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Aardmonnik - Earthmonk - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Aardmonnik - EarthmonkAardmonnik - Earthmonk

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

263 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 263
Reviews: 175
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 17.77%
Wants: 176
Gots: 82 | FT: 12
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: 263 | Reviews: 175 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThaCreep
4.65/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A noses beer fermented in barrels with swirls of red wine vinegar elegant. But also the cellars, sawdust, wood stuffy (like dust which can invade the old books from a library).

On the palate, the flavor is complex. It was more like a good old drink a red gueuze of Flanders. One benchmark for the tasting of delicious flavors. Among other red fruit (blackcurrant in particular), the good old Burgundy and tannic acidity that continues in force after-taste.

And always with this mixture of styles between Brussels Champagne and Flemish Burgundy that makes the complex beer, tasty and also easy to drink.

ThaCreep, Oct 25, 2011
Photo of oline73
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet. Thanks to finewinemike for breaking this bottle out at our tasting.

Appearance: Pours dark brown with a reddish hue and hardly any head.

Smell: Balsamic vinegar dominates. Sweet dark fruit and extremely sour.

Taste: Follows from the smell. Lots of balsamic vinegar. Sweet and a bit fruity, bitter in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a slick finish.

Overall: So sour and vinegary. Very interesting and I'm so glad I got to try it. I don't know that I would have another.

oline73, Oct 22, 2011
Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.55/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle 8,0% Abv.
Served chilled in
2008 edition best before 27/04/2016

I'm not sure what to expect here, I love the style but the latest batch of Aardmonnik seems to have taken some stick. I just hope carbonation is not an issue.

Appearance: Well carbonation is not going to be an issue - there is a loud hiss as the cap is lifted.
Aardmonnik pours a very dark brown and reveals a beautiful (almost clear) deep burgundy when back light. A large light brown head (no CO2 issues here!) forms from a fairly vigorous pour, unfortunately it fizzes away pretty quickly and leaves no lace.

Smell: Hmmmm, if other bottles from the 2008 batch were anything like this I think there has been some unfair bashing of this beer!
Superb nose, powerful and stunningly complex. I'm not sure where to start!
Balsamic vinegar, lightly tart fruit (plums, fresh cherries and not quite ripe red apples), red grapes (very vinous) and tons of barrel character are easily noted. Warming brings earthy vanilla (and a general earthiness), an array of spices, a touch of cola and some sweet brown sugar hiding in the background.

Taste: As with the nose, the flavour is amazingly complex. Balsamic vinegar, cherries, green apples, plums, red wine, oak and an unexpected roasted coffee note are all easily identified. The finish is quite a bit tarter and drier than I expected, but I love tartness so I'm not complaining.
There is no trace of the 8% abv.

Mouthfeel: Medium/full body with moderate (but perfectly adequate) carbonation. In my view it's pretty much bang on for the style.

Overall: Super oud bruin. Much better than the Goudenband I had a while ago. I'm pretty confused by all the bitching about this beer. Each to his own I guess.
I would however highly recommend this beer to anyone who is a fan of the style and I will be trying to get more.

Thehuntmaster, Oct 02, 2011
Photo of Bendurgin
1.73/5  rDev -56.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Thanks for this excellent extra Sean. You hooked it up sir. Split into two chalices. Pours a muddy cola brown with a bubbly little head that settles to nothing. This simply looks like cola.

Very aggressive malt vinnegar aroma. Plain and simple. The tast is sweet apple cider vinnegar with dirt. Somehow that is better than the aroma.

The carbonation is low here. Bordering on flat and the body is some what light. Overall, simply terrible. De Struise should be ashamed.

Bendurgin, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of andrewinski1
1.48/5  rDev -62.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Small bottle shared by Bendurgin. Thanks! Poured into a chalice. The color is dark brown kind of prune juice colored. There is a little bit of white lacing.

The aroma is very strong with apple cider vinegar. This doesn't smell like beer, it smells like acid.

The taste is mildly sweet with some cherry fruit flavor, surprisingly. There is a slightly tart aftertaste. There is just a harsh acidity all the way through.

This is light and the carbonation is smooth. Still not a good part of this beer.

Truly terrible.

andrewinski1, Sep 26, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

824th Review on BA
Bottle to Tulip
33cl
Best by: 27/4/16
2008

Thanks to GuruDel for sharing.

App- When poured this had a few bubbles. Mostly around the edges. A very interesting mix of red/purple and some brown. Much more Bordeaux in color than anything else.

Smell- I don't think I was ever shocked by a beers smell until now. The immediate aroma of balsamic vinegar was so prevalent I wanted some bread and just dip in the there. As it sits in your hand and warms a bit, much more grape, skins and wine like tannins develop. Pretty singular in the smell. Mostly just the grapes.

Taste- To say this is a interesting beer is an understatement. This beer is polarizing. I think you either love it or hate it. For what it is in the style its a bit towards the outlying realm of flavor. Acidic and bubbly and a bit sweet. I myself liked it. It was not hard to finish with a bit of the acidic notes and lactic taking center stage with a bit of oaky and at times slight cherry. Not overly sour I would say but mostly tart.

Mouth- Lighter-medium bodied with a medium-flat carbonation level. A bit bubbly and acidic notes remain with a touch of the above mentioned oak and cherry.

Drink- This was a very good beer. Again, this is polarizing and it was quite different from the Oude Tart or Marron Acidife I have had for this style.

FosterJM, Sep 23, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: Aardmonik has a cherry maple brown color with almost no head.

Smell: Balsamic Vinegar, cherry, and other assorted sour notes. Some toasted grains and soft caramel comes into the nose a bit as well.

Taste: Although the cherry flavor at the beginning has some sweetness to it, a tart, acidic balsamic vinegar flavor imposes and eventually dominates its will on the sweetness. The flavor never becomes overly tart, however.

Mouthfeel: This is smooth and lightly carbonated in a medium body. Despite being almost flat, the carbonation feels proper.

Overall: This was different, smooth, and enjoyable.

KickInTheChalice, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of beerwolf77
2.28/5  rDev -42.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Bottle courtesy of Sweemzander in honor of my wedding. Split into tulips with like minded beer geeks.

A: Dark blood red/brown. No head or lace. Looks like a glass of prune juice actually.

S: Booze infused soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. There is a tartness to the aroma but it doesn't do much while being overpowered by the salad dressing aspect.

T: The comparison to a salad topping doesn't stop at the nose. Modest amount of sour cherry with a heavy dose of soy sauce and vinegar. A bit of chocolate and coffee comes through as it warms.

M: Flat and thin body.

O: This one was a huge let down for me. I was expecting something more from this brewer. Glad I never plunked down the coin to have some shipped to me.

beerwolf77, Aug 28, 2011
Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.5/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

33cl bottle from the Struise Webshop. Into a Delirium Tremens snifter. 2008 Vintage.

A: Pours incredibly dark brown with no head, not even anything that resembles a head, just a few bubbles. A ring of light colored, incredibly small bubbles lines the edge of the glass. Not particularly impressive.

S: Interesting mix of vinegar and malts, some acetic acid notes that borders on straight up acetone nail polish remover. A floral/candy like aroma starts to come out as well. Just a hint of funk starts to surface here as well. Interesting.

T: Tons of flavor and a little bit all over the place. Slight vinegar sourness, some acetic acid, but also a fair amount of roasted barley/coffee notes which is a bit odd, but works. Acetone notes follow over from the nose quite a bit. Roasted barley really stays on the tongue long after the swallow. Some cherry notes in here as well. Really a complex beer that never really verges on sour but definitely hits the tart notes. Enjoyable though.

M: Medium body, practically no carbonation which hurts this a bit. Finish is dry, but the mouthfeel is odd because of the lack of carbonation.

O: Quite an interesting beer, but some carbonation would help and just a touch more sour would really bring this one into line. It is fairly enjoyable, but just seems a bit lacking. Will revisit again.

pokesbeerdude, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of bobv
4.7/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Vigorous pour into a Rochefort goblet produces slight head which disappears quickly to just a slight ring around the glass.

S: Slight vinegar with hints of citrus, brown sugar, molasses, little cocoa, Truly amazing.

T: I get grapefruit followed by a little pepper. So tasty.

M: Not much in the way of a full mouthfeel, but who cares, this is delicious.

O: Oh boy, I could drink this all night. Doesn't feel like 8 ABV. I could drink this for breakfast instead of grapefruit juice.
Thanks to the boys of Oostvleteren!

bobv, Aug 12, 2011
Photo of biga7346
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

biga7346, Aug 11, 2011
Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.83/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into Lost Abbey stemware. 2008 vintage.

Head rises slowly to about 1 finger. Fine and cream colored with poor retention. Beer is a semi-cloudy dark, almost opaque mahogany. Lacing is spotty with decent stick. Just about average though the head size and retention are lacking.

Nose is vinegar, oak, sour red fruit, and some slight hints of vanilla. Aromatic and the vinegary sweet fruit characteristics come out nicely.

Opens creamy and tart. Sour red fruit puree mixed with red vinegar and some sweet soy sauce notes. Robust sour vinegar towards the middle with some ethanol poking through. End is more red fruit tartness. Finish is a bit of vinegar spiciness with a lingering hot aftertaste. Enjoyable and the flavors seem to have mellowed and melded together nicely here.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Smooth and oily in the mouth and goes down silky with some slight bubbles. Finish is messy with a slightly lingering aftertaste. Really drinkable for the style.

Age has really done wonders for this beer. Really smooth with flavors that are well balanced but still distinct and prominent at the same time. A solid representation of the style.

SpeedwayJim, Aug 10, 2011
Photo of pmlondrigan
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Earthmonk 2008 vintage-
Thanks to Chris - Knifestyles - for this one. Appears as you would expect; deep chocolate brown with a fast fading head and a light tan ring around the glass. Lots of prune, fig, and raisin aroma. A deep vinous nose laced with earthiness and brown sugar + molasses. Also a good amount of vinegar here. There is a clear sharp lactic sourness coupled with grape skins. Very deep and complex flavor. Opens tart with lactic sourness. Sun dried fruits, prune, fig and grape. Distinct Struise yeast quality mid-palate. Sharp bitting sour note on the finish. A real balance of sweet and tart here. However there is some interesting hot-ness on the back end. Great palate feel, not thin, well balanced and slightly prickly. True to form this beer is a real gem.

pmlondrigan, Aug 03, 2011
Photo of Wadsey
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Aardmonnik - Earthmonk 2008

Served in New Belgium globe glass

A: Pours the deepest of amber with no head. Backlighting the glass, I see it has great clarity but no effervescence. Incidentally, no head and no effervescence were foreshadowed by the lightest pfzz imaginable when I opened the bottle. Mouthfeel, look out. 

S: Balsamic vinegar and nail polish remover singe nose hairs. Lots of dark and dried fruits, too--plums, prunes, and currants. Additional scents include wood, faint soy sauce and alcohol.  The lack of carbonation hurts smell in that the aromas are not being forced into the air and fade significantly in a couple minutes. 

T: Time to take plunge. Very sweet, but not cloying. Vinegar and acetone are more subtle than I expected. Dark and dried fruits run the show. Vinous, for sure. My first taste was ruined by a jarring off-note of wet dog that disappears with quick sips but returns somewhat after a lull. Finish consists of dark fruitiness and acetone. 

M: Medium body that reads higher because of lightest of carbonation levels. Vinous mouthfeel. 

O: Aardmonik is an oddball.  Tastes like a Belgian take on mediocre Kuhnhenn beer. Big, interesting and enjoyable, more or less. 

Thanks to phishisphunk for the opportunity!

Wadsey, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of cetherid
3.68/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 poured into a tulip (thanks phishisphunk!)

A.

beer pours a dark murky brown. Maybe some ruby hues but very opaque. Head is pretty much non-existent, even with a vigorous pour. Kind of an ugly looking beer. Like some dirty toilet water.

S.

Decent nose. Slight vinegar up front with some sweet caramel, tart cherries and a light woody aroma. Slightly wine-ish.

T.

Was expecting a lot of sour/lactic qualities up front but definitely more sweet than sour. Like drinking a sweet red wine. Hint of sourness up front then onto some very strong oak notes and then finishing off with a nice fruity sweetness that lingers for awhile. Maybe a little too sweet but pretty enjoyable.

M.

medium bodied but pretty much zero carbonation. Very wine-like in this regard. There is a very subtle dryness but the sweetness really lingers around the mouth.

O.

Not a huge fan of flanders style but pretty enjoyable. The low carb (really non-existant) makes this very wine like so someone who enjoys both wine and beer would be a fan. Sourness is definitely mellow while the woodiness of it really elevated. Maybe a little too sweet, but not like a sucking on a penny like some beers of this style.

cetherid, Jul 29, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Most recent vintage courtesy of pittsburghkid66. Served in a Mikasa tulip.

Pours a dark brown color with some reddish-mahogany highlights. A few light tan bubbles to start and then it falls completely flat, which is then echoed in the flavor and feel. The nose brings a bit of light soy sauce and mild sweetness, which, oddly enough, reminds me a bit of 2009 Dark Lord. Slight cherry cherry along with lactic acid and a bit of vinegar. The flavor goes straight from the nose bringing through cherry, soy sauce, vinegar, and some very mild sweetness. Light body with very low carbonation and a pretty heavy acetic acid presence. Definitely not for everyone, but I quite enjoyed this.

Thorpe429, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of glid02
3.9/5  rDev -1%
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.

glid02, Jul 22, 2011
Photo of SFLpunk
4.28/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz brown glass pry-top bottle thanks to Otey! 2008 vintage directly from de Struise store.

Pours a fairly mellow dark brown ale, with some watery off-white head. Nose is super dank, raisin-y, dried fruit-dominated. Very vinous, almost balsamic. Palate is more mellow than the aroma lets on. The dominant flavor is of standard raisins...or Thompson raisins...plus prunes, dried dates and other dark fruits. Sourness is in check because of the malt character, but the acetic acid is big too. Huge, but balanced oude bruin.

Wow.

SFLpunk, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of rvdoorn
4.38/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

2008 vintage, bottled 2011
Look: pours dark-brown color with almost no head.
Smell: Plums, figs, candy sugar, caramel, wood and balsamic vinegar
Taste: This must be the most tasty balsamic vinegar I ever had. Full of dark fruits, candy sugar, caramel and dark fruits.
Mouthfeel: Very low carbonation and thick body
Overall: What a fantastic taste, pity the carbonation is too low.

rvdoorn, Jul 12, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
1.7/5  rDev -56.9%
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.

AgentZero, Jul 11, 2011
Photo of dasenebler
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

33cl, 2008 Vintage, bottled 2011. From notes.

Pours a thick, dark brown with the sort of thin bubbly head that indicates low carbonation.

The aroma does have some vinegar going on, but it's very deep, oaky, and dark-fruity as well.

The flavor is excellent. At first there's a brown sugar and molasses sweetness that is countered by the lactic tartness. Moderate oak flavor plus plums and dark cherries. Not too sour, and well-balanced. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth, but there's almost no carbonation.

Not perfect, but the complex flavor makes this a keeper for me. It's surprisingly drinkable, too.

dasenebler, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of Arbitrator
1.93/5  rDev -51%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Chilled bottle into a glass. Shared by alfrantzell, courtesy of ShogoKawada. Thanks men.

A: Pours a clear maroon body.

S: Vinegar (strong), brown sugar (mild), cherries, cinnamon.

T: A one-note flavor of vinegar dominates, with mild sweetness bringing up the rear, as truckers say. In the exhalation I get a note of cherries and something spicy, which I think is cinnamon but don't care to find out.

M: Very thin, watery, unsatisfying. Falls off the tongue.

O: I really don't like Struise, and this is another great example why. Unremarkable, boring... bleh.

Arbitrator, Jul 04, 2011
Photo of black13
2.35/5  rDev -40.4%
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.

black13, Jun 29, 2011
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.

ArrogantB, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of ottovon
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

shared by ejyoung.

A: pours out a brown-orange color with no head.

S: apple cider vinegar with some sweetness. there is a bit of alcohol, with some caramel notes.

T: i get vinegar and apple. it is a little bitter, with some tartness.

M: medium with low to no carbonation.

O: a very good beer, that i would gladly drink again.

ottovon, Jun 21, 2011
Aardmonnik - Earthmonk from De Struise Brouwers
88 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.