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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

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Black AlbertBlack Albert

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1,591 Ratings

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Ratings: 1,591
Reviews: 823
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 319
Gots: 379 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

Originally brewed exclusively for Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, ME.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,591 | Reviews: 823 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ejquin
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Deeply black with two finger brown head. Fades after a bit and leaves decent lacing

S: Nicely phenolic like a nice belgian quad, but with much more espresso and dark choclate. Some figginess and a nice fruitty sweetness as well with some candy sugar

T/M: Mouthfeel is medium, perhaps would have liked it heavier. More carbonated than an average stout, but I suppsoe that's the "Belgian" part of the Royal Stout description. Amazingly clean for a 13% abv beer. I get some anise up front, which fades to a figgy coffee flavor, and then a crisp hop bite, then I get even more figs and a grape and rasiin taste. Going on over all of this is a white pepper spice and a malty sweetness. It's not unitl you've sat there for a good four or five seconds after the finish that alcohol becomes apparent.

D: Pretty damn good considering the alochol.

Ovr: In a year that has brought me Dark Lord, Darkness, Abyss, and now Black Albert, I'd have to say this is right up there. Much more drinkable than the heavier stouts, but as complex. If you forced me, I'd go Dark Lord, Darkness, Black Albert, Abyss

Photo of tr4nc3d
4.65/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured this into my tumbler, it poured a black color with a huge brown sticky foamy head that lasted quite some time.

Smells of dark licorice, roasted coffe beans.

Taste of burnt coffee that smoothes out into a nice dark chocolate taste, a little bitter aftertaste thats not overpowering and quickly goes away with a nice sweet taste.

Mouthfeel was great, nice creamy thickness, could use a little more carbonatiom, but overall this beer goes down smooth and is excellent in hiding the 13%

I could definately have quite a few of these even though there 13%. I would drink this beer very often if it wasn't for the high cost and really hard to get them.

Photo of srandycarter
3.49/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Re reviewed since 12.08.08 as my last reviewed was disappointing.

A - Pours nice black and huge heavy sticky head.

S - Chocolate and coffee.

T- Nice, burnt coffee, black licorice, but ends with burnt taste in mouth.

M - Medium to heavy, good carb, not great balance.

D - Overwhelming after one.

Better than I thought, but it is still not one of my favorites.

Photo of eyncognito
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap, into a chalice, at the Malt House in Madison WI.

Black color, best I can tell this is a black hole of a brew-light may enter, but it cannot escape. Beautiful cocoa/tan head, reminds me of malted milk. I should have ordered another beer to wait for this bad boy to warm up.

Aroma is roasty, hints of vanilla, dark fruit. Good but not outstanding. Wonderful taste, roasty chocolate, prune, licorice, some herbal hints in the hops. This is so creamy, so smooth. As drinkable as a 13% beer can be. Fortunately it is cost prohibitive. $11 a glass, worth it, but I won't have this too often.

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

Black with the faintest of ruby edges. A regular pour produced a billowing three finger cap that was slow to settle. The foam was a light brown and was composed of fine bubbles that coated the sides of the glass. Great head retention. And the beer has legs. Faint grassy hop aroma was immediately surpassed by malted milk, rose water alcohol, dried fruits, and mellow roast. There's a lot going on and it's hard to pull apart. Alternating notes of mellow rubbing alcohol, chocolate, figs, and prunes. Bitterness was in the background, giving way to significant malt sweetness and alcohol. Roastiness stayed soft and had a cherry edge to it, while malt alternated between milk and dark chocolate. Higher alcohols added depth without contributing heat and dried fruits tied the sweetness together. Dry cocoa appeared towards the end, along with some toffee, particularly as it warmed. Full bodied with low carbonation that was very creamy, lots of alcohol warmth, and a faint dark malt astringency. Very smooth and delicious, definitely a sipper.

Photo of beckje01
4.1/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

From the 333ml bottle.

A- Black color a thin tan head and no activity.

S- Some chocolate malt a hint of alcohol.

T- Brunt chocolate flavor then a hint of candy sugar just amazingly smooth and completely hides the alcohol. Just a very nice and balanced beer. Not an aggressive RIS like others but amazing.

M- Very smooth and a nice light amount of activity.

D- Super drinkable and very enjoyable I wish I would have had the 750ml instead of the 333ml.

Photo of glid02
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up one of these at Bruisin Ales in Asheville.

Pours completely black with a one-finger light brown head. The head sticks around for the life of the beer, eventually settling into a thin pancake of bubbles on top. Lacing is decent.

Smells of vanilla and dark fruits with a hint of roasted malt. The alcohol makes an appearance every now and then, but doesn't overpower anything by a long shot.

Tastes great. Sweet dark fruits fill the palate for a split second, then the roasted malt and bitter dark chocolate come through. It's a very bitter ending, but with just enough to not go into overkill. The flavors linger for quite a while. Alcohol is noticeable, but mostly as a warming sensation.

Mouthfeel is great. As someone else said, this is probably the best part of this beer, along with the aftertaste. Not really very thick, but the carbonation is small but plentiful and makes this go down very smoothly.

Drinkability is good. Actually, probably a little too good for 13%. I could have a few too many of these.

Overall I was a bit let down after the first few sips, but this one definitely grew on me. The smoothness is what sets this beer apart from others. Definitely worth a shot if you see it around.

Photo of wolffman17
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Timbro81.

Black Albert pours almost black with dark red highlights. Dark brown, espresso head tops the beer.

Mostly vanilla in the aroma. It's sweet and inviting. The alcohol is prevalent.

Chocolate and vanilla dominate the palate. It's bittersweet with a heavy roastiness. Alcohol is not nearly as obvious as it is in the aroma.

The mouthfeel is where the Belgian characteristics really come out. Fine carbonation fills the mouth. A pleasant dry aftertaste lingers for minutes.

Highly drinkable...you'd never think it's 13%.

This is one outstanding RIS, and I hope it crosses my path again sometime.

Photo of MasterSki
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Got a bottle of this in a trade from rudylaw - thanks a bunch dude! Seems to have been imported into Canada - where are you Shelton Brothers? Poured into my Darkness goblet. Best by August 2013.

A - Pours an opaque near-black with a hint of dark, dark brown. Two fingered mocha head that dissipates slowly to a beautiful lace. The slightest bit of carbonation is visible. This is what a RIS should like like!

S - Lots of stuff going on here - coffee, black currant, cherry, burnt malt, dark chocolate, hazelnut, and a touch of alcohol. Pretty terrific!

T - Coffee, licorice, roasted malt, dark fruits are all pretty apparent. There's a hint of hop bitterness in the back end. Amusingly the ingredients list contains "candy". This isn't the best RIS I've had, but it's in the top tier.

M - Creamy and smooth. Perfect density and amount of carbonation. This is probably the best aspect of this beer.

D - I could actually drink two bottles in a sitting (if I could both find and afford it). I can't think of many other 13% beers that can say the same.

Worth seeking out - I'm glad I grabbed those extra bottles at Discount Liquors.

Photo of Douglas88
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle with a big thanks to presario. Best by April 2013. Pours out a dark black color with a large, creamy light brown head and lots of sticky lacing. A nice aroma of rich roasted malts, sweet chocolates and milk coffee, sweeter sugars and the all powerful Belgian yeast. The aroma suggests a Belgian Strong Ale, but mixed with darker roasted notes. The taste is very nice; initially full of roasted, almost sour flavors, some sweet burnt toffee and caramel. Roasted coffee beans contribute to this near-sourness. Later, this beer gets much sweeter; sweet milky flavors, bittersweet chocolates, cocoa, a very nice, though not huge dark fruitiness. Very drinkable and a silky smooth body. The yeast really stands out, and for me, this really shows the core of a good Belgian beer, and how flexible it can be. A hybrid for sure, and an excellent on at that. Great.

Photo of joe1510
3.91/5  rDev -8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl Bottle

Lot A/4/BB

I get the chance to try Black Stout thanks to the generosity of BitterBill, thanks Bill! Black Albert, the Royal Stout, pours midnight black and has enough light sucking darkness to keep any light from shining through the body. The head grew quickly to three fingers and about slipped out of the glass. The beige head became craggy and slowly fell to a finger cap that left chunky peaked lacing on its way down. This is a good looking stout with great head retention for the big abv.

The smell on this beer throws me off a little bit. I'm actually having a hard time putting my finger on the maltiness of this brew. Some lightly booze soaked dark berries are deep down along with a dusting of cocoa and prune juice. What sticks out the most to me is the spicy, musty yeastiness in the form of super dry wood, musty mossiness, and spices I can't quite put my finger on. The nose on this beer is complex but I can't decide if it's entirely to my liking or not. A swirl of the glass to get the head growing gives off a roastiness that borders burnt rubber that I could live without but it's only right after a swirl.

The flavor has the same kind of profile as the nose but it seems to meld together more to my liking. Prune juice and roasty malts kick things off. The brandy soaked berries are waiting around in the back with a mild touch of vanilla. Cocoa plays a nice role mid-palate through the finish and is my favorite aspect of this stout. The yeastiness isn't as apparent in the flavor until the swallow but it brings back the wood and mustiness that the nose introduced me to. There's some spiciness on the finish but I still can't put my finger on exactly what spice(s) it is. This is an interesting beer for sure.

The body was way too airy and light right after the pour but as this beer has sat the body mellows to moderate with a somewhat creamy texture. The swallow brings some roasty bitterness that lingers briefly. This beer could be a little heavier but it's good where it's at.

This is a fairly easy drinking beer. The lighter body keeps it flowing easy and I don't believe for a second that this beer is 13% like the bottle says. The heat is minimal at best and I'm not warming up much even though I'm close to the end of the bottle.

This is an interesting stout from De Struise. There were things I liked and things I didn't but overall this is a good brew. The spiciness threw me off a first but grew on me as I drank. Thanks again for this treat Bill!

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

Pours an almost opaque black with ruby highlights towards the edges. A thick crown of dark brown head graces the brew, and leaves some moderate lacing. The head lasts forever, quite a feat for 13%.

Aroma is of sweet malt, some alcohol, soy sauce, roasted barley, coffee, and some hints of dark fruit. Not quite as intense or complex as many an RIS of this caliber.

Flavor starts with some sweet molasses-like malt, then is overtaken by soy sauce/dates, then a strong lingering bitterness with some alcohol in the finish. A background of earthy hops compliments the intense roasted grain flavor.

Mouthfeel is lightly chewy with medium carbonation, and slides down the throat leaving an oily, sticky, and slightly dry finish in the back, along with some warming alcohol.

This beer is the most drinkable 13% beer I've had. Many thanks to kkipple for the chance to have this. Very generous. Get your hands on this one if you can.

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

Sampled last Saturday prior to the Penn State Michigan State football game as part of a "Big Beer" tasting.

Poured with love from a bottle into my snifter glass.

A - Dark black pour with a nice head that pulled back over time.

S - Luxury in a glass. Nose was everything you could want in a beer as chocolate, fruit, and licorice all danced across the nose.

T - Follows the nose and is about as perfect as you can get. Rich flavors with taste of chocolate, raisons, dark cherry, and licorice all are evident. Slight warming but you would never know that this baby packs such a strong punch. You want to savor each and every drop of this experience.

M- Perfect carbonation level for this sipper.

D - Very high for the ABV @ 13%. You could drink this one easily but you would pay the price.

No doubt a treat that is worth repeating. You should try this one at least once and then probably more. Pick it up as it now appears to be more available in the US. A GREAT, GREAT beer.

Photo of cvfish
4.58/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a thick black color with a tan head that stays throughout, few small, slowly rising bubbles

S - Scents of dark chocolae, freshly ground coffee beans, and alcohol

T - The taste is complex, with hints of a dark chocolate expresso followed by hints of fruit, probably raisins or dates with a smokey hint.

M - Silky smooth medium bodied, with only a hint of carbonation, the way I like beer

D - Very Dangerous! A wonderful beer that masks it's 13% abv with a very smooth taste. Other than the high alcohol content (great for me, but others might not like), one of the best beers and certainly worth it

Photo of stumac
4.76/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was tasted at Feces Fest '08 with Onslow and my girl Melani.

this brew pours up black with a huge frothy dark tan head. great lacing. the nose is a little boozy (the only negative about this beer), big dark roasty malts, dark chocolate, kind of nutty. the taste is very alive due to the 100 IBUs. I taste big roasted malts, a lil nutty, chocolate, a blend of floral and piney hops. Tons of hops and tons of malt! A fairly equal amount of the two but in great amounts! This was my BLACK ALBERT experience...

Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Black Albert batch 0 is a much different beast than the original bottles of BA that were sent to the US. First off, this was purchased from the yeast store for less than $10/330ml bottle. All I can say is this is closer to Dark Lord of Bells Batch 7000 than the other Black Albert. For a review of the lesser vintage, see below.

This stout pours a black soil color and has a very nice espresso brown head. Excellent lacing and retention. The nose is a bit light. It has subtle malts and hops along with dark chocolate, bitter molasses and sweet fruit. The taste more impressive than the nose. There are roasty malts, bitter hops, cocoa, and molasses with subtle ripe fruits. Similar to De Dolle export stout in the sense that the Belgian yeasts have a strong presence. Well balanced for such a big beer. Full body is well carbonated. A nice brew, quite unique. This vintage gets a 4.0-4.2 score.

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

Poured into a Bruery tulip glass at 55 degrees F...

A: A bold black colored body that supported a dark tan head.

S: A very distinct caramel and espresso followed by hints of alcohol and dark chocolate.

T: A real complex mix of dark fruits, coffee, and cocoa with an intense alcoholic finish. The dark fruit could either be some sort of raisin or licorice quality, but it's hard to determine.

M: A tad bit lighter then what I expected, but a good medium-body RIS.

D: Even though the finish is strong in the ABV category, this beer possess a variety of well-balanced flavors that makes it very enjoyable.

Overall: The flavor reminded me of a combination of Older Viscosity and perhaps a light coffee stout that was exceptionally balanced. Not what I expected at all, but still a very pleasant experience.

Photo of russpowell
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this one from Jw347, cheers Jonathan!

Pours mahogany/black with 2+ fingers of brown /mocha head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Oakyness, dark fruit & port, plus minty hops once warm

T: Madeira, figs, leafy hops & leafy hops, plus a kiss of booze up front. Raisins, plums, much dryness & dark chocolate as this warms, plus more leafy hops. Finishes dry with much chocolate, more dark fruit, leafy hops & a bit of booze, almost pulled a 5.0

MF: Pretty smooth, medium bodied, sticky, just not quite rich enough to pull a 5.0

Wow, the ABV is well masked, dangerously drinkable. Pretty good, barely cracks my top 10 for the style, but it would be nice to have this as a regular in the cellar. Great RIS, not the best but damn close

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.18/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown almost pitch black with a huge 1.5 inch caramel colored head. Smells of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts, with some alcohol notes bleeding through. Intense thick lacing lovingly clings to the glass. First sip is surprisingly smooth with a beautiful bitterness that is coffee and chocolate with a mellow yeast note very present. The body is fairly light and the 13% ABV is very well hidden. Damn this is good. Very sweet and then quickly bitter. Wow. This beer lives up to its hype.

Photo of egajdzis
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured an opaque black color with a medium sized, tan head that left nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of roasted malts, light sherry, dried fruits, chocolate, some smoke, spices, and a bit of alcohol. Taste of roasted malts, some dark chocolate, light anise, smoke, and dark fruits, with a warming alcohol presence. Thanks to Chris from Ebenezer's for sharing this bottle!

Photo of falcon1
4.53/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black Albert is an outstanding Russian Imperial Stout brewed by De Struise Brouwers. The taste and aroma is truly remarkable. It is an exceptional example of Belgian brewing at its finest. Black Albert has become one of my favorite Russian Imperial Stouts and one to enjoy greatly during the Fall and Winter months.

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

BA No. 14 330ml bottle poured into my Mad Elf chalice. Thanks to Elric73 for this one in a trade!

A- Body is a foggy very dark brown, nearly black hue. Pours with a large 3 finger foamy, frothy mocha colored head. Head slowly fades to a thick collar and some lacing is left behind in the glass. When held up to the light some murky brown and red tones can be seen.

S-A balance of dark fruit, phenols (which are very strong when the bottle is first opened but taper off soon after), Belgian candy sugar, and and rich roasted chocolate malt.

T-dark fruits like plum and raisin and Belgian candy sugar mix upfront with a deep chocolate roasted malt and oak flavors in the background. A bit of candy sugar comes through for the finish as the oak and roasted malt flavors intensify. What lingers is rich roasted chocolate malt wrapped in a warm alcohol blanket. Gives the lingering impression of Belgian chocolate syrup.

M- Mouthfeel is thick and full of yeast and chocolate malt with a touch of phenolic presence and low to medium carbonation. Goes down very smooth nonetheless.

D- This is a great Belgian stout...definitely the best I have had. This may be 13% but it drinks like it has 1/2 the ABV. Great, complex brew that I will revisit sometime but a bit too pricey to have again for awhile.

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

a HUGE thank you to patronwizard for giving me this.
decided to bring this to the oc rare beer meet and greet. so hopefully people enjoyed this as much as i did.

pours a dark rich black into my snifter (i might have given myself a slightly bigger pour than others at the party :/ ) has a nice one finger mocha colored head that stays for a minute or so and fades to a nice ring

smell is great. rich cocoa with subtle spice. some yeasty hints as well.

taste is practically sinful. smooth rich chocolate hits me like a hammer. then cuddles up to me with some kind of dark fruits. it has a nice pop to the flavor. hands down the most refreshing Russian Imperial Stout i have ever had.

mouth is creamy and smooth. this beer is incredibly easy to drink. and i now am in the market for some more.

Photo of bluejacket74
4.6/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 ounce bottle. Served in a snifter, the beer pours black with about an inch tan head. Head retention and lacing are both good. The aroma is good and strong, it smells like dark fruit (figs, raisins), Belgian yeast, apples, roasted malt, chocolate, vanilla and candy sugar. There's also a couple other things in the aroma I can't recognize. Very nice. Taste is similar to the aroma, it tastes like roasted malt, yeast, candy sugar, brandy, rum, licorice and chocolate. Mouthfeel/body is medium/full, it's rich, creamy, a bit slick and also has soft carbonation. Drinkability is excellent, it's very easy to drink considering the 13% ABV. The alcohol isn't too noticable at all. It's a fine example of an RIS with a Belgian twist to it. Because of the price it's not something I'd have around all the time, but I do like this beer a lot and I definitely recommend this.

Photo of coldmeat23
5/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

GLASS: Imperial Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

When poured, slowly, this black liquid still manages to be the bottom third of the glass with a massive tan head filling the other two thirds. Wow. Minimal lacing but great head retention.

Dark fruits and sweet roasted malts. Slight yeastiness mixes with apples and pears. Mild vanilla notes. It actually hints at the smell of a nice top-shelf Rum.

Oh, yeah. That's what I'm talking about, right there. B-A-L-A-N-C-E. Man oh man.
Dark roasted malts mix with sweet candy sugars and a slight hops bite to create ambrosia. Alcohol is very well hidden. Chocolate covered dark fruit flavors. Slight hint of coffee. Toffee and vanilla sweetness. An ever so slight hint of licorice.
All through this, it retains a nice earthy/grainy quality.

Nice and velvet-like in the mouth. Just the way I like it. Very creamy and smooth. Slight touch of oily-ness.

Exceptional! This is one amazing brew. I could drink this everyday from now on out and be completely happy.
Super tasty and super easy to drink. My very first 'perfect' rating for a beer.

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