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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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

2,197 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,197
Reviews: 1,031
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 45
Gots: 124 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,197 | Reviews: 1,031 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of boilermakerbrew
boilermakerbrew

Missouri

3.93/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First go with a sour, so here goes nothing...

A- Pours a deep, deep amber hue with a 1 finger head. Head is very bubbly and active. Good lacing and retention.

S- Well, sour it is. Very acidic on the nose. Slight fruit tones. Lemon and lime like scents with the acidity, minus the refreshing citrus part. Slight hints of some malts.

T- Light and fruity, with only hints of the sour flavors that were on the nose. Darker fruits are up front, with some grapes and maybe some tart cherries and raspberries. Very much like a semi-dry champagne.

M- Very carbonated. Drinks easily, but somewhat harsh on the palate. Could drink a few, but your tongue would be worn out.

O- This a a good starter sour. I thought I'd hate this from the smell, but it is pretty good. Easily drinkable and a good gateway into a very expensive style.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2012 02:45:15 | More by boilermakerbrew
Photo of DruRho
DruRho

Maryland

4/5  rDev +4.4%

05-26-2013 17:12:46 | More by DruRho
Photo of CB2maltygoodness
CB2maltygoodness

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +4.4%

05-03-2014 21:52:04 | More by CB2maltygoodness
Photo of Ncpogs
Ncpogs

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

03-27-2013 18:32:51 | More by Ncpogs
Photo of Truh
Truh

New Hampshire

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had a few sips of this before the conclave on 4/22/2005. 11.2 fl. oz. bottle poured in an Allagash snifter.

Good bubbling, though forced, which settles to what is likely a more natural flat sheen with some piling on the sides. Deep orange to an almost brown hue with a fair amount of haze chimmy-changa-ing around. Lemon/cherry sour tart on nose with a hit of watermelon and a gangly malt; sour patch kid sweetness seeping in. Green apple tart on mouth with a candy apple twinge to it; some underlying yeast breadiness adds some body to an otherwise light profile; kind of a meringue-like feel to it.

Generally, this is not a style I would choose to drink or gravitate towards, but very enjoyable nevertheless.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2005 20:58:40 | More by Truh
Photo of bconsidine
bconsidine

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

02-08-2012 16:25:11 | More by bconsidine
Photo of IanSpindler
IanSpindler

Alberta (Canada)

4/5  rDev +4.4%

03-06-2013 15:08:18 | More by IanSpindler
Photo of moarmare
moarmare

Missouri

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

07-10-2013 21:54:17 | More by moarmare
Photo of nickhiller
nickhiller

Texas

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: copper, tan bubbly head foams and busts in about 30 seconds, no lace.

S: minerals, rust, fresh rain air, slight vinegar, Sauvignon Blanc wine cork.

T: sweet and sour sauce, cider funk and vinegar, Neco Wafers, kind of like soda flavored candy. Finish is juicy with a malty beer-y aftertaste. It reminds me a lot of a diet soda.

M: light-bodied, light carbonation, which I usually prefer in this style, but it lacks both the body and the dryness to back it up. Has a watery quality that is off-putting.

O: a very nice beer, pleasant and drinkable, in the same way that a diet Coke is. Also the smell and mouthfeel left a lot to be desired.

Serving type: bottle

11-07-2011 22:25:18 | More by nickhiller
Photo of tuckerlikesbeer
tuckerlikesbeer

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

11-29-2012 05:32:40 | More by tuckerlikesbeer
Photo of RobinLee
RobinLee

Wisconsin

4/5  rDev +4.4%

12-29-2013 01:07:07 | More by RobinLee
Photo of TheQuietMan22
TheQuietMan22

Iowa

3.68/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Serving type: 330 ml bottle. There is a poorly printed batch code on the back label but nothing discernable as a freshness date.

Appearance: Poured into a tulip. The color is clean, dark brown. Two fingers of lightly tanned, buttery head dissipated quickly to leave a spotted lacing and ring around the edge.

Smell: Immediate tartness. Granny apple, sour grapes, plum, raisins, cherry, sweet (very sweet) caramel, molasses, chocolate, and yeast. It has a hint of smokiness and vinegar, too.

Taste: The mouthfeel is very peculiar. Light and slippery, it is almost like diet pop. The flavors do not standout on their own but contribute to a tart blend, which is mostly fruity; it swings between the grapes/apple and the darker fruits. The smokiness is gone, but the vinegar is still noticeable; it has a slight acidity to it.

Drinkability: I have never had sour ale before so I have to say this first experience was good. Different, but good.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2012 05:06:43 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of StlHopHead77
StlHopHead77

Illinois

3.63/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours out a Cola-like reddish/brown with a rapidly dissapearing,3 finger,tawny crown that reduced to a thin ring and left light but clingy lacing.

S-Cherry limeade,hay,yeast rolls,white pepper and Cheerwine(NC,representin').

T-Ferrara Pan Cherryheads,preserved lemon,sourdough and prosecco.

M-Bright and refreshing with lively carbonation and a mild sourness.Good starter sour.

O-Nice and light and probably a beer more suited for warm weather.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 16:35:33 | More by StlHopHead77
Photo of bsm80x
bsm80x

New York

3/5  rDev -21.7%

10-17-2013 14:50:18 | More by bsm80x
Photo of ruckus232
ruckus232

Illinois

4/5  rDev +4.4%

11-11-2012 16:59:55 | More by ruckus232
Photo of alex_hart
alex_hart

Oklahoma

4.25/5  rDev +11%

07-14-2013 06:49:20 | More by alex_hart
Photo of danielharper
danielharper

Michigan

3.65/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

My first beer of this style.

Appearance: Opaque brown body, slightly reddish coloration. Small khaki-colored head that dissipates quickly. Leaves a small amount of lacing.

Smell: Sour, tarty aroma, a hint of that "mustardy" aroma I always get from lambics, has the aroma of a wild ale, probably due to the yeast. Slightly musky at the bottom. This seems pretty much what I expected for-style, so I'm giving it a 4.

Taste: Strong notes of sourness up front. Breadiness in the middle, slightly malty and grainy. Underneath the sourness is a mild touch of apples and cherry. Finishes clean and dry with only a slight tart.

Mouthfeel: Fairly thin mouthfeel, no real carbonation, slightly chewy.

Drinkability: I'm dinging this a bit because I find it fairly undrinkable. I know the tartness and the sourness is to-style, but for my palate it's fairly overwhelming. I've given it credit in the higher categories, so I don't feel bad for dropping its score a bit here.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2008 03:27:45 | More by danielharper
Photo of msondel
msondel

Massachusetts

4/5  rDev +4.4%

01-18-2014 18:59:50 | More by msondel
Photo of Tumble
Tumble

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

11-10-2012 00:09:59 | More by Tumble
Photo of lpayette
lpayette

Vermont

4.33/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was surprised to see I hadn't reviewed this before. I've had it probably 4 or 5 times. This bottle probably has about a year of aging on it, and it does seem to have mellowed out some which I like.

Appearance- dark ruby grapeish color with a small head but plenty of lacing. Looks good.

Smell- mostly sour notes, but there's a bit of vinegar at times in the background which I could go without. It's not a dealbreaker for me though, just something I could do without. Well... afterall, it is part of the style, isn't it? Smell of cherries and grapes with a dusting of oakey/woodsy notes.

Taste and Mouthfeel- Nice sour flavors mingle with very subtle oaky flavors. Again, the flavors are mostly grapes and cherries- at least that's how I perceive it anyway. Remember that grape flavored kool-aid with the purple dinosaur on it? Well, if I remember correctly, this beer tastes kind of like they took some of that and fermented it with some wild critters. That might sound like a negative review, but I think it's pretty darn tastey. Finishes pretty dry.

Drinkability- I find this to be a pretty drinkable beer overall, and one that might be a good gateway beer into the realm of sour beer. It's not too sour, but there's enough there to make it a new taste for most people.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2008 02:45:09 | More by lpayette
Photo of Hoppy_McMalt
Hoppy_McMalt

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

05-18-2013 03:24:55 | More by Hoppy_McMalt
Photo of EigenBeer
EigenBeer

Florida

4.25/5  rDev +11%

09-18-2013 20:44:07 | More by EigenBeer
Photo of shbobdb
shbobdb

Indiana

2.93/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Meh.

It pours a niice red-brown with a rose head.

The smell sets up the taste, it is weak. Some sour, some sweet but nothing too much.

The taste is very meh. It reminds me less of a Flanders Red, it tastes more like a Dubbel with a slightly sour finish. Not bad, if you like Dubbels. I don't. It is also very sweet. Very sweet. I like a nice, crisp sour finish and this beer doesn't deliver.

The mouthfeel is bad. It reminds me of a quad -- both thin and thick at once. I don't like the feeling at all.

Drinkability? I'm having a hard time finishing a >12oz bottle. Would I drink it again? I could get two of Bell's Expedition for the price of this bottle, or half of Cantillon's Organic Gueze. 'Nuf said.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2006 01:38:49 | More by shbobdb
Photo of BeerMeBrah
BeerMeBrah

Florida

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

12-10-2013 04:23:22 | More by BeerMeBrah
Photo of djbreezy
djbreezy

Washington

4.3/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle to snifter.

In my search for reasonably priced sours, this one is coming on top thus far. Very cheap for a bottle (in comparison) and remarkably balanced and flavorful.

appearance - pours a rich ruby red with some transparency, head settles quickly but retains on the sides of the glass, some land mass formations from the aerial view of the glass, strong lacing

smell - fruit, oak, cherry, bitter, sour, wood

taste - sour but not too sour, dark fruits including cherry, apple, grape, flavors of wood, smooth finish, lacks the sharp tartness of better sours but amazing flavor

mouthfeel - full bodied for 5.5 abv and heavily carbonated, smooth and big

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2010 02:24:04 | More by djbreezy
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,197 ratings.