1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

2,305 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,305
Reviews: 1,039
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.06%
Wants: 50
Gots: 156 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,305 | Reviews: 1,039 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of tuckerlikesbeer
tuckerlikesbeer

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

11-29-2012 05:32:40 | More by tuckerlikesbeer
Photo of sunofneurot
sunofneurot

New York

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

12-15-2013 13:44:04 | More by sunofneurot
Photo of IanSpindler
IanSpindler

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.2%

03-06-2013 15:08:18 | More by IanSpindler
Photo of archero
archero

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

08-13-2013 01:13:41 | More by archero
Photo of waughbrew
waughbrew

Massachusetts

2.93/5  rDev -23.7%

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.

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

California

2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

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.

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

New York

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

05-05-2012 19:05:07 | More by JxExM
Photo of GDBEERMAN
GDBEERMAN

Colorado

4.33/5  rDev +12.8%

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.

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

Missouri

3.93/5  rDev +2.3%

First go with a sour, so here goes nothing...

A- Pours a deep, deep amber hue with a 1 finger head. Head is very bubbly and active. Good lacing and retention.

S- Well, sour it is. Very acidic on the nose. Slight fruit tones. Lemon and lime like scents with the acidity, minus the refreshing citrus part. Slight hints of some malts.

T- Light and fruity, with only hints of the sour flavors that were on the nose. Darker fruits are up front, with some grapes and maybe some tart cherries and raspberries. Very much like a semi-dry champagne.

M- Very carbonated. Drinks easily, but somewhat harsh on the palate. Could drink a few, but your tongue would be worn out.

O- This a a good starter sour. I thought I'd hate this from the smell, but it is pretty good. Easily drinkable and a good gateway into a very expensive style.

06-24-2012 02:45:15 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of Auraan
Auraan

Arizona

4.09/5  rDev +6.5%

Poured a deep brown, with a three finger off white head. Gorgeous, looks fantastic. Sour lactic scent with a slight hint of malt. A good scent of a sour ale, makes me want to take a sip. Taste begins with a nice sour flavor, a sort of sour crab apple flavor and a bit of nice roast malt flavor on the finish and after taste. Quite nice. Very refreshing. Mouthfeel is bubbly and medium bodied, quite good, refreshing and carbonated, yet easy to drink. This is a good, unique beer. I'm not sure how it stacks up for the style, yet I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Worth trying for sure.

08-13-2013 06:24:44 | More by Auraan
Photo of GreenWBush
GreenWBush

Oregon

3.9/5  rDev +1.6%

Deep ruby colored that looks more brown against strong light. Modest head that leaves only a little lace pattern but still quite cute in the chalice.

The smell is upforwardly fruity; cherries, red grapes, pinor noir. Sourness creeps forth at warmer temperatures with a hint of barnyard funk.

This could just be the wine lover's beer...I am amazed by how incredibly red-wine it is. The sourness of the beer contributes to its drinkability...tart, sour, and just a little sweetness to keep everything in check. A great introduction to the style.

10-29-2005 19:54:18 | More by GreenWBush
Photo of pschul4
pschul4

Illinois

3.61/5  rDev -6%

Poured into my HotD taster courtesy of the man, the legend, Libbey

A- pours a red/brown. Ruby tones, if you nomsayin. Also carbonation explosion. Only can get 1oz in this 3oz taster

S- very sweet malts and a touch of acidic bite on the back end

T- mostly sweet, sour bite in the middle before being sweet again on the end.

M- not as prickly as i would have thought, surprisingly smooth for the style

O- good, not great. Probably wouldnt buy again

02-10-2013 20:26:47 | More by pschul4
Photo of JeffreyJDavis
JeffreyJDavis

North Carolina

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

05-23-2012 01:55:41 | More by JeffreyJDavis
Photo of Yabev15
Yabev15

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.2%

08-16-2012 23:25:13 | More by Yabev15
Photo of msondel
msondel

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-18-2014 18:59:50 | More by msondel
Photo of nhindian
nhindian

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -3.6%

11.2oz bottle poured into a Pretty Things wine glass. Bottle generously provided as an extra by bs870621345, thanks Bobby!

A - This pours a really nice, deep cherry mahogany color, a great contrast between ruby and wooded brown colors. About a finger's worth of head floats on top of the beer, with fantastic retention, lasting for well over 15 minutes. Lacing is thick and generous.

S - The smell is a bit more mild than other sours I've had, but my most recent have been from Russian River so I'm not sure that's a fair comparison given the style differences and such. Tart cherries, fresh apples, some slight cocoa sweetness, and a lactic, vinegary note fill the aroma. A nice combination of sweet and sour funk going on here.

T - The taste is a tamed down version of the aroma here, unfortunately. While the nose boasts elegant bouquets of fruit and some funk, the taste is instead reduced to a barely tart cherry and raspberry juice quality. Even the vinegar in the nose was a little welcome just to keep things fresh, but in the taste its more acidic.

M - Mouthfeel is light-bodied with good carbonation. Light and spritzy on the palate but the frothy head aids some smoothness as well.

D - Drinkability is moderate. The nose really had me excited for this, but the taste is more narrow in focus. It's a bit simple, if not tasty, but the aroma had so much more opportunity. I would've loved to have this as an introduction to more sour beers, as it is gentle and only slightly tart.

02-25-2011 05:53:20 | More by nhindian
Photo of Beestin
Beestin

Iowa

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

05-03-2014 20:36:34 | More by Beestin
Photo of heytomcat
heytomcat

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

09-03-2013 22:19:58 | More by heytomcat
Photo of tlazaroff
tlazaroff

Virginia

3.85/5  rDev +0.3%

A: Brilliantly red in color with a crisp foamy white head, sticks to the glass like no other - and perfectly clear.

S: Slightly sour, maybe some cherries, defiantly a fruitiness present, but due to a stuffy nose, I can't get a lot out of it.

T: This is tart, I like it a lot! It has a great complexity that I am having trouble identifying. I wish I could do this beer more justice because It really does taste good.

M: It's dry, fully carbonated, and light on the palate.

D: Quite drinkable. It didn't last as long as I thought it would.

11-04-2011 01:57:11 | More by tlazaroff
Photo of IAmHollywood13
IAmHollywood13

Ohio

4/5  rDev +4.2%

06-09-2014 19:27:03 | More by IAmHollywood13
Photo of dherling
dherling

New Jersey

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Poured out a murky, reddish-brown color with a thin, bubbly head that dissapears quickly. The nose was a strange combination of Belgian candi, yeasty spice, and vinegar. The taste offered cotton candy, lemon and moderately sour cherries with a pineapple finish. Soy sauce. Hate to say it, but I did. The mouthfeel is thin,
somewhat creamy on the tongue. A drinkable brew, but I almost expect this style to be a bit mroe assertive.

11-26-2006 23:19:28 | More by dherling
Photo of StlHopHead77
StlHopHead77

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -5.5%

A-Pours out a Cola-like reddish/brown with a rapidly dissapearing,3 finger,tawny crown that reduced to a thin ring and left light but clingy lacing.

S-Cherry limeade,hay,yeast rolls,white pepper and Cheerwine(NC,representin').

T-Ferrara Pan Cherryheads,preserved lemon,sourdough and prosecco.

M-Bright and refreshing with lively carbonation and a mild sourness.Good starter sour.

O-Nice and light and probably a beer more suited for warm weather.

09-15-2011 16:35:33 | More by StlHopHead77
Photo of EigenBeer
EigenBeer

Florida

4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

09-18-2013 20:44:07 | More by EigenBeer
Photo of madtowndmb1
madtowndmb1

Wisconsin

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%

A: Poured a redish brown with a foamy head.

S: It smells fruity and there's a decent amount acid/vinegar.

T: It wasn't as deep as I'd hoped. It started off kinda thin, but the cherry was OK, but the vinegarish flavor seemed too prominent for my taste.

M: smooth, not as harsh with the amount a vinegar I picked up on my tongue.

D: I thought it was good, but I think there are some better out there for sure. Duchesse was a little better I think.

03-01-2009 17:31:14 | More by madtowndmb1
Photo of Magpie14
Magpie14

Michigan

3.63/5  rDev -5.5%

A: a cranberry red body with some crimson and amber hues. The glass is filled with activity. A very stringy and foamy blob sat on top, it left a few splashes of lace. I like the deep crested color it brings

S: tangy and sour with some yeast and bread whiffs. Some fruits are noticeable, maybe a cherry or two. It smells relatively fresh for the style, nothing overly yeasty in the nose

T: flavors meld together nicely, there is a slap on the tongue that is reminiscent of tart cherries, cranberries, and a variety of bitter apples baked in a loaf of stale bread. The flavors are sour and tickle the tongue rather well. My palate also gathers an ample dose of acidity that, in some ways, helps keep things clean and from being overly full of pucker power. The last part of the sip finishes just a bit sweet

M: light body with a rather clean and crisp snap due to the carbonation levels. I am adjusting to the flavors after the initial blast of tart. I can safely say, it's and easy drinker for the style

D: good sipper. My acquaintance with sour ales is in the novice phase and I think I started with a pretty good one. Not my favorite style of beer, but it is good to mix things up

05-19-2009 21:08:02 | More by Magpie14
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,305 ratings.