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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Black AlbertBlack Albert

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

1,404 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1404
Reviews: 802
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: 1,404 | Reviews: 802 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of smakawhat
smakawhat

Maryland

4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2013 01:29:04 | More by smakawhat
Photo of TwelveOunces
TwelveOunces

Kentucky

4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

02-08-2013 02:39:31 | More by TwelveOunces
Photo of nhindian
nhindian

Pennsylvania

3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch '0' review.

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip. Bottle generously split by russwbeck, thanks Russ!

Lot D.

A - Pours a chocolate brown, with lighter brown highlights. The head is aggressive and bordering on excessive as it continuously rises, almost 3-fingers in height. Certainly can't say it doesn't look impressive, however, with its tan color and great retention. Lacing is much better than the normal version, with generous amounts of foam sticking to the glass.

S - The smell is much more up my alley than normal Black Albert. Gone are the funky sour aromas I've encountered in two separate batches that just seemed out of place, and they are replaced by a much more roasted profile. Big notes of coffee and dark chocolate from the malts, a distinct Belgian yeast smell, and some slight booze.

T - The taste is definitely more mellow and robust than typical Black Albert. A very roasty beginning paves the way for espresso and caramel malt, along with a good amount of chocolate. The Belgian yeast strain is actually a bit of a deterrent, imparting a funky flavor that just kind of seems weird given the rest of the flavors. I'm sure it has its niche, but can't say its my preference. Some dark fruits and sugar, giving the impression of rum soaked raisins. The alcohol is much more hidden here than in the nose.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with high carbonation. Like most Belgians this too has above average carbonation, which for the style may need to be swirled out a little. Leaves a strong chocolate and roast aftertaste.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. Much better than normal Black Albert but can't say it's a favorite of mine. The flavors aren't amazing and in my opinion the yeast clashes with the typical stout flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2011 03:16:45 | More by nhindian
Photo of Satchboogie
Satchboogie

New Hampshire

4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes:
6oz pour at the Armsby Abbey

A: Pitch black, no light is getting through this. I probably got close to a 2 finger mocha brown head, very tight bubbles.

S: Orange rind (yeah, really), dark fruits, tart cherry, chocolate, alcohol.

T: Chocolate and coffee upfront with a heavy does of roasted malts coming through in the middle. Lots of dark fruits and tart cherries develop from the middle to finish. Candy sugar/caramel sweetness that is just present enough to give a little balance to an otherwise dry profile. Extremely dry and slightly bitter finish with just a ton of cherry and dark fruits, almost a port-like finish, but more Belgian. Quite impressive. It's like someone mixed a quad in with my RIS. I like it.

M: Pretty darned thick and oily, medium carbonation, a little alcohol burn on the finish. Extremely dry.

O: This was my second try of the Royal Albert and it definitely lived up to it's name sake. Though some might not dig the tart cherry and belgian flavors, I think it's a welcome change. I'd definitely try to get a couple bottles if the opportunity presented itself.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2011 07:21:57 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of mavbrew
mavbrew

Massachusetts

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

Had on tap at Armsby Abbey.

A: Pours a deep black color with a massive dark tan/mocha colored had that takes a good couple minutes to dissipate. Leaves some serious lacing.

S: The scent consists of sweet chocolates, dark fruits (strong aroma) with a slight roasted scent and a bit of alcohol. The beer has a very sweet aroma to it.

T: The taste is much like the smell, there is a rich chocolate flavor up front with dark fruits and sweet malts. There is a roasted flavor with a bit of alcohol as well. The finish is creamy.

M: Full bodied with not much carbonation. The feel is creamy throughout and sweet as well.

D: This is a very good beer, it is very smooth (for 13% ABV) and well balanced, between the sweet and roasted malts. As mentioned above, the 13% is not unnoticed, but it is only slight.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2011 23:15:16 | More by mavbrew
Photo of vkv822
vkv822

Oregon

4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at Belmont Station.

Pours black with a thick creamy mocha colored head that leaves beautiful lacing.

The nose is a bit subdued but I can definitely pick up notes of roasty cocoa malts with some dark and vinous fruits in the backing. Very smooth and well balanced overall.

The taste follows the nose quite well with notes of chocolate, and roasty espresso upfront followed by subtle hints of dark fruit. There is only a hint of boozy warming in the finish.

The mouthfeel is a bit strange as with each drink it starts out full bodied and incredibly smooth then towards the finish it really thins out, which keeps it from becoming too heavy, but is really a bit of a negative in my opinion and keeps it from getting a better score.

I am very happy I was able to try this and would definitely do so again, it was very smooth and easy drinking for 13% ABV.

Serving type: on-tap

01-19-2011 02:28:42 | More by vkv822
Photo of cavemanlawyer
cavemanlawyer

Oregon

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

Had this on tap today at Belmont Station.

A - Dark as night, with a rich nutty brown head that lingers and remains an inch thick throughout the glass.

S - Spicy rich fruits, lots of dried fig and earthy undertones. Lots of roasted malt with toffee.

T - Lots of smokiness, I get some earth flavors and sweet on the tip of the tongue.

M - Very smooth, medium - full body. Lightly carbonated.

D - You can certainly tell this is a strong drink. The alcohol gives you a bit of a bite in the aftertaste, but quite enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2011 00:38:58 | More by cavemanlawyer
Photo of DefenCorps
DefenCorps

Oregon

4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 0. As good as anything else available to celebrate with.

As with other incarnations, this is perfect. Jet black with a dense, dark brown, creamy head with exceptional retention and lacing.

Unlike other batches, this is a lot fruitier with an almost tart berry character. Definitely not infected, this has raisins, dark fruits and a little cherry. Dry unsweetened cocoa, grainy roasted malts and a mild ashy character are present. Unlike other beers I've had recently, there's very little caramel and brown sugar sweetness present, probably indicative of a lack of specialty grains? A little licorice and some alcohol round out the nose. As it breathes, the tartness reduces, and a sandalwood aroma appears and grows.

Big, thick and chewy, this beer opens with a blend of grainy bitterness and moderate fruit. There's an undercurrent of almost a horse blanket funk that's present, a very low level. While I won't call this infected,I will say that this is a little different from what I expected. For fruit, there's plums, figs and a little bit of raisin, and they pair quite beautifully with the grainy, roasted malt. A moderate cocoa flavor is present on the mid-palate, lending a mild acidity to the beer, like cocoa sometimes does. The sensation of funk (which I confess I could be imagining) is heightened by the acidity on the finish. Grain, mild fruit (cherries), and some cocoa all lend to the acidity that lingers, along with a little licorice. Hops are pretty much absent, and this beer is unique among stouts in that it isn't particularly roasty or sweet while still recognizably a big, big stout. And unlike other batches, this doesn't strike me as particularly quad-like either. Spices are fairly low, and the sandalwood that's present on the nose reappears on the palate. Alcohol is pretty well hidden, with a whisper appearing on the finish. Full in body with soft carbonation, this beer is a monster on the palate. The finish is excellent, I really love the finish here. As for drinkability - 11oz over an hour is proving to be too easy, and for a 13% beer, that's an excellent thing.

Ultimately, I don't get the hoopla behind this beer (or this batch). While focused and well-structured, it's ultimately not that interesting. Cuvee Delphine, OTOH, is where it's at.

Serving type: on-tap

11-18-2010 05:36:40 | More by DefenCorps
Photo of Dreadnaught33
Dreadnaught33

District of Columbia

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

I was very fortunate to be able to enjoy this on tap at Pizzaria Paradiso in Georgetown last night.

A: Almost two fingers of mocha colored head and jet black color. Looks great, great lacing, just seems like a little aggressive head for a big stout but hey man I like aggressive beer!

S: Lots of roasted malt, chesnut, dark fruit, oak, chocolate, charred marshmellow you name it for what a stout smells like and its probably there in this one.

T: So many layers to this beer. Sweet chocolate and coffee roast up front, charred malt, dark chocolate and vanilla middle, roasty and bitter finish. Sweet and Savory, a little tart almost, and a nice bite in the finish as well. Thats really good.

M: Creamy and coating, juicy, a little on the high side of carbonation but mostly just awesome.

D: What a treat to have this on tap. Very tasty and highly recommended. It is 13%.

Serving type: on-tap

11-04-2010 13:44:29 | More by Dreadnaught33
Photo of clegolfski
clegolfski

Ohio

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2010 20:38:28 | More by clegolfski
Photo of kingcrowing
kingcrowing

Vermont

4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a Barik tulip at Ebenezer's Pub during the 6th annual Belgian beer fest.

Damn, black with a dark brown tight head with lots of bubbles. Nose is malty, rich & sweet with lots of coffee & Chocolate.

Very sweet and thick, malty with a bit of booze but it's pretty subtle. Sweet and drinkable. Better than the bottles I've had in the past. It's much creamier and more palatable I felt like some of the older vintages I had were a bit harsher.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2010 14:17:41 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of david131
david131

California

4.78/5  rDev +12.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2010 03:14:53 | More by david131
Photo of johnmichaelsen
johnmichaelsen

Oregon

4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Ebenezer's the other day.

The beer pours the expected rich, dark black color with very impressive head retention and lacing. Unlike the bottled version, I get a considerable aroma of chocolate, cherry and coffee. On tap this beer smells pretty nice. On the palate this beer is flat out deliciuos, and really doesnt' taste all that much different from the bottled version. While there is a goodly amount of rich chocolate and some coffee aroma, I also get quite a bit of cherry and plum flavor. The intermix of flavors is just lovely, and I really am impressed by how light, soft and creamy on the palate this beer is. Given the 13% abv, drinkability truly is amazing. While you can tell the alcohol is up there, there is nothing hot, heavy or tiring about this beer, though perhaps it wasn't the best idea to order a second glass (but how often does one get to have this beer on tap at Ebenezer's).

The more I get to have this beer, the more impressed I've become. This is delicious stuff.

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2009 13:04:37 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of ToasterChef
ToasterChef

Maine

4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in my Uprising Chalice at Novare Res' First Anniversary Party. The beer lives up to its name, it is black as night. There is a tan head that settled to a thin coating that lasted until all the beer was gone. It has a roasted malt smell that I rather enjoyed. The first thing that I noticed about the taste was a chocolaty sweetness, followed by roasted malts (of course, this could be more from the aroma than the taste) and a bit of caramel. The beer is 13% alcohol and you can taste it and feel it's warmth, but it isn't overpowering or distracting; in fact, it's quite nice. The beer has a heavy body, but is very drinkable. You don't want to consume this one too quickly, even though it is tempting. This exceptional beer should be enjoyed slowly. Seek out a bottle as soon as possible, or just head to Ebenezer's Pub and get it on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

05-22-2009 12:41:05 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.43/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Dark Lord Day 2009.

A: Dark ebony with a thick, creamy head.

S: Lots of dark chocolate combined with a bit of anise, layered atop some molasses and hints of dark rum.

T: Much the same as in the nose. A very good amount of complexity going on here.

M: Very thick with lowish carbonation and not too much of an alcohol feel.

D: Very good. Gets better as it warms, although it is a bit much to handle that much of. Glad they had this on tap, as I'd really wanted to try this beer, but found it hard to shell out $10 for a 12-ish ounce beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-01-2009 15:15:24 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of squaremile
squaremile

Oregon

4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This reminds me much more of a Belgian strong dark ale than what I know as a Russian imperial stout. The dark fruits and sweetness are present, and the mouthfeel reminds me of Rochefort 10 in an excellent way. Alcohol is barely present, which I find to be the defining feature.

Serving type: on-tap

04-02-2009 23:10:17 | More by squaremile
Photo of pdxwhisky
pdxwhisky

Oregon

3.48/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

On tap at Belmont Station.

Looks great in a (correct) chimay tulip glass. Nice nose, good lacing. But then the taste - wow, much thinner than I anticipated. Very little aftertaste, and thin mouthfeel.

For 8.50 for 30cl, my expectations were not met.

Not a true RIS, but a "Belgian Imperial Stout".

Won't pay that much for this again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-10-2009 03:43:37 | More by pdxwhisky
Photo of BoitSansSoif
BoitSansSoif

France

4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-Deep opaque brownish-black w/beige head, excellent retention, and beautiful lacing.
S-Deeply roasted malt, dark chocolate, tobacco, roast coffee, dark fruit, licorice, raisins.
T-Palate closely matches aroma w/a bitter burnt sensation that is very pleasant, and the alcohol is surprisingly faint in the finish.
M-Rich velvety body w/light residual sweetness that balances out a deep bitterness and burnt sensation and contributes to excellent harmony.
D-This one was rather hyped, but it was really very good and measured up.

Serving type: on-tap

02-07-2009 07:51:50 | More by BoitSansSoif
Photo of sprucetip
sprucetip

Alaska

4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Ebenezer's.

Black, of course, with thin head which fades to ring and leaves no lacing.

Complex maltiness, sweetness, roasted grains, molasses, chocolate, boozy heat.

Boozy heat, complex malty and sweet flavors, chocolate, mild roastiness, molasses. Clean finish.

Thick, full, warming, lightly carbonated, creamy, slightly dry finish.

Imminently drinkable. Though I noticed the alcohol in some sensations, had no idea it was 13% until I went to review. Damned tasty. Non-beer geek girlfriend also very impressed by this one. I was prepared for it to be just pretty good, due to the hype, but I'm saying it is exceptional.

Serving type: on-tap

02-04-2009 03:43:50 | More by sprucetip
Photo of datamike
datamike

Illinois

3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Great aroma with some fruity esters and a bit or roastiness. No Belgian phenolics though.

The taste is good; complex, raisiny, fruity, moderate roast level, bitter chocolate. Definitely some aspects of age here - sherry-like notes of oxidation. Nothing special here though. Either of Southern Tiers Imperial stouts (choklat, oatmeal) is superior in every way.

The real problem here is that there is nothing "Belgian" about this beer.

A decent beer, but severely over-hyped and overrated in my opinion....

Serving type: on-tap

01-18-2009 00:50:36 | More by datamike
Photo of goethean
goethean

Illinois

4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Autumnaldave and I were drinking this on tap at the Lisle Bavarian Lodge. We decided that it had the elegant body of a tripel. The guy next to us detected some cellar notes, but I drank mine too quickly to pick it up. It combines a complex flavor profile with shocking drinkability.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2009 19:43:57 | More by goethean
Photo of rhoadsrage
rhoadsrage

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer pours a inky jet black body with a tin tan ring of foam on top. The body is too dense to see any carbonation.

S- The soft musty smell gives way to a smooth dark almost malty aroma and a note of figs finish the aroma.

T- The bitter inky taste of big black malt give way to a mellow but big black roasted malt flavor. There are some soft cherry hints and a faint tartness that helps finish this beer with a soft inky bitterness that lingers for a brief moment.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a soft fizz hint and no real alcohol heat but a smooth texture on the tongue.

D- The tartness is pretty bright which is interesting compared with the dark roasted malt. The big roasted notes were up front but the malt flavors seemed to be in the background. This beer was served a bit colder than I like and I wonder if that hid some of the complexity? There just wasn't much complexity but nice contrast of flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

01-06-2009 22:37:44 | More by rhoadsrage
Photo of gameface23
gameface23

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Ebenezer's, poured into a tulip glass with a bulbous bottom. Pours black with a caramel head.

The smell is very sweet. Chocolate and slight coffee. Certain spices and dark fruits.

The taste was similar to the smell, with a thick and creamy mouthfeel.

I actually had no idea that this was 13% alcohol until I looked it up to review it. The alcohol is VERY well hidden. Drinkability was great.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2008 18:48:05 | More by gameface23
Photo of inhoc00
inhoc00

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black Albert on tap at Binny's South Loop

A- pours a dark black with minimal head and good lacing.

S- Nice roasted malts, chocolate.

T- Really delicious and simple. Good stout taste without being too much ,,,,anything.

M- Not too thick. Decent carbonation.

D- Unbelievable that this stuff is 13%. Almost no alc. detected. This stuff is not overly done which makes it so nice. Drank this stuff really too quick and really felt it afterward. Excellent stuff but a bit too expensive to try again.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2008 21:11:20 | More by inhoc00
Photo of BeerBelcher
BeerBelcher

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A RIS? Huh, struck more as a Belgian quad than anything else. Obviously, like everyone else, I'd heard a ton about this beer before actually trying it. In fact, I'd even looked for this beer during a trip to Belgium a few months ago, albeit unsuccessfully.

This beer struck me as distinctly quad-like. Color was dark, head was minimal, aroma was faint (which I would blame on it being served far to cold at The Terminal), and flavor started with a touch of roastiness, but to me offered a lot of dried fruit, like raisins and dates, with maybe a touch of cognac flavor. Mouthfeel was pretty good.

I thought this beer was good, but not exactly up to the hype. I really enjoyed it, but I thought it honestly inferior to some more widely distributed Belgian beers such as Rochefort 10 or Achel 8 Brune. I would recommend, but I also wouldn't recommend driving for hours or paying huge quantities of money to obtain it.

I had this on-tap, and served far too cold, at The Terminal, near the airport in Milwaukee.

Serving type: on-tap

12-19-2008 18:43:35 | More by BeerBelcher
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,404 ratings.