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

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-ChienAbbaye De Saint Bon-Chien
BA SCORE
4.32/5
Outstanding
1,123 Ratings
Abbaye De Saint Bon-ChienAbbaye De Saint Bon-Chien
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Switzerland
brasseriebfm.ch

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
Ranking:
#497
Reviews:
305
Ratings:
1,123
pDev:
10.19%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
140
Gots:
234
Trade:
4
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,123 |  Reviews: 305
Photo of Sammy
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

2006 bottle. barleywinish. Very easy drinking, smooth mouthfeel, tasty with items like fish. Something special. Cognac-like colour. Taste sensation of a Flemish sour without unpleasant sourness at all. Mild spiciness.
5 years pass. Had again the 2011 version? I can only assume. Enjoyed on tap at Ebenezer's Pub. Orange, wild, yeasty, tart, A little apple cider, a sipper that was a delicious drinkable sour. Big Lace.
Had the 2009 version at Bar Volo, a great drinkable sour.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of acurtis
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of Texasfan549
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.26/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy tan head that fades to nothing. No lacing on this one. Smell is of sour and tart fruit, slight vinegar, funk, and woody aromas. Taste is much the same with an acidic/drying quality on the finish. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with a great sour presence in the aroma and taste. I just wish the carbonation level was better on this one.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
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!

 1,423 characters

Photo of spycow
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of djrn2
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of Knapp85
3.72/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2007 Bottle: This beer poured out as an interesting looking reddish color. The head came and went fairly fast. The aromas of oak, funk, sour cherries and some wine-like fumes come off of this beer. The taste of the beer gets better as it warms up. I found this beer to be very tart and sour in the beginning. As it got warmer, the funk and oak flavors came out more and took over in place of the sourness. The mouthfeel had a pretty good carbonation to it but was a little thin I thought. Overall it's a good sour for sure. I'm not a fan of the style but I feel it would please most beer drinkers.

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Photo of nmann08
4.5/5  rDev +4.2%

Photo of t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had on tap at Max's in Baltimore. Saw it advertised on the beer list as a "Swiss sour/wild ale"... never heard of that style, so felt I just had to try it. I was not disappointed in the least bit, this was one the best tasting beers I may have had in my life. High alcohol, but completely hidden, superb balance and mouthfeel, fantastic sour and cherry flavors, goes down way too smooth. Was a struggle to just drink it slowly, this one packed a flavor punch and was dangerously good.

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Photo of metter98
4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is rather hazy brownish red in color and resembles apple cider a bit. It poured with a thin beige head that quickly died down, leaving lacing on the surface and a collar of large bubbles around the sides of the glass.
S: There are moderate aromas of apples, grapes and oak in the nose; this becomes stronger as the beer warms up.
T: The taste has complex and interesting flavors of fruity yeast—apples seem to stand out in particular. There are also some hints of oak and green grapes.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a low to moderate amount of carbonation. The finish is rather dry.
O: This is a very enjoyable biere de garde. The oak barrel aging definitely adds some complexity to the flavors.

Note: 2010 vintage

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.39/5  rDev +1.6%
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!

 2,059 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.44/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

**11/24/13: I intend to re-review this beer as this review isn't up to par.

75cl green glass (ugh!) bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Westvleteren goblet in Belfort, France. Served at a cold temperature straight from the refrigerator. Reviewed live. My expectations are high for this one.

A: There's no head whatsoever. This is a disappointment. Nontransparent solid amber-copper colour. Generally appealing.

Sm: Wine-esque. Grape, dark fruit, and caramelized malt. Some alcohol. Mild strength aroma.

T: Sourness aplenty, grape, caramelized malt, and fringe esters. It's nicely complex, though the sourness may turn many away. Well balanced in spite of the sourness dominating. Well built for the style (a style which seems to have a very loose definition anyway - I've had five in a row here in France and none are even remotely the same).

Mf: Smooth and wet. Suits the flavours on the body pretty generally. It's certainly not tailored to them.

Dr: High ABV is incredibly well concealed. It's well built for the style, but suffers from an unfairly high price. Very drinkable, especially considering the ABV. The sourness may be off-putting to some, but fans of the style will be pleased.

 1,215 characters

Photo of dmorgan310
4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Decided to crack an '06 bottle, it was a gusher! Definitely more carbonated this time around. A glowing burnt umber red. Aroma is musty cellar, oak barrel, leather, grape and berries.

2nd pour, inital cheesy lactic yogurt notes in the nose, a finger of tan foam. The added carbonation certainly improves the feel.

Taste was tart and reminded me very much of Jolly Pumpkin La Roja. At room temperature there was a noticeable vanilla flavor, that I don't remember from past bottles. Definitely a good amount of complexity there. A sipper and one to share, though i've spent a couple hours already working on this one.

Recommended if you are into Flanders-style red/brown ales, which this most resembles.

Original review 11-06-2006:
Very interesting new entry listed on the Hopleaf bottle menu.

This is one I was excited to try...especially after trying Le Meule from this brewery. Notable quotes from the menu: "Aged in wooden casks previously used to age Merlot, Merlot Cabernet, Whisky, & Grappa...then blended from different casks for optimal balance & complexity." Whew.

So I convinced some wine drinkers to try it, and they were impressed, if not a little confused by it. Definite grape character, with some tannins in the dry finish. Not as woody or spicy as I had hoped, but it certainly exemplifies the cask-aging and blending described above. Nose is pleasant, subdued grape & currant, and a little boozy. Appears to be a dark garnet color in the highlights, with fizzy skim of foam that dissipates quickly. On the palate it has some fullness, like a red wine, but not in a flowery or fruity sense. Carbonation is moderate, finish is dry and somewhat tart.

Recommended for fans of Lambics, Sour Ales, or wine.
Planning to re-rate the cellared '05 "#276" to add to this bare review.

 1,801 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.32/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 Version (tasted 11/26/09)

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with a frothy head that quickly becomes a ringlet while leaving a few dots of lacing around the chalice

Smell: Tart fruit (cherries and plums), charred wood, toffee, leather and oak

Taste: Opens with a balance between the tart fruit and toffee flavors, but the sour cherry aspect quickly drives it in an increasingly tart direction; after the swallow, the underlying wood and sweet flavors enter the picture and provide a balancing element that lasts into the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body but highly carbonated

Drinkability: A beer for contemplation rather than quaffing - let's see how this pairs with Thanksgiving dinner

2007 version: Very similar in the flavor profile but the exact opposite in carbonation as it is almost non-carbonated; for a beer of this style, however, the lack of carbonation works very well - I may even prefer it

 917 characters

Photo of WillieThreebiers
4/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of oline73
4.33/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I had this again and it was much better. I'm not going to update appearance or Mouthfeel.

Smell: Sweet and malty with strong notes of vinegar and raspberries.

Taste: Quite sour but still very smooth. Reminds me a bit of raspberry vinegar. Along with the vinegar sourness, there is a tartness. The finish is acidic, but the alcohol is nowhere to be found.

Overall: I'm really glad I got to have this again, thanks to Max's for getting rare beers over and over again. Quite smooth and very good and now that I know what it should taste like I would have another.

Old Review
I had this on-tap at Max's, poured into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark amber with a half finger of thick off white head that left a layer on top throughout the pour.

Smell: Mild vinegar sourness with sweet malt. There is a mild off smell.

Taste: Really disappointed. There is an initial taste that reminds me of overly ripe/rotten fruit. Kind of taste like fruit that was left outside in 100 degree heat. That went away and even more so as the beer warmed. After that was a pleasant barrel aged strong sour ale. Vinegar and mild bourbon flavors.

Mouthfeel: Medium to thick body with mild carbonation and a finish that is a bit dry.

Overall: I just couldn't get past that initial taste. I was bummed out by this.

 1,303 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
4.06/5  rDev -6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of IMtheOptimator: Poured a medium amber color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention or lacing. Aroma of oak and tart is pretty enticing. Taste is a mix between some sweet malt, oak and some vinous character. Body was about medium full with some very low carbonation. I could not detect any alcohol which is quite a feat at 14% but could feel the effect afterward. Interesting combination between the malt presence of a Biere de Garde and a Flander Red oak presence.

 495 characters

Photo of SocalKicks
3.75/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of largadeer
4.37/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy and dark amber. Not much carbonation - a gentle pour leaves a small ring of head around the glass.

Smell: Very oaky, mild sourness and sweet, acidic fruit. There's a slight mustiness to it as well, which probably comes from the yeast.

Taste: The oak is very up-front here and blends pretty nicely with the sour, fruity backbone. The sweet, sugary vanilla character that I normally associate with oak-aged beer isn't very present here; it's more tannic and dry. Very minimal hop presence, but it's already a complex beer.

Mouthfeel: As mentioned above, this has very little carbonation, which sets it apart from most Belgian-style ales.

Drinkability: The high ABV is hard to detect amongst the plethora of other flavors - this is really complex stuff. That doesn't necessarily mean it's an amazing beer. While I definitely enjoyed it, at $22 a bottle I think there are better options out there. I probably would have appreciated this more at half the price. As it stands, I felt somewhat underwhelmed.

Edit: Tried this again on tap and found it quite good, so my scores have been bumped accordingly.

 1,122 characters

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Beer rating: 4.32 out of 5 with 1,123 ratings
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