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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

544 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 544
Reviews: 344
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
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Ratings: 544 | Reviews: 344 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mfhlucky13


4.3/5  rDev +9.7%

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.

11-17-2007 00:09:17 | More by mfhlucky13
Photo of Domingo


4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Split a bottle of this at the Falling Rock on 11/3. This is actually last year's item.
Pours a hazy deep red color with a 1/8" head on the top of it. As you work your way down, the head settles a little, but never completely goes away. I've only had a few saisons and this is my first flavored one. I was expecting something pale, so this was a fun surprise.
Smell is definitely Belgian. Yeast and grassy hops with a sour vinegar note. Not really picking up a ton of festive spices in the smell.
Taste starts off sour, but you can definitely pick out the new spices in the flavor. Cinnamon and allspice. Hops are there in the background, but they really just keep this from being too sour or spicy. I have to say I enjoy this. The spices aren't as "in your face" as most holiday beers, but they there and add an extra zing.
Mouthfeel is thick and it helps retain all of the flavor.
Admittedly pricing my be prohibitive, but this was a beer I'd love to have more of. Belgian holiday beers are becoming some of my favorites.

11-05-2007 21:07:46 | More by Domingo
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.47/5  rDev +14%

Poured a very dark brown with a nice initial head that faded to a wispy cap and created some slight lacing. The smell is mostly sour, Rodenbach like up front. Some interesting spice notes on the finish with cinammon, nutmeg and other Christmas spices. This creates an unusual interplay with the sour notes. The taste is similar- beautifully integrated sour and spice notes. Very smooth and earthy with dark fruit throughout as well. The mouthfeeel is very smooth and somewhat light- refreshing, which is a nice break for a winter seasonal. The fact that this is last year's brew pprobably has soured it up some and helped integrate the flavors. As usual, a very nice product from this brewery.

11-03-2007 16:26:03 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of weeare138


4.03/5  rDev +2.8%

Appears a dark brown with crimson edges when held to the light. A 2 finger beige head fades into a silky, creamy head and thick collar. Sticky streaks of lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of tart citrus, black grapes, plums, caramel, bananas, apricots, prunes, oxidized bread, and apples.
Taste is mainly summed up through the listed aromas, along with gooseberries, and a tart grape flavor shining through on top of oak and mild funk.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, grapey, funky with apple, and fizziness that ends in a slightly acidic and vinuous oaky note.

09-21-2007 20:41:59 | More by weeare138
Photo of ArrogantB


4.3/5  rDev +9.7%

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.

07-25-2007 15:03:46 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +4.1%

Love me some Fantomes!

This pours a clear dark red/brown, thick tan head, settles to a thin layer, some nice lacing, decent retention. Smell is sweet, very malty, spices, caramel, bread, Fantome funk, sour citrus, yeast, bit of iron, nice. Taste is like the aroma, spicy, caramel, funk, ginger and cinnamon, iron, bit of a weak finish but the funk murders your palate. Mouthfeel is medium to light bodied, medium carbonation, very smooth, hides the alcohol well. Fantome never disappoints me.

05-28-2007 21:11:42 | More by Viggo
Photo of Lexx


4.13/5  rDev +5.4%

Thanks to Viggo for this one!
Deep, deep, clear ruby tone with huge, rocky, soapy beige head.
It smells like, well, Fantome. Sweet, irony funk with some sour cherry and carob. blackberry jam, the salty kind of black licorice.
The taste is a very subdued black cherry with a slightly bitter finish that comes out of nowhere. I couldnt believe this one was 10%
The mouthfeel was quite smooth - this was extremely drinkable.

05-26-2007 02:44:43 | More by Lexx
Photo of geexploitation


3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

Pours a dark russet color with a near-black middle and a dark tan, lace-leaving head. Funky smell of brett mixed with stone fruits and some understated spiciness. Lightly sweet smells, like simple syrup infused with fruit, also make an appearance. On the palate, sour and stony acidity comes first, followed by nickel mixed with savory spices. Well defined hop bitterness. Sour cherries dominate the mid-palate before the hops and brett take over again toward the end. Mouthfeel is rather still considering the substantial carbonation. Overall, I enjoyed this but not overly so. The funky/tart aesthetic is interesting, but it hardly screams "christmas" or even "winter" to me. The ABV is up there, but the flavors are things I would enjoy in warmer weather. Still, it's an interesting, unique and tasty beer.

04-29-2007 05:09:47 | More by geexploitation
Photo of Osiris9588


3.7/5  rDev -5.6%

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.

04-14-2007 01:59:25 | More by Osiris9588
Photo of cjgator3


3.9/5  rDev -0.5%

Capped and corked 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. The aroma is sour dark fruits, malt and yeast and some spice. My reaction after the first sip was: "10%? You have got to be kidding me!" This beer hides the high alcohol as good as any other I have had. The taste is a little tart with doughy malt, spice and I am picking up some tobacco flavors as well in the taste. The finish is dry. The taste is certainly good but I was somewhat let down in it's lack of complexity. Overall, another good brew from Fantome that is suprisingly drinkable despite it's high ABV.

02-17-2007 04:37:22 | More by cjgator3
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

3.93/5  rDev +0.3%

Appearance: cloudy dark brown in color with a thick three finger head. Some spotty lacing developed.

Smell: hints of sourness and chocolate are easily detectable.

Taste: pitted fruit sweetness, chocolate, pepper, hint of barnyard funk and some alcohol. Some overall soft sourness coats the beer. Mild bitterness rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp throughout. Medium bodied beer. Short aftertaste with most flavors sticking around on the tongue.

Drinkability: this is a good slow sipping and warming winter brew. Definitely worth trying on a cold winter evening.

02-09-2007 00:54:04 | More by Gavage
Photo of rayjay


4.33/5  rDev +10.5%

Thanks for the trade, ClockworkOrange.

Uncorking the bottle, the first thing I noticed was the smell of the cork, which was funky and tart. The nose of the actual beer was a bit different; dust, Belgian yeast, Coca-Cola with a spritz of lemon, complete with that fizzy up-your-nose smell as long as the head was bubbling. Dark brown in appearance, almost like a dubbel; the head and carbonation, and lack of lace, give it away as a Belgian-bred brew. The once active head has by now faded into oblivion, leaving a completely flat looking beer. Most beers would look boring from doing so; perhaps only Fantome could pull it off this skillfully, because it's still beautiful to look at.

Taste: first off, VERY well hidden alcohol, almost confusing as it's labeled as 10% abv. Dusty chocolate malts upfront, and rich, carmel, old ale/barleywine notes dancing undernearth. Mouthfeel is...careful how I word it...the carbonation is just barely there, and the beer should seem very flat, but it's so full of life instead. Very similar to rich white wine, one that does not have tannins and doesn't finish dry. This beer finishes as soft and subtle as water. Just barely sour, like a gueuze was blended in at a very low proportion.

Reminiscant of finely aged Courage Russian Imperial Stout. Cellar temp is perfect; one degree colder would be a crime. Outstanding beer from a top notch brewery, one I couldn't recommend more. Cheers!

01-28-2007 08:11:14 | More by rayjay
Photo of numenor1

North Carolina

4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

2006 version.

Pour looks like pepsi. Tan, diminishing head without lacing and pepsi color. Much darker than anticipated. Nose isn't as vibrant as expected. Reticent spices, definite allspice and sour notes as well mixed with fruity esters. Flavors explode onto the palate. Upfront is lots of cinnamon and allspice immediately giving way to sour dark fruits(stewed black cherry and spiced plum) then again returning to spice through the finish with surprisingly gentle bitterness. High levels of chocolate malt throughout. Mouthfeel is medium with ample carbonation, keeping it light. My mouth tells me that this is not 10% alcohol, but my eyes and the label say differently. Unbelievably drinkable.

01-22-2007 05:56:18 | More by numenor1
Photo of BlindPig


3.7/5  rDev -5.6%

A- Big tan head on a cloudy dark colored body. When held to light you can see amber and brown hues.
S- Very interesting smell. You can smell the european hops and the yeast through a chocolate malt character. Maybe even a hint of coffee and roasted malts also. Pretty big in the chocolate malt. I am sure I am missing a few aromas too.
T- Once again a interesting flavor. It is almost like a stout or porter saison. There are roasted malts that come through pretty big with some light European hops also. The yeast comes through too. Very light spices but are there. Hint of alcohol on the tongue with a very light warming in the back of throat. Light hop and malt bitterness lingers on the tongue. Few other flavors I just can't seem to put my finger on. Very complex brew. Maybe even a light dark fruit. There might even be a hint of mint chocolate in it?
M- Medium to thin body with low carbonation.
D- This is a truly unique beer. Never tasted anything like this. Totally different than all their others (that I have tried so far). I just don't know if it's the kind of difference I like or if it's a bit to weird.

01-13-2007 03:50:06 | More by BlindPig
Photo of scott


4.83/5  rDev +23.2%

This is so complex, I'm afraid that I may not be completely accurate with my review.
Beautiful, austere pour of bliss. It consists of a dark, cola-esque body with a enormously large spritzy head.
Pungent, yet compelling. Floral, but somehow sour. I love it. I could breath this all day long.
Tastes like a morel mushroom, meets beef broth but burps like stilton. If you know food, and you like big beers, here's your match.
This breathes life into anomaly again for me. Fantome consistently rocks my world.

01-09-2007 04:59:44 | More by scott
Photo of doubleipa


1.63/5  rDev -58.4%

This had to be a baaaad bottle, but I'll rate anyway. I was so looking forward to having this on Christmas Day. What a dissapointment. The appearance was wonderful: creamy head that was mostly lasting. Nice dark color. The aroma was absolutley awful. Cider, soap. more cider, and cardboard. I knew it was bad at that point. I'm nut sure how the bottle went bad. There was plenty of pop when I took the cork out and plenty of carbonation. I hope I can get another bottle and update this review as I love most all Fantome beers.

01-04-2007 17:21:15 | More by doubleipa
Photo of CAMRAhardliner

Ontario (Canada)

4.53/5  rDev +15.6%

Pours a hazy burgundy red color with an enormous head that literally drapes the glass in lace. Tightly packed torrents of carbonation bubbles race to the surface. The aroma is of pears, apples, berries, minerals, cinnamon, rye bread and musty hay.

The taste is immensely complex like all Fantome beers Ive tried. Lots of spices, cloves, cinnamon, all spice, pepper etc. mix with ripe apples, pears and pineapples. Some light sherryish alcohol is noticeable in the background. A light and refreshing sourness builds in the middle. The finish is awesome, very spicey, fruity, bitter and sour. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation and only a small bit of alcohol numbing.

This beer doesnt taste like a 10% brew. Its very light and fruity with an immense spice flavor and a lot of other flavors I can't put my finger on. I love the Fantome beers, the most enigmatic beers Ive tried.

01-02-2007 00:30:06 | More by CAMRAhardliner
Photo of cabsandking


4.4/5  rDev +12.2%

Excellent light tan head, good retention and stick. Black color with some dim brown shades coming through the snifter. Nice range of aromas; sour cranberry, caramel malt, chocolate and fruity waves of sweet and tart. The first sip displays and interesting contrast with bitter, smokey, and sour fruits up front followed by earthy, yeasty, burnt grains and ending with something sweeter and chocolate notes. Medium body and excellent mouthfeel that is thin, delicately silky, and creamy around the edges with a slight crisp micro bubble feel at the end. Later in the bottle reveals chary, burnt caramel, cocoa powder, waves of bitter spruce, and grape tannins. Chocolate notes carry over into the finish but leave quickly. A complex and exciting beer but not something you can not drink a whole lot of, once a year a nice treat.

12-31-2006 23:33:37 | More by cabsandking
Photo of janubio


4.05/5  rDev +3.3%

Almost black colour, with a very good head.
Aroma is mainly tart, reminds of wooden cask where wine has been madurating. I feel mainly the same in the mouth, very tart and acid, like some champagnes or generous wines. When you get used to the massive acidity, you note some molasses, citrus and spices in the nose. In mouth, chocolate, spices, and the acidity you usually find in kriek beer. A diffcult beer, but a very pleasant one.

12-26-2006 01:23:33 | More by janubio
Photo of

3.68/5  rDev -6.1%

750ml bottle.

Clear, mahogany color with a lot of ruby in it. Large tan head. Nice legs.

Belgian scent (earthy). Spices - corander and orange. Caramel and chocolate. A bit of alcohol.

Hoppy - citrus/orange/herbal which lingers into aftertaste. Raisins, bittersweet chocolate. A cracker/bread taste in the middle. Alcohol well hidden, but does pop through. A bit of a medicinal note. Finally, some pepper at the finish.

Medium + in body, with medium carbonation. Rather drying. Alcohol warming starts early.

Quite complex, I probably only "got" about half of what was going on (maybe giving myself too much credit). Enjoyed it, but not as much as the Hiver version.

12-20-2006 15:04:39 | More by
Photo of mynie


3.48/5  rDev -11.2%

Bottled in 2005.

Pours pretty good. Very dark crimson with a respectable head and great lacing.

Smells like a Sweet Tart along with a very light, and pleasant, green bottle skunk

Tastes...whew! Overwhelmingly sour. Like, more sour than a Sour Patch Kid but not quite as sour as a Tearjerker. But it's a candy sour, that's for sure. Not the kind of organic-tasting, fruity sour you get from a Flemmish red. Only, there's not sweetness at the back. All you get is this rush of dull spice and then a finsih of light, nice skunk.

I didn't pick up any of the licorice or spice complexities that others have mentioned. This may be due to the beer being a year old, but what it left me with was--well, it was unique, for sure.

The sourness grew on me after a while, but it still was a little hard to take at times, even if it was oddly enjoyable.

12-19-2006 07:38:03 | More by mynie
Photo of BuckeyeNation


3.23/5  rDev -17.6%

Glowing blood orange that looks almost phosphorescent when the rays of the setting sun are allowed to diffuse through the liquid. Fantome de Noel looks like no other Fantome beer that I've ever seen and is easily festive enough to live up to the promise of its name. A sponge-like crown of pale golden orange foam looks good as well. I love how sunlight often turns great looking beer into stunning looking beer.

Most all offerings from this brewery share a signature scent that makes their origins instantly identifiable. Describing that aroma accurately is another matter entirely. This one is brown malty, sour fruity and warmly spicy. I suppose it was too much to expect Brasserie Fantome to deliver anything resembling a conventional Christmas beer, with cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and the like. I would have been happier with something along those lines however.

I have no idea how old this bottle is. I have to believe that it's fairly fresh though since the unnotched 'best by' date portion of the label starts at '07 and runs through '12. I only bring that up because the beer feels old in the mouth. By that I mean that it feels thin and broken down rather than young and supple. Light and airy would have been out of place, but at least it would have been enjoyable. For a 10% ABV winter warmer/saison, the mouthfeel that has been provided is completely unacceptable.

Given the mouthfeel, the flavor profile has a tough row to hoe. The beer simply doesn't stay in contact with the taste buds long enough for any sort of depth or complexity to become apparent. I guess that means that there isn't any. Sour, heavily spiced fruit (unripe apples especially) is the flavor focus, along with a heavy dose of that trademark Fantome funk and too much acetic acid for its own good.

Almost all Fantome beer is dizzyingly complex on first blush. Halfway through the bottle one begins to realize that it all makes a wacky sort of sense. What seemed to clash becomes complementary; what seemed odd and different becomes enjoyable and familiar. I'm sorry to say that none of those things are happening with this beer. It's my least favorite Fantome to date.

I had hoped that getting into the bottom of the bottle would result in at least a minor increase in flavor intensity and mouthfeel viscosity, but it hasn't. The thing that's absolutely amazing is that I can detect no hint of alcohol. This is, quite possibly, the best-masked 10.0% ABV ale in existence. Given all of the above, I wonder if the brewery didn't put a 5.0% saison into the wrong bottle.

Fantome de Noel is an oddball beer from an oddball brewery. I use that term affectionately when describing Brasserie Fantome since I love most of what they brew. I use it less than affectionately in describing this disappointing seasonal ale.

12-14-2006 22:57:42 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of bennetj17


3.6/5  rDev -8.2%

Bottled in 2005. Deep ruby color, with thick bubbles that quickly dissolve to a tight ring of froth about the edge. Intense fruit in the aroma, with grape and cherries dominating. In the background there are hints of caramel and coffee. The flavor starts out with a tart bite, wine and cherry-like fruit with a light acidity. Finishes dry with a nutty roasted character and earthy dirtyness. I found it hard to believe the ABV could be 10% for this beer. The body was somewhat thin, with lightly tingly carbonation.

Fantome's interepretations for Saison are all over the map, and this is no exception. It seemed more like a Flanders Red to me, mostly fruity, maybe not quite as tart though. It was interesting, but overall this beer impressed me least of all their varieties I've tried in the past...

12-08-2006 03:20:46 | More by bennetj17
Photo of EPICAC


4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Had a bottle at Delerium Cafe in Brussels. This seemed to be another reimport. It had the US label and said Imported by Shelton Bros.

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark brown with an amber tint when held up to the light. It's topped by a thick, light brown head with excellent retention and nice lace.

Smell: Light roast, sweet raisins and cherries.

Taste: Cherry fruitiness with a lambic like sourness. The finish has a nice chocolate and coffee bitterness with spicy alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: An interesting mix of flavors.

12-05-2006 01:21:55 | More by EPICAC
Photo of BassAssassin


4.08/5  rDev +4.1%

A: Pours a hazy, reddish brown. Almost looks muddy.

S: Spicy, earthy, and tart. Yeast is very pronounced. This is a very good preview of what this beer will taste like.

T: Tastes very similar to the way it smells (spicy, earthy, and tart). Peppery and fruity undertones also make themselves apparent. The alcohol taste is almost non-existent. Amazing for a beer of this size. Lots of complex flavors.

M: Light to medium bodied. Actually, surprisingly light in body for a beer with 10% ABV. Very crisp and sharp on the tongue.

D: Although the alcohol is not tasted, it is certainly felt. This is a beer to be sipped and respected. Perfect for the winter. This will surely become a regular seasonal purchase for me.

12-02-2006 01:40:28 | More by BassAssassin
Fantôme De Noel from Brasserie Fantôme
88 out of 100 based on 544 ratings.