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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

1,534 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,534
Reviews: 817
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 319
Gots: 363 | FT: 20
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Albert Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,534 | Reviews: 817 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of superspak
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

superspak, Jan 20, 2014
Photo of mothman
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

mothman, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of ejimhof
4/5  rDev -5.9%

ejimhof, Nov 23, 2012
Photo of DoubleJ
3.58/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

One of Halcyondays' buddies brought this to Beachwood BBQ for the three of us to sample. Sometimes, one of the beer's you've been wanting to taste happens sooner than you think. On to the beer:

Obsidian black color shows no sign of giving way for any light. White head on top create a good contrast of colors. I was taken by surprise by the aroma. Yes, I could smell some roasted malt and chocolate flavors, but also some dark fruits and plums that you'd find in a more traditional dark Belgian.

Yet as much of a surprise the aroma was, the taste was a bigger surprise. It was strange, but still enjoyable in a weird way. A dash of cocoa, a part of dark fruits, some milk/lactose sweetness, and add in some lactic and sour qualities, and you got Black Albert. The lactic and lactose threw my palate off quite a bit....drink a little more and my palate becomes a little adapted to this. The best quality of the beer was how well the 13% ABV was hidden....where's the heat? Seemed closer to being medium bodied than full bodied.

Black Albert is strange. Ok, it's really different from your everyday Imperial Stout. If you're looking for something REALLY different in the style, Black Albert could be the cure, but the price and lack of availability aren't going to encourage me to seek a bottle for myself.

DoubleJ, Apr 15, 2010
Photo of rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a inky jet black body with a tin tan ring of foam on top. The body is too dense to see any carbonation.

S- The soft musty smell gives way to a smooth dark almost malty aroma and a note of figs finish the aroma.

T- The bitter inky taste of big black malt give way to a mellow but big black roasted malt flavor. There are some soft cherry hints and a faint tartness that helps finish this beer with a soft inky bitterness that lingers for a brief moment.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a soft fizz hint and no real alcohol heat but a smooth texture on the tongue.

D- The tartness is pretty bright which is interesting compared with the dark roasted malt. The big roasted notes were up front but the malt flavors seemed to be in the background. This beer was served a bit colder than I like and I wonder if that hid some of the complexity? There just wasn't much complexity but nice contrast of flavors.

rhoadsrage, Jan 06, 2009
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Huhzubendah, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

BARFLYB, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of jdhilt
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger tan head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving traces lace. Black color, no highlights, ton of yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and heavy bodied. Molasses and chocolate nose. Flavor is sweet and bitter molasses. Dry chocolate finish. Tastes better than the first tap at Ebenezers Pub in Aug 2007. High ABV is completely hidden. Way overpriced at $10.99 for a 330ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

jdhilt, Aug 12, 2010
Photo of afsdan
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

afsdan, May 22, 2014
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
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

Mebuzzard, Jun 18, 2010
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev 0%

BillRoth, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

Wasatch, Jul 15, 2008
Photo of mdaschaf
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

mdaschaf, Jun 20, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

smakawhat, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of ppoitras
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

ppoitras, Mar 30, 2009
Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

brandoman63, Nov 30, 2011
Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev 0%

DrBier, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of John_M
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
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.

John_M, May 24, 2009
Photo of biegaman
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

biegaman, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of rab53
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

rab53, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of billab914
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. It poured thick and black in color with a very dense and thick tan head to it. It kept a nice covering on the top of the beer as I drank it and left some great lacing as well.

The aroma shows a lot of chocolate and roasted malts to it. It has a nice sweetness to it but also stays very smooth and balanced. It almost has the smooth aroma of say an oatmeal stout.

The taste has a rich, sweet milk chocolaty flavor to it at first. It develops more of a roasty, bitter, coffee flavor towards the finish. it also has some smoky and molasses flavors going on that just add to the complexity. It's very balanced for such a big beer and has such a great range of flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being on the lower side. Drinkability is very good, it's a fantastic imperial stout. It had such a range of flavors to it but managed to be very balanced overall. I also really liked the smokiness that came through in it. Excellent beer overall.

billab914, Oct 01, 2010
Photo of Kelp
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Kelp, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of beerthulhu
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

beerthulhu, Sep 28, 2009
Photo of sendbeer
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

sendbeer, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of Viggo
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

Viggo, Dec 14, 2008
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 1,534 ratings.