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

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-ChienAbbaye De Saint Bon-Chien

Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)

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

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Reviews: 299 | Ratings: 1,098
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.

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

One of my all time favorite beers.
Pours a hazy burgundy, with lots of creamy, lingering head.
Lots of lacing. The nose is packed with earthy brettanomyces funk,
tart fruit, banana and oak. The overall effect is vinous, almost similar
to a cabernet. Mouthfeel is full and sticky. Prickly and tart on the back of the throat. Cherry sweetness and oaky vanilla flavors are first and foremost, followed by light, grainy malts and green grape sweetness. The finish is a fantastic mess of boozy, funky, sour flavors. Totally worth the high price tag.

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

To me, this is one of the most perfect beers I have ever tasted! I first had it on tap in Philadelphia just before Christmas 2011. It was wild tasting, all over the board, sour, sweet, silky, like a Flanders Red but more body.
Very little head, pours slightly hazy reddish brown into a BFM stemmed glass, has a funky smell but is balanced sweet and sour fruit, finishes solid.
Whenever I find it on tap now, and that's at least once a year, I go back as often as possible.

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Photo of Budinetz
4.95/5  rDev +15.7%

Vintage 2011. Bottle #00276

Pours a rich amber, mahogany like color with a 1/2 inch eggshell white head that dissipates very quickly.

Smells of honey, sweet malt, and a slight sourness. Hints of citrus and ripe dates are present as well.

Tastes sweet to the tongue on the front end with a mild tartness on the finish. Quite pleasant aftertaste.

Great mouthfeel! A slight prickliness but the carbonation is very low. There is an amazing slickness on the tongue after sipping. VERY drinkable despite the 11% abv..aye too drinkable.

One of the greatest biere de garde styles I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. Holy mother of delicious! Very well balanced with a lot of flavor. I can't wait to try the other vintages!

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Photo of EggsBenny
4.91/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

If you like sours this is a must try. Awesome lip puckering goodness, woody complexity that lingers on the tongue. It's expensive but good at least the ABV is high. Treat yourself sometime!

Many thumbs up.

Also Alvinne Cuvee Freddy Sofie edition if you like this.

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Photo of RixBeer
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours a murky brown orange with 2 fingers of head. lots of little yeasties floating around.

Raisin and maybe some plum smells overwhelm with a hint of cocoa. Yeah I said it Cocoa.

Tatses like heaven. Thank you BFM! Sweet raisiny and plum flavors. MMM...this is so damn good. God I wish I had more of these [but for less money].

It's very smooth but has a little kick of alcohol. I love this beer. I can't stop praising its' glory

Very drinkable. But you can only have 1 bottle. Otherwise you'll fall right over! No serious it'll hurt you or someone you love if you don't watch it...

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Photo of jonesmr
4.9/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I had this beer on- tap at Mekong in Richmond, VA.

This wild sour beer had a tart, almost fruity taste. The lingering taste and mouthfeel made me crave more and more. This beer was good from the first sip to the last drop.

This beer is a must have if you like sour beers.

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Photo of phisig137
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle number 00276 from the 2004 Vintage, found this on "the list", for those of you that know it.

The incredibly heavy bottle with a nice label pours a murky hazy deep brown mahogany color. Ruby highlights around the edges, and a one finger head make this nice to look at when held to the light. Little retention and no lacing.

Aroma is quite incredible. Outrageously complex vinous notes, roasty chocolate aromas, toffee, alcohol, caramel, dark fruits, and a bit of alcohol. Amazing.

The flavor is everything that the nose is, and more. Hugely complex malt flavors, with slight toffee notes, burnt sugars, tobacco, and leather. Behind that are fruity flavors of overripe plums and figs, backed by an almost tannic wine quality. Every now and then you'll get a little warming surge of vanilla notes that blend in perfectly. Grappa flavors are apparent on the finish... especially as this coasts to room temp from 60°F. Finish is slightly tart and dry, with a long lingering flavor that you can taste a few minutes after your last sip. Without a doubt one of the most complex interesting beers I've had. Mouthfeel is creamy, heavy and smooth. Drinkability is decent, but you're forced to sip it slow... you just don't want it to go away.

Without question, this is one of the highest quality beers that I have ever had the pleasure to drink. But don't buy this thinking that you're getting a standard biere de Garde.... it's much more than that. If you have any wino friends that you're trying to advocate good beer to, this is the one. Supposedly this was one of only twelve bottles that made it into VA. Personally, I feel that it was worth every penny of the $48 that I paid for it. Thanks to Jacob for getting this in.

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Photo of Rothobinide
4.86/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On tap at The Answer Brewpub in Richmond, VA on 3/29/16.

Golden-orange-red in color, minimal head and lacing, smells like grappa. Flavor is all complicated like: grape must, wine barrel, wood funk, sweet tart and vinous. Mouthfeel is hella smooth. Goes down easy for being an imposing 11%. A damn fine sour beer. Will actively seek to taste it again.

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

2011 vintage

Pours out a deep, reddish caramel body with a thin, frothed milk head. Smell is of wood, toasted malts, berries, funk, acid, brown sugar. This first flavor impression is acidity, along with light caramel sweetness, chocolate, toasted bread, warm wood, gentle, earthy hop (faintly). Alcohol is very well-hidden, but perceptible. Finishes rather dry. Amazing. Mouthfeel is moderate in weight, with a sharp bubbliness. Acidity strips the tongue. Incredible beer. Not what I was expecting.

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

This is it. So far, the 2014 Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien is the closest thing to a perfectly balanced sour I've had. There's no 'candy' sour, just a full bodied bacterial oak aged sour. I find myself drinking it more like a wine than a beer. Excellent deep grape nose, full body, and tart finish. Thank you, Brasserie.

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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 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.

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

a: served in a small thistle style glass, the beer is a deep amber in color, opaque, with a well retained layer of carbonation and some lace

s: gorgeous aroma, listed on the menu as a sour and that side really shows here - lots of tart/sour both bacterial and fruity, some dark vinous tannins and boozy spirits, woody oak, a sweet grainy malt side, rich and powerful but artfully balanced

m: carbonation low, light-medium body, smooth

t: loads of sweet-sour fruits, vinous tannic flavors, fruity/sweet malts well offset by a rich funk, solidly oaky, bacterial tart and sour cherry edges, benign aged hops, lightly sweet booze, complex and delicious

d: love this - loads of rich barrel and fruit character with a solid sour/funk throughout, drinks incredibly well for an 11 percent beer

consumed at Thirsty Monk, Asheville

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

A 2006 bottle...The color burgundy, could be confused for a glass of wine if it wasnt for all of the haze, with active, bubbly off-white head. Smell is of a high quality red wine, american oak, backed by some tart, sour and funky notes... wonderful. The scent is done right by the taste, a pronounced, but delicate acidic and tart wine charachter backed by the touches of hay, oak, earth, grain and funk. Amazing taste. Medium bodied, dry, better as the carbonation settles. A very wonderful beer... easliy comparably to RR Consecration, a bit more mild without the added currants. Would love to experience other years.

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Photo of jmc44
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia. This is the 2005 vintage that clocks in at 15.5% ABV.

Poured a deep ruby color with virtually no head; just a ring of tannish bubbles that quickly dissipated. A nice pleasant color that is attractive but not particularly "beery" looking.

Complex, funky aroma, with a pronounced tartness, some woody notes, earthy, and a bit of alcohol. You can note the aroma of Grappa (from being aged in Grappa barrels), but it is not overwhelming.

Wonderful, complex taste that does a good job hiding the alcohol. Definitely a bit tart, with flavors similar to the aroma; a bit like a saison. Full flavored; a very long lingering finish that is pleasant, coupled with a nice alcohol warming. There are some hints of the grappa in the flavor but it is really quite minimal. I would say the flavors pick up quite a bit from aging in the wine barrels though. Nicely done.

Velvety smooth, and surprisingly easy drinking given its ABV.

Definitely, improves as it warms - bottle says to be served 61-64 degrees. It is certainly best as it nears room temperature. One of the best beers I have ever had, and definitely worth the $35.

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Photo of EGreen
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Nice oakey and sour aromas. Very deceptive sour that may be the best balanced sour I've had. Sour clears the way for a nice oakey finish. A very nice beer that really excited me even more on the reemergence of sours in the US. Very enjoyable!!!

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.82/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is the 2012 version

L - Cherry red, no lace, crisp looking.

S - Tart, apples, cherries, poignant.

T - Tart and sour, belgian funky yeast, cherries, black currant, a slight boozy kick at the end. Amazing.

F - Low carbonation. Smooth.

O - Simply one of the best brews I have ever had. Will be a regular in my lineup for special occasions

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Photo of dacrza1
4.81/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

DATE TASTED: August 8, 2013 ... GLASSWARE: Chimay goblet... OCCASION: celebrating birthday #37 in style... APPEARANCE: dense, dark amber-brown body with a single-finger froth that settles swiftly to a ring around an island of softened cirrus... AROMA: incredible red wine waft--especially merlot--takes the nostrils by force; secondary fragrant hops with bubblegum yeasts make this an alluring beer to hover over...a bit of cherries and some plum too...complex...PALATE: incredibly dry, warm, full-bodied mouthfeel--definitely worth a chalice and an evening; three sips to thirty sips, just as easy drinking...TASTE: sour but comfortably palatable; deliciously reminiscent of merlot, with a yeasty component that conflates the grape and rounds it... OVERALL: As farmhouse ales go, this is one beauty that made me buy a Saison Dupont on my last shopping trip, if only because the style, when done well, is inimitable; powerful, delectable, alcoholic but sensible in its balance; bought on a whim, this exceeded my expectations...

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle, 8 oz sample. This one pours a deep burgundy color with a very light head that settles at a ring around the top of the brew. This one has ruby highlites, with no carbonation and is fairly clear. Nice looker. The aroma on this one is big in tanniny oak, light puffs of alcohol, wine-like vinous fruits. Lots of wine character here. The flavor is even more divine. Huge Shiraz spiceyness and oak tannin character. It has a slight sourness, and a mild alcohol. This one is definately barrel aged first, with the beer being secondary to it. Definate notes of light mustyness as well. I really like this a lot. The feel is moderate, with no carbonation. It is pretty dry as well. I am very impressed with this one. It has a lot of really nice red wine character, with enough of the musty and sour character I like from a farmhouse beer. With the 10% ABV, it is detectable, but not at all obtrusive. I think it even adds a nice complexity here. This one was worth the big price tag.

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Photo of YankChef
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip glass

Appearance: hazy ruby red with a rust like haze in it. Foamy white head that unfortunately dissipates very quickly.

Aroma: Funky cheese is the first thing that comes to mind like some really stinky brie rind, there is also some fruit such as cherry

Taste: Well I would say this tastes like a flemish sour actually, strong sourness although not on the same level as rodenbach GC with some fruit in there as well, oh so very complex why does this beer have to be so damn expensive...

Overall: This is an amazing beer that is ideal to put in front of a wine snob and say oh yea? beer can't be as complex as wine can it. I thank the beer gods (along with the brewer) for crafting this delicious liquid

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Photo of ccrida
4.79/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Had this on draft at the Portland International beer fest. While I normally don't review fest samples, this was my 1st tasting on the second day (it went fast on friday and I missed it), I had two 4 oz. tasters, and took good notes. 2005 vintage, at 15.5%.

The appearance was a cloudy dark garnett, with a slight khaki collar. Nice color, but flat looking.

The aroma is great, with lots of depth. Vinous, with sour cherries, oaky vanilla and a bit of must. Very intriguing and appetizing.

The taste is fantastic. My first impression is that I can't believe this is 15.5% alcohol! The flavors are so complex that the booze is completely masked. Vinous and semi sweet, a nice BSPA like grape flavor, some sour cherry tartness, woody with a musty, funky bite that fades to a remarkably clean, dry finish. This one's a real mind blower, it has all my favorite belgian atributes rolled up into one fantastic beer .

The mouthfeel is light and luscious. Once again, I can't believe this is 15.5% ABV.

This was super drinkable for me, as it is one of the best beers I've had the fortunate opportunity to try, ever! Of course, since it's very strong and rich, you sip it slow and savor ever drop. But drinkability is not the same as chugability to me, but the enjoyableness of the experience, as well as how approachable it is. In this case, it was supremely enjoyable and a brew that I can't imagine any wine or beer drinking not being impressed with. Oh what I wouldn't do to have a big ol' stockpile of this down in the cellar to crack into at will!

I alway try to score to style, but this one is in a category of it's on, so I just went on general impression. To me it was a cross between a BSDA and a Flanders Red, certainly not a Bière de Garde.

One of the best beers of all time. I've got to find bottles of this!

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Photo of Risser09
4.77/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2005 vintage shared graviously by mughugger. Thanks Karen.

Appearance: The first pour reveals some head but my taset was left with hardly any at all. The beer itself is dark copper in color with lace lingering around the miniscus.

Smell: Oaky and full of an alcohol aroma. I can already tell this is going to be a treat. Raisins, plums, orange marmalade and fresh ground pepper smack me in the face.

Taste: Outstanding. Initially oak and sour funk. I soon realize that the sour funk is probably the grapes/wine aged in the barrels previously before bottling. Raisins, old plum and berries, cabernet and other complex wine-like flavors.

Mouthfeel: Awesome. Plenty of oaky dryness and alcohol tingle. Quite sweet and watery in the mouthfeel. Begs to be paired with a savory meat like lamb.

Drinkability: This reminds me of a big, bold cabernet. The drinkability is great. I can't see myself refusing something so complex and bold. This was probably an expensive bottle, but seek it out if you wish.

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Photo of e_dawg
4.75/5  rDev +11%

In normal, dim light where I imagine this beer will usually be enjoyed, a dark but somewhat transparent red orange color is present with no head or lacing, surprising for the high abv.
When held up to light, it shows cloudy, sediment filled pale orange which fades to clear with light green/blue edges in shallower parts of the glass. This is really an odd looking beer when examined closely.

Smells of dark cherries, raspberry, sweet fruit, brown sugar, and I'm also getting vinegar and a hint of soy sauce with oak as pointed out by SpeedwayJim.

Taste is full and rich, initially sweet which quickly shifts to sour and finishes with sweet vinegar.

This is one of my all time favorites. I recommend letting it warm to at least 50-55 degrees before trying because cold refrigeration mutes the flavors severely.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.74/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle (blended October 07), purchased for $22.99 cheap at Merchant's Fine Wines last year. The label has what turns out to be an excellent description of the beer on it, a rare touch: "Amazing nose of fruits & spices. Slightly sour with very long aftertaste. Low carbonation."

The beer is a murky brown color, turgid with loads of floaters and a thin film of foam. The fruit in the aroma tends towards apple, and I get spices and yeasty esters. The taste is earthy and spicy, with a sour aftertaste. I can taste a hint of alcohol but nothing objectionable. Low carbonation and light-medium body, very drinkable. A little burn in my stomache from the 11% ABV.

This beer is definitely worth the $23, not something to get too often but worth it once in a while. If I see it again that is.

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
4.28 out of 5 based on 1,098 ratings.
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