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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Black AlbertBlack Albert

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

1,409 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1409
Reviews: 803
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%


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
Ratings: 1,409 | Reviews: 803 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Immortale25
Immortale25

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a thick motor oil black color with a ½ inch brown head that bears great retention time before eventually becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and minimal surface foam. Very resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind on the glass.

S- Fumey alcohol in the nose with dark roasted malt beneath. It's hard to derive any other scents beside the overpowering booze. Maybe a bit of vanilla struggles to make itself known.

T- Sweet at first, then things turn to a heavy malt bitterness but it's a neat balance. Much smoother than the aroma as the alcohol is not nearly as strong. Very straightforward in its delivery of dark chocolate, roast and slight char. Lingering bitterness and a bit of oaky astringency.

M- Creamy, silky, very nice. Medium carbonation and the fullest of bodies.

O- While the aroma is incredibly too full of booze, the taste and mouthfeel are just about spot on.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2013 16:35:32 | More by Immortale25
Photo of mscudder
mscudder

Georgia

4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Lot 25|08|GG (2012).

A - Poured strongly. Opaque hue with an immense mocha head. Excellent retention with fair lacing.

S - Dark Chocolate, roasted coffee, light caramel, dark fruits and faint smoked wood.

T - The term "Royal Stout" is necessary due to this varying strongly from what I would deem a traditional RIS. The Belgian influence is noticeable throughout: dark fruits are infused in the more traditional composition, yielding a sourness which I cannot particularly appreciate. Flavors are balanced well and the hop bitterness aids in weighing down the fruits and subduing the alcohol.

M - Silky smooth and lacking the fullness I desire and except in a stout this large. It resembles more of a fudge-like milk stout at 6-8%. Does not ruin the beer, although it is the weakest aspect.

O - Being a huge fan of Quads and Russian Imperial Stouts, this was not a fusion I adore. That said, I have high standards for Struise. It simply does not compete with the top-notch Quads or Russian Imperials I have sampled. Certainly not a bad beer, for I will keep a few for a cool evening.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2013 03:59:05 | More by mscudder
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

4.05/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured deep thick black with a big dark brown head. Aroma of roasted grains, some spice, bitter chocolate, and hints of licorice. Big full mouthfeel. Bitter chocolate and roast with some slight spiciness to it. First time I have tasted definite charred tobacco. Lingering bitter chocolate and dark dried fruit mixture left on the palate. A nice impy that reminds me of Pt5.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2013 02:55:27 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of BEERMILER12
BEERMILER12

Maine

4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a near pitch black color with a massive 3-4 fingers of tan head that slowly recedes over the course of about 10 minutes

S: Huge notes of roasted malts, a hint of dark fruits, dark chocolate, and a very light hint of alcohol

T: Starts off with the huge roasty maltiness and slowly goes into a nice dark fruitiness and dark chocolate. These all linger into the finish, with a hint of alcohol which is impressive given the 13%. Quite bitter in the finish as well

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. A little thin

O: Not sure of the age on this bottle, but it's not hot AT ALL. Quite impressive. A very good mix of roasted malts and dark fruits, with a good balance of the two. Definitely a sipper, but it's difficult with the flavors and lack of alcohol heat. Highly recommended

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2013 01:51:39 | More by BEERMILER12
Photo of RuudJH
RuudJH

Netherlands

4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best breweries in the beer country of Belgium.
This strong dark beer is excellent.
Coffee, nuts, chocolate, some fresh and dried fruits too. Berries and fig fruit. Very dark brown, with a thin brown head.
Taste and aftertaste are very powerfull. The roasty character and the high abv make this a beer to sip. I had it with some chocolate and strawberries on the side, and I really enjoyed myself.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2013 11:59:17 | More by RuudJH
Photo of TrappistJohnMD
TrappistJohnMD

Mississippi

4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served at Avenue Pub in New Orleans. Served in snifter.

Pours dark brown-black with light tan head that lingers well. Lots of lacing along sides of glass.

Smell is heavy with banana and sweet malts. Other ripe fruits are in the background.

Taste is smokey malt. Chocolate and caramel blend with a mild smokey bitterness late.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Very full bodied. Average carbonation for the style.

Overall this was excellent. Very rich. A little goes a long way with this beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2013 16:56:55 | More by TrappistJohnMD
Photo of pants678
pants678

California

4.48/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big fluffy Belgian head with a black body.

Sweet and sugary with dark, roasted malts.

Rich chocolate and complimentary, creamy vanilla, possibly from the yeast. Candied sugar, as you'd guess. Not a lot going on here but there doesn't need to be, it's a dessert that doesn't complicate itself. There's an alcohol burn, tobacco-y, and some bitter from the hops or the natural end of cocoa. Just what you'd want from the style and where it's from.

smooth. It's Belgian, of course it's smooth.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2013 03:01:32 | More by pants678
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BBP

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours somewhat standard for a stout of its calibre, but a little thinner in appearance. Carbonation was as expected.

The aroma is sweet, with subtle booze, and some slight chocolate.

The taste is quite strong, and appealing at first. There's quite a balance to this stout, and the IBUs are quite far from obvious (although not something I'd prefer), and it really comes across perhaps too smooth. For 13%, this is very easy drinking, and the booze is there, yet works with the drink rather than against it. Chocolate, coffee, and vanilla are all here; A bit of sweetness as well. Perhaps raisin and vanilla. Sweeter than most imperials, but not by a long shot.

The body is full, and the carbonation plays its role without bringing attention to itself, which is all I could ask from a stout.

Overall, this was quite a tasty stout, and perhaps one of the best stouts I've tasted outside of North America. It's really nice to see a Belgian brewery strive to branch out beyond the typical styles that they're known for and this was a big success.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2013 20:00:38 | More by BBP
Photo of AgentMunky
AgentMunky

California

4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 33cL bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Lot: 250613062012. Bottle Lot: 25|08|GG. I am going to hazard a parsing of 13 June 2012 as a bottling date?

A: Dark brown head is tight and luxurious. Black and opaque.

S: Mmmm. Just what I wanted. Dark chocolate, licorice, alcohol (carrying a strange grapey note), flat-bready malts.

T: Molasses; huge fruits (sticky candy-covered Luxardo maraschino cherries, peaches, honeycrisp apples, raisins); cocoa powder; and perhaps a touch of coffee. The listed 100+ IBU seems a bit high, but the aftertaste *is* quite bitter...and lasting. A minute later and I could almost think I'd been sipping on coffee (except for the strongly sweet fruit).

M: The least impressive part, and it influences the taste, unfortunately. It started out real nice, but became progressively thinner and more lackluster. Still, enough of a body to stand on its own.

O: I really, really liked this beer. Maybe not $10 a lot, but I'm glad I tried it. Recommended, and confirms my good experiences with Belgian imperial stouts.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2013 05:45:12 | More by AgentMunky
Photo of bennetj17
bennetj17

Arizona

4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch '0'. Jet black, with a nice dark espresso tan like foam that holds nicely. It definitely looks tasty. Lots of dark fruit in the aroma, especially cherry. There's a very dry, dark chocolate character too, and a fine note of alcohol, but otherwise the smell could stand to be a bit more robust.

The taste has a nice boozy mix of ripe cherries and bitter chocolate. There is a subtle roasted bitterness at the back end, and it actually doesn't finish very hot. I like the flavor mostly, but somehow the dark fruit character gets a bit tangy and is the more dominant taste vs. the chocolate/burnt malt. I do appreciate that it is not too sweet, but there is still the proper balance missing a bit. The mouthfeel is silky smooth, not overly chewy, well done.

A fine beer but a bit too pricey for what you get. This is something I would enjoy once in awhile perhaps.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 06:22:58 | More by bennetj17
Photo of Samuel906
Samuel906

California

4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a big ol beer in a little tiny bottle. Gigantic fluffy khaki head despite me pouring it as slow as possible, and it stays for many minutes. Absolutely black beer. Very sweet aroma, molasses and vanilla, some malts, and you can smell a hint of the booze. A little less smell than you'd expect. Strong roasted flavor with lots of cocoa, but surprisingly not super sweet. Some fruits and cloves too. Flavor starts relatively benign and explodes at the end. The roasted malts really linger and rise up into your nose. Very rich, and not super boozy but you get some nice warmth. Thick, rich and creamy, a touch sticky. Overall a great example of a RIS and one of the best overall I've had. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2013 08:27:31 | More by Samuel906
Photo of Jimmys
Jimmys

Pennsylvania

4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle into tulip. lot: 250613062012.bottle lot: 25/08/GG.

A: pours pitch black. might be one of the darkest beers ive had, ever. head is not super dark, but certainly not white. retention is decent. spotted lacing left behind.

S: super sweet. the definition of unfermented sugars. a little bit of vanilla. roast and chocolate. smells strong, but not overwhelming.

T: a strong roast starts the drink off. the Belgian yeast imparts sweet, candy-like flavors. cotton candy in particular. similar to the nose, a bit of vanilla. coffee. it brings a bitterness out. battling with the sweet flavor makes the bulk of the body bittersweet. mild alcohol burn, but

M: smooth carb. full bodied.

D: drinks fantastically rich right now and I do not think this is too old. just a big bodied stout with an interested complexity from the Belgian yeast? smooth and delicious. recommended.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2013 03:56:08 | More by Jimmys
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
FeDUBBELFIST

Pennsylvania

3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 0. Lot A4BB.
$13 for the 11.2oz bottle. Poured to tulip.
Sampled 24MAR13

[A] A smooth yet swift pour produces a half finger high head of medium dark brown-caramel color. Slow to rise and slow to disappear, leaving a thick foamy collar comprised of large bubbles. The body is pitch black and visibly thick. Minimal lacing. There is a thick layer of yeast caked to the bottom of the bottle.

[S] Dark chocolate with a surprising berry-like fruitiness immediately noticeable. I suppose the fruity notes could be derived from the Belgian yeast - but it isn't wholly unlike the onset of infection either. Background notes of earth, hay, and wet tobacco leaf. Some sharp, but very clean alcohol are present.

[T] Semisweet dark chocolate, almost no bitterness at all and no roasted character. (How in the world is this 100 IBUs?) The fruity quality is confounding. Not entirely unwelcomed. but I don't think that it was intentional either. The flavor is very soft and refined...and is way more subtle than any other 13% RIS that I've ever had before. The alcohol is BARELY noticeable

[M] This is my favorite aspect of Black Albert. The smoothness cannot be overstated. Carbonation is low. The texture is suppleness defined. Full bodied on the front end and thinner on the back, which again makes me wonder if there is any type of infection going on.

[O] Good beer. Not great. But this beer has been aged for awhile - and time may not have been too kind. My next Black Albert will most definitely be consumed fresh.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 13:23:49 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of chanokokoro
chanokokoro

Illinois

4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 330 ml/11.2 oz. bottle into a De Struise Brouwers branded cervoise glass

Pours a thick, viscious pitch black. A fluffy two finger light brown head rises above the brew. Fantastic retention; a fair amount of lacing. Big, bold aroma dominated by dark fruit especially prunes and raisins, roasted malt and grain, a hint of bakers chocolate and boozy alcohol. Again a ton of dark fruit, black cherries joined by chewy prunes and raisins. Robust roasted malt joins in; finishes with slightly bitter dark chocolate and plenty of warming alcohol. Huge, thick full body, chewy finishes with some creaminess, gentle carbonation. This complex and satisfying brew delivers everything one can expect from an RIS. Exceptional.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2013 02:54:06 | More by chanokokoro
Photo of deebo
deebo

Minnesota

4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 330 ml bottle of Batch 0 BA No. 14, lot A with a BB date of Dec.31, 2017 picked up in December at De Struise shop in Bruges for a hefty $4.70 Euro.

Poured into a snifter this brew is black as a bowling ball with a little head that is mocha in color-no lacing present as the head quickly recedes. Smells like a big RIS, heavy boozy malts with notes of molasses. bourbon vanilla. Initial taste is big smoky, heavily roasted malt with an alcohol kick. As it warms I get a hint of that estery Belgian yeast but it is dominated by the wealth of malts. Dark fruity character as it warms, lower in bitterness than most. A rich heavy body but not sticky or oily. Low carbonation. This high alcohol content volatilizes the beer through your nose very noticeably. This is a big fucking beer. A beer to sip and contemplate. A must for fans of big rich RIS.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2013 02:40:20 | More by deebo
Photo of Rutager
Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

4.54/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

HUGE thank you to alpineclimber for this '07 bottle. Lot A, BB April 2013.

Appearance. Pours a very deep brown from the bottle, black in the glass with almost half a finger of tan head that fades to a skim.

Smell. Woody tobacco, dark fruits and dark malts with a small amount of black licorice and a little dark chocolate.

Taste. Baker's chocolate and Red Man tobacco, some molasses and raisins, and a little fresh cut wood.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with smooth low carbonation.

Overall. A somewhat lighter bodied, but fantastic ris. Lots of nice tasting tobacco, fruit and roasty malts combining in a very smooth and tasty way. Adam, you fucking kill it with the extras. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2013 19:57:12 | More by Rutager
Photo of bigfnjoe
bigfnjoe

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a Dogfish snifter. Bottled April 2007.

A- pours jet black with a half finger tan head that quickly fades. There was a nice pop when I opened it, and there's clearly carbonation...just not a lot. Disappointing

S- not a whole lot going on here. A little bit of chocolate, and a little bit of Belgian funk

T- lots of sweet chocolate, and a little bit of sweetness from the yeast as well. Very decadent

M- extremely thick-bodied. You can cut this sucker with a knife

O- I think this one sat for a little too long in the cellar...still a solid beer, but not overwhelming like I expected

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2013 00:04:24 | More by bigfnjoe
Photo of DmanGTR
DmanGTR

New York

4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thanks to Bob for bringing this. We compared this Batch 0 Black Albert side by side with Kabert.

Inky black with hardly any light coming through. Tan head that lasted quite a while. Huge aromas of dried fruit of the prune and currant type with lots of velvety smooth cream, chocolate, and espresso. A touch of biscuit starts off the palate and quickly becomes the aforementioned fruit and finishes with the burnt toast and espresso. Huge and rich body with subtle carbonation. When compared with Kabert, I think this beer is more expressive for sure. A lot more of the dark fruit flavor here than I expected and certainly more fruit flavor than Kabert, which was also a surprise. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 19:13:08 | More by DmanGTR
Photo of mj001jk
mj001jk

California

4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours black and viscous as motor oil with a thick and creamy hazel-colored foam.

The aromas are subtle with dried raisins, blackstrap molasses and fresh yeast. There is only a hint of roasted aromas, more so of chocolate and vanilla.

Mouthfeel is thick and creamy but not cloying. Considering the whopping 100 IBU, the hops are considerably restrained, mostly accentuating the intense cocoa nibs, vanilla and toffee flavors.

This is really a dessert in the glass, displaying a perfect balance between sweetness, hops and roasted barley. The finish is long, tenderly bitter and delicious.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2013 04:52:07 | More by mj001jk
Photo of pigc
pigc

Nebraska

4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Decided to crack this one tonight after about 3 years in the cellar.

Poured into Eclipse snifter.

A - Pitch black with brown cola colored head. Lots of lacing and carbonation.

S - Black licorice, coffee, toffee, molasses.

T - Dark roasted coffee, licorice, with just a hint of bitterness to keep things in check.

M - Thick and chewy.

O - Very pleased with Belgian stout. I think a few years of age has rounded things out nicely. At 13% abv, this is still a beast of a beer. Nice slightly bitter finish. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2013 02:16:43 | More by pigc
Photo of mmapes
mmapes

Colorado

4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Craig for the trade. Our bottle is Lot D, best before September 2015.

Poured into two tulip glasses. It's dark opaque black. Tip the glass for color and you might see very dark brown, still opaque. Not a very thick head, but the lace sticks around.

On the nose: dried fruit, brown sugar. Smells sweet. Not much smoke.

First taste: a little sweet up front, a long, slightly smoky, woody finish. Pleasantly bitter plum on the finish long after the sip (minutes). Doesn't taste as sweet as it smelled.

Later sips reinforce what was there up front. Mild sweetness balanced with toasted malts that give a dried-fruit flavor.

The finish is outstanding on this one. It's very long-lasting and complex.

Would buy again if I could find it.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2013 01:25:50 | More by mmapes
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MattSweatshirt

Texas

4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the newer Batch 0 bottles poured into a chalice.

This is a black beer. The head is brown and dark as well. Very imposing looking. Lacing and retention are on point.

Roasty sweet espresso with dark fruits and sweeter red ones on the nose. A bright floral hop quality as well which is nice.

lovely roasted and bitterness levels on this. It's not big and bold hitting you over the head with over the top flavors which at %13 I was expecting. The flavor profile is well balanced. Dark fruits, dark bitter chocolate, and anise/licorice.

Big thick mouthfeel on this.The carbonation is spot on. Subtle to keep the body big and smooth but enough to make it easy to drink.

Basically one of the most solid stouts out there.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2013 06:48:59 | More by MattSweatshirt
Photo of CJS
CJS

Florida

4.39/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A Nice lacey head. A film of a coating on the glass.

S Chocolate up front. Very sweet dark fruity. A rich dark plum mostly like certain red wines. A very distinct scent...almost a hint of apple brandy.

T Rather smoother than I thought judging by the abv. Nice bittered chocolate pronounces. Sweet candied carmalized sugar taste with chocolate and a slight slight booze finish.

M Very drinkable.

O Nice big hoppy stout in a little bitty bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2013 02:08:16 | More by CJS
Photo of thegodfather2701
thegodfather2701

North Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-Nearly pitch black with a thin mocha colored ring that doesn't leave any lace. There is no head to speak of and some Belgian yeast that settled at the bottom.

S-Dark fruits, roasted malt, cocoa, alcohol. It has a distinct and strong nose that is sweeter than other imperial stouts.

T-Dark chocolate, roasted malt, heavy alcohol presence, a hint of Belgian yeast, dark fruits and a sour note comes in near the end and lingers along with some roasted malts.

M-Thick and creamy; syrupy

D-A true sipper due to its complexity and high alcohol content. It tastes delicious and doesn't have a heavy roasted malt flavor that for me sometimes hinders the drinkability of imperial stouts.

Overall, a true pleasure to drink. The sour not is a little odd, but doesn't hinder its drinkability. A great imperial stout that I hope to drink again.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 02:50:49 | More by thegodfather2701
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
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,409 ratings.