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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 BARFLYB
3.83/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a glass alongside another bottle of black albert, cuvee delphine and black damnation.

Albert pours out a brownish black color out the bottle, settling into a black sea once all is said and done. A nice build of mocha colored foam on top with not much lacing. This is not the thickest looking stout i've seen, but thick enough.

Smells don't really explode out alot but with some significant warming the stout in albert comes out. Roasted malt is at the top with chocolate and minimal coffee. A big fruity plum and others with a nice vanilla creaminess. A small hop build ala light storm king in the fresh bottle of albert.

The fruit component comes into play in taste a bit more than I was expecting. I heard that some albert's have some quad tastes and I concur, sort of like a split in between the two styles. Plums are between alot of malt with chocolate and a somewhat spicy belgian yeast in the end.

Not the thickest stout out there but I won't dock points for that. I will however give mad points and props to De Struise for masking that damn 13%, it really is nowhere to be found. Not hot and no alcohol detected, amazing! The body is a above medium build with light but noticable carb pop.

I cant drink a ton of this stuff and Im not quite sure it's worth the price of admission but it's a well crafted stout that strays a bit from the 'sameness' of most rizzes out there. The belgian yeast and slight quad aspects will throw you for a loop.

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

Thanks to my Dad for brining this back from the Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam. Like the label suggested, I listened to La Brabançonne (the Belgian national song), you can too at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Low3ByYigQ

Pours pitch black with a thick tan head and lacing. Right away I'm struck by the long bitter roast aftertaste. The aroma is pure dark chocolate bar. The flavor takes off on the chocolate then hits a bitter, pepper and citrus hop note before diving into dark espresso and coffee roast that lasts and lasts. As the beer warms, the hops come forward with a lot of grapefruit and lemon flavors. And for 13% this beer is recently drinkable. I split the bottle with a friend, but could keep going.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Canadian Import Label, Best By Date April 2013; Sampled October 2008
A solid pour easily produces a four finger thick, creamy consistency, nicely browned, dark tan colored head in my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass. Lots of lacing sticks to the sides of my glass as the head, fairly uniformly, slowly recedes. The beer is a dark, opaque, deeply concentrated brown, really near black color that is opaque when held up directly to the light, but showed a clear, dark chocolate brown color as I was pouring it. The aroma has an up front fruitiness to it that smells of prunes and fig. A deeper inspection shows the same fruit, but with the alcohol produces notes of brandy and rum. Towards the middle / end notes of cocoa, lightly roasted nuts and toasted whole grain notes. As my nose gets used to it a faint, funky, musty notes starts to become noticeable; light notes of ripe cheese, decaying wood and a touch of dried, musky sweat contribute, what seems to be recurring, a signature Struis character. The alcohol can be a bit too prominent in the nose at times, making this a bit hot, but it is just about complex enough that I don't really care. I wasn't really expecting much roast character here, and at first I didn't notice a whole lot, but now that I have dug around a bit there is definitely a sharp, a bit acrid, at times substantially toasted, roast / burnt grain note towards the finish.

Soft and creamy at first, then some prickly carbonation sets in and the beer gets a sharpness from the roast malt that also tends to add some thinning effect; never enough to keep this beer from being chewy and a definite sipping brew though. Substantial chocolate notes up front are tempered by darkly roasted, coffee-like notes towards the finish that add both a roast bitterness and some burnt acidity to the finish. This hides its alcohol fairly well in the flavor with just a touch of warming as it runs down my throat. A substantial, rich, concentrated fruit character becomes much more noticeable as my palate gets used to the dark grain notes; flavors of tart / sweet prunes, moist dried figs and some definite brandy-like fruit / alcohol notes. As the beer warms up it picks up more sweetness, which helps to balance the roast malt and alcohol notes a bit more. At times, in the finish, there is a substantial, toasty nutty note that reminds me of chestnuts and perhaps a touch of roasted pepita (pumpkin nut). Towards the end of my glass it starts to pick up a bit of chalky dark malt character.

Definitely a good beer, it is lacking the finesse that I was hoping for though. The complexity is there in the nose, but, while tasty, it doesn't seem to fully follow through in the flavor.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown with marron highlights that had a half finger of brown head and left nice blotchy lacing sticking to the glass. The nose was quite nice consisting of chocolate malts, roastiness, lacto notes, dark fruits, slight spice, and underlying coffe notes as well. Upfront the chocolate and lacto characteristics jump out first alongside roastiness, dark fruits, slight coffee, and spice accents, the brew was full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, and creamy finish. It drank really good considering the ABV but its not one of the beast RIS that I've had either. Overall it a good beer and worth trying for sure.

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

From an 11.2 oz. bottle courtesy of gregoryG,

A: Pours black with a full brown head, lots of lace.

S: Dark fruit oriented, heavy raisin and plum with chocolate.

T: This is quite an interesting take on the Imperial Stout style. This is Belgian for sure. The dark fruit is huge - this is a raisin/fig/prune bomb, residual sugar is very high, with a considerable acidity. Dark chocolate secondarily.

M: Moderate acidity, smooth, but thins out a bit on the back end.

D: This beer is a legend as a it briefly took the No. 1 spot on the BA 100 a while back, but currently is on the outside looking in. This is a very different Imperial Stout, the Belgian influence is clear. Think of an RIS mixed with a Quad 50/50. An intriguing beer, I wish this was available here so I could buy a bottle to go over all by myself.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.81/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

33cl Bottle: BBD Sep 15, poured into a Westmalle chalice at home on 3rd Dec 13.

Scummy head of tanned sparsely spaced bubbles: a collar surrounded the glass. The body was surprise, surprise: black. Luckily the smell, taste and mouthfeel make up for the poor looks.

Chocolate notes in the aroma, some semi-sweetened coffee hints also. The taste follows the smells nicely, chocolate and coffee leading the flavours, just like the aroma.

Smooth and rich body: this is a well made Stout, Imperial or otherwise.

Nice.

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Photo of liamt07
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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

Thanks to alpineclimber for this one.
Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Dark black with one finger of light brown head. Looks thick and creamy.

S - Dark roasted malts, chocolate, light coffee and a nice hop bitterness. Some noticeable alcohol, but not surprising for a 13% ABV beer.

T - Chocolate, licorice, some coffee. A noticeable alcohol bite.

M - Medium body, thick and sikly. Lightly carbonated.

D - A touch boozy, but overall a nice beer.

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Photo of Kelp
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to BeerisHeaven for this one.

Poured from a bottle nice and dark and inky. Head was amazing at least 3 fingers tall, and dissipated at a good rate. Smells like a typical RIS coffee, chocolate, malts and fruit. The taste is balanced and no alcohol make it odd. I can taste the chocolate, malts, and coffee. It actually is rather watery considering the ABV. Had a velvety smoothness to it though. I could drink these all night and not care. Mainly cause if I did that I wouldn't remember the next day anyways.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.62/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Creamy mocha head. Poor retention and lace. Midnight brown with murky brown highlights.

S - Red grapes, kiss of booze, chocolate covered raisins, black cherries.

T - Sweet black cherry opening. Molasses, caramel and malt center. Milk chocolate and booze finish. Balanced a shade too sweet.

M - Medium/light, especially for the style.

O - Sweet with a porter-like body.

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Photo of Duff27
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Dense mocha head on a black body. Good head retention and lacing.

Faint dark candy sugar on the nose. Chocolate.

Dark fruit sweetness mixed with cocoa. Booze on the backend although wouldn't 13%abv.

Very silky smooth mouthfeel. Low but adequate carbonation. Very nice.

Talk about a well built beer. Appearance and mouthfeel are world class, and the taste isn't tht far behind (flavors meld great together). Recommended for any stout fans or strong dark Belgian ale fans who are trying to get into stouts. Thanks MaxSpang, wherever you are.

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

Thanks goes out to warriorsoul for this brew.

Reviewed: 15 Dec 2010

Batch: 0
Lot: D
Best Before: Sep 2015

Been about 2.5 years since I last had this brew. This bottle looks totally different than the other bottles I had.

Poured into a chalice a nice black color, nice carbonation, very nice thick/creamy two-finger tan head, which leaves a HUGE oil slick in the middle of the glass, also has some nice sticky lacing. The nose is malty, with lots of chocolate/toffee notes, slight licorice, caramel. The taste is very nice, malty, slightly sweet, lots of dark stuff, licorice, vanilla. Full body, again the ABV is hidden very well. Very Drinkable, really enjoying this brew, Thanks Tom.

Thanks goes out to deepsouth and Bitterbill for this brew.

Poured into a tulip a very nice dark black color, very nice carbonation, a very nice two-finger creamy tannish head, which leaves some very nice thick sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, slightly sour, with some toffee/chocolate/caramel. The taste is malty, slightly sweet/sour, nice touch of dark chocolate. Full-Medium body, the alcohol is hidden very well with a brew this high in ABV. Very drinkable, this is a very tasty brew, a nice little twist on the other RISs, but very nice for what it is. Highly recommended. Thanks Jason and Bill.

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Photo of biegaman
4.41/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black graphite that even against the afternoon backdrop won't afford the slightest highlight. Opaqueness is obviously of utmost concern for this dark, shadowed character. Little, tightly packed bubbles posses a movement like molecular cells splitting and dividing within a culture. Despite their tiny form they've amassed into an enormous sized colony. The pale brown froth looks only a natural fit for the obsidian-like mass beneath it.

Both Russian Imperial Stout type beers and antiquated Belgian yeast strains offer complexity - scientifically we're speaking of enzymatic machinery that produces literally hundreds of identified long-chained alcohols, compounds and esters - so it's no wonder a combination of the two would be so intricate. It's a potent mosaic of entwined spices and fruits with a heavy involvement of roast and caramelized malts.

This knotted multiplex of flavours continues in the taste where notes of heavily sweetened coffee, blackstrap molasses, charred oak barrel and unrefined cocoa powder start to arise. Notes of black currants and red-wine grapes are minimal but present nonetheless. As are flavours of black licorice, toasted grains, anise, nutmeg and cinnamon spices and the impending caramel centered dark chocolate.

The brewer seems to have matched the increase in alcohol with a proportional increase in silkiness. Each sip is like a finely conched chocolate of ultimate smoothness. The stated 100 IBU's are curiously absent (as is the claimed 13% alcohol) although there is a small similarity to coffee, specifically a freshly brewed authentic Italian espresso. That said, a cultured yeast appropriates the beer to an elegant, refined style typical of Belgian ales.

De Struise classify this as a "Belgian Royal Stout"; a style they've opted to take credit for patenting that is adopted, no doubt, from the Russian Imperial Stout. The idea is, I believe, to combine the bold, rich decadence of an RIS with the complexity of traditional Belgian ales. To my knowledge, stouts are relatively new in the extensive cannon of Belgian beers but I've already enjoyed similar examples (see: De Regenboog Catherine the Great).

Black Albert, however, undeniably takes the cake. When you're drinking a beer this powerful and unique (not to mention rare and expensive) it should offer you a strong sense that the experience you're having is distinctive rather than mundane. Certainly, the fine people at De Struise accord us just that. Find a special occasion - birthday, holiday, the unfolding of a paper clip, whatever - and treat yourself like royalty. Thanks MasterSki!

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

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a fairly thick viscosity and a head that is tightly beaded and light brown and lingers quite awhile. Smells like a fairly typical Belgian stout, but with quite a bit more licorice notes, and some marzipan as well. beyond that, its got the typical subtle roastiness and spicy/sweet Belgian yeast notes. Rich, and with the same notes found in the nose. There is licorice, cocoa, some light roastiness, some Belgian yeast notes, and a touch of grainy sourness. It all comes together very well. The mouthfeel mis a bit dusty, and then opens up and becomes more vinous. Smooth and slightly viscous. I enjoyed this, but probably not quite as much as the hype machine would have me do so.

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Photo of HopHead84
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.

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Photo of weeare138
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a near black with dark brownish-red edges when held up to the light. A light tan head slowly fades into a mild cap and collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of unusual cocoa, hazelnut, astringent chocolate grain, perhaps a touch of brett clauseni, pineapple, basil, roasted nuts, caramel, and ripe, dark fruit.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with some fermented Belgian yeast notes coming through with more cocoa, raisins, peanuts, and bitter cocoa...it sort of reminds me of a Chunky candy bar.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with raisins, nuts, and a touch of funk flowing along the palate. There is also some astringent graininess found in the swallow, along with a mild alcohol burn.
Hmmm...
Maybe it's just me but I don't get it. It's really like Dark Raisinettes(do they even still make those?). It's certainly a pretty nice beer but not the orgasmic beverage that I had been expecting based upon the hype.

"Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see." -Ben Franklin

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Photo of John_M
4.65/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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Photo of aasher
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I was very pleased to see this beer back in Indiana.

Black Abert pours a thick, viscous midnight black with a big and creamy, dark mocha colored head. The nose is rich and smooth. There is plenty of dark roasted malt, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, cream, and not a hint of alcohol. Upon your first sip you noticed how full bodied this beer is, and just like it should be. The flavors are very rich and very well balanced. It features a nice, nearly perfect amount of roast without resembling coffee at all. It has a great chocolate aspect that merges the flavors of both dark and milk chocolates. While not the most inquest descriptors this beer nails them. You can tell that this beer is big but don't get any of the 13% alcohol that this beer boasts. It's really pretty remarkable, especially this bottle is fresh. I can see this one aging gracefully. Overall this is a fantastic beer and a great representation of the style.

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Photo of jdhilt
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a one finger tan head that fades slowly to a thin layer leaving traces lace. Black color, no highlights, ton of yeast left in bottle. Good carbonation and heavy bodied. Molasses and chocolate nose. Flavor is sweet and bitter molasses. Dry chocolate finish. Tastes better than the first tap at Ebenezers Pub in Aug 2007. High ABV is completely hidden. Way overpriced at $10.99 for a 330ml bottle from Beverage Warehouse Winooski, VT.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have to say thanks to my man Drunkmonk for hooking me up with this one.
Poured a deep black with a cocoa colored head, little carbonation. Nose is cocoa, figs, tobacco. Taste is cocoa, dried fruit up front with a sharp alochol bite on the end. The 13ABV is well hidden leaving this a hidden bruiser. Good RIS!

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Photo of corby112
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a beautiful deep, dark brown, almost black color with a 2.5 finger frothy coffee-colored head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that streaks the glass with soapy lacing. The appearance alone of this beer leaves me salivating.

Huge roasted malt aroma with hints of roasted coffee bean, chocolate, toffee, burnt toast caramel and sweet alcohol.

Huge roasted malt flavor balanced out by subtle dark fruit notes, spice and alcohol warmth. Hints of chocolate and caramel along with toffee, espresso bean, licorice and oatmeal. Subtle hints of dark fruit along with sweet alcohol heat that creates a nice warm finish. This beer is dangerously drinkable considering the high ABV. Very well balanced with a dry hot finish. Excellent but definitely a sipper. I know a lot of people aren't into this beer but I think it definitely lives up to the hype.

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Photo of wl0307
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml slim brown bottle, with a BB date beyond comprehension; served lightly-chilled in Hapkin's bulb-shaped sniffer.

A: pours a near-black hue, coming with an unknown level of carbonation and a super thick dark tan froth to last throughout the drink, leaving uneven lacing as it patiently retreats. Simply elegant.
S: the aroma is as "deep" as a dark ale can get, not extremely roasty or bold, but rather like a well-aged English RIS - vanilla and chocolates abound, but not really sweet, while sour black-prunes, marinated berries, faint staleness of old wood barrels, and aromatic tobacco manifest themselves in a truly elegant way. At the second layer of the aroma goes yeasty saltiness with a touch of chilli, while roasted/dark malts have almost dissolved amidst the fruitiness and sour elements.
T: a decently sour foretaste consisting of high-quality prunes and dark fruits precedes a clean palate of sweet roastiness of black/tarred malts, light cocoa, bitter-chocolate-flavoured toffee, and licorice-like herbal notes; the hop bitterness gradually chimes in along with bitter nuts and sweet coffee, resulting in a truly soothing and lightly chewy palate in the finish. But the quoted "100 IBU" is almost overly camouflaged indeed, if not printed wrong on the beer label ...?!
M&D: the mouthfeel is really really good, showing very little intervention of carbonation but still healthy & soothing in terms of fizziness. The 13%abv. alc. is definitely nowhere to be found, not even in the form of a belated kickback... In many ways, this RIS rings a bell of a young vintage English RIS that shows a good level of staleness and a settled profile of roastiness, albeit with a little bit more yeast presence, while the texture is still "young" and not quite to the level of being oily or lubricant. All in all, I find it a truly remarkable and well-crafted strong imperial stout that might NOT be so appealing to those hopheads who crave for their excessive hops even in this rather traditional beer style.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

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Photo of tobelerone
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of akorsak
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330 mL bottle courtesy of upsjeff.

A: The stout opened with a fizz and slowly foamed up, leaving a coffee-and-cream colored head slowly creeping out of the glass. In my snifter, the stout is dark, appropriately black for an imperial offering. Spots of lace result from the head.

S: The nose is interesting, dark and malty on one hand but fruity/spicy on the other. There is even a dry Irish stout aroma floating in there.

T: An interesting stout, continuing from the unique aspects of the nose. Dry malts, dark and roasted, lend a Guinness-like flavor, followed by a Belgian yeast profile of dark alefruits. A lactic creaminess is strong, adding a mildly sour, stale taste to the stout. The 13% pricetag is well hidden but this imperial stout seems more like an imperial Irish stout.

M: I'm not sold yet. The sweet lactic body is a little too sour, a little too loosey goosey. I like the fruit flavors that follow the lactose but they don't last long enough.

D: A tough drink with a heavy pricetag. It is certainly imperial, an ale that isn't afraid to shatter boundaries. Based on that, I kinda like it.

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