1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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.

739 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 739
Reviews: 245
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.65%
Wants: 98
Gots: 145 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 739 | Reviews: 245 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Thorpe429, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Mora2000, Sep 14, 2010
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.6/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

ChainGangGuy, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of tjfinkle
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2006 Vintage poured into tulip

A- When I opened this bottle I was a little surprised how little pressure there was under the cap. The pour was a reddish brown with almost no head, even with a less than gentle pour. I am beginning to worry that this bottle has lost its carbonation...

S- Tart of light vinegar and cranberries.

T- Definitely some tart vinegar up front followed by some dry fruityness with a touch of oakyness. Tastes more like a flanders red but that is nothing to complain about.

M- Nice and light, but the carbonation is just not enough to balance out the tartness.

D- Overall a tasty beer even with the lack of carbonation. I am not sure if I just happened upon a flat bottle or if all of this vintage are like this.

tjfinkle, Sep 11, 2010
Photo of Aenema
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle 276 / 2006 Vintage blended in 2007

Appearance - Pours a clear, dark mahogany with yeast flecks. Large tan head, no lacing.
Smell - Sour funk, cherry, oak, sour apple.
Taste - General sourness followed by fruit; most notably cherry and apple, along with oak.
Mouthfeel - Fine carbonation, medium to light.
Drinkability - Delicious, very easy drinking but strong.

Aenema, Aug 27, 2010
Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Richard for sharing this bottle from 2006.

A: The pour is a nice copper color with a light tannish head and some nice streaks of lacing.

S: A lightly tart nose with notes of cherries, grapes, and maybe even some strawberries. A slight sweetness from the fruit aromas, too.

T: There is an interesting combination of tartness and sweetness, almost similar to a Flanders Red/Brown ale. Nice lactic sourness with slightly sweet cherries and grapes and a bit of leather and earth.

M: The body is medium with a moderate but lively carbonation to it.

D: I have enjoyed all the bottles of this that I've tried, but for the price I have a hard time buying them. Still a good beer, however.

womencantsail, Aug 13, 2010
Photo of wedgie9
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2007. Tasted from 750ml bottle at Lush West Town. Pours a chunky cloudy amber with a lacy light brown head. Nose of sour cherries and some funky earthiness. Flavor is sour and fruity with red berries and a lot of funk. Body is medium with light carbonation and a long funky sour finish.

wedgie9, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of rfgetz
4.83/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2006 bottle...The color burgundy, could be confused for a glass of wine if it wasnt for all of the haze, with active, bubbly off-white head. Smell is of a high quality red wine, american oak, backed by some tart, sour and funky notes... wonderful. The scent is done right by the taste, a pronounced, but delicate acidic and tart wine charachter backed by the touches of hay, oak, earth, grain and funk. Amazing taste. Medium bodied, dry, better as the carbonation settles. A very wonderful beer... easliy comparably to RR Consecration, a bit more mild without the added currants. Would love to experience other years.

rfgetz, Jun 01, 2010
Photo of DaveHS
5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my all time favorite beers.
Pours a hazy burgundy, with lots of creamy, lingering head.
Lots of lacing. The nose is packed with earthy brettanomyces funk,
tart fruit, banana and oak. The overall effect is vinous, almost similar
to a cabernet. Mouthfeel is full and sticky. Prickly and tart on the back of the throat. Cherry sweetness and oaky vanilla flavors are first and foremost, followed by light, grainy malts and green grape sweetness. The finish is a fantastic mess of boozy, funky, sour flavors. Totally worth the high price tag.

DaveHS, May 23, 2010
Photo of hayesez
4.03/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received in a trade with wedgie9. I wasn't familiar with this beer before the trade but, as always, was certainly willing to give it a shot!

Pours a very hazy copper into my Portsmouth snifter. As I hold it up to the light there is quite a bit of swirled sediment patrolling my glass. Very, very hazy. The color is actually quite intriguing when held up at an angle in front of the light. The edges are a bright glowing green...strikingly similar to Mountain Dew, while the center remains a cloudy dark ball. Very nice looking. A one finger tan head remains for quite some time before diminishing to small islands of thin bubbles. A small amount of lace is left as this one slowly leaves my glass.

The aroma is quite funky. I really enjoy it. A bit more prominent than similar beers with a slight amount of unripe fruit. A slight tinge of spiciness finds its way in there as well. I have high hopes for this one.

The funkiness certainly carries through onto the palate. The tart and sour is a bit deeper than other beers like this. The only detracting factor is that the finish is not as crisp or refreshing as others. There is a bit of off-bitterness that is a bit distracting. I like bitter in my beers - but not here. The taste is great...the finish is a bit of a let-down. Interestingly, there is a mid-range tartness that reminds me of eating raw rhubarb back home growing up. A bit astringent. If it wasn't for that weird bitterness, I'd be sold. A good mouthfeel - medium-bodied with a nice amount of carbonation. And I like the tartness.

Overall, a very solid beer that I'm happy I've tried. Easy to drink - I drank the majority of the bottle split between three.

Consumed: 4/16/2010

hayesez, May 08, 2010
Photo of ArrogantB
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle brought back from Switzerland by my cousin who then sent it on to me, yes! I poured this into three wine tumblers and it was a cloudy reddish-orange color with a wispy head. It smelled tart and inviting. The taste was quite weird, tart, some citrus, just very complex and I could not accurately describe the flavor other than to say I liked it a lot. I probably would not finish the whole bottle so I am real glad I shared it. This beer was quite intriguing.

ArrogantB, May 08, 2010
Photo of csmiley
4.47/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to bhalter8 for sending this my way.

Blended October 2007

A - Color is mostly copper with a slight reddish tint. The off white head looks pretty good for an 11% brew. Retention isn't bad either. It settles to a moderate sized ring. Lacing is minimal.

S - Tart and warm are the first two words that come to mind. Apple and lemon start it all off. A hint of sweet caramel comes in around midway. Wet hay and oak quickly follow the sweetness. It ends with black pepper and warm alcohol. The nose is quite impressive.

T - Wood stands out a little more in the flavor that the aroma. It mixes pretty well with the caramel sweetness. Tart fruit pounds away at the middle with hints of cherry and apple. The oak really permeates the flavor all through this one. Alcohol is definitely present but stays well under control at all times. Finishes with some warm spices.

M - Fuller bodied. Very mild carbonation that just barely tickles the back of the throat. Seems that helps cut down on the heat from the abv as well. Finish is sweet, hot, tart...it's all over the place really. I like it though.

D - Drinkability is very good. I would never guess this beer to be at 11%. Even though the alcohol is masked well, this one is still a sipper. The abundant flavors guarantee that. It starts out pretty tart but as it warms, the tartness really starts to mellow. The oak really comes through as well. I must say, I'm quite impressed with my first brew from BFM. Very highly recommended.

csmiley, May 04, 2010
Photo of prototypic
4.38/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to csmiley for sharing the bottle.

Blended in October, 2007

Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien pours a really attractive crimson/copper color. It's moderately hazy, and has really nice scarlet highlights. It's capped with a light tan head. It rises to about a finger and a half deep, but recedes quickly. The 11% abv might have murdered it. Lacing was nearly non-existent.

The nose kicks off with a strong oak scent. That alone smells delicious and gives it a lot of character. A light earthy, musky scent follows and lingers throughout. There's a sweet caramel scent that's prominent, as well as a host of fruity scents. Apple, pear, and light sour cherry are most notable. Alcohol is definitely noticeable, but isn't overwhelming.

The flavor is impressive. Sour cherry hits first. It's not an overwhelming tart flavor, but it leans in that direction. Definitely a little vinegar-esque. Fruit flavors of apple and pear follow. It definitely is sweet and sugary. Caramel is quite prevalent. Oak is very strong in the mix and really drives the overall flavor. It meshes extremely well with the other flavors. Light spices wrap it up. It tastes like a few are present, but I can't identify much. Perhaps cinnamon and pepper. Alcohol is noted. It's there, but I wouldn't have guessed 11%. It's not warm or hot. It finishes tart and oaky.

The body is medium, and is very smooth. Carbonation is dialed down nicely. With just a little warming, it feels more substantial and creamy. Very impressive here. Drinkability is good. This is tasty stuff, but it is big and rather tart. The tart aspect seems to grow stronger with each passing sip. Goes down easy nonetheless.

Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien is an impressive Biere de Garde. Every time I try this style, I have to reacquaint myself with it. This particular release is very impressive, and has few weak points. I don't know what a fresh bottle tastes like, but this 2007 blend is quite good. I think I might like a few more bubbles, but that's about it. It has a ton of flavor and just enough tartness to really make it work. The oak really drives it up a notch all around. Very good stuff. Highly recommended if you find a bottle.

prototypic, May 02, 2010
Photo of pmlondrigan
4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Glad to have shared this beer with my fiance upon finding out I got a new job! Been sitting on this bottle for 2 + years.
Great ruby red / garnet color with clarity, light tan head appears with tight bubbles and little to no lacing. Such a pretty beer in the glass. Aroma is vanilla, sour cherry, oak and licorice. Flavor has a great malty quality that gives way to abundent fruit and oak flavors ending with some tartness and faint sourness. Every flavor and aroma in this beer is balanced just right, amazing. This beer slides over your tongue with such ease, silky with just the right amount of carb. 11% if I didn't know, wouldn't have been the wiser. I could easily plow through a bunch of this stuff.

pmlondrigan, Apr 20, 2010
Photo of drabmuh
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage. Poured into a tulip. Beer is dark brown and really hazy. Carbonation is high and steady of small bubbles and forms a thick off white head of medium and small bubbles. Head staying power really nice. Lacing is moderate. Looks good.

This beer smells SO GOOD! Sweet with almost a balsamic vinegar quality. Slightly yeasty. Great.

Tart, sour gets me in the back of the mouth. Almost a woodsey musk to the whole thing. Some sweet / sour in the front, no bitterness to speak of. Beer is a little thin. Second taste, slight alcohol and a growing bitterness that time. Mouthfeel is good and drinkability is good as well. I would recommend this beer.

drabmuh, Apr 04, 2010
Photo of kegger22
3.68/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Blended in October 2007.

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Bière de Garde was not my cup of tea. This was my first biere de garde, so it may just be that the style is not to my liking. I do have another biere de garde in the cellar, so I will soon find out.

Saint Bon-Chien was a cloudy, medium brown with a one finger high, beige head that displayed decent retention.

The aroma was sour cherries, sour grapes, sour apricots; just plain anything sour. My mouth puckered in anticipation.

The taste was definitely sour, but not of the mouth-puckering variety. There was a bitterness attached to the sour flavor that made further description difficult. It was not a hoppy citrus or pine bitter that I've become accustomed to, but something different. I will say that the label was absolutely correct about the serving temperature.

The mouth feel was light bodied, slightly oily and modestly carbonated.

Drinkability was only fair, halfway through the 25 ounce bottle and already I'm ambivalent about whether I finish it. Quite frankly, the price did not make me want anymore either. At five bucks, I'm not impressed; at 25 bucks, even less so.

kegger22, Mar 25, 2010
Photo of BeerImmediately
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Blended in October 2007. First beer I can recall that suggests a serving temperature over 60. I started mid-fiddies and went up to mid-sixties thru the 'event'.

Poured into wine-style beer glass with a very limited off-white head over top of a deep copper/orange body, half-way opaque, and some visible carbonation up the middle.

Wow. Aromas of tart, dark fruits greet you, with a heavy, earthy horse-blanket cloud, light but complex spices, touch of sweet red licorice, and hint of balsamic vinegar. Go ahead - swirl it... it's worthy.

Can it be thick and tart at the same time? Wow, yes. Plenty of cabernet-like qualities and oaky/woody punch. Full of ripe, dark fruits - plums, tart cherries, and even some banana. Wish I could pinpoint everything.

Drinkability is quite brilliant - I believe it may be too brilliant at 11%. It starts slightly thick on the palate, but by the swallow, you are cleansed and ready for more.

Can't wait to run this one by a couple of my wino friends to see what they think.

BeerImmediately, Mar 13, 2010
Photo of jampics2
4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A bottle from Jason at the Beer Engine for my B-Day. Thanks, man! Much appreciated, a pleasant surprise that allowed me to try this great beer!

750ml bottle, 2008 blended in 2009. Poured into a snifter and shared with the table!

A copper beer with no head sits in my glass. Looks a bit murky but acceptable.

Smell is one of a kind. Wow! This is going to be interesting. Tons of oak, some earthy spices, funky brett, and intense alcohol finish.

Taste continues the uniqueness. Spicey and oakey start that then evolves into a sour but not vinegary taste. The sour is defined but not overwhelming. This was really nice and wasn't a throat burner. Wood is king here - the oakey flavor makes this a winner. Sour cherry and green apple flavors were present. Everything is held together in a sophisticated way - nice warmth on the back side but not boozy, more of an expressive warmth.

Mouthfeel was another strong point. Nice carbonation without being sharp or prickly.

Drinkability suffered a touch just because this was strong and had a lot going on. But it was a pleasant beer and I enjoyed the myriad of unique flavors. A winner - now I want to try some of the varieties!

jampics2, Mar 02, 2010
Photo of Richardberg
4.05/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- poured into a pint glass. medium amber/copper, somewhat hazy -- enough to be opaque. low to moderate head at first, dies down quickly without much residue.

S - caramel malts, woody alcohol, cherry, clove, ginger

T - like the smell, but the tart flavors start to dominate. the finish, especially, is noticeably acidic & dry for an otherwise fruity concoction -- though more along the lines of apple cider vinegar, not sour cherries as you'd expect from the nose

M - moderate body, low to moderate carbonation. about right for a strong amber ale.

D - goes down nicely. you notice the 11% ABV but you don't care, assuming you dig the style.

Richardberg, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of HeyItsChili
4.08/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at the Charleston Beer Exchange after developing a taste for the sour stuff. 2006 bottle poured into a tulip glass.

A - Pours an orangey red reminiscent of a dried peach pit. Particulates floating around under a thin salmon colored head.

S - Sour green apple, malt vinegar, earthy wood.

T - First essence is malty, then tart cherry, all the while nice and spicy, with a long and pleasing aftertaste just as the bottle promised.

M - Lots of carbonation as it rolls around on the tongue.

Really good.

HeyItsChili, Feb 14, 2010
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.75/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle (blended October 07), purchased for $22.99 cheap at Merchant's Fine Wines last year. The label has what turns out to be an excellent description of the beer on it, a rare touch: "Amazing nose of fruits & spices. Slightly sour with very long aftertaste. Low carbonation."

The beer is a murky brown color, turgid with loads of floaters and a thin film of foam. The fruit in the aroma tends towards apple, and I get spices and yeasty esters. The taste is earthy and spicy, with a sour aftertaste. I can taste a hint of alcohol but nothing objectionable. Low carbonation and light-medium body, very drinkable. A little burn in my stomache from the 11% ABV.

This beer is definitely worth the $23, not something to get too often but worth it once in a while. If I see it again that is.

TurdFurgison, Feb 07, 2010
Photo of mothman
4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Dr. Bill for sharing this at Stone.

2006 bottle. Blended Oct 07.

Poured into snifter.

Pours 1/2 finger of beige head. Fades to a ring. No lace left. Color is a hazed bark hued ruby.

Aroma: Nice oak flavors with slight tart cherries. Bigger malt profile. Some nice spice flavors blend into this beer well. I really enjoy the aroma.

Taste: Oak and slightly tart cherries. Some leather flavors. It is a little funky. Big malt flavor. Again, the spice notes really tie this beer together.

Mouthfeel: Slightly tart and a bit smooth. A medium body with a nice amount of carbonation. Ends with a malty cherry flavored aftertaste to it, also dry.

Overall, I was really glad I got to try this one. It was a well balanced, not over the top, sour beer. Very easy drinking . Fairly drinkable, because it didn't have a lot of acidic flavors.

mothman, Jan 27, 2010
Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2008 vintage, straight from the cellar. After being blown away by the Grand Cru, I'm really looking forward to this one. Into the Orval chalice...

A - Very like head with no lacing and very little retention. Makes since with the low carbonation of the beer. Very cloudy body that seems to jump back and forth between differing shades of orange. Honestly not the prettiest beer I have ever beheld...

S - Alcohol is present in the nose, but not overwhelming. Sour cherries dominate the nose, but with nice musty and oak tannin aromas to balance it out. Floral aromas and light smoke highlight the sour bite of this aroma and give it nice depth.

T/M - Acidic apple and cherry flavors that border on vinegar are present at the entry. The raspberry tartness and sweetness seems to help prevent the vinegar qualities from overwhelming. At the midpalate, I noted a building cherry medical quality along with oaky, coriander, strong citrus that also builds through the finish, must and a soft lactic quality. The finish combined a vinegar bite with juicy citrus and ginger. The carbonation is low, allowing the acidity to add sharpness.

D - Man, this one could you a few years. After drinking one of the Grand Cru's, also vintage date 2008, I figured this would be safe to open as well. I imagine a year or two extra in the bottle could help round out the edges on this beer, help it reach it's full potential. As for now, this beer is still tastes like a fully fleshed out example of any other brewer's Biere de Garde, and I look forward to revisiting this one in a year or two.

SammyDavisJrJrJr, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of brentk56
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Version (tasted 11/26/09)

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a frothy head that quickly becomes a ringlet while leaving a few dots of lacing around the chalice

Smell: Tart fruit (cherries and plums), charred wood, toffee, leather and oak

Taste: Opens with a balance between the tart fruit and toffee flavors, but the sour cherry aspect quickly drives it in an increasingly tart direction; after the swallow, the underlying wood and sweet flavors enter the picture and provide a balancing element that lasts into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body but highly carbonated

Drinkability: A beer for contemplation rather than quaffing - let's see how this pairs with Thanksgiving dinner

2007 version: Very similar in the flavor profile but the exact opposite in carbonation as it is almost non-carbonated; for a beer of this style, however, the lack of carbonation works very well - I may even prefer it

brentk56, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of supernaut
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Great amber/ruby color with lots of sediment, and murky appearance

Smell: Sour and more sour

Taste: Very tart, fruity, vinegary, and yes...sour - a dominant theme for me on this beer.

Mouthfeel: Smooth but with some acidity

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable for the abv. I planned on sipping it, but it was all too easy to gulp

drawback? the cost of entry was pretty high here....based on how uncommon it probably is, I'm guessing most people will pay $30 a bottle or so. I paid $35.

supernaut, Nov 25, 2009
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
96 out of 100 based on 739 ratings.