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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

2,280 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,280
Reviews: 1,038
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 49
Gots: 148 | 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: 2,280 | Reviews: 1,038 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of quirkzoo
quirkzoo

Colorado

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Beautiful beer, dark brown with ruby highlights and 1 finger of off white head that last and lasts.

Smell is very nice, a very "clean" brett character, lots of earth and wood but not the super funky notes. Just a hint of tartness on the nose.

The taste was good but I knocked it down slightly from the aroma because it wasn't as intense. The same clean oakiness with a mild tart character.

Very drinkable, a bit on the lighter side, but that lends to increased drinkability.

OVerall, really nice. Not terribly complex but a really solid beer.

06-13-2012 17:16:58 | More by quirkzoo
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

On tap at the Stone Bistro, served in a small snifter. Poured a brownish red with a head that had receded pretty fast into a thin foam. Aroma had a faintly tart character with red grapes thrown in. Taste had a maltiness that contained a bit of sour, but a good amount of sweetness from darker malt to balance it out. A grape taste was apparent as well. Mouthfeel was pretty smooth while also carbonated enough to give what little tartness was there a nice quenching aspect. This is a malty, mild sour ale that goes down pretty easy.

11-11-2007 00:20:30 | More by MiScusi
Photo of Docer
Docer

Washington

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Snagged a little bottle up to try from By The Bottle over here... been on a big sour kick lately....

- Big off white foam.. settles to a nice fluffy half finger of fizz and foam... rests over a clear, and yeastless dark ruby reddish brown...

- Light brown sugar, wonderful bready and biscuit yeast with a wonderful tart and sour flare... some currants, fig... cherry... light woody vanilla.. all there, all mild, but blended so well.

- Very woody backbone with a candy sweet sugar tone... light sour and vinegar touch..currants, cherry... brown sugar.. caramel, toffee.. fig and prune...

- Thin, light bodied, bubbly.. and sticky sweet.

- Overall not bad, but just a bit on the sweet side for my taste... perhaps I am too used to NW style sour reds.. because these flemish Belgians seem to candy-sweet.

09-16-2010 05:08:00 | More by Docer
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Pours like a glass of cold frothy black tea - hazy burgundy brown with a creamy finger of stubborn off-white head. Loads and loads of beading right beneath that and a good amount of lacing above.

Balsamic vinegar with red wine grapes and sour cherry on the nose... it's relatively mellow but appropriately tart with a bit of citric acidity. I like where this is headed.

It's got a nice tart fruit character right on the front end with some sweet but earthy oak notes... musty red wine flavors... it finishes oddly empty though, maybe a bit of something floral, it doesn't even really dry up at the end.

This beer is spot on right up until the end. I reckon I'll age a few and see what happens.

01-08-2013 06:33:37 | More by yamar68
Photo of Rhf9120
Rhf9120

Rhode Island

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

This was my very first sour. Smell is of sour fruit, bread malt, and mustiness. The taste is of vinegar, sour fruit, malt, and slight mustiness here as well. The aroma and flavor of this beer really reminded me of balsamic vinaigrette, which to me was awesome. Really happy with this as my first sour I am looking forward to trying more.

02-03-2014 14:57:20 | More by Rhf9120
Photo of mjc410
mjc410

Vermont

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

On-tap at Monk's. The beer, in its tulip, comes with a very tall head. Color is light tan to luminescent copper.

Nose is of sour cherries and malt.

Tastes of mild sour cherries, malt, pineapple, pretty sweet and very acidic.

Light mouthfeel, low carbonation, and very smooth.

A good easy drinker, so much that my girlfriend stole it. Could be more complex, perhaps, but is very nice.

08-18-2006 17:34:48 | More by mjc410
Photo of Bubba83
Bubba83

California

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Bottle says 25BJ 16:17. No idea what that means but I bought this a bit over a year ago. 11.2 served into a small globe glass at 50 degrees.

Appearance is quite awesome, two finger widths of light tan head with plenty of fizzyness top an amber colored body that looks like it has red highlights. Retention is awesome and lacing is good.

Smells of sour cherries, funk, raspberry, toasted bread, and traces of black pepper/clove. The layers of complexity in the nose are impressive.

First thing I taste is definitely a very sweet cherry flavor similar to Wisconsin Belgian Red. Thankfully that lets up rather quickly into a slightly sour kick and then some red wine vinegar and other assorted berries. There's a bit of breadiness here as well, and it's fairly well balanced, though it comes off a little overly sweet.

The consistency seems about right, but the carbonation seems a little much. It feels quite spritzy. Finishes fairly wet.

Overall this is a good Flanders Oud Bruin and one that I believe has improved with age. I have trouble palating this style so I only like to throw it into the mix once in a while.

06-07-2011 06:32:01 | More by Bubba83
Photo of jar2574
jar2574

Missouri

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

First time I've had this style of beer. Beer is reddish brown, decent light tan head. Lacing and head retention leave a lot to be desired though.

Smells weakly of malts.

Taste is tart and sour - as the name would imply - and the flavor is really, really cool. I like it. As the beer warms I taste some cherries and cranberries too. The sourness isn't a scrunch up your face with displeasure sourness. It's more subtle. Aftertaste is only slightly sour, it doesn't hang around on your tongue too long like sour candy.

I give it points for uniqueness, and for drinkability, since I would like to and could have several.

01-29-2012 00:44:35 | More by jar2574
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Pours a really clear deep copper color with a huge head that slowly dissipates to a cap but leaves fluffy sticky lace down the sides of the glass. Smell of lactic acid, sweet malts, a bit of lemon, and sour cherries. Taste is sweeter than I expected but has that sour twang about it. More lemons and sour cherries and sweet malts in the taste. Leaves a sweet and sour taste in my mouth, pass the Chinese food. Mouthfeel is syrupy and a bit sticky. Carbonation is on the high side prickling the tongue with every sip. Body is medium. Decent sour ale, but I thought it a bit on the sweet side for the style. Maybe more like a beginners sour ale, but still tasty.

04-05-2009 18:28:50 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

750 ml bottle into tulip. Pours clear dark reddish-brown color with a foamy 3 finger light orange head with great retention that reduces to a fairly thick lacing cap. Aromas of sour cherry, apple, spices, bread, grass, and a bit of funk. Aromas are solid. Taste of big cherry, apple, and a bit of spices on the front; that leads to a decent amount of of tartness on the finish, but it is not overpowering. I was actually expecting more sourness in this one. Great balance of sweetness and tartness. No alcohol in the taste or finish. Prickly high carbonation in the mouthfeel with light-medium body. No alcohol in the taste or finish noticed. Overall this is a tasty sour, nice balance, and good drinkability due to the moderate amount of sourness.

06-23-2011 20:25:34 | More by superspak
Photo of Scottnr88
Scottnr88

Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

A: Pours a deep mahogany almost dark amber color. The white head dissipates quite quickly after pouring. Almost no carbonation afterwards.

S. I got some grassy notes on the nose. You can smell the sweetness of the beer with the very apparent profile of cherry in the beer.

T: Again lot of earthy flavors coming through, green apple,hey, cherry. One thing i did not expect was the dry finish at the end. Almost tastes like a hard cider or a champagne.

M: Good mouth feel, not too heavy or overpowering. Nice and sweet, slightly sour. Was almost expecting it to be a LOT more sour than it actually was.

06-23-2011 01:10:06 | More by Scottnr88
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
StoneBrewFanatic

Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

A - Pours dark red into a pint class, with a big head that dissipates quickly into some nice lacing.

S - Smells sweet and sour, with mild vinegar notes, not as floral as I would hope.

T - Tart and sour, fruit-apple, cherry, maybe even some grapes in there. If you taste a nice swig and breathe out before swallowing your really taste the sweet mats of this brew.

M - Pretty thick beer, but the high level of carbonation really offsets that. Overall rather nice.

D - This is a nice beer that's worth trying, probably wouldn't have more than 2 in a row though.

07-19-2010 20:57:31 | More by StoneBrewFanatic
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

11.2oz bottle served in my new Chouffe N'Ice 25 cl flute at 52 degrees (wish I had let this chill down a little more). Poured a translucent chestnut with a tight two inch off-white head pock-marked on the surface, but composed of compressed, tiny bubbles along the shoulders; head eventually recedes into a consistent, dense cap. A half moon band of lacing coats one side of the glass with spatters coating the opposite side of the bowl. Nose indicated some acidity off the bat; suggests sour cherries. Taste consistent with nose, but sour character is muted and even; not overly bold upfront but consistent throughout the tasting experience. Mouthfeel is light and lively with a slight acidity at the finish. Easy drinking and flavorful with a low abv makes this a great introduction for sour beer newbies (like myself).

03-01-2009 18:38:00 | More by Jwale73
Photo of VWBuggirl
VWBuggirl

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

This is a new style of beer for me. So here goes!

The color is fantastic! It is a nice dark brown with a reddish hue to it.

The smell on the other hand is very vinegary. Now my rating on smell is based on the fact that this is a sour and, well, I would expect that it would smell sour. If a normal beer smelled this way I would toss it.

The taste is definitely sour. I get a hint of green apple in it. I wouldn't call it drinkable though. Even though I am enjoying it, I am not sure I could have another tonight, and it isn't for everyone.

02-05-2010 06:29:59 | More by VWBuggirl
Photo of perrymarcus
perrymarcus

Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

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. tasty and refreshing, though nothing transcendent.

medium-bodied mouthfeel with healthy carbonation. drinks easily. looks like 4s across the board here.

edit: docking the drinkability score a point. it's wearing on me.

02-08-2011 03:03:10 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of larryi86
larryi86

Delaware

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Brown with a hint of red and a two finger head that fades quickly

S- Sour and tart fruits, getting cherries and lemons, some nice funky yeast, and a hint of vinegar that seems out of place.

T- Sour/tart sherries and grapes up front, a hint of funk and oak in the middle. Very sweet malt finish, seems a little out of place.

M- Nice medium body.

D- A good beer and I am happy I tried it. I feel that some flavors and smells are out of place, and was hoping that it would be more sour and less sweet.

01-02-2011 22:44:50 | More by larryi86
Photo of FLima
FLima

Brazil

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Dark brown color with a thin off-white head with short retention.
Light aroma of red wine and a hint of funky notes.
Wonderful flavor with notes of red wine, bread malt, vinegar, raspberries and cranberries, a hint of sulfur, with a pleasant mild tartness and lactic acid.
Full body with a bit effervescent carbonation and a light acid sensation.
Very assertive and easy to drink. As other Flemish Ales it is a good introduction to Sour Ales.

12-17-2013 23:05:53 | More by FLima
Photo of hellcatsjg
hellcatsjg

Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Appearance: Dark ruby beer with a good two fingers of head. Layer of foam lasts for the whole brew and leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: Sour cherry with a bit of malts as well.

Taste: Big sour cherry taste dominates, with a bit of green apple present as well. Malt flavor joins in at the back end of the sip. Decent taste but not as full as I would like.

Mouthfeel: Thickness is decent but the body is slightly weak. The beer doesn't coat the mouth as much as I would like, and the taste does not linger for very long.

Drinkability: Decent taste but does not come across as full enough to enjoy completely. Worth a try but nothing great.

02-23-2008 01:52:33 | More by hellcatsjg
Photo of thekevlarkid
thekevlarkid

Maryland

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Off the tap at American Flatbread I tried this with a lady who's chest was a big as this was tart. In other words, this beer was really freaking tart. My glass was delivered to me with a thin, khaki head atop a mahogany/copper colored liquid. The lacing was sticky and the retention great. The aroma was very sour with some hints of vinegar but it was still appealing, being wrapped around a pale malt base. The flavors were similar, hints of vinegar, sour green apples, slightly toasted malt, tart cherries and citrus notes of orange and lemon. Lots of acidic fruit presence. The mouthfeel was smooth, the body medium, the carbonation medium. A very unusual style of beer but one of the best examples of it I know of.

02-03-2009 02:52:14 | More by thekevlarkid
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

$2.99 for a 11.2oz bottle @ Merchants. Pours out to a clear very deep mahagony, forming a medium sized tan head with good retention and solid sheets of lace. Carbonation is moderately brisk. The aroma is quite sharp and pungent, reminding me of heavily caramelized sugar and apple cider vinegar. The mouthfeel is spritzy and semi-dry with a medium-light champagne-like body. The taste opens with thankfully brief vinegar, followed by rotting cherries, apples, burgandy wine, and plenty of wood in the finish. Well-balanced for a Flemish Red, not overly syrupy or tart. Big oak character as well. Not quite up there with Goudenband or Duchesse in it's complexity, but still quite good.

05-31-2009 23:48:43 | More by Mitchster
Photo of RedSpecial1
RedSpecial1

Florida

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

This beer pours a light copper with a small off white head with slight persistent lacing. The smell is of white wine vinegar with a sour note as well. The taste is initially a touch of sweet white wine fading into a moderate sourness. The mouthfeel is light and fairly dry. The strong flavors in this beer keep it from being too drinkable, but it is an interesting drink.

12-30-2010 02:43:34 | More by RedSpecial1
Photo of Soneast
Soneast

Wisconsin

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

On tap at Dexter's Pub in Madison. Poured into a large tulip glass.

The pour produces a murky liquid, more ruby red than brown, maybe mahogany would be the appropriate term? Grows about a finger's worth of light brown colored head, that dissipates fairly quickly, to a bubbly ring, that leaves a small amount of lace.

The aroma: well I think apple cider vinegar sums it up. Quite a sour note, but also a touch of woody malt character with a hint of sweetness along the line of brown sugar, but mostly just...vinegar.

The flavor, fortunately, isn't all that vinegary. In fact, it is very good. A fair amount of tartness as to be expected, with a fruity component, more along the lines of a tart cherry I would say, with a touch of woodiness once again, the finish isn't overpoweringly sour, it's actually fairly sweet, yet retains a certain dryness.

Medium bodied, with pretty mild carbonation. Overall I thought the sour component was definitely tamed, and this might be a good introductory sour beer for the uninitiated. The vinegary aroma was off-putting at first, but it seemed to come into it's own as it warmed, both aroma and flavor-wise. A easily drinkable sour, that I would not mind drinking again.

10-23-2009 05:24:38 | More by Soneast
Photo of larsenju
larsenju

Wisconsin

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

A-Rich amber red body with a very tall light brown head, very good retention and lacing.

S-Just a little sour, some cherries, just a little caramel, crisp apple, and just a touch of a vinegar aroma.

T-Lightly tart, I was getting plenty of cherry and a little green apple, I also got some other lightly fruity esters. It wasn't really funky at all, leaving it pretty juicy but it was still pretty nice. There was also a little malt profile buried in there, kind of a mix of caramel and biscuit with just a little bit of oak backing everything up.

M-Lots of carbonation, but its still pretty smooth, and very dry, almost champagne like.

D-I really like a super tart and funky Flanders, and this isn't. That said, its pretty easy to drink making it more approachable than most in the style. If I remember right it wasn't to expensive either.

02-05-2011 19:27:33 | More by larsenju
Photo of atpben
atpben

Texas

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%

Had this in a bottle at the Houston Gingerman. Poured into a snifter. Pours a reddish-brown color with a thick head. Aroma of vinegar mixed with cherries and some light citrus notes. Quite tart flavor with more vinegar and cherry in the taste. Quite dry in the finish. Pretty decent sour. A little less sweet than duchess.

07-09-2009 22:35:43 | More by atpben
Photo of Mantooth
Mantooth

North Carolina

3.81/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured at the fabulous Duckworth's Park Rd - Charlotte NC for $3.50 on a Thursday.

Not much head at all, wee bit of lacing. Looks like a glass of flat coke. The nose is great, lots of dark fruit - grapes especially - and charred wood. The taste follows suit, quite carbonated - bit like a champagne. Nicely tart. Great intro to sours for a newbie and easily enough going on to bring this beer-geek back for another glass.

05-08-2014 19:09:25 | More by Mantooth
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,280 ratings.