Cuvee Delphine - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

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BA SCORE
92
outstanding

206 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 206
Hads: 564
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 7.21%
Wants: 224
Gots: 146 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-07-2009

This beer takes its name from Delphine Boël, the unlawful daughter of King Albert II. She has struggled for acknowledgment in both her professional and private lives, so we decided she deserves a tribute fit for a princess. Cuvée Delphine is our Black Albert, carefully matured on Four Roses bourbon barrels for 12 months. Mrs. Boël has kindly allowed us to use her artwork for its label, which speaks for itself.

In a sea of sickly sweet and heavy bourbon aged stouts, we wanted Cuvée Delphine to shine brightly as a pinnacle of balance and restraint. Only with a base beer as potent as Black Albert could we manage to make the aging process shine. Notes of oak and slight vanilla pair extraordinarily well with the familiar coffee and brown sugar notes from the Black Albert. The subdued alcohol ties it all together in a lush, mellow experience. Cuvée Delphine will set you free.
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Reviews: 206 | Hads: 564
Photo of jfunkk79
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Got this in a trade from ggaughan. Thanks again man!

25cl small sleek bottle. The label reads Cuvee Delphine / Truth Can Set You Free

Poured a deep black into my Brooklyn snifter. Retains a nice pillowy head with small brown bubbles; frothy at the edges.

The aroma on this beer is incredible. Sweet maple syrup, plums, chocolate, there's a bit of alcohol on the nose, like a sweet red wine.

First sip blew me away. A bit of tartness hits the tip of the tongue and explodes into an amazing array of flavor. A sweet, molasses, almost cola flavor flows into a real mild alcohol burn that tickles the back of the throat. It has a little pucker to it at the end.

Mouthfeel is equally outstanding on this one. It starts off a little thin but lays pretty heavy at the back of the tongue. Feels almost like a beer milkshake, so creamy and chewy.

I'm pretty happy to have had a chance to try this beer. Easily one of the best beers I've tasted. I love the Black Albert, but I would marry this beer if it was legal to. (1,014 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
5/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 14 / 2009

Pours jet black with a big chocolate brown head. In the aroma, bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate. In the taste, chocolate, mellow dry bourbon, sweet vanilla, oaky and rich all the way through. A small alcohol bite and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a dry oak and hint of bourbon in the aftertaste. WOW! Big and mellow in all the right spots, hides the alcohol until the end, simply fantastic. (416 characters)

Photo of FreshHawk
4.93/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A - Very dark mahogany with a huge, thick, creamy, frothy, cafe colored head. I've used the the description of meringue-like, but this one is closest to meringue that I've had, it is really thick. Amazing retention that finally settles into a nice creamy lace.

S - Smell is amazing. Barrel definitely imparted a good amount of aroma with vanilla, bourbon, and oak being strong. Also a good amount of chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, and dark malt. Some sweet candi sugar balances out the roasted aroma. Hingts of dark fruit also come out.

T - Dark fruit and anise mix with the chocolate, candi sugar and slightly roasted dark malt. Raisin, fig, date, and plum come in and out along with the chocolate malt. The bourbon, vanilla, and oak also mix in and out throughout the sip, especially on the finish.

M - Full to medium body with a good level of carbonation. Very smooth and creamy.

D - Very drinkable beer with a great mouthfeel that is creamy and smooth. Also a good mix of the bourbon, roasted chocolate stout, and dark fruit. Very easy and enjoyable to drink.

Notes: Best before Mar. 2014. Excellent beer that is a great mix of all the flavors I mentioned before. I wish I had more, and that this came in a bigger bottle. Highly recommend this beer. De Struise just keeps surprising me with how many good beers they make, and this one is right at the top for me. (1,374 characters)

Photo of doopiedoopiedoo
4.92/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ordered these bottles from the Struise webshop.
Vintage 2009.

Poured into a snifter.

Pitch black with a one finger mocha colored head. Leaves a bit of lacing.

Lots of smell on this one. Bourbon is very present. Coffee, chocolate and sweetness with some booze in the nose.

Huge flavor bomb. It's the Black Albert AND a bag of chips. Chocolate + coffee + fruits + barrel + vanilla + liqourice= probably half of what's in here. Booze is well hidden. It's fantastic.

Pretty sturdy (struise) body. Carbonation is plentyfull but not as much as you might expect after the loud hiss upon opening.

I've been lucky enough to try this one several times and I have to say it's one of my favourite stouts. Worth tracking down if you are a lover of BIG stouts! Highly recomended. (772 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An outstanding beer. I was thrilled to be able to grab ahold of this one. Small bottle was served chilled and poured into a pint glass, consumed on 08/29/2009.

One of the best looking pours I have ever seen hands down. Deep dark black in color. Huge tan head comes up and over the top and really fills the glass right to the rim. Hardly anything falls off of it for several minutes. Huge amounts of sticky tan foam all up and down the sides of the glass. Tons of chocolate and fruit notes just jumping out at you from the very first touch of it to the air. Notes of whickey, hints of oak and rich chocolate are all infused together seemlessly to put a wonderful touch on it. Enornously fell feel here, with huge carbonation just lets the flavor coat the entire tongue and really just gives it a wonderful sense of fullness to it. Rich chocolate and licorice notes just play off each other soo well. This was just wonderfully done. Hints of grapes, touches of almost apples coming through now. Very rich. Nice boozy and oak notes now coming through and giving it a very nice balance and richness. Fades out slowly with a touch of funk on the tongue and a finish that leaves a touch of vanilla across the tongue and a warming in the belly.

Blows black albert out of the water. It is really put together wonderfully I have to say. I would have no issue at all with having this one around all the time, it really is just that good. A case here where something almost needs some more hype! (1,486 characters)

Photo of Brabander
4.88/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

September 2012...i have to rewrite this review and i am glad i can do this. In august 2010 is wasn't really into these types of darker beer and this one could not make me happy at that time. In 2012 things have changed completely. This is on the best Struise has ever made and that is why i have changed my review....chapeau Urbain!

This was what i wrote in 2010:

Before i start this review i have to say that i stopped drinking coffee about ten years ago and i haven't drank it since.

That makes drinking this one very difficult to write an honest review. I picked up this one at the Struise after a very nice visit a few days ago.
The Struise is by far my most favourite brewer and when you see (and drink) the beers they have you will know what i mean. Great guys!!

Poured in the Struisse beerglass the beer looks very very very dark with an enormous chocolate head. Could not see any carbonation but it must be there. Incredible.

The smell gets an average from me and that's because i smell something funny which i can not define.

For a non coffeedrinker the taste is good. Lots of coffee and very dark chocolate. Some fruits far far away.

This is not the best Struisse i have ever drank but that really has to do with my taste for coffee. (1,250 characters)

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.85/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Darkness goblet on 07/22/11. Drank right after a Black Albert.

Pours a dark black with no light coming through and a huge frothy dark brown head that dissipates slowly to moderate lacing.

Smells of some chocolate, dark fruit, dark coffee and lots more booze then the Black Albert. Booze smell is very nice because it balances the sweetness with a booze whisky barrel flavor. Very nice and better then Black Albert.

Taste is tons of roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate with a solid front of bourbon barrel aging. This is a black albert with the barrel aging awesomeness that was promised. Barrel aging did this well. Smooth bourbon mixes well with the chocolate and malt profile. Perfect.

Mouthfeel is very light and it seems that even with the barrel aging the beer has lost a lot of its abrasive ending. Smooth through the pallet and little alcohol burn. Perfect.

Overall this is one hell of a brew. I am so glad to have had it. Barrel aging really helped turn this into a top 1% beer. Great job. (1,019 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33 cl bottle (huge thx MacDomer!) best before March 2014, poured into my Delirium snifter, Cuvee Delphine is black with a huge creamy head, perhaps the densest, tightest head I've seen, leaving lots of foamy lace.

Smell is amazing, huge fruity esters, wow! Massive grape and tropical citrus, as well as a hint of bourbon. Something about the esters actually reminds me of a saison, which is my favorite.

Taste is great, massive roast really provides an abrupt distinction from the nose, dominating the taste, making this seem more like a pure stout, with the esters proving a nice punch of depth in the background. The alcohol is super smooth, and overall it's well integrated. Excellent, although I can't say I'm getting much from the bourbon barrel.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very viscous. Nice digestibility.

Drinkability damn good. I just had Black Albert for the first time 2 nights ago, and as much as I enjoyed it, this is the better of the two. I don't think it's as old as the Black Albert, which was 1.5 years in my cellar alone. Cuvee Delphine is truly exceptional. (1,082 characters)

Photo of rvdoorn
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Look: Pours a deep black colour with a nice, two finger thick brown head which leaves a great lacing.
Smell: Dark roasted vanilla, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, roasted malts and dark fruits. Lightly smoked bourbon.
Taste: Dark malts, coffee, vanilla, and clear dark chocolate. More smoked bourbon than in the nose. Licorice is also clearly present now. This beer is quite boozy as well.
Mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation, full body
Overall: One of the better beers I had recently; a true master piece. Perfectly balanced and IMO quite a bit underrated, probably because it is widely available again….. beats Dark Lord, Darkness and some other overhyped “hard to get” USA brews without any problems. (704 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
4.8/5  rDev +15.4%

2012 vintage, bottled and had in 2014.
Label says 11% alc.
Pours deep black, small half finger mocha head getting slowly thinner and thinner.
Vanilla, oak, a nice warm vapour of bourbon and roast smell from afar. Closer in there's dried plum, dark raisin, dark chocolate, a bit of orange peel, licorice, faint cinnamon, light coffee acidity. Smells great, but it doesn't yet confirm the big hype around it.
Really soft and smooth first sip, and we got confirmation! Bourbon and dark fruit up front, warm, with boozy raisin, plum, fig, invoking great aged red wine notes. Big licorice here too. Sticky caramel and dark chocolate slowly slide down the throat, and somehow it doesn't feel too sweet, but just perfect. Dark spices and wood, a nice oak characteristic, some cinnamon, vanilla, extra cocoa powder. The robust roasted malts might help with that, strong, but never too ashy, not even in the finish. Bourbon comes back in the finish, with a bit of coffee liqueur too.
Again, mouthfeel is smooth with a light to medium fizz, black pepper-prickly. Aftertaste is rich and a bit sticky with roasted malt, chocolate, light espresso and sweet bourbon.
A real monster, rich and complex, manages to hit the perfect mark on everything (roast, sweetness, alcohol, dark fruit). One of the best out there, for sure. (1,310 characters)

Photo of rudylaw
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

25cl bottle courtesy of eyebrews! I love Black Albert, so this bottle has been long awaited.

Pours a delicate black with foamy, white head that yields into a thin rim. Picture perfect!

Big time chocolate with smoothing bourbon. There is slight toffee here as well. A very inviting aroma that is so complex, my words do this no justice.

Chocolate malt with warming bourbon sip upon glorious sip. Nice and smooth with parts vanilla and tannins. Like Albert, this is so unique, I'm having a hard time describing everything I taste. Amazing!

The mouthfeel is a little light with excellent carbonation. The alcohol is making its presence known, but by all means, I'm glad to have this bottle all to myself. Just outstanding! (723 characters)

Photo of pants678
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Black, in a flute-ish glass, with a light beige head. On tap at Mikkeller in SF.

Vanilla, bourbon.

Belgian stout are all too rare. Wood's an after thought, the bourbon doesn't hit like I'd expect. Leaves something to be desired, that's a small knock, though. Still, wonderfully rich malt with the right edge. Vanilla, chocolate, malt pulled together damn near perfectly.

As smooth as they come. (399 characters)

Photo of ratedz
4.73/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 vintage poured into a Boulevard tulip glass.

An aggressive pour left a huge tan head that slowly faded leaving a lot of lacing on the glass. Smells of roasted malts, chocolate, some dark fruits, and a hint of bourbon. Hints of coffee, chocolate, and dark fruits dominate the palate up front, but it finishes with some bourbon heat. The mouthfeel is thick and creamy, so it is definitely a sipping beer, but with all of the amazing flavors going on here, you'll want to take your time and savor every last drop!

This was easily one of the best bourbon barrel aged stouts I've had. While the bourbon was present, it wasn't overpowering, which allowed all of the other flavors to shine through. I have four more bottles of this, so I can't wait to see how it ages. (768 characters)

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.71/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

33cl bottle into chouffe tulip.

A- A nice aggressive pour produces a 3-finger fluffy mocha head on a very deep dark base. Great pour.

S- I let this one warm a bit before I drank it. Great aroma. Dark fruit, cohocolate, very inviting.

T- Coffee, chocolate, tobacco, sweet caramel/vanilla and bourbon. Multi-layered, keeps me wanting more. This glass is getting emptied mighty quickly...

M- Thick and chewy, delicious, damn near perfect. Warm and boozy but I'm diggin' it.

D- An instant favorite. Good stuff here. I am impressed. (536 characters)

Photo of beerpirates
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

25 cl bottel poured in my struise glass

A : Retains a nice 2 finger head with small brown bubbles

S: The aroma on this beer is incredible. Sweet maple syrup, plums, chocolate, there's a bit of alcohol on the nose

T: A bit of tartness hits the tip of the tongue and explodes into an amazing array of flavor. A sweet, molasses, real mild alcohol burn that tickles the back of the throat.you can taste the oak Very Nice balanced ,

M: outstanding , lays pretty heavy at the back of the tongue. almost like a milkshake, very creamy

one of the best stouts I've ever tasted. (575 characters)

Photo of Nick3
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Motor oil black in color, the beer effortlessly forms a 2 inch, frothy, dark brown head. Great lacing down the glass, the head holds for several minutes. The beer looks alive but it begs to be drunk. Aroma is a wonderful melange of dark fruit, chocolate, oak, and a little bretty must. Taste is quite amazing from start to finish; I liken it to a teeter totter like tightrope walk with a rebalancing interplay of slightly sour dark fruit, mild roasted bitterness, and a semi-sweet chocolate flavor. Beer is full bodied, with above average carbonation which works well for me. The carbonation is tight and imparts a delicate, silky mouthfeel to the brew. Alcohol level is masked completely with the exception of a slight warming feel in the finish. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would seek it out. (800 characters)

Photo of wunderbeer
4.7/5  rDev +13%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed from my Liefman's goblet about a week after shipment arrived from Belgium. Served from the cellar, not refrigerated.

Light effervescence, more so than most stouts and certainly with more head than my Black Albert experiences. Color was nearly black, though allowed light through with a deep brown-orange. Beautiful.

The nose was complex fruit and dark malts with the oak sourness. Taste was a terrific surprise - more tart and fruity than the deep black color or great scent even would have me suspecting. Definitely can still taste the Black Albert, but he's in the background of the fruit overtones and rich oak. All of these characteristics were extremely well balanced.

Truth serum: I would put this in the best 5 beer experiences I've ever had. I'd take out a loan for a case if one was available in the US. Alas. (830 characters)

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours an amazing huge beige head. I actually lost a chunk of the bottle due to the delayed explosion out of the bottle. A very dark pour.
Smell is toasted nut and malty goodness. A dark sour fruit smell makes me want to stop smelling. Also lots of others including chocolate and licorice.
Taste is Russian stout laced with an emphasis on the dark fruit presence with the sour coming through. Hoppy enough tore signage into nose when quaffed. Chocolate presence detected.
Finish is incredibly smooth with much sweetness, this might be the slight downfall, but others may love. The high alcohol is well disguised but feel I on the other end.
Overall a wonderful stout with much complexity...my wife is now trying to steal it from me. (737 characters)

Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great beer, has gotten even better the last couple years with the introduction of Black Albert Batch 0. Pours nera black, greta head. Fudgy, malts galore and whiskey barrels. Tick, chewy stout, well carbonated. Struise is really starting to perfect their stouts! (262 characters)

Photo of MaineBrewing
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On draught at Novare res 8oz pour on " de struise day"

A - poured pitch black opaque with a good one finger darker tan head. Immediate lacing was apparent.

S - smell of roasted malts, dark fruits, slight acidity. Maybe the atmosphere but a very mild aroma.

T - very complex and delicious. The Belgian character adds a nice fruity finish a nice pedal point to the roasted malt character is domineering .nice smokiness in the finish, finishes a great balance between dry and sweet. Ample hop bitterness in the end with A slight sour character.

M - slow sipping but not too thick. Well carbonated and a balanced finish. The 13% abv is not really prevalent. Very drinkable.

O -very drinkable stout, yet very complex and requires time to reflect on the nuances. A real treat to have this on draught. Chose this over some rare and delicous offerings and don't regret it. (872 characters)

Photo of larryi86
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Big thanks to womencantsail for sending this as an extra!
25 cL bottle, best before 3/2014, poured into a tulip

A- Black with a four finger tan head.

S- Dark fruits, tart cherries, chocolate, roasted malts, some bourbon...nothing really jumps out at me.

T- This is pretty intense. Getting caramel malts, chocolate, hint of roasted coffee, some bourbon upfront and a tart cherry finish, not getting any alcohol. After the tartness fades it leaves you with a really nice smokey chocolate aftertaste. As this is warming up I am getting a nice oak flavor. At first the different flavors seemed to be all over the place and not working together, but the aftertaste bring it all together.

M- Smooth, rich, creamy, full body.

O - This is a great beer that I am very happy I was able to try. 13% ABV is not noticeable at all and it is very easy to drink. Nose had me thinking that this might be a mess, but it is not. (914 characters)

Photo of BobZ
4.65/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. Bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Almost identical to Black Albert, pitch black in color. Even less head than its parent but once again there is some very nice lacing.

Smell: The bourbon comes through in the nose, but doesn't overwhelm there are also notes of chocolate and coffee.

Taste: The bourbon and the aging have really done some great things to Black Albert. Like in the nose, the bourbon is there but subtle, also adding warmth. There is malt and coffee, but to my palate the dominate flavor is rich dark chocolate. The hint on bitterness seems to come more from the chocolate than the hops. Once more a superbly balanced beer, equal to, maybe better, certainly different from Black Albert.

Mouth feel: Again Struise excels here, extremely smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Like Black Albert, so smooth, so tasty, I could drink this beer all night!
Having just read some other recent reviews (and having had infected Pannepot), if you get a bottle with any Vinegar or sour taste it is definitely "infected" as the bottles of Delphine that I have had have nothing at all along those lines. (1,126 characters)

Photo of EmperorBevis
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

It's pitch black and offers little tobacco stain head
The aroma is plummy & boozy like a fine brandy
The flavour is ever evolving
swirling around liquorice, coffee, dark chocolate, Irish Cream
just the right level of sweetness to stop it being heavy but not that much to be cloying
It's big booze It's a solid mouthfeel & in no way understated drink
but it's smooth enough to sip easily
Quite possibly the world's greatest beer (430 characters)

Photo of flannelman808
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very very dark brown with just a tiny amount of ruby which only glimmers through the corners in light. Topped with a medium-dark tan colored head which has pretty good retention and good lacing.

S: Wood, bourbon, chocolate mouse, and dark fruit dominate the nose along with a touch of alcohol. Nice.

T: Curious stuff! Very unique. Chocolate bourbon mouse cake topped with blueberries and ripe raspberries. That about sums it up. Very good stuff, I like how much fruit is spun into the mix. The bourbon is there but its not overly pronounced and integrates nicely with the other flavors. A mix of sweet bitter and slightly tart flavors overall this fires on all cylinders.

M: Thick and silky. Pretty long finish on this one too.

O: I'm pretty impressed with this and would like to see how it ages but I would guess 2-3 years would be max as it's bitter to sweet ratio is just north of bitter now. Very balanced overall. (925 characters)

Photo of johnnybravo
4.6/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Aged on Four Roses whisky and it shows. Absolutely great beer that beats the original Black Albert (non-aged). The whisky isn't dominant like in comparable beers but perfectly in balance with the RIS. Mouthfeel is wonderful, full and warming but certainly not alcoholic. A bad thing in most 10%+ beers. It's no beer to drink alle evening but it certainly goes down easy. I must get met some more. (396 characters)

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Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
92 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.