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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Educational use only; do not reuse.
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 mdfb79
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a tulip. Batch #14.

a - Pours a dark black color with one finger of brown head and light carbonation.

s - Smells of dark fruits, primarily grapes and cherries. Also hints of chocolate, roasted malts, and vanilla.

t - Tastes of chocolate, dark fruits, and alcohol.

m - Full body and low carbonation. Very smooth and easy to drink for 13% ABV.

d - I thought this was a great RIS. I thought it had a great dark fruits smell and the alcohol was very well hidden for 13% ABV. Would love to try it again.

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

BA No. 14 330ml bottle poured into my Mad Elf chalice. Thanks to Elric73 for this one in a trade!

A- Body is a foggy very dark brown, nearly black hue. Pours with a large 3 finger foamy, frothy mocha colored head. Head slowly fades to a thick collar and some lacing is left behind in the glass. When held up to the light some murky brown and red tones can be seen.

S-A balance of dark fruit, phenols (which are very strong when the bottle is first opened but taper off soon after), Belgian candy sugar, and and rich roasted chocolate malt.

T-dark fruits like plum and raisin and Belgian candy sugar mix upfront with a deep chocolate roasted malt and oak flavors in the background. A bit of candy sugar comes through for the finish as the oak and roasted malt flavors intensify. What lingers is rich roasted chocolate malt wrapped in a warm alcohol blanket. Gives the lingering impression of Belgian chocolate syrup.

M- Mouthfeel is thick and full of yeast and chocolate malt with a touch of phenolic presence and low to medium carbonation. Goes down very smooth nonetheless.

D- This is a great Belgian stout...definitely the best I have had. This may be 13% but it drinks like it has 1/2 the ABV. Great, complex brew that I will revisit sometime but a bit too pricey to have again for awhile.

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

Pours an almost opaque black with ruby highlights towards the edges. A thick crown of dark brown head graces the brew, and leaves some moderate lacing. The head lasts forever, quite a feat for 13%.

Aroma is of sweet malt, some alcohol, soy sauce, roasted barley, coffee, and some hints of dark fruit. Not quite as intense or complex as many an RIS of this caliber.

Flavor starts with some sweet molasses-like malt, then is overtaken by soy sauce/dates, then a strong lingering bitterness with some alcohol in the finish. A background of earthy hops compliments the intense roasted grain flavor.

Mouthfeel is lightly chewy with medium carbonation, and slides down the throat leaving an oily, sticky, and slightly dry finish in the back, along with some warming alcohol.

This beer is the most drinkable 13% beer I've had. Many thanks to kkipple for the chance to have this. Very generous. Get your hands on this one if you can.

Photo of gory4d
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of dukedevil0
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Single 330mL from Sal's in Elmurst, IL. Bottle says batch #14 imported by Horizon Wines in Canada.

A: Pours a dark black with two fingers of khaki colored head and lots of lacing on the glass.

S: Smells of slight amounts of dark chocolate and roasted malts. Some vanillla too. Some alcohol scent like fermented dark berries/fruits.

T: Very much like the smell, some dark chocolate, roasted malts, vanilla, oak type flavors. Some dark fruits or berries. Some alcohol in the finish but melds well with the brew. Gets even better tasting when it hits cellar temperature.

M: Feels creamy and full with a good amount of carbonation.

D: Drinkability only suffers here from the slight alcohol flavor in the finish. Otherwise the flavor is solid.

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

Picked up this 11.2oz bottle at $10. Poured into Stone snifter...

A- Pours pitch black, absolutely black, no light getting through this bad boy at all. Incredibly beautiful light tan head, about two fingers thick that completely coats the entire glass.

S- Molasses at large with a touch of booze. Dark chocolate cherry cordials adds a deep complexity to this. Definitely get a big RIS with Belgian touches...

T/M- A ton of chocolate, brown sugar, smoke, and earthy woodiness completely fill the palate instantly. Roasty, with a touch of cherries again; but it isn't far out of place. Well rounded, sweet, and complex. No alcohol warmth or booziness to pull away any flavors. Smooth medium body. Not a lot of carbonation, much better that way...

O- A lot of detail in this beer. I like that this is a big bold stout, but still had subtle nuances of Belgian origin. Very complex and appealing to all senses.

Photo of Scarfer_Brad
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of philipquarles
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle. Pours black black with a creamy ochre head that recedes quickly. Very strong smells of dark roasted malts: chocolate, coffee, etc. Dark fruits as well, followed by spices. Tastes heavily of the same coffee/semi-sweet chocolate. Spices in the background. Surprising hop bitterness actually gives it a finish that's almost dry. Thick and creamy feel with quite a bit of carbonation. The alcohol is pretty well hidden, with only a slight warming at the end.

Photo of jdhilt
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger tan head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving traces lace. Black color, no highlights, ton of yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and heavy bodied. Molasses and chocolate nose. Flavor is sweet and bitter molasses. Dry chocolate finish. Tastes better than the first tap at Ebenezers Pub in Aug 2007. High ABV is completely hidden. Way overpriced at $10.99 for a 330ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

Photo of Spider889
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to J2Brew2 for this bottle.

Live review into my new Cigar City snifter; again, thanks Joe!

Lot: B, bottled June 2007 - nice age on this one!

Pours thick and viscous, solid black, darker than the age-old motor oil comparison. Despite the fact that I thought this was going to gush out of the bottle, the head wasn't nearly as tall as predicted. Instead, with an average pour, I got just under a finger of super dense foam. It reminded me of a frothy chocolate shake, color and all. Some tapioca-like bubbles stuck around as well as a nice ring of that dark head around the edges.

The smell took me aback at first. I almost believed that this was barrel aged, but no other reviews, nor the bottle, mention it. Very boozy, but sweet. Lots of vanilla and oaky notes, and a ton of acidic dark fruit - figs and red grapes. The malt aromas are muted in relation, but light coffee can be found here.

The taste is very bold and unique. The fruit flavors are really prominent. I can only assume that this is largely the doing of the yeast. Soft black malts are in contention with sweet vanilla and raisinets. I think it can best be compared to BCS in many ways.

Smooth and sticky, this is a sensationally silky sipper.

If alliteration isn't your style, I also feel a dry tannic finish. The booziness is both apparent in the aroma and taste, but it is also decently well-hidden.

After figuring out the date code (I felt like I was in the OSS deciphering an enemy communique) I realized that this was almost 4 years old. I then began comparing this to the 2007 GLBC Blackout Stout I tasted last October. I have found that big stouts like this get super sweet with considerable age. It's nice and a great way to sample the beer. However, Black Albert claims an impressive 100 IBUs, and I got nearly none of it. I'm now very curious to try a really fresh bottle of this to compare.

Overall a very well-done stout. I'm not sold that this, as a "BELGIAN ROYAL STOUT," as the bottle screams at you numerous times, is in actuality a new and unique style of beer... but I also wouldn't mind differentiating the normal RIS from the Belgo versions.

From my limited experience I have thus far surmised that Struise is a brewer of truly world-class beer.

Photo of comfortablynumb1
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for bringing out an another amazing brew. You rock man!

Poured from 11.20z bottle into a Cigar City pint glass...

A - Pours pitch black with a two finger brown head. Lacing is apparent, but not the best for the style. Head retention is a whole different story. Excellent...

S - Chocolate, coffee, the sweet scent of vanilla, and dark fruits...

T - Chocolate, and dark roasted malts hits me up front followed by vanilla and plums. Ends on a slight smokey note, with dark chocolate also making an appearance. For the abv, this one is very smooth. Next to no alcohol warmth to speak of. Nice...

M - A little light on the body in my opinion. Especially considering the style and abv. This is not a huge brew. There is also a little more carbonation than I am used to with the style. All in all a little thin, but very drinkable..

D - Surprised by how smooth this one was. Hard to believe it is a 13%. Definitely something I am looking foward to trying again...

Cheers..

Photo of NateMac13
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of cypressbob
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle served just off temperature in a wine goblet. Batch 14

Black Albert, along with similar stouts aged in different ways such as Cuvve Delphine which I sampled in the cosy and eminently gracious and friendly, t' Brugs Beertje. At €7 a bottle some may pout at my exuberance but the dark, rich, oaked stout aged in bourbon barrels was fantastic.

The rich sticky stout pours with a slightly viscous, oily body with a dark mahogany brown bo
dy with no visible light penetration. A little whisp of a light cocoa head with little bubbles of snake like lacing up and down the edges of the balloon wine glass it calls home this evening.

Despite my rather sniffly demeanour this 13% whopper doesn't lead with subtleties in any respect. The initial waft of alcohol laden tobacco tinged chocolate and espresso soon subsides with a sweet tinge of vanilla, lavender and Turkish delight.

Buttered slightly burnt toast on the palette, huge amount of charring, smoke and cigarillos (it sounds anal but certainly not the depth of a Cohiba or Montecristo) Surprisingly thin mouthfeel for a stout of this size, not comparable to the rich creaminess of something like Stone 12th Anniversary Oatmeal or Victory's sublime Storm King. Low on carbonation with a deceiving drink-ability, the finish is full of the usual plethora of bitter chocolate, espresso and of course the obligatory roasted malt.

This is stout number two from the young brothers and based on comparison with the bourbon aged Cuvee Delphine I do prefer the whiskey aged monster. It might have been the traditional Flemish surroundings or the four or five beers that I had before it but the Cuvee takes pride of place as the best Flanders stout I've had thus far.

Photo of paytoplay
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Carbonation was high. Aroma was quite outstanding. Acidity and mouthfeel was so clean and fresh / refreshing. Heightened state of flavors lifted them, maybe too much. Small 330cl i guess bottle shared at toronado sd. Could see how this can age for years and years. Great aroma and femenin and lite is what I really felt. Pretty good. Wish it was on shelves and something I could try more often and age.

Photo of kevanb
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of brewcrew76
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Solid black with ruby highlights when held to the light, 2 finger mocha head that dissipates immediately to a thin ring.

S - Light aroma except for dark chocolate. Spicy Belgian yeast, burnt malts and a slight touch of dark fruits.

T - Mixture of dark and milk chocolate, intense roast and burnt coffee, figs and plums, some bitter hops with some lingering alcohol.

M - Rich with lower carbonation and warming from the alcohol. Slightly slick.

D - Nice Belgian twist on the style. A very nice beer but not sure it is worth the price/hype.

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 14

A: Black, but not quite opaque. Great head, with some nice lacing.

S: Phenomenal aroma. Wow! There is an incredible wild yeast sourness in the nose. Every time I smell the beer, searching for additional scents, I become completely distracted by the incredible sour aroma.

T: Unique for sure. This beer smells better than it tastes. I don't get a lot of stout characteristics (I know this batch is more quad-like). The 13% ABV is disguised extremely well. The beer lacks the complexity I expected from the intriguing scents. The sourness is more present in the aroma, but still very evident in the taste. Again, unique, enjoyable, and impossible to categorize.

M: Dare I say a little thin?

D: A truly unique beer that I will always look forward to.

Photo of pkalix
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

Photo of JamesStreet
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330 ml into snifter
A- Jet black with a half-finger brownish head some lingering lace, but not heavy.
S- Chocolate, licorice, raisins, figs, booze.
T- rich, chocolate booziness balanced by a slight bitterness on the end. Some of the fruit appears again as well. Roasted malt and some biscuity Belgian flavor as well.
M- Velvety smooth creaminess to the feel. Really decadent. Awesome.
O- really love the way this beer drinks. Flavors aren't out-of-this-world good, but solid, nonetheless. Really super drinkability but watch out. Got some booze here.

Photo of errantnight
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you, brdc, for making drinking this bad boy a reality.

Well, it's not really a Russian Imperial Stout... but it's a big, delicious, exceedingly drinkable stout.

Pours a deep, opaque jet black with several fingers into my Bruery tulip... It has superb sticky lacing and a lasting head. What? Big stouts that don't look like sludge?!

The aroma is a ton of chocolate, more milk than dark chocolate, with some fig and/or rich, dark, ripe fruit aromas. Surprisingly, as it warms, this really pulls back a bit... it seems a bit flat.

Even before I get to the taste, I have to mention the mouthfeel here, it's a velvety smooth texture that's practically unlike anything I've had. It feels full, but complete, without being sticky. Amazing.

The taste, like the aroma, actually seems to get flat as it warms. But what's there is a dark caramel sweetness, maybe with some mincemeat qualities, a hint of roasted coffee, and some milk chocolate around the edges. It's bitter, but it seems like a hop bitterness, not a roast bitterness, but no hop character to speak of.

Y'know, I was super impressed when I first poured this, but it seems to lose it's more exciting fringe character as it should be opening... that said, this is amazingly drinkable, with a clean flavor and a great aftertaste. If this were readily available, I'd purchase with regularity, but at a high cost, via trade or cash, I'm not sure, even if my first reaction was: this is amazing!

Photo of WillCarrera
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of Petegrieco
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of codewarrior
4.26/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330mL Singleton (Lot: B6BB), poured into a balloon glass

A man who I trust (when it comes to beer) told me that Black Albert was his favorite beer, right now. I rummaged up 2 bottles of the stuff, drank one and cellared the other. This beer is friggin' world-class.

A: Beautifully dark. Beautifully. Not much else to say, really. Pitch doesn't do it justice.

S: Deep, smokey. Draws you into it.

T: Goes on and on, rich, creamy, smokey, but somehow light.

F: The texture here is beyond compare. Velvety. Amazing. Seriously, perfection.

D: Yay for my mouth! (transcribed by my sweet lady at time of drinking)

As a side-note, any beer that uses artwork from www.beautifulfreaktattoo.com on it's label ... is an insta-win. Can't wait until the other bottle gets done sitting around getting better for 2 years.

Photo of tectactoe
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev 0%

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