Copyright 2009 Chris Lively | Site written and designed by Steve & Stephanie Lynch | Hosted at Homestead
The Belgian De Struise Brouwers were approached by Chris Lively, the brewery’s good friend and owner of Ebenezer’s Pub in Lovell, Maine (which has been named Best Beer Pub on Planet Earth on several occasions) to brew a special beer Ebenezer Pub’s 3rd Annual Belgian Beer Festival.
For this event, De Struise Brouwers refused to brew just any old beer. They were intent on brewing a special ale for their special friends for their special event. And special they created.
Instead of merely creating a new beer, Struise decided to create a completely new style of beer in honor of the event. The result was a BELGIAN ROYAL STOUT, which they named Black Albert – referring to the beer style (blacker than black stout) and to the Belgian Crown (King Albert).
Following the launch of Black Albert , Chris Lively of Ebenezer’s Pub had the brilliant idea to age some of it in bourbon oak barrels. Originally the plan was to age Black Albert on “Four Roses” bourbon barrels and name the resulting product “Four Black Roses”. The barrel aging experiment was a success, but Struise was strongly advised against using the “Four Black Roses” name for its newest creation.
Before bottling, Struise allowed some professional beer sommeliers to taste the beer from the barrel. These honored few declared the bourbon barrel-aged Black Albert as a work of art. Coincidentally, the only offspring of King Albert is involved in art. And so Struise named its concoction Cuvee Delphine.
Black Albert was brewed and crafted with a 100% Belgian ingredients. Pours a blacker than black beer with an inch of dark tan head that lingers as it cascades into itself. Nice aroma of bitter-sweet chocolate, fresh torrified coffee beans, barley, candy sugar, complex fruits, and floral hops. At the front, there is spiced baker’s chocolate, fresh mocha, caramel like barley touches, and underlying hints of dried fruits which marries the back of your palate and features a Top, and well integrated but not overbearing hop flavour. The after-taste is well balanced and shows a panorama of extreme sensations like chocolate and coffee bitters, a plum cake richness that covers the palate, and a crisp impression of hop bitters that brings elegance and freshness into this massive brew.