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Fantôme De Noel - Brasserie Fantôme

Not Rated.
Fantôme De NoelFantôme De Noel

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BA SCORE
88
very good

586 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 586
Reviews: 353
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.78%
Wants: 28
Gots: 84 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: taez555 on 12-03-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 586 | Reviews: 353
Photo of Dweedlebug
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of sliverX
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of ZEB89
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of dmorgan310
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of pirmannt1
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy nut brown with an enormous frothy tan head. Head dissipates to just a trace later. Some fine light lacing. The nose is alcohol, no mistaking that. But also undercurrents of molasses and lively spices.

Tastes is amazing. Spicy (clove, cayenne) followed by a alcohol burn followed by big notes of sherry. Molasses and English toffee just below the surface. Hints of vanilla, hints of oak. Underlying fruity and cidery flavors. A new taste with every sip. Did I mention the spiciness? The most impressive characteristic of this beer is that although is is rich and malty, the mouth is not sticky or overly sweet. It has just enough balance to remain drinkable as well as deeply flavorful. Pretty good stuff

Thanks to rajendra for the swap.

Photo of robmoak
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of whartontallboy
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is in all likelihood a 2004 bottling; I purchased it August 2005.

Pours out majestically into my tulip, a muddy, murky tea/cola-brown that lets just a little light through and had a majestic 3" head of tight, foamy bubbles that slowly recedes over the course of a half hour, leaving huge sheets of lace and a pillowy layer on the body. I don't usually give 5's for appearance, but this outshines even the other Fantomes I've tried.

Smell is somewhat typical of the brewery and style: yeasty, barnyard funk, some dark fruits, a bit of alcohol, and a little bit of sourness. However, there's a much sweeter bubblegum-and-candy-sugar aroma that wafts up out, too, that's somewhat unusual but still inviting.

This sweetness follows over into the flavor. There's definitely a sugary-sweetness in there, but it's balanced almost point-for-point by a substantial sour funkiness where the yeast creeps in. A certain spiciness is in there, as well as some plum flavors and the occasional peach/nectarine/apricot flavors as well. It dries out at the end, not quite as much as the flagship regular Fantome, and the sour/sweet interplay lingers into the aftertaste, as does a lightly smoked/roasted walnut flavor.

Mouthfeel is suitably light and bubbly, just barely tickling your tongue.

Overall: Beautiful in the glass and quite tasty as well. I'm not sure I'd prefer it to the regular Fantome every day of the week, but this one has its charms despite its considerable sourness.

Photo of bitterdestroyer
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

hands down, one of the best beers i've ever had...

appearance: a lil murky, deep reddish brown, more lacing than you can shake a stick at. nice head.

smell: fruity, spicy. do i smell raisins? or plums? or peppermint? all of the above my friend. a very full bouquet. more full than any winter brew i've had thus far.

taste: nectar of the gods. sweet, hoppy, spicy, fruity, nutty, tart. there was sooo much goin on here. there was definitely a party goin on in my mouth (and yes, everyone was invited, smart ass).

mouthfeel: like i said, it was a party, people. silky smooth, light and bubbly.

drinkablilty: well this was the rub. taking the alcohol content into consideration, i couldn't do more than one bottle in a nite. i'm a lightweight.

overview: loved it, loved it, loved it. do yourself a favor if you have this at your disposal pick up multiple bottles. you'll be glad you did.

Photo of wonothesane42
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WesWes
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a 1/4" off-white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has an outstanding pale and light crystal malt scent with a killer fruitiness and a mild farmhouse funk. The taste is good. It has an incredibly smooth pale and crystal malt flavor. It has a mild yeast fruitiness as well as a light caramel sweetness. It's dry with a touch of earthiness. This has to be one of the easier drinking saisons I've had. The mouthfeel is great. It is a medium/full bodied beer with perfect carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. Again, it's one of the most approachable saisons on the market. It's smooth as hell and at 10% abv., WOW what a drinker.

Photo of canucklehead
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tawny brown with a huge head this beer was cellared for a year. The nose is yeasty and old in a good way. This is a big refined beer that tastes like a Double with more fruitcake notes. The finish was full and smooth with a light sweetness to follow. This is a first class christmas beer that should be cellared for a few years.

Photo of blakesell
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750ml capped and corked bottle into a widened pilsner glass.

Appearance- Beer pours a reddish brown with a creamy tan/brown head that looks like ants are running thru it. When the head dies down there is roughly 3 fingers of carbonation with lacing clinging to the side of the glass.

Smell- Fruity and spicy with herbs, lemons, and the Fantome yeast which is quite recognizable. Lots of spices.. a hint of cinnamon. Big sourness coming off of this.

Taste- Nutmeg, corriander, pepper, and a puckering tartness which I think is supposed to be here as it doesn't taste entirely out of place. Alcohol is not too perceptible but there is a certain solvent quality to the beer. Herbs and fruits also become apparent with big tart citrus. Cinnamon is here as well. This is one bizarre brew.

Mouthfeel- Medium bodied, a solvent like quality to the alcohol that leaves a drying puckering feel on the tongue with a bit of a peppery spice. Highly carbonated.

Drinkability- A nice different saison with qualities that I would only expect to see from fantome. Not for everyone, but it seems to always work for me.

Photo of AlexFields
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Photo of marburg
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark purple-brown body with a puffy tan froth. Substantial fruit aromatics with hints of wood, spices, nuts, and typical Fantome funk. Some spicy characteristics, but this tastes almost like a standard saison with a roasted finish to me. Oaky and tart, there's over-ripened fruit with raisins, leaves, and a subtle notion of mulling spices. An excellent beer -- only wish I'd had more.

Photo of brewskifan55
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass on New Year's Eve.

A: amber/bronze. A huge 3 finger head that lay in state for a while. Foamy tan bubbles and formidable lacing.

S: heavenly. Fruity, funky. Belgian yeast comes through with apricots and Brett.

T: follows nose with a sweet, sensuous cascade of fruit, funk and highly carbonated sensations. Fantastic.

M: medium to heavy with carbonation to die for.

O: one of my top 10 favorites. Best saison I've had, hands down. Highly recommended.

Photo of ypsifly
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Capped and corked 750 that is notched for a best before date purchased at Main Street in Ann Arbor and poured into a tulip.

Mahogany under a light tan head of a couple inches that slowly falls under the weight of the abv turning into a lightly veiled ring. Not much lace effect to speak of.

Dark fruits and some spice dominate the nose. Musty Saison tartness with chalky yeast, wood, and sour aromas.

Good carbonation keeps the mouth lively. Slight puckering. Malty upfront and it has some of the dark fruits from the nose. Slightly acidic in the middle with some wood flavors. Spicy. There's a pinch of cinnamon and licorice and a dry finish with lingering spice and tart citrus. Very complex and evenly balanced.

The complexity of aromas and flavors add to this beers drinkability. The high price and abv, however, will limit my future enjoyment of this beer. Either way, good stuff and I will keep this one in mind when the time for X-mas beers comes around again.

Photo of mfhlucky13
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark deep reddish black, like cola. Not much head, but a nice caramel colored ring. Lots of sour fruit notes and maybe a little coffee and spice. Thin to medium in the mouth but it hangs on your cheeks with a little funk. Light acidity. Easy to drink, because I keep trying to figure out all that I'm tasting.

Photo of fisherman34
4.29/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark amber in colour with medium carbonation. Notes of mint, chocolate, and red wine in the nose. Insane flavors of nutmeg, port, cinnamon, coriander, lemongrass, lemon, wet hay, spruce, and cork. As the beer warmed, the barnyard flavors became far more apparent. It had a nice and refreshing tart finish as well. A bit too wild for the folks who shared the bottle with me, but I love idiosyncratic beers like this. Another fantastic beer from Fantome.

Photo of augustgarage
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip. Batch number and best before dates are not marked or notched in any way (though 2013 is the highest year).

The liquid is a hazy mix of rosso corsa and rust and casts an unusual light akin to that of dirty stained glass. Tiny bubbles attack the center of the liquid like an ascending swarm of bees. A thick, pearl-colored, mousse-like head leaves ornate parapets of lacing around the sides of the glass. Superior retention, shimmering legs.

Hops and spice merge in the nose - pipe tobacco, faint vanilla, sugar, maybe cardamom?, maybe cinnamon? - joined by a subtle wildflower bouquet contributed by the yeast, and a light malt base with hints of caramel.

On the palate, the tartness takes charge, with lemon, grape-must, and hints of Stilton. Some citrus bitterness from the hops. Mid-palate, the acidity is assuaged by cocoa and malt, which fades into espresso-dipped spice cake in the finish. Faint chocolate, white wine, clove cigarettes, and Shock Tarts linger on for ages.

Smooth, medium-bodied, effervescent, quenching yet sneaky in its alcohol.

More of a contemplative Saison (the wild notes almost bring to mind a traditional lambic) than one to drink down for refreshment after a few hours working in the heat.

A very interesting creative success from Fantome, one I look forward to every Christmas.

Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a rocky, but underwhelming, head that leaves more film than lacing

Smell: Various dark fruits (dates and figs) and spices (allspice and cinnamon) waft from the glass

Taste: The initial neutral malt flavor provides a platform for a range of different tastes - dark fruit, holiday spices and a touch of sweetness as well as piney bitterness; after the swallow, the beer changes character with a finish that is spicy, lemony and slightly sour, but still retains a hint of the figgy sweetness

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate to high carbonation

Drinkability: A range of flavors; like all of the Fantôme beers, this one was unusual

Photo of ArrogantB
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer was a little pricey but actually worth the price given the quality. It had a dark black color with brown edges I instantly enjoyed the smells of dark sour fruits like sour cherries or raspberries. The taste was like sour dark tart fruits such as blueberries and it puckers my mouth a little. This brew also has some funkiness going on in the background and a dry mouthfeel (which I assume is due to the high Abv which I can’t detect). This is very good and I look forward to the rest of the Fantome beers I can find.

Photo of jjayjaye
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one simply "Fantome de Noel". Many t'anks out to brother drunkmonk for hooking me up!!!!

Pours a root beer brown with a shallow wispy light tan head that fades quickly without lacing. A good amount of suspended goodness in the carefully poured top half of the bottle. The smell is reserved, but unique for this style. It has an earthy NECCO wafer chocolate character and mint over pear and hints of dark fruit. Adequately carbonated, the mouth feel has a distinct tang of hop and alcohol, but it doesn't have the lead role in this play. Full flavored, the mouth lightens up the chocolate pears'n figs taste. A real easy drinker, the 10% ABV is REALLY well hidden in the mouth and taste. Highly recommended.

Photo of ZombiesAteMyDog
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I shared a 2010 bottle with Marcus Siu.

A - Dark for a Fantôme, a nice deep red-orange with lots of head.

S - This smells like a barn… hay, earth, grass. I get some spice and citrus zest after the first smell.

T - It starts a little sweet, but warms to be speecy-spicy… It finishes a bit dty and with a bitter herbal-grassy. Not sure where the 10% is at… very well hidden in this brew somewhere.

M - Medium body with a nice amount of carbonation.

O - Nice and complex. Fantômes are pricey, but they are always satisfactory when I’m in the mood for one. This is a great brew to share with a friend or two during the holidays.

Photo of seancake
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got to tell ya -- never have I seen foam like this one was sporting. It wanted OUT of the bottle in a BIG way once the cork was pulled from the 750ml bottle. Not even in champagne have I seen such a fountain.. and 30+ minutes later, foam was STILL creeping its way out. We're talking some busy little yeast.

That said, I have no complaints with the beer itself. Seems to me to be similar to a gueuze, only more user-friendly -- in that it's less outright funkified and sweatgland, and more drinkable and enjoyable as a beer in itself, from my admittedly narrow American perspective. But then this is my first saison. All I know is my tastebuds are playing and standing up and saying howdy. Mouthfeel, flavour, nose -- hell, this sucker has got it in spades. Not sure if it's a Saison™ -- but damn sure I like it.

No complaints. Finished the whole 750ml by my lonesome, though I'm sure the counter I opened it on got its share -- which is sad, but what can you do, when you drink a Christmas ale in March? All I know is that those were some ANXIOUS yeast, and that I think this thing is the bomb. Honestly -- Fantôme rocks. I am going to be looking for all their stuff in future.

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Fantôme De Noel from Brasserie Fantôme
88 out of 100 based on 586 ratings.