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

Poured from growler from perfect pour into New Belgium globe

A-Pours an dark amber/brown color with little off-white head. Decent lacing.

S-Aromas of vinegar, tart fruit, red wine, subtle whiskey.

T-Taste notes of vinegar, tart fruit, oak, dark fruit, grapes, red wine, light funk, light whiskey.

M-Mouthfeel has a medium body with a dry finish. Low carbonation.

O-Overall great sour my first from BFM must try more.

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Photo of mclaughlindw4
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2009 Vintage

Light brown, slightly reddish color. No head, no lacing.

Initial aroma is of acetic acid. Further sniffs reveals some spicy and fruity aromas. This is a hard beer to describe. The acidic/sour/tartness kind of greets you up front, and builds towards the middle. Towards the end is some spicy and almost bitter flavors.

Now as I drink it I start to smell and taste the oak. The flavors are complex and each taste is an adventure. Never had a BFM I didn't like. Wish they weren't so expensive.

I was worried by the giant wiff of vinegar I got when I opened it. But that smell seems to have dissipated and I am left with a very pleasant smelling beer. I will be drinking an entire bottle to my head tonight. Looking forward to trying one of the douzes I bought as well.

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Photo of Proteus93
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

2007 bottling, numbered 00276. Of course, not the style as previous years.

A: A beautiful rusty red hue blended nicely with the deep ambers. Head is very fizzy and short-lived.

S: A nice, complex medley of aromas. Tart cherry and apple, earthiness some sherry touches, and a 'tobacco-box' woodiness

T: A tartness of cherry, some fruity esters of apple and perhaps a little plum. Some cedar-like wood notes and a vinous character.

M + D: Marvelously dry and rich with a shimmer of carbonation giving it a quality of a sweet, high-carbonated red wine in some ways. A beautiful creation, and something of a masterpiece, imo. Recommended.

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Photo of waltonc
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2006 bottle purchased at City Beer Store.

A: Orange/garnet color with substantial light tan head that was initially over an inch thick. It dissipated fairly quickly.

S/T: Tart cherries and apples are very prominent. Slightly sweet flavor. Very complex. I'm sure a more refined palate would pick up all sorts of stuff in this that nobody has ever actually tasted.

M: Medium bodied; carbonation is above medium and the bubbles are fairly big.

Drinkability: high. I believe my wife called me a pig when she asked me for a refill and I told her I had already finished the bottle.

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

2012 vintage 750 ml bottle, blend 8, bottle #276, here we go:

Look (4.25) - Amber to brown in color, auburn when held up to the light. Off-white head receeds quickly to just a sliver.

Smell (4.5): Predominant oak, some cherry, leather, grape must, and funk.

Taste (4.5): Follows the nose, with oak leading the way, and a lot of oak at that. Picking up vinegar, cherry, sweet grape must, acidic, with some funk. Just a touch of alcohol comes through, which is impressive considering the ABV. Nice moderate tartness moves from mid-palate to the back of the tongue and finishes with a dry tannic metallic tinge. Medium-high carbonation.

Feel (4.25): The carbonation is a bit high and distracts from the overall taste of the beer.

Overall (4.5): This is my first Biere de Garde, so I'm not able to say if it holds true to style. That said, it is a nicely complex sour. My only complaint would be the oak is it a bit too forward and overpowers the other flavors. Probably would be a good beer to age a bit longer to see if the oak fades and allows the other flavors to shine through. Although not the same style, I much prefer the Rodenbach 2008 Vintage for roughly the same cost.

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

A great dark amber color. An apple cider vinegar smell. Has a great puckered feel. The taste is a very sour as it should be. If you like sours you will love this beer!

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

An absolute pleasure to drink, a true master piece.

I'm always torn on some of these sours. Brown and somewhat dirty water looking. Light carbonation, but i've seen similar foam in mudd too. That said, I really like the look. Perhaps because I've had so many great beers with this yeasty acidic body, with less than stellar colors and clarity. I'll score it well (in large part because looks should NEVER be a negative unless something is wrong with the beer).

The beer gives off sour esters, apples, apple cider, grapes, some vinegar, and a lot of tart sour fruit notes. Really nice.

The taste is more of the same. Sour apples, apple cider, some grapes, a bit of vinegar, and a lot of just wonderful sour notes. Almost forgotten are the yeast and malt which are hidden by the intense sour notes, but at the same time they are clearly keeping the beer in line and complementing the experience, truly perfectly.

This is just wonderful beer and worth every bit of the 20+ you'll likely pay.

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Photo of codewarrior
4.46/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750mL bomber poured into a tulip. 2006 edition aged in burgundy casks, blended august 2007. Bottle number on the tamper-proof strip is 00276.

Found a cache of 2006 and 2007 bottles at Beers of the World, and snagged a few from each vintage. My friend has been raving about this beer and I'm glad it has finally touched my lips. This was our New Year's Eve Midnight beer.

L: Hazy dark apple cider brown, an uncareful pour, with retentive 3-fingers of thick head. Looks unreal.

S: Sweet and sour with cherries and berries and other fruit notes. Slight hint of booze in the back but nothing compared to the 11% advertised on the label. I'm guessing the 3 years on this bottle have taken some of the heat off.

T: Sweet into a cider-y sour with citrus and cherry notes. Caramel with a hint at iron rounds out the middle and then the finish is a lingering wild funkitude. Booze is in the feel, but not really present in the mouth.

F: Rich and thick, a touch under-carbonated and a bit burning in the back, but neither is overly-offensive to my palate.

D: One of the most interesting beers I've had to date. Superior drink-ability for the ABV. Just a phenomenal all-around beer here, nothing like it.

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Photo of bsp77
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Snifter.

Appearance: Very cloudy lava-orange with thin head and slight lacing.

Smell: Sour apples and cherries are dominant with some oak, pepper and alcohol.

Taste: Wine-like with somewhat sour apples and cherries, oak, pepper and an overall musty quality.

Feel: High champagne-like carbonation with a relatively light body for the high alcohol. Tart, dry finish.

Drinkability: Probably the best sour beer I have had. Of course, after three years of burgundy barrel aging, I am not sure this is really a Biere de Garde, but who cares, it's great.

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Photo of champ103
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 2007 bottle.

A: Pours a dark reddish brown color. A two finger beige head forms at first, but recedes after a minute. Lace is left in patches around the glass.
S: At first tart fruits are strong and up front. Apples and cherries are great. Toasted malt, bread, and biscuit. A lingering Oak aroma finishes everything off. Excellent.
T: Lots of tart fruits that are amazing. Apples, and chocolate covered cherries. There is a spiciness here as well. Toasted malt, bread, and oak finishes everything off again. Lots of layers that are just awesome.
M/D: A medium to full body. Fairly effervescent. Perfectly crisp, dry, and clean. So easy to drink for the high alcohol. About as easy as it gets for 11%. Beyond no alcohol presents, this is just a treat to drink. I don't want the bottle to end.

An amazing beer. BFM always makes something exceptional. Add one more to their list of awesomeness. An experience and a treat. Pick some up if you ever see it.

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Photo of superspak
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

3500th review! 375 ml bottle into tulip glass; 2013 vintage, blend #6. Pours slightly hazy reddish copper color with small off white head with decent retention, that reduces to a ring of lace that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big tart cherry, raisin, plum, prune, berry, red grape, apple, vanilla, toasted oak, brown sugar, toffee, leather, light red wine vinegar, musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Incredible aromas with fantastic complexity and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, dark bamt, and oak barrel notes; with great strength. Taste of big tart cherry, raisin, plum, prune, berry, red grape, apple, vanilla, toasted oak, brown sugar, toffee, leather, light red wine vinegar, musty funk, and yeast/oak earthiness. Moderate fruity/tannic/acidic tartness and slight oak spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, raisin, plum, berry, red grape, apple, vanilla, toasted oak, brown sugar, toffee, leather, light vinegar, and yeast/oak earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, dark malt, and oak barrel flavors; with a fantastic sweetness/tartness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a very smooth, fairly acidic/tannic, and slightly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible sour biere de garde style. All around fantastic complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/funky/acidic yeast, dark malt, and oak barrel flavors; and very smooth and easy to sip on for the big ABV. A highly amazing offering all around.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2006 Vintage, blended in 2007. Thank gods this one is 11% ABV and not the 15.5% listed on the site (I guess that's the 2005 vintage). 750ml bottle purchased at The Belmont Station at the behest of largadeer.

Poured into a snifter, the beer is burgundy with a quick to rise fizzy, one inch, beige head. I witness its effervescence and hear a hissing noise emanating from the froth.

The aroma is a complex beast. It's tart with some sourness and spices. A light acidity is evident, as well as tannins and a lot of wood. There's a definite fruitiness in the nose that is quite prominent and most similar to tart cherries and possibly currants. Alcohol lingers in the background, only hinting at the potency of this beer. The aroma becomes increasingly intoxicating.

The flavor is tart and sour with a significant wood character and what could be described as a butteriness. There is a strong tart and sour cherry presence with a little sweetness. Tannins are evident. The finish is long and fruity with a lingering dry tartness, and some sweetness. The alcohol is well hidden, and it's not until the finish that it even crosses my mind.

The beer is near the upper end of medium bodied with lively carbonation. The mouthfeel is dry and champagne-like. At $26, this is definitely pricey, but if you like the style this is worth seeking out.

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Photo of DrJay
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Grub shared this one at the Biergotter club brewday/tasting. Thanks Russ!
2005 vintage, bottle #276. This one was a little bit hazy and a dull reddish orange. It had a frothy ring of off-white foam and produced a bit of spotty, sticky lacing. The aroma was on the funky, tart side, with notes of lemon and berry, leather, straw, salt and faint alcohol. Tart, earthy and funky flavour. Crackery malt with a little bread and some floral, lemony character, plus mild sour/cherry. Medium bodied with carbonation on the low side with an incredibly smooth texture. Light warmth and a bit dry, with spicy alcohol flavour in the finish. Nice complexity, yet surprisingly mellow. This beer drinks like it's 6-7%, which can really get you in trouble!

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Photo of csmiley
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to bhalter8 for sending this my way.

Blended October 2007

A - Color is mostly copper with a slight reddish tint. The off white head looks pretty good for an 11% brew. Retention isn't bad either. It settles to a moderate sized ring. Lacing is minimal.

S - Tart and warm are the first two words that come to mind. Apple and lemon start it all off. A hint of sweet caramel comes in around midway. Wet hay and oak quickly follow the sweetness. It ends with black pepper and warm alcohol. The nose is quite impressive.

T - Wood stands out a little more in the flavor that the aroma. It mixes pretty well with the caramel sweetness. Tart fruit pounds away at the middle with hints of cherry and apple. The oak really permeates the flavor all through this one. Alcohol is definitely present but stays well under control at all times. Finishes with some warm spices.

M - Fuller bodied. Very mild carbonation that just barely tickles the back of the throat. Seems that helps cut down on the heat from the abv as well. Finish is sweet, hot,'s all over the place really. I like it though.

D - Drinkability is very good. I would never guess this beer to be at 11%. Even though the alcohol is masked well, this one is still a sipper. The abundant flavors guarantee that. It starts out pretty tart but as it warms, the tartness really starts to mellow. The oak really comes through as well. I must say, I'm quite impressed with my first brew from BFM. Very highly recommended.

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Photo of lochraneg
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

S: sour, yeast, pungent tones, oak
L: light brown pour, minimal white head that dissipates quickly
F: thin, but a slight reminisce on the tongue
T: sour yeast notes, definite oak taste
O: great beer, but really expensive, $20 in VA

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Photo of bhalter8
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brick Store continues to impress for its 12 Anniversary, with this one on tap. Pours a cloudy reddish brown color, with a thin, almost non existent head. As it warms, a nice sour cherry nose comes from the beer. A slight malt sweetness rests in the background of the aroma. Taste is an incredible sour cherry flavor, but does not overwhelm with sour, it is very balanced. As I continued to sip, other fruits came through, strawberries and apples most predominantly. There is a still a decent malt/caramel sweetness to it as well. Very complex, I am not sure I can even list all the flavors. Its nice that it is sour, but that does not overwhelm the other flavors. As high as it is in ABV, with low carbonation, and with 3 blends in the brew, it is still rather light in your mouth. Definitely a sipping beer, both in the heat it brings, and to enjoy all the flavors it provides. A highly enjoyable final beer for me last night.

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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 BeerImmediately
4.49/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Blended in October 2007. First beer I can recall that suggests a serving temperature over 60. I started mid-fiddies and went up to mid-sixties thru the 'event'.

Poured into wine-style beer glass with a very limited off-white head over top of a deep copper/orange body, half-way opaque, and some visible carbonation up the middle.

Wow. Aromas of tart, dark fruits greet you, with a heavy, earthy horse-blanket cloud, light but complex spices, touch of sweet red licorice, and hint of balsamic vinegar. Go ahead - swirl it... it's worthy.

Can it be thick and tart at the same time? Wow, yes. Plenty of cabernet-like qualities and oaky/woody punch. Full of ripe, dark fruits - plums, tart cherries, and even some banana. Wish I could pinpoint everything.

Drinkability is quite brilliant - I believe it may be too brilliant at 11%. It starts slightly thick on the palate, but by the swallow, you are cleansed and ready for more.

Can't wait to run this one by a couple of my wino friends to see what they think.

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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 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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4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage. Served in a 13oz snifter for $9. Sampled 12/6/11.

A: Pours with nearly no head at all - just a thin incomplete ring of white whispy suds. The body is a rusty garnet color that becomes blood orange when backlit. Hazy with fifty percent opacity. Almost completely still. No lacing at all.

S: A beautiful blend of raspberry, strawberry and cherry. Plenty of aromas associated with sourness, courtesy of [what I assume to be a blend of] pedio and lacto. The malt foundation is very much in the background despite the high ABV, but caramel and toffee sneak in toward the end. Perhaps lightly oxidized.

T: Clenching sourness strains the sides of your mouth right by your jaw. I can only imagine how intense the tongue-thrashing would be if there was a normal amount of carbonation. Amply sweet but the sourness and tartness remain to be the standout flavor. The ABV is a mindfuck.

M: The low levels of effervescence probably make this beer a little easier to drink. Very thick, full and chewy body. Again, rather still and possibly even a little cloying.

O: This beer is good where it counts. Even at $9 for a small pour, I had to have another.

UPDATE: Just opened a bottle that I've been sitting on for a while. 2006 vintage (blended in August of 2007), batch or bottle number 00276. I paid $27 for the 750mL.

The appearance shows improvement compared to the tap serving. 3/4 finger head plus some visible life in the body. Not a considerable development on the nose over the last 4 years. But the older bottle is just as fantastic as the younger draft pour. Small drop off in flavor. The integration isn't quite as successful. All of the same wonderful fruit tones are there, but more pitty and approaching overly ripe. Perhaps a low level of oxidation. Sourness is slightly tamed as well. The carbonation is significantly better. Not cloying at all. It was nice to see how the age and serving type affected my impression of this beer. Both versions are great, however, fresher and from the tap is my preferrence.

4, 4.5, 4, 4.5, 4

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Photo of avalon07
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bomber to a tulip glass. Had a brownish color and a thick, cloudy consistency. There was a half inch of creamy, long-lasting head and some very good lacing.

S: A sweet, fragrant aroma of apples, malt, grapes and perhaps some other mild fruits.

T: An interesting taste combination of sour apples, grapes, malt and some cherries. Almost had a champagne-like character, which makes for a fascinating drink.

M: Lots of carbonation and smooth finish. Medium-bodied.

D: This is a drinkable beer. It's my first biere de garde, but hopefully not my last.

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Photo of GJ40
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 750 bottle purchased at The Beer Dispensary in Apex, NC. It was recommended to me by a friend in Belgium. 2012 with 8 notched out.

A - Deep copper with a hazy finish and a limited white head. A slow but steady rise of fine bubbles.

S - Wonderful tart and sour notes with some additional depth of oak, fruit and spices. Very inviting.

T - Loads of sour/tart flavors with great maturity, depth and variation. It's intense but not biting or harsh in any way. You get something different in every sip. The 11% alcohol is incredibly well hidden.

M - Good body with good substance yet it flows smoothly. A low to moderate carbonation.

O - A complex and intriguing beer! So glad I tried it.

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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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