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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

564 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 564
Reviews: 348
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 25
Gots: 78 | 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: 564 | Reviews: 348 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bigbeerdrinka
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
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.

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

Even long before the bottom of the bottle, the body is a dark, murky brown with a sizeable head that soon fades to a ring of foam and a weather pattern. The aroma suggests tartness that never arrives along with a spicy yeastiness and suggestions of the coming malt flavor. The flavor is like breakfast. Apples, melon and mandarin oranges arrive first, sailing on the plentiful carbonation, as the fruit begins to fade, dark toast and a touch of coffee rise up. A very tasty ale and another success from Fantome.

Photo of Guinness4me
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Since I've not tried this style of beer before, I'll try to keep my negative comments to a minimum. I'm sure Fantome makes a great product and this brew could be indicative of its style, so I kept my ratings at a fair "average".

The beer poured a dark porter-like color, dark and mysterious, with little head and a bit of settlement at the bottom of my tulip glass.

The smell? Musty, sour, hoppy and a bit malty. I have an antique mohair teddy bear that smells just like it.

The taste was as musty and sour as the smell. My hubby tried to help: "Take bigger gulps...don't sip it!" followed by "It's better as it warms...really!" Again, I won't rate it poorly since it might be the style, but to me it was like slightly carbonated malt vinegar and grain alcohol.

The almost sharp mouthfeel is odd as well. My throat tries to close as it hits the back of my tongue. I'm getting hives.

I'll force this one down in the name of Beer Advocacy.

Photo of lou91
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer smelled and looked great. On the nose were apple cider, mulling spices and tart sour candy. It pours rich, thick and an opaque unfiltered dark brown. Wow this is good – like a beer cider with crisp, clean refreshing flavors and some interesting spices-faint cinnamon, clove and apple cider just as it smelled. The alcohol is well hidden in such a refreshing saison. As it warms the “umph” comes through, making a clear statement that this is a serious Christmas beer.

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

This beer poured a very dark, murky red amber color and formed an off white bubbly head that left circular lace as it subsided. An aroma of sour fruit, malt and some hops. A flavor of malt, spices and sour fruit yet packing some sweetness perhaps from the alcohol. The body is somewhat creamy with the finish of it being quite sprite with some sourness and a hint of spice. A nice beer, but like many holiday beers, tough to peg to a style.

Photo of BrewMaster
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a reddish orange with an off white stiff head. It was a pretty beer to look at, sitting there in the glass modeling its foam, but in my opinion, that was the best part. The aroma was roasty with caramel and toffee scent and a rich malty aroma. The flavor was downright dirty. I mean, it had a dirt taste to it. A bark, earthy flavor with caramel, pepper, and a grassiness to it. Sadly, the best way to describe the flavor is a sand or dirt roastiness. Definetly not my favorite beer from the great brewers at Fantôme.

Photo of Crosling
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark Burgundy.

Bizarre. sweet bouquet of strawberries, dates, dark fruits (cherries and plums), chocolate, medicines, spices and bizarre Fantome yeast.

Tastes begins with a variety of fruit and spice (cherries, prunes, red apples), earth, tree branches, vinegar and finishes with a sense of dry and bitter chocolate. Warming, full bodied and very different compared to other Fantomes but still phenomenal in nearly every aspect.

Photo of beerceller99
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

75 cl. bottle pours a cloudy dark copper colored liquid. Has a sweet, spicy caramel, red wine smell. Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Has a semi sweet caramel, raison, date flavor. Finishes with a slight alcohol bitterness. A decent dark Belgium but not worth the $9.99 price tag.

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

Well, here it is, mid-September, and what better time to open this bottle of Fantome Noel?
Stolid eggplant and plummy appearance, resting under a cakey, creamy topping of beigish froth.
Nose is generously spicy, mixed with dark fruits, cherries, and berries, grapes and dates.
Taste, mmm,magificent! Active carbonation, brief acidity, but a full flood of complex fruity/ spicy flavors delivers it's payload on the palate with the first sip. Marvelous mouthfeel, paints all corners of the senses with this deliciousness, with a citric twist interjecting now and then. Yeast looms large in the flavor, as well, leaving more of a feel of a spicy raisin cake, or something similar. I never, ever would guess that this is a 10 % brew, but we're only halfway in, so we've only just begun to plunder the full effects of this bottle. Gets better and better as I deplete it...medium body, medium-length, but sweet and spicy finish, softly drifts from the palate, lingers just long enough to keep the impression of eternal delight not far from the mind.
This is really nice, if not incredibly impressive, but that's not always necessary, is it? A super saison, spicy in just right amount to remain highly pleasurable and not a chore...I say, as long as this is what is promised in the holiday season, who needs Santa Claus?

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

Cloudy and hazy dull reddish-brown color, huge frothy clingy off white head that leaves a sticky lacing in the glass, fruity green apple and yeasty aromas. Fruity and spicy with some caramel flavor, nice sourness in the finish. Medium bodied with a crisp and carbonated mouthfeel.

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

Muddy brown, initially wearing a spectacular beige head for a 10% sour beer, but fully diminishing to a ring. Woody aroma and in its sense flanders sour ale like, but this is not aged in oak barrels, is it? Balsamic aroma, very earthy. The alcohol just comes out as a mild fragrance, you’d never guess 10%. Lots of nutmeg and cloves. Dark bread yeast character. Leafy cherries and raspberry tree branches fruity tones. Much more acid than I expected on the tongue, I like this. Fruity, woody, sour, spicy, well blended and very intense. Earthy, strawberry jam and vinegary flavors, big fantôme funk. Bitter spicy finish: lingering and warming. Typical airy and foamy body with lively carbonation and astringence from the puckering acidity. Delicious offering.

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

Pours a light brown, two finger-head that goes quickly leaving no lace, pour slowly. Some yeast left in bottle. Deep ruby color. Very good carbonation. Medium bodied. Starts malty and sweet, finishes with a good mix of hops and malt. $8.55 for a 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits, Acton, Ma.

Photo of marc77
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Deep crimson hue with a slight haze. Covered by a one fingered, persistent, dense, light tan head. Sparse lace remains. Notes of red licorice and vanilla bean upfront in aroma. Following are hints of tart, underripe cherry and butterscotch. Damp wood and musty earth notes add a rustic contrast. Trace minty ethanol and clove phenol. Very well rounded, yet seductive aromawise. Incipient in flavor is a combination of lightly sweetened dry cocoa and ripe cherry. Becomes transiently tropical in ester character, with mellow banana esters ensuing concomitantly with hints of pineapple. Oak character is steadfast throughout and adds a complementary buttery vanilla bean note along with an agreeably slight woody, tannic bitterness. Spicing is incredibly well integrated and combines with malt and ester profile seemlessly. Nearly overt is a juniper like note and dried orange peel tinge. Devoid of alcohol abrasiveness, with only a comforting, enveloping warmth emerging after a deliberation. Hop bitterness is appropriately meager, yet suffices to preclude overbearing residual sweetness. A touch shy in body to support the complex and supple malt backbone. A notch more of dextrins would complete it. Surprisingly moderate in carbonation for a "saison". Finishes with fleeting hints of clove sprinklied vanilla sugar cookie and trace minty ethanol. Quite a delicious brew that's superlatively drinkable as well. Heavy handed in vanilla character, but not cloying at all. Posseses an elegant ester and spice balance. With a greater malt complexity this would be amongst the best. Wonderful.

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

2002 Vintage Xmas ale, Appearance: Cloudy mahogany brown amber tone with a massive fine bubbled head with awesome retention and fine speckled lacing. Aroma: Deep plum, raisin, spices, and tart apples in the mix here. Taste: Is very cidery in nature with oak barrel aging putting quite an edge on the flavor, an alcoholic mix of tart and obscure tones. Mouthfeel: Very bubbly almost overcarbonated sample, medium bodied Xmas Belgian ale. Drinkability: The oak edge is pretty hars cuts away from the drinkability, decent Belgian Xmas bier but there are so many great ones out there it's hard to say I would look for this one again.

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

Fantome De Noel was served from a 750 ml corked and capped bottle with no bottling date. In a glass chalice, the vigorously effervescent beer was a murky reddish orange-brown color and was topped with a low tan head that left thick and creamy lacing. The nose was complex and seducing, with a moderately tart lemon essence that was immediately countered by assertive creamy strawberry and raspberry esters. All of this was topped with spicy notes of nutmeg and cinnamon. I found myself exploring the nose for a long length of time before I even considered taking a sip. When I did get around to actually tasting the beer, I was suprised by what I found as I was expecting the usual Fantome saison flavor profile. The beer was much more a Belgian strong dark than a saison, with a smooth and moderately sweet strawberry/peach malt base that was spiced with coriander, bitter orange peel, and a number of undecipherable subtler others...pehaps star anise, black pepper, and nutmeg? This loveliness deftly transitions in an rounded bitter and seemingly dry oaky finish that winks at you with hints of that trademark Fantome sourness. Mystery lingers on the palate long after a sip is taken. Alcohol is well hidden throughout. The silky smooth body and the fluffy carbonation enhanced the experience considerably. The flow and balance of the flavors betray the genious of the brewer behind this brew. Fantome proves that they can do the Belgian strong dark style as well as they can saisons.

Photo of mophie
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ok, it's been awhile since my last review (forgive me Father, for I have sinned...). I had fairly high expectations for this beer based on the one other Fantome beer I've had; maybe just a tad too high. Anyway, as others have noted, the beer has an apple-cider appearance, which I like, and a vigorous tan head that disappates but comes back quickly if you swirl the glass. Smell was a little funky at first, but soon gave way to a subtle farmhouse-and-apple aroma. Nice. There's also a hint of apple in the taste, along with dark fruit (currant, date), but the predominant flavor (to me) is pepper. Perhaps a bit of clove as well. Fairly high carbonation provides a lively sensation on the tongue, though there's also a slight chalkiness that I'm not quite crazy about. Still, this is a damn good beer that I will buy again, and I have an extreme amount of respect for the Fantome artisans who haunt the Ardennes.

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

Fantome is one of my all time favorite breweries in the world. Pours out a slightly cloudy brownish-red color. Extremely effervesant which creates a large head. The smell is spicy, fruity and sweet. I pick up notes of raisins and dates as well. The taste is similar with more of a sour note coming through at the end. Alcohol is hidden extremely well but does leave a bit of a delayed burning. With all this carbonation, it is extremely explosive in the mouth. Very different from all the other Christmas seasonal beers. The body seems to be a bit thin but very refreshing and drinkable. This is a beer that I will try every year.

Photo of RedBaron
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Although I opened this bottle about a month past Christmas, I'm sure the spirit of Fantome will forgive me! At any rate, this is a pretty good Christmas ale from a nicely established Belgian artisanal brewery.

The 750ml bottle poured nicely, with a strongly carbonated start, but the head settled nicely shortly afterward. The color of the beer was a seductive dark mahogany, and the head was dull tan. The smell wasn't anything unique or unusal, but had the nice expectant characteristic of a Belgian, unfiltered farmhouse ale: kind of musky, with just a hint of a holiday spice (perhaps coriander?). The initial taste was of apples and raisins (yum), and the finish was of yeasty residual fruitiness, that left me reflecting nicely on each sip. This is a very drinkable, and enjoyable brew. But at 10%abv, gotta watch out!

This isn't my favorite holiday beer, and it's really not my favorite Fantome offering, but all said this is a very enjoyable beer to relax with, and well worth the money and time spent getting it.

Photo of chaduvel
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown tea color with a fizzy but sticky head of khaki. Smell is complex and consistent with other Fantome's. Some barn, sour, red fruits and apple. Taste matches the aroma with a significant apple and raison flavor. Honey, dark sweet fruits, mango?, Carbonation levels of a lambic, and a fine malt and yeasty backbone that reminds us that this is a beer, another magical spooky Fantome beer. Not as good as the Hiver.

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

I decided to make this the Ghost of Christmas Present. Poured from a green 750 with the Fantome spook on the label, the beer is a nice looking brownish red with a fairly thick head that leaves a thin layer on top of the beer after subsiding. The smell is barnyard funk, some fruit, a bit of spice, just detectable hops, and an undercurrent of alcohol. As usual with Fantome, the taste is a bit eccentric. It's sour enough to pucker the mouth but also sweet with ripe fruit flavors. The 10% abv is very well-hidden, contributing to the drinkability. This is another beer that will keep me looking for Fantome.

Photo of stcules
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This bottle is almost 10 year old...

Dark mahogany colour, almost black. Stout-like foam, creamy, brown and compact.
Smell and flavour: liquorice, coffee, grapes, plum, candy sugar, cherries in alcohol, alcohol (not too much, but it is perceptible), vanilla.
Taste: liquorice again, toasted (malt), creme caramel, evident alpine herbs, burnt (a lot), sugar and citrus fruit in the background (tart).
Great aftertaste: a complete range of flavour: chicory, rhubarb, artichoke, and again the same notes of the taste.
Good body.

Imagine: Little gnomes, drunk of peated and iodine whisky, that roll a burned and toasted oak barrel, happily drinking a bitter chicory coffee.

Photo of taez555
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Picked up a bottle of this to enjoy for the Christmas holiday.

It poured a rather clear, maybe just a hint of haze, brown body with almost no head. Of course at 10% the little bit I could get was more than expected.

The nose was a little tricky to make out. A lot of earth smells some spice.

The taste is where this beer truly becomes interesting. Medium bodied, very smooth and drinkable. An insane mix of flavors; wood, cork, black pepper, oak, grass, dirt, malt, spice, brick, whole nutmeg, ginger, mint leafs. It tasted medicinal with a slight bitterness. The scary thing is the alcohol is completely hidden. Basically it tasted like a farmhouse Saison with just this crazy mix of natural earth flavors. I kept thinking this is what beer tasted like 1000 years ago with every sip.

Overall I found this beer really tough to drink. I’d take a sip and enjoy it, completely amused by the myriad of earth flavors. Then I’d wait a minute and not want to take another sip as if I was a kid again taking medicine. And this cycle would go on every sip. Basically it’s an interesting beer, but not one I’ll be trying again anytime soon.

Photo of BeefyMee
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I served a 750ml bottle of this at Christmas dinner with the early courses of shrimp cocktail, antipasto, and stuffed clams.

Appearance: It looked pretty good after the pour, dark but not extremely so, and I was looking forward to tasting it.

Smell: The smell was the best thing about this beer. There was some fruitiness but also a substantial malt aroma that I found pleasing.

Taste: Sour. Fruity. Big letdown. Others at the table were drinking Cold Duck, which I found to have a somewhat comparable taste. The 10% alcohol did not come through very much. I think this is because the sour fruitiness is so strong.

A drinkable dinner beer but not something I enjoyed very much. The alcohol is pretty much hidden but watch out, that phantom will sneak up behind you. Not a bad beer; just not for me. Either this is your thing or it's not.

Fantôme De Noel from Brasserie Fantôme
88 out of 100 based on 564 ratings.