Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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94
outstanding
1,784 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:
1,784
Reviews:
858
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
9.2%
 
 
Wants:
338
Gots:
400
For Trade:
27
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,784 |  Reviews: 858
Photo of largadeer
3.19/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle received from bgramer - thanks for this one! This is a beer I didn't think I'd ever get the chance to try without traveling to Maine.

Appearance: Dark opaque brown with two fingers of thick mocha-colored foam. Very impressive; if I saw someone drinking this in a bar I'd probably wonder what it was.

Smell: A pleasant mix of dried fruit, chocolate, toasted cereal grains and cream. Nice, but it doesn't really jump out of the glass.

Taste & mouthfeel: Chocolate covered fruit comes to mind immediately; strawberries and raspberries primarily. Roasty, charred stout flavors become more prevalent toward the finish though bitterness remains fairly low. An odd cardboard-like off-flavor lingers in the background and never completely leaves the palate. The mouthfeel is full and creamy, moreso than most Belgian beers, but so was Pannepot - Struise must be influenced by American brewers in that regard. The finish brings out notes of molasses and dark roasted coffee, though it's not quite as dry as I'd like. Still, I had no problems drinking this one - it goes down easy for 13%. This would be a great beer if it were a bit cleaner.

Notes: Tried this again and found it even more riddled with off-flavors. I'm really not impressed with this one, mediocre at best.

 1,282 characters

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with TopsecretWaffle. 330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled in 1/2013. Pours dense and murky pitch black color with a 2 finger dense dark brown head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of dark chocolate, roasted malt, cocoa, coffee, light char, toast, raisin, prune, dark bread, molasses, herbal, light pepper, and roasted earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/roasted malt and yeast notes; with good strength. Taste of big dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, char, toast, dark bread, raisin, prune, molasses, herbal, light pepper, and roasted earthiness. Light roasted bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark chocolate, cocoa, roasted malt, coffee, light char, toast, dark bread, molasses, raisin, prune, herbal, and roasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Fantastic complexity and balance of big dark/roasted malt and moderate yeast ester flavors; with big flavor robustness and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly chalky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is a highly excellent Belgian imperial stout. All around great complexity and balance of big dark/roasted malt and moderate yeast ester flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,537 characters

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

Poured into darkness snifter.

Pours 2 fingers of mocha tan head. Fades to a thin layer only leaving some thin splattered lace. Color is a oil black.

Aroma: Tons of rich milk chocolate, very sweet. A lot of dark dried fruit dominate the nose. It is very complex and everything blends well together. Earthy hops balance it out. Molasses at the end.

Taste: Very syrupy. It is very thick. Some roasted malts. A lot of dark milk chocolate. Earthy hops balance this monster out a lot. A very small amount of heat. This thing is filling.

Mouthfeel: A little bitter, but namely smooth and creamy. Incredibly huge body with a lower amount of carbonation. Ends with a very dry sweet malty taste.

Overall, this is a really good beer, but it is just so massive and dry. It is filling me up rather quickly. A big time sipper. Very good, but not something I would normally like to drop over $10 on a small bottle. Worth a try though.

 925 characters

Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.42/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

On tap at Dark Lord Day 2009.

A: Dark ebony with a thick, creamy head.

S: Lots of dark chocolate combined with a bit of anise, layered atop some molasses and hints of dark rum.

T: Much the same as in the nose. A very good amount of complexity going on here.

M: Very thick with lowish carbonation and not too much of an alcohol feel.

D: Very good. Gets better as it warms, although it is a bit much to handle that much of. Glad they had this on tap, as I'd really wanted to try this beer, but found it hard to shell out $10 for a 12-ish ounce beer.

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Photo of jlindros
4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Been saving this for a while for a nice stormy night. This one thanks to roopy40 and kkipple. Batch #14, best before April 2013.

Pours with a rich creamy and dark 1.5 finger head in the tulip/snifter glass. It fades at a medium pace with nice lacing, a Belgian messy style lacing. The beer is darker than the devil's asshole and pretty thick looking.

The nose brings pure darkness through. Lots of dark malts, roasted barley with a little coffee, some chocolate malts, a slight cocoa nib like aroma, some fluffy sweet nougat and almost chocolate marshmellow like aroma, a little caramel and vanilla, and hints of dark fruits like fig. It has a slight boozy aroma, but nothing for what I expected at 13%.

Taste comes fluffy and rich at first, more of the nougat and chocolate marshmellow like taste, with a little oatmeal and creamy feel. Plenty more roasted barley and chocolate malt. A little cocoa nib still, and some slight creamy chocolate milk. Plenty of caramel and vanilla. It's very deep, dark, and rich, but not overwhelming with burnt flavors or minerality. A slight Belgian like fruit flavor with more hints of fig and just a touch of raisin. Somewhat sweet, but not very, and a little boozy taste and warmth but nothing for what I expected for 13%. Some bitterness, but not a lot, mostly from the roasted malts, but I think a touch of chewy and earthy hops. It finishes with a little sticky feel but not very much, pretty dry, with a lingering bitter taste, and lots of lingering malts, vanilla and caramel, as well as chocolate.

The mouth is very rich, creamy, pretty thick, and a little bit of velvety texture, with decent carbonation.

It has a surprisingly good and extremely dangerous drinkability. It comes on with some sticky feel, and pretty thick, but it's pretty smooth, a nice dry finish, and drinks remarkably well for 13%, as it seems more like an 8%er.

 1,883 characters

Photo of oberon
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Great to get my paws on this one,poured as black as an oil slick,I mean no light getting thru this,a 1/2 finger light moch head atop leaving shotty lace.Aromas of dark fruit and espresso roast coffee,a tinge of hardwood shows thru as well.Lush mouthfeel,full and velvity,to me its perfect hence the rating.Complex flavors with a mix of heavy roast and dark fruit sweetness,some molasses-like flavors add to the sweetness,a big drying somewhat earthy finish is a great to end this brew.Its a sipping brew and can get a little sticky after a bit but this a gem of a beer.

 569 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.47/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Two fingers of dark brown head on a completely black body with no light showing through. The foam settles slowly and leaves a fine film of lace.

S - Significant nutty chocolate with clove, ginger, and allspice notes. Some spicy alcohol and mocha (more chicory than coffee though).

T - Smooth, bittersweet chocolate malt up front with some mocha coffee notes. Spice comes out in the middle, clove and cinnamon with a bit of pepper. The spice lingers into the finish, which is full of chocolate and nutty malt. Complex malt notes linger on the palate and create a smoky, pipe tobacco flavor coats the mouth.

M - Thick, heavy body, moderately low carbonation, and a sweet, but not cloying finish.

D - It is surprising to find that, according to the bottle, this beer weighs in at 100 IBUs because the flavor is all about malt. The bitterness is hardly descernable and it barely manages to contain the sweetness of the finish; though it does a good job of masking the 13%ABV. The nose is pleasant, but a bit mild; while the flavor is quite complex, especially the finish. A nice, big stout that hides its borderline insane alcohol content dangerously well; this is a great beer, but not one that I could or would drink very often.

 1,234 characters

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.15/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BA No. 14 with a best before date of April 2013, acquired via trade from brdc, so a big “Thank You” goes out to him. Poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark black color with a short beige head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains dark fruit, chocolate, brown sugar, Belgian yeast, dark roasted malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out very sweet with flavors of brown sugar, dark fruit and chocolate. There is a hearty roasted malt character and a strong Belgian yeast backbone. The hops presence is very mild as it should be in this type of beer. The balance is decent considering the added sweetness. The alcohol sting is also mild for a 13.00% ABV beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, very strong kick, good variation of style, this is a nice beer to sip on for a long time if you’re in the mood for a high-octane Belgian stout.

 1,085 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.03/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

BA No. 14 (Brewed in June 2007 according to Lot No./Bottle Code)

A: Pours an opaque very dark black (almost jet black) in color with some dark amber notes when held up to the light. The beer has a quarter finger tall dark beige head that fairly quickly reduces to a small patch of larger bubbles, a small to medium amount of extremely thin film, and a thin ring at the edges of the glass.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark fruit (plums and prunes) with some moderate amounts of sweetness. Maybe just a hint of anise.

T: The flavor of this beer is very similar to the smell, lots of dark fruit (plums and prunes) followed by lighter hints of roasted malts and anise.

M: Just shy of full bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation. Silky smooth.

O: I am surprised, the high (13%) ABV is extremely well hidden making this beer much easier to drink than one might have expected form the ABV on the bottle. Almost feels like a hybrid between a Russian Imperial Stout and a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Complexity increases as the beer warms up.

 1,053 characters

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!!!

 1,358 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

On-tap @ Library Alehouse.

A: Pours black as black can be with a thin (1/16") tan head which leaves trace lace.

N: Roast, some coffee, caramel, and toffee.

T: On warming the raisins, dark chocolate, molasses, sherry and oxidized notes become dominant.

M: Full body and fair carbonation. Rich, decadent, brownie frosting, dessert finish.

O: A treat. Let this warm to enjoy the multi-layered complexity.

 406 characters

Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle from Teresa's, Paoli, PA

They didn't have it in stock when we visited Ebenezer's, but I finally broke down and purchased the bottle from Teresa's fridge. Split between myself and the wife, I poured my half into an Ebenezer's snifter, and her half into a Pinocchio's tulip glass. The beer poured out a thick, oily black, with a pinky finger of chocolatey brown head that receded to a mere ringlet, leaving a few trails of lacing behind. Smell was booze-heavy, with notes of cocoa and dark fruits. Taste improved as the temperature rose, with a blend of dark roasted malts, molasses, rum-soaked dark fruits, charcoal, and hints of dark chocolate. Pretty complex, but still a bit more thin than I'd expect overall, so I felt the full range of flavors didn't completely come out like it should have. Medium body, and pretty drinkable, but not as good as say, a DFH World Wide Stout...not that many things are.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of XmnwildX12
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of billab914
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle into my Stone RIS glass. It poured thick and black in color with a very dense and thick tan head to it. It kept a nice covering on the top of the beer as I drank it and left some great lacing as well.

The aroma shows a lot of chocolate and roasted malts to it. It has a nice sweetness to it but also stays very smooth and balanced. It almost has the smooth aroma of say an oatmeal stout.

The taste has a rich, sweet milk chocolaty flavor to it at first. It develops more of a roasty, bitter, coffee flavor towards the finish. it also has some smoky and molasses flavors going on that just add to the complexity. It's very balanced for such a big beer and has such a great range of flavors.

The mouthfeel is on the heavier side with carbonation being on the lower side. Drinkability is very good, it's a fantastic imperial stout. It had such a range of flavors to it but managed to be very balanced overall. I also really liked the smokiness that came through in it. Excellent beer overall.

 1,023 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of mendvicdog
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of vfgccp
3.62/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Creamy mocha head. Poor retention and lace. Midnight brown with murky brown highlights.

S - Red grapes, kiss of booze, chocolate covered raisins, black cherries.

T - Sweet black cherry opening. Molasses, caramel and malt center. Milk chocolate and booze finish. Balanced a shade too sweet.

M - Medium/light, especially for the style.

O - Sweet with a porter-like body.

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Photo of russpowell
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this one from Jw347, cheers Jonathan!

Pours mahogany/black with 2+ fingers of brown /mocha head. Insane lacing & head retention

S: Oakyness, dark fruit & port, plus minty hops once warm

T: Madeira, figs, leafy hops & leafy hops, plus a kiss of booze up front. Raisins, plums, much dryness & dark chocolate as this warms, plus more leafy hops. Finishes dry with much chocolate, more dark fruit, leafy hops & a bit of booze, almost pulled a 5.0

MF: Pretty smooth, medium bodied, sticky, just not quite rich enough to pull a 5.0

Wow, the ABV is well masked, dangerously drinkable. Pretty good, barely cracks my top 10 for the style, but it would be nice to have this as a regular in the cellar. Great RIS, not the best but damn close

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark brown body with a thinnish, tan-colored head.

Smell: Roasty malts with chocolate, strong coffee, as well as distinct notes of dark candi sugar, tobacco, prunes, black currants, and aniseed.

Taste: Rich maltiness displayed as candi sugar sweetened chocolate and dark, roasted grains. Concentrated, vinous fruitiness, even a bit of cooked apples. Pinch of English Cavendish as well as pepper and anise. Subtle yeastiness. Exceedingly minor hop flavor and bitterness. Flavor of spiced fruit compote on the drying finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation. Somewhat chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Well, for starters, it was good! The love child of a Belgian Quad and Imperial Stout. The drinkability is suspiciously high for a purported 13% ABV brew. I certainly recommend it if you can manage to procure yourself a bottle or two.

 869 characters

Photo of millerbuffoon
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,784 ratings.
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