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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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

2,595 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,595
Reviews: 1,086
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.77%
Wants: 66
Gots: 282 | FT: 5
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.
View: Beers (87) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,595 | Reviews: 1,086
Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This dark brown brew arrived with a light head that clung to the glass. The aroma of this beer had a huge green apple component mixed with fruity Belgian funk and a little vinegar. A light maltiness, almost a sweetness, pervades the palate up front but it is quickly gives way to an intense sourness. The sourness is unripe green apples, tart cherries, and, if it were blistering hot day, very refreshing. This beer is very interesting and I liked it. I wish there were more of this style around.

Photo of Skunkdrool
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of projectflam86
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep red color. Nice white head leaves some lace.

S- Lots of cherries and grape aromas. Citrusy with a bit of funk.

T- Sharp tart cherry flavors with a vinous finish. Comparisons to wine are easy to make with flavors of red grape skins, oak, earth, and a touch of sourness.

M- Spritzy with plenty of carbonation. Very dry and sharp. Relatively thin bodied. I like that this doesn't coat you tongue. The dryness helps each new drink bring forth all of the flavors.

O- Overall this was a really nice brew. I'm not horribly familiar with Oud Bruins but this was certainly worth trying.

Photo of JellyJacket
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Shawner
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of yelterdow
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served at just over fridge temperature in a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip glass. Purchased at Ramsey Liquors for $2.49 on 2/12/09. Freshness code reads 26IG.

Appearance- Reddish brown, this beer creates a three finger rose-tinged bone white head. Bubbles are varied in size, and lacing is heavy but sporadic.

Smell- Very similar to Duchesse de Bourgogne, the nose is funky and sour with some vinegar, then an underlying sweetness that brings to mind fermenting cherries comes through. As the beer opens up, the vinegar character becomes more and more evident.

Taste- It's an Oud Bruin lover's beer, for sure... the blending of old and new batches procures a smooth, sweet-and-sour character that leaves the lips and teeth with a sweetness that counters the tart beginning. The swallow is easy and savory.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Smooth, easy carbonation that makes all of the complex flavors and attributes effortless to enjoy. A bit expensive for such a small sized import, but certainly worth it and one I'd enjoy again.

Photo of kybeerdrinker
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of reebtaerG
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of kmo1030
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

murky red brown, with not much of a head to speak of.
sour, flowery cherry aroma, with a faint basement funkiness. hints of wood, and oddly enough every once in a while i get a licorice smell. malty caramel comes out slightly underneath the sour fruit.
sour cherry flavors up front, with a tart apple skin or core flavor following behind. i actually get some malt-like sweetness towards the back half. very faint mustiness.
medium bodied with soft carbonation and puckering sourness.
drinkability is good enough, as the beer i pleasantly refreshing. though not hugely complex, this is a nice tasting flemish sour that does nicely if you're in a pinch for a sour beer fix..

Photo of RuckusDu
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a large 4+ finger head that seemed rocky but then quickly went down. It does stick around however at about 1/4cm. The color is odd and I can't put my finger on it. Light khaki but also some darkness to it, like the red coming through. I can't believe how dark this is. Really a dark red plum color.

S - There is a slight Belgian (dark currents, fruits) quality to it, but really a sour lemon/orange/grapefruit scent.

T - Wow, this is very nice. A great combination of dark Belgian quad qualities (but remains light) with sour cherries. Was not expecting this to be so good. There is a little boozy quality at the front which is weird considering it is 5.7%. There are some sweet raspberry/blueberry flavors.

M - A little light considering all the dark flavors but that works for this beer. It is a great alternative to the standard dark Belgian ales and lambics.

O - A lot going on here which I will have to discover through many more bottles. Would like to see how this tastes with some age on it but will be one of those where I have a difficult time aging when I will just want to drink it.

Photo of jrfehon33
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of gpawned
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of OStrungT
3.87/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a murky brown solor, with a thin tan head. The head fades slowly, leavingfew laces.

This beer has a sour fruity aroma. I smell cherries. It smells tart. It also has a slightly sweet malty aroma. That is about it.

This beer tastes much like it smells. A mild tart cherry flavor. It is slightly sour with some sweet malty flavor.

This beer is hightly carbonated. It leaves a sour aftertaste.

This beer would not make a great session beer. It is sour, and would quickly become overbearing.

Overall: This beer was good, but then I usually enjoy anything from this style.

Photo of einman
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of shivtim
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a hazy brown with red tints and a small but nice head. Nose is very gentle, with just a slight sweetness. Even on warming it stays mild. Taste is great- just the right amount of sour flavor, a bit lemony, corn and some malt sweetness. Nice balance. Mouthfeel is tart and foamy, compliments the flavor well. Drinkability is good.

Photo of heerboth
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of GRPunk
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into my tall, Lion Tulip glass. It was a little on the cold side to start.

A- A normal pour left a 2-finger, fluffy, tan head that eventually dropped to just under 1/2 finger. There was a lot of carbonation in the clean, mahogany body. As I drank, it left some of the widest, sticky rings I've seen with spotting in between layers.

S- At first, I got a sense of sour cream with a wet, woody background. There were hints of spice, fruit (something between raspberry and tart cherries), and a little red wine vinegar. A little warmth and some time for familiarity seemed to soften the sour aroma.

T- It's quite complex. There was a good portion of sour, hints of wood, and a little fruity flavor in spots with some lighter, vinegar accents. Very clean, dry in the finish. It says "mildly sour" on the neck. Maybe it's a good initiation.

M- There was a ton of soft and foamy carbonation and it was bone-dry in the end.

D- It's a new style to me (maybe my first true, commericially brewed sour), and it seemed good for the style when I checked out the guidlines. It's not a thirst quencher or a chugger by any means, but I'm sure that's not its purpose. I think it's sour nature is something to appreciate. It's definitely sparked my interest in the style.

Photo of FanofHefe
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 fl. oz. bottle, no dating, poured into a Chimay chalice. Very high level of carbonation, so I had to pour slowly. Ruby red body that is mostly clear and lets the light through. Bubbly tan head that actually dissipates fairly quickly but leaves a nice cap and a little lacing.

Tart fruit up front in the aroma: cherry, raspberry, green apple. I get just a little sweet malt in the mix as well.

Very tasty. Nice blend of the tart and sour fruit flavors with the sweet malt. This one has a little more sweet balance than others of this style. Would be a good candidate for someone new to the more sour beers. Medium mouthfeel that is easy to drink. Nice brew.

Photo of hayesjw
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of danthehopslamman
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of JizackFH
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a clear dark ruby brown color. It has a nice fluffy off-white head. The color of the head reminds me of an apple slice starting to brown. There are also some carbonation bubbles present.

S - The smell is a bit sour and tart. There is also some oakiness and some funk present. Other notes I am getting include Cherry, grapes, and a touch of vinegar.

T - The taste is sour and tart up front. There is some yeast funkiness in the middle, but not all that much. I am also getting notes of fruit, brown sugar, and some cinnamon. The finish is quite clean. There is no hop presence here at all.

M - This has a medium body and moderate carbonation. It goes down easy and has a good flavor. It is sour and tart, but not too much.

D - It has good drinkability. I drank this faster than I thought I would. It has good flavor and is very easy to drink. I like this beer, and I can't wait to try others of this style.

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured chilled in flared sample glass @davewhite4, the third of a sour beer trilogy.

A: thin head, but very active carbonation; cola color; snowglobe effect from all the yeast floating about
S: not much aroma; opens up into some vinegar
T: very flavorful; sour cherry dominates; good malt presence

Good specimen of a sour beer

Photo of PatrickJR
4.72/5  rDev +22.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into red wine glass.

A - Clear, right in the middle of red and brown. Rust colored comes to mind but it's a bit brighter and less orangey. A finger of off white, slightly tan head rises with moderate retention. Some lacing.

S - Vinegar and tart fruit are the obvious aromas. Like the similar Flemish Reds, raspberry vinegarette comes to mind. There is also a touch of brown sugar and something that comes close to woody and leathery aromas.

T - Vinegar soaked fruit with a sprinkly of brown sugar dominate early and mid palate. Monk's Cafe starts off with an amazing sweet flavor best described as a mild mixture of brown sugar and vinegar, or even a tart apple juice. Indistinct berry flavors enter into the mix mid palate contributing both more tartness and more sweetness. Sweetness fades a touch while the tart fruit juice lingers on the edges of the tongue. Musty flavors begin their ascent with hints of wood, leather, cork, and oxidation. In some ways the finish resembles an older, fortified wine. Finishes with some residiual sweet and sour and a lengthy drawl of musty, minerally, cellar-esque flavor.

M - Fairly light in body with moderate carbonation. Despite the seemingly heavy and intense flavors, it's quite refreshing.

D - This really couldn't be any easier to drink. The light body and immense complexity of flavors make each sip exquisite, and there's new tastes to pick out each time. Extremely interesting, but tame enough that it never becomes overpowering. Another great experience with a Flemish sour.

Photo of mikefuski17
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of MoreThanWine
2.76/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a modest 1/2" head, and it's more of a stout brown than a red ale as the label says. Kind of like a lambic it's sour, although at least it's a cleaner sour than the raw hamburger taste I got in the last lambic. In fact the best descriptor for the Monk's I'd say would be pickle juice.

Hey, this is probably a excellent example of this type of beer. Honestly it's just not my thing.

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Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 2,595 ratings.