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Cuvee Delphine - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

Educational use only; do not reuse.

208 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 208
Hads: 585
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 17.7%
Wants: 224
Gots: 154 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website

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: 585
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.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
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..

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.98/5  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.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

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Photo of aasher
3.01/5  rDev -28%
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.

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.11/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An extra from Peter at the De Struise beer shop.

BA NO. 14, Lot BR26.230.610 Best by July 15, 2015.

It pours a pitch black, has a huge 2 finger head of tan foam. The foam is very slow to shrink...

It smells roasty, slightly fruity, a bit of smoke, very light suggestion of the bourbon. It doesn't have a big aroma but what's there is nice.

The taste...is another story. Not shy with the flavours at all. I get light coffee, chocolate, some roast, good fruity notes(that bring some sweet but mostly tart), and they're all overseen or guided by a very nicely done presence of bourbon. Yes...this is very delicious!

Medium bodied with the carbonation on the light side of medium. Good mouth feel.

Drinkability? For a monster sitting at 13%abv, this is *way* too easy to drink for one bottle at a sitting. Definitely a RIS that is different than I'm used to but it works very well for me. Here's an example of the style where a fruit tartness is very welcome and fits right in!

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Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

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Photo of rudzud
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at the Armsby Abbey.

A - Poured into a snifter a nice oily black hue with a one finger mocha head that left a ton of side lacing. Very nice.

S - Aromas of chocolate galore, bakers, dark chocolate, cocoa nibs, nice roast malts, lightly smokey, inviting.

T - Taste is super chocolate, intense intense rich chocolate, bakers, powder, nibs, dark and strong. Very nice lightly sweet malts, soft roast. Faint Belgian notes, this is just super chocolate though...delicious. some light alcohol but for the most part this didn't drink anywhere near the ABV.

M - Mouthfeel is nicely creamy, light carbonation. Dangerously drinkable.

O - Overall this beer was very tasty, tons of chocolate with a great Mouthfeel. Awesome.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25cl bottle from mikey711. I've been looking forward to this beer for a long time, bourbon barrel aged Black Albert.

The beer pours dark brown and opaque with a really large tan foam, initially pillowy and several inches thick but becoming a thin film over the duration of a few minutes. Sheets of lacing too. The smell is not quite what I imagined. The dominant notes are smoked malt and an almost sour ale aroma. Smells like a Belgian smoke beer, maybe the smoke is from the bourbon barrel but that doesn't seem to make sense...

The beer tastes "dark", dark fruits and malts, more of the nearly sour funk, a little bit of ethanol burn. I can taste the bourbon but just a little, very nice but again hard to guess that the base beer is Black Albert. The body is somewhat thin for the style but that doesn't matter, this is still rich and tasty. 25cl is just about enough, it'd be nice to see bottles of this size for all sorts of big beers, you don't need too much of something at 13% ABV.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a Rochefort chalice.

The beer is really black, and doesn't show much brown at all in the light. The head is about one finger of dark puffy head, but sadly it falls quickly. There is some lacing, but disappointing in general.

The aroma is very powerful almost knocking you off your feet. Right away you get the malts with lots of cherries, but that fades to alcohol, with raisins, and you definetly get lots of bourbon at the end. The cherries are almost sour and reminds me of some kind of wild ale, which is really interesting for a RIS. Its so unique, I just love it.

The taste is good but not all what you get from the aroma. The beginning is super sweet with cherry then finishes with roasty coffee, where'd that come from? The aftertaste is great as you get some swesome bourbon. What, a great complex beer.

This beer is is viscous and crisp and everything you would want.

It is is incredibly drinkable.

I've had black damnation, black albert and now cuvee delphine. These are all awesome beers but to me Cuvee is so unique it takes thing to a whole new level. Its just phenominal in every way.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown body with one finger head that left some lace patches. A mixed aroma of dark fruits like figs/raisins as well as a chunk of roasted malts and some woody booziness. Taste is more of the same as it is a heavy bodied beer that has some good sweetness behind a dark, roasted malt body. Good balance. Not real complex but real enjoyable

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Photo of THECPJ
3.97/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes 2/14/2011

Special thanks to jsanford for sending this my way

A: black with a 1 finger mocha colored head, leaves nice lacing

S: coffee, bourbon, chocolate, and sweet malts

T: coffee is the main attraction in this beer, a small hint of chocolate, very dry and bitter on the aftertaste. at first there was not much of a bourbon taste to this which left me quite disappointed, but as it warms up, the bourbon becomes more present.

M: mild carbonation, thick, and creamy

D: not as expected, and I find Black Albert much more enjoyable.


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Photo of VelvetExtract
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed a couple of bottles of this from the Struise Yeast (hehe) Store. 2009 vintage, best by July 15, 2014.

Jet black with a dark brown head, this is one of the better imperial stouts I've seen, reminiscent in its intensity of Hunahpu's. Leaving nice lacing in my Great Divide tulip, this looks just fine.

The nose is rather intense. The barrel character is expressed as a tartness, rather than a boozy character that most barrel aged imperial stouts exhibit. The base beer is rather noticeable here, with the blend of the fruity yeast and a rich, chocolate fudge character. The malt bill adds to the nose, there's plenty of roast and some charred grain. Moderately yeasty but not spicy, this smells really good. As it breathes, the tartness dissipates.

The palate is really really good, better than the nose even. Excellent balance. Rich, fruity chocolate, I'm reminded of a well-pulled fruity espresso with great balance between cocoa, coffee and dark fruit. Barrel character is light, with a mellow barrel character with some light vanilla (that is excellent with the fruity espresso), some oak and not much bourbon. As with the nose, the lack of explicit bourbon character makes this not just unique, but truly enjoyable too. The malt character has some mildly burnt grain, and works very well with the fruity palate. Sweetness is present as well, this has a rather complex blend of sugars with plain, brown and palm-like sugars all present, along with a little caramel and burnt sugar.
Full in body with light carbonation, the mouthfeel is just fantastic. Soft, supple and with a brilliant finish, this is perfect on the palate. There's lingering flavors of chocolate, vanilla, fruit, and for the first time, a little bourbon. Beautiful flavor and balance, this is an exceptional beer. I will have to grab more of this. This has been one of the more memorable beers I've had in recent memory, a joy to deconstruct.

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Photo of ccrida
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

Mouthfeel is creamy and very viscous. Nice digestibility.

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

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Photo of barczar
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from ABS Drinks outside Brussels. Best before 15-07-2015. 2009 vintage.

A - Great black body with lot's of carbonation and a nice foamy mocha head not unlike steamed milk on a cappucino or something of the like. Good amount of yeast sediment piled on the bottom of my snifter.

S - Lot's of whiskey, tobacco, alcoholic burn, and some chocolate.

T - Oak and a smoother version of whiskey that has a little more vanilla. Don't really drink bourbon but I'm guessing that smoother characteristic is typical. Lot's of chocolate. Some alcohol. Very obvious barrel influence on this. Really chocolately flavour combined with that smooth whiskey character. Not a whole lot of coffee but there's some roasted malt. A little ashy with some tobacco and licorice too. Nice and complex.

M - Mild carbonation. Full body. Fairly bitter with a little burn of alcohol.

M - This is a hell of a big beer. Tons of elements that meld together nicely in that typical Struise style. The barrel might be the thing that didn't work for me but this was still a good beer. Just not one of my favourites from Struise.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Thirstybird for sharing. Batch #4, best by March 2014 notched on the label. Pours one shade shy of black with a quarter inch, frothy, khaki-colored head embedded with tiny ringlets. Head is refreshed with a swirl of the glass. Nose is very subdued - sour dark fruit and perhaps a hint of coca. Taste is malty, cocoa, sour fruit (cherries?) with some booze coming out towards the finish. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, perhaps a little light for the style, with an even carbonation, but maybe a little too assertive for the style. This is a very interesting beer with a lot of character and an extremely well-hidden abv at 13%. A top notch beer from De Struise.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.54/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to wunderbeer for this one! 2009 Vintage.

(A)- Pours a fairly thick pitch black color that produced a good brown head. Minimal lacing and retention.

(S)- Very rich profile of roasted caramel, brown sugar, coffee grounds, and dark cocoa.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Some dark plum in there with a fairly roasted profile. Dark cocoa all over the place.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Heavily roasted, but smooth as can be considering the ABV with some mildly bitter cocoa in there.

(D)- A solid stout with a nice profile in front of it. Definitely a sipper due to its strength and ABV, but a good one at that.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark black liquid with a dark creamy brown head.

S-the nose is a bit chalky, oak, chocolate, roasted malts with some juicy sweetness of plums and cherries.

T-the flavors follow the nose, hints of wood, roasted malts, a touch of chocolate, the sweetness is in the back with plums and cherries. there is a touch of coffee bitterness and hints of bourbon in the finish.

M-decent brew, light barrel notes with a well balanaced roasted malt and sweetness. very respectable beer.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive thanks goes out to cmrillo who shared this one with the group at the "Evening Wood" tasting graciously hosted by cmrillo as well! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured pitch black with a half finger brown head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, spices, and smoke. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, spices, wood, sweet alcohol, and smoke. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. I really enjoyed the smoke aspect going on in this one. The flavor was pretty complex as well compare to the Black Damnations we were sampling before this. A definite must try without any doubt!

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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