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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

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Black AlbertBlack Albert

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1,597 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,597
Reviews: 823
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 325
Gots: 383 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website

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: 1,597 | Reviews: 823 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of angrybabboon
4.08/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review adapted from notes taken 2/6/11

Appearance: Very black - looks and pours like motor oil, not much of a head but very appealing

Smell: Malt sweetness, burnt malts, dark fruits and some alcohol

Taste: The first word that comes to my mind is "interesting" - malts take center stage and are definitely on the sweet side - molasses, burnt malts, chocolate, hints of spices, a little dark fruit funkiness that kind of reminds me of a quad, booze - very rich and pretty well-balanced

Mouthfeel: Perhaps not as heavy as an American RIS, but it works very well for the beer - extremely smooth, too

Overall: The alcohol is definitely up there, and it is rather drinkable considering

I wasn't really sure what to expect from this beer. It is an interesting take on the RIS style. Not mind-blowing, but this is definitely worth a try. On another note, it definitely seems like it would mix well with Kate the Great, but I doubt I will ever encounter Kabert.

Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black Albert, bottled version, purchased at Walker's in Lambertville, New Jersey.

Appearance: Pours thick, with a glug and a gurgle. Looks deeply black and opaque, with an exuberant two-finger head that recedes into one, then a rim around the glass. Good retention and carbonation, but no lacing.

Smell: Out of control and not very pleasant. Aromas of dirty barnyard, stale goat piss, expired raw milk and a funky bitterness.

Taste: Coffee, chocolate. Sugar. Liquorice. Hops on the back and booze at the end of the sip. Some wood and vanilla.

Mouthfeel: The bitterness is not overwhelming in the mouth, making for a creamy, smooth sip. Alcohol is under control too, despite the hefty ABV. Well balanced. Easily the best part of this beer.

Drinkability: Pretty remarkable for a beer this huge. Smooth, easy, pleasant. Never boozy. Well played all around.

Not my favorite imperial stout, and that nose is "wowful", but worth trying, and definitely interesting/different.

Photo of Cmack15
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahh the famous Black Albert. Destruise is one of the top breweries in Belgium and well this is one of their fine offerings. Nice thick jet black brew that looks and smells great. Your nose is greeted with the aromas of chocolate, dark malts, dark fruits, and the yeast. A nice thick chewy mouthfeel to this beer. A session beer no, but a true decadent beverage yes. Seek this out and enjoy.

Photo of kbutler1
3.91/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle. This little guy has been in the cellar far too long and it is now time to try it. Lot B6BB, whatever that means. Poured into a tulip glass a dark brown/black color with a very large, fluffy tan head that is rather slow to dwindle down. As the head settles out enough for me to stick my nose in it, I get whiffs of dark fruit, dark bitter chocolate, and in the end some notes of booze. The head finally dies down, leaving an abundance of sticky lace on the glass. The one concern I have with this is that both in the nose and the taste there is an almost mild sour apple smell and taste, but really no other indication of infection so I think this is how it is suppose to be (?). The flavors are really blended quite well though and this is pretty smooth for a 13% beer. Starts of with dark fruit and slightly sour apple flavor that smoothly transition to a mild roasty flavor. Ends with some lingering bitterness. Overall, this is rather enjoyable even with the strange apple smell/taste. Medium mouthfeel.

Photo of Bmcg266
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Perhaps my palate has been dulled from drinking simpler times all night, but this is a fantastic Imperial Stout, nd the best Belgian Imperial Stout I've ever had.

Appearance: Black, Black, Black. Even Held up to the light all you can see is black. Head is a light mocha color, a bit lighter than most Imperial Stouts.

Smell: Dark fruits and alcohol. Raisins, figs, etc. etc. A slight alcohol burn to the smell, yet the sweetness of the raisin smell overshadows it nicely.

Taste: Amazing. Smokey Roastiness first hits the palate, then the dark fruits, from sugar sweetness, and a bit of an alcohol bite, yet nothing compared to what I'd expect from a 13% abv. beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, Velvety, delicious. A lot like an oatmeal stout, yet a little less "creamy". A little bit too thin for my preference in Imperial Stouts, yet smooth and delicious regardless.

Drinkability: Fantastic. Never before have I had a beer with such a high abv. to drinkability ratio. Absolutely amazing. If it weren't so damn expensive I'd drink this all the time.

Overall: Perfect, except for the mouthfeel. Seeing as this is the only "Royal" belgian stout i've had/heard of this is purely amazing. Highly reccomended. If you see this, pick it up. It's worth a try, even at 10.95 a 12 oz.

Photo of biglite351
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - slight Ted around the edges. Tall tight light brown head.

S - dark dried fruits. Roasted malts. Some caramel and possibility dark chocolate. A touch of bock in the finish.

T - almost raspberry-chocolate like up front. Malts and raisins in the finish. A touch of alcohol flavor as well.

M - heavy coating, you can feel it. Mild tingle all over tongue and some in throat.

D - if it were cheaper I would have one every night out.

Photo of THECPJ
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes 2/1/2011

A: black with a 2 finger mocha head that dissipates very slowly, leaves very nice lacing

S: hints of coffee, chocolate, and a slight burnt scent, a touch of caramel as it warms up, and a very slight hint of the alcohol

T: coffee, malts, and a slight alcohol burn, but nowhere near what was expected

M: mild carbonation, very smooth, creamy, thick

D: dangerously smooth, barely any hint of the high ABV on this one


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

This is an exciting moment for me, as this is the 'Batch 0' I am drinking, which is the first lot ever brewed, and also my first Black Albert or indeed first continental stout!

The pour is just amazing, the beer looks incredibly thick and a lovely white/brown head forms, which lasts about 5 minutes, leaving a thin layer on top.

The smell is utter heaven. Burnt coffee, toffee and some sort of fruit is coming through, maybe burnt nuts as well. This is laced with alcohol and a sweetness.

The taste surpassed the smell, and as I drink I get a very rich taste as well as the burntness which comes through with the smell. Rich fruits come through in the middle, as does a bitterness, which balances out towards the end of the mouthful as you swallow.

The mouthfeel is thick, akin to a milkshake, in fact this could almost be rich, dark, well developed milkshake. This makes it go down easily but also means you are left thirstier than when you started due to the sickliness of it. This is natural though as the crisp bitterness comes through here.

Overall an excellent drink, my all time favourite beer by far (so far, out of about 30 beers. edit: after 325 beers, this is still true) however I could not drink alot of it which is perhaps a bonus due to the price tag! Yes, definitely I will purchase again when I have some money to spare and want something decadent.

Photo of HopNuggets
4.63/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured 11.2oz bottle at cellar temp into my Spiegelau glass. Bottle stamped Lot: B | 6 | BB. No idea what this lot means but it's one hell of a beer!

A - Poured a deep dark black that is so dark that even held up to the light no light even thinks about coming through on any part of the glass, not even the edges or bottom. Solid 1 finger coffee color head that dissipated to a 1/8" coating leaving a nice lacing down the glass.

S - Very sweet smelling, almost similar to maraschino cherries. Pick up some roasted coffee and sweet toffee almost bisquity as well. A belgian inspired nose.

T - Sweet dark fruits up front with a burnt coffee finish. A bitterness that is amazinly balanced by the thick malt body.

M - Thick, thick, thick body, frothy head is like drinking a frappe (or milkshake for you other non New Englanders... ha-ha). A bit of heat hits the throat as you swallow but fades quick.

D - 13%... whoa... no freakin' way... very well hidden and I could see myself having no issue what so ever finishing this one and if I had another it would be hard to hold me back.

Photo of larryi86
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle Batch 14 poured into a snifter

A- Black with a two finger brown head.

S- There is a lot going on here. I am getting caramel, roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits, yeast, and a hint of alcohol.

T- Roasted malts, hint of caramel and dark fruits, and a touch of alcohol. I was think that is would be more complex. Even with the hint of alcohol I still feel that the 13% ABV is well hidden.

M- Medium body, smooth, creamy.

D- For 13% ABV it goes down really easy. I won't even call it a sipper. This is a great and really worth trying. The only thing is was disappointed by was the complexity, I was really thinking this would be very complex being a RIS and Belgian.

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 330ml bottle (batch #14) into tulip glass. The enormous light brown head makes this beer hard to pour. Underneath this mattress, a fully sedimented almost black liquid. Its aroma strikes as immediately vinous, fruity and sugary with its molasses, fig, licorace, anise, vanilla and sharp alcohol tones. So, fruity and vinous. While there's a fair dose of hops, they mostly serve a balancing purpose, never really becoming major in the global character. Instead, its dark malts impart a powdery chocolate feel that reminds of mocha and the malts are sweet to boot. Its vinous side includes a fair bit of acidity, but the roastiness remains restrained enough for any clash to be encountered. Beautiful lacing. A complex, very sweet, medium-full bodied, heady offering that is a sipper indeed, but to me not quite a top offering even among Struise's product line.

Photo of HosP
3.27/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bottle from Scottfrie. Big thanks for this extra!

A- Pours pitch black in color. Almost no light comes through even around the edges. Thick tan head looks perfect.

S- Nose is full of boozy aroma. Reminds me of a bourbon drink. Once gotten past the alcohol smell could get hints of dark fruits and some roasted malts.

T- Starts out as a sweet fruit and slight hop flavor. Roasted malts come up rather quick to take over. The strong alcohol takes over all the flavor. The high ABV really comes out and has a strong presence.

M- Thinner body with little carbonation. Comes through a little dry.

D- Wasn't expecting this after reading some other reviews. Couldn't get past the boozy taste pretty much. Liked what little flavors I did get. Maybe one day I'll try it again and see if I get something else from it.

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

Pours a deep black with a nice tan head. Looks soo creamy. Nice lacing

Aroma is awesome. Lots of roast and caramel and toasted sugars. Very aromatic beer.

Taste is different than your average IRS. You can taste the Belgian yeast for sure. It adds a sort of sweet tartness to the beer. Similar to cuvee van de Keizer. Nice and roasty and caramel with the Belgian flavors. Maybe a little too much Belgian flavor.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy with thin bubbles.

Overall I couldn't drink a bunch of this. It's tasty but I think I prefer a traditional IRS type yeast to the Belgian take on it.

Photo of zhanson88
3.79/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black Albert is a phenomenal looking beer. It pours almost pitch black with a couple fingers of mocha colored head, even with a careful pour. Retention is very nice and lacing is great. One of the best looking imperial stouts out there.

Smell: Right off a big Belgian characteristic comes out, and as well as dark fruits. It takes a bit of digging to get down to the roasted malts and chocolate. Overall this is a pretty nice scent once you get down into it.

Taste: Roasted malts and chocolate show right up front on the palate. A bit of hoppy character actually shows up on the back end, as well as that yeast characteristic and dark fruits. Aftertaste is slightly leathery, but not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: The body is slightly over medium with quite a bit of carbonation. It seems like a lot of De Struise beers have this feel, but I'm not sure it works perfectly with imperial stouts. Still, not bad. This is a pretty drinkable beer. It's a different take on an imperial stout, but that's not a bad thing.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for bringing out an another amazing brew. You rock man!

Poured from 11.20z bottle into a Cigar City pint glass...

A - Pours pitch black with a two finger brown head. Lacing is apparent, but not the best for the style. Head retention is a whole different story. Excellent...

S - Chocolate, coffee, the sweet scent of vanilla, and dark fruits...

T - Chocolate, and dark roasted malts hits me up front followed by vanilla and plums. Ends on a slight smokey note, with dark chocolate also making an appearance. For the abv, this one is very smooth. Next to no alcohol warmth to speak of. Nice...

M - A little light on the body in my opinion. Especially considering the style and abv. This is not a huge brew. There is also a little more carbonation than I am used to with the style. All in all a little thin, but very drinkable..

D - Surprised by how smooth this one was. Hard to believe it is a 13%. Definitely something I am looking foward to trying again...


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

Poured into a tulip from a 11.2 oz bottle.

A - Pours out a nice pitch black with no light passing through and an oily consistency. There is a nice light tan 1 inch head that is very sticky and has some nice densely packed bubbles. Near perfect.

S - Aroma starts off with some nice dark fruits. Molasses, caramel and some slight raisins and prunes. There is some nice chocolaty sweetness as well. There are some slightly roasted dark malt notes and some slight boozy heat as well.

T & M - Flavor starts off with nice dark malts. Roasted espresso hints tempered by some slight chocolate and caramel sweetness. There is some slight boozy warmth but it is not offensive at all. Some slight yeast character can be appreciated that is quite delicious and balancing. There is also some nice bitterness to it as it goes down. This beer is quite enjoyable and well crafted with great flavors and balance. It is a bit on the thin side but still good with a nice full body.

D - Very enjoyable and aside form the surprisingly sneaky 13% I would definitely buy this and drink this more.

Photo of titosupertramp
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: As dark as it gets with this one. Black coffee colored with a little over two fingers of frothy mocha head. It isn't in any hurry to go away either. Takes a few minutes to dissipate. I gave this a 5 because I can't really imagine an RIS looking better than this.

S: Nice smell, but a little subdued. Roasted barley, chocolate and a just a hint of dark fruits.

T: Excellent flavor. Everything you'd expect from the nose. The roasted barley, chocolate and dark fruits are accompanied by a slight coffee flavor. It took me a while to find the candy sugar, but it comes around towards the end. Wonderful.

M: Creamy and smooth. A little sticky. No bite what so ever from the alcohol.

D: This is 13%ABV? Are you sure? This is unbelievably drinkable and very dangerous. I've finished about half the beer in the time it's taken me to write this review and I'm starting to feel it a little.

I love this beer!

Photo of teamizm
3.33/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Part of my Westy 12 box.

Batch 0 poured from a bottle

A - Pours like a deep black coffee with a nice mocha head that recedes somewhat quickly.

S - Roasted malts, chocolates, and a slight metallic smell (this is why I'm not a huge fan of imports)

T - Upfront metallic taste. Very sweet, Belgian candy sugars with a molasses and chocolaty twinged.

M - very one dimensional. For a 13% RIS, it lacks a lot of complexity. 50/50 Eclipse has about 4-5% less ABV and has 200% more complexity in the mouth feel.

D - Kind of a boring RIS. The variable in reviewing a RIS from across the pond is that conditions make a huge impact on the beer. This beer may be great in Belgium, but it doesn't hold up well in travel.

Photo of WeedKing4
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark jet black with caramal foam forming in a brandy snifter. Tastes of dark roasted malts and chocolate, with a hint of dark fruits in there too. Honestly, its a little on the hot side with the 13% alc. I was hoping for more from this big stout. But the flavour isn't wowing me away.

Photo of vkv822
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at Belmont Station.

Pours black with a thick creamy mocha colored head that leaves beautiful lacing.

The nose is a bit subdued but I can definitely pick up notes of roasty cocoa malts with some dark and vinous fruits in the backing. Very smooth and well balanced overall.

The taste follows the nose quite well with notes of chocolate, and roasty espresso upfront followed by subtle hints of dark fruit. There is only a hint of boozy warming in the finish.

The mouthfeel is a bit strange as with each drink it starts out full bodied and incredibly smooth then towards the finish it really thins out, which keeps it from becoming too heavy, but is really a bit of a negative in my opinion and keeps it from getting a better score.

I am very happy I was able to try this and would definitely do so again, it was very smooth and easy drinking for 13% ABV.

Photo of cavemanlawyer
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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

Thanks to CaptnRedBeard for the generous extra, you da man Corey! Poured into my favorite St Bernardus Goblet...

A--Good lacing and black opaque color. Retention is all along the goblet...

S--Ripe dark fruits in the nose, you can also get a dark chocolate deal in the nose...

T--Very complex in the nose, no different on the palate. I love the combination of fruits like plum combined with the chocolate and coffee in this one. Really a true Belgian style RIS. Excellent.

M--Silk. Great mouthfeel.

D--This is pretty fresh, it could use some aging. I really enjoy this beer, Highly recommended, though the price tag tends to make this a rare treat. Great brew!

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 Gmann
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark brown color, kind of like a concentrated mud puddle. There is a short dense light brown head that settled into a light cap.

The aroma is of roasted malt, cocoa powder, and red wine. There is some subtle chocolate notes and alcohol vapor. Nice aroma, interesting.

The taste is big on the vinous notes. Red wine hits right off the bat followed by strong soy notes. Bitter chocolate and cocoa poweder are some secondary flavors. Some herbal spice and hops try of offset the big malt flavors but have trouble doing so. There is a bit of a sour punch as well like it was oak aged. The flavor is not quite what I look for in a stout but its good.

The feel is not as thick as it looks, has a moderate body. There is some tingley carbonation that helps break up the malt. Pretty dry and roasty bitter on the palate. Perhaps a touch sticky. The ABV is noticable but not harsh.

A good flavorful stout. Not exactly what I look for in a stout but its well made.

Photo of silentjay
4.23/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pitch black pour with a dark mocha colored head that is extremely dense, sticks around forever and leaves good lacing behind.

aroma is boozy, with raisins and other dark fruits, dark molasses, maybe some lactic acid or something that makes it tart, some dark chocolate and licorice.

mmm. taste differs a bit from what I picked up in the aroma. less booze and raisins, but more cocoa and dark malts take center stage. a bit tart and with some hop bitterness that balances the hugeness of the malts. very nice and complex.

not heavy bodied, but with significant weight and subtle carbonation makes for a decent velvety feel.

drinks pretty well. definitely boozy, though not terribly harsh, with a plethora of flavors that keep me sipping and the 330ml just does not seem enough.

Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 1,597 ratings.