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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

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

1,465 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,465
Reviews: 808
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.67%
Wants: 317
Gots: 359 | FT: 18
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
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Ratings: 1,465 | Reviews: 808 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of afsdan
afsdan

Colorado

4.75/5  rDev +12%

05-22-2014 20:08:38 | More by afsdan
Photo of billab914
billab914

Virginia

4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. It poured thick and black in color with a very dense and thick tan head to it. It kept a nice covering on the top of the beer as I drank it and left some great lacing as well.

The aroma shows a lot of chocolate and roasted malts to it. It has a nice sweetness to it but also stays very smooth and balanced. It almost has the smooth aroma of say an oatmeal stout.

The taste has a rich, sweet milk chocolaty flavor to it at first. It develops more of a roasty, bitter, coffee flavor towards the finish. it also has some smoky and molasses flavors going on that just add to the complexity. It's very balanced for such a big beer and has such a great range of flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being on the lower side. Drinkability is very good, it's a fantastic imperial stout. It had such a range of flavors to it but managed to be very balanced overall. I also really liked the smokiness that came through in it. Excellent beer overall.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 01:39:05 | More by billab914
Photo of Brad007
Brad007

Vermont

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

This comes from the only case of Black Albert in Vermont (supposedly).

Pours a deep, dark black color with a thick two, nearly three, finger head that's brown in color. Looks menacing.

Aroma is chock full of roasted coffee upfront with a hint of dark fruit and alcohol heat.

Taste is strong, thick with roasted coffee, faint chocolate and cream and dark fruit dominating the palate. It's got a kick to it but the flavors seem a bit muted.

Mouthfeel is full of dark fruit and roasted coffee with a lot of alcohol heat that lingers in the palate.

Strong and almost a bit too overwhelming for my palate. Needs some aging but otherwise, you're looking at one monster of a RIS.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2009 02:52:00 | More by Brad007
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

3.38/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks mrkrispy! Pours dark brown (almost black) into my snifter, with dark crimson highlights. The light brown head is creamy and about 2 fingers with good retention.

The aroma is pretty muted, and the beer is at least 55 degrees. Nondescript, muddled malt with some sugar. There's a little chocolate and coffee. There are some pretty noticeable metallic notes.

The flavor...hmmm. Herbal hop notes with some milk chocolate, and a little sourness. Once again the metallic notes are present.

The beer is medium full bodied with good carbonation. The mouthfeel is thin and watery.

This is the second time I've had this beer. I don't get it.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2009 07:10:39 | More by HopHead84
Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes 2/1/2011

A: black with a 2 finger mocha head that dissipates very slowly, leaves very nice lacing

S: hints of coffee, chocolate, and a slight burnt scent, a touch of caramel as it warms up, and a very slight hint of the alcohol

T: coffee, malts, and a slight alcohol burn, but nowhere near what was expected

M: mild carbonation, very smooth, creamy, thick

D: dangerously smooth, barely any hint of the high ABV on this one

Cheers!
The CPJ

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2011 11:59:01 | More by THECPJ
Photo of Derek
Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

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

Produced by the Deca Brewery, best before April 2013. Imported by Horizon Wines, Inc. Canada.

A: Black with a tan head, great retention & lacing. Very impressive for its strength.

S: Burnt espresso, bakers chocolate, black strap molasses, tar, pine, pleasant fruitiness (plums, dates, cherries) & certainly some sherry-like alcohol in the nose.

T: Black strap molasses, espresso, great fruitiness (plums, figs & pear), burnt toffee, with hints of a pleasant roasted sourness, soy-sauce, tar-like resin & tobacco; plenty of bitterness, warming alcohol.

M: Very full, thick, creamy body with a slight roasted acidity. Incredible body for something this strong, with very little residual sweetness. Carbonation is pleasantly on the low side of moderate.

D: Amazingly drinkable for its strength.

I'm often not a fan of stouts over 10% abv, as they start to loose their stoutness. This is by far the best high alcohol stout I've had. Blows away Dark Lord & the Abyss, IMHO. I'm guessing it's not actually anywhere near 13% though.

Big thanks the Wildone for this CanBIF5 treat!

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2009 00:34:40 | More by Derek
Photo of dirtylou
dirtylou

Washington

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

ah yes, the hype of black albert...330ml bottle from Riley's with a high price-tag...split with black bart

apppearance: poured into a snifter, robust ebony body, light mahogany cream lace...chocolate hues

smell: roasty, licorice, layers of dark chocolate, a touch of espresso

taste: seems like a product of the hype to me - high quality RIS with a limited enough availability and high price tag to make it infamous...this is a powerful powerful stout - drinks like rocket fuel. layers upon layers of dark chocolate are the focal point, with hints of oatmeal, espresso, and dark roasted malts below. alcohol is a bit heavy but bitterness is quite low. kind of reminds me of a jacked up storm king stout

mouthfeel: full and coating, high booze, light bitterness, robust

drinkability: 165ml is a good serving size for me

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 05:55:52 | More by dirtylou
Photo of TurdFurgison
TurdFurgison

Ohio

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

Received in a trade with Prototypic, this bottle is very appreciated. I poured it into a Westvleteren chalice and gave it my full attention. The beer is dark brown, not quite black, a hint of red, with a thick tan head that lasted for about 5 minutes before receding to a thin film. The aroma has a lot going on, possibly this is the best attribute of the beer. First off there are sweet malts and hints of chocolate, but there's a mix of dark fruits (plums, maybe raisins) and lighter fruits (grapes) making a distinctive smell. I probably wouldn't have detected the grapes if I hadn't been searching for them based on previous reviews. The taste isn't as complex as the smell but is very good, mainly it's sweet malts up front and a little bitterness in the after-taste. In the middle I can imagine some of the fruits, I'm sure there are some esters adding bits of fruit flavor. The mouthfeel is thickish, about the same body as Expedition Stout or Old Rasputin, and drinkability is as good as it can be for such a massive beer (13%).

After finally trying it I think this beer is over-hyped but very good (but not the second coming of DL that I'd hoped for). It proved itself to be a very good RIS, but nothing's worth the $20-33 that this is now commanding in the marketplace. Too similar to Expedition Stout to demand that kind of coin.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2008 23:40:58 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of drummermattie02
drummermattie02

Texas

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

330mL Batch 0 poured into a Duvel tulip. Dark, obviously, and a big tan head forms almost like a nitro pour. Just a beautiful beer.

Smells of roasted malts, metallic chocolate and a hint of coffee. Probably one of the best smelling imperial stouts I have had. Nothing stands out as being too sharp.

Taste is bitter and viscous, with a hint of tartness and coffee like flavors. Beautifully carbonated, particularly for a beer of this ABV, the finish has a bit more of the roasted malt acidity. This is an outstanding beer, one that I wish was more readily available in these parts.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2011 02:11:07 | More by drummermattie02
Photo of Zaphog
Zaphog

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

11-05-2013 01:33:40 | More by Zaphog
Photo of rolltide8425
rolltide8425

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

02-25-2013 02:34:22 | More by rolltide8425
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

12-06-2011 01:18:56 | More by xnicknj
Photo of wordemupg
wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into tulip 6/7/11

A near jet black with dark cola hues at the edges, a dense mocha head that retains very well slowly falling to a island leaving thick distinct rings of lace well down the glass, pretty much perfect

S very dark roast with a large blast of molasses, some prunes and raisins with a healthy serving of chocolate and coffee, a little smokey woody bourbon

T a little more booze then the nose but it's more like a port flavor then the smokey bourbon I could smell, charred wood comes out in the mouth and the molasses is almost being overpowered by licorice now, pretty tasty stuff I wouldn't guess this is 13% but booze mingles with everything pretty well

M very full bodied and thick and creamy from the carbonation just a little sticky on the lips and flavors stick too your gums, a slight burn from the booze, one that warms your chest

O for a stout this big its easy to drink even out of season, I loved it and would recommend it to anyone

One of the beers I forgot in my mother basement for a couple years and I was stoked when she brought me my stash for my B-day. I could see this one improving for years too come and I could see it sitting on some shelves for a few more years here in Alberta at 13$ a 330ml. Great beer but be prepared to bust the bank buying a bunch more to age

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2011 02:30:17 | More by wordemupg
Photo of scruffwhor
scruffwhor

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick beige head with pour retention. Very, very dark brown. Just a touch shy of black. Oaken brandy splashed with a some Kahlua and a little licorice make up the nose. A mix between Starbuck's liquer and kahlua start of the firs sip. But oak barreled whiskey and brandy mix with fresh ground coffee. Smooth palate and very mild alcohol feel to this beer. Dangerously deceiving 13% abv beer. Good sipper and would not imagine a beer like this to come out of Belgium. Grab as many as you can if these are available in your area.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2009 06:57:11 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of tobelerone
tobelerone

Connecticut

4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2012 04:05:19 | More by tobelerone
Photo of liamt07
liamt07

Ontario (Canada)

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

Bottle courtesy of korguy123, 37cl into a couple of snifters. Split with Steve. June 2007 vintage. Thanks guys.

Pours black, creamy tan head with great retention, legs but not a lot of lacing. Nose of dark fruits, some raisin, port qualities, vanilla, chocolate and brown sugar. Taste has a complex interplay of dark chocolate and this dark fruit/port character, that suddenly takes on a roasted and coffee like flavour about 2/3 of the way through the mouth. Dark fruit returns as it finishes and lingers. Dry finish. Solid and full feel to it. Well constructed and very nice overall. My first from De Struise.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 17:40:45 | More by liamt07
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottle (BA No. 14, Lot B-6-BB) that I bought 1.5 years ago and cellared since. Poured into my Delirium snifter, Black Albert is black with a very dark tan, creamy head leaving scattered, foamy lace.

Smell is rich but not overbearing, nicely integrated, chocolate, berry liqueur, very elegant. The heat is only evident on the deepest of snifts - clean but singeing.

Taste is not as integrated, there are distinct notes of fruity Belgian esters, a nice roast, and very strong ethanol. The phenols are strong too. I like the grape esters with the roasted grains, but unless this really cleans up or changes drastically over the LONG haul, the gratuitous ABV is clearly a detriment. Nevertheless, it really grows on me, aided by it's warming from cellar temp.

Mouthfeel very nice, velvety carbonation and malt, but again, the high ABV is unduly drying. It also impressively retains a high level of digestibility.

Drinkability is surprisingly high. I guess I quickly adjusted the the high ABV (which, honestly, is quite clean), and got to enjoying the rich qualities of this Belgian Royal Stout. Suddenly this bottle seemed way to small, even though I was carefully savoring each sip. The price of course is prohibitive, and not something I'll be buying on a regular basis, but it's definitely yet another great beer from De Struise. Really impressed by this beer, especially how it evolved as it opened, or at least my palate adjusted.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 06:36:09 | More by ccrida
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

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

11.2 oz bottle split and poured into a Sierra Nevada tulip. 13% ABV, Lot: A 4 BB notched, no date.

Thanks again to Beerwolf77 for another top 100 tick!

A - Deep, dark black with no light shining through, it pours fairly viscous with a dense dark mocha head. Moderate retention with thick lace coating the glass. Some nice cascading in there too!

S - Interesting dark fruitiness on the nose; raisin is prevalent with molasses mixing with the dark, bitter chocolate and roasted malts. Notes of light floral hops on the back end balance nicely. Fairly roasted but no booze comes out. The fruitiness is a little odd though.

T - Rich roasted malts with a heavy molasses and bittersweet chocolate flavor going on, notes of coffee float in lightly with a semi-present hop finish to the beer. An interesting yeast ester fruitiness on the back end mixes it up a little better than it does in the nose.

M - Smooth as silk and viscous with a full body and semi-sweet lingering finish. Just a bit of dryness and some acrid bitterness.

D - Not a touch of the alcohol comes through in this beer but it is fairly rich making it a decently drinkable stout. Better split for sure.

Serving type: bottle

10-13-2010 12:14:45 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Ebenezer's, Thanks for the opportunity Chris!

Pours a dark brown/black with a tan head that sticks around for a bit. The aroma is amazing. Chocolates, vanilla, dried fruit, spicy citrusy hops, a bit of alcohol too. Taste is smooth chocolate, followed by some roasted grains, then a lingering coffee and hoppy aftertaste. Does have a bit of an alcohol hotness, but that melds into the whole experience quite well. Very Creamy mouthfeel. Ample carbonation, thick bodied. Excellent brew all around, makes me want to pay eBay prices for some bottles.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2008 13:45:37 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of HuskyinPDX
HuskyinPDX

Washington

4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

100th review!
11.2 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Deep dark brown with a thick brown head. Mild lacing left on the glass.

S - Chocolate, but very mild. Some carmel and sugar.

T - Carmel, Brown sugar, malts, chocolate.

D - Nice carbonation.

O - Nice and smoth. I ate a brownie with this and they paired perfectly.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2011 04:00:38 | More by HuskyinPDX
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

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

I drank this from a 11 oz bottle into a Rochefort glass.

This beer pours black showing light brown edges in the light. The head is disappointing as it is only light tan in color, rises less than a finger and is gone within a minute. The lacing is there but gone fast as well.

The aroma is really nice. The malts show wonderfully with lots of sweetness shown as chocolate, cherries, and at the end lightly roasted coffee.

The taste is very light and smooth allowing for great drinkablilty. The taste is sweet chocolate and cherries to start and finishes with some coffee. The mouthfeel is heavy and the taste is lasting.

Overall this is an excellent stout, that I would recommend to anyone.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 23:19:38 | More by jrallen34
Photo of Rhettroactive
Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

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

From 330mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/3/12
*From notes

Thanks to the trader who got extra'ed me this a while back.

-- Batch 0 --

A: Dark. I mean really, really dark. A generous pour yields an epic 3.25 finger cascading and creamy head that never really fades away.

S: Straight brownie batter.

T: Quite unique. It's a bit rustic, with hints of rich earth up front. As it moves further back, the brownie batter quality of it hits the the mid in an agressive manner. The finish reveals a staunch Belgian yeast profile, with mountains of ground cocoa in the background. As it warms, black cherry skins become evident.

M: This isn't up to the jaw dropping levels of some in style, yet it holds it's own. There's a bit too much fizz, but as it sits and I swirl it in my glass, it calms a bit, and becomes a bit smoother in the mouth.

O: Black Albert is a pretty spectacular RIS. It's got layers of complexity that many American offerings just can't compete with. This is highly recommneded, and one I look forward to having again.

*Allow this to warm to room temperature for full enjoyment.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2012 19:01:39 | More by Rhettroactive
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

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

330 mL bottle poured into a De Struise chalice. Bottled June 2007.

Appearance - Pours a dark black (redundant?) with lots of murky sediment as I pour it. Pours with a nice mocha head. Settles to a thick collar.

Smell - Belgian characteristics all over. Cherries most predominant. Raisins and chocolate behind it. Boozy, too.

Taste - The dark chocolate is pervasive, but it's all combined with a great cherry flavor. Chocolate covered cherries. Mmm. Very hoppy in the back end. Loses its roastiness and becomes more of a BSDA in the end.

Mouthfeel - Thick and chewy. Definitely boozy, but well carbonated. No signs of age, even at over 5 years.

Overall - A really great hybrid of BSDA and stout. The fruit flavors blends extraordinarily well with the deep chocolate roast. The booze is forgiven for this quality of flavor.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 01:32:19 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

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

This pours from 11.2oz bottle a pitch black with a 3 finger and growing head of foa. "suce me while I knock down the foam some....Hmmm, that tan foam sure is tasty. ;^) Awesome head retention here and the lacing is very good.

The smell is loaded with dark fruit, caramel, and did somebody mention grapes?? You darn tootin there is a grape aroma here. wow.

The taste is pretty darned sweet with a good caramel presence and some figs, some plum, gee wiz grapes, some dark chocolate, slight coffee note, but...I just can't get over that grape. Who'd have thunk that it would work so well in beer?? Anyhow, I digress.

Wonderfully full bodied and silky smooth, light in carbonation, it finishes with a nice dash of chocolate and I'm going to say milk chocolate because it's on the sweet side. Still, as sweet as it is, it's very drinkable because it's not cloying at all. And the alcohol, which is quite substantial, has no presence in either the smell or the taste. It only shows up some time after the swallow. Very unusual example of the style and one that I favour a lot.

Bottom line: Yeah, it's a superhyped brew and I couldn't resist seeking some out(Belgian Shop) and I *did* pay a few bucks to have 6 bottles delivered but, if I didn't like it as much as I did, I would say so and follow up with "never again" In this case, I think what I got for my money is a very special brew and I'm glad for it.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2008 22:54:51 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

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

Big thanks to Lunch and nyrangerfan for sending a bottle each of this as extras in past trades! Lot B-6-BB per the bottle. Served from bottle into a Delerium Tremens snifter. Poured pitch black with a three finger fluffy tan head that very slowly resided to a one finger. Maintained excellent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, molasses, alcohol, and a sublte sour note (infected?). The flavor was of roasted malt, sweet malt, molasses, sugar, alcohol, and a very very sublte sour note. It had a medium feel on the palate with mild carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. Was it infected or not? Maybe a little bit, but to be honest it didn't really kill any of the flavors in the brew and also helped to cut down on the booziness quite nicely. This brew infected or not is definitely worth trying for sure.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2010 12:31:20 | More by thagr81us
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,465 ratings.