Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien - BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 711 | Reviews: 244 | Display Reviews Only:
4.53/5 rDev +4.9%
Many, many thanks to Knifestyles for knocking off one of my long time wants - the 2005 version that clocks in at 15.5%. Thanks for sharing this, Chris!
Ruby red with great clarity, this is gorgeous with a thin ring for a head. The nose, is quite magnificent. Big and fruity with plums, cherries, prunes and a touch of alcohol. Mildly smoky and meaty, this is vinous and slightly acetic, much like the Grand Cru versions. Excellent. The flavors are just as good, with a combination of acetic and lactic sourness up front with cherries and raspberries. A touch of oxidation is noticeable, and the way it interacts with the fruity character leads to one complex beer. Rich caramel and toffee is present as well. Finishing long and dry with acetic and a touch of lactic character, this beer hides the 15.5% ridiculously well. Big in body with low carbonation, this is quite excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed my pour and hope to try it again. This beer is a true homewrecker.
**Edit 15 June 2012**
I'm drinking my lone bottle of the 2006 vintage (bottled 2007), bottle # 00276. I picked this up at the Perfect Pour for $17 back in 2008 (on Thanksgiving, in fact) but never got around to drinking it until tonight.
Pouring a deep crimson with a huge light brown head with rather terrible retention, and no lacing, this looks decent. Very nice legs, though.The nose is rather excellent, and more like a Flemish red than a BdG. There's a mild acetic character, quite a bit of sour cherry and black cherry aromas, a little bit of leather, gun smoke, a mild vinous character that pairs well with the leather. Complex, balanced and refined. Alcohol is remarkably well-hidden.
The palate opens with a moderate sourness, with a blend of acetic and lactic acids and a pronounced cherry fruitiness. Again, there's a very nice blend of the sweeter black cherries and sour cherries, the combination of which pairs nicely with the leather. In addition, there's a lot more dark fruit , with even a moderate pomegranate note present. I never thought I'd say this in a review, but this beer tastes like it has a lot of anti-oxidants. Moderately vinous on the mid-palate with a moderate jammy, red-wine flavor. Medium-full in body with an unnecessarily high level of carbonation that dissipates, leaving a rather silky smooth mouthfeel. Alcohol is stunningly well hidden here, it only appears slightly on the finish, where the cherries, lactic sourness, oak tannins are complemented by the dryness that this high ABV level confers. Excellent stuff.
10-14-2009 01:29:58 | More by DefenCorps
3.73/5 rDev -13.7%
Poured from one of the supposedly six kegs available worldwide!
This is an interesting beer with sour and sweet elements. Cherry is the main flavor and aroma--it has both of the main flavor elements. It's a medium bodied beer, but has a carbonation that makes it feel richer.
09-06-2009 23:44:21 | More by smcolw
4.3/5 rDev -0.5%
On-tap at Beachwood BBQ,
A: Pours a hazy orange with a small smattering of bubbles, some lace.
S: Barnyard, hay, acetic acid, wood.
T: Interesting mix of flavours, like a mix of a biere de garde and a gueuze. There is a grassy component, also some molasses and brandy. Sour pear juice and lemon can be found, together with a significant lactic acid character.
M: Moderately acidic, nice body, no part of the 11% is shown except for a smoothness across the whole of the drink.
D: This is outstanding stuff, well worth the wait and search to try it. Drinks more like a 5% brew, tons of interesting flavour.
08-31-2009 20:34:13 | More by Halcyondays
4.1/5 rDev -5.1%
Tasted the 2005 vintage that clocks in at 15.5% abv, rather than the 11% noted here.
It wasn't much too look at with no head and muddied color.
The nose was much better, though. It had sour fruit notes(mostly cherry for me), vanilla, noticable alcohol. It lets you know you're in for something big.
Similar notes on the palate with an added acidic bonus and finishing with light oaky tannins.
I thought it didn't taste terribly different from the pinot version but both were great.
This would be a great winter warmer to split with a couple of friends. Thanks nightbrew for pulling this from your secretive cellar.
08-27-2009 22:52:34 | More by brownbeer
4.85/5 rDev +12.3%
Presentation: It was poured from a capped green 1pint 9.4oz bottle. The bottle reads hand crafted in 2006 at 11%abv. aged in oak and blended October 07. Also there is what I think is a bottle number or batch number on the neck label that reads 00276.
Appearance: The body has a dark and murky appearance with a dark brownish burgundy color and some lighter reddish high lights. Near the edges of the glass there are some tine bubbles of carbonation. The head is a small, creamy off white layer of foam that slowly fades to just a small ring of tiny bubbles. Lacing is slick and minimal.
Smell: Its aroma has nice tart fruit, funky earthy yeast notes with a hint of oak.
Taste/Mouth: The flavor starts with a semi-sweet malty base with a wonderfully complex mix of dry tart fruit, funky earthy east and wood. Some fruit notes that pop out are sour cherries, dry wine like grapes, and tart apple skins. All these flavors work in perfect harmony and its 11%abv is well hidden. It adds another layer of complexity and mellow warmth to the palate. It has a medium body with a silky light texture and soft carbonation.
Notes: This beer shows outstanding complexity, balance and sophistication. I could sip this all night paired up with a nice plate of fine cheese and fruit.
07-23-2009 01:54:27 | More by generallee
3.95/5 rDev -8.6%
A: Reddish brown color, slightly hazy. A small head quickly disappears.
S: Tart berries, perhaps some lemon and tart apples as well. Subtle malts and a decent amount of funk - mud and wet hay.
T: Some semi-sweet fruity notes and malts that's quickly overshadowed by tart flavors and funky notes. The tartness is really good in this one, sharp and edgy, yet not puckering nor astringent. Perhaps a slight taste of vinegar. The finish is really dry with a decent amount of sweet alcohol, a hint of minerals and lingering tartness.
M: Medium body with semi-aggressive carbonation.
D: A good beer, quite interesting. It has an edgy character due to the way the tartness mixes with the aromas and the gentle sweetness. Would definitely have another.
07-20-2009 11:27:39 | More by ricke
3.78/5 rDev -12.5%
This monster, middle aged, Swiss beer pops open with barely any noise. A hard pour produces bubbles, not really head but bubbles that eventually fall to a thin skimming. The Lack of head is understandable with such a big brew and a few years on it, but I would have loved to see kind of life. The body is deep orange with some slight red highlights.
The nose seems to be a little dead as well. Dry, cracking cedar is the first thing that jumps to mind along with a muddled dose of random fruit; oranges, cherries, maybe some grapes all with a layer of cobwebs stretched over them. There's mousy attic funkiness that's rather enjoyable with a quick hit of light caramel and a splash of booze. As this beer sits in the glass the nose seems to really open up to better things. It's a very unique, interesting aroma to be sure.
The flavor is where things seem to come together. The barrel aging still has cedar notes off the bat but segues into dry, brittle oak rather quickly. The fruitiness is everywhere. Soft cherry plays a big role with semi-sweet orange making a grand showing as well. An orange liqueur makes its presence known with a touch of heat and the swallow brings a touch of sourness. This is one of the more interesting beers I've come across. A lingering, soft sweetness sticks on the tongue briefly after each drink.
The lack of carbonation threw me off the first couple sips but as I crawl into the glass a little deeper it seems to work very well. The body has a medium feel, which is surprising considering the abv, and the velvety smoothness is already built in without the carbonation.
15.5% is a heavy load to drink any day of the week, with that said this beer goes down surprisingly easy. The only noticeable alcohol adds complexity and there's no heat involved. The fruit and barrel aging keep it moving well with all things considered.
If you have any of the '05 vintage left I would recommend drinking them very soon. I believe they have gone downhill a lot already and just keep on rolling. This is a crazy unique and interesting beer though so it's worth trying.
07-20-2009 03:22:44 | More by joe1510
4.58/5 rDev +6%
Decided to try this at the Lion's Pride for my birthday (afterall, I wasn't paying, haha).
2008 vintage, according to their description there's only 6 kegs in the world, not sure if I believe that but hey!
Pours a red/purple/rusty color, hardly any head and no lacing along the glass at all, I can see lots of carbonation action though.
Smell is slightly sour and tart, a good fruity aroma is present and a dash of funk.
Taste is not quite like most Bière de Garde's that I've had, the sour/tart presence was delightful yet not overwhelming, at no point did I need to pucker my mouth like it got kicked in, the berry fruitiness and malt meld together quite well, carbonation is properly assertive and brings out the flavors quite well.
Flavorful and really good, not overwhelming at all, but I can think of cheaper lambics or flanders red (which is more similar in style) that I'd go for if I had to pay, haha.
07-13-2009 00:44:39 | More by deltatauhobbit
4.18/5 rDev -3.2%
Decided to crack an '06 bottle, it was a gusher! Definitely more carbonated this time around. A glowing burnt umber red. Aroma is musty cellar, oak barrel, leather, grape and berries.
2nd pour, inital cheesy lactic yogurt notes in the nose, a finger of tan foam. The added carbonation certainly improves the feel.
Taste was tart and reminded me very much of Jolly Pumpkin La Roja. At room temperature there was a noticeable vanilla flavor, that I don't remember from past bottles. Definitely a good amount of complexity there. A sipper and one to share, though i've spent a couple hours already working on this one.
Recommended if you are into Flanders-style red/brown ales, which this most resembles.
Original review 11-06-2006:
Very interesting new entry listed on the Hopleaf bottle menu.
This is one I was excited to try...especially after trying Le Meule from this brewery. Notable quotes from the menu: "Aged in wooden casks previously used to age Merlot, Merlot Cabernet, Whisky, & Grappa...then blended from different casks for optimal balance & complexity." Whew.
So I convinced some wine drinkers to try it, and they were impressed, if not a little confused by it. Definite grape character, with some tannins in the dry finish. Not as woody or spicy as I had hoped, but it certainly exemplifies the cask-aging and blending described above. Nose is pleasant, subdued grape & currant, and a little boozy. Appears to be a dark garnet color in the highlights, with fizzy skim of foam that dissipates quickly. On the palate it has some fullness, like a red wine, but not in a flowery or fruity sense. Carbonation is moderate, finish is dry and somewhat tart.
Recommended for fans of Lambics, Sour Ales, or wine.
Planning to re-rate the cellared '05 "#276" to add to this bare review.
07-11-2009 23:22:42 | More by emerge077
4.7/5 rDev +8.8%
Thanks to my friend Ljunkan for sharing! This has got to be one of the most interesting and inspring beers I've tried. I love sour ale/lambik/kriek and whatnot, but sometimes they may be a bit "single sided", but this is just brilliant!
The beer pours a deep brown/red color with a small and dissapearing white foam. Not too nice apperance actually, but hey, it's the taste that matters? Right?
Aroma holds lots of nice notes of sour berries, wine, oak and some nice hints of green apples. But also hints of other funky things, almost some aroma that feels like blue cheese. Amazing smell anyway!
The taste doesn't dissapoint either! Lots of thos earlier mentioned sour berries, but also unmature gooseberries and other nice things, also it is a bit oaky. The beer is extremely dry, but still well balanced. Amazing!
An extremely well-crafted and inspiring brew! More stuff like this, please!
07-11-2009 13:45:42 | More by Bananaman
3.85/5 rDev -10.9%
Had this on tap from Lions Pride 07 version. Wanted to try a rare beer not sure if I am a fan of this style but it was interesting to say the least.
A - light shade of tan reminded me of a white russian.
S - strong sour smell
T - Very stong sour odor, very tart.
M - Strong sourfeel burning, definately felt a burn.
D - Don't know if I would drink this again. Not my style it was strong as well so can't say it has high drinkability.
07-08-2009 23:31:53 | More by Casey10
3.98/5 rDev -7.9%
Enjoyed on tap at the Lion's Pride in Brunswick, ME. '08 Vintage.
Pours a murky iced tea/apple cider-like rusty light brown with no head and the thinnest of off-white rings. No lacing.
Smell is sour apples, pears, sour cherries, vinegar, orange peel, oak and brandy. One of the most complex smells I've come across.
Taste pretty much mirrors the nose. Very complex, with sour cherry and apple hitting you first, with some vinegar and musty yeast. Some caramel malty sweetness barely makes itself known before being overwhelmed by more sour notes and some vinegar. Alcohol is noticeable throughout, reminiscent of fine cognac. Finishes fairly dry.
Pretty viscous, almost chewy, body.
Sours are not my favorite, and despite this one only being moderately so, the ABV keeps this one a sipper and one is enough for me.
07-02-2009 03:53:27 | More by MrMonkey
4.53/5 rDev +4.9%
Brick Store continues to impress for its 12 Anniversary, with this one on tap. Pours a cloudy reddish brown color, with a thin, almost non existent head. As it warms, a nice sour cherry nose comes from the beer. A slight malt sweetness rests in the background of the aroma. Taste is an incredible sour cherry flavor, but does not overwhelm with sour, it is very balanced. As I continued to sip, other fruits came through, strawberries and apples most predominantly. There is a still a decent malt/caramel sweetness to it as well. Very complex, I am not sure I can even list all the flavors. Its nice that it is sour, but that does not overwhelm the other flavors. As high as it is in ABV, with low carbonation, and with 3 blends in the brew, it is still rather light in your mouth. Definitely a sipping beer, both in the heat it brings, and to enjoy all the flavors it provides. A highly enjoyable final beer for me last night.
06-24-2009 13:54:49 | More by bhalter8
District of Columbia
4.33/5 rDev +0.2%
(In honor of a recent job rejection based in Switzerland :)
A - Poured with a half-finger of lightly tan, creamy head that had nicer retention. Dirty, hazy copper brown color
S - Sour cherries; bit of vinegar; light fruitiness; whiff of booze; some woodiness; a lot of vinous qualities in the aroma
T - Alcohol is pretty well hidden when it comes to the taste; lightly sour in a very nice way; the light fruit comes in again in the taste, with less prominent cherry; touch acidic; finishes dry as a bone
M - Lightish body overall; neatly done vibrant carbonation. Really surprised at how light the body is on this one, but nice
D - Very drinkable especially when looking at the 11%; touch of warmth is nice; but the complexities are the real draw in this brew, which makes this very drinkable for me.
Overall, a really complex and enjoyable brew. Glad to have tried it, and would recommend for fans of sours. I'm not sure I will be revisiting this for a while given the price, but I can see that being a struggle for me.
06-17-2009 00:26:59 | More by Nickls
4.45/5 rDev +3%
2006 bottle purchased at City Beer Store.
A: Orange/garnet color with substantial light tan head that was initially over an inch thick. It dissipated fairly quickly.
S/T: Tart cherries and apples are very prominent. Slightly sweet flavor. Very complex. I'm sure a more refined palate would pick up all sorts of stuff in this that nobody has ever actually tasted.
M: Medium bodied; carbonation is above medium and the bubbles are fairly big.
Drinkability: high. I believe my wife called me a pig when she asked me for a refill and I told her I had already finished the bottle.
05-20-2009 14:27:46 | More by waltonc
4.47/5 rDev +3.5%
2006 Vintage, blended in 2007. Thank gods this one is 11% ABV and not the 15.5% listed on the site (I guess that's the 2005 vintage). 750ml bottle purchased at The Belmont Station at the behest of largadeer.
Poured into a snifter, the beer is burgundy with a quick to rise fizzy, one inch, beige head. I witness its effervescence and hear a hissing noise emanating from the froth.
The aroma is a complex beast. It's tart with some sourness and spices. A light acidity is evident, as well as tannins and a lot of wood. There's a definite fruitiness in the nose that is quite prominent and most similar to tart cherries and possibly currants. Alcohol lingers in the background, only hinting at the potency of this beer. The aroma becomes increasingly intoxicating.
The flavor is tart and sour with a significant wood character and what could be described as a butteriness. There is a strong tart and sour cherry presence with a little sweetness. Tannins are evident. The finish is long and fruity with a lingering dry tartness, and some sweetness. The alcohol is well hidden, and it's not until the finish that it even crosses my mind.
The beer is near the upper end of medium bodied with lively carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and champagne-like. At $26, this is definitely pricey, but if you like the style this is worth seeking out.
05-18-2009 05:37:08 | More by HopHead84
4.22/5 rDev -2.3%
From a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.
This bottle looks like the example in the picture but has an abv of 11% and says aged in oak. Also was bottled in 2006.
Pours a deep plum color with a solid off white head that leaves a nice bit of lacing.
Smell is fantastic. First is very sour with notes of cherries and wild yeast. Gradually becomes a bit more spicy. Black pepper and even a bit of strawberry jam in there.
Taste is quite good. Sour cherries and apples with a slightly sweet undertone. The only reason I didn't score it higher was because the nose was so inviting I wanted the flavors too mirror all I got in the aroma.
Mouthfeel was very nicely balanced. Good carbonation level keeps this one from getting bogged down even after a couple of glasses.
Overall, a delightful beer that I would be happy to have at anytime. Would love to try some fresh to compare with this aged version.
05-15-2009 05:59:59 | More by bluegrassbrew
4.33/5 rDev +0.2%
Appearance - It has a very beautiful, rich burgundy color. There was very little carbonation and very short head retention.
Smell - The smell is strong senses of fruity flavor. Has a woody oak smell.
Taste - There is a definite sense of wine or burgundy to the taste. It is very obvious this beer was brewed in oak barrels. It tasted very fruity and berry. With the low carbonation and the berry flavore, it seemed more wine like then a beer.
Mouthfeel - Spicy with a medium body. There was very little carbonation.
Drinkability - It was very easy to drink with little taste of alcohol. Drinks more like a wine then a beer.
05-08-2009 16:50:47 | More by Anthony1
4.5/5 rDev +4.2%
A: Poured from a bomber to a tulip glass. Had a brownish color and a thick, cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of creamy, long-lasting head and some very good lacing.
S: A sweet, fragrant aroma of apples, malt, grapes and perhaps some other mild fruits.
T: An interesting taste combination of sour apples, grapes, malt and some cherries. Almost had a champagne-like character, which makes for a fascinating drink.
M: Lots of carbonation and smooth finish. Medium-bodied.
D: This is a drinkable beer. It's my first biere de garde, but hopefully not my last.
05-04-2009 12:13:40 | More by avalon07
4.18/5 rDev -3.2%
750ml capped bottle, blended October 2007, purchased from Vendome in North Hollywood $24.99. Poured into a tulip glass.
A: Dark golden brown with minimal head, looks to have some particulates floating around.
S: Cherries, vanilla, oak, slight amount of sour
T: Sour apple, cherries, persisting oak. After the second sip the tartness persists longer now. Tastes like a Flemish sour.
M: Medium body, mild carbonation, puckering
D: Definitely a sipper, it will take me a while to get through this bottle. The 15.5% ABV is very concealed and an unexpected buzz creeps up on you and warms you very nicely.
04-25-2009 23:56:41 | More by LaPeste
3.7/5 rDev -14.4%
(Served in a tulip glass)
Blended Oct. '07
A- This beer pours a warm, dense but clear deep brown body with a red hued glow at the base. The thin yellowish-beige head last as a thick ring for the full beer. There is a slow carbonation of tiny bubbles that kept glide to the surface.
S- The light aroma of bright tartness has a faint musty hint that almost smelled like bad breath that turned into a wet wood aroma as the beer warmed. There was a finish of soft dark cherries that grew as the beer warmed.
T- The bright tartness had an apple skin quality to it with a soft bitter oak note that turned more cola flavored as the beer opened up. The cola note had a slight sweetness to it as the beer warmed and lead to a light tartness that lingered after the finish for just a second.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel with a tight cleaning fizz in the finish. There was no real alcohol heat until the beer was pretty warm and even then it was soft.
D- This beer had a pleasant tartness but it was soft and there wasn't any depth of flavor after that. The flavor was a bit drab and that stung a bit considering the price tag and all the hype around this beer. I don't know if age would bring out more funk flavors but I'm not willing to take the gamble.
04-22-2009 14:40:47 | More by rhoadsrage
3.8/5 rDev -12%
On-tap at Gingerman, NYC...
Hazy, amber hue... Hardly any head nor lacing...
Smell: Sour essences abound...
Taste: Extremely sour, purple grapes, alcohol definitely present with a warming glow, yeast, lambic qualities...
Pleasantly drinkable for such a flavorful, robust, and high-alcohol content beer...
03-08-2009 15:48:37 | More by dsa7783
4.3/5 rDev -0.5%
A treat on tap at the Blind Tiger in NYC a few nights ago (got to meet the brewer of the stuff that night to boot...) $8.50 for a 12 ounce pour BTW...Poured totally muddy, lighter brown (later pours were no less muddy, but were darker in color) no head, no lace, low low carbonation. Sour yet soft, lactic nose. Complex, flavorful quite interesting and totally different type of beer. I'm thinking to my self what damn style of beer is the mother?!? More sour, tons of soft fruit undertones, spiced up bloody Mary/clamato notes. All sorts of stuff going on here. Somehow it holds together. Absolutely delicious. Gonna buy a bottle as soon as I get a few extra bucks. Highly recommended.
03-01-2009 14:22:48 | More by Billolick
4.3/5 rDev -0.5%
Pours a bit of a hazy brown-red, with a thin, fizzy off-white head.
Nose is just a bit hot, notes of berries and red fruit in the nose (strawberries, cherries) alongside some tart, mildly astringent vinegar.
Taste is sour cherries, vinous, a very understated note of vanilla and oak. Sourness is light and only mildly acidic - clean, light notes of wet leather and acetic astringency. Sophisticated, no hint of alcohol.
Light in body, crisply carbonated.
02-27-2009 03:11:44 | More by JohnQVegas
4.6/5 rDev +6.5%
8-10 oz pour in an inverted cone shaped glass (i.e., a short squatty version of a pilsner). Cloudy dark red-brown with no noticeable head or carbonation. Yeast and fruit in the nose. Light on the tounge with some acidity. Not overly sour. Heavy on the esters with a pleasant sweet caramel finish. Slight back of the throat acidity. Light enough and not overly sour to have a second.
I am amazed that this is 15.5 ABV. Where do they hide it?
02-20-2009 03:37:47 | More by LittleDon
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
96 out of 100 based on 711 ratings.