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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

689 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 689
Reviews: 243
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 92
Gots: 133 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes) visit their website
Switzerland

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: ggaughan on 06-07-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 689 | Reviews: 243 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2006 bottle. barleywinish. Very easy drinking, smooth mouthfeel, tasty with items like fish. Something special. Cognac-like colour. Taste sensation of a Flemish sour without unpleasant sourness at all. Mild spiciness.
5 years pass. Had again the 2011 version? I can only assume. Enjoyed on tap at Ebenezer's Pub. Orange, wild, yeasty, tart, A little apple cider, a sipper that was a delicious drinkable sour. Big Lace.
Had the 2009 version at Bar Volo, a great drinkable sour.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 03:32:04 | More by Sammy
Photo of t0rin0
t0rin0

California

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

08-22-2012 01:39:56 | More by t0rin0
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy tan head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this one. Smell is of sour and tart fruit, slight vinegar, funk, and woody aromas. Taste is much the same with an acidic/drying quality on the finish. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great sour presence in the aroma and taste. I just wish the carbonation level was better on this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2012 05:16:30 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of djrn2
djrn2

New Jersey

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

11-14-2011 21:19:06 | More by djrn2
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a slightly-browned garnet color with a thin off white head and a tiny bit of lacing. Nose brings some lactic sourness, cherries, hints of dark fruits, and a bit of earth. Taste and feel add in a nice oak presence and the sourness becomes a bit more prevalent. The cherries and light malt fit well together bringing a nice bready character out. Drinks quite well; glad I got to try this one.

Serving type: on-tap

10-14-2010 11:11:21 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of metter98
metter98

New York

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is rather hazy brownish red in color and resembles apple cider a bit. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar of large bubbles around the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of apples, grapes and oak in the nose; this becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has complex and interesting flavors of fruity yeast—apples seem to stand out in particular. There are also some hints of oak and green grapes.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is rather dry.
O: This is a very enjoyable biere de garde. The oak barrel aging definitely adds some complexity to the flavors.

Note: 2010 vintage

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2012 20:12:18 | More by metter98
Photo of brentk56
brentk56

North Carolina

4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Version (tasted 11/26/09)

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a frothy head that quickly becomes a ringlet while leaving a few dots of lacing around the chalice

Smell: Tart fruit (cherries and plums), charred wood, toffee, leather and oak

Taste: Opens with a balance between the tart fruit and toffee flavors, but the sour cherry aspect quickly drives it in an increasingly tart direction; after the swallow, the underlying wood and sweet flavors enter the picture and provide a balancing element that lasts into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body but highly carbonated

Drinkability: A beer for contemplation rather than quaffing - let's see how this pairs with Thanksgiving dinner

2007 version: Very similar in the flavor profile but the exact opposite in carbonation as it is almost non-carbonated; for a beer of this style, however, the lack of carbonation works very well - I may even prefer it

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2009 21:24:14 | More by brentk56
Photo of nmann08
nmann08

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

11-15-2011 17:54:55 | More by nmann08
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, not sure where to even start with this one. I had been looking for it for ages. Something about it I just really needed to get my hands on it, and had not had much success. Step in a wonderful trader who recently was kind enough to send me a bottle to enjoy. I took this one outo f the fridge straight away last night and used to for my long and involved nightcap. A very nice 2006 vintage, this one was listed as 11% ABV on the bottle.

The pour was very nice, a rich reddish tinted amber liquid came gurgling out of the bottle. Very nice head on this, perhaps two inches in height before settling down to a thin brown across the top that lasted throughout the rest of the session. Very nice side glass lacing as well as a good amount of haze and sediment mixed in here. The aroma was beautiful. Rich, elelgant, decadent, with notes of funk coming through straight away. Nice sour fruit notes, woody with the barrel aging in full effect from the first sips. Not much in the way of alcohol here, quite the contrary as it seemed more vibrant and alive.

The flavor was to die for. Started out with the most perfect feel I could have imagined. Rich and medium boided with the perfect amount of carbonation to balance it. I was thrilled the moment it hit my toonge. Sour funky notes riddled throughout this oak like flavor. Very woodsy and barnhouse hay like flavors coming through very nicely. Touchs of peppery spice mixed in as well. Fantastic dry, champagne like finish left this long lingering flavor in my mouth that just would not quit. I picked up no hints of alcohol in this thoughout the session, and maybe it was the couple years it had on it, not sure, but needless to say, this was beyond good.

Overall I was blown away by this one. I knew it would be good, I just did not think it would be this goo. Rich and full, vibrant and yet mellow and subdued. Easily one of the best I have had in a very long time and I would seek this one out again with no issue at all.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2008 04:41:11 | More by mikesgroove
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Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of IMtheOptimator: Poured a medium amber color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention or lacing. Aroma of oak and tart is pretty enticing. Taste is a mix between some sweet malt, oak and some vinous character. Body was about medium full with some very low carbonation. I could not detect any alcohol which is quite a feat at 14% but could feel the effect afterward. Interesting combination between the malt presence of a Biere de Garde and a Flander Red oak presence.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2007 20:07:16 | More by Phyl21ca
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect

Kentucky

4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2013 20:02:56 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of acurtis
acurtis

New Jersey

4/5  rDev -7.4%

08-12-2013 23:07:23 | More by acurtis
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Richard for sharing this bottle from 2006.

A: The pour is a nice copper color with a light tannish head and some nice streaks of lacing.

S: A lightly tart nose with notes of cherries, grapes, and maybe even some strawberries. A slight sweetness from the fruit aromas, too.

T: There is an interesting combination of tartness and sweetness, almost similar to a Flanders Red/Brown ale. Nice lactic sourness with slightly sweet cherries and grapes and a bit of leather and earth.

M: The body is medium with a moderate but lively carbonation to it.

D: I have enjoyed all the bottles of this that I've tried, but for the price I have a hard time buying them. Still a good beer, however.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2010 16:59:09 | More by womencantsail
Photo of ygtbsm94
ygtbsm94

Virginia

3.5/5  rDev -19%

01-10-2012 06:17:28 | More by ygtbsm94
Photo of kjkinsey
kjkinsey

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

09-16-2012 03:29:31 | More by kjkinsey
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.6/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 vintage.

Appearance: Pours a murky, mahogany-hued body with a flourish of angry, fizzy carbonation that dies suddenly, POOF, leaving you with a slim, beige ring.

Smell: That aroma houses vague notions of bready malted barley, a round robin of lightly tart fruits, hint of lemon, and plenty of resolute, strongly aromatic phenolics, as if some sneaky joker dosed my glass with a drizzle of Italian dressing.

Taste: A predominately breaded maltiness with some minor influences of caramel, though effectively no real sweetness to it. Even early into the first opening sip those punchy, funky phenols are building up on the tongue. Various fruit flavors and tartness are interwoven into the taste, some cherries, some non-identified berries, some strawberries maybe. Small squirt of citric lemon juice. Fair degree of oak character throughout. Dry, warming, phenolic finish with one last zip of tartness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high carbonation. The lively effervescence gives the mouthfeel a nice fluffiness.

Drinkability: Like that time I drove out to Myrtle Beach, it makes for a reasonably decent, one-time visit. However, with the alcohol, palate-wearying phenols, and hefty price-tag, I just don't see myself returning to it.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2010 20:17:39 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of Texasfan549
Texasfan549

Texas

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

03-06-2014 02:41:15 | More by Texasfan549
Photo of spycow
spycow

Illinois

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

01-18-2013 04:41:39 | More by spycow
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

10-31-2013 14:59:20 | More by GRG1313
Photo of Knapp85
Knapp85

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 Bottle: This beer poured out as an interesting looking reddish color. The head came and went fairly fast. The aromas of oak, funk, sour cherries and some wine-like fumes come off of this beer. The taste of the beer gets better as it warms up. I found this beer to be very tart and sour in the beginning. As it got warmer, the funk and oak flavors came out more and took over in place of the sourness. The mouthfeel had a pretty good carbonation to it but was a little thin I thought. Overall it's a good sour for sure. I'm not a fan of the style but I feel it would please most beer drinkers.

Serving type: bottle

07-15-2011 19:34:08 | More by Knapp85
Photo of TMoney2591
TMoney2591

Illinois

4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a snifter at Local Option.

2011 vintage. I've been eying this beer (at least mentally) for years, so I'm pouncing on it here at LO while I can. It pours a hazy copper-amber topped by a half-finger of glowing lightly off-cream-white foam. The nose comprises red wine vinegar, buttery toffee, light walnut, almond, and spicy greens. There's a lot going on here in the aroma, including a few things I can't quite put into words properly. Suffice it to say it's sour, lightly buttery, lightly nutty, and lightly spicy. The taste brings in more of the same (with the same sort of complexity), with the vinegar coming through as more of a citric-ish sourness. The body is a light-leaning medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda lightly gooey feel. Overall, a very nice, highly complex beer, one that's a struggle to wrap my brain around, and I'm all the happier for it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-28-2012 18:18:51 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of emerge077
emerge077

Illinois

4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decided to crack an '06 bottle, it was a gusher! Definitely more carbonated this time around. A glowing burnt umber red. Aroma is musty cellar, oak barrel, leather, grape and berries.

2nd pour, inital cheesy lactic yogurt notes in the nose, a finger of tan foam. The added carbonation certainly improves the feel.

Taste was tart and reminded me very much of Jolly Pumpkin La Roja. At room temperature there was a noticeable vanilla flavor, that I don't remember from past bottles. Definitely a good amount of complexity there. A sipper and one to share, though i've spent a couple hours already working on this one.

Recommended if you are into Flanders-style red/brown ales, which this most resembles.

Original review 11-06-2006:
Very interesting new entry listed on the Hopleaf bottle menu.

This is one I was excited to try...especially after trying Le Meule from this brewery. Notable quotes from the menu: "Aged in wooden casks previously used to age Merlot, Merlot Cabernet, Whisky, & Grappa...then blended from different casks for optimal balance & complexity." Whew.

So I convinced some wine drinkers to try it, and they were impressed, if not a little confused by it. Definite grape character, with some tannins in the dry finish. Not as woody or spicy as I had hoped, but it certainly exemplifies the cask-aging and blending described above. Nose is pleasant, subdued grape & currant, and a little boozy. Appears to be a dark garnet color in the highlights, with fizzy skim of foam that dissipates quickly. On the palate it has some fullness, like a red wine, but not in a flowery or fruity sense. Carbonation is moderate, finish is dry and somewhat tart.

Recommended for fans of Lambics, Sour Ales, or wine.
Planning to re-rate the cellared '05 "#276" to add to this bare review.

Serving type: bottle

07-11-2009 23:22:42 | More by emerge077
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy and dark amber. Not much carbonation - a gentle pour leaves a small ring of head around the glass.

Smell: Very oaky, mild sourness and sweet, acidic fruit. There's a slight mustiness to it as well, which probably comes from the yeast.

Taste: The oak is very up-front here and blends pretty nicely with the sour, fruity backbone. The sweet, sugary vanilla character that I normally associate with oak-aged beer isn't very present here; it's more tannic and dry. Very minimal hop presence, but it's already a complex beer.

Mouthfeel: As mentioned above, this has very little carbonation, which sets it apart from most Belgian-style ales.

Drinkability: The high ABV is hard to detect amongst the plethora of other flavors - this is really complex stuff. That doesn't necessarily mean it's an amazing beer. While I definitely enjoyed it, at $22 a bottle I think there are better options out there. I probably would have appreciated this more at half the price. As it stands, I felt somewhat underwhelmed.

Edit: Tried this again on tap and found it quite good, so my scores have been bumped accordingly.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2007 21:40:36 | More by largadeer
Photo of JAHMUR
JAHMUR

Connecticut

4.75/5  rDev +10%

11-15-2011 00:08:35 | More by JAHMUR
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.7/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

gorgeous burgundy color, small, soon gone head...

aroma: port wine, sherry, sour and funky, sour cherries, nearly lambic-like, ...deep and lovely, urgin me to drink...

amazing! so many layers of flavor, there's the snap, there's the mellow fruit, lots of cherries, grape, ...there's the bitter twang, the sour smack, ...it's wine, it's whiskey, it's a liqueur, ...it's an ale. And when it hits, it's transformative, sends shudders throught the senses....once it hits the lips, it's sooo goood!

Ever since I first tasted this, never having heard of it, when Brad the Beerguy brought a bottle to Town Hall and I happened to be at the bar, he shared a little with me, another client, and Mike Hoops, ...I loved this amazing mix of gorgeous flavors. Sop few bottles, so expensive, showed up at so few stores, so far away from me. What was that, two years ago....or does it seem that long ago? And then there's the expense....$20+? Well, if this damn good, isn't it worth the expense? If there's nothing quite like...yes.

Juicy, fruity, uplifting, ...lovely, lovely, lovely...break this out at dinner with wine loving friends, and see how they react when you tell them it's beer...from Switzerland...made by cats!

15.%...not that huge in wine circles, but for beer...not so scary, either...fairly even handed...relax, it's only beer...mmmm, beer...

how many barrels was this one in? Merlot, merlot cabernet, grappa, whiskey???....I don't know, but it's beautiful...absolutely...

the Swiss French Belgian beer like wine made by cats who are saints but are named after dogs! Gotta love it!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2007 07:28:08 | More by feloniousmonk
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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
96 out of 100 based on 689 ratings.