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

BA SCORE
86
very good
2,948 Ratings
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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:
2,948
Reviews:
1,144
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
13.28%
 
 
Wants:
88
Gots:
452
For Trade:
5
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,948 |  Reviews: 1,144
Photo of doughanson78
3.92/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into a tulip.

A: Dark ruby red in color. Very light tan half finger head with poor retention and not much lacing.

S: Vinegar, sour apples and cherries. Some toffee and woody notes. Touch of funk. Slight wine qualities.

T: A touch of toffee upfront. Tart cherries and apples. A Belgian yeast quality comes through for just a second. Then malty caramel and toffee come back in with a candi sugar flavor. Finishes slightly woody and nutty.

M: Medium light body. High carbonation, maybe a little to much. Finishes pretty dry.

O: Don't know if this is the first of this style I've had but it's not bad. A bit malty, but a nice mix of sour and sweet.

 670 characters

Photo of MarvinSnyder
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of BeerSamurai34
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a really good sour, but I didn't get a lot of the fruit that was used in fermentation. Very good and refreshing but I like comparable beers like Duchesse better.

 170 characters

Photo of Foxman
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It pours a quite clear rich ruby copper. A finger of frothy light tan head sinks slowly. Gulls of lacing aviate along the inside of the glass.

The aroma is decidedly lactic and pie-cherry sour. A submerged toasted malt grain presence intimates of a feather of sweetness to balance the more aggressive tartness.

Upon tasting, the malt is tart cherry sweet and ever so slightly doughy. The sour tower is again notably lactic, and this time is buttressed by a brace of earthy funk. A short batch of residual sweetness joins the tang to open up to a gradually drying and moderately crisp finish. No matter your general tastes, it's hard not to like this at least a measure.

Light bodied, the carbonation and sweet/sour duet combine to give a marked soft-drink impression to the palate.

Plenty of places have proprietary beers, but few have such distinctive, entertaining ales. It's a sour for a newer palate, or for those who'd like a little less "horsiness" in their beer, for whatever the reason. It's a refreshing and willing counterpoint to any number of savory culinary choices. I don't usually drink it at Monk's due to the usually many untried options, but it's nice to be able to bring a bit of Monk's home with me.

 1,235 characters

Photo of abex44
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of alpinebryant
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a short wine glass / tulip glass. A foamy lacing of miniature oak bubbles that left lacing along the glass.

Smell of tart, sour cherry and raspberry, oak and funk. Vinegar presence also noticeable.

Taste of Sweet and Sour sauce , oak barrel aged funk and vinegar are most prominent. Raspberry and Cherry dark fruit flavors. This has both sides of the spectrum on sweet and sour, both almost equally noticeable. After some time, the vinegar taste is more pronounced.

Strong carbonation and a light mouthfeel, I was happy to have had this one for what I thought to be a reasonable price for sour. 3.99 for a 11.2 oz bottle in afterthought isn't a steal but it is a welcome addition to what I have been able to find in the category of sours which mostly only appear in Wine size bottles of a liter plus.

An enjoyable Flemish Sour Ale that can be enjoyed in sips. The sour funk is only slightly negative on my palate. I would appreciate a slightly cleaner taste.

 977 characters

Photo of RKing44
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of younger35
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this brew as an extra quite a while back. It somehow got lost in my mix of 12 oz brews. Glad I found it! Drank out of my Stone India Pale Ale tulip.

Appearance- Pours a dark apple cider red with a small lightly dirty off-white head. Leaves a decent cap and collar for the duration of the brew and leaves a fairly good amount of lacing.
Smell- Just like you'd expect, very sour and just the smell makes my mouth water from the sour explosion that is about to come. Green apples and sour skittles are what I'm reminded of.
Taste- Hmmm, a lot smoother and more balanced than I was expecting. Green apples and soured cherries at the start before it slowly gives way to a bit of sweet malt. Not a big sweetness but a bit unexpected considering the beer. It also doesn't have that dirty yeastiness that I've experienced from my rather limited trying of this style. A bit musty in the aftertaste but overall fairly clean and very crisp.
Mouthfeel- Fairly thin but full of life and nice. The carbonation isn't messing around in this one.
Drinkability- I'm definitely not a sour ale kind of guy but this one isn't as sour as I was expecting and I really enjoyed it. Very crisp and clean without the whole dirty yeast must that I'm not the biggest fan of. Refreshing brew that should be tried if given the opportunity.

 1,318 characters

Photo of match1112
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

wanted to try a sour beeer and this was the first one i could find. poured from bottle into goblet, the color was reddish brown, kinda like rasberry ice tea. the smell was extremley sour fruit. once this beer had a chance to breathe the smell became more pleasant. when it first hit my lips it was sour enough to make me pucker. the mouth feel was pleasant and finished with a slight sour candy taste on the back of my tongue. overall i was surprised by this sour beer and cant wait to try different sours.

 506 characters

Photo of CB2maltygoodness
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of chinabeergeek
4.13/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

no date on the bottle. possible batch number of U8:44?

poured into tulip

dark, almost opaque reddish brown. red tint under the light. not bottle conditioned, so pretty clear. decent head, but soon fades to a thin, then wispy layer. some good lacing.

very sour and funky vinegar aroma. fresh wood comes in and peaks at the back. balsamic vinegar? cider, crabapple, hint of dried cranberry and raisins. whiff of molasses.

flavors are similar, tart upfront with that balsamic character again. plus more woody notes. undertone of caramelized malts, with that almost-molasses flavor. tartness fades as it continues and you start to notice a gentle (hop?) bitterness. pleasantly sweet and sour overall.

not too thin nor watery. some acidic and tannic texture. moderate and refreshing carbonation.

perhaps not the pinnacle of the style, but you can't beat the price.

 865 characters

Photo of ExaltedNecrosis
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

11.2 oz bottle poured into flute glass

A - Despite pouring very carefully, absolutely massive head. It took a few minutes to pour. Color is medium amber, decently clear with an off white head. Got some floaties of yeast in there.

S - Smell is instant lactic sourness and fruity. It's mainly an apple fruitiness. Fairly straightforward aroma.

T - Decently sour and tart. Not too sour, I think it could use a bit more. Definitely a lactic component to it, and a sweet & tart apple flavor.

M - High carbonation, sticky sweet mouthfeel. A bit on the thin side. Makes me pucker and smack. Sour apple tart on the finish.

O - A pretty decent sour. There are a lot better ones out there for a similar price, but this isn't bad. It doesn't have a lot of depth to it, as it's somewhat simple sour & tart apple. It's still crisp and refreshing though, and makes a good pair with cheese and crackers or other snack food.

 913 characters

Photo of DustinSWB
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

Photo of phishbone23
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

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

This is from a can and my expectations for a sour in a can are low. Smell is fruity esters. Initial taste is tart along with a slight vinegar aftertaste. Not bad. A nice cup of tea

 180 characters

Photo of AmitC
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of kimcgolf
3.53/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured to a murky brown, with okay head but little lacing. Aroma was the usual vinegary smell, but nothing else seemed present. Flavor was extra sour, and while I detected a hint of fruit, it was difficult to really tell what it was. Other Flemish Sours tend to be sour, then slide into a sweet aftertaste. This hits you with very sour start, and then sweet, with little transition. It also tended to be a little watery. I really have learned to like Flemish Sours, but this one, while good, was not one of the best.

 516 characters

Photo of kingmaker
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of sillyhed8
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%

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

Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Pours a very cloudy, dark, dark amber/red color with a thick foamy head. Head retention and lacing are both excellent. Has a sour dark fruit aroma. Taste is pretty much the same. Lactic acid sourness with a sweeter dark fruit at the end. Lighter bodied with moderate carbonation. Very smooth.

 298 characters

Photo of SD-Alefan
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%

Photo of ChrisinRI
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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

11.2 fluid oz bottle purchased at McKinnon's in Salem, NH. Pours a translucent copper-brown with a half inch of quickly dissipating light tan head. Acidity dominates the aroma, with possible hints of fruit and malt hiding in the background. Tastes both sweet and sour, with the sour bite hitting more toward the finish. A fruity sweet-tart character is there with hints of caramel. Light bodied with ample carbonation. My first oud bruin, but this is delicious, complex and drinkable. Definitely a solid beer for any sour-head out there.

 537 characters

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

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a tulip glass. Not sure of the age but it's probably quite old based on the store where I got it.

Appears dark mahogany in color, with a three-quarter inch pillowy off-white head. Leaves a bit of lacing on one portion of the glass and retains the head well, though I'm sure my glass with etched bottom doesn't hurt.

Aroma has a tart cherry tone, some vinegar, and a bunch leathery sour funk. There is a sweet smell peaking through as well, but it takes the backseat.

The taste is initially quite sweet, surprisingly. The funk hits next alongside some fruitiness. This one's not exactly sour, but it has a certain tart appeal to it. In the end the sweetness comes back, but right when I am expecting some more sour.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a very nice level of carbonation that makes for a creamy and soft drinking beer.

This one was really good but a bit too sweet and not enough sour. I would maybe get it again, but I certainly recommend giving it a shot.

 1,006 characters

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