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Cuvee Delphine - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

208 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 208
Hads: 575
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 225
Gots: 149 | 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.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 208 | Hads: 575
Photo of BMMillsy
1.15/5  rDev -72.4%

On tap on Kulminator in Antwerp. Pours black with a small khaki head on top. Aroma is--uh oh--more infected BA stout from Struise. These guys have not had a good year with their barrels. Sour apple, funky smokey peat, roast. Flavor follows and is just unbearable. Sour smokey roast and some booze. Nothing else here. Thin body with medium carbonation. After my two infected Black Damnations and now this, I won’t be putting much money into Struise BA stouts in the future. This is a known problem and they keep selling this garbage. Will have to try this again I guess. Kind of sad. (586 characters)

Photo of davod23
2.06/5  rDev -50.6%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Damn. Poured from a bottle into an oversized wine glass.

This pour is beautiful. Near-black with a large tan head that just refuses to quit. As pretty as it gets.

What the hell, man? This smells like grape Jolly Ranchers. Searching around, you can make out some roasted coffee notes in the background, but the dominant aroma is grape candy. Clearly infected. Damn it.

Very tart cherry and grape flavors. Not much else there. Long sticky sour fruit finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin.

Drinkability isn't terrible, all things considered. I'll finish this beer, even though it's infected. Agh.

I have a few more bottles coming to me from the Struise beershop. I will re-review if I can actually get a decent bottle of this.

***Edit: I just read through a bunch of reviews, and it seems like a TON of people have reported the odd sourness/grape candy kind of aromas and flavors. How could this beer still possibly have such good overall marks? This is supposed to be a barrel-aged imperial stout, right? Freaking weird. I refuse to believe that the sourness was intended. Terrible idea, if I got a bottle as it's truly intended to be. (1,135 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
2.26/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Davod's avatar beneath me describes my reaction to this very anticipated beer in that Delphine was not what I was expected. Tasted alongside a Black Albert and a Black Damnation with Oglmcdgl.

Delphine had a big hiss once the cap was popped and the liquid was jet black coming out of the bottle settling in black as can be. What was surprising was the Enormous head that came from it. At least three fingaz of dark tan semi brownish head and minimal stick.

The four roses barrels used did not impart much bourbon character in the nose but that probably has to do with this bottle becoming infected, it's quite apparent. Dark plums and other rotting fruits mesh with a somewhat chocolate and vanilla scent. The main attraction though is that damn infection with a coca cola vibe coming off. Reminds me of infected SFTO.

I again ask, where is the bourbon, it hardly makes a dent, almost like albert had a short stay in the barrels. Either way that stay in the wood has created a infection along the line and rotten dark fruit is the result with some stout flavor suck as brownie batter, vanilla and a bready Belgian yeast strain underneasth the nastiness.

The feel is not as thick as most stouts out there. Albert does not have that big of a body to begin with so there is that. I wonder why a base beer with a not over thickness did not catch more bourbon when inside the wood. Mediumish body with a carbed up feel and a infection to die for. In all fairness the infection is starting and will only become larger.

With all that said, I still drank the beer and it did not make me throw up or die. I still tasted some quality stout under all of the old fruit but I did not pick up much bourbon if any at all, so In my mind this experiment needs to be conducted again

My score will stand until I find another bottle of this, but Im not going through the trouble or cost of getting it again. If de struise wants to send me another bottle that's good, I will gladly revise this review. Beer Mail me Urbain. (2,007 characters)

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.42/5  rDev -42%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of medium brown, creamy/frothy head. Retention is good and a decent amount of lacing is left.

2.0 S: Musty, almost vegetal vibe right off the bat. Oak, peat, and apple orchard from the bourbon and barrel. Light chocolate with a light acridity to it.

2.0 T: Like the nose, there's a lot of musty earthiness. And again like the nose, there's a light vegetal component. Bourbon and barrel give oak, peat, char, ash, and a touch of fruit. Chocolate and caramel. Booze is very well hidden.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Nice creaminess on this. Not particularly smooth from the acridity, but feels good when it's in my mouth.

2.5 D: Not a big fan of this. The barrel aging wasn't done very well and it shows in the nose and taste. I really liked the mouthfeel though and it almost made the experience a good one. (900 characters)

Photo of Overlord
2.79/5  rDev -33.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to JERZ!

Pours black. Surprisingly robust inch and a half of light brown foam.

Smells like ... uhhh.... sour fruit? Really? Some vinous/grapeskin notes. Not expected.

Tastes like some vinous souriness, a bit of pungent, stale chocolate and crackers, and an interesting tobacco-y aftertaste.

So ... what's up with Cuvee Delphine? Thicker than I thought it would not be, but not RIS thick. (398 characters)

Photo of waltonc
2.87/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Thanks to Popkas for hooking me up with this. I've been wanting to try this beer for a long time.

A: Pours very dark brown, almost completely opaque, with a large tan head. The lacing on this is very nice.

S: The first thing I notice is metal, which is quite off-putting. As the beer has opened up, the metallic scent has faded some, but is still present. After a while, a strong chocolate quality begins to take over as the dominant factor on the nose. Fairly restrained bourbon quality.

T: Milk chocolate, metal, plum, and bourbon. This beer is sweet, but by no means cloying. Again, that metallic quality is very unpleasant.

M: Very nice mouthfeel - medium-bodied, high class silk. Although the carbonation is fairly high, it is quite smooth.

D: Overall, an interesting beer to try, but the metallic quality prevents this from being very good. On the other hand, I appreciate De Struise using an appropriately small bottle for this, rather than the ridiculous 750s and bombers that Goose Island and Bruery are putting 15-18% abv beers in. (1,048 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.01/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was graciously shared by sixthglass, thanks Tim!

It pours a medium bodied dark chocolate brown in color with a beige lacing around the glass. The aroma is very big and roasty with a moderate amount of bitterness. You don't get any bourbon or barrel notes at all. You do get a lot of chocolately sweetness. The flavors mimic the aromas. It's a lot of chocolate with almost a woody and grainy aspect. It's pretty interesting. Again, it's very heavy on the dark chocolate. It drinks light in body, for the style, medium overall. This beer didn't live up to the reputation for me. It just wasn't very complex and you didn't get any bourbon at all. I wanted to be able to detect the Four Roses. (700 characters)

Photo of BenZ
3.04/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok, so I loved the BA batch 0, so I thought this would be even better. It wasn't - it seems to be infected. Reminds me a lot of the Berkshire imperial stout that is widely reported to be infected. Oddly I still liked that beer even with the sourness. Perhaps it's because this was such a let down, but I cant give it any higher scores. Such a shame...

I have one more bottle, will update if this changes. (405 characters)

Photo of kbutler1
3.06/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a really nice opaque dark brown color with a nice 2 finger tan head that looks really pillowy. The aroma isn't as pronounced as I thought it would be with only really slight notes of leather, dark chocolate, and bourbon. The head laces rather nicely as it settles. Medium mouthfeel with a bit of carbonation. This has a really roasty, bitter underlying flavor that I am not that keen on. Starts with a sublte sweetness and transition to the aforementioned bitterness. Some booze notes. The bourbon makes itself slightly known towards the end. This one sort of has me baffled on how it is rated so high. It has a lighter mouthfeel than I would like and the roast is a little too overdown to me which I think leads to the bitterness of it. Yeah, not a big fan of this Imperial Stout. (795 characters)

Photo of mothman
3.11/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage

Poured into Founders snifter.

Pours 1.5 fingers of creamy tan head. Fades to a thinner layer. Leaves some lacing. Color pours caramel brown but settles black.

Aroma: Roasted malts, sharp bourbon, cream, oak, vanilla, chocolate. It seems to have a sourness or funk to it. Nothing to impressive here.

Taste: Creamy and roasted. Cocoa powder and chocolate with some roasted malts. Maybe a touch of coffee, vanilla, and caramel. The bourbon is very subtle, but it is fairly oaky. Again, it has an off flavor in the taste. Fairly mediocre.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky, and creamy. Probably the best aspect about this beer. Medium to full bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Ends overly dry and roasted.

Overall, meh. It is alright, but there are much better beers around at a fraction of the price. Nothing special or worth seeking out again. Slightly above average. Somewhat drinkable. (914 characters)

Photo of sisuspeed
3.11/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to irishct15 for the bottle!

Poured into a Hill Farmstead tasting glass. A big, thick, creamy, dark-tan head forms on top of an opaque black body. Swirling leaves some nice lacing behind.

The nose contains light bourbon, chocolate and a bit of sour cherry. Hmmm... hopefully this isn't infected. Light vanilla and oak, rounded out with a touch of alcohol.

Bourbon and vinous chocolate on the tongue. Followed by chocolate, wood and alcohol. Hint of vinegar. Not overly exciting. Possibly infected.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin and foamy. Under carbonated. Some warming alcohol.

Drinkability is sub-par. I have a bottle of Black Albert open next to this and it is so much better. Maybe I just have a bad bottle, but this beer seems fairly flawed. (755 characters)

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.31/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to Boatshoes for this one. This is one off my wants list.

Lots of the other reviews really let me down. Many people are talking about infection. I guess I cant say Im surprised, it seems that more often than not BA stouts are infected.

Poured into the new Thomas Hardy snifter that Boatshoes included in this box.

Vintage 2009
A- Upon prying at the cap I got the loud, forceful hiss that many reviewers talk about. Its often an early warning of problems to come. This beer was trying to trick me on the pour. It started out looking and acting like there was going to be nary a head, it lulled me into a false sense of comfort. Then all of a sudden foam roars up from the blackened body like dumping a gallon of Satan's vinegar into a mound of evil baking soda. But with Saint Michael and God's army at my side I managed to rein in the chemical reaction of doom as we ride victoriously from perdition on wings of malted barley.

S- Yeah, many people talk about a lactic, sour, cherry and funky nose, yet Im getting hardly any of that. Sure, Im picking up little notions of cherry, and under a deep swirl, some sort of "lactic" smell, but none of it is disgusting or over run. The smell is actually kinda faint, mostly sporting a deep roasted malt character. There is are generous portions of tobacco and licorice with subordinates of chocolate and alcohol. There seems to be a strange, dirty, chalky, chemically aroma that peeks in and out. Warmth only serves to feed this bizarre aroma. The aroma isnt bad, but its not stellar either.

T- This bottle isnt sour, but one wouldnt have a hard time convincing me that something is slightly amiss. It starts nice and sweet, mostly fruity with hints of cocoa and vanilla. It breaks into some licorice, oddly enough that includes both the black and red varieties. It finishes with flavors of chocolate covered cherries and devils food cake.

M- Perhaps a little on the thin side but that whopping 13% abv is very well hidden.

Im still on the fence about this whole infection thing with this beer. But I wanna say that it probably has a very minor bug, but the bug actually works kinda well with the beer, and thus it escapes total destruction.

EDIT: I'm coming back into this review after pouring the rest of the bottle (including the dregs) into my glass. Woooo boy, does this stuff SUCK now. Im kinda shocked at the difference. There still isnt any true sourness but there is a very out of place chemical and medicinal taste that starts mid-palate and holds well into the finish, gaining steam as it goes. (2,578 characters)

Photo of jsanford
3.39/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2009 Vintage

A - Pours a dark, inky black with a creamy, dense mocha-colored head that settles to a thick cap, leaving sheets of lacing clinging to the glass. Just as beautiful as Black Albert, one of my all-time favorites.
S - Deep, intense aromas of dark chocolate, dried fruits (raisins and prunes), vanilla, blackberry preserves, and a muted barrel character. Sad to see how lacking in intensity this is, it basically smells like *just* Black Albert (which usually wouldn't be a bad thing).
T - Flavor follows the nose, lots of dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate, smoke, dark berries, and molasses with just the slightest hint of Bourbon.
M - Big and creamy, with a full mouthfeel, low carbonation, and no sign of the 13% ABV.
O - Man, this is disappointing. OK, it's good for a "regular" RIS, but this is Barrel-Aged Black Albert! I expected something great, and this is nothing special. I'll save a few bucks and stick with the regular version next time. (963 characters)

Photo of DeaconBluez
3.54/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Got this in White Whale 3 from xpimptastikx. Crazy package and he hit a major want on this one. Thanks Michael!

Appearance: Pours a nice black liquid with a huge amount of dark brown head. I thought the head was due to my pour or something with my glass but after reading the other reviews, I see that this is just one of the features of this beer.

Smell: Almost a sourness to it. Strange. Wasn't expecting that. The alcohol is in there as well.

Taste: Some sourness as well. Almost a nutmeg and cinnamon taste in there too. Burnt malts. Dark fruits. I get light coffee and chocolate notes but not very strong. Oaky and vinous.

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated and a tad thin

Drinkability: The high ABV is very well hidden on this beer. Not sure I would drink two of these in a row even if the ABV was lower.

Definitely a beer I'd like to see what would happen with a few years on it. (884 characters)

Photo of sixthglass
3.54/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared at Kahns with aasher, 2009 vintage.

Poured black and beautiful with a chewing tobbaco brown colored head. Smelled and tasted like roasty malts and barley. Slight coffee, slight bitter chocolate. Barely any bourbon present in the smell and taste.. great mouthfeel and gorgeous lacing.

It's a solid beer. I however was expecting more. (341 characters)

Photo of axeman9182
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle, allowed to warm some before being poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

Cuvee Delphine pours a solid black. Three plus fingers of mocha foam come together quickly and threaten to spill out of the glass. Head retention is decent, but lacing is nonexistent. The nose has a little bit of bourbon and a little bit of milk chocolate. The predominant aroma though, is vanilla soaked dark fruits. The intensity is noticeably lacking. Each sip leads off with a brief bourbon flourish. The focus of the flavor profile though is vanilla and plums A nice swirl of milk chocolate comes in to provide the finish. The body is not nearly full enough, an the carbonation is way too prominent for an imperial stout. The very Belgian nature of the base beer shines through the barrel aging for Cuvee Delphine. The result is a beer that's not bad as a beer, but pretty average as a Russian Imperial Stout (904 characters)

Photo of rhinos00
3.58/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to beace for opening this one up. Reviewed from notes I took on the phone. Poured into a snifter.

A- Pours a dark, chocolate brown. Almost looks like a liquid brownie. Produced two fingers width of tan colored head. Quickly dissipated upon consumption.

S- Picking up a slight roasted quality along with some chocolate from the various blends of malts. Also noticed a bit of tannic fruitiness. Some oak in there as well.

T- Very much like the aroma, but without the roasted character. Also found the bourbon to be barely noticeable in this one. Flavors just didn't work for me this one, lacked cohesion. Also tad bit too hot in the end.

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of viscosity.

D- Wasn't too difficult to drink my sample, but I'm not sure if I would want much more.

Overall, very glad to have the opportunity to try this long time want. That being said, I found this one to be very disappointing. Noticed some off flavors that just didn't seem to work in this one. I'd much rather have Black Albert. (1,025 characters)

Photo of Beerisheaven
3.64/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Finally, after a long wait in trying this, I decided to start off the long Thanksgiving weekend by diving into this little gem recently sent over from Belgium by a beer drinking friend.

Poured from the small bottle into an awaiting snifter.

A - Dark and even darker if possible with a rich mocha head that rises up on a less then aggressive pour. The best thing is that a swirl or two in the snifter and you can basically summon up the impressive sight on command.

S - The first part of the let down for me. I don't get the complex dark ripened fruit that I was anticipating. Instead I get the distinct booziness of the brew along with a definite blast of oak.

T - Follows the nose largely and I am sorry to say that I don't get the rich complex fruit flavor initially. As it warmed it improved, but still I was a little let down.

M - Very solid. Thick and somewhat oily and slick. It is very good; besides the appearance, I think that the mouthfeel is the next best element of the experience.

D - You can definitely pick up the booze. One small bottle and I can definitely feel that I am on my way to nighty night. You have been warned, be careful.

Given the price of acquiring these, I'd purchase the Westy bottles over these every day of the week. I am glad I got the chance to finally cross this one off the list, but I don't think that I will search this one out as much as I did for this one. I'll have to try it again given that I still have 2 more bottles and see if I like it more the second time around. (1,521 characters)

Photo of schwaeh
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle received from injuredreserve.
Batch 14-2009

A: Jet black with a mocha colored 2 finger head. After the head implodes the foam really clings to the sides of the glass.

S: Really nice nose. Lots of bourbon engulfs the sweet tobacco, molasses, deep dark malts, black licorice, and dark fruits. Tobacco really stands out here, wet, juicy tobacco. There is a slight tartness, cherry-like, but after all the horror stories maybe I'm looking for it pretty hard. Smells very earthy and sweet. The alcohol is present but not as much as the ABV would lead you to believe.

T: Roasted malt, coffee, leather, tobacco, and wood really headline this. There is a nice char from smoked wood. Bourbon sweetness, smoke, oak, and vanilla try to cut through this black abyss of flavors. This is a very tannic, vinous beer, I get some cherry chocolate throughout. If this is infected, it is too big in the first place to be thrown off track by this problem, or it just kind of works with the beer.

M: Heavier medium body. Higher carbonation for the style but not enough to cause any alarm.

O: This is a pretty nice stout. I'm not so sure its worth all the money and hassle to achieve a bottle. I'm fairly certain something unwanted is going on in this beer, but it is very slight, and again the huge flavors overbear it as far as I'm concerned. At the end of the day I probably would have rather had the Four Roses bourbon or the Black Albert instead. (1,448 characters)

Photo of MaartenvanDoorn
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

The beer was poured from the bottle in the glass. It foams heavily, very nice. The beer contains lots of alcohol, and you can taste that. It is a heavy beer. It tastes mainly like coffee and alcohol. The mouthfeel is in order, a good thick beer. Overall an okay beer! (267 characters)

Photo of dasenebler
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

33cl, "Vintage 2009" on the label.

Thick, inky black with a spectacular head: dark tan and voluminous, with sheets of lace.

At first the aroma has a big vanillin-bourbon profile. This then transforms into more of an oaky, roasty thing. Very lush and deep, though there's a slightly metallic thing that is not ideal.

Flavor is equally as huge, with fudge and dark chocolate components. Very roasty and bitter on the back end. Woody flavors apparent as well. Like Black Albert, this beer has some interesting fruity things going on, mainly blueberries and dark cherries. Unfortunately, that flinty, metallic note comes through again, and it's stronger than the aroma. It's not so much to make the beer undrinkable, but it definitely lowers my flavor score. The mouthfeel is impeccable: oily and thick, yet fluffy and effervescent at the same time (quite a feat).

Struise's beers vary batch to batch, sometimes considerably, and I have a feeling that other batches (read: barrels, in the case of this one-off stout) may have been better and lacked the minor metallic twang of this bottle. Without this flaw, Cuvee Delphine would be an "A" for sure. (1,151 characters)

Photo of jpmclaug
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into my Stone IRS snifter. This is the batch 0 base recently made available on the Struise Yeast Shop.

A - Black body with a big brown head resting on top. The head on this sucker is huge!

S - Roast mixed with dried fruits. Not picking up any of the barrel aging in the nose.

T - Nice roasty stout, dark malts with hints of chocolate and a faint note of coffee. A hint of alcohol but not much. Is this beer really barrel aged? I'm not picking up on it.

M - medium to heavy body with more carbonation than I'd like.

D - A decent beer for sure but not the greatest. This stout has some really nice roasted malt flavors which I love. However this really doesn't taste like it spent very long in a barrel if any time at all. A good beer but not worthy of the price point. (786 characters)

Photo of Phelps
3.7/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is Black Albert, aged for a while in some Four Roses bourbon barrels. Poured from a bottle shared by ejyoung, into a tulip.

Deep, impenetrable black with a quarter-inch of sand-colored head. The bubbles eventually become a thin, silky top layer and ring.

Heavily fruity nose — it stings the nostrils. Prunes mixed with booze, some dark chocolate, a little roast, some oak and vanilla. Not a ton of bourbon, though.

If this is barrel-aged, I can barely tell. There’s a lot of the Belgian yeast character, raisins, tangy grapes, even a little pear. I get a good amount of oak as well, just not much bourbon. Smooth blend of flavors, though.

Medium, creamy body with very soft carbonation and just a hint of fizz. The booze on the tongue is a little tongue-numbing, but I don’t get anything near 13 percent.

Delphine is decent, but I wish there was more barrel character. It’s better than the regular Albert, at least. (934 characters)

Photo of Rhettroactive
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From 330mL bottle to Portsmouth glass on 5/16/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to billab914 for digging this out of his cellar --

Vintage 2009

A: Lovely stuff. It's a dark and robust bootstrap brown that, when poured, you can hardly see through. A good pour yields a decent .5 finger mocha head and doesn't last long, and fades to a solid tan collar.

S: I'm getting a ton of ruby port wine here. Lots of red vine fruit. Mild cigar tobacco leaves are also in the mix.

T: Brownie batter, dark malt and again, plenty of ripe red vine fruit. I get some earth floor on the mid, and the finish is slightly smokey. This intensifies as it warms. The alcohol is masterfully hidden.

M: It's alright, yet unspectacular. Thinner then a beer like this should be, and though the carbonation is solid, the weight just isn't there.

O: Above average and approachable. The last three years have been kind to Ms. Delphine. I wish that the bourbon barrels would've shown better (or at all), but it was still a decent drinking experience. Certainly worth checking out, especially when fresh. (1,069 characters)

Photo of guityler83
3.73/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Vintage 2012 - Bottled 9/14

A: The mocha tan head created when poured into a tulip glass was made of fine bubbles and stood firm for over two minutes. Swirling kicked up a coating of lacing that looked thick and creamy. The beer is pitch black, no light comes through even when back-lit.

S: Sweet toffee and caramel dominate the aroma with prune and figgy notes - lots of middle note aroma. Mild roast with milk chocolate, cocoa and mild vanillin. Low spicy belgian yeast character that dances with the sweeter elements in the beer making it slightly muddled. Low noble / German hop aroma just over threshold levels.

T: Sweet caramel and toffee dominate the flavor too. There is a slight oxidative flavor I’m picking up from the caramel malts that might be adding to the overall sweetness impression. More milk chocolate, bakers chocolate and slight soy sauce. Low hop bitterness but emphasized by the medium tanic barrel flavors. No bourbon really just clean woody and vanilla like. Again that Belgian yeast is giving more of that fruity spice character that might be working against the beer for my pallet.

M: Big creamy sensation from this beer and the tiny bubbles. Huge chewy body that adds to the creaminess. Carbonation is mild. Some tannic bite that hits the back of the throat possibly from the wood. Sticky sweetness left after a few sips. Warming is there as expected, but not overwhelming.

O: There’s a lot going on in this beer for sure! The overall sweetness was a tad too clowing for me and the oxidation I was picking up might have been enough to put it over the edge, but it was a unique spin on a beer that has been done to death and done extremely well but many US breweries. Way to try something new. (1,734 characters)

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Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 208 ratings.