Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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94
outstanding
856 Reviews
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Black AlbertBlack Albert
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium
noordhoek.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
Reviews:
856
Ratings:
1,773
Avg:
4.24
pDev:
9.2%
 
 
Wants:
337
Gots:
399
For Trade:
28
User Reviews
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Reviews: 856 | Ratings: 1,773
Photo of ejquin
4.67/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Deeply black with two finger brown head. Fades after a bit and leaves decent lacing

S: Nicely phenolic like a nice belgian quad, but with much more espresso and dark choclate. Some figginess and a nice fruitty sweetness as well with some candy sugar

T/M: Mouthfeel is medium, perhaps would have liked it heavier. More carbonated than an average stout, but I suppsoe that's the "Belgian" part of the Royal Stout description. Amazingly clean for a 13% abv beer. I get some anise up front, which fades to a figgy coffee flavor, and then a crisp hop bite, then I get even more figs and a grape and rasiin taste. Going on over all of this is a white pepper spice and a malty sweetness. It's not unitl you've sat there for a good four or five seconds after the finish that alcohol becomes apparent.

D: Pretty damn good considering the alochol.

Ovr: In a year that has brought me Dark Lord, Darkness, Abyss, and now Black Albert, I'd have to say this is right up there. Much more drinkable than the heavier stouts, but as complex. If you forced me, I'd go Dark Lord, Darkness, Black Albert, Abyss

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Photo of Beerisheaven
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled last Saturday prior to the Penn State Michigan State football game as part of a "Big Beer" tasting.

Poured with love from a bottle into my snifter glass.

A - Dark black pour with a nice head that pulled back over time.

S - Luxury in a glass. Nose was everything you could want in a beer as chocolate, fruit, and licorice all danced across the nose.

T - Follows the nose and is about as perfect as you can get. Rich flavors with taste of chocolate, raisons, dark cherry, and licorice all are evident. Slight warming but you would never know that this baby packs such a strong punch. You want to savor each and every drop of this experience.

M- Perfect carbonation level for this sipper.

D - Very high for the ABV @ 13%. You could drink this one easily but you would pay the price.

No doubt a treat that is worth repeating. You should try this one at least once and then probably more. Pick it up as it now appears to be more available in the US. A GREAT, GREAT beer.

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Photo of Altenor
4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark, almost totally black with a chocolately head that dissipates fairly quick. No signs of lacing on the sides of the glass but good looking RIS nontheless.

S: Black cherries, chocolate powder, raisins, some gooey dates, light booze and a touch of funk. Enjoyed the smell quite a lot. It was sweet smelling and welcoming. Couldn't wait to try my first sip.

T: Lots of sweet dark fruits, molasses, a touch of vanilla and nutmeg. Very round and a long, long chocolate milkshake finish. I don't know why but I get a little of a marshmallow taste as well. So yes, it's sweet. A touch of roasted malt and caramel is present too. I just have one question, where's the 13% ABV? It goes down so easy, a little too easy for 13% which makes it dangerous.

M: Good carbonation in the palate gives it a creamy, silky mouthfeel. I wouldn't say it's full bodied, more medium that moves quite nicely and full of flavor.

O: A great beer. I was expecting a lot from it and don't know if it really lived up to the hype, but it is well made and full of flavor. Definetly would recommend, especially if you prefer sweeter stouts.

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Photo of cleeze
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
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 sk8man121
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz bottle poured into goblet. Batch #14; I don't see a vintage but I'm guessing 2009.

A: Pours jet black with a thin, brown head. Looks exactly how I'd expected.

S: Nose is of bitter chocolate, alcohol and astringent herbs. Very fruity w/ hints of black cherry & raspberry.

T: Quite possibly the fruitiest imperial stout I've ever tasted, and I mean that in as good a way as possible. Alcohol is pleasantly warming, chocolate/cocoa is evident but far from overpowering. Bitterness is high, almost like a fine espresso. Absolutely perfect.

M: Silky and mouth-coating. Carbonation is very low and for good reason; any more would be distracting.

D: I went to the liquor store tonight for a Chimay Blue and almost fell off my feet when I saw this beer on the shelf, and for only $10.49. Rarely do I agree that a beer truly lives up to the hype, but this is absolutely perfect and beautiful.

One of the best beers on the planet.

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Photo of ikantspel
3.7/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz into a hangar 24 snifter

pours a motor oil black with an almost burgundy thin foamy head

dark fruits, belgian yeast, cocoa, and burnt sugar in the nose

heavy taste of oaky malts, molasses, dark fruits. finishes slightly dry with only a slight hint of alcohol

overall a solid stout. no complaints love its simplicity

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.63/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Very deep brown color with a very nice fluffy chocolate milk colored head. Retains the head exceedingly well. Leaves good lacing as well.

S: Dark chocolate and cocoa powder with a nice malty sweetness underneath. Slight alcohol burn.

T: Cocoa and chocolate are big upfront with a bit of alcohol burn going down.

M: Full bodied and silky smooth. Minimal carbonation.
D: Despite the ABV this is very drinkable. I could only imagine how much smoother it could get with age.

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Photo of bowersdm
4.36/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a nonic.

A - jet black with a tiny ruby halo at the base of the beer, a massive 3.5cm light brown head formed. beautiful. perfect.

S - raisins, prunes, roasted barley, chocolate, nuts, a slight funky-ness that's distinctly belgian. I don't know whether it's my nose reaction to all of the new allergens in the air due to the weather or whether everything just didn't seem as strong as your normal RIS because the aroma was kind of weak. I'm going to err on the side of caution and give it a 4.0.

T - roastedy barley, charred barley, lots of fruit (raisins, prunes, figs), chocolate. It has a fairly bitter finish with notes of vanilla and cherry. It's also slightly sour. The predominant flavor is dark fruit and sour with hints of your normal RIS flavors. I don't quite know what to give this beer as I try to be as objective as possible while reviewing. It tastes very, very good, but it's not at all a typical RIS. The sourness and the funkiness seem slightly out of place (not quite as much as in Jolly Pumpkins Madrugada Obscura), but it's still a very good beer. If I was rating this solely on how it tastes (non-objectively), it'd be a 5.0, but again, it's not quite your normal RIS, so I'm going to drop the score slightly.

M - thick and oily, almost syrupy.

D - the ABV is incredibly well hidden. I've had 7% ABV beers that didn't go down quite as smooth as this beer. I could drink this all day if it wasn't for how filling one of these is.

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Photo of kasper
3.71/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Pours dark brown, huge three finger cargo tan-colored foamy head even on a cold pour. Some rings of laces recede.

S: Hints of cocoa, raisin, and cream on this cold pour. Underlying aromas of some once-was bitterness. Weak aromas overall.

T: On the better end of belgian imperial stouts, with a wicked twist at the end. Dark, syrupy fruity malts, strong licorice and alcohol slip down the throat when suddenly a bitter, jagermeister-like roasted finish floods the senses, lingering in an aftertaste of burnt licorice.

M: Full-bodied, yet thin feeling (but heavy hitting). Moderate carbonation, but it's noticeable.

D: This 12oz bottle was aged at least a year, no hoppy aromas, lots of alcohol-soaked fruits without the candy belgian/yeast flavors. Similar to a DFH WWS in some ways. Nice to try, not sure it's something I'll ever crave.

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Photo of teamizm
3.33/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Part of my Westy 12 box.

Batch 0 poured from a bottle

A - Pours like a deep black coffee with a nice mocha head that recedes somewhat quickly.

S - Roasted malts, chocolates, and a slight metallic smell (this is why I'm not a huge fan of imports)

T - Upfront metallic taste. Very sweet, Belgian candy sugars with a molasses and chocolaty twinged.

M - very one dimensional. For a 13% RIS, it lacks a lot of complexity. 50/50 Eclipse has about 4-5% less ABV and has 200% more complexity in the mouth feel.

D - Kind of a boring RIS. The variable in reviewing a RIS from across the pond is that conditions make a huge impact on the beer. This beer may be great in Belgium, but it doesn't hold up well in travel.

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Photo of Fatduck
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a pure black, with a tight, but small, head. Smells a bit funky, in a good way, there is a hint of fruit and spice.

Wow! That is one serious beer. Ive been reading the label as I wait for it to warm. 100 IBUs, seems like a lot, but you barely notice it in this beast. Royal Belgian Stout. I like that, I'm going to have to brew one of these.

There is a hint of coco, some coffee, with an underlying sweetness tempered with a yeasty spiciness, its a very intriguing brew, I wish I had more than 33cl.

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Photo of Jablonski
4.33/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: as others have said, its an opaque black; the head is tan, and leaves a very slight lacing along the glass

S: coffee, dark chocolate, spices, and alcohol; only wish the smell was a bit stronger

T: the flavor is intense with chocolate, caramel, and dark fruits followed by a spiced aftertaste; it is only slightly bitter and there is no alcohol apparent in the taste

M: carbonation is perfect; definately does not feel watered down

D: at 13% alcohol any more than two drinks is excessive, and one may be the perfect number

Overall, its a great beer. I would definately buy again and will once I start making the money to afford it more often.

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Photo of madtrixter787
4.23/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my DFH tulip from a bottle I picked up in maine a year or two ago (can't remember, I have two bottles from two different trips!). After deciding it's about time to drink down my cellar I figured I'd start with this. Pours a jet back with little to no head (though I poured slow because of the sludge at the bottom of the bottle). Smells like belgian candied sugars with a hint of booze, very nice. Very good taste, quite bitter from the 100 IBUs and not as much of an overpowering booze aftertaste as I anticipated, just a very well balanced imperial stout. Another great beer from de struise, just wish I could get them here in VA!

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Photo of pigc
4.29/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Decided to crack this one tonight after about 3 years in the cellar.

Poured into Eclipse snifter.

A - Pitch black with brown cola colored head. Lots of lacing and carbonation.

S - Black licorice, coffee, toffee, molasses.

T - Dark roasted coffee, licorice, with just a hint of bitterness to keep things in check.

M - Thick and chewy.

O - Very pleased with Belgian stout. I think a few years of age has rounded things out nicely. At 13% abv, this is still a beast of a beer. Nice slightly bitter finish. Well done.

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

Black pour with light brown edges. Mocha head rises with an inch of head, but dissipates quickly. Lacing is modest.

Nose is dominated by dark fruits, sweet and deep, with a good bit of roasted back ground. Alcohol is present, but is not overly dominating.

Palate is very rich, starting with an earthy malt beginning. Mid-body is dominated by dark fruits, a bit of spice which leads into a very smooth and mellowed roasted finish. Alcohol is present, but adds more to the beer than takes away. Comes off as port wine in essence and character.

Silky smooth mouthfeel with a great resonance of flavor. An exceptional beer that would age gracefully for years. Absolutely divine.

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Photo of TKempe
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Very dark in colour, almost black. A thick, brown head leaves plenty of lace.

Aroma is of roasted malt, sugar, dark fruits and hops, and gives off whiffs of coffee, chocolate, molasses and liquorice.

The taste starts off sweet and sticky, is followed by a slippery, both sour and salty phase, and ends with a dry and bitter taste (as if you are drinking espresso with a touch of hops). The after-taste is intensely bitter and very convincing. The blast of alcohol that follows could have been a little less though (or: learn to drink this beer patiently).

Body is full and supple with a sticky mouthfeel. Carbonation can't keep me from saying that this beer is actually too syrupy.

Black Albert finds itself somewhere in-between a quadrupel (like Pannepot) and a stout. Its malt-profile pleases me a lot, but its high content of sugar does not. And when the beer has warmed up, the two styles seem to fall out of their initial unity. A very impressive (and bold) piece of work nonetheless.

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Photo of firkinhophead
3.97/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle in a snifter at nearly room temperature. Thanks to Rusty Diamond for the hookup!

Pours a dark purplish-brown that allows some light to come through around the edges. A loose, active head settles to a ring that revives nicely with a swirl to form a tight foam that is clingy but not particularly sticky.

aroma of earthy malts, alcohol, char, wet coffee grounds, some pruney, over-ripe fruit.

tastes of roasted malts, sweet alcohol, coffee, and herbs. Medicinal astringency in the finish. Quite dry, with only a flash of dark fruit. Belgian yeast lends a funky tang.

Mouthfeel is a bit thinner than anticipated, but this is a highly attenuated stout. Hot alcohol on the breath. Carbonation is a tad prickly, adding to the medicinal character.

An interesting take on the style and worth a try, but to me it lacks complexity to match its big alcohol bite and bitter finish. Would certainly improve with age.

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Photo of JoeySchlitz
4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a few of these from Health Spirits a while back. 33cl bottle - which is a great size for a 13% abv beer. A very pricy bottle I might add.

Pours jet-black into a snifter - decent head that quickly recedes to the edges of the glass. Swirling it around it looks to be on the light side for viscosity.

Smells like soy sauce, bitter chocolate and some dark fruits with faint hops smell. Very little to no alcohol in the nose.

The taste is really good. Nothing like I expected. Pretty light on its feet for the abv with a mix of soy, light chocolate and coffee undertones with very good carbonation letting it dance in your mouth. Again not getting any of the 13% in the taste - this could be a dangerous beer to drink. Has a dry finish is unlike other RIS's that I've had.

A very well balanced high abv stout that I could drink one too many of if it wasn't so damn expensive. Overall quite impressed and worthy of the praise but only something that I'll occasionally indulge in.

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Photo of LauraAlberts
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Complete Black, can't see through - two fingers of tan head retention.

Smell: Molasses, Caramel, Little hint of bittersweet Chocolate, hint of mokah, black raspberry, dark cherry.

Taste: Tobacco, Vanilla bean, Molasses, Caramel, roasted nut

Mouthfeel: my favorite part - creamy - can't even taste the 13.00% alcohol.

Drinkability: Highly Drinkable - not heavy. I highly recommend - it is unbelievable. Quite possibly my favorite beer I've ever had.

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Photo of COBeerBuff
4.62/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A successful evening of softball means it's time to crack open my first BA...

Appearance: Before I even have a chance to let the bottle warm, off-white heads seeps out of the top of the bottle. Pours a very dark brown-black with about a quarter inch of mocha colored head. Lots of big bubbles interspersed among the more tightly packed small bubbles. The head recedes quickly leaving a ring around the edges of the glass and lots of great lacing. No light seeps around the edges. This is the definition of an opaque beer.

Smell: Chocolate, vanilla, coffee, some hops, and maybe even a little malty sweetness. There are also notes of caramel and lots more cocoa.

Taste: This is one of the best tasting RIS's (or RIB's) that I've had in a long time. The coffee and the chocolate hit you right out of the gate. The hop bitterness is there, but it's not overdone. The malty sweetness comes roaring through, but caramel and toffee flavors serve to round out the finish.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly crisp. This one poured, and tasted for that matter, like it was going to be one big chocolate/coffee sticky mess. It is quite the opposite. The carbonation is spot-on, and the beer glides over the tongue, enveloping it in goodness without being overwhelming or overpowering.

Drinkability: This is an absolutely delightful RIS. It's so well done that there is almost no alcohol taste. Some might see that as a bad thing since it's 13% ABV. I, on the other hand, love the craftsmanship that makes just such an instance possible. This could quickly become a staple brew in my cellar. Can't wait to try an aged one in 6-12 months.

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Photo of mpetersen
4.76/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Trying to hold off on doing many reviews until I learn more, but this is so good I can't help myself.

A: Pitch black with a beautiful, short mocha head.

S: Not much smell at all. Traces of dark fruit, milk chocolate and booze.

T: Taste is amazing. Alcohol is extremely well hidden. Mild sweetness, Belgian yeast, dark malts, hops and chocolate. Pleasant bitter finish.

M: WOW! Rich and creamy, full bodied. Worth the experience in and by itself.

D: Extremely drinkable. Never would have guessed 13% ABV if I hadn't read it off the bottle myself. Without a doubt a truly exceptional beer.

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Photo of tendermorsel
4.85/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I was lucky enough to get this off the tap at Ebanezer's Belgian beer fest.

Great jet black color. The head looked like the crema on a good shot of espresso.... a thin layer of brownish foam. It had a wonderful oder of sweet chocolate

There is so much going on with this beer. Roasted malts, coffee and chocolate notes. The finish was superb. Unlike some of the other high powered stouts this one did not stick in your mouth. In fact I had no problem transitioning to a Lou Pepe as my next glass. Truly a hand crafted beer. Very drinkable also as despite it's 13% alcohol content went down real smooth. A sipping beer for sure.

Definitely recommended.... If you can get it. I wish I could get a bottle or two to age or maybe a barrel aged version would be nice. I have a hunch that this gem would be even better with age.

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Photo of davod23
4.49/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 0. This arrived from Struise just yesterday. Poured into my Bruery tulip.

Pour is beautiful. Almost pitch black, chunky, long lasting tan head. Nice lacing. About as good as it gets.

The aroma is strangely muted, subdued. The most recognizable component is a mixed berry compote. Raisins. Slight roast, dark chocolate, and a wisp of smoke round it out. But this is surprisingly fruity.

Whoa. This is awesome. It opens with a berry sweetness, but almost immediately plunges into the deepest, darkest dark chocolate imaginable. This is like a melted gourmet bittersweet chocolate bar. Alcohol is warming but generally well hidden. This one lingers for a while on the back of the tongue - it's been a couple minutes since my last sip and I can still taste this. Fantastic, and after the aroma a huge and welcome surprise.

Mouthfeel and drinkability are both superb. Thick, viscous, but with an appropriate amount of low-level carbonation.

I've had Black Albert only once before, but this is much, much better than that bottle. Less of the quad characteristics, more of the stout. Worth seeking out. If Struise releases more Batch 0, I will be all over it. Highly recommended.

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Photo of calcio360jrd
3.55/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle served in my duvel tulip

First time i had tried this one, been on my radar for a while, and just scored 2 through 2 trades over the last week. Aggressive pour produced a little off white head that quickly diminished. The smell had that traditional RIS smell of dark fruit, little coffee, and definite alcohol presence. Taste was a little sweeter than i like for a RIS, but in no way unpleasant. The mouthfeel was the weirdest part of this beer. I hold all RIS to CCB Zhukov standards, black albert was just very thin feeling, almost felt more like a brown ale. Just didn't blow me away this one. I'll let the other one i have sit for a year or 2 til i come back to it again.

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Photo of Cmack15
4.35/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahh the famous Black Albert. Destruise is one of the top breweries in Belgium and well this is one of their fine offerings. Nice thick jet black brew that looks and smells great. Your nose is greeted with the aromas of chocolate, dark malts, dark fruits, and the yeast. A nice thick chewy mouthfeel to this beer. A session beer no, but a true decadent beverage yes. Seek this out and enjoy.
Cheers

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,773 ratings.
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