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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,512 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,512
Reviews: 817
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 321
Gots: 362 | FT: 21
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Albert Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,512 | Reviews: 817 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CoalCellar
1.83/5  rDev -56.9%
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....

CoalCellar, Feb 08, 2009
Photo of fishboat75
2/5  rDev -52.9%

fishboat75, May 03, 2012
Photo of 2beerdogs
2.15/5  rDev -49.4%
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.

2beerdogs, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of jethrodium
2.73/5  rDev -35.8%
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.

jethrodium, May 31, 2011
Photo of andrew84
2.75/5  rDev -35.3%

andrew84, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of bulletrain76
2.75/5  rDev -35.3%
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.

bulletrain76, May 11, 2009
Photo of CanuckRover
2.78/5  rDev -34.6%
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.

CanuckRover, May 23, 2011
Photo of Arbitrator
2.78/5  rDev -34.6%
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.

Arbitrator, Aug 23, 2009
Photo of satowns
2.78/5  rDev -34.6%
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.

satowns, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
2.85/5  rDev -32.9%
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.

BattleRoadBrewer, Jul 01, 2008
Photo of weissbierdrinker
2.95/5  rDev -30.6%
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.

weissbierdrinker, Mar 17, 2010
Photo of Bighuge
2.95/5  rDev -30.6%
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.

Bighuge, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of chippo33
3/5  rDev -29.4%

chippo33, Mar 26, 2013
Photo of EB1
3/5  rDev -29.4%

EB1, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of rpaul2012
3/5  rDev -29.4%

rpaul2012, Dec 22, 2011
Photo of B-SHAY
3/5  rDev -29.4%

B-SHAY, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of StoutFest
3/5  rDev -29.4%

StoutFest, Dec 24, 2011
Photo of baybum
3/5  rDev -29.4%

baybum, Mar 28, 2013
Photo of neorunner
3/5  rDev -29.4%

neorunner, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of SaucyA
3.03/5  rDev -28.7%
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.

SaucyA, Oct 17, 2008
Photo of dancinwillie
3.18/5  rDev -25.2%
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.

dancinwillie, Jun 27, 2009
Photo of largadeer
3.18/5  rDev -25.2%
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.

largadeer, Jun 25, 2008
Photo of KarlHungus
3.18/5  rDev -25.2%
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.

KarlHungus, Jul 28, 2009
Photo of oreo
3.18/5  rDev -25.2%
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.

oreo, Jan 09, 2011
Photo of jdklks
3.2/5  rDev -24.7%
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.

jdklks, Jun 19, 2010
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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 1,512 ratings.