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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

2,298 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,298
Reviews: 1,039
rAvg: 3.84
pDev: 14.06%
Wants: 50
Gots: 153 | 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: 2,298 | Reviews: 1,039 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Higravity
Higravity

Michigan

3.35/5  rDev -12.8%

A nice solid sour, but kind of a low end attempt. The apperance was Redish and I got a little head. Smells of feet and lactic acid covering up all of the malt. The taste is sour but not overly sour and is kind of one dimentional with the malt backbone most broken. It was also pretty thin and watery, but it could be a nice sipper at a lower price, but I think I would rather go to better Sour ales.

02-10-2006 19:06:25 | More by Higravity
Photo of Peyton5410
Peyton5410

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +4.2%

04-19-2012 19:52:59 | More by Peyton5410
Photo of DruRho
DruRho

Maryland

4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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

Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

08-01-2014 00:58:42 | More by MrBoh
Photo of Imperial_Sapient_Groat
Imperial_Sapient_Groat

Michigan

3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

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

New Hampshire

3.6/5  rDev -6.3%

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.

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

New York

4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

Texas

3.6/5  rDev -6.3%

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.

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

Florida

4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

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

West Virginia

4/5  rDev +4.2%

06-24-2014 23:03:34 | More by xJMFCx
Photo of willjschmidt
willjschmidt

California

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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.

09-13-2008 03:36:29 | More by willjschmidt
Photo of TheQuietMan22
TheQuietMan22

Iowa

3.68/5  rDev -4.2%

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.

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

New Jersey

4/5  rDev +4.2%

07-19-2014 20:36:12 | More by MakeMineADoubleJack
Photo of Rborre321
Rborre321

Illinois

5/5  rDev +30.2%

07-14-2014 23:31:27 | More by Rborre321
Photo of JamesMN
JamesMN

Minnesota

3.83/5  rDev -0.3%

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.

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

California

4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

Michigan

3.65/5  rDev -4.9%

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.

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

Illinois

3/5  rDev -21.9%

05-19-2014 21:32:56 | More by funkyaudio
Photo of n00blar
n00blar

Maryland

4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

Vermont

4.33/5  rDev +12.8%

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.

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

Washington

3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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

Indiana

2.93/5  rDev -23.7%

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.

08-04-2006 01:38:49 | More by shbobdb
Photo of Lawl3ss
Lawl3ss

Texas

4.18/5  rDev +8.9%

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.

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

Washington

4.3/5  rDev +12%

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

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 2,298 ratings.