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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.
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Reviews: 208 | Hads: 575
Photo of darktronica
4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with half a finger of tan head that lingers for a while. Smells of blackstrap molasses or muscovado sugar, nutty coffee, candied fruit, and anise. Flavors are very complex, with the vinous and licorice notes that make Black Albert so distinct leading the way. Ageing in Four Roses barrels could go in many directions depending on the blend that previously inhabited the barrel, but here it creates a silky smooth texture with strong oak notes and a background of rye and peppery spice. Certainly something special that goes in a different direction than most bourbon-barrel aged stouts. The description of being less heavy and more restrained is accurate, as this is missing the strong roasted barley, heavy malt, and sweet finish of most other beers in the category; for that reason, it is quite memorable, but at the same time, it may not be what many BBA stout fans are looking for. (904 characters)

Photo of Tilly
4.37/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter a dark chocolate colour with a riot beer coloured head that leaves a slight trace around the room.
Chocolate, deep dark coffee, black licorice and bourbon aromas.
Mocha taste, sweet, roasted coffee, tonnes of mellow smoke, fruity, earthy taste.
Very complicated beer. It's flavours and smells mask the high alcohol beautifully. Great carbonation.
What a great, great amazing Russian Imperial Stout. (420 characters)

Photo of alarmclock314
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dated 09/2014. Pours black with a large-sized brown pillowy head. Smells of bourbon, coffee, roasted malts, and cocoa. Taste follows with heavy coffee/bourbon with some roasted malts/cocoa; somewhat yeasty. Medium-low body and high carbonation. Great mouthfeel once some of the carbonation is knocked out. Overall, this is a great BA RIS; lots of coffee flavor and balance, but the carbonation is high for the style. (422 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass with a half finger light brown head that dissipates slowly leaving patches and light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, light chocolate and vanilla, Belgian yeast with mild dark fruit elements, lightly spicy. Flavor is dark toasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla, dark fresh fruit, Belgian yeast, licorice and a hint of bourbon. Finishes with an excellent balance of dark fruit and rich chocolate malt. Excellent creamy body with good carbonation and mouthfeel. The arrival of any new De Struise into my area is welcome and especially a stout. I had high expectations which were completely satisfied. I wish I had had the chance to have tried Black Albert, but this makes me look forward to that opportunity. This has the classic Belgian yeast profile of melding dark malt with dark fruit flavors without sourness. Very nicely integrated and balanced. Dark malts blending into a creamy mouth feel and finishing with malt and Belgian yeast dark fruit was a great flavor progression. The bourbon infuence was quite subtle, but I didn't feel that I needed any other flavors to enjoy this. Very enjoyable. (1,178 characters)

Photo of Dope
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle states "vintage 2012" but has a 09/2014 bottling date on the other side of the same label. *shrug*

A: Pitch-black pour with a tall, very dense and very dark brown head. Impressive head retention. Almost no lacing, however.

S: Light on the bourbon, heavy on the roasted malt. Lots of charry notes with semisweet chocolate.

T: Whoa. Heavenly smooth caramel from the bourbon up front. Cannot overstate how smooth it is. Liquid silk smooth. WOW. Sweet chocolate kicks in with a bit of an earthy, charry character at the same time, into the middle. Finish is more of a lightly bitter, charry essence with hints of oak. Just a hint of cherry in there, oddly enough.

M: Heavy, ultra smooth and silky. Mouth-coating goodness. Great mouthfeel.

O: Damn. Unique and interesting barrel aged belgian stout. I'm not even a huge fan of black albert. The smooth bourbon presence is silkier than any I've ever had. Any. No booziness at all. Drinks so easily. A little bit more char than I like but I'll put up with it, the rest of this beer is sublime. The mouthfeel makes this the most drinkable 11% stout I've ever had. Wow. (1,123 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.43/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Near black opaque body with a thin, beige, oily collar. Aromas of dark fruit, chocolate, roast, chocolate covered raisins. Medium too thick body, palate coating. Delicious flavor, bourbon character is present but not overbearing, blending in to the beer harmoniously. Outstanding. (282 characters)

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
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 EmperorBevis
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
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 brureview
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured an opaque coffee dark brown in a MOA snifter with a 2F head.
The beer looks as if it will be heavy and thick. Nice lacing.

Aroma: deep chocolate, cocoa, vanilla.

As in the aroma, there is depth in the taste: deep chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, and a surprising flavor- cherry. Very rich cherry.

The body of the beer is thick, heavy, and very malty. A strong alcoholic finish.

A fantastic beer. The taste profile and its viscosity combine for a deep, rich taste. (470 characters)

Photo of Gasc0igne
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black syrupy pour. Hands down the best lacing I've ever seen on any stout. Medium-sized bubbles with a modest creamy-looking dark brown head that settles to a solid cap.

Bourbon...let's dig deeper...overwhelming strong bitter dark chocolate, some milk chocolate thrown in for good measure. Some roast follows shortly after. Heavy vanilla backing, maple syrup too...? Cherries soaked in coffee liqueur. Bourbon makes itself more known as it warms.

Far from the nose (apart from the bourbon). Almost all sweetness after the initial sip. Heavy bourbon front, but still clearly a stout, it doesn't get carried away by it (as quite a few do). Earthy charred oak tags along with the bourbon through most of the experience. Very rich sugary Belgian dark fruits carry a strong sweetness until sour plums and a hint of acidic coffee cut through. There's a definite soy sauce/meaty presence that's quite pleasant.

Hides the alcohol so so well. Very chewy and well carbonated. Medium body. Cloying, sticky finish.

Far better than the base beer; the bourbon is so well balanced. One of the best beers I've had to warm me up on a cold night. (1,153 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this is a crazy beer, maybe the driest of the bourbon barrel stouts going. although the nose is sweet like vanilla and corn sugar, its not like that in the flavor. i have to imagine this didnt spent a ton of time in the four roses barrels, as thats a rather sweet spirit in its own right, depending which one on the degree. tiny bottle poured four ways, pretty murky in my glass, but heady though, spiderweb lacing and a tan color to it. after the bourbon nose, i get a lot of dusty dark dry bakers cocoa powder in this, and the wood underneath it. rich and earthy, but it does a good job of being stout before bourbon, and the malt layers are pleasing. not as bitter and heavy and thick as others, i was surprised to learn this is as strong as it is, it drinks far lighter, and warms up with the best of them, releasing more vanilla and chocolate into the fold, but never showing its booze. not the biggest four roses guy, even their single barrel stuff, but i like what it does to this beer, its almost like it was made for that barrel. took me awhile to get into this one, but glad i finally did. worth the high praise it is receiving in the market in my opinion, but we need more beer from these guys here period. (1,217 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.24/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 ounce bottle, 9/14 bottled on date. Served into a porter/stout glass.

Marvelously chewy, compact, and lace-laden head dark-khaki and cappuccino in color with a pitch-black body beneath. This beer looks like a pour of coffee with cocoa-laced steamed milk atop it. Beautiful.

Dark chocolate and cocoa combine forces with earthy hops and a syrupy sweet vanilla aroma. So much damn chocolate. Something reminds me of a dark liqueur. Mellow coffee lurks beneath.

Sweet chocolate, almost bordering on syrup, meets a floral yeasty profile immediately recognizable as Belgian. A boozy caramel malt middle with some oaken and almost wine-like notes slides in and evens the flavor out before this becomes a sweet mess, and then the finish lingers with a touch of floral hop flavor and coffee. It's a nice combination going on and this beer really touches on numerous different flavors.

Where in the hell is the 13%? No way in hell. This thing feels like half of that. It's big bodied, rich and has a nice mid-palate carbonation which all only serve to encourage drinking this more quickly, rather than sipping it slow like that ABV suggests. 4.25

I was a bit more enamored to this when I had it on tap at Churchkey in DC, but it's a great beer and I think I've discovered the inspiration for Duel Brewing's (local NM brewery) Goya Imperial Stout.

Also, this gets better and better with warmth, so don't drink it so quickly as to miss out on the experience. (1,462 characters)

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.54/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark, deep, and motor oil-esque black, with a quarter inch, thick mocha head, and no lacing.

Smells like rich dark fruit and cherries, chocolate, and strong bourbon.

I took a long time making my way through this beer- it changes a lot in taste as the temperature changes. Right out of the bottle, the bourbon and the dark fruit flavors are the most prominent- slightly sour cherries, raisins, plums, and delicious Four Roses bourbon, with a some spicy booze and oak as well. As the beer warms, rich Belgian chocolate and decadent caramel come to the forefront, with charred oak and some light grassiness that hints at a small amount of hoppiness, which is surprising. I get some acidic coffee as well.

This is medium bodied, with a slightly thin (but not detrimentally thin) mouthfeel. This is very sweet, and very decadent, necessitating a slow sipping session here.

It's interesting how every barrel-aged variation on Black Albert has been better than Black Albert itself. I'm not sure this is better than Damnation 1 or 2, but this is still really, really tasty, and one of the more complex BA stouts I've ever had. (1,199 characters)

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2012. ABV on bottle says 11% instead of the 13% listed here. Pours jet black with a fizzle, brown head that dies away quite quickly. A thin ring of dark foam is left to linger around the edge of the beer. Nose is pretty enticing. Roast, chocolate, dark fruit and soft oak. Really dynamic, fudgy sweetness. Not a beer that smacks you hard by the bourbon barrel treatment. The other aromas do their part very well. The flavor is sneakily smooth and hides it's potency with a professional steadiness. Chocolate syrup, roast and espresso. Dark fruits, burnt caramel and flat cola. The finish has a mild bourbon element to it. I the body and feel are impeccable. Viscous, thick, and creamy. Soft yet buzzing carbonation. Just the lightest expression of alcohol. This rare treat found its way to my area and of course I had to pick a few up. Tasty beer! Haven't even had Black Albert before. Also, I absolutely love the label art. (932 characters)

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle sealed with pressure cap.

vintage 2012; bottled on 09/2014.

poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance: dark black bodied beer with medium brown colored head. The head is massively tall at over 4 fingers of head that I could not even fit the entire beer into the wine stem because the head is so tall. The head is creamy and fluffy with fine bubbles. Long head retention and leaves spotty lacing behind.

Smell: moderate roast, bourbon, dark fruits, anise/black licorice, vanilla, and a cola or rootbeer like aroma.

Taste: starts off on the sweeter side and develops an oaky char roastiness as the flavors develop sip after sip. Vanilla, prunes, rootbeer, and a hint of black licorice. In the middle it has more dark fruit qualities especially figs with an accompaniment of milk chocolates and bitter bakers cocoa. Lets not miss that slight splash of soy sauce which actually works nicely here even though it is normally considered a less than appreciated flavor for me in most russian imperial stouts that I drink. It has a spicy herbal boozey kick in the finish right before the roast washes everything out and that is all you taste in the finish is a hint of dark fruits and moderate roast.

Mouthfeel: light end of a medium body beer with moderate carbonation level. Dispite the lighter feel of this barrel aged stout it has got some booze and heat to it, but those attributes go away after a roasty char eventually washes that away in the finish. Creamy carbonation that is not coating or oily. I also noticed that the beer is 11% abv which is odd because the base beer black albert is 13%abv. Not sure why the abv was dropped by two percent here unless they changed the black albert recipe for the barrel aging process...

Overall: Black Albert is pretty solid and this is probably on the same level as black albert. I dont think that the barrel aging made this a better beer than black albert. I would like to do a side by side of these two beers together, to confirm this theory of mine. Cuvee Delphine is also reminicent of black note; it has a stronger dark fruit presence in the flavor profile and the mouthfeel is not as hefty as black note is in comparison. I think that this beer will get even better as the carbonation diminishes since it is currently over carbonated for a barrel aged RIS. Or the fact that the beer is lighter in body than what is preferred for a barrel aged RIS, as it losses carbonation that may make the beer feel heavier at some point in the future. (2,510 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)

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4.49/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very well balanced with no alcohol on the nose or palate. Dangerous at 13%. The bourbon barrel aging adds a great smoothness and complexity without being overpowing. Nose is as if sour cherries had stinky feet. I would describe this as a cross between a RIS and a quad. Delicious. (280 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.79/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11 oz bottle purchased for $10. I'm usually leery but I've heard good things about black albert and figured I'd give this a shot. Typical stout appearance, black and not much head which given the alcohol and barrel aging doesn't surprise me. Aroma was very mild whiskey barrel, mostly stout. Flavor was the same. This was good but I prefer something with a little more viscosity. (379 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%

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 dar482
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%

The beer comes in a dark black color with a bit of head.

The aroma offers a chocolate covered dark fruit. Figs, dark grapes, and balsamic. It almost smells like red wine barrel aged. Some vanilla and hint of bourbon barrel.

The flavor offers bitterness in the front of molasses and chocolate. A cherry fruitiness comes through with sweet bourbon and coffee bitterness on the finish.

An interesting bourbon barrel brew that does not taste exactly of bourbon barrel aging. (473 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Schera’s in Elkader, IA. Poured into a Zwanze 2014 glass 9/20/2014.

A- Dark black body, not particularly oily, but fairly viscous. Half finger brown head that sticks around for a short time, but not a whole lot of lacing. As expected. [3.5]

S- Milk chocolate, bourbon, licorice, espresso. This smells great. Not as complex as some of the other stouts I’ve had, but it’s definitely very pleasing. [4]

F- Milk chocolate and licorice up front, espresso and dark fruits in the middle, an oaky, slightly tart and funky transition to a bourbon-forward finish on the end.[4]

M- Thick bodied, substantial with the finish being a milk chocolate mixed in with a sweet bourbon aftertaste. Very solid, very substantial. [4.25]

O- Solid take on Black Albert. Exactly what I expected. [4] (795 characters)

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 pants678
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%

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 MattSweatshirt
4.26/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black with a brown head.

Rich chocolate, a little sweet, graham crackery vanilla barrel action, some roast.

A little more carbonation than I prefer in such a big stout. Still works for the beer though. Medium bodied. Flavor comes trough with some sweetness, chocolate, caramel, barrel, roast, alcohol warmth, and some dark fruitiness.

Quite a beer here. (364 characters)

Photo of barczar
4.29/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage.

Pours a deep, deep brown, with a sense tan head. Cherry, balsamic, bubblegum, and light hints of dark chocolate roast form the aroma. Highly unusual. Flavor reveals similar tart cherry and vinegar, but roast malt and dark cocoa counter and dominate. The finish is slightly roast bitter. Quite complex! Banana and roasted malt round out the profile. There's a lightly phenolic character that's offputting. (419 characters)

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