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Cuvee Delphine - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

208 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 208
Hads: 574
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 11.75%
Wants: 225
Gots: 149 | FT: 15
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

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: 574
Photo of DavoleBomb
2.42/5  rDev -42%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of medium brown, creamy/frothy head. Retention is good and a decent amount of lacing is left.

2.0 S: Musty, almost vegetal vibe right off the bat. Oak, peat, and apple orchard from the bourbon and barrel. Light chocolate with a light acridity to it.

2.0 T: Like the nose, there's a lot of musty earthiness. And again like the nose, there's a light vegetal component. Bourbon and barrel give oak, peat, char, ash, and a touch of fruit. Chocolate and caramel. Booze is very well hidden.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Nice creaminess on this. Not particularly smooth from the acridity, but feels good when it's in my mouth.

2.5 D: Not a big fan of this. The barrel aging wasn't done very well and it shows in the nose and taste. I really liked the mouthfeel though and it almost made the experience a good one. (900 characters)

Photo of beerdrifter
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up at the beer store at the De Molen Brewery. Deep black pour with two fingers of tan head with decent retention and nice lacing. The barrel aging definitely comes through in the nose, with a really woody, almost vinous character, along with hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, maple syrup and tobacco. The taste is much the same, but even better! Don't think I've ever had a beer that has retained so much from the barrel aging. Tons of wood with really nice chocolate notes, and a subtle hint of bourbon and vanilla. As it warms, it really opens up. Very little carbonation, but smooth as silk with absolutely no evidence that this is a 13% ABV beer. I could have easily drank another. What an incredible beer! Going on a beer run in Belgium this weekend, and hope I can find some more! (798 characters)

Photo of aasher
3.01/5  rDev -27.8%
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. (700 characters)

Photo of sixthglass
3.54/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared at Kahns with aasher, 2009 vintage.

Poured black and beautiful with a chewing tobbaco brown colored head. Smelled and tasted like roasty malts and barley. Slight coffee, slight bitter chocolate. Barely any bourbon present in the smell and taste.. great mouthfeel and gorgeous lacing.

It's a solid beer. I however was expecting more. (341 characters)

Photo of claaark13
3.88/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, the 25cl bottle, Lot:B-M-2014, was infected as could be. The 33cl bottle, BR26.230.610 bottled 2009 and I believe brought home from Belgium, is the non-infected bottle being reviewed. Poured into a Bell's snifter.

A - Pours black with a nice tan head that coats the surface. There isn't much sticking to the glass, but aside from that it looks really nice. Pretty good retention.

S - Dark fruits, little bit of malts. Hint of alcohol. Nothing dominant here.

T - Dark fruits, woodiness and a slightly dry finish with a little bit of toffee or vanilla. The oak finish is really what differentiates this from Black Albert. No burn, but there is a slight amount of alcohol floating within the oak flavors.

M - Creamy, medium body. Good enough for a RIS.

O - Not entirely sure about this one. It tastes a lot like Black Albert in the beginning with the barrel coming in mildly towards the end and through the finish. I wouldn't really say that one is necessarily better than the other. (992 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 14 / 2009

Pours jet black with a big chocolate brown head. In the aroma, bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate. In the taste, chocolate, mellow dry bourbon, sweet vanilla, oaky and rich all the way through. A small alcohol bite and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a dry oak and hint of bourbon in the aftertaste. WOW! Big and mellow in all the right spots, hides the alcohol until the end, simply fantastic. (416 characters)

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.86/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presents well in the glass, black, tan/mocha head, slight lacing, islands of foam. Aroma - not what I expected, musty, basement, something vegatile, but perhaps it is just raw oak? Notes of vanilla and chocolate exist. Deep dried fruit notes (prune, raisin, plum) and something else I can't place my finger on. The flavor reminds me of a well cooked brownie, that is to say doughy chocolate, faint vanilla notes, and a hint of vegitable. Dark chocolate on the finish that lingers. The barrel presence presents more as damp and woody then true oak. There is zero evidance of the ABV of this beer, it is silky, it is smooth and this is the beers strength. I was hoping for more...oh well it is still a unique and great beer. (722 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled 33cl bottle into Portsmouth snifter. 2009 vintage. A warm thank you to rudylaw for this extra!

A: Pours a thick pitch black with three fingers of very soft and dense looking dark mocha colored head. The head took a very long time to collapse into a thick film that left a great network of lacing down the glass.
S: Very complex notes of both sweet and bitter dark chocolate, woody oak, damp must, sherry, dark fruits, fudge brownies, and plums. I get just a hint of balsamic vinegar as well. Very interesting to say the least.
T: Big rich notes of fudge brownies, spicy bourbon, oak barrel, and light sherry. I get light notes of vanilla and sweet, lightly tart, fruits in the finish, and the aftertaste is full of deep rich chocolate and roasted nuts. That hint of balsamic vinegar is there as well, but only in flavor (this beer is far from vinegary). I was surprised how fruity this beer was.
M: Thick full body, viscous mouth with a dry finish, and super soft and creamy carbonation. The high alcohol content of this beer leaves no trace of warmth in my mouth, which I suspect has something to do with this beers age.
O: Just an all-around fruity, creamy, soft, thick, rich, complex and easy to drink imperial stout. This was a big want of mine, thanks again for filling it Anthony! (1,299 characters)

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Darkness snifter, bottle sharred with a fellow BA.

A- Pours similar to the Black Albert, pitch black body, 2 finger dark brown head, dissipates quickly to a think ring around the glass, nice lacing.
S- The aroma is fairly mild; vanilla comes out a bit from the bourbon barrels but not enough to take over the aroma, oak is present, dark malts, dark fruits.
T- Very similar to the Black Albert, slight bourbon taste, oak characteristics, some vanilla, roasted malt, the bourbon is very mild in the taste, which was a little of a letdown for me.
M- Medium/big mouth feel, well carbonated, smooth drinking, dry finish.
O- Overall Enjoyable, well made, not as good as the black albert, I would of liked the bourbon characteristics to be more pronounced in this beer, still enjoyable. (801 characters)

Photo of alpinebryant
3.87/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into cantillon tulip vintage 2009

A: Pours massive cocoa head with heavy lacing

S: Pungent aroma of oak barrel, ashy burnt roast malt
Some acrid bitterness with cocoa nib tastes along with a sweet malt presence and plenty of charred malt.

T: Bourbon clearly present but the bitterness clearly shines through in this one taking away from the chocolate malt and smoothness of black Albert.

M: Light body for a 14 percent, light carbonation and an oily mouthfeel. There is the perception in my mind that this is slightly infected and will be going down a slow downhill course from its present state. Overall relatively good for now though. (648 characters)

Photo of Mar02x
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this beer at the Deca brewery itself.

A - This beer is black as heel. A oily substance with a beige brownish head. The head starts with a finger thick cream, but after a minute or so its retracted to a thin layer.

S - There are many flavors in the smell, unbelievable! Flavors like; dark chocolate, cherries, raisins, coffee, peat, alcohol, brown sugar and some vanilla.

T - Its black sweet tar that is going down my throat. A complex taste consisting of dark cherries, brown sugar or molasses, chocolate, raisins, vanilla, spices like cardamom and coriander, caramel and hints of wood. There is absolutely no alcohol to be discovered in this beer, for a thirteen pro-cent!!??

M - A thick creamy molasses is going down my throat, a beer syrup if you like. There is some alcohol warmth in the finish together with some bitterness, but I am not sure this is from the hops or the coffee, maybe its both.

O - What a great beer. Worth trying. If you do not like it you can always throw in your car. I am sure the engine will run on it. (1,044 characters)

Photo of flannelman808
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very very dark brown with just a tiny amount of ruby which only glimmers through the corners in light. Topped with a medium-dark tan colored head which has pretty good retention and good lacing.

S: Wood, bourbon, chocolate mouse, and dark fruit dominate the nose along with a touch of alcohol. Nice.

T: Curious stuff! Very unique. Chocolate bourbon mouse cake topped with blueberries and ripe raspberries. That about sums it up. Very good stuff, I like how much fruit is spun into the mix. The bourbon is there but its not overly pronounced and integrates nicely with the other flavors. A mix of sweet bitter and slightly tart flavors overall this fires on all cylinders.

M: Thick and silky. Pretty long finish on this one too.

O: I'm pretty impressed with this and would like to see how it ages but I would guess 2-3 years would be max as it's bitter to sweet ratio is just north of bitter now. Very balanced overall. (925 characters)

Photo of schwaeh
3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle received from injuredreserve.
Batch 14-2009

A: Jet black with a mocha colored 2 finger head. After the head implodes the foam really clings to the sides of the glass.

S: Really nice nose. Lots of bourbon engulfs the sweet tobacco, molasses, deep dark malts, black licorice, and dark fruits. Tobacco really stands out here, wet, juicy tobacco. There is a slight tartness, cherry-like, but after all the horror stories maybe I'm looking for it pretty hard. Smells very earthy and sweet. The alcohol is present but not as much as the ABV would lead you to believe.

T: Roasted malt, coffee, leather, tobacco, and wood really headline this. There is a nice char from smoked wood. Bourbon sweetness, smoke, oak, and vanilla try to cut through this black abyss of flavors. This is a very tannic, vinous beer, I get some cherry chocolate throughout. If this is infected, it is too big in the first place to be thrown off track by this problem, or it just kind of works with the beer.

M: Heavier medium body. Higher carbonation for the style but not enough to cause any alarm.

O: This is a pretty nice stout. I'm not so sure its worth all the money and hassle to achieve a bottle. I'm fairly certain something unwanted is going on in this beer, but it is very slight, and again the huge flavors overbear it as far as I'm concerned. At the end of the day I probably would have rather had the Four Roses bourbon or the Black Albert instead. (1,448 characters)

Photo of DaveJanssen
4.01/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

25 cL in De Struise glass at Kulminator. Batch 14, best by March 2014. Reviewed10 June 2011.

Ar: raisin, chocolate, sweet dried fruit, wood, strong raisin and prune in alcohol, earthy fruit

Ap: Thick dark tan head, fine, epic retention, jet black

T: dried fruit, raisin, plum, very earthy, roast, licorice, molasses, raisin in alcohol, light tartness, woody, tart fruit, the tartness does not mix well with the stout, grape, strong figs, dark mild fruit, mild chocolate, light vanilla, the eathyness is very pronounced

M: medium body, lightly viscous, high carbonation, warming alcohol at the end

O: Unique, lacking in stout richness, interesting tartness, like and earthy dark strong ale, mild bourbon, it is a lot better when i don't think of it as a stout. (764 characters)

Photo of stx00lax
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle

A- Very dark brown almost black, with a nice mocha colored head that sticks all over the sides of my glass.

S- oak, booze, gingerbread, coffee and a bit of chocolate as well.

T- Heavy barrel influence with roasty malts and bitter/fruity chocolate. Its definitely boozy, but i dont think its over done. No initial "wow" factor, just a really nicely balanced stout.

M- Soft and creamy with perfect carbonation. Finishes dry woodsy/bitter.

O- Awesome! I wasnt blown away with the first few sips, but after giving this beer some time, i was impressed by how good it was all around. Just a fundamentally sound beer. (627 characters)

Photo of Neffbeer
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2009 variation marked best before 7-15-2015, poured into a Portsmouth tulip.

A: It pours a deep dark menacing black that is completely opaque. There is a hefty two finger tan head that hangs on for a long time and leaves a good amount of lacing.

S: The nose is full of oak, whiskey and dark fruits. A tinge of apples cuts through as well with a tip of the hat to the house yeast.

T: A menacingly full bodied profile that just makes a man weep. There is a perfect balance between the barrels and booze. The yeast supplies a brief respite from the heavy flavors with a tinge of fruitiness, amazing to say the least. It finishes on a bitter sweet chocolate note rather dry.

M: Big, tough, and sticky. One of the best mouth feels I have come across.

O: I would rate this one of the better stouts I have tasted. Luckily I dodged infection, and I have some extras to cellar. Seek this one out. (897 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle from Batch 14 into a tasting glass; big thanks to JAHMUR for sharing this long-time want.

A: Entirely opaque black body under a finger of creamy, fine, brown foam. Great retention and lace, especially for being 13%. Wow.

S: Highly spirited, with bourbon, vanilla, and huge coconut joining booze in a celebration of ridiculousness. Maybe a bit of coffee and chocolate as well, but this is all about the barrel.

T: Very sweet, with some of Black Albert's fruitiness and Belgian character joining the huge barrel elements. Delicious, but a bit harsh with the booze. Long finish of coffee + ethanol.

M: Thick syrupy body with plenty of full, soft, creamy carbonation. I love it.

O: This was a real treat to try, but I think the barrel treatment was overdone just a bit. I could have done with a little less booze and a little more Black Albert.

Cheers! (867 characters)

Photo of UMNbeerhunter
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Darkness goblet on 07/22/11. Drank right after a Black Albert.

Pours a dark black with no light coming through and a huge frothy dark brown head that dissipates slowly to moderate lacing.

Smells of some chocolate, dark fruit, dark coffee and lots more booze then the Black Albert. Booze smell is very nice because it balances the sweetness with a booze whisky barrel flavor. Very nice and better then Black Albert.

Taste is tons of roasted malt and bittersweet chocolate with a solid front of bourbon barrel aging. This is a black albert with the barrel aging awesomeness that was promised. Barrel aging did this well. Smooth bourbon mixes well with the chocolate and malt profile. Perfect.

Mouthfeel is very light and it seems that even with the barrel aging the beer has lost a lot of its abrasive ending. Smooth through the pallet and little alcohol burn. Perfect.

Overall this is one hell of a brew. I am so glad to have had it. Barrel aging really helped turn this into a top 1% beer. Great job. (1,019 characters)

Photo of rvdoorn
4.8/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Look: Pours a deep black colour with a nice, two finger thick brown head which leaves a great lacing.
Smell: Dark roasted vanilla, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, roasted malts and dark fruits. Lightly smoked bourbon.
Taste: Dark malts, coffee, vanilla, and clear dark chocolate. More smoked bourbon than in the nose. Licorice is also clearly present now. This beer is quite boozy as well.
Mouthfeel: Medium-low carbonation, full body
Overall: One of the better beers I had recently; a true master piece. Perfectly balanced and IMO quite a bit underrated, probably because it is widely available again….. beats Dark Lord, Darkness and some other overhyped “hard to get” USA brews without any problems. (704 characters)

Photo of trappistlover
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(12 oz bottle courtesy of zestar!). Pours midnight black with a healthy chocolate colored head. Aroma of coffee, dark chocolate, dark pit fruit and some light bourbon. Taste is sweet with some roasty bitterness. There is a touch of oxidation, but the flavors are still there. The bourbon is very much in the background and adds some depth without overpowering the beer itself. Full bodied with a slick/sticky texture. Finish is roasty bitter. This is a really well balanced beer. Excellent! (490 characters)

Photo of thepeter
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick, black, oily and heavy. Finger head and spotty, thick lacing. Smells mostly of Oak, Vanilla and alcohol. . .very bourbonesque! Taste is similar to the smell with a bit more dark chocolate and coffee in there along with the Belgian yeasts, a nice woody dryness. Aftertaste is a bit clingy. A heavy beer that is almost soft on the palate. . .or at least Smooth! Carbonation is perfect and feels like a dream in your mouth, but not that kind of dream! Get your mind out of the gutter!! Overall a great beer, one of my favorites from Struise. (550 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

Dr: High ABV, very drinkable, and very high quality. Worth a go for any beeradvocate. I don't know the price point as I acquired it from a friend. I suspect it's rather high based on the quality. (803 characters)

Photo of thagr81us
4.17/5  rDev 0%
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! (766 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dense black with a dark cappuccino-colored thick head and big gobs of yeast. Sweet spicy wood nose with a hint of rose petals - gorgeous.
Coffee leads the malts with more wood and a whiskey sweetness, with cola and slight cherry-almond skin notes underneath. Vanilla hit to end and a dry roasty linger. Medium to heavy, sticky, slight fizz and some burn, but pretty restrained that way.

Never had Black Albert, so no basis for comparison there, but not noticing anything particularly Belgian about this one. The barrel does kind of take over - gives lovely tones of its own, but kills any roast, and I'm also not getting some of the fruit notes other reviews talk about. Then again, a Dark Lord right before this probably did my palate no favors...

Overall, nice meld of wood and stout. (796 characters)

Photo of bonkers
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A friend was kind enough to split this with me, split into 2 snifters. The pour is jet black. The taste was a little funky, notes of chocolate, and coffee. The finish definitely had sour notes. The beer was viscous and the 13% abv was not overpowering. I would love to try this again and just sip on it for hours. (313 characters)

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