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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

2,336 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,336
Reviews: 1,042
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 51
Gots: 160 | 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: 2,336 | Reviews: 1,042 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mrskunk
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

mrskunk, Mar 17, 2013
Photo of 51mmz0rz
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a Hoegaarden glass.

A: Totally clear dark amber hue. Head is light tan, medium density. I don't remember seeing beer of this hue with such clarity.

S: Slight vinegar aroma, very slight sweetness and fruit. Somehow I find this pleasant though. Maybe like an old wine and my grandmother's kitchen.

T: Sweeter than I expected, caramel flavors balanced by sourness. I couldn't tolerate a beer this sweet without the sour bite to balance it out. Some sherry notes at the end. Interesting stuff, pretty well balanced though on the sweet side.

M: Good carbonation helps it get through the thickness.

D: This one's pretty addicting, though this is my first beer of the style.

51mmz0rz, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of ZeroSignal
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle, no date

A - Pours a Chestnut/Hazelnut brown with a very lively and vigorous head. Excellent retention, nice lacing

S - Sweet, fruity ester aroma with a sour edge; almost reminds me of sour patch kids.

T&M - Sharp, acidic style sourness with fruit notes; green apple and grapes. Light sweet malt presence, very vibrant carbonation. Medium bodied. I pick up just a bit of tannin woodiness with mild astringency.

D - Very refreshing, and I find myself imbibing faster then usual. My first try for this style, and I am very pleased. I wish I had a few more.

ZeroSignal, Aug 05, 2010
Photo of WankelEngine
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a tulip glass

A: Pours a dark brown color with hints of ruby when held up to the light. There is a small tan head which fades immediately. Despite the lack of head, there is a decent amount of carbonation.

S: The nose is sour and acidic. Behind this are notes of light fruits.

T: Fruitier than the smell; definitely acidic and sour but not overwhelmingly so. I can taste raspberry, cherry and citrus. The malt contributes some sweetness as well. There is a just little bit of an herbal taste from the hops to help balance the fruit flavors. The aftertaste is short and fruity.

M: Smooth with a decent amount of carbonation and slightly syrupy.

O: Mildly sour throughout but still sweet and drinkable.

WankelEngine, May 21, 2011
Photo of cackalacky
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

cackalacky, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of mj81
4/5  rDev +4.2%

mj81, Apr 07, 2014
Photo of DLSheidy
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

DLSheidy, Apr 15, 2014
Photo of midaszero
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Clear and dark ruby red with three fingers of head that left behind good lacing

S - Sour and vinegar

T - Malts and vinegar a little sour. Would probably get better with some age on it

M - Medium body with light carbonation

D - It is okay but I would definitely want to throw some more down and see what it does with age..

midaszero, Oct 26, 2008
Photo of dubinsky
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is my first sour, so take this review with a grain of salt.

Poured from 12.oz bottle into a Chimay goblet. The color is a nice, clear, rusty copper hue. The smell was unusual, but i expected it from other reviews i read prior to drinking it. Smells of vinegar and apple cider.

The taste is equally unusual. I kept thinking that i am drinking expired Martinelli's apple cider, possibly an expired cola. Very sweet.

Has a very nice light carbonation that complements the smooth finish of the beer. My stomach is gurgling though. Weird!

overall, it was a fun experience that i dont think i will turn into a habit. Its definitely a particular taste that will take some getting used to. I liked it, but dont ever see myself dinking a lot of it or often.

Reviewed 8/23/11

Beer poured from bottle into a snifter.

A - Beer pours a dark brownish red with a nice two finger khaki head. The head seems to lose itself rather quickly from my pour eventually settling to the edge of the glass. The beer appears to be mostly clear with some visible sediment settling to the bottom of the glass.

S – The first waft I pick up is of a wine vinegar followed by a nice sour funk. I’m picking up some black and sour cherries as well as blackberry.

T – Sweet black cherry with a slight vinegar acidity and astringency. The sourness steps aside to give way to the cherry sweetness that is coming forward in huge volumes. A nice tartness. This beer is definitely a sour, but not mouth puckering. A great desert beer.

M – Medium bodied with excellent carbonation. Very sweet and tangy. Like a sour patch kid, first its sour then its sweet. Avery crisp and refreshing

D – This was the first sour I ever tried due to the accessible price point almost two years ago and I really didn't care for it. I couldn’t believe why anyone would buy this. Today I can truly attest to how my my palate has evolved/changed. I'm really enjoying this wonderful beer. At $3+ this is an amazing beer that i'm likely to keep in rotation as an everyday sour/desert beer. I really enjoyed this and will be buying it often I can see.

dubinsky, Dec 31, 2009
Photo of GeoCait
4/5  rDev +4.2%

GeoCait, Jan 10, 2013
Photo of TruePerception
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

(Previous review, transferred from beer journal)

Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale: red sour; Appearance: dark amber; light raisin and tartaric acid; Taste/Mouthfeel: lightly bitter, very light sour, RC cola, pretty good, sounds like pouring ice cold soda.

Poured into a pint glass.

TruePerception, Sep 01, 2013
Photo of kingjohnh
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

kingjohnh, Jun 14, 2014
Photo of Petegrieco
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Petegrieco, Aug 31, 2014
Photo of shuajw
4/5  rDev +4.2%

shuajw, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of disemgrowler
4/5  rDev +4.2%

disemgrowler, Feb 16, 2012
Photo of HugoGrim
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On tap at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia served in a Hoegaarden style glass. Deep ruby almost purple body with a thin creamy head. Some lace.

Aroma is of sour fruits.

Flavor is primarily of rich sour plum and cherries with a full malty character. Very refreshing and thirst quenching. I could drink quite a few of these.

Served as a good accompaniment to pommes frites with spiced mayonnaise.

HugoGrim, Jun 06, 2007
Photo of levifunk
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

bottle poured into my new KBS snifter. not sure if its appropriate glassware, but i don't care.

a - dark brownish read. good size head when poured, which drops but never dies.

s - sour apple. champagne yeast like smell. not a big nose.

t - a lot more sour than the nose leads on. made me pucker a bit. full flavored. sweet cherry/apple flavor.

m - medium light body, carbonation is perfect. lots and lots of little bubbles. leaves my tongue tingling.

overall - very impressed by this. Its not terribly expensive, but is a fantastic drink and has a good amount of sour punch while still being delightfully sweet.

levifunk, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of HookemHops13
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

HookemHops13, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of TGanyone
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

TGanyone, May 30, 2014
Photo of mocktm
4/5  rDev +4.2%

mocktm, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of techdiver
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany with a good two finger head that dissipates slowly leaving a small cap and nice lacing.

Aroma is sour but lacks the cherry found in other ales of this type.

Taste dispals some of the sour cherry that the nose fails to display.

Nice carbonation, fairly refreshing and pleasant.

Fairly drinkable, but it's not a Rodenbach Grand Cru.

techdiver, Apr 17, 2007
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 RenoZymurgist
4.6/5  rDev +19.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I really like this beer.
Poured a deep brown color with tons of carbonation like champagne and a tan head that is very thick and leaves lots of lace.
The aroma is very crisp and has a nice tang of lactic acid with a minerally character, not blood like but metallic.
The flavor is very crisp as well and it begins with a sharp sourness that is not unpleasent at all and slowly declines after you initially taste it. There is not much malt or hops that i can detect due to the sourness taking the lead in this ale.
The mouthfeel is very nice as the sourness dosnt contribute to bite and the carbonation is surprisingly smooth for being so vivacious.
this is extremly drinkable to me and I would love to enjoy it more often but I had to fly to LA to get it so I woun't be enjoying it for a few more months.

RenoZymurgist, Aug 25, 2006
Photo of ryanonline
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

looks like a nice brownish red flemish ale, lots of tan head and decent lacing. sort of opaque but just barely has some clarity to it.

smells light and sour, no hop presence and light on the sweet malts. maybe a slight bready yeast aroma.

the tast is rather off putting. It has virtually no real sour elements and is still very light on hops and malt, I practically taste nothing. Very odd.

the mouthfeel is thin and watery with a dry finish and a bit of foamy yet non aggressive carbonation.

drinkability is fairly high, due to the light nature, but it is not very tasty and, as such, i wouldn't want more than one.

overall, this beer sets you up to expect good things, but it kind of lets you down.

ryanonline, Jun 02, 2012
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,336 ratings.