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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

839 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 839
Hads: 1,698
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 337
Gots: 384 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 839 | Hads: 1,698
Photo of bennetj17
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.

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Photo of Samuel906
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of Jimmys
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

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Photo of chanokokoro
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.

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Photo of deebo
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of Seanniek91
4.81/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Pigs fly. 10oz pour.

A- What beer is blacker than this? The answer is none. None more black. Thin mocha head. Killer lacing.

S- Tons of coffee and chocolate. Slight booze. Malts and hops galore.

T- coffee, chocolate, booze, hops. So well balanced.

M- thick and clean, but too vicous. Slight booze warmth.

O- one of the best RIS I've had.

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Photo of Rutager
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
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!

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Photo of weonfire
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Black Albert 'Batch zero' served in a 6oz sample glass at Holy Grale in Louisville, KY.

A - Black. That used oil look. Small rim of mocha colored head, very thin.

S - Originally served very cold- way too cold. After some warming...the flavor sprouted. Chocolate increases with warmth. Cocoa & Coffee with the slightest hint of smoke and alcohol. Sweetness is coming thru.

T - Roasted coffe, chocolate, and wow- the floral notes! can almost taste the flower pedals. frothy, alcohol gives ever so slight burn on the tongue initially. 13 ABUs? goodness where? hidden by a coffee/candy.

M - Frothy, think and malty. very nice.

O- Starts sweet and ends bitter. very pleasant. and that coming from someone who doesn't like coffee! It is very, very easy to drink. Truly hard to believe this was 13ABUs.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap at Churchkey into a snifter. From notes.

A real dark mocha head is presented, with a walnut brown body and very thin bubbles in the head. Manages a real long lasting puck while drinking. Real nice looking brew.

On the nose there is a sense of mild brown sugar, and molasses. An interesting light syrup/floral stick angle? It's quite unique hard to describe. Long lasting roasty char, with a hint that something silky might be coming on the palate.

Palate hits with a good roast body and depth. Almost silky, but just relatively solid. Finishes with a warm malt charring feel, some tight little carbonation bounces a bit, and a crackling finish strangely. There's some depth to this which is kind of interesting, and an interesting take on the flavor profile.

Overall it's pretty solid and enjoyable. And the finish and aftertaste is very long and lasting. Quite impressed.

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Photo of TwelveOunces
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served on tap in a 12oz snifter

This beer pours beautiful pitch black with a small tan color head. The Beer is a straight up roasted malt bomb which is what to expect from the stye. The stout is also quite sugary and caramel forward. It has both a caramel feel and flavor borderline burnt sugar. This beer is roasty to the point where I can almost taste a bit of oak or even wood and that carries a bit of dryness with it. There is a bit of this beer that I cant quite put my finger on that tastes like my homebrew, not an offensive flavor but not a very appealing one. This stout has a good bit of dark fruit to it as well and a slight fruity ester from the yeast. The beer disguises the 13% very well, I would never guess it was such a big brew. The feel is smooth and surprisingly drinkable and non offensive for the size.

Overall, it is a solid RIS. Well made and balanced, very drinkable. However there is nothing too mind blowing in the taste that will blow you away.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
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

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.81/5  rDev +13.4%
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.

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Photo of mj001jk
4.61/5  rDev +8.7%
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.

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Photo of pigc
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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Photo of mmapes
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
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.

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

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.

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Photo of CJS
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of thegodfather2701
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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

A - Black with a reddish-tan head and sticky lacing.

S - Very complex... Oak, alcohol, cocoa powder, and a lot of candied fruits... with a tad bit of liquorice at the end.

T - It's not as big of a flavor bomb, or alcohol bomb, as I was expecting. It's more subtle. It fallows the nose, but there is a lot of more of a roast flavor, however, it does not remind me of coffee. There is a pleasant burn at the end.

M - Fairly light in body for such a big brew. It's not very heavy at all. Low to medium carbonation. Smooth mouthfeel with a dry finish.

O - The alcohol is too well hidden, which is made more apparent by my inability to type. I have wanted to try this for a long time, and I was lucky enough to stumble onto two bottles at my local store. They're a bit pricey, but I'm glad I found them. I had this one "fresh" and I'm going to age the other one for a year or two.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of ikantspel
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz into a hangar 24 snifter

pours a motor oil black with an almost burgundy thin foamy head

dark fruits, belgian yeast, cocoa, and burnt sugar in the nose

heavy taste of oaky malts, molasses, dark fruits. finishes slightly dry with only a slight hint of alcohol

overall a solid stout. no complaints love its simplicity

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Photo of jaasen64
3.46/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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

Bottle to HFS sniffer

A: pours dark like Motor oil black but has a more very dark brown color in the glass with a thin mocha head that leaves a ring around the edges

S: there is a fairly strong presence of coffee unfourtunitly there is also a hint of alcohol that is fairly prominent toward the finish

T: the taste follows the nose with a strong coffee taste that blends with what tastes like liquid dark chocolate creamy as well, and the alcohol is no where to be found which is impressive considering how much of it there is.

M: not too thick for how heavy it feels smooth and creamy with a leery light carbonation that helps to balance out the heavyness and make it quite easy to drink for such a big IS

O: I don't know why I didn't have high expectations for this beer but everything but the aroma was pretty freaking good. Really solid taste but I wish the flavors were stronger but I'm surprised I didn't have to age it to get rid of the alcohol taste. Furthermore the mouthfeel was one of the best I've had. I would definitely try this beer again and I recommend you try it.

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 839 ratings.