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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

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270 Reviews
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Reviews: 270
Hads: 952
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 19.63%
Wants: 122
Gots: 200 | 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: 270 | Hads: 952
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 putonyourwalkingshoes
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Poured a 750ml. 2012 vintage.

A:Really murky. Awesome thick barely carbonated. Reddish woody opaque.

S: Lovely full sweetness of cranberry cherry goodness. No alcohol nor metallic presence. Good oak character. Well rounded. An amazing Belgian sour without that vinegar, metal, or muted sourness.

T: Awesome. Sour but not over the top with acid or the vinegar seend in rodenbach or duchess. Well done and a pleasure start to finish.

M: With the taste. The tartness balances extremely well. Nothing offensive.

O: Spent $30 on a 750ml and impressed. Taken back on how well rounded everything was here. Sweet but not overbearing. Same with the sour component. Actually more refinded than many cantillon krieks I've had. Will get again.

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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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Photo of stuppy
4.56/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Appearance : dark auburn to brown in color. Some Haze. Low cream/auburn head that disappeared very quickly.

Aroma: some Grape musts, sour cherry, and wood . No alcohol or hops present. some funk. I think some floral notes as well behind the sour cherry

Flavor: Some malt sweetness comes through in beginning,leading to sour cherry and grapes flavors, gives way to sourness and some oak and vanilla in the finish, no hop flavor

Mouthfeel: med light body, med carb, some alcohol warmth but very smooth, dry finish

Overall: Very drinkable. The alcohol is hidden well with this one.

on tap at Max's Taphouse

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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 tastybeer
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Color is slightly hazy auburn red with a rather quickly dissipating head. Aroma is sweetly stinky. Fermented grape musk, tangy cherry, sweet earthy wood, warm sunny wild flowers. Taste is clean, tart with cherry, and woody. Mouth watering and elegant. Not the slightest sign of alcohol is apparent. Very crisp, clean smoothly balanced flavors. Mouthfeel is slick and softly syrupy, and this beer is highly drinkable. Pretty excellent.

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Photo of jonesmr
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I had this beer on- tap at Mekong in Richmond, VA.

This wild sour beer had a tart, almost fruity taste. The lingering taste and mouthfeel made me crave more and more. This beer was good from the first sip to the last drop.

This beer is a must have if you like sour beers.

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Photo of beerdrifter
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Moeder Lambic in Brussels. Murky brown pour with a one finger off-white head with great retention and lacing. Nice woody, subtly sour, almost vinous nose with hints of balsamic vinegar, oak, and dark fruits. The taste follows suit with even more of an earthy, vinous character with hints of sour cherries, leather, balsamic vinegar, brown bread, grape skins, and vanilla. The mouth feel is medium bodied with perfect carbonation, a tart finish, and huge drinkability for the style. Overall, this was the surprise highlight of a night filled with great beers. Highly recommended!

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Photo of pimpinmidget
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2007 Vintage

A: Pours a hazy reddish brown / rusty copper color with a slight red/beige head that fades quickly leaving very little lacing.

S: Reminds me of a nice wine with a champagne quality to it. Tart cherries come thorough with hints of grape, funk, vinegar, oak and slight booze.

T: Tart cherries and slight funk with a hint of a malt backbone that leads into a very nice oakiness. Much like the nose, has a very nice wine quality to it. Slight alcohol at the very end lends itself nicely. At 11% ABV, this one hides it nicely.

M: Light to medium body with a nice dry finish.

O: Very nice and very complex. As complex as this is, it is very balanced and very enjoyable. Can't wait to try other vintages to compare to this one.

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Photo of cjgiant
3.91/5  rDev -8.6%
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.

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Photo of Zraly
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage. Poured into a Teku glass. Burgundy with mahogany tinge, off-white head in appearance. Nice looking. Smells are very complex and wine-like; very pleasant and fragrant.

I've had this on tap before on more than one occasion at The Birch in Norfolk. However, now that I am at home and have more room to collect my thoughts, this is a good time to write a review.

Very wine like in terms of the flavor complexity. The sourness adds a very defined, acidic tone for the rest of the flavors. Upfront, dried fruits and tart cherries take center stage, with a hint of malt lingering in the back. Vanilla from oak comes through mid-palate. Soft carbonation gives enough lift to keep this from cloying or becoming too much due to the presence of the vinegar notes; balanced appropriately. Interesting spice notes accompany the funk in the finish. The finish is fairly dry and the body is medium, although it has a lightness to it that is airy surrounding a slightly boozy note; quite the feat in terms of notes going together. Finally, I pick up on a herbaceous note throughout, like a combination of thyme and lavender. So in addition to what is already a very complex ale, a floral note ends the flavor composition. Really pretty and a treat to have both in the bottle and on tap.

The biggest piece, for me, is how easy this goes down. I can drink more than one of these, which is not necessarily the case for most ales in the Biere de Garde or Flemish Ale categories. It's definitely not training wheels for the style by any means, but if you know you like that style, you really should try this.

As for food, something very tasty and well-crafted will work. I can see everything from a shepherd's pie to pate to coq au vin pairing well with this. I don't think a nice berry cobbler is out of the question either. A slight stretch could be venison stew, but really, I think the key is something that is full-flavored and can stand up to some acidity and sour notes.

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
95 out of 100 based on 270 ratings.