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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

2,226 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,226
Reviews: 1,032
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 47
Gots: 133 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,226 | Reviews: 1,032 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EricCioe
EricCioe

Montana

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours dark red with a bubbly and thin-looking two finger head that dies out quickly and doesn't leave lace. On the nose there is a good bit of tartness, which really dominates. There are some bits of acid and maybe some toffee further back, maybe some brown sugar, too. In the mouth the tartness envelops everything, both the front of the tongue where it normally shows up but also the inside of the cheeks. I keep getting toffee, as on the nose. The body is medium light with a medium finish with the sourness hanging around for a while.

Overall, this is a nice beer. I'm not familiar with the style, but I've had other types of sours so I'm not totally in the dark here. It's a nice brew but there are other sours I like better. Worth a try for sure.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2011 00:08:04 | More by EricCioe
Photo of zenithberwyn
zenithberwyn

California

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

01-21-2013 05:30:48 | More by zenithberwyn
Photo of Filabee
Filabee

Michigan

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

06-02-2014 02:13:12 | More by Filabee
Photo of frank4sail
frank4sail

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I was quite excited to get hold of bottles of this stuff from The Beer Yard today (6-21-03). 11.2 Fl. Oz. bottles. The beer pours quite well with a nice tanish head and a beautiful ruby/rust color. Sweet malty, fruit (plum/cherry) and melon smell. Original sour slightly astringent taste gives way to rich fruit (cherries, plums, raspberries). A very nice balence between the fruit sweetness and dry acidic beginning and end. Very drinkable. Not heavy mouthed as you would think with all of these flavors, more on the medium to lighter body. Mouthfeel is lively and lighter. This is a nice rounded satisfying "sour patch ADULT" of a beer. Extreamly good looking in the glass.

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2003 19:28:56 | More by frank4sail
Photo of webmanspidey
webmanspidey

Michigan

3.55/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this on tap at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia.

This was the first beer of this style I have tried, and it was definitely something unlike anything I had tried before.

Dark red/brown appearance. Smell to me was like pure vinegar. Not appealing at all, and takes you back at first.

Taste not as strong as the smell.. kind of a sour apple taste that reminds me of a hard apple cider. Very lactic.

Definitely something worth trying to me, but wasn't something I particularly enjoyed.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2008 21:32:10 | More by webmanspidey
Photo of mzwolinski
mzwolinski

California

4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pouts a lovely, slightly hazed brown in color. This fades into red and then orange towards the edge of the glass, giving a really attractive sunset impression. Moderately sized light tan head. The aroma is tart, with light oaky notes.

The taste hits big and sour at the start, but blends into an appealing woody malt character mid-palate. A bit sticky in the throat at the finish, but this problem fades as the hops strengthen with warmth, giving the beer a lightly floral finish with a slight metallic tinge. Despite how it sounds, though, this actually seems to work in conjunction with the malt middle. Pretty damn drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2004 04:49:59 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of Hallertau
Hallertau

Wisconsin

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

06-20-2013 01:37:08 | More by Hallertau
Photo of Pellinore1
Pellinore1

Illinois

5/5  rDev +30.5%

11-15-2011 19:08:43 | More by Pellinore1
Photo of BigPlay1824
BigPlay1824

New York

4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed in a flute

A: pours a deep mahogany amber color with two fingers of fluffy light tan colored head that lingers for a very long time, pours clear and leaves a nice amount of lacing around the glass
S: great nose, sour, tart, complex, its got quite a bit
T: begins modestly enough, then kicks in this really nice tartness that becomes complex and really makes the mouth pucker up, tartness lingers on the mouth nicely
M: modest but present carbonation tingle, drinks thin but definitely awakens the mouth, leaves the mouth feeling dry and also like i have just eaten a sweet tart
O: a well rounded brew with nice complexity and quality, i really love these sour ales

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2012 01:30:40 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of anticipation23
anticipation23

Wisconsin

3/5  rDev -21.7%

04-16-2014 18:27:28 | More by anticipation23
Photo of ggaughan
ggaughan

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I should have reviewed this bad boy sooner as I was lucky enough to be at Monk's when they made the world debut of this beer in bottles at a Michael Jackson dinner. I have had alot of this beer since then (bottles and drafts).

I just had a bottle the other day and it poured a nice cloudy orange/redish color into a nice tulip glass. There was a nice tan head that followed with a nice bubbley body.

The aroma of this beer is nice and tart with some fruity tones to it. The taste continue the tart theme but there is also a nice sweet balance provided by the fruity tones in the beer. This is an easy beer to drink and I have found myself at one of the bars at Monk's having a few of these after work on several occasions.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2005 19:40:44 | More by ggaughan
Photo of zimm421
zimm421

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

06-21-2014 00:29:14 | More by zimm421
Photo of jmich24
jmich24

Michigan

4/5  rDev +4.4%

02-03-2012 23:33:55 | More by jmich24
Photo of philipquarles
philipquarles

Connecticut

1.85/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

On tap. Pours a very dark, clear red with a medium white head. Heavy acetic acid on the nose, though it doesn't smell very sour at all, just lots of vinegar. Very sugary, and somewhat vinous. Not incredibly appetizing. Tastes outright sweet. Again, acetic notes, but no real tart character. Some hints of artificial cherry. Light-medium body. Lingering, cloying sweetness. Utter shite.

Serving type: on-tap

08-17-2009 04:53:58 | More by philipquarles
Photo of davidwhatshisnam
davidwhatshisnam

New York

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

02-26-2014 01:19:24 | More by davidwhatshisnam
Photo of kegger22
kegger22

Michigan

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale is a rich red color with a one finger beige head that reduces to a skin covering.

The aroma has a musty note to it.

Sourness, of course, and cherries stand out in the taste. But not a bitter, mouth puckering sour, just a moderate tartness.

The mouth feel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Drinkability is good, another would be most welcome.

I do not have a great deal of experience with sours, but if they are all like this, I am looking forward to more of them.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2009 04:21:36 | More by kegger22
Photo of GreenMountainBoy
GreenMountainBoy

Vermont

4.25/5  rDev +11%

03-23-2012 00:00:14 | More by GreenMountainBoy
Photo of martyl1000
martyl1000

Wisconsin

4.66/5  rDev +21.7%
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!)

Serving type: on-tap

07-01-2012 07:52:31 | More by martyl1000
Photo of Neffbeer
Neffbeer

Pennsylvania

3/5  rDev -21.7%

11-17-2011 22:42:02 | More by Neffbeer
Photo of pwoody11
pwoody11

Delaware

4/5  rDev +4.4%

07-07-2013 12:01:42 | More by pwoody11
Photo of Slynger
Slynger

Illinois

3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Murky cranberried brown with a lid of frothy-creamy light brown coloring

Smells of tart cherries, lightly red wine and vinegary, with sweet wood and spicy hops.

The taste has a light brown sugar / woody sweetness before tart cranberries punch me playfully in the mouth. Dry red and caramely malts help to balance with mild herbal hops. Light medium body feels lightly acidic, and has a frothy carbonation.

Pleasant and mild for the most part, it did not come in as sour as I feared it may have. Good flavor and balance to it and one I definitely would not object to having again.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2008 02:09:36 | More by Slynger
Photo of jeffthepony
jeffthepony

Georgia

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

11-16-2011 05:23:26 | More by jeffthepony
Photo of AmitC
AmitC

New York

4/5  rDev +4.4%

02-02-2013 02:19:01 | More by AmitC
Photo of minterro
minterro

Colorado

4.04/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought a few weeks back at Morgan's Liquor store in Denver, poured into a snifter.

A&S: Beer is a translucent deep garnet color with no lively carbonation coming up. Pours about a finger of off white head and dissipates moderately quickly to a thin ring and some island, gobs of lacing are left once in a while. Aroma is a good mixture of tart and sour. Primarily tart cherries, sangria, along with some yeasty funk.

T&M: The taste is a little less sour than the aroma would lead you to believe. More cherries in the taste. Higher side of carbonation and lower side of body. Very drinkable.

Overall: The is a very solid beer. For sure worth a try. I will probably buy again but not very frequently due to the 5 buck pre bottle price tag.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2014 02:15:35 | More by minterro
Photo of PEBKAC
PEBKAC

New York

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Gift from a friend. Yes I like sours, thank you. :)

Poured into my Ommegang flute that's just about perfect for everything these days.

Thick & heavy two inch French vanilla head. Tipping the glass doesn't change the level on the surface. The color of red oak stain, light takes all angles through but the most direct.

Smells of cider vinegar, maple, an honest assumption of potting soil, & a sweet/sour note that comes off a little like a mix between Chinese s&s sauce, & white grapes. Inviting & confusing at the same time.

Taste is a flash of syrupy sweet juice followed by a quick pat down with oak. Overripe cantaloupe & sour orange throw into the ring, but overall all the flavors remain pretty level. A little bit of something like sour milk & ash in the finish, but it agrees with me(sort of). Just a little bit of rind bitterness to keep things interesting. A little cookie crust overtakes any remaining sour right at the very end.

Carbonation is sitting pretty, & just has that touch about her. Body is thin & juicy, but it spreads itself out too far trying to keep everyone happy. A little brashness is healthy every now & then.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2008 01:23:40 | More by PEBKAC
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,226 ratings.