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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Black AlbertBlack Albert

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

1,403 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1403
Reviews: 802
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%


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: 1,403 | Reviews: 802 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of CoalCellar
CoalCellar

Pennsylvania

1.83/5  rDev -56.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into my goblet...

A: Standard black, with a remarkably white head despite the 13% alcohol...
S: Nothing going on...some alcohol...perhaps some grain?
T: Nothing but a belgian finish. No coffee, no grain, no chocolate, perhaps the most unremarkable R.I.S. I've ever had...
M: Watery, thin...not impressive
D: Terrible, wouldn't waste my money on this one again. Don't believe the hype...you get more character out of a bud light....

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2009 04:52:12 | More by CoalCellar
Photo of 2beerdogs
2beerdogs

California

2.15/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well I got to try it.

Thanks to aandersen for this one.

Poured a swirl of mahogany. Nose is a confused melange of a mellow RIS and...a Flanders Red. I'm confused.

Yep, it's a mix of an RIS in mouthfeel, body, and a slight fleeting sweetness. But it has a souring, red wine meets madeira barrel dominance.

Can't say I hated it. It is very different; their own style. But it doesn't do it for me. However, I got to try it, and check it off my kist.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2012 13:40:09 | More by 2beerdogs
Photo of jethrodium
jethrodium

California

2.73/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

33 cl bottle. Batch 14. Pours a pretty dark black that is a lighter cola brown at the edges when held up to the light. One finger relatively dark tan-chocolate head that has pretty good retention and leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is big molasses and licorice. Smells sweet with a little bit of coffee, but not much roast. The taste is very sweet with a lot of licorice and molasses. The alcohol is pretty strong as well. Not much else. The sweetness tends to dominate everything. Light bitterness on the finish. Medium body. It does manage to not be syrupy for how sweet it is. Low carbonation. The beer was overall just too sweet with nothing to balance it out for it to be enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2011 23:41:46 | More by jethrodium
Photo of bulletrain76
bulletrain76

California

2.75/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

33cl bottle. Black with a medium tan head and brown edges. Alcohol, burnt sugars and malt, and oxidized coffee grounds that come across somewhat sharp and solvent-like. The flavor is sweet with a bitter and sharply alcoholic finish exhibiting more of the stale coffee of the nose. Full bodied and a bit slick with medium carbonation. This was a real surprise. Nowhere near the malt or yeast depth that I was expecting. I hope that this was an off bottle because I can't ever see myself wanting this again.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 22:35:57 | More by bulletrain76
Photo of Arbitrator
Arbitrator

California

2.78/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. Purchased at K&L in Redwood City for something like $12.

A: Pours a pitch black at first glance, but it's actually a dark brown with some ruby highlights (judging from the stream that comes out of the bottle). In the glass it has zero light penetration. The head is half an inch of espresso brown bubbles, and it recedes quickly into a light cap on the brew. Nice lacing during each swig, but most of it falls down the glass instead of sticking.

S: At first it had a strong waft of earthiness and coffee, but as it warmed, the smell became very muted. Some general sweetness and chocolate. Nothing pronounced.

T: Licorice and chocolate-covered cherries dominate. There's also a strong earthy hop flavor, but it gets hidden as the beer warms and the sweeter flavors take over. Pepper, coffee, and roasted malts are strong on the finish, with just the tiniest hint of licorice lingering in the aftertaste.

M: Full, heavy body. Carbonation consists of fine bubbles, and it's a tad high for an RIS. Gives it a little sting on the finish to work with the pepper bite. Only the lightest hint of a boozy warmth in the aftertaste. Really smooth.

D: It wasn't offensive, but I have no desire to pay $12 for this again.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2009 06:05:18 | More by Arbitrator
Photo of satowns
satowns

Colorado

2.78/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted blind with 13 other imperial stouts.

Pours black with a dark brown head.

Akward aroma of fruity red berries.

Flavor is mostly strawberries. sweet. not sure what im drinking here. hints of chocolate and dark malts.

full bodied mouthfeel. alcohol is nicely masked.

i will have to try another bottle and update my review if needed.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 05:15:12 | More by satowns
Photo of CanuckRover
CanuckRover

Ontario (Canada)

2.78/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours pitch black, nice mocha head settles pretty quickly to a thin film. Spotty lacings.

Very sweet aroma. Loads of dark, and really ripe, fruit with a real sugary sweetness.

Aroma carries over to the taste. Syrupy fruit all the way through. Clumsy whack of well-roasted coffee, but almost immediately overcome by more malt sweetness. Also a metallic sourness throughout which doesn't help matters. Eventually gives way to boozy finish.

Like stouts with a bit of texture, but this is syrupy. Reviewers who mentioned cough syrup are right on both taste and mothfeel.

I was excited to try this, but really let down. Way out of balance.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2011 20:52:30 | More by CanuckRover
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
BattleRoadBrewer

Massachusetts

2.85/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served at cellar temp into a small taster.

Dark brown color, far from black.

Nose is very subtle, nothing interesting here, just some caramel and yeast. And a bit boozy and a slight bit of horse blanket.

This one's got a huge, huge cola flavor. Is this a stout? Any roasted malt in there?

Thin mouthfeel but with a lingering finish coating the tongue.

Drinkability is pretty poor, heavy sweetness makes it a sipper, but doesn't actually taste good. Judged in a blind tasting, beer wasn't revealed until notes were done on all eight RIS's, but this one was an easy guess.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2008 05:10:15 | More by BattleRoadBrewer
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

2.95/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This black bodied beer has a fluffy brown head with great retention and substantial lace properties. Nice aroma of anise oil, cocoa powder, rummy alcohol and oily black malt. The flavor and mouthfeel are letdowns right from the get go. Body is medium at best. And gaseous and over carbonated. Oily feel to it, which is not bad in and of itself, but there's not much substance to it in the mouthfeel or flavor. Roasted chocolate malt flavors with some black licorice and winey characteristics. Tannic astringency is noted as well. I was expecting more out of this.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2009 04:02:01 | More by Bighuge
Photo of weissbierdrinker
weissbierdrinker

Belgium

2.95/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A big thanks to klevelandrocks in helping me get a beer off my wants list.

Pours a thick oily black color with a tan head that fades leaving a small amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell is of ink and used motor oil and some other strong smell I can't identify.

Taste of cherries, cough syrup, booze. The finish is dry and sour. A very thick oily beer that has an after taste of cough medicine. I don't find it to be as well balanced as the label states. Perhaps some people like it but it's a bit to boozy for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2010 23:20:56 | More by weissbierdrinker
Photo of SaucyA
SaucyA

Michigan

3.03/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

"Royal Stout" on the side.

A - Into a Trois Pistoles goblet. I figured it'd be appropriate. It pours quite dark brown with a topping of light brown foam. 2 fingers, to be exact, that's not receding at all. Beautiful lacing. Couldn't be better. Belgian stout allll the way.

S - The first thing that jumps out is Amber Kasturi incense. Call me crazy, that's what I smell. Hints of quadruple, chocolatey malts, plastic, paint marker, alcohol, dark fruits. All of this is pretty well muted tho, and this is served at cellar temp.

T - Quite a let down. I'm sure there's a few excuses... "That's not how it's supposed to taste," or "That batch was off." Then why was it released? It tastes like someone accidently poured a BSDA into a RIS, shook it up, added water, some rubbing alcohol, and then tried bottle conditioning it. It's just off. I don't care what they were trying to do, it's just wrong on so many levels. I'll try another from the new batch to be sure, but this is NOT good... not even for trying to develop a "new" new style.

M - Creamy, a little too carbonated, a little too thin.

D - I'm gonna fight this one.

Notes: I pooped on this... but I don't feel bad. It's not good, and it fights to be even mediocre. This is a true case of a beer being completely overhyped by a few, and running amok all over the trade scene. I'm sure some people like it, hell, it's obvious they do. I just don't see it.

I wish this was good. I really, really do.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2008 23:31:28 | More by SaucyA
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3.18/5  rDev -25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle received from bgramer - thanks for this one! This is a beer I didn't think I'd ever get the chance to try without traveling to Maine.

Appearance: Dark opaque brown with two fingers of thick mocha-colored foam. Very impressive; if I saw someone drinking this in a bar I'd probably wonder what it was.

Smell: A pleasant mix of dried fruit, chocolate, toasted cereal grains and cream. Nice, but it doesn't really jump out of the glass.

Taste & mouthfeel: Chocolate covered fruit comes to mind immediately; strawberries and raspberries primarily. Roasty, charred stout flavors become more prevalent toward the finish though bitterness remains fairly low. An odd cardboard-like off-flavor lingers in the background and never completely leaves the palate. The mouthfeel is full and creamy, moreso than most Belgian beers, but so was Pannepot - Struise must be influenced by American brewers in that regard. The finish brings out notes of molasses and dark roasted coffee, though it's not quite as dry as I'd like. Still, I had no problems drinking this one - it goes down easy for 13%. This would be a great beer if it were a bit cleaner.

Notes: Tried this again and found it even more riddled with off-flavors. I'm really not impressed with this one, mediocre at best.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2008 02:07:33 | More by largadeer
Photo of dancinwillie
dancinwillie

Wisconsin

3.18/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thick, active pour. Almost got away from me. The head is the color of cocoa powder. Maybe a shade or two darker. The beer itself is black, and I see some light colored floaters just inside the glass. They are there, but not very easy to spot. Head has dropped to nothing, more or less. Some activity on top looks sort of like a poured cola soft drink. Really active.

Nose is dark chocolate, kind of chalky smelling. Whatever that means. Malted milk balls? Rich fruit aroma too. Plums, and I'm picking up a strong cherry facet. Sweet. I wonder if any of this beer has been soured, I'm picking up a bit. Hope it's not just my sample.

Seems a little muted at first, and I'm sampling it rather warm. Apparently it needed to warm up just a bit more though. Some interesting flavors here. Apples, tobacco, pepper in small doses. A bit of coffee, and chocolate too. A bit of that big ABV is there as well. This is probably good for a warning, as this beer doesn't feel anywhere in the neighborhood of 13%. I could get into trouble if I had more than 1 of these. Velvet smooth mouthfeel. Low carbonation, which I didn't expect from the active appearance.

My opinion: This beer has more twists and turns than Chinatown. But unlike that great movie, this doesn't deliver. Well above average in appearance and smell, and to an extent, mouthfeel and drinkability. Where this beer falls short, is the taste, and that's a bit of a drawback.

I was impressed by Pannepot, but this just didn't do it for me. I'll have to try more from these guys. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2009 04:33:34 | More by dancinwillie
Photo of KarlHungus
KarlHungus

Minnesota

3.18/5  rDev -25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer pours a thick used motor oil black color. The head is a thick tan two inches of foam that recedes at a glacial pace. This is a very nice looking beer. The aroma is roasted malt, and graham cracker. For a beer that clams to be 13% ABV this is a very weak aroma. I would actually expect more aroma from a 5% ABV oatmeal stout. The taste is more of the same, but with a harsh alcohol presence. A hint of alcohol is something I would except from a beer with so much alcohol in it, but here it seems to be a major part of the flavor instead of something in the background. Again, this taste is weak. The mouthfeel is full bodied with appropriately low carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a huge disappointment. This beer is simply poorly crafted. Good beers with high alcohol content have the high alcohol content so they can have stronger aromas, and stronger tastes. This beer seems to be strong in alcohol simply to be strong in alcohol. I can't see myself ever being in the mood where I what to drink something strong and flavorless. But if for some reason I find myself in that mood I think I would head for a a malt liquor, and save twelve dollars.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2009 01:34:24 | More by KarlHungus
Photo of oreo
oreo

Illinois

3.18/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Shared by drewba.

Pours a super deep black with 2 fingers of dark brown head.

Tons of dark fruit. Everywhere. A pretty big boozy smell as well.

Just like the smell. Dark fruit and booze. Sweet almost. Very thin for an RIS, almost red wine like. Nothing too complex, some roasty malts make themselves known towards the end.

Not very drinkable. 13% and sweet. Does not make for a drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2011 21:42:24 | More by oreo
Photo of jdklks
jdklks

Nevada

3.2/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Pours a real thick and dark black with a decent looking light brown head. The smell is mostly of sweet dark fruits, especially cherries. Some chocolate and roasted malts, as well as a hint of alcohol are also present.

This is about as average as it gets for an imperial stout. Not sure about the A overall rating this has. It's very sweet with dark fruits and a little chocolate all the way through, as the smell suggests. There's a little roastiness mixed with licorice in the finish and aftertaste, but nothing remarkable. The sweetness and the roast actually seem to clash rather than complement. Not as hot with alcohol as expected either, though some heat remains in the esophagus after the swallow.

The mouthfeel is the best aspect of the beer. It's well carbonated and nice and thick. Very low drinkability results from a combination of its high abv and its disappointing flavor.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2010 04:13:48 | More by jdklks
Photo of HosP
HosP

Indiana

3.23/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bottle from Scottfrie. Big thanks for this extra!

A- Pours pitch black in color. Almost no light comes through even around the edges. Thick tan head looks perfect.

S- Nose is full of boozy aroma. Reminds me of a bourbon drink. Once gotten past the alcohol smell could get hints of dark fruits and some roasted malts.

T- Starts out as a sweet fruit and slight hop flavor. Roasted malts come up rather quick to take over. The strong alcohol takes over all the flavor. The high ABV really comes out and has a strong presence.

M- Thinner body with little carbonation. Comes through a little dry.

D- Wasn't expecting this after reading some other reviews. Couldn't get past the boozy taste pretty much. Liked what little flavors I did get. Maybe one day I'll try it again and see if I get something else from it.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2011 03:13:24 | More by HosP
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

3.25/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark, dank, black. Didn't hold it to light, but I imagine it wouldn't have shown through. Bold caramal head, very rich and thick. This is exactly what it should look like. The smell was fairly good, all your stout staples are there: chocolate, coffee, lots of malts. But the taste didn't impress. The IBUs were kicking for sure, not that it was too much, but its just that it wasn't balanced out well enough with sweetness. The bitterness wasn't from the coffee, thats for sure. The feel was really good, it was thick and chewy. Fullbodied, and pretty smooth.

Like most anything thats not horrible, I am glad I tryed it...but its not worth what I paid for it ($10) and I will not be getting it again...

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 01:29:04 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of clocktownbrewing
clocktownbrewing

South Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -23.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2010 23:16:45 | More by clocktownbrewing
Photo of oregonskibum
oregonskibum

Oregon

3.28/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a wide mouthed goblet.

A: Color is black. Pours with a thin tan head that disappears quickly, leaving some spotty lacing and a thin film on top of the beer. Edit: poured the second half of the bottle after completing the review and there was a substantial amount (I mean a lot) of particulates floating in the beer. I would say once settled that there was a good tablespoon of material floating in the beer. Dropped appearance score accordingly.

S: Some faint cocoa, dark fruits, and molasses. There's also a spicy note that I can't quite place. Relatively muted and needed to re-swirl several times to get much out of the smell.

T: First impression is that this is a rather simple RIS. Taste follows smell, with faint cocoa, dark fruits, and some light roasted flavors. Getting some decent heat towards the end that gradually builds. Finish leaves an odd metalic taste towards the back of the tongue that really isn't that welcome.

M: Medium to big body, low carbonation. Fairly smooth and easy to drink for a big (13%) beer.

D: Generally, disappointed. The flavors were simply too muted and the it didn't finish well. My last big stout was Parabola, which absolutely blows this away.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2010 05:09:23 | More by oregonskibum
Photo of mrkrispy
mrkrispy

California

3.3/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Been wanting to try this for quite a while, thanks to the very generous trader!

Poured a very dark but not jet black. Nice head, stuck around for a decent amount of the glass. Lots of lace all over the place.

A very dull aroma, and what there is isn't pleasing. A bit smokey, and burnt malt?

Immediately notice the lighter body than I was expecting. Dark malts, bit of chocoloate and coffee bean. Roubust burnt malt again, not a fan of that taste. Intentional? A bit of sourness, reminiscent of a Baltic Porter. Not surprising coming from Belgium, I like it. Some sort of metallic off flavor in the finish. Burnt sweetness lingers on the tongue.

Well, I didn't know what to expect and this certainly wasn't what I was hoping for. Complex, had some good flavors, but also several unlikable characteristics. A bit too light on the body. Nice to try it but I wouldn't make an effort to get it again.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2009 21:59:18 | More by mrkrispy
Photo of razorsdescent
razorsdescent

Pennsylvania

3.31/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have wanted to try this beer for a long time. After finding a place that had this and Alesmith's Speedway stout, I was overjoyed.

I chilled the bottle in my fridge until I deemed it to be at the right temperature

Appearance: When poured into my Green Jack goblet, It looks like an imperial stout should. Black and dark leaving lacing and with a light brown head.

Smell: This is where things started to go awry. It merely smells malty, and slightly boozy.

Taste: Meh, tastes of malt and booze, so, true to the nose. There is nothing new here, and it doesn't even pull the roasty malts off well enough to be an excellent one trick pony.

Mouthfeel: Standard fare here, tight and carbonated. Certainly pleasant and close to what was expected.

Overall: This beer is a disappointment and proof that scarcity and rave reviews are often times misleading. It is by no means terrible, however, I wouldn't seek it out again, much less pay the exorbitant price.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2013 23:33:30 | More by razorsdescent
Photo of NoonanDBarbarian
NoonanDBarbarian

Alaska

3.33/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A - pours with a slightly brown to black color with a small 1/4 inch head
S - It give off a strong yeast smell that is all i can get out of it
T - The taste seems to be really lacking something. it is a very smooth drink but has no start and a really sweet finish
M - I fee like I'm drinking a larger but wanted a stout
D - This is a very drinkable beer but just not what i was expecting especially after all of the hype

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 23:10:57 | More by NoonanDBarbarian
Photo of teamizm
teamizm

California

3.33/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Part of my Westy 12 box.

Batch 0 poured from a bottle

A - Pours like a deep black coffee with a nice mocha head that recedes somewhat quickly.

S - Roasted malts, chocolates, and a slight metallic smell (this is why I'm not a huge fan of imports)

T - Upfront metallic taste. Very sweet, Belgian candy sugars with a molasses and chocolaty twinged.

M - very one dimensional. For a 13% RIS, it lacks a lot of complexity. 50/50 Eclipse has about 4-5% less ABV and has 200% more complexity in the mouth feel.

D - Kind of a boring RIS. The variable in reviewing a RIS from across the pond is that conditions make a huge impact on the beer. This beer may be great in Belgium, but it doesn't hold up well in travel.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2011 08:17:11 | More by teamizm
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks mrkrispy! Pours dark brown (almost black) into my snifter, with dark crimson highlights. The light brown head is creamy and about 2 fingers with good retention.

The aroma is pretty muted, and the beer is at least 55 degrees. Nondescript, muddled malt with some sugar. There's a little chocolate and coffee. There are some pretty noticeable metallic notes.

The flavor...hmmm. Herbal hop notes with some milk chocolate, and a little sourness. Once again the metallic notes are present.

The beer is medium full bodied with good carbonation. The mouthfeel is thin and watery.

This is the second time I've had this beer. I don't get it.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 07:10:39 | More by HopHead84
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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,403 ratings.