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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

2,242 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,242
Reviews: 1,033
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 46
Gots: 135 | 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: 2,242 | Reviews: 1,033 | Display Reviews Only:
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 lic217
lic217

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +4.4%

07-06-2014 23:39:54 | More by lic217
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 xJMFCx
xJMFCx

West Virginia

4/5  rDev +4.4%

06-24-2014 23:03:34 | More by xJMFCx
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 funkyaudio
funkyaudio

Illinois

3/5  rDev -21.7%

05-19-2014 21:32:56 | More by funkyaudio
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 JamesMN
JamesMN

Minnesota

3.83/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Chestnut brown body but ruby red and nearly translucent when held up to the light. Poured a fluffy light tan head that is slowly dissipating without much lacing.

Aroma: Nice tart and hearty red grape with some nondescript berry notes in there. An interesting dryness as well. Not really all that aromatic but the sweet and tart elements are quite enjoyable.

Taste: Smashing flavor straight away. Lively red grape must with lots of sweet fruity esters that turn tart in the second half. Not quite sweet and not quite sour a whole. The finish is full of spastic carbonation and the aftertaste lends a blast of red grape juice with cranberry. A light tart flavor lingers for a good while. A good amount of flavor for a modest 5.5% ABV.

Mouthfeel: About medium in body with tons of carbonation as is usual for the style. Easy drinkability and probably sessionable.

Final Thoughts: Really enjoyed this one and would recommend it to anyone interested in trying a Flemish/Sour beer for the first time. Though the level of sourness is on the low end of the spectrum, it was able to stave off that sour beer craving. Would I drink it again? Yes.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2013 02:10:49 | More by JamesMN
Photo of Mphis
Mphis

Tennessee

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

07-14-2013 06:01:51 | More by Mphis
Photo of n00blar
n00blar

Maryland

4/5  rDev +4.4%

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

New York

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

12-15-2013 13:44:04 | More by sunofneurot
Photo of atoulouk
atoulouk

Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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

New York

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

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

California

4/5  rDev +4.4%

06-23-2014 04:32:34 | More by mrcraft
Photo of Hopswagger
Hopswagger

South Carolina

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

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. 

  

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2012 18:25:53 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of WoodburyMN
WoodburyMN

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +11%

11-02-2012 01:10:44 | More by WoodburyMN
Photo of maDUECEgunner
maDUECEgunner

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

05-07-2014 04:06:55 | More by maDUECEgunner
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,242 ratings.