Fantôme Black Ghost - Brasserie Fantôme

Not Rated.
Fantôme Black GhostFantôme Black Ghost

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BA SCORE
87
very good

146 Reviews
THE BROS
65
poor

(Read More)
Reviews: 146
Hads: 187
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 17.01%
Wants: 38
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:
Beer added by: francisweizen on 01-06-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 146 | Hads: 187
Photo of whartontallboy
4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark reddish brown with a big beige head of foamy bubbles. Nice looking, head fades slowly.

Smell is all sorts of stuff thrown together. A dark raisiny fruit smell is immediately apparent, as is a substantial amount of alcohol, some grapes, cherries, chocolate, and general goodness.

The flavor is extremely interesting and marked by a somewhat harsh peppery bite that grabs the tongue and lingers down the throat in the finish. I haven't experienced anything else quite like it, but it really complements the earthy flavors of dark chocolate and fruit that run through the rest of the taste. There's a lot going on in this one, but the pepper and earthy character wins out.

The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and somewhat dry.

Overall: I was looking forward to trying this one, and it delivered in a major way. Worth every penny of the nine bucks I spent on it, and a very enjoyable way to spend an evening. (934 characters)

Photo of
4.27/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle.

Poured a hazy, brown color with some red tones. Small light tan head.

Primary scent, for me, was anise. I also picked up some coffee, citrus and dark fruits. Finally, a bit of the typical Belgian aroma.

Taste was similar to aroma. Additionally, some alcohol showed through, and a bit of pepper at finish.

Medium + in body, with medium carbonation. Fairly refreshing.

Overall, this has replaced Hiver as my favorite Fantome. (453 characters)

Photo of IBUnit63
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 750 to Coronado pint...

Nice dulce de leche head topping caramel apple body

Sour aroma with bountiful yeast electricity backed by soild malt presenece, along with subtle vinegar notes.

Whooo-eee, dat's saaar. Crisp and clean though-yeast electricity delivers with mild yet strong malt and oak backbone. Slight piney hops and a little horse blanket in there. Nice stuff.

Tight sour pucker with even oak from start to finish.

This should be savored. Clean but tightness may preclude sessionability. (506 characters)

Photo of mdagnew
4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle bought from belgianshop.com

Poured a dark mahogany red colour... Muddy brown head poured big and foamy and faded to nice layer...

Aroma - Strong fruits... as soon as the cork was popped i could smell fruit. Raisins and blackcurrents, some strawberries. Toasted caramel / bready maltiness, chocolate, coffee hints, nutty...

Taste – Not what i expected considering the aromas... Very fruity (red grape, blackcurrents, ripe bananas), strong wine / port notes, aniseed, yeasty, nice hop bitterness, spicy malts, bitter chocolate, fairly noticable alcohol...

Feel - Oily, light sharpness - quite dry... Medium body. Pretty drinkable..

Overall - An excellent, and very different, beer.... Highly recommended... (733 characters)

Photo of sweethome
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a ruby hue.. Big spicy nose - coriander, hops, and an earthiness. A yeasty flavor attacks upfront, followed by a strong perfume spice. A roast malt flavor builds and mixes well with the spices. Corriander is present throughout, anice flavor blend well with the roast. A fine beer with a unique combination of flavors that really works.

The complexity of flavors from this brewer always seem to satisfy. (427 characters)

Photo of dsa7783
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle purchased corked from State Line Liquors in Maryland...
Definitely does not pour black, but rather a burgundy, ruby-red hue with a massive-sized foamy head that retained impressive staying power and deposited a thin film of lacing...
Smell was replete with malts, slight alcohol, yeast, esters, caramel, dehydrated fruits...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma, however the alcohol was less noticeable on the tongue than in the nose... Included in the flavor was a strong, funky, pepperish essence that was pleasing without being too cloying or overbearing... As expected from this unique brewery, the taste is certainly different, with a distinct tartness present in the overall flavor...
Good, rich mouthfeel along with a superb level of drinkability for an 8% ABV brew...
Another winner from Fantome...
Recommended, and different from their usual Saisons... (876 characters)

Photo of tmoneyba
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Dilly Deli.

Poured clear dark brown color with a large fizzy brown head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Aroma was as complex modetate spicy nutty sweet and alcohol. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Heavy dark fruit bittersweet flavor with a heavy bittersweet finish with medium alcohol bite.

Good strange brew. (365 characters)

Photo of Oxymoron
4.19/5  rDev +8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

How do you see a black ghost if they lights are out? Pours a lighter shade of black, if that is possible, that is similar to a schwartz if it were. Boarder line dark brown. Ok clarity, but a good soft white head. Did hide to the edge and very limited retention throughout.

The nose has more of a white wine characteristic more than anything else. Noticeable grapes with some minor lactic sourness on the backend. No real malt characteristic but there are some minor esters, plums and figs mostly. Some light funk and spices, pepper mostly. There is a noticeable oxidation that is somewhat sherry like.

The taste is more subtle than the nose. The winey flavors back off a bit but are still there. Some sweetness up front but the sourness comes out quickly. Doesn't take long to adjust, but once you do the yeast characters really come out. Some bready almost flour-like notes but light against the lactic sour notes. A bit of funk but not as much as expected. Almost smooth in the finish that I associate with diacetyl.

Overall I know this is very unique. Not a traditional Belg Strong (if that is possible). But closer to a gueze and a belg black (like 1554). (1,162 characters)

Photo of BrewMaster
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served from a 750 ml corked bottle. poured with a nice stiff head. dark brown color with a slight reddish hue.

aroma was verey strong with burned caramel and a slight sour cherry scent.

flavor had strong and sweet taste. definately a hint of cherry but also a grainy vegetable taste. light to medium boday that sits well on the tongue. it has a lot of flavors that I just can't identify. it excites all parts of the tongue with different flavors. very complex and very drinkable. (485 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Label Lingo and bottle babble: Oh so spooky black Casper ghost over a castle with a pink background. 8% ABV. Brewed with spices. Back label recounts the fabled mystical lore of Fantôme.

Capped & corked bottle popped open with a solid thrust! Pours out into a narrow tulip with dark cloudy orange brown russet hues topped off with a khaki taunt head cap that settles to a frothy ¼” rock coating.

Molasses cake and carrot cake scents front the distinct aromatic profile. Spices of nutmeg, spice wafer and pepper.

First Swigs: Spice wafer and nearly Wheatsworth cracker malts. Some hints of cola and musty wet leather meets vanilla. Quite complex. Lingering maple nougat candy aftertaste. Some awl-kee-hawl vodka notes and yeasty pinch flavors. Through the offering, some woody bark notes and walnut essence become more prominent. Hell, coconut macaroon flavor, too. Milky cream suggestion.

Mad props to the soft shush carbonation that caresses the tongue. Delicate light body. Drinkability is helped and hindered by the unique factor. This has a sharp signature flavor that aids to the appreciation while yielding a proper time & place style.

Last Swigs: Toasted macaroon meets wisps of vodka and walnut. Rorschach test in a bottle. Each BA review is a diary. You could put the flavor of your first break up with your girlfriend and it would fit this beer. The flavors roll on like a piece candy straight from Willy Wonka that evolves into a variety of palate pleasers about every ten seconds, and evoke ideas from a memory bank. Maybe more flavors exist but my fingers are tired of typing. Thanks to fellow BA PopeDX for the gift 750 mL bottle, as this called for a special celebration to try. Today is my first day of official unemployment. A style debate could possibly be going on here. What style is licking a 9 volt battery? 45/4.34

Beer is good. Happy beering. (1,891 characters)

Photo of ballewblake
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Duvel tulip.

Half finger tan head that kills quick. Brown body, cloudy, ring head around, opaque. Nose is mellow but a little funky. Taste has some carbonation in it, sour, funky! Sourt notes really take away from all the other flavors. Great drinkability for a dark sour. Up to par with the saison that I love. (336 characters)

Photo of grub
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

this one has been on my wants list for a looong time. finally found one on a recent trip to merchants in dearborn.

750ml bottle, corked and capped. sampled dec 27/08.

pours deep red-brown with a big fluffy tan head. the head drops fairly fast and leaves a few spots of lace behind.

aroma is definitely fantome - and good. their usual yeast character is there. white bread and cracker. a bit fruity. some light spice. touch of alcohol, but certainly not 8% worth. a bit toasty too, with a little nutty character coming through.

taste is good. wow, i didn't expect the sourness from the aroma, but it's surely there - not really in a vinegary way, more in a sour fruit way. sour cherry. light citrus. white and whole wheat bread. bit of cracker. just a hint of fruity sweetness appears from time to time, then disappears just as quickly. the fruity depth is great, with shades of dark fruit, citrus, and other sour fruit thrown together. balancing that all is just a hint of alcohol and a touch of yeasty spice.

mouthfeel is great. medium-high carbonation level. right around or slightly under medium body with a nice dry finish.

drinkability is great. i love the interplay of the sourness, fruitiness, and light malty background. this is pretty unmistakably fantome, and quite tasty. would i call it a BSDA? probably not, but it is interesting and it works. good stuff. (1,374 characters)

Photo of mntlover
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brownish with a small tan head lots of bubbles trapped on the glass but they soon vanish. Can see red brown hints when looking into the brew.

Aroma is funky musty cherries, mixed with other fruit grapes, apricots, currants. Very tart smelling funky yeast aromas everywhere some peppery spice also in the mix.

Taste is like the aroma fruity, tart and dry. Good carbonation brings fruit esters out and they mingle with musty farmhouse flavors and some roasted malts. Finishes with spice clove, pepper even hints of spruce mixed within.

Mouthfeel is light for a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. The taste is strange for the style also, good but different.

Drinkability is good but very strange for the style tastes alot like the Fantome Sassion I had the day before. Thanks go to IrishMike for this bottle numbered 772. (834 characters)

Photo of rtepiak
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

hit with the ester of dark fruit upon opening. pours a nice solid mahogany copper. bottle has a lot of junk in the trunk. big head that quickly turns to ring around edge of glass. smells of black fruit: fig, blue and black berry. sweet alcohol as it gets warmer. hint of sour oak. tastes is all that and some. fruit is there mostly fig, hardy fig skin blends well, sour wood, then dry cocoa and malt. about ten seconds after a few sips i noticed the light heat of pepper on the tongue. fantastic mix of flavors. a little watery on the feel as the carbonation disappears completely as you work your way down the bottle. not dense. crispy and dry. chocolate and pepper seems to dominate the texture in the aftermath. fantastic beer made for nothing but fantastic occasion. great for storage. probably even better with age. (820 characters)

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a Tank 7 tulip. Bottle conditioned. Poured a reddish brown with a finger of off white head. Fruity aroma, Belgian yeast spice, and a touch of sourness. As it warmed pepper came out in the aroma. Sweetness up front. A bit of tartness. Pepper lingers in the finish, but is not overwhelming. Light to medium bodied. Very easy drinking. Another interesting beer from Fantome. (394 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, no bottle dating. Pours lightly cloudy reddish copper color with a nice 2 finger fluffy khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Good spotty lacing on the glass. Aromas of coriander, cherry, clove, raisin, roasted grain, pear, earth, hay, cocoa, peppercorn, must, light funk, and yeast spices. Very nice and interesting aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of cherry, pear, raisin, roasted grain, cocoa, coriander, clove, earth, hay, pepper, grass, toast, herbal, must, and yeast spiciness. Fair amount of peppery spice on the finish; with lingering notes of cherry, dried fruits, roasted grain, cocoa, clove, pepper, toast, earth, and yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance between roasted flavors and spiciness; great amount of flavor complexity. Medium carbonation and body; with a lightly creamy and fairly crisp mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is extremely well hidden for 8%, with pretty much zero warming noticed at all after the finish. Overall this is an excellent dark saison! A lot of nice complexity and balance of flavors; and very smooth to sip on. Very unique and interesting; but very enjoyable. (1,202 characters)

Photo of clvand0
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a nice tall head that settles quickly. Sweet aroma, lots of lemon, some kind of fruits. The flavor is less thick than I expected and it tends to change a bit as you drink it. Lemon is there for sure. Slightly tart. This is a good beer, but it didn't live up to the expectations that I had for it. I would definately have it again, though. (368 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared at the Brick Store Pub, courtesy of Lee. Thanks! Pours a hazy reddish brown with a thin head. Interesting aromas of toast and bubblegum- not a combination you get a lot. Pretty different beer than most that the brewery make. Much roastier, and quite a bit more bitter, and less of the straight-up saison style. Problem is, that's what the brewery does best. The roastiness is interesting, but more a distraction really. It overwhelms any herbal or peppery characteristics often found in these beers. Very smooth in the mouth, and pleasant enough, but doesn't sing. (578 characters)

Photo of Beersignal
4.09/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown with a medium head that fared average in the retention department, no lacing really but I wasn't expecting any from this beer.

At first smell, this brew reminded me of a Flanders ale (Rodenbach Grand Cru, or Duchesse de Bourgogne) with its rather pungent acidic and fruity aromas. It was a welcome change from the hoppier and maltier ales which I have been drinking as of late.

The flavours of this beer were right in line with the aroma profile. Fruity and tart with a dominant undercurrent of green apples and grapes. The beer's vinous traits were accented by a bracing dryness towards the finish that, I think, would make it a perfect apéritif before sitting down at a table for a long meal or as an accompaniment for this feast. Surprising dryness for a beer with this high an alcohol content.

Very hard to find in Canada, I want to extend many thanks to Goldorak for giving me this bottle as a Christmas present. I owe you one Martin! (961 characters)

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

pours a familiar dark, showing only the slightest hint of red glow under some intense light. a brownish head that shrinks over minutes, although it leaves something behind. some carbonation is happening here.

lacing is spectacular.. very tight-knit with a beautiful gravity effect with each tilt of the glass. entrancing.

aroma is fantomey, if such a word exists. awfully tart in the nose for something so dark. wheat, something roasty, and something citrusy combine for what seems to be a richer fantome scent experience.

taste... first thing that hits you is the bitterness of the oft-quoted 'horse blanket' in the back of your throat and an alcoholic bitterness heading down. this leaves me with a hint of chocolate and some astringency. following sips surpass the bitter and allow a bunch of fruity, sweeter tastes to emerge. cherries, ginger and clove.

mouthfeel is light and bubbly, perfect counterpoint to the complexity of the body.

average drinkability, will edit if i finish the bottle and change my mind :).. overall, my 2nd favorite fantome to pissenlit, happy i had the opportunity to try one. bottle #2 goes underground for now. (1,158 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a medium to dark brown in color without much head to speak of. The nose is full of caramel and roasted coffee. The taste was nice caramel, coffee and a hint of chocolate. Not exactly what I expect from a belgian strong dark, but it was nicely balanced, though a bit thin. The mouthfeel was a little watery initially, but seemed to thicken as the beer warmed. Drinkability on this one was really good...smooth, easy drinking and not offensive at all. I'd definately have this one again.

Edit: The second bottle produces more head. about 3 fingers, that falls to coat the beer very well. There is a slight sourness, as all Fantome beers have. I don't think I am going to change the numbers. Its a nice brew, but I think I hit the numbers right the first time. (777 characters)

Photo of bennetj17
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown murky appearance with tan head and decent retention. Minor lacing. The aroma is very vinous with a hint of cherry tart. Very winelike in the flavor also, earthy, fruity and lightly tart. There is a light sweetness to balance it out and I detect just the tiniest hint of coffee and chocolate. The mouthfeel is very silky and nice, good carbonation. Alcohol did not taste too powerful, but the fruity wine flavor tended to dominate which affected the overall drinkablility some. I always enjoy a Fantome and this was another unique one that I would recommend trying... (572 characters)

Photo of amphion1065
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from 2009, enjoyed at Lord Hobo from a tulip. Reviewed from notes.

I'll grant that I drank this in a dark bar, but the beer appeared almost black at first. Virtually no head on this one.

The aroma is absolutely wonderful. Absolutely huge brett notes, pungent and funky with a very clear tartness. I could smell the funk as soon as my glass was poured, and this truly does remind me of a dark sour. Apart from that very strong, earthy sourness, there is a slight hint of cocoa.

Gotta love Fantôme - there's virtually no sourness at all in the taste. Instead, there's a rich array of flavors that are at once evocative of an totally different from many BSDAs. Chocolate and a curious mix of baking spices. Belgian yeast. Lightly smoked malts, with a little touch of bacon. It's absurd, but it really does work.

Mouthfeel is on the thin side, but it's not terrible. For such a complex beer, this was really quite easy to drink.

I ordered this bottle expecting whimsy, and I wasn't disappointed. Totally bizarre and idiosyncratic - I expected nothing less. (1,065 characters)

Photo of alexgash
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle.

Pours a dusky amber brown with orange edges. Tall, rocky, frothy, dirty khaki head. Good lacing. Caramel and sweet, sticky fruit on the nose along with metallic citrus (lemon) notes, cherry, musty barn, raspberries, and some grassy-hay accents. Interesting, as it seems most Fantomes are.

Flash of toasted malt up front before quickly turning to tart cherries and citrus. Sour, but not too puckering. Raspberries and strawberries mix with musty white grapes and pepper. Pretty good mix of tart and fruit and must. Medium bodied, with an oily feel. I don't know if I would call this a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but it's pretty tasty. (648 characters)

Photo of ithacabaron
4.02/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown into my oerbier glass. Hey -- I thought this was supposed to be Black Ghost, not Brown Ghost. A small head fades down to a film. Not all that impressive, folks.

Smell is interesting, but, on the whole, pretty clean and muted. Slight floral notes collide with the smell of Hershey, PA. Interesting

Taste is a much larger landscape of sensations -- this one's a shape shifter. Strong notes of dandelion leaves, a subtle but deep fudginess, and flashes of cold steel land on the tongue. Very saison-like, but also a winter warmer. It's hard to wrap your tongue around this one, but I like what it's doing.

Mouthfeel is nice. Perhaps a little less would have been good in order to taste all the sensations more completely, but all in all, not bad.

Drinkability is very good -- the 750 was a nice session.

All in all, I could definately see spending another evening with this brew, if only to try and figure more of it out. Sometimes Fantome can be a touch up and down with quality. This brew, although disappointing in a few categories, makes up for some of its brothers' failings with its unique yet coherent profile on the palate. (1,162 characters)

Fantôme Black Ghost from Brasserie Fantôme
87 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.