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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

2,192 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,192
Reviews: 1,030
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 45
Gots: 122 | 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: 2,192 | Reviews: 1,030 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of pottergator
pottergator

New York

4/5  rDev +4.4%

06-17-2013 03:21:54 | More by pottergator
Photo of tonistruth
tonistruth

Nevada

4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 01:08:12 | More by tonistruth
Photo of GeoffFromSJ
GeoffFromSJ

New Jersey

4.47/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2009 03:20:21 | More by GeoffFromSJ
Photo of archero
archero

Texas

4.75/5  rDev +24%

08-13-2013 01:13:41 | More by archero
Photo of JBogan
JBogan

Nevada

2.68/5  rDev -30%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2009 01:44:00 | More by JBogan
Photo of Bwagner1122
Bwagner1122

California

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

11-02-2013 02:17:51 | More by Bwagner1122
Photo of CHILLINDYLAN
CHILLINDYLAN

Washington

4.1/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2010 18:27:29 | More by CHILLINDYLAN
Photo of johnhenryconway
johnhenryconway


4/5  rDev +4.4%

02-22-2013 01:50:04 | More by johnhenryconway
Photo of metalgdog
metalgdog

New York

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

02-23-2013 04:28:29 | More by metalgdog
Photo of heytomcat
heytomcat

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

09-03-2013 22:19:58 | More by heytomcat
Photo of RandyKemka
RandyKemka

New York

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

12-18-2012 02:36:30 | More by RandyKemka
Photo of willjschmidt
willjschmidt

California

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a New Belgium globe glass.

A: Pours a very murky brown with red accents with a thin head.

S: Sour, tangy, slightly sweet, sour cherries.

T: A tangy and tart sour cherries starts it off. The sourness is very pleasant, not at all overwhelming. Nice balance for the style.

M: Medium bodied, maybe even a little light. Smooth carbonation.

D: An interesting beer, certainly worth trying if you're a fan of sours.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2008 03:36:29 | More by willjschmidt
Photo of washburnkid
washburnkid

New York

4.4/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 22:26:06 | More by washburnkid
Photo of ej285701
ej285701

Ohio

4/5  rDev +4.4%

11-15-2011 07:29:26 | More by ej285701
Photo of madtowndmb1
madtowndmb1

Wisconsin

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

A: Poured a redish brown with a foamy head.

S: It smells fruity and there's a decent amount acid/vinegar.

T: It wasn't as deep as I'd hoped. It started off kinda thin, but the cherry was OK, but the vinegarish flavor seemed too prominent for my taste.

M: smooth, not as harsh with the amount a vinegar I picked up on my tongue.

D: I thought it was good, but I think there are some better out there for sure. Duchesse was a little better I think.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2009 17:31:14 | More by madtowndmb1
Photo of Soonami
Soonami

Pennsylvania

3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2010 21:40:06 | More by Soonami
Photo of Lawl3ss
Lawl3ss

Texas

4.18/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lightly chilled 11.2 oz. bottle poured into a shaker pint, as per the recommendation on the box. No discernable bottling date.

Look- Big, big head on this. 3/4 of the glass is filled with tight beige foam, looks like a root beer float, really. Crystal clear ruby-brown. Nice lacing.

Smell- Sweet, cidery, powdery, candylike. Pears, caramel, vanilla and lemon extract, some straw. Good malt backdrop, feels centered. Very appealing, if on the sweet side.

Taste- Cidery, pears, strong dose of wood comes out in the middle. Perhaps there's a hint of hops towards the end, but it's basically indistinguishable from the light oxidation. Vanilla again, sweet, almost candy/soda feel. Clean, almost no aftertaste, although sourness builds a bit as the glass empties. Very champagne-like.

Mouthfeel- Crisp, light to medium body. Not particularly dry, but quite clean. I feared it would be over-carbonated, but it's actually got a fairly soft edge, smooth on the tongue, a bit prickly on the swallow. Drinks like a cider, very refreshing. A bit acidic by the end, but it disappeared quickly- I wouldn't mind having a few of these.

Overall- Perhaps it's the 100+ degree heat today, but man, this really hit the spot. I have fairly mixed feelings about sours, but this one I thoroughly enjoyed. Crisp, easy drinking, definitely on the sweet side, puckery but not overly so. Feels more like an everyday beer, which I haven't seen in sours before. Not very complex, but what's there is spot on. A good lemonade replacement, in my opinion.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2012 00:11:20 | More by Lawl3ss
Photo of atoulouk
atoulouk

Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

09-28-2013 02:06:04 | More by atoulouk
Photo of Auraan
Auraan

Arizona

4.09/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a deep brown, with a three finger off white head. Gorgeous, looks fantastic. Sour lactic scent with a slight hint of malt. A good scent of a sour ale, makes me want to take a sip. Taste begins with a nice sour flavor, a sort of sour crab apple flavor and a bit of nice roast malt flavor on the finish and after taste. Quite nice. Very refreshing. Mouthfeel is bubbly and medium bodied, quite good, refreshing and carbonated, yet easy to drink. This is a good, unique beer. I'm not sure how it stacks up for the style, yet I enjoyed this one quite a bit. Worth trying for sure.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2013 06:24:44 | More by Auraan
Photo of Imperial_Sapient_Groat
Imperial_Sapient_Groat

Michigan

3.25/5  rDev -15.1%

06-21-2013 00:12:45 | More by Imperial_Sapient_Groat
Photo of photomike
photomike

California

3.88/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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....

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2009 00:42:46 | More by photomike
Photo of zachary80
zachary80

Indiana

3.6/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Serving type: bottle

03-12-2011 04:31:38 | More by zachary80
Photo of n00blar
n00blar

Maryland

4/5  rDev +4.4%

05-28-2012 02:33:18 | More by n00blar
Photo of dgallina
dgallina

Georgia

4.38/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2005 00:59:09 | More by dgallina
Photo of billhelm
billhelm

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

04-18-2014 13:57:30 | More by billhelm
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,192 ratings.