Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

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Black AlbertBlack Albert

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BA SCORE
94
outstanding

827 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 827
Hads: 1,643
rAvg: 4.23
pDev: 6.62%
Wants: 333
Gots: 376 | FT: 25
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

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
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Reviews: 827 | Hads: 1,643
Photo of smchenry75
4.66/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very excited to try my first Struise. Thanks to aasher for the hookup! A big thick stout just seemed to fit the bill for sitting in the driveway on this humid 89 degree Indiana evening.

Pours a very viscous, dark impenetrable black with a nice fluffy 3 finger mocha color head. Drinking out of "old faithful" my New Belgium snifter. Head dissipates very slowly. Can't wait to take my first sip as I watch the large bubbles pop in this
sea of chocolate lava.

I shoo away the small spider that trying to climb up my glass as I get ready for my first taste.... sorry buddy, this stuff's a tad
too pricey to share. First taste is of rich chocolate with a bit of a sour cherry twang. Tastes a tad bit like a cold chocolate covered cherry... creamy and velvety.

The little spider goes for it again and is equalized. Okay, now the cherry twang is coming through a tad stronger. Don't get me wrong, this is a very good thing. I'm now entering the second half of this what is so far a great experience. Crap, interrupted by the neighbor... listen to long, drawn out story. On the bright side, gives beer a chance to warm a bit. There's still a bit of mocha head floating around like some chocolatey pond funk and the lacing is really solid. By the way, no detectable alchol taste in this 13% velvety drink at all.

As I enter the final 3rd of the journey, the alcohol is starting to kick a bit I'm considering simply inhaling this beer. Need to check and see if this beer is barrel aged as I'm detecting slight notes of bourbon. Reminds me a tad of the barrel aged total eclipse I had from Foothills a while back.

In the final sips, the chocolate is getting darker and more intense and a hint of earthy bitterness is creeping in but I would not consider this to be a hoppy stout by any stretch.
Overall, I have to say this is a very solid and well balanced beer. Not sure I should have made it my first of the night though in
terms of the 13% ABV and the fact that it's going to be hard for anything else I open tonight to live up to this. (2,040 characters)

Photo of thickerfreakness
4.85/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks go out to bgramer for the chance to try this beer.

I poured this into a chalice with a little too much vigor at first and I had to wait for a few minutes for the head to die down to pour the rest. The color was absolutely black with a fluffy mocha colored head. Pretty much one of the darkest beers I've seen with only a very slight hint of ruby around the edges when held up to the light.

This does indeed smell almost exactly like a mix of a quadrupel and imperial stout. Tons of prunes, raisins and dark fruits from the quad side and a bitter roasty, chocolate, coffee edge from the imperial stout side. I also get some breadiness, yeast, and a bit of brown sugar.

The smell was great but nothing can quite live up to this taste. As someone said a review or two before me it is almost too much to comprehend. If there was a bit more of the imperial stout in the smell it sort of fades to the back in the taste. It begins very quad-like with tons of ripe dark fruits and chocolate with a sweet belgian yeastiness and bread. Then in the middle of the taste I get an amazing tart-like vinous taste that just overpowers my palate. It finally ends with quite a bit of bitter roastiness and coffee along with some more dark chocolate that just lingers on my tongue for minutes after each sip.

The mouthfeel is so silky smooth and there is hardly any notice of the alcohol for a beer at 13% ABV. Silky smooth, pleasantly carbonated, tingly across my palate.

Aside from the high ABV this one is just stellar. One of the best of beers I have had and definitely not easily classified into a style. As others have said this is one that is definitely worth the hype and one that you should seek out. The first and last thing that came to mind with this beer was the just "wow." Thanks again to bgramer for the chance to try this one. (1,843 characters)

Photo of DrewOSU
3.65/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Pours a muddy tan with a chocolate ½ inch head on initial pour. Lacing is thick and carbonation is pretty high for a RIS./

S: Big alcohol nose, Belgium sugar and banana. Not getting a lot of hops for it being over 100 ibu.

M/T: Light medium body, a lot lighter than I thought for being a 13%, but what I expected after seeing how much carbonation there was on the pour. Also, surprisingly light for such a big alcohol beer. I get almost a grape like taste on the tongue on the initial sip. Light hop background, but not as much as expected with it being 100 ibu. With this bottle being 2008, maybe the hops faded a tad? Finishes slightly bitter and sugary.

D: If I had to describe this beer in one word it would be unexpected. There is nothing overwhelming, but very unique tasting. With its medium body, it is very drinkable, but this is definitely a nice sipper. (872 characters)

Photo of bainard
4.55/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - Deep deep brown, almost black but not quite. 1.5" mocha head. Looks lovely.

S - The fruitiest non-fruited stout i've ever smelled. Tons of dark fruits, malt, brown sugar, chocolate, coffee, molasses. Extremely complex and bountiful. Better than flowers, didn't make me sneeze.

T - Oh this is tremendous. Finally I get the idea of "Belgian Royal Stout". Roastiness and hops with notes of espresso, burnt sugar, and even Flemish Red-style ale. There's a little bit of sourness in this, obviously, but I do believe that this sourness could be attributed to amped up coffee flavors with a hoppy compliment. I've seen some reviews that said this beer was like a quad and an RIS combined. I'll go out on a limb and say it's more like a dubbel and stout, but that's probably because I get more sourness from a dubbel than i do a quad. Either way, it's a dark Belgian mixed with a stout, and it's completely marvelous. It's milder in taste than most stouts, but something that isn't completely overwhelming is nice for a change.

F - Slightly creamy, with nice carbonation (mild, just enough), certainly doesn't feel 13% (maybe half that). Coats the mouth extremely well.

D - Another special occasion beer, of course. Something like this you're not going to want to have a 6-pack of in one night. But this beer is definitely special. It is a brew whose character changes with each sip, revealing new notes and flavors as it warms. Only the best seem to do that, and this beer is not acting. (1,490 characters)

Photo of black13
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Albert O

Happy pour into my HOTD tulip glass. After only pouring half this motor oil like substance from the bottle I had to stop to let the amazing mocha colored head settle. After the fine bubbles settled down, a nice lacing remained. This is what a good head of beer should look like.

S: Full of bitter chocolate, espresso, and malts. All these are blended with a smoky aroma. A very nice smell indeed. Although the ingredients list "candy", I don't pick up any sweetness.

T: Just as it smelled. All those flavors work very well together. And as it warms up to room temperature, the flavors only improve and compliment each other more and more.

M: Very nice. Not too thin, not too syrupy. A pleasure for your mouth.

D: Very easy to drink despite being 13%ABV. In fact, as it warms up it only gets better. I look forward to seeing how this one tastes down the road. (878 characters)

Photo of Wanne
4.06/5  rDev -4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer looks fabulous, nearly black with a brown head. Aroma of candy sugar, coffee, fruit. In the taste this is combined with dark chocolat, spices, plums. The alcohol adds to the taste, but you'll never guess that it has a 13% ABV. Very good stout. (248 characters)

Photo of UnDeadly
4.33/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, pint glass. Lord I need a snifter...

Appearance - Pours black, though slightly translucent. Of course, in glass you cannot see through it. Beautiful, mocha brown foam that is persistent through drinking. Heavy lacing.

Smell - This is a stout, right? I get tart vanilla strongly in the aroma. Also notes of milk chocolate. But still, that citric tartness is very interesting. My girlfriend says it smells like one of those chocolate orange candies...I don't think she is too far off.

Taste - Geez, where to begin. Complex notes of bourbon and chocolate come through the front, melting sweetly in the middle with a nice, bitter finish. I can detect some light notes of orange-citrus and vanilla. Also a slight, SLIGHT sour note, its great.

Mouth Feel - Creamy, smooth, and does not burn at all like a 13% should. You can feel it slightly, but considering its 13%, I'm impressed.

Drinkability - ABV would be the only thing keeping me from drinking this puppy all night. Smooth, balanced, delicious.

Overall, this was very much a wow beer. Unique flavors, but without deviating too much from the stated style. I think I'll snag a few more and see how they age... (1,179 characters)

Photo of Cedromar
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Sampled on tap at Ebenezer's Pub, thanks again Chris! Aroma is chocolaty, with some vanilla and coffee mixed in. Appearance is a beautiful black with a 1 inch head. Flavor is a wonderful mix of bitter chocolate and coffee with caramel notes to help make it extra smooth. Mouthfeel is amazing as well. I cannot get enough of this brew smooth with small carbonation.
Overall the best RIS I've ever had.
It beats Kate, Darklord and Darkness all in the arse. When it finally is available in bottle I will be buying up every bottle I see. (538 characters)

Photo of satowns
2.8/5  rDev -33.8%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted blind with 13 other imperial stouts.

Pours black with a dark brown head.

Akward aroma of fruity red berries.

Flavor is mostly strawberries. sweet. not sure what im drinking here. hints of chocolate and dark malts.

full bodied mouthfeel. alcohol is nicely masked.

i will have to try another bottle and update my review if needed. (340 characters)

Photo of greg202stewart
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

All hail Black Albert! A dark dark soy sauce color with a thin head. It has a sweet smell with hints of fruit and coffee. The taste of this one is amazing, the best part being the signature De Struise Belgian-style sweetness that I think makes this stout exceptional. The mouth feel is very slippery yet nice and thin and easy to sip on. I have tasted great Belgians and great Imperial Stouts and this seems to be a hybrid of the two making for the most unique and delicious beer I've had to date. (497 characters)

Photo of HopasaurusRex
4.82/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on draft at Ebenezer's Pub:

Dark brown, approaching black in color. Opaque. Off-white head of tiny bubbles recedes quickly into darkness.

Nose of Belgian dark chocolate, vanilla, and toasted almonds. Some woodiness and oaklike tannins present. It smells almost bourbony although I know it is not barrel-aged.

The first sip is smooth and chocolatey just as suggested in the aroma. Vanilla, coconut, and roasted barley meld together nicely. Some fusels due to presence of high alcohol. Vinuous legs. Nice notes of oxidation and dried fruit. Dry roasted espresso beans in the finish.

A subtle, complex, and refined Imperial Stout. The only thing Belgian about it is the brewers. No phenols or funkiness.

Cheers to Ebenezer's and De Struise for this fantastic and delicious collaboration! The only complaint I have is that I wish I had a bottle to take home and savor by a crackling fire. (897 characters)

Photo of granite
5/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Reviewed from notes taken at the 2007 Ebenezer's Belgian beer fest.

First I would like to thank Chris for his generosity in sharing this with me.

I was talking to Urbain from De Struise about wild yeast and the owner of Ebenezer's, Chris hands me a globe of Black Albert on the house.

First off this was the darkest stout i have ever seen. I took my glass out to the sun porch to try and see if any light would penetrate. Well the sun did not stand a chance, I have no idea what the srm was but it had to be 60+. It had a thick, creamy brown head that was long lasting. The aroma consisted of chocolate and roasted malt with a slight touch of port in the back ground. The flavor was very rich and warming. Started off with a fresh roasted coffee taste. Vanilla beans and nobel hops in the middle and finished with an amazing chocolate aftertaste. The alcohol was perfectly balanced with the malt and the bitterness. It was warming but never hot and slightly sweet but not cloying. Urbain said the final gravity was 1.030 so he was able to achieve really good attenuation for a 100% malt bill. No sugar or adjuncts in Black Albert. The mouthfeel was very full and smooth. It is the best stout RIS or BIS I have ever tried hands down. (1,237 characters)

Photo of CoalCellar
1.86/5  rDev -56%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a bottle into my goblet...

A: Standard black, with a remarkably white head despite the 13% alcohol...
S: Nothing going on...some alcohol...perhaps some grain?
T: Nothing but a belgian finish. No coffee, no grain, no chocolate, perhaps the most unremarkable R.I.S. I've ever had...
M: Watery, thin...not impressive
D: Terrible, wouldn't waste my money on this one again. Don't believe the hype...you get more character out of a bud light.... (453 characters)

Photo of eyncognito
4.38/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap, into a chalice, at the Malt House in Madison WI.

Black color, best I can tell this is a black hole of a brew-light may enter, but it cannot escape. Beautiful cocoa/tan head, reminds me of malted milk. I should have ordered another beer to wait for this bad boy to warm up.

Aroma is roasty, hints of vanilla, dark fruit. Good but not outstanding. Wonderful taste, roasty chocolate, prune, licorice, some herbal hints in the hops. This is so creamy, so smooth. As drinkable as a 13% beer can be. Fortunately it is cost prohibitive. $11 a glass, worth it, but I won't have this too often. (602 characters)

Photo of pepsican
3.43/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

black pour with a thick khaki head. Aroma has strong grapes, green apple, and sugar. Flavor is very complex. I got chocolate, tofee, tannins/white grapes, green apple, light hops, tobacco, and cherries. Finishes lightly sweet, oily. A bit of alcohol bite rounds it out. I was expecting a bit more, but it was a pretty good try. (327 characters)

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

Pours deep Black, creamy tan head inside a snifter glass.

smells, alcohol vapours licorice, loads of licorice. very earthy and then some fresh espresso.

Tastes, earthy then some sweet mocha ezpresso. The licorice flavour does not come through as much as i'd like.

mouthfeel, smooth as silk then some alcohol burn.

Drink, 1 is plenty thanks. (345 characters)

Photo of CashMoneyVagrant
4.42/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! Inky, motor oil in appearance. Just jet black in color, with absolutely no light passing through this beer. A attractive looking huge, thick milk chocolate colored head of foam rounds out the pour.

Dank, earthy in the nose, with hints of espresso coffee and soy sauce. Lots of dark fruits as well. I get aromas of fig, plums and raisins, maybe even a little bit of prunes. Thoughts of baker's bittersweet chocolate, dark fudge or a rich chocolate cake back up the fruit. Roasted, charred and burnt malt aromas. Some booze, sweetness is also evident, but not overpowering.

Carbonation is low, giving the beer a smooth, creamy mouthfeel. The sweetness and booze is more noticeable on the palate. Has a lot of similarity's from the nose in the initial taste. Soy sauce, nice dark fruits of fig, plums and prunes. Strong flavors of chocolate. Becomes more complex as the beer warms though. There's a faint smokiness emerging. Flavors of chocolate covered espresso beans and chocolate covered raisins. Dark fudge, reminds me of tootsie rolls, milk duds or a rich, chewy brownie. It's full of dark fruits. More sweetness appears as the beer warms. I'm thinking of a rich chocolate cake spiked with a shot of bourbon. Has a dry, roasted malt bitterness in the finish.

A rich, full bodied imperial stout, with great drinkability. (1,333 characters)

Photo of BeerShirts
4.73/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A- No light will break through this beer. The head was small but retained well

S- Rich roasted/burnt smell and underlining of alcohol.

T- like others have said WOW. No taste of alcohol. The dark fruit and raisins taste really seemed to come through a lot to me, almost a quick splash of sour but fades just as fast as it hits you, has a nice lingering taste from the roasted malt

M- Smooth, very little carbonation

D- Would drink this beer every day if I could. It goes down probably to easy for the ABV. (510 characters)

Photo of trill
4.03/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, best by 04/2013, courtesy deepsouth. Thanks Jason!

Pours totally opaque, with the sort of swimmy, slowly dissipating head common to big Belgian beers. Nose is mostly boozy dark fruits, with only a suggestion of roasty chocolate. Taste is more like a gigantic quadrupel than any stout I've had, definitely thinner in body than most imperial stouts. The taste is full of rich, bready malt, rum-soaked raisins and other dark fruits, very much like an English barleywine. There's some earthy Continental hop bitterness, just enough for balance, and pleasant but faint notes of chocolate, leather, espresso, and smoke in the finish. This one is big, but not heavy-handed. (681 characters)

Photo of cavemanlawyer
4.28/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap today at Belmont Station.

A - Dark as night, with a rich nutty brown head that lingers and remains an inch thick throughout the glass.

S - Spicy rich fruits, lots of dried fig and earthy undertones. Lots of roasted malt with toffee.

T - Lots of smokiness, I get some earth flavors and sweet on the tip of the tongue.

M - Very smooth, medium - full body. Lightly carbonated.

D - You can certainly tell this is a strong drink. The alcohol gives you a bit of a bite in the aftertaste, but quite enjoyable. (524 characters)

Photo of inhoc00
4.57/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Black Albert on tap at Binny's South Loop

A- pours a dark black with minimal head and good lacing.

S- Nice roasted malts, chocolate.

T- Really delicious and simple. Good stout taste without being too much ,,,,anything.

M- Not too thick. Decent carbonation.

D- Unbelievable that this stuff is 13%. Almost no alc. detected. This stuff is not overly done which makes it so nice. Drank this stuff really too quick and really felt it afterward. Excellent stuff but a bit too expensive to try again. (498 characters)

Photo of HopHobo
4.2/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a bottle of this side by side with Cuvee Delphine (Black Albert aged in 4 Roses bourban barrels).

Black Albert pours with a huge 4 fingers of head that hangs on for several minutes. Through the course of sipping this beer there is always of layer of head on the top that never goes away. It also leaves a thin boozey lacing on the side of the glass. This stout smells of dark fruits, vanilla, chocolate, sugar, alcohol and roasted grains with the dark fruit smell blending with the chocolate smell to give this ale a desert like sweet smell. The off putting smell is a bit of oxidation and metallic flavor that seems out of place with the rest of the aromas. The taste is much of the same with tastes of dried fruits and chocolate roasted grains dominating out front. The bittersweet chocolate is a little much and and takes away from the drinkability the mouthfeel is medium and what I would expect from a Belgian Stout. Black Albert is a very good stout and the 13% ABV is hidden very nicely in the flavor. Side by side I perfer the Cuvee Delphine a little more because the Cuvee is a much more interesting ale. Black Albert is very solid and the fruitiness is unique, but its not a stout that blows me away. Good Effort all and all. (1,243 characters)

Photo of HiAIPA
4.35/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Imbibed a delicious snifter full the day after the epic Paxton dinner at Eb's. Goliath thickness and nice tight head profile. Aromas of stewed prunes, old tobacco, dates, raisins, sweet dark malts eminate. Nice viscosity, foretelling of a huge mouthfeel. The alcohol is hidden well, lots of flavors going on...Belgium notes abound, playing off the aromas. Smooth, without the killer finish of many RIS'. A superbly crafted brew that completes the 12 hour horizontal tasting of Albert, kabert and lord kabert. (508 characters)

Photo of discovolante65
3.6/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Lot b6bb, whatever.

Roopy40 and I each poured one out for enjoyment. have been waiting a while to drink this one.

Pours an absence of light blackness with a mocha/tan head of about an inch into a DFH snifter. Head recedes quickly but nice little legs the whole way down, some normal beer lacing as well.

Smells of coffee beans, wet wood and charcoal with some alcohol on the way. A little burnt chocolate and fresh soil to go along with it.

Taste is licorice, burnt malt and slight hop bitterness. I was expecting a really bold flavor, but it's really muted and bland.
Coffee and booze on the finish, but a little too hot.

Mouthfeel is watery and thin. slightly creamy, but very thin for the style and the ABV.

Drinkability - I was disappointed in this one. At a rate of $1 per ounce, I really expect more from a beer. Is it wrong of me to judge this on price? Roopy40 and I sat there naming off dozens of other RIS at great prices that kick the crap out of this one any day of the week. I would not buy it again and am sorry that I spent the cash on this one.
I guess if it were $4 or so, I might like it more and rate it higher, but honestly, didn't enjoy it and felt cheated. (1,184 characters)

Photo of dtmets84
3.63/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unsure of the bottle date but the notched lot is B-6-BB.

Black body, plenty of dark brown head.

The nose smells off almost a bit of a funk to it and the taste follows the nose. Warms up and becomes a bit more enjoyable

Body is thick and heavy, as it should be.

First time cracking a bottle, would not seek this out agaim. (327 characters)

Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 827 ratings.