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

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-ChienAbbaye De Saint Bon-Chien

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269 Reviews
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Reviews: 269
Hads: 951
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 19.63%
Wants: 122
Gots: 199 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes) visit their 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
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Reviews: 269 | Hads: 951
Photo of tai4ji2x
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, labeled as 2006 vintage, and as blended in october 2007. label also claims an ABV of only 11%

poured into tulip glass

ruby brown color, almost clear and gem-like. nice head, but it soon fades to a half ring. lacing doesn't stick. later pours are very dark and murky brown with sediment.

aroma is unexpected - almost lambic or flanders red, with cider and wood notes. hint of wine or sherry. cherry fruitiness?

tastes similar(ly unexpected) as well, very tart like a wild or brett fermented ale. background sweetness has qualities of wine and hint of malt and caramel. raisin-like fruitiness? slight alcohols and phenols on aerated sips. more oak notes. moderate to gentle bitterness, blends with acidity and faint fruit tones. semi-dry finish.

not thin. smooth yet textured, layered between acidity and tannins. moderate carbonation.

very surprised at the wild/lambic/flanders quality, seems a bit out of place as a "biere de garde". but that's what it calls itself on the label as well. i'm trying not to review this strictly to style.

anyway, my main problem is that the price of admission is on the high side. you'll have to decide if it's worth it or not. considering you can get similar (or greater) complexity for less money, i'm really on the fence with this one.

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Photo of wedge
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

@ Triangle Wine Co.


Foggy, glowing brownish-red color, looking pretty flat, with no head to speak of. Sour fruit and spicy wood aromas...dusty grapes, cherry tartness, oak, and mild port. A little much on the sharp acetone perhaps. Sweetish upfront, quickly turning tart, with a dry wooden spiciness, slight acetic notes, vinegar, cherry, and no booze at all. Slick, dry, and tart in the mouth. A good Flemish Sour-esque beer. Not sure I'd ever spend $30 on a bottle though...

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Photo of jrenihan
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Brewed 2007, blended December 2008.

The beer is somewhere between brown and ruby red, allowing a bit of light through. Pour results in a small tan head that fades very quickly.

Nose is a mix of spices, malt and tartness. Lots of plum and other dark fruit, with a pronounced tartness. Yeast is there as well, along with a strong bready malt scent. Lots going on.

Quite tart, with cherry and plum playing a prominent role. A strong spice component. Quite malty, but any sweetness is drowned out by the sour. Oak is significant.

Full bodied, low carbonation. A fair bit of alcohol heat.

Overall, quite good, but not the world class beer I was hoping for. A bit extreme.

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Photo of MbpBugeye
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of brystmar
4.02/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle was brewed in 2009, bottled in April 2010.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of hayesez
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
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

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Photo of Spider889
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unfiltered blood orange color. Very short head the color of antique lace.

Smells wonderfully sour and funky. Raspberry and dank oak.

The flavor is very sour and I found the high alcohol to drink very smoothly. The flavor shows some bitter strawberry green flavor. Also some nice funk reminiscent of dusty attic and old abandoned cobweb.

Overall an excellent beer, but sadly the price tag will edge me out of ordering this more often than I'd like.

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Photo of billshmeinke
4.04/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Amber body/hazy.

Smells of lactic sourness barnyard funk, hay, caramel, toffee and a touch of bourbon, oak and vanilla.

Taste follows smell. Lactic sourness, hay, toffee/bourbon, grapes, nice balancing bitterness.

Medium to full bodied, nice balance between tart/sweet/bitter.

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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 tmoneyba
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from Rivers Bend.

Poured hazy dark brown with an average frpthy off-white head that mostly diminished with fair lacing.

Heavy dark tart fruit and alcohol aroma.

Medium to full body with a sticky texture.

Heavy complex balanced flavor with a heavy bittersweet finish that was long lasting.

This is a standout complex beer.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.06/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of IMtheOptimator: Poured a medium amber color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention or lacing. Aroma of oak and tart is pretty enticing. Taste is a mix between some sweet malt, oak and some vinous character. Body was about medium full with some very low carbonation. I could not detect any alcohol which is quite a feat at 14% but could feel the effect afterward. Interesting combination between the malt presence of a Biere de Garde and a Flander Red oak presence.

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Photo of brownbeer
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of Richardberg
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

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Photo of garcia2a
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a caramel color with pale reddish tones in the light. A fair amount of cloudiness with, at least in my glass, small amounts of sediment. A thin whispy head remained during my tasting. Ta boot, very little carbonation.

The bouquet is heavy on tart, mashed cherries. Secondary notes of bready malt, light spice and oak. This transitions all too well to the taste. Lots of dry cherry and currant on the front of the tongue with a nice oaky finish that is reminiscent of earthy cranberry meads from the Finger Lakes. The finish is big, but wonderful!

Mouthfeel is great and this is a very drinkable beer, the tastes are complex, the carbonation light and the experience damned near perfect. Hopefully this brewmaster will once again return to Monk's and bring more of these Swiss tasties!

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at Churchkey in DC; the 2010 blend, aged in several different kinds of barrels.

No head, garnet body.

Vinous nose, woody and mellowed.

Taste follows nose in that it is vinous and woody, but less tart. Aftertaste is decadent.

Mouthfeel isn't carby, but not thin either.

Awesome overall-- ordinarily I'd be suspect of something like this.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Coffee District. Served in a Rodenbach flute.

Appearance - Reddish body. No head. Thin collar but surprising lacing. Cloudy verging on murky.

Smell - Low acidity. Big oak. Vanilla and nice barrel character. The acidity is acetic mostly.

Taste - Acetic acid tempered by sweet malts and vanilla barrel character. Oaky flavor is strong, but never overpowers the beer.

Mouthfeel - Heavy. Low carbonation. Difficult to drink, which is normal for BFM, but one of the easier BFM beers to drink

Overall - Complexity is the best aspect of this. Always a fascinating beer from BFM.

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Photo of akorsak
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: The ale is a deep brown color that has a nice blend of red highlights. There is little head in the seidel; on pour however the ale is a little more agitated.

S: The ale has a funky wild aroma that is not as in-your-face and souring as some farmhouse ales (either french or belgian). There aren't a lot of aromas that escape past the wildness, but I do detect a nice spicy backbone.

T: The ale has a very strong wild content to it. The lactic quality is sour but not too puckerish. The aging in various barrels has definitely left its imprint, as the ale has a strong, vinous grape taste that is able to penetrate the wild yeast.

M: The sourness of the ale does a nice job of drying the palate, forcing another drink. The pucker factor is not ratcheted up, which is a good thing.

D: The ale is well-made and an interesting take on the french farmhouse style. The aging in various grape-based liquors has put a nice spin on the ale, even with a 10% abv.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at The Local Miami. Served in a Palm snifter.

A- A rubyish light brown with a 1/4 inch off-white head that doesn't retain much before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and a small patch of surface foam.

S- Very sweet and boozy with a sharp fume of cleaner-like astringency. Sour cherry notes.

T- Swift kick of booze that mellows out into notes of dark fruit and toasty malts. A lot of sweetness that seems to be cooperatively attributed to the high alcohol, yeast and fruitiness. Also some notes of oak and a tartness that's very welcome among the myriad of flavors and strength of the booze.

M- Very thin and dry but also sticky. Medium-low carbonation and a fullish body.

O- Wowee. This'll put hair on your chest. Not high on the drinkability scale, but it's good for when you want a slow sipper to contemplate with or enjoy while having a one-on-one intimate conversation with a friend.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of kkipple
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

2006 vintage, listed as "Limited Edition" and 11% abv. Beautiful bottle, thanks Faustgeist for sharing!

A. Pale, hazy copper cherry red. A small off white dusting of foam lingers.

S. Funky, sour fruit (cherry!) oak and wood, in turns fruity and strong, complex and lively to the senses.

T. Tart cherries and variations thereof are the star here. There's a delicious oak undercurrent and a tannic, earthy note that adds to the interesting factor. Sugary sweetness helps balance out the sour rush; think sweetened cranberries. It's a little dirty and rough, but you can tell it's been lovingly crafted. Reminiscent of a stronger, more oaked Rodenbach; but unlike their Grand Cru, this is enjoyable.

The finish is sour, cleansing and a bit lactic. Oak sits on the tongue for a bit. I'm not entirely sure this is a Biere de Garde....

Abbaye Bon-Chien is a delicious and complex woody sour cherry beer. I don't believe I'd pay the $25 asking price a second time, but this is still good beer.

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Photo of beer2day
4.09/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Single most expensive beer I have ever purchased ... by a wide margin. Purchased at River City Cellars in Richmond.

2006 vintage. Blended October, 2007. Stamped with 00276 on cap seal, but that seems to be a common number in other reviews and years so I'm not sure exactly what that number means.

Hazy Flemish red pour with 2 fingers of fizzy reddish cream head. Disappears fairly quickly, though, and I'm getting very little lace in my glass. Active carbonation. Very active.

Nose is complex. Oak, red wine, red wine vinegar, aged red meat (I'm stuck on red), sweet cherries and grapes all combine to draw you in. Very nice.

Flavor mimics the nose, with the red wine vinegar and oak taking center stage. Very tart and sour. The sweet cherries from the nose get very tart and dry on the tongue. An arid finish rounds things out. Very sour and very dry.

Feel is hard to describe. Very active, audible carbonation does not translate to a fizzy feel. Not syrupy, but still thick. Slightly resiny, but understated. Compliments the flavors well.

Not my favorite style, but this one was very nice. Still not sure it was worth the money, but a very nice treat.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

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Photo of Bov
4.1/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottled in march 2007; limited to 1276 bottles for the Swiss market and 6000 for the USA; ahh, and of course I had the bottle #276, in case somebody still haven’t noticed that all bottles have the same number:-) - pours a hazy dark ruby-brown colour with no residual foam; the aroma is vinous, woody with notes of sour apples and pine needles; the solid malt body is supported by a fair carbonation; it has some initial sweetness followed and quickly dominated by a robust acidity/sourness; very long woody, fruity and sour finish; once again with the Saint Bon-Chien, the high alcohol content is well-hidden while you drink it but hurts when you reach the bottom of the bottle - very contemplative; one more great beer from Jérôme

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Photo of Roguer
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Murky reddish-brown appearance, seems fairly clear. Essentially no head, just some light, quickly disappearing bubbles, but that's not a surprise for the style. Rating somewhat in the middle: looks fine for the style, but ultimately does not look appealing.

Big, complex sour nose: huge whiff of oak right off the bat, followed by big sour notes, vinous fruit, slight must, caramel grains, tannins, light toast, a bit of barnyard funk, and a touch of sweetness that is difficult to place. Sour, tart, funky, sweet - everything blends together quite well on the nose.

Flavor follows, at first light and delicate on the palate, but quickly building to a sour peak, followed by fruits, that followed by a cloying sweetness, and finished with fresh plums and berries. Softer oak - vanilla and tannins - lingers throughout. Very little vinegar to the sourness, although there is a touch of it, marking this as a cousin to a Flanders red ale.

I often review beer flavors in halves or thirds (not unlike a cigar review). This brew seems to have four distinct flavor phases, waves that come over discretely, followed by the finish. They follow one another closely, the result of which is that there is a lot going on seemingly at once; while your mind and palate are grappling with the flavors they just experienced, newer ones are already coming in and asserting themselves.

Very active and slightly puckering on the palate; cloying, long finish. A bit watery on the front end.

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
95 out of 100 based on 269 ratings.