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Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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Black AlbertBlack Albert
1,790 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,790 |  Reviews: 858
Photo of tedpeer
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to corby112 for the trade.

Poured into a tulip/snifter.

A - Pours black with a huge head that quickly subsided to a thin layer. Has some lacing.

S - Dark Fruits and a bit of alcohol.

T - Roasted up front, with dark fruits in the middle. Slightly bitter finish with some alcohol warmth.

M - Medium body with high carbonation.

D - A good beer. The alcohol is well hidden.

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Photo of brystmar
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pretty sure this is from 2009. Notched lot is B-6-BB.

Black body, plenty of brown head up top. Caramel and toffee precede the roasty malt, presenting a pleasant bouquet.

A well-blended stout, melding each of the above components with hints of dark fruit at the end. Notes of oak barrels in the background. The alcohol warms my throat as it descends, integrating well with the experience. Body is thick and heavy, as it should be.

Black Albert ranks among the best off-the-shelf RIS. Always happy to pop one of these :)

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Photo of BgThang
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An aggressive pour leaves a big ass head on this of rusty mocha color.

After waiting for several minutes I finally took a taste of this hyped beer. The quadruple comes out at first then it finishes like everyone else says a roasty stout. Very interesting beer.

The alcohol is apparent on the nose but after the initial taste it almost completely disappears.

Although this is a unique beer (with an identity crisis as one put it) I personally was felt let down a bit.

This is a nice beer and you should at least try it.

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Photo of jzeilinger
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

In review is a 2010 Vintage.

A - Pours pitch black with minimal carbonation, a light caramel colored lacing ring, and lots of legs when the glass is swirled, very viscous.

S - Dark chocolate cocoa malt predominantly with light cream, lightly toasted caramel, and some mild alcohol, any dark fruit is very subdued in the nose.

T - Nice complexity with layers of different things going on: bitter dark milk chocolate, cream, toasted caramel, plums, dark berries, light char, light dark fruit tartness which adds a nice touch to this wonderfully complex beer.
M - Thick, full bodied, and total velvet on the tongue with a creamy smooth sensation.

O - 13% ABV is deceptive as the warming is ever so slight making this a dangerously drinkable beer. Being it's a 2010, this bottle is very mellow which was expected. World class.

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Photo of flipper2gv
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%

From notes

A: Pours dark brown with very little head tan head.

S: Somewhat porter-ish it seems with tons of vanilla, coconut, chocolate and maybe leather.

T: Follows the nose with taste of vanilla, coconut, chocolate, leather and maybe a tiny bit of smoke. The alcohol is not noticeable, but this is a beer I suppose it would have helped balanced the flavours. The flavours are usually what you expect in a top tier RIS, but in this case they mix a bit strangely and don't give the best results, although the beer is VERY solid still.

M: Very light and porter-ish, like the taste.

D: Quite drinkable for a beer of this size.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip

A rather aggressive pour into a Chouffe tulip produced a large, beige head that filled the glass nicely. The body is pitch black with minimal ruby highlights around the edges.

Dark fruits with roasted malt off the bat. Cocoa powder, tangy Belgian yeast, licorice, molasses and touch of ethanol.

Dark cherries, tangy Belgian yeast, licorice/star anise, coffee grounds, and dark chocolate. The flavors are all in equal parts, sliding on the palate, and leaving an oily presence behind.

Full body, rich and robust flavor. Carbonation is nice and low. Creamy feel.

An excellent, fairly available RIS. This is one of those beers that everyone needs to have multiple times a year. Delicious.

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Photo of claytong
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

according to what google tells me this is a june of 07 vintage.

appearance - black albert in color, 2 inch head from controlled pour. great retention and lacing.

smell - rich chocolate (just amazing), a bit of red wine (possibly from the great chocolate), dark malts, caramel

taste - alcohol, dark chocolate (not coming off as rich)...as it warms, more chocolate and alcohol diminishes. definitely something to let warm.

mouthfeel - a bit too carbonated, otherwise a nice body. also as it warms, carbonation dies a bit and body is much more noticeable and richness. a bit oily coating going on.

amazing the carbonation level if this is an 07. seems pretty fresh to me except the chocolate and dark malt rule.

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Photo of Tucquan
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on 2011-12-02 in Valley Forge, PA

A - Deep, dark brown/black with a 1-finger, dark tan head that fades pretty quickly but leaves a ton of lace. Looks like motor oil while pouring.

S - Coffee, chocolate, rich malt, grape floral.

T - Sweet molasses, hop and roasted bitterness, coffee, some dark chocolate tastes. Lots of alcohol. Chalky.

M - Medium-heavy body. Light carbonation. Very creamy, thick and syrupy.

O - I enjoyed this quite a bit although it isn't at the top of my Russian Imperial Stout list.

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Photo of drumrboy22
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.5oz bottle into a Gouden Carolous chalice. Beer was pitch black, with a one-finger brown head. Slow carbonation and very little lacing around the glass.

Aroma was dark, dark fruit, raisins, chocolate, malt and yeast.

Taste was bitter hops up front, followed by chocolate, coffee, cherries and a touch of licorice.

Very tasty beer. Not as complex as I expected, but still delicious and very enjoyable.

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Photo of Kevinpitts
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of SLeffler27
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fills a Dogfish Head snifter dark brown, almost black. No light passes under a tall, dense, creamy, chestnut brown head that never dissipates, but leaves big patches of lace.

Rich roasted coffee and bittersweet chocolate dominate with notes of dates, spiced rum and raisins. Black Albert warms well.

Roasted malt and chocolate are up front. Molasses, oak, cigar and charred beef follow through and the finish is short and fruity. Black Albert has amazing balance for 100 IBU beer and becomes more complex with warmth.

Creamy smooth texture and full body. Alcohol is quite present but less than others I have had at 13%. The carbonation is soft and there is a dry finish.

This makes for a great reading beer, but would also work well with long conversations, steak or ice cream.

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Photo of mscudder
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
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 -2.8%
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 -2.8%
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 -2.8%
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.

 1,257 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
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 -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 vkv822
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
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 -3.1%
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 -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Brad007
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
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 -3.1%
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 -3.1%
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 -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
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!

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 1,790 ratings
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