Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

Black AlbertBlack Albert
1,786 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: 1,786 |  Reviews: 858
Photo of HosP
3.27/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Got a bottle from Scottfrie. Big thanks for this extra!

A- Pours pitch black in color. Almost no light comes through even around the edges. Thick tan head looks perfect.

S- Nose is full of boozy aroma. Reminds me of a bourbon drink. Once gotten past the alcohol smell could get hints of dark fruits and some roasted malts.

T- Starts out as a sweet fruit and slight hop flavor. Roasted malts come up rather quick to take over. The strong alcohol takes over all the flavor. The high ABV really comes out and has a strong presence.

M- Thinner body with little carbonation. Comes through a little dry.

D- Wasn't expecting this after reading some other reviews. Couldn't get past the boozy taste pretty much. Liked what little flavors I did get. Maybe one day I'll try it again and see if I get something else from it.

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Photo of PeprSprYoFace
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of zhanson88
3.79/5  rDev -11%
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 comfortablynumb1
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for bringing out an another amazing brew. You rock man!

Poured from 11.20z bottle into a Cigar City pint glass...

A - Pours pitch black with a two finger brown head. Lacing is apparent, but not the best for the style. Head retention is a whole different story. Excellent...

S - Chocolate, coffee, the sweet scent of vanilla, and dark fruits...

T - Chocolate, and dark roasted malts hits me up front followed by vanilla and plums. Ends on a slight smokey note, with dark chocolate also making an appearance. For the abv, this one is very smooth. Next to no alcohol warmth to speak of. Nice...

M - A little light on the body in my opinion. Especially considering the style and abv. This is not a huge brew. There is also a little more carbonation than I am used to with the style. All in all a little thin, but very drinkable..

D - Surprised by how smooth this one was. Hard to believe it is a 13%. Definitely something I am looking foward to trying again...


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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip from a 11.2 oz bottle.

A - Pours out a nice pitch black with no light passing through and an oily consistency. There is a nice light tan 1 inch head that is very sticky and has some nice densely packed bubbles. Near perfect.

S - Aroma starts off with some nice dark fruits. Molasses, caramel and some slight raisins and prunes. There is some nice chocolaty sweetness as well. There are some slightly roasted dark malt notes and some slight boozy heat as well.

T & M - Flavor starts off with nice dark malts. Roasted espresso hints tempered by some slight chocolate and caramel sweetness. There is some slight boozy warmth but it is not offensive at all. Some slight yeast character can be appreciated that is quite delicious and balancing. There is also some nice bitterness to it as it goes down. This beer is quite enjoyable and well crafted with great flavors and balance. It is a bit on the thin side but still good with a nice full body.

D - Very enjoyable and aside form the surprisingly sneaky 13% I would definitely buy this and drink this more.

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Photo of titosupertramp
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: As dark as it gets with this one. Black coffee colored with a little over two fingers of frothy mocha head. It isn't in any hurry to go away either. Takes a few minutes to dissipate. I gave this a 5 because I can't really imagine an RIS looking better than this.

S: Nice smell, but a little subdued. Roasted barley, chocolate and a just a hint of dark fruits.

T: Excellent flavor. Everything you'd expect from the nose. The roasted barley, chocolate and dark fruits are accompanied by a slight coffee flavor. It took me a while to find the candy sugar, but it comes around towards the end. Wonderful.

M: Creamy and smooth. A little sticky. No bite what so ever from the alcohol.

D: This is 13%ABV? Are you sure? This is unbelievably drinkable and very dangerous. I've finished about half the beer in the time it's taken me to write this review and I'm starting to feel it a little.

I love this beer!

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Photo of teamizm
3.33/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Part of my Westy 12 box.

Batch 0 poured from a bottle

A - Pours like a deep black coffee with a nice mocha head that recedes somewhat quickly.

S - Roasted malts, chocolates, and a slight metallic smell (this is why I'm not a huge fan of imports)

T - Upfront metallic taste. Very sweet, Belgian candy sugars with a molasses and chocolaty twinged.

M - very one dimensional. For a 13% RIS, it lacks a lot of complexity. 50/50 Eclipse has about 4-5% less ABV and has 200% more complexity in the mouth feel.

D - Kind of a boring RIS. The variable in reviewing a RIS from across the pond is that conditions make a huge impact on the beer. This beer may be great in Belgium, but it doesn't hold up well in travel.

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Photo of WeedKing4
3.65/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark jet black with caramal foam forming in a brandy snifter. Tastes of dark roasted malts and chocolate, with a hint of dark fruits in there too. Honestly, its a little on the hot side with the 13% alc. I was hoping for more from this big stout. But the flavour isn't wowing me away.

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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 cavemanlawyer
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap today at Belmont Station.

A - Dark as night, with a rich nutty brown head that lingers and remains an inch thick throughout the glass.

S - Spicy rich fruits, lots of dried fig and earthy undertones. Lots of roasted malt with toffee.

T - Lots of smokiness, I get some earth flavors and sweet on the tip of the tongue.

M - Very smooth, medium - full body. Lightly carbonated.

D - You can certainly tell this is a strong drink. The alcohol gives you a bit of a bite in the aftertaste, but quite enjoyable.

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Photo of garbercury
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to CaptnRedBeard for the generous extra, you da man Corey! Poured into my favorite St Bernardus Goblet...

A--Good lacing and black opaque color. Retention is all along the goblet...

S--Ripe dark fruits in the nose, you can also get a dark chocolate deal in the nose...

T--Very complex in the nose, no different on the palate. I love the combination of fruits like plum combined with the chocolate and coffee in this one. Really a true Belgian style RIS. Excellent.

M--Silk. Great mouthfeel.

D--This is pretty fresh, it could use some aging. I really enjoy this beer, Highly recommended, though the price tag tends to make this a rare treat. Great brew!

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Photo of oreo
3.18/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Shared by drewba.

Pours a super deep black with 2 fingers of dark brown head.

Tons of dark fruit. Everywhere. A pretty big boozy smell as well.

Just like the smell. Dark fruit and booze. Sweet almost. Very thin for an RIS, almost red wine like. Nothing too complex, some roasty malts make themselves known towards the end.

Not very drinkable. 13% and sweet. Does not make for a drinkable beer.

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Photo of Gmann
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark brown color, kind of like a concentrated mud puddle. There is a short dense light brown head that settled into a light cap.

The aroma is of roasted malt, cocoa powder, and red wine. There is some subtle chocolate notes and alcohol vapor. Nice aroma, interesting.

The taste is big on the vinous notes. Red wine hits right off the bat followed by strong soy notes. Bitter chocolate and cocoa poweder are some secondary flavors. Some herbal spice and hops try of offset the big malt flavors but have trouble doing so. There is a bit of a sour punch as well like it was oak aged. The flavor is not quite what I look for in a stout but its good.

The feel is not as thick as it looks, has a moderate body. There is some tingley carbonation that helps break up the malt. Pretty dry and roasty bitter on the palate. Perhaps a touch sticky. The ABV is noticable but not harsh.

A good flavorful stout. Not exactly what I look for in a stout but its well made.

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Photo of silentjay
4.23/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pitch black pour with a dark mocha colored head that is extremely dense, sticks around forever and leaves good lacing behind.

aroma is boozy, with raisins and other dark fruits, dark molasses, maybe some lactic acid or something that makes it tart, some dark chocolate and licorice.

mmm. taste differs a bit from what I picked up in the aroma. less booze and raisins, but more cocoa and dark malts take center stage. a bit tart and with some hop bitterness that balances the hugeness of the malts. very nice and complex.

not heavy bodied, but with significant weight and subtle carbonation makes for a decent velvety feel.

drinks pretty well. definitely boozy, though not terribly harsh, with a plethora of flavors that keep me sipping and the 330ml just does not seem enough.

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Photo of kwjd
4.4/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at City Beer in San Francisco. Pours an opaque dark brown, as close to black as you can get. Very thick brown head, great head retention. Lots of lacing on the glass. Smells of huge roasted malt, with caramel and some faint chocolate. Lots of bitterness in the taste, still sweet though because of the huge malt. Alcohol doesn't seem to be in the taste, which is surprising. Smooth mouthfeel. Amazing stout.

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Photo of calir1
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought @ Beer Planet in Brussels Belgium. For 6 euro this was a great steal. No shipping, no nothing, just walk next door from my hotel, buy, cool, crack open and enjoy. Deep black and what is expected. I am not a huge stout guy, but I had to drink this when I was there and it was fantastic. I actually drank 3 of these and should have brought back some extras, but oh well. A stout lover would really enjoy, and since nobody is going to read my post and either buy or not buy, I am through....

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Black Albert poured pitch black into my snifter glass. A big, thick, creamy brown head quickly formed on the beer. It slowly dissolved to a thick sheet on the surface while leaving behind a sheet of lace on the glass.

The strong aroma has strong Belgian characteristics. Coriander and orange peel along with dark cherry and chocolate are present. Hints of alcohol are also detected.

Each sip of this full bodied beer is very soft and creamy with a dry finish. Lots of effervescent carbonation. The flavor begins with spicy notes of clove and orange peel. In the middle are flavors of chocolate, cherry and hints of smoke. It finishes sour. Once gone the sour notes and chocolate flavor lingers on the palate.

This beer has a ton of flavor and aroma. It hides it's 13% abv very well and is quite drinkable. However, each sip should be savored. It deserves to be drunk out of your best snifter glass.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to alpineclimber for this one.
Poured in to Duvel tulip.

A - Dark black with one finger of light brown head. Looks thick and creamy.

S - Dark roasted malts, chocolate, light coffee and a nice hop bitterness. Some noticeable alcohol, but not surprising for a 13% ABV beer.

T - Chocolate, licorice, some coffee. A noticeable alcohol bite.

M - Medium body, thick and sikly. Lightly carbonated.

D - A touch boozy, but overall a nice beer.

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.76/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at an awesome beer store outside Ghent, Dranken Geers. Deep, dark brown, almost black pour with a slight reddish tinge. Gorgeous three finger coffee colored head and excellent lacing. Earthy, roasty malt and booze dominate the nose. I'm also getting some coffee, chocolate and a hint of dark fruit. The taste is much the same. The roasted malt and alcohol are dominant again, with lots of cocoa and dark fruit. The hops are overpowered by the sweetness of the malt, which hurts the balance for me and imparts too little bitterness. The mouthfeel is decent, but leans towards being a little syrupy. The sweetness hurts the drinkability for me. That coupled with the booziness makes this just an average beer. I have to admit that it did get better as it warmed, but I don't really understand all the hoopla with this one. I'm a big De Struise fan, but this was disappointing...

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Photo of corby112
4.62/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a beautiful deep, dark brown, almost black color with a 2.5 finger frothy coffee-colored head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap that streaks the glass with soapy lacing. The appearance alone of this beer leaves me salivating.

Huge roasted malt aroma with hints of roasted coffee bean, chocolate, toffee, burnt toast caramel and sweet alcohol.

Huge roasted malt flavor balanced out by subtle dark fruit notes, spice and alcohol warmth. Hints of chocolate and caramel along with toffee, espresso bean, licorice and oatmeal. Subtle hints of dark fruit along with sweet alcohol heat that creates a nice warm finish. This beer is dangerously drinkable considering the high ABV. Very well balanced with a dry hot finish. Excellent but definitely a sipper. I know a lot of people aren't into this beer but I think it definitely lives up to the hype.

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Photo of microwavabledish
3.51/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a Tulip, its black as pitch, even when held up to light. Poured nicely with a rocky/fluffy two finger high, mocha colored head. Looks delicious.

The nose is a boozy, roasty smell with a hint of coffee and dark molasses and some dark dark cherry.

The taste is slightly fruity, with some major roast character. As it warms it gets nice and sweet, with a lingering alcohol in the back of the throat.

The mouthfeel, while thinner than other RIS's is still substantial enough to be in style. The carbonation is low and it goes down quite easily.

Notes: Really good on a cold night with some hearty food and a light sweet dessert. Drinkability is a 3 because while one of these goes down quite handily over an hour, having a second one is just about out of the question considering that its 13% abv.

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Photo of jampics2
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review #666. Not an evil beer per say, but certainly something the devil would enjoy!

This is Black Albert Batch 0 ordered from Struise, and a purple marker indicates the "0" on the cap. I carefully poured this 11.2oz bottle into 2 snifters and shared with Paul. Cheers to great beers!!

Black Albert looks great in the glass. It is an opauqe black - a very solid color without any signs of variation around the edges. A ring of tan foam exists on top, but this could have better head retention. Still, it is very appealing and I need to put my nose in it now!

The smell is amazing. The nose is full of black strap molasses sweetness and roasted malt. There's some deep, bitter dark Belgian chocolate and a touch of dark roasted coffee. Some fruitiness compliments the sweetness and avoids this being too polarized in scents - the figs, ripe raisin and plum notes serve as a bridge.

The taste is up there with some of the best RIS's in the world. It's sweeter than expected, but the nice roastiness balances it and it never approaches cloying territory. The dark roast is almost burned, but there are heavy notes of chocolate and coffee. The dark fruits noted in the nose are all present. Some Belgian Candy sugar sweetness peaks then the roast rounds things out. Some char and bitter hops round out a fantastic drinking experience. Batch 0 is the shit - way more of an RIS than Batch 14 that was available stateside and had more yeast and less roast. A touch of booze is noticeable but at 13% is masked better than just about any big beer I've had.

Mouthfeel is huge and creamy. I thought this was going to be flat given that the head was underwhelming, but it's thick and has the perfect amount of carb. What a beer - this is easily the best stout from outside of America I've ever had and probably the best dark beer from Belgium I've ever had. Killer stuff, buy on sight when it's up at Struise Webshop!

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Photo of starrdogg
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm not a huge stout guy typically (especially non-barrel aged stouts), but this beer really stands out as a fine example of the style.

Beer is almost black in color with a foamy tan head. Smells of sweet malts and hints of alcohol. The taste is dark chocolate with a little bit of sweetness up front and some roasted malts in the finish. It's really not very bitter for a stout, something that typically turns me off in the style. Instead it has a little bit of dark fruit flavor, almost along the lines of a quad. It's very carbonated, a bit creamy and almost light-feeling, though definitely not thin-bodied. It's extremely drinkable for a beer at 13% ABV. It's actually pretty incredible how well this beer hides the alcohol flavor without resorting to being overly sweet. Very well-balanced.

Overall this is a pretty impressive beer that can be enjoyed by both stout lovers and those who aren't as fond of the style.

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Photo of getgetgettleman
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed form notes 11/24/10.

A= Dark chocolate color/Black velvet look with a hint of deep red. Tight creamy head with velvet lacing.

S= Carmel sweet to bitter chocolate.

T= Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate malt malt malt!

M= Velvet smooth and full body. Finish is dry and smokey. Lovely.

D= Very drinkable if enjoyed like a fine scotch. Sipping gingerly the 13% was noticed quickly.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Portsmouth tulip. A thin, creamy, dark-tan head rests upon an opaque black body. Lots of silky lacing.

Figs, grapes, chocolate and a touch of alcohol great the nose. Sweet sugared malts and a hint of candied apple. A great blend between a Belgian quad and an RIS. Has some biscuity/bready malts as well.

Tipping back the glass reveals a rush of dark fruits and chocolate across the tongue. Malty, vinous and somewhat bready. Much fruitier than I was expecting. I'm guessing this is the more quad-like rendition, compared to some of the batches that were more stout-like. Bits of honey, fig and chocolate alcohol linger.

Mouthfeel is creamy, soft and malty. Carbonation is a little lower than I'd like, but not bad. Could use a little more body, but I do enjoy the creaminess. Slight warming alcohol.

Drinkability is pretty good. I can't believe this is 13%. I would have put it more in the 8-9% range. I really like the quad-like qualities that come out in this stout. A bit pricey, but I may pick up another one down the road.

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 1,786 ratings
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