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

Abbaye De Saint Bon-ChienAbbaye De Saint Bon-Chien
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Style:
French Bière de Garde
Ranked #2
ABV:
11%
Score:
96
Ranked #514
Avg:
4.36 | pDev: 10.09%
Reviews:
325
Ratings:
1,165
From:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
 
Switzerland
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  150
Gots
  244
SCORE
96
World-Class
Abbaye De Saint Bon-ChienAbbaye De Saint Bon-Chien
Notes: The Abbey of Saint Bon-Chien, winey, tart and complex, matured - slowly - in oak barrels. The beer that forged the legend of the BFM across the Atlantic.
Reviews: 325 | Ratings: 1,165 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of MattDecker
MattDecker from Texas

4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: honey amber l, slightly translucent
Smell: sour, tart, wine barrels
Taste: winey, very tart, a unique sournish
Feel: crisp and puckering
Overall: an interesting dram. For me, this lingers on "I guess its technically a beer" in the same way that a burger with donut buns are hamburgers ha. Very interesting, enjoying about, im not sure I would ever have more than q

Apr 14, 2020
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Act25 from New Jersey

4.53/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Belongs in the 100 class in my view. Enjoyed Beereau in Berlin, on tap, by Henrik the owner. My best Berlin spot.
a) Brown body with lashes of lace.
s) Tart, wine-like, oaky, church-like, incense, plum, more wood shop.
t) Follows all this aroma into a deeper complexity.
f) Wine like, astringent, fruit without sugar.
o) One my favorite beers of all time. Deserves its higher regard.

Feb 28, 2020
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LeeryLeprechaun from Colorado

4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Nose of red fruit and balsamic vinegar. Flavor has some brett funk, good maltiness, balanced acetic acid acidity. A little cloudy, no head retention. Red - orange in color. Very complex and interesting but a little aggressive for my preference.

Feb 24, 2020
Photo of Eddieeight
Eddieeight from Ohio

4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2014 bottle at 11%. Some call this a Bière de Garde and others have compared it to an oud Bruin. Very pleasing rusty burnt orange color. Opaque and inviting looking. For the nose I’m getting strong fruits and leather. The taste is intense. The label says slightly sour but it tastes pretty strong to me. Maybe I’m just sensitive to sour beers as I don’t care for them too much. However the taste has a bright feel to it, a lot like orange juice. Very thirst quenching. The taste also is a lot like smoky leather. Like a high back leather chair in front of a toasty fire. Aftertaste lingers quite a while, especially the sour. Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated and crisp. Overall I can tell this is a good beer but it’s just not my style due to the sourness.

Feb 17, 2020
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beergoot from Colorado

4.28/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Dirty amber-orange body; yeast cloudiness; thin yet lasting off-white head. Initial impression of the smell is fermented cherries but further reflection makes me think of high alcohol and white oak barrel aging. The taste is an intriguing blend of muted caramel malt with a strong sour cherry and nougat combination playing out; tart and mildly boozy. Heavy body; a bit of astringency competing with the residual sugar presence; a sense of alcohol warmth adds to the mix.

First off, the beer strikes me as being more inline with the BA description of Flanders red ale because of its strong wine and sour-like character while there is still a fine level of malt sweetness to be gleaned. Regardless, the beer is unique and intriguing in its character and depth. The oak aging creates added presence and the alcohol presence, while detectable, resides in the background. Different and very nice.

Feb 16, 2020
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DaveMaciolek21 from New Jersey

3.59/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Reddish-brown color, head virtually non-existent, kind of a musty aroma. Taste is tart, but not enough to wince. Fruit flavors of plum and tart cherry. There's an earthy undercurrent too. Amazing how they've buried 11% ABV in the flavor mix. The alcohol content never intrudes. Great old world craft here.

Jan 29, 2020
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octortus from Canada

4.4/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 mL Bottle. ABV 11%.
Appearance: Cherry red, Off white head, Light carbonation, No retention.
Aroma: Plum, Apple, Oak, Red wine vinegar, Funk, Tart cherry, Brown sugar, Very complex.
Mouthfeel: Medium body, Pucker on finish, Extremely well hidden alcohol.
Flavour: Sour, Musty, Lemongrass, Slight caramel, Red wine vinegar, Fig, Very complex.
Overall: Flanders Red meets Belgian Quad?

Review: 106

Jan 03, 2020
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BGDrock from Canada

4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Dark, murky amber, like burnt caramel; limited head retention.
The nose is funky fruitiness, ripe apples in a barn, mild dried fruit, lightly floral; maybe some over-ripe apricot and strawberry.
Amazing, complex flavours, fruity + funky + acidic + umami; almost impossible to describe, it's a taste of its own - apple cider, peach pie filling, dried apricot, red currants. All balanced by cider vinegar acidity and tang; off-dry finish, very long; fine carbonation, light and almost flat (which may be poor handling by the retailer); medium body.

This might not be for everyone, but I love the funkiness and weirdness. Needs more carbonation, but again, that might be the fault of the handling.

Dec 28, 2019
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npolachek from New York

4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Solid beer with raspberry and dark fruits as well as some sweetness. Very well crafted sour beer with a good sourness and solid taste. Like this beer a lot.

Jul 24, 2019
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jngrizzaffi from Texas

4.16/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a very cloudy red amber color with a thin foamy head. Head retention is mild. Lacing is good. Pungent sour raspberry aroma. Oaky for sure. Very sour flavor. Raspberry and dark fruits with a lot of oak. Maybe some grape. The sourness is not as pronounced as it is in the aroma. Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Well crafted sour.

Jul 03, 2019
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andrei_chiffa from Maryland

4.64/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A foamy, dark beer with a heavy top; with a richness of smells, reminding those of bourbon barrels and complex malts pulling rather to the sweet and caramel notes. The alcohol content is impossible to feel; it does not mask the flavors but instead serves as a vessel to more complicated flavors picked up during the barrel aging. The hops cannot be tasted, but definitely, do contribute to the flavor complexity and balance. The taste is out of this world as well - the notes of the bourbon barrel come through and the complexity of malts come through and marry the hops to provide a zesty, complex experience. Heavy, creamy with a strong head, this beer's texture just keeps on giving.

Overall, this is a truly exceptional, world-class beer I could but recommend to sample if you ever have the opportunity.

Jan 05, 2019
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KooVee from Finland

4.74/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

2016 vintage from the state monopoly Alko in Finland.

Looks murky orange, actually not a colour to indicate the actual taste/style, merely out of being conditioned to brownish/reddish hue for this type of taste. Only a thin incomplete layer of bubbles rises to the surface, but it does stick. So far not a lot to build expectations on.

The nose blows one away and takes you immediately to associations with best of oud bruin. Tart, vinegary, some red fruit, oak when newly opened, but fading as the beer breathes, and replaced by increased acetic acid notes. Very little aroma of alocohol for the strength. Brewery says barrels of both spirits and wine were used but cannot detect any such indicators.

Taste is complex, again oud bruin is what I am forced to think of -- the 'bière de garde' classification as style by the state monopoly is just one more proof of lack of competence from the state, as it here only means it is beer to keep. Complex, with just enough underlying sweetness to counterbalance the tartness and the vinegar. Long, pleasant aftertaste with fruit in the middle all around the palate, acidic aromas giving just the right amount of edge, and fading to a smooth finish. Leaves one wanting to take another sip. Extremely easy to drink for the strengh. Vinegar notes are also in perfect proportion, and never go too far.

Feel is one of easy drinkability, suitably mild carbonation without being flat.

Overall a classic beer. Perfectly balanced and making you want another. Would be really interesting to do a vertical of these, as this was still only two years old.

Dec 08, 2018
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dukeandduke from Illinois

4.46/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12/2/18 (Chicago): 1 pint 9.4 oz bottle brewed in 2013, multiple pours into Chimay chalice. Light ruby brown, pour, slight tan head quickly dissipates. Very sweet wine aroma, grapes, raisin aroma, also note tart aroma. Sweet and tangy taste, wine, fruit, raisins. Nice blend. Light texture, pucker up tartness, very nice. Overall excellent offering!

Dec 02, 2018
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Lucular from Maryland

4.3/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at Lures Bar & Grille. Aroma and flavor are incredibly complex with white wine, leather, oak, funk, dark fruit, tannins, and sour vinegar all coming into play. 11% abv is well-hidden.

Aug 10, 2018
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Sigmund from Norway

3.61/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle, Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 11%. Hazy reddish brown colour, thin beige head. Aroma of red wine, red wine vinegar, oak, silage and horse stable. Sour flavour, notes of red wine vinegar, red wine, brettanomyces and oak.

Jun 12, 2018
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WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.24/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wine bottle, 2014 edition

Poured into chalice

Iced tea appearance , no foam cap

Aroma of raisins , oak , fig, tartness

Taste is wine like , grapes , oak ,

Tartness, bit sour

Good beer

Jun 10, 2018
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Bierschenker from Belgium

4.29/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Saved this as a bonus on a tasting session of on tap beers.
Smells like sour peaches. Very strait forward.
First taste gives a very fruity sourness. Like biting a pomegranate or a pomelo infused in alcohol.
The aftertaste gives a silky smooth citrus feel in the back of my mouth. Alcohol evaporates.
Lingers on to enjoy.

Apr 16, 2018
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stortore from Illinois

4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into a goblet. 2015 blend 6. Had 12/30/17.

Pours a rosy amber color, a little cloudy, with not much of a head and a little filmy lacing. Smells sour. Aromas of cherries, wine, oak, plums, grapes, dates, figs, light spices, some vanilla. Smells great. The taste leads with grapes, then wine, oak, malt, some cherries and figs, light vanilla and tobacco. A little sour, with a sweet note midway. Smooth, dry, a solid fuller body for the style, well carbonated.

Wow, it was hard to just sip this one. So well balanced and complex. Incredible grapes and wood, and structured in a totally different way from any other Biere de Garde I’ve had before. It’s a little pricey, but worth every penny. Run to get this one, when you can.

Mar 26, 2018
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LoloMo from Virginia

4.83/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Beautifully cask aged. Love to let it warm up to 50 degrees when I am patient enough. Have enough every vintage since 2006. A great beer to cellar but honestly peaks round 5 years.

Mar 03, 2018
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tigg924 from Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap. Pours hazy, tan in color with minimal head. Taste is fruity: strawberries, banana and vinegar. Medium-light bodied, prickly carbonation, and moderately sour. Makes for a really good sipper of a biere de garde. I would get this again if I could find it on draft. Well worth a try.

Jun 27, 2017
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

4.25/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

this is truly a beer like no other, and its only the exorbitant price point that has prevented me from trying it until now, despite being a huge fan of the rest of their stuff i have tried. this is a wild slightly sour strong ale aged in a variety of barrels, heavy wine on it, lots of wood, some clean bacterial acidity, a sneaky alcohol strength, and an incredible depth thats unrivaled in this way. clearish copper colored brew that i reckon changes a little bit batch to batch based on particular barrels involved and on wild cultures and fermentation temperatures, although that claim is entirely unsubstantiated, im just not sure how you recreate a beer this complex in any kind of consistent way. dried fruit on the nose, clean citrus, white wine, port wine too, a woody heaviness, funky tang, dates and grapes, there is a ton going on. cleaner wood and wine in the flavor, and the sourness is rather reserved for how it smells. its puckery but not sharp, and that does not slow me down. molasses and brown sugar notes, this isnt all the way dry and still features a robust and interesting malt profile. dessert wine and raisin to round it out, a little mature oaky funk, and a wash of warming alcohol on the swallow. compelling stuff, not sure how much of it i could or would want to drink, but its famous for a reason and probably fairly priced considering what goes into it. fun beer, like nothing else out there!

Jun 27, 2017
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josanguapo from Spain

4.1/5  rDev -6%
look: 1.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 32 Great Power. In Teku glass. Playing Grim Legends 3. Wine-ish, sherry-like, with a soft, smooth sourness and a pretty well concealed ABV. Nose greater than taste, as i find much BA beers lately. Low on foam and a dirty-reddish colour, not a look I like

Jun 26, 2017
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lukymann from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What an interesting beer. Unlike too many that I've had before. Scent of strawberries and flavors of melon, cherry and champagne vinegar. The fairly high alcohol content is fairly well masked by all that's going on. Recommended to any sour beer/lambic fans.

Jun 25, 2017
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Marius from Netherlands

4.5/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

vintage 2008 - Bottle shared at Pre-Borefts Ratebeer Tasting 2016. Semi-hazy copper pour with no head. Notes of cherries, sherry, dried fruit, oak, vanilla, cocoa and some copper-like oxidation. medium body, light carbonation and a sour finish. 4.4 / 5

vintage 2012 - Bottle shared at Pre-Borefts Ratebeer Tasting 2016. Semi-hazy copper pour with no head. Notes of cherries, sherry, dried fruit, oak, vanilla, cocoa, chocolate. medium body, light carbonation and a sour finish. 4.5 / 5

Jan 03, 2017
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JackRWatkins from Alabama

4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: deep cherry wood brown, no head at all, no lacing, liquid is thick and clings to glass,
S: pepper, vinegar, and a very sharp funk, and an almost harsh maltiness and a prominent woody note
T: cherry, grape, red wine vinegar, a sharp malt character, pleasant but confusing (you know it is malt but how you know this in this case is unclear), there is another side to the maltiness as well (an oaky sweetness), I think I even get some grapefruit here
M: sticky, reminds me very much of an unpasteurized juice (like acai berry juicy, very thick)
O: phenomenal, this beer commands attention, I was actually doing something else before writing this (having had this beer before but not having reviewed it) and upon tasting it I immediately stopped what I was doing to write down notes on the beer. a must try, seek it out

Dec 08, 2016
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1165 ratings