Brew Review: Monk’s Cafe

25 Sep

Brew: Monk’s Cafe

Brewed by: Brouwerij Van Steenberge N.V.  (Steenberge, Belgium)

Style: Flemish Sour Ale (5.5% ABV)

My first sour review.  I will admit that I am an amateur when it comes to this type of beer.  I have not had  much experience with the style and in the past have tended to avoid it because I enjoy different styles so much that I just neglected to dive into this arena.  A Flemish sour ale, don’t ask me if that represents a specific style of sour.  I know there a few categorizations for sours but I don’t know the differences between them.  I do know that this is brewed for a specific bar in, I believe, PA but don’t quote me on that.

Anyway, on to the actual beer.  Even if I couldn’t give you an in depth history of the style I can at least tell you if I liked the beer, right?  Either way, it poured out with a big huge head, almost too much foam for my glass.  Big loose bubbles rose up out of a deep ruby red brew when held up against the light.  Darker and more brown and mellow when just in normal lighting but it was a good looking beer.  I liked the red. Needless to say there was plenty of carbonation along with a bit of yeast floating around my glass.

The aroma was tart, to say the least.  Cherries also came out of this one along with a faint hint of vinegar.  More tart than anything.  There was a trace of fruit in there as well, maybe some Belgian yeast led to some light fruit like apples or pears.

The taste was surprising, from the aroma I was expecting something that would be so tart my mouth might fold in on itself but that wasn’t the case.  It was tart but not breath-taking by any means.  The tart was present right from the start but there was plenty of sweet that also met my senses. After the initial sour burst the sharp taste faded  and the brew was very mellow.  There was a slight bitterness to the beer and a tangy metallic ping on the end.  Overall, not very sour, but unexpectedly sweet. 

I think this was a great brew to introduce my virgin taste buds to the world of sours to.  It was sour but not extreme in any way.  In my opinion, and that is one that shouldn’t be taken very seriously this was a great brew to test my training wheels on.  If there is somebody out there that wants to approach the world of the sour beer this might be one to consider to start off with.

Final Grade: B+

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