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Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale - Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

Monk's Café Flemish Sour AleMonk's Café Flemish Sour Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,065 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2065
Reviews: 1018
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.1%


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: 2,065 | Reviews: 1,018 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mithrascruor
mithrascruor

California

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-18-2008 23:03:01 | More by mithrascruor
Photo of WesWes
WesWes

New York

4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2008 22:59:36 | More by WesWes
Photo of edskirk3
edskirk3

Pennsylvania

4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-10-2008 00:29:51 | More by edskirk3
Photo of kleffman
kleffman

California

4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2008 05:07:02 | More by kleffman
Photo of errantnight
errantnight

California

3.58/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-06-2008 03:57:49 | More by errantnight
Photo of Greenfloyd
Greenfloyd

California

4.43/5  rDev +15.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 06:06:25 | More by Greenfloyd
Photo of Stoneman78
Stoneman78

California

4.1/5  rDev +7%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-11-2008 06:43:44 | More by Stoneman78
Photo of BeerBelcher
BeerBelcher

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 22:28:37 | More by BeerBelcher
Photo of sinstaineddemon
sinstaineddemon

Connecticut

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2008 16:04:55 | More by sinstaineddemon
Photo of paulzy
paulzy

Wisconsin

3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2008 23:41:34 | More by paulzy
Photo of stephendr
stephendr

California

4.28/5  rDev +11.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2008 07:46:58 | More by stephendr
Photo of meatyard
meatyard

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a clear, dark, reddish amber that has a nice two finger tan head that falls quickly to a covering with a lot of residual lacing. There is a considerable amount of carbonation rising from my Duvel tulip. A light swirl brings a thick cover to the top.
The smell is tart, lactic & cherries.
The taste is sour, tart cherries.
Mouthfeel is crisp and dry with a lot of carbonation.
Drinkability is very good in my opinion.

I like the style and I like this beer. I could easily drink three or four and enjoy each.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 21:04:20 | More by meatyard
Photo of RblWthACoz
RblWthACoz

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clouded and very dark ruby that has a light tan head at first but falls fast to nothing. Nose is not overpowering by any means by carries a wood tone and a slight yeast edge. Seems to be a touch of cherries on there as well. Flavor starts off fairly mild but moved to a cherry sugary sweet ending tone with a pretty firm wood overall tone. I kind of wish the flavor profile would stick around longer. Feel is good. Nice liquid feel with a good level of carbonation and bubble hitting my tongue. Drinkable, yes. The more and more I have of this style, the more and more I like it. And this one has helped to further my appreciation.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2007 02:00:47 | More by RblWthACoz
Photo of wheelinshirt
wheelinshirt

Pennsylvania

3.73/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle from Vidalia in Lansdale, poured into a wide tulip after allowing to warm from fridge temp. As i cracked the cap it immediately smelled vinegary and vinuous.

Deep red/brown color with a big light cream colored head that had fairly good retention. It slowly faded to about a fingers worth and in due time was down to a thin covering. Some pretty decent lacing, as well.

Smell was very vinuous, then vinegar. Personally, i don't find the smell attractive but it is certainly not inappropriate for the style and seems to be well done. Taste is more appealing to me, very wine like and cidery, reminds me a lot of duchesse. Mouthfeel is nice, medium light with moderate carbonation. Drinkability here isn't hampered by the beer per se--it is a good beer and the elements seem to be in a pretty good balance, here. However, this is a style that perhaps isn't for me. Pick it up if you are interested in the style, but i would probably recommend duchesse instead.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2007 00:15:21 | More by wheelinshirt
Photo of timtim
timtim

District of Columbia

3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

slightly hazy cherry reddish with a tan (i think, it was pretty dark in the bar) head that had okay retention and lace. smelled like a sour flemish style should... vinous, slightly cidery/vinegary, tart, hint of cherry. taste was even better than nose. a lot mellower than duchesse, but really lovely. pretty light mouthfeel, and properly carbonated. great after dinner, but not a session drink for sure.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2007 04:20:49 | More by timtim
Photo of papat444
papat444

Quebec (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to franksnbeans for this one.

Poured from a 11.2oz bottle.

Appearance: Opaque with brownish-red color kinda of just sitting there. Held to the light, you can see the red hue. About a 3 finger head.

Smell: Sour notes apparent with some acidity.

Taste: Acidity is definitely present, dances on the tongue, very lively. Not too sour.

Mouthfeel: Light, very wine-like taste. Dry with some wood in it. Tartness is subdued, not mouth puckering.

Drinkability: Quite good, almost finished glass before i noticed.

Overall: I couldn't shake the feeling that i was drinking wine with more carbonation. Very interesting beer, pick it up if you're in the mood for something different.

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2007 15:27:54 | More by papat444
Photo of bassmantin
bassmantin

Illinois

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nasty brown color, almost like a dark cider. I gotta say the color is not that appealing, but I'm still open-minded. Smell is very tart. I've never had a Flemish sour ale, but it smells a lot like a lambic to me. The sourness is so strong that it makes me cringe.

The taste is very interesting. Begins very sour up front (quite like a lambic), and the more typical malty flavor of beer intervenes midway through adding a delicate balance to this brew. The balance lingers for quite some time and the sweet and sour work well together.

All in all: A remarkable beer that matches several different flavors well. Worth a shot if you're up for something interesting.

Thanks to goodbyeohio for this one.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2007 03:40:25 | More by bassmantin
Photo of sfoley333
sfoley333

Brazil

3.53/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of 12oz bottle into Duvel snifter. Poured a dark reddish brown with a medium lacy head. Smell has acidic vingear with some wild sourness. Taste cherries with baslamic and oak finished with a slight nuttyness. Mouth feel is on the low end of medium body. Carbonation is there but not overpowering the dryness. Could drink a few because its light dryness, low alcohol content, and not overtop sourness.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2007 08:46:56 | More by sfoley333
Photo of soulgrowl
soulgrowl

United Kingdom (England)

4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Extremely volatile carbonation, spraying bubbles withing itself like a fistful of sparklers. Cherrywood reddish brown when it settles, a pretty color, with a smoggy brown tinge near the top and a yellowy parchment head. Poor retention.

Smell: Extremely red wine-like, with notes of tart cherry, tobacco, yogurty lactic acid, red wind vinegar, raspberries, and oak. Sour and tart, but well-balanced and solidly put together with a toasty, brown sugary and bagel-doughy malt base. I love this style! If there are hops, they express themselves in a very delicate, possibly floral way.

Taste: Dry, very dry, and only lightly tart for the style - no bursting berry flavors like those of the Duchesse or Rodenbach, but it is lightly fruity. Notes of apples, and, noticeably, cranberries are ample, with a whole-grain bready malt foundation. Clear notes of oak, or maybe maple, add a classy character while the vinegary tartness helps keep things bright.

Mouthfeel: Light and nicely effervescent - a tad too watery, perhaps, as the bubbles are very fine. Very clean and dry.

Drinkability: Yum! A pleasant, mild yet interesting Flanders red.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2007 16:06:32 | More by soulgrowl
Photo of djeffbee
djeffbee

Pennsylvania

4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased at Canal's Discount Liquors in Pennsauken, NJ. Very shocked to see this on the shelf, couldn't pass it up @ $1.99/bottle...

A - Pours deep amber to ruby, with no haze and a short head that fades quickly leaving lotsa lacing behind.

S - Sour cherries and green apples. More pleasant than expected based on other reviews.

T - WOW. Sour cherries (talking sour patch kids) with a mild malty background and no apparent hop presence. This is good.

M - I liken this to sucking on a lemon - a bit tart at first, making you pucker and leaving a very pleasant clean tingle. Nice.

D - Very good. I was expecting so much worse. This is an excellent beverage. I could see maybe two at a sitting, but not much more beyond that. (kinda like you wouldn't drink a few Coke's in a row)

Very enjoyable and will definitely purchase this again..

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2007 00:45:30 | More by djeffbee
Photo of KingG
KingG

California

3.48/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served at room temp and poured into my Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance is good. The beer itself is dark red/almost purple. Nice creamy tan colored head with impressive lacing.

Smell is average. Sweet/tart aromas fight to be on top with the tartness winning out at the end. There's a strange stinky garbage smell coming through which isn't pleasant.

Taste is above-average. Initially, a nice fruity tartness hits with tamarind and oak. Finishes slightly metallic and lacks complexity but pretty good none-the-less.

Mouthfeel is good. Medium bodied for the style and a nice level of carbonation. Texture is slightly chalky.

Drinkability is above-average. I'll finish it but I'm moving onto something else afterward.

Overall:
Not bad for a change of pace but nothing worth seeking out. Above-average for the style.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2007 06:50:41 | More by KingG
Photo of CharlieMopps
CharlieMopps

Virginia

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque brownish-red, a very deep hue, with a small layer of head that displays decent retention. A bit surprising that there is not a larger head formation from this one.

S: A winey and yeasty bouquet, notes of Belgian sugar and spices in the nose.

T: Tastes slightly of cherries, the tartness is what gives off this flavor along with its wine-like qualities. Definitely more noticeable in the finish, with a sugary flavor throughout.

M: Crisp with a light body, carbonation is at a generous level but not as much as expected here either.

D: All in all, for the style this is a quite drinkable beer in the sense that it doesn't really overpower, but definitely provides enough sour flavor to give the palate a kick. Not as dialed up as others, which is nice, but the body seemed a bit too thin in the mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2007 18:50:19 | More by CharlieMopps
Photo of mrasskicktastic
mrasskicktastic

New Jersey

3.28/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Auburn reddish with a medium tan head with lots of lacing. High carbonation is visible.

S - Very sour cherries, apple cider vinegar, faint cherry wood? That is unexpected.

T - Underripe sour cherries and mild vinegar. A bit of faint malt. Aftertaste is a sour and vinegary.

M - Thin, smooth, a little astringent, substantial carbonation. A tad refreshing too.

D - Pretty good. Not the best Flemish sour, but worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2007 06:31:43 | More by mrasskicktastic
Photo of Doomcifer
Doomcifer

Rhode Island

2.28/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Appearance - pours an extremely murky/ruddy brown color with slight mahogany hues when held to light. Slight head that fades away quickly.

Smell - Smells like balsamic vinegarette, sweet, tart,

Taste - Extremely sour, taste is there in the background, kinda bland, and is overshadowed by the extreme sourness.

Mouthfeel - light bodied, champagne-like carbonation.

Drinkability - I couldn't take more than one of these. One is more than enough.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2007 00:47:16 | More by Doomcifer
Photo of YonderWanderer
YonderWanderer

Colorado

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a reddish brown, yet very clear. A finger of slightly tan foam leaves a thick ring of lacing on the glass as it dissipates.

S: Sour! And more sour. A bit of vinegar, a lot of sour cherries, a bit of lemon.

T: Wow, much like the smell, except even more powerful. Sour cherries are the dominant flavor, but there are other flavors abound. I'm just not sure what they are, but it's pretty complex.

M: Nicely carbonated, and a smooth mouthfeel.

D: This is a great flemish sour, very tasty. I'd recommend it if you like the style.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2007 21:18:45 | More by YonderWanderer
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,065 ratings.