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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Educational use only; do not reuse.

833 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 833
Hads: 1,679
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 337
Gots: 378 | FT: 25
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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 833 | Hads: 1,679
Photo of kevanb
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

11.2oz bottle poured into a De Struise Brouwers short cervoise.

The beer pours a deep, beautiful jet black color, lovely thick texture as it pours, with a thick, khaki head that has great retention and leaves some nice spots of sticky lace behind. The aroma is wonderfully complex, rich, smooth grain, pitted stone fruit, lightly roasted coffee, bitter dark chocolate, some char is present as well with some strong alcohol presence at the back end. The flavors are rich and decadent, lots of bitter dark chocolate, smooth toasted grain, raisin, fig, pitted stone fruit, lightly roasted coffee with some light charring with some assertive alcohol at the end that is both abrasive, yet warm and soothing. The body is silk, massive, coats the mouth incredibly well, carbonation is slightly higher than I anticipated, a bit crisp, and the finish is impeccably smooth, creamy and rich.

Verdict: Delicious, bold and downright impressive. The high ABV is a bit of a detractor for me as it gets hot and abrasive and overshadows the complexity that this beer has achieved. That being said, this is a great work of brewing art.

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Photo of endovelico
4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Thick dark brown - almost black - liquid with small brown head, unperceived effervescence and no lacing.

S: So unbelievably gorgeous! Notes of pastry, yeast, chocolate, coffee, fresh leafs, dark fruit, caramel, toffee, almonds and just a touch of hash tray. The complexity in this is just awe inspiring.

T: Again, so intense and rich! In broad strokes it kind of tastes like mead meets Irish coffee. It's hard to give an accurate, sophisticated organoleptic description since this beer carries just about everything from dark fruit to pastry notes .

P: Liquorish, heavy, sweet, full bodied but amazingly it's really not that cloying. Another big surprise is how well the ABV works into the whole thing, ie, even though theres a lot of it, it does not feel boozy AT ALL.

O: To style and taste this scores phenomenally across the board. It ranks as one of the - if not the - best sippers I've ever had, rivaling the best Port or Sherry anyone can bring to the table [ I apologize for the overly enthusiastic soap boxing]. Furthermore, this beer is unquestionably unique - which is something I give much importance to - and also surprisingly drinkable! Have i mentioned it's also insanely complex?

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this is actually a black albert "batch 0" .. not sure what the difference is between them, but here goes:

pours a dep brown/black, with a finger+ of dark tan head which diminished slowly, and left behind some nice creamy looking lacing.

smells like this was aged in oak barrels, notes of vanilla, wood, chocolate, a hint of bready belgian yeast, a nice overall charred aroma.

oh my, this is a delicious treat.. lots of sweetness up front, light cocoa notes leading into a hint of oxidation and then BAM - TONS OF DARK ROASTED GRAINS. .. oh wait, it just keeps getting more bitter and bitter like tobacco, dirt, coffee beans.. the roasted bitterness lingers for a little bit and then the sweetness comes back to leave your palate the way it was originally. a very in your face agressive, yet well balanced stout.

full body with a tiny bit of carbonation, very creamy mouthfeel. the abv is well hidden behind the beer's full flavor.

definitely pick this up if you can, it is outstanding.

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Photo of ADZA
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours black as tar with a three finger head chocolate laced head and some leggy lacing,the smell is booze,rum,currants and dark chocolate,the mouthfeel is big,full and lush with big tastes of rich dark chocolate,molasses,dark fruits and finished with a dry boozy roastiness and overall what a big beer and perfect for today's grey outlook cheers.

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Photo of tsauce2
4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P: 11.2 fl oz bottle poured in to a 3Floyds Teku

A: SRM is dark brown/black. Almost opaque. Head is light tan, 1/2 in, dissipates to line outsides of glass. Light carbonation. Medium lacing.

S: Dark roasted malt, slightly hoppy, coffee, carmel/toffee.

T: Fresh this is very balanced with nice dark roastiness and coffee but also mild hops. Aftertaste is mostly dark roast malt and coffee, with a touch of hop.

M: Medium body. Ingredients linger on the palate in a balance that mirrors the taste. Dry finish.

O: World class. Nice having this fresh as I have only had it with age on it. $10/bottle is a bit stiff, but I bought it anyway. Wish this was an every day beer for me...

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Photo of impending
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25


33cl Pours just shy of black, coffee ice cream colored froth, great lacing.

The aroma is undoubtedly of a belgian stout, the wonderful yeast that adds a complication - roasty bittersweet chocolate.

A quadish note comes on strong in the flavor.
anise clover molasses
bittersweet dark chocolate
A nice bitter fades along with the flavor. Nearly full bodied appropriate mouthfeel.
warms wonderfully

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Photo of KYGunner
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It said dark brown in the managers note but it seemed all black in body. The edges gave a brownish hue and the head was stout, thick and just a little brown.

The scent is absolutely tremendous! I catch strong vanilla tones, whipped cream, chocolate in abundance, caramel, praline an even a little coffee.

The taste runs just as spectacular as the vanilla rushes through. Whipped cream, praline, caramel malt, coconut, light chocolate and touches of coffee make me wonder how this is not barrel aged. True taste complexity comes out in a smooth slightly viscous package. 13 percent ABV? Absolutely lost in a creamy, tasty, wonderful beer!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a thick motor oil black color with a ½ inch brown head that bears great retention time before eventually becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam. Very resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind on the glass.

S- Fumey alcohol in the nose with dark roasted malt beneath. It's hard to derive any other scents beside the overpowering booze. Maybe a bit of vanilla struggles to make itself known.

T- Sweet at first, then things turn to a heavy malt bitterness but it's a neat balance. Much smoother than the aroma as the alcohol is not nearly as strong. Very straightforward in its delivery of dark chocolate, roast and slight char. Lingering bitterness and a bit of oaky astringency.

M- Creamy, silky, very nice. Medium carbonation and the fullest of bodies.

O- While the aroma is incredibly too full of booze, the taste and mouthfeel are just about spot on.

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Photo of mscudder
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Lot 25|08|GG (2012).

A - Poured strongly. Opaque hue with an immense mocha head. Excellent retention with fair lacing.

S - Dark Chocolate, roasted coffee, light caramel, dark fruits and faint smoked wood.

T - The term "Royal Stout" is necessary due to this varying strongly from what I would deem a traditional RIS. The Belgian influence is noticeable throughout: dark fruits are infused in the more traditional composition, yielding a sourness which I cannot particularly appreciate. Flavors are balanced well and the hop bitterness aids in weighing down the fruits and subduing the alcohol.

M - Silky smooth and lacking the fullness I desire and except in a stout this large. It resembles more of a fudge-like milk stout at 6-8%. Does not ruin the beer, although it is the weakest aspect.

O - Being a huge fan of Quads and Russian Imperial Stouts, this was not a fusion I adore. That said, I have high standards for Struise. It simply does not compete with the top-notch Quads or Russian Imperials I have sampled. Certainly not a bad beer, for I will keep a few for a cool evening.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured deep thick black with a big dark brown head. Aroma of roasted grains, some spice, bitter chocolate, and hints of licorice. Big full mouthfeel. Bitter chocolate and roast with some slight spiciness to it. First time I have tasted definite charred tobacco. Lingering bitter chocolate and dark dried fruit mixture left on the palate. A nice impy that reminds me of Pt5.

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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a near pitch black color with a massive 3-4 fingers of tan head that slowly recedes over the course of about 10 minutes

S: Huge notes of roasted malts, a hint of dark fruits, dark chocolate, and a very light hint of alcohol

T: Starts off with the huge roasty maltiness and slowly goes into a nice dark fruitiness and dark chocolate. These all linger into the finish, with a hint of alcohol which is impressive given the 13%. Quite bitter in the finish as well

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. A little thin

O: Not sure of the age on this bottle, but it's not hot AT ALL. Quite impressive. A very good mix of roasted malts and dark fruits, with a good balance of the two. Definitely a sipper, but it's difficult with the flavors and lack of alcohol heat. Highly recommended

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Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap @ Library Alehouse.

A: Pours black as black can be with a thin (1/16") tan head which leaves trace lace.

N: Roast, some coffee, caramel, and toffee.

T: On warming the raisins, dark chocolate, molasses, sherry and oxidized notes become dominant.

M: Full body and fair carbonation. Rich, decadent, brownie frosting, dessert finish.

O: A treat. Let this warm to enjoy the multi-layered complexity.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

4 oz. served into a tasting snifter at ChurchKey. From notes.

A: Pours a pitch black color. The head is about one fingers of tan shading, retaining quite well for 13%.

S: Really evocative. Chocolate fudge, currants, plums, licorice, smoke, and charred malts all come together on the nose. As a whole, it's cohesive yet balanced.

T: I love the flavor progression here. It starts with a combination of fudge and mildly tart (not sour) dark fruits, followed by a licorice middle and a charred, roasted finish. The licorice notes don't bother me here nearly as much as they do in other imperial stouts - a testament to this beer's balance. I can taste a bit of booze, but it's still hidden masterfully for 13%.

M: The finish is damn near bone dry, without exposing the alcohol significantly. As a result, it's not very viscous or sticky, rather it's drinkable and almost freakin' refreshing. Seriously. A 13% imperial stout is refreshing. Not to mention devastatingly dangerous. I could use a touch more carbonation, though.

O: Seriously one of the best imperial stouts I've ever had - yet for different reasons than most of the really great ones out there. This aims to be more drinkable, more subtle, and more approachable than others, while retaining its bigness and complexity. One to seek out, plain and simple.

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Photo of barczar
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque jet black with a modest mocha head that dissipates into a ring around the rim.

Coffee, dark chocolate, roast malt, and tar form the initial aroma. Hints of dark fruit and pepper are present.

Flavor echoes the roast notes, slightly charred, adding in soy and smoky phenols. Slightly sweet to open, a tart, cherry note turns the experience smoky, nutty, and a bit burnt at the finish. Tar and chocolate surface in the aftertaste.

Body is syrupy, with minimal carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Roast dominant, with enough dark fruit and tar character to keep things interesting. Good balance of sweetness and roast. Fairly complex. Would love to see how this ages. The char was a little much for me.

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Photo of RuudJH
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best breweries in the beer country of Belgium.
This strong dark beer is excellent.
Coffee, nuts, chocolate, some fresh and dried fruits too. Berries and fig fruit. Very dark brown, with a thin brown head.
Taste and aftertaste are very powerfull. The roasty character and the high abv make this a beer to sip. I had it with some chocolate and strawberries on the side, and I really enjoyed myself.

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served at Avenue Pub in New Orleans. Served in snifter.

Pours dark brown-black with light tan head that lingers well. Lots of lacing along sides of glass.

Smell is heavy with banana and sweet malts. Other ripe fruits are in the background.

Taste is smokey malt. Chocolate and caramel blend with a mild smokey bitterness late.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Very full bodied. Average carbonation for the style.

Overall this was excellent. Very rich. A little goes a long way with this beer.

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Photo of pants678
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big fluffy Belgian head with a black body.

Sweet and sugary with dark, roasted malts.

Rich chocolate and complimentary, creamy vanilla, possibly from the yeast. Candied sugar, as you'd guess. Not a lot going on here but there doesn't need to be, it's a dessert that doesn't complicate itself. There's an alcohol burn, tobacco-y, and some bitter from the hops or the natural end of cocoa. Just what you'd want from the style and where it's from.

smooth. It's Belgian, of course it's smooth.

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Photo of BBP
4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours somewhat standard for a stout of its calibre, but a little thinner in appearance. Carbonation was as expected.

The aroma is sweet, with subtle booze, and some slight chocolate.

The taste is quite strong, and appealing at first. There's quite a balance to this stout, and the IBUs are quite far from obvious (although not something I'd prefer), and it really comes across perhaps too smooth. For 13%, this is very easy drinking, and the booze is there, yet works with the drink rather than against it. Chocolate, coffee, and vanilla are all here; A bit of sweetness as well. Perhaps raisin and vanilla. Sweeter than most imperials, but not by a long shot.

The body is full, and the carbonation plays its role without bringing attention to itself, which is all I could ask from a stout.

Overall, this was quite a tasty stout, and perhaps one of the best stouts I've tasted outside of North America. It's really nice to see a Belgian brewery strive to branch out beyond the typical styles that they're known for and this was a big success.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Lot: 250613062012. Bottle Lot: 25|08|GG. I am going to hazard a parsing of 13 June 2012 as a bottling date?

A: Dark brown head is tight and luxurious. Black and opaque.

S: Mmmm. Just what I wanted. Dark chocolate, licorice, alcohol (carrying a strange grapey note), flat-bready malts.

T: Molasses; huge fruits (sticky candy-covered Luxardo maraschino cherries, peaches, honeycrisp apples, raisins); cocoa powder; and perhaps a touch of coffee. The listed 100+ IBU seems a bit high, but the aftertaste *is* quite bitter...and lasting. A minute later and I could almost think I'd been sipping on coffee (except for the strongly sweet fruit).

M: The least impressive part, and it influences the taste, unfortunately. It started out real nice, but became progressively thinner and more lackluster. Still, enough of a body to stand on its own.

O: I really, really liked this beer. Maybe not $10 a lot, but I'm glad I tried it. Recommended, and confirms my good experiences with Belgian imperial stouts.

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Photo of bennetj17
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch '0'. Jet black, with a nice dark espresso tan like foam that holds nicely. It definitely looks tasty. Lots of dark fruit in the aroma, especially cherry. There's a very dry, dark chocolate character too, and a fine note of alcohol, but otherwise the smell could stand to be a bit more robust.

The taste has a nice boozy mix of ripe cherries and bitter chocolate. There is a subtle roasted bitterness at the back end, and it actually doesn't finish very hot. I like the flavor mostly, but somehow the dark fruit character gets a bit tangy and is the more dominant taste vs. the chocolate/burnt malt. I do appreciate that it is not too sweet, but there is still the proper balance missing a bit. The mouthfeel is silky smooth, not overly chewy, well done.

A fine beer but a bit too pricey for what you get. This is something I would enjoy once in awhile perhaps.

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Photo of Samuel906
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a big ol beer in a little tiny bottle. Gigantic fluffy khaki head despite me pouring it as slow as possible, and it stays for many minutes. Absolutely black beer. Very sweet aroma, molasses and vanilla, some malts, and you can smell a hint of the booze. A little less smell than you'd expect. Strong roasted flavor with lots of cocoa, but surprisingly not super sweet. Some fruits and cloves too. Flavor starts relatively benign and explodes at the end. The roasted malts really linger and rise up into your nose. Very rich, and not super boozy but you get some nice warmth. Thick, rich and creamy, a touch sticky. Overall a great example of a RIS and one of the best overall I've had. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle into tulip. lot: 250613062012.bottle lot: 25/08/GG.

A: pours pitch black. might be one of the darkest beers ive had, ever. head is not super dark, but certainly not white. retention is decent. spotted lacing left behind.

S: super sweet. the definition of unfermented sugars. a little bit of vanilla. roast and chocolate. smells strong, but not overwhelming.

T: a strong roast starts the drink off. the Belgian yeast imparts sweet, candy-like flavors. cotton candy in particular. similar to the nose, a bit of vanilla. coffee. it brings a bitterness out. battling with the sweet flavor makes the bulk of the body bittersweet. mild alcohol burn, but

M: smooth carb. full bodied.

D: drinks fantastically rich right now and I do not think this is too old. just a big bodied stout with an interested complexity from the Belgian yeast? smooth and delicious. recommended.

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3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 0. Lot A4BB.
$13 for the 11.2oz bottle. Poured to tulip.
Sampled 24MAR13

[A] A smooth yet swift pour produces a half finger high head of medium dark brown-caramel color. Slow to rise and slow to disappear, leaving a thick foamy collar comprised of large bubbles. The body is pitch black and visibly thick. Minimal lacing. There is a thick layer of yeast caked to the bottom of the bottle.

[S] Dark chocolate with a surprising berry-like fruitiness immediately noticeable. I suppose the fruity notes could be derived from the Belgian yeast - but it isn't wholly unlike the onset of infection either. Background notes of earth, hay, and wet tobacco leaf. Some sharp, but very clean alcohol are present.

[T] Semisweet dark chocolate, almost no bitterness at all and no roasted character. (How in the world is this 100 IBUs?) The fruity quality is confounding. Not entirely unwelcomed. but I don't think that it was intentional either. The flavor is very soft and refined...and is way more subtle than any other 13% RIS that I've ever had before. The alcohol is BARELY noticeable

[M] This is my favorite aspect of Black Albert. The smoothness cannot be overstated. Carbonation is low. The texture is suppleness defined. Full bodied on the front end and thinner on the back, which again makes me wonder if there is any type of infection going on.

[O] Good beer. Not great. But this beer has been aged for awhile - and time may not have been too kind. My next Black Albert will most definitely be consumed fresh.

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

Poured from a 330 ml/11.2 oz. bottle into a De Struise Brouwers branded cervoise glass

Pours a thick, viscious pitch black. A fluffy two finger light brown head rises above the brew. Fantastic retention; a fair amount of lacing. Big, bold aroma dominated by dark fruit especially prunes and raisins, roasted malt and grain, a hint of bakers chocolate and boozy alcohol. Again a ton of dark fruit, black cherries joined by chewy prunes and raisins. Robust roasted malt joins in; finishes with slightly bitter dark chocolate and plenty of warming alcohol. Huge, thick full body, chewy finishes with some creaminess, gentle carbonation. This complex and satisfying brew delivers everything one can expect from an RIS. Exceptional.

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Photo of deebo
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 330 ml bottle of Batch 0 BA No. 14, lot A with a BB date of Dec.31, 2017 picked up in December at De Struise shop in Bruges for a hefty $4.70 Euro.

Poured into a snifter this brew is black as a bowling ball with a little head that is mocha in color-no lacing present as the head quickly recedes. Smells like a big RIS, heavy boozy malts with notes of molasses. bourbon vanilla. Initial taste is big smoky, heavily roasted malt with an alcohol kick. As it warms I get a hint of that estery Belgian yeast but it is dominated by the wealth of malts. Dark fruity character as it warms, lower in bitterness than most. A rich heavy body but not sticky or oily. Low carbonation. This high alcohol content volatilizes the beer through your nose very noticeably. This is a big fucking beer. A beer to sip and contemplate. A must for fans of big rich RIS.

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 833 ratings.