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Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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Black AlbertBlack Albert
BA SCORE
4.26/5
Outstanding
1,791 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#750
Reviews:
858
Ratings:
1,791
pDev:
9.15%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
337
Gots:
405
Trade:
28
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,791 |  Reviews: 858
Photo of BARFLYB
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a glass alongside another bottle of black albert, cuvee delphine and black damnation.

Albert pours out a brownish black color out the bottle, settling into a black sea once all is said and done. A nice build of mocha colored foam on top with not much lacing. This is not the thickest looking stout i've seen, but thick enough.

Smells don't really explode out alot but with some significant warming the stout in albert comes out. Roasted malt is at the top with chocolate and minimal coffee. A big fruity plum and others with a nice vanilla creaminess. A small hop build ala light storm king in the fresh bottle of albert.

The fruit component comes into play in taste a bit more than I was expecting. I heard that some albert's have some quad tastes and I concur, sort of like a split in between the two styles. Plums are between alot of malt with chocolate and a somewhat spicy belgian yeast in the end.

Not the thickest stout out there but I won't dock points for that. I will however give mad points and props to De Struise for masking that damn 13%, it really is nowhere to be found. Not hot and no alcohol detected, amazing! The body is a above medium build with light but noticable carb pop.

I cant drink a ton of this stuff and Im not quite sure it's worth the price of admission but it's a well crafted stout that strays a bit from the 'sameness' of most rizzes out there. The belgian yeast and slight quad aspects will throw you for a loop.

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Photo of beerpirates
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottel poured into my lost abbey tulip glass

A: black engine oil in color with a mocha color large bubbled and three fingered head. Leaves some Nice lacing behind.

S: Nice combination of dark bitter chocolate, light coffee aroma and a small dusting of hops.

T: Extremely well balanced beer with a nice bittersweet chocolate base followed by lots of espresso and a slight added hop punch. Very flavorful.

M: lower carbonation level. Very light hop bitterness in the aftertaste, mostly a light chocolate dusting. Very thick brew , almost syrupy

D: Can't even detect the 13% alcohol level. Very drinkable and quite balanced and flavorful.

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Photo of uno99
4.57/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle from t' Brugges beertje, expertly poured into struise glass of course :D

A: About as perfect as it gets for an RIS. wonderful golden tan 4 finger cap - laces as good as some of the finest lace crafters in Bruges. Black as night liquid.

S: No coffee, no Chocolate, no bullshit. This is just choc full of wonderful roasted malt and aromatic hops

T: Perfectly balanced. Yes, there is some chocolate in here, but its very deep and very well crafted. I didnt take notes, but this was one incredibly complex and balanced stout.

M: Like velvet straight from liberace's suits

D: The most drinkable %13 beer I've ever had. I murdered this bottle and I could have had several more; My aching liver!

Well this is definitely the best, and most balanced stout Ive ever had. I really do like the coffee and chocolate stouts, but this stout is something better than that - complex yet highly drinkable.

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

Pours a dark brown, almost black, with a fairly thick viscosity and a head that is tightly beaded and light brown and lingers quite awhile. Smells like a fairly typical Belgian stout, but with quite a bit more licorice notes, and some marzipan as well. beyond that, its got the typical subtle roastiness and spicy/sweet Belgian yeast notes. Rich, and with the same notes found in the nose. There is licorice, cocoa, some light roastiness, some Belgian yeast notes, and a touch of grainy sourness. It all comes together very well. The mouthfeel mis a bit dusty, and then opens up and becomes more vinous. Smooth and slightly viscous. I enjoyed this, but probably not quite as much as the hype machine would have me do so.

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Photo of kiddynamite920
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle. Lot B6BB. Into a tulip glass.

A: Love the artwork on the bottle. The beer poured out a pitch black of course with a nice light brown head. Surprisingly lasting for being served at room temp and with the high abv. Good lacing happening already.

S: Aroma is full of melodious notes of dark chocolate, dark fruits, smokey wood and a sweet alcohol presence. Very well hidden alcohol. The dark fruits are incredible here, balanced well with the rich and dark malts. Coffee is very strong, but this chocolate covered cherry aroma is just wondrous. Hop presence provides a dry and leafy aroma towards the end. So many things going on here. Too many to list.

T: Very sweet with the dark fruits coming into play again. Cherries and figs match up with the big chocolate and coffee flavors. Good bitterness on the end. Starts out quite sweet but is balanced well with bitterness from the dark malts. Barely picking up any alcohol here. Incredible RIS.

M: After my first sip I immediately noticed the luxurious mouthfeel of this beer. I can't see this one improving any further as far as style goes. This is something special for sure, and for the near dollar per ounce I paid for it...I wasn't let down.

D: With almost no hints of the alcohol presence, this beer drinks very well. I am very glad I made the purchase, and if it still remains on the shelf I may pick up one or two more. Simply an outstanding example of this style. Very dangerous as well, with the high abv but a very enjoyable beer.

 1,508 characters

Photo of clocktownbrewing
3.28/5  rDev -23%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into oversized snifter from a bottle - Batch No 14 Lot: B6BB

Jet black translucent liquid with a tightly bubbled head. Half finger of foam that dissipates quite slowly for a 13% booze bomb and then leaves a thin layer on top. Light spots of lace stay down the sides of the glass but these too fade as the beer begins to breathe and warm up.

Nose is lacking a little. Apples soaked in booze. Faint hints of dark bitter chocolate. It smells more like a Belgian strong dark than an imperial stout.

Taste is thin and follows the nose. Finishes with stronger bitter dark chocolate flavor.

Not too bad overall. Boozy and bitter though.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.77/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an snifter. Batch 14. 11.2 oz bottle.

4.0 A: Black color. Two+ fingers of light brown creamy/frothy hybrid head. Average retention and a decent amount of lacing.

4.5 S: Wonderful mixture of sweet and roasty. Deep sweet chocolate backbone with enough roasted barley to give a good balance. Behind all this, there is a vinous fruitiness concentrating on plum, black currants, and grapes. Candi sugar and a light booziness. Complex with complementary flavors.

3.5 T: Taste is a bit of a strange departure from the nose. The chocolate and roastiness is thrust into the backseat to allow the dark fruitiness to take the show. Again the vinous fruitiness as if it were wine barrel aged. Plum, raisin, tobacco, prune, and black currants. There's also a significant hoppy fruitiness and herbalness in there as well. The strange part is that there is also a strong lactose like sourness to it. Chocolate and roasted barley come in behind these flavors. Soft bitterness to round out the beer.

3.5 M: Lighter medium to medium body. Good moderate carbonation is active on tongue Fairly smooth except for a slight mouth drying on finish.

3.5 D: Pretty good beer. Interesting taste with a great smell. Average mouthfeel. However, I doubt I'll have this again because the $10 price was nowhere near worth the size and quality of the beer.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very dark brown with marron highlights that had a half finger of brown head and left nice blotchy lacing sticking to the glass. The nose was quite nice consisting of chocolate malts, roastiness, lacto notes, dark fruits, slight spice, and underlying coffe notes as well. Upfront the chocolate and lacto characteristics jump out first alongside roastiness, dark fruits, slight coffee, and spice accents, the brew was full bodied with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, and creamy finish. It drank really good considering the ABV but its not one of the beast RIS that I've had either. Overall it a good beer and worth trying for sure.

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Photo of punkrkr27
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black pour with a very dense and frothy, 1-finger, brown head. The aroma is bitter black coffee with lots of roastiness and subtle notes of dark fruit, candi sugar, and brown sugar . As the head slowly fades, strong high percentage cacao dark chocolate notes come out. There is a slight metallic, noble hope tinge in there too. It's all very soft and mellow though. The flavor is much more powerful than the aroma but still with all the complexity. The dominant flavor is strong, spicy, bitter dark chocolate. Lots of espresso also blends with caramelized sugars, raisin, dates, and molasses. Generous hop bittering and some notable alcohol finish it off. The body id full and oily with lots of tingly carbonation and alcohol warming.

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Photo of JAXSON
3.92/5  rDev -8%
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.

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Photo of unibrew
4.97/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is a wonderful brew! I just wish I didn't have to travel 350 miles to get it! It's everything an RIS should be, and more. Not coffee...not chocolate...sort of enigmatic. 13%...yup, it's in there! It's a cornucopia of malty goodness and well hidden alcohol. IF you smell it close up, you will smell the booze, but, it's highly drinkable. If you're at Ebenezer's, don't pass it up. One of the best beers on the menu!

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Photo of Beaver13
3.59/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle. Pours an opaque black with a medium creamy brown head that retains well and leaves some lacing.

The aroma is chocolate malts, some sharp tart vinous fruits, black licorice and a little vanilla and roast.

The flavor is smooth lactic chocolate malts and vanilla with a bit of slightly tart fruit leading to a bitter roasty finish. The alcohol is surprisingly well hidden. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with creamy carbonation and a bit of a watery texture.

Overall, a pretty well balanced big beer with a lot of complexity. The tart fruitiness seemed a bit out of place to me and was very distracting.

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Photo of STEG
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this Batch 0 on tap at ebenezer's now lets try it bottled.

Batch 0 Bottle

Room Temp. Pours pitch black into a tulip. Fine bubbled sand colored head rises to the top of the glass leaving sticky sand dune looking blobs of head laced to the side of the glass as it recedes.

Smell is huge, you get sweet burnt sugar smells, some coffee cinnamon and chocolate, and the slightest hint of soy sauce.

As the taste begins you get milk and dark chocolate fighting for dominance with light coffee and malt. Then as the beer goes down you get this humidor like warming effect and aftertaste that is earthy and has some light chocolate and coffee notes.

Mouthfeel is smooth as hell, and very creamy, fine prickly carbonation adds a nice touch as does the ending warming alcohol.

At 13% the alcohol is deadly hidden and when combined with all of the other outstanding characteristics makes this extremely drinkable.

 913 characters

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

thanks to CVfish for this bottle

A - this RIS pours a motor oil dark, with two fingers of chocolate milk colored head, too dark to note carbonation

S - a superb nose comprised of chocolate/coffee and coffee, like a quality RIS

T - chocolate dominates the taste, some roasted malts, there is an underlying peaty/earthyness to the flavor as well

M&D - smooth and complex, flavorful, well done RIS, this one is worth trying at least once

 439 characters

Photo of clegolfski
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 0 on draft at Ebenezer's
Belgian Beer Fest

Review from memory and light notes.

Wow. I recently had a fresh Black Albert in a bottle and thought it was great. This however was mind blowing. It had all the flavor characteristics of the Black Albert I had but it was was cooled down. The big fruity dark cocoaness with the belgian yeast must was there. But the alcohol was present but not nearly as overwhelming.

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Photo of trbergman
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

330mL bottle poured into a cervoise.

A - Pours very dark brown with ruby highlights and a half inch of dense, mocha-colored head.

S - Aromatic, with cocoa, raisin, fig, and a whiff of alcohol.

T - Taste mostly follows the nose, with rich chocolate flavor and dark fruits - raisin, fig - and sour cherry. Hints of hazelnut, clove and cardamom, as well as some minor oxidation. Hop bitterness doesn't leap out of the glass, but it's quite assertive. Alcohol is surprisingly well hidden.

M - Absolutely perfect, although what else would you expect for a bottle conditioned Belgian imperial stout?

D - A fantastic beer, although I don't think it has the same revisit value as other top imperial stouts. Nevertheless, a must try for fans of both stouts and Belgian beers.

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Photo of rawthar
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle into a Weyerbacher tulip. This is NOT one of the two batch zeroes I picked up from the DeStruise schoolhouse brewery in Oostvleteren, but a bottle picked up from TJ's in Paoli a few months ago, aged in my cellar in the meantime. No datestamp, but I assume this is from a more recent batch, and has a slightly different label.

A- Cherry red light filters through the pour stream, but once settled a deep void of blackness forms in the glass, with an espresso-colored, nitrogen-like body of carbonation spontaneously combusting from the abyss to form a hearty, thick head, much more intense, stubborn, and lacy than one would expect from the high abv, which is what pushes this from the 4.5 default appearance that we all give to a RIS to a 5.0.

S- Sweet, sharp tsunami of a megamalty, boozy, spirit-like onslaught. I can tell that this is going to be the good stuff, even if the aroma calms a bit over time.

T- Uber boozy at first, but this mellows surprisingly quickly, nonetheless, this is a sipping brew with the intensity of an Avery Mephistopheles. No doubt this is an extreme beer. Lots of roasted black cocoa, sharp sweetness on the tongue is immediately overcome by burnt firewood bitterness. Pairs very well with Belgian chocolates from Neuhaus on the Grand Place in Brussels.

M- Thick and oily and enough alcohol sting to let you know you're drinking it.

D- As mentioned above, a true sipper, and yet this glass seems to be more and more empty every time I look at it, at a very surprising rate. I think my wife is sneaking sips as I watch Always Sunny and write this review.

Lives up to the hype, not that this is the most hyped beer, but it has its followers for sure. And if Batch zero is even better, I'm really looking for the right day to crack one. I also have extremely high hopes for my Cuvee Delphine.

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Photo of rfgetz
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich, dark black color with only a faint ring of brown head. Scent is very vinous with notes of dark fruit, chocolate, coffee and tobacco. Taste is more forward of the dark chocolate and coffee, dark fruit rounds out the taste along with an earthy quality. Both scent and taste are quite complex and offer different angles on the beer. Medium bodied, maybe a touch thinner than expected from the bold flavors, but still smooth. Overall a great tasting beer, that if it wasnt for the high price, would be a regular.

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Photo of kingcrowing
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap poured into a Barik tulip at Ebenezer's Pub during the 6th annual Belgian beer fest.

Damn, black with a dark brown tight head with lots of bubbles. Nose is malty, rich & sweet with lots of coffee & Chocolate.

Very sweet and thick, malty with a bit of booze but it's pretty subtle. Sweet and drinkable. Better than the bottles I've had in the past. It's much creamier and more palatable I felt like some of the older vintages I had were a bit harsher.

 461 characters

Photo of UnDeadly
4.33/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle, pint glass. Lord I need a snifter...

Appearance - Pours black, though slightly translucent. Of course, in glass you cannot see through it. Beautiful, mocha brown foam that is persistent through drinking. Heavy lacing.

Smell - This is a stout, right? I get tart vanilla strongly in the aroma. Also notes of milk chocolate. But still, that citric tartness is very interesting. My girlfriend says it smells like one of those chocolate orange candies...I don't think she is too far off.

Taste - Geez, where to begin. Complex notes of bourbon and chocolate come through the front, melting sweetly in the middle with a nice, bitter finish. I can detect some light notes of orange-citrus and vanilla. Also a slight, SLIGHT sour note, its great.

Mouth Feel - Creamy, smooth, and does not burn at all like a 13% should. You can feel it slightly, but considering its 13%, I'm impressed.

Drinkability - ABV would be the only thing keeping me from drinking this puppy all night. Smooth, balanced, delicious.

Overall, this was very much a wow beer. Unique flavors, but without deviating too much from the stated style. I think I'll snag a few more and see how they age...

 1,179 characters

Photo of nataku00
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a snifter. Very dark beer that only shows tinges of brown when the glass is held up to the light. A small amount of brown head that clings actively to the glass. Looks very syrupy and thick while pouring, with minimal carbonation.

At 40°F out of the fridge, smells of dark brown sugar and dried plum and a bit of roasted malt. Not quite what I was expecting from a stout, but definitely some Belgian strong dark ale influence.

Good level of bitterness, with dark roasted coffee upfront, then some of the alcohol burn in the aftertaste. Very thick beer that really coats the inside of your mouth and tongue. As it warms, the beer sweetens up as the dark brown sugar softens the harsh bitterness, and gives you a little dark chocolate in the finish.

As with a lot of imperial stouts, this Belgian 'royal stout' is very much a sipping beer. I can only imagine this getting better if aged as the alcohol harshness was very present.

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Photo of doppelmeup
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My 250th review, and it was a good one! (The beer, that is...)

Incredible appearance-pitch black, half inch thick tan head that sits like a pillow above the brew. Slowly fades to a thin layer that sticks around.

Boozy aroma, with dark fruit, prunes and raisins.

Malty, sweet, dark fruits, chocolate, but also very boozy, especially as it warms.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for a beer of this magnitude. Crisp finish with some lingering cocoa-like flavors. Warm from the ABV.

Very impressive brew. Too strong to drink more than one at a time, but a great one to savor. Get it if you see it!

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Photo of nickd717
4.03/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review transcribed from notes dated 2-2-2009.

Paid $10 each for a couple of 330ml bottles. The "extreme beer" movement has really swept well-crafted but not over-the-top beers like this one to the wayside in a lot of people's eyes.

Pours black and fairly thick with a tan head.

Aroma is roasted malts, coffee, and some candi sugar.

Flavor is interesting. Markedly Belgian, yet still an imperial stout, with roast, molasses, Belgian yeast, bitter chocolate, slight vinous notes, and a bitter hop finish.

Fairly thick on the mouthfeel, and slick, with a good level of carbonation.

A winner in my eyes, but of course there are naysayers.

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Photo of kk73
4.41/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into my glass.

A - Jet black and looks thick with a one finger coco colored head that dissipates very slowly. A slight reddish tinge as I hold it up to the light. Some lacing.

S - Aroma of dark chocolate covered cherries, raisins, plum, and dark roasted malts.

T - Wow, not what I expected. Very subtle, bittersweet chocolate and earthy notes. Deep, dark roasted malt with a very pleasant dry finish.

B - Creamy, and decadent mouthfeel. The abv is well hidden.

D - Very drinkable, almost surprised at how good it was to me. Read the reviews and maybe my expectations were low because many reviewers rated this between a RIS and a Quad. But this was top notch IMO. The heat if any was well hidden if any, but would still classify this as a sipper.

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Photo of BobZ
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. Bottle poured into my Aventinus Eisbock glass.

Appearance: Almost black in color. Very little head both initially and over time; however, there is some very nice lacing.

Smell: Mild, hard to gauge, toasted malt comes through.

Taste: My god, incredible, rich and tasty, exceptional, malt, caramel, coffee, chocolate, the Struise Belgian yeast, and a perfect amount of bitterness. All of this in perfect, and I mean perfect, balance. Urbain has masterfully crafted a world class stout. The alcohol provides some pleasant warmth but is otherwise well masked.

Mouth feel: Extremely smooth and creamy, brilliant.

Drinkability: So smooth, so tasty, I could drink this beer all night!
The best stout I have tasted to date.

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 1,791 ratings
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