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.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,467 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,467
Reviews: 808
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 317
Gots: 357 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

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 BeerStine
BeerStine

California

4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter. Got to thank a fellow BA for making this drink possible.

Pours pitch black with fluffy almond brown head that subsides shortly after pour. Immediately after opening I could smell the aroma of alcohol from a foot away. Roasted malts come up front followed by slight dark red fruits if I try hard. Has a bourbon smell to it as well. Taste is amazing. Very well balanced. Taste of roasted malty flavor upfront along with a fruity hop flavor that hits the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is a medium/light with light carbonation. This beer is amazingly drinkable for being 13% ABV.

The balanced flavor of this beer is quite impressive.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2009 00:47:13 | More by BeerStine
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick beige head with pour retention. Very, very dark brown. Just a touch shy of black. Oaken brandy splashed with a some Kahlua and a little licorice make up the nose. A mix between Starbuck's liquer and kahlua start of the firs sip. But oak barreled whiskey and brandy mix with fresh ground coffee. Smooth palate and very mild alcohol feel to this beer. Dangerously deceiving 13% abv beer. Good sipper and would not imagine a beer like this to come out of Belgium. Grab as many as you can if these are available in your area.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2009 06:57:11 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Great to get my paws on this one,poured as black as an oil slick,I mean no light getting thru this,a 1/2 finger light moch head atop leaving shotty lace.Aromas of dark fruit and espresso roast coffee,a tinge of hardwood shows thru as well.Lush mouthfeel,full and velvity,to me its perfect hence the rating.Complex flavors with a mix of heavy roast and dark fruit sweetness,some molasses-like flavors add to the sweetness,a big drying somewhat earthy finish is a great to end this brew.Its a sipping brew and can get a little sticky after a bit but this a gem of a beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-13-2009 21:49:40 | More by oberon
Photo of imperialbigswig
imperialbigswig

Wisconsin

4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is a great and impressive stout, but I still wince at the price tag. My beef with it is that it's a bit lite in the body. The smell however, and the taste are truly phenomenal. A fairly chocolatey beer with excellent balance- not too dry, not too sweet or flabby. It's worth having more than one!!

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2009 23:06:38 | More by imperialbigswig
Photo of Bierguy5
Bierguy5

Ohio

4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle, 13% ABV. Pours a black color, with a nice frothy mocha head. Head quickly fades to a thin collar.

Chocolate, alcohol and some yeasty notes in the nose. A bit of a fruity undertone.

Sweet up front, with lots of roasty character. Some spices, or yeasty flavors that are more subtle than the nose would suggest.

Medium body, not as much carbonation as I would have thought. A bit warming from the alcohol. Pretty nice.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2009 14:44:00 | More by Bierguy5
Photo of paco1029384756
paco1029384756

Illinois

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

Pours black with a small tan head and good lacing.

Scent of chocolate, candi sugar, dark fruits, spices, cola, and alcohol. There is a lot to the scent, but it isn't overly complex, very good.

Taste of roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits and alcohol. This stuff is pretty hot right now, but I think it will be excellent with some age.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and heavy, but it seems a little thin.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2009 23:47:31 | More by paco1029384756
Photo of Beerbuddha
Beerbuddha

Louisiana

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

Appearance: This beer poured very dark, black. Not much of a head present but what was there was tan. Lacing was present but minimal.

Smell: Huge smells of coffee, chocolate with nice subtle hints of tobocco and fruit.

Taste: Coffee tastes dominate here but there are nice hints of chocolate and fruits. Mild hop profile which presents itself about midpalate. Again a slight hint of tobacco makes itself known. When I say tobacco for me its similar to chew not dip or cigs.

Mouthfeel: This beer has a medium body with little carbonation. The beer comes across very velvet like.

Overall: Overall this is a great beer but man the $10 bottle price and the hype surrounding it seems unnecessary. I felt North Coast Old Rasputin was just as good for a hell of a lot cheaper.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2009 19:45:11 | More by Beerbuddha
Photo of HopDerek
HopDerek

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, dark brown color as close to black as it can into a snifter. Big creamy burnt tan head with orange highlights made up of tiny bubbles has nice retention and leaves some beautiful lacing with an oily residue. Smells of dark fruits, molasses, roasted malt, chocolate, leather, a touch of soy sauce/chalk, anise, and a bit of alcohol. Tastes of dark chocolate, dark fruits like figs, raisins, plums, and cherries, a bit of candy, bitter cocoa powder, coffee, roasted malt, leather, soy sauce, licorice, piney hops, and rum. Medium-full in body with low carbonation but a nice pop. Thick yet smooth and creamy with a robustness. Bold but very drinkable with a plethora of flavors and good balance throughout. A little pricey for a 11oz bottle, but worth it every so often.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2009 02:08:30 | More by HopDerek
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

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

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a inky jet black body with a tin tan ring of foam on top. The body is too dense to see any carbonation.

S- The soft musty smell gives way to a smooth dark almost malty aroma and a note of figs finish the aroma.

T- The bitter inky taste of big black malt give way to a mellow but big black roasted malt flavor. There are some soft cherry hints and a faint tartness that helps finish this beer with a soft inky bitterness that lingers for a brief moment.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a soft fizz hint and no real alcohol heat but a smooth texture on the tongue.

D- The tartness is pretty bright which is interesting compared with the dark roasted malt. The big roasted notes were up front but the malt flavors seemed to be in the background. This beer was served a bit colder than I like and I wonder if that hid some of the complexity? There just wasn't much complexity but nice contrast of flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2009 22:37:44 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of mdagnew
mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle bought online from The Cracked Kettle, Amsterdam...

Poured pretty much pitch black even when held up to the light. Mocha tan head poured very big thick and foamy with a whipped meringue like top then faded slowly to good thick covering with lots of thick sticky lacing...

Aroma - Rich dark chocolate malts, toasted / charred bread, bitter chocolate, hints of cola, treacle and molasses, some sooty notes, balsamic vinegar traces, dark fruits (black cherries, prunes, plums, some light figs), earthy / cardboard notes, some boozy notes just coming through...

Taste - Lots of rich (bitter) dark chocolate and liquorice to the fore followed by treacle and molasses sweetness, light sooty notes, strong and slightly sweet espresso coffee, toasted / charred bread, stewed prunes, cherries, hints of black forest gateau, slight candy sugar hints, grassy hops, light pine, nice warming booze, slight saltiness..

Feel - Rich and smooth... medium / full bodied... incredibly drinkable for 13% as this is very well hidden...

Overall - An incredible and very complex beer although it does take a few sips before all the flavours emerge. I have two more of these and am looking forward to seeing how they age... highly recommended...

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 09:52:20 | More by mdagnew
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally got a bottle of this. Pours black with a small tan head that fades rapidly. Aroma of molasses, alcohol, licorice, and sweet rich roasted malt. Flavor of rich roasted malt, alcohol, and a touch of bitter chocolate. A little muddled flavor-wise. Palate is a little boozy. Interesting beer but it turns out it was nothing special after all (still it was fun being one of the first to get this super-hyped beer on tap at Ebenezer's back in January).
8/4/7/4/15 (3.8/5)

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2009 00:57:46 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of weeare138
weeare138

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a near black with dark brownish-red edges when held up to the light. A light tan head slowly fades into a mild cap and collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of unusual cocoa, hazelnut, astringent chocolate grain, perhaps a touch of brett clauseni, pineapple, basil, roasted nuts, caramel, and ripe, dark fruit.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with some fermented Belgian yeast notes coming through with more cocoa, raisins, peanuts, and bitter cocoa...it sort of reminds me of a Chunky candy bar.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with raisins, nuts, and a touch of funk flowing along the palate. There is also some astringent graininess found in the swallow, along with a mild alcohol burn.
Hmmm...
Maybe it's just me but I don't get it. It's really like Dark Raisinettes(do they even still make those?). It's certainly a pretty nice beer but not the orgasmic beverage that I had been expecting based upon the hype.

"Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see." -Ben Franklin

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2009 17:58:24 | More by weeare138
Photo of JoeySchlitz
JoeySchlitz

Colorado

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

Picked up a few of these from Health Spirits a while back. 33cl bottle - which is a great size for a 13% abv beer. A very pricy bottle I might add.

Pours jet-black into a snifter - decent head that quickly recedes to the edges of the glass. Swirling it around it looks to be on the light side for viscosity.

Smells like soy sauce, bitter chocolate and some dark fruits with faint hops smell. Very little to no alcohol in the nose.

The taste is really good. Nothing like I expected. Pretty light on its feet for the abv with a mix of soy, light chocolate and coffee undertones with very good carbonation letting it dance in your mouth. Again not getting any of the 13% in the taste - this could be a dangerous beer to drink. Has a dry finish is unlike other RIS's that I've had.

A very well balanced high abv stout that I could drink one too many of if it wasn't so damn expensive. Overall quite impressed and worthy of the praise but only something that I'll occasionally indulge in.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 21:40:54 | More by JoeySchlitz
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

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

Deep brown with a dark mocha colored head that fades quickly into a bubbly ring around the glass leaving spotty lacing.

Full of belgian yeast and spice with hints of milk and dark chocolate, roasted malts, anise, dark fruit, caramel, and earth.

Damn tasty and complex. Lovely roasted character with much more chocolatey flavors then the nose suggests and the belgian yeast and spicey quality are subdued from the nose. A sweet fruity character balances the roast nicely. Dark fruit flavors with hint of coffee and big alcohol yet in a nice way. Nicely carbonated with plum and chewy malts. Great balance and complexity. Nice.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2009 18:14:42 | More by mcallister
Photo of DaveFL1976
DaveFL1976

Florida

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

Cool! A Black Albert.
12oz bottle @ Coasters Pub in Melbourne, FL.

This brew pours a dark, dark chocolate brown, but not as motor-oily as many other imperial stouts. Head is tan and somewhat minimal, one of the only drawbacks to this brew.

The smell has hints of cherry, bourbon, chocolate and alcohol. Very complex and appealing.

The taste is just super nice. Caramel, toffee, chocolate, a hint of warmth from the alcohol (which, at 13% is remarkably well-hidden)

The quality that sealed the deal is the mouthfeel. It's amazing. Smooth, light, and a billion tiny bubbles that appear on your tongue.

This is well worth seeking out. Expensive, yes, but a nice treat for yourself. Go ahead. You deserve it.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 22:16:22 | More by DaveFL1976
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Much thanks to Daniel, for the bottle I am about to open.

Onyx cast, full on ebony, with a thick, creamy tanned head holding fort above. Excellent look for an Imperial Stout....oh, I'msorry, "Belgian Royal Stout."(So why don't stateside brewers make further leaps of logic and call their thick, viscous works 'American Republic Stouts?' Silly question...)

Aroma is rich and decandent, plump with dark rum, molasses, dark chocolate, carob, soy sauce, pitch, anise, and who knows what all...lovely stuff...

Drink it: all that above melted into one, with no one major flavor on top, except ...cola. Much milder than the nose promised, not as forceful in flavor,but still rich and dominant. Sweetness comes out on top, a little too much, I think, soy sauce taste conquers all. A little wine-like.Belgian yeast and malt is evident, if I hadn't known, I woulda guessed.

Warm,this. Tasty, too, but not the greatest beer on Earth, nor that special of an Imperial, oh, I'm so sorry, Belgian Royal ...nice enough, but I can't see what's so special about it.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 08:55:19 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of sonicdescent
sonicdescent

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice black in which no light escapes. One finger head slowly rises giving way to a crown and thick lacing around the edges.

Smells of chocolate up front, alcohol second. Hints of caramel and toffee abound.

In the taste, the high ABV is well hidden. This is clearly a well made beer, with hints of belgian yeast and your chocolate and cream aftertaste. Very easy to drink considering it's high ABV, with the sole detractor for me being the rather high carbonation for this heavy a stout.

All things equal (price being a big part of that) I would absolutely order this again, but as of now it's scarcity would probably send me to offerings of this style that while may not be as high quality are worth it after the price/rarity differential.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2009 03:30:56 | More by sonicdescent
Photo of blackie
blackie

California

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

a: into a small snifter, pours pitch black with a caramel colored head showing decent retention, looks nice

s: creamy semisweet chocolate is the centerpiece, mild roasts, lightly hopped, perhaps just a hint of Belgian yeast

m: low carbonation composed of tiny bubbles and a creamy medium-full body create a smooth mouthfeel

t: creamy black malts and semisweet chocolate dominant, gracefully flavored - fitting of its Belgian heritage, the mildest roast astringency after swallowing, moderately boozy

d: exceptionally drinkable for a 13% beer

single bottle from Riley's Madison, split with the feller of filth

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 06:44:42 | More by blackie
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

ah yes, the hype of black albert...330ml bottle from Riley's with a high price-tag...split with black bart

apppearance: poured into a snifter, robust ebony body, light mahogany cream lace...chocolate hues

smell: roasty, licorice, layers of dark chocolate, a touch of espresso

taste: seems like a product of the hype to me - high quality RIS with a limited enough availability and high price tag to make it infamous...this is a powerful powerful stout - drinks like rocket fuel. layers upon layers of dark chocolate are the focal point, with hints of oatmeal, espresso, and dark roasted malts below. alcohol is a bit heavy but bitterness is quite low. kind of reminds me of a jacked up storm king stout

mouthfeel: full and coating, high booze, light bitterness, robust

drinkability: 165ml is a good serving size for me

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 05:55:52 | More by dirtylou
Photo of MAB
MAB

Alberta (Canada)

4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer definitely lived up to expectation and its high praise.

It is an absolutely gorgeous beer in a glass- once the head calms down a bit. Deep opaque brown with a dark, medium lacey head.

The smell is alcohol up front (13%? No wonder...) but with sweetness and coffee-like roasted malt aromas.

This is not a beer to drink down with gusto- you have to sip it and appreciate every one of them. Mine was left at room temperature for about an hour and the warmness definitely brought out the strengths of the flavours. Coffe again, chocolate, and roasted grains. Yummy!

It felt very different (but nice) in the mouth compared to other stouts. This was thicker and syrupy without being too sweet.

Outstanding!

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 04:17:57 | More by MAB
Photo of scootny
scootny

New York

4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A 33 cl bottle. Unlike the picture. I'd like to know where the 750 ml bottle is as no one I know has seen it. A four finger head in my Corsendonk glass. It sits majestically and recedes at a glacier pace. The brown head flows into a black brown beer that lets no light through. The sides of my glass are covered in lace, it continues as I drink.

Smell is light chocolate and coffee. There is roasted grain and sweet alcohol. A light Belgian yeast ester completes the package.

Taste is a fight between coffee and mocha. Coffee up front blending into mocha and back to coffee latte. A good roasted grain component balances the sweetness before the hops. A sweet and faint alcohol taste makes you think YooHoo for a second as you swallow. Belgian yeast esters mix in and add complexity and body. Finish is clean and dry with a firm hop presence to cut the sweet and roasted malt backbone that underpins the coffee and mocha. Faint fusel alcohol lingers with graham crackers.

Mouthfeel is velvety smooth and clean. Stouty thickness gives way to effervescent liveliness and makes this brew dance in your mouth.

Drinkability is beyond belief for a stout of this weight. I have been reviewing all night and I can't bring myself to slow down on this exceptional beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2008 06:11:21 | More by scootny
Photo of gameface23
gameface23

Massachusetts

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

On tap at Ebenezer's, poured into a tulip glass with a bulbous bottom. Pours black with a caramel head.

The smell is very sweet. Chocolate and slight coffee. Certain spices and dark fruits.

The taste was similar to the smell, with a thick and creamy mouthfeel.

I actually had no idea that this was 13% alcohol until I looked it up to review it. The alcohol is VERY well hidden. Drinkability was great.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2008 18:48:05 | More by gameface23
Photo of palmer69
palmer69

United Kingdom (England)

4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

AWSOME... poured jet black with a 2in. head out of the small bottle,

Smell is of very strong alcohol, with a mini coffee smell that is almost drowned out by the alcohol.

taste is great, very chocolatey/ minimal coffee, and a warm alcohol sensation on the back of the tounge. Being as I love a stout with little to no carbination (like guinness(which is my favorite stout)) this one would have easily surpassed guinness with less carbination. But the carbination isn't over whelming. when you finish it there was a thick chocolatyness left on the bottom of the cup, like after you drink hot chocolate.

This stuff was delicious. I have six other bottles that I'm ageing in my celler I think that it will be awsome with some age behind it, but we'll see.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2008 12:40:18 | More by palmer69
Photo of Kadonny
Kadonny

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a nonic imperial pint glass.

A: Pours a thick black color with a very minimal light brown caramel colored head. Almost no glass lacing.

S: Dark chocolate, spice, sugary sweetness and alcohol.

T: Very bitter with flavors of dark bitter chocolate, dark roasted coffee, licorice, dried fruit and tar. In the middle you get the belgian yeast spice flavor and the finish comes up with the sugar candy sweetness. Lingering is a roasted flavor with bitterness and sweetness. Lots of flavors show up once the beer warms, so make sure you give it time.

M: Thick, dense and alcoholic. I can feel the 13% and the beer just lingers in the mouth.

D: Medium at best. This is a sipper and one tiny bottle is enough.

Overall a very good beer, but not really my bag. A bit too big for me with the alcohol and the super roasty flavors. Still I'm really glad I tried it.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2008 01:59:41 | More by Kadonny
Photo of marksto
marksto

Florida

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

Picked up at Crown Liquors in Carmel, IN - thanks to Mike for putting it in my hands.

Pours opaque with a carmel-colored head with good retention. Aroma has nice complexity, with dark cherry, chocolate, and alcohol all evident. These elements all come out in the taste as well, along with carmel, licorice, and some roast. The mouthfeel is quite dry and the alcohol well hidden- doesn't taste like 13%.
Not sure I'd classify this as a RIS - the dryness and complexity mark it as one with a definite Belgian character. Also, you must let it warm up to let out all the complexity

Overall, an interesting and pleasant drinking beer - worth trying if you have the chance, but IMO perhaps a bit underwhelming considering the hype it gets.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2008 03:52:34 | More by marksto
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,467 ratings.