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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: 19
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
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Ratings: 1,467 | Reviews: 808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of milwaukeeclassic
milwaukeeclassic

Wisconsin

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this one a while ago, on tap at Erasmus in Brugge in early March 2008. I agree with some earlier reviewers that this is not as heavy as some imperial stouts I've had. I remember that there was tremendous head retention. Coffee notes in the aroma and the taste. Great satin mouthfeel. The alcohol level was not overly (negatively) noticeable. I can't wait until I can get more of this back at home.

Serving type: on-tap

06-04-2008 02:46:27 | More by milwaukeeclassic
Photo of ggaughan
ggaughan

Pennsylvania

4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Struise farm thanks to Urbain.
The beer poured a deep black, opaque color, no light going through. The head was a deep tan, almost orange color, very thick bubbles. The aroma has strong malty, sweet notes, some dried fruits.

The taste, very nice. I got some very pleasing malty sweet notes up front, complimented by a chocolate and coffe-ish taste but not as heavy as other imperial stouts. There was an excellent balance of the strong coffee tastes with the subtle yet sweet malt. There were also some yeast notes on the back end of the beer, a bit earthy but it melds well with the overall quality of the beer.

The beer started off a bit cold from the tap but as it warmed in my hands the taste and aroma intensify. The high abv comes through more on the backend and compliments the malty sweetness very well. Overall this beer has a nice full body but doesn't weight you down like other imperials I have had.

Serving type: on-tap

05-14-2008 20:27:14 | More by ggaughan
Photo of Cedromar
Cedromar

Massachusetts

5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at Ebenezer's Pub, thanks again Chris! Aroma is chocolaty, with some vanilla and coffee mixed in. Appearance is a beautiful black with a 1 inch head. Flavor is a wonderful mix of bitter chocolate and coffee with caramel notes to help make it extra smooth. Mouthfeel is amazing as well. I cannot get enough of this brew smooth with small carbonation.
Overall the best RIS I've ever had.
It beats Kate, Darklord and Darkness all in the arse. When it finally is available in bottle I will be buying up every bottle I see.


Serving type: on-tap

03-25-2008 00:32:08 | More by Cedromar
Photo of SacoDeToro
SacoDeToro

California

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

Sampled at Annual Woodshop tasting. Special thanks to Ebenezer's for supplying the 3L bottle.

The beer poured a deep jet black with a minimal off-white head.

The aroma was of black roasted malts and dark dried fruits. Some notes of tobacco. Also in the aroma were some faint hints of acetylaldehyde - not good. For a 13% beer, the alcohol didn't really pop out in the nose.

The flavor of the beer had an intense roasted malt flavor with notes of bittersweet chocolate and some malty sweetness. The hop profile was neutral, but assertive. The flavor of the beer went somewhat flat in the finish - not terribly dynamic. It just didn't seem as complex as the others we sampled that night such as KtG and DL.

The carbonation was dialed in well and the mouthfeel was somewhat creamy although the beer finished reasonably dry for the style, which aided its drinkability.

Overall a bit disappointing. It just lacked the complexity that I personally needed for it to have been great.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2008 18:54:05 | More by SacoDeToro
Photo of HopasaurusRex
HopasaurusRex

New Hampshire

4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on draft at Ebenezer's Pub:

Dark brown, approaching black in color. Opaque. Off-white head of tiny bubbles recedes quickly into darkness.

Nose of Belgian dark chocolate, vanilla, and toasted almonds. Some woodiness and oaklike tannins present. It smells almost bourbony although I know it is not barrel-aged.

The first sip is smooth and chocolatey just as suggested in the aroma. Vanilla, coconut, and roasted barley meld together nicely. Some fusels due to presence of high alcohol. Vinuous legs. Nice notes of oxidation and dried fruit. Dry roasted espresso beans in the finish.

A subtle, complex, and refined Imperial Stout. The only thing Belgian about it is the brewers. No phenols or funkiness.

Cheers to Ebenezer's and De Struise for this fantastic and delicious collaboration! The only complaint I have is that I wish I had a bottle to take home and savor by a crackling fire.

Serving type: on-tap

03-17-2008 21:11:41 | More by HopasaurusRex
Photo of crowellr
crowellr

Maine

4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I usually don't like darker beers, however this one definitely broke the mold. Me and a friend were at Eb's looking for different beers to try. Talking to Chris he recommended a few and then had us taste this.

Like I said, I do not like darker beers, as most are coffee flavored, and I'm not a coffee drinker. So my thoughts when trying it were not that great. The taste was perfect, lil bit of chocolate, definitely hops and just a smooth finish.

I wish I could of bought an entire bottle or even a glass, but I only got a small sample. It was however, simply the best overall beer I had ever had. I am young, not as experienced beer drinker as most, but I do live 5 miles from Eb's, so I can safetly say I have had my share of beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-23-2008 01:01:10 | More by crowellr
Photo of NoLiberty
NoLiberty

Pennsylvania

4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this lovely beer with grassrootsVT at Erasmus in Brugge.

App: Pours into an Erasmus goblet bold and black with a beautiful, full, rich dark head. Consistent and thick lacing. Really wonderful.

Aroma: Smell is actually mild for the strength (13%) with not much alcohol presence. Solid chocolate and nutty characters, with some vanilla and warm rum.

Taste: Chewy and delicious. Chocolate and roasty nuts. Some vanilla and mild rum alcohol characters. Flavor finishes with a touch of burnt bitterness and crisp hoppiness, but full roasted chocolate dominates.

Mouth: Really, really nice. Velvety and smooth, like a warm fleece blanket. Gorgeous. Full carbonation but it's delicate and satiny.

Drink: Yeah, this is incredibly drinkable especially considering the alcohol strength.

Serving type: on-tap

02-15-2008 04:42:45 | More by NoLiberty
Photo of jscondon
jscondon

Massachusetts

4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

here is the review i am providing for black albert! i have got to tell you that it is true, being a beer advocate pays off. jen told me they were not serving black albert due to its depleted stock, but i got some on the condition that i would rate this beverage on the beer advocate. a wonderful world we live in, eh?

the beer is dark, i am talking shut the car lights off on a moonless back road in the middle of no where dark. the smell is very subtle, i got a lot of chocolate, a hint of hops and a nice malt touch. there was a slight tartness up front without an overpowering presence of alcohol. the middle has some hop flavor and a very slight a hint of cherries, finishing with a good grain flavors. the mouthfeel is one of the best i have had.

DAMN! this is one good beer. I only had a taste and can't wait to get back for a normal sized serving. In fact even thought the tap list is one of the best i have seen, i would get this beer every time i went to ebenezer's (and i definitely plan on going back).

Serving type: on-tap

01-30-2008 23:25:16 | More by jscondon
Photo of kaos14
kaos14

California

4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Edit: This review ONLY applies to Black Albert had on tap. Out of the bottle it is entirely different and not deserving of the lofty numbers in this review.
---

What can I say that hasn't already been said...

First off this is most definitely NOT a Russian Imperial Stout that someone just decided to call a Belgian stout just cause it is brewed in Belgium. It is clearly a different breed of beer with it's own individual characteristics. The most similar beer that I have had (and I am by no means an authority on the subject) is the Russian River Salvation. They have an extremely similar flavor while each provides a different presentation.

Appearance: midnight black with .75" of dark tan head, a crimson intermingling of the beer and the head shows as the beer sloshes around the glass

Smell: I enjoyed the smell, I found it to be earthy with hints of what I would expect from a belgian strong dark. I have a terrible sense of smell and this is my least reliable rating category.

Taste: Just fantastic. Honesty, I enjoyed the taste too much to sit there breaking down the deferent aspects. It was complex and dark, a little boozy and warming, but WITHOUT the bitter coffee and sugary molasses you would expect in other "Imperial" stouts.

Mouthfeel: Pleasant carbonation with a lovely full stout body that steered clear of being cloyingly thick

Drinkability: Impressive for a beer with that kind of ABV to go down so smoothly. I have had a lot of beers that were astonishingly smooth for their ABV but I think this one is right up there with the very best of them.

All in all I am already looking forward to my next trip to Maine and another taste of this fine beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-11-2008 02:40:43 | More by kaos14
Photo of WoodyOBeer
WoodyOBeer

Pennsylvania

5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was up in New England for vacation over the Holidays and made a point of going to my favorite “beer bar”…Ebenezer’s…in Lovell, Maine. While there, I had the honor of trying one of the best beers I have ever tasted. For the past 14 years I have sampled over 3000 beers. Because I had developed my own rating system long before I even knew about BeerAdvocate.com or RateBeer.com, I do not post my ratings on either site (it would be like keeping 2 sets of books). But “Black Albert” impressed me so very much that I felt that I had to let everyone know how truly amazing it is! With over 3000 beers tasted & rated, I have only ever tasted 3 to which I would give a perfect score…and this is without question, the best of those 3!

By coincidence, I had just held a Stout tasting event the night before. Among the beers we sampled were some of the best: Bell’s “Expedition”, Bell’s “Double Cream”, Bell’s “Java”, and Moylan’s “Ryan O’Sullivan’s Imperial Stout”. As great as these beers are, “Black Albert” was even better. It is the most complex stout that I have ever tried. The color is black with a light-brown, lacy head (about 1 finger). The initial smell is malty, with notes of coffee & fruits. The taste is smooth & rich (but not too creamy)…there is an initial taste of coffee, which dissipates, and later returns. The taste lingers…and changes…for a long while. While sharing this amazing beer with a few others, I heard the comment “I died and went to heaven”. I could not agree more with this. “Black Albert” was as religious of an experience, as you could ever hope (or pray) to have!

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2008 00:39:08 | More by WoodyOBeer
Photo of granite
granite

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes taken at the 2007 Ebenezer's Belgian beer fest.

First I would like to thank Chris for his generosity in sharing this with me.

I was talking to Urbain from De Struise about wild yeast and the owner of Ebenezer's, Chris hands me a globe of Black Albert on the house.

First off this was the darkest stout i have ever seen. I took my glass out to the sun porch to try and see if any light would penetrate. Well the sun did not stand a chance, I have no idea what the srm was but it had to be 60+. It had a thick, creamy brown head that was long lasting. The aroma consisted of chocolate and roasted malt with a slight touch of port in the back ground. The flavor was very rich and warming. Started off with a fresh roasted coffee taste. Vanilla beans and nobel hops in the middle and finished with an amazing chocolate aftertaste. The alcohol was perfectly balanced with the malt and the bitterness. It was warming but never hot and slightly sweet but not cloying. Urbain said the final gravity was 1.030 so he was able to achieve really good attenuation for a 100% malt bill. No sugar or adjuncts in Black Albert. The mouthfeel was very full and smooth. It is the best stout RIS or BIS I have ever tried hands down.

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2007 16:23:11 | More by granite
Photo of n0rmann
n0rmann

Massachusetts

4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is simply a wonderful beer. I had no idea until I logged onto this site about the high ABV. The alcohol is well-hidden.

Pours midnight black, with a slight chocolately smell. Tastes very good, with a mixture of coffee, roasted malts and a slight chocolate taste, matching the smell.

It's very creamy, and goes down nice and easy. I wish I didn't have to drive for more than two hours to have another one of these.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2007 19:56:43 | More by n0rmann
Photo of tendermorsel
tendermorsel

Massachusetts

4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to get this off the tap at Ebanezer's Belgian beer fest.

Great jet black color. The head looked like the crema on a good shot of espresso.... a thin layer of brownish foam. It had a wonderful oder of sweet chocolate

There is so much going on with this beer. Roasted malts, coffee and chocolate notes. The finish was superb. Unlike some of the other high powered stouts this one did not stick in your mouth. In fact I had no problem transitioning to a Lou Pepe as my next glass. Truly a hand crafted beer. Very drinkable also as despite it's 13% alcohol content went down real smooth. A sipping beer for sure.

Definitely recommended.... If you can get it. I wish I could get a bottle or two to age or maybe a barrel aged version would be nice. I have a hunch that this gem would be even better with age.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2007 00:25:14 | More by tendermorsel
Photo of Rochefort10nh
Rochefort10nh

New Hampshire

4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Ebenezer's on Chris' Birthday.

Without question one of the top beers I've ever had.

Drawn with a two finger head, the appearence was black as night.

Smell was dark chocolate, green piney hops, sweet roasted malt and expresso.

Taste was otherworldly. A perfect balance of fresh, green hops and roasted malt. Notes of toffee, chocolate, malted milk balls and vanilla.

Mouthfeel was exceptional. Plenty of viscosity but the 13 percent alcohol remained at bay.

I could easily drink two or three of these in a sitting.

A very unique beer that, to me, comes across as a blend of a fresh hop IPA and an Imperial Stout.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2007 03:20:19 | More by Rochefort10nh
Photo of MrMonkey
MrMonkey

New Hampshire

4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured at Ebenezer's Pub during the 3rd annual Belgium Fest, into a commemorative snifter. I was fortunate enough to sample this beer with Chris and the brewers from De Struise on both Tuesday and Wednesday nights, as well as at its official unveiling Thursday night. This was a truly amazing experience, so without further ado:

It poured as black as night and as thick as molasses, with a 1-1.5" thick, creamy brown head that lasted for quite some time. Once the head dissipated, it left beautiful lacing around the entire snifter. When held up, not the slightest bit of light could be seen through the glass. Absolutely beautiful.

Wow! The most incredible, powerful nose of chocolate, dark roasted coffee beans and molasses, with a very noticeable floral hop aroma.

The taste as well is dominated by dark chocolate and coffee right up front, followed by roasted malts with just a hint of dark red wine fruits sneaking in the background. A definite and pronounced hop presence with a remarkably long, dry finish. For such a strong beer, the alcohol is well hidden behind the complexities of its taste, but it warms you and stays with you for some time after your sip is over. Like the guys from De Struise said, it tattoos you from the inside.

The mouthfeel is a bit thick and heavy to say the least, but it is perfectly carbonated which keeps everything nicely balanced and makes it go down oh so smooth.

Very easily drinkable, despite the high alcohol content. This is one to be savored very slowly, though, letting the strength of the brew warm your entire body.

I cherish the glasses that I was fortunate to enjoy this week, and I thank Chris and Jen, as well as Carlo and Urbain from De Struise, for providing us with this incredible experience.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2007 19:17:38 | More by MrMonkey
Photo of stmartinpale
stmartinpale

Maine

5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Ebenezers in a commemorative glass

A- Pours a huge coffee colored head that collapses into itself leaving lace everywhere. Black certainly describes the color

S- coffee, chocolate and vanilla
A real treat to the nose

T- The aroma continues into the mouth, with an Huge finish lasting almost
forever. I think I can still taste it this morning.

M- Very soft and complex.

D- I loved it. I want some more now.
Even at 13% abv, alcohol was barely detectable.

Thank You De Struise
Thank You Chris and Jen

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2007 15:04:29 | More by stmartinpale
Photo of kwakhead
kwakhead

Maine

4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I feel very fortunate to be sitting along side the folks from De Struise Brouwers,Chris and Jen for the official unveiling of this long anticipated brew. Chris and I sampled a few glasses before the Official unvieling and I couldn't wait for the next one I could get my hands on.Served in an Ebenezers 3rd Annual goblet this stout is very dark in appearance with a slight head,smells just as good as it tastes,chocolate,mollasses,leather?and hops.Ithas an almost syrupy mouth feel which is maybe why it goes down so well.At 13 percent and being very drinkable this is a dangerous concoction,Ican't wait to try the 3 liter bottle Chris has been carrying around like a baby the past three nights.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2007 21:21:24 | More by kwakhead
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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,467 ratings.