Fantôme Saison - Brasserie Fantôme
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Ratings: 1,569 | Reviews: 782 | Display Reviews Only:
3.98/5 rDev -7%
Drank from a 1 pt 9,4 floz corked and capped bottle purchased at Downeast Beverage Co., Portland, ME
Best before end: M(ay) (20)12
Lot n°: b
Served in a tulip
Saisons typically pour with a lively effervescence and a generous head of froth but this beer looked nearly flat. The cloudy, mustard yellow body was topped by a thin film of bubbles.
The aroma was exciting and enticing. Funk and must came through strong. Lots of brett and oak as well. Somewhat white wine-like with distinct citrus (lemon) notes. This beer reminded me more of a wild ale than a saison.
As with the aroma, the flavor profile was quite unique for the style. Semi-sweet and bright up front. Fruity and peachy. Super wheaty and tart in the center. The short-lived, off-dry finish was clean and crisp, with just a touch of bittering hops. Other than the tartness, I felt this beer was a bit too mellow and straightforward.
The mouthfeel was rather heavy and syrupy for a saison. Frothy on the palate with a light, spritzy effervescence. I was hoping for a lighter body and a bit more aggressive carbonation.
Drinkability was notable. This is a crisp and refreshing beer that hides its alcohol prowess very well. It paired perfectly with my Humboldt Fog cheese, green grapes and baguette.
Brett-infused saisons seem to be all the rage. I am guessing that this beer was one of the first of this sort. While I like the uniqueness of this saison, I feel that it could benefit from a more crisp and zippy flavor profile and mouthfeel.
06-16-2010 23:12:05 | More by Damian
4.72/5 rDev +10.3%
750ml bottle into Duvel tulip. Amusingly, the label has a whole best before section, but it's blank.
Appearance: The bottle gushes mildly, and leaves a one inch, fluffy white head that dissipates steadily and leaves a few streaks of lacing around the glass. Pours a hazy banana yellow. Not much lacing overall; a few spots and streaks that disappear quickly.
Smell: Huge. Perfume/cologne, cornucopia of fruits and berries, a little funk and yeast. Somewhat dominant lemon/orange citrus. Enriches the flavor.
Taste: First sip: tons of spice, lemony citrus, various fruits (peach and apricot?), and tangy brett funk that gets very deep by the aftertaste. I'm immediately sold; this is exactly what I wanted this beer to taste like. Subsequent sips yield more leathery funk, and more spice and esters than I can keep track of (but never going overboard and tasting like tea or fruit juice). Mildly tart, some restrained (not at all "sugary") sweetness, very refreshing, with a great balance of flavor, and even greater depth and development of flavor. Just excellent.
Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, very juicy, moderately carbonated, with a dry finish and a slight build up of puckering tartness.
Drinkability: I'm not noticing the 8% ABV at all, and the beer is endlessly flavorful and refreshing.
I would like to drink this beer at the brewery, so I could immediately comment to the brewer: "You are a genius." The beer is so adventurous with the spices and esters, but not ridiculous or cloying. It's one of those beers that makes me want to contact the person who made it and thank them.
06-15-2010 05:27:19 | More by Pahn
4.28/5 rDev 0%
Aeppearance is thick, syrupy and so cloudy it is barely translucent. Pours with almost no head and is a light, peachy tan color.
Aroma is very funky and winey. Sweet, with hints of grapefruit, wheat, must and oak.
Taste is pleasantly musty and funky with a mellow, sweet aftertaste. Notes of wheat, peach, citrus and a bit of wine (but not as much as in smell) are present.
Dry finish. Could use a bit more carbonation and the aftertaste is not as crisp as it could be. Surprisingly thin considering how syrupy it looks. Not a very complex mouthfeel.
Good drinkability for 8%, but needs crisp aftertaste.
06-14-2010 18:50:34 | More by BeckyFreesTibet
4.5/5 rDev +5.1%
Finally got my hands on a bottle of Fantome, sure was spendy, but I have a hunch it'll be worth it.
Pours a bright and slightly hazy gold color with a pretty nice fluffy white head.
Aromas are wonderful. Best smelling beer I've had in quite a while. Lots of mixed fruit, some lemon zest, apricots, and oranges. There is also some light vinegar funk, and hard candies.
Taste is super bone dry. Light funk, a bit musty, with hints of vinegar, lemon, and some sugary sweetness. Finish is dry, with a mineral bite. Very well balanced.
Mouthfeel is great, very full feeling with nice crisp carbonation.
Drinkability is excellent. What a wonderful beer, I now know why this is often considered the benchmark of the style. Top notch.
06-14-2010 04:06:28 | More by flexabull
4.13/5 rDev -3.5%
Pours a nice golden yellow with some light fluffy foamy head. Just a slight bit of lacing left on the glass.
Smell is a nice blend of sweet & sour notes with a flavor profile that matches up quite well with the addition of some fruity notes.
A good amount of bubbly carbonation creates a lively mouthfeel with the bubbles lingering on the finish.
A good beer and definitely one I will be trying again - TASTY.
06-13-2010 00:08:39 | More by thetomG
4.22/5 rDev -1.4%
A- Pours a hazy orangy/ amber color with a one finger thick white foam head.
S- Man this one fragrant beer. big fruit basket notes of white grape, peaches, pears, and apricots. background notes of yeast fresh cut sweet hay.
T- Light fruit notes of peach, white grape, and lemon. Fresh cut hay and funk.
M- Medium light bodied and a moderate carbonation that dances across the palate.
D- Overall a very pleasant beer with many desirable qualities. I'm curious if this would age well and the flavors might become a little more fluid.
06-07-2010 18:16:00 | More by UA8
4/5 rDev -6.5%
750ml capped and corked (i hate that) bottle without any notches on the bottled on date thing (i also hate that) drank from my duvel tulip.
A- this one pours out a glowing golden yellow colored body with a massive bright white head. the head lasts for a while and leaves behind thick rings of lacing. small yeast particles can be seen floating around in here. perfect.
S- this beer is so pungent that i can smell it from across the room. very heavy on the funk. lots of barnyard/horse blanket notes. lots of light fruits. mainly lemon but a little bit of pear also.
T- the first thing i think is that this one is sweeter than i was expecting. the yeast also comes through stronger than i could smell. some banana from that. the lemon and pear i could smell also remain in this one. the main attraction is the funk. lots and lots of it. very mildly tart.
M- light bodied with a high level of carbonation. a pleasant dryness is left in my mouth.
D- interesting and complex. if you love funky saisons, i recommend you check this one out. but if you love funky saisons, i bet you already have. this beer is too much of a thinker to go grab another one, but its something id like to be able to have often. a little on the pricey side at 14.99$/bottle here.
06-06-2010 15:26:04 | More by jwinship83
4.72/5 rDev +10.3%
750mL bottle poured into a tulip. There are best by dates available to be notched, but they never were.
(A)- Pours a hazy golden hue that produced a good pure white fluffy head with great retention. Left tiny bits of lacing all over the place as it very slowly dissipated.
(S)- A giant haystack of dryness. Bits of lemon, banana, and yeast. Funktastic with horseblanket and a grassy hop note.
(T)- Pretty much like the smell. A giant haystack of dryness and biscuits. Funky and earthy with a tiny bit of grassy bitterness but is counterbalanced with some creamy banana and lemon tartness. A barnyard party in the mouth.
(M)- A lively carbonation level with a great balance between the fruit and the funk. Not overly dry or bitter or sweet; but has a little of each. Funky, but oh so fitting of the style. Crisp and refreshing.
(D)- A fantastic Saison. Perhaps the perfect example of the style? Has everything I love about the saison style and then some. It is very much a saison, but also leans towards hinting at a belgain sour somehow. Crisp and wonderful for the summer months right now. This bottle, though large, will not last long. Awesome stuff. If it wasnt so expensive, I would have this in my fridge all summer long
06-06-2010 15:11:16 | More by sweemzander
4.58/5 rDev +7%
750mL green bottle; lot B; best before May 2012.
Pours a hazy, straw-yellow color with a modest, bubbly head. Retention is decent; lacing is not apparent.
Aroma is very good, with a bright, rindy and fruity character reminiscent of sour apples and champagne. Vinous.
Flavor is quite simply astonishing. There's a lot going on. A huge tartness seems to permeate the entire drink, and the finish is long and dry. The phenolic, fruity character of this Saison really pushes the style right up to the edge: loads of sour apple, strawberry, lemon and a bit of funk. There is a touch of spice and dry, stale hopiness, but this beer is truly an exercise in yeast. The Fantome is acidic and vinous, reminiscent of dry white wine or champagne. The mouthfeel is creamy and surprisingly thick for such a crisp, refreshing beer. Carbonation is oddly low for the style, but I really dig that.
This beer is quite intense, so the "real" drinkability is medium-low, though I must admit I'm very impressed with this Saison. Borders on Belgian Sour territory. A.
06-02-2010 00:35:44 | More by dasenebler
3.98/5 rDev -7%
This brew was a little expensive at $14. Since I've been exploring the Saison style I figured it was worth a shot. It pours out a hazy straw/gold. Much less carbonation than most of the Saisons I've tried. Still had a decent head at the start, not much lacing.
The smell changes as it warms. The colder it was the more sour citrus notes came forward and the warmer it got, the more it mellowed into candy sugar and bread. Very complex smell.
The taste is nice and interesting as well with a combination of sweet, sour and dry. The carbonation disappears quickly and the aftertaste is nice and tart.
In all honesty, if I'm going to pay this much there a few other Saisons I'd rather have (Saison D' Erpe-Mere $15) or go for a cheaper one (SAison Dupont or Le Merle both about $7) This is, however, still a very nice Saison and I'm sure I will encounter and enjoy it again.
06-01-2010 19:49:49 | More by OBeerMeGreatOne
4.72/5 rDev +10.3%
I didn't want to spend $16 on this beer but I knew I had to try it. It's a bit pricey, but I was not disappointed. The style is of a traditional saison but it goes above and beyond where most saisons even try to reach. There is a lot going on here but I taste strawberry, peach, tangerine, and a creaminess that actually reminds me of cool whip (never thought I'd use that to describe a beer!) It's got some spiciness on the end and lingers on the palate as the flavors change. This is a beer that really transports you to another place. You can close your eyes and almost imagine being in the Ardennes, breathing in the air. I'm not surprised that his beer has a cult following.
05-29-2010 03:06:57 | More by abriggs1
4.38/5 rDev +2.3%
Ditmier brought this to Inflatablechair's house a weekend or two ago... 2 days of a hell of alot of beer!! Thanks Eric... and Sam, I still need to see the haircut.
Pours hazy yellow/orange with a chunky rocky white head .... beautiful lacing.
Smell is IMO the perfect example of a Saison... lightly funky and sorta dank ... herbal and pretty phenolic... smells wonderful... lite clove and coriander ... citrus zest....
Flavor pretty much balls all of the aromas together and pitches out perfect mix fresh zippy Saison... getting something that reminds me of dandelion flowers ... bits of pink bubblegum.. I think tropical fruit, but my palate is a rookie when it comes to great Saisons... musty wet hay... a bit herbaceous... body is lite given such a bigger ABV for the style..
I would buy this all the time if it made it to Boise... damn.... really, why don't we get Fantôme here?
Thanks again Eric... this is one that I've had a few times over the years, but never took the time to really figure it out.
05-27-2010 07:35:18 | More by JohnGalt1
4.35/5 rDev +1.6%
Notes from 3/18/10 tasting; 750mL bottle poured into Belgian tulip.
A--cloudy, thick, dirty yellow with cream colored head that stuck around, very substantive, very fine bubbles
S--not powerful aroma, but fruity and citrus-pears and apples
T--light and fruity taste, apples, almost dry cider-like, but not nearly as sweet
M--finish like a dry cider, strong carbonation,
D--great drinkability--just an incredibly complex and balanced beer, have never had a bad one from Fantome, worth the price ($14) and the search
05-23-2010 21:30:26 | More by DrewHodges
4.05/5 rDev -5.4%
Was convinced by the guy at the liquor store to pick this one up. I'd thought about it for a while, and am happy I shelled out the $13 for the 750 mL bottle.
Poured gently into two pilsner glasses. Beautiful head that faded into fine lacing fairly quickly. The color was a cloudy yellow-gold that looked inviting.
I took a big whiff of this beer, and wow. The ratings on here (I gave it a 2) say "not impressed" but that is far from accurate. I *was* impressed, but more by its amazing funk! At first I thought I might have a bad bottle. Stale sweat and shoes punched me in the face. Then something else, a subtle undercurrent, managed to make me think there was something worthwhile to this beer.
The first taste proved quite sour, but as the beer warmed, I began picking up amazing things, just a rush of complexity. This beer is absolutely delicious. Too many spices and herbs for me to decipher the riddle. I did detect apples, and roquefort cheese upon exhaling through the nose. Throughout the glass it just got more amazing. I never tasted any of the sweat or shoes I smelled at first. I supposed over time, I could be convinced this beer smells good, much like a stinky soft cheese. But I think that would be merely Pavlovian, just a drooling response to how good the beer tastes.
The beer was very smooth to drink, not chewy at all, and I would love to have another one right after the first. The relatively high alcohol might have something to say about that eventually.
05-18-2010 21:17:51 | More by Chizoad
4.38/5 rDev +2.3%
I've been on a saison kick - seemed like a good idea to try this one. 750ml, corked and capped into a wine glass. May 2012 expiration marked on the label.
A - No pop at all when uncorked. Cloudy, bright straw color. Two finger head with a fairly aggressive pour. It faded fairly quickly too...
S - Bright lemon zest is most obvious and stands out compared to the others I've had in this category. There is still a bit of the earthy and spicy body coming through, but the tartness dominates. Very unique and much more in depth than I could describe...
T&M - I hate to be cliche, but I literally just finished mowing the lawn. THIS is my new favorite lawn mowing beer. It hits with tart lemon fruitiness at first, then fades to a dry, earthy finish - just like the nose. Very refreshing. This is as close to a sour as I have had that I'm really enjoying. Completely different than any other saison I have had. The carbonation could be higher here, as it seems to me this beer would have really jumped out with a little more effervescence.
D - I dropped my wine glass - it shattered in to a million pieces, and I lost about 3 ounces of this delicious beer. So sad, as I could have enjoyed plenty more of this. The blend of tart fruit, dry finish, and slightly musty character are just perfect.
05-18-2010 02:23:04 | More by dougofthefuture
4.4/5 rDev +2.8%
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.
05-17-2010 02:21:12 | More by Halcyondays
4.93/5 rDev +15.2%
750ml bottle severed in tulip
A: Cloudy and golden. Moderate head, minimal lacing.
S: Amazing. This is the best smelling beer I've ever had. It has some spice in the nose as well as some sweetness and tartness.
T: Amazing as well. This blows every other Sasion I've had out of the water. When first sipped it is sweet and fruity and towards the end of the sip you taste tart fruitiness.
M: Medium body nicely carbonated.
D: Very drinkable had no problem finishing my bottle and could have had another (or two).
Overall I was not disappointed with a beer that I'd seen plenty of hype for. Bit expensive for daily drinking but I plan to have this often in the future.
05-16-2010 11:40:01 | More by glocks4interns
4.75/5 rDev +11%
750mL bottle - This batch has no date, all-black Fantome lettering, "beire artisinal sur lie" on the label - served into a tulip
Pours a straw yellow color that is typical of the style. Tight white bubbles, a cap of two fingers or so, look sort of creamy but it is a false density. Nothing special looking; this is a textbook saison appearance.
There is a ton going on in the nose. Beers this complex defy accurate description, so I'm going to write a stream-of-consciousness on what I smell (going back and editing it for grammar): White grapes and peaches, wheat no hay, lemon, banana, biscuits, plastic, bittering hops, bubblegum, dirt from a garden bed.
This batch of Fantome Saison tastes a lot like what I picked up on in the nose. The fruit characteristic is predominantly lemon and peach, with some sour pear thrown in too. This isn't a spicy saison; no discernible brewing spices. Some band-aid phenols, as there should be, help to dry out the fruit sweetness. An understated but effective funk flavor - damp hay mostly - informs the whole drink. The maltiness is such that you feel like you've eaten a delicious lemon tart with a excellent crust - the malt and the lightly tart fruit flavors in this beer work so well with each other. My description doesn't sound joyous but I assure you that this beer is marvelous. A revelation. From what I understand, there are good batches, great batches and off-batches of Fantome Saison. This is probably a good batch, but it is good enough to earn a 5.0 score anyway.
The body is nice and light but this beer has perhaps too much sweetness to score very highly in mouthfeel. Saisons should be dryer than this. This batch isn't off by much and to be truthful you won't be complaining about the dryness level. Drinkability is insane. Any saison that tastes this damn good, that blends all of the flavor points that Saison can do so well - fruit, funk, phenolic, sweet, dry, sour, spice - and goes down as smoothly as this has to be recognized for the beer that it is.
Best Saison in the world? Maybe. Probably. I haven't had enough different batches of Fantome Saison to say for sure. I do know that its only true competition is Boulevard's Saison-Brett. This is a beer that everyone who has every liked a Saison or Biere de Garde - anyone who has like a farmhouse ale - needs to seek out and experience.
BTW -- notice that I have practically every Fantome saison in my wants list. ISO: Fantome; all day, every day.
05-15-2010 04:20:19 | More by Reaper16
4.45/5 rDev +4%
C: Semi cloudy
N: Tart and slight caramel
I was really surprised and impressed by this one. It was sweet enough and not overly sour or tart or funky. I really enjoyed drinking this one and at 8% ABV it was just perfect. It is hard to categorize what I really got from this beer but I definitely got fruitiness. I would recommend this to someone that likes beers that are a bit off the norm and easy enough to drink.
05-11-2010 18:26:09 | More by DosBeerigos
4.75/5 rDev +11%
Stoked to pop this one open, I've wanted to try it for a while. 750ml into my oversized wine glass.
A nice hazy light orange with a very attractive bubbly white head. It's not very big but great retention, leaves very nice lacing all over the place. Lots of carbonation bubbles.
Smell is pretty damn incredible. I don't think I've ever come across fruit scents that are so fresh in a beer. Lots of ripe orange, lemon, and strawberry.
Taste is a seriously incredible taste explosion. The aforementioned fruits in the scent, peach, mango, banana, hey why not? - every fruit you can think of, incredibly bright and fresh in the taste, amazing. Wheat and a nice musty wood-hay-barnyard funk mix with fruit in the aftertaste, awesome. Spicy Belgian yeast and some hops. I expected it to be much more funky and less fruity than this, but I am not complaining. Pretty low on the sour scale, but has a bit of tartness and zesty kick to it. Wheat and funk seem to take over a bit more towards the end.
This is very carbonated, which I'm usually not a fan of, but it works with the light, playfulness of the flavors well here. Very refreshing. Alcohol taste is not an issue, covered up well.
Drinkability is the main (maybe only) flaw here, though many seem to disagree. The flavors, although excellent, are a bit overpowering and tiring, especially towards the end of a 750ml. Although it drinks light it feels really heavy in the stomach. Maybe the high carbonation is to blame? And the price is kinda crazy ($15 in these parts.) This may be best to split with someone. But, those really are minor complaints when it comes to this beer. It really blew away my expectations, the fruit tastes are incredible.
**more notes 7/27/13**
Opened a 3+ year old bottle tonight which held up nicely, still a nice pop from the cork, healthy carbonation and a good mix of various fruit/funk/farm/mustiness. The fresh bottle (late '12/early '13) I opened afterwords however was off, as expected. Slow gusher, weird looking foaminess hinted towards infection. Had big smokiness and just an oddball veggie/pizza/spice feel to it. Drinkable, but barely. Unfortunate that most recent Fantome beers suffer from this, the unaware are probably getting the wrong impression about an otherwise great brewery.
05-11-2010 05:07:28 | More by Chico1985
4.5/5 rDev +5.1%
Saved for review #500. Thanks to my sister for lugging this back from Colorado for me.
Poured a corked and capped 750ml into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer pours a slightly hazy straw with some yeast particulates floating around and a sizeable 3-inch head that leaves soapy lacing. As with most Fantôme beers, once I popped the cork, a slight sourness starts permeating the room. Under the tartness comes a slight bit of sulfuric twang, yeasty spiciness, fresh lemon zest and just a slight bit of grassy hops. The flavor is remarkable similar. Up front fresh grapefruit and lemon zest. Followed closely by spicy yeast. Just a hint of white pepper and coriander. Hay and grass underlie the sulfuric twang. A slight bit or earthy dampness. Also just a slight bit of tart green apple skins and Lemonheads candy. The mouthfeel probably is the most disappointing aspect about this beer for me. Saisons should finish dry, and for me the drier the better. This beer has just a bit of residual sweetness. Overall, this is a fantastic beer. I absolutely love the tartness. If it would just finish drier I would be in heaven.
05-11-2010 01:19:35 | More by hwwty4
2.73/5 rDev -36.2%
I'd been waiting a long time to crack this one open, but my patience was far from rewarded. Read on...
Pours a hazy, pale wheat to brilliant dandelion yellow in color. Tiny particulates of white and gray dance about the glass, filling it up. The head is of the purest bleached white, the consistency of frothed egg whites, leaving some sticky stripes of lacing as it goes. So far, so good.
In the nose, sour grain is backed up by an enticing fruitiness, though it's a bit muted. Pears, sourdough and white grapes all make appearances, as do coriander, lemon rind and pepper.
...And here's where it all falls apart. The flavor is so subtle it's hardly noticeable. The slightest burst of the fruity goodness of orange spice and coriander is immediately followed by a pithy dryness. But this tastes almost like a pale wheat ale. If I'm judging by style, this is an abject failure of a beer.
The body is equally disappointing: medium-light body, with a feel just a shade above watery and some wickedly high carbonation. Yikes.
I try not to let a beer's hype affect my perceptions too much, but I was very excited to try this one, and extremely disappointed at the result. Everything I've heard and read about this beer leads me to believe I've received a bad bottle, so I look forward to a second attempt changing my mind.
05-10-2010 06:50:02 | More by Phelps
3.93/5 rDev -8.2%
A: hazy golden in color. Thin head dissipates to almost none. Thin lacing.
S: spicy and slightly fruity. A little bit of skunky character.
T: light and fruity. I'm getting some skunk and funk in the taste. Nice dry finish with some nice yeasty middle.
M: good carbonation, nice mouthfeel overall, this is obviously a great saison and they know what they are doing.
D: shared with a couple friends but would certainly grab more if it was available locally.
05-09-2010 22:09:01 | More by BTPete
4.5/5 rDev +5.1%
Poured from a bottle into a few tasting glasses with friends. Picked up at Granite- thanks John!
A load pop of the cork and we get a gusher. Pours out a murky but bright yellow. Tons of floaties, even some black ones which a few thought might be dirt ;) Smell is musty, funky, almost dirty. Interesting. Taste is completely different, though. Very light and airy with light fruity flavors- soft lemon, strawberry, banana etc. What a different and fun beer. Soft medium mouthfeel makes this a summer winner.
05-06-2010 10:58:56 | More by DrDogbeer
4.35/5 rDev +1.6%
A:Dark golden cloud with some nice head that dissipates. Some sort of sediment on the bottom and floating around a bit. It looks a bit ominous and being a farmhouse, I'm upping this .5
S:Peppery lemon spice and some funk.
T:Phantasmagoria of spice, sour citrus and fresh flowers & fruits. I swear the mustiness tastes sort of like cheese at times when i drink Fantome. Very interesting and the flavors swirl round and round - sour, sweet, musty, complete. I think I figured out the secret ingredient: ectoplasm. Really though, no idea what's going on in here.
M:Medium high carbonation and medium light feel work well with the citrus and spice. Fits the farmhouse style
D: You could drink this all day. drinks like its 4% abv
Downed the bottle and glad i got another one.
05-03-2010 23:54:48 | More by billyshears
Fantôme Saison from Brasserie Fantôme
95 out of 100 based on 1,569 ratings.