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De Struise Aardmonnik – Earthmonk, For Those Times When Spacemonks are too Terrestrial

Ah Struise, these crazy mixologists always roll out noteworthy gems and I always love getting these on my doorstep. Today we step away from their stouts and take a dive into their sourer side for some Belgian kisses in today’s review.

The Ansel Adams of beer photos up in the club popping bottles.

De Struise Brouwers
Belgium
Flanders Oud Bruin | 8.00% ABV

A: This beer is completely flat. I am talking like day 5 of bottle conditioning flat for the novice home brewer. I poured it with anger and, nothing. It looks like a murky quad with some deep amber tones against the light but overall just a deep cola color.

The perfect beer for baseball season. Have fun.

S: Holy hell, this lights up the nostrils with a bouquet of cherry, currant, red grape, and a huge vinegar profile. There’s a sort of delicious nail polish remover aspect going on here, but with figs. It’s like M.A.S.K. vehicles that look all janky until they transform into some bad ass robot and get sued by the Transformers lawyers, except, no one gets sued. WHICH IS ALSO BAD ASS.

T: This imparts a cherry juice sweetness at the outset and then, like bosses when you chip away that their HP, it turns into this deep brown ale base the finally fades into a bitter merlot. This is similar to Veritas 009 in that it is just completely confusing. At the bottom of it all there is a bitter cherry aspect stacked on top of a flat brown ale. This 11oz bottle was more than enough.

This beer is weird, dark, but I like it. Don’t ask me for a full analysis, it just works.

M: This has a flat, stinging, drying aspect to it. I don’t know if that was an intentional Brew Dog tactic to attempt to push the envelope but it didn’t resonate too well. Part of me doesn’t want to keep it swashing around my mouth to determine the coating. I will give this a moment to warm up to determine if it improves.

D: Ok so, it improves a bit with some heat on it but, the result is that it turns into a bottle of Rodenbach with a bit of age on it. Only more expensive. I don’t want to have to buy an Accord and wait around for it to turn into an RSX. That seems wasteful. I guess this is drinkable if you have the time to age it, or sit around and wish for better days. I like my beers good out of the bottle, not with all this molly coddling. To be clear, sours and wilds are my favorite style and this Oud Bruin should have been lazily draping its arm all up in my palate, cuddling within the ambit of my tastes. Sadly no, I can’t recommend this with more accessible and delicious things taking place all pell mell.

When you see it, you will realize this book was published in 1990.

Narrative: “Kenny, good to finally meet you, please, come in-” Mr. Jennings motioned entreatingly to a palatial foyer, a mere pre-foyer to another foyer, the transition from French to Portugese marble was an option that was specifically selected during construction way back in 2006. “Have a seat son.” Kenny’s palms began to sweat profusely and he wiped them upon his finest jeans, purchased from Nordstom Rack. The boot cut ¾ standard common to last year’s denim was not unnoticed by the constituents of the home. “They know, I can tell they are judging me.” he thought to himself scornfully. “Now Kenny, Miranda tells us that your parents own a fruit packing conglomerate, that sounds fascinating. Please, tell me about it” Mr. Jennings leaned forward importuning Kenny gracefully. “Well it’s uh, pretty interesting with the cans, and well you know the-” Kenny looked down, “they can tell that my parents own a modest preservatives operation. Why am I even bothering?” He felt a strong hand on his shoulder, “hey son, relax, I know you aren’t who you say you are, but, I respect that” “Sir, I” “son, the pectin on your shirt sleeve, the wax seal stain on your jeans, it’s obvious you are not who you say you are, but, I like the cut of your jib.”

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Founder’s Cerise, Would a Cherry by any other name pop juice like this?

Ok so let’s get one thing straight, Founders does stouts like no one’s business. Their IPA program is also very good. However, once the rough road of sours and wilds present acidic gravel, my limited slip palate differential just gets rocked so hard. So is this the best cherry beer I have ever tasted? Let me save the suspense, unless this is Cable Car Kriek, then fuck no, but my point is, this might not even come close to the mark…OR DOES IT?

If you walk into this expecting some majestic kriek experience, check your high hopes at the door and go meet the grenadine escort.

Founders, Cerise, Fruit Beer,
Michigan dropping elbows, 6.5% abv

A: This has a hue akin to a ruby red grapefruit juice, it is translucent with light reddish orange luminescence. The carbonation is swift and exits quickly, not unlike the time I went to see Pootie Tang, starring the inimitable Chris Rock.

This is a refreshing blast you might want to avoid.

S: This smells similar to a white zinfandel with cherry notes added to it. There are sweet sticky grenadine notes and a dryness that pangs of oakiness. I have my fingers crossed that this doesn’t go all ape shit and hit that fruit juice and cider tone. Often times, the fruit shoes are illfitting and they readily follow the Toucan Sam maxim of following one’s nose.

T: It begins with a sweet juicy note, cherries of course but with a lingering acidic sweetness similar to a grape juice. It is a bit too sweet for my tastes, not as oppressive as the New Glarus Belgian Red train wreck, but this is a currant fender bender. The dryness and wine notes offer a wine cooler reminiscence that reminds me a bit of red champagne. This is strange, but you enjoy it if only for the innovation, not unlike going to see a Ray Romano stand up comedy show.

The elements are all in place but the execution leaves something to be desired like a stupid fucking 15 year old with a $700 camera who posts shit on instagram.

M: The mouthfeel is dry but the overbearing sweetness just submarines the gains that the innovation and tartness makes. It is difficult to focus on the coating and mouthfeel when there’s this din of sticky madness going on. Sure I can try and write the next great American novel at Boomers! But it just seems wildly inefficient. This shit is just too wacky, cherries all up in my dome piece.

D: This is light and has pleasant carbonation but, the sweetness just pangs the conscience and I feel like I am drinking fruit roll ups and melted starburst. It doesn’t go so far as being as saccharine as the energy drink fold, but it is still cloying. As a result, this remains sticky icky ooh wee, the likes of which I do not wish to put into the air.

The moral that I learned is that you need to prepare for disappointment from your greatest hero.

Narrative: “I just can’t do this anymore, I’m…I’m so sorry.” Ted Langston hung his head in shame. “What do you mean you CAN’T DO IT? It’s the 1990’s, get with it TED! People are on board, SMALL WONDER IS A HUGE SUCCESS!” Ted spun small circles with the toe of his shoe and shook his head in a recalcitrant fashion. “No, V.I.C.I just doesn’t make any damn sense. You’ve taken my science fiction sit com and turned it into a sticky sweet mess. I mean, have you watch the intro? The father is sitting on the grass laughing, that’s not the face of a man who just developed a fully functioning android daughter.” The FOX board official wiped his face with the utmost solemnity. “We have so much riding on this, the love triangle, the adopted asian robot brother that we were going to integrate, you’re…you’re just gonna give up on Small Wonder, just like that?” Ted rubbed his palms together and stared at the plaque on the wall “Young Artist Award.” “I’ve vested too much in this, it began as something amazing, a great institution, but here we are, 4 seasons deep, things are just sticky sweet and messy, there’s a what, what are we doing now a CLONE robot who talks in non-monotone? This doesn’t make any damn sense, there’s too much goddamn nonsense in this show!” He banged his fist on the mahogany table and delivered the absolute shall to the executives. “Alright Ted, but how about in season five we don’t add the alternate dimension, the adopted kid, the prohibition timeline time machine, the love interest for every main character, or the very special episode where V.IC.I. learns about sexually transmitted diseases, will that make you stay?” Ted was not a tart berry to be picked and pressed, besides, he had a new project, Clarissa Explains it All, through which to expound his existential views.