So we all know about Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien due to their delicious hybrid beer/wine nature and pricey vintages. Those swanky Swiss brewers make some damn fine beer, but those releases are all big blends of a variety of barrels. However, they do make some individual barrel releases to hone in on a specific character, and those beers are marked with the Grand Cru designation (remember, though, Grand Cru means almost nothing in the world of beer and is never consistently applied between brewers). This particular bottle comes from Rum casks, and is labeled “Megamix Rum Casks Vol 2”, which I assume means this is the second time they’ve done rum casks or something like that. It would be interesting to taste a few different Grand Cru expressions, and I’m sure I could afford the second mortgage it would take to make that happen. We’ll just have to live with the single bottle my procurement department scrounged up. Woe is me.
BFM Abbaye De Saint Bon-Chien Grand Cru 2015 (Megamix Rum Casks Vol 2) – Pours a moderate amber color with a cap of off white head. Smells along the lines of regular old Bon-Chien, hints of vinegar, oak, and vanilla, but with less of a vinous feel. I don’t really get rum, per say, but it does feel more spirits based than wine based, so that type of barrel character is coming through in the nose. Now the taste, on the other hand, does feature rum rather prominently, along with typically mellow Bon Chien acetic sourness, and some general malt sweetness that plays well with the rum sweetness. Mouthfeel is rich and full bodied, not as sour or acidic as usual, but that’s there too. Carbonation a little low, but that might be a general feature of Bon Chien. Overall, this is an interesting twist on the Bon Chien paradigm, tasty and worth checking out, but perhaps not as complex or balanced as regular Bon Chien. B+
Beer Nerd Details: 11% ABV bottled (375 ml). Drank out of a wine glass on 11/6/15. Brewed in 2013. Bottled in 2015 (somewhere around March 2015).
Not too shabby, and I’d have to imagine some barrels would be better for this treatment than others, so I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for more…