Saturday, 4 February 2012
Martin (or @6TownsMart as he's known on twitter... things made a little more sense after that little bit of info) had enjoyed reading one of my past posts about Flemish beer. It was incredibly kind of him to then bring me a bottle of Struise Aardmonnik - Earthmonk for my consideration, if I remember correctly he said it was his favourite and a 'must try' for any Flemish beer lover.
I didn't know anything about the beer at the time, but my interest was heightened when Zak leaned over and whispered "That's an incredibly rare beer you got there." After looking up a quick commercial description on RateBeer (it's the only useful thing I use RB for..) I knew I had to try this monstrous looking brew.
It pours flat as a pancake, but at about 4 years old, I'm not too surprised. The aroma is immediate and intense, you can smell it before you even lift the glass to your nose. Now it may not sound too appetising, but it smells like; earthy sulphur, vinegar, sour oak, sherry, rum raisin and a touch of floral vanilla.
The flavour of this beer does not stop. It coats your mouth and refuses to let go. It's aged for 18 months in oak, and you can really feel all the 8% beat you senseless. Sour, vinous, sweet notes coming in at certain points, oak, sherry, rum, dark spice, earthy malt, tart cherry and a little acidity.
I've not had many beers from Struise, but this one kicks so much ass I think it's going to be pretty hard to beat. I will be keeping my eye out for more of their beers in the future, but for now I think I'll sit by the fire and enjoy the rest of this glass while the two inches of snow stop me from painting the outside of Beer Ritz....
Martin Ridge, you get my upmost gratitude for passing this beer along, next time you come to the shop give me a shout and I'll have a beer waiting for you.
Answers on a postcard as to what animal that is...