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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

1,485 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,485
Reviews: 808
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 318
Gots: 363 | FT: 19
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: 1,485 | Reviews: 808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HosP
HosP

Indiana

3.23/5  rDev -23.8%

Got a bottle from Scottfrie. Big thanks for this extra!

A- Pours pitch black in color. Almost no light comes through even around the edges. Thick tan head looks perfect.

S- Nose is full of boozy aroma. Reminds me of a bourbon drink. Once gotten past the alcohol smell could get hints of dark fruits and some roasted malts.

T- Starts out as a sweet fruit and slight hop flavor. Roasted malts come up rather quick to take over. The strong alcohol takes over all the flavor. The high ABV really comes out and has a strong presence.

M- Thinner body with little carbonation. Comes through a little dry.

D- Wasn't expecting this after reading some other reviews. Couldn't get past the boozy taste pretty much. Liked what little flavors I did get. Maybe one day I'll try it again and see if I get something else from it.

01-31-2011 03:13:24 | More by HosP
Photo of clocktownbrewing
clocktownbrewing

South Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

Poured into oversized snifter from a bottle - Batch No 14 Lot: B6BB

Jet black translucent liquid with a tightly bubbled head. Half finger of foam that dissipates quite slowly for a 13% booze bomb and then leaves a thin layer on top. Light spots of lace stay down the sides of the glass but these too fade as the beer begins to breathe and warm up.

Nose is lacking a little. Apples soaked in booze. Faint hints of dark bitter chocolate. It smells more like a Belgian strong dark than an imperial stout.

Taste is thin and follows the nose. Finishes with stronger bitter dark chocolate flavor.

Not too bad overall. Boozy and bitter though.

09-08-2010 23:16:45 | More by clocktownbrewing
Photo of MADPolo
MADPolo

Alabama

3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

08-13-2013 01:17:26 | More by MADPolo
Photo of EgadBananas
EgadBananas

Louisiana

3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

Dark, dank, black. Didn't hold it to light, but I imagine it wouldn't have shown through. Bold caramal head, very rich and thick. This is exactly what it should look like. The smell was fairly good, all your stout staples are there: chocolate, coffee, lots of malts. But the taste didn't impress. The IBUs were kicking for sure, not that it was too much, but its just that it wasn't balanced out well enough with sweetness. The bitterness wasn't from the coffee, thats for sure. The feel was really good, it was thick and chewy. Fullbodied, and pretty smooth.

Like most anything thats not horrible, I am glad I tryed it...but its not worth what I paid for it ($10) and I will not be getting it again...

11-23-2009 01:29:04 | More by EgadBananas
Photo of mwbrady12
mwbrady12

North Carolina

3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

07-17-2013 16:36:06 | More by mwbrady12
Photo of jandadeboer
jandadeboer

Texas

3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

02-02-2014 21:48:26 | More by jandadeboer
Photo of Franch
Franch

New York

3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

01-22-2013 06:58:39 | More by Franch
Photo of Trilogy31
Trilogy31

California

3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

01-17-2013 05:02:21 | More by Trilogy31
Photo of bcm75
bcm75

Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

01-12-2014 03:16:02 | More by bcm75
Photo of bcostner1
bcostner1

Tennessee

3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

01-01-2013 20:58:35 | More by bcostner1
Photo of mikecharley
mikecharley

Pennsylvania

3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

11-19-2013 14:32:17 | More by mikecharley
Photo of oregonskibum
oregonskibum

Oregon

3.28/5  rDev -22.6%

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle into a wide mouthed goblet.

A: Color is black. Pours with a thin tan head that disappears quickly, leaving some spotty lacing and a thin film on top of the beer. Edit: poured the second half of the bottle after completing the review and there was a substantial amount (I mean a lot) of particulates floating in the beer. I would say once settled that there was a good tablespoon of material floating in the beer. Dropped appearance score accordingly.

S: Some faint cocoa, dark fruits, and molasses. There's also a spicy note that I can't quite place. Relatively muted and needed to re-swirl several times to get much out of the smell.

T: First impression is that this is a rather simple RIS. Taste follows smell, with faint cocoa, dark fruits, and some light roasted flavors. Getting some decent heat towards the end that gradually builds. Finish leaves an odd metalic taste towards the back of the tongue that really isn't that welcome.

M: Medium to big body, low carbonation. Fairly smooth and easy to drink for a big (13%) beer.

D: Generally, disappointed. The flavors were simply too muted and the it didn't finish well. My last big stout was Parabola, which absolutely blows this away.

06-08-2010 05:09:23 | More by oregonskibum
Photo of mrkrispy
mrkrispy

California

3.3/5  rDev -22.2%

Been wanting to try this for quite a while, thanks to the very generous trader!

Poured a very dark but not jet black. Nice head, stuck around for a decent amount of the glass. Lots of lace all over the place.

A very dull aroma, and what there is isn't pleasing. A bit smokey, and burnt malt?

Immediately notice the lighter body than I was expecting. Dark malts, bit of chocoloate and coffee bean. Roubust burnt malt again, not a fan of that taste. Intentional? A bit of sourness, reminiscent of a Baltic Porter. Not surprising coming from Belgium, I like it. Some sort of metallic off flavor in the finish. Burnt sweetness lingers on the tongue.

Well, I didn't know what to expect and this certainly wasn't what I was hoping for. Complex, had some good flavors, but also several unlikable characteristics. A bit too light on the body. Nice to try it but I wouldn't make an effort to get it again.

08-19-2009 21:59:18 | More by mrkrispy
Photo of razorsdescent
razorsdescent

Pennsylvania

3.31/5  rDev -21.9%

I have wanted to try this beer for a long time. After finding a place that had this and Alesmith's Speedway stout, I was overjoyed.

I chilled the bottle in my fridge until I deemed it to be at the right temperature

Appearance: When poured into my Green Jack goblet, It looks like an imperial stout should. Black and dark leaving lacing and with a light brown head.

Smell: This is where things started to go awry. It merely smells malty, and slightly boozy.

Taste: Meh, tastes of malt and booze, so, true to the nose. There is nothing new here, and it doesn't even pull the roasty malts off well enough to be an excellent one trick pony.

Mouthfeel: Standard fare here, tight and carbonated. Certainly pleasant and close to what was expected.

Overall: This beer is a disappointment and proof that scarcity and rave reviews are often times misleading. It is by no means terrible, however, I wouldn't seek it out again, much less pay the exorbitant price.

10-03-2013 23:33:30 | More by razorsdescent
Photo of teamizm
teamizm

California

3.33/5  rDev -21.5%

Part of my Westy 12 box.

Batch 0 poured from a bottle

A - Pours like a deep black coffee with a nice mocha head that recedes somewhat quickly.

S - Roasted malts, chocolates, and a slight metallic smell (this is why I'm not a huge fan of imports)

T - Upfront metallic taste. Very sweet, Belgian candy sugars with a molasses and chocolaty twinged.

M - very one dimensional. For a 13% RIS, it lacks a lot of complexity. 50/50 Eclipse has about 4-5% less ABV and has 200% more complexity in the mouth feel.

D - Kind of a boring RIS. The variable in reviewing a RIS from across the pond is that conditions make a huge impact on the beer. This beer may be great in Belgium, but it doesn't hold up well in travel.

01-23-2011 08:17:11 | More by teamizm
Photo of NoonanDBarbarian
NoonanDBarbarian

Alaska

3.33/5  rDev -21.5%

A - pours with a slightly brown to black color with a small 1/4 inch head
S - It give off a strong yeast smell that is all i can get out of it
T - The taste seems to be really lacking something. it is a very smooth drink but has no start and a really sweet finish
M - I fee like I'm drinking a larger but wanted a stout
D - This is a very drinkable beer but just not what i was expecting especially after all of the hype

10-22-2008 23:10:57 | More by NoonanDBarbarian
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.38/5  rDev -20.3%

Thanks mrkrispy! Pours dark brown (almost black) into my snifter, with dark crimson highlights. The light brown head is creamy and about 2 fingers with good retention.

The aroma is pretty muted, and the beer is at least 55 degrees. Nondescript, muddled malt with some sugar. There's a little chocolate and coffee. There are some pretty noticeable metallic notes.

The flavor...hmmm. Herbal hop notes with some milk chocolate, and a little sourness. Once again the metallic notes are present.

The beer is medium full bodied with good carbonation. The mouthfeel is thin and watery.

This is the second time I've had this beer. I don't get it.

06-22-2009 07:10:39 | More by HopHead84
Photo of hardy008
hardy008

Minnesota

3.38/5  rDev -20.3%

Dark black, with a one finger dark tan head with nice retention and lacing. The aroma has chocolate, dark fruit, dark roasted malt, belgian yeast, and there is some tartness.

The taste is much like the aroma would suggest. The dark roasted malt, chocolate, belgian yeast and tartness come through the most. The dark fruit is also present, but more subdued. Very complex, a little sweet, somewhat bitter, and also tart.

Smooth, creamy, medium bodied, and the carbonation is a little higher than I would normally expect. Overall, this is a nice beer.

11-03-2010 03:34:27 | More by hardy008
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim

New York

3.4/5  rDev -19.8%

Poured from a 11.2oz. bottle into a Troegs pint glass.

A: Vigorous pour yields a 1 finger fine creamy-chocolate head with excellent retention. Beer is an opaque black. Lacing is spotty with waves coming out of the brew at points.

S: Dark fruit, plum, faint chocolate, roasted malts, lactose, slight coffee and booze sourness.

T: Ripe plum is apparent upfront and lingers throughout. Chocolate and coffee comes in towards the middle with a weird Belgian spiciness. Finish is more of the same but booziness peaks its nasty head and stays as the aftertaste which is a bit unpleasant.

M: Medium bodied and very very coarse and highly carbonated. Mouth is very lively and quite watery. Finish is slightly sticky and messy. Lingers a bit long.

D: Overhyped, overspiced, and overcarbonated. I understand that this is a Belgian imperial stout but the flavor carbonation and body don't work for me. I won't be having this again. I expect and like coffee and heavy chocolate in my stouts. This one delivers that, but cancels it out with other flavors that don't meld quite right.

02-21-2010 01:53:06 | More by SpeedwayJim
Photo of aqsprint
aqsprint

Michigan

3.4/5  rDev -19.8%

A- Very dark brown/amber. 3 fingers of foam. Great lacing all the way through.

S- Roast, chocolate, and that Belgian aroma.

T- A little fruity, chocolate, figs. Alcohol burn down the throat. Disappointing considering its the 31 spot in the top 100. Over all I think its over rated.

M- A little thin, but not bad.

D- Drinkable beer, but I will not be having another any time soon.

09-15-2008 10:48:28 | More by aqsprint
Photo of pepsican
pepsican

Iowa

3.43/5  rDev -19.1%

black pour with a thick khaki head. Aroma has strong grapes, green apple, and sugar. Flavor is very complex. I got chocolate, tofee, tannins/white grapes, green apple, light hops, tobacco, and cherries. Finishes lightly sweet, oily. A bit of alcohol bite rounds it out. I was expecting a bit more, but it was a pretty good try.

07-17-2009 03:44:57 | More by pepsican
Photo of Yetiman420
Yetiman420

Ohio

3.43/5  rDev -19.1%

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a Unibroue tulip glass.

Massive three-finger head that spilled over. At $11 a bottle, I lost a good $1's worth.

I've had this twice before. Once at a blind RIS tasting where it scored very low in my book (underwhelming against Stone). Keeping an open mind this time around and reviewing it on stand alone credentials.

Aroma is absent. Nothing except a little sweetness and alcohol. I'm not sure if "Belgian Royal Stout" places less emphasis on aroma, but I have to go with the BA category here of RIS which typically has roasted malt aroma with complexity. Black Albert is underwhelming in this respect.

Taste comes across as mild sweetness and slight alcohol sharpness.

The most impressive characteristic is the thick mouthfeel. Really leaves an impression, but I'd prefer impressions to be made with aroma and flavor.

I did my best to regress the blind tasting experience, but even on it's own, this one does not deliver for me. The remaining three will age in my cellar in hopes that time will treat this one well.

04-08-2009 03:08:50 | More by Yetiman420
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

3.45/5  rDev -18.6%

Thanks to Ryan for this one. Batch No. 14, according to the label.

A: The pour is certainly fitting for the style. Nearly black in color with an initially formbidable tan head that eventually settles down to a thin cap.

S: A heavy aroma of dark fruits, particularly prunes, figs, and plums. A touch of alcohol but no real roast, chocolate, or coffee. Almost cloying, to be honest.

T: The flavor is somewhat complex. Certainly the fruits noted in the aroma are well represented, but there is an underlying flavor of roasted malt and some light bitterness.

M: The body is medium with a fairly substantial level of carbonation, which I am unsure of at this point in time--even after drinking a fair amount of my glass.

D: As this one comes to temperature, the alcohol becomes more noticeable and the bitterness becomes more of an astringency. Not my favorite, but certainly worth trying.

06-06-2010 01:10:05 | More by womencantsail
Photo of davedahl
davedahl

Illinois

3.45/5  rDev -18.6%

Good - but not up to my expectations based on the hype surrounding it. I had a 8oz pour in a sherry glass for $10 at Binny's in Chicago's south loop.

The pour was far too cold but produced a completely black brew with a creamy chocolate-milk type head of tight tiny bubbles. Slight lacing.

Taste was chocolate malt, roasted malt at the front; dark fruit (dark sweet cherries plums) in the middle; and little hop balance and alcohol burn in the finish.

Nose - nothing. Seriously partially because how cold this beer was there was zero aromatics. After I warmed it a bit in my hands I detected rich dark malt and sweet cherries - but you really have to search for them.

Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, alcohol bite, viscous. The 13% alcohol is hidden well.

So hmm. This was good, but not great. I had this only once previously, about a year ago with BA member bgramer and I recall getting a lot more out of it at that time. I think this is probably better bottled and aged than on tap.

12-15-2008 01:52:42 | More by davedahl
Photo of jaasen64
jaasen64

Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -18.6%

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.

12-16-2012 19:05:17 | More by jaasen64
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,485 ratings.