1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

2,336 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,336
Reviews: 1,042
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 51
Gots: 160 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,336 | Reviews: 1,042 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bmurray10
4/5  rDev +4.2%

bmurray10, Apr 22, 2013
Photo of jman005
4/5  rDev +4.2%

jman005, Apr 22, 2013
Photo of tazzman
4/5  rDev +4.2%

tazzman, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of PennState99
1.5/5  rDev -60.9%

PennState99, Apr 21, 2013
Photo of Kunstman
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Kunstman, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of Pegasus
3.95/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Somewhat hazy, deep reddish amber body when viewed before a strong light, otherwise opaque, surmounted by a massive, coarse off-white head, which retains superbly. The lacing is, appropriately, Belgian in form, and quite sticky and thick.

Aroma: Rather prominent lactic and vinegar aroma will not go unnoticed. Bitter apple rind and tart cherries are present as well.

Taste: Opens with a moderate wave of lactic sourness, and vinegar. As the taste progresses, sour cherries and bitter apples offer a counterpoint to the vinegar and lactic flavors. Late in the taste, the is a flourish of restrained herbal hops The finish is rather astringent.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, with champagne-like carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: I did not expect to enjoy this beer, having heard other craft beer fanciers disparage the style. Nonetheless, I felt that sampling a representative of the Flanders Oud Bruin style was an essential part of my education as a Beer Advocate. To my surprise, I like this beer quite a lot, and hope to try other examples of the style. For anyone who has not tried the style, Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale is inexpensive and will handsomely reward one's tasting efforts.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard eleven point two ounce Euro-style brown glass long-neck bottle with a pry -off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Sourcing: Purchased at Spec's in Texas in March of 2013 for $2.79 for a single bottle..

Pegasus, Apr 18, 2013
Photo of MSandahl23
4/5  rDev +4.2%

MSandahl23, Apr 17, 2013
Photo of sirsteve42
4/5  rDev +4.2%

sirsteve42, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of StArnoldFan
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

StArnoldFan, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of RashyGrillCook
4/5  rDev +4.2%

RashyGrillCook, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of fsck
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

fsck, Apr 15, 2013
Photo of mkrass
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

mkrass, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of Lare453
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Lare453, Apr 14, 2013
Photo of mattviator
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

mattviator, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of cackalacky
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

cackalacky, Apr 13, 2013
Photo of SmellsofMahagony
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

SmellsofMahagony, Apr 12, 2013
Photo of flayedandskinned
3.84/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No Bottled on date.
Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark translucent garnet. A towering 4 finger loose bubbled, light brown head erupts immediately and as expected, fizzles down fairly fast, consistent with it's style.

Aroma: Big, vinous red wine vinegar right away with some musty funk alongside it. Juicy, tart currants are layered on top of faint, sweet malt in the background. A woodsy presence of rich vanilla and oak becomes more and more apparent as the beer warms.

Taste: Red wine vinegar up front with only the suggestion of tartness, some juicy red currants and some tart cherry notes are flirted with as a big, vanilla infused maltiness lands on your palate and softens the blow of the high carbonation. The creamy malt backbone abruptly mellows out the sourness of the brew and allows some of the oak barrel character come through. The beer finishes very dry, tart with an extremely light tannin presence and a faint hop bitterness. Lingering notes of plum skin and caramel bready malt. The beer does get a slightly unpleasant metallic twang as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with high carbonation; very brisk and refreshing.

Overall: A decent example of a Flanders Red. I do wish the initial rush of sourness sustained a bit longer before the malts rushed in and mellowed everything out, but the malt does add a strong sense of balance and contrast. This is a great beginner's sour. I would suggest not allowing this to warm up too much so you can avoid that metallic after taste.

flayedandskinned, Apr 11, 2013
Photo of RollTide7
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

RollTide7, Apr 10, 2013
Photo of TheLevi4000
4/5  rDev +4.2%

TheLevi4000, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of JackRB
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

JackRB, Apr 09, 2013
Photo of hopkrid
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

hopkrid, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of Spiderpig
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Spiderpig, Apr 07, 2013
Photo of slavall
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

slavall, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of Beelzebeer
4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle, no BB date, served in a tulip. I bought this from a bottle shop in NYC about 2 years ago.

A - Holy head! I had to pour extra slow, just a trickle, to keep this thing under wraps. Maybe it's the age? Alot of bubbles coming up. After a couple minutes, it's still going strong.

S - I can't really get much of a smell. Could be the head, could be my nose, could be the beer. Some sour coming through, but not a whole lot.

T - Malt off the top. A little bread, some light raisin, then the sour kicks in. This is delicious. Very well balanced.

M - Nice. Medium-high carbonation, but not too much, with a chewier body than what I was expecting. A very nice surprise.

O - Killer. Liked it then, like it now. I really wish more sours were available in Canada, let alone Newfoundland.

Beelzebeer, Apr 06, 2013
Photo of MinnTwins
4/5  rDev +4.2%

MinnTwins, Apr 06, 2013
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,336 ratings.