Marko (4208) - Split / Zagreb, CROATIA - OCT 30, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Bottle that we got from Papsoe during RBESG (huge, huge thanks!), shared with ogivlado and heavy. Poured a body that would be opaque black if not for some red near the bottom of the glass. Big brown head that wnt away slowly. The nose is sweet and remarkable pleasant. Chocolate, raisins, coffee, honey, roast... almost no alcohol detected. The taste surprised me by being soft... a fine sweet maltiness, raisins, roast, some light acidic hop even. A tad vinuous. Superb balance and I couldn’t detect almost any alcohol again, which is a superb feat for a 13% beer. Just lovely.
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - OCT 29, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle. Pours a dense, inky, dark violet to virtually black color. A massive, spongy, incredibly well-retained head leaves thick, splotchy patches of lacing behind. The appearance is second to none. Aromas are complex as any. Fig jam and pipe tobacco kick things off, followed by damp, musty soil, rich cocoa, caramel and molasses. The nose is not done there, however, as notes of candy sugar, old, oaky vanilla, lactose, and earthy spice finish things off. The scent is as complex as any I’ve ever encountered, and supremely enjoyable to boot. Flavors are also impressive, though not to the same extent. Cocoa, musty oak, smoky molasses, and caramel show in the baseline. Complimentary elements of earthy spice and hops come through as well. The palate is thick, rich, and velvety. A spicy, peppery kick transitions into a semi-dry, yeasty finish. The only drawback is a touch of alcoholic heat. This is a fantastic beer overall, supremely complex and thoroughly delicious. Another world-class beer from Struise!
MatSciGuy (907) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - OCT 26, 2008
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
[Bottle] shared by Guerde. Pours deep brown with a moderate tan head with not much retention. Powerful and sweet aroma. Lots of raisins, plums, prunes, lingonbeery, a hint of chocolate, cherry, and only a hint of the 13% of alcohol. The flavor initially is the roasted barley that the aroma was lacking. Lingonberry, prunes, dates, plums, and a touch of vanilla. All this with barely any alcohol noticeable. I would agree with the people who say this is more like an imperial quad than an imperial stout, but it is still an amazingly good beer.
Pastor (799) - Skowhegan, Maine, USA - OCT 25, 2008
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
I finally went to Ebenezer’s Pub as soon as I made it to the bar I asked Chris what I should try. I was a little overwhelmed by the tap selection and sure enough he went for the Black Albert. I ended up having two glasses before the day was thru.
Chris brought it to me in a tulip glass it was jet black in color with a finger worth of tan head that dissipated to a small sheet of lace across the glass.
The aromas that I normally associate with a RIS were there in there normal fashion. Along with them was a nice sweet note from the Belgian Yeast I can only guess
The flavors were sublime a bit earthier than I expected but in a good way again followed by your typical RIS flavors. It surprised me again by being a little dryer than expected in the finish. I really could not detect the alcohol heat wise in the flavor or nose maybe this batch is smoother or older
Like I said I did have a second glass before I left ’’one for the road’’ so to say. It was a great way to end my time at a wonderful establishment
rocbyter (1935) - Waterbury, Connecticut, USA - OCT 24, 2008
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Roasted malt aroma with hints of fruit. Black color with a large brown head that lasts. Sweet beginning that fades to a moderately tart and mild sour finish. The taste is much milder than the color and aroma lead you to believe. Thinner palate than I’d expect also.
Skyview (5283) - Papoose Jct, Minnesota, USA - OCT 24, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled from bottle shared by Guerde. Pours an opaque black brew with a thin and fast dissolving tan head that dissipates to a thin film top. Aroma of both black and red licorice, raisins, some tart berries, dark chocolate and some plum. Taste is full bodied, thick and semi-chewy texture with flavors of roasted dark malt, licorice, raisins and prunes, dark chocolate a touch of coffee and even character of aged brandy. Finish has a high alcohol warmth with a fast dissolving raisin aftertaste. Uf dah! Good ’n strong, yah.
badgerben (4576) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - OCT 23, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Big thanks to Guerde for sharing, and also to Yespr for the bottle of this I am sure to enjoy in the future! Black color with a thin head. The aroma starts with some light licorice and roasted malt, then turns to a bit of sherry and coffee. A hint of a berry, seemed like Lingonberry. On first sip, the heavy roasted malt smacks you right away, almost an acrid touch. As this fades, the berry becomes quite apparently lingonberry. The berry skin stands out. Lightly tart finish, and Guerde’s description of a snap pea pod on the end is spot on. Really nice.
Guerde (1210) - Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA - OCT 22, 2008
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
(bottle from Sparky27, thanks Eric!) Pours black with a tan head. The aroma is very sweet and all over the map. Scents of port, prunes, red vines, chocolate, anise, and berry skin all leap out to me initially. The aroma doesn’t change too much and retains this sweet smell throughout consumption. The flavor is quite different than the aroma. The taste starts out similar with the chocolate, prune, and berry skin (which is more prominent now), but the finish I found to be a little unpleasant. The roasted malt that wasn’t evident before rears its head in a big way on the finish, which lends a flavor reminiscent of green snap pea pods. As it warms the finish becomes more bitter as well. The mouthfeel is medium and carbonation is minimal. This was a good beer, but the finish really detracted from the overall experience.
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 22, 2008
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Canadian Import Label, Best By Date April 2013; Sampled October 2008
A solid pour easily produces a four finger thick, creamy consistency, nicely browned, dark tan colored head in my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip glass. Lots of lacing sticks to the sides of my glass as the head, fairly uniformly, slowly recedes. The beer is a dark, opaque, deeply concentrated brown, really near black color that is opaque when held up directly to the light, but showed a clear, dark chocolate brown color as I was pouring it. The aroma has an up front fruitiness to it that smells of prunes and fig. A deeper inspection shows the same fruit, but with the alcohol produces notes of brandy and rum. Towards the middle / end notes of cocoa, lightly roasted nuts and toasted whole grain notes. As my nose gets used to it a faint, funky, musty notes starts to become noticeable; light notes of ripe cheese, decaying wood and a touch of dried, musky sweat contribute, what seems to be recurring, a signature Struis character. The alcohol can be a bit too prominent in the nose at times, making this a bit hot, but it is just about complex enough that I don’t really care. I wasn’t really expecting much roast character here, and at first I didn’t notice a whole lot, but now that I have dug around a bit there is definitely a sharp, a bit acrid, at times substantially toasted, roast / burnt grain note towards the finish.
Soft and creamy at first, then some prickly carbonation sets in and the beer gets a sharpness from the roast malt that also tends to add some thinning effect; never enough to keep this beer from being chewy and a definite sipping brew though. Substantial chocolate notes up front are tempered by darkly roasted, coffee-like notes towards the finish that add both a roast bitterness and some burnt acidity to the finish. This hides its alcohol fairly well in the flavor with just a touch of warming as it runs down my throat. A substantial, rich, concentrated fruit character becomes much more noticeable as my palate gets used to the dark grain notes; flavors of tart / sweet prunes, moist dried figs and some definite brandy-like fruit / alcohol notes. As the beer warms up it picks up more sweetness, which helps to balance the roast malt and alcohol notes a bit more. At times, in the finish, there is a substantial, toasty nutty note that reminds me of chestnuts and perhaps a touch of roasted pepita (pumpkin nut). Towards the end of my glass it starts to pick up a bit of chalky dark malt character.
Definitely a good beer, it is lacking the finesse that I was hoping for though. The complexity is there in the nose, but, while tasty, it doesn’t seem to fully follow through in the flavor.
hopdog (9618) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - OCT 19, 2008
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle acquired in trade with Sammy. BB April 2013. Poured a dark black with reddish/brown edges and a large sized tan head. Aromas of chocolate, roasty, some coffee, and a littley earthy. Tastes of raisins, prunes, chocolate, molasses, caramel, roast, and other dark fruits. Smooth and creamy body that ends lightly syrupy. Alcohol content well hidden.