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Cuvee Delphine | De Struise Brouwers

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
220 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
BEER STATS
Reviews:
220
Ratings:
641
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
17.66%
 
 
Wants:
234
Gots:
159
For Trade:
12
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium | website

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-07-2009

User Reviews
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Reviews: 220 | Ratings: 641
Photo of MaineBrewing
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

On draught at Novare res 8oz pour on " de struise day"

A - poured pitch black opaque with a good one finger darker tan head. Immediate lacing was apparent.

S - smell of roasted malts, dark fruits, slight acidity. Maybe the atmosphere but a very mild aroma.

T - very complex and delicious. The Belgian character adds a nice fruity finish a nice pedal point to the roasted malt character is domineering .nice smokiness in the finish, finishes a great balance between dry and sweet. Ample hop bitterness in the end with A slight sour character.

M - slow sipping but not too thick. Well carbonated and a balanced finish. The 13% abv is not really prevalent. Very drinkable.

O -very drinkable stout, yet very complex and requires time to reflect on the nuances. A real treat to have this on draught. Chose this over some rare and delicous offerings and don't regret it.

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Photo of Sarlacc83
3.94/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Belmont Station

A: Pure black with a non-existent head. Spectacular legs, though

N: Roasted malt, chocolate, heavily roasted espresso, and oak. Quite a bit of licorice and there’s a backdrop of vanilla. Not particularly strong, though.

T: Tons of roast and there’s a pleasant sweetness balanced out by the slightest bitterness. Lots of the nose shows up here.

M: Thick, oily, and coating. Alcohol is expertly hidden.

O: A well oiled machine I’d recommend. Wish it had a little more barrel character, though.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.98/5  rDev -5%
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 macher0
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Winos Depot in Bowling Green, KY, served in tulip glass

A – Very dark black with a dark tan head that quickly retreats to a very fine film. An opaque/viscous tan layer holds for a very long time as beer is swirled around the glass.

S – Alcohol on front but very smooth and pleasant with coco and oak.

T – Slightly bitter on front with notes of fruit, coco, mild oak and a noticeable bourbon.

M - Very thick and sticky, but relatively smooth. Minimal carbonation.

O – Enjoyed this beer very much. It was fresh off the keg and that was noticeable. The bourbon/oak was very pleasant and balanced. Would certainly recommend this beer. The creamy/silky nature, combined with a frothy long-retaining head makes this a very attractive beer, setting a standard in my opinion.

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Photo of Docrock
4.44/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On- Tap at Sergios, served in a De Struise Tulip:

A - Absolutely Dark, dark mocha head that quickly died. Just a little lacing but what was there was very sticky.

S - Bourbon, cocoa nibs and a bit of roasted malt.

T - The bourbon, Cherry a touch of Vanilla and then some bitter chocolate.

M - Smooth, with a dry finish, minimal to no carbonation. A lingering chocolate finish.

O - A gem, as it warmed up ( served really cold ), the bourbon was more warming and the chocolate was lessened. Enjoyed it more and more as I progressed. This would be a great nightcap!

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Photo of eric5bellies
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2011 drank from my Duvel tulip

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

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

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

M - Full body small carbonation

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

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap into snifter at avenue pub nola. Pours an oily black with a slight rim of lacing. Looks good..but not outstanding. Same with aroma...its obvious bourbon roasty malts and chocolate notes prevail. Taste is nice smooth bourbon malty roastness...its a very mild and easy drinking silent killer. Nice brew.

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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.96/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The fun continues with De Struise Brouwers with this, poured on tap in a 6oz wine glass at Trappist Provisions.

Pours an opaque, darkened appearance that makes it almost exactly the same to rich, espresso coffee. Barely a head on this, which is impressive considering the ABV, yet it sticks around long enough to add some character to the murkiness of the beer. Little bubbles attempt to reach the top, but appear to be halted by the blackened malty texture. Huge alcohol legs on glass glide down with each swirl, and the liquid retains a viscous, thickened appearance resemblant of fortified wine. Quite masterful overall.

The aroma is quite complex, and is instantly a grand infusion of a RIS and a Belgian strong dark ale, containing malty texture from the former, yeasty notes from the latter, and hoppy aspects resemblant of both. Above it all, there's an aroma of coffee beans and cocoa, yet underneath there's a lot going on, and among the phenols I pick out sweet truffles, whiskey sweetness, rum, dried fruits (especially raisins), and a slight woody texture. The zest and booziness seem to be in conflict with one another here, which is how it ranges from being a rum-infused spiced drink combined with wine and brandy characteristics. Good stuff.

The flavor continues where the aroma left off, with key differences. The woody soaked flavors are pretty obvious, as well as the dark fruit flavors ranging from figs to plums, but then it takes a leathery-tasting turn like no other. While this sounds bitter at first, it's the sweetness of the beer that holds it together, and eventually gives it a wine-like consistency resemblant of port, or, just as in the case of Black Damnation V, smoothened out brandy. It's quite thick in feel, as expected, and while the alcohol is well masked overall, it does eventually creep up in a rather terrifying way, so, as always, approach with caution.

Great stuff once again, although more than two of these in one session would be pushing it. Instantly a sipping beer, the wine and brandy texture is uncanny here, and it's absolutely refreshing to find a new twist on a style that seems to have gotten overblown and heavily mimicked at this point. Will seek out a bottle of this in the future.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at Churchkey in DC, served in a snifter.

A- Pours black with a thin mocha head, leaves spotty lacing.

S- Sweet aroma of dark chocolate, rich flavors of figs and plums. There are also some very nice sweet aromas of vanilla, bourbon and oak.

T- A powerful flavor of chocolate and coffee/espresso (lots of coffee), which melts into a sweeter center of dark fruit and molasses with accents of bourbon and vanilla and a subtle cherry flavor.

M- Medium to full body, smooth and creamy feel.

O- A delicious beer, manages to blend a lot of interesting flavors together really nicely.

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Photo of weonfire
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap at Sergio's World of Beers in Louisville, KY. poured into a 10oz tulip glass.

A - Jet black. no light shines thru. none. zero head.

S - served cold. so as temp warms up the flavors starts coming in. roast, chocolate. alcohol aromas.

T - phenomenal roasted chocolate. taste is MUCH better than scent. slight alcohol taste. 13ABUs are hidden superbly. wow, this is smooth.

M- nice and thick. velvety. viscosity is very low. great feel.

O - excellent brew. loved the smoothness. $8 brew? ya. ill get this again.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Vintage 2009, 11.2oz
Riedel tulip

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

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

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

M: It's a heavily carbonated full bodied.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into Globe glass. 2009 vintage

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of Bierman9
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

1530

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

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

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

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

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

M: Very creamy, fine carbonation.

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

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Photo of jegross2
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

Score: 92

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cost: $15 for an 11.2 oz bottle.

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5oz pour at Eb's
Comes to the table a solid black color with a decent tan head that shows moderate retention. Smells of roast, burnt sugar, smoke, caramel. light toasted oak, a hint of booze and a bit of vanilla. Its definitely got that burnt and smokey aroma flavor that I remember from the Albert. Sweet thick roasty oaky smokey burnt flavor just like the nose promised. Thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet burnt sugary mouthfeel. I'm surprised I got to try this, but thankful for the opportunity its a really nice

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Photo of davey101
4.2/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of ehammond1
3.99/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle (2009)

Thanks for opening this with me, nakalakaboom!

(Aged for 2+ years)

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

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

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

Medium to full bodied with low carbonation.

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

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.06/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

2009 vintage.

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

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Photo of Reaper16
4.1/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

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Photo of Phelps
3.7/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is Black Albert, aged for a while in some Four Roses bourbon barrels. Poured from a bottle shared by ejyoung, into a tulip.

Deep, impenetrable black with a quarter-inch of sand-colored head. The bubbles eventually become a thin, silky top layer and ring.

Heavily fruity nose — it stings the nostrils. Prunes mixed with booze, some dark chocolate, a little roast, some oak and vanilla. Not a ton of bourbon, though.

If this is barrel-aged, I can barely tell. There’s a lot of the Belgian yeast character, raisins, tangy grapes, even a little pear. I get a good amount of oak as well, just not much bourbon. Smooth blend of flavors, though.

Medium, creamy body with very soft carbonation and just a hint of fizz. The booze on the tongue is a little tongue-numbing, but I don’t get anything near 13 percent.

Delphine is decent, but I wish there was more barrel character. It’s better than the regular Albert, at least.

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Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 220 ratings.