Cuvee Delphine | De Struise Brouwers

Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine
BA SCORE
4.23/5
661 Ratings
Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium
struise.com

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

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,013
Reviews:
225
Ratings:
661
pDev:
10.17%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
231
Gots:
162
Trade:
12
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 661 |  Reviews: 225
Photo of adamostbring
1/5  rDev -76.4%

Photo of BMMillsy
1.15/5  rDev -72.8%

On tap on Kulminator in Antwerp. Pours black with a small khaki head on top. Aroma is--uh oh--more infected BA stout from Struise. These guys have not had a good year with their barrels. Sour apple, funky smokey peat, roast. Flavor follows and is just unbearable. Sour smokey roast and some booze. Nothing else here. Thin body with medium carbonation. After my two infected Black Damnations and now this, I won’t be putting much money into Struise BA stouts in the future. This is a known problem and they keep selling this garbage. Will have to try this again I guess. Kind of sad.

 586 characters

Photo of davod23
2.06/5  rDev -51.3%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Damn. Poured from a bottle into an oversized wine glass.

This pour is beautiful. Near-black with a large tan head that just refuses to quit. As pretty as it gets.

What the hell, man? This smells like grape Jolly Ranchers. Searching around, you can make out some roasted coffee notes in the background, but the dominant aroma is grape candy. Clearly infected. Damn it.

Very tart cherry and grape flavors. Not much else there. Long sticky sour fruit finish.

Mouthfeel is pretty thin.

Drinkability isn't terrible, all things considered. I'll finish this beer, even though it's infected. Agh.

I have a few more bottles coming to me from the Struise beershop. I will re-review if I can actually get a decent bottle of this.

***Edit: I just read through a bunch of reviews, and it seems like a TON of people have reported the odd sourness/grape candy kind of aromas and flavors. How could this beer still possibly have such good overall marks? This is supposed to be a barrel-aged imperial stout, right? Freaking weird. I refuse to believe that the sourness was intended. Terrible idea, if I got a bottle as it's truly intended to be.

 1,135 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
2.26/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Davod's avatar beneath me describes my reaction to this very anticipated beer in that Delphine was not what I was expected. Tasted alongside a Black Albert and a Black Damnation with Oglmcdgl.

Delphine had a big hiss once the cap was popped and the liquid was jet black coming out of the bottle settling in black as can be. What was surprising was the Enormous head that came from it. At least three fingaz of dark tan semi brownish head and minimal stick.

The four roses barrels used did not impart much bourbon character in the nose but that probably has to do with this bottle becoming infected, it's quite apparent. Dark plums and other rotting fruits mesh with a somewhat chocolate and vanilla scent. The main attraction though is that damn infection with a coca cola vibe coming off. Reminds me of infected SFTO.

I again ask, where is the bourbon, it hardly makes a dent, almost like albert had a short stay in the barrels. Either way that stay in the wood has created a infection along the line and rotten dark fruit is the result with some stout flavor suck as brownie batter, vanilla and a bready Belgian yeast strain underneasth the nastiness.

The feel is not as thick as most stouts out there. Albert does not have that big of a body to begin with so there is that. I wonder why a base beer with a not over thickness did not catch more bourbon when inside the wood. Mediumish body with a carbed up feel and a infection to die for. In all fairness the infection is starting and will only become larger.

With all that said, I still drank the beer and it did not make me throw up or die. I still tasted some quality stout under all of the old fruit but I did not pick up much bourbon if any at all, so In my mind this experiment needs to be conducted again

My score will stand until I find another bottle of this, but Im not going through the trouble or cost of getting it again. If de struise wants to send me another bottle that's good, I will gladly revise this review. Beer Mail me Urbain.

 2,007 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
2.42/5  rDev -42.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a snifter. 2009 vintage.

4.0 A: Black color. Two fingers of medium brown, creamy/frothy head. Retention is good and a decent amount of lacing is left.

2.0 S: Musty, almost vegetal vibe right off the bat. Oak, peat, and apple orchard from the bourbon and barrel. Light chocolate with a light acridity to it.

2.0 T: Like the nose, there's a lot of musty earthiness. And again like the nose, there's a light vegetal component. Bourbon and barrel give oak, peat, char, ash, and a touch of fruit. Chocolate and caramel. Booze is very well hidden.

4.0 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. Nice creaminess on this. Not particularly smooth from the acridity, but feels good when it's in my mouth.

2.5 D: Not a big fan of this. The barrel aging wasn't done very well and it shows in the nose and taste. I really liked the mouthfeel though and it almost made the experience a good one.

 900 characters

Photo of BobCobb
2.75/5  rDev -35%

Photo of Overlord
2.79/5  rDev -34%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to JERZ!

Pours black. Surprisingly robust inch and a half of light brown foam.

Smells like ... uhhh.... sour fruit? Really? Some vinous/grapeskin notes. Not expected.

Tastes like some vinous souriness, a bit of pungent, stale chocolate and crackers, and an interesting tobacco-y aftertaste.

So ... what's up with Cuvee Delphine? Thicker than I thought it would not be, but not RIS thick.

 398 characters

Photo of waltonc
2.87/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Thanks to Popkas for hooking me up with this. I've been wanting to try this beer for a long time.

A: Pours very dark brown, almost completely opaque, with a large tan head. The lacing on this is very nice.

S: The first thing I notice is metal, which is quite off-putting. As the beer has opened up, the metallic scent has faded some, but is still present. After a while, a strong chocolate quality begins to take over as the dominant factor on the nose. Fairly restrained bourbon quality.

T: Milk chocolate, metal, plum, and bourbon. This beer is sweet, but by no means cloying. Again, that metallic quality is very unpleasant.

M: Very nice mouthfeel - medium-bodied, high class silk. Although the carbonation is fairly high, it is quite smooth.

D: Overall, an interesting beer to try, but the metallic quality prevents this from being very good. On the other hand, I appreciate De Struise using an appropriately small bottle for this, rather than the ridiculous 750s and bombers that Goose Island and Bruery are putting 15-18% abv beers in.

 1,048 characters

Photo of TheBrk
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of SpillyBeers
3/5  rDev -29.1%

Photo of aasher
3.01/5  rDev -28.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer was graciously shared by sixthglass, thanks Tim!

It pours a medium bodied dark chocolate brown in color with a beige lacing around the glass. The aroma is very big and roasty with a moderate amount of bitterness. You don't get any bourbon or barrel notes at all. You do get a lot of chocolately sweetness. The flavors mimic the aromas. It's a lot of chocolate with almost a woody and grainy aspect. It's pretty interesting. Again, it's very heavy on the dark chocolate. It drinks light in body, for the style, medium overall. This beer didn't live up to the reputation for me. It just wasn't very complex and you didn't get any bourbon at all. I wanted to be able to detect the Four Roses.

 700 characters

Photo of BenZ
3.04/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Ok, so I loved the BA batch 0, so I thought this would be even better. It wasn't - it seems to be infected. Reminds me a lot of the Berkshire imperial stout that is widely reported to be infected. Oddly I still liked that beer even with the sourness. Perhaps it's because this was such a let down, but I cant give it any higher scores. Such a shame...

I have one more bottle, will update if this changes.

 405 characters

Photo of kbutler1
3.06/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle. Pours a really nice opaque dark brown color with a nice 2 finger tan head that looks really pillowy. The aroma isn't as pronounced as I thought it would be with only really slight notes of leather, dark chocolate, and bourbon. The head laces rather nicely as it settles. Medium mouthfeel with a bit of carbonation. This has a really roasty, bitter underlying flavor that I am not that keen on. Starts with a sublte sweetness and transition to the aforementioned bitterness. Some booze notes. The bourbon makes itself slightly known towards the end. This one sort of has me baffled on how it is rated so high. It has a lighter mouthfeel than I would like and the roast is a little too overdown to me which I think leads to the bitterness of it. Yeah, not a big fan of this Imperial Stout.

 795 characters

Photo of mothman
3.11/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 vintage

Poured into Founders snifter.

Pours 1.5 fingers of creamy tan head. Fades to a thinner layer. Leaves some lacing. Color pours caramel brown but settles black.

Aroma: Roasted malts, sharp bourbon, cream, oak, vanilla, chocolate. It seems to have a sourness or funk to it. Nothing to impressive here.

Taste: Creamy and roasted. Cocoa powder and chocolate with some roasted malts. Maybe a touch of coffee, vanilla, and caramel. The bourbon is very subtle, but it is fairly oaky. Again, it has an off flavor in the taste. Fairly mediocre.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, silky, and creamy. Probably the best aspect about this beer. Medium to full bodied with a medium to high amount of carbonation. Ends overly dry and roasted.

Overall, meh. It is alright, but there are much better beers around at a fraction of the price. Nothing special or worth seeking out again. Slightly above average. Somewhat drinkable.

 914 characters

Photo of sisuspeed
3.11/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to irishct15 for the bottle!

Poured into a Hill Farmstead tasting glass. A big, thick, creamy, dark-tan head forms on top of an opaque black body. Swirling leaves some nice lacing behind.

The nose contains light bourbon, chocolate and a bit of sour cherry. Hmmm... hopefully this isn't infected. Light vanilla and oak, rounded out with a touch of alcohol.

Bourbon and vinous chocolate on the tongue. Followed by chocolate, wood and alcohol. Hint of vinegar. Not overly exciting. Possibly infected.

Mouthfeel is somewhat thin and foamy. Under carbonated. Some warming alcohol.

Drinkability is sub-par. I have a bottle of Black Albert open next to this and it is so much better. Maybe I just have a bad bottle, but this beer seems fairly flawed.

 755 characters

Photo of macesq
3.16/5  rDev -25.3%

Photo of Jeb37
3.25/5  rDev -23.2%

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.31/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks goes out to Boatshoes for this one. This is one off my wants list.

Lots of the other reviews really let me down. Many people are talking about infection. I guess I cant say Im surprised, it seems that more often than not BA stouts are infected.

Poured into the new Thomas Hardy snifter that Boatshoes included in this box.

Vintage 2009
A- Upon prying at the cap I got the loud, forceful hiss that many reviewers talk about. Its often an early warning of problems to come. This beer was trying to trick me on the pour. It started out looking and acting like there was going to be nary a head, it lulled me into a false sense of comfort. Then all of a sudden foam roars up from the blackened body like dumping a gallon of Satan's vinegar into a mound of evil baking soda. But with Saint Michael and God's army at my side I managed to rein in the chemical reaction of doom as we ride victoriously from perdition on wings of malted barley.

S- Yeah, many people talk about a lactic, sour, cherry and funky nose, yet Im getting hardly any of that. Sure, Im picking up little notions of cherry, and under a deep swirl, some sort of "lactic" smell, but none of it is disgusting or over run. The smell is actually kinda faint, mostly sporting a deep roasted malt character. There is are generous portions of tobacco and licorice with subordinates of chocolate and alcohol. There seems to be a strange, dirty, chalky, chemically aroma that peeks in and out. Warmth only serves to feed this bizarre aroma. The aroma isnt bad, but its not stellar either.

T- This bottle isnt sour, but one wouldnt have a hard time convincing me that something is slightly amiss. It starts nice and sweet, mostly fruity with hints of cocoa and vanilla. It breaks into some licorice, oddly enough that includes both the black and red varieties. It finishes with flavors of chocolate covered cherries and devils food cake.

M- Perhaps a little on the thin side but that whopping 13% abv is very well hidden.

Im still on the fence about this whole infection thing with this beer. But I wanna say that it probably has a very minor bug, but the bug actually works kinda well with the beer, and thus it escapes total destruction.

EDIT: I'm coming back into this review after pouring the rest of the bottle (including the dregs) into my glass. Woooo boy, does this stuff SUCK now. Im kinda shocked at the difference. There still isnt any true sourness but there is a very out of place chemical and medicinal taste that starts mid-palate and holds well into the finish, gaining steam as it goes.

 2,578 characters

Photo of jsanford
3.39/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

2009 Vintage

A - Pours a dark, inky black with a creamy, dense mocha-colored head that settles to a thick cap, leaving sheets of lacing clinging to the glass. Just as beautiful as Black Albert, one of my all-time favorites.
S - Deep, intense aromas of dark chocolate, dried fruits (raisins and prunes), vanilla, blackberry preserves, and a muted barrel character. Sad to see how lacking in intensity this is, it basically smells like *just* Black Albert (which usually wouldn't be a bad thing).
T - Flavor follows the nose, lots of dark roasted malt, bitter chocolate, smoke, dark berries, and molasses with just the slightest hint of Bourbon.
M - Big and creamy, with a full mouthfeel, low carbonation, and no sign of the 13% ABV.
O - Man, this is disappointing. OK, it's good for a "regular" RIS, but this is Barrel-Aged Black Albert! I expected something great, and this is nothing special. I'll save a few bucks and stick with the regular version next time.

 963 characters

Photo of RichardMNixon
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of campfirebrew
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of IdrinkGas
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of MrHirschybar
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of chrispoint
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

Photo of PEIhop
3.5/5  rDev -17.3%

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Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 4.23 out of 5 with 661 ratings
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