Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Trousseau Barrels) - BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
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Ratings: 57 | Reviews: 45 | Display Reviews Only:
4.05/5 rDev -4%
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.
10-14-2010 11:05:55 | More by Thorpe429
4.22/5 rDev 0%
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.
02-15-2010 03:09:04 | More by Phyl21ca
4.2/5 rDev -0.5%
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.
02-03-2010 00:41:50 | More by womencantsail
4.22/5 rDev 0%
Appearance: Pours out a still, amber body with no real appreciable head formation beyond the few bubbles scared up from a heavy-handed pour.
Smell: Interesting aroma, I'll say. Notes of fruit splashed with vinegar and dusted with vanilla sugar, light caramel, red table wine, polished leather bridles, and long-forgotten, decayed oak enveloped in a moderate amount of persistent earthy mustiness.
Taste: Sugared caramel maltiness with a subtle hint of stale, oops-forgot-to-eat-it loaf bread. Hodgepodge of flavors pass the palate, including new leather, vanilla oils, top-shelf red wine vinegar, lightly tannic wasteland oak wood, and fruity pairings of plums and white muscadines complete with a juicy acidity. For me, there's no appreciable hop flavors of bitterness. Notable but slight touch of butyric acid within. Peppery alcohol, but it doesn't really come across as anything close to the listed 11%. Oak-laden, bone dry finish that, without any carbonation, really coats the tongue making for a long, long aftertaste. Thankfully, it's a good aftertaste.
Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Sans carbonation.
Drinkability: For me, it's the best BFM product I've had to date. I'd politely disagree with the Bière de Garde classification, but, as it's a beer that doesn't fall very neatly into any style category, I suppose you have to put it somewhere.
09-05-2009 00:09:55 | More by ChainGangGuy
4.55/5 rDev +7.8%
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...
07-13-2009 00:21:59 | More by emerge077
4.5/5 rDev +6.6%
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.
06-21-2009 22:08:36 | More by largadeer
4.45/5 rDev +5.5%
Picked this up at West Lakeview Liquors - version TR5. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip.
A - Hazy, mostly opaque, coppery-orange color. Poured with some big bubbles that dissipate pretty quickly to a ring. There are also some big bubbles stuck to the bottom of the glass that occasionally rise upwards. I didn't expect much from this, and I didn't get much! Nice color though.
S - Caramel, funk, grapeskins, red wine vinegar, brown sugar, some light citrus hops, some nuts particularly pistachio. Oddly tart as well, with some tannic woodiness and maybe a touch of booze.
T - I can't believe this stuff is 11% - the alcohol is super well-hidden. Taste is very grape and red wine, with some bready malts and a touch of burnt sugars. There's also a light amount of bretty funk and lactic flavor. Not super sour or tart - I'm actually really surprised that the taste is so mellow - you could sip this stuff all night.
M - There's some alcohol warmth in my chest, but the texture is very smooth with low carbonation, and a nice tannic and dry finish.
D - I've been reading about people pounding the magnums and totally couldn't believe it, but after splitting a 375ml with a buddy and seeing how fast it went I can totally believe it.
EDIT: Drank my TR3 bottle approximately two years later. Tastes quite similar, but with a but more vinegar and funk. Sill no bubbles - I wouldn't expect any.
09-22-2009 06:30:52 | More by MasterSki
4.43/5 rDev +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.
12-25-2012 03:27:06 | More by drabmuh
4.22/5 rDev 0%
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.
06-10-2010 01:57:41 | More by Mora2000
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
Pours a deep dark chestnut brown color with slight ruby/amber hues when held to a light source and a .5 finger fizzy light beige head that instantly disappears leaving the slightest of rings.
Beautiful vinous oak funk aroma. Nice vanilla presence from the oak along with some dark fruit; berries, dark grape and cherries. The sweet grapes really shine through with a healthy dose of earthy funk.
The sweet vinous oak notes present in the aroma really come through in the flavor with a nice amount of earthy funk. Lots of dark fruit; berries and dark grapes. The funky oak and vanilla notes balance out the sweet vinous notes perfectly, making this a delicious extremely quaffable beer. The 11% ABV is almost completely masked with no alcohol heat or warmth in the finish. The wine/grape presence from the barrels are more present in this than any beer I've had before and I love it. Slightly sour and puckering without being acidic. Extremely refreshing and highly recommended.
08-29-2009 05:05:44 | More by corby112
2.23/5 rDev -47.2%
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.
01-18-2010 01:35:29 | More by Georgiabeer
4.35/5 rDev +3.1%
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.
08-24-2009 15:06:37 | More by John_M
4.1/5 rDev -2.8%
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!
03-27-2010 02:24:28 | More by Viggo
4.6/5 rDev +9%
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.
08-27-2009 09:03:29 | More by JohnGalt1
4.8/5 rDev +13.7%
TR3 - 375ml bottle. 2008 Vintage. Poured into my Bruery snifter. Thanks to largadeer for grabbing this for me. Pours vibrant Venetian red with ruby notes when held to the sun. The beer is uncarbonated, so the few bubbles that materialize are the result of a vigorous pour, but they evanesce quickly.
The aroma is of wood, tannins, and red wine notes. Tart and sour cherries are evident, along with grape skins and acetic acid. I notice a certain mustiness to the nose, but it's not reminiscent of Brett. As the beer approaches 60 degrees, I detect faint notes of vanilla and some lactic character. There's some sweetness but the pendulum swings unmistakably toward tartness. The 11% ABV is completely hidden in the nose.
The taste is something to be celebrated. I've loved every incarnation of Bon-Chien, but this Trousseau is possibly my favorite. It's very sour and tart, almost puckeringly so. Tannin and wood notes are quite strong. The fruit character is as it was in the nose: cherries, grapes, and possibly currants. The flavor is vinous with ephemeral sweetness that segues back to tart and sour. The lactic notes are apparent, and the alcohol is almost completely hidden. The finnish is sour, with lingering cherries and grapes.
The beer is medium bodied with absolutely no carbonation, but I've always found the absence of carbonation very well suited to the Bon-Chiens. It's really a shame they went from the 1.5L bottles to these 375ml bottles. I'd love to have a magnum of this beer. Seek this out if you've enjoyed the others, this is my favorite of the barreled Bon-Chiens.
07-11-2009 04:16:29 | More by HopHead84
4.68/5 rDev +10.9%
TR3, consumed at John's last night. Thanks, John!
A: Clear ruby red, brilliant clarity. Still without carbonation and looks all the better for it (there, I said it)
S: Big, vinous, funky and sour. Sweet with caramel, candy, honey atop which there's wet hay and leather, barnyard mustiness and a very prominent sweet, fruity red wine character. Reserved tannins are present.
T: Opens with a prominent lactic sourness with a ton of complexity. The interplay between the sweetness, the sourness, the funk and the wine is exquisite. I like the honey-lactic interplay, and the vinous character brings to mind a fruity, dry red wine. Medium funk before a sweet and sour finish
M: Full in body with a great sweetness and sourness. Great, lasting finish.
D: I wish this were a magnum
**Edit 21 March 2012**
It's been a while since I've had one of the Bon Chien grand crus. The magnums were a fantastic price, and the new 375s, not so much. 2008 vintage, TR5 from State Line, $12 or so.
With a faint hiss but mostly dead, this is a brilliant, clear ruby red with a thin off-white head that falls off leaving no lace. I love the color. The nose is a riot. It's gained in acetic character, but not even close to being overdone. Rich fruit character with grapes and red plums, this is moderately vinous. The initial whiffs had a definite blue cheese character, but as it's breathed, notes of buckwheat honey, lavender and hibiscus grow. Rather floral, with the noticeable but unobtrusive alcohol presence, this makes me think of a good rose.
The palate blends honey, red wine vinegar and a moderate fruit character quite brilliantly, along with wet leather and a touch of hay. The mild funk works rather brilliantly with the acidity and the sweetness, this is a very harmonious blend right now. The fruitiness makes me think of an eau de vie, almost like a blend of pear and cherry fruits. Sourness is moderate, with a blend of acetic and lactic acids. The sourness is tempered by the fruit and the moderate sweetness. Some oxidation is present, which enhances the palate despite adding a little fattiness and an array of esters. The wine comes through on the mid-palate without Full in body with a low carbonation and moderate alcohol presence, this beer is a joy to drink. I wish I had more. 4.5x5
08-23-2009 23:01:34 | More by DefenCorps
4.38/5 rDev +3.8%
The top comes off with no sound at all and the pour is a hazy, deep amber with a collection of big bubbles along the top that collect around the edges as a collar that ends up lasting longer than I was expecting.
The aroma is tart with sour cherries and an emerging funk that's not too prevalent in the nose. There is definitely some oak tannin presence and maybe a hint of vinegar and brown sugar.
The taste is better and more complex than I was expecting. The fruit presence is still there but is more sugary sweet than the aroma with the tartness being balanced well. There is a big overarching wine/oak character that lends itself to a very dry vinous finish with a little funk thrown in.
The mouthfeel is slick and almost still but with just enough carbonation to make the beer work. It's medium to full-bodied for the style.
This is a very impressive and complex beer from BFM and I can't believe I've waited this long to try one of the Grand Crus. It's exceptionally drinkable given the ABV which I never would have pegged at over 10%.
12-11-2009 03:27:03 | More by gford217
4.22/5 rDev 0%
RBSG09 TR3 bottle at the grand tasting. Pours a dark amber-orange with an off-white froth. Aroma is vinous with dark cherries and a lot of oak. Flavor is tart with lots of sour cherry, unripe grape, raisiny port, and a big woody vinegary finish. Very tasty, dry finish.
07-14-2009 06:21:53 | More by illidurit
4.08/5 rDev -3.3%
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
05-16-2010 00:32:10 | More by Jwale73
3.35/5 rDev -20.6%
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.
07-27-2010 01:40:21 | More by cpetrone84
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Trousseau Barrels) from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
92 out of 100 based on 57 ratings.