1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  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

2,352 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,352
Reviews: 1,045
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 52
Gots: 166 | 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: 2,352 | Reviews: 1,045 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of darky
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 2.75

Poured from a bottle into a Saxo tulip/snifter

A:deep ruby reddish brown, thick, persistent white head and ample carbonation.

S: Tart fruits, and an astringent lemon-y scent.

T: Fruit punch at first, followed immediately by grapefruit, grapes, alcohol and a sour finish backed by strong carbonation. This is not a great example of this style. While different, and enjoyable, the flavor is really not very refined. The flavor of this beer has loads of character, but the component flavors are all fighting attention and fail to make a cohesive statement.

M: While the carbonation is strong, it pulls off a really nice smooth, almost creamy mouthfeel, that really benefits this beer overall. A definite strong point.

O: This is about third time I've had this beer, and I'm drinking this one a little warmer than before, probably around 45-50 degrees F. That said, this brew is better consumed a little colder. If you are introducing someone new to Belgians, by all means, do NOT start them out with beer. I think it would be very interesting to throw this brew into the mix in a blind taste with others of it category, but at the end of the day, your money is better spent elsewhere.

darky, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of andant
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

andant, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

djrn2, Feb 28, 2013
Photo of Seaba
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Seaba, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of RoninTK3
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

RoninTK3, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of sunkistxsudafed
3/5  rDev -21.9%

sunkistxsudafed, Feb 26, 2013
Photo of Brewsephus
3.18/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

11.2 oz bottle poured into tulip glass.

A- Pours a off-white 2 finger head. Head lasts longer than a minute and leaves very delicate lacing on inside of glass. Beer is a very dark red, almost opaque, held up to light reveals a deep ruby color. Small/Medium bubbles on surface.

S-Sour fruit, lemon, unripe plum, cherry pie.

T-deep cherry, baked pie, sweet resinous fruit, nectar. Very subtle malt sweetness. Sourness approaches the front of the palate, but is not sharp or vinegar. Just unripe fruit. A little band-aid flavor on the finish into aftertaste.

M- Carbonation is nicely effervescent, at first I thought it might take away from the wonderful flavor, but it would be too viscous and syrupy with all the fruit and less carbonation. Body is light, but not lacking in mouth-feel. Alcohol is unnoticeable.

O- This is one of my first Flanders and I must say I am pleasantly surprised. I enjoy the fruit characteristics, and while not puckering sour it is a lot more tender than I anticipated. A really nice, but not great, nuanced sour.

Brewsephus, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of DerekMorgan
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

DerekMorgan, Feb 25, 2013
Photo of duff247
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

duff247, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of HabiMendes
4.49/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer looks as one would expect from the Flemish Brown Ales - dark brown, with reddish tones. The neck is slightly tanned. The aroma emanates Granny Smith apples, with a very characteristic acidic note. The medium body, well-carbonated and extremely refreshing, also showcases the acidity, but not exaggeratedly. The aftertaste is long, leaving a pleasant tartness in your mouth. Very good Flemish Brown.

HabiMendes, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of troegaarden
5/5  rDev +30.2%

troegaarden, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of animal69
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

animal69, Feb 24, 2013
Photo of M1A2
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

M1A2, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of BWED
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to move to the Philly area, and stopped into Monk's the other day. I had this on draft before my mussels came out.

A- Translucent mahogany, with an emphasis on some red highlights. Light light brown head, one finger thick, retains okay with some spattering of lacing.

S- Sweet, fruity. Tart cherry hits the nose quite strong.

T- Sweet strong cherry, with an acidic tart finish.

M- Smooth, yet with an acidic bite, fairly light body, and a puckering finish.

O- This is a fantastic choice for someone entering the realm of beer, as well as showing someone the diversity in beer. Lip smacking sweetness with a good tart balance. I like it.

BWED, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of metalgdog
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

metalgdog, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of johnhenryconway
4/5  rDev +4.2%

johnhenryconway, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of Stevedore
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(Note: my personal scoring system is in whole numbers only)

11.2 oz bottle poured into Golden Draak tulip and consumed today 2/20/2013

Aroma: A very nice tart cherry nose with hints of grape and raspberry, and a little bit of malt sweetness. Not particularly complex but is still rather pleasing. (4)

Colour: Really nice ruby-red body when illuminated. Pours with an expansive, aggressive offwhite head that requires a few minutes to settle down before I can complete the pour. Otherwise laces are quite sticky. (4)

Flavour: I get a lot of sour cherry and grape which is what I expected, I actually like it. Not a ton of malt sweetness but it's there. A little bit of plum and raisin comes up if I look for it. Generally a straight-forward combination of flavor. (4)

Mouthfeel: Nothing special, a medium bodied ale with overly strong carbonation and pleasant tart cherry aftertaste. It's nicely dry and really does a palate-cleansing job. If it wasn't as overcarbonated, I'd give it a 4. (3)

Overall: Quite enjoyable to drink but I'm not sure I'd rush out to get more. As I drink more sours, I'll probably revisit this one. As it stands, it's one of the better priced Belgians on the shelf in the US and I will drink accordingly. (4)

Stevedore, Feb 21, 2013
Photo of mattabts
4/5  rDev +4.2%

mattabts, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of hotsudge
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

hotsudge, Feb 20, 2013
Photo of ajcormier
3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.75

Poured from bottle into small tasting tulip.
A - Looks great, reddish brown with creamy colored lacing.

S - Smelled good but lacking in a real sharp tart note I was hoping for. Plums, raisins, cherry and lightly toasted biscuits. Slight musk.

T - Disappointing a suppose. As with the smell I was really hoping for something a bit more puckering. Tasting was similar to the smell but sweeter than I was anticipating.

M - Good bubbles and slightly coating. Dry finish but residual sugars were there.

O - Eh, had way better. Good but not worth buying again.

ajcormier, Feb 19, 2013
Photo of sendbeer
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

sendbeer, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of cjw333
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

cjw333, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of Nutwood
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Nutwood, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of SHODriver
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep brown with ruby edges and a huge slow to fade off white head into a New Belgium globe
S: smells of sour cherries, a bit of wood, some must and a slight roast malt
T: pleasantly tart with some sour cherry flavor followed by some slight oakiness but the cherry remains throughout, a bit of vanilla as well, hint of chocolate at times too. swallow brings more sour cherry and a bit of must
M: medium with pleasant and slightly prickly carbonation. refreshing finish
O: this beer is tasty and well executed. price isn't bad either and it's fairly accessible out here. If you like the oud bruin style you should give this one a go

SHODriver, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of smartassboiler
3/5  rDev -21.9%

smartassboiler, Feb 17, 2013
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,352 ratings.