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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,479 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,479
Reviews: 808
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 317
Gots: 362 | FT: 19
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website

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: 1,479 | Reviews: 808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of zdk9


4.13/5  rDev -2.6%

A- Black as night. Half a finger of cocoa head.

S- Sherry. Some alcohol. Bittersweet chocolate. A little like Kaluha. Sweet orange.

T- Espresso. Bittersweet chocolate. Nice fruit- raspberry, sweet cherry. Some liquor.

M- Milky, but alcoholic. Well it is 13%, hard to blame it.

D- Delicious. A beer to savor on a special occasion.

03-24-2010 04:40:53 | More by zdk9
Photo of NYCWheatFanSC

New York

4.03/5  rDev -5%

Batch 14

A - Pours black with a medium tan head (about 1 in) that recedes rather slowly to a sturdy and even microfilm

S - Lots of berries, licorice, and dark fruits, with even a bit of a tart twang (but obviously not infected). Some light chocolate notes. Alot like a nice quad

T - Lots of licorice, dark bruits and berries (blackberries, raisins, dates?). Even a hint of wood.

M - Very light and frothy, over-carbonated for the style, which hurts the appreciation of its flavor profile.

D - A good quad, but thats apparently NOT what this beer is trying to be. Would give it a 3.5, but it claims to be a Belgian Royal stout on the side, not a RIS as listed here. Hmmm...

would not seek out again

03-19-2010 23:59:06 | More by NYCWheatFanSC
Photo of Dotcubed


4.18/5  rDev -1.4%

Regular capped bottle. If it was corked I'd probably let it sit around longer but I need the space in the car.

Poured only a half glass in my Sam Adam's glass. Gave me a good bit of foam, maybe half centimeter. Poured more & was rewarded with a huge plume of thick foam. Tinted dark khaki. Smells dusty.

Pleasantly tar-ish. Has a good firm bitterness. Oily. Intense. Some licorice.

Clearly a well crafted piece. Takes some getting used to as there hasn't been many like this in my glassware.

Need More Like this.

03-19-2010 03:57:05 | More by Dotcubed
Photo of weissbierdrinker


2.95/5  rDev -30.4%

A big thanks to klevelandrocks in helping me get a beer off my wants list.

Pours a thick oily black color with a tan head that fades leaving a small amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell is of ink and used motor oil and some other strong smell I can't identify.

Taste of cherries, cough syrup, booze. The finish is dry and sour. A very thick oily beer that has an after taste of cough medicine. I don't find it to be as well balanced as the label states. Perhaps some people like it but it's a bit to boozy for me.

03-17-2010 23:20:56 | More by weissbierdrinker
Photo of BretSikkink


4.13/5  rDev -2.6%

Black with a brown foam - great retention, great creaminess, and pretty nice lacing. The nose is concentrated and strong: raisin, anise, molasses. Pretty good presentation.

The flavor is super strong with lots of booze, dark fruits, espresso, oak, and maybe some smoked wood. Somewhat sour, but nothing too overbearing. Bitterness comes through, with a long finish. Great beer, but over-rated.

03-13-2010 04:37:26 | More by BretSikkink
Photo of BigMike


5/5  rDev +17.9%

I was told by Matt at Capone's that this beer was a little over a year old when i bought it.

Poured into a tulip glass. Pretty black in color. No light coming through. The head is pretty creamy and tight and is a hazelnut color. Lots of viscosity as this thing just clings to the glass for dear life.

Smell is beautiful. Lots of dark roasted chocolate. Tons of espresso. A faint blueberry aroma way in the back and an old world belgian yeastiness.

Lots and lots of roasted malts. i mean an insane amount. this thing is roasted espresso and chocolate. What sets this apart from most imperial stouts is the blueberry undertones and the belgian yeast. I mean this thing is amazing.

13%abv??? Are you kidding me? This drinks like liquid velvet. Smooth rich and creamy. How such a HUGE beer could be so easy to drink just amazes me. This beer is a good time.

Drinkability is incredible. I'm waiting for the abv to hit me because it hasn't yet. Even at the ridiculous price this is worth picking up. I want to try every beer from De Struise.

I can't find any faults with this beer. I really think this may be my first perfect score. I'm going to sit here and enjoy the rest of this beer and decide on what my final score is going to be.

03-13-2010 00:19:15 | More by BigMike
Photo of Tilley4


3.68/5  rDev -13.2%

The huge hype surrounding this one has died down considerably now and made this one quite a bit more acccessible..

11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet...

Pours beautifully here... Pitch black with a very impressive mocha colored head... Very dark and foreboding looking brew...

Very rich dark aromas of burnt roasted malts, cocoa nibs, a little yeast, and a surprising amount of hops.... Not getting quite as much of the fruity aspects of this as others but there might be a little there....

Tastes much like the smell... Burnt roasted malts, chocolate, a little vinousness... And a kick of hops at the end that really has me surprised.. Big does of hoppy bitter finish.... Weird...

Overall a nice beer but the downfall of this one is its consistency... Its way way too thin and watery... It tastes plenty rich enough but this has almost a pilsner like thinness to it that's quite off-putting...

03-02-2010 13:47:17 | More by Tilley4
Photo of ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev -2.6%

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip

A rather aggressive pour into a Chouffe tulip produced a large, beige head that filled the glass nicely. The body is pitch black with minimal ruby highlights around the edges.

Dark fruits with roasted malt off the bat. Cocoa powder, tangy Belgian yeast, licorice, molasses and touch of ethanol.

Dark cherries, tangy Belgian yeast, licorice/star anise, coffee grounds, and dark chocolate. The flavors are all in equal parts, sliding on the palate, and leaving an oily presence behind.

Full body, rich and robust flavor. Carbonation is nice and low. Creamy feel.

An excellent, fairly available RIS. This is one of those beers that everyone needs to have multiple times a year. Delicious.

02-28-2010 01:06:05 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of b3barron


4.28/5  rDev +0.9%

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.

02-21-2010 03:37:40 | More by b3barron
Photo of SpeedwayJim

New York

3.4/5  rDev -19.8%

Poured from a 11.2oz. bottle into a Troegs pint glass.

A: Vigorous pour yields a 1 finger fine creamy-chocolate head with excellent retention. Beer is an opaque black. Lacing is spotty with waves coming out of the brew at points.

S: Dark fruit, plum, faint chocolate, roasted malts, lactose, slight coffee and booze sourness.

T: Ripe plum is apparent upfront and lingers throughout. Chocolate and coffee comes in towards the middle with a weird Belgian spiciness. Finish is more of the same but booziness peaks its nasty head and stays as the aftertaste which is a bit unpleasant.

M: Medium bodied and very very coarse and highly carbonated. Mouth is very lively and quite watery. Finish is slightly sticky and messy. Lingers a bit long.

D: Overhyped, overspiced, and overcarbonated. I understand that this is a Belgian imperial stout but the flavor carbonation and body don't work for me. I won't be having this again. I expect and like coffee and heavy chocolate in my stouts. This one delivers that, but cancels it out with other flavors that don't meld quite right.

02-21-2010 01:53:06 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of TexIndy


3.85/5  rDev -9.2%

Poured from a 330cl bottle into a snifter. Bottle had a lot code but no way to convert that to a date so no idea on the age of this one. It was pitch black in color. Had a large brown head that quickly settled into a thick collar and thin film covering. Good slow sliding lace with minimal stickage.

The aroma was espresso, dark fruits, roasted and toasted malts, dry chocolate malts and alcohol. The taste followed the aroma with the coffee and fruit flavors dominating. Alcohol is prominent in aroma and taste. Somewhat sweet from the fruits. Good but not great for the style. Medium mouthfeel with acidic after-taste.

Overall, a good but not great RIS. I waited till the hype died down on this one before getting it and glad I did. It's good and worth trying but doesn't make the top portion of my RIS list. Recommend if you can easily get and not overpay. Rotation - not avail here in TX so got from ummagum. If here, I'd not get another as there are better RIS out there [1x-taste;BOT]

02-19-2010 02:14:00 | More by TexIndy
Photo of Lunch


4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Served from a 11.2oz. bottle purchased at City Beverage in Winston-Salem, North Carolina into my Darkness snifter at the appropriate temperature (02/13/10).

A: Pours an extremely dark shade of black with just the faintest ruby hues capped with a thick creamy head of about a two fingers. Some faint lacing is left on the inside of the glass.

S: Dark fruit is easily detected along with roasted malt, chocolate, cocoa, barley, coffee, caramel and some booze.

T: Dark fruits and chocolate hit the palate first with layers of cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, roasted malt, roasted barley, and some blueberries. The alcohol comes through slightly adding a nice sense of warming.

M: Fuller-bodied and quite thick with great creaminess.

D: For a 13% abv. Imperial Stout, this was extremely easy to drink.

Overall this quite an interesting take on an Imperial Stout and certainly one that has many features that make it stand out along with some inherent Belgian qualities that add great depth. Highly Recommended.

02-18-2010 20:17:09 | More by Lunch
Photo of jgasparine


3.85/5  rDev -9.2%

A- Poured from the bottle with a nice creamy textured, light brown head, which slowly receded to a collar with some nice lacing. The body was a completely opaque dark brown- almost black.

S- Thick booziness, roasted and caramel malts dominate the nose. Peppery overall with the ethanol on the nose, and it seemed to perhaps even showcase some fusel alcohol as the beer warmed.

T- Incredibly rich candy and roasted malts, laced with some heavy booze, a touch or sourness, and some unanticipated yeast esters that come through as rum-soaked dark fruits. Very intense.

M- A thick, heavily textured and syrupy body with some nice soft carbonation. Gorgeous.

D- A bit too big and too boozy for me to quaff. A small bottle is best split with a friend IMO.

02-14-2010 00:01:38 | More by jgasparine
Photo of alleykatking


4.22/5  rDev -0.5%

Split bottle with a friend a couple nights ago. Got this is a package from one of 4 people who has sent me one. Thanks for everything you guys!

A- Pours a deep dark black color. Some light brown hues when held to the light. 2 finger mocha colored head stays for a short while before laying a cap just on top of the beer. Good lacing on the sides of the glass...thick in some areas.

S- Dark fruits in the front end of this (prunes and cherries). There is a sweetness as well like brown sugar mixed in with a light roasted malt. Glad to see the roasted malts don't take over everything. Also, the alcohol in this one is covered very well in the aroma making appearances very calmly and quickly.

T- Taste wish the darker fruits come into play a lot more in the front like in the aroma. Light sugary sweetness also mixes in with the fruits. The middle is playing grounds for the roasted malts....get a small hint of coffee that becomes more apparent as the beer itself warms up. Light bitter almost dry hopping notes in the back end of this beer.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good with the stlye. Dark fruits with a hint of roast are left on the palate with the roasted malts making more of a dominating feature toward the aftertaste. Flavors were crisp and very clean overall in the beer. Left a slight oily presence everywhere in the mouth.

D- This was a very drinkable beer. I wish there would have been a little more in the roasted malts department as flavor goes but this beer is something that should be tried by as many people as possible. I will look forward to trying my other bottles and hope to trade for more.

02-11-2010 17:17:56 | More by alleykatking
Photo of erikm25


4.47/5  rDev +5.4%

NO 14
Lot B-6-BB (I wish I knew what that meant).

Dark cola brown. Head is fluffy and bubbly brown marshmallow hue.

Scorched dark cherries, raspberries, and plums with caramel coffee undertones. Spiced barley and coated in vanilla.

Roasted figs, sweetened chocolate malts, candies, and rounded with peppered lemon bread. Licorice and rum. As this warms closer to room temperature the flavors develop and with 100 IBU's the hops finally kick in. A Sneaky 13%.

01-31-2010 17:30:53 | More by erikm25
Photo of alpinebryant


4.43/5  rDev +4.5%

Poured a healthy foamy tan head into a brandy Snifter with dark black color and completely opaque.

Smells of sweet berries, dark roast coffee, bitter hops, Plum chocolate - and this hasnt even warmed up yet.

Tastes very sweet for a stout - delicious dark complex chocolate, strong caramel roasted sugars, plum, red berries, coffee, with a strongly astringent finish. Lots of hop presence, reminds me of Flying Dog Gonzo with the dark complexities, but slightly sweeter and less of a malt backbone. Amazingly, I do not sense any boozy presence which is very surprising at 13% abv.

This is a very drinkable 13% abv for the style that comes in an 11.2 oz glass - no doubt because of the amount of hops in this, this is a very drinkable great RIS> I had to restrain myself with sips due to its high drinkability and small botle size.

01-31-2010 17:24:29 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of stoutfiend27

North Carolina

4/5  rDev -5.7%

bottle poured into wide mouth st. feuillien glass chilled not cold

a-black and bubbly...two finger head that fell to a rocky cap over the beer...khaki in color..impeccable belgian lacing..bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass..

s-sweet prunes, figs and chocolate covered cherries...roasty malt in the middle...faint booze in the background...

t-starts of sweet and with a rasiny prune taste..the figs step and lead into the chocolate and cherry front the covers the massive roasty malt bill in the middle....a faint whisp of coffee flares up before a dry bitter finish tops this off (the more this one warms the more roast and coffee come through imo)

m-hugely creamy and stays around the mouth forever...the bitterness and dryness detract a little for me...but does not kill it..its still wonderful

d-would want to have a few of these but the abv is almost completely hidden except for the slight warming of the tummy after it sits there for a while...

ive only had a few ounces of this before but thanks to ottovon i got to savor an entire glass..when and if i see this on the shelf again i will pick a couple up to age

01-30-2010 02:29:29 | More by stoutfiend27
Photo of Beerenauslese


4.8/5  rDev +13.2%

Pours, aptly, an opaque black with a copius tan head that lasts, leaving ample lacing on the glass.

Aromas of prunes, dark cherries, coffee, brown sugar, wet hay, and some barn funk.

Tastes of prunes, dark cherries, coffee, brown sugar. Nice dark fruit flavors dominate, with a refreshing tartness for an imperial stout. I can appreciate why the brewers claim this is a Belgian Royal Stout as opposed to the Russian Imperial Stout it is classified as.

Rich, sweet, creamy mouthfeel, like melted chocolate and cherry ice cream.

This is a night capper at 13 percent ABV. However, the alcohol is not so evident in the taste (until after you drink it), and is balanced by the delectable strong flavors.

01-28-2010 05:51:48 | More by Beerenauslese
Photo of satowns


2.78/5  rDev -34.4%

Tasted blind with 13 other imperial stouts.

Pours black with a dark brown head.

Akward aroma of fruity red berries.

Flavor is mostly strawberries. sweet. not sure what im drinking here. hints of chocolate and dark malts.

full bodied mouthfeel. alcohol is nicely masked.

i will have to try another bottle and update my review if needed.

01-24-2010 05:15:12 | More by satowns
Photo of Kelp

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

01-20-2010 03:42:50 | More by Kelp
Photo of Luk13

Quebec (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev -3.8%

Bottle. Damn, this is quite the night. Roasted coffee aromas, but not in the american or mikkeller way, a sweeter and meatier coffee. I also get grapes, figs and alcohol here. Malty taste, quite sweet with a yeasty finish. Nice mouthfeel and overall very good beer. Highly drinkable for what it is

01-17-2010 20:53:59 | More by Luk13
Photo of HopHobo


4.18/5  rDev -1.4%

Poured a bottle of this side by side with Cuvee Delphine (Black Albert aged in 4 Roses bourban barrels).

Black Albert pours with a huge 4 fingers of head that hangs on for several minutes. Through the course of sipping this beer there is always of layer of head on the top that never goes away. It also leaves a thin boozey lacing on the side of the glass. This stout smells of dark fruits, vanilla, chocolate, sugar, alcohol and roasted grains with the dark fruit smell blending with the chocolate smell to give this ale a desert like sweet smell. The off putting smell is a bit of oxidation and metallic flavor that seems out of place with the rest of the aromas. The taste is much of the same with tastes of dried fruits and chocolate roasted grains dominating out front. The bittersweet chocolate is a little much and and takes away from the drinkability the mouthfeel is medium and what I would expect from a Belgian Stout. Black Albert is a very good stout and the 13% ABV is hidden very nicely in the flavor. Side by side I perfer the Cuvee Delphine a little more because the Cuvee is a much more interesting ale. Black Albert is very solid and the fruitiness is unique, but its not a stout that blows me away. Good Effort all and all.

01-16-2010 15:51:00 | More by HopHobo
Photo of mondegreen


4.63/5  rDev +9.2%

From bottle at Trappeze Pub in Athens, GA.

Part of my 30th Birthday Celebration thanks to longtime friend and newbie BA graphx3d

A: Nearly black pour with a huge brown head. A gorgeous stout.

S: Big RIS smell with very prominent Belgian notes. Roasted barley, coffee, chocolate & hints of dark fruit.

T: Extremely smooth. No alcohol taste at all, which is very impressive given the high ABV. The dark fruits come forward more in the mouth, but the RIS flavors still win out. Complex yet very approachable.

M: Nice and thick. Almost like whipped cream.

D: I shared this bottle with a friend, but I have no doubts that I could polish off a few of these, which could be quite dangerous at 13%.

01-16-2010 14:15:01 | More by mondegreen
Photo of Richardberg

New York

3.58/5  rDev -15.6%

A - very dark but not pitch black, nice size brown head for a big beer

S - deep chocolate malts, coffee, ethanol

T - big RIS flavor but with lots of unusual overtones: starts sweet then quickly adds bitterness throughout the tongue. You end up with both at once, alongside kinda offbeat flavors like orange peel, and I'm not sure it works.

M - velvety to sip and nicely sticky afterward

D - pretty good for a 13%. Strong, competing hide most of the alky from the taste, though you can smell it of course. Then again the flavors themselves make this best suited for small doses.

01-15-2010 04:13:35 | More by Richardberg
Photo of mechamifune

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -2.1%

Pours with a nice creamy dark tan head, obviously dark but without that motor old quality you see in some IS's. Obvious sense of carbonation to the appearance. Smells very strongly of alc. initially with a slight hint of chocolate.

This carries over to the initial sipping, as the alc. is very evident, but still finishes with a strong sense of bitterness from the coffee/chocolate.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, not creamy, but still very full and easy to manage. The alcohol begins to fade as I continue to drink the beer, and by about halfway through the 13% is very well hidden.

Overall a very good beer, but nothing overwhelming. For the price point, there are a number of IS's i'd rather have. For being 13% though, its pretty drinkable, but I can't say I would want to have more than one at a sitting.

01-14-2010 13:51:02 | More by mechamifune
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,479 ratings.