Cuvee Delphine - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

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

206 Reviews
THE BROS
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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 jpmclaug
3.68/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into my Stone IRS snifter. This is the batch 0 base recently made available on the Struise Yeast Shop.

A - Black body with a big brown head resting on top. The head on this sucker is huge!

S - Roast mixed with dried fruits. Not picking up any of the barrel aging in the nose.

T - Nice roasty stout, dark malts with hints of chocolate and a faint note of coffee. A hint of alcohol but not much. Is this beer really barrel aged? I'm not picking up on it.

M - medium to heavy body with more carbonation than I'd like.

D - A decent beer for sure but not the greatest. This stout has some really nice roasted malt flavors which I love. However this really doesn't taste like it spent very long in a barrel if any time at all. A good beer but not worthy of the price point. (786 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 Beerzebub
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got from brewdan in a trade about 2 years ago. Thanks Dan!

25cl, best before March 2014. Poured into a big wine glass, not too cold.

Very dark brown, almost black. Quarter inch of dense tan head that leaves sticky lace, looks good.

Smells like slightly old coffee, dark chocolate, barley malt (a la grape nuts), a vague fruitiness, and a bit of whiskey, pretty nice.

Whiskey comes through more on the palate. Good dose of coffee, with cocoa, candied cherry, some moderate acidity, some mild bitterness, and some welcome whiskey barrel. Medium level of sweetness, finishing pretty dry, with lingering coffee. Creamy texture. Tasty stuff. (640 characters)

Photo of rudylaw
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

25cl bottle courtesy of eyebrews! I love Black Albert, so this bottle has been long awaited.

Pours a delicate black with foamy, white head that yields into a thin rim. Picture perfect!

Big time chocolate with smoothing bourbon. There is slight toffee here as well. A very inviting aroma that is so complex, my words do this no justice.

Chocolate malt with warming bourbon sip upon glorious sip. Nice and smooth with parts vanilla and tannins. Like Albert, this is so unique, I'm having a hard time describing everything I taste. Amazing!

The mouthfeel is a little light with excellent carbonation. The alcohol is making its presence known, but by all means, I'm glad to have this bottle all to myself. Just outstanding! (723 characters)

Photo of Brez07
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.7oz bottle poured into a snifter

A: Even with a slow pour, this beer left a massive 3 finger sandy head which took a few minutes to recede. Black hue with some amber highlights. Incredible sticky lacing

S: The nose is similar to the Black Albert batch 0 I had earlier - somewhat muted, with roasted malt, chocolate and some fruit. I get more raspberry then anything. There are also subtle hints of bourbon and port

T: Definitely get different flavors in each sip, but overall it's a mix of dark fruit, light raspberries, baking chocolate, roasted malt and a subtle bourbon/vanilla combo. There is also an underlying smokey flavor. Finally, there are some earthy notes to round it out. The alcohol doesn't come out much

M: Full bodied, but the carbonation seems a touch high. It thins it out just a bit, but overall it is still very smooth. Leaves a roasted aftertaste and some bitterness on the tongue

D: I really enjoyed this beer, but it turned into a slow sipper towards the end. The aging in barrels only adds a touch more heat to this, but for whatever reason it caught up to me much more. Very glad to have 2 more bottles to age (1,142 characters)

Photo of flannelman808
4.62/5  rDev +11.1%
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 ricke
4.33/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Almost black with a small pale beige head that leaves a thin lid of lacings.

S: Mellow roasted malts and chocolate blend nicely with tart fruity aromas and a somewhat funky oak character. The oak is subtle, but still very noticeable. Not a lot of bourbon though.

T: Very good. Surprisingly tart with a prominent barrel character. Roasted and sweet malts, cherry-like fruits and chocolate. A mild funky note. Not a whole lot of bourbon in the taste either, except for in the finish where it comes through as sweetish and somewhat fruity alcohol. The finish is somewhat bitter with notes of iron, wood and licorice.

M: Full bodied, quite a lot of carbonation, much more than most beers of this strength.

D: I really liked this one. The fruity tartness adds a beautiful edge to it and the barrel character has that slightly odd Belgian feel over it. To me, putting Black Albert in barrels turned out to be a great idea. (926 characters)

Photo of Parrotbeak
4.36/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with a quarter-inch, creamy brown head that remains. Very nice.
Smell is slightly subdued bourbon, chocolate, a little bit of coffee. There is a slight, sour smell one would typically notice with a belgian sour. Some alcohol as well. Not exactly what I expected.
Taste is bourbon and oak up front, with some roasty malts and dark chocolate. Again, there is a belgian ale quality to this one that comes from a faint sourness. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of this one comes from the ashy smoke that hits the back on the mouth on the finish.
Mouthfeel is crisper and lighter than I was expecting. Moderate level of carbonation and a fairly smooth finish. Nice warmth from the alcohol.
Quite drinkable, as the bourbon is not overpowering, and the alcohol is very well-hidden. Wish the bottle was bigger.
Definitely a Belgian style stout, and definitely the best one I've had to date. (890 characters)

Photo of Gasc0igne
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black syrupy pour. Hands down the best lacing I've ever seen on any stout. Medium-sized bubbles with a modest creamy-looking dark brown head that settles to a solid cap.

Bourbon...let's dig deeper...overwhelming strong bitter dark chocolate, some milk chocolate thrown in for good measure. Some roast follows shortly after. Heavy vanilla backing, maple syrup too...? Cherries soaked in coffee liqueur. Bourbon makes itself more known as it warms.

Far from the nose (apart from the bourbon). Almost all sweetness after the initial sip. Heavy bourbon front, but still clearly a stout, it doesn't get carried away by it (as quite a few do). Earthy charred oak tags along with the bourbon through most of the experience. Very rich sugary Belgian dark fruits carry a strong sweetness until sour plums and a hint of acidic coffee cut through. There's a definite soy sauce/meaty presence that's quite pleasant.

Hides the alcohol so so well. Very chewy and well carbonated. Medium body. Cloying, sticky finish.

Far better than the base beer; the bourbon is so well balanced. One of the best beers I've had to warm me up on a cold night. (1,153 characters)

Photo of trappistlover
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
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 guityler83
3.73/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Vintage 2012 - Bottled 9/14

A: The mocha tan head created when poured into a tulip glass was made of fine bubbles and stood firm for over two minutes. Swirling kicked up a coating of lacing that looked thick and creamy. The beer is pitch black, no light comes through even when back-lit.

S: Sweet toffee and caramel dominate the aroma with prune and figgy notes - lots of middle note aroma. Mild roast with milk chocolate, cocoa and mild vanillin. Low spicy belgian yeast character that dances with the sweeter elements in the beer making it slightly muddled. Low noble / German hop aroma just over threshold levels.

T: Sweet caramel and toffee dominate the flavor too. There is a slight oxidative flavor I’m picking up from the caramel malts that might be adding to the overall sweetness impression. More milk chocolate, bakers chocolate and slight soy sauce. Low hop bitterness but emphasized by the medium tanic barrel flavors. No bourbon really just clean woody and vanilla like. Again that Belgian yeast is giving more of that fruity spice character that might be working against the beer for my pallet.

M: Big creamy sensation from this beer and the tiny bubbles. Huge chewy body that adds to the creaminess. Carbonation is mild. Some tannic bite that hits the back of the throat possibly from the wood. Sticky sweetness left after a few sips. Warming is there as expected, but not overwhelming.

O: There’s a lot going on in this beer for sure! The overall sweetness was a tad too clowing for me and the oxidation I was picking up might have been enough to put it over the edge, but it was a unique spin on a beer that has been done to death and done extremely well but many US breweries. Way to try something new. (1,734 characters)

Photo of muttyd
4.52/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Pitch black beer with a tan foamy head. Coats the glass like motor oil. The bottle was poured pretty cold, so it took some time for the aroma to open up. Roasted malt, bourbon, and cocoa in the nose. Flavor follows the nose. Dark chocolate immediately assaults (in a good way) the palate. Very roasty with a big bourbon barrel finish. This 13% ABV stout creates some warming alcohol notes, but remains very drinkable. This beer is absolutely phenomenal. (513 characters)

Photo of pants678
4.75/5  rDev +14.2%

Black, in a flute-ish glass, with a light beige head. On tap at Mikkeller in SF.

Vanilla, bourbon.

Belgian stout are all too rare. Wood's an after thought, the bourbon doesn't hit like I'd expect. Leaves something to be desired, that's a small knock, though. Still, wonderfully rich malt with the right edge. Vanilla, chocolate, malt pulled together damn near perfectly.

As smooth as they come. (399 characters)

Photo of crnipeter
4.11/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Old" 250 ml bottle (now being sold in 330 ml ones), BBE 03 2014 into 180 ml Chimay chalice. This vintage is based on the original "zero" batch of Black Albert.
Abundant deep tan head scattered with bubbles gradually collapses to form thick solid cloth atop of opaque black fluid with reddish-brown hue while swirls wave thick firm laces on the walls.
Fruity esters of plum, prune and raisins dominate the aroma profile with light notes of bourbon making its way through the thick layers of dark fruits.
Roasted malt adds slightly burnt sensation to the fruity flavors of plum, prune and raisins spiced with light non-aggressive alcohol burning. Roasty bitter aftertaste with fruity tartness and oily film on the palate. Although burnt character is noticeable the beer lacks any coffee and dark chocolate sensations from roasted malts as the flavors are somehow subdued and mellowed due to aging in barrels. Viscous, slightly tarry and oily although not as much as might be expected from a stout. The beer is surprisingly tart and quite different from its predecessor, the Black Albert. (1,087 characters)

Photo of thepeter
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
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 macher0
4.34/5  rDev +4.3%
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. (791 characters)

Photo of Travlr
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured by Urbain the Maestor at the schoolhouse.
A: Dark maroon color with a smallish tan head and moderate lacing.
S: Aroma of smoke and cocoa powder, with a background of bourbon and oak.
T: Smooth flavor with subtle smoke and bourbon, background only, and a finish of chocolate.
M: Good body.
D: Always a pleasure to drink with the master. Drinkability improved drastically when Urbain did his special blend with Woodford Reserve bourbon. Aroma was amazing, but taste was relatively unaffected, except for a bump in the body. Urbain, we saw you sneak the reminder of the bourbon from the glass! (604 characters)

Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.69/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours an amazing huge beige head. I actually lost a chunk of the bottle due to the delayed explosion out of the bottle. A very dark pour.
Smell is toasted nut and malty goodness. A dark sour fruit smell makes me want to stop smelling. Also lots of others including chocolate and licorice.
Taste is Russian stout laced with an emphasis on the dark fruit presence with the sour coming through. Hoppy enough tore signage into nose when quaffed. Chocolate presence detected.
Finish is incredibly smooth with much sweetness, this might be the slight downfall, but others may love. The high alcohol is well disguised but feel I on the other end.
Overall a wonderful stout with much complexity...my wife is now trying to steal it from me. (737 characters)

Photo of DaveJanssen
4.01/5  rDev -3.6%
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 cjacobsen
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Again, thanks to sweemzander for sharing this one.

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

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

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

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

From what I heard of how this beer was made and what was used to make it, it makes it a very interesting drink. Not one to have multiple bottles of in a close time period as it was pretty big. (760 characters)

Photo of abuliarose
4.04/5  rDev -2.9%
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. (952 characters)

Photo of ptykozoon
4.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with the consistency of oil, smooth as butter with an incredible caramel lasting head and lacing. Perfect.

Smell is strangely fruity. I want to say cherries, strawberries. Doesn't smell like it looks. Digging deep perhaps there is some chocolate but the smell is dominated by this rich fruity scent.

Incredible taste. Slightly bitter chocolate, with this aforementioned fruity dimension that confuses the hell out of me yet is unique and wholly satisfying. The aftertaste is strong and complex, Im getting belgian flavors, floral, earthy characteristics.

The mouthfeel on this is exceptional, so smooth will alcohol masterfully controlled. I simply do not believe the 13%.

This beer tastes extroadinary. Powerful stuff very well executed, bravo. (767 characters)

Photo of klikger
4.35/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle dated 2009 served in a Duvel tulip - thanks again, cmswoboda!

A - Black, modest white head, great lacing

S - Roasted malt, coffee, cinnamon

T - Molasses, licorice, and coffee dominate the up-front and linger. The back half and finish consist of espresso beans and dark chocolate. Tons of good flavor without being overbearingly sweet.

M - Ultra-smooth & creamy; thick without being syrupy

D - Where's the heat? For 13% and the style, this is impressively drinkable. (483 characters)

Photo of mikeyv35
4.13/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Date: 10/01/2010
Type: 11.2oz. Bottle
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip
Vintage: 2009

Poured a dark chocolate in color w/ a 11/2 finger head that left a good amount of lacing on the glass. Nose was of dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, and bourbon. The taste was a nice chocolate sweetness up front, w/ a finish of oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Full bodied and lush, and the flavors really hang on the palate. Pretty boozy, but nice to sip. More age should do this well.

Overall, very enjoyable sipper. Flavors and aromas are not all that complex, actually rather simpler, but excellent. Would gladly drink again anytime. (609 characters)

Photo of weissbierdrinker
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick black color with a creamy brown heady that fades slowly leaving a fair amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell is of dark chocolate, roasted malts, and maybe some brown sugar.

A very complex beer and I hope I do it justice. I'm getting a load of roasted malts, coffee, dark choclate. A boozy bourbon aftertaste, a little heat but very subdued. A lingering bitter chocolate finish. Very thick a chewy mouthfeel. I'm also getting some dried and over ripe fruit. This beer rocks! (494 characters)

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