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

300 Reviews
no score
Send samples
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 300 | Ratings: 1,105
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.

 286 characters

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.

 306 characters

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.

 709 characters

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.

 1,896 characters

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!

 152 characters

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

 233 characters

Photo of oldn00b
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a slightly hazy copper. Fizzy and not really any head.

Nose is of bright ripe fruit, cherries, currants, and rasin.

Flavor is fantastic and feel compliments it perfectly. This has a near perfect balance of fruit, funk, and sour - delicious.

 250 characters

Photo of mrn1ceguy
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick amber color with a good white head. The smell is nose is biere de garde, through and the through with some earthy funk. The taste is quite enjoyable with a good blend of funk, juicy and a hint of sour. The finish and feel are slightly acidic and harsh, but not unbearably bad. Overall a very good beer

 311 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 Brutaltruth
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed form the 750 ml bottle in a snifter---a birthday brew a week late.
Pours a rustic deep mahogany with a light head of off white foam that quickly settles to a thin ring, thin pooling layer, and spotty lacing. Nose is complex with brown sugars, raisins, yeasty funky goodness, leather, and a white wine cask note. Flavors exceed the nose with light brown sugars and grapes dancing about an oaked note with vanilla and yeasty funk. A heavy dose of oaked zinfandel comes through on the back with a strong dryness that lingers long with medium sour tartness. Little carbonation makes for a coating and dry ale. Very Flemish, but solid for the style and one of the best ones I have tried. Alcohol is not noticeable at all except a it goes down in the back of the throat.

A great example of the style.


 823 characters

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

Enjoyed on draft at Foundry in Northampton MA.
A - Deep mahogany, red, clay, fine thin layer of off white cap. Carbonation was surprisingly strong.
S - Burgundy, tobacco, toffee, Autumn,
T - Interesting base, added wine characteristics, push this to the dessert level.
F - Thick in body, carbonation cleans up the pieces.
O - Wonderful offering that has hide the 11% while keeping the palate rocking.

 408 characters

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 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.

 1,006 characters

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 Burg
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This may be one of my top five beers. I'm a big fan of sours and this is one of the most balance tart beers I have had. Easy pour with a nice reddish color, hazy. Great aroma that is indicative of it's tart and malty flavors. Complex flavors from green apple to tobacco. Sturdy smooth mouth feel. This beer has it all.

 324 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.

 423 characters

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.

 1,759 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

October 2007 Vintage. Served in a wine glass. No idea where I bought this; probably Binny's or West Lakeview Liquors, although it could be Sam's or Armanetti's for all I know.

A - Thick off-white foam quickly sizzle to a partial collar of bubbles. Blood red body that is murky, but never turbid. No lace.

S - Sour cherries, oak, and pretty heavy in acetic acid. There's some musky funk to it along with a still-present fruity malt bill. Very Flanders red in flavor profile. Always found it funny that this and its brethren were listed as Biere de Gardes. Still potent and punch after 8 years of aging

T - The flavor hasn't held up quite as well, although it's still quite nice considering it's nearing a decade in age. Quite sour, but with notes of red licorice, tart cherry, red wine, and oak. Malt imparts a fruity cognac note. There's a bit of oxidation, but nothing overly distracting or offensive. Finish is a tad medicinal amid the acidity.

M - Oaky, tannic, and fairly dry. There's a bit of lingering stickiness, but not what one would expect from an 11% brew. Carbonation is present but unobtrusive. No obvious alcohol; dangerously drinkable.

D - One of the classic brews that every beer lover should try. Definitely related to the Flanders family in Belgium, but also somewhat sui generis. Eminently quaffable in any case - I will probably manager to put down a 750ml bottle over the course of an evening. Great substitute for a red wine with dinner.

 1,465 characters

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.

 268 characters

4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this beer a couple of other times but I am finally taking time to do a decent review. Once you open this beer you can immediately smell how sour it is. Almost no head to this brew. Body is a deep hazy Amber. Nose is of stone fruit and pixxy stix, just so sour. Deep red fruits and wine tannins dance with a consistent sour fell all over the palate. Incredibly complex and just a joy to partake.

 411 characters

Photo of Jacobob10
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On-tap @ Poor Henry's in Montville, NJ.

10 oz pour, 2013 vintage.

Reddish-brown, mahogany color and clear with a small head. Slight chill haze from a cold pour. Complex aroma that really opens up as it warms. Cherry, oak, vinegar, and incredibly sour. The aftertaste is a bit odd, maybe from too much oak? A little alcohol warming coming through in the finish, although I would never guess this was 11%. Very dry. The sourness was a little over the top for me and needed to complemented by some additional fruit or toned down with less oak, a la Rodenbach Grand Cru. Regardless, a real treat to be able to try on tap.

 619 characters

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!

 167 characters

Photo of stephens101
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2012 vintage. Pours a murky, reddish-brown. A thin froth quickly escapes into the aether. Supremely sour apricots to the nose and I am on a pucker notice from hell. A hint of grain and gum is also noticed. Sweet and spicy and not as tart as expected, but with a touch of pucker at the very end. Still need to take it slow. A bit bready and bretty too. Medium with a persistent fusel heat.

Fine drinking that doesn't sway too far one way or the other but still brings the punch in the flavor department. I would love to have a cellar full of these.

 559 characters

Photo of infinitebruner
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

June 7, 2015

750 ml bottle, snifter

2012 Vintage

A – Deep amber to medium mahogany, a rich pour. Hazy, not particularly high on clarity. A pinkish to light khaki foam stand of about a centimeter sits on top with moderate to moderate-long retention.

S – A massive dose of Brettanomyces, very funky-fruity with an undercurrent of horseblanket mustiness. Fruit is sour cherries, with a twist of raspberry. Some very low bready-floury malt, perhaps some earthy hops peeking out.

T – Sour cherries and tones of Chardonnay grapes, funky Brett but also some lactic tartness on the front and on the finish. Some low bready/crusty malt, and almost no hop impression, not discernible via flavor or bitterness.

M – Moderate-thin body with low carbonation levels. A bit slick up front, but finishes mostly dry. Sweetness is cut through with sharp acidity, likely from lactobacillus. Very little bitterness apparent due to the acidity.

O – The sourness and funk on this is fairly sharp, but does not obliterate the fruit flavors underneath. A very good sour.

 1,072 characters

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

 354 characters

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
4.28 out of 5 based on 1,105 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.