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

BA SCORE
86
very good
2,948 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
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:
2,948
Reviews:
1,144
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
13.28%
 
 
Wants:
88
Gots:
452
For Trade:
5
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,948 |  Reviews: 1,144
Photo of beerserk
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of vitesse
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

served on draught at monk's...
this was my first flemish sour ale, but i was really impressed.
the color was a beautiful dark ruby red color with a nice bubbly texture. very little head. great sweet/tart fruitiness in the nose.
taste was excellent. great summer drink. somewhat acidic and tart that balances well with a cherry or cassis-like sweetness. very light and champagne-like mouthfeel.
quite drinkable, especially on a hot day. despite the imposing name, i think even non-beer-geeks will like this one.

 516 characters

Photo of drop6301
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of DHS1029
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Taperwookie
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of rxdrewthejew
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good lord, it's been a long time since I've reviewed anything.

A: Really nice color on this one, dark amber bordering on burgundy. Got quite a nice head here, about three fingers, tannish and quite frothy. Lots and lots of tiny bubbles in this one, looks pretty fizzy.

S: Pungent sour smell really stands out upon opening the bottle. Main smell is sour cherries with an underlying malty sweetness. I get a hint of what I can only describe as warmed up ketchup-a bit of a sweet/sour smell. I realize that sounds really unpleasant, but it's not.

T: The initial taste is fairly sweet, a bit like plum or figs, but it has a decent sour balance after a few seconds. Citric acid is quite strong towards the finish, and sour cherries are again noted. As I went through this beer, the sour definitely started to overpower the sweet.

MF: Medium bodied and a bit syrupy. The carbonation isn't quite as high as it appeared it would be, but still a nice bit of fizz on the tongue. Not really puckeringly sour, but it does cause quite a bit of salivation.

D: This is ok, fine for the style. A bit too sweet up front for me...frankly overall it's just a bit too in your face. I'd prefer something a little more subdued. There's other stuff that's just as easy to find that's better, IMO.

 1,280 characters

Photo of docrates
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Tyrolaspenleaf
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of beans923
5/5  rDev +30.2%

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

Had on tap at the Stuffed Sandwich.

A- somewhat of a reddish Ice-T color and indian brown crayon with a good finger of ivory white head that lasted and left a nice lace.
S- that tart, sweet and sour bouquet that you expect from a flemmish red.
T- Mmmm, very tasty. Tangy tartness hits your palate with a little acidic notes and green apple. This gives way to a mellow sweetness on the finish. You get both the sweet and the sour, but not in that order and not much sweet.
M&Dr - good effervescence and medium body. I think this may have bordered on a tad of dry, but not much and it was excellent.

 603 characters

Photo of Bonhoeffer
4.17/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the most drinkable sour ales i've ever had. Not over the top. Just refreshing. Very approachable, and probably a good place to start getting a feel for Flanders Reds. Some of them can knock you out if you're not careful.

Good one for a hot day.

Thanks Uncle Flip.

 276 characters

Photo of CPeterson
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A -- Pours a copper cola brown, effervescent like soda, bubbling and calming just as quickly.

S -- Huge sour apple and cherry with a heady sweetness followed by acidic sharpness.

T -- Sweet and sour, just as expected. Sour cherry and good acid up front followed by a mellow earthiness from the wood. A sweetness lingers and balances the brew with an excellent finish.

M -- Well carbonated, a little silky while still being sharp.

D -- While not mind-blowing, this would be a great intro beer for those looking to try a sour but want to keep the pucker and the balance in check. Worth a purchase or ten.

 606 characters

Photo of gyllstromk
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear ruby. Nose is granny smith apples, cranberries, cider. Flavor is apples, raspberries, champagne. The finish is a pronounced sweet tartness evoking cranberries or currants. Feel is bubbly like a sparkling wine. The sourness is very enjoyable and does not compromise drinkability like some sour beers. Very enjoyable.

 329 characters

Photo of cleeze
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of ianpstephens
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of imasloth
3.08/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Based on other reviews I look to be in the minority here but ...

A- Dark brown with red tint when head to light. Thin almond-coloured head with notable lacing.

S- Sweet malt with slight sourness.

T- Some sourness but not much else. A bit of malt in aftertaste.

M- Light-bodied with a dry, alcohol feel in afterfeel.

O- As my brother said, meh. Not the best of the Belgian brews or even sours by far.

 404 characters

Photo of mtalley999
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of scmoore81
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of greenboat
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of ApplePi
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Thirsty_In_Chicago
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Kingpthethird
4.14/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of y2jrock60
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Very dark red, almost resembles Coca-Cola. The head disappears fast and leaves behind no lacing.

S- Apple cider vinegar.

T- Sour, apple cider vinegar, with a lingering sweetness.

M- Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D- I could probably drink 1 or 2 of these before becoming tired.

I thought this beer was delicious. I never had this style before so I didn't know what to expect. It tasted like apple cider candy to me. Apparently this is one of those beers you either love, or hate. I loved it!

 505 characters

Photo of livingregret
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle

Appearance: Pours a deep brown, 2 finger head. Ample lacing and the head lingers for quite some time.

Smell: Sour/Tart apple smell. Maybe even a hint of cranberry? Plenty of fruit and a touch of sweetness. more tart than sweet though

Taste: Tart and sweet at the same time. Almost a mouth puckering sour berry that blends in nicely with the apple finish.

Mouthfeel: Thin, bubbly. A touch almost...over carbonated.

Drink: It's good, and i've enjoyed a few of these over the past couple weeks. Always enjoyable but not one I could pound during a night. Only reason it's not rated higher is because the aftertaste does start to wear on you and you could only drink so many

 692 characters

Photo of TheRicker
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
3.84 out of 5 based on 2,948 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe