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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

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1,591 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,591
Reviews: 823
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 319
Gots: 378 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewandbbq on 08-23-2007

Originally brewed exclusively for Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, ME.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,591 | Reviews: 823 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tetu
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
2.88/5  rDev -32.2%
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.

Photo of kbeals
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to masterchiefMD for this one!

A- Pours jet black with two fingers of dark brown head. Head retention on this beer was excellent along with the lacing.

S- Smells of dark fruits and chocolates. A bit of a medicinal smell also, perhaps from the alcohol.

T- I wasn't real impressed by this one. It tastes as though someone mixed a tripel with an RIS. Hints of dark fruits and a bit of chocolate and roasted flavors come through. The flavors just seem to clash too much in this one.

M- Lots of carbonation, seems to be a bit much for an RIS. Pretty smooth however.

D- Surprisingly drinkable for 13% ABV. I had no idea it was this high until I just looked at it online.

Overall, a decent brew. Definitely not my favorite RIS but it was interesting. Thanks again Chris!

Photo of mikecharley
3.25/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of eberkman
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours an evil looking oozy, oily, dank black that shows some reddish highlights when held up closely to a bright light. Enormous, billowy golden brown head displaying the tint and terrain of a toasted marshmallow just before it starts to blacken. Head diminishes slowly, leaving a thick slick of lacing alongside the edge of the glass. Looks exactly as I hoped it would. The nose has some mocha tints but is dominated by cocoa, butterscotch, cherries and alcohol. Pretty typical for a big stout and very appetizing. Complexity abounds on the palate. There's a burnt wood sort of tone at the intake, which gives way to a luscious fruity middle, and back to a French-roast coffee sort of burnt bitterness at the end that lingers. A toffeelike undertone persists throughout the cycle. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light, airy and silky for a dark ale of its appearance. I expected something a lot thicker, but I actually prefer what I got. Very smooth and satiny. Nice. And since you can't really detect the alcohol in the taste (and no telltale warming down the gullet), it's dangerously drinkable for such a huge beer. Seriously, I've never had such a strong beer taste so mellow. But stick to one on principle. Besides, there's so much complexity, it's one to savor, not to session.

Thanks to Gary at Vinnin Liquors in Swampy for making sure we got hold of a few of these.

Photo of CJS
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A Nice lacey head. A film of a coating on the glass.

S Chocolate up front. Very sweet dark fruity. A rich dark plum mostly like certain red wines. A very distinct scent...almost a hint of apple brandy.

T Rather smoother than I thought judging by the abv. Nice bittered chocolate pronounces. Sweet candied carmalized sugar taste with chocolate and a slight slight booze finish.

M Very drinkable.

O Nice big hoppy stout in a little bitty bottle.

Photo of TheJollyHop
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Style: Deep, dark, opaque black body with two fingers of milk chocolate colored frothy head that later compacts to a solid finger.

Cinnamon, cocoa powder, burnt chocolate, toasted bread, and plums.

Creamy, toasted grain front with a cherry and dried fruit middle that finishes dark chocolate with a hint of vanilla and caramel. Alcohol heat throughout the taste; reminiscent of a chocolate liqueur. Roasted malt, chocolate malt, and hops imparting coffee like astringency on the finish.

Opinion: Aroma is not unique or impressive. Appearance is very nice as the head has great retention. A ridiculous amount of yeast sediment remains; foolishly I poured a good amount in my glass unknowingly. The taste is magnificent given the balance. Robust but tasteful alcohol presentation. Roasted malt astringency and bitterness that lingers semi-long without any harshness.

This is surprisingly drinkable for its ABV. A creamy medium body with a medium to high carbonation is pleasant but not outstanding. Nevertheless, one would be hard pressed to find a more drinkable "big beer."

Photo of JulianB
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of DoktorZee
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a chalice; enjoyed at the Sugarbowl in Edmonton.

A - deep, deep black and thick; not a single bit of light passes through this ichor! One finger tan head with thin streaky lacing.

S - smoke, caramel, and Islay scotch! Heavenly.

T - interesting complex with only the slightest hint of bitterness that's quickly offset with bittersweet dark fruit, licorice and smoke. Very solid and enduring.

M - smooth and velvety; lightly carbonated and with some substantial alcohol warming.

D - definitely a sipper, but still approachable. Exceptionally complex and full of surprises.

Really delicious beer; absolutely lives up to its reputation. Must try for any beer fan.

Photo of IKR
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 0

A: Black with huge brown head. Nothing I can think of to add or change as far as appearance.

S: Raisin y fruity aroma hits my nose first and most prominent. I pick up some roasty notes as an afterthought.

T: Dark fruit taste and roasty notes come through in the taste. I pick up some alcohol but it's not obtrusive. The roasty notes figure most prominently in the aftertaste. I pick up a slight hint of hops.

M: Medium body with a high level of carbonation.

D: Nice flavors, high carbonation and subdued alcohol notes, especially in light that it's 13%. In the 33 cl size I sampled multiple bottles would not be a problem.

The hassle and anxiety of hoping my order makes it from the Struise online website was worth it for me. I'll have to save up and do a larger Order next time to really make it worthwhile.

Photo of SacoDeToro
3.68/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at Annual Woodshop tasting. Special thanks to Ebenezer's for supplying the 3L bottle.

The beer poured a deep jet black with a minimal off-white head.

The aroma was of black roasted malts and dark dried fruits. Some notes of tobacco. Also in the aroma were some faint hints of acetylaldehyde - not good. For a 13% beer, the alcohol didn't really pop out in the nose.

The flavor of the beer had an intense roasted malt flavor with notes of bittersweet chocolate and some malty sweetness. The hop profile was neutral, but assertive. The flavor of the beer went somewhat flat in the finish - not terribly dynamic. It just didn't seem as complex as the others we sampled that night such as KtG and DL.

The carbonation was dialed in well and the mouthfeel was somewhat creamy although the beer finished reasonably dry for the style, which aided its drinkability.

Overall a bit disappointing. It just lacked the complexity that I personally needed for it to have been great.

Photo of Xul
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours nearly pitch black with some ruby highlights around the edge when held up to the light, capped by a frothy, one finger light mocha colored head. Retention is good, especially for the style/ABV, and it leaves moderate lacing down the glass.

S: No one component stands out, the nose is very well integrated. Dark chocolate, vanilla, hazelnut, dark cherries, figs, molasses, caramel, and some faint berries all combine to form an interesting, albeity slightly subdued, aroma.

T: Starts out with dark, roasted malts and some coffee notes, followed by a big dose of dark chocolate, vanilla, and caramel. Dark fruits come in just after that - cherries are predominant here along with figs and a bit of strawberry - before going into a long, chocolatey and roasty finish.

M: Very smooth and creamy, just shy of full bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Could be a little bit thicker.

D: I'm not getting any of the alcohol and this is going down ridiculously easily...excellent beer.

Photo of mondegreen
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From bottle at Trappeze Pub in Athens, GA.

Part of my 30th Birthday Celebration thanks to longtime friend and newbie BA graphx3d

A: Nearly black pour with a huge brown head. A gorgeous stout.

S: Big RIS smell with very prominent Belgian notes. Roasted barley, coffee, chocolate & hints of dark fruit.

T: Extremely smooth. No alcohol taste at all, which is very impressive given the high ABV. The dark fruits come forward more in the mouth, but the RIS flavors still win out. Complex yet very approachable.

M: Nice and thick. Almost like whipped cream.

D: I shared this bottle with a friend, but I have no doubts that I could polish off a few of these, which could be quite dangerous at 13%.

Photo of TTTBeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of smccann
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of brians52
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of eerbayman
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of ptykozoon
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

*batch 14* Pours a mysterious dark color, maybe black, or is it deep brown, do I see dark purple? In any event when a beer is this color it's bound to be good. A small head rises that is the typical caramel color. Retention & lacing are decent.

I smell booze, apples, dark fruits, and a touch of chocolate.

Interesting flavor, it tastes very much belgian with flavors that are complex and not as easy to spot as say - chocolate or bourbon. There are floral hints in this brew, malty dessert flavors and a finely tuned bitterness; almost a dryness. All in all not bad but not too tasty either, it leaves something to be desired. I think they could have cut out some of the alcohol and it would have been much more inviting and better balanced.

Mouthfeel is thick thick thick and slightly abrasive. This Russian is a man's drink; powerful sums it up best. It's hard on the throat but I still can't believe its 13 bloody percent alcohol.

Drinkability is a horrible factor to rate but I doubt I would, or could drink another.

Photo of Finatic
4.77/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle served slightly chilled into a a CBS snifter.

A: Pours a dark mocha hue with a reddish tan head that sticks to the glass.

S: Heavy aromas of chocolate, coffee, and fruit. The alcohol is well hidden to the nose for a 13% stout.

T: Has a real nice blend of flavors in this one. Dark chocolate gives way to coffee which gives way to a sweet cherry, fig flavor.

M: Full bodied stout with a bitter finish that really suits the beer. As the beer warms the hops bitterness really compliments this brew perfectly.

O: One of my favorite tasting stouts. I will be searching this one out in the future.

Photo of CADMixes
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of BartMcStout
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of hopazoid
4.88/5  rDev +14.8%

Photo of macher0
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%

Pours very dark, silky, with moderate viscosity. The nose is big on grape/berry and dark malts and char. The taste is dark malts and tart berries. Not sweet but not a sour either. Very natural and well balanced. An extremely well crafted. .

Photo of gameface23
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ebenezer's, poured into a tulip glass with a bulbous bottom. Pours black with a caramel head.

The smell is very sweet. Chocolate and slight coffee. Certain spices and dark fruits.

The taste was similar to the smell, with a thick and creamy mouthfeel.

I actually had no idea that this was 13% alcohol until I looked it up to review it. The alcohol is VERY well hidden. Drinkability was great.

Photo of simoen
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 1,591 ratings.