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: 300 | Ratings: 1,107
Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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

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Photo of JackRWatkins
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
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

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Photo of jbertsch
2.54/5  rDev -40.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

I like sours but struggled with this beer. My feeling is that sours don't work well at high ABVs, at least not for my taste buds. This gets at least one thumb up from me on complexity and intrigue. But it doesnt finish well for me. Up front the mix in sourness that ranges between cranberry, apple and cherry is kinda nice, but then the malt sweetness backbone kicks in and rather than complimenting it (like how duchesse or monks cafe can do) the sweet booziness clashes just a bit. The sourness also doens't work well with the vanilla notes I got.

This was a gift I asked so i felt bad i had to dump it since it's expensive. I don't agree with the masses on this beer. Its confusing and clashes.

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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 KarlHungus
4.24/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien pours a cloudy burgundy color. There is no head or lacing, but that is to be expected for a cellared barrel aged beer. The aroma is quite powerful. There is a nice marriage between the wood and the leathery, barnyard aromas of the beer. There is even a hint of sourness. The taste is much more sour than the aroma with a bunch of fruit coming through. Apples, cherries, raspberries, currants. The wood is a background component, but it helps balance the funky sourness of the beer. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a velvety texture, and appropriately moderate carbonation. Overall, this is a really nice beer that I would happily drink again.

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

A 250ml pour on tap of the 2014 vintage at Moeder Lambic Fontainas into a Moeder Lambic snifter glass.

Appearance: It was a slightly hazy dark amber brown colour with a one finger tanned head with good retention and nice lacing.

Aroma: Tart, plum, cherry and oak.

Taste: Sour, tart, balsamic, plum, cherry, oak, lightly medicinal plus hints of grape bubblegum sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with light carbonation.

Overall: Very nice! A bit boozy and a little sweet but still delicious.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fully opaque, copper-red body with a lighter, orange hue at the bottom of the glass, topped with a really dense, soft, creamy khaki head that leaves a soft creamy, unbroken wave of lace around the edge of the glass.

Really acetic aroma brings forth a woody and oaky plum and prune with some caramel. At times I get a hint of peaches and cream.

Taste is not quite vinegar, but ferociously sour at first. It quickly becomes more palatable, with cherry, plum, and cran-orange characteristics.

Finish is really dry, yet the body is crazy soft! It's an amazing feat. This definitely deserves the world class status it enjoys, a commendable beer in every regard.

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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 Mateo2699
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pour is a darker brown with a noticeable reddish hue without light on it. Tight white bubbled head, moderate lacing. Aroma is very musty. Plenty of grape sourness, and aged oak. Hints of wet horse blanket, with a vinager balsamic like spiciness that's nothing over powering. Taste has a hearty tartness, with a more full bodied wine like approach. More balsamic, cherry tartness and aged wood. Not your candy like sour, has more depth with the whole funkiness and tart profile. Mouthfeel is relatively palate coating with moderate carbonation. Excellent sour!

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This was brewed in 2006, blended in April 2007 and has sat in my cellar until 6-22-16.

L: It pours hazy brown with a red tint under a light tan to brown very thin foam cap.

S: A wonderful range of aromas rise from the glass starting with a hint of molasses, a light tartness suggestive of lemon kombucha, traces of wet horse blanket, fresh baked goods and some earthiness.

T: The attack starts with several layers of tartness and fruit, including fig, cherry, fruit cake with some wine notes. The tartness has acetic, citrus, tart cherry elements and a hint of well aged balsamic. The rich malt cake and caramel notes supported by dark dried fruits get an assist from the oak vanilla flavors that knock off some of the rough edges. Long lingering tart flavors.

F: The carbonation is above average with a little tingle and the body is a touch less than medium.

O: An exceptional, world class beer that improved in the cellar.

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Photo of NilocRellim
4.41/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy dark amber colour. Smells quite sour, fruity, cherry, and pomegranate. Tastes like it smells, quite sour, dark cherry, fruity, surprisingly bitter finish. Savory and delicious.

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

Look - Copper'ish/red type color
Smell - cherries, grape skin, oak, red wine
Taste - Prunes, cherries, tons of oak, sour grape candy, sweet vinegar

Overall - On tap @ Blue Monkey in NJ. A very enjoyable sour. Crushable @ 11%!!!

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Photo of Gasc0igne
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2014 Batch

Cloudy copper pour with a two finger off-white yellowish soapy head. Good lacing.

Tart red grape aroma, inoculated oak, fruity, fruit tingles, alcohol, grape skin, slight red wine/balsamic vinegar, balanced and awesome.

Saison cross Flanders Oud Bruin. Grape skin tannin. No alcohol. Cherry, funky balsamic, lightly sweet red wine (very wine-like), floral, earthy wood-pulp funk. Balanced sourness.

Light carbonation. Medium-light bodied. Fairly dry.

Definitely worth picking up if you see it, super interesting (and with almost no sign of the 11% ABV) and a brew I'd imagine would change greatly with age.

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Photo of Bruno74200
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At Lyon bière festival. More of oud bruin than a bière de garde. Tart, oak, fruit, wine in the smell. Sour in the taste but not that much. Very balanced, between the grain and fruity hops. Fine carbonation.
Great stuff, live up to the hype

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle shared by Andy last night, thanks man. '11 vintage, blend 1.

This one pours a fairly still looking darkish red, with a tiny head and no lacing.

Smells like sour dank cherry, red wine, red wine vinegar, oak, and woodsy funk.

This is a really unique sour. The taste reminds me more of a Flanders red than a Biere De Garde, but it's not a big deal. Cherry and sweet-ish vinegar are the dominant flavors, with some damp and woodsy funk, red wine, and oak. The oak is not as strong in the taste as it is in the aroma.

This is lighter bodied, with a very low but still present level of carbonation. The 11% is not noticeable at all.

One of the classic Belgian wild ales, glad I finally got to try it.

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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 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 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 barczar
4.27/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage.

Aroma is heavily tart cherry, with white balsamic notes adding acetic character, and some heavily floral notes.

Flavor is far more complex, with sour cherry and tart vinous underpinnings contrasting earthy leather notes and a muted caramel sweetness. Can't believe the abv is so high.

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Photo of amano_h
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Draft pour at Moeder Lambic Fontainas (Brussels, Belgium)

Tons of oak, funk, plum, pear (shout out to all the pear!), dried dates, toffee, and vinous tannin characters. Definitely a touch of sweetness is present, with little holes of tartness peeking through here and there.

Lots of wine character initially on the tongue, heavily accentuated by oak and and acetic sourness. The sour quality is almost balsamic, but doesn't linger for too long, and allows for more of the subdued fruit mentioned above to make their mark as well. There is a negligible amount of caramel-like sweetness underneath the sour and the fruit.

Medium-light body with mild carbonation, oaky dry finish. I'm not by any means well-versed in Bière de Gardes, but this is a well-balanced beer you can jump right into without much previous experience in the style.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A truly delicious blend of dark fruits and candied sugars; sour and vinegar. Fruits flavors of cherry, raspberry and grape mix with the darker fruits of raisin and plum. Balsamic character mixes with an incredibly smooth tanginess. At 11% this drinks so incredibly smooth and delicious.

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Photo of SerialTicker
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On-tap at HopCat Detroit.

Well, wow. Delicious. Great presence of booze underlying the sour/vinegar-like flavors throughout. Nice bit of barrel as well. Nice and funky. Lots of depth of flavor. Some dark fruit and oak. Delicious stuff. Yes, it was $8 for about 6oz, but... worth it. Wish I had more of it.

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Photo of ajm5108
2.77/5  rDev -35.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Pours an amber red, a little champagne fizziness but settles quickly. Aroma carries lots of lactic s
funk and phenol along with some tart apple cider / pear. I was disappointed with the lack of complexity that the taste profile offer. You could line it up to a dozen other sour / tart beers and would struggle to tell this apart. The base is a very banal lactic sour taste, with some sweet malt peeking in here and there. If you strain you can maybe find some sour apple as well, but that might be stretching it a bit. It isn't enamel-stripping lactic, but it really does overwhelm the taste and makes it a fairly one-note beer. Doesn't finish too harshly, but the lactic sour is really all it leaves behind.

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Photo of UrbanCaveman
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bomber, poured into a tulip glass at room temperature. Per label, brewed in 2013.

Note: This particular bottle erupted in a volcano of pale tan foam the moment the cap was cracked, which did not subside until some of the beer was poured into the glass. The foam eruption somewhat clogged the neck of the bottle, so what had been intended to be a careful pour turned into a pour that most assuredly swirled up whatever sediment the beer may have had. I'll also revisit this review at some point, with a bottle that does not gush.

Appearance: Pours an impenetrably hazy scorched-caramel brown, almost like light milk chocolate with just a tinge of redness. Forms absolutely no head, and subsequently, absolutely no lacing.

Smell: Oak wood permeates the aroma, which is redolent with a fruited bouquet. Must and mildew suffuse the various fruits, which are a blend of plum, pear, white grape, currant, date, melon, and orange. There is a vague suggestion of caramel present, underneath all the fruits, and an ever so slight tinge of a wine vinegar.

Taste: Warm vinegar opens the flavor profile, rolling over and through a delightful mix of light and dark fruits, which in turn twine about a sweet caramel base. Plum and grape are quite prominent, but allow pear, melon, date, and tart orange to have a little stage time as supporting cast members. That stage has curtains of oak, which hang off to the sides and fringes, gently framing the entire scene. At the swallow, there is a sudden spike of sharply tart citrus and dry white wine, which then fades into a blanket of vinegar, caramel, oak, and fruit lingering on the tongue.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation in a light-bodied, silky-smooth beer.

Overall: I'd almost classify this as a fantastic beer even for a Flanders Red, given the vinegar presence. It's quite good - I feel no remorse for the sticker price at all, and shall repeat.

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Photo of TJSoundguy
4.37/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Some funk, with fruity/sour deliciousness. Pretty deep, right from the nose onward.
Had it on tap at the Brickwall in Asbury Park, NJ.
Really liked it!

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
4.28 out of 5 based on 1,107 ratings.
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