Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,635 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,635
Reviews: 828
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 333
Gots: 376 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewandbbq on 08-23-2007

Originally brewed exclusively for Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, ME.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,635 | Reviews: 828
Photo of jscondon
4.85/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

here is the review i am providing for black albert! i have got to tell you that it is true, being a beer advocate pays off. jen told me they were not serving black albert due to its depleted stock, but i got some on the condition that i would rate this beverage on the beer advocate. a wonderful world we live in, eh?

the beer is dark, i am talking shut the car lights off on a moonless back road in the middle of no where dark. the smell is very subtle, i got a lot of chocolate, a hint of hops and a nice malt touch. there was a slight tartness up front without an overpowering presence of alcohol. the middle has some hop flavor and a very slight a hint of cherries, finishing with a good grain flavors. the mouthfeel is one of the best i have had.

DAMN! this is one good beer. I only had a taste and can't wait to get back for a normal sized serving. In fact even thought the tap list is one of the best i have seen, i would get this beer every time i went to ebenezer's (and i definitely plan on going back).

Photo of getgetgettleman
4.22/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed form notes 11/24/10.

A= Dark chocolate color/Black velvet look with a hint of deep red. Tight creamy head with velvet lacing.

S= Carmel sweet to bitter chocolate.

T= Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate malt malt malt!

M= Velvet smooth and full body. Finish is dry and smokey. Lovely.

D= Very drinkable if enjoyed like a fine scotch. Sipping gingerly the 13% was noticed quickly.

Photo of frothyhead
4.89/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep dark chocolate brown/black with a quickly dissipating one finger tan head. Just a bit of lacing left behind on the glass as I enjoy it.

Nose is interesting with peanut butter and chocolate notes and a bit of sweetness. Roasted malt, coffee, and a tad whiff of tobacco smoke and alcohol. As it warms, a big fruity strawberry and raspberry aroma comes into play. Tantalizing!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation and a silky smooth feel. A little bit of dry residue sticks to your teeth and gums in the linger. Carbonation is prickly and light and takes a bit off the body of this one.

Taste is just like the nose, with peanut butter and chocolate leading the way with a roasty bitter coffee finish. Like the nose, those fruity berry flavors come out as it warms and add some tartness. This is 13% ABV? Seriously? Alcohol is almost completely hidden.

Drinkability is dangerously high. The silky mouthfeel and balanced taste with subtle dry finish and hidden alcohol just makes you keep coming back for more.

Overall, this is an amazing beer. Perfectly balanced and tremendously enjoyable. This is my third offering from De Struise, and stands alongside Pannepot as one of the most well balanced, subtle, complex and flavorful beers I've ever had. Nearly every sip offers something new. Highly recommended!

Photo of DigitalHype
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured 330ml bottle into Westvleteren glass.

Deep, dark, rich brown (almost black). Very creamy, 1/4" tan head. Very sticky lacing. Beautiful! Can't wait. Smells of dried apricots and a faint hint of smoke. 13% ABV, and totally absent from the aroma.

The fruit smell, almost vanishes for me in the tasting. But, it still retains a some sourness. Coffee, chocolate, tobacco, vanilla and raisin flavors. There is some damp funky mushroom, too. Bitterness and strong alcohol in the back. Finishes out "stout", just like it should.

Has a creamy mouth feel, with perfect carbonation. Rich and complex. Excellent brew!

Photo of LilMatrix
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Really dark pour with no light penetration. Rich dark tan head; beer looks wonderfully lively.

S - Chocolate, coffee, rich with slight soy sauce undertones.

T - Pleasant sweetness/caramel, chocolate, coffee, Ends slightly bready and has an interesting umame taste. Very well balanced and sooo smooth.

M - Great creaminess and carbonation that acts like a cloud, the liquid never really touches the tongue on the way down.

D - 13% ABV? No way... this is way too smooth. Not boozy at all... this is the best 13% i've ever experienced. Way way too smooth. This is an amazing beer. All the sudden... i'm kinda lightheaded and warm =) oooohhh yeeeeaaaahhh.

Photo of BeerStine
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter. Got to thank a fellow BA for making this drink possible.

Pours pitch black with fluffy almond brown head that subsides shortly after pour. Immediately after opening I could smell the aroma of alcohol from a foot away. Roasted malts come up front followed by slight dark red fruits if I try hard. Has a bourbon smell to it as well. Taste is amazing. Very well balanced. Taste of roasted malty flavor upfront along with a fruity hop flavor that hits the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is a medium/light with light carbonation. This beer is amazingly drinkable for being 13% ABV.

The balanced flavor of this beer is quite impressive.

Photo of phillybeer7779
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an Ommegang glass. Dark black color, thick tan head, with lots of sediment. Strong taste of figs with a hint of coffee underneath. This is a very different beer, as it has characteristics of both a RIS and a Quad. At 13%, not a beer to drink all night, but it hides the alcohol well.

Photo of b3barron
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Pour yields a quarter inch of mocha head with a little bit of retention. Smells of dark cocoa and dark fruits. I get a little bit of roasted malt/smokiness too. Bitter chocolate up front and a decent hop presence throughout. Finished with dark fruits followed by dark chocolate that lingers for a while. Mouthfeel and drinkabilty are true to the style. An excellent RIS.

Photo of stageseven
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter with Mal Reever.

Ap - very dark brown, very nearly black. Tan head, with just a ring of bubbles around the outside of the glass.

Ar - interesting smell. A mix of roast and alcohol. Pretty boozy. Maybe a bit of vanilla as well.

T - tons of roast up front and a smooth creamy quality. A bit of vanilla as well. A bit of alcohol but not much. Not a ton of bitterness to it either.

M - a bit warming. Medium body, fairly low carbonation. Leaves a slick feel in the mouth.

D - excellent RIS. Easily drinkable, extremely flavorful. The surprise in this beer for me was the lack of extreme bitterness that you often find in a RIS. It's not cloying at all though, without all that much sweetness up front. I'd call this one a "roast bomb".

Photo of microwavabledish
3.51/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Tulip, its black as pitch, even when held up to light. Poured nicely with a rocky/fluffy two finger high, mocha colored head. Looks delicious.

The nose is a boozy, roasty smell with a hint of coffee and dark molasses and some dark dark cherry.

The taste is slightly fruity, with some major roast character. As it warms it gets nice and sweet, with a lingering alcohol in the back of the throat.

The mouthfeel, while thinner than other RIS's is still substantial enough to be in style. The carbonation is low and it goes down quite easily.

Notes: Really good on a cold night with some hearty food and a light sweet dessert. Drinkability is a 3 because while one of these goes down quite handily over an hour, having a second one is just about out of the question considering that its 13% abv.

Photo of jp62099
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was fully expecting to be let down by this beer. I mean that is what happens so many times with expensive crazy hyped up beers. This would not be the case.
Black Albert displays many of the classic RIS characteristics but is distinctly Belgian. I have been a sort of skeptical of the RIS style since I had my first one. I keep trying them waiting to be blown away given the hype surrounding them. While this is not a RIS in the strictest since, it has given me a new appreciation for the style and what it can be.
I will not even attempt to describe the smell and taste of this huge and complex masterpiece. I will say that it is silky smooth, and the alcohol is no where in sight. If I had had another I would have been tempted to drink it.
If you come across one of these, do not hesitate, make the purchase. It will sting the wallet a bit, but you will be very glad once you take the first sip. Believe the hype!!

Photo of badbassrandy
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thank you so much to johnmichaelsen for sharing this fabled brew with me.

A - Poured from a small bottle. Black as a stout on a moonless night, big light brown head ever so slowly dissipates.

S - Jarring, intense roasted smell with Belgian characterisitcs that I can't quite put my finger on.

T - Simply amazing. It seems as if every characteristic of a great stout is in here, and then some. My palate is not sophisticated to pick out each subtle flavors, but there are a lot of them in this brew. Simply the most complex stout I've ever tasted that hides the high alcohol very well.

M - Thick, sticky, robust, very chewy.

D - The high level of tastes and alcohol make this is areal sipping beer, so I can't give it super-high drinkability marks. However, it is superb.

Photo of calir1
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought @ Beer Planet in Brussels Belgium. For 6 euro this was a great steal. No shipping, no nothing, just walk next door from my hotel, buy, cool, crack open and enjoy. Deep black and what is expected. I am not a huge stout guy, but I had to drink this when I was there and it was fantastic. I actually drank 3 of these and should have brought back some extras, but oh well. A stout lover would really enjoy, and since nobody is going to read my post and either buy or not buy, I am through....

Photo of oreo
3.18/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Shared by drewba.

Pours a super deep black with 2 fingers of dark brown head.

Tons of dark fruit. Everywhere. A pretty big boozy smell as well.

Just like the smell. Dark fruit and booze. Sweet almost. Very thin for an RIS, almost red wine like. Nothing too complex, some roasty malts make themselves known towards the end.

Not very drinkable. 13% and sweet. Does not make for a drinkable beer.

Photo of Gop
4.84/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Was able to taste one in May 2015 at Ebenezer's pub. Thanks Chris. It was one of the best beers i have ever drank. I will leave the reviews to the others.

Photo of mikehblack
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a snifter. 2007 bottle

A- Totally black. Small, beige head verging on reddish-brown on the edges. No lacing but alcohol evident on the glass. Beautiful.

S- Chocolate up front along with dark cherries. Very slight bitterness along with some Belgian yeast character.

T- Smooth chocolate and some bitterness. Dark fruits appear with heavy roasted malt notes. Almost reminds me of a cherry cordial. Alcohol is very hidden for 13%.

M- Fairly light mouthfeel with little alcohol burn. Nice.

O- Very delicious beer which is just getting more complex as it warms. Amazed at the lack of alcohol presence. Seems like 4 years in the bottle has served it well.

Photo of unibrew
4.97/5  rDev +16.9%
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!

Photo of easement
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of alyankus
4.78/5  rDev +12.5%
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

Photo of Sesmu
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Notes from 07/04/2009
A: Dirty-snow head, 3/4 of an inch. Black color that reveals some brown when brought to light.

S: immediately after pouring the smell is very week, but gradually it unfolds first into roasted coffee and then into sweet chocolaty presence, some distant floral notes.

T/M: definitely chocolate, sweet and bitter at the same time, roasted coffee, perhaps molasses, bitterness is very subtle - how do you hide 100 IBU so well? - it's there, but sort of comes from a distance.

Maybe a bottle version differs from a tapped one, but I wouldn't say the beer is very thick. It's not thin by any means, full bodied, but I wouldn't say that thickness is one of its stand-out features. Balanced really nicely and 13% abv? - I would never guess, so well hidden. Definitely needs some time in the glass to open up completely; the longer it sits in the glass the more complex and pleasant it becomes. And the alcohol starts to show with its warm... or maybe it's just because I'm nearing the end of the bottle and 13% abv start to make its presence noticeable.

It's my second sampling of De Struise's brew (Tjesuus being the other one) and what can I say, seems like this brewery can't miss. Highly recommended.

Photo of Habanero58
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
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.

Photo of Tom8Analise
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
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

Photo of ndolover
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
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!

Photo of CreamAle128
3.82/5  rDev -10.1%
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

Photo of aqsprint
3.43/5  rDev -19.3%
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.

Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 1,635 ratings.