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

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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

2,593 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,593
Reviews: 1,086
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.77%
Wants: 66
Gots: 282 | FT: 5
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:
Beer added by: nomad on 06-19-2003

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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,593 | Reviews: 1,086
Photo of CPeterson
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A -- Pours a copper cola brown, effervescent like soda, bubbling and calming just as quickly.

S -- Huge sour apple and cherry with a heady sweetness followed by acidic sharpness.

T -- Sweet and sour, just as expected. Sour cherry and good acid up front followed by a mellow earthiness from the wood. A sweetness lingers and balances the brew with an excellent finish.

M -- Well carbonated, a little silky while still being sharp.

D -- While not mind-blowing, this would be a great intro beer for those looking to try a sour but want to keep the pucker and the balance in check. Worth a purchase or ten.

Photo of beerhan
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a delirium snifter. Dark brown color with about an inch of foam. Smells very murky, somewhat metallic with a flowery scent as well. Tastes like toffee with this sweet and sourness to it that is very hard to describe except by describing how tasty it is. Not too sour whereas some sours make my mouth cringe up but not too sweet as with a faro. Very drinkable. I have had it on draft as well and could not stop having this except for the price tag. Bottles are a very good price though and I high encourage anyone to try this.

Photo of Tone
4.31/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, dark red color. 3/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of tart malt, slight sweet malt, and strong citrus. Fits the style of a Flanders Oud Bruin. Mouth feel is sharp at first, that then becomes smooth. There is an average carbonation level. Tastes of tart malt, strong citrus, slight sour, slight sweet malt, slight yeast, slight grass, hint of hop, and a hint of wood. Overall, a very good beer.

Photo of zeff80
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a clear, dark burgundy color with a one-finger, light brown colored head of foam. Okay retention and it left soapy trails of lace.

S - It smelled of sour black cherries and was slightly phenolic.

T - It had great sour fruit flavors - like black cherry and grapes.

M - It was crisp with a slightly puckering bite. A light to medium bodied ale with a very dry finish.

D - This is a really nice sour ale. It makes a great brew for a lengthy solo session.

Photo of porkinator
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There wasn't a price tag on this at BevMo, so that kinda made me want it!

A- Dark brown color. 1 inch head that faded quickly. Been 2 minutes since I've poured it, and still has some bubbles around the glass.

S- You know it's going to be sour. Berries: Cherry and raspberry?

T- Good! Sour at first and as the taste goes away, you get a cool sensation that lingers.

M- Feels bubbly. Smooth and sits very well. Not to thick.

D- I would like to definitely try this again!

Photo of Ryan011235
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 11/1/10

10II 15:25 printed on the label, whatever that means

Pours a dull, see-through brown that appears much darker in the glass; even having a ruby appearance. 1/8th in head of loose bubbles dissipates quickly, though some of the larger bubbles remain. A few strands of lace.

Juicy, tart aromas are the focal point & offer suggestions of moderate sourness. Hints of tart dark cherries. Perhaps more interesting is what lies beyond: a faint, fruit/candy-like sweetness & something that calls to mind cinnamon Altoids dust.

The taste is almost juicy (as is the feel, for that matter) & has a down-played sourness on the grander scale, though I find the amount to be very enjoyable. The sourness & carbonation are like two peas in the proverbial pod, offering a collective twinge upfront, a tamed mid-section & smooth finish. It's a good balance between crisp & restrained. Overtones of dark cherries & a hint of apple add to the juiciness & provide a hint of sweetness. If the beer is fairly dry, the finish is even more so with a even-keeled toastiness. Sour residuals creep back in & linger after the finish.

Monk's Cafe Flemish Sour is a mighty easy-drinking beer. The sourness isn't over the top & makes for a mellow, low-key drinking experience; an any-day sour, if you will. Just really enjoyable all around.

Photo of MikeyMisfit
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: deep red mahogany color with an off-white head. The head from the initial pour seemed to dissipate pretty quickly, however the beer kept a thin creamy head from start to finish.

S: The scent of tartness with a slight malty/caramel floating around somewhere

T: You get the sour/tartness up front, your saliva glands kick in and then there is a cloying sweetness to balance the tartness. Like a sour apple type thing. Imagine taking a bite of a Granny Smith apple and then immediately follow it with a bite of a Red Delicious apple.

M: Light bodied with just the right amount of carbonation. Crisp and refreshing.

D: This would be a great beer on a hot summer day or after eating a heavy meal. Definitely one of those beers that makes you wonder why its gone so fast.

Photo of bernie879
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a goblet

A reddish brown ale with an off white head, reeking of sour cherries in a really good way. The carbonation was up there just enough to aid the medium bodied bodied beer and played well with the tart sourness in the mouth.

Why this is called a red ale I am not sure as it has more of the characteristics of a brown which are noticeable in the taste once one gets passed the sour cherries which dominate the beer, again in a good way.

I picked up this beer on a whi as I had never heard of the style and was blown away. This was a really goos beer and I look forward to trying others within the style.

Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
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.

Photo of Frosty80
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Color: pours light brown. sits dark copper with deep ruby hue

Smell: moderate funkiness of vinegar and gym locker with a hint of cherry sweetness to round it out. somehow this works

Taste: a mellow tartness with a hint of vinegar and cherry sweetness through the finish

Mouthfeel: light-medium body with moderate carbonation

Notes: personally i love vinegar so im very cool with sours like this. refreshing especially after having a big stout

Photo of dragonWhale
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant amber into my chalice of delights, with a white head that slowly dissipates, leaving a ring around the edge. It smells sweet and malty, with a slight sour twinge to it..
In the taste, the sour comes out boldly, buoyed by the sweetness of the young blend. The interplay is well done, creating a beverage that is tart but very drinkable. I certainly enjoyed this, though it was a bit vinegary.

Photo of benyerd
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 oz Bottle

(A) Dark red to amber in color. Poured a light brown 2 fingered head with good head retention. Great clarity with mild carbonation. A very pretty beer to look at.

(S) Very sour and tart at first smell but after smelling again, I picked up a slight malty aroma.

(T) Very crisp and refreshing sour taste. Would say that it almost tastes like apple cider on steriods. Very interesting flavor.

(M) Nice, Light and crisp.

(D) Very, very drinkable. Intense tart flavor on this one left my lips smacking.

Photo of megahurts4
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
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.

Photo of kingcrowing
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a sampling glass.

Pours a clear red color with a very small light brown color head. Nose is vinegar and funk. That's really it!

Taste is also quite tart and vinegar-y, very sharp and a bit unpleasant. It's got a fairly sharp mouthfeel due to harsh carb.

Photo of scottfrie
2.2/5  rDev -42.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

330ml bottle into Delirium Noël glass.

A: Pours an extremely dark ruby red with a thin bubbly light pinkish-brown head that faded into a fuzzy film
S: Smells strongly of sweaty socks with a touch oak and maybe a hint of cherry syrup.
T: Not sour at all. Maybe a touch tart, but for the most part this tastes like overly carbonated fruit punch. Very sweet on the palate, but luckily the finish dries up and a bit of the oak comes out. Aftertaste isn't syrupy, but there is a weird synthetic fruit flavor to it. Not particularly funky at all.
M: Tons of soda-like carbonation froths up in the mouth and then dies down into a slick, viscous finish. Off-putting.
D: Extremely disappointed by this one. The syrupy fruit flavors are almost medicinal and not pleasant. I love all styles of mouth puckering beers, but this one is just not for me.

Photo of mlazzaro
3.18/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

11.2oz bottle from portland wholefood

a- pours a reasonably clear brown ale, with a tan colored head. healthy carbonation + good head retention.

s- smells of sour funk and maltiness. I usually associate this aroma with fruits, it is odd smelling the funk standing on its own. a unique aroma.

t- I do enjoy the sourness, but it feels naked without the fruitiness. not a traditional lambic like I was half hoping for. low hop profile. acid flavor, highly carbonic.

d+m- carbonation reminds me of a soda more than a beer. thin body from bret I believe. full flavor that dissipates very rapidly. not my favorite beer. I hardly cared to finish the bottle. might not be my preferred style of brew.

tastes like an accidentally soured beer.

Photo of gatornation
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a garnet to amber color with a fluffy beige head somewhat hazy look..smell is vinegar and sour funk followed by tart raspberries or cherries ..taste is a slight sour vinegar taste that is infused with some tart fruit taste which works well..mouth feell is medium with carbonation it has a tartness to it with vinegar and sour notes..i liked this one i thought it was balanced well and a tasty sour flanders ..good one

Photo of JEdmund
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Burgundy and clear with a good head on pour but fades fast; can smell the funk easily; nice sour scent, making me think cherries are included; taste is light, slightly sweet (in the finish) and has enough sourness to be enjoyable but not overpowering; high level of carbonation and a thin body; slight copper in aftertaste (makes me think this is the old beer part of the blend); overall an enjoyable experience, but not one to repeat at $4 for 11 oz.

Photo of billshmeinke
3.14/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

One inch fluffy white head.

Ruby red body with some golden highlights. An inch of cream colored fluffy head.

Smells really fruity. Kind of a fake raspberry scent. Not too pleasant.

Tastes like raspberry and blueberries. Nothing really sour about it. Kind of fake fruit tasting... don't really know how to describe it, but a bit of a bummer.

Super well carbonated. Light bodied. Fairly dry.

Kind lame. Fake fruit tasting. Not buying again.

Photo of cnally
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another sour, I think I've officially turned the corner on these beasts...

A dark brown body color, off white shimmery head slight spitty lacing.

Aroma is vinegar, but somewhat mild, a little dried fruit, raisin/prune, that aroma when you open the bag.

The flavor is delectable. A tart flavor of fig, red grape. Aggressive yeasts come out sour and puckering. A good bitterness in the finish.

Highly fizzy wild and untamed.

Delicious and easy to swig considering the tartness. I believe this would be an appropriate diving board for someone who has never tried a sour, it is decently mild and less aggressive on the vinegar.

Photo of dpnelson1978
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10 oz. pour in glass snifter.
50°F (~)

$6.00 / ea.

A: Bright brown body with red highlights topped with a small loose head that quickly dissipates leaving moderate lacing and a thin bubbly cover.

S: Sour lactic nose but not overpowering, pleasant. Smells like pinot. Really interesting.

T: Tastes like pinot noir, with a pronounced grape presence. Sour lactic, but very clean, and inoffensive. Low hop character, and very little aftertaste.

M: Light body with high carbonation and a acidic bite on the tongue. Crisp.

D: Not everyone will like this one, but I could drink it all night. Give me some cheese and crackers and it would be heaven.

O: I was instantly impressed with this one, and later found out it is the same brewer as Gulden Draak (my favorite beer). I guess I shouldn't have been surprised, but I definitely was.

Photo of GDBEERMAN
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep reddened brown. Nectarine highlights. Small bubbly beige head that dissipated quickly. Some wisps of lace.

Vinegar, cherry, raspberry, tart and sour. apple, pear, candi sugar and spices. berry pie. slight lactic and slight feet.

Bright crisp and fruity. Sour apple and pear, tart cheery and raspberry. Sweet and fruity. pie crust.

Refreshing, crisp, bubbly high carbonation. Light body with some feel to it.

Very drinkable. Vinegar disappeared after a few minutes. Great flavors. Not overwhelmingly sour. A nice drinkable sour Flemish ale.
My girlfriend doesn't normally venture outside of the Hefe/Wit/Blonde arena, but she loved this one, claiming it was one of the best beers she's ever had. I am trying to get her into belgian beer and this was a great one for her to try.

Photo of MoreThanWine
2.76/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a modest 1/2" head, and it's more of a stout brown than a red ale as the label says. Kind of like a lambic it's sour, although at least it's a cleaner sour than the raw hamburger taste I got in the last lambic. In fact the best descriptor for the Monk's I'd say would be pickle juice.

Hey, this is probably a excellent example of this type of beer. Honestly it's just not my thing.

Photo of Rayek
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.

A: Deep mahogany with good clarity and little visible carbonation. A small and wispy head quickly falls to a ring. Leaves no lace.

S: Very sour in the nose. A distinct red wine vinegar aroma dominates. Dark fruits help offset the sour.

T: Lots of dark fruit flavors start things. Red grape, plum and raisin do yeoman's duty. A bit of pepper adds some spice. The sourness comes on late with an extremely puckering lemon flavor.

M: The medium-light body feels a touch thin. The carbonation is a bit low.

D: This is a nice Oud Bruin. The sourness was actually quite refreshing. Hopefully I'll get to revisit this one.

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Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 2,593 ratings.