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

Abbaye De Saint Bon-ChienAbbaye De Saint Bon-Chien

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

597 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 597
Reviews: 238
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%


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: 597 | Reviews: 238 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of GilGarp
GilGarp

Colorado

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brewed in 2006, blended in April 2007. Bottle #00276.

Served slightly chilled into a chalice, Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien is a deep, murky, redish brown ale with thin long-lasting head.

The aroma of this beer is not far from that of a Zinfandel. It has subtle, fruit, spice, and oak characteristics. The yeast also contributes greatly here.

Flavor is intense and impressive in equal measure. Sweet, sour, tart, and funky. There are cherries, red grapes, and black pepper. The oak barrels used for aging I imagine would have to have been previously used for a red wine. Lots of oak, tannins, and winey elements. Complex and unique for sure.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. It doesn't have the feeling of an 11% ABV beer, probably because it has been aged for so long. Very mellow and fairly well balanced. It finishs dry with a long tart aftertaste.

Overall an amazing and memorable beer. One that certainly bridges the gap between fine beer and wine.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2012 01:13:34 | More by GilGarp
Photo of BARFLYB
BARFLYB

Pennsylvania

4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 2006 bottle split with oglmcdgl at the compound served in a wine glass.

This was a beauty in the glass, dark brown with some plum red when struck towards the light. A nice half inch of faded tan with no sticking on the sides. It dies leaving a small skim around the glass and some sediment seen in the glass. Smell is very big and bold with a wine characteristic, berries, apple and some underlining funk. About the farthest thing from beer I've tasted. Not getting a whole lot of the base biere de garde, but berries, wine, oak, grape and a hint of balsamic vinegar make for a great bouquet. Acidity is at about medium with some tang on the end, about medium build, light carb within a half hour. Pretty great stuff and something to sip on for an hour or so.

Serving type: bottle

08-07-2012 18:05:04 | More by BARFLYB
Photo of EnemyWithin
EnemyWithin

Ontario (Canada)

4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Abbaue de Saint Bon Chien Bottle # 00276 from 2007

Appearance: 3.5
Semi opaque caramel brown with tinge of red. Poured with 1/2 an inch of thin off-white head that almost immediately dissipated into a thin incomplete rim of covering.

Smell: 4.5
In the nose, predominantly a moderate tart sourness with notes of tart candy, with lemon/citrus. Berry fruits (cherry?). Slight perfume/floral notes from the yeast. Also a faint spiciness and dark fruit from the yeast. As beer warms, this becomes more distinguishable. Overall, a few layers that work well and leave me the impression that is it a sour beer.

Taste: 4.5
Quite a few flavors to appreciate. Moderate sourness with notes of lemon and also dry cherry and pepper. Mild soft subdues spiciness initially. Midway get a slight warmth from the alcohol, although this is quite mild given the 11% content. Throughout the whole flavor profile there is a mild caramel backbone from the malt, which offers a balancing dynamic to the other more intense flavors. Finishes with a dry sour fruit finish.

Mouthfeel: 4
Mild to moderate thickness with low carbonation (as noted on bottle). A nice dry astringency as well as a moderate/prominent sourness. Finishes with a slippery acidic feeling on palate. Overall, the mouthfeel completely appropriate for the beer and seems spot on with all the other aspects.

Overall: 4.5
This is truly one of the better beers I ever had. It’s incredibly complex, but refined in its characteristics. It’s also of an at least moderate sourness level which makes it very enjoyable. This is what I expected from the 2007 vintage and it did not disappoint. Great aspects similar to a lambic with soft features typical of a Belgian ale (almost dubbel or strong dark like). It was an expensive purchase at $27, but I would not hesitate to buy it again. The only thing comparable is offerings from Russian River.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2012 12:58:47 | More by EnemyWithin
Photo of Stinkypuss
Stinkypuss

Pennsylvania

4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien
BFM Brasserie Des Franches-Montagnes
Style: Bière de Garde
ABV: 11.00 %

Brewed 2006 Blended 2007 Batch #?

LOOK: 25oz bottle opens with a slight fizzy pop. Pours a ruddy brown color with a bit of hissing champagne like head. No lace, some floaters are along for the voyage.

SMELL: Oaky, slightly sour, malty, wine like, sweet, boozy goodness.

TASTE: Full flavored brew with a nice lactic tangyness at first, giving way to a full on sour as the beer warms. Dusty cocoa, musty basement, nutty, oaky, pretty tasty. Astringent and lightly bitter, with some warming alcoholic heat. Belgian yeast lends subtle fruit notes that agree with the sour and wine like barrel aged aspects.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to full bodied, well carbonated, crisp, but falls flat as it warms.

OVERALL: A very impressive brew, reminds me alot of the regional sour browns of Belgium. Can hold a candle to alot of different brett/wild yeast beers, and has aged gracefully. Could hold up alot longer but drinking fine now.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2012 19:11:00 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of ColForbinBC
ColForbinBC

New Jersey

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2007 vintage, on-cask, served in a tulip

Appears a deep red amber with a fluffy slightly off-white cap. Thick sip marks line the inside of the glass.

The nose is of tart cherries, oak, vanilla, red wine, band-aid funk, and some fusel alcohol. Very well-balanced and bold.

A clean malt backbone with balsamic notes. Oak, cherries, band-aid funk and some fusel alcohol through the middle. The finish is clean, a touch of sugar followed by a sweeping tartness.

The cask fluffs up the body a bit. Creamy and smooth, medium feel with little to no carbonation. The finish is tart and dry.

This guy delivers on all fronts. Smooth, easy drinking with loads of tart fruit and balsamic notes that deliver the sour you crave.

Serving type: cask

05-19-2012 14:02:41 | More by ColForbinBC
Photo of Spider889
Spider889

Ohio

4.03/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unfiltered blood orange color. Very short head the color of antique lace.

Smells wonderfully sour and funky. Raspberry and dank oak.

The flavor is very sour and I found the high alcohol to drink very smoothly. The flavor shows some bitter strawberry green flavor. Also some nice funk reminiscent of dusty attic and old abandoned cobweb.

Overall an excellent beer, but sadly the price tag will edge me out of ordering this more often than I'd like.

Serving type: on-tap

05-16-2012 06:01:00 | More by Spider889
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
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 Damian
Damian

Massachusetts

3.33/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank from a 1 pint 9.4 fl.oz bottle purchased at Liquor World, Cambridge, MA
2006 vintage
Blended October 07
Bottle 00276
Served in a tulip

The liquid poured a murky, crimson-mahogany color. An aggressively fizzy, caramel colored, two-plus finger tall head topped the liquid, but it disappeared almost immediately.

Tart, fruity notes came through in the nose. Funky, but not quite "lambic funky." There was an odd, plastic-like smell that reminded me of Band-Aids. Fusel alcohol notes were also detectible. Somewhat vinous. Moderately malty and sweet. I might compare this to a fruit wine. As the liquid warmed, the "off" aromas thankfully seemed to dissipate and the nose turned much more pleasant. Tart berries (strawberries and raspberries) dominated. The beer also turned funkier (almost lambic-like) but still maintained a bit of sweetness. Much smoother overall.

The flavor profile was tart and fruity up front with notes of biscuity malts and balsamic vinegar. Somewhat spicy in the center. Medicinal on the back end. Cherry cough syrup came to mind. Some strong metallic notes were also present, but they subsided as the beer warmed. The beer finished crisp, dry, oaky and tart. Overall, a bit thin and weak, except for the "off" notes. As the beer opened up, the sourness initially intensified, but it later mellowed out. The overall flavor profile eventually turned smoother and more enjoyable, with the exception of the finish, which became bitter and somehow lost its oaky dryness. The beer continued to get better with time. Tart berry notes were apparent. Good dose of lactic acid. From start to finish, the alcohol remained remarkably well hidden.

The mouthfeel was very surprisingly light, frothy and airy. Far too thin for the style, especially for a "bigger" version such as this one. The liquid initially contained a fine, aggressive effervescence that lent the beer a distinct fizziness. The carbonation eventually settled down to a more appropriate level.

At $27 a bottle, I found this beer to be hugely disappointing. Bottling beers in green glass is always risky. I would love to try a more recent vintage to see if the "off" notes are less apparent.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2012 01:44:11 | More by Damian
Photo of Wadian
Wadian


4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I bought this 2009 Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien in a 750c bottle from Les Halles in Zurich on April 13, 2012.

A: Amber with short-lived cream colored head. No obvious sediment.

S: The oak and tannins from the cask aging were evident, rich and funky. Dark fruits, wood, hints of sweet malt.

T: Rich malt gave way to sherry, hardwood, sour apple and stone fruit. As the beer warmed slightly, vanilla and spice appeared, mitigating the sourness. Really, really delicious.

M: Slightly carbonated, which was surprising. Bright on the tongue, but some body remained - not totally thin. Good complement to the fruit tang of the beer.

Overall: Excellent. The 2009 seems to be ideal right now. I'll save my bottle of 2010 until this time next year...

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2012 21:16:31 | More by Wadian
Photo of shleepy
shleepy

California

2.73/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from 750mL bottle into tulip glass.

A: Hazy, dark amber, with some sediment visible throughout. Mostly flat.

S: Sourness and mild funk, cherries, oak. It's a strong smell, but not altogether good. The combination of everything is not well-balanced.

T: Like a much less refined Red Poppy Ale. Nothing too overwhelming, but there's some bitterness, maybe even hot alcohols, followed by hardly noticeable sourness, oak, and fruitiness (cherries). A bit watery, honestly.

M: Flat, medium-bodied, acidic.

O: Well, it's somewhat sour... But it's not very good.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 06:32:38 | More by shleepy
Photo of mdfb79
mdfb79

New York

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 03/16/12 notes. Thanks to nmann08 for sharing this one. Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip. Label says 2006, bottled in Oct 2007.

a - Pours a deep reddish brown color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of sour fruits, oak, wine, tart cherries, earthy notes, and some grapes. Very nice and a lot of sour fruits, though it isn't overly tart. Like the nose a lot.

t - Tastes of sour fruity malts, dark fruits, sour cherries, oak, earthy notes, tannic. Again, very nice. Not quite as sour as the nose, a tiny bit sweeter.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Not a lot of alcohol, was surprised it was 11% ABV.

o - Overall I liked this beer a lot. I've steered away from these beers because of their price tags, but I liked this one a lot. Will certainly pick it up in the future.

Serving type: bottle

03-23-2012 13:56:10 | More by mdfb79
Photo of DCon
DCon

Missouri

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a 1 PINT 9.4 FL.OZ. bottle of this from the Wine & Cheese Place in Ballwin, MO for $26.99. Poured from the White Labeled bottle w/ a Cat dressed as a poet, writing in a book & the BFM logo in red into a 12oz Snifter Glass. Has 2007, Blended in October 2007 on the front. (This Edition Aged in Oak Barrels). This will be #2 on the review.

STLWill also brought a Vintage of this beer to share side by side & has 2006, Blended in August 07 on the front. (This Edition Aged in Burgundy Casks). This will be #1 on the review.

Aroma 1- Huge sourness and obvious aging. Like a flanders red with the fruit and mild cellar like attributes. Light red wine at the finish of the nose.
Aroma 2- Big sour cherries, barnyard, and a good amount of oak is in this aroma. More like a Fruit Lambic aged in oak.

Appearance 1- Pours no head and has no lacing afterwards. The body color is a dark copper color and clear.
Appearance 2- Pours a .5 finger head that dies quick. Has a dark orange body with good clarity. Leaves no lacing behind.

Flavor 1- Had a wine like flavor all the way through with plums and dark fruits included. A nice amount of malt and cask flavors are found as well.
Flavor 2- Awesome sour attributes from the beginning including barnyard and goaty notes. Has a light vinegar taste at the finish.

Mouthfeel 1- Light Bodied, Light Carbonation, Smooth, and leaves wine, oak finish on the palate.
Mouthfeel 2- Light Bodied, Medium Carbonation, Easy puckering on the finish and sour notes that stay favorable and doesn't overpower.

Overall Impression 1&2- While enjoying side by side, the 2007 version was much more sour and found we both enjoyed this one more. I'm not sure what I think about the price of these brews yet... There are plenty of Biere de Gardes and other Belgian/French style beers you could get for your buck besides this one. I would recommend grabbing a 2007 over the 2006 in my opinion. Happy to have finally enjoyed this after buying over a year ago!

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2012 18:52:05 | More by DCon
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27

New York

4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This one is tawny, old copper and almost clear, with a big, quick, off-white rocky head that drops to nothing leaving no lacing. A thick viscous film is left on the glass while ruby highlights can be seen when backlit. There is some sediment as well.

The aroma is sharp and sour with strong red wine, notes of alcohol fumes and spice.

Funky, earthy flavors allow some cherry and apple for a good balance between tart and sweet. There is a suggestion of fruitcake and oak. The finish is long and tart. With warmth a background of whisky can also be found.

From a tulip glass, this one is fairly acidic with a full body that is almost dense, with lively carbonation, the texture of silk, and warming alcohol.

One would expect this style to be good with food, contemplation or reading, and Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chein delivers. I am reminded of wing chairs and leather-bound books.

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2012 13:10:16 | More by SLeffler27
Photo of lacqueredmouse
lacqueredmouse

Australia

3.05/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Uncaps without any kind of carbonation hiss at all. In fact, I was almost shocked when it uncapped like it wasn't at all sealed.

Pours a completely flat, uncarbonated, but a pleasant deep ruby-brown colour. No head to speak of, and even the body itself looks disturbingly thin, and not at all a match for its purported 11% alcohol. I'm dubious and a little hesitant.

Nose is slightly acidic and surprisingly sprightly for its flatness. Some hints of oak and aromatic grains give it a lift that also hints at baseness. Booze is noticeable, but not overpowering, and most of it is attributable to the oak flavours in any case. Not bad.

Taste is also a little flat, but depressingly, not obviously oxidised—if it were, I would be happy believing that the bottle I got was improperly sealed and write it off thusly. It just has a faint, bland oaky nothingness to it, that relies much on the conditioning of the beer and very little on its innate quality. Some acidity, especially on the front, which gives it a vinous quality, and a hint of spice on the back that gives it a tonic quinine bite. Feel is quite smooth, but flat, and the booze is actually remarkably well hidden.

It's a confusing beer this one. I'm certainly not wowed by it, nor particularly enamoured of it at all, but it has enough interest to keep you hoping. That's worth something at least, even if for me, my hopes ended up in disappointment.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2012 09:38:54 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of stewart124
stewart124

Ohio

4.25/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark copper in color with zero head.

Nose has some dark candied fruit aromas with just a hint of sourness.

Ah there is there sourness I expected. Little carbonation with a very dry finish. This is all about age and sour notes. Very easy to drink with plenty of white wine notes and some oak/earthy characters. Easy to fall in love with this beer de garde.

The 11% alcohol is so well hidden. You could consume many of these beers before figuring out that it will sneak up on you. Lemon notes with the sourness but generally just so easy to drink. Delicious.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2012 04:20:23 | More by stewart124
Photo of b3shine
b3shine

Ohio

3.78/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Dutch's (served in a snifter). Looks decent, although there's no head or carbonation to speak of. Smells good; nice and tart. Tastes good too; the age has helped marry all of the flavors together. Mouthfeel is the weakest link; very pedestrian. This is mostly due to the lack of carbonation. Overall, a privilege to get to try, but slightly disappointing (just because my expectations were so high). I'm not a fan of flat sours.

Serving type: on-tap

02-25-2012 23:24:51 | More by b3shine
Photo of jmarsh123
jmarsh123

Indiana

4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my friend Dave for bringing this to my party. I knew nothing of this beer going into it.

Pours a murky orange red color with a 1/2 finger off-white head leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

Initial aroma is very much vinegar although as it warmed a bit a lot of the oak character came through in addition to some underlying funk with notes of hay, red grapes, apple and cherry.

Flavor is magnificent. Very biting sourness starts out with some strawberry and lots of grape. Almost wine like fruit character. A little bit of an earthy funk and a touch of spice before finishing almost bone dry with heavy oakiness.

Creamy mouthfeel with medium carbonation levels. I didn't know the ABV on this one until after we were well through the bottle. It hides it amazingly well as I just assumed it was around 6% until looking.

A pleasant surprise that wasn't on my radar at all. I loved this beer and will be seeking it out again. Overwhelming sour and loads of complex fruit flavors with the perfect amount of oak to balance it all out. In a night with a ton of great beer, this one ranked right up with them.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 15:01:34 | More by jmarsh123
Photo of LiquidAmber
LiquidAmber

Washington

3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duchesse de Bourgogne goblet. Pours a dark red-orange amber. Thin, fine off-white head that has good retention and light lacing. Aroma is sour, vinegar, ripe apples, cherry. Flavor of tart light fruit, cherries, apples, apricots; sour and vinous. Flavors are well integrated and nicely supported by the oak components and the background neutral malt. Unusually well blended sweet and sour fruit and dry woody flavors. Medium to heavy bodied with nice carbonation considering the thin head. Sour beers are always a gamble for me and this was quite expensive, so I'm glad that it is so pleasant and well made. The best biere de garde I've had. 2007 bottle aged in my cellar for over a year.

Serving type: bottle

02-02-2012 04:14:09 | More by LiquidAmber
Photo of donkeyrunner
donkeyrunner

Massachusetts

3.45/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Muddy, light apple cider color. Bubbly head is quick to fade to a thin crescent half ring then vanish completely. I guess I wouldn't be too pretty if I was sitting in a barrel since '08 either.

Smells extremely wood with hay and plenty of sourness. Tastes equally woody and equally tart. Mild copper taste. Low to non-existant carbonation. A hard to describe beer.

This one ranks high on the umami meter.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2012 14:46:40 | More by donkeyrunner
Photo of Falcon91Wolvrn03
Falcon91Wolvrn03

California

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

“Brewed in 2009, blended in April 2010”, and opened in Jan 2012. I’m certain the bottle was mislabeled in saying “12.68 Fl Oz.”, as it looked like a 750ml (25 ½ oz) bottle.

Appearance – Pours an opaque burgundy color, with large bubbles that leave a spotty lacing.

Smell – Vinegar, sour ale, grapes, cider, cherries, oak, and spice. It’s quite pleasant after the initial vinegar hit. The more I smell it, the more I like it.

Taste – Sour with cabernet wine and a hint of oak and vinegar. Very complex. I really enjoyed drinking this – a fine example of a Bière de Garde! Far better to me than their Grand Cru.

Mouthfeel – Lightly carbonated and smooth. A bit sour.

Drinkability – I like this beer. I easily finished a 750ml bottle.

Serving type: bottle

01-26-2012 08:41:50 | More by Falcon91Wolvrn03
Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
FeDUBBELFIST

Pennsylvania

4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage. Served in a 13oz snifter for $9. Sampled 12/6/11.

A: Pours with nearly no head at all - just a thin incomplete ring of white whispy suds. The body is a rusty garnet color that becomes blood orange when backlit. Hazy with fifty percent opacity. Almost completely still. No lacing at all.

S: A beautiful blend of raspberry, strawberry and cherry. Plenty of aromas associated with sourness, courtesy of [what I assume to be a blend of] pedio and lacto. The malt foundation is very much in the background despite the high ABV, but caramel and toffee sneak in toward the end. Perhaps lightly oxidized.

T: Clenching sourness strains the sides of your mouth right by your jaw. I can only imagine how intense the tongue-thrashing would be if there was a normal amount of carbonation. Amply sweet but the sourness and tartness remain to be the standout flavor. The ABV is a mindfuck.

M: The low levels of effervescence probably make this beer a little easier to drink. Very thick, full and chewy body. Again, rather still and possibly even a little cloying.

O: This beer is good where it counts. Even at $9 for a small pour, I had to have another.

UPDATE: Just opened a bottle that I've been sitting on for a while. 2006 vintage (blended in August of 2007), batch or bottle number 00276. I paid $27 for the 750mL.

The appearance shows improvement compared to the tap serving. 3/4 finger head plus some visible life in the body. Not a considerable development on the nose over the last 4 years. But the older bottle is just as fantastic as the younger draft pour. Small drop off in flavor. The integration isn't quite as successful. All of the same wonderful fruit tones are there, but more pitty and approaching overly ripe. Perhaps a low level of oxidation. Sourness is slightly tamed as well. The carbonation is significantly better. Not cloying at all. It was nice to see how the age and serving type affected my impression of this beer. Both versions are great, however, fresher and from the tap is my preferrence.

4, 4.5, 4, 4.5, 4

Serving type: on-tap

01-21-2012 11:44:38 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of impending
impending

California

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A

A 2009 750ml into a tulip. Pours a murky dingy drab butterscotch, large bubbled tiny head, no lacing.

Aroma is a delight with strong vinous qualities atop a small sour apple. Complex, great depth, delicious.

Flavor continues the complexity. The sour indeed is a small green apple married to an unripened apricot. Sour appears after an brief initial velvety caramel sweetness and disappears before mid way into the aftertaste which begins sharp and dry. Only a tiny bitter. An echo of the flavor lasts forever. Thin to medium bodied smooth mouthfeel. Achieves another level of delicious near room temp.
cheers
jd

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2012 06:19:54 | More by impending
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

4.65/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

2010 Vintage

A-Pours a handsome crimson color. Brilliant when held up to the light. Filmy head that is quite light but does retain and leave lacing splotches. Very attractive.

S-Aroma is tart and funky sour with some awesome vinous notes. Oak is quite detectable. Juicy fruitiness. Light alcohol. Cherries and grapes of course. Very excited to take my first sip.

T-Flavor is rich and royal. Tartness is perfectly set. Oak slithers onto the palate after the initial tartness. Oak really lasts too. Excellent wine characteristics. Red tart fruits. Alcohol masked to a unbelievable degree of expertise. Just a ton going on here and its all great.

M-Thicker, creamier, and fuller than expected (which is very enjoyable) I can really feel the sturdiness of the body with each sip. Carbonation is mellow. Smooth but dry all-in-one.

O/D-Quite pricey, but I think this is a must try. Expertly crafted. Delicious and complex. One word synopsis: regal. Would love to try older vintages. Just a splendid beer that must be enjoyed slowly in order to truly grasp the depth and quality found here.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2011 00:45:01 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of Neffbeer
Neffbeer

Pennsylvania

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Marked: bottled in April 2010, brewed 2009.

A: There is a slow forming head that cascades to surfaces seconds after the pour. It manages to muster a decent looking one finger head that recedes quickly forming a small foamy cap on the beer. The body displays perfect clarity, a burnt amber color with sienna hues.

S: Initially what wafts from the glass is tart cherries and raspberries with a bit of lactic sourness. The more it warms the funk becomes more evident with leather, and musty blanket emerging along with distinct notes of the oak barrels. Overall a very vinous complex nose.

T: The oak is much more dominant in the flavor with tannic bitterness greeting my palate first. Cherries, raspberries and other vinous fruits grab hold mid-palate. It has some residual jam like qualities for sure. It finishes with some toasted grain, chocolate and another friendly greeting of oak.

M: Medium to light bodied with subtle carbonation. All in all this is a very "wine-like" brew.

D: For me this is a beer from another world. It drinks like a sophisticated aged wine should, but with loads of complex bright flavors. A bit of a head scratcher in a good way. Next time I will be sure to pair this with a meal or some Hors d'oeuvres.

Edit: Just poured the second half of the bottle at around 64F and got a massive off-white head. This beer is not meant to be consumed below 60F. Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2011 22:54:21 | More by Neffbeer
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a small snifter glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: As served the beer is a murky flat medium brown color with a bit of a reddish tinge, but with no head to speak of, only a few bubbles that quickly disappear. Sipping leaves no bubbles or lacing.

Smell: The aroma is clean and faintly sour with noticeable traces of the oak in which the beer was aged for a while. There are some ripe fruits, including cherries, along with touches of light caramel from the malts.

Taste: The single best word to describe the flavor here is “complex,” and teasing out the various components is a delightful challenge. As expected from the nose there is some oak and a variety of fruits including several types of berries

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied and the carbonation is almost non-existent. The finish shows no alcohol but is complex with tart fruits and traces of oak.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I found this one easily drinkable despite the ABV. Each sip came quite easily and I often found myself sipping more rapidly than I had intended as I sought to sort out the complexity of aroma and flavor. I’d definitely have this one again. My overall impression is of a first rate beer which may come up short on appearance but more than makes up for it on aroma and flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

12-14-2011 02:00:24 | More by drtth
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
95 out of 100 based on 597 ratings.