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

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Vin Jaune Barrels)Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Vin Jaune Barrels)
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
French Bière de Garde
4.08 | pDev: 9.07%
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Retired (no longer brewed)
Very Good
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Vin Jaune Barrels)Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Vin Jaune Barrels)
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 61 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of REVZEB
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Interesting beer. Has the full bouquet of of berries, apples, and funky oak as the original does, but then has a sweet acidity, almost giving a cane sugar, red win booziness to the beer in the taste. The smell is yeast and flowery fruit forward in comparison. Sour yet sneaky bready, while having intermittent acidity. Not as good as the original, but a fun twist.

 368 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.39/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had both the VJ1 and VJ2 side by side. As far as I understand, this means the '08 and '09 versions of the same beer. The VJ1 was much better, so the rating will reflect VJ1.

The VJ1 pours a light and murky amber color, with a very small head, and not much lacing. It looks still. The VJ2 pours basically completely still, with a murky brown body, and no head or lacing.

The VJ1 smells like cherry juice, apple juice, raspberry jam, toasted bread, oak, bready malt, and just the slightest hint of vinegar. The VJ2 smells mostly like tart and funky apple juice, with some red wine vinegar, and vinous fruity aromas.

The tastes for each of them basically mirror the aromas. In the VJ1, I get a huge fruitiness here, a veritable fruit basket of cherry/apple/raspberry- certainly a sour and funky bramble jamminess. There's lots of oak, and a big wine character from the Vin Jaune barrels. The lack of carbonation in the VJ2 kind of flattens the flavor a bit for me, as I mostly get vinegar, apple cider and apple juice, oak, and red wine here.

The VJ1 has a nice creamy and full body to it, while the VJ2 is thin, but silky and basically uncarbonated. The VJ1 is easily way more drinkable to my palate.

The VJ1 held up incredibly well for a basically decade-old beer. The VJ2 didn't really, but both were really fun to try.

 1,324 characters

Photo of peensteen
4.29/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep ruby red colour, no lace and no head. Smell is fruity, big cherry and berry notes, a bit jammy, funky and oak , quite vinous, very nicely layered, complex and interesting. Taste starts out quite vinous, oak and cherry, fruity and similar to the nose, more wine like flavours, a bit tart and lightly sour. Lightly carbonated, medium-full body. Quite nice, complex and interesting , worth a try for sure.

 407 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy dark amber color with no head. Aroma is quite interesting, like a flanders ale mixed with lambic. Slight acetic notes and farmhouse funk. Taste starts with balsamic vinegar acidity, sour fruits like cherries and raspberries, dry, red wine. There is some barrel character but I get only the wood, no extra complexity. Medium to light bodied, medium to high carbonation. It's quite good but not very different from the standard version.

 439 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.31/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bright copper body with a tan head of broken bubbles. Aromas of oak, black currant, wine, funk, well water, mineral. Sour and tangy with light to medium acetic character. Tasty.

 177 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle: Poured a light reddish color ale with a large off-white foamy head with OK retention. Aroma of sour notes with some oak and cherry notes that are really dominant. Taste is also dominated by oak with some sour cherry notes, some acidity and quite a bit of vinous notes. Body is full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Pretty solid sour with loads of vinous notes but maybe a tad too much acidity going on.

 425 characters

Photo of detgfrsh
4.24/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap. Pours a dark brown. Tracing of bubbles. Smells sour. Medium feel with a sour finish. Alcohol is present but not overpowering. Overall very good, reminds me of some Belgian sours I've had.

 195 characters

Photo of shleepy
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky light brown. Virtually no head. Smell is barrely and a little vineous. Very sour. Prune juice. Very reminiscent of Oerbier Reserva. Tasty but WAY overpriced at >$20 for a 375mL bottle.

 190 characters

Photo of Budinetz
4.79/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful ruby red color with no lacing at all. Beautiful color present.

Smells of sour cherry, lactobacillus, hibiscus. This is unreal!

Tastes of bing cherries, hibiscus, lactobacillus, sour deliciousness

Feels like sour cherry soda. The best fucking sour cherry soda you've ever had. Great puckering, great smoothness.yeasssssssssss

Overall it's an insane beer. So fucking sour and so fucking sweet back to back. I've never had anything so sour and delicious before!


 496 characters

Photo of Phelps
3.78/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

No hiss when the cap is popped; hardly any head when the beer is poured. Some watery bubbles hang out at the edges of the murky maroon liquid.

Crazy nose. Barnyard funk mixed with mulled apple cider, cinnamon, pears, a hint of white vinegar. Wow.

The flavor carries a little bit of the apple cider quality as well as some increased sweet cherry notes. Funky hay, a bit of honeyed oxidation, green apple, toasted oak. Flash of cherry jolly ranchers at the swallow. Mild sourness.

Flat as a two-by-four. Medium-full body has nice heft. No noticeable alcohol. Would be much better with some bubbles.

Great flavor, great aroma. Just needs CO2.

 647 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.51/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to wethorseblanket for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

2009 vintage.

Pours a murky orange-brown with no head. No lacing on the drink down either. Smell is slightly sour and tart with some malt, fruit, and acidic aromas. Taste is much the same with wine and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of acidity on the palate with each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with a flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with an interesting barrel aged presence in the aromas and flavors.

 531 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Big thanks to SteveFinny for this and all the other versions. Never had any of these and never even heard of them. VJ2, brewed in 2009.

2.5 A: Pours a completely still, murky plum color. No evidence of carbonation.

4.5 S: Potent vinous character. Lots of sherry, which is probably a combination of slight oxidation and the barrels used. I'm wholly unfamiliar with vin jaune, so I'm not quite sure what that contributes. Anyway, the nose on this is powerful and complex past the grape components. Lactic tanginess, strong tart cherry, apple, melon, and plenty of plum. Toffee, faint raisin, plenty of oak, and vanilla.

4.0 T: The taste is intensely oaky with a strong tannic component and a moderate astringency. Again, big vinous aspects featuring sherry. Lactic tanginess and rotting wood funkiness. Tons of cherry flavor with apple, melon, and plum falling far behind. While the nose had some sweetness to it, the taste is definitely on the drier end. Light toffee. Booze is very well hidden. Tasty and complex.

2.5 M: Medium body. While this isn't horrible without carbonation (probably due to the grape influence), it still suffers for it. Feels pretty much like a heavier wine.

4.0 D: I enjoyed this quite a bit. Super complex and tasty. The astringency lowers the drinkibility, but all in all this is a good beer.

 1,347 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.74/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Appearance: Though I only was able to raise a modest head, I was surprised to see the beer bubbling out of the bottle as I tried my first sample; anyway, the beer poured a cloudy apricot nectar color and did leave quite a few spots of lace behind

Smell: Superb aromatics, and while I have never had Vin Jaune, the oaky vinous character on the nose must have come from the barrels; in addition, a range of fruit flavors blossom such as tart apple, pear and strawberry; underneath all of the fruit is a caramel aspect; the high ABV is also detectable

Taste: As complex as the nose, the fruit flavors dominate, up front, with the orchard fruits joining with the tart white wine grape flavors; caramel sweetness underneath balances the lactic sourness; just a slight bit of funk that darts around in the finish, but mostly there is the interplay between the fruit, the sour elements and the sweeter base

Mouthfeel: Moderate to full body with low carbonation

Overall: This is the first of the barrel aged Bon-Chien series that I have tried and, despite the high price tag, it was worth every penny; I have cellared this for some time and it was worth the wait

 1,163 characters

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

VJ2, 2009 Bottling; Sampled December 2011
Pours mostly flat, though it manages to scare up a ring of large bubbled, amber tinged froth that hugs the sides of my Lost Abbey Teku glass. The beer is a concentrated red / amber color that shows a clear, bright amber hue when held up to the light. The aroma smells vinous, oak like and with a port or sherry like note up front that is backed by an aged, toasty maltiness towards the finish. There is a definite, though not heavy, tartness to this beer that accentuates a white wine grape like note. Fruit notes of tart raisins, sour pear / apple and some sort of distinct, but not quite placeable, musky melon like note adds some complexity and balance to the other notes. There is a toasted character here in the nose that is a product of the oak, but also from some residual malt character; the oak also contributes a spiciness to the nose that is a mix of sharp oak, white pepper and this is perhaps joined by a touch of phenolic spicy character.

Still feeling as it hits the mouth, this makes it seem light, despite it coating the palate fairly well. The finish has an oxidized, not quite cardboard like note to it as well as a spicy, lightly astringent oak character, a touch of tartness and a dry, vinous fruit character; this last reminds me of raisins (though without any sweetness), a touch of tart berry notes, a hint of oxidized apple and some red pear flavors. There is an oak presence throughout the flavor profile; a light astringency is noticed from beginning to end, there is a definite wood / oak flavor here as well and perhaps a touch of toasted oak notes, this last suggests at some toasted character from the malt.

This is much nicer than the flat BA Santa’s that I had before this; the difference (since they both are flat and barrel aged) is that this beer is balanced, no one thing (especially the barrel) is so dominant that it gets harsh or annoying. It probably helps that this beer was flat on purpose and was designed around that.

 2,008 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled purchased at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a ZBF 2011 tulip. VJ2 version.

A - Pours still, even with a slight hiss when popping the cap. Murky cider orange-brown, with a hint of transparency at the edges of the glass.

S - The aroma is a nice mix of white wine vinegar, oak, musky funk, caramel malts, a touch of vanilla, and mild solvent alcohol aroma in the periphery. Nice complexity and depth - I get different notes each time I pick up the glass.

T - Taste is more oak-laden, with a mild oxidized quality as well. Mild sour grape and tart apple character, as well as a slightly nutty quality. Not as much of the malt and funky sweetness found in the aroma - more dry and vinous, although it does sweeten a bit as it warms. No alcohol present here, and the aftertaste is quite clean.

M - There's a slight hint of alcohol warming, as well as some low-level acidity. Very dry and tannic, medium-bodied, and still - unlike some of the other bottles out there. It didn't bother me in all the other BFM Grand Crus, and it doesn't bother me here.

D - Even at 11% I had no problem putting down the 375ml bottle on my own, although I took it slowly. Not worth the exorbitant $23 price tag, and possibly the weakest of the BFM Grand Crus (so far), but still quite enjoyable. I'm intrigued as to how much the Vin Jaune contributes to the oxidized quality of the beer.

 1,376 characters

Photo of FosterJM
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

787th Review on BA
Bottle to goblet
37.5 cl

2009 Vintage

@Woodshop Classix

App- A very nice mix of a murky brown mixed with some ambers to it it. A one finger head formed that was slightly off white with a little bit of cling and lace.

Smell- All over the place with large amounts of oak with a effervescent tart, acid, lemon and a little sweetness.

Taste- This follows the nose with a bunch of the same flavors. A little more oak with some tannic flavors and still a bit of caramel sweet and lemony.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Leaves the oaky tastes with a bit of tart on the end.

Drink- This was a pretty damn tasty oak aged sour beer. From the Swiss who I don’t normally associate with beer but this was good, dry, tart, acidic and flavorful.

 772 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2009 VJ2 vintage. The beer pours a reddish-amber color with no head. The aroma is heavy on the sour apples and toffee. The beer smells a lot like a heavy oaked chardonnay. The flavor is more of the same. There is some caramel malt, but the two main flavors are slightly sour apples and a lot of white wine notes. There is also some oak in the flavor. Not as sour as some of the other BFM sours I have tried. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. A good, not great sour.

 472 characters

Photo of JAXSON
3.53/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

2009 rate.

375ml bottle pours a clear, deep orange-red with a really large head and tons of tiny little bubbles rising up. Nose is beautifully sour and rich. Brett, wine, ripe strawberries, cherries. So elegant and luscious. A bit of caramel. Flavor is really, really strong on the wine, which is a bit of an oddity. Very rich and a bit sweet. Long and a bit boozy in the finish. This is so rich that it's almost a bit much. The brett kind of needs time to chew away at these sugars. I think if this were drier it would be exceptional. A tough one to rate given the disparity between nose and mouth.

 600 characters

Photo of muttyd
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Beautiful red/copper body. Fizzy loud white head that fades to a faint ring.

S - Funky earthiness, leather, oak, and fruity (grapes, apples). Very vinous.

T - Very complex brew. Solid red wine-esque backbone with a pleasant sourness. Dry, fruity, (again) vinous. Astringent finish, very mouthwatering.

M - Fizzy on the tongue. Moderate alcohol presence.

D - At almost $25/bottle, this one is a rare treat. Can't seem to put it down though.

 447 characters

Photo of cpetrone84
3.56/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a dark orangish amber color, very hazy, with a bubbly creamy very light tan head.

S-the nose is pretty solid, notes of earthiness to it with a nice amount of tartness. the tart cherries play in well, maybe a touch of acetic acid, the oak is very faint.

T-a light malt base is taken over by a strong tart cherry flavor, the vinegar is light, dry oak is present with a hint of metallic flavor in the very back with a little spiciness to it.

M-good carbonation balances a syrupy medium body with a crisp and lightly dry finish. its a little grainy on the palate but still feels soft and comfortable.

D-this is pretty straight forward and hides the alcohol very well. the sweet to tart ratio is balanced very well, not much else happening but still pretty enjoyable.

 774 characters

Photo of d0ggnate
3.61/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought this one a few months ago and thought now was as good a time as any to pop it open.

VJ2 bottled in 2009. The cap peeled of this one without even a hiss. After a less than gentle pour, I was barely able to illicit even a resemblance of carbonation. The body sits a nice red/amber color, but is very still.

The nose here is pretty good. Aromas of unripened green grapes and tart barrel qualities. Just the right whiffs of funk arise from my glass. Not too strong, but enticing instead.

On to the taste. Just as it appears, it falls a bit flat. Very wine-like with hints of brown sugar. Noticeable alcohol warming effect as I swish this one down. Reminds me of drinking a glass of wine. Strange to think of beer that way, but I feel like this is wine.

Mouthfeel is lacking, but still palate coating. The flavors cover my mouth and last for minutes at a time. This is my first Bon Chien Grand Cru. I'd love to try the others. I definitely wasn't expecting it to be like this. This beer is unlike most others I've had.

 1,026 characters

Photo of vacax
3.7/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours translucent copper in color with a good amount of head retention. Strong aroma with a vinous quality, brown sugar, and light oakiness. Tastes of dark fruit, wine grapes, alcoholic with a tart finish. Medium to full in body with a lower amount of carbonation hits the mark. Pretty decent beer, but I don't seem to be as impressed as some people. Worth trying but not for the price tag.

 390 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Bobby for opening this one yesterday at our tasting.

A: The pour is an opaque burnt orange color with a thin white head and some mild carbonation.

S: There's quite a vinous quality to this beer, which certainly makes sense. A lot of grapes, oak, and slightly musty. The tartness is mostly lactic with a mild acetic quality.

T: The flavor is very similar to the nose. A lot of tart grapes and apples with a heavy oak component to it. There isn't a ton of tartness, but enough to go along well with the fruit and oak flavors. The Brett does not necessarily provide much funk, but a definite dryness.

M: The carbonation is certainly plentiful with a medium body to the beer.

D: To be honest, I did not even notice how high the ABV was on this beer. That said, it's certainly a good beer, but given its price tag, I think once was enough.

 849 characters

Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from the Brick Store - thanks to Sachin for the beer!

Pours a hazy dark orange-copper color with a half-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of solid funk, green apples, dry grapes, and hints of white wine vinegar.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Earthy funky flavors with a solid tartness are augmented by mild fruit flavors - as with the smell green apples and white grapes. The ending is where the barrel comes most into play with a solid dryness and hints of oak.

Mouhtfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with surprisingly active carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have another.

Overall this was the first barrel-aged version of the Grand Cru and if it's any indication of how the others taste I'll certainly be coming back for more.

 860 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


Consumed in a snifter. Thanks Chris. The beer is light amber with a one finger head, which is a departure from the Bon-Chien Grand Crus. I've had them all, and this is the first time I've seen carbonation.

The nose is vinous with buttery oak and a light tartness. I detect notes of plums and dark grapes, and alcohol becomes increasingly apparent as the beer warms.

The flavor is reminiscent of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, with notes of wood and light tannins. The beer is lightly tart and it exhibits a moderate lactic tartness. Carbonation is at an upper moderate level, but I do prefer these without carbonation. The finish is drying with lingering dark fruit notes.

This is my least favorite of the Bon-Chien Grand Crus. At $23 per 375ml I would definitely not buy this again.

 793 characters

Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Vin Jaune Barrels) from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Beer rating: 89 out of 100 with 61 ratings