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

Monk's Café Flemish Sour AleMonk's Café Flemish Sour Ale

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BA SCORE
86
very good

2,057 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2057
Reviews: 1017
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.1%


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)
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Photo of THECPJ
THECPJ

Delaware

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes: Had on draft at Monk's Cafe thanks to Maggie for DIPA Trivia Question. : )

appearance: dark red / brown with a 1 finger minimal head

smell: sour, tart, cherries, apples,

taste: sour, tart, refreshing, cherries,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: really impressed how refreshing this beer was. So glad I got to try it and had a great time at Monk's.

cheers,
the CPJ

Serving type: on-tap

08-01-2011 01:33:24 | More by THECPJ
Photo of bigfnjoe
bigfnjoe

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap into a Monk's glass

A- pours brown with a cherry shade to it, with a one finger, very quick fading pinkish head. Looks really good

S- light notes of red wine, cherries, and funk in the aroma

T- lightly tart cherries....not overly sour, not overly sweet

M- body is very thin, not much thickness going on here at all

O- really super drinkable, but it's REALLY expensive....7 bucks for about 12 oz. Yikes

Serving type: on-tap

07-25-2011 21:32:36 | More by bigfnjoe
Photo of jmvecchio1
jmvecchio1

Missouri

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Look: The beer is brownish and red in color with a higher carbonation head at first which dissipates into small lacing.

Smell:The smell is your clear indication that this is a sour ale. I get strong hints of dried bing cherries and I would swear some tart apples.

Taste: The taste really does set you up for the full flavor of this beer. It is a sour upon initial contact with the tongue and also on the finish. However on the near end of the finish you get the malt backbone that should be expected in a red ale. Drinking this beer made me think of fall afternoons spent watching college football.

Drink: Once you get accustom to the sour aromas and taste, it’s a nice drinking beer. However, I wouldn’t classify this beer as thirst quencher, but something to slowly sip. While the beer is marketed as a palate cleaner, I found myself tasting the sour an easy 10 minutes after the beer. So unless you plan on sipping on one or two of these beers, I’d suggest getting a hop heavy beer afterward to shock your palate back to reality.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2011 19:12:34 | More by jmvecchio1
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served on-tap at Al's of Hampden into a tulip.

A - Pours opaque reddish brown with a fizzy half finger tall off white head leaving little to no lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of tart sour cherries, oak, some lactic sourness, and a light sugary sweetness. Not as funky as I was expecting it to be, still a decent amount of sourness tho.

T - Starts off with a bright lactic sourness that fades quickly leaving hints of tart cherries, candied sugar, dry oak tannins, and some dark fruit. Finish is a mix of light sourness and sticky sweetness, lingering for a short time. This was ok at best.

M - Medium body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Good amount of pucker initially quickly dieing down leaving a sticky sweet feel. Finish is a mix of light sourness and lingering sweetness.

O - This is far from a bad beer, but it really never wowed me. I liked the flavors but the sourness cut out far too quickly and you were left with an overly sweet red ale.

Serving type: on-tap

06-29-2011 23:14:48 | More by orangesol
Photo of ryantaussig
ryantaussig

New York

4.65/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Leaps and bounds better on tap than it ever was in the bottle. I'm so sad the keg at The Good Life was kicked. While very similar to the bottled version. The freshness of it from the keg made for a significantly more sour experience. Same look (although lacing was better), better aroma and flavor. A great beer, especially on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

06-25-2011 14:25:58 | More by ryantaussig
Photo of woosterbill
woosterbill

Connecticut

2.93/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

On-tap at Prime 16 into a Monk's Cafe tumbler. Cheer's to matching glassware, even if it doesn't do much to accentuate aroma + flavor.

A: Clear vermillion body under a finger of super-fine tan foam. Decent retention and light lacing. Pretty inviting.

S: Uninspiring: prickly red wine vinegar, overripe cherries, and some vanilla. The acetic tartness increases as it warms, but it's never all that interesting for the style.

T: The sourness tingles the tip of my tongue, but is quickly drowned out entirely by wave after wave of cherry/vanilla sweetness. Tastes kind of like stale Cheerwine (for all you non-southerners, this is basically overly sweetened Dr. Pepper). Not terrible, but way too sweet.

M: Explosive carbonation and a sticky medium body. Exciting.

O: I think I prefer this slightly to Duchesse du Bourgogne, but only slightly - both are unnecessarily sweet and lacking in genuine complexity. While I love a great Flanders sour, I really can't get excited about a mediocre one.

Cheers!

Serving type: on-tap

05-08-2011 00:49:50 | More by woosterbill
Photo of LittleDon
LittleDon

Texas

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A 13 oz. pour at the Sunset in Boston.

Cherry red, clear, with no head or lace. Aroma is sour cherries, oak, and noticeably acidic. Flavor is similar in characteristic, with a very lively feel. Light bodied. Strong lacquer characteristics in both aroma and taste (maybe fermented apples is more appropriate). I would have thought the ABV was much higher.

Serving type: on-tap

04-29-2011 01:29:46 | More by LittleDon
Photo of MufflnMan
MufflnMan

Florida

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Thirsty Monk. Poured a reddish color with a frothy off white head. Smells of tart fruit... apples, cherries, berries. Taste is the perfect amount of sour. Just what I was looking for in this kind of brew. Green apples and cherries nicely balanced to create a really refreshing feel.

Serving type: on-tap

04-05-2011 05:00:04 | More by MufflnMan
Photo of Prime16
Prime16

Connecticut

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Reddish color, nice frothy head.

S: Tart apples, sweet with sour cherries.

T: A little sweeter than I expected with definite green apple and cherry with a refreshing and pleasing sour taste.

M: Satisfying with light carbonation, clean.

O: Enjoyable beer, just a little on the sweet side for me.

Serving type: on-tap

03-31-2011 21:16:58 | More by Prime16
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StaveHooks

Oklahoma

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - pours dark brown with lots of red highlights.
Thin khaki head.

S - acidic fruit, vinegar, tart.

T - sweeter than the nose. Cherries dominate and coat the side and back of the tongue with tartness. Hints of green apples and stem wood. Sour but tame.

M - medium bodied, Low but tight carbonation.

This a good mix of sweet and sour. Smells incredible, and drinks very easy. Tame on the sourness.

Serving type: on-tap

03-20-2011 00:45:31 | More by StaveHooks
Photo of quine
quine

Colorado

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Monk's Cafe. First sour.

A: Poured a deep, clear ruby-brown. Head was thin, off-white, and faded away rather quickly.

S: Smells tart and sweet. Like tart fruits.

T: Immediate taste of fruity sweetness, followed by significant tartness. Tastes of sour apples and cherries. The sweet and sour are well balanced. No trace of hops in the taste.

M: High carbonation that adds crispness. The tartness adds a feeling of tanginess.

D: This is very drinkable. I had misgivings about sours, but I was pleasantly surprised by this one. It had a nice balance of flavors, and was certainly different from any other beer I've had. It's not overly sweet or sour, and it's very tasty.

Serving type: on-tap

03-16-2011 16:43:37 | More by quine
Photo of Gambrinus1184
Gambrinus1184

Connecticut

4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap in a 50 cl fluted glass at Delaney's in New Haven, Conn.

A: Clean, dark reddish amber color with a thin, creamy cap of white foam which settles to a thin coating, leaving little lace. burnished red color is quite nice and the clarity is good for a seemingly darker red ale.

S: Fruity, floral bouquet of red berries, melon, citrus and musty, old bread. Lots of sweetness and only a hint of spicy, yeasty resin.

T: Sweet, tart and fruity up front, with a big-time sour berry and cherry flavor coupled quickly with rushes of sticky sweet caramel malts. Finishes out a bit chewy, with lingering raisin and berry sweetness among the sweet and tart aftertaste.

M: Medium-full bodied brew with some sticky sweet malts and tart acidity thrown around the palate.

D: A very interesting specialty Belgian brew and at 5.5% ABV it's not a stretch to try a few. The fruity, floral esters of this blended Belgian red ale are balanced, yet sweet, acidic, tart and funky all at once. Quite good if you;re in the mood to maybe pair it with a duck or wild turkey.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2011 05:22:21 | More by Gambrinus1184
Photo of KickInTheChalice
KickInTheChalice

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Three Floyd's in a Monk glass.

Appearance: This pours a cherry color with a tint of brown and a thin foamy tan cap. It mostly fades to a ring but leaves a bit of lacing on the glass.

Smell: Tart cherries, some vinegar, and surprising raisin aroma, which is pleasant and really some character.

Taste: A dash of light malt starts out the sip. Sweet cherries turn tart, then acidic and vinegary. A dash of raisin is in here, and the finish is more tart cherry and vinegar.

Mouthfeel: Crisply carbonated and a little bit creamy at the end. The tartness leaves my lips puckering and my mouth salivating. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: I found this to be easy drinking, not too tart, but with a pleasant, moderately complex flavor. I would definitely order this again.

Serving type: on-tap

02-09-2011 22:50:58 | More by KickInTheChalice
Photo of DoktorZee
DoktorZee

Alberta (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on-tap at the Draught House, in a goblet.

A - pours a very red, clear brew with little to no head, some obvious carbonation.

S - very unique smell almost like spoiled fruit with a definite tartness.

T - tastes like sour apple juice underpinned by an elusive booziness that never quite makes an appearance. Also significant earthy tones.

M - really nice sharp carbonation that makes this taste very crisp and refreshing.

D - in spite of the significant tartness somehow the alcohol warmth keeps it very drinkable; surprisingly so!

Definitely a unique experience for me; would definitely try it again (and am curious what it's like from a bottle).

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2011 19:33:43 | More by DoktorZee
Photo of Spider889
Spider889

Ohio

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Lounge 62 in Gahanna.

Damn this one was tough to find on the site. Searches led me to a Brewery called Monks Cafe in Switzerland, then a bar called Monk's Cafe in PA. Neither brewed this beer, though apparently this Belgian brewery created this brew for the forementioned bar.

Bourgundy coloring in the dim bar light. With some effort and angling I could see some nice ruby and blood orange hues in my snifter. Lots of tiny white bubbles, no lace or retention however.

Smells pretty sour, but also sweet. Almost cidery in the good way. Ripe black cherries and sour green skins. Mild mildew funk as it warms.

Tastey, though very sweet. The sourness is not nearly as pronounced as in the nose. Some mild dank oakiness intermingles with puckering green cherries and candied pear.

Light carbonation, the bubbles that are there dance on the tongue. Brut champagne character, nice and drinkable, good beginner sour.

Serving type: on-tap

12-22-2010 17:22:54 | More by Spider889
Photo of UTCengOwl
UTCengOwl

Texas

1.7/5  rDev -55.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Had this on tap in a nonic half pint glass at the Draught House. Let's just say that I was not impressed by this beer... Thanks 2.0 scores!

The beer poured a pinkish brown color with a scattering of head across the top. I'd prefer for my beers to not come across as pinkish... but maybe that's just me.

The nose and taste were dominated by overly sweet red wine vinegar. Wow, just not pleasant at all. The sweetness sometimes bordered on cloying. The vinegar tastes were not so strong as to be basalmic or repugnant, but it was getting there. At least they were a bit more rounded.

I regretted ordering this after the first sip, but I didn't want to kill myself while drinking the rest of it, so I guess that's a plus. I will definitely not be ordering this again. We need more good sours to come to Texas so I don't have to subject myself to this as one of our few options!

Serving type: on-tap

12-16-2010 15:25:20 | More by UTCengOwl
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz tap pour into a stemmed glass at bnieman's Dad's house before watching some Brew Masters on Discovery.

A - Beautiful mahogany amber in color with a light tan head. Good retention with some thick lace clinging to the glass.

S - Crisp amber malts with a sweet caramel aroma. A hint of vinegar sourness that is very nice. Good, but a little cold in aroma.

T - A touch of metallic flavor to the amber toasted malts. Nice mild sourness with a little hint of the awesome vinegar I love in this style.

M - Crisp and light-bodied with a smooth follow-through and light sour finish.

D - This will be dangerous on tap in the basement. I could drink this all night if I didn't have to drive (aka didn't feel guilty of emptying the keg).

Serving type: on-tap

12-04-2010 22:37:04 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of Tone
Tone

Missouri

4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark red color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of tart malt, slight sweet malt, and strong citrus. Fits the style of a Flanders Oud Bruin. Mouth feel is sharp at first, that then becomes smooth. There is an average carbonation level. Tastes of tart malt, strong citrus, slight sour, slight sweet malt, slight yeast, slight grass, hint of hop, and a hint of wood. Overall, a very good beer.

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2010 21:21:35 | More by Tone
Photo of gatornation
gatornation

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a garnet to amber color with a fluffy beige head somewhat hazy look..smell is vinegar and sour funk followed by tart raspberries or cherries ..taste is a slight sour vinegar taste that is infused with some tart fruit taste which works well..mouth feell is medium with carbonation it has a tartness to it with vinegar and sour notes..i liked this one i thought it was balanced well and a tasty sour flanders ..good one

Serving type: on-tap

10-09-2010 22:25:31 | More by gatornation
Photo of dpnelson1978
dpnelson1978

Minnesota

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 oz. pour in glass snifter.
50°F (~)

$6.00 / ea.

A: Bright brown body with red highlights topped with a small loose head that quickly dissipates leaving moderate lacing and a thin bubbly cover.

S: Sour lactic nose but not overpowering, pleasant. Smells like pinot. Really interesting.

T: Tastes like pinot noir, with a pronounced grape presence. Sour lactic, but very clean, and inoffensive. Low hop character, and very little aftertaste.

M: Light body with high carbonation and a acidic bite on the tongue. Crisp.

D: Not everyone will like this one, but I could drink it all night. Give me some cheese and crackers and it would be heaven.

O: I was instantly impressed with this one, and later found out it is the same brewer as Gulden Draak (my favorite beer). I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, but I definitely was.

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2010 03:05:25 | More by dpnelson1978
Photo of Rayek
Rayek

Colorado

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.

A: Deep mahogany with good clarity and little visible carbonation. A small and wispy head quickly falls to a ring. Leaves no lace.

S: Very sour in the nose. A distinct red wine vinegar aroma dominates. Dark fruits help offset the sour.

T: Lots of dark fruit flavors start things. Red grape, plum and raisin do yeoman's duty. A bit of pepper adds some spice. The sourness comes on late with an extremely puckering lemon flavor.

M: The medium-light body feels a touch thin. The carbonation is a bit low.

D: This is a nice Oud Bruin. The sourness was actually quite refreshing. Hopefully I'll get to revisit this one.

Serving type: on-tap

09-25-2010 03:45:53 | More by Rayek
Photo of xnicknj
xnicknj

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at Monk's - review done from notes.

A - Nice clear reddish color which leaves sticky lacing all along the rim of the glass.

S - Dashes of fruit and coriander populate the nose, along with hints of sourness.

T - The beer almost instantly refreshes the drinker despite the sweet and tart flavors which swirl around the palate. Dark fruit and sour flavors glance the tongue without becoming overwhelming. Lactic sourness rounds everything out with a dry, bitter finish.

M/D - Bubbly and smooth, you can't help but desire another one, especially with its surprisingly smooth and refreshing qualities.

This was one of the first sours I ever tried years ago, and the delicious qualities are still ringing true to this day.

Serving type: on-tap

08-28-2010 07:34:32 | More by xnicknj
Photo of armock
armock

New York

4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my go to beer at my local bar when theres nothing on the new beer list that I want to try.

A - Pours a ruby color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Has a wonderful sour nose of apple and dark fruits

T - Follows the nose with sour apples and dark fruit flavors

M - This beer has a fuller body with higher carbonation to it

D - I love this stuff I could seriously drink this stuff all night long when I'm at the Gingerman I love the taste to me its one of the most easy drinking sours out there worth getting to try if you see it

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2010 20:14:04 | More by armock
Photo of emmasdad
emmasdad

Colorado

3.43/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Not my favorite style, but I tried it on tap at B.J.s Temecula. Pours a garnet/ruby red color, with a bit of tan lacing on top. Smells of red wine vinegar, tart cherries and lactic acid. Flavors not much different, although I detect a bit of sweetness, which plays nicely off of the sour funk. Crisp and refreshing, though I doubt I could drink more than one.

Serving type: on-tap

04-04-2010 01:17:58 | More by emmasdad
Photo of rfgetz
rfgetz

New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish mahogany color, dense and creamy off white head, good retention and lacing.
Smell is of new red wine - slightly vinous, acidic and oaky. Taste brings the wine-like flavors with a big hit of balsamic vinegar and adds just a hint of tart cherry and sticky sweetness. Medium bodied, slightly chewy and sticky, palate coating but without a big aftertaste. Decent beer, a little lighter than expected, possibly could use a little more aging on it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2010 14:53:28 | More by rfgetz
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,057 ratings.