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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Educational use only; do not reuse.

838 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 838
Hads: 1,693
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 9.2%
Wants: 338
Gots: 382 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 838 | Hads: 1,693
Photo of greg4579
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%

Batch 14, 2007 vintage.

Very port like in flavor. Lots of vinous notes. I found the nose faint, and almost nonexistent. I thought the mouthfeel was good and as expected.

A dessert in itself and an enjoyable way to start watching Thursday night football.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.75/5  rDev +12%

**opens bottle of Struise Black Albert**
**puts spectacles on top of head**
**Examines computer print off**
everything points to - World's greatest beer!

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Photo of spinrsx
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%

330ml Bottle received in trade with Phyl21ca - thanks!

Appearance - Dark brown colour with an above average size frothy beige head. I can't make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for over 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, chocolate, coffee, dark fruits

Taste & Mouth - There is a below amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, chocolate, and light coffee. There is also a dark fruit flavour, a bit of a peppery spice mix, and some burnt/charred flavour.

Overall - Alcohol is very well hidden and the beer has a nice belgian type twist on a RIS flavour. Kind of like a RIS meets a quad if that makes any sense. If you're in the mood for a non cloying high ABV RIS, this is your brew.

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Photo of FreshHawk
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%

A - Cola color. Good amount of sediment. Medium to small, fizzy, light, bubbly, cafe au laite color head. Disappears very face leaving no lacing.

S - Strong berry/bramble aroma, as well as dark fruit (particularly prune). Also a some anise/black licorice. Hints of leather and cocoa.

T - Like the nose this is pretty light on any chocolate/coffee/roasted malt flavors. Fair amount of dark fruit and a slight tart bramble berry finish. Anise in the back. A dull leather/wood like flavor comes out subtly in the middle to finish.

M - Medium body. Slick feel with medium to low carbonation.

D - Alcohol is very well hidden. Flavors go together very well and compliment each other. A nice beer to take a sip, let the flavors stick on your tongue for a while and then go back for another sip.

Notes: Bottle June 2007. This has held up very well. Flavors have melded together very well. Make a nice Baltic Porter type stout with the dark fruit. Tasty and somewhat unique in the combo of flavors. Enjoyable beer.

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Photo of flipper2gv
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%

From notes

A: Pours dark brown with very little head tan head.

S: Somewhat porter-ish it seems with tons of vanilla, coconut, chocolate and maybe leather.

T: Follows the nose with taste of vanilla, coconut, chocolate, leather and maybe a tiny bit of smoke. The alcohol is not noticeable, but this is a beer I suppose it would have helped balanced the flavours. The flavours are usually what you expect in a top tier RIS, but in this case they mix a bit strangely and don't give the best results, although the beer is VERY solid still.

M: Very light and porter-ish, like the taste.

D: Quite drinkable for a beer of this size.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%

A-dark brown black color with a decent tan head and some lacing

S-dark malt, coffee, chocolate, light caramel

T-dark chocolate, coffee, dark roasted malt, light molasses, light char

F-medium to full body with mild to moderate carbonation, smooth and creamy

O-good imperial stout and nice flavor, but lacks range of flavor of other stouts in its class

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Rereviewed on Jan 24, 2105.
Purchased in Little Rock and transported home in my luggage.
LOT: 1771004042013-B-C-D; Bottle Lot 30-06-HH – If understand correctly, HH means this was a 2013 vintage and possibly June 6.
Poured into a small snifter.

This beer is best described as tasting almost like a dark chocolate covered cherry. That’s a good thing! 4.5

A – Pours like chocolate milk. A little viscous, opaque, black with an ever so slight reddish tint with a light brown creamy head that dissipates rather quickly to a thin lasting layer. 4.5

S – Chocolate, licorice, anise, some alcohol, a little coffee. 4.25

T – Dark roasted maltiness, semi-sweet, hints of dark chocolate with smaller hints of coffee. 4.75

MF – Medium heavy body, semi-dry finish, creamy, warming, some alcohol heat as an after taste. 4.25

July 18, 2014
At Church Key on tap in a small tulip.

This beer starts out a bit hot but definitely smooths out. It’s a fine beer but there are better in this style. 4.25

A - Black as night with almost no head (tan). Slightly viscous in the glass. - 4

S – Great nose. Coffee and roasted malts. - 4.5

T – A bit hot. Roasted malts but very little coffee when compared to the nose - 3.75

MF – Great mouth feel. Creamy, dry with some slickness. 4.25

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

In review is a 2010 Vintage.

A - Pours pitch black with minimal carbonation, a light caramel colored lacing ring, and lots of legs when the glass is swirled, very viscous.

S - Dark chocolate cocoa malt predominantly with light cream, lightly toasted caramel, and some mild alcohol, any dark fruit is very subdued in the nose.

T - Nice complexity with layers of different things going on: bitter dark milk chocolate, cream, toasted caramel, plums, dark berries, light char, light dark fruit tartness which adds a nice touch to this wonderfully complex beer.
M - Thick, full bodied, and total velvet on the tongue with a creamy smooth sensation.

O - 13% ABV is deceptive as the warming is ever so slight making this a dangerously drinkable beer. Being it's a 2010, this bottle is very mellow which was expected. World class.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured bottle with batch B6BB into Lost Abbey Teku

A-Pours an all black body with a thick creamy brown head.

S-Aroma of dark berries, cocoa, roast, raisins and spices.

T-Taste is fruity yet dry roasted, dark chocolate, raisins, and a sense of vanilla towards the finish. Lovely mocca and cocoa aftertaste.

M-Mouthfeel is well rich body, great balance here. Good carbonation

O-Overall it was well worth the money I paid for this a special 4 of July treat.

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Photo of tmzl
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

29/11 2012 bottle.

Look: Very dark, syrupy pour with average sized, very thick, solid, dark mocha head. Slow, consistent and very pretty retention, mostly diminishes, the thin layer still leaves fair amount of fine lacing. Colour is dark, dark brown.

Smell: Intense burst out of the bottle. Raisins, dry plums with medium fat sweetness, mostly milk chocolate, burned caramel and roast. Touch of sour (dark fruit notes) and a very light alcohol feel in the nose - combined they break the fatness. Fat, rich but in good harmony.

Taste: Surprisingly pleasant, fruity (dry fruits - raisins, dry apricots) start. Smooth, medium sweetness develops into a rich, strong medium-heavy but still smooth sweet middle, mostly chocolate driven with strong, fat caramel. Light sour still present, not so dark fruity, more notes come from different dry fruits - sour dry cranberries come to mind. Sourness with a very light, subtle alcohol spike refreshes the whole thing. The end is medium-heavy mostly coffee, roast bitterness with a solid light hop character (noble). The after-taste is mostly roast with some very light noble hop and light chocolate sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Full, heavy body, very creamy, smooth. Light alcohol to detect, it is very well incorporated, breaks the solid, fat sweetness.

Overall: One of the best in the style for me. If you can get your hand on it, do so. Rich, smooth, fat and fun, all that it wants to be and more.

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Photo of Duff27
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dense mocha head on a black body. Good head retention and lacing.

Faint dark candy sugar on the nose. Chocolate.

Dark fruit sweetness mixed with cocoa. Booze on the backend although wouldn't 13%abv.

Very silky smooth mouthfeel. Low but adequate carbonation. Very nice.

Talk about a well built beer. Appearance and mouthfeel are world class, and the taste isn't tht far behind (flavors meld great together). Recommended for any stout fans or strong dark Belgian ale fans who are trying to get into stouts. Thanks MaxSpang, wherever you are.

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Photo of TheDDO
3.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Apperance- Dark, dark, dark beer. Pours black with a half finger head that quickly dissipates into a thin patchy coating. This thing is a beauty as it creeps down your glass.

Smell- First thing that comes to mind is black cherry, and dark fruits. A bitter chocolate smell is also present. A bit of alcohol tingles the nose.

Taste- Very smooth, this beer does not taste like a 13% beer, alcohol is well hidden. The dark fruit comes through, there is a slight bitterness in the finish perhaps from the chocolate.

Mouthfeel- Slick, rich and lightly carbonated. Coats your mouth nicely to enjoy the flavor.

Overall- I enjoyed the Black Albert, I'm glad my local store owner recommended it. Would I seek this beer out again? Probably not, but I would pick up another if our paths happen to cross again.

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Photo of goochpunch
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a ruby black body with a humongous, rocky mocha head that recedes to a bubbly thin cap like a freshly served espresso. Smells strongly of chocolate and lightly of roasted malts. I get a lot of Belgian quad-like yeast qualities, bringing forth dried fruits, plums, and leather. Flavor is of raisins, chocolate, earthy bitterness, coffee/chocolate ice cream, light acidity in the finish. Alcohol is noted, but very well hidden. Bitterness is not as pronounced as the 100+ IBUs insinuate. Mouthfeel is creamy, full, and rich. One of the greats. I wish more US breweries made bigger stouts of this caliber and finesse.

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Photo of Mikeluzzjr
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice dark head and nice lacing. Smells like a somewhat sweet, dark berry black coffee. Fair amount of sweetness in the taste. Dark fruit, cacao, and black coffee pretty early on, but not too bitter A hint of alc., but super well hidden consisdering. Can't really put my finger on everything else I'm getting; I just keep thinking berries and fruit or something. Hint of bitterness shows up on the end, and a very slight ashy roasted aftertaste pop in for a second, but disappears quickly. Awesome beer.

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Photo of MusicaleMike
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Picked up at Capone's. 11.2 oz bottle. Batch number 14.

Poured into a balloon glass, Black Albert appears black as night, with a sizable head that started out four fingers thick, and really stuck around. A massive mocha colored head, perched on an ink-like body. Appears viscous. Just barely brown on the edge of the beer.

True to style, Black Albert smell incredibly complex and rich with roasted and toasted malts. There is a light acidity to the aroma, accompanying a Belgian dark chocolate and caramel note.

The beer greets the palate with a thick body and viscous quality, and washing over the tongue with dark cocoa and acrid, roasted malts. Booze-soaked cherries comes to mind towards the finish. The alcohol is present in the flavor, but does not come off as hot at all. Very smooth, and incredibly full-bodied. Espresso.

This is a great example of a Russian Imperial Stout. It's appropriately thick and creamy, with a strong presence of malts and hops. The alcohol never becomes hot, and it drinks well for its strength. Well designed in my opinion. The Belgian take on this style is great, and a wonderful departure from the usual stuff from America. I like the Belgian yeast and what it does here.

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Photo of jbertsch
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pitch black in appearance, khaki head one finger in size.

Aroma is very mild. Some faint dark fruits sit on top of a moderate level of cocoa and Belgian yeast esters. Faint heat noticeable

Taste is very smooth. Chocolate milk with mild notes of plum and other berries hidden in there. Carbonation is short on the finish, but some thick chocolate lingers on the palate.

Drinkability is very easy. Doesn’t taste like 13%. You’d think this would taste a bit harsher or have more of a sucker punch, but it’s actually quite balanced and drinks very smoothly.
Props for a streamlined, elegant flavor that’s still bold and rich.

Nice beer. Given its price, it's a one-and-done experience, but it's worth the experience once.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a New Belgium globe.

A: Pours as black as black gets. The half inch of brown head retains well. Lacing is sparse and spotty.

S: Dark chocolate fudge, blackstrap molasses, woody roast, jerky/leather, brownie batter. Raspberry jam. Fleeting tropical esters of dried apricot.

T: Bakers chocolate up front, though this is soon washed away as sweet malt flavors build and intensify. Dark chocolate fudge, blackstrap molasses, mocha, chocolate sauce,, espresso, woody roast, and jerky. Raspberry jam, fig, dried apricot. Hollow hop bitterness and some smokey/clovey phenols set in late. Spicy alcohol is stifled by the heavy malt body. Long sweet finish of dark fudge, blackstrap molasses, and woody roast.

M: Huge, thick, and weighty in body. Chewy,syrupy, and viscous texture. Low prickling carbonation. Just a tingle of alcohol.

O: This big honkin' imperial stout gets its identity from both massive syrupy malt character and some subtle Belgian influence. The latter creates a layered fruity impression and some clovey/medicinal bitterness that provides a bit of balance. The bourbon barrel aged version of this must really be something.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle purchased June, 2013 into a Stone IRS snifter. The pour is black as pitch with a massive (no, MASSIVE) mass of light brown foam on top that is stubbornly retentive. When it finally does die down, it condenses into a super-fine, whipped-cream-like consistency (wow!). The nose has all the characteristics of the style: rich malt, husky roasty notes, dark fruit, and a hint of booze.

The beer has a full body and a nice, rich, balanced flavor. I get lots of sweet malt, dark chocolate, and a hint of sarsaparilla up front. These flavors gradually give way to a sweet, rummy, roasty flavor and a faint, espresso-like bitterness in the back of the mouth. This beast hides it's alcohol extremely well. The alcohol adds richness to the flavors and enhances the drinkability.

A really excellent RIS with a sweeter flavor than I expected (100 IBUs? No way!). It's very reminiscent of Ten FIDY, with just a shade taken off the feel. It might even be a little sweeter than Ten FIDY. Whatever, I really enjoy a good RIS and this is a darn good one.

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Photo of ricknelson
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Our group of 4 Beer Advocate members did a recent small bottle tasting of high alcohol brews.
Among the 12 brews tasted was; Black Albert Belgium Royal Stout from De Struise Brouwers (Belgium) This Black Albert was brewed as a tribute to Chris Lively at Ebenezer's Pub (once rated number 1 pub in the country) located in Lovell Maine (summer home of author Stephen King)
The Black Albert was given to us by Chris himself and it tied for 4th highest average score of the 12 brews tasted at 4.25. This was a beer with some age to it. Date code indicates it was brewed back on Nov 6th 2007. Age didn't seem to hurt this beer one bit.

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

Got in a trade with TopsecretWaffle. 330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 1/2013. Pours dense and murky pitch black color with a 2 finger dense dark brown head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, light char, toast, raisin, prune, dark bread, molasses, herbal, light pepper, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, char, toast, dark bread, raisin, prune, molasses, herbal, light pepper, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, light char, toast, dark bread, molasses, raisin, prune, herbal, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of big dark/roasted malt and moderate yeast ester flavors; with big flavor robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian imperial stout. All around great complexity and balance of big dark/roasted malt and moderate yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of PolarBear3
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Duval Tulip (Batch 0)

A - Pours an impressive black oily colour with tanned head that retains well

S - Strong roasted malts, liquorice, chocolate notes with some vanilla

T - Wow! - Coffee, chocolate, cocoa very prominent with some rum, dried fruit, spice with a slightly sour finish.

M - Full bodied with light carbonation making it fairly creamy

O - A massive full flavoured RIS , with well the alcohol content well hidden and is balnced perfectly. A pleasure to drink and a must have to try.

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Photo of pkalix
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

black black, with a nice short tannish head on top. chocolate-y on top, actually.
very interesting aroma- Belgian yeast, sweet, roasted malts. dark caramel?
very yeasty, Belgian accent. roasted malts, british malt flavor. very bitter. some funky sourness, but I think it is a result of the yeast. covers the 13% very well... interesting stout. dark fruit. fig. plum? what's the deal with the sediment at the bottom?

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Photo of babaracas
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very dark brown with reddish tint, thick ultra dense crema-colored head with a quarter inch sticking around for the remainder; sheet of thick lace for several inches. Smell: a bit subdued and underwhelming... espresso note, plum skin, dark brown sugar, milk chocolate. Taste: dark fruit and big earthy hopping... overripe plum, fig, raisin; dark and milk chocolate, roasty espresso, toasted grain; caraway seed / anise coming in the finish. Viscous body made extremely creamy by slowly advancing carbonation... luxurious. Very tasty beer, well made and with 13% completely hidden.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.81/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

33cl Bottle: BBD Sep 15, poured into a Westmalle chalice at home on 3rd Dec 13.

Scummy head of tanned sparsely spaced bubbles: a collar surrounded the glass. The body was surprise, surprise: black. Luckily the smell, taste and mouthfeel make up for the poor looks.

Chocolate notes in the aroma, some semi-sweetened coffee hints also. The taste follows the smells nicely, chocolate and coffee leading the flavours, just like the aroma.

Smooth and rich body: this is a well made Stout, Imperial or otherwise.


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Photo of Stevedore
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Additional rating: 11.2oz bottle, bottled in 2008, consumed in 2015. Served in a snifter glass. Essentially, the licorice and dark fruit has died out a fair amount, leaving a very clean, chocolate and cocoa presence, a mild bit of oxidation, spices. Its definitely held up well over 7 years.

11.2oz bottle bought to our tasting by Regen. Thanks for this one, Regen. Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 11/2/2013.

Pours a silky black body, viscous and thick. Small bit of mocha head comes out, but dissipates quickly. Not a ton of lacing left behind. Basically a standard imperial stout.

Smells like straight up licorice. Its complemented by a nice roasty maltiness and even a bit of spice which I assume is from the belgian yeasts used here. The licorice is very strong here and if thats what you like, this is the way to go.

Tastes interesting, still quite a bit of licorice but the chocolate, coffee and spice comes out more here than in the nose. I'm not sure I'm a fan of the licorice and anise in the flavour profile but again, if that's your jam, then this is what you want.

Medium to full bodied, good carbonation, slick and smooth. Interesting and quite sweet; not super drinkable and its a sipper on a nice cold night.

Interesting, I don't like licorice that much but as an overall beer, it's done quite well and if you like licorice at all, you'll enjoy this one. I'm not going back to this one, but won't fault the brewers here- this is what they wanted to make here.

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 838 ratings.