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

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Merlot Piana Barrels)Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Merlot Piana Barrels)
27 Ratings
Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Merlot Piana Barrels)Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Merlot Piana Barrels)

Brewed by:
BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)

Style: French Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Anthony1 on 05-26-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 27 |  Reviews: 17
Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.42/5  rDev +21.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

'09 vintage.

This one pours a dark brown color, with a well-carbed and fluffy white head, and a decent amount of lacing

This smells like molasses, red wine, red grapes, cherry skin, brown sugar, and oak.

This is pretty sweet, but it works well. There's lots of toasty dark oak flavor, with sweet grape jam, jammy red wine, and apple juice. There are lighter flavors specifically of merlot, funk, and earthy malts.

This is fairly creamy, with the carbonation holding on fairly well. It's a pretty slow sipper.

These beers all clearly hold on to their age like a champ. This is excellent.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of TallSaint
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of csustar001
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of t0rin0
3.25/5  rDev -11%

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.3/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Brewed in 2009, bottled March 2010. This specifically says, "ale aged in Merlot Piana vecchia barrel," in case there's supposed to be another listing. Big thanks to SteveFinny for this.

4.5 A: Murky light plum color. Two fingers of creamy beige head. Retention is good given the ABV and a great deal of lacing is left.

4.5 S: I had the vin jaune version a couple days ago and while it smelled good, it was in no way on par with this. Perhaps the carbonation in this is aiding the nose, but smells better in addition to stronger. Rich vinous grapiness. Tart cherry is just as abundant. Plum and apple round out the fruits. Big lactic tanginess that contributes to the fruits, but also holds it's own independent of. Caramel and toffee with oak and vanilla from the barrel. This is definitely more fruit forward than the vin jaune and all around better smoother as the aromas complement each other seemlessly.

4.5 T: This has all the good qualities of the vin jaune, without the pesky tannic astringency interferring. Big fruitiness again with apple joining the cherry and grape on the main stage. Plum is also stronger than in the nose. Oak and vanilla. The lactic acid is less tangy that I would have imagined while this is much funkier than expected. Rotting wood, musty basement, and animal musk. Caramel and toffee are light and while this is quite dry, it isn't bone dry.

3.5 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation. This isn't spritzy or creamy or anything other than just regular carbonation. That's fine, but not ideal.

4.0 D: Best of the series so far after two rounds. I have four more of these I believe, so I wonder which will come out on top. If the others are as good as this one, it will be a great trip.

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Photo of rolltide8425
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of bluetrevian
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of musicforairports
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at The Birch in Norfolk, Va. Chalkboard says it's from 2010.

Red-ish orange in a wine-like glass, clean looking. Few bubbles and no real head or lacing.

Smells of sweet wine, oak, lightly tart berries and other fruits.

Flavors of white grapes, red wine, light lactic sour notes. Easy-going -- a bit too much so. Kind of like tart wine juice. ABV largely undetectable.

Hardly any carbonation to this beer. Light-medium body. Goes down easy.

This beer was really rather underwhelming for the age, the wine-barrel aging and the ABV. Nothing about it was bad, though.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of WeisGuy
2.5/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of MasterSki
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - WTF? This is carbonated! Pours with a finger of tan foam that settles to a partial cap and thick collar, and the stray splotch of lace. Plenty of tiny bubbles visibly racing up the sides of the glass. Dark orange-brown body that's largely opaque.

S - Oak, fruity red wine, vanilla, some definite funk and musty attic, grapeskins, and a hefty caramel and brown sugar malt backbone.

T - The taste is also hefty in oak, with moderate sour and vinous character. Not as much malt sweetness as the aroma, with some toffee and cherries present at the periphery, although the fruitiness intensifies as the beer warms up. Finish is merlot-heavy.

M - Pretty weird to be drinking one of these with bubbles. Very dry and tannic, with a full body, and pleasant moderate carbonation. The spritz transitions quite well into the tannic, yet moderately chewy finish. As usual, alcohol is masterfully disguised - drinks like a 7% beer.

D - I enjoyed this one quite a bit, and I'm surprised by the negative reviews. I easily drank a 375ml bottle on my own, and could imagine splitting a magnum with an alcoholic like largadeer, if only for the $/oz savings.

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Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%

Photo of craytonic
4.2/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: red-copper pour with a very small head an no lacing to speak of

Smell/taste: I always think of these as wine and serve them in wine glasses. I get oak, merlot, light toffee with a definite vinous character. Hard to differentiate from the regular Bon-Chien

Mouthfeel: medium-light, lighter than I expected

Overall: Enjoyable

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.11/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to craytonic for opening this bottle up last night. Served in a wine glass.

Pours a light rusty-red color with a few bubbles on the initial pour and not much in the way of a head or lacing. The nose carries a really nice Merlot and grape character plus a light oak character and faint acidity. Flavor isn't quite as complex and integrated, but still fairly nice. Light body with low to medium carbonation and faint acidity. Light earthiness plus a semi-dry finish. Very nice brew.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.39/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by craytonic. Thanks Matt.

The beer is a light ruby hue, with very little head, appearing more like a wine than a beer. The aroma offers wine barrels, sour cherries, funk. Slightly acetic, but overall really smooth. Cherries and light funk, mild tannins. Subtle alcohol presence in the finish. Low carbonation. Very enjoyable. Very glad to have tried this. Looking forward to trying some other beers in this Grand Cru series.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.21/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to Jason for sending me this one. This is the 2009 Merlot release.

A: The beer is flat, maybe a couple of bubbles in there. Murky amber in color with only a couple small bubbles resulting from the vigorous pour.

S: Smells really fantastic. Awesome tartness of green apple, lemon, and sour cherry aromas. Lots of oak and red wine, perhaps even some peaches in addition to other fruits being present.

T: Unfortunately, the flavor really falls short. It's quite harsh and overly tannic with tons of charred wood flavor. A mild tartness comes through, mostly green apple, but it only provides a brief feeling of relief.

M: Medium in body with almost no carbonation.

O: Unfortunately this one just didn't taste very good. I loved the smell, however the point of beer is to drink it.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours an amber color with a white head. The aroma is a mix of apples, grapes and cherries with some slightly tart notes. Very nice. The flavor is caramel and toffee malt with some apples and grapes. The beer is slightly tart but not as sour as some of the other BFM beers I have tried. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of jwinship83
3.09/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375ml capped bottle that is the 2008 edition. drank out of my duvel tulip. the white wine barrel version from the previous year is one of the most memorable beers for some time in my opinion. i have high hopes for this one.

A- the beer pours out a nearly still reddish amber colored body. the head, which isnt much of anything to speak of, consists of a few large bubbles that are a shade lighter than the beer itself. terrible retention, not a trace of lacing gets left behind.

S- sweet caramel malt and toasted bread are the first things that come to mind. after that i get some of the same funkiness that i smell in all this breweries beers. very earthy and musty. theres a little acidity and some vinous qualities in the nose also. very little of the barrel comes through in the form of faint vanilla.

T- the sweet caramel and toasted bread malts that i could smell once again lead the way in the taste. then comes a fruitiness from the red wine. its almost berry like. the funk and acidity i could smell comes through as i was expecting. a little bit of woodiness. the alcohol was well hidden and very hard to pick out at all.

M- medium bodied, almost full. not overly sour. if anything it could benefit from a little more pucker power. the body is basically still and could use some carbonation. there is a little warming form the alcohol, but its nothing compared to what i was expecting form an 11% beer. this is disappointing compared to the TR3 barrel one i tried last time.

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Photo of sisuspeed
4.12/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Dave for bringing over the bottle!

This started out as a huge gusher. Probably lost about a third of the bottle to the sink and Dave's shirt. Anyways, the beer poured a cloudy, apricot-orange with a thin creamy white head. Had some nice lacing to go with it.

The nose is quite fruity with grapes and a touch of nail polish/alcohol heat. Barnyard sourness with hay and light citrus. Very nice.

Ripe fruits with merlot grapes. Peach, apricot, and light citrus. Nice sourness with a touch of brett. The alcohol definitely comes through, but isn't overbearing. Thought the nose was a little better.

Mouthfeel is dry and warming. Good carbonation. Just slightly foamy. You can tell this is a big beer (11%).

Drinkability is good. Lots of nice, dry, sourness and fruit. I liked this one more and more as I sipped on it. Worth checking out.

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Photo of largadeer
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

1.5L magnum, 2009 merlot piana version.

Pours still and clear with a sunset amber hue.

Tons of funk and vinous oak on the nose. Musty, moldy, fruity. Caramelized malt shines through as the beer opens up.

The palate is extremely vinous and oaky. Bold merlot barrel notes, light sourness, caramel, mineral water, faint fusels, huge tannic oak. A bit of cranberry-like tart and tannic fruitiness. Finishes with a kick of brash oak. There's no carbonation, as usual with the grand cru bottlings of Bon Chien, and I prefer them like this.

I wasn't thrilled with this beer initially, but after letting the magnum sit open for a while it became much more enjoyable. The oak subsided and the malt came out, making for a much more balanced beer.

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Photo of nickd717
2.77/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Magnum from Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Pours hazy reddish-amber with a minimal head.

The aroma is funky with sweet caramel malt, funky tartness, red wine, and oaky -bals.

Flavor is a little weaker than I'd like but not too mad. The base is caramel with red berry notes and red wine. Lots of funky oaky sweaty -bals .
There's something slightly plasticky about it too.

Medium bodied, a little thin, with low carbonation and mild acidity.

Overall, somewhat of a disappointment from the Abbey of St. Good-Dog. Not one of their better offerings.

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Photo of calir1
3.67/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Was given this beer as a gift. The price said $23 and in my opinion not worth 5 bucks. Smelled good like it was going to be a decent sour, but the taste was not tart like was expected. It did not taste bad, just not a well done sour. It was very drinkable and worthy to drink, just not for the price.

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Photo of glid02
3.92/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a murky brownish-copper color with almost no head. What little bubbles there are quickly disperse into a thin ring around the glass, leaving almost no lacing but decent legs.

Smells of grainy malts with good amounts of oak and mildly tart vinous aromas.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Smooth and lightly grainy malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by good amounts of somewhat dry red grape flavors. Midway through the sip a solid amount of influence from the oak works its way into things, carrying through to a mildly tart and slightly funky ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without any problems and could have another.

Overall I didn't think this had the complexity of other barrel-aged beers I've had from BFM. That being said, it's still a nicely nuanced beer that's worth a shot.

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Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (Aged In Merlot Piana Barrels) from BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 27 ratings