Cuvee Delphine
De Struise Brouwers

Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine
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Stout - Russian Imperial
Ranked #74
Ranked #1,242
4.26 | pDev: 9.86%
De Struise Brouwers
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine
Notes: This beer takes its name from Delphine Boël, the unlawful daughter of King Albert II. She has struggled for acknowledgment in both her professional and private lives, so we decided she deserves a tribute fit for a princess. Cuvée Delphine is our Black Albert, carefully matured on Four Roses bourbon barrels for 12 months. Mrs. Boël has kindly allowed us to use her artwork for its label, which speaks for itself.

In a sea of sickly sweet and heavy bourbon aged stouts, we wanted Cuvée Delphine to shine brightly as a pinnacle of balance and restraint. Only with a base beer as potent as Black Albert could we manage to make the aging process shine. Notes of oak and slight vanilla pair extraordinarily well with the familiar coffee and brown sugar notes from the Black Albert. The subdued alcohol ties it all together in a lush, mellow experience. Cuvée Delphine will set you free.
Reviews: 237 | Ratings: 690 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
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mynie from Maryland

4.56/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Black Albert aged all fancy like, served up in a purty bottle I imported directly from Belgium.

The pour is deep black, very flat and fizz-less.

The aroma is nowhere near as intense as I was expecting from a 13% ABV, barrel-aged stout, but this subtly allows for more depth and contemplation. You get the expected nodes of coffee and alcoholic vanilla, only here they've been expertly smoothed out, allowing deeper complexities of aged fruit and sweet brown sugar to shine through. Complex without being overwhelming. Very nicely crafted.

The flavor is likewise deep and delicate, but it doesn't come together *quite* as well. Dark chocolate and coffee up front; brown sugar, vanilla, and milk chocolate in the middle; and then a wonderfully ashen back end of charred barley, pepper yeast, and European hops.

Feb 04, 2021
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draheim from Washington

4.44/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330mL (2012) into a tulip. Pours an inky black w/ a reddish brown head that settles to a wispy layer of foam.

Aroma is bitter roasted malt, dark chocolate, toasted coconut, vanilla. Rich and complex.

Taste follows nose. Great blend of bitter chocolatey roasted malt and smoky dry sweetness.

Mouthfeel is balanced with a dry finish. Classic Russian imperial stout mouthfeel.

Overall an outstanding, straightforward imperial stout. Looking at the label more closely I see that this is barrel-aged Black Albert (one of my favorite stouts). Explains why I like this so much.

May 17, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A lot like the original base beer: black albert in how the flavors capture the basic RIS staples like dark chocolate, coffee, roasted malt, etc. But then there are some dark fruit in it was well, plus now add the delicate barrel bringing some enhanced booze, wood and brown sugar to the flavors. Body is on the lighter side, but not to a detriment.

Sep 29, 2018
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lmaduells from Spain

4.94/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

When you talk about De Struisse beers, there are more words. It is one of the best brewery factories, at least in Europe. I am a fan of Pannepot for years. This beer, by style, had not yet tasted it. Since it is very old, it is 2013, the beer is not explosive and is very balanced. A fantastic beer.

Sep 24, 2018
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JamFuel from Sweden

4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours thick and jet black, with a little bit of chocolate colored foam.

Smell is rich and roasted, with a lot of coffee and dark chocolate up front and hints of leather and red currants in the back.

Taste is intense right off the bat. Huge punches of coffee and chocolate coalesce with notes of smoked pork, red berries and some oaky vanilla. Just a hint of booze, and a nice bitterness on the end.

Mouthfeel is thick, oily and smooth. Well carbonated.

Overall, a fantastic stout without the sweetness of many others.

Sep 11, 2018
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captaincoffee from Virginia

4.11/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Uber dark, near black with a dense little head that I thought would last but didn't. Nose is sticky toffee pudding, malt syrup, and some vanilla. Taste is chewy as expected, with some booze still lingering along with medium sweetness. Notes are similar to the nose, and really seems like a quad and not a RIS. What's surprising is the lack of any barrel notes. It was much more like a really good quad than a barrel aged stout. Not sure exactly what to think of this one since I enjoyed it but it was missing something it should have had.

Jun 21, 2018
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josanguapo from Spain

4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From Labirratorium. In Teku glass. It has some metallic and alcoholic notes,with bit of soap that keep it from being outstanding but the more you have of it the more you enjoy

May 25, 2018
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stevoj from Idaho

4.01/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Taster at APEX. Dark, inky black, no head. Dark roast aroma with some mild tart undertones. A bit sweeter than the norm for the style, but covers that with some solid Belgian notes. Wine like, juicy.

Feb 26, 2018
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emincems from Turkey

4.38/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours dark brown color with medium sized tan head. Long lasting foam leaves some laces. Smell is slightly boozy. Coffee, roasted malts and raisin are on the nose. Very complex taste; there are toffee, wood, coffee, chocolate and plum. Finishes fairly dry and quite warming. Coffee-like aftertaste. Dangerously hidden Abv! Perfect example for its style. Flawless brew.

Feb 01, 2018
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zonker17 from Texas

4.45/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2012 330mL bottle poured 12/4/17 to tulip, black, viscous, big brown head, no lacing. Nose a bit flat, some wood. Taste is not flat. Bourbon, coffee, chocolate, vanilla meld on a big body roasty malt base. Some booziness and a slightly bitter finish.

Dec 04, 2017
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Voss from Italy

4.88/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Oh my God... What a wonderful beer... Almost black with a surprising brown foam and intense smell of raisins and wood.
Taste begins with a strong feel of liquid dark chocolate, then leaving the place to beer goods. Sweet but not too much, no hops, wood and raisins again.
Goes very well with brie de meaux and camembert, less with gorgonzola.
An incredible brew, another masterpiece from de Struise.
A must have.

Nov 14, 2017
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Beersnake1 from California

4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage poured from fridge temp. Pours jet black with very dark, but quickly dissipating, head. Beautiful beer. Nose is full of bourbon. Also chocolate, licorice, and caramel. Spectacular. Taste is amazing. Sweet bourbon and intense chocolate. Vanilla, marshmallow, caramel as well. No bitterness, and no alcohol heat. This is truly an amazing beer with perfect complexity and balance. Moutfeel is amazing - creamy.

Update - a 2016 bottle (750ml) consumed on 9-25-2020. Zero carbonation. Motor oil if I ever saw some. Thick smell, if that's something. Tons of black licorice, charred oak, a touch of maple, cherries, blackberries, toffee, and vanilla. The taste is fantastic. Sweet toffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar, charred wood, black licorice, leather, bourbon, burnt toffee, and maybe a touch of port. Just fantastic. So complex and vivid. Mouthfeel is very thick and viscous.

Sep 15, 2017
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Bruno74200 from France

4.6/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage - L - 5 S - 4.75 T - 4.25 M - 4.5 O - 4.5
Well I'd never guessed I'd have the chance to try one of these at a reasonable price. Found a 2012 vintage (bottled in 2014) in July 2017 in the great bar «Au bon coin» in Nernier, France.

L - Perfect look for a 5 years old beer. Pitch black with a beige head. Glorious 1 finger lacing all along

S - is that a dessert or a beer? It smells like «riz au lait», rice with milk, caramel, rum soaked raisins. Vanilla, hints of oak

T - It follows the smell with a big chocolate presence. A bit boozy, but balanced. No bourbon presence. Some sweetness.

M - Thick and lucious. Graceful

O - Definitely a classy beer. Greatness in a glass

Vintage 2013 bottled in 2017
L - 4.5 S - 4.5 T - 4.75 M- 4.5 O - 4.5

Quite different from the first one I've tried. Reminds more of Black Albert on a bourbon trip.
Cocoa powder, cherry, vanilla, bourbon. The hops are very present for a 4 years old beer. The bourbon aging has a really bigger presence than in the 2012 vintage (maybe because it was aged less time in the bottle). Very nice

Jul 09, 2017
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CoreyC from Wisconsin

4.81/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

4+ year old vintage, 2+ year old from bottling
This is beer is a barrel aged version of Black Albert. Pours very dark near pitch black with a strong tan head. The nose and taste were chocolate, vanilla, and really nice dark stone fruit (raison) much more so than I'm used to in an IS - more like in a great aged Belgian Dark Strong Ale. It made it a bit different, more complex and better than most really good barrel aged Imperial Stouts. And it was the smoothest IS I've ever had - no bitterness at all (which I loved) and no bite whatsoever even at 11% ABV. One of the best beers I had.

Jan 17, 2017
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gatornation from Minnesota

4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

330 ml bottled on 04/20/14. Pour a thick black/brown color with a chocolate mocha head. smells of coffee and malt with molasses vanilla wood and bourbon. coffee and roasted malts right away are complemented by 4R barrels they are present and delightful, vanilla and mocha chocolate mix in as well . A beautiful barrel presence mixed with coffee and malts mix with hops and slight fruity wine in the finish. A delight to drink.

Dec 27, 2016
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aleigator from Germany

3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a motor oil color with a bigger, bubbly beige head. A beautiful lacing coats the surface of the glass entirely after a few minutes, regaining its fluffiness after swirling.

Smells of milk chocolate, dried orange peel and a flowery barrel quality. The barrel consists of old oak, peppers and cinnamon, amped up by the fruity orange peel.

Offers a lower carbonation with tiny bubbles to it, producing a nice refreshing aspect to the otherwise creamy malt foundation. Maintains a pleasant balance, with a lighter mouthfeel and only a note of Bourbon becoming recognizable.

Tastes of dark chocolate with lots of cream, fudge and a pleasant warmth, bringing the barrel to the palate. It consists of dried lemon peel, black pepper hull, a flowery hop note and cinnamon, leading to a soft milk chocolate and toffee sweetness. Finishes with a warming bite, more peppers and toasted malts among caramel and a faint fizziness underneath the cream, topped off by rock sugar.

Sweet and warming with just a peppery, spicy note of Bourbon amongst a nice chocolate creaminess. This too brings the De Struise typical sweetness to the palate, while the body of this is huge enough to process it playfully.

Oct 15, 2016
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Umdrunner from Wisconsin

4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured nearly black with minimal head that dissapeared quickly and did not lace. Scent was roasted malt, chocolate and coffee. Flavor was roasted malt, oak, chocolate, subtle coffee and even subtler bourbon and vanilla. I would have liked a greater bourbon and vanilla presence. Mouthfeel was pretty thin with limited carbonation. Overall, very good beer, though not world class.

Apr 20, 2016
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Sludgeman from District of Columbia

4.53/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at The Sovereign. Served in a white wine/aperitif glass.

What one should expect from a bourbon barrel aged beer. Plenty of taste imparted by the barrel ageing but not so much that you think the bartended dropped a shot into your beer. 4.5

A - Pours black with a creamy brown half- finger head. This lady has massive alcohol legs. 4.5

S - Very fruity, dark fruit, raisins, black cherries. 4.5

T - Bourbon, vanilla, a bit of alcohol bite, but appropriate for the aging. 4.5

MF - Medium heavy body with a surprisingly dry finish. Smooth and creamy. Good viscosity. 4.75

Apr 12, 2016
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zac16125 from South Carolina

4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

8oz pour into a wine glass
on tap at Edmunds Oast

Opaque black, small tan head dissipates quickly leaving no lacing. Aroma is roasty, crisp green apple, semi sweet cocoa. Barrel notes are subtle on the nose with oaky vanilla. The taste follows suit with light fruit, lots of roastiness, oak from the barrel. Mouthfeel is full bodied and almost thick, smooth with well a controlled ABV, good drink ability. Overall, nice beer. Very enjoyable.


Mar 13, 2016
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MrTull from Sweden

4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this 1& 1/2 year after bottling (dated 09/2014). The intense flavour surprised me, since I was previously told this beer was somewhat bland or light for the style. Like a proper dessert in itself really! Couldn't taste much of the bourbon barrel aging, but I would have loved to compare it to a black albert. Neither the smell (chocolate), nor the look of the beer (oily black with a medium light brown head) indicated how well it would taste. Sweet malty chocolate, with hints of port and oak barrel. Maybe the barrel incorporates or disappears as the beer is maturing in the bottle, and is more apparent when it's new. The naming of this beer is hilarious, by the the way!

Mar 06, 2016
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bhyndthebottle from Oregon

4.74/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours thick and black with a great pillowy head. Nose is light bourbon and vanilla. Finishes very smooth with a light sweet end that lingers pleasantly! Great beer!

Jan 11, 2016
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PLDamico from Massachusetts

4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L - Heavy head poured into a tulip. Near black with thick brown head.

S - Heavy Bourbon and cocoa.

T - Matches smell perfectly. Alcohol is noticeable on the back end but not displeased.

F - Good carbonation, just enough to linger. Less then most Belgians and not as dry.

O - 2012 Vintage. Great beer over all. Sweeter then most barrel aged beers with way more head. Worth the price of admission. Thank you to my wife Liz for this incredible beer.

Dec 27, 2015
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WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured into Sam Adams glass

Black liquid, dense, billowy , foamy two finger brown cap

Aroma of bourbon, dark fruits, roasted malt

Taste of Dark fruits, chocolate, roast malts, bourbon

Smooth, low sidings, feel the alcohol, rich taste

Good beer

Dec 07, 2015
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Tucquan from Pennsylvania

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

Had this on 2015-11-27 in Lancaster PA at Hunger and Thirst

smell and taste is chocolate, roasted grain, mild char, metallic. Light sweetness, oak tannin, light carbonation and light-medium body. Enjoyable but I liked the Founders Breakfast Stout I had on tap earlier in the day.

Nov 27, 2015
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lordofthewiens from New Mexico

4.42/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2014 version, on tap at York River Landing.
Dark, dark black. Tiny head.
Intense aroma of roasted malt, bourbon, dark fruit, and licorice.
Taste followed the nose. Chocolate, bourbon, raisins, licorice.
A big beer. The bourbon compliments the stout beautifully.

Nov 26, 2015
Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 690 ratings