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Aardmonnik - Earthmonk | De Struise Brouwers

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Aardmonnik - EarthmonkAardmonnik - Earthmonk

Brewed by:
De Struise Brouwers

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

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Reviews: 179 | Ratings: 283
Photo of Wasatch
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice cloudy brown color, nice carbonation, nice little fizzy head, with some sticky lacing left behind. The nose is malty, soury, with some plums/cherries. The taste is malty, with some sour plums/cherries. Medium body. Very drinkable, this is a pretty tasty brew.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4.71/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a murky brownish red with no head. Complex nose. Acetic and oaky with dark macerated cherries, sherry vinegar, and brown sugar. The cherries smell deep and dark with wonderful nuances. The taste is also complex with more of that wonderful cherry flavor. Winey and sour but with a rich but light cherry liquor sweetness lurking in the background, and some very complex funky earthiness with a bit of horseblanket, but not so far as barnyard. Wondefully sweet/tart but with great depth. Very smooth and even a bit creamy, though tart. A very nice version and definitely a bit less acetic than most. Highly recommended.

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Photo of John_M
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip, the beer pours a fairly dark, murky brown color with not a lot of head or lacing. The nose is quite complex and intriguing in this one, as I pick up considerable chocolate and wine, but then also some A1 sauce and soy sauce. There is considerable sour in the nose, but with what smells like a decent amount of chocolate to bouy that sour component. On the palate, the flavor profile replicates the nose, but thankfully, wiithout a lot of the soy sauce and A1 I was getting on the nose. The beer has some noticeable chocolate, caramel and vanilla initially, but then the wine and sour component really kick into overdrive on the finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied at most, and while the beer comes across as just a bit thin on the palate, the finish is long, sour and wine infused. It's more than sufficient to tame the moderate amount of sweetness in this beer. Alcohol is very well integrated into the flavor profile, with no sense of heat or heaviness on the finish. Drinking this beer, i honestly had no idea what the abv. might be; it could have been anything from 6% up to 9% or 10%, and I wouldn't have been surprised.

A very interesting and intriguing beer from De Struise. Not sure how much or how often I could drink this, but I was very glad to be able to finally try this well regarded beer at long last.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured vigorously into my La Chouffe tulip. Head is beige, very bubbly, and small with little retention, which is to be expected Color is dark brown with a red tint.

The aroma is very complex. I perceive some caramel malt, along with figs, raisins, and plums. Some tart cherry is evident but is in the background. Some oak is also evident.

Initial flavor is tart cherries, oak, and vinegar. Ripe plum skin and a very low bitterness compliment the pleasant sweetness. Faint sourness and lactic acid is noticeable in the finish and lingers toward the back of the tongue and throat for a short while.

The body is vinuous an carbonation is very low.

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Photo of weeare138
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of corby112
4.44/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes:

Pours a very dark ruby red/chestnut brown color with slight mahogany edges and a thin half finger beige head that quickly settles into a thin ring. Not much lacing.

Earthy oak aroma that is very vinous with lots of dark fruit notes, lactic funk and horseblanket. Hints of grape and dark cherry as well as a slight vinegary presence.

Medium bodied and slightly puckering with a great balance of sweet dark fruit notes, earthy oak and tart funk. Vinous with hints of grape, dark cherry and plum as well as hints of oak and vanilla. Not too sour/puckering but slightly funky with a sweet yet dry finish. Not as extreme or complex as other Belgians of the style but very flavorful, nicely balanced and extremely quaffable.

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Photo of rudzud
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Big thanks to JLindros for sharing this at the End of the World party. Poured into a Kate the Great tulip. 2008 Vintage, reviewed from notes.

A - Pours a nice molasses clear hue with minimal wisps but very, very nice legs.

S - Dark raisins, sweet malts, light sweet and sour alcohol notes. Very light funk.

T - Taste is mellow sour and light funk. Lots of cherries, figs, raisins, prunes, light alcohol and faint chocolate.

M - Mouthfeel is smooth and watery. Nice and flemmy with no carbonation which is somewhat to be expected.

O - Overall this is tasty. Held up well to age. Very glad I got to try this vintage!

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Photo of TX-Badger
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle (2008) at a share courtesy of Eric. Pours a very dark brown without much head. Dark fruits, cherries, some oak, and vanilla and caramel on the nose; follows onto the palate. Finishes with just a little sweetness.

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

Grabbed a couple of these from Liquid Solutions.

A: In my 22oz snifter, Earthmonk sits a rather deep shade of ruby red with reddish highlights. Pretty much flat with no carbonation whatsoever, there's mild protest of a head, some bubbles atop a rather patchy, oil-like film

S: Vinegary, rather intensely so. There's plenty of depth, though, with figs, plums and dark fruit. There's almost some chocolate, so think of this as raisins soaked in balsalmic vinegar and coated in chocolate. Oaky tannins are present in the back, lending an interesting balance.

T: Interesting. Rather intense balsalmic vinegar flavor, very vinous. Acetic character isn't over the top but the red wine character provides a rather unique twist to this beer, it really tastes like it was brewed with grapes! All told, both sourness and acidity are restrained but this beer is lacking a little something that could elevate it to the next level, especially the finish, which is tart but doesn't carry through the body of the beer. Some oak character comes through

M: The stillness works (for me) with the acidity pleasant and a tart finish that's a tad disappointing.

D: Glad I got to try this, I'll give my other bottle another year and see what comes of it

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Photo of Viggo
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, big thanks to brdc for the hookup.

Pours an opaque dark reddish brown, very muddy, very thin tan head forms, almost nothing, quickly settles down to a very thin ring, some lace spots stick to the glass, looks alright.

Smell is intense, an insane amount of sour fruit and funkiness, cherries, oak, vanilla, lots of tannic goodness, strawberries, good balance of sweet and sour, very fruity, this is solid stuff.

Taste is crazy, tons of fruit, very grapey, not as much funk as aroma, more just a very strong sour fruitiness, almost rotten tasting, some oak and vanilla comes through, lots of berries, a bit of cherry, some caramel and biscuit in the finish, pretty sour stuff.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, quite slick, low carbonation. This is pretty solid, but the crazy sour fruit character in the taste is a little too much. Still I dig this, thanks Dan!

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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 jrallen34
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

1 of 5000 bottles every 2 years, into my De Struise glass. Very glad to finally try one the De Struise's I haven't had, and according to Carlo, his favorite. He might know what he's talking...Pours a very dark brown with a hint of mahogany peaking out. Very little carbonation at first, but then a super thin layer of bubbles forms and lasts for several minutes. No lacing...The aroma is fantastic, instantly reminds me of a cross between Duchesse & Rodenbach Grand Cru, wonder if this is labeled wrongly, I think this is a Flanders Red. Very sweet with superb notes of balsamic vinegar, oak, molasses and brown sugar. Perfect balance of sweet and tart...The taste is not quite as perfect, perhaps its getting a bit dated, will need to re-visit this when it comes out shortly. The flavors just don't come through as nicely or sharp, seems muddled. Dark fruits, molasses, and brown sugar on the front, only a smidge of tart vinegar on the back. This is still great, just not as good as the nose...The feel is a little light, not much of a finish...CRUSHABLE at 8%.

Another great De Struise, worth trying!

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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 Jwale73
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle procured from the Struise webshop. Vintage 2008 (EM No. 7) served at 52 degrees in a tulip. Pours the color and clarity of cola with a bubbly, loose, tan-colored froth around the shoulders which continues to dissipate into an oily skim and a thin, tight bubbly band. I love the nose on this beer - vinous, oaky, vanilla notes, dark fruits (plum, figs, prunes) and a suggestion of grape bubblegum. Taste is a bit more muddled. Vinous quality still presents itself, as well as some citric acid; however, there's also a bit of chocolate as well as more grape notes, a slight earthiness and prunes. Tannins are present, but the acidity pretty much buries the vanilla and oak expressed in the nose. Mouthfeel is light-medium in consistency with a mild carbonation which is almost still. Acidity lightly stimulates the sides of the cheeks and lingers along the glands at the back of the throat between quaffs. Overall - I really enjoyed this complexity of this beer and plan on cellaring a couple bottles to see how it changes over time. A slightly tart and vinegary FOB without being overly sour. I wish there were more efforts at this style readily available.

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Photo of cbutova
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage 330cl bottle at Novare Res in Portland, ME. Reviewed from notes. Been on my list to try this for a long time.

A- Dark brown with red on edges. No head or anything from the start, not even close. Tiny ring and cloud in the middle. No lace but I expected that.

S- A big musty mix of wine and vinegar. The acetic is like spoiled wine vinegar somewhat resembling balsamic or red wine. Some molasses brown sugar feel and grapes.

T- Again a ton of grapes and vinegar. I love the sour acetic feel layered over grape stems, cherry/dark fruit and vinous notes. Apple juice can be felt but man this red wine vinegar feel is splendid. Some brown sugar, spice and lemon.

MF- Low carbonation under a big oily body. The alcohol warming with the acetic is something I haven't experienced but I really enjoy.

A vinegar and wine grape bomb, awesome non-lambic sour IMO. I really don't know anything about the background of this beer but I certainly enjoyed whatever it is.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had a bottle of this at the Kulminator in Antwerp, served in a de Struise goblet. The beer was murky brown-red color with a thin wet head. The smell was very good for a Flanders wild ale, lots of vinegary sourness but complemented by sweet cherry and wood. The taste was sour to the point of lip pucker, but you could imagine quite a bit of fruit flavors, maybe apple cider as well. I liked this a lot, but the drinkability score has to be average at best as the acidity keeps you from drinking too fast. Very recommended.

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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 Rutager
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.75

2008 bottle. Thanks Hoppypocket!!

Appearance. Pours a deep red-brown with just a skim of amber-tinted head.

Smell. Boozy raisins and vinegar,cherry and sweet over-ripe dark fruits and a little vanilla and old dank wood. Nice.

Taste. Dark cherry and old wood, some smooth booze and raisins and just a bit of malt vinegar and sherry. Fairly sweet and lightly sour.

Mouthfeel. Medium-full body with very, very little carbonation.

Overall. A nice tasting Oud Bruin but some more carbonation would be nice ...maybe a bit past it's prime.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.97/5  rDev +26.8%
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.

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Photo of ccrida
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle that I bought a little 1.5 years ago and have cellared since. Poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Aardmonnik - Earthmonk is a thick, very dark brown, little to know carbonation (no sound when I cracked the cap), a big bubbled collar that leaves the lightest, scattered lace. Formidable!

Smell is very strong, sweet, vinous, a hint of vinegar.

Taste is similar. It's definitely more malty then acidic, extremely vinous and rich. I should go get a streak to wash down with this. Which I did. Eh, not bad, the smokiness of the grill meet seams to bring out the sweetness. I compared it to a good Sonoma Syrah ('06 Wellington Estate), it's was no contest, the wine crushed it, which suprised me, as I often contrast flanders reds with with red wine for steak pairs and the beer always wins. Must be the maltiness of the oud bruin.

Mouthfeel is thin, the flatness doesn't help.

Drinkability is pretty good, a fairly complex oud bruin, but the $20 price tag is just silly.

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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 xnicknj
1.94/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

330mL bottle poured into taster glass - thanks alex

Pours a slightly opaque reddish color with some almost brown hues. No head or lacing.

Pretty much smells like easter egg dye. Acidic and lactic with a vinegary burn. Some light cherry fruit flavor and oak, I suppose.

Sour and acidic up front. Vinegar and nail polish remover pretty much wreck the profile. There's a few notes of cherry, raisin, and dates, but its tough to get past the vinegar. Lingers on the tongue for an uncomfortable amount of time.

Thin, flat, and tepid on the tongue. Lingering acidic vinegar ruined my palate for at least an hour after this. Apparently there's some variation between vintages, but this one was awful. Avoid.

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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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Aardmonnik - Earthmonk from De Struise Brouwers
3.92 out of 5 based on 283 ratings.
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