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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,564 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,564
Reviews: 819
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.41%
Wants: 316
Gots: 371 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website

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: 1,564 | Reviews: 819 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rempo
5/5  rDev +17.6%

Rempo, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of Mikeluzzjr
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Nice dark head and nice lacing. Smells like a somewhat sweet, dark berry black coffee. Fair amount of sweetness in the taste. Dark fruit, cacao, and black coffee pretty early on, but not too bitter A hint of alc., but super well hidden consisdering. Can't really put my finger on everything else I'm getting; I just keep thinking berries and fruit or something. Hint of bitterness shows up on the end, and a very slight ashy roasted aftertaste pop in for a second, but disappears quickly. Awesome beer.

Mikeluzzjr, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of weonfire
4.25/5  rDev 0%
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.

weonfire, Feb 15, 2013
Photo of DavidHume
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

DavidHume, Aug 09, 2014
Photo of gpawned
4/5  rDev -5.9%

gpawned, Jan 20, 2013
Photo of OStrungT
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very dark brown color, with a brown head. the head fades slowly, leaving a pretty good lacing.

This beer has a malty sweet aroma. I can detect some chocolate as well. I can also detect some figs and raisins. The alcohol content is not very well hidden in the aroma.

This beer pretty much tastes like it smells. Malty caramel sweetness. Alcohol also. Dark fruits make an apperance. Also, a slight chocolatey flavor is present.

This beer is low in carbonation, fitting the style. It warms on the way down. It leaves a malty sweet aftertaste.

This beer wouldnt be the greatest session beer. At 13% ABV, I dont know many beers that would be.

Overall: I had this beer while at the Trappist in Oakland CA. I have wanted to try it for some time, and was pretty happy to get the chance. This beer was pretty good. It was cool to try a beer from Belgium that is not typically available.

OStrungT, Nov 09, 2009
Photo of RuckusDu
4.25/5  rDev 0%

RuckusDu, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of BKBassist
4.25/5  rDev 0%

BKBassist, Jun 11, 2013
Photo of HopsHopenstein
4/5  rDev -5.9%

HopsHopenstein, Jun 09, 2013
Photo of HopsintheSack
4.25/5  rDev 0%

HopsintheSack, Dec 07, 2012
Photo of mscudder
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Lot 25|08|GG (2012).

A - Poured strongly. Opaque hue with an immense mocha head. Excellent retention with fair lacing.

S - Dark Chocolate, roasted coffee, light caramel, dark fruits and faint smoked wood.

T - The term "Royal Stout" is necessary due to this varying strongly from what I would deem a traditional RIS. The Belgian influence is noticeable throughout: dark fruits are infused in the more traditional composition, yielding a sourness which I cannot particularly appreciate. Flavors are balanced well and the hop bitterness aids in weighing down the fruits and subduing the alcohol.

M - Silky smooth and lacking the fullness I desire and except in a stout this large. It resembles more of a fudge-like milk stout at 6-8%. Does not ruin the beer, although it is the weakest aspect.

O - Being a huge fan of Quads and Russian Imperial Stouts, this was not a fusion I adore. That said, I have high standards for Struise. It simply does not compete with the top-notch Quads or Russian Imperials I have sampled. Certainly not a bad beer, for I will keep a few for a cool evening.

mscudder, Jul 12, 2013
Photo of zac16125
4.68/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter
Lot: B 6 BB; not sure what year this is from

A: Pours a thick viscous, very dark brown, with just under 1 fingers width of espresso colored head that dissipates down almost immediately. There is all kinds of sedimentation floating around in the glass. Leaves affectively no lacing.

S: Lots of dark fruit, sour plums and raisin in particular. Roasted, chocolate and coffee aromas. A subtle smoky scent, and a noticeable alcohol character as well. Wonderful aromas, and they are strong!

T: There is a flavor explosion from the first sip. Dark fruits, roasted malt, some hop bitterness, all followed by a big backers chocolate character on the backend. Some specific flavors that are noted throughout the drink are cherry, dark chocolate, raisin, some funky Belgium yeast, roasted coffee, an earthy/grassy character and alcohol to balance it all out. A complex and delicious beer. The amount of different flavors that this brew contains, all harmoniously mixed, is plain impressive.

M/D: Chewy mouth feel. It has a noticeable alcohol burn. The fact that it comes off a little hot is probably the only real negative with this beer, but I guess it’s to be expected with a 13% ABV. This does keep it from being particularly smooth, but at least the alcohol doesn’t distract much from the wonderful flavor profile. Medium to full bodied, with a low level of carbonation.

O: Overall, quite a damn good brew. Right up there, and maybe even passing up Beer Geek Brunch Weasel as my all time favorite RIS. Awesome aroma, and a complex and delicious flavor profile. The one drawback is the price, running $10.50 for an 11.2oz bottle. That, combined with its limited availability will make it something I don’t drink often, but when I do I’ll be sure to enjoy it. A must try.

zac16125, Oct 11, 2011
Photo of klewis
4.05/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle

A: Pours pitch black with a big, foamy head. Good sustain with thick lacing.

S: Barely any smell whatsoever. Traces of dark fruit, sweet chocolate, and booze.

T: A light sweetness as the beer hits the tongue immediately followed by charred oak, raisins, and espresso. Flashes of cocoa and vanilla in the back. A bit astringent from a noticeable alcoholic character.

M: Full-bodied with fine carbonation. Soft and silky but with a pervasive stickiness.

D: This one is quite hot and needs some time to mellow. Otherwise, the smoothness of the flavors and mouthfeel make this one a winner.

klewis, Apr 07, 2009
Photo of ToasterChef
4.83/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

ToasterChef, May 22, 2009
Photo of HopDerek
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark, dark brown color as close to black as it can into a snifter. Big creamy burnt tan head with orange highlights made up of tiny bubbles has nice retention and leaves some beautiful lacing with an oily residue. Smells of dark fruits, molasses, roasted malt, chocolate, leather, a touch of soy sauce/chalk, anise, and a bit of alcohol. Tastes of dark chocolate, dark fruits like figs, raisins, plums, and cherries, a bit of candy, bitter cocoa powder, coffee, roasted malt, leather, soy sauce, licorice, piney hops, and rum. Medium-full in body with low carbonation but a nice pop. Thick yet smooth and creamy with a robustness. Bold but very drinkable with a plethora of flavors and good balance throughout. A little pricey for a 11oz bottle, but worth it every so often.

HopDerek, Jan 07, 2009
Photo of sukwonee
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%

sukwonee, May 24, 2012
Photo of joecast
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

joecast, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of craft_shannie
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

craft_shannie, Dec 27, 2013
Photo of Strix
4.4/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque black with a bubbly brown head that fades to a slight ring.

Roasted malt, coffee, and alcohol show in the nose.

Flavor is delicate and dry. Coffee and roasted malts predominate, with a touch of alcohol (but not much, considering the ABV). Well balanced, but flavors are a bit muted.

Mouthfeel very nice, so smooth it's hardly present in my mouth.

This was a very nice beer. The alcohol was well hidden and it had good balance. The flavors were a bit muted though, even after it warmed up. I'd surely have it again, but not at the price I paid for this bottle (near a dollar an ounce).

Strix, Mar 25, 2009
Photo of beerdrifter
3.78/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at an awesome beer store outside Ghent, Dranken Geers. Deep, dark brown, almost black pour with a slight reddish tinge. Gorgeous three finger coffee colored head and excellent lacing. Earthy, roasty malt and booze dominate the nose. I'm also getting some coffee, chocolate and a hint of dark fruit. The taste is much the same. The roasted malt and alcohol are dominant again, with lots of cocoa and dark fruit. The hops are overpowered by the sweetness of the malt, which hurts the balance for me and imparts too little bitterness. The mouthfeel is decent, but leans towards being a little syrupy. The sweetness hurts the drinkability for me. That coupled with the booziness makes this just an average beer. I have to admit that it did get better as it warmed, but I don't really understand all the hoopla with this one. I'm a big De Struise fan, but this was disappointing...

beerdrifter, Dec 12, 2010
Photo of jamie2dope
3.85/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

this twelve ounce bottle came from Jonmich, thanks for the opportunity. Cool looking label with 4-14-09 written in black marker. Pour reveals a totally black beer, with a huge, billowing, frothing brown heading. Smell is of light cocoa, char and smoke, and a bit of dark fruit. Taste is of dark malt, chocolate truffles, dry grains. Body is much lighter than one would expect considering the high ABV of 13%. The best way I would describe the body is as velvety and smooth. Drinkability is good, though this is one to sip and savor. Worthy of the hype? No, but certainly a good stout that I would purchase again. I would imagine the blend between this and Kate the Great that was planned would be very interesting and damn tasty. Cheers

jamie2dope, May 10, 2009
Photo of moarmare
4.25/5  rDev 0%

moarmare, Feb 21, 2014
Photo of davey101
4.03/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass. No idea what the vintage is (stamps over B, 6, B on the label) but I'm guessing its from the last release. Reviewed 07-17-2011. Not sure I have ever seen an RIS with so much sludge and sediment. The bottom of the bottle looks like it got attacked by mocha algae.

A - Deep, dark black body. An aggressive poured yielded a nice mocha head that came down to some nice edging. The bottom of the glass, that's a different story. Lots of loose yeast and mocha colored sediment which reaches up a half inch or so. Yikes! 3.5/5

S - Coffee, roasted malts, dark fruits, bittersweet chocolate, some bourbon and vanilla notes, and just a hint of alcohol. 4.0/5

T - Really great balance. Deep roasted malts, light coffee, rich vanilla/oak and bourbon and that familiar RIS aftertaste. ABV is hidden dangerously well. Creamy and smooth mouth feel with a nice bit of carbonation. I'm not sure if its diacetyl, but I do detect a slight butter flavor at the end, however it blends seamlessly with the flavor profile. 4.0/5 Mouth feel 4.0/5

O - Very pricey, but extremely good. De Struise continues to amaze me. This is one of the better RIS's I've had. 4.0/5

Batch '0', Lot D, Best Before September 2015. Making this a September, 2010 vintage. Reviewed 08-21-2012

A - Dark black body, tight two finger high mocha head. Great deal of lacing and retention for the high abv. 4.0/5

S - Very quad like with some red wine and dark fruit elements. Layers of chewy toffee, chocolate, coffee beans, and liquorice. Cordial cherries and and an acridic balsamic vinegar finish. Highly unusual... 4.0/5

T - Less quadrupel like than the nose. Starts off with acrid red wine and cherries which give way to charred malts, coffee beans, liquorice, tobacco and bittersweet chocolate. The finish is sweetened with a unique fruitiness. 3.5/5

M - Unbelievably silky and smooth with just the right amount of carbonation. The abv is completely hidden. 4.5/5

O - Just a really odd and unique stout. I think the Batch 0 is a notch better than the later batches. Just seems to be a bit more integrated. I can't imagine this improving with age though. 4.0/5

davey101, Jul 17, 2011
Photo of alysmith4
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

alysmith4, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of SkiBum22
4.25/5  rDev 0%

SkiBum22, Jun 24, 2013
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 1,564 ratings.