Black Albert and all the Hype

I‘m sure you’ve heard all the hullabaloo about the De Struisse Black Albert Belgian Imperial Stout from the well-promoted, helftiliy priced beer scene of late.  After a trip to the Green Dragon Pub and Bistro, where the brew was sold for an unfathomable $10 per 6oz’er (Granted the beer wholesaled for about $450 per 30L keg…) in about an hour.  We figured we’d try our luck and patience at the mighty (and less bustling) Belmont Station, where a 25 cL glass for $8.50 seemed more fitting (you do the conversions and math).  Belmont, kicking off an incredible Imperial Stout Week with each night experiencing the tapping of two limited edition Imp Stouts, saw this inaugural occasion provide the De Struisse wonder as well as a vertical of the unflinching Alaskan Smoked Porter.

De Struisse Black Albert: Hot damn!  Limited to two 25 cL glasses per person due to supreme rarity, this 13% ABV beast poured a black oily body with a frothy gray-beige head and possessed a ruddy chocolaty, bold boozy nose.  A crisp, warming, mellow fruity undertone with a heavy, malty, sweet, chewy , bitter spine that couldn’t help but linger.  Totally worth the hype and almost worth the price tag was this gregariously hopped, green, chewy, divine brew.

Fantome de Noel
Fantome de Noel

Belmont Station’s beer menu was rocking at full force on the Chinese New Year (yes January 26 is such the date). Also available and enjoyed was the Fantome de Noel.  “Dark malts, melange of spices and wild yeast sour notes” is a dead-on description of this wondrous beer.  A glowing yet murky chestnut-amber body with a clasping whitish swirling head unveiled tart candied, fruited, yeast-driven nostril-coddling lovability. Somewhat reminiscent of Warheads candies (yet not quite as puckering), the Noel finished with a soft orange rind and faint lemon zest.  A gentle underlying breadiness made this an undeniably inviting brew.

Cheers to Black Albert!
Cheers to Black Albert!

2007 Alaskan Smoked Porter: An abysmal dark black body with a rich and thick beige -tan head.  Fat lace and a woody, smoked nose that made this robust beauty an excellent pairing for smoked salmon or sharp cheddar.  Yes!

De Struisse Black Albert, 2007 Alaskan Smoked Porter, and Laurelwood Moose and Squirrel
De Struisse Black Albert, 2007 Alaskan Smoked Porter, and Laurelwood Moose and Squirrel

With too much goodness to go around at Belmont Station, we had to pack up and leave with a Sierra Nevada Torpedo Extra IPA for the road.  Just more reasons to love Belmont Station!


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