1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

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

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

34 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 34
Reviews: 23
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 10.72%
Wants: 8
Gots: 4 | 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: illidurit on 05-25-2009)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Ratings: 34 | Reviews: 23 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +6%

t0rin0, Aug 22, 2012
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

2009 vintage.

Pours a murky orange-brown with no head. No lacing on the drink down either. Smell is slightly sour and tart with some malt, fruit, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with wine and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with an interesting barrel aged presence in the aromas and flavors.

UCLABrewN84, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of brentk56
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

VJ1

Appearance: Though I only was able to raise a modest head, I was surprised to see the beer bubbling out of the bottle as I tried my first sample; anyway, the beer poured a cloudy apricot nectar color and did leave quite a few spots of lace behind

Smell: Superb aromatics, and while I have never had Vin Jaune, the oaky vinous character on the nose must have come from the barrels; in addition, a range of fruit flavors blossom such as tart apple, pear and strawberry; underneath all of the fruit is a caramel aspect; the high ABV is also detectable

Taste: As complex as the nose, the fruit flavors dominate, up front, with the orchard fruits joining with the tart white wine grape flavors; caramel sweetness underneath balances the lactic sourness; just a slight bit of funk that darts around in the finish, but mostly there is the interplay between the fruit, the sour elements and the sweeter base

Mouthfeel: Moderate to full body with low carbonation

Overall: This is the first of the barrel aged Bon-Chien series that I have tried and, despite the high price tag, it was worth every penny; I have cellared this for some time and it was worth the wait

brentk56, May 27, 2012
Photo of womencantsail
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%

Thanks to Bobby for opening this one yesterday at our tasting.

A: The pour is an opaque burnt orange color with a thin white head and some mild carbonation.

S: There's quite a vinous quality to this beer, which certainly makes sense. A lot of grapes, oak, and slightly musty. The tartness is mostly lactic with a mild acetic quality.

T: The flavor is very similar to the nose. A lot of tart grapes and apples with a heavy oak component to it. There isn't a ton of tartness, but enough to go along well with the fruit and oak flavors. The Brett does not necessarily provide much funk, but a definite dryness.

M: The carbonation is certainly plentiful with a medium body to the beer.

D: To be honest, I did not even notice how high the ABV was on this beer. That said, it's certainly a good beer, but given its price tag, I think once was enough.

womencantsail, Feb 02, 2010
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

ygtbsm94, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

spycow, Jan 18, 2013
Photo of emerge077
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%

As this was over $20 for the 375mL, I grabbed the one with the smallest headspace on the shelf. There was no apparent carbonation, as some others have noted, and as typical for the series. I've been reading up on the obscure Vin Jaune, and as intriguing as it was, this was a little disappointing.

Yellow orange, almost a fossilized amber color. A few large "juice bubbles" appeared when poured at a 6" height, retreating to the edge like a string of pearls. It was slightly murky and looked almost like a dark amber lambic.

Highly acetic, white wine vinegar nose, cidery, funky with musty barrel notes.

Lightly tart, red grapes, apple, some bretty/fruity intermingling. Earthy oak and damp woody mushroom. Some peppery spice from the tangible solventy alcohol. Slick and very dry in the finish.

It was potent in small doses, i'd recommend sharing a bottle if you splurge for it. Far from the best in the series, and not even an improvement over the standard issue Bon-Chien.

emerge077, Dec 21, 2009
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -0.2%

At $23 for 375ml, this is one of the most expensive beers I've ever bought.

This incarnation of the Bon Chein grand cru series seems to actually have carbonation, as I was greeted by a fluffy two finger head upon pouring this beer. The body itself is hazy reddish-amber, cloudier than other batches I've had, but that may be because I didn't give the sediment much time to settle before opening it.

The aroma is vinous, and, surprisingly, a bit solventy. There's light funk beneath the alcohol, but I'm amazed at how dominant the solvents are. As it warms, the booziness becomes all-consuming.

The taste is tart, fruity, vinous, and again, surprisingly boozy. I'm guessing this is the influence of the Vin Jaune barrels, because I haven't picked up much heat in other batches of this beer. Sourness is more lactic than acetic, with mild fruity sweetness adding balance. Medium-full body with fairly crisp carbonation. The finish is hot, sour and semi-dry.

This is good, but really, $23? Per oz, it's roughly twice the price of the bourbon barrel Bon Chien, and not nearly as good. Disappointing.

largadeer, Oct 07, 2009
Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +6%

JAHMUR, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%

Bottled purchased at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a ZBF 2011 tulip. VJ2 version.

A - Pours still, even with a slight hiss when popping the cap. Murky cider orange-brown, with a hint of transparency at the edges of the glass.

S - The aroma is a nice mix of white wine vinegar, oak, musky funk, caramel malts, a touch of vanilla, and mild solvent alcohol aroma in the periphery. Nice complexity and depth - I get different notes each time I pick up the glass.

T - Taste is more oak-laden, with a mild oxidized quality as well. Mild sour grape and tart apple character, as well as a slightly nutty quality. Not as much of the malt and funky sweetness found in the aroma - more dry and vinous, although it does sweeten a bit as it warms. No alcohol present here, and the aftertaste is quite clean.

M - There's a slight hint of alcohol warming, as well as some low-level acidity. Very dry and tannic, medium-bodied, and still - unlike some of the other bottles out there. It didn't bother me in all the other BFM Grand Crus, and it doesn't bother me here.

D - Even at 11% I had no problem putting down the 375ml bottle on my own, although I took it slowly. Not worth the exorbitant $23 price tag, and possibly the weakest of the BFM Grand Crus (so far), but still quite enjoyable. I'm intrigued as to how much the Vin Jaune contributes to the oxidized quality of the beer.

MasterSki, Oct 27, 2011
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.2%

2009 VJ2 vintage. The beer pours a reddish-amber color with no head. The aroma is heavy on the sour apples and toffee. The beer smells a lot like a heavy oaked chardonnay. The flavor is more of the same. There is some caramel malt, but the two main flavors are slightly sour apples and a lot of white wine notes. There is also some oak in the flavor. Not as sour as some of the other BFM sours I have tried. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A good, not great sour.

Mora2000, May 08, 2011
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

VJ2, 2009 Bottling; Sampled December 2011
Pours mostly flat, though it manages to scare up a ring of large bubbled, amber tinged froth that hugs the sides of my Lost Abbey Teku glass. The beer is a concentrated red / amber color that shows a clear, bright amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells vinous, oak like and with a port or sherry like note up front that is backed by an aged, toasty maltiness towards the finish. There is a definite, though not heavy, tartness to this beer that accentuates a white wine grape like note. Fruit notes of tart raisins, sour pear / apple and some sort of distinct, but not quite placeable, musky melon like note adds some complexity and balance to the other notes. There is a toasted character here in the nose that is a product of the oak, but also from some residual malt character; the oak also contributes a spiciness to the nose that is a mix of sharp oak, white pepper and this is perhaps joined by a touch of phenolic spicy character.

Still feeling as it hits the mouth, this makes it seem light, despite it coating the palate fairly well. The finish has an oxidized, not quite cardboard like note to it as well as a spicy, lightly astringent oak character, a touch of tartness and a dry, vinous fruit character; this last reminds me of raisins (though without any sweetness), a touch of tart berry notes, a hint of oxidized apple and some red pear flavors. There is an oak presence throughout the flavor profile; a light astringency is noticed from beginning to end, there is a definite wood / oak flavor here as well and perhaps a touch of toasted oak notes, this last suggests at some toasted character from the malt.

This is much nicer than the flat BA Santa’s that I had before this; the difference (since they both are flat and barrel aged) is that this beer is balanced, no one thing (especially the barrel) is so dominant that it gets harsh or annoying. It probably helps that this beer was flat on purpose and was designed around that.

Gueuzedude, Feb 18, 2012
Photo of imperialking
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

imperialking, Feb 13, 2014
Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

drewone, Jan 27, 2013
Photo of John_M
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Well I'll be damned. A bon chien beer with carbonation in it.

The beer pours a brownish rose color with (shock!!!) very good head retention and lacing. The nose otherwise is all bon chien, with some lovely sour apple, cherry, wine and a touch of funk. The sour and funk seem to be dialed down a bit more then usual in this beer, which was something I (naturally) appreciated. Otherwise, the flavors on the palate replicate the nose, but as is always the case with bon chien, the beer really delivers a boatload of flavor. There is also a nice hint of gin in this beer, that works well with the wine flavor and soft mouthfeel. Alcohol is well disguised and I would call this one of the more drinkable bon chien beers I've come across. This is just lovely stuff.

John_M, Oct 20, 2009
Photo of JohnGalt1
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%

Ditmier (Eric) poured this one on Friday night.. I'm glad I took good notes, because with some later pours, he was starting to make me question what I was tasting. Eric.. It does NOT taste like cocktail onions. :-)

Hazy dark gold/orange ... foamy head with good lace and only descent retention.

Nose lends itself to peaches and only mildly sour.. a little vineous... mild oak.. a little musty as it warms up with later pours.

The flavor is much more oakey.. and the same white peach essence seems to dominate.. a little lactic elements add some sour and tends to dry it out a bit. apple skin on the finish.. more tannic than sour... again a little musty.. more acetic as it warms.

I don't know... I think this one was pretty good.. certainly okay... Ditmier got inside my head. :-)

Thanks again to a fucking great BA and thanks again for another beer that was so far off my radar that I NEVER would have tried trading for it..

JohnGalt1, Oct 13, 2009
Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -0.2%

1/16/2010

Consumed in a snifter. Thanks Chris. The beer is light amber with a one finger head, which is a departure from the Bon-Chien Grand Crus. I've had them all, and this is the first time I've seen carbonation.

The nose is vinous with buttery oak and a light tartness. I detect notes of plums and dark grapes, and alcohol becomes increasingly apparent as the beer warms.

The flavor is reminiscent of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, with notes of wood and light tannins. The beer is lightly tart and it exhibits a moderate lactic tartness. Carbonation is at an upper moderate level, but I do prefer these without carbonation. The finish is drying with lingering dark fruit notes.

This is my least favorite of the Bon-Chien Grand Crus. At $23 per 375ml I would definitely not buy this again.

HopHead84, Jan 20, 2010
Photo of glid02
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%

Bottle from the Brick Store - thanks to Sachin for the beer!

Pours a hazy dark orange-copper color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of solid funk, green apples, dry grapes, and hints of white wine vinegar.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Earthy funky flavors with a solid tartness are augmented by mild fruit flavors - as with the smell green apples and white grapes. The ending is where the barrel comes most into play with a solid dryness and hints of oak.

Mouhtfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with surprisingly active carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall this was the first barrel-aged version of the Grand Cru and if it's any indication of how the others taste I'll certainly be coming back for more.

glid02, Jan 23, 2010
Photo of drummermattie02
3.25/5  rDev -19%

drummermattie02, Apr 08, 2013
Photo of DefenCorps
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%

At Max's Ravens and Rare Beer event this past Sunday.

Huh? Carbonation? Why? Well, unique among all the Bon Chien Grand Crus I've had, this actually has some carbonation. Mildly hazy with a thin off-white head with great retention and lacing, this is solid.

Decidedly unique among the Bon Chien Grand Crus, this is mildly sweet, vinous tart and sour with a mild aspirin-like character. Not as complex as I've come to expect, this is mildly fruity with mostly tropical fruit (pineapple). Pretty darned solid

Opening tart and sour with a mildly solventy character with very high carbonation (so high that the beer foams in my mouth), this beer is mildly fruity with golden raisins, white grapes and not as tropical as the nose suggests. Not very acidic, this has the tartness I've come to associate with berries and grapes. Not as rich, deep and vinous as the others (I'm guessing this is due to a paler base beer), this is still very good. Tart on the finish with a crisp acidic character with mild tartness. Thankfully, the solvent and aspirin character is not as prominent on the the palate as it was on the nose.

The carbonation is strange, but works OK. Medium in body, I love the long lasting finish with a great white grape character, I'm finding this to be very enjoyable. I would love to try this again.

**Edit 09 April 2012**
Drinking my lone bottle of the 09 vintage, Vin Jaune 1, that I bought for the stupid price of $22 at State Line. Oh well.

Darker than the 08 vintage, this is a beautiful burnished copper with a dense, light brown head with excellent retention. The nose is a lot more muted than the other beers in the series. In place of a big, leathery red wine character, there's a more delicate honeyed and floral fruit character, with pears, light-fleshed plums, and a rather spicy Brett character, with cloves and a little plastic.

The palate has taken on a whole new level of sourness. A blend of medicinal and raw stone fruit (particularly the flavor of unripe peaches and grapes). As it breathes, it gains quite a bit of an oxidized, sweet white wine character, which is what I guess a vin jaune is. Quite fruity with light sherry, unripe peaches, apricots and pluots (no, really), this has taken on a lot of barrel character, and sourness too. The sourness has a lot of fruit character, once the medicinal character dissipates. Despite my initial impressions, acetic character is quite low, and the sourness is predominantly lactic. However, there is a little bit of bitter-sweet-sourness all rolled into one (like a sour candy) that I would guess is a combination of malic and succinic acids? Alcohol is quite well hidden, this finishes dry, lightly carbonated and plenty of fruit on the finish. Quite impressive and unique, but over-priced. Worth buying once IMO. 4.5/3.5/4/4/4

DefenCorps, Oct 21, 2009
Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev +1%

787th Review on BA
Bottle to goblet
37.5 cl

2009 Vintage

@Woodshop Classix

App- A very nice mix of a murky brown mixed with some ambers to it it. A one finger head formed that was slightly off white with a little bit of cling and lace.

Smell- All over the place with large amounts of oak with a effervescent tart, acid, lemon and a little sweetness.

Taste- This follows the nose with a bunch of the same flavors. A little more oak with some tannic flavors and still a bit of caramel sweet and lemony.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Leaves the oaky tastes with a bit of tart on the end.

Drink- This was a pretty damn tasty oak aged sour beer. From the Swiss who I don’t normally associate with beer but this was good, dry, tart, acidic and flavorful.

FosterJM, Aug 31, 2011
Photo of cpetrone84
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%

A-pours a dark orangish amber color, very hazy, with a bubbly creamy very light tan head.

S-the nose is pretty solid, notes of earthiness to it with a nice amount of tartness. the tart cherries play in well, maybe a touch of acetic acid, the oak is very faint.

T-a light malt base is taken over by a strong tart cherry flavor, the vinegar is light, dry oak is present with a hint of metallic flavor in the very back with a little spiciness to it.

M-good carbonation balances a syrupy medium body with a crisp and lightly dry finish. its a little grainy on the palate but still feels soft and comfortable.

D-this is pretty straight forward and hides the alcohol very well. the sweet to tart ratio is balanced very well, not much else happening but still pretty enjoyable.

cpetrone84, Jul 27, 2010
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to SteveFinny for this and all the other versions. Never had any of these and never even heard of them. VJ2, brewed in 2009.

2.5 A: Pours a completely still, murky plum color. No evidence of carbonation.

4.5 S: Potent vinous character. Lots of sherry, which is probably a combination of slight oxidation and the barrels used. I'm wholly unfamiliar with vin jaune, so I'm not quite sure what that contributes. Anyway, the nose on this is powerful and complex past the grape components. Lactic tanginess, strong tart cherry, apple, melon, and plenty of plum. Toffee, faint raisin, plenty of oak, and vanilla.

4.0 T: The taste is intensely oaky with a strong tannic component and a moderate astringency. Again, big vinous aspects featuring sherry. Lactic tanginess and rotting wood funkiness. Tons of cherry flavor with apple, melon, and plum falling far behind. While the nose had some sweetness to it, the taste is definitely on the drier end. Light toffee. Booze is very well hidden. Tasty and complex.

2.5 M: Medium body. While this isn't horrible without carbonation (probably due to the grape influence), it still suffers for it. Feels pretty much like a heavier wine.

4.0 D: I enjoyed this quite a bit. Super complex and tasty. The astringency lowers the drinkibility, but all in all this is a good beer.

DavoleBomb, Jul 18, 2012
Photo of Exiled
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Exiled, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of koopa
3.93/5  rDev -2%

Bottle either purchased at Capone's or DeCicco's I can't remember.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange with a massive 4 finger dirty khaki crown that shows some retention and lace.

Smell: A touch sweet but predominantly tart and vinous. Brett like yeast (Notes of lemon and slight barnyard mustiness) is apparent but not overpowering. Not extremely complex, but not boring either.

Taste: Again like the nose the initial sip makes you think its going in the sweet direction but then you are bombarded by tartness and green grapes. A bit disjointed if you ask me. Lots of brett, white raisins, and some sweet malt. Not too much barrel in the flavor profile. Slight crushed up aspirin quality too. This is barely a 4.0 in the taste category for me. I'd give it a 3.8 if I could.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with ample carbonation. Probably the best category for this brew.

Drinkability: At 11% abv with a not too particularly nice taste profile I'm gonna score this one down.

koopa, Nov 24, 2009
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | next › last »
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Vin Jaune Barrels) from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
88 out of 100 based on 34 ratings.