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

BA SCORE
86
very good
2,947 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:
2,947
Reviews:
1,143
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
13.28%
 
 
Wants:
88
Gots:
451
For Trade:
5
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,947 |  Reviews: 1,143
Photo of dwoolley1
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of mmmbeer
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle with no freshness date. It pours a red/copper with a 2 finger head that is tan with a hint of red and forms a crater in the middle when it recedes and leaves some nice foam for lace. It smells of sour grape, fruit?, dung?, lactic? (I guess that's what it is - it's not familiar to me and they mention it on the label...), along with mustiness and some acidity. It tastes sour/acidic, fruity, tart, with medicinal phenols, farm/mustiness, and perhaps iron and salt. Maybe a hint of hops, but not sure if they use them. It has a light, tingly, dry body that is quite refreshing and it's overall a quality beer.

 622 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.73/5  rDev -2.9%
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 srw
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of MN_Beerticker
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of Wisconsin_IPA_Lover
3.94/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Janeinma
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of rypkr
4.29/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Westsidethreat
3.09/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Deep strawberry/cherry juice color. Very clean and opaque. Nice billowy off white head in standard Belgium style. Seriously great looking beer.

S: Yeasty with notes of sour grape, wet oak, cherry vinegar.

T: Not nearly as pungent as I was expecting. Bit like watered down cherry juice. Minor sour notes with out much twang. Not nearly as complex as some of the other Flanders out there.

M: Bit thin and prickly from the carbonation.

D: I was disappointed by this beer. Its ok and certainly drinkable but nothing I'd be compelled to try again. Oh well, they can't all be Rodenbach.

 596 characters

Photo of HRamz3
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of dextermcgurk
4.46/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of erialbill
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of eldoctorador
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of Washuffizi98
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of lic217
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of pknyc
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of sukwonee
1/5  rDev -74%

Photo of jasonjlewis
3.61/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

great head retention, size and lacing.

smell is of green apples and a hint of raisin with a heping of cherried. not quite as complex as I would like but good nevertheless.

taste is of green apples and some caramel malts with cherry undertones. again, not as complex as I would like.

good attenuation and full mouthfeel.

decent stab at the style for a good price per bottle.

 377 characters

Photo of Phillyz
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of BeerMeBro720
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of doucmehu
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of Shandycan
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of indiapaleale
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Here we go...

Pour - Dark reddish brown or auburn in appearance. Nice off-white fluffy head with great lacing on the inside of the glass.

Aroma - Sour malt, vinegar, brown sugar, apple cider and a little bit of a buttery aroma.

Taste - Initial tartness, a bit like sweet apple cider vinegar, gives way to a very sweet malty rush. The tongue is lovingly put the ringer a bit like eating a Sour Patch Kid. Carbonation levels are good and as it warms a bit there are more overripe apple and pear flavors along with brown sugar and caramel. The sour flavors return in the aftertaste and leaves your mouth slightly puckered.

Overall - A great sour for the newbie. Its not too puckering to scare a person away but enough to keep you interested. Very drinkable and very delicious.

Would I buy more of it? - Absolutely! This is one of my favorite Flemish Sours and absolutely amazing on tap if you can find it.

Note: Monk's Cafe was named one of the "Top 10 Places to Have a Beer Before You Die" by All About Beer Magazine.

 1,026 characters

Photo of swgwilt
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
3.84 out of 5 based on 2,947 ratings.
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