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Cuvee Delphine - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

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

423 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 423
Reviews: 188
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.48%
Wants: 223
Gots: 86 | FT: 6
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: 423 | Reviews: 188 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rochefort10nh
5/5  rDev +19.6%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 01, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into trappistenbier goblet in Ghent, Belgium. Reviewed live.

A: One finger head of nice lovely cream, decent thickness, and fair retention. Dark black colour.

Sm: Chocolate, toffee, caramel, and caramelized malt. A moderate strength scent.

T: Chocolate, toffee, and a hint of coffee. Cream and vanilla, but more towards the climax. Cocao. Complex layering of hops. Brilliant. No roast. I love it. Subtle and balanced. Very well built for the style. Jaysus, lads, this is class.

Mf: Coarse enough, quite wet, and very complementary of the flavour. Maybe a bit too thick and perchance syrupy.

Dr: High ABV, very drinkable, and very high quality. Worth a go for any beeradvocate. I don't know the price point as I acquired it from a friend. I suspect it's rather high based on the quality.

kojevergas, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

imperialking, Nov 13, 2012
Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -4.3%

drewone, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of corby112
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Popping this open to bring in the new year.

The bottle opens with a large hiss which has me a bit worried. Pours pitch black and completely opaque with a two finger frothy mocha head. Excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap. Chunks of mocha colored lacing left behind.

The aroma is dominated by the four roses bourbon but there is also a prominent oak and vanilla presence. I'm also picking up some dark fruit notes and licorice as well as some slightly toasted malt. It's refreshing to find a barrel aged beer that smells this complex and isn't just a booze bomb.

Slightly oxidized with a bit too much carbonation for my liking. Underneath this there is some nice creamy chocolate malt, earthy oak, vanilla, dark fruit and bourbon notes. Well balanced but the bourbon is more aggressive than the aroma suggests. This results in some heat and warmth in the finish but at 13% the ABV is still well masked. As it warms the body feels fuller and the rich, silky malt notes become more prominent and counter the tasty bourbon flavor quite nicely.

corby112, Jan 01, 2011
Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev -4.3%

wrightst, Jun 25, 2014
Photo of stakem
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes taken on 11/12/10.

Vintage '09 poured into a mini snifter. This brew looks a dark brown to black color with a very dark brown cap of head. As the head recedes, it leaves a patchy almost leggy appearance of lace clinging to the glass. A light swirl revives the head to a finger's strength. There is some fair clarity and lighter brown coloration shown around the edges of the brew.

The aroma of this offering has chocolate and coffee being imparted by the dark roastiness of the grain. There is a light vinous quality present but overall there is a surprisingly sweet smelling scent of cocoa along with some minor indications of vanilla and some oak qualities.

The taste has a roasted bitter dark grain flavor that lasts inside the mouth. Some bitterness comes through from the hops not just the bitterness due to the roast of the grain. A light vinous quality deepens the flavor of this brew and mingles well with the presence of the alcohol. Some dry oaked flavoring comes out as the brew warms.

This brew leaves a very pleasant dark burnt grain flavor inside the mouth. It is medium to full bodied with a light level of carbonation. Super drinkable. The whiskey barrel contribution imparts a bit of a twang to the alcohol character but overall it actually mellows out the brew overall. The barrel contribution here is not bold and painfully obvious, it is subtle which takes an already fabulous brew to a whole new level.

stakem, Nov 17, 2010
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.31/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

lacqueredmouse, Feb 24, 2014
Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -4.3%

duceswild, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of mothman
3.1/5  rDev -25.8%
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.

mothman, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of BARFLYB
2.23/5  rDev -46.7%
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.

BARFLYB, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of smakawhat
4.16/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap into a snifter glass at Churchkey. From notes. From 4 Roses Bourbon barrels.

Presented with little head, but a very large bubbled collar. Dark mocha bubbles on that collar accenting a dark reddish brown body.

Nose hints at red berried fruit. A bit hard to distinguish, nice roast angle, but hard to distinguish the flavors hinted on the nose. Mild sense of coffee beans.

Palate is incredibly warming and vinous. Light roasty action with a soft dark chocolate feel. Dark chocolate hits in the mid palate with a nice bitterness. Lingering roast malts on the swallow that go long. Body is like a real nice cabernet sauvignon. Hints at real round feel and depth.

Overall a real fun beer to drink, almost has a big wine like character to it, very impressed.

smakawhat, Feb 13, 2013
Photo of mdaschaf
3.93/5  rDev -6%
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.

mdaschaf, Jun 29, 2012
Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -4.3%

DrBier, Jul 25, 2014
Photo of John_M
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Graciously shared. by Dyan last night.

The beer pours a very dark brown color with good head retention and considerable lacing. The nose is likewise attractive, showing chocolate, light sour cherry and milk duds. As good as this beer smells, it tastes even better. There is considerable cherry, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, licorice and vanilla. This is just a delicious beer. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied, with a soft and creamy presence on the palate. Given the 13% abv. in this beer, I'm just amazed by this beer's drinkability. It's not at all hot or heavy, and there's no way I would ever have guessed the alcohol was this high.

Excellent stuff..

John_M, May 08, 2011
Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

billab914, May 23, 2012
Photo of Kelp
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Kelp, Feb 16, 2013
Photo of Viggo
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a very inky black/dark brown, no real light gets through, pretty intense and scary looking, very thick and rocky light brown head forms and slowly settles to a medium layer and ring around the glass, a few lace spots stick, looks pretty good.

Smell is rich and intense, very fruity, lots of raisin, some woodiness, a bit of red wine and bourbon, caramel, chocolate roast, a bit of coffee, biscuit, cherries, berry gummies, a touch of licorice, some alcohol but not over the top, lightly spicy, some esters, cool stuff.

Taste is nuts, huge licorice and toffee hit at first, quite sweet and fruity, some brown and candi sugars, dark raisins, more licorice, berries, a touch of biscuit, cherry wine, a bit of chocolate milk and wafer, some woodiness in the finish, lightly boozy and astringent going down, solid bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation, a bit too aggressive for me as a alot of these Belgian RIS's are. But I dig the intense flavours and though a bit hot going down the 13% is nicely hidden. Good stuff, thanks Russ!

Viggo, Feb 03, 2011
Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Zaphog, Jun 21, 2013
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -4.3%

KAF, Sep 21, 2014
Photo of PEIhop
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

PEIhop, Apr 18, 2014
Photo of iL0VEbeer
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

iL0VEbeer, Dec 31, 2013
Photo of HopHead84
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed in the early morning of 11/1/2009 and poured into a snifter. The clock on my computer actually just set itself back for Daylight Savings Time as I was typing that first sentence. Thanks for the trade Bankhead (you might have cursed me). A delicate pour yields a near black liquid with a fantastic Sepia head with excellent retention and beautiful lacing. The beer looks fantastic. I don't recall having seen a beer looking this marvelous in my life. I don't think it's too late to retract that last statement, but perhaps it is...

The nose is lightly roasted malts with a light aroma of dark fruits. The dark fruits remind me of plums and unripe red grapes. As the beer warms, the dark fruit character becomes more pronounced, with notes of oak. Brett is apparent, imparting a wet leather and slightly musty aroma. There's a mild tartness in the nose that I wasn't expecting, but it's interesting and it complements the dark fruits, adding a vinous quality. There's chocolate in the nose that is neither dark nor milk, yet somewhere in between the two. As I plunge my nose into the snifter, I'm met with alcohol vapors that remind me of the strength of the beer. The 13% ABV isn't present in the sense that you'd expect that level of alcohol to be, but it's also not dormant. You can definitely tell there's a decent level of ABV in Delphine (the whore). A subtle smoke character becomes apparent with warming.

The taste is immediately tart at a low level and tannic, with notes of musty Brett. The dark fruit component comes into play and it's reminiscent of unripe grapes, unripe plums, and possibly dark cherries. Those are probably also not quite ripe. Interestingly enough, the regular stout characteristics one might expect follow behind these sour dark fruit flavors. Chocolate is neither dark nor milk. There is no coffee, and there is very little roast. I don't know that Russian Imperial Stout is an accurate description for this beer. I think it's much more interesting than that. The unripe dark fruit character is present in varying degrees of intensity throughout the flavor, interchanging with chocolate and wood notes. The roast is light at all times. I don't get much yeast character. The finish is chocolate tannic alcoholic sour and tart dark fruits. Alcohol doesn't seem as strong as 13%, but the beer still tastes quite alcoholic. Perhaps the complexities of the beer purport to mask the ABV. The beer is light full bodied with a moderately high level of carbonation and a sticky, creamy, and smooth mouthfeel.

This beer took me by surprise. I did not like the batch of Black Albert that I had, but this stuff is complex and drinkable at the same time.

HopHead84, Nov 01, 2009
Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Alieniloquium, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

Rhettroactive, May 20, 2012
Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 423 ratings.