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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

2,334 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
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Ratings: 2,334 | Reviews: 1,042 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AmitC
4/5  rDev +4.2%

AmitC, Feb 02, 2013
Photo of errantnight
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Well... not sure what the difference is between an oud bruin and Flanders Red... but... by all accounts this is an oud bruin.

Pours beautifully into my Corsendonk tulip: Three fingers of head with a tenacious head, a deep ruby brown.

Smell is wet horseblanket (finally! this is it! i found it! wet horse blanket!) with some rich malt sweetness and some old vinegar. It's... well... as much as I love these notes in moderation and in combination with other things, together... this isn't my favorite.

But in the mouth... whole different story. The sweetness is there and a little cloying, a little more candy cherry/raspberry than the nose seemed to imply, and the vinegar comes through a bit too much... but the sourness is spot on, a touch of oak, beautiful astringency/dryness. Maybe some tobacco/leather around the edges?

A lil rich and sweet, but well balanced, nice carbonation and full mouth.

Definitely give this a shot, but there are better takes.

errantnight, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of ant880
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

ant880, Aug 06, 2013
Photo of webmanspidey
3.55/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

webmanspidey, Aug 27, 2008
Photo of srw
4/5  rDev +4.2%

srw, Jun 09, 2014
Photo of zenithberwyn
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

zenithberwyn, Jan 21, 2013
Photo of EasyReader
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

EasyReader, Jan 01, 2012
Photo of csmalley
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

csmalley, Dec 07, 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 Focusf111
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Focusf111, Feb 12, 2014
Photo of czfreeman
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a big fan of Flemish sour ales, and this seems like a good falltime beer-(cider-get it?)
Pours out a reddish brown toned, light head, little lacing.
Smells of cherries, yeasts, oak, sour apples, cider, jonagold and granny smith apples, maybe even a touch of lemony-peaches, something like Dogfish Festina Peche.
Tastes of tart lambic yeasts, cherries, apples. Wow! this really is mouth puckering. Not as good as Duchesse de Bourgongne, but decent. I enjoy this style immensely, and this is a classic example. Solid-highly reccomended.

czfreeman, Sep 14, 2008
Photo of yergermeister
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

yergermeister, Apr 19, 2012
Photo of ferrari29
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer poured from bottle into a Tulip glass at O'Shaunghnessy's Public House in the Ravenswood area of Chicago, IL.

A - Beer poured with a rocky, two finger sized beige colored head; held very well; body had an opaque dark reddish colored body; some lacing formed on the glass; some visible sediment

S - Initial overwhelming blast of vinegar and sour yeast come up; followed up with a light wheat smell; as the beer warms up a fruity cherry and berry profile develops and takes over your nose as the vinegar/sour scents become less

T - Great sour red ale taste; vinegar notes and astringent; light malt flavor is taken over by a fruity cherry blast; just like the smell, as the beer warms up, the cherry/berry flavor really starts to take over the taste profile; tart

M - A bit on the thin side; tangy fruit flavors give your taste buds a nice challenge; lingering cherry flavors; crisp and refreshing

D - I really liked this one; don't pass this up if your a sour beer fan; nice sour notes followed up by fruit flavors really make this a unique drink experience; smooth and easy to drink

ferrari29, Aug 01, 2011
Photo of jmich24
4/5  rDev +4.2%

jmich24, Feb 03, 2012
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 jeffthepony
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

jeffthepony, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of TicoCali
4/5  rDev +4.2%

TicoCali, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of Marco_Gtz
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Marco_Gtz, Jun 30, 2014
Photo of beermanbrian
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy brown apple cider look. Very little head. Nothing appealing about the look at all. Smell is all sour fruit, this is what i was expecting. Cherry notes and maybe it's just the apple cider appearance but i think i pick up notes of sour apple too. Taste is sour, but not completely mouthpuckering sour. It's an interesting taste for sure but not over the top. I don't have much to compare this one too style wise but this is pretty much what i expected. Other than the rather drab appearance, a beer that is worth a try.

beermanbrian, Mar 01, 2007
Photo of DrinkingDrake
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer started pouring and instantly a massive amount of head started to form. A ton of carbonation with a lot of large bubbles. A hazy deep ruby mahogany color. The nose is all yeast with a lot of tangy metallic (penny) notes. A subtle amount of toasty sweetness. There is an intense fruity punch upfront. A sour apple juice flavor. A lot of the carbonation helps the bitterness which transitions to a tart sweetness for the finish. A nice tangy fruit kick.

DrinkingDrake, May 16, 2011
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 tripledbrew
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

tripledbrew, Jan 04, 2012
Photo of hellhammermario
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

hellhammermario, Dec 16, 2013
Photo of jminch
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

jminch, Feb 03, 2013
Photo of BeerMeBrah
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

BeerMeBrah, Dec 10, 2013
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,334 ratings.