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Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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Black AlbertBlack Albert
BA SCORE
4.26/5
Outstanding
1,810 Ratings
Black AlbertBlack Albert
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium
struise.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,450
Reviews:
868
Ratings:
1,810
pDev:
9.15%
 
 
Wants:
334
Gots:
402
Trade:
24
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,810 |  Reviews: 868
Reviews by EgadBananas:
Photo of EgadBananas
3.28/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Dark, dank, black. Didn't hold it to light, but I imagine it wouldn't have shown through. Bold caramal head, very rich and thick. This is exactly what it should look like. The smell was fairly good, all your stout staples are there: chocolate, coffee, lots of malts. But the taste didn't impress. The IBUs were kicking for sure, not that it was too much, but its just that it wasn't balanced out well enough with sweetness. The bitterness wasn't from the coffee, thats for sure. The feel was really good, it was thick and chewy. Fullbodied, and pretty smooth.

Like most anything thats not horrible, I am glad I tryed it...but its not worth what I paid for it ($10) and I will not be getting it again...

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Stevedore
4.02/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Additional rating: 11.2oz bottle, bottled in 2008, consumed in 2015. Served in a snifter glass. Essentially, the licorice and dark fruit has died out a fair amount, leaving a very clean, chocolate and cocoa presence, a mild bit of oxidation, spices. Its definitely held up well over 7 years.

11.2oz bottle bought to our tasting by Regen. Thanks for this one, Regen. Poured into a Hill Farmstead stemmed glass today, 11/2/2013.

Pours a silky black body, viscous and thick. Small bit of mocha head comes out, but dissipates quickly. Not a ton of lacing left behind. Basically a standard imperial stout.

Smells like straight up licorice. Its complemented by a nice roasty maltiness and even a bit of spice which I assume is from the belgian yeasts used here. The licorice is very strong here and if thats what you like, this is the way to go.

Tastes interesting, still quite a bit of licorice but the chocolate, coffee and spice comes out more here than in the nose. I'm not sure I'm a fan of the licorice and anise in the flavour profile but again, if that's your jam, then this is what you want.

Medium to full bodied, good carbonation, slick and smooth. Interesting and quite sweet; not super drinkable and its a sipper on a nice cold night.

Interesting, I don't like licorice that much but as an overall beer, it's done quite well and if you like licorice at all, you'll enjoy this one. I'm not going back to this one, but won't fault the brewers here- this is what they wanted to make here.

 1,498 characters

Photo of neorunner
3/5  rDev -29.6%

Photo of maximum12
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to beerisheaven for this gem in one of our weekly trades. Didn't think I'd get to try this one until it hit the States in regular fashion; glad to get a preview.

This beer has a smell like nothing else. Big chocolate but something else, wildly different, that I can't quite put my finger on. Belgian yeast? Candy? Lawn gnomes?

Taste is similarly divergent from the norm. Deep, dark, elegant roastiness, a bit of tartness (hops?) on the tongue with a cool, sweet finish. Wow. Creamy as a good square of Ghiradelli, no hint of alcohol at all.

This is really good. The only strike might be the drinkability, it's just too thick & full to have more than (if I could get another, or afford one, so never mind...). Excellent beer. Hope it arrives on the shores of the U.S.A. soon, I'd make space for it in the fridge.

 824 characters

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 330mL bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 2/3/12
*From notes

Thanks to the trader who got extra'ed me this a while back.

-- Batch 0 --

A: Dark. I mean really, really dark. A generous pour yields an epic 3.25 finger cascading and creamy head that never really fades away.

S: Straight brownie batter.

T: Quite unique. It's a bit rustic, with hints of rich earth up front. As it moves further back, the brownie batter quality of it hits the the mid in an agressive manner. The finish reveals a staunch Belgian yeast profile, with mountains of ground cocoa in the background. As it warms, black cherry skins become evident.

M: This isn't up to the jaw dropping levels of some in style, yet it holds it's own. There's a bit too much fizz, but as it sits and I swirl it in my glass, it calms a bit, and becomes a bit smoother in the mouth.

O: Black Albert is a pretty spectacular RIS. It's got layers of complexity that many American offerings just can't compete with. This is highly recommneded, and one I look forward to having again.

*Allow this to warm to room temperature for full enjoyment.

 1,100 characters

Photo of mattboyer182
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of IHyphySF
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of whitenads
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of wanderingpints
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of jasonjlewis
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a huge head with insane retention and a nice dark brown color.

Candy sugar is predominant on the nose with some black malt underneath. There is a touch of plumb, apple, and a little mint.

Alcohol is covered up pretty well in this one. Candy sugar dominates and is followed by some caramel and chocolate sweetness. The flavors are round about and there is a lot of body in this one, but the taste is very sweet of candy sugar. Pretty decent belgian take on a stout.

Smooth creamy mouthfeel. It's decadent.

This beer has exceptional body and hides it's 13% abv. It is a bit sweet of candy sugar, but it still maintains a good overall profile with great body.

I believe deepsouth provided me with this sample. Thanks.

 725 characters

Photo of DaveHS
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lot A-4-BB. not sure how old this is, but definitely has a year or two on it.

A-Pours black with burgundy highlights and a thin, milky coffee colored head. Thin sheet-like lacing.

S-Smells like a cross between a quad and an American imperial stout. Big candied fruit notes, especially fig and plum, with some dry leathery aromas and a hint of Belgian yeast.

T/M-Very unusual. Not in a bad way. Tastes like a quad up front, and an imperial stout on the back end. Starts out fruity and estery and ends up roasty, with big chocolate/coffee notes. The hops come through in the finish, effectively drying out the sweet malts.Full bodied with low/moderate carbonation.

O-Unique to say the least. A great beer that everyone should try once, though I don't think I would cellar it more than 5 years or so. There's a hint of tart oxidation mid-palate that suggests this might start falling apart over the next year or so.

 916 characters

Photo of crossovert
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch 14. Lot 6 BB.

It pours like a RIS should, a nice deep, rich dark brown/black body with a tan head that billows. It recedes to some very nice lacing as well. Surprisingly, you can still see sediment through the pitch black.

The smell is rich and intriguing. It has a scent like chocolate roasted bread. Literally, it has some very nice roasty scents. There is also a hint of caramel and dark fruit.

The flavor is full-on. It is chocolatey and roasty with numerous hits of caramel and coffee as well. There is also a velvety port presence that is very intriguing. There is also some spices and some raisin. It has a sweetness that isn't overbearing but for sure noticeable, but also a tangy fruitiness that helps balance it. In the end, it isn't as bitter as some stouts can be, rather quite balanced.

The mouthfeel is absolutely perfect: Thick, with just enough carbonation.

This one is a highlight reel bodycheck to the taste buds.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
4.19/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with tons of sediment, so don't pour it all in your glass. Inky black, a wonderful creamy dark tan to brown head. $6.99/11.2oz bottle and a WHOPPING 13% ABV....excellent lacing too...

Huge, sweet robust aromas. Smells like a milk stout. Lots of chocolate malt roasted up for this. I get some vanilla and some sryup notes, too, but mostly milky chocolate....

Oh wow, the flavor is outta sight!!! A little bit too much alcohol, and it's well hidden, but a little "burny"....Immediately, you get a swath of roasted chocolate malt with a nice sweetness. Mothfeel is super smooth. Early middle, the sweetness starts to shelve off and you get a raosty bitterness - partly malt, partly yeast and partly hops, I reckon. There is also a barrel-aging-like component, but not like bourbon...more like aquavit...It's slightly astringent near the late middle, but never harsh. Finish is long and roasty. Albeit pricey, this is a nice take on the big milk stout...Worth tracking down.

What I like most: The awesome robust flavor profile.

What I like least, the price and sediment, and the alcholo burn.

Verdict: With minor flaws and a hefty price tag, this is a tad below top tier, but its wonderful and worth finding.

 1,215 characters

Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Served at Avenue Pub in New Orleans. Served in snifter.

Pours dark brown-black with light tan head that lingers well. Lots of lacing along sides of glass.

Smell is heavy with banana and sweet malts. Other ripe fruits are in the background.

Taste is smokey malt. Chocolate and caramel blend with a mild smokey bitterness late.

Mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Very full bodied. Average carbonation for the style.

Overall this was excellent. Very rich. A little goes a long way with this beer.

 493 characters

Photo of SUBER
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of soccercoachjames
4.77/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of brdc
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks stoutsNipas for this one, small capped bottle poured into a snifter. Best before 2013.

I will admit there was a strong bias before trying this one, but I can also see perfection, even through all my preconceived notions.
Pitch black, but shiny, with an amazingly thick, fluffy and long lasting head for a beer with this amount of alcohol.
Like some that reviewed before me, it is hard to classify. The delicious aroma starts closer to an oatmeal stout, evolves into something a bit closer to a quadrupel or strong dark ale, and eventually shows notes of an imperial stout (which this one is certainly not). Chocolate, coffee, candy, fruits, caramel, molasses, yeast, bread and a few other notes can be picked up.
It comes across the tongue and throat as smooth as possible, and I am still having a hard time believing the ABV stated on the label; there is no heat whatsoever in the beginning, with some showinhg at the end as it produces a somewhat dry finish. It actually goes down quite easy considering it is 75 F tonight (there is no way I could have waited for the autumn).
The complex flavors also run the gamut suggested from the palate.

 1,156 characters

Photo of mechamifune
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a nice creamy dark tan head, obviously dark but without that motor old quality you see in some IS's. Obvious sense of carbonation to the appearance. Smells very strongly of alc. initially with a slight hint of chocolate.

This carries over to the initial sipping, as the alc. is very evident, but still finishes with a strong sense of bitterness from the coffee/chocolate.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, not creamy, but still very full and easy to manage. The alcohol begins to fade as I continue to drink the beer, and by about halfway through the 13% is very well hidden.

Overall a very good beer, but nothing overwhelming. For the price point, there are a number of IS's i'd rather have. For being 13% though, its pretty drinkable, but I can't say I would want to have more than one at a sitting.

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Photo of travisdiener32
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of aflyershckyfan
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of 6string
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Cubatobaco
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of tasurinchi
4.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of Chaney
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A special shout out to my friend and regular drinking buddy Dreadnaught33 for giving me this one last summer... I'm finally getting around to drinking it.

A: I poured this one pretty hard to generate some head and got about 1.5 finger or so thick... but I was probably cheating though. Nevertheless, the mocha color stayed afloat throughout the session... and then some!

S: I could literally smell this from a few feet away after I popped the bottle. Potency aplenty! Wonderful medley of dark fruit (first and foremost), molasses, soy sauce, and cocoa.

T: It was like a dark fruit and dark chocolate milkshake. Great stuff! A little bit of dessert-like saltiness in the middle, and EXTREMELY smooth (considering the ABV) on the finish.

M: About as thick as it gets. The carbonation was low, which was appropriate for this style, and the brew foam coated the glass ten-fold!

D: I would love to try this back-to-back with some of the most coveted RISs in the biz for a taste comparison. On this particular occasion, I felt that this was the bomb diggity!

 1,057 characters

Photo of leroybrown10
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 1,810 ratings