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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

2,517 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,517
Reviews: 1,063
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.77%
Wants: 59
Gots: 228 | FT: 3
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:
Beer added by: nomad on 06-19-2003

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,517 | Reviews: 1,063 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Mavajo
2.48/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Pours a deep mahogany, reddish color with a mild eggshell head. Aroma of vinegar and cherries. Not bad, but something just seems "off" about it. The taste is tart with a vinegar sourness, backed up by big cherry notes and hints of apple. Sweet. Big, big carbonation that tingles all across your mouth. Clean after-taste and cleanses the palate pretty well. I'm sure the huge carbonation has a had in that. I'm perplexed by some of the reviews that mention "mild carbonation" -- this is one of the most overcarbonated beers that I've ever experienced. If you try to swish it around, you end up with a mouth full of fizzy foam.

There's something just cheap about the aroma/taste on this one, and the over-the-top carbonation just really kills it. Reminds me of a Lindemans/Cheerwine blend, pumped full of carbonation. Seems more like a sparkly wine cooler than a beer.

Photo of wvbrewcrew
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of kp29
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of Matthewpakula
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of schaffer9252
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of HopGrazer
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of CaptainIPA
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P: Served on-tap @ Comet Cafe and served in a tulip glass. Pairs well with The Stendler: corned beef, scrambled eggs, hash browns and cheese wrapped in a tortilla, and topped with Siracha hot sauce.

A: Pours a dark chesnut-color with ruby highlights and a thin rimming of foam.

S: Sweet apple cider with essences of balsamic vinegar.

T: Opens with a sweet tang of spiced apple cider that flows directly into a sourness characteristic of berry-infused balsamic vinegar. No discernible hoppiness. Nice, subtle earthiness towards the middle. Finishes sweet with a resurgence of apple.

M: Smooth with a lively carbonation that prickles the palate.

D: Wow, I loved this stuff -- especially the sour aspect of the ale. Very unique. Based on this introduction, I feel compelled to explore the Flanders Oud Bruin style.

Photo of Brunite
3/5  rDev -22.1%

Photo of brokentee
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of Seabass1964
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of Nutwood
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of jeffaroo95
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of brewtus
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of doowhat
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of johunnic
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of SalMineo
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of BigBarley
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured hard into a tulip glass, for the first minute or so the beer was almost entirely head. The head is offwhite, light khaki. After settling the beer still maintains about a 50% head-beer ratio. Nice. Color is deep copper, almost brown. Somewhat murky.

S - Smells like a kriek. Wild yeast peppered with dark cherry and some light alcohol notes. Not too complex, but smells good all the same.

T - Dominated by yeast up front, immediately behind is a splash of sweet, tart cherry. The sour comes at the end, bringing this beer to a nice, round profile altogether. I personally feel this isn't much different in taste or smell from a lot of Kriek beers, but that is not a bad thing. Wild yeast makes for a strange and interesting profile, and the cherry notes keep it grounded.

M - Smooth, refreshing, with some lively carbonation. Runs down easy, but still a little thick for the ABV.

O - Altogether satisfying and interesting beer, definitely worth trying once, but I'm not quite sure how it compares to most others of the style

Photo of Oboogie
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of 6demonbag
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of MADPolo
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of blakelive784
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 fl oz brown glass bottle served in a snifter, reviewed live:

A - Pours a dark amber/ruby color with a thin, light tan head that's a finger tall. Retention is awful. Largely unremarkable.

S - Tart green apple, lactic sourness, sweet generic malt, cream, and very light yeasty funk. Surprisingly mild in strength, though it seems very well balanced.

T - I'm surprised at how simple this one, especially in comparison to most other sours. Sour green apple dominates over the crystal malt body. It fairly balanced and the sourness is relatively light. Hints of toasted malt come though. Definitely suffers from simplicity. I wish the flavors were less restrained.

M - Light, highly carbonated and an impressive dry finish. Works pretty well for the beer, though it probably would be less effective if there were more flavors present.

D - It's a decent beer, though it definitely wont hit the spot for someone looking for a big, bold sour. May work as an introduction to the style .

Photo of flayedandskinned
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No Bottled on date.
Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark translucent garnet. A towering 4 finger loose bubbled, light brown head erupts immediately and as expected, fizzles down fairly fast, consistent with it's style.

Aroma: Big, vinous red wine vinegar right away with some musty funk alongside it. Juicy, tart currants are layered on top of faint, sweet malt in the background. A woodsy presence of rich vanilla and oak becomes more and more apparent as the beer warms.

Taste: Red wine vinegar up front with only the suggestion of tartness, some juicy red currants and some tart cherry notes are flirted with as a big, vanilla infused maltiness lands on your palate and softens the blow of the high carbonation. The creamy malt backbone abruptly mellows out the sourness of the brew and allows some of the oak barrel character come through. The beer finishes very dry, tart with an extremely light tannin presence and a faint hop bitterness. Lingering notes of plum skin and caramel bready malt. The beer does get a slightly unpleasant metallic twang as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with high carbonation; very brisk and refreshing.

Overall: A decent example of a Flanders Red. I do wish the initial rush of sourness sustained a bit longer before the malts rushed in and mellowed everything out, but the malt does add a strong sense of balance and contrast. This is a great beginner's sour. I would suggest not allowing this to warm up too much so you can avoid that metallic after taste.

Photo of jwenzel019
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of rinhaak
2.7/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Judging from others' reviews of this beer, it is entirely possible my beer was poured terribly wrong. However, I can only judge my own experience.

That said, Monk's Café poured with absolutely no head. It had a dark reddish hue, similar to a Dr. Pepper. In fact, not only did the color resemble Dr. Pepper, so did the visible carbonation bubbles, the mouthfeel, and – to a large extent – the taste.

This beer was very sweet with a sour twinge running parallel. This balance reminded me of Panda Express' sweet n' sour sauce: really sweet, with a hint of vinegar. There was a distinct cherry flavor, which added to its soda pop character.

Overall, I was tremendously disappointed with the brew. It was imbalanced towards the sweet side of the spectrum, and didn't have much, if any, depth of flavor. It go down easily enough, and if you are looking for a sweet, easily drinkable beer, this might be for you.

Photo of wo87810
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 2,517 ratings.