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

A: Pours a dark brown with a thin white mousse that surprisingly laces pretty deep into the glass.

S: The nose is interesting, and as other reviewers have noted, is reminiscent of a sour Flanders red ale. Suggestions of black cherry, spiced pears, apples, oak, and lactic, funky yeast are very apparent on the nose.

T: Opens sweet and smooth with notes of caramel, red apple, black cherry, pear, dark bread, woody spice, oak, must, and lactic, sour yeast. The finish is tart and funky with a combination of spice, caramel, yeast, and fruit flavors. Surprisingly, there is no alcohol burn whatsoever.

M: Medium-bodied, dry, and firm with subtle carbonation. Easier to drink than one would expect.

O: This seems to be another one of those beers that I like and others don't. Regardless of what one thinks of it, it is very different from most Belgian saisons. Worth a shot.

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 pokesbeerdude
2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml from somewhere in Colorado, I can't honestly remember where I got this or how much I paid for it. Into a NB Globe.

A: More red in color than anything else has an off white head, not quite an inch worth that recedes to a cap about a quarter of an inch thick. Decent clarity on the initial pour. Interesting looking beer.

S: Pretty light in the nose initially, quite phenolic, after it breathes a bit of a spicy profile starts to show itself and a few burnt malts. Definitely not a typical Fantome beer. Black pepper is definitely in there as well. Not sure on this one.

T: Very odd, some lacto notes and maybe a bit of funk, and then a weird malt profile of slight roast and and a bit of a pilsner malt bite to it as well. After that there are some pretty distinct notes of black pepper. Pretty decent amount of bitterness in the finish. Maybe just a touch of oxidation in there as well. Hmm...I'm not sold on this one. Strange, and really not that enjoyable, seems really watered down for a beer this 8%.

M: Very light bodied, fairly strong carbonation, also fairly dry. Once again, very watery beer.

D: Probably my least favorite beer, to date, from Fantome. Very watered down and strange tasting, I'm going to have to say that the black pepper flavor is not pleasing at all to my palate and that's the main spice that stands out for me. Not very enjoyable, but I will finish the bottle. A rare miss from Fantome.

Photo of ritzkiss
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml shared courtesy of viggo I believe - thanks man!

Pours a ruddy brown with hints of cherry and tinges of purple - loads of yeast in the bottom.

This is one funky duck - makes me think Flanders Red meets Black Saison. Peppery on the entry with a serious funky sour cherry kick, fruit cake, vinegar, light lemon, caramel malt, some wood. Sour pucker ending, light sweetness throughout. Not bad but it seems kind of disjointed and the oddness sort of wears on you, just not that drinkable.

Photo of bobsy
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an extremely strange goose.

Dark brown pour with a tan head that laced well. Flanders red meets fruit lambic meets saison in the nose. Funk and sour fruit. Interesting and unexpected. Flavour has much of the same. The funkiness of a saison is there, but so is the sour fruitiness of a flanders red, coming to the fore with a big cherry character. This all combines somewhat uneasily with a light roast. Medium-light body with a spritzy carb.

There are certainly a lot of things going on here, and its an interesting beer, but it doesn't quite come together as I hoped. Still enjoyable, but I expected a bit more from Fantome.

Cheers to Eric for bringing this over a while back.

Photo of homebrewhawk
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a Tank 7 tulip. Bottle conditioned. Poured a reddish brown with a finger of off white head. Fruity aroma, Belgian yeast spice, and a touch of sourness. As it warmed pepper came out in the aroma. Sweetness up front. A bit of tartness. Pepper lingers in the finish, but is not overwhelming. Light to medium bodied. Very easy drinking. Another interesting beer from Fantome.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.08/5  rDev +6%
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.

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

Poured from a 750mL capped-and-corked green-glass bottle into my Oerbier glass.

Burnt umber-tinged bole liquid which glows a soft coppery chestnut when held up to the sun. Thick creamy wheat colored head which recedes to a half finger of whipped foam - superior retention, slow running sand-dune-like lacing with (oddly) phantom shaped tears.

Musty aromatics with dark fruit, and farmhouse (or maybe attic) scents along with faint malt, cocoa, loam, and spice. Very subdued overall.

The sour palate entry is unmistakably Fantôme suggesting Brett., crab apples, lemon zest, and Luxardo. Some noble hop notes along with lightly roasted speciality (and pils?) malt add depth, while there is a faint herbal/spice note (dandelions, cardamom, burdock root?) leading into an earthy, dry, mineral-rich (but still very tart) finish.

Creamy, effervescent, medium-bodied, and a touch astringent.

Supposedly this started out as a sort of hybrid of a Saison and an Irish Dry Stout - the former is much more identifiable here, but the malt profile, puckering sourness, and odd spice profile makes this brew truly defiant of style guidelines (and thus, that much more difficult to rate).

Photo of hwwty4
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to publicly thank my darling Sister for bringing this to me from Colorado.

Poured a corked and capped 750 into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer pours a pale root beer brown with a massive 4-inch cap that leaves some sticky lacing down the sides of the glass. Crazy head retention. It seems like there is always a inch of frothy capping sitting on top of the beer. The aroma is odd, yet complex. Up front comes an odd underlying sourness, that doesn't derive itself from brett or green bottle funk. Very subtle, yet pronounced. Next comes a light cocoa powder, a bit of nutmeg, an overall nuttiness, and just a bit of over ripe apples. The flavor is amazing. The profile starts out with just a slight bit of bitter bakers chocolate. Followed closely by nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Almost no fruit is available in the profile. A very light bit of sulfur from the green bottle funk, along with a base sourness. There is almost a coffee astringency to the very end of the flavor profile. I'm very torn on the mouthfeel. For a Saison, it would be great. For a BSDA, it's just not quite right. It's thin and dry, leaves the palate screaming for another sip. I love it, it's the type of mouthfeel I find in my favorite Saisons but this isn't a Saison, but, honestly, it really isn't a BSDA either. It's more or less a hybrid of the two styles. Overall, I find it exciting. Love it. Really looking forward to reviewing other Fantôme beers.

Photo of beethousand
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this out of the bottle; didn't enjoy this as much as other Fantome beers.

Interesting herbal aromas and flavors, but overall a bit too dominant, especially as the beer warmed up. The nose was the highlight of the beer; the taste and mouthfeel did not measure up to the nose. Dry and alkaline in the mouthfeel--there are a decent amount of drying characteristics created in the mouth by this beer.

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 Halcyondays
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

Photo of adamette
2.1/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Live review. The third of four consecutive Fantôme beers that I purchased for $13.99 one day at the Beer Engine in Lakewood. I have been wanting to drink these since I got them a few months ago and now is the time as I approach my 800th review. Poured from the 1 pint, 9.4 oz. green bottle which was corked and capped but removing the cap resulted in no carbonation release, it was all held in by the cork. Lot # and "best by" date not marked on the label of my bottle. The little chart is there but nothing is marked. The cork has the exact same mark as the regular Fantôme Saison, 086/477044. Poured into my gold rimmed Ommegang "Westvleteren" style goblet.

A Light brown, creamy head that started out as about 2 inches but dissipated down to a thin layer on top of the brown/orange translucent body. Good look that is reminiscent of more classic Belgian Strong Dark Ales. 4.0

S Strong Belgian yeast, malt smells. Sniffs taken later in the bottle pour revealed more of the rotten, putrid tastes that I describe below and so I am going to lower my smell rating from 3.5 to 2.5

T Not good. I am a fan of Belgian beers and Fantôme beers in particular but this one has a rotten kind of taste that is not welcome. I don't know if that is the "Noire de Noire" aspect or what but it makes it difficult to drink. Behind the rotten grains taste is the malt and probably the yeast but it is difficult for me to get past that rotten wood taste. I have reason to believe that the beer was fresh and not skunked since removing the cork released a fair amount of "mist." 2.0

M Sharp with the rotten tastes, strong, not well hidden ABV and malt. Not a good feel which is heavily influenced by the taste. 2.0

D Not good at all. I drank about 14 ounces of it and simply could not keep drinking this beer. I could not believe it but it became a drain pour after a few minutes of consideration. 1.5

Notes: A big dissapointment due to the rotten grains taste that I got. I would not recommend this beer unless someone can advise me that this bottle was not typical.

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 jjanega08
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A= pours a hazy light brown color almost a deep amber color with a huge tan head coming out of it that barely let's me fill half beer half foam in my glass. The head is a little thick with tiny bubbles and falls at an average pace to a rocky meranguie finish. Pretty decent lacing is left on my glass.
S= belgian spicyness is in th beer. Notes of clove and darker fruits comes through... lots of grapes in it with prunes and dates. Some apples in it as well as a little funk I guess.
T= pretty darn good. It has some of the phantome sourness in it with the darker notes coming only from the nose after I breathe out. The sour green grapes dominate the flavor and it reminds me of the saison only not as good. A little less refined and more acidic. Pretty decent. After reading some past reviews noone mentioned the fact that it has a nice green grape sour bite. Sort of raw lemon as well. The dark dates and prunes I smelled are almost nonexistant just because the sourness washed them away. Delicious.
M= dry as hell and super crisp. Reminds me of eating a lemon.
D= great another solid beer from them that I have tried. Really makes me wonder how they put this unique sourness in these styles. Super dry smooth and refreshing. Impressed and ill be going back for it.

Photo of SFLpunk
2.8/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750mL green glass bottle with wine cork and cap. No date marked on label.

Appearance: Had to rough it up a bit to get 1/2 inch of tan head on top of clear tawny body.

Nose: Fairly simple with soapy notes and some clove and hazelnut notes.

Palate: Medium to light bodied and a little too clean. Some moderate biscuit-like malt notes, more clove and a little tanned leather. Finish is odd, and there's something almost medicinal about it.

Notes: Disappointed for sure. I've liked other Fantome beers, and heard this was killer. Will pass on it next time.

Photo of craytonic
2.42/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Black opaque, decent head, no lacing, off-white foam

Smell: Best part of it, roast malts and a bit of funk

Taste: Charred, burnt malt, musty leather, sour fruit, burt coffee, burt toffee, espresso, blackstrap molasses. Very bitter and acidic.

Mouthfeel: More porter than BSDA

Drinkability: Didn't finish it, I know this varies a lot from year to year and batch to back, I think this one must represent the low point of the cycle.

Photo of Patrick999
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another Fantome I've not had.

Great looking pour from the 750ml bottle into my designated farmhouse/wild ale goblet. Not as dark as I would have expected from a beer named Black Ghost. Instead, it's more of a red ale. Excellent retention.

Has a pungent aroma typical of a Fantome. It smells sour, with some cinnamon overtone. I also smell vine-ripened tomato, believe it or not. Yes, like some fresh homemade tomato sauce.

Somewhat puckery, with some leathery sourness. Dry, and some definite herbal spiciness going on. Sour/bitter finish. 8% alcohol really nowhere, this drinks more like 6%. Tasty, for those of us who like this kind of thing, but somehow doesn't seem as interesting as some other Fantomes....which is not terrible criticism, it's still a 4.0 beer in my book. It might be a little over-spiced - there is so much of that going on that it actually blurs and diminishes the complexity.

Feel is very spritzy and light for a beer of this strength, but not that gassy.

Pretty drinkable. Though it's not the greatest Fantome, it's still very good. Spicy, but drinkability isn't diminished as a result. I wish it wasn't 8% ABV, I'm feeling it.

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into red wine glass.

Pours deep red brown, extraordinarily clear despite the darkness of the color - almost jewel-like in the way light breaks through every once in awhile. Fluffy two-finger light khaki head settles down to a thin sudsy cap with decent stickage.

Nose is beautiful - sour cherries break through right off the bat, wafts of green apples, anise seed, underlying soft cocoa, dark fruits - so much going on in this one. Incredibly subtle in terms of variety of aromas.

Taste is incredibly unique. Up front, is dry and intensely earthy. Musty tobacco, turnips (yeah), dark fruits, old leather, (light) green apples, cocoa and licorice as temps increase - this is one dank, savory beer. Lightly sour towards the finish. Loads of spices swirling around in there that I can't even begin to identify lend a dry bitterness on the long finish. I get very little sweetness from this, at any temp - it's dominated by musty earth tones, dirty, nutty, with other notes swirling in and out of the profile - umami. Interesting; I'm not finding instantly appealing, but I keep coming back to it. Totally sits outside the box of what you normally associate as the flavor profile for any beer - this one is dry and dusty, earthy, a must try, but this will not be everyone's thing - probably not mine, but glad I got a chance to try it.

Mouthfeel is light, medium-thin body, very light carbonation.

Drinkability is hard to decide upon. This isn't a flavor combo that I think I've ever really craved before. I don't really crave it now that I've tasted it either. This one seems more intellectual exercise than rewarding sensory experience to me - YMMV.

Photo of UDbeernut
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into tulip glass. La Cave du Vin in Cleveland had this classifyed as a saison. Don't know if they or BA is right... It doesn't matter really.

a: deep amber/blackish color, slight head that reduces to light lacing. Minimal carbonation.

s: very spicy aroma, a hint of roasted malt

t: i have never had a beer like this. Very interesting taste. Black Licorice flavor dominated the mouth with spicyness adding complexity. Very nice. Alchohol is slightly noticable, but provides a nice warming sensation

m&d: for an 8% ABV brew, it is very drinkable. Medium to light bodied, I am impressed with this beer despite its low BA rating.

Worth a Try.

Photo of jjazz
4.85/5  rDev +26%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The crappy BA rating had me underestimating this one, but what a beer!

Taste is supremely complex, with cherries, cardamom, coffee, black pepper and much more. Sour, spicy, and really unique. The long, evolving finish is very interesting, and this beer has some serious character. Very funky.

My lowish appearance score comes from the poor head retention, but it didn't affect my enjoyment of this one at all.

I know I'll be buying this again, at which time I'll write a more in depth review, but for now, let me just say that this is one of the best, most distinctive, complex, and interesting Belgian darks out there. I think I can taste the action from the Fantome "microbial zoo" that I've read so much about. Awesome.

Photo of brushtachio
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first ever Fantôme offering. Based on their reputation, I shouldn't be suprised to find a beer that doesn't seem to want to play nice with the other (sometimes legendary) members of it's style. This is the BSDA that sits in the back of the class, sporting a green goatee and making sarcastic comments everytime that holier than thou St. Bernardus raises his hand to answer yet another of the teacher's questions correctly. He may not be your favorite kid in the class, probably got put in there because he school didn't know where else to put him, but damn he keeps the class interesting.

Poured from a green bomber that was both capped and corked. Deep dark brown but far from black. Little to no head.

Probably served it a few degrees too cold but the smell definitely becomes more pronounced as it warms. Yeasty, musty but hinting at dark fruity sweetness that will suprisingly never show up in the taste. Sour twang in the nose proves a much more reliable agent of foreshadowing.

Taste has many of the components I expected and many I didn't. Each sip seems to emphasize one over the others giving you the impression that a vicious battle for supremacy between the flavors may be going on in the glass unbeknownst to you. Yeast, pepper, sour lemon, dried cherries, leather, earthy grass, my grandpa's bare dirt cellar.

Finish is very dry. Carbonation has some bite to it.

This is a sipper. One to give your palate a work out. One was enough but I enjoyed spreading the experience out for a couple of hours.

Photo of Jwale73
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml capped and corked bottle served at 48 degrees in my DT snifter. Freshness dating not indicated on the label, but cork reads 086/47704. Poured a deep mahogany with some ruby highlights when backlight. One inch off-white head with latte-like consistency with tiny pockets embedded in the cap - eventually recedes into a thin, consistent skim. Half moon swath of lacing coats one side of the glass; decent legs on this one. Nose is a bit musty/spicy, muted dark fruit with a vinous/acidic quality. Taste is quite dry and a little woody; not getting the typical sweet and malty I've come to associate with the style. A little tart and also getting some nutmeg towards the back. Moutfeel falls between light-and medium-bodied with a nice, consistent background carbonation that keeps it lively and refreshing. Not my favorite offering from Fantôme, but alcohol is well-hidden and there's a nice complexity and refreshing quality that makes it fairly drinkable.

Photo of Gmann
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Out of a 750ml capped bottle. ATTENTION BRASSERIE FANTOME how about putting a cork into your bottles!!! Most of my experience with your brews have been semi-flat. Anywho, off of the soapbox and onto the review. Pours a deep mahogeny color and after a dead hard pour I got a small soapy at first but firmed up head. The aroma is of lemons and green apple skins, sour and funky. Not what I was expecting from a dark brew. The taste up front is of lemons with some raspberry sweetness, perhaps some sour cherry. Not what I really expect from a BSDA, its not sugary with deep fruit flavors, kind of light with tart and/or sour flavors. Kind of refreshing, actually. The feel, feels a bit dead. Can use a good kick of carbonation. This is as soft as soft can be without being outright flat. Finishes with a tart/sour kick to keep any sweetness in check. I got probably a bit of an old bottle, I'm just not sure as the few bottles that I have had from this brewery have been exactly like this. So not sure if this is how they intended their beers to be or they are just old. Old or not this is a pretty refreshing beer, easy to drink, light.

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