1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Cuvee Delphine - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

410 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 410
Reviews: 187
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 222
Gots: 83 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Russian Imperial Stout |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ClockworkOrange on 01-07-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 410 | Reviews: 187 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of THECPJ
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
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

THECPJ, Feb 15, 2011
Photo of dirtylou
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

dirtylou, Aug 27, 2013
Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

drummermattie02, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of Rhettroactive
3.7/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From 330mL bottle to Portsmouth glass on 5/16/12
*From notes

-- Thanks to billab914 for digging this out of his cellar --

Vintage 2009

A: Lovely stuff. It's a dark and robust bootstrap brown that, when poured, you can hardly see through. A good pour yields a decent .5 finger mocha head and doesn't last long, and fades to a solid tan collar.

S: I'm getting a ton of ruby port wine here. Lots of red vine fruit. Mild cigar tobacco leaves are also in the mix.

T: Brownie batter, dark malt and again, plenty of ripe red vine fruit. I get some earth floor on the mid, and the finish is slightly smokey. This intensifies as it warms. The alcohol is masterfully hidden.

M: It's alright, yet unspectacular. Thinner then a beer like this should be, and though the carbonation is solid, the weight just isn't there.

O: Above average and approachable. The last three years have been kind to Ms. Delphine. I wish that the bourbon barrels would've shown better (or at all), but it was still a decent drinking experience. Certainly worth checking out, especially when fresh.

Rhettroactive, May 20, 2012
Photo of ccrida
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33 cl bottle (huge thx MacDomer!) best before March 2014, poured into my Delirium snifter, Cuvee Delphine is black with a huge creamy head, perhaps the densest, tightest head I've seen, leaving lots of foamy lace.

Smell is amazing, huge fruity esters, wow! Massive grape and tropical citrus, as well as a hint of bourbon. Something about the esters actually reminds me of a saison, which is my favorite.

Taste is great, massive roast really provides an abrupt distinction from the nose, dominating the taste, making this seem more like a pure stout, with the esters proving a nice punch of depth in the background. The alcohol is super smooth, and overall it's well integrated. Excellent, although I can't say I'm getting much from the bourbon barrel.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very viscous. Nice digestibility.

Drinkability damn good. I just had Black Albert for the first time 2 nights ago, and as much as I enjoyed it, this is the better of the two. I don't think it's as old as the Black Albert, which was 1.5 years in my cellar alone. Cuvee Delphine is truly exceptional.

ccrida, May 22, 2010
Photo of jrallen34
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into a Rochefort chalice.

The beer is really black, and doesn't show much brown at all in the light. The head is about one finger of dark puffy head, but sadly it falls quickly. There is some lacing, but disappointing in general.

The aroma is very powerful almost knocking you off your feet. Right away you get the malts with lots of cherries, but that fades to alcohol, with raisins, and you definetly get lots of bourbon at the end. The cherries are almost sour and reminds me of some kind of wild ale, which is really interesting for a RIS. Its so unique, I just love it.

The taste is good but not all what you get from the aroma. The beginning is super sweet with cherry then finishes with roasty coffee, where'd that come from? The aftertaste is great as you get some swesome bourbon. What, a great complex beer.

This beer is is viscous and crisp and everything you would want.

It is is incredibly drinkable.

I've had black damnation, black albert and now cuvee delphine. These are all awesome beers but to me Cuvee is so unique it takes thing to a whole new level. Its just phenominal in every way.

jrallen34, Dec 01, 2009
Photo of Bitterbill
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An extra from Peter at the De Struise beer shop.

BA NO. 14, Lot BR26.230.610 Best by July 15, 2015.

It pours a pitch black, has a huge 2 finger head of tan foam. The foam is very slow to shrink...

It smells roasty, slightly fruity, a bit of smoke, very light suggestion of the bourbon. It doesn't have a big aroma but what's there is nice.

The taste...is another story. Not shy with the flavours at all. I get light coffee, chocolate, some roast, good fruity notes(that bring some sweet but mostly tart), and they're all overseen or guided by a very nicely done presence of bourbon. Yes...this is very delicious!

Medium bodied with the carbonation on the light side of medium. Good mouth feel.

Drinkability? For a monster sitting at 13%abv, this is *way* too easy to drink for one bottle at a sitting. Definitely a RIS that is different than I'm used to but it works very well for me. Here's an example of the style where a fruit tartness is very welcome and fits right in!

Bitterbill, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev -4.3%

KAF, Yesterday at 04:00 AM
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.99/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

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

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

TheSevenDuffs, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of thagr81us
4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
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!

thagr81us, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of OWSLEY069
5/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

OWSLEY069, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of bsuedekum
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

bsuedekum, Dec 23, 2011
Photo of DefenCorps
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I grabbed a couple of bottles of this from the Struise Yeast (hehe) Store. 2009 vintage, best by July 15, 2014.

Jet black with a dark brown head, this is one of the better imperial stouts I've seen, reminiscent in its intensity of Hunahpu's. Leaving nice lacing in my Great Divide tulip, this looks just fine.

The nose is rather intense. The barrel character is expressed as a tartness, rather than a boozy character that most barrel aged imperial stouts exhibit. The base beer is rather noticeable here, with the blend of the fruity yeast and a rich, chocolate fudge character. The malt bill adds to the nose, there's plenty of roast and some charred grain. Moderately yeasty but not spicy, this smells really good. As it breathes, the tartness dissipates.

The palate is really really good, better than the nose even. Excellent balance. Rich, fruity chocolate, I'm reminded of a well-pulled fruity espresso with great balance between cocoa, coffee and dark fruit. Barrel character is light, with a mellow barrel character with some light vanilla (that is excellent with the fruity espresso), some oak and not much bourbon. As with the nose, the lack of explicit bourbon character makes this not just unique, but truly enjoyable too. The malt character has some mildly burnt grain, and works very well with the fruity palate. Sweetness is present as well, this has a rather complex blend of sugars with plain, brown and palm-like sugars all present, along with a little caramel and burnt sugar.
Full in body with light carbonation, the mouthfeel is just fantastic. Soft, supple and with a brilliant finish, this is perfect on the palate. There's lingering flavors of chocolate, vanilla, fruit, and for the first time, a little bourbon. Beautiful flavor and balance, this is an exceptional beer. I will have to grab more of this. This has been one of the more memorable beers I've had in recent memory, a joy to deconstruct.

DefenCorps, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of WOLFGANG
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%

WOLFGANG, Jun 27, 2013
Photo of gford217
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330mL bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours pitch black with an enormous mocha head that shows some serious staying power and leaves excellent lacing.

The aroma is complex with bourbon, roasted chocolate malts, coffee, dark fruits and some Belgian yeast.

The taste is more heavily roasted than the aroma with lots of cocoa powder and espresso as well. There is an underlying fruitiness from the Belgian yeast. The finish has a slight bourbon character though it's very subtle.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and light on the barrel character. Creamy.

Another excellent stout from Struise and one that actually carries a more Belgian character than I was expecting with the bourbon just adding some texture.

gford217, Aug 22, 2010
Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Griffith, Jan 13, 2014
Photo of tbeckett
3.93/5  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.

tbeckett, May 14, 2011
Photo of aasher
3/5  rDev -28.2%
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.

aasher, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of Jwale73
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

Jwale73, Sep 02, 2010
Photo of popery
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

popery, Mar 18, 2013
Photo of enelson
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

enelson, May 03, 2013
Photo of sweemzander
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to wunderbeer for this one! 2009 Vintage.

(A)- Pours a fairly thick pitch black color that produced a good brown head. Minimal lacing and retention.

(S)- Very rich profile of roasted caramel, brown sugar, coffee grounds, and dark cocoa.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Some dark plum in there with a fairly roasted profile. Dark cocoa all over the place.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Heavily roasted, but smooth as can be considering the ABV with some mildly bitter cocoa in there.

(D)- A solid stout with a nice profile in front of it. Definitely a sipper due to its strength and ABV, but a good one at that.

sweemzander, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of DmanGTR
5/5  rDev +19.6%

DmanGTR, Jan 28, 2013
Photo of whartontallboy
5/5  rDev +19.6%

whartontallboy, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of clayrock81
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
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

clayrock81, Feb 22, 2014
Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
93 out of 100 based on 410 ratings.