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Fantôme De Noel - Brasserie Fantôme

Not Rated.
Fantôme De NoelFantôme De Noel

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

550 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 550
Reviews: 345
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 24
Gots: 74 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: taez555 on 12-03-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 550 | Reviews: 345 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by atomeyes:
Photo of atomeyes
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought a large bottle in Buffalo and drank it the following day.

Poured a beautiful strawberry blonde colour. nicely clouded with a head that quickly dissipated.

Its bouquet was fruity; hints of cherry with some lovely but not offputting funk.

Taste: I dig this more that most typical saisons. It had a funk or tongue-hanging bitterness to it that also carried traces of cherry. Sourness was minimal, but its there. The mouthfeel was slightly coating - almost cream-like - but I don't mind. I paired it with a home-made okra and tomato stew that had 2 chilis in it. It was a great yin to the spicy yang. Its slightly sweet, but the bretty funk keeps the sweetness to a minimum.

You cannot taste the 10% alcohol in here. Well hidden.

If you're looking for Saison Dupont, then no, this is not in the same family. Its funkier, fruitier, yeastier but downright delicious. We really enjoyed this drink and hope to stumble on it again.

atomeyes, Jan 09, 2012
More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - This is a medium-brown in color with a good head and tons of floaties.

Smell - The mild funk is squared with a fairly sweet malt base that actually would be at home in a BSDA. The funk is moldy lemon with a bit of peppered vodka and light grassy herbs.

Taste - The lemon comes out more in the taste and there's an astringent radish flavor that I didn't pick up at the nose. The malty backbone is far off at this point. There's a light white wine character to the taste as well.

Mouthfeel - This is medium-bodied and a bit on the flat side.

Drinkability - This was enjoyable enough but not as substantial as I remember the 2002 and prior vintages.

RoyalT, Dec 24, 2010
Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 bottle purchased from Riley's in Madison a year or so ago. This bottle is at least 2 years old and perhaps much more. It's hard to tell with Riley's and there are no best by or brew on dates on the label.

Appearance: Cloudy, medium brown body with a lasting but thin tan skim.

Aroma: Expected Fantome yeast aromas of sour fruits and dust. Some gym sock qualities. Mildly oxidized metals. Some spice - cinnamon and allspice?

Taste: Apples and winter spice, funky yeast, some oxidization, generic fruit cake flavors, spicy finish.

Mouthfeel: Fairly light bodied and heading towards low carbonation. Moderate funk. No notice what-so-ever of the 10% abv. Numbs and tingles the tongue.

Drinkability: Easy to drink but somewhat dull. I've had better Noel in the past. This bottle could be a touch older than prime (please don't get on my case review national socialists. I've had 9 year-old Fantome that kicked ass so to me it is worth seeing if their beers can last. Noel might be one that cannot).

DaPeculierDane, Mar 21, 2008
Photo of tectactoe
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another new Fantome bottle, another lottery ticket. Saw this sitting on a shelf in Toledo and felt like rolling the dice. Fantome de Noel pours a glowing ruby and brown color with translucent that only peaks through at the edges. Such a volatile head; big, bubbly, and growing with the power of a thousand suns, it has a gray-ish tint and takes its time settling to a collar.

I take a sniff and I don't love it. Not right away, at least. I guess I didn't what to expect, but I wasn't expecting such a spiced Belgian style ale, which is how each whiff makes it seem. Heavy yeast, bread, bubblegum, and mild banana sweetness, spiced with tons of coriander, clove, pepper, even a faint twinge of mint. There's probably not actually any mint in this beer, but c'mon, just lemme have this one.

The aroma doesn't get any better with some warmth and/or time, although it does grow on me a little bit more, besides the fact that it's spiced more along the lines of a winter warmer than a Belgian ale even. The first sip opens up to a bit more fruit than was available in the aroma; mild plums and grapes and pear skins, sitting on top of a huge, yeast blanket that screams with more bubblegum and clove.

Fantome wouldn't be anything without the funk, and on top of being a science experiment spiced beer, this sucker is funky as hell. Cheesecloth, wet cork, damp hay, and a back-end chalkiness that I'm not sure whether is a product of the yeast, the malt, the spices, or Dany accidentally knocked a bucket of sidewalk chalk into the brew kettle and said "fuck it".

Very spiced and very heavy with a booming clove, pepper, and yeast-ladden and bone dry finish. Medium bodied, lots of carbonation, though the body is a little to heavy to be effervescent, it's just a touch away from a cream mouth feel. Another strange brew from Fantome, one that I did not enjoy quite as much as the rest. It's decent, sure, but one of my least favorites of the bunch.

tectactoe, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of JudgeRoughneck
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma- light, mostly a sweet aroma from what I would guess is caramunich, a lightly grassy note, brett is definately there but not overwhelming...all barnyard in character, not all that appealing really

Appearance- turbid bronze with not much head

Taste - floral, fruity, super tart, strong hey character, horsey, brett really running the show, sourness hangs on the tounge, has moments of citrus and bay spice, funky, still refreshing pie cherry in the finish, kind of a rosemerry character too

MR- light bodied, and super acidic

Overall - pretty much a straight brett beer, interesting, but probably not one I'll be returning too without a cheese pairing or something, might be good at a holiday meal, would be fun to cellar and see what esle the brett does

JudgeRoughneck, Feb 28, 2010
Photo of tbryan5
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

tbryan5, Nov 12, 2013
Photo of orbitalr0x
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The corks comes out with a nice pop from the nicely labeled bottle. Pours from the 750 a deep dark dirty brown, nearly black with a big fluffly two finger tan head sitting nicely on top. Opaque in my tulip glass. Aromas bring an array of spices with hints of cinammon, clove, wet wood (oak?) and grassy, mossy notes. Dark fruits mesh with a slightly sour funk. Fairly complex...my nose keeps coming back for more.

First sip brings an interesting mix of roastiness along with some notes of cocoa, cloves, molasses, cinammon, pine, cracked pepper....complex! There's a nice slightly sour yeasty funkiness that hits on the way down. Definetly some brett at work here. A bit of smokiness and some horse blanket. Sour fruit in the mix as well. Leaves a warm spiciness in my mouth after each sip. Alcohol is well hidden...quite an interesting take on the saison here.

Mouthfeel is has a light, creamy body with full, explosive carbonation that erupts on the palate. Carbonation gets to be a bit much for me. This is an extremely tasty and challenging brew. There's alot going on here and it keeps your tastebuds guessing. I will definetly enjoy the rest of the bottle and will look forward to this again next winter. Fantome has impressed me yet again with this one!

orbitalr0x, Mar 26, 2005
Photo of merlin48
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark chestnut body with a small beige head that falls into some attractive spotty lace.

Aroma has spicy clove and nutmeg hints and some kind of vague fruitiness.

Very nice mouthfeel is medium to light medium in body with a smooth creaminess and moderate carbonation.

Taste has the vague tart fruits noted in the aroma along with assorted spices like clove and nutmeg. Hints of brown sugar and chocolate add to the toasty malt base. Alcohol is very well hidden.

Much better than I expected for a dark Fantome.

merlin48, Jul 31, 2011
Photo of Billolick
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Large bottle, lightly chilled, corked and capped. Pours dark brown, cloudy, murky and mysterious. minimal head and minimal lacing that slides down the side of the glass.
Nose is richly complex, musty, earthy, juniper and minty evergreen.
medium bodied , strong sipper
Notes of herbs, pepper, gin, anise, mint. Interesting brew. Differant for a saison, almost crosses over to Strong dark ale territory. Love the style, love the brewery, love this complex, heady and subtly outrageous brew. Seek this one out and enjoy every sip

Billolick, Jan 29, 2005
Photo of badbeer
2.55/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Dark brown with red hues, tan colored head with very good retention and lacing. In the aroma I got old grass clippings, green beans, some slight spice, and maybe a little fruitiness as it warmed. Same characteristics in the taste, except there was none of the fruitiness. Just wasn't good, would not seek this out.

badbeer, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of GreenMountainBoy
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

GreenMountainBoy, Dec 18, 2011
Photo of goatxpower
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I bought it at Whole Foods

A- copper amber hue. Nice fluffly head that fades fast.

S- spiced fruit, metal, funk. Gets you excited about the first sip.

T- Mulled wine, spice, clove on the nose. Twang and lemony funk in the middle. Some smoke and chocolate on the tail. Very subtle; I expected the flavors to be bigger. At first, I was disappointed that it wasn't as huge as, say, Saison Athene, but I'm glad that it was subdued as it was.

M- Light, but with some substance. The mouthfeel is perfect.

D- I would drink this all the time if it wasn't so pricey

goatxpower, Aug 09, 2009
Photo of rob133
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%

rob133, Dec 27, 2011
Photo of magictrokini
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours hazy amber with a huge white head. The honey and coriander are up front inthe nose, as is the malt and yeast. Very spicy. The pepper gives it a spiciness that I haven't had before in a beer this sweet. The chocolate malt and the honey are very sweet, btu kept in check because of it. An underlying musty fruitiness is there throughout. There is just so much going on in this beer it makes it kind of hard to describe. I definitelty recommend this one.

magictrokini, Dec 05, 2008
Photo of xdefeatsy
5/5  rDev +27.6%

xdefeatsy, Dec 11, 2011
Photo of dwvarner77
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky dark caramel color, with a thick mocha-colored foamy head that falls to retain a thin frosting.
A lot going on in the nose; there's a funky tart smell along with a good deal of yeast and raisin.
Flavor is also funky at first; a sour spicy flavor, but that is then backed up by a great deal of a dark bready malt, giving me a slight chocolate or coffee-ish aftertaste with a touch of spice. I get a hint of the 10% ABV in the aftertaste too, but it's not overpowering.
Mouthfeel is nice; not too thick, a light active carbonation present. Good mouthfeel increases drinkability, unlike some other christmastime styles that possess a sticky, syrupy character IMO.

dwvarner77, Aug 24, 2005
Photo of Osiris9588
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle capped and corked. It pours a murky mud puddle brown, with a light caramel spot glowing near the bottom. The four-finger beige head is volcanoes up quite intensely, creating some foamy craters, but receds rather quickly.

The aroma is dominated by apple, toasty malt and yeast, and a flare of spices. The flavor is quite tart, the yeasts combining to deliver a strong presence of apple, pear, grapefruit, and strong doses of fruity sugar. Some ginger, light cinnamon, and other less defined spice elements also make appearances. The alcohol is merely a ghost on, flaring slightly on the finish.

It is light bodied. The tartness somewhat overwhelms the brew, which somewhat lacks in complexity and weight. I wish the malt was a bit more assertive. It is rather drinkable though, once geared toward the high sugar content. Solid but not spetacular.

Osiris9588, Apr 14, 2007
Photo of dogfishandi
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml capped and corked bottle, firdge temp, poured into a snifter.

pours out kind of a burnt orange/ light brown color, a huge billowy, off white head, takes up more than half the glass. very nice head retention with lots of sticky lacing. some cloudiness.

initially i get some lemony citrus, maybe a touch of cherry. as it opens a bit of musty funk comes out, kind of subdued. also some toasted malt, some yeasty esters as well, phenolic. hints of dark fruits.

bitter sweet toasted malts, plum, fig, grape, berries, a bit wine like. just the slightest hints of funk. it seems like a rich maltiness is kind of hidden by the low finishing gravity, seems a little dry as a result.

a pretty high amount of carbonation, prickly on the palate, and a very light feel for 10%. some tartness.

a pretty interesting beer, a real subdued funk that makes it pretty drinkable, especially for 10%. seeing as its my first beer from fantome, i must say i am a little let down, but i wasnt really expecting to be wowed considering the other reviews. not really something i would recommend but it was a nice change of pace for me.

dogfishandi, May 25, 2012
Photo of ehammond1
2.53/5  rDev -35.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

Bottle (2010?)

Texas Liquor
Carlsbad, CA

(Aged for...1+ - 3 years)

One of the prettier Fantomes. A slightly hazed light copper or dark amber in color with a very persistent, large-bubbled light khaki head. Somewhat sticky lines of stick left down the glass. A pretty, darker saison.

Fairly nice aroma, though it also seems fairly standard for Fantome (which is a good thing). Wet, freshly cut grass, along with some faded dark fruit character, a bit of an earthy, outside barnyard yeast character, and some dry hay.

The flavor, unfortunately, does not follow the aroma. Highly bitter, lots of smoke, some plastic, lots of sharp cinnamon, and asphalt/drag strip are all present notes here. I don't know how else to describe the strange things I'm tasting. Though, perhaps there's a touch of dark fruit.

Medium bodied with fairly high carbonation, though there are strange, sandy, solid elements to this brew. Not good.

I'm not going to be able to get through much of this guy. Though to it's credit, this beer does look and smell nice!

ehammond1, May 08, 2013
Photo of doremite
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

doremite, Jul 01, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2002 Vintage Xmas ale, Appearance: Cloudy mahogany brown amber tone with a massive fine bubbled head with awesome retention and fine speckled lacing. Aroma: Deep plum, raisin, spices, and tart apples in the mix here. Taste: Is very cidery in nature with oak barrel aging putting quite an edge on the flavor, an alcoholic mix of tart and obscure tones. Mouthfeel: Very bubbly almost overcarbonated sample, medium bodied Xmas Belgian ale. Drinkability: The oak edge is pretty hars cuts away from the drinkability, decent Belgian Xmas bier but there are so many great ones out there it's hard to say I would look for this one again.

WVbeergeek, Feb 23, 2004
Photo of glid02
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased from Hop City in Atlanta.

Pours a slightly hazy brown color with a very slight off-white head. The head quickly recedes into a thin ring around the glass leaving light lacing. The beer almost looks as if it's still.

Smells of slightly tart green apples, dark malts, bread, funk, and light spices, in that order. As it warms the spices fade and the funk and green apple aromas intensify slightly.

Tastes similar to how it smells, though not quite as complex. Smooth dark malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by solid amounts of slightly tart medium fruit flavors. Midway through the sip slight amounts of spices work their way into things and are quickly pushed out by funk and earthy flavors. The funk and medium fruit flavors carry through to a crisp ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is very good. I finished my glass quickly and could easily have a few more.

Overall I was a fan of this beer although I think it would benefit from additional carbonation. The 10% ABV is hidden extremely well, especially considering the soft carbonation. Worth a shot.

glid02, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of rastaman
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown colour, very decent head, which lasts, strong spicy cinamon aroma, almost a bit of a acidic nose aswell. Very acidic, bitter/sour flavour, a bit of apple, cinamon and even cherry in there aswell, my only problem with this beer was the slight fizzy mouthfeel it had, but otherwise, pretty nice.

rastaman, Jul 30, 2002
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Served in a chalice)

A- This beer has a dark opaque body with a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles. The head is a creamy, bubbly mat that has a light tan color with a hint of red in it.

S- There is a slight tart sour note with some soft pale malt and wheat notes.

T- The taste has a peppery spicy start that has a soft funk that follows. The funk is not cheese or barnyard but very mild and a bit earthy with a hint of grapefruit. There is a nice hop bitterness and green hop flavor at the finish. As it warms there are some nice soft oak notes in the pepper at the beginning.

M- The mouthfeel has a nice lightness with a slight fizz texture. No alcohol warmth at all.

D- Wow a dark colored, hoppy saison. This is a very nice beer and very smooth with soft subtleties. I never know what to expect when I open a fantome and I have yet to be let down.

rhoadsrage, Jan 30, 2006
Photo of CloudStrife
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 750ml capped and corked bottle. A holiday ornament on the label.

A: Hazy orangish brown with minimal head. Decent amount of visible carbonation in the body. No real lacing left behind.

S: Light sour tart is the first thing I notice. A dark fruit aroma lingers in the background.

T: Nice blend here. Rich malt goodness adds raisin and plum to the mix. A hint of spiciness just adds uniqueness. Then the great tart character just dominates throughout. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Puckering sourness at first takes a second to get everything in line. Light to medium body with a crisp and punctual finish. Nice and warming.

Overall I'm real happy with this beer. Havent been able to try any other Fantome beers and this one reminds me of a quad mixed with a sour. Try this if you can.

CloudStrife, Apr 15, 2014
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Fantôme De Noel from Brasserie Fantôme
88 out of 100 based on 550 ratings.