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

Photo of kingmaker
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of POTABLE83
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of t8dd
4.8/5  rDev +13.2%

Photo of brians52
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of daledeee
4.18/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased a single bottle. This is the first time I have seen this beer in our area. It is pretty expensive as well.

This beer poured with a great head. Tan in color and it stayed around. I was surprised since it was so strong in alcohol.

Nose is dark chocolate and booze.

Taste is sweet, chocolate, malts and very bitter. If I remember, this beer is 100IBU which is higher than any other stout I have heard of. It makes for an interesting drink.

Mouth feel is very creamy. Drinkability suffers since the alcohol is upfront. Otherwise this beer is well done.

 562 characters

Photo of coldmeat23
5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

GLASS: Imperial Pint Glass
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees

When poured, slowly, this black liquid still manages to be the bottom third of the glass with a massive tan head filling the other two thirds. Wow. Minimal lacing but great head retention.

Dark fruits and sweet roasted malts. Slight yeastiness mixes with apples and pears. Mild vanilla notes. It actually hints at the smell of a nice top-shelf Rum.

Oh, yeah. That's what I'm talking about, right there. B-A-L-A-N-C-E. Man oh man.
Dark roasted malts mix with sweet candy sugars and a slight hops bite to create ambrosia. Alcohol is very well hidden. Chocolate covered dark fruit flavors. Slight hint of coffee. Toffee and vanilla sweetness. An ever so slight hint of licorice.
All through this, it retains a nice earthy/grainy quality.

Nice and velvet-like in the mouth. Just the way I like it. Very creamy and smooth. Slight touch of oily-ness.

Exceptional! This is one amazing brew. I could drink this everyday from now on out and be completely happy.
Super tasty and super easy to drink. My very first 'perfect' rating for a beer.

 1,100 characters

Photo of steve8robin
3.61/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got this at a local beer store. Tried once a whole back, but looking to review it...

A: Pours a deep dark black with a nice milk chocolate head that fades at a good rate. Very good.

S: Thick bitter chocolate roast upfront with dark fruits in the middle and hints of cocao and vanilla on the backend. Decent.

T: Heavy boozy roastiness upfront with bitter chocolate in the middle and a light airy cocao on the backend. Decent.

M: Medium body with a hint too much carbonation. Good.

D: Once you get past the heavy booze and bitter roastiness, this goes down. Decent.

All in all, this is an ok brew. Not too much special here. Ok brew. Way too boozy and roasty than I would've liked. Not really worth hunting down. Many better in the style.

 742 characters

Photo of Bruno74200
4.68/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2015 Vintage

L - Pitch black with a small beige head

S - Boozy, grape, roasted malt

T - Very balanced between the roasted malts and the herbal hops, a light yeast character, a bit of grape and apple, cocoa powder. Very neat. Sweet but not cloying

F - Thick and almost perfect gentle carbonation

O - A great beer, not as complex as some Imperial Stout but it has a certain deepness but stays drinkable with a clear taste and not boozy in the taste even with the 13% ABV. It gets better as it warms up.

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Photo of roadhouse
4.08/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a snifter.

Appearance is pitch black as expected with a one inch creamy tan head. Retains very well, especially for a snifter and leaves some nice lacing.

Aroma is full of dark fruits - plum, black cherries, and figs. Smells like more Quad than stout. Roastiness is not present, surprising for a stout.

The taste begins with the dark fruit character from the aroma but it is quickly blended with some dark chocolate flavors. In the finish some roastier coffee flavors come out along with a pretty heavy hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium in body with an extremely creamy texture that is surprisingly soft on the palate. While it's not as thick and viscous as many of the RIS are that I love, this makes up for it in that aspect.

Overall, this was disappointing, mostly because it was not what I was expecting. I would take many American RIS over this one but it's still an interesting beer. I'm not gonna say it's worth the hype, or the cost, but it's certainly good.

 1,011 characters

Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of capnamerica
4.56/5  rDev +7.5%

Photo of earlholman
4/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle into snifter. Served somewhere between cellar and room temp. Thanks to Chris (cvfish) for this one!

Pours black, with a substantial 2-finger densely fluffy light-brown head. Nice stickage when the glass is tilted, and as the head recedes.

Nose is pretty intense and different. Roasty and fruity, notes of red grapes, cherries, raisins, molasses, roasted barley, cocoa, licorice, bit of boozey alcohol, and god knows how much stuff I can't put my finger on bubble up. This nose is epic at times, very good at others.

Taste is a bit more straightforward. Roasted barley and some molasses hit the tongue first, lotta dark fruits swirling around, some licorice. Lingering dark roasted and black licorice notes, with an exhale that's got some heat to it. Still, not nearly as much as I expected for the abv. A tad meaty in the roastiness. This would be amazing with a nice ham that had been caramelized a bit.

Mouthfeel is creamy, very full, lots of very soft, almost fluffy carbonation.

Drinkability gets bonus points for hiding the alcohol fairly well, but the heavy roast/meaty notes get to me after awhile.

 1,118 characters

Photo of browniewithnuts
4.75/5  rDev +12%

Photo of jkane101
4.25/5  rDev +0.2%

4/5  rDev -5.7%

Photo of JohnnyMc
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.68/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 8/4/2009 (Bottle LOT B6BB):

Pours an extremely dark brown colored body, with a huge foamy tan-brown colored head, lastingish. Aroma of dark fruit, dark grape, fig, and floral, somewhat sweet. Not much roasted notes, but the floral is definitely muted by something. Dark fruit taste, immediately followed by roasted and chocolate flavors. Roasted aftertaste. Dark grape. Like a combo Belgian ale and an imperial stout. Tasty.

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Photo of russwbeck
3.53/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The scores are from Batch 0, if I counted my scores from Black Albert, they would be much lower.

Black Albert Batch A4BB

I was going to try this side by side with Black Albert Batch 0, but when I opened this it exploded with head out of the top before I could even get the cap off. Not a good sign. After pouring ever so slightly to avoid the ridiculously fast growing head, the first smell definitely leads me to believe this is infected. It smells like a Flanders Oud Bruin to be honest. The taste is light and while not sour, it certainly isn't what I'd expect from a RIS. I don't think I'm going to review it anymore than that. Pretty disappointed here, let's see what happens with Batch 0...

Batch 0 Lot D

A: The head on this is huge. You really have to be careful when pouring to avoid a Duvel type 6 inch brown head. Black pour.

S: The smell is distinctly Belgian, very sweet. A bit of roastiness is mixed in as well giving it that stout feeling to it. It does smell more like a Quad than a RIS though.

T: This is the taste I was expecting. It really is hard to believe that this is an older version of the infected mess I opened first. The Belgian yeast and funky taste is there, along with a bit of dark fruits, but it also has a nice roasty character. The Belgian tastes seem to start the beer, and stout characteristics end it.

MF: Thankfully this has a medium body and was not light and watery like Black Albert. A bit boozy, with a dry aftertaste.

O: This was ok. It isn't great and overall sort of weird, but there isn't anything wrong with it. Is it worth the price it goes for? Probably not, but I'm glad I tried it.

 1,640 characters

Photo of cvm4
4.22/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch #14

A - Pours very black, just like any stout. There's some tan bubbles floating around but not much of a head.

S - I'm picking up a smell almost like a red wine. Very fruity and complex smelling.

T - Dark cherries, raisins, plums with a dark chocolate undertone. The aftertaste is when the bitter cocoa and coffee show up. There's a lot going on in here and it is melding together wonderfully.

M - Great carbonation, just heavy enough to coat your mouth.

O - A sipper of a beer. If you're not open minded and expecting something else then you won't like it. From what I gather, this beer should be aged and I could only imagine it'll get much better.

 663 characters

Photo of jemarent
4.75/5  rDev +12%

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

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

Review from notes: 9/3/2011. Somehow found this bottle at a local shop near Polaris. I have never heard of this one being around, so I was pumped to try it. Thanks to the owner for throwing it on the shelf.

A - Black, oh yea, real black. A huge 2 inch tower of dark mocha foam clings to the glass as it slowly fades. This one looks real nice, like a 13% RIS should.

S - This one doesn't smell like your normal RIS, at least not one I'm used to. Very fruity to begin, lots of tart cherries and plums, probably due to the yeast. You can tell it's Belgian. Roasted malt undertones with some dark chocolate mixed in. Smells a little bit like some nice cordial cherries. Not much hops, then again I think this bottle has been aging. Pretty nice overall.

T - Nicely mimics the nose, but without as much chocolate. Roasty to start with with a blast of tart cherry and other dark fruits. A touch of bitter chocolate lingers. This may be fresher than I suspected. The hops mesh nicely to balance the sweetness of the malts and the acidity of the fruits (guessing this comes from the yeast), while adding a slight dryness to the finish. What's amazing is I can't really trace alcohol until it goes down. This is one of the more complex stouts I've tasted. I'm very impressed with this.

M - A little bit sweet and syrupy, but smooth and creamy at the same time. This has a big feel in the mouth but with low to moderate carbonation. Warm in the tummy.

O - This was a stellar stout in my opinion. One of the top Belgian beers I have had, and that says a lot. This is definitely more than I was expecting from a Belgian RIS. If Black Albert were more readily available to me (and somewhat affordable), I could see myself frequently drinking it. Definitely want to have it again, and would recommend to snag one if you see it.

 1,817 characters

Photo of sprucetip
4.57/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at Ebenezer's.

Black, of course, with thin head which fades to ring and leaves no lacing.

Complex maltiness, sweetness, roasted grains, molasses, chocolate, boozy heat.

Boozy heat, complex malty and sweet flavors, chocolate, mild roastiness, molasses. Clean finish.

Thick, full, warming, lightly carbonated, creamy, slightly dry finish.

Imminently drinkable. Though I noticed the alcohol in some sensations, had no idea it was 13% until I went to review. Damned tasty. Non-beer geek girlfriend also very impressed by this one. I was prepared for it to be just pretty good, due to the hype, but I'm saying it is exceptional.

 637 characters

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