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
2,986 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:
#9,911
Reviews:
1,156
Ratings:
2,986
pDev:
13.21%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
93
Gots:
469
Trade:
5
HISTOGRAM
 
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,986 |  Reviews: 1,156
Photo of jonandhisflask
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured into a stone ipa tulip

A murkey redish brown, 2 finger head

S FUNKY, real tart fruits( im still getting my sours palate down) im getting some vinegar as well.

T hmmm i get sweet apples, some funk, sour cherry and other spent fruits.

M medium heavy body, suprisingly smooth, ive had others that were super heavy and acidic. this one was pleasant.

O i would get this again to help me build a palate, not so acidic down my alley at this point

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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.

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Photo of grayburn
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The head on this beer stays atop the mahogany tinted brew for the duration of the beer, lacing is slightly off-white and predominent throughout the experience, very nice.

The smell at first exhibits the funky sour notes I was expecting, then bounces into a sweeter, almost fruitlike smell.

The taste is a bit cloying, too much sweetness in the middle. It is washed away by some sour funk, but a little too late in the game to provide a better score. Decently well balanced, nothing to write home about.

The mouthfeel is a bit heavier than I was expecting, but still nicely carbonated.

I couldn't drink a ton of this, but had no problems whatsoever finishing my bottle. Interesting, but not amazing.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

33cl bottle $3.99 Looked red to me, decent head. Smelled a lot like glue but a cheap kind and not the top shelf Elmer's that I get from La Folie. A little vinegar in the smell also, not bad. Mildly sour but also a little one dimensional. I'd take a rodenbach or la folie over this any day.

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Photo of massshortage
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought this on a whim. It was nicely priced and had a good description on the bottle.

It poured gloriously- a deep clear deep red with a fluffy white head.

Smelled like fermented candy. Notes of sour warheads with vinegar.

The taste was fruitier than expected. Sweet and like raspberry and cranberry. The sourness was on the low side, and basically no hop bitterness, which I expected for the style, I suppose. Anyway, I feel that it could have been better balanced with more sour, less sweet.

Very light bodied, with high carbonation. Nice.

Well, it was certainly drinkable, and not bad by any means. But it drank more like a cider with its fruitiness and lack of much malt or hop character. I like their intentions with the sweet and sour balance, but I could have used less sweet and more sour.

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Photo of bobsy
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Volo for around $9.

Standard flanders oud bruin appearance, with a rich mahogany body and a finger of off-white head. Nice retention and lace. Sweet cour cherry nose with a light brown bread aspect. The flavour is relatively simple - sour (though not too sour) cherry, brown sugar, and very mild balsamic vinegar. Straightforward, and not all that complex, lacking a bit of a sour bite that would put it in line with some of the better examples. Medium body and carbonation is about right.

Sweet and fruity, but lacing the sourness it needs. At this point it's more Petrus than Goudenband.

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Photo of Sammy
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Reddish brown with almost no head. Cherry aroma. Well malted, more so and less yeasty than the brewery's own version of the flemish sour. Sour, it makes its point, and it's not overdone, there is some balance. Had a bottle again 6.5 years later and its got some cherry but in fact a stouty aroma. Just OK and rerated.

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Photo of IrishColonial
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of bort11
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle poured into an Omegang tulip. Tight egg shell white head, streaks of lacing. Color is a bloody coppery red.

Smell is not as sour as I expected it to be. More tart and fruity with a little lacto sourness. Taste has a sweet malt back with more tart fruits. Green apples, sour cherries.

Medium body with a surprisingly creamy texture. Very interesting. I'm glad I have another one to see how funky it will get with age.

Blipped "Monk Time" by The Monks

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Photo of Burkbom23
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a not that sour and way overpriced bottle in my opinion. at nearly 5 bucks for a shortie, i expected a bit more. pours a molasses looking redish brown color with an active off white head thats nice and thick. smells like tart fruit, not brett or anything like that. notes of oak as well as mild spice on the nose. flavor is sour cherries, brown sugar, and funky yeast. things are balanced well, but this is a pretty tame version of a flemish sour ale. not puckery or tangy at all, just a hint of vinegar as it goes down. feel is nice, bright bubbles and a medium body made to feel quite airy by the carbonation. overall a well made beer, but i prefer my sours with a bit more punch, especially for the price.

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Photo of lordofstarside
3.67/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11 oz bottle to snifter. "09HK" on the side which I'm assuming has something to do with the bottle date. I'm skeptical it's been sitting on a shelf for three years though

Pours a very dark red, which is perceived as more of a brown when not against my windows light. Poured a finger and a half of foam which has settled very quickly into a nice ring around the cup. Mild carbonation, mediocre lacing, not bad looking

Aroma of sour cherry, cabernet wine, apple, grape, oak, and alcohol. A faint sweet malt is present yet concealed

Taste of pretty straight forward sweet cherry, grape, and some malt. Many of the elements from the smell are hard to detect, taste is rather bland and over powered by the main fruit flavors

Mouth is pretty good. Sweet at first, finishing tart at the end. Nice carbonation, very thick and creamy

Overall this is a pretty mild sour. It's not bad, however I just find it too sweet...which I find to be stronger than I do the sourness of the ale, which I think defeats the purpose of the style. It was pretty cheap however, I might buy another to cellar for a couple years

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Photo of BenGap
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Matt said this was coming... and I was stoked... Picked up at the Coop over the weekend.. I think about $2.50 for the bottle.. poured into my New Belgium goblet.

3 finger lite tan head lasts for quite a while.. great lacing sorta turns crusty after awhile and the retention is pretty nice... the brew is a perfectly clear deep deep amber with bright red highlites.

The nose immediately reminds me of an overly sweet cherry vinaigrette.. fruity and malty with some possibly imaginary wood ... a little bit of sweet vermouth.

Flavor has more caramel than the nose but it mixes fairly well with a sorta fruity "sweet and sour" mashup... cherry and (again possibly imaginary) wood and mild acetic notes.. but still seems too sweet for me..

The body is heavier than most Oud Bruin's I've had in recent memory.. and the carbonation is a little lite too...

Overall, I just think this one is too sweet.. the fruitiness would be dialed back if the sweeteness wasn't so heavy.. This is a good beer.. but made a bit better by the fantastic price tag... and despite my above negatives, the drinkability is fairly high... I just don't think it's really that great though.

4.5/3.5/3.5/3.5/4

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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.

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Photo of BarryMFBurton
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Found this in a random bottle shop in Muncie. Score for me.

A: A near-perfect looking beer. The head is rocky, thick, and foamy, spanning a good one-third of the glass – and it takes a solid five minutes for it to settle. Retention is a full inch of pure tan silk, so airy it looks like smoke laying over the body. Webs of lacing everywhere. The beer itself is a dark ruby red; a lovely color.

S: Overall character in this nose is grainy and sour, like a lemony wheat husk. Big lactic acid hits with a dose of raspberry, vanilla bean, and dry, vinous grape; it’s fruit-heavy, but definitely all about the sours. These aromas paint the picture of a sweet red wine, mixed with some earthy yeast notes of coriander, pine wood, and pie crust.

T: More of the same: sour and grainy. This time, there’s an upfront kick of grape juice and sour cherry candy over a bed of apple skin, young wheat, and sweet banana bread butteriness. When they say sweet and sour on the label, they’re dead on: it’s a good mix of full-bodied sweets and the lightening effects of tart flavor. It’s not an intensely flavorful palate, but it does provide a nice flavor. Barnyard funk just barely peeks out toward the finish, drying out the fruits for a chalky, iced tea aftertaste.

M: Thin, yet smooth and refreshing. A bit of carbonation comes with the wateriness, though not much.

O: What we seem to have here is a good introduction to the world of Flanders ales; sour, but not much, with a sweet undertone throughout. A good beer for a heavy dinner or just simple quaffing.

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Photo of brown2cu
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a dark brown and is topped by a massive head that took forever to die down. At the end the head was about a finger width.

S: A solid nose but not a lot of complexity. Sour cherries are the most dominant. There is also an undertone of vinegar.

T: There is definite cherry in this beer and like the nose it is the dominant taste. It is sour at first but ends with an almost bittersweet finish. I may be deceived, but I believe there is a woody undertone in the taste.

M: Low carbonation and I was taken aback by this considering how massive the head was. A very strange feel.

O: Not my cup of tea as far as the style goes, so I tried to review as subjectively as possible.

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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.

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Photo of tprokop7
3.66/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Trying this for the second or third time, out of a 11.2 oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. It's not bad, but something about the taste isn't for me. I think it's a little too sweet, and that the sugars are a bit muddled. The sour finish is nice, the beer looks beautiful.

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

11.2 oz bottle poured into a stemless red wine glass i like. Pours a copper red color with 1.5 fingers of light tan, sudsy head that recedes to a light covering of foam, leaving a nice lacing on the glass. Looks rather nice! Nose of cherry, apple, yeast and malt vinegar. Medium bodied mouthfeel; thirst-quenching and not sticky. Taste of apple & cherry fruits, lactic acid & CO2 bite. Quick on the palate, ending crisply. A bit of lingering grape skin in the flavor. Drinkability was good enough to have two. A very solid sour and a good introduction to the style, but more funk and tartness would be welcome.

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Photo of StlHopHead77
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours out a Cola-like reddish/brown with a rapidly dissapearing,3 finger,tawny crown that reduced to a thin ring and left light but clingy lacing.

S-Cherry limeade,hay,yeast rolls,white pepper and Cheerwine(NC,representin').

T-Ferrara Pan Cherryheads,preserved lemon,sourdough and prosecco.

M-Bright and refreshing with lively carbonation and a mild sourness.Good starter sour.

O-Nice and light and probably a beer more suited for warm weather.

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

DrJay hooked me up with this one. thanks jay!

pours a deep ruby red, nearly brown, with a half inch of dense off-white head.

aroma is nice. distinct sourness. fruity, cherry and raspberry. slightly vinous.

taste is good. nice moderate sourness. mild acidity. cherry and a bit of raspberry. sweet, but not syrupy. slightly woody. at first i thought this beer was a little thin/watery, but it really grew legs once it warmed a little. still feels a bit lacking, but good.

mouthfeel is nice. carbonation level feels a touch low.

drinkability is good. an interesting beer.

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Photo of portia99
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Russian River Belgian stemmed glass.

A - Pours a clear, dark amber with ruby highlights. A thick finger of dense cream colored fluffy head sticks around for a good long time. As it slowly fades, it leaves behind some thick lacing on the sides of the glass.

S - A good combination of aromas this the beer. Good amount of fruity cherries, a slight tartness, some spicy cinnamon, a touch of brown sugar, and some bready malt to round things out.

T - Slightly tart at first fading to a sugary sweetness that lingers throughout. Good bready malt underneath. Cherry like fruit in middle of the flavors. A bit too sweet to be ideal for my tastes.

M - Thin in body, ample carbonation. Leaves a sugary coating all over the lips after every sip. Light and refreshing, but a little less sweet would help things out a bit...for me anyway.

D - Interesting and a bit different from what I'm used to. Light and pretty refreshing. Goes better with some light snacks, cheeses than it does drinking by itself. The flavors complement the food where drinking on its own is a bit too much sweetness.

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Photo of Slynger
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Murky cranberried brown with a lid of frothy-creamy light brown coloring

Smells of tart cherries, lightly red wine and vinegary, with sweet wood and spicy hops.

The taste has a light brown sugar / woody sweetness before tart cranberries punch me playfully in the mouth. Dry red and caramely malts help to balance with mild herbal hops. Light medium body feels lightly acidic, and has a frothy carbonation.

Pleasant and mild for the most part, it did not come in as sour as I feared it may have. Good flavor and balance to it and one I definitely would not object to having again.

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Photo of JGam115
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber. Great nose of a farmhouse after rain - wet hay, a little dog, sweet cherry. Approachable flavor for all who want to taste a sour.

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Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 3.86 out of 5 with 2,986 ratings