Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale | Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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Monk's Café Flemish Sour AleMonk's Café Flemish Sour Ale
BA SCORE
3.86/5
Very Good
3,012 Ratings
Monk's Café Flemish Sour AleMonk's Café Flemish Sour Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Belgium
vansteenberge.com

Style: Flanders Oud Bruin

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

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.

Added by nomad on 06-19-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#15,709
Reviews:
1,161
Ratings:
3,012
pDev:
13.21%
 
 
Wants:
98
Gots:
477
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,012 |  Reviews: 1,161
Photo of Griphon
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Knickfan3
3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of jbehlar
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of TheDoctor
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bottle
Bottle code but no discernable date

This one pours a fairly opaque mahogany with a billowing tan head. Absolutely gorgeous. It has a constant finger of living head and sheets of fine lacing.
There is a sharp oaky, acetic smell immediately upon pouring, with sugary bread and spices with a fruity tartness and light funk on top.
Wowee! The flavor made me gasp out loud and then immediately sit back with my eyes closed and take another drink. And another. It has an amazing set of different levels of tartness, flower nectar, fields in spring, spiced bread and cherry sweetness that then decrescendos into earthiness and finally a medicinal hoppy smack at the end.
It is refreshing and perfectly tart with a medium body and a slow-lingering bitter finish that excellently stages each subsequent sip. As it warms the sweetness comes through more and more prominently. It becomes enough that I could see it being better if it was subdued a tiny bit, but at the same time the balance of the sweetness and sourness is really what made me like it so who knows...
Like all beers of this caliber I'm struck by how it can so completely be complex and simple at the same time. I'm glad I picked this beer up.

NOTE:
I'm not big into sours, and might have passed right over it if not for wanting to try something different. Also, looking at other reviews I see I must've really liked this one. I will keep an eye out for it and try to rate it again with some more perspective to see what I think and if I still think it's specatacular. This one was definitely my best experience with a sour. I've really liked a handful, but few have left me wanting another or thoroughly enjoying each sip. Was this because it was by chance my "breakthrough" tart beer? Was it because it isn't sour enough (a point a few reviewers made) and maybe I like it precisely because it isn't sour? Am I confusing the beer being balanced when it is just overly simple? Does it really matter? Very nice beer. I'll have it again.

 2,019 characters

Photo of quaffinghans
4.26/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of flek
4.04/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Dentist666
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of raycoll
3.71/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of robotic_being
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Jjmj51
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bottmfeedr
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Chris5554
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Oleg85
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Photo of Chilmer
2.29/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

Photo of mtimmerman84
4.09/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Curt3
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of brutalist
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BlunderfulGuy
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Guppy314
3.76/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From a bottle, pours as a clear dark brown with a TALL khaki head (lots of carbonation). Aroma of dark fruitiness. Taste is immediately of sour cherry, but it's not overwhelming with an aftertaste of sweet malt (essentially no hops). Overall, it's fun, but it's just kind of a novelty beer ... rather that regular drinking.

 325 characters

Photo of swierczt
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Navin-Johnson
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of GoudhaBuddha
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Foxman27
3.84/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of OKbrew89
3.89/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BlackBeerPirate
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Taste: complex, tangy dark fruit, some sour, tart, berries, bread, drinkable. Same with the nose. Deep reddish mahogany hue, semi clear, delicate head. Medium body.

 164 characters

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Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 3,012 ratings