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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,597 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,597
Reviews: 823
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 325
Gots: 384 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,597 | Reviews: 823 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Damian
4.97/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Drank from a 330 ml bottle
BA No.14
Lot A; Best before April 2013
Served in a chalice
Acquired in a trade with deepsouth

What was once the number one beer in the world, Black Albert has slowly fallen down the charts over the past year. (As of this review, it was no longer one of the top 100 beers on planet earth.) Let us see what the hype (and the controversy) was all about.

The beer poured a deep, ashy black color with brown tinges when held to the light. An impressive looking (especially for a beer this high in alcohol), dense, creamy, silky smooth, saddle brown head slowly faded to a resilient cap of froth. Small blocks of lacing stuck along the sides of the glass.

The aroma was intense and extraordinarily complex. Dark, sweet, fruity and earthy with indications of must and leather. A distinctly Belgian yeast note was apparent. The yeast gave off a fragrant, almost floral nuance. (Perhaps some jasmine or lavender.) Indications of dark Belgian candi sugar came through strong. Toffee and roasted nuts were also noticeable. Dark rum and brown sugar notes appeared as the liquid warmed. All in all, the aroma was unlike anything I have experienced before in a beer.

The taste was every bit as impressive and as intense as the aroma. Fruity, raisiny, plummy and sweet up fronts with lots of dark malt flavor. The alcohol warmth appeared immediately but it was balanced by a plethora of captivating flavors. Slightly roasty and woody in the center. Dark chocolate, molasses, rum and vanilla notes also came though strong. A milky, lactic-like flavor was detectable as well. Slightly coffee-ish on the back end. This stout was definitely geared more toward "fruity and sweet" than "roasty and bitter" however. The finish was sublime. Yeasty and silky smooth with no hint of the 13% ABV detectable.

The mouthfeel was simply flawless. Super creamy, frothy, slick and silky smooth with a medium-full body. This beer was heavier than a typical Belgian quad but lighter than most Russian imperial stouts. After each sip, the residual sugars in the beer left a sticky coating on my lips.

Drinkability was literally off the charts. I never have (and probably never will) sample a 13% ABV beer that goes down so easily. I did however feel some numbing on my tongue near the drink's end. This beer was simply a joy to consume.

Simply put, Black Albert was one of the finest beers to have ever touched my lips. I am perplexed as to the reason behind this beer's quick descension down the charts. (I did hear however that different batches taste remarkably dissimilar. This may explain some of the discrepancies.) If you have not tried this beer before, I suggest you to do so. If you have tried it and did not experience what I did, I urge you to try it again.

Photo of nickfl
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of dark brown head on a completely black body with no light showing through. The foam settles slowly and leaves a fine film of lace.

S - Significant nutty chocolate with clove, ginger, and allspice notes. Some spicy alcohol and mocha (more chicory than coffee though).

T - Smooth, bittersweet chocolate malt up front with some mocha coffee notes. Spice comes out in the middle, clove and cinnamon with a bit of pepper. The spice lingers into the finish, which is full of chocolate and nutty malt. Complex malt notes linger on the palate and create a smoky, pipe tobacco flavor coats the mouth.

M - Thick, heavy body, moderately low carbonation, and a sweet, but not cloying finish.

D - It is surprising to find that, according to the bottle, this beer weighs in at 100 IBUs because the flavor is all about malt. The bitterness is hardly descernable and it barely manages to contain the sweetness of the finish; though it does a good job of masking the 13%ABV. The nose is pleasant, but a bit mild; while the flavor is quite complex, especially the finish. A nice, big stout that hides its borderline insane alcohol content dangerously well; this is a great beer, but not one that I could or would drink very often.

Photo of erz316
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

11.2 floz bottle into la chouffe snifter.

A - pitch black body with a good sized two finger head, made of medium sized bubbles. the size of the bubbles inhibits some of the creaminess of the head but overall the head is pretty creamy. the head takes a good while to dwindle down to a thin, but completely full layer across the top.the colour of the foam is a light brown, maybe a dark tan. I cant find any major wrongs with it aside from the lack of creaminess in the head and the lack of lacing.

S - it might be that the brew is cold, but I'm not getting that much of an aroma from it. The most I can get out is a light coffe/choco combination and a medium roasted malt backbone. some very dry alcohol int he midground, smell almost a big like chlorine. upon tasting the beer the sour aspect becomes apparent. as the brew warms up the coffee becomes the dominant flavour

T - thats quite a peculiar combination of flavours. the initial taste has a big roasty malt body, some of the coffee/choco flavour, and a tangy sourness. I guess that's what makes it a belgian royal stout. there is a general bitterness, which seems to be a combination of a chocolate like bitterness (sans the choco flavour) and a general hop bitterness. the finish is an interesting combination of sour, bitter, and light sweetness. the hops are clearly identifiable and compose the majority of the bitterness in the finish. the aftertaste is more like a RIS than any other part of the process; big roasted dark malts, chocolate bitterness, and a slight sweetness embrace the palate.

MF&D - the feel is kind of off by a long shot. the belgian candi sugar doesn't do this brew any good, it makes too much small scale carbonation. the is necessary, however, because the body of the beer is light, and in order to bump it up to a medium the excess carbonation is needed. a pretty good beer, but not one for which I would again pay a ten spot.

Photo of Onenote81
3.65/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle received from funkydelic in a recent trade. Thanks!

Poured this one into my snifter. Pours a thick viscous deep black with a good inch and a half of dark tan head on top. Retention is fair, and it leaves a nice sticky coat of lace on the side of the glass. Right off the bat, this beer smells of freshly shaved cocoa, big coffee notes, and a slight twang of soy sauce. Maybe I'm getting used to it, but this characteristic fades quickly.

This is a very creamy, smooth beer. A soft silky creaminess just coats the mouth with each and every sip. This is how I like my big stouts to feel. Well done. Where cocoa and coffee are big in the nose, they lack a little depth in the flavor dept. This beer is a little too tart for my liking. There's definitely some dark chocolate bitterness present, but the predominant flavor I'm getting is a slightly sour fruity flavor. I'm not sure about this one. I can sense the alcohol definitively. This is a slow sipper for sure, and one at that.

Some characteristics on this brew were spot on in my opinion, but lacking in others. Still, this was a pleasure to quaff. Thanks, Cameron, for the opportunity.

Photo of BeerShirts
4.73/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- No light will break through this beer. The head was small but retained well

S- Rich roasted/burnt smell and underlining of alcohol.

T- like others have said WOW. No taste of alcohol. The dark fruit and raisins taste really seemed to come through a lot to me, almost a quick splash of sour but fades just as fast as it hits you, has a nice lingering taste from the roasted malt

M- Smooth, very little carbonation

D- Would drink this beer every day if I could. It goes down probably to easy for the ABV.

Photo of beveritt
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: Poured from an 11/2 oz brown bottle into a Duvel chalice. Label is black, with a picture that is a strange mix of paisley and tribal pattern. Back describes the development of this beer and recommends listening to The Brabançonne while drinking. There is notching for lot number, but no clear indication of production date.

Appearance: Pours with just over three fingers of dark brown head. This settles very slowly, essentially just slowly compacting. Eventually it drops to a still substantial coating and a more robust island of foam above the nucleation point. Decent lacing. The beer itself is black and opaque. Some sediment remains in the bottle.

Smell: Chocolate and soy sauce upfront with alcohol sweetness. Hints of cherry and vanilla.

Taste: Buttery chocolate upfront, incredibly smooth. Hints of cherry and strawberry follow. Roasted barley and hop bitterness in the finish, but extremely mellow. Warming alcohol sensation, but otherwise, the 13% is extremely well hidden.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation is amazing; seems to stay in solution, giving this a creamy, milkshake-like mouthfeel. Great, thick body.

Drinkability: I must admit, I went in to this one wondering how much would be hype, but am now a believer. A great beer, in all respects. I wish I could get this in Ohio. Or maybe I don't because I would be on my way to buy several cases right now.

Photo of Bighuge
3/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

This black bodied beer has a fluffy brown head with great retention and substantial lace properties. Nice aroma of anise oil, cocoa powder, rummy alcohol and oily black malt. The flavor and mouthfeel are letdowns right from the get go. Body is medium at best. And gaseous and over carbonated. Oily feel to it, which is not bad in and of itself, but there's not much substance to it in the mouthfeel or flavor. Roasted chocolate malt flavors with some black licorice and winey characteristics. Tannic astringency is noted as well. I was expecting more out of this.

Photo of far333
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temp in a crystal snifter. Brownish black with a light brown head of soapy bubbles that slowly settles out and leaves a ring around the insides of the glass.

Rich aroma of vinous grapes, bitter chocolate, and port wine.

Flavors of dark chocolate, rich espresso, sasafrass, licorice, notes of woody oak, brandy, leather and smoke. Velvety flavors meet a fruity tangy finish as hints of raspberry and currant rise up.

Full mouthfeel, pretty round, moderate carbonation but tingles on the tongue and warms the cheeks. Dry and powdery tannic finish.

Very tasty, good sipper, scary smooth for such high ABV. Thanks to barleywinefiend for pssing this beauty my way.

Photo of CoolJosh
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared by Treyrab. Had know idea whether or not I should look forward to this beer after hearing of its comparison to Weyerbacher 13.

This beer was poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip. Pours a darker brown with no visibility through. A beautiful creamy khaki colored head retains better then most I have seen, but I would have prefered the body to be a little bit darker.

The smell is of darker fruits, raisins, alcohol, rich cocoa. Some plums and light cherries are prevalent and pronounced. There is a scent of Belgian Dark candies.

The taste is magnificently smooth. The mouthfeel is on the lighter end for the style, but nonetheless creamy and soft. The taste is very sweet. All that comes out in the scent is present in the taste. There is a roasted malt taste that starts to show as the beer warms. The alcohol on the end is my only complaint to this otherwise great tasting beer.

After trying this beer, I am now anxious to seek out some more De Struise offerings, and would love for the opportunity to cellar some of this stuff.

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.02 oz bottle poured into wide snifter. Room temperature. Don't know much about this beer, but seen in mentioned a couple times.

A- BLACK as midnight. Impressive head for 13%... damn impressive. Head is cookie-dough brown.

S- Potent. Alcohol is there. I took too deep a whiff and got overwhelmed a bit. Roasted malt, caramel, toffee, molasses, candied sugary goodness. More 'potent' smelling than your average RIS, but I guess this ain't that. Label calls this a "Royal Stout".

T- Wow, considering how borderline I felt about the smell, the taste is amazing. Strong yet subtle in its layers, simple at first. I pick up roasted coffee, bitter (baking) chocolate. Deeper I get fruity banana and mandarin orange tastes.. some earthy/woody notes as well. Finishes with a green apple tartness and a molasses mouthfeel.

M- Thick, smooth, heavenly. Where's the booze? Tastes like 8%-9%. 13% is outrageous... how'd they do it???

D- Moderate but tasty . I like this beer, it's very good. Worth seeking out... belgian royal stouts kick ass!

Photo of cbros
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of Arbitrator
2.72/5  rDev -36%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 1

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.

Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of Kraken
3.93/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 8/21/09

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.

Photo of mrkrispy
3.27/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of smithflipper
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of Bung
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of rajendra82
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of mhatters
4.07/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of damienblack
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of asabreed
4.82/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of COBeerBuff
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

Photo of callmemickey
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of discovolante65
3.6/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.19/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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.

Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 1,597 ratings.