Cuvee Delphine | De Struise Brouwers

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Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by ClockworkOrange on 01-07-2009

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Reviews: 223 | Ratings: 654
Photo of CoreyC
4.81/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

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Photo of gatornation
4.34/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

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Photo of aleigator
3.95/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

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Photo of Umdrunner
4.09/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of Sludgeman
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
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

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Photo of zac16125
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
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.


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Photo of MrTull
4.28/5  rDev +2.1%
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!

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Photo of bhyndthebottle
4.74/5  rDev +13.1%
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!

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Photo of PLDamico
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
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.

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.27/5  rDev +1.9%
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

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Photo of Tucquan
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.42/5  rDev +5.5%
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.

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Photo of kevanb
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

33cl bottle, 2012 vintage printed on the bottle, best before September 15, 2019, poured into a mini De Struise cervoise.

The beer pours a nice, deep jet black color, thick and viscous with a very fizzy brown head, loud and buzzing as it recedes into a light film, no lace. The aroma is pleasant, roasted malt, charred wood, bourbon soaked oak, molasses, licorice, raisin, anise, light sugary vanilla lingers well with some chocolate and fig. The flavors are very balanced, loads of pitted dark fruits, cherry, fig, raisin, anise, a bit of acidity, molasses and licorice root, bourbon is mild, plenty of roast and char, very chocolatey and rich at the finish. The mouthfeel is okay, a bit zippy and lively with more carbonation than expected or desired, though it does coat well, nice legs with a strong finish that does have a creamy and super smooth feel, just a light prickliness at the end.

Verdict: A very nice Russian Imperial Stout from De Struise Brouwers, a really nice bourbon expression of Black Albert. Not overly barrel forward, really mellow with plenty of richness, earthiness and roasty qualities to satisfy any fan of the style. Definitely a sipper at 11.00% ABV, but it hides the alcohol content supremely well and never shows any heat or burn. Perfect to sip on a cold winter night.

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Photo of filipdavis
4.83/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Wow. I'm impressed with this beer. Have had for about a year now a vintage 2012 bottled on 09/2014. Dark and black with nice foamy brown head. Great mouth feel and very nice bourbon vanilla taste all the way through with bourbon smell right as the drink goes down. Worth it!

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Photo of darktronica
4.29/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours pitch black with half a finger of tan head that lingers for a while. Smells of blackstrap molasses or muscovado sugar, nutty coffee, candied fruit, and anise. Flavors are very complex, with the vinous and licorice notes that make Black Albert so distinct leading the way. Ageing in Four Roses barrels could go in many directions depending on the blend that previously inhabited the barrel, but here it creates a silky smooth texture with strong oak notes and a background of rye and peppery spice. Certainly something special that goes in a different direction than most bourbon-barrel aged stouts. The description of being less heavy and more restrained is accurate, as this is missing the strong roasted barley, heavy malt, and sweet finish of most other beers in the category; for that reason, it is quite memorable, but at the same time, it may not be what many BBA stout fans are looking for.

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Photo of Tilly
4.37/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter a dark chocolate colour with a riot beer coloured head that leaves a slight trace around the room.
Chocolate, deep dark coffee, black licorice and bourbon aromas.
Mocha taste, sweet, roasted coffee, tonnes of mellow smoke, fruity, earthy taste.
Very complicated beer. It's flavours and smells mask the high alcohol beautifully. Great carbonation.
What a great, great amazing Russian Imperial Stout.

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Photo of alarmclock314
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dated 09/2014. Pours black with a large-sized brown pillowy head. Smells of bourbon, coffee, roasted malts, and cocoa. Taste follows with heavy coffee/bourbon with some roasted malts/cocoa; somewhat yeasty. Medium-low body and high carbonation. Great mouthfeel once some of the carbonation is knocked out. Overall, this is a great BA RIS; lots of coffee flavor and balance, but the carbonation is high for the style.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours pitch black, opaque in the glass with a half finger light brown head that dissipates slowly leaving patches and light lacing. Aroma of dark toasted malt, light chocolate and vanilla, Belgian yeast with mild dark fruit elements, lightly spicy. Flavor is dark toasted malt, dark chocolate, vanilla, dark fresh fruit, Belgian yeast, licorice and a hint of bourbon. Finishes with an excellent balance of dark fruit and rich chocolate malt. Excellent creamy body with good carbonation and mouthfeel. The arrival of any new De Struise into my area is welcome and especially a stout. I had high expectations which were completely satisfied. I wish I had had the chance to have tried Black Albert, but this makes me look forward to that opportunity. This has the classic Belgian yeast profile of melding dark malt with dark fruit flavors without sourness. Very nicely integrated and balanced. Dark malts blending into a creamy mouth feel and finishing with malt and Belgian yeast dark fruit was a great flavor progression. The bourbon infuence was quite subtle, but I didn't feel that I needed any other flavors to enjoy this. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of Dope
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Bottle states "vintage 2012" but has a 09/2014 bottling date on the other side of the same label. *shrug*

A: Pitch-black pour with a tall, very dense and very dark brown head. Impressive head retention. Almost no lacing, however.

S: Light on the bourbon, heavy on the roasted malt. Lots of charry notes with semisweet chocolate.

T: Whoa. Heavenly smooth caramel from the bourbon up front. Cannot overstate how smooth it is. Liquid silk smooth. WOW. Sweet chocolate kicks in with a bit of an earthy, charry character at the same time, into the middle. Finish is more of a lightly bitter, charry essence with hints of oak. Just a hint of cherry in there, oddly enough.

M: Heavy, ultra smooth and silky. Mouth-coating goodness. Great mouthfeel.

O: Damn. Unique and interesting barrel aged belgian stout. I'm not even a huge fan of black albert. The smooth bourbon presence is silkier than any I've ever had. Any. No booziness at all. Drinks so easily. A little bit more char than I like but I'll put up with it, the rest of this beer is sublime. The mouthfeel makes this the most drinkable 11% stout I've ever had. Wow.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.43/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Near black opaque body with a thin, beige, oily collar. Aromas of dark fruit, chocolate, roast, chocolate covered raisins. Medium too thick body, palate coating. Delicious flavor, bourbon character is present but not overbearing, blending in to the beer harmoniously. Outstanding.

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Photo of Gobearswalter34
4.69/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours an amazing huge beige head. I actually lost a chunk of the bottle due to the delayed explosion out of the bottle. A very dark pour.
Smell is toasted nut and malty goodness. A dark sour fruit smell makes me want to stop smelling. Also lots of others including chocolate and licorice.
Taste is Russian stout laced with an emphasis on the dark fruit presence with the sour coming through. Hoppy enough tore signage into nose when quaffed. Chocolate presence detected.
Finish is incredibly smooth with much sweetness, this might be the slight downfall, but others may love. The high alcohol is well disguised but feel I on the other end.
Overall a wonderful stout with much wife is now trying to steal it from me.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.62/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

It's pitch black and offers little tobacco stain head
The aroma is plummy & boozy like a fine brandy
The flavour is ever evolving
swirling around liquorice, coffee, dark chocolate, Irish Cream
just the right level of sweetness to stop it being heavy but not that much to be cloying
It's big booze It's a solid mouthfeel & in no way understated drink
but it's smooth enough to sip easily
Quite possibly the world's greatest beer

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Photo of brureview
4.35/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured an opaque coffee dark brown in a MOA snifter with a 2F head.
The beer looks as if it will be heavy and thick. Nice lacing.

Aroma: deep chocolate, cocoa, vanilla.

As in the aroma, there is depth in the taste: deep chocolate, cocoa, vanilla, and a surprising flavor- cherry. Very rich cherry.

The body of the beer is thick, heavy, and very malty. A strong alcoholic finish.

A fantastic beer. The taste profile and its viscosity combine for a deep, rich taste.

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Photo of Gasc0igne
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pitch black syrupy pour. Hands down the best lacing I've ever seen on any stout. Medium-sized bubbles with a modest creamy-looking dark brown head that settles to a solid cap.

Bourbon...let's dig deeper...overwhelming strong bitter dark chocolate, some milk chocolate thrown in for good measure. Some roast follows shortly after. Heavy vanilla backing, maple syrup too...? Cherries soaked in coffee liqueur. Bourbon makes itself more known as it warms.

Far from the nose (apart from the bourbon). Almost all sweetness after the initial sip. Heavy bourbon front, but still clearly a stout, it doesn't get carried away by it (as quite a few do). Earthy charred oak tags along with the bourbon through most of the experience. Very rich sugary Belgian dark fruits carry a strong sweetness until sour plums and a hint of acidic coffee cut through. There's a definite soy sauce/meaty presence that's quite pleasant.

Hides the alcohol so so well. Very chewy and well carbonated. Medium body. Cloying, sticky finish.

Far better than the base beer; the bourbon is so well balanced. One of the best beers I've had to warm me up on a cold night.

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

this is a crazy beer, maybe the driest of the bourbon barrel stouts going. although the nose is sweet like vanilla and corn sugar, its not like that in the flavor. i have to imagine this didnt spent a ton of time in the four roses barrels, as thats a rather sweet spirit in its own right, depending which one on the degree. tiny bottle poured four ways, pretty murky in my glass, but heady though, spiderweb lacing and a tan color to it. after the bourbon nose, i get a lot of dusty dark dry bakers cocoa powder in this, and the wood underneath it. rich and earthy, but it does a good job of being stout before bourbon, and the malt layers are pleasing. not as bitter and heavy and thick as others, i was surprised to learn this is as strong as it is, it drinks far lighter, and warms up with the best of them, releasing more vanilla and chocolate into the fold, but never showing its booze. not the biggest four roses guy, even their single barrel stuff, but i like what it does to this beer, its almost like it was made for that barrel. took me awhile to get into this one, but glad i finally did. worth the high praise it is receiving in the market in my opinion, but we need more beer from these guys here period.

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Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
4.19 out of 5 based on 654 ratings.
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