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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
87
very good

2,587 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,587
Reviews: 1,085
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.77%
Wants: 66
Gots: 284 | FT: 6
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,587 | Reviews: 1,085
Photo of magictacosinus
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured out of a 11.2oz bottle into a tulip glass. No freshness date. Broken with a friend from the Sour Power samplers appearing everywhere with Petrus beers.

Pours a darkened, brownish, reddish tinged beer, complete with an off light brown head that rises quite gracefully with the bottle conditioning to about 3 fingers, but fizzles down like cherry cola does after an aggressive pour. Barely any lacing on this thing. Relatively juicy looking, although not as much as I prefer in this style - which ranges on seeming vinous. Still, the color is quite noteworthy, and the amount of flake-like sediment that accumulates at bottom once the dregs come out are also pretty raw looking. Slightly above average for the style here.

The aroma is actually far less sour than I was hoping, with only an initial lactic, woody sourness at the front and a little bit of vinegar at the back. There's a soft bouquet of sour black cherries, raspberries, and blackberries, and then cashews, slight clove, and brown sweetened malts. Good notes of oak round up the acetic feel, as well as the fruits and nuttiness, but it's pretty subtle - and honestly, subdued - overall. Some bitterness is at the back, but it's also relatively inexistent for the most part. I enjoy it for what it is, but it could be a little bit more sour and oaky, to be honest.

The flavor is on the same realm of the aroma, ranging from dark cherries, prunes, blackberries, and the nutty feel of walnuts, as well as more well rounded oaky aromas. In actuality (especially as this warms up), the oak churns out other woody aromas, almost ranging on cedar or cherry wood. There's a soft, zesty embrace of the acidity from the woody tannins, as well as the lactic sourness, but it's delicate and doesn't put up much of a fight. Slightly earthy and dry, and more so when the hoppy, grassy notes come through. The extra sediment adds more character, but it's never puckery or intense. Refreshing and easy to drink, although it *could* use a bit more body. It's often thinned in feel overall, and loses carbonation rather quickly, which doesn't aid it in transporting the more complex, nor the more subtle aromas within.

A good beginner's Flanders sourish offering, although could definitely be more complex than it is. It's luckily quite refreshing, and especially show people that beer does not have to be a pilsner or something to do the trick on a warm day. I'm not too impressed by it, but I enjoyed drinking it.

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3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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3/5  rDev -22.1%

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4/5  rDev +3.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

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4/5  rDev +3.9%

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3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

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4/5  rDev +3.9%

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3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

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4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of abeeronthebeach
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Cellared for 6 months.

A - Beautiful deep ruby. Call me a vampire but it brings to mind the colour of dried blood and looks good for it.

S - A little sourness meets the nose along with a sweet cherry aroma and a little bacterial funkiness.

T - Cherry predominates, and not for the first time with a non-fruit sour beer I'm amazed at how much fruit flavour it has. The tartness is right up front, transitioning to cherry-cola sweetness mid-sip with a little funk camping out til the end. It's much less sour than I remember it being which is a little disappointing.

M - I really enjoyed drinking this beer which is in part down to the mouthfeel which does its work quietly behind the scenes, allowing one to focus on the other aspects of the beer. I'd have appreciated more effervescence.

O - It's a good beer, and one which I suspect will score noticeably higher when I redrink it fresh. I think the cellaring took a little of the edge off in terms of flavour and carbonation, which is odd considering age is generally acknowledged to augment sourness.

Photo of Fatehunter
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Photo of Swift989
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of civicm87
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

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Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 2,587 ratings.