Black Albert – De Struise Brouwers
Oosvleteren-based Belgian brewers De Struise produce this masterful 100 IBU “Royal Stout”, which pours a deep-space black with a tight, brown sugar head and a body that looks as thick as molasses. Black Albert’s beckoning nose offers heavy aromas like licorice, bark, and red wine barrels, but with some surprisingly bright floral and citrus notes, almost like African coffee. The taste is absolutely delicious – dark chocolate and citrus, as well some caramel and licorice – while the body is remarkably light and the aftertaste lingers pleasurably on the palette like great coffee. This beer is not particularly boozy considering the 13% ABV, instead offering a whirlwind of complexity, including touches of milk chocolate, orange, and red wine, in an utterly drinkable package.