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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 mtomlins
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aaronyoung01
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Douglas88
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle with a big thanks to presario. Best by April 2013. Pours out a dark black color with a large, creamy light brown head and lots of sticky lacing. A nice aroma of rich roasted malts, sweet chocolates and milk coffee, sweeter sugars and the all powerful Belgian yeast. The aroma suggests a Belgian Strong Ale, but mixed with darker roasted notes. The taste is very nice; initially full of roasted, almost sour flavors, some sweet burnt toffee and caramel. Roasted coffee beans contribute to this near-sourness. Later, this beer gets much sweeter; sweet milky flavors, bittersweet chocolates, cocoa, a very nice, though not huge dark fruitiness. Very drinkable and a silky smooth body. The yeast really stands out, and for me, this really shows the core of a good Belgian beer, and how flexible it can be. A hybrid for sure, and an excellent on at that. Great.

 870 characters

Photo of doppelmeup
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My 250th review, and it was a good one! (The beer, that is...)

Incredible appearance-pitch black, half inch thick tan head that sits like a pillow above the brew. Slowly fades to a thin layer that sticks around.

Boozy aroma, with dark fruit, prunes and raisins.

Malty, sweet, dark fruits, chocolate, but also very boozy, especially as it warms.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light for a beer of this magnitude. Crisp finish with some lingering cocoa-like flavors. Warm from the ABV.

Very impressive brew. Too strong to drink more than one at a time, but a great one to savor. Get it if you see it!

 599 characters

Photo of RajaSTL
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of stevepat
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful dark cocoa color, rich chocolaty smell that supports a thinner than expected mouthfeel and a delicious though simple chocolate malty bitterness. A great stout that doesn't disguise it's 11+% fully but it very drinkable big beer.

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Photo of DigitalHype
4.31/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured 330ml bottle into Westvleteren glass.

Deep, dark, rich brown (almost black). Very creamy, 1/4" tan head. Very sticky lacing. Beautiful! Can't wait. Smells of dried apricots and a faint hint of smoke. 13% ABV, and totally absent from the aroma.

The fruit smell, almost vanishes for me in the tasting. But, it still retains a some sourness. Coffee, chocolate, tobacco, vanilla and raisin flavors. There is some damp funky mushroom, too. Bitterness and strong alcohol in the back. Finishes out "stout", just like it should.

Has a creamy mouth feel, with perfect carbonation. Rich and complex. Excellent brew!

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

Review from notes.

A: Pours extremely dark black with a one finger tan head that fades slowly. Some nice lacing down the glass.

S: Lots going on here, some dark fruit, chocolate, molasses, belgian yeast, and some roasted malts.

T: Upfront there is some nice roasted malt and chocolate with a little bit of brown sugar. As the beer warms the dark fruit flavors develop and take hold. I was surprised at how much the dark fruit came through with cherry, plum, and fig.

M: Medium to heavy bodied with medium carbonation. Slight touch of alcohol, but not much at all for being 13%.

O: A dangerously tasty beer at 13%! Not overly heavy, but has a great flavor profile. Could drink this one all the time.

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

Pours a deep black with a nice tan head. Looks soo creamy. Nice lacing

Aroma is awesome. Lots of roast and caramel and toasted sugars. Very aromatic beer.

Taste is different than your average IRS. You can taste the Belgian yeast for sure. It adds a sort of sweet tartness to the beer. Similar to cuvee van de Keizer. Nice and roasty and caramel with the Belgian flavors. Maybe a little too much Belgian flavor.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy with thin bubbles.

Overall I couldn't drink a bunch of this. It's tasty but I think I prefer a traditional IRS type yeast to the Belgian take on it.

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

330 mL bottle poured into a De Struise chalice. Bottled June 2007.

Appearance - Pours a dark black (redundant?) with lots of murky sediment as I pour it. Pours with a nice mocha head. Settles to a thick collar.

Smell - Belgian characteristics all over. Cherries most predominant. Raisins and chocolate behind it. Boozy, too.

Taste - The dark chocolate is pervasive, but it's all combined with a great cherry flavor. Chocolate covered cherries. Mmm. Very hoppy in the back end. Loses its roastiness and becomes more of a BSDA in the end.

Mouthfeel - Thick and chewy. Definitely boozy, but well carbonated. No signs of age, even at over 5 years.

Overall - A really great hybrid of BSDA and stout. The fruit flavors blends extraordinarily well with the deep chocolate roast. The booze is forgiven for this quality of flavor.

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Photo of Kevincredible
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

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

Pours out a really really dark black with two fingers of tan suds. No light will penetrate this motor oil.
Smell is dark chocolate and charred malts with some sugar like caramel. As it warms it has more of a bitter aroma like oak or something.
Taste is sour at first like an oaky flavor along with a very mild malt and some bitter coffee. The belgian yeast comes in just after and leaves the tounge dry and ready for another bitter drink.
Mouthfeel is a little dirty but still leaves an alcohol feel that is mellow. The tounge feels the bubbles and the sour at the same time. Nice!
Drinkability is high here too despite the high ABV. REally a great RIS.

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

I've been hunting this brew for a quick minute now, deffinatly worth the hype (don't know about he price though).

Poured a pitch engine oil black with a huge cocoa colored tan head. Looks yummmy, Head stuck around for a few to show some bad ass lacing.

Most of all I got a boozy smell out of this. I definitely could smell the 13%. Also I picked up on some chocolate and coffee notes up in there as well.

Taste was exetremely smooth. The 13% is well masked, doesn't taste nearly as boozy as it smelled. Most of all I loved the hop character this has. Meshes very well indeed. Dark malts with chocolate and a hint of coffee.

Mouthfeel was very smooth and slick.

This was so dangerously tasty I feel I could have put back atleast a few before that 13% comes back to bite you in the ass... AMAZING BREW

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Photo of Samuel906
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a big ol beer in a little tiny bottle. Gigantic fluffy khaki head despite me pouring it as slow as possible, and it stays for many minutes. Absolutely black beer. Very sweet aroma, molasses and vanilla, some malts, and you can smell a hint of the booze. A little less smell than you'd expect. Strong roasted flavor with lots of cocoa, but surprisingly not super sweet. Some fruits and cloves too. Flavor starts relatively benign and explodes at the end. The roasted malts really linger and rise up into your nose. Very rich, and not super boozy but you get some nice warmth. Thick, rich and creamy, a touch sticky. Overall a great example of a RIS and one of the best overall I've had. Highly recommended.

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

Update 01-01-2011. "Batch 0" into baby Chimay (180ml) chalice. Pours opaque dark brown to black body overlain by medium tan head that gradually dies out to a lacy sheet encircled by an elevated circum-peripheral rim. Aroma shows vinous character due to several years of maturation, fruity esters of plum, prune and raisins, roasted malt expressed as coffee, herbal-grassy hops, unrefined sugar and faint, well-hidden alcohol. There is even some cheesy, spicy aspect to the aroma probably derived from the yeast used. Flavor marked by red wine qualities is of roasted malt that shows itself as coffee and roast, subtle dark-fruit fruitiness and semi dry finish with lingering roastiness, hoppy bitterness and alcohol warmth. Medium bodied with velvety texture and substantial carbonation. Good but no better than regular Black Albert - some say "batch zero" is so different it should be entered separately but the vinousness (absent in recent brews) results from aging and the currently brewed Black Albert will just be the same in the years to come.
4.5, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5, 4.5 = 4.5

330 ml poured into Chimay chalice. Lot A, BBE April 2013.
A: Deep tan head fades quickly. Dark, nearly black, impenetrable by light.
S: Prunes, brown sugar, roasted malt.
T: very intense taste of sweet, slightly tart prunes at the forefront, hints of dark chocolate followed by a strong coffee, finishing with charcoal-burnt coffee bean bitterness. Alcohol is quite evident but not disturbing.
M: Thick, oily, sticky, almost tarry, but not in an unpleasant way.
D: One is enough.
This is a massive stuff that has it all: it's fruity, roasty, bitter yet sweet, intense in all aspects.
4, 4, 4.5, 5, 4 = 4.3

 1,687 characters

Photo of calir1
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought @ Beer Planet in Brussels Belgium. For 6 euro this was a great steal. No shipping, no nothing, just walk next door from my hotel, buy, cool, crack open and enjoy. Deep black and what is expected. I am not a huge stout guy, but I had to drink this when I was there and it was fantastic. I actually drank 3 of these and should have brought back some extras, but oh well. A stout lover would really enjoy, and since nobody is going to read my post and either buy or not buy, I am through....

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

2007 bottle (B-6-BB)

A dark, chocolaty brown colored beer; not completely opaque, as light penetrates the edges of the glass somewhat. Small foamy brown head that settles slowly; pretty much no lacing at all.

The nose has prominent fudgy chocolate, booze, prunes and other dark fruit, and some faint yeasty, spicy esters. The taste also packs a fair amount of complexity, with more of that dense fudgy chocolate, fruit, boozy warmth (but not heat), as well as caramel and subtle Belgian yeast notes. Roasty but no longer very bitter, semi-dry finish.

Moderately full-bodied but not viscous or particularly chewy; medium-low carbonation. Overall very creamy and smooth. I really enjoyed this flavorful stout, it’s a bit of a change of pace with its reserved Belgian influence. Very easy to drink considering its very high ABV. Definitely wish I had a few more bottles.

 872 characters

Photo of haz77
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Lot C J 2015

A - Pours jet black with three fingers of thick tan head. This slowly recedes to a thin cap, but can be easily refreshed. A very nice start.

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, floral hops, stewed plums, a collection of sweet dried fruit, slight plasticky phenol notes, cinnamon buried right at the back. Good, if not hugely mouth watering in the way that their quads are.

T - An initial mouthful of sweet dried fruit and a hint of apple evolves into caramel. This is joined by the acidity of red berries before a rounded coffee finish, with touches of tobacco and caramel in the aftertaste. Slightly herbal hops are also present and these flavours linger for some time. The 13% ABV doesn't make itself known anywhere in the flavour.

M - Once again with a De Stuise brew a deft hand is at work here. Rich, full, rounded, velvety feel coats the mouth without ever becoming overwhelmingly syrupy. An ever-present tingle of carbonation finally gains the upper hand right at the end and slices though. Exceptional.

D - It would be very easy to get bent out of shape on a beer that hides its alcohol so well. Finesse and a clever touch are present everywhere. They are fast becoming my favourite brewery.

 1,209 characters

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

Batch B6BB poured into DFH pint

A: Pitch black pour that produced over 2 inches of dense tan foam. Had to pour slowly to avoid overflow.

S: Malty coffee and chocolate but with a strong raisin/date presence. About 80% RIS with 20% of quad thrown in.

T: Chocolate and coffee are the main focus here. The dark fruits are there but in the background. Very nice flavor.

M: Not very thick, about medium but very smooth and silky.

D: Amazingly, at 13.00% I'm getting no booze whatsoever. It's going down VERY smoothly! This is really nice---not a big, syrupy RIS but the dark fruit presence melds nicely with the coffee/chocolate.

 630 characters

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

From the De Struise webshop.

From a bottle into a snifter.

On the label: "One out of a dozen ales that is as black as hell, filthy rich in the nose and with a massive spoiled taste."

Let's see how spoiled this one tastes.

APPEARANCE: Pours out black, almost sludgy, and produces a larger, three finger, medium-looking, tan head with good retention. Black, thick body and zero carbonation evident. Head slowly fades to a good wisp, leaving some immediate clingy lacing. A ring and splotchy wisp remain, leaving some touches of lace down the sides.

SMELL: Some roasted malts and lots of dark fruits up front, including raisins and prunes. A good dose of cocoa powder and pure chocolate in there, with some alcohol notes in the back. Medium strength and very nice.

TASTE: Roasted malts, and some dark fruits in there, including raisins and dates again. Cocoa powder and dark chocolate show up again through the middle into the finish. A bold and lingering aftertaste is full of roasted malts, bitter chocolate, and spicy yeast notes. Some alcohol is present the whole way through as well. Complex and interesting for sure.

PALATE: Full body with medium carbonation. Smooth and creamy on the palate, goes down smooth and has a little alcohol bite on the end, but well controlled for the ABV. Finishes slightly mouth-coating.

OVERALL: If this one has a "spoiled taste," then spoil the heck out of me. I've had this brew many times and it never ceases to impress. Definitely some Belgian in this Imperial Stout, with the spicier yeast notes involved, but I wouldn't hesitate to call this the best non-barrel aged stout in the low countries. Very good brew. De Struise makes some great stuff, and this is one that ranks right up there. Thanks again gents.

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

I poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a SA perfect pint glass. Jet black with a thin tan head, slight lacing. Lots of chocolate and dark fruit on the nose, there is also a slight alcohol warmth. The flavor is full of dark fruit, slight coffee, and slightly boozey. It must have a ton of malt to cover its 100 IBU, not bitter at all. It has a pleasant lingering chocolate loaded finish. A full bodied beer that is dangerously smooth, given its 13% ABV. A great beer, but at 12 bucks a bottle very overpriced.

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Photo of sonicdescent
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice black in which no light escapes. One finger head slowly rises giving way to a crown and thick lacing around the edges.

Smells of chocolate up front, alcohol second. Hints of caramel and toffee abound.

In the taste, the high ABV is well hidden. This is clearly a well made beer, with hints of belgian yeast and your chocolate and cream aftertaste. Very easy to drink considering it's high ABV, with the sole detractor for me being the rather high carbonation for this heavy a stout.

All things equal (price being a big part of that) I would absolutely order this again, but as of now it's scarcity would probably send me to offerings of this style that while may not be as high quality are worth it after the price/rarity differential.

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Photo of Bp123
4.3/5  rDev +0.9%

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

A: pours a liquid black as oil with a mocha head retracting quickly into a small film of foam.

S: full, malty (chocolate, roasted malts, molasses), fatty (walnut, chestnut). Lots of alcohol.

T: more on coffee than could be expected from the nose. Dark fruits, dark chocolate. Still lots of alcohol.

M: not as oily as could be feared from appearance and nose. Still full bodied, a bit sticky. Warming !

O: A great beer, not highly drinkable, but complex and strong. Even if I do prefer the aged version (Cuvée Delphine), this one do its job perfectly.

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