Cuvée Delphine
De Struise Brouwers

Cuvée DelphineCuvée Delphine
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De Struise Brouwers
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #143
Ranked #2,197
4.24 | pDev: 9.91%
Nov 11, 2023
Jan 07, 2009
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.
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Photo of BGDrock
Reviewed by BGDrock from Canada (ON)

3.91/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4
Deep dark brown, almost black body, delivering a short sized and short lived mocha head.
The nose is mild, chocolate cake, a touch of rum or bourbon aged fruitiness, raisin.
Flavour is a sophisticated blend of rich dark chocolate, bitter roasted malt, rye bread, bourbon barrel fruit & wood, molasses; almost flat carbonation, with a medium body that makes it feel less substantive than you'd expect for the style; the sticky feel of residual sugars are there, but restrained, this is more balanced than many imperial stouts, with a semi dry finish; lovely length, the cocoa and molasses carrying through, and almost no sign of alcohol.

If this was more carbonated, I might be in love - finally an IS that isn't sickly sweet and cloying, well balanced.
Nov 11, 2023
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Reviewed by janubio from Spain

5/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
Bottle from Más que Cervezas, served at home in a snifter glass.
Just poured and it smells like heaven.
Served in a snifter glass a t home. Black colour, small brown head that disappears quickly, just a line of lacing.
Aroma of barrel, varnish rubber, bourbon, chocolate, vanilla, raisins, red fruits, licorice.
Full body, creamy sticky texture, flat carbonation. Sweet finish.
Taste i sweet, bourbon, coffee, wood, rubber, chocolate, vanilla raisins, red fruits, licorice and pepper.
Sep 23, 2023
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Reviewed by puboflyons from New Hampshire

4.12/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
From a . bottle dated 19/05/20 with a BB date of 04/08/22 + 5 years. Sampled June 30, 2023.

The appearance is a dark brown to near jet black color with a retained being head that fades to a ring.

For the aroma, I am immediately noting a red wine or red grape characteristic with the dark roasted malts, Graham crackers, and cocoa arriving a second later. Low booze on the nose.

Medium to full mouthfeel.

The taste is toffee, cream, sweet, a tad ashy, with more alcohol in the mouth. This one is a sipper.
Jun 30, 2023
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Reviewed by JonnoWillsteed from England

3.92/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
L- Pours with one of the darkest heads I've seen recently. The beer is black, even held to the light no glint of underlying colouring appears. 5mm fine-bubble foam cap, holds well given the ABV%
S- A minor deep roasted note plus a hint of alcohol. Looks like it should be more pungent - maybe my nose is having an off day...
T- Rich, deep molasses, a naked alcohol note. The finish is piquant on the palate powerful hops that have a slightly numbing impact on my tongue turbo-charged by the drying aspect of the %.
F- The first sip was quite rich, but my palate adjusted quickly. I suspect this beer is loaded with carbs as it poured so quietly (viscosity). It's big, bold, heavy and not one to be rushed - a slow sippin' beer.
O- Very well put together, it's a big beer for sure. Might suit winter better than 'flaming June', and would be an ideal candidate for sharing. Very pleasant indeed and I'd happily enjoy it again.
330ml bottle £6.10 bought from Trembling Madness in York. Now checking the bottle for further info: Interestingly it's described as a 'Belgian Stout Ale'. Unfiltered/unpasteurised, Contains malted barely & wheat. 'Vintage 2020 BB: 01/02/23+5yrs'.
Material change from description listed above, ABV% per the bottle lable is 13%
Jun 26, 2023
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Reviewed by brewandbbq from New Hampshire

4.3/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
375ml bottle dated 4/8/22.

Pours almost opaque black with a short-lived head of tan. Minimal retention or lacing. Big bourbon in the nose with vanilla, chocolate following through. On the fuller side of medium bodied with a tacky, slickish mouthfeel. Boozy and rich on the palate. Bourbon, vanilla, chocolate, Kahlua. Finishes warming and sweet.
Jun 14, 2023
Photo of MadMadMike
Reviewed by MadMadMike from France

4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
10 ounce draught hit at No. 3 Craft Brews in Cape Coral, FL. I waited until it warmed up to experience.
The deep brown Stout brings a bit of foam that sank quick.
Aroma of bourbon, oak, cocoa powder, some vanilla, dark roast malt and coffee.
Taste is lux.,. balanced nuances of barrel, chocoloccino, bourbon, just enough vanilla to be smooth, and toffee. Good alcohol bite ties it all together.
Mouth is creamy and full. Way low carbonation.
Overall, getting a tap hit of this beauty is a great thing. Really nice!
Apr 23, 2023
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Reviewed by Brutaltruth from Ohio

4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
From the 11.2 fl oz bottle in a snifter. This unique little brew pours a red tinged
muddled deep brown with a moderate head of light brown foam that subsides
to a thin ring with faint lacing. Nose of moist oak, dark cocoa, subtle char, subtle
bourbon, light leather, soy sauce hints, and faint vanilla. Flavors are a surprise
with mellow bourbon, oak, dark chocolate, faint char, leather, tobacco, brandy,
subtle soy hints, candy sugar notes, and brewers licorice. Mouth feel is medium
full tilting towards full, smooth, light soft carbonation, lightly coating, lightly warming
hiding the 13 percent abv on this incarnation of this brew rather well, and a lightly
dry finish.

Overall; complex, unique, and a welcome experience

Apr 08, 2023
Photo of thebeers
Reviewed by thebeers from Pennsylvania

4.27/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
Pours very dark brown, approaching black, with a slight ruby hue. The finger-and-a-half of tan head is relatively short lived before settling into a soupy cap and brown that leave sloppy lacing.

Cocoa, almond, toffee, vanilla and root beer in the nose.

Leather, cocoa, distant vanilla and almond show up front in the taste, followed by some gentian root, wood and firm char with hints of licorice and umami lingering through the aftertaste.

Remarkably creamy feel with extremely tight, soft carbonation.

Great depth, complexity and grown-up flavors in this. The mouthfeel is impressive, too.
Sep 14, 2022
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Reviewed by Roguer from Connecticut

4.31/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Minimal head production, even from a strong pour. Decent retention.

Very strong aroma, featuring bourbon, coffee, roast, banana, toffee, nuts, caramel, molasses.

Excellent delivery on the palate. Silky smooth, clearly strong but with barely any heat, despite the ABV and a full year spent in the barrels. Bourbon and mild to moderate sweetness up front, with a bitter roastiness that really only builds on the back half of the sip. Tasting notes match the nose remarkably well: caramel, toffee, nuts, banana, oak, bourbon, coconut, coffee, dark bread, nuts.
Aug 26, 2022
Photo of DIM
Reviewed by DIM from Pennsylvania

4.34/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
This is a nice change from the sea of saccharine sweet stouts around today. Roasty almost to the point of ash, with cocoa, leather, molasses, and earthy vanilla. There is a hint of a vinous twang at the finish. More wood than booze from the barrels which works well with the base beer. Nice way to end a great day.
Aug 16, 2022
Rated: 4.25 by RMW66 from Australia

Aug 12, 2022
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Reviewed by kitch from Hong Kong

4.32/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
A 330ml bottle, 2019 vintage, bottled on 17th November 2021, with a best before date of +5 years. Poured into a snifter glass.

Appearance: Black in colour with a thin brown head that dissipated fairly quickly, while leaving some spotty lacing.

Aroma: Light roast, coffee, lots of dark fruit, fig, prunes, raisins, dates, vanilla, bourbon, with a light ashy note in the background.

Taste: Roasted malts, coffee, milk chocolate, moderate sweetness, dark fruit, prunes, dates, bourbon, vanilla, and a touch boozy.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, medium to full bodied with soft carbonation.

Overall: An excellent enjoyable sipper with good aroma and flavours. I think I prefer the base Black Albert just a tiny bit more, but this was still good.
Jul 03, 2022
Rated: 3.44 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Feb 24, 2022
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Reviewed by Snowcrash000 from Germany

3.84/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a pitch-black coloration with a small, creamy head. Smells of slightly roasted, caramel malt, chocolate and hints of dark fruit and estery spice, with notes of raisin, plum and allspice. Taste follows the nose, with a good balance of slightly roasted, caramel malt chocolate, brown sugar, dark fruit and estery spice, with notes of raisin, plum and allspice, as well as hints of tobacco, licorice and vanilla. Finishes bittersweet, with a medium sweetness and some chocolate, dark fruit and licorice lingering in the aftertaste. Full mouthfeel with a rich body and light/medium carbonation.

I get that there's a lot of variance going on with different vintages and age of a beer like this, but it really came as a pretty big disappointment to me as it just feels like a slightly more sweet and boozy version of the base beer with very little barrel-character coming through here except perhaps for just a hint of vanilla, while also kinda lacking that roasted and bitter character that I expect from Black Albert, reinforcing to me once more that this a beer that should be consumed fresh rather than aged, with that brown/candi, sugar note being a bit much for me here especially. Overall, this makes for a nice and rich "Royal Belgian Stout" with a good overall balance and its own unique twist, but falls short for me when it comes to barrel character and the expectations I had of this brew. (Vintage 2019)
Feb 13, 2022
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Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

4.4/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5
2011: 330 ml bottle, a gift from OleR. Wow - I really owe that man a few beers now! Vintage 2009. ABV is 13%. Pitch black colour, huge chocolate brown head. Lovely complex aroma of roasted malts, leather, oak, bourbon, vanilla and dark chocolate. Rich mouthfeel. The flavour is roasty with notes of strong coffee and dark bitter chocolate, but also notes of oak and bourbon, hints of liquorice. A distinct hoppy and roasty bitterness in the finish. Impressive stuff!
Jan 28, 2022
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Reviewed by mynie from Maryland

4.56/5  rDev +7.5%
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
Rated: 4.3 by 911CROFT from England

Dec 27, 2020
Rated: 4.14 by stephenlee93 from England

Sep 29, 2019
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Reviewed by draheim from Washington

4.44/5  rDev +4.7%
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
Rated: 3.97 by Goofster from Sweden

Mar 10, 2019
Cuvée Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 705 ratings