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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,576 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,576
Reviews: 821
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 316
Gots: 373 | FT: 24
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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Albert Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,576 | Reviews: 821 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bsuedekum
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of 2beerdogs
2.15/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well I got to try it.

Thanks to aandersen for this one.

Poured a swirl of mahogany. Nose is a confused melange of a mellow RIS and...a Flanders Red. I'm confused.

Yep, it's a mix of an RIS in mouthfeel, body, and a slight fleeting sweetness. But it has a souring, red wine meets madeira barrel dominance.

Can't say I hated it. It is very different; their own style. But it doesn't do it for me. However, I got to try it, and check it off my kist.

Photo of sammo
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.54/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Black with a beautiful brown head. Somewhat translucent, as I could see considerable sediment. Very nice lacing

Smell – Malt, molasses, and a very pleasant spice.

Taste – This tastes very good. Roasted malt, molasses, spice, and a hint of premium red wine.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated, creamy, and easy drinking.

Drinkability – This is an amazingly drinkable beer for 13% abv. The alcohol is well hidden and it goes down easy.

Photo of beerboy9960
4.9/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Finally getting to try Black Albert for the first time thanks to BarrytheBear and his generosity. Thanks again Barry!!

A: Pours a very dark black with a very thin mocha colored head. Very nice, thick lacing on the glass.

S: Lots of cacao and expresso on the nose. Also picking up hints of dark fruits! Lots of smells going on here!

T: Wow! This is a very complex full bodied stout! Expresso, cacao, and dark fruit dominate the initial taste, followed by an almost milk chocolate/sweet taste on the finish. Lots of bitterness on the after taste as well!! Very nice!!

O: Overall this is a very complex Russian Imperial Stout! Very smooth and hides the 13% ABV very well! I will be looking for more of this in the future! Thanks again Barry!!!

Photo of siege06nd
4.45/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another great brew shared by IrishColonial. Thanks again, Eric!

A. Dark brown, nearly black, with a half finger of medium brown head and some very good lacing. The head effervesces to a dark brown with each swirl. Love it. Lacing is relatively thick and provides a nice sheen on the sides of the glass.

S. Chocolate, vanilla, and ripe, sweet fruit (aka cherries, strawberries, raspberries). I also detect some subtle coffee roast notes. The fruit on this is impressive and easily the most dominating note in the bouquet. An almost wine-like quality. Love, love, love it.

T. Chocolate, some citrus-like hop, strawberry, cherry, and some spicy character a-la cinnamon and clove. Fruit is perhaps most prominent here, with loads of strawberry and fig notes. Chocolate and coffee provide a solid backbone for these sweeter flavors, and keep this a well-rounded stout that doesn't overdo it with the saccharine flavors. There's also some earthy bitterness from the hop flavors back there. Quite excellent, rather unlike any other RIS I have had.

M. Moderate-full bodied with medium carbonation. Resolves to a very nice fruity creaminess, though. A bit drying and slightly boozy, though impressive at 13.0% ABV.

O. A fantastic RIS here. Very fruit forward and complex without being over-the-top or cloying. The 13.0% ABV is hidden very well. The traditional chocolate and roasted malt notes are abundant, but the fruit presence takes this in a new and interesting direction. Reminds me quite a bit of KtG. Definitely a keeper here.

Photo of Heretic42
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of GJ40
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 330ml bottle in a DFH snifter. Started at 50 degrees.

A deep, dark black with a moderate beige head that clings nicely to the glass. Aroma is oak and bourbon with some raisin. Flavor follows with oak and bourbon in the lead though not over the top. A variety of other supporting flavors (chocolate, fig, etc.) add a complexity and balance. A very creamy and silky feel with a moderate carbonation of very fine bubbles.

An outstanding beer with lots of complexity and fantastic flavor.

Photo of sukwonee
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

Photo of Channel10Geuze
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of thecheapies
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

'07 bottle. Into a Mad Elf snifter.

Nice little cap of head for an almost five year-old beer. Dark beige in color, and sitting atop a pitch black body. 4.0

Dark fruits, smoke, booze, bitter cocoa, and some espresso notes. Sweetness abound through malt and strength. 4.5

Smoothed out for the strength. Roasted malt bitterness, candi sugar, prune, bitter cocoa, and tart cherry in the finish. Creamy flavors are interesting, as this stout seems to have rounded out its 100 IBUs. Hop character still lingering with dry earthy tones. Puckering and slightly astringent in the aftertaste. 4.0

Creamy body with ample carbonation. A little tannic in the finish. Okay. 3.5

Fabulous RIS. A little attenuated, but prime. Would love to try a fresher vintage. 4.0

Photo of Romulux
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

Photo of virinow
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Blakeo
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Photo of fishboat75
2/5  rDev -52.9%

Photo of GONZALOYANNA
4.48/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle. Oversized glass. Enjoyed on apr´12. Black color, crowned by a thick, small bubbled, lasting head –beige in color- & lacing collars. Toasted coffee, hints of chocolate, figs & floral fragancies to the nose with sugar hues. Involving sweet toasted malt flavor & gentle warming sensation in mouth. Velvet palate. Slightly bitter finish overwhelmed by ripe dark fruits. Brandy notes. Full body, soft carbonation. Fruity & warming aftertaste. Mandatory beer to understand what a Russian Imperial is!!

Photo of kspongeworthy
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

Photo of madcal
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of jeonseh
3.55/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled poured into a CBS snifter. First beer of baller and its components tasting

A - Deep, brown color with a light mocha swirl of foam sitting on top. Looks to have a medium body

S - Smells of deep cocoa with a light teriyaki smell as well. There is a light lemon peel in the nose

T - Cocoa with a hint of lemon. There is a bit of salty teriyaki on the backend. This is interesting for a stout. Not the typical flavor profile and a bit lemony for my taste

MF - Light and creamy with very light carbonation. Leaves a thick, creamy feeling that lingers on the tongue

O - an interesting beer that is a bit different for the style. Definitely not as Belgian as I expected. It does have an interesting lemon aspect that you don't expect for a stout. Worth a try because it's different but not world class.

Photo of BlastBeats
4.15/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a couple bottles of Black Albert at a bar down the road from where Urbain brews his Struise beers in Oostvleteren, Belgium. That was a memorable trip..

Poured appropriately into my De Struise cervoise glass (which I also got from that bar).

Appearance: an unrestrained, straight down the middle pour was unable to generate much of a head; just some large dark brown bubbles that formed a ring around the inner edge of the glass. The bottle describes Black Albert as being "black as hell" so I'll stick with that description.

Smell: not a whole lot going on in this department.. some roasted malts, coffee, and a hint of that unmistakably "Belgian" aroma.

Taste: man this beer tastes good.. I'm getting tons of chocolaty flavors (milk and dark). Somewhat surprisingly, there's not a lot of hop bitterness for a beer that supposedly packs 100 IBUs (which is fine by me).

Mouthfeel: medium-full bodied and as smooth as silk; tough to beat.

Overall: I might actually prefer Black Albert to Cuvee Delphine; though I haven't done a proper side by side and have only drank the latter in the wrong context. Either way, this one will not disappoint.

Photo of theminutemen
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of Devi0us
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Photo of tobelerone
4.33/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 bottle (B-6-BB)

A dark, chocolaty brown colored beer; not completely opaque, as light penetrates the edges of the glass somewhat. Small foamy brown head that settles slowly; pretty much no lacing at all.

The nose has prominent fudgy chocolate, booze, prunes and other dark fruit, and some faint yeasty, spicy esters. The taste also packs a fair amount of complexity, with more of that dense fudgy chocolate, fruit, boozy warmth (but not heat), as well as caramel and subtle Belgian yeast notes. Roasty but no longer very bitter, semi-dry finish.

Moderately full-bodied but not viscous or particularly chewy; medium-low carbonation. Overall very creamy and smooth. I really enjoyed this flavorful stout, it’s a bit of a change of pace with its reserved Belgian influence. Very easy to drink considering its very high ABV. Definitely wish I had a few more bottles.

Photo of falloutsnow
3.63/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle from Ultimate Wine Shop in NJ
No bottled on date. "Lot B-6-BB," whatever.
(supposedly from June 2007)
Poured into a standard US pint glass

If a fresh Black Albert is at all like my aged variety, then this is a dried plum and grape-forward RIS with some noticeable ethanol characters. Despite the fairly high rating to this beer, it does not live up to the hype of being particularly noteworthy, aside from its cost and limited availability. Some reviewers seem to pick up characters that I cannot find at all in the beer, a testament to either individual wishing or poor quality control. I would be curious to try a fresh bottle of this out, but considering there is no easy way to tell on the bottle when it was brewed, I will refrain.

The pour produces a 2cm head of dense, small, dark tan to light brown bubbles. This fades, in a few minutes, to a 0.5cm cap atop the beer throughout the drinking session. As the head descends, it leaves some pleasant washes of lacing along the sides of the glass. Body is dark brown to black in color, totally opaque, only the slightest of hints of amber-brown highlights. Carbonation is not even visible through this. An excellent looking RIS.

Aroma is of sweet, syrupy raisins and prunes, as if cooked into a compote. The back of the sweetness is roasted malt, slight rum, even more sparse vanilla, and a bit of ethanol is hiding in the nooks between these two. I don't know where people are citing chocolate and coffee in this beer: I know what both smell like, and this has neither. Scents are kind of one-dimensional, disappointing, this comes across as a stronger Samuel Smith's or Big Eddy RIS in terms of dried fruit sweetness.

Taste is equally dominated by syrupy raisin and prune flavors in the front of the tongue. Rum arises mid-palate with continued dried fruit sweetness. Back of palate picks up a flash of sharpness from ethanol and not much else. Char, roasted malt, and some chocolate are only noticeable in the aftertaste. For a stout, it seems strange that the most desirable part of its flavor is in the ghost of its main taste.

Beer is medium-bodied with gentle carbonation that creates a foaming, but rolling effect that makes this very pleasant on the palate initially. Ethanol heat felt from mid-palate through close, in nostrils and throat. Closes with a spicy ethanol burn on the back of the throat. Finish is expectedly dry, but a bit sticky from the sweetness contained in the beer.

Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 1,576 ratings.