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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 Seanniek91
4.81/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Pigs fly. 10oz pour.

A- What beer is blacker than this? The answer is none. None more black. Thin mocha head. Killer lacing.

S- Tons of coffee and chocolate. Slight booze. Malts and hops galore.

T- coffee, chocolate, booze, hops. So well balanced.

M- thick and clean, but too vicous. Slight booze warmth.

O- one of the best RIS I've had.

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

HUGE thank you to alpineclimber for this '07 bottle. Lot A, BB April 2013.

Appearance. Pours a very deep brown from the bottle, black in the glass with almost half a finger of tan head that fades to a skim.

Smell. Woody tobacco, dark fruits and dark malts with a small amount of black licorice and a little dark chocolate.

Taste. Baker's chocolate and Red Man tobacco, some molasses and raisins, and a little fresh cut wood.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with smooth low carbonation.

Overall. A somewhat lighter bodied, but fantastic ris. Lots of nice tasting tobacco, fruit and roasty malts combining in a very smooth and tasty way. Adam, you fucking kill it with the extras. Cheers!

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Photo of weonfire
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black Albert 'Batch zero' served in a 6oz sample glass at Holy Grale in Louisville, KY.

A - Black. That used oil look. Small rim of mocha colored head, very thin.

S - Originally served very cold- way too cold. After some warming...the flavor sprouted. Chocolate increases with warmth. Cocoa & Coffee with the slightest hint of smoke and alcohol. Sweetness is coming thru.

T - Roasted coffe, chocolate, and wow- the floral notes! can almost taste the flower pedals. frothy, alcohol gives ever so slight burn on the tongue initially. 13 ABUs? goodness where? hidden by a coffee/candy.

M - Frothy, think and malty. very nice.

O- Starts sweet and ends bitter. very pleasant. and that coming from someone who doesn't like coffee! It is very, very easy to drink. Truly hard to believe this was 13ABUs.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Churchkey into a snifter. From notes.

A real dark mocha head is presented, with a walnut brown body and very thin bubbles in the head. Manages a real long lasting puck while drinking. Real nice looking brew.

On the nose there is a sense of mild brown sugar, and molasses. An interesting light syrup/floral stick angle? It's quite unique hard to describe. Long lasting roasty char, with a hint that something silky might be coming on the palate.

Palate hits with a good roast body and depth. Almost silky, but just relatively solid. Finishes with a warm malt charring feel, some tight little carbonation bounces a bit, and a crackling finish strangely. There's some depth to this which is kind of interesting, and an interesting take on the flavor profile.

Overall it's pretty solid and enjoyable. And the finish and aftertaste is very long and lasting. Quite impressed.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a 12oz snifter

This beer pours beautiful pitch black with a small tan color head. The Beer is a straight up roasted malt bomb which is what to expect from the stye. The stout is also quite sugary and caramel forward. It has both a caramel feel and flavor borderline burnt sugar. This beer is roasty to the point where I can almost taste a bit of oak or even wood and that carries a bit of dryness with it. There is a bit of this beer that I cant quite put my finger on that tastes like my homebrew, not an offensive flavor but not a very appealing one. This stout has a good bit of dark fruit to it as well and a slight fruity ester from the yeast. The beer disguises the 13% very well, I would never guess it was such a big brew. The feel is smooth and surprisingly drinkable and non offensive for the size.

Overall, it is a solid RIS. Well made and balanced, very drinkable. However there is nothing too mind blowing in the taste that will blow you away.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish snifter. Bottled April 2007.

A- pours jet black with a half finger tan head that quickly fades. There was a nice pop when I opened it, and there's clearly carbonation...just not a lot. Disappointing

S- not a whole lot going on here. A little bit of chocolate, and a little bit of Belgian funk

T- lots of sweet chocolate, and a little bit of sweetness from the yeast as well. Very decadent

M- extremely thick-bodied. You can cut this sucker with a knife

O- I think this one sat for a little too long in the cellar...still a solid beer, but not overwhelming like I expected

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.81/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Bob for bringing this. We compared this Batch 0 Black Albert side by side with Kabert.

Inky black with hardly any light coming through. Tan head that lasted quite a while. Huge aromas of dried fruit of the prune and currant type with lots of velvety smooth cream, chocolate, and espresso. A touch of biscuit starts off the palate and quickly becomes the aforementioned fruit and finishes with the burnt toast and espresso. Huge and rich body with subtle carbonation. When compared with Kabert, I think this beer is more expressive for sure. A lot more of the dark fruit flavor here than I expected and certainly more fruit flavor than Kabert, which was also a surprise. Delicious.

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Photo of mj001jk
4.61/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and viscous as motor oil with a thick and creamy hazel-colored foam.

The aromas are subtle with dried raisins, blackstrap molasses and fresh yeast. There is only a hint of roasted aromas, more so of chocolate and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy but not cloying. Considering the whopping 100 IBU, the hops are considerably restrained, mostly accentuating the intense cocoa nibs, vanilla and toffee flavors.

This is really a dessert in the glass, displaying a perfect balance between sweetness, hops and roasted barley. The finish is long, tenderly bitter and delicious.

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

Decided to crack this one tonight after about 3 years in the cellar.

Poured into Eclipse snifter.

A - Pitch black with brown cola colored head. Lots of lacing and carbonation.

S - Black licorice, coffee, toffee, molasses.

T - Dark roasted coffee, licorice, with just a hint of bitterness to keep things in check.

M - Thick and chewy.

O - Very pleased with Belgian stout. I think a few years of age has rounded things out nicely. At 13% abv, this is still a beast of a beer. Nice slightly bitter finish. Well done.

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

Big thanks to Craig for the trade. Our bottle is Lot D, best before September 2015.

Poured into two tulip glasses. It's dark opaque black. Tip the glass for color and you might see very dark brown, still opaque. Not a very thick head, but the lace sticks around.

On the nose: dried fruit, brown sugar. Smells sweet. Not much smoke.

First taste: a little sweet up front, a long, slightly smoky, woody finish. Pleasantly bitter plum on the finish long after the sip (minutes). Doesn't taste as sweet as it smelled.

Later sips reinforce what was there up front. Mild sweetness balanced with toasted malts that give a dried-fruit flavor.

The finish is outstanding on this one. It's very long-lasting and complex.

Would buy again if I could find it.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

One of the newer Batch 0 bottles poured into a chalice.

This is a black beer. The head is brown and dark as well. Very imposing looking. Lacing and retention are on point.

Roasty sweet espresso with dark fruits and sweeter red ones on the nose. A bright floral hop quality as well which is nice.

lovely roasted and bitterness levels on this. It's not big and bold hitting you over the head with over the top flavors which at %13 I was expecting. The flavor profile is well balanced. Dark fruits, dark bitter chocolate, and anise/licorice.

Big thick mouthfeel on this.The carbonation is spot on. Subtle to keep the body big and smooth but enough to make it easy to drink.

Basically one of the most solid stouts out there.

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Photo of CJS
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A Nice lacey head. A film of a coating on the glass.

S Chocolate up front. Very sweet dark fruity. A rich dark plum mostly like certain red wines. A very distinct scent...almost a hint of apple brandy.

T Rather smoother than I thought judging by the abv. Nice bittered chocolate pronounces. Sweet candied carmalized sugar taste with chocolate and a slight slight booze finish.

M Very drinkable.

O Nice big hoppy stout in a little bitty bottle.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Nearly pitch black with a thin mocha colored ring that doesn't leave any lace. There is no head to speak of and some Belgian yeast that settled at the bottom.

S-Dark fruits, roasted malt, cocoa, alcohol. It has a distinct and strong nose that is sweeter than other imperial stouts.

T-Dark chocolate, roasted malt, heavy alcohol presence, a hint of Belgian yeast, dark fruits and a sour note comes in near the end and lingers along with some roasted malts.

M-Thick and creamy; syrupy

D-A true sipper due to its complexity and high alcohol content. It tastes delicious and doesn't have a heavy roasted malt flavor that for me sometimes hinders the drinkability of imperial stouts.

Overall, a true pleasure to drink. The sour not is a little odd, but doesn't hinder its drinkability. A great imperial stout that I hope to drink again.

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Photo of Finatic
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle served slightly chilled into a a CBS snifter.

A: Pours a dark mocha hue with a reddish tan head that sticks to the glass.

S: Heavy aromas of chocolate, coffee, and fruit. The alcohol is well hidden to the nose for a 13% stout.

T: Has a real nice blend of flavors in this one. Dark chocolate gives way to coffee which gives way to a sweet cherry, fig flavor.

M: Full bodied stout with a bitter finish that really suits the beer. As the beer warms the hops bitterness really compliments this brew perfectly.

O: One of my favorite tasting stouts. I will be searching this one out in the future.

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Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Black with a reddish-tan head and sticky lacing.

S - Very complex... Oak, alcohol, cocoa powder, and a lot of candied fruits... with a tad bit of liquorice at the end.

T - It's not as big of a flavor bomb, or alcohol bomb, as I was expecting. It's more subtle. It fallows the nose, but there is a lot of more of a roast flavor, however, it does not remind me of coffee. There is a pleasant burn at the end.

M - Fairly light in body for such a big brew. It's not very heavy at all. Low to medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - The alcohol is too well hidden, which is made more apparent by my inability to type. I have wanted to try this for a long time, and I was lucky enough to stumble onto two bottles at my local store. They're a bit pricey, but I'm glad I found them. I had this one "fresh" and I'm going to age the other one for a year or two.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle, has a lot number (25/08/GG) but no bottle date, poured into a snifter.

A- Pours black with a huge, thick mocha-colored head, has excellent retention and leaves thick lacing on the glass.

S- Mix of fruit (figs, dates, also a bit of banana), booze and chocolate, coffee and roast flavors are present but take a backseat to fruity sweetness.

T- Lots of fruity sweetness initially, similar to the nose with figs and dates, there's also an underlying malty sweetness of molasses. Towards the finish chocolate flavors and a dry roastiness become more prominent.

M- Full-bodied, thick, rich and creamy with a slightly dry finish. Awesome.

O- An excellent beer, has some nice complexity of flavors and a richness that I really like in stouts.

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Photo of ikantspel
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz into a hangar 24 snifter

pours a motor oil black with an almost burgundy thin foamy head

dark fruits, belgian yeast, cocoa, and burnt sugar in the nose

heavy taste of oaky malts, molasses, dark fruits. finishes slightly dry with only a slight hint of alcohol

overall a solid stout. no complaints love its simplicity

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Photo of jaasen64
3.46/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Lot C purchased through Etre about 10 months ago and cellared since. Best before date of July, 2015. Not sure how old this is, but assuming it's got a little bit of age on it, at least a year. 11.2oz bottle poured into HF stemmed glass.

A- Pours a very dark jet black with a half finger of creamy mocha brown head that has decent retention and slowly fades to a flat top. At the end of the glass there is a couple brown sedimentation specs, but other then that it looks awesome for the style.

S- Some dark fruits, chalky chocolate, a lot of booze that almost makes it smell like you are drinking whiskey, not overly aromatic.

T- Chalky cocoa, roasted malts, fairly boozey, finishes with a light lingering aftertaste of cocoa. Not overly flavorful with a lot of chalkiness to it.

M- Fairly on palate but a somewhat smooth finish, medium bodied, low carbonation.

O- At first I thought this might be a bad bottle, but the other bottles of Cuvee Delphine/Kabert all had the same chalkiness and weren't overly flavorful. Overall I wasn't that impressed and there are a lot of better stouts out there. Perhaps drinking Kate the Great right before kind of ruined it a little bit. I'd like to try it a little bit fresher and see if that makes a difference.

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

Bottle to HFS sniffer

A: pours dark like Motor oil black but has a more very dark brown color in the glass with a thin mocha head that leaves a ring around the edges

S: there is a fairly strong presence of coffee unfourtunitly there is also a hint of alcohol that is fairly prominent toward the finish

T: the taste follows the nose with a strong coffee taste that blends with what tastes like liquid dark chocolate creamy as well, and the alcohol is no where to be found which is impressive considering how much of it there is.

M: not too thick for how heavy it feels smooth and creamy with a leery light carbonation that helps to balance out the heavyness and make it quite easy to drink for such a big IS

O: I don't know why I didn't have high expectations for this beer but everything but the aroma was pretty freaking good. Really solid taste but I wish the flavors were stronger but I'm surprised I didn't have to age it to get rid of the alcohol taste. Furthermore the mouthfeel was one of the best I've had. I would definitely try this beer again and I recommend you try it.

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

I was very pleased to see this beer back in Indiana.

Black Abert pours a thick, viscous midnight black with a big and creamy, dark mocha colored head. The nose is rich and smooth. There is plenty of dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cream, and not a hint of alcohol. Upon your first sip you noticed how full bodied this beer is, and just like it should be. The flavors are very rich and very well balanced. It features a nice, nearly perfect amount of roast without resembling coffee at all. It has a great chocolate aspect that merges the flavors of both dark and milk chocolates. While not the most inquest descriptors this beer nails them. You can tell that this beer is big but don't get any of the 13% alcohol that this beer boasts. It's really pretty remarkable, especially this bottle is fresh. I can see this one aging gracefully. Overall this is a fantastic beer and a great representation of the style.

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Been meaning to try this one for years now - saw that it popped up at Holiday Wine in Escondido and had my brother snag me a 11.2 oz bottle for $10. - comes in capped dark brown bottle.

A: Pours, as my wife exclaimed, looking like molasses with a thick brown head that dissipates a bit early giving way to small amounts of lacing.

S: Noticeable hop up front - earthy & mossy, fresh baked brownies, charred wood, cherry & vanilla bean, trippy yeast strain, slight hint alcohol.

T: Dark chocolate, taffy, dried figs, woody coconut, cherry spiced rum (really balances the the 13% abv well with the cherry flavor) earthy hop lingers well beyond the hint of booze on the finish - outstanding!

M: Big fulled bodied, lightly carbonated - which is nice for the style, lending well to the creaminess of this one. Hop oils leave a bitter finish like a good IPA which is rare for this style, but is just another dimension it reveals, especially as it warms up a bit.

A pricey brew, but one that won't let you down!

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

2010 bottle that I received on one of my first trades a couple of years ago. He also sent a first bottling Black Albert (2007) which I waxed and still have in my cellar. Wish I could remember your BA handle so that I could hook you up again!

A- Pitch black pour into my Ithaca Excelcior tulip! Two fingers of caramel/sand colored foam billows and dances like a cloud atop of this dense, chewy stout! It fades slowly and leaves little islands of lacing as it settles into oblivion. No carbonation or movement on the surface.

S- Holy Shit! Sour Cherries covered in chocolate... that got rolled around in a barnyard! This brew has some serious funk to it! Never had an Imperial Stout with this much compost/manure in it! Delightful dark fruit bite with a tender and sweet chocolate overlap! Some roasted bitter coffee, figs, cranberry/raisin/prunes with an underlying pine hop... really weird, unusual and delicious!

T- Just like the nose! Damn! Like dark, bitter, Belgian Chocolate that was dragged thru a Horse stall! LOL!!! Dark cherries, mission figs, raisins, compost, horse blanket, cocoa, jazzy black coffee, and just a touch of pine sap and smoked peat/malt. This is really intense! Every inch of my tongue is begging for more! Each time I swallow, something different is happening and confusing my taste buds! I've NEVER had my taste buds "thinking" like they are now!

M- Full, chewy, funky, tart, sweet, bitter (in 3 ways), and vivid!!! It really sticks to your tongue and glides down! The bitter doesn't strip the mouth.. but it cleans it so that the tart, sweet, and funky can shine thru! This is rediculous!!! More depth than any beer I've EVER had!!!

O- Eat a rich and delicious 85% chocolate bar, while drinking Kona coffee and sucking on cranberries while sitting in a stall at Saratoga Raceway... that's it... and it's perfect! The "subtleties" will slap you in the face... and the "in your face" tart/manure/cocoa notes will KISS you gently and make you close your eyes and forget where you are! If you've been searching for a RIS with everything you want, and even things you didn't know you wanted... it's perfection in a glass!!! Who knew tart poop and chocolate went so well together? I don't want this glass to end! DAMN!!!

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

Not really sure when this is from, as the code is a challenge to translate. Tasted 15 November 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours black, as it should. Thick and deep. Medium tan head, fluffing up to two fingers or so. Good retention, nice lacing. I'm intrigued.

Smell is fantastic, IMO. Rich and roasty, with a strong Belgian twist. If I didn't know it was brewed with Belgian yeast, I might think it were infected. But infection sometimes works out nicely, as this does. It adds a light fruity layer on top of the deep figs and plums. Delightful. Certainly smells like a Belgian Royal Stout.

Taste is nice, but not on the same level as the smell. Rich and deeply fruity, but it fades out pretty quickly. A lot of buts. Good, but not that good. One thing I give it, though - that 13% is darn well hidden.

Mouthfeel is lovely. Rich and creamy. Carbonation is low, but foamy and stirring. I like this.

A very good beer - pretty darn tasty. Rich and fruity, with a lovely Belgian twist, especially in the nose.

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Photo of wd40
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown/black appearance. Aroma has raisins, figs, and caramel. There's definitely some alcohol present in the nose. The taste is sweet and very malty. It kind of reminds me of a Thomas Hardy ale or a J.W. Lee's in that sense. Some of the high alcohol content becomes apparent in the taste especially as it warms up. It's a good beer and I might try one again with some age on it to see if that calms the alcohol down, but only if I can get a good price on it.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into Globe glass.

A. Pours a full finger of dark tan head. Good lacing. Good retention. Color is jet black.

S. Molasses, bourbon, vanilla, roasted malt, some dark chocolate, a bit of coffee. Really big ol RIS smell. Smells a bit hot, but not overpowering. Lets you know your about to drink something good.

T. Yum. Molasses, coffee, roasted malt, some oakiness on the finish. Big stout flavors. Doesn't drink as hot as it smells. Nice balance between sweet and bitter.

M. Full bodied. Medium/low carbonation.

O. Black Albert delivered. Smells a bit hot, but really nice stout aromas. Drinks pretty damn smooth and balanced for 13%. More sweet than bitter which is my personal preference. To be honest there isnt much that I can find wrong with this beer.

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