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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

2,067 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2067
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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Photo of magictacosinus
magictacosinus

California

3.71/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2013 04:54:36 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of abeeronthebeach
abeeronthebeach

Washington

3.98/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2013 05:19:01 | More by abeeronthebeach
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 boddhitree
boddhitree

Germany

4.79/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

WOW. They say it was brewed for them outside Ghent; it was super lovely malty, tasted like lots Special B.

Hops were light in the background. The foam head's creaminess was almost eternal. It stayed tight through almost to the end of the glass.

It tasted like Kriek (cherry), but not overly sweet. I detected virtually no sourness, neithr lactic nor acetic, as advertised on the menu. But it was still there slightly maybe, probably held back the malt and fruit sweetness from being overpowering. This was my favorite beer of the night. It was the perfect dessert, though it wasn't a dessert beer.

Serving type: on-tap

07-14-2013 10:51:28 | More by boddhitree
Photo of Murrhey
Murrhey

Montana

3.69/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a standard pressure-cap 11.2oz bottle into a snifter in high elevation Kalispell, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Handsome three-finger light brown head. Tiny bubbles and very active carbonation with a long retention. Ruby-color body with high clarity for the darkness. Nice looking beer.

S- Slight lactic aroma with tannins, cherries and vinous scents. Slightly sour.

T- Surprisingly refreshing flavor with a tiny bit of sourness. Cherry, lactic, and a hint of wine. Not much though. Sweet.

M- Smooth feel. Finishes grainy, slightly vinously and semi-dry.

O- This is not a beer that is going to blow anybody away, but is a refreshing, sweet oud bruin.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2013 04:43:03 | More by Murrhey
Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
ExaltedNecrosis

Texas

3.86/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz bottle poured into flute glass

A - Despite pouring very carefully, absolutely massive head. It took a few minutes to pour. Color is medium amber, decently clear with an off white head. Got some floaties of yeast in there.

S - Smell is instant lactic sourness and fruity. It's mainly an apple fruitiness. Fairly straightforward aroma.

T - Decently sour and tart. Not too sour, I think it could use a bit more. Definitely a lactic component to it, and a sweet & tart apple flavor.

M - High carbonation, sticky sweet mouthfeel. A bit on the thin side. Makes me pucker and smack. Sour apple tart on the finish.

O - A pretty decent sour. There are a lot better ones out there for a similar price, but this isn't bad. It doesn't have a lot of depth to it, as it's somewhat simple sour & tart apple. It's still crisp and refreshing though, and makes a good pair with cheese and crackers or other snack food.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2013 17:02:01 | More by ExaltedNecrosis
Photo of yeastlovehoppiness_jess
yeastlovehoppiness_jess

Iowa

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Poured a dark, ruby brown with a quickly-rising, bubbly two fingers of toasty beige head. The head settled down fairly quickly into a thinner film that left lacing quite high up on the large wine glass I drank from.

S - Rich, malty, dark fruit kind of fragrance. Faintly reminded me of both Branston Pickle (I know, weird!) and red wine. Black cherry or plum notes.

T - Dark fruit, cherry, or plum taste. Reminded me of red wine. Faint milk chocolate taste. It reminded me of that fleeting moment when you bite through the cherry candy into the tootsie-roll center of a tootsie-pop. Left a flat, acidic, coppery/metallic aftertaste on the tongue and lips.

M - Sour, of course, but sweet. Tart. The first sip made me pucker a little. Thin.

O - For my first sour, it has piqued my interest and taste buds. It's unlike anything I've ever had. Definitely an enjoyable sipping, dessert-like beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2013 21:11:25 | More by yeastlovehoppiness_jess
Photo of NiceTaps
NiceTaps

New Jersey

3.76/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2013 01:02:20 | More by NiceTaps
Photo of wedge
wedge

North Carolina

3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Deep garnet with a high, airy head that jumps up and out of the glass. Sweet, tart cherries, plums, very light, clean oak, and a mineral note...a lot more mellow then other examples of the style. Slightly acidic, dry, and fruity with some spicy wood and finishing phenols. A bit acetic and certainly on the sour side of things, but again, lighter and cleaner than most. Some caramel enters the fold towards the end of the glass. Decent, but lacking character.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2013 21:29:53 | More by wedge
Photo of Beerdster
Beerdster

Alaska

3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a tulip.

A: Pretty opaque, dark red almost to the point of being brown. Dense white/tan head dissipated quickly.

S: Smells great: fruity, cherry, rounded

Taste: Sourness up front, but not very tart, it quickly gives way to...not much, really. Pretty weak finish.

M: In a word: thin. In more than one word: Thin, with carbonation that's a bit flacid.

The smell and appearance of this one set me up for a bit of a letdown. Almost no flavor on the back end, weak finish and little to no body. Probably a good "starter" sour.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2013 16:22:40 | More by Beerdster
Photo of flip387
flip387

Texas

4.06/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: 4.25

Has a nice deep red color with a slight fizzy head.

Smell: 4.0

Crisp and slightly sour. Pleasant smell with mild hop and barley notes.

Taste: 4.0

Crisp and tart, noticed some earthy flavors which I believe is from the barley.

Mouthfeel: 4.0

Carbonated and fizzles on the tongue. Semi tar and sour, yet crisp and pleasant.

Overall: 4.25

My third sour beer, and my third from Brouwerij Bavik, defiantly my favorite from the Sour Power pack. This one is quite nice, has a tart crisp flavor along with some sweetness. A mild bodied red ale

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2013 22:02:14 | More by flip387
Photo of dar482
dar482

New York

3.31/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I had this on tap in Brooklyn at DBA.

The color is dark brown red with some amber on the edges.

The aroma has a sour cherry nose with some funk.

The flavor has a wonderful vinegar sour tart. It starts first is a bit of sour. Then it turns into a candied cherry. It finishes with a fake sweetness, almost like Sweet n’ Low or something.

This is a good beginner’s sour. It isn’t very sour, there isn’t much funk, and there is tons of sweetness on the end. It has a light body. It’s quite drinkable, but nothing too exciting.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2013 20:19:54 | More by dar482
Photo of gillagorilla
gillagorilla

Maryland

3.4/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a Flying Dog goblet

A: It appears to be a dark brown but is in fact a deep amber red with a bit of sediment/yeast that you can barely see at the bottom.

S: Slightly tart smelling with hints of sour cherries. Smells alot like sweet fruit, with a bit of yeastiness to it.

T: There is a very mild tartness here. The sweetness is tempered as well. I would most compare it to some kind of artisanal black cherry wishniak. It leaves almost no aftertaste, just kind of a funkiness, which isn't bad.

M: There is a nice solid carbonation there that envelopes your mouth after a bit, right as you swallow. It is quite crisp.

O: My beer guy's friend (other guy at the shop) got me to split a Sour Power pack with a friend and this is the first one out of six pack (2 of each). It is good stuff and very drinkable. Quite plain and not like the only other sour I have had so far (Rodenbach Classic). Now, I want to try it on tap at Monk's Cafe.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2013 04:25:18 | More by gillagorilla
Photo of Beaver13
Beaver13

Colorado

2.9/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle. Pours reddish brown with a big fizzy light tan head that retains well and leaves a little lacing.

The aroma is tart and sour cherries with some woody cardboard and some acidity.

The flavor is sweet and tart sour cherries / raspberries with a little woody funk. The mouthfeel is light bodied and very watery.

Overall, an interesting sour. It's sweet, but not too much so. It is way too watery though.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2013 00:13:53 | More by Beaver13
Photo of tectactoe
tectactoe

Michigan

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
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).

Serving type: on-tap

05-24-2013 11:50:20 | More by tectactoe
Photo of ESeab
ESeab

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a Stella goblet

A - Dark ruby red, almost copper brown when not in light. Yeast flaoting around the bottom

S - Smells of raseberry and other fruit. I'm not really getting much though

T - Tastes like it smells. A touch of lemon and cherry comes through big time. It is definitely a great balance of sweet and tart, neither of which are too strong.

M - Real nice mouthfeel. Carbonation plays well with the body, which is a bit more syrupy than expected.

O - Solid sour if you are just starting. Or a nice refreshing beverage if you are already into sours.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2013 20:14:38 | More by ESeab
Photo of Arithmeticus
Arithmeticus

Maryland

3.25/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured chilled in flared sample glass @davewhite4, the third of a sour beer trilogy.

A: thin head, but very active carbonation; cola color; snowglobe effect from all the yeast floating about
S: not much aroma; opens up into some vinegar
T: very flavorful; sour cherry dominates; good malt presence

Good specimen of a sour beer

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 22:29:00 | More by Arithmeticus
Photo of VinnyA
VinnyA

Pennsylvania

3.99/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Source: 11.2oz bottle
Served: tulip glass

Appearance: pours a deep red with about 1 inch tan head.

Smell: sugar, sour apple, hint of cherry

Taste: slightly bitter and moderately sour. Low tartness. Notice some vinegar. Beer gives way to a relatively clean finish, it is very much a palate cleansing beer. Tasty, however, I can't quite put my finger on what makes this unique.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation. Monks has a mild bite on the back end of the tongue that fades out into a refreshing yet dry finish. It quenches your thirst and is a nice cleanser.

Overall: this is a good entry-level sour red. I have to recommend having it on draft at monks cafe in Philly, if you're in the area. It is a lot softer, mildly carbonated and sweeter which balances out the sourness brilliantly. Still, the bottled version is a good beer to have before eating meat or as a relaxer on a summer evening. If you like the style, I'd recommend buying a case of it at least once. Very easy to drink. If you're looking for a more complete Oud Bruin, I recommend the Liefmans Goudenband.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 05:14:21 | More by VinnyA
Photo of Steamer
Steamer

Missouri

3.78/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A rich ruby red; light tan head with large bubbles, sparkling effervescence. Smell: A dry champagne aroma. Taste: Very mild sour and tart flavor, almost too light, refreshing though. Mouthfeel: Again champagne like; heavy carbonation. Overall: On the mild side of sour ales. Would be an excellent choice for someone just getting into sours or anyone looking for a light tart ale on a hot summer day.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2013 00:14:28 | More by Steamer
Photo of NorCalMaekJuMan
NorCalMaekJuMan

California

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

At first I was a little intimidated by the word sour in the title but I really liked it. I found it went well with roasted pork loin cooked in apples and onions (like pork chops Normandy). I liked the coppery head. I can't really describe the smell but I liked it. I find it very similar to any of the Russian River sour beer types (ie...consecration, temptation)..although I think I prefer the stuff from Russian River.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2013 02:55:27 | More by NorCalMaekJuMan
Photo of tut2528
tut2528

Illinois

3.74/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: pours is a deep ruby red, that is almost dark brown in appearance. poured into a tulip, and it creates a solid 2 fingers worth of head formation that is beige in color. fairly nice lacing and quite carbonated. floaties vary in size but most are quite small.

S: the nose is very faint, and quite disappointing. some notes of oak, hay and barnyard funk, subtle tough of vinous qualities like tannins , and a touch of vinegar.

T: the palate makes quite a unique transition in this beer. it starts off with some tartness, a slight touch of vinegar that gets the salivary glands pumping.. then this beer makes a hard turnaround, and becomes quite sweet. middle of the body consists of the oak, grain, slight touch of dark fruits, and brown sugar. the finish is quite creamy.

M: my palate is wondering what the hell just happened. this brew has both sweet and sour characteristics. it leaves a slight creaminess on the palate with just a subtle touch of grain. its borderline light/medium bodied.

O: I have passed this one up for years, and even though I will most likely not purchase this one again, I am glad to have tried it, and i feel this is a nice beer for those to would like to get their feet wet in the sour world.

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2013 19:20:21 | More by tut2528
Photo of JerzDevl2000
JerzDevl2000

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up one of these in Totowa, having never had a beer from Brouwerij Van Steenberge or even a Flanders Oud Bruin before. This felt like a Lambic when I poured it out and gave it a whiff but it was just not quite sour enough to be considered as such. There was just enough of a sweetness here to make it distinct and the low alcohol made it quite enjoyable to someone unaccustomed to this style, such as myself!

The pour to this was brown, with just a hint of garnet around the edges with a nice head that lasted for quite a while. That wasn't the case with the lacing but there were a few rings that stuck to the sides of my glass as I worked my way down. Some lambic-like sourness was found in the nose but there was a lot of apple and pear sweetness in the taste that cancelled much of that out. There was a good amount of carbonation here too, which helped to offset that and allowed for some cherry syrup and dark fruits to emerge in the aftertaste. Not a lot of sourness here but it was present as the sugar wore off and this almost felt like a fermented cider that I'd have in the fall.

Even though I only had one bottle of this, I could have had another in a sitting, There wasn't any roasted or woody notes that were found in the description of this style on this site, but there was a nice Belgian feel to this from start to finish and it's hard to imagine anyone *not* finding something to enjoy about this beer. The hint of wild yeast makes up for the bottle only being 11.2 oz, as this was neither a fast or a slow sipper. I'm not sure I could have found a better example of a Flanders Oud Bruin to become accustomed to!

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 06:30:10 | More by JerzDevl2000
Photo of JoEBoBpr
JoEBoBpr

Missouri

3.85/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice dark mahogany brown with some slight reddish hues. There is a thin quarter inch head of off-white foam that forms and recedes quickly but it leaves a nice lacing along the glass.

Aroma off some oak notes and some nice tartness starts things off. There is some slight funk notes in the nose with some good earthy grain tones. There is some fruit tartness to the nose as well as some slight acidity to it.

Flavor starts off with some slight sweet fruit notes with some grainy malt notes. There is quickly a nice tart fruit acidity that pops up. Nice tart apple notes with some very midl balsamic vinegar. The brew is nice and tart but not too intense and very approachable. There is nice grainy and earthy malt notes mixed in with the fruitiness that also add some sweetness. There is some nice funky yeast notes with some woody oak notes present as well.

Mouthfeel is smooth and medium. Nice complete flavors cover the palette and the carbonation adds a nice cleansing feeling.

PRetty good Flanders. Nice fruity notes balanced with the tartness. Refreshing and delicious. Keeps you coming back for more.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 21:32:15 | More by JoEBoBpr
Photo of Pegasus
Pegasus

Texas

3.95/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: Somewhat hazy, deep reddish amber body when viewed before a strong light, otherwise opaque, surmounted by a massive, coarse off-white head, which retains superbly. The lacing is, appropriately, Belgian in form, and quite sticky and thick.

Aroma: Rather prominent lactic and vinegar aroma will not go unnoticed. Bitter apple rind and tart cherries are present as well.

Taste: Opens with a moderate wave of lactic sourness, and vinegar. As the taste progresses, sour cherries and bitter apples offer a counterpoint to the vinegar and lactic flavors. Late in the taste, the is a flourish of restrained herbal hops The finish is rather astringent.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, with champagne-like carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: I did not expect to enjoy this beer, having heard other craft beer fanciers disparage the style. Nonetheless, I felt that sampling a representative of the Flanders Oud Bruin style was an essential part of my education as a Beer Advocate. To my surprise, I like this beer quite a lot, and hope to try other examples of the style. For anyone who has not tried the style, Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale is inexpensive and will handsomely reward one's tasting efforts.

Presentation: Packaged in a standard eleven point two ounce Euro-style brown glass long-neck bottle with a pry -off crown, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice.

Sourcing: Purchased at Spec's in Texas in March of 2013 for $2.79 for a single bottle..

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2013 01:27:52 | More by Pegasus
Photo of flayedandskinned
flayedandskinned

California

3.84/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No Bottled on date.
Poured into a Duvel tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a deep, dark translucent garnet. A towering 4 finger loose bubbled, light brown head erupts immediately and as expected, fizzles down fairly fast, consistent with it's style.

Aroma: Big, vinous red wine vinegar right away with some musty funk alongside it. Juicy, tart currants are layered on top of faint, sweet malt in the background. A woodsy presence of rich vanilla and oak becomes more and more apparent as the beer warms.

Taste: Red wine vinegar up front with only the suggestion of tartness, some juicy red currants and some tart cherry notes are flirted with as a big, vanilla infused maltiness lands on your palate and softens the blow of the high carbonation. The creamy malt backbone abruptly mellows out the sourness of the brew and allows some of the oak barrel character come through. The beer finishes very dry, tart with an extremely light tannin presence and a faint hop bitterness. Lingering notes of plum skin and caramel bready malt. The beer does get a slightly unpleasant metallic twang as it warms.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied with high carbonation; very brisk and refreshing.

Overall: A decent example of a Flanders Red. I do wish the initial rush of sourness sustained a bit longer before the malts rushed in and mellowed everything out, but the malt does add a strong sense of balance and contrast. This is a great beginner's sour. I would suggest not allowing this to warm up too much so you can avoid that metallic after taste.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2013 06:18:05 | More by flayedandskinned
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,067 ratings.