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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.
very good

1,095 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 1,095
Hads: 2,741
Avg: 3.84
pDev: 13.54%
Wants: 79
Gots: 364 | FT: 5
Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V. visit their website

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,095 | Hads: 2,741
Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

L - Ruby Red with egghell head

S - Balsamic vinegar, flowers, cherries, raspberries, sour character

T - Sour jolly rancher, noticeably sweet and beautifully tart

F - Good carbonation, heavier than abv would suggest

O - Delicious. Sweet, tart, and refreshing.

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Photo of SomethingClever
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle that is a year old poured into can glass

A: dark in color with edges of brown light can get through this guy a little. not much of a head dissipates to a film

S: still getting some coffee some bakers chocolate and licorice

T: a lot of that licorice and anise taste with hints of coffee

M: medium to slightly fuller feel

O: I'm not a fan of again beers but I disliked this beer fresh it's better aged which says a lot, but it's not something I will ever seek out again.

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Photo of Mikus
3.69/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Poured this treat from Jens4212 into the tulip. 2 fingers of tan head adrift a sea of black cherry... crimson in the light. Aromas of cherry and dark fruit, some lactic sour notes and a slight vinegar edge. Big tart cherry up front, light lactic and acetic sourness and a hint of oakiness rounding it all out. Bit thin mouthfeel, but smooth carbonation. IMO this was similar to the Rodenbach Standard... lighter than the big boys (Grand Cru, or Duchesse). In this vein, it is a nice, refreshing sipper and likely a better intro beer for someone looking to try an Oid Bruin. Very nice and balanced.

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Photo of synapseprolapse
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Clear, dark amber, 2 finger head
S: Light malt, acididic
T: Light malt, sweet tarts
M: Lightly carbonated, maybe a little thin.
O: Delicious! I absolutely love this sour, and it balances bacteria with yeast perfectly, in my mind. The only downside is the short-lived head and the maybe slightly thin mouthfeel, but they hardly detract from how delicious this sour is.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.86/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

March 22, 2015

11.2 oz bottle, tulip

A – Very deep mahogany, definitely red but almost opaque. An inch of tan/khaki foam head, very bubbly, with very long retention.

S – Souring agents first and foremost, some lactic acid but a ton of acetic acid with a strong vinegar component. Borders on a bit harsh, obviously intentional but not entirely pleasant. Rich cherry and dark fruit, some mild chocolate notes. Hop aroma is negligible.

T – A lot of cherry flavor, along with plum and light grape juice. That touch of chocolate as well as some caramel and rich dark bread. Lactobacillus is present but very mild, just a low level of tart sourness present. Some minor spicy hop notes.

M – Medium-light body with medium sudsy, mouth-filling, creamy carbonation. Just a slight puckering tartness. Fairly smooth and clean, little bitterness of note.

O – Long ago, this was the first sour beer I ever tried, and it’s a great intro to the sour styles. I do not love the acetic/vinegar aroma, believe it’s a bit too strong, but it is an excellent-tasting, very drinkable, complex beer. Very good.

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Photo of Shaler_Tate
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a really good sour, but I didn't get a lot of the fruit that was used in fermentation. Very good and refreshing but I like comparable beers like Duchesse better.

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Photo of mchegash
3.89/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - 4.25/5
A very hazy dark red-brown. About 1 finger of tan head. Can see a large amount of carbonation rising to the tiop of the beer.

Smell - 4/5
Smells like a slightly tart red wine. Some earthy/musky grape, and a hint a spice.

Taste - 3.75/5
Tastes like a mix between red wine, sour grape juice, and some fruity beer. It's not bad, it's just not what I was expecting. But still, I am overall happy with this beer.

Mouthfeel - 4.25/5
Medium bodied, medium-high amount of light to medium intensity carbonation. Fairly smooth, with a nice carbonaton kick, which is strong enough, but not too intense.

Overall - 3.75/5
This was a nice change of pace from a lot of other sour beers I've had. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, and the taste is good but not amazing. But the taste was rather unique, at least relative to the sour ales I've had. So I was quite happy with this beer.

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Photo of Alequine
3.15/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown in color with no clarity due to the roasted malts – no see through but an attractive beer. Slight white quarter inch head after the pour. I would describe the body more as light. Even lacking substance. Slightly aromatic fruity character but too light to define. No hop taste, low bitterness, slightly vinegary, sour going in with a slight sweet finish. What was lacking in the substance I also noted in the finish. The first, second and third times that I drank this beer prior to this the beer was enjoyable. Today I drank this beer back to back with a 2011 Rodenbach which left me dissatisfied with this beer. It lacked flavor and mouth-feel and even in aroma. It is a good light bodied beer for the summer.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Ruby pour with neigh top. Sour fruit nose. Tart, sour apples flavor. Medium lite mouthfeel with a bite. Sour from beginning to end, with a little sugar on top of tongue at finish.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sour and over ripe fruits on the nose with a touch of lemon. Pours brilliant deep garnet under a vigorous, slightly tan tinted 5” white foam cap. A sweet and sour palate with fruit, lemon, light malts, a touch of barnyard, hints of brown sugar, cherry and vanilla. Medium body and above average carbonation. Overall well balanced between sweet and tart for a reasonably mild, drinkable Flanders Oud Bruin.

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Photo of ktorsneyweir
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful burnt red color; sweet, slightly funky smell; very smooth on the tongue; cherry notes with a very subtle sour kick. Great for people that don't like that kick-you-in-the-face sour

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Photo of Trombone69
4.74/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a bottle into a snifter. A little bit of head, that dissipates fairly quickly. Beautiful Reddish, maybe maroon, and copper color.

I am no expert on sours , but this is really enjoyable. Tart, fruity, yummy!

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Photo of ranchosdancingbull
4.64/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

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Photo of mikeg67
4/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

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Photo of Tilly
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of CADETS3
2.69/5  rDev -29.9%
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.

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Photo of demon
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.35/5  rDev -12.8%
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.

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Photo of cellojon
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of samtrillo
4.06/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

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Photo of 10Crumra
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of BeerAllYouCanBe
3.06/5  rDev -20.3%
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.

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Photo of Harvest06
3.56/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of Premo88
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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Photo of Doctor_Bogenbroom
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
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.

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Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 1,095 ratings.