Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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Black AlbertBlack Albert
1,797 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: 1,797 |  Reviews: 859
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

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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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Photo of satowns
2.8/5  rDev -34.3%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tasted blind with 13 other imperial stouts.

Pours black with a dark brown head.

Akward aroma of fruity red berries.

Flavor is mostly strawberries. sweet. not sure what im drinking here. hints of chocolate and dark malts.

full bodied mouthfeel. alcohol is nicely masked.

i will have to try another bottle and update my review if needed.

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

Thanks to BeerisHeaven for this one.

Poured from a bottle nice and dark and inky. Head was amazing at least 3 fingers tall, and dissipated at a good rate. Smells like a typical RIS coffee, chocolate, malts and fruit. The taste is balanced and no alcohol make it odd. I can taste the chocolate, malts, and coffee. It actually is rather watery considering the ABV. Had a velvety smoothness to it though. I could drink these all night and not care. Mainly cause if I did that I wouldn't remember the next day anyways.

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Photo of Luk13
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Damn, this is quite the night. Roasted coffee aromas, but not in the american or mikkeller way, a sweeter and meatier coffee. I also get grapes, figs and alcohol here. Malty taste, quite sweet with a yeasty finish. Nice mouthfeel and overall very good beer. Highly drinkable for what it is

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

Poured a bottle of this side by side with Cuvee Delphine (Black Albert aged in 4 Roses bourban barrels).

Black Albert pours with a huge 4 fingers of head that hangs on for several minutes. Through the course of sipping this beer there is always of layer of head on the top that never goes away. It also leaves a thin boozey lacing on the side of the glass. This stout smells of dark fruits, vanilla, chocolate, sugar, alcohol and roasted grains with the dark fruit smell blending with the chocolate smell to give this ale a desert like sweet smell. The off putting smell is a bit of oxidation and metallic flavor that seems out of place with the rest of the aromas. The taste is much of the same with tastes of dried fruits and chocolate roasted grains dominating out front. The bittersweet chocolate is a little much and and takes away from the drinkability the mouthfeel is medium and what I would expect from a Belgian Stout. Black Albert is a very good stout and the 13% ABV is hidden very nicely in the flavor. Side by side I perfer the Cuvee Delphine a little more because the Cuvee is a much more interesting ale. Black Albert is very solid and the fruitiness is unique, but its not a stout that blows me away. Good Effort all and all.

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Photo of mondegreen
4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From bottle at Trappeze Pub in Athens, GA.

Part of my 30th Birthday Celebration thanks to longtime friend and newbie BA graphx3d

A: Nearly black pour with a huge brown head. A gorgeous stout.

S: Big RIS smell with very prominent Belgian notes. Roasted barley, coffee, chocolate & hints of dark fruit.

T: Extremely smooth. No alcohol taste at all, which is very impressive given the high ABV. The dark fruits come forward more in the mouth, but the RIS flavors still win out. Complex yet very approachable.

M: Nice and thick. Almost like whipped cream.

D: I shared this bottle with a friend, but I have no doubts that I could polish off a few of these, which could be quite dangerous at 13%.

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Photo of Richardberg
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - very dark but not pitch black, nice size brown head for a big beer

S - deep chocolate malts, coffee, ethanol

T - big RIS flavor but with lots of unusual overtones: starts sweet then quickly adds bitterness throughout the tongue. You end up with both at once, alongside kinda offbeat flavors like orange peel, and I'm not sure it works.

M - velvety to sip and nicely sticky afterward

D - pretty good for a 13%. Strong, competing hide most of the alky from the taste, though you can smell it of course. Then again the flavors themselves make this best suited for small doses.

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Photo of mechamifune
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a nice creamy dark tan head, obviously dark but without that motor old quality you see in some IS's. Obvious sense of carbonation to the appearance. Smells very strongly of alc. initially with a slight hint of chocolate.

This carries over to the initial sipping, as the alc. is very evident, but still finishes with a strong sense of bitterness from the coffee/chocolate.

Mouthfeel is pleasant, not creamy, but still very full and easy to manage. The alcohol begins to fade as I continue to drink the beer, and by about halfway through the 13% is very well hidden.

Overall a very good beer, but nothing overwhelming. For the price point, there are a number of IS's i'd rather have. For being 13% though, its pretty drinkable, but I can't say I would want to have more than one at a sitting.

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Photo of rbridges01
4.36/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter at cellar tempature

A- Dark black with a carmel brown head that lingered for most of th tasting. Nice legs on the glass.

S - Coffee smell witha bit of alcchol.

T - Chocolate with the hops coming through rather easily. Hint's of orange peel with a nice finish on the back of the tounge.

M - Nisce smooth feel on tounge and back of throat.

D - Very easy to drink.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.06/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle from lot B6BB, poured at cellar temperature into the Two Brothers Northwind snifter. Reviewed while listing to Bjork, and calming down after getting blood work done.... yay...

A - Pitch black body with on of the best heads I have seen in a long time. Sexy almost....

S - Sweetness resembling strawberry, anise, bakers chocolate/coco nibs, and chicory is balanced out by mild alcohol, grassy aromas and drying espresso presence. Doesn't hit you over the head, but is quite expressive.

T - Rich cassis and bitter chocolate flavors play off each other in the entry, with strawberry highlights sweetening up the flavor profile. Wood tannin like flavors and dry espresso help fill up the flavor. Alcohol is present at the swallow, and tingles in the long finish. The finish is quite assertive in comparison to the rest of the flavor profile, with assertive fruit sweetness and dry coffee bitterness continuing to dominate.

M - More viscosity than I remembered from the last time I had Black Albert, still not as viscus as many American versions of a RIS, but still much bigger than any other Belgian example of this style.

D - Does this beer live up to the hype? not quite: Personally, I would desire a bit more complexity out of liquid sex than this beer offered to me. That being said, this was an excellent, assertive version of its style with plenty of roastiness that I feel takes the Belgian Imperial Stout style to a whole new level. Apperence and mouthfeel were fantastic. Not crazy about the price, but very happy with the result.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle pours very black and foamy and recedes to a continental North American land mass on an ocean of blackness. Quite a nice looking beer.

Nose is very sweet: maraschino cherry and almonds wit a vaporous booziness.

Belgian meet stout...stout meet Belgian. Bitter grip up front and on the tongue is pummeled by milk chocolate and yeast on the back and slapped with an unyielding sweetness that sticks around like a relative unaware of social cues.

High carbonation with a pillowy mouthfeel makes this a strong point of this beer and where the combination of styles works surprisingly well.

Drinkability is helped more by an attempt to grasp the style than by the beastliness of 13%. Overall sweetness keeps this beer from being great, but regardless remains an interesting experience.

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Photo of Travlr
4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Urbain at the schoolhouse. Thank you sir!
A: Black hole black, medium tan head that settles slowly to reveal moderate lacing.
S: Aroma of burnt espresso and dark fruits.
T: Very balanced dark roasted malt and hops, dark chocolate and roasted coffee bean flavor with bitter finish. Nice complexity.
M: Decent body.
D: This is good stuff. Looking forward to more.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - pours a rich dark black, an even thick mocha head of one to two fingers. Looks like it would lace but most of it slides back down into the brew.

Aroma - some good darkly roasted malts, a bit of metallic in there as well initially, but they disappear after a minute or so.

Taste - a good intense roast right outta the gate. Some sweet note of syrup and soy, a chocolate and nut mix following. Some char tends to build al the way to the aftertaste, which would be distracting if there weren't lots of other good stuff going on. A light kiss of alcohol warmth at the end, very subtle as the char and roast make their final stand.

Mouthfeel - a pretty big body, and rather crisp for as heavy as it is. Smooth feeling and easy to drink.

Drinkability - excellent stuff, worthy of enjoyment fresh or aged.

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Photo of mullenite
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Batch 14 imported by Horizon Wines, Inc.

Glassware - Corsendonk Tulip

Appearance - This beer pours absolutely pitch black and purely opaque with a two finger khaki colored head that settles in to a thin cap which leaves some beautiful sticky lacing on the glass. The beer may as well be a black hole, I can see absolutely nothing in or through it.

Nose - Dark fruits, sweet cherries, figs, raisins, plums, candy. Very rich and very sweet smelling. There is some alcohol to the nose as well which makes it come off as slightly medicinal and artificial. Not bad; not great, but not bad.

Taste - Very interesting taste; there is a strange, slightly astringent, note to it that changes the profile to something completely different from the nose. This astringent character, combined with the scents provided in the beers bouquet it comes out tasting like a chocolate covered coffee bean which is absolutely fantastic. This is hands down one of the best tasting imperial stouts I have ever had. The dark fruit notes are there, the chocolate is there and it's smooth and rich, the coffee is there and it tastes like a great french roast. I am in love.

Mouthfeel - A little thin and a little bit more carbonated than I like but I guess that's the Belgian twist on the style.

Overall - I came in to this beer not expecting anything great. Boy was I surprised on my first sip. I'm hooked. This beer is amazing and it deserves every bit of hype it recieves.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My brother picked this one up for me at Phillipe's in Lafayette. Great find.

Pours dark brown to black with a dark tan head. The head stays around throughout the entire drinking process. Aroma is strong on the dark fruits along with some coffee and chocolate as the beer warms. Very complex. The flavor is heavy on the roasted malt, almost burnt in flavor. You also get some more dark fruit and coffee and the beer finishes with some alcohol and sweetness. Thick mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 1,797 ratings