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

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Vin Jaune Barrels)Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Vin Jaune Barrels)
60 Ratings
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Vin Jaune Barrels)Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Vin Jaune Barrels)

Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)

Style: French Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by illidurit on 05-25-2009

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 60 |  Reviews: 31
Reviews by joemochas:
Photo of joemochas
4.46/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

More User Reviews:
Photo of DavoleBomb
3.88/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.74/5  rDev +15.6%
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

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Photo of Gueuzedude
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.03/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

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Photo of valkyre65
4.12/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of glid02
4.42/5  rDev +7.8%
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.

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Photo of Ciocanelu
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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Photo of BergBeer
4.09/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of emerge077
3.97/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As this was over $20 for the 375mL, I grabbed the one with the smallest headspace on the shelf. There was no apparent carbonation, as some others have noted, and as typical for the series. I've been reading up on the obscure Vin Jaune, and as intriguing as it was, this was a little disappointing.

Yellow orange, almost a fossilized amber color. A few large "juice bubbles" appeared when poured at a 6" height, retreating to the edge like a string of pearls. It was slightly murky and looked almost like a dark amber lambic.

Highly acetic, white wine vinegar nose, cidery, funky with musty barrel notes.

Lightly tart, red grapes, apple, some bretty/fruity intermingling. Earthy oak and damp woody mushroom. Some peppery spice from the tangible solventy alcohol. Slick and very dry in the finish.

It was potent in small doses, i'd recommend sharing a bottle if you splurge for it. Far from the best in the series, and not even an improvement over the standard issue Bon-Chien.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev -6.6%
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.

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Photo of ArtZan
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of JohnGalt1
3.9/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Ditmier (Eric) poured this one on Friday night.. I'm glad I took good notes, because with some later pours, he was starting to make me question what I was tasting. Eric.. It does NOT taste like cocktail onions. :-)

Hazy dark gold/orange ... foamy head with good lace and only descent retention.

Nose lends itself to peaches and only mildly sour.. a little vineous... mild oak.. a little musty as it warms up with later pours.

The flavor is much more oakey.. and the same white peach essence seems to dominate.. a little lactic elements add some sour and tends to dry it out a bit. apple skin on the finish.. more tannic than sour... again a little musty.. more acetic as it warms.

I don't know... I think this one was pretty good.. certainly okay... Ditmier got inside my head. :-)

Thanks again to a fucking great BA and thanks again for another beer that was so far off my radar that I NEVER would have tried trading for it..

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.39/5  rDev +7.1%
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 refle

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.

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Photo of MI_beerdrinker
4.16/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

At $23 for 375ml, this is one of the most expensive beers I've ever bought.

This incarnation of the Bon Chein grand cru series seems to actually have carbonation, as I was greeted by a fluffy two finger head upon pouring this beer. The body itself is hazy reddish-amber, cloudier than other batches I've had, but that may be because I didn't give the sediment much time to settle before opening it.

The aroma is vinous, and, surprisingly, a bit solventy. There's light funk beneath the alcohol, but I'm amazed at how dominant the solvents are. As it warms, the booziness becomes all-consuming.

The taste is tart, fruity, vinous, and again, surprisingly boozy. I'm guessing this is the influence of the Vin Jaune barrels, because I haven't picked up much heat in other batches of this beer. Sourness is more lactic than acetic, with mild fruity sweetness adding balance. Medium-full body with fairly crisp carbonation. The finish is hot, sour and semi-dry.

This is good, but really, $23? Per oz, it's roughly twice the price of the bourbon barrel Bon Chien, and not nearly as good. Disappointing.

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Photo of vacax
3.7/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

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Photo of WeisGuy
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -14.6%

Photo of Ken_P
4.36/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of M27
5/5  rDev +22%

Photo of drewone
3.75/5  rDev -8.5%

Photo of womencantsail
4.2/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Vin Jaune Barrels) from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Beer rating: 4.1 out of 5 with 60 ratings