Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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1,783 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
1,783
Reviews:
857
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
9.2%
 
 
Wants:
338
Gots:
401
For Trade:
28
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,783 |  Reviews: 857
Photo of johnnnniee
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Ebenezer's, Thanks for the opportunity Chris!

Pours a dark brown/black with a tan head that sticks around for a bit. The aroma is amazing. Chocolates, vanilla, dried fruit, spicy citrusy hops, a bit of alcohol too. Taste is smooth chocolate, followed by some roasted grains, then a lingering coffee and hoppy aftertaste. Does have a bit of an alcohol hotness, but that melds into the whole experience quite well. Very Creamy mouthfeel. Ample carbonation, thick bodied. Excellent brew all around, makes me want to pay eBay prices for some bottles.

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Photo of nerdboy19
4.97/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of DrunkyBuddha
4.96/5  rDev +17%

Photo of ggaughan
4.95/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at the Struise farm thanks to Urbain.
The beer poured a deep black, opaque color, no light going through. The head was a deep tan, almost orange color, very thick bubbles. The aroma has strong malty, sweet notes, some dried fruits.

The taste, very nice. I got some very pleasing malty sweet notes up front, complimented by a chocolate and coffe-ish taste but not as heavy as other imperial stouts. There was an excellent balance of the strong coffee tastes with the subtle yet sweet malt. There were also some yeast notes on the back end of the beer, a bit earthy but it melds well with the overall quality of the beer.

The beer started off a bit cold from the tap but as it warmed in my hands the taste and aroma intensify. The high abv comes through more on the backend and compliments the malty sweetness very well. Overall this beer has a nice full body but doesn't weight you down like other imperials I have had.

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Photo of CraftFan5
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of dpgoblejr
4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2015 version. Slight mocha head that dissipates quickly on this very dark black pour. Enticing aroma of coffee and wonderful chocolate covered dark fruits. Flavors consist of dark roast coffee, some bittersweet chocolate and dark fruits. A full bodied stout with a thick and syrup like feel on the palate. Abv is very much not noticeable so a nice sipper on a cold night. Sweet, a little sticky, but this RIS is so flavorful and the nose matches the taste. Black Albert is a truly fantastic brew that should be tried at least once!

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Photo of Fabianno
4.93/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of Chianti
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

11.2 oz. bottle batch #14 13% 100 IBU's

Very dark brown with very little light getting through. The head is crazy, thick, creamy and smooth look, dark khaki color, lively but dense, amazing retention strength and plenty of sticky brown lace to enjoy visually.

The aroma is delectible! Soft, thick chocolate, cocoa nibs, graham crackers, hot cocoa with mini marshmellow's, subtle and very hearty herbal hops, dry and earthy notes from hops and yeast. Herbal heat tingle, sun-dried wheat and corn fields with some strawberry rhubarb pie included. Very unique and rich aroma.

The first sip = Mindblowing. Megaton complexity, the yeast used is totally rightous stuff, earthy, hearty notes come together with the dry, subtle herbal hops that make good balance for the massive attack of malty flavor's. Copious amounts chunky roastie chocolate, bitter-herbal graham crackers with a dry-rye effect. The smooth chocolate and vanilla current with a subtle but obvious black berry, dark fruit sweetness in the back. French roast coffee comes from the semi-bitter, earthy hops and roastie edge to the malt. The feel is just as complex as the flavor's, lot's of life and zip but a huge, smooth, full on creamy feel to, a perfect blend of Belgian-feel and hefty RIS beefiness. a long and lucious, dry at first then smooth finish is icing on the cake!!

I thought I might've been going crazy to pay $10.95 for 11.2 oz's but with a beer this rightous, i have no guilt. A beautiful and beastie brew for the ages!

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Photo of joepais
4.92/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I finally went to Ebenezer's Pub as soon as I made it to the bar I asked Chris what I should try. I was a little overwhelmed by the tap selection and sure enough he went for the Black Albert. I ended up having two glasses before the day was thru.
Chris brought it to me in a tulip glass it was jet black in color with a finger worth of tan head that dissipated to a small sheet of lace across the glass.

The aromas that I normally associate with a RIS were there in there normal fashion. Along with them was a nice sweet note from the Belgian Yeast I can only guess

The flavors were sublime a bit earthier than I expected but in a good way again followed by your typical RIS flavors. It surprised me again by being a little dryer than expected in the finish. I really could not detect the alcohol heat wise in the flavor or nose maybe this batch is smoother or older

Like I said I did have a second glass before I left "one for the road" so to say. It was a great way to end my time at a wonderful establishment

2-12-10 Revisited in an impromptu stout tasting and have to say that time has not been good to the bottle I held onto. Drink them fresh

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Photo of Bartleby91
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Looks and pours like oil. So dark it appears to stain the glass. Aromas are wonderful with roasted coffee, chocolate, some floral hop and a bit of sugary sweetness. Tastes are big chocolate, coffee, and some earthy and floral hops coming through at the end. Some unexpected spritz on the palate with good carbonation for being so strong. Flavors linger well with a medium body on the palate. Dangerously smooth with a barely perceptible alcohol burn despite being 13%. Overall it is an amazing beer and one that I would love to age to see how it evolves.

 554 characters

Photo of Habanero58
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

And so to the beer that shares its acronym with Beer Advocate!

I was initially a little cynical about this new beer on the block when it arrived sweeping all before it, and doubted I'd ever get to try it for myself unless I made the journey from Kent to Ebenezer's in Maine, but thanks to a well known auction site 6 x 330ml of Black albert arrived on my doorstep earlier this week.

I can understand why many other reviewers have been unable to really nail Black Albert into a definite category as you can't really. It proclaims itself as a Royal Belgian Stout on the bottle and it's appearance would certainly support this with midnight hour blackness and a rusty tanned head.

It's the taste where BA becomes hard to place
It has a complexity that matches Westy 12 (no mean feat) whereby one sip just amplifies in the mouth and cascades into such a myriad of flavours that your brain (well, my brain) just loses the plot and says "this is pure heaven in a glass"
I would agree with those who have mentioned it tipping into quad territory as my main thought afterwards was that was like drinking a botte of Westy 12 that had had an identity crisis and had decided it wanted to be a Russian Imperial Stout. The stout flavour is strongly apparent but with the rich chocolatey fruit cake qualities of a good quad there as well.

Mouthfeel was excellent. Very creamy with just the hint of an exciting fizzz. This beer is a valuable addition to Planet Earth and long may it buzz!! It should end up cementing a place in the top five at the very least.

A final word for the label. A design award surely with regard to matching the external bottle presentation to the quality of the beer within.

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Photo of Brabander
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I had a beertasting yesterday evening with my cousin Bert and his son Michael. After a while Mrs. Brabander joined the tasting. I used small Westvleteren and La Trappe tastinglasses.

I am visiting the Struise Brouwers once a month when i am picking up the Westvleteren. Always fun at Urbains and Carlo's place. Never drank the Black Albert though. During this tasting we tried this one.

The ones who know me know that i am not really a stout lover. This beer however is spectacular and i can say that this is one of the best beers Urbain has ever made.

Poured in the glass this beer is really pitchblack with the best head i have ever seen on a stout. The foam has millions of the smallest bubbles.

Great smell, everything a stout should smell like is in this beer.

Superb taste with something in this taste which i could not point out. But this extra taste made the beer extraordinary.

Plain and simple; this is a super beer!

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Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.9/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Ebenezer's on Chris' Birthday.

Without question one of the top beers I've ever had.

Drawn with a two finger head, the appearence was black as night.

Smell was dark chocolate, green piney hops, sweet roasted malt and expresso.

Taste was otherworldly. A perfect balance of fresh, green hops and roasted malt. Notes of toffee, chocolate, malted milk balls and vanilla.

Mouthfeel was exceptional. Plenty of viscosity but the 13 percent alcohol remained at bay.

I could easily drink two or three of these in a sitting.

A very unique beer that, to me, comes across as a blend of a fresh hop IPA and an Imperial Stout.

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Photo of frothyhead
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours deep dark chocolate brown/black with a quickly dissipating one finger tan head. Just a bit of lacing left behind on the glass as I enjoy it.

Nose is interesting with peanut butter and chocolate notes and a bit of sweetness. Roasted malt, coffee, and a tad whiff of tobacco smoke and alcohol. As it warms, a big fruity strawberry and raspberry aroma comes into play. Tantalizing!

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation and a silky smooth feel. A little bit of dry residue sticks to your teeth and gums in the linger. Carbonation is prickly and light and takes a bit off the body of this one.

Taste is just like the nose, with peanut butter and chocolate leading the way with a roasty bitter coffee finish. Like the nose, those fruity berry flavors come out as it warms and add some tartness. This is 13% ABV? Seriously? Alcohol is almost completely hidden.

Drinkability is dangerously high. The silky mouthfeel and balanced taste with subtle dry finish and hidden alcohol just makes you keep coming back for more.

Overall, this is an amazing beer. Perfectly balanced and tremendously enjoyable. This is my third offering from De Struise, and stands alongside Pannepot as one of the most well balanced, subtle, complex and flavorful beers I've ever had. Nearly every sip offers something new. Highly recommended!

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Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.89/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Been meaning to try this one for years now - saw that it popped up at Holiday Wine in Escondido and had my brother snag me a 11.2 oz bottle for $10. - comes in capped dark brown bottle.

A: Pours, as my wife exclaimed, looking like molasses with a thick brown head that dissipates a bit early giving way to small amounts of lacing.

S: Noticeable hop up front - earthy & mossy, fresh baked brownies, charred wood, cherry & vanilla bean, trippy yeast strain, slight hint alcohol.

T: Dark chocolate, taffy, dried figs, woody coconut, cherry spiced rum (really balances the the 13% abv well with the cherry flavor) earthy hop lingers well beyond the hint of booze on the finish - outstanding!

M: Big fulled bodied, lightly carbonated - which is nice for the style, lending well to the creaminess of this one. Hop oils leave a bitter finish like a good IPA which is rare for this style, but is just another dimension it reveals, especially as it warms up a bit.

A pricey brew, but one that won't let you down!

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Photo of beerboy9960
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
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!!!

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Photo of ygtbsm94
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've had the pleasure of tasting this brew during several different occasions from the tap and from the bottle and I must say this is by far one of the best Imperial Stouts brewed; bar none! First, I don't even know if this should be in the same class with other Imperial Stouts; it has its own distinctive style. The appearance of this brew has to be one of the darkest stouts I have ever seen. The head was so thick and velvety brown head that it looked like a shot of espresso...superb! It had a magnificent scent of sweet chocolate, dark roasted coffee beans and molasses along with roasted malt. The taste is just out of this world. Started off with a blitz of dark chocolate, espresso, and roasted malts; followed by light vanilla hoppy presence and fruit flavors with a touch of bitterness. The mouthfeel wasn't too thick along with soft carbonation keeping the brew from tasting too syrupy. The complexity of this brew is such that 13% ABV is totally absent until the glass is almost empty and then you begin to say Wow, this is one hell of a beer! For me this was like drinking a fine Port that I could have sipped all night. I can't say enough about the brews that are being produced at the Struise camp, but I do know that the rating of number one brewer in the world is without doubt; justified! This brew has taken Stouts to a whole new level!!!

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Photo of OWSLEY069
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours jet black with a brown-ish head. In the aroma, chocolate and alcohol. In the taste, chocolate, dark fruit and a small alcohol burn at the end. A small bite and a medium bodied mouthfeel, with a dry alcohol and hint of coffee in the aftertaste. What a great stout!

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Photo of Thickfreakness
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 bottle that I received on one of my first trades a couple of years ago. He also sent a first bottling Black Albert (2007) which I waxed and still have in my cellar. Wish I could remember your BA handle so that I could hook you up again!

A- Pitch black pour into my Ithaca Excelcior tulip! Two fingers of caramel/sand colored foam billows and dances like a cloud atop of this dense, chewy stout! It fades slowly and leaves little islands of lacing as it settles into oblivion. No carbonation or movement on the surface.

S- Holy Shit! Sour Cherries covered in chocolate... that got rolled around in a barnyard! This brew has some serious funk to it! Never had an Imperial Stout with this much compost/manure in it! Delightful dark fruit bite with a tender and sweet chocolate overlap! Some roasted bitter coffee, figs, cranberry/raisin/prunes with an underlying pine hop... really weird, unusual and delicious!

T- Just like the nose! Damn! Like dark, bitter, Belgian Chocolate that was dragged thru a Horse stall! LOL!!! Dark cherries, mission figs, raisins, compost, horse blanket, cocoa, jazzy black coffee, and just a touch of pine sap and smoked peat/malt. This is really intense! Every inch of my tongue is begging for more! Each time I swallow, something different is happening and confusing my taste buds! I've NEVER had my taste buds "thinking" like they are now!

M- Full, chewy, funky, tart, sweet, bitter (in 3 ways), and vivid!!! It really sticks to your tongue and glides down! The bitter doesn't strip the mouth.. but it cleans it so that the tart, sweet, and funky can shine thru! This is rediculous!!! More depth than any beer I've EVER had!!!

O- Eat a rich and delicious 85% chocolate bar, while drinking Kona coffee and sucking on cranberries while sitting in a stall at Saratoga Raceway... that's it... and it's perfect! The "subtleties" will slap you in the face... and the "in your face" tart/manure/cocoa notes will KISS you gently and make you close your eyes and forget where you are! If you've been searching for a RIS with everything you want, and even things you didn't know you wanted... it's perfection in a glass!!! Who knew tart poop and chocolate went so well together? I don't want this glass to end! DAMN!!!

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Photo of hopazoid
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%

Photo of oyvindriise
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Photo of milwaukeeclassic
4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this one a while ago, on tap at Erasmus in Brugge in early March 2008. I agree with some earlier reviewers that this is not as heavy as some imperial stouts I've had. I remember that there was tremendous head retention. Coffee notes in the aroma and the taste. Great satin mouthfeel. The alcohol level was not overly (negatively) noticeable. I can't wait until I can get more of this back at home.

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Photo of BenZ
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a Batch 0 bottle fresh from De Struise. Perhaps this should be a separate beer from normal Black Albert?

A: Dark, dark brown. Tiny milk chocolate head that lingers.

S: Not at all what I was expecting. There some mixed herbs, a tiny bit of coffee/roastiness, and lots of mixed berrries (?). There was just the tiniest bit of booziness as it warmed.

T: Terrific balance of roasty, sweet, a small amount of tartness, and just plain awesomeness. The berries were not in the taste like they were in the smell - this is just fine, though.

M: Creamy and just plain perfect.

D: At first this was going to be a 5, but after about half way my senses were pretty much shot.

Surprisingly, this isn't exactly what I'd call an "intense" RIS; it's just "full" of everything. I'm pretty sure this is the best RIS I've ever had - no exageration and I've had quite a few.

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Photo of Casey10
4.87/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is black tan head that thas at least 1 1/2 finger lacing . Smell has coffee dark chocolate feeling. Taste is exceptional. Mouthfeel is typcial of a high ABV stout but delicious non the less. The drinkfeel is great if you can get your hands on this beer it is highly recommended !!

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,783 ratings.
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