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Fantôme Saison - Brasserie Fantôme

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Fantôme SaisonFantôme Saison

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,698 Ratings
THE BROS
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(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 oberon
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
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 ChainGangGuy
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazed, dulled, dark orange body with a tall, finely-textured, white head.

Smell: Very indulgent, richly-scented aroma with notes of ground blended spices, a lightly brine-y mustiness, and fresh-plucked Springtime meadow flowers along with tart-smelling, vibrant citrus and tropical fruits.

Taste: Lightly malty and a modestly robust sweetness underneath the bright, juicy burst of tart Meyer lemon, white peaches, and pineapple fruitiness. Splash of Viognier. Also, the flavor is simply brimming with fresh floral tones. Definite yeasty character to it, though with only a finite amount of mustiness. There's just a hint of underlying bitterness. Teeny dash of cracked peppercorns. Some puckering acidity all the while. The finish is dry and airy as well as a tad tart.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Not one to miss! Abundantly complex, flavorful, and particularly refreshing (especially considering the 8% ABV).

Photo of emerge077
4.8/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Vintage bottle, label reads "biere artisanale sur lie".

The cork is extracted slowly with an audible pop, producing wisps of emerging smoke. Upon pouring, a haze remaining on the glass inside of the bottle becomes visible, indicating where the level of liquid once was. A quick pour produces brief foam, which soon ebbs to a skim over the peach-toned saison. Tiny bubbles & sediment are suspended in a hypnotic floating dance.

Smell is ghostly and fruit charged, with apricot at the forefront. A light and dusty yeast is also present. Dull spicy citrus is mostly what my senses pick up. Very subdued and pleasant overall...

Taste is sublime, with slightly puckering apricot flavors at first, tempered with a mellow and light yeast. This is unlike any other bottle of Fantôme i've ever had. It's fairly dry, but no hops to speak of (or much carbonation), just a mellow fruitiness that becomes addictive after the first sip.

I could drink a bottle of this everyday, and would feel spoiled. It's super easy to drink, but is best savored over time. An outstanding and unique saison...

6-2013:
Over the years, I have rarely had a Fantome Saison that came close to the old label vintages in the mid '00's. Yesterday we shared a "new label" batch, and it tasted like sweet tea, smoke, and "pears rolled in dirt". Probably would rate it a 3.5-3.6. Very disjointed and nothing at all like the "old" Fantome. Around 2010-11 I had one that just tasted very plain and grainy with no fruit esters, spice or anything. It's always hit or miss, and lately it's been more in the "miss" category unfortunately.

Photo of zeff80
4.52/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a clear, golden orange color with a thin, bubbly white head. The head crackled and receded fairly quickly. It left minimal lacing.

S - It smelled yeasty, fruity and of straw. There was a nice grain aroma.

T - It tasted fruity, yeasty and of grains. There was a sourness and funkinees. Phenomenal tasting saison.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

D - This is a great tasting saison. The aroma is good but the flavor is fabulous.

Photo of JAHMUR
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of oline73
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy light amber color with an orange tint. There is a finger of off white head that disappears almost immediately.

Smell: Quite crisp with some mildly sweet fruity notes. I'm picking up some mild citrus and pear. Also notice some spices as well.

Taste: All I can say is wow! Super complex. There is a very mild hint of sourness to this beer. I'm also picking up some rather strong fruity notes. The finish is quite bitter and the spice flavors really come out at the end of each sip.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with fairly high carbonation and a super dry finish.

Overall: Just a joy to drink. Complex and very refreshing. I don't know that I can compare this one to anything else I've had. I'll definitely search this one out again in the future.

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

A - Two fingers of white head; good lace, light golden body with slight haze.

S - Peppery and spicy. Notes of clove, banana, pineapple, and some vanilla.

T - Distinct citric acidity. Spicy yeast notes, tropical fruit, and vanilla. Herbal hop bitterness in the middle, followed by lots of clove and fruit in the finish.

M - Medium body with a fairly dry finish. Moderate carbonation.

D - Easily drinkable. The flavor profile favors yeast spice, but there is a nice hop character that is stronger than what I would normally expect from a Fantome beer.

I paired this with spicy, fried catfish and it worked nicely. I would expect it to go well with any seafood dish.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.18/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains Belgian yeast, tart citrus, light malts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out sour but not over-powering with flavors of Belgian yeast, lemon and little spice. The malt character is hearty but not too heavy and there's a very mild hops presence that brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly bready and slightly sour.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is a very nice Saison to drink for a whole evening if you're in the mood for the style.

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

Pours a cloudy golden brown with a sizeable head. Nose is light with an almost soap sud essence to it, but in an organic way. Somewhat of a bitter edge to it. But overall it is pretty smooth and light. You get a long term feel of yeast in your mouth and a touch of citrus for a whole, though not as long as the yeast. Feel is as it should be expected: frothy and smooth. Pretty drinkable, though it might not be a session brew of course.

Photo of mendvicdog
3.75/5  rDev -12.4%

Photo of jlindros
4.35/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

can't believe it took me this long to review this one.

Pours a nice fizzy 1 finger head that fades fairly quickly, over hazy golden yellow color.

Nose has nice farmhouse aromas, light funk and Belgian funky yeast, some golden Belgian malt aromas, light spices, hints of bright fruit and citrus, and the faintest hint of booze and Belgian yeast esters as it warms.

Taste comes on with funk, light Brett like funk, then Belgian saison like funky farmhouse yeast, a very light barnyard funk gets stronger as it warms and sits on my tongue. The light Belgian golden malts keep a base going with the nice fruit, hints of bright fruit, citrus, maybe even a touch of banana, as well as some interesting but light spices. Some warming booze licks the tongue and warms me, bringing light esters as well. Fairly dry throughout and especially on the finish, which brings a bit of a bitterness like lemon peel bitterness, hint of citrus, fruit and spices.

Mouth is med bodied, warming and slightly tingly booze, good carb.

Overall awesome saison. Great malts, nice fruits and citrus, hint of funk and just enough booze, esters, and Belgian malts to give it a nice kick.

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Color is a hazed golden orange with a nice sized white head after somewhat of a vigorous pour, as far as lacing it forms in even bands very nicely Belgian style lacing at that. Aroma: First thing is the pineapple juice aromatics that come out here awesome, a bit tart with mild alcohol notes in the background. Taste: Very clean and estery fruits light and fluffy tones the perfect summer ale, I definitely am amazed by the fruit tones this beer produces exotic tropical juice with some peppery notes with the yeast dregs added it takes on herbal tone with spices arising and grassy semi-musty tones it's very nice I'm a fan. Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body smooth effervescent carbonation has a creamy mouthfeel, I'm pleased with this offering definitely will track some down this summer. Drinkability: Incredible offering complexity light and refreshing along with some alcohol kick in there as well, very balanced an awesome Saison makes me want to track more brews down in this category.

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

Thanks very much to idesofmarch89 for this great beer - 750ml shared w/ octopus87.Poured chilled into a a cervoise.

A - Marigold shade of golden w a full 2 fingers of white cap that dissipates completely but carbonation continues and fine beading develops

S - Sweet and sour citrus notes explode out of the glass w/ a mild white grape mixed w/ peaches and honey. The nose is light malt scent w/ tinges of floral hops

M - Crisp w/ gentle acidity and a mild sweet texture, a hint of spice and alcohol w/ moderately low carbonation for the style. The feel is nutty/sour in texture which is very juicy

T - A very taste taste like marmalade w/ lemon spritz w/ a tinge of white grape and lightly sugared lime w/ mild spice at the end w/ nutty malt/yeast complimenting this highly fruity saison. The apricot and lemony flavor w/ mild wheat-like nuttiness is smooth + seamless w/ a juicy sweet and mild sour element that is well suited to the style

D - I would drink this any time of year, not just a summer saison to me. This saison is unique and drinkable like no other. I would choose this over 4 out of 5 saisons most likely. I can't recommend this enough - intense and slightly sour, but refreshing.

Photo of russpowell
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Cheers to DavoleBomb for this one, cheers Dave! BBD of May 12, no pop when this opens...

Pours a semi-hazed gold with a finger of pearl colored head. Some lacing & head retention

S: Grassy & lemony

T: Lemons, pink grapefruit & tartness, plus dry apple cider notes up front. More dryness as this warms, a touch of golden delicious apple & then more tartness, along a hint of cidery booze. Finishes very tart indeed, pink grapefruit & apple peels dominate, along some serious tannins

MF: Medium bodied with near zero carbonation & some acidity that I can feel attacking the enamel on my teeth!

Pretty darn drinkable, not as complex as I like my saisons, but still very nice. I would buy another bottle to age if feasible, to see how this ages. I remember drinking Fantome during a weekend in the Ardennes, this one brings back a lot of great memories. Enough of a sour/tart streak to this please sour freaks

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 oriolesfan4
3.5/5  rDev -18.2%

Photo of MasterSki
4.36/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I've had my fair share of Fantôme bottles over the year, so I know how difficult it is to capture the intangible essence of this beer. I've had this bottle for a few years, but have no idea how old it was when I purchased it from West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a taster glass at Adrial's place.

A - White foam settles to a collar, leaving behind minimal lacing. Slightly hazed pale golden body.

S - This bottle was particularly Pez-like, which is a flavor I've encountered often in the past. Some tropical fruit, a bit of funk, light grains, a hint of hand lotion, and perhaps a vague note of herbal hops and dandelion. There's a mildly aged quality to this bottle, but it's still well on the good side of things.

T - Taste is a tad sweeter, with more Pez candy and honey-kissed grains. Sweet tropical and stone fruits, nebulous floral notes, with a bit of spicy yeast mixed in. No alcohol at all, although I've never been convinced all these beers are precisely 8%.

M - Medium in body, and initially dry but with a bit of lingering stickiness in the finish. Soft, lower carbonation, and a surprising hint of alcohol warming late.

D - This was a good bottle, and it's in the top five or so regular Fantômes I've had. If I could reliably count on bottles tasting like this one I'd buy this beer more often. A very good example of a Belgian farmhouse ale, with that inexplicable Dany twist to it. We had no problem finishing this one.

Photo of drewone
4.75/5  rDev +11%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.3/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

hazy golden hue, replete with floating yeasties, blessed with a nice, snowy-white head atop...Aroma, spicy, citric, lemon and orange, loads of zest, yeast. plenty of spices, coriander and clove, and who knows what else...nice and lively, and delicious...I'm ready to taste the damned thing!
And...hmmmm, Lordy, I love it...fresh, yeasty, citric, fruity, tasty, full of deliciousness...so tasty...light to medium in body, very fresh, and zesty, tastiness personified...what a jewel, just juicy and nice..yum, yum, double yum...wow, this is a magnificent saison, I'd like to keep this in the fridge at all times, at moment's notice, ...dee-ee-licious!

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

Poured from a bottle, date unknown, into a tulip glass. Beer is yellow and hazy and forms a white head of small bubbles. Carbonation is moderate to low and the head slowly falls away leaving some lacing on the glass.

Beer is slightly fruity smelling, kind of like apples, kind of like sulfur, a little like a pilsner. Interesting.

Beer is medium to low bodied, finishes fine, nice sweetness up front, overall subtle on the sweetness. Beer finishes with this tartness / fruitiness that is similar to apples. Sour apples, second taste, there is definitely some sourness on the midpalate regions and that gives way to some fruitiness in the back palate. Not really bitter, overall drinkability is really high, so is mouthfeel. Love it.

Photo of mdfb79
4.57/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a capped and corked 750 into a pint glass.

a - Pours a pale golden color with about a finger of white foam that disappeared quickly. Moderate carbonation evident.

s - First smells were sour and citrus, which was followed by smoe sweet fruits for a nice sweet and sour mix. Also a little bit of funk to the smell as well. Very nice.

t - Again,a nice mix of sweet and sour. Some fruit taste to it, but very sour apple like as some people have noted. Lots of tart and sour citrus like lemon as well.

m - Light to medium body with a good amount of carbonation.

d - Admittedly not my favorite style of beer, but I thought this beer was great. The sweet and sour mix in both taste and smell made this very enjoyable, and it was still very easy to drink. I would definitely like to try this one again.

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 jwc215
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle - Freshness date label is on the bottle, but nothing in notched. It does begin with '08, so I'm sure it's well within freshness date.

Pours hazed deep golden with a thin bubbly head that becomes a swirling patch. Some traces of spotted lacing stick.

The smell is of lemon and orange peel with a barnyard musty background and candy sugar. Robust.

The taste follows the nose very well with some floral hop notes. Fruitiness and mustiness balanced by a malty sweetness with a hint of bitterness. Very well-balanced. It has a refreshingly dry finish.

The carbonation is understated and it has a light quality to it. Very smooth with alcohol well-hidden. This is deceptively thirst-quenching.

Photo of smcolw
4.15/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Large, slowly declining near-white head. Leaves some chunky clumps of lace on the glass. The liquid is very cloudy. Straw-yellow color.

More sour than earthy to the nose. Holds most of the traditional Saison aromas except there's a touch of sweetness that I wasn't expecting. Intriguing, even though it is in the background.

Strong flavors of apricot, orange rind. Mildly sour. Complex swallow of the above, a touch of sugar and light bitterness. Oddly, the aftertaste is very brief, as if this were a dry beer. The body is thin compared to the style. But it is also a very smooth beer because of a lower level of carbonation. I'm noting a warming sensation in my torso from the alcohol even though I didn't detect any in the tasting.

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