1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Not Rated.
Monk's Café Flemish Sour AleMonk's Café Flemish Sour Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,338 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,338
Reviews: 1,042
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 51
Gots: 161 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Flanders Oud Bruin |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
Brewed for Monk's Café in Philadelphia, but also available for retail purchase elsewhere. Oud Bruin in style; a traditional blend of young and old beers.

(Beer added by: nomad on 06-19-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,338 | Reviews: 1,042 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of drperm
4.9/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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.

drperm, Jul 12, 2009
Photo of wattoclone
4.89/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

wattoclone, Jul 31, 2014
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.85/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

UCLABrewN84, Mar 29, 2010
Photo of boddhitree
4.79/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

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.

boddhitree, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of Uzz
4.76/5  rDev +24%

Uzz, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of rjdierberger87
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

rjdierberger87, Jun 27, 2014
Photo of davidbmadden
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

davidbmadden, Jul 03, 2014
Photo of DoubleSkunk
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

DoubleSkunk, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of T_rizzo
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

T_rizzo, Dec 18, 2013
Photo of ianpstephens
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

ianpstephens, Oct 12, 2013
Photo of Shawkabukoo
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Shawkabukoo, Aug 13, 2012
Photo of ballertim
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

ballertim, Jun 30, 2012
Photo of cde1218
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

cde1218, Sep 13, 2012
Photo of jgammoniv
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

jgammoniv, Jan 16, 2013
Photo of chefbigjon
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

chefbigjon, Apr 28, 2014
Photo of PatrickJR
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

PatrickJR, Mar 14, 2009
Photo of haleyj
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

haleyj, Nov 19, 2013
Photo of krome
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

krome, Jul 18, 2013
Photo of DustinSWB
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

DustinSWB, Mar 23, 2014
Photo of SnatchyMcPants
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

SnatchyMcPants, Mar 28, 2012
Photo of amrozga
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

amrozga, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of ng85
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

ng85, Nov 04, 2012
Photo of Focusf111
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Focusf111, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of dmarch
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep garnet in color with an off white head. Aroma is of sour fruit like cranberries and cherries. Taste is more sour than it is sweet. Very light in body, which makes me want to drink a lot more of them than I probably should. Hopefully we'll see more of this style popping up in America.

dmarch, Sep 13, 2003
Photo of SquidVicious
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

SquidVicious, Jun 29, 2012
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,338 ratings.