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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,488 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,488
Reviews: 810
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 318
Gots: 363 | 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: 1,488 | Reviews: 810 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ToasterChef


4.83/5  rDev +13.9%

Served in my Uprising Chalice at Novare Res' First Anniversary Party. The beer lives up to its name, it is black as night. There is a tan head that settled to a thin coating that lasted until all the beer was gone. It has a roasted malt smell that I rather enjoyed. The first thing that I noticed about the taste was a chocolaty sweetness, followed by roasted malts (of course, this could be more from the aroma than the taste) and a bit of caramel. The beer is 13% alcohol and you can taste it and feel it's warmth, but it isn't overpowering or distracting; in fact, it's quite nice. The beer has a heavy body, but is very drinkable. You don't want to consume this one too quickly, even though it is tempting. This exceptional beer should be enjoyed slowly. Seek out a bottle as soon as possible, or just head to Ebenezer's Pub and get it on tap.

05-22-2009 12:41:05 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of Pencible


3.78/5  rDev -10.8%

This poured a nearly opaque black with tan head. It smelled like dark chocolate and prunes, with some creamy vanilla and grape and a hint of coffee. It tasted like bitter dark chocolate and sweet prunes, with some roasted coffee with cream. It was somewhat thick with mild carbonation, and had a bitter aftertaste. Overall this had an interesting smell and flavor. It tasted very clean and masked the alcohol disturbingly well. It had good body too, but not as full as desired. The prune/grape character really threw me off and kept me from loving this, and there wasn't much depth or complexity beyond that. Definitely an enjoyable stout, but it didn't quite seem to live up to the hype.

05-18-2009 15:15:21 | More by Pencible
Photo of BZero007


4.43/5  rDev +4.5%

Recived in a trade from bmanning Thanks!

Poured in to my Portsmouth Tulip glass. The apperance was very surprising as I expected more of a dark belgium look and taste to it. The beer poured a very thick and black color with a serious amount of Head. The head was a light brown color and helped releas allot of the aroma. The aroma was mainly a sweet chocolate and dark fruits. The thickness of the brew was actually decernable from the aroma. The taste was a very thick stout that was a welcome surprise. Again I expected something totally different and was pleasantly surprised. The taste came threw with allot of chocolate and dark fruits in the background. The carbonation level was a perfect level and helped lift allot of flavor in the brew. The only down side was this was not a larger bottle that I had....Will be getting more later in the future. Must have stout.

05-18-2009 01:48:26 | More by BZero007
Photo of jwhawkins81


4.08/5  rDev -3.8%

Aroma - Sweet cherries

Appearance - Poured a dark black with a dark tan head with plenty of carbonation.

Taste - Malty roast chocolate coffee with unmistakable bitterness. A good amount of sweetness. Not what I would consider a complex beer but definitely a big one.

Mouthfeel - Thick but with plenty of carbonation.

Drinkability - Not too bad but at $9.99 for an 11.2 oz beer maybe just once a year. . . maybe.

05-16-2009 19:18:03 | More by jwhawkins81
Photo of Sean9689


3.78/5  rDev -10.8%

Poured from bottle into goblet.
Thanks to TurdFurgison for the trade at DLD '09.

A - Pours black with a nice tan head which sticks around for a little bit. The head finally disipitates and leaves a small little tan ring around the edge of the glass. The head is very sticky and leaves a good amount of lacing when tilted around.

S - Sweet chocolate right from the get-go on this one with some subtle hints of dark fruit, and some boozy alcohol mixed in there as well. Not a whole lot from the smell, but that doesn't mean it doesn't smell good!

T - Dark fruits, alcohol, and a hint of dark chocolate. Reminds me of a chocolate raspberry desert of some kind, which I like. A bitter alcohol finish on this that's too hot.

M - Very rich and smooth, medium-full bodied, good carbonation for the style.

D - I like this RIS, but it's not in my top-5. Overall, would drink again if I get more, but not going to search around for it.

05-16-2009 00:27:17 | More by Sean9689
Photo of OneDropSoup


4.35/5  rDev +2.6%

Big up to Phyl21ca for the trade.

Pours a beautiful thick black, can't see any highlights at all in this one. Three fingers of mocha foam that drop to about a finger -- super creamy texture to the head, looks nitrogenated almost, or like a mousse. Awesome!

Smells like stone fruits & alcohol, very rich smell. Taste is very fruity: getting a lot of apple, plum, raisin, with some deep roasted malts & just a tiny bit of smokiness.

Mouthfeel is full but not motor oil -- there's enough fluidity & action from the big bubble head to create a little tingle.

I'm getting through this one pretty fast: it's one to savor, but the flavor's so enticing I want to go back for more each time. I have a feeling the high ABV's going to hit me all at once. I like this a lot, but would never guess that it's a stout: way too much fruit flavor, not much in the way of malt/roast/coffee/chocolate character that I look to in a stout. Don't get me wrong, I really like this & can appreciate it on its own terms, but wouldn't call it a stout.

05-14-2009 22:04:53 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of tai4ji2x


3.8/5  rDev -10.4%

330ml bottle. the edge of the label is marked in three places: "Lot B", "6" and "BB". i am assuming this is the latest batch to make it to the US, with the shelton bros label. tasted in late march/early april 2009. poured into tulip.

nearly pitch black, with just a slight red tint under direct light. huge tan/coffee color head, takes forever to fade. eventually ends up as a thin but constant and foamy layer. very nice curtain-like lacing.

fruity aroma. plums? prunes? moves into milder dark malts and roast with coffee hints. fruitiness meets and alcoholic and faintly phenolic backend. trace of vanilla? the reason this isn't a 4.5 is because everything was hard to pin down, plus it didn't entirely "meld" together.

more fruity flavors. plum. cherry? but also fruity acidity. maltiness is sweet and roasty, but it all just seems a bit watered down. roasted malt and earthy hop meet for a moderate to bold bitterness. more fruity acidity into the finish, with coffee note.

medium body, lightly creamy and vaguely viscous, with acidic and astringent texture. moderate carbonation has fluffy creaminess.

good, but not great. oh well. lightning can't strike the same place twice?

05-14-2009 08:16:20 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of RustyDiamond


3.7/5  rDev -12.7%

Poured into a Brooklyn snifter yesterday. Dark, dark brown blackish pour with a nice mocha brown creamy froth. Milky way wavy bubbly head- tiny bubbles in the middle with bigger ones out by the rim.
Very noticeable whiffs of coffee with a little bit of vanilla, 13% vapor, touch of blackberry.
Like the aroma, huge coffee flavor and really little else. A little malted chocolate and sweet candy in the middle. Heat in the back with nice carbonation. Somewhat of a dry, over-roasted coffee mouthfeel. Alcohol hidden well, but overall too coffee dominated for my tastes.

05-13-2009 20:18:49 | More by RustyDiamond
Photo of bulletrain76


2.75/5  rDev -35.1%

33cl bottle. Black with a medium tan head and brown edges. Alcohol, burnt sugars and malt, and oxidized coffee grounds that come across somewhat sharp and solvent-like. The flavor is sweet with a bitter and sharply alcoholic finish exhibiting more of the stale coffee of the nose. Full bodied and a bit slick with medium carbonation. This was a real surprise. Nowhere near the malt or yeast depth that I was expecting. I hope that this was an off bottle because I can't ever see myself wanting this again.

05-11-2009 22:35:57 | More by bulletrain76
Photo of ThreeWiseMen


4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

11.2oz bottle acquired in a trade with tai4ji2x. Thanks a lot Xenon!

Poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: A two-finger, brown, foamy head, surges up from a creamy, thick, pitch black body. Fantastic head retention and very impressive lacing for such a high alcohol beer - it's like a blanket! This looks very interesting; the head is unlike any other RIS I've had.

Smell: Coffee, smoke, dried figs, Wiseman Peter says dates, dark chocolate, and floral hops. I wanna say there's some other fruit in there, but I can't seem to put my finger on it - smells kinda like grape jam. Good deal of sweetness here, but it's very smooth and creamy.

Taste: Starts out sharp with what Peter and I believe to be alcohol (Peter is reminded of Gran Marnier). This flavor is quickly supplanted by dates, burnt sugar, and molasses. Charred wood then steps in and joins loads of creamy malt. Finishes with black coffee, cocoa, prickly hops, and alcoholic dryness. Alcohol is masked pretty damn well, but is nowhere near hidden. Overall, very enjoyable. Gets better throughout the session as well.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, full, mildly carbonated, and dry. I dig. I really dig. Pretty damn sugary, but that's to be expected. Kinda syrupy and sticky.

Drinkability: The ABV crept up on me quick with this one. Beware friends. This was an awesome beer however. I was bordering on 5 in both Appearance and Smell. Very interesting, unique, and delicious. Highly recommended.

05-11-2009 03:06:38 | More by ThreeWiseMen
Photo of objectivemonkey


4.1/5  rDev -3.3%

Into my Duvel tulip, pours a thick black with a thick tan head, creamy and frothy and long lasting, and good lacing in arches and blots. The aroma hit me even before I picked up the glass, lots of dark fruits, prune and fig and perhaps a touch of cherry, some rum, some chocolates, but then faded fast after our of the bottle. Odd.

Taste comes out swinging, lots going on here. Up front, again dark fruits come out in figs, raisins, and prunes, a healthy splash of rum through the middle, a complex smorgasbord smashed up at the end, with chocolate and molasses entering the mix but lacking definition. It looks like this... "!?!?!?"

Mouth is thick throughout, enough light carbonation to keep it from being overbearing, quite smooth throughout. In all, a fine RIS, but I'm not sure what all the hype was about.

05-10-2009 03:34:20 | More by objectivemonkey
Photo of jamie2dope


3.85/5  rDev -9.2%

this twelve ounce bottle came from Jonmich, thanks for the opportunity. Cool looking label with 4-14-09 written in black marker. Pour reveals a totally black beer, with a huge, billowing, frothing brown heading. Smell is of light cocoa, char and smoke, and a bit of dark fruit. Taste is of dark malt, chocolate truffles, dry grains. Body is much lighter than one would expect considering the high ABV of 13%. The best way I would describe the body is as velvety and smooth. Drinkability is good, though this is one to sip and savor. Worthy of the hype? No, but certainly a good stout that I would purchase again. I would imagine the blend between this and Kate the Great that was planned would be very interesting and damn tasty. Cheers

05-10-2009 01:43:41 | More by jamie2dope
Photo of crnipeter


4.33/5  rDev +2.1%

Update 01-01-2011. "Batch 0" into baby Chimay (180ml) chalice. Pours opaque dark brown to black body overlain by medium tan head that gradually dies out to a lacy sheet encircled by an elevated circum-peripheral rim. Aroma shows vinous character due to several years of maturation, fruity esters of plum, prune and raisins, roasted malt expressed as coffee, herbal-grassy hops, unrefined sugar and faint, well-hidden alcohol. There is even some cheesy, spicy aspect to the aroma probably derived from the yeast used. Flavor marked by red wine qualities is of roasted malt that shows itself as coffee and roast, subtle dark-fruit fruitiness and semi dry finish with lingering roastiness, hoppy bitterness and alcohol warmth. Medium bodied with velvety texture and substantial carbonation. Good but no better than regular Black Albert - some say "batch zero" is so different it should be entered separately but the vinousness (absent in recent brews) results from aging and the currently brewed Black Albert will just be the same in the years to come.
4.5, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5 = 4.5

330 ml poured into Chimay chalice. Lot A, BBE April 2013.
A: Deep tan head fades quickly. Dark, nearly black, impenetrable by light.
S: Prunes, brown sugar, roasted malt.
T: very intense taste of sweet, slightly tart prunes at the forefront, hints of dark chocolate followed by a strong coffee, finishing with charcoal-burnt coffee bean bitterness. Alcohol is quite evident but not disturbing.
M: Thick, oily, sticky, almost tarry, but not in an unpleasant way.
D: One is enough.
This is a massive stuff that has it all: it's fruity, roasty, bitter yet sweet, intense in all aspects.
4, 4, 4.5, 5, 4 = 4.3

05-09-2009 23:29:51 | More by crnipeter
Photo of ricke


4.43/5  rDev +4.5%

A: Jet black and considering the high ABV the brown head is quite big. The head settles quite fast. Some retention.

S: Eclectic mix of sweet fruits (plums, cherries), spices, some chocolate, and roasted and slightly burnt malts. The alcohol becomes noticeable with deeper breaths. Very deep and round smell overall.

T: A very intense flavor fills the mouth with flavors in an instant. Sweet fruits and a light tartness, faint taste of tannins. Nice backbone of roasted and slightly burnt malts. Coffee, dark chocolate, spices, wood and general burnt flavors. The flavors are presented in a "Belgian package" that is quite hard to describe. The finish is quite bitter, but not as intense as the 100 IBU might suggest. Plenty of alcohol with a faint phenolic touch. Lingering notes of coffee, roasted malts and spices.

M: Full bodied, oily viscosity, but still plenty of carbonation. The finish is slightly dry.

D: A very powerful and rather complex stout with an interesting character. Highly recommended.

05-08-2009 18:51:42 | More by ricke
Photo of SFLpunk


4.4/5  rDev +3.8%

11.2oz brown glass pry-top with proprietary dating marks on label.

Appearance: Poured slowly into my Duvel tulip produces 3 fingers of sudsy, creamy, frothy tan head. Opaque black with hues of brown.

Nose: Dusted chocolate, chocolate chip cookie dough, old ground coffee, something a little plastic-y, vanilla bean.

Palate: Medium-bodied, chocolate, vanilla, cream flavors. Seriously reminds me of chocolate chip cookie dough. Bitter edges keep the somewhat creamy texture in check and the finish is dominated by espresso roast coffee-like flavors and bitterness.

Notes: Thinner in the mouthfeel than I was expecting based on its appearance. Great texture, excellent combination of flavors and aromas. There's something in there that's a little unpleasant and reminds me of plastic, but it's not very pronounced and I'm sure it will blow off. Nice, long bitter finish, but not so bitter that you can't taste all the yummy flavors. A really well made beer, albeit expensive.

05-08-2009 03:08:38 | More by SFLpunk
Photo of JohnQVegas


4.08/5  rDev -3.8%

Bottle into snifter. Served somewhere between cellar and room temp. Thanks to Chris (cvfish) for this one!

Pours black, with a substantial 2-finger densely fluffy light-brown head. Nice stickage when the glass is tilted, and as the head recedes.

Nose is pretty intense and different. Roasty and fruity, notes of red grapes, cherries, raisins, molasses, roasted barley, cocoa, licorice, bit of boozey alcohol, and god knows how much stuff I can't put my finger on bubble up. This nose is epic at times, very good at others.

Taste is a bit more straightforward. Roasted barley and some molasses hit the tongue first, lotta dark fruits swirling around, some licorice. Lingering dark roasted and black licorice notes, with an exhale that's got some heat to it. Still, not nearly as much as I expected for the abv. A tad meaty in the roastiness. This would be amazing with a nice ham that had been caramelized a bit.

Mouthfeel is creamy, very full, lots of very soft, almost fluffy carbonation.

Drinkability gets bonus points for hiding the alcohol fairly well, but the heavy roast/meaty notes get to me after awhile.

05-06-2009 17:14:09 | More by JohnQVegas
Photo of brc


4.35/5  rDev +2.6%

33cl bottle, lot A best April 2013. Poured into Cantillon flute.

Jet black thick looking liquid. Dense dark brown head with great staying power.

Smell roasted barley, woodchips, plums, hint of whiskey. Rich aromas, but inviting instead of overpowering.

Layers of taste to this one. Roasted barley up front, molasses, dark fruits, dark chocolate. Later there is the taste of cream and alcohol mixing in with the roasted malt flavor. Overall it's super rich, like the most intense dark chocolate.

Mouthfeel is super creamy, milkshake like. Slight alcohol burn in the finish.

Very drinkable, though the alcohol is somewhat noticeable.

05-05-2009 21:59:13 | More by brc
Photo of jdubjacket


4.15/5  rDev -2.1%

Picked a an 11.2 ounce bottle of this up at Green's on Buford. $9.00 a bottle - hope this is worth it.

Poured into my Corsendonk chalice. Pours an opaque black with a light chocolate-covered head. Some lacing along the side of the glass.

A alcoholic medicinal smell with dark fuit undertones.

Taste is prominently coffee tones with dark fuits and medicinal tones, similar to the smell. Has a lingering bitterness in the aftertaste.

Silky smooth mouthfeel. High ABV make this hard to drink more than one. Is this worth the $9.00? Tough to say... Good beer, but I don't know if it's $9.00 good.

05-03-2009 21:02:30 | More by jdubjacket
Photo of Thorpe429


4.43/5  rDev +4.5%

On tap at Dark Lord Day 2009.

A: Dark ebony with a thick, creamy head.

S: Lots of dark chocolate combined with a bit of anise, layered atop some molasses and hints of dark rum.

T: Much the same as in the nose. A very good amount of complexity going on here.

M: Very thick with lowish carbonation and not too much of an alcohol feel.

D: Very good. Gets better as it warms, although it is a bit much to handle that much of. Glad they had this on tap, as I'd really wanted to try this beer, but found it hard to shell out $10 for a 12-ish ounce beer.

05-01-2009 15:15:24 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of tempest


4.15/5  rDev -2.1%

Thanks to my Dad for brining this back from the Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam. Like the label suggested, I listened to La Brabançonne (the Belgian national song), you can too at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Low3ByYigQ

Pours pitch black with a thick tan head and lacing. Right away I'm struck by the long bitter roast aftertaste. The aroma is pure dark chocolate bar. The flavor takes off on the chocolate then hits a bitter, pepper and citrus hop note before diving into dark espresso and coffee roast that lasts and lasts. As the beer warms, the hops come forward with a lot of grapefruit and lemon flavors. And for 13% this beer is recently drinkable. I split the bottle with a friend, but could keep going.

05-01-2009 02:06:17 | More by tempest
Photo of soupyman10

District of Columbia

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%

Beautiful dark brown near black color with a huge creamy brown head on top that sits around forever. Excellent lacing. A barely-there highlight of lighter brown.

Nose is enormous and delicious. Huge chocolate and roasted malt in there, as well as coffee. Sweet molasses and Belgian candy. Some cherries and maybe raspberries in there.

Flavor is incredible as well. I'm a huge RIS fan, and this one hits in all regards. Let me see...coffee, licorice, cookies, dark chocolate, raisins. Huge roasted malt and hops leave it lightly dry towards the end and show up more as the brew warms, along with some dried fruit (flavor's a whole heck of a lot hoppier than the nose). Not a hint of booze.

Body is huge, full and creamy, coating the mouth and leaving a fantastic roasty and hoppy aftertaste. Thick and chewable, in an excellent way.

Man this is an incredible beer. All-around fantastic, one of the best brews I've ever tasted. An experience.

04-29-2009 00:03:12 | More by soupyman10
Photo of frothyhead

New Jersey

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%

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

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

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

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

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

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

04-28-2009 03:49:25 | More by frothyhead
Photo of tmoneyba


4.38/5  rDev +3.3%

Bottle from Belmont Party.

Poured a clear dark brown color with a large frothy brown head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy roasted chocolate, caramel and alcohol aroma. Heavy bittersweet roasted malty flavor with a heavy bittersweet and small alcohol bite finish of long duration. Full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation.

This is a standout beer.

04-28-2009 01:13:36 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of RblWthACoz


4.53/5  rDev +6.8%

Oh yes indeed. Got some interesting news tonight and will begin my celebration with this fine brew. Let's see how this works.

Pours black with a thick brown head that doesn't go anywhere. Thick molasses nose. I mean distinct as all get out. Flavor is intense malty molasses with slight coffee tones as well. Robust and hearty. Nice thick flavor that gets even better as it warms. Feel is thick on liquid and carbonation is lower. Very easy to drink, even though it is quite hearty. Could go for way more than 11.2 ounces of this.

04-27-2009 04:26:31 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of GbVDave


4.4/5  rDev +3.8%

Poured from a 330ml bottle into two white wine glasses. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

Best before April, 2013

A: Pours a shade of black I can only describe as Norwegian Black Metal black. Capping the obsidian body is a thick and creamy two-finger dallop of dark mocha colored foam. Excellent retention and tons of lace left behind.

S: Strong aromas of blackened malt, rum soaked raisins, tart dark fruit, bittersweet chocolate, bitter espresso, fudge brownies, cherries, yeast, and boozy alcohol burn.

T: More of the same with a distinctly tart and bitter fruit edge. Dark chocolate covered espresso beans bathed in hot boozy alcohol. Pretty healthy burn during the finish.

M: Big and bitter with sweet, bittersweet, tart, roasty, and tangy things going on inside.

D: The way I've described it above, this has all of the hallmarks of something that's a real chore to drink. Not so. The booziness takes a little getting used to but once you forget about that concentrate on the other things going on here you'll be rewarded. I've been lucky enough to try this on draft and I'd say I prefer the bottled version. Plus, it doesn't hurt that I've been sitting on this bottle for almost a year!

04-25-2009 22:55:22 | More by GbVDave
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,488 ratings.