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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

2,306 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,306
Reviews: 1,039
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.06%
Wants: 50
Gots: 156 | 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
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Ratings: 2,306 | Reviews: 1,039 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of derkfromwi
derkfromwi

Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

07-28-2013 11:36:12 | More by derkfromwi
Photo of AaronOp
AaronOp

California

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

12-29-2013 07:42:33 | More by AaronOp
Photo of maDUECEgunner
maDUECEgunner

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

05-07-2014 04:06:55 | More by maDUECEgunner
Photo of schopenhauerale
schopenhauerale

British Columbia (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

08-03-2013 18:09:57 | More by schopenhauerale
Photo of Valentno7
Valentno7

Pennsylvania

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

08-02-2014 13:58:35 | More by Valentno7
Photo of Big_V
Big_V

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

11-10-2013 18:42:57 | More by Big_V
Photo of eulerthegrape
eulerthegrape

California

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

08-25-2014 19:45:22 | More by eulerthegrape
Photo of szmnnl99
szmnnl99

Michigan

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

07-01-2013 23:24:38 | More by szmnnl99
Photo of pinnser
pinnser

Colorado

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

06-26-2013 23:27:41 | More by pinnser
Photo of tdmccarthy
tdmccarthy

Illinois

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

02-05-2014 19:18:10 | More by tdmccarthy
Photo of mpayne5
mpayne5

Indiana

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

06-08-2013 22:19:22 | More by mpayne5
Photo of ramblinwreck101
ramblinwreck101

Georgia

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

03-11-2013 15:07:18 | More by ramblinwreck101
Photo of kingjohnh
kingjohnh

New Mexico

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

06-14-2014 13:29:21 | More by kingjohnh
Photo of schnarr84
schnarr84

Alberta (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

08-03-2014 06:37:35 | More by schnarr84
Photo of dogfishandi
dogfishandi

New York

3.76/5  rDev -2.1%

750 ml caged and corked bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Roughly 1 year of age on this bottle.

I should've known this was going to be a gusher, but I didn't lose more than a few ounces. The cork really shot off this bad boy. Pours out a fairly clear really nice dark ruby red color, almost brown when not in the light. A finger or 2 worth of fizzy light tan head that quickly faded to a ring. Not the best retention and no real lacing, but a nice color.

Dark cherry, acidic apple vinegar, a bit of a sweet brown sugary malt and lactic funk. Some barnyard Brett as it warms.

A nice balance of sweet to sour. Dark sweet cherry flavors all around, apple skin, apple vinegar, lots of sweet cherry mixed with a bit of brown sugar maltiness. Think candied caramel apple.

Really a lot of carbonation going on, light, airy, tart finish.

Not really all that sour, quite sweet. Not the best Flanders I've had, I tend to prefer some of the American versions over the Belgians, but still a worthy beer. Prolly something I wouldn't buy again however.

03-02-2013 19:59:48 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of NiceTaps
NiceTaps

New Jersey

3.76/5  rDev -2.1%

12oz bottle in a tulip.

A- Poured a dark and bubbly amber-brown. The frothy 2-finger head tapers slowly to thin film leaving plenty of lacing. Very bubbly. Root Beer!!!

S-Rich malts and dark fruits. More sweet than sour. Black Cherry!

T- I'm picking up the dark fruitiness first; black cherry, plum, etc. Some red wine-like sourness and dark malts.

M- Tart, lively, and well carbonated. A bit thin, wine-like on the lip. Some sour, some sweet.

O- Introductory sour, and a good one at that.

06-20-2013 01:02:20 | More by NiceTaps
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%

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).

05-24-2013 11:50:20 | More by tectactoe
Photo of IntriqKen
IntriqKen

California

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%

Sour is an understatement. ALL of my lips are puckering.
Poured a very deep amber yet crystal clear. Half finger of almost white head melted slowly to a heavy ring of lacing.

Aroma...my g/f smelled vinegar...ok...I smell sour red cherries and then some sugar that blends the cherries together and gives them distinction.

Taste...pucker...pucker..pucker...sour cherries definitely....what...wait...something else...but my palette is too uneducated or ruined to be able to identify it. There is a faint sweetness on the tail end like in the aromas that melds and mellows the sourness makiing me continually want another sip...then another.

Ken likes....it pleases him.

08-21-2007 02:04:09 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of ElGordo
ElGordo

Oregon

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Body is a turbid brown hue with ruby red highlights, topped by a modest off-white head. Tangy aroma that is typical of a Flemish sour - tart cherries, Belgian malt, some light, floral Euro hops, and a decent bit of astringency. Palate is along the same lines, with tart sour cherry dominating up front, becoming more balanced with the light brown malt by mid-palate. Finish is again tart, with a light flash of hoppiness before the swallow. The astringency doesn't linger as long as some other sours, but definitely makes its presence known. Body is a light and spritzy, maybe a touch foamy at times. Be gentle with this one. I've never been a huge fan of sour ales, but this one is passable.

01-11-2007 05:50:29 | More by ElGordo
Photo of PEBKAC
PEBKAC

New York

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%

Gift from a friend. Yes I like sours, thank you. :)

Poured into my Ommegang flute that's just about perfect for everything these days.

Thick & heavy two inch French vanilla head. Tipping the glass doesn't change the level on the surface. The color of red oak stain, light takes all angles through but the most direct.

Smells of cider vinegar, maple, an honest assumption of potting soil, & a sweet/sour note that comes off a little like a mix between Chinese s&s sauce, & white grapes. Inviting & confusing at the same time.

Taste is a flash of syrupy sweet juice followed by a quick pat down with oak. Overripe cantaloupe & sour orange throw into the ring, but overall all the flavors remain pretty level. A little bit of something like sour milk & ash in the finish, but it agrees with me(sort of). Just a little bit of rind bitterness to keep things interesting. A little cookie crust overtakes any remaining sour right at the very end.

Carbonation is sitting pretty, & just has that touch about her. Body is thin & juicy, but it spreads itself out too far trying to keep everyone happy. A little brashness is healthy every now & then.

08-15-2008 01:23:40 | More by PEBKAC
Photo of rrski198
rrski198

Georgia

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%

A: Redish/brown translucent color. Huge rocky off white head that sticks around forever. Big time bubbles clinging to the glass and rising quickly from the bottom.

S: Very funky yeasty scent right up front. Odd rotten fermenting fruit scent.

T: Sour right up front with a super sweet back bone. Lovin' this. The sweetness reminds me of a sweet red fruit juice. Quite balanced and super refreshing.

M: Average to above average carbonation with an average body. The flavors come, kick you in the mouth, then leave rather quickly. I am left with more of the sweet nectar/juice than the sourness.

O: I am still fairly new to sours, however, this is one of the better ones i've had. I really like the sweet back bone that cuts through the mild sourness. Some of the sours i've had wreck your mouth wtih only a sour flavor and no balance, this is not the case with this brew. Real nice job here.

05-08-2011 19:38:33 | More by rrski198
Photo of ScreamForMe
ScreamForMe

Washington

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%

Being another newbie to sours, I was recommended this brew by a local beer store owner.

The only other I've had in this realm (not the same style I realize) is RR's Consecration so that may have stacked the deck. In any event, I found this a good introductory beer for novices such as myself (good call local beer store owner guy).

03-07-2009 23:54:06 | More by ScreamForMe
Photo of SubpoenaDeuces
SubpoenaDeuces

California

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%

A: Pours from the bottle with a mild head, no lacing, white with fast dissipation, thin and offwhite, eggshell even

S: smell makes you aware that fruit tannins and dark grapes and or currants and awaiting, and they are angry, they storm up your nostril not unlike an Al-Jazeera mob, giving your palate a warning shot for the bittnrness that they seek to impart

T: The front has a mild candy apple taste, not granny smith, sweet cherry flavor which mellows out to a sweeter candy finish, not tart, a bit like like a lukewarm sour patch kid, only not in a disparaging way, like a high class sour patch kid with a monocle and a aplomb for references to Marcel Proust.

M: the carbonation doesnt distract from the sweetness, the sour patch kid lets the bubbles pass like an elevator with unsavory folks exiting, then its all sweet business. The sour is a secondary effect, the sweet is much more pronounced, its more bake sale mom than competitive track home housewife.

D: Well what do you want from your beer? you want to be classy? pull out 11 oz bottles and show people your refined tastes? Ok well, this will do that but I cant seriously see anyone drinking a solid 4 pack of these. It's kinda like a Lambic's older brother who got a crew cut and a bomber jacket. You know deep down he's still sweet, but that Tears for Fear patch just shows you he has more bite than he lets on.

Narrative: These internet dating mixers are so lame, I am above this, but, if they only would give me a chance. I know on the outside I look like a beer, same old amber bottle they are used to, but inside i have so much character and personality, I am downright sweet. Oh great, look, they go for a strong DIRTY martini, I am here for them, my Jdate account get no hits...I TASTE LIKE CHERRY AND GIVE SWEET KISSES. Nice beers finish last, even my outside just says SOUR SOUR SOUR, great, now my belgium mom is gonna be all on my case about this, first my Kriek brother, now I just will sit around reading about all these other lowbrow Blegium strongs who pull all the chicks. I dont need this, I need a girl who likes ME FOR ME, not because I look like Leona- OH HEY I DO WATCH DEXTER!

05-04-2011 07:29:52 | More by SubpoenaDeuces
Photo of BostonHops
BostonHops

Massachusetts

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%

pours a deep amber tone, sits a chestnut color with ruby tones evident when held to light. foamy finger, finger and a half beige head, middling retention; head lapse into a thin cap... very nice lacing.

nose is a pretty nice bouquet consisting mostly of malts, sour/tartness, and a fruity sweetness. flavor hits me with a little more sourness than i was anticipating based on the aroma, but not an overly, mouth-pucking sour... interesting balance between the sweet and sour. defintely has some tang to it; sour cherries. enjoyable and even a bit refreshing, though nothing transcendent.

medium-bodied mouthfeel with healthy carbonation. drinks easily. not the best sour you'll ever encounter but approachable and relatively tasty.

originally reviewed: 02-08-2011

05-25-2012 22:33:40 | More by BostonHops
Photo of Steamer
Steamer

Missouri

3.78/5  rDev -1.6%

Appearance: A rich ruby red; light tan head with large bubbles, sparkling effervescence. Smell: A dry champagne aroma. Taste: Very mild sour and tart flavor, almost too light, refreshing though. Mouthfeel: Again champagne like; heavy carbonation. Overall: On the mild side of sour ales. Would be an excellent choice for someone just getting into sours or anyone looking for a light tart ale on a hot summer day.

05-19-2013 00:14:28 | More by Steamer
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,306 ratings.