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Aardmonnik - Earthmonk - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Aardmonnik - EarthmonkAardmonnik - Earthmonk

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

266 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 266
Reviews: 175
rAvg: 3.95
pDev: 17.72%
Wants: 176
Gots: 84 | 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: 266 | Reviews: 175 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of johnnnniee
4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

johnnnniee, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.47/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of Fonefan: Poured a deep cloudy red color ale with a medium foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma consists of oak with some sour cherries and some cloves and some very subtle light black chocolate notes. Taste is also a mix between some black chocolate covered black cherry with some clearly identifiable oak with a sour finish. A lot more complex then most traditional Flemish sours out there. This is definitely a beer I would like to try more often in order to try and decipher all of the characteristics.

Phyl21ca, Jul 21, 2008
Photo of badbeer
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to iowaherkeye. Murky brown color with a white head; interesting retention to it. Smell was mostly sour, but some sweet caramel and cherry seemed to come in as well. Sourness and oak in the taste, but unfortunately there was also some metallic flavors too. Maybe I'm missing the big deal with this one, but it just wasn't that great to me.

badbeer, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of lordofthewiens
4.97/5  rDev +25.8%
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.

lordofthewiens, Jun 15, 2008
Photo of Crosling
4.13/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle, Stockholm, Sweden. Very dark, almost appears black in the glass, but pours a rustic brown. Full, very light brown head. Vinous nose with a variety of dark sour fruits. Flavor is very sour and acidic, with hints of wild red grapes, blackberry and hints of dried chocolate on the finish. A rich, flavorful beer, with an authentic character, a clean sourness and nice balance. Clearly immensely high in quality.

Crosling, Jun 11, 2008
Photo of crowellr
4.93/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just came back from another amazing experience at Ebs. Brought friends from Boston, all of whom were expecting the best beer bar in the world and left with nothing saying otherwise. The conversation started with us talking about the Westvleteren 12 and how I had acquired some that I will soon enjoy. He says, I got something you'll like more. After a thrilling 20 minute speech about the different breweries, I will never get tired of listening to him talk about beer, the knowledge he has amazes me, he left us to enjoy our beer and food. A little while later he comes back with a bottle of Earthmonk, and lets everyone at the table have some.

Now I know I am very young, still just 22, but I have had plenty of experience with great beer. This one def topped them all, first of the smell was intoxicating. Infact after the first couple sips, I just sat there smelling this beer, not wanting that smell to leave.

After the first sip, I relized is what unlike any beer I have had before, the different combinations of flavors made a distinct almost earth taste, very odd way to describe it I know.

Either way, this is the best beer I have every had, and most likely will keep that title after I crack my Westlevteren 12, 8 and blonde. Chris is an amazing man, and anyone that has not made it up there is missing an experience that every beer drinker should have.

crowellr, Apr 07, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: 15 to 20 CM pour or not, you still get a near black body with nearly no head to speak save a few beige bubbles.

Smell: Interesting potluck aroma with wild, varying notes, including: Ricola herb pastilles, balsamic vinegar, smoke, and top soil.

Taste: Sweet (yet somehow also savory) and plenty fruity. You get plums, black cherries, and even grilled pineapple soaked in red wine. Handful of salt licorice, a puff of smoke, and a piece of chewed barley-flavored gum. Light lactic sourness throughout. Dash of black pepper in the tart finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's certainly different, I'll give it that.

ChainGangGuy, Mar 24, 2008
Photo of CBA
4.7/5  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.

CBA, Jan 28, 2008
Photo of Sammy
4.15/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Incredibly drinkable and smooth for this style. Brownish red with some alcohol and woodiness in the scent. Medium mouthfeel, soft carbonation, wonderful cherry and lemon and winey and balsamic vinegar malted down - with anything,little head , thanks Hopdog.

Sammy, Sep 30, 2007
Photo of franksnbeans
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a muddy dark brown with extremely minimal cinnimon head. Smells of sour cherries and black licorice, fig and earthy. Taste is very tart and mildly fruity and a lot of vinegar. This is extremely complex though I must admit my limited knowledge of the style takes away from me knowing them. Medium in the mouth and a dry finish. Sips and drinks like a wine.

franksnbeans, Sep 24, 2007
Photo of genog
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This sour beer pours a brown color with an off white, slight brown head that is rocky and creamy leaving some good lacing along the glass. Smell is of apples, and somewhat a meat broth as well. I can also sense cherries and raspberry in the aroma. Taste is also pungent with cherry and apple with some sour, tart vinegar in the finish. Almost too sour for me, and I didn't find it very enjoyable. I guess I know now to stay away from this style. It is really not for me.

genog, Sep 24, 2007
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.43/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Gueuzedude, Sep 10, 2007
Photo of granite
5/5  rDev +26.6%
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.

granite, Aug 22, 2007
Photo of belgiumking
4.58/5  rDev +15.9%
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.

belgiumking, Jul 27, 2007
Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.22/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed March 31, 2007. Bottle. Aroma sizzles with excitement in the forum of cherried smoke, glowing peach esters, and fragrant spice stores of Marrakesh. Pours in drawn earth brown. Flavor incredible. Blows me away with sweet and sour cherry vinous complexity. A world of different and indecent cherry characters explode in a room filled with cork, toasted sesame and a lot of blistering sour orange peel and popping coriander seeds. Acidity is sharp, highlighting the drumming complexity of the fruit, earth and spice that dance forth from the glass. More strong cherries before settling to sleep in the grass with kaffir and coconut. Aged balsamic drizzle over a grilled piece of pineapple, cresting the oaken delivery on the smack. Astonishing unique complexity and character. Too be savored for sure.

CharlesDarwin, Jul 21, 2007
Photo of weeare138
4.25/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

weeare138, Apr 03, 2007
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Aardmonnik - Earthmonk from De Struise Brouwers
89 out of 100 based on 266 ratings.