1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

1,487 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,487
Reviews: 809
rAvg: 4.24
pDev: 9.43%
Wants: 318
Gots: 363 | FT: 19
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Black Albert Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,487 | Reviews: 809 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Retail1LO


4/5  rDev -5.7%

04-09-2013 12:59:41 | More by Retail1LO
Photo of mscudder


4.14/5  rDev -2.4%

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.

07-12-2013 03:59:05 | More by mscudder
Photo of JKV96


4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

10-27-2013 23:54:00 | More by JKV96
Photo of ScaryEd

New Hampshire

3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

08-08-2013 00:17:27 | More by ScaryEd
Photo of dsauter


4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

07-16-2014 11:17:48 | More by dsauter
Photo of rapidsequence


3.58/5  rDev -15.6%

11.2 oz bottle from Bruisin Ales for $10. Batch 14.

Appearance: Black, opaque in the glass, but more like a dark brown as it pours. Good looking dark brown head with OK retention. Spots of lacing.

Smell: Melted chocolate, raisins, fresh tart plums. Not a lot of heavy roast aromas. A somewhat strange, but not unpleasant combination of Belgian yeast and some RIS traits. Not great for an RIS or a Belgian dark.

Taste: A little more roasty flavor than smell, but the slightly sour, raisiny/cherry taste is weird. There are some nice chocolate malt notes. Its OK. Surprised its 13%-- alcohol barely detectable.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation is soft and imparts a creaminess. The tartness seems to thin the overall feel a bit.

Overall: This is quite a letdown. A sourish, not very roasty RIS with Belgian yeat notes.

10-03-2011 00:28:31 | More by rapidsequence
Photo of richbrew

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -5.7%

11-15-2011 15:35:45 | More by richbrew
Photo of bluemoonswoon


4/5  rDev -5.7%

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter.

Pours a thickish, brownish black with a dime's worth of toffee colored bubbly though just the slightest bit creamy head. Give it a few swirls and it coats almost the entire glass in a thin sheet of beery goodness.

Smell is rather subdued very rich and very dark dark fruits. Dates, rasins, caramel and candi sugar, licorice and slight coffee.

Taste does not at first seem to match with the complexity of the aroma. Very sweet, licorice, cherries rolled in rum, slight herbal hop bitterness mixed with bakers chocolate and closes with a very pronounced alcoholic finish. Feel is pretty lively, shows a lot of carbonation for a beer its size and is not nearly as coating as other beers of similar size, so in this respect it does not seem too much like a RIS and more like a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, still good but seems to be a bit misplaced.

The drinkability suffers because the flavors seem a bit muddled and the finish is just a bit too hot for my liking, but I'm guessing this would be an excellent candiate for cellaring for many a year.

12-22-2008 03:41:16 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of Gtreid


3.73/5  rDev -12%

2008 vintage. Bottled poured into my Short's pint glass.

A: Very dark brown with a small mahogony tint around the edges. The pour produced almost 3 fingers of tan head that receeds and leaves nice lace.

A: Sour dark fruit and a Belgian yeast influence. I get nice chocolate, molasses, dried fruit, and smoke.

T: Good amounts of chocolate and dried fruit. The belgian aspect is a little offputting to me in a RIS. Also get smoke and maybe a little vanilla. The beer finishes dry from the hops.

M: A little thin for the style. Aggressive carbonation gives it a tingle at the back of the throat.

D and overall impression: I'll give this just above average marks on drinkability, the dried fruit and belgian influence is just a little much for me. I'm glad I shared the small bottle with two other guys. Overall, this is a good beer, but nothing to write home about. Would have again, but won't go out of my way for it. Skal.

10-26-2009 14:24:18 | More by Gtreid
Photo of KAP1356


4.4/5  rDev +3.8%

Poured from an 11.2 fl.oz bottle marked Batch 14, Lot: B 6BB onto a Weyerbacher tulip...

A - Poured a deep dark brown/black with a noce 2 finger, bubbly mocha colored head. Nice head retention that then slowly fades to a lacing of the same color. There seems to be quite a bit of sediment floating around in the body of the beer as well.

S - Lots going on in the nose here. Chocolate, roasted malts and caramel take the forefront. There is also a nice presence of dark fruits; dates, figs, etc. Some slight alcohol notes present as well, but like that found in a nice port. There also seems to be something slightly charred or burnt in the nose; adds quite a nice note

T - Very intereting flavor here. There is chocolate and roasted malts along with some slight coffee and caramel flavors. The dark fruits are subtle here but still noticeable on the palate, although it is more of a cherry flavor and slight raspberry flavor than anything else making it slightly tart. Some nice spiciness adds a lot to the overall profile. Alcohol is well hidden here. Very, very nice.

M - Quite velvety smooth. Slightly higher carbonation than I am used to with stouts, but works exceptionally well with this beer.

D - Surprisingly good considering it is 13% ABV. A very different stout, but done exceptionally well. I have no doubt I will be going back to this one soon.

11-09-2010 02:11:06 | More by KAP1356
Photo of kevanb


4.28/5  rDev +0.9%

11.2oz bottle poured into a De Struise Brouwers short cervoise.

The beer pours a deep, beautiful jet black color, lovely thick texture as it pours, with a thick, khaki head that has great retention and leaves some nice spots of sticky lace behind. The aroma is wonderfully complex, rich, smooth grain, pitted stone fruit, lightly roasted coffee, bitter dark chocolate, some char is present as well with some strong alcohol presence at the back end. The flavors are rich and decadent, lots of bitter dark chocolate, smooth toasted grain, raisin, fig, pitted stone fruit, lightly roasted coffee with some light charring with some assertive alcohol at the end that is both abrasive, yet warm and soothing. The body is silk, massive, coats the mouth incredibly well, carbonation is slightly higher than I anticipated, a bit crisp, and the finish is impeccably smooth, creamy and rich.

Verdict: Delicious, bold and downright impressive. The high ABV is a bit of a detractor for me as it gets hot and abrasive and overshadows the complexity that this beer has achieved. That being said, this is a great work of brewing art.

09-12-2013 02:30:06 | More by kevanb
Photo of HopsHopenstein


4/5  rDev -5.7%

06-08-2013 23:25:09 | More by HopsHopenstein
Photo of ithinkimasofa


4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

11-15-2011 05:51:01 | More by ithinkimasofa
Photo of jeonseh


3.55/5  rDev -16.3%

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.

04-28-2012 03:08:04 | More by jeonseh
Photo of zac16125

South Carolina

4.68/5  rDev +10.4%

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.

10-11-2011 00:39:48 | More by zac16125
Photo of ajs4bd


4/5  rDev -5.7%

12-22-2011 18:39:00 | More by ajs4bd
Photo of seaoflament


4.45/5  rDev +5%

Huge thanks to hoppymeal for the opportunity. I didn't think I would get to taste this one so soon.

I put this one in the fridge for about 20min so it's around cellar temp.

Is this a RIS, Belgian Royal Stout? I don't know so I just poured it into my Duvel tulip glass.

Pours as it should, black with no opportunity for light to penetrate through and a thick, soft, 2 inch crown of milk chocolate foam. Very good retention throughout; the beer maintains a nice thin layer of foam and a quick little stir brings this one back to life.

The aroma is enticing that's for sure. There is a good amount of sweet, dark, fruits and it has a yeasty profile that is characteristic of quads. Very soft and floral on the nose, the chocolate is more like cocoa than a dark Belgian chocolate. There's also hints of vanilla, maybe some wood. I'm also picking up some dark Belgian candy sugar. Can't quite pick out all the aromas since it's quite subtle, it's a soft fragrance. After a while I detect the roasted malts, some husk, and a bit of coffee. After a few sips the beer develops some green grape skin or apple skin...no it's more like dried apricots that I smell. There's also a bit of a coca-cola aroma going on in there. As complex as it is on the nose it just doesn't have a powerful bouquet, it's just a tad shy and quiet. I'm actually a bit torn on the aroma, it's very good, and maybe it's not meant to be a pungent chocolate etc...aroma for this style, but it just didn't impress me as much as the other categories.

The first sip is like a carnival ride, it just takes the palate out for a ride. Starts out with a little sour cherry, sweet raisins, and dates; then it moves into roasted malts, chocolate, a bit of wheat, yeast, and alcohol. Again, really soft and elegant. Near the finish and aftertaste I get a tangy wheat flavor as well as some dry roasted barley. The alcohol also brings a fruitiness in the finish, not hot by any means. Near the finish of the glass there beer has more roasted malts, a little charred wood, even more dark fruits, and more dryness. Not really a 4.5 but it's a little higher than a 4 for me.

Mouthfeel, well, it has to be perfect for me. The beer is so smooth on the palate, it is sweet and airy. Drinks rather easy for 13% I could easily drink one or two more.

It's very good for what it is, but wouldn't make the list of the best beers I've ever had.

06-25-2008 23:45:25 | More by seaoflament
Photo of Boilerfood


4/5  rDev -5.7%

09-02-2013 11:40:00 | More by Boilerfood
Photo of craft_shannie


4.75/5  rDev +12%

12-27-2013 19:47:17 | More by craft_shannie
Photo of DaveHS


4.22/5  rDev -0.5%

Lot A-4-BB. not sure how old this is, but definitely has a year or two on it.

A-Pours black with burgundy highlights and a thin, milky coffee colored head. Thin sheet-like lacing.

S-Smells like a cross between a quad and an American imperial stout. Big candied fruit notes, especially fig and plum, with some dry leathery aromas and a hint of Belgian yeast.

T/M-Very unusual. Not in a bad way. Tastes like a quad up front, and an imperial stout on the back end. Starts out fruity and estery and ends up roasty, with big chocolate/coffee notes. The hops come through in the finish, effectively drying out the sweet malts.Full bodied with low/moderate carbonation.

O-Unique to say the least. A great beer that everyone should try once, though I don't think I would cellar it more than 5 years or so. There's a hint of tart oxidation mid-palate that suggests this might start falling apart over the next year or so.

09-01-2011 03:27:16 | More by DaveHS
Photo of Beerenauslese


4.8/5  rDev +13.2%

Pours, aptly, an opaque black with a copius tan head that lasts, leaving ample lacing on the glass.

Aromas of prunes, dark cherries, coffee, brown sugar, wet hay, and some barn funk.

Tastes of prunes, dark cherries, coffee, brown sugar. Nice dark fruit flavors dominate, with a refreshing tartness for an imperial stout. I can appreciate why the brewers claim this is a Belgian Royal Stout as opposed to the Russian Imperial Stout it is classified as.

Rich, sweet, creamy mouthfeel, like melted chocolate and cherry ice cream.

This is a night capper at 13 percent ABV. However, the alcohol is not so evident in the taste (until after you drink it), and is balanced by the delectable strong flavors.

01-28-2010 05:51:48 | More by Beerenauslese
Photo of xdefeatsy


4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

01-03-2014 03:27:53 | More by xdefeatsy
Photo of wyatt13


4/5  rDev -5.7%

09-22-2013 13:27:03 | More by wyatt13
Photo of Piddmeista


4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

07-25-2013 02:11:04 | More by Piddmeista
Photo of SkiBum22

New York

4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

06-24-2013 11:51:07 | More by SkiBum22
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 1,487 ratings.