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

BA SCORE
86
very good
2,954 Ratings
THE BROS
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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
Ratings:
2,954
Reviews:
1,145
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
13.28%
 
 
Wants:
90
Gots:
455
For Trade:
5
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,954 |  Reviews: 1,145
Photo of DrewShalvoy
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Janeinma
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of 2GOOFY
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of tectactoe
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

On tap at the Oak Cafe. It's got a pretty solid, burnt ruby color with a mahogany base. It seems to be somewhat translucent, although the bar I'm in is pretty dimly lit and therefore the opacity is hard to judge accurately. Basically no head on top of this one - just a small, beige ring that only stays for a minute or so before floating away.

Juicy, ripe apples and cherries outline the aromatic profile, or at least the first sniff. Residual sweetness backs up the apples nicely; a very faint tartness can be detected at times, though this is still telling me that this brew will be more sweet than sour. Time grants the ability for the beer to open up a bit; berries, darker cherries, acetic acid, light vinegar, and some mild barrel/oak.

Funk in the aroma is definitely there, but in small quantities. There's a slight "wet hay" and faint must character, but it's minimal compared to some other Belgian sours. This follows through into the flavor profile, as the first sip contains almost no funk at all, rather it's pretty heavy on the fruits - cherries, grapes, red apples. Vibrant, zesty, and juicy are good words to describe the flavors.

This beer is mildly tart, but only for a brief moment. The residual-like sugary sweetness creeps in pretty steadily and washes out any hope of this beer actually being "sour", despite the name. More vinous notes come in, although the more I drink, the more it just seems like heavy grapes rather than actual wine-barrel notes. The finish is fruit juice-like with fading cherries and grape skins, and maybe a hint of oak. Still no funk, sad to say. Snappy, crisp mouth feel, wet and slick; thin bodied with medium-heavy carbonation.

Pretty good beer, drinkability is insanely high - a 5.5% ABV beer that tastes like bold fruit juice. I would have like to see a bit more tartness or funk, as this one was kind of mild all around. But hey, perhaps that's the style they were going for. Still a nice drinking sour ale as long as you're not expecting it to be too sour (or too funky).

 2,030 characters

Photo of yancot
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of kvnstfrd
1/5  rDev -74%

Photo of ESeab
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
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 drummermattie02
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of rvajohn
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of Arithmeticus
3.2/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured chilled in flared sample glass @davewhite4, the third of a sour beer trilogy.

A: thin head, but very active carbonation; cola color; snowglobe effect from all the yeast floating about
S: not much aroma; opens up into some vinegar
T: very flavorful; sour cherry dominates; good malt presence

Good specimen of a sour beer

 328 characters

Photo of drgonzo2k2
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of VinnyA
3.99/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Source: 11.2oz bottle
Served: tulip glass

Appearance: pours a deep red with about 1 inch tan head.

Smell: sugar, sour apple, hint of cherry

Taste: slightly bitter and moderately sour. Low tartness. Notice some vinegar. Beer gives way to a relatively clean finish, it is very much a palate cleansing beer. Tasty, however, I can't quite put my finger on what makes this unique.

Mouthfeel: high carbonation. Monks has a mild bite on the back end of the tongue that fades out into a refreshing yet dry finish. It quenches your thirst and is a nice cleanser.

Overall: this is a good entry-level sour red. I have to recommend having it on draft at monks cafe in Philly, if you're in the area. It is a lot softer, mildly carbonated and sweeter which balances out the sourness brilliantly. Still, the bottled version is a good beer to have before eating meat or as a relaxer on a summer evening. If you like the style, I'd recommend buying a case of it at least once. Very easy to drink. If you're looking for a more complete Oud Bruin, I recommend the Liefmans Goudenband.

 1,070 characters

Photo of Steamer
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: A rich ruby red; light tan head with large bubbles, sparkling effervescence. Smell: A dry champagne aroma. Taste: Very mild sour and tart flavor, almost too light, refreshing though. Mouthfeel: Again champagne like; heavy carbonation. Overall: On the mild side of sour ales. Would be an excellent choice for someone just getting into sours or anyone looking for a light tart ale on a hot summer day.

 411 characters

Photo of Shads42
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of chefduff2
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of SeaAle
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Slatetank
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of cliftonsbiehl
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of mtalley999
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of TastyIsBeer
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of lucasj82
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of NorCalMaekJuMan
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

At first I was a little intimidated by the word sour in the title but I really liked it. I found it went well with roasted pork loin cooked in apples and onions (like pork chops Normandy). I liked the coppery head. I can't really describe the smell but I liked it. I find it very similar to any of the Russian River sour beer types (ie...consecration, temptation)..although I think I prefer the stuff from Russian River.

 420 characters

Photo of aLenwell
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of djwhit24
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of amcaleh
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
3.84 out of 5 based on 2,954 ratings.
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