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

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-ChienAbbaye De Saint Bon-Chien
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Switzerland | website

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by ggaughan on 06-07-2006

BEER STATS
Reviews:
294
Ratings:
1,067
Avg:
4.28
pDev:
19.63%
 
 
Wants:
131
Gots:
230
For Trade:
8
User Reviews
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Reviews: 294 | Ratings: 1,067
Reviews by Zraly:
Photo of Zraly
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

2006 vintage. Poured into a Teku glass. Burgundy with mahogany tinge, off-white head in appearance. Nice looking. Smells are very complex and wine-like; very pleasant and fragrant.

I've had this on tap before on more than one occasion at The Birch in Norfolk. However, now that I am at home and have more room to collect my thoughts, this is a good time to write a review.

Very wine like in terms of the flavor complexity. The sourness adds a very defined, acidic tone for the rest of the flavors. Upfront, dried fruits and tart cherries take center stage, with a hint of malt lingering in the back. Vanilla from oak comes through mid-palate. Soft carbonation gives enough lift to keep this from cloying or becoming too much due to the presence of the vinegar notes; balanced appropriately. Interesting spice notes accompany the funk in the finish. The finish is fairly dry and the body is medium, although it has a lightness to it that is airy surrounding a slightly boozy note; quite the feat in terms of notes going together. Finally, I pick up on a herbaceous note throughout, like a combination of thyme and lavender. So in addition to what is already a very complex ale, a floral note ends the flavor composition. Really pretty and a treat to have both in the bottle and on tap.

The biggest piece, for me, is how easy this goes down. I can drink more than one of these, which is not necessarily the case for most ales in the Biere de Garde or Flemish Ale categories. It's definitely not training wheels for the style by any means, but if you know you like that style, you really should try this.

As for food, something very tasty and well-crafted will work. I can see everything from a shepherd's pie to pate to coq au vin pairing well with this. I don't think a nice berry cobbler is out of the question either. A slight stretch could be venison stew, but really, I think the key is something that is full-flavored and can stand up to some acidity and sour notes.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.72/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle provided by the ever generous nchrist13 at a recent Madison BA tasting.

Sample size: perhaps 6-8 oz (I kind of helped myself to the lions share of this one, sorry other Madison BAs). I must get some more of this in a trade to try again and expand on this review. Poured into a snifter.

Appearance: Wine like Burgundy but displaying ruby/copper hues when held directly to light more reminiscent of beer. Thick off white head when agitated that settles to a thin skim. Easily reagitated to a healthy looking foam.

Nose: Upfront about the barrel aging aspect that brings forth a funky, acidic, tannin rich woodiness. Strongly vinous smells of dark fruits but equally aromatic amounts of sour/tart cherries, think Supplication meets NG Belgian Red. Also precent is a background spiciness that mixes with dirt and sawdust to give this dog a really nice solid base. I got teary eyed when I smell this beer (no joke).

Taste: Style limitations be damned, this is the Best Biere de Garde of all times. Bordeaux dark fruit vinous flavors. Cherry background sourness. Earth, moss, damp wood. Much less acidic then I would have guessed from the nose. Mild amounts of caramel and vanilla. Musty.

Mouthfeel: Sublime. Vinous with mild carbonation and acidity. Light but fulfilling sourness. Woody. Medium bodied. Dry finish.

Drinkability: Perfect.

I owe Nick big time for this one.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.98/5  rDev -7%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage. 750ml capped bottle into a Cigar City snifter.

Pours a course 1 finger layer of big bubbles that collapses quickly. Beer is a clear, dark mahogany. No lace and no legs. Not much to look at.

Nose is tart cherry and raspberry with hints of vinegar, soy sauce, oak and booze. Aromatic and very complex. Nice.

Opens mellow and juicy cherry, raspberry, vinegar and red fruit pulp. Amazingly complex. Layers of oak, barnyard, and a big bold tartness preside over the middle. Acidic and puckering with big fruit and funk notes. Finishes tart vinegar, red fruit and a slight bit of soy sauce. Sour finish. Awesome!

Light to medium bodied with low carbonation. Slick and oily in the mouth and goes down puckering and dry. Finishes dry with a filmy aftertaste that coats the palate. Solid.

This is a beer that's been around for a long while and its easy to see why. Great balance and complexity and just an all around solid offering. Definitely worth seeking out and its one of those rare non-gueuze beers that ages wonderfully!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

With the taste of the '11 Grand Cru lingering on my memory, those flavors are so exhilarating that this standard Abbey de Saint Bon-Chien is drawing me like a moth to the flame. But this '06 vintage rewards me with its brightness and none of the burn.

Much like the Grand Cru, the beer pours a modestly carbonated hazy rust color, revealing reds, browns, purples, and mauve highlights when held to the light. Its tawny appearance releases the daintiest of foam structures that deflate from the acidity and alcohol beneath. With little to discuss in the retention and lacing department, the beer is left to look like wine.

Mouthwatering aromas abound with fruit, wine, spice, and must. Sour cherries, grapes, apples, figs, dates, and apricots strike the nose with a forceful scent. Backed by notes of Balsamic vinegar, sherry wine, and Merlot-type tangy notes the beer is savory and rich to go along with its strong acidity. Earthy tones of dried limes, leather, weathered oak, cellar musk, tobacco, and sea air keep the aromas varying and inciting.

The taste of all that sour and musty fruit that pierces the taste buds with sharp flavors that accompany dried wood, earthy sea brine, figs and dates, tobacco and leather- and all woven together by savory balsamic and sherry. It's a sublime taste that at first seems too intense with sourness, but is then softened by mature fruit sweetness. Other intangible complements to the beer reveal almonds, vanilla, and light caramel and seem to alternate with each sip.

Its elegant textures are sharp on the palate at first but then softened by ghost of maltiness that soothes the palate against vinegar-like acidity. Wood spices offer some astringency and gives the beer an almost-peppery finish. Surprisingly, the warmth of eleven percent is hardly felt as it is tightly woven into the acidic notes.

This sultry ale is a culinary delight on all fronts: it's savory, sweet, sour, and salty. Highly satisfying to taste, the beer is mature, surly, and unpredictable all at once. I simply cannot get enough of it!

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Photo of Roguer
4.11/5  rDev -4%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Murky reddish-brown appearance, seems fairly clear. Essentially no head, just some light, quickly disappearing bubbles, but that's not a surprise for the style. Rating somewhat in the middle: looks fine for the style, but ultimately does not look appealing.

Big, complex sour nose: huge whiff of oak right off the bat, followed by big sour notes, vinous fruit, slight must, caramel grains, tannins, light toast, a bit of barnyard funk, and a touch of sweetness that is difficult to place. Sour, tart, funky, sweet - everything blends together quite well on the nose.

Flavor follows, at first light and delicate on the palate, but quickly building to a sour peak, followed by fruits, that followed by a cloying sweetness, and finished with fresh plums and berries. Softer oak - vanilla and tannins - lingers throughout. Very little vinegar to the sourness, although there is a touch of it, marking this as a cousin to a Flanders red ale.

I often review beer flavors in halves or thirds (not unlike a cigar review). This brew seems to have four distinct flavor phases, waves that come over discretely, followed by the finish. They follow one another closely, the result of which is that there is a lot going on seemingly at once; while your mind and palate are grappling with the flavors they just experienced, newer ones are already coming in and asserting themselves.

Very active and slightly puckering on the palate; cloying, long finish. A bit watery on the front end.

 1,474 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers and, somehow, more than the sum of its parts. Beautiful aubern / caramel tone with crystal clarity ... light and loose head. No real lacing, just clinging spots. The aroma isn't generally deep. Just a sherry, red wine sort amped up on some vinegar acidity - sharp apple cider, caramel undertones, nutty, oak, acidic white grapes, taut. Flavor follows through and it lingers ... light and acrobatic.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a snifter, the beer is #00276, brewed in 2007 and blended in Dec 2008. The beer is a murky, amber-brown coloring with a peppering of small carbonation bubbles throughout and no head. Aromatic as soon as you pry the cap off. Wow. Aromas of tart cherry, tannins, old world fruit sweetness in the backbone, apples, roasted notes, and an abundance of spices, including cloves, coriander, and nutmeg. Very layered nose, and more and more comes out as you drink. Great. Flavors are fruit rich forward, with a blast of berries and cherries enveloped in tart and slightly acidic notes, keeping a perfect balance across the palate. Darkly sweet plum and fig backbone, with a spiced blend that warms a bit, as well as provides some edge to all the smooth and rich notes. The tart turns slightly sour towards the tail end of the palate, which does a solid job of cleaning up all of the majorly rich and heavy characteristics. Smooth, mid-bodied in mouth, with a tart and fruity aftertaste that has a slightly astringent feel to it. The finish is crisp, with a slightly sour linger. Very delicious beer worth seeking out.

 1,135 characters

Photo of JackieKu
4.12/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

375ml bottle. Poured into tulip.

A: Hazy cropper. No foam.
S: Plum, tart, and slightly balsamic. Slightly toasted.
T: Raspberry. Slightly balsamic. Medium sourness. Low bitterness. Dry (though there is a touch of sweetness).
M: Full bodied. Low carbonation.
O: Overall it's quite impressive, even I was misunderstanding it's a stout until I poured it into the glass. The aroma is so complex yet elegant. And the flavor is strong, complex, and balanced. Might be the best sour beer I ever have.

 494 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2013 bottle.

Pours a cloudy rusty/reddish brown with a tiny head of foam that disappears almost instantly. Lacing, no.

Smell is of cherry, oak and vanilla, and funk.

Tartness from the cherries hits my palate right off the bat. Oaky notes move in bringing some vanilla and wood
and throughout each sip, an enjoyable taste of funk makes taking the next sip easy peasey.

Fairly light bodied with light carbonation. Wine like mouthfeel.

Well now, this is a real winner and a treat!

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Photo of adamtbit
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I can remember the first time I ever tried this beer, on tap at Hay Merchant in Houston, it incited a need deep within to drink more and more as I found myself coming back every day for a week or two just for this beer. I've since had it in a bottle as well, it wasn't quite as effervescent from a bottle. Only tried the 2014 edition so far.

Pour was a nice red/garnet color with about a finger of sticky lightly brown-colored foam. Nice lacing on the glass as it drank very slowly with small sips. After each sip I felt slightly dismayed that the glass was emptying so quickly.

The scent is aromatic and fruity, similar to a brandy, but with a heavy dose of balsamic vinegar, definitely betrays the flavor of the actual beer. The vinegar flavor is what makes this sour unique, it's like the finest aged vinegar from Italy.

Flavor is the aforementioned balsamic, as well as caramel, fruits, and a bit of citrus.

First review, and this is my favorite beer, as well as one of the most well-crafted beers I've ever had.

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Photo of ricke
3.95/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Vintage 2008.

A: Reddish brown color, slightly hazy. A small head quickly disappears.

S: Tart berries, perhaps some lemon and tart apples as well. Subtle malts and a decent amount of funk - mud and wet hay.

T: Some semi-sweet fruity notes and malts that's quickly overshadowed by tart flavors and funky notes. The tartness is really good in this one, sharp and edgy, yet not puckering nor astringent. Perhaps a slight taste of vinegar. The finish is really dry with a decent amount of sweet alcohol, a hint of minerals and lingering tartness.

M: Medium body with semi-aggressive carbonation.

D: A good beer, quite interesting. It has an edgy character due to the way the tartness mixes with the aromas and the gentle sweetness. Would definitely have another.

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Photo of t2grogan
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CavemanRamblin
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of brownbeer
4.07/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasted the 2005 vintage that clocks in at 15.5% abv, rather than the 11% noted here.

It wasn't much too look at with no head and muddied color.

The nose was much better, though. It had sour fruit notes(mostly cherry for me), vanilla, noticable alcohol. It lets you know you're in for something big.

Similar notes on the palate with an added acidic bonus and finishing with light oaky tannins.

I thought it didn't taste terribly different from the pinot version but both were great.

This would be a great winter warmer to split with a couple of friends. Thanks nightbrew for pulling this from your secretive cellar.

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Photo of MarieWL
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Perfection, was so very happy to pick up a 75 cl bottle in Basel, as this is something you'd like to bring home and share with other "sour enthusiasts"

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Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of supa0525
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of EastBay_Nick
5/5  rDev +16.8%

Photo of danthehopslamman
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of kuishinbo_tantei
3.66/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of generallee
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: It was poured from a capped green 1pint 9.4oz bottle. The bottle reads hand crafted in 2006 at 11%abv. aged in oak and blended October 07. Also there is what I think is a bottle number or batch number on the neck label that reads 00276.

Appearance: The body has a dark and murky appearance with a dark brownish burgundy color and some lighter reddish high lights. Near the edges of the glass there are some tine bubbles of carbonation. The head is a small, creamy off white layer of foam that slowly fades to just a small ring of tiny bubbles. Lacing is slick and minimal.

Smell: Its aroma has nice tart fruit, funky earthy yeast notes with a hint of oak.

Taste/Mouth: The flavor starts with a semi-sweet malty base with a wonderfully complex mix of dry tart fruit, funky earthy east and wood. Some fruit notes that pop out are sour cherries, dry wine like grapes, and tart apple skins. All these flavors work in perfect harmony and its 11%abv is well hidden. It adds another layer of complexity and mellow warmth to the palate. It has a medium body with a silky light texture and soft carbonation.

Notes: This beer shows outstanding complexity, balance and sophistication. I could sip this all night paired up with a nice plate of fine cheese and fruit.

 1,272 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
3.48/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Magister_Beav
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My face doesn't know what to do while drinking this beer. It is sour, sweet, and savory. Umami, I don't want the taste to end and luckily it doesn't end quickly. Fantastic!


It is a murky red color, just light enough to see the delicious bits floating around. A terrific sour cherry flavor coats the tongue combined with a tingle of the bubbles is a fantastic experience. It has an ever so slightly oak caramel after taste hitting all the taste receptors.

 460 characters

Photo of JakerLou
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
4.28 out of 5 based on 1,067 ratings.
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