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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

838 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 838
Hads: 1,694
Avg: 4.24
pDev: 13.21%
Wants: 338
Gots: 382 | 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: 838 | Hads: 1,694
Photo of Chincino
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer the other night and was happy to have it after having it originally at a beer festival in Belgium.

The beer poured to be black with dark mocha colored head that left lacing on the glass.

The aroma is strong of fruit-cherries and other dark fruits, chocolate, malts, and brown sugar. Full-bodied, good carbonation, leaves you feeling full. Great taste. This beer is definitely a slow-sipper.

I'm a big fan of De Struisse beers and the Black Albert is no exception to this.

Cheers!

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Photo of BrewMonkey
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to rayjay for the bottle!

Pours dark chocolate brown to nearly black with oodles and oodles of bubbles forming a dense thick rich looking tan head that recedes slowly leaving not so much lacing, as a continuou layer of bubbles on the side of the glass.

Aroma starts with a strong but pleasant alcohol aroma, toasted malt, bitter chocolate, and hints of sweetness behind the alcohol.

Aroma is very roasty, almost smoky. No, definately smoky. Bitter chocolate follows, with lots of nutty character, walnuts and almonds come to mind. Suprisingly unsweet to be honest, though there is enough sweetness to counteract the rest of the flavor profile. Alcohol is certainly present, but not overbearing. More nutty a leathery characters come out as it warms.

Mouthfeel is slick and rich, with decent carbonation keeping it from cloying. Alcohol is fairly warming.

Obviously this is a sipping beer, and a big one at that. But the flavor is very pleasant, and seems like it would be fantastic paired with a rich dessert.

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Photo of Adamdc
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch B6BB poured into DFH pint

A: Pitch black pour that produced over 2 inches of dense tan foam. Had to pour slowly to avoid overflow.

S: Malty coffee and chocolate but with a strong raisin/date presence. About 80% RIS with 20% of quad thrown in.

T: Chocolate and coffee are the main focus here. The dark fruits are there but in the background. Very nice flavor.

M: Not very thick, about medium but very smooth and silky.

D: Amazingly, at 13.00% I'm getting no booze whatsoever. It's going down VERY smoothly! This is really nice---not a big, syrupy RIS but the dark fruit presence melds nicely with the coffee/chocolate.

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Photo of NYCWheatFanSC
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 14

A - Pours black with a medium tan head (about 1 in) that recedes rather slowly to a sturdy and even microfilm

S - Lots of berries, licorice, and dark fruits, with even a bit of a tart twang (but obviously not infected). Some light chocolate notes. Alot like a nice quad

T - Lots of licorice, dark bruits and berries (blackberries, raisins, dates?). Even a hint of wood.

M - Very light and frothy, over-carbonated for the style, which hurts the appreciation of its flavor profile.

D - A good quad, but thats apparently NOT what this beer is trying to be. Would give it a 3.5, but it claims to be a Belgian Royal stout on the side, not a RIS as listed here. Hmmm...

would not seek out again

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Photo of BigB415
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours jet black into my Stone RIS snifter. Little head with little retention.

S: Tons of chocolate and coffee. Faint hops too.

T: More coffee and chocolate. Very little heat which is surprising for a 13% beer.

MF: A little thin which I'm disappointed by but the chocolate and coffee notes make up for it.

O: A flavorful stout with surprising drinkability for such high ABV. If you love chocolate and coffee in your stouts than you'll love this.

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Photo of Monsone
3.73/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours an deep black with a big dark brown head. Leaves a bit of lacing.

S - Sweet malt, soy, coffee, alcohol, dark roasted barley and slightest dark fruit. Not what I was expecting out of this beer. Quite muted.

T - Starts with sweet malt, with a bitter middle and a alcohol finish. A some hops and coffee in there too. Not as intense of flavors as the other RIS I have had. Kinda different with Belgian qualities (think Quad or Strong Dark). Just not what I expected.

M - Medium bodied and a lot lighter than I thought it would be. Just doesn't have that thick viscous feel that the other top RIS's have. More carbo than I expect out of a RIS too.

D - This is probably the most drinkable RIS I can think of. It is expensive though as 1 bottle cost the same as a 6 pack of Expedition Stout.

Overall, I am glad I tried this beer. It quite good and is a different take on the RIS with Belgian qualities. But ultimately there are quite a few other RIS that would pick up before this one.

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Photo of larsee01
3.9/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz glass bottle poured into Chimay chalice

A--Dark dark dark. Light doesn't escape it. Thin, creamy, brown head. Brownest I've seen. Thick.

S--Coffee. Fruity booze. Heavy molasses.

T--Nutty and boozy. Fruity warmth balanced by rich coffee that's mildly bitter. Yeah, I've mentioned booze twice, but this would definitely pass for less than 13%! I see this beer weighs in at 100 IBU, but it's so balanced on the heavy malt side that this finishes sweet.

M--A little on the thick side, but not sticky or heavy. Creamy. Full bodied and lingers on the palate, but not in an offensive way.

D--HOO boy. 1 and done. Not that it's the beer's fault. It's a KO and you know it.

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Photo of JWD
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks from monkeyknife for this one!!!

A- Lookin good, very dark but active like DFH WWS high carbonation and a great tan head here!

S- Good, your basic RIS with a belgian twist here, little breadiness going one.

T- Very good, Belgian RIS i am liking so far so roasty some coffee and some bread. ABV is hidden very well. lot of similarities to the Abyss

M- Thiner than expected but the high carb has a lot to do with that.

D- Supreme, the hidden ABV and the smooth flavors here make you wish you had a bigger bottle.

Great brew with a very interesting twist..

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Photo of sherm1016
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle, Batch "0", ordered from the Struise Yeast Shop. Pours a jet black with a huge tan head that recedes after a few minutes. Aroma is roasted malt, chocolate, coffee, and a little alcohol. A bit heavy on the palate with average carbonation. Flavor is roasted malt, chocolate, and a little bit of hops. The alcohol is very well hidden in this beer. This bottle is pretty fresh, but I think it would be better with a bit of age on it.

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

11.2 oz bottle into a Weyerbacher tulip. This is NOT one of the two batch zeroes I picked up from the DeStruise schoolhouse brewery in Oostvleteren, but a bottle picked up from TJ's in Paoli a few months ago, aged in my cellar in the meantime. No datestamp, but I assume this is from a more recent batch, and has a slightly different label.

A- Cherry red light filters through the pour stream, but once settled a deep void of blackness forms in the glass, with an espresso-colored, nitrogen-like body of carbonation spontaneously combusting from the abyss to form a hearty, thick head, much more intense, stubborn, and lacy than one would expect from the high abv, which is what pushes this from the 4.5 default appearance that we all give to a RIS to a 5.0.

S- Sweet, sharp tsunami of a megamalty, boozy, spirit-like onslaught. I can tell that this is going to be the good stuff, even if the aroma calms a bit over time.

T- Uber boozy at first, but this mellows surprisingly quickly, nonetheless, this is a sipping brew with the intensity of an Avery Mephistopheles. No doubt this is an extreme beer. Lots of roasted black cocoa, sharp sweetness on the tongue is immediately overcome by burnt firewood bitterness. Pairs very well with Belgian chocolates from Neuhaus on the Grand Place in Brussels.

M- Thick and oily and enough alcohol sting to let you know you're drinking it.

D- As mentioned above, a true sipper, and yet this glass seems to be more and more empty every time I look at it, at a very surprising rate. I think my wife is sneaking sips as I watch Always Sunny and write this review.

Lives up to the hype, not that this is the most hyped beer, but it has its followers for sure. And if Batch zero is even better, I'm really looking for the right day to crack one. I also have extremely high hopes for my Cuvee Delphine.

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Photo of goethean
4.83/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Autumnaldave and I were drinking this on tap at the Lisle Bavarian Lodge. We decided that it had the elegant body of a tripel. The guy next to us detected some cellar notes, but I drank mine too quickly to pick it up. It combines a complex flavor profile with shocking drinkability.

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

Picked up a few of these from Health Spirits a while back. 33cl bottle - which is a great size for a 13% abv beer. A very pricy bottle I might add.

Pours jet-black into a snifter - decent head that quickly recedes to the edges of the glass. Swirling it around it looks to be on the light side for viscosity.

Smells like soy sauce, bitter chocolate and some dark fruits with faint hops smell. Very little to no alcohol in the nose.

The taste is really good. Nothing like I expected. Pretty light on its feet for the abv with a mix of soy, light chocolate and coffee undertones with very good carbonation letting it dance in your mouth. Again not getting any of the 13% in the taste - this could be a dangerous beer to drink. Has a dry finish is unlike other RIS's that I've had.

A very well balanced high abv stout that I could drink one too many of if it wasn't so damn expensive. Overall quite impressed and worthy of the praise but only something that I'll occasionally indulge in.

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

Been waiting to grab a bottle of this. Pours a black color with a tan foam head. Has an aroma of dark fruit and chocolate with hints of citrus. Sweet and creamy from the dark fruit, then the gentle carbonation kicks in with some nice roasty maltiness. Finish citrusy sweet. Some chocolate notes on the finish. Very excellent brew.

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Photo of humanawho
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - very deep black color with a strong head of brown cream

S - nice sweet aroma with some candied figs and some slight spicyness some hints of vanilla extract

T - very smooth with some nice chocolate flavors and deep roasty notes there are some vanilla and fig flavors

M - great it is very think but crazy smooth with nice carbonation

D - extreamly drinkable nice and smooth

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Photo of wd40
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark brown/black appearance. Aroma has raisins, figs, and caramel. There's definitely some alcohol present in the nose. The taste is sweet and very malty. It kind of reminds me of a Thomas Hardy ale or a J.W. Lee's in that sense. Some of the high alcohol content becomes apparent in the taste especially as it warms up. It's a good beer and I might try one again with some age on it to see if that calms the alcohol down, but only if I can get a good price on it.

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Photo of davedahl
3.44/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Good - but not up to my expectations based on the hype surrounding it. I had a 8oz pour in a sherry glass for $10 at Binny's in Chicago's south loop.

The pour was far too cold but produced a completely black brew with a creamy chocolate-milk type head of tight tiny bubbles. Slight lacing.

Taste was chocolate malt, roasted malt at the front; dark fruit (dark sweet cherries plums) in the middle; and little hop balance and alcohol burn in the finish.

Nose - nothing. Seriously partially because how cold this beer was there was zero aromatics. After I warmed it a bit in my hands I detected rich dark malt and sweet cherries - but you really have to search for them.

Mouthfeel is creamy, smooth, alcohol bite, viscous. The 13% alcohol is hidden well.

So hmm. This was good, but not great. I had this only once previously, about a year ago with BA member bgramer and I recall getting a lot more out of it at that time. I think this is probably better bottled and aged than on tap.

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Photo of mrkrispy
3.27/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Been wanting to try this for quite a while, thanks to the very generous trader!

Poured a very dark but not jet black. Nice head, stuck around for a decent amount of the glass. Lots of lace all over the place.

A very dull aroma, and what there is isn't pleasing. A bit smokey, and burnt malt?

Immediately notice the lighter body than I was expecting. Dark malts, bit of chocoloate and coffee bean. Roubust burnt malt again, not a fan of that taste. Intentional? A bit of sourness, reminiscent of a Baltic Porter. Not surprising coming from Belgium, I like it. Some sort of metallic off flavor in the finish. Burnt sweetness lingers on the tongue.

Well, I didn't know what to expect and this certainly wasn't what I was hoping for. Complex, had some good flavors, but also several unlikable characteristics. A bit too light on the body. Nice to try it but I wouldn't make an effort to get it again.

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Photo of brewintheLou
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a brown head that is very thin on the top.

Smell is chocolaty and sweet. Seems to be a little bit of a floral smell coming through.

Taste is milk chocolate with a hint of roastiness to balance out the sweetness. Mouthfeel is creamy and silky smooth as it goes down. Very drinkable as this is incredibly smooth. No sign of 13% ABV here.

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Photo of gtn80
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance is a jet black with a couple fingers of fluffy mocha head of tiny bubbles and great lacing.

Aroma is of cocoa and coffee with cream.

Taste is amazingly velvety, surprisingly little roast for such a big stout. Chocolate and coffee abound, bit of alcohol heat in the finish.

Mouthfeel is amazing, thick, viscous, almost like a milkshake. Best mouthfeel I have had in a beer.

Drinkability is surprising for such a big stout. Even with the alcohol burn the abv sneaks up on you.

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Photo of mentaltraveller
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good dark beer. It pours black. There is chocolate, dark fruit, alcohol in the nose. It tastes as it smells, a balanced mix of coffee-like bitterness with chocolate and alcohol, yet very drinkable. This beer has a solid mouthfeel, but it is not extremely thick. Very good, and I am looking foward to drinking the other bottle I brought home.

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

Lot B6BB. Served near room temp in my Westy chalice. A special Valentine's Day treat.

Near black with dark brown head. Vigorous carbonation after the pour. Leaves beige lacing. Nice

Smells of roasted goodness. Some hints of coffee and fruits. Maybe a hint of sourness

Rich and complex. Initially the primary flavor is roasted malt. Then there is the dark fruit. There is a hint of flavor that faintly reminds me of a Belgian sour beer. With each sip, it becomes more complex. Kind of stout meets barleywine meets Belgian funky goodness. Oh, and there is a bit of hops at then end just to tease and provide some balance.

For all the fizzing when poured, this actually is not very carbonated. Smooth. Not quite as thick as the typical RIS I have had. A little stickiness in the mouth as well.

Drinkability is quite good, especially for a 13% brew. Alcohol is felt but not noticed in the flavor profile. A treat for sipping, especially as the temperature is dropping outside. Don't really At $10 for a bottle, I can't afford to drink this often, but it is definitely worth having again.

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Photo of bgramer
4.07/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to get a case through a friend out in Belgium.

This beer pours black, but I swear that with the aroma smelling sweet, and like raisins and grapes, that this would be a dark dark purple color like a grape soda but darker. There's some head retention but that quickly goes away leaving a tan ring that leaves a carbonated sticky lacing around the glass as you swirl it.

Tastes sweet like candy - dark fruits, some coffee, a little caramel. It's borderline to an RIS style but could be compared to a quad too, or even an American Stout. It's uniqueness and complexity prevents it from falling completely into one category or another, instead it reaches out into all these at one time or another. Amazingly complex.

The alcohol is slightly noticable but not in a bad way because of it's freshness. Imagine how amazing this could be when aged over the years.

This is a world class beer which deserves to be in the Top 5.

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Photo of gueuzer
4.79/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle. Split with a friend.

A- Black. Poured a little thinner than I would expect. All the alcohol?

S- Lots going on. Bitter Chocolate, cabaret, Brett,

T- Caught off guard by the slight tart/fruitiness from the yeast. Some dark cherries and other stone fruits. Ultra dark chocolate, tobacco and roast, but not out front like you would expect.

MF- Definitely some carbonation. More than I would expect for a RIS. Not necessarily bad with the beer, but think its a little high for the style. Must be hard to control at 13%

D- Completely ridiculous. At 13% this should be illegal. No heat at all. Very enjoyable. With the other flavors you don't have to be sitting in front of fire to enjoy this one.

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Photo of Fluke828
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Been looking forward to this one...

11.2 FL OZ.(330 ml right?) Bottle -> CBS Snifter (about half)
Bottle Date: LOT: B 6 BB (from what I understand this is June 2007?)

A->very dark body with a tan colored head about a finger's worth, persistent lacing with tremendous legs on this beer....

S-> Immediately get some very sweet dark fruits, almost like a very dark cherry/chocolate funk. Signature Struise I suppose... Roasted malts and faint chocolate smoke upon further examination...lots of complexity here...

T->Very sweet chocolate up front, slight bitterness and the faint tartness of Struise yeast with a fruity flavor turns toward a bit of coffee flavor but can't seem to shake the black cherry taste all the ay through. Finishes fairly dry with a creamy roasted aftertaste.

M-> Felt a bit on the thin side at first but was likely still too cold despite leaving this out on the counter for about 15 minutes before opening and pouring. definitely thickened up and actually started to semi-gush right as I went to tip the bottle to begin pouring. Lots of pent up carbonation over 5.5 years I guess....I actually enjoyed the lively carbonation.

O-> A tremendous beer. I didn't even realize I had a five and a half year old beer sitting in my cellar until after I opened this. having never had a Black Albert, I am very impressed. Quite enjoyable. Perfect thickness, not syrupy and the alcohol is melded perfectly. Great example of the style with that unique Struise twist. Chalk up another "Highly recommend" from this guy....

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

This poured black in color with a thick fluffy brown head that dissipated away. The nose has tart vinous aromas of plum, fig and cassis along with bittersweet chocolate, expresso roast and cotton candy. In the mouth it is full-bodied with nice mid-palate concentration and plenty of carbonation that keeps this from coming off as heavy. This is not as heavy as I expected rather it is very well-balanced. Like the nose the flavors are dark and vinous with a lingering finish that does show off some of the alcohol. This looks to have the balance, power, acidity and carbonation to age well.

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 838 ratings.