Cuvee Delphine - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

206 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 206
Hads: 564
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 7.21%
Wants: 224
Gots: 146 | 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: 206 | Hads: 564
Photo of cpetrone84
3.76/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark black liquid with a dark creamy brown head.

S-the nose is a bit chalky, oak, chocolate, roasted malts with some juicy sweetness of plums and cherries.

T-the flavors follow the nose, hints of wood, roasted malts, a touch of chocolate, the sweetness is in the back with plums and cherries. there is a touch of coffee bitterness and hints of bourbon in the finish.

M-decent brew, light barrel notes with a well balanaced roasted malt and sweetness. very respectable beer. (486 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.79/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11 oz bottle purchased for $10. I'm usually leery but I've heard good things about black albert and figured I'd give this a shot. Typical stout appearance, black and not much head which given the alcohol and barrel aging doesn't surprise me. Aroma was very mild whiskey barrel, mostly stout. Flavor was the same. This was good but I prefer something with a little more viscosity. (379 characters)

Photo of Etan
3.8/5  rDev -8.7%
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. (723 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.82/5  rDev -8.2%
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 sprucetip
3.83/5  rDev -7.9%
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.... (826 characters)

Photo of dqrull
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (1,261 characters)

Photo of pmlondrigan
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
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 alpinebryant
3.87/5  rDev -7%
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 claaark13
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
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 clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown body with one finger head that left some lace patches. A mixed aroma of dark fruits like figs/raisins as well as a chunk of roasted malts and some woody booziness. Taste is more of the same as it is a heavy bodied beer that has some good sweetness behind a dark, roasted malt body. Good balance. Not real complex but real enjoyable (350 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
3.91/5  rDev -6%
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. (747 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.91/5  rDev -6%
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. (447 characters)

Photo of paco1029384756
3.91/5  rDev -6%
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. (549 characters)

Photo of russwbeck
3.91/5  rDev -6%
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. (815 characters)

Photo of tbeckett
3.91/5  rDev -6%
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. (1,101 characters)

Photo of Sarlacc83
3.94/5  rDev -5.3%
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. (533 characters)

Photo of bigfnjoe
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
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... (476 characters)

Photo of THECPJ
3.97/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Cheers!
The CPJ (574 characters)

Photo of nickd717
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (708 characters)

Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.98/5  rDev -4.3%
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. (688 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (781 characters)

Photo of chicagobeerriot
3.99/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (1,251 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (930 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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! (608 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -3.8%
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] (795 characters)

Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
92 out of 100 based on 206 ratings.