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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

1,459 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,459
Reviews: 806
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 317
Gots: 359 | FT: 18
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: 1,459 | Reviews: 806 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

11-14-2011 16:57:01 | More by JAHMUR
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 biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very, very dark opaque brown, with chunks of sediment suspended throughout. The head is a light tan colour, and substantial, leaving a thick wallpaper of lace as it slowly recedes. It smells of fermenting black fruit - prunes, cherries, raisins - molasses, and alcohol warming. The taste is bitter, even sour at first, burnt malt, giving off essences of coffee, chocolate, and port wine. No hops are really evident, the sourness kind of masks that part of my tongue. The carbonation is quite mild, and the sour fruit mellows significantly as it warms, and the finish is actually quite clean, a little boozy malt lingering. The alcohol is very well managed, no direct heat, just that nice stewed fruitiness effect. This goes very well with some dark chocolate, but given the wine-like strength, one is good.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2009 02:04:32 | More by biboergosum
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
westcoastbeerlvr

California

4/5  rDev -5.7%

11-15-2011 00:27:49 | More by westcoastbeerlvr
Photo of TheManiacalOne
TheManiacalOne

Rhode Island

4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BA No. 14 with a best before date of April 2013, acquired via trade from brdc, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark black color with a short beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, chocolate, brown sugar, Belgian yeast, dark roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with flavors of brown sugar, dark fruit and chocolate. There is a hearty roasted malt character and a strong Belgian yeast backbone. The hops presence is very mild as it should be in this type of beer. The balance is decent considering the added sweetness. The alcohol sting is also mild for a 13.00% ABV beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very strong kick, good variation of style, this is a nice beer to sip on for a long time if you’re in the mood for a high-octane Belgian stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2011 03:58:58 | More by TheManiacalOne
Photo of nickfl
nickfl

Florida

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
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RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oh yes indeed. Got some interesting news tonight and will begin my celebration with this fine brew. Let's see how this works.

Pours black with a thick brown head that doesn't go anywhere. Thick molasses nose. I mean distinct as all get out. Flavor is intense malty molasses with slight coffee tones as well. Robust and hearty. Nice thick flavor that gets even better as it warms. Feel is thick on liquid and carbonation is lower. Very easy to drink, even though it is quite hearty. Could go for way more than 11.2 ounces of this.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2009 04:26:31 | More by RblWthACoz
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MasterSki

Illinois

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
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Jason

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev -5.7%

01-18-2013 19:37:27 | More by Jason
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feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to Daniel, for the bottle I am about to open.

Onyx cast, full on ebony, with a thick, creamy tanned head holding fort above. Excellent look for an Imperial Stout....oh, I'msorry, "Belgian Royal Stout."(So why don't stateside brewers make further leaps of logic and call their thick, viscous works 'American Republic Stouts?' Silly question...)

Aroma is rich and decandent, plump with dark rum, molasses, dark chocolate, carob, soy sauce, pitch, anise, and who knows what all...lovely stuff...

Drink it: all that above melted into one, with no one major flavor on top, except ...cola. Much milder than the nose promised, not as forceful in flavor,but still rich and dominant. Sweetness comes out on top, a little too much, I think, soy sauce taste conquers all. A little wine-like.Belgian yeast and malt is evident, if I hadn't known, I woulda guessed.

Warm,this. Tasty, too, but not the greatest beer on Earth, nor that special of an Imperial, oh, I'm so sorry, Belgian Royal ...nice enough, but I can't see what's so special about it.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 08:55:19 | More by feloniousmonk
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drabmuh

Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a wine glass. Beer is brown to black and forms a thin broken off white head that gravitates toward the walls of the glass but does not leave any lacing on the sides. Carbonation is a mystery.

Aroma is nice, subtle and sweet. Some estery notes in there. Really nice and subdued.

I'm not sure what I expected, beer is smooth, finishes clean. Not too dry not too sweet. Nicely balanced and easy drinking. Some carbonation in the mouth, not roasty at all. Like a smooth quad of sorts. I'm really enjoying this beer. Very very smooth. For 13% you don't notice at all. Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2010 03:55:30 | More by drabmuh
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russpowell

Oklahoma

4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this one from Jw347, cheers Jonathan!

Pours mahogany/black with 2+ fingers of brown /mocha head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Oakyness, dark fruit & port, plus minty hops once warm

T: Madeira, figs, leafy hops & leafy hops, plus a kiss of booze up front. Raisins, plums, much dryness & dark chocolate as this warms, plus more leafy hops. Finishes dry with much chocolate, more dark fruit, leafy hops & a bit of booze, almost pulled a 5.0

MF: Pretty smooth, medium bodied, sticky, just not quite rich enough to pull a 5.0

Wow, the ABV is well masked, dangerously drinkable. Pretty good, barely cracks my top 10 for the style, but it would be nice to have this as a regular in the cellar. Great RIS, not the best but damn close

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2008 05:03:57 | More by russpowell
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Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks so much to Stakem for bringing a bottle from batch '0' to our Epic Stout tasting. I had a current version for sampling horizontally.

An almost black color with slight brown edges and cap of light medium brown with spots of lace collecting. The smell has a lot of fruitiness be it blackberry or plum or just vinous notes in general, with a mild sweetness of malt and lot of alcohol in the nose. The smell of dark cocoa and light currant seems to sum it up. The feel is vinous and light tangy with a slight sweetness and warmth in the middle. The mild roastiness is in there with a mild carbonation and semidry finish with lots of candy sugar influence.

The taste has notes of berry, toast and slight sugar with a hint of vanilla and toffee, mild cocoa elements and slight sweet currant and bitter coffee with a mild candy sugar accent and alcohol tinge. The beer is a good drink, a 'Royal Stout' that is best in small quantities which is why the 11.2oz bottle size is perfect, I don't think it is great because the alcohol could be more hidden, but it certainly is enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2010 14:22:49 | More by Slatetank
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WesWes

New York

4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that lasts. The aroma is awesome. It has a powerful black malt bitterness as well as a complex aroma of roasted and chocolate malts. It's warm with a Belgian yeast character. I suppose that there are a shitload of hop present also, considering it's rated at 100 IBU's. The black malts and alcohol warmth go a long way in hiding it well. The taste is sublime! It's incredibly smooth with a fantastic malt character; warm and toasty. The black and chocolate malts work in harmony to create a true masterpiece. The hops are more obvious in the taste. It's quite a bitter brew which only adds to it's complexity. Lastly is the yeast character. What a tremendous finish. Warmth, malts, hops, and a killer yeast character to boot. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. I love the concept here; a Belgianized Russian imperial stout. This one is in a class all it's own.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2009 00:29:17 | More by WesWes
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jlindros

Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been saving this for a while for a nice stormy night. This one thanks to roopy40 and kkipple. Batch #14, best before April 2013.

Pours with a rich creamy and dark 1.5 finger head in the tulip/snifter glass. It fades at a medium pace with nice lacing, a Belgian messy style lacing. The beer is darker than the devil's asshole and pretty thick looking.

The nose brings pure darkness through. Lots of dark malts, roasted barley with a little coffee, some chocolate malts, a slight cocoa nib like aroma, some fluffy sweet nougat and almost chocolate marshmellow like aroma, a little caramel and vanilla, and hints of dark fruits like fig. It has a slight boozy aroma, but nothing for what I expected at 13%.

Taste comes fluffy and rich at first, more of the nougat and chocolate marshmellow like taste, with a little oatmeal and creamy feel. Plenty more roasted barley and chocolate malt. A little cocoa nib still, and some slight creamy chocolate milk. Plenty of caramel and vanilla. It's very deep, dark, and rich, but not overwhelming with burnt flavors or minerality. A slight Belgian like fruit flavor with more hints of fig and just a touch of raisin. Somewhat sweet, but not very, and a little boozy taste and warmth but nothing for what I expected for 13%. Some bitterness, but not a lot, mostly from the roasted malts, but I think a touch of chewy and earthy hops. It finishes with a little sticky feel but not very much, pretty dry, with a lingering bitter taste, and lots of lingering malts, vanilla and caramel, as well as chocolate.

The mouth is very rich, creamy, pretty thick, and a little bit of velvety texture, with decent carbonation.

It has a surprisingly good and extremely dangerous drinkability. It comes on with some sticky feel, and pretty thick, but it's pretty smooth, a nice dry finish, and drinks remarkably well for 13%, as it seems more like an 8%er.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2010 02:08:20 | More by jlindros
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Mora2000

Texas

4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My brother picked this one up for me at Phillipe's in Lafayette. Great find.

Pours dark brown to black with a dark tan head. The head stays around throughout the entire drinking process. Aroma is strong on the dark fruits along with some coffee and chocolate as the beer warms. Very complex. The flavor is heavy on the roasted malt, almost burnt in flavor. You also get some more dark fruit and coffee and the beer finishes with some alcohol and sweetness. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 18:34:03 | More by Mora2000
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Rifugium

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Teresa's, Paoli, PA

They didn't have it in stock when we visited Ebenezer's, but I finally broke down and purchased the bottle from Teresa's fridge. Split between myself and the wife, I poured my half into an Ebenezer's snifter, and her half into a Pinocchio's tulip glass. The beer poured out a thick, oily black, with a pinky finger of chocolatey brown head that receded to a mere ringlet, leaving a few trails of lacing behind. Smell was booze-heavy, with notes of cocoa and dark fruits. Taste improved as the temperature rose, with a blend of dark roasted malts, molasses, rum-soaked dark fruits, charcoal, and hints of dark chocolate. Pretty complex, but still a bit more thin than I'd expect overall, so I felt the full range of flavors didn't completely come out like it should have. Medium body, and pretty drinkable, but not as good as say, a DFH World Wide Stout...not that many things are.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2011 02:15:49 | More by Rifugium
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SocalKicks

California

4/5  rDev -5.7%

07-25-2013 02:12:40 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a tulip. Batch #14.

a - Pours a dark black color with one finger of brown head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of dark fruits, primarily grapes and cherries. Also hints of chocolate, roasted malts, and vanilla.

t - Tastes of chocolate, dark fruits, and alcohol.

m - Full body and low carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink for 13% ABV.

d - I thought this was a great RIS. I thought it had a great dark fruits smell and the alcohol was very well hidden for 13% ABV. Would love to try it again.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2010 01:59:43 | More by mdfb79
Photo of oline73
oline73

Maryland

4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 0 poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours black as midnight with a hint of tan head that goes away almost immediately.

Smell: Quite sweet and slightly roasty. There is some dark chocolate, overly ripe dark fruit, and perhaps a hint of soy sauce here. May be picking up what reminds me of port as well.

Taste: Amazingly smooth and complex. I'm picking up some roast and dark fruit. The soy sauce from the smell doesn't really show up. There is a roasty bitterness in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel: Thick with hardly any carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a very good beer. Quite complex. I would have another, but I don't know how often I'll search it out due to the price and the number of great stouts that are out there.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2011 05:29:39 | More by oline73
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Canadian Import Label, Best By Date April 2013; Sampled October 2008
A solid pour easily produces a four finger thick, creamy consistency, nicely browned, dark tan colored head in my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass. Lots of lacing sticks to the sides of my glass as the head, fairly uniformly, slowly recedes. The beer is a dark, opaque, deeply concentrated brown, really near black color that is opaque when held up directly to the light, but showed a clear, dark chocolate brown color as I was pouring it. The aroma has an up front fruitiness to it that smells of prunes and fig. A deeper inspection shows the same fruit, but with the alcohol produces notes of brandy and rum. Towards the middle / end notes of cocoa, lightly roasted nuts and toasted whole grain notes. As my nose gets used to it a faint, funky, musty notes starts to become noticeable; light notes of ripe cheese, decaying wood and a touch of dried, musky sweat contribute, what seems to be recurring, a signature Struis character. The alcohol can be a bit too prominent in the nose at times, making this a bit hot, but it is just about complex enough that I don't really care. I wasn't really expecting much roast character here, and at first I didn't notice a whole lot, but now that I have dug around a bit there is definitely a sharp, a bit acrid, at times substantially toasted, roast / burnt grain note towards the finish.

Soft and creamy at first, then some prickly carbonation sets in and the beer gets a sharpness from the roast malt that also tends to add some thinning effect; never enough to keep this beer from being chewy and a definite sipping brew though. Substantial chocolate notes up front are tempered by darkly roasted, coffee-like notes towards the finish that add both a roast bitterness and some burnt acidity to the finish. This hides its alcohol fairly well in the flavor with just a touch of warming as it runs down my throat. A substantial, rich, concentrated fruit character becomes much more noticeable as my palate gets used to the dark grain notes; flavors of tart / sweet prunes, moist dried figs and some definite brandy-like fruit / alcohol notes. As the beer warms up it picks up more sweetness, which helps to balance the roast malt and alcohol notes a bit more. At times, in the finish, there is a substantial, toasty nutty note that reminds me of chestnuts and perhaps a touch of roasted pepita (pumpkin nut). Towards the end of my glass it starts to pick up a bit of chalky dark malt character.

Definitely a good beer, it is lacking the finesse that I was hoping for though. The complexity is there in the nose, but, while tasty, it doesn't seem to fully follow through in the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 02:36:25 | More by Gueuzedude
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jwc215

Wisconsin

4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to bitterbill for this one!

Pours black with a than head that descends to a thin, lasting cover. Very nice head retention for the style. Some trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of plums/dark fruits, sour and tart notes with some smokiness.

The taste is of plums/dates - sweet, tart, sourish notes in the back. As it progresses, licorice/anise, some acidity and a hint of chocolate come through, adding to the already big complexity. A touch of woody smokiness adds to the mix in the finish. Very complex and well-balanced.

Full-bodied and creamy, the alcohol is reasonably well-covered, making the drinkability very high for the abv level.

This is an impressive brew that combines a traditional RIS with a Belgian touch/influence. Very interesting. Very enjoyable.

Thanks again for this gem, Bill!

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2008 16:50:47 | More by jwc215
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Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Ebenezer's on Chris' Birthday.

Without question one of the top beers I've ever had.

Drawn with a two finger head, the appearence was black as night.

Smell was dark chocolate, green piney hops, sweet roasted malt and expresso.

Taste was otherworldly. A perfect balance of fresh, green hops and roasted malt. Notes of toffee, chocolate, malted milk balls and vanilla.

Mouthfeel was exceptional. Plenty of viscosity but the 13 percent alcohol remained at bay.

I could easily drink two or three of these in a sitting.

A very unique beer that, to me, comes across as a blend of a fresh hop IPA and an Imperial Stout.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2007 03:20:19 | More by Rochefort10nh
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Halcyondays

California

3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

From an 11.2 oz. bottle courtesy of gregoryG,

A: Pours black with a full brown head, lots of lace.

S: Dark fruit oriented, heavy raisin and plum with chocolate.

T: This is quite an interesting take on the Imperial Stout style. This is Belgian for sure. The dark fruit is huge - this is a raisin/fig/prune bomb, residual sugar is very high, with a considerable acidity. Dark chocolate secondarily.

M: Moderate acidity, smooth, but thins out a bit on the back end.

D: This beer is a legend as a it briefly took the No. 1 spot on the BA 100 a while back, but currently is on the outside looking in. This is a very different Imperial Stout, the Belgian influence is clear. Think of an RIS mixed with a Quad 50/50. An intriguing beer, I wish this was available here so I could buy a bottle to go over all by myself.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2010 04:41:35 | More by Halcyondays
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BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

33cl Bottle: BBD Sep 15, poured into a Westmalle chalice at home on 3rd Dec 13.

Scummy head of tanned sparsely spaced bubbles: a collar surrounded the glass. The body was surprise, surprise: black. Luckily the smell, taste and mouthfeel make up for the poor looks.

Chocolate notes in the aroma, some semi-sweetened coffee hints also. The taste follows the smells nicely, chocolate and coffee leading the flavours, just like the aroma.

Smooth and rich body: this is a well made Stout, Imperial or otherwise.

Nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2013 21:33:35 | More by BlackHaddock
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,459 ratings.