Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien - BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)

Not Rated.
Abbaye De Saint Bon-ChienAbbaye De Saint Bon-Chien

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

263 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 263
Hads: 930
rAvg: 4.26
pDev: 9.15%
Wants: 119
Gots: 195 | FT: 11
Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes) visit their website
Switzerland

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ggaughan on 06-07-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 263 | Hads: 930
Reviews by JamieDuncan:
Photo of JamieDuncan
4.75/5  rDev +11.5%

More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.72/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle provided by the ever generous nchrist13 at a recent Madison BA tasting.

Sample size: perhaps 6-8 oz (I kind of helped myself to the lions share of this one, sorry other Madison BAs). I must get some more of this in a trade to try again and expand on this review. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Wine like Burgundy but displaying ruby/copper hues when held directly to light more reminiscent of beer. Thick off white head when agitated that settles to a thin skim. Easily reagitated to a healthy looking foam.

Nose: Upfront about the barrel aging aspect that brings forth a funky, acidic, tannin rich woodiness. Strongly vinous smells of dark fruits but equally aromatic amounts of sour/tart cherries, think Supplication meets NG Belgian Red. Also precent is a background spiciness that mixes with dirt and sawdust to give this dog a really nice solid base. I got teary eyed when I smell this beer (no joke).

Taste: Style limitations be damned, this is the Best Biere de Garde of all times. Bordeaux dark fruit vinous flavors. Cherry background sourness. Earth, moss, damp wood. Much less acidic then I would have guessed from the nose. Mild amounts of caramel and vanilla. Musty.

Mouthfeel: Sublime. Vinous with mild carbonation and acidity. Light but fulfilling sourness. Woody. Medium bodied. Dry finish.

Drinkability: Perfect.

I owe Nick big time for this one. (1,390 characters)

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.98/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. 750ml capped bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

Pours a course 1 finger layer of big bubbles that collapses quickly. Beer is a clear, dark mahogany. No lace and no legs. Not much to look at.

Nose is tart cherry and raspberry with hints of vinegar, soy sauce, oak and booze. Aromatic and very complex. Nice.

Opens mellow and juicy cherry, raspberry, vinegar and red fruit pulp. Amazingly complex. Layers of oak, barnyard, and a big bold tartness preside over the middle. Acidic and puckering with big fruit and funk notes. Finishes tart vinegar, red fruit and a slight bit of soy sauce. Sour finish. Awesome!

Light to medium bodied with low carbonation. Slick and oily in the mouth and goes down puckering and dry. Finishes dry with a filmy aftertaste that coats the palate. Solid.

This is a beer that's been around for a long while and its easy to see why. Great balance and complexity and just an all around solid offering. Definitely worth seeking out and its one of those rare non-gueuze beers that ages wonderfully! (1,038 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

With the taste of the '11 Grand Cru lingering on my memory, those flavors are so exhilarating that this standard Abbey de Saint Bon-Chien is drawing me like a moth to the flame. But this '06 vintage rewards me with its brightness and none of the burn.

Much like the Grand Cru, the beer pours a modestly carbonated hazy rust color, revealing reds, browns, purples, and mauve highlights when held to the light. Its tawny appearance releases the daintiest of foam structures that deflate from the acidity and alcohol beneath. With little to discuss in the retention and lacing department, the beer is left to look like wine.

Mouthwatering aromas abound with fruit, wine, spice, and must. Sour cherries, grapes, apples, figs, dates, and apricots strike the nose with a forceful scent. Backed by notes of Balsamic vinegar, sherry wine, and Merlot-type tangy notes the beer is savory and rich to go along with its strong acidity. Earthy tones of dried limes, leather, weathered oak, cellar musk, tobacco, and sea air keep the aromas varying and inciting.

The taste of all that sour and musty fruit that pierces the taste buds with sharp flavors that accompany dried wood, earthy sea brine, figs and dates, tobacco and leather- and all woven together by savory balsamic and sherry. It's a sublime taste that at first seems too intense with sourness, but is then softened by mature fruit sweetness. Other intangible complements to the beer reveal almonds, vanilla, and light caramel and seem to alternate with each sip.

Its elegant textures are sharp on the palate at first but then softened by ghost of maltiness that soothes the palate against vinegar-like acidity. Wood spices offer some astringency and gives the beer an almost-peppery finish. Surprisingly, the warmth of eleven percent is hardly felt as it is tightly woven into the acidic notes.

This sultry ale is a culinary delight on all fronts: it's savory, sweet, sour, and salty. Highly satisfying to taste, the beer is mature, surly, and unpredictable all at once. I simply cannot get enough of it! (2,059 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.34/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is #00276, brewed in 2007 and blended in Dec 2008. The beer is a murky, amber-brown coloring with a peppering of small carbonation bubbles throughout and no head. Aromatic as soon as you pry the cap off. Wow. Aromas of tart cherry, tannins, old world fruit sweetness in the backbone, apples, roasted notes, and an abundance of spices, including cloves, coriander, and nutmeg. Very layered nose, and more and more comes out as you drink. Great. Flavors are fruit rich forward, with a blast of berries and cherries enveloped in tart and slightly acidic notes, keeping a perfect balance across the palate. Darkly sweet plum and fig backbone, with a spiced blend that warms a bit, as well as provides some edge to all the smooth and rich notes. The tart turns slightly sour towards the tail end of the palate, which does a solid job of cleaning up all of the majorly rich and heavy characteristics. Smooth, mid-bodied in mouth, with a tart and fruity aftertaste that has a slightly astringent feel to it. The finish is crisp, with a slightly sour linger. Very delicious beer worth seeking out. (1,135 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.46/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle.

Pours a cloudy rusty/reddish brown with a tiny head of foam that disappears almost instantly. Lacing, no.

Smell is of cherry, oak and vanilla, and funk.

Tartness from the cherries hits my palate right off the bat. Oaky notes move in bringing some vanilla and wood
and throughout each sip, an enjoyable taste of funk makes taking the next sip easy peasey.

Fairly light bodied with light carbonation. Wine like mouthfeel.

Well now, this is a real winner and a treat! (490 characters)

Photo of ricke
3.95/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008.

A: Reddish brown color, slightly hazy. A small head quickly disappears.

S: Tart berries, perhaps some lemon and tart apples as well. Subtle malts and a decent amount of funk - mud and wet hay.

T: Some semi-sweet fruity notes and malts that's quickly overshadowed by tart flavors and funky notes. The tartness is really good in this one, sharp and edgy, yet not puckering nor astringent. Perhaps a slight taste of vinegar. The finish is really dry with a decent amount of sweet alcohol, a hint of minerals and lingering tartness.

M: Medium body with semi-aggressive carbonation.

D: A good beer, quite interesting. It has an edgy character due to the way the tartness mixes with the aromas and the gentle sweetness. Would definitely have another. (767 characters)

Photo of brownbeer
4.07/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted the 2005 vintage that clocks in at 15.5% abv, rather than the 11% noted here.

It wasn't much too look at with no head and muddied color.

The nose was much better, though. It had sour fruit notes(mostly cherry for me), vanilla, noticable alcohol. It lets you know you're in for something big.

Similar notes on the palate with an added acidic bonus and finishing with light oaky tannins.

I thought it didn't taste terribly different from the pinot version but both were great.

This would be a great winter warmer to split with a couple of friends. Thanks nightbrew for pulling this from your secretive cellar. (619 characters)

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of supa0525
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of EastBay_Nick
5/5  rDev +17.4%

Photo of danthehopslamman
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
3.66/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of generallee
4.82/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a capped green 1pint 9.4oz bottle. The bottle reads hand crafted in 2006 at 11%abv. aged in oak and blended October 07. Also there is what I think is a bottle number or batch number on the neck label that reads 00276.

Appearance: The body has a dark and murky appearance with a dark brownish burgundy color and some lighter reddish high lights. Near the edges of the glass there are some tine bubbles of carbonation. The head is a small, creamy off white layer of foam that slowly fades to just a small ring of tiny bubbles. Lacing is slick and minimal.

Smell: Its aroma has nice tart fruit, funky earthy yeast notes with a hint of oak.

Taste/Mouth: The flavor starts with a semi-sweet malty base with a wonderfully complex mix of dry tart fruit, funky earthy east and wood. Some fruit notes that pop out are sour cherries, dry wine like grapes, and tart apple skins. All these flavors work in perfect harmony and its 11%abv is well hidden. It adds another layer of complexity and mellow warmth to the palate. It has a medium body with a silky light texture and soft carbonation.

Notes: This beer shows outstanding complexity, balance and sophistication. I could sip this all night paired up with a nice plate of fine cheese and fruit. (1,272 characters)

Photo of Doomcifer
3.48/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of JakerLou
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage pours a rusty brown body with a small and fleeting beige head. No real lacing but carbonation is apparent in the body.

Aroma is musty old oak logs, some caramel, apple cider, and vinegar.

Medium body with a low, but active, carbonation. Earthy and woodsy feel.

Taste has prominent oak tones. Tannic and somewhat vinous. Tastes more like a lambic than a bierre de garde. Apple cider, cherry skins, caramel, and some herbal hops. No hint of the alcohol.

Quite a price tag on this one and although good I doubt I will buy it again. (545 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.27/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A treat on tap at the Blind Tiger in NYC a few nights ago (got to meet the brewer of the stuff that night to boot...) $8.50 for a 12 ounce pour BTW...Poured totally muddy, lighter brown (later pours were no less muddy, but were darker in color) no head, no lace, low low carbonation. Sour yet soft, lactic nose. Complex, flavorful quite interesting and totally different type of beer. I'm thinking to my self what damn style of beer is the mother?!? More sour, tons of soft fruit undertones, spiced up bloody Mary/clamato notes. All sorts of stuff going on here. Somehow it holds together. Absolutely delicious. Gonna buy a bottle as soon as I get a few extra bucks. Highly recommended. (686 characters)

Photo of badbeer
2.94/5  rDev -31%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2006 Version.

Murky red/amber color with a beige head, left a ring around the glass. I get some sour and oak notes, but not too much else, maybe some dark fruits. Lightly acidic, metallic, oak, and a touch of some sour cherry or other fruits in the taste; wasn't impressed. Lighter than medium body with a dry finish, light carbonation. Don't know that I'd have this one again, it didn't seem like an off bottle, just not very good. (433 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage.

The beer pours a hazy brown color with a white head. The aroma is tart apples, oak, vanilla and toffee. Very nice smelling. The flavor is sour apples, oak, caramel and vanilla. The beer is very dry. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very good sour beer. (277 characters)

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -6.1%

Photo of bsp77
4.47/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very cloudy lava-orange with thin head and slight lacing.

Smell: Sour apples and cherries are dominant with some oak, pepper and alcohol.

Taste: Wine-like with somewhat sour apples and cherries, oak, pepper and an overall musty quality.

Feel: High champagne-like carbonation with a relatively light body for the high alcohol. Tart, dry finish.

Drinkability: Probably the best sour beer I have had. Of course, after three years of burgundy barrel aging, I am not sure this is really a Biere de Garde, but who cares, it's great. (591 characters)

Photo of standardcherry
4.5/5  rDev +5.6%

Photo of Janeinma
3.5/5  rDev -17.8%

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
94 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.