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

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

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BA SCORE
87
very good

2,680 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

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Ratings: 2,680
Reviews: 1,106
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.51%
Wants: 74
Gots: 326 | FT: 5
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: 2,680 | Reviews: 1,106
Photo of ranchosdancingbull
4.64/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid sour ale. Very refreshing. Poured a fluffy, Light tan colored head that shrank down to about a quarter inch and lasted the whole way through. Great way to get chicks away from drinking nasty hard ciders.

Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Pours dark red with tall, long-lasting, foamy off-white head and nice lacing. Nose is of caramel malt, vinegar and ripe fruit. Body is light, creamy and crisp. Taste is very similar to aroma. Finish is medium and acidic. Very refreshing, tasty brew.

Photo of Tilly
4.14/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Reddish brown color with a huge froth, khaki 2 fingers.
Aroma of berries, malt and sourness .
Sweetness, cherry, raspberry, melons and slightly sour.
Refreshingly light mouth feel with a slight bitterness.
Nice way to introduce me to sour beer.

Photo of Beemanick83
2.89/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Very one tone and bit less sour than desired

Photo of CADETS3
2.69/5  rDev -30.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

probably gonna get bashed for this, but I currently have 2 bottles of this stuff left in my fridge and all I can taste is wine! the beer was ok, i was not impressed. all i seem to taste is whine like flavors and smells.

Photo of demon
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Let me start off by saying that I enjoyed this beer.

Poured with absolutely no head. Gorgeous amber-brown color. Light fruity and acidic smell.

The taste was good and not overpowering for a sour. In fact, I could imagine throwing one of these down pretty quick on a warm day. This beer is VERY sweet. So sweet, the sweetness almost overpowers the sourness. In terms of flavor, this beer was singing "raspberry" to me the whole time. It looks like other reviewers were calling this "cherry" but that didn't register for me. The other flavor notes were very disguised behind the prominent sweetness. I could barely discern any malty or hoppy notes, nor even taste the alcohol, really.

This beer would be good introduction to sour beers since it isn't so sour as to be off-putting. But for those who are looking for the next and greatest sour, you might be a little let down with this one.

At its pricepoint (paid $4 for a single 11.2 oz), I couldn't imagine myself buying a six of these to share with friends. But on those odd secluded nights where you just want to try something different, this was a good choice.

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Dark brown body and a huge light khaki head.

Head size and retention makes me think this will be mild on the sourness and it definitely is. Dark bread, wood, touch of brown sugar, plum, cherry.

Nothing spectacular. Worth a tick.

Photo of cellojon
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Beautiful cherry-amber color, head is almost white; pours easy. Some lacing

Nose: Slight alcohol bite followed by lots of sweet fruit, some bubblegum with a hint of yeastiness at the end

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, a little crispness - much less carbonation apparent than I would have thought from the pour

Taste: Nice sweetness, almost cherry candy, followed by the main course: mild sour and bitterness in the middle; bread at the end holds on a long time

Overall: I enjoyed this one, and it's really easy drinking. Don't have much experience with sours, but I will keep going back to this.

Photo of JohnofUpton
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This was a drain pour for me. Some off taste I found unpalatable.

Photo of samtrillo
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vibrant amber with a bubbly off white head.

Nose is lactic sour.

Taste is very pleasant cherry sour with a slight sweetness. Red wine grape off notes. Mouthfeel is prickly and entertaining. A very nice approachable sour.

Photo of Tstiltner
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very pleasant sour ale. Beautiful color, light head, pleasant aroma and a perfect sour finish.

Photo of 10Crumra
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from an 11.2 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

The beer appeared a very dark red or amber color. When poured it created a fairly significant slightly off-white head of approximately 1 inch. The head was slow to dissipate taking several minutes and it left quite a bit of lacing.

It had a mild sour smell with a hint of cherries.

It was pleasantly tart like a sour hard candy. Definitely got the cherry taste along with an acidic vinegar taste and a malty, fruity aftertaste. I found it hard to identify individual flavors in this but the combined flavor was fantastic.

The beer was medium bodied with fairly light carbonation.

I thought this was a great sour beer. It was rich with cherry and grape flavors that nicely complemented the tartness. I found it quite different from the lighter, more citrusy american sour ales I have tried in the past. I would drink this again in a heartbeat.

Photo of CraigP83
4.56/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sour red ale. Fair amount of carbonation. Slight floral or woody characteristic.

Photo of BeerAllYouCanBe
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Poured slightly below room temperature, about 20 degrees C. Aggressive head, recedes to shallow but enduring, light brown foam on beer surface and minimal lacework on glass. Deep bronze color with slight reddish hue. Pleasant cherry and lactic nose. Grapefruit and cherry on entrance, sweet Concord grape finish. Sweetness hangs in the finish, a bit much, but still quite drinkable. Sourness is mild but present. As others have commented, an easy sour to approach for the uninitiated.

Photo of JGam115
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber. Great nose of a farmhouse after rain - wet hay, a little dog, sweet cherry. Approachable flavor for all who want to taste a sour.

Photo of Harvest06
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Very mild for a sour Oud Bruin. This is a good introduction to sour ales for someone unfamiliar with the bold sourness of something like the Dutches or Cascade's sours.

Photo of esiason14
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I can't get enough of this sour ale. Not quite "sour", but just tart enough

Photo of matty
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Just the right amount of sourness.

Photo of Premo88
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz. bottle poured into tulip
(19 AL 12:44 printed on back label)

L: red/amber ... dark red, not 100% clear but nice clarity at bottom of glass and looks like it will clear up; pretty thick 1-inch head of beige/tan foam that sticks a little; keeps a fantastic collar of thick bubbly foam with a good skin across most of the surface; some cool lacing on the drinking side of the glass (typically it shows up on the opposite side ... again very cool).

S: rasberry, tart rasberry, some sweetness in it; malt ... there's a vienna-like malt to it or a bread malt note that's mixing with the tartness ... definitely different ... almost like the malty note under the hop bitterness in Anchor Steam; slight vinegar

T: amazing sweet/sour balance with tart rasberries/strawberries, dried apricots, toasted dried cranberries, lemon juice ... at times, tastes a little like cherry pie filling, just not nearly that sweet; tartness is always present

F: perfect ... fully carbonated midweight

O: a really cool mix of sour and sweet that's very accessible ... the first sips are a bit weird because there clearly seems to be some malt flavor mixing with the tart notes, which is atypical of most beers on the sour side of things. but i love it. it's refreshing, almost like a palate cleanser after so many hoppy IPAs and stouts. the little bit of malt in this one also seems to fit the cooler weathers -- perhaps a beer here that fits all seasons? hardcore sour fans would find this one too sweet.

Photo of MNishCT77
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

10 oz. pour on draft at St. Arnold's at Cleveland Park, unknown brewing/packaging date, poured into a New Belgium glass, drank over 30 minutes

Photo of Nitefreak
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

This was my first sour beer that I had ever had. Definitely taught me that I do enjoy beer, especially the sour beers.

Photo of accidentalfate
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Delicious!

Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I bought this on draught at the Cafe Bruges in Carlisle, PA. It was a deep crimson red with a nice tannish head that sank bit by bit into the liquid, leaving a gentle bubbly mixture on top. The aroma was earthy, with just that hint of tartness I was expecting. When I tasted it, my taste buds just exploded. Now, I should be honest and say I haven't really tried sour ales before, so I had no real comparison to go on at the time. But that initial taste was enough to tell me I had found a real winner. It has a smooth texture to it, and it lingers on the tongue for quite a while. I like the medieval appeal of this ale, and I would definitely get it again and again. It was a real treat.

Photo of superspak
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 11/17/2011. Pours slightly cloudy deep ruby red/brown color with a 2 finger fairly dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of tart cherry, green apple, pear, raisin, plum, fig, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, cider vinegar, leather, hay, straw, grass, musty funk, light oak, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Nice and pleasant aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/funky yeast, dark/bready malt, and light oak notes; with solid strength. Taste of tart cherry, green apple, pear, raisin, plum, fig, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, cider vinegar, leather, hay, straw, grass, musty funk, light oak, and herbal/yeast earthiness. Light fruity/earthy tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of tart cherry, green apple, pear, raisin, plum, fig, caramel, brown sugar, brown bread, cider vinegar, leather, hay, straw, grass, musty funk, and herbal/yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Nice complexity and balance of fruity/funky yeast, dark/bready malt, and light oak notes; with a good sweetness/tartness balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and slightly creamy/acidic mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a nice Flanders Oud Bruin style. All around good complexity and balance of fruity/funky yeast, dark/bready malt, and light oak flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. More of an entry level sour for sure, but has all of the normal flavors I would expect from the style; just more toned down and approachable. A nicely enjoyable offering.

Photo of runawaytrain
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Amazing Sour Beer.

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
87 out of 100 based on 2,680 ratings.