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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

711 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 711
Reviews: 244
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 95
Gots: 139 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes) visit their website

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: 711 | Reviews: 244 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Knapp85


3.7/5  rDev -14.4%

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

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


4.03/5  rDev -6.7%

Shared at Jackie O's by Johnny, one of the Bodega/Jackie O's bartenders.

Not much of a looker. My glass had no head and it was very rusty, murky looking golden orange.

Funky and tart, not what I expected but very nice. Lots of apple cider and cherry notes come out along with a good deal of dusty yeast. Time worn oak, plum skins, cherry pits and crab apples.

Tart, but not bracingly sour. Lots of funk takes the place of the rest of the sourness. Lots of dry, hay dust style of funk. Things get really cheesy, like goat cheese, by the end. There is a nice, juicy spike of cherry sourness that comes along with it and helps it move along.

Dry and dusty. The tartness keeps the gritty dustiness from weighing you down. There is a considerable warming effect from the alcohol, not many beers like this are 11%, but this one hides the abv well.

This was really nice. It does to show you that there are plenty of unknown, obscure beers that you might gloss over that turn out to be real winners.

07-04-2011 20:48:35 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of blackie


4.83/5  rDev +11.8%

a: served in a small thistle style glass, the beer is a deep amber in color, opaque, with a well retained layer of carbonation and some lace

s: gorgeous aroma, listed on the menu as a sour and that side really shows here - lots of tart/sour both bacterial and fruity, some dark vinous tannins and boozy spirits, woody oak, a sweet grainy malt side, rich and powerful but artfully balanced

m: carbonation low, light-medium body, smooth

t: loads of sweet-sour fruits, vinous tannic flavors, fruity/sweet malts well offset by a rich funk, solidly oaky, bacterial tart and sour cherry edges, benign aged hops, lightly sweet booze, complex and delicious

d: love this - loads of rich barrel and fruit character with a solid sour/funk throughout, drinks incredibly well for an 11 percent beer

consumed at Thirsty Monk, Asheville

06-17-2011 03:04:53 | More by blackie
Photo of stakem


3.93/5  rDev -9%

Big thanks to BA Smoked for just randomly showing up at my house on Monday and saying: "let's drink this!"

I'm not 100% certain this is the right listing but it seems accurate enough. No clear markings indicate this offering is aged in any special type of barrel. This is vintage 2005 clearly marked as 15.5% alcohol. Bottle# 276

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a snifter, this brew appears a hazed ruby color with a thin finger of tan head that quickly recedes only holding around the rim of the glass. A swirl releases a few bubbles from solution that end up sticking to the glass as the only indication of lacing effect. Some browness and lighter orange to yellow coloration is seen around the edges when held to the light. Some minuscule particulate is seen throughout the body.

The smell of this brew is woody with oak mingled with cherry notes and a light musty character. The alcohol comes across quite fruity in nature but not nearly as solvent or fusel as you would expect for 15.5% alcohol. It has a medicinal touch with the way the cherry fruitiness seemingly dissolves in the nose. Some tangy scents and a wild touch of vinegar are throughout the back.

The taste is lightly oxidized with faint carboard and musty grain flavors. There is a cherry fruit quality that mixes with a taste of oak that creates a deep and earthy touch of funk to this brew. Some light herbal hops are present even after some ~7 years of aging. There is a very bold warming effect from the alcohol which provides the first notion that this beast really is over 15%. The alcohol flavoring evolves into a strong solvent character but remains pleasing. Focusing back to the fair hop inclusion, it seems a bit herbal and grassy. The aftertaste is cherry pits bordering rotten with a touch of tangy wild character somewhat like vinegar. There is a flavor left inside the mouth that tastes of a mixture of soap and perfume.

This is a medium to full bodied brew. The fullness is a bit exaggerated due to the nature of the low carbonation. It is not flat but just slightly bubbly enough to lighten up the feel a bit. The huge alcohol presence provides solid warmth all the way down the throat. A big depth of flavor and barrel aging effect mixed with medicinal qualities. There is a pleasant funkiness that dominates the sour aspect yet it is tangy like cherry. Overall an enjoyable offering that is worth checking out. I think the 15+ % abv is a bit excessive. Toning that down would greatly increase the drinkability of this brew. Even at almost 7 years old, this brew could easily last a few more.

06-15-2011 15:20:57 | More by stakem
Photo of jwinship83


4.33/5  rDev +0.2%

750ml capped bottle. 2008 vintage, bottled 2009. drank from my duvel tulip.

A- the beer pours out a murky/hazy copper meets red colored body with a few light beige colored bubbles for a head. the head quickly fizzles away to nothing and leaves behind a very thin single line of lacing on the side of my glass.

S- as soon as i get my nose near my glass i become alerted that this is a wild beer. a decent amount of barnyard like funk meets vinegar/lactic notes. tart cherries and grapes come in after that. earthy hops at the end. very complex. im getting excited.

T- the taste starts out with some fruity malts and quickly brings forth the wet hay/barnyard funk that reminds me that this is a wild ale. tart cherries spring forth after that, along with a lesser amount of grapes. mild vinegar and acetone notes. earthy hops move in at the end.

M- lightly puckering. the carbonation is on the lighter side which really works in this beer's favor. the body is a solid medium.

O- this is one of the most unknown/under-appreciated beers on the market. it lurks in the shadows of beer stores in the know just to get picked up by people like me. if you havnt tried it and have the option, pick it up. i think its only $20 for the bottle. if you dont know where to get it, ask your local beer store's beer guy to order it. you wont be disappointed.

06-07-2011 05:11:18 | More by jwinship83
Photo of flexabull


4.15/5  rDev -3.9%

2008 bottle tasted blind courtesy of pitasoup, thanks again!

Pours a bright amber, a little on the red side, light haze, and a faint head.

Aromas are sour, in a good way, not the bad infected way. Light cherries, apple cider, light vinegar, and funky yeast. This smells great, and not over the top sour, but in a subtle refined way.

Taste is light up front, some caramel, crisp apple, and sugary. Tastes a bit like a Begian Dubel or Brown. Finish is dry, and faintly sour, some cider vinegar, and a nice cherry tartness. Nice beer, but I find myself wanting a little more sourness.

Mouthfeel is really soft, smooth, with not overly heavy body. Very nice.

Overall, this is nice, very tasty, approachable, and very easy to drink. Like I said earlier, I find myself wanting a touch more sourness, but that's a nick pick, this is good stuff. I would have never guessed that this was 11% ABV.

05-30-2011 23:34:35 | More by flexabull
Photo of jpoder


4.3/5  rDev -0.5%

2006 vintage

a: murky brown. thin white head that dissipated very quickly

s: very nice sour, fruity, cherry. brett funk

t: VERY tannic. once past that nicly sour, fruity (cherry, plum), oak, grape skin.

m: low carbonation, but nice. dry (tannic), but with a lot of body.

overall a very very good beer. if you like rodenbach grand cru, you will like this.

04-20-2011 15:33:57 | More by jpoder
Photo of petacutlasaurus


4.43/5  rDev +2.5%

So, I've been loving BFM for just over a year now. That love began with Cuvee du 8eme and, after that, Tarry Suchong. Loved both. I think they're beautifully understated and reward a drinker's interest and inquisitiveness (both at the checkout and while considering the taste). So for some time I've been going out of my way to find more of their bottles.

When I joined BA, I was surprised to find that Abbaye de Saint Bon Chien was BFM's most drank beer on the site. I hadn't seen it around at all - ever really. But one day, I walked into Connecticut Ave Wine and Liquor, and there it was on the shelf. For a damned $28. I had just dropped a load on Sink the Bismarck, so I was in no rush to invest heavily in another costly beer. So I waited. I bought some Mikkeller's (glad I did), I bought some Bruery beers (almost as glad), but mostly, I waited.

Then I took the plunge, and thank god I didn't wait any longer. This beer is just wonderful. A 2008 vintage, bottled Jan. 2009. Popped it open and split it with my girlfriend in a couple of wine glasses. Once the cork was off, the smell burst out of the bottle. Sour pears and apples first followed by some caramel & cinnamon spice.

Poured and drank, I tasted those same smells, but then some others towards the finish - grapes and wine - a bit tannic. Some welcome Brett as well, complemented by the just-obtuse-enough alcohol (made so by the awesome yeastiness of the beer).

On my way out of the store, my beer bud there and resident expert asked if I planned on aging the bottle. At the time, I didn't think there was any chance I'd drop another almost-$30 to age one, but I'm starting to reconsider. Pick this one up when you run into it.

04-07-2011 23:44:47 | More by petacutlasaurus
Photo of tsboera

North Carolina

3.88/5  rDev -10.2%

(a) 2009 served in a tulip glass. Deep copper color with a beautiful orange glow. Slightly murky, but definitely appropriate for the eccentric style.

(s) Aroma is olfactory overload. Funk from brett yeast, lactobacillus, grape, lemon, fig, pear, apple, sweet caramel, spice, alcohol and earth/wood.

(t) Extremely warm alcohol taste on the tongue. Stale apple juice (I actually like this) and lemon start things off while a hint of caramel malt shows up to balance out the tartness. Wood/oak, earth/dirt finish off this very unique offering.

(m) Quite low carbonation. Body is light to medium-light with a very dry finish.

(d) A fantastic beer from the Swiss!?!The delicate balance of tart/sour, warm alcohol, malt sweetness and wood was right on. I would definitely recommend this beer and I would certainly drink it again...well, if I can afford to. $30.00 a bottle is a bit steep. Cheers!

03-08-2011 01:17:49 | More by tsboera
Photo of timtim

District of Columbia

4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

lots of different variations on this one, so hope i'm reviewing under the correct category. 2009 vintage. blend of merlot, pinot noir, pinot gris and cabernet barrels the menu says. anyways... murky brown with some ruby highlights to it and a very tan head that fades quickly, yet leaves a collar that stays. nose is oak, vanilla, must, musk, currant, sour/dark cherry, prune, plum, acid, alcohol and a funky kind of wild bretty cherry pie character. woah. big, boozy and complex as they come, but warm and inviting at the same time. taste is luscious and beautiful, and exudes fantastic balance of all the flavors noted above. bretty cherry pie and oak stand out the most to me, and alcohol flavor doesn't detract a bit, it amplifies the other flavors just like it should and even comes in to play as a flavor of it's own. medium-full body is slick and silky, leaving a surprisingly clean finish that sends flavors of oaky currant booze out my nose and makes me pucker just a tiny bit. a wonderful sensory experience these ASBC beers are and a real treat to try on tap.

03-06-2011 11:22:33 | More by timtim
Photo of bbarrows


4.4/5  rDev +1.9%

Poured into brandy snifter
The 2009 version, consumed on 2/15/11
A: Translucent chestnut brown, no head, light carbonation
S: Funky aroma, with notes of dark fruit (cherries?), vanilla
T: Funky, lightly sour, sweet dark fruit (prunes, cherries), spicy peppery finish.
M: Light and crisp. The sour and funkyness make up for the lack of carbonation
D: The complex blend of flavors make this a delectable beer, but at 11% one has to be careful not to have too much.

I'm not a huge fan of sour beers, so I haven't had too many, but this one was extremely good. Not puckeringly sour, a good balance of funk and sour.

02-19-2011 23:44:56 | More by bbarrows
Photo of paulozanello


4.38/5  rDev +1.4%

Pours a murky dark brown and red color with a 1 finger white head that persists for only a short time with not much retention or lacing.

Aroma is sweet malts, honey, dark fruits, sour cherries, cinamon and oak. Amazingly complex.

Taste follows nose and begins with dark malts and honey sweetness. Lots of fruity esters follow mainly with plums, grapes and cherries. It ends in a tart vinegary note also with some yeast spicy bitterness. Aftertaste is sweet and sour and induces salivation. Alcohol warmth spreads after each sip.

Body is medium and carbonation is medium to low. Drinkability is fairly high given the abv.

Nice beer from BFM, but I'm not sure if this can be labeled as biere de garde though. It has lots of yeast complexity and I definitely recommend it.

02-15-2011 23:48:11 | More by paulozanello
Photo of glid02


4.2/5  rDev -2.8%

On-tap at the Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta. 2009 vintage.

Pours a hazy amber-copper color with a half-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of medium malts dominated by moderately tart currants and light vinegar. Also present are solid amounts of funk - wet hay more than anything.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as complex. Smooth and medium malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of funk. The funk subsides shortly thereafter and the flavor profile dries up with the addition of tart cherries and currants. The tartness lets up slightly as the fruit flavors carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I think this is one of the few beers that benefitted from bottle conditioning as the bottle was superb and the tap decidedly less so. Still, a very good beer that does a very good job of hiding the alcohol and melding a variety of flavors. Well worth a shot any way you can find it.

02-11-2011 02:20:10 | More by glid02
Photo of Beertracker


3.88/5  rDev -10.2%

BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien (2007) pours up very effervescent creating a pillowy, tannish-rouge head that envelopes the glass, but fades quickly leaving lace in its wake above the hazy, deep reddish-brown body. The aroma is amazingly complex with notes of cherry brandy, cinnamon, hazelnut, oak, treacle & vanilla which carry wonderfully over the fruity, sour cherry maltiness. The flavor starts off just as fruity with some caramel sweetness before the sourness catches hold to carry this one through to a dry, puckering finish that warms the cheeks. A bit one dimensional regarding the sourness/tartness, but lively nonetheless! This most certainly drinks like a wine or even an apertif. Great with a cave-aged cheese e.g. Mimolette & crusty bread!

CHEERS! Beertracker

**Retro review from 11/09**

02-04-2011 19:04:52 | More by Beertracker
Photo of brystmar


4.05/5  rDev -6.3%

Bottle was brewed in 2009, bottled in April 2010.

A: murky brown with minimal head and mild amounts of beady lacing. Not handsome by any stretch, but fits the style.

S: sour fruit, cloves, a touch of booze. Interesting.

T: tart cherries, other fruit, mildly sour finish. Minimal alcoholic warmth, which is surprising when you consider its gravity. Exceptionally smooth.

M: medium-bodied and "swimmy"; perfectly carbonated.

D: this is as drinkable as it gets for an 11% brew. Goes down incredibly easily and invites you back for more with the its draw-out aftertaste. Would be even better with more age.

01-20-2011 08:18:18 | More by brystmar
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.35/5  rDev +0.7%

Split with my wife in our NYC hotel. I like this trend.

Vintage 2008
Consumed August 27,2010

Poured assertively right down the center of the glass, there was virtually no head whatsoever. Hence, no lacing. I am neither surprised nor taken aback, as this is a high abv sour ale, after all. The color is a light copper shade and the beer is mostly clear. The aroma is funky, ala Flanders oud bruin. The beer tastes very nice, with an underlying sweetness that just manages to cut the tartness ever so slightly. The body is somewhat thin, and the finish is quite acetic and/or vinegary, though not astringent or harsh. This is a very tasty beer and definitely worthy of attention, though it is rather expensive.

4 4 4.5 4 4

Vintage 2006
Consumed January 7, 2011

A marked improvement on the appearance, as the beer has an inch of dense head, displays great retention, and leaves ample lacing on the tulip. I'm loving the aroma, as well. It has more funk and must, with prominent oak barrel scents. It seems this beer just continues to improve with age.

4.5 4.5 4.5 4 4

01-08-2011 03:20:27 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of codewarrior

New York

4.47/5  rDev +3.5%

750mL bomber poured into a tulip. 2006 edition aged in burgundy casks, blended august 2007. Bottle number on the tamper-proof strip is 00276.

Found a cache of 2006 and 2007 bottles at Beers of the World, and snagged a few from each vintage. My friend has been raving about this beer and I'm glad it has finally touched my lips. This was our New Year's Eve Midnight beer.

L: Hazy dark apple cider brown, an uncareful pour, with retentive 3-fingers of thick head. Looks unreal.

S: Sweet and sour with cherries and berries and other fruit notes. Slight hint of booze in the back but nothing compared to the 11% advertised on the label. I'm guessing the 3 years on this bottle have taken some of the heat off.

T: Sweet into a cider-y sour with citrus and cherry notes. Caramel with a hint at iron rounds out the middle and then the finish is a lingering wild funkitude. Booze is in the feel, but not really present in the mouth.

F: Rich and thick, a touch under-carbonated and a bit burning in the back, but neither is overly-offensive to my palate.

D: One of the most interesting beers I've had to date. Superior drink-ability for the ABV. Just a phenomenal all-around beer here, nothing like it.

01-03-2011 18:23:07 | More by codewarrior
Photo of clickpush


4.43/5  rDev +2.5%

2007 vintage in widemouth glass. Murky, reddish copper hue w soapy bubbles. Quick dissipation to just a smattering of ace.
Nose is metallic and funky... Apricot, lactic.
Mouth: just super complex and delicious. Sour without being harsh, a bit oxidized to lend a cidery flavor. Strong flavors showing the alcohol content. Very spicy. Herbal roasty finish.
Beer is thin yet coats the mouth. Lacking in bitterness but a bit of peppercorn bite.
Absolutely cannot believe this is 11% abv. Completely drinkable and amzingly flavored.

12-24-2010 01:59:59 | More by clickpush
Photo of nas5755


3.25/5  rDev -24.8%

2005, 15.5% abv consumed 12/18/2010

A very aggressive pour revealed a dark reddish brown beer with a very thin head with large bubbles that dissipated very quickly into a thin white lacing of the outed edge of the glass. The nose has acetic notes laced with lactic notes, the cherries have a very minimal appearance. The taste is very similar to the 11% abv with some very distinct differences are apparent. The sour aspect of this beer is more focused towards the acetic side with some sour lactic notes, the malts are much more pronounced, with a big kick of malty goodies that slightly reminds me of a smooth sweet caramelized barley-wine; some of the other subtleties layered into the malts are dark fruits, and brown sugar. The cherries play a little part as age has subdued their presence. The mouth-feel is very smooth with a very low carbonation level that is best described as mirco-bubbles, which work very well with this beer. Overall, I was very disappointed with this beer as it was one of my personal whales. Although I enjoyed this beer, I believe the amount of malt was too much(I believe the new recipe yields a better beer) and it was nice to experience the age and a different take on my favorite beers.

When I review the current version the score will be somewhere bewteen an A- and an A as this beer is awesome

12-19-2010 01:24:04 | More by nas5755
Photo of Rifugium


4.22/5  rDev -2.3%

First had: 750ml bottle at the Belgian Cafe, Philly, PA, at the recommendation of the brewer. Had a 2006 batch in 2010, and a 2008 batch in 2011 at Ebenezer's Pub in Lovell, ME. The following applies to the 2006, which was definitely the better of the two:

Dark amber color with a moderately foamy head. Very tart aroma, with the smell of winy fruits taking over. Taste of winy grapes, dry fruits, earthy undertones. Medium body, rich, but not too syrupy. Moderate carbonation. Very tasty and drinkable, though hard to find, and a bit pricey.

The 2008 batch was much more sour and somewhat metallic. Not quite as good.

12-12-2010 16:51:52 | More by Rifugium
Photo of champ103


4.8/5  rDev +11.1%

A 2007 bottle.

A: Pours a dark reddish brown color. A two finger beige head forms at first, but recedes after a minute. Lace is left in patches around the glass.
S: At first tart fruits are strong and up front. Apples and cherries are great. Toasted malt, bread, and biscuit. A lingering Oak aroma finishes everything off. Excellent.
T: Lots of tart fruits that are amazing. Apples, and chocolate covered cherries. There is a spiciness here as well. Toasted malt, bread, and oak finishes everything off again. Lots of layers that are just awesome.
M/D: A medium to full body. Fairly effervescent. Perfectly crisp, dry, and clean. So easy to drink for the high alcohol. About as easy as it gets for 11%. Beyond no alcohol presents, this is just a treat to drink. I don't want the bottle to end.

An amazing beer. BFM always makes something exceptional. Add one more to their list of awesomeness. An experience and a treat. Pick some up if you ever see it.

11-30-2010 00:44:10 | More by champ103
Photo of bsp77


4.47/5  rDev +3.5%

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very cloudy lava-orange with thin head and slight lacing.

Smell: Sour apples and cherries are dominant with some oak, pepper and alcohol.

Taste: Wine-like with somewhat sour apples and cherries, oak, pepper and an overall musty quality.

Feel: High champagne-like carbonation with a relatively light body for the high alcohol. Tart, dry finish.

Drinkability: Probably the best sour beer I have had. Of course, after three years of burgundy barrel aging, I am not sure this is really a Biere de Garde, but who cares, it's great.

11-12-2010 03:24:26 | More by bsp77
Photo of Thorpe429


4.08/5  rDev -5.6%

Reviewed from notes.

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

10-14-2010 11:11:21 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Mora2000


4.1/5  rDev -5.1%

2006 vintage.

The beer pours a hazy brown color with a white head. The aroma is tart apples, oak, vanilla and toffee. Very nice smelling. The flavor is sour apples, oak, caramel and vanilla. The beer is very dry. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A very good sour beer.

09-14-2010 05:57:51 | More by Mora2000
Photo of ChainGangGuy


3.6/5  rDev -16.7%

2006 vintage.

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

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

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

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

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

09-13-2010 20:17:39 | More by ChainGangGuy
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
96 out of 100 based on 711 ratings.