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

BA SCORE
86
very good
2,957 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
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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:
2,957
Reviews:
1,145
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
13.28%
 
 
Wants:
90
Gots:
459
For Trade:
5
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,957 |  Reviews: 1,145
Photo of Redglimmer
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of ssjkyle
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Sco
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of mtlasley
3.41/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A deeply brownish red pours from the glass where it collects as a deep brown that when held to light, shows as a powerfully deep red coloring. A light beige head weighs in at a finger and a half. It leaves exquisite lacing. The color is a beautifully deep red, really...

Slight lacto on the tip of the nose but I find a strong Belgian dark note dominating here. Figs, raisins and a slight alcohol scent really make up the center here. They're joined by a slightly burnt caramel. Slight oak here too.

Very, very lightly sour on the tip of the tongue but quickly dominated from the palate by Figs and Slightly burnt caramel dominate the taste profile here along with a very faint oak lingering in the background. Overall, not that impressive or complex of a brew..

Crisply bubbling in the mouth and the blush wine like thickness is carried along very well by the bubbles.

Overall, I'm not that impressed. A decent tasting Oud Bruin but the sour component that I've come to know and love just wasn't there. Don't get me wrong, a slight tartness stands up front but it's just not got any pop. The Belgian characteristic here is decent though. An overall decent beer but not worth the price I paid. ~$3.50 a bottle.

 1,215 characters

Photo of justinlaz
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of agreenman19
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of TheRuss9585
3.25/5  rDev -15.4%

Photo of dumptruck81
1.5/5  rDev -60.9%

Photo of swgwilt
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of puboflyons
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 11.2 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on July 9, 2012. It pours reddish-brown with a full puffy, beige head that generally lingers. The aroma has a good cherry quality to it along with Belgian yeast and Belgian malts balancing it off. The body is medium but it also had an astringent bite to it. The taste was tart and sour as promised but not as much as I thought it might be. There's a cherry flavor to it but overall it lingers for some time. The flavor is one I will remember.

 480 characters

Photo of Ryan1423
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of kayrex
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of jbaker67
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

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 Aml42000
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark brown body with a fluffy tan head. It showed some transparency toward the bottom of the glass and maintains a pretty appearance throughout.

S- A powerful blast of balsamico is hard to shake as you stick your nose deeper in the glass, but some muddled pit fruit becomes apparent with some swirling and persistence.

T- A healthy tension of sweet and sour on entry. The tart components are certainly more prominent on the mid palate. Tart, slighly underripe cherry and rhubarb fill the mouth. The barrel and yeast components take a backseat to the fruity aspects here. Medium levels of acidity for a sour ale.

M- This is a bit linear for a sour. High carbonation makes it more like a tart fruit soda than a sour or wild ale. I like a bit more acidity as I prefer a drier, fresher mouthfeel than this offers.

O- A very safe sour ale for those who aren't familiar with the style. A very versatile beer to serve with food as it has enough flavor to pair with many types of dishes, but gets a little tiresome to sip on alone. I wish it showed some more wild aspects.

 1,075 characters

Photo of thagr81us
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from tap into a Trappe Door tulip. Poured a deep ruby red with a two finger very light tan head that subsided to a half finger quickly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, fruit, tart, cherry, vinegar, and strawberry. The flavor was of sweet malt, tart cherry, vinegar, cream, subtle wood, and strawberry. It had a light feel on the palate with high carbonation. Overall this was a good brew. I have had this one more times than I can remember out of the bottle so it was really nice to see this one on-tap for the first time. I was definitely not disappointed. All of the right flavors and aromas going on in this one in all the right places. A very refreshing brew that is great for both the beginner and the professional alike. A definite must try if you have not done so already.

 840 characters

Photo of ToddIlgen
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of khall
3/5  rDev -21.9%

Photo of scninmer08
4/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Danny1217
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A brownish red color. An big off white head with good retention. Some fruits on the nose. A bit of an lactic acid smell, yet still somewhat sweet smelling. Cherry dominates the taste. The sourness comes in slightly delayed and is noticable, but not over-powering. Some other fruit tastes here. Plums, grapes, and pears. Tastes a bit like a red wine in a way. A somewhat light body and above average carbonation makes this actually very refreshing.

My first sour. Can't say that this will get me to spend all my money away on these expensive beers, but it has me interested.

 574 characters

Photo of IMSPEAKNOENGLISH
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%

Photo of MasterEzra
2.5/5  rDev -34.9%

Photo of George2744
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of martyl1000
4.65/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Cooper's Tavern and at Mason Lounge. I can't stop drinking this stuff, and every time I order something else, I regret not having ordered the Monk's. I guess I'm even more a sour fan than I thought; used to think I was a malt guy, period). The aroma isn't great, smells like vinegar, actually. But I could drink ten of these in a row. Any other favorites I have -- Founders Imperial Stout, Southern Tier Jahva, Mikkeller Black Hole, Tyranena Dirty Old Man -- I can only drink two or three before feeling "up to here" (holding open hand at mid-throat). I can and want to drink as many of these sours as possible.

Note: I love this stuff, but I'd better adjust my original numerical rating (4.88), since I have very little experience with sours. From what I can see in other reviews of sours, this one is not an elite form of the style. I shouldn't be so affected by such things, but I don't want to be a grade-inflator. And its absolutely true that this beer isn't very complex. (But it's so damn drinkable!)

 1,018 characters

Photo of Aupuch
4/5  rDev +4.2%

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