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Fantôme Black Ghost - Brasserie Fantôme

Not Rated.
Fantôme Black GhostFantôme Black Ghost

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

181 Ratings
THE BROS
67
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 181
Reviews: 145
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 19.43%
Wants: 37
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: francisweizen on 01-06-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 181 | Reviews: 145 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by kegerator:
Photo of kegerator
5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I have been looking around for this for some time and was very happy that i found it and picked it up.
pours a deep rich mahogany brown with hints of ruby tones when held to the light. A nice 3 finger head appears and stays leaving great lace throughout.
Aroma was chocolate, cherries, plums and other fruity esters.
Taste was of chocolate covered cherries with hints of plum and caramel fudge. This was full bodied smooth, rich and leaves a very heavy coating in the mouth that lingers and leaves you wanting more. Definite must try if your in to artisan belgian ales.

kegerator, Aug 15, 2005
More User Reviews:
Photo of OldSock
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – 750 ml bottle with cap and cork from Julio’s. In my goblet it appears as a hazy, dark brown liquid covered with a creamy off-white head that lasts forever. Lacing is equally creamy and long lasting.

Smell – Beautiful dark fruit and spice smell. So complex that it is hard to find words to describe it accurately. The fruit is mainly dark cherries with some raisons. The yeasty, spicy, earthy, wood undertones are wonderful. The whole thing just melds together seamlessly, perfect.

Taste – The front has a slight acidic twinge. The middle has most of the same flavors as the smell led me to expect, fruits, spices, wood, yeasty funk and earthy hops. Coffee appears unexpectedly as the predominant aftertaste. There is a slight lingering alcohol warming. For some reason the taste does not blend together as well as the smell did. The taste has many good components, but they fight against one another, sour and coffee do not mix well.

Mouthfeel – Medium-full body with strong carbonation. Good mouthfeel for the flavor, the head also adds a nice creaminess.

Drinkability & Notes – Pretty good drinkability, the complexity keeps me coming back for more, but I am never fully satisfied with the flavor I get. I feel like there is just too much going on in this, this never find that balance of flavors that makes an exceptional beer.

OldSock, Oct 16, 2005
Photo of RoyalT
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This one poured a very dark, dirty brown like muddy pond water. The head was small.

Smell – The aroma here is light, even at room temperature. The light fruits are sour and somewhat dark. There’s a dominant deep grape side to this nose. I can also pick up some hearty prunes.

Taste – Wow, did this ale come alive at the taste. The prunes are huge and very dark. The dates seem dipped in a light chocolate sauce. There are also some light zesty citrus notes and big, powdery spices. On top of all this, there’s a wonderfully strong yeast base.

Mouthfeel – This BSDA is medium-bodied with some sharp, leafy bitterness. It just explodes in the mouth.

Drinkability – I’ve never had anything quite like this. It is a must try for any Belgian beer fans. I’m sure I haven’t even come close to catching all of the flavors here. What a treat.

Comments – Big thanks to skyhand for mustering up the willpower to save some of this for me.

RoyalT, Oct 15, 2004
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Today has been a dark, dreary rainy day. The dark grey skies seemed to be the best indication that I should break out the bottle of Black Ghost that has been sitting in my fridge. It pours a deep, murky, swampy black with a wonderful creamy billowing two finger tan foamy head that has great staying power. Dark brown accents shoot out of the edges of my glass. Aromas of dark roasted, burnt grains mingle with notes of dark cherry and fruit. Rotting vegetation and a funky aromatic earthy yeast culling barnyard tones enter with an underlying floral nose. Like a compost heap accentuated by an unknown mix of spices and a touch of sourness. Menacingly complex, each inhalation brings a new sensation and new images to mind.

First sip brings a roasty, dark maltiness with a touch of cocoa along with a big wall of floral and rotting vegetation flavors. Incredibly earthy with a dense spiciness and some underlying sourness. I think I can pick out some cinammon, cardamom and anise - but it's really a unique mix of tantalizing flavors. There's a mellow barnyard funkiness but it takes a back seat to the spiciness of the brew. Spent firewood from the night before. Each sip is a new experience. Finishes clean with a lingering earthy cocoa. An incredibly complex, enjoyable brew.

Mouthfeel is fairly light and arid with a sturdy carbonation. It's hard to even put the glass down here. I find this very drinakable and the 750ml bottle will make for a perfect end to the evening. If you're a Fantome fan, this is well worth seeking out. Another undoubtedly unique experience from Dany. Long live the friendly Fantome!

orbitalr0x, Nov 28, 2005
Photo of Beaver13
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, corked and capped. Pours a hazy reddish amber with sediment. The head is bubbly, white and creamy and retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is grainy malts, funky yeast and acidic and tart fruits and some band-aid. Cinnamon comes out as it warms.

The flavor is some sweet fruits, and spicy funky yeast followed by a sharp tongue biting tartness and chocolate. It's pretty acidic and dry. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with creamy carbonation.

Overall, an interesting beer.I'm not sure what to make of it, but would try it again.

Beaver13, Jul 02, 2008
Photo of Jason
2.83/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 750ml green magnum with no freshness date. Evil looking Casper on the label.

Appearance: Hazed dark brown hue, spritzy lace has trouble retaining an head at all.

Smell: Dirty rag of wood floor cleaner, vanilla and musty basement.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Crisp and smooth on the palate. Muddled herbal flavor up front, some sort of pepper (white peppercorn?) with a very mild heat hits middle to end. Thyme, root veggies, mineral, lemony twang and basic cellar must in the palate. Finishes with a dry earthy tone and warmth from the alcohol and peppery flavor.

Drinkability & Notes: Sorry but this does nothing for me, I love the rest of the Fantome brews but Black Ghost is an odd ball ale. I will certainly save the rest to cook with. A beer like this shows the other end of the spectrum of what beer can beer.

Jason, Apr 20, 2005
Photo of merlin48
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, corked and capped, enjoyed slightly chilled in a chalice. Thanks to mntlover for bringing this one.
Appearance: Dark brown, but mostly clear, body with a small light brown head that quickly drops into a persistent film and collar of lace. Sheet lacing is present, but not pervasive.

Aroma: Not what I was expecting from a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, the aroma is closer to the Fantome Saisons, with a few notable exceptions. Fruity tart, funky and earthy yeast, grassy hops, citrusy tangerine and lemon, and an array of spices. Coriander and white pepper are prominent, as in the Saisons, but there is a definite note of anise.

Mouthfeel: Light medium body with low medium carbonation. Slick, and a bit oily.

Taste: Somewhat dry, with fruity notes of lemon, orange, and raisins. Earthy and grassy, with an old socks yeast character that is assertive. Quite spicy, with coriander, white pepper, and licorice. Alcohol is well hidden, but for an occasional retro-olfactory whiff. Spices become more herbal as it warms to room temperature. An odd note of chocolate malt makes a brief appearance and adds to the interesting complexity. Finish is dry and spicy, with lasting note of earthy yeast.

Drinkability: Very complex and interesting, with great drinkability due to its Saison similarities. Very much like a dark Saison in character. I've read that every bottle of this has different characteristics. I would certainly like to have another to see if this is so.

merlin48, May 25, 2005
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, capped and corked. Pours black with min. light shining thru, dark tan head, leaving luxorious lacing. Nose is licorish and dark malts. This is a full flavor dark ale, lots of burnt malt flavor, prunes, rum, dark chocolate and smoke. Also musty, earthy and more licorish. Not as phenolic and spicy as other Fantome ales, but this is a big, heady, complex brew, Belgian dark ale lovers must give this one a try.

Billolick, Apr 29, 2005
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is full of spices, with some additional dark fruit notes and some strong Belgian yeast. The flavor is very complex. I get some light tartness and funk from the Belgian yeast, but I also get some spices, caramel malt, orange and apple notes. A slightly funky, spicy and fruit saison that works very well together. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Mora2000, Apr 07, 2012
Photo of ehammond1
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle

Acquired via online purchase

A murky, cloudy dark brown with a huge dark khaki colored head that stays and stays and stays, eventually cascading down into thick chunks of sticky lace.

A somewhat strange aroma of grass, hay, barnyard, some peat, and mild smoke character. Different than any other Fantome offering I've had. The smoke and peat character emerge more and more as the beer warms.

The flavor is too not like anything I've had before, though that's not surprising given Fantome's reputation. Smoke, peat, some feet, barnyard, grass, and a mild earthy hop character interplay with one another. It's interesting, but not one of the more pleasant Fantome offerings I've had.

Medium bodied with high, slightly creamy, carbonation.

I'm glad I tried it, but I don't need to have another. I wouldn't turn it down though, either.

ehammond1, Nov 16, 2012
Photo of yankeeheel
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a faux brown which reveals itself as a candy apple red when held to light. Minimalist head and scant lace. The head is one of those that bubbles real fast and fades, like soda. Smells slightly oaky and sugary with a little bit of leather and fruit. Interesting but not great. The first sip is a little harsh and undesireable, but a after some warming this brew opens up and reveals itself. Lots of cherry and grape here. Moderately sweet with a almost suede like body. Finishes slightly dry with a little bitter chocolate essence to it. I really think this a beer best left in the dark for a while. I think that with time the flavors may meld a little better than they do as a "green" beer. Though not bad I really wasn't so impresed that I'd seek this out again.

yankeeheel, Sep 26, 2004
Photo of pwoods
2.73/5  rDev -29.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750ml dark green corked/caged bottle. Purchased at Dilly Deli, poured into a chalice. No dating.

A: Pours a ruby tinted mahogany that glows when backlit. Not quite a fingers worth of head forms and dies fast. Some wisps of lacing.

S: Not as sweet as expected, nor as yeasty and spicy. Has a nice muted pepper aroma with dark, earthy, husky bread notes.

T/M: More of the dull pepper side with the bread, too. Not very sweet at all and just lightly yeasty. It's more on the.. IDK, savory side... rather than sweet/fruity. Body is medium though it feels watered down and lacking much carbonation.

D: I must say that I'm pretty disappointed. Lots of people rave about Fantome but this seems off the mark. Oh, and $14/bottle.

pwoods, May 16, 2008
Photo of biboergosum
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml capped and corked Burgundian bottle. Casper's evil twin graces the label. Thanks to hoppypocket for the trade.

This beer pours a cloudy, near-opaque murky brownish-amber colour, with tons of tiny rising bubbles, which seem to make the foamy, puffy, but heretofore stabilized beige head grow before my eyes, above the glass, into a weird set jello like state. Anyways, after a coon's age, I get some weakly distributed spotty lace around the glass.

It smells of smoldering tire fires, meaty caramel malt, earthy yeast, woody Islay peat, singed leaves, BBQ'd dark fruit, cheesy funk, battered coriander and black pepper, tanned leather, and herbal, soapy hops. The taste is thankfully dialed down a bit, the smoke restrained to a certain degree, yet it still permeates everything - the peppy, funky yeast, the fleshy black fruit, the sweating leather, the cocoa-tinged bready pale malt, the bludgeoned, and indistinct spice, and the herbal, leafy hops.

The bubbles are, as noted, a bit retarded in their over-ebullient nature, but actually settle down after more than a wee spell, the body medium-light in weight, and hardly smooth, as that cannot possibly be this one's game. It finishes mostly dry, the lingering ashy, peaty, and just plain smoky essence hard to define otherwise, even if there is other stuff with more pleasant things going on.

Wow. Wasn't expecting that. So, take a gentle, easy-drinking style, and lay waste to it - literal scorched earth, baby! Christ on a crutch, I have to work to find something nice to say about this. Ok, um, the overbearing smoke and overreaching carbonation aren't everything here - it just seems like it most of the time. Might make a good grilling marinade, I suppose.

biboergosum, Nov 09, 2013
Photo of soper2000
4.72/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Green bottle with a pink "Black Ghost" label. After struggle with my corkscrew I finally got the cork out of the cork and crown bottle. Upon pulling the cork I could immediately pick up aromas of this remarkable brew. Decanting it into my tulip glass wafts even more aroma my way. The beer is a deep brown with a fairly large head. Smell is very interesting if not amazing. It has a strong musty smell that is balanced with hints of patchouli (sp?). Very interesting indeed. Initial taste i find a nice smokey flavor which seems to fade into dark fruity flavors over time. Some strong notes of plums and spice are now easily detected. Very fun to try to pick out all of the flavor profiles. Some black licorice comes through in the end. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. Drinkability, I'll rate high as I will definately be coming back to the ghost provided that I can find it. I definately have a new beer in my top 10 list!

soper2000, Sep 01, 2004
Photo of seanthornton152
4/5  rDev +3.6%

seanthornton152, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This one pours a very intrigueing reddish brown thick cloudy glowing color. Good off white head that leaves some lace. Nose is very belgian, malty with some spice and sugar. The taste on this one is wonderful and remarkably unique. Very candy like. Good malt presence, but there is a sweet and sour aspect that is very desireable. There is a specific kind of candy this reminds me of I used to eat when I was a kid, but I can't think of it. A great sort of appley bite of flavor that shows up right through the middle there. Some slight spice, but not as much as the nose indicated. That thin candy flavor lingers on into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it fits well with the slightly sour mouthfeel. Drinkability is extremely good on this one, the abv does not make an appearance. Overall this is one of the most unique brews I have had in some time. Very tasty, and one I will surely revisit. Very complex. The only trouble is the goddamn bottle cost me $15 bucks! worth it for a special occasion though, thats for sure! good one!

AKBelgianBeast, Jun 29, 2008
Photo of cokes
4.85/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Muddied magenta stacked tall with ashy tan suds.
Fragrant of cocoa powder, black cherries, molasses, vanilla, prairie grass, and basements.
Begins with a stonewalling fudge notion, unbreachable to begin with, though in time it dissolves into more fluid shapes of carob and caramel. Plunges into the cauldron of a dark fruit stew, full of boiling cherry, plums, and dates, thickening a molasses broth. Then it pauses a moment, at the apex of its glory, then goes utterly beyond itself, and breathes out vanilla vapors, oak, hazelnuts, and toasted coconut. The fruit brightens as it draws back in. Pears, apples, and peaches, all overripe and beginning to decay. Dripping red grape vinousness and plump with Fantome's signature mildewed lime rind yeastiness, full of things left undisturbed in dark corners. The cocoa powder suggestion offsets some of the typical Ghostly sharpened tartness. And it concludes full of pepper, tarragon, cedar, and early summer fields in full, obscene blossom.
The yeast pour adds further dank farminess and a blanketing caramel-nut breadiness. Alcohol is not mentioned because it is not noticed.
Moderate in texture, heft, and carbonation, especially after it sits a few moments.
In some ways, this is a most approachable Fantome creation, while being absolutely one of his most arcane.
Superb. Or should I say, fucking unreal.

My utmost thanks to Bighuge, once again.

cokes, Apr 06, 2005
Photo of Sammy
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An exceptional beverage, bringing the best of a healthy herbal drink and a beer together. Sarsapillira (root beer), cinammon, blackstrap molasses, smooth. honey and kitchen spice aroma. Thanks Clarkvv. Wonderful with a long meal of every dishes, as every sip then sends a different taste signal to the brain. One of few beers that is delightful palate cleaner after fish.

Sammy, May 08, 2005
Photo of augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750mL capped-and-corked green-glass bottle into my Oerbier glass.

Burnt umber-tinged bole liquid which glows a soft coppery chestnut when held up to the sun. Thick creamy wheat colored head which recedes to a half finger of whipped foam - superior retention, slow running sand-dune-like lacing with (oddly) phantom shaped tears.

Musty aromatics with dark fruit, and farmhouse (or maybe attic) scents along with faint malt, cocoa, loam, and spice. Very subdued overall.

The sour palate entry is unmistakably Fantôme suggesting Brett., crab apples, lemon zest, and Luxardo. Some noble hop notes along with lightly roasted speciality (and pils?) malt add depth, while there is a faint herbal/spice note (dandelions, cardamom, burdock root?) leading into an earthy, dry, mineral-rich (but still very tart) finish.

Creamy, effervescent, medium-bodied, and a touch astringent.

Supposedly this started out as a sort of hybrid of a Saison and an Irish Dry Stout - the former is much more identifiable here, but the malt profile, puckering sourness, and odd spice profile makes this brew truly defiant of style guidelines (and thus, that much more difficult to rate).

augustgarage, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of SpeedwayJim
1.28/5  rDev -66.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks to capra12 for this one. 75ml corked and capped bottle into a Cantillon tulip.

Pours a 2 finger frothy, cream colored head with good retention. Beer is a clear dark grape juice color. Lacing is stringy and patchy with good cling. Thin but oily legs. Very pretty.

This one smells something awful. Notes of peppercorn, coriander, tart dark fruit, dust, and must... all of which would be ok if it wasn't for the overwhelmingly tart vomit odor emanating from this brew. Yikes.

Opens roasted malt, rust, pepper flakes, poppy seed, and dirt. Tastes like someone dug up a grave and put the soil in this beer. Aftertaste of bitter ash, dirty water, and rust. It doesn't get much worse than this.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. But really, how do you get a feel for the body of a beer that you can barely keep down? Goes down (unfortunately) thin and with a bit of booziness. Finishes messy with a harsh, linginerg, punishing aftertaste.

I can say with confidence that this is the worst beer that I've ever had the displeasure of reviewing. Like someone took dirt, ash, rust, and all things vile, mixed it into a saison, and bottled it. A miss if there ever was one.

SpeedwayJim, Jan 04, 2013
Photo of Gonzoillini
3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

Gonzoillini, Jun 01, 2014
Photo of studentofbeer
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up before i read any reviews or had any, and didn't expect something so dark and mysterious from fantome. My 750ml had a pinkish background rather than the blue pictured.

The color is somewhere between a very dark brown and a glowing red, very wood-like, with a khaki head that poured a good two fingers and then fell to a very slight coating over the top of the brew. Definitely pretty.

Smell is dark and fruity-- multitudes of dark fruit, with cinammon, milk chocolate, black licorice and yeasty herbalness like grass.

The flavor pulls out the fruit flavor with plum, fig, a bit winey. Very restrained and complex, it's a little sweet from fruit and milk chocolate flavor but there's a definite sourness or astringency that comes from the licorice and herbs that balances this beer. Also some nutty flavors present. The final impression is dark and fulfilling, with flavor to adapt to a variety of foods.

Mouthfeel is fantastic--I love beers like this that have a hint of carbonation but are so creamy and frothy. It's medium bodied but goes down very smooth with just a prickle of carbonation. Perfectly balanced with the rest of the beer. Drinkability is excellent--the taste and mouthfeel make this one and easy sipper, and the 8% abv disappears in the decadent flavor.

I almost feel like this is what New Belgium's 1554 may be trying to obtain. While that's a nice beer, this offering from fantome hits on all cylinders.

studentofbeer, Jul 17, 2004
Photo of Gmann
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Out of a 750ml capped bottle. ATTENTION BRASSERIE FANTOME how about putting a cork into your bottles!!! Most of my experience with your brews have been semi-flat. Anywho, off of the soapbox and onto the review. Pours a deep mahogeny color and after a dead hard pour I got a small soapy at first but firmed up head. The aroma is of lemons and green apple skins, sour and funky. Not what I was expecting from a dark brew. The taste up front is of lemons with some raspberry sweetness, perhaps some sour cherry. Not what I really expect from a BSDA, its not sugary with deep fruit flavors, kind of light with tart and/or sour flavors. Kind of refreshing, actually. The feel, feels a bit dead. Can use a good kick of carbonation. This is as soft as soft can be without being outright flat. Finishes with a tart/sour kick to keep any sweetness in check. I got probably a bit of an old bottle, I'm just not sure as the few bottles that I have had from this brewery have been exactly like this. So not sure if this is how they intended their beers to be or they are just old. Old or not this is a pretty refreshing beer, easy to drink, light.

Gmann, May 17, 2009
Photo of Beertracker
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

Beertracker, Jan 27, 2012
Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brown with an off white head.

Light citric fruit nose; light "green fruit" nose. Hints of sweet lime in the nose;

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with almost a "sour malt" character.

Flavors are big citric lime layered with nice fruity flavors and a hint of funk and light/sweet sour. Wonderfully balanced with all that is going on in this one and very drinkable, especially for Fantome.

Nice citric/lime/fruit/lightly sour finish.

GRG1313, Dec 01, 2009
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Fantôme Black Ghost from Brasserie Fantôme
87 out of 100 based on 181 ratings.