Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,782 |  Reviews: 857
Photo of JayS2629
4.55/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely phenominal! Reminds me of Rochefort 10! Rich, smooth, dark chocolately velvet wrapping dark cherries, plums and currants. Roasted coffee sways through it with a tiny hint of smoke. The taste follows the nose of dark chocolate, toffee, sweet malts, and dark fruits. complex! Earthy notes, and a hint of smoke. Velvety smooth like liquid chocolate. Thick, dark, black, oily with a great pillar of head that has great retention and beautiful sea foam lace! Only beaten by the Rochefort for hiding the alcohol better.

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

according to what google tells me this is a june of 07 vintage.

appearance - black albert in color, 2 inch head from controlled pour. great retention and lacing.

smell - rich chocolate (just amazing), a bit of red wine (possibly from the great chocolate), dark malts, caramel

taste - alcohol, dark chocolate (not coming off as rich) it warms, more chocolate and alcohol diminishes. definitely something to let warm.

mouthfeel - a bit too carbonated, otherwise a nice body. also as it warms, carbonation dies a bit and body is much more noticeable and richness. a bit oily coating going on.

amazing the carbonation level if this is an 07. seems pretty fresh to me except the chocolate and dark malt rule.

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Photo of NickyDee21
4.58/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.51/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

thanks to CVfish for this bottle

A - this RIS pours a motor oil dark, with two fingers of chocolate milk colored head, too dark to note carbonation

S - a superb nose comprised of chocolate/coffee and coffee, like a quality RIS

T - chocolate dominates the taste, some roasted malts, there is an underlying peaty/earthyness to the flavor as well

M&D - smooth and complex, flavorful, well done RIS, this one is worth trying at least once

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Photo of IndyDad
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of SweetChicken
4.28/5  rDev +0.9%

Photo of Wobbly
4.04/5  rDev -4.7%

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

Photo of Kevincredible
4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of goochpunch
4.46/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out a ruby black body with a humongous, rocky mocha head that recedes to a bubbly thin cap like a freshly served espresso. Smells strongly of chocolate and lightly of roasted malts. I get a lot of Belgian quad-like yeast qualities, bringing forth dried fruits, plums, and leather. Flavor is of raisins, chocolate, earthy bitterness, coffee/chocolate ice cream, light acidity in the finish. Alcohol is noted, but very well hidden. Bitterness is not as pronounced as the 100+ IBUs insinuate. Mouthfeel is creamy, full, and rich. One of the greats. I wish more US breweries made bigger stouts of this caliber and finesse.

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

This beer pours a deep dark black with a sustained film of creamy tan.

I kinda wanna curse when I smell this. = ) There's an amazingly deep concord grape, pomegranate and candy sugar that's rounded off by a silky chocolate and delicate smoke. The Belgian edge way off in the distance is fantastic. Amazing!

The flavor is a bit muddled, as if there is far too much going on for its own good. The fruitiness comes across a little over-ripe and is overcome with sour coffee and a charcoal-like toasty malt. I'm also getting a touch of the dreaded "cough syrup." It's nice and all, but waaay to busy.

Feels velvety, soft, clean and dense.

A tasty beer for sure, but perhaps a little much.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.7/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very fortunate to be able to enjoy this on tap at Pizzaria Paradiso in Georgetown last night.

A: Almost two fingers of mocha colored head and jet black color. Looks great, great lacing, just seems like a little aggressive head for a big stout but hey man I like aggressive beer!

S: Lots of roasted malt, chesnut, dark fruit, oak, chocolate, charred marshmellow you name it for what a stout smells like and its probably there in this one.

T: So many layers to this beer. Sweet chocolate and coffee roast up front, charred malt, dark chocolate and vanilla middle, roasty and bitter finish. Sweet and Savory, a little tart almost, and a nice bite in the finish as well. Thats really good.

M: Creamy and coating, juicy, a little on the high side of carbonation but mostly just awesome.

D: What a treat to have this on tap. Very tasty and highly recommended. It is 13%.

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Photo of aleigator
3.41/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Struise Black Albert '14 vintage

Pours a viscous motor oil color, with a very small head, immediately falling to pieces. Reveals thick alcohol legs after swirling, wandering to the edge of the glass, showing the beers immense viscosity.

Smells of cinnamon and earth infused dried fruits, together with caramel and molasses. Coffee beans and aridly wood contrast the upcoming sweet alcohol bite, showcasing a convincing balance on the nose. Dried plums, cinnamon and booze build the foundation of this complex smelling beer.

Has a low carbonation, featuring a creamy mouthfeel and a medium body, resulting in a varying taste.

Cinnamon is weaker on the palate than on the nose, which gets replaced by smoky malts and a huge amount of charred coals. The beers sweetness gets provided by molasses, rock sugar and dried plums, balanced by bitter chocolate and dry coffee, directly blending into sweet, hot booze. Finishes with alcohol and its burning aftermath, coated up by earth, coals and caramel.

Very heavy on the booze, once it becomes visible, tamed only by the malts during the very end. Before that, spices and coffee build up a very interesting mixture, which gets lost in most parts, due to the hot burn. The beer creates a different taste then, which still relies heavily on the booze bite, countered by a profound sweetness, but missing its initial, wooden bitterness.

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Photo of allenson21
4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mikereaser
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of BeerThursdays
3.75/5  rDev -11.6%

Photo of pjs234
4/5  rDev -5.7%

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

Photo of dwoolley1
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of HollyHops
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of M1A2
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of MastaShonuf
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of asabreed
4.82/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

11.2 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. I think this bottle was around $10, but at the time I didn't know if and / or when I'd see it again, so I figured I'd snag one. Also, I'm moving to NY in about 10 days, and I'm certainly not traveling with this for fear of obvious breakage, so here we go.

Appearance: Pretty much opaque on all accounts. Hugely billowing mocha-colored head, with a dense, rock candy-like dissipating, slowly leaving some sheets of lacing on the glass. Not the best rounds of lacing ever-clinging, but it takes a ton of time for the head to dissipate, releasing some pretty heady aromas.

Smell: This is a wild and beautiful anomaly, and you can immediately tell the quality of this brew. Rich ripe strawberries backed by cocoa powder, dark mocha, burnt chocolate and charred roasted malts, tar, a bit of wood, and what I like to think of as an almost wild yeast strain, adding an amazingly heady sense of funk to the whole thing. More barnyard and earth than medicinal. Yet I also get more fruit as it warms, some ripe citrus and cherries, and a rich caramel-vanilla combination, almost like caramel-drizzled apple cake, with some sour apple skin, maybe granny smith, going on.

Taste: First off: the balance between the sweetness and sourness and bitterness here at the finish is wonderful and rich and complex and one of the best I've ever found in a brew. Though that's just the start, I suppose it, even though technically it's the end. And the balance between the sweetness of the ripe fruit and somehow juicy citrus is complimented by the nuanced, and somehow subtle, charred assault of tar, blackened malts, black coffee, and dark chocolate. Just absolutely incredible, and probably, as far as taste goes for a beer, in my top 10. Tons of luscious 2-cream-and-2-sugar coffee, while maintaining the bitterness, with the juiciness of orange and strawberry in there, and again, somehow everything mingles so well. Rather than an over-the-top-RIS like many American versions, this one puts the stamp on quality, because there's a wealth of riches going on, all of it somewhat unbelievable as I keep drinking, since I've never really had a brew like this in my entire life in some ways.

Mouthfeel: Rich and viscous and heavy and not cloying at all. Nuance nuance nuance. Thick and rich as all hell, but there maintains a litheness to the carbonation that for a 13% ABV brew is astounding. Velvety and fantastic.

Drinkability: This was tough for me, because it's one of the most expensive beers for the amount in the bottle that I've ever purchased, but it's been one of the best experiences I've ever had with a beer, through and through. Huge alcohol, almost indiscernible at every angle, balance with the subtleties of flavor and complexity that seem almost unparalleled to me in most other beers. This is definitely worth the $10-ish price tag, especially if you're looking for something worth that price, because more and more often I'm finding I'm not displeased as much as maybe very slightly disappointed with the price to quality ratio these days. Here? Not at all.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.37/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of mscudder
4.14/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter. Lot 25|08|GG (2012).

A - Poured strongly. Opaque hue with an immense mocha head. Excellent retention with fair lacing.

S - Dark Chocolate, roasted coffee, light caramel, dark fruits and faint smoked wood.

T - The term "Royal Stout" is necessary due to this varying strongly from what I would deem a traditional RIS. The Belgian influence is noticeable throughout: dark fruits are infused in the more traditional composition, yielding a sourness which I cannot particularly appreciate. Flavors are balanced well and the hop bitterness aids in weighing down the fruits and subduing the alcohol.

M - Silky smooth and lacking the fullness I desire and except in a stout this large. It resembles more of a fudge-like milk stout at 6-8%. Does not ruin the beer, although it is the weakest aspect.

O - Being a huge fan of Quads and Russian Imperial Stouts, this was not a fusion I adore. That said, I have high standards for Struise. It simply does not compete with the top-notch Quads or Russian Imperials I have sampled. Certainly not a bad beer, for I will keep a few for a cool evening.

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Black Albert from De Struise Brouwers
4.24 out of 5 based on 1,782 ratings.
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