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

Monk's Café Flemish Sour AleMonk's Café Flemish Sour Ale
BA SCORE
71.4%
Liked This Beer
3.86 w/ 2,961 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:
#8,622
Reviews:
1,148
Ratings:
2,961
Liked:
2,114
Avg:
3.86/5
pDev:
13.21%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
91
Gots:
462
Trade:
5
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,961 |  Reviews: 1,148
Photo of sjstraub
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of sideshowe
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of ej285701
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Agold
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

Photo of adrian21
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of elNopalero
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a ruddy amber with thin foam lacing around the edges. There’s a very apparent sweet and sour nose that makes its presence apparent. Not a strong tart aroma but its there when you nose it. Nice, lightly soured flavor.. Some dark cherries and oaked notes that carry over to the palate. Light, yet flavorful, a somewhat tannic finish. Considered a “gateway” sour for good reason—it doesn’t overwhelm but its obviously there. Wouldn’t be my first choice after having tried others but its nothing to turn my nose up at. For its price especially it’s very good.

 580 characters

Photo of vince4953529
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Jef59
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- at first, the beer appears to be a deep brownish orange with a nice, thick, cream colored head. When held up to the light, it turns to a beautiful ruby red. The head dissipates to a thin lingering layer throughout the rest of the glass.

S - A nice sour smell hits the nose followed by a sweet sugary honey scent. There is a fruity scent, kinda berry/cherry like. Smells like it should be really refreshing.

T - It IS really refreshing. The sourness is really nice: not too overpowering for the rookie sour drinker, but not too subtle as to take away complexity. A sour cherry flavor is very present and is nicely complimented by a malty, brown sugar backbone. There is a slight spiciness (coriander maybe), but it is very subtle. Hardly any hops are present, but it does have a nice citrusy zing to it. It's almost if cherry-lemonade and beer had a baby.

M - Super velvety! The carbonation rolls over your tongue leaving a light and refreshing consistency.

This beer is super refreshing! Perfect for a hot day or to pair with an awesome meal at Monk's!

 1,059 characters

Photo of Lawnboy33
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of mattkooler
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of throwback
5/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of Jspriest
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of shuajw
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Photo of JustinMatthew
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 750ml in to a tulip glass. A beautiful dark red color with a small white head that quickly disappears. Smells Of vinegar and what seems to be some sort berries. Taste is very similar.. Lots of vinegar and fruit coming through. Good amount of sourness in this one. I enjoyed it. the After taste lingering in what seems to be some sort of berries.

 361 characters

Photo of RuckusDu
4.44/5  rDev +15%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a large 4+ finger head that seemed rocky but then quickly went down. It does stick around however at about 1/4cm. The color is odd and I can't put my finger on it. Light khaki but also some darkness to it, like the red coming through. I can't believe how dark this is. Really a dark red plum color.

S - There is a slight Belgian (dark currents, fruits) quality to it, but really a sour lemon/orange/grapefruit scent.

T - Wow, this is very nice. A great combination of dark Belgian quad qualities (but remains light) with sour cherries. Was not expecting this to be so good. There is a little boozy quality at the front which is weird considering it is 5.7%. There are some sweet raspberry/blueberry flavors.

M - A little light considering all the dark flavors but that works for this beer. It is a great alternative to the standard dark Belgian ales and lambics.

O - A lot going on here which I will have to discover through many more bottles. Would like to see how this tastes with some age on it but will be one of those where I have a difficult time aging when I will just want to drink it.

 1,111 characters

Photo of cosmo4u
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber under a thin beige head. Initial nose is primarily of soured sweet fruits with wood notes. First taste is of the big sour tartness laid immediately on top of a sweet fruity base. There is a big woody flavor in the middle of this one that is just right. Palate is surprisingly smooth and almost creamy and the sweet/tart finish is just perfect. I don’t want to sound patronizing by saying that this would be a good intro to sours for your non-beer friends, but it balances the sweet/sour well enough that it won’t blow anyone away. And, to be clear, that balance is an indication of the level of craft gone into this one.

 643 characters

Photo of nickhiller
3.56/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: copper, tan bubbly head foams and busts in about 30 seconds, no lace.

S: minerals, rust, fresh rain air, slight vinegar, Sauvignon Blanc wine cork.

T: sweet and sour sauce, cider funk and vinegar, Neco Wafers, kind of like soda flavored candy. Finish is juicy with a malty beer-y aftertaste. It reminds me a lot of a diet soda.

M: light-bodied, light carbonation, which I usually prefer in this style, but it lacks both the body and the dryness to back it up. Has a watery quality that is off-putting.

O: a very nice beer, pleasant and drinkable, in the same way that a diet Coke is. Also the smell and mouthfeel left a lot to be desired.

 646 characters

Photo of tlazaroff
3.82/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brilliantly red in color with a crisp foamy white head, sticks to the glass like no other - and perfectly clear.

S: Slightly sour, maybe some cherries, defiantly a fruitiness present, but due to a stuffy nose, I can't get a lot out of it.

T: This is tart, I like it a lot! It has a great complexity that I am having trouble identifying. I wish I could do this beer more justice because It really does taste good.

M: It's dry, fully carbonated, and light on the palate.

D: Quite drinkable. It didn't last as long as I thought it would.

 541 characters

Photo of russwbeck
2.62/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Clear red pour with a fizzy white head. I was quite surprised at the vigor with which the head rose from the brew. Lacing is spotty, and retention is not great.

S: The smell is quite interesting and complex. The sour and funk rest in the background of a sweet and fruity nose. Cherries, oak, malty. Sort of strange.

T: Not what I was expecting, again. No sourness, sort of vinegar-like, no funk. Lots of fruit. Apples, cherries, raspberries, very sweet. Plastic-like finish.

MF: Creamy body, medium, with a high carbonation. Dry and weird aftertaste.

O: Very disappointed here. Well below average, just not very good.

 624 characters

Photo of climax
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The flagship sour pours a deep black cherry with brilliant garnet highlights. The foamy tan head is gargantuan and retains itself atop indefinitely. All the way down, there's a constant thick film with a few dark thin spots.

I'm not too sure where to start on the nose, it's complexity is confounding. The sourness does not overpower the auxiliary flavors by any stretch, but it definitely has astringency and let's me know it's going to be tart. Dusty wood, sweet toffee, and juicy apple are the easiest to decipher. Deep within, a rogue roasty character hides, perhaps a glimpse of what's inside.

Toffee and unsweetened chocolate flavors soon surrender to inevitable tartness composed of unripened cherries, and raspberries. Some sweeter vanilla and soft Belgian yeast perplex me even further. And what comes after the beer has gone down is a fantastic lingering sweet, buttery, sour.... er, needless to say it's hard to make sense of what's going on in the finish (or any part) but the complexity is Earth shattering.

The carbonation explodes in the mouth like a bubble grenade. The body itself is slick and finishes clean. With this much fluffiness from the carbonation, it's tough to tell quite where the body fits in.

I am by no means a die hard of sour beer, but I did thoroughly enjoy this. It is astringent/sour/tart whatever, but I don't think I would have it any other way.

 1,392 characters

Photo of claytong
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

appearance - crimson mahogany in color, with an eggshell colored head which i believe lasted almost an inch the whole time i was drinking it.

smell - apple/pear, acidity/tart or sour cherries, a bit of white wine, pepper, and oak

taste - tart apple, tart cherries, pepper, oak, and a bit of metal to top it off.

mouthfeel - nice and dry. amazing carbonation, light to medium body.

for 2.50 a 12 oz its not a bad beer. certainly unique and hopefully the metal wont be there next time.

 487 characters

Photo of cdkrenz
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Brown body with a purplish accent where light makes it through. Head is eggshell and starts out at about a half inch and fades to leave a thin layer of varying densities at the surface.

S - Smells of a dry white wine. There are apple aromas, what seems to be a woody scent, and a sourness.

T - I taste alcohol, Chex Mix, sour grapes and yeast. One of these flavors in and of itself may not be all that inviting in a beer, however, wrapped up together they're not too bad.

M - Light bodied with a high level of carbonation making for abrasiveness throughout. It does have a nice dry finish.

~ This is a unique beer. Not one that I would seek out necessarily, but definitely a beer worth sampling.

 705 characters

Photo of hiku7
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy cherry mahogany with a tall light tan head that quickly recedes, but is easily revived with a swirl.

Aroma is overripe fruit, maybe raspberry and strawberry, and funk with spice. Flavor is a rounded comforting sweet malt base with barnyard funk and substantial but balanced tartness giving way to a dry finish.

Medium body with foamy carbonation. Starts with a slightly sticky sweetness, but ends dry.

Solid Flanders sour ale.

 442 characters

Photo of JoeAmerican77
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark cranberry in color, minute head. Yum, oak and sour bugs abound in the nose of this Flanders Oud Bruin ale. Huge carbonation, like a champagne explosion, is playful next to its medium bodied base. A nice tart lemon and berry fruit cocktail is presented to the tongue, hints of oak as well but not too dominant. The sour is delish!
6/10 Sour scale.

Fruity, sour and fun. Sounds like a bad Navy joke ;)

 405 characters

Monk's Café Flemish Sour Ale from Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.
Beer rating: 71.4% out of 100 with 2,961 ratings
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