A tribute to King Albert II, the sixth King of the Belgians, this is a fitting tribute to the Belgians: strong, rich, slightly sweet and nutty.
King Albert II reigned from 1993 - 2013 and is unusual in the fact that he abdicated his throne rather than being removed via death. This means he's likely to be one of a few Monarchs who will be able to taste their legacy in this beer, something that will surely be the peak of any Monarch's career.
A strong beer, as all the best Belgian ones are, this Russian imperial stout packs a real punch and is something to be savoured; with flavours of chocolate, roasted malt and slight candy sweetness part of the biography.
Somewhat concerning is the tagline De Struise have chosen to adopt for Black Albert, 'tattoo your insides' which paint a bizarre image.
This is the foundation of De Struise's 'Black Damnation' range, all of which use Black Albert as their base stout before adding all sorts of concoctions. You can see our review of Moccha Bombfrom the Black Damnation range for a flavour of those.
Black Albert: Taste Test
The pour is thick and dense with a strong smell of alcohol and a roasted malt aroma oozing forth from the bottle as it flows into the glass along with a slight sickly-sweet aroma that's tough to pin down but is definitely there.
The flavour follows suit with the strength with a real punch to it, the booze hitting the back of your throat immediately followed by a dark chocolatey richness that is combines with a delightful creaminess that gives it a really smooth texture, which is unusual considering the strength.
Definitely a sipper, with each taste allowing the flavours to build in your mouth and develop more. There's a slight nuttiness to it which helps provide another dimension to go with the bittersweetness of the dark chocolate. The aftertaste is mainly bittersweetness with a chaser of throat burn from the alcohol, which isn't unpleasant.
Black Albert: Bottle Notes
Quite a small bottle at just 300ml, but like Belgium itself, it is small and mighty. A stout brown bottle with a golden bottlecap is quite simple, but the label is a little more exciting.
There's a pattern on the front which I can't really begin to describe. It's like a cross between a tribal design layed over your Grandma's living room wallpaper, the light/dark green fade is a nice touch but that just adds to the complexity of the label.
The name of the beer is sideways on the label and somewhat unusually, De Strusie's logo is quite small on the back of the label with the rest of the information about the beer, which would suggest they're confident enough for beer drinkers to just know it's from them.
Buy Black Albert Imperial Stout
If you fancy 'tattooing your insides' with this delightfully royal Belgian stout, then you can pick one up online from Craft Metropolis for the princely sum of £6.50. Not bad for a slice of Monarchy.
A fan of beer since his first can of John Smiths he snook out of his Dad's fridge, Adam is now a craft beer enthusiast. To offset this 'hobby', he also cycles, runs and plays cricket when not spending time with his family.