Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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Black AlbertBlack Albert
BA SCORE
4.26/5
Outstanding
1,792 Ratings
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
Ranking:
#757
Reviews:
859
Ratings:
1,792
pDev:
9.15%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
337
Gots:
403
Trade:
28
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,792 |  Reviews: 859
Photo of brdc
4.63/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks stoutsNipas for this one, small capped bottle poured into a snifter. Best before 2013.

I will admit there was a strong bias before trying this one, but I can also see perfection, even through all my preconceived notions.
Pitch black, but shiny, with an amazingly thick, fluffy and long lasting head for a beer with this amount of alcohol.
Like some that reviewed before me, it is hard to classify. The delicious aroma starts closer to an oatmeal stout, evolves into something a bit closer to a quadrupel or strong dark ale, and eventually shows notes of an imperial stout (which this one is certainly not). Chocolate, coffee, candy, fruits, caramel, molasses, yeast, bread and a few other notes can be picked up.
It comes across the tongue and throat as smooth as possible, and I am still having a hard time believing the ABV stated on the label; there is no heat whatsoever in the beginning, with some showinhg at the end as it produces a somewhat dry finish. It actually goes down quite easy considering it is 75 F tonight (there is no way I could have waited for the autumn).
The complex flavors also run the gamut suggested from the palate.

 1,156 characters

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of kmoen
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of starrdogg
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I'm not a huge stout guy typically (especially non-barrel aged stouts), but this beer really stands out as a fine example of the style.

Beer is almost black in color with a foamy tan head. Smells of sweet malts and hints of alcohol. The taste is dark chocolate with a little bit of sweetness up front and some roasted malts in the finish. It's really not very bitter for a stout, something that typically turns me off in the style. Instead it has a little bit of dark fruit flavor, almost along the lines of a quad. It's very carbonated, a bit creamy and almost light-feeling, though definitely not thin-bodied. It's extremely drinkable for a beer at 13% ABV. It's actually pretty incredible how well this beer hides the alcohol flavor without resorting to being overly sweet. Very well-balanced.

Overall this is a pretty impressive beer that can be enjoyed by both stout lovers and those who aren't as fond of the style.

 925 characters

Photo of FreshmanPour77
5/5  rDev +17.4%

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

Bottle from Belmont Party.

Poured a clear dark brown color with a large frothy brown head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy roasted chocolate, caramel and alcohol aroma. Heavy bittersweet roasted malty flavor with a heavy bittersweet and small alcohol bite finish of long duration. Full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation.

This is a standout beer.

 381 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.

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Photo of jdense
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, 2008 (?) vintage, shared with S.K. for pre-GABF toast, 9.23.11.

Dark brown/black body, opaque, no visible carbonation. Dark brown head, medium dissipation with minimal lacing. Some chocolate in the nose, dark, balanced by faint vanilla notes and assertive candi sugar notes, and surprisingly very little hop aroma which evidently faded after aging. Taste is pretty complex, chocolate, a wee bit of chocolate, burnt sugar/caramelish sweetness, if anything the hops are fairly floral at this point. The resiny hops became noticeable once the beer got close to room temperature. Mouthfeel is well on the full side of medium, like chomping down on a good brownie, slick, pretty sticky finish. Wow. Whether it was the De Struise yeast or the barrel aging, this was a very nice, tres complex beer. Dope.

 813 characters

Photo of deebo
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 330 ml bottle of Batch 0 BA No. 14, lot A with a BB date of Dec.31, 2017 picked up in December at De Struise shop in Bruges for a hefty $4.70 Euro.

Poured into a snifter this brew is black as a bowling ball with a little head that is mocha in color-no lacing present as the head quickly recedes. Smells like a big RIS, heavy boozy malts with notes of molasses. bourbon vanilla. Initial taste is big smoky, heavily roasted malt with an alcohol kick. As it warms I get a hint of that estery Belgian yeast but it is dominated by the wealth of malts. Dark fruity character as it warms, lower in bitterness than most. A rich heavy body but not sticky or oily. Low carbonation. This high alcohol content volatilizes the beer through your nose very noticeably. This is a big fucking beer. A beer to sip and contemplate. A must for fans of big rich RIS.

 848 characters

Photo of DovaliHops
4.16/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Batch 14. Pours as one of the most beautiful stouts I've ever seen. Pours a dark black with an AMAZING brown-tan head that is nice and frothy. Scent is VERY boozy with some lovely espresso and vanilla aromas. I also get some dark chocolate and toffee... Oh wow, this taste is genuine. Such profound alcohol and coffee flavors, blended nicely with chocolate, dark fruits, and vanilla. The mouthfeel is where this beer shines the most...oh so creamy and full-bodied. Just magnificent. Drinkability is fairly high for such a high ABV beer. Overall, this beer is pricey, but worth it IMO. It's an awesome imperial stout!

 616 characters

Photo of paco1029384756
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black with a small tan head and good lacing.

Scent of chocolate, candi sugar, dark fruits, spices, cola, and alcohol. There is a lot to the scent, but it isn't overly complex, very good.

Taste of roasted malts, chocolate, dark fruits and alcohol. This stuff is pretty hot right now, but I think it will be excellent with some age.

Mouthfeel is full bodied and heavy, but it seems a little thin.

 403 characters

Photo of BeerBelcher
3.88/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A RIS? Huh, struck more as a Belgian quad than anything else. Obviously, like everyone else, I'd heard a ton about this beer before actually trying it. In fact, I'd even looked for this beer during a trip to Belgium a few months ago, albeit unsuccessfully.

This beer struck me as distinctly quad-like. Color was dark, head was minimal, aroma was faint (which I would blame on it being served far to cold at The Terminal), and flavor started with a touch of roastiness, but to me offered a lot of dried fruit, like raisins and dates, with maybe a touch of cognac flavor. Mouthfeel was pretty good.

I thought this beer was good, but not exactly up to the hype. I really enjoyed it, but I thought it honestly inferior to some more widely distributed Belgian beers such as Rochefort 10 or Achel 8 Brune. I would recommend, but I also wouldn't recommend driving for hours or paying huge quantities of money to obtain it.

I had this on-tap, and served far too cold, at The Terminal, near the airport in Milwaukee.

 1,011 characters

Photo of rtepiak
4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle and monks cafe

pour is like a RIS but would have to say that it sort of dwelling in the interesting in between of a quad and a ris that i love so much as a night cap. there is a equal part of chocolate and coffee and dry roastiness with a hop drying quality as there is complex ester of dark fruit and pollen. there is a tad meaty and a hint of sour note that are quite subtle. sour like coffee is acidic... sour like plum. nose of forest fruit and coffee. beautiful head. wonderful balance and a mix of two worlds of beer. abv totally undetectable but think in this case that could be something that is not letting out some constituent in the nose. it does open up for about a half an hour though.

 706 characters

Photo of Hophead717
3.94/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of sludgegnome
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Beerbom
4.2/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of DeanMoriarty
4.89/5  rDev +14.8%
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!

 1,010 characters

Photo of greg4579
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%

Batch 14, 2007 vintage.

Very port like in flavor. Lots of vinous notes. I found the nose faint, and almost nonexistent. I thought the mouthfeel was good and as expected.

A dessert in itself and an enjoyable way to start watching Thursday night football.

 257 characters

Photo of Ajlvt
3.75/5  rDev -12%

Photo of jjanega08
4.14/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A= The pour is a pitch black color with a nice two finger head rising out of it that holds some nice retention and has steady lacing for such a big beer. The heads color is a nice mocha color.

S= Big booze comes from the nose. That's the first thing I notice. There's a lot of roast to it as well as some odd estery sweetness to it. The esters are true to any Belgian beer I suppose. The only problem is that it smells a lot of alcohol. Almost reminds me of WWS in a way only less sweet in the nose.

T= The taste tops the smell anyday! Wow this is a smooth easy drinking stout. There is plenty of roast to it as well as sweetness to balance it out a little. The alcohol never comes through in the taste at all and the Belgian yeast leaves a little fruityness to it that I've never had in a Impy stout.

M= This unfortunatly is a little weak. It is so thin however that you never really notice your drinking such a huge beer.

D= The thin mouth on this leads to huge drinkability. This is such an up and down beer as far as the rating categories go but it is still amazing. One of a kind beer that I have never and possibly will never have anything like again. I'm happy I found a spot that carries these because I'll be going back for more that for sure.

 1,257 characters

Photo of ryanpj
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of htomsirveaux
4.52/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle tried 12 May 2010. Lot B/6/BB is marked on the side. Acquired this in trade last year, but don't remember who from.

Served in a 0.4 L Steiner Pils snifter. Large brown head. Well carbonated. Pours an oily black, a few red highlights. Serious aroma, dark fruit, burnt sugar, molasses, fruity sour, ethanol. Flavor delivers on the promises made by aroma. Deep sweet molasses, dark figs, burnt sugar. Some vanilla, maybe oak. 100 IBUs keeps the edge off it being cloying but still a sweet beer. Finish and aftertaste is warm and boozy. Alcohol noticeable throughout. Bourbon and dark sugar linger in the mouth. Medium body.

Recommended.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.37/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle purchased June, 2013 into a Stone IRS snifter. The pour is black as pitch with a massive (no, MASSIVE) mass of light brown foam on top that is stubbornly retentive. When it finally does die down, it condenses into a super-fine, whipped-cream-like consistency (wow!). The nose has all the characteristics of the style: rich malt, husky roasty notes, dark fruit, and a hint of booze.

The beer has a full body and a nice, rich, balanced flavor. I get lots of sweet malt, dark chocolate, and a hint of sarsaparilla up front. These flavors gradually give way to a sweet, rummy, roasty flavor and a faint, espresso-like bitterness in the back of the mouth. This beast hides it's alcohol extremely well. The alcohol adds richness to the flavors and enhances the drinkability.

A really excellent RIS with a sweeter flavor than I expected (100 IBUs? No way!). It's very reminiscent of Ten FIDY, with just a shade taken off the feel. It might even be a little sweeter than Ten FIDY. Whatever, I really enjoy a good RIS and this is a darn good one.

 1,060 characters

Photo of CGMLS3
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of bauermj
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

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