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Aardmonnik - Earthmonk - De Struise Brouwers

Not Rated.
Aardmonnik - EarthmonkAardmonnik - Earthmonk

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

178 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 178
Hads: 281
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 22.19%
Wants: 179
Gots: 82 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers visit their website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 178 | Hads: 281
Photo of biga7346
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of pmlondrigan
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of Wadsey
3.15/5  rDev -19.6%
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!

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Photo of cetherid
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

2008 poured into a tulip (thanks phishisphunk!)


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.


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


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.


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.


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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of glid02
3.88/5  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.

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Photo of SFLpunk
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
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.


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Photo of rvdoorn
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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Photo of AgentZero
1.73/5  rDev -55.9%
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.

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Photo of dasenebler
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of Arbitrator
1.93/5  rDev -50.8%
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.

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Photo of black13
2.4/5  rDev -38.8%
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.

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Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

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Photo of ottovon
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of ptykozoon
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Coca-Cola brown. No head or lacing.

Lots of alcohol. Cherry, abrasive sugar, black licorice, mildew, wet wood.

Hints of sour grape and apple, vinegar, band-aid. The sourness is nice and contrasts well with the flavors. Tastes like it's aged in Vodka barrels.

Wine like mouthfeel. ABV is lower than expected. Vinegar finish.

I like this beer - it is unique and has a depth and complexity most beers lack, should be interesting to age.

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Photo of dgilks
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a New Belgium globe

dark ruby red, a hint of brown, no head

Wow... smell is certainly unique. Reminds me of a dark red wine mixed with vinegar, smells fairly sweet and earthy. lots of oaky aromas Honestly if someone put this in a vinegar bottle I am not sure I would be able to tell the difference

Tastes similar to the aroma... really a unique beer. Lots of acetic acid vinegar like notes. Not really sour, kind of sweet, a good bit of oak. Again reminds me of red wine. very little carbonation in this one.

Overall an interesting beer. Ultimately though I come up disappointed. For a beer in one of my favorite styles this one is a bit too vinegary and not enough funk or cherry flavor. That said this beer is still enjoyable.

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Photo of drummermattie02
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

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Photo of thagr81us
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
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!

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Photo of MbpBugeye
2.94/5  rDev -25%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Big thanks to ShogoKawada for just giving me this beer. It's been a long time want.

2008, poured into the equally as wanted and generously free Fantome tulip (thanks again Shogo!)

At first I feared that this bottle was flat. As I poured, only loose air bubbles formed, so I adjusted my pour and still didn't achieve a head. Then, slowly and quite delayed, carbonation fizzled up from within the dark plum colored beer. Almost like a nitro pour. It soon fades, leaving the beer looking flat. I do, at least, enjoy the deep color of this beer.

Nice notes of booze soaked cherries. It sort of reminds me of a much less potent batch of cherry jungle juice. Some darker notes begin to come out, such as chocolate and lots of oak. The oak is both funky and dank. There is a spike of sharp, but clean alcohol.

Not incredibly sour, but there is a fair amount of acidity. There is an intensely tannic quality here. Its like someone threw sour cherry skins, sour plum skins, sour grapes and oak all into a blender. It really takes some time to adjust to. Its aggressively tannic. There are flashes of weird metallic and vodka notes, but the flavor profile is pretty enjoyable when those are not being picked up.

Extremely low on carbonation, but its by no means flat. The body is quite full, causing the beer to fall lethargically on the palate. Its slick, with only a slightly dry finish.

Woah, this stuff is weird. I'm not sure that this one is for me. But I would wager that this is closer to a real Oud Bruin than some of the miscategorized brown American wilds. The beer is heavy on the palate, with its full body and low carbonation. It also has some very unusual flavors and aromas.

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Photo of Phelps
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a little bottle shared by ejyoung into a tulip.

Colored like Dr. pepper, with amber at the edges. It’s very dark and nearly opaque, with the big, watery bubbles that signify flatness.

The nose: white vinegar, like the kind you make Easter eggs with. Also get some molasses, brown sugar, paint fumes and crisp red apple.

Red apple again in the flavor, though this time it’s met by cinnamon and some orange peel. Both sweet and tart notes emerge after the swallow, like a big flavor explosion.

Feels devoid of bubbles, though there is a smooth medium body with nice heft. Just a hint of tongue-numbing alcohol.

Earthmonk is unlike any oud bruin I've ever had before. A very unique flavor that was unfortunately hurt by the lack of bubbles.

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Photo of Arenbeer
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330cl bottle direct from Struise into De Struise Glass

2008 Vintage released in 2011

A- Pours a really dark reddish brown that appears black. Strange head, just a less than a finger off white cluster of big bubbles that coat the top of the glass. Splotchy retention with some decent legs on the side of the glass.

S- By far the most interesting and complex Oud Bruin I've smelt. Sweet cherry and balsamic vinegar up front followed by some slight funk and alcohol. Definitely some vanilla and oak notes in there as well.

T- Just like the aroma. On the tip of the tongue and probably the strongest flavor is definitely the Balsamic vinaigrette that is followed by sweet cherry and acidic flavors. Plenty of vanilla and oak come out in the finish.

M- Medium bodied with not to much carbonation and a nice slightly tart finish.


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Photo of djmichaelk
2.73/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

330cl bottle direct from Struise, into a snifter. 2008 vintage. Part of a personal high-end beer tasting.

A - The pour is a clouded, reddish-brown, with no head whatsoever. Looking like another flat beer for me -- this is my third in a row today. *sigh*

S - Balsamic vinegar, tart cherry, and acetic acid. Something tells me that my tummy is not going to be happy later. It's nice enough, though, and is good for a oude bruin.

T - Right away I feel like it's got as much malt vinegar as balsamic. The cherry is not as bright as the nose made me think, but it's fairly strong on the finish. Very little apparent alcohol considering it's 8%. One gripe is that there's maybe a little acetone -- not as much as the Vuja De bottle that I had, but enough that it's there. Without that it'd be slightly above average, but it's going to lose a bit point-wise for it.

M - The lack of carbonation is killing me here. It's not completely flat, but there's VERY little going on, and it absolutely kills the feel in this style. It's crying out for some bubbles.

O - I'm not all that happy about this one. I was really looking forward to it, but I really had to struggle to get through the (small, expensive) bottle. The flavors just aren't good enough to overcome the lack of carbonation.

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