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

BA SCORE
86
very good
2,957 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:
2,957
Reviews:
1,145
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
13.28%
 
 
Wants:
90
Gots:
459
For Trade:
5
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 2,957 |  Reviews: 1,145
Photo of Tamaquadan
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of ajmitch4
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of miguellunarusso
4.16/5  rDev +8.3%

Photo of Dogstickfetch
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of bkny27
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of LiquidCucumber
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours deep copper/red, nearly a purplish brown. Has a small head that recedes to a white ring quickly.

S - Musty apple cider, smells like it will be tart and makes my mouth water. Some bready malts as well.

T - Tart grapes, apples and cherries. The smooth fruity malt also delivers some deep earthy tones. Dark figs seem to mix with the musty floor of a barn and hints of cider vinegar.

M - Dry and bubbly; lingers just a little too long.

O - Not a bad brew, but not something I'm going to try to seek out a bunch of. I'd rather it be a little bit more extreme in the sour and funky categories. A good starter for the style though.

 639 characters

Photo of tmaury
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of jasadewi
3.88/5  rDev +1%
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 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 ianpstephens
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of beans923
5/5  rDev +30.2%

Photo of BeerSexLove
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
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

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 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

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
3.84 out of 5 based on 2,957 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

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