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Fantôme Black Ghost - Brasserie Fantôme

Not Rated.
Fantôme Black GhostFantôme Black Ghost

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

146 Reviews
THE BROS
65
poor

(Read More)
Reviews: 146
Hads: 188
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 19.33%
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Fantôme Black Ghost Alström Bros
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Reviews: 146 | Hads: 188
Photo of Sammy
4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
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. (371 characters)

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
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. (448 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
2.44/5  rDev -37.1%
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. (327 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (373 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
3.14/5  rDev -19.1%
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. (1,724 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
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. (2,396 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
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. (506 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
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. (647 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.26/5  rDev -16%
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. (488 characters)

Photo of Jason
2.78/5  rDev -28.4%
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. (833 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.5/5  rDev +16%
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. (1,173 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 drabmuh
3.15/5  rDev -18.8%
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. (532 characters)

Photo of stakem
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml poured into a matching Fantome tulip. This is the "noire de noire" version which I am uncertain if that makes it any different from the normal Black Ghost. In my glass, it appears a very clouded light brown color. When held to the light, it appears more of a deep copper to amber with some yellowish hints around the edges. A rich 2 finger cap of fluffy yellowish/tan head sits atop and maintains throughout the entire duration with a finger's strength supported by a constant stream of bubbles rushing to the surface. As the cap fades, it leaves strings and spots of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma starts with a bit of dark fruit quality faintly reminiscent of apples and quickly turns to a spice like pepper. As it opens up, there is some leather quality to this that mixes with earth and something that is almost soapy. More earthiness comes out of this brew as it warms up, but it takes on more of a hop earthiness with a very muted note of citrus.

The taste is significantly more bitter than I was expecting. It has hop flavoring that is herbal, earthy, floral and rindy. When small sips are taken, there is a bit of fruit and citrus character but it is dominated by a wet leathery flavor. Mid palate a taste of dark graininess somewhat like chocolate is present but it dissolves fairly fast into the bitterness. The aftertaste is quite herbal and drying with a faint soapy flavor just like the aroma led on.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation that visually looks effervescent but in the feel it is spot on for the style. This brew really has me scratching my head. It was not what I was expecting and there seems like an exaggerated bitterness here that doesn't quite fully come from hops. I can only imagine that the mystery ingredient or "spices" here might be bringing there own level of bitterness into this brew. Of all the Fantome offerings I have had, this one is quite reminiscent of a cross between the second batch of Clos Preal and BBB Dark White. Unfortuantely, those 2 brews I just mentioned are among my least favorite of Dany's offerings. (2,113 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +3.1%
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. (414 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +16%
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. (993 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark brown / burgandy in color with a nice 2" head. Lacing developed. The aroma was bizarre and like nothing else I could think of as roasted spiciness, fruits and earthy tones came together well. The flavor was more complex, and with each taste different tones came through - cherry, raisins, plums, spices, nuts, and yeast. The mouthfeel was smooth with a bit of crispness at the start. It finished smooth with a tartness, and the flavor was long lasting. Medium bodied. Superbly drinkable as the flavors are so complex and different, no boredom develops here. (562 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
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. (1,653 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
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. (423 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
3.33/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a rusty dark brown, full white head, some lace.

S: Ruddy lemon, funk, some acid, lots of malt and winter spice.

T: Dark malt, dark fruit - currants, prunes, with some cinnamon. Lemons and limes, citric acid in there too. Pretty one-dimensional outright flavour akin with the nose.

M: Mild acidity, good body and drinkable for sure.

D: A weird beer, farmhouse and Old World. I liked it's weirdness, but not a beer, I said, hey I need to try this again. The dark Fantome beers haven't been really doing it for me so far. (547 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 akorsak
2.06/5  rDev -46.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I am drinking a 750 mL corked and caged bottle, poured into an Ommegang goblet. It is close to room temperature, an optimal temperature for the ale.

Appearance: The ale pours with a vigorous head, about three finger's worth. The head holds for a good period of time and leaves a nice lace behind.

Smell: The ale smells very gamey and natural. There is a hint of oxidized metal in the smell, although from what I've read of other reviews, that is most likely done on purpose. The aroma is more saison than BSDA and is not impressive.

Taste: The taste continues the aroma's oxidized element. There is a light hoppy note that is not impressive.

Mouthfeel: If one insists on drinking this, it should be done quickly without regard for mouthfeel.

Drinkability: There are better ales from Fantome (Saison and Brise Bon-Bon to name two) that drinkers should try. (870 characters)

Photo of Viggo
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked and capped bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing this. Had never seen this one in the stores until last weekend.

Pours a cloudy orange, very murky, thick light tan head forms, drops to a very thick layer, drops some nice lacing on the glass, looks pretty good. Smell is like Fantome, yeasty, some bready malty, funky, spices, sour/sweet, spruce, chocolate, quite malty, neat stuff. Taste is real sour, funky, vinegar and brett, chocolate, malty, grainy and biscuity malt, lemons, light bit of fruit near the finish, quite sour in the end, not too complex. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, pretty smooth and easy to drink, real nice sourness. Very drying in the finish, but a bit watery. Nice and very interesting but like most Fantomes just a bit watery and not as complex as they first seem. Thanks Russ! (849 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep russet brown appearance. Not much light gets through this one. Thick crop of beige foam that appears to be stained with blood. Retention is outstanding. Lace is quite adequate. Aroma of black cherry, boysenberry, wet cardboard, musty yeastiness and cedar. The flavors are quite subtle, but yet so damn complex and varied. I'm getting a lot of fruit juice like qualities. Dark fruits. Currants. Blackberries. There are also traces of rum-like alcohol qualities, but not a lot. There's a nice dry snap from the hops. Yeastiness is musty in character. Body is light and the carbonation is low to moderate. Nice feel in the mouth overall. And quite an enjoyable brew overall. (676 characters)

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 10.25.12.

A - Pours a murky brown with a very large, tan head that fades slowly.

S - Funk, oak, and a mix of spices.

T - Funky, leather, pipe smoke, earthy.

D - Good carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Dark, deep and dirty. Not sure about this one. (271 characters)

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