Fantôme Black Ghost - Brasserie Fantôme

Not Rated.
Fantôme Black GhostFantôme Black Ghost

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BA SCORE
86
very good

184 Ratings
THE BROS
66
poor

(view ratings)
Ratings: 184
Reviews: 145
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 19.48%
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: 184 | Reviews: 145 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.58/5  rDev +19%
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 t0rin0
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of spycow
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of djrn2
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of zestar
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Thorpe429
2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Moll for this one. Served in a Fantome tulip. Nose has a bit of light caramel with some bread crust. Slight nuttiness and dry yeast. Flavor is a bit tannic and oxidized. Odd. Another one I wasn't really a fan of (same night as Sante-16!), but I'm glad to have finally tried it and knocked it off my Fantome wish list.

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
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.

Photo of olradetbalder
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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 BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

"The promises of this world are, for the most part, vain phantoms; and to confide in one's self, and become something of worth and value is the best and safest course."

--Michelangelo


The white Fantome phantom on the side of my new favorite glass lies in wait while the pale caramel cap slowly shrinks. Once the dark, burnished cherry of the beer is behind him, he practically jumps off the glass, so great is the color contrast. Although I expected something along the lines of impenetrable ebony, I love Black Ghost's look. It's unlike any BSDA that I've even seen. Imagine that, an unconventional Fantome beer!

The nose is easily identifed as originating from Belgium's most distinctive brewer. This is the darkest ale that I've ever smelled from Mr. Prignon, but it doesn't smell as dark as a typical BSDA. There's a minimum of roasted malt and very little cocoa. I smell musty leather, tobacco and sour fruit, with a bewitching mixture of herbs and spices that I couldn't begin to identify.

I'm not surprised that I love what this oddball ale delivers. Ordinarily, I wouldn't care for a BSDA that is more sour than it is sweet or bitter, but then this is anything but an ordinary brewery. Fantome beer is fascinatingly specter-like in that it's hard to grasp and somewhat hard to describe. It sure is lip smackingly good though.

Black Ghost is incredibly complex, especially as it gains a few degrees. I'm still reminded of leather and tobacco, as well as anise seed and a cornucopia of fruit that includes caramel-dipped Granny Smith apples, unripe figs, fresh plums and dried cherries. My taste buds are reeling with the ever-changing nature of the kaleidoscopic flavor profile.

Things become much more balanced from a sweet-bitter-sour standpoint as the beer warms. Sweet leads bitter early, bitter leads sweet late, and spicy-sour is dominant throughout. The mouthfeel could stand to be both a little more chewy and a little more voluminous. It's still wonderful, but doesn't quite measure up to the rest of this beer's excellence.

I don't know why I even bother to think that I know what any given Fantome beer will taste like. I'm usually way off-base, as I was here, but I'm almost always gobsmacked with what I eventually get. Black Ghost is a true original and is one of my favorite offerings from one of my favorite Belgian brewers. This stuff is scary good.

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

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

trying to get ahold of some more fantome bottles so if you read this feel free to send some more my way.

Poured a beautiful clear brown with a huge frothy head. Smell was very spicey, grassy and earthy tones with a hint of sweetness. The taste was classic belgian and very nicely done. Fruitness and spices predominate, no hint of alcohol, which at 8%abv is incredible. Really smooth and effortless in drinkability. This is a fantastic brew, way too easy to drink, honestly the easiest 8% I have ever had.

Photo of womencantsail
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for sharing this one, Richard.

A: The pour is dark brown color, nearly black with a nice tan head to go with it.

S: The nose offers up a nice acidity and lemon tartness with subtle hints of roasted malts. Quite a bit of fruit notes such as cherries, unripe plums, and raisins.

T: Lots of nice fruit flavors going on here, black cherries, plums, raisins, and maybe even some currants. A moderate lactic tartness that works nicely with the roast and fruits.

M: The body is light to medium with a moderate level of carbonation.

D: This is one delicious beverage. Fantome is sort of hit or miss with me, but this one was a definite winner.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of biboergosum
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Sloeber tulip glass.

Pours a deep ruby-brown with a nice foamy head that lingers nicely. The smell is figgy, hoppy (sorta), and has a bite of alcohol to it. The taste is overtly musty (almost dusty) with a twinge of hopiness and yeastiness (almost akin to a wheat beer). Unlike the smell, the booziness does not come out in the taste, which, coupled with a lightly medium body, makes the beer more drinkable than most, though the taste is something that one must get used to.

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Jason
2.83/5  rDev -26.5%
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 Slatetank
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of drabmuh
3.13/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks Michael, filling in my Fantome gaps slowly. This beer was sort of a disaster but before I give it a horrible review I want to go on record that will try this again in the future, a bottle of recent vintage and give it one more chance, but as this bottle stands it was like drinking the floor of a forest, dirt and twigs.

Beer is dark brown and really hazy, very hazy. no head, no lacing, no retention.

Aroma is dirt and mild smokiness...odd.

Beer is medium in body and tastes like dirt and wood. Weird. I did not like it.

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

750ml bottle.
Uncapping it...but, wait, there's a cork! Oh, anticipation....making me wait...POP!!!, and ...sour is the scent at first, ...now, we pour...color is magenta, a deep crimson, dark and mysterious, big beigish froth that zips down to nada quick.

Aroma, tart, at first, then mellow, dark fruits dominate, sour citrus leads the way, but never goes too far...quite nice.

Taste it, already! Mmmm! Wow,plums, grapes, dates, even, ...mmmm, i like it. Very different from other Fantomes I've had. Simple, yet complex, flavor aplenty. The label pegs it as an "ale brewed with spices", but I'm not sure which. None jumps out, none screams and shouts, but, as I get deeper into this bottle, I like it more and more and the flavors flood every little center of my senses. Tasty, spicy, ...utterly enjoyable, in every way. Zip, zip, zip, Mr. Beer greets Mr. Palate with tastiness aplenty every time lip meets cup and the taste lasts for seemingly forever.
Goodness, it makes itself so familiar in the the mouth, it may as well pay me rent.

I need more, but my glass, and the bottle, is nearly spent...oh, so sad...I'll be dreaming of this for some time to come.

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As this beer rests in my glass it shows a somewhat hazy, deep garnet color. It is topped by a light brown head that is quite thick & spawned by an aggressive carbonation. As with many of Fantomes beers you can get some variability between batches & even between years. The first bottle I had the aroma is ever so slightly sour, which, is joined by notes of raisin and fig. Surprisingly, to me at least, I get aromatic notes of chocolate and roasted malts, as well as notes of grain husks. The taste, well it is much different than I was expecting, there is a definite dark malt signature here. The finish is of husky roasted malt with a hint of burnt coffee. The roast character is similar to a subtle porter. Of course this is a Belgian brew so the yeast must contribute as well. Fruity notes of raisin, a certain nuttiness, and perhaps a light acidity, though this is fairly subtle. This bottle needs a year or so more age so that the dark malts can mellow and become better integrated, and perhaps gain a bit more in acidity.

The second bottle that I had was much more acidic in the aroma, though the dark/ roast malts were still in the nose. This bottle was like drinking chocolate in some ways. This bottle seems to be a bit more acidic, which really helps to smooth out the dark/ roast malt notes into soft chocolate notes. The extra acidity adds a wonderful balancing element to this beer, and it really starts to sing. The acidity is still fairly light but this beer now has a creamy chocolate middle which is quite tasty.

This is a new experience for me, a Saison with some dark malt character. I definitely like this, it is quite unique.

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.

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Fantôme Black Ghost from Brasserie Fantôme
86 out of 100 based on 184 ratings.