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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)

Educational use only; do not reuse.

46 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 46
Hads: 65
Avg: 4.21
pDev: 10.45%
Wants: 18
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes) visit their website

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: JohnQVegas on 05-22-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 46 | Hads: 65
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Reviewed from notes dated 7/31/09. TR3 Version.

A very murky honeymooned body yields very little carbonation even with a strong pour. The skim of head that does develop is off-white in tone. Nose is of lemon peel, raspberry, wet stone and some dark fruit malts. With first sip the red wine tones are beautifully dominate on the palate. However, make no mistake this is great and unique beer. Fruit laced tannins really rock the taste buds with a dry berry finish. Only draw back may be that this beer could just a little more time in the cellar to develop its tartness which is already very nice. Mouthfeel is delightful and calls for the next sip. This beer is frighteningly drinkable for 11% alcohol. I wish the bottle was bigger, but if it were it would have beer a $35 beer. Bon-Chien in all its varieties really just hits the spot for me.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow, thanks Matt. A long time want right here. These beers are all great. Really pleased to try this one side by side with the 2006 "regular" version. So much fun.

Beer is reddish with a haze and basically still, no carbonation, no real head, no lacing, no retention.

Aroma is nice, oaky, vinous, tart, tannic but not overly so.

Beer is sour / tart, nice body, I'm always amazed how well these beers hide the alcohol. Medium to light in body, sweet with a mildly dry finish, tart in the corners on the back, tannic, succinic, lactic, no hint of acetic but the beer remains bright. A really great beer and I'd have it again. I might try to get them all now...these variants could be quite interesting.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.42/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

TR3. Poured into a big wine glass at a moderately cool temperature. Deep, hazy red-brown. A mere smidgen of froth rings the glass and soon disappears. Some bubbles rise lazily to the surface, looks fairly lightly carbonated.

Smells like tart red wine along the lines of fresh red currant and cranberry, old wine barrel, damp cave, rocky riverbank, hint of vanilla. Cohesive blend of fresh and dank/musty notes, complex and alluring.

Very pleasant fruity red wine flavor, moderately sour with a slight touch of fruity sweetness, well balanced, refreshing and extremely drinkable. Old barrel and mineral notes, good complexity. I can't help wishing for a bit more acidity at first, but halfway into the glass the thought doesn't even cross my mind, it drinks perfectly as it is, with a nice easygoing tartness making it extremely refreshing and enjoyable. Long finish, old barrel and minerals, becoming completely dry and a touch bitter so I want to drink more.

This is a very nice beer, if it came in six packs I would always keep one in the fridge.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
4.04/5  rDev -4%
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.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.95/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

TR5 served in a 16 oz. tulip.

A- Dark amber, almost light brown color with nearly no head. Thin layer of tiny bubbles line the surface of the beer at the glass edge.

S- Some vinegar sour notes, oak, vinous, very earthy.

T- Whoa! Very different from other sours and lambics I have had. Sour/vinegar, vinous alcohol, dirt, oak. a lot going on in this beer.

M- Medium/thin feel which is very surprising for a 11 % beer. Fairly smooth with a little oily feel in there. Again, drinks very well for the abv.

O- Very different from almost anything I have had before. Have not had a ton of sours or lambics, but like the complexity of this beer.

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Photo of scootny
4.3/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.98/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

GLASS: Tulip
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 45 degrees
TR 3 Barrique No. 3
Brewed in May 2008 Hand Bottled January 09

This pours out a nice, mild, ruby color with an overtone of medium amber highlights. A thin head of light tan colored, creamy looking, foam appears on top. It maintains a solid surface covering, all through the glass. Lacing is thin, yet mildly sticky.

Green apple skins. Tart cherries. Drying hints of oak. Golden fruit flesh, along with dark berries. Light traces of caramel and vanilla. Light barnyard funk notes.

The funk and the oak are dominating the flavor. A light touch of earthiness, almost dirt-like. Lots of dark fruit notes, especially the skins, which come across as a vibrant, yet light, tartness. The oak notes come back out to provide a very dry finish.

It has a medium body and a high level of carbonation. It is very sharp and crisp, yet still mildly refreshing.

A bit much for 'session' drinking, yet nice enough to want to come back to.

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Photo of jwinship83
4.67/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12.75ml capped bottle from batch TR 3. drank from my duvel tulip glass.

A- this one pours out of the bottle a bright cherry colored body with some slight golden highlights. the beer has no head on it other than a small crown of reddish hued head. no lacing is left behind.

S- the main attraction here seems to be some vinegary sweetness. there is also a definite fruit presence. lemons, grapes and cherries. maybe a little bit of green apple. there is also some sweet caramel malts and a touch of toasted bread. light musky funkiness. the nose is pretty complex.

T- the taste starts out with some ripe fruits (apples, lemons, cherries, and grapes). after that i get some red wine vinegar and some sweet caramel and toasted bready malts. mildly sour. no trace of the alcohol. lightly funky and musty. a little bit of vanilla from the oak barrel. wow.

M- light bodied with a very low level of carbonation that really works with this one. the high level of alcohol (11% ABV) is really well hidden. theres only a slight warming from it.

D- wow. this beer is a sleeper hit. very reminiscent of a flanders bruin. a great mix of sweet and sour with exceptional balance. if it wasnt for the price, rarity, and strength i would want one of these several times a week. man. check this one out. its great.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

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Photo of WoogityBoogity
4.52/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Brownish body, amber hue. Almost no head, which dissolves to almost nothing after a minute. Clarity good.

S - Complex toasty malt (not dark malt), with a musty fruit ester. Very moderate note of deep esters.

T - Medium malt profile that is riddled with complexity. Fruity caramel with alcohol and fruit esters. Little to no hop flavor. Balance titled towards malt; phenolics are limited, spice is minimal.

M - Light body with good astringency. Slight warming from alcohol.

D - Very welcoming and complex.


I'm not too big on Bier de Garde, but love Saisons and Farmhouse Ales.... this could become a new favorite.

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Photo of uturn
4.62/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

375ml capped bottle poured into my Oerbier glass.

This is batch TR5, which was Brewed in May 2008 and Bottled in January 2009.

A: This beer pours a brownish red with a minimal white head on an aggressive pour. There is no lacing in the glass and the head dissipated rapidly. If you try to look through the glass you can't, but at an angle you have a clear "rim" around the glass.

S: The nose is of sour cherries, oak and a mild bit of funkiness.

T: The taste is a refreshing mild sour cherries, oak, hint of vanilla, some mild acidic vinegar and a bit of sweetness; this could be mistaken for a fine wine.

M: The mouthfeel is light & refreshing with no carbonation, as no carbonation is needed in this beer nor was intended to be in this beer (as it was bottled without prise de mousse).

D: This is an extremely drinkable beer, no hint of the 11% abv, I could drink this all night long.

I have Batch TR3 hidden away and will try that one in about 2 years.

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Photo of fear025
3.45/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

TR3 Bottle.

Aroma:Sour vinegar smell.

Appearance:Reddish brown, almost no head.

Taste:Lots of sourness in this beer, but at the same time, sweetness comes through as well. There is some oakyness as well.

Mouthfeel:A little bit harsh on the back of my throat accentuates the sour.

Drinkability:A great sour beer that doesn't push the limits of my taste buds. Refreshing.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.33/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A-pours a transparent ruby red (the bottom of the glass pours a cloudy grapefruit color) with virtually no head.

S-some acetic acid up front, notes of caramel malt, faint oak, quite a tart aroma, notes of red fruits.

T-the taste is tart and sweet, acetic acid is present, lots of tart raspberries and a good bit of oak with heat in the back from the alcohol.

M-very smooth on the palate, syrupy medium body, lower carbonation and a little dry in the finish.

D-plenty of tart fruits with a little heat in the back. the oak is light but present, I'd actually rather it have less than more so it works. decent sour, nothing mind blowing and a little lacking in complexity but tasty and does a decent job of hiding the booze.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of asabreed
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
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?

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Photo of Damian
3.4/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Drank from a 12.68 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Whole Foods, New York, NY
TR 5
Brewed in May 2008
Served in a tulip

The beer poured nearly flat. A thin mass of light tan bubbles covered the murky, crimson-amber liquid.

Musty and tinny in the nose. Fairly reserved overall. A touch malty and sweet. Slightly fruity. Some barnyard funk and fumey alcohol aromas appeared as well. The alcohol presence became more prominent as the beer warmed.

Metallic notes again came through strong in the taste. Dry and steely. Fruity in the center. Sour cherry notes were noticeable. Semi-sweet with an acidic, vinegar-like twang. Quite vinous. A touch funky. The finish was super dry and oaky. Crisp, clean and moderately sour with a touch of alcohol warmth.

As I anticipated from the pour, the mouthfeel was nearly flat. The liquid itself was medium bodied and somewhat syrupy. Slightly creamy.

Drinkability was a mixed bag. Although this beer was disappointing in nearly every sense, the 11% ABV was incredibly well masked. The alcohol really sneaked up on me and made this much more tolerable.

This beer falls somewhere between a biere de garde and a wild ale. Whatever it is, I most definitely would not recommend it (especially considering that I paid $15 for my bottle).

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Photo of muttyd
4.04/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Amber pour with little to no white head.

S - Oaky, vanilla dominate the standard funky, sweaty barnyard aroma.

T - Complex and sophisticated. Sweet caramel base flavor with layers of sour apples, citrus, vanilla and oak.

M - Bubbly, medium carbonation.

D - Overall a very well put together beer.

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Photo of Jwale73
4.07/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jedwards for sharing. Poured the color of cider with a hazy clarity and no head. Nose reveals vinegar, a hint of oak, a cideresque quality and a little bit of must. Flavors are consistent with nose; however, not as sour as anticipated by the nose. Mouthfeel is light, with a fairly still carbonation and a hint of astringency that stimulates the salivary glands. I have to say that I am surprised that this is classified as a Biere de Garde. Regardless, this is not a crazy sour beer, but has a nice balance that contributes nicely to its drinkability

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Photo of grub
4.32/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of Viggo
4.12/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

375 ml capped bottle, batch TR3. Big thanks to grub for sharing this rarity.

Pours a clear dark reddish amber, some orange highlights, thin off white head forms and settles down to a thin ring around the glass, some lace spots stick, a big of chunkiness but pretty bright looking.

Smell is neat, similar to the original 07 batch, lots of caramel and light funk, pretty neat sweetness, lemons, really rich and intense, a bit of biscuit, lots of funky fruit, sourness is light, lots of vanilla and oak, a bit of grapiness, pretty cool.

Taste is really neat, sweet up front, very fruity, some funkiness, lemons, light spice, some alcohol, grape juice, earthy, very oaky, some vanilla and caramel, more fruit, sour and tart in the finish, boozy and spicy, very oaky, real neat.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, too low for the style. Some significant alcohol heat going down. This is cool stuff though, the barrel is unique and comes through in the character. I think I prefer the regular Abbaye de Bon Chien, but this is a fantastic treat. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of vacax
3.97/5  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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of womencantsail
4.17/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of rye726
4.77/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage 2008, TR3

Pours a hazy amber with a thin beige head.

Nose has wild yeast, red wine, oak, ripe plums, sour cherries, musty barnyard funk and vanilla.

Taste has tart cherries, figs, raisins, candy malts, earthy wood, leathery funk and red wine.

Medium body is well carbonated. Dry, acidic finish. Tasty stuff, may need to seek out the bourbon version next.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
2.27/5  rDev -46.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

TR 3. Pours absolutely flat, with no carbonation and no head. Dark amber with some sediment floating around. Smells tart, perhaps a bit musty, and vaguely fruity, but a little tired. Tastes astringent, watery, maybe even a little soapy. Watery weak, and astringent- not really a great combination. Disappointing.

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Trousseau Barrels) from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
92 out of 100 based on 46 ratings.