Aardmonnik - Earthmonk - De Struise Brouwers
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Ratings: 261 | Reviews: 175 | Display Reviews Only:
4.43/5 rDev +12.2%
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.
09-10-2007 01:25:14 | More by Gueuzedude
4.47/5 rDev +13.2%
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.
03-10-2009 18:47:05 | More by GClarkage
4.45/5 rDev +12.7%
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.
12-29-2010 08:18:03 | More by corby112
4.25/5 rDev +7.6%
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.
04-03-2007 16:18:29 | More by weeare138
4.72/5 rDev +19.5%
Pours a murky brownish red with no head. Complex nose. Acetic and oaky with dark macerated cherries, sherry vinegar, and brown sugar. The cherries smell deep and dark with wonderful nuances. The taste is also complex with more of that wonderful cherry flavor. Winey and sour but with a rich but light cherry liquor sweetness lurking in the background, and some very complex funky earthiness with a bit of horseblanket, but not so far as barnyard. Wondefully sweet/tart but with great depth. Very smooth and even a bit creamy, though tart. A very nice version and definitely a bit less acetic than most. Highly recommended.
02-20-2009 05:07:43 | More by Georgiabeer
4.2/5 rDev +6.3%
33cl bottle into a snifter. This brew appears a very muddy color of dark brown. Holding the glass to the light shows no different result, it appears just clouded dark brownness with lighter muddy brown coloration around the edges where some light penetrates. If there ever was a brew that looked like over-ripe to rotten prunes that were pureed and filtered into a glass, this is it. There briefly was a display of some dark brown bubbles that collected across the top while the brew was being poured, however they very rapidly dissolved. By the time I finished the pour and set the bottle down, the cap is gone and this brew appears still with not even a bubble sitting atop the brew or along the edge of the glass. A violent swirl releases about 4 bubbles that somehow end up sticking to the glass which is the only sign of lacing.
The smell of this brew is complex and quite interesting. It smells woodsy upfront with deep scents of fruited sweetness like cherry through the middle mixed with balsamic vinaigrette. The backend of the nose finishes with a sour twinge to the nose and a light tingle of alcohol. More smells reveal a sweet scent that is a mixture of vanilla mixed with sour cherry pits while other sniffs reveal mostly sharp scents of vinegar. Overall this is quite an interesting and enjoyable aroma. Once the brew comes up to temperature, a smell similar to brown sugar evolves inside the glass.
The taste is sharp with an acidity that immediately makes the mouth start to salivate. Flavors of oak bring forth a sweetness and smoothness somewhat like vanilla mixed with cherry pits. The sweet and fruity flavor of this brew is met with a mild herbal hop bitterness and earthy flavor of something more in line with over ripe cherry pits and balsamic vinaigrette. As the brew warms, I pick up on a sweetness that is more like candy sugar than malt. There is a spiced aspect faintly like orange rinds that mingles with the residual sweetness.
This is a medium to full bodied brew with a very light level of carbonation. The alcohol is very well integrated in this brew. This is a very complex offering that I have a hard time fully wrapping myself around but it is uniquely enjoyable and it really warmed up to me and I started to dig it more as the glass emptied. It is balanced very well with a mix of flavors that seemingly evolve into something different with every sip. The biggest disappointment here is the complete lack of carbonation that would really drive this one home as a standout winning brew. While this isn't the best offering I have had from Struise, it most certainly is among the most complex and interesting. I intend to get some more of this and see what some age does.
06-02-2011 00:50:26 | More by stakem
United Kingdom (Wales)
3.88/5 rDev -1.8%
Bottle shared by kbutler1. I had no clue what this one was.
Poured into darkness snifter.
Pours a fizzy light layer of tan head. Color is dark brown with ruby hue to it.
Aroma: Sour cherries, oak, vanilla. It is more sour than funky. Has some dark malts showing that provide a hint of roast.
Taste: Sour cherries up front, but a fairly large amount of malt shows, but in a good way. Reminds me of CdT or Imperial Oude Brune from Kuhnhenn. It has the slightest roast, but mainly tart cherries, oak and vanilla. It also has a light amount of vinegar.
Mouthfeel: Mouthpukering tartness and acidic. Lighter bodied with a lower amount of carbonation. End fairly clean.
Overall, a pretty solid beer. I like how tart it is, but yet it still provides oak and malt flavors. Pretty drinkable. The cherries were excellent. I'd easily have more of this one.
10-04-2010 00:26:19 | More by mothman
4.33/5 rDev +9.6%
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.
12-24-2008 06:44:21 | More by Wasatch
District of Columbia
4.21/5 rDev +6.6%
Two 33cl bottles shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!
vintage <2010. Review from notes.
The beer is dark mahogany and pretty clear with a broke tan head. Aromas of oak, cherry, funk, vanilla, prune. The flavor is sweet and sour cherry, vinegar, oak, dark fruit finishing with a lactic punch. Acetic and sharp, yet not harsh, per se. Certainly puckering. Complex and intriguing. A unique beer for sure. I'd happily try this again.
07-17-2014 03:07:07 | More by Huhzubendah
4.19/5 rDev +6.1%
Poured into a tulip, the beer pours a fairly dark, murky brown color with not a lot of head of 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 t hat sour component. On the palate, the 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 nose 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.
11-13-2013 16:09:54 | More by John_M
3.75/5 rDev -5.1%
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!
01-18-2010 01:58:05 | More by Viggo
3.9/5 rDev -1.3%
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.
07-22-2011 16:15:57 | More by glid02
4.38/5 rDev +10.9%
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.
12-08-2008 06:20:41 | More by HopHead84
3.85/5 rDev -2.5%
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.
01-27-2012 14:25:44 | More by liamt07
4.58/5 rDev +15.9%
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.
09-10-2008 22:38:38 | More by johnnnniee
3.9/5 rDev -1.3%
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.
10-19-2008 00:26:40 | More by TurdFurgison
4.3/5 rDev +8.9%
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.
06-13-2011 23:55:09 | More by drummermattie02
Aardmonnik - Earthmonk from De Struise Brouwers
88 out of 100 based on 261 ratings.