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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

184 Ratings
THE BROS
67
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 dsa7783
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
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...

Photo of robbyc1
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Its an insane amalgamation of a Belgian strong dark ale paired with a dry funky Saison type ale. Dry, deep malty, Very dry, lots of malt, but very dry, interesting, but hmm. Some chocolate in the back, what can I say , unusual, what else would you expect from this brewer.

Famtome has a deferential style from usual folks. Dry, dry, what else to say, it's unusual, can't really get another, too unusual. Will continue to try their other brews, though, on to that Xmas one...

Photo of ejquin
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Sunny and cloudy orange/brown with decent white head

S: Vinegar and acid. Sour cherries and brett funk.

T/M: Sour and bitter. Acidic with vinegar notes but a quick, short finish and dry.

M: good carbonation.

Ovr: Good, not great to me. Not as complex as I expected.

Photo of malcontent
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Actually not all that dark with a hazy, deep garnet appearance. Head starts strong and then recedes to a thin layer across the top. No real lacing to speak of.

Mildly fruity esters, soft vinegar and a terrifying undercurrent of patchouli.

Oh, this isn't at all what I expected. Sour (cherry) right off the bat followed by a subtle herbal quality and a finish that is rather woody.

Thin mouthfeel isn't at all what I'd expect from a Belgian, let alone one brewed by Fantome. I do in fact like this beer quite a bit, it just doesn't strike me as particularly well-made. However, I shouldn't have any problem finishing the bomber...

Photo of aforbes10
2.6/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown, mudwater color. small rocky head that doesn't last. looks, uh, uninviting. Smells peppery, with anise, caramel, raisins, sweet smells. taste is extra tart, an almost vegetal sourness like sucking on the stem of a plant. Lemony and dry on the finish. some grapefruit. sweet malt. odd flavors dont come together all that well. mouthfeel doesnt fit the flavor...too heavy i think. yeah, not my favorite from Fantome. Too aggressively tart without any backbone. Interesting, i suppose, but i wouldnt have another.

Photo of clickpush
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle brought over by a friend for a tasting. Poured a light brown color, lots of bubbles and okay lacing. Interesting that it's supposed to be the darkest of the Fantome line, considering how light the body looks. Aroma is slightly funky, slightly roasty, and slightly chocolaty. The flavor is more roasty than almost any Belgian beer I've had. It's enjoyably light and slightly burnt, but the flavor profile pretty much ends there. None of the complexity or wild yeast flavors we've come to know and love from Fantome. The 8% is well masked, the mouth feel is light and active, and drinking is easy. Flavors, however, fall disappointingly short.

Photo of stcules
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown, ruby edges. A beautiful beige head, compact.
The smell is sweet, something like fruity soda. Cherry notes. And a bit of cork, unfortunately.
But why don't they use decent cork?
After some while, casually, anise, heather, various spices.
Fruity notes in the taste, toasted malt, malty background. Sweet orange peel.
And, unfortunately, some cork again.
Some strawberry, too, lightly tart. Maybe blueberry.
Well, for sure not anonimous. A lot of thing to find.

Photo of pwoods
2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
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.

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

750ml bottle $14.99. Not nearly black, more dark brown with a funky aroma. Funky flavors like white grapes, malt, very little tartness, I wouldn't say this is quite sour. There is a little bit of dustiness to the flavor too. Overall, this is enjoyable if you like Fantome.

Photo of rayjay
4.83/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm loving this one. Most of their beers are saisons, as this is, but it closely resembles a cask-conditioned old ale. Big foamy head, which eventually fades; a lightly carbonated beer. It's as black as a porter. It's got a fruity (plums and raisins), salty, tart, and slightly chocolately smell and flavor, with some roasted notes. It's got a tart, wine-like finish. Like most Dany's beers, the hops are very hard to find, the flavor is rich and complex yet highly palatable and quaffable, and it's highly herbal like an exotic tea. Mouthfeel is like well water, but with a much lower pH. One of my favorite Fantome beers so far, next to Primtemps. If you've never beer lucky enough to try Courage Russian Imperial Stout, this is a great 2nd choice. Highly recommended. Cheers!

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 mjc410
2.83/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I spontaneously decided to crack open the last of my Fantôme beers after almost a year in storage.

The pour into my La Moneuse glass (like the bottle, from NJ) raises a hefty one fingered tan head over a truly opaque black body. The lacing sticks together, and falls slowly in sheets.

The nose, true to Fantôme form, is quite pungent. It smells of alcohol, raisins, a bit of maple, pepper, and some dark fruit. As always, I feel at a loss to describe smell to its full extent, but this is nice.

The taste is right definitely too acidic, but tastes spicy, with some mint, dark sugars and fruit. That's all I can say, really.

The mouth is medium, with also medium carbonation.

Overall, this is disappointing. It may be old, though; but I'm unlikely to even see this beer for a long time, let alone drink it.

Photo of
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
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.

Photo of bennetj17
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
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...

Photo of Crosling
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Brown.

Moderately aromatic, with notes of caramel, cocoa powder, nutmeg, dried leaves, seawater, red apples, grapes and bark along with the usual Fantome tartness and funk.

In terms of style, this beer falls somewhere in between a flanders red ale and a dry stout but essentially, it is in a class all by itself. Dry, slightly tart, with notes of wood, grapes, cherries, coriander, red apple, bark, chocolate and coffee beans. Watery texture. Thin body. Lacking complexity and balance and very dull compared to past Fantome offerings. This is my third sampling of this beer and I know my review is against the grain but I still don’t understand this beers popularity.

Photo of mdagnew
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
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...

Photo of Higravity
4.88/5  rDev +26.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It pours a light brown with a hazy quality as the yeast was pretty disturbed with a rather large head that died back and ringed the chalice. Smells of cocoa, malty fruit and yeast. Quite possible the most unquie blends of taste, chocolate, cheery, cinnamon like from Apple Jacks cerral, with a malt base and wrapped in a yeast buzz that makes the whole thing vibrate and slowly melt into the tongue. Way too drinkable something I would gladly drink all day.

Photo of neonbrown82
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. Not nearly as funky as I was expecting, but rather well balanced. Thanks to my friend Dave for sharing his x-mas present with me.

The beer pours to a dark brown with a nice amber hue. The head is fairly effervescent and retains through most of the drink. Looks good.

The smell is sweet, like candi sugar, with a hint of belgian funk and esoteric spices. Very interesting. Some funky stuff going on with the yeast. Has a hint of black anise and raisins.

The taste is very similar to the nose, though more intense. It is on the sweet side of dry. All of the flavors are mixed to perfection. The alcohol flavor is present, but it seems to enhance the other flavors quite well.

Medium in body, and fairly well drinkable. I am glad I was able to try it.

Photo of akorsak
2.05/5  rDev -46.8%
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.

Photo of SwillinBrew
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm getting into sour beers so am giving this one a try.

A - brown coffee color with deep mohogany hues and a finger of beige head that's rather creamy.
S - scents of marachino cherries and fig.
T - A mix of flavors hit my tongue. Toffee, caramel, raisins, cocoa with a medium subdued, but present, tartness to it.
M&Dr - medium bodied, okay carbonation ending on a dry note. I didnt care much for this one. I'd drink it again, but wont go out of my way. Nice brew though.

EDIT: I had this again today and had to up my taste score. The tartness seems more present and i like it more.

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
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!

Photo of OldSock
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of Dukeofearl
2/5  rDev -48.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Presentation: 750 ml bottle purchased at LaBodega (Riverside, CA), late August, 2005 for $11.99 and consumed on 9/8/05. From the fridge, warmed, 25 minutes before opening.

Pours an attractive semi-cloudy medium brown with a nice tan head that drops quickly to a partial cover.

Aroma: at first sniff, smells like a typcial Belgian Strong Dark Ale, rich malt, with a coffee/espresso-bitter chocolate nose. But even moreso, there was something in the aroma that was just WRONG. I've smelled this before- when was it? Oh, yeah, it was on another Fantome product I had a year or so ago. Can't describe it, but it's a yeasty, nasty smell. After my nose got over that shock, it went away and I didn't smell it again.

Flavor- I don't swear much, but all I can say is Holy Shit, what's wrong with this beer? It has a decent moderate malt flavor as the base, but there is a sharp, nasty organic something unlike anything I've had before. Organic sour, nasty sour (just for point of reference, I like gueuze and Sour Brown Ales), but this is awful.

Drain pour. I tossed about $8.00 worth of beer on this one. I won't be back to try it again.

Photo of IronDjinn
2.88/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Came in a 750 ml green magnum, capped and then corked, the first time I ever had to utilize a corkscrew to open a bottle of beer. Immediately started to froth over once it was open, I had to pour it quickly into a chalice, which in turn created a massive creamy tan head. Purple label with an old-timey black ghost lurking over a grey computer generated castle.

A murky opaque brown appearance to the body, cloudy and a bit swampy, I feel like I need some galoshes on to wade in there. And of course topped off by the above-mentioned massive head with amazing retention.

The aroma is a contrast of effervescense and funk, at first light and citrusy, moving towards raw earthy tones. Spices in the middle: sarsaparilla root, licorice, tall fresh grass, clover honey, carob nut.

A big whammy on the flavour, I wasn't expecting that at all. Lambic-like at first with it's stark acidity, white grape peels and fresh lemon, yet after a while it mellows out with a bit of honey and carob, towards a spectrum spanning finish of deep black soil and bark, a bit leathery with Turkish coffee grounds. Some bready malt is apparent in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thin from the acidity, not much body to it, but it does become creamy at times. This is definitely something to be appreciated by the lambic and gueuze crowd, complex in the span of its flavour profile, but not very solid or balanced. More like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Still, many thanks to Phyl21ca for the sample to try.

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
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.

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