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

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

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

911 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 911
Reviews: 266
rAvg: 4.32
pDev: 10.42%
Wants: 115
Gots: 189 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes) visit their website
Switzerland

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 911 | Reviews: 266
Photo of b3shine
3.77/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On draft at Dutch's (served in a snifter). Looks decent, although there's no head or carbonation to speak of. Smells good; nice and tart. Tastes good too; the age has helped marry all of the flavors together. Mouthfeel is the weakest link; very pedestrian. This is mostly due to the lack of carbonation. Overall, a privilege to get to try, but slightly disappointing (just because my expectations were so high). I'm not a fan of flat sours.

Photo of tpd975
3.78/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Provided by ibrew2or3

A: Pours a cloudy murky shade of brown with a small whispy head. No retention or lace which is typical of the style.

S: The aromas are very wine like. Lots of oak with notes of red fruits. Hints of tart and sour.

T: The oak plays nice against the red fruit. Hints of spice and a touch of vanilla. Nice tartness rounds things out.

M: Medium in body with a dry finish.

D: Pretty good. One tasty brew.

Photo of dsa7783
3.79/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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...
Good stuff...

Photo of aleigator
3.8/5  rDev -12%

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.

Photo of Casey10
3.85/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of kawilliams81
3.87/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed 2010, Blended 2011. Poured from a 750 ml into a Lost Abbey chalice.

A- pours a dark pink with a 1 finger tan head. Some bubbles and dripping lacing remain on the glass.

S- cherries, deep vinous notes, earthy.

T- tart cherries, bitter and earthy vinous notes, orange peel, alcohol.

M- medium body and carbonation. Smooth start with a dry, boozy finish.

O- 5/10 sourness. More bitter, vinous notes than tart or sour notes. Not sure ifi would spend the money for another bottle.

Photo of Mavajo
3.88/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown with minimal head. A brisk pour yielded a moderate, big-bubble foam, but this was more a product of a very aggressive pour, rather than any genuine head.

Aroma is interesting -- funk, barnyard, fruit, malt, caramel and as it warms, booze. The flavor brings a lot of these same notes. Sour, tart, fruit, caramel, vinegar, malt and a fairly healthy booze presence. The sourness on this beer doesn't ride the sides of the tongue like a typical sour -- rather, it's a sort of tart bitterness that rest on the center rear of the tongue. Mouthfeel is fine.

Interesting beer. I felt the booze was a bit more prominent than I would like. Perhaps it's because my bottle was relatively young? I think this is one that could be aged for years -- I may buy another and throw it in the cellar for a few years. Really interesting, dynamic brew. Something about it made me think of Consecration -- but this has a lot more going on, with a thicker syrupy mouthfeel. I felt like it was a bit unnecessarily abrasive however. I'm really interested to see if that changes some with age.

Photo of jjayjaye
3.89/5  rDev -10%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2005 Vintage... brewed only once before in 2003, yet considered #1 in style (?)

A hard call to make and a harder one to justify. This review submitted only as "notes to self" because this sample its not pouring or sampling consistent with previous reviews. MAYBE THIS ONE IS A DUD. Purchased through Finger Lakes Beverage Center, in Ithaca NY.

Background - $20+ investment to consider "the best" after having an enormous time enjoying the complexity of Southampton Biere De Garde.

A clear lifeless amber color. Poured aggressively yields a shallow head of large bubbles that is probably evidenced more because of the rules of Fluid Physics rather than Artisan Craftsmanship.

Smell is slightly tart wood aged grape and berries and alcohol. I second the iconic reviews revealing similarities between this and "port & wine" and the ones that suggest "an ale to offer wine drinkers".

This one has a singular medium body with a good tasting tart grape/apple flavor that lingers significantly with spicy character.

I could go on. Hope you have better luck with yours.
Scored so as not to significantly rock the boat, which has some validity because there is such a wide interpretation of style 'allowed'.

Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2007 vintage pours a rusty brown body with a small and fleeting beige head. No real lacing but carbonation is apparent in the body.

Aroma is musty old oak logs, some caramel, apple cider, and vinegar.

Medium body with a low, but active, carbonation. Earthy and woodsy feel.

Taste has prominent oak tones. Tannic and somewhat vinous. Tastes more like a lambic than a bierre de garde. Apple cider, cherry skins, caramel, and some herbal hops. No hint of the alcohol.

Quite a price tag on this one and although good I doubt I will buy it again.

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duchesse de Bourgogne goblet. Pours a dark red-orange amber. Thin, fine off-white head that has good retention and light lacing. Aroma is sour, vinegar, ripe apples, cherry. Flavor of tart light fruit, cherries, apples, apricots; sour and vinous. Flavors are well integrated and nicely supported by the oak components and the background neutral malt. Unusually well blended sweet and sour fruit and dry woody flavors. Medium to heavy bodied with nice carbonation considering the thin head. Sour beers are always a gamble for me and this was quite expensive, so I'm glad that it is so pleasant and well made. The best biere de garde I've had. 2007 bottle aged in my cellar for over a year.

Photo of letsgopens
3.9/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is the 2006 version. It pours a cloudy, oak brown with an effervescent beige head that recedes fairly quickly. Lots of rising carbonation can be seen through the very hazy body.

A very 'funky' sweetness; heavily fermented fruit. Some grassy and bitter notes are present as well. Smells like a sour but with that bold, earthy quality.

Sour and very complex. Reminds me of a harsher Farmhouse Ale/Saison. Again there is a lot of that funky fruit/wine characteristic. Citrus and dark fruit. Grainy and herbal. I'm somewhat unfamiliar with the style. As I understand a Gueuze is similar to an unflavored Lambic. This is a reasonably accurate description, but much more rustic and a bit harsher.

High carbonation adds to a bright and boisterous mouthfeel. Crisp and funky with a lot of warmth from the booze. The 11% abv is certainly noticeable. Very interesting and certainly worth a try.

Photo of cjgiant
3.91/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Did a side-by-side tasting of 2007 and 2010 vintages.

A: both pour an auburn-brown color, with very light, fast dissipating head. Carbonation is obvious as the head dissipates in both, although the 2010 retained on the edges a little longer

S: both have similar light notes of date or raisin malt, and some yeasty sourness. The 2007 seemed a little more on the sour side with maybe some notes of plum, as well; the 2010 a little more on the sweeter notes and the notes of alcohol were more prevalent. Overall, other than the alcohol notes, I didn't notice a huge difference between the two.

T/M: there is less of an American-style taste in both, as they tend towards notes you would expect from a sour, or even a wine. The 2007 has light malt notes, mostly earthy (I get a little root beer) followed quickly by the sour side, which is actually quite subdued. It seems mellowed out by the woodiness that takes over the ending of the taste, which does end up leaving a little dry feel. The alcohol was mildly notable with early sips of a colder beverage, little less present as the glass warmed.

The 2010 hits the mouth just a little stronger. There is a little more taste of fruit up front, some (sour) cherry it seems to me. The complexity of this vintage seems a little less to me. The note of alcohol is stronger, as is the carbonation. The dry feel of the end taste is a bit stronger and woodier, as well.

O: the 2007 seemed more "refined" as a balanced drink, with no overpowering notes. The 2010 was a little more exciting in the sense that it was bolder (to a degree), but lacked the complexity. Me and my girlfriend both enjoyed the older vintage.

Photo of Beertracker
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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**

Photo of bluejacket74
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of MattLBC
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This 2011 brew was served in a 5 oz glass so not much head. Color is brownish dark ruby. Nose is a bit sweet & yeasty. Immediately complex on the first sip. A blend if flavors fight to come forward, very enjoyable mouth feel. Some fruity sweetness but the tartness is not hidden either. Definitely worth having another!

Photo of tsboera
3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(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!

Photo of ricke
3.95/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008.

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.

Photo of stakem
3.97/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.98/5  rDev -7.9%
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!

Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.98/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of MrMonkey
3.99/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of tjfinkle
3.99/5  rDev -7.6%
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.

Photo of ggaughan
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at the BFM 10th anniversary party last weekend. It says it is limited to 1,276 bottles or more but I saw probably 100 bottles or more consumed at the weekend so I think those numbers may be a little low. We took 4 bottles home as well. The beer is a sour ale from what I could make out at the brewery. It may not be a gueuze totally but I thought that was the best style match.

The beer poured a hazy, dark brown color with a slight tan head into my BFM glass. The aroma of the beer was pleasing. There was some vinous qualities in the beer as well as some wood tones as well. This goes the same for the taste. There is a sour, vinous taste with some wood and earth notes as well. The taste is really dominated (in a good way) by a sour funkiness. I was originally suprised that this years version of Bon-Chien was this style but I really enjoy it and rate this up there with the other 2 years that I have had.

Photo of JDV
4/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very generously shared at DLD by dankman. Thanks dude!
Pours dark and cloudy maroon with light tan head. Smell is sweet and sour, funky and fruity. Some cherry in the nose. Taste is mildish, but of quite tart cherries and is somewhat vinuous in flavor too. Very smooth, yet tart red fruit was abundant. Really enjoyable. Thanks again!

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.

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
96 out of 100 based on 911 ratings.