BFM Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru (2007) - Bourbon Barrel

Formerly brewed at BFM (Brasserie des Franches-Montagnes)
Style: Sour/Wild Ale
Saignelégier, Switzerland
Serve in Snifter, Tulip, Tumbler


on tap


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RATINGS: 54   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.81/5   EST. CALORIES: 330   ABV: 11%
Unblended portion of Bon-Chien 2007. Single Bourbon/vatted malt -- limited edition. Hand bottled, without prise de mousse in September 08. This Grand Cru’s complexity will increase with age.

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Ughsmash (7502) - Pewaukee, Wisconsin, USA - JAN 9, 2016
Magnum. Poured cloudy deep, reddish-amber with little head. The aroma picked up sour cherries, bourbon, and spicy oak with some age and oxidation.. warm, but great balance. The flavor found lots of sour, complex stuff.. cherries, horseblanket, and some vinous notes joined a bit of bourbon.. finished warm and spicy, with great balance. Heavier-bodied with low carbonation.. great feel.

vtafro (7453) - Wayne, New Jersey, USA - JUL 16, 2014
(backlog) RBSG ’11 GT Bottle. Ruby pour with a good amount of tan head. Tart fruit, touch of funk, bourbon, oak and acetic/lactic notes.

brokensail (16696) - Dublin, California, USA - NOV 16, 2012
A dark amber colored pour with a thin off-white head. Opens with sweet vanilla and quite a bit of bourbon. Some oak, a lot of dark fruit, and quiet a bit of red wine vinegar. Very intense sourness of vinegar on the palate, particularly as it warms. A decent amount of wood, bourbon, and vanilla flavor. Some dark fruits, dry tannic finish, and a bit of leather.

jredmond (8964) - New York, New York, USA - APR 11, 2012
Bottle shared with Pat, Dad, Andrew, and Jen. Pours a light blood red body with absolutely no head, lacing, or carbonation. Aroma is sour cherry, vinegar, and light wood. Mouthfeel is intense due to the lack of any life whatsoever in this brew, the vinegar bleeds through with dirty cheese, sour fruit (cherries and grapes), wood, light booze.

Glouglouburp (6103) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - AUG 19, 2011
Common rating for all three Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru 2007 (Bourbon, Cabernet, Pinot)
In short: A very oaky, uber-sharp vinous red ale full of mouth puckering tannins.
How: Magnums, all three versions side-by-side, consumed 1.5 year after the beer release (Grand Cru 2007 were released jan 2009). Bottles shared by Brad at RBSG 2011 grand tasting
The look: Cloudy rusty-red body with almost no head
In long: Nose is very sharp, very oaky, from the nose you can tell that this will be a tannins bomb, some cherries, woody vinous notes. Taste is uber-tannic, very astringent, lots and lots of oak, acetic acid, cherry skin, sawdust. For a sour ale this is more tannic dry & astringent & acetic than it is actually sour.
Pinot version: (8-3-8-3-16 = 3.8)A bit more fruity adding other red fruits which made it a little more round
Carbarnet version: (8-3-8-3-15 = 3.7)The most tannic and most aceditic of the three. Maybe a bit too much. My least favorite
Bourbon version: (8-3-8-3-17 = 3.9)Inexplicably my favorite of the three. Simply smoother and easier to drink. And no bourbon presence whatsoever. Maybe just more vanilla
In conclusion: Side-by-side I was surprise to notice so few differences between the three different versions. The base beer is undoubtedly so intense that it crushes most of the barrels characteristics. Saint Bon-Chien beers are an acquired taste and those were pretty much what I was expecting, true oaky-tannic sippers. It was insanely generous of my friend Brad to open these three expensive magnums at once, on top of other crazy beers he brought. I would also like to be an altruistic and very generous person myself but only if *I* have something to gain from it.

jcwattsrugger (12579) - Florida and, New Jersey, USA - JUL 10, 2011
1.5L bottle @RBSG shared by ygtbsm94-pours no head and amber/copper color. Aroma is bourbon/wood, medium malt. Taste is bourbon/wood, somewhat sweet medium malt, earthy hops.

corby112 (2813) - philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA - JUL 6, 2011
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.

argo0 (14127) - Washington DC, USA - JUN 27, 2011
1.5L bottle, RBSG grand tasting, thanks ygtbsm94. Clear copper body, no head. Aroma is moderately sweet, Bourbon, light vinous. Taste is moderately sweet, Bourbon, light lemon/orange. Medium body, low carbonation, medium sticky.

j12601 (13473) - Poughkeepsie, New York, USA - JUN 21, 2011
Pouring at the grand tasting at RBSG in Philly courtesy of Brad. Pours a murky brown, still with no head. Sour acid, toast, fruity and nutty acetone on the nose. Long acid, soft wood and touches of bourbon. Toast, acid and nuttiness. Lingering warm acetone on the finish.

hopdog (13315) - Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA - JUN 13, 2011
1.5L bottle (RBSG). Poured an amberish color with a small sized head. Aromas of wood, lighter bourbon, and cherries. Tastes of the same lighter bourbon, wood, cherries, and some vanilla.

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