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Aardmonnik - Earthmonk - De Struise Brouwers

Aardmonnik - EarthmonkAardmonnik - Earthmonk

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

254 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 254
Reviews: 174
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 17.68%


Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: TheLongBeachBum on 12-14-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 254 | Reviews: 174 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JoeMayo
JoeMayo

Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2008 17:16:55 | More by JoeMayo
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tprokop7

Massachusetts

4.83/5  rDev +22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours dark reddish brown, with no head. Smells sour, alcoholic, and of dark fruits. Lots of yeast in the bottom. Taste is not as sour as the smell. It's sweet, with lots of plum and dark berry, maybe a little cherry. Alcohol is only barely prevalent, but still more than I'd have expected. The more I drink it the more I taste plum, maybe even plum wine. I can't pinpoint what, but this beer really does make me love it with every sip.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 02:47:58 | More by tprokop7
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Finally was able to pick up a couple of these recently. I had been dying to try this brew and immediately chilled one down for consumption. 330ml bottle was served chilled and decanted into a large snifter. Consumed on 10/18/2008.

The pour was rather non eventful for me. Rich, deep, mahogany in color with an impenetrable from light consistency to it. No head at all though, which kind of shocked me to be honest, but still good color for the style.

The aroma was deeply sour, with tons of apple vinegar like aroma to it. Richly funky this one was one crazy ass smelling beer. As it warmed I started to pick up some nice notes of caramel, some nice dark fruit notes and a slight hint of some earthy malts, but all layered underneath and incredible layer of deep funk. The flavor started out the same way, almost lip puckering strong notes of vinegar, followed by some nice tart fruits that just layered and stay upon the tongue. Some nice, dark earthy flavor then upon that. Really rich and complex. The finish was just as tart, drying out the palate and really just letting the rich flavor peak through your tongue and last long with an almost sour cherry like finish. The feel was a little disappointing for me to be honest, as it felt thin, with no carbonation at all. This was really the only downer for me in this though and was still full enough to pull off a good rating. The alcohol was no where to be found, but the flavor was so rich and thick that there was just no way at all you were going to get by this one.

Overall not bad, seriously not the best of the style that I have ever had, but none the less it was still very solid. I would have no issue with trying this one again any day, and I am glad I have a few left.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2008 11:20:56 | More by mikesgroove
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TurdFurgison

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had a bottle of this at the Kulminator in Antwerp, served in a de Struise goblet. The beer was murky brown-red color with a thin wet head. The smell was very good for a Flanders wild ale, lots of vinegary sourness but complemented by sweet cherry and wood. The taste was sour to the point of lip pucker, but you could imagine quite a bit of fruit flavors, maybe apple cider as well. I liked this a lot, but the drinkability score has to be average at best as the acidity keeps you from drinking too fast. Very recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2008 00:26:40 | More by TurdFurgison
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MtGoat

Vermont

4.88/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Serving Type: Bottle (330 ml, best before 2011)

Glassware: De Struise Tulip

Appearance: Poured vigorously from 6-8 inches above the glass as previously seen at Kulminator and by the De Struise Brouwers. Dark brown with an airy bubbly head.

Smell: Tart, dried fruit, cherries, floral, malt, slight cocoa/leathery scents, oak.

Taste: Fruits, OAK (and old oak at that), slight cocoa/caramel, amazing complexity! A finish that lingers with a growing tartness. The taste is very similar to the smell. A very well crafted brew...as usual from these guys.

Mouthfeel: A fairly heavy mouthfeel. Full, smooth, satisfying.

Drinkability: Oh so drinkable. I was thinking about cracking bottle after bottle...

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2008 01:36:58 | More by MtGoat
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ggaughan

Pennsylvania

4.88/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is actually not retired and is still being made evidenced by the sight of a huge container of cherries floating on top of the fermenting beer I saw at the Struise farm a few weeks back.

This beer was sampled at the Kulminator in Antwerp, in a Struise tulip. Beer poured a deep brown, iced tea like color with a decent head that receeded quickly. Nose had some definite sour cherry notes and a tart character. Taste was wonderful. Cherry taste was fresh but yet there was a wood character from the aging. Nice sour tone all through the beer made this one hard to put down.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2008 11:40:51 | More by ggaughan
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GbVDave

Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2008 23:31:48 | More by GbVDave
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edmedina

Virginia

4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok first let me say this...Flemish Sours I am not really a fan. However, I can appreciate these complexity a lot of these have thus I do give them a try.
This pours a nice brown with a red hue to it. There is no head what so ever. The smell to me is of sour cherries but with a sweet smell mixed in there. The taste is surprisingly sour and yet creamy. The sourness isn't over powering at all. I've certainly had more tart/sour beers than what this offers. I also get hints of citrus, grapefruit taste in there. It's really crisp and doesn't much of an after taste. In terms of a Flemish sour beer this is definitely a drinkable beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2008 02:10:01 | More by edmedina
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johnnnniee

New Hampshire

4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2008 22:38:38 | More by johnnnniee
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2008 16:53:57 | More by Phyl21ca
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badbeer

Iowa

3.1/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to iowaherkeye. Murky brown color with a white head; interesting retention to it. Smell was mostly sour, but some sweet caramel and cherry seemed to come in as well. Sourness and oak in the taste, but unfortunately there was also some metallic flavors too. Maybe I'm missing the big deal with this one, but it just wasn't that great to me.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2008 00:21:34 | More by badbeer
Photo of lordofthewiens
lordofthewiens

Maine

4.97/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had the good fortune to try one of these recently, and was just overwhelmed. This might be the best beer I've ever had; wish I could get my hands on some more. It was served in a wine glass, and had a hazy red/brown color. The thin head was a light brown. Incredible aroma. An extremely earthy, barnyard aroma, intense but pleasant. Somewhat vinous nose also. It had a sour, dark fruit taste. The earthiness translated into a yeast taste. The flavors intensified as the beer warmed. This was a deep, richly rewarding beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2008 13:44:35 | More by lordofthewiens
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Crosling

Colorado

4.13/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, Stockholm, Sweden. Very dark, almost appears black in the glass, but pours a rustic brown. Full, very light brown head. Vinous nose with a variety of dark sour fruits. Flavor is very sour and acidic, with hints of wild red grapes, blackberry and hints of dried chocolate on the finish. A rich, flavorful beer, with an authentic character, a clean sourness and nice balance. Clearly immensely high in quality.

Serving type: bottle

06-11-2008 02:52:52 | More by Crosling
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crowellr

Maine

4.93/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just came back from another amazing experience at Ebs. Brought friends from Boston, all of whom were expecting the best beer bar in the world and left with nothing saying otherwise. The conversation started with us talking about the Westvleteren 12 and how I had acquired some that I will soon enjoy. He says, I got something you'll like more. After a thrilling 20 minute speech about the different breweries, I will never get tired of listening to him talk about beer, the knowledge he has amazes me, he left us to enjoy our beer and food. A little while later he comes back with a bottle of Earthmonk, and lets everyone at the table have some.

Now I know I am very young, still just 22, but I have had plenty of experience with great beer. This one def topped them all, first of the smell was intoxicating. Infact after the first couple sips, I just sat there smelling this beer, not wanting that smell to leave.

After the first sip, I relized is what unlike any beer I have had before, the different combinations of flavors made a distinct almost earth taste, very odd way to describe it I know.

Either way, this is the best beer I have every had, and most likely will keep that title after I crack my Westlevteren 12, 8 and blonde. Chris is an amazing man, and anyone that has not made it up there is missing an experience that every beer drinker should have.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2008 21:31:43 | More by crowellr
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ChainGangGuy

Georgia

4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 15 to 20 CM pour or not, you still get a near black body with nearly no head to speak save a few beige bubbles.

Smell: Interesting potluck aroma with wild, varying notes, including: Ricola herb pastilles, balsamic vinegar, smoke, and top soil.

Taste: Sweet (yet somehow also savory) and plenty fruity. You get plums, black cherries, and even grilled pineapple soaked in red wine. Handful of salt licorice, a puff of smoke, and a piece of chewed barley-flavored gum. Light lactic sourness throughout. Dash of black pepper in the tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's certainly different, I'll give it that.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2008 19:24:25 | More by ChainGangGuy
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CBA

British Indian Ocean Territory

4.7/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A descent from sour/vinous, tart cherry, fruit cake to wood, damp earth and some residual sweetness at the end. Not too acidic, never cloying this is one to savour slowly.

A beer to cause introspection indeed.

33cl bottles courtesy of Kulminator - one of the few beer brought home from Belgium.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2008 20:16:23 | More by CBA
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Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly drinkable and smooth for this style. Brownish red with some alcohol and woodiness in the scent. Medium mouthfeel, soft carbonation, wonderful cherry and lemon and winey and balsamic vinegar malted down - with anything,little head , thanks Hopdog.

Serving type: bottle

09-30-2007 03:29:05 | More by Sammy
Photo of franksnbeans
franksnbeans

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy dark brown with extremely minimal cinnimon head. Smells of sour cherries and black licorice, fig and earthy. Taste is very tart and mildly fruity and a lot of vinegar. This is extremely complex though I must admit my limited knowledge of the style takes away from me knowing them. Medium in the mouth and a dry finish. Sips and drinks like a wine.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2007 04:26:27 | More by franksnbeans
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genog

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This sour beer pours a brown color with an off white, slight brown head that is rocky and creamy leaving some good lacing along the glass. Smell is of apples, and somewhat a meat broth as well. I can also sense cherries and raspberry in the aroma. Taste is also pungent with cherry and apple with some sour, tart vinegar in the finish. Almost too sour for me, and I didn't find it very enjoyable. I guess I know now to stay away from this style. It is really not for me.

Serving type: bottle

09-24-2007 01:24:33 | More by genog
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

4.43/5  rDev +11.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2007 01:25:14 | More by Gueuzedude
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granite

New Hampshire

5/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

First off let me thank Chris of Ebenezers pub for sharing this remarkable beer with me.

This was the ultimate beer experience for me. I'm sitting in a pub in Maine that would rival any pub in Belgium. I’m having a great conversation about spontaneous fermentation and traditional geuze blending with Urbain, brewer of De Struise and Chris, proprietor of Ebenezers Pub. I was just served a glass of Boons 3 year unblended flat geuze and I’m thinking that life can not get any better. Then in comes the DHL delivery and it just happens to be the shipment of Earthmonk. Not in a box but rather in a plastic pail with broken glass sticker plastered all over it. I could tell that Urbain and Chris were visible pissed and who could blame then. Chris informed me that he has waited over a year for this to arrive. So Urbain starts unpacking the pail and with great relief, only one bottle did not survive the trip. Chris instantly plunged a bottle in a picture of ice water to cool it. A few minutes later Urbain pops it and instructs all of us how Earthmonk should be dispensed. He held the bottle about a foot and a half above the glass and started to decant it very slowly. He said this was the only way it will produce a large head. He then presented me the first glass and I was speechless.
Sitting in my hand was a snifter filled with a dark brown liquid with ruby red highlights. Floating on top was a large, rocky off white head that consisted of the finest little bubbles of carbonation. It was such a beautiful presentation. Urban said it was a little darker then most Oud Bruins brewed today but it was a better representation of what an Old bruin may have been like a few hundred years ago.
The aroma was remarkable. Chocolate malt and oak followed by fig and cherry like fruity esters. I understand where the earth name came from. It had a subtle forest thing going on. It is very hard for me to describe but it added an extra layer of complexity. It may be derived from the wild yeast and bugs that were isolated from grape skins in a famous wine region (I forgot the name) by Urban when he set out to create Earthmonk. I also noted a touch of acetic and some wine like character and in the nose.
The first thought that popped into my head when I tasted it was how rich it was. It started with a toffee like malt flavor. Not overly sweet or cloying but just enough young beer in the blend to balance the sourness or acetic character of the older portion. The fruit profile also changed from that of the aroma. It had more of a spiced citrus and raisins flavor. The finish seemed to last forever. It consisted of vanilla, woodsy phenols, wild bliss and a sweet and sour tug of war that made me want more and more.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2007 14:56:26 | More by granite
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belgiumking

Florida

4.58/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The bottle I received came from Amsterdam from a reputable beer shop.

The beer poured a very dark crimson/brown and had virtually no head and at first appearence I thought it might have ben spoiled - until I captured the aroma.

The aroma reminded me of old Rodenbach Grand Cru from 10+ years ago. Very rich, full of dark fruits, clove, anise, cherry and some floral. The flavor was incredible, once again reminding me of a beer I once loved. very regal and full of complex character with notes of every aroma mentioned above with the plus of the wild yeast strains that are used to make this beer. Very tart and wonderfully funky.

Please note that this is NOT a one time beer, rather a yearly release of a one batch beer that will have extreme limited availability. So if you ever see it - buy it!

I think this beer will age to 20 years like the old Rodenbach.

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2007 19:40:48 | More by belgiumking
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CharlesDarwin

Rhode Island

4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed March 31, 2007. Bottle. Aroma sizzles with excitement in the forum of cherried smoke, glowing peach esters, and fragrant spice stores of Marrakesh. Pours in drawn earth brown. Flavor incredible. Blows me away with sweet and sour cherry vinous complexity. A world of different and indecent cherry characters explode in a room filled with cork, toasted sesame and a lot of blistering sour orange peel and popping coriander seeds. Acidity is sharp, highlighting the drumming complexity of the fruit, earth and spice that dance forth from the glass. More strong cherries before settling to sleep in the grass with kaffir and coconut. Aged balsamic drizzle over a grilled piece of pineapple, cresting the oaken delivery on the smack. Astonishing unique complexity and character. Too be savored for sure.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2007 20:43:41 | More by CharlesDarwin
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weeare138

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Much thanks to egajdzis for breaking out this still-unreleased in the U.S. bottle...
Appears a hazy dark brown with a tiny, dark beige head that quickly fades into a light collar. Tiny speckles of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of vinegar, grapes, tart cherries, oak, caramel, grape leaves, steak sauce, dried seaweed, light soy.
Taste is of tart grapes, vinegar, cherries, oaky vanilla, tart grapes, light caramel, and mild oak.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, mildly tart, grapey, vinuous, smooth at some parts, leading to a dry finish with touches of hops and nuts.
I'm looking forward to the U.S. release.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2007 16:18:29 | More by weeare138
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Aardmonnik - Earthmonk from De Struise Brouwers
89 out of 100 based on 254 ratings.