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Cuvee Delphine - De Struise Brouwers

Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

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

369 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 369
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: 369 | Reviews: 182 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of crnipeter
crnipeter

Slovenia

4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Old" 250 ml bottle (now being sold in 330 ml ones), BBE 03 2014 into 180 ml Chimay chalice. This vintage is based on the original "zero" batch of Black Albert.
Abundant deep tan head scattered with bubbles gradually collapses to form thick solid cloth atop of opaque black fluid with reddish-brown hue while swirls wave thick firm laces on the walls.
Fruity esters of plum, prune and raisins dominate the aroma profile with light notes of bourbon making its way through the thick layers of dark fruits.
Roasted malt adds slightly burnt sensation to the fruity flavors of plum, prune and raisins spiced with light non-aggressive alcohol burning. Roasty bitter aftertaste with fruity tartness and oily film on the palate. Although burnt character is noticeable the beer lacks any coffee and dark chocolate sensations from roasted malts as the flavors are somehow subdued and mellowed due to aging in barrels. Viscous, slightly tarry and oily although not as much as might be expected from a stout. The beer is surprisingly tart and quite different from its predecessor, the Black Albert.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2010 18:50:41 | More by crnipeter
Photo of Parrotbeak
Parrotbeak

Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with a quarter-inch, creamy brown head that remains. Very nice.
Smell is slightly subdued bourbon, chocolate, a little bit of coffee. There is a slight, sour smell one would typically notice with a belgian sour. Some alcohol as well. Not exactly what I expected.
Taste is bourbon and oak up front, with some roasty malts and dark chocolate. Again, there is a belgian ale quality to this one that comes from a faint sourness. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of this one comes from the ashy smoke that hits the back on the mouth on the finish.
Mouthfeel is crisper and lighter than I was expecting. Moderate level of carbonation and a fairly smooth finish. Nice warmth from the alcohol.
Quite drinkable, as the bourbon is not overpowering, and the alcohol is very well-hidden. Wish the bottle was bigger.
Definitely a Belgian style stout, and definitely the best one I've had to date.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2010 23:49:27 | More by Parrotbeak
Photo of mdagnew
mdagnew

United Kingdom (Northern Ireland)

4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

275ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com.. poured into a De Struise glass...

Poured pretty much as expected - blacker than black !! Burnt mocha tan head poured very big thick and foamy with a pock marked meringue like topping which faded quickly to light covering with very little lacing...

Aroma - Roasted / charred chocolate malts, ginger and nutmeg, sooty smoke, charred bread, molasses / treacle sweetness, stewed dark fruits (black cherries and grapes, dates, raisins), roasted nut brittle, some balsamic vinegar notes, strong soy, yeasty, very earthy, sour notes, burnt coffee beans...

Taste - Treacle sweetness mixed with nutmeg, lots of charred / burnt chocolate malts, liquorice to the fore, sooty notes, quite a lot of sourness, strong cola hints, epresso coffee, toasted / charred bread, stewed prunes, black cherries, slight candy sugar hints, grassy hops, light oakiness, fresh vanilla, quite peppery, nice warming booze, slight saltiness..

Feel - Sharp initially then and smooths out nicely... full bodied... incredibly drinkable for 13% although you can certainly feel the effects of the booze after one bottle..

Overall - An incredible and very complex beer although it does take a few sips before all the flavours emerge. I have a few more of these and am looking forward to seeing how they age... highly recommended...

Serving type: bottle

03-05-2010 14:13:33 | More by mdagnew
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Black Albert barrel aged. Pours perfectly black body with a design of brown head and lace. Aromas of rich Belgian chocolate, booziness, sherry, and funk. Initial sips, and it is a sipper, is funk and stout, leaving a residue of chocolate aftertaste, and roasted malt. Substantially above average mouthfeel, the yeast and caramel are synthesized and seem to cradle you.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2010 03:15:33 | More by Sammy
Photo of nickd717
nickd717

California

3.98/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle via trade thanks to PALMEJ1. Another bottle shared by alfrantzell, since these things are damn small and we wanted to have enough to go around.

Pours black with a medium-sized, well-retained tan head. Looks excellent.

Aroma is mildly vinous and tart, surprisingly. Also roast and wood.

Flavor is roasted malt, coffee, chocolate, red wine, oak, and brett. Probably not infected, but definitely tart. Just a little bit of bourbon.

Medium body with mild acidity (but smooth otherwise) with fairly high carbonation, which is a little strange for the style. A little boozy as well.

Solid drinkability. This beer is very good overall, but fell a bit short of expectations, sort of like Black Damnation.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2010 19:19:00 | More by nickd717
Photo of GbVDave
GbVDave

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25cl bottle into a snifter. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

Best Before: M/2014

Review # 1000!

A: Pours a viscous black with a dark mocha colored head. Retention is good, but no lace is left behind. When swirled, this has legs.

S: Strong aromas of dark fruit, tangy cherry, dark chocolate, char, bourbon, and heavily roasted malt.

T: See above. Loads of tangy fruit, burnt barrel, bourbon, tobacco, and blackened malt.

M: When first poured, it seemed pretty thin, but quickly got thick and smooth and pretty dry. Tangy astringent finish.

D: I was astonished that this is packing 13%! Virtually no trace of alcohol to be found. How did they hide it so well? Awesome!

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2010 01:48:17 | More by GbVDave
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to bmanning for sharing this at a recent tasting.

Poured a very, very dark brown with a nice creamy tan head. Pretty good retention. Smell was of roasted malt, fresh cherry, anise, a bit of barrels, molasses, and some dark fruits. Maybe a little bit of chocolate in there as well. The taste is quite nice, with a bit of roast acidity coming through atop the bourbon and chocolate flavors. Medium bodied with good carbonation and not too hot. A great drinking beer and one of the more unique stouts I've had in a while.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2010 03:44:16 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.9/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Teeny bottle pours viscous hugh head, great retention and lots of lace.

S - Cocoa, burnt malt, a little bile, really. Not altogether pleasant, but intriguing, all the same.

T - Nice complex mix of chocolate, coffee and burnt malt.

M - Medium to light body, however the thickness was originally. The carb really skews the body factor to less, as it is very carbonated.

D - One is enough and I probably won't return. Not one of my favorites.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2010 04:53:59 | More by srandycarter
Photo of hayesez
hayesez

Indiana

4.47/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Figured I'd have one more beer before calling it a night, and couldn't resist the Cuvee Delphine. I really do enjoy this beer....and I'm not really a fan of Black Albert - must be those Four Roses bourbon barrels!

Poured deep thick black into my Stone Imperial Russian Stout glass. Dark tan head that starts out extremely thick and remains throughout the entirety of this beer. Reminiscent of the big fluffy cap you would get on one of those frothy cappuccinos. Unfortunately, just a small amount of lacing.

Heavy chocolate is the primary aroma on this guy. A deep inhale definitely reveals some alcohol...but this guy is 13%! A little bit of sweet vanilla as well.

Starts off with a very sweet beginning - caramel perhaps. Much thinner than one would anticipate based on the pour. Low carbonation. The alcohol in this bottle is more pronounced than I remember in the first couple that I had. Has a roasty taste that becomes more apparent several moments after I've swallowed. I've never used "chocolate-covered" something in a description before, but this almost has that chocolate candy, deep fruit taste. Maybe cherries...I don't really know, but it is a very interesting mix of the chocolate and sweet. Ok, I'm going with the chocolate covered cherries. Very appealing as it provides a smooth drink that pleases the palate start to finish. The alcohol is a bit harsher than I like, but still very enjoyable. Provides a finish that is sweet but lingers around long enough to reduce to a pleasant bitter...excellent!

Overall, I am very pleased with this beer. It's a tiny bottle, but delivers in every aspect. Too bad it is so difficult to get. I definitely recommend letting this one sit out for a bit before drinking...the closer to room temp, the better!

Consumed: 2/8/2008 (early, early morning)

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2010 05:42:29 | More by hayesez
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

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

Nick3 shared this one a while back. Thanks, Nick.

Pours black with a massive tan head. Amazing retention and lacing, this is downright impressive to look at. Smoke, cherries and subtle bourbon are the first things I pick up on the nose. There's a tart fruity character, and a touch of alcohol. Tastes of chocolate-covered cherries, smoke, anise and roasted malt. Medium-full body, but the effervescence gives it a light mouthfeel. Smoke is surprisingly prominent mid-palate with an undercurrent of bourbon, and the finish exhibits some light roasty bitterness and lingering fruit flavors. I'm not always impressed with De Struise beers, but this is very good.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2010 18:05:43 | More by largadeer
Photo of SpruceFish
SpruceFish

Burkina Faso

4.3/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

wow finally drinking this beauty thanks you MikesGroove for this trade

starts off pitch black with dark tan head looks like any great stout the smell is unlike any stout i have had i can really sence the belgian influence at work here there is almost a lambic like small to but just barley then the oaky tannins hit me i feel thats where most of the sourness comes from but keep in mind its just a very slight sour nothing like a big gueuze then dark malts whisky come into play very nice that taste is just as appealing again a light sourness that is pretty tannic then some dried fruits here is where i can taste the Belgian-ness really starts the kick i get some funky yeastyness and below there are your typical elements of a stout dark roasted malt with a whisky undertone the feel is good a little to carbonated and a bit thin which is really the only flaw of this beer the drink is great the booze is evident yet works well

overall this is a great beer and im sad the only way i can get a hold of this is though trade or go to Belgium

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2010 03:17:07 | More by SpruceFish
Photo of HopHobo
HopHobo

Michigan

4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Taste Cuvee Delphine next to its base beer Black Albert. CD pours with a tan 1 finger of head and great lacing on the side of the glass. Unlike Black Albert I don't think it would be possible to get a larger head out of this ale becuase of the barrel aging. However, the head never completely goes away in this ale as I enjoy it which was a great suprise for me because I expected that by the third sip the ale would like flat life less stout. The smell is quit impress as it reminds me of a cross between a wild ale and a stout. The first smell to hit my nose is that of funkiness and acidity. This is followed by a smokey smell mixed with vanilla, oak, chocolate, carmel and sweet sugar. I don't get a lot of bourban smell out of it except for the vanilla smell. The taste is very similar and the roasted grains, burnt coffee and chocolate meld very well with a funky barrel type flavor. The mouth feel on CD is much thinner than Black Albert and is borderline for not feeling like a stout at all. Once again the alcohol flavor is masked very well. This is a great ale and is very unique in its flavor and aroma profile. I think I expected a big bourban flavor, but what I good was a lot of depth and notes of sourness and peated smoke. A very yummy beer and I wish I had a bigger bottle. Still very glad to try it. Thanks Alen.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2010 16:04:16 | More by HopHobo
Photo of mikey711
mikey711

New Jersey

4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark black, but not syrupy with a very big fluffy mocha head, that lingers a little. Outstaning lace

S: Some belgian esters, bits of roastiness, nice tannin wood notes. Nice bourobon aromas. Also a bit of a vinous, wine quality to it.

T: The roast is much more pronounced in the taste. Burnt coffee, bitter chocolate, wood, and a mellow warming bourbon note in the finish. The flavors blend very well together. The bourbon adds a but of a smokey quality to it as well. SOme dark fruit notes, and hints of pepper as well.

M: Very creamy and no heat on it at all. The body is a little thin.

D: Probably the easiest and most deceptive 13% beer I have ever enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

01-14-2010 22:25:42 | More by mikey711
Photo of rudylaw
rudylaw

Illinois

4.75/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

25cl bottle courtesy of eyebrews! I love Black Albert, so this bottle has been long awaited.

Pours a delicate black with foamy, white head that yields into a thin rim. Picture perfect!

Big time chocolate with smoothing bourbon. There is slight toffee here as well. A very inviting aroma that is so complex, my words do this no justice.

Chocolate malt with warming bourbon sip upon glorious sip. Nice and smooth with parts vanilla and tannins. Like Albert, this is so unique, I'm having a hard time describing everything I taste. Amazing!

The mouthfeel is a little light with excellent carbonation. The alcohol is making its presence known, but by all means, I'm glad to have this bottle all to myself. Just outstanding!

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2010 02:15:54 | More by rudylaw
Photo of Jeffo
Jeffo

Netherlands

4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Found this at The Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam.

From a 25cl bottle into a snifter.

Note: Black Albert aged in bourbon barrels.

APPEARANCE: Pours a small half finger medium looking deep tan head with good retention. Black with medium carbonation evident. The head retains surprisingly well, and slowly fades to a nice wisp and a thick ring around the edges. The wisp and ring remain for the entire ride but leave no lacing down the sides. Looks great, but just needs a little lacing to stick.

SMELL: Roasted malts, dark fruits and berries, alongside some black licorice. Some hints of bourbon from the barrel aging, but it is subtle and very complimentary. A very nice nose that works well together.

TASTE: Much like the above. Roasted and charred malts with some dark fruits up front. Black licorice and spicy yeast through the middle into a spicy alcohol finish. Some nice subtle hints of bourbon that mesh well with the entire brew. Ends with a strong and long lasting aftertaste of bitter hops, chocolate and coffee, which weren't evident in the nose, and some nice bourbon notes. Just great.

PALATE: Medium body, though a little light on the palate. Creamy, goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness on the palate. Could use a little more weight I think.

OVERALL: A great barrel aged RIS. Black Albert is good as it is, but the barrel aging has added a new dimension to an already great beer. Unlike some other bourbon barrel aged stouts, the whisky notes don't overwhelm and dominate the brew. The barrels have left subtle notes here and there that lend character to the brew, working together with the already superb taste profile that is Black Albert. One to check out if you can.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2009 17:02:37 | More by Jeffo
Photo of Travlr
Travlr

District of Columbia

4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured by Urbain the Maestor at the schoolhouse.
A: Dark maroon color with a smallish tan head and moderate lacing.
S: Aroma of smoke and cocoa powder, with a background of bourbon and oak.
T: Smooth flavor with subtle smoke and bourbon, background only, and a finish of chocolate.
M: Good body.
D: Always a pleasure to drink with the master. Drinkability improved drastically when Urbain did his special blend with Woodford Reserve bourbon. Aroma was amazing, but taste was relatively unaffected, except for a bump in the body. Urbain, we saw you sneak the reminder of the bourbon from the glass!

Serving type: bottle

12-23-2009 22:15:16 | More by Travlr
Photo of rhinos00
rhinos00

Colorado

3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of viscosity.

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

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

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2009 06:07:24 | More by rhinos00
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2009 01:46:41 | More by jrallen34
Photo of orbitalr0x
orbitalr0x

Illinois

4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25cl bottle. Pours into my glass dark as night black with a two finger head of creamy tan foam. Lots of chocolate on the nose with wood and some subtle, mellow bourbon accents. There is a quiet and unassuming balance here. Lots of tannins with a touch of caramel as well.

First sip brings smooth dark malts augmented by a big wash of chocolate flavors. Woody tannins meet with a creamy caramel accents. Smooth bourbon weaves in and brings a touch of sweetness and vanilla. The smoothness of the Four Roses barrel really shines through here. Deceptively smooth and mellow.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly on the lighter side with mellow carbonation. Akin to the Black Albert this is a tricky beer as it's powerful but not heavy like a normal bourbon aged stout. This one will creep up on you with a left hook and leave you on the mat. Happy to be able to share this bottle with autumnaldave as it packs quite a punch. Cheers to De Struise for this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2009 06:15:19 | More by orbitalr0x
Photo of Beerisheaven
Beerisheaven

Pennsylvania

3.63/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

Poured from the small bottle into an awaiting snifter.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 03:02:30 | More by Beerisheaven
Photo of Nick3
Nick3

California

4.68/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Motor oil black in color, the beer effortlessly forms a 2 inch, frothy, dark brown head. Great lacing down the glass, the head holds for several minutes. The beer looks alive but it begs to be drunk. Aroma is a wonderful melange of dark fruit, chocolate, oak, and a little bretty must. Taste is quite amazing from start to finish; I liken it to a teeter totter like tightrope walk with a rebalancing interplay of slightly sour dark fruit, mild roasted bitterness, and a semi-sweet chocolate flavor. Beer is full bodied, with above average carbonation which works well for me. The carbonation is tight and imparts a delicate, silky mouthfeel to the brew. Alcohol level is masked completely with the exception of a slight warming feel in the finish. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2009 03:49:29 | More by Nick3
Photo of wunderbeer
wunderbeer

Pennsylvania

4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed from my Liefman's goblet about a week after shipment arrived from Belgium. Served from the cellar, not refrigerated.

Light effervescence, more so than most stouts and certainly with more head than my Black Albert experiences. Color was nearly black, though allowed light through with a deep brown-orange. Beautiful.

The nose was complex fruit and dark malts with the oak sourness. Taste was a terrific surprise - more tart and fruity than the deep black color or great scent even would have me suspecting. Definitely can still taste the Black Albert, but he's in the background of the fruit overtones and rich oak. All of these characteristics were extremely well balanced.

Truth serum: I would put this in the best 5 beer experiences I've ever had. I'd take out a loan for a case if one was available in the US. Alas.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2009 03:07:36 | More by wunderbeer
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.38/5  rDev +4.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2009 09:11:58 | More by HopHead84
Photo of ricke
ricke

Sweden

4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Almost black with a small pale beige head that leaves a thin lid of lacings.

S: Mellow roasted malts and chocolate blend nicely with tart fruity aromas and a somewhat funky oak character. The oak is subtle, but still very noticeable. Not a lot of bourbon though.

T: Very good. Surprisingly tart with a prominent barrel character. Roasted and sweet malts, cherry-like fruits and chocolate. A mild funky note. Not a whole lot of bourbon in the taste either, except for in the finish where it comes through as sweetish and somewhat fruity alcohol. The finish is somewhat bitter with notes of iron, wood and licorice.

M: Full bodied, quite a lot of carbonation, much more than most beers of this strength.

D: I really liked this one. The fruity tartness adds a beautiful edge to it and the barrel character has that slightly odd Belgian feel over it. To me, putting Black Albert in barrels turned out to be a great idea.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2009 22:21:50 | More by ricke
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.9/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An outstanding beer. I was thrilled to be able to grab ahold of this one. Small bottle was served chilled and poured into a pint glass, consumed on 08/29/2009.

One of the best looking pours I have ever seen hands down. Deep dark black in color. Huge tan head comes up and over the top and really fills the glass right to the rim. Hardly anything falls off of it for several minutes. Huge amounts of sticky tan foam all up and down the sides of the glass. Tons of chocolate and fruit notes just jumping out at you from the very first touch of it to the air. Notes of whickey, hints of oak and rich chocolate are all infused together seemlessly to put a wonderful touch on it. Enornously fell feel here, with huge carbonation just lets the flavor coat the entire tongue and really just gives it a wonderful sense of fullness to it. Rich chocolate and licorice notes just play off each other soo well. This was just wonderfully done. Hints of grapes, touches of almost apples coming through now. Very rich. Nice boozy and oak notes now coming through and giving it a very nice balance and richness. Fades out slowly with a touch of funk on the tongue and a finish that leaves a touch of vanilla across the tongue and a warming in the belly.

Blows black albert out of the water. It is really put together wonderfully I have to say. I would have no issue at all with having this one around all the time, it really is just that good. A case here where something almost needs some more hype!

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2009 00:43:30 | More by mikesgroove
Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 369 ratings.