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
Very Good
2,990 Ratings
Monk's Café Flemish Sour AleMonk's Café Flemish Sour Ale

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.

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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,990 |  Reviews: 1,158
Photo of PretzelsNBeer
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of MonicaC
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of FFATS
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of Uzarnayme
1.32/5  rDev -65.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I had never met a beer I didn't like, until now...

50 characters

Photo of stingrayvr6
4.97/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had at Local 44 in Philly. Poured a dark reddish purple into a tulip with a two finger cream colored head which was very resilient. The smell was unlike any other beer I have ever had, very fruity yet crisp and dry at the end. Smell of apples soaked in Brandy, grapes, cinnamon and spices. More like a desert wine or fine liquor than a beer in smell. Taste was similar with very fruity, sour apple taste at the front, then crisp, dry and bitter spices at the end. Carbonation was medium and pleasant. I just wanted to swish it around my mouth and keep it there to have that phenomenally complex taste with me forever. My new favorite beer, too bad this is so hard to find because it is other worldly. Truly a unique and beautiful thing.

 736 characters

Photo of jasadewi
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The head is huge, fluffy, and kind of a creamy dark white. There are actually (what seem to be) seeds on top of the head. There is consistent fizz bubbling up from the bottom of the glass. It's a dark red color that shines orange in the light. This is the fluffiest and most beautiful head on a beer, I've ever seen. It smells fruity, like a Gueze or a Lambic. Kind of a berry, sour smell. The taste is fairly sour, kind of berry-based, but maybe hints of pears and apples come through. The mouth feel is light, but it comes with heavy carbonation. A strong berry aftertaste lingers in my mouth, and has for about 45 minutes. Supremely good and long lasting aftertaste. Overall, this is a fantastic beer. It's not too sour (like some Geuzes), but it is a good amount of fruity sour. The beer looks beautiful and tastes great. I would highly recommend this to anyone, especially if you want to try this beer style.

 927 characters

Photo of Rave
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of emergency_beef
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of BenwayPHD
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a reddish brown with a full three finger head. The appearance bothers me. It's too clean. I want to see the funk in a sour beer. The nose is also a letdown. It smells like sour, sweet, and slightly citrussy, but it's all a bit too mellow. The flavor is similar. It's good but not great. I like a sour that punches me in the gut. This feels safe. It's a sour for people who are new to sours.

 396 characters

Photo of JottaGibboo
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of terraism
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of ladle69
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

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

The dark bloodwood color is impressive. The brew is clear, and it has a nice light tan head with moderate retention and minimal lacing.

The nose is of sour cherries, kind of like sweettarts, balanced with a rich woody scent. There is a slight hint of vinegar in the background.

The taste of sweet cherries is most noticeable at first, followed by a block of wood hitting you in the face. More sweetness and tartness follow the woodiness. The aftertaste is similar to the aftertaste of sweettarts. I can't get that connection out of my head. There is also some grain husk in the aftertaste.

It seems to be medium bodied at first, but the texture melts away halfway through. I think the wood flavor makes the body initially seem heavier than it really is. The carbonation is good, and the finish is dry.

Very drinkable. This is one of my first sours, and I thought it was a real treat. I was kind of scared of it tasting like feet or vinegar after reading some forum posts on sour beers, but I was pleasantly surprised. The woodiness was a nice touch. I'd like to drink another, but I only bought one. :(

 1,107 characters

Photo of gdrydenc
4.23/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a red-brown with a finger of cream head. Really cool color, not sure what I'm looking for with the style, but it's what I would expect. The head sticks around for an alarmingly long time, which is cool.

S - Smells sour, but with quite a bit of fruit in it. Apples, mostly.

T - Much like the smell, but with a whole lot more apple in the finish. It tastes a bit like cider, but mostly in the sourness and the apple aspects.

M - Quite a bit of foam in the mouth. It really covers the entire mouth, which I like. The finish is surprisingly clean.

Overall, this is one cool beer. It has a lot of flavor in it, and a lot of varied things. Will have again.

 665 characters

Photo of beesy
3.64/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 11.2 ounce bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

A - pours a brilliant dark reddish orange with a finger and a half khaki colored light bodied head that dissipates quickly.

S - vinegar, sour and tangy notes

T - slightly sweet at the front of the palate that quickly turns in to significant amounts of sour and dark cherries that again quickly changes to green apples with a touch of vinegar and cherry coke as it meets the back palate. A lasting sourness of green apples lingers.

M - medium mouthfeel with a fair amount of carbonation.

D - easy to get down, but is somewhat filling due to carbonation.

Overall, a nice sour. Not much I'd change except maybe adding a touch more sourness.

 703 characters

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

Photo of rvajohn
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of thebeeler
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Photo of sfoley333
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out of 12oz bottle into Duvel snifter. Poured a dark reddish brown with a medium lacy head. Smell has acidic vingear with some wild sourness. Taste cherries with baslamic and oak finished with a slight nuttyness. Mouth feel is on the low end of medium body. Carbonation is there but not overpowering the dryness. Could drink a few because its light dryness, low alcohol content, and not overtop sourness.

 411 characters

Photo of H0rnedFr0gs
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Chris_S
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of Muny
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of SeanRedd
3.92/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An enjoyable, milder sour ale amongst the others. Pours a dark amber with a thick, beige pillowy head. Aromas of strawberries and bland gueze. Lil sweet, bit of cherry cola, warms into a red wine zing. Less exciting that other sour reds but provides a safe staple of the style.

 277 characters

Photo of davexisxrabid
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a nice deep brown color that looked crimson when held up to the light in my Chimay goblet. Little white head that had decent retention. Excellent lacing during the drinking period.

Brown sugar aroma and grapejuice.

Flavor was similar to brown sugar followed by a slightly tart but not vinegary or acidic flavor. It was a fruit-like tart similar to green apples or white grapes.

Very carbonated brew, medium bodied due to the carbonation. Slightly sweet flavors linger on the palate for a bit, making this very pleasant all around.

Very drinkable in my opinion. Easy to have more than one, if you're lucky enough to have a few on hand. My only complaint was the carbonation, but it's ok. A few extra burps for a good beer.

 732 characters

Photo of HazardousBrewer
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 2,990 ratings