Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
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Ratings: 2,282 | Reviews: 1,038 | Display Reviews Only:
2.9/5 rDev -24.5%
11.2 oz bottle. Pours reddish brown with a big fizzy light tan head that retains well and leaves a little lacing.
The aroma is tart and sour cherries with some woody cardboard and some acidity.
The flavor is sweet and tart sour cherries / raspberries with a little woody funk. The mouthfeel is light bodied and very watery.
Overall, an interesting sour. It's sweet, but not too much so. It is way too watery though.
05-31-2013 00:13:53 | More by Beaver13
2.88/5 rDev -25%
This is one of the first sour ales I've had, and I liked it fairly well.
The appearance is very reddish brown and actually quite appealing with a nice sustained head and delicate lacing.
The smells are almost overwhelming at first, as there is so much going on. Initially the sour cherries come barreling towards you followed by an entourage of sweet and sour notes.
It tastes quite sweet on the tongue and the sourness permeates the rest of your mouth. There's a feeling of drinking balsamic vinegar at times.
Has a very sticky and lasting mouthfeel, very difficult to shake.
02-25-2011 01:25:35 | More by paganbeast
2.88/5 rDev -25%
750ml caged and corked bottle purchased at Specs, in Temple, TX.
A- Pours a crystal clear brownish red. Amber almost. Minimal off-tan head on pour which quickly dies.
S- Fruity sweetness, almost like golden raisins. Definately not tart our sour.
T- A hard brew to describe, and not really in a good way. Slight vinegar sour/tart flavors are apparent, but very subdued. They are overshadowed by the fact that it tastes like overly carbonated, slightly acidic apple juice. I'm getting shades of Lindemans Faro, and that's not a compliment.
M- Highly carbonated, medium body, "zesty".
D- Low. Not a great beer or a great example of the style. A 12oz bottle would be OK, but a 750 is overkill. I would split this with friends except that I actually LIKE my fiiends...
Overall- I've had this beer on-tap at Monk's Cafe in Philadelpia, and bottled. Either way, you lose. While not a bad beer, it is incredibly average.
12-16-2010 02:00:34 | More by mrandypandy
2.85/5 rDev -25.8%
Appearance: Nice deep burgundy color, with a decent white head which dissipates to a good rim lacing.
Smell: Sweet cherries....sour berries, red wine and oddly (to me) vinegar
Taste: (only took 4-5 sips) Short and simply put....very sour and nasty tasting. A few sips and I knew I would not be able to finish this brew.
This is the first flemish sour I ever had and it will most likely be my last.
Kicked: Perhaps a desired then aquired taste for certain sour ale drinkers....and this is probably very good brew in it's category/style but it's just not my style....take this review w/ a grain of salt.
01-02-2005 00:59:04 | More by WilliamPhilaPa
2.85/5 rDev -25.8%
Tried this at a private office function, poured from an 11.2oz bottle.
A dark garnet, like slightly red cola. It had a non existent head which was quickly chased away by an almost hissing carbonation. Interestingly, after letting it sit for a while, the remnants of the head formed little islands that looked hauntingly like leering skulls.
At first, it was a phenol bomb bringing to mind the dreaded low totem poll halloween "Good n Plenty"s of younder years. Despite my disdain for the candies as a kid, this smell was really pleasing. As the brew warmed up, this candy smell transformed into an nose full of apple vinegar. It was a unique transformation that I found interesting.
I recently tried a Geuze, and recognized some of the champagne qualities I picked up in that in this beer. It almost tastes like a marriage between cola and dry spanish cava all built on a backbone of sour dough bread. Very unique, pretty sweet. (sugary sweet, not sweet as in cool). After taste is very much champagne.
The hissing carbonation I mentioned earlier set upon my tongue and sizzled on its surface. Thin and driven by carbonation. Very gaseous and fizzy.
A little too sweet to do more than one. After sitting out for a bit, its carbonation dulled accentuating the cola taste even more so. Nice beer for an experience, and would work well as a toast, but as far as sessioning it's just a bit too unique.
01-18-2009 02:44:30 | More by LiquorLockerVP
2.83/5 rDev -26.3%
[update from December 2011 - My sister bought this by mistake (told her to get another beer) and my brother-in-law and I opened it up one night. I told him of my past bad experience with it, and stated this was recommended to me by a beer store employee as a "gateway" sour and it almost ruined sours for me in that I wanted to stay away from them. Since it was my first "sour" I thought it was worth a revisit since I did not like it at all a few years ago. Needless to say, I still hate this beer. It is disgusting.]
Appearance - Poured relatively hard with the outcome being only about a finger of head which quickly dissipates and leaves lackluster lacing. A copper/red hue shines through when held up to the sun.
Smell - The very first thing I notice about this beer is the overwhelming cider/balsamic vinegar smell. Can also smell black cherries and obviously a hint of apple.
Taste - Not hoppy in the least. Honestly, it tastes how it smells to me - almost how I would imagine sour cider vinegar to taste with some alcohol added to it. After this initial flavor, it most definitely ends on a sweet note.
Mouthfeel - Relatively thin and carbonated. Aftertaste is quite sugary, a bit tart even.
Drinkability - Not very for me. This is my first sour and it was nothing like I expected, and sadly that is not a good thing. I would describe myself as someone who normally likes tart, bitter types of food so I naturally thought this would be something I would enjoy. As of now, it is not. I may need to give it a few more chances (I still remember when I could not stand hoppy beers like Stone and now I enjoy them thoroughly). Overall not horrible but somewhat disappointing.
07-25-2009 23:36:42 | More by SpdKilz
2.83/5 rDev -26.3%
poured a deep red-brown color with sparse, slightly-off white head. Smell is very tart and fruity. Taste is somewhat of a shocker. Extremely tart and sour, enough to make my mouth pucker. Finish is more tartness. Had trouble finishing half a bottle. Not my style of beer.
08-21-2005 18:08:54 | More by tgbljb
2.8/5 rDev -27.1%
Poured from a 750mL into my trusty snifter and a tulip - splitting this review with my brother. Only legible stamp was "15GJ 14:44"...whatever that means...
A: Pours a light brown, cranberry, ruby mahogany...with a massive three finger egg-shell colored head that faded instantly.
S: Sweet and tart...vinegar and cherries...mostly just vinegar sourness.
T/M: Very thin...highly carbonated...gives more of a champagne quality than a sour yeast...lacks body. Apple cider...not very complex. Just fizzy.
O: More fizzy apple juice than sour beer. Lacks body. More sweet than tart...a bit dissapointing.
12-24-2011 03:59:14 | More by kbuzz
2.8/5 rDev -27.1%
Poured into a glass from a bottle.
A - Pours a medium brown with redish hues. Sode pop like carbonation creates a 1 inch head which faded immediately. No lacing on the glass.
S - Strong sour aroma with a noticeable vinegar presence throughout.
T - The sour fruit is the forefront of the flavor, with the vinegar taste coming through in the finish. Light malt body mixed throughout, but the sourness/vinegar hides all other flavors.
M - Medium bodied with quick soda carboination which leaves the beer flat quick. Aside from the lack of carbonation, the body is smooth and clean.
D - Unique flavor and aroma. I'm not sure if the body is the way it should be. A good doorway into sours, and one I will continue to explore.
09-07-2010 03:07:52 | More by beeragent
2.8/5 rDev -27.1%
Drunk without food
Smells great. Has a nice feel in the mouth, but when it hits the back of the palette the sourness of of the beer comes out very strongly. I loved the way it smelt and the way it tasted initially but after it hit the back of my mouth it was overpowering.
Would drink again, but should be paired with food, something to counter act the sourness.
06-21-2010 18:50:18 | More by GermanHero
2.78/5 rDev -27.6%
Appearance- ruby red in color, big foamy off white head, good lacing
Smell- cherry, other dark fruit, a bit of vinegar
Taste- Follows the aroma, a bit tart, very sweet, lots of vinegar, vinegar overload
Mouthefeel- light body with medium carbonation
Overall- To much vinegar, not to much else going on
08-23-2010 03:06:54 | More by JLeege
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,282 ratings.