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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

1,560 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,560
Reviews: 818
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 316
Gots: 371 | FT: 23
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: 1,560 | Reviews: 818 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of oberon
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Great to get my paws on this one,poured as black as an oil slick,I mean no light getting thru this,a 1/2 finger light moch head atop leaving shotty lace.Aromas of dark fruit and espresso roast coffee,a tinge of hardwood shows thru as well.Lush mouthfeel,full and velvity,to me its perfect hence the rating.Complex flavors with a mix of heavy roast and dark fruit sweetness,some molasses-like flavors add to the sweetness,a big drying somewhat earthy finish is a great to end this brew.Its a sipping brew and can get a little sticky after a bit but this a gem of a beer.

oberon, Jan 13, 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 emerge077
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black body with khaki foam. A deep chestnut brown on the pour, with dense foam and spotty bits of lace. Thin cap of foam settles to a small head.

Aroma of chocolate covered cherry, cocoa, dried black cherry, and plum. Some chocolate syrup character too.

Rich chocolate flavor, cocoa powder and earthy bittersweet chocolate. Light char and dried cherry, earthy dry root or tobacco leaf in the aftertaste. Mild bitterness, but no hop character.

Full bodied, lactic/milky mouthfeel. Not as heavy or alcoholic as you might expect for 13%. Fairly light feeling for the style. One bottle would be plenty.

Thanks to Jay23 for sharing the spoils of his trade with Hoppymeal...

emerge077, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of TMoney2591
3.63/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Been lookin' forward to this guy for some time now. It pours a deeply opaque bit o' black soup topped by a half-finger of dark tan foam. Once this has faded, a nice halo lingers at the surface. The nose comprises raisins, figs, molasses, chocolate syrup, sugar cane, and chocolate-covered strawberries. Pretty nice so far. The taste holds a stark combination of bitterness and fruitiness up front and dark sugar, coffee, and bitter chocolate in back. I've gotta say, the whole taste experience here did not go well. The bitterness and fruit up front knocked what could have been a very dark and tasty stout down a peg. It seems as though a stout was blended with a BSDA, resulting in a genetically inferior bastard child. It wasn't entirely objectionable, but not great, either. The body is a heavy medium, with an active carbonation and a surprisingly dry finish. Overall, the odd flavor combination and bubbly nature hold down what could have been something special. A bit of a let-down here.

TMoney2591, Jun 23, 2010
Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev 0%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
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.

biboergosum, Mar 15, 2009
Photo of zeff80
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

zeff80, Oct 13, 2014
Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Jason, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of nickfl
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

nickfl, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

TheManiacalOne, Apr 14, 2011
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
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.

RblWthACoz, Apr 27, 2009
Photo of Slatetank
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Slatetank, Nov 01, 2010
Photo of jlindros
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
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.

jlindros, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
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

russpowell, Nov 12, 2008
Photo of MasterSki
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

MasterSki, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -5.9%

XmnwildX12, Feb 06, 2014
Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

oline73, Nov 18, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

drabmuh, May 15, 2010
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

feloniousmonk, Jan 03, 2009
Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

mendvicdog, Sep 18, 2012
Photo of Rifugium
3.9/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

Rifugium, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

MarkyMOD, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of beernads
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

beernads, May 24, 2013
Photo of mdfb79
4.25/5  rDev 0%
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.

mdfb79, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of WesWes
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

WesWes, Dec 17, 2009
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 1,560 ratings.