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

Monk's Café Flemish Sour AleMonk's Café Flemish Sour Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,067 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2067
Reviews: 1018
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.1%


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: 2,067 | Reviews: 1,018 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of PorterLambic
PorterLambic

Florida

3.45/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a beautiful, if unexpected, dark, hickory brown with a big, fluffy head. No light gets through and the voluminous, light tan, head drops slowly to a rocky chunk o' foam with some nice lacing left behind.
Smell is sour (duh) with a quasi-medicinal note reminiscent of school glue, fainter scents of malt, some indeterminate dark fruits, wood, and some very faint spice (pepper?). Balance is skewed towards the sour and wood/glue end.
Taste is sour, malt, fruits, wood, that glue-like note, and a faint cracker flavor after the swallow. Balance is better here.
A slightly less than medium body with a light effervescence. A not-unexpected dry finish. Smoother than many other Flanders/Flemish reds. Like Most van Steenberge beers I like it but it's not my favorite.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2014 01:26:58 | More by PorterLambic
Photo of Ed2
Ed2

Delaware

3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I get in the mood for sours... This one is readily available in my area and is a very good option. The Tart of Darkness has been the best I've ever tasted, but this will do very well. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Brown, lightish.. With a white head about a finger and a half... A little lacing. Smell is what I'm looking for and starts the salivation. Taste. Yes. A very good sour brown.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2014 19:33:25 | More by Ed2
Photo of Wheatafficianado
Wheatafficianado

Minnesota

3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at J.L. Beers in Sioux Falls. I have never had a beer in this category before but was pleasantly surprised. It was fruity, not too sour. It was dark with a nice effervescence in the tulip glass. Slightly tart but drank very well. Different and unlike other beers in that it wasn't hoppy or malty but was really characterized by the fruity sourness. It certainly adds a new category. One of the more expensive beers on tap at J.L.

Serving type: on-tap

04-03-2014 23:33:02 | More by Wheatafficianado
Photo of KornWallace
KornWallace

New York

3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Date: 3/31
Location: Whole Foods near Erdenheim, PA
Glassware: Tulip
Appearance: Pours dark brown sits in the tulip closer to a black. Slightly brown thumb size head that is slow to evaporate. With cascading down the glass as the beer is consumed.
Aromatics: The beer hits with fruits, grapes, plums, grape cough syrup. Some fresh grasses. Some malts. But back to the fruits a little bit of lemon certainly acid.
Flavor: Plums, Plum sodas. Like some kind of plum cream soda. The tart/sourness is very prevalent. The beer hits of fruity candies, lemons and grapes especially.
Finish: The medicinal tartness stays with the fruits carried effervescently by the carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

04-01-2014 02:47:37 | More by KornWallace
Photo of Tony49er
Tony49er

California

3.26/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Serving Type- Poured from a bottle into a Tulip Glass

Appearance- Tons of foamy brownish white head with an aggressive pour, dark ruby red color...just a beautiful looking Flemish sour

Smell- Funkyness, almost an effervescent character to the beer in the nose, fresh and dark cherries in the nose, light dark fruit character, some great barnyard funk to it

Taste- Effervescent quality in the front of the palate, dark cherries, fresh cherries, funk, light tart off dry sourness, very refreshing just a great sour no matter if you have had a lot of sours or you are new to the style

Overall- Just an awesome sour I have had this beer several times but this bottle has been in my cellar for a year or a little more and has not changed much maybe a little more funk but still awesome if you have never had a sour this is a great start I LOVE sours in my opinion they are the most under appreciated beer style by Americans....CHEERS

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2014 03:36:03 | More by Tony49er
Photo of DrumKid003
DrumKid003

Oklahoma

4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Very dark amber with a little red around the edges, and plenty of sediment floating in the glass.

S: Smells a little like sour apples, but I may be missing something here.

T: Tastes like apple juice on the front mixed with a couple other dark fruits, the sour starts to kick in midway mixed with the malt which makes it sweet, and the finish is a very crisp sour that last a very short amount of time.

M: I'm pretty new to sours, but this was very thin on the mouthfeel considering how dark it is. But the sour warms the mouth as you continue to drink.

O: If I was going to recommend a sour to someone new to the style, this would definitely be one the few, and it's an easy drinker so you could have a 2-3 before the alcohol starts to kick in.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2014 18:52:08 | More by DrumKid003
Photo of stephens101
stephens101

Oklahoma

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After spending much time wandering desultory in the wilderness of sour-beer apprehension, wondering what the hell I'm not getting, I'm becoming more and more intrigued by these ales and the complexity they can bring to the table. Hopefully this one can pull off the delicate balance between off-putting and brilliant.

Pours dark brown with crimson hues and finishes with a light tan head that fades quickly.

Smells of belgian yeast, sugar, plum, grape, various other soured fruit guts, vinegar, and taffy.

Grape juice, grain, and vinegar to the tongue. Just enough bitter to make you pucker up a bit before the next sip.

Thinner than expected resulting in a less than medium body but easy on the palate comparatively speaking.

A quality brew that seeks greatness, keeps it between the goalposts, but falls just slightly short of the goal when it's all on the line.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2014 00:23:35 | More by stephens101
Photo of BeerKangaroo
BeerKangaroo

Alaska

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

How I fell into this, I'll never know other it was Tim's parting words before he left me (have fun in Idaho - asshole, I hope you're reading this), try 'em all Adam. Aw hell, ok, well here goes.

Into a tulip.

A: dark brown colored body with a thick two fingered white foamy head that dies at a moderate pace and leaves a big foamy thick lacing gracing the sides of the glass

S: sour and tart and somewhat sweet cherries, maybe some apples that seem slightly spiced

T: sweet, sour and tart that seems to be all at the same time; sweet sour sticky apple cherry aftertaste, the finish is somewhat quick and sticky

M: it sits about a medium and really doesn't show much sessionability to it as well as it shows some decent sipping aspects to it, carbonation is very subdued - I like it

O: to me, I say this is a good Flanders Oud Bruin that I think I could have again. I did have one the other day with some sloppy joes and thought that was excellent.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2014 07:15:18 | More by BeerKangaroo
Photo of Sumdeus
Sumdeus

California

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: poured deep ruby in color into a mini snifter. Very little head. Last pour from the bottle is sediment heavy.

S: rich dark fruits with a nice moderate tartness to it.

T: the fruit characteristics are first which develops in to a medium tart kick with a clean finish.

M: good feel to the beer, not too thin, it has some thicker viscosity aspects to it but does not coat.

O: a good moderate sour with some dark fruits and tart cherry that is very pleasing to drink. Nothing out of this world but a good everyday beer for when the sour mood strikes.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2014 03:11:25 | More by Sumdeus
Photo of JamieDuncan
JamieDuncan

Maryland

4.54/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Picked this up as part of a mixed six because I have been liking sours. Great looking beer that had a very good smell that could have been stronger. Flavor was excellent, had more of a beer taste than a lot of sours which I like very much, almost perfect. Overall a very strong beer that I will get again if I can find it at a decent price.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2014 22:51:12 | More by JamieDuncan
Photo of KYGunner
KYGunner

Kentucky

4.01/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Giving off a fascade of a stout this pours like a cola with a deep brown hue. The head was thick and frothy with decent retention.

The nose holds a candy sweetness, with a wine like or Cabarnet fruitiness, some vinegar and a sweet bread malt.

This is full of tangy fruit flavor with Apple's and pears. Sweet Tart candies come to mind as I drink this but what was the flavor of Sweet Tarts anyway? Theres a tang that is a little like vinegar but it is not off putting and even seems to support the wine like properties.

The feel is velvety smooth with a smooth sour finish.

Overall I found this to be an excellent beer, not just for the genre, but as a great introductory beer into the world of sours.

Serving type: on-tap

02-21-2014 01:22:58 | More by KYGunner
Photo of phalligan5
phalligan5

Maryland

3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I first had this beer at a bar in Washington DC. Every since, i have been hooked on sour ales. Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour Ale is a great selection if you are looking for something different. From what I have tasted, you can't go wrong if you are in search of a tasty sour ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2014 21:47:41 | More by phalligan5
Photo of youknowmyname
youknowmyname

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Odor: All I could smell was sour cherry and lime. Tried to pour into a glass to see if it produced any other odors and still sour cherry and lime.

Pour: Lightly Filtered. Pours out black with a slight plum look. Produces a nice long lasting head. No lacing.

Taste: Wow, Never had a flemish sour ale before. First thing that comes to mind is that this is a beer for someone who can't decide if they're in the mood for beer or wine. While brewed as a beer, this has a very sweet and sour taste to it. Very thin body and high carbonation. Reminds me of cherry coke mixed with a chardonnay. A little sour apple taste, a little malt taste. Definite cherry taste. Different than anything I have ever had.

Opinion: This has a nice drinkability to it, I could see drinking this when I wasn't in the mood for a standard beer. Goes down easy almost like soda, but alcoholic which is always a good thing. Being as light bodied as it is, it has little to no aftertaste. Just be prepared for something different.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2014 01:43:55 | More by youknowmyname
Photo of don1481
don1481

Wisconsin

3.54/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into my usual pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep, deep red color with a fairly quickly dissipating head. Some carbonation.

Smell: definitely a sour smell to it. Like a lambic with strong sour notes.

Taste: ... Not really a strong taste. Not the strongest tasting sour ale I've had. Very muted.

Mouthfeel: pretty crisp. Doesn't really leave any sort of aftertaste.

Overall: meh. I don't think I will be getting this again. Was worth going off the normal path for me, I suppose.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 02:04:54 | More by don1481
Photo of Rhf9120
Rhf9120

Rhode Island

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This was my very first sour. Smell is of sour fruit, bread malt, and mustiness. The taste is of vinegar, sour fruit, malt, and slight mustiness here as well. The aroma and flavor of this beer really reminded me of balsamic vinaigrette, which to me was awesome. Really happy with this as my first sour I am looking forward to trying more.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 14:57:20 | More by Rhf9120
Photo of Patrick_E_Sweeney
Patrick_E_Sweeney

Virginia

3.91/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a beer tulip. Color is a very dark amber. Almost three fingers of cream colored head with a slight red tinge. Extremely light aroma, slightly sour and fruity. A bit like an extremely watered-down apple cider vinegar (not at all unpleasant, just the best I could do to describe it).

Taste comes on strong and complex. Pretty much no malt, very little hops. There is a great deal of acidity, reminiscent of citrus fruit. Quite a decent bite that lingers for several seconds. As the acidic, carbonation feeling fades, a dry, slightly hoppy aftertaste persists.

Interesting beer, a bit like a less-sweet lambic. They aren't kidding when they call it sour. Not something I'd drink every day, but certainly a repeat customer.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2014 23:30:55 | More by Patrick_E_Sweeney
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a gueuze glass.

A: Dark red-brown color with a mild haze. Highly effervescent. The tan head almost has a slight pink tint. Retention is excellent. Bubbly patches of lacing slide lazily back down into the glass.

S: Sour cherries and sour apple. Acidic. Light rustic character, layer of musty yeast. Peppery. Malts come across very crusty on the nose. Traces of dark caramel and cocoa.

T: Cherry and prune juice. Cherry tartness balances a malt-derived sweetness of dark caramel, toffee, and chocolate. Brown molasses. Yeast character is more subtle than the nose indicated, but it still brings some musty flavors and some clovey phenol. Pleasing sweet and sour interplay on the finish as sour apple and cherry notes melt with a caramel/molasses sweetness.

M: Light in body with a refreshing spritzy feel. Any would-be sticky malt sweetness is lifted away by the scrubbing carbonation.

O: A very enchanting and crushable little sour. Actually more tart than sour. A good transition beer for those looking to immerse themselves more easily into the world of sour Belgian ales.

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2014 18:19:09 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of RonaldTheriot
RonaldTheriot

Louisiana

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale has an extremely thick, spongy, beige head, a mostly clear, dark, reddish-brown appearance, no visible bubble streams, and heavy lacing left behind. The aroma is of very bready, sour dough, slightly rancid fruit, and oldness or mustiness. Taste is of sweet bread, very sour fruit, old beer, sweet-tart hard candy, and maybe red apple. Mouthfeel is medium, and Monk’s Cafe Flemish Sour Ale finishes mostly dry, strangely delicious, and highly interesting.

RJT

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2014 00:23:48 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of SavvyStudent
SavvyStudent

Texas

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a dark nutty amber color. Strong lacing, minimal carbonation to the eye and 2-finger of lacing that dissipates slowly.
S: Cherries, vinegar, leather, and a little bit of nuttiness
T: tonic profile with the cherry sour profile you would expect. rotting lemon and creaminess on the back that was not expected but is nice and not too heavy.
M: sits medium with medium-low carbonation
O: It is a above-average sour but nothing crazy worth buying in my opinion. the creaminess on the back and color are the only unique aspects I found in this ale.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2014 20:46:58 | More by SavvyStudent
Photo of Mises85
Mises85

Virginia

4.93/5  rDev +28.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

This is the first sour beer/flanders ale I have tasted. Served in a tulip glass at around 45 degrees.

Appearance: chestnut brown (I was expecting a red color) with 2-3 fingers. Head retention was quite good and didn't dissipate quickly.

Smell: What a delight! Cherries, touch of vinegar, some creaminess, red wine, some sourness, soda water.

taste: effervescent, seltzer like, cherries, mild acidity, winey, some sourness, touch of oak.

Mouthfeel: light and refreshing.

Verdict; What an amazing beer and unbelievable flavor! This is something I could kick back on a slow day. Not hoppy at all but was amazed that even an extreme hophead like me could enjoy this. Definitely not the last sour beer I will try.

Serving type: bottle

12-29-2013 01:42:33 | More by Mises85
Photo of FLima
FLima

Brazil

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with a thin off-white head with short retention.
Light aroma of red wine and a hint of funky notes.
Wonderful flavor with notes of red wine, bread malt, vinegar, raspberries and cranberries, a hint of sulfur, with a pleasant mild tartness and lactic acid.
Full body with a bit effervescent carbonation and a light acid sensation.
Very assertive and easy to drink. As other Flemish Ales it is a good introduction to Sour Ales.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2013 23:05:53 | More by FLima
Photo of BradtheGreat7
BradtheGreat7

Ohio

3.89/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle with a pretty nice label and Belgian style shape to the bottle. Not eye candy but still a pretty good label and bottle. Poured into a tumbler style pint glass. Nearly identical to the one pictured on the side of the pack.

A - dark reddish brown with lathes chucks of sediment floating about. Tan head poured quite nice at cellar temp and took its time dissolving into a good ring of lace. A bit thin looking for the mass it had. More light pillow like. Left small splotches of stick throughout the experience.

S - exactly as I expected. Some real funk to it. Oak. Dark fruit with sour cherries. But also a more dominant apple blend fruitiness. A sweet malt and more funk from the yeast. Overall a fine smelling ale. Dark, sweet, and mildly sour on the nose.

T - some real sweetness up front from the malt. Candied dark fruit and sour cherries. Everything seems ripe with age. A hint of oak about this, but not quite enough for me. Semi tart finish but no where near puckering. Yeast funk is a highlight in Monks Cafe. A lingering funk. Quite Nice.

M - lightest medium body possible. Not a whole lot of thickness but surprisingly a smooth rich texture considering its light in nature size. Very smooth and no where near a full in your face sour ale. This is a mild sour and very refreshing. Smooth with a lingering finish. Yeast funkiness alone is worth the try.

O - a very good brew. Not something I was searching for, but I'm glad I bought 1. It gives you the characters of a sour ale while keeping an excellent balance and not over doing the sourness nor the sweetness. If you like a sour ale without the puckering this is spot on. It's very session like and easy going. A super lunch beer. Quite tasty.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2013 19:56:28 | More by BradtheGreat7
Photo of thisisshsas
thisisshsas

Maryland

3.94/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown Red Coloring. Medium Head. Sour taste apparent but not overwhelming or unappetizing. Light aftertaste that is a little dry but not particularly bad. Overall a very balanced beer. I don't have a ton of experience with this style but if most beers taste like this I certainly will try them on a regular basis.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2013 04:27:14 | More by thisisshsas
Photo of McNealc31
McNealc31

Ohio

3.18/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

The color is attractive. As close to brown as red can get. However, the giant chunks of sediment are a bit off-putting. Aggressive carbonation tingles on the the tongue. This is, indeed, sour, but not unpleasantly so. A touch of caramel and even a fruity finish. But sour is by far the dominating note.

I feel like this is going to be a hit or miss. You'll love it or hate it, depending on your individual feelings toward sourness.

Serving type: bottle

11-18-2013 01:47:12 | More by McNealc31
Photo of Dix90
Dix90

Pennsylvania

4.53/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: dark golden chestnut brown with ruby hues. Nice bubbly head with good quick receding lacing.

Aroma: fruity and vinegary. Cherries, apples, grapes and cranberries shine through in almost a red wine tinge.

Taste: very fruity and sweet on the tongue.very well balanced with a mild tart sourness. Highly carbonated and leaves a pleasant sweetness at the end.

Mouthfeel: very light and carbonated. Bubbly and dry. Kind of feels like the carbonation makes the tartness cascade along the tongue.

Overall: a very good introduction to sours. Mildly sour that let's strong fruit notes shine through. Very thirst quenching.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2013 19:42:51 | More by Dix90
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Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,067 ratings.