Black Albert
De Struise Brouwers

Black AlbertBlack Albert
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From:
De Struise Brouwers
 
Belgium
Style:
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #132
ABV:
13%
Score:
95
Ranked #1,800
Avg:
4.26 | pDev: 9.15%
Reviews:
880
Ratings:
958
Status:
Active
Rated:
Sep 17, 2022
Added:
Aug 23, 2007
Wants:
  332
Gots:
  401
SCORE
95
World-Class
Black AlbertBlack Albert
Notes: This is not as much a beer as it is an experience. Originally brewed for Ebenezer’s Pub in Lovell, Maine (USA), this beer is a tribute to Albert II, sixth king of the Belgians. Nicknamed ‘laughing king’, it is only fitting that the beer named after him should put a big smile on your face. And we can safely say it does. This big mother of a Russian Imperial Stout is often considered one of our true classics.

Despite the 13% ABV, you’ll find Black Albert to be dangerously drinkable. With its thick, tar-like body, it’s definitely a sipper, but the alcohol is very well-hidden. It pours pitch black and retains a strong caramel-colored head, despite the ABV. Every sip bombards you with roasty bitterness and the unique sweetness of real Belgian candy sugar. Black Albert: get tattoo’ed from the inside.
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
Rated: 4.11 by brandoneast from Texas

Sep 17, 2022
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Reviewed by SABERG from Massachusetts

4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Poured into the test glass, from 11.2 oz bottle with "BA No. 14 BRS Brew" on the label.
A - Chalkboard black, with a thin off white ring of assembled bubbles, a slow moving archipelago in the center of the ring.
S - Burnt brown sugar, cigar wrap tobacco drying in the barn, dark cocoa, hint of soy, and anise.
T - Black pepper corn, bakers chocolate, again a hint of tobacco, with dark fruits being the center, fig, dried plum, with again hint of anise.
M - Medium bordering to to heavy in body, full palate coating while avoiding the "syruppy" trap, Start is semi sweet, with lingering bitterness acting as the clean up agent, Finish is just dry enough to invite another sip.
O - A lovely sipper, excellent RIS characteristics, with rich complex flavors, well hidden alcohol, and luxurious texture.
Sep 04, 2022
Photo of andypeters1971
Reviewed by andypeters1971 from Georgia

4.7/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
From a bottle 08/2022 at Brick Store, Decatur, Ga. Wonderful aroma, could've just taken in the aroma and not even drank any of it and wouldv'e been great. But the powerful complex array of flavors combined with unbeatable mouthfeel for an imperial stoudt put it over the top
Aug 13, 2022
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Reviewed by SHODriver from North Carolina

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
2015 Vintage

A: Poured into a snifter to a black beer which is topped by a dense and rocky finger of dark tan head which fades slowly to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of dark roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, anise, raisins, and espresso
T: Taste is dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, hints of oxidation, some slight smoke and charred wood with a hint of burnt sugars. On the swallow there's some sweetness along with more coffee, chocolate, charred wood and burnt sugar
M: This beer is thick and velvety on the palate. Carbonation is low, but adequate for the style while the beer has a drying finish from the high ABV.
O: Overall this is a really well done Russian Imperial Stout. It has good flavors and a nice amount of complexity. It may have lost a step at this age but it's still drinking very well.
Jun 09, 2022
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Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
330 ml bottle, as Struise Black Albert Batch ’0’ - BA No. 14 BRS Brew. ABV is 13%. Pitch black colour, moderate brown head. Exquisite aroma of roasted malts, fine chocolate and coffee, liquorice and hops. Warming mouthfeel. Rich and medium sweet flavour of roasted malts, chocolate, fortified wine and coffee.
Jan 28, 2022
 
Rated: 3.75 by BdM from Netherlands

Jun 18, 2021
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Reviewed by kitch from Hong Kong

4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
A 330ml bottle, 2020 vintage, bottled on 18th March 2021, with a best before date of bottled date +5 years. Poured into a De Struise tulip glass.

Appearance: Black in colour with a nice big three finger brown head that had decent retention while leaving some lacing.

Aroma: Roasted malts, coffee, chocolate, cola, with notes of licorice, berries, and caramel.

Taste: Lightly bitter, roasty coffee, dark chocolate, candi sugar sweetness, dark stone fruit, plum, prunes, with notes of berries and maybe licorice.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, creamy, full bodied, with soft carbonation.

Overall: An excellent sipper with alcohol well hidden. Good bitter and sweet balance.
Jun 16, 2021
 
Rated: 4.09 by SayBoom from Ukraine

Apr 24, 2021
 
Rated: 5 by Ziosa from Missouri

Apr 20, 2021
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Reviewed by JonnoWillsteed from England

4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
#1696 - Blind-tasted except for the beer's name and brewery/country, zero reviews below read (yet!)...
L- Jet-black to the eye, pours with brief 2mm dark tan head, soon a scattered patch, unsurprising given the ABV%
S- Like cold Brit Xmas pudding condensed into a liquid, deeply fruity and pungent, plus molasses notes.
T- Wow, a deep brewed fruity thickness and pungency. Then a blazing shaft of lightly sour + mega-ABV% that makes me involuntarily physically shudder, thankfully briefly. Jeez gawds this thing is intense. I'm getting like ultra-deep concentrated prune juice notes -> back to the molasses in the smell.
F- It's mega deep, rich/complex, yet also notably has a sour aspect too.
O- Good grief, what is this thing!? The ABV isn't *that* high but this THING is an absolute beast. Yes it's interesting, and a heck of a statement, but I don't think I really need 330ml of it - it would be a lot more interesting if I had a couple of buddies over and could share, 110ml each, pre a session of other less slaying brews. Interesting to try, but to me it's one of those huge one off statements you experience but wouldn't buy again; this is simply not a 'normal beer'. Oh and for context, it is 1000% the complete antithesis of a session beer. The ABV% isn't even *that* high, as any Icelandic beer-head will attest...
It's one of those beers that is so different and really hard to know how to rate. Mega flavour/mega naked and shouty ABV%, complete blaster on the palate. Quite probably the most intense beer I've ever had (that is not, of course, a clear compliment). Is this aged in wine casks? That might be the sour note...
Review/scoring all done, now the reveal, I get to read the bottle lables to see what I missed! ==> Unfilt, unpast. Bot-Con. That's all.
Does it in fact taste like beer? as I get to the lower 1/4 glass it strikes me more like a noxious dry fortified wine. I'm laching stout notes and certainly more usual Russian Imp Stout notes....
330ml bottle BB: '02/10/2020+5yrs' £5.95 Bought from BeautifulBeers, UK as part of a large pick-your own consignment to London.
Mar 19, 2021
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Rated by JamieDuncan from Maryland

4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Had a touch of a soy sauce flavor but overall was an outstanding stout that I enjoyed very much.
Feb 09, 2021
 
Rated: 4.4 by bubseymour from Maryland

Jan 18, 2021
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Reviewed by bminor7 from New York

4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Lot B6BB - June 2007
From Premier Gourmet in Pittsfield, MA

Flat as a brick. Chocolate, pepper, tobacco on the nose. Unique, almost herbal flavor. Nice!
Jan 17, 2021
 
Rated: 4.3 by 911CROFT from England

Dec 23, 2020
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Reviewed by icecreamcake from Korea (South)

4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours jet black, without much head. Does not at all feel like a 13% ABV. Creamy and smooth mouthfeel, nice body, and a very pleasant cocoa aftertaste. One of the best, not only from De Struise, but also in its class.
Nov 14, 2020
 
Rated: 4.2 by JLK7299 from North Carolina

Aug 20, 2020
 
Rated: 3.87 by stephenlee93 from England

Jul 03, 2020
 
Rated: 4.5 by shigg85 from Japan

Jun 27, 2020
 
Rated: 4.41 by robotic_being from Florida

Jun 13, 2020
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Reviewed by milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
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.
Jun 02, 2020
 
Rated: 3.5 by rare_bird from Michigan

Feb 01, 2020
 
Rated: 4.53 by Gemini6 from Michigan

Jan 06, 2020
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Reviewed by StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
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!
Jan 03, 2020
 
Rated: 4.29 by NolaHopHead from Louisiana

Nov 22, 2019
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Reviewed by FLima from Brazil

4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
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.
Oct 09, 2019
 
Rated: 4.11 by SaraMatt from California

Sep 28, 2019
 
Rated: 4.5 by bigred89 from Maryland

Sep 09, 2019
 
Rated: 4.44 by AldoBlitzcarr from England

Aug 31, 2019
 
Rated: 4.44 by Thorfinn960 from Ohio

Jun 03, 2019
 
Rated: 4.06 by generallee from Virginia

May 21, 2019
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Reviewed by Snowcrash000 from Germany

4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Pours a pitch-black coloration with a small, creamy head. Smells of roasted, caramel malt and notes of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, licorice and hints of tobacco. Taste is a an excellent balance of quite roasted, caramel malt, brown sugar, chocolate and dark fruits, with notes of raisin and fig, lighter coffee, licorice, tobacco and leather, as well as just a hint of vanilla and clove also coming through. Finishes bittersweet, with a light/medium bitterness and some roasted malt, chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit and licorice lingering in the aftertaste. Full mouthfeel with a rich body and medium carbonation.

This makes for quite a rich and complex Imperial Stout with a great balance of sweet, fruity and roasted, spicy notes, with the caramel malt, brown sugar and dark fruit being rather distinct here, but being balanced by equally distinct roasted malt, licorice and spice, while the tobacco, leather and hints of bitter, earthy hops really add to the richness of character here. Very nice, full mouthfeel as well, while the ABV really is hardly noticeably here, indeed making this dangerously drinkable for 13%. Comparing this rather fresh bottle to a much older bottle I had a while ago, I'm not sure how well this ages, as I've enjoyed this one a lot more than my older review would suggest, although external factors may be at play here.
Mar 08, 2019
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Reviewed by clayrock81 from Florida

4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
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.
Feb 22, 2019
 
Rated: 3.91 by harsley from Massachusetts

Feb 04, 2019
 
Rated: 4.24 by emincems from Turkey

Jan 25, 2019
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Reviewed by Vidblain from Minnesota

4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
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.
Jan 13, 2019
 
Rated: 4.29 by WalkerHater from Northern Ireland

Jan 11, 2019
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Reviewed by gearinches from Massachusetts

4.86/5  rDev +14.1%
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.
Oct 18, 2018
 
Rated: 4.21 by Duncian from Pennsylvania

Oct 09, 2018
 
Rated: 4 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts

Oct 01, 2018
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Reviewed by flyingpig from Scotland

4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
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.
Jul 02, 2018
Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 1838 ratings