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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

2,230 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,230
Reviews: 1,032
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 47
Gots: 132 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,230 | Reviews: 1,032 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of gory4d
gory4d

New York

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear russet with a loosely bubbled, two-finger head; a little lacing. The smell is toffee, marigold, Niagara grapes, and hints of graphite. The taste is big on the brown sugar and toffee, with some grape-skin tang and just a hint of funk and bitterness. The sweetness dominates; it isn't much a sour ale. It's a little syrupy, highly carbonated, a very dense beer. Easy to drink; wish I had another. As Oud Bruins go, it's nothing on Goudenband, but makes for a simpler alternative.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2010 03:29:18 | More by gory4d
Photo of jrallen34
jrallen34

Illinois

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I drank this from the bottle into a chalice.

It pours a medium red brown with a light beighe head, not much retention or lacing.

The aroma is light vinegar and a little tart.

The taste is night and light and smooth. Well balanced with lots of different character. Not too overpowering and has a nice sweet finish and aftertaste. Mouthfeel is light, but highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2009 03:58:31 | More by jrallen34
Photo of BamaScholar
BamaScholar

Tennessee

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I was pleased to find any Flanders Red Ale or Sour Ale here in Nashville, which, while improving, is hardly a Mecca for interesting fare.

It was a nice pour--the beer is a beautiful garnet tone. I may have even awarded a 5 if there were more carbonation, a better head. This may not be characteristic for the style, however.

The nose is quite unusual, the sour is there! It's like soaked cherries and a bit of musty earth.

It's not really terribly sour, just enough sweetness and bite to make for a balanced and refreshing mouthful.

Again, I could almost use a little more carbonation here, as it seems a little flat. But the dryness is quite nice. "Ahhhh" producing.

Delicious beer but one or two is plenty at-a-go. I will definitely be seeking more examples of the style.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2007 23:04:43 | More by BamaScholar
Photo of youradhere
youradhere

Arkansas

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours bright mahogany with red edges, tan head. Smell, wow, butterscotch, cherries, slight medicinal. Taste, wow, butterscotch sweet sour malt. Some lemon, slight caramel. Definitely complex, yet I wish this were a tad less sweet. Carbonation is high, mouthfeel is slightly slick. I dunno if the sweet and sour works for me, but it is a different beer from what I am used to.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 04:32:28 | More by youradhere
Photo of Fatehunter
Fatehunter

Oregon

3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured two fingers of head on a clear, red colored body.
The aroma is sour... fairly strong and one sided and still nice.
The taste is only mildly sour with a dull sweetness middle to end. Rounds it out well.
The texture is nice: fizzy and soft.
Very enjoyable.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 00:11:05 | More by Fatehunter
Photo of beergoot
beergoot

Colorado

3.79/5  rDev -1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2013 22:31:50 | More by beergoot
Photo of BigBarley
BigBarley

Texas

3.79/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Poured hard into a tulip glass, for the first minute or so the beer was almost entirely head. The head is offwhite, light khaki. After settling the beer still maintains about a 50% head-beer ratio. Nice. Color is deep copper, almost brown. Somewhat murky.

S - Smells like a kriek. Wild yeast peppered with dark cherry and some light alcohol notes. Not too complex, but smells good all the same.

T - Dominated by yeast up front, immediately behind is a splash of sweet, tart cherry. The sour comes at the end, bringing this beer to a nice, round profile altogether. I personally feel this isn't much different in taste or smell from a lot of Kriek beers, but that is not a bad thing. Wild yeast makes for a strange and interesting profile, and the cherry notes keep it grounded.

M - Smooth, refreshing, with some lively carbonation. Runs down easy, but still a little thick for the ABV.

O - Altogether satisfying and interesting beer, definitely worth trying once, but I'm not quite sure how it compares to most others of the style

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2013 17:11:12 | More by BigBarley
Photo of JHarris1717
JHarris1717

Pennsylvania

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is a really nice summer sipping beer. Peter Kate and I all got this and liked it. Smells great. Good sour, would try again . Went well with burger and chips at TJ's. I would also try other sours to compare but it is definitely not my usual preference.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2012 10:35:24 | More by JHarris1717
Photo of Libationguy
Libationguy

Nevada

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reddish color with copper notes. Light tan 1-finger head. Medium retention.

The nose is fairly mild: grapefruit zest, band-aid, horse hair, flint, cracked leather.

On the palate there is a funky sweet and sour pork note, meyer lemon, horse hair, leather and a lactic note on the finish.

Medium bodied.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2013 06:03:35 | More by Libationguy
Photo of quirkzoo
quirkzoo

Colorado

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful beer, dark brown with ruby highlights and 1 finger of off white head that last and lasts.

Smell is very nice, a very "clean" brett character, lots of earth and wood but not the super funky notes. Just a hint of tartness on the nose.

The taste was good but I knocked it down slightly from the aroma because it wasn't as intense. The same clean oakiness with a mild tart character.

Very drinkable, a bit on the lighter side, but that lends to increased drinkability.

OVerall, really nice. Not terribly complex but a really solid beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2012 17:16:58 | More by quirkzoo
Photo of MiScusi
MiScusi

California

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Stone Bistro, served in a small snifter. Poured a brownish red with a head that had receded pretty fast into a thin foam. Aroma had a faintly tart character with red grapes thrown in. Taste had a maltiness that contained a bit of sour, but a good amount of sweetness from darker malt to balance it out. A grape taste was apparent as well. Mouthfeel was pretty smooth while also carbonated enough to give what little tartness was there a nice quenching aspect. This is a malty, mild sour ale that goes down pretty easy.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2007 00:20:30 | More by MiScusi
Photo of Docer
Docer

Washington

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Snagged a little bottle up to try from By The Bottle over here... been on a big sour kick lately....

- Big off white foam.. settles to a nice fluffy half finger of fizz and foam... rests over a clear, and yeastless dark ruby reddish brown...

- Light brown sugar, wonderful bready and biscuit yeast with a wonderful tart and sour flare... some currants, fig... cherry... light woody vanilla.. all there, all mild, but blended so well.

- Very woody backbone with a candy sweet sugar tone... light sour and vinegar touch..currants, cherry... brown sugar.. caramel, toffee.. fig and prune...

- Thin, light bodied, bubbly.. and sticky sweet.

- Overall not bad, but just a bit on the sweet side for my taste... perhaps I am too used to NW style sour reds.. because these flemish Belgians seem to candy-sweet.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2010 05:08:00 | More by Docer
Photo of yamar68
yamar68

Minnesota

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours like a glass of cold frothy black tea - hazy burgundy brown with a creamy finger of stubborn off-white head. Loads and loads of beading right beneath that and a good amount of lacing above.

Balsamic vinegar with red wine grapes and sour cherry on the nose... it's relatively mellow but appropriately tart with a bit of citric acidity. I like where this is headed.

It's got a nice tart fruit character right on the front end with some sweet but earthy oak notes... musty red wine flavors... it finishes oddly empty though, maybe a bit of something floral, it doesn't even really dry up at the end.

This beer is spot on right up until the end. I reckon I'll age a few and see what happens.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2013 06:33:37 | More by yamar68
Photo of Rhf9120
Rhf9120

Rhode Island

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This was my very first sour. Smell is of sour fruit, bread malt, and mustiness. The taste is of vinegar, sour fruit, malt, and slight mustiness here as well. The aroma and flavor of this beer really reminded me of balsamic vinaigrette, which to me was awesome. Really happy with this as my first sour I am looking forward to trying more.

Serving type: bottle

02-03-2014 14:57:20 | More by Rhf9120
Photo of mjc410
mjc410

Vermont

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Monk's. The beer, in its tulip, comes with a very tall head. Color is light tan to luminescent copper.

Nose is of sour cherries and malt.

Tastes of mild sour cherries, malt, pineapple, pretty sweet and very acidic.

Light mouthfeel, low carbonation, and very smooth.

A good easy drinker, so much that my girlfriend stole it. Could be more complex, perhaps, but is very nice.

Serving type: on-tap

08-18-2006 17:34:48 | More by mjc410
Photo of Bubba83
Bubba83

California

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Bottle says 25BJ 16:17. No idea what that means but I bought this a bit over a year ago. 11.2 served into a small globe glass at 50 degrees.

Appearance is quite awesome, two finger widths of light tan head with plenty of fizzyness top an amber colored body that looks like it has red highlights. Retention is awesome and lacing is good.

Smells of sour cherries, funk, raspberry, toasted bread, and traces of black pepper/clove. The layers of complexity in the nose are impressive.

First thing I taste is definitely a very sweet cherry flavor similar to Wisconsin Belgian Red. Thankfully that lets up rather quickly into a slightly sour kick and then some red wine vinegar and other assorted berries. There's a bit of breadiness here as well, and it's fairly well balanced, though it comes off a little overly sweet.

The consistency seems about right, but the carbonation seems a little much. It feels quite spritzy. Finishes fairly wet.

Overall this is a good Flanders Oud Bruin and one that I believe has improved with age. I have trouble palating this style so I only like to throw it into the mix once in a while.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2011 06:32:01 | More by Bubba83
Photo of jar2574
jar2574

Missouri

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First time I've had this style of beer. Beer is reddish brown, decent light tan head. Lacing and head retention leave a lot to be desired though.

Smells weakly of malts.

Taste is tart and sour - as the name would imply - and the flavor is really, really cool. I like it. As the beer warms I taste some cherries and cranberries too. The sourness isn't a scrunch up your face with displeasure sourness. It's more subtle. Aftertaste is only slightly sour, it doesn't hang around on your tongue too long like sour candy.

I give it points for uniqueness, and for drinkability, since I would like to and could have several.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2012 00:44:35 | More by jar2574
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee

New Hampshire

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a really clear deep copper color with a huge head that slowly dissipates to a cap but leaves fluffy sticky lace down the sides of the glass. Smell of lactic acid, sweet malts, a bit of lemon, and sour cherries. Taste is sweeter than I expected but has that sour twang about it. More lemons and sour cherries and sweet malts in the taste. Leaves a sweet and sour taste in my mouth, pass the Chinese food. Mouthfeel is syrupy and a bit sticky. Carbonation is on the high side prickling the tongue with every sip. Body is medium. Decent sour ale, but I thought it a bit on the sweet side for the style. Maybe more like a beginners sour ale, but still tasty.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2009 18:28:50 | More by johnnnniee
Photo of superspak
superspak

Michigan

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle into tulip. Pours clear dark reddish-brown color with a foamy 3 finger light orange head with great retention that reduces to a fairly thick lacing cap. Aromas of sour cherry, apple, spices, bread, grass, and a bit of funk. Aromas are solid. Taste of big cherry, apple, and a bit of spices on the front; that leads to a decent amount of of tartness on the finish, but it is not overpowering. I was actually expecting more sourness in this one. Great balance of sweetness and tartness. No alcohol in the taste or finish. Prickly high carbonation in the mouthfeel with light-medium body. No alcohol in the taste or finish noticed. Overall this is a tasty sour, nice balance, and good drinkability due to the moderate amount of sourness.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 20:25:34 | More by superspak
Photo of Scottnr88
Scottnr88

Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep mahogany almost dark amber color. The white head dissipates quite quickly after pouring. Almost no carbonation afterwards.

S. I got some grassy notes on the nose. You can smell the sweetness of the beer with the very apparent profile of cherry in the beer.

T: Again lot of earthy flavors coming through, green apple,hey, cherry. One thing i did not expect was the dry finish at the end. Almost tastes like a hard cider or a champagne.

M: Good mouth feel, not too heavy or overpowering. Nice and sweet, slightly sour. Was almost expecting it to be a LOT more sour than it actually was.

Serving type: bottle

06-23-2011 01:10:06 | More by Scottnr88
Photo of StoneBrewFanatic
StoneBrewFanatic

Virginia

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours dark red into a pint class, with a big head that dissipates quickly into some nice lacing.

S - Smells sweet and sour, with mild vinegar notes, not as floral as I would hope.

T - Tart and sour, fruit-apple, cherry, maybe even some grapes in there. If you taste a nice swig and breathe out before swallowing your really taste the sweet mats of this brew.

M - Pretty thick beer, but the high level of carbonation really offsets that. Overall rather nice.

D - This is a nice beer that's worth trying, probably wouldn't have more than 2 in a row though.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2010 20:57:31 | More by StoneBrewFanatic
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle served in my new Chouffe N'Ice 25 cl flute at 52 degrees (wish I had let this chill down a little more). Poured a translucent chestnut with a tight two inch off-white head pock-marked on the surface, but composed of compressed, tiny bubbles along the shoulders; head eventually recedes into a consistent, dense cap. A half moon band of lacing coats one side of the glass with spatters coating the opposite side of the bowl. Nose indicated some acidity off the bat; suggests sour cherries. Taste consistent with nose, but sour character is muted and even; not overly bold upfront but consistent throughout the tasting experience. Mouthfeel is light and lively with a slight acidity at the finish. Easy drinking and flavorful with a low abv makes this a great introduction for sour beer newbies (like myself).

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 18:38:00 | More by Jwale73
Photo of VWBuggirl
VWBuggirl

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This is a new style of beer for me. So here goes!

The color is fantastic! It is a nice dark brown with a reddish hue to it.

The smell on the other hand is very vinegary. Now my rating on smell is based on the fact that this is a sour and, well, I would expect that it would smell sour. If a normal beer smelled this way I would toss it.

The taste is definitely sour. I get a hint of green apple in it. I wouldn't call it drinkable though. Even though I am enjoying it, I am not sure I could have another tonight, and it isn't for everyone.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2010 06:29:59 | More by VWBuggirl
Photo of perrymarcus
perrymarcus

Massachusetts

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

pours a deep amber tone, sits a chestnut color with ruby tones evident when held to light. foamy finger, finger and a half beige head, middling retention; head lapse into a thin cap... very nice lacing.

nose is a pretty nice bouquet consisting mostly of malts, sour/tartness, and a fruity sweetness.

flavor hits me with a little more sourness than i was anticipating based on the aroma, but not an overly, mouth-pucking sour... interesting balance between the sweet and sour. defintely has some tang to it; sour cherries. tasty and refreshing, though nothing transcendent.

medium-bodied mouthfeel with healthy carbonation. drinks easily. looks like 4s across the board here.

edit: docking the drinkability score a point. it's wearing on me.

Serving type: bottle

02-08-2011 03:03:10 | More by perrymarcus
Photo of larryi86
larryi86

Delaware

3.8/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into a tulip

A- Brown with a hint of red and a two finger head that fades quickly

S- Sour and tart fruits, getting cherries and lemons, some nice funky yeast, and a hint of vinegar that seems out of place.

T- Sour/tart sherries and grapes up front, a hint of funk and oak in the middle. Very sweet malt finish, seems a little out of place.

M- Nice medium body.

D- A good beer and I am happy I tried it. I feel that some flavors and smells are out of place, and was hoping that it would be more sour and less sweet.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2011 22:44:50 | More by larryi86
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,230 ratings.