1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,467 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,467
Reviews: 808
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 317
Gots: 357 | 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Albert Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,467 | Reviews: 808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrewOSU


3.6/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2009 02:42:54 | More by DrewOSU
Photo of beachbum1975


3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2009 02:40:42 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of Reagan1984


4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 21:05:45 | More by Reagan1984
Photo of ritzkiss

Ontario (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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!)

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2009 23:52:40 | More by ritzkiss
Photo of bobsy

Ontario (Canada)

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

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2009 14:36:31 | More by bobsy
Photo of champ103


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

A: Pours pitch black. No light get through at all. A huge tightly packed tan head forms. Great retention. Some sticky lace clings to the glass in patches.
S: At first molasses and liquorish dominate the nose. Though as this breaths, a much more complex aroma comes out. Roasted malt with coffee and chocolate brownies. Baked bread. MM, very inviting.
T: Almost a cloying sweetness. Lots of molasses, liquorish, and brown sugar. The alcohol is a bit much as well, and over powers some of the subtleties.
M/D: A full body that is well carbonated. Rich and creamy. Not hard to sip on, but the alcohol is front and center. A one bottle sipper.

This is a monster of a beer. One I think would benefit greatly with some age. Though it is stll a very enjoyable beer. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2009 02:33:46 | More by champ103
Photo of br3wmeister


4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Large silky dark brown head sits atop a pitch black beer. Good head retention and beautiful lacing.

S- Dark ripe plum, mild oak, charcoal and roasted nuts make a big impression on the nose. Also some alcohol, brown sugar and piney hops.

T- Very fruity and roasty up front with a nice smooth, oily mouthfeel. Plums, raisin and a hint of fig, roasted nuts, burnt toast, and molasses are also in there. Some nice bitterness in the end that helps balance things out, and a nice dry finish.

This is a pretty good RIS, nice balance, and great flavor. I will be buying this beer again.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2009 23:39:03 | More by br3wmeister
Photo of bonbini26

New Jersey

3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, almost opaque brown, with a light tan head that isn't that impressive in head or fullness and disappears rather quickly. Aromas of roasted coffee, rich plum, and dark chocolate. The taste starts out with a mix of sweet dark fruit and coffee and hints of coffee, with a roasted malt finish. I was expecting a fuller body from 13% alcohol, moderate carbonation. I was expecting a little more from this beer given some of the hype around it. Not a bad beer I just don't think it is worth the price tag, many other better strong stouts out there

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2009 19:52:30 | More by bonbini26
Photo of mntlover


4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black deep black with no light showing through. A finger size head falls to a ring, no real lace left behind.

Aroma is wonderful roasted malts, black liquorish, coffee and chocolate covered cherries with a nice alcohol note that just adds to the aroma. Nice sweet inviting smooth even though alcohol notes are present.

Taste is roasted malts noted alcohol that seems to lighten it all a bit. Candy sugars, coffee, liquorish notes chocolate cherries raisins. Finishes with herbal minty and a touch of grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is not as big as you would imagine only medium with carbonation but it is still tingly.

Drinkability is a different but enjoyable stout with a Belgian influence, want to think merlin48 for sharing this one with me.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2009 01:06:18 | More by mntlover
Photo of dancinwillie


3.18/5  rDev -25%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thick, active pour. Almost got away from me. The head is the color of cocoa powder. Maybe a shade or two darker. The beer itself is black, and I see some light colored floaters just inside the glass. They are there, but not very easy to spot. Head has dropped to nothing, more or less. Some activity on top looks sort of like a poured cola soft drink. Really active.

Nose is dark chocolate, kind of chalky smelling. Whatever that means. Malted milk balls? Rich fruit aroma too. Plums, and I'm picking up a strong cherry facet. Sweet. I wonder if any of this beer has been soured, I'm picking up a bit. Hope it's not just my sample.

Seems a little muted at first, and I'm sampling it rather warm. Apparently it needed to warm up just a bit more though. Some interesting flavors here. Apples, tobacco, pepper in small doses. A bit of coffee, and chocolate too. A bit of that big ABV is there as well. This is probably good for a warning, as this beer doesn't feel anywhere in the neighborhood of 13%. I could get into trouble if I had more than 1 of these. Velvet smooth mouthfeel. Low carbonation, which I didn't expect from the active appearance.

My opinion: This beer has more twists and turns than Chinatown. But unlike that great movie, this doesn't deliver. Well above average in appearance and smell, and to an extent, mouthfeel and drinkability. Where this beer falls short, is the taste, and that's a bit of a drawback.

I was impressed by Pannepot, but this just didn't do it for me. I'll have to try more from these guys. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2009 04:33:34 | More by dancinwillie
Photo of vacax


4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle via trade. Thanks to Javi. Poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Black liquid and a tan head that is vast. Huge thick head was unexpected from a giant 13% ABV stout, I was caught off guard. I reckon this is due to the Belgian yeast, but I'll be damned if it doesn't make one hell of a gorgeous stout. Geneorus lacing.

S: Pears, chocolate, pleasant and mild Belgian yeast, candi sugar. Much more fruity and light than most enormous roasty, bourbony imperial stouts.

T: Bursting with pears, dark fruits, maybe even hints of currants. Warming with a crazy fruity Belgian yeast. Bittering hops mix with a sweetness that is almost cloying but actually very pleasant. Rich roasty malt finish to the sweetness. Rich, fruity, and sweet. Unique.

M: Smooth and medium-thick in the world of imperial stouts. Carbonated but not prickly, goes well with the sweetness.

D: Considering it comes in an 11.2 oz. bottle, this is very easy drinking. No problem drinking an entire bottle, though I did share some with my bro. Very sweet but matched by a great fruitiness and roasty finish smooths it out. I would not object to changing this into bomber format. Very big flavors, but basically no alcohol essence.

Unique, enjoyable, sweet and fruity but balanced with a roast and incredibly smooth for such a big beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2009 04:56:25 | More by vacax
Photo of HopHead84


3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks mrkrispy! Pours dark brown (almost black) into my snifter, with dark crimson highlights. The light brown head is creamy and about 2 fingers with good retention.

The aroma is pretty muted, and the beer is at least 55 degrees. Nondescript, muddled malt with some sugar. There's a little chocolate and coffee. There are some pretty noticeable metallic notes.

The flavor...hmmm. Herbal hop notes with some milk chocolate, and a little sourness. Once again the metallic notes are present.

The beer is medium full bodied with good carbonation. The mouthfeel is thin and watery.

This is the second time I've had this beer. I don't get it.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 07:10:39 | More by HopHead84
Photo of GClarkage


4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

06/19/09- Aquired in a trade with ygtbsm94.

Presentation- 12oz bottle with no freshness info. Poured into my Stone RIS tulip.

Appearance- Pretty black in color with a mocha color large bubbled and three fingered head. Leaves some minor spotting of lace behind.

Smell- Nice combo of semi-dark chocolate, light coffee aroma and a small dusting of hops.

Taste- Extremely well balanced beer with a nice bittersweet chocolate base followed by a pinch of espresso and a slight added hop punch. Very flavorful.

Mouthfeel- Nice lower carbonation level. Very light hop bitterness in the aftertaste, mostly a light chocolate dusting.

Drinkability- Can't even detect the 13% alcohol level. Very drinkable and quite balanced and flavorful. Not the best RIS I have ever had, but among the best.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2009 04:03:10 | More by GClarkage
Photo of badbassrandy


4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-18-2009 18:08:42 | More by badbassrandy
Photo of jjayjaye

New York

4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours ultra dark with a HUGE stiff dark brown head that resists fading like an ice cream sundae. Sheets of 3D Belgian lacing left behind every mouthful. The really good; licorice, molasses and a hint of chocolate...a supporting role as opposed to the star attraction. The mouth feel is nicely carbonated, somewhat oily with a tang of alcohol. Full flavored, the nose is repeated in the taste. A nicely balanced licorice/molasses blend. Coats the tongue well and adding a mild roast malt note behind. The 13% ABV warms some but is not distracting. A really fine beverage...highly recommended!

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2009 19:31:40 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of LauraAlberts

South Carolina

5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Complete Black, can't see through - two fingers of tan head retention.

Smell: Molasses, Caramel, Little hint of bittersweet Chocolate, hint of mokah, black raspberry, dark cherry.

Taste: Tobacco, Vanilla bean, Molasses, Caramel, roasted nut

Mouthfeel: my favorite part - creamy - can't even taste the 13.00% alcohol.

Drinkability: Highly Drinkable - not heavy. I highly recommend - it is unbelievable. Quite possibly my favorite beer I've ever had.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 19:49:43 | More by LauraAlberts
Photo of Shaggy9356


4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Been looking forward to trying this for awhile. Pours a pitch black with dark tan head, more carbonation than I was expecting on the pour. Gorgeous lacing clings to the snifter.

Nose has modest aroma of coffee, sweet chocolate and some alcohol. Mouthfeel adds so much to this beer. Big and balanced, surprisingly creamy, nicely carbonated.

Taste is dry up front with baking chocolate, burnt caramel in the middle, warming alcohol on the finish. Bitter aftertaste detracts somewhat from the overall performance. The balance of the IBUs and malt hides the 13% remarkably well but is still a sipper due to the size. Enjoy this for it is a rockstar and knows it.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2009 01:57:52 | More by Shaggy9356
Photo of grayburn

South Carolina

5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Most beers don't live up to the hype, I've gotten used to this. So as I purchased my 10 dollar, 330cl bottle, I was not expecting anything that revolutionized beer to me. It happened anyway. The big kicker on this beer is the thick and creamy mouth, it really brings together all facets of this wonderful brew into an orgasmic package. Dangerously drinkable, the chocolate and belgianesque funkiness really play like best friends here. My words do no justice, believe the hype.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2009 06:27:48 | More by grayburn
Photo of Risser09


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

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter - Fridge - Lot A, Best Before April 2013

Appearance: Pours a jet black that makes no room for light at all. The head is tan and an enormous 2.5". Tremendous retention and lots of thick, foamy lace. Awesome for a RIS.

Smell: Sweet barley, licorice, cereal grain, and surprisingly, some deep cherry flavors. Wildly different than what I expected. Nice.

Taste: Sweet burnt barley malt, licorice, leather and booze. A bomb of a beer. The booze is the finisher that provides all the warmth you should need.

Mouthfeel: Pretty medium bodied, lots of burnt flavor and some carbonation. Lots of booze that soaks into your skin.

Drinkability: Pretty good overall. Probably way overrated when you consider the onslaught of fives that it originally got. A great beer though.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2009 17:24:12 | More by Risser09
Photo of merlin48


4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 bottle pours a pitch black body with a small tan head that quickly falls into some sheet lacing.

Complex aroma has fusel alcohol, cherries and prunes, Vienna coffee, dark chocolate, and a herbal hops note.

Mouthfeel is medium full bodied with subdued carbonation.

Taste opens with a nutty dark chocolate note, followed by roasty coffee, powdered cocoa, and dried dark fruits. Alcohol is noticed, but is concealed pretty well considering the strength. A serious hop presence makes itself known, with a herbal hop element. Candy sugars are also easy to identify. Finishes with a dark roasty bitterness.

Seems to have influences of a Belgian tripel with the candy sugars, and of a Belgian IPA with the hopping. Very interesting and complex, but not one of my top ten stouts.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2009 13:42:27 | More by merlin48
Photo of ElGordo


4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip glass. Only got about 2-3oz, as I was sharing with a few friends. Body is a deep dark black with garnet highlights, topped by a dark tan head. Aroma of chocolate malt, a light hoppy bitterness, and some sweet dark fruit. Palate has a strong raisin component up front, along with bittersweet chocolate, dark malt, and a whiff of bittering hops. Lingering raisin sweetness lasts for a while on the finish. Body is thick, rich, and creamy, but not oily. A thoroughly enjoyable offering from a consistently great brewery.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2009 06:11:52 | More by ElGordo
Photo of Brewfan


4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml. bottle poured into my Dogfish goblet. Let sit open about 20 minutes before pouring.

Initial appearance tells me this is a very dark beer. Dark, almost black chocolate, but definite tinges of brown when held up to the light. Very frothy dark tan head of millions (I counted) of teeny-tiny bubbles. Decent retention. Ring of head stayed nicely. Tight lacing breaks up rather quickly and disipates in a minute or two.
Big malty chocolate nose with minimal alchohol coming through. At least initially. Dark ripe fruits, raisins, anise, bitter and sweet.
Tastewise, not as strong as I had imagined it would be. A level of sourness comes through the bitter chocolate bite. Makes this not as strong tasting as other Russian Imperial Stouts. Also makes it a little more drinkable. Not a huge mouthfeel. Not necissarily thin, but doesn't stick to the palate either.
Very nice RIS. 13% never makes itself known. Very smooth for a beer of this strength. Maybe expected a bit more body. I traded a Dark Lord for this. Would I again? No. But I'd definitely drink it again.

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2009 20:00:36 | More by Brewfan
Photo of firkinhophead


3.95/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle in a snifter at nearly room temperature. Thanks to Rusty Diamond for the hookup!

Pours a dark purplish-brown that allows some light to come through around the edges. A loose, active head settles to a ring that revives nicely with a swirl to form a tight foam that is clingy but not particularly sticky.

aroma of earthy malts, alcohol, char, wet coffee grounds, some pruney, over-ripe fruit.

tastes of roasted malts, sweet alcohol, coffee, and herbs. Medicinal astringency in the finish. Quite dry, with only a flash of dark fruit. Belgian yeast lends a funky tang.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than anticipated, but this is a highly attenuated stout. Hot alcohol on the breath. Carbonation is a tad prickly, adding to the medicinal character.

An interesting take on the style and worth a try, but to me it lacks complexity to match its big alcohol bite and bitter finish. Would certainly improve with age.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2009 03:18:42 | More by firkinhophead
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Produced by the Deca Brewery, best before April 2013. Imported by Horizon Wines, Inc. Canada.

A: Black with a tan head, great retention & lacing. Very impressive for its strength.

S: Burnt espresso, bakers chocolate, black strap molasses, tar, pine, pleasant fruitiness (plums, dates, cherries) & certainly some sherry-like alcohol in the nose.

T: Black strap molasses, espresso, great fruitiness (plums, figs & pear), burnt toffee, with hints of a pleasant roasted sourness, soy-sauce, tar-like resin & tobacco; plenty of bitterness, warming alcohol.

M: Very full, thick, creamy body with a slight roasted acidity. Incredible body for something this strong, with very little residual sweetness. Carbonation is pleasantly on the low side of moderate.

D: Amazingly drinkable for its strength.

I'm often not a fan of stouts over 10% abv, as they start to loose their stoutness. This is by far the best high alcohol stout I've had. Blows away Dark Lord & the Abyss, IMHO. I'm guessing it's not actually anywhere near 13% though.

Big thanks the Wildone for this CanBIF5 treat!

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2009 00:34:40 | More by Derek
Photo of everetends


4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle I only have rhinos00 to thank for. This was one of the many amazing beers I found in the BIF box he sent me. Serving this one up in my Terrapin snifter.

A: Pours pretty much what I am looking for in a Russian Imperial Stout. Nice dark and flat black color. This beer is not letting any light through whatsoever. The beer produced about three quarters of a finger of head. THe head is a nice mocha brown and has the lasting retention I am expecting. Falls to about a half finger but it throws up some nice and serious lace on the glass. Just has that classic RIS look.

S: The nose is just a bit of a let down to be honest. Getting first thing out of the gate being some serious booze presence. This just screams some serious alcohol in here. Then there is a decent amount of earthy grains coming out. Maybe a little bit of some dark fruit and chocolate. With that said, thats about all that is happening here. This is really booze dominant and I should have probably waited a little while to drink this one.

T: Gotta admit that the taste is much better. I was really worried with the nose. Getting some pretty dark and nicely roasted malts. Some chocolate and caramel for sure. There is a nice touch of vanilla pushing its way out as well. Then a touch of espresso coffee mingles with those dark fruit (cherry, plum and raspberry) flavors you expect from a belgian brewed beer. The belgian qualities are nice in the yeast category as well. There is a decent fruity candied presence here as well. The hops come out in the end with some of that booze I got from the nose, but the booze is no where as dominant here. In the back there is a touch of burning wood as well. Much better.

M: Full bodied brew that is on the lighter side. Still has a nice wieght and creaminess to it. Carbonation is kept in check but still adds a touch of crispness. ABV is totally there and has a good amount of heat in the palate, throat and absolutely warms you up in the ole tum tum. Aftertaste is some dark fruit with some chocolate.

D: This is actually a pretty easy drinking 13% brew. I am constantly reminded it is 13% when I take a whiff, but otherwise its not that bad in the other categories. It goes down pretty easily and the warmth is rather comforting. If I had a 750ml bottle, I would be more than happy to tackle it. The flavors are nice and just a touch different from your typical RIS, which is always nice. Good brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2009 06:31:08 | More by everetends
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,467 ratings.