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

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-ChienAbbaye De Saint Bon-Chien

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

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
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Reviews: 263 | Hads: 930
Photo of Etan
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (634 characters)

Photo of tdm168
4.28/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (534 characters)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.09/5  rDev -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. (586 characters)

Photo of rangerred
4.21/5  rDev -1.2%
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. (488 characters)

Photo of harrymel
3.68/5  rDev -13.6%
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. (423 characters)

Photo of laituegonflable
3.66/5  rDev -14.1%
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. (1,085 characters)

Photo of Jonada
4.35/5  rDev +2.1%
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. (1,695 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.09/5  rDev -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. (922 characters)

Photo of cnbrown313
4.6/5  rDev +8%
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. (781 characters)

Photo of sbauer
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
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. (481 characters)

Photo of kawilliams81
3.87/5  rDev -9.2%
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. (487 characters)

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.55/5  rDev +6.8%
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! (398 characters)

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.32/5  rDev +1.4%
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 (574 characters)

Photo of CloudStrife
4.39/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle split and poured into a snifter. 2007 vintage. Bottle 00276

A: Pours a hazy copper ruby with a 1 finger off white head. Quick to dissipate it doesn't leave any real lacing.

S: Port wine like smell with a sour twist. Very fruity, oaky and boozy. Fruits are like a fermented dark cherry.

T: Like the smell this is very much like a port in flavor with a great sour twist. Has really had a chance to age gracefully. Very complex beer here. Goes down with one flavor and has an intense tartness after swallowing. Love it.

M: Not a lot of carbonation left in this one. Still a very dry finish. Very warming and certainly a sipper. Real nice feel, makes you want to sip on it all night.

Overall an amazing beer I am very glad I could try. One of the most complex things I have ever tasted. Sweet like a great oak aged beer yet still very sour and tart. (867 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
4.22/5  rDev -0.9%
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. (899 characters)

Photo of Durge
4.59/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rare gem once again procured from The Lion's Pride in Brunswick, Maine. This vintage 2010 brew has a hazy brown color with rusty edges, a polite scattering of off-white bubbles that surround an inner island on top, leaving a respectable lace. The aroma offers a beautiful blend of tart red wine and deep, woodsy malt and intense yeast. A beer you can enjoy just smelling. Wow. The flavor follows with a deliberate lemon sweet tart and briney brown bread malt. Absolutely to be savored! Suggestions of a nice chianti tempered by the deep earthy malt and lemony sweetness. This is so divinely balanced: sweet, tart, seaweed, mellow, sharp. And goes down so easy but you don't want to rush these flavors. There's an underlying vanilla that pushes the malt and other complexities tease the senses. Body is medium-plus, with a somewhat heavy feel, with low carbonation, but just right for this brew. I'm highly pleased and would say this was one of the best flavorfests I've enjoyed for many months. Don't pass on this if you are a fan of the sour/Flanders side of beer love! (1,072 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.65/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Max's in Baltimore. Saw it advertised on the beer list as a "Swiss sour/wild ale"... never heard of that style, so felt I just had to try it. I was not disappointed in the least bit, this was one the best tasting beers I may have had in my life. High alcohol, but completely hidden, superb balance and mouthfeel, fantastic sour and cherry flavors, goes down way too smooth. Was a struggle to just drink it slowly, this one packed a flavor punch and was dangerously good. (484 characters)

Photo of WeedKing4
4.13/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this 2007 edition up in Buffalo. First glass pours a semi-clear dark brown/amber with little head. Second pour was a murky amber/brown with little head again. Tastes sour, with dark fruits, and slight oak coming through in the finish. You can't taste the booze, but you can tell its there with each sip. Not a bad beer overall consider its quite a few years old. Its a sipper, but its not harsh. Would love to try it fresh.

Picked up a coule 2007 vintage bottles. The first bottle caught me by suprise with the big alcohol percentage, so I wasn't quite prepared. The second bottle a few months later however, was tasting delicious. Pours a slightly cleark, murky amber brownish colour. The last pour was hazy with sediment at the bottom. Got about 3 glasses from each bottle. Tastes tart, with cherries and oak coming through with a nice sour mouthfeel. I love licking my lips after each drink of this. This beer aged incredibly well. can't believe I am drinking almost 6 year old beer! Good stuff, a bit pricey though. (1,027 characters)

Photo of mlazzaro
4.58/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle labeled 2010 bottled 2011 #00276
purchased from Craft Beer Cellar in Belmont MA.
Served in Chouffe Tulip

No sound to cap. Beer poured completely still and viscous. They do mention low carbonation on the bottle. Really bizarre looking - no head, murky amber color. I am a little alarmed by the appearance. There is a lot of yeast at the bottom even though it has no carbonation.

Smells fantastic. Dark fruit yeast and a kick of acidity to the nose. Barrel and barrel aged yeast are very present in the aroma. Spicy yeast aroma. I am now less discouraged.

Rich flavor. Nice acid touch at the end. Odd to have sweetness in a sour beer. Works nicely though. Lots of caramel malt, spicey yeast mixed with souring agents, aged in tasty wood barrels. I would have enjoyed a little carbonation. It tastes like it was sugared but didn't bottle condition. The 11% ABV hides that well though.

I am very surprised I enjoyed this beer after watching it pour. Different beer than most. Reminds me of what I imagine ancient beer tasting like. Full of yeast complexity (& yeast), lots of ingredients and low carbonation. However the ABV is probably something proto-beer drinkers didn't experience.

Flavor profile reminds me more of a Flanders Red or a Bruin rather than a Beer De Guard. (1,289 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
3.92/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle, 2009 vintage. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a reddish/brown color with a very thin light tan head that fizzed away immediately. There's a small amount of lacing. The aroma is nice and tart, it smells like vinegar, red wine, oak, tart cherries and some plums. Taste is pretty much the same as the aroma, but with the addition of some lemon. Mouthfeel/body is medium, with low/moderate carbonation. I think this is a good overall brew, but I wouldn't buy it again anytime soon because it's pricey ($22.99 a bottle). With that being said, it's worth trying if you've never had it before. (612 characters)

Photo of beer2day
4.09/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single most expensive beer I have ever purchased ... by a wide margin. Purchased at River City Cellars in Richmond.

2006 vintage. Blended October, 2007. Stamped with 00276 on cap seal, but that seems to be a common number in other reviews and years so I'm not sure exactly what that number means.

Hazy Flemish red pour with 2 fingers of fizzy reddish cream head. Disappears fairly quickly, though, and I'm getting very little lace in my glass. Active carbonation. Very active.

Nose is complex. Oak, red wine, red wine vinegar, aged red meat (I'm stuck on red), sweet cherries and grapes all combine to draw you in. Very nice.

Flavor mimics the nose, with the red wine vinegar and oak taking center stage. Very tart and sour. The sweet cherries from the nose get very tart and dry on the tongue. An arid finish rounds things out. Very sour and very dry.

Feel is hard to describe. Very active, audible carbonation does not translate to a fizzy feel. Not syrupy, but still thick. Slightly resiny, but understated. Compliments the flavors well.

Not my favorite style, but this one was very nice. Still not sure it was worth the money, but a very nice treat. (1,159 characters)

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

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Koningshoeven chalice. Brewed in 2009 by Jérôme Rebetez, blended in October 2010. Stamped 00276.

A: No head tops this tawny, red-amber, translucent, murky beer, but there are traces of lacing. Pretty!

S: A scent in which it is a pleasure to indulge. Deep, oaken vinegars remind me of the finest balsamics. Slightly spicy and very pleasant. Bright fruit and red wine. It reminds me the Rodenbach Grand Cru, a bit.

T/M: Wow! Quite tart and unexpectedly puckery. For such a mild nose, this taste packs a lot of funk. Sour fruit, intense esters, and not much malt base. Lemon juice, light oak, and an occasionally unpleasantly tannic quality. A touch of noticeable nobleish hops. It mellows as it warms -- or maybe my tongue just gets used to it -- but it becomes less mouth-puckering and more spicy.

O: Not quite as good as I remember it on tap, but still pretty exceptional. Highly recommended to anyone who enjoys sour ales of any stripe. I might should have let this one age a while, but temptation got the best of me. (1,058 characters)

Photo of claspada
3.75/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky, mahogany-hued color a slim, beige ring of foam that quickly recedes leaving minimal lacing.

Aroms begin with grainy pilsner maltiness with some lightly tart fruits, hint of lemon and plenty of strong phenolics.

The tastes follow the nose with the same crackery pilsner malts with some complementary light light toasted malt charcter. No real sweetness to it. As it warms the funky phenols are build up with various fruit flavors and tartness. Some cherries, non-identified berries and a small burst of lemon. Oak character throughout.

The mouthfeel is medium-plus bodied with medium-high carbonation. The lively effervescence gives a nice fluffiness with a dry, warming, phenolic tart finish.

Overall I enjoyed this beer but it did not wow me in any way shape or form. The flavors seemed mellowed and slighly muddled together and the aroma was less than impressive. For the cost I would seek something else. (927 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev -0.2%
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 (757 characters)

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
94 out of 100 based on 263 ratings.