Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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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.

Added by brewandbbq on 08-23-2007

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,777
Reviews:
856
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
9.2%
 
 
Wants:
338
Gots:
401
For Trade:
28
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,777 |  Reviews: 856
Photo of mscudder
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Lot 25|08|GG (2012).

A - Poured strongly. Opaque hue with an immense mocha head. Excellent retention with fair lacing.

S - Dark Chocolate, roasted coffee, light caramel, dark fruits and faint smoked wood.

T - The term "Royal Stout" is necessary due to this varying strongly from what I would deem a traditional RIS. The Belgian influence is noticeable throughout: dark fruits are infused in the more traditional composition, yielding a sourness which I cannot particularly appreciate. Flavors are balanced well and the hop bitterness aids in weighing down the fruits and subduing the alcohol.

M - Silky smooth and lacking the fullness I desire and except in a stout this large. It resembles more of a fudge-like milk stout at 6-8%. Does not ruin the beer, although it is the weakest aspect.

O - Being a huge fan of Quads and Russian Imperial Stouts, this was not a fusion I adore. That said, I have high standards for Struise. It simply does not compete with the top-notch Quads or Russian Imperials I have sampled. Certainly not a bad beer, for I will keep a few for a cool evening.

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Photo of saintwarrick
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is opaque brown/black with a solid-sized tan head. Aroma is cocoa and chocolate mixed with a Belgian yeast, the chocolatey aromas aren't as strong as most American versions. Taste is at first bitter chocolate then smooth, sweet and velvety as it should be. Then an understated sour taste kicks in with some dark fruitiness that reminds me of a burnt, dark Belgian brew; raisins and figs mixed in and a little coffee for good measure.

Never get an inkling this is a 13 percent abv beer; it's big but there's nothing boozy about it.

A very impressive and interesting brew; definitely a walk from the normal RIS.

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Photo of barczar
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque jet black with a modest mocha head that dissipates into a ring around the rim.

Coffee, dark chocolate, roast malt, and tar form the initial aroma. Hints of dark fruit and pepper are present.

Flavor echoes the roast notes, slightly charred, adding in soy and smoky phenols. Slightly sweet to open, a tart, cherry note turns the experience smoky, nutty, and a bit burnt at the finish. Tar and chocolate surface in the aftertaste.

Body is syrupy, with minimal carbonation and significant alcohol warmth.

Roast dominant, with enough dark fruit and tar character to keep things interesting. Good balance of sweetness and roast. Fairly complex. Would love to see how this ages. The char was a little much for me.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A= The pour is a pitch black color with a nice two finger head rising out of it that holds some nice retention and has steady lacing for such a big beer. The heads color is a nice mocha color.

S= Big booze comes from the nose. That's the first thing I notice. There's a lot of roast to it as well as some odd estery sweetness to it. The esters are true to any Belgian beer I suppose. The only problem is that it smells a lot of alcohol. Almost reminds me of WWS in a way only less sweet in the nose.

T= The taste tops the smell anyday! Wow this is a smooth easy drinking stout. There is plenty of roast to it as well as sweetness to balance it out a little. The alcohol never comes through in the taste at all and the Belgian yeast leaves a little fruityness to it that I've never had in a Impy stout.

M= This unfortunatly is a little weak. It is so thin however that you never really notice your drinking such a huge beer.

D= The thin mouth on this leads to huge drinkability. This is such an up and down beer as far as the rating categories go but it is still amazing. One of a kind beer that I have never and possibly will never have anything like again. I'm happy I found a spot that carries these because I'll be going back for more that for sure.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another bottle drank during the epic March Madness '11 week.

Poured out a Saturday morning I believe, while many were still hungover, I pretty much drank this one to myself, black ass beer, deep tan head, mocha like in appearance. Aroma was heavy on the coffee and strong roast, but nothing too special going on, nothing offputting.

Taste is quite good at hiding the high abv. Obvious shout outs to dark chocolate and deep roasted malts (coffee). Stays bitter, but not to where it becomes a challenge or a negative. Belgian yeast seems to round the beer out nicely without detracting from the sturdy malt viscosity. I didn't really catch much in the way of dark fruit stuff that other reviewers did.

Enjoyable, but at almost $1 an ounce, this one has many more options of comparable quality at a much better price, which takes its overall score down a smidge.

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Photo of mechamifune
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
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 vkv822
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

on-tap at Belmont Station.

Pours black with a thick creamy mocha colored head that leaves beautiful lacing.

The nose is a bit subdued but I can definitely pick up notes of roasty cocoa malts with some dark and vinous fruits in the backing. Very smooth and well balanced overall.

The taste follows the nose quite well with notes of chocolate, and roasty espresso upfront followed by subtle hints of dark fruit. There is only a hint of boozy warming in the finish.

The mouthfeel is a bit strange as with each drink it starts out full bodied and incredibly smooth then towards the finish it really thins out, which keeps it from becoming too heavy, but is really a bit of a negative in my opinion and keeps it from getting a better score.

I am very happy I was able to try this and would definitely do so again, it was very smooth and easy drinking for 13% ABV.

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Photo of AgentZero
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 0, shared by Jason.

A - Black colored beer with a surprising amount of carbonation and a couple fingers of rich, tan head. Decent lace and some good legs during consumption.

S - Lots of malts, chocolate, toffee, with a little bit of licorice in there. The requisit dark fruits are present with just a touch of vanilla.

T - Really goes down smoothly for 13%, not much heat at all. Pretty much char free, quite thick, good caramel and toffee with some slightly sweetened chocolate and licorice.

M - Full bodied, good carbonation.

O - Very drinkable considering how much alcohol is in here. The flavor is very full and rich, but doesn't become too sweet or too much.

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Photo of Keananmichael5
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Brad007
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This comes from the only case of Black Albert in Vermont (supposedly).

Pours a deep, dark black color with a thick two, nearly three, finger head that's brown in color. Looks menacing.

Aroma is chock full of roasted coffee upfront with a hint of dark fruit and alcohol heat.

Taste is strong, thick with roasted coffee, faint chocolate and cream and dark fruit dominating the palate. It's got a kick to it but the flavors seem a bit muted.

Mouthfeel is full of dark fruit and roasted coffee with a lot of alcohol heat that lingers in the palate.

Strong and almost a bit too overwhelming for my palate. Needs some aging but otherwise, you're looking at one monster of a RIS.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with a brown foam - great retention, great creaminess, and pretty nice lacing. The nose is concentrated and strong: raisin, anise, molasses. Pretty good presentation.

The flavor is super strong with lots of booze, dark fruits, espresso, oak, and maybe some smoked wood. Somewhat sour, but nothing too overbearing. Bitterness comes through, with a long finish. Great beer, but over-rated.

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Photo of ckeegan04
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Black would be a proper word to describe this one. Near pitch black with a thin, espresso like head. Foam is about one finger thick after a gentle pour and settles to about a half an inch.

S - Roasted malts, dark fruit and just a hint of anise on first whiff. As the beer warms the dark fruits become very prominant with alochol soaked raisin abd a touch of plum and fig coming to mind. Bitter chocolate and dark bread both peak in as well.

T - The Belgian yeast really makes itself known in the taste. Lots of dark fruits, much like the aroma. Roasted malts, bitter chocolate and just a bit of coffee as well. Alcohol is present thoughout providing a nice burn in the finish.

M - Full bodied with a rather lush and creamy feel. Carbonation provides for a lively sipper

O - Finally got around to cracking the much hyped Black Albert. A very interesting beer. The Belgian yeast mixed with the big stout flavors make for a thought provoking drink.

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Photo of mkmarth
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.02 oz bottle poured into wide snifter. Room temperature. Don't know much about this beer, but seen in mentioned a couple times.

A- BLACK as midnight. Impressive head for 13%... damn impressive. Head is cookie-dough brown.

S- Potent. Alcohol is there. I took too deep a whiff and got overwhelmed a bit. Roasted malt, caramel, toffee, molasses, candied sugary goodness. More 'potent' smelling than your average RIS, but I guess this ain't that. Label calls this a "Royal Stout".

T- Wow, considering how borderline I felt about the smell, the taste is amazing. Strong yet subtle in its layers, simple at first. I pick up roasted coffee, bitter (baking) chocolate. Deeper I get fruity banana and mandarin orange tastes.. some earthy/woody notes as well. Finishes with a green apple tartness and a molasses mouthfeel.

M- Thick, smooth, heavenly. Where's the booze? Tastes like 8%-9%. 13% is outrageous... how'd they do it???

D- Moderate but tasty . I like this beer, it's very good. Worth seeking out... belgian royal stouts kick ass!

 1,040 characters

Photo of EJJ1848
4.13/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2007 Vintage, a real treat, but a bit paste its prime.

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Photo of merlin48
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 bottle pours a pitch black body with a small tan head that quickly falls into some sheet lacing.

Complex aroma has fusel alcohol, cherries and prunes, Vienna coffee, dark chocolate, and a herbal hops note.

Mouthfeel is medium full bodied with subdued carbonation.

Taste opens with a nutty dark chocolate note, followed by roasty coffee, powdered cocoa, and dried dark fruits. Alcohol is noticed, but is concealed pretty well considering the strength. A serious hop presence makes itself known, with a herbal hop element. Candy sugars are also easy to identify. Finishes with a dark roasty bitterness.

Seems to have influences of a Belgian tripel with the candy sugars, and of a Belgian IPA with the hopping. Very interesting and complex, but not one of my top ten stouts.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a very, very dark opaque brown, with chunks of sediment suspended throughout. The head is a light tan colour, and substantial, leaving a thick wallpaper of lace as it slowly recedes. It smells of fermenting black fruit - prunes, cherries, raisins - molasses, and alcohol warming. The taste is bitter, even sour at first, burnt malt, giving off essences of coffee, chocolate, and port wine. No hops are really evident, the sourness kind of masks that part of my tongue. The carbonation is quite mild, and the sour fruit mellows significantly as it warms, and the finish is actually quite clean, a little boozy malt lingering. The alcohol is very well managed, no direct heat, just that nice stewed fruitiness effect. This goes very well with some dark chocolate, but given the wine-like strength, one is good.

 824 characters

Photo of mntlover
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black deep black with no light showing through. A finger size head falls to a ring, no real lace left behind.

Aroma is wonderful roasted malts, black liquorish, coffee and chocolate covered cherries with a nice alcohol note that just adds to the aroma. Nice sweet inviting smooth even though alcohol notes are present.

Taste is roasted malts noted alcohol that seems to lighten it all a bit. Candy sugars, coffee, liquorish notes chocolate cherries raisins. Finishes with herbal minty and a touch of grassy hops.

Mouthfeel is not as big as you would imagine only medium with carbonation but it is still tingly.

Drinkability is a different but enjoyable stout with a Belgian influence, want to think merlin48 for sharing this one with me.

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Photo of harrymel
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best before Jul, 2015

Pours nice dark black with a solid mocah sheet of loose bubbles. Smells of chocolate, date, nougat, graham and hints of licorice. Nice nose. Flavor carries leather, tobacco, dates, figs, brown glazed molasses, some bits of dark plum and a hint of toasted graham cracker. Slightly thin body and low carb with a semidry finish. Nice beer, I would drink a bit of this on tap at the right price. The alcohol is surprisingly absent in the beer despite the hefty 13% marking.

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Photo of deNerval
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of paco1029384756
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a small tan head and good lacing.

Scent of chocolate, candi sugar, dark fruits, spices, cola, and alcohol. There is a lot to the scent, but it isn't overly complex, very good.

Taste of roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits and alcohol. This stuff is pretty hot right now, but I think it will be excellent with some age.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and heavy, but it seems a little thin.

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Photo of match1112
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

first off, thanks to vegas beer man for this!

pours out a flat dark brown, no signs of a head, just some faint bubbles on top. smell is mostly dark fruits with hints of chocolate and some belgium yeast. taste is different, but good, not your typical ris. taste is more like a complex wine at this point. no signs of roasted malts, coffee or chocolate. just a funky sour dark fruit almost wine like taste. mouthfeel is ris like, full body, creamy yet oily. this is a weird beer. definatly worth the try, and would probably drink again if i could get a fresher bottle to try. this one says it's batch no. 14.

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Photo of adk6968
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of kirok1999
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dense black woth a nice fluffy brown head that lingers quite a while.
Sweet dark malty smell with a decent spicy hop backbone.
Slight sweetness in the taste, acidic with clove and other spices. There's a bitter and dry finish that lingers quite a while.
Very dense with a mild carbonation level. The alcohol is pretty well hidden but there is some mild heat.
Easy enought to drink but pretty expensive stuff.

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Photo of peensteen
4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours jet black, solid ring of tan head, retains at edges, no lace really. Smell is full of roasted malt, chocolate, hints of coffee, dark sugar, bakers chocolate, something similar to soy sauce, lots of fruity notes as well, dark fruits/berries. Taste is big and roasted/burnt malt, lightly sour the funkiness is no doubt the work of the yeast, almost lactic if the malt bill wasn't so dominate, touches of alcohol but far less than I expected, bittersweet chocolate, moderate bitterness. Medium carbonation, smooth and full bodied. Really drinkable but I stuck to slow sips here, not exactly what I was expecting but was still very good.

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,777 ratings.
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