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Cuvee Delphine - De Struise Brouwers

Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

367 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 367
Reviews: 182
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.5%


Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-07-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 367 | Reviews: 182 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

330ml brown bottle purchased from Platinum Liquor in Bellevue Hill.

Pours a deep, sinewy black-brown, oily on entry to the glass. Head forms with little coercion, forming a thick deep brown head of fine bubbles. Lacing is patchy, body is rich, although not holding a lot of carbonation. Looks good.

Nose is gorgeous. Delicate milk chocolate overtones, laced around a sweet vanilla oak and toasted coconut richness. Slight roast comes through leavened with a heady booze tweak: it leaves it slightly buoyant and a little spicy.

Taste is rich and dark: burnt toffee sweetness on the fore, with a nuttiness coming through closer to the back, which develops into coffee and char. Clinging cherry booze character structures the whole thing—or perhaps its better to say that it invades the structure—it's always present from front to back and side-to-side. Finish is remarkably clean: the booze helps everything evanesce, leaving not much roast or bitterness.

Feel is smooth and slick, but almost frothy as well: it's as though the volume increases in the mouth, leaving it lighter, but fuller at the same time.

Overall: excellent, excellent stuff. Beautifully rich and full, but with a lovely structure to keep it coherent and drinkable. I love it.

Serving type: bottle

02-24-2014 07:07:17 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of jlindros
jlindros

Massachusetts

4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Somehow never got around to reviewing this beer. Also been sitting in my beer fridge for years and finally took my randomizer (5 year old son) to pick it for me. GOod time to drink this too, beginning of a big snow storm, very cold single digit temps outside.

2009 Vintage.

Still makes a nice pssstttt sound as I pop the cap, good sign, then pours a nice black mocha colored fizzy head that hits a 1/4 of a finger or so but seems to stick around nicely, nice lacing on the glass and legs like the Patriot cheerleaders, as I pour nice little balls of delicious looking liquid dance around the top, like they are just partying themselves with the beer underneath, like little sprites inviting me to delve in deeper. The head eventually settles to a nice foamy island like froth over the super pitch black light absorbing beer.

Nose is like pure black, almost as if the black hole is pulling aromas from my own nose rather than the reverse, but when I get aromas it's black malt city, lots of black malt, with roast up the wazoo, but thankfully not acrid anymore, seems like it was at one point but the various aging process seems to have taken that edge off. Roast with some earthy coffee, into dark chocolate and cocoooa so dark it has a few extra 'o's on it, which seems to mingle with a nice fudge and even fluffy nougat. Rounding all that is a nice somewhat subtle but definite character of barrel, a little vanilla character from the barrel, hint of char as well, and nice bourbon sweetness. It also seems to have an inherent earthiness to it.

Taste starts with, well hard to say what actually starts, like a myriad of different great flavors bombarding my tongue and flooding every nook and cranny of my mouth. Thick and luscious, little creamy and velvety even, with some warming booze, a little booze tingle even, very slightly fusel but not that much. Malts are the key flavor again, black malt and more black malts. Some roast again, with a touch of an acrid flavor but again seems like most of that edge has long been mellowed. Then into more cocoa, super dark bitter baker's chocolate, a mild creamy flavor brings more of a semi sweet cocoa, and some mild coffee with the roast. Again rounding off all that is a mild vanilla barrel character, less than i expected, with just a hint of bourbon. The chocolate gets almost explosive and rich the longer it sits on my tongue, as it seems to find more and more ways to get through the layers of my tongue into the lower taste buds that are usually left in the dust. Finish is drier with a little sticky feel, but not nearly as syrupy or sticky as I expected, with a bit more bitterness on the finish, lots of dark chocolate and cocoa again, a little roast and coffee as well, and mild Kahlua like flavor with some lingering booze.

Mouth is super rich, heavy bodied, little creamy and velvety, slightly syrupy, with some warming slightly tingly alcohol but not really 13% like.

Overall fantastic, a great beer with awesome dark malts, chocolate and cocoa, and mild barrel characters, the roast edge has been rounded between thebarrel and many years of aging, and the alcohol has been quite tamed. Very drinkable and glad I can cellar a few of them.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2013 01:07:56 | More by jlindros
Photo of deebo
deebo

Minnesota

4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2011 Lot 27151506201

Picked up a couple 33 cl bottles at the De Struise bottle shop in Bruges. Pricey at $5.50 Euro.

A-Poured into a snifter this beer comes out of the bottle thick with lots of yeast. A thin dark beige head that breaks down into a skim layer and a ringing around the glass. You can see a lot of the suspended yeast in this brew. Otherwise very black and opaque.

S-Cold the aroma is big roasted malt with some hints of Belgian yeast. Some alcohol aroma. As it warms more roasted aroma and more alcohol is evident but not overpowering. Some fruity yeast notes as well.

T-First sip is big roasted dark malts upfront with a warming finish. Notes of dark chocolate, coffee and a bit fruity. A bit like booze soaked chocolate covered cherries if such a thing existed.

M-A bit sticky and full bodied yet very smooth and easy to drink. Moderate carbonation for the style.

O-Not as bourbon boozy forward as a lot of the American BB RIS-which is nice. Real easy to drink for a BB RIS @ 13% ABV. I like the fruity character the yeast brings into the equation which blends well with the big roasted malt bill. Perfect dessert beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2013 01:55:36 | More by deebo
Photo of MaartenvanDoorn
MaartenvanDoorn

Netherlands

3.69/5  rDev -11.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

09-26-2013 20:30:51 | More by MaartenvanDoorn
Photo of Thehuntmaster
Thehuntmaster

South Africa

4.39/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle 13,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in a snifter.
2011 Vintage.

Thanks to Thijs for this one!

Appearance: Perfect! Cuvee Delphine appears obsidian in the glass, with a strong back light only able to reveal a micron of deep red along the edge of the glass. A rough pour yields a massive dark chocolate coloured head that lasts ridiculously well for a 13% BA beer and coats the glass in thick lacing as it slowly recedes.
A light swirl coats the glass in a yellow/brown residue that fades into light alcohol legs.

Smell: Mmmm, this smells fantastic! The Bourbon barrels are certainly noted, but they do not dominate the base beer like is usually the case. The initial nose offers deeply roasted malts, rich dark chocolate, some molasses and an overlay of vanilla-ery bourbon and sweet caramel. As the beer begins to warm, the nose opens up with notes of burned raisins, currants, dark caramel, a hint of char and a little liquorice.
Even at room temperature, there is virtually no alcohol noted in the nose.

Taste: Sadly the flavour isn't quite as good as the nose promised, primarily due to the fact that the barrel character is almost absent. That said, the base beer is still pretty damn delicious! Notes include: Heavily roasted malt, cocoa, a little espresso, char, burned raisins, molasses and a general dark fruity character. The finish is fairly bitter and there is no alcohol noted.

Mouthfeel: Initially the carbonation was of a medium-high level (usually too much for me), but was creamy enough that it was actually quite nice. The body is just shy of full and lightly sticky.

Overall: Another fantastic BA version of Black Albert and one I hope to have again soon!

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2013 14:38:12 | More by Thehuntmaster
Photo of wyatt13
wyatt13

Illinois

4.41/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My dad likes to randomly give me great bottles of beer on occasion. This was one of those cases -- thanks Dad! Poured from a 330 ml. bottle into a snifter.

A - Pours a muddy black color with one of the darkest colored heads I have ever seen. Two fingers of huge, creamy bubbles form on top, leaving immaculate lacing as I drink. The head retention on this thing is just absurd -- it seems to defy gravity.

S - My first impression is of dark fruits and lots of them! A mild chocolate note is complemented by a hint of bourbon. Maybe a tad of a licorice note and a bit of char.

T - Wow, quite complex. It starts very barrel-forward, and I was worried that it was going to be out of balance; however, it is reigned in by a roasted chocolate note and a bit of licorice. Finishes a little ashy or musty, with some coffee and burnt sugar. A unique sour twang as it warms up.

M - Definitely a full mouthfeel. Very slick and actually a lot of carbonation for something so heavy. A bit of residual sweetness coats the whole mouth.

O - For whatever reason, my expectations weren't super high for this one; regardless, any expectations that I did have were certainly exceeded. This was a great beer, with a ton of complexity. I continue to pick out more nuances as it warms. Most definitely worth trying at least once!

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2013 02:48:22 | More by wyatt13
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to David for this bottle! Vintage 2011. Poured in to snifter.

A - Poured dark black with one finger of mocha coloured head that slowly receded to a thin layer with good retention.

S - Roast, smoke and licorice dominate with sweet milk chocolate and vanilla notes. The barrel is barely discernible.

T - A big, bold flavour profile. Roast, licorice and bakers chocolate up front that give way to sweet molasses, vanilla and some oak. As the beer warms a big cherry flavour asserts itself. There is no bourbon presence at all.

M - Medium to full body. Chewy. Light carbonation.

O - This was an excellent beer but the bourbon was non-existent, which was a little disappointing.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 19:05:41 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of eric5bellies
eric5bellies

Australia

4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2011 drank from my Duvel tulip

A - Usual deep ebony colour with an oily appearence. The head is tanned and reduces quickly

S - Heavy oak bourbon aromas, with roasted malt and booze

T - The flavour is heavy wood up front backed up by vanilla, a little coffee with a sweet finish. Booze is reasonably well hidden

M - Full body small carbonation

O - A pretty heavy stout that will end your night one way or another.

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2013 12:15:48 | More by eric5bellies
Photo of bigfnjoe
bigfnjoe

Pennsylvania

3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a CCB snifter. 2009 vintage.

A- pours black with a two finger dark, dark brown head. Man, nice looking beer, that's for sure

S- dark fruits, tons of chocolate, slight bit of heat as well. Wow.

T- lots of dark fruits, very low chocolate, minimal bourbon. Time didn't do this one good, it's past its prime

M- good lord, so velvety, luscious, and thick. Insane

O- I prefer this over Black Albert, just wondering how good it would have been fresh...

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 01:26:11 | More by bigfnjoe
Photo of inlimbo77
inlimbo77

Delaware

4.26/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2009, 11.2oz
Riedel tulip

A: Pitch black color. Actually got a nice head of medium tan head fluffy. Stuck around a good while. Lacing bit. Alcohol feet.

S: Smells oxidized and boozy. Below that, chocolate and roast.

T: Very tasty. Roast and semi sweet cocoa. Getting that dark cocoa and vanilla flavor. Rounds the mouth. Very nice. Dry close.

M: It's a heavily carbonated full bodied.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2013 15:56:58 | More by inlimbo77
Photo of siradmiralnelson
siradmiralnelson

Iowa

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Globe glass. 2009 vintage

A. Pours 3 finger frothing dark tan head. Great retention. Thick, thick lacing. Almost permanent collar of that dark tan head. Color is all black.

S. Molasses, dark fruit, vanilla, oak, coffee. Has some belgian yeast aroma too it. Not very bitter and not very coffee forward. Both good things in my book.

T. Has an earthy taste up front followed by coffee, molasses, oak, vanilla, dark fruit, and some bitterness on the back of the tongue. Drinks super smooth for 13%. Barrel aging doesnt add a lot of flavors, but you can definitely pick up some oak and vanilla.

M. Could be thicker. Feels too thin to me. Could be another product of the Belgian RIS style. Medium carbonation.

O. Interesting aroma. Nice taste. Lacks some traditional RIS flavor complexity, but makes up for it with additional Belgian flavors. Too thin of a mouthfeel for my personal preference. Drinks incredibly easy for 13%. Hard to judge the beer strictly along style alone, which is tends to swerve towards a more Belgianesque beer. However when you note that the swerve away from style makes it a tasty beer I can not help but give it a higher overall score. Probably the best Belgian RIS that I have had.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 22:11:37 | More by siradmiralnelson
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a De Struise chalice. 2011 bottle.

Appearance - Black with less of a head than Black Albert. Similar thick mocha collar.

Smell - Light bourbon with a touch of barrel character. Chocolate and cherry comes through, similar to Black Albert. Strangely, not as boozy smelling as the 5-year-old bottle of Black Albert I had.

Taste - Vanilla and bourbon up front, but subtle. Much more of the cherry flavor followed by rich chocolate. The bourbon is back in the end along with a bitterness that I find strange. Falls a little short of the base beer here.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated. Pretty chewy aside from feeling a bit too overcarbonated at points.

Overall - I prefer Black Albert to this, although this is quite good on its own. Just seems that some of the characteristics that make Black Albert great have been pushed aside by the barrel, which isn't strong enough to be the centerpoint of the flavor.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2012 02:16:40 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of Bierman9
Bierman9

New Hampshire

4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sitting out in the 'Zebo today, the calm before the storm... Just found out my Sube needs around $900 worth of work, so I reckon a 13% bier is a good way to start things off... The label says "BA No. 14" and vintage 2011.

Poured the 0.33l bottle into a small tulip. Color is dense, dark brown, nearly opaque. Head is a rich tan color, the bubbles being tight, creamy and fine. Started off at about 1/2" and ebbed to a thin covering. Lacing looks to be top-shelf. It has some solid, roasty coffee and choco notes, some florality, and hints of bourbon. Body is nice and full, chewy in fact. And it is like black satin with regards to smoothness.

Delphine has some light sweetness melding with the bitter. There's sweet chocolate along with bitter, dark choco, some cocoa, and roasty coffee characteristics. If there's bourbon here, I'm missing it. What I'm not missing is a superb, floral hop finish. What a lovely combination of flavors! And 13% ABV? Really? Where, because I don't feel it, and that's scary! Anyhow, this is one might fine bier. Big thnx to Brabander for gifting this to me during my visit earlier this month! Prosit!

4.55/5 rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1530

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2012 19:22:49 | More by Bierman9
Photo of Etan
Etan

Wisconsin

3.8/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a snifter. "Vintage 2009".

A: Pours a brown-hued black with a thick light brown head. Looks like Black Albert.

S: Roasted malt and dark fruit esters, soy, chocolate, sugar. The slightest bit of oaky liquor.

T: Robust chocolate and roasted malts, bready grain, some sweet vinous notes, a bit of heat on the end.

M: Very creamy, fine carbonation.

O: Honestly I'm having trouble telling the difference between this and Black Albert. It seems like there's not much barrel influence going on here. Maybe slightly smoother and sweeter than Black Albert, but if I didn't know better I probably would think this was just straight Batch "0". Tastes good, but the barrel-aging is just too subtle.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2012 00:01:49 | More by Etan
Photo of jegross2
jegross2

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers out of Belgium. According to the label:

Black Albert was used in a new barrel aging project. More than a year ago, Carlo was able to get his hands on a stock of Four Roses Bourbon barrels, and we happily filled them up with Batch 0. This unique creation was originally to be named "4 Black Roses" in honour of its heritage, but our friends in Kentucky strongly advised us not to do so! What to do? As the disowned offspring of Black Albert, the name Cuvée Delphine imposed itself. Savouring the Belgian irony, we are most honoured to have artwork by Delphine Boël shining on this label. You will not find this ale all over the globe. There is no export program, but we will try to provide stock through our web shop and some specialty beer pubs.

Score: 92

2009 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 09/02/12. Big thanks to Matt Hope for hooking me up with this bottle.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color, completely opaque, with three full fingers of thick, styrofoamy mocha head that formed a beautiful meniscus atop the glass without ever pouring over. The head slowly recedes to a thin layer atop the glass. The lacing and retention on this beer is absolutely unreal; even sixty seconds after tilting the glass once the head settled down some, a thick lacing was still coating the entire side of glass. This is one beautiful Russian imperial stout, and at 13% ABV, the amount of lacing and retention present here is an unexpected prize. 5/5

Smell: Plum, sweet raisin, cherry, roasted malt, and bakers chocolate. A touch of lemon peel, a little sweet red wine and some faint boozy alcohol as it warms too. The nose is a little sugary sweet, but in a good way that works with the aroma components -- particularly the accent of lemon zest. Some vanilla also comes through as the beer warms up. 4.25/5

Taste: Molasses and sweet dark fruit flavor upfront with a creamy "melted nestle bittersweet morsels" flavored backbone that reminds me of fresh chocolate chip cookies. The dark fruit flavors seem to get sweeter as the beer warms, and while it never really gets to the level of a diabetes-inducing cloying sugar bomb, it really reduces the drinkability of the beer. There's a hint of caramel and a hint of cherry as well, though the cherry flavor is hardly as prominent on the tongue as it is in the nose. The alcohol presence on the palate is also much more subtle and smooth than it was in the aroma. I am not really detecting a whole lot of "barrel-aged characteristics" in the flavor; there is even an absence of the vanilla I got in the nose. As the beer hits room temperature, the flavors seem to get "creamier," and a little burnt roast flavor, which nicely counter balances the sweetness a little bit, comes out. I frankly enjoyed this beer best once it was warm and sitting out of a little while. 4/5

Mouthfeel: This is a viscous, full bodied beer with a low amount of carbonation. Sticky, sweet and syrupy mouthfeel that turns a bit creamy at room temp. 4/5

Overall: A well-crafted beer that is just a little too sweet for my tastes. I enjoyed Black Albert more, but this one was certainly still tasty enough to be worth the cost of a tick. I would definitely have another glass of this, but it's not going to be the first beer I seek out a second bottle of if I am going to be "repeating" past ticks down the line.

Recommendation: Well worth a tick, but haters of sweet stouts should be forewarned.

Pairings: Ricotta & zucchini bread with raspberries, honey and mint (a dish the Publican currently serves for their Sunday brunch).

Cost: $15 for an 11.2 oz bottle.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2012 03:50:28 | More by jegross2
Photo of davey101
davey101

Connecticut

4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle into a snifter. Best Before: 15-07-2015. Making this a 7/15/2009 vintage. Comparing this side by side with a Black Albert Batch 0.

A - Pitch black body. One finger high lasting mocha head. Excellent lacing and retention with some alcoholic legs.

S - Very similar to Batch 0 BA. Red wine integrated into stout like notes of charred malts, coffee, and chocolate. The finish comes off with a warming alcohol presence and some light oak and vanilla. The bourbon presence is very faint though.

T - An improvement overt B0BA. Light cherries and raisins, bittersweet chocolate, coffee beans, vanilla beans, and a sharp and acrid sweetness that I also found in darklord. Mouth feel is sticky and syrupy and medium bodied. Still plenty of carbonation. Alcohol is more noticeable than the base beer but still in check.

O - This is quite the beer. The base beer is...just a very interesting and unique RIS that has some quad like tendencies. This beer smoothes out the edges with a subtle and pleasing bourbon presence. Very tasty stuff!

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2012 02:52:40 | More by davey101
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2009)

Thanks for opening this with me, nakalakaboom!

(Aged for 2+ years)

Very dark brown, nearly black in color, but with dark ruby and crimson edges. There's a low amount of visible carbonation that leaves the glass slightly oily and shiny with stick.

Typical aromas of big, imperial stouts, with roast, dark fruits, and baker's chocolate, along with a sharp note of yeast, and just a hint of wood. There's not a lot of barrel character, as the yeast and the stout itself seem dominant.

The flavor is also quite nice, deceptively complex, with the Belgian yeast straight complementing the dark fruit and roast notes. The alcohol is well hidden.

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

Good, but I was hoping for more, as is the case with most De Struise stouts.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2012 20:51:13 | More by ehammond1
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.05/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to nakalakaboom for sharing this one at NoSignsOfPain's birthday bottleshare hosted by mrbubbler.

2009 vintage.

Pours an almost opaque super dark brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. No lacing on this one. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, dark fruit, and alcohol. Taste is much the same with a medium amount of roasty bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer but I prefer the smell over the taste.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2012 02:28:39 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Reaper16
Reaper16

Alabama

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle -- 2009 vintage -- served into a tulip glass

Pours a solid dark color. It's dark. Black, sure. Black. What more do you want? Howabout two entire fingers worth of dark-khaki head with solid retention? It's a lovely looking stout.

So Cuvee Delphine is Batch 0 Black Albert aged in Four Roses bourbon barrels. The important part here is that its 100% Black Albert...this accounts for the deep complexity in the nose. Baker's chocolate, plum, horehound candy -- there's a lot going on thanks to the Belgian yeast strain. There's also a sweet fruit note that I can't quite nail down...it's something akin to lychee or an Asian pear. There really isn't much evidence of barrel aging here, though. There's basically no oak or vanilla. No booze. So while it's a deep aroma, I'm knocking it a half-point for not living up to the barrel promise.

Cuvee Delphine has a lot going on for it on the tongue. It's very much like the nose, but more concentrated in its approach. The first thing that I notice is how vinous it is. There's significant red wine flavor here, spiked with black cherries and dark fruits. Some black pepper, too. Dark chocolate is a flavor that goes well with many red wines, and the dark chocolate malt flavor here works to accentuate the yeast flavors. Like the nose, the barrel presence here is slight. This beer isn't getting this vinous without barrel aging, but you can't tell that this beer was aged in a bourbon barrel (as opposed to a wine barrel or even just plan ol' new oak).

The mouthfeel is a slight disappointment. It is incredibly smooth, but at the expense of body. It's a thin beer for the style. But the smoothness has a certain pleasurable quality to it.

Overall, this is a very tasty beer. The barrel aging of Black Albert seems to have concentrated its vinous side, but at the expense of that beer's complexity. It's a good sipper, but I very much prefer regular Black Albert.

Serving type: bottle

07-01-2012 02:47:44 | More by Reaper16
Photo of mdaschaf
mdaschaf

Washington

3.93/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009, 11.2oz bottle.

A: Pours black with a really nice mocha colored head on top, amazing retention lasting for most of the time it took to drink the beer. Lacing all around the glass.

S: Some dark fruit, mostly cherries with a little bit of plum. There is some chocolate and faint bourbon along with a little roast.

T: More cherry and chocolate, nice creamy/roast flavor. Not much bourbon, but a little bit of brown sugar and a hint of molasses. The Belgian yeast shines through and just a bit of oak.

M: Medium to full bodied, surprisingly smooth and creamy. The alcohol is hidden very nicely.

O: Pretty good with a nice flavor profile and mouthfeel, but would have liked the bourbon to come through a bit more..or really at all.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2012 01:46:13 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of Phelps
Phelps

Arizona

3.68/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2012 21:54:21 | More by Phelps
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axeman9182

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2012 06:52:17 | More by axeman9182
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billab914

Virginia

4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured from a 330ml bottle. It poured pitch black in color with a thin tan head scattered across the top of the beer. The head clung to the edges of glass pretty well.

The aroma shows a god amount of sweetness to it with some cherry fruitiness and brown sugar notes. There are some booze soaked fruits and a little chocolate to it as well. I got a little more bourbon to it as it warmed, but not much overall.

The taste has a bit of a leathery and smoky flavor mixing with some sweeter cherry fruitiness. I get a little brown sugar with a hint of bourbon. Some chocolate notes are there throughout as well. Roasted malts bring some nice bitterness out in the finish. Very nice flavors to it overall.

The mouthfeel is slick and on the heavier side with lower carbonation. Overall very good beer with some very nice and rich flavors to it. Very nice range of favors to it and it comes together very well.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2012 19:52:04 | More by billab914
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Rhettroactive

District of Columbia

3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2012 17:08:01 | More by Rhettroactive
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4thelvofbeer

Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really liked the Cuvee Delphine as with most of Struise's beer and their crazy-ass experiments! I purchased a little less than a case straight from Carlo at the shop in Oostvleteren. Drank all the bottles by myself and with friends over the following few months.

A: Black, like all the other associated with the base that Struise uses. Nice thin brown head that quickly dissapates into a thick viscous pool.

S/T: Thick, burn with some alcohol, the distinct Struise taste (have to drink Struise beers regularly and eventually you can tell it is a Struise blindfolded!). Nice, bold, almost a sweet finish.

M: A bit harsh at first, smooths out nicely, silky, very rich.

O: Another fine Struise product...

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2012 04:27:47 | More by 4thelvofbeer
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Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 367 ratings.