Cuvee Delphine - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

555 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 555
Reviews: 208
rAvg: 4.21
pDev: 10.69%
Wants: 224
Gots: 144 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 555 | Reviews: 208
Photo of cosmicevan
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Littleb for the great trade.

a - Opened the bottle (vintage 2009) and filled my southampton ris snifter. Deep and thick with a generous creamy tan head with nice bubbling in the head. Head hung around a while and swirling the glass left thick milkshake like lacing that slowly slid back down to the surface of the brew.

s - The time in the four roses barrels did the black albert some good. There is a nice woody overtone that smooths out everything. The bourbon notes are subtle and overtake the smell of black albert.

t - Big roasty chocolate malts and a touch of barrel wood. The heaven hill barrels are an improvement on the base beer (which is a tasty beer in it's own right). The wood is subtle and an excellent compliment.

m - Holy smoothness de struise-man! This is a big and bold beer, but an easy drinker. The booziness tingles, but is hidden.

o - Overall, this is an easy drinking beer. A bit heavy, but beyond that really amazing beer. I just wish these were easier to come by around these parts since I'm really loving everything I've tried from this brewery.

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.54/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

Bottle purchased at Nathaniel Square Corner Store in Rochester, NY.

Pours a dark, deep, and motor oil-esque black, with a quarter inch, thick mocha head, and no lacing.

Smells like rich dark fruit and cherries, chocolate, and strong bourbon.

I took a long time making my way through this beer- it changes a lot in taste as the temperature changes. Right out of the bottle, the bourbon and the dark fruit flavors are the most prominent- slightly sour cherries, raisins, plums, and delicious Four Roses bourbon, with a some spicy booze and oak as well. As the beer warms, rich Belgian chocolate and decadent caramel come to the forefront, with charred oak and some light grassiness that hints at a small amount of hoppiness, which is surprising. I get some acidic coffee as well.

This is medium bodied, with a slightly thin (but not detrimentally thin) mouthfeel. This is very sweet, and very decadent, necessitating a slow sipping session here.

It's interesting how every barrel-aged variation on Black Albert has been better than Black Albert itself. I'm not sure this is better than Damnation 1 or 2, but this is still really, really tasty, and one of the more complex BA stouts I've ever had.

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

Sampled at Snallygaster 2014. Hot. Good scent and taste otherwise.

Photo of cbutova
4.39/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Ebenezer's 2013. Reviewed from notes.

A- Poured from the tap into the Ebenezer's 2013 stemmed goblet. A one finger tan head forms with decent retention. Creamy ring leaves nice webs of spotty lacing.

S- Dark roast malts and a nice dark cocoa note with a hefty dose of aged dark fruits coming in with it. Oak and whiskey hints in nicely with some raisin, spicy and vanilla feel as well.

T- Massive chocolate and figgy plum/raisin/dark fruit like in the base Black Albert. A large burnt dark grain maltiness with nutty and caramel as well. Oak is big with some whiskey and vanilla staying in check. Has a Quad spiciness mixed in with the big stout which makes plenty of sense.

MF- Super silky body with some creaminess to it. Lower end carbonation makes it a nice sipper considering the massive ABV and flavors. Super thick and oily with a nice roast bitter alcohol warming.

Super complex blend of Belgian Strong and Imperial Stout elements. The oak/whiskey adds to it all in a subtle rather than taking over the beer flavors at hand.

Photo of dar482
4.25/5  rDev +1%

The beer comes in a dark black color with a bit of head.

The aroma offers a chocolate covered dark fruit. Figs, dark grapes, and balsamic. It almost smells like red wine barrel aged. Some vanilla and hint of bourbon barrel.

The flavor offers bitterness in the front of molasses and chocolate. A cherry fruitiness comes through with sweet bourbon and coffee bitterness on the finish.

An interesting bourbon barrel brew that does not taste exactly of bourbon barrel aging.

Photo of woosterbill
4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
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!

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle sealed with pressure cap.

vintage 2012; bottled on 09/2014.

poured into HF wine stem.

Appearance: dark black bodied beer with medium brown colored head. The head is massively tall at over 4 fingers of head that I could not even fit the entire beer into the wine stem because the head is so tall. The head is creamy and fluffy with fine bubbles. Long head retention and leaves spotty lacing behind.

Smell: moderate roast, bourbon, dark fruits, anise/black licorice, vanilla, and a cola or rootbeer like aroma.

Taste: starts off on the sweeter side and develops an oaky char roastiness as the flavors develop sip after sip. Vanilla, prunes, rootbeer, and a hint of black licorice. In the middle it has more dark fruit qualities especially figs with an accompaniment of milk chocolates and bitter bakers cocoa. Lets not miss that slight splash of soy sauce which actually works nicely here even though it is normally considered a less than appreciated flavor for me in most russian imperial stouts that I drink. It has a spicy herbal boozey kick in the finish right before the roast washes everything out and that is all you taste in the finish is a hint of dark fruits and moderate roast.

Mouthfeel: light end of a medium body beer with moderate carbonation level. Dispite the lighter feel of this barrel aged stout it has got some booze and heat to it, but those attributes go away after a roasty char eventually washes that away in the finish. Creamy carbonation that is not coating or oily. I also noticed that the beer is 11% abv which is odd because the base beer black albert is 13%abv. Not sure why the abv was dropped by two percent here unless they changed the black albert recipe for the barrel aging process...

Overall: Black Albert is pretty solid and this is probably on the same level as black albert. I dont think that the barrel aging made this a better beer than black albert. I would like to do a side by side of these two beers together, to confirm this theory of mine. Cuvee Delphine is also reminicent of black note; it has a stronger dark fruit presence in the flavor profile and the mouthfeel is not as hefty as black note is in comparison. I think that this beer will get even better as the carbonation diminishes since it is currently over carbonated for a barrel aged RIS. Or the fact that the beer is lighter in body than what is preferred for a barrel aged RIS, as it losses carbonation that may make the beer feel heavier at some point in the future.

Photo of StJamesGate
4.17/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of scottfrie
4.33/5  rDev +2.9%
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!

Photo of BMMillsy
1.15/5  rDev -72.7%

On tap on Kulminator in Antwerp. Pours black with a small khaki head on top. Aroma is--uh oh--more infected BA stout from Struise. These guys have not had a good year with their barrels. Sour apple, funky smokey peat, roast. Flavor follows and is just unbearable. Sour smokey roast and some booze. Nothing else here. Thin body with medium carbonation. After my two infected Black Damnations and now this, I won’t be putting much money into Struise BA stouts in the future. This is a known problem and they keep selling this garbage. Will have to try this again I guess. Kind of sad.

Photo of Bierman9
4.55/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sitting out in the 'Zebo today, the calm before the storm... Just found out my Sube needs around $900 worth of work, so I reckon a 13% bier is a good way to start things off... The label says "BA No. 14" and vintage 2011.

Poured the 0.33l bottle into a small tulip. Color is dense, dark brown, nearly opaque. Head is a rich tan color, the bubbles being tight, creamy and fine. Started off at about 1/2" and ebbed to a thin covering. Lacing looks to be top-shelf. It has some solid, roasty coffee and choco notes, some florality, and hints of bourbon. Body is nice and full, chewy in fact. And it is like black satin with regards to smoothness.

Delphine has some light sweetness melding with the bitter. There's sweet chocolate along with bitter, dark choco, some cocoa, and roasty coffee characteristics. If there's bourbon here, I'm missing it. What I'm not missing is a superb, floral hop finish. What a lovely combination of flavors! And 13% ABV? Really? Where, because I don't feel it, and that's scary! Anyhow, this is one might fine bier. Big thnx to Brabander for gifting this to me during my visit earlier this month! Prosit!

4.55/5 rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1530

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.42/5  rDev -42.5%
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.

Photo of Stevedore
4/5  rDev -5%
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]

Photo of Dope
4.53/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle states "vintage 2012" but has a 09/2014 bottling date on the other side of the same label. *shrug*

A: Pitch-black pour with a tall, very dense and very dark brown head. Impressive head retention. Almost no lacing, however.

S: Light on the bourbon, heavy on the roasted malt. Lots of charry notes with semisweet chocolate.

T: Whoa. Heavenly smooth caramel from the bourbon up front. Cannot overstate how smooth it is. Liquid silk smooth. WOW. Sweet chocolate kicks in with a bit of an earthy, charry character at the same time, into the middle. Finish is more of a lightly bitter, charry essence with hints of oak. Just a hint of cherry in there, oddly enough.

M: Heavy, ultra smooth and silky. Mouth-coating goodness. Great mouthfeel.

O: Damn. Unique and interesting barrel aged belgian stout. I'm not even a huge fan of black albert. The smooth bourbon presence is silkier than any I've ever had. Any. No booziness at all. Drinks so easily. A little bit more char than I like but I'll put up with it, the rest of this beer is sublime. The mouthfeel makes this the most drinkable 11% stout I've ever had. Wow.

Photo of Daniellobo
4.16/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Rich and long Belgian stout with a small if pleasing sense of bourbon barrel aging, and a somewhat curious expansion of vinous and sour notes.

Presentation: 33 ml brown capped bottle. Light blue label with a poppy-pastel illustration of a colorful flag withe the motto "Truth can set you free". Side narrative offers an overview of intent, history, and description noting including discrepancy with Four Roses Bourbon about using a reference to their barrels in the name. Notes vintage 2009 and best by 15-07-2015 Shows 13% Alc. by Vol. Served in an oversized snifter.

A - Quite the looker with a tremendous frothy brown head over a deep black pour, nice retention with rich surface memory and nice lacing.

S - Sour and roasted nose… Similar to the standard Black Albert with a longer bitter sour touch… Not so sure I find the barrel in the aroma, in fact it seems to be pushing away the smell a bit. Still dark fruits, sour notes, some smoked touches permeate the senses with a couple of hints of licorice, coffee, and chocolate.

T -Taste expands over the long range of the Black Albert. Rich roasted profile with long sourness, recognizable of fruitiness, plums, raisins over the notes of coffee with a hint of licorice and chocolate. Lingering over the meaty smoked touches in the background, small hints of bourbon and vanilla emerge, at last... and back to a complex sour roasted range with a noted vinous spectrum.

M - Full to medium-full body with medium-full carbonation, very creamy with a lightly sticky finish.

O - Still a rich beer, and a long sipper but...

Notes: ...I surely was expecting more, or different, and the barrel aging while worth the try does not work very well here for my palate.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Colorful label art ('TRUTH CAN SET YOU FREE') by Delphine Boël wraps this slender little 25cl bottle; poured to a small snifter. Serving temp is straight from a cool part of the cellar , probably 50-55°F. A treat sent by a generous East Coast trader.

A: The deepest, most oppressive darkness in liquid form... impenetrable. Terrific head, starting as a finger-and-a-half pile of softer fluff, a rust-tinged beige. Ebbs slowly and imperceptibly; ten minutes later, a quarter inch of the densest cream remains, dimpled in places where carbonation rises from the abyss. Jagged stalagmites of lace rise from a thickened ringing band.

S: Chocolate for sure, laced with an odd earthy tartness hinting at cherries/blackberries. Then something nutty, also a bit papery - not a wet cardboard/oxidized small; it's similar to dried autumn leaves, maybe tobacco.

T: Dark roast, cocoa and coffee beans and an ample blend of fruit. Because there's De Struise's Belgian yeast involved, fruit and zest spice are more prevalent than in many Imperial Stouts. Aging in Kentucky bourbon barrels further augments the flare of spice, the 'disowned offspring of Black Albert' taking on a new character.

M: Remarkable smoothness, creaminess. An ultra-fine grainy coating and a tingling spice. Despite a 13% weight, there's nothing hot or brazen about this. Medium body (any thicker and a '5' would have been earned), lasting bittersweet finish.

D: Quite tasty, another fine effort by this excellent brewery. I do love a good Imperial Stout and this one is both well-made and memorable for its barrel-aging married with Belgian spicing. Worth a taste if you find a bottle - more, please!

Photo of srandycarter
3.91/5  rDev -7.1%
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.

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.18/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap into snifter at avenue pub nola. Pours an oily black with a slight rim of lacing. Looks good..but not outstanding. Same with aroma...its obvious bourbon roasty malts and chocolate notes prevail. Taste is nice smooth bourbon malty roastness...its a very mild and easy drinking silent killer. Nice brew.

Photo of ehammond1
3.99/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.23/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

4 oz. served into a tasting snifter at ChurchKey. From notes, and implicitly compared to Black Albert.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color. The head is a one finger khaki shade with retention typical of the gravity. Not as impressive looking as Black Albert.

S: There is a lot of roasted/charred malts, fudge, licorice, and subtle dark fruits. Where this differs from its non-barreled brother is the wonderfully subtle bourbon on the aroma.

T: This is going to become a broken record, but the gist of the flavor profile is as follows: Black Albert with bourbon. Initial chocolaty flavors slowly turn into a fruity middle and a roasted finish; only this time the back end sees an injection of well-balanced bourbon and *very* light oak.

M: A bit hot next to Black Albert. All that means is that the alcohol presence is about what you'd expect from a 13% BA imperial stout (maybe a bit less), though many of the positive qualities Black Albert had (like drinkability) are still here.

O: On its own, an excellent barrel-aged stout. When compared to Black Albert, it improves on it a few ways (more complex aroma and flavor profile), but is also a bit worse in other aspects (not as aesthetically pleasing, mouthfeel isn't as great). Really, it's less "which one is better than the other" and more "which one is less fantastic than the other". Between the two, I'd choose Black Albert, but you really can't go wrong with either one at all.

Photo of Jeffo
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Found this at The Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam.

From a 25cl bottle into a snifter.

Note: Black Albert aged in bourbon barrels.

APPEARANCE: Pours a small half finger medium looking deep tan head with good retention. Black with medium carbonation evident. The head retains surprisingly well, and slowly fades to a nice wisp and a thick ring around the edges. The wisp and ring remain for the entire ride but leave no lacing down the sides. Looks great, but just needs a little lacing to stick.

SMELL: Roasted malts, dark fruits and berries, alongside some black licorice. Some hints of bourbon from the barrel aging, but it is subtle and very complimentary. A very nice nose that works well together.

TASTE: Much like the above. Roasted and charred malts with some dark fruits up front. Black licorice and spicy yeast through the middle into a spicy alcohol finish. Some nice subtle hints of bourbon that mesh well with the entire brew. Ends with a strong and long lasting aftertaste of bitter hops, chocolate and coffee, which weren't evident in the nose, and some nice bourbon notes. Just great.

PALATE: Medium body, though a little light on the palate. Creamy, goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness on the palate. Could use a little more weight I think.

OVERALL: A great barrel aged RIS. Black Albert is good as it is, but the barrel aging has added a new dimension to an already great beer. Unlike some other bourbon barrel aged stouts, the whisky notes don't overwhelm and dominate the brew. The barrels have left subtle notes here and there that lend character to the brew, working together with the already superb taste profile that is Black Albert. One to check out if you can.

Photo of GbVDave
4.5/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 25cl bottle into a snifter. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

Best Before: M/2014

Review # 1000!

A: Pours a viscous black with a dark mocha colored head. Retention is good, but no lace is left behind. When swirled, this has legs.

S: Strong aromas of dark fruit, tangy cherry, dark chocolate, char, bourbon, and heavily roasted malt.

T: See above. Loads of tangy fruit, burnt barrel, bourbon, tobacco, and blackened malt.

M: When first poured, it seemed pretty thin, but quickly got thick and smooth and pretty dry. Tangy astringent finish.

D: I was astonished that this is packing 13%! Virtually no trace of alcohol to be found. How did they hide it so well? Awesome!

Photo of jsanford
3.39/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2009 Vintage

A - Pours a dark, inky black with a creamy, dense mocha-colored head that settles to a thick cap, leaving sheets of lacing clinging to the glass. Just as beautiful as Black Albert, one of my all-time favorites.
S - Deep, intense aromas of dark chocolate, dried fruits (raisins and prunes), vanilla, blackberry preserves, and a muted barrel character. Sad to see how lacking in intensity this is, it basically smells like *just* Black Albert (which usually wouldn't be a bad thing).
T - Flavor follows the nose, lots of dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate, smoke, dark berries, and molasses with just the slightest hint of Bourbon.
M - Big and creamy, with a full mouthfeel, low carbonation, and no sign of the 13% ABV.
O - Man, this is disappointing. OK, it's good for a "regular" RIS, but this is Barrel-Aged Black Albert! I expected something great, and this is nothing special. I'll save a few bucks and stick with the regular version next time.

Photo of Overlord
2.79/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to JERZ!

Pours black. Surprisingly robust inch and a half of light brown foam.

Smells like ... uhhh.... sour fruit? Really? Some vinous/grapeskin notes. Not expected.

Tastes like some vinous souriness, a bit of pungent, stale chocolate and crackers, and an interesting tobacco-y aftertaste.

So ... what's up with Cuvee Delphine? Thicker than I thought it would not be, but not RIS thick.

Photo of grub
4.22/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

got this one in a recent trade with freud. thanks fred!

330ml bottle. 2009 vintage. sampled feb 2/2011.

pours deep dark brown, opaque and nearly black, with a small dense cap of fine brown head. the head drops slowly and leaves plenty of lace as it falls.

aroma is great. light alcohol. bittersweet and dark chocolate. bit of milk chocolate. espresso and dark roast coffee. light alcohol. dark fruit - date, fig, raisin, bit of plum. earthy and woody. caramel and toffee. anise.

taste is great. bittersweet and dark chocolate. espresso and dark roast coffee. warming alcohol. dark toasted whole wheat bread. cracker and biscuit. anise. earthy and woody. dark fruit - raisin and date mostly, with other shades coming in. caramel and toffee. light vanilla. tons of flavour.

mouthfeel is good. nice big body. slightly above medium carbonation level. just a touch of roasty astringency.

drinkability is nice. alcohol is a touch warm and there's a little roasty astringency, both of which should mellow with time. tons of depth and complexity. i'll have to keep my eye out for another so i can stash it in the cellar for a while...

Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
94 out of 100 based on 555 ratings.