Blue Monk Special Reserve
De Struise Brouwers

Blue Monk Special ReserveBlue Monk Special Reserve
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De Struise Brouwers
Belgian Dark Strong Ale
Ranked #33
Ranked #6,769
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.
Rated: 4 by aztraz from Sweden

May 08, 2022
Photo of BasWassenaar
Reviewed by BasWassenaar from Netherlands

4.36/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 4.29 by JamieDuncan from Maryland

Jan 08, 2021
Rated: 4.15 by bubseymour from Maryland

Dec 27, 2020
Rated: 4.25 by paulish from New York

May 01, 2020
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Reviewed by SHODriver from North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 4.27 by Thorfinn960 from Ohio

Oct 31, 2018
Rated: 4.12 by JOBEERFB from Belgium

Oct 23, 2018
Rated: 4.35 by FalconOne from Ohio

Jun 20, 2018
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Reviewed by captaincoffee from Virginia

4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
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
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Reviewed by EmperorBevis from England

4.38/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5
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
Rated: 4.37 by khargro2 from Tennessee

May 17, 2018
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Reviewed by Dzu from Russian Federation

4.49/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
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
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Reviewed by josanguapo from Spain

4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25
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
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Reviewed by DJ-Hophead from England

4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
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
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Reviewed by Beersnake1 from California

4/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
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
Rated: 3.74 by bwarren82 from Illinois

Sep 17, 2017
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Reviewed by drmeto from Germany

4.56/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75
-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
Rated: 4.25 by liamt07 from Canada (ON)

Aug 25, 2017
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Reviewed by Sammy from Canada (ON)

3.7/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75
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
Rated: 4.5 by steverx8 from England

Jul 30, 2017
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Reviewed by Bruno74200 from France

4.43/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
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
Rated: 4 by mcrawford from Michigan

May 23, 2017
Rated: 4.25 by IckyT2012 from Florida

Apr 17, 2017
Rated: 3.75 by oriolesfan4 from Maryland

Feb 20, 2017
Rated: 4.67 by jroof1 from Massachusetts

Feb 02, 2017
Rated: 4.44 by sweemzander from Illinois

Dec 21, 2016
Rated: 4.08 by Sparky44 from Illinois

Dec 16, 2016
Rated: 4.36 by Dalv from Romania

Dec 10, 2016
Photo of Bierman9
Reviewed by Bierman9 from New Hampshire

4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 3.6 by stephenlee from England

Nov 27, 2016
Rated: 4.74 by MrDell from Switzerland

Nov 20, 2016
Rated: 3.5 by newbeeraday from Pennsylvania

Nov 20, 2016
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Reviewed by tigg924 from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 3.46 by Pletser from Belgium

Nov 07, 2016
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Reviewed by MasterSki from Canada (ON)

4.14/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4
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
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Reviewed by Dentist666 from Russian Federation

4.34/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
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
Rated: 4.81 by andpit from Italy

Oct 25, 2016
Rated: 4 by mtbdonn from Colorado

Oct 15, 2016
Rated: 4.53 by JamFuel from Sweden

Sep 10, 2016
Blue Monk Special Reserve from De Struise Brouwers
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 81 ratings