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

289 Reviews
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Abbaye De Saint Bon-ChienAbbaye De Saint Bon-Chien

Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Switzerland | website

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ggaughan on 06-07-2006

User Reviews
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Reviews: 289 | Ratings: 1,038
Photo of Kurmaraja
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers and, somehow, more than the sum of its parts. Beautiful aubern / caramel tone with crystal clarity ... light and loose head. No real lacing, just clinging spots. The aroma isn't generally deep. Just a sherry, red wine sort amped up on some vinegar acidity - sharp apple cider, caramel undertones, nutty, oak, acidic white grapes, taut. Flavor follows through and it lingers ... light and acrobatic.

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3500th review! 375 ml bottle into tulip glass; 2013 vintage, blend #6. Pours slightly hazy reddish copper color with small off white head with decent retention, that reduces to a ring of lace that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tart cherry, raisin, plum, prune, berry, red grape, apple, vanilla, toasted oak, brown sugar, toffee, leather, light red wine vinegar, musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, dark bamt, and oak barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big tart cherry, raisin, plum, prune, berry, red grape, apple, vanilla, toasted oak, brown sugar, toffee, leather, light red wine vinegar, musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Moderate fruity/tannic/acidic tartness and slight oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, raisin, plum, berry, red grape, apple, vanilla, toasted oak, brown sugar, toffee, leather, light vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, dark malt, and oak barrel flavors; with a fantastic sweetness/tartness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, fairly acidic/tannic, and slightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible sour biere de garde style. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, dark malt, and oak barrel flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV. A highly amazing offering all around.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

October 2007 Vintage. Served in a wine glass. No idea where I bought this; probably Binny's or West Lakeview Liquors, although it could be Sam's or Armanetti's for all I know.

A - Thick off-white foam quickly sizzle to a partial collar of bubbles. Blood red body that is murky, but never turbid. No lace.

S - Sour cherries, oak, and pretty heavy in acetic acid. There's some musky funk to it along with a still-present fruity malt bill. Very Flanders red in flavor profile. Always found it funny that this and its brethren were listed as Biere de Gardes. Still potent and punch after 8 years of aging

T - The flavor hasn't held up quite as well, although it's still quite nice considering it's nearing a decade in age. Quite sour, but with notes of red licorice, tart cherry, red wine, and oak. Malt imparts a fruity cognac note. There's a bit of oxidation, but nothing overly distracting or offensive. Finish is a tad medicinal amid the acidity.

M - Oaky, tannic, and fairly dry. There's a bit of lingering stickiness, but not what one would expect from an 11% brew. Carbonation is present but unobtrusive. No obvious alcohol; dangerously drinkable.

D - One of the classic brews that every beer lover should try. Definitely related to the Flanders family in Belgium, but also somewhat sui generis. Eminently quaffable in any case - I will probably manager to put down a 750ml bottle over the course of an evening. Great substitute for a red wine with dinner.

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Photo of EggsBenny
4.91/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

If you like sours this is a must try. Awesome lip puckering goodness, woody complexity that lingers on the tongue. It's expensive but good at least the ABV is high. Treat yourself sometime!

Many thumbs up.

Also Alvinne Cuvee Freddy Sofie edition if you like this.

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4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer a couple of other times but I am finally taking time to do a decent review. Once you open this beer you can immediately smell how sour it is. Almost no head to this brew. Body is a deep hazy Amber. Nose is of stone fruit and pixxy stix, just so sour. Deep red fruits and wine tannins dance with a consistent sour fell all over the palate. Incredibly complex and just a joy to partake.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap @ Poor Henry's in Montville, NJ.

10 oz pour, 2013 vintage.

Reddish-brown, mahogany color and clear with a small head. Slight chill haze from a cold pour. Complex aroma that really opens up as it warms. Cherry, oak, vinegar, and incredibly sour. The aftertaste is a bit odd, maybe from too much oak? A little alcohol warming coming through in the finish, although I would never guess this was 11%. Very dry. The sourness was a little over the top for me and needed to complemented by some additional fruit or toned down with less oak, a la Rodenbach Grand Cru. Regardless, a real treat to be able to try on tap.

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Photo of Elimav
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A great dark amber color. An apple cider vinegar smell. Has a great puckered feel. The taste is a very sour as it should be. If you like sours you will love this beer!

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Photo of stephens101
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Pours a murky, reddish-brown. A thin froth quickly escapes into the aether. Supremely sour apricots to the nose and I am on a pucker notice from hell. A hint of grain and gum is also noticed. Sweet and spicy and not as tart as expected, but with a touch of pucker at the very end. Still need to take it slow. A bit bready and bretty too. Medium with a persistent fusel heat.

Fine drinking that doesn't sway too far one way or the other but still brings the punch in the flavor department. I would love to have a cellar full of these.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

June 7, 2015

750 ml bottle, snifter

2012 Vintage

A – Deep amber to medium mahogany, a rich pour. Hazy, not particularly high on clarity. A pinkish to light khaki foam stand of about a centimeter sits on top with moderate to moderate-long retention.

S – A massive dose of Brettanomyces, very funky-fruity with an undercurrent of horseblanket mustiness. Fruit is sour cherries, with a twist of raspberry. Some very low bready-floury malt, perhaps some earthy hops peeking out.

T – Sour cherries and tones of Chardonnay grapes, funky Brett but also some lactic tartness on the front and on the finish. Some low bready/crusty malt, and almost no hop impression, not discernible via flavor or bitterness.

M – Moderate-thin body with low carbonation levels. A bit slick up front, but finishes mostly dry. Sweetness is cut through with sharp acidity, likely from lactobacillus. Very little bitterness apparent due to the acidity.

O – The sourness and funk on this is fairly sharp, but does not obliterate the fruit flavors underneath. A very good sour.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the 2012 version

L - Cherry red, no lace, crisp looking.

S - Tart, apples, cherries, poignant.

T - Tart and sour, belgian funky yeast, cherries, black currant, a slight boozy kick at the end. Amazing.

F - Low carbonation. Smooth.

O - Simply one of the best brews I have ever had. Will be a regular in my lineup for special occasions

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
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!

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the 12.69 fluid ounces bottle into a Belgian tulip.

A finger and a half of spritzy oatmeal-colored head forms from the pour and takes its time receding, eventually becoming a thick layer of lace that spreads over the body. Vigorous carbonation surges upwards through all sides of the cherry- and plum-skin- colored body. It's a good-looking beer.

We've got a tart smelling beer here, suggesting cherry and other dark fruit. There's a dark malt and burnt caramel aroma that suggests an oud bruin here too. Vanilla and vinous notes develop too. I'm looking forward to drinking this brew.

Tastes like it smells and that's a good thing. A momentary hint of vinegar but then the tart dark cherry and burnt caramel or caramelized sugar flavor veer this beer into tasty territory. The finish reminds me of a crisp apple with a touch of earthiness.

Yeah, there's a hint of vinegar, but it's minor. Everything from there is delicious tart fruit, burnt/caramel malts, and a slight funkiness. The body is thicker but it drinks refreshing and juice-like.

Quite a beer. Delicious.

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Photo of NateF90
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Split with my better half as a sort of after-Valentine's present. 2006, blended in 2007 aged on oak. Numbered 00276. Mahogany/ auburn reddish brown pour. Quarter finger/ "nothingish" head-wise. Super-chunky. Funky smell. Sweet/ sour on the immediate palate. Pleasant woodiness from the oak and a refreshing astringency due to the aged hops, both as to be expected. The sweetness was coupled to the rest of the flavors in such a way that is to be truly commemorated. Complementary mouthfeel. Aged for 9 years I was expecting something stellar. I was rewarded with an excellent brew with unexpected subtleties. Enjoy it for what it is and what you expect it to be and you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

'07, reviewed 2/7/15

Appearance: Red/brown body with thin head
Aroma: Red cherry, low tartness and just a hint of oxidation.
Flavor: More cherry notes, big oak, a slight hint of tartness.
Mouthfeel: Dissipating and refreshing.

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Photo of OntheLambic
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage 750 ml bottle, blend 8, bottle #276, here we go:

Look (4.25) - Amber to brown in color, auburn when held up to the light. Off-white head receeds quickly to just a sliver.

Smell (4.5): Predominant oak, some cherry, leather, grape must, and funk.

Taste (4.5): Follows the nose, with oak leading the way, and a lot of oak at that. Picking up vinegar, cherry, sweet grape must, acidic, with some funk. Just a touch of alcohol comes through, which is impressive considering the ABV. Nice moderate tartness moves from mid-palate to the back of the tongue and finishes with a dry tannic metallic tinge. Medium-high carbonation.

Feel (4.25): The carbonation is a bit high and distracts from the overall taste of the beer.

Overall (4.5): This is my first Biere de Garde, so I'm not able to say if it holds true to style. That said, it is a nicely complex sour. My only complaint would be the oak is it a bit too forward and overpowers the other flavors. Probably would be a good beer to age a bit longer to see if the oak fades and allows the other flavors to shine through. Although not the same style, I much prefer the Rodenbach 2008 Vintage for roughly the same cost.

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Photo of aleigator
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%

Tap @ Moeder Lambic - Brown color, with coal-red hints, haze, has a thin white head.

Vinous aromas, in which a fermented touch wrapes up ripe grapes. Also cherries, which develop a funky tartness along with musty yeast and oak.

Sourness and wine define a sharp dryness, in which warming spices, a lot of oak and slick acidity create a pleasant complexity. Fruitiness developes berry and lemony hints, as the sourness becomes even more recognizable towards the end. Although the alcohol is well hidden, carbonation is too high for the complex character of the beer, metallic notes disturb the fragile balance, as it rolls over the palate. Giving the beer more time to age might help, as it has great potential.

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Photo of e_dawg
4.75/5  rDev +11%

In normal, dim light where I imagine this beer will usually be enjoyed, a dark but somewhat transparent red orange color is present with no head or lacing, surprising for the high abv.
When held up to light, it shows cloudy, sediment filled pale orange which fades to clear with light green/blue edges in shallower parts of the glass. This is really an odd looking beer when examined closely.

Smells of dark cherries, raspberry, sweet fruit, brown sugar, and I'm also getting vinegar and a hint of soy sauce with oak as pointed out by SpeedwayJim.

Taste is full and rich, initially sweet which quickly shifts to sour and finishes with sweet vinegar.

This is one of my all time favorites. I recommend letting it warm to at least 50-55 degrees before trying because cold refrigeration mutes the flavors severely.

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Photo of Budinetz
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%

Vintage 2011. Bottle #00276

Pours a rich amber, mahogany like color with a 1/2 inch eggshell white head that dissipates very quickly.

Smells of honey, sweet malt, and a slight sourness. Hints of citrus and ripe dates are present as well.

Tastes sweet to the tongue on the front end with a mild tartness on the finish. Quite pleasant aftertaste.

Great mouthfeel! A slight prickliness but the carbonation is very low. There is an amazing slickness on the tongue after sipping. VERY drinkable despite the 11% abv..aye too drinkable.

One of the greatest biere de garde styles I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. Holy mother of delicious! Very well balanced with a lot of flavor. I can't wait to try the other vintages!

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Photo of jellikit
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: ruby red. Hazy. Small off-white head.

S: sweet. Large berry notes. Vinegar.

T: tart. Oak. Cherry. Lingering tartness. Sour. Vinegar.

M: high carbonation. Medium-light body. Puckering. On the dry side? It's difficult for me to tell if this is slightly sweet, or dry; because of the tartness.

O: fantastic sour. Complex flavors that are balanced very well. Will buy again if I am lucky enough to find it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 8/3/2014 at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick, RI served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a coppery red color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains tart berries, wild Belgian yeast and very light malts.

T: The taste starts out tart with flavors of cherries, grapes and raspberries. Then some wild Belgian yeast comes in. The malt character is thin but on-target for the style and provides a good balance. The after-taste is tart.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 750 bottle purchased at The Beer Dispensary in Apex, NC. It was recommended to me by a friend in Belgium. 2012 with 8 notched out.

A - Deep copper with a hazy finish and a limited white head. A slow but steady rise of fine bubbles.

S - Wonderful tart and sour notes with some additional depth of oak, fruit and spices. Very inviting.

T - Loads of sour/tart flavors with great maturity, depth and variation. It's intense but not biting or harsh in any way. You get something different in every sip. The 11% alcohol is incredibly well hidden.

M - Good body with good substance yet it flows smoothly. A low to moderate carbonation.

O - A complex and intriguing beer! So glad I tried it.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.98/5  rDev -7%
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!

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Photo of goochpunch
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage

Pours out a deep, reddish caramel body with a thin, frothed milk head. Smell is of wood, toasted malts, berries, funk, acid, brown sugar. This first flavor impression is acidity, along with light caramel sweetness, chocolate, toasted bread, warm wood, gentle, earthy hop (faintly). Alcohol is very well-hidden, but perceptible. Finishes rather dry. Amazing. Mouthfeel is moderate in weight, with a sharp bubbliness. Acidity strips the tongue. Incredible beer. Not what I was expecting.

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Photo of EGreen
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nice oakey and sour aromas. Very deceptive sour that may be the best balanced sour I've had. Sour clears the way for a nice oakey finish. A very nice beer that really excited me even more on the reemergence of sours in the US. Very enjoyable!!!

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Photo of dar482
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer offers a big punch of tart quality in the front of tart cherry and green apple. There's a musty funk and cork flavor throughout. The beer does not drink like 11%, but there is a bit of alcohol on the back and flavors of a spicy liquor and oak drying.

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
95 out of 100 based on 289 ratings.