Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 71 (10/3/2011): Black Albert by De Struise Brouwers

I'm still not sure what to think about this one. It's a huge beer in a little bottle that happens to be on the RateBeer Top 100 and cost me $10 for an itty-bitty 11.2oz bottle. Between the last two characteristics, this beer had a lot to live up to from the word 'go'.

The smell is largely dark fruit (mostly raisins, figs, and black cherries), almost Quad-like, some chocolate, roasted malts, and brown sugar/molasses. It smells a lot like a big stout mixed with a big quadrupel, which makes sense considering it's brewed by a Belgian brewery. The taste is kind of the the smell flipped on its head. The roast and chocolate are out in front here, with the fruit bringing up the rear. It's still there, of course, but just not as dominating as in the smell. The roast imparts an almost smoky essence to the beer, which is odd, but actually not a negative here. At 13%, there is pretty much no hiding the booze, but it isn't too overwhelming, just a tad hot. The body is medium, which is a little lighter than I would like in a big stout like this, but the carbonation is just about right.

Verdict? Good, but not $10 a bottle good or Top 100 good. The two Belgian-style stouts I've tried  (this and Allagash Black), I haven't been super impressed with. It seems like the dark fruit and yeast flavors, in my opinion, overwhelm most of the rest of the taste. If I wanted a beer that tasted like this, I'd buy a lot cheaper quad. Despite, this, it is a unique beer and one you should at least try once if you have the chance. You'll just have to decide for yourself if you like it more than I do. I give Black Albert by De Struise Brouwers a B+.

Style: Russian imperial stout
Beer Advocate: A-
Ratebeer: 100/97

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