Fantôme Saison - Brasserie Fantôme

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Fantôme SaisonFantôme Saison

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BA SCORE
95
world-class

1,641 Ratings
THE BROS
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no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,641
Reviews: 786
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 474
Gots: 206 | FT: 14
Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Thrasher on 07-24-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,641 | Reviews: 786 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of doppelmeup
2.38/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1.5

I have to say that I am very disappointed in this beer. Perhaps I had a bad bottle, but I just didn't like this beer at all. I shared it with some friends, and they thought the beer was alright, though not their favorite.

Poured a nice amber yellow with a decent head and nice lacing.

Aroma is all over the place. A skunked, barnyard, fruity hoppy conglomeration. It smells better as it warms.

Skunky, bitter, some fruitiness and some bubblegum. But this overriding sensation is a bitterness that makes me not care at all to drink anymore than a few swallows.

Mouthfeel is alright, but again the bitter aftertaste lingers, but not in a good way.

Overall, I am hoping that I just got a bad bottle, because I was extremely disappointed. Were it not for my friends, I would have poured the rest of the 750ml down the drain.

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

A- Huge white head on a cloudy golden body.
S- Huge european hop aroma. A good helping of spices, kind of spicey yeast aroma too. Some pepper, cloves, and some other kind of spice. Light pale malt.
T- This one isn't as good as the other I had (I think it was the year before this). Has a medium hop flavor with light spices. This one is sort of bland. It puts a weird coating of something on the tongue. Almost like covers it in a yeast cover. It is good just not as good as I remember.
M- Thin body with low carbonation.
D- This single bottle just seems worse. I have had it 2 times before and both times it was great so I think I am going to give the scoring to the other ones I have had. Since I know it's good but this bottle just isn't.

Photo of loren01
4.45/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cloudy yellow, huge billowy head, good lacing
S: Lemmony, fresh cut hay (almost reminds me of a pilsner hop scent, very fresh)
T: Very complex tastes, sweet/fruity, spicy/peppery.
M: Creamy mouthfeel, goes down very easy
D: This beer for sure lived up to the hype, very tasty brew would drink this again for sure.

Photo of bruachan
4.25/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

man, i'm excited to drink this. it's been chillin' (literally) in my collection for some months now. upon liberating the cork a multifarious aroma escaped as well and filled the local air with tart. slight lactic tartness halos the beer but doesn't go as far as to overshadow the nice floral, minty hop aroma. also i can smell coriander and even some malt

the beer is nice to look at: clear pale gold with an endless phalanx of carbonation marching upwards to provide support in the rear of a hefty merengue foam that retreats, but not without leaving planty of evidence behind on the glass

the flavor is sharp and spicy with a tastful but numbing bitterness. the bitterness seems almost to be derived from the spices, having a spicy earthtone to it. the flavor is mostly dry but some sweetness lurks. no sign of any sort of sourness

this fine brew is actually rather bitter

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

Pours a clear brassy gold color, lighter than other Saisons Ive tried. The massive creamy head dissipates but never disappears and leaves the glass completely covered in a sheet of ivory lace. The aroma is bursting with fresh squeezed red apple juice, horsey, funky brett flavors, cotton candy, papaya, lemon and herbal bitterness.

The taste is extremely fruity and spicey. Cidery tartness comes first with some lemon and pear flavors and a distinct yeast sourness. The sourness is very soft but perceptable. Some rustic yeast funk is also noticeable as well as a hearty amount of white peppercorns. Musty flavors show in the middle and add to the maelstrom of complexity. The mouthfeel is very thick and the carbonation is perfect - very tiny creamy bubbles. The finish shows tanic grape skins and hop bitterness.

This is a great, very full flavored Saison. It has mad complexity and a tonne of fruit flavors. I recommend it.

Photo of gmcfarre
3.85/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from magnum into Chimay chalice.

A - Very cloudy and murky orange haze with minimal head. Lacing is moderate.

S - Very sour fruit with strong yeast scent. Nice biscuity aroma with slight alcohol zip.

T - Mouth puckering sour yeast with nice malt sweetness. This one really makes your palate reel as sour is main sensation with a bit of peppery spice.

M - As above, sour pucker that stings lips and pleases minds.

D - Gets stupid sour as it warms, and the alcohol becomes more evident. Not my favorite saison so far.

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

Wow, you have to uncap and uncork this one.
Pours out a hazy orangy-yellow with two fingers of suds. The lacing is really prevalant here.
As soon as you open the bottle you can smell this one.
Very fruity and yeasty. Clove and cinnamon and sugars. Mabey a grapefruit aroma in there too.
Wow! taste will set you back a bit. Has a sour bite that leaves your mouth wanting more. You get a sweet initial flavor followed by a darker malt thing then bam the lemon hits at the back of the tounge and it stays there for quite some time.
The alcohol waits till it hits your gut before it makes it presence known.
This is a beer that leaves you wanting more. Best Saison I have had so far.

Photo of vtfan77
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Bright gold with a hint of orange. Big white head and plenty of lacing as well.

S- Oh my... now I see what all the fuss is about. Very sweet and very fruity. Oranges, pineapples, mangoes... tropical fruits abound in this delightful aroma. Fantastic stuff.

T- Those sweet fruits continue into the taste where they are met with a bit of sourness. The finish is a little musty and not very bitter with a good amount of residual sweetness. Taste-wise this is not like any other saison I've had; it's much more like a tripel or BSPA.

M- Smooth and creamy with a little bite from the carbonation; very nice.

D- Drinkable enough for me to finish the bottle, but not drinkable enough for me to want any more than that. Also, at 8%, the abv is a little high.

I enjoyed the heck out of this beer, but I don't know how indicative it is of the saison style. Whatever, I don't care, it was really good. Maybe I just need to have some more saisons... maybe I just need to have some more Fantome. Definitely recommended.

Photo of EPICAC
4.47/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A friend and I split a 750 mL bottle at Moeder Lambic in Brussels.

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden, with a fluffy white head that clings to the side of the glass as it fades.

Smell: Fruity and citric aromas with nice notes of aged hops.

Taste: Sweet and fruity upfront, especially sour apples and citrus. These fade into a lightly spicy finish with a mellow hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, low to medium-bodied, dry finish.

Drinkability: Crisp and refreshing. Balanced well.

Photo of Pegasus
4.08/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pale golden color, with a profusion of suspended particles, a small white head, and thick glass-coating lace.

Aroma: Lemon, lemon, lemon, a wave of lemon juice and lemon peel assials the senses, with a lesser note of old cheese, and sour hay. All of this is strangely appealing, somehow.

Taste: Opens with a mild clove and coriander note, grassy notes flavors, mild lemon, as well as earthy tones follow, beneath it all there is an underlying tartness. Remarkable in its complexity.

Mouth feel: Smooth and soft, quite full.

Drinkability/notes: Very nice, a pleasant example of a lamentably rare style.

Thanks to my friend and fellow BA HardTarget for sharing this rare example.

Photo of trep
4.53/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750mL bottle from Brawley's in Charlotte.

Light orange body with bits of yeast in suspension. Huge fluffy white head that lasts for ages. Aroma is very subtle but has alot going on. A flowery perfume accompanied by a grassy marijuana smell. Some light fruits; apples, peaches, and strawberries. Exceptional.

Very fruity with a nice hop profile. Apples, citrus, and strawberries are there but kept in balance by the hops. Very easy drinking and delicious. Finishes clean as a whistle with a minor bitter hop aftertaste. A World Class saison. Certainly the bar-setter for the style.

Creamy and highly carbonated, refreshing and light-bodied. Incredibly drinkable. I could see myself downing pint after pint if I lived in Belgium.

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.63/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

It takes a bit of work to finally get to your beer.
Forst, make your way through the gold colored crown cap.
Next, employ the corkscrew to remove the cork.
Then pour.
But it's a BIG head, and takes many minutes to settle down.

While it's doing that, my room is filling with all the bright, spicy, floral, fruity smells that make up a saison. It's just amazing. Sour, but sweet. tangarines, apples, cider, lots of great and wonderful smells. I have no qualms with giving this smell a 5.

The taste is a bit tart up front, then fills your mouth with a wonderful sweetness. It's just a really fine taste and boasts all of those indescrible tasts you get in a saison. I've had a few that are a little too insipid, and I've had some that pucker your mouth like sour candy. This is just right. Would be perfect if not for a somewhat strange trang I get at the back of the throat on the swallow. It doesn't match the general smoothness of the brew.

Mouthfeel is big and creamy. Much more so than expected. A real treat. Drinkability is well above average. It's a beer you want to sip and share.

Photo of dherling
3.73/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours out hazy gold colored body, big white head, slowly fades with lots of lacing. Smells sour and funky, apples, and other fruits are up front, spicy and very nice.The taste is light, crisp, fruity with citrus. Good mouthfeel, finishes heavy wih a little alcohol noticible at the end.

Photo of Darkale
2.5/5  rDev -41.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Gosh, I really, really wanted to enjoy this beer. Had been looking for Fantome for a long time and my local beer store finally got some. I'm willing to admit that it might have been my own taste buds that were off -- perhaps the bottle was old or I served it too cold -- but I did not enjoy it, and in fact poured it out. To me the beer was not carbonated enough (which is interesting, considering some of the other reviews). Taste was weak, insipid, dull - a pale impression of other saisons that I have had and enjoyed (indeed, Hennepin is one of my favorite beers). I may spring for another bottle one of these days, but I'm not impressed at all.

Photo of dogfooddog
3.9/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Have not had this in a while....pours into a chalice wiht a small 1cm head.

nose is very fruity, almost fig-like, yeasty, almost a hint of bitterness or sourness in it as well. Somewhat barnyard, reminds me of the saison series from the brewery that makes darbyeste, etc.

taste is quite bitter and slightly sour, almost too bitter. Barnyard taste, musty and leathery and grassy, makes me think of a barn, literally. .some complexity here is missing compared to his other beers, though as far as style, this is an excellent saison.

The more bitter elements are dulled quickly by the palate, and this beer becomes far too easy to drink at 8%.

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

Appearance: The beer pours a cloudy pale golden color with a small 1/4" head of small white bubbles after a slow pour. The head fell pretty quickly to just a small ring around the top of the beer. There are a few bubbles rising, but they don't maintain the head very well. There is a tad of lace left on the glass after drinking, but it is mostly sporadic. As it sits for a while in my glass, it is starting to clarify a bit and you can see that there is a steady stream of bubbles striving for the top. They are traveling pretty slowly, so this hints of the beers strength.

Aroma: The aroma is really fresh and spicy with a whole lot of citrusy aromatics. The yeast is a huge player in this beer and gives it a really bready impression. The balance of sweetness isn't all that malt derived, so it doesn't come across like a package of cookies or anything, but maybe a really subtly citrusy spice bread. I get a defined floral contribution that certainly isn't just hops. I can smell Lavender (I believe cause I am not so good yet at picking out individual spices), but there also seems to be the sweet Coriander impression that I get in a lot of the Brasserie De Rocs beers.

Taste: The flavor isn't nearly as spicy as I though from the aroma. The bready impression rules the show with a defined dry wheaty edge. There is some spice in the flavor, but it comes across as giving the beer a sweeter impression. This beer comes across the palate really attenuated and dry, yet it still has enough flavor to not make it seem watery at all. I certainly don't pick up the 8% ABV that is printed on the bottle. Sadly, I am way off on this one, and I would put it at 5-6%. There is a tad of warming on the back of the throat as well as a bit of warming in the belly, but that is about it. The spicy balance of this beer masks the alcohol very well. As it warms, the flavor doesn't really change all that much. You get to taste the spices more individually now, and the bready character turns toward more of a lemon flavor, but that is about it. This beer is pretty consistent.

Opinion: I think that this is a pretty darn good beer. It is a bit spicy for my taste. I gave my wife a taste (who doesn't judge beer but has a pretty good palate though she won't admit it) and she said that she got a medicinal impression. I think that this was a misinterpretation of the spices. The beer is really well attenuated and well balanced for the attenuation and spice additions. Even after it warms the strength is completely masked. Though I think that I may prefer Saison Dupont more at this time (until I try them side by side), this beer is still really tasty and I would certainly drink it again.

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

Pours with huge amounts of foamy white head that seems to last forever. Beautiful, hazy amber and orange body displaying loads of carbonation. Head retention is amazing and leaves very nice lacing on the glass.

A rush of fresh flowers is the first noticeable smell. Fresh tulips and roses are most noticeable. Fruity white grapes, fresh oranges and apricots back the floral notes. A nice compliment of cloves, coriander, black pepper and ginger provide a spicy background. Perfect. I wish air freshners were made that smell like this.

The flavors are started by a quick shot of pepper spice. Almost immediately, the spice flavor is replaced with a deluge of fresh fruits. Freshly picked apricots dominate with a copliment of green apples, plums and blood oranges. I've never eaten a flower, but a sweet-smelling tulip would most certainly taste like this beer in my mind. The beer finishes with a peppery spice before more of the same fruity flavors. Excellent.

This saison is highly carbonated with a nice viscous quality. It coats the mouth after each sip to hold the beautiful flavors.

Drinkability is perfect. This beer tastes so perfectly balanced and delicious that I could constantly drink this. By far, the premiere saison.

Photo of GooberMcNutly
2.83/5  rDev -33.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750 bottle with cork and cap. Gave a hearty pop when the cork was pulled. Poured with high carbonation but almost no head. No lace. Fruit and spice notes in the taste were subdued in the aroma. Aroma was more of the sour lambic quality, with almost no lambic taste in the beer. Odd. Palette was active, due to high carbonation, and quite complex for such a light colored beer. Slight fruity after taste of strawberries and lemongrass.

Photo of Drew966
4.43/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Fantome Saison pours a pale golden color with a thick white head from a green 750 ml bottle that has a crown over a cork (corkscrew required). Great citrusy aroma with a touch of funk. Taste also has citrusy notes, lemon, orange and some rind. Definitely a bit of funk thrown in too. The alcohol is fairly well hidden, but I catch a bit of it now and then. Excellent, hightly drinkable. Recommended.

Photo of DrJay
4.28/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pale gold and quite clear topped by a big, fluffy, bright white head supported by ample carbonation. Good retention and a thick collar of bubbles that hug the glass for about a half inch above the top of the beer. Fruity nose with lemon zest, peaches, grapefruit pith, almost a sweet tart combination. There's also coriander and clove spiciness, plus a hint of funk in the yeast aroma. Big fruitiness in the flavour too, and the acidity really brings this out. There's plenty of citrus, but more like the peel and pulp rather than juice, as well as a pleasant pear flavour that's more apparent as it warmed. Sweetness is tamed by the tartness, leaving a dry finish. Spices add some depth around the middle and linger along with the citrus character. Yeast is masked, as is most of the funkiness, but a little bit of bread, grass, and earthiness peek through. Lively carbonation with a creamy texture. This is really tasty stuff. I enjoy the style overall and this is a great example of a saison. The only thing that impacts the drinkability for me is the dryness - it's fairly aggressive after a while, but still very nice.

Photo of Morris729
4.93/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours golden in color with a bit of an orange sunset hue and a pillowy bright white head. Nose is fruity with notes of lemon zest, ripe apples, and apricots, and a bit of spice. The taste has several layers of complex flavor. There’s some sweet candied sugar, some fruity notes of apple that become more pronounced as the beer warms, a spiciness of clove and white pepper, and a bit of an earthy yeastiness all blended together perfectly. A marvelous beer that I wish was available locally.

Photo of emerge077
4.83/5  rDev +12.9%
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 Vancer
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The first foreign Saison for me, and I must say, quite a nice experience. At $9 a 750ml, this seems to be priced about right.

POP! – luv uncorking this bad boy and looky there, a semi hazy orange amber, foamy white head, nice sheet lacing. Changed over to a murky apple cider towards the end, as I added the swirled sediment….ummm.

WOW, what a sour funk of green apples – is this a Lambic? Nope, I assume this is more to the Saison style. Taste noted lots of funky fermented fruits – heavy on the apples and oranges. Very different from the American versions.

Semi-dry and lightly carbonated – almost Champaign style. No problem enjoying the 750ml, there is NO alcohol in this. Oops, by the end of the bottle the 8% is kickin ass.

Photo of bonbright7
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I found the last bottle at Whole Foods in Jericho, which the beer buyer saved for me, and I was happy to take it home with a broiled chicken that had the tender meat falling off the bones.

The hazy golden beer flowed like magic into my 50cl glass, which showed off the light head and the thousands of little bubbles streaming to the top. My first taste was evervescent and full of fruit flavors that ended in a slight bitterness. I loved the light cream taste in the middle and that reminded me of how well it went with the chicken.

Evil me, I even drank from the bottle for a moment, like it was PBR at a crawfish boil. I regained my composure to admire the closing moments of this fine saison. I highly suggest this beer for anyone looking for a true marker of saison.

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

Hazy orangish-yellow body with a giant creamy white head that receded slowly down to a light skim. A thick sticky lacing was left all around the glass as the head disappeared. Aroma of musty citrus, mostly tart and sour lemon. The smell actually does bring the term "farmhouse" to mind, but I can't pinpoint exactly what it is. Alcohol is also slightly detectable in the nose. Wow, what an odd but likeable flavor. There's a whole lot going on there that I'm not experienced enough to separate, but I am able to pull out the sour and tart (and musty?) lemon taste that I noticed in the aroma. There's also some clove spiciness and a light hop bitterness. Every swallow leaves my mouth dry and puckered.

For me, it's a very different but enjoyable brew that I will definitely drink again.

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