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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,591 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,591
Reviews: 823
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 319
Gots: 378 | FT: 24
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: 1,591 | Reviews: 823 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of adamette
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from 330ml bottle purchased at BelgianBeerShop.com into my clean, clear Great Lakes Christmas Ale goblet.

A Absolutely no light gets through this black oil body, even in front of direct light. Head is a beautiful, slow developing but huge, medium brown creamy head that sticks around for several minutes. Great lacing that lasts the life of the beer.

S Deep dark malt with a big smell of alcohol as well. The darkness of the malt is so much that even to the nose there is a bittnerness, like a dark chocolate bitterness.

T Wow...a dark dark malt in a smooth, sweet tasting beer with some bitterness derived not from any discernable hops but from the darkest of roasted malts. I really like the sweetness and despite the high ABV (the highest of any beer that I have rated to date) I really do not taste the alcohol like I probably should. There is a backdrop of alcohol somewhere in the aftertaste though.

M This is maybe the best part of this beer. I am suprised by how smooth this beer is given that several of the strong Russian Imperial Stouts that I have had featured an unwelcome sharpness it them. Make no mistake though, this is a huge, full beer.

D Well, with the huge ABV and even bigger tastes this is a one and done for me. I enjoyed every drop though so I will consider it good drinkability and very appropriate to style.

Notes: What a treat to have this huge beer done in such a masterful way.

Photo of HeyItsChili
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Pours black with a medium, creamy brown head.

S - Cocoa powder, smokey burnt coffee beans, alcohol, maybe some dark fruits.

T - Espresso, dark rum, dark chocolate, warm, lingering alcohol finish. While the basic components of a RIS are here - the chocolaty/coffee essence, there are subtle notes of things like dark fruit, rum, and the like that set this one slightly apart.

M - Viscous, chewy, lots of carbonation.

Photo of hckyfn9999
4.43/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black into a La Chouffe tulip. Thick tan colored head that leaves thick lacing on the glass. Aroma is of sweet cocoa and roasted malt.

Taste is very roasted with an espresso like bitterness. Some of the sweet chocolate noted in the aroma. Also some dark fruit is in here. This beer kind of reminds me of Peche Mortel minus the coffee. Mouthfeel is silky smooth, full-bodied, with a perfect carbonation level. The alcohol is almost unnoticeable, making this 13% monster dangerously drinkable. This is a damn goood beer, if I have the opportunity to purchase this again I will.

Photo of tjthresh
3.86/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours onyx black with a dense medium brown head. Robust aroma. I get some chocolate, coffee and creamer, some dark berries, and a bit of smoke. The flavor is a bit different. Kind of a fruity mocha with plenty of bitterness and alcohol. Silky, milky mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation. The finish is a bit bitter and hot. Still, this is a fine beer and is recommended.

Photo of pdxwhisky
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont Station.

Looks great in a (correct) chimay tulip glass. Nice nose, good lacing. But then the taste - wow, much thinner than I anticipated. Very little aftertaste, and thin mouthfeel.

For 8.50 for 30cl, my expectations were not met.

Not a true RIS, but a "Belgian Imperial Stout".

Won't pay that much for this again.

Photo of CoalCellar
1.86/5  rDev -56.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into my goblet...

A: Standard black, with a remarkably white head despite the 13% alcohol...
S: Nothing going on...some alcohol...perhaps some grain?
T: Nothing but a belgian finish. No coffee, no grain, no chocolate, perhaps the most unremarkable R.I.S. I've ever had...
M: Watery, thin...not impressive
D: Terrible, wouldn't waste my money on this one again. Don't believe the hype...you get more character out of a bud light....

Photo of younger35
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Generously received this brew from hoppymeal as an extra! and mikesgroove in the Black Booty BIF '09. This has been on tap all around me for the past couple months yet somehow eluded me. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Best consumed by April 2013. Batch #14.

Appearance- Pours a thick super dark black with a huge two finger dark tan head that recedes very slowly. Quite a bit of thick tan lacing is left on the glass from the fairly prominent collar and thin cap.
Smell- The slightest bit of roast starts with nose with a light coffee character this isn't really chocolaty but somewhat raw and earthy. The slightest bit of sour is sorta musty and dirty from the yeast. Some dark fruitiness comes through a bit more as it warms adding some smoky raisin and prune like character. The alcohol is easily detectable when the beer hits room temperature though at 13% I wouldn't expect less.
Taste- Starts with a somewhat acrid roastiness that is semi bitter and slightly cocoa like. Some notes of carob and espresso show early but are quickly overpower by the fruitiness. This brew is really heavy on the dark fruits including rum soaked cherries, figs, prunes and ridiculously plumped raisins. The beer seems to sweeten a bit as it warms but fades again and leaves a lingering fruity bitterness. A slight bit of alcohol and smoke show on the finish.
Mouthfeel- Actually my favorite part of the beer. The carbonation manages to be fairly intense yet the body is full and creamy.
Drinkability- Overall this is a fairly tasty brew. Not worth the all the hype it's received (or the price) but definitely worth a try. I can't really think of anything that I've tried that I could compare it too. Think a sort of dry Irish Stout mixed with a Rochefort 10 or something. Big thanks again to Derek and Mike!

Photo of BoitSansSoif
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Deep opaque brownish-black w/beige head, excellent retention, and beautiful lacing.
S-Deeply roasted malt, dark chocolate, tobacco, roast coffee, dark fruit, licorice, raisins.
T-Palate closely matches aroma w/a bitter burnt sensation that is very pleasant, and the alcohol is surprisingly faint in the finish.
M-Rich velvety body w/light residual sweetness that balances out a deep bitterness and burnt sensation and contributes to excellent harmony.
D-This one was rather hyped, but it was really very good and measured up.

Photo of Pauly2X
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this beer to celebrate the birth of my 2nd daugther!

A- Opaque black, one finger dark tan head.

S- Roasted grain, dark fruit and caramel aromas.

T- Mellow burnt grain hits right away. An intense caramel malt flavor follows only to transition into fruity alcohol esters. The finish is extremly clean.

M- Smooth rich and relativly mellow slight carbonic tang.

D- Restraint must be shown.

Excellent take on the style. I'd describe it as Old Rasputin meets Rochefort 8. Although, I wouldn't drop $12 a bottle unless you really like Imperial Stouts and Strong Belgian ales.

Photo of ohmybock
3.96/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bought at Bruisin' Ales for $10. I let the bottle warm up a bit before opening it. The aroma isn't that great. It's actually fairly mild for an impy stout. I get a little roastiness, but a fruity character takes the lead. I've smelled that same thing in some Belgian quads. The taste is a mix of sweetness and roastiness. To me, it tastes like what I would imagine a mixture of something like Expedition stout and Gouden Carolus Carolus D'Or (Cuvée Van De Keizer) or heck...how about Expedition and Pannepot would taste. The 13% alcohol content is well hidden. It has a Belgian character, but a mild one, and not something which is sour, funky, brett-ish, etc. Again, the mild, Belgian-style, sweetish, fruitiness is the main character I'm getting in this brew. It's sort of a dark, stewed fruit character. If I had been blindfolded and had been given this beer, I doubt I would have guessed it was an imperial stout. Whatever the case, it's a nice, drinkable, dark-Belgian brew. Is it worth $10 to me? No, but it was fun to try once.

Photo of sprucetip
4.57/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Ebenezer's.

Black, of course, with thin head which fades to ring and leaves no lacing.

Complex maltiness, sweetness, roasted grains, molasses, chocolate, boozy heat.

Boozy heat, complex malty and sweet flavors, chocolate, mild roastiness, molasses. Clean finish.

Thick, full, warming, lightly carbonated, creamy, slightly dry finish.

Imminently drinkable. Though I noticed the alcohol in some sensations, had no idea it was 13% until I went to review. Damned tasty. Non-beer geek girlfriend also very impressed by this one. I was prepared for it to be just pretty good, due to the hype, but I'm saying it is exceptional.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a huge deep brown foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of deep dry black chocolate with an intense hoppy dry finish. Taste is also a very nice mix between some deep dry chocolate malt with some dry hops and a dry roasted malt and coffee finish. Full body with great carbonation and no alcohol was apparent. Very complex and not totally American in it approach to the style. A more creamy body would render this even better in my opinion.

Photo of jwinship83
4.11/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- this beer comes out a black color body with a huge head that reduces to a half finger that stays throughout the entire beer. Lots of rings of lace cling to the sides of the glass after each sip. What more could you ask for?

S- the first thing I notice is the scent of chocolate and a strong aroma of roasted malt. Theres some fruit in here too. Raisins mostly. Also some figs, and a hint of licorice.

T- surprisingly sweet and not as roasty as I would have liked/expected. Very fruity. Lots of the raisins/tobacco that I could smell. Only some of the chocolate though.

M- full bodied and rather thick. Slight warming as it makes its way down to my stomach

D- a great treat of a beer, this is something id love to be able to drink very often. However, its very rare and even more expensive. I cant wait to see how the others I have change over time. Ill be opening them on special occasions only. Check this one out if you get the chance.

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to say thanks to my man Drunkmonk for hooking me up with this one.
Poured a deep black with a cocoa colored head, little carbonation. Nose is cocoa, figs, tobacco. Taste is cocoa, dried fruit up front with a sharp alochol bite on the end. The 13ABV is well hidden leaving this a hidden bruiser. Good RIS!

Photo of JWD
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks from monkeyknife for this one!!!

A- Lookin good, very dark but active like DFH WWS high carbonation and a great tan head here!

S- Good, your basic RIS with a belgian twist here, little breadiness going one.

T- Very good, Belgian RIS i am liking so far so roasty some coffee and some bread. ABV is hidden very well. lot of similarities to the Abyss

M- Thiner than expected but the high carb has a lot to do with that.

D- Supreme, the hidden ABV and the smooth flavors here make you wish you had a bigger bottle.

Great brew with a very interesting twist..

Photo of kasper
3.71/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours dark brown, huge three finger cargo tan-colored foamy head even on a cold pour. Some rings of laces recede.

S: Hints of cocoa, raisin, and cream on this cold pour. Underlying aromas of some once-was bitterness. Weak aromas overall.

T: On the better end of belgian imperial stouts, with a wicked twist at the end. Dark, syrupy fruity malts, strong licorice and alcohol slip down the throat when suddenly a bitter, jagermeister-like roasted finish floods the senses, lingering in an aftertaste of burnt licorice.

M: Full-bodied, yet thin feeling (but heavy hitting). Moderate carbonation, but it's noticeable.

D: This 12oz bottle was aged at least a year, no hoppy aromas, lots of alcohol-soaked fruits without the candy belgian/yeast flavors. Similar to a DFH WWS in some ways. Nice to try, not sure it's something I'll ever crave.

Photo of paulthebeerguru
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a pitch black with no light penetration. Rich dark tan head, small but good retention. fair lacing.

S - Chocolate, coffee, some belgian yeast qualities. a little fruity, like overly ripe berries.

T - Great balance for the ABV, lots of chocolate, coffee, etc from the roasted malts. finish is a little bready from the yeast, but a great flavor overall.

M - retardedly smooth. very creamy and assertive. carbonation keeps this beer alive, but doesn't overpower.

Photo of Buebie
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtasy of gford217

Poured from a brown bottle into a snifter. Upon opening, this thing is a real gusher. I tried to put my finger over it and let out pressure slowly so not to lose to much liquid.

a good inch of fizzy cola like, dark brown head sits atop this dark black beer. Leaving thin spotty lace.

Aroma is very sweet with lots of sweet dark chocolate and moist chocolate cake like aroma. Hints of black licorice and more sweetness mixed with a chocolate nutty character. Wiffs of a whiskey like alcahol aroma.

This is very rish and alcahol warmth rushes in, warning me to sip it a little slower. Big black licorice flavors mixing well with pungeant dark, sweet chocolate cake. This is pretty highly carbonated, reminding me its a belgian after all. Is it a RIS with a belgian yeast strain?
Some dark fruits in here with an almost red grape/ chimay like flavor.
Finishing chocolaty and becoming a bit more dry with a dark chocolate bittering roastyness.

Very delicious and quite different from any other imperial stout I've had.

Photo of LilMatrix
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Really dark pour with no light penetration. Rich dark tan head; beer looks wonderfully lively.

S - Chocolate, coffee, rich with slight soy sauce undertones.

T - Pleasant sweetness/caramel, chocolate, coffee, Ends slightly bready and has an interesting umame taste. Very well balanced and sooo smooth.

M - Great creaminess and carbonation that acts like a cloud, the liquid never really touches the tongue on the way down.

D - 13% ABV? No way... this is way too smooth. Not boozy at all... this is the best 13% i've ever experienced. Way way too smooth. This is an amazing beer. All the sudden... i'm kinda lightheaded and warm =) oooohhh yeeeeaaaahhh.

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

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a thinnish, tan-colored head.

Smell: Roasty malts with chocolate, strong coffee, as well as distinct notes of dark candi sugar, tobacco, prunes, black currants, and aniseed.

Taste: Rich maltiness displayed as candi sugar sweetened chocolate and dark, roasted grains. Concentrated, vinous fruitiness, even a bit of cooked apples. Pinch of English Cavendish as well as pepper and anise. Subtle yeastiness. Exceedingly minor hop flavor and bitterness. Flavor of spiced fruit compote on the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Somewhat chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Well, for starters, it was good! The love child of a Belgian Quad and Imperial Stout. The drinkability is suspiciously high for a purported 13% ABV brew. I certainly recommend it if you can manage to procure yourself a bottle or two.

Photo of daythree16
3.56/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours completely black with a very thin head that fades pretty quickly.

Smell is raisins and dark fruit. Very sweet aromas. Taste definitely follows suit. Huge dark fruity sweetness that overpowers everything else. It does have a roasted quality that tries to assert itself, but it just can't. The 13% ABV also makes itself known big time, as each sip gives way to a warm alcohol finish bordering on burn.

Mouthfeel is silky but still has nice carbonation. Drinkability is not very good. The cloying sweetness just makes it hard to put away. I'm glad I'm sharing this one, because I doubt I would even want all of the little bottle.

Overall, I'm pretty disappointed with this one, especially considering all the hype. Not terrible by any means, just not the stellar brew I was expecting.

Photo of Murchmac
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to PHawk for this beer in a trade. You da man Parker.

(Sung to the tune of Fat Albert)

Hey Hey Hey, it's Black Albert.
And Im gonna pour a dark cola highlighted beer for you.

And you're going to smell alcohol, coffee, and dark fruits too.

You'll taste bitter chocolate now with figs, tobacco and candy can, It's not too heavy, it's got that Belgian thang.

NaNaNa, gonna be a good beer, With some alcohol too. NaNaNa gonna be a thin beer.

This is Murchmac coming at you with an intersting belgian RIS, and if you're not careful, you might believe the hype before it's done.

NaNaNa, thought an RIS with a belgian yeast was interesting, Hey Hey Hey. NaNaNa, that was the only thing. Hey Hey Hey

Photo of datamike
3.56/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Great aroma with some fruity esters and a bit or roastiness. No Belgian phenolics though.

The taste is good; complex, raisiny, fruity, moderate roast level, bitter chocolate. Definitely some aspects of age here - sherry-like notes of oxidation. Nothing special here though. Either of Southern Tiers Imperial stouts (choklat, oatmeal) is superior in every way.

The real problem here is that there is nothing "Belgian" about this beer.

A decent beer, but severely over-hyped and overrated in my opinion....

Photo of goethean
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Autumnaldave and I were drinking this on tap at the Lisle Bavarian Lodge. We decided that it had the elegant body of a tripel. The guy next to us detected some cellar notes, but I drank mine too quickly to pick it up. It combines a complex flavor profile with shocking drinkability.

Photo of BeerStine
4.52/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 1,591 ratings.