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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

2,221 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,221
Reviews: 1,032
rAvg: 3.83
pDev: 14.1%
Wants: 46
Gots: 130 | 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: 2,221 | Reviews: 1,032 | Display Reviews Only:
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 n00blar
n00blar

Maryland

4/5  rDev +4.4%

05-28-2012 02:33:18 | More by n00blar
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 tkdchampxi
tkdchampxi

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +17.5%

09-14-2013 20:24:29 | More by tkdchampxi
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 atoulouk
atoulouk

Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -8.6%

09-28-2013 02:06:04 | More by atoulouk
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 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 lic217
lic217

Connecticut

4/5  rDev +4.4%

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

Indiana

4.25/5  rDev +11%

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

California

4/5  rDev +4.4%

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

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -2.1%

05-07-2014 04:06:55 | More by maDUECEgunner
Photo of rpstevens
rpstevens

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 03:42:34 | More by rpstevens
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 WilliamPhilaPa
WilliamPhilaPa

Pennsylvania

2.85/5  rDev -25.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

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.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2005 00:59:04 | More by WilliamPhilaPa
Photo of jgasparine
jgasparine

Maryland

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

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...

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2009 01:04:42 | More by jgasparine
Photo of kayrex
kayrex

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev +4.4%

07-08-2012 17:18:51 | More by kayrex
Photo of dragonWhale
dragonWhale

New York

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

Pours a brilliant amber into my chalice of delights, with a white head that slowly dissipates, leaving a ring around the edge. It smells sweet and malty, with a slight sour twinge to it..
In the taste, the sour comes out boldly, buoyed by the sweetness of the young blend. The interplay is well done, creating a beverage that is tart but very drinkable. I certainly enjoyed this, though it was a bit vinegary.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 15:45:13 | More by dragonWhale
Photo of ThirstyBird
ThirstyBird

Germany

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

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a chalice. Thanks Dave for sharing!
A - Reddish amber with an eggshell head which fall to a ring
S - Intense sour cherries with some malt.
T - Sour cherries of course, vinegar, some malt sweetness to counter the sour. Tasty.
M/F - Bristly carbonation yet finishes nicely. A medium bodied beer.
D - A very nice sour. Not my usual style but a nice treat.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2008 19:12:58 | More by ThirstyBird
Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
86 out of 100 based on 2,221 ratings.