1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Cuvee Delphine - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

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

390 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 390
Reviews: 183
rAvg: 4.19
pDev: 10.26%
Wants: 215
Gots: 82 | FT: 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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 390 | Reviews: 183 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

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

From 01/21/11 notes. Shared by BigSexy410 at a small tasting; thanks man, another huge want!

a - Pours a very black color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of lactic, roasted malts, chocolate, and vanilla. Also quite a bit of sour fruit; afraid this one might be infected as well.

t - Tastes of sour fruit, chocolate, and roasted malts. Sour cherries and dark fruits.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - Afraid this one was a bit infected. Enjoyable still, but much different than expected and I assume intended. Hoping to get another chance to try this.
4/3.5/3.5/4/3.5
___
EDIT: Had a 2009 vintage bottle the other night on 12/3/11, and it was not infected at all.

Appearance and body were similiar, but no sour fruit or lactic ntoes whatsoever. Tons of roasted malts and chocolate, as well as alcohol. Definitely better than the infected bottle I had last January, however the alcohol was still quite strong. While this is a very good RIS, I personally don't find this to be an improvement on the normal Black Albert, and considering I can buy that off the shelf year round, would rather have that beer. Worth trying but I prefer Black Albert.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2011 19:24:49 | More by mdfb79
Photo of dasenebler
dasenebler

Maine

3.58/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

33cl, "Vintage 2009" on the label.

Thick, inky black with a spectacular head: dark tan and voluminous, with sheets of lace.

At first the aroma has a big vanillin-bourbon profile. This then transforms into more of an oaky, roasty thing. Very lush and deep, though there's a slightly metallic thing that is not ideal.

Flavor is equally as huge, with fudge and dark chocolate components. Very roasty and bitter on the back end. Woody flavors apparent as well. Like Black Albert, this beer has some interesting fruity things going on, mainly blueberries and dark cherries. Unfortunately, that flinty, metallic note comes through again, and it's stronger than the aroma. It's not so much to make the beer undrinkable, but it definitely lowers my flavor score. The mouthfeel is impeccable: oily and thick, yet fluffy and effervescent at the same time (quite a feat).

Struise's beers vary batch to batch, sometimes considerably, and I have a feeling that other batches (read: barrels, in the case of this one-off stout) may have been better and lacked the minor metallic twang of this bottle. Without this flaw, Cuvee Delphine would be an "A" for sure.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2011 21:37:11 | More by dasenebler
Photo of waltonc
waltonc

Colorado

2.88/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Thanks to Popkas for hooking me up with this. I've been wanting to try this beer for a long time.

A: Pours very dark brown, almost completely opaque, with a large tan head. The lacing on this is very nice.

S: The first thing I notice is metal, which is quite off-putting. As the beer has opened up, the metallic scent has faded some, but is still present. After a while, a strong chocolate quality begins to take over as the dominant factor on the nose. Fairly restrained bourbon quality.

T: Milk chocolate, metal, plum, and bourbon. This beer is sweet, but by no means cloying. Again, that metallic quality is very unpleasant.

M: Very nice mouthfeel - medium-bodied, high class silk. Although the carbonation is fairly high, it is quite smooth.

D: Overall, an interesting beer to try, but the metallic quality prevents this from being very good. On the other hand, I appreciate De Struise using an appropriately small bottle for this, rather than the ridiculous 750s and bombers that Goose Island and Bruery are putting 15-18% abv beers in.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 00:52:27 | More by waltonc
Photo of sweemzander
sweemzander

Illinois

4.15/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 03:54:50 | More by sweemzander
Photo of cjacobsen
cjacobsen

Illinois

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

Again, thanks to sweemzander for sharing this one.

Black with a thick brown head that levels off to a thin head with great retention.

Smell is of cocoa, coffee, roasted caramel and some raisin. The coffee and raisin became stronger as the beer warmed.

This beer is straight up on flavor, which makes it an awesome tasting beer. It's simple. There was some plum but big on the roasted malt and dark chocolate. Almost a dry, bittering chocolate.

There was some dryness from the dark chocolate, but it was smooth. It had a fullness to it and was very well balanced.

From what I heard of how this beer was made and what was used to make it, it makes it a very interesting drink. Not one to have multiple bottles of in a close time period as it was pretty big.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 15:44:30 | More by cjacobsen
Photo of corby112
corby112

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 06:11:46 | More by corby112
Photo of BenZ
BenZ

Virginia

2.98/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok, so I loved the BA batch 0, so I thought this would be even better. It wasn't - it seems to be infected. Reminds me a lot of the Berkshire imperial stout that is widely reported to be infected. Oddly I still liked that beer even with the sourness. Perhaps it's because this was such a let down, but I cant give it any higher scores. Such a shame...

I have one more bottle, will update if this changes.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2010 04:12:29 | More by BenZ
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

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

With as much De Struise beer I'm drinking I should really go out and get a Struise glass. I wish they were more available. Beer poured into my Bruery tulip.

Beer is black with a thick brown head of small bubbles that leaves a lot of lacing on the glass. Carbonation is moderate. Looks really good.

Aroma is sweet and has a liquor quality to it, roast is minimal, this smells like a bourbon barrel aged RIS.

Well...first thing is first, 13%...really? Are you sure? No alcohol bite in this one at all. Lots of bitterness late to after with the beer from the roasted grains. Beer is pretty sweet but the majority of the flavor is in the back of this one, lots of coffee, roast, mild smoke, liquor is a little lost in there but it is up front. Pretty nice.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2010 01:46:18 | More by drabmuh
Photo of sprucetip
sprucetip

Alaska

3.85/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thank you Alactradamus for providing the opportunity to try this one!

Looks like a stout. Black with thin mocha head, good retention, no lacing.

Smells roasty, boozy, and woody. But no discernible bourbon at all. None. I tried to find it and couldn't.

Roasty, boozy, woody, and vaguely of dark fruit. Maybe a wee nip of the bourbon? Nah, probably not. If I didn't know it was in there I wouldn't have suspected at all. Smooth and balanced, but not particularly complex.

low carbonation, smooth, full body, modest warming with a bit of a bite.

A very good beer, but not worthy of any hype that might be associated, in my view. And I didn't get the bourbon. If that is going to be in the name or description, it should be identifiable. I wouldn't pay $10 for an 11oz bottle, that's for sure. Unless I'd never tried it....

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2010 07:03:05 | More by sprucetip
Photo of chicagobeerriot
chicagobeerriot

Illinois

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

Tasted blind as part of Blind Beers BIF #3. Big thanks to Scott (sholland119) for sending it my way. Shared with Mrs. Beerriot while the temperature outside plummets.

Out of the bottle, this might be one of the best looking impy stouts I've seen. Classic black with a very attractive one-inch mocha head that has a little rock to it and hangs out for a bit before fading to a thin lattice-work film on the surface. There's no color at the edges when held to the light. Altogether a very attractive beer.

The smell is also right out of central casting: dark fruit (plum and cherry) shares nostril space with some nice baker's chocolate, well-done toast, and coffee. There are not a lot of barrel notes here.

Mouthfeel is spot-on for me: on the full side with only enough carbonation to prevent it from feeling like an oil slick.

The flavors are very well-balanced: slight amounts of cherry and raisin complement the strong dark chocolate and espresso-like char. Great finish with some roasty bitterness and just enough alcohol to warm you up but not so much that it lingers on the palate. My only complaint is I'm not getting much bourbon or wood flavor. It's a well-crafted stout to be sure, but the aging process doesn't seem to have added much.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2010 02:55:42 | More by chicagobeerriot
Photo of BobZ
BobZ

Massachusetts

4.7/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. Bottle poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance: Almost identical to Black Albert, pitch black in color. Even less head than its parent but once again there is some very nice lacing.

Smell: The bourbon comes through in the nose, but doesn't overwhelm there are also notes of chocolate and coffee.

Taste: The bourbon and the aging have really done some great things to Black Albert. Like in the nose, the bourbon is there but subtle, also adding warmth. There is malt and coffee, but to my palate the dominate flavor is rich dark chocolate. The hint on bitterness seems to come more from the chocolate than the hops. Once more a superbly balanced beer, equal to, maybe better, certainly different from Black Albert.

Mouth feel: Again Struise excels here, extremely smooth and creamy.

Drinkability: Like Black Albert, so smooth, so tasty, I could drink this beer all night!
Having just read some other recent reviews (and having had infected Pannepot), if you get a bottle with any Vinegar or sour taste it is definitely "infected" as the bottles of Delphine that I have had have nothing at all along those lines.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2010 15:33:39 | More by BobZ
Photo of sisuspeed
sisuspeed

New Hampshire

3.08/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to irishct15 for the bottle!

Poured into a Hill Farmstead tasting glass. A big, thick, creamy, dark-tan head forms on top of an opaque black body. Swirling leaves some nice lacing behind.

The nose contains light bourbon, chocolate and a bit of sour cherry. Hmmm... hopefully this isn't infected. Light vanilla and oak, rounded out with a touch of alcohol.

Bourbon and vinous chocolate on the tongue. Followed by chocolate, wood and alcohol. Hint of vinegar. Not overly exciting. Possibly infected.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin and foamy. Under carbonated. Some warming alcohol.

Drinkability is sub-par. I have a bottle of Black Albert open next to this and it is so much better. Maybe I just have a bad bottle, but this beer seems fairly flawed.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2010 01:57:06 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of abuliarose
abuliarose

New Hampshire

4.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a tasting glass, revealing two finger tall tanned thick head over a deeply brown opaque body. Good lacing. Pretty thing. Smells a little sour/funky. Hmm. Some dark fruit and roasted-ness underneath but mostly there's a nice spicy funk going on. A little vanilla. Not what's I'd expect from an RIS.

Tastes just slightly soured as well with a nice roasted flavor up front and a surprisingly clean finish. Some creamy lactic tang folds into fruity molasses and a gentle but noticeable spice. I think this bottle may be infected, but I am either wrong or it got infected very nicely. Mouthfeel is creamy and an assertive but round carbonation adds volume to the almost syrupy heavy body. For the strength and the style it's very drinkable. I just don't know about the tangy-ness.

Overall it's very interesting. I wish I could say for sure that it's infected but if not it deviates considerably from your standard RIS. Still very good, though.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2010 01:54:26 | More by abuliarose
Photo of ElGallo
ElGallo

New Hampshire

4.22/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a brandy snifter. Part of a simultaneous tasting with Black Albert and Black Albert Batch 0. According to my sources, this bottle of Cuvee Delphine is bourbon barrel aged Batch 0 (2010).

Dark dark color with bourbon very obvious in the nose. Not much head or lacing. Taste is very much a bourbon-tinged Batch 0 (quad) but it's almost too bourbony sweet when tasted side-by-side with its original DNA. Not much of the barrel comes through, just the bourbon notes. It's very tasty, but the straight Batch 0 is a cut above. Glad I got to try this bottle from the beer artists of Belgium. Would love to try it again with more age.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2010 04:12:30 | More by ElGallo
Photo of pixieskid
pixieskid

Germany

4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is one of those beers that you should pay 30 bucks for and trade half of your cellar for; but you don't have to!

Full body, milky and creamy mouthfeel, frothy carbonation.
Solid rich malt presence upfront; very roasty with a creamy milk chocolate note.
Great bourbon presence throughout, adds a nice residual sweetness, richness, and slight alcohol bite.
Finishes with a great rich chocolate presence, a hint of coffee bitterness, and a nice undertone of oak and burnt malt.
Overall; amazing balance and great bourbon/wood undertones.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2010 20:59:01 | More by pixieskid
Photo of punkrkr27
punkrkr27

Michigan

4.58/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Inky black pour with a tall, loose, brown head. The aroma is deep dark espresso with a soft note of dark Belgian chocolate, dark fruit, lots of charred oak and a wonderful, rich, sweet, smoky bourbon overtone. The flavor has loads more mocha and espresso with a chalky, very dark chocolate body, lots of dark fruit, tobacco, and more of that sweet, smoky bourbon. I love how the 4 Roses barrels really stand out. It doesn't taste like another barrel aged stout. The distinct character of the barrels that were used stands out. The body is creamy and full with a fair amount of carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 01:23:24 | More by punkrkr27
Photo of stakem
stakem

Pennsylvania

4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2010 00:00:18 | More by stakem
Photo of muttyd
muttyd

Massachusetts

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

Big thanks to Chris (bearsonacid) for sharing this bottle.

Pitch black beer with a tan foamy head. Coats the glass like motor oil. The bottle was poured pretty cold, so it took some time for the aroma to open up. Roasted malt, bourbon, and cocoa in the nose. Flavor follows the nose. Dark chocolate immediately assaults (in a good way) the palate. Very roasty with a big bourbon barrel finish. This 13% ABV stout creates some warming alcohol notes, but remains very drinkable. This beer is absolutely phenomenal.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2010 06:03:22 | More by muttyd
Photo of gyllstromk
gyllstromk

Belgium

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

Anyone know the story? Delphine is the alleged illegitimate daughter of Albert II, current king of Belgium, and she's also the artist who made this cover.

I quite enjoyed this beer. Pours dark with a nice head. Caramel and dark roasted malt on the nose. Palette evokes bitter chocolate with licorice and vanilla on the finish. Sticky and creamy feel. A nice offering by a great brewery.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2010 17:04:52 | More by gyllstromk
Photo of dqrull
dqrull

Sweden

3.83/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009

Pours a piiiitch black, with a huge deep brown head that lasts for an incredible long time considering the ABV, awesome!

Smells of very sweet bourbon infused coffee, alot of vanilla and sweet roasted malts and chocolate. Alcohol comes through rather strong as well. There are a good bit of fruity hints as well, mainly in the form of dried berries, quite intense. Smell is so intense my nose hurts.

Taste is almost as intense as the smell, but not as... wide. There are alot of bitter chocolate, coffee, and vanilla infused dried cranberries and raspberries... The alcohol is a little too prominent for my tastes though, and the whole experience feels a bit put off by it when it enters at the end and pretty much steals the show. I would love to try the original stout Black Albert and see how the stout fares without the bourbon barrel, as I am not a huge fan of barrel aged imperial stouts overall, and this feels a little bit undone, with the vanilla and wood flavours taking the upper hand together with the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is a lot lighter than expected, partly due to the wood aging I guess, as well as the sugar used in the brewing process. But overall the mouthfeel is pretty nice, although the sweetness makes it a tad bit cloying.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2010 22:40:17 | More by dqrull
Photo of Bitterbill
Bitterbill

Wyoming

4.15/5  rDev -1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 22:16:18 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of gueuzer
gueuzer

Colorado

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

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass. 2009 vintage.

App- Black, with a dark brown roasted two finger head that quickly dissipated. lacing that clung to the glass.

A- Tart cherries, roasted malt, oak.

Ta- Lots of charred oak. The bourbon was barely detectable. Tart cherries hit the front of your palate and provide a great contrast to the dark chocolate, caramel flavors that follow. Amazing.

MF- Thick, but not too syrupy. Nice subtle carbonation.

Dr- Split a bottle with the wife and seemed like a good amount. I would say the limitation is due to the massive body though, as opposed to the 13% ABV, which is hardly present.

Cracked this open on the first snowfall of the year. Could not think of a better beer to do this with. I thoroughly enjoy black albert, but I would take this instead any day. Also, there were no sign of infection as some people have thought. I would guess they are misinterpreting the fruitiness of the yeast.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2010 04:57:14 | More by gueuzer
Photo of mothman
mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.1/5  rDev -26%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2010 02:11:40 | More by mothman
Photo of msubulldog25
msubulldog25

Oregon

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

Colorful label art ('TRUTH CAN SET YOU FREE') by Delphine Boël wraps this slender little 25cl bottle; poured to a small snifter. Serving temp is straight from a cool part of the cellar , probably 50-55°F. A treat sent by a generous East Coast trader.

A: The deepest, most oppressive darkness in liquid form... impenetrable. Terrific head, starting as a finger-and-a-half pile of softer fluff, a rust-tinged beige. Ebbs slowly and imperceptibly; ten minutes later, a quarter inch of the densest cream remains, dimpled in places where carbonation rises from the abyss. Jagged stalagmites of lace rise from a thickened ringing band.

S: Chocolate for sure, laced with an odd earthy tartness hinting at cherries/blackberries. Then something nutty, also a bit papery - not a wet cardboard/oxidized small; it's similar to dried autumn leaves, maybe tobacco.

T: Dark roast, cocoa and coffee beans and an ample blend of fruit. Because there's De Struise's Belgian yeast involved, fruit and zest spice are more prevalent than in many Imperial Stouts. Aging in Kentucky bourbon barrels further augments the flare of spice, the 'disowned offspring of Black Albert' taking on a new character.

M: Remarkable smoothness, creaminess. An ultra-fine grainy coating and a tingling spice. Despite a 13% weight, there's nothing hot or brazen about this. Medium body (any thicker and a '5' would have been earned), lasting bittersweet finish.

D: Quite tasty, another fine effort by this excellent brewery. I do love a good Imperial Stout and this one is both well-made and memorable for its barrel-aging married with Belgian spicing. Worth a taste if you find a bottle - more, please!

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2010 05:49:22 | More by msubulldog25
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

4.4/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Immense thanks to ShogoKawada for this bottle. Vintage 2009, batch 14; poured from a 330mL bottle into my Bruery tulip.

Opaque dark liquid, a charcoal stained seal brown topped by a persistent fawn/earth yellow half finger of dense cream. Thick yet sandy lacing, dragged down by a wave of clear rippling tears.

Four Roses makes a wide variety of bourbon blends, but most are typified by a refined floral/fruity element, and that comes forward in the aromatics here as well. The base is a faintly smokey mix of specialty and roast malt along with a mass of candi sugar. Molasses, coffee, and tobacco come out as well in the nose, all the while backed by distinctive bourbon notes.

Humongous chocolate and gargantuan roast malt notes on the palate - grainy, bitter, and spicy (cloves, black pepper). A faintly tart/herbal note comes with the moderately bitter hops, though they can't overcome the immense base of yeasty roast. Charred white oak, tobacco, vanillin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and deep leather and loam flavors in the finish. Alcohol is fairly high, but contributes to the bourbon elements and adds additional estery complexity without becoming fusel-forward.

Chewy, nearly effervescent, velvety, and heavy mouthfeel. Very warming, but not hot - perfect for a rainy day.

Tames and refines Black Albert, one of the better examples of barrel aging I've tried.

Would pair very well with a nutty cave aged gruyere...

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2010 23:38:06 | More by augustgarage
Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 390 ratings.