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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

1,457 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,457
Reviews: 806
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 317
Gots: 359 | FT: 18
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Originally brewed exclusively for Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, ME.

(Beer added by: brewandbbq on 08-23-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,457 | Reviews: 806 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Finatic
Finatic

Florida

4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 16:07:04 | More by Finatic
Photo of alyankus
alyankus

New Jersey

4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a deep black with a 1.5 finger head. Settles with nice lacing

N: Higher quality coffee and roasted cocoa nibs predominate with hints of dried black fruits.

P: More coffee, decent quality semi sweet chocolate with a prune-like character on the finish

M: Very rich and creamy the 13% is not at all noticed

D: Very drinkable. Goes down way too easily. The 2nd best stout I've had to this point next to KBS

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2009 01:24:31 | More by alyankus
Photo of CMW
CMW

Missouri

4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours pitch black with creamy tan head with good retention. There are some reddish-brown highlights present when held up to the light.

S - Strong coffee and sour cherry flavors.

T - Similar to the nose, coffee and cherry mixed with roasted malt. Extremely smooth. I detected the alcohol is the first sip but it faded shortly after. This is easily in my top 3 beers of all time.

M - Very creamy, just perfect.

D - Extremely drinkable even at 13%. That's dangerous.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2009 03:42:53 | More by CMW
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing the Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers out of Belgium. Black Albert is probably De Struise's best known beer, and it was one of the four beers that was blended to make the Baller Stout that I reviewed a month or so ago. I have been looking forward to drinking this beer for a long time.
Score: 97

Bottle marked from Lot B-6-BB, which, according to this helpful website, means that this brew is from June of 2007. I received this as part of a trade with BeerAdvocate user readbaron back in early January 2011. Served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 02/22/12.

Appearance: Pours a super dark brown, almost pitch black-like, color with a finger of creamy brown/mocha colored head that quickly settles into a decently thick (maybe 1/5 finger) still-creamy layer that covers three quarters of the top of the beer. The head stays like this for a little while before ultimately settling into a ring around the glass. There is a very faint layer of dark brown highlight atop the body. Excellent lacing with solid retention. 4.5/5

Smell: Holy Moses. This one smells like a dense sweet chocolate dessert you'd have after a nice steak dinner. Tons of thick, rich and complex chocolate aromas and sweet dark fruit. There's a nice blend of fudge, bittersweet chocolate, dark chocolate and roasted chocolate. Raising/fig, plum, light hops and a really faint note of dark cherry and currant too. The dark cherry aroma grows in the nose as the beer warms. A light blackberry aroma seems to come out as well as the beer warms. Complementary aromas of coffee grounds and oak in the background. There's a hint of alcohol ester towards the back of the nose as well. I could smell this beer all day. 4.5/5

Taste: Oh wow. Complex, rich and satisfying. Very flavorful and balanced. The taste largely follows the nose, but with much more than a mere hint of currant/dark cherry on the palate. My first impression is roasted chocolate, dark cherry and a hint of blackberry. A sweet raisin/plum and thick, bitter chocolate contrast really balances out the acidity and light tartness of the blackberry/cherry flavors, rendering Black Albert really smooth and creamy. Fudge, bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder coat the midpalate, along with light amounts of coffee, oak and a little spice to balance out the sweeter chocolate and dark fruit flavors. There's a very mellow "alcohol" flavor present as well, but it strangely enough works really well with the flavors combinations of the beer. The chocolate and dark fruit is so rich that it is almost chewy. The more I drink this brew, the more I think the flavor comes in waves. The first wave is roasted chocolate, followed by some cherry/currant/blackberry, followed by dark fruit, coffee, oak and more chocolate. Finishes with flavors of roasted bitter chocolate, dry plum, some coffee, and light cherry. Roasted chocolate lingers on the back of the tongue. 5/5

Mouthfeel: Perfect stout mouthfeel. Medium-full bodied with light carbonation -- just enough to perk the berry/cherry flavors on the palate. Very chewy, thick and slightly sticky mouthfeel. Moderately sweet finish. 5/5

Overall: One of the best Russian Imperial Stouts that I have ever had the pleasure to try. That says a lot considering that Russian Imperial Stout are my favorite style of beer. I need to get another bottle of this stuff.

Recommendation: Seek this one out at all costs. The flavors here should have mass-appeal. Even to sours lovers. If you like The Abyss, you need to get your hands on a bottle of this stuff.

Pairings: I feel like this beer would work really well with a warm chocolate cake because the cherry/berry flavors would contrast the chocolate elements, as they do in the beer itself, while the chocolate/coffee flavors of Black Albert would complement the chocolate cake. I could also see this one with some caramelized onions and steak or as a digestif.

Cost: $9.99 for an 11.2 oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

02-25-2012 01:26:55 | More by jegross2
Photo of BearsOnAcid
BearsOnAcid

Massachusetts

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch Ø

Pours black with some visible carbonation. Some slight belgian phenols, heavily roasted barley and dark chocolate in the nose. Could be a little more pronounced.

This beer tastes literally like biting into a bar of 95% cocoa dark chocolate. Huge bitter chocolate flavor, roasted malt, slight sweetness and well hidden alcohol. This stout is unreal. Slightly thick, almost creamy, in the mouth feel. Not too thin but just right for this beer.

I think this might even be better than the bottles from the original release. Which potentially are the same thing, I guess.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2010 18:09:23 | More by BearsOnAcid
Photo of soupyman10
soupyman10

District of Columbia

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Beautiful dark brown near black color with a huge creamy brown head on top that sits around forever. Excellent lacing. A barely-there highlight of lighter brown.

Nose is enormous and delicious. Huge chocolate and roasted malt in there, as well as coffee. Sweet molasses and Belgian candy. Some cherries and maybe raspberries in there.

Flavor is incredible as well. I'm a huge RIS fan, and this one hits in all regards. Let me see...coffee, licorice, cookies, dark chocolate, raisins. Huge roasted malt and hops leave it lightly dry towards the end and show up more as the brew warms, along with some dried fruit (flavor's a whole heck of a lot hoppier than the nose). Not a hint of booze.

Body is huge, full and creamy, coating the mouth and leaving a fantastic roasty and hoppy aftertaste. Thick and chewable, in an excellent way.

Man this is an incredible beer. All-around fantastic, one of the best brews I've ever tasted. An experience.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2009 00:03:12 | More by soupyman10
Photo of Bmcg266
Bmcg266

Massachusetts

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Perhaps my palate has been dulled from drinking simpler times all night, but this is a fantastic Imperial Stout, nd the best Belgian Imperial Stout I've ever had.

Appearance: Black, Black, Black. Even Held up to the light all you can see is black. Head is a light mocha color, a bit lighter than most Imperial Stouts.

Smell: Dark fruits and alcohol. Raisins, figs, etc. etc. A slight alcohol burn to the smell, yet the sweetness of the raisin smell overshadows it nicely.

Taste: Amazing. Smokey Roastiness first hits the palate, then the dark fruits, from sugar sweetness, and a bit of an alcohol bite, yet nothing compared to what I'd expect from a 13% abv. beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, Velvety, delicious. A lot like an oatmeal stout, yet a little less "creamy". A little bit too thin for my preference in Imperial Stouts, yet smooth and delicious regardless.

Drinkability: Fantastic. Never before have I had a beer with such a high abv. to drinkability ratio. Absolutely amazing. If it weren't so damn expensive I'd drink this all the time.

Overall: Perfect, except for the mouthfeel. Seeing as this is the only "Royal" belgian stout i've had/heard of this is purely amazing. Highly reccomended. If you see this, pick it up. It's worth a try, even at 10.95 a 12 oz.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 03:46:44 | More by Bmcg266
Photo of BeerShirts
BeerShirts

Minnesota

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- No light will break through this beer. The head was small but retained well

S- Rich roasted/burnt smell and underlining of alcohol.

T- like others have said WOW. No taste of alcohol. The dark fruit and raisins taste really seemed to come through a lot to me, almost a quick splash of sour but fades just as fast as it hits you, has a nice lingering taste from the roasted malt

M- Smooth, very little carbonation

D- Would drink this beer every day if I could. It goes down probably to easy for the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 05:13:08 | More by BeerShirts
Photo of david131
david131

California

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- A very dark brown, bordering on black with a bit of light coming through the edges. The creamy brown head is a little on the thin side but has some great retention for the alcohol content.

S- Black chocolate, cherries, malted milk powder... Sweet and tame. Very enjoyable once it warms up and opens up.

T- Dark chocolate, coffee, black cherries, and alcohol. Very well blended and intriguing. Stands up with some of the best stouts I have had.

M- Creamy smooth with a good body that has some long lasting flavors. The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden.

D- Unbeliavably tasty and intriguing. One of the best. I wish this was cheaper (I paid $12 for 11.2 oz) and available in Michigan.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2010 03:14:53 | More by david131
Photo of trbergman
trbergman

Illinois

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330mL bottle poured into a cervoise.

A - Pours very dark brown with ruby highlights and a half inch of dense, mocha-colored head.

S - Aromatic, with cocoa, raisin, fig, and a whiff of alcohol.

T - Taste mostly follows the nose, with rich chocolate flavor and dark fruits - raisin, fig - and sour cherry. Hints of hazelnut, clove and cardamom, as well as some minor oxidation. Hop bitterness doesn't leap out of the glass, but it's quite assertive. Alcohol is surprisingly well hidden.

M - Absolutely perfect, although what else would you expect for a bottle conditioned Belgian imperial stout?

D - A fantastic beer, although I don't think it has the same revisit value as other top imperial stouts. Nevertheless, a must try for fans of both stouts and Belgian beers.

Serving type: bottle

08-25-2010 05:09:31 | More by trbergman
Photo of STEG
STEG

New York

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this Batch 0 on tap at ebenezer's now lets try it bottled.

Batch 0 Bottle

Room Temp. Pours pitch black into a tulip. Fine bubbled sand colored head rises to the top of the glass leaving sticky sand dune looking blobs of head laced to the side of the glass as it recedes.

Smell is huge, you get sweet burnt sugar smells, some coffee cinnamon and chocolate, and the slightest hint of soy sauce.

As the taste begins you get milk and dark chocolate fighting for dominance with light coffee and malt. Then as the beer goes down you get this humidor like warming effect and aftertaste that is earthy and has some light chocolate and coffee notes.

Mouthfeel is smooth as hell, and very creamy, fine prickly carbonation adds a nice touch as does the ending warming alcohol.

At 13% the alcohol is deadly hidden and when combined with all of the other outstanding characteristics makes this extremely drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2010 23:44:02 | More by STEG
Photo of maximum12
maximum12

Minnesota

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerisheaven for this gem in one of our weekly trades. Didn't think I'd get to try this one until it hit the States in regular fashion; glad to get a preview.

This beer has a smell like nothing else. Big chocolate but something else, wildly different, that I can't quite put my finger on. Belgian yeast? Candy? Lawn gnomes?

Taste is similarly divergent from the norm. Deep, dark, elegant roastiness, a bit of tartness (hops?) on the tongue with a cool, sweet finish. Wow. Creamy as a good square of Ghiradelli, no hint of alcohol at all.

This is really good. The only strike might be the drinkability, it's just too thick & full to have more than (if I could get another, or afford one, so never mind...). Excellent beer. Hope it arrives on the shores of the U.S.A. soon, I'd make space for it in the fridge.

Serving type: bottle

10-23-2008 01:22:52 | More by maximum12
Photo of markaberrant
markaberrant

Saskatchewan (Canada)

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - pitch black in my snifter, quite fizzy on the pour, dark tan head forms, but quickly fizzles away, I'm guessing due to the alcohol level, leaves a thin whisp of a cap, no lacing

S - big raisin, mellow roast underneath, spicy with a huge fruity nose, very malty, smells like a really good dark strong, not so sure I'd pick it out in a blind tasting as "belgian stout"

T - good bit of molasses and licorice character, really adds to the complexity with the dark fruitiness, roast is evident in the finish, but really melds into the rest of the beer, and makes each sip seem like a bit of a roller coaster ride, belgian spice throughout is not overdone, alcohol is extremely well hidden, as is any hop character

M - well carbonated, but not harsh, alcohol is unbelievably well hidden (though this is an aged bottle), incredibly smooth, including the dry finish

D - wow, this has met my expectations and more!

Just an incredible beer. I have not been crazy about the other De Struise beers I have tried. This one set me back about $12-13 for 330ml, and I put it away for a couple years (has a best before of April 2013, so I think this is about 2.5 years ago). The wait was so well worth it. Exceptional!

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2010 01:05:44 | More by markaberrant
Photo of clegolfski
clegolfski

Ohio

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 0 on draft at Ebenezer's
Belgian Beer Fest

Review from memory and light notes.

Wow. I recently had a fresh Black Albert in a bottle and thought it was great. This however was mind blowing. It had all the flavor characteristics of the Black Albert I had but it was was cooled down. The big fruity dark cocoaness with the belgian yeast must was there. But the alcohol was present but not nearly as overwhelming.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2010 20:38:28 | More by clegolfski
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heddar33

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +12%

09-09-2012 21:41:05 | More by heddar33
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Snikwad1020

Maryland

4.75/5  rDev +12%

03-08-2013 00:49:54 | More by Snikwad1020
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BeerDrinkingDiver

Louisiana

4.75/5  rDev +12%

10-24-2013 01:38:58 | More by BeerDrinkingDiver
Photo of Prospero
Prospero

Colorado

4.75/5  rDev +12%

10-02-2013 16:00:01 | More by Prospero
Photo of csais75
csais75

France

4.75/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

If you like bitter chocolate, coffee (the real one) and beer, this one is for you. A masterpiece from the Struise brothers. A Strong but drinkable one, with unforgettable flavor. An ocean of coffee with bitter chocolate islands on it. A powerful taste hits you. It remains on your mouth like a dark kiss.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2010 11:22:37 | More by csais75
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joh04587

Wisconsin

4.75/5  rDev +12%

07-22-2012 21:42:56 | More by joh04587
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HereforBeer

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +12%

02-20-2014 14:10:20 | More by HereforBeer
Photo of stampfler07
stampfler07

Colorado

4.75/5  rDev +12%

08-08-2013 03:09:25 | More by stampfler07
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MAUEX_MFA

Alaska

4.75/5  rDev +12%

12-16-2012 19:26:07 | More by MAUEX_MFA
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BeerSingh

India

4.75/5  rDev +12%

11-21-2013 10:20:32 | More by BeerSingh
Photo of CPditka
CPditka

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +12%

04-16-2013 02:04:37 | More by CPditka
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,457 ratings.