Aardmonnik - Earthmonk - De Struise Brouwers

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Aardmonnik - EarthmonkAardmonnik - Earthmonk

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BA SCORE
88
very good

274 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 274
Reviews: 178
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 17.77%
Wants: 179
Gots: 85 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 274 | Reviews: 178
Photo of radshoesbro
4.82/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

this is maybe the most complex beer i've ever had!

pours a murky brown with some caramel/cherry tones around the edges. good head that dissipates very quickly and leaves no lace.

smells acidic with hints at cherries and alcohol.

the taste...what can i say? it seems like every sip i tasted something totally different. wood, cherries, mild funk, yeast, etc. it just keeps going and going.

this is a very drinkable beer based on how ridiculously delicious it is! it's ABV gives this is ability to make it a session beer, but the cost and availability hinder it greatly.

get this is you can, it's worth it.

Photo of JoeMayo
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
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.

Photo of Fux
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep dark color with mahogany glints. A very small off-white head despite an aggressive pour which disappears very quickly.

S: The nose is huge and intriguing. Vinous, deep, sharp, a bit sour, with a fruity scent, blackberry, blackcurrant. Faint toasted notes on the finish.

T: Slight sourness. Vinous, oaky. Cherries, red wine, a bit boozy. Mix of bitter chocolate and balsamic vinegar as an aftertaste. Not as complex as promised from the nose, but still very original.

M: Incredibly smooth with a very low carbonation, but very refreshing and easy to drink.

O: A very good Flanders oud Bruin, deep, intriguing. Would be curious to see how it ages.

Photo of BieresDesMoines
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy brown with an espresso swirl head. The aroma is some vinegar and farmyard-ish (namely horse blanket) aroma with just a mild roastiness in there as well. The flavor is sour and mildly sweet with lots of sour cherry and plenty of lactic acidity. All this pairs oddly well with a malty and chocolaty flavor that lurks in the background. Pretty damn nice.

Photo of cleeze
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew really opened my eyes up.

Color was a deep rich mahogany with barley no head at all. I really liked the color.

Smell was very sour with loads of apple viniger notes, lots of funkiness going on in this brew. dark fruits up in the mix as well.

Taste was not as intense as the aroma. Tart cherries maybe some plum in there as well. Little oakiness blends nicely. Again little funky.

Photo of slayer3604
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thank you very much to a customer for this beer...what a treat!
2008 Vintage

A- Almost stout-like in appearance, no head, fizzy swirl of carb in the middle of a color-devoid structure...

S-Vanilla, cherry, oak, intense, strong, amazing smells....omg....There isn't a single hint of sour beer behind this nose. Simply smooth vanilla and cherry...awesome....can't remember a better nose on a sour....

T- Starts off smooth, nothing much going on *served at 39 degrees F.* THEN spice, phenols, tartness, tanginess, oh man...this is great....

M- Solid brick of a mouthfeel, with a few glimmers of carbonation...nothing exceptionally nasty about the 'brick' that I speak of, but it is DIFFERENT....all together a different beer but for mouthfeel, I'd expect something FLAT to taste like this, but in all it provides the right amount of carbonation! NICE!

O- Best Flemish Red I've ever tried. Period. Duchesse on crack...

Photo of 77black_ships
4.94/5  rDev +25.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2011 Rating: 2007 Vintage bottle@Kulminator: brown with dark red colour with a small white head, taste is deep, tart & sour with balsamic and red wine vinegar & red wine with sour fruits and acidic wood + dark cherries, sour red berries, sherry, sugar,… despite the bold flavours straying into sour/vinegar/acidic territory, this is extremely balanced, not puckering sour and easy to drink, mouthfeel is smooth but quite thick as well at the same time, very little carbonation which is just perfect

Later rating: 2011 edition@Kulminator: just issued, almost sweet with some brown sugar compared with the 2007 Vintage with red wine like flavours overpowering balsamic & wine vinegar, sourness is very restrained, red fruit, touch of wood, one notch lighter body, very good, liked the 2007 a bit more

2013: 2007 is getting crazily sour now & 2011 is beginning to develop nicely, this is still one of the best sours around, wonderful brew that I like to revisit from time to time

Early 2013: tried a 2005, pretty good still but has oxidized a bit & is def. already somewhat downhill

Rating is for the 2007 Vintage.

Photo of tendermorsel
4.62/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip glass.

I was very excited about this beer. I have heard really good thinks about it and never got around to drinking the one bottle I traded for.

Very little carbonation initially and any carbonation the beer had dissipated within 2 minutes of the pour. Nearly completely flat.

This is a real intense beer. Strong raisin plum and dark fruit smells from this beer. Sour dirty and funky tasting. Oily and quite viscus. Smooth and very easy to sip. Wonderfully sour and almost like vinegar in nature.

This is not for everyone but I loved it. Another great beer by DeStruise. I have a feeling that I'm gonna try to score a few more of this one.

Photo of organicbrewer
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best before has 07 and 10 marked. Not sure what that means. Warmed up out of the fridge and poured into a Oerbier wine style glass.

A-Dark brown. Slightly cloudy. Very low tan head.

S-Malt vinegar. Big vanilla. A little mint? Oak. cherry pits.

T- Fairly sour. some alcohol. No hop bitterness (no surprise). Really nice. Some cherry. Lots going on. Some sherry.

M-Medium bodied. Next to no carbonation. ok. A bit of alcohol warmth.

D-I can't do 8% sour beers all night, but if i could I would be doing this one.

Photo of youbrewidrink
4.58/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Odd pour from bottle, it was difficult to get a head of any kind. Pour in a tulip glass.

Initial strong acetone smell quickly dissipated to a funky cherry aroma.

Deep cloudy mahogany color.

The person I was sharing with described the first taste as blood, a thick rich coppery taste.
As the drinking progressed a full spectrum of fruit and funky shown greatly.

The mouth feel was great and contributed to the overall presentation of this beer.

Excellent overall experience.

Photo of tprokop7
4.79/5  rDev +21.6%
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.

Photo of biga7346
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2008, released in March I believe. Poured into a wine glass

A - Very flat, still, no head at all. Black, viscous motor oil, dark chocolate color.

N - Wonderfully aromatic notes of brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, cane sugar and bakers semi-sweet chocolate; maybe kiwi fruit, vanilla bean and charred oakiness like burnt charcoal. There is some breadiness like rum cake, bannana bread leading into a tiny suggestions of fresh flowers or rose hips. It's safe to say I have never smelled a beer like this.

T/M - Opens with more of the brown sugar and chocolate malts and breadiness, well rounded tartness plays well with the overall sugary, grainy nature of the beer; sherry-like, it reminds me of a high-quality balsamic vinegar. There are port notes, medicinal like cough syrup and then a spike of pepperiness comes out of nowhere as it warms. More cocoa powder and chalkiness, the gristiness and dark fruit notes stick around in the finish.

D - Creative and wild to say the least, I give this an A+ for style and presentation although it would be tough to drink a lot of this.

Photo of gtn80
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

Photo of brokenleadedcask
3.99/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle received in the Brew n' Books BIF from Nkersten, thanks for the haul! Not sure of the age, says best before Jan 2011. Reviewed from notes

I was perplexed when I poured this super dark brown beer into a tulip because it produced no head and no lacing, huh weird? My nose was met with Brett up front, with some background aromas of stale coffee, sweet dark fruit, and horse blanket. There was a pleasant amount of pucker with a dark roasty background. Thick and a tad chewy with a clean finish, tart doesn't linger. I would like to have this again but the price tag is a little shocking at close to $20 for a small bottle.

Photo of edmedina
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
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.

Photo of johndoe8
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
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.

Photo of black13
2.4/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A vigorous pour into my Dogfish Head Signature glass produced no head or bubbles. The color can best be descibed as "flat Coke". I can appeciate a beer that has no head or carbonation, but the flavor and aroma better be good.

Right off the bat I pick up a strong balsamic vinegar aroma. This is an aroma I really enjoy, so I had high hopes. With a bit more time, I also pick up some dried fruit, some spices, but no sweetness to speak of.

There is a bit of a tartness to this, but once the dominant flavor of metal kicks in, I cannot pick up anything else. I let this one sit for awhile hoping this would go away, but that was not the case. Drink after drink all I could get was some funked up metal taste that seemed to linger for far too long.

Dispite the lack of carbonation, there was a fair amount of body to this beer. I would call it medium body.

Overall, this is not the beer for me. I would have loved a mouth puckering taste that was reminiscent in the aroma, but all I got was metal. It reminded me of when I was a kid and had a mouth full of pennies. Only this time, I didn't get any money after the experience.

Photo of granite
5/5  rDev +26.9%
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.

Photo of phishisphunk
3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Recently received in a trade from Oregone, thank you Trevor. Served from the 33 cl bottle at cellar temp into a tulip. Lot A, best by 07/11.

A: This one pours a deep, murky brown, with minimal head, even with an aggressive pour. Hints of red hues can be found along the edge when held up to the light. Thin, spotty, bubbly lacing is left around the glass. This one sits very still.

S: The nose is a bouquet of red wine and balsamic vinegar, wet leather, and oxidized fruits leading into a soy sauce aroma.

T: I'm initially surprised by the chocolate back bone of this brew. Smooth, creamy milk chocolate is followed by soy sauce and finished with a lingering tart cherry sourness. The sourness rounds out the palate and acts to lift the initial chocolate rush quickly off the tongue. The finish had a short-lived vinegar flavor that overpowers the tart cherry offering. I don't really detect any Belgian spiciness, which I think is due to the 8% ABV which really kicks up the sour/vinegar finish.

M: The mouthfeel is creamy and heavy which provides a port like quality.

O: I'm between and betwixt on this one. Nothing really stands out on it. I'm lead to believe that A. this beer is past its prime secondary to the oxidized flavors and aromas, or B. I'm consuming a bad batch. The 8% ABV is evidently noticeable on the finish and lends a warming feeling long after. I would really like to try a fresh batch as I'm lead to an inclination that at some point in the lifespan of this beer is a world class Flanders Oud Bruin. Will certainly seek out again.

Photo of fewa
4.47/5  rDev +13.5%
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!

Photo of OregonHopmonster
4.56/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

Photo of ChrisPr
4.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours dark brown, almost like a dark eisbock, with no head and garnet hints at the edges. I almost want to give a 5.0 for appearance. Smells of malt, prune and wood with slight vinegar. The mouthfeel is light-to-medium though this beer has some viscosity though it finishes quite dry. This is a very tasty beer with white grapefruit and spiciness reminiscent of Muller-Thurgau up front and a mild prune and wood finish. The acetic qualities are well-balanced, with the tartness between an old, viscous barrel-aged beer and a Flemish red. An exceptional sipper!

Not like any other beer I've ever had, but it shows some characteristics shared with l'Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien 2005. This beer is very drinkable but unfortunately quite rare. Well, well worth seeking out if this sounds like something you'd enjoy. I now consider it one of the great soured ales in the world.

Photo of MtGoat
4.85/5  rDev +23.1%
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...

Photo of belgiumking
4.59/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

Photo of CBA
4.69/5  rDev +19%
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.

Aardmonnik - Earthmonk from De Struise Brouwers
88 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.