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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

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Black AlbertBlack Albert

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832 Reviews
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Reviews: 832
Hads: 1,662
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 336
Gots: 382 | FT: 26
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
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Reviews: 832 | Hads: 1,662
Photo of Mora2000
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My brother picked this one up for me at Phillipe's in Lafayette. Great find.

Pours dark brown to black with a dark tan head. The head stays around throughout the entire drinking process. Aroma is strong on the dark fruits along with some coffee and chocolate as the beer warms. Very complex. The flavor is heavy on the roasted malt, almost burnt in flavor. You also get some more dark fruit and coffee and the beer finishes with some alcohol and sweetness. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of csais75
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

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Photo of Sixpoint
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is simply an outstanding beer, with an incredible sour cherry tart aroma, flawless flavor profile, nice and tight for a heavy beer but enough body to deliver a complex treat.

In my opinion, probably the best beer I've encountered this year...maybe I'll be blown away at the GABF, but it will be hard to top this one...

at a loss for words.

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Photo of kwakhead
4.72/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I feel very fortunate to be sitting along side the folks from De Struise Brouwers,Chris and Jen for the official unveiling of this long anticipated brew. Chris and I sampled a few glasses before the Official unvieling and I couldn't wait for the next one I could get my hands on.Served in an Ebenezers 3rd Annual goblet this stout is very dark in appearance with a slight head,smells just as good as it tastes,chocolate,mollasses,leather?and hops.Ithas an almost syrupy mouth feel which is maybe why it goes down so well.At 13 percent and being very drinkable this is a dangerous concoction,Ican't wait to try the 3 liter bottle Chris has been carrying around like a baby the past three nights.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of BeerShirts
4.73/5  rDev +11.6%
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.

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Photo of markaberrant
4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
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!

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Photo of endovelico
4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A: Thick dark brown - almost black - liquid with small brown head, unperceived effervescence and no lacing.

S: So unbelievably gorgeous! Notes of pastry, yeast, chocolate, coffee, fresh leafs, dark fruit, caramel, toffee, almonds and just a touch of hash tray. The complexity in this is just awe inspiring.

T: Again, so intense and rich! In broad strokes it kind of tastes like mead meets Irish coffee. It's hard to give an accurate, sophisticated organoleptic description since this beer carries just about everything from dark fruit to pastry notes .

P: Liquorish, heavy, sweet, full bodied but amazingly it's really not that cloying. Another big surprise is how well the ABV works into the whole thing, ie, even though theres a lot of it, it does not feel boozy AT ALL.

O: To style and taste this scores phenomenally across the board. It ranks as one of the - if not the - best sippers I've ever had, rivaling the best Port or Sherry anyone can bring to the table [ I apologize for the overly enthusiastic soap boxing]. Furthermore, this beer is unquestionably unique - which is something I give much importance to - and also surprisingly drinkable! Have i mentioned it's also insanely complex?

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Photo of veinless
4.74/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Welcome to Cleveland Baron! All we need to do now is find a way to get Larry Hughes and Ricky Davis back.

Pours an opaque black, with no light passing through whatsoever. Two-finger dark tan head was generated easily, and dissapated at a nice rate, not to fast or slowly.

Nose is very, very deep, with tons of fruit (cherries and plums) with a twinge tropical character (sweet pineapple?) as well, perhaps from the 100 IBUs the bottle says this guy has. Boozy, with light chocolate and coffee sniffs too. Phenomenal smell.

Taste is such a great balance of all the flavors I don't know where to start - milky chocolate taste to start, blended with nice soft coffee flavor, which also has a slight fruit character behind it (wish there was more of the fruit). Alcohol then rears its head in the most docile of ways, briefly giving a premium booze taste that doesn't harm the incredible smoothness of this beer.

Bitterness comes out a bit near the end, and combined with the flavors already present, leaves you with just the right amount of mouth-sticking goodness along with enough clean bitterness to make this incredibly drinkable. Feels like melted ice cream (one of my personal favorite foods) in texture and weight, and just about every other physical characteristic. Easiest 5 I've ever given for mouthfeel. Drinkability is just as ridiculous for a beer of this high an abv - alcohol is detectable, but only in a way that is beneficial for the taste of the beer. You don't get any burn whatsoever. Considering the full 13% abv, this might be the easiest 5 I've ever given for drinkability too.

This beer has a bit of everything, and melds them together in truly spectacular fashion. I'd get this JUST to experience the exquisite texture and drinkability, but the fact that it offers up world class aromas and tastes takes the cake.

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Photo of jegross2
4.75/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.75/5  rDev +12%

**opens bottle of Struise Black Albert**
**puts spectacles on top of head**
**Examines computer print off**
everything points to - World's greatest beer!

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Photo of Bmcg266
4.75/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of david131
4.75/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of MikesnoHSL
4.75/5  rDev +12%

This is a hell of a stout ! Bottle date 10-30-14
Dark tan head that drops after a few sips nose is roasted plums with a hint of molasses.
Silky smooth with a nice hop bitterness. All held together with a sweet roast tiny hints of plum and raisins that hides the 13% amazingly.
Definitely one to look out for. Although might be a little overpriced, I would buy again
This thing aged might be even better

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Photo of trbergman
4.75/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of clegolfski
4.75/5  rDev +12%
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.

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Photo of stumac
4.76/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was tasted at Feces Fest '08 with Onslow and my girl Melani.

this brew pours up black with a huge frothy dark tan head. great lacing. the nose is a little boozy (the only negative about this beer), big dark roasty malts, dark chocolate, kind of nutty. the taste is very alive due to the 100 IBUs. I taste big roasted malts, a lil nutty, chocolate, a blend of floral and piney hops. Tons of hops and tons of malt! A fairly equal amount of the two but in great amounts! This was my BLACK ALBERT experience...

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Photo of mpetersen
4.76/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Trying to hold off on doing many reviews until I learn more, but this is so good I can't help myself.

A: Pitch black with a beautiful, short mocha head.

S: Not much smell at all. Traces of dark fruit, milk chocolate and booze.

T: Taste is amazing. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Mild sweetness, Belgian yeast, dark malts, hops and chocolate. Pleasant bitter finish.

M: WOW! Rich and creamy, full bodied. Worth the experience in and by itself.

D: Extremely drinkable. Never would have guessed 13% ABV if I hadn't read it off the bottle myself. Without a doubt a truly exceptional beer.

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

Pours a dark black color with a good sized tan head, fades a little on the fast side and leaves a little bit of lacing.

Smell has a good amount of roasted malt and even more of a dark fruit presence that just explodes.

Taste is really creamy and smooth with a bit of an assertive carbonation, tons and tons of dark fruit with a hint of coffee and roasted malt and even a little bit of chocolate. The alcohol is very well hidden and would never believe it is 13%.

Really need to try this on-tap over at Eb's at some point.

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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 maximum12
4.77/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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

I usually don't like darker beers, however this one definitely broke the mold. Me and a friend were at Eb's looking for different beers to try. Talking to Chris he recommended a few and then had us taste this.

Like I said, I do not like darker beers, as most are coffee flavored, and I'm not a coffee drinker. So my thoughts when trying it were not that great. The taste was perfect, lil bit of chocolate, definitely hops and just a smooth finish.

I wish I could of bought an entire bottle or even a glass, but I only got a small sample. It was however, simply the best overall beer I had ever had. I am young, not as experienced beer drinker as most, but I do live 5 miles from Eb's, so I can safetly say I have had my share of beer.

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

Huge thanks to tytoanderso for this ridiculous extra. 2008 vintage.

A - An absolutely picture-perfect Stout. Black, tan froth, lots of lace

S - Chocolate covered raisins, so perfectly expressed. Intensely mouth-watering aroma. This is an amazing stylistic fusion; it is the best of both worlds, fully melded.

T - Exceptionally tasty. Dark fruitiness, heavy roast, suggestions of coffee and chocolate, vinous flourishes, woody tones. Finishes with notes of oxidation, cocoa, fig compote, and fabulous deliciousness. I also occasionally pick up on a fleeting fruitiness normally found in Oud Bruin. This is the ultimate in Belgian-American style re-interpretation; everything is simultaneously so decadently American, but is also so sublimely Belgian. Definitely the best of both worlds, and so mutually complementary. My only caveat is that this brew does not benefit from 'airing out', it is best served quite cold.

M - Perhaps a bit more could be done here; it is good, but it is the only weak link.

D - This is a phenomenal brew; a paradigm of the Belgian Imperial Stout style, a style which seems currently to be ascending. Plus everything about this day sucked, except this beer. That is worth a lot in my book.

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

Pours, aptly, an opaque black with a copius tan head that lasts, leaving ample lacing on the glass.

Aromas of prunes, dark cherries, coffee, brown sugar, wet hay, and some barn funk.

Tastes of prunes, dark cherries, coffee, brown sugar. Nice dark fruit flavors dominate, with a refreshing tartness for an imperial stout. I can appreciate why the brewers claim this is a Belgian Royal Stout as opposed to the Russian Imperial Stout it is classified as.

Rich, sweet, creamy mouthfeel, like melted chocolate and cherry ice cream.

This is a night capper at 13 percent ABV. However, the alcohol is not so evident in the taste (until after you drink it), and is balanced by the delectable strong flavors.

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Photo of alyankus
4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
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

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 832 ratings.