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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
87
very good

2,432 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,432
Reviews: 1,049
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 57
Gots: 190 | 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: 2,432 | Reviews: 1,049 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NardiByNature
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Aggressive pouring makes a massive, light tan head. Eventually settles down to a nice cap with a little spotty lacing. The beer is a deep, clear mahogany with some ruby notes. The color of this style reminds me of Lipton Brisk.

S: The nose is faint. Smells like carbonation (if that’s a thing), a little vinegar, some cherries.

T: Like the nose the taste is mild, but becomes more pronounced as the beer warms to room temp: sour cherries and some woody flavor.

M: Very smooth, very dry. Fuzzy carbonation. Very drinkable.

O: This is good. Not as complex or flavorful as some other old browns but I like it. Would like to have on-tap sometime.

NardiByNature, Mar 25, 2012
Photo of jrfehon33
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

jrfehon33, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of Weter
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Weter, Mar 24, 2012
Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

GreenMountainBoy, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of TGCarr
5/5  rDev +30.2%

TGCarr, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of BigPlay1824
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

BigPlay1824, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of Supergenious
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Supergenious, Mar 22, 2012
Photo of notalumberjack
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

notalumberjack, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of Jules11788
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Jules11788, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of axeman9182
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle, allowed to warm slightly before being poured into my Bruery tulip.

Monk's Cafe pours a deep, dark red, and has some good clarity to it. There are plentiful ruby highlights, and maybe a finger and a half of bone colored foam that displays little in the way of head retention and lacing. The nose is nice, with some lactic sourness leading the way. Cherry and oak both show up a fair bit in the background. The flavor profile doesn't pull everything off nearly as well. The sourness of the beer takes a backseat compared to a sweet, cherry flavor, and the wood notes disappear almost entirely. It honestly tastes like someone took a decent Oud Bruin and cut it with a sweet cherry soda. The body is fine, but the carbonation is definitely a little dull, and it leaves the mouthfeel feeling a little too slick a times. Monk's Cafe is an alright beer, but it's one of the less impressive Oud Bruins I've had.

axeman9182, Mar 19, 2012
Photo of rickyleepotts
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is apparently rare. I had no idea. I don’t even remember what it cost, but it was less than $10 for the bottle. I grabbed a bottle at Whole Foods. They have a solid selection, but sell just as many cases as they do single bottles. I think ALL beer should be available at ALL stores by the bottle. But that’s just me.

I don’t remember the show, but when I search for “Monk’s Cafe” on Google, the restaurant from the hit TV show Seinfeld shows up. I wonder if that was the name of the restaurant on the show… anyone know? Anyway, let’s get busy drinking.

In the Glass: I didn’t expect this to be so dark. It’s almost red. The label is red, which makes sense. But the last few sours I have had were not red. That’s for sure. But hey, I am fairly new to sours, so maybe THIS is normal.

Nose: Holy cow. The first thing I smell is sour. Like SOUR sour. Not just sour… but sour sour. Did I mention this beer is a sour? I also am picking up some spices on the second sniff. After three or four smells, it starts to settle down a little bit. But I can already taste the sour. Let’s just see how sour she is.

Flavor: The beer quickly slides across the palate, with little carbonation and then just disappears leaving your tongue with that almost too sour sour, but then a soothing finish. The back of the throat gets those spices I was picking up on the nose, but the sour doesn’t really last. That’s OK.

Mouthfeel: I wanted a few more bubbles, but the beer has a great mouthfeel. You don’t get much on the front of the tongue, but then the sour slides around and just punches you in the teeth when you start to swallow. Then the sour leaves, and those spices hang on into the aftertaste. The beer is also very thin, which I expected. As sour as it is, it is very easy to drink, and with a low ABV I could see myself throwing back a six-pack on a Friday night.

Aftertaste: The sour is so forward, it doesn’t really stick around. The spices that were on the nose do. The aftertaste lasts for three or four minutes, then you are left with a somewhat bitter, dry finish. The burp is pretty weak too, but the sour explosion on the tongue when you start drinking puts the rest to shame.

This beer is rare, but shouldn’t be. It’s delicious. It’s also a good springtime beer too, as those sours make me think/feel about the summer just around the corner. I wonder what foods this would pair with… anyway, it’s great. Bottoms up, people!

Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale - The bottle says: “We blend young and old beers to make this mildly sour sour ale. Light bodied with a lactic/sour nose and a bit of sweet and sour in the finish. Very refreshing!”

rickyleepotts, Mar 17, 2012
Photo of megmarden
5/5  rDev +30.2%

megmarden, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of denver10
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

denver10, Mar 16, 2012
Photo of DeerNick
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

DeerNick, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of hopfacebrew
2.55/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

At recommendation of a colleague I picked up a 4-pack, a little pricey ;(. Anyhow, poured from undated bottle to a Duvel tulip the beer pours a deep copper brown color with some ruby red edges in the light. A small 1/2 finger white bubbly head with some retention and lacing, but nor much. The nose is in my opinion the best aspect of the beer with a detectable sour funk that melds well with the sweet fruity banana, apple, and cheery fruity character. Vinegar type aroma is detectable but not a deterrent. Hints of caramel malt sweetness. The flavor starts very much the same but is immediately overpowered but a strong sweetness that ruins the balance of the beer. Fruity and caramel sweetness dominate the funky sour flavor and mellow characteristics the nose let on. Disappointing. Hints of dark fruit such as raisin in the tail end. Finishes sweet. Medium bodied and decently carbonated. Overall, I feel the sweetness was way too much for this beer, which is really too bad. I sampled 2 bottles to ensure I didn't get a bad one to start, both were the same. I will not be back. It was hard to finish 2, but I felt obligated after such a nice review by a trusted peer. Perhaps this is a bad batch? I will have him sample one of the last 2 and see.

hopfacebrew, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of Hanzo
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Hanzo, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of TaySuth
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark copper red in color with a three finger head of creamy, small bubbles that recedes to one finger.

Smell: Tartness is immediately apparent with notes of fruit, mostly cherry, strongly dominating the smell. Minimal hops aroma.

Taste: Very tart right off the bat with a good fruitiness. The taste then shifts to a strong malt character. Slightly bitter and sour on the finish. Really good.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated with a medium body.

Overall: A very enjoyable beer that I will be looking to pick up some more bottles of sooner than later.

TaySuth, Mar 15, 2012
Photo of devonnaire
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

devonnaire, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of TheBishopco
4/5  rDev +4.2%

TheBishopco, Mar 11, 2012
Photo of korguy123
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into snifter.

A- Super dark brown pour with a slight purple/red hue to it. Two finger fizzy off white head that quickly drops to a thin cap. Lacing sheets quite well.

S- Lemon, sugar sweetness, slight grape juice (Welches) there is a small amount of funk going on in here but it is very subdued.

T- Slightly watery at the beginning, than a pucker from the grape juice like taste. Than a little funk finishing with a woody dryness. It's very progressive taste wise as it changes on your tongue.

M- Light, prickly carbonation and very refreshing.

O- This is a very "friendly" Flanders. Very light and refreshing, would have liked a little more zing. Solid beer overall though.

korguy123, Mar 10, 2012
Photo of stckhndlr
3.23/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark rusty brown with ruby highlights. Topped with a thick 1 finger head of very small bubbles. Creamy.

S- Smells like a sour apple cider. Picking up hints of bananas, cherry, maybe some dark caramel. There's a funkiness to this one that is hard to pin point. Almost like a wine that has been over exposed to air.

T- A mellow bitternesss with some sour apple, raisins, cherries, and a woody characteristic mixed in. Tastes like a mossy oak. A bit of metallic leftovers in the finish.

M- Medium creaminess, Not overly carbonated.

O- Kind of a bland sour. No big burst of smells nor flavors. Nothing that really stands out. Having a little trouble with this mossy funk it has to it. But I can't say I wouldn't try it again in the future.

stckhndlr, Mar 08, 2012
Photo of Jparker37
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Mahogany head, medium sized bubbles. Very bright that left no lacing to the glass

S - Tart in the nose. Some faint caramel sweetness, cherry/raspberry fruit. No hop character. A touch of raisin, some alcohol and some woody notes.

T - Puckering moderate to high sourness, acidity outweighs the cherry sweetness. This beers smell was more complex than its taste.

M - Semi-sweet, lighter in body, refreshing, tingling light carbonation. Very acidic/sharp finish almost cloying.

O - Exactly what I was hoping for, great summer brew, no real Belgium funk just a refreshing sour brew.

Jparker37, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of Whiskeydeez
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Whiskeydeez, Mar 07, 2012
Photo of greenbeer29
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

greenbeer29, Mar 06, 2012
Photo of Bin33chef
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Bin33chef, Mar 06, 2012
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 2,432 ratings.