Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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1,784 Ratings
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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:
1,784
Reviews:
858
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
9.2%
 
 
Wants:
338
Gots:
400
For Trade:
27
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,784 |  Reviews: 858
Photo of everetends
4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle I only have rhinos00 to thank for. This was one of the many amazing beers I found in the BIF box he sent me. Serving this one up in my Terrapin snifter.

A: Pours pretty much what I am looking for in a Russian Imperial Stout. Nice dark and flat black color. This beer is not letting any light through whatsoever. The beer produced about three quarters of a finger of head. THe head is a nice mocha brown and has the lasting retention I am expecting. Falls to about a half finger but it throws up some nice and serious lace on the glass. Just has that classic RIS look.

S: The nose is just a bit of a let down to be honest. Getting first thing out of the gate being some serious booze presence. This just screams some serious alcohol in here. Then there is a decent amount of earthy grains coming out. Maybe a little bit of some dark fruit and chocolate. With that said, thats about all that is happening here. This is really booze dominant and I should have probably waited a little while to drink this one.

T: Gotta admit that the taste is much better. I was really worried with the nose. Getting some pretty dark and nicely roasted malts. Some chocolate and caramel for sure. There is a nice touch of vanilla pushing its way out as well. Then a touch of espresso coffee mingles with those dark fruit (cherry, plum and raspberry) flavors you expect from a belgian brewed beer. The belgian qualities are nice in the yeast category as well. There is a decent fruity candied presence here as well. The hops come out in the end with some of that booze I got from the nose, but the booze is no where as dominant here. In the back there is a touch of burning wood as well. Much better.

M: Full bodied brew that is on the lighter side. Still has a nice wieght and creaminess to it. Carbonation is kept in check but still adds a touch of crispness. ABV is totally there and has a good amount of heat in the palate, throat and absolutely warms you up in the ole tum tum. Aftertaste is some dark fruit with some chocolate.

D: This is actually a pretty easy drinking 13% brew. I am constantly reminded it is 13% when I take a whiff, but otherwise its not that bad in the other categories. It goes down pretty easily and the warmth is rather comforting. If I had a 750ml bottle, I would be more than happy to tackle it. The flavors are nice and just a touch different from your typical RIS, which is always nice. Good brew.

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Photo of CraftEyeDoc
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of ATLbeerDog
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very dark brown almost pitch black with a huge 1.5 inch caramel colored head. Smells of coffee, chocolate, and roasted malts, with some alcohol notes bleeding through. Intense thick lacing lovingly clings to the glass. First sip is surprisingly smooth with a beautiful bitterness that is coffee and chocolate with a mellow yeast note very present. The body is fairly light and the 13% ABV is very well hidden. Damn this is good. Very sweet and then quickly bitter. Wow. This beer lives up to its hype.

 509 characters

Photo of denimdemon
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of GregSVT
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a deep black with a medium tan head that slowly fades leaving a bit of lacing on the glass.

S: The nose is vanilla, cocoa, and dark ripe fruits. Excellent aromas that really remind me of Ten Fidy and other nice imperial stouts.

T: The flavors are dark ripe fruits mixed in with a lot of cocoa and vanilla flavors. Man this is great stuff.

M: The feel is thick and viscous just how a RIS should be.

D: I would drink this all the time if it was available to me. Damn good stout. The ABV is a bit high to drink more than a few if you were so inclined.

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Photo of OneDropSoup
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big up to Phyl21ca for the trade.

Pours a beautiful thick black, can't see any highlights at all in this one. Three fingers of mocha foam that drop to about a finger -- super creamy texture to the head, looks nitrogenated almost, or like a mousse. Awesome!

Smells like stone fruits & alcohol, very rich smell. Taste is very fruity: getting a lot of apple, plum, raisin, with some deep roasted malts & just a tiny bit of smokiness.

Mouthfeel is full but not motor oil -- there's enough fluidity & action from the big bubble head to create a little tingle.

I'm getting through this one pretty fast: it's one to savor, but the flavor's so enticing I want to go back for more each time. I have a feeling the high ABV's going to hit me all at once. I like this a lot, but would never guess that it's a stout: way too much fruit flavor, not much in the way of malt/roast/coffee/chocolate character that I look to in a stout. Don't get me wrong, I really like this & can appreciate it on its own terms, but wouldn't call it a stout.

 1,030 characters

Photo of errantnight
4.26/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thank you, brdc, for making drinking this bad boy a reality.

Well, it's not really a Russian Imperial Stout... but it's a big, delicious, exceedingly drinkable stout.

Pours a deep, opaque jet black with several fingers into my Bruery tulip... It has superb sticky lacing and a lasting head. What? Big stouts that don't look like sludge?!

The aroma is a ton of chocolate, more milk than dark chocolate, with some fig and/or rich, dark, ripe fruit aromas. Surprisingly, as it warms, this really pulls back a bit... it seems a bit flat.

Even before I get to the taste, I have to mention the mouthfeel here, it's a velvety smooth texture that's practically unlike anything I've had. It feels full, but complete, without being sticky. Amazing.

The taste, like the aroma, actually seems to get flat as it warms. But what's there is a dark caramel sweetness, maybe with some mincemeat qualities, a hint of roasted coffee, and some milk chocolate around the edges. It's bitter, but it seems like a hop bitterness, not a roast bitterness, but no hop character to speak of.

Y'know, I was super impressed when I first poured this, but it seems to lose it's more exciting fringe character as it should be opening... that said, this is amazingly drinkable, with a clean flavor and a great aftertaste. If this were readily available, I'd purchase with regularity, but at a high cost, via trade or cash, I'm not sure, even if my first reaction was: this is amazing!

 1,456 characters

Photo of Beer-Ed
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of vacax
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz. bottle via trade. Thanks to Javi. Poured into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Black liquid and a tan head that is vast. Huge thick head was unexpected from a giant 13% ABV stout, I was caught off guard. I reckon this is due to the Belgian yeast, but I'll be damned if it doesn't make one hell of a gorgeous stout. Geneorus lacing.

S: Pears, chocolate, pleasant and mild Belgian yeast, candi sugar. Much more fruity and light than most enormous roasty, bourbony imperial stouts.

T: Bursting with pears, dark fruits, maybe even hints of currants. Warming with a crazy fruity Belgian yeast. Bittering hops mix with a sweetness that is almost cloying but actually very pleasant. Rich roasty malt finish to the sweetness. Rich, fruity, and sweet. Unique.

M: Smooth and medium-thick in the world of imperial stouts. Carbonated but not prickly, goes well with the sweetness.

D: Considering it comes in an 11.2 oz. bottle, this is very easy drinking. No problem drinking an entire bottle, though I did share some with my bro. Very sweet but matched by a great fruitiness and roasty finish smooths it out. I would not object to changing this into bomber format. Very big flavors, but basically no alcohol essence.

Unique, enjoyable, sweet and fruity but balanced with a roast and incredibly smooth for such a big beer.

 1,322 characters

Photo of dnichols
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I poured a 330 ml bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: It poured a deep dark brown-black body (even when back lit)with a giant two finger head. The chocolate head was sticky and lingered long into the drink, finally setteling into a thin cover over the surface fo the beer. There was dense lacing that clinged to the side of the chalice.

S: It hit the nose with caramel, toasted brown sugar, molasses, dark chocolate and dark sweet fruits (figs, plums). It had a creamy dark bread yeasty aroma and finished iwht a sweet alcohol aroma.

T: It had a tasty sweet and tart chocolate and ripe dark fruit flavor that exhibited complex ranges of flavors (molasses, figs, plums, bakers chocolate). After the initial flavors there are flashes of espresso and alcohol.

M: It was full bodied, creamy, and finished warm and clean. There was little residual aftertaste and just enough complexity to entice the drinker to take sip after sip.

D: It was an excellent, interesting and rich beer that would be great on a cool fall night or as a night cap. Definitely not a session brew.

 1,078 characters

Photo of jeremiahoden
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of nhindian
3.56/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch '0' review.

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip. Bottle generously split by russwbeck, thanks Russ!

Lot D.

A - Pours a chocolate brown, with lighter brown highlights. The head is aggressive and bordering on excessive as it continuously rises, almost 3-fingers in height. Certainly can't say it doesn't look impressive, however, with its tan color and great retention. Lacing is much better than the normal version, with generous amounts of foam sticking to the glass.

S - The smell is much more up my alley than normal Black Albert. Gone are the funky sour aromas I've encountered in two separate batches that just seemed out of place, and they are replaced by a much more roasted profile. Big notes of coffee and dark chocolate from the malts, a distinct Belgian yeast smell, and some slight booze.

T - The taste is definitely more mellow and robust than typical Black Albert. A very roasty beginning paves the way for espresso and caramel malt, along with a good amount of chocolate. The Belgian yeast strain is actually a bit of a deterrent, imparting a funky flavor that just kind of seems weird given the rest of the flavors. I'm sure it has its niche, but can't say its my preference. Some dark fruits and sugar, giving the impression of rum soaked raisins. The alcohol is much more hidden here than in the nose.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately heavy with high carbonation. Like most Belgians this too has above average carbonation, which for the style may need to be swirled out a little. Leaves a strong chocolate and roast aftertaste.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. Much better than normal Black Albert but can't say it's a favorite of mine. The flavors aren't amazing and in my opinion the yeast clashes with the typical stout flavors.

 1,754 characters

Photo of zhanson88
3.79/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Black Albert is a phenomenal looking beer. It pours almost pitch black with a couple fingers of mocha colored head, even with a careful pour. Retention is very nice and lacing is great. One of the best looking imperial stouts out there.

Smell: Right off a big Belgian characteristic comes out, and as well as dark fruits. It takes a bit of digging to get down to the roasted malts and chocolate. Overall this is a pretty nice scent once you get down into it.

Taste: Roasted malts and chocolate show right up front on the palate. A bit of hoppy character actually shows up on the back end, as well as that yeast characteristic and dark fruits. Aftertaste is slightly leathery, but not in a bad way.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: The body is slightly over medium with quite a bit of carbonation. It seems like a lot of De Struise beers have this feel, but I'm not sure it works perfectly with imperial stouts. Still, not bad. This is a pretty drinkable beer. It's a different take on an imperial stout, but that's not a bad thing.

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

Photo of lzepplin01
4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

 553 characters

Photo of throwback
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of bmmortale
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of claaark13
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with a nice tan head. Looks soo creamy. Nice lacing

Aroma is awesome. Lots of roast and caramel and toasted sugars. Very aromatic beer.

Taste is different than your average IRS. You can taste the Belgian yeast for sure. It adds a sort of sweet tartness to the beer. Similar to cuvee van de Keizer. Nice and roasty and caramel with the Belgian flavors. Maybe a little too much Belgian flavor.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy with thin bubbles.

Overall I couldn't drink a bunch of this. It's tasty but I think I prefer a traditional IRS type yeast to the Belgian take on it.

 593 characters

Photo of pants678
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big fluffy Belgian head with a black body.

Sweet and sugary with dark, roasted malts.

Rich chocolate and complimentary, creamy vanilla, possibly from the yeast. Candied sugar, as you'd guess. Not a lot going on here but there doesn't need to be, it's a dessert that doesn't complicate itself. There's an alcohol burn, tobacco-y, and some bitter from the hops or the natural end of cocoa. Just what you'd want from the style and where it's from.

smooth. It's Belgian, of course it's smooth.

 492 characters

Photo of twowheelssoar
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of mwbrady12
3.25/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of SteveD082791
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of JAXSON
3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from the 2010 batch, pours black with some light coming through the corners, and a spotty tan head. Nose is focused on a nice Belgian quadrupel yeast and has some charred, ashy elements of an imperial stout. Very light roasted coffee and maybe some cherries. Flavor is an interesting mish-mash, more roasted malt than in the nose, of course that smooth Belgian yeast, and some bittering influences rising up in the finish. Bitter coffee perhaps even some hop oils rising up there. Pretty nice, kind of zesty and bright, but the flavors aren't focused as they could be, so while tasty, it's kind of unfocused.

 615 characters

Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,784 ratings.
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