Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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Black AlbertBlack Albert

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Originally brewed exclusively for Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, ME.

Added by brewandbbq on 08-23-2007

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Reviews: 856 | Ratings: 1,776
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
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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Photo of stevepat
4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
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 +17.9%
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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Photo of Ginger-tipple
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
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 +10.1%
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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Photo of Beginner2
4.19/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

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 perhaps a bit hoppy for me, it was no problem as it was very chewy ... and that was good because Black Albert was my 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 Mouthfeel alone.

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Photo of FBarber
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
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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Photo of StoutHunter
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
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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Photo of burnstar
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
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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Photo of Bruno74200
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
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 -3.5%
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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Photo of FBGordon
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
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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Photo of Bartleby91
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
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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Photo of HiWire
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
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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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Uber black, 1/2" tan head on it. Aroma was jacked up roasted malt resulting in a bitter harsh coffee ground aroma.

Taste was a chewy, thick experience, hid alcohol. Dark chocolate, weird interplay with the belgian yeast. Thankfully the dark fruit notes weren't prominent.

Very expensive being a drawback here, even though its good, that will probably prevent me from having it again given the other cheaper options.

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Photo of cherche
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

L: jet black, thick tan head, inch or so, good retention and some lacing
S: smoky, cocoa, coffee, earth, tobacco
T: heavy on the tobacco, dark chocolates
M: thicky thick
O: super good, aggressive but not boozy or overwhelming.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From Uvinum. In Teku glass. Watching True Detective 1x03. Very thick and smooth body. Superb nose. ABV very well hidden, very drinkable. Tasty and leaves you yearning for more.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.49/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured with nice head that kept it nearly all the way to the finish.
Sharp roasted malt with pronounced bitter finish.
Still some heat after several years aging. Surprisingly thin for EtOH.
Not impressed at all with the beer.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Type: 8-oz. draft
Glass: Bottlecraft stout glass
From: Botlecraft North Park in North Park (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $9.00
Purchased: Feb. 10, 2016
Consumed: Feb. 10, 2016
Misc.: N/A

First time going to this place. Only four beers on tap, but all were legit. Picked this one out of the bunch and realized after the face that it was on my “want list” on Beer Advocate. Was already looking forward to it, but realizing that it was one of the better Russian Imperial Stouts in the world had me looking forward to it even more.

Poured a dark mahogany, almost black color with 1-to-2 fingers of fizzy, tan head when I got it. Average spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Average-to-above average retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled a huge beautiful punch of smooth alcohol and smooth malts from the get go. Specifically got caramel, toffee, roasted chocolate, maple syrup, hints of dark espresso and Rolos candy. (Smell - 4.50)

Taste follows the nose nicely, just a tad too cold when I got it. Toffee, caramel, roasted chocolate, dark cocoa nibs, Rolos candy, maple syrup and roasted coffee malts but not overwhelming. Very smooth for 13 pct. ABV. (Taste - 4.50)

Full body. Sticky-to-slick texture. Average carbonation. Long, warming, smooth finish. Got much better as it warmed. (Feel - 5.00)

Just an awesome, smooth Russian Imperial Stout. Glad I got to try it, even if it was $9 for eight ounces. (Overall - 4.50)

4.51 | 100 | A+

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Photo of Furlinator
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours opaque pitch black. No head or lace to speak of. Soy sauce and faint dark chocolate on the nose. Massive dark chocolate flavor. Thick and syrupy. Borderline cloying. Vague dark fruit.

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Photo of Meyers1023
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours completely black with just under a fingers worth of fizzy brown head that disappeared to the edge of the glass quickly. The smell is chocolate, roasted malt, and dark fruits. You get a little bit of booze on the back end as well. Flavor follows suit as you get chocolate, raisin, a little bit of coffee and booze as well. There is definitely a Belgian taste to everything adding another great layer to this complex stout. The feel is thick and chewy going perfectly well with all the flavors. This is exactly what you'd want your Russian imperial stout to taste like!

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2015 version. Slight mocha head that dissipates quickly on this very dark black pour. Enticing aroma of coffee and wonderful chocolate covered dark fruits. Flavors consist of dark roast coffee, some bittersweet chocolate and dark fruits. A full bodied stout with a thick and syrup like feel on the palate. Abv is very much not noticeable so a nice sipper on a cold night. Sweet, a little sticky, but this RIS is so flavorful and the nose matches the taste. Black Albert is a truly fantastic brew that should be tried at least once!

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle, Brewers Droop, Bristol - Pours dark black with a large tanned foamy head. Medium carbonation. Smell - coffee, dark stoned fruits, light alcohol. Taste - coffee, roasted malts to the fore with warm alcoholic finish. Fantastic imperial stout. One of the best I've tasted.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's very good, not worth $5 per bottle though. The flavor is solid and it's very smooth. It 's just something about Belgian stouts that I don't prefer.

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Photo of craftcraver
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours pitch black with a 1/4 inch beige colored head that quickly disappears. The overall appearance is comparable to a large cup of espresso, and laces similarly.

S: Rye bread, molasses, espresso and dark chocolate.

T: Medium carbonation that lifts the chocolate espresso and molasses flavors. It has a long finish that reveals rye bread and a punch of alcohol.

O: At 13% the alcohol is hidden well in this heavy hitter. Nose and palate are consistent and have a great balance with surprising delicacy for such robust flavors. A fantastic stout.

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,776 ratings.
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