Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
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Ratings: 2,197 | Reviews: 1,031 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by tectactoe:
3.78/5 rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
On tap at the Oak Cafe. It's got a pretty solid, burnt ruby color with a mahogany base. It seems to be somewhat translucent, although the bar I'm in is pretty dimly lit and therefore the opacity is hard to judge accurately. Basically no head on top of this one - just a small, beige ring that only stays for a minute or so before floating away.
Juicy, ripe apples and cherries outline the aromatic profile, or at least the first sniff. Residual sweetness backs up the apples nicely; a very faint tartness can be detected at times, though this is still telling me that this brew will be more sweet than sour. Time grants the ability for the beer to open up a bit; berries, darker cherries, acetic acid, light vinegar, and some mild barrel/oak.
Funk in the aroma is definitely there, but in small quantities. There's a slight "wet hay" and faint must character, but it's minimal compared to some other Belgian sours. This follows through into the flavor profile, as the first sip contains almost no funk at all, rather it's pretty heavy on the fruits - cherries, grapes, red apples. Vibrant, zesty, and juicy are good words to describe the flavors.
This beer is mildly tart, but only for a brief moment. The residual-like sugary sweetness creeps in pretty steadily and washes out any hope of this beer actually being "sour", despite the name. More vinous notes come in, although the more I drink, the more it just seems like heavy grapes rather than actual wine-barrel notes. The finish is fruit juice-like with fading cherries and grape skins, and maybe a hint of oak. Still no funk, sad to say. Snappy, crisp mouth feel, wet and slick; thin bodied with medium-heavy carbonation.
Pretty good beer, drinkability is insanely high - a 5.5% ABV beer that tastes like bold fruit juice. I would have like to see a bit more tartness or funk, as this one was kind of mild all around. But hey, perhaps that's the style they were going for. Still a nice drinking sour ale as long as you're not expecting it to be too sour (or too funky).
Serving type: on-tap
05-24-2013 11:50:20 | More by tectactoe
More User Reviews:
4.28/5 rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
330ml bottle poured into Petrus chalice. Dark ruby with a thick off-white head. Moderate retention and thick chunks of lacing. Several pieces of sediment floating in the beer, which I don't remember from previous experiences...
Complex fruity esters. Black and red cherries, plum, currant. Slightly woody. Touch of spicy phenols.
Flavor is very tart, but not quite funky. Sour cherries combine with a nice light woodiness. Sour but not acetic. Dark sweet flavor - brown sugar or candi sugar, hard to place through the sour, but it definitely gives it a nice, balancing sweetness.
Light-moderate bodied and well-carbonated. Very crisp; acidic but not tannic, as it quickly re-salivates your mouth. I could do without the sediment, but a more careful pour could easily minimize that.
This is a nice, approachable, relatively affordable sour. It's not the best of the style, but it's damned good.
Serving type: bottle
07-11-2014 02:16:45 | More by Phocion
3.86/5 rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
A - had a darker body then I expected - deep red and brown tones, tall creamy head and decent lacing
M - light slightly creamy
N - sweet, sour, and candy-like. Not to in your face like other sours I like but the subtlety is nice on this one.
T - I picked up some apple flavors, cherries, and strawberries. Starts sweet and goes into an enjoyable tart taste followed by a smooth finish
O - I wasn't disappointed with this one. I think this is a nice introductory sour for someone who has never had the style. The nose and taste are not so strong as to be a big (perhaps unpleasant) surprise but you still get a feel for the tart sourness of the style.
Serving type: bottle
06-30-2014 10:03:03 | More by AmericanPaleMale666
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,197 ratings.