Beer Review – Black Damnation One – Black Berry Albert – De Struise Brouwers

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Russian Imperial Stout

ABV – 13%

APPEARANCE: This Stout poured like it was being punished, almost like it was afraid to come out of the bottle. Slow, and menacing it filled up my stout glass and consumed it in utter darkness. I began to rough pour to produce a head, it billowed up quickly a chestnut brown foam that began to recede back into the blackness as quickly as it was produced. Left over was a small halo and a bit of spotted lacing that attempted to stay around as I drank but finally gave up.

AROMA: And I will strike down on thee with great blackberries and a furious chocolate aroma to those that will attempt to describe the layers of aromas coming from this beer. Upfront the blackberries do come out rich, deep and jammy.The addition of the port barrel aging is producing a very interesting vinous note, that is a welcomed change from the usual big bourbon barrel notes on a BA stout. Big burst of chocolate, roasted espresso, slightly burnt toasted bread and scorched toffee. As I get in for another nose full, the jammy berry aromas seem to be turning into more of a black cherry, raisin and plum. Very enjoyable aroma with quite a bit of layers that play off each other and open up new additions each time I go back for another smell.

TASTE: Blessed is he, who in the name of Belgian beer and Blackberry stouts, shepherds the unknowing through the valley of Black Damnation, for he is truly his brother in beer and the finder of new flavors. Like small chocolate warriors holding fresh picked blackberries swords are having a battle in my mouth. Lots of big bold flavors going on here, the berries are first and foremost with the rich chocolate and french pressed coffee coming in nicely. The mid palate shows some addition of anise, and a roasty bitterness that seems to be setting the stage for the next act of flavors to come in. Come in it does, with the additional time to let the temperature come up the port wine barrel flavors begin to emerge bringing with it a delicate spicy Belgian yeast note. The 13% abv peaks it monstrous head just enough to let you know its there without having an overly hot taste. The ending has more fruit flavors not necessarily black berries but a mesh of dark fruits, black currants, raisins and plums.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium plus body with a low carbination. Slick and slightly creamy the body is perfect for sipping this stout.  Every sip coats the mouth in a lovely lingering finish full of all the best aspects of the flavor profile. Right when you think it could not linger any more it suddenly drys up leaving a delicious after taste of Belgian style yeast.

OVERALL: Being this is my first experience with anything from the De Struise Brouwers, I don’t have anything to use as a standard. Set against other stouts/ba stouts/fruit stouts it does shine. What I really enjoyed about this beer was that after the first initial blast of berry/port like favors and aromas it still stands out as a RIS delivering everything you would expect with just a touch of Belgian spices and yeast to pull it all together.

RATING:   4.5 out of 5 Zombie Heads! Leaving a little room on the score for the chance of having a regular version of this to compare.

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Beer Purchased at:

Top Shelf Wine & Spirits

Address: 6415 S Fort Apache Rd #100, Las Vegas, NV 89148
Phone:(702) 701-9463

Beer Review – 2010 Dark Lord – Three Floyds

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2010 Dark Lord – Three Floyds
russian imperial stout
15% ABV
50 IBU
APPEARANCE:  Poured a devilish black oil slick color. My snifter produced little to no head, the teku pour produced a small khaki colored head that settled into a nice halo. Head has stuck around with some spotted lacing, that is slow dancing down the glass.
AROMA: Instantly hit with black licorice and molasses. Reminiscent of bourbon county brand stout on the bouquet. Smells of rich dark chocolates and deep dark fruits, currants, plums and ripe plump raisins. Faint aroma of coffee beans hiding under the layers. Smells sweet and boozy at the same time, such an inviting aroma.
TASTE: I just made a deal with the devil, sold my soul for a bottle of beer! Amazing, chocolate covered cherries, floating on a bed of sweet malts. Intense flourishes of burnt caramelized fruits with a toasted nuttiness. The chocolate and sweetness gives way to nice warming alcohol heat that finishes with a nice port wine like flavors. If i had this in a blind taste, I would bet the house this was a barrel aged beer. I’m a huge fan of vanilla and this delivers an immense slap to the taste buds of Madagascar vanilla beans. Delicious!

MOUTHFEEL: For a hard pour that produced almost no head I was expecting a almost lazy flat beer.I was wrong, prickly hidden carbonation that expands into a wonderful creaminess with each sip. Nice burn from the high abv with a dry lingering finish that leaves the flavors hanging around for an eternity in my mouth.
OVERALL: As far as a Russian imperial stout goes, this gargantuan beer is the best I’ve had to date. The layers upon layers on both nose and pallet seem to be ever evolving. The sweetness is forefront without being cloying, the alcohol is present without being overbearing. All around an amazing beer for the style and amazing beer in general. The Dark Lord has risen!

RATING: 5/5 zombie heads!

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