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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

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BA SCORE
86
very good

2,331 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,331
Reviews: 1,042
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.06%
Wants: 51
Gots: 159 | FT: 2
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,331 | Reviews: 1,042 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NickyDee21
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

NickyDee21, Jul 31, 2012
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
4.47/5  rDev +16.4%

Having to celebrate Belgian Independence Day. But I don't need an excuse to enjoy this fine brew.

Pours very dark. Brown and red trying to peak through, but it is really dark. Really nice head that stayed for a while. Lacing was always present and pretty thick as well.

Sour from the oak is the smell. And that is pretty much the taste as well. Maybe with a touch of sweetness. It is oh so good.

Highly recommended. Forgot how good this was.

GeoffFromSJ, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of tonistruth
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%

A- deep mahogany with 2 fingers of fluffy white froth, excellent retent, soapy lace

S- sour fruit, funky

T- highly sour, toasted malts, dried fruit, sweet and sour battle throughout

M- mouth puckering sourness, smooth, sticky

D- tasty and refreshing, love the sweet and sour flavors, i really wish brewers would attempt these sours belgian styles as opposes to triple and wits. recommended

tonistruth, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of azorie
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

azorie, May 04, 2014
Photo of JBogan
2.68/5  rDev -30.2%

A nice looking ruby color body topped by a very thick off white head fills the tulip glass. The head remains thick but leaves only minimal lacing. Still, an attractive brew.

An aroma of cherries and musty vinegar. It actually smells better than the description.

Now comes the taste, and it is quite a letdown after what the aroma suggested. Very little sour character about this beer, in fact it seemed much sweeter than it did sour. There was still a hint of cherry, but it was muted by the sweetness. I really can't put a finger on any other flavors, it just had sort of a blandness to it.

Mouthfeel was thin and very slippery. It was also somewhat lifeless and uninteresting.

While I usually enjoy beers of this style, this is one I'll be passing on in the future. Other than the appearance and to a lesser degree the aroma, this beer had nothing about it which beckoned me back for more.

JBogan, Sep 25, 2009
Photo of metalgdog
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

metalgdog, Feb 23, 2013
Photo of johnhenryconway
4/5  rDev +4.2%

johnhenryconway, Feb 22, 2013
Photo of atoulouk
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

atoulouk, Sep 28, 2013
Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%

Deep reddened brown. Nectarine highlights. Small bubbly beige head that dissipated quickly. Some wisps of lace.

Vinegar, cherry, raspberry, tart and sour. apple, pear, candi sugar and spices. berry pie. slight lactic and slight feet.

Bright crisp and fruity. Sour apple and pear, tart cheery and raspberry. Sweet and fruity. pie crust.

Refreshing, crisp, bubbly high carbonation. Light body with some feel to it.

Very drinkable. Vinegar disappeared after a few minutes. Great flavors. Not overwhelmingly sour. A nice drinkable sour Flemish ale.
My girlfriend doesn't normally venture outside of the Hefe/Wit/Blonde arena, but she loved this one, claiming it was one of the best beers she's ever had. I am trying to get her into belgian beer and this was a great one for her to try.

CHILLINDYLAN, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of zachary80
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%

Brown Body. Very nice off-white head leaves great lacing
Smell is mostly tart, some vinegar, something that reminds me of leather
Taste is mellow. Slight sour cherry flavors. Somewhat sweet with a short drier finish.
Very drinkable beer.

Not quite the beer I remembered: don't recall the vinegar, and also thought it was more assertive. Still good overall

zachary80, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of RandyKemka
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

RandyKemka, Dec 18, 2012
Photo of washburnkid
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%

This beer is just awesome. It pours reddish mahogany with little to no head. I don't care, because the aromas and flavors are filled with fruit, dominated by bitter, sour cherries. The mouthfeel is thin with low carbonation. This beer does the style justice, and I'm looking forward to enjoying it again!

washburnkid, May 26, 2011
Photo of maDUECEgunner
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

maDUECEgunner, May 07, 2014
Photo of ej285701
4/5  rDev +4.2%

ej285701, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of gory4d
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%

Pours a clear russet with a loosely bubbled, two-finger head; a little lacing. The smell is toffee, marigold, Niagara grapes, and hints of graphite. The taste is big on the brown sugar and toffee, with some grape-skin tang and just a hint of funk and bitterness. The sweetness dominates; it isn't much a sour ale. It's a little syrupy, highly carbonated, a very dense beer. Easy to drink; wish I had another. As Oud Bruins go, it's nothing on Goudenband, but makes for a simpler alternative.

gory4d, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of Soonami
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%

I've had this beer on-tap at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, but when I saw this beer at my local shop, I decided to give it a try and see how it compares to the draft version.

From the bottle, the beer a medium reddish brown with ruby highlights and a is more carbonated than I've had on tap. This keeps feeding the head, making it fluffy as well as accentuate the fruity and acidic aromas. Also in the smell is a medicinal, plasticy phenol aroma that was somewhat unpleasant. The ale has cherry flavors and acidity not unlike a kriek, with a light spritzy body and active carbonation. It was very refreshing, almost like a soft drink.

Soonami, Sep 12, 2010
Photo of photomike
3.88/5  rDev +1%

My first of this style.

Pours a really beautiful brown with a fluffy brownish tan head. 3 fingers in a tall fluted pils glass. I love to look at this. It is a damn shame I have to drink it all.

Smell is somewhat generically sour. A big vinegary, a bit fruity.

That smell really develops when you actually taste it. Big time sour apple flavors here. Almost like what Martinelli's would taste like if it were made out of underripe apples. Some of that vinegar is present as well, but mostly only right when the beer hits your tastebuds--it dissipates quickly. More sour than I had expected, but certainly not overly so.

Mouthfeel was not bad. There was definitely significant astringency as a result of the sourness. Not that this was necessarily bad or unexpected, but it that is the nature of the beast. I love sours, and puckering like this is to be expected...it was just slightly less pleasant to me than it usually is with sours for some reason.

The astringency makes this a beer that you wouldn't want to session, but this stuff goes down really easy, and I could certainly have a couple.

For the price, a great sour. Now I'm just gonna have to pop one more to get another look at this beauty....

photomike, Mar 24, 2009
Photo of billhelm
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

billhelm, Apr 18, 2014
Photo of dgallina
4.38/5  rDev +14.1%

11.2 oz brown bottle without freshness date.

Poured a slightly transparent deep reddish-brown with big carbonation, small sheen of foam, and good lace. Smells big and fruity; a sweet and sour blend of green apples and grapes that tickles the nose. Green apples, pears, and a counter-balance of wood and sweet dark fruits (cherries?) lead to a super-dry, earthy and yeasty finish. Highly-carbonated, moderately light and tingly in the mouth.

dgallina, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of desint
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

desint, Aug 17, 2014
Photo of Hopswagger
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%

P:  A monstrous mountain of khaki ice cream float head that stays a long while. Underneath lies a dark amber body that is almost black. Faded head leaves wall climbing silky lacing. 

S:  Aroma is sweet and roasty, with old leather, old english wood cleaner, smoldered grains, old Irish spring soap, fermented plums, grapes and under ripe persimmons. A mild lemon and lactic sourness that swims around the sweet but musty and earthy nose. 

T/M:  The first thing that hits is a swirled combination of tart apples, lemon zest, and vinegar mixed with a sweet heavy fruit syrup, cherries and wood chips.  Medium syrupy body with tingling carbonation.  Starts sweet turns sour then finishes semi dry with all notes of sweet, sour, and wood.   

O:  A crazy mixture that really delivers. Maybe a tad too tart in the finish but still a really good sipper. I couldn't drink too many of these so it would be a treat to savor. 

  

Hopswagger, Aug 23, 2012
Photo of WoodburyMN
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

WoodburyMN, Nov 02, 2012
Photo of rpstevens
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured from a bottle into a snifter.

This beer pours a dark amber/red with a frothy white head that dissipated quickly with a good amount of lacing.

The smell is a very balanced sweet and sour, mostly cherries coming through in the nose but a faint trace of vinegar.

The taste is tart and slightly bitter, a lot of cherry throughout.

The feel is great, bubbly, highly carbonated, very crisp, reminiscent of a lemon-lime soda.

This beer is very drinkable, it's low alcohol content and crisp mouthfeel facilitate extreme drinkability.

rpstevens, May 16, 2009
Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
2.85/5  rDev -25.8%

Appearance: Nice deep burgundy color, with a decent white head which dissipates to a good rim lacing.
Smell: Sweet cherries....sour berries, red wine and oddly (to me) vinegar
Taste: (only took 4-5 sips) Short and simply put....very sour and nasty tasting. A few sips and I knew I would not be able to finish this brew.
This is the first flemish sour I ever had and it will most likely be my last.
Kicked: Perhaps a desired then aquired taste for certain sour ale drinkers....and this is probably very good brew in it's category/style but it's just not my style....take this review w/ a grain of salt.

WilliamPhilaPa, Jan 02, 2005
Photo of jgasparine
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%

A- An aggressive pour from the 750mL bottle yielded a nice big tan head... a bit rocky and well-retained. Some nice lacing... good carbonation... and a beautiful mahogany body.

S- The nose reminds me of Ludens Wild Cherry Throat Drops (sweet cough drops)... I am anticipating both sweet and sour flavors from this nose...

T- Sweet and sour goodness... with a dry clean (slightly oaky) finish. Can't quite describe the sweetness here... it is unique, cherry cider maybe? The sourness is akin to weak vinegar (acetobacter?). Beautiful flavors here.

M- A bit oily... lots of unattenuated sugar here... and the perfect amount of carbonation. Overall, I'd say this is light to medium body... what I would expect from the style.

D- What a beautiful drink... could go all day with this stuff. The sweetness is never overpowering, nor the sourness. Just plain satisfying and refreshing...

jgasparine, Aug 12, 2009
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,331 ratings.