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: 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 BrewMonkey
1.63/5  rDev -58%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours amber to brown with off white head, not too much, recedes quickly without much lacing on the glass.

Aroma of sour cherries, grape juice, grape candy, bready yeast, sour fruit and a slight alcohol tickle.

Holy god that's awful tasting. The level of sourness attacks your tongue, beating it into a fetal position at the back of your throat. Mouthfeel is biting, that's all I can really say.

I think there is some kind of wierd flavor behind it all, but for gods sake, what's wrong with the reviewers giving this an A? It makes no sense whatsoever. If I served this to a group of 100 people, I'm fairly positive 98 of them would spit this back into their glass. Simply horrifying to the point that I wonder if the brewer is simply f'ing with people. And I think the Saison they make is one of the top 3 beers I have ever had. Bleh.

Edit: A few sips later I just need to add....disgusting. I'm starting to wonder if we got a bad or old bottle because some are suggesting this beer should be black, and ours was certianly dark amber, but nowhere near black. There was also a ton of goopy sediment at the bottom, far more than you would typically find in a bottle conditioned beer. So I suppose there is a chance this bottle was spoiled, and I hope so, because it was terrible. But since this is very difficult or prohibitively expensive to get, I'll have to stand by the review of the beer we had. (1,402 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 OWSLEY069
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy deep amber with a light tan head. In the aroma, sweettarts, small roasty malt, and a small caramel presence. In the taste, somewhat watery, and a small white grape fruitiness. A smooth and medium mouthfeel, with a dry, sour, maltiness in the aftertaste. Kind of watery, small tartness, ok, but expecting more from Fantome. (335 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 blakesell
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 750ml capped and corked bottle into my favourite Belgian style glass.

This bottle doesn't look quite like the one pictured here, I would guess that I have the more recent vintage, the label is pink instead of dark blue.

Appearance- Cork comes off with a nice pop, but not a lot of carbonation rising in the bottle. Beer pours a hazy brown red hue, nearly purple with gigantic chunks of yeast floating around in the glass. There is a finger and a half of foamy head that dissipates pretty quickly for a Belgian, and lacing clings to the sides lightly.

Smell- This beer smells funny, ha ha funny, cracked black pepper and spices upfront, there is a malty yeasty sweetness, and a strong sour backbone as Fantome is prone to giving off. Brettanamyces, and a little Lacto Bacillus giving a slight wild scent, a chocolate covered raspberry in there as well, a lot of smells in this beer. A little oak, a lot of red winy notes, no hints of alcohol or hops.

Taste- Creamy, more of the acidic dryness that was in the smell, very yeasty profile giving some nice estery flavors on the tongue. More red wine notes again, very similar to a good Cabernet, this could go well with a juicy steak, or some stinky cheese which I plan to pair with it after this review. That sour funk is not overpowering and invites me to sip further. Tangy fruits are pretty thick in the taste as well, and the peppery spices, almost a sour cherry fruit flavour.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, not warming, highly carbonated, medium full bodied, refreshingly puckering.

Drinkability- Pretty high on the drinkability scale. I'm glad I have another set back for cellaring, and if I find more, I'll cellar them too. Dany from Fantome really knows his stuff. (1,731 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pour is a cloudy dark brown with a small beige head, good lacing.

smell is faint, musty, some dark fruits, almost a red wine smell.

taste is sour, dark fruits (prune, raisin, red grapes), malt in the back, some spice, dry ending, thick mouth-feel, some bitterness, sour lingering aftertaste. (293 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 illidurit
3.72/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Dark brown color with a mocha head that's on the modest side considering the force of the pour. Aroma is very strange: lemon, leather, and some kind of spiciness do not exactly scream BSDA. Flavor is strong on menthol/lemongrass with an even white pepper note that dominates the finish. Musty and earthy, at times vegetal and at times fruity. Mouthfeel is a little thin and a little undercarbonated. Totally unique but kind of weird and I'm not sure I like the combination of flavor notes. (512 characters)

Photo of shroompod
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cloudy brown. Small head , no lacing.

Getting a slight caramel sweetness on the nose. Slight funkiness is also present.

Initially tart followed by a grape/cider sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium , carbonation is low.

Overall a decent beer that probably find it's way into my cellar. (297 characters)

Photo of tdrshayden
1.82/5  rDev -53.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The aroma has me baffled; funky peppery, yeast aroma. The flavor doesn't get much better, spicy apple with a faint hint of chocolate, but unfortunately the peppery flavor overpowered everything else. Not sure if the bottle has turned bad or this is really what the beer is supposed to be. This is perhaps the worst beer by Fantome that I have had yet. (351 characters)

Photo of Beaver13
3.32/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, corked and capped. Pours a hazy reddish amber with sediment. The head is bubbly, white and creamy and retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is grainy malts, funky yeast and acidic and tart fruits and some band-aid. Cinnamon comes out as it warms.

The flavor is some sweet fruits, and spicy funky yeast followed by a sharp tongue biting tartness and chocolate. It's pretty acidic and dry. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with creamy carbonation.

Overall, an interesting beer.I'm not sure what to make of it, but would try it again. (552 characters)

Photo of AKBelgianBeast
4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This one pours a very intrigueing reddish brown thick cloudy glowing color. Good off white head that leaves some lace. Nose is very belgian, malty with some spice and sugar. The taste on this one is wonderful and remarkably unique. Very candy like. Good malt presence, but there is a sweet and sour aspect that is very desireable. There is a specific kind of candy this reminds me of I used to eat when I was a kid, but I can't think of it. A great sort of appley bite of flavor that shows up right through the middle there. Some slight spice, but not as much as the nose indicated. That thin candy flavor lingers on into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it fits well with the slightly sour mouthfeel. Drinkability is extremely good on this one, the abv does not make an appearance. Overall this is one of the most unique brews I have had in some time. Very tasty, and one I will surely revisit. Very complex. The only trouble is the goddamn bottle cost me $15 bucks! worth it for a special occasion though, thats for sure! good one! (1,050 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 robbyc1
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
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... (475 characters)

Photo of ejquin
3.91/5  rDev +0.8%
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. (272 characters)

Photo of malcontent
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
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... (632 characters)

Photo of aforbes10
2.62/5  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. (529 characters)

Photo of clickpush
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
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. (648 characters)

Photo of stcules
3.36/5  rDev -13.4%
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. (473 characters)

Photo of pwoods
2.73/5  rDev -29.6%
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. (724 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
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. (272 characters)

Photo of rayjay
4.8/5  rDev +23.7%
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! (778 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 mjc410
2.9/5  rDev -25.3%
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. (824 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)

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