Cuvee Delphine | De Struise Brouwers

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220 Reviews
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Cuvee DelphineCuvee Delphine
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium | website

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
Reviews:
220
Ratings:
645
Avg:
4.19
pDev:
10.26%
 
 
Wants:
233
Gots:
163
For Trade:
13
User Reviews
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Reviews: 220 | Ratings: 645
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 ccrida
4.8/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33 cl bottle (huge thx MacDomer!) best before March 2014, poured into my Delirium snifter, Cuvee Delphine is black with a huge creamy head, perhaps the densest, tightest head I've seen, leaving lots of foamy lace.

Smell is amazing, huge fruity esters, wow! Massive grape and tropical citrus, as well as a hint of bourbon. Something about the esters actually reminds me of a saison, which is my favorite.

Taste is great, massive roast really provides an abrupt distinction from the nose, dominating the taste, making this seem more like a pure stout, with the esters proving a nice punch of depth in the background. The alcohol is super smooth, and overall it's well integrated. Excellent, although I can't say I'm getting much from the bourbon barrel.

Mouthfeel is creamy and very viscous. Nice digestibility.

Drinkability damn good. I just had Black Albert for the first time 2 nights ago, and as much as I enjoyed it, this is the better of the two. I don't think it's as old as the Black Albert, which was 1.5 years in my cellar alone. Cuvee Delphine is truly exceptional.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.79/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

11 oz bottle purchased for $10. I'm usually leery but I've heard good things about black albert and figured I'd give this a shot. Typical stout appearance, black and not much head which given the alcohol and barrel aging doesn't surprise me. Aroma was very mild whiskey barrel, mostly stout. Flavor was the same. This was good but I prefer something with a little more viscosity.

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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 cpetrone84
3.76/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark black liquid with a dark creamy brown head.

S-the nose is a bit chalky, oak, chocolate, roasted malts with some juicy sweetness of plums and cherries.

T-the flavors follow the nose, hints of wood, roasted malts, a touch of chocolate, the sweetness is in the back with plums and cherries. there is a touch of coffee bitterness and hints of bourbon in the finish.

M-decent brew, light barrel notes with a well balanaced roasted malt and sweetness. very respectable beer.

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Photo of BMMillsy
1.15/5  rDev -72.6%

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.

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

Big thanks to Littleb for the great trade.

a - Opened the bottle (vintage 2009) and filled my southampton ris snifter. Deep and thick with a generous creamy tan head with nice bubbling in the head. Head hung around a while and swirling the glass left thick milkshake like lacing that slowly slid back down to the surface of the brew.

s - The time in the four roses barrels did the black albert some good. There is a nice woody overtone that smooths out everything. The bourbon notes are subtle and overtake the smell of black albert.

t - Big roasty chocolate malts and a touch of barrel wood. The heaven hill barrels are an improvement on the base beer (which is a tasty beer in it's own right). The wood is subtle and an excellent compliment.

m - Holy smoothness de struise-man! This is a big and bold beer, but an easy drinker. The booziness tingles, but is hidden.

o - Overall, this is an easy drinking beer. A bit heavy, but beyond that really amazing beer. I just wish these were easier to come by around these parts since I'm really loving everything I've tried from this brewery.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.23/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

4 oz. served into a tasting snifter at ChurchKey. From notes, and implicitly compared to Black Albert.

A: Pours a very dark ruby color. The head is a one finger khaki shade with retention typical of the gravity. Not as impressive looking as Black Albert.

S: There is a lot of roasted/charred malts, fudge, licorice, and subtle dark fruits. Where this differs from its non-barreled brother is the wonderfully subtle bourbon on the aroma.

T: This is going to become a broken record, but the gist of the flavor profile is as follows: Black Albert with bourbon. Initial chocolaty flavors slowly turn into a fruity middle and a roasted finish; only this time the back end sees an injection of well-balanced bourbon and *very* light oak.

M: A bit hot next to Black Albert. All that means is that the alcohol presence is about what you'd expect from a 13% BA imperial stout (maybe a bit less), though many of the positive qualities Black Albert had (like drinkability) are still here.

O: On its own, an excellent barrel-aged stout. When compared to Black Albert, it improves on it a few ways (more complex aroma and flavor profile), but is also a bit worse in other aspects (not as aesthetically pleasing, mouthfeel isn't as great). Really, it's less "which one is better than the other" and more "which one is less fantastic than the other". Between the two, I'd choose Black Albert, but you really can't go wrong with either one at all.

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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 scottfrie
4.33/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chilled 33cl bottle into Portsmouth snifter. 2009 vintage. A warm thank you to rudylaw for this extra!

A: Pours a thick pitch black with three fingers of very soft and dense looking dark mocha colored head. The head took a very long time to collapse into a thick film that left a great network of lacing down the glass.
S: Very complex notes of both sweet and bitter dark chocolate, woody oak, damp must, sherry, dark fruits, fudge brownies, and plums. I get just a hint of balsamic vinegar as well. Very interesting to say the least.
T: Big rich notes of fudge brownies, spicy bourbon, oak barrel, and light sherry. I get light notes of vanilla and sweet, lightly tart, fruits in the finish, and the aftertaste is full of deep rich chocolate and roasted nuts. That hint of balsamic vinegar is there as well, but only in flavor (this beer is far from vinegary). I was surprised how fruity this beer was.
M: Thick full body, viscous mouth with a dry finish, and super soft and creamy carbonation. The high alcohol content of this beer leaves no trace of warmth in my mouth, which I suspect has something to do with this beers age.
O: Just an all-around fruity, creamy, soft, thick, rich, complex and easy to drink imperial stout. This was a big want of mine, thanks again for filling it Anthony!

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Photo of OWSLEY069
5/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch 14 / 2009

Pours jet black with a big chocolate brown head. In the aroma, bourbon, vanilla, and chocolate. In the taste, chocolate, mellow dry bourbon, sweet vanilla, oaky and rich all the way through. A small alcohol bite and medium to bigger bodied mouthfeel, with a dry oak and hint of bourbon in the aftertaste. WOW! Big and mellow in all the right spots, hides the alcohol until the end, simply fantastic.

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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 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 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 DrinkSlurm
4.18/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap into snifter at avenue pub nola. Pours an oily black with a slight rim of lacing. Looks good..but not outstanding. Same with aroma...its obvious bourbon roasty malts and chocolate notes prevail. Taste is nice smooth bourbon malty roastness...its a very mild and easy drinking silent killer. Nice brew.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
2.42/5  rDev -42.2%
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.

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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 Jeffo
4.52/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Found this at The Cracked Kettle in Amsterdam.

From a 25cl bottle into a snifter.

Note: Black Albert aged in bourbon barrels.

APPEARANCE: Pours a small half finger medium looking deep tan head with good retention. Black with medium carbonation evident. The head retains surprisingly well, and slowly fades to a nice wisp and a thick ring around the edges. The wisp and ring remain for the entire ride but leave no lacing down the sides. Looks great, but just needs a little lacing to stick.

SMELL: Roasted malts, dark fruits and berries, alongside some black licorice. Some hints of bourbon from the barrel aging, but it is subtle and very complimentary. A very nice nose that works well together.

TASTE: Much like the above. Roasted and charred malts with some dark fruits up front. Black licorice and spicy yeast through the middle into a spicy alcohol finish. Some nice subtle hints of bourbon that mesh well with the entire brew. Ends with a strong and long lasting aftertaste of bitter hops, chocolate and coffee, which weren't evident in the nose, and some nice bourbon notes. Just great.

PALATE: Medium body, though a little light on the palate. Creamy, goes down smooth and finishes with a touch of dryness on the palate. Could use a little more weight I think.

OVERALL: A great barrel aged RIS. Black Albert is good as it is, but the barrel aging has added a new dimension to an already great beer. Unlike some other bourbon barrel aged stouts, the whisky notes don't overwhelm and dominate the brew. The barrels have left subtle notes here and there that lend character to the brew, working together with the already superb taste profile that is Black Albert. One to check out if you can.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.55/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Sitting out in the 'Zebo today, the calm before the storm... Just found out my Sube needs around $900 worth of work, so I reckon a 13% bier is a good way to start things off... The label says "BA No. 14" and vintage 2011.

Poured the 0.33l bottle into a small tulip. Color is dense, dark brown, nearly opaque. Head is a rich tan color, the bubbles being tight, creamy and fine. Started off at about 1/2" and ebbed to a thin covering. Lacing looks to be top-shelf. It has some solid, roasty coffee and choco notes, some florality, and hints of bourbon. Body is nice and full, chewy in fact. And it is like black satin with regards to smoothness.

Delphine has some light sweetness melding with the bitter. There's sweet chocolate along with bitter, dark choco, some cocoa, and roasty coffee characteristics. If there's bourbon here, I'm missing it. What I'm not missing is a superb, floral hop finish. What a lovely combination of flavors! And 13% ABV? Really? Where, because I don't feel it, and that's scary! Anyhow, this is one might fine bier. Big thnx to Brabander for gifting this to me during my visit earlier this month! Prosit!

4.55/5 rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

1530

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Photo of Marius
4.6/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from memory - pours thick, creamy and pitch black, with a fine espresso head. Smells of dark fruits and chocolate, roasted malts and a bit of caramel. Taste follows the same notes, with chocolate, a bit of coffee and roasted malts and faint vanilla notes from the barrel ageing. Smooth mouthfeel.

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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 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 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 ONovoMexicano
4.24/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 ounce bottle, 9/14 bottled on date. Served into a porter/stout glass.

Marvelously chewy, compact, and lace-laden head dark-khaki and cappuccino in color with a pitch-black body beneath. This beer looks like a pour of coffee with cocoa-laced steamed milk atop it. Beautiful.

Dark chocolate and cocoa combine forces with earthy hops and a syrupy sweet vanilla aroma. So much damn chocolate. Something reminds me of a dark liqueur. Mellow coffee lurks beneath.

Sweet chocolate, almost bordering on syrup, meets a floral yeasty profile immediately recognizable as Belgian. A boozy caramel malt middle with some oaken and almost wine-like notes slides in and evens the flavor out before this becomes a sweet mess, and then the finish lingers with a touch of floral hop flavor and coffee. It's a nice combination going on and this beer really touches on numerous different flavors.

Where in the hell is the 13%? No way in hell. This thing feels like half of that. It's big bodied, rich and has a nice mid-palate carbonation which all only serve to encourage drinking this more quickly, rather than sipping it slow like that ABV suggests. 4.25

I was a bit more enamored to this when I had it on tap at Churchkey in DC, but it's a great beer and I think I've discovered the inspiration for Duel Brewing's (local NM brewery) Goya Imperial Stout.

Also, this gets better and better with warmth, so don't drink it so quickly as to miss out on the experience.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.25/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

275ml bottle bought online from Beermerchants.com.. poured into a De Struise glass...

Poured pretty much as expected - blacker than black !! Burnt mocha tan head poured very big thick and foamy with a pock marked meringue like topping which faded quickly to light covering with very little lacing...

Aroma - Roasted / charred chocolate malts, ginger and nutmeg, sooty smoke, charred bread, molasses / treacle sweetness, stewed dark fruits (black cherries and grapes, dates, raisins), roasted nut brittle, some balsamic vinegar notes, strong soy, yeasty, very earthy, sour notes, burnt coffee beans...

Taste - Treacle sweetness mixed with nutmeg, lots of charred / burnt chocolate malts, liquorice to the fore, sooty notes, quite a lot of sourness, strong cola hints, epresso coffee, toasted / charred bread, stewed prunes, black cherries, slight candy sugar hints, grassy hops, light oakiness, fresh vanilla, quite peppery, nice warming booze, slight saltiness..

Feel - Sharp initially then and smooths out nicely... full bodied... incredibly drinkable for 13% although you can certainly feel the effects of the booze after one bottle..

Overall - An incredible and very complex beer although it does take a few sips before all the flavours emerge. I have a few more of these and am looking forward to seeing how they age... highly recommended...

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Cuvee Delphine from De Struise Brouwers
4.19 out of 5 based on 645 ratings.
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