Cuvee Delphine | De Struise Brouwers

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
654 Ratings
THE BROS
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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:
654
Reviews:
223
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
10.26%
 
 
Wants:
232
Gots:
164
For Trade:
13
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 654 |  Reviews: 223
Photo of jlindros
4.53/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Somehow never got around to reviewing this beer. Also been sitting in my beer fridge for years and finally took my randomizer (5 year old son) to pick it for me. GOod time to drink this too, beginning of a big snow storm, very cold single digit temps outside.

2009 Vintage.

Still makes a nice pssstttt sound as I pop the cap, good sign, then pours a nice black mocha colored fizzy head that hits a 1/4 of a finger or so but seems to stick around nicely, nice lacing on the glass and legs like the Patriot cheerleaders, as I pour nice little balls of delicious looking liquid dance around the top, like they are just partying themselves with the beer underneath, like little sprites inviting me to delve in deeper. The head eventually settles to a nice foamy island like froth over the super pitch black light absorbing beer.

Nose is like pure black, almost as if the black hole is pulling aromas from my own nose rather than the reverse, but when I get aromas it's black malt city, lots of black malt, with roast up the wazoo, but thankfully not acrid anymore, seems like it was at one point but the various aging process seems to have taken that edge off. Roast with some earthy coffee, into dark chocolate and cocoooa so dark it has a few extra 'o's on it, which seems to mingle with a nice fudge and even fluffy nougat. Rounding all that is a nice somewhat subtle but definite character of barrel, a little vanilla character from the barrel, hint of char as well, and nice bourbon sweetness. It also seems to have an inherent earthiness to it.

Taste starts with, well hard to say what actually starts, like a myriad of different great flavors bombarding my tongue and flooding every nook and cranny of my mouth. Thick and luscious, little creamy and velvety even, with some warming booze, a little booze tingle even, very slightly fusel but not that much. Malts are the key flavor again, black malt and more black malts. Some roast again, with a touch of an acrid flavor but again seems like most of that edge has long been mellowed. Then into more cocoa, super dark bitter baker's chocolate, a mild creamy flavor brings more of a semi sweet cocoa, and some mild coffee with the roast. Again rounding off all that is a mild vanilla barrel character, less than i expected, with just a hint of bourbon. The chocolate gets almost explosive and rich the longer it sits on my tongue, as it seems to find more and more ways to get through the layers of my tongue into the lower taste buds that are usually left in the dust. Finish is drier with a little sticky feel, but not nearly as syrupy or sticky as I expected, with a bit more bitterness on the finish, lots of dark chocolate and cocoa again, a little roast and coffee as well, and mild Kahlua like flavor with some lingering booze.

Mouth is super rich, heavy bodied, little creamy and velvety, slightly syrupy, with some warming slightly tingly alcohol but not really 13% like.

Overall fantastic, a great beer with awesome dark malts, chocolate and cocoa, and mild barrel characters, the roast edge has been rounded between thebarrel and many years of aging, and the alcohol has been quite tamed. Very drinkable and glad I can cellar a few of them.

 3,208 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -4.5%

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

Photo of Kegatron
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of dcmchew
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%

2012 vintage, bottled and had in 2014.
Label says 11% alc.
Pours deep black, small half finger mocha head getting slowly thinner and thinner.
Vanilla, oak, a nice warm vapour of bourbon and roast smell from afar. Closer in there's dried plum, dark raisin, dark chocolate, a bit of orange peel, licorice, faint cinnamon, light coffee acidity. Smells great, but it doesn't yet confirm the big hype around it.
Really soft and smooth first sip, and we got confirmation! Bourbon and dark fruit up front, warm, with boozy raisin, plum, fig, invoking great aged red wine notes. Big licorice here too. Sticky caramel and dark chocolate slowly slide down the throat, and somehow it doesn't feel too sweet, but just perfect. Dark spices and wood, a nice oak characteristic, some cinnamon, vanilla, extra cocoa powder. The robust roasted malts might help with that, strong, but never too ashy, not even in the finish. Bourbon comes back in the finish, with a bit of coffee liqueur too.
Again, mouthfeel is smooth with a light to medium fizz, black pepper-prickly. Aftertaste is rich and a bit sticky with roasted malt, chocolate, light espresso and sweet bourbon.
A real monster, rich and complex, manages to hit the perfect mark on everything (roast, sweetness, alcohol, dark fruit). One of the best out there, for sure.

 1,310 characters

Photo of billab914
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 vintage poured from a 330ml bottle. It poured pitch black in color with a thin tan head scattered across the top of the beer. The head clung to the edges of glass pretty well.

The aroma shows a god amount of sweetness to it with some cherry fruitiness and brown sugar notes. There are some booze soaked fruits and a little chocolate to it as well. I got a little more bourbon to it as it warmed, but not much overall.

The taste has a bit of a leathery and smoky flavor mixing with some sweeter cherry fruitiness. I get a little brown sugar with a hint of bourbon. Some chocolate notes are there throughout as well. Roasted malts bring some nice bitterness out in the finish. Very nice flavors to it overall.

The mouthfeel is slick and on the heavier side with lower carbonation. Overall very good beer with some very nice and rich flavors to it. Very nice range of favors to it and it comes together very well.

 919 characters

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of mdaschaf
3.91/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2009, 11.2oz bottle.

A: Pours black with a really nice mocha colored head on top, amazing retention lasting for most of the time it took to drink the beer. Lacing all around the glass.

S: Some dark fruit, mostly cherries with a little bit of plum. There is some chocolate and faint bourbon along with a little roast.

T: More cherry and chocolate, nice creamy/roast flavor. Not much bourbon, but a little bit of brown sugar and a hint of molasses. The Belgian yeast shines through and just a bit of oak.

M: Medium to full bodied, surprisingly smooth and creamy. The alcohol is hidden very nicely.

O: Pretty good with a nice flavor profile and mouthfeel, but would have liked the bourbon to come through a bit more..or really at all.

 747 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.65/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of duceswild
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.88/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An outstanding beer. I was thrilled to be able to grab ahold of this one. Small bottle was served chilled and poured into a pint glass, consumed on 08/29/2009.

One of the best looking pours I have ever seen hands down. Deep dark black in color. Huge tan head comes up and over the top and really fills the glass right to the rim. Hardly anything falls off of it for several minutes. Huge amounts of sticky tan foam all up and down the sides of the glass. Tons of chocolate and fruit notes just jumping out at you from the very first touch of it to the air. Notes of whickey, hints of oak and rich chocolate are all infused together seemlessly to put a wonderful touch on it. Enornously fell feel here, with huge carbonation just lets the flavor coat the entire tongue and really just gives it a wonderful sense of fullness to it. Rich chocolate and licorice notes just play off each other soo well. This was just wonderfully done. Hints of grapes, touches of almost apples coming through now. Very rich. Nice boozy and oak notes now coming through and giving it a very nice balance and richness. Fades out slowly with a touch of funk on the tongue and a finish that leaves a touch of vanilla across the tongue and a warming in the belly.

Blows black albert out of the water. It is really put together wonderfully I have to say. I would have no issue at all with having this one around all the time, it really is just that good. A case here where something almost needs some more hype!

 1,486 characters

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

Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 01/21/11 notes. Shared by BigSexy410 at a small tasting; thanks man, another huge want!

a - Pours a very black color with one inch of tan head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of lactic, roasted malts, chocolate, and vanilla. Also quite a bit of sour fruit; afraid this one might be infected as well.

t - Tastes of sour fruit, chocolate, and roasted malts. Sour cherries and dark fruits.

m - Medium body and moderate carbonation.

d - Afraid this one was a bit infected. Enjoyable still, but much different than expected and I assume intended. Hoping to get another chance to try this.
4/3.5/3.5/4/3.5
___
EDIT: Had a 2009 vintage bottle the other night on 12/3/11, and it was not infected at all.

Appearance and body were similiar, but no sour fruit or lactic ntoes whatsoever. Tons of roasted malts and chocolate, as well as alcohol. Definitely better than the infected bottle I had last January, however the alcohol was still quite strong. While this is a very good RIS, I personally don't find this to be an improvement on the normal Black Albert, and considering I can buy that off the shelf year round, would rather have that beer. Worth trying but I prefer Black Albert.

 1,196 characters

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.

 871 characters

Photo of orangesol
4.21/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.31/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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.

 282 characters

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

330 mL bottle poured into a De Struise chalice. 2011 bottle.

Appearance - Black with less of a head than Black Albert. Similar thick mocha collar.

Smell - Light bourbon with a touch of barrel character. Chocolate and cherry comes through, similar to Black Albert. Strangely, not as boozy smelling as the 5-year-old bottle of Black Albert I had.

Taste - Vanilla and bourbon up front, but subtle. Much more of the cherry flavor followed by rich chocolate. The bourbon is back in the end along with a bitterness that I find strange. Falls a little short of the base beer here.

Mouthfeel - Well carbonated. Pretty chewy aside from feeling a bit too overcarbonated at points.

Overall - I prefer Black Albert to this, although this is quite good on its own. Just seems that some of the characteristics that make Black Albert great have been pushed aside by the barrel, which isn't strong enough to be the centerpoint of the flavor.

 930 characters

Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev -4.5%

Photo of johnnnniee
4.12/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

5oz pour at Eb's
Comes to the table a solid black color with a decent tan head that shows moderate retention. Smells of roast, burnt sugar, smoke, caramel. light toasted oak, a hint of booze and a bit of vanilla. Its definitely got that burnt and smokey aroma flavor that I remember from the Albert. Sweet thick roasty oaky smokey burnt flavor just like the nose promised. Thick body with a light level of carbonation and a sweet burnt sugary mouthfeel. I'm surprised I got to try this, but thankful for the opportunity its a really nice

 538 characters

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

Review from notes taken on 11/12/10.

Vintage '09 poured into a mini snifter. This brew looks a dark brown to black color with a very dark brown cap of head. As the head recedes, it leaves a patchy almost leggy appearance of lace clinging to the glass. A light swirl revives the head to a finger's strength. There is some fair clarity and lighter brown coloration shown around the edges of the brew.

The aroma of this offering has chocolate and coffee being imparted by the dark roastiness of the grain. There is a light vinous quality present but overall there is a surprisingly sweet smelling scent of cocoa along with some minor indications of vanilla and some oak qualities.

The taste has a roasted bitter dark grain flavor that lasts inside the mouth. Some bitterness comes through from the hops not just the bitterness due to the roast of the grain. A light vinous quality deepens the flavor of this brew and mingles well with the presence of the alcohol. Some dry oaked flavoring comes out as the brew warms.

This brew leaves a very pleasant dark burnt grain flavor inside the mouth. It is medium to full bodied with a light level of carbonation. Super drinkable. The whiskey barrel contribution imparts a bit of a twang to the alcohol character but overall it actually mellows out the brew overall. The barrel contribution here is not bold and painfully obvious, it is subtle which takes an already fabulous brew to a whole new level.

 1,447 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4.5/5  rDev +7.4%

Photo of rab53
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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