Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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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

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Reviews: 856 | Ratings: 1,773
Photo of spoony
4.09/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

From a 330 ml bottle (2015 vintage) to a snifter. Reviewed from notes dated March 28, 2016.

A-The beer pours with a short, dark-brown head. The foam fades immediately leaving a shiny collar. The beer is nearly black, and mostly opaque. It looks think and viscous.

S-The aroma is more fruity than many high ABV stouts. I sniff plum, prune, and raisin, as well as dark molasses, licorice, and some baker's chocolate. It is an intense and unique aroma.

T-The taste, like the smell, is intense and somewhat different than many in the style. I detect dark, dried fruits (think prune and raisin), as wells as molasses, baker's chocolate, and black cherry. The finish lingers forever on my palate. As the beer nears room temperature, I taste some milky, lactose flavors. Odd.

M-The feel is a bit of letdown. It is watery and nearly flat.

O-This is a unique beer. The European takes on the American-style huge stouts are always interesting to me, because the Euros seem to produce a more fruity take on the idea and this beer is no exception. Black Albert is less of a chocolate and coffee bomb than many Americans, but I like it that way. The water feel is a bummer, however.

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Photo of FBGordon
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

A: Pours completely opaque with a little brown head that quickly dissipates into a ring that laces nicely throughout.

S: Smell is coffee, roast, hops and a little alcohol perfume. Slightly daunting.

T: Lots of dark chocolate, some coffee notes with chocolate and hops on the back end. Fantastic balance!

M: A nice round body with a touch of alcohol warmth. Smooth and silky with a light carbonation that dances on the palate.

O: A delicious stout that exhibits why the Belgians are so good at making beer. Superbly balanced with rich, delicious flavors that compliment everything this beer puts into the nose. Definitely one to keep in the Beer Cave!

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Photo of Bartleby91
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks and pours like oil. So dark it appears to stain the glass. Aromas are wonderful with roasted coffee, chocolate, some floral hop and a bit of sugary sweetness. Tastes are big chocolate, coffee, and some earthy and floral hops coming through at the end. Some unexpected spritz on the palate with good carbonation for being so strong. Flavors linger well with a medium body on the palate. Dangerously smooth with a barely perceptible alcohol burn despite being 13%. Overall it is an amazing beer and one that I would love to age to see how it evolves.

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

Pours a deep black with minimal head. Very sweet malt nose and tabacco. Tastes very sweet upfront, finishes with a delicate chocolate finish. Smooth mouthfeel. Very sweet and highly drinkable, but $$$ at $10 a bottle locally.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Uber black, 1/2" tan head on it. Aroma was jacked up roasted malt resulting in a bitter harsh coffee ground aroma.

Taste was a chewy, thick experience, hid alcohol. Dark chocolate, weird interplay with the belgian yeast. Thankfully the dark fruit notes weren't prominent.

Very expensive being a drawback here, even though its good, that will probably prevent me from having it again given the other cheaper options.

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

L: jet black, thick tan head, inch or so, good retention and some lacing
S: smoky, cocoa, coffee, earth, tobacco
T: heavy on the tobacco, dark chocolates
M: thicky thick
O: super good, aggressive but not boozy or overwhelming.

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Photo of josanguapo
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

From Uvinum. In Teku glass. Watching True Detective 1x03. Very thick and smooth body. Superb nose. ABV very well hidden, very drinkable. Tasty and leaves you yearning for more.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.49/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured with nice head that kept it nearly all the way to the finish.
Sharp roasted malt with pronounced bitter finish.
Still some heat after several years aging. Surprisingly thin for EtOH.
Not impressed at all with the beer.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Type: 8-oz. draft
Glass: Bottlecraft stout glass
From: Botlecraft North Park in North Park (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $9.00
Purchased: Feb. 10, 2016
Consumed: Feb. 10, 2016
Misc.: N/A

First time going to this place. Only four beers on tap, but all were legit. Picked this one out of the bunch and realized after the face that it was on my “want list” on Beer Advocate. Was already looking forward to it, but realizing that it was one of the better Russian Imperial Stouts in the world had me looking forward to it even more.

Poured a dark mahogany, almost black color with 1-to-2 fingers of fizzy, tan head when I got it. Average spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Average-to-above average retention on the top all the way down. (Sight - 3.75)

Smelled a huge beautiful punch of smooth alcohol and smooth malts from the get go. Specifically got caramel, toffee, roasted chocolate, maple syrup, hints of dark espresso and Rolos candy. (Smell - 4.50)

Taste follows the nose nicely, just a tad too cold when I got it. Toffee, caramel, roasted chocolate, dark cocoa nibs, Rolos candy, maple syrup and roasted coffee malts but not overwhelming. Very smooth for 13 pct. ABV. (Taste - 4.50)

Full body. Sticky-to-slick texture. Average carbonation. Long, warming, smooth finish. Got much better as it warmed. (Feel - 5.00)

Just an awesome, smooth Russian Imperial Stout. Glad I got to try it, even if it was $9 for eight ounces. (Overall - 4.50)

4.51 | 100 | A+

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Photo of Furlinator
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours opaque pitch black. No head or lace to speak of. Soy sauce and faint dark chocolate on the nose. Massive dark chocolate flavor. Thick and syrupy. Borderline cloying. Vague dark fruit.

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Photo of Meyers1023
4.64/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours completely black with just under a fingers worth of fizzy brown head that disappeared to the edge of the glass quickly. The smell is chocolate, roasted malt, and dark fruits. You get a little bit of booze on the back end as well. Flavor follows suit as you get chocolate, raisin, a little bit of coffee and booze as well. There is definitely a Belgian taste to everything adding another great layer to this complex stout. The feel is thick and chewy going perfectly well with all the flavors. This is exactly what you'd want your Russian imperial stout to taste like!

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Photo of dpgoblejr
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2015 version. Slight mocha head that dissipates quickly on this very dark black pour. Enticing aroma of coffee and wonderful chocolate covered dark fruits. Flavors consist of dark roast coffee, some bittersweet chocolate and dark fruits. A full bodied stout with a thick and syrup like feel on the palate. Abv is very much not noticeable so a nice sipper on a cold night. Sweet, a little sticky, but this RIS is so flavorful and the nose matches the taste. Black Albert is a truly fantastic brew that should be tried at least once!

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Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottle, Brewers Droop, Bristol - Pours dark black with a large tanned foamy head. Medium carbonation. Smell - coffee, dark stoned fruits, light alcohol. Taste - coffee, roasted malts to the fore with warm alcoholic finish. Fantastic imperial stout. One of the best I've tasted.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's very good, not worth $5 per bottle though. The flavor is solid and it's very smooth. It 's just something about Belgian stouts that I don't prefer.

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Photo of craftcraver
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours pitch black with a 1/4 inch beige colored head that quickly disappears. The overall appearance is comparable to a large cup of espresso, and laces similarly.

S: Rye bread, molasses, espresso and dark chocolate.

T: Medium carbonation that lifts the chocolate espresso and molasses flavors. It has a long finish that reveals rye bread and a punch of alcohol.

O: At 13% the alcohol is hidden well in this heavy hitter. Nose and palate are consistent and have a great balance with surprising delicacy for such robust flavors. A fantastic stout.

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Photo of shwami
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This Black Albert was cellared for over 4 years, bought in Brugge, Belgium at the De Struise Shop in town.

L: Oil color, with a very dark brown head that quickly dissipated. Very fine bubbles of carbonation rapidly rose from the center of the brew in its appropriate DSB ostrich glass.
S: Slightly alcohol laden aroma, with heavy ripe fruity overtones.
T: Burnt malt and slight hop flavors smack you in the tongue and perfectly balance the sweetness as this Belgian Royal Stout slides over the tongue. Complex as all get out.
F: Slick, smooth and oily...powerful alcohol pricks on the back of the tongue as it is quaffed.
O: It is an over the top, perfectly enjoyable, world-class example of a Russian Imperial Stout. 4 years in the bottle made this as good as it can get.

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Photo of creepinjeeper
4.66/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - Pours black like motor oil. Mocha colored head that fades to nothing. No lacing to speak of.
Smell - Roasted coffee, molasses, toffee, roasted grains.
Taste - Coffee, sweet toffee, cinnamon, slight hint of licorice and cinnamon.
Feel - Creamy like a latte, almost no carbonation to speak of.
Overall - An amazing Russian Imperial Stout. I hope I come across this again.

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Photo of Burg
4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 pours a beautiful dark, dark brown with a nice tight brown head. toasty smell with dried dark fruits. Feels thick and smooth and sticky in the mouth, carbonation is just right. Taste is coffee, chocolate, dark fruits, a bite of booze and a nice hop finish with licorice after. Great Beer.

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Photo of aleigator
3.41/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Struise Black Albert '14 vintage

Pours a viscous motor oil color, with a very small head, immediately falling to pieces. Reveals thick alcohol legs after swirling, wandering to the edge of the glass, showing the beers immense viscosity.

Smells of cinnamon and earth infused dried fruits, together with caramel and molasses. Coffee beans and aridly wood contrast the upcoming sweet alcohol bite, showcasing a convincing balance on the nose. Dried plums, cinnamon and booze build the foundation of this complex smelling beer.

Has a low carbonation, featuring a creamy mouthfeel and a medium body, resulting in a varying taste.

Cinnamon is weaker on the palate than on the nose, which gets replaced by smoky malts and a huge amount of charred coals. The beers sweetness gets provided by molasses, rock sugar and dried plums, balanced by bitter chocolate and dry coffee, directly blending into sweet, hot booze. Finishes with alcohol and its burning aftermath, coated up by earth, coals and caramel.

Very heavy on the booze, once it becomes visible, tamed only by the malts during the very end. Before that, spices and coffee build up a very interesting mixture, which gets lost in most parts, due to the hot burn. The beer creates a different taste then, which still relies heavily on the booze bite, countered by a profound sweetness, but missing its initial, wooden bitterness.

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Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pitch black pour with a dark espresso head that doesn't linger much. Dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, some dark cherries and a bit of vanilla. Thick and full-bodied, with medium carbonation.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Gorgeous mocha, 2 finger head. Smells leaves something to be desired. Hint of Belgian yeastiness. Getting the candi sugar, dark fruits, not much roasted malt but a big, smooth bitterness on the back end. Short finish. 10% stout that drinks like a 5% saison. Higher carb.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4.45/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 lot, 330ml bottle

jet black, good looking dark brown colored head, but it fades. aroma is a little boozy, with a combo of roast, fruity, and some black licorice. the taste is smoother, still complex with the same flavors. medium bodied, lower carbonation, slick mouthfeel.

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Photo of Gop
4.84/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Was able to taste one in May 2015 at Ebenezer's pub. Thanks Chris. It was one of the best beers i have ever drank. I will leave the reviews to the others.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.94/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black I color with penetration to light. There's a fingernail of khaki colored head on top. The aroma is sweet dark malt with notes of chocolate. The flavor is more on the sweet side. Initially there is roasted barley, but it is quickly overtaken by sweet chocolate and plum. The mouth is thick, sticky, and syrupy.

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Photo of Wanne
4.06/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer looks fabulous, nearly black with a brown head. Aroma of candy sugar, coffee, fruit. In the taste this is combined with dark chocolat, spices, plums. The alcohol adds to the taste, but you'll never guess that it has a 13% ABV. Very good stout.

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,773 ratings.
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