1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,467 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,467
Reviews: 808
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 317
Gots: 357 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website

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:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Albert Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,467 | Reviews: 808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

thanks to barefootbrewer for the chance to try this very limited brew!

A - black with a ruby tinge at the edges. soft kahki head that lasts at the edge of the glass for some time.
S - chocolate, dark fruit, light roasted coffee and belgian yeasts.
T - cocoa, dark fruits, coffee, vanilla, hints of belgian yeasts.
M - medium bodied, nicely carbonated, soft smooth texture.
D - shared with a friend, drinks very nice, very smooth and deceptively easy.

That was 13%??? I'd swear it was half that strength. Belgian strong dark, belgian royal imperial stout, you decide. RIS is a misnomer. Nice to drink but no idea of the costs although I'm sure it's not cheap. Definitely one to cross off the list and be happy to have had a shot.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2008 18:35:11 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of YonderWanderer


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Holy hell, this is a tasty beer. Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours a solid black, with hints of brown, yet no place for light. A thick dark tan foam sits atop, which is surprising for the high ABV.

S: Cocoa, coffee, booze, roasted malts, and some dark fruits. Very enticing and blended very nicely.

T: This beer is 13%? Wow. A hint of alcohol is present, warming the throat, and providing a nice compliment to the rich array of other flavors. Chocolate, coffee, and fruit are all present, and there's a slight hint of the Belgian yeast. However, without knowing, this would easily be mistaken for not-a-Belgian stout.

M: Smooth and cream.y Alcohol warms pleasantly.

D: This is a fantastically balanced and tasty stout. Incredibly well done. It's a sipper at 13%, but it doesn't drink like a brew that strong.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2009 03:03:15 | More by YonderWanderer
Photo of HuskyinPDX


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

100th review!
11.2 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Deep dark brown with a thick brown head. Mild lacing left on the glass.

S - Chocolate, but very mild. Some carmel and sugar.

T - Carmel, Brown sugar, malts, chocolate.

D - Nice carbonation.

O - Nice and smoth. I ate a brownie with this and they paired perfectly.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2011 04:00:38 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of nlmartin


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer came my way from another BA zapata. Thanks!... The beer was served in a wide mouthed wine glass ever so lightly chilled and aloud to warm up to room temperature.

Appearance: The beer pours an inky black. No opaqueness is noted from light. The head is thick and the color of lightly creamed coffee. Thick webs of lacing remain on my glass.

Smell: The intial aromas of that great my nose are sour dark fruit. Dark chocolate, darkly roasted malt, licorice and molasses.

Taste: Honestly the flavors match the aroma. The flavors are well blended.

Mouthfeel / Drinkability: The beers body is on the plus side of medium. The carbonation is low. The alcohol is well incorporated. This is a very smooth drinking beer. Is Black Albert that good? I enjoyed drinking this beer. I probably wouldnt seek this out again but this is well worth the try.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2009 09:18:19 | More by nlmartin
Photo of BeefTongue


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer yielded a beautiful, frothy two-finger head with an amber/butterscotch hue; the lacing held for a while and made the sides of the glass appeared frosted and shimmery. True to its name, Black Albert remains black in appearance even when held to light, making for an appealing contrast to the colorful head. The smell was sweet with a smoky aroma and scents roasted malt and coffee that manifest also in the flavor. Tasting was a delight; not only was the mouth feel thick and velvety, but all flavors seemed to compliment each other very well. The balance was superb, and at 13% ABV the alcohol is relatively hidden amongst the other flavors. One can tell immediately that this is a big beer, but "booziness" does not permeate (not to say that this isn't sometimes enjoyable in other heavy beers) the other flavors. I could drink a lot of these; they're delicious! However, at ~nine bucks per 12oz. bottle, this beer is a bit out of my sessionable price range. I would buy again for a special occasion, hands down. A definite must-try for fans of the imperial stout or darker/heavier beers in general.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2009 03:54:19 | More by BeefTongue
Photo of gford217


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

330mL bottle courtesy of brianj555 poured into a tulip. Big, big thanks Brian for the opportunity to try this one.

A: Pours black as night with no light penetrating. The huge three-finger mocha head fade to a thin, dense layer that stays the whole session and leaves an extraordinary amount of lacing. This is a damn fine looking beer.

S: The smell is a where things start to get interesting. It's much sweeter than I expected with a big dose of raisin, figs, and red grapes up front. Theres some caramel sweetness as well as a bit of dark chocolate as well.

T: If the smell was where things started to get interesting, the taste is where it gets truly unique. Massively complex, the taste starts with the dark fruits as in the taste but quickly goes into a chocolate and coffee bitterness that extends into the finish. There's also the oft-mentioned grape flavor in the background.

M: The mouthfeel is super full-bodied, unbelievably smooth and silky with good carbonation and sugary sweet on the palate but dry in the finish.

D: This is an exceptionally complex beer and truly unique. Drinkability isn't extremely high, but one of these is a rewarding enough experience that two would probably be too much for my poor palate to take. Wonderful beer and looking forward to getting some more.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2008 02:17:11 | More by gford217
Photo of Thehuntmaster

South Africa

4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Black Albert Batch '0'
330 ml bottle 13,0% Abv
Poured into a snifter.

Black Albert has been on my wants list for ages, thanks to Thijs for getting this limited version to us.

Appearance: Batch '0' pours the blackest of blacks, even when held up to a light bulb, not even a hint of light is visible along the edges.
A huge tan brown head towers above the beer, lasting extremely well and leaving great lace for a beer of this strength.

Smell: Hmmm, I think I poured this one a little too cold as the smell seems fairly muted to start. A little warming makes a massive difference. Medium roast coffee, bitter sweet dark chocolate and slightly charcoal like roasted malt are present in equal quantities. As the beer warms vanilla, toasted whole-wheat bread, dark candi sugar, molasses and dark fruit are well noted. There is just a hint of bitter hops towards the end of the nose.

Taste: Great flavour, far more balanced than the BDII that I had last night. As in the nose top quality coffee, roasted malt and chocolate are dominant, but molasses and the dark fruit play much more than a supporting role. Bitter hops are well noted in the finish. Hints of smoke, caramel and toasted bread are also present.
I just realised that this is the strongest beer I have ever had; I never would have guessed that - the alcohol is totally hidden in both the flavour and smell.

Mouthfeel: Sublime, full, thick, sticky body. The carbonation is understated and super smooth. This beer is an absolute pleasure to drink.

Drinkability: Superb beer, massive and complex flavour. Great beer to sip on, I could well start drinking beers like this instead of whiskey on cold evenings after dinner.

I am surprised, Black Albert actually lived up to my expectations, superb beer and one I'd love to have again.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2010 17:25:50 | More by Thehuntmaster
Photo of erikm25


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

NO 14
Lot B-6-BB (I wish I knew what that meant).

Dark cola brown. Head is fluffy and bubbly brown marshmallow hue.

Scorched dark cherries, raspberries, and plums with caramel coffee undertones. Spiced barley and coated in vanilla.

Roasted figs, sweetened chocolate malts, candies, and rounded with peppered lemon bread. Licorice and rum. As this warms closer to room temperature the flavors develop and with 100 IBU's the hops finally kick in. A Sneaky 13%.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2010 17:30:53 | More by erikm25
Photo of MasterSki


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this in a trade from rudylaw - thanks a bunch dude! Seems to have been imported into Canada - where are you Shelton Brothers? Poured into my Darkness goblet. Best by August 2013.

A - Pours an opaque near-black with a hint of dark, dark brown. Two fingered mocha head that dissipates slowly to a beautiful lace. The slightest bit of carbonation is visible. This is what a RIS should like like!

S - Lots of stuff going on here - coffee, black currant, cherry, burnt malt, dark chocolate, hazelnut, and a touch of alcohol. Pretty terrific!

T - Coffee, licorice, roasted malt, dark fruits are all pretty apparent. There's a hint of hop bitterness in the back end. Amusingly the ingredients list contains "candy". This isn't the best RIS I've had, but it's in the top tier.

M - Creamy and smooth. Perfect density and amount of carbonation. This is probably the best aspect of this beer.

D - I could actually drink two bottles in a sitting (if I could both find and afford it). I can't think of many other 13% beers that can say the same.

Worth seeking out - I'm glad I grabbed those extra bottles at Discount Liquors.

Serving type: bottle

11-29-2008 04:01:30 | More by MasterSki
Photo of Florida9


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very generous extra from klevelandrocks. Thanks again.

Lot: B6BB

A: Black, noticeably viscous liquid doesn't pour from the bottle, but seems to slide from it, almost like syrup, into a glass, forming a surprisingly large and rather impressive 1"+ of foamy brown head. Retention is good. Moderate lacing.

S: Sweet rich malts. Raisins, figs, toffee. Then a note of well roasted coffee and chocolate.

T: Starts with dark chocolate and sweet, dark, ripe fruits, then moves into the bright acidity of very strong coffee, but recedes into flavors of cocoa and roasted malts, finishing with a growing bitterness.

M: Thick with appropriate carbonation level. Feels huge in the mouth, starts with a sweet viscousness, but finishes withy a sticky astringency. Alcohol warms the tongue.

D: A very impressive beer. Very easy to drink, with loads of complexity, I enjoyed this one thoroughly from start to finish.

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2010 01:16:51 | More by Florida9
Photo of Crosling


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pros: The appearance is perfect. Very Belgian, natural carbonation, long lasting foam. I've had 3 bottles of it so far and it's perfectly conditioned. Mouth feel is very thick & layered. Flavors are brilliantly unique, concentrated and complex.

Cons: The nose gives off a potent dark fruit and fudge-like scent, but is the weak point of the beer. Smells a bit out of balance.

Such a beauty. A beer to put away. It should evolve and improve for at least a decade.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2009 06:07:45 | More by Crosling
Photo of dnichols


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 330 ml bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: It poured a deep dark brown-black body (even when back lit)with a giant two finger head. The chocolate head was sticky and lingered long into the drink, finally setteling into a thin cover over the surface fo the beer. There was dense lacing that clinged to the side of the chalice.

S: It hit the nose with caramel, toasted brown sugar, molasses, dark chocolate and dark sweet fruits (figs, plums). It had a creamy dark bread yeasty aroma and finished iwht a sweet alcohol aroma.

T: It had a tasty sweet and tart chocolate and ripe dark fruit flavor that exhibited complex ranges of flavors (molasses, figs, plums, bakers chocolate). After the initial flavors there are flashes of espresso and alcohol.

M: It was full bodied, creamy, and finished warm and clean. There was little residual aftertaste and just enough complexity to entice the drinker to take sip after sip.

D: It was an excellent, interesting and rich beer that would be great on a cool fall night or as a night cap. Definitely not a session brew.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2008 02:23:15 | More by dnichols
Photo of egajdzis


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an opaque black color with a medium sized, tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of roasted malts, light sherry, dried fruits, chocolate, some smoke, spices, and a bit of alcohol. Taste of roasted malts, some dark chocolate, light anise, smoke, and dark fruits, with a warming alcohol presence. Thanks to Chris from Ebenezer's for sharing this bottle!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 23:53:42 | More by egajdzis
Photo of nickfl


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of dark brown head on a completely black body with no light showing through. The foam settles slowly and leaves a fine film of lace.

S - Significant nutty chocolate with clove, ginger, and allspice notes. Some spicy alcohol and mocha (more chicory than coffee though).

T - Smooth, bittersweet chocolate malt up front with some mocha coffee notes. Spice comes out in the middle, clove and cinnamon with a bit of pepper. The spice lingers into the finish, which is full of chocolate and nutty malt. Complex malt notes linger on the palate and create a smoky, pipe tobacco flavor coats the mouth.

M - Thick, heavy body, moderately low carbonation, and a sweet, but not cloying finish.

D - It is surprising to find that, according to the bottle, this beer weighs in at 100 IBUs because the flavor is all about malt. The bitterness is hardly descernable and it barely manages to contain the sweetness of the finish; though it does a good job of masking the 13%ABV. The nose is pleasant, but a bit mild; while the flavor is quite complex, especially the finish. A nice, big stout that hides its borderline insane alcohol content dangerously well; this is a great beer, but not one that I could or would drink very often.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2009 04:13:05 | More by nickfl
Photo of goochpunch


4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a ruby black body with a humongous, rocky mocha head that recedes to a bubbly thin cap like a freshly served espresso. Smells strongly of chocolate and lightly of roasted malts. I get a lot of Belgian quad-like yeast qualities, bringing forth dried fruits, plums, and leather. Flavor is of raisins, chocolate, earthy bitterness, coffee/chocolate ice cream, light acidity in the finish. Alcohol is noted, but very well hidden. Bitterness is not as pronounced as the 100+ IBUs insinuate. Mouthfeel is creamy, full, and rich. One of the greats. I wish more US breweries made bigger stouts of this caliber and finesse.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 01:31:01 | More by goochpunch
Photo of RuudJH


4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best breweries in the beer country of Belgium.
This strong dark beer is excellent.
Coffee, nuts, chocolate, some fresh and dried fruits too. Berries and fig fruit. Very dark brown, with a thin brown head.
Taste and aftertaste are very powerfull. The roasty character and the high abv make this a beer to sip. I had it with some chocolate and strawberries on the side, and I really enjoyed myself.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 11:59:17 | More by RuudJH


4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. Oversized glass. Enjoyed on apr´12. Black color, crowned by a thick, small bubbled, lasting head –beige in color- & lacing collars. Toasted coffee, hints of chocolate, figs & floral fragancies to the nose with sugar hues. Involving sweet toasted malt flavor & gentle warming sensation in mouth. Velvet palate. Slightly bitter finish overwhelmed by ripe dark fruits. Brandy notes. Full body, soft carbonation. Fruity & warming aftertaste. Mandatory beer to understand what a Russian Imperial is!!

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2012 18:23:57 | More by GONZALOYANNA
Photo of Pinknuggets


4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to HFS sniffer

A: pours dark like Motor oil black but has a more very dark brown color in the glass with a thin mocha head that leaves a ring around the edges

S: there is a fairly strong presence of coffee unfourtunitly there is also a hint of alcohol that is fairly prominent toward the finish

T: the taste follows the nose with a strong coffee taste that blends with what tastes like liquid dark chocolate creamy as well, and the alcohol is no where to be found which is impressive considering how much of it there is.

M: not too thick for how heavy it feels smooth and creamy with a leery light carbonation that helps to balance out the heavyness and make it quite easy to drink for such a big IS

O: I don't know why I didn't have high expectations for this beer but everything but the aroma was pretty freaking good. Really solid taste but I wish the flavors were stronger but I'm surprised I didn't have to age it to get rid of the alcohol taste. Furthermore the mouthfeel was one of the best I've had. I would definitely try this beer again and I recommend you try it.

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 22:11:50 | More by Pinknuggets
Photo of pants678


4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big fluffy Belgian head with a black body.

Sweet and sugary with dark, roasted malts.

Rich chocolate and complimentary, creamy vanilla, possibly from the yeast. Candied sugar, as you'd guess. Not a lot going on here but there doesn't need to be, it's a dessert that doesn't complicate itself. There's an alcohol burn, tobacco-y, and some bitter from the hops or the natural end of cocoa. Just what you'd want from the style and where it's from.

smooth. It's Belgian, of course it's smooth.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2013 03:01:32 | More by pants678
Photo of thierrynantes


4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beer bottle (33 cl.), tasting session may 2012 (Chez Clem).

Appearance : black color, with tan foamy head.
Smell : roasted malts, dark chocolate and coffee aromas.
Taste & mouthfeel : dark chocolate and vanilla flavours with notes of prune, heavy bitter with a long long duration.
Drinkability : a very nice beer in the style Russian Imperial Stout. The 100 IBU ! are hidden behind alcohol (13 ABV) & roasted malts.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 15:08:52 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of siradmiralnelson


4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Globe glass.

A. Pours a full finger of dark tan head. Good lacing. Good retention. Color is jet black.

S. Molasses, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt, some dark chocolate, a bit of coffee. Really big ol RIS smell. Smells a bit hot, but not overpowering. Lets you know your about to drink something good.

T. Yum. Molasses, coffee, roasted malt, some oakiness on the finish. Big stout flavors. Doesn't drink as hot as it smells. Nice balance between sweet and bitter.

M. Full bodied. Medium/low carbonation.

O. Black Albert delivered. Smells a bit hot, but really nice stout aromas. Drinks pretty damn smooth and balanced for 13%. More sweet than bitter which is my personal preference. To be honest there isnt much that I can find wrong with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2012 23:37:31 | More by siradmiralnelson
Photo of tsauce2


4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P: 11.2 fl oz bottle poured in to a 3Floyds Teku

A: SRM is dark brown/black. Almost opaque. Head is light tan, 1/2 in, dissipates to line outsides of glass. Light carbonation. Medium lacing.

S: Dark roasted malt, slightly hoppy, coffee, carmel/toffee.

T: Fresh this is very balanced with nice dark roastiness and coffee but also mild hops. Aftertaste is mostly dark roast malt and coffee, with a touch of hop.

M: Medium body. Ingredients linger on the palate in a balance that mirrors the taste. Dry finish.

O: World class. Nice having this fresh as I have only had it with age on it. $10/bottle is a bit stiff, but I bought it anyway. Wish this was an every day beer for me...

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2013 02:06:12 | More by tsauce2
Photo of KYGunner


4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It said dark brown in the managers note but it seemed all black in body. The edges gave a brownish hue and the head was stout, thick and just a little brown.

The scent is absolutely tremendous! I catch strong vanilla tones, whipped cream, chocolate in abundance, caramel, praline an even a little coffee.

The taste runs just as spectacular as the vanilla rushes through. Whipped cream, praline, caramel malt, coconut, light chocolate and touches of coffee make me wonder how this is not barrel aged. True taste complexity comes out in a smooth slightly viscous package. 13 percent ABV? Absolutely lost in a creamy, tasty, wonderful beer!

Serving type: on-tap

08-12-2013 01:38:51 | More by KYGunner
Photo of briang01


4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

06-17-2014 01:52:35 | More by briang01
Photo of bishopdc0


4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

01-15-2013 17:44:05 | More by bishopdc0
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,467 ratings.