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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
2,969 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:
#9,210
Reviews:
1,150
Ratings:
2,969
pDev:
13.21%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
91
Gots:
465
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,969 |  Reviews: 1,150
Photo of StanleysCup
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of APH
4.14/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of 6thstreetbrewpub
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Squire123
4.02/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Very attractive deep ruby color with gold highlights. Large, clumpy, bumpy voluminous Khaki colored cap with good lacing.

Clean, sweet aroma of tart cherries.

Taste on entry is a restrained tartness that refreshes rather than puckers and serves as a launching pad for the complex flavors that follow. Mostly what I get is a complex array of toffee malt and a lot of dark fruit sensations that don't disclose what variety of fruit (figs, black plums and dates come to mind) because everything is so seamlessly melded together. An overriding taste though is dark ripe cherries. A tart sort of dark cherry but cherry none the less. These flavors start together, stay together and last into the aftertaste.

Full texture with balancing carbonation.

For an Oud Bruin this tastes remarkably fresh. Maybe it always does, this is my first one of these, just an observation. Some other sour ales I've had (domestic and import) have an almost throat stripping acidity and the mild tartness of this one enhances it's drinkability.

 1,029 characters

Photo of crobinso
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of gurumacha
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BalancingBrooms
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

I know I've reviewed this before but I guess I just haven't gotten around to typing up those handwritten notes yet.

CAN: Purchased as part of a 4 pack in Denver, CO for $14.99 USD. 11.2 fl oz format. Standard pull-tab. Silver colour with classy depictions of a monk and a barrel.

5.5% ABV. "Flemish sour ale." Served cold into a goblet and allowed to come to room temperature over the course of consumption.

HEAD: Gorgeous in colour and consistency. Smooth, creamy, and soft in appearance with a fluffy consistency and an apt khaki colour. Looks luscious and inviting, and lasts a good ~10+ minutes, leaving light lacing on the sides of my goblet as it recedes.

BODY: Deep glowing ruby amber colour. Nontransparent. Semitranslucent. No yeast/lees are visible within.

Looks good for the style; I'm eager to try it.

AROMA: Vivid cherries are the first thing I notice, backed by pie crust, caramel, bready malts, and delicate fruity ale yeast esters. Sourness seems quite mild, maybe a 4-5/10 in terms of intensity. Cherry pie comes to mind, but this seems sweeter than something like Rodenbach, almost hinting at a more jammy cherry presence.

No off-notes, booze, or hoppy notes are detectable.

Aromatic intensity is moderate. Suggests a sweet and sour ale with a nice cherry presence and high drinkability.

I'm not finding any oak or wood barrel notes, unfortunately, and I think it'd do well with more bacterial presence and concomitant sourness.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Has a pleasing soft and luscious presence on the palate in spite of its acidity. Cherries, pomegranate seeds, and jammy fruit as well as fruity esters fill out this sweet yet mildly sour ale. Bacteria lends it a modest 4/10 sourness, and I think I'm finding both pediococcus and lactobacillus. Apple cidre, green apple.

More sourness and bacteria would help step this up to the next level, and the absence of any oak/wood barrel flavours is a missed opportunity. Nevertheless, it's well-balanced in spite of its sweetness and I find it very pleasant and approachable for a style that at its worst is anything but.

Depth of flavour is merely average. Flavour intensity is mild; it's a mellow expression of the style if only because it doesn't commit fully to the sourness. I find no acetic/vinegary notes. No metallic off-flavour from the can or any other off-flavour.

Smooth, wet, refreshing, medium-bodied, well-carbonated. Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or scratchy. Very mellow silky fare.

OVERALL: It's less defined than the best expressions of the style, shying away from commitment to sour cherry, tartness, sourness, and bacterial notes in favour of a more crowdpleasing sweet fruity approach. I absolutely like it and would happily recommend it to friends, but I'd sooner have a Liefmans or La Folie when in the mood for a good Oud Bruin, and this isn't any less expensive. I'll enjoy finishing off the 4 pack I got and would be happy to have this beer any day of the year. It's a classic Belgian ale with a great fruity core...liquid cherry pie, anyone?

High B (3.71) / GOOD

***
10.06.17 2nd impression from another can:

Dried cherries. Faint jammy sweetness. Ample lactic acid and concomitant sourness.

Texture is slightly coarse and dry.

B / GOOD

 3,266 characters

Photo of ontic
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of BEER88
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of ScottKazmi
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A wonderful Flemish ale. A reddish brown color with a vinegary nose. Sour at first and finishes sweet. The sweetness does cloy, but the next sip takes it away. Overall, a great starter beer for thise looking into Flemish ales or sours in general.

 246 characters

Photo of Erachel91
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Trevor_martin
4.59/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of prost2hefeweizen
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of paulish
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Sound_Explorer
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of AB43
4.42/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

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

The appearance is a dark brown colored body with a thick two fingered white foamy head that dies at a moderate pace and leaves a big foamy thick lacing gracing the sides of the glass. The smell is sour and tart and somewhat sweet cherries, maybe some apples that seem slightly spiced. The taste is sweet, sour and tart that seems to be all at the same time; sweet sour sticky apple cherry aftertaste, the finish is somewhat quick and sticky. The palate sits about a medium and really doesn’t show much sessionability to it as well as it shows some decent sipping aspects to it. Carbonation is very subdued - I like it. Overall, to me, the first time I had this I thought it was just a decent beer but the more I drank through that four pack the more I realized that is a stellar beer. It's a style that one has to warm up to.

 827 characters

Photo of ScottP
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Ben1313
4.06/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of RSNewbill
4.32/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Beer___ME
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Vinegary and a little sweet. No bitterness. Easy to drink.

58 characters

Photo of BlueSpader
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of IgnatiusReilly
4.17/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep red/brown color with massive head retention. Tart, vinegar sweet smell. Mildly sour taste, vinegar tang, apple. Effervescent, fizzy mouthfeel. Sweet refreshing finish. Very satisfying.

 190 characters

Photo of BeerSexLove
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

An ale I appreciate and am glad I tried but not one that compliments my pallet. The overall look and feel was quite lovely though.

130 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 2,969 ratings
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