Blue Monk Special Reserve
De Struise Brouwers

Blue Monk Special ReserveBlue Monk Special Reserve
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De Struise Brouwers
Strong Ale - Belgian Dark
Ranked #34
Ranked #6,637
4.11 | pDev: 11.19%
May 08, 2022
Nov 16, 2015
Blue Monk Special ReserveBlue Monk Special Reserve
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
4 by aztraz from Sweden on May 08, 2022
Photo of BasWassenaar
4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by BasWassenaar from Netherlands

Stumbled upon about a case of these buties on a recent beer trip in Belgium and i of course needed to test one for science.
2013 vintage, bottled in 2016.
It looks like a very dark quad. Pours with a nice head which slowly disolves. It still has a light smokey flavour from the smoked malts with a slight sour note from the wine barrel, Overall nice complexity.
Still one of my favorite Struise from recent years and happy to be sitting on a good 30 bottles or so.

Jan 21, 2021
4.29 by JamieDuncan from Maryland on Jan 08, 2021
4.15 by bubseymour from Maryland on Dec 27, 2020
4.25 by paulish from New York on May 01, 2020
Photo of SHODriver
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by SHODriver from North Carolina

2013 vintage

A: poured into a snifter to what is essentially a black beer topped by a dense finger of light tan head which fades to a collar around the edge of the glass with minimal lacing
S: Smells of intense dark fruits with some light spices and toffee as well.
T: Taste is dark fruits with some bitter dark chocolate and mulling spices along with a hint of toffee. Really well done and incorporated. On the swallow this beer is more dark chocolate and dark fruits with some lingering spices.
M: This beer has a moderate amount of body with a slightly silky feel on the palate. Carbonation is low but more than adequate while the beer has a drying finish.
O: Overall this is a really nice beer. The flavors are very well incorporated and complement each other well with a really nice amount of complexity. Despite being from 2013 this one doesn't have any apparent signs of oxidation which make it a really nice drink. Worth a try if you can still find it or are sitting on this one.

Nov 17, 2018
4.27 by Thorfinn960 from Ohio on Oct 31, 2018
4.12 by JOBEERFB from Belgium on Oct 23, 2018
4.35 by FalconOne from Ohio on Jun 20, 2018
Photo of captaincoffee
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by captaincoffee from Virginia

Pours a dark and somewhat murky brown with very little head...not the prettiest beer to be honest. Nose tells a different story. Full nose with slightly boozy dates, figs, a bit of port, musty notes, and a little soy sauce. Taste is pretty much what you'd expect after that nose. Somewhat sweet but not cloying, there are dates, brown sugar, a bit of saltiness, again port, and prunes. Overall, a really good beer that has a lot of flavor and doesn't go too sweet.

Jun 13, 2018
Photo of EmperorBevis
4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
by EmperorBevis from England

Bottled and served in a gold rimmed westy XII glass
pours a dark brown body wjere the head just wont stick, it is five years old though
aroma is dark sugars and all spice
musty, musky, drams & plums
ah so this is why you age beer

May 23, 2018
4.37 by khargro2 from Tennessee on May 17, 2018
Photo of Dzu
4.49/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Dzu from Russian Federation

Poured from bottle into snifter.
L: dark brown with a weak white foam head.
S: wine, plums.
T: sweet wine, sweet fruits.
F: tight body and low carbonated.
O: excellent ale. Recommended.

May 05, 2018
Photo of josanguapo
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25
by josanguapo from Spain

From latiendadelacerceza. In Grimbergen glass. Playing Avernum 2. Should be illegal to hide abv so well, be careful as affects head plenty. Original belgian quad with a pleasantly soft smokey twist

Apr 27, 2018
Photo of DJ-Hophead
4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by DJ-Hophead from England

330 ml bottle, Etre Gourmet - Pours dark brown with a small beige foamy head which quickly disappears to a nice lace. Aroma - Light smoke, spicy notes, berry fruits, black cherry, figs, light burnt sugar feel, notes of vanilla. Taste - Sweet forefront, berry fruits , stone fruits - black cherries, spicy feel, light smoke feel, woody overtones, burnt sugar, very soft finish with a very light alcoholic warmth. Beautiful barrel aged quad. Hides the alcohol brilliantly. Cannot say enough good stuff about this as there is a heck of a lot going on here.

Mar 03, 2018
Photo of Beersnake1
4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Beersnake1 from California

2013 vintage poured from fridge temp. Pours a very dark brown - almost black. Not much carbonation. Nose is super smoky - really dominates the nose. Some tobacco and a bit of caramel. Taste is interesting. Not sure how this has aged as I didn't have it fresh. It's a bit sweet up front, but the smoke really comes through. There is a bit of sour grape, raisin, coffee, cherry, oak, and some roasted malts. Mouthfeel is medium, but nicely coating. Overall a pretty nice quad.

Sep 23, 2017
3.74 by bwarren82 from Illinois on Sep 17, 2017
Photo of drmeto
4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75
by drmeto from Germany

-pours the darkest of brown with mahogany tinges and a small to medium,foamy,beige head
-medium carbonation
-medium body
-slight alcohol noticeable
Great Quad.Not as heavy of a Bourbon influence as other De Struise Beers.
This is also surprisingly bready on the Finish for a Belgian Quad.

Sep 05, 2017
4.25 by liamt07 from Canada (ON) on Aug 25, 2017
Photo of Sammy
3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
by Sammy from Canada (ON)

bottle at moor pat. dark with thin white head. smoke ashtray first and foremost on a sweet Belgian base. Its OK, a bit unique, but not worth going out of the way for.

Aug 22, 2017
4.5 by steverx8 from England on Jul 30, 2017
Photo of Bruno74200
4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by Bruno74200 from France

Well, it's official, De Struise can't make a bad beer.

L - Dark red with no head

S - Well that's something. Caramel, oak, pear, hints of smoke. Dates, vinous, peppercorn. So complex yet simple and balanced

T - Follow the smell. A lot on the vinous side with little tartness, tannic peppercorn, red berries. Some sweetness but balanced by some cocoa nib bitterness. Fig

M - low carbonation. Smooth

O - A really nice 4 years old bottle. Very balanced and rounded. This is a great, great beer.

Jun 28, 2017
4 by mcrawford from Michigan on May 23, 2017
4.25 by IckyT2012 from Florida on Apr 17, 2017
3.75 by oriolesfan4 from Maryland on Feb 20, 2017
4.67 by jroof1 from Massachusetts on Feb 02, 2017
4.44 by sweemzander from Illinois on Dec 21, 2016
4.08 by Sparky44 from Illinois on Dec 16, 2016
4.36 by Dalv from Romania on Dec 10, 2016
Photo of Bierman9
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Bierman9 from New Hampshire

I'm having me a treat on the day after my 58th Birthday... an 11.2oz bottle courtesy of my good friend Thijs... He gave me this in a trade last September at Borefts in Holland.... Cap has 121013 and 110129 on it... My guess? Bottled 12OCT13 and best by 11JAN29... Anyhow, to year 59!

My small tulip now holds an opaque, dense chestnut brew. The head is a very fine layer of beige bubbles, with most clinging to the rim, though little in the way of lace. The aroma has lots of dark fruit and perhaps some charred brown sugar... still inviting! Body is well into the medium range, and this one is quite silky on the tongue.

Taste has some light sweetness, as in a raisin puree on toasted dark wheat. Then lots more dark fruit, with prunes and currants showing up. Toss in a hint of smoke with some sherry-like qualities, brown sugar, vanilla and oak... Hmmmm... verrry nice stuff, though I expect nothing less from Urbain and crew...

Thnx once more, Thijs! Zum Wohl!!

4.24/5 rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


Dec 01, 2016
3.6 by stephenlee from England on Nov 27, 2016
4.74 by MrDell from Switzerland on Nov 20, 2016
3.5 by newbeeraday from Pennsylvania on Nov 20, 2016
Photo of tigg924
4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by tigg924 from Massachusetts

Pours opaque, dark brown in color with 1/4 inch head. Taste is plum, prune, dark bread, and light smoke. Medium bodied and sweet. Super tasty quad that I really enjoyed. I will have to find this beer again.

Nov 14, 2016
3.46 by Pletser from Belgium on Nov 07, 2016
Photo of MasterSki
4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
by MasterSki from Canada (ON)

Bottle from Craft Beer Cellar in Burlington. 2013 (and only vintage). Apparently this is Pannepot aged in Margaux red wine barrels? Served in an Indie Alehouse snifter.

A - Tan foam quickly settles to a thin collar and little in the way of lacing. Dark mahogany brown body that is largely opaque. Looks style-appropriate.

S - Initially this is quite smokey; way smokier than I remember Pannepot every being. As it warms, more of the oaky and savory elements of the barrels come out, with notes of blackberry and currant in the mix. There is some licorice, peppery and phenolic Belgian yeast, and candi notes mingled in as well. As usual for Struise, the alcohol is quite restrained. Gains in complexity as it warms.

T - The taste is a bit sweeter, with more candi sugar, red fruits, and less overt smoke and roast. Quite nice actually, with a good mix of dark grains, fruitiness, oaky wine, and peppery yeast. Light alcohol bit in the finish.

M - Tannic and full-bodied, with pleasant soft, lower carbonation. Not much heat. Chewy and creamy; my favorite facet of this brew.

D - There's a bit too much umami on the nose for my tastes, but otherwise this is a solid brew. Split it with a few friends at the office and had no problem killing the 33cl bottle. I'd drink this again, but I'm not sure I'd pick it over Pannepot Grand Reserva et al.

Nov 04, 2016
Photo of Dentist666
4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Dentist666 from Russian Federation

Poured into tulip.
Pours cola beer with 2-finger beige head, low retention.
Smell - very complex, including dark fruits, wood, toasted malts, candi sugar.
Taste follows the smell.
Medium body, low carbonation.

Oct 27, 2016
4.81 by andpit from Italy on Oct 25, 2016
4 by mtbdonn from Colorado on Oct 15, 2016
4.53 by JamFuel from Sweden on Sep 10, 2016
Blue Monk Special Reserve from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 81 ratings