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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

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very good

2,237 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,237
Reviews: 1,032
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 47
Gots: 133 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

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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Ratings: 2,237 | Reviews: 1,032 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa


2.85/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Nice deep burgundy color, with a decent white head which dissipates to a good rim lacing.
Smell: Sweet cherries....sour berries, red wine and oddly (to me) vinegar
Taste: (only took 4-5 sips) Short and simply put....very sour and nasty tasting. A few sips and I knew I would not be able to finish this brew.
This is the first flemish sour I ever had and it will most likely be my last.
Kicked: Perhaps a desired then aquired taste for certain sour ale drinkers....and this is probably very good brew in it's category/style but it's just not my style....take this review w/ a grain of salt.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2005 00:59:04 | More by WilliamPhilaPa
Photo of jgasparine


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

A- An aggressive pour from the 750mL bottle yielded a nice big tan head... a bit rocky and well-retained. Some nice lacing... good carbonation... and a beautiful mahogany body.

S- The nose reminds me of Ludens Wild Cherry Throat Drops (sweet cough drops)... I am anticipating both sweet and sour flavors from this nose...

T- Sweet and sour goodness... with a dry clean (slightly oaky) finish. Can't quite describe the sweetness here... it is unique, cherry cider maybe? The sourness is akin to weak vinegar (acetobacter?). Beautiful flavors here.

M- A bit oily... lots of unattenuated sugar here... and the perfect amount of carbonation. Overall, I'd say this is light to medium body... what I would expect from the style.

D- What a beautiful drink... could go all day with this stuff. The sweetness is never overpowering, nor the sourness. Just plain satisfying and refreshing...

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2009 01:04:42 | More by jgasparine
Photo of brauseboof

South Carolina

3/5  rDev -21.7%

10-08-2012 21:26:40 | More by brauseboof
Photo of dragonWhale

New York

3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant amber into my chalice of delights, with a white head that slowly dissipates, leaving a ring around the edge. It smells sweet and malty, with a slight sour twinge to it..
In the taste, the sour comes out boldly, buoyed by the sweetness of the young blend. The interplay is well done, creating a beverage that is tart but very drinkable. I certainly enjoyed this, though it was a bit vinegary.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 15:45:13 | More by dragonWhale
Photo of Mphis


3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

07-14-2013 06:01:51 | More by Mphis
Photo of ThirstyBird


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

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a chalice. Thanks Dave for sharing!
A - Reddish amber with an eggshell head which fall to a ring
S - Intense sour cherries with some malt.
T - Sour cherries of course, vinegar, some malt sweetness to counter the sour. Tasty.
M/F - Bristly carbonation yet finishes nicely. A medium bodied beer.
D - A very nice sour. Not my usual style but a nice treat.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 19:12:58 | More by ThirstyBird
Photo of BarrelO


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

11.2oz bottle poured into a goblet.

A: Ruby red body. Head starts out big but fades, leaving a bit of lacing.

S: Cherries and vinegar.

T: Very sour, but not overwhelmingly so. Plenty of underlying fruitiness and maltiness to balance it out and make it drinkable.

M: Medium-bodied, bubbly.

D: Good if you're a fan of sour ales. Reasonably priced, too.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2009 23:58:00 | More by BarrelO
Photo of afinepilsner


3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz brown bottle

Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Red Ale was red-brown in color with good clarity. It had an off-white head with decent retention and lacing. The smell was fruit (cherries) and vinegar. The taste was sweet and sour cherries with some malt, vinegar and buttery notes. The finish was sweet, sour and semi-dry. The mouthfeel was good with a medium-light body and plenty of carbonation. The drinkability was good as this beer kept me very interested. This is a tasty brew and worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2011 22:16:57 | More by afinepilsner
Photo of BEERschlitz


3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

04-09-2014 21:10:24 | More by BEERschlitz
Photo of slowdaddy


4/5  rDev +4.4%

08-21-2012 06:27:22 | More by slowdaddy
Photo of azorie


4.25/5  rDev +11%

05-04-2014 15:21:19 | More by azorie
Photo of iKrystin


4/5  rDev +4.4%

08-03-2012 06:30:15 | More by iKrystin
Photo of Beestin


3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

05-03-2014 20:36:34 | More by Beestin
Photo of Beefytits4


4/5  rDev +4.4%

02-24-2014 05:10:54 | More by Beefytits4
Photo of nortmand


4.6/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear ruby red with a 2 finger tan head that leaves nice lace.

High lactic acid in the nose. Also a ton of fresh strawberry aroma. Awesome.

Sweet mixed berries on the tip of the tongue. By mid tongue there is a mild lactic astringency. Very light bitterness as well.
Leaves a metallic twang aftertaste.

Low to medium bodied, a refreshing, lightly "sour" beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-10-2006 16:47:28 | More by nortmand
Photo of robbyc1


3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep garnet red/brown clear look, with a slight one finger off-white head, into my Tripel Karmeliet glass.

Winey, sour nose, complex, very intriguing. Almost smells like a good balsamic vinegar. Huge nose.

District wood up front, a bit harsh, with a fruity middle of grapes, stone fruits, and a slightly tart finish. The wood doesn't really fit well with the fruits, good but not a great mixture, not as complex as expected from the nose.

Rather light body, good carbonation, really refreshing. A nice drinker, not as sour as some, lots of residual sugar here. Overall less than expected but a decent try. Could be so much more, but it doesn't fit well, several notches below the Oerbier version.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2009 23:09:50 | More by robbyc1
Photo of hoplover82


3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear beautiful cherry red with very good retention and lacing.

Smells of simply sweet green apples. That's it it seems.

Taste is pretty simple and one dementional as well. Only green apples to me. Afte hearing my friend say that buckeyenation got cherries in this, I can see that too. I aslo do get the cherries indeed...

The mouthfeel is kinda rough around the edges to me. This is the first sour I've had. Maybe this could be aged a little more. It has a medium body and the sourness seems to excentuate the carbonation and give it a bubbly mouthfeel.

And it's ok in drinkablilty.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 02:38:58 | More by hoplover82
Photo of agreenman19


4/5  rDev +4.4%

07-13-2012 01:55:32 | More by agreenman19
Photo of jman005


4/5  rDev +4.4%

04-22-2013 01:04:11 | More by jman005
Photo of ajtorres311


3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

07-15-2013 14:17:44 | More by ajtorres311
Photo of Dcunicelli


3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

07-26-2013 20:01:47 | More by Dcunicelli
Photo of blitz134


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

Initially a really strong aroma as the cap was popped. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come.

Poured a predominately brown color with fainting hits of a garnet deep in the body. Head was just barely off white and disappeared rather quickly to only a circlet of bubbles around the outer edges.

Aroma is slightly sweet and has some hints of bread. But mixed in with all of that is a tart granny smith apple aroma with some other dark fruits. There is an overall sour candy smell to the whole thing. Nothing in the aroma is overly strong but nicely balanced.

Holy sh!t at the tartness of this on the first sip. This is the first beer to actually wrench on my tastebuds a bit and I love every bit of it. Overall there is a dry mouthfeel as this goes down but still coats the mouth well. The taste, as I said above, is extremely tart and consists mainly of apples. I don't pick up too much extra from the flavor as the tartness dominates. I'm torn between a 4 and a 4.5 for the taste. I want to give it a higher score b/c of the uniqueness of the flavor but I feel it fits with the common flavor profile of the style. Additionally the flavor seems a bit one sided compared to other flemish reds that I have had.

Mouthfeel is dry and coating at the same time but a little thin.

This one gets a good drinkability rating but the tartness might become overbearing after a while. Its still good though.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2005 02:51:13 | More by blitz134
Photo of judkinst


4.25/5  rDev +11%

05-12-2014 02:14:45 | More by judkinst
Photo of ChicagoNick


3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

12-30-2013 18:20:27 | More by ChicagoNick
Photo of allenson21

New York

4/5  rDev +4.4%

06-13-2014 22:07:14 | More by allenson21
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,237 ratings.