Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
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Ratings: 2,280 | Reviews: 1,038 | Display Reviews Only:
4.93/5 rDev +28.7%
This is the first sour beer/flanders ale I have tasted. Served in a tulip glass at around 45 degrees.
Appearance: chestnut brown (I was expecting a red color) with 2-3 fingers. Head retention was quite good and didn't dissipate quickly.
Smell: What a delight! Cherries, touch of vinegar, some creaminess, red wine, some sourness, soda water.
taste: effervescent, seltzer like, cherries, mild acidity, winey, some sourness, touch of oak.
Mouthfeel: light and refreshing.
Verdict; What an amazing beer and unbelievable flavor! This is something I could kick back on a slow day. Not hoppy at all but was amazed that even an extreme hophead like me could enjoy this. Definitely not the last sour beer I will try.
12-29-2013 01:42:33 | More by Mises85
4.93/5 rDev +28.7%
Re-review on 8/5/08. Original review at bottom.
Shipped back from my trip to Indiana. Poured from a 330ml bottle with a coded date on the label into my NBB snifter. It had a deep ruby color. It had a small fizzy head that quickly dissipated into nothing. Some carb but no lacing. The aroma was strong sour cherries. Since my original review, I've really grown into this style and absolutely love the aroma on this one. The taste was also incredible. It had a great sour bite that sticks throughout the whole drink. Ends with a sharp pucker. The mouthfeel is great with the sour and carbonation. Overall, this is an excellent beer and I'm so glad that I got to try it again. Originally I wasn't in a rush to try again but now I'm already thinking of ways to get more. Strongly recommend.
****original 12/25/06 review below****
Poured from a 330ml bottle with a coded date on label. Had a decent head that eventually become a thin constant film that also left lacing throughout. Was a medium mahogany color. The smell was strong with the sour cherries and definitely let you knew what was coming. The mouthfeel was good. This was my first sour ale so a whole new experience. Overall, I'd say I liked it but not sure I'm in a rush to get another one right away. This style for me is probably something to try every so often and see if I grow into it. I'd recommend trying this beer as it is top 10 in the style so a good intro to it. (3.5, RB, T, Y)
12-25-2006 03:45:10 | More by TexIndy
4.93/5 rDev +28.7%
This is the first sour I have ever had, it was a great pick up at Capones Bottle Shop in East Norriton.
The pour on this brew was fantastic. It poured a deep brown with ribbons of red throughout when held to the light. For such a dark brew, it actually quite bright brew. It had about a half inch off white head that faded rather quickly. It also has a little bit of web like lacing that stuck to the walls of the glass.
The aromas the hit you right of the bat is that of vinegar and fruit tarts. Dark fruits that just float out at you as you pour the brew. There is also some aroma of wood and some brown sugars as well.
Never having a sour before, this brew started off with a great sweet flavor that I somewhat smelled in the aroma. It filled with brown sugars, strong vinegar and maybe some tart juices. It then moves into some darker dried fruit flavors, giving some sweetness, but a bit more tart. As the brew warms a bit more it begins to fall more into the flavors that I somewhat expected. It has some great touches of wood, older wines, and some nice musty flavors that just tingle the tongue more.
The mouthful on this brew was decently light bodied, with a nice carbonation. It had some nice heavy flavors, but it actually was quite refreshing to drink.
This is a great brew anyone who wants to dabble in the sours. I really liked this brew and plan on trying others like it. It had a nice light body that had a very complex palate of flavors that made it a great drink to enjoy. Its never an overkill, it actual quite refreshing throughout.
07-24-2011 02:38:01 | More by mattgreger
4.9/5 rDev +27.9%
Bottle at the Raleigh Times Bar, 11 July 2009.
This is an all-around impeccable brew: for me, the new benchmark brew for this style. I was tempted to give it all 5's but had to go slightly under-bar somewhere, simply because, even thought it is a life-changing brew, it is not completely perfect. But almost.
My glass of Oud Bruin displayed a resplendent russet glow. The wonderful aromas and tastes of balsamic and rice vinegars kept me quenched and served to be a most excellent aperitif beverage. As I drank the beer, I kept thinking, "teriyaki chicken...prosciutto salad....cheeseburger..." but the brew continued to be self-sufficient on its own.
For any who love the Oud Bruin style, this is not one to be missed! One of the most well-rounded and nuanced beers I've had of any style, but damn near perfect as a sour ale.
07-12-2009 17:24:01 | More by drperm
4.89/5 rDev +27.7%
Had this outstanding Oud Bruin at Monk's Cafe in Philly. Dark reddish brown with large short acting head. Aroma of malt and vinegar with cherries and dark fruits. An excellent sour ale. Fruity and malty sweet with a tart sour finish. Perfectly balanced and the best Oud Bruin (of 3 tried) to date. Superb and very sessionable. If you like Sweet-Tarts candy you will love this beer.
07-31-2014 21:39:35 | More by wattoclone
4.85/5 rDev +26.6%
11.2 fl. oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass.
A - Pours a malt vinegar copper color with a big foamy head that fades to a small cap. Lacing on this beer is quite good.
S - Smelling it right out of the bottle it smells like sweet vinegar. After pouring into the glass I get a sour fruit essence. It smells very much like some lambics I have had in the past.
T - Taste is of tart fruits (sour cherry/raspberry) with little bitterness. There is a sour aspect to this beer but it works well with the sweetness to create an even taste. The taste reminded me very much of lambics I have had in the past.
M - Great carbonation and dryness create a refreshing beer. Drinks down very smoothly.
D - This is a terrific beer that I purchased on a whim. I will definitely be purchasing more of these.
03-29-2010 05:46:27 | More by UCLABrewN84
4.79/5 rDev +25.1%
WOW. They say it was brewed for them outside Ghent; it was super lovely malty, tasted like lots Special B.
Hops were light in the background. The foam head's creaminess was almost eternal. It stayed tight through almost to the end of the glass.
It tasted like Kriek (cherry), but not overly sweet. I detected virtually no sourness, neithr lactic nor acetic, as advertised on the menu. But it was still there slightly maybe, probably held back the malt and fruit sweetness from being overpowering. This was my favorite beer of the night. It was the perfect dessert, though it wasn't a dessert beer.
07-14-2013 10:51:28 | More by boddhitree
4.75/5 rDev +24%
Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into red wine glass.
A - Clear, right in the middle of red and brown. Rust colored comes to mind but it's a bit brighter and less orangey. A finger of off white, slightly tan head rises with moderate retention. Some lacing.
S - Vinegar and tart fruit are the obvious aromas. Like the similar Flemish Reds, raspberry vinegarette comes to mind. There is also a touch of brown sugar and something that comes close to woody and leathery aromas.
T - Vinegar soaked fruit with a sprinkly of brown sugar dominate early and mid palate. Monk's Cafe starts off with an amazing sweet flavor best described as a mild mixture of brown sugar and vinegar, or even a tart apple juice. Indistinct berry flavors enter into the mix mid palate contributing both more tartness and more sweetness. Sweetness fades a touch while the tart fruit juice lingers on the edges of the tongue. Musty flavors begin their ascent with hints of wood, leather, cork, and oxidation. In some ways the finish resembles an older, fortified wine. Finishes with some residiual sweet and sour and a lengthy drawl of musty, minerally, cellar-esque flavor.
M - Fairly light in body with moderate carbonation. Despite the seemingly heavy and intense flavors, it's quite refreshing.
D - This really couldn't be any easier to drink. The light body and immense complexity of flavors make each sip exquisite, and there's new tastes to pick out each time. Extremely interesting, but tame enough that it never becomes overpowering. Another great experience with a Flemish sour.
03-14-2009 09:19:33 | More by PatrickJR
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,280 ratings.