As you may know I am very fond of my Belgian friend Albert who has been a welcome companion on dark winter evenings and early morning train rides. On this particular journey from the south coast all the way up to York it was particularly wise to bring along one of the illustrious and extravagant Albert family, Kabert (11.5%abv). The result of my favorite and most sturdy of Belgian brewers De Struise‘s expert blending of Kate the Great and Black Albert, laid down in port barrels in 2011 to become an exquisitely indulgent Russian Imperial Stout.
Opening the bottle with excitement as a little unctious thick brown foam oozed down the side, the aroma was almost enough to disguise the cesspit stench of the Cross Country train’s ever-overflowing toilet. Rich dark malts, beery yeast and brown clumps of sugar with ripe red berries. My hands are slightly sticky from the side of the bottle, the beer is so voluptuously thick like treacle. The flavor is incredibly full and immediately alcoholic in the most warmingly delicious way. The dark malts compliment the lively black cherries and raisins and there’s a sprinkle of nutmeg spice. So sweet and smooth. I never fail to be impressed by this series of beers. Even the label, featuring an ornate crest of mythical beasts alongside the signature ostriches, gives this ale an air of pomp and majesty reminiscent of the early albums of Queen. Albert I am privileged to be your audience once again.