Cuvée Delphine
De Struise Brouwers

Cuvée DelphineCuvée Delphine
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De Struise Brouwers
Russian Imperial Stout
Ranked #141
Ranked #2,192
4.24 | pDev: 9.91%
Sep 14, 2022
Jan 07, 2009
Cuvée DelphineCuvée 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.
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Ratings by Daniellobo:
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Reviewed by Daniellobo from District of Columbia

4.16/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
Rich and long Belgian stout with a small if pleasing sense of bourbon barrel aging, and a somewhat curious expansion of vinous and sour notes.

Presentation: 33 ml brown capped bottle. Light blue label with a poppy-pastel illustration of a colorful flag withe the motto "Truth can set you free". Side narrative offers an overview of intent, history, and description noting including discrepancy with Four Roses Bourbon about using a reference to their barrels in the name. Notes vintage 2009 and best by 15-07-2015 Shows 13% Alc. by Vol. Served in an oversized snifter.

A - Quite the looker with a tremendous frothy brown head over a deep black pour, nice retention with rich surface memory and nice lacing.

S - Sour and roasted nose… Similar to the standard Black Albert with a longer bitter sour touch… Not so sure I find the barrel in the aroma, in fact it seems to be pushing away the smell a bit. Still dark fruits, sour notes, some smoked touches permeate the senses with a couple of hints of licorice, coffee, and chocolate.

T -Taste expands over the long range of the Black Albert. Rich roasted profile with long sourness, recognizable of fruitiness, plums, raisins over the notes of coffee with a hint of licorice and chocolate. Lingering over the meaty smoked touches in the background, small hints of bourbon and vanilla emerge, at last... and back to a complex sour roasted range with a noted vinous spectrum.

M - Full to medium-full body with medium-full carbonation, very creamy with a lightly sticky finish.

O - Still a rich beer, and a long sipper but...

Notes: ...I surely was expecting more, or different, and the barrel aging while worth the try does not work very well here for my palate.
Jan 21, 2012
More User Ratings:
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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
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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: 3.62 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
Rated: 4.7 by marchoftheclouds from Illinois

Nov 22, 2018
Rated: 4.48 by Thorfinn960 from Ohio

Nov 14, 2018
Rated: 4.42 by Duncian from Pennsylvania

Oct 09, 2018
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Reviewed by REVZEB from Illinois

4.1/5  rDev -3.3%
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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Reviewed by lmaduells from Spain

4.94/5  rDev +16.5%
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
Rated: 4 by BdM from Netherlands

Sep 14, 2018
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Reviewed by JamFuel from Sweden

4.45/5  rDev +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
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

Jul 19, 2018
Rated: 4 by Nichols33 from Massachusetts

Jul 05, 2018
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Reviewed by captaincoffee from Virginia

4.11/5  rDev -3.1%
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
Rated: 4.24 by JOBEERFB from Belgium

May 29, 2018
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Reviewed by 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
Rated: 4.48 by mishi_d from Romania

Apr 25, 2018
Rated: 4.31 by jvillefan from California

Apr 01, 2018
Rated: 5 by igl from Russian Federation

Mar 07, 2018
Rated: 4.27 by The_BeerBaron from California

Feb 28, 2018
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Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

4.01/5  rDev -5.4%
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
Rated: 4.5 by Tigerbrau from Louisiana

Feb 14, 2018
Rated: 4.07 by beaulabauve from Louisiana

Feb 09, 2018
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Reviewed by emincems from Turkey

4.38/5  rDev +3.3%
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
Rated: 4.49 by stephenlee from England

Dec 31, 2017
Rated: 4.12 by Afeo from Colorado

Dec 19, 2017
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Reviewed by zonker17 from Texas

4.45/5  rDev +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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Reviewed by Voss from Italy

4.88/5  rDev +15.1%
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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Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4.6/5  rDev +8.5%
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
Rated: 3.57 by mig100 from Texas

Aug 19, 2017
Cuvée Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 698 ratings