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
3,002 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:
#10,879
Reviews:
1,159
Ratings:
3,002
pDev:
13.21%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
96
Gots:
473
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,002 |  Reviews: 1,159
Photo of kawilliams81
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a La Chouffe Tulip.

A- Light raspberry purple in color, with little to no head or lacing.

S- Sweet dark fruits with some sour/funk.

T- Sweet dark fruits dominate with a hint of sour and barnyard funk towards the middle and end.

M- Thin, low carbonation.

O- For a sour, not very sour. But I like this beer on a hot summer day. Would like a little more sour though.

 378 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel snifter. The beer comes out dark, clear, and reddish-brown with a nice big off-white head. Pretty good retention and nice lacing. The nose has a musty smell with some vinegar and cherry notes behind it.

Light-medium body with a nice firm mouthfeel. Light flavor on the front of the palate of lemon, cherries, and a vinegar-like acidity. The acidity is not overwhelming and tapers off a bit towards the back of the palate, where there is a mild tannic dryness. Very refreshing, but a bit light in the flavor department.

Someone is going to have to explain to me why this beer is categorized as an Oud Bruin and not a Flemish Red Ale. At any rate, it is tasty and refreshing, but lacks the depth of flavor and complexity of top-shelf examples. Definitely recommended for completists.

 817 characters

Photo of FreshmanPour77
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of gcamparone
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Purchased in Wakefield, Rhode Island:

A- Pours a deep amber clear body with a generous, fluffy, thick cream-colored head that slowly reduces to some uneven chunks of puffy foam. Impressive

S- Sour apple notes, acidic. Malt backbone with some faint hoppiness in the background.

T- Starts off with a subtle caramel note, ends slightly acidic but not overbearingly. Somewhat simple.

M- Somewhat watery, medium-low carbonation.

Overall a refreshing brew that I enjoyed reviewing. It's slightly one-dimensional and could use more character. Worth a try nonetheless.

 612 characters

Photo of NHhomebrewguy
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of VaporDome
2/5  rDev -48.2%

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours as brown as brown can be with dirty white lacing. Wonderfully sharp, sour/tart aroma reminiscent of Fantome Hiver. Taste is big sourness and tartness, grape skins, tannins, and oak. Light but lively mouthfeel. Very drinkable. I could guzzle this stuff. Very enjoyable and not too expensive at 3 bucks a bottle.

 316 characters

Photo of mpenske
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of Horbar
3.99/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of AltBock
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2 fl oz. bottle that has a simple classic label of a barrel turned onto its side with a shadowy picture of a monk on one of its ends. Wrapped around the barrel is a wreath of hops and barley. The back label has all the manadory US information and a bottle code. Mine was a 13CF code. I have no idea what that means. Around the neck of the bottle is a label that has a brief description of the beer itself and how this beer came about.

Appearance: When poured into a Chimay Chalise, this Flemish Sour appeared to be a dark chestnut brown, but instead the color was more of a combination of a chestnut brown and a cranberry red. I thought the color was very interesting. That's only half of it. On top of this beer was a creamy 1 1/2 to 2 inch off white colored head of foam. This head of foam quickly receded to a smaller head of foam, but at least it didn't dissipate away completely. Besides leaving a smaller head of foam, it left behind streak after streak of lace around the glass. Overall, it was just a great appearance!

Smell: The aroma was nice and sour like a Flemish Sour should smell like. It was sour and slightly oaky with sour cherries, sour green grapes, sour cranberries, bubble gum, a hint of charred oak, and ended with the slightest touch of toasted malts. When it was swirled around, a lot more bubble gum emerged from the background. The bubble gum was so potent it took over the aroma and made it smell exactly like Bazooka Joe. While the aroma was busy controlling the oak, the bubble gum slipped by and couldn't help itself by taking over the entire aroma.

Taste: While the aroma controlled the oak and let the bubble gum slip by, it was taste that controlled the bubble gum and let the oak run wild and free. The taste was very oaky, lighty sour, and slightly dry with sour cherries, sour green grapes, charred oak, a tiny touch of bubble gum, mour sour fruits, and then all of this ended with some sour and oaky fruits. I liked that at the end the oak and sour came together to make the fruits sour. I guess you can it was team work that brought them together.

Mouthfeel: This one is more of a medium bodied beer with the usual Flemish Sour oaky and sour aftertaste of sour grapes, sour cherries, yeast, and a subtle touch of bubble gum near the end. This aftertaste will ling on for a few seconds, but not too long.

Drinkability: It was oaky and sour like the stlye should be, but unlike some, this one wasn't overwhelmingly oaky and sour. It was more oaky then sour, but it was still quite nice. In the end, I would be happy to drink this one again because it's not that expensive and it's oaky and sour like a good Flemish Sour should be.

 2,676 characters

Photo of Kyrojack
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of BeerBelcher
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Loving sour as I do, I really enjoyed this beer. It is full of sour cherry musty goodess!

It poured a clear, brilliant red color with a sparkling head of tiny bubbles. Aroma was sour with red wine vinegar notes and cherry fruitiness. Flavor was very sour, and dominated by cherries (and delicious BTW). Mouthfeel was smooth and made me pucker. This beer was quite good.

I'd highly recommend this beer, if you're into sour.

 424 characters

Photo of SkinniePost
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of rtepiak
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

pours a murky brown with reddish hue. some head with quite a bit of lace. smell is first off surprisingly malty. there is a cherry note with an equally strong somewhat boozy vanilla. tastes is very lightly tangy. sweet malt has vanilla characters like that of a bad cabernet. cherry is there. not very woody in flavor. has a light bitter finish. flavors separate dramtically as the beer gets warmer. taste becomes a bit plasticy. i would avoid if you think flemish reds and oud bruins are a novelity.

i think it was better in the bottle... or at least i remember it being better. this is something i'm going to have to come back to.

 633 characters

Photo of jeffthepony
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of Belittle
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of dcotom
3.61/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 11.2-ounce bottle into a flute.

L - Clear, dark caramel-copper color with a fluffy light tan head. Lots of beautiful curtain lacing as the head recedes. Subsequent pour raises a glob of foam resembling the head of a root-beer float.

A - Malt, caramel, and a little funk predominate when this is cold. As it warms, some tart fruitiness starts to come through on the nose.

T/F - Again, the character develops as this warms a little from fridge temp. Very bitter at first, without much tartness at all. As it gets closer to cellar temp, the flavors begin to balance out. The bitterness is still present, but the sourness finally starts to assert itself. Sour apple, tart cherry, a touch of cider vinegar. Finishes bitter, with a hint of lingering sourness.

O - From the description of the Flanders Oud Bruin, this would seem to be at the more assertive end of the scale. There was quite a bit more bitterness in my sample than the description would indicate. Had I sampled this with food, it might have mitigated the bitterness somewhat. Still, it is a very fine brew overall, and I actually enjoyed the interplay of the bitter and sour.

 1,151 characters

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.

 848 characters

Photo of DeanMoriarty
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of videofrog
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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

I picked this one up at Lee's Liquor off of Lake Mead in Las Vegas this week.

Appearance: Pours a pretty clear reddish garnet color with a small, but persistent, of white head. After drinking the beer, there is some sporadic lacing left on the glass.

Aroma: Light sweet caramel is the first impression that I get. I definitely get some wood with this beer, and this melds with a sweetness and a cherry that are truly defined. There is an evident cherry impression in the nose of this beer, and that hints at the mild sourness to come in the sip.

Taste: The flavor is really mild and clean with some slight tartness. The cherry and the wood are big players in the flavor, but the rest of the beer comes across as really eserved and clean. The finish is wet rather than dry and attenuated like most other examples of this style. The beer is clean with no alcohol apparent.

Opinion: This is a pretty god beer. I am a big fan of the sour ales, and this one is really reserved for this category. I would drink it again, but mostly with newbies to sour beers.

 1,065 characters

Photo of Ajlvt
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of micropale
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of jjanega08
4.11/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= Pours a hazy brown color with a coca cola like head that rises and falls fast to a thin ring around the glass after a while with zero lacing and nothing for retention.

S= The first thing I notice is a load of vinegar. As I dig my nose in I get less of the vinegar smell and start to venture into a woody semi sweet odor. Herbal and medicinal are some of the aromas that come to mind. The sour tartness takes a back seat in the odor on this one.

T= The taste has quite a bit of balance to it. There is a good bit of the vinegar acetic acid taste to it but it is balanced by a bit of cherry sweetness to it like a cherry pie. There is a bit of wood and oak in the flavor.

M= There is a lot of carbonation to it and a lot of scubbing bubbles.

D= This is one of the best flanders reds I've ever had. Smooth and balanced without a load of sweetness that I can deal with. The sourness vinegar taste is also kept to a tolerable level. Worth seeking out for sure.

 965 characters

Photo of Scotchboy
3.72/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Here we go, Flanders Red Ale. Tying to climb the ladder of sour ales and I want to make sure I don't rip my tongue out in the process. This beer was suggested as a better jumping off point than the Le Terroir I tried a month or so ago.

11.2oz bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Pours deep brown/mahogany red, with an off-white head that has decent cling for a 5.5% beer.

S: Lactic cherry tartness and Belgian yeast character. It smells sweet and tart, not 'sour' in my opinion. Still, its enjoyable and not overpowering.

T: Starts sweet, with cherry flavors followed by other sweet fruits that race over your tongue and finally finish was a short tart flurry. The Belgian yeast characters are secondary, mixing in with the sweetness and leaving some peppery and spicy notes on the tongue.

MF: Pretty light bodied with good carbonation.

O: Very palatable for me but I can see where a lover of sours will be disappointed. Still not a style I would seek out but I could see myself enjoying this one again, maybe pairing with some blue cheese.

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Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 3,002 ratings