Fantôme Saison - Brasserie Fantôme

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Fantôme SaisonFantôme Saison

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793 Reviews
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Reviews: 793
Hads: 1,755
rAvg: 4.31
pDev: 12.06%
Wants: 515
Gots: 219 | FT: 16
Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme visit their website

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

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

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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 793 | Hads: 1,755
Photo of WVbeergeek
4.54/5  rDev +5.3%
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. (1,006 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
4/5  rDev -7.2%
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. (4,969 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.36/5  rDev +1.2%
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. (1,441 characters)

Photo of smcolw
4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
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. (736 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
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 tasty...light to medium in body, very fresh, and zesty, tastiness personified...what a jewel, just juicy and nice..yum, yum, double, this is a magnificent saison, I'd like to keep this in the fridge at all times, at moment's notice, ...dee-ee-licious! (650 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.57/5  rDev +6%
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. (812 characters)

Photo of drabmuh
4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
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. (735 characters)

Photo of orangesol
4.27/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this one a few times before. Thanks to whoever brought this one to Imminent Liquidation II

A - Pours slightly hazy burnt orange with a nice one and a half finger tall white head leaving small trails of lace down the glass.

S - Smells of lots of horse blanket funk, citric fruit - I get a lot of lemon - spice and some basement must. The nose of this one is simply intoxicating.

T - Starts off with some quick hints of bright citric acidity quickly being enveloped by the strong barnyard funk and basement must. Once the funk begins to pass some light spice and some fresh cut grass round things out. A touch of booze creeps in as it sits in the glass.

M - Delicate feel with a light body and moderately high carbonation. The combo of fruity and dry really works for me. Not really sour but definitely funky.

O - There is little doubt in my mind that this one is one of the best saisons in the world. It is extremely well balanced and it just plain tastes great. I need to find a few of these for myself one of these days. (1,030 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip, best before July 2013. Excited I had to get the corkscrew once again! Pours hazy orange amber color with a 1.5 finger foamy white head with decent retention that reduces to a ring of lacing. Aromas of sweet apples, pears, strawberry, and spiciness. Very nice aromas, really fruity as well. Taste of tons of apple, pear, strawberry, lemon, and spices. Finishes with some slight tartness and tons of apple, strawberry, and spice. Some notes of fruits and spices on the finish that linger for a short period of time. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied. Very smooth drinking as well, with no alcohol noticed in the taste or finish. Overall, this is just an incredible saison, and is also very interesting with the fruitiness, but is extremely drinkable and delicious. (796 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.39/5  rDev +1.9%
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. (705 characters)

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4.45/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fantome Saison is straw colored and murky with a rather vigorous head after I give it such a gentle pour to avoid the half-inch of yeast on the bottom of the 750ml bottle. I recently had a bottle of this beer with which I took no such care and the initial beauty of this libation was irrevocably changed from perfect to pulped orange juice with extra added calcium - to call it chalky and ultra viscous would be an understatement. Thankfully I avoided such a fate this time.

Notes of pepper, coriander, lavender, super-sweet quality corn and a slight bubblegum nose waft out of my snifter.

The taste carries the nose through to fruition with accents of hay, peach and under-ripe strawberry joining the party. This particular example of this ever-changing and fluid brew was on the mellower side in the funk department. Other bottles I've had over the years have been much less delicate;)

With a careful pour, mouthfeel is spot on for a rustic saison - not ultra smooth but enjoyably hearty with no rough edges and certainly not the nightmare I experienced with the bottle I described before.

Overall this and Saison Dupont are at the top of the saison category for good reason. Dupont is more consistent, but when Fantome is on, there are few better beers in the world.

Dany Prignon is a genius! (1,303 characters)

Photo of mothman
4.2/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours 1 finger of fizzy white head that fades to a smaller layer. Some nice lace left. Color is a very cloudy pale burnt orange with a yellow hue to it.

Aroma: Lots of spices, cloves, black pepper, orange peel, lemon zest. Has some funky farmhouse flavors. Pretty solid.

Taste: Yeast flavors with a barnyard funk to it again. Lots of crisp/sharp flavors. Orange peel and bananas. Has some pepper, lemon zest, cloves, grassy hops to it. Also a touch of honey.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. A decent amount of carbonation with a medium body. Ends a bit dry with spice notes.

Overall, a very nice saison. Lots of good flavors to it. A nice amount of fruit flavors to it. Drinking this on a hot summer day was a treat. Pretty drinkable.

Had a Belgian bottle with the title "Sur Lie" on it. Decided to put a few notes for that one as well since Fantome as so much variation.

This one was funky and fruity. Hard orange candy flavors and bubble gum. Light sour. Very enjoyable. 4.1 (980 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a hazy yellow color with a white head. The aroma is a little bit of funk with some citrus notes as well as green apple. The flavor is green apples.spices, lemons, wheat and some light tartness. Thin mouthfeel and medium to high carbonation. A excellent saison. (275 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.64/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to rjschroed for sending me this beer! Been looking to trying it for a while.

A: Pours hazy golden/orange color with a foamy, white head that has decent retention - reducing to a ring of foam around the edge. Streaky lacing.

S: A little bit of funk at the beginning which is followed up by a little bit of tartness. There is a little bit of citrus along with apples and a good bit of strawberry actually. Extremely inviting.

T: Not quite has barnyardy/funky as the aroma, but keeps the tartness shows up, and I am glad it does. A fantastic combination of apple, orange, strawberry, peach, and apricot, as well as a just a hint of spice.

M: Medium bodied, but drinks very smooth, moderate carbonation. Nice level of tartness. Amazed that this beer is 8% abv, doesn't show it at all.

O: Wow, exceeded my expectations. Extremely drinkable with amazing fruit flavors. Love the slight sour/tartness it has, will definitely grab this if I see it. (959 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml corked and capped bottle. Slightly different label than the one listed, this one has red text "belgian saison ale brewed with spices" under the bold grey colored Fantome label. The green bottle opens with a loud pop as the natural cork comes out. Poured into a snifter, this brew appears a hazed color of interesting looking melon juice. It is a creamy looking mixture of yellowish orange perhaps this is what cantaloupe would look like if you could make juice out of it? A pour down the middle of the glass produces a finger of white head that quickly recedes. However, as the brew warms up, carbonation continually rises out of solution and forms a layering atop the brew and half a finger around the rim of the glass that lasts throughout the entire duration of the experience. Some spots and finger-like patterns of lace cling to the glass.

The aroma of this brew is initially quite lemon-like with pulp and zesty qualities maybe a slight indication of orange as well. More smell of the brew reveal more of a deep fruited indication somewhat like melon. There is a sweet floral note about this brews nose and a faint spiced aspect of the yeast. This beer smells pretty fantastic. As it warms up, it picks up a scent that is caught somewhere between strawberry and guava juice. A swirl releases a faint amount of sulfur and some stinky cheese notes.

The taste is fruity like the previously described lemony aspects. More sips reveal a more deep layering of tropical fruited flavors, guava maybe along with strawberry. There is a spiced yeast flavor that is minorly reminiscent of pepper mixed with a light herbal characteristic tasting of fresh garden herbs and a light grassy tone. There is a minor tart candied character to this brew that is somewhat like lemon sweet tarts or pez. I dont know what goes into the making of this brew but I am hooked.

This is a medium to light bodied brew. It has a very slick almost creamy feel that coats the mouth with what I suspect is suspended yeast. It coats the mouth yet finishes tart. The carbonation is a very strange experience in this brew. While it looks to be low to modest at best, it is very prickly and lively on the tongue. Maybe just a bit over the top. The alcohol is masterfully hidden in this brew, I cant believe it is 8%. This is an absolutely outstanding brew, if the carbonation was turned down just a notch it could be better. As-is, this is a must try, outstanding. (2,440 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.92/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

01/08/05- Purchased at Dreager's in San Mateo, CA

Presentation- 750ml champagne style with a slapped on Fantome label. Freindy looking ghost with a devious smile on his face. No freshness date. Poured into my Duvel glass.

Appearance- Fat creamy pock marked white head. At least 2-3 inches. My Duvel glass filled perfectly twice from the one bottle. Literally watched the head on my glass slowly, oh so slowly melt away over 10 minutes. It was like time lapse photography. Slowly one chunk popped and disappeared while the head finally settled at about 3/4 of an inch. Awesome golden cloudy liquid with massive and I mean massive amounts of chunks floating around looking for lifevests. Just looking at the bottle unopened in the light you could see yeasties in action all over the bottle. Half heading one direction and half headed the other. They were all over the place. In words of the Nuge..."It's a Free for All"!! I swear it looked like thousands of little spermies in all out battle to choose between Natalie Portman or Paris Hilton's ovary. Needless to say, lots of action going on in this bottle. Guess that's my own little sick beer fantasy. OK, I know, beer...focus! Finally as I pour the remaining chunks of yeast into the glass it leaves little rust color trails in the head of my beer. My beer is starting to look like and orange and cream popsicle!!

Smell- Before I smelled it, I looked at several reviews and I guess I was looking at a different Fantome variety. The main reason is that I thought I was supposed to smell farmyard and horse blankets and feremented urine and wet tar paper..etc, etc, etc. The first thing that hit me was lemons. And I meen sour ass lemons. Maybe rotting sour lemons. Not a bad smell, but an extrememly intense smell. There may have been some other scents also such as white grapefruit and or some tangelos or something of the sort. The overall scent was sourness and a bit musty. Never have smelled anything like it. At first it was weird and kinda crude, but after I consumed the saison it turned into an obsession of taking whiff after whiff before each sip.

Taste- So much stuff going on here. This was my first saison type beer, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. At first taste it was a little more sour than I thought it was going to be. I thought, lambic? But as I kept sipping away I found lots of different tastes. I found white pepper and maybe a bit of corriander like in a witbier. I found hops and I found a decent amount of grain. I am still tasting pilsner like grain tastes in my mouth as I finish my second bottle in 12 hours. Not super sour like a good lambic or a flanders type, but just enough to...well, be perfect. The one thing I love is that unlike a lambic that stays super sour (I literally have to chase each sip with a shot of water because it's so sour), this type starts out light sour and finishes with a normal water based taste and leaves your mouth a bit dry making you want more.

Mouthfeel- Light mouthfeel on the carbonation, but as you consume more and more you sense that it is heavier than at first. Bitter and sour at first, but dry on the finish. As I said before, it leaves you wanting more and more and more.

Drinkability- I had a nice beerfest yesterday while watching the first playoff football games and consumed about 6 bombers with other BA member Spinlock. Fortunately it was my first beer that I had, so it was clear that I really enjoyed it, but when I woke up this morning I couldn't stop thinking about this beer and had to buy another today and try it to really give a 100% acurate rating. I was thinking of giving it straight 5's (that would have been a first for me), but wavered a bit on the appearance and the mouthfeel. Overall it's an incredible beer that I will be having many more times in my future. I am getting married in September and am narrowing down my list of beers to bring with me. This will be one of them and it may very well be the one on the main table getting consumed as everyone toasts at my wedding. It's not an everyday beer though. This to me is a special occasion beer. This falls in the same category of Stone RIS for me. It's too good to have for just any random beer craving. A most awesome crafted beer that has gained a big spot in my heart. Worth $10?? Hell yes. If any of you are wine lovers, take this into consideration. A great bottle of wine will run you typically at least $30-40 minimum. This is a truly great beer and runs you $10 on average if you can find it. This is worth the money. Seek it, buy it, drink it and savor it. (4,594 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.47/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by mdfb79. Thanks Dan.

Sampled alongside twenty other Fantôme beers.

A typical appearance for a saison, this beer appears hazy and light yellow hued with a half inch of head after a slow pour. Average retention and lacing.

The aroma offers floral notes, candied pineapples, yeast, funk, tropical fruits. Wow, what a bouquet of delectable scents.

The taste is complex and wonderful. Lots of tropical fruit flavors mingle beautifully with a light funk and some floral notes. Healthy yeast presence. Masterful blend of sweet and tart flavors.

Medium bodied with appropriate carbonation. The aftertaste lingers for several minutes and flavors continue to develop on the palate. Sweet, yet tart. Tart, yet sweet.

Overall, this was my favorite of the twenty one varieties of Fantôme sampled last night. Highly recommended. (839 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.74/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2007 Release to the US; Sampled February 2008
As I pour this a distinct, interesting, loud, tropical fruit note comes through. The beer is pretty well carbonated as a careful pour easily produces a three-finger thick, pale tan colored head. The beer is a honey color, but shows a lightly hazy, yellow-gold color when held up to the light. Upon closer inspection the amped up tropical fruit note continues; it is perhaps a mix of mango, pineapple and papaya notes. Underneath the dominant tropical fruit note is a dusty, cracker like grain character, some toasty grain notes, a touch of spicy pepper, piquant young ginger, notes of citrus honey and a green, herbal-lemon note with touches of nettle and a substantial lemon character that becomes more noticeable as the beer warms up.

Soft up front, but a fizzy, yet somehow light carbonated froth kicks in towards the middle; strangely this is well carbonated, but the bubble size seems fine enough that it does not make this seem excessively foamy. Only lightly sweet, which seems to reduce the amped up tropical fruit notes from the aroma to an almost equal billing with the rest of the flavor components. This has a very light body to it; it is quite the quaffable brew and drinks way easier than its 8%. This has quite a bit of spiciness to it at times, it can be much more piquant, like black pepper, than is contributed by the carbonation, this note especially lingers in the long finish were it lingers on as a spicy tickle at that back of the throat. There is a very light herbal note here that is slightly green, with an astringency to it as well as a light bitterness and a grassy note, these flavors balance out the noticed tropical fruit flavors that lightly dance around the flavor profile here. A touch of cracker like malt and grassy grain character comes through just a touch towards the finish.

As the beer loses its carbonation the tropical fruit note becomes a bit softer. The second pour of the bottle restores the carbonation and the accompanying tropical fruitiness though. This really is fantastically intriguing; the interplay between tropical fruit, spice and funky herbal notes is quite engaging; somehow, despite the light body and quaffable character, this beer is actually quite contemplative. Apart from the characterful, single yeast strain that is purposefully use in this beer, this is pretty clean. It has not picked up any funkiness yet, but it is still young. As usual, this is a fantastic brew; I am really digging the interplay between tropical fruit and spice found in the flavor.

Sampled May, 2004
Pours a hazy straw color with lots of carbonation that generates a cream colored thick head. A lightly sour/ acidic aroma wafts from my glass, mixed with notes of apple, strawberry, flowers, and a certain mustiness. The taste is lightly sour as well, with some interesting tropical fruit notes, that are picked up by a light sweetness, and some unspecified spicy notes. Typically light bodied, which is just perfect. A soft wonderful beer this time around.

Sampled Sept 7, 2003.
The cork explode from this bottle like a champagne. This beer aroma is one of cider and sweetness, there is a bit of mustyness in the nose as well. A very cloudy straw colored beer that is well carbonated and has a thick off white head. The taste is very complex with competing flavors all over the place; cider, off dry sweetness, an acidity, and yeast character up the wazoo. This beer is just world class, and I love it.

I had this beer with a cheese platter that included some Stilton, and aged funky Brie, a young Brie, a mushroom brie, sharp Irish cheddar, and edam. This beer was able to hold its own with each of these cheeses (though perhaps overpowering the edam). It acted as a nice contrast to each, a palate cleanser so to speak.

This beer can have wildly different flavors depending on the year that one tries it, in the past it has been much more acidic and lacking in the fruit character, but still world class.

Purchased: Plaza Liquors, Tucson AZ (4,036 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A bottle @ The Farmers Cabinet split with oglmcdgl and sourbatchkid. Into a tulip glass.

It's been a while since I've had this. It's always different every time, this time it was on the tart side. The liquid is a nice bright golden color with some trace shades of orange. Looks nice next to the candles. A good amount of off white bubbles with minimal sticking capabilities. The nose on this is straight fruit with some funky tones in there as well. Orange with lemon spritz, light spice and the faintest of baked bread. Not as crazy as some of Dany's other offerings. Being billed as 'super sour' by the bartender, this bottle had a nice tart punch, but not on the verge of sour. Has that berliner twang to it. Tastes include bright orange, some lemon twang, trace apple, light spice, thyme, baked bread and whatever else was thrown in here. All together a great mix and a very fruity slightly sour saison. Feel is spritzy with a nice twang towards the finish. Body is a nice medium. I could do a bottle of this in no time, a truely unique offering, that is different every time. (1,081 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.8/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a super thick 3"+ head that stays around most of the session. Nice lacing develops.

Smell: very intereting as the citrus tones are covered by lemon zest and sweet orange slices. Yeast and a genereal fruitiness are also detectable.

Taste: loads of oranges and lemon, spicy yeast, pepper, ripe fruit sweetness, and a decent bitterness level is wrapped in a very soft musky tone. Lightly dry too. Alcohol barely noticeable.

Mouthfeel: mildly crisp from start to finish, and the aftertaste is brief with a blast of dry citrus. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: the wife and I could have drank several bottles of this. Full flavored and satisfies the tastebuds. A must buy if you see it. (734 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.38/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a sparkling orange with a creamy white head, long-lasting, good lace. Some yeasties, but I don't mind them in a saison. Extremely unfiltered.

S: Wet hay, must, grain, dandelion greens, and wet dog, this is funky barnyard traditional saison.

T: Bitter earthy hops, hay and grass are predominant. Elegant malty flavour with a minor hint of lactic acid at the finish. Yeasty and complex.

M: Full-bodied, very smooth, dry and refreshing.

D: This is a tasty rustic country beer from the Belgian forests. Aside from Printemps the best beer from Fantome I've had. This is their flagship, and I can see why. Give this beer to someone and they'll know what saison is all about. Hard to say this is worth the $13 price tag when Dupont is sitting there at $8, but it's good, the quality is undisputed. (819 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.78/5  rDev +10.9%
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??) (668 characters)

Photo of BlackHaddock
4.07/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review merged from Artisanale Sur Lie.

Green cap and corked 0.75 litre bottle bought at the brewery in the summer of 2008, drank during a Belgian big bottle evening with friends.

Poured in one go, into four tulip glasses. The body was a orange/low amber/light terracotta colour. A soft white head arrived and left before I had a chance to take a sip or even smell the glass.

Sweet and sour in both smell and taste, cooking apples to toffee apples with the sourness more pronounced in the last glass which had some sediment within it.

Drinkable and pleasant, I know how much sugar Dany puts into his brews, so I always clean my teeth after one of his beers, I suggest you do the same if you want to keep them! (712 characters)

Photo of billab914
4.72/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into my Lost Abbey Stemware. Poured a cloudy and slightly murky with a golden amber hue to it. It started with an active one finger dense white head but settled down to a thin lacing covering the top of the beer.

The aroma has a little citrus and lemon with some floral and spicy, almost peppery notes. It gives off a very appealing, complex, light and refreshing aroma that is very nice. All the flavors are very nicely in balance in the nose.

The taste has a tangy lemon rind citrus to it but also has just as much sweetness coming through in the finish. It's both moderately bitter along with a slightly dry finish. Really the best way to describe it is to highlight how balanced it is between all the flavors. Everything blends so well together to create an excellent tasting and complex beer.

The mouthfeel is on the lighter side with above average carbonation. Drinkability is excellent, it's very good tasting and well balanced. I haven't ever been a big fan of Saisons but I think I am now after this one. Best Saison I've had by far and rating to style definitely benefits it. (1,115 characters)

Photo of yourefragile
4.44/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, capped and corked. Poured into a tulip, no problem removing the cork.

Pours a pale straw golden color, glowing against light, but hazed and translucent. Forms a large sturdy rocky ivory head that has average retention and fades to a thin cap with minimal Belgian style lacing. Aroma is distinct, initially earthy and acidic with lemon citrus notes. However there is also some spicy sweetness that reveals itself as the beer warms and sits with a mild fresh alcohol pinch.

Flavor is rich, with a complex blend of lemon zest, peach tart, sugary spice, earthy hops and strong toasted malt in the finish. The sugar sweet and peach tart grip the front of the palate and as the soft, effervescent body moves across the palate the mild earthy hops appear followed by the surprisingly potent toasted malt backbone. Finish is relatively dry and toasted, with lingering fruity acidic and sweet flavors. The alcohol detected in the aroma isn't apparent on the palate but this is surprisingly warming for a saison. Very unique, complex and enjoyable. Aside from the price, I'm always happy to have this beer. (1,114 characters)

Fantôme Saison from Brasserie Fantôme
96 out of 100 based on 793 ratings.