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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

1,467 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(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
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: 1,467 | Reviews: 808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wasatch
Wasatch

Utah

4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks goes out to warriorsoul for this brew.

Reviewed: 15 Dec 2010

Batch: 0
Lot: D
Best Before: Sep 2015

Been about 2.5 years since I last had this brew. This bottle looks totally different than the other bottles I had.

Poured into a chalice a nice black color, nice carbonation, very nice thick/creamy two-finger tan head, which leaves a HUGE oil slick in the middle of the glass, also has some nice sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with lots of chocolate/toffee notes, slight licorice, caramel. The taste is very nice, malty, slightly sweet, lots of dark stuff, licorice, vanilla. Full body, again the ABV is hidden very well. Very Drinkable, really enjoying this brew, Thanks Tom.

Thanks goes out to deepsouth and Bitterbill for this brew.

Poured into a tulip a very nice dark black color, very nice carbonation, a very nice two-finger creamy tannish head, which leaves some very nice thick sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, slightly sour, with some toffee/chocolate/caramel. The taste is malty, slightly sweet/sour, nice touch of dark chocolate. Full-Medium body, the alcohol is hidden very well with a brew this high in ABV. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, a nice little twist on the other RISs, but very nice for what it is. Highly recommended. Thanks Jason and Bill.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2008 22:48:40 | More by Wasatch
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into darkness snifter.

Pours 2 fingers of mocha tan head. Fades to a thin layer only leaving some thin splattered lace. Color is a oil black.

Aroma: Tons of rich milk chocolate, very sweet. A lot of dark dried fruit dominate the nose. It is very complex and everything blends well together. Earthy hops balance it out. Molasses at the end.

Taste: Very syrupy. It is very thick. Some roasted malts. A lot of dark milk chocolate. Earthy hops balance this monster out a lot. A very small amount of heat. This thing is filling.

Mouthfeel: A little bitter, but namely smooth and creamy. Incredibly huge body with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends with a very dry sweet malty taste.

Overall, this is a really good beer, but it is just so massive and dry. It is filling me up rather quickly. A big time sipper. Very good, but not something I would normally like to drop over $10 on a small bottle. Worth a try though.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2009 03:43:27 | More by mothman
Photo of ppoitras
ppoitras

Massachusetts

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

11.2oz bottle obtained in trade with Grbdg. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into a Chimay chalice, formed a 1" dark brown head over the opaque dark brown/black brew. Pillowy head is going nowhere fast, with a thick coating of froth lacing throughout. Aroma is dark malt, anise, and alcohol. Taste is unexpectedly restrained. Dark malt sweetness upfront, light lactic tartness in the middle, creamy roasted close with alcohol wamrth lingering. Mouthfeel is velvety smooth, and drinkability is way too easy for 13%abv. Possibly even worth the hype, if anything can be worth this beer's hype.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2009 01:49:18 | More by ppoitras
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a glass alongside another bottle of black albert, cuvee delphine and black damnation.

Albert pours out a brownish black color out the bottle, settling into a black sea once all is said and done. A nice build of mocha colored foam on top with not much lacing. This is not the thickest looking stout i've seen, but thick enough.

Smells don't really explode out alot but with some significant warming the stout in albert comes out. Roasted malt is at the top with chocolate and minimal coffee. A big fruity plum and others with a nice vanilla creaminess. A small hop build ala light storm king in the fresh bottle of albert.

The fruit component comes into play in taste a bit more than I was expecting. I heard that some albert's have some quad tastes and I concur, sort of like a split in between the two styles. Plums are between alot of malt with chocolate and a somewhat spicy belgian yeast in the end.

Not the thickest stout out there but I won't dock points for that. I will however give mad points and props to De Struise for masking that damn 13%, it really is nowhere to be found. Not hot and no alcohol detected, amazing! The body is a above medium build with light but noticable carb pop.

I cant drink a ton of this stuff and Im not quite sure it's worth the price of admission but it's a well crafted stout that strays a bit from the 'sameness' of most rizzes out there. The belgian yeast and slight quad aspects will throw you for a loop.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 15:20:18 | More by BARFLYB
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ejimhof

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -5.7%

11-23-2012 13:30:18 | More by ejimhof
Photo of BillRoth
BillRoth

Maryland

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

07-11-2013 03:15:13 | More by BillRoth
Photo of biegaman
biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

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

Black graphite that even against the afternoon backdrop won't afford the slightest highlight. Opaqueness is obviously of utmost concern for this dark, shadowed character. Little, tightly packed bubbles posses a movement like molecular cells splitting and dividing within a culture. Despite their tiny form they've amassed into an enormous sized colony. The pale brown froth looks only a natural fit for the obsidian-like mass beneath it.

Both Russian Imperial Stout type beers and antiquated Belgian yeast strains offer complexity - scientifically we're speaking of enzymatic machinery that produces literally hundreds of identified long-chained alcohols, compounds and esters - so it's no wonder a combination of the two would be so intricate. It's a potent mosaic of entwined spices and fruits with a heavy involvement of roast and caramelized malts.

This knotted multiplex of flavours continues in the taste where notes of heavily sweetened coffee, blackstrap molasses, charred oak barrel and unrefined cocoa powder start to arise. Notes of black currants and red-wine grapes are minimal but present nonetheless. As are flavours of black licorice, toasted grains, anise, nutmeg and cinnamon spices and the impending caramel centered dark chocolate.

The brewer seems to have matched the increase in alcohol with a proportional increase in silkiness. Each sip is like a finely conched chocolate of ultimate smoothness. The stated 100 IBU's are curiously absent (as is the claimed 13% alcohol) although there is a small similarity to coffee, specifically a freshly brewed authentic Italian espresso. That said, a cultured yeast appropriates the beer to an elegant, refined style typical of Belgian ales.

De Struise classify this as a "Belgian Royal Stout"; a style they've opted to take credit for patenting that is adopted, no doubt, from the Russian Imperial Stout. The idea is, I believe, to combine the bold, rich decadence of an RIS with the complexity of traditional Belgian ales. To my knowledge, stouts are relatively new in the extensive cannon of Belgian beers but I've already enjoyed similar examples (see: De Regenboog Catherine the Great).

Black Albert, however, undeniably takes the cake. When you're drinking a beer this powerful and unique (not to mention rare and expensive) it should offer you a strong sense that the experience you're having is distinctive rather than mundane. Certainly, the fine people at De Struise accord us just that. Find a special occasion - birthday, holiday, the unfolding of a paper clip, whatever - and treat yourself like royalty. Thanks MasterSki!

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 17:58:00 | More by biegaman
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 14

A: Black, but not quite opaque. Great head, with some nice lacing.

S: Phenomenal aroma. Wow! There is an incredible wild yeast sourness in the nose. Every time I smell the beer, searching for additional scents, I become completely distracted by the incredible sour aroma.

T: Unique for sure. This beer smells better than it tastes. I don't get a lot of stout characteristics (I know this batch is more quad-like). The 13% ABV is disguised extremely well. The beer lacks the complexity I expected from the intriguing scents. The sourness is more present in the aroma, but still very evident in the taste. Again, unique, enjoyable, and impossible to categorize.

M: Dare I say a little thin?

D: A truly unique beer that I will always look forward to.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2010 02:48:43 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of John_M
John_M

Oregon

4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Ebenezer's the other day.

The beer pours the expected rich, dark black color with very impressive head retention and lacing. Unlike the bottled version, I get a considerable aroma of chocolate, cherry and coffee. On tap this beer smells pretty nice. On the palate this beer is flat out deliciuos, and really doesnt' taste all that much different from the bottled version. While there is a goodly amount of rich chocolate and some coffee aroma, I also get quite a bit of cherry and plum flavor. The intermix of flavors is just lovely, and I really am impressed by how light, soft and creamy on the palate this beer is. Given the 13% abv, drinkability truly is amazing. While you can tell the alcohol is up there, there is nothing hot, heavy or tiring about this beer, though perhaps it wasn't the best idea to order a second glass (but how often does one get to have this beer on tap at Ebenezer's).

The more I get to have this beer, the more impressed I've become. This is delicious stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2009 13:04:37 | More by John_M
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with TopsecretWaffle. 330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 1/2013. Pours dense and murky pitch black color with a 2 finger dense dark brown head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, light char, toast, raisin, prune, dark bread, molasses, herbal, light pepper, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, char, toast, dark bread, raisin, prune, molasses, herbal, light pepper, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, light char, toast, dark bread, molasses, raisin, prune, herbal, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of big dark/roasted malt and moderate yeast ester flavors; with big flavor robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian imperial stout. All around great complexity and balance of big dark/roasted malt and moderate yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 21:53:34 | More by superspak
Photo of drewone
drewone

California

4/5  rDev -5.7%

04-13-2013 18:57:40 | More by drewone
Photo of brandoman63
brandoman63

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

11-30-2011 18:46:31 | More by brandoman63
Photo of rab53
rab53

Washington

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

12-09-2011 04:41:54 | More by rab53
Photo of Mebuzzard
Mebuzzard

Colorado

4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A bit surprised to see this one show up at the local shop, and I quickly grabbed it.

Pours dark. Black, almost pitch, with very faint reddish edge. Pillow head of light brown/tan foam. Soft, fluffy, looks good and cozy.

Dark soft fruits fill the nose, with some burnt caramel and dark chocolate. Figs and dark toast. Quite yummy smelling.

Great taste, and I don't give a 5 just b/c of the style designation here, although it probably should warrant it. The dark fruit and malt are there, but the chocolate wanes a bit. Great job hiding the alcohol, this is a very easy drinking beer. Short bitterness gives the flavors a jolt of freshness. Nice beer

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2010 19:28:05 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of beerthulhu
beerthulhu

New Jersey

4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a viscose engine oil coloring with a 1 finger creamy cinnamon tinted head that was flat and smooth as it leveled off. Retention was good with a mostly lasting coating that remained for the remainder of the drink. A small sheet lacing that slides down the glass as the drink recedes finishes things off here.

S: The nose had a strong display of dark fruit (prunes, dates, and raisins) with a earthy moss and mineral notes. Some syrup and scorched wort add sweetness while a booziness of rum raisin was smooth and light. Hints of dry semi-sweet chocolate rounds things out. Overall the aroma was very polished and refined with a smooth delivery, but ultimately was boozy and full of dark fruit.

T: The flavor was dark burnt molasses with a earthy moss and fresh minerality The initial flavor was strongly bittered and full of dark fruit (prunes, dates, and raisins). A boozy rum raisine and milky creamer with wet lemons also add into the mix. A semi-sweet dry chocolate and a scorched sweet worty flavor adds sweetness as well. There is an apparent booziness from the 13%abv but not as much as one might think, it is really hidden here behind a very smooth flavor that goes down effortlessly. Bitter roasted barley, with dry milky creamer and a touch of charred wet woodiness also is well noted here. Overall the flavor was boozy but well mannered and with flashes of scorched malt sweetness and full of dark fruit well suited per style.

M: a good deal of carbonation with a edgy feel and texture. A fresh wet burnt earthy woodiness and roasted barley laces the tongue after the swallow leaving a dark and earthy bitter feel. The consistency was medium full slick with a warming of alcohol and a light chalkiness. This was perhaps the drinks best feature.

D: Very smooth drinkability especially considering the 13%abv which went down like a 7-8%. Well toned and you never feel the alcohol coming. Amazing drinkabilty considering its relatively high abv. Overall this was a good drink but probably not worth the price of admission $10 for a 12oz bottle. Good but ultimately not that good.

Serving type: bottle

09-28-2009 22:02:10 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Churchkey into a snifter. From notes.

A real dark mocha head is presented, with a walnut brown body and very thin bubbles in the head. Manages a real long lasting puck while drinking. Real nice looking brew.

On the nose there is a sense of mild brown sugar, and molasses. An interesting light syrup/floral stick angle? It's quite unique hard to describe. Long lasting roasty char, with a hint that something silky might be coming on the palate.

Palate hits with a good roast body and depth. Almost silky, but just relatively solid. Finishes with a warm malt charring feel, some tight little carbonation bounces a bit, and a crackling finish strangely. There's some depth to this which is kind of interesting, and an interesting take on the flavor profile.

Overall it's pretty solid and enjoyable. And the finish and aftertaste is very long and lasting. Quite impressed.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2013 01:29:04 | More by smakawhat
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Voonder for sending this one my way in a recent trade. 12 oz bottle.

Pours a cloudy and murky dark black, some red in the edges, thick tan head forms, drops some solid lace spots on the glass, and settles to a thick layer and ring, looks good. Smell is wacky, red wine, chocolate, yeast, molasses, wood and earth, figs, dark fruit, sour fruit, rye bread, sourdough, intense roast, interesting stuff. Taste is similar, very dry roastiness, chocolate, figs, wood, kind of astringent, red wine and fruit, brown sugar, yeast, very fruity, nice bitter roast finish, very dry. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation, alcohol is very well hidden, pretty smooth and easy to drink. Hyped up for me but still a really nice beer. Thanks Alex!

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2008 23:03:53 | More by Viggo
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

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

Review from notes.

A: Pours extremely dark black with a one finger tan head that fades slowly. Some nice lacing down the glass.

S: Lots going on here, some dark fruit, chocolate, molasses, belgian yeast, and some roasted malts.

T: Upfront there is some nice roasted malt and chocolate with a little bit of brown sugar. As the beer warms the dark fruit flavors develop and take hold. I was surprised at how much the dark fruit came through with cherry, plum, and fig.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with medium carbonation. Slight touch of alcohol, but not much at all for being 13%.

O: A dangerously tasty beer at 13%! Not overly heavy, but has a great flavor profile. Could drink this one all the time.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2011 17:07:34 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Bighuge
Bighuge

Minnesota

2.95/5  rDev -30.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2009 04:02:01 | More by Bighuge
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
Beerandraiderfan

Nevada

4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another bottle drank during the epic March Madness '11 week.

Poured out a Saturday morning I believe, while many were still hungover, I pretty much drank this one to myself, black ass beer, deep tan head, mocha like in appearance. Aroma was heavy on the coffee and strong roast, but nothing too special going on, nothing offputting.

Taste is quite good at hiding the high abv. Obvious shout outs to dark chocolate and deep roasted malts (coffee). Stays bitter, but not to where it becomes a challenge or a negative. Belgian yeast seems to round the beer out nicely without detracting from the sturdy malt viscosity. I didn't really catch much in the way of dark fruit stuff that other reviewers did.

Enjoyable, but at almost $1 an ounce, this one has many more options of comparable quality at a much better price, which takes its overall score down a smidge.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2011 22:15:47 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black with the faintest of ruby edges. A regular pour produced a billowing three finger cap that was slow to settle. The foam was a light brown and was composed of fine bubbles that coated the sides of the glass. Great head retention. And the beer has legs. Faint grassy hop aroma was immediately surpassed by malted milk, rose water alcohol, dried fruits, and mellow roast. There's a lot going on and it's hard to pull apart. Alternating notes of mellow rubbing alcohol, chocolate, figs, and prunes. Bitterness was in the background, giving way to significant malt sweetness and alcohol. Roastiness stayed soft and had a cherry edge to it, while malt alternated between milk and dark chocolate. Higher alcohols added depth without contributing heat and dried fruits tied the sweetness together. Dry cocoa appeared towards the end, along with some toffee, particularly as it warmed. Full bodied with low carbonation that was very creamy, lots of alcohol warmth, and a faint dark malt astringency. Very smooth and delicious, definitely a sipper.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2008 00:01:02 | More by DrJay
Photo of Kelp
Kelp

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to BeerisHeaven for this one.

Poured from a bottle nice and dark and inky. Head was amazing at least 3 fingers tall, and dissipated at a good rate. Smells like a typical RIS coffee, chocolate, malts and fruit. The taste is balanced and no alcohol make it odd. I can taste the chocolate, malts, and coffee. It actually is rather watery considering the ABV. Had a velvety smoothness to it though. I could drink these all night and not care. Mainly cause if I did that I wouldn't remember the next day anyways.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2010 03:42:50 | More by Kelp
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sendbeer

Georgia

4.75/5  rDev +12%

04-15-2013 16:24:01 | More by sendbeer
Photo of glid02
glid02

Georgia

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

Picked up one of these at Bruisin Ales in Asheville.

Pours completely black with a one-finger light brown head. The head sticks around for the life of the beer, eventually settling into a thin pancake of bubbles on top. Lacing is decent.

Smells of vanilla and dark fruits with a hint of roasted malt. The alcohol makes an appearance every now and then, but doesn't overpower anything by a long shot.

Tastes great. Sweet dark fruits fill the palate for a split second, then the roasted malt and bitter dark chocolate come through. It's a very bitter ending, but with just enough to not go into overkill. The flavors linger for quite a while. Alcohol is noticeable, but mostly as a warming sensation.

Mouthfeel is great. As someone else said, this is probably the best part of this beer, along with the aftertaste. Not really very thick, but the carbonation is small but plentiful and makes this go down very smoothly.

Drinkability is good. Actually, probably a little too good for 13%. I could have a few too many of these.

Overall I was a bit let down after the first few sips, but this one definitely grew on me. The smoothness is what sets this beer apart from others. Definitely worth a shot if you see it around.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2008 18:49:48 | More by glid02
Photo of afsdan
afsdan

Colorado

4.75/5  rDev +12%

05-22-2014 20:08:38 | More by afsdan
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,467 ratings.