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Black Albert | De Struise Brouwers

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Black AlbertBlack Albert
1,792 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,792 |  Reviews: 858
Photo of RKing44
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 0. Lot A4BB.
$13 for the 11.2oz bottle. Poured to tulip.
Sampled 24MAR13

[A] A smooth yet swift pour produces a half finger high head of medium dark brown-caramel color. Slow to rise and slow to disappear, leaving a thick foamy collar comprised of large bubbles. The body is pitch black and visibly thick. Minimal lacing. There is a thick layer of yeast caked to the bottom of the bottle.

[S] Dark chocolate with a surprising berry-like fruitiness immediately noticeable. I suppose the fruity notes could be derived from the Belgian yeast - but it isn't wholly unlike the onset of infection either. Background notes of earth, hay, and wet tobacco leaf. Some sharp, but very clean alcohol are present.

[T] Semisweet dark chocolate, almost no bitterness at all and no roasted character. (How in the world is this 100 IBUs?) The fruity quality is confounding. Not entirely unwelcomed. but I don't think that it was intentional either. The flavor is very soft and refined...and is way more subtle than any other 13% RIS that I've ever had before. The alcohol is BARELY noticeable

[M] This is my favorite aspect of Black Albert. The smoothness cannot be overstated. Carbonation is low. The texture is suppleness defined. Full bodied on the front end and thinner on the back, which again makes me wonder if there is any type of infection going on.

[O] Good beer. Not great. But this beer has been aged for awhile - and time may not have been too kind. My next Black Albert will most definitely be consumed fresh.

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Photo of younger35
3.96/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Generously received this brew from hoppymeal as an extra! and mikesgroove in the Black Booty BIF '09. This has been on tap all around me for the past couple months yet somehow eluded me. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip.

Best consumed by April 2013. Batch #14.

Appearance- Pours a thick super dark black with a huge two finger dark tan head that recedes very slowly. Quite a bit of thick tan lacing is left on the glass from the fairly prominent collar and thin cap.
Smell- The slightest bit of roast starts with nose with a light coffee character this isn't really chocolaty but somewhat raw and earthy. The slightest bit of sour is sorta musty and dirty from the yeast. Some dark fruitiness comes through a bit more as it warms adding some smoky raisin and prune like character. The alcohol is easily detectable when the beer hits room temperature though at 13% I wouldn't expect less.
Taste- Starts with a somewhat acrid roastiness that is semi bitter and slightly cocoa like. Some notes of carob and espresso show early but are quickly overpower by the fruitiness. This brew is really heavy on the dark fruits including rum soaked cherries, figs, prunes and ridiculously plumped raisins. The beer seems to sweeten a bit as it warms but fades again and leaves a lingering fruity bitterness. A slight bit of alcohol and smoke show on the finish.
Mouthfeel- Actually my favorite part of the beer. The carbonation manages to be fairly intense yet the body is full and creamy.
Drinkability- Overall this is a fairly tasty brew. Not worth the all the hype it's received (or the price) but definitely worth a try. I can't really think of anything that I've tried that I could compare it too. Think a sort of dry Irish Stout mixed with a Rochefort 10 or something. Big thanks again to Derek and Mike!

 1,802 characters

Photo of Nolen12
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Spider889
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to J2Brew2 for this bottle.

Live review into my new Cigar City snifter; again, thanks Joe!

Lot: B, bottled June 2007 - nice age on this one!

Pours thick and viscous, solid black, darker than the age-old motor oil comparison. Despite the fact that I thought this was going to gush out of the bottle, the head wasn't nearly as tall as predicted. Instead, with an average pour, I got just under a finger of super dense foam. It reminded me of a frothy chocolate shake, color and all. Some tapioca-like bubbles stuck around as well as a nice ring of that dark head around the edges.

The smell took me aback at first. I almost believed that this was barrel aged, but no other reviews, nor the bottle, mention it. Very boozy, but sweet. Lots of vanilla and oaky notes, and a ton of acidic dark fruit - figs and red grapes. The malt aromas are muted in relation, but light coffee can be found here.

The taste is very bold and unique. The fruit flavors are really prominent. I can only assume that this is largely the doing of the yeast. Soft black malts are in contention with sweet vanilla and raisinets. I think it can best be compared to BCS in many ways.

Smooth and sticky, this is a sensationally silky sipper.

If alliteration isn't your style, I also feel a dry tannic finish. The booziness is both apparent in the aroma and taste, but it is also decently well-hidden.

After figuring out the date code (I felt like I was in the OSS deciphering an enemy communique) I realized that this was almost 4 years old. I then began comparing this to the 2007 GLBC Blackout Stout I tasted last October. I have found that big stouts like this get super sweet with considerable age. It's nice and a great way to sample the beer. However, Black Albert claims an impressive 100 IBUs, and I got nearly none of it. I'm now very curious to try a really fresh bottle of this to compare.

Overall a very well-done stout. I'm not sold that this, as a "BELGIAN ROYAL STOUT," as the bottle screams at you numerous times, is in actuality a new and unique style of beer... but I also wouldn't mind differentiating the normal RIS from the Belgo versions.

From my limited experience I have thus far surmised that Struise is a brewer of truly world-class beer.

 2,250 characters

Photo of match1112
4.12/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

first off, thanks to vegas beer man for this!

pours out a flat dark brown, no signs of a head, just some faint bubbles on top. smell is mostly dark fruits with hints of chocolate and some belgium yeast. taste is different, but good, not your typical ris. taste is more like a complex wine at this point. no signs of roasted malts, coffee or chocolate. just a funky sour dark fruit almost wine like taste. mouthfeel is ris like, full body, creamy yet oily. this is a weird beer. definatly worth the try, and would probably drink again if i could get a fresher bottle to try. this one says it's batch no. 14.

 607 characters

Photo of chinabeergeek
3.83/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle. the edge of the label is marked in three places: "Lot B", "6" and "BB". i am assuming this is the latest batch to make it to the US, with the shelton bros label. tasted in late march/early april 2009. poured into tulip.

nearly pitch black, with just a slight red tint under direct light. huge tan/coffee color head, takes forever to fade. eventually ends up as a thin but constant and foamy layer. very nice curtain-like lacing.

fruity aroma. plums? prunes? moves into milder dark malts and roast with coffee hints. fruitiness meets and alcoholic and faintly phenolic backend. trace of vanilla? the reason this isn't a 4.5 is because everything was hard to pin down, plus it didn't entirely "meld" together.

more fruity flavors. plum. cherry? but also fruity acidity. maltiness is sweet and roasty, but it all just seems a bit watered down. roasted malt and earthy hop meet for a moderate to bold bitterness. more fruity acidity into the finish, with coffee note.

medium body, lightly creamy and vaguely viscous, with acidic and astringent texture. moderate carbonation has fluffy creaminess.

good, but not great. oh well. lightning can't strike the same place twice?

 1,186 characters

Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
4.29/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of brians52
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of browniewithnuts
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

Photo of steve8robin
3.61/5  rDev -15.3%
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 POTABLE83
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of thebeers
4.24/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours an oily black with a very small tan head that quickly forms a thin crown.

Big chocolatey aroma with hints of plum, cherry and bourbon. The taste follows the nose with a flipped script: bourbon like vanilla, cherry and alcohol; more plum and touch of raisin; and some chocolate and even molasses that prevents it from being overly sweet.

Thick bodied, creamy with strong carbonation.

This is indeed a treat. Lot No 230/2015.

 436 characters

Photo of t8dd
4.8/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of roadhouse
4.08/5  rDev -4.2%
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 bootdown21
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of daledeee
4.18/5  rDev -1.9%
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 jkane101
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of coldmeat23
5/5  rDev +17.4%
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 ObeMaltKinobee
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of capnamerica
4.56/5  rDev +7%

Photo of earlholman
4/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of JohnnyMc
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of JohnQVegas
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
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 cvm4
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
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

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