Aug 20, 2013

Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien 2007

Finding a vintage dated bottle on the shelves of any store, even one you may trust, will always cause a more than a little unease at the prospect of making a purchase. Concerns of how the beer has been treated over the last, oh I don’t know, six years definitely creep in. And so was the case earlier this year when I spied this bottle of Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien with a release date of 2007.

I had never had the opportunity to enjoy this beer before and, in fact, this was the first time that I had ever seen a bottle of it on any local shelf in the past. Toss in a $29 price tag and I was filled with mixed emotions. Here’s an opportunity to finally try a beer that I have heard so much about, but here also is a six year old beer with an outrageous price tag.

The impulsive, devilish little bastard on my left should ultimately won out and I threw caution to the wind, setting back a couple of bottles that I had planned to purchase in order to splurge on the Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien. And how did it turn out? Well, I’m certainly glad I’ve finally had the change to enjoy the beer, but perhaps next time I’ll hold out for a fresher bottle (and hopefully a lower price tag). Read on for the gory details.


Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien pours a near red with a short-lived and thin cap of off-white foam.

Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien


Tart cherries, moderate booze, wild yeast, light acidity, funk and distant oak fill the nose. So far so good.


There’s definitely some age on this beer. A fairly decent amount of tart cherries arrive in the first wave with a solid amount of boozy warmth. The wild yeast has certainly kept active as it’s present not just in the crisp mouthfeel but also as a latent acidic sourness in the distance. Light woody notes persist after the initial burst of tartness has let loose of your tongue and faded to a lingering echo that lasts a good while in the drying finish.


When the Abbaye de Saint Bon-Chien was finally gone a good hour or so after I first popped the cork, I sat there for a bit trying to determine if it was worth the price tag. Ultimately, I did, but I think that either the beer was slightly past its peak or perhaps it wasn’t kept as well as it could have been.

The experience was still enjoyable and I found aspects of the beer that I loved, but I don’t believe it lived up to the price or the expectations that I had formed in my skull. I have frequented the store I at which I had purchased it a couple of times since, but haven’t seen another bottle grace the shelves, so in that regard I’ll keep telling myself it was worth it.

Rating: 3.75/5

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