I have a long documented love for Struise, from Black Albert to the strangely fulfilling Schommelpeird. This beer is no exception. This is Black Albert aged in 4 Roses Barrels for maximum pwnage. The potential sweetness of the 4 Roses did not seem to be a great pair with Black Albert, however, let’s take the Pepsi challenge to see if this gem is better than the Classic.
De Struise Brouwers
Russian Imperial Stout | 13.00% ABV
I always wonder about the labels on these beers, it’s like, seriously after all that time soaking in bourbon, it didn’t pick up a single aspect or ABV notch of bourbon, I don’t wanna talk to a scientist, those motherfuckers lyin’ and getting me pissed. It’s like how 50/50 Eclipse sits in Pappy Van Winkle for 9 months but somehow remains as non-alcoholic as ever. Anyway, this beer pours like Black Albert has been juicing, the sheeting is more intense, nice microfine bubbles, mocha foam lacing, but not super gnar on the clinging. It’s not like that 18 year old girl you accidentally told you loved her, not that level of cling. Still, undeniably a beautiful beer.
I know a bunch of beer nerds will get their pitchforks and rally but honestly, the nose (after it warms up) reminds me of Kate the Great in a huge way. “PORT SPIRELS ARE DIFERENT!” they will object, but seriously the sweet caramel tone of 4 roses got all up inside of Black Albert like a prostate exam, and the result is a healthier, burlier stout that can chuck kegs over a 12 foot wall. At first I was underwhelmed at 50 degrees because I was like, oh, apparently they put this in the barrel for about 3 days, then shit opened up like the throttle on an Audi R8 and the upshutfucks were distributed with panache and gracious aplomb. This stout has a lithe sweetness that doesn’t seem to come from the malt or the bourbon, it is a weird third aspect of caramel and marshmellow that comes in and interjects opinions like a poorly moderated Fox News show. All of a sudden you are confused as to who is correct, the deep bourbon or the chocolate toffee malts, existential conundrums abound.
The coating is actually thinner than I remember Black Albert being, but isna brown sugar manner that is hard to explain like finding concealer under the seat in your car. Again, it reminds me of Kate the Great that makes beef jerky and doesn’t tip valets. If this beer ratcheted back the cookie batter aspects, it would surpass kate, but this is like disputing the 911 Turbo vs. the Z06, there will never be a winner, just a huge amount of butthurt.
As far as drinkability goes, my glass is gone and that is a perfect indicator to me that, for 13%, people have been killed for less. It will not cross the threshhold of those people adverse to stouts or any dark beers, alepigment prejudice (APP) but if you have someone who is stoutcurious, you can get him/her to taste the succor of this sweet treat.
Narrative: Treyvon Vizio had been a riverboat gambler as long as he could remember. Well, this warrants some clarification, Treyvon was born in northern Atlanta but adopted at age 3 to work a casino riverboat on the Meuse river in Belgium. The Netherlands were a strange place for a salt old gem like Trey, but he adapted quickly, swindling the passing German tourists, serving up “authentic” bayou cuisine coated in Belgian candied sugar, and espousing Mark Twain allegories that had no basis in fact. Old Trey was a sweet one, easy to like, but he would turn on you like an old Flemish adder once any form of jig was elevated. Technically, since he moved there at age 3, he shouldn’t have had a thick islander meets creole accent, but Noam Chomsky never called him out. He would just strum away on his river ukulele and tell the Belgian locals about his trials wrastling rivergators in a country where everyone carried firearms. Old Trey took a bite of imported cacao and surveyed his work amiably, sure, they were affluent river tourists, but what else would Belgian people be doing? Tracing back the roots of the Holy Roman Empire? Maybe investigating the history of 15th century oil painting materials? No fucking way. These people have enough X and trees to last through 18 Foster the People concerts, they were all about the riverboat gambling with old Treyvon.