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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
2,969 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:
#9,239
Reviews:
1,150
Ratings:
2,969
pDev:
13.21%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
91
Gots:
465
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,969 |  Reviews: 1,150
Photo of axeman9182
3.42/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle, allowed to warm slightly before being poured into my Bruery tulip.

Monk's Cafe pours a deep, dark red, and has some good clarity to it. There are plentiful ruby highlights, and maybe a finger and a half of bone colored foam that displays little in the way of head retention and lacing. The nose is nice, with some lactic sourness leading the way. Cherry and oak both show up a fair bit in the background. The flavor profile doesn't pull everything off nearly as well. The sourness of the beer takes a backseat compared to a sweet, cherry flavor, and the wood notes disappear almost entirely. It honestly tastes like someone took a decent Oud Bruin and cut it with a sweet cherry soda. The body is fine, but the carbonation is definitely a little dull, and it leaves the mouthfeel feeling a little too slick a times. Monk's Cafe is an alright beer, but it's one of the less impressive Oud Bruins I've had.

 921 characters

Photo of rickyleepotts
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is apparently rare. I had no idea. I don’t even remember what it cost, but it was less than $10 for the bottle. I grabbed a bottle at Whole Foods. They have a solid selection, but sell just as many cases as they do single bottles. I think ALL beer should be available at ALL stores by the bottle. But that’s just me.

I don’t remember the show, but when I search for “Monk’s Cafe” on Google, the restaurant from the hit TV show Seinfeld shows up. I wonder if that was the name of the restaurant on the show… anyone know? Anyway, let’s get busy drinking.

In the Glass: I didn’t expect this to be so dark. It’s almost red. The label is red, which makes sense. But the last few sours I have had were not red. That’s for sure. But hey, I am fairly new to sours, so maybe THIS is normal.

Nose: Holy cow. The first thing I smell is sour. Like SOUR sour. Not just sour… but sour sour. Did I mention this beer is a sour? I also am picking up some spices on the second sniff. After three or four smells, it starts to settle down a little bit. But I can already taste the sour. Let’s just see how sour she is.

Flavor: The beer quickly slides across the palate, with little carbonation and then just disappears leaving your tongue with that almost too sour sour, but then a soothing finish. The back of the throat gets those spices I was picking up on the nose, but the sour doesn’t really last. That’s OK.

Mouthfeel: I wanted a few more bubbles, but the beer has a great mouthfeel. You don’t get much on the front of the tongue, but then the sour slides around and just punches you in the teeth when you start to swallow. Then the sour leaves, and those spices hang on into the aftertaste. The beer is also very thin, which I expected. As sour as it is, it is very easy to drink, and with a low ABV I could see myself throwing back a six-pack on a Friday night.

Aftertaste: The sour is so forward, it doesn’t really stick around. The spices that were on the nose do. The aftertaste lasts for three or four minutes, then you are left with a somewhat bitter, dry finish. The burp is pretty weak too, but the sour explosion on the tongue when you start drinking puts the rest to shame.

This beer is rare, but shouldn’t be. It’s delicious. It’s also a good springtime beer too, as those sours make me think/feel about the summer just around the corner. I wonder what foods this would pair with… anyway, it’s great. Bottoms up, people!

Monk’s Café Flemish Sour Ale - The bottle says: “We blend young and old beers to make this mildly sour sour ale. Light bodied with a lactic/sour nose and a bit of sweet and sour in the finish. Very refreshing!”

 2,699 characters

Photo of megmarden
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of denver10
2.5/5  rDev -35.2%

Photo of DeerNick
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of hopfacebrew
2.62/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

At recommendation of a colleague I picked up a 4-pack, a little pricey ;(. Anyhow, poured from undated bottle to a Duvel tulip the beer pours a deep copper brown color with some ruby red edges in the light. A small 1/2 finger white bubbly head with some retention and lacing, but nor much. The nose is in my opinion the best aspect of the beer with a detectable sour funk that melds well with the sweet fruity banana, apple, and cheery fruity character. Vinegar type aroma is detectable but not a deterrent. Hints of caramel malt sweetness. The flavor starts very much the same but is immediately overpowered but a strong sweetness that ruins the balance of the beer. Fruity and caramel sweetness dominate the funky sour flavor and mellow characteristics the nose let on. Disappointing. Hints of dark fruit such as raisin in the tail end. Finishes sweet. Medium bodied and decently carbonated. Overall, I feel the sweetness was way too much for this beer, which is really too bad. I sampled 2 bottles to ensure I didn't get a bad one to start, both were the same. I will not be back. It was hard to finish 2, but I felt obligated after such a nice review by a trusted peer. Perhaps this is a bad batch? I will have him sample one of the last 2 and see.

 1,252 characters

Photo of Hanzo
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of TaySuth
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark copper red in color with a three finger head of creamy, small bubbles that recedes to one finger.

Smell: Tartness is immediately apparent with notes of fruit, mostly cherry, strongly dominating the smell. Minimal hops aroma.

Taste: Very tart right off the bat with a good fruitiness. The taste then shifts to a strong malt character. Slightly bitter and sour on the finish. Really good.

Mouthfeel: Lightly carbonated with a medium body.

Overall: A very enjoyable beer that I will be looking to pick up some more bottles of sooner than later.

 563 characters

Photo of devonnaire
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

Photo of TheBishopco
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of korguy123
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle into snifter.

A- Super dark brown pour with a slight purple/red hue to it. Two finger fizzy off white head that quickly drops to a thin cap. Lacing sheets quite well.

S- Lemon, sugar sweetness, slight grape juice (Welches) there is a small amount of funk going on in here but it is very subdued.

T- Slightly watery at the beginning, than a pucker from the grape juice like taste. Than a little funk finishing with a woody dryness. It's very progressive taste wise as it changes on your tongue.

M- Light, prickly carbonation and very refreshing.

O- This is a very "friendly" Flanders. Very light and refreshing, would have liked a little more zing. Solid beer overall though.

 693 characters

Photo of stckhndlr
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark rusty brown with ruby highlights. Topped with a thick 1 finger head of very small bubbles. Creamy.

S- Smells like a sour apple cider. Picking up hints of bananas, cherry, maybe some dark caramel. There's a funkiness to this one that is hard to pin point. Almost like a wine that has been over exposed to air.

T- A mellow bitternesss with some sour apple, raisins, cherries, and a woody characteristic mixed in. Tastes like a mossy oak. A bit of metallic leftovers in the finish.

M- Medium creaminess, Not overly carbonated.

O- Kind of a bland sour. No big burst of smells nor flavors. Nothing that really stands out. Having a little trouble with this mossy funk it has to it. But I can't say I wouldn't try it again in the future.

 743 characters

Photo of Jparker37
4.16/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Mahogany head, medium sized bubbles. Very bright that left no lacing to the glass

S - Tart in the nose. Some faint caramel sweetness, cherry/raspberry fruit. No hop character. A touch of raisin, some alcohol and some woody notes.

T - Puckering moderate to high sourness, acidity outweighs the cherry sweetness. This beers smell was more complex than its taste.

M - Semi-sweet, lighter in body, refreshing, tingling light carbonation. Very acidic/sharp finish almost cloying.

O - Exactly what I was hoping for, great summer brew, no real Belgium funk just a refreshing sour brew.

 587 characters

Photo of Whiskeydeez
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of greenbeer29
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of Bin33chef
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Photo of shwhat
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

appearance - super creamy, lightly tan head. almost like melted ice cream. dark brown, explosively bright blood red when held up to the light. super clear.

smell - vinegary sourness, vinous (like a funky white wine), apple skin, cranberry, cherry.

taste - mild sourness up front. lots of fruit, mainly apple. no bitterness to speak of. super clean finish, the flavor almost evaporates, leaving you with a juicy wetness. light, refreshing, sweet, sour...it's pretty straightforward. not much funk in the taste at all. definitely a beginner's sour, but also something i could drink every day. i paired it with a french onion soup. the saltiness and beefy stock married very well with the tartness and juicy, fruity flavors of the beer.

mouthfeel, champagne-like mousse of carbonation as soon as it hits your tongue, then it gets very wet and light as it washes down. awesome for cleansing the palate.

 901 characters

Photo of Davit
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Photo of Dweedlebug
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of bkrbdan
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Holland
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Photo of MrJolly
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of lurker18
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of marct
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of StarRaptor
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 2,969 ratings
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