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Fantôme Saison - Brasserie Fantôme

Not Rated.
Fantôme SaisonFantôme Saison

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,698 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,698
Reviews: 790
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 13.55%
Wants: 490
Gots: 214 | FT: 13
Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Thrasher on 07-24-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,698 | Reviews: 790
Photo of mick303
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle with freshness date into a wine glass yields a tight head of foam, pretty solid lacing and retention. Colour is an apricot gold, quite hazy, with solid carbonation.

Smell is an interesting bracing sourness first, yeast comes through, candy sugars. Malt is there in the background, light and subdued.

Taste is a slightly tart, yeasty and definitely wild start. The yeastiness is quite forward, with strong apple and fruity funky aspect. As it develops it has some fruity lychee sweetness, dryness (barn attic), and some more hop-forward bitterness. On the end it has some fruity sweetness, slight malt. Terrific complexity and flavour, that really grows on you. Great.

Mouthfeel has a high carbonation, it is moderatetely bodied. Very refreshing, the slight wild bracingness is balanced nicely. Very dry and drinkable. Alcohol is barely perceptible and drinks well.

This one was a bit of a surprise about what to expect. It is certainly a treat. Had this about a month before the bottle's best before, and was quite impressed with the dry complexity of flavours it packed together quite well. A bit more sour and wild than I anticipated, but I really enjoyed it.

Photo of campfirebrew
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of APreacher
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of thegerm87
3.25/5  rDev -24.1%

Photo of weonfire
3.99/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Golden, hazy, huge white head, lots of streams of carbonation, patchy lacing, lasting head

S - Pepper, lemon, earthy, smoky, musty grass

T - Herbs, spices, smokey-peppry lemon grass

M - Thick, frothy, excellent carbontion, head retained throughout entire brew

O - Very very different from the last 'Saison' I had from Frantome. Unfortunately this is not as good. Not sure where all the smokiness came from. Missing all the light yeasty fruity flavors. Lots more earthy. Did like the pepper quite a bit. Mouth certainty has top notch quality. 8 ABV is hidden very well. I still look forward to my next Fantome beer. Sure your never positive what your going to get - yet, all still are very very good.

Photo of Treb0R
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of TheBronze
2.75/5  rDev -35.7%

Photo of seldomsthirsty
4/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of kojevergas
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8.00% ABV confirmed. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz green glass bottle with a pressure cap sealed over an internally-housed cork served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Acquired at Hi-Time Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, California for right around $15. Expectations are extremely high given this brewery's reputation as one of the master brewers of saisons.

Imported by the Shelton Bastards.

I pulled it from the fridge but it seemed far too cold to serve. I'm letting it warm up to an appropriate temperature for the style before serving. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

First, a note on presentation. Green bottles, really? This is a disappointment and the brewer should know better.

Yielded a satisfying pop when I removed the cork. No issues with liquid surging out or anything.

A: Pours a two finger white colour head - disappointingly thin - with no real cream. Retention is average (~2 minutes), which is forgivable given the ABV. Body colour is a dull orange muted orange. No yeast particles are visible - at least not this high up in the bottle. No bubble show. Nontransparent but non-opaque. It's not much to look at, to be honest, but it's appropriate for the style.

Sm: The aroma is more the quality I was expecting from such a highly regarded saison. Pale malts, rich evocative spices, muted floral hopping, bubblegum, indistinct bright fruit, apple, pear, grass, heavy fruit esters, some lemon citrus injection, berries, cilantro, orange, pepper, pineapple, hints of subtle barnyard funk, and lemongrass. There's more there, but admittedly my broken nose can't detect them - or maybe I'm just not refined enough. I do know that there's serious complexity and subtlety to this aroma, and it's rare for the style. I can't wait to give this a taste. I suppose if I had to pick one note, I'd say pear is dominant. A moderate strength aroma. Near perfect. The one flaw is that the berry does ring artificial; it could just be me but it doesn't feel as natural as I'd like. Also, the crystal malt is a bit overdone.

T: Fruit esters are the first thing I get. Lots of pear, some crisp apple, hints of berries. The spicing manifests more as it warms, with hints of pepper coming through, though nowhere near as much as I'd like. I like my saisons very peppery, and it's limited here. I get some lychee-like fruit but it doesn't destroy the balance - that's hard to accomplish. Hints of cilantro, maybe. Some orange and orange rind. Not as grassy as anticipated, but it certainly comprises a part of the body - which is itself built primarily with pale malts. Maybe some biscuit malt as well. Certainly crystal malt, though not as much as suggested by the aroma. Redolent even of watermelon on the climax. Heavy fruit skin throughout. I don't get any earthiness, which I consider a good thing. Maybe some herbal notes, but more in a cilantro or spice sense. Boy, do I wish it had more pepper. Is that...strawberry? Yes. In any case, it's certainly a refreshing flavour and has layers of complexity and subtlety that emerge more and more as it warms. I certainly like it. No alcohol comes through. Fleeting hints of a yeasty character are present, but I don't get any earthy or biscuity yeasty notes; I'm a bit let down in that regard. Residual sugar lingers on the finish; I feel I should brush my teeth after finishing with this one - but it's not too sweet. Maybe some buried candied fig; there's certainly a candied something but I don't know that I'd go so far as to call it candi sugar. Hopping is floral but seemingly minimal, with hops mainly chosen for their ability to accentuate fruity esters. An apt choice here.

Constructively: Not enough black pepper. Not enough spicing. A bit too much white lychee sweetness. I criticize, but I nitpick. This is, in large part, a masterfully brewed beer.

Mf: Smooth, wet. Just coarse enough to bring out the flavour more. A bit of tingly character from the crystal malt. Thickness is ideal. Carbonation is near perfect - maybe a bit overdone in anticipation of aging. Complements the flavour nicely. Crisp and yet soft - like biting into a good pear.

Dr: All around a very drinkable saison, and one I expect that would improve with age. I do want more pepper and spicing in my saisons, but this beer delivers on every other point. Certainly one of the most complex saisons I've ever had the delight to drink. This is a requisite drink for anyone seriously delving into the world of saisons. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention the ABV - it's so well hidden that it's an afterthought. This could easily be 5% and I doubt I'd know the difference.

High B+

I'd love to try this aged, and could easily see it reaching an A- rating in my book after a year or two in a cellar.

Would pair well with fresh pear or a good green apple. Perhaps a salad would suit it well as well, but watch it with the acidic dressing.

Photo of jchlan109
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of roblund
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of aaronc528
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of volta
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of juliusseizure
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of nataku00
4.62/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into a tulip, cork has code 086/477044 on it. I've had the bottle for about two years though. Beer pours a slightly hazy golden yellow with a finger of off white soft head. Head dissipates quickly, leaving some light lacing until only a thin collar of bubbles remain. Tried to not disturb the yeast much but still a bit of sediment on the first pour. Decent number of tiny bubbles but not particularly effervescent.

Nose is heavy fruity ester, red apple, ripe pear, fresh grapes, with some lighter floral, grassy, biscuit malts, and a earthy funk. Smells very sweet, but light. As it warms, more of the brett funk really comes through, horse blanket and wet horse hair.

Taking a sip, heavy brett flavors, funky earthy, wet animal like funk, matched with sweet fruit esters, apple, pear and grape. Not much malt flavor as the funk continues through to the finish. Very drying, leaving the tongue almost scratchy, with lingering wet animal hair funk, grassy and floral flavors.

Light to medium body with a decent amount of fine carbonation. Really interesting beer that changes as it warmed in the glass. Initially more ester forward, then really brett heavy as it warmed.

Photo of siradmiralnelson
4.42/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 750ml corked and capped bottle into Globe glass.

A. Pours 3 finger head. Color is hazy golden yellow. Good retention. Moderate lacing.

S. Belgian yeast, lemony citrus, spices, pale sweet malt. Smells like refreshing in a glass. Really nice lemony sweet smell. A little bit of funk but not much. Really good smelling saison. I like the sweeter than most touch.

T. Wow. Holy Crap! As someone who loves Saisons, this might be the best I have had. Big explosions of lemony citrus, spices, sweet malt, tartness on the back of the tongue. Lots of flavor. Probably the most flavor I have had in a Saison. Sweet upfront and tart sourness on the back.

M. Medium/light. Heavy carbonation. Finishes with some tartness, but drinks mostly sweet.

O. Delicous! This is a really good beer. Saisons are among my favorite styles. This one has so much flavor going on its rediculous, almost like two beers in one.

Photo of tuckerlikesbeer
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of dumptruck81
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of MarioM
4.78/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

750 ml bottle poured into a Russian River stemmed glass.

A: Very nice dark yellow almost orange in color with lots of carbonation and a head that dissipated quickly with a constant flow of rising bubbles from the bottom of the glass. Very clear considering the amount of yeast and critters on the bottom of the bottle.

S: Very aromatic, wow, this is an awesome smelling beer. Aroma kept hitting me while writing the description above. Lots of strange things going on... Fruity, good phenols, grassy hayness, citrus maybe, a light smokyness but very faint. This is easily one of the most tasty, interesting and complex beers I've smelled. Hard to pin point what I'm smelling but its damn interesting and I can't get enough. Its very strange but obviously in a good way. Slight plastic like but smooth and fruity, if that makes any sense. Can't wait to taste this puppy.

T: Very very nice tartness, fruity with a faint smokyness that is quite pleasant and not as upfront as the somokyness I've gotten in other bottles of Fantome, so I must have gotten an extra good bottle. I get some tangy citrus, lemon and earthier citrus characters of lemon grass. Also a tad sweet and a very nice phenolic smoothness that is very thirst quenching and refreshing when coupled with the tartness. Damn good f-ing beer! Really balanced and just good!

M: Not as carbonated as I was expecting but is very refreshing and easy to drink considering the 8% abv, can't notice it at all. Nice dry smoky finish that follows and lingers after the tartness resides. Very smooth and has a nice light body from the high attenuating yeast.

O: This has got to be one of the tastiest, most complex and satisfying beers I've had. My new favorite Saison, easy. Great balance of flavors with a great aroma and refreshing drinkability. Dany Prignon is an f-ing genious! I'm having this on my b-day and could not have had anything better. I recommend this to anyone curious about Fantome without worry or risk of getting a bad bottle. Great beer and one of my new favorites. A must have!

Photo of zeledonia
3.88/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The long-running top-ranked beer in my favorite style. Recently supplanted by a HF one-off, but I'll probably never try that. So here we go! Best before end July 2013. Tasted 16 November 2012, reviewed from notes.

Pours a pale golden color. Not quite clear, like looking through frosted glass. A wide column of bubbles rising up. Two fingers of fluffy white head. Okay retention, not much lacing.

Smell is intriguing. Fruity and flowery. Quite flowery, as I continue to smell it. Lightly sweet, with a soft crispness. Funk is in the background, but rises up more with warmth. Just a bit of spice. I like it.

Taste is funkier and spicier, still with plenty of fruit. Balanced and interesting, but I want more from it. Drifts from sweet like a riesling to a dry bitter in the finish - a surprising transition.

Mouthfeel is top-notch. Medium-bodied, with a ballooning feeling that I always have a hard time describing - like it's expanding off my tongue to fill up my mouth. Tingly carbonation to start out, becomes more mellow as it goes.

Very nice beer. Not the best saison I've had, but definitely up there. In the balanced group for the style, with no element really standing out, though it's definitely a shade towards the fruity side.

Photo of TWStandley
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of tarheels86
4.17/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL. Pours a cloudy, beautiful neon light orange with a fizzy, two-finger, eggshell white head. Decent to little lacework. Aroma is complex: caramel, dulce de leche ice cream, pineapples, green apples, grains of paradise, white grapes, freshly squeezed kumquats. Taste is almost all tart kumquats, passionfruit, some prevalent fruity tartness. Very refreshing and light-bodied. Buttery, coating mouthfeel. Very good.

Photo of mmattiso
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

Photo of Rifugium
3.68/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thanks to the BAer who brought this to the Nov. '12 Philly 'burbs bottle share.
I also have a bottle in the fridge with an alternate label. (Actually, I think the one we tasted had the alternate label compared to the one pictured here.)

Original rating: 2.78

To sum this beer up with one phrase: Oh, you Belgians and your green bottles. This probably is a good beer, I don't know, thanks to Mr. GreenGlass. Hazy golden-yellow pour with a decent foamy white head that receded leaving a bit of lacing on the glass. Aroma of grass and hay, a good hit of smoke, stale funk, and fruit skins. Tobacco was the dominant flavor in this beer, from the bottle we had anyway, grassy funk, old perfume and light spice, wheaty malts, bland aftertaste. Light-medium body, fairly dry. I sensed a good beer in there somewhere, but I couldn't tell for sure from the condition that it was in. Hopefully my bottle will yield something more palatable.

*** Revisited this one with the bottle in my fridge. MUCH better. Obviously there will be inconsistencies with a beer like this, but the bottle I had was significantly better, and I easily polished off the entire bomber myself. Aroma was fresher, lacked any smokiness. Taste was also much much better, fresher, grassier, no smoke or tobacco, vegetal notes, with a crisp clean aftertaste.

Photo of Hanzo
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%

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Fantôme Saison from Brasserie Fantôme
95 out of 100 based on 1,698 ratings.