1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Fantôme De Noel - Brasserie Fantôme

Not Rated.
Fantôme De NoelFantôme De Noel

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

553 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 553
Reviews: 345
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 24
Gots: 74 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 553 | Reviews: 345 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

zeff80, Mar 08, 2011
Photo of brewandbbq
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.

brewandbbq, Mar 02, 2011
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.

mttaylor1066, Feb 16, 2011
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.

madvermin, Feb 11, 2011
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.

seand, Feb 04, 2011
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!

AdamBear, Jan 30, 2011
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?

sitarist, Jan 12, 2011
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.

crnipeter, Jan 07, 2011
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.

eric5bellies, Jan 06, 2011
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 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.

dstc, Jan 04, 2011
Photo of metter98
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.

metter98, Jan 01, 2011
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.

ToasterChef, Dec 31, 2010
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.

chumba526, Dec 25, 2010
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 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...

philbe311, Dec 19, 2010
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.

DaveHS, Dec 05, 2010
Photo of mdfb79
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.

mdfb79, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
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.

Huhzubendah, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of yourefragile
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.

yourefragile, Nov 05, 2010
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.

rtepiak, Oct 21, 2010
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.

carpezytha, Aug 27, 2010
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.

Gobzilla, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of VerbingNouns
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

July 25: Christmas in July!
750mL poured into an Allagash tulip

A - dark cherry wood brown with thin taupe head made of very fine bubble

S - fruity and oaky, some sour aroma reminiscent of brett

T - creamy tart taste, only mild hints of oak. no brett to speak of, but plenty of saison flavor. it actually reminds me of a very smooth, rich wine

M - hearty mouthfeel, plenty of weight and body. very smooth

D - rich, flavorful, easy to swallow

VerbingNouns, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of jgasparine
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2009 750mL Bottle:

A- Poured from the bottle with a diffuse haze layer and just a bit of edge lacing, over an almost completely opaque red-orange-amber body with no visible carbonation.

S- Slightly tart nose... showing signs of lactic, possibly acetic infection. A little saline on the nose as well. A little bit of spiciness coming from the nose over a mild musty fruitiness. Surprisingly no EtOH, malt nor hop aromas from the nose.

T- Wow. A faint Vienna malt flavor is almost overwhelmed by some non-descript spices and mild lactic sourness. Some dark fruity esters really kick in the midpalate. The finish is mildly dry with lingering tartness and impressions of dark rum-soaked fruit.

M- Thin body, with very delicate carbonation. Slight astringency.

D- The alcohol is exceptionally well-hidden here. Dangerously hidden. A nice fruity and spicy brew that demonstrates how a touch of lactic sourness can go a long way in a beer.

jgasparine, Jul 15, 2010
Fantôme De Noel from Brasserie Fantôme
88 out of 100 based on 553 ratings.