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
2,996 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:
#10,592
Reviews:
1,159
Ratings:
2,996
pDev:
13.21%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
94
Gots:
473
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,996 |  Reviews: 1,159
Photo of mwilbur
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750 mL bottle into tulip.
A: Pours a reddish brown (more red with backlighting) with high carbonation producing a 1-2 inch light tan head that quickly recedes.
S: Warm cinnamon, sugar, fresh bready yeast, and a hint of sour.
T: Tart apple, cinnamon, sour cherry, and a hint of milk sugar. Fairly tame with a lot of sweet notes.
M: Light body. Effevescent with a pleasant tingle on the tongue...almost champagne-like. Sweet turning toward tart and dry finish.
D: A very pleasing and drinkable brew. A nice summer refresher. Not too sour (especially for style)...which could be a good or bad thing depending upon your druthers.

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Photo of HardyA
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of soupyman10
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is a deep amber brown color with a nice big head, but bubbles that are too big and dissolves way too fast. Very limited lacing. Nose is strong, spicy sourness. A deeper roasted toffee malt aroma as well. Definite vinegar hints. Flavor is...insane. Crazy strong. Almost a barbecue sauce flavor in the malty sweetness. Sourness is more subdued by the aforementioned stronger caramel malt sweetness. Lots of dried fruitiness, maybe grape in particular. Light sourness in the aftertaste that turns quickly vinous. Body feels thicker than it is because of that almost chewy malt, but its actual light to medium with solid carbonation. Not really sure what to say about this one...it's interesting and unique as hell (although that might just be my inexperience with oud bruins). It's an experience to drink, although I'm not sure if I'd be able to have more than one. Not one to test out on your BMC-drinkin' buddies.

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Photo of dqderrick
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

SOUR VIRGIN!!! (Hop Head and Imperial Stout fan)

Keep in mind that I'm currently acquiring the sour beer taste. This is my second sour. My first was the Duchess de Bourgogne which I didn't put through a proper review. I picked these two sours after seeing suggestions on initial sour beers to try here on the forums.

A - 3.5
Pours a burnt red/brown. 1/4" head, sticks around for a good 5 minutes. Reminds me of a dark lager.

S - 3 (then a 3.5)
Smells like a sour grape juice at first. A little woody. Maybe some vinegar. Develops a sweet smell at the end. After a few sips... I pick up a strong cherry sent. Very cherry.

T - 4
Sour, sweet, juicy. I pick up both sweet and sour. I agree with the label. Very refreshing with a light body.

MF - 4.5
Fun and bubbly. I don't know really what to expect here. I will probably give really high marks on MF until I get a feel for sours. But, I enjoyed the MF on the Monk's.

D - 4
First 4oz was tough. After 8 oz was sipped, I was getting the hang/jist of it. I started picking up the cherry nose and enjoying the overall experience. I've had a few conversations with "sour-heads" and started picking up on their notes. 4 seems a little high... but you know, I actually enjoyed finishing this bottle.

Will I fully pickup the sour style? Time will tell. Check out my reviews after the Monk's.
http://beeradvocate.com/user/beer_reviews?ba=dqderrick

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Photo of Giovacchini
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a reddish brown with a tan head.

S- cherries, oak, vinegar, malt, and cranberry.

T- oak, cherries, vinegar, caramel malt, and cranberry.

M- mild carbonation, mild sourness and a dry finish.

O- I like this beer. This is my go to so far when I'm craving a sour beer and I don't want to pay 8-10 bucks. Nice beer but not awesome.

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Photo of gmcfarre
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 11.2oz bottle into New Belgium Tulip

A - Pours alot like a coke, without the excess carbonation and a bit cloudier. Brown with a slight ruby tint and a tan head. Lacing is moderate when tipped.

S - Sour, dark cherries and other dark fruits. Rather tart. Light sweetness and a good dose of yeast funkiness.

T & M - Well-carbonated tingle turns quickly to a sour bite on the tongue. Medium to light body. Truns dry at the finish with a dried cherry sweetness. Tart plum as well. Interesting, and alot like that New Glarus Enigma I had about a month ago.

D - Not quite as refreshing as the label would have you believe, but I am becoming a fan of this style. A complex and interesting brew that is far outside most people's definition of how a beer should taste. ABV not a factor. Worth a try and perhaps a repeat.

 835 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(Note: my personal scoring system is in whole numbers only)

11.2 oz bottle poured into Golden Draak tulip and consumed today 2/20/2013

Aroma: A very nice tart cherry nose with hints of grape and raspberry, and a little bit of malt sweetness. Not particularly complex but is still rather pleasing. (4)

Colour: Really nice ruby-red body when illuminated. Pours with an expansive, aggressive offwhite head that requires a few minutes to settle down before I can complete the pour. Otherwise laces are quite sticky. (4)

Flavour: I get a lot of sour cherry and grape which is what I expected, I actually like it. Not a ton of malt sweetness but it's there. A little bit of plum and raisin comes up if I look for it. Generally a straight-forward combination of flavor. (4)

Mouthfeel: Nothing special, a medium bodied ale with overly strong carbonation and pleasant tart cherry aftertaste. It's nicely dry and really does a palate-cleansing job. If it wasn't as overcarbonated, I'd give it a 4. (3)

Overall: Quite enjoyable to drink but I'm not sure I'd rush out to get more. As I drink more sours, I'll probably revisit this one. As it stands, it's one of the better priced Belgians on the shelf in the US and I will drink accordingly. (4)

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Made the girlfriend a turkey dinner with all the fixin's to celebrate her new job and decided to pop open my bottle of this beer.

Poured a garne red. Almost afraid to get any on my clothes bcause it looks like dye (but thin and watery). Only a thin head that all but evaporated

Aroma is very slight--mostly raspberries and yeast.

Flavor is complex. More enjoyably complex than over the top. At first sweet but quickly followed by a very tart and fruity quick. That tartness is very similar to raspberries, blackberries and cherries. A whole big bowl of all three berries. The yeast provides a nice substance to the flavor.

Medium body. The tartness is a bit puckering. No notice of alcohol in either the flavor or the feel.

Went very well with my dinner. I was glad I chose this beer because I forgot to pick up some cranberry sauce.

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Photo of bonkers
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I poured a 11.2 ounce bottle into a tulip glass. It pours a deep mahogany in color with a fuzzy white head. When the beer is held up to a light it becomes very translucent and almost looks red. The smell is kind of funky, but in a good way. It is a bit like a red wine vinegar in aroma. The beer is like drinking a vinegary drink, only sweeter. Perhaps a sweet and sour drink. The flavor is acidic with a lingering sweet finish. The brew is a medium bodied sipper with high carbonation. I liked this beer because of its funky taste, but I do not think I could drink more than one in a sitting. A nice alternative to highly hopped beers.

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Photo of MattXT
3.9/5  rDev +1%

Photo of allswells
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rolltide8425
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BradtheGreat7
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle with a pretty nice label and Belgian style shape to the bottle. Not eye candy but still a pretty good label and bottle. Poured into a tumbler style pint glass. Nearly identical to the one pictured on the side of the pack.

A - dark reddish brown with lathes chucks of sediment floating about. Tan head poured quite nice at cellar temp and took its time dissolving into a good ring of lace. A bit thin looking for the mass it had. More light pillow like. Left small splotches of stick throughout the experience.

S - exactly as I expected. Some real funk to it. Oak. Dark fruit with sour cherries. But also a more dominant apple blend fruitiness. A sweet malt and more funk from the yeast. Overall a fine smelling ale. Dark, sweet, and mildly sour on the nose.

T - some real sweetness up front from the malt. Candied dark fruit and sour cherries. Everything seems ripe with age. A hint of oak about this, but not quite enough for me. Semi tart finish but no where near puckering. Yeast funk is a highlight in Monks Cafe. A lingering funk. Quite Nice.

M - lightest medium body possible. Not a whole lot of thickness but surprisingly a smooth rich texture considering its light in nature size. Very smooth and no where near a full in your face sour ale. This is a mild sour and very refreshing. Smooth with a lingering finish. Yeast funkiness alone is worth the try.

O - a very good brew. Not something I was searching for, but I'm glad I bought 1. It gives you the characters of a sour ale while keeping an excellent balance and not over doing the sourness nor the sweetness. If you like a sour ale without the puckering this is spot on. It's very session like and easy going. A super lunch beer. Quite tasty.

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Photo of botham
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. pours a chocolate brown color with brilliant garnet highlights. a single finger of head tops it off and leaves moderate lacings.

aroma is very acerbic, with a fruity base. the sour character overwhelms any chances of delicate aromas to show. fruit notes include mild citrus and grape.

taste is of light caramel malts and a touch of roasted malts up front, with the same acidic character. an earthy base begins to show after a few sips, most likely from the barrel aging. nice complexity here, without being overly sweet or sour.

mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with a sharp bite from the sour character. no alcohol present with mild CO2.

drinkability is good, though this is a polarizing style, this brew is decently drinkable. nice complexity and proportioning. cheers!

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Photo of wickerman
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of homebrewhawk
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle served in the new style Boulevard Chalice. Poured a reddish brown with a thin tan head. Good lactic aroma of sour cherries. Starts off with nice and tart. A little sweetness and more fruit (cherries). A touch metallic in the finish to start, but this fades. Very refreshing and drinkable. Good price point as well.

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Photo of BrewmasterHatchdaddy
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of PSU_Mike
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of degerbah
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a medium brown with plenty of head. The head causes very thick lacing on the edge of the glass as it settles down into the beer. Very acrid smell that reminds me of malt vinegar. Very, Very acidic smell that also gives way to more of an apple scent. The taste is slightly less sour than duchesse, but still great and extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Benj17
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark amber-brown, relatively persistent head, quite a bit of lacing. Nose: slight funk, malt, gently hoppy, light VA, v. slightly metallic. Palate: slightly drying mouthfeel, only moderately sour, good weight and carbonation (though perhaps a touch frothy for me), surprisingly bitter finish, which is a disappointment right at the end, because the rest of this is good. As with most good sours, this benefits from warming up to ~50 F. A little lighter than some of the heavy hitting sours. Decent, but not really worth it when there are plenty of better sours around this price point.

Also, I like my sours *sour*, and this doesn't quite bring that.

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Photo of goldbot
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby-brown with thick, tan head and some spotty lacing.

Strong sour apple on the nose as well as some cherry and raisin. Yeasty and spicy with some definite sour notes. Flavor is more sour, fruity notes of apple and cherry, along with a slightly peppery spice and Belgian yeast. Some woody and vanilla flavors towards the end.

Substantial body with a smooth, creamy feel. A sweet, fruity and creamy beer makes it a good dessert option.

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Photo of ScaryEd
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of ESeab
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served in a Stella goblet

A - Dark ruby red, almost copper brown when not in light. Yeast flaoting around the bottom

S - Smells of raseberry and other fruit. I'm not really getting much though

T - Tastes like it smells. A touch of lemon and cherry comes through big time. It is definitely a great balance of sweet and tart, neither of which are too strong.

M - Real nice mouthfeel. Carbonation plays well with the body, which is a bit more syrupy than expected.

O - Solid sour if you are just starting. Or a nice refreshing beverage if you are already into sours.

 570 characters

Photo of Arenbeer
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a Tulip glass

A- Pours a beautifully clear dark reddish brown with 1 finger of off white head that sticks around due to tons of carbonation streaming up from the bottom of the glass.

S- Smells like a cherry lambic of Kriek with tons and tons of sweet yet tart cherry notes. Behind that are some subtle hints of oak, funk, vinegar, lactic acid, and a sweet breadiness.

T- Tart and sweet cherries, vinegar, lactic acid, oak, vanilla, bready malts, and a slight yeast funk. Getting some oxidized notes but very subtle, not enough to cry about or ruin the beer.

M- Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation and a slightly tart yet dry finish.

Skål!

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Photo of timotao
3.91/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 2,996 ratings