Aardmonnik - Earthmonk - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Aardmonnik - EarthmonkAardmonnik - Earthmonk

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BA SCORE
88
very good

178 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 178
Hads: 277
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 14.5%
Wants: 179
Gots: 84 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: TheLongBeachBum on 12-14-2006

Brewed and bottled on the Deca Brewery in Woesten-Vleteren.

Oud Vlaams Bruin - Blend 30% Old & 70% New

EBC:52, IBU:15, OG:1078, FG:1018, ABV:??
Hops: Bramling Cross, Hallertau MF
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 178 | Hads: 277
Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.56/5  rDev +16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle 8,0% Abv.
Served chilled in
2008 edition best before 27/04/2016

I'm not sure what to expect here, I love the style but the latest batch of Aardmonnik seems to have taken some stick. I just hope carbonation is not an issue.

Appearance: Well carbonation is not going to be an issue - there is a loud hiss as the cap is lifted.
Aardmonnik pours a very dark brown and reveals a beautiful (almost clear) deep burgundy when back light. A large light brown head (no CO2 issues here!) forms from a fairly vigorous pour, unfortunately it fizzes away pretty quickly and leaves no lace.

Smell: Hmmmm, if other bottles from the 2008 batch were anything like this I think there has been some unfair bashing of this beer!
Superb nose, powerful and stunningly complex. I'm not sure where to start!
Balsamic vinegar, lightly tart fruit (plums, fresh cherries and not quite ripe red apples), red grapes (very vinous) and tons of barrel character are easily noted. Warming brings earthy vanilla (and a general earthiness), an array of spices, a touch of cola and some sweet brown sugar hiding in the background.

Taste: As with the nose, the flavour is amazingly complex. Balsamic vinegar, cherries, green apples, plums, red wine, oak and an unexpected roasted coffee note are all easily identified. The finish is quite a bit tarter and drier than I expected, but I love tartness so I'm not complaining.
There is no trace of the 8% abv.

Mouthfeel: Medium/full body with moderate (but perfectly adequate) carbonation. In my view it's pretty much bang on for the style.

Overall: Super oud bruin. Much better than the Goudenband I had a while ago. I'm pretty confused by all the bitching about this beer. Each to his own I guess.
I would however highly recommend this beer to anyone who is a fan of the style and I will be trying to get more. (1,851 characters)

Photo of OregonHopmonster
4.56/5  rDev +16%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottle, EM No. 7, Best Before 7/11

Very little pop when opened. This is certainly the darkest Flemmish sour I've ever poured. The black sediment thankfully stays firmly in place at the bottom of the bottle.

Heavy sweet and sour aroma; lots of umami here, with dark fruits, cherry, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and lots of dark fruits.

The taste is not surprisingly similar to the aroma- sweet and sour, with again Worcestershire, balsamic vinegar, cherry but adding a cocoa element that was missing form the nose. I am a fan of high cocoa content artisan chocolate bars and the finish on this has the same wine like character that can be found in the best examples, with a wine, raisin and port like character. There is really no trace of the elevated alcohol content and almost no trace of the traditional maltiness associated with what we call beer. My only real complaint is that it seems a bit thin, although that does get better as the beer warms.

The aging is mellowing it out and rounding it so that it has much the same character as a (not-hoppy) aged barleywine, or perhaps a Thomas Hardy, with the added dimension of a sour backbone and perhaps a little less body. Very, very good, but not world class in my opinion and relative to other Flemmish sours not really to style. (1,303 characters)

Photo of johnnnniee
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy brown with dark ruby highlights when held close to the light. No head whatsoever even when coaxed while pouring. Smells of sour cherries, prunes, slight fusel alcohol in the background and maybe some phenolic in there as well. Tastes incredible! Lots of sour cherries, but not over the top lactic like some others. A bit of caramel malt midway through, some more sour then a bit of alcohol then some more sour leaving a slight puckering in the finish. Vinous flavors throughout. Medium in body with a sticky mouth. Carbonation is just about non existent, still almost. This might need some age to develop some carbonation. I do have time as the bottle says it is best before 7/2011. Great brew, I wish it was more readily available. (747 characters)

Photo of Zimbo
4.54/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 BB 27/04/2016

Drunk from a Riedel Vinum Burgundy glass.

In the bottle there is a relatively intense brown sugary quality with just a whiff of the ol' sour. In the glass it is headless though there is swirling flat one dimensional lacing dots on the surface which creates delicate swirling patterns. Dark chestnut brown with soe rusty red highlights. Considering it has no head it still looks pretty inviting.

There's a slight vinuous quality here too and more intense brown sugary sweetness along with cherries surrounded by a glowing hue. Some overly ripe apple in there too.

No carbonation but smooth, sleek and caressing in the mouth with some wafer like acidity on the way down. There's an gentle elegence here considering that 8% ABV.
Beautifully molded together to create a complete whole for the poet in all of us.

The nose from few drops left at the bottom of the empty glass just go on and on an on. Gorgeous.
(932 characters)

Photo of 05Harley
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Best before: 4/27/16
Lot 10/08/24/03/2011

Purchased through Cracked Kettle, Netherlands

Price - $6.33 U.S/bomber

Aged for 18 months on oak and blended with 30% old and 70% new.

Pours brown with red undertones. A complete lack of bubbles but I think as it continues to mature over time this will change.

A strong aroma of red grapes, cherries and funk from the 70's. A slight presence of vinegar holds it true to the style.

The flavor is tart cherry, brown sugar and oak. An amazing test of balance between sweet and sour.

Mouthfeel is a gentle touch of tart and sticky with a medium body. Fairly smooth as I've moved onto a second bottle. A real treat from start to finish.

Overall I really dig this. It's a sour but not overwhelming. I'm a huge fan of De Struise and this one stands out as a favorite of mine. I first had this several years ago and have been waiting patiently for it's next release. (911 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Fonefan: Poured a deep cloudy red color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of oak with some sour cherries and some cloves and some very subtle light black chocolate notes. Taste is also a mix between some black chocolate covered black cherry with some clearly identifiable oak with a sour finish. A lot more complex then most traditional Flemish sours out there. This is definitely a beer I would like to try more often in order to try and decipher all of the characteristics. (541 characters)

Photo of beerpirates
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

75 cl bottel vintage 2006 ( botteld in 2006 ) ! Poured into my struise glass

Instantly struck by the aroma Tart, sour, funky. Old cherry skin, aged balsamic. Wet leather. Just an absolutely outstanding nose. Pours a dark maroon/amber with a thin white head leaving some spotty lacing. Tart fruit, plenty acidic without being harsh. Wood, brett, balsamic, tart red wine tannin. Freshly crushed tart cherries mixed with vinegar. Creamy, lush and surprisingly vibrant on the tongue.
Awesome beer !! (497 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a DeStruise tulip.

Best before 08/11

A: Pours an impossibly murky, dark, chocolate-y brown. No head to speak of, just a bunch of tan colored bubbles that eventually formed a ring and left no lace behind.

S: Very interesting aromas of cherries. Both sweet and sour. Also noted are hints of spiced plums, raisins, vinegar, tart apple, and wood. The aroma gradually becomes spicier as it warms.

T: Immediately my tongue was awash in flavors of tart, sour cherry with a helping hand from some toasted caramel malt, spicy dark fruit, buttery oak, vinegar, green apple, and tangy citrus.

M: Quite tart but not at all thin or watery. Surprisingly full, creamy, and thick. Robust.

D: I have limited experience with this style and I wasn't expecting much beside something very sour and tart. The complexities of this blew me away. Very refreshing. (878 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

03/10/09- Received as an extra in a trade with BA member ygtbsm94.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with a notched best by date strip on the side of the label. Poured into my Russian River tulip.

Appearance- A combo of a dark cherry and grape juice color. On a very hard pour I got a lightly creamy large bubbled quickly receeding 1/4 inch head. Looks pretty flat from the pour. Does leave behind some light patches and spotty lace though.

Smell- A pretty strong nose of several things. A hefty amount of cherry notes, vinegar, earth and type of wood.

Taste- A ton of stuff going on here. Dark fruit-plums, rasins, dates and prunes. Wood-seems like some kind of oak wine barrel flavor. Vinous flavors, honey and definite a reduced balsamic vinegar flavor. Almost too much flavor for one beer. Nice and sour, but also quite sweet.

Mouthfeel- Almost completely flat, but quite thick and viscous. Even a little syrupy on the swallow. Just the smallest amount of prickly carbonation.

Drinkability- One of the deepest and most complex beers I have had the fortune of trying. A slight bit too much vinegar flavor for me, but otherwise an outstanding beer. (1,151 characters)

Photo of JoeMayo
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a very dark brown, approaching black in the center with no head at all.

S- Very dark and fruity. Notes of plums, blackberries, and raspberries. A sour brett-presence is there as well with notes of yeasty spice. A faint smell of alcohol can be detected as well.

T- Very strong plum presence. Dark fruit, blackberries, black cherries and sour brett are all mingling in the foreground of this beer. The alcohol and low carbonation cause this beer to resemble a plum wine. Dark malt comes through just before the sweet plum aftertaste with a strange funky hint of white pepper.

M- Somewhat thin and very low carbonation.

D- This one goes down smooth, although it should be sipped like a fine wine. (706 characters)

Photo of fewa
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The 2011 version. When I visited the Old School, they just put the Earthmonk 2011 for sale. Lucky me!

Pours a dark-amber brown with some thin layer of bubbles forming a nice lacing.
Smell is very sweet with strong sour notes of balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, oak, some dark fruits but surprisingly, also clear notes of red fruits were present. Everything mingled perfectly together. The best smelling Vlaams oud bruin I had until now.
Taste: Dark fruits, red fruits, lots of brown sugar and smooth oaky vinegar all over the place. This beer is so smooth, it is hard to describe.
Overall: When I had the beer, it was still very young. So nice and soft, with all flavors coming out very balanced. Probably overtime the sourness will get a bit more pronounced, but for me, this beer is close to perfect now! (807 characters)

Photo of drseamus
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been cellaring this beer for a while waiting for the right time to try it.

A: Dark brown with no head. Somewhat expected for a cellared bottle.

S: Sour fruitiness. Slight vinegar aroma. Some cherry notes.

T: It's good. I could use a touch more tartness, but that's pretty much always true. The brett is slightly pronounced with a dustiness. The taste starts off with a nice tart cherry, then evolves into a earthy flavor and finishes with a slight vinegar aftertaste.

M: Pretty thin but right on style.

D: All day in the summer. When pouring, make sure to include the yeast in the glass to add GREAT flavor. (617 characters)

Photo of corby112
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a very dark ruby red/chestnut brown color with slight mahogany edges and a thin half finger beige head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Not much lacing.

Earthy oak aroma that is very vinous with lots of dark fruit notes, lactic funk and horseblanket. Hints of grape and dark cherry as well as a slight vinegary presence.

Medium bodied and slightly puckering with a great balance of sweet dark fruit notes, earthy oak and tart funk. Vinous with hints of grape, dark cherry and plum as well as hints of oak and vanilla. Not too sour/puckering but slightly funky with a sweet yet dry finish. Not as extreme or complex as other Belgians of the style but very flavorful, nicely balanced and extremely quaffable. (733 characters)

Photo of DenverLogan
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the bottle...2008 tasting of many Struise in Loveland, CO...minimal head, rich brown. Big sour, funky bruin, slightly vinegar aroma. Flavor is a mix of sweet and sour...with rich malts, sour funk, astringent notes, crazy! Unique and tasty and weird and fun...ayieee!! (272 characters)

Photo of armock
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a dark brown color with an off white head

S - Is of tart cherries for the most part

T - Lots of things going on in this beer but the sour cherries stand out the most

M - This beer has a medium body with light carbonation to it

D - I enjoyed this beer a lot I wish it was more readily available and easier to get my hands on an excellent sour beer that very enjoyable worth the effort to get to try (413 characters)

Photo of johndoe8
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Just arrived at my door yesterday! Threw one in the fridge overnight and am enjoying this greatly now.

Muddy brown beer with very little carbonation. Easily detectable scents of caramel and alcohol apparent on the nose.

The taste is something quite wonderful though. I don't know how it's an A-, but I suspect its from the previous batch or something.. this is probably the finest tasting oude bruin i've had, with oude tart being my previous favorite.

I love this beer, it's a shame I only bought 6. Will have to buy some more when more is released. (554 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.41/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle with cap & synthetic cork, Best by date of July 2011, Sampled September 2007
Pours completely flat looking with a couple bubbles sitting around the edges of the glass. When some additional beer is poured from a height of 1.5 feet (46cm), a very large bubbled frothy, quickly disappearing, amber tinged, light brown colored head is summoned forth. The beer, a concentrated-amber / black-cherry color, is dark enough to be opaque as it sits in the glass but shows a brilliantly clear dark ruby color around the edges. The aroma is quite tart smelling with notes of balsamic vinegar, lactic acid, tamarind and some touches of cherries & other vaguely fruity notes. There are also some light, aged / oxidized malt notes that lean towards sherry in the nose. The aroma is quite tart, quit nice and quite enticing for this lover of sour beers. As the beer warms a bit, rich malty notes become much more noticeable; significant caramelized malt aromatics, toasted grain, brown sugar and toffee become much more apparent and actually soften the tart aromatics over time.

The beer feels completely flat, yet has some fullness to the body; almost a bit viscous as if there should be quite a bit of residual sweetness. The beer is fairly dry, but there is a touch of malty sweetness (though not quite as much as the palate might suggest). Richly malty, with a chewy, rich, almost umami character to it. Definitely sour, but not as much as the aroma might have suggested; the acid character is here, it is just that the body of this brew provides a really nice counterpoint and even foil for the tartness, such that it is not as overwhelming as it could be. Quite fruity tasting but leaning towards the dark side of the spectrum. I get notes of sour raisins, dark pie cherries, tamarind, figs, prunes, notes of sherry & Madeira. As the beer warms up a bit, a touch of woody / tannic astringency becomes noticeable in the finish (I think this is more from fermentation character than any wood used in the brewing of this beer, but I could be wrong). As the beer warms it picks up a striking balance to it; even at the beginning the flavor was balanced, but as the beer warms the aromatic components balance out, as does the body & flavor components.

Despite being flat, this beer is rich & tasty; I am actually quite surprise how good this beer is with the lack of carbonation (the rich mouthfeel really helps here). Hopefully I can get a hold of a carbonated sample of this brew as I have a feeling the carbonation would make this beer quite stellar. I certainly got hung up on the lack of carbonation at first, but the more I taste this beer the more impressed I am by its complexity and balance; I still think some noticeable if not effervescent carbonation would put this over the top though. I actually was a bit disappointed in this beer at first, but it has really grown on me, and in fact really needs to breath a bit before it comes into its own. (2,957 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Long time want, I had actually taken it off of my wants list because I figured it was becoming such an illogical long shot, but Brad hooked me up at a recent tasting.

This bottle is from the first release of this beer. Its a small 11.6 ounce bottle with a great drawing of an odd shaped cat (almost looks like a monkey) on the label. This bottle is also covered in dust, very cool. Beer is dark brown and clear, no head and carbonation is close to non-existent.

Strong sweet aroma. There is also a strong acetic presence to it. Almost like balsamic vinegar with fruit.

Beer is biting sour, strong almost wine like flavors with the fruits. Finishes dry, which was a surprise. There are late acetic / vinegar acidicity that adds to the palate connectivity. Even though there was no visible carbonation in the glass, on the palate there is plenty of carbonation that helps to activate the sourness of the late flavors. The sweetness is still there as well. Beer is well balanced between these two flavors. Drinkability is not as high as I would have hoped but it was also getting quite late. I would drink it again and seek it out again. A great great beer. (1,159 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to drseamus for bringing this. 750ml bottle.

A: Deep brown color with hints of red. Minimal white head.

S: Sour and fruity in aroma. The big flanders aroma is there. A little big of vinegar.

T: Super sour.Nice and earthy. Tons of the barrel are right there to go along with this. The finish has that vinegar taste those who are fond of flanders love.

M: Medium body. This style has such a weird mouthfeel. It is refreshing and punishing at the same time.

D: Amazing drinkability. This is super rare but damn good. The best example of the style I have ever had but the rarity cuts it down a bit. Grab of rodenbach until then. (637 characters)

Photo of ejyoung
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottles just arrived yesterday (less than a week from when I ordered them!) so I had to try one. 2011 version (labeled 2008)

Pours a dark mahogany with a reddish hue near the edges of the glass. Absolutely no head or much of a sign of carbonation - just a faint ring around the edge that disappears quickly.

Wow, there's a lot going on in the aroma. Tart cherries, balsamic vinegar, wine grapes, and a hint of cocoa/brown sugar. Excellent.

Quite a complex taste. Similar to the aroma as there is plenty of tart cherry and balsamic. There's a strong wine-like oak flavor as well. Nice amount of sourness.

Basically no carbonation with a medium body. Leaves a sour, sticky coating that hangs around.

I've tried several Struise beers now and I believe this is my new favorite. Looking forward to letting some of my bottles age for awhile to see how this evolves. (865 characters)

Photo of bkilpatr
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330 ml bottle into an Ommegang chalice. 01/10/09. Batch 7. Cool label artwork.

Pours a very dark mahogany brown with no head at all except for a ring around the edge of the glass. Aroma is very earthy, tart, and sour with wood, darker fruits, and cherry.

Taste is tart and sour with lots of dark fruit (prune, fig) and cherry. Very earthy taste with wood/oak barrel. A bit of vinegar in the finish. Pretty dry and has a red wine-like taste.

Feel is very smooth with a medium body. Very little carbonation, which works well for this beer. Definitely a sipper. Drinkability is very good. It's not too heavy or too sour.

Overall, a very good sour ale. Very tasty and a pleasure to drink. Very expensive though (~$15 for 330ml). If you like sour ales give it a shot. (780 characters)

Photo of jrallen34
4.39/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

1 of 5000 bottles every 2 years, into my De Struise glass. Very glad to finally try one the De Struise's I haven't had, and according to Carlo, his favorite. He might know what he's talking...Pours a very dark brown with a hint of mahogany peaking out. Very little carbonation at first, but then a super thin layer of bubbles forms and lasts for several minutes. No lacing...The aroma is fantastic, instantly reminds me of a cross between Duchesse & Rodenbach Grand Cru, wonder if this is labeled wrongly, I think this is a Flanders Red. Very sweet with superb notes of balsamic vinegar, oak, molasses and brown sugar. Perfect balance of sweet and tart...The taste is not quite as perfect, perhaps its getting a bit dated, will need to re-visit this when it comes out shortly. The flavors just don't come through as nicely or sharp, seems muddled. Dark fruits, molasses, and brown sugar on the front, only a smidge of tart vinegar on the back. This is still great, just not as good as the nose...The feel is a little light, not much of a finish...CRUSHABLE at 8%.

Another great De Struise, worth trying! (1,104 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.37/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured vigorously into my La Chouffe tulip. Head is beige, very bubbly, and small with little retention, which is to be expected Color is dark brown with a red tint.

The aroma is very complex. I perceive some caramel malt, along with figs, raisins, and plums. Some tart cherry is evident but is in the background. Some oak is also evident.

Initial flavor is tart cherries, oak, and vinegar. Ripe plum skin and a very low bitterness compliment the pleasant sweetness. Faint sourness and lactic acid is noticeable in the finish and lingers toward the back of the tongue and throat for a short while.

The body is vinuous an carbonation is very low. (648 characters)

Photo of rvdoorn
4.34/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, bottled 2011
Look: pours dark-brown color with almost no head.
Smell: Plums, figs, candy sugar, caramel, wood and balsamic vinegar
Taste: This must be the most tasty balsamic vinegar I ever had. Full of dark fruits, candy sugar, caramel and dark fruits.
Mouthfeel: Very low carbonation and thick body
Overall: What a fantastic taste, pity the carbonation is too low. (382 characters)

Photo of gtn80
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance is mahogany with some ruby if held up to a light. Tiny head that lasted throughout.

Smell was a bit of oxidation at first, but that dissapeared after a minute or two. What was left behind is tartness and a bit of earthiness.

Taste is a tiny bit of oxidation, but not unpleasant. Oak and tart, sour cherries fill your mouth. Tart, but somehow smooth.

Mouthfeel is right for a sour, but a bit thin for beer in general. Not alot of carbonation.

Drinkability is amazing, because somehow this sour beer is smooth, you aren't left mouth puckering. (601 characters)

Aardmonnik - Earthmonk from De Struise Brouwers
88 out of 100 based on 178 ratings.