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 Alieniloquium
3.98/5  rDev +1%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle poured into a De Struise chalice. 2008 on the label, best by 4/27/2016.

Appearance - Pours with no head. A few stray bubbles. A lifeless dirty pondwater brownish red.

Smell - Huge red wine nose to it. I could smell it as I poured it. Balsamic vinegary acidity. Deep malts come through. Molasses? Definitely a chocolate presence to it as well. Oak and some faint greenish herbal notes.

Taste - A multifaceted beer for sure. Lots of brown sugar and molasses with a dose of mild vinegar acidity. Darker malts come through. Slight coffee flavor to it. Adds an interesting dimension. Vinous wine notes and oak. The vinegar sourness comes back with a sharp bite in the finish.

Mouthfeel - Yeah, it's nearly still. It has a tiny bit of carbonation. It doesn't really ruin the beer, but it would be nice to have some carbonation.

Overall - Reminds me of a BFM beer. Incredibly complex with blatant flaws. Not something I could drink regularly, but this was a nice treat this afternoon.

Photo of weeare138
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of HopHead84
4.37/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

Photo of John_M
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip, the beer pours a fairly dark, murky brown color with not a lot of head or lacing. The nose is quite complex and intriguing in this one, as I pick up considerable chocolate and wine, but then also some A1 sauce and soy sauce. There is considerable sour in the nose, but with what smells like a decent amount of chocolate to bouy that sour component. On the palate, the flavor profile replicates the nose, but thankfully, wiithout a lot of the soy sauce and A1 I was getting on the nose. The beer has some noticeable chocolate, caramel and vanilla initially, but then the wine and sour component really kick into overdrive on the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied at most, and while the beer comes across as just a bit thin on the palate, the finish is long, sour and wine infused. It's more than sufficient to tame the moderate amount of sweetness in this beer. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, with no sense of heat or heaviness on the finish. Drinking this beer, i honestly had no idea what the abv. might be; it could have been anything from 6% up to 9% or 10%, and I wouldn't have been surprised.

A very interesting and intriguing beer from De Struise. Not sure how much or how often I could drink this, but I was very glad to be able to finally try this well regarded beer at long last.

Photo of johnnnniee
4.54/5  rDev +15.2%
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.

Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice cloudy brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, soury, with some plums/cherries. The taste is malty, with some sour plums/cherries. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew.

Photo of liamt07
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle at Beer Bistro, 330ml into a balloon tulip. Best before APril 27, 2016.

Poured burgundy with some light brown brown highlights. Bubbles serve as head, and once they disappear, nothing remains - no head or retention. Legs are pretty decent though. Nose has some black cherry, balsamic vinegar, currant, light vinous notes and a sense of sourness. There is a substantial sweet component to this as well. Taste has dark cherries and berries, light acetic tartness produced by similar balsamic notes and a gentle earthy maltiness. Light pucker in the finish, but again the sweet and sticky components of this beer make themselves well known. No alcohol on the palate and low carbonation, somewhere between still and gentle 'prickliness.' A nice semi-tart yet sweet Flemish Red, glad to have seen and had this.

Photo of Viggo
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, big thanks to brdc for the hookup.

Pours an opaque dark reddish brown, very muddy, very thin tan head forms, almost nothing, quickly settles down to a very thin ring, some lace spots stick to the glass, looks alright.

Smell is intense, an insane amount of sour fruit and funkiness, cherries, oak, vanilla, lots of tannic goodness, strawberries, good balance of sweet and sour, very fruity, this is solid stuff.

Taste is crazy, tons of fruit, very grapey, not as much funk as aroma, more just a very strong sour fruitiness, almost rotten tasting, some oak and vanilla comes through, lots of berries, a bit of cherry, some caramel and biscuit in the finish, pretty sour stuff.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, quite slick, low carbonation. This is pretty solid, but the crazy sour fruit character in the taste is a little too much. Still I dig this, thanks Dan!

Photo of drummermattie02
4.29/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330mL bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Pours a very murky brown with almost no head, other than the bubbles from an aggressive pour -- quickly recedes to a ring with a few islands on the surface.

Smell is very interesting, in a good way. Very complex with sour notes and also a very typical Belgian yeast aroma, not something I'm used to in this style.

Feel negatively impacts the taste, which I think would be better if this were slightly more carbonated. Has a very soft quality to it, and I enjoy the yeast complexity and the tartness, but it's just too flat.

Overall I enjoy what this beer could be, but it needs to be better carbonated.

Edit: just opened another bottle of this, and it is vastly improved compared to my last review. Carbonation is better, and a bit more tartness seems to have developed. Very interesting yeast character as well. Glad to have a few bottles left.

Photo of glid02
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Rob – thanks! 2008 vintage.

Pours a slightly hazy deep amber color with a slightly off-white head that leaves decent lacing and good-looking legs.

Smells of medium malts with hints of toastiness and large amounts of lightly tart berry and cherry flavors. As it warms the cherry aromas intensify, similar to cherry cough syrup, in a good way.

Tastes more complex than it smells. Slightly dry medium malts with bready flavors up front are joined quickly by lightly tart cherries. Midway through hints of leather and musty hops come into play, carrying through to a lightly tart ending. Mouthfeel is good, with light carbonation.

Overall I thought the cherry flavors were a bit too heavy for this to be anything more than a good beer. Still, interesting and worth a shot.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of jrallen34
4.39/5  rDev +11.4%
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!

Photo of dgilks
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 Vintage from a 33cl bottle

Pours a deep, murky brown with not really head other than a foamy and short lasted brown "head".

Brown sugar, raisins, balsamic vinegar, pear, cherries. Oddly, I get a hint of coffee. The aroma is complex and a touch vinous. The tartness is mild and adds complexity rather than sourness.

Mildly tart, subtle balsamic vinegar. Fruity. A little sweet. Mild bitterness. Balanced and refreshing. Almost like Duchesse de Bourgogne but without the overt sourness.

Medium-full body with moderate carbonation. A silky, lovely mouthfeel with the tartness being a nicely balanced addition.

Earthmonk is an extremely well crafted Oud Bruin. I normally find the style to be a bit sweet and off-putting but this feels like a balanced Oud Bruin with some of the great tartness of a mild Flanders Red.

Photo of rudzud
4.1/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big thanks to JLindros for sharing this at the End of the World party. Poured into a Kate the Great tulip. 2008 Vintage, reviewed from notes.

A - Pours a nice molasses clear hue with minimal wisps but very, very nice legs.

S - Dark raisins, sweet malts, light sweet and sour alcohol notes. Very light funk.

T - Taste is mellow sour and light funk. Lots of cherries, figs, raisins, prunes, light alcohol and faint chocolate.

M - Mouthfeel is smooth and watery. Nice and flemmy with no carbonation which is somewhat to be expected.

O - Overall this is tasty. Held up well to age. Very glad I got to try this vintage!

Photo of ccrida
3.77/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle that I bought a little 1.5 years ago and have cellared since. Poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Aardmonnik - Earthmonk is a thick, very dark brown, little to know carbonation (no sound when I cracked the cap), a big bubbled collar that leaves the lightest, scattered lace. Formidable!

Smell is very strong, sweet, vinous, a hint of vinegar.

Taste is similar. It's definitely more malty then acidic, extremely vinous and rich. I should go get a streak to wash down with this. Which I did. Eh, not bad, the smokiness of the grill meet seams to bring out the sweetness. I compared it to a good Sonoma Syrah ('06 Wellington Estate), it's was no contest, the wine crushed it, which suprised me, as I often contrast flanders reds with with red wine for steak pairs and the beer always wins. Must be the maltiness of the oud bruin.

Mouthfeel is thin, the flatness doesn't help.

Drinkability is pretty good, a fairly complex oud bruin, but the $20 price tag is just silly.

Photo of xnicknj
1.94/5  rDev -50.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

330mL bottle poured into taster glass - thanks alex

Pours a slightly opaque reddish color with some almost brown hues. No head or lacing.

Pretty much smells like easter egg dye. Acidic and lactic with a vinegary burn. Some light cherry fruit flavor and oak, I suppose.

Sour and acidic up front. Vinegar and nail polish remover pretty much wreck the profile. There's a few notes of cherry, raisin, and dates, but its tough to get past the vinegar. Lingers on the tongue for an uncomfortable amount of time.

Thin, flat, and tepid on the tongue. Lingering acidic vinegar ruined my palate for at least an hour after this. Apparently there's some variation between vintages, but this one was awful. Avoid.

Photo of DefenCorps
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a couple of these from Liquid Solutions.

A: In my 22oz snifter, Earthmonk sits a rather deep shade of ruby red with reddish highlights. Pretty much flat with no carbonation whatsoever, there's mild protest of a head, some bubbles atop a rather patchy, oil-like film

S: Vinegary, rather intensely so. There's plenty of depth, though, with figs, plums and dark fruit. There's almost some chocolate, so think of this as raisins soaked in balsalmic vinegar and coated in chocolate. Oaky tannins are present in the back, lending an interesting balance.

T: Interesting. Rather intense balsalmic vinegar flavor, very vinous. Acetic character isn't over the top but the red wine character provides a rather unique twist to this beer, it really tastes like it was brewed with grapes! All told, both sourness and acidity are restrained but this beer is lacking a little something that could elevate it to the next level, especially the finish, which is tart but doesn't carry through the body of the beer. Some oak character comes through

M: The stillness works (for me) with the acidity pleasant and a tart finish that's a tad disappointing.

D: Glad I got to try this, I'll give my other bottle another year and see what comes of it

Photo of Jwale73
4.09/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle procured from the Struise webshop. Vintage 2008 (EM No. 7) served at 52 degrees in a tulip. Pours the color and clarity of cola with a bubbly, loose, tan-colored froth around the shoulders which continues to dissipate into an oily skim and a thin, tight bubbly band. I love the nose on this beer - vinous, oaky, vanilla notes, dark fruits (plum, figs, prunes) and a suggestion of grape bubblegum. Taste is a bit more muddled. Vinous quality still presents itself, as well as some citric acid; however, there's also a bit of chocolate as well as more grape notes, a slight earthiness and prunes. Tannins are present, but the acidity pretty much buries the vanilla and oak expressed in the nose. Mouthfeel is light-medium in consistency with a mild carbonation which is almost still. Acidity lightly stimulates the sides of the cheeks and lingers along the glands at the back of the throat between quaffs. Overall - I really enjoyed this complexity of this beer and plan on cellaring a couple bottles to see how it changes over time. A slightly tart and vinegary FOB without being overly sour. I wish there were more efforts at this style readily available.

Photo of thagr81us
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks goes out to funkydelic for sharing this one during one of our weekly tastings! Served from bottle into a Mikkeller flute. Poured a reddish brown with a very minimal light tan head. There was no lacing evident throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, pure acetic acid, and fruit. The flavor was of sweet malt, balsamic vinegar, fruit, and earth. It had a light feel on the palate with very low carbonation. Overall this was a pretty nice brew. For some odd reason, I know I shouldn't, but I really liked this one. I'm a chemist for a living and work with pure acetic acid sometimes and I just LOVE the smell of it. This brew reminds me of said smell. During the tasting I even joked about pouring this over a salad to make the best salad ever... But anyways, if you do not like vinegar flavors in your brew, avoid this one AT ALL COSTS! If you do, get this on your palate ASAP! This is what I would define as a love or hate beer, I loved it!

Photo of AgentZero
1.73/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Thanks to Spycow for sharing this, new bottle he recently acquired.

A - Cola colored, no real head. Looks kind of lifeless and dead.

S - What is this, salad dressing? Huge balsamic vinegar with some sweet caramel and fruit. This isn't promising at all.

T - The only thing that would taste more like drinking straight balsamic vinegar than this is actually drinking straight balsamic vinegar. This can't possibly be what anyone was going for. The sweetness from the fruit and sugar/caramel actually makes it kind of sickly tasting and worse.

M - Not really any carbonation, medium bodied. This is not helping the beer.

O - This was horrible and hard to drink. Bad bottles? Bad batch? Whatever it is, I'm going to use a taster to screen all bottles of this for me from now on, as I have no desire to be subjected to this again.

Photo of sweemzander
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a stemmed glass. 2008 Vintage. Lot# 10/08/24/02/2011. Best before 27/04/2016.

(A)- Pours a deep dark burnt sienna/mahogany color. Produced some tan froth and bubbles that dissipated quickly. Tiny specs of lace.

(S)- A sharp dry oaky vinegar bite. Bits of prune and some oaky funk. Lots of oak nuances.

(T)- Very complex. Like the smell; a sharp yet dry oaky vinegar bite. Touches of sourness in the prune and bready chocolate notes.

(M)- A very very mellow, almost flat carbonation level, though the acidity of this helps out and in the end, this really doesnt bother me one bit. Mildly funky. This really showcases what aromas and flavors can come out of a barrel; just awesome oak characters.

(D)- This is a great flanders, maybe even a bit unique than most. Very mild in carbonation, but the sour profile and oak really carries this beer through to the end. I look forward to seeing how this ages.

Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to AuroraCrisis for this one. Dark brown color, almost looks burgundy. Smell is complex oud bruin, a little sourness, spices. The flavor is very good but not your typical oud bruin, this seems more spicy and nuanced and has a sourness on the finish that really pulls at your cheeks like a lemon does. This is a nice beer but a little bit pricey and not easy to get a hold of.

Photo of gford217
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330mL bottle.

Pours dark mahogany in the glass but shows through a deep, deep copper when held up to the light. There is almost no head at all, just some big beige bubbles that float around to the edges and leave a paper-thin colllar.

The aroma is initially sweet with brown sugar and tart fruits mixed together. Also some oak, grapes, raisins, hints of funk and a hefty dose of vinegar as well.

The taste is still sweet but has more tart cherries mixed in. It's much more earthy than the aroma with a heavy dank barnyard presence. It's not crazy funky, just earthy, if that makes sense. The finish is fruity but dry, very much like a red wine actually.

The mouthfeel is slick with almost no carbonation, again, like red wine. It's medium bodied overall but comes across thin due to the lack of carbonation.

This is a solid Flanders which straddles the line between wine and beer. Lots of oak, tart fruit and underlying sugar, coming together in a nice little package.

Photo of cosmicevan
3.51/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

thanks to chuckycheese for hooking up this 2008 vintage for me. poured into a cantillon taster glass.

a - brew poured a pretty lifeliess deep purple. very thin ring of head around the surface, but no lacing, no head, not really attractive.

s - wonderfully balanced cherry tart and oak. some wood.

t - ZING! a roller coaster of cherry tartness and sourness and wild berries. vinegar. weird finish that is very nail polish remover. kind of weaselish. sour cheese? very vinous...like a red wine.

m - low carbonation, but still feels like a beer. pretty full bodied and rich. thick. juicey juice like, but super sour. finish is weird. almost like nail polish remover or burnt rubber.

o - overall, this is a super in your face flanders. kind of weird, but definitely different. puckeringly sour and drinkable in a weird way (in the way you have to look at a car accident when passing...something weird about it that keeps bringing you back...not that the beer is an accident, just interesting). i wonder what time has done to this fresh. i find 2008 to be a sweet spot on barrel aged brews and big stouts right now, but flanders?

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.97/5  rDev +26.1%
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.

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