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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
86
very good

2,236 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,236
Reviews: 1,032
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 47
Gots: 134 | 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: 2,236 | Reviews: 1,032 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of damienblack
damienblack

Massachusetts

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a translucent amber-red in color. Head foams up nicely, and retains fairly well - by the end of the glass there is still a thin layer coating it. Also some very nice lacing patterns left when the glass is disturbed. Smell is sour cherries soaked in vinegar - a pleasant vinegaric smell. Doesn't seem to spicy or earthy at all. Taste starts off with a bit of vinegaric bite, but quickly mellows to a subtle berry flavor. Sour cherry and apple, still hints of vinegar but it doesn't have an in-your-face kick. Pretty light, maybe medium-light in body. Has a champagne-like dryness to it. Or maybe seltzer. Very nicely carbonated. Not as sour as I was expecting, I was expecting more of the Jolly Rancher in your face tartness. It is a very good intro to sours, it has some sour flavours without the bite, mellows quite nicely from the berries of the fruit.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2009 05:56:06 | More by damienblack
Photo of sisuspeed
sisuspeed

New Hampshire

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass. Red, brown-amber color with a fizzy white head on top. Some lacing is apparent as well.

Aroma consists of vinegar, sweet malts and a bit of cider. Apple vinegar comes to mind.

After a couple of sips the taste of sweet cherries, sour apple and rich malts flood my mouth. Sour at first, but then washed away by the sweet malts. The finish tart and fairly refreshing. Almost like sour candy.

Mouthfeel is quite smooth. Light carbonation, yet still somewhat prickly. Body feels full and rich.

Drinkability is good. The tartness on the finish makes me want to keep tipping the beer back to refresh my mouth with cool, smooth liquid. Very easy to drink. Sweetness is the only thing holding this beer back from being a session beer for me.

Overall, I was pretty impressed with this beer. This is only the second sour I've ever had and I'm liking the general style more and more. Glad I can easily pick this up.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2010 03:25:11 | More by sisuspeed
Photo of Bwagner1122
Bwagner1122

California

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

11-02-2013 02:17:51 | More by Bwagner1122
Photo of happygnome
happygnome

Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: pours a deep mohogany color with about an eigth inch of head that dissapears quickly leaving a good amount of lacing
s: vinegar, funk, cherries are deffinatly present. the vinegar aroma is not overwhelming but ties all of the other aromas together niely
t: sour, vinegar, cherries, refreshing
m: medium bodied ample carbonation

overall, this was an enjoyable beer, I enjoyed it a lot there was a ton of flavor

Serving type: bottle

07-27-2008 23:50:20 | More by happygnome
Photo of megahurts4
megahurts4

Louisiana

4.2/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. Monk's Café Flemish Sour Red Ale

Appearance: Dark brown, medium head, and some lacing.

Smell: Sour wine like balsamic vinegar.

Taste: Purple sweet-tart start, a subtle malty aftertaste, and some subtle oak.

Mouthfeel: Medium.

Overall:
This would go great with a meal. Smooth and nicely flavored. It has that taste of a purple sweet-tart. It is not as complex or potent as Russian River Consecration, but it makes a great introduction to sour beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 04:25:47 | More by megahurts4
Photo of LightnerLiquorKS
LightnerLiquorKS

Kansas

4.25/5  rDev +11%

01-22-2014 00:29:18 | More by LightnerLiquorKS
Photo of djeucalyptus
djeucalyptus

Oregon

4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a ruby-tinged crystal clear chestnut hue with ample carbonation rising from the bottom, fueling a creamy almond-colored two finger head that leaves behind some foamy pisco sour egg white-esque lacing.

aroma is dead on for the style. clean, fruity, lactic acid aroma wafts as soon as the bottle is cracked. a bit cleaner and a bit less funky than some, but just as inviting as any flanders. tart fruit and spice, less sharp vinegar in the aroma. I'm lovin' it.

Taste attempts to match with aroma but falls just a bit short. still solidly tart with pleasant acidic notes, sharp berry sourness, and nice funkiness, but there's a bit of metallic earthiness that grows stronger as it warms. Still solid for the style, but just a bit too clean and sterile to have a ton of character, and the slight metallic earthy off note isn't incredibly appealing.

Mouthfeel is solid, with ample carbonation creating an almost creamy mouth despite the tartness and slight slickness that comes with the style. smooth and enjoyable. Cleaner mouth than many... definitely nice.

I'm pretty impressed. This may be one of my favorite Flanders I've had the pleasure of tasting. unbelievably drinkable with all the notes I love. it's a bit lacking in that extreme funkiness that keeps it from being outstanding, but on the whole, it's a beautifully rounded Flanders Oud Bruin. Delicious.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2009 04:25:58 | More by djeucalyptus
Photo of perrymarcus
perrymarcus

Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a deep amber tone, sits a chestnut color with ruby tones evident when held to light. foamy finger, finger and a half beige head, middling retention; head lapse into a thin cap... very nice lacing.

nose is a pretty nice bouquet consisting mostly of malts, sour/tartness, and a fruity sweetness.

flavor hits me with a little more sourness than i was anticipating based on the aroma, but not an overly, mouth-pucking sour... interesting balance between the sweet and sour. defintely has some tang to it; sour cherries. tasty and refreshing, though nothing transcendent.

medium-bodied mouthfeel with healthy carbonation. drinks easily. looks like 4s across the board here.

edit: docking the drinkability score a point. it's wearing on me.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2011 03:03:10 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of bucklemyshoe
bucklemyshoe

Georgia

3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Notes from 10/20/2010:

11.2 oz. bottle at 42* into a chalice.

A: It pours a cloudy, beet-red color with some short-lived and fizzy head.

S: It features aromas of dark cherries, berry medley, and vinegar.

T: The taste is of sour cherries, sour grape peel, and more vinegar. It begins sweet and ends lactic and sour.

M: This is light bodied and a bit bubbly throughout.

D: I'm not exactly used to sour beers but it didn't keep me from enjoying this.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2010 06:40:11 | More by bucklemyshoe
Photo of Kinsman
Kinsman

California

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark and hazy reddish brown color. Dense cream colored head holds tightly against the glass and doesn't let go.

Aroma touches on notes of vinegar and sour cherry but it's not as overpowering as some for this style. A bit of fruity sweetness in the background.

A more balanced version of a Flanders ale with a nice mildly sour kick but plenty of malt backbone and sweetness to keep things in check. Fruit notes touch on green apples and cherry with a nice tartness to them.

Mouthfeel is crisp an bubbly but doesn't quite dry you out like you'd expect. Overall, Monk's Flemish sour is a great sour ale when you're looking for moderation and mild sourness (i.e. good intro sour). At 2.50 a bottle, I'll certainly have this again.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2011 21:57:00 | More by Kinsman
Photo of jminch
jminch

Ohio

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

02-03-2013 11:50:16 | More by jminch
Photo of Marco_Gtz
Marco_Gtz

California

3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

06-30-2014 19:30:04 | More by Marco_Gtz
Photo of ZenAgnostic
ZenAgnostic

Texas

4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1 Pt. 9.4fl.oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Label stamped 09LJ 14:53... no idea if that's an encoded date stamp or the batch number. First I've had of this style, so I'm just going to rate it as a beer in general rather than to style, as is tradition. (in Canada?)

Appearance - Very dark clear/hazy ruby red body. Offwhite head with low to moderate retention and decent lacing.

Smell - Sour. Grape juice. Apple juice.

Taste - Sweet front end with a slightly metallic finish. Clean, slightly sweet aftertaste that doesn't linger for more than a few seconds.

Mouthfeel - Soft body with a slightly crisp, mild sparkling grape juice effervescence.

Overall Drinkability - Not particularly complex, but delicious nonetheless. Again, I can't rate in style since this is my first of its kind. However, as a beer it is very enjoyable. Would go great on any occasions where you might want to drink sparkling grape juice.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2011 23:56:08 | More by ZenAgnostic
Photo of riemster
riemster

Ohio

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

06-10-2013 20:38:00 | More by riemster
Photo of Caudalie
Caudalie

Quebec (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

03-12-2014 19:53:24 | More by Caudalie
Photo of elec
elec

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

04-08-2012 01:06:55 | More by elec
Photo of DavidHume
DavidHume

Virginia

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

01-09-2014 01:47:03 | More by DavidHume
Photo of confer
confer

Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev +11%

03-03-2013 00:41:36 | More by confer
Photo of MarioM
MarioM

California

4/5  rDev +4.4%

11-23-2012 07:39:59 | More by MarioM
Photo of CreekyJarls
CreekyJarls

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +4.4%

11-05-2013 19:15:52 | More by CreekyJarls
Photo of waughbrew
waughbrew

Massachusetts

2.93/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Murky acorn color with no head, just a collar. Smells of cherries and cider. Flavor is bright fruits that quickly swirl into a tartness that is very present but not extreme. Woody notes add depth at the beginning but disappear as it becomes more tart and dry. Thin body and low carbonation makes this seem like a relative of red wine. The finish does not seem very interesting or complex and fails to really inspire another sip. A pleasant beer that could serve others as a decent introduction to the style.

It should be noted that this beer was the first ever to have devastating effects on my digestive system. You have been warned.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2004 03:13:39 | More by waughbrew
Photo of treyrab
treyrab

California

2.5/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Was in the mood for a light sour, so I grabbed this one off an Ohio beer store shelve and poured into my glass...

A: Pours a very clear ruby red with a nice off white head. Look is very nice with ruby, crystal clear hues with plentiful carbonation and a very nice, creamy head.

S: Red wine vinegar up front with some underlying flavors of cherry, and some spice, but vinegar is by far the most prevalent.

T: Light sour grapes with vinegar. Not very good, very light. The grapes are putrid and the vinegar is watered down into the grape taste. Not pleasant.

Overall, this was vinegar galore with some underlying flavors that could not pass the vinegar taste. Not recommended.

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2009 01:34:48 | More by treyrab
Photo of tourdot
tourdot

Wisconsin

3/5  rDev -21.7%

07-12-2014 23:49:39 | More by tourdot
Photo of GDBEERMAN
GDBEERMAN

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle into snifter.
A: A deep reddish, amber body, pours with a light cream head. Head retreat thin layer, while the lace that is left is a spotty, that is spot on representation.
S: The aroma denotes a sour brew that shows a hint of sweet cherry.
T/M: The front of this beer is a mellow start of subtle cherry, that exceeds to a blast of sour, but not over powering the limit. The finish is a smooth and nice off for the style, a relapse of sour that lingers nicely. The mouthfeel is a nice and smooth sensation that forms a nice silky effect.
D: I find this to be a bit overly drinkable, a bit too smooth and tasty. The alcohol is barely present at all and is a delicious sour brew.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2010 05:35:43 | More by GDBEERMAN
Photo of CB2maltygoodness
CB2maltygoodness

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +4.4%

05-03-2014 21:52:04 | More by CB2maltygoodness
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,236 ratings.