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Aardmonnik - Earthmonk - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Aardmonnik - EarthmonkAardmonnik - Earthmonk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

178 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 178
Hads: 278
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 18.32%
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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 178 | Hads: 278
Photo of kbutler1
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle. Opens with the tiniest mouse fart of a "pfftt" then pours a really dark brown color with very minimal head which I expected after the description. The aroma is actually very nondescript with notes of fruit, sourness, oak, and some mild acetone. The taste is much better than the nose with a very robust flavor profile. Some mineral type earth notes in the taste as well. Some acetone present as is some sour/tart cherries. Not as fruitful or sweet as other sours/wilds that I have had. I think I get a touch of leather as well. Overall, I really like this beer for its authenticity and complexity. Far from being the best in this class but a good beer nonetheless. I wish the nose had a more pronounced smell and there was a little carbonation. (752 characters)

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

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a snifter.

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours black, opaque, with frothy, light brown foam that persists a while. The smell is nicely sour and tart with notes of cherries, plums, wood, and acetic acid. Lightly sweet up front, though not overly so, but fades to a tart finish. Flavors of cherry and wood with a kiss of spice. Lightly tart flavors linger briefly. Smooth with medium body and low carbonation feel. Almost creamy up front with a tart finish. A very nice beer. (432 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
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. (973 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Murky burnt walnut brown with almost no foam creation after a barely audible 'pffft' on crown cracking. Hopefully, a lack of carbonation won't detract from the experience. An almost spotless glass is no surprise, although scattered dots of suds allow the above score to be granted. Besides, the beer itself looks damn good in a crystal snifter.

The nose is an enticing mixture of brown malt, medium-dark sour fruit, and a melange of spices that is due to more than yeast esters. That last one isn't a guess because 'spices' are listed under ingredients on the label. This is shaping up to be mighty fine ale.

Never mind the fact that the 'best by' date was last month, Earthmonk is a tremendous Flanders oud bruin that has held up extremely well during the several year wait in my cellar. An already impressive amount of complexity should become even greater as the beer gains 10-15 degrees.

Specifics include brown bread covered with Granny Smith apple butter, sour cherries, unripe figs, leather, and a spice bill that defies all attempts to discern its composition. Warming does, in fact, makes things bolder and deeper and more tightly-knit.

Body and mouthfeel is the beer's Achilles' heel. Having said that, it isn't too bad, all things considered. Sure, it's too thin and could use more bubbles, but this is more of a wine-like experience than a beer-like experience anyway. No disrespect to beer... which is the vastly superior libation.

For some reason, it escaped my notice until this moment, but De Struise Brouwers brews damn good beer. Black Albert, Struise Tsjeeses and Pannepot Old Fisherman's Ale (in all its various guises) are great examples of their respective styles. Looks like we can add Earthmonk to the list. (1,736 characters)

Photo of ccrida
3.77/5  rDev -4.1%
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. (990 characters)

Photo of ktrillionaire
4.84/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Huge thanks to Beerzebub for the hook-up.

A - Pours a deep chestnut hue with big tan bubbles and wispy froth overall.

S - Holy shit! Black cherry, grape soda, big-time oak, pear, earthiness and ever-so-slight (and complementary) solvent-isoamyl alcohol, even some cinnamon-raisin. Amazing.

T - This could pass as a exceptionally fine wine. Amazing depth and complexity. Big red grape tones, some currant and lots of wood, a little kick from solvent alcohol on the finish. Bigger and badder than (most of) the rest. Not a huge lactic sour, like many of the style.

M - Lighter side of medium-bodied, with a very dry finish.

D - Phenomenal, except for the price tag and availability... Still, this is probably worth the $2-3 per ounce. (737 characters)

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

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

Photo of womencantsail
2.31/5  rDev -41.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Thanks to LtDan for providing me with a taste of this. I had heard these bottles weren't so great, but I had to see for myself.

A: The pour is innocent enough. A slightly clouded brown color with a minimal off-white head.

S: A strong acetic character is immediately present in the nose. A bit of dark fruits, cherries for the most part, and a bit of sweetness.

T: The taste is of balsamic vinegar, and not in a good way. A strong oak component along with some earthiness. A bit of sweetness as well, but overall not good.

M: The body is medium with a very light carbonation.

D: Needless to say I was very disappointed by this beer. I was hoping that it would be as enjoyable as most of the other Struise beers are, but this one is just not good. (750 characters)

Photo of Overlord
1.66/5  rDev -57.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This is one seriously overrated beer. It's really, really bad. Not disappointing, not below par, not "not what I expected," this is a flat out bad beer.

Pours a muddy brown color. Zero head.

Smells like balsamic vinegar aged in oak with an awful metallic and plastic earthiness. Wow. Not like any beer of this style I've had before. Just a wretched mess. The earthy/oak component is not well integrated with the vinegar, malt base, and I have no idea what the metallic aftertaste is. The plastic, almost ... chemical ... flavor is offputting.

Tough to finish even half a bottle. Completely flat. For a beer with this low of an ABV and a lighter, more moderate mouthfeel, unforgivable. (689 characters)

Photo of baggio
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle@Kulminator & draught@Struise.

A: Dark red/brownish with a small beige head.

S: Wood, Ripe fruit, Acidic notes and brettanomyces.

T: Wood, Fruit, Berries, Acidic notes, Sweet malt.

M: Solid malt base with some acidic/sour-notes at the end. Very nice balance. So easy to drink.

A very nice flanders oud bruin. Probably the best one i've tried to date. (366 characters)

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of grub
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Viggo brought this one over. thanks eric!

330ml bottle. sampled jan 17/2010.

pours mostly clear deep dark red-brown, to the point where you start to lose the red in it. the only sign of a head is the thin ring of very fine off-white head that clings to parts of the perimiter. no sign of lace.

aroma is good. malt and cider vinegar. lemon. vanilla and raw oak. earthy. cracker and white bread. horse blanket and leather. bit of grain. sour cherry. the vinegar dominates more than i'd expect in a flanders red/brown.

taste is great. sour cherry. light malt vinegar. lemon. horse blanket and leather. touch of caramel. mix of other dark fruit. vanilla and raw oak. a touch earthy too. lightly warming alcohol.

mouthfeel is good. medium-light body with a fairly dry finish. medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is great. not overly acidic or vinegary, with an interesting balanced sour edge to it. this is a damn tasty flanders brown. (943 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
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! (872 characters)

Photo of Travlr
4.65/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Generous sample poured by Urbain from the barrel at the smaller brewery in Oost Vleteren.
A: Almost completely black, lively tan head that settles quickly and leaves scant lacing.
S: Aroma of malt vinegar and old wine.
T: Flavor starts with port wine and progresses to a rick sourness and very high acidity. A unique brew, something to be sought after. (352 characters)

Photo of cleeze
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (392 characters)

Photo of treyrab
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I thought I would never see the day that JoshCool got so generous as to bring this beer out. Brought out on the first snowfall day of the year and poured into two unbranded tulips.

A: Wow. Black as hell with a very small head. Actually, no head really, just some large bubbles from the aggressive pour. But very black with some mahogany hues and brown edges.

S: Balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, very vinous, some coffee and roastiness as well. A very complex smell, but the vinegar aspects really comes to the forefront.

T: This is very vinegary mixed with some tart lemon from the blast of brett. There is also some stout qualities like dark roast and some chocolate sourness.

M/D: The mouthfeel is a tad low on this for my liking of an Oud Brune.

Overall, a very interesting beer that I am glad I got the opportunity to try. (834 characters)

Photo of CoolJosh
3.39/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very interesting look. As dark as a stout but without the head to match. Dark ruddy brown hues along the edges of the glass.

The smell is very muted, some roasted complex comes out but nothing follows. A sticky tobacco scent musters as the glass warms. So far, I really don't understand this beer.

The taste is equally odd, but only semi-enjoyable. Slight roasts matched with an overly sourly vinegar flavor which is overpowering. The mouthfeel lacks any form of life, which adds to my disappointment. All in all, it is drinkable but it wouldn't draw my attention if faced with options. (588 characters)

Photo of organicbrewer
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
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. (518 characters)

Photo of ckeegan04
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a very dark brown, verging on black. Almost still. A few brown bubbles form around the edges of the beer but nothing more.

S - Very sweet and earthy mix. Lots of dark fruits and a touch of balsamic vinegar. Plums and cherries.

T - Very sweet up front but quickly dries out. Lots of dark fruit, a touch of vinegar and hints of wood. Get alot of dark cherry with a very tart finish.

M/D - Rather flat but still very full bodied. Finishes very dry leaving the mouth almost chalky. Surprisingly sippable given the tartness and drynes. (545 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.04/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Drank from a 33 cl bottle
EM No.7
Served in a tulip
Best before A 08 11
Acquired in a trade with barleywinebrewer

What awesome bottle artwork. Hieronymus Bosch I presume? As for the beer, it poured a deep, dark mahogany color with a bubbly, sudsy, light tan cap of froth that quickly dissipated.

The aroma was complex and rather interesting. Tart and sweet with a vinous, winey quality typically found within the style. Ripe fruits including red grapes and bing cherries dominated. Rich and malty with an earthy oakiness. A hint of alcohol was noticeable as well.

The taste was very unusual. I have tried beers that taste like wine but this one takes the cake in that department. A touch malty and semi-sweet up front before the beer turned sour and vinous. Tart and fruity. Oaky, grapey and earthy in the center. Somewhat sherry-like. The long, drawn out finish was quite tannic and woody with a somewhat harsh, acidic quality that reminded me of balsamic vinegar.

The mouthfeel was slightly watery with a minimal amount of carbonation. This beer had a dry, tannic nature that was (again) reminiscent of a red wine.

Drinkability was moderate. The sharp, harsh, acidic quality of this beer was difficult to take in large doses. As for the alcohol content, it was well masked initially. Toward the beer's end however, it became quite noticeable (particularly on the finish).

This was one strange brew. In every aspect, it definitely seemed more like a wine (a cheap, young merlot mixed with a bit of sherry, to be exact) than a beer. This may not have been my cup of tea, but I would love to give it to my wine loving friends who have yet to try a beer they like. (1,668 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

330ml bottle from Liquid Solutions.

A - Pours a cloudy dark purplish-brown color with no head, only a few bubbles and a ring around the glass. Leaves very slight lacing.

S - Fairly tart with red wine, cherries, wood, and spices.

T - Incredibly vinous, with dry, tart red wine dominating, along with cherry, raisin, brown sugar, vinegar, oak, and spice. This is seriously one of the most wine-like beers I've ever had. Flavor is nice though, tasty and full, and finish is long.

M - Body is medium and the palate is silky smooth. Carbonation is very low, at borderline Lost Abbey levels, but this actually doesn't detract much since this beer is so wine-like.

D - Average to a little better. It's a sipper, sort of like a medium-bodied red wine. (748 characters)

Photo of pwoods
3.37/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I forget who I got this from, but thanks!

11.2oz. Brown bottle, poured into a kbs tulip.

A: Pours a deep murky brown, root beerish. Mild head from mild carbonation, little to no lacing.

S: Pleasant sourness. Nice fruitiness. Not too funky.

T/M: Sour and tartness up front without a ton of funk. Some light fruit in the back. Some odd flavors that I'm having trouble describing... Almost like old fruits or vegetables but I'm probably wrong on that. Some dirty cellar, musty, and woody flavors. Carbonation is very weak and it makes the body feel thin and watery. Not a lot of dryness.

D: Not really digging this one. This was split with beachbun1975 and it was a bit hard to finish my sample. (697 characters)

Photo of beachbum1975
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330ml shared by pwoods. Thanks much, focker.

Poured into my over-sized Duvel tulip a ruddy brown, semi-cloudy with a really interesting, big-patterned bubbly head. After settling, I see spotting lacing with a halo ring around the edges.

The nose is complex... Funk, wood, caramel, sour and sweet, all in one.

Surprisingly, I am getting alot of wood and caramel. It's hard to express what's going on, but it's very good. Hard to classify, very unique. Sour with a heavy amount of a caramel-like backbone...

The mouthfeel is medum bodied with a GREAT mouthfeel. (563 characters)

Photo of tai4ji2x
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

via liquidsolutions, by way of stevemcqueenjr.

330ml bottle. notches indicate "B - 07 - 11". tasted in mid-may 2009. poured into tulip.

very dark brown, almost black. red tint on the edges under the light. sudsy half-finger head, soon fades to wisps and sudsy ring, then just wisps and creamy thin ring. sparse, splotchy lace here and there, but lots of small dots of "lace" stick to the sides all over.

aroma: cherries, aged balsamic vinegar, red wine and oak w trace vanilla. tart even in the aroma. grassy hay and mild whiffs of barn funk. tart vinegar aroma again, esp. in back.

taste: one of the more vinous beers ever! like a tart red wine, but with more caramel and rich balsamic vinegar. oak and wood w vanilla hint blends w hay and leafy hop note, with faint bitterness to complement the acidity and caramel. funk is very mild and integrated. alcohol note is also just like wine.

light body but smooth and wine-like again, with light acidity and gentle tannic texture. carbonation is gentle and mainly for variety and flavor lift.

a most intriguing experience. (1,075 characters)

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