Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers
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Ratings: 1,487 | Reviews: 809 | Display Reviews Only:
4.25/5 rDev +0.2%
Serving type- 11.3 ounce bottled poured into a Duck Rabbit snifter. Got this in a trade with djrn.
This beer pours a jet black like motor oil. There is a nice two finger tan head that is present after the pour that eventually fades into a small nonexistent head. There is a good cling in the glass that stays around till the end. The only smell notes I am getting from this is alcohol. The taste is remanisent of a mainstay RIS. There is a subtle coffee undertone which has a mellow undertone followed by an strong alcohol finish. The strength of this beer is nowhere near present as you drink it. The mellow flavor of the beer masks the very high ABV and this could make the beer very dangerous if you were to drink more than one or two. As far as taste goes this is seems to me to be a run of the mill RIS but the strength of the beer is where it seperates itself from other Russian Imperial Stouts. I am happy I was able to have this beer finally but it is probably not something I would trade for again.
08-28-2009 02:10:15 | More by cbros
2.78/5 rDev -34.4%
Chilled bottle into a glass. Purchased at K&L in Redwood City for something like $12.
A: Pours a pitch black at first glance, but it's actually a dark brown with some ruby highlights (judging from the stream that comes out of the bottle). In the glass it has zero light penetration. The head is half an inch of espresso brown bubbles, and it recedes quickly into a light cap on the brew. Nice lacing during each swig, but most of it falls down the glass instead of sticking.
S: At first it had a strong waft of earthiness and coffee, but as it warmed, the smell became very muted. Some general sweetness and chocolate. Nothing pronounced.
T: Licorice and chocolate-covered cherries dominate. There's also a strong earthy hop flavor, but it gets hidden as the beer warms and the sweeter flavors take over. Pepper, coffee, and roasted malts are strong on the finish, with just the tiniest hint of licorice lingering in the aftertaste.
M: Full, heavy body. Carbonation consists of fine bubbles, and it's a tad high for an RIS. Gives it a little sting on the finish to work with the pepper bite. Only the lightest hint of a boozy warmth in the aftertaste. Really smooth.
D: It wasn't offensive, but I have no desire to pay $12 for this again.
08-23-2009 06:05:18 | More by Arbitrator
3.68/5 rDev -13.2%
A 330 mL bottle courtesy of upsjeff.
A: The stout opened with a fizz and slowly foamed up, leaving a coffee-and-cream colored head slowly creeping out of the glass. In my snifter, the stout is dark, appropriately black for an imperial offering. Spots of lace result from the head.
S: The nose is interesting, dark and malty on one hand but fruity/spicy on the other. There is even a dry Irish stout aroma floating in there.
T: An interesting stout, continuing from the unique aspects of the nose. Dry malts, dark and roasted, lend a Guinness-like flavor, followed by a Belgian yeast profile of dark alefruits. A lactic creaminess is strong, adding a mildly sour, stale taste to the stout. The 13% pricetag is well hidden but this imperial stout seems more like an imperial Irish stout.
M: I'm not sold yet. The sweet lactic body is a little too sour, a little too loosey goosey. I like the fruit flavors that follow the lactose but they don't last long enough.
D: A tough drink with a heavy pricetag. It is certainly imperial, an ale that isn't afraid to shatter boundaries. Based on that, I kinda like it.
08-22-2009 22:24:40 | More by akorsak
3.93/5 rDev -7.3%
Poured from a capped 11.2 oz bottle. I have been sitting on this one for about 6 months, and I cannot for the life of me recall why I was saving this.
Firm pour calls fourth about a quarter inch of coco head. Very nice thick fuzzy lace. Color is absolute black, the absence of light.
Nose- Still a bit cold from the fridge but starting to open up. Some coco bakers chocolate, lots of very dark fruit. Raisins dominate the nose. Dark Rum, some burnt caramel, dates.
Taste- Very different. Its like a quad and a stout combined. Initially I get some very quad-esque flavors, raisins, dates a bevy of dark fruits. Stout characteristics come through in the second portion of the flavor profile. Some nice coco, coffee and bakers chocolate. Alcohol is fairly apparent. Long dry finish.
Mouthfeel- Exceedingly smooth, not as heavy as one would think.
Drinkability- This is a beast. Truly a sipper, one is more then enough.
08-21-2009 22:27:01 | More by Kraken
3.3/5 rDev -22.2%
Been wanting to try this for quite a while, thanks to the very generous trader!
Poured a very dark but not jet black. Nice head, stuck around for a decent amount of the glass. Lots of lace all over the place.
A very dull aroma, and what there is isn't pleasing. A bit smokey, and burnt malt?
Immediately notice the lighter body than I was expecting. Dark malts, bit of chocoloate and coffee bean. Roubust burnt malt again, not a fan of that taste. Intentional? A bit of sourness, reminiscent of a Baltic Porter. Not surprising coming from Belgium, I like it. Some sort of metallic off flavor in the finish. Burnt sweetness lingers on the tongue.
Well, I didn't know what to expect and this certainly wasn't what I was hoping for. Complex, had some good flavors, but also several unlikable characteristics. A bit too light on the body. Nice to try it but I wouldn't make an effort to get it again.
08-19-2009 21:59:18 | More by mrkrispy
4/5 rDev -5.7%
Pours deep Black, creamy tan head inside a snifter glass.
smells, alcohol vapours licorice, loads of licorice. very earthy and then some fresh espresso.
Tastes, earthy then some sweet mocha ezpresso. The licorice flavour does not come through as much as i'd like.
mouthfeel, smooth as silk then some alcohol burn.
Drink, 1 is plenty thanks.
08-16-2009 07:09:11 | More by smithflipper
3.88/5 rDev -8.5%
11.6 oz. Deep black/brown pour with a lingering dark tan head. Roasty aroma, malt, light coffee. Chocolates and dark fruits also very apparent. Carbonation makes the mouthfeel a bit foamy, but not nearly as bad as some other Belgian Stouts, which frankly I have not cared for. This one thankfully, is much better. Flavor is very vinuous, chocolate covered fruits everywhere. Thick and slick, something to drink slowly. A slightly fruitier take in my opinion. Would not make it a regular, but worth trying.
08-10-2009 03:57:49 | More by Bung
4.43/5 rDev +4.5%
The black pour, opaque body, and khaki head were prototypical of the style. The head was small and very short lived, which I am sure was the result of the high ABV. The smell was like molter chocolate and very intoxicating. The taste was like dried berries soaked in coffee. There was a up front hint of sourness which gave way to roasted grain astringency. The beer felt simple at first, but after realizing the amount of alcohol hidden under there, I became of the opinion that the seeming simplicity was actually due to the extremely elegant balance that felt so natural. Glided off the tongue after each sip, leaving a chocolate aftertaste. Simply amazing.
08-10-2009 02:04:06 | More by rajendra82
4.05/5 rDev -4.5%
11.2 oz bottle served at TJs in Paoli into a chalice
Pours a squid ink lack, a coffee colored head tops beautifully
Complex nose, the alcohol burns off quickly, cherry and anise come through, as does tobacco and roasted dark malt
The flavor is even more complex and interesting, roasted malts, a little coffee, cherry and plum, licorice and anise at the back. Winey and beautiful.
Oily and slick, lightly carbonated. The high APV makes this a slow sipper, but one to savor.
08-08-2009 23:56:25 | More by mhatters
4.55/5 rDev +7.3%
Much thanks for riversideak for this in trade!
This one beer that in addition to flavour, really brings all of the senses to play. Pours thick and sludgey, motor-oily, just spectacular. Like a black hole in my goblet. Smell is kind of sweet, a bit boozey, and very yeasty - doesn't really smell roasty or anything. The taste - it's chocolatey, rich and creamy. Smooth, and easygoing. Almost like a beer float, hints of vanilla, anise. Some dark fruit to it,some quad-like notes buried in there. Not a lot of huge roastyness or zomghops, but damn tasty for a big Belgianized stout. Tastes like velvet on my palate. I can see why this is a bit expensive, one of the most easydrinking big beers I've had, and there is no trace of the 13% ABV. Fantastic.
08-07-2009 03:24:10 | More by damienblack
4.85/5 rDev +14.4%
11.2 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. I think this bottle was around $10, but at the time I didn't know if and / or when I'd see it again, so I figured I'd snag one. Also, I'm moving to NY in about 10 days, and I'm certainly not traveling with this for fear of obvious breakage, so here we go.
Appearance: Pretty much opaque on all accounts. Hugely billowing mocha-colored head, with a dense, rock candy-like dissipating, slowly leaving some sheets of lacing on the glass. Not the best rounds of lacing ever-clinging, but it takes a ton of time for the head to dissipate, releasing some pretty heady aromas.
Smell: This is a wild and beautiful anomaly, and you can immediately tell the quality of this brew. Rich ripe strawberries backed by cocoa powder, dark mocha, burnt chocolate and charred roasted malts, tar, a bit of wood, and what I like to think of as an almost wild yeast strain, adding an amazingly heady sense of funk to the whole thing. More barnyard and earth than medicinal. Yet I also get more fruit as it warms, some ripe citrus and cherries, and a rich caramel-vanilla combination, almost like caramel-drizzled apple cake, with some sour apple skin, maybe granny smith, going on.
Taste: First off: the balance between the sweetness and sourness and bitterness here at the finish is wonderful and rich and complex and one of the best I've ever found in a brew. Though that's just the start, I suppose it, even though technically it's the end. And the balance between the sweetness of the ripe fruit and somehow juicy citrus is complimented by the nuanced, and somehow subtle, charred assault of tar, blackened malts, black coffee, and dark chocolate. Just absolutely incredible, and probably, as far as taste goes for a beer, in my top 10. Tons of luscious 2-cream-and-2-sugar coffee, while maintaining the bitterness, with the juiciness of orange and strawberry in there, and again, somehow everything mingles so well. Rather than an over-the-top-RIS like many American versions, this one puts the stamp on quality, because there's a wealth of riches going on, all of it somewhat unbelievable as I keep drinking, since I've never really had a brew like this in my entire life in some ways.
Mouthfeel: Rich and viscous and heavy and not cloying at all. Nuance nuance nuance. Thick and rich as all hell, but there maintains a litheness to the carbonation that for a 13% ABV brew is astounding. Velvety and fantastic.
Drinkability: This was tough for me, because it's one of the most expensive beers for the amount in the bottle that I've ever purchased, but it's been one of the best experiences I've ever had with a beer, through and through. Huge alcohol, almost indiscernible at every angle, balance with the subtleties of flavor and complexity that seem almost unparalleled to me in most other beers. This is definitely worth the $10-ish price tag, especially if you're looking for something worth that price, because more and more often I'm finding I'm not displeased as much as maybe very slightly disappointed with the price to quality ratio these days. Here? Not at all.
08-05-2009 21:51:52 | More by asabreed
4.68/5 rDev +10.4%
A successful evening of softball means it's time to crack open my first BA...
Appearance: Before I even have a chance to let the bottle warm, off-white heads seeps out of the top of the bottle. Pours a very dark brown-black with about a quarter inch of mocha colored head. Lots of big bubbles interspersed among the more tightly packed small bubbles. The head recedes quickly leaving a ring around the edges of the glass and lots of great lacing. No light seeps around the edges. This is the definition of an opaque beer.
Smell: Chocolate, vanilla, coffee, some hops, and maybe even a little malty sweetness. There are also notes of caramel and lots more cocoa.
Taste: This is one of the best tasting RIS's (or RIB's) that I've had in a long time. The coffee and the chocolate hit you right out of the gate. The hop bitterness is there, but it's not overdone. The malty sweetness comes roaring through, but caramel and toffee flavors serve to round out the finish.
Mouthfeel: Surprisingly crisp. This one poured, and tasted for that matter, like it was going to be one big chocolate/coffee sticky mess. It is quite the opposite. The carbonation is spot-on, and the beer glides over the tongue, enveloping it in goodness without being overwhelming or overpowering.
Drinkability: This is an absolutely delightful RIS. It's so well done that there is almost no alcohol taste. Some might see that as a bad thing since it's 13% ABV. I, on the other hand, love the craftsmanship that makes just such an instance possible. This could quickly become a staple brew in my cellar. Can't wait to try an aged one in 6-12 months.
08-01-2009 04:58:00 | More by COBeerBuff
4.35/5 rDev +2.6%
A: Deep black/brown body... massive tan head... super retention and good lacing..
S: Chocolate and coffee... Distinctly belgian notes of figs, raisins and cherries... not detecting too much of the booze here in the nose
T: Much like the nose, coffee (and to a lesser extent chocolate) dominate the experience... nice highlights of dark fruits... again the booze, which I know is there, isn't shining through!!!
M: Somewhat viscous... flavor lingers for quite some time...
D: The 13% ABV, while relatively undetectable in the nose and flavor, made itself known as I tried to finish this guy off!
08-01-2009 03:19:12 | More by callmemickey
3.58/5 rDev -15.6%
Lot b6bb, whatever.
Roopy40 and I each poured one out for enjoyment. have been waiting a while to drink this one.
Pours an absence of light blackness with a mocha/tan head of about an inch into a DFH snifter. Head recedes quickly but nice little legs the whole way down, some normal beer lacing as well.
Smells of coffee beans, wet wood and charcoal with some alcohol on the way. A little burnt chocolate and fresh soil to go along with it.
Taste is licorice, burnt malt and slight hop bitterness. I was expecting a really bold flavor, but it's really muted and bland.
Coffee and booze on the finish, but a little too hot.
Mouthfeel is watery and thin. slightly creamy, but very thin for the style and the ABV.
Drinkability - I was disappointed in this one. At a rate of $1 per ounce, I really expect more from a beer. Is it wrong of me to judge this on price? Roopy40 and I sat there naming off dozens of other RIS at great prices that kick the crap out of this one any day of the week. I would not buy it again and am sorry that I spent the cash on this one.
I guess if it were $4 or so, I might like it more and rate it higher, but honestly, didn't enjoy it and felt cheated.
07-29-2009 15:34:20 | More by discovolante65
3.18/5 rDev -25%
This beer pours a thick used motor oil black color. The head is a thick tan two inches of foam that recedes at a glacial pace. This is a very nice looking beer. The aroma is roasted malt, and graham cracker. For a beer that clams to be 13% ABV this is a very weak aroma. I would actually expect more aroma from a 5% ABV oatmeal stout. The taste is more of the same, but with a harsh alcohol presence. A hint of alcohol is something I would except from a beer with so much alcohol in it, but here it seems to be a major part of the flavor instead of something in the background. Again, this taste is weak. The mouthfeel is full bodied with appropriately low carbonation, and a velvety texture. Overall, this is a huge disappointment. This beer is simply poorly crafted. Good beers with high alcohol content have the high alcohol content so they can have stronger aromas, and stronger tastes. This beer seems to be strong in alcohol simply to be strong in alcohol. I can't see myself ever being in the mood where I what to drink something strong and flavorless. But if for some reason I find myself in that mood I think I would head for a a malt liquor, and save twelve dollars.
07-28-2009 01:34:24 | More by KarlHungus
5/5 rDev +17.9%
All hail Black Albert! A dark dark soy sauce color with a thin head. It has a sweet smell with hints of fruit and coffee. The taste of this one is amazing, the best part being the signature De Struise Belgian-style sweetness that I think makes this stout exceptional. The mouth feel is very slippery yet nice and thin and easy to sip on. I have tasted great Belgians and great Imperial Stouts and this seems to be a hybrid of the two making for the most unique and delicious beer I've had to date.
07-27-2009 13:53:31 | More by greg202stewart
4.22/5 rDev -0.5%
Got this bottle today as an early birthday present. It's 11.2 oz with a plain gold crown cap.
Pours pitch black with a huge brown head that eventually settles down but a small wispy head stuck around pretty much the whole time.
Smells great. Lots of chocolate, and some coffee notes as well. Lots of roasted barley. But lingering in the background are all those lovely belgian aromas, dark fruit, and a hint of cherries, also the alcohol is very making itself known.
Taste very interesting. First things I'm getting are the belgian flavors coming through. Hints of plum, figs, and other dark fruit flavors as well. Then those typical stout flavors shine through with lots of burnt roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. But some how these two different blend together to make a very interesting beer. Can't wait to try the Pannepot later.
07-26-2009 03:09:17 | More by scifan
4/5 rDev -5.7%
Poured a deep rich chocolate, almost black, left a creamy head, had to wait a minute or so until the head subsided to finish pouring the bottle. The nose was of a sweet coffee aroma, taste had the flavour of roasted malts and roasted coffee, and somewhere in there a sweetness of fruits, perhaps cherries. Mouthfeel was creamy goodness running over the palate. A very tasty Stout, and worth drinking every last ounce!
07-26-2009 01:03:56 | More by thequeen711
4.47/5 rDev +5.4%
Lot code B 6 BB. Couldn't figure out what it stands for.
An 11.2oz. brown bottle with unmarked gold cap. Purchased months ago but enjoyed today to celebrate the creation of my own mega imperial stout.
Served slightly chilled in a tulip glass, it's inky blackness and thick, tan, fine-laced head make it a beautiful stout.
Aroma is sweet and roasty with some dark fruit, cherries, and alcohol. Some characteristics, especially the latter few, remind me of the times I've had port wine.
Flavor is very complex and unusual. It's huge for one thing. There is so much roasted malt and dark roasted coffee flavors that it's surprising anything else comes through. Luckily, I also get some black cherries and dark dried fruits that are common in Belgian beers. This also has some surprising funk to it that actually works pretty well with all that's going on.
Mouthfeel is creamy and wonderful with just enough carbonation to make it dance in the mouth. The alcohol is reasonably well-hidden but this is, afterall, a 13% ABV beer. Drinkability is lacking because of that and the super strong flavors.
Overall a really interesting and unique beer. I loved the Pannepot so much and while this is very good, it's not to that level. Extremely special and worth a try.
07-22-2009 23:25:55 | More by GilGarp
3.43/5 rDev -19.1%
black pour with a thick khaki head. Aroma has strong grapes, green apple, and sugar. Flavor is very complex. I got chocolate, tofee, tannins/white grapes, green apple, light hops, tobacco, and cherries. Finishes lightly sweet, oily. A bit of alcohol bite rounds it out. I was expecting a bit more, but it was a pretty good try.
07-17-2009 03:44:57 | More by pepsican
3.6/5 rDev -15.1%
A: Pours a muddy tan with a chocolate ½ inch head on initial pour. Lacing is thick and carbonation is pretty high for a RIS./
S: Big alcohol nose, Belgium sugar and banana. Not getting a lot of hops for it being over 100 ibu.
M/T: Light medium body, a lot lighter than I thought for being a 13%, but what I expected after seeing how much carbonation there was on the pour. Also, surprisingly light for such a big alcohol beer. I get almost a grape like taste on the tongue on the initial sip. Light hop background, but not as much as expected with it being 100 ibu. With this bottle being 2008, maybe the hops faded a tad? Finishes slightly bitter and sugary.
D: If I had to describe this beer in one word it would be unexpected. There is nothing overwhelming, but very unique tasting. With its medium body, it is very drinkable, but this is definitely a nice sipper.
07-17-2009 02:42:54 | More by DrewOSU
3.88/5 rDev -8.5%
Shared this one DrewOSU tonight - I wanted something nice to wrap up the night. I picked this up at Bruisin' Ales in North Carolina after Sexual Chocolate Day '09. 11.2 Ounce bottle for $9.99. Lot B 6 BB on the label (whatever that means).
Black with dark brown, clear highlights sitting below a 1/2 inch dark tan head. Nice, chunky dark tan lacing after a light agitation in my Nørrebro Bryghus flute.
After I poured my DrewOSU's share, I moved the beer by my nose and smells malts - big nose. On a more concentrated sniff, I got a surpisingly big nose full of hops! Per the label, there's 100 IBU and I believe it! Unfortrunately, that's all I got - vegetable, slightly citrus and earthy hops... Further sniffing, as it warms is alcohol and coffee.
Big, scathing coffee and heavily/almost burnt malts. The alcohol heat from the 13% ABV is definitely present but not in the forefront. Moderately complex flavor profile with earthy hops definitely in the mix.
This is the first really big RIS I have had since Dark Lord Day, so I needed to refresh my palate. Wow...
It's a very concentrated flavor almost syrupy at times. In fact, if the body was thicker, I would compare this to Surly's Darkness because of the big, burnt combination of malts and hops.
This is a very nice, big beer and I'm glad I got to try it - but I don't feel the need to run out and get more the price.
07-17-2009 02:40:42 | More by beachbum1975
4.18/5 rDev -1.4%
One of my few reviews of the same beer in a different format. I had this on tap in Portland last winter. Now I have a bottle. (I am not going back to read the draft review until this review is complete.
Thick and insane dark tan head. Creamy and frothy. With a slow pour you can get it about a ½ inch above the top of the glass. I love that. If there is a line between dark brown and black this straddles it. Head does eventually recede to a layer of foam. Some nice clinging lacing. If you hold it to the light you see a dark brown ring around the blackness.
Aroma is milk chocolate out of the shoot. Dark roasted malt/grains right behind that. Becomes more fruity as it warms.
My God is this a thick stout. Dark roasted flavors, prunes, smoke, soy sauce. Dark Figs. Slightly earthy. The bottles says 13% abv and I almost don't believe them. This beer is best close to room temperature. More dark fruits come through and there is almost a fruit within the chocolate flavor that emerges..
Mouth feel is almost dry from the grains. Big and bold body. Velvet like
Very drinkable and one to savor and enjoy. However, since it's so easy to drink it goes down too east.
Glad I tried it in the bottle.
I am going to age the other that I have.
07-11-2009 21:05:45 | More by Reagan1984
3.73/5 rDev -12%
Bottle shared courtesy of Bobsy - thanks for taking this one off the wants list!
Pours a dark brown with minimal head and not much lacing.
There are light fruits in the nose, brown sugar, some nice spiciness, hints of roasty malts - the promise of nice things to come.
The taste and mouthfeel were disappointing though. All the qualities of the nose came through with a hint of chocolate but all in mild quantities. I would have loved for them to be big and bold but they were muted and a little dull. It was smooth and sexy no doubt but just not a knock-out.
For all the hype (it is Top 100 after all!) I was certainly expecting a little more. It hides the alcohol well and certainly drinkable but all in all - a little bit of a let down (especially for the price!)
07-07-2009 23:52:40 | More by ritzkiss
3.8/5 rDev -10.4%
I got this one in a trade with Wildone, so huge thanks to Dave for sending this highly regarded brew to Toronto. I really enjoyed this stout, but wasn't as blown away as I thought I'd be. Everything was really solid, but nothing really pushed it over the top. I understand that some bottles are phenomenal, whereas other are merely very good, perhaps this batch belongs to the latter.
The appearance, though, is great A midnight black on a moonless night with a large mocha head that leaves a lot of lace on the way down. Its how a big stout should look. The nose is quite sweet, with toffee and treacle upfront, with the roast underneath. Flavours are full and satisfying, with cocoa, treacle, anise, and vanilla dominating, and the roast being far more subtle than I expected. The alcohol is still evident in the finish, but not to the detriment of the beer. Moderate body and restrained carbonation. Decent, but perhaps not the greatest I've come across.
07-07-2009 14:36:31 | More by bobsy
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,487 ratings.