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Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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Black AlbertBlack Albert
1,792 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: 1,792 |  Reviews: 858
Photo of Etan
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

330ml into a snifter. Batch "0", Ba no. 14, so 2007 maybe?

A: Pours a nice jet black with a thick dark chocolaty head. Great retention.

S: Lots of chocolate, molasses some dark fruit esters. Sugary with some vinous esters.

T: More robust and bitter than the aroma. Heavy roasted malts and grainy bitterness, black coffee and dark chocolate, slightly sweet alcohol and some grape-like dark fruit esters.

M: Yep, this is thick as all hell. Slight carbonation, viscous and creamy body.

O: A very good robust RIS. Perhaps a little more sweetness in the taste would be good, but other than that this is very good.

 613 characters

Photo of ILiveOffHops
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of M1A2
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of aliving1
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of greenmonstah
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of scott2269
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of dtmets84
3.63/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unsure of the bottle date but the notched lot is B-6-BB.

Black body, plenty of dark brown head.

The nose smells off almost a bit of a funk to it and the taste follows the nose. Warms up and becomes a bit more enjoyable

Body is thick and heavy, as it should be.

First time cracking a bottle, would not seek this out agaim.

 327 characters

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

BB April 2013.

Beer is black with a moderately sized tan head. Head fades fairly quickly. Some lacing.

Smell contains burnt caramel, candied dark fruit, fig, raisin, brown sugar, roasted malt. We are clearly in Belgian stout land. Has some similarity to the Pannepot series. Good smell.

Taste is similar to the nose. Burnt caramel, raisin, fig, candied fruit, sugar, roasted malt, wood, and a bit of chocolate. Reminiscent of port, or perhaps a dark rum. Aftertaste has a definite milk chocolate flavour. The alcohol is absurdly well hidden- is this really 13%? I would believe you if you told me it was 8 or 9.

Full bodied, low carbonation, velvety. Alcohol heat is present but shockingly low given the ABV.

Overall, very good. Not sure how far out they put the best before date, but this one clearly has a few years on it. Perhaps that is what has made it so smooth. It is a very nice beer but the thing that is most remarkable is how hidden the booze is- I just can't believe this beer goes down as easily as it does.

 1,025 characters

Photo of Chrily
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.71/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Sept 2015. Batch 0, lot D. Purchased from a Belgian webshop quite a while back, and stored in my garage. 'Belgian Royal Stout' - indeed.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Black as night; utterly inpenetrable. Large chunks of yeast can be seen floating around at the bottom of the glass. Produces a massive head of creamy brown foam with excellent retention; this slowly subsides to a surface layer. Aroma of dark, fruity malt with notes of brown sugar, molasses, marzipan, dried fruit and yeast esters. A warming whiff of booze in the background.

Tastes of rich, fruity malt with a spicy, alcoholic finish. Notes of dried fruit, molasses, brown sugar, chocolate, yeast and stewed hops. Very boozy; an astringent, almost solventy alcoholic character. Mild bitterness upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is thick and smooth, with tingly carbonation and great body. The booze lends it a spicy quality. Dries the palate, and leaves an aftertaste of fruity malt.

Decent, though not as good as the hype led me to imagine. Fruity and boozy - a daunting concoction. I was expecting there to be a more obvious roasted malt character with a defining bitterness, rather than the sweet fruitiness that is actually present. Both the aroma and flavour lacked something undefinable; the result was a well-constructed but sub-par RIS. Worth trying, just lower your expectations a little.

 1,386 characters

Photo of joh04587
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of millelacsmark
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

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

Lot B6BB

A: Pitch black pour with a nice big medium brown and dense head. Fades very very slowly, leaving just a smattering of lacing behind.

S: Huh, very interesting. I was expecting a huge roasted malt character but it's fairly mild. It is however, very fruity. Loads of raisin and cherry primarily. I swear I'm getting some berry. Quite earthy too. A bit of cocoa and molasses. It smells more like a quad than an RIS to be honest. Not a bad thing, just extremely unique for the style.

T: Again, loaded with dark fruits up front. Raisin, fig, and cherry. Fades into a chalky, earthy sort of char with some chocolate. Finishes with a bit of spiciness, earthiness and cocoa. Sweet molasses and some anise in the aftertaste.

M: Thick and smooth but not nearly as thick as you would expect for a 13% RIS.

O: What a unique brew. It tastes like a quad blended with a RIS and an english barleywine (all that sweet molasses) and then aged in a wine barrel. I don't know what to think, I've never had anything like it. I prefer my RIS to be super roasty and creamy. This beer definitely straddles some lines when it comes to style. You would honestly not expect this to be an RIS at all if you tasted this blind. It's still very complex, well balanced and tasty. Just a total hybrid style that's hard to judge. Super dangerously drinkable, I will say. Smooth as all get out.

 1,375 characters

Photo of M27
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

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

330ml bottle poured into a 16oz tulip.

A - A gusher as soon as the cap comes off. Pours black as night with a thick, mocha brown head. Head retention is great, and leaves lots of sticky lacing. Surprising for a 13.00% ABV stout.

S - Very deep and complex. A rich array of dark fruits and candi sugar back by a subtle roasty backbone of charred malt and coffee. Figs, plums and prunes are strong. Underlying earthy notes of anise and tobacco. Molasses, cocoa, soy sauce, wood, cola syrup and some boozy dark rum alcohol notes all come through.

T - Certainly an interesting take on an RIS. The base of roasted malt, dark chocolate/cocoa, and coffee is there, but the Belgian influence is definitely there. Dark fruitiness reminiscent of a fine quad is strong; figs, plums, and prunes. A nice helping of Belgian candi sugar as well as cola syrup add a very sweet dimension here. Anise and woodsy notes make for a very earthy finish, with a strong presence of tobacco as well. Finishes with a boozy dark rum character, with lingering flavors of roasted malt, dark fruits, and molasses.

M - Very big. Thick, creamy, and boozy. Carbonation is actually more active than expected, but still very smooth all around. Warming finish, but that was to be expected. Bitterness is kept in check. Really sticky too.

D - While this is undeniably a unique brew, and a very interesting concept to approach an RIS with, it's not quite my style. That being said, I can't imagine an RIS with a Belgian twist being any better than this. True to its Belgian roots, this brew is rich, fruity, and not overly abrasive. I suppose I just prefer a more roasty and astringent profile with my imperial stouts. In the end, this probably wasn't worth the premium price, but I'm really happy I got to try it. While it didn't quite live up to the hype for me, it was still a very unique experience. Thanks to De Struise for crafting this one-of-a-kind brew!

 1,927 characters

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

Pretty sure this is from 2009. Notched lot is B-6-BB.

Black body, plenty of brown head up top. Caramel and toffee precede the roasty malt, presenting a pleasant bouquet.

A well-blended stout, melding each of the above components with hints of dark fruit at the end. Notes of oak barrels in the background. The alcohol warms my throat as it descends, integrating well with the experience. Body is thick and heavy, as it should be.

Black Albert ranks among the best off-the-shelf RIS. Always happy to pop one of these :)

 521 characters

Photo of Skye1024
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of tonyclifton36
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of bsuedekum
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of 2beerdogs
2.16/5  rDev -49.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Well I got to try it.

Thanks to aandersen for this one.

Poured a swirl of mahogany. Nose is a confused melange of a mellow RIS and...a Flanders Red. I'm confused.

Yep, it's a mix of an RIS in mouthfeel, body, and a slight fleeting sweetness. But it has a souring, red wine meets madeira barrel dominance.

Can't say I hated it. It is very different; their own style. But it doesn't do it for me. However, I got to try it, and check it off my kist.

 451 characters

Photo of sammo
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of jwat
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
4.54/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Black with a beautiful brown head. Somewhat translucent, as I could see considerable sediment. Very nice lacing

Smell – Malt, molasses, and a very pleasant spice.

Taste – This tastes very good. Roasted malt, molasses, spice, and premium red wine.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated, creamy, and easy drinking.

Drinkability – This is an amazingly drinkable beer for 13% abv. The alcohol is well hidden and it goes down easy.

 447 characters

Photo of beerboy9960
4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Finally getting to try Black Albert for the first time thanks to BarrytheBear and his generosity. Thanks again Barry!!

A: Pours a very dark black with a very thin mocha colored head. Very nice, thick lacing on the glass.

S: Lots of cacao and expresso on the nose. Also picking up hints of dark fruits! Lots of smells going on here!

T: Wow! This is a very complex full bodied stout! Expresso, cacao, and dark fruit dominate the initial taste, followed by an almost milk chocolate/sweet taste on the finish. Lots of bitterness on the after taste as well!! Very nice!!

O: Overall this is a very complex Russian Imperial Stout! Very smooth and hides the 13% ABV very well! I will be looking for more of this in the future! Thanks again Barry!!!

 789 characters

Photo of siege06nd
4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another great brew shared by IrishColonial. Thanks again, Eric!

A. Dark brown, nearly black, with a half finger of medium brown head and some very good lacing. The head effervesces to a dark brown with each swirl. Love it. Lacing is relatively thick and provides a nice sheen on the sides of the glass.

S. Chocolate, vanilla, and ripe, sweet fruit (aka cherries, strawberries, raspberries). I also detect some subtle coffee roast notes. The fruit on this is impressive and easily the most dominating note in the bouquet. An almost wine-like quality. Love, love, love it.

T. Chocolate, some citrus-like hop, strawberry, cherry, and some spicy character a-la cinnamon and clove. Fruit is perhaps most prominent here, with loads of strawberry and fig notes. Chocolate and coffee provide a solid backbone for these sweeter flavors, and keep this a well-rounded stout that doesn't overdo it with the saccharine flavors. There's also some earthy bitterness from the hop flavors back there. Quite excellent, rather unlike any other RIS I have had.

M. Moderate-full bodied with medium carbonation. Resolves to a very nice fruity creaminess, though. A bit drying and slightly boozy, though impressive at 13.0% ABV.

O. A fantastic RIS here. Very fruit forward and complex without being over-the-top or cloying. The 13.0% ABV is hidden very well. The traditional chocolate and roasted malt notes are abundant, but the fruit presence takes this in a new and interesting direction. Reminds me quite a bit of KtG. Definitely a keeper here.

 1,533 characters

Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 4.26 out of 5 with 1,792 ratings
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