1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

2,334 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,334
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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,334 | Reviews: 1,042 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of vacax
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber to rub-red with sparse off-white head. Head is small, but lovely carpet of nearly microscopic bubbles.

S: Sour with sweet malts. Very style-forward and solid.

T: Red fruits and figgy with light sourness and definite tang and funk. Balance between sweet and tart is spot-on. Metallic qualities to the flavor really reduce my enjoyment.

M: Light and fluffy, airy. Not as thick as I thought it would be.

D: High drinkability for a sour. Good balance between sweetness, tartness, and funkiness. I didn't notice an excess of acidity. Well reasonably priced also.

vacax, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of pearljam118
4/5  rDev +4.2%

pearljam118, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of cardinals22
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

cardinals22, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of jayhawk73
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown w/ crimson highlights. Decent carbonation and good lacing my my snifter glass. You can almost see the other side of the glass when held to light, but not quite. Smell is fairly smooth for the style- tart, a little funk, sour, some acidity, apple and cherry as well. Definitely on the reserved side, but good nonetheless. Taste brings out more of the cherry flavor, with a slight funky aftertaste. I'm actually surprised there isn't more funk in this beer. If there were, the score might be a touch higher. The acidity and tartness make themselves known as well- not over the top, but you get both out front. Feel is good, but not quite as complex as I would hope for. Overall, this is a good beer, and definitely a good intro to sours beer. The funk is there, but it's relegated to the background. Worth picking up for sure if you're new to the style.

jayhawk73, Oct 15, 2011
Photo of vicsju1991
4/5  rDev +4.2%

vicsju1991, May 20, 2012
Photo of ltdantheman
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

ltdantheman, Aug 10, 2012
Photo of wattoclone
4.89/5  rDev +27.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this outstanding Oud Bruin at Monk's Cafe in Philly. Dark reddish brown with large short acting head. Aroma of malt and vinegar with cherries and dark fruits. An excellent sour ale. Fruity and malty sweet with a tart sour finish. Perfectly balanced and the best Oud Bruin (of 3 tried) to date. Superb and very sessionable. If you like Sweet-Tarts candy you will love this beer.

wattoclone, Jul 31, 2014
Photo of CesarLopes
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

CesarLopes, May 04, 2013
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 Filabee
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Filabee, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of target88
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

target88, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of OneDropSoup
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Grabbed this bottle from House of 1000 Beers in New Kensington, PA.

Poured into a stemmed tulip: Deep crimson body with ruby highlights - beautiful color. A finger of smooth, pillowy head that drops to a thin coating & coating. No lacing.

Tart cherry & orange peel in the smell with an overlying medicinal character, kind of like zinc lozenges. Somewhat metallic - good stuff in there, but those off-smells are hard to sift through.

Taste has pretty much the same notes as the smell, but the pleasant/unpleasant ratio has flipped to the point that the good outweighs the bad here by a little - the medicinal/metallic flavors are just trace.

Tart & acidic mouthfeel, medium-bodied, with just a little chalky sensation. As in the taste, the good's good & the bad's tolerable.

Definitely not my favorite for the style, but doable. I can stick with just one, though.

OneDropSoup, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of ChaseTheAce
4/5  rDev +4.2%

ChaseTheAce, Jul 16, 2014
Photo of Mphis
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Mphis, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of cavedave
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed live

A very dark ruby, clear, sporting a finger of dark beige head for a moment, then a partial cap. Having this one in a wine glass and there is plentiful lace cling.

Low/med. strength aroma, sweet with some fruity vinegar, hints of herbs and grass.

The sip starts sweet, with some strawberry, mineral, and light vinegar flavors kicking in. It finishes with just a bit of spice and herbal bitter joining in for a juicy finish that doesn't go off the rails.

Mouthfeel is pleasantly viscous, low carb., decent finish, showcases the flavors well.

Overall this is a pretty good beer, but not one I will try again as it is a bit too sweet for me.

cavedave, Jun 22, 2011
Photo of Twal
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Twal, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of DavidST
3.28/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 33cl bottle into a pint glass, coded bottle date. This pours a crystal clear amber color with a massive fizzy tan head which last for a very long time a leave a duvel like foam. The smell is a little brown ale malty, a little nutty, hints of cherries. The feel is medium to light. The taste is okay, you get a little bitterness, nutty brown ale flavors and a little sourness, but mostly plain and light, this beer has the unfornutate task of following Liefmans Curvee and it leaves a ton to be desired.

DavidST, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of BlindPig
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- 1/4" tan head on a clearish dark amber body when poured into a flute. Nice thickish lacing that sticks to side of glass.
S- You can smell the sourness. Maybe some malts hidden in the strong sour smell. Some grassy hops with earth tones? Maybe some woody notes in it also?
T- A big strong sour taste. Almost like sour grapes with that same dry finish. Causes some puckering (first proper sour beer). Some wood notes in it too. Some sour cherries or some other kind of fruit that follows that like raspberries or something. It is quite refreshing and the more I drink the more I like it.
M- Thinner in the body but when it sticks after you swallow it almost makes it seem like a thicker body. Low carbonation.
D- First one of this style. Don't think I'm a huge fan of it but it is good. I would probably keep one of these if I could get it just for those occasions when it would sound great.

BlindPig, Nov 09, 2006
Photo of Adkins1203
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Adkins1203, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of jeffjeff1
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My fiance picked this up.
Poured into a flute

Appearance- reddish brown color, head dissipated almost immediately, resembles a soda

Smell- fruit, tart sweetness

Taste- tart fruit, Very interesting

Mouthfeel- light to medium bodied, very soda like, high amount of carbonation

Drinkability- Pretty good. I thought it was very interesting. I would drink it again.

jeffjeff1, Jun 08, 2010
Photo of anticipation23
3/5  rDev -21.9%

anticipation23, Apr 16, 2014
Photo of chcfan
2/5  rDev -47.9%

chcfan, Nov 28, 2011
Photo of treehugger02010
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this bottle at Oak Tree Discount Wine & Spirits and poured into a Snifter.
Appearance: It poured a brown opaque body with a big tan head with small bubbles, pour retention and thin but abundant lacing.
Smell: Obvious cherries and sourness. Intriguing, but not complex.
Taste: Cherries again and forward sourness but not off putting.
Mouthfeel: Prickly.
Drinkability: Good.
Don't drink and review.

treehugger02010, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of kornkid8600
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

kornkid8600, Dec 08, 2011
Photo of throwback
5/5  rDev +30.2%

throwback, Nov 14, 2011
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,334 ratings.