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

Abbaye De Saint Bon-ChienAbbaye De Saint Bon-Chien

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

605 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 605
Reviews: 238
rAvg: 4.3
pDev: 10.93%


Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes) visit their website
Switzerland

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
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Ratings: 605 | Reviews: 238 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of YankChef
YankChef

Louisiana

4.8/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

Appearance: hazy ruby red with a rust like haze in it. Foamy white head that unfortunately dissipates very quickly.

Aroma: Funky cheese is the first thing that comes to mind like some really stinky brie rind, there is also some fruit such as cherry

Taste: Well I would say this tastes like a flemish sour actually, strong sourness although not on the same level as rodenbach GC with some fruit in there as well, oh so very complex why does this beer have to be so damn expensive...

Overall: This is an amazing beer that is ideal to put in front of a wine snob and say oh yea? beer can't be as complex as wine can it. I thank the beer gods (along with the brewer) for crafting this delicious liquid

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2008 06:31:50 | More by YankChef
Photo of garcia2a
garcia2a

Pennsylvania

4.08/5  rDev -5.1%
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!

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2008 14:59:57 | More by garcia2a
Photo of kkipple
kkipple

South Carolina

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-02-2008 03:58:11 | More by kkipple
Photo of DarkerTheBetter
DarkerTheBetter

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This is from my notes and I don't have the vintage. Sorry.

This beer pours a nice caramel color with light purple highlights when held to the light. The head is but a pale off white collar.

Smells of sour musky funk, old wool, tart cherry, cork, oak and dry wheat bread with some cinnamon and banana in the background.

Tastes surprisingly sweet considering the dryness I anticipated from the smell. There's lots of cherry here with some pumpkin, cider and a faint banana. The dryness is supplied by a corky tart oaky funk. The sourness is a quick touch and go of sour that plays well with the palate.

Fells big and heavy with a light dusting of carbonation. Also leaves a slight film in my mouth.

A nice sipper and a great experience. It's quite easy and gentle, but not too funky.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2008 04:16:51 | More by DarkerTheBetter
Photo of brantadid
brantadid

New Jersey

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2005 Vintage:

Poured a brownish ruby color with a mounded 3 finger white head after a fairly soft pour. Head retention is just insane. Tons of lacing.

Such a complex nose. It is sour smelling and herbal. Some vegetal notes with citrus as well. No alcohol to speak of.

Layer on layer of flavor. A fair amount of sourness without any barnyard flavors. Tons of green herbs, soft citrus. Just an insanely long finish. I don't know where the alcohol is. It is completely masked, making this a very dangerous beer.

Mouthfeel is rich and full without and sticky qualities. Nice carbonation. One of the most drinkable beers I have every had.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2008 03:23:10 | More by brantadid
Photo of Viggo
Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Biergotter brewday beer drinking marathon, grub cracked this bottle!

Pours a hazy red/orange, thin white head forms, leaves some decent lace spots, settles to a solid ring, looks okay. Smell is great, sour, cherries, caramel and sweet malts, oak, bread, yeast, very complex and enjoyable aroma. Taste is earthy, lots of fruit, caramel, strawberries, sugars, oak, alcohol is superbly hidden, nice sour fruits, great. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with silky medium to low carbonation, super smooth, no way you can tell this is 15.5%. Fantastic beer, thanks Russ!

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2008 05:04:06 | More by Viggo
Photo of badbeer
badbeer

Iowa

2.95/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2006 Version.

Murky red/amber color with a beige head, left a ring around the glass. I get some sour and oak notes, but not too much else, maybe some dark fruits. Lightly acidic, metallic, oak, and a touch of some sour cherry or other fruits in the taste; wasn't impressed. Lighter than medium body with a dry finish, light carbonation. Don't know that I'd have this one again, it didn't seem like an off bottle, just not very good.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2008 04:17:14 | More by badbeer
Photo of DrJay
DrJay

Massachusetts

4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grub shared this one at the Biergotter club brewday/tasting. Thanks Russ!
2005 vintage, bottle #276. This one was a little bit hazy and a dull reddish orange. It had a frothy ring of off-white foam and produced a bit of spotty, sticky lacing. The aroma was on the funky, tart side, with notes of lemon and berry, leather, straw, salt and faint alcohol. Tart, earthy and funky flavour. Crackery malt with a little bread and some floral, lemony character, plus mild sour/cherry. Medium bodied with carbonation on the low side with an incredibly smooth texture. Light warmth and a bit dry, with spicy alcohol flavour in the finish. Nice complexity, yet surprisingly mellow. This beer drinks like it's 6-7%, which can really get you in trouble!

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2008 01:48:04 | More by DrJay
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jjayjaye

New York

3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
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'.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2008 00:18:23 | More by jjayjaye
Photo of Wildman
Wildman

Ohio

4.33/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This limited edition, expensive beer would've had popped a cork if it had one, it was foaming that much out of the bottle like champagne. It was a murky burgundy color and formed a huge light tan bubbly head that vanished quickly with little lace considering how it bubbled out of the bottle. The aroma was a mix of cherry, grape, whiskey and wine. The flavor was of cherries, sour apples and slightly of prunes. It had a medium light body and a tart, sudsy finish to it. A good beer, but fairly expensive and limted release make it a rare treat.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2008 02:57:22 | More by Wildman
Photo of RedHaze
RedHaze

Nebraska

4.45/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, 2006 with an ABV of %11.

Pours a deep burgundy tinged brown, and very cloudy. The foam peaks at two fingers, and fades rapidly to a thin cap and ring that leaves behind a thin webbing of lace.

Smell; very vinous upfront with some mild hints of cherries, wood and some faint touches of whiskey. But as this warms a nice sour/tart presence really starts to come out as well as a touch of some funk.

Taste; mush more fruity in the flavor that it was in the aroma. cherries and sour apples and a hint of dates are all present mixed nicely with the vinous, whiskey and woody flavors. Underneath it all is a earthy funkiness that I'm really enjoying.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a fairly mild carbonation, and the alcohol is barely noticeable. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive about this one with it being aged in so many different barrels (Merlot, Merlot Cabernet, Whiskey and Grappa), but it seems to have worked out very well. The only thing that would keep me from buying more is the hefty price tag.

Edit: the more this warmed up the more the port flavors and sourness developed making this an exceptionally flavored beer. I will definitely buy another bottle if I ever see it again.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2007 01:27:32 | More by RedHaze
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

gorgeous burgundy color, small, soon gone head...

aroma: port wine, sherry, sour and funky, sour cherries, nearly lambic-like, ...deep and lovely, urgin me to drink...

amazing! so many layers of flavor, there's the snap, there's the mellow fruit, lots of cherries, grape, ...there's the bitter twang, the sour smack, ...it's wine, it's whiskey, it's a liqueur, ...it's an ale. And when it hits, it's transformative, sends shudders throught the senses....once it hits the lips, it's sooo goood!

Ever since I first tasted this, never having heard of it, when Brad the Beerguy brought a bottle to Town Hall and I happened to be at the bar, he shared a little with me, another client, and Mike Hoops, ...I loved this amazing mix of gorgeous flavors. Sop few bottles, so expensive, showed up at so few stores, so far away from me. What was that, two years ago....or does it seem that long ago? And then there's the expense....$20+? Well, if this damn good, isn't it worth the expense? If there's nothing quite like...yes.

Juicy, fruity, uplifting, ...lovely, lovely, lovely...break this out at dinner with wine loving friends, and see how they react when you tell them it's beer...from Switzerland...made by cats!

15.%...not that huge in wine circles, but for beer...not so scary, either...fairly even handed...relax, it's only beer...mmmm, beer...

how many barrels was this one in? Merlot, merlot cabernet, grappa, whiskey???....I don't know, but it's beautiful...absolutely...

the Swiss French Belgian beer like wine made by cats who are saints but are named after dogs! Gotta love it!

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2007 07:28:08 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of letsgopens
letsgopens

Pennsylvania

3.9/5  rDev -9.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2007 23:30:55 | More by letsgopens
Photo of Bov
Bov

Switzerland

4.1/5  rDev -4.7%
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

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2007 11:21:11 | More by Bov
Photo of grub
grub

Ontario (Canada)

4.58/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

biergotter club brew/tasting 2007. i got this one in a trade with pugman and was waiting for a special occasion to drink it, so i pulled it out and threw it into the mix. thanks larry!

750ml bottle. 2005 vintage, bottle #276. label shows 15.5%.

pours deep red, slightly hazy, with nearly no head.

aroma is great. lemon. funk. horse blanket. bit of leather. hints of cherry and date. bread and cracker malts. just a hint of alcohol. i could smell it all night. the depth to the fruit and the funk is great.

taste is great. lemon. horse blanket funk. cherry and date. low bitterness level. a hint of alcohol, but more like 5% than 15.5%. bit of leather. tobacco. bread and crackers. again, the depth and complexity to the funk and fruit is excellent.

mouthfeel is great. amazing how something this light bodied and dry can hide the alcohol so well. low carbonation level.

drinkability is great. complex, balanced, with almost no trace of the 15.5% abv. it has the funk but without the acidity and sourness, and the fruit without lingering sweetness. an interesting and truly excellent beer. definitely looking forward to trying other vintages (or more of this one if i can find it).

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2007 19:00:33 | More by grub
Photo of ggaughan
ggaughan

Pennsylvania

4/5  rDev -7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2007 22:10:12 | More by ggaughan
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.38/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy and dark amber. Not much carbonation - a gentle pour leaves a small ring of head around the glass.

Smell: Very oaky, mild sourness and sweet, acidic fruit. There's a slight mustiness to it as well, which probably comes from the yeast.

Taste: The oak is very up-front here and blends pretty nicely with the sour, fruity backbone. The sweet, sugary vanilla character that I normally associate with oak-aged beer isn't very present here; it's more tannic and dry. Very minimal hop presence, but it's already a complex beer.

Mouthfeel: As mentioned above, this has very little carbonation, which sets it apart from most Belgian-style ales.

Drinkability: The high ABV is hard to detect amongst the plethora of other flavors - this is really complex stuff. That doesn't necessarily mean it's an amazing beer. While I definitely enjoyed it, at $22 a bottle I think there are better options out there. I probably would have appreciated this more at half the price. As it stands, I felt somewhat underwhelmed.

Edit: Tried this again on tap and found it quite good, so my scores have been bumped accordingly.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2007 21:40:36 | More by largadeer
Photo of Phatz
Phatz

Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was a terrific treat. Thanks much to mugghugger for sharing a bottle of Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien (2005) with me.

I have had some experience with the Bière de Garde style and I must say this one is the stand out. I found it magnificent.

Appearance: Pours a gorgeous burgundy into my tasting snifter; (yes I had a share of this 750 ml but it left an impression on me). Even in my small snifter a beautiful head rose out of that deer red/brown body.

Smell: Immediate delightful tannic with a nice tart nip of sour cherries and aged wood with and earthy must about it that leads into a raisin/grape vinous attribute a just a touch of wine like alcohol that is not invasive on the senses.

Taste: Like the nose a tart berry flavor and aged woodiness and some slightly sour funk. A huge red wine like vinous element and a then a balance of sweetness as well. The spices are aged and mellow so that the barrel, the oak and the malt can stand forefront with the sprinkle of bitterness hiding deep beneath. It starts and finishes with a dry grape (Cabernet) attribute but is all beer from top to bottom. Exceptional.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and dry with a Flemish Red like tartness left on the lips and a long lingering aftertaste.

Drinkability: The only inhibiting factor in the drinkability of this beer is the price tag. The alcohol is high but like a bottle of wine you can sip on this sucker all night long. I hope to find more of this in the near future.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

09-01-2007 23:33:23 | More by Phatz
Photo of DaPeculierDane
DaPeculierDane

Wisconsin

4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle provided by the ever generous nchrist13 at a recent Madison BA tasting.

Sample size: perhaps 6-8 oz (I kind of helped myself to the lions share of this one, sorry other Madison BAs). I must get some more of this in a trade to try again and expand on this review. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Wine like Burgundy but displaying ruby/copper hues when held directly to light more reminiscent of beer. Thick off white head when agitated that settles to a thin skim. Easily reagitated to a healthy looking foam.

Nose: Upfront about the barrel aging aspect that brings forth a funky, acidic, tannin rich woodiness. Strongly vinous smells of dark fruits but equally aromatic amounts of sour/tart cherries, think Supplication meets NG Belgian Red. Also precent is a background spiciness that mixes with dirt and sawdust to give this dog a really nice solid base. I got teary eyed when I smell this beer (no joke).

Taste: Style limitations be damned, this is the Best Biere de Garde of all times. Bordeaux dark fruit vinous flavors. Cherry background sourness. Earth, moss, damp wood. Much less acidic then I would have guessed from the nose. Mild amounts of caramel and vanilla. Musty.

Mouthfeel: Sublime. Vinous with mild carbonation and acidity. Light but fulfilling sourness. Woody. Medium bodied. Dry finish.

Drinkability: Perfect.

I owe Nick big time for this one.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2007 16:46:35 | More by DaPeculierDane
Photo of CharlieMopps
CharlieMopps

Virginia

4.43/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Head formation was unlike any I have seen. In the pour, barely any head had risen, but once it settled, about a half-inch of large bubbles with a lot of space in between formed. Rather thick-walled bubbles clung to the sides while an interesting pattern formed in the middle-top. The beer itself was a dark auburn.

S: A very sweet oak aroma combines with a Belgian-style sugar scent, sweet fruit like apples and cherries come to mind. A tartness is evident in the background, with a yeasty must that lurks back there as well. A lot going on in this beer.

T: And apparently, a lot going on with the taste as well. Has a winy quality that is noticeable from the very start, and the cherry and sweet fruit flavor is right there as well. Hops and a slight bitterness are felt at the back, along with the sour flavor detected in the nose. Complexity is outstanding, and this definitely separates itself from the pack; a truly unique beer.

M: On the lighter side, with a low level of carbonation that added to the wine-like characteristics in the flavor.

D: Again, much like a soothing red wine, yet sharing many qualities of a beer. The alcohol is masked very well, especially since it clocks in at 15.5%, this is no easy task. Flavors and complexity are phenomenal, and has excellent balance. This one is in a different class.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2007 20:05:50 | More by CharlieMopps
Photo of Slatetank
Slatetank

Pennsylvania

4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage mughugger gave me the opportunity to taste. Many thanks.

A - Poured a hazed amber with a thin white head

S - Sweet w/ vinegar notes of fruity sourness.

M - Smooth and engaging feel. Light beer feel with an initial twang that gets mellower w/ each sip. More spice and light candy-like sweetness follows.

T - A sweet cherry vinous taste w/ light woodiness of oak. Citric flavors and gentle spice w/ dark sugar in warming tastes. Very well blended flavor, but still tart at first taste. This is intense and shares a lot of wine qualities perhaps due to the wood aging. Tannic and a puckering tart sour the eases up and echoes into the finish.

D - An easy to drink well balanced and slightly sour ale. This would probably benefit well from aging. Perhaps some of the edges would round out. I kept coming back to this with a new appreciation in each sip.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 22:46:48 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Sammy
Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

4.23/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2006 bottle. barleywinish. Very easy drinking, smooth mouthfeel, tasty with items like fish. Something special. Cognac-like colour. Taste sensation of a Flemish sour without unpleasant sourness at all. Mild spiciness.
5 years pass. Had again the 2011 version? I can only assume. Enjoyed on tap at Ebenezer's Pub. Orange, wild, yeasty, tart, A little apple cider, a sipper that was a delicious drinkable sour. Big Lace.
Had the 2009 version at Bar Volo, a great drinkable sour.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 03:32:04 | More by Sammy
Photo of Risser09
Risser09

Pennsylvania

4.78/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage shared graviously by mughugger. Thanks Karen.

Appearance: The first pour reveals some head but my taset was left with hardly any at all. The beer itself is dark copper in color with lace lingering around the miniscus.

Smell: Oaky and full of an alcohol aroma. I can already tell this is going to be a treat. Raisins, plums, orange marmalade and fresh ground pepper smack me in the face.

Taste: Outstanding. Initially oak and sour funk. I soon realize that the sour funk is probably the grapes/wine aged in the barrels previously before bottling. Raisins, old plum and berries, cabernet and other complex wine-like flavors.

Mouthfeel: Awesome. Plenty of oaky dryness and alcohol tingle. Quite sweet and watery in the mouthfeel. Begs to be paired with a savory meat like lamb.

Drinkability: This reminds me of a big, bold cabernet. The drinkability is great. I can't see myself refusing something so complex and bold. This was probably an expensive bottle, but seek it out if you wish.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2007 13:00:02 | More by Risser09
Photo of ccrida
ccrida

Oregon

4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on draft at the Portland International beer fest. While I normally don't review fest samples, this was my 1st tasting on the second day (it went fast on friday and I missed it), I had two 4 oz. tasters, and took good notes. 2005 vintage, at 15.5%.

The appearance was a cloudy dark garnett, with a slight khaki collar. Nice color, but flat looking.

The aroma is great, with lots of depth. Vinous, with sour cherries, oaky vanilla and a bit of must. Very intriguing and appetizing.

The taste is fantastic. My first impression is that I can't believe this is 15.5% alcohol! The flavors are so complex that the booze is completely masked. Vinous and semi sweet, a nice BSPA like grape flavor, some sour cherry tartness, woody with a musty, funky bite that fades to a remarkably clean, dry finish. This one's a real mind blower, it has all my favorite belgian atributes rolled up into one fantastic beer .

The mouthfeel is light and luscious. Once again, I can't believe this is 15.5% ABV.

This was super drinkable for me, as it is one of the best beers I've had the fortunate opportunity to try, ever! Of course, since it's very strong and rich, you sip it slow and savor ever drop. But drinkability is not the same as chugability to me, but the enjoyableness of the experience, as well as how approachable it is. In this case, it was supremely enjoyable and a brew that I can't imagine any wine or beer drinking not being impressed with. Oh what I wouldn't do to have a big ol' stockpile of this down in the cellar to crack into at will!

I alway try to score to style, but this one is in a category of it's on, so I just went on general impression. To me it was a cross between a BSDA and a Flanders Red, certainly not a Bière de Garde.

One of the best beers of all time. I've got to find bottles of this!

Serving type: bottle

07-26-2007 20:25:17 | More by ccrida
Photo of jmc44
jmc44

Pennsylvania

4.83/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia. This is the 2005 vintage that clocks in at 15.5% ABV.

Poured a deep ruby color with virtually no head; just a ring of tannish bubbles that quickly dissipated. A nice pleasant color that is attractive but not particularly "beery" looking.

Complex, funky aroma, with a pronounced tartness, some woody notes, earthy, and a bit of alcohol. You can note the aroma of Grappa (from being aged in Grappa barrels), but it is not overwhelming.

Wonderful, complex taste that does a good job hiding the alcohol. Definitely a bit tart, with flavors similar to the aroma; a bit like a saison. Full flavored; a very long lingering finish that is pleasant, coupled with a nice alcohol warming. There are some hints of the grappa in the flavor but it is really quite minimal. I would say the flavors pick up quite a bit from aging in the wine barrels though. Nicely done.

Velvety smooth, and surprisingly easy drinking given its ABV.

Definitely, improves as it warms - bottle says to be served 61-64 degrees. It is certainly best as it nears room temperature. One of the best beers I have ever had, and definitely worth the $35.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2007 13:30:16 | More by jmc44
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
95 out of 100 based on 605 ratings.