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Fantôme Saison - Brasserie Fantôme

Not Rated.
Fantôme SaisonFantôme Saison

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,641 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,641
Reviews: 786
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 475
Gots: 206 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Thrasher on 07-24-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,641 | Reviews: 786 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by jampics2:
Photo of jampics2
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2009 bottle, Red letters, shared by Brandon - thanks, man!

Pours a cloudy mandarin orange. Nice head sticks around for a bit before subsiding. This is a great looking beer.

Smells amazing. Fresh cut apples, strawberry, yeast.

Taste is so perfect! I wish we could rate batches of Fantome, as Danny makes some of the best beers ever, but every once in a while a bad-ish batch shows up (probably more due to the trip across the pond than his craftsmanship). After being a bit dissapointed with the last black label batch I picked up, I am thrilled to report the red letters batch is the bomb. Sour apple, puckering sour watermelon, strawberry and peach all sit atop a flawless light malt body, sealed into one cohesive flavor ride by the classic Fantome yeast. Mild spices and a slight cork flavor, but it all makes it better!! More and more flavors in the same vein emerge as this warms up.

Carb is lively as it should be for a lighter, fruity saison. Body is perfect.

Drinkability is off the charts. This is a killer beer, one of the best in the world, and something I will always keep a bottle or 20 on hand. World class, glad to finally start rating these Fantomes - I have a closet full just waiting to be rated :)

More User Reviews:
Photo of tectactoe
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle. Split with three others at a tasting. Pours a solid and cloudy, completely opaque and dull shade of yellow. Lots of chunky sediment particles float and swirl around the beer. The small white head, even after an aggressive pour, settles to a thin skin and ring at the edges of the beer. Pretty good looking as far as saisons go.

The aroma of Fantome Saison is simply unlike anything I've ever smelled before. So unique, different, weird, wonderful, and just an incredible combination of seemingly thousands of different things. Huge amounts of yeast; funk, cork, damp cellar, barnyard - welcome to funk town. Sublimely enough, the funk is met with an intangible sweetness; some kind of nebulous fruitiness that stands out. It smells exactly like strawberry Pez candy. Lots of grassy, herbal, and floral notes join in, along with some light lemon zest, orange peel, and a handful of spices and herbs that I couldn't even begin to put my finger on. So many different things blended in such a weird, albeit complementary way. It's different, and it works.

I take my first sip and my mouth is met with a flavor profile unlike anything else. I honestly don't even know where to begin or how to accurately describe this one. That mild, indecipherable fruity sweetness comes on right at the start. I wish I could put my finger on it, but I just can't. It follows that Pez aroma pretty closely, and tastes similarly, too. It provides a nice, light sweetness up front. Way before long, the yeast flavors start to take over - wet cork, damp celler, dare I say, horseblanket? More and more, that initial sweetness almost starts providing a light tartness - not enough to pucker, but enough to be noted.

There's a substantial hop character; slightly herbal and grassy with lots of random floral flavors popping in and out. It might be hard to pick out at first, simply due to the enormous number of things going on here. As the sweetness and fruit flavors fade out towards the end, the funk flavors become a little more prominent and other finishing flavors come out, too: mild oak, wet hay, and some warming alcohol. Despite its decrescendo, however, there still is a little bit of sweetness that lasts until the finish. Crispy mouth feel, carbonation like a mofo, leaving a super dry finish.

Fantome Saison is a wonderful display of creativity and individuality - a seemingly "it's just crazy enough to work" type combination of flavors and aromas. Traveling from sweet and mildly tart to funky and bone dry, for a super unique and refreshing saison. Everyone teased me for getting such a hard-on over this beer, but I don't care. I fucking loved it. And I don't care if nobody else does - bigger pours for me next time!

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at Gravity Head at Rich O's on 3-19-05 IN/KY BA Gathering. Arrives with a nice cloudy yellow color and hints of orange along with a fluffy, craggy white head that sticks in clumps to the side of the glass. Amazing tart lemon smell with hints of vinegar, clove and some earthy barnyard funkiness. I get a touch of green olives as well and a nice mellow white peppery spiciness. Damn!

First sip is a wonderfully tangy sweet/sour lemony vinegar flavor. Notes of spice throughout and plenty of earthy barnyard dirty hay flavors. So smooth and extremely enjoyable. There's a bit of granny smith apple in there as well...fruity, tart, sweet and bitter. It all works so damn well together. Great yeast flavors....just a freaking awesome saison. Lovely.

Mouthfeel is light and airy with a small bubbly carbonation. Goes down so well. Such a drinkable beer here...I could drink it all night. Highly recommended. I will be buying a bottle as soon as possible!

Photo of magictacosinus
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

When I bought this over a year ago at Provisions, I learned about a month later that it was part of a batch that had been severely infected - indeed, it seemed that 1 in 3 bottles were suffering quite badly (according to Dany, it was apparently due to a problem with his mash tank). I had the Saison D'Erezée - Printemps some time later (also part of said batch), and while it wasn't horrible, it was ridiculously smoky and grassy and didn't embody any of the world-class flavors that I've heard Dany's beers contain. I decided to take a risk and banished this to my cellar for over a year, and decided it was time to open it tonight. Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a teku glass.

Opens with a light pop, with no gushing problems. Whew. Still, poured quite beautifully - a deep amber orange with bronze streaks, clear as you could imagine, with a fizzy white head that rises quite gracefully yet eventually dissipates into a ring. No bubbles show. A secondary pour produces a head that's even more caustic, and eventually this leaves behind nothing but minuscule bubbles and no head to speak of. Not my favorite, but all right overall.

Holy shit! This thankfully isn't infected, and I've heard astonishing things about Fantôme's saison aroma profile - and this, my friends, defies all expectations I had. This smells so fruity and luscious, with an absolute perfection in bringing together stone fruit, tropical fruit, light spices, earth, and sweet malt aromas all together. Predominantly, this smells a lot like sweet canned peaches, but it gets better the more I dig in - white nectarines, cantaloupe, green melon, guava, lychee, pineapple, mango, and then some apple and pear no doubt from the yeast strain. So. Delicious. Smelling. With the added elements of vanilla, sugar cream, and toffee, as well as some light white pepper, this smells like the most vivid peach cream crusted pie or peach sorbet ever put into a glass. Unbelievable stuff - lives up to the hype and is easily the greatest aroma I've ever smelled on a saison.

Well, as for the taste... Not as mind blowing, but still definitely delicious. This is where the rustic qualities that Dany's brewing techniques are known for seep through. It has been over a year since I purchased this, so it's no surprise that some of these flavors have taken over the beer at this point. (However, how the hell are they not present in the aroma?) At first, the palate is blasted with a brief grainy smokiness, light lemon grass, as well as dry, yet not coarse, texture resembling toasted tobacco and light leather. Luckily, it finishes with immense stone and tropical fruit, ranging from cantaloupe (this is seriously a melon bomb at this point) to guava, to mango to extremely ripe peaches. Finishes with a wonderful lingering sweetness from the fruity phenols (pears at the end!) with the toasted tobacco note that accentuates the vanilla, toffee, and light honeysuckle - again, creating the pie sensation that really makes this the star of the show. I actually enjoy all of the notes this beer offers, but I seriously do not understand why I feel a gritty smoky flavor assault at the back of the throat after each sip in spite of the beer's apparent lack of bubbles or any infection issues, for that matter. Regardless, this is really memorable stuff - really sticks it to you on what a saison can be.

Wow, this really did deliver - it's as strange and inconsistent as you'd expect a Fantôme beer to be, but it still was very delicious. I will forever remember the aroma on this beer - it's very astonishing and transcends the style as a whole. I wish I could have bought more from this batch, but I was too afraid at the time of any inconsistencies. Regardless, I will definitely make a question to buy more from Dany the next chance I get if I feel confident enough to do so. Salut !

Photo of spoony
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml bottle into a tulip. Reviewed from notes date April 25, 2014.

A-A normal pour produces about three fingers of dense, white head. The head leaves some chunky lacing on the glass. The beer is lighter in color, a sort-of straw yellow/golden. It is hazy with some carbonation visible in there. It looks the part of a saison.

S-The aroma is slightly sharp and spicy with an intriguing bit of herbal alcohol and a light tartness. There is definitely some lemon, as well as some overripe fruit that suggests apple and pear flesh.

T-The taste provides a similar dose of overripe fruit...I get sweet pear fruit, as well as some lemon rind tartness. It is not sour or acidic, but the tartness just hangs in the background. There are some grassy, euro-style hops that provide a bit of bitterness to balance the fruity sweetness. The yeast is slightly funky and very Belgian, and it dries out on the finish. Very odd...but really good.

M-The feel is medium in heft with a smooth but active carbonation that never gets too creamy, but isn't sharp or crisp, either.

O-This beer is one of the more unique I have tasted. There is a lot going on, and no one flavor or characteristic comes through cleanly. Although some might say it is scatter-brained or unfocused, I enjoyed this quite a bit because each sip seemed to uncover something new and, interestingly, no matter what flavor crept up on my palate, it seemed to fit with the other flavors on my palate. Tasty.

Photo of oberon
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the bottles tasted at our Greensboro tasting Saturday,poured a hazy yellow with some orange tint with a nice fluffy/sticky head.Very lemony aroma it really jumped out up front along with a clovey spiciness,alot of refreshing flavors going on alot of citrus,lemons and orange mainly but I also detected some green apple as well along with some pepper but not nearly as peppery as some others of the style.A top notch saison thanks to the mother in law for bringing it down here for me so I could share it with others.

Photo of DaPeculierDane
3.1/5  rDev -27.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bland, dull, vapid, humdrum…all of these words describe this beer, surprising me. This is not like the Fantome that I know and love. I must assume that this is a bad bottle, however, I will review it because there are no terrible qualities. This one just seems muffled and boring.

Appearance is great. The bottle pops with an explosive orce. The crown is huge, lasting and magnificent. The body the perfect color, cloudy stawlike gold. The sediment is a bit on the high side. Using a decanter is a good idea for this beer.

Smell…Not much. I get a little straw, a little sour twang, some lemon grass, some wheat, peach here, pepper there but all are muddled. This beer smells like it would if I had a cold, but I don’t have one. It’s just not very pungent or exciting.

Taste is just like smell. Floral notes and citric acid. Light fruits. Nice…but weak.

Mouthfeel is alright. Sweet front, slightly sour finish and just a bit of tang. Thin…but thickening towards the end. Bitter in some ways, juicy and sweet in others. Very complex as it should be.

Drinkability: even this seemingly off sample is highly drinkable. I’ll try again and rereview at the next opportunity. I expect positive results.

Photo of byaeger
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Dom Perignon, upon first trying champagne, proclaimed, "Come quickly, I'm drinking stars!" Too bad for him he didn't try this Saison instead. This special bottle was brought out at the Toronado for a small group to share.

It poured the color of champagne with wonderfully bright, citrusy aroma but it's the taste--I'd swear there was strawberry essence in it--that makes this a phenomenal Saison.

Whether it's the yeast or the spirit of the Fantom, this is one to seek out.

Photo of ricke
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange color with a small off-white head. Nice lacings.

S: Slightly edgy, yet smooth and round. Lots of fruit esters all around and strange but pleasant candy aromas. Hints of spices.

T: Very good. Wonderful fresh fruity flavors. The taste is mostly sweet but has a subtle tartness to it. Fruits of the forest, candy and hints of spices. The finish is mildly bitter and grassy.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, slightly dry in the finish.

D: A really unique beer, I dare to say. What a strange but lovely character. An oddball beer in an otherwise oddball style.

NOTE: I've had the opportunity to try a bottle of this that was cellared for about four years. It had not hold up well. It had lost quite a lot of the sweet fruity candy-like character and developed a more distinctly spicy and semi-funky character.

Photo of SuqMadique
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of brownbeer
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a deep golden with a thin white head that doesn't last, but can be swirled back into exsistence.

S- A barnyard funk that's noticeable but not so pronounced like a lambic. Sort of a lemon/peach hybrid with some ginger. Absolutely mouthwatering.

T- Slight lemon tartness that increases as it warms. Peach and kumquat, subtle spice, green apple. Just kind of raw and funky with light wheatiness and soft orange in the fade.

This Saison brings it, a must try. Not over the top but reminds you how good a Saison can be.

Photo of SkiBum22
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a cloudy and golden in color with orange highlights. The head is thick and rocky and off-white.

S - Strong fruity aroma with apple and citrus upfront, slightly tart and funky.

T - Very well balanced between apples, peach, and orange flavors. Crisp. Hides the alcohol exceptionally well.

M - Well carbonated, fills the mouth with bubbles. Medium mouthfeel.

O - Overall a very good beer. I'm not into saisons but I really like this one. Very deserving of being the best saison out there.

Photo of newk340
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: a solid 2 finger head, white and foamy, while the beer was left slightly opaque and cloudy from the sediment.

S: VERY fruity. couldn't even pick out which fruits it smelled like because it was different every time however there was a definite afterodor of wheat.

T: a tropical fruit/wheat explosion that quickly dissipates into little-to-no after taste...

MF/D: due to the taste, can be drunk quickly without realizing it, leaving a healthy buzz. in addition, a very smooth taste, not overly carbonated. feels warm going down the throat, leaving a slight tingle on the tongue. the smoothest 8% ive ever had...

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, served in a tulip glass. Dates on the label, but nothing was stamped. Orange color, medium-sized head. It had a great citrus/spice aroma. It smelled like those oranges you see at holidays with the cloves embedded in them. Taste was the same, a little muted compared to the aroma, and pretty tart. Thoroughly enjoyable beer.

Photo of heddar33
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of warnerry
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased 8/2010; best by date is not notched

A - Nice pop as the cork is pulled. Pours a clear very pale yellow with fine suspended material. A stream of rising carbonation. One finger of white head doesn't last long and leaves only spots of lacing.

S - Huge presence of apple and pear, mostly sweet, but a faint tartness. There is some yeast funk, but it is very subtle.

T - Taste has the apple and pear from the aroma, plus a bit of lemon and lemon zest. Some earthy funk, but again rather subtle. Finish is dry with slight bitterness. Absolutely no hint of alcohol. Excellent.

M - Light and crisp with some tartness and a clean, dry finish.

O - Nice delicate flavors with no alcohol presence whatsoever. Excellent beer that I could drink everyday, except for the price and availability... But I'll be sure to buy this when I see it.

Photo of dill
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a 22 oz bottle into a snifter.

A - golden yellow with a thick white head.

S - notes of fruit and spices. a bit of grain.

T - earthy yet light with hints of spice and fruit.

M - creamy.

D - an amazingly drinkable beer. highly recommended for almost any occasion.

Photo of SamuraiJack
4.03/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The missing link between artisan commercial belgian beers and homebrews...

First (and foremost) it has to be said that I think that it's a travesty that we cannot get more Saisson beers in the US. It's a great style for an early summer day and a really interesting style as well.

First pour shows a lightly orange-tinted gold with a huge amount of suspended floaters and a massive layer of yeasty sediment on the bottom of the bottle. The head is white and creamy (though perhaps less substantial than is ideal for the style) that subsides to a reasonably sticky lace. The aroma is incredible - sweet fruits and sugary candy notes riding on a wave of malt and yeast with a sort of "barnyard" whiff drifting throughout.
Initial taste is sweet and tart - a sort of bitter fruit syrup flavor, closing out to a crisp, sour main body that puckers the mouth and brings to mind citrus and hops. The finish is soft, with dying carbonation and a lingering tartness with some alcohol warmth.

This is best described as an "interesting" brew and an "interesting" version of the style. Sadly, there are better examples of the style but they seem impossible to find here. Given the options, I guess it's worth getting (though, IMHO, it's quite over-priced).

Photo of Callmecoon
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of mverity
4.6/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a champagne color that was crystal clear the first pour and grew hazier with each additional pour. Off white head that is light and bubbly and thick (2 inch first pour, 1 inch on second). Head faded down to half a centimeter and held there. Great lacing too. Aroma is apricot, sweet grass, dry yeasty funk. Taste is sweet grass, dry earth and aged floral hops. Surprisingly full bodied for a saison, medium-high carbonation.

Photo of Fcip78
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of Doomcifer
4.01/5  rDev -6.3%

Photo of merlin48
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle, capped and corked. The recessed cork was difficult to remove, even with a good corkscrew. Served into a tulip glass.
Appearance: Hazy, golden body with a gigantic snowwhite head that nests in the tulup glass. Good lacing.

Aroma: Much like a lambic, with musty cherry and lemon notes. Spicy, herbal, and fruity, with funky horseblanket yeast. Well spiced, with coriander, white pepper, rosemary, and lemon zest. Fruit esters are exceptional.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and well carbonated. Funky yeast lends a heaviness to the mouthfeel.

Taste: Citrusy lemon with tangerines in the background. Lots of funky barnyard yeastiness, grassy and floral hops, and some floral character. Spices are somewhat bitter, with coriander and white pepper. Earthy, grassy, lemony citrus, and yeasty. Evokes a spring meadow, grazing with sheep. Long finish is yeasty, spicy, and lemony bitter.

Drinkability: I'm becoming a big fan of Saisons, and this one sets a nice standard for the style. I've been keeping a small stash of Ommegang Hennepin on hand to slake my desire for this style, but an excellent Belgian Saison like this one is a special treat. Truly exceptional drinkability. I love grazing in the meadow with sheep, taking in the grassy, herbal, floral, and funky earthiness that is contained in a bottle like this one. The citrusy lemon character really adds an inviting component to the drinkability. Nice and dry, with a long finish. Lovely!

Photo of Billolick
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: Large bottle, capped and corked, pours apricot, orangy amber, cloudy.,Head is reserved, light, airy, tiny bubble, white.Leaves classic lacing, fine, well developed and stringy

Nose: Funky,musty, earthy,horse blanket, barn yard, flowery, peppery..

taste: A rainbow of flavors and assualts on the senses. Spice, fruit,anise, citrus, fresh hops, sour, tart, intrigue in every sip...COMPLEX

Mouthfeel: smooth and lucious, drying late.

Drinkability; exceptional creation, wish I bought two bottles. Worldclass, gonna buy more and enjoy it with my next BBQ

(how can anybody drink Middle of the road brew after sampling this nectar of the gods??)

Photo of badbeer
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear golden color with a soft white head, good retention and lacing. Aromas of hay, lemon, must, cantelope, honeydew, and some pears. Grassy and musty at the beginning but some of the fruits mentioned in the aroma join in shortly thereafter. Earthy and fruity in the finish. Medium carbonation and body. Another great Saison from Fantome.

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Fantôme Saison from Brasserie Fantôme
96 out of 100 based on 1,641 ratings.