Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

Black AlbertBlack Albert
BA SCORE
4.26/5
1,786 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:
#737
Reviews:
858
Ratings:
1,786
pDev:
9.15%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
338
Gots:
401
Trade:
27
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,786 |  Reviews: 858
Photo of SirSketch
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - A mountain of light brown head forms, about 1 1/2 inch, when poured. Black and completely opaque.

S - Sweet maple syrup, raisins, creamy milk chocolate and caramel aroma. All combine to make a great smelling beer.

T - Surprisingly, it has a very roasty, almost burnt coffee flavor that the nose doesn't lead on about. Bitterness really pulls through and there is even a tiny bit of hop flavor underneath. Does not come off as strong as other 13% stouts.

M/D - Rich and creamy mouth that leaves a sugary stickiness on the top of the mouth and tongue. Overall, an enjoyable beer and I'm glad I had the chance to try it!

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.6/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

One of Halcyondays' buddies brought this to Beachwood BBQ for the three of us to sample. Sometimes, one of the beer's you've been wanting to taste happens sooner than you think. On to the beer:

Obsidian black color shows no sign of giving way for any light. White head on top create a good contrast of colors. I was taken by surprise by the aroma. Yes, I could smell some roasted malt and chocolate flavors, but also some dark fruits and plums that you'd find in a more traditional dark Belgian.

Yet as much of a surprise the aroma was, the taste was a bigger surprise. It was strange, but still enjoyable in a weird way. A dash of cocoa, a part of dark fruits, some milk/lactose sweetness, and add in some lactic and sour qualities, and you got Black Albert. The lactic and lactose threw my palate off quite a bit....drink a little more and my palate becomes a little adapted to this. The best quality of the beer was how well the 13% ABV was hidden....where's the heat? Seemed closer to being medium bodied than full bodied.

Black Albert is strange. Ok, it's really different from your everyday Imperial Stout. If you're looking for something REALLY different in the style, Black Albert could be the cure, but the price and lack of availability aren't going to encourage me to seek a bottle for myself.

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

From an 11.2 oz. bottle courtesy of gregoryG,

A: Pours black with a full brown head, lots of lace.

S: Dark fruit oriented, heavy raisin and plum with chocolate.

T: This is quite an interesting take on the Imperial Stout style. This is Belgian for sure. The dark fruit is huge - this is a raisin/fig/prune bomb, residual sugar is very high, with a considerable acidity. Dark chocolate secondarily.

M: Moderate acidity, smooth, but thins out a bit on the back end.

D: This beer is a legend as a it briefly took the No. 1 spot on the BA 100 a while back, but currently is on the outside looking in. This is a very different Imperial Stout, the Belgian influence is clear. Think of an RIS mixed with a Quad 50/50. An intriguing beer, I wish this was available here so I could buy a bottle to go over all by myself.

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

Had this in a small snifter out of a bottle.

I would like to say that I don't believe this is a RIS, almost more of a Baltic Porter..with a Dubbel mixed in.

A: tawny brown head sits atop a black beer with ruby highlights. The head dissapates quickly and ends up with a 5mm head.

S: Up front figs and dark fruits. Some roast chocolate, cocoa, and bread notes.

T: Figs, raisons, and other dark fruits play with a salty soy taste. Some malty caramel notes. Chocolate and some malt bitterness. More soy and salt as it warms.

M: Some slickness, and astringency, medium mouthfeel (I did have a gusher, over carbonated?) some sheery and fusel alcohol notes, cardboard, but not overly oxidized.

O: Very drinkable for a RIS, but seemed to be more like a baltic or Dubbel with more chocolate malts. This is a fun beer as it doesn't fit a style. Check it out, and ride the soy sauce!

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Photo of Pabs311
4.43/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours very dark black, not light passing through. a nice looking mocha colored head tops this beer, slowly settling to leave some good looking lacing.

S- Aroma is a bit different from most RISs i've had. Some coffee and chocolate notes as expected but also a good amount of dark fruit, molasses and some licorice or soy pokes through as well.

T- equally as complex as the nose, but more intense. malty sweetness, mingles with some bitterness. flavors come off with coffee, some chocolate, dark sweet fruit and that same soy or licorice (can't nail it down).

M/D- Full bodied and chewy just the way i like my RISs. low carbonation. very nice moutfeel, almost silky smooth. good drinkability as well. gonan cellar the other one i have and check it out in a few months.

 772 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 14

A: Black, but not quite opaque. Great head, with some nice lacing.

S: Phenomenal aroma. Wow! There is an incredible wild yeast sourness in the nose. Every time I smell the beer, searching for additional scents, I become completely distracted by the incredible sour aroma.

T: Unique for sure. This beer smells better than it tastes. I don't get a lot of stout characteristics (I know this batch is more quad-like). The 13% ABV is disguised extremely well. The beer lacks the complexity I expected from the intriguing scents. The sourness is more present in the aroma, but still very evident in the taste. Again, unique, enjoyable, and impossible to categorize.

M: Dare I say a little thin?

D: A truly unique beer that I will always look forward to.

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Photo of SuperSpy
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 355ml bottle into a Corsendonk glass.

A - This is black, black, black. Even when held up to the sun I cannot see any highlighted color on the edges. The head takes up the top two inches of the glass and is the color of espresso crema. As the head dies down there is plenty of lacing left behind, and it finally settles out with a 1/4-inch thick foam cap. I didn't know exactly what to expect from a Belgian Royal Stout, but this isn't far from initial picture in my head.

S - Surprisingly subdued but there are definite hints of dark fruits, especially figs. There is something akin to, but not exactly like, licorice. It smells tasty, but not like something extraordinary.

T/M - Definitely full-bodied, almost velvety. The flavor is something between a Dubbel and a Russian Imperial Stout. There is dark chocolate and raspberry, roasted barley and raw sugar. The finish is that almost-but-not-quite licorice that was in the aroma. Definitely a tasty brew.

D - I could sip on this all night. I wouldn't have guessed it was packing 13%. I would recommend this to any BA I know.

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Photo of zdk9
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Black as night. Half a finger of cocoa head.

S- Sherry. Some alcohol. Bittersweet chocolate. A little like Kaluha. Sweet orange.

T- Espresso. Bittersweet chocolate. Nice fruit- raspberry, sweet cherry. Some liquor.

M- Milky, but alcoholic. Well it is 13%, hard to blame it.

D- Delicious. A beer to savor on a special occasion.

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

Batch 14

A - Pours black with a medium tan head (about 1 in) that recedes rather slowly to a sturdy and even microfilm

S - Lots of berries, licorice, and dark fruits, with even a bit of a tart twang (but obviously not infected). Some light chocolate notes. Alot like a nice quad

T - Lots of licorice, dark bruits and berries (blackberries, raisins, dates?). Even a hint of wood.

M - Very light and frothy, over-carbonated for the style, which hurts the appreciation of its flavor profile.

D - A good quad, but thats apparently NOT what this beer is trying to be. Would give it a 3.5, but it claims to be a Belgian Royal stout on the side, not a RIS as listed here. Hmmm...

would not seek out again

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Photo of Dotcubed
4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Regular capped bottle. If it was corked I'd probably let it sit around longer but I need the space in the car.

Poured only a half glass in my Sam Adam's glass. Gave me a good bit of foam, maybe half centimeter. Poured more & was rewarded with a huge plume of thick foam. Tinted dark khaki. Smells dusty.

Pleasantly tar-ish. Has a good firm bitterness. Oily. Intense. Some licorice.

Clearly a well crafted piece. Takes some getting used to as there hasn't been many like this in my glassware.

Need More Like this.

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Photo of weissbierdrinker
2.96/5  rDev -30.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A big thanks to klevelandrocks in helping me get a beer off my wants list.

Pours a thick oily black color with a tan head that fades leaving a small amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell is of ink and used motor oil and some other strong smell I can't identify.

Taste of cherries, cough syrup, booze. The finish is dry and sour. A very thick oily beer that has an after taste of cough medicine. I don't find it to be as well balanced as the label states. Perhaps some people like it but it's a bit to boozy for me.

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Photo of BretSikkink
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Black with a brown foam - great retention, great creaminess, and pretty nice lacing. The nose is concentrated and strong: raisin, anise, molasses. Pretty good presentation.

The flavor is super strong with lots of booze, dark fruits, espresso, oak, and maybe some smoked wood. Somewhat sour, but nothing too overbearing. Bitterness comes through, with a long finish. Great beer, but over-rated.

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Photo of BigMike
5/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was told by Matt at Capone's that this beer was a little over a year old when i bought it.

Poured into a tulip glass. Pretty black in color. No light coming through. The head is pretty creamy and tight and is a hazelnut color. Lots of viscosity as this thing just clings to the glass for dear life.

Smell is beautiful. Lots of dark roasted chocolate. Tons of espresso. A faint blueberry aroma way in the back and an old world belgian yeastiness.

Lots and lots of roasted malts. i mean an insane amount. this thing is roasted espresso and chocolate. What sets this apart from most imperial stouts is the blueberry undertones and the belgian yeast. I mean this thing is amazing.

13%abv??? Are you kidding me? This drinks like liquid velvet. Smooth rich and creamy. How such a HUGE beer could be so easy to drink just amazes me. This beer is a good time.

Drinkability is incredible. I'm waiting for the abv to hit me because it hasn't yet. Even at the ridiculous price this is worth picking up. I want to try every beer from De Struise.

I can't find any faults with this beer. I really think this may be my first perfect score. I'm going to sit here and enjoy the rest of this beer and decide on what my final score is going to be.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.66/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

The huge hype surrounding this one has died down considerably now and made this one quite a bit more acccessible..

11.2 oz bottle into a Chimay goblet...

Pours beautifully here... Pitch black with a very impressive mocha colored head... Very dark and foreboding looking brew...

Very rich dark aromas of burnt roasted malts, cocoa nibs, a little yeast, and a surprising amount of hops.... Not getting quite as much of the fruity aspects of this as others but there might be a little there....

Tastes much like the smell... Burnt roasted malts, chocolate, a little vinousness... And a kick of hops at the end that really has me surprised.. Big does of hoppy bitter finish.... Weird...

Overall a nice beer but the downfall of this one is its consistency... Its way way too thin and watery... It tastes plenty rich enough but this has almost a pilsner like thinness to it that's quite off-putting...

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip

A rather aggressive pour into a Chouffe tulip produced a large, beige head that filled the glass nicely. The body is pitch black with minimal ruby highlights around the edges.

Dark fruits with roasted malt off the bat. Cocoa powder, tangy Belgian yeast, licorice, molasses and touch of ethanol.

Dark cherries, tangy Belgian yeast, licorice/star anise, coffee grounds, and dark chocolate. The flavors are all in equal parts, sliding on the palate, and leaving an oily presence behind.

Full body, rich and robust flavor. Carbonation is nice and low. Creamy feel.

An excellent, fairly available RIS. This is one of those beers that everyone needs to have multiple times a year. Delicious.

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Photo of b3barron
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter. Pour yields a quarter inch of mocha head with a little bit of retention. Smells of dark cocoa and dark fruits. I get a little bit of roasted malt/smokiness too. Bitter chocolate up front and a decent hop presence throughout. Finished with dark fruits followed by dark chocolate that lingers for a while. Mouthfeel and drinkabilty are true to the style. An excellent RIS.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.43/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 11.2oz. bottle into a Troegs pint glass.

A: Vigorous pour yields a 1 finger fine creamy-chocolate head with excellent retention. Beer is an opaque black. Lacing is spotty with waves coming out of the brew at points.

S: Dark fruit, plum, faint chocolate, roasted malts, lactose, slight coffee and booze sourness.

T: Ripe plum is apparent upfront and lingers throughout. Chocolate and coffee comes in towards the middle with a weird Belgian spiciness. Finish is more of the same but booziness peaks its nasty head and stays as the aftertaste which is a bit unpleasant.

M: Medium bodied and very very coarse and highly carbonated. Mouth is very lively and quite watery. Finish is slightly sticky and messy. Lingers a bit long.

D: Overhyped, overspiced, and overcarbonated. I understand that this is a Belgian imperial stout but the flavor carbonation and body don't work for me. I won't be having this again. I expect and like coffee and heavy chocolate in my stouts. This one delivers that, but cancels it out with other flavors that don't meld quite right.

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Photo of TexIndy
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 330cl bottle into a snifter. Bottle had a lot code but no way to convert that to a date so no idea on the age of this one. It was pitch black in color. Had a large brown head that quickly settled into a thick collar and thin film covering. Good slow sliding lace with minimal stickage.

The aroma was espresso, dark fruits, roasted and toasted malts, dry chocolate malts and alcohol. The taste followed the aroma with the coffee and fruit flavors dominating. Alcohol is prominent in aroma and taste. Somewhat sweet from the fruits. Good but not great for the style. Medium mouthfeel with acidic after-taste.

Overall, a good but not great RIS. I waited till the hype died down on this one before getting it and glad I did. It's good and worth trying but doesn't make the top portion of my RIS list. Recommend if you can easily get and not overpay. Rotation - not avail here in TX so got from ummagum. If here, I'd not get another as there are better RIS out there [1x-taste;BOT]

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Photo of Lunch
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 11.2oz. bottle purchased at City Beverage in Winston-Salem, North Carolina into my Darkness snifter at the appropriate temperature (02/13/10).

A: Pours an extremely dark shade of black with just the faintest ruby hues capped with a thick creamy head of about a two fingers. Some faint lacing is left on the inside of the glass.

S: Dark fruit is easily detected along with roasted malt, chocolate, cocoa, barley, coffee, caramel and some booze.

T: Dark fruits and chocolate hit the palate first with layers of cocoa, coffee, caramel, toffee, roasted malt, roasted barley, and some blueberries. The alcohol comes through slightly adding a nice sense of warming.

M: Fuller-bodied and quite thick with great creaminess.

D: For a 13% abv. Imperial Stout, this was extremely easy to drink.

Overall this quite an interesting take on an Imperial Stout and certainly one that has many features that make it stand out along with some inherent Belgian qualities that add great depth. Highly Recommended.

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Photo of jgasparine
3.85/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- Poured from the bottle with a nice creamy textured, light brown head, which slowly receded to a collar with some nice lacing. The body was a completely opaque dark brown- almost black.

S- Thick booziness, roasted and caramel malts dominate the nose. Peppery overall with the ethanol on the nose, and it seemed to perhaps even showcase some fusel alcohol as the beer warmed.

T- Incredibly rich candy and roasted malts, laced with some heavy booze, a touch or sourness, and some unanticipated yeast esters that come through as rum-soaked dark fruits. Very intense.

M- A thick, heavily textured and syrupy body with some nice soft carbonation. Gorgeous.

D- A bit too big and too boozy for me to quaff. A small bottle is best split with a friend IMO.

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

Split bottle with a friend a couple nights ago. Got this is a package from one of 4 people who has sent me one. Thanks for everything you guys!

A- Pours a deep dark black color. Some light brown hues when held to the light. 2 finger mocha colored head stays for a short while before laying a cap just on top of the beer. Good lacing on the sides of the glass...thick in some areas.

S- Dark fruits in the front end of this (prunes and cherries). There is a sweetness as well like brown sugar mixed in with a light roasted malt. Glad to see the roasted malts don't take over everything. Also, the alcohol in this one is covered very well in the aroma making appearances very calmly and quickly.

T- Taste wish the darker fruits come into play a lot more in the front like in the aroma. Light sugary sweetness also mixes in with the fruits. The middle is playing grounds for the roasted malts....get a small hint of coffee that becomes more apparent as the beer itself warms up. Light bitter almost dry hopping notes in the back end of this beer.

M- Heavy mouthfeel. Carbonation is good with the stlye. Dark fruits with a hint of roast are left on the palate with the roasted malts making more of a dominating feature toward the aftertaste. Flavors were crisp and very clean overall in the beer. Left a slight oily presence everywhere in the mouth.

D- This was a very drinkable beer. I wish there would have been a little more in the roasted malts department as flavor goes but this beer is something that should be tried by as many people as possible. I will look forward to trying my other bottles and hope to trade for more.

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Photo of erikm25
4.48/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

NO 14
Lot B-6-BB (I wish I knew what that meant).

Dark cola brown. Head is fluffy and bubbly brown marshmallow hue.

Scorched dark cherries, raspberries, and plums with caramel coffee undertones. Spiced barley and coated in vanilla.

Roasted figs, sweetened chocolate malts, candies, and rounded with peppered lemon bread. Licorice and rum. As this warms closer to room temperature the flavors develop and with 100 IBU's the hops finally kick in. A Sneaky 13%.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a healthy foamy tan head into a brandy Snifter with dark black color and completely opaque.

Smells of sweet berries, dark roast coffee, bitter hops, Plum chocolate - and this hasnt even warmed up yet.

Tastes very sweet for a stout - delicious dark complex chocolate, strong caramel roasted sugars, plum, red berries, coffee, with a strongly astringent finish. Lots of hop presence, reminds me of Flying Dog Gonzo with the dark complexities, but slightly sweeter and less of a malt backbone. Amazingly, I do not sense any boozy presence which is very surprising at 13% abv.

This is a very drinkable 13% abv for the style that comes in an 11.2 oz glass - no doubt because of the amount of hops in this, this is a very drinkable great RIS> I had to restrain myself with sips due to its high drinkability and small botle size.

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Photo of stoutfiend27
4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

bottle poured into wide mouth st. feuillien glass chilled not cold

a-black and bubbly...two finger head that fell to a rocky cap over the beer...khaki in color..impeccable belgian lacing..bubbles clinging to the sides of the glass..

s-sweet prunes, figs and chocolate covered cherries...roasty malt in the middle...faint booze in the background...

t-starts of sweet and with a rasiny prune taste..the figs step and lead into the chocolate and cherry front the covers the massive roasty malt bill in the middle....a faint whisp of coffee flares up before a dry bitter finish tops this off (the more this one warms the more roast and coffee come through imo)

m-hugely creamy and stays around the mouth forever...the bitterness and dryness detract a little for me...but does not kill it..its still wonderful

d-would want to have a few of these but the abv is almost completely hidden except for the slight warming of the tummy after it sits there for a while...

ive only had a few ounces of this before but thanks to ottovon i got to savor an entire glass..when and if i see this on the shelf again i will pick a couple up to age

 1,132 characters

Photo of Beerenauslese
4.78/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours, aptly, an opaque black with a copius tan head that lasts, leaving ample lacing on the glass.

Aromas of prunes, dark cherries, coffee, brown sugar, wet hay, and some barn funk.

Tastes of prunes, dark cherries, coffee, brown sugar. Nice dark fruit flavors dominate, with a refreshing tartness for an imperial stout. I can appreciate why the brewers claim this is a Belgian Royal Stout as opposed to the Russian Imperial Stout it is classified as.

Rich, sweet, creamy mouthfeel, like melted chocolate and cherry ice cream.

This is a night capper at 13 percent ABV. However, the alcohol is not so evident in the taste (until after you drink it), and is balanced by the delectable strong flavors.

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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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