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Fantôme Black Ghost - Brasserie Fantôme

Not Rated.
Fantôme Black GhostFantôme Black Ghost

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BA SCORE
86
very good

185 Ratings
THE BROS
65
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 185
Reviews: 145
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 18.96%
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:
Beer added by: francisweizen on 01-06-2004

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 185 | Reviews: 145 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MuddyFeet
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice pop when the cork came out. Almost lost an eye. Pours a dark, but not impenetrable, brown in color with a thick fomay head that never quite disappeared. Nose was my favorite part--like a candy factory. Got some toffee, molasses, lots of sugars, grapes and prunes coming out of this beer. Flavor is a bit of a downer after the aroma--not as big as I was expecting. They are complex and pretty much the same as what I got out of the aroma, but more muted and dull. Almost like an eraser that does not quite erase a pencil mark. Does the job but not quite as perfect as you expect. Mouthfeel is nice and full and almost sticks to my cheeks.

Photo of egajdzis
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a brownish red color with a thin, off white, creamy head and nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of sour cherries, brett, and oak. Taste was very oaky, with lightly spiced cherry. Spicy sweet with lots of oak. Dry finish. The taste does not live up to the aroma, by far. I am surprised this is not listed as a Flemish Sour?

Photo of kegerator
5/5  rDev +29.9%
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.

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

Pours a dark brownish red hue, and makes a thick tan head. Musty aroma, like a barnyard, dark fruits like plums and cherries. Flavor is very interesting, cherries, bittersweet chocolate, spicy pepper, bakers yeast. Mouthfeel is thick and full on the palate, leaves a very rich coating on the throat. This is a tasty beer, well done and very interesting for the style. The funky characters take this to an unusual place.

Photo of santoslhalper
3.77/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: Pours a very dark reddish brown with a little bit of a purple tinge. The head is bubbly and ferocious, but dies down quickly to a thin collar.

Smell: The smell is a wonderfully sweet mix of grapes and fruits, as well as candi sugar, but it still manages to maintain that signature Fantome "farmhouse" smell.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is a super sweet malt focused mix of plums, grapes, and a nice hay taste. The flavors are complex, interesting, and well rounded, but just don't quite taste as good as I think they could. There is room for imporvement. The yeast flavor is also quite detectable as the glass warms up. The mouthfeel is rich and full.

Drinkability and Overall: Not a bad beer, but far from Fantome's best. The flavors aren't cutting it for me. I think either this could be better tasting, or this beer just isn't for me. Anyways, Fantome should stick with the Saisons, it's what they do best.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep murky brown color ale with a huge dirty brown color head with good retention. Aroma of funky yeast, tart and strange spices. Taste is quite different from anything I had before and includes traces of unknown spices, roasted malt, funky yeast and a sour finish. Again, a very interesting experiment from Danny but IMHO not as good as the Strange Ghost.

Photo of whartontallboy
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
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.

Photo of mntlover
4.12/5  rDev +7%
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.

Photo of merlin48
4.42/5  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.

Photo of Realale
4.73/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purple label bottling. Opaque brownish-black with an extremely fine mocha head that stays at a persistent cap leaving good lacing.

Nose is European bready black licorice over slightly sweet yeasty brown bread. Nice green leafy note, that eventually melds into something like wintergreen. Tons going on, but the overall effect is a bit muddled.

Medium in the mouth with wave upon wave of brown malt, licorice and a bit of tart raspberry fruitiness. There is great acid structure which keeps the beer lively, when it easily could have tumbled over into a formless maltfest. Extremely long with intense chocolate notes echoing seemingly forever.

Caressing, wonderful mouthfeel. Very drinkable for what it is, and an excellent companion at the table. Fascinating stuff.

As an aside, I had to put the partially full (note the optimism) bottle in the fridge whilst I put my kiddos to bed. When I returned to it about an hour later, the contents of the bottle still held a 1/2" head from the last pour I made. Now THAT is head retention.

Photo of PatYoda
4.85/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

It pours a muddy dark brown color with a perfectly smooth cream colored head that will not go away. Smell really hits you hard with dark fruits and mustiness all over the place. The taste is extremely complex as the sweet fruits assault the tip of the tongue first, then morph into some peppery spiciness which lingers. The funk is always there behind everything. There is a nice tart flavor hiding under everything as well. Almost too much to handle!

Photo of Naerhu
2.03/5  rDev -47.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Upon opening, this beer shot out all over the place. Huge amounts of carbonation everywhere. Whats up with that!

A - Opaque brown red body with a fin tan brown head.
S - Tart sour aroma, creamy celery, nice yeastyness.
T - Sour, tart and bitter. Raw vegegable bitterness, Rotting apple skins. Vinger.
M - Light body, light carbonation. This would proabably be different experience if the bottle didnt blow up when we opened it.
D - This tastes nasty, so avoid it.

Photo of Sammy
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of kmo1030
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown with a thin tan head. the smell is pretty faint. brown sugary licorice, with an almost waxy crayon aroma. hints or root beer as well. licorice is the most dominant flavor in the taste. root beer and molasses make there way to the fore a little later. some slight dark fruity flavors also show up mostly cherry and raisin. some faint peppery notes come out towards the end of the bottle. certainly not flat, but pretty lightly carbonated, with a thicker side of medium body that suits the beer well. overall 4.0, a decent strong dark belgian, that i would probaly not call all that strong at least in the flavor department. not bad by any means, but a little bit of a disappointment.

Photo of MrSeth
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nutty brown color, but once in the glass, it's black. 2" light brown head that sticks around for a while. Not any real lacing.

The smell is of molasses candy, fresh baked french bread, and musk.

The flavor, which is supposed to be a big secret, seems like anise [licorice neccos] to me. There are also plums and black cherries in the taste.

Good mouthfeel, very wet, a short finish with some pucker. I think this ale would be an excellent addition to Peking duck with white rice and Chinese broccoli.

Photo of Jason
2.78/5  rDev -27.8%
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.

Photo of yoko
2.99/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Most notable visually was the mounting tan head that exceeded 3 fingers in a Rapscallion snifter. Within minutes a gentle blanket with a swatch of darker sediment settled. With each taste a cascading lace adorned the glass. The brew poured a murky dark chocolate/black which allowed for no light to pass. The nose was the delight of this Black Ghost coming up sour with a cocoa base note. Sweets of black cherry/prune blend with the berry tartness of bosen and goose berries. Citrus, yeast, pepper, must, and carbonation finish the nose complex. The mouth and taste, for me were a disappointment, especially after my brethren's reviews. Mouthfeel was on the low end of the medium continuem; the last 2/3rds swept by an imbalanced dominance of carbonation and its subsequent bite. Dried grasses finished as did a bitter bite residual which remained after the upswing midway through the taste sample as did a dry yeast with musty hay notes. The finish thinned out reminding of a seltzer yet a high seated musty bitter remained in the palate.

The nose is the nicest part of this beverage. This kind of carbonation is not of my suit, nor do I find it in harmony with the overall character of this style. With all the hype I was dearly disappointed.

Photo of carln26
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a deep black color, I mean a dark stout color with no real highlights. The tan head was thick an rich with an immense carbonation. I poured this into a Unibrou Don de Dieu glass, and the head overwhelmed the glass, and overflowed. The nosr has a sweet caramel and date character backed by a delicate spice. Cinnamon, orange peel, light pepper, and something more mid-east in nature (almost the incense you smell in church during the holidays). The taste has the malty sweetness up front with more of a toffee character here, then a big spice component in the middle. The orange peel, and cinnamon along with the unidentified spice comes back through, There’s a little nutmeg in there too. The finish has more hop character, a little hop flower and grapefruit, along with a mild alcohol warming. Very full, rich mouth feel, and a good drinakbility. Another great offering from the craftsmen at Fantome.

Photo of garthwaite
4.82/5  rDev +25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle provided by the very generous skyhand. Been sitting on this one for quite a while, waiting for a worthy occasion. Lively pour and it is dark, muddy approaching black. Gorgeous, big bubbled head. Nose of sweet cherries, vanilla, sour, & farmyard dusted with cocoa & espresso. Multi-layered & complex in the mouth with a delectable sour kicking finish. Some moderate bitterness accompanies rum soaked raisins, molasses, & a mysterious funk. Never have I tasted anything that approaches this flavor profile. Full bodied & active in the mouth with the unmistakeable sour funk finishing the brew beautifully along with a kiss of vanilla, blackberry, & cherry concentrate. Drinking this was truly a wild ride. Mysterious, inimitable invention.

Photo of twelvsies
4.92/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got a bottle of this last night and was blown away. I actually was so riled up about the beer (and a little tipsy, admittedly) that I deleted my whole review cause I wasn't paying attention. Oh well, gave me an excuse to go get it again tonight! Let me just start off with this... HOLY FUCKING SHITBALLS. This beer is nothing like I could've ever imagined. So complex. Pours a dark dark almost black brown color with a good amount of head that sticks around long enough to tell some ghost stories. When I poured this I thought my socks smelled real bad but it turned out to be the beer. I don't know why that dirty, stinky, rotten, cellar puddle smell is so wonderful, but somehow it is. That funk-nastyness comes out in the taste as well, so odd and moldy tasting. Once again, I don't know what it is that makes this grossness taste good, but it's doing it's job. Maybe it's the ghost... BOO! In addition to the garbage taste there's a nice, flavorful Belgian dark ale in there. Ripe dark fruits galore, chocolaty, some figs and prunes or something. Also a nice alcohol taste to it, like aged bourbon or whiskey barrel flavor. Nice woody character. A bit wine like. I could stay here and drink a few of these and create a super long list of all the odd tastes I'm getting here but I'll let you experience it for yourself as you should. I sometimes sit around and try to think of a "new" color. It never works. I always think I get there and then really it's just a combination of two other colors. Well this to me is a totally new taste. Really amazing. If I could rate it higher than 5 I would. Nice medium smooth mouthfeel here. A real pleasure, challenge, and overall experience to drink. Every sip is a new little adventure. I know I'm getting a little carried away here but this beer is so insane. Go scare yourself.

Photo of cokes
4.83/5  rDev +25.5%
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.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.08/5  rDev +6%
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.

Photo of ithacabaron
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

03/19/05- Purchased at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 24oz bottle shared by three BA members (hslater, axisjones and gclarkage) $15 for the bottle, poured into tulip glasses.

Appearance- Almost pitch black in color. Light and smooth looking head with above average lacing.

Smell- Dark, sweet and fruity scents. Not sure what the main scent is, but there is a managerie of them.

Taste- Damn, what's up with Fanotme. You can never figure out what the hell to make of any of them. All I can say it that they're all outstanding so far. This one has hints of raisins, prunes, maybe plums? Then it has a bit of bitterness almost like a brown ale. Then I taste a bit of roasted coffee flavor like a stout?!?! WTF!!!!
Damn you Fantome for making a mockery of my taste buds!

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, can't really detect the alcohol, nice mouth coating experience.

Drinkability- I WILL be searching this one out again. Another true enigma created by Fantome.

Fantôme Black Ghost from Brasserie Fantôme
86 out of 100 based on 185 ratings.