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Fantôme De Noel - Brasserie Fantôme

Not Rated.
Fantôme De NoelFantôme De Noel

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

540 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 540
Reviews: 344
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 23
Gots: 72 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme visit their website

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: 540 | Reviews: 344 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MbpBugeye


4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've never seen this one before so I picked it up. Its way past Christmas time, but its always time to try a new (to me) Fantome.

Poured into a Duvel tulip
Its a dark, ruddy, rusty, earthen red-brown. The beer looks to be nearly fully hazed. In typical Fantome fashion the been is crowned in a very large head. This time its an off white/coffee stain color. Eventually all thats left of it is a thick skin and a wide collar. No lacing, which is a big let down. The consistency of the head isn't very sticky, its more loosely packed.

Very rich and fruity. This is a saison? I know Fantome really pushes the limits of this limitless style, but this is already coming across as a strong dark/quad rather than a saison. Perhaps there is no difference. If a saison is dark and has an ABV of 10% is it not a Belgian strong dark ale?

Semantics aside, this aroma is very surprising and welcoming. Lots of dried fruit. Raisin, fig, prune, all that dark stuff. Aromas that come across as honey and cinnamon are there as well for added complexity and sweetness. Notes of baked apple are there as well.

The sweet and rich fruits found in the nose carry over into the taste very well. Lots of apple pie, fig, raisin, and a truck load of cherry. The middle houses a nice worn woodiness that fades as the dark fruits gain steam again and build a long finish. Cherry vanilla is held long into the aftertaste. The 10% ABV does, at times, weigh heavily on the taste of this beer but it is well incorporated. As things warm up the malts deepen, exposing hidden notes of chocolate on the back of the tongue.

The flavor furthers my opinion that this is a Belgian Strong Dark. It has all of that really nice dark fruit richness with a warming spicy alcohol presence found in BSDAs. It is lacking the dry, chalky yeasty spice and lemony hops that many saisons are known for. But I realize that trying to give a rigid outline for the category saison is a bit pedantic.

Lively, almost sparkling carbonation serves to lighten the body, which would otherwise feel pretty heavy. Alcohol warmth is just about right (keeping in mind that this is a Christmas beer). The finish is fairly dry as the beer leaves the tongue tingling from the carbonation and alcohol.

Saison, Farmhouse, Belgian Strong Dark, Quad, what ever you wanna call it, this beer is good. It makes for a darn good sipper anyway you cut it. It worked out really well tonight since its dropping below freezing again. I don't see why I won't buy another one of these before they are gone.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2011 02:46:32 | More by MbpBugeye
Photo of Reaper16


3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750mL bottle -- 2010 vintage -- served into a tulip glass

Pours an almost tomato juice shade of red when held to light, but softens to the color of orange Robitussin when taken away from the light. One finger of nearly khaki head -- unexpectedly dark for the style -- forms. Lacing is about as good as you can hope for from a beer of 10% ABV. Fantome de Noel is unconventional looking for the Saison style, but it is a nice looking beer.

Lots of fruit on the initial attack of aroma. Cherry pits and pineapple husk especially. Some acetic quality is evident. The spices are difficult to suss out. I smell nutmeg for sure, perhaps some brown sugar. The malts are toasty enough to mask some of the spices, I think. There's something that my mind wants to register as cocoa powder, but that isn't precise enough. There's just a touch of leathery musk here. Not a lot of funk, but enough to keep things interesting.

Unlike any other Fantome beer I've had before, the malts are pretty assertive. They are toasty, almost the degree of an Amber Ale. Scratch that, this malt profile is like a lot of Biere de Gardes that I've had. The fruits and spices complicate the malt flavors. One one hand, you've got bing cherry, pineapple husk and apricot flavors. On the other hand, you've got what my mind wants to call sugarplum because of the Christmas beer taste. Really, I think its fig and anise that I'm tasting. Not a whole lot of funk here. The acetic/vinegar flavor is more prominent than any funk is. The spices are pretty curious, and they make themselves known on the midpalate going into the finish. Brown sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, and English licorice allsorts take over the lingering finish. That licorice allsorts finish is very apparent; I'm surprised that other 2010 vintage reviews haven't mentioned it. Scoring taste on a lot of Fantome beers is difficult. It tastes great, has a lot of complexity, but also differs from what a Saison is supposed to be in many ways. If this were listed as a Biere de Garde or a Wild Ale, then I'd score it a 4.5. But as a Saison, it's a 3.5 that I personally like so much that I'm bumping it up to 4.0. It's a very tasty beer, just don't expect it to be a textbook example of the style.

The one thing that I usually knock Fantome for is the mouthfeel on their beers. Most of Dany's offerings have too much residual sugar; the beers aren't dry enough. Granted, you can't have the explosively fruity flavors of Fantome beers without the fruit juice adjuncts, so you take the meh with the good. Fantome de Noel is not an exception to this tendency. It's a bit too slick on the tongue and too sweet/no-hops-for-balance to get the mouthfeel correct. One thing I am impressed with is that Dany Prignon was able to mask the alcohol in this beer. It doesn't taste boozy in the slightest, even though it sits at 10% ABV. That is very high for the style, but this beer is meant to be a Winter-time sipper. Dany makes it easy on us to consume a beer this big.

I like this beer more than the score indicates (and it got a good score from me). It is really complex and well worth whatever the retail price is in your area. I liked this bottle so much that I'll probably open up my last 2009 Fantome de Noel soon to compare it to this 2010 bottle. Why can't more Biere de Gardes go for this sort of flavor profile? Good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 05:12:14 | More by Reaper16
Photo of zeff80


4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a burgundy color with a two-finger, off-white head of thick foamy head. Lengthy retention with a good deal of bubbles and it left sheets of lace.

S - It had a spicy, yeasty aroma with a good malty nose. There were some fruit notes.

T - It was spicy with a malty backbone. A nice candy sugar flavor with some dried fruits. It simply got better and better as I drank it.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium to full bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a really good beer. I love Fantome beers and this is no exception.

Serving type: bottle

03-08-2011 02:10:13 | More by zeff80
Photo of brewandbbq

New Hampshire

4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle from 1997 aprox. Kept on it's side since '97 and served from a Lambic basket.

Pours dark amber with ruby hue and great clarity. A thin, tan head settled in for the duration of the glass as well as some short streaks of lacing.

Aromatics lead off with red fruits, apples, dusty boards, and a lactic tinge. Hints of Sherry, pineapple skin, cherries, and plums follow through.

Medium bodied with crispish mouthfeel and slighty tart and sharp. Very dry.

Tart cherries, plump malt, and a wine-like vineousity start the palate. Shades of cider vinegar, candied apples, lemon pulp, and raspberries follow through.

Finishes with lingering berry fruit, Sherry, and a sharp dryness.

Interesting beer. Quite fruity with a tart edge and with some nice brett qualities. Refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2011 01:01:10 | More by brewandbbq
Photo of mttaylor1066


2.05/5  rDev -47.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Well, if you like gueze, you might like this 2010 version of fantome de Noel. I was expecting a saison.

But for me, this isn't a beer that I can finish. It is sour and funky with the aftertaste of lemon peel. Tastes like a mix of old and fresh Belgian lambics.

I guess you have to be in the mood to enjoy a beer like this. I doubt I will ever be in that mood.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2011 23:10:51 | More by mttaylor1066
Photo of madvermin


3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a thick, murky, cloudy brown tobacco color with lighter tan edges and thick foamy head that did not lace at all.

Nose was of barnyard funk, hay, lemon peel and coriander.

Taste was a blend of that lemon and coriander to form a nice curacao taste initially. This was followed by more of that coriander/belgian yeasty taste, which ended with a boozy finish and a bit of soy sauce.

Mouthfeel is very light, which isn't say the body is thin (it isn't - it's quite creamy at times), but it definitely doesn't linger for too long. Finishes funky, dry and clean. Drinkability is decent, but the 10% abv and soy sauce/booze finish might be too much after a couple glasses.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 05:19:31 | More by madvermin
Photo of seand


4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a cloudy dark reddish brown, with a small amount of eggshell white head. The foam that collects around the edge of the glass is enough to leave a fair amount of nice lacing.

S: A slightly musty funkiness, with sour cherries, sweet malt, chocolate, almond, vanilla, and more I'm sure.

T: Grainy sweetness immediately giving way to sour fruit. There's a lot going on here, which makes it hard to pick out specific notes.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, fairly smooth overall.

D: It's a bit of a crazy brew, but after you get a little bit acclimated to the flavors it's surprisingly drinkable. You would not believe it's 10% ABV just from tasting it.

Quite unique, and a very eclectic mix of flavors. The surprising part is that it comes together fairly well. Worth a try for sure.

Serving type: bottle

02-04-2011 05:15:16 | More by seand
Photo of AdamBear


3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to emm0217 for getting me this one!

A-dark brown, almost black with a dark tan head...a lot of head in fact...maybe too much. different looking for a saison. once the head reaches a reasonable thickness, it stays through out the drink

S-smell reminds me of a spiced wine. smells like red wine grapes along with some funkiness. there are some good belgian sugars as well. medium strength.

T-hmm there are so many things going on here i'm having a difficult time figuring our what i'm tasting. its definitely unique and complex. comes in with slightly tart grapes along with belgian yeasts. there's on short and pleasant sour burst. it then comes in with some peppery spices that hint of licorice, quality dark roasted malts, and the good belgian sugars. its a saison like no other, a decent one at that. the more i drink it, the more i appreciate it.

M-a good soft carbonation with a good crisp finish that is almost watery

D-the drink goes down easily and is fun to drink. its not every day you get a completely new taste like this. its definitely not my favorite beer, but it isn't something i would mind coming back to next winter.

Thanks Em, for the wonderful christmas present!

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2011 18:32:07 | More by AdamBear
Photo of sitarist


3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy nut-brown color. A hard pour yields half head half beer. The head is a bubbly khaki color. The head falls fast leaving a ring and dusting, and leaves almost no lacing.

Smells like apple pie filling. It smells good as a whole, but I'm at a loss searching for individual components. It is sweet, and tart with spice, and some musty funk.

I taste butterscotch, mold, over ripened apples, and some spice.

Medium body with little carbonation. It has a bitter dryness like chewing tea leaves.

I like the funk in this one, but that's about it. Too much spice?

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2011 02:23:26 | More by sitarist
Photo of crnipeter


1.53/5  rDev -61%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

750 ml into tulip. Back-label promises an experience by saying "Brewer Dany Prignon is known for his....creative and adventurous brews."
Pours spuming, deep amber hazy body topped by instantly dissipating ivory head. A saison should pour long lasting, dense head but obviously not this one. Fruity esters lacking aroma is completely overwhelmed by dominant sourness with spiciness I couldn't tell whether derived from hops, yeast phenolics or actual spices used. Light malt and evident spicy alcohol. The flavor is supposed to be citrusy fruity esters and spiciness wrapped in soft malt with additional sourness and alcohol. Instead, the sourness is overpowering, followed by somewhat peppery and nutmeg-like spiciness. Well attenuated malt and high carbonation lend dry finish with spicy aftertaste. Fruity esters and hoppy bitterness I was expecting are largely ignored here. Although spiciness and sourness of saison beers commonly increase with alcohol strength they are overdone, regardless of the 10% ABV. Fantome Noel is a proof that adventurousness and creativity are not necessarily a good thing.

In short: a one-dimensional saison whose sourness and spiciness dominate in the balance.

Serving type: bottle

01-07-2011 18:23:32 | More by crnipeter
Photo of eric5bellies


4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from my Duvel Tulip 2009 Vintage.

A - Pours a mahogany brown color with a white foamy head that laces and stays around.

S - Aromas of dark fruit and yeast

T - Plenty of stewed dark fruits and spice. has a real yeasty flavour to it as well as an earthyness.

M - Medium body and carbonation.

D - A very nice saison that is a little different.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2011 08:09:54 | More by eric5bellies
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2011 04:16:58 | More by glid02
Photo of dstc


4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy, ruby brown color with full, tan head. Head falls relatively slow. Decent lacing.

Some sweet malt in the aroma, deep in that is. Plenty of funk and brettanomyces.

As soon as it hits your tongue you get a huge tartness. Lots of farmhouse funk and brettanomyces. Nice.

Medium bodied with low carbonation. Tart.

Nice. Good farmhouse, worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2011 15:24:06 | More by dstc
Photo of metter98

New York

4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is cloudy brownish amber in color and poured with a thin head that faded away very rapidly and left lacy patterns of bubbles covering the surface.
S: There are light to moderate aromas of apples, sourness and spices in the nose.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a mild amount of sourness.
M: It feels light-bodied and slightly tart on the palate and has a light amount of carbonation.
D: The beer is extremely easy to drink because there no traces of alcohol detectable in the smell or taste.

Serving type: bottle

01-01-2011 22:17:05 | More by metter98
Photo of ToasterChef


4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an aged cellar temperature bottle into a Delirium Noel goblet. I've had this bottle for about a year. There is no best by date--the label is not notched.

This is a brown/plum colored beer. It is opaque. A head of brown foam settled to a skim. A good film and some foam is left coating the sides of the glass. Sour black cherries fill the nose of this beer. Some candi sugar gives it a touch of sweetness. This is a fine smelling beer! The flavor isn't as sweet as the aroma. It is a dry, crisp tasting beer. There is a little red grape juice, some farmhouse funk and a sour finish. This is a full-bodied beer that leaves a slick, thin coat. Carbonation is on the lower end of the spectrum. Drinkability is high. I could enjoy a lot of this beer. It doesn't taste like a 10% ABV beer and the sour characteristics don't appear to be strong enough to get tiresome. I'm going to enjoy this bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2010 00:22:32 | More by ToasterChef
Photo of chumba526


4.65/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 2009 vintage that aged for a year and was placed on tap for the occasion of Christmas Eve.

The ale appears amber red in color with a small white head.

It smells toasty and caramel like. There is a mild vanilla, cherry, fruity grassy and herbal flavor. I almost get a fruit punch smell, a grape smell and a plum smell. The smell of this ale is extremely amazing and is very complex.

It tastes slightly acidic/ sour; there is a nice fruity grape flavor. There is a great yeast flavor that adds a bit of a barnyard funky flavor to the beer. There is also a slight pepper flavor and a bit of a caramel flavor to the beer as well. The beer is pretty complex and there are a lot of flavors in the beer but they all complement each other very nicely.

The mouth feel is smooth and nice and the carbonation is moderate low.

The drinkability is really good for the alcohol percentage I can drink a few of these quite easily. The beer has a great balance to it and goes down smooth.

Overall a great beer that was really smooth and seemed to have aged very nicely. This is the best saison/ farmhouse ale I have ever had though it did not taste like a stereotypical saison. It was a great beer to have on Christmas Eve.

Serving type: on-tap

12-25-2010 23:07:41 | More by chumba526
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2010 02:03:09 | More by RoyalT
Photo of philbe311


3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A unique capped and corked bottle...

A - Slightly more than a fingers worthy of creamy lush slightly off-white head... Minimal retention gives way to an uneven lacing with a slightly thicker collar... The color is a murky light to medium brown... Some stray sluggish carbonation can be seen towards the top of the glass...

S - Slightly musky... Overly ripened sweet dark fruit... Dates... Cherries... Raisins... There are some mild Belgian yeast notes beneath... Some subtle caramel and toffee notes... A solid aroma that is inviting, but is slightly lacking in terms of complexity...

T - Cherries... Some additional dark fruit characteristics... Some Belgian yeast profile... Perhaps a bit of holiday spicing... Some subtle leather notes... Touches of vanilla... There's a lot going on, but their is very little interplay between the separate components...

M - Slightly thin with very limited carbonation... Sort of stagnant... Medium bodied... Slightly sticky... Slightly sleek... A little bit of a kick on the finish...

D - I struggle with this one in terms of both Saison style guidelines and as a holiday offering... This one seems to miss the mark of both accounts... With this being my first Fantome offering, I'm hoping the rest of their catalog has much more to offer... This does hide the 10% ABV well... However, otherwise this one really falls short for me...

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2010 03:06:24 | More by philbe311
Photo of DaveHS


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

Pours a hazy dark cherry color, with heaps of creamy, khaki colored head. Leaves lots of sticky lacing. The nose is a confusing interplay of sweet and sour. Wild berries, honey, sweet caramel malts, white wine grapes, chocolate and clove. It sounds crazy, but all these flavors work together. The first sip hits the palate like a hot mess, not offering too much in the way of individual flavors. At first this beer comes across as muddled and overdone. But after a few sips,individual characteristics become more clear. There's a push/pull dynamic that makes for very interesting drinking. The lightly tart acidity versus the medium bodied, malty base. The Christmas spices playing against the earthy funk. Random bursts of pomegranate sourness, smoothed out by subtle touches of oak. This beer is the work of a mad scientist. Beware the 10% ABV, it's very well hidden.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2010 21:26:40 | More by DaveHS
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 11/05/10 notes. Had at a small tasting thanks to Brad (ygtbsm94); thanks man. 2007 vintage.

a - Pours a mahogany brown color with light carbonation evident and an inch of off white head.

s - Smells of yeast, spices, sugar, and some dark fruit.

t - Tastes of spices, Belgian yeast, sweet dark fruits, and sugar. Fruit tastes slightly weird/off from how I think it should taste.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

d - A decent saison but the taste was a little off. Would be willing to give another shot.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2010 00:58:27 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by ygtbsm94. Thanks Brad!

Vintage December 2007

This beer appears a dark cherry color with a decent sized head that leaves a fair amount of lacing. The aroma is of dark fruits, spices, and yeast. The beer tastes good, with a very rich and hearty flavor. This is definitely not a typical saison. It drinks more like a hybrid saison/Christmas ale, which seems to be the obvious intention. The beer is medium bodied and has a stronger alcohol presence than I expected, especially given the age of the beer. This is a nice beer for the holidays, and good for sharing a few ways. A small glass is plenty.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2010 15:51:23 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of yourefragile

District of Columbia

3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

750 mL green bottle, capped and corked, with no notches on the label, poured into a tulip.

I read a handful of reviews on this site before drinking this to get a better idea of what I should expect. They didn't help. I read more reviews on the other site. They didn't help. I drank this beer. That didn't help. My typical BA-style review is useless in attempting to describe this beer. Adding to the confusion, from the appearance, smell and taste I would never guess this is a saison. So far, so good for a Fantome beer. Appearance is a dark, clear ruby brown with a thick light tan head. Aroma is fruity and vinous with mild malt and chocolate/spice undertones. Flavor is consistently across the map including: grapes, coffee, dark fruit, roast malt, Belgian yeast, chocolate, cinnamon, pepper, vomit, vomit aftertaste, clove, tomato, general vegetive-ness. Yes, it pretty much runs the spectrum; oscillating between disparate flavors, with the strongest acidic, vegetive and vomit notes appearing in the finish at warmer serving temperatures. I realize this makes the beer sound repulsive, but its not meant to. As with other Fantome beers, this delightful intractable, indescribable qualities is what makes the beer enjoyable and fascinating. This is one of my least favorite Fantome beers, yet I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone. Quite remarkable for what a saison can do.

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2010 02:57:29 | More by yourefragile
Photo of rtepiak


4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

surprisingly effervescent for such a high abv and a nose that does not express the intense amount of well placed spicing. pour is the color of a fresh press watered down coffee with a nice off white head and a nose of brisk skunky malt. straw and orangepeel but more something that is savory and not overpowering sweet. palate is a culmination of things with that core of a mineral tight palate of a saison and a subtle sour tart in the background. not at all heavy. chocolate mild cocoa, plum, persimmon, clove, orange peel, and hazelnut... sweet but not gritty. a mild smoky even. very very subtle delicate palate to something that would seem decedent but instead is a smooth, savory, boutique of winter.

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2010 04:56:47 | More by rtepiak
Photo of carpezytha


4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into tulip at 60 F.

A: Murky rusty cider color, with very aggressive head that settles without much of a trace. First glass has significant yeast deposits!
S: Apple pie,
T: Sour dried peaches, mahogany, rustic leather, with a nice yeast kick.
M: Very creamy and well balanced mouthfeel, good carbonation and no disagreeable heat.
D: Very well done, I think I will pour at a lower temp next time just to observe the transitions. This is a special occasion beer that deserves undivided attention.

This beer points out what a "Saison" can be- it is really a style that has IMO about the widest range of sub-styles there is. I would like to do a side by side comparison with "Glazen Toren's Saison D'Erpe-Mere winter edition"(very rare) in the future. Both breweries are dedicated to digging into the roots of this and other styles.

I suspect they used two different yeasts here, on for primary and one in the bottle. There is some suspended dark yeast in the last pour, but the first our immediately deposited some white yeast in the bottom of the glass.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2010 03:34:22 | More by carpezytha
Photo of Gobzilla


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

Poured a deep dark chocolate brown with reddish highlights with a half finger of head that left a little sticky lacing on the glass. The nose had tart like characteristics which consisted of slight brett, faint vinegar, and acidic notes but also had some spiceness that was made up of cinnamon, nutmeg, slight vanilla. It had a little underlying fruit, and oaky notes. Upfront the taste was a tart for sure like the nose but was a little more dominate over the rest of the ingredients. There was still some christmas style spiceness but it also had some charcoal smokey characters that were a little weird for me but was not bad that added dimension and was surprisingly tasty. This brew was medium body with a fair amount of carbonation that had a slight sweet, spicey,smokey and tart finish. It drank well and was thrown off by the the smokiness from the beer but it ended up being a good trait that made the brew that much more complex and flavorfull. I honestly enjoy beers like this one that have lot of flavor that contrast each other. It could easily be a hit or miss for other people.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2010 06:52:37 | More by Gobzilla
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