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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.
very good

2,305 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,305
Reviews: 1,039
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.06%
Wants: 50
Gots: 156 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

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: 2,305 | Reviews: 1,039 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of emerge077


3.1/5  rDev -19.3%

Alright, i've stayed away from this one for almost 4 years after a bad bottle (it was really terrible, likely infected in a bad way). Revisiting it, there are still certain character flaws, namely an unpleasant aroma (dishrag) and overcharged carbonation. Getting past that though, there were some nice flavors of grape and apple that came out as it warmed, but still somewhat one dimensional. It was prickly and overcarbonated, with astringency amplifying the tartness. None of the sweetness that was present in the 2007 bottle. Overall it wasn't terrible, but there are far better Flemish ales out there, Namely Rodenbach, La Folie, Jacobins, etc.

02-03-2007 2.7/5 rDev -29.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

For the record, i'm a big fan of sour ales and traditional lambics. My experience with this "Flemish Red" however was seriously subpar.

Dark burgundy brown, a thin ring of bubbles skim the top.

Smells like a donkey with bad hygiene. Stale oats and musky urine...not in the good "horseblanket" way either. Artificial sweetness chimes in. A foul stank on this that surpasses Gueuze, just completely unappealing.

Taste is initially tart and medicinal, becoming sweet, then almost cloying in the finish. Notes of copper, blood, black cherry, and phenolic medicinal funk. Mouthfeel is thin, yields some mouth-watering tartness, but ultimately doesn't deliver. Some carbonation carries it along.

Hard to finish one bottle.

Notes: Not the best example of a Flanders Red, not even a good one. This seems altered from a traditional recipe to somehow cater to the US market. Skip this bastardized Flanders Red and go for the real thing, Rodenbach, Goudenband, etc.

01-21-2012 01:17:06 | More by emerge077
Photo of TheQuietMan22


3.68/5  rDev -4.2%

Serving type: 330 ml bottle. There is a poorly printed batch code on the back label but nothing discernable as a freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a tulip. The color is clean, dark brown. Two fingers of lightly tanned, buttery head dissipated quickly to leave a spotted lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Immediate tartness. Granny apple, sour grapes, plum, raisins, cherry, sweet (very sweet) caramel, molasses, chocolate, and yeast. It has a hint of smokiness and vinegar, too.

Taste: The mouthfeel is very peculiar. Light and slippery, it is almost like diet pop. The flavors do not standout on their own but contribute to a tart blend, which is mostly fruity; it swings between the grapes/apple and the darker fruits. The smokiness is gone, but the vinegar is still noticeable; it has a slight acidity to it.

Drinkability: I have never had sour ale before so I have to say this first experience was good. Different, but good.

01-20-2012 05:06:43 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of HumanParaquat


3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

01-20-2012 03:43:53 | More by HumanParaquat
Photo of IKR


3.55/5  rDev -7.6%

Appearance: Clear medium reddish brown color with a generous off-white head.

Smell: Mainly bready yeast notes.

Taste: Fruity and mild bready notes. The beer is tart in the middle with a slightly sweet finish. I thought the taste profile was lacking in complexity.

Mouth-feel: Body is on the light side with a fairly high- level of carbonation.

Overall: Possibly a sour to introduce someone to sours or one for those who dislike an upfront sour taste but I found this one lacking in the sour department with a simple fairly muted taste profile.

01-19-2012 05:23:36 | More by IKR
Photo of stevefinny

New Jersey

3/5  rDev -21.9%

01-18-2012 21:54:15 | More by stevefinny
Photo of tatums1984

North Carolina

2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

01-18-2012 08:43:54 | More by tatums1984
Photo of spkissane


4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-17-2012 19:39:06 | More by spkissane
Photo of MeisterSmudge


4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-16-2012 10:22:11 | More by MeisterSmudge
Photo of gcotts


2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

01-16-2012 00:49:39 | More by gcotts
Photo of Duff27


4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-15-2012 15:35:06 | More by Duff27
Photo of ummswimmin

New Jersey

3.88/5  rDev +1%

This is the first time I had tried this style. I picked up this bottle to review every style on the BA list. I reviewed the style according to the BA description, but I admit that I have grown to really enjoy the sour style. I learned more about sours after enjoying Riserva by Weyerbacher (recommended).

Sours are an acquired taste, and I like that I learned how to enjoy this rarer style.

Monk's smelled like sour cherry. And it looks like a very deep red with minimal foam that disappears immediately.

The taste is a mix of sweet and sour. It is very fruity; I want to say it is a mix of pear and cherry. I would say that the flavor was very light. I thought that it would be stronger.

The feel is very light bubbles. It felt pretty good.

Overall this is an interesting experience. I wouldn't drink it on a regular basis, but it would do very well for dessert.

01-15-2012 03:59:56 | More by ummswimmin
Photo of bkbergen


4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-15-2012 03:53:33 | More by bkbergen
Photo of shangwang


4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-14-2012 14:12:20 | More by shangwang
Photo of ShanePB


4.28/5  rDev +11.5%

Served on-tap at Craft Ale House, poured into a 12 oz Monk's Cafe glass.

A: Beautifully clear reddish/brown colored body with a small, fizzy and soda-like off white head. The retention is pretty nice but not as full and thick as I'd like it to be. Some lacing is left behind, but to style it's really nice looking.

S: Caramel malts, sweet syrupy cherry, pink grapefruit coated with table sugar, strawberry and oak. Towards the back there's a very acidic and vinegar type of bite, certainly this will have some tartness and sweetness to it.

T: Whoa, this is so well balanced. First is a lactic sour bite with again an almost vinegar quality. This is quickly balanced and washed with the sweet cherry notes, strawberry and raspberry. There's some citrus elements that come into play, and then the oak makes an appearance in the finish. Some tannins and dryness but just another layer in this delicious beer.

M: Bubbly, well-carbonated but still has a medium body with a very easy drinking nature to it. Somewhat dry from the oak perhaps on the finish but nothing detracting.

Whenever this beer is on draft, I always have to order a glass. This was so easy drinking for the style, and lower in ABV at 5.5% that I had to order another. A very approachable, reasonably priced and delicious Flanders Oud Bruin.

01-12-2012 14:05:47 | More by ShanePB
Photo of TexAggie011


3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

01-11-2012 22:09:58 | More by TexAggie011
Photo of akinsja


3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

01-10-2012 22:04:20 | More by akinsja
Photo of mocktm


4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-10-2012 05:05:06 | More by mocktm
Photo of BelgianBeerHog26


5/5  rDev +30.2%

01-10-2012 03:44:22 | More by BelgianBeerHog26
Photo of UDbeernut

New York

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

01-09-2012 19:55:52 | More by UDbeernut
Photo of imperialking


4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-09-2012 04:17:10 | More by imperialking
Photo of towlea25


4/5  rDev +4.2%

01-07-2012 18:23:32 | More by towlea25
Photo of tripledbrew


3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

01-04-2012 04:12:09 | More by tripledbrew
Photo of BlueBombardier


3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

01-03-2012 21:45:00 | More by BlueBombardier
Photo of wrycon


4.22/5  rDev +9.9%

Wow. A ton of carbonation on this. Granted, the pour was semi-aggressive at the start, but a giant head of off-white foam emerged, but also dissipated nicely with good retention. Smells quite sour, some pomegranate some cherry. A bit of apple. Not mind-bendingly sour, but sour enough. Quite flavorful and quite delicious, in my opinion.

Like It? Indeed.

01-02-2012 04:16:25 | More by wrycon
Photo of crhensel

New Jersey

4.4/5  rDev +14.6%

(12 oz bottle into tulip) I was apprehensive about this one, not only because it was my first sour, but also because I found it after getting as a Christmas gift in 2009(!) Heard a good pop when I lifted the cap, so that was promising. The pour was a deep mahogany with a very pillowy, thick tan head. The nose was at first strongly vinegar, which put me off, so I waited a little bit, then came back and found that mellowed into more or less a tart fruit - apples and cherries - with the vinegary undertone. The drink itself was very smooth, and not as sour as I expected. There was a fruity sweetness up front, but the finish had a nice crisp sour bite making for a nice ending note. I will definitely explore this style more, and this one will be a go to beer for me for a while.

01-02-2012 02:21:05 | More by crhensel
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,305 ratings.