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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
87
very good

2,433 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,433
Reviews: 1,049
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 57
Gots: 190 | 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:
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: 2,433 | Reviews: 1,049 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of stewart124
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

POurs a dark brown with ruby highlights and a fluffy tan head.

Smell is that of tart fruits and floral notes.

The taste is some is something you don't get often. Yum. Refreshing notes of tart cherries and a syrupy sweetness. This is a very tasty and refreshing beverage and my first taste of something in this range.

I could drink more of this tart beverage but I am not sure if I could drink a number of them in one sitting.

stewart124, Aug 25, 2009
Photo of jim_carignan
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

jim_carignan, Oct 09, 2013
Photo of nomad
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

*Available only on draught and in 330 ml. bottles at the famous Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.*

Poured a ruby red color, deep and opaque, with a wisp of a head and a thin but full lacing. Kind of a dead-water look to me.

Smells of cherries and sherry, and did so in a sour and barely oaky way. For me, it at times came across as vinuous. Never very strong or wow-ing, as many Flemish Sour can be to the nose.

Taste is sour but not too sour, more vinuously so, with a body that was thin and softly reminiscent of sweetness like a liqueur or a lambic might. The main body of flavor was cherry like but not a cherry - know what I mean? That fruity flavor that only Flemish sour reds produce. Bright but not acidic, mellow but not boring, this beer also had some bits of lemon and raspberry at the finish. Had no metallic taste like some sour ales do, and possessed a thin and quick watery mouthfeel. Would like a little more carbonation.

Highly drinkable, this is more of a session version of a sour red ale, as it didn’t have the complexity or body of a Duchesse or a Goudenband. A good beer, regardless. Nice of Monk's Cafe to make the effort to contract Van Steenberge to brew this for them. Something's gotta fill the void while Rodenbach is temporarily M.I.A, right?. Nice to throw back a couple of these at the bar while you’re waiting for a table. FYI, some of the restaurant's dishes are cooked with this beer, too.

nomad, Jun 19, 2003
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle. Pours out a murky, reddish brown color with a small head. The aroma is sour cherries and oak. The flavor is a tangy mixture of sweet and sour. The flavor of cherries is most prominent, but there is also oak, wine, and berries. There is enough sourness so that the sweetness is held in check, but I would like this better if it was less sweet. Finishes very acidic. Carbonation is high. This is a pretty good version.

beveragecaptain, May 13, 2006
Photo of Can_has_beer
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Can_has_beer, Jul 28, 2014
Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a Duvel snifter.

A: Pours a dark muddy reddish color with a half inch loose and bubbly greyish white head that sticks around for a bit before fading into a cap while still leaving behind some pretty decent lacing.

S: Cherry vinegar, an amazing balance stuck between sweet and sour. Good but a bit one dimensional.

T/MF: Mild tobacco, sour acidic cherry, though compared to times I've tried this on tap, the acidity seems to be a bit more heavy handed in the bottled version, numbing the taste of cherry slightly. Feel is medium bodied, very tart, puckers the sides of the mouth but still manages to finish rather clean. Quite refreshing if a bit thin.

D: Not bad, but not as good as I would have hoped since trying it on tap once before. Still a pretty solid choice if you are looking to get into sour beers and don't know where to begin.

bluemoonswoon, Sep 10, 2008
Photo of ajs4bd
2.25/5  rDev -41.4%

ajs4bd, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of illini4x4
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

illini4x4, Aug 07, 2012
Photo of ChipMurray
4/5  rDev +4.2%

ChipMurray, Feb 18, 2014
Photo of T_Hass
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

T_Hass, Oct 26, 2014
Photo of J-Bonestradamus
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

J-Bonestradamus, Sep 01, 2014
Photo of jeonseh
2.1/5  rDev -45.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle poured into a GI Matlida glass

A- deep, burgundy color with a light gold color to it. It's opaque and a bit hazy with a small white head that is comprised of small bubbles

S - smell is tart, reminds me of sour cherries with hints of balsamic vinegar. There is a slight farmhouse aspect to it. I also note hints of lemon peel. It also seems to have a slight metallic twang to it

T - taste is definitely tart at first. As it goes on, there is a nice cheery sweetness that comes through and reminds me of the taste of cherry pie filling. There is also a nice lemony aspect that cuts through the sweetness. There is still a strong metallic taste that comes through and reminds me of copper. It lingers on in the finish as well which just makes the aftertaste unattractive.

MF - Surprisingly creamy. Nice carbonation to this that lends to the body.

O - overall, a decent Flanders beer if it wasn't for the metallic taste. However that metallic taste and smell was too much for me to take. I've had other sours before and this is the only one where this came out so strong.

jeonseh, Jan 22, 2012
Photo of mrcraft
4/5  rDev +4.2%

mrcraft, Jun 23, 2014
Photo of JustinMatthew
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 750ml in to a tulip glass. A beautiful dark red color with a small white head that quickly disappears. Smells Of vinegar and what seems to be some sort berries. Taste is very similar.. Lots of vinegar and fruit coming through. Good amount of sourness in this one. I enjoyed it. the After taste lingering in what seems to be some sort of berries.

JustinMatthew, Nov 13, 2011
Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz bottle poured into flute glass

A - Despite pouring very carefully, absolutely massive head. It took a few minutes to pour. Color is medium amber, decently clear with an off white head. Got some floaties of yeast in there.

S - Smell is instant lactic sourness and fruity. It's mainly an apple fruitiness. Fairly straightforward aroma.

T - Decently sour and tart. Not too sour, I think it could use a bit more. Definitely a lactic component to it, and a sweet & tart apple flavor.

M - High carbonation, sticky sweet mouthfeel. A bit on the thin side. Makes me pucker and smack. Sour apple tart on the finish.

O - A pretty decent sour. There are a lot better ones out there for a similar price, but this isn't bad. It doesn't have a lot of depth to it, as it's somewhat simple sour & tart apple. It's still crisp and refreshing though, and makes a good pair with cheese and crackers or other snack food.

ExaltedNecrosis, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of Blaze5445
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Blaze5445, Aug 02, 2014
Photo of Filabee
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Filabee, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of pwoody11
4/5  rDev +4.2%

pwoody11, Jul 07, 2013
Photo of Boilerfood
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Boilerfood, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of Rborre321
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Rborre321, Jul 15, 2014
Photo of dubdrop
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

dubdrop, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of Devman171
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Devman171, Oct 20, 2014
Photo of Beestin
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Beestin, May 03, 2014
Photo of mwilbur
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip.
A: Pours a reddish brown (more red with backlighting) with high carbonation producing a 1-2 inch light tan head that quickly recedes.
S: Warm cinnamon, sugar, fresh bready yeast, and a hint of sour.
T: Tart apple, cinnamon, sour cherry, and a hint of milk sugar. Fairly tame with a lot of sweet notes.
M: Light body. Effevescent with a pleasant tingle on the tongue...almost champagne-like. Sweet turning toward tart and dry finish.
D: A very pleasing and drinkable brew. A nice summer refresher. Not too sour (especially for style)...which could be a good or bad thing depending upon your druthers.

mwilbur, Aug 16, 2010
Photo of Agold
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Agold, Nov 15, 2011
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 2,433 ratings.