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Cuvee Delphine - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

Educational use only; do not reuse.

210 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 210
Hads: 601
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 17.7%
Wants: 228
Gots: 151 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-07-2009

This beer takes its name from Delphine Boël, the unlawful daughter of King Albert II. She has struggled for acknowledgment in both her professional and private lives, so we decided she deserves a tribute fit for a princess. Cuvée Delphine is our Black Albert, carefully matured on Four Roses bourbon barrels for 12 months. Mrs. Boël has kindly allowed us to use her artwork for its label, which speaks for itself.

In a sea of sickly sweet and heavy bourbon aged stouts, we wanted Cuvée Delphine to shine brightly as a pinnacle of balance and restraint. Only with a base beer as potent as Black Albert could we manage to make the aging process shine. Notes of oak and slight vanilla pair extraordinarily well with the familiar coffee and brown sugar notes from the Black Albert. The subdued alcohol ties it all together in a lush, mellow experience. Cuvée Delphine will set you free.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 210 | Hads: 601
Photo of vacax
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I was quite excited to try this one. Pours black with a towering dark head. Just like Black Albert, the head on this is every bit a monster. Aromas of Flintstones vitamins, pineapple, chalk, surprisingly free of barrel qualities. Tastes vinous with licorice, oak, bitter fruit, roast, and rock salt. Feels pretty full with a moderate level of carbonation. I was a bit let down by this one. The barrel didn't really contribute any wonderful boozy or coconut flavors, not really an improvement over the original, sadly. I do love the label though.

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Photo of abuliarose
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of alpineclimber
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pulled this one from the cellar, from which it was placed on October 2010.

A good pour produces a perfect tan head on an impenetrable black brew.

A nose of dark fruit, very typical of a Belgian imperial stout.

Flavours are dark cherry, vanilla and tobacco.

This a great stout, very Belgian. Really not too much different from Black Albert, the cask conditioning has imparted some good and delicate flavours on this brew.

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Photo of craytonic
4.02/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Enormous head, about an inch of beer and 4-5 inches oef head in my Tripel Karmeliet glass. Great deal of sticky lacing remains behind.

Smell: Oddly a bit tart, at least initially. Big chocolate, licorice, and dark fruits. Perhaps tart cherries?

Taste: Again chocolate, coffee and licorice, perhaps some dark rum punch fruits as well. Very Intriguing. This one really surprised me, I was expecting nasty black albert. If there is bourbon I didn't really notice it.

Mouthfeel: Creamy but a bit too carbonated.

Drinkability: Tiny little bottle! Disappeared fast enough I suppose. Certainly didn't taste like 13%

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Photo of DaveJanssen
4.01/5  rDev -4.1%
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.

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

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

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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 CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sure glad to have gotten my hands on this rare bottle. Poured from .33cl bottle into snifter glass. Pours opaque black like all the other Black Damnation / Black Albert beers along with a healthy medium brown head that lasts well throughout. Smells of liquorice, oak, roasted barley and coffee. Dry sweet earthy chocolate taste with interesting alcoholic notes. Medium and soft smooth mouthfeel. There is a herbal earthy chocolate aftertaste with some vanilla notes. Nice oily palate, but compared to the original, Black Albert, this is a bit thinner. This was a bit of a let down, but overall a decent beer!

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Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

On tap at Schera’s in Elkader, IA. Poured into a Zwanze 2014 glass 9/20/2014.

A- Dark black body, not particularly oily, but fairly viscous. Half finger brown head that sticks around for a short time, but not a whole lot of lacing. As expected. [3.5]

S- Milk chocolate, bourbon, licorice, espresso. This smells great. Not as complex as some of the other stouts I’ve had, but it’s definitely very pleasing. [4]

F- Milk chocolate and licorice up front, espresso and dark fruits in the middle, an oaky, slightly tart and funky transition to a bourbon-forward finish on the end.[4]

M- Thick bodied, substantial with the finish being a milk chocolate mixed in with a sweet bourbon aftertaste. Very solid, very substantial. [4.25]

O- Solid take on Black Albert. Exactly what I expected. [4]

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.
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.

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Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

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Photo of Jmoore50
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. This is a small bottle, like really small. Split it with a friend who wanted to kill the bottle. Barrel aged Black Albert. This is a beer which I liked the base beer over the BA version.

The appearance is dark black with a dirty brown head. It has a crisp carbonation that leaves really quick. Slight legs, nothing special in the appearance other than the dark black color.

The smell has that sour twinge that I liked in Black Albert, with chocolate and dark roasted malts. It has a bit of heat in the smell and taste, which is nice and mellow.

The taste is good, but not outstanding. There is a bit of berry and chocolate paired with the barrel notes that make it pretty unique. I like the bit of sourness that Black Albert had, but in this one it makes it muddled and confusing. Too many things going on, but still enjoyable.

The mouthfeel was a crisp carbonation with a bit of heat. I thought that all around it was a solid beer, but the base is better. I cannot believe how small some of these European bottles are though.

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Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured from a 330ml bottle. It poured pitch black in color with a thin tan head scattered across the top of the beer. The head clung to the edges of glass pretty well.

The aroma shows a god amount of sweetness to it with some cherry fruitiness and brown sugar notes. There are some booze soaked fruits and a little chocolate to it as well. I got a little more bourbon to it as it warmed, but not much overall.

The taste has a bit of a leathery and smoky flavor mixing with some sweeter cherry fruitiness. I get a little brown sugar with a hint of bourbon. Some chocolate notes are there throughout as well. Roasted malts bring some nice bitterness out in the finish. Very nice flavors to it overall.

The mouthfeel is slick and on the heavier side with lower carbonation. Overall very good beer with some very nice and rich flavors to it. Very nice range of favors to it and it comes together very well.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.99/5  rDev -4.5%
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 chicagobeerriot
3.99/5  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.

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Photo of nickd717
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Thanks to David for this bottle! Vintage 2011. Poured in to snifter.

A - Poured dark black with one finger of mocha coloured head that slowly receded to a thin layer with good retention.

S - Roast, smoke and licorice dominate with sweet milk chocolate and vanilla notes. The barrel is barely discernible.

T - A big, bold flavour profile. Roast, licorice and bakers chocolate up front that give way to sweet molasses, vanilla and some oak. As the beer warms a big cherry flavour asserts itself. There is no bourbon presence at all.

M - Medium to full body. Chewy. Light carbonation.

O - This was an excellent beer but the bourbon was non-existent, which was a little disappointing.

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

Reviewed from notes 2/14/2011

Special thanks to jsanford for sending this my way

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

S: coffee, bourbon, chocolate, and sweet malts

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

M: mild carbonation, thick, and creamy

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


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Photo of bigfnjoe
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
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 Sarlacc83
3.94/5  rDev -5.7%
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 mdaschaf
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
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 srandycarter
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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Photo of paco1029384756
3.91/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with one and a half fingers of smooth tan head with some serious retention time.

Scent of sweet chocolate, some dark fruit, sugar, dry oak and a strange sourness. The sourness is strange and not entirely pleasant; it is still a good scent.

Taste of chocolate, dark fruit, yeast, wood, ash and a hint of sour dark fruit. The finish is dry and ashy, a little strange. The sourness is less prevalent in the taste and is not unpleasant as in the scent.

Mouthfeel is heavy bodied and very oily with fairly strong carbonation for the style.

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

Enjoyed side by side with Black Damnation II Mocha Bomb with nhindian. Lot BR26.230.610.

A: Black pour with a very nice brown head that isn't out of control like the Black Alberts were. Retention is ok, but it laces very nicely.

S: Really not a lot of Bourbon happening here, more so oak. The smell is faintly metallic.

T: Wow this is an interesting taste to say the least. I'm getting some slight bourbon and vanilla on the backend, but again it isn't really noticed. There is some booziness as well as some dark fruits that were characteristic of Black Albert.

MF: A bit creamy with a full and heavy body. Seems to have the correct amount of carbonation and a very dry finish.

O: This is pretty decent. Better than both the Black Alberts no doubt, but not quite on the level of Black Damnation II Mocha Bomb.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 210 ratings.