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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,521 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,521
Reviews: 1,063
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 13.8%
Wants: 62
Gots: 234 | FT: 3
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.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,521 | Reviews: 1,063 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lucnifter
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of pinnser
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of tdmccarthy
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of mpayne5
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of target88
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of ramblinwreck101
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of kingjohnh
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of schnarr84
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of dogfishandi
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

750 ml caged and corked bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Roughly 1 year of age on this bottle.

I should've known this was going to be a gusher, but I didn't lose more than a few ounces. The cork really shot off this bad boy. Pours out a fairly clear really nice dark ruby red color, almost brown when not in the light. A finger or 2 worth of fizzy light tan head that quickly faded to a ring. Not the best retention and no real lacing, but a nice color.

Dark cherry, acidic apple vinegar, a bit of a sweet brown sugary malt and lactic funk. Some barnyard Brett as it warms.

A nice balance of sweet to sour. Dark sweet cherry flavors all around, apple skin, apple vinegar, lots of sweet cherry mixed with a bit of brown sugar maltiness. Think candied caramel apple.

Really a lot of carbonation going on, light, airy, tart finish.

Not really all that sour, quite sweet. Not the best Flanders I've had, I tend to prefer some of the American versions over the Belgians, but still a worthy beer. Prolly something I wouldn't buy again however.

Photo of PEBKAC
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Gift from a friend. Yes I like sours, thank you. :)

Poured into my Ommegang flute that's just about perfect for everything these days.

Thick & heavy two inch French vanilla head. Tipping the glass doesn't change the level on the surface. The color of red oak stain, light takes all angles through but the most direct.

Smells of cider vinegar, maple, an honest assumption of potting soil, & a sweet/sour note that comes off a little like a mix between Chinese s&s sauce, & white grapes. Inviting & confusing at the same time.

Taste is a flash of syrupy sweet juice followed by a quick pat down with oak. Overripe cantaloupe & sour orange throw into the ring, but overall all the flavors remain pretty level. A little bit of something like sour milk & ash in the finish, but it agrees with me(sort of). Just a little bit of rind bitterness to keep things interesting. A little cookie crust overtakes any remaining sour right at the very end.

Carbonation is sitting pretty, & just has that touch about her. Body is thin & juicy, but it spreads itself out too far trying to keep everyone happy. A little brashness is healthy every now & then.

Photo of johnnye1981
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Jimmyy11
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of FLima
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with a thin off-white head with short retention.
Light aroma of red wine and a hint of funky notes.
Wonderful flavor with notes of red wine, bread malt, vinegar, raspberries and cranberries, a hint of sulfur, with a pleasant mild tartness and lactic acid.
Full body with a bit effervescent carbonation and a light acid sensation.
Very assertive and easy to drink. As other Flemish Ales it is a good introduction to Sour Ales.

Photo of Mix_Master_Mike
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%

Photo of Soneast
3.76/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Dexter's Pub in Madison. Poured into a large tulip glass.

The pour produces a murky liquid, more ruby red than brown, maybe mahogany would be the appropriate term? Grows about a finger's worth of light brown colored head, that dissipates fairly quickly, to a bubbly ring, that leaves a small amount of lace.

The aroma: well I think apple cider vinegar sums it up. Quite a sour note, but also a touch of woody malt character with a hint of sweetness along the line of brown sugar, but mostly just...vinegar.

The flavor, fortunately, isn't all that vinegary. In fact, it is very good. A fair amount of tartness as to be expected, with a fruity component, more along the lines of a tart cherry I would say, with a touch of woodiness once again, the finish isn't overpoweringly sour, it's actually fairly sweet, yet retains a certain dryness.

Medium bodied, with pretty mild carbonation. Overall I thought the sour component was definitely tamed, and this might be a good introductory sour beer for the uninitiated. The vinegary aroma was off-putting at first, but it seemed to come into it's own as it warmed, both aroma and flavor-wise. A easily drinkable sour, that I would not mind drinking again.

Photo of ElGordo
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Body is a turbid brown hue with ruby red highlights, topped by a modest off-white head. Tangy aroma that is typical of a Flemish sour - tart cherries, Belgian malt, some light, floral Euro hops, and a decent bit of astringency. Palate is along the same lines, with tart sour cherry dominating up front, becoming more balanced with the light brown malt by mid-palate. Finish is again tart, with a light flash of hoppiness before the swallow. The astringency doesn't linger as long as some other sours, but definitely makes its presence known. Body is a light and spritzy, maybe a touch foamy at times. Be gentle with this one. I've never been a huge fan of sour ales, but this one is passable.

Photo of WOTO97
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: vigorous pour for thick cappuccino head that slowly dissolves to thin bubbly film, thin web-like lacing, deep burgundy red

S: grapes and soft vinegar notes, mild sweetness, very faint malt, distant nutmeg accompanies some burned vanilla notes

T: loads of fresh grapes, mellow tartness that slowly fades on the palate to a nice sweetness

M: slight stickiness in the back of the throat, slight and clean on the front, mellow creaminess

D: incredibly drinkable for a sour but almost to negative results, the grape notes overwhelm the vinegar flavors for a very mellow and clean finish

Photo of NiceTaps
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle in a tulip.

A- Poured a dark and bubbly amber-brown. The frothy 2-finger head tapers slowly to thin film leaving plenty of lacing. Very bubbly. Root Beer!!!

S-Rich malts and dark fruits. More sweet than sour. Black Cherry!

T- I'm picking up the dark fruitiness first; black cherry, plum, etc. Some red wine-like sourness and dark malts.

M- Tart, lively, and well carbonated. A bit thin, wine-like on the lip. Some sour, some sweet.

O- Introductory sour, and a good one at that.

Photo of beergoot
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Deep, ruby red body with a persistent creamy head; chunks of yeast sediment from the pour. Slightly sour scent with a touch of green apple. Subtle sour flavors with a light bread-like undertone. Softly effervescent mouth feel, light in body; dry finish.

A nice Flemish sour ale that balances nicely with flavors, feel, and aromas. Light and refreshing.

Photo of willjschmidt
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours a very murky brown with red accents with a thin head.

S: Sour, tangy, slightly sweet, sour cherries.

T: A tangy and tart sour cherries starts it off. The sourness is very pleasant, not at all overwhelming. Nice balance for the style.

M: Medium bodied, maybe even a little light. Smooth carbonation.

D: An interesting beer, certainly worth trying if you're a fan of sours.

Photo of tectactoe
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Oak Cafe. It's got a pretty solid, burnt ruby color with a mahogany base. It seems to be somewhat translucent, although the bar I'm in is pretty dimly lit and therefore the opacity is hard to judge accurately. Basically no head on top of this one - just a small, beige ring that only stays for a minute or so before floating away.

Juicy, ripe apples and cherries outline the aromatic profile, or at least the first sniff. Residual sweetness backs up the apples nicely; a very faint tartness can be detected at times, though this is still telling me that this brew will be more sweet than sour. Time grants the ability for the beer to open up a bit; berries, darker cherries, acetic acid, light vinegar, and some mild barrel/oak.

Funk in the aroma is definitely there, but in small quantities. There's a slight "wet hay" and faint must character, but it's minimal compared to some other Belgian sours. This follows through into the flavor profile, as the first sip contains almost no funk at all, rather it's pretty heavy on the fruits - cherries, grapes, red apples. Vibrant, zesty, and juicy are good words to describe the flavors.

This beer is mildly tart, but only for a brief moment. The residual-like sugary sweetness creeps in pretty steadily and washes out any hope of this beer actually being "sour", despite the name. More vinous notes come in, although the more I drink, the more it just seems like heavy grapes rather than actual wine-barrel notes. The finish is fruit juice-like with fading cherries and grape skins, and maybe a hint of oak. Still no funk, sad to say. Snappy, crisp mouth feel, wet and slick; thin bodied with medium-heavy carbonation.

Pretty good beer, drinkability is insanely high - a 5.5% ABV beer that tastes like bold fruit juice. I would have like to see a bit more tartness or funk, as this one was kind of mild all around. But hey, perhaps that's the style they were going for. Still a nice drinking sour ale as long as you're not expecting it to be too sour (or too funky).

Photo of IntriqKen
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sour is an understatement. ALL of my lips are puckering.
Poured a very deep amber yet crystal clear. Half finger of almost white head melted slowly to a heavy ring of lacing.

Aroma...my g/f smelled vinegar...ok...I smell sour red cherries and then some sugar that blends the cherries together and gives them distinction.

Taste...pucker...pucker..pucker...sour cherries definitely....what...wait...something else...but my palette is too uneducated or ruined to be able to identify it. There is a faint sweetness on the tail end like in the aromas that melds and mellows the sourness makiing me continually want another sip...then another.

Ken likes....it pleases him.

Photo of puboflyons
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 11.2 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on July 9, 2012. It pours reddish-brown with a full puffy, beige head that generally lingers. The aroma has a good cherry quality to it along with Belgian yeast and Belgian malts balancing it off. The body is medium but it also had an astringent bite to it. The taste was tart and sour as promised but not as much as I thought it might be. There's a cherry flavor to it but overall it lingers for some time. The flavor is one I will remember.

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful color and head. But while a decent tasting beer, it's not as bold or vibrant as other sours I've tasted. Easy drinking, but really too light in my opinion. This is not a bad beer, just a bit too plain. I could drink it again, but if the sour flavors were bolder, this would be a really nice beer that you could enjoy when you're in the mood for this style. Misses by just a touch.

Photo of david18
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at the Dive Bar on 75th Street on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The best thing about this beer is the amazing red color. I only had a small glass of it but I think i could drink a bunch of this. The only problem is that it's a little sweet. Great sour aroma. Good carbonation. Again, amazing color. A little more sour and a little less sweet and it would be perfect.

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,521 ratings.