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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

2,379 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,379
Reviews: 1,047
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 55
Gots: 174 | 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: 2,379 | Reviews: 1,047 | Display Reviews Only:
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 RedHaze
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky reddish brown with a one inch tan head that fades to a spotty cap and has only a small amount of lace.

Smell; strong sour nose with hints of lactic acid. There's sour fruitiness (cherries?), as well as a bit of some citrus aromas.

Taste; tart cherries and sour lemon peel, with an acidic bite hammer you at first. After this warms up some a nice oaky flavor mixed with a little malt presence kick in to off set those sour/tart flavors. Mouthfeel is light bodied, and a touch thin, but this is still a very drinkable beer.

This is only my second Flemish Sour Ale, and I find myself really enjoying this style. I'm looking forward to trying some more.

RedHaze, Mar 03, 2006
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 cardinals22
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

cardinals22, Aug 11, 2014
Photo of target88
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

target88, Sep 06, 2014
Photo of MadScientist
4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a deep reddish brown with excellent clarity. The light tan head has lingers for a very long time.

The aroma is nice and fruity and malty with a light sour aroma. There are aromas of dark cherries and figs along with a brighter almost rhubarb like aroma. A mild sherry like character as well

There a lot going on in this with a fruit and malt flavors dominating followed by some spicy phenols all the while with a light sourness throughout ending in a dry finish. The flavors are again dark cherry and fig with a malt flavors of orange and a touch of treacle. Theres a light sherry like flavor in there and a little bit of hops bitterness. Overall it has a really nice balance of sweet and sour flavors but not with the intensity in some other sour styles.

It has a medium-full body with low carbonation. It's also very soft on the palate and almost cream. There is a slight touch of slickness but no diacetyl and no astringency.

Overall this is an amazing, lightly soured beer that is very refreshing. A the elements of the flavor and aroma are in a very satisfying balance, a world class example of the the Oud Bruin style. I'm definitely picking about a two more four packs of this and letting some age in my cellar.

MadScientist, Jun 06, 2012
Photo of ElGuapo
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice brown amber pour with a decent helping of off-white head. It is somewhat cloudy. The aroma is a bit weak, but it has some nice sweet malt hints as well as a delicious sour smell that tingles the nose.

The body is medium, and it has mild carbonation which all comes together to produce a very smooth mouthfeel. Flavor is a bit more dull than my beloved Duchesse, but it is still pretty good. The sour flavor is there with notes of balsamic vinegar. Some fruit flavors as well as citrus come in. Grains lay behind it all to bring in some balance. The drinkability is excellent, and I would have grabbed another or two if I weren't on my way out.

ElGuapo, May 27, 2004
Photo of zimm421
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

zimm421, Jun 21, 2014
Photo of mixed_master7
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

mixed_master7, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of superdedooperboy
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2-ounce brown bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Pours a nicely clear copper-brown with a huge billowing head of beige foam that shows excellent retention, leaving fat patchy rings of lacing down the sides of the glass, settling to a thick cap that holds out until the finish.

The nose is a delicious melding of aromas, with some slightly sweet toffee-like notes, lots of oaky wood and a little bit of a sour, musty character.

Body sits on the lower end of medium, with a middling level of carbonation. A mild base of sweet caramel is topped with a nice dose of tartness that consumes the entirety of the palate through the finish, with notes of dark cherries and raspberries toward the back. More musty, oaky and vinous notes fill in the cracks before a slightly sour, medium-dry finish.

Wonderfully drinkable, the balance between sweet and sour here is spot-on, and the low alcohol level lends itself to sessionability. This is one beer that I honestly believe I could drink all night long without tiring of it. Very nice.

superdedooperboy, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of loren01
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a rusty reddish color, good sized head very slight lace down the glass
S: Smell is of sour apples/grapes.
T: The taste is not as overpowering as the smell leads you to think it will be. Tart but not too much so. Tastes like sour apples, reminds me somewhat of a cider. Finishes slightly dry
M: Bubbly champagne like mouthfeel
D: I liked this beer a lot, very tasty...would buy this one again.

loren01, Apr 11, 2009
Photo of ATLbeerDog
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a beautiful rusty/brown with a small 1/8 inch tan head. Smells of sour grapes/apples and wine. First sip is sour and sweet with cherrys grapes being the dominate fruits. A carbonation consistency and mouthfeel of a wine cooler. This is a refreshing sipper and was much enjoyed.

ATLbeerDog, Sep 17, 2008
Photo of pearljam118
4/5  rDev +4.2%

pearljam118, Jan 06, 2013
Photo of dgeebs07
3/5  rDev -21.9%

dgeebs07, Jul 02, 2013
Photo of adamant1912
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

adamant1912, Apr 20, 2012
Photo of ZimZamZoom
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass, a beautiful deep red color and thick tan head. The head fades fast to a nice layer that stays throughout.

Interesting aroma as a tart fruitiness blends with a bready malt background. Both sour and sweet cherries come to mind. Mild sour flavor, with more tart fruit and less of the malt. Interesting but not much more. It does dry out nicely in the finish.

Well carbonated and light to medium in body. Easy to drink and pleasant all the way around. I have not had many in this style but I do find this enjoyable.

ZimZamZoom, Aug 06, 2011
Photo of sunofneurot
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

sunofneurot, Dec 15, 2013
Photo of martyl1000
4.66/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cooper's Tavern and at Mason Lounge. I can't stop drinking this stuff, and every time I order something else, I regret not having ordered the Monk's. I guess I'm even more a sour fan than I thought; used to think I was a malt guy, period). The aroma isn't great, smells like vinegar, actually. But I could drink ten of these in a row. Any other favorites I have -- Founders Imperial Stout, Southern Tier Jahva, Mikkeller Black Hole, Tyranena Dirty Old Man -- I can only drink two or three before feeling "up to here" (holding open hand at mid-throat). I can and want to drink as many of these sours as possible.

Note: I love this stuff, but I'd better adjust my original numerical rating (4.88), since I have very little experience with sours. From what I can see in other reviews of sours, this one is not an elite form of the style. I shouldn't be so affected by such things, but I don't want to be a grade-inflator. And its absolutely true that this beer isn't very complex. (But it's so damn drinkable!)

martyl1000, Jul 01, 2012
Photo of CesarLopes
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

CesarLopes, May 04, 2013
Photo of slimntubbs
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

slimntubbs, Jan 31, 2012
Photo of Travisnin
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Travisnin, Dec 28, 2011
Photo of Filabee
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Filabee, Jun 02, 2014
Photo of bsm80x
3/5  rDev -21.9%

bsm80x, Oct 17, 2013
Photo of timtim
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

slightly hazy cherry reddish with a tan (i think, it was pretty dark in the bar) head that had okay retention and lace. smelled like a sour flemish style should... vinous, slightly cidery/vinegary, tart, hint of cherry. taste was even better than nose. a lot mellower than duchesse, but really lovely. pretty light mouthfeel, and properly carbonated. great after dinner, but not a session drink for sure.

timtim, Dec 22, 2007
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,379 ratings.