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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

2,442 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,442
Reviews: 1,049
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 57
Gots: 192 | 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: 2,442 | Reviews: 1,049 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dubdrop
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

dubdrop, Jul 29, 2013
Photo of Marco_Gtz
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Marco_Gtz, Jun 30, 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 kybeerdrinker
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

kybeerdrinker, Nov 15, 2014
Photo of Agold
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Agold, Nov 15, 2011
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 seavercm
4/5  rDev +4.2%

seavercm, Aug 22, 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 BeersAndBears
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

BeersAndBears, Dec 10, 2013
Photo of Twal
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Twal, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of ThreeFishes
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

ThreeFishes, Jan 28, 2014
Photo of Murchmac
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

My new favorite style. My god these beers are good, weird because I had dissident and hated it. Glad I keep trying these styles repeatedly.

Beautiful reddish brown color, carbonation, and head apparent.

Sweet and sour vinegar smell with some cherries thrown in to boot.

I'm starting to love sours, if they could all taste like this one. Sweetness dominates with that little bit of sourness that just when you think you're out, it pulls you back in.

Overall just a great beer, even if the name flemish sounds like something that comes out of your nose.

Murchmac, Jun 06, 2009
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 ruckus232
4/5  rDev +4.2%

ruckus232, Nov 11, 2012
Photo of cardinals22
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

cardinals22, Aug 11, 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 zenithberwyn
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

zenithberwyn, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of dtivp
3.03/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a dark mahogany brown with hints of ruby, a larger two finger tan head that dissipated very quickly leaving very light lacing.

Aroma of tart cherries with vinegar.

Taste was slightly tart with sour red cherries, a slight hint of malt then a bitter metallic end.

Mouthfeel was a thin light body with heavy carbonation.

Overall I was not impressed with this sour ale, it does not come close to some of the nice Russian River sour ales.

dtivp, May 30, 2011
Photo of SHODriver
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a deep brown with ruby edges and a huge slow to fade off white head into a New Belgium globe
S: smells of sour cherries, a bit of wood, some must and a slight roast malt
T: pleasantly tart with some sour cherry flavor followed by some slight oakiness but the cherry remains throughout, a bit of vanilla as well, hint of chocolate at times too. swallow brings more sour cherry and a bit of must
M: medium with pleasant and slightly prickly carbonation. refreshing finish
O: this beer is tasty and well executed. price isn't bad either and it's fairly accessible out here. If you like the oud bruin style you should give this one a go

SHODriver, Feb 17, 2013
Photo of dgeebs07
3/5  rDev -21.9%

dgeebs07, Jul 02, 2013
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 mixed_master7
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

mixed_master7, Sep 07, 2012
Photo of RobinLee
4/5  rDev +4.2%

RobinLee, Dec 29, 2013
Photo of Bosoxfan20
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Bosoxfan20, Aug 16, 2014
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
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 2,442 ratings.