Fantôme Saison - Brasserie Fantôme
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Ratings: 1,538 | Reviews: 781 | Display Reviews Only:
4.34/5 rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
When I bought this over a year ago at Provisions, I learned about a month later that it was part of a batch that had been severely infected - indeed, it seemed that 1 in 3 bottles were suffering quite badly (according to Dany, it was apparently due to a problem with his mash tank). I had the Saison D'Erezée - Printemps some time later (also part of said batch), and while it wasn't horrible, it was ridiculously smoky and grassy and didn't embody any of the world-class flavors that I've heard Dany's beers contain. I decided to take a risk and banished this to my cellar for over a year, and decided it was time to open it tonight. Poured out of a 750ml bottle into a teku glass.
Opens with a light pop, with no gushing problems. Whew. Still, poured quite beautifully - a deep amber orange with bronze streaks, clear as you could imagine, with a fizzy white head that rises quite gracefully yet eventually dissipates into a ring. No bubbles show. A secondary pour produces a head that's even more caustic, and eventually this leaves behind nothing but minuscule bubbles and no head to speak of. Not my favorite, but all right overall.
Holy shit! This thankfully isn't infected, and I've heard astonishing things about Fantôme's saison aroma profile - and this, my friends, defies all expectations I had. This smells so fruity and luscious, with an absolute perfection in bringing together stone fruit, tropical fruit, light spices, earth, and sweet malt aromas all together. Predominantly, this smells a lot like sweet canned peaches, but it gets better the more I dig in - white nectarines, cantaloupe, green melon, guava, lychee, pineapple, mango, and then some apple and pear no doubt from the yeast strain. So. Delicious. Smelling. With the added elements of vanilla, sugar cream, and toffee, as well as some light white pepper, this smells like the most vivid peach cream crusted pie or peach sorbet ever put into a glass. Unbelievable stuff - lives up to the hype and is easily the greatest aroma I've ever smelled on a saison.
Well, as for the taste... Not as mind blowing, but still definitely delicious. This is where the rustic qualities that Dany's brewing techniques are known for seep through. It has been over a year since I purchased this, so it's no surprise that some of these flavors have taken over the beer at this point. (However, how the hell are they not present in the aroma?) At first, the palate is blasted with a brief grainy smokiness, light lemon grass, as well as dry, yet not coarse, texture resembling toasted tobacco and light leather. Luckily, it finishes with immense stone and tropical fruit, ranging from cantaloupe (this is seriously a melon bomb at this point) to guava, to mango to extremely ripe peaches. Finishes with a wonderful lingering sweetness from the fruity phenols (pears at the end!) with the toasted tobacco note that accentuates the vanilla, toffee, and light honeysuckle - again, creating the pie sensation that really makes this the star of the show. I actually enjoy all of the notes this beer offers, but I seriously do not understand why I feel a gritty smoky flavor assault at the back of the throat after each sip in spite of the beer's apparent lack of bubbles or any infection issues, for that matter. Regardless, this is really memorable stuff - really sticks it to you on what a saison can be.
Wow, this really did deliver - it's as strange and inconsistent as you'd expect a Fantôme beer to be, but it still was very delicious. I will forever remember the aroma on this beer - it's very astonishing and transcends the style as a whole. I wish I could have bought more from this batch, but I was too afraid at the time of any inconsistencies. Regardless, I will definitely make a question to buy more from Dany the next chance I get if I feel confident enough to do so. Salut !
Serving type: bottle
04-05-2014 03:35:29 | More by magictacosinus
4.6/5 rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75
Pours a champagne color that was crystal clear the first pour and grew hazier with each additional pour. Off white head that is light and bubbly and thick (2 inch first pour, 1 inch on second). Head faded down to half a centimeter and held there. Great lacing too. Aroma is apricot, sweet grass, dry yeasty funk. Taste is sweet grass, dry earth and aged floral hops. Surprisingly full bodied for a saison, medium-high carbonation.
Serving type: bottle
04-03-2014 03:42:26 | More by mverity
Fantôme Saison from Brasserie Fantôme
95 out of 100 based on 1,538 ratings.