1. The BeerAdvocate Store is back! Pre-order your stuff now. Items begin shipping Dec 15. Christmas deadline = Dec 18 @ 5pm EST.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Fantôme Saison - Brasserie Fantôme

Not Rated.
Fantôme SaisonFantôme Saison

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

1,640 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 1,640
Reviews: 786
rAvg: 4.28
pDev: 13.79%
Wants: 474
Gots: 203 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,640 | Reviews: 786 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of beveragecaptain
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ml bottle, corked and capped. This beer pours out a brilliant hazy orange color with a white head. The aroma is yeast, orange, coriander, and strawberry. Slightly tart flavor at first, then turns fruity, with strawberry, grape, orange, and lemon. This is the only beer I've ever had that tasted like strawberry. A bit musty. Finishes dry. Drinkability is outstanding. This beer is expensive - I paid $10 for this bottle - but it's one of my all time favorite beers.

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

I picked up a bottle of this "Saison" beer shortly after Georgia began allowing the importation of higher alcohol content beers. The bottle was green glass with a cork and a metal cap. There was a rather simple label with the image of a ghost. This beer was rich and full of character. Lingering notes of rustic herbal flavours throughout. Citrus flavours abounded with hints of musty earth, the beer was well carbonated. Some bits of sediment lingered near the bottom of the bottle. I was not able to really make out the colour of this ale as I drank it directly from its bottle. Needless to say, it made quite an impression on me.

Photo of tavernjef
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Largely smeared and hazy straw gold color with a medium yet firm whitish cap. Keeps a great looking thin skim and thickly set collar once the cap fades from the pour.Very intricate lacing in cobwebbed sheeting. Yeast poured out thick at the finishing of the bottle and completely turned the color opaque resembling pear mush and ochre paint.

Quite a peppy aroma upon first hit to the nose. Highly fruity with a white grape/lemon candy/berry zip and a nicely rounded but fevered little notion of pepper, spicy, grassy, dry yeast.

Taste is immaculate. Airy but firm with flavor and hold. Slow and intriguing front end with mild sweet berry-like malts and wheat bread. Middle stays sweet and a bit sugary with dried peach, melon, and apricot. Floral tones rise to the surface behind the berry fruit then some herbal spice and citric zest spring into action as it flys into the finish with a big recoil back into the berryness and a lovely soft touch of pale wood. Every area is always filled with the finely placed and active berry flavor. Mildly complexing, nice, and very fun to let dance and play on the palate.

Feel is kinda two-sided with a soft airy front and has that same kind of texture throughout yet holds an interestingly bold, somewhat mild/full carbonation that tends to keep it reaching further and further as it continues to sift through the flavors and finish with a lovely light drying notion of berries, wood, and spice. Nice!

The drinkability is about right. Sessionable to a point as its ABV and carbonation catches up to ya. Nice berry burps. A tender, mild treat thats got lots of things going for it. Complicated yet simple and delicately natured. A fun beer. Don't pass it up. Recommended.

Photo of Sephiroth
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into the obligatory tulip, this beer is extremely cloudy, and very light yellow in color. Nice lace. The aroma is of sweet lemon cake, and candied oranges.

What flavors! Hay and grass are complemented by orange and lemon, finishing dryly. A slightly bitter hop flavor is the last thing I taste. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. The carbonation is lively and adds to the lightness of the mouthfeel. The drinkability is limited only by how many botlles one has.

This is what I would want after mowing the lawn on a hot summer day. Forget the supposed 8% ABV. I'm not noticing it. As I progress through the glass, the sour, funky notes become just slightly more noticeable.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Blurry gold chock full of swirling particulates. The cloud of solids varies from white (yeast?) to black (spices?) with every color gradation in between. The manilla colored cap is so thick, chunky, rocky and sticky that it looks like otherworldly. I don't know that I've seen another head, or lace pattern for that matter, that looks this rustic and this gloriously disheveled. Perfect for a farmhouse ale.

The tantalizing aroma is replete with lemon rind, sweetgrass, flower petals, indeterminate spices and the unmistakable funktang of Belgian yeast. Sorting out all of the individual aromas would take some doing, even if I knew what was actually in there. Are there any more mysterious, more intriguing aromas in all of beerdom than what one finds on well-brewed Belgian ales?

I've only had a few saisons (including one from this brewery), but this is far and away the best of the lot. Keeping in mind my relative inexperience with the style, there's so much going on in terms of flavor that I doubt my ability to adequately describe it. How can a beer be sweet, bitter, sour and dry all at the same time, as this one is? Not all at once, mind you, but each in turn as the flavor arc changes kaleidoscopically from start to finish.

For some reason, the mental image that keeps coming to me is a lush meadow in springtime. Sunshine, birdsong, wildflowers, grasses, a lemon-scented breeze. At the risk of sounding like a fool, that's what this beer tastes like. I have no idea what spices and herbs are present, but I do know that a multitude of them were used and that they were added with a heavy hand. Perfect choice by the brewer on both counts.

It's hard to imagine a more complex, yet a more accessible beer. I'm finding it an absolute joy to drink as I marvel at each mouthful in turn. Which of the swirling, intertwining flavors will I concentrate on this time? What new nuances will I discover? What could the brewers have added to get it to taste like this? Etc, etc, etc. The mouthfeel is airily, ethereally light, yet it has an underlying solidity that one can hold onto as surely as a pebble in one's palm. Another compelling contrast in what is already a fascinating beer narrative.

There couldn't be a greater disparity between what I would describe as my perfect beer and the beer sitting before me. That makes it all the more amazing that I like it as much as I do. It just goes to show what dedication, daring and a considerable amount of skill can accomplish. I love having my horizons expanded, so I couldn't be more thrilled that Fantome Saison has blown them wide open.

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

750 ml dark green capped and corked bottle.
My fiancée’s mother (a Heinie and Stella fan) tasted and fell in love with this Saison at a local beer tasting. She purchased a bottle to share over a dinner of Belgian Beef stew. NICE PAIRING!
Anyway, it poured a cloudy orange-hued light golden color with a big, frothy white head and loads of sticky, clinging lace.
A big citrusy fruit and floral bouquet is somewhat muddled by a distinct barnyard smell. A light smell of dried hay is noticed in the background, as is a mild alcohol fuminess.
Given the light color, I was surprised by the full, sweet, nearly oily malt body. Flavors of toffee, orange zest, lemon, honey, and fresh bread are so in balance. A light floral, clove and peppery taste help keep things in harmony. A very mild taste of sweet light rum finishes nicely.
This is a very well-conceived and made concoction!

Photo of lou91
4.4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I really like to see and smell a pour and this one was near perfect. A funky nose on this golden hazy ale gave you a hint of what was to come. The first taste was that of a strawberry lambic – like the Hanssens Oudbeitje. As it warms slightly, there are a number of great fruit flavors –kiwi, honey dew and strawberry all in a slightly funky world class ale. This is so good and easy to drink, setting the standard for the style -great depth of flavors, crisp clean and refreshing and enough alcohol to put a smile on your face.

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

The beer poured into the chalice clear clear golden with a white and frothy head which rose tall and lasted from start to finish to lace the glass completely.

The aroma was fruity and nice with a nice light citrus note and a light peppery spice. Also the aroma contained a bit of earhiness which added a nice complexity. The fruity aroma also contained a light peach.

The flavor was nice with a light sweetness which was fleeting and a light peppery character which was lasting. The flavor contained a nice but light citrus flavor and a fruitiness that was namely peach in character. The bittering was nice and earthy and the flavor contained a noticeable acidity which bordered on sour but housed a peppery spice. This bottle was very complex and interesting.

The finish was dry with a light fruity impression and a light peppery spice into the afteraste. The body was medium but seemed less due to carbonation and the mouthfeel was lightly creamy.

This beer was rated previously with a total of 3.6. This certainly fresher example will end up much, much higher as it should.

750 ml corked and capped bottle. My first blog review, all others were different serving variations.

Photo of whartontallboy
4.68/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a brilliant semi-cloudy gold with a thick foamy white head that recedes very slowly and leaves a ton of gossamer lace on the sides of my tulip. Swirling cyclones of carbonation throughout the bowl of the glass.

Smell is extremely complex, yeast, barnyard horse blanket smells, with generous spices (coriander, maybe?), pepper, and a nice hoppiness underneath it all.

Flavor is magnificent. It's very light on the tongue, but it's loaded with a sweet yeastiness that gradually gives way to a somewhat acidic bite in the finish. In between there's a lot of peach, pear, and crisp apple flavors, along with the same peppery spices that are in the nose. It really gets dry on the finish, and the lingering aftertase is bone-dry, and, after a few seconds, let's in a nice earthy/smoke flavor that is just heavenly. Very, very nice.

Overall: Wow. Just incredible. Best saison I've had.

Photo of maggotbrain
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer poured hazy peach with a medium white head. The head receded to a film. Lace formed on the glass as the beer was consumed.

The odor of the beer was an interesting mix of sweet and sour with a little mustiness in there as well.

The beer tasted very similar to the smell: mildly tart and musty, but with a sweetness that comes through in the end.

The mouthfeel was very soft with a moderate level of carbonation. Nice.

This beer is extremely drinkable. The alcohol is nowhere to be found and the taste is both refreshing and complex.

Photo of connecticutpoet
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at the Connecticut River Brewer's Festival 2005, Holyoke, MA. I was QUITE happy to see some Fantôme brews offered.

This brew was hazy and yellow, with a one finger head. Looked like a good one... even though I have only had 2 or 3 saisons before, I was eagerly awaiting this one.

Aroma was very fruity... a melange of apples, pears, and white grapes. Quite vinous, and a little tart.

Taste was VERY vinous, very much like white grapes, and definite oak flavors. Complex indeed, and I did not regret sampling this one.

Mouthfeel was very dry... possibly the driest beer I have had to date. But it was quite fitting for the flavors.

Drinkability... hell, I'd go for it again easily, were the price a little lower.

Photo of frazbri
2.98/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2

Fantome Saison poured cloudy and golden with a slight orange hue in my chalice. The aroma had notes of apples, pears, and cider along with a very distinct barnyard smell. (more to come) Fruity and earthy in flavor with hint of Vernor's ginger ale and a spree candy aftertaste. Body was light and highly carbonated with a dry, woody finish.

That smell. There's something in the nose. It's not overpowering, but it's omnipresent. A familier farm aroma. Hog manure...

That was it for me. I just couldn't get past the smell, but I still was intrigued. I will revisit this some day. Strictly because of the smell, this Fantome was a bit too funky for me.

Photo of Sixpack595
4.88/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow, great brew! I like Saisons, and this one is exceptional. Hazy, near copper yellow hued with a decent cap of foam that didn't last quite as long as I'd like. Aroma was a bit muted, but stillenticing. Malty sweetness and a bit of funky yeast behing a fruity, floral scent. Taste is amazing. Fruity, tart, sour, a touch of sweetness and a hint of grainy malt. I could drink this all night, 8% or not.

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

Shared amongst friends.

Rocky off white head with retention like no-one's business. Once the head settled after about four minutes, ringed lacing was carried throughout the snifter. The color is a tangerine/pear with noticeable sediment floating around the glass.

Rather sharp tartness with a range of spices including pepper, a touch of clove, and corriander. Light fruit aromas: pear, green apple, and lemon zest. An underlying mustiness throughout the range of fruits and spices.

The flavors are just as the aromas indicate: a predominant sour quality from lime, lemon, pear, and grapefruit. This is peppered by some corriander and a hint of diacetyl. The mustiness and alcohol are most felt in the aftertaste, but the 8% abv is noticed at every moment of the sip. Mustiness lines the tartness and spice giving this saison its earthy roots.

A touch heavier than light bodied; very carbonated, obviously. Settles well on the palate with the spice and sourness.

This saison drinks like a light wine; a pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc; not in terms of flavor, but re: the alcohol presence. A classic for the style, and one that I will continue to share with friends.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.55/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Perhaps the Godfather of all Saisons, this beer never disappoints. As soon as the bottle is un-corked, a steady flow of carbonated beer flows from the neck of the bottle and seemingly never lets up. As the beer is decanted into the snifter, it releases a dull, rusty, hazy peach color and a film of foam sustains itself atop the beer. Active carbonation puts on quite a show. Good aromas of floral, spicy, and tart. Flavors of oranges, peaches, lemons, and pears. Spiciness of cinnemon, corriander, curraco, and pepper. Vineous and almost wine-like. Remaining tartness that doesn't become astringent or sour. Tartness weaves into out out of the fresh spicy hop bitterness and flavor. Light malt with wheat sweetness and texture give a much needed breadiness and creaminess. Soft texture that is slightly scrubbed. Medium body. Dry finish with mild phenolic alcohols throughout. Well balanced and easy drinking. Generally, I can expect Saisons to show a bit more sweetness but this one is as dry as a bone.

Photo of WetCoaster
4.85/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

*Corked and capped 750 ml
*Fresh

Appearance: A somewhat less-than-overwhelming chalky yellow. The head, however, is out of this world, super thick, dense, puffy pure white with some of the thickest, most sticky lace I have ever seen. Unreal. Retention is great. The tiniest of tiny bubbles race from the "D" in the Duvel glass.

Smell: Ka-BOOM. Jeez, Louise, this is massive. Barnyard must, rainwater, honey, solvent, gardenia, mild pilsner hop, and an overall fruity sweetness so dense you could dip it out with a spoon.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Oh my, so, so, so nice. Fools you with an initial touch of buckwheat honey, but soon comes in hard with a lemon-lime tartness, and an otherworldly funky spiciness. The sides of the tongue register grapefruit rind, but the center finds a smooth fruit cocktail of sweetened citrus and mild white pepper. Finishes long and dry. Burps of honeyed spice. Mouthfeel is a bit on the heavy end of thin, a bit creamy, even, with perfectly restrained carbonation.

Drinkability: Oh dear lord, back up a tanker to my house and turn on the hose. This is what beer drinking is all about. One of the most drinkable saisons -- if not beers, period -- I've yet encountered. Scary good.

Photo of egajdzis
4.22/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a very cloudy golden color with very little head and no lace. Aroma of citrus, yeast, herb and earthiness. It had a very complex flavor, including a smorgasbord of fruits and a slight spicyness that I really liked. A slightly bitter (citrus wise) comes through in the end as well. Smooth and crisp, slightly juicy.

Photo of Boilermaker88
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I did a double-take at the Brea BevMo when I spotted a capped and corked 750ml bottle of Fantôme on the shelf in their Belgian section (usually rather small). I snatched one up and decided today's dinner would be a good opportunity to try this saison out. Poured, per the recommendation, into my trusty Duvel tulip glass.
The pour resulted in a glass of clouded over amber-hued brew, no small amount of suspended particulate matter and a huge thick white head that never fully departed the scene and left webby lace.
The smell reminded me of walking through an orchard in late summer or early fall. As a kid, I lived on an orchard and the smells emanating from the glass took me right back to being ten years old and the orchard smelling heavily of rotting fruit that fell from the trees before we could pick it. Peaches, nectarines, apples, and the like, all overripe and rotting. Touches of honey and mild spices added to the trip down memory lane.
The taste only further enhanced the journey. Right away, like a truckload of overturned and crushed fruits on the freeway, the smell so thick it turned into taste, the sweet flavors of peach, nectarine, apricots, and, more mildly, apple and pear all swarmed over the tongue. Then things got more complex as the bitterness of hops broke through, producing a satisfyingly potent herbal counter to the fruity sweetness. This saison doesn't have the biting acidity and real, well, "barnyard" funk to it like others of the line but that doesn't diminish the quality of this saison one bit.
The feel was surprisingly full and creamy thanks to the heavy volume of carbonation.
Overall, this saison by Brasserie Fantôme is one of the best I've had, period, full stop. Highly drinkable, with an aroma that simply kicks ass, and a complexity that just begs you to keep on sippin'. Fantôme Saison went very well with the seasoned ahi tuna and seasoned noodles I had for dinner. A definitive example of the style; a beer any beer enthusiast should be seeking out if they want to experience a first-rate saison.

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

Bear with me, this is my first Saison.

The Aroma hit me like an herbal freight train. Extremely heady and sharp. Sharp tones of green olives and vinegar.

A golden brew with a good fog and a tight, clean, cotton head. The head stayed tight and you can see yeast floating in the glass.

On the tasting I was hit with an overpowering coriander and citrus zest. I can taste the superior craft in this beer, but wit the spice in it, you might as well add a lemon to a hefe weisen and call it even. The mouth feel is light and nice with a silk finish. If you like heady HW's, then go for it.

Photo of Paddez
3.45/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I ordered this at the beffely hills café in Beffe; a small village just south of Soy where the brewerie itself is located. I was surprise to find the café inhabited by numerous Dutch tourists. The waitresses were all Flemish and Dutch too. Peculiar. Nonetheless, the beer was served at the proper temperature in the proper glass.

Appearance: Golden & hazy with a big, slightly off-white head. Some sediment. Quite a lot going on inside the glass.

Smell: Hmm, what's that smell. Grains, malts & citrus fruits and lots of odd farmhouse aroma's. It's hard to point out what it is exactly.

Taste: Again, the farmhouse aspects overwhelmed my palette. Lots and lots of odd & classic flavours comingtogether; beets, tropical fruits, lemon, spices, roasted malts, candy, ...
Ridiculously complex almost.

Mouthfeel and drinkabillity: Pleasant mouthfeel with plenty of carbonation. The alcohol is well hidded, but once you try to get up you'll notice this is a hard-hitter. Quite fuddling.

Conclusion: This brew is both everything and nothing. It's just how you interpret the tastes and aroma's. For me personally though the huge 'barnyard' aspect was a bit too much. 'Artisanaal' is ok, but this was too much. One thing's for sure though: it's got character aplenty.

Photo of battlekow
4.7/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Roman's Pub. This beer doesn't look like much, a cloudy golden color, not much more attractive than the Spotted Cow I'm used to drinking, which is to say, pretty mundane. The smell and the taste though--amazing! The best smelling/tasting beer I've ever had. Smells very much like tropical fruit and bubblegum, with a little bit of sourness in the mix as well. It's a very sweet smell, but somehow not cloying in any way; in fact, it's downright alluring. Tastes initially lemon peels, citrusy and sour, with a sweet bubblegum finish. Again, I can't explain it--you would naturally think that a bubblegum beer would be awful, sweet to the point of undrinkable, but this was not. It was perfectly balanced by the very pleasant sourness, and had a very nice, dry mouthfeel. Fucking amazing beer.

Photo of maltedmilk
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this beer in a 750 ml bottle that comes with a cap and a cork. Sheesh..it took me a while to get it open. I worked up a good sweat but it was worth it.

Appearance:

This beers pours a cloudy lemon color into my tulip glass. The white head is nice and healthy with staying power.

Aroma: a funky smell..grassy and slight.. umm… barnyard

Taste: oh my..this is freakin delicious. A little tart but ending sweet and with a yeasty sensation.

A bit tingly.

Very enjoyable

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

Another hit from Fantome! Sampled this citrusy brew on a hot and humid summer evening. A perfect choice!

This brew pours a nice head into my tulip -- a cloudy straw color with some yeast floaters for giggles.

The taste is highly citrus. Not too much hops here, but a bit of malt hanging around.

This a wonderful summer thirst quencher by the pool or watching the sun set while swatting mosquitoes.

Cheers.

Photo of ypsifly
2.88/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Undated 750 that is capped and corked.

Very loud pop when the cork was yanked. Loud hiss from the bottle, I'm letting it breathe a bit bit before decanting into a tulip.

Hazy, slightly blonde amber with a white head that boils up without going out of control only to fall to a ring in a minute or so. Still very loud.

Smells tangy and funky. Lemon zest thats been in a basement for a while. Overall very dry and tart, with that earthy dank aroma.

The taste is too tart for me. Almost like those big size Sweet Tarts, too much of a bitter jolt. I don't taste the abv, and there's a nice champagne like effect from the carbonation, but the lemon notes are over the top.

I'm going to drop another $10 and give this one more shot as I will admit this isn't a style that I get into, and this could have been a bad bottle.

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

Poured a cloudy, caramelized orange juice with a four-finger high dollop of semi-soapy white head with excellent retention.

The aroma is all big sours at first, then a dose of sweat and brett-like barnyard funk.

Completely dry in the mouth. Starts off a little bit tart, then there's a big, broad funk. Weird slight spice notes and grass fight to be recognized, but the massive funk overrides all. At the end the tartness may morph into a slight bit of tropical fruit? Mystic and magical...

Light and dry and scouringly funky in the mouth. Magnificent.

The envelope has been pushed until breaking. Damn fine.

Fantôme Saison from Brasserie Fantôme
96 out of 100 based on 1,640 ratings.