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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,610 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,610
Reviews: 824
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 330
Gots: 382 | FT: 27
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,610 | Reviews: 824
Photo of AgentZero
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 0, shared by Jason.

A - Black colored beer with a surprising amount of carbonation and a couple fingers of rich, tan head. Decent lace and some good legs during consumption.

S - Lots of malts, chocolate, toffee, with a little bit of licorice in there. The requisit dark fruits are present with just a touch of vanilla.

T - Really goes down smoothly for 13%, not much heat at all. Pretty much char free, quite thick, good caramel and toffee with some slightly sweetened chocolate and licorice.

M - Full bodied, good carbonation.

O - Very drinkable considering how much alcohol is in here. The flavor is very full and rich, but doesn't become too sweet or too much.

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

Thanks a ton from zrab1 for totally unexpectantly hooking this up. Your the man Zach and hit me up next time your in town. Cheers!

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Darkness goblet on 7/22/11.

Pours a solid black with almost no light coming through at all except on the very outer edge of the glass. A huge frothy brown head dissipates leaving a moderate lacing that coats the glass. Perfect color and head. I would like slightly more lacing but it looks top notch.

Smell is roasted malts and dark fruit. Cocoa, figs, raisains, and some slight booze to round it out. Again a very good smell.

Taste is of roasted malt and chocolate up front and then tastes of dark fruit after that. Slight bittersweet aftertaste in the finish. Again top notch, right there with the best stouts. I would like a little more sweetness but its still great.

Mouthfeel is light in weight and it moves smooth through the pallet with no bitterness except at the very end in the aftertaste. I needs some more carbonation but is perfect other then that.

Overall this is one of the best stout in the world. I would like a little more sweetness as well as some carbonation but other then that it is near perfect.

Photo of Sesmu
4.7/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Notes from 07/04/2009
A: Dirty-snow head, 3/4 of an inch. Black color that reveals some brown when brought to light.

S: immediately after pouring the smell is very week, but gradually it unfolds first into roasted coffee and then into sweet chocolaty presence, some distant floral notes.

T/M: definitely chocolate, sweet and bitter at the same time, roasted coffee, perhaps molasses, bitterness is very subtle - how do you hide 100 IBU so well? - it's there, but sort of comes from a distance.

Maybe a bottle version differs from a tapped one, but I wouldn't say the beer is very thick. It's not thin by any means, full bodied, but I wouldn't say that thickness is one of its stand-out features. Balanced really nicely and 13% abv? - I would never guess, so well hidden. Definitely needs some time in the glass to open up completely; the longer it sits in the glass the more complex and pleasant it becomes. And the alcohol starts to show with its warm... or maybe it's just because I'm nearing the end of the bottle and 13% abv start to make its presence noticeable.

It's my second sampling of De Struise's brew (Tjesuus being the other one) and what can I say, seems like this brewery can't miss. Highly recommended.

Photo of davey101
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass. No idea what the vintage is (stamps over B, 6, B on the label) but I'm guessing its from the last release. Reviewed 07-17-2011. Not sure I have ever seen an RIS with so much sludge and sediment. The bottom of the bottle looks like it got attacked by mocha algae.

A - Deep, dark black body. An aggressive poured yielded a nice mocha head that came down to some nice edging. The bottom of the glass, that's a different story. Lots of loose yeast and mocha colored sediment which reaches up a half inch or so. Yikes! 3.5/5

S - Coffee, roasted malts, dark fruits, bittersweet chocolate, some bourbon and vanilla notes, and just a hint of alcohol. 4.0/5

T - Really great balance. Deep roasted malts, light coffee, rich vanilla/oak and bourbon and that familiar RIS aftertaste. ABV is hidden dangerously well. Creamy and smooth mouth feel with a nice bit of carbonation. I'm not sure if its diacetyl, but I do detect a slight butter flavor at the end, however it blends seamlessly with the flavor profile. 4.0/5 Mouth feel 4.0/5

O - Very pricey, but extremely good. De Struise continues to amaze me. This is one of the better RIS's I've had. 4.0/5

Batch '0', Lot D, Best Before September 2015. Making this a September, 2010 vintage. Reviewed 08-21-2012

A - Dark black body, tight two finger high mocha head. Great deal of lacing and retention for the high abv. 4.0/5

S - Very quad like with some red wine and dark fruit elements. Layers of chewy toffee, chocolate, coffee beans, and liquorice. Cordial cherries and and an acridic balsamic vinegar finish. Highly unusual... 4.0/5

T - Less quadrupel like than the nose. Starts off with acrid red wine and cherries which give way to charred malts, coffee beans, liquorice, tobacco and bittersweet chocolate. The finish is sweetened with a unique fruitiness. 3.5/5

M - Unbelievably silky and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation. The abv is completely hidden. 4.5/5

O - Just a really odd and unique stout. I think the Batch 0 is a notch better than the later batches. Just seems to be a bit more integrated. I can't imagine this improving with age though. 4.0/5

Photo of Knapp85
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle of this with my Grandfather who's name happens to be Albert. I felt that it was a fitting situation. This brew poured out as a deep thick looking black color. The head was pretty big at first but settled pretty quickly. There was a pretty good lacing along the glass and some oily brown tinge on there too. The smell of the beer is heavily roasted and had a pretty strong booze aroma too. The taste of the beer is rich with dark chocolate and roasted malts. The other flavors are a little sweetness that fades into a burnt bitterness in the end. The mouthfeel has a good thickness to it that coats the mouth nicely. Overall this brew is impressive. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

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

330ml bottle poured into tulip 6/7/11

A near jet black with dark cola hues at the edges, a dense mocha head that retains very well slowly falling to a island leaving thick distinct rings of lace well down the glass, pretty much perfect

S very dark roast with a large blast of molasses, some prunes and raisins with a healthy serving of chocolate and coffee, a little smokey woody bourbon

T a little more booze then the nose but it's more like a port flavor then the smokey bourbon I could smell, charred wood comes out in the mouth and the molasses is almost being overpowered by licorice now, pretty tasty stuff I wouldn't guess this is 13% but booze mingles with everything pretty well

M very full bodied and thick and creamy from the carbonation just a little sticky on the lips and flavors stick too your gums, a slight burn from the booze, one that warms your chest

O for a stout this big its easy to drink even out of season, I loved it and would recommend it to anyone

One of the beers I forgot in my mother basement for a couple years and I was stoked when she brought me my stash for my B-day. I could see this one improving for years too come and I could see it sitting on some shelves for a few more years here in Alberta at 13$ a 330ml. Great beer but be prepared to bust the bank buying a bunch more to age

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

Appearance – Pours an opaque black into a tulip with over a finger of dark mocha colored head that dissipates slowly leaving nice lacing.

Smell – Burnt roasted malts up front, molasses and licorice, bittersweet cocoa, dark fruits such as figs, overripe cherries, and raisins.

Taste – Honestly, it matches the nose quite well. There is a slight charred bitterness in the initial taste that that fades to the aforementioned dark fruits and ends with the rich molasses flavor. As it warms, I can taste a bit more earthy flavors mixed with the bittersweet cocoa.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, creamy, slick, finishes damn dry.

Overall – A good beer that hides the alcohol quite well. However, I would prefer a BCBS over this to be perfectly honest, which is both cheaper per bottle and more readily available by me. Cheers!

Photo of Sideswipe
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle into a tulip.

A- Pitch black color, light doesn't penetrate. Two inches of mocha colored head recedes leaving a thick coaster.

S- Chocolate, dark fruit and roasted malt. Slightly sweet.

T- Chocolate and roast up front followed by sweet malt and dark fruit. Raisins, figs, plums.

M- Thick and chewy feel with a very creamy texture. Carbonation is nicely done. Slight alcohol presence in the finish, but considering the ABV it's remarkably well hidden.

O- I find Black Albert to be a very tasty RIS. It goes down easily and tastes better and better as it warms. Alcohol is masterfully disguised by the complex tapestry of flavors woven into this offering from De Struise.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black color with a 2 inch dark khaki head that fades to a thin cap. Nice thick rings and dots of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smells of dark roasted malt, dark fruits (raisins/plums), and bittersweet cocoa powder. Taste is surprisingly somewhat sour. Dark roasted malts, cocoa powder, and dark fruits coming through on the finish. There is a slight soy sauce flavor that comes out as the beer warms. Very mild roast/cocoa bitterness on the palate quickly fades after each sip. Good level of carbonation with a silky and smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good RIS from Struise but the sour flavors I get from this one threw me off.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes.

A: Pours extremely dark black with a one finger tan head that fades slowly. Some nice lacing down the glass.

S: Lots going on here, some dark fruit, chocolate, molasses, belgian yeast, and some roasted malts.

T: Upfront there is some nice roasted malt and chocolate with a little bit of brown sugar. As the beer warms the dark fruit flavors develop and take hold. I was surprised at how much the dark fruit came through with cherry, plum, and fig.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with medium carbonation. Slight touch of alcohol, but not much at all for being 13%.

O: A dangerously tasty beer at 13%! Not overly heavy, but has a great flavor profile. Could drink this one all the time.

Photo of black13
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Albert O

Happy pour into my HOTD tulip glass. After only pouring half this motor oil like substance from the bottle I had to stop to let the amazing mocha colored head settle. After the fine bubbles settled down, a nice lacing remained. This is what a good head of beer should look like.

S: Full of bitter chocolate, espresso, and malts. All these are blended with a smoky aroma. A very nice smell indeed. Although the ingredients list "candy", I don't pick up any sweetness.

T: Just as it smelled. All those flavors work very well together. And as it warms up to room temperature, the flavors only improve and compliment each other more and more.

M: Very nice. Not too thin, not too syrupy. A pleasure for your mouth.

D: Very easy to drink despite being 13%ABV. In fact, as it warms up it only gets better. I look forward to seeing how this one tastes down the road.

Photo of drummermattie02
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330mL Batch 0 poured into a Duvel tulip. Dark, obviously, and a big tan head forms almost like a nitro pour. Just a beautiful beer.

Smells of roasted malts, metallic chocolate and a hint of coffee. Probably one of the best smelling imperial stouts I have had. Nothing stands out as being too sharp.

Taste is bitter and viscous, with a hint of tartness and coffee like flavors. Beautifully carbonated, particularly for a beer of this ABV, the finish has a bit more of the roasted malt acidity. This is an outstanding beer, one that I wish was more readily available in these parts.

Photo of czfreeman
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch No 14.
Ever since seeing Urbain Coutteau at the t'Brugge Beartje the other week, can't get Struise off my mind. Had the impeccable Pannepot a few nights ago, heres to the mighty Albert.
A loud hiss results in dark espresso-tan foam rushing out of my bottle, fresh for sure. Pours a beautiful espresso-pitch black tone. Head is gorgeous, thick rich creamy. A Belgian-esque amount of foam for sure.Really impressive for a 13% stout for sure.
Aromatically ...wow! Liqorice, coffee, chocolate,fig,spiced prunes, rum, raisins, malt,dark bread, deeply roasted coffee.Vanilla, sour-oaky molasses like sourness is appreciated as well. Star anise, pepper and clove come into the mix as well.
After several minutes black grape, and a really nice black-cherry like sourness, adding a distinctive Belgian not come into play, offsetting the rich IRS profile nicely
..as a side note I thought this was in its own category as a Belgian Royal Stout?
Flavor is amazingly smooth, and the alcohol is buried. Cocoa, grape, raisin, cherry, fig, tobacco, bitter cocoa, oak, molasses, pepper, star anise, clove, all mix, but end with a light vinegar-like touch of sourness, Lambic meets RIS finish, that is very nice for my taste. Not cloying in the least, well balanced and conveys a new concept of RIS.
Rather high carbonated for a RIS, and with a sour twist, the mouthfeel is lighter than normal..but I like it. It's a different concept, as Ten-Fidy is a hoppy stout, this is a Belgian-sour-stout if you well.
A critique point is that the flavor is not immensely complex as anticipated, but good nonetheless.
Cheers

Photo of dcloeren
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a coffee brown/black with 2 fingers of CREAMY tan colored head. Definitely have some floaties suspended in the liquid dark hole that is this beer. The head slowly reduced to half a finger and produced excellent lacing

Great coffee notes right off of the bat with solid notes of bitter dark chocolate, roasted malt, dark fruit (figs/prunes), belgian yeast,a little bit of licorice and maybe a hint of sweet juicy tobacco

The taste of this beer is different than most RIS's that I have had. It definitely has a very tasty belgian sweetness to it along with coffee and dark chocolate. Cocoa, dark candied fruit and maltiness make up the rest of the palate. Sourness comes out once the beer starts to warm up. Very tasty but sweeter than I was anticipating.

The mouthfeel is where I think the beer let me down a little bit. It was deceivingly thin. With that being said the rest of the mouthfeel was cash money. Very smooth and silky, with a tartness on the aftertaste that makes you want to take another sip to quench the tang it produces.

Overall, I think this beer is falling victem to being in the wrong catagory. I am judging this as an RIS but the brewery calls it a Belgian Royal Stout... The thing that really sets this one apart from the RIS crowd is the sourness. I feel that this beer needs its own subcatagory because this is a one of a kind beer to me. I thoroughly enjoyed this beer and you sure as hell could have fooled me that this was a 13% abv beer. I highly recommend this beer despite the A- avg that it carries. Very pumped that the liquor store by my gf's apartment carries this. Plan on drinking many more in the future.

Photo of CashMoneyVagrant
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Inky, motor oil in appearance. Just jet black in color, with absolutely no light passing through this beer. A attractive looking huge, thick milk chocolate colored head of foam rounds out the pour.

Dank, earthy in the nose, with hints of espresso coffee and soy sauce. Lots of dark fruits as well. I get aromas of fig, plums and raisins, maybe even a little bit of prunes. Thoughts of baker's bittersweet chocolate, dark fudge or a rich chocolate cake back up the fruit. Roasted, charred and burnt malt aromas. Some booze, sweetness is also evident, but not overpowering.

Carbonation is low, giving the beer a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. The sweetness and booze is more noticeable on the palate. Has a lot of similarity's from the nose in the initial taste. Soy sauce, nice dark fruits of fig, plums and prunes. Strong flavors of chocolate. Becomes more complex as the beer warms though. There's a faint smokiness emerging. Flavors of chocolate covered espresso beans and chocolate covered raisins. Dark fudge, reminds me of tootsie rolls, milk duds or a rich, chewy brownie. It's full of dark fruits. More sweetness appears as the beer warms. I'm thinking of a rich chocolate cake spiked with a shot of bourbon. Has a dry, roasted malt bitterness in the finish.

A rich, full bodied imperial stout, with great drinkability.

Photo of jethrodium
2.76/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

33 cl bottle. Batch 14. Pours a pretty dark black that is a lighter cola brown at the edges when held up to the light. One finger relatively dark tan-chocolate head that has pretty good retention and leaves a small amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is big molasses and licorice. Smells sweet with a little bit of coffee, but not much roast. The taste is very sweet with a lot of licorice and molasses. The alcohol is pretty strong as well. Not much else. The sweetness tends to dominate everything. Light bitterness on the finish. Medium body. It does manage to not be syrupy for how sweet it is. Low carbonation. The beer was overall just too sweet with nothing to balance it out for it to be enjoyable.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.16/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch 14. Pours as one of the most beautiful stouts I've ever seen. Pours a dark black with an AMAZING brown-tan head that is nice and frothy. Scent is VERY boozy with some lovely espresso and vanilla aromas. I also get some dark chocolate and toffee... Oh wow, this taste is genuine. Such profound alcohol and coffee flavors, blended nicely with chocolate, dark fruits, and vanilla. The mouthfeel is where this beer shines the most...oh so creamy and full-bodied. Just magnificent. Drinkability is fairly high for such a high ABV beer. Overall, this beer is pricey, but worth it IMO. It's an awesome imperial stout!

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.13/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another bottle drank during the epic March Madness '11 week.

Poured out a Saturday morning I believe, while many were still hungover, I pretty much drank this one to myself, black ass beer, deep tan head, mocha like in appearance. Aroma was heavy on the coffee and strong roast, but nothing too special going on, nothing offputting.

Taste is quite good at hiding the high abv. Obvious shout outs to dark chocolate and deep roasted malts (coffee). Stays bitter, but not to where it becomes a challenge or a negative. Belgian yeast seems to round the beer out nicely without detracting from the sturdy malt viscosity. I didn't really catch much in the way of dark fruit stuff that other reviewers did.

Enjoyable, but at almost $1 an ounce, this one has many more options of comparable quality at a much better price, which takes its overall score down a smidge.

Photo of CanuckRover
2.83/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours pitch black, nice mocha head settles pretty quickly to a thin film. Spotty lacings.

Very sweet aroma. Loads of dark, and really ripe, fruit with a real sugary sweetness.

Aroma carries over to the taste. Syrupy fruit all the way through. Clumsy whack of well-roasted coffee, but almost immediately overcome by more malt sweetness. Also a metallic sourness throughout which doesn't help matters. Eventually gives way to boozy finish.

Like stouts with a bit of texture, but this is syrupy. Reviewers who mentioned cough syrup are right on both taste and mothfeel.

I was excited to try this, but really let down. Way out of balance.

Photo of HuskyinPDX
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

100th review!
11.2 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Deep dark brown with a thick brown head. Mild lacing left on the glass.

S - Chocolate, but very mild. Some carmel and sugar.

T - Carmel, Brown sugar, malts, chocolate.

D - Nice carbonation.

O - Nice and smoth. I ate a brownie with this and they paired perfectly.

Photo of YaKnowBrady
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From an 11.2 oz bottle, 2009 vintage.

There's no secret why they call this Black Albert. No light penetration, even when held up to a 120 watt bulb. Cap comes off easy, with little expression of bottled up gases. Pours a syrupy cascade, with little head development.

Smells of raisins and booze. You get the alcohol right up front, so there's no secrets here. You're gonna feel it. A bit of graham cracker maltiness, and sweet, dark fruits.

You taste the alcohol in here, but not in a bad way at all. Like sipping a good scotch, although this is better, and burns way less going down. Similar to the scent, you get a lot of fruits and cocoa, coffee, and bran.

Overall, one of the best stouts out there, IMHO. I will always keep an eye out for more, and will eventually see how the ones I have are aging from year to year, Probably only gets better.

Photo of woosterbill
4.67/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle into a Duvel tulip. I purchased it at Julio's over a year ago, so it's no younger than early 2010, probably an 09.

A: Having heard stories of infected bottles providing copious amounts of foam, I begin by pouring slowly down the side of the tulip. No problems at all, and once I straighten things out I'm left with a perfect inch of creamy brown head atop a deep black body. Lovely retention and lacing, especially for such a big beer. The only downside is a rather large amount of sediment, but that's probably my fault for not paying too much attention to the tail end of the pour. Gorgeous beer.

S: Oh, my. What an aroma. Bittersweet chocolate jumps out, followed closely by rich dark fruit - prune, raisin, cherry. More chocolate maltiness fills in after the initial wave of fruit, along with some licorice and herbal, citrusy hops. I can't believe the sheer amount of complexity, and yet everything works together perfectly. This, so far, has all been from my first few deep inhalations. As I let the beer warm, even more olfactory beauty wafts my way: the chocolate gets sweeter and picks up nuances of smoke and nuts, the fruity edge softens into some candy-like sweetness, and at no point does the substantial alcohol show through. Wow. Hands down one of the best aromas I've smelled this year.

T: Roasted malts are the first thing I taste, with slight coffee joining the dominant chocolate from the nose. The dark fruits come on strong, lending a hint of tartness midway through, and huge hops bitterness joins with some big (but manageable) booze on the finish. Tastes more Belgiany than it smelled, with the candi sweetness and slightly tart fruitiness giving it a distinctly quad-like feel. Saying it tastes like a quad is too simplistic, though, as it only does so at times: initially it tastes like an RIS, then a quad, and finally almost a black IPA with the huge bitterness. It's awesome, but the disparate flavors don't meld quite as seamlessly as they did on the nose.

M: Silky full body with a goodly dose of soft carbonation. Decadent, and perfect for what it is.

O: I've been sitting on this one for a long time, never able to get up the nerve to crack this small pricy bottle. I'll be heading to Europe in just a few days, though, with a possible trip to Struise, so I wanted to try their flagship stout before making up my mind about an itinerary. All I can say is, this beer blew me away by being exactly what I hoped it would be: hugely complex, distinctly Belgian, and decadently delicious. Now I just need to track down all the Black Damnation variants!

Cheers!

Photo of Brabander
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had a beertasting yesterday evening with my cousin Bert and his son Michael. After a while Mrs. Brabander joined the tasting. I used small Westvleteren and La Trappe tastinglasses.

I am visiting the Struise Brouwers once a month when i am picking up the Westvleteren. Always fun at Urbains and Carlo's place. Never drank the Black Albert though. During this tasting we tried this one.

The ones who know me know that i am not really a stout lover. This beer however is spectacular and i can say that this is one of the best beers Urbain has ever made.

Poured in the glass this beer is really pitchblack with the best head i have ever seen on a stout. The foam has millions of the smallest bubbles.

Great smell, everything a stout should smell like is in this beer.

Superb taste with something in this taste which i could not point out. But this extra taste made the beer extraordinary.

Plain and simple; this is a super beer!

Photo of nhindian
3.56/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch '0' review.

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip. Bottle generously split by russwbeck, thanks Russ!

Lot D.

A - Pours a chocolate brown, with lighter brown highlights. The head is aggressive and bordering on excessive as it continuously rises, almost 3-fingers in height. Certainly can't say it doesn't look impressive, however, with its tan color and great retention. Lacing is much better than the normal version, with generous amounts of foam sticking to the glass.

S - The smell is much more up my alley than normal Black Albert. Gone are the funky sour aromas I've encountered in two separate batches that just seemed out of place, and they are replaced by a much more roasted profile. Big notes of coffee and dark chocolate from the malts, a distinct Belgian yeast smell, and some slight booze.

T - The taste is definitely more mellow and robust than typical Black Albert. A very roasty beginning paves the way for espresso and caramel malt, along with a good amount of chocolate. The Belgian yeast strain is actually a bit of a deterrent, imparting a funky flavor that just kind of seems weird given the rest of the flavors. I'm sure it has its niche, but can't say its my preference. Some dark fruits and sugar, giving the impression of rum soaked raisins. The alcohol is much more hidden here than in the nose.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with high carbonation. Like most Belgians this too has above average carbonation, which for the style may need to be swirled out a little. Leaves a strong chocolate and roast aftertaste.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. Much better than normal Black Albert but can't say it's a favorite of mine. The flavors aren't amazing and in my opinion the yeast clashes with the typical stout flavors.

Photo of russwbeck
3.53/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The scores are from Batch 0, if I counted my scores from Black Albert, they would be much lower.

Black Albert Batch A4BB

I was going to try this side by side with Black Albert Batch 0, but when I opened this it exploded with head out of the top before I could even get the cap off. Not a good sign. After pouring ever so slightly to avoid the ridiculously fast growing head, the first smell definitely leads me to believe this is infected. It smells like a Flanders Oud Bruin to be honest. The taste is light and while not sour, it certainly isn't what I'd expect from a RIS. I don't think I'm going to review it anymore than that. Pretty disappointed here, let's see what happens with Batch 0...

Batch 0 Lot D

A: The head on this is huge. You really have to be careful when pouring to avoid a Duvel type 6 inch brown head. Black pour.

S: The smell is distinctly Belgian, very sweet. A bit of roastiness is mixed in as well giving it that stout feeling to it. It does smell more like a Quad than a RIS though.

T: This is the taste I was expecting. It really is hard to believe that this is an older version of the infected mess I opened first. The Belgian yeast and funky taste is there, along with a bit of dark fruits, but it also has a nice roasty character. The Belgian tastes seem to start the beer, and stout characteristics end it.

MF: Thankfully this has a medium body and was not light and watery like Black Albert. A bit boozy, with a dry aftertaste.

O: This was ok. It isn't great and overall sort of weird, but there isn't anything wrong with it. Is it worth the price it goes for? Probably not, but I'm glad I tried it.

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 1,610 ratings.