1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Fantôme De Noel - Brasserie Fantôme

Not Rated.
Fantôme De NoelFantôme De Noel

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

586 Ratings
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

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
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 586 | Reviews: 353
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 kmpitz2
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to clvand0

This brew pours a murkey dark brown color with a 2 finger head that falls to about a finger over top. The nose is spicey and funkey, with this slightly raisiney and mustyness hanging out in there as well. The flavor is chocolatey and figgy, with a slight sour and funkey refreshingness. No hint of the 10% in there. Wow. Very gpod. The feel is a moderate to thick with an active carbonation. Very clean and crisp. Overall, I find this beer to be a very nice compliment to a day of brewing this afternoon. The drinkability is awesome. Its very good.

Photo of gbontrag
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish froth rises several fingers, and fizzles, drops, holds, then rests as a spotty old blanket above a reddish brown beverage. Quite a pretty color.
I smell; I peer around a sodden old apple tree trunk at a bowl of freshly pitted sweet and sour cherries with a few drops of kirsch and a quarter cup of raw cane sugar. Sliced figs float by with slices of raspberry cheesecake in a molasses sprinke. Lilacs blow in the wind. Bruised fruits hang in a bag.
I taste: Woody flavors provide the structure like the bent ribs of a wooden pagoda enshrined in an orchard of blooming cherry trees. In this temple one meditates on a still life of dried citrus peel potpourri with coriander and cloves; cherry twigs in bloom in a vase filled with buckwheat honey; a bowl of biodynamic compost; raw grain, toasted grain, cooked muesli with toasted walnuts; a wet pile of day old grass clippings; and a newspaper clipping that proclaims, This ghost is good.
This beer is soft as a pillow of flowers with a few alcohol thorns. I shall go buy a dozen multi-colored, long stem roses, and beat myself with them because I'm not worthy. Then I will change my mind and soak in a bath of steamy rose petals and buttermilk.

Photo of bditty187
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes…

Really dark brown in hue, if not purple-black in the middle, and there are significant ruby influences around the edges. I am very surprised with the color; I was expecting something lighter, you know, like a Saison! The head was beige in color; at the apex the foam was a half finger in height. Head retention was fair, the foam faded quickly to a thin, soapy cap and then a minimal collar. The subsequent lacing was spotty and hardly noteworthy. I really like how the liquid looks, it is eye-candy, it too bad the head/lacing attributes weren’t more up to par. It is still splendid though.

The nose is tart, funky, and mysterious. There are suggestions of licorice, jellybeans, marshmallows, sour candy, dates, apples, caramel with a hint of char. I want to say there is some roasted maltiness but I don’t know if I’m being duped by the color. The complexities are rampant, so much so, I can’t pinpoint everything. Typical Fantome! Moderate potency, yet it has the ability to articulate its sentiments good enough for me to understand what it is saying. I like what I’m hearing. Inviting.

The first sip was shocking with its tartness (I’m not talking Cantillon or anything); still I wasn’t expecting this based on the nose. Sure the bouquet was tart but the palate was Gueuze-like for the first couple sips. Damn. After the tartness died down the complexity of the fruit was amazing with jellybeans, jam-like fruitiness (apples, peaches, grapes, dates, plums, melons…). There is not this much fruit in a farmers market. Licorice and caramel with a kiss of burned edges. Chocolate. Toffee. Tobacco. It returns tart at the finish, which seems very fitting. Overall the sweetness is moderate but perfect for what is going on with the flavor profile. The 10% abv is totally hidden… amazing craftsmanship. Typical Fantome! Oh, the alcohol does warm the belly; I just didn’t feel it going down! There are a lot of delicacies with this beer; if the malt were a tickle louder this beer would have been perfect. As is, I really like what is going on. It is begging to be drunk with fruit or sugar cookies or creamy cheese or by itself!

Medium in body, lively carbonation, the mouthfeel is firm but it seems a tad thin. I will do my best to live with it... decent mouthfeel.

It is very drinkable and so agreeable (if you like this sort of Belgian beer). This is yet another excellent Saison from Fantome! Maybe it is not as mind-blowing complex or as freaking tasty as some of their other offerings but it is still is a remarkable. I purchased my 750ml bottle in Iowa City, IA. Recommended.

Photo of twelvsies
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the fourth bottle of Fantome I've drank in three days... I just discovered it and I'm in love... how cute. Anyway. Appears a deep dark red with some brown. Nice frothy offwhite head. Smells sweeter than their other beers. Sweet nutmeg scents and also more peppery spicyness. Also smells like a freshly baked fruitcake. Tons of ideas here... Taste is equally complex. Not as funky and downright weird as I've experienced with Fantome, but it still has that unique skunky bitter taste in the back of the mouth. Up front this is a really sweet and malty beer, lightly hopped, but mainly just winterish spices and warm flavors. Fruity, nutty, carmel tastes. Excellent smooth mouthfeel as well. I love this stuff. I guess it's not really the best time of year to enjoy this but I bet next winter this will taste even better. Even so, it's a wonderfully complex beer that everyone should get to know.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Well been sitting on this bottle for at least 1.5 years now. HOpe it held up well. After I take off the cap, I watch as the cork ever so slowly begins to be forced out from pressure within. Uh oh.

I pour the room temp bottle into a large snifter. Huge fluffy tan head fills up the majority of the glass even witha very gentle pour. The color is a fairly red mahogany color and contains some haze/sediment. Continues to bubble up in the bottle even after I pour 10 oz out of the bottle.
Aroma is a complex mix. I get some cherry, cloves, ripe plums and pears, a bit of alcohol, and some funky musty scent.
First sip reveals a fine yet prickly carbonation that stings my tongue a little. Body is a little thin, but feels crisp and refreshing.
The flavor starts off a little tangy sweet with some berry flavors and lite spices. Middle is mild caramel and some lemon and this all rolls to a tangy sweet almost overripe pear flavor that lingers briefly on the finish. After that the beer flavor disappears and makes me wonder if I am recalling the flavors correctly and also encourages me to take another sip.

A nice complex beer, I wonder if it is better fresh?

Photo of tavernjef
4.68/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Strangely beautiful and ever-changing dark brown velvet (blackish in most dull light) with a big bubbled dark cinnamon cap thats very active. The body is also; very active, with lots of cascading foam squirming up the sides when first poured. The cap slips away fairly fast and then keeps the thinest of thin collar. Very minimal lacing in tiny dots.

Aroma seeps sweet cookie dough, tobacco juice, charcoal wood, and pruny-date filled fruitness. Notes of black licorice, ginger bread spice, and chocolate persist with a very lesser amount of sour yeast funk then what I though it was gonna have. Which is fine by me.

The taste is immaculately woven with subtlities and super smooth in the effect of some amazing drinkability. Massive sweet malt thats very level and calibrated to reach only the specified amount for perfect interaction, allowing only so many and so much of the dark fruits pass through. Dates, pale raisin, plum, and prune all come to mind as its slowly baked into a soft breadyness. Rolling smooth spices of cinnamon, anise, and black licorice spackle the middle areas. Finishes with heavy chocolate laced within lighter smokey cedar wood chips and a topical dry yeast spice that reminds me of ginger bread cookies spritzed with orange. Finish fades off super, super slow with chocolate muffins and blackened rye spice. Wow, what a yummy ride!

10%? You gotta be kidding. It never seems that ABV beefy - ever. The body is Oh so smooth and delicately easy on the palate the whole way through. Its not quite full really, but doesn't necessarily need to be as its overall smoothness speaks for itself. Constant and consistent, the way any great brew oughta be.

Wicked-quick gone from my glass. This stuff didn't last nearly long enough. Even with the 750ml. I'll be sure to get more of this next time I see it. Superb stuff!

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

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

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

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

This guy only makes great saisons, but this isn't his best. Was below average in my March 25 Xmas beer playoff. Still reasonable saison. Pepper, sour dark. Creamy medium plus mouthfeel. Barnyard smell, but not the most barnyard of all the Fantome I have tried. Fresh from Belgium.

Photo of Truh
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Found myself under the mistletoe with this one on 12/7/2004. 1 pt. 9.4 fl. oz. bomber poured twice in a glass made for Allagash.

Ghost of carbonation that piles more around the edges. Hazy, apple cider hue, but lighter, with tons of action. Sweet rock candy, light brown sugar, prunes, and gargly malt on nose. Egads, kind of a crank of juniper, rose hip, grape-like vinous notes and a spring astringency that cuts down the center of the tongue to the roof of the mouth, through the mouth to the eye, through the eye of the needle. In the end, kind of cagey and harsh.

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 meathookjones
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Murky brown sewage color body with a fluffy tan head that quickly broke down to a cap of bubbles leaving scant lace. Tart fruits dominated the aroma over a good bit of funkiness. A bit of wood in there as well. Taste was a good dose of sour fruit with a nice spiciness to back it up. Funk was present but more in the background. The sour fruits seem to be the main focus here. About a medium body with a very bubbly feel to it. I enjoyed the taste but had a hard time going back for each sip for some reason. Not sure why but the drinkability is a bit on the low side. Overall though a nice brew that I enjoyed.

Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

02/06/05- BA member Spinlock graciously shared this sweet elixer with us last night. GO PATS!

Presentation- 750ml bottle shared between BA members last night at my Super Bowl party. No expiration date listed.

Appearance- Super cloudy brown pour, almost like liquid milk chocolate. Average lacing and a nice big fat white head.

Smell- Lots of nice spices, and a bit of alcohol. Very sweet longing scent. Nice!

Taste- This is a serious brew. Hmmm, cloves, cinnimon, anise, honey, nutmeg, plums, raisins, dates, prunes...you name it, it's in here. Almost too much stuff. Had my tongue twisted in knots trying to figure this one out. That's a good thing!

Mouthfeel- Low carbonation and super thick and creamy.

Drinkability- Yeah, very pissed at myself that I didn't grab a few of these when I had the chance. Guess I will just have to rely on memories until next Christmas. Excellent brew.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2003 vintage saved up and tasted in the Christmas season of 2004. Pours a dark murky brown with a tan/brown head, about 1/8th inch sticks around for a while.

Aroma is of bitter chocolate and spices (clove and others). Flavor follows through. The mix is ok, but a little rough to take. Complex is the only word for this.

It's ok, but I am quickly realizing that I don't care for most Noel style beers. Of several I tried this season, this was one of the best, but I still didn't care for it much.

Photo of Billolick
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

Photo of Bighuge
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep brown tone. Not much light gets through this one. Thin layer of off white foam on top. Lacing is more than adequate. Nice aroma. Funky farmhouse aromas are more in the background with sour fruit tones and dry, cedar-like woodiness in the forefront. It also has a ghostly sweet cookie dough aroma that is very appealing. The flavors of this beer are so damn smooth and assimilated. Excellent. RIght up there with Ete and Black Ghost as Fantome's best offerings. Some light farmyard tones, earthy and musty yeastiness, a little soy sauce character and bready malts. But there's also some brown sugar and cinamon goodness. A little ethanol sting, but incorporated nicely into the structure of this beer. Nice smooth mouthfeel with barely a prick of carbonation. This is one fine beer overall.

Photo of Hagbard
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky dark brown, this beer resembles a glass of muddy swamp water, which is actually a good thing. A medium 2 finger creamy head forms and leaves plenty of lacing on the way down. This doesn't look like any Saison I've ever seen before, as it's listed on BA. In fact, it doesn't smell or taste quite like on either. On the other hand, it doesn't quite smell or taste like any style I've ever had before. The aroma is very musty. Moldy, wet hay. Horse blanket wrapped around plums. Strange. The taste is an explosion of dark flavors. Farmyard smells dominate the beginning, then yield to overripe dark fruits, let's call them plums. The middle is defined by a light sweetness, far from cloying. As the finish approaches, the sweetness fades to a bit of bitterness. Finishes very dry. This is a wonderfully strange beer, unlike any I've had. I didn't like it very much in the beginning, but it grew on me. By the end of the bottle I wished there another glass left!

Photo of xgrigorix
4.6/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Green 75 cl bottle, corked & capped. No dates.

Deep rustic bronze. Topped by an impressive head of light beige foam.

Spicy & inviting. Sublte aromas of plum.

Earthy, spicy, & rustic. Complex in its subtleness. Lovely notes of anise & plums. Somewhat nutty. Finishes dry with an herbal flavour & a bready / yeasty note that lingers. Medium-full bodied, relaxed carbonation. Most impressive.

Photo of ybnorml
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a dark brown beer with orange highlights. There is a thick tawney beige head that leaves a lovely trail of lace on the glass. The aroma has a dried fruit sweetness to it with a light yeasty background. The flavor begins with anice honey sweetness followed by a spiceyness around the sides of your tongue then there is a tasty hint of roasted malt on the finish.

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 BeerBuilder
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a murky brownish color with a tan head. The aroma is malty, sweet, caramelly, with brown sugars and a hint of chocolate. It also has a herbal yeasty character to it. The flavor is yeasty and herbal, with a sweet brown sugar maltiness. Very smooth and nice drinking. Another welcome brew from Fantome.

Photo of JohnnyDuvel
3.2/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Major disappointment. I just had the Fantome Saison recently, and it was excellent and unique. I saved this for Christmas Eve, to share with my wife. She couldn't finish half a glass. Strange smell (vinegar like). Taste was the same. Somewhere between a dry Italian red wine and a Gulden Draak (which I didn't care for). It got a little better as it warmed (or maybe I could tolerate it better as I warmed?). Just strange. Probably tasted less like a beer than any I've had. Sour, sweet and kind of flat. Won't be on my Christmas list next year. At least I had an Anchor X-Mas to wash down my cookie!

Photo of bigbeerdrinka
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a murky brown color with a fluffy offwhite head that recedes quite quickly without any lace. Aromas from this brew remind me of passion and tropical fruits, specifically mangos, coconut, pineapple with just a hint of apple cider. There is also some yeast notes in the mix as well as some spice. Initial flavors are an odd mix of these sweet fruits (mainly pineapple and coconut) along with some tones of maltiness that gives off a hint of chocolate like flavors. The fruit tones dominate throughout most of this beer and the finish is extremely sweet (probably from some nice candy sugar). There is also a slight tart acidic tone to this brew but for the most part the sweetness and fruits mute it. Finally a warming alcohol is just noticeable after a few sips. The body to this brew is fairly light and the alcohol is barely noticeable due to the extreme sweetness. Overall this beer is not bad, but nothing exceptional for a brewery that makes black ghost and their signature "saison". Personally I would not have this one again.

Photo of goodbyeohio
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served from a 750ml into a chouffe tulip

appearance: like everyone says, this beer is murky and dark brown. you can see a brilliant reddish brown color while pouring, and the head is huge and creamy in a tulip glass, which leaves great 3-D lacing.

this beer smells of sour cherries and oranges.. the smell reminds me of the taste of sour candies like sweettarts...

the taste is explosive.. a true christmas beer and what i imagine when i think of the genre. heavy fruit flavors, lots of smokiness and wood. has an aftertaste that reminds me of a dry red wine with a 2nd wave of caramel taste to follow... what a well-concieved beer.

the other big plus here is how the 10% is almost completely hidden. extremely drinkable in the wintertime. baking cookies and drinking fantome noel has made the day fly by much too quickly... one of the better beers i've reviewed on here. makes me want to try the black ghost- i've previously had bad experiences with rotten fantome batches.

Photo of Skidz
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml green bottle, corked and capped. Rolled for yeasty goodness.

Pours out a deep, dark, murky amber brown and sits a hollow, dark burnt sienna, showing little signs of light, only a murmur on the nether regions of the glass. Large tan head caps with migrant lacings and leaves a nice thick skim on the surface.

Smells of fresh leather and musty malts. Sweet and tangy innards. Orange peel and lemon zest with hints of nectarines and fresh field strawberries sitting in warm hay. Nice roasted character. Mild spiciness lends a refreshing note of brown, leafy hops, birchwood and walnuts.

Tastes very faintly of malts, roasty and filled with nutty toastiness. Tangy fruit flavors of orange and lemon ensue. Wooden notes of toasted cedar work into an increasing alcholic presence. Yeast flavors create an aura of fresh doughiness. Herbal hop flavors coat the toungue with spice and finishes with a nice bitterness with conintuing spiciness and alcoholic warmth.

Smooth in the mouth with a crisp carbonation profile in a medium-full body. Dances across the mouth with Christmas cheer.

Full and flavorful with good yeast presence. Alcohol well balanced within hop spiciness and fruit flavors. A refreshing Christmastime beer.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Fantôme De Noel from Brasserie Fantôme
88 out of 100 based on 586 ratings.