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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Black AlbertBlack Albert

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,406 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1406
Reviews: 803
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%


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: 1,406 | Reviews: 803 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of bainard
bainard

Illinois

4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep deep brown, almost black but not quite. 1.5" mocha head. Looks lovely.

S - The fruitiest non-fruited stout i've ever smelled. Tons of dark fruits, malt, brown sugar, chocolate, coffee, molasses. Extremely complex and bountiful. Better than flowers, didn't make me sneeze.

T - Oh this is tremendous. Finally I get the idea of "Belgian Royal Stout". Roastiness and hops with notes of espresso, burnt sugar, and even Flemish Red-style ale. There's a little bit of sourness in this, obviously, but I do believe that this sourness could be attributed to amped up coffee flavors with a hoppy compliment. I've seen some reviews that said this beer was like a quad and an RIS combined. I'll go out on a limb and say it's more like a dubbel and stout, but that's probably because I get more sourness from a dubbel than i do a quad. Either way, it's a dark Belgian mixed with a stout, and it's completely marvelous. It's milder in taste than most stouts, but something that isn't completely overwhelming is nice for a change.

F - Slightly creamy, with nice carbonation (mild, just enough), certainly doesn't feel 13% (maybe half that). Coats the mouth extremely well.

D - Another special occasion beer, of course. Something like this you're not going to want to have a 6-pack of in one night. But this beer is definitely special. It is a brew whose character changes with each sip, revealing new notes and flavors as it warms. Only the best seem to do that, and this beer is not acting.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2008 03:38:11 | More by bainard
Photo of UnDeadly
UnDeadly

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, pint glass. Lord I need a snifter...

Appearance - Pours black, though slightly translucent. Of course, in glass you cannot see through it. Beautiful, mocha brown foam that is persistent through drinking. Heavy lacing.

Smell - This is a stout, right? I get tart vanilla strongly in the aroma. Also notes of milk chocolate. But still, that citric tartness is very interesting. My girlfriend says it smells like one of those chocolate orange candies...I don't think she is too far off.

Taste - Geez, where to begin. Complex notes of bourbon and chocolate come through the front, melting sweetly in the middle with a nice, bitter finish. I can detect some light notes of orange-citrus and vanilla. Also a slight, SLIGHT sour note, its great.

Mouth Feel - Creamy, smooth, and does not burn at all like a 13% should. You can feel it slightly, but considering its 13%, I'm impressed.

Drinkability - ABV would be the only thing keeping me from drinking this puppy all night. Smooth, balanced, delicious.

Overall, this was very much a wow beer. Unique flavors, but without deviating too much from the stated style. I think I'll snag a few more and see how they age...

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2010 02:26:09 | More by UnDeadly
Photo of daryk77
daryk77

District of Columbia

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

11.2 oz bottle

Great looking beer, plenty of head, off brown cascading down the glass.

Smell was great too, dark fruits, raisins, dark roasted malts, almost a clean smokiness.

Wild taste, really fruity up front, sweet caramel malts and a perceivable hop presence. Ends roasted (like the smell) and slightly bitter from the malt and hops.

mouthfeel is chewy and delicious

Drinkability is very nice, alcohol is well incorporated and incredibly balanced. Whoever got a growler of this to review is very lucky.

So is it worth the price? For $9 a bottle it is pricey but I would buy it more than once as a treat. There is really no other beer like it for better or worse. Taste is uncanny and I feel it was money well spent, will buy more to lay down, I am sure it will age incredibly well.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2009 02:07:02 | More by daryk77
Photo of unibrew
unibrew

New Hampshire

4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful brew! I just wish I didn't have to travel 350 miles to get it! It's everything an RIS should be, and more. Not coffee...not chocolate...sort of enigmatic. 13%...yup, it's in there! It's a cornucopia of malty goodness and well hidden alcohol. IF you smell it close up, you will smell the booze, but, it's highly drinkable. If you're at Ebenezer's, don't pass it up. One of the best beers on the menu!

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2010 01:15:41 | More by unibrew
Photo of cavemanlawyer
cavemanlawyer

Oregon

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

Had this on tap today at Belmont Station.

A - Dark as night, with a rich nutty brown head that lingers and remains an inch thick throughout the glass.

S - Spicy rich fruits, lots of dried fig and earthy undertones. Lots of roasted malt with toffee.

T - Lots of smokiness, I get some earth flavors and sweet on the tip of the tongue.

M - Very smooth, medium - full body. Lightly carbonated.

D - You can certainly tell this is a strong drink. The alcohol gives you a bit of a bite in the aftertaste, but quite enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2011 00:38:58 | More by cavemanlawyer
Photo of dtmets84
dtmets84

New York

3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unsure of the bottle date but the notched lot is B-6-BB.

Black body, plenty of dark brown head.

The nose smells off almost a bit of a funk to it and the taste follows the nose. Warms up and becomes a bit more enjoyable

Body is thick and heavy, as it should be.

First time cracking a bottle, would not seek this out agaim.

Serving type: bottle

08-09-2012 00:28:34 | More by dtmets84
Photo of easement
easement

Georgia

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

from bottle in pint glass.

A: Black and opaque. 1/4inch head and light lacing.

S: Chocolate, Molasses, Vanilla, Caramel, Coffee, and spices.

T: Chocolate and coffee.

M: Syurpy. Not as thick as ten-fidy, but think.

D: It's a pretty heavy hitter and masks the alcohol really well. I could have a couple of these in a session.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2008 02:48:16 | More by easement
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

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

I've had the pleasure of tasting this brew during several different occasions from the tap and from the bottle and I must say this is by far one of the best Imperial Stouts brewed; bar none! First, I don't even know if this should be in the same class with other Imperial Stouts; it has its own distinctive style. The appearance of this brew has to be one of the darkest stouts I have ever seen. The head was so thick and velvety brown head that it looked like a shot of espresso...superb! It had a magnificent scent of sweet chocolate, dark roasted coffee beans and molasses along with roasted malt. The taste is just out of this world. Started off with a blitz of dark chocolate, espresso, and roasted malts; followed by light vanilla hoppy presence and fruit flavors with a touch of bitterness. The mouthfeel wasn't too thick along with soft carbonation keeping the brew from tasting too syrupy. The complexity of this brew is such that 13% ABV is totally absent until the glass is almost empty and then you begin to say Wow, this is one hell of a beer! For me this was like drinking a fine Port that I could have sipped all night. I can't say enough about the brews that are being produced at the Struise camp, but I do know that the rating of number one brewer in the world is without doubt; justified! This brew has taken Stouts to a whole new level!!!

Serving type: on-tap

09-18-2008 20:54:24 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of alyankus
alyankus

New Jersey

4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep black with a 1.5 finger head. Settles with nice lacing

N: Higher quality coffee and roasted cocoa nibs predominate with hints of dried black fruits.

P: More coffee, decent quality semi sweet chocolate with a prune-like character on the finish

M: Very rich and creamy the 13% is not at all noticed

D: Very drinkable. Goes down way too easily. The 2nd best stout I've had to this point next to KBS

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 01:24:31 | More by alyankus
Photo of bobv
bobv

Vermont

4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another stout from Thanksgiving '09

From notes:

Appearance:
Very dark, slight head

Smell:
Dark chocolate, cherry, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, at 13% its ABV is fairly well hidden.

Taste:
Both dark and bittersweet chocolates, currants, and there is the alcohol tap dancing on my temples.

Mouthfeel:
Very nice.

Drinkability:
I could drink this 'til I dropped!

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2009 16:23:40 | More by bobv
Photo of CJS
CJS

Florida

4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

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

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

M Very drinkable.

O Nice big hoppy stout in a little bitty bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 02:08:16 | More by CJS
Photo of Tom8Analise
Tom8Analise

Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

A- Extremely dark with a thick carbonated tan head.

S- Has a very strong alcohol smell with some notes of dark fruits and some chocolate.

T- The first sip was OK, but then after taking a second sip the flavors burst!! Lots of coffee, fig, caramel, chocolate and some smokiness. A very excellent taste indeed!

M- Very light and very carbonated.. This was our lowest rating.

D- Drinkability is good! If this beer wasn't so rare I would like one as offten as possible! Goes down nice and smooth and leaves a nice warm feeling in your chest!

Enjoy!

Tom and Analise

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2009 01:10:37 | More by Tom8Analise
Photo of ndolover
ndolover

Minnesota

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

Had this in a small snifter out of a bottle.

I would like to say that I don't believe this is a RIS, almost more of a Baltic Porter..with a Dubbel mixed in.

A: tawny brown head sits atop a black beer with ruby highlights. The head dissapates quickly and ends up with a 5mm head.

S: Up front figs and dark fruits. Some roast chocolate, cocoa, and bread notes.

T: Figs, raisons, and other dark fruits play with a salty soy taste. Some malty caramel notes. Chocolate and some malt bitterness. More soy and salt as it warms.

M: Some slickness, and astringency, medium mouthfeel (I did have a gusher, over carbonated?) some sheery and fusel alcohol notes, cardboard, but not overly oxidized.

O: Very drinkable for a RIS, but seemed to be more like a baltic or Dubbel with more chocolate malts. This is a fun beer as it doesn't fit a style. Check it out, and ride the soy sauce!

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2010 20:07:04 | More by ndolover
Photo of CreamAle128
CreamAle128

Alberta (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is amazing! Completely black. Enough said.

There is not too much aroma here, compared to the Old Rasputin, but it has many subtle roasted malts along with dark fruits, and very light citrus. The longer it sits, the more aroma comes forth

I can't taste any alcohol, despite the 13%, many nice roasted malt flavours, more dark fruits, some molassas, chocolate notes, and some very mild hop bitterness towards the end

Mouthfeel is prickly , and totally creamy when swished around in the mouth

Very drinkable for the style!

This is my first belgian imperial stout. I never knew of this style before, but tastes very similar to any other high quality imperial

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2008 05:54:59 | More by CreamAle128
Photo of sfreshnock
sfreshnock

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I am very susceptible to beer hype. Just have to know what the big stink is about. Black Albert, my latest buy in, is indeed worth the endless praise. Poured nice and slow into a tulip style glass, the head was immense for a 13% ABV beer and it stuck around for some time. Fantastic looking beer, period. The smell on the other hand was dull and acrid, not overly phenolic, more like like flat pepsi. Flip Flop again. Taste is full of flavors that easily come to life. "Caramel Sundae Syrup" at the tip and back of my tongue intertwined with sour cherries and raisins. Aftertaste is much like a Flanders Red. Black Albert does noy give his ABV away in the mouth. Mouthfeel is sticky and leaves my teeth wet with an oily film. Very drinkable for a high ABV beer. I could drink another if it was cost effective.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2008 05:27:00 | More by sfreshnock
Photo of imperialbigswig
imperialbigswig

Wisconsin

4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a great and impressive stout, but I still wince at the price tag. My beef with it is that it's a bit lite in the body. The smell however, and the taste are truly phenomenal. A fairly chocolatey beer with excellent balance- not too dry, not too sweet or flabby. It's worth having more than one!!

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2009 23:06:38 | More by imperialbigswig
Photo of TomGavin
TomGavin

Illinois

3.8/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle.

A: Pours a midnight, no-moon-black with a chocolate milkshake/tan head that hits slightly over an inch before rolling back into a 1/4 of an inch. Extremely tight bubbling save for a few.

S: Serious milk chocolate, whipped cream, vanilla, roasted malt, sour fruit--actually more like sour patch kids--black currant, caramel and licorice.

M: Very soft, not velvety, but quite soft. A bit oily. Lighter carbonation heavily concentrated at the front of the tongue.

T: Bitter chocolate, port infused raison, dark berry fruit--raspberry, blackberry, and then, a metallic bitterness, which blows the entire score. The 100 IBUs are perhaps, overkill.

D: For 13% this beer drinks extremely well. The tongue isn't bogged down with body.

Comment: This beer is interesting--if I could use italics, I would, for "interesting." The hype surrounding this beer is intense and I would suggest trying it, but it doesn't hold a candle to the majority of stouts it shares company with as far as rankings go.

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2009 06:16:11 | More by TomGavin
Photo of Habanero58
Habanero58

United Kingdom (England)

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

And so to the beer that shares its acronym with Beer Advocate!

I was initially a little cynical about this new beer on the block when it arrived sweeping all before it, and doubted I'd ever get to try it for myself unless I made the journey from Kent to Ebenezer's in Maine, but thanks to a well known auction site 6 x 330ml of Black albert arrived on my doorstep earlier this week.

I can understand why many other reviewers have been unable to really nail Black Albert into a definite category as you can't really. It proclaims itself as a Royal Belgian Stout on the bottle and it's appearance would certainly support this with midnight hour blackness and a rusty tanned head.

It's the taste where BA becomes hard to place
It has a complexity that matches Westy 12 (no mean feat) whereby one sip just amplifies in the mouth and cascades into such a myriad of flavours that your brain (well, my brain) just loses the plot and says "this is pure heaven in a glass"
I would agree with those who have mentioned it tipping into quad territory as my main thought afterwards was that was like drinking a botte of Westy 12 that had had an identity crisis and had decided it wanted to be a Russian Imperial Stout. The stout flavour is strongly apparent but with the rich chocolatey fruit cake qualities of a good quad there as well.

Mouthfeel was excellent. Very creamy with just the hint of an exciting fizzz. This beer is a valuable addition to Planet Earth and long may it buzz!! It should end up cementing a place in the top five at the very least.

A final word for the label. A design award surely with regard to matching the external bottle presentation to the quality of the beer within.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2008 11:38:05 | More by Habanero58
Photo of razorsdescent
razorsdescent

Pennsylvania

3.31/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I have wanted to try this beer for a long time. After finding a place that had this and Alesmith's Speedway stout, I was overjoyed.

I chilled the bottle in my fridge until I deemed it to be at the right temperature

Appearance: When poured into my Green Jack goblet, It looks like an imperial stout should. Black and dark leaving lacing and with a light brown head.

Smell: This is where things started to go awry. It merely smells malty, and slightly boozy.

Taste: Meh, tastes of malt and booze, so, true to the nose. There is nothing new here, and it doesn't even pull the roasty malts off well enough to be an excellent one trick pony.

Mouthfeel: Standard fare here, tight and carbonated. Certainly pleasant and close to what was expected.

Overall: This beer is a disappointment and proof that scarcity and rave reviews are often times misleading. It is by no means terrible, however, I wouldn't seek it out again, much less pay the exorbitant price.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2013 23:33:30 | More by razorsdescent
Photo of n0rmann
n0rmann

Massachusetts

4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is simply a wonderful beer. I had no idea until I logged onto this site about the high ABV. The alcohol is well-hidden.

Pours midnight black, with a slight chocolately smell. Tastes very good, with a mixture of coffee, roasted malts and a slight chocolate taste, matching the smell.

It's very creamy, and goes down nice and easy. I wish I didn't have to drive for more than two hours to have another one of these.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2007 19:56:43 | More by n0rmann
Photo of falcon1
falcon1

Ohio

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

Black Albert is an outstanding Russian Imperial Stout brewed by De Struise Brouwers. The taste and aroma is truly remarkable. It is an exceptional example of Belgian brewing at its finest. Black Albert has become one of my favorite Russian Imperial Stouts and one to enjoy greatly during the Fall and Winter months.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2008 18:46:28 | More by falcon1
Photo of beerboy9960
beerboy9960

Oklahoma

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

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Finally getting to try Black Albert for the first time thanks to BarrytheBear and his generosity. Thanks again Barry!!

A: Pours a very dark black with a very thin mocha colored head. Very nice, thick lacing on the glass.

S: Lots of cacao and expresso on the nose. Also picking up hints of dark fruits! Lots of smells going on here!

T: Wow! This is a very complex full bodied stout! Expresso, cacao, and dark fruit dominate the initial taste, followed by an almost milk chocolate/sweet taste on the finish. Lots of bitterness on the after taste as well!! Very nice!!

O: Overall this is a very complex Russian Imperial Stout! Very smooth and hides the 13% ABV very well! I will be looking for more of this in the future! Thanks again Barry!!!

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2012 21:22:34 | More by beerboy9960
Photo of Benjiehorn
Benjiehorn

Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured pitch black with no head, and little lacing. Aromas of chocolate, coffee, toffee, and a hint of vanilla. Full frontal taste of chocolate, belgian yeast, slight alcohol, with a nice, subtle coffee finish. An excellent brew, and a difficult one to come by. Well worth the 12 dollar price tag for an 11 oz.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2009 21:00:15 | More by Benjiehorn
Photo of aqsprint
aqsprint

Michigan

3.4/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Very dark brown/amber. 3 fingers of foam. Great lacing all the way through.

S- Roast, chocolate, and that Belgian aroma.

T- A little fruity, chocolate, figs. Alcohol burn down the throat. Disappointing considering its the 31 spot in the top 100. Over all I think its over rated.

M- A little thin, but not bad.

D- Drinkable beer, but I will not be having another any time soon.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2008 10:48:28 | More by aqsprint
Photo of NoonanDBarbarian
NoonanDBarbarian

Alaska

3.33/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

A - pours with a slightly brown to black color with a small 1/4 inch head
S - It give off a strong yeast smell that is all i can get out of it
T - The taste seems to be really lacking something. it is a very smooth drink but has no start and a really sweet finish
M - I fee like I'm drinking a larger but wanted a stout
D - This is a very drinkable beer but just not what i was expecting especially after all of the hype

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 23:10:57 | More by NoonanDBarbarian
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,406 ratings.