Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)
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French Bière de Garde
4.33 | pDev: 9.93%
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Retired (no longer brewed)
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Bourbon Barrels)
Reviews: 13 | Ratings: 30
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.94/5  rDev -9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for the 2012 Peter Reeves Memorial Sourfest at Churchill’s Pub & Grille in San Marcos, CA.

Pours a slightly murky brown with a foamy tan head that fades to nothing. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is sour and tart with malt, wine, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with a slightly funky finish. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and pretty interesting.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.09/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Magnum #70 split 8 or 9 ways at Cask Republic in New Haven. Big shout-out to JAHMUR for organizing this.

A: Hazy deep orange body with just a thin whisp of short-lived tan foam. Pretty still, but acceptable for what it is.

S: Harshly acidic, with nothing but raw sourness apparent at first. An interesting mixture of lactic, citric, and acetic tartness, this nose just piles sourness on top of sourness. Vanilla and bourbon are noticeable, but distant. This just smells sour, and I'm a fan.

T: Sweet vanilla and cherry, some malt, and lots of fruity sourness. Red wine vinegar, sour pineapple, sour cherry, butterscotch, and lemon/lime. Some booze on the finish, but not too much. Tasty, but not mind-blowing - a bit too acetic.

M: Slick, smooth full body with no carbonation whatsoever. Feels like a thick spirit, which is kinda cool.

O: I'm really glad I got a chance to try this enormous bottle of enormous beer, but I certainly wouldn't pay the bar price for it again - each ~7oz share of the magnum came out to $17. This was a very good beer, but by no means a phenomenal one. I won't be seeking out the other barrel versions, just since my beer budget is better directed elsewhere.


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Photo of corby112
2.94/5  rDev -32.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Magnum shared by ygtbsm. Thanks again Brad! Sampled alongside the Cabernet and Pinot Noir versions.

Similar to others in the series.  Pours an opaque dark copper color that's completely still with no head or lace.

Smokier than others with a stronger barrel presence.  Lots of toasted oak and wood with a very prominent boozy bourbon character and a subtle hint of vanilla.

Sweet with some bourbon but not as much as the aroma suggested or I had hoped for.  Still/flat with no carbonation, just vinous with subtle dry oak, vanilla and boozy heat.   This beer is all about the barrel making it one dimensional and pedestrian.  The ABV is well masked at 11% so the drinkability is good but I don't understand the high ratings here.  This was the worst of the three that we sampled and a below average bourbon barrel aged beer.  

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Photo of craytonic
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

HUGE, huge shoutout to Kkipple for sharing this monster of a bottle.

Appearance: The bottle itself is just an enormous thing of beauty. The size is breathtaking, it dominates everything else at the table. Pour is a russet-mahogany-amber that is slightly murky, a touch of lacing.

Smell: Earthy barnyard notes of wet hay, tart apples, currants, blackberries, raspberries, dark cherries, brandy and bourbon along with some rich cheese and burgundy red wine notes. Very complex.

Taste: Similar to the nose, very earthy with wet hay, tart apples, vanilla, balsamic vinegar, bourbon barrel, oak, vanilla, leather and spice

Mouthfeel: Not very carbonated but it doesn't detract, very soft

Overall: Very drinkable, a tasty beer that was fun to split. The 11% ABV sneaks up on you from the enormous bottle. Preferable to the regular Bon-Chien.

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Photo of emerge077
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another thanks to Alex for lugging this gem over for the pre-DLD festivities. Shout out to Bryna for the cheesecake! Review from notes.

From the big honkin' magnum it pours out into a snifter fairly still... murky, with a russet tone that becomes sunrise orange at the edges of the rim. A string of pearls cling to the edges.

Mild acetic funk, earthy, wet hay, organic stable aromas.

Flavors of funky apples, vanilla, tart and fruity, almost juicy. Fruit cocktail/Hawaiian Punch impression at one point. Vanilla and a dry, woody aftertaste. The bourbon barrel is well integrated, with hints of vanilla and a spicy nuance.

Smooth and mellow, dry and puckering in the finish. A sense of mild oxidation or age, still this is quite a unique sipper. Thanks again Alex!

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Photo of MasterSki
4.47/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2007 Vintage. Can't remember the bottle number, but it was in the double digits somewhere. Purchased at West Lakeview Liquors.

Going to recycle some bits from previous ASBC Grand Cru reviews, as the look and feel of these beers tends to be the same. Shared at the pre-DLD tasting at Dave & Joe's place. Served in a Schlafly taster glass.

A - Looks like typical Bon-Chien. Pours mostly still with a few big bubbles that quickly dissipate. Slightly hazed orange-red cider color. Seems to be less sediment in this one.

S - Vinous fruits, light funk and lactic notes, spicy wood, vanilla, light overt bourbon flavor. Shockingly little alcohol flavor is present.

T - Spicy wood, vanilla, vinous fruits, a kiss of bourbon, light funkiness, tannic barrel character, slight oxidation and sherry notes, and a bit of lactic sourness. Nary a trace of the 11% ABV on the label - it's actually quite mellow.

M - Incredibly well-hidden booze, with only minimal heat. Medium body, red wine-like texture with some tannic dryness in the finish, and a bit of stickiness as well. Obviously there is no carbonation.

D - With no carbonation, and incredibly well-hidden booze these magnums are a hospital trip waiting to happen. I had a few pours throughout the night, but it's probably for the best that I brought it to a larger tasting. Didn't feel quite as drinkable as the Cabernet, but that might have been due to mood or context more than objective measures.

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Photo of champ103
4.44/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thanks to biggreen for sharing this bottle.

A: Pours a hazy garnet/reddish color. A very minimal, bubbly, white head forms and recedes in a second. Almost no lace. Though the color is very appealing and inviting.
S: Heaven. This is incredible. Tart cherries up front with some vanilla sweetness. Plenty of other fruits. Grape tannins and apple skins. Some oak aromas linger. Awesome.
T: Again, just amazing. Tart cherries, white grape tannins, apples. Sweet vanilla and oak. Mouth watering.
M/D: A medium body and carbonation. Incredible clean and crisp. Very dry. So smooth and easy to drink. I could never get enough of this.

Not like any Bière de Garde I have had. Though that does not matter. This is one incredible beer. I am so excited to be able to try this. I can't recommend this enough. This is more than a beer, this is an experience.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.62/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

1.5 L bottle 38. 2007 Vintage. Pours sun-kissed dark orange, nearly copper, with no head or visible carbonation - still.

The aroma is sweet and of plums, grapes, and berries with lactic character. Some oak and vanilla notes are present, and the bourbon character is subtle. After the beer warmed up a bit the bourbon was more apparent, but you might not even notice it if you aren't paying attention. Tannins and earthy notes accompany pungent and musty acetic acid.

The flavor is sweet with a lactic tanginess. The dark fruits that were present in the nose are also in the flavor: berries, plums, and grapes. The bourbon is a bit more noticeable in the flavor, but it's still subtle. Some barnyard mustiness is evident and the sour and tart character are at a medium level. The alcohol is very well hidden. Left to my own devices, I might have finished the magnum myself. The low carbonation makes this incredibly drinkable.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
4.35/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy light red, hints of brown, no real head, just a white ring of bottles round the outside.

Nose is sweet, fruity, and softly tart, notes of berries and red fruit (strawberries, cherries) alongside a soft, almost lactic sourness with just a bit of an acetic bite. A very subtle bourbon note that comes through more as hints of soft, oaky vanilla.

Taste is sour cherries, vinous, an understated note of vanilla and oak bourbon peeks through, but never asserts itself clearly. Sourness is light and mild, soft - clean, light notes of vinegar and acidic astringency. The fruity notes - cherry, currant, strawberry - are the star in this one, with the smooth wood softening the tartness and letting the fruit notes shine through. Sophisticated, no hint of alcohol.

Light in body, crisply carbonated. Really, the bourbon is hinted at rather than up front, and tasting this side by side with the Pinot Noir version, the differences are not profound.

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Photo of Floydster
4.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sampled from a magnum brought to the last Woodshop Tasting by WeeHeavySD, thanks for sharing this Jon, Bottle #97, reviewed from notes on my cellular phone, drank out of my New Belgium snifter, color is a dark red on the verge of being copper, small 1/4 inch bubbly vanilla colored head that quickly disappears, aroma was fantastic and had a big bourbon presence, sour grapes and cherries, funk, caramel, and oak, flavor is mostly bourbon at first but the tart really hits you after a few seconds, complex fruits make up the middle, finish has a light bourbon taste carrying over but tart cherries and pears dominate it, somehow this remains smooth and all works together very well, great tasting beer overall, mouthfeel is tart, slightly hot, funky, and fruity, lower level of carbonation, thick full body, you can tell is what unblended just by looking at it too, could have drank about half that big magnum probably, alcohol is hidden well, thickness is the only complaint, other than that it is very smooth and tasty, nice beer to end my time at the tasting with, this stuff is expensive at sixty-five dollars for this bottle but worth it for a special occasion, this is the best beer from this brewery I have had to date, this even outdid the Pinot Noir version of the Grand Cru, would like to have again some time, recommended

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Photo of largadeer
4.57/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1.5L magnum split with alfrantzell, bottle #155.

Appearance: Tawny in color, clear for the first glass but hazier with each subsequent pour. Pours with no head whatsoever - this one is completely still.

Smell: Intense funkiness at first. Cheesy, sweaty, unbridled funk. As the beer breathes and warms up it grows in complexity; woody tannins, earth, yeasty spice and leather meet tart fruit and faint balsamic vinegar.

Taste & mouthfeel: Tart on the palate at first, though not overwhelmingly sour by any means. Leathery, vinous, almost completely dry; a trace of balsamic sweetness is present just enough to add balance. Cherry-like frutiness hits mid-palate along with woody tannins, leading into a dry leathery finish. The lack of carbonation really only enhances this beer's ridiculous drinkability; three glasses in and I wasn't sick of it at all. By the end of the bottle, I wanted more.

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Photo of John_M
4.66/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Shared this amazing beer with Dyan last night. This stuff isn't cheap (paid $56 for a magnum), but considering the quality, I thought the beer more then worth the price. If I ever see any more of this stuff, I won't hesitate to grab another bottle or two. As already noted by Dyan, this was bottle number 133 (the label indicates this stuff is VERY limited. I believe it).

This beer was completely still, and so understandably had no head retention or lacing to speak of. The color is a bright red amber color, looking very much like the regular good kitty (bon chien). On the nose.... mama mia! This beer is the definition of complex; one of the most amazing beers I have ever smelled. The beer was probably a bit too cold at first (it had been out of the fridge for only 20 minutes when I cracked it open), and the aroma changed significantly over time. In any event, initially I got a sweet tart, bubble gum aroma, with nuances of wine and vanilla.... but as this beer warmed, the funk really kicked into overdrive. In addition to the sweet tart and wine aromas, I started to get a pronounced barnyard aroma, coupled with wet blanket, dead moose and horse sweat. This is a seriously funky beer. On the palate, this beer was every bit as amazing. In addition to the pronounced sweet tart and wine flavors, I also got some watermelon and vanilla. The flavor profile in this beer is huge and intense.... no one is ever going to describe this beer as light and/or watery. Mouthfeel is very similar to the regular bon chien, with a smooth, satin like presence. Very impressive stuff. As for drinkability, I gave the beer a 4, but I think the concept is almost meaningless in a beer like this. After all, it's a 11% abv., and with so much flavor, it's slow going drinking this. On the other hand, I remember when I first poured a glass for Dyan and I, I was trying to think who else I could share this bad boy with today. After all, how could Dyan and I possibly drink an entire magnum of a beer like this? Except guess what... there's none left this morning. We literally couldn't stop drinking it, the beer was that good. So I guess a 4 is a realistic rating for drinkability. Who knows.

This is just fabulous stuff. Highly recommended.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.81/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Magnum split with johnmichaelsen last night. John, you're a fine gentleman for sharing this beer with me. Much thanks! Bottle #133, 2007 version, released in 2008

A: Hazy ruby red, completely still with no visible carbonation

S: Incredible. Sweet, tart and complex with spices and a hint of ginger. Mildly oak and tannic astringency. Bourbon character is not very pronounced, though the contrast between the vanilla-like oak character and the tartness is intriguing. Acidity is low with a mild vinegary component. Decidedly funkier than the regular Bon Chien with a clean funk character - some barnyard, some wet blanket. The balance between the flavors is incredible

T: Opens up sour and tart with some vinegar and a good bit of vinous character with a rather big red wine character in sweetness and grape skin flavor. Mild spiciness is present with a hint of ginger. Fairly big in body with a sweet and tart finish. Halfway through the finish (on the first few sips at least), there's an intriguing zing that's a little sweet and intriguing. The oak tannins are present but I don't think I've had a beer that's used a vinous sweetness to balance the tannins quite this way. This beer really opens up as it warms up, with the funky barnyard character really coming through, wonderfully so. Spectacular.

M: Big in body with a rather disappointingly low level of carbonation. More than anything, the lack of carbonation hurts the nose more than anything (and with me having given it a 5, go figure). Excellent finish

D: Exceptional. I drank over 750ml and craved for more. And for a 11% beer, that's ridiculous. Pair this with a good pinot noir and it's truly an inspirational beer experience.

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Bourbon Barrels) from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 30 ratings