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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

2,338 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,338
Reviews: 1,042
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 51
Gots: 161 | 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: 2,338 | Reviews: 1,042 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of elinash
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Monk's Cafe Flemish Red is brewed by Van Steenberge in Belgium. Poured into my Fin Du Monde glass at hand.

It pours very dark with no head, only a light ring of lacing around the edge.
The aroma is amazing, full of vitamin c/ acscorbic acid, vinegar and sweet malt. Tart cherries come out in the aroma and in the immediately following taste profile.
The taste is malt-rich with tons of fruit and sweet and sour flavors. It is wonderfully tangy and smooth at the same time.
Mouthfeel is soft with the sweetness predominating.
It finishes with rich fruit flavors and high acidity.

elinash, Mar 23, 2008
Photo of SargeC
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Slightly hazy brown brew with a fizzy tan head.

Smell: Fruit, vinegar hints of malt and limited alcohol.

Taste: Tart beginning flavor evolves into mild fruit flavors. Malt peeks through at times.

Mouthfeel: Light body, but seems a bit heavier.

Drinkablity: A refreshing brew with good flavor.

SargeC, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A deep brownish red carmel colored body hosts a rocky swiss cheese bubbled foamy head. Head has nice staying power and leaves spotty scattered lace all over. Nose is a very funky crisp tartness with hints of cherry, rubarb, and powder candy(like pixie sticks). A musty sour funk soaks the mouth on first sip. The tartness is really much more mild and enjoyable than the firsy mouth full had shown. The sour feel dries out a bit and actually balances with a hint of sweetness. Mouthfeel is that same dry sour hue that is very pleasant. Drinkability is high for this style for me. This was a very nice change from some of the blunt mouth destroyers that other sour beers are to me.

SPLITGRIN, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of DIM
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a: This is a somewhat cloudy dark amber color. It pour with a big, pillowy, uneven, lacey light tan head with cherry highlights.

s: Big poweful nose here! Sour candied cherry aromas dominate. Funky earthy grains are present as well. Overall, this smells mildly rotten, but not in bad way.

t: I like the funk, but there is too much sweet here. Sour rotten fruit flavors of apples and cherries and some prickly, acidic, vinegary grains dominate. On the down side, there is an artificial sweetner finish.

m: I like the tartness and dryness on the tongue.

d: This is a style I'd like to explore further. I enjoyed my first quite a bit.

DIM, Mar 13, 2008
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a brownish red color beer with a medium off-white foamy head with some pretty good retention. Aroma is quite sour and you can already feel the effect of the oak on this beer. Taste is quite acid with some subtle sweetness at the end. Cheery feels is less present then in the Rodenbach Grand Cru but can still be detected. Overall, I find this one to be a good Flemish sour ale and would even say that it seems to be underrated compared to some other Flemish Sour ale.

Phyl21ca, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of kenito799
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Gorgeous slightly hazy reddish-brown color, twinkling orangey-pink highlights when held to light. Tan head is raised and recedes slowly, leaving lots of lace. Very nice looking.

Atfirst pour the whiff is hugely vinegary, immediately bringing me back to those alka-seltzer-like easter egg dyes I used to drop into diluted vinegar as a kid. With more time open the sharp vinegar smell merges with fruity cherry and oak notes.

Mouthfeel is brightly fizzy, yet smooth and almost creamy as well. Taste is very nicely sweet-tart cherries steeped in oak. The sweetness prevails a bit as the bottle is finished, leaving me wishing it were a touch drier--knocks drinkability a tad. Nevertheless a wonderfully refreshing and delicious beer

kenito799, Mar 11, 2008
Photo of dbalsock
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

App: Brown with an orange tint, and very clear. Off-white head and huge carbonation bubbles.

Smell: Vinegar, sour grapes and some background caramel and base malts.

Taste: Much less sour than it smells, with a deep maltiness that has a vague caramel taste mingling with a pale malty sweetness. It's much sweeter than expected.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with a slight sour twang and fun carbonation. Light bodied and refreshing.

Drinkability: For a somewhat sour beer this is way drinkable, and goes very well with steak.

dbalsock, Mar 09, 2008
Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.15/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

My first Oud Bruin.

Appearance: Pours with a lively Brett-like head, which fizzes and pops appropriately. About half-finger which settles into a quarter-finger. Lacing is sloping and jagged, with some spotting. Very consistent lacing, certainly. Body is a strange beast - outside of light, it gives off a sapphire-ish ruby red, but when held up to light, it becomes a far more opaque off-brown. Strange.

Smell: Apple cider, champagne-like vinousity, brett, a solvent-like buttery soy aroma. Corkiness. Some butter. Dried fruits deep underneath, like raisins and dates, mostly. An interestingly complex nose, with some definite funkiness to it.

Taste: Slight sourness on the tongue. A hibiscus flower-like flavor. Corkiness, vinousity again. Apple cider, hay. A little more one-note here, but still harbors some unique characteristics that I haven't particularly detected in other beers or, in what might be closest to this, lambics.

Mouthfeel: Fizzy and fluffy.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable. This was a very interesting drinking experience, and makes me want to try more Oud Bruins.

RidiculedDisplay, Mar 08, 2008
Photo of botham
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. pours a chocolate brown color with brilliant garnet highlights. a single finger of head tops it off and leaves moderate lacings.

aroma is very acerbic, with a fruity base. the sour character overwhelms any chances of delicate aromas to show. fruit notes include mild citrus and grape.

taste is of light caramel malts and a touch of roasted malts up front, with the same acidic character. an earthy base begins to show after a few sips, most likely from the barrel aging. nice complexity here, without being overly sweet or sour.

mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a sharp bite from the sour character. no alcohol present with mild CO2.

drinkability is good, though this is a polarizing style, this brew is decently drinkable. nice complexity and proportioning. cheers!

botham, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of treehugger02010
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought this bottle at Oak Tree Discount Wine & Spirits and poured into a Snifter.
Appearance: It poured a brown opaque body with a big tan head with small bubbles, pour retention and thin but abundant lacing.
Smell: Obvious cherries and sourness. Intriguing, but not complex.
Taste: Cherries again and forward sourness but not off putting.
Mouthfeel: Prickly.
Drinkability: Good.
Don't drink and review.

treehugger02010, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of peabody
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out like root beer with not as much suds. Very cloudy.
No lacing to speak of here.
Smell is sour cherry and a slight woodyness.
Taste is really sour at first but the Malt is really strong in the aftertaste and it ends up with a slightly sweet taste.
Mouthfeel is a little sour but seems to be clean after the bretts fade.
Not as good as the Petrus but still not a bad sour ale.

peabody, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of philbe311
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Darker than expected, cranberry in color. Little or no head.

S - Hints of cider & cherry

T - Excellent taste. Reminds me of a cider with distinct cherry taste. Tartness is evident, but not overdone. Very well crafted.

M - Light, but carbonated. Reminds me of champagne.

D - Unique and complex. The slight tartness and complex after taste make this a a very enjoyable beer. I'd definitely have another...

philbe311, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of hellcatsjg
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark ruby beer with a good two fingers of head. Layer of foam lasts for the whole brew and leaves a good amount of lacing.

Smell: Sour cherry with a bit of malts as well.

Taste: Big sour cherry taste dominates, with a bit of green apple present as well. Malt flavor joins in at the back end of the sip. Decent taste but not as full as I would like.

Mouthfeel: Thickness is decent but the body is slightly weak. The beer doesn't coat the mouth as much as I would like, and the taste does not linger for very long.

Drinkability: Decent taste but does not come across as full enough to enjoy completely. Worth a try but nothing great.

hellcatsjg, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of ROMER79
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The pour was a dark red with a tan/white one finger head. The initial smell was of berries, vinegar, and cherries. The taste was interesting. I could grab the sour cherries, berries, and I even think I picked up on a milky feel. There were even some sweet after notes that followed the sour taste. It was a milky sort of feel in the mouth and the sour taste got my palate running wild. It was a slow beer to drink, definitely not a session beer. If you don't like the taste it will be hard to finish. Just man up!

ROMER79, Feb 22, 2008
Photo of mithrascruor
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a reddish-brown color with just a ring of off-white carbonation around the edges.

Smell: Aroma of apple cider vinegar and tart cherries.

Taste: Really a lot like the smell, with malts. Very little yeast or other flavors. Aftertaste is very vinegar-like.

Mouthfeel: Light- to medium-bodied with a tingly but soft feel.

Drinkability: Strong flavor, so drink it slow, but nothing problematic.

Not bad, but it just tastes rather one-dimensional, especially compared to other similar beers.

mithrascruor, Feb 18, 2008
Photo of WesWes
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a brown color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sour/vinegar scent wrapped around a malt base of pale, crystal, and roasted malts. It has a buttery malt aroma; very nice. The taste is really good. It has a smooth and refreshing sourness along with a buttery malt flavor. The crystal and roasted malts give the beer excellent malt character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This was a real treat. I'm a fan of sour beers and this was a good one.

WesWes, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of edskirk3
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I love me a sour ale and they are relatively hard to find, hence the purchase of this 11.2 oz brown glass bottle devoid of intellgible freshness information.

Pours (into a Duvel tulip) a dark brown, with half a finger of loose froth composed of relatively large bubbles.

Smells nice and tart, not very funky.

The palette is largely sour, which I love. Tartness of green apples and sweetness of sour cherries, if that makes any sense. Juicy aftertaste.

Very tasty. I've always loved things that taste sour. I could have a lot more of this. It's not too strong.

edskirk3, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of kleffman
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay glass. A very dark amber brown color with ruby red when held up to the light. Poured a small tight head with great retention and lacing on the glass.

Aroma immediately hit me with vinegar and that's what I expected out of the taste. Tart fruits and something funky in the nose that I couldn't place until I read a review below saying "wet horse blanket". While that sounds absolutely disgusting, it's sort of true and I'm going to go ahead and say I enjoy this most interesting aroma.

Taste is fantastic. The mouthfeel is divine, more on that later. Flavors of both sweet and sour cherries, plums, and other over ripe fruits. Slight woody character. Quite acidic and sour but not overpowering like many Flanders Reds tend to be. Maybe that's what makes this an Oud Bruin style? The bottle however claims it's a Flemish Sour Red. Definite lacto presence and a little vinegar even though the aromas could've fooled me into thinking it was dominated by vinegar.

Mouthfeel on this is by far the best I've experienced from the Flanders style beers. It's a rather nice medium body with plenty of carbonation helping it finish quite dry and wine-like. I think without this mouthfeel it wouldn't be the same beer at all.

High on drinkability if you enjoy the Flanders beers. It's a new style for me but they're quickly growing on me and I'm trying to really open my mind to them. I wish I could find more of this one, but there was only one bottle left where I got it.

Bottom line is if you come across this beer it's most definitely worth a shot. I only had to pay $2.50 for it, but I would spend more than that.

kleffman, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of errantnight
3.58/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Well... not sure what the difference is between an oud bruin and Flanders Red... but... by all accounts this is an oud bruin.

Pours beautifully into my Corsendonk tulip: Three fingers of head with a tenacious head, a deep ruby brown.

Smell is wet horseblanket (finally! this is it! i found it! wet horse blanket!) with some rich malt sweetness and some old vinegar. It's... well... as much as I love these notes in moderation and in combination with other things, together... this isn't my favorite.

But in the mouth... whole different story. The sweetness is there and a little cloying, a little more candy cherry/raspberry than the nose seemed to imply, and the vinegar comes through a bit too much... but the sourness is spot on, a touch of oak, beautiful astringency/dryness. Maybe some tobacco/leather around the edges?

A lil rich and sweet, but well balanced, nice carbonation and full mouth.

Definitely give this a shot, but there are better takes.

errantnight, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of Greenfloyd
4.43/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Flemish Sour Ale. That just might be the sexiest beer description ever. Or not....

Poured into my tulip glass with a fairly menacing looking brownish/amber color that is topped off by a long lasting (albeit extremely thin) cappuccino frothy head. The nose brings out subtle malted vinegar and tart apple aromas that only a Flanders beer can. The taste is so wonderfully complex- sweet malty tones with apple cider trail off into a tart, mildly acidic finish. The mouth feel of this ale, as I've been finding out, is indicative of the remarkably refreshing light to medium body these beers all have. A great beer with grilled Steak au Poivre, or with some brie de meaux and crusty French bread. Enjoy.

Greenfloyd, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of Stoneman78
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a dark ruby hue with good translucency, off-white head is bubbly and lively like a soda that dissipates, slight lacing
S- Nose is sour and tart fruits, full of acidity, cherries, and vinegar
T- Initial taste is slightly sweet fruits, that transitions to a mildly tart and sour body that transitions to a very wine-like drying finish
M- Medium-bodied, texture is watery with a very dry feel, carbonation is very amped
D- I think this ale holds well to the Duchesse, a bit more dry and acidic, well-balanced and unique sour beer that is a nice break from some of the bolder styles out there

Stoneman78, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of BeerBelcher
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Loving sour as I do, I really enjoyed this beer. It is full of sour cherry musty goodess!

It poured a clear, brilliant red color with a sparkling head of tiny bubbles. Aroma was sour with red wine vinegar notes and cherry fruitiness. Flavor was very sour, and dominated by cherries (and delicious BTW). Mouthfeel was smooth and made me pucker. This beer was quite good.

I'd highly recommend this beer, if you're into sour.

BeerBelcher, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - a ruby-ish, crimson, ruddy tan brew with half a finger of tan head, no visible carbonation or sediment

S - of course the aroma is dominated by its sourness, which is easily discernible as sour cherries, like that of pie filling, there is a malt spine to the bouquet

T - the taste is sweeter than the aroma let on, but still a great balance of sweet and sour cherries, with the malt backbone still there to give it some structure

M&D - i love this style, however you have to like sour-ish beers to enjoy it, it is a great beer, rich in flavor and in body, this beer feels as good as it tastes

sinstaineddemon, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of paulzy
3.48/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle to a 22 ounce d

Appearance: Pours a deep copper color with a medium head. Head stays throughout the beer. Looks good.

Smell: Smells weakly of fruit and acid.

Taste: Starts sweet, then goes mildly sour, like a good lemonade. Finishes a little dry, not at all unpleasant.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation really does the trick with this sour brew, making it kind of fun to roll around on your toungue. Otherwise it feels like any other red.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. I'd consider sharing this with a non-beer geek, as a tasty introduction to a neato style.

Overall I consider this a very accessible beer within the style. I don't often bring sour beers through my fridge, but this one is certainly one I'd consider.

paulzy, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of stephendr
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. glass bottle- color of mahogany, with a thick tan colored head - nose is floral, sour, earthy, and green apples – taste of sour, crisp, cidery, and light- body is medium, and with medium high carbonation – aftertaste of crisp, short, and clean

stephendr, Jan 03, 2008
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,338 ratings.