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

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

Educational use only; do not reuse.

278 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 278
Hads: 989
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 10.51%
Wants: 130
Gots: 215 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Switzerland | website

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde | 11.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ggaughan on 06-07-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 278 | Hads: 989
Photo of Elimav
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A great dark amber color. An apple cider vinegar smell. Has a great puckered feel. The taste is a very sour as it should be. If you like sours you will love this beer!

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Photo of stephens101
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Pours a murky, reddish-brown. A thin froth quickly escapes into the aether. Supremely sour apricots to the nose and I am on a pucker notice from hell. A hint of grain and gum is also noticed. Sweet and spicy and not as tart as expected, but with a touch of pucker at the very end. Still need to take it slow. A bit bready and bretty too. Medium with a persistent fusel heat.

Fine drinking that doesn't sway too far one way or the other but still brings the punch in the flavor department. I would love to have a cellar full of these.

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Photo of infinitebruner
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

June 7, 2015

750 ml bottle, snifter

2012 Vintage

A – Deep amber to medium mahogany, a rich pour. Hazy, not particularly high on clarity. A pinkish to light khaki foam stand of about a centimeter sits on top with moderate to moderate-long retention.

S – A massive dose of Brettanomyces, very funky-fruity with an undercurrent of horseblanket mustiness. Fruit is sour cherries, with a twist of raspberry. Some very low bready-floury malt, perhaps some earthy hops peeking out.

T – Sour cherries and tones of Chardonnay grapes, funky Brett but also some lactic tartness on the front and on the finish. Some low bready/crusty malt, and almost no hop impression, not discernible via flavor or bitterness.

M – Moderate-thin body with low carbonation levels. A bit slick up front, but finishes mostly dry. Sweetness is cut through with sharp acidity, likely from lactobacillus. Very little bitterness apparent due to the acidity.

O – The sourness and funk on this is fairly sharp, but does not obliterate the fruit flavors underneath. A very good sour.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the 2012 version

L - Cherry red, no lace, crisp looking.

S - Tart, apples, cherries, poignant.

T - Tart and sour, belgian funky yeast, cherries, black currant, a slight boozy kick at the end. Amazing.

F - Low carbonation. Smooth.

O - Simply one of the best brews I have ever had. Will be a regular in my lineup for special occasions

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Photo of Bitterbill
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle.

Pours a cloudy rusty/reddish brown with a tiny head of foam that disappears almost instantly. Lacing, no.

Smell is of cherry, oak and vanilla, and funk.

Tartness from the cherries hits my palate right off the bat. Oaky notes move in bringing some vanilla and wood
and throughout each sip, an enjoyable taste of funk makes taking the next sip easy peasey.

Fairly light bodied with light carbonation. Wine like mouthfeel.

Well now, this is a real winner and a treat!

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the 12.69 fluid ounces bottle into a Belgian tulip.

A finger and a half of spritzy oatmeal-colored head forms from the pour and takes its time receding, eventually becoming a thick layer of lace that spreads over the body. Vigorous carbonation surges upwards through all sides of the cherry- and plum-skin- colored body. It's a good-looking beer.

We've got a tart smelling beer here, suggesting cherry and other dark fruit. There's a dark malt and burnt caramel aroma that suggests an oud bruin here too. Vanilla and vinous notes develop too. I'm looking forward to drinking this brew.

Tastes like it smells and that's a good thing. A momentary hint of vinegar but then the tart dark cherry and burnt caramel or caramelized sugar flavor veer this beer into tasty territory. The finish reminds me of a crisp apple with a touch of earthiness.

Yeah, there's a hint of vinegar, but it's minor. Everything from there is delicious tart fruit, burnt/caramel malts, and a slight funkiness. The body is thicker but it drinks refreshing and juice-like.

Quite a beer. Delicious.

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Photo of NateF90
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Split with my better half as a sort of after-Valentine's present. 2006, blended in 2007 aged on oak. Numbered 00276. Mahogany/ auburn reddish brown pour. Quarter finger/ "nothingish" head-wise. Super-chunky. Funky smell. Sweet/ sour on the immediate palate. Pleasant woodiness from the oak and a refreshing astringency due to the aged hops, both as to be expected. The sweetness was coupled to the rest of the flavors in such a way that is to be truly commemorated. Complementary mouthfeel. Aged for 9 years I was expecting something stellar. I was rewarded with an excellent brew with unexpected subtleties. Enjoy it for what it is and what you expect it to be and you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of Zach136
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

'07, reviewed 2/7/15

Appearance: Red/brown body with thin head
Aroma: Red cherry, low tartness and just a hint of oxidation.
Flavor: More cherry notes, big oak, a slight hint of tartness.
Mouthfeel: Dissipating and refreshing.

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Photo of OntheLambic
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage 750 ml bottle, blend 8, bottle #276, here we go:

Look (4.25) - Amber to brown in color, auburn when held up to the light. Off-white head receeds quickly to just a sliver.

Smell (4.5): Predominant oak, some cherry, leather, grape must, and funk.

Taste (4.5): Follows the nose, with oak leading the way, and a lot of oak at that. Picking up vinegar, cherry, sweet grape must, acidic, with some funk. Just a touch of alcohol comes through, which is impressive considering the ABV. Nice moderate tartness moves from mid-palate to the back of the tongue and finishes with a dry tannic metallic tinge. Medium-high carbonation.

Feel (4.25): The carbonation is a bit high and distracts from the overall taste of the beer.

Overall (4.5): This is my first Biere de Garde, so I'm not able to say if it holds true to style. That said, it is a nicely complex sour. My only complaint would be the oak is it a bit too forward and overpowers the other flavors. Probably would be a good beer to age a bit longer to see if the oak fades and allows the other flavors to shine through. Although not the same style, I much prefer the Rodenbach 2008 Vintage for roughly the same cost.

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Photo of aleigator
3.8/5  rDev -11.2%

Tap @ Moeder Lambic - Brown color, with coal-red hints, haze, has a thin white head.

Vinous aromas, in which a fermented touch wrapes up ripe grapes. Also cherries, which develop a funky tartness along with musty yeast and oak.

Sourness and wine define a sharp dryness, in which warming spices, a lot of oak and slick acidity create a pleasant complexity. Fruitiness developes berry and lemony hints, as the sourness becomes even more recognizable towards the end. Although the alcohol is well hidden, carbonation is too high for the complex character of the beer, metallic notes disturb the fragile balance, as it rolls over the palate. Giving the beer more time to age might help, as it has great potential.

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Photo of e_dawg
4.75/5  rDev +11%

In normal, dim light where I imagine this beer will usually be enjoyed, a dark but somewhat transparent red orange color is present with no head or lacing, surprising for the high abv.
When held up to light, it shows cloudy, sediment filled pale orange which fades to clear with light green/blue edges in shallower parts of the glass. This is really an odd looking beer when examined closely.

Smells of dark cherries, raspberry, sweet fruit, brown sugar, and I'm also getting vinegar and a hint of soy sauce with oak as pointed out by SpeedwayJim.

Taste is full and rich, initially sweet which quickly shifts to sour and finishes with sweet vinegar.

This is one of my all time favorites. I recommend letting it warm to at least 50-55 degrees before trying because cold refrigeration mutes the flavors severely.

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Photo of Budinetz
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%

Vintage 2011. Bottle #00276

Pours a rich amber, mahogany like color with a 1/2 inch eggshell white head that dissipates very quickly.

Smells of honey, sweet malt, and a slight sourness. Hints of citrus and ripe dates are present as well.

Tastes sweet to the tongue on the front end with a mild tartness on the finish. Quite pleasant aftertaste.

Great mouthfeel! A slight prickliness but the carbonation is very low. There is an amazing slickness on the tongue after sipping. VERY drinkable despite the 11% abv..aye too drinkable.

One of the greatest biere de garde styles I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. Holy mother of delicious! Very well balanced with a lot of flavor. I can't wait to try the other vintages!

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Photo of jellikit
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: ruby red. Hazy. Small off-white head.

S: sweet. Large berry notes. Vinegar.

T: tart. Oak. Cherry. Lingering tartness. Sour. Vinegar.

M: high carbonation. Medium-light body. Puckering. On the dry side? It's difficult for me to tell if this is slightly sweet, or dry; because of the tartness.

O: fantastic sour. Complex flavors that are balanced very well. Will buy again if I am lucky enough to find it.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap 8/3/2014 at Doherty’s Ale House in Warwick, RI served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a coppery red color, with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains tart berries, wild Belgian yeast and very light malts.

T: The taste starts out tart with flavors of cherries, grapes and raspberries. Then some wild Belgian yeast comes in. The malt character is thin but on-target for the style and provides a good balance. The after-taste is tart.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is dry and slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to drink for a while if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 750 bottle purchased at The Beer Dispensary in Apex, NC. It was recommended to me by a friend in Belgium. 2012 with 8 notched out.

A - Deep copper with a hazy finish and a limited white head. A slow but steady rise of fine bubbles.

S - Wonderful tart and sour notes with some additional depth of oak, fruit and spices. Very inviting.

T - Loads of sour/tart flavors with great maturity, depth and variation. It's intense but not biting or harsh in any way. You get something different in every sip. The 11% alcohol is incredibly well hidden.

M - Good body with good substance yet it flows smoothly. A low to moderate carbonation.

O - A complex and intriguing beer! So glad I tried it.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. 750ml capped bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

Pours a course 1 finger layer of big bubbles that collapses quickly. Beer is a clear, dark mahogany. No lace and no legs. Not much to look at.

Nose is tart cherry and raspberry with hints of vinegar, soy sauce, oak and booze. Aromatic and very complex. Nice.

Opens mellow and juicy cherry, raspberry, vinegar and red fruit pulp. Amazingly complex. Layers of oak, barnyard, and a big bold tartness preside over the middle. Acidic and puckering with big fruit and funk notes. Finishes tart vinegar, red fruit and a slight bit of soy sauce. Sour finish. Awesome!

Light to medium bodied with low carbonation. Slick and oily in the mouth and goes down puckering and dry. Finishes dry with a filmy aftertaste that coats the palate. Solid.

This is a beer that's been around for a long while and its easy to see why. Great balance and complexity and just an all around solid offering. Definitely worth seeking out and its one of those rare non-gueuze beers that ages wonderfully!

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Photo of goochpunch
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2011 vintage

Pours out a deep, reddish caramel body with a thin, frothed milk head. Smell is of wood, toasted malts, berries, funk, acid, brown sugar. This first flavor impression is acidity, along with light caramel sweetness, chocolate, toasted bread, warm wood, gentle, earthy hop (faintly). Alcohol is very well-hidden, but perceptible. Finishes rather dry. Amazing. Mouthfeel is moderate in weight, with a sharp bubbliness. Acidity strips the tongue. Incredible beer. Not what I was expecting.

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Photo of EGreen
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nice oakey and sour aromas. Very deceptive sour that may be the best balanced sour I've had. Sour clears the way for a nice oakey finish. A very nice beer that really excited me even more on the reemergence of sours in the US. Very enjoyable!!!

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Photo of dar482
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The beer offers a big punch of tart quality in the front of tart cherry and green apple. There's a musty funk and cork flavor throughout. The beer does not drink like 11%, but there is a bit of alcohol on the back and flavors of a spicy liquor and oak drying.

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Photo of StJamesGate
4.21/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Mahogany with parchment froth at the edges.
Earthy, barnyard nose with bits of vanilla.
Sugary, fruity, woody, w/sandalwood spice, mild sour bite, some tannins and a bit of peach chutney.
Crisp, medium, smooth.

2011 vintage.

Beautifully balanced and mellowed. Almost like Consecration. Transcends the fact that it’s even sour.

More Swiss craft please!

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Photo of reebtaerG
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from growler from perfect pour into New Belgium globe

A-Pours an dark amber/brown color with little off-white head. Decent lacing.

S-Aromas of vinegar, tart fruit, red wine, subtle whiskey.

T-Taste notes of vinegar, tart fruit, oak, dark fruit, grapes, red wine, light funk, light whiskey.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium body with a dry finish. Low carbonation.

O-Overall great sour my first from BFM must try more.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is #00276, brewed in 2007 and blended in Dec 2008. The beer is a murky, amber-brown coloring with a peppering of small carbonation bubbles throughout and no head. Aromatic as soon as you pry the cap off. Wow. Aromas of tart cherry, tannins, old world fruit sweetness in the backbone, apples, roasted notes, and an abundance of spices, including cloves, coriander, and nutmeg. Very layered nose, and more and more comes out as you drink. Great. Flavors are fruit rich forward, with a blast of berries and cherries enveloped in tart and slightly acidic notes, keeping a perfect balance across the palate. Darkly sweet plum and fig backbone, with a spiced blend that warms a bit, as well as provides some edge to all the smooth and rich notes. The tart turns slightly sour towards the tail end of the palate, which does a solid job of cleaning up all of the majorly rich and heavy characteristics. Smooth, mid-bodied in mouth, with a tart and fruity aftertaste that has a slightly astringent feel to it. The finish is crisp, with a slightly sour linger. Very delicious beer worth seeking out.

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Photo of brianmandell
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle Brewed in 2011

I'm gonna keep this one short even though this beer deserves a little more detail. Pours a murky brown color with no head. Looks and smells like apple cider and jammy fruits with a bright acidity. The taste follows suit; sweet fruits up front (mostly apple with a hint of grape or berry) with a bright acidity. The acidity is moderate and pleasant with a hint of acetic acid/vinegar. A musty earthiness follows with a touch of oak and acetic acid and just a hint of booze at the end of a long finish. The taste is sweet up front and finishes tart. The mouth is dried by some oak tannins. Carbonation is light, enhancing the drinkability. This is a very interesting beer that hides its alcohol content very well. Expensive but highly recommended, especially if you enjoy cidery flavors.

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Photo of abeeronthebeach
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Abbay de Saint Bon-Chien, Handcrafted in 2010, Brewed in 2011, Bottle No. 276.

A – Fluctuates from melted honey (darker in the middle and golden toward the edge) when viewed from above, to amber tanned-leather when viewed straight on, to strawberry iced tea when viewed from below. Copper. Hazy, but not completely impenetrable as one can discern a wagging finger when looking through the glass.

S – Decidedly vinous. Slightly musty sour grapes. Just a hint of caramel. Whispers of sour cherry. Wafts of what I take to be oak as it brings to mind Appletons 12 Year. Starting to understand what funk refers to.

T – Unripe white grapes, Chardonnay, rosé wine. Musty, tangy and cherry tartness. Haven’t had many sour beers but it brings to mind Petrus Aged Pale but with a richer flavour and a fuller and weightier presence. The extra aging and higher abv., give this beer a maturity which renders it the finished article. It really does taste a lot like wine, but with none of the wine-like features I dislike about wine. Funky and slightly sweet.

M – Lightly sparkling. The slightly lower carbonation gives it more of a homespun or farmhouse feel where higher carbonation would have led to champagne comparisons. Sleek, wholesome. Part of me wishes it had finer bubbles and a little more carbonation, but perhaps that wouldn’t be to style.

O – This is astonishingly drinkable at 11%, both in terms of flavour and in comparison to drinking a bottle of wine; drinking a bottle of wine in under half an hour would leave me feeling pretty ill but this is a delight. Sits easily on the stomach and the palate. This is the most expensive beer I’ve ever bought at $27.99 before tax. I’d been thinking about buying this beer for nigh on 5 months and I’m glad I finally took the plunge. I was expecting to feel cheated but I’ll be buying this again. When one considers how much people are willing to pay for a decent bottle of wine, this beer seems more reasonably priced. I loved it, and enjoyed it more than any wine I’ve ever had. When I compare it in this way I don’t feel so bad about the price. I look forward to pairing this with some hearty French-Swiss Alpine fare or a berry crumble. Must try.

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Photo of bierdeflanders
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: Funk with some lemon zest, sour cherry notes, mild floral notes

A: deep copper almost amber in color

T: acidic, lemons, with slight oak notes, little hay with some malt sweetness

O: reminds me of a radenboch grand cru. Surprisingly smooth for a 11% bier.

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
95 out of 100 based on 278 ratings.