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Black Albert Royal Stout

An imperial stout from Belgian craft brewery De Struise Brouwers.

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A royal stout indeed!

  • Jan 22, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+4
About a week or two ago I bought a 12-ounce bottle of Black Albert, a “royal” stout from Belgium. It left my wallet 10 bucks lighter. In response to all skeptical looks: The Buds and the Millers and the PBRs of the world have their time and place, and the Black Alberts have theirs. Here’s my favorite analogy: Compare a classy Italian restaurant’s artisan pizzas with an 8-pound sack of Totino’s Pizza Rolls. Each fits a certain setting, and each satisfies in its own way.

I carefully transport my trophy home and crack it open. It pours like ink and foams up mocha. Grapes and figs waft noseward, but the lack of stoutish coffee beans perplexes. I do smell flowers though — how odd. Oh! Hints of dark chocolate drag it back to earth.

My first taste reinforces the smell; like most imperial stouts, this one’s a malt bomb. Chocolate and spice simmer on the tongue — you can barely taste the substantial ABV. A second sip unearths the coffee, which was hidden at the finish with the smokey malt and oak. Creamy textures in the foam thicken the beer’s medium body, which, combined with the chocolate flavors, makes you feel as if you’ve hit the wedding reception jackpot by remaining undetected whilst yawning beneath the cascading hills of the chocolate fountain.

All in all, I enjoyed Black Albert thoroughly. It was a flavorful, complex beer. But, at $10 a pop, I doubt I’ll purchase it again. I can find beers for half as much that I enjoy far more. And, when I do feel the urge to burgle my piggy bank for a single beer, I’d rather try something new. Black Albert receives a respectable score for being an exceptionally well-balanced stout. For its slightly unbalanced price tag, however, it loses half a cap.

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About the reviewer
Scott Miller ()
Ranked #336
Member Since: Nov 20, 2009
Last Login: Jul 12, 2010 03:06 AM UTC
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Wiki

From Beer Advocate, about De Struise Brouwers:

"Set up by two friends and a Brother-in-Law who started brewing beer in a barn at a local farm. Went commercial in 2003, but with no capital the beers were brewed on the Brasserie Caulier Plant. In February 2006, the decision was taken to move production to the Flemish SA Deca Brewery in Woesten-Vleteren (working) parts of which date from 1917. Exports its beers to Canada, Denmark, Italy and the USA with plans for China, India and Australia in the beerline. Brewed 30hl in 2003, the plan for 2006 is 300hl."

Their Black Albert is an Imperial Stout with 13% ABV. Its name references the beer's black color and Albert II, the current king of Belgium.
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"A royal stout indeed!"
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