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Black Albert - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Black AlbertBlack Albert

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,501 Ratings
THE BROS
90
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,501
Reviews: 815
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 9.65%
Wants: 319
Gots: 363 | FT: 21
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

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: 1,501 | Reviews: 815 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brbrocc
3.75/5  rDev -11.8%

brbrocc, May 17, 2014
Photo of hoppymeal
4.38/5  rDev +3.1%

Pours a dark cola brown to black in color with an average sized medium tan head that fades to a ring. Sweet and fruity aroma, grapes and aged pruniness. Chocolate, a strong belgian yeast, tangy alcohol, and a breadiness in the aroma as well. Taste follows with the chocolate and fruity sweet maltiness mixing together very nicely, grapiness comes thru well, a decent tanginess leads into a slightly dry finish that shows a little of the alcohol. Mouthfeel is fairly full and sugary, a hint of pepper on the tongue, a bit of drying and warmth in the finish. A very tasty beer, definitely does not fit into the ris category. I had read some of the belgian stout posts before trying this so expected it to fall outside those lines and it definitely does. Would fit better in the belgian strong dark imo. Alcohol is very well balanced for its strength and it seems that this is a great candidate for some longer cellaring, look forward to trying it again after a year or two.

hoppymeal, Jun 15, 2008
Photo of zhanson88
3.8/5  rDev -10.6%

Appearance: Black Albert is a phenomenal looking beer. It pours almost pitch black with a couple fingers of mocha colored head, even with a careful pour. Retention is very nice and lacing is great. One of the best looking imperial stouts out there.

Smell: Right off a big Belgian characteristic comes out, and as well as dark fruits. It takes a bit of digging to get down to the roasted malts and chocolate. Overall this is a pretty nice scent once you get down into it.

Taste: Roasted malts and chocolate show right up front on the palate. A bit of hoppy character actually shows up on the back end, as well as that yeast characteristic and dark fruits. Aftertaste is slightly leathery, but not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: The body is slightly over medium with quite a bit of carbonation. It seems like a lot of De Struise beers have this feel, but I'm not sure it works perfectly with imperial stouts. Still, not bad. This is a pretty drinkable beer. It's a different take on an imperial stout, but that's not a bad thing.

zhanson88, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of czfreeman
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%

Batch No 14.
Ever since seeing Urbain Coutteau at the t'Brugge Beartje the other week, can't get Struise off my mind. Had the impeccable Pannepot a few nights ago, heres to the mighty Albert.
A loud hiss results in dark espresso-tan foam rushing out of my bottle, fresh for sure. Pours a beautiful espresso-pitch black tone. Head is gorgeous, thick rich creamy. A Belgian-esque amount of foam for sure.Really impressive for a 13% stout for sure.
Aromatically ...wow! Liqorice, coffee, chocolate,fig,spiced prunes, rum, raisins, malt,dark bread, deeply roasted coffee.Vanilla, sour-oaky molasses like sourness is appreciated as well. Star anise, pepper and clove come into the mix as well.
After several minutes black grape, and a really nice black-cherry like sourness, adding a distinctive Belgian not come into play, offsetting the rich IRS profile nicely
..as a side note I thought this was in its own category as a Belgian Royal Stout?
Flavor is amazingly smooth, and the alcohol is buried. Cocoa, grape, raisin, cherry, fig, tobacco, bitter cocoa, oak, molasses, pepper, star anise, clove, all mix, but end with a light vinegar-like touch of sourness, Lambic meets RIS finish, that is very nice for my taste. Not cloying in the least, well balanced and conveys a new concept of RIS.
Rather high carbonated for a RIS, and with a sour twist, the mouthfeel is lighter than normal..but I like it. It's a different concept, as Ten-Fidy is a hoppy stout, this is a Belgian-sour-stout if you well.
A critique point is that the flavor is not immensely complex as anticipated, but good nonetheless.
Cheers

czfreeman, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of kkrez
5/5  rDev +17.6%

kkrez, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%

Black Albert Batch '0'
330 ml bottle 13,0% Abv
Poured into a snifter.

Black Albert has been on my wants list for ages, thanks to Thijs for getting this limited version to us.

Appearance: Batch '0' pours the blackest of blacks, even when held up to a light bulb, not even a hint of light is visible along the edges.
A huge tan brown head towers above the beer, lasting extremely well and leaving great lace for a beer of this strength.

Smell: Hmmm, I think I poured this one a little too cold as the smell seems fairly muted to start. A little warming makes a massive difference. Medium roast coffee, bitter sweet dark chocolate and slightly charcoal like roasted malt are present in equal quantities. As the beer warms vanilla, toasted whole-wheat bread, dark candi sugar, molasses and dark fruit are well noted. There is just a hint of bitter hops towards the end of the nose.

Taste: Great flavour, far more balanced than the BDII that I had last night. As in the nose top quality coffee, roasted malt and chocolate are dominant, but molasses and the dark fruit play much more than a supporting role. Bitter hops are well noted in the finish. Hints of smoke, caramel and toasted bread are also present.
I just realised that this is the strongest beer I have ever had; I never would have guessed that - the alcohol is totally hidden in both the flavour and smell.

Mouthfeel: Sublime, full, thick, sticky body. The carbonation is understated and super smooth. This beer is an absolute pleasure to drink.

Drinkability: Superb beer, massive and complex flavour. Great beer to sip on, I could well start drinking beers like this instead of whiskey on cold evenings after dinner.

I am surprised, Black Albert actually lived up to my expectations, superb beer and one I'd love to have again.

Thehuntmaster, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of phingdong
4.25/5  rDev 0%

phingdong, Jan 22, 2013
Photo of Marco_Gtz
3.4/5  rDev -20%

Marco_Gtz, Sep 07, 2014
Photo of twowheelssoar
4.25/5  rDev 0%

twowheelssoar, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of sammo
4/5  rDev -5.9%

sammo, Jun 25, 2012
Photo of unclekeith
4.25/5  rDev 0%

unclekeith, Dec 30, 2013
Photo of blabaer
4/5  rDev -5.9%

blabaer, Nov 21, 2013
Photo of MrDave
4.25/5  rDev 0%

MrDave, Aug 21, 2013
Photo of Pellinore1
4/5  rDev -5.9%

Pellinore1, Jan 23, 2013
Photo of beachbum1975
3.88/5  rDev -8.7%

Shared this one DrewOSU tonight - I wanted something nice to wrap up the night. I picked this up at Bruisin' Ales in North Carolina after Sexual Chocolate Day '09. 11.2 Ounce bottle for $9.99. Lot B 6 BB on the label (whatever that means).

Black with dark brown, clear highlights sitting below a 1/2 inch dark tan head. Nice, chunky dark tan lacing after a light agitation in my Nørrebro Bryghus flute.

After I poured my DrewOSU's share, I moved the beer by my nose and smells malts - big nose. On a more concentrated sniff, I got a surpisingly big nose full of hops! Per the label, there's 100 IBU and I believe it! Unfortrunately, that's all I got - vegetable, slightly citrus and earthy hops... Further sniffing, as it warms is alcohol and coffee.

Big, scathing coffee and heavily/almost burnt malts. The alcohol heat from the 13% ABV is definitely present but not in the forefront. Moderately complex flavor profile with earthy hops definitely in the mix.

This is the first really big RIS I have had since Dark Lord Day, so I needed to refresh my palate. Wow...

It's a very concentrated flavor almost syrupy at times. In fact, if the body was thicker, I would compare this to Surly's Darkness because of the big, burnt combination of malts and hops.

This is a very nice, big beer and I'm glad I got to try it - but I don't feel the need to run out and get more the price.

beachbum1975, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of meanmutt
4/5  rDev -5.9%

meanmutt, Dec 06, 2013
Photo of ggaughan
4.95/5  rDev +16.5%

On tap at the Struise farm thanks to Urbain.
The beer poured a deep black, opaque color, no light going through. The head was a deep tan, almost orange color, very thick bubbles. The aroma has strong malty, sweet notes, some dried fruits.

The taste, very nice. I got some very pleasing malty sweet notes up front, complimented by a chocolate and coffe-ish taste but not as heavy as other imperial stouts. There was an excellent balance of the strong coffee tastes with the subtle yet sweet malt. There were also some yeast notes on the back end of the beer, a bit earthy but it melds well with the overall quality of the beer.

The beer started off a bit cold from the tap but as it warmed in my hands the taste and aroma intensify. The high abv comes through more on the backend and compliments the malty sweetness very well. Overall this beer has a nice full body but doesn't weight you down like other imperials I have had.

ggaughan, May 14, 2008
Photo of Devi0us
4.25/5  rDev 0%

Devi0us, Apr 21, 2012
Photo of philipquarles
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%

33cl bottle. Pours black black with a creamy ochre head that recedes quickly. Very strong smells of dark roasted malts: chocolate, coffee, etc. Dark fruits as well, followed by spices. Tastes heavily of the same coffee/semi-sweet chocolate. Spices in the background. Surprising hop bitterness actually gives it a finish that's almost dry. Thick and creamy feel with quite a bit of carbonation. The alcohol is pretty well hidden, with only a slight warming at the end.

philipquarles, Aug 05, 2008
Photo of Neffbeer
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%

bottle marked B 6 BB, which is a 2007 batch from June.

A: Jet black with a good size tan head. The head retention is very good with bits of sticky lacing left behind on the sides of the glass. After the head fades a fluffy tan cloud remains floating on the surface of the beer.

S: Initially I am greeted by the familiar smell of the Struise house yeast. It is pleasantly fruity and spicy. My next breathe reveals an intense wave of roasted malts with some deep dark chocolate undertones. Some caramel and toffee are detectable as it warms some more with a bit of the booze pushing through as well.

T: The yeast bite is upfront but extremely short lived. A wave of charred malt and bitter chocolate swiftly shrugs the fruit aside and leaves some ash in its' wake. There is a biscuity sweetness mid palate that is really interesting. It finishes nice and bitter with a small amount of heat from the alcohol.

M: Full bodied with lush carbonation. The bitter finish paints an illusion of a really dry beer, but the body is so viscous that I find that hard to believe.

O: A world class beer by any standard. Truly original in character, a brew that I eagerly look forward to drinking again.

Neffbeer, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of bishopdc0
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

bishopdc0, Jan 15, 2013
Photo of weaselchew
4.75/5  rDev +11.8%

weaselchew, Jul 16, 2013
Photo of claaark13
5/5  rDev +17.6%

claaark13, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of MNPikey
4.5/5  rDev +5.9%

MNPikey, Jun 10, 2013
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
95 out of 100 based on 1,501 ratings.