nice notes of oxidation and dried fruit. Dry roasted espresso beans in the finish.

A subtle, complex, and refined Imperial Stout. The only thing Belgian about it is the brewers. No phenols or funkiness.

Cheers to Ebenezer's and De Struise for this fantastic and delicious collaboration! The only complaint I have is that I wish I had a bottle to take home and savor by a crackling fire.

03-17-2008 21:11:41 | More by HopasaurusRex
Photo of ToasterChef
ToasterChef

Maine

4.83/5  rDev +13.9%

Served in my Uprising Chalice at Novare Res' First Anniversary Party. The beer lives up to its name, it is black as night. There is a tan head that settled to a thin coating that lasted until all the beer was gone. It has a roasted malt smell that I rather enjoyed. The first thing that I noticed about the taste was a chocolaty sweetness, followed by roasted malts (of course, this could be more from the aroma than the taste) and a bit of caramel. The beer is 13% alcohol and you can taste it and feel it's warmth, but it isn't overpowering or distracting; in fact, it's quite nice. The beer has a heavy body, but is very drinkable. You don't want to consume this one too quickly, even though it is tempting. This exceptional beer should be enjoyed slowly. Seek out a bottle as soon as possible, or just head to Ebenezer's Pub and get it on tap.

05-22-2009 12:41:05 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
AWolfAtTheDoor

California

4.83/5  rDev +13.9%

Cracked this open for my best friend's (belated) birthday.

Darker than dark. Probably the darkest beer I've had since my '07 Dark Lord. Very little lacing, and about a 3-4mm chocolate head.

Upon cracking the bottle the aroma hits me hard. Little bit of booze, lots of dark fruits, some chocolate hidden in there.

Taste mimicks smell. Lots of dark fruits, raisins, hint of roasted malts, plus some nice chocolate at the end. Oh, and some booze as well.

Smooth as silk. Hell of a lot of mouthfeel, but what do you expect from a 13% Belgian Royal Stout?

Overall fantastic. Definitely a top 5 all-timer, and probably top 2 for the "style" whatever that is. This honestly tastes nothing like most american "russian" imperial stouts. Fruity in the way that a quad is fruity (must be the belgian yeast strain). At any rate, seek this beer out. IMO De Struise makes better beers than Westvleteren, and they're actually relatively accessible.

04-30-2011 06:51:05 | More by AWolfAtTheDoor
Photo of sk8man121
sk8man121

Maine

4.83/5  rDev +13.9%

11.2 oz bottle poured into goblet. Batch #14; I don't see a vintage but I'm guessing 2009.

A: Pours jet black with a thin, brown head. Looks exactly how I'd expected.

S: Nose is of bitter chocolate, alcohol and astringent herbs. Very fruity w/ hints of black cherry & raspberry.

T: Quite possibly the fruitiest imperial stout I've ever tasted, and I mean that in as good a way as possible. Alcohol is pleasantly warming, chocolate/cocoa is evident but far from overpowering. Bitterness is high, almost like a fine espresso. Absolutely perfect.

M: Silky and mouth-coating. Carbonation is very low and for good reason; any more would be distracting.

D: I went to the liquor store tonight for a Chimay Blue and almost fell off my feet when I saw this beer on the shelf, and for only $10.49. Rarely do I agree that a beer truly lives up to the hype, but this is absolutely perfect and beautiful.

One of the best beers on the planet.

05-06-2010 00:43:14 | More by sk8man121
Photo of bobv
bobv

Vermont

4.83/5  rDev +13.9%

Yet another stout from Thanksgiving '09

From notes:

Appearance:
Very dark, slight head

Smell:
Dark chocolate, cherry, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, at 13% its ABV is fairly well hidden.

Taste:
Both dark and bittersweet chocolates, currants, and there is the alcohol tap dancing on my temples.

Mouthfeel:
Very nice.

Drinkability:
I could drink this 'til I dropped!

12-22-2009 16:23:40 | More by bobv
Photo of crowellr
crowellr

Maine

4.8/5  rDev +13.2%

I usually don't like darker beers, however this one definitely broke the mold. Me and a friend were at Eb's looking for different beers to try. Talking to Chris he recommended a few and then had us taste this.

Like I said, I do not like darker beers, as most are coffee flavored, and I'm not a coffee drinker. So my thoughts when trying it were not that great. The taste was perfect, lil bit of chocolate, definitely hops and just a smooth finish.

I wish I could of bought an entire bottle or even a glass, but I only got a small sample. It was however, simply the best overall beer I had ever had. I am young, not as experienced beer drinker as most, but I do live 5 miles from Eb's, so I can safetly say I have had my share of beer.

02-23-2008 01:01:10 | More by crowellr
Photo of killcore
killcore


4.8/5  rDev +13.2%

08-24-2014 20:05:52 | More by killcore
Photo of stumac
stumac

Texas

4.8/5  rDev +13.2%

This was tasted at Feces Fest '08 with Onslow and my girl Melani.

this brew pours up black with a huge frothy dark tan head. great lacing. the nose is a little boozy (the only negative about this beer), big dark roasty malts, dark chocolate, kind of nutty. the taste is very alive due to the 100 IBUs. I taste big roasted malts, a lil nutty, chocolate, a blend of floral and piney hops. Tons of hops and tons of malt! A fairly equal amount of the two but in great amounts! This was my BLACK ALBERT experience...

11-17-2008 17:32:50 | More by stumac
Photo of gueuzer
gueuzer

Colorado

4.8/5  rDev +13.2%

11.2 oz bottle. Split with a friend.

A- Black. Poured a little thinner than I would expect. All the alcohol?

S- Lots going on. Bitter Chocolate, cabaret, Brett,

T- Caught off guard by the slight tart/fruitiness from the yeast. Some dark cherries and other stone fruits. Ultra dark chocolate, tobacco and roast, but not out front like you would expect.

MF- Definitely some carbonation. More than I would expect for a RIS. Not necessarily bad with the beer, but think its a little high for the style. Must be hard to control at 13%

D- Completely ridiculous. At 13% this should be illegal. No heat at all. Very enjoyable. With the other flavors you don't have to be sitting in front of fire to enjoy this one.

07-08-2010 19:05:55 | More by gueuzer
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,488 ratings.