Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

Black AlbertBlack Albert
Liked This Beer
4.26 w/ 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

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,786 |  Reviews: 858
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.

 340 characters

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.

 515 characters

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

 297 characters

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.

 1,243 characters

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%.

 696 characters

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.

 582 characters

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.

 805 characters

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.

 389 characters

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.

 1,555 characters

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.

 797 characters

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.

 380 characters

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.

 815 characters

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.

 1,453 characters

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.

 497 characters

Photo of csais75
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

If you like bitter chocolate, coffee (the real one) and beer, this one is for you. A masterpiece from the Struise brothers. A Strong but drinkable one, with unforgettable flavor. An ocean of coffee with bitter chocolate islands on it. A powerful taste hits you. It remains on your mouth like a dark kiss.

 304 characters

Photo of drumrboy22
4.15/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 11.5oz bottle into a Gouden Carolous chalice. Beer was pitch black, with a one-finger brown head. Slow carbonation and very little lacing around the glass.

Aroma was dark, dark fruit, raisins, chocolate, malt and yeast.

Taste was bitter hops up front, followed by chocolate, coffee, cherries and a touch of licorice.

Very tasty beer. Not as complex as I expected, but still delicious and very enjoyable.

 419 characters

Photo of bobv
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Yet another stout from Thanksgiving '09

From notes:

Very dark, slight head

Dark chocolate, cherry, bittersweet chocolate, molasses, at 13% its ABV is fairly well hidden.

Both dark and bittersweet chocolates, currants, and there is the alcohol tap dancing on my temples.

Very nice.

I could drink this 'til I dropped!

 372 characters

Photo of cameraman
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a pitch black color, with a deep beige colored head, that is quarter inch thick high. The head has tremendous sustainability and clings to the glass. The first scent is the strong fragrance of alcohol hits the nose that is followed by a rich chocolaty fragrance. There is the light spicy scent of Belgian yeast and fruity esters. The taste of dark bread, malt, and chocolate come out at the front. Then a dried fruit flavor comes out, mostly of raisons. That is followed by the yeast spiciness and finishing with a mild grassy bitterness. The texture is thinner at the front than one would expect, the expectation was one of a more syrupy feel. It gains weight as it crosses the palate to have a heavier feel. A unique take on a style with a Belgian twist, the color and aroma are strong and inviting. Each taste brings robust and complex flavors, the only let down would be the mouthfeel. The feel was thinner than I expected, it but takes nothing from this beer. This I must try beer, not because of its limited availability, but its unique and fantastic characteristics.

 1,080 characters

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

Acquired via a trade with tprokop
Tasted side-by-side with Nogne Imperial Stout

A: Pours a nice obsidian colour with a very large brown head which is reminiscent of rye bread. Looks nice and creamy. Sits there as if it no other place to be, or reason to move...

S: With the first smell, it becomes apparent that this is a completely different animal than the Nogne Impy Stout--The dark malt (and chocolate?) combines very well with the alcohol to produce a wonderful aroma of chocolate covered fruit (sweet cherries). At the same time, it has some bready characteristics that actually work really well with it, creating caramel scents as well.

T: Woah...big letdown. The flavour is toned down times ten from the smell. Kind of flat and flavourless in the beginning, then coming to life leading into some dark chocolate cake bread, and a great finish as if you had just had a piece of high quality dark chocolate. Alcohol is apparent but by no means the dominant aspect.

Even though it was served at ~50, the flavours don't really start to emerge until around room temp. Sugar cookie becomes the dominant smell after it has thoroughly warmed, with some roastiness and vanilla definitely present as well. Much more flavour at this temp, while still impressively managing to keep the alcohol in check.

M: Creamy, yet not thick or cloyingly sweet.

D:Hides the alcohol very well for a 13% ABV beer.

While cool, it actually reminds me a little of the fresh Expedition I had recently with more body and less flavour/alcohol burn. If I have this in the future, I will be sure to serve it substantially warmer from the get-go, probably around the 55-60 degree range as that's where the flavours seem to start to peek out.

 1,723 characters

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

The beer pours a pitch black color with a thick frothy tan head that lasts. The aroma is awesome. It has a powerful black malt bitterness as well as a complex aroma of roasted and chocolate malts. It's warm with a Belgian yeast character. I suppose that there are a shitload of hop present also, considering it's rated at 100 IBU's. The black malts and alcohol warmth go a long way in hiding it well. The taste is sublime! It's incredibly smooth with a fantastic malt character; warm and toasty. The black and chocolate malts work in harmony to create a true masterpiece. The hops are more obvious in the taste. It's quite a bitter brew which only adds to it's complexity. Lastly is the yeast character. What a tremendous finish. Warmth, malts, hops, and a killer yeast character to boot. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. I love the concept here; a Belgianized Russian imperial stout. This one is in a class all it's own.

 968 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black and somewhat viscuos looking. Very nice dark tan head that lasts and lasts. Nice roasted aroma-somewhat licorice and wine like. Outstanding roasted flavor mixed with a deep licorice like flavor. Black treacle/molasses tinge to it. Has a heavy dried fruit flavor. Good solid hop bite to it though not overly done. Slight, lingering sweetness. Very well balanced between all the flavors. Extremely solid mouthfeel-somewhat syrupy and slick. Very drinkable and enjoyable. Lives up to the hype for sure though quite pricey.

 535 characters

Photo of jrallen34
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from a 11 oz bottle into a Rochefort glass.

This beer pours black showing light brown edges in the light. The head is disappointing as it is only light tan in color, rises less than a finger and is gone within a minute. The lacing is there but gone fast as well.

The aroma is really nice. The malts show wonderfully with lots of sweetness shown as chocolate, cherries, and at the end lightly roasted coffee.

The taste is very light and smooth allowing for great drinkablilty. The taste is sweet chocolate and cherries to start and finishes with some coffee. The mouthfeel is heavy and the taste is lasting.

Overall this is an excellent stout, that I would recommend to anyone.

 693 characters

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Picked up a bottle at Bier Temple in Brussels. I'm immediately impressed by the huge boozy dark fruit nose. This is very comparable to a Baltic Porter. In fact, after tasting it I would have certainly assumed as much. As the beer warms chocolate and molasses shine through in the scent but the beer remains dominated by sweet/sour prunes, dried apricots, and currants. The flavor follows - booze soaked plums and raison served over espresso. This one is hot, full bodied, and at times syrupy. Very good beer but not as interesting as I would have guess from the hype. Not particularly drinkable. Too boozy and syrupy.

 617 characters

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

Dark, dank, black. Didn't hold it to light, but I imagine it wouldn't have shown through. Bold caramal head, very rich and thick. This is exactly what it should look like. The smell was fairly good, all your stout staples are there: chocolate, coffee, lots of malts. But the taste didn't impress. The IBUs were kicking for sure, not that it was too much, but its just that it wasn't balanced out well enough with sweetness. The bitterness wasn't from the coffee, thats for sure. The feel was really good, it was thick and chewy. Fullbodied, and pretty smooth.

Like most anything thats not horrible, I am glad I tryed it...but its not worth what I paid for it ($10) and I will not be getting it again...

 704 characters

Photo of craytonic
3.56/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Near perfect pour, huge cappuccino head, but no quality lacing. Near opaque with some brown/mahogany mixed in.

Smell: Fudge, roast coffee, dark rum, dark malts, chocolate, molasses, dark fruits

Taste: Doesn't taste like your typical RIS, has a major tangy fruit element to it. Also fudge, chocolate, molasses, dark malts, roast coffee, licorice. Perhaps Kaluah and dijorno. Perhaps a bit too sweet.

Mouthfeel: A bit thiner than I expected; a bit to sweet, somewhat brandy like

Drinkability: Thankful for the smaller bottle

 538 characters

Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 92.6% out of 100 with 1,786 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.