Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

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Black AlbertBlack Albert

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827 Reviews
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Reviews: 827
Hads: 1,643
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 9.46%
Wants: 333
Gots: 374 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: brewandbbq on 08-23-2007

Originally brewed exclusively for Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, ME.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 827 | Hads: 1,643
Photo of Pahn
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Bottle says B 6 BB, which other BAs seem to say means it was bottled in 2007. Big thanks to BA mmcgrath for trading me this bottle!

Appearance: Frantic, "oh no the bottle is gushing!" pour yields a 2 inch, frothy and bubbly tan head that appears to be permanent. Pours a solid black and leaves a few light lacing streaks.

Smell: Coffee and cocoa, with molasses and some possible oxidation (I'm a bit in doubt about the oxidation aroma, since there's no trace of oxidation in the flavor). Dark chocolate and molasses are the main smells, with some Belgian yeast highlighting them. Opens up with some aromatic dark fruit and coffee with time.

Strongly leaning toward giving a 4.5 or even 5.0 for smell, due to this sort of intoxicating, deeply inviting, very potent caramel smell that emerges with time. Holding back since the beer is otherwise a bit less complex than other great Russian Imperial Stouts.

Taste: Tangy up front (herbal hops, molasses, unidentifiable "tanginess"), then--whoa--waves of beautiful flavor in the finish. Caramel, then a heavy, nutty (almost like pistachios) flavor of roasted malt that stops well short of being too bitter, with a long coffee and caramel aftertaste. Nice.

Subsequent sips follow the same pattern of slightly bland up front leading to an explosion of goodness. Great sipper of a beer. Extra points for the 13% ABV being expertly hidden... I had a 10% ABV beer last night that tasted as hot as Bacardi 151 in comparison to this.

With warmth, the flavor up front opens up as well, yielding dark fruit flavors and chocolaty coffee that highlight the herbal hops and tangy molasses well.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied at first (a bit watery), then thick and creamy through the finish. Almost no alcohol heat. Not a lot of bitterness. Maybe a touch overcarbonated.

Overall: This is a very nice beer. Impressive (lots of flavor, well-hidden alcohol, well-balanced sweetness) and enjoyable. Not quite as excellent as Struise's Pannepot, but close. (2,022 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.23/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 330mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/3/12
*From notes

Thanks to the trader who got extra'ed me this a while back.

-- Batch 0 --

A: Dark. I mean really, really dark. A generous pour yields an epic 3.25 finger cascading and creamy head that never really fades away.

S: Straight brownie batter.

T: Quite unique. It's a bit rustic, with hints of rich earth up front. As it moves further back, the brownie batter quality of it hits the the mid in an agressive manner. The finish reveals a staunch Belgian yeast profile, with mountains of ground cocoa in the background. As it warms, black cherry skins become evident.

M: This isn't up to the jaw dropping levels of some in style, yet it holds it's own. There's a bit too much fizz, but as it sits and I swirl it in my glass, it calms a bit, and becomes a bit smoother in the mouth.

O: Black Albert is a pretty spectacular RIS. It's got layers of complexity that many American offerings just can't compete with. This is highly recommneded, and one I look forward to having again.

*Allow this to warm to room temperature for full enjoyment. (1,100 characters)

Photo of haz77
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Lot C J 2015

A - Pours jet black with three fingers of thick tan head. This slowly recedes to a thin cap, but can be easily refreshed. A very nice start.

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, floral hops, stewed plums, a collection of sweet dried fruit, slight plasticky phenol notes, cinnamon buried right at the back. Good, if not hugely mouth watering in the way that their quads are.

T - An initial mouthful of sweet dried fruit and a hint of apple evolves into caramel. This is joined by the acidity of red berries before a rounded coffee finish, with touches of tobacco and caramel in the aftertaste. Slightly herbal hops are also present and these flavours linger for some time. The 13% ABV doesn't make itself known anywhere in the flavour.

M - Once again with a De Stuise brew a deft hand is at work here. Rich, full, rounded, velvety feel coats the mouth without ever becoming overwhelmingly syrupy. An ever-present tingle of carbonation finally gains the upper hand right at the end and slices though. Exceptional.

D - It would be very easy to get bent out of shape on a beer that hides its alcohol so well. Finesse and a clever touch are present everywhere. They are fast becoming my favourite brewery. (1,209 characters)

Photo of Fluke828
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been looking forward to this one...

11.2 FL OZ.(330 ml right?) Bottle -> CBS Snifter (about half)
Bottle Date: LOT: B 6 BB (from what I understand this is June 2007?)

A->very dark body with a tan colored head about a finger's worth, persistent lacing with tremendous legs on this beer....

S-> Immediately get some very sweet dark fruits, almost like a very dark cherry/chocolate funk. Signature Struise I suppose... Roasted malts and faint chocolate smoke upon further examination...lots of complexity here...

T->Very sweet chocolate up front, slight bitterness and the faint tartness of Struise yeast with a fruity flavor turns toward a bit of coffee flavor but can't seem to shake the black cherry taste all the ay through. Finishes fairly dry with a creamy roasted aftertaste.

M-> Felt a bit on the thin side at first but was likely still too cold despite leaving this out on the counter for about 15 minutes before opening and pouring. definitely thickened up and actually started to semi-gush right as I went to tip the bottle to begin pouring. Lots of pent up carbonation over 5.5 years I guess....I actually enjoyed the lively carbonation.

O-> A tremendous beer. I didn't even realize I had a five and a half year old beer sitting in my cellar until after I opened this. having never had a Black Albert, I am very impressed. Quite enjoyable. Perfect thickness, not syrupy and the alcohol is melded perfectly. Great example of the style with that unique Struise twist. Chalk up another "Highly recommend" from this guy.... (1,553 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.68/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Excited to try this beer! Big thanks to ICCULUS for this beer! Thanks Jim!

Lot number: B 6 BB (vintage 2007)

poured into snifter.

Appearance: black bodied beer with a 2 fingers worth of mocha brown head. Spotty lacing on the glass. Head fades to a thick ring around the side of the glass.

Smell: roasty and malty. Little bit vinuous smelling similiar to wine. Dark fruits that smell mostly of raisins and prunes.

Taste: This beer is roasty and moderately bitter upfront. Strong notes of molasses, raisins, figs, anise, and black licorice at mid palate that completely covers up the roasty qualities found at the beginning of this beer, but they compliment the bitterness of the beer with a mild sweetness. In the aftertaste I get some earthiness and unfortunately I taste do sour cherries. Its unmistakeable and the cherries tend to linger for quite a while after each sip of the beer. I think that this beer must have a minor infection going on or it could be oxidation since this beer is vintage 2007.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer with moderate carbonation. This beer is smooth and a just a little bit thin. Carbonation is a little bit prickly, but close to where it needs to be.

Overall: This beer is better than your average stout. It just seems a little bit off though. Nice beer. I should give this beer a try when its a fresh batch. (1,353 characters)

Photo of match1112
4.12/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

first off, thanks to vegas beer man for this!

pours out a flat dark brown, no signs of a head, just some faint bubbles on top. smell is mostly dark fruits with hints of chocolate and some belgium yeast. taste is different, but good, not your typical ris. taste is more like a complex wine at this point. no signs of roasted malts, coffee or chocolate. just a funky sour dark fruit almost wine like taste. mouthfeel is ris like, full body, creamy yet oily. this is a weird beer. definatly worth the try, and would probably drink again if i could get a fresher bottle to try. this one says it's batch no. 14. (607 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

500th review!

A: Pitch black with a beautiful 1 1/2 finger mocha colored head. Great retention and some spotty lacing.

S: At first, all I smelled was raisin and some dark chocolate. But as it opens up a bit, I start to get espresso, fudge, dark fruit and hints of oak.

T: Lots of dark fruit and espresso, some rye bread, raisin, black licorice, charred malt and some hints of milk chocolate. Really complex and it only gets better as it warms. The mouthfeel is slick and velvety without being too syrupy and the beer hides the alcohol like a champ. Highly recommended. (572 characters)

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.5/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer from BOBPINCH666 & emdawg. Thanks Spike & M!

330ml bottle served in a snifter.

L - black with a fluffy tan head that remained as a thick layer leaving plenty of lacing.

S - a bit of a funk with burnt coffee and black licorice.

T - started out with yeast and some chocolate sweetness before taking a sharp turn to burnt, bitter espresso finishing dry with black licorice left on the tongue.

F - medium/full bodied with a creamy, smooth feel.

O - a very good example of the style. (500 characters)

Photo of Neffbeer
4.32/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

bottle marked B 6 BB, which is a 2007 batch from June.

A: Jet black with a good size tan head. The head retention is very good with bits of sticky lacing left behind on the sides of the glass. After the head fades a fluffy tan cloud remains floating on the surface of the beer.

S: Initially I am greeted by the familiar smell of the Struise house yeast. It is pleasantly fruity and spicy. My next breathe reveals an intense wave of roasted malts with some deep dark chocolate undertones. Some caramel and toffee are detectable as it warms some more with a bit of the booze pushing through as well.

T: The yeast bite is upfront but extremely short lived. A wave of charred malt and bitter chocolate swiftly shrugs the fruit aside and leaves some ash in its' wake. There is a biscuity sweetness mid palate that is really interesting. It finishes nice and bitter with a small amount of heat from the alcohol.

M: Full bodied with lush carbonation. The bitter finish paints an illusion of a really dry beer, but the body is so viscous that I find that hard to believe.

O: A world class beer by any standard. Truly original in character, a brew that I eagerly look forward to drinking again. (1,190 characters)

Photo of bfields4
4.68/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours motor oil black. Beautiful mocha head nice lace.

Cocoa vanilla strong dark malt aroma. A little bit of fig and belgian quad aroma as Well.

Rich chocolate vanilla tobacco all hit one after another. That lingering belgian dark fruit complements the other flavors nicely.

Velvity smooth and suprisingly light. Amazing complex flavors. Just an all around amazing beer. (374 characters)

Photo of IPA35
4.59/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A pitch black beer with a tan head. Pouring it is difficult. I use a small snifter and since this beer literally explodes with head I am unable to get all the stuff that oozes out of the bottle in the glass. Amazing, even with the bottle half empty the head still oozes from the bottle. Everything is sticky now.

Smells of dark fruits, huge raisin aroma. Slightly roasted but it is not very noticable in the aroma, strangely. Some choclate.
Lovely delicate berry, dark fruit aroma.

Taste then... I haven't had a stout in a while so this could be interesting.

Tastes sweetish. Notes of vanilla and oak. Some dark fruits and some roastiness. I have had this before and it was awesome. This one? I don't know. Could it be a bad bottle? Could it be that my taste has developed? I am quite sure of the latter.

As I get used to the taste: it starts out with a very nice dark fruity flavour. I has a big sweetness all the way and the underlying aroma's are only slighty coffee/chocolate-ish. Finishes with some roast, wood and such typical RIS flavours. Very complex yet not too difficult to drink. It is not fruity like the GD Christmas I had earlier today, this is much more complex with other difficult to describe aramo's intermixed. But it is all in balance though. A nice mix of fruits and char I'd say.

Mouthfeel is full and creamy, milky. Carbonation is low.

Overall a very well done brew. Not my favourite style of beer but you can wake me up for this one. It is just a shame I spilled probably 1/5 of the bottle... It is too expensive and rare for that. (1,562 characters)

Photo of soulgrowl
4.6/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just about as handsome a 13% stout as they come, cappuccino bubbles that cascade down through a pitch-black body, rising up into a small but solid, long-lasting crop of dense foam. Massively weird and pungent aroma of milk chocolate and sherry, a funny twang of passion fruit, plus cherries, nougat, roasted almond, coconut, and blackcurrant. Caramel and coffee go without saying.

Big on fruit and chocolate – delectable. Tangy with cherry and blackcurrant, rich with espresso and port, savory with walnut and rye. Delightfully rich and powerful, yet somehow restrained and balanced. Oily and tight on the palate, a good mouthfeel to convey such a masterful harmony of darkness and light. An impressive, exemplary, and worryingly drinkable imperial stout. (758 characters)

Photo of Fux
4.3/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a liquid black as oil with a mocha head retracting quickly into a small film of foam.

S: full, malty (chocolate, roasted malts, molasses), fatty (walnut, chestnut). Lots of alcohol.

T: more on coffee than could be expected from the nose. Dark fruits, dark chocolate. Still lots of alcohol.

M: not as oily as could be feared from appearance and nose. Still full bodied, a bit sticky. Warming !

O: A great beer, not highly drinkable, but complex and strong. Even if I do prefer the aged version (Cuvée Delphine), this one do its job perfectly. (555 characters)

Photo of gatorbreath
3.8/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gonna give this a rap on this empty stomach...

App. is ink black witha mocha head that reeks of alcohol. Some notable lacing. Nose is alcohol, malt, dark frutas. Taste is very malty/roasty lots of dark fruit and caramel/syrups. This stuff is BOLD. Mouthfeel is kind of dry and dissipating but the fluid is big bodied. Overall, just one for me please. Lots of ABV screams through this presentation.

Probably leaving this heavy one for you real connoisseurs. (458 characters)

Photo of MsRif
3.48/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had from a bottle purchased from Teresa's Next Door in Wayne, PA. Poured an oily black color with a viscous consistency. Chocolate head that quickly receded, leaving some spotty lacing. Had an aroma of BOOZE, roasty malts, dark chocolate, sweet malts and a bit of earthiness. Taste is of roasted/sweet malts, BOOZE, hoppy bitterness/earthiness, dark chocolate and coffee. The booze is VERY forward in this beer...there is no hiding of that 13% ABV. I almost found it undrinkable. I don't mind a high alcohol brew but I felt the booze overwhelmed the rest of the flavors/complexity of this beer. As it came up in temp, it actually tasted more booze forward to me.

Full bodied. Syrupy with light carbonation. Not creamy...sticky and thick.

Yes, it was good. Not "great." Hardly at the top of my favorites list. I'll pass on it in the future. (842 characters)

Photo of Blakaeris
4/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours pitch black with a dense, creamy tan head that hangs around awhile.

Aroma is dominated by rum soaked dark fruit, and woody oak notes.

Taste is rich charred dark grain and an intensely dry woody quality. Rum soaked dark fruit - notably date and raisin come on strong. Finishes with more of the oak and vanilla woody character. Lingering alcohol astringency.

Mouthfeel is medium-full.

Overall a pleasant beer, but it doesn't really fit within the RIS category. I would consider this a strong ale. Still definitely worth a try. (535 characters)

Photo of bashiba
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep black with a thick dark tan head.

The smell is heavy with anise and chocolate.

The flavor is very intense with a big smoky and chocolate flavor with sweet dates and raison notes mixing in nicely with layers of burnt malts, coffee, a bit of vanilla and a big blast of black licorice in the finish. Very chocolaty, the dark bitter chocolate notes become stronger the more I drink it,

The mouthfeel is very creamy, thick, and smooth.

A nice and complex imp stout, a bit on the sweet side, but good. (513 characters)

Photo of robbrandes
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks to baltimorebeerguy, great trade!
poured into a tulip. slightly cloudy, thisclose to pure black. minimal head, dissappears shortly after pour.

subdued nose, roasty malts, a bit of chocolate. similar taste - with some darker fruit coming in. big alcohol, oaky/earthy finish.

very enjoyable stout. (304 characters)

Photo of Tucquan
4.15/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2011-12-02 in Valley Forge, PA

A - Deep, dark brown/black with a 1-finger, dark tan head that fades pretty quickly but leaves a ton of lace. Looks like motor oil while pouring.

S - Coffee, chocolate, rich malt, grape floral.

T - Sweet molasses, hop and roasted bitterness, coffee, some dark chocolate tastes. Lots of alcohol. Chalky.

M - Medium-heavy body. Light carbonation. Very creamy, thick and syrupy.

O - I enjoyed this quite a bit although it isn't at the top of my Russian Imperial Stout list. (519 characters)

Photo of Teleweizen2
4.52/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - the special ale pours a deep charcoal black with coffee colored edges. less than a fingers worth of mocha colored foam which slowly dissipates into a ring around the edge of the glass.

S - soft, yet well rounded aroma. chocolate with a tinge of coffee at the forefront which leads into hints of dark fruit, spice, a subtle bit of smoke.

T - very similar to the nose, but more intense. roasty, chocolaty malt flavors resonate on the tongue immediately, followed by lots of peppery spice and deep fruit notes, mostly raisin and possibly hints of blackberry. there is a touch of peppery heat on the finish and a flavor reminiscent of coffee liqueur, which lasts well into the next sip.

M - medium bodied, lighter than expected. creamy sort of milky texture with a light almost effervescent carbonation.

O - fantastic. an incredibly interesting and flavorful beer. the bold flavors meld seamlessly with the subtler notes making me wish i had more of this. A truly great beer. (982 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Teresa's, Paoli, PA

They didn't have it in stock when we visited Ebenezer's, but I finally broke down and purchased the bottle from Teresa's fridge. Split between myself and the wife, I poured my half into an Ebenezer's snifter, and her half into a Pinocchio's tulip glass. The beer poured out a thick, oily black, with a pinky finger of chocolatey brown head that receded to a mere ringlet, leaving a few trails of lacing behind. Smell was booze-heavy, with notes of cocoa and dark fruits. Taste improved as the temperature rose, with a blend of dark roasted malts, molasses, rum-soaked dark fruits, charcoal, and hints of dark chocolate. Pretty complex, but still a bit more thin than I'd expect overall, so I felt the full range of flavors didn't completely come out like it should have. Medium body, and pretty drinkable, but not as good as say, a DFH World Wide Stout...not that many things are. (924 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
4.1/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4


Pour It Black
Stone Brew Co.
Escondido, CA

Nearly black but truly a very, very dark brown with a thin brown head. Spots and specks of lacing are left down the glass.

Rich aroma and a lovely combination of roasted malts, rich dark chocolate, a bit of coffee, and plenty of dark fruit characteristics (prunes, black cherry, and currant).

The flavor follows the aroma, though leading with the roasted malts and rich chocolate flavors. The dark fruit flavors are more of an afterthought when compared to the aroma.

The highlight of this beer is its mouthfeel. It's thick, creamy, with relatively low carbonation, but rich and luscious. Velvety. Delightful.

A wonderful, complex, big RIS. A joy to drink, particularly because of the rich mouthfeel. (756 characters)

Photo of DoktorZee
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a chalice; enjoyed at the Sugarbowl in Edmonton.

A - deep, deep black and thick; not a single bit of light passes through this ichor! One finger tan head with thin streaky lacing.

S - smoke, caramel, and Islay scotch! Heavenly.

T - interesting complex with only the slightest hint of bitterness that's quickly offset with bittersweet dark fruit, licorice and smoke. Very solid and enduring.

M - smooth and velvety; lightly carbonated and with some substantial alcohol warming.

D - definitely a sipper, but still approachable. Exceptionally complex and full of surprises.

Really delicious beer; absolutely lives up to its reputation. Must try for any beer fan. (691 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.05/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 0 poured into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours black as midnight with a hint of tan head that goes away almost immediately.

Smell: Quite sweet and slightly roasty. There is some dark chocolate, overly ripe dark fruit, and perhaps a hint of soy sauce here. May be picking up what reminds me of port as well.

Taste: Amazingly smooth and complex. I'm picking up some roast and dark fruit. The soy sauce from the smell doesn't really show up. There is a roasty bitterness in the finish as well.

Mouthfeel: Thick with hardly any carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a very good beer. Quite complex. I would have another, but I don't know how often I'll search it out due to the price and the number of great stouts that are out there. (752 characters)

Photo of ckeegan04
4.13/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Black would be a proper word to describe this one. Near pitch black with a thin, espresso like head. Foam is about one finger thick after a gentle pour and settles to about a half an inch.

S - Roasted malts, dark fruit and just a hint of anise on first whiff. As the beer warms the dark fruits become very prominant with alochol soaked raisin abd a touch of plum and fig coming to mind. Bitter chocolate and dark bread both peak in as well.

T - The Belgian yeast really makes itself known in the taste. Lots of dark fruits, much like the aroma. Roasted malts, bitter chocolate and just a bit of coffee as well. Alcohol is present thoughout providing a nice burn in the finish.

M - Full bodied with a rather lush and creamy feel. Carbonation provides for a lively sipper

O - Finally got around to cracking the much hyped Black Albert. A very interesting beer. The Belgian yeast mixed with the big stout flavors make for a thought provoking drink. (954 characters)

Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 827 ratings.