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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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,783 |  Reviews: 857
Photo of splax23
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of khumbard
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of kirbsicles
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of claaark13
5/5  rDev +17.9%

Photo of Jspriest
5/5  rDev +17.9%

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 mentaltraveller
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a very good dark beer. It pours black. There is chocolate, dark fruit, alcohol in the nose. It tastes as it smells, a balanced mix of coffee-like bitterness with chocolate and alcohol, yet very drinkable. This beer has a solid mouthfeel, but it is not extremely thick. Very good, and I am looking foward to drinking the other bottle I brought home.

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Photo of ThaCreep
4.21/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black color. Nose of dark chocolate liqueur, old twisted hoses and molasses melted.

The palate is dark chocolate, which reigns supreme with a rate of ABV well camouflaged. It then releases the flavors of roasted coffee, caramel and black too, and this is particularly noticeable when you let the beer sit in the glass, slightly candied black fruit (blackberry me being the first that comes to mind) .

This adds a subtle touch of acidity to an imperial stout that incorporates all these elements well, despite a less impressive finish and persistent than its American counterparts.

One of the best Belgian stouts, definitely.

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Photo of eclipse54
4.02/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

An 11.2 ounce bottle from optimator13; thank you very much! Label indicates a lot # of "A 4 BB" which, according to an older post I found on here, suggests a bottling date of 04/2007. Split into two snifters...

Pours black with a thin, brown head that dissipates quickly. A ring of thick, tan bubbles surrounds the surface of the liquid, and there are some nice strands of bubbles transversing the surface to accompany it. Lacing is minimal and takes the form of scattered patches of wet bubbles.

The aroma is of dark fruit, chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, some roasted malt, and a touch of coffee. The sugar, fruit, and chocolate dominate the nose.

It tastes of dark fruit, chocolate, hints of vanilla, brown sugar, caramel, warming alcohol, and some roasted malt. Very similar to the nose with the addition of alcohol and further emphasis on the fruit and sugar flavors.

Mouthfeel is thick, rich, and finishes a bit dry. Well done here.

Overall, a good RIS that I’m very happy to have had the opportunity to have tried. Not a phenomenal, mind-blowing item, but definitely enjoyable and approachable.

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Photo of zaphodchak
3.76/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opaque black body, faint trace of tan head.

Nose mostly contains some funk... not much else.

Taste is interesting, tart, complicated body, thick and rich with some malt character, dark cocoa. Can't taste the alcohol at all. Some blueberry in there, maybe tart cherry in the aftertaste.

Full, rich, and thick. Light milkshake thick.

Interesting stout with a very well-integrated tart component.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a jet black with a thin tan head. Unlike many stouts I've tried recently, the head does not stick around all that long, and lacing is surprisingly minimal.

S: Coffee, dark chocolate, dark fruit, and spicy Belgian yeast are evident on the nose. There's not nearly as much alcohol warmth as I expected, which is a pleasant surprise.

T: Notes of dark chocolate, coffee, bitter hops, roasted grain, and spicy, pungent Belgian yeast are initially overpowering, though softer, fruitier flavors comparable to raisins, figs, and prunes are just barely detectable after the beer settles a bit on the palate. The finish is long, mellow, and warming with hop bitterness mingling with coffee, chocolate, and grain notes.

M: Full-bodied, silky, and smooth. Cleverly enough, the mouthfeel reduces the prevalence of the alcohol, making this beer seem much more drinkable than it otherwise would.

O: This is a very solid, enjoyable sipper that I imagine would be great for a cold winter evening. While I do like this beer, I am left with the distinct impression that it is substantially overrated (it only moved me to an overall impression of quite good as opposed to amazing). This is one that is sure to please the fans of bitter, hoppy stouts.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

200th review! Something special for International Stout Day.

11.2oz bottle poured into small Victory snifter/tulip style class. The bottle is from Europe, thanks crosamich! It is pretty beat up so all I see is "Batch 14" but not the bottle dating information I have read about.

A: Pours black as night, but it isn't as thick as I expected. About a half
finger of dark tan half with tight tiny bubbles. Definitely some
alcohol feet and mild lacing on the glass. Head dissipates quickly.
Reddish hues on the edges of glass.

S: The smell is really complex, and different from the imperial stouts I
am familiar with. I initially thought I got some espresso upon opening
the bottle, but when I got my nose in there I didn't get that. I got
really deep toasty notes. Almost like a truffle chocolate nose, as some
have mentioned. But most of all I get some kind of fruitiness as
surprising as that sounds. It's almost like prunes and raisins and
other sweet notes. Smells boozy.

T: First of all, this isn't as thick (again) as I was expecting. You get the
roasted malts and that sweetness for sure. No coffee which is pleasant
compared to most american RIS versions. Surprisingly the high ABV isn't
that evident. Yes, you'll feel it but you don't taste it. It warms the
throat. I don't get the fruit that I smelled. I get some deep
chocolate hints. It's an interesting yeast maybe that I am tasting?

M: It's full bodied but not as chewy as others. It does coat the mouth
with a syrupy feeling.

O: A-. It is a fresh tasting stout variation for me to try compared to American versions.
Can't wait to try the others from De Struise.

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Photo of claytong
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
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) 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 Chriscrundwell12
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a Darkness snifter, sharred with a fellow BA.

A- Pours a dark pitch black color, ½ finger to one finger dark tan head dissipates quickly to a nice collar around the glass, decent lacing.
S- Belgium yeast notes upfront, dark fruits come out as well, smells similar to a Belgium Quad, slight roasted malt notes in the background.
T- The taste is similar but more pronounced then the aroma, roasted malts, coffee, slight Belgium yeast characteristics, not as prevalent as in the aroma, alcohol is hidden.
M- Medium/Big mouth feel, smooth drinking, dry finish, bitter aftertaste.
O- This is a definitely a well-made stout, really enjoyable, nice complexity, and easy drinking especially since its 13% abv.

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Photo of calcio360jrd
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle served in my duvel tulip

First time i had tried this one, been on my radar for a while, and just scored 2 through 2 trades over the last week. Aggressive pour produced a little off white head that quickly diminished. The smell had that traditional RIS smell of dark fruit, little coffee, and definite alcohol presence. Taste was a little sweeter than i like for a RIS, but in no way unpleasant. The mouthfeel was the weirdest part of this beer. I hold all RIS to CCB Zhukov standards, black albert was just very thin feeling, almost felt more like a brown ale. Just didn't blow me away this one. I'll let the other one i have sit for a year or 2 til i come back to it again.

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Photo of Chincino
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer the other night and was happy to have it after having it originally at a beer festival in Belgium.

The beer poured to be black with dark mocha colored head that left lacing on the glass.

The aroma is strong of fruit-cherries and other dark fruits, chocolate, malts, and brown sugar. Full-bodied, good carbonation, leaves you feeling full. Great taste. This beer is definitely a slow-sipper.

I'm a big fan of De Struisse beers and the Black Albert is no exception to this.


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

Black Albert

Pours a dark molasses color and ends pitch black. An inch of mocha colored head sits atop this black hole. Some oily mocha lacing clings to the chalice.

The nose is much fruitier than expected. Some sweet cherries and plum are dominante. A bit of cocoa and alcohol is noticed as well.

The taste is cherry and plum unfused with chocolate, a bit of coffee, and some bitterness. A little bit of Belgian yeast is noticed throughout along with sweetness and charred malt. Very nicely arranged with each sip. Again, the.cherry fruit taste surprises me in an exciting way.

The mouthfeel is pretty thick and leaves the flavorful oils of Black Albert slapped across my palate. Yum

Overall, this is an unusual and fantastic stout that I am gratetful to have tried for my 1 year BA anniverary. But there is more to come!

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Photo of DearthVader
3.61/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle provided by LSUPT a few months back. Thanks for this one Alex!

Poured to my Stone 15th Anny snifter.

Pours a deep, sludgy black with a rust color head that falls to a nice film. Spotty lacing is left behind with this one.

Smell starts with a burst of vanilla that is backed by a boozy body. Slight black licorice and some dark berries.

Taste follows almost exactly. A nice woody vanilla note at the beginning that is backed by that sweet, boozy black licorice and berries. Nice roasted bitterness at the end.

The mouthfeel is exactly what you're looking for with a big stout like this. Thick, creamy, almost chewy body. You don't get as much bitterness as the bottle describes you'll receive, but there is a quick bite of that bittering roasted malt at the end.

I liked it, didn't love it, but it is a solid brew. Thanks Alex.

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Photo of mdvatab
3.58/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found multiple bottles at Lukas Liquors in Ellisville, MO. "Rare Find" tag accompanies $9.99/bottle price on shelf. (pretty steep!)
Curiously, the bottle label is upside-down.
Poured from 11.2oz bottle into snifter.

Aroma: Vanilla comes through intially, black cherry fruity sweetness (and surprising tartness), more vanilla, and some dark, malty cocoa.

Appearance: Thick, dark tan, 1-finger head. Decent lacing (for style) clings to inside of the glass. Body is, well, "Black"...

Flavor: Molasses, some dark cherry and grape fruitiness, some toasted oak barrel, somewhat bitter tannins (which are balanced by alcohol). It seems that one sip is fruity, and the next one is more malty. There is notably an underlying tartness, of which I'm not a huge fan. At the end of each sip is a light smokiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation, and a medium-full, smooth body.

Overall: Overall, this one's not bad. Lots of complexity here, which one will not find in a run-of-the-mill imperial stout. As I mentioned above, though, there is a lightly tart component, which I didn't really appreciate. If this one were ~$5 a bottle, I'd recommend trying it. Definitely a great beer, but the $10 price tag prevents me from purchasing again.

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Photo of katan
3.98/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz into a goblet

A - Dark brown, almost black with just a few touches of light amber. Head is big tome mocha, but not very big. Breaks down to a film. Light amount of lacing.

S - Chocolate and a light amount of roast. THe hops are present, somewhat floral, but plays a secondary role to the malts.

T - Starts off with some chocolate malts, a bit of yeast breadiness. Chocolate and caramel in the midstream, just a bit of vanilla. Very strong alcohol note present throughout. Finishes bitter with some charred oak notes as well.

M - Super strong carbonation. Full bodied but gets a little bit lightened up by the bubbly texture.

O/D - A long slow sipper. high ABV will come right after you. A bit filling. Sits heavy on the stomach.

A huge RIS.

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Photo of zac16125
4.66/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter
Lot: B 6 BB; not sure what year this is from

A: Pours a thick viscous, very dark brown, with just under 1 fingers width of espresso colored head that dissipates down almost immediately. There is all kinds of sedimentation floating around in the glass. Leaves affectively no lacing.

S: Lots of dark fruit, sour plums and raisin in particular. Roasted, chocolate and coffee aromas. A subtle smoky scent, and a noticeable alcohol character as well. Wonderful aromas, and they are strong!

T: There is a flavor explosion from the first sip. Dark fruits, roasted malt, some hop bitterness, all followed by a big backers chocolate character on the backend. Some specific flavors that are noted throughout the drink are cherry, dark chocolate, raisin, some funky Belgium yeast, roasted coffee, an earthy/grassy character and alcohol to balance it all out. A complex and delicious beer. The amount of different flavors that this brew contains, all harmoniously mixed, is plain impressive.

M/D: Chewy mouth feel. It has a noticeable alcohol burn. The fact that it comes off a little hot is probably the only real negative with this beer, but I guess it’s to be expected with a 13% ABV. This does keep it from being particularly smooth, but at least the alcohol doesn’t distract much from the wonderful flavor profile. Medium to full bodied, with a low level of carbonation.

O: Overall, quite a damn good brew. Right up there, and maybe even passing up Beer Geek Brunch Weasel as my all time favorite RIS. Awesome aroma, and a complex and delicious flavor profile. The one drawback is the price, running $10.50 for an 11.2oz bottle. That, combined with its limited availability will make it something I don’t drink often, but when I do I’ll be sure to enjoy it. A must try.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is from a 0.33l bottle I bought at the Struise store in Brugge on 30SEP11 for €4.60. From batch 14, I believe.

Poured it into a Smutty tulip.... The bier itself was a deep, dense, opaque black color, very much like crude oil. The head was initially a 2" layer of mocha-colored bubbles, which lasted and lasted oh so long.
Lacing was top-shelf; this bier looks real nice!! The aroma was replete with malty sweetness, the choco and coffee being most noticeable. Mouthfeel? The body was more than medium, close to being full-bodied, and it felt very smooth, with a lot of chewiness present.

Flavor was quite pleasing. There was choco, molasses, raisins, figs... all mixing together in a lightly sweet concoction. Floral hops were solid at the finish, where there was also a hint of tartness. I thought the alcohol was quite well hidden here. This was quite the satisfying brew, indeed. Prosit!!

4.4 rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


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Photo of mikehblack
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle poured into a snifter. 2007 bottle

A- Totally black. Small, beige head verging on reddish-brown on the edges. No lacing but alcohol evident on the glass. Beautiful.

S- Chocolate up front along with dark cherries. Very slight bitterness along with some Belgian yeast character.

T- Smooth chocolate and some bitterness. Dark fruits appear with heavy roasted malt notes. Almost reminds me of a cherry cordial. Alcohol is very hidden for 13%.

M- Fairly light mouthfeel with little alcohol burn. Nice.

O- Very delicious beer which is just getting more complex as it warms. Amazed at the lack of alcohol presence. Seems like 4 years in the bottle has served it well.

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,783 ratings.
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