Cuvee Delphine | De Struise Brouwers

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93
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660 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
660
Reviews:
224
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
10.26%
 
 
Wants:
231
Gots:
163
For Trade:
13
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 660 |  Reviews: 224
Photo of Beerzebub
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Got from brewdan in a trade about 2 years ago. Thanks Dan!

25cl, best before March 2014. Poured into a big wine glass, not too cold.

Very dark brown, almost black. Quarter inch of dense tan head that leaves sticky lace, looks good.

Smells like slightly old coffee, dark chocolate, barley malt (a la grape nuts), a vague fruitiness, and a bit of whiskey, pretty nice.

Whiskey comes through more on the palate. Good dose of coffee, with cocoa, candied cherry, some moderate acidity, some mild bitterness, and some welcome whiskey barrel. Medium level of sweetness, finishing pretty dry, with lingering coffee. Creamy texture. Tasty stuff.

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Photo of dataylor21
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of mikeyv35
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Date: 10/01/2010
Type: 11.2oz. Bottle
Glassware: Portsmouth Tulip
Vintage: 2009

Poured a dark chocolate in color w/ a 11/2 finger head that left a good amount of lacing on the glass. Nose was of dark chocolate, oak, vanilla, and bourbon. The taste was a nice chocolate sweetness up front, w/ a finish of oak, vanilla, and bourbon. Full bodied and lush, and the flavors really hang on the palate. Pretty boozy, but nice to sip. More age should do this well.

Overall, very enjoyable sipper. Flavors and aromas are not all that complex, actually rather simpler, but excellent. Would gladly drink again anytime.

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.13/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Frisco taphouse Columbia on 5/28/14

A-Midnight black colour, huge two finger dark brown head, that eventually dies down to a ring.

S-Nose is a little bourbon, that gives way to sugary vanilla barrel character.

T-Flavor is similar to the aroma bit not as good

M-Mouthfeel is a little watery but well balanced.

O-Overall a great RIS that I think could be even better with the taste and mouthfeel

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Photo of imbibehour
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured on tap into a snifter glass at Churchkey. From notes. From 4 Roses Bourbon barrels.

Presented with little head, but a very large bubbled collar. Dark mocha bubbles on that collar accenting a dark reddish brown body.

Nose hints at red berried fruit. A bit hard to distinguish, nice roast angle, but hard to distinguish the flavors hinted on the nose. Mild sense of coffee beans.

Palate is incredibly warming and vinous. Light roasty action with a soft dark chocolate feel. Dark chocolate hits in the mid palate with a nice bitterness. Lingering roast malts on the swallow that go long. Body is like a real nice cabernet sauvignon. Hints at real round feel and depth.

Overall a real fun beer to drink, almost has a big wine like character to it, very impressed.

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

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 SurlyUtopia
4.14/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of womencantsail
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to Greg for sending me this want of mine (as an extra, no less). Selfishly enjoyed by myself to commemorate the end of summer school and scoring Black Tuesday tickets.

A: The pour is viscous and black with an initially massive tan head that settles down to a thin layer.

S: The nose is pleasantly sweet with notes of chocolate, plums, figs, and tart cherries. Light oak aromas along with some vanilla and roast.

T: There is a slight tart cherry flavor that is present both on the very front and very back ends. The oak is quite noticeable and provides a slightly tannic feel. A nice roast, coffee, and chocolate flavor throughout.

M: The body is medium with a fairly lively carbonation that pricks the tongue.

D: A little tough to drink too much of at 13%, but a nice beer. I wasn't quite expecting the intense tart cherry character, but it worked well.

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Photo of Viggo
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33 cl bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing.

Pours a very inky black/dark brown, no real light gets through, pretty intense and scary looking, very thick and rocky light brown head forms and slowly settles to a medium layer and ring around the glass, a few lace spots stick, looks pretty good.

Smell is rich and intense, very fruity, lots of raisin, some woodiness, a bit of red wine and bourbon, caramel, chocolate roast, a bit of coffee, biscuit, cherries, berry gummies, a touch of licorice, some alcohol but not over the top, lightly spicy, some esters, cool stuff.

Taste is nuts, huge licorice and toffee hit at first, quite sweet and fruity, some brown and candi sugars, dark raisins, more licorice, berries, a touch of biscuit, cherry wine, a bit of chocolate milk and wafer, some woodiness in the finish, lightly boozy and astringent going down, solid bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with high carbonation, a bit too aggressive for me as a alot of these Belgian RIS's are. But I dig the intense flavours and though a bit hot going down the 13% is nicely hidden. Good stuff, thanks Russ!

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle courtesy of bstaffor. Into a Delerium Tremens glass. 2009 vintage.

A: Pours pitch black with an enormous tan head, almost an inch, that quickly fades into a small tan cap with a few bubbles of lacing. The cap of bubbles is slightly topographic, in that there is a definite knoll directly above the nucleation point. Nice looking beer.

S: Smells of caramel and chocolate with a pretty distinct vanilla and bourbon note, slight oaky, and a touch of oxidation. Smells somewhat buttery as well, but it works with caramel, chocolate and bourbon.

T: Chocolate and a fair amount of lightly roasted coffee mix together with caramel. Really a sweet beer. Slightly astringent wood/booze but no really bitterness from hops. Tons of dark fruits, an almost slightly sour plum flavor lingers on the tongue. Bourbon here is subtle in nicely integrated, it isn't the focal point of the beer, instead adds a nice nuance and depth. Pretty damn tasty.

M: I don't really dig the mouthfeel here, a little thin and dthe carbonation is too high. Fairly sticky and sweet, finishes right in the middle of the road, not too dry not too sweet. A little more body and this would be awesome.

O: Pretty tasty stuff, I remember not being impressed by Black Albert, but I had the more quad like batch when I had it. This is a tasty stout with a nice subtle bourbon note. It has mellowed and blended nicely since 2009. Just wish it had a bit more body.

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Photo of gford217
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330mL bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours pitch black with an enormous mocha head that shows some serious staying power and leaves excellent lacing.

The aroma is complex with bourbon, roasted chocolate malts, coffee, dark fruits and some Belgian yeast.

The taste is more heavily roasted than the aroma with lots of cocoa powder and espresso as well. There is an underlying fruitiness from the Belgian yeast. The finish has a slight bourbon character though it's very subtle.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation and light on the barrel character. Creamy.

Another excellent stout from Struise and one that actually carries a more Belgian character than I was expecting with the bourbon just adding some texture.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.15/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle: Poured a pitch-black color stout with a super large dirty beige foamy head with great retention and some perfect lacing. Aroma of bourbon and vanilla is quite straightforward but well enough balance with the malt to provide some good enjoyment. Taste is a well balanced mix between some light roasted malt with light note of liquorice and vanilla and a creamy finish full of bourbon. Body is quite full with usual creamy texture from the bourbon with some great carbonation and alcohol is never to apparent. Very well done and a great variation from the original.

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Photo of ptykozoon
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

Pours dark brown with the consistency of oil, smooth as butter with an incredible caramel lasting head and lacing. Perfect.

Smell is strangely fruity. I want to say cherries, strawberries. Doesn't smell like it looks. Digging deep perhaps there is some chocolate but the smell is dominated by this rich fruity scent.

Incredible taste. Slightly bitter chocolate, with this aforementioned fruity dimension that confuses the hell out of me yet is unique and wholly satisfying. The aftertaste is strong and complex, Im getting belgian flavors, floral, earthy characteristics.

The mouthfeel on this is exceptional, so smooth will alcohol masterfully controlled. I simply do not believe the 13%.

This beer tastes extroadinary. Powerful stuff very well executed, bravo.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

33cl bottle from Batch 14 into a tasting glass; big thanks to JAHMUR for sharing this long-time want.

A: Entirely opaque black body under a finger of creamy, fine, brown foam. Great retention and lace, especially for being 13%. Wow.

S: Highly spirited, with bourbon, vanilla, and huge coconut joining booze in a celebration of ridiculousness. Maybe a bit of coffee and chocolate as well, but this is all about the barrel.

T: Very sweet, with some of Black Albert's fruitiness and Belgian character joining the huge barrel elements. Delicious, but a bit harsh with the booze. Long finish of coffee + ethanol.

M: Thick syrupy body with plenty of full, soft, creamy carbonation. I love it.

O: This was a real treat to try, but I think the barrel treatment was overdone just a bit. I could have done with a little less booze and a little more Black Albert.

Cheers!

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Photo of Daniellobo
4.16/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of thagr81us
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive thanks goes out to cmrillo who shared this one with the group at the "Evening Wood" tasting graciously hosted by cmrillo as well! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured pitch black with a half finger brown head that subsided to a minimal amount quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, roasted malt, spices, and smoke. The flavor was of sweet malt, roasted malt, spices, wood, sweet alcohol, and smoke. It had a heavy feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. I really enjoyed the smoke aspect going on in this one. The flavor was pretty complex as well compare to the Black Damnations we were sampling before this. A definite must try without any doubt!

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Photo of sweemzander
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks to wunderbeer for this one! 2009 Vintage.

(A)- Pours a fairly thick pitch black color that produced a good brown head. Minimal lacing and retention.

(S)- Very rich profile of roasted caramel, brown sugar, coffee grounds, and dark cocoa.

(T)- Very similar to the smell. Some dark plum in there with a fairly roasted profile. Dark cocoa all over the place.

(M)- A good carbonation level and balance. Heavily roasted, but smooth as can be considering the ABV with some mildly bitter cocoa in there.

(D)- A solid stout with a nice profile in front of it. Definitely a sipper due to its strength and ABV, but a good one at that.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours dense black with a dark cappuccino-colored thick head and big gobs of yeast. Sweet spicy wood nose with a hint of rose petals - gorgeous.
Coffee leads the malts with more wood and a whiskey sweetness, with cola and slight cherry-almond skin notes underneath. Vanilla hit to end and a dry roasty linger. Medium to heavy, sticky, slight fizz and some burn, but pretty restrained that way.

Never had Black Albert, so no basis for comparison there, but not noticing anything particularly Belgian about this one. The barrel does kind of take over - gives lovely tones of its own, but kills any roast, and I'm also not getting some of the fruit notes other reviews talk about. Then again, a Dark Lord right before this probably did my palate no favors...

Overall, nice meld of wood and stout.

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Photo of Jenebauer
4.17/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Mar02x
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this beer at the Deca brewery itself.

A - This beer is black as heel. A oily substance with a beige brownish head. The head starts with a finger thick cream, but after a minute or so its retracted to a thin layer.

S - There are many flavors in the smell, unbelievable! Flavors like; dark chocolate, cherries, raisins, coffee, peat, alcohol, brown sugar and some vanilla.

T - Its black sweet tar that is going down my throat. A complex taste consisting of dark cherries, brown sugar or molasses, chocolate, raisins, vanilla, spices like cardamom and coriander, caramel and hints of wood. There is absolutely no alcohol to be discovered in this beer, for a thirteen pro-cent!!??

M - A thick creamy molasses is going down my throat, a beer syrup if you like. There is some alcohol warmth in the finish together with some bitterness, but I am not sure this is from the hops or the coffee, maybe its both.

O - What a great beer. Worth trying. If you do not like it you can always throw in your car. I am sure the engine will run on it.

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Photo of jegross2
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewing the Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers out of Belgium. According to the label:

Black Albert was used in a new barrel aging project. More than a year ago, Carlo was able to get his hands on a stock of Four Roses Bourbon barrels, and we happily filled them up with Batch 0. This unique creation was originally to be named "4 Black Roses" in honour of its heritage, but our friends in Kentucky strongly advised us not to do so! What to do? As the disowned offspring of Black Albert, the name Cuvée Delphine imposed itself. Savouring the Belgian irony, we are most honoured to have artwork by Delphine Boël shining on this label. You will not find this ale all over the globe. There is no export program, but we will try to provide stock through our web shop and some specialty beer pubs.

Score: 92

2009 vintage bottle served in a Surly Darkness snifter and enjoyed on 09/02/12. Big thanks to Matt Hope for hooking me up with this bottle.

Appearance: Pours a jet black color, completely opaque, with three full fingers of thick, styrofoamy mocha head that formed a beautiful meniscus atop the glass without ever pouring over. The head slowly recedes to a thin layer atop the glass. The lacing and retention on this beer is absolutely unreal; even sixty seconds after tilting the glass once the head settled down some, a thick lacing was still coating the entire side of glass. This is one beautiful Russian imperial stout, and at 13% ABV, the amount of lacing and retention present here is an unexpected prize. 5/5

Smell: Plum, sweet raisin, cherry, roasted malt, and bakers chocolate. A touch of lemon peel, a little sweet red wine and some faint boozy alcohol as it warms too. The nose is a little sugary sweet, but in a good way that works with the aroma components -- particularly the accent of lemon zest. Some vanilla also comes through as the beer warms up. 4.25/5

Taste: Molasses and sweet dark fruit flavor upfront with a creamy "melted nestle bittersweet morsels" flavored backbone that reminds me of fresh chocolate chip cookies. The dark fruit flavors seem to get sweeter as the beer warms, and while it never really gets to the level of a diabetes-inducing cloying sugar bomb, it really reduces the drinkability of the beer. There's a hint of caramel and a hint of cherry as well, though the cherry flavor is hardly as prominent on the tongue as it is in the nose. The alcohol presence on the palate is also much more subtle and smooth than it was in the aroma. I am not really detecting a whole lot of "barrel-aged characteristics" in the flavor; there is even an absence of the vanilla I got in the nose. As the beer hits room temperature, the flavors seem to get "creamier," and a little burnt roast flavor, which nicely counter balances the sweetness a little bit, comes out. I frankly enjoyed this beer best once it was warm and sitting out of a little while. 4/5

Mouthfeel: This is a viscous, full bodied beer with a low amount of carbonation. Sticky, sweet and syrupy mouthfeel that turns a bit creamy at room temp. 4/5

Overall: A well-crafted beer that is just a little too sweet for my tastes. I enjoyed Black Albert more, but this one was certainly still tasty enough to be worth the cost of a tick. I would definitely have another glass of this, but it's not going to be the first beer I seek out a second bottle of if I am going to be "repeating" past ticks down the line.

Recommendation: Well worth a tick, but haters of sweet stouts should be forewarned.

Pairings: Ricotta & zucchini bread with raspberries, honey and mint (a dish the Publican currently serves for their Sunday brunch).

Cost: $15 for an 11.2 oz bottle.

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Photo of stx00lax
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2009 bottle

A- Very dark brown almost black, with a nice mocha colored head that sticks all over the sides of my glass.

S- oak, booze, gingerbread, coffee and a bit of chocolate as well.

T- Heavy barrel influence with roasty malts and bitter/fruity chocolate. Its definitely boozy, but i dont think its over done. No initial "wow" factor, just a really nicely balanced stout.

M- Soft and creamy with perfect carbonation. Finishes dry woodsy/bitter.

O- Awesome! I wasnt blown away with the first few sips, but after giving this beer some time, i was impressed by how good it was all around. Just a fundamentally sound beer.

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Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
4.19 out of 5 based on 660 ratings.
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