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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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

274 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 274
Hads: 961
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 19.63%
Wants: 127
Gots: 204 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes) visit their website

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
Reviews: 274 | Hads: 961
Photo of MattLBC
3.92/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 2011 brew was served in a 5 oz glass so not much head. Color is brownish dark ruby. Nose is a bit sweet & yeasty. Immediately complex on the first sip. A blend if flavors fight to come forward, very enjoyable mouth feel. Some fruity sweetness but the tartness is not hidden either. Definitely worth having another!

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a teku glass. Split with others. 2007 vintage. Let's do this.

Pours a brownish tinged reddish color highly resembling a pinot noir, if it weren't for the elements of cloudiness that are present in this beer. A ton of carbonation and a head about 3 fingers high (off-grey, no less) top the glass, but it recedes rather quickly, leaving behind eventually nothing at all, including no lacing to speak of. Bubbles still glide quite strong towards the top, and sediment is everywhere on this thing, just like a great Flanders red. Viscous and vinous, with a glimmer that you don't see in your everyday sour. Truly an excellent creation here - unique in its own class. (Is it *really* a bière de garde, though?)

Wow, the aromas are all over this thing - quite simply one of the most complex sours I've ever whiffed on. Notes of dried raisins, cherries, green apples, figs, dates, ripe currants, honey, caramel, sour, musty oak softened tannins, and notes of nuttiness, light baking spice, vanilla, and pepper from the wood. Unbelievable stuff - except for the light acetone note that somehow creeps through at the finish. Nearly perfect in terms of its delivery otherwise - the malts, hops, oak, and acetic acid are so well integrated here. So much, you can smell it 5 feet away from you.

The flavor is a little bit more balanced, but it is still undeniably complex and adventurous as far as beers of its kinds go. At first there's a creamy, fruity abundance of red, dried fruits, ranging from cherries to raisins, apricots to overripe apples, and white grapes to tamarind. Then, the oaky sour notes immediately come in, delivering a musty, dry, spicy, and acetic flavor that is impressive as it is definitely tart but enormously restrained in terms of being pucker-inducing. Cinnamon, baking soda, pepper, light vanilla, and musty, old oak and cedar are especially predominant at the finish. Age has done wonders to this vintage - I'd say it's not quite ready, but it's already good enough for drinking. Dry, complex, refreshing, and flavorful - although as it warms up it develops a bit of a burn at the finish. Can't dock it too much, though - this is truly special stuff.

I had the 2011 vintage on tap a long time ago, and was curious to see what age could do to it. 6 years later, a lot is most definitely going on! Unbelievably complex, this drinks like a fine pinot noir from Burgundy, but it towers above most peers of its kind - including most Flanders reds, which this is in the same league as, if not more complex. Excellent stuff, if you can get your hands on this vintage - otherwise, I'm sure most would work. One of the best candidates for cellaring in the beer world, period.

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Photo of dacrza1
4.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

DATE TASTED: August 8, 2013 ... GLASSWARE: Chimay goblet... OCCASION: celebrating birthday #37 in style... APPEARANCE: dense, dark amber-brown body with a single-finger froth that settles swiftly to a ring around an island of softened cirrus... AROMA: incredible red wine waft--especially merlot--takes the nostrils by force; secondary fragrant hops with bubblegum yeasts make this an alluring beer to hover over...a bit of cherries and some plum too...complex...PALATE: incredibly dry, warm, full-bodied mouthfeel--definitely worth a chalice and an evening; three sips to thirty sips, just as easy drinking...TASTE: sour but comfortably palatable; deliciously reminiscent of merlot, with a yeasty component that conflates the grape and rounds it... OVERALL: As farmhouse ales go, this is one beauty that made me buy a Saison Dupont on my last shopping trip, if only because the style, when done well, is inimitable; powerful, delectable, alcoholic but sensible in its balance; bought on a whim, this exceeded my expectations...

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Photo of jrenihan
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Brewed 2007, blended December 2008.

The beer is somewhere between brown and ruby red, allowing a bit of light through. Pour results in a small tan head that fades very quickly.

Nose is a mix of spices, malt and tartness. Lots of plum and other dark fruit, with a pronounced tartness. Yeast is there as well, along with a strong bready malt scent. Lots going on.

Quite tart, with cherry and plum playing a prominent role. A strong spice component. Quite malty, but any sweetness is drowned out by the sour. Oak is significant.

Full bodied, low carbonation. A fair bit of alcohol heat.

Overall, quite good, but not the world class beer I was hoping for. A bit extreme.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

From the 2008 vintage bottle marked 00276. Sampled on July 20, 2013.

The pour has the apperance of a drak red wine more than a beer with a reddish hue, basically no head, and a lightweight texture.

The aroma has plenty of tart, red grape qualities to it with a faint whiff of malts. But it is the sourness that leads the way.

The body is around medium.

Like the nose, the taste has a kind of overripe grape flavor with a sour and sharp bite at the finish. Sour ales are not top on my priority list but for fans of the style it is probably quite delightful.

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Photo of yamar68
4.13/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2010 vintage:

Beautiful burgundy body with an appropriate half finger of beige carb - plenty of legging and minimal lace.

Extremely potent on the nose... fig, red apple, rum, spice and clean alcohol warmth.

Far more palatable than I was anticipating. The booze is prominent but not overwhelming. Papery sour fruit flavors, astringent grape and plum, vinegar, a bit more spice... faint, tasteful oxidation. Really an intriguing beer. Faintly sour, a bit hot, oaky... sweet and tart... incredibly complex.

What a unique treat.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

on tap at beer study in chapel hill .

dark brownish red. no head. mild sourness and cherries on the nose. taste is tart, but not hugely sour. good amount of cherry flavor. vinegar. flemish red characteristcs. extremely drinkable. alcohol undetectable. medium bodied with low carbonation.

overall exceptional. would never turn this down.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.59/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Each time I drink this, I am reminded of how lovely it is.

Depending on which one I've had (I've sampled '06/1x, '09/2x, and '11/2x) and how it is served (the '06 and '09 I've had from bottle only while the '11 I've had on tap only) the appearance is different mostly in head and its retention (the '11 had a much more voluminous, defined, and lasting white foam). The color I can only call (a deep) brown-orange (maybe some rose tint?)

Fantastic vibrancy on the nose and on the palate - a rich, dense mix of rosé and gueuze (more mellow on the tart the newer it is).... choice balance in the malt selection - suggestion of dark crystal malt in flavor and body upfront... brief roundness and sweet/sour before slipping away with mild silkiness and a tiny fizz-buzz, leaving behind a lasting bold vinous (red/white hybrid) fruitiness and mild yet insanely complimentary soft sourness - not front and center, but in ideal concert... hmmmm....

...ugh... I'm finding this one difficult to dissect because I always drink the damn glass too fast and/or drift off into dreamland while savoring.... won't be the last time visiting this, I'm sure

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Photo of beerloverofbham
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed at Brouwer's Sour Fest. Served in a snifter. Review from notes.
Color is a dark orange, like well-oiled saddle leather. Smells of bleu cheese and oak shavings. Very delicate on the palate, with no sweetness and only mildly sour. Lots of funk. Tastes of oak, cherries, and grapefruit bitterness. Little mouthfeel and no lacing. Very complex--probably other things I'm unable to put my finger on.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle served in a snifter glass.

2011 Edition.

A: Pours a light and bit fuzzy amber color forming a small yellow bubbled head witb small retention and only few spotty lacings left in the glass

S: Absolutely delicious in the nose. Sweet grains, wood, grapes, wild yeasts. A bit sour and vinegar but not agressive

T: Slightly sweet upfront. Fruity and woody. Notes of sweet malts, dark fruits, mainly grapes. Wild Lambic like yeasts. In overall a slightly sweet sour beer. Hops bitterness is also there to make it perfect

M: Medium molasses body. Low carbonation. Sour aftertaste

O: Excellent drinkability. Perfect beer. Close to a Flanders Red Ale, I would dare. Even better than the 2010 version

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

2011 Vintage

A: Pours a murky hazy brownish orange in color with a light amount of visible carbonation and a fait amount of brown + golden yellow highlights. The beer has a very thin sudsy light beige head that quickly reduces to a very thin ring at the edges of the glass. Minimal amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of sourness with moderate aromas of grapes, apples, and oak.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of the sweetness of pale malts with moderate to strong flavors of gren grapes and apples. Light to moderate flavors of oak from the barrel aging and a moderate amount of sourness.

M: On the lighter side of medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. LIght to moderate amounts of acidic prickliness and a lightly dry finish.

O: Both the complexity and the strength of the smell/taste of this beer really intensify as the beers warms up. Quite enjoyable and a nice palate cleanser in the middle of a good bottle share.

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Photo of Etan
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 bottle into a tulip.

A: Pours an opaque walnut color with a soft light beige head.

S: Light acetic character, cherry, deep cooked caramel maltiness, plenty of smooth oak tannins, a bit of lactic acidity.

T: More tart cherry, floral, caramelized grain, pleasant vinous notes from the barrel, slight brett gaminess, toffee, a bit of mild oxidation, a hint of warming alcohol in the throat.

M: Medium-bodied with active carbonation.

O: This is pretty nice. Pleasant barrel character with a good balance between the maltiness and acidity. I have a feeling a fresh bottle would be even better, but this has not aged badly at all.

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Photo of tdm168
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to jtd1969 for this pretty incredible share.

A - murky brownish amber with a thin, off white head that leaves good lacing

S - tart, cherries, fruity

T - sour cherry, oak, woody, a bit lactic, tart, alcohol

M - full bodied, warm, well carbonated

This was a really nice beer. I haven't had many in this style, but I found this beer to be very complex and yet approachable. I was impressed with it's depth and character. This was a nice beer sit around and sip on amongst friends. This is probably a beer everyone should try.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
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!

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Coffee District. Served in a Rodenbach flute.

Appearance - Reddish body. No head. Thin collar but surprising lacing. Cloudy verging on murky.

Smell - Low acidity. Big oak. Vanilla and nice barrel character. The acidity is acetic mostly.

Taste - Acetic acid tempered by sweet malts and vanilla barrel character. Oaky flavor is strong, but never overpowers the beer.

Mouthfeel - Heavy. Low carbonation. Difficult to drink, which is normal for BFM, but one of the easier BFM beers to drink

Overall - Complexity is the best aspect of this. Always a fascinating beer from BFM.

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Photo of rangerred
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Thirsty Monk.

Pours a clear deep, dark ruby with just a thin wispy head.

Cherries are very prominent in the aroma along with some funkiness and a little bit of wood.

More cherry and dark fruit in the flavor along with a healthy dose of alcohol and some funk. Hints of molassas and brown sugar along with a moderate tartness leading to a slightly sticky finish.

Overall, an interesting but pretty heavy beer. Not one I would enjoy very often but I'm glad I got to try it.

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Photo of harrymel
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Vintage 2006

Pours cherry red with hints of etches and a very clarified. Smell is initially inky, some acetone, some oak, some cocoa (oddly). Very rich flavor, cherries, raisins, malt, a little malt and some sweetness. Very warm, very robust. There is a hint of sherry. Thin with sharp, spicy carb and a little bit of off dry character. It's alright, I wouldn't buy a second bottle, but I'm told later vintages are better.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a vivid red colour, flat, non-existent head, no lace either. Decent colour, but looks pretty bland.

Funky shit on the nose. Loads of sour notes, with boozey spice as well. Blackcurrant, pepperberries and raspberry, blackberry all with a touch of horse blanket. Refreshing, a bit on the off side and not quite reined in, but hey that's how I like my beers, and my women.

Taste is funky from the get-go: quite vinegary with bacteria all over it. A bit stale and barnyardy with a touch of leather on there. Bitey, acidic notes come through mid-to-late with hints of cranberry, plum and peach as well. Finishes surprisingly clean, but also with a touch of residual sugar, which is unnecessary. Not a bad palate for the style, leans a little lambic-wards but good funks and good tartness, just not quite crisp enough to really hold me.

Big and full body, quite syrupy really. Bit of strip back from the bugs in here, but not too much, leaves a coating on the mouth.

Decent cleanser; could be better. Interesting drop, but it's also good, and points for handling a difficult brief.

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Photo of Jonada
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12.68oz bottle brewed in 2011. Blend 6

Appearance: Murky red-brown color with almost no head. Large off white colored bubbles form a colar around the edges of the glass.

Smell: Tart, acidic, sour cherries, balsamic vinegar, grape. This smells more like a Flanders Red.

Taste: Tart cherries, oak, lactic sourness. Booze is hidden extremely well at 11%.

Mouthfeel: Light, dry, low carbonation. Gentile warming sensation in the back of the throat.

Overall: Excellent sour. Extremely complex and flavorful. I would consider this more of a Flanders Red than a Biére de Garde though. Glad I got the chance to try this.

***Updated review***

750ml bottle. Brewed in 2006. Aged in burgundy casks ans blended in August 2007. Served in a wine glass.

Appearance: Same as the 2011 thought slightly clearer. Less than a finger of head settles to a very thin ring. Carbonation appears low (as stated on the bottle). (4.00)

Smell: Acidic, sour cherry, black currants, leather, oak, hearty red wine, lacto. Really nice save for a slight acetone presence that's not overwhelming but still noticeable. (4.25)

Taste: Earthy red wine, tobacco, sour cherry, slight lacto character, some dark fruit and a mild belgian candi sugar character as well. (4.25)

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, slick mouthfeel with low-ish carbonation. Gentle warming sensation in the chest, but very smooth going down. Finishes dry. (4.5)

Overall: Not as intense as the 2011, but probably more complex and interesting. Either fresh or aged, this beer is worth picking up. (4.25)

In hindsight my original ratings for the 2011 were probably too generous, but they represented my feelings on the beer at the time, so I'll leave them.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at The Local Miami. Served in a Palm snifter.

A- A rubyish light brown with a 1/4 inch off-white head that doesn't retain much before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small patch of surface foam.

S- Very sweet and boozy with a sharp fume of cleaner-like astringency. Sour cherry notes.

T- Swift kick of booze that mellows out into notes of dark fruit and toasty malts. A lot of sweetness that seems to be cooperatively attributed to the high alcohol, yeast and fruitiness. Also some notes of oak and a tartness that's very welcome among the myriad of flavors and strength of the booze.

M- Very thin and dry but also sticky. Medium-low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Wowee. This'll put hair on your chest. Not high on the drinkability scale, but it's good for when you want a slow sipper to contemplate with or enjoy while having a one-on-one intimate conversation with a friend.

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Photo of cnbrown313
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage poured from a 750ml bottle into tulip glass

A - Beautiful light ruby red color with a very small head that dissipates quickly. There is actually some really nice carbonation on this bottle for it being over 6 years old too...

S - Tart cherries, vinegar, spices, herbs

T - Nice sour cherry flavor up front. Followed by some earthy oak-like flavors, and it finishes with some herbal / spices that are hard to identify. TONS of flavors going on and very complex. On a sourness scale of 1 to 10 I would give this a 6 too.

M - Light, dry, crisp mouthfeel which complements the flavors well.

O - The price tag was a little steep (I think it was $27), but this is a world class beer that I would suggest giving a go if you are looking for something unique and complex.

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Photo of sbauer
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a 37.5cl bottle. Brewed in 2011, bottled in 2012. Aged in white wine oak barrels.

A: Beautiful ruby, amber appearance. Minimal lacing and head.

S: Cherry, vanilla, herbal.

T: Young cherry tart, oak vanilla, herbal bitters balanced nicely with the tartness. Green bell pepper. Long-lasting flavor sticks around.

M: Full bodied. Coats the mouth.

O: Very complex oak-aged ale, lots to taste, would avoid pairing with food given the complexity and stand-alone qualities.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.87/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed 2010, Blended 2011. Poured from a 750 ml into a Lost Abbey chalice.

A- pours a dark pink with a 1 finger tan head. Some bubbles and dripping lacing remain on the glass.

S- cherries, deep vinous notes, earthy.

T- tart cherries, bitter and earthy vinous notes, orange peel, alcohol.

M- medium body and carbonation. Smooth start with a dry, boozy finish.

O- 5/10 sourness. More bitter, vinous notes than tart or sour notes. Not sure ifi would spend the money for another bottle.

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

On tap at holy grale Louisville ky. 2009 vintage. Not sure if this is the correct listing...menu says this was aged in a mixture of 11 diff wine barrels...
Look is a deep brown amber with thin rim of head. Aromas of raison, grape vine, oak and dried fruity earth. Taste is superb...raisony dried fruit, cherry fruit, oak and wine. Wow.
It is just superb bitter and sweet mellow. This is fantastic!

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 Vintage:

On tap at Birch:

Extremely smooth. Perfect sour taste (not too overpowering yet not mild either). Very easy drinker. Absolutely delicious. Will make a sour fan of anybody. 4.3

2011 Vintage:

On tap at the Birch.

A - A dark amber color and cloudy.

S - Rich, sour, orange smells. Very robust.

T - Powerful and explosive flavors.

M - Terroir? You bet.

Overall - If you love sour beers, you will love this. If you don't, you will likely still appreciate it. Sours are an acquired taste, and this one is well done. Not my favorite stylew, but wow. 4.15

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
95 out of 100 based on 274 ratings.