Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
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Ratings: 2,306 | Reviews: 1,039 | Display Reviews Only:
4.66/5 rDev +21.4%
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!)
07-01-2012 07:52:31 | More by martyl1000
4.16/5 rDev +8.3%
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
02-17-2013 01:40:14 | More by SHODriver
3.85/5 rDev +0.3%
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.
03-01-2007 01:29:44 | More by beermanbrian
3.75/5 rDev -2.3%
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.
05-16-2011 00:01:32 | More by DrinkingDrake
3.83/5 rDev -0.3%
Appearance: Slightly hazy brown brew with a fizzy tan head.
Smell: Fruit, vinegar hints of malt and limited alcohol.
Taste: Tart beginning flavor evolves into mild fruit flavors. Malt peeks through at times.
Mouthfeel: Light body, but seems a bit heavier.
Drinkablity: A refreshing brew with good flavor.
03-21-2008 03:51:49 | More by SargeC
3.13/5 rDev -18.5%
Poured into a tulip glass and allowed to warm up to cellar temp before drinking.
The body is crisp and clear. A deep ruby red that borders on garnet, it is topped with a fluffy white 1 finger head that leaves sticky streaks of lacing, as well as some spots of foam, all over the sides of the glass. This looks absolutely gorgeous.
The aroma, unfortunately doesn't live up to the high expectations set by the appearance. There is a light acetic quality to the aroma, but more so, there are sour cherries, some cocoa powder, and an underlying sweetness. The presence of a ton of residual sugar is evident on the palate. The sweetness is high, even for a Flanders Red, making this one a bit tough to drink from the outset. Cloying from the start, the flavor has a long way to go to impress me. The dominant flavor outside of the sweetness is red wine vinegar, which is accompanied in the finish by some more slight acidity and some sour cherries.
Slick and heavy on the palate despite being sour, this beer just didn't really impress me all that much. There are far better representations of this style out there, though I can see the value in this beer. It would be a good training wheel sour for someone just getting into the expensive habit.
02-20-2011 05:14:55 | More by NittanyBeerFan
4.04/5 rDev +5.2%
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.
06-09-2014 02:15:35 | More by minterro
3.85/5 rDev +0.3%
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.
05-17-2011 00:08:04 | More by EricCioe
4.08/5 rDev +6.3%
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.
06-21-2003 19:28:56 | More by frank4sail
4.18/5 rDev +8.9%
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.
09-03-2004 04:49:59 | More by mzwolinski
4.13/5 rDev +7.6%
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
03-22-2012 01:30:40 | More by BigPlay1824
4.22/5 rDev +9.9%
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.
12-29-2005 19:40:44 | More by ggaughan
1.85/5 rDev -51.8%
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.
08-17-2009 04:53:58 | More by philipquarles
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,306 ratings.