Black Albert
De Struise Brouwers

Black AlbertBlack Albert
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Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #51
Ranked #929
4.28 | pDev: 9.11%
De Struise Brouwers
Black AlbertBlack Albert
Notes: Originally brewed exclusively for Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, ME.
Reviews: 871 | Ratings: 1,820 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of milkshakebeersucks
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Last RIS in the cellar until fall. Totally black with a small tan head that had a crimson edge. Lacing was sparse. Vinous aroma of ripe fruit, dark chocolate, anise and molasses. Complex flavors of dark fruit, strong coffee and semi-sweet chocolate mingle with licorice, smoke and toffee. Hops stay hidden in the background; carbonation stays low; alcohol stays approachable. Like a fortified wine, best sipped instead of gulped.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

an extraordinary brew, one of the best of its kind, 2015 vintage here, patiently cellared, something special! the level of refinement here is off the charts, and this was even better than expected. a strong stout with a little belgian flair and a ton of well matured complexity. its matte black in the glass, leggy and holding over half an inch of deep mocha froth, really pretty brew, soft looking for its obvious enormity. aroma of burnt coffee, sweeter caramel and toffee in the center, licorice, sweet chocolate, tobacco, and anise, a little alcohol warmth too, a light yeast ester interestingly enough, and a concentrated character, just a dab of flattering oxidation. the flavor is incredibly complex, with a really well layered malt base happening, charcoal and earthy minerals, coal and iron and things of that nature to me, raisin and espresso, baking chocolate, fresh cigar, pipe tobacco, molasses, and again a cool yeast thats both english and bready and kind of belgian to me, lightly peppery even, and really does a nice job of drying this out. the alcohol isnt as intense as it smells, and this drinks almost dangerously smooth and mellow for how big it is, im sure the age helps with that. just wonderful depth to this, smooth and round in feel, weighty but not tiring, and just really unique to me. an incredible beer from a brewery i love, i wish more of their beers came around. this is stunning, as good as it gets!

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Photo of FLima
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2016.
Petroleum black color with a thin head with a caramel head.
Intense aroma with notes of black fruits, coffee, umami, grapefruit, cocoa, plums and molasses.
Flavor with notes of cocoa, roasted coffee beans, plums, oak, local hops, grapefruit, molasses, tons of spices, licorice, sour cherries and a bit of charcoal. Dry aftertaste with a decent bitterness.
Full body with perfect carbonation. Alcohol of 13% is superbly disguised.
What a superb beer. Intense notes of spices, dark fruits, local hops and with a roasted character mingle perfect together.

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FLima from Brazil, Oct 09, 2019
Photo of Snowcrash000
3.93/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a pitch black coloration with a medium, fizzy head. Smells of roasted, caramel malt and notes of chocolate and dark fruits, as well as a light flowery hoppy note. Taste is dominated by roasted, caramel malt, licorice and dark fruit: fig, raisin, plum, as well as notes of chocolate, coffee, toffee and leather, with hints of vanilla and a certain flowery hoppy note that seems a little out of place, as well as a bit of booze coming through. Finishes with a light bitterness and some roasted malt and flowery hop notes lingering in the aftertaste. Smooth mouthfeel with a rich body and medium carbonation.

I would enjoy this a lot more if it wasn't for that slightly flowery hop note that I can't stand in Stouts, but it still does have some very nice roasted malt and coffee notes as well as dark fruits licorice, leather, chocolate and a good balance of sweet and bitter/roasted notes. Turns a bit less hoppy and more boozy as it warms.

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Photo of clayrock81
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured a black body with minimal tan head and lace ring down glass. Aroma has notes of mildly roasted coffee along with something like dark, bitter fudge chocolate. Smooth, creamy, hides the booze well, more of a warming bitter chocolate sweetness then overtly dry or roasted; easy to sip and dangerous too.

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clayrock81 from Florida, Feb 22, 2019
Photo of Vidblain
4.23/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

No. 14 - 2015 vintage. Bottle appears a bit worse for wear - yellowing paper, a bit torn. Carbonation is very mild even poured hard. Decidedly Belgian yeast presence. A bit of a chocolate, light hoppiness still, bitter coffee roast. Some vanilla peeking through as well. Mildly ashy and dry in the finish. Occasionally and unpredictably boozy. Reasonably thick body, but taste thins significantly as it warms.

Unique and memorable. Not a favorite, but this is a terrific beer all the same.

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Vidblain from Minnesota, Jan 13, 2019
Photo of gearinches
4.86/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I've had this on tap in Belgium, in a bottle I bought there and brought home and from a bottle purchased in the States. On tap it's the best food product I've ever had, unbelievable texture, depth, mouthfeel, and richness. Inefable, really, so trying to describe it can only fail.

Out of a bottle you've handled with care it's almost as startling. A bottle you buy in a retail store is a toss up, might be a magical experience and might be so-so, depending on the conditions it's been subject to, and its age. However, if you see it buy it! Even somewhat mishandled it's at 4.0+. A reasonably fresh bottle that's had a good trip is 4.8+.

Really, this is the ne plus ultra of beer, and you don't have to be a Belgium beer fan.

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gearinches from Massachusetts, Oct 18, 2018
Photo of flyingpig
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330ml bottle from Struise Bottleshop, Bruges (€5):
Strong & thick, this one was a beer I really had to take my time with given the alcohol content & how boozy & warming it was at times. It opened with some nice chocolate & bitter coffee flavours that were complimented by a vanilla sweetness & some sugars further on but it definitely wasn't a beer to rush. It seemed a little too strong at times, particularly early on but it was complex & rich with some pleasant dark malts & dark fruits showing too.

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flyingpig from United Kingdom (Scotland), Jul 02, 2018
Photo of JamFuel
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a thick jet black with some fluffy, light brown foam.

Smell is a bit sweet, with big notes of brown sugar, cocoa and plums, with some raisins in the back.

Taste starts off with a hint of salt, then adds roasted coffee, dark chocolate, brown sugar and just a hint of ham. Some booze and a nice bitterness on the finish.

Mouthfeel is medium, well carbonated.

Overall, a terrific stout, that would have been even better if it was just a little bit thicker.

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JamFuel from Sweden, Jun 23, 2018
Photo of thebeers
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an oily black with a very small tan head that quickly forms a thin crown.

Big chocolatey aroma with hints of plum, cherry and bourbon. The taste follows the nose with a flipped script: bourbon like vanilla, cherry and alcohol; more plum and touch of raisin; and some chocolate and even molasses that prevents it from being overly sweet.

Thick bodied, creamy with strong carbonation.

This is indeed a treat. Lot No 230/2015.

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thebeers from Pennsylvania, Aug 05, 2017
Photo of stortore
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle into a tulip snifter. 2015 edition, lot no. 230, had 2/13/17.

Pours an oily looking dark brown, opaque, with only a smattering of a head and no real lacing. Seems thick. The smell is rich, roasted malts, Belgian yeast, coffee, some chocolate, molasses, smoke, raisins, prunes, a hint of vanilla. Really smells good. The taste generally follows the nose- roasted malts, more chocolate, cocoa, coffee, raisins, caramel, molasses, prunes, some yeast. A light level of bitterness, a sweet note on the finish. Smooth, fairly creamy, a great, full body, carbonated appropriately.

Big aromas and flavors, so much stands out. The heavy malt covers up some of the Belgian aspects, but still mostly retains the Belgian Stout identity. A bit pricey, but well worth a purchase when your see it.

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stortore from Illinois, Jun 25, 2017
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Bottle dated late 2015; unknown storage, but purchased from a cooler. Pours pitch black with a half finger brown head that dissipates to a thin film and thick ring around the glass leaving ligh lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, molasses, cocoa, fresh and dried plums. Flavor is similar, with dark toasted malt with a little char, milk and dark chocolate, plum and black cherry juice, mild fruit esters from the Belgian yeast. Finishes with dark malt, plum and cherry juice with slight tartness on the end. Medium bodied with moderate creaminess and nice mouth feel. A dark, rich imperial stout with great malt depth and pleasant light fruit notes from the yeast, almost a hybrid of Belgian and Russian imperial stouts. The light cherry tartness in the finish would stop me from cellaring this, but the level right now is perfect, adding a light, sharp note to the dark malt. Very nice stout and one I've been wanting to try for a long time. Finally found this bottle in Southern California. Recommended.

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LiquidAmber from Washington, Mar 25, 2017
Photo of unlikelyspiderperson
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful dark cocoa color, rich chocolaty smell that supports a thinner than expected mouthfeel and a delicious though simple chocolate malty bitterness. A great stout that doesn't disguise it's 11+% fully but it very drinkable big beer.

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Photo of tigg924
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours opaque, dark black in color with minimal head. Taste is cocoa, dark chocolate,vanilla, dark fruit--prunes, and Belgian spices. This is way toooo smooth for a beer this big. This is the best RIS I have ever had by a long shot. Struise rarely misses and this beer is amazing...Everything you could want in a malty monster...Just get this one and be amazed.

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tigg924 from Massachusetts, Jan 01, 2017
Photo of Ginger-tipple
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A top quality example of a Belgian stout, officially a Imperial Russian Stout. Great hoppy flavor. The head disappeared a bit quickly. Had a full body which cleverly masked the high alcohol content.
Add a shot of Cassis and it is a winning cocktail.

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Photo of GuyFawkes
4.67/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Bottled 2012; drank 2/25/14.

Poured from the bottle into a glass.

Black liquid.

Dark khaki head; minimal lace.

Cognac, oak & chocolate nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Roasted coffee, milk chocolate, smoke, dark cherry & oak flavors. Somehow, all that is balanced & very palatable. Incredible!

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Dec 01, 2016
Photo of Beginner2
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had at SF's City Beer store, I was surprised by the pleasant qualities of this RIS after the odd herbals in this brewer's Pannepot. While Black Albert is perhaps a bit hoppy for malt-heads like me, it was not a distraction. The viscous, almost chewy Feel replaced lunch. (Although I admit to a small snack prior, just to absorb the alcohol to come.)

Listed in the "1001", Black Albert deserves to be there based on its Mouthfeel alone and the brewer's passions and personality. (I went on their website and it was under re-construction... and they seem to be pulling back from the States.... so it you are a fan of De Struise, get them while you can.) Anyway, there story is three buddies got together and brewed interesting beers. Buddies come and go.

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Beginner2 from Illinois, Oct 15, 2016
Photo of FBarber
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap.

Pours a dark shiny black color with a thick frothy tan head that dissipated slowly but left a thin film ring around the outside of the beer.

Smell has aromas of milk chocolate, intermingled with an array of dark fruits - ripe cherry, raisins and plum. Nice malt backbone is present in the aroma.

Taste follows the nose with notes of milk chocolate, ripe cherry, plum and cocoa powder. Certainly some sweetness to this beer that is good, but noticeable given the style. Sweetness taste sort of like toffee or caramel. Bit of mild bitterness on the finish with a coffee like flavor. Really a wonderful array of flavors that is so delicately balanced.

Feel had mild carbonation. Nice thick velvety feel on the beer, but it doesn't quite coat the mouth like you'd like from a Russian imperial stout. Also the finish is more sweeter than dry. Would have liked a bit more dryness on the finish again given the style.

Overall - in its own right this is a wonderful stout. Truly outstanding. Had been wanting to try this for some time and it did not disappoint!

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FBarber from Illinois, Jun 20, 2016
Photo of StoutHunter
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of De Struise's Black Albert for $9.48 at The Lager Mill. I've been wanting to try this beer for a long time and now that this it's availiable I knew I needed to give it a try, so lets see how it goes. 2015 Vintage. Poured from a brown 11.2oz bottle into a teku.

A- The label looks nice, it's got a unique look to it and it's just a little eye catching. It poured a dark black color that didn't let any light come through and it had just a little bit of dark brown bubbly head that died down to a thin ring that eventually faded away and it left lots of nice spotty lacing behind. This is a very nice looking beer, it's just what I would expect for the style.

S- The aroma starts off with a lower amount of high sweetness with the malts being the first to show up and they impart a nice chocolate and roasted malt aroma with some slightly charred and cocoa aromas showing up in the background. Up next comes the Belgian yeast which imparts a signature estery belgian yeast aroma that goes right into a cherry and slight dark fruit like aroma that has just a slight bit of tartness to it with more roasted and charred malts showing up towards the end. This beer has a good aroma, it's just what I would expect for the style.

T= The taste seems to be similar to the aroma and it starts off with a higher amount of sweetness with the roasted malts being the first to show up and they impart the same aspects that they did int he aroma, but this time there's also a slightly smokey flavor and a little more charred malts with a slight caramel flavor. Up next comes the belgian yeast which impart the same aspects that it did in the aroma and it shows up just as much. Up next comes that same fruity aspect I got in the aroma with some cherry aromas coming through and it's just a little lighter than it was in the aroma. On the finish there's more sweetness with a little bit of bitterness with some chocolate and cherry flavors in the aftertaste. This is a good tasting beer, it's just what I would expect from the style, but it's a little on the sweet side.

M- A little smooth, alcohol is hidden well, a little creamy, velvety, full bodied with a lower amount of medium carbonation. The mouthfeel is pretty nice and it works well with this beer.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and I thought it was a good example of the style, for the most part it's just what I expect from the style and it had all the key flavors, but it was a little sweeter than I would like. This beer had nice drinkability, I could drink the full bottle, but anymore than that would be too much. What I like the most about this beer is the appearance and how true to style it is, to me those were the highlights of this beer. What I like the least about this beer is the sweetness, I wish it had a little less sweetness. I would buy this beer again and I would be interested to see how it ages. I would recommend this bee to anyone who lies Belgian style Imperial Stout, it's pretty close to being a text book example of the style. All in all I was happy with this beer, but I wasn't super impressed with it, I think if it had a little less sweetness and a little more complexity it would be very good. It made for a good first Impression for this brewery and it's a good example of the style. Good job guys, keep it up.

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StoutHunter from Michigan, Jun 07, 2016
Photo of burnstar
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours extremely dark brown to black with a very dark head. Some lacing on the surface after it recedes. Smell is huge chocolate and coffee malts. Taste is sweet upfront with a big dark chocolate flavor. A little on the sweet side but nicely balanced by the bitterness from the dark malts. Kind of unbelievable that this is 13% since the booze isn't noticeable at all to me (edit- as it warms it tastes much boozier). Heavy bodied and a little on the syrupy side- could use a little more carbonation. Overall, it's a very good huge imperial stout.

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burnstar from Pennsylvania, May 26, 2016
Photo of Bruno74200
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 Vintage

L - Pitch black with a small beige head

S - Boozy, grape, roasted malt

T - Very balanced between the roasted malts and the herbal hops, a light yeast character, a bit of grape and apple, cocoa powder. Very neat. Sweet but not cloying

F - Thick and almost perfect gentle carbonation

O - A great beer, not as complex as some Imperial Stout but it has a certain deepness but stays drinkable with a clear taste and not boozy in the taste even with the 13% ABV. It gets better as it warms up.

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Photo of spoony
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

From a 330 ml bottle (2015 vintage) to a snifter. Reviewed from notes dated March 28, 2016.

A-The beer pours with a short, dark-brown head. The foam fades immediately leaving a shiny collar. The beer is nearly black, and mostly opaque. It looks think and viscous.

S-The aroma is more fruity than many high ABV stouts. I sniff plum, prune, and raisin, as well as dark molasses, licorice, and some baker's chocolate. It is an intense and unique aroma.

T-The taste, like the smell, is intense and somewhat different than many in the style. I detect dark, dried fruits (think prune and raisin), as wells as molasses, baker's chocolate, and black cherry. The finish lingers forever on my palate. As the beer nears room temperature, I taste some milky, lactose flavors. Odd.

M-The feel is a bit of letdown. It is watery and nearly flat.

O-This is a unique beer. The European takes on the American-style huge stouts are always interesting to me, because the Euros seem to produce a more fruity take on the idea and this beer is no exception. Black Albert is less of a chocolate and coffee bomb than many Americans, but I like it that way. The water feel is a bummer, however.

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spoony from Colorado, Apr 30, 2016
Photo of FBGordon
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours completely opaque with a little brown head that quickly dissipates into a ring that laces nicely throughout.

S: Smell is coffee, roast, hops and a little alcohol perfume. Slightly daunting.

T: Lots of dark chocolate, some coffee notes with chocolate and hops on the back end. Fantastic balance!

M: A nice round body with a touch of alcohol warmth. Smooth and silky with a light carbonation that dances on the palate.

O: A delicious stout that exhibits why the Belgians are so good at making beer. Superbly balanced with rich, delicious flavors that compliment everything this beer puts into the nose. Definitely one to keep in the Beer Cave!

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FBGordon from Florida, Apr 28, 2016
Photo of Bartleby91
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks and pours like oil. So dark it appears to stain the glass. Aromas are wonderful with roasted coffee, chocolate, some floral hop and a bit of sugary sweetness. Tastes are big chocolate, coffee, and some earthy and floral hops coming through at the end. Some unexpected spritz on the palate with good carbonation for being so strong. Flavors linger well with a medium body on the palate. Dangerously smooth with a barely perceptible alcohol burn despite being 13%. Overall it is an amazing beer and one that I would love to age to see how it evolves.

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Bartleby91 from Illinois, Apr 04, 2016
Photo of HiWire
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep black with minimal head. Very sweet malt nose and tabacco. Tastes very sweet upfront, finishes with a delicate chocolate finish. Smooth mouthfeel. Very sweet and highly drinkable, but $$$ at $10 a bottle locally.

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HiWire from Florida, Mar 31, 2016
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 1820 ratings