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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Trousseau Barrels) - BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)

Not Rated.
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Trousseau Barrels)Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Trousseau Barrels)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

60 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 60
Reviews: 45
rAvg: 4.22
pDev: 10.66%
Wants: 14
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes) visit their website
Switzerland

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: JohnQVegas on 05-22-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 60 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by JohnQVegas:
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.8/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375ml bottle into red wine glass. Cask ID TR3.

Pours hazy copper with a reddish glow, no carbonation or head, just a rim of big bubbles around the outside of the glass.

Nose is nicely tart, bit of vinegar, lactic, brown sugar, red grape skins, a sharp red fruit note - sour cherries or (closer) currants. Rich and vinous underneath the lightly acidic tart note. Jesus is it hard to make out everything going on in this one. The barrel definitely comes out as well, but lightly.

Taste is surprisingly smooth. No real sour bite up front. Instead, you a get a softly sour lactic note and a metric ton of round, mellow red fruits (red grapes and currants are prominent), some brown sugar, with the Trousseau barrel coming out quite prominently in my opinion. There's a light butteriness to it in both taste and feel that's so unique. Some tannins on the finish, a bit musty, a bit of wet leather on the exhale. Utterly fantastic. Possibly my favorite single experience with Bon-Chien, and I've had quite a few. An absolutely sublime beer.

Mouthfeel is still, but a bit silky and buttery, round. Delicious, with just a bit of acidic bite in the back of the throat.

Going all out on drinkability. Not a hint of booze, and tasting like this, I could drink this forever and ever. Phenomenal.

My love of Bon-Chien isn't hidden, but this may be my favorite variant yet. Get it while you can!

More User Reviews:
Photo of merlin48
3.65/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

335 ml handbottled in January of 2009, served slightly chilled. Pours into a tulip a murky orange/brown body with no head or lacing. The body is still.

Aroma has musty oak, tart cherry skins, cider vinegar, leathery tannins, and a pronounced vinous note.

Mouthfeel has a light medium body with minimal carbonation.

Taste reminds me of Panil Barriquee, an Italian version of a Flanders Red. This one is much more akin to a wine than a beer. Sour and tart green apple skins accented with balsamic vinegar, is how I would sum it up. Leathery tannins add an acidic note. No real malt or hop character. Lots of musty oak aging character. Finishes very dry.

This is not a biere de garde. It's a Flanders Red or, possibly, a lambic. The aging in trousseau casks adds a pleasant musty oak character. I wish I had laid this one down for a couple of years so I might have gained more of an appreciation for its complexity.

Photo of Mora2000
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

TR3. Brewed May 2008 and bottled January 2009. This is beer number 1,600 for me and it didn't disappoint.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a small white head. The aroma is tart cherries as well as some oak. The flavor is cherries, oak, grapes and vanilla. There is a medium level of tartness in the beer. Low carbonation and medium mouthfeel.

Photo of asabreed
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12.68 oz. bottle into a Brooklyn tulip. Brewed in May 2008.

Appearance: Slightly hazy raspberry-colored body with not a lot of carbonation coming to the top. Mildly off-white head dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a few scant bubbles on the bulb of the glass.

Smell: A good mix of raspberries, sour cherries, and oak sourness. Highly effervescent and bright, which makes up for the possible lack of complexity.

Taste: I really like this, and I wish the bottle was bigger than 12 ounces. A good mix of sour fruits and oak, which I had hoped for and was expecting. The sourness levels mix quite nicely with the sour fruit, strawberries, raspberries, and cherries, and maybe some granny smith apple in there. I'm not exactly sure what the Trousseau grape is, but the barrels seem to work nicely here with the yeast and the brew.

Mouthfeel: This is probably being generous, as the look of it in the glass told me what was going to happen, but there's a fight from the carbonation that helps not seem as watery as I thought it was going to be. And for 11%, it does maintain a semblance of effervescence and doesn't seem cloying in the least, thankfully.

Drinkability: I admit, I probably shouldn't have paid -- yes -- $16 for this bottle, which is pretty ridiculous, but alas. Is it worth that price? To me, absolutely not. And that's what has to take this down to my current rating. A solid brew, but for the "VERY LIMITED EDITION" stamped on the back label, in addition to the label saying that it would keep for many years, I wonder, "Really? How many years?" With the carbonation already seeming like it's lost its edge, my advice would be to drink this sucker now, unless I was somehow supposed to wait at least 5 years down the road?

Photo of Gonzoillini
4/5  rDev -5.2%

Photo of heliosphann
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle. Newer vintage TR-5 version. Served in a tulip and split with a few fellow BA's.

A: Pours with very little head. Slightly opaque, it appears a nice Crimson red in my glass. Lacing is pretty skimpy.

S: Tart cherries with strong woody undertones. Vinegar and alcohol are present along with a slight amount of sweetness.

T: Much like it smells, there is plenty of cherries, currants and dark fruit flavors. Funky oak barrel bug action is also right up front, helping to give an overall tannic, vinous taste. Very Port like. The sour and sweetness play nice, but the balance seems to be a little uneven overall. Some age will definitely benefit this beer.

M: Medium body. Feels a little syrupy. Very or little carbonation, but it fits with this kind of barrel aged beer.

D: 11%??? Seriously? I'd have thought maybe 6-7% tops. This is really drinkable, and a 375ml would be no problem for one person to consume. The lactic sourness and wood could be a bit of a burden on the palate if you drank too much though.

I've had several different kinds of the barrel aged Abbaye De Saint Bon-Cien's before, and this is just as good as the rest. However, I prefer the Bon-Chien's with some age on them and this version is no different. Also the price is pretty steep for a 375ml bottle. Around here they're like $16 a piece.

Photo of scootny
4.33/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A lovely bright ruby amber ale with no head but good clarity. Nose is full of malt, oak and winey alcohol. Taste is very dry white wine with a caramel malt care. Firm sourness is not too aggressive and would go nicely with most foods. Some notes of whiskey and lots of oak. Finish is dry and short with fusel alcohol with grains and whiskey. Quite nice really. As it warms notes of light cherry and mild vanilla bloom. Feel has light carbonation and a crisp light texture with mild carbonation. A superb ale that will please sour lovers and wine heads together. This one is begging for some big tasting cheese or linguini with white clams.

Photo of mscudder
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%

Photo of emerge077
4.55/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

TR5 bottle, brewed May 2008. Filled right up to the cap, nice to see that, since it cost so much. I sampled a good portion of the TR3 bottle I brought along to DLD, and figured it was worth a repeat buy to try the other barrel (TR5) and properly review.

Poured into a Rodenbach Grand Cru tulip at a height of 6", producing 2 fingers of ecru foam. Miraculously it lasted quite awhile, a big difference from the stillness of the TR3 batch. It was a ruddy brown with a ruby jewel tone when held to the light. After 15-20 minutes there is still a skim across the surface, with some minimal lacing on the opposite side of the glass.

Initial acetic vinegar aroma when the cap was pulled off, but that has segued into mellower territory, some vanilla and soft cherry, lactic cheese, and traces of balsamic vinegar. Flavor is similar, but bursts with cherry tartness, and savory oak barrel funk, alternately savory and tart, getting the salivary glands working overtime. Long dry finish that has woody oak and cola spice elements. Sort of clean and tangy, not abrasively sour. After finishing an 'o6 St. Bon Chien yesterday, I can say that this is much mellower and less alcoholic in overall feel. Although it lacks carbonation, it's full bodied and so savory and complex, like a good red wine.

A top 5 Oud Bruin in my book...

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.22/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured medium murky amber color ale with a small bubbly head with no retention and no lacing. Aroma of oak and sour notes with some light white wine notes. Taste is also a complex mix of sour notes with some oak and vinous notes and well balanced acidity. Body is quite full with low carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Very complex and another winner from a fine brewer.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

TR3 batch... I don't know what that means... oh well. Ditmier cracked this gem at a tasting at his house a while back.. reviewed from pretty good notes... poured into my small La Trappe glass.

Bright only mildy hazy orangish/brown ... no head... no bubbles... yet still pretty.

Nose is unlike any biere de garde I've ever had.... much more like a sour.. sour cherries and some malty sweetness ... musty... a little acetic

flavor is is more vinegary with a bunch of oaky tannins.. sorta leathery.. sweet fruity maltiness pushes through with a vinous element that lets you know it has a port heritage... the funky and sour notes play a back fiddle up until about 2/3'rds of the way through this ride... then bam.. everything comes full circle... no hints of alcohol... beyond complex for my weak palate.... I would buy a half dozen of these if they every crossed the COOP shelves.... I want to let them develop for a lot longer ... wow... seriously a top shelf beer... and most people would never guess this was even a beer... just too much going on.

Eric... I truly appreciate the chance at this marvel.... I know we enjoyed some epic beers that night, but this is maybe the best in my mind.

Photo of largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

TR3.

Appearance: Brilliantly clear ruby-amber, a sort of sunset hue. No carbonation and no head.

Smell: Big vinous red wine notes from the barrel along with a good bit of esters from the yeast; cherries, figs, plums. A bit of mustiness and vanilla come out as it warms.

Taste & mouthfeel: A melange of sweet and tart fruits (strawberry, cherry pie filling, figs) hit the palate first, slowly transforming into more vinous, tannic and earthy/leathery flavors. There's a bit of balsamic-like acetic acid in the otherwise clean finish, lending a touch of tartness. The lack of carbonation brings this one step closer to wine; a true hybrid beer, and an amazing one at that.

Photo of vacax
3.98/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear and copper in color with modest amounts of head. Oaky aroma with a vinous quality and burnt sugar. Oak and vinous flavors along an alcoholic and tart finish. Appropriately moderated carbonation keeps the mouthfeel nicely full and smooth. I prefer the more prominent wood flavors here over the Vin Jaune barrel.

Photo of WeisGuy
4.1/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a - pours a deep rusty burgundy color. slightly cloudy on second pour, no head and very few bubbles, looks almost like wine

s - some sour apple mixed with oak up front on the nose, some alcohol evident, creamy vanilla notes, a little blackberry jam, slight leather aroma

t - nice sour cherry punch up front with some vinegar, mix of sweet, tart and sour, rounds out on the mid-palate with the oak barrels being prominent, dark fruits mixed with cream and vanilla layers on top of the oak, tartness trails into the finish with lingering oak and sour cherry, a little bit of alcohol heat on the finish, but nothing that would suggest 11+% abv.

m - medium-bodied with very low carbonation, not overly dry on the palette

d - a sipper for sure, but this one is fairly easy on the palette relative to some other sour ales, the oak aging really seems to soften the sourness and tartness

Very good beer overall, though the $17 price tag will probably keep me from getting another bottle anytime soon. Great one to split with another sour lover.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. TR 5, brewed in May 2008, bottled in January 2009.

3.5 A: Murky amber plum color. No head formed. I never know what score to give appearance when the beer is intentionally flat.

4.5 S: This smells amazing. It's at least as good as any other variant I've had. Strong, rich and vinous red grape. Big hit of mixed berries followed by plum, apple, and plenty of cherry. Tangy lactic fruitiness behind that. Caramel, light toffee, and a big hit of oak with vanilla underneath. This is extremely smooth with all the aromas integrating very well.

4.0 T: The taste is also super complex and powerful, but it has a couple issues. Like some of the other variants, this has a very noticeable tannic astringency. It's not so bad that it dominates the taste, but it does distract from the better flavors. Big tangy lactic acid twang. Again, very vinous with red grape, berries, cherries, plum, apple, and lime. Caramel, toffe, tobacco, and raisin. Again big oak and mild vanilla. The booze is well hidden.

3.5 M: Medium to heavier medium body. This one does have a bit of carbonation in it, but it's just barely noticeable. Except for the tannins, this is fairly smooth and somewhat crisp.

4.0 D: Another quality variant. While this one has some issues, it's still mighty tasty and definitely worth a try.

Photo of Dwkasper
4.68/5  rDev +10.9%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to bmanning for opening this bottle up. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a nice caramel amber with a pretty decent sized off-white/tan head and a bit of lacing on the way down. Nose brings forward pleasant scents of oak, cherry, vinegar, caramel, and a touch of brown sugar. Taste brings both acetic and lactic acid, although in fairly small doses. The underlying cherry mixes well with the caramel bready sweetness, which is quite light, but quite nice. All the components of the beer fit in well with the slight sourness, creating a nice mouthfeel. At the same time, the acetic character gets to be a bit much toward the end.

Photo of grub
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

gregc hooked me up with this one. thanks greg!

375ml bottle. TR3, brewed may 2008, bottled jan 2009. sampled may 26/2010.

pours deep orange, not quite brown, and crystal clear except for where the sediment at the bottom of the bottle obscures clarity. pretty much no head except for a very thin ring of fine white bubbles that clings to the edge of the glass and manages only a few spots of lace.

aroma is neat. light alcohol. lemon. malt vinegar. leather and a bit of horse blanket. a little more barnyard than i've had in the other abbaye de saint bon chiens. touch of butterscotch. white bread. cracker. grain. bit of biscuit. red and white grape lending shades of wine to the background. salty and almost spicy character.

taste is wacky. i get very little sourness out of it, but maybe it's just really well balanced. lots of different fruity character. white and red grape. bit of lemon and orange peel. butterscotch and a bit of toffee. woody. very little of the barnyard character i got in the aroma, just faint hints of it. light alcohol and a touch of sourness in the finish. white bread. cracker. bit of grain. light vanilla.

mouthfeel is great. medium body with a nice dry finish. low carbonation level. i'd like just a little more carbonation, but i'd rather see it low than high.

drinkability is great. very well balanced, hiding its alcohol well. balanced sourness too. nice depth and complexity from the barrel, without just slamming you in the head with it.

Photo of MaseFace
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of bryanbrick
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got the last one of these from the batch we got into work. Opened it at the behest of d0b and my desire to toast Arturo Gatti's passing. Long live the champ! From a 375ml that was filled to about a ¼ inch from the cap. Dated "Brewed in May 2008." Served this too cold had to let it warm to just about room temperature before it started to sing.

I'm a tad worried about the condition of the bottle. I'm sure this is meant to be a low carbonated beer but this has none. Like it didn't even hiss as I took of the cap. My review may be a tad suspect, but as a famous wine writer once wrote "There are no great wines, just great bottles" or something like that. This beer pours with a few white rimmed bubbles and then quickly nothing, a swirl of the glass, nothing. A pleasing hue of tan, chestnut maybe, with a sort of ruby tint.

The nose is meadow-y, all grass and fresh blooming flowers. Very pasture like funk with the barn animals all home for good measure. As this warms it takes on many more similarities to Trousseau, with its winy red currant and cranberry fruits and more of the warm trodden soil. It also has a highlight of redwood in there somewhere and pretty dried rose note. Very expressive stuff.

I can't say I liked this at first, but it is one that grows on you. The next thing you know you are looking around for another 375ml to down. Plus this is contemplative stuff. You have to pay attention to what is going on, this just doesn't just come out and rip off all its clothes and say look at me. You have to do some coaxing, whisper some sweet nothings.
Tobacco, whole clove, dried raspberry and a whole lot of funky lactic acid are easily apparent here. The beer is wildly complex and full of action, everything bouncing around quickly but the flavors staying with you long after it is gone. This has plenty of the sour, yet bitter qualities similar to fresh cranberries. Add the winy, earthy Trousseau qualities and it becomes something alive. I love the sour, fruity, tart mid-palate here and the bitter, earthy finish.

The carbonation, or complete lack there of hurts this for me a bit. But I really like the high off-setting puckering acid as opposed to the muscular, sinewy frame. This makes sense to me being that I love wines from the Arbois and their sneaky power and teetering acid. But that may not make sense to anyone else.

At first I was on the fence with this but you need to drink it to become sold on it. The more you drink the more it all comes together and makes sense. I could easily put back 2-3 of these just trying to dissect them. The 11% ABV is hidden well and I always feel that sours, at least for me, are sort of a restorative both to the palate and the brain.

Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Side by side comparison of TR3 and TR5

A: The pour of both batches is amber in color with a slight cloudiness. There is some slight carbonation, but noting in the way of head formation.

S: TR3 has a very lactic, lemony nose with a bit of white grapes an only a touch of oak. TR5, on the other hand has a fair amount of oak character with a more reserved tartness and a bit more sweetness.

T: While the fruit character in the nose of TR3 was not all that sweet, there is some definitely sugar and caramel on the palate. The tartness gives the beer a nice balance, as do the slight presence of tannins.

TR5 is a bit more heavy on the wine and grape character, and again, has more oak to it. The dryness and funkiness are present, but moderate at most. The tartness is on the lower side as well.

M: Both beers exhibit a medium body with very mild carbonation and a very dry finish.

D: Despite the surprisingly high alcohol percentage, both beers are very easy to drink. The flavor profile is very different from the two batches, but quite complex and kept me coming back for more.

Photo of John_M
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Shared with Dyan the other evening. This was the TR 3 version (will try the TR 5 later).

The beer pours a cherry ice tea color with literally no head retention or lacing. As this beer is completely still, that's no surprise, though I will say the beer does look attractive. On the nose I get a lot of the usual bon chien grand cru aromas, which means the usual riot of sweet ice tea, bubble gum, watermelon and sour cherry. All of this is wrapped around some considerable barnyard funk, though it's not as intense as some of the GC bon chien I've tried. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, but with a bit more funk and the tell tale acidic zip on the finish. There is also some noticable vanilla on the palate, which I assume is from the extended oak barrel aging. The sour component is also there, but in this case it's nicely balanced by all the other flavors. In this beer, it's no more then a single note in a chorus of other flavors. As always, this beer has a wonderful sweet and sour flavor component, something I really, really like. Mouthfeel is very light and lively, but with the expected long, smooth finish. Drinkability is very good, with the 11% so well disguised it's almost unnoticeable.

Just a suggestion, but I would be careful not to serve this beer too cold. The beer was much better after 15 or 20 minutes of sitting out, as opposed to fresh out of the refridgerator.

Another impressive effort from BFM. No surprise there.

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +0.7%

Photo of jgasparine
4.6/5  rDev +9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle was from Trousseau No. 3 (TR 3), Brewed in May of 2008, and Bottled on January of 2009.

A- Poured with no foam/head at all and no apparent carbonation. The body is a very hazy (opaque) aged copper brown. Disappointed with the lack of head and carbonation, but intrigued by the color and clarity... hence the average 'appearance' rating.

S- Smells sweet and tart at the same time. I am anticipating infection of acidobacter or lactobacillus based on the nose. Underneath this acidic/sour nose, I am detecting some vinous aromas and some pronounced oakiness.

T- Tartness and fruity oakiness is heavily pronounced... tastes acidic, presumably from acidobacter. Underneath all the tartness lies a substantial sweet malt character. Many other unidentifiably nuances here... just wonderful.

M- Medium to full body... yet seemingly well-attenuated. Interesting. Not very textured, but somewhat oily. The carbonation is ultra-fine... almost not detectable... just enough carbonation to tickle the tongue a bit.

D- Exceptionally drinkable despite its alcohol content. In a blind tasting I wouldn't have guessed this to be a biere de garde... rather a unique Flemish brown. Either way, this is quite enjoyable!

Note: As this beer warmed-up from fridge temperature, it's aromas and flavors were enhanced... so much so, that I needed to amend (positively increase) my review/rating. DEFINITELY DRINK WARM- Almost room temperature.

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Trousseau Barrels) from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
93 out of 100 based on 60 ratings.