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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
86
very good

2,234 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,234
Reviews: 1,032
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 47
Gots: 133 | 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: 2,234 | Reviews: 1,032 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero

Texas

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a ruddy amber with thin foam lacing around the edges. There’s a very apparent sweet and sour nose that makes its presence apparent. Not a strong tart aroma but its there when you nose it. Nice, lightly soured flavor.. Some dark cherries and oaked notes that carry over to the palate. Light, yet flavorful, a somewhat tannic finish. Considered a “gateway” sour for good reason—it doesn’t overwhelm but its obviously there. Wouldn’t be my first choice after having tried others but its nothing to turn my nose up at. For its price especially it’s very good.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2011 04:49:00 | More by elNopalero
Photo of vince4953529
vince4953529

California

4/5  rDev +4.4%

11-15-2011 04:22:17 | More by vince4953529
Photo of Jef59
Jef59

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- at first, the beer appears to be a deep brownish orange with a nice, thick, cream colored head. When held up to the light, it turns to a beautiful ruby red. The head dissipates to a thin lingering layer throughout the rest of the glass.

S - A nice sour smell hits the nose followed by a sweet sugary honey scent. There is a fruity scent, kinda berry/cherry like. Smells like it should be really refreshing.

T - It IS really refreshing. The sourness is really nice: not too overpowering for the rookie sour drinker, but not too subtle as to take away complexity. A sour cherry flavor is very present and is nicely complimented by a malty, brown sugar backbone. There is a slight spiciness (coriander maybe), but it is very subtle. Hardly any hops are present, but it does have a nice citrusy zing to it. It's almost if cherry-lemonade and beer had a baby.

M - Super velvety! The carbonation rolls over your tongue leaving a light and refreshing consistency.

This beer is super refreshing! Perfect for a hot day or to pair with an awesome meal at Monk's!

Serving type: on-tap

11-15-2011 03:43:19 | More by Jef59
Photo of Lawnboy33
Lawnboy33

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.4%

11-15-2011 03:20:44 | More by Lawnboy33
Photo of Exiled
Exiled

Texas

4/5  rDev +4.4%

11-15-2011 02:35:41 | More by Exiled
Photo of mattkooler
mattkooler

Kansas

4/5  rDev +4.4%

11-14-2011 17:46:03 | More by mattkooler
Photo of throwback
throwback

Ohio

5/5  rDev +30.5%

11-14-2011 17:42:52 | More by throwback
Photo of Jspriest
Jspriest

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +4.4%

11-14-2011 16:33:21 | More by Jspriest
Photo of shuajw
shuajw

Georgia

4/5  rDev +4.4%

11-14-2011 14:49:33 | More by shuajw
Photo of JustinMatthew
JustinMatthew

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 750ml in to a tulip glass. A beautiful dark red color with a small white head that quickly disappears. Smells Of vinegar and what seems to be some sort berries. Taste is very similar.. Lots of vinegar and fruit coming through. Good amount of sourness in this one. I enjoyed it. the After taste lingering in what seems to be some sort of berries.

Serving type: bottle

11-13-2011 04:58:47 | More by JustinMatthew
Photo of RuckusDu
RuckusDu

Colorado

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a large 4+ finger head that seemed rocky but then quickly went down. It does stick around however at about 1/4cm. The color is odd and I can't put my finger on it. Light khaki but also some darkness to it, like the red coming through. I can't believe how dark this is. Really a dark red plum color.

S - There is a slight Belgian (dark currents, fruits) quality to it, but really a sour lemon/orange/grapefruit scent.

T - Wow, this is very nice. A great combination of dark Belgian quad qualities (but remains light) with sour cherries. Was not expecting this to be so good. There is a little boozy quality at the front which is weird considering it is 5.7%. There are some sweet raspberry/blueberry flavors.

M - A little light considering all the dark flavors but that works for this beer. It is a great alternative to the standard dark Belgian ales and lambics.

O - A lot going on here which I will have to discover through many more bottles. Would like to see how this tastes with some age on it but will be one of those where I have a difficult time aging when I will just want to drink it.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 03:57:38 | More by RuckusDu
Photo of cosmo4u
cosmo4u

New York

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber under a thin beige head. Initial nose is primarily of soured sweet fruits with wood notes. First taste is of the big sour tartness laid immediately on top of a sweet fruity base. There is a big woody flavor in the middle of this one that is just right. Palate is surprisingly smooth and almost creamy and the sweet/tart finish is just perfect. I don’t want to sound patronizing by saying that this would be a good intro to sours for your non-beer friends, but it balances the sweet/sour well enough that it won’t blow anyone away. And, to be clear, that balance is an indication of the level of craft gone into this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2011 03:14:34 | More by cosmo4u
Photo of nickhiller
nickhiller

Texas

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: copper, tan bubbly head foams and busts in about 30 seconds, no lace.

S: minerals, rust, fresh rain air, slight vinegar, Sauvignon Blanc wine cork.

T: sweet and sour sauce, cider funk and vinegar, Neco Wafers, kind of like soda flavored candy. Finish is juicy with a malty beer-y aftertaste. It reminds me a lot of a diet soda.

M: light-bodied, light carbonation, which I usually prefer in this style, but it lacks both the body and the dryness to back it up. Has a watery quality that is off-putting.

O: a very nice beer, pleasant and drinkable, in the same way that a diet Coke is. Also the smell and mouthfeel left a lot to be desired.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2011 22:25:18 | More by nickhiller
Photo of tlazaroff
tlazaroff

Virginia

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Serving type: bottle

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

Virginia

2.53/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Clear red pour with a fizzy white head. I was quite surprised at the vigor with which the head rose from the brew. Lacing is spotty, and retention is not great.

S: The smell is quite interesting and complex. The sour and funk rest in the background of a sweet and fruity nose. Cherries, oak, malty. Sort of strange.

T: Not what I was expecting, again. No sourness, sort of vinegar-like, no funk. Lots of fruit. Apples, cherries, raspberries, very sweet. Plastic-like finish.

MF: Creamy body, medium, with a high carbonation. Dry and weird aftertaste.

O: Very disappointed here. Well below average, just not very good.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2011 04:55:53 | More by russwbeck
Photo of climax
climax

Missouri

4.45/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The flagship sour pours a deep black cherry with brilliant garnet highlights. The foamy tan head is gargantuan and retains itself atop indefinitely. All the way down, there's a constant thick film with a few dark thin spots.

I'm not too sure where to start on the nose, it's complexity is confounding. The sourness does not overpower the auxiliary flavors by any stretch, but it definitely has astringency and let's me know it's going to be tart. Dusty wood, sweet toffee, and juicy apple are the easiest to decipher. Deep within, a rogue roasty character hides, perhaps a glimpse of what's inside.

Toffee and unsweetened chocolate flavors soon surrender to inevitable tartness composed of unripened cherries, and raspberries. Some sweeter vanilla and soft Belgian yeast perplex me even further. And what comes after the beer has gone down is a fantastic lingering sweet, buttery, sour.... er, needless to say it's hard to make sense of what's going on in the finish (or any part) but the complexity is Earth shattering.

The carbonation explodes in the mouth like a bubble grenade. The body itself is slick and finishes clean. With this much fluffiness from the carbonation, it's tough to tell quite where the body fits in.

I am by no means a die hard of sour beer, but I did thoroughly enjoy this. It is astringent/sour/tart whatever, but I don't think I would have it any other way.

Serving type: bottle

10-27-2011 21:37:12 | More by climax
Photo of scout
scout

District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Publican in Chicago.

Pours a ruby-brown color with a generous head and excellent lacing. Smell is sour cherries, fruits, that Belgian sugary smell and some oaky funk.

Taste is really interesting -- a total blend of tart cherries, maybe some apples too and sweet. Also, a tad spicy and a little bready too. What's unique is that it's a total blending of flavors -- they don't hit you in phases but are all there from beginning to end. Mouthfeel is outstanding -- smooth, almost creamy (probably attributable to the draft, but still surprising for the style).

Overall, a very unique beer. A very drinkable sour with a lot of complex, but very blended and balanced flavors.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2011 01:05:17 | More by scout
Photo of claytong
claytong

Vermont

3.7/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance - crimson mahogany in color, with an eggshell colored head which i believe lasted almost an inch the whole time i was drinking it.

smell - apple/pear, acidity/tart or sour cherries, a bit of white wine, pepper, and oak

taste - tart apple, tart cherries, pepper, oak, and a bit of metal to top it off.

mouthfeel - nice and dry. amazing carbonation, light to medium body.

for 2.50 a 12 oz its not a bad beer. certainly unique and hopefully the metal wont be there next time.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2011 13:41:25 | More by claytong
Photo of cdkrenz
cdkrenz

Wisconsin

3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Brown body with a purplish accent where light makes it through. Head is eggshell and starts out at about a half inch and fades to leave a thin layer of varying densities at the surface.

S - Smells of a dry white wine. There are apple aromas, what seems to be a woody scent, and a sourness.

T - I taste alcohol, Chex Mix, sour grapes and yeast. One of these flavors in and of itself may not be all that inviting in a beer, however, wrapped up together they're not too bad.

M - Light bodied with a high level of carbonation making for abrasiveness throughout. It does have a nice dry finish.

~ This is a unique beer. Not one that I would seek out necessarily, but definitely a beer worth sampling.

Serving type: bottle

10-19-2011 00:55:27 | More by cdkrenz
Photo of hiku7
hiku7

California

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy cherry mahogany with a tall light tan head that quickly recedes, but is easily revived with a swirl.

Aroma is overripe fruit, maybe raspberry and strawberry, and funk with spice. Flavor is a rounded comforting sweet malt base with barnyard funk and substantial but balanced tartness giving way to a dry finish.

Medium body with foamy carbonation. Starts with a slightly sticky sweetness, but ends dry.

Solid Flanders sour ale.

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 03:19:56 | More by hiku7
Photo of JoeAmerican77
JoeAmerican77

Colorado

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark cranberry in color, minute head. Yum, oak and sour bugs abound in the nose of this Flanders Oud Bruin ale. Huge carbonation, like a champagne explosion, is playful next to its medium bodied base. A nice tart lemon and berry fruit cocktail is presented to the tongue, hints of oak as well but not too dominant. The sour is delish!
6/10 Sour scale.

Fruity, sour and fun. Sounds like a bad Navy joke ;)

Serving type: bottle

10-18-2011 01:16:31 | More by JoeAmerican77
Photo of Beer4Baltimore
Beer4Baltimore

Maryland

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is the first beer I've had that uncorked itself. I removed the cage and within seconds the cork popped followed by a gush of foam.
A - a clear deep red brown topped with a towering bubbling foamy head.
S - I can smell and feel the tart. Very much a cherry malt aroma.
T - the taste surpasses what the smell may have hinted at. There are rich caramel malt flavors underneath the moderately latic tart twang. There is a bit more happening as it warms. Belgian yeast flavors appear along with an increase in the strength of the sour.
M - medium bodied and highly carbonated with a semi-sweet finish and a long lasting mild tartness not unlike what a sweetart candy leaves behind. It's just a little sticky.
D - easily can drink the whole 750ml and still want more.
I'd call this a Rodenbach Grand Cru Light.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2011 22:58:44 | More by Beer4Baltimore
Photo of jayhawk73
jayhawk73

Maryland

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

Pours a dark brown w/ crimson highlights. Decent carbonation and good lacing my my snifter glass. You can almost see the other side of the glass when held to light, but not quite. Smell is fairly smooth for the style- tart, a little funk, sour, some acidity, apple and cherry as well. Definitely on the reserved side, but good nonetheless. Taste brings out more of the cherry flavor, with a slight funky aftertaste. I'm actually surprised there isn't more funk in this beer. If there were, the score might be a touch higher. The acidity and tartness make themselves known as well- not over the top, but you get both out front. Feel is good, but not quite as complex as I would hope for. Overall, this is a good beer, and definitely a good intro to sours beer. The funk is there, but it's relegated to the background. Worth picking up for sure if you're new to the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2011 00:09:00 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of mooseo
mooseo

Pennsylvania

2.7/5  rDev -29.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle poured into tulip. This was my first sour, so I was not sure what to expect.

A - Deep red brown with a decent head that fades quickly.

S - Vinegar and malt, with a hint of sourness and some cherry. Funky and not very pleasant.

T - Sweet dark fruit (mostly cherry) at first mixed with some vinegar and yeast. Just a bit sour, much less than I was expecting.

M - Light bodied with average carbonation.

D - This is my first sour beer and I'm not sure what to think. It wasn't very enjoyable but not horrible either. The vinegar aroma really turned me off, but the taste wasn't as bad. This style seems like an acquired taste, and I'll have to experiment with some more examples.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 04:40:08 | More by mooseo
Photo of EkimGram
EkimGram

New York

3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: 11.2oz bottle poured into Duvel tulip. Colour is a rosy brown, 1/2 finger head that is rather busy and bubbly fades quickly to a thin film and lacing. Decent amount of visible carbonation towards the top.

Smell: Somewhat tart yet roasty. Sour cherries and malt are the strongest aromas.

Taste: Much tarter than the smell, sour and sweet. The cherry flavours float over everything else. Complex and interesting.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, carbonated with a sharp initial bite. Finishes somewhat sticky.

Overall: This was my first sour and I must say I'm pleasantly surprised. The flavours are all nice and balanced. Mouthfeel is a little abrasive for my taste but that's it.

Serving type: bottle

10-14-2011 02:40:29 | More by EkimGram
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,234 ratings.