Aardmonnik - Earthmonk | De Struise Brouwers

BA SCORE
87
very good
287 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score
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Aardmonnik - EarthmonkAardmonnik - Earthmonk
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers
Belgium
struise.com

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

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

Added by TheLongBeachBum on 12-14-2006

BEER STATS
Ratings:
287
Reviews:
181
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
17.6%
 
 
Wants:
176
Gots:
85
For Trade:
13
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 287 |  Reviews: 181
Photo of phishisphunk
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Recently received in a trade from Oregone, thank you Trevor. Served from the 33 cl bottle at cellar temp into a tulip. Lot A, best by 07/11.

A: This one pours a deep, murky brown, with minimal head, even with an aggressive pour. Hints of red hues can be found along the edge when held up to the light. Thin, spotty, bubbly lacing is left around the glass. This one sits very still.

S: The nose is a bouquet of red wine and balsamic vinegar, wet leather, and oxidized fruits leading into a soy sauce aroma.

T: I'm initially surprised by the chocolate back bone of this brew. Smooth, creamy milk chocolate is followed by soy sauce and finished with a lingering tart cherry sourness. The sourness rounds out the palate and acts to lift the initial chocolate rush quickly off the tongue. The finish had a short-lived vinegar flavor that overpowers the tart cherry offering. I don't really detect any Belgian spiciness, which I think is due to the 8% ABV which really kicks up the sour/vinegar finish.

M: The mouthfeel is creamy and heavy which provides a port like quality.

O: I'm between and betwixt on this one. Nothing really stands out on it. I'm lead to believe that A. this beer is past its prime secondary to the oxidized flavors and aromas, or B. I'm consuming a bad batch. The 8% ABV is evidently noticeable on the finish and lends a warming feeling long after. I would really like to try a fresh batch as I'm lead to an inclination that at some point in the lifespan of this beer is a world class Flanders Oud Bruin. Will certainly seek out again.

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Photo of beagle75
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of AlexFields
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of HopsintheSack
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of Damian
3.04/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Drank from a 33 cl bottle
EM No.7
Served in a tulip
Best before A 08 11
Acquired in a trade with barleywinebrewer

What awesome bottle artwork. Hieronymus Bosch I presume? As for the beer, it poured a deep, dark mahogany color with a bubbly, sudsy, light tan cap of froth that quickly dissipated.

The aroma was complex and rather interesting. Tart and sweet with a vinous, winey quality typically found within the style. Ripe fruits including red grapes and bing cherries dominated. Rich and malty with an earthy oakiness. A hint of alcohol was noticeable as well.

The taste was very unusual. I have tried beers that taste like wine but this one takes the cake in that department. A touch malty and semi-sweet up front before the beer turned sour and vinous. Tart and fruity. Oaky, grapey and earthy in the center. Somewhat sherry-like. The long, drawn out finish was quite tannic and woody with a somewhat harsh, acidic quality that reminded me of balsamic vinegar.

The mouthfeel was slightly watery with a minimal amount of carbonation. This beer had a dry, tannic nature that was (again) reminiscent of a red wine.

Drinkability was moderate. The sharp, harsh, acidic quality of this beer was difficult to take in large doses. As for the alcohol content, it was well masked initially. Toward the beer's end however, it became quite noticeable (particularly on the finish).

This was one strange brew. In every aspect, it definitely seemed more like a wine (a cheap, young merlot mixed with a bit of sherry, to be exact) than a beer. This may not have been my cup of tea, but I would love to give it to my wine loving friends who have yet to try a beer they like.

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Photo of badbeer
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

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Photo of TWStandley
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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 ehammond1
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle (2008)

Thanks for the gift, JealousChalice!

Dark brown and dark ruby in color with very little, practically zero, visible carbonation. This leaves the glass clean on the way down.

Nice aroma, with good amounts of sour cherries and sweet malt, along with earthy toffee, and oak.

The flavor is nice enough, though is significantly hurt by the lack of carbonation. There's decent amount of tart cherry, sour, vinegar, and wood flavor, but the carbonation makes this one tougher to drink than it should be.

Medium bodied with no carbonation.

The lack of carbonation holds this back from being significantly better.

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Photo of seaoflament
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Huge thanks to hoppymeal for the opportunity to try this beer. Small 33cl bottle released in 2008; best before date of 07/10

The color of the beer is quite dark looking in the glass, dark with some wet oak highlights around the edges. A few bubbles gathered at the surface for a few moments but never really collected as a head. A swirl of the glass does produce a more decent ring.

As soon as I cracked the top I got a vinous aroma with hints of grape and vinegar. More vinegar as I poured but also sweet malt, cherries, strawberries, vanilla, oak, and grape jam. Very fruity aroma with various berries and sweet plums. Caramel, chocolate, and hints of coffee hide behind the fruity background. Smells a bit like toast and jam. Complex and delicate. After leaving the beer breathe for about 5 minutes it begins to reveal some apple notes, sugary candy, and a little lemon twist.

Argh! The first sip is rather intense, huge vinegar and apple flavor, oak, toast, a bit of tartness followed by the malt sweetness and some bitterness which I don't know where it came from. The finish does seem to be a little calmer with notes of chocolate, fruits, and berries. I'm a little more prepared for the second sip but it's still quite acetic and thin. Oak and vanilla flavors mid-palate, apples and toasted malts in the finish. Even as it warms up, the vinous, oak, and vinegar flavors don't tone down and with the lack of carbonation it makes it a little difficult to drink. The last few sips have a taste of iron (blood).

The beer enters a little thick and syrupy but by mid palate it turns thin, watery, and lacks carbonation in the finish.

****update May 2009***

Second time trying this beer was at Lost Abbey's 3rd Anniversary Party on 5-9-09. From a 750ml bottle, and probably an 06/07 vintage.

Better than the fresh bottle I reviewed. Still a good amount of vinegar and metallic/iron flavors but balanced with an increase sourness and puckering effect. Much more drinkable and enjoyable. More dryness in the finish as well. Very complex, there just seemed to be layer on top of layer in aroma and flavor.

If I were to score the 750ml bottle it would be something like:
4/4.5/4/4/4 A-

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Photo of homebrew311
3.22/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: pours a deep maroon with seemingly zero carbonation, no head, sparse bubbles, decent clarity

S: nose is a vinegar bomb, heavy lactic undertones followed by tannins, some hints of Merlot in there, red grapes and cherries present as well

T: like the nose, the taste is heavy with vinegar, tartness pairs with a syrupy sweetness, lacking a bit in the balance department, finishes way too sweet

MF: syrupy body, low carbonation

O: this is certainly a new take on a Flanders Red, however, the flavors never quite balance each other out

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Photo of erikkoppin
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of YvesB
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.29/5  rDev -16.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Anno 2008, the 'sucky' one.

Appearance -- Pours a burgundy-tinged brown with no head to speak of: some soapy bubbles and what looks like an oily film. The fine bubbles slowly trailing up the glass prove that this is, in fact, somewhat carbonated. Good color, and the overall appearance becomes much more appealing when the soapy suds disappear.

Smell -- Has a sturdy vinegar character, perhaps the red wine variety. Roast malt, berries, perhaps some sherry. I've smelled worse vinegarized Flanders beers, but I'm not loving this aroma.

Taste -- The mouth is first greeted by a sudden burst of bright acidity followed by subtle roast malt, cocoa, berry tartness, red wine, and a mild sherry-like oxidation character. Slightly earthy, not so much funky. The sour level is strong for a Bruin, but not in the least bracing; it hits the mark well. Interesting.

Mouthfeel -- As the appearance suggested, it's nearly still. It has a fuller, viscous body to it that somewhat makes up for the lack of spritzy carbonation.

Overall -- Don't let the totals core fool you; I quite enjoyed this one. Not the crisp, mellow sipper that is Goudenband or Bellegems Bruin, but it has great depth of flavor and is very unique. I recommend it.

Additional Note: many of my friends have mentioned that this vintage tates like Cool Whip. I'm almost mad that there's nothing reminding me of fake whipped cream...

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Photo of Florida9
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a fucking glass.

A: okay, first of all WTF is on the front of this bottle? I've heard so many disturbing things about this beer and now there is some sort of wretched starving creature on the bottle. Truly appetizing. As for the beer, it is dark brown in color. There is absolutely no head on an aggressive pour. It appears flat. Between the color and the lack of head, it looks like a glass of whiskey.

S: Smell is of malt and malt vinegar. Then there is a sort of odd mix of light watery coffee, cola, and caramel.

T: Flavor is like a thin, watery malt vinegar. There is a little wood and maybe a very light soy sauce quality, but the malt vinegar is what I'm getting out of it.

M: On the thinner side. Watery with almost no carbonation.

O: As soon as I smelt this beer, the only thing I could think of is mat vinegar and fish and chips. But, then again, I admittedly prefer tartar sauce on my fish and ketchup on my chips. And I can't think of a time when I'd ever drink a glass of malt vinegar. While some people might find this beer drinkable, I didn't. A few ounces was all I could handle.

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Photo of csmiley
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A - Pours a very dark brown with some deep red hues around the edges of the glass. Flat. Still. Not one tiny bubble to be found. Maybe a light swirl of the glass could get something going? Not even close. Light carbonation can work for some brews but this is pushing the envelope.

S - Smell is quite strong. Balsamic vinegar and cherry start it off. The middle comes close to sugar that has been just a little over cooked. Might be some alcohol mixed in at this point but it's hard to single out over the other aromas. It finishes musty with a touch of very over ripe fruit. Very over ripe.

T - This is easily the best part about this brew. Taste doesn't quite follow smell and that is fine by me. The beginning holds notes of apple and pear. Wasn't really expecting that at all. It's quickly balanced by balsamic and brand new leather. To this point, I'm surprised by the flavor. Cherry and raspberry dominate midway with cherry easily taking the lead. Caramel is noticed at a very distant end. Alcohol isn't really present.

M - Lighter bodied with no carbonation. The intense and complex flavors coat the palate for what seems like an eternity. It's mostly tart with a moderate sweetness.

D - Drinkability is not bad. Lack of carbonation does hurt this brew but it is still drinkable nonetheless. It's big. It's bold. Frankly, there is just quite a bit to take in. As it warms and after a few sips, it really mellows out. Not sure I could take more than one though. Maybe on another day but definitely not in the same session. I heard good things and had high hopes for this one but unfortunately it fell short.

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Photo of bashiba
3.34/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a flat almost headless dark dirty brown.
This smell is great, big and tart fruit flavors, very classic flemish red.
A nice bit of sweetness mixing in with a touch of cedar. The flavor is very mild, a mixture of light tart dark fruit flavors and a touch of tartness, a little bit of cedar and sourness, but not quite enough to balance out the sweet fruit flavors.

Has a nice medium silky mouthfeel.

A good but not great flemish red.

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Photo of papat444
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

***2008 Vintage***

Thanks to hoppypocket for this one.

Poured from a 330 ml. bottle (Lot 10/08/24/03/201)

Appearance: Pours an opaque body resembling cola (with red wine tints) but no head at all.

Smell: Nice mix of dark fruits, candi sugar and oak aged wood. Full and really digging it.

Taste: A bit of vinegar, sourness not pungent, reminiscent of red wine a bit with an acidic edge.

Mouthfeel: No real carbonation and borders on flat. Still, it manages a creamy feel.

Overall: Smells fantastic but the rest doesn't measure up. Approach with caution.

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Photo of pwoods
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

I forget who I got this from, but thanks!

11.2oz. Brown bottle, poured into a kbs tulip.

A: Pours a deep murky brown, root beerish. Mild head from mild carbonation, little to no lacing.

S: Pleasant sourness. Nice fruitiness. Not too funky.

T/M: Sour and tartness up front without a ton of funk. Some light fruit in the back. Some odd flavors that I'm having trouble describing... Almost like old fruits or vegetables but I'm probably wrong on that. Some dirty cellar, musty, and woody flavors. Carbonation is very weak and it makes the body feel thin and watery. Not a lot of dryness.

D: Not really digging this one. This was split with beachbun1975 and it was a bit hard to finish my sample.

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Photo of CoolJosh
3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very interesting look. As dark as a stout but without the head to match. Dark ruddy brown hues along the edges of the glass.

The smell is very muted, some roasted complex comes out but nothing follows. A sticky tobacco scent musters as the glass warms. So far, I really don't understand this beer.

The taste is equally odd, but only semi-enjoyable. Slight roasts matched with an overly sourly vinegar flavor which is overpowering. The mouthfeel lacks any form of life, which adds to my disappointment. All in all, it is drinkable but it wouldn't draw my attention if faced with options.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a flared pokal.

Big thanks to the Central PA group of the Gang Bang BIF for this bottle!

I've heard so many interesting things about this beer that I had no problem when it was chosen to be cracked first tonight. It pours a murky ruby-brown with no real head of any kind to speak of. The nose comprises tomato, light tart black cherry, light raspberry vinaigrette, caramel, and teriyaki sauce. I'm actually a little surprised that I like what I'm smelling, given what I just wrote. The taste holds notes of soy sauce (including a pinch of salt), light cocoa, cherry tomatoes, red grapes, and red apple skin. The body is a stolid medium, with a light carbonation and a slick, fluid feel. Overall, an interesting beer, indeed, one I'm not entirely sure if I liked or disliked...

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.47/5  rDev -11.5%
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.

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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 ChrisPro
3.49/5  rDev -11%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted blind as part of Blind BIF #6

Blind Beer #9

12 oz poured into my Allagash cervoise

A - Opens with a tiny hiss. Pours dark brown with a few big bubbles. Light ruby highlights 2.5

S - One whiff from the bottle and it smells like rice vinegar and soy. After pouring, there is some extremely sour cherry and chocolate. Touch of smoke and homemade pickled veggies. A few more smells yields to a very distinct balsamic vinegar with maybe some fig. I have no clue what to expect before drinking. 3.5

T - Sweet strawberries and chocolate with a slightly acidic finish. The balsamic is definitely present in the taste. There is some oak on the finish, leaving a bit of dryness that I did not expect. 3.5

M - Virtually no carbonation. Quite full bodied with a ton of unfermented sugar left in this guy. Slightly buttery feel, but then a very dry finish. No alcohol whatsoever. 3.5

O - Fairly drinkable and balanced. Somewhat on the sweet side for me. Solid, but nothing to write home about. I would definitely use this beer to get non-craft friends into sours. 3.5

Almost positive it's a flanders oud bruin. nice vinegar notes, good sweetness, a touch of butterscotch. The balsamic really reminds me of Monk's cafe flemish, but really no clue beyond that.

Final guess: Flanders oud bruin. Since sholland119 has been killing it with this box, I'll even go out and say Struise Earthmonk.

The reveal: Struise 2008 Aardmonnik - Earthmonk (want!)

You keep up with the awesome beers, Scott. I only guessed this because i've wanted it and haven't tasted it yet, and was pretty sure I hadn't tried the blind beer before. Definitely solid and definitely an awesome to mix it up after Le Fleur.

(quick edit: this beer is 8% ABV. Now bumping the mouthfeel up to a 4 from 3.5. no heat whatsoever on this bad boy.)

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Review no. 700 - time to pull out something special.

A 330ml bottle with a BB of April 2016. 2008 vintage. Acquired some time ago from a Belgian webshop and stored in my garage. I've been looking forward to this one. Love the strange label image...

Poured into a Duvel tulip. A deep reddish-brown hue that appears cherry black in the glass. Virtually no head; just a few flaccid tawny bubbles floating on the surface. I guess the carbonation has gone AWOL. The aroma is rich and intense - a mingling of balsamic vinegar, sherry, wine, cherries, plums, raisins, stone fruits, brown sugar, caramel/molasses and wood. Slightly sweet, with a musty, earthy sourness. There is a whiff of solvent/alcohol in the background (initially hot and reminiscent of acetone), though this mellows out after a while. A fantastically complex olfactory experience!

The taste is fervently sour and fruity, with a lingering dry finish. Notes of balsamic vinegar, sherry, wine, cherries, prunes/plums, dried fruit, brown sugar, caramel/molasses and wood. It possesses an incredible vinous, oxidised quality that puckers the tongue and stimulates the palate. Slightly sweet, with a sharp, piercing tartness. A long fruity finish as the flavours slowly release their hold on your tastebuds. Mouthfeel is smooth and rich, with good body and tingly acidity. However the beer is completely flat and lacking in texture, which spoils the taste and makes it feel thinner than it probably should. Highly astringent - dries the palate. Aftertaste of sweet 'n' sour fruitiness; vinegary and delicious.

Wow - what a beer. The complexity and range of flavours are incredible, even though I find it quite a challenging brew. The sour, vinegar character is nicely balanced by sweetness and fruity notes. The glaring flaw is the lack of carbonation, which detracts from the mouthfeel but also affects the flavour. I'm sure that the experience on the palate would be different with greater CO2 presence. Nonetheless, this is an impressive effort from de Struise and one that I'm happy to have tried. Probably not everyone's cup of tea, but well worth sampling if you have the opportunity.

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Aardmonnik - Earthmonk from De Struise Brouwers
3.92 out of 5 based on 287 ratings.
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