Fantôme Strange Ghost - Brasserie Fantôme
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Ratings: 162 | Reviews: 121 | Display Reviews Only:
4.78/5 rDev +22.6%
Thanks to kathleen for the opportunity to try this--what a great brew this turned out to be!
Appearance: Ruby honeycomb in color; cloudy. Pours a big 2/3 inch head, leaving nice thick suds cover. Low viscosity.
Aroma: Glace ginger, lemongrass, honeycomb--golden raisins, a little vanilla in places. Some nice pine bitterness and a few grassy notes. This beer really has a unique nose.
Taste: Spruce, ginger, pineapple, fresh galanga root, apple cider, and just a little pine. The closest thing I've ever had to this was a pineapple ginger cake. Unique, amazing, refreshing. While this beer shows affinities with a number of other notable belgians--La Fin Du Monde, Duvel, on occasion LaChouffe--its flavor is unique and this beer captures a complex set of complementary and contrasting notes. A strange ghost indeed--albeit it a benign and higly agreeable spook...
Mouthfeel: Nice and light, leaving this full flavored beer completely drinkable. Low carbonation adds to the refreshing qualities of this beer.
Drinkability: Simply awesome. This is a beer I wish I could drink again and again and again. This is the kind of brew that could sell me on belgians for the rest of my days.
08-21-2006 04:38:48 | More by expatsteve
4.68/5 rDev +20%
Presentation: 750ml green flat-based flask. Cork and capped. Label is exactly as per the BA Avatar. Labeled as Cat S 8% vol, like most Fantômes. No BB date but for some strange reason, sorry couldnt resist, the bar code on the reverse label is covered in white-out.
Appearance: Rather good for a Fantôme, gorgeous red hue sits inside a fused deep orange that has a turbid stature but mysteriously seems to clear as the brew settles after a while when it develops a coppery-amber body. Crushed tan brown head quickly rises on the top up but slowly leaks like a party balloon to reveal a flaccid surface that exhibits a minimal head after only a few minutes. Carbonation is typically Fantôme, light lacing early on.
Nose: Odoriferous in the hyperbolic extreme. Immensely spicy, metric tonnes of Thyme, Nutmeg, Coriander and Oregano flakes with some Parsley thrown in for good measure, they all cloak this brew. Fuck me sideways, this just has an incredible nose .just pungently packed with a myriad mosaic of herbs and spices that form an amazing gabardine. This is one of those brews that presents a different angle each time you whiff it. Inhale away ..an incredibly obese nose.
Taste: Diabolical in a Good-Bad-Good wayl!! How can I explain this one? Well its like having a full 5-tier McCormick Spice Rack pummeled into your face whilst taking all of a full 12 Herbal Enema ..oh my, it starts with everything and finishes with Pumpkin Pie. Im still coughing up fauna and pulling assorted ferns from my rectum. After a few mouthfuls it develops a gorgeous bitter trait that rises as the latter half of the 750 is demolished. Lingering hop bitterness coats the cheeks and forms a twisted mélange of seriously extremely spicy and indomitably herbal. Does this make me a Pagan!?
Mouthfeel: Pervasive, resilient and tough with a talcum soft footprint. It lasts a lifetime after the swallow. Grassy with some slick earthy tones. Scintillating bitterness tingles in and amongst the residual growing things. This really is very good.
Drinkability: Gone in 60 seconds well about 15 minutes actually.
Overall: Hmmm .this is a real Ghost Story, an Odyssey of sorts ..3is ..Infectious, Intriguing and Inestimable ..this *IS* Fantôme. Someone very prophetic and much cleverer than me (not hard) once said that Fantôme: they are the very best of beers, and they are the very worst of beers, Lord knows Ive had both ends of the spectrum from Soys finest; but this is one of Danys best.
Well Worth Seeking Out, if for nothing else but just the nose.
Music: Motörhead Iron Horse/Born to Lose.
11-24-2005 08:23:49 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.65/5 rDev +19.2%
"Pale" ale, huh? I'll just assume BA got this one wrong or flat-out didn't know what to call this brew, as it's definitely a hazy, deep amber. A snow white ring of head circles the glass' edges.
Green apples, tarragon, red wine vinegar and dried leaves make for one of the strangest, and strangely alluring, noses I've encountered in some time.
Oh, shit, that's thyme! Manages to maintain a crazy cleanliness the whole way through considering it's rocking a major herbal theme with a hugely dry woody finish. There's even a Perrier-like mineral finish that joins up with the thyme warp-body and a bit of green tea thrown in for good measure. This is fucking great and I'll be damned if I haven't had a beer that is so fiercely original, eminently drinkable, and just a whole lot of fun.
Crisp bordering on overcarbonated but I'll chalk it up to an almost lambic-like approach to this hard-to-define brew. Gotta tell you, I love this beer so much and I'm not getting tired of it. Amazing.
06-19-2008 06:48:50 | More by malcontent
4.65/5 rDev +19.2%
a: dark amber, slightly ruby. finger and a halfs worth of tan head.
s: kind of reminds me of a funky smelling fruit roll up. sweet fruits are coming through along with some hop aromas.
t: tastes like it smells. cherries and strawberry flavors. sweetness of the beer is balanced by the tartness.
m: nice amount of carbonation, creamy mouthfeel overall.
o: after trying a few other Fantome beers I was excited to get my hands on this one. I've also never had a "bad" bottle of Fantome yet so I consider myself lucky. I don't know if I could consider this a saison but whatever it might be, it's damn good.
01-19-2012 01:24:43 | More by jlenik
4.58/5 rDev +17.4%
Tough to find, but I managaed to finally get one. Pours a dark orange color with a tall head that has nice retention and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is just weird. Spices everywhere. Ginger, lemon, coriander ... who knows what else. Just spices and then some more spices. Smells great and very strong! The flavor is a lot like the nose. It's a funky Belgian beer basis with just tons of spices thrown in. Some tartness and slight acidity in there as well. Finish is quite dry. This beer is definately bizarre, but very tasty (and weird).
03-21-2006 23:54:03 | More by clvand0
District of Columbia
4.58/5 rDev +17.4%
Appearance: Pour looks like cola with perhaps a touch of cherry. Enormous off-white head that leaves behind impressive, craggy lacing.
Smell: Saison, but with some additional spices - perhaps oregano (but not as strong as one or two other Fantomes)
Taste: One of the better Fantomes, light funk and spices (oregano?) with some faint figs, raisins, and dates. Also some citrus. Perhaps some pumpkin spices? This one is hard to pin down and incredibly complex. Each sip leads you in a different direction.
Mouthfeel: Creamy and light-bodied, but not thin or watery
Drinkability: Disappears, even at 8%; this one cries out to be paired with food. I'll be buying more.
09-30-2010 01:45:51 | More by craytonic
4.53/5 rDev +16.2%
Amber colour. Amazing aromas of thyme, fennel. Light-medium mouthfeel , undercarbonated- wonderful, creamy, citrus, ginger, anise, lemon Herbal tea yeast-cola . Smooth, alkcohol well disguised. Mondial 2005. Get it, drink it. Another Fantome I will have again.
06-05-2005 05:58:11 | More by Sammy
4.53/5 rDev +16.2%
Hazy deep darkish honeyed orange hue. Small unlasting capping of dullish white foam grows up quickly from the pour then fades to a bubbly skim and collar. Drippy and non sticky lace with only a few spots staying.
Herbal crazy nose of super high pitched bittersweet floralness and raw lemon. Dandylions, wheat grass, white grape, corriander, and other uniquely herbal aromas bring a brigade of dizzying sniffing enjoyment each time its taken in. Has just a touch of barnyard stuff buzzing about, but the spicey herbal character remains quite true, strong, and beautiful. Awesome nose!
Taste is nearly as dizzying but somehow comes across nice and mellowing with a solid herbal tone over a smallish toasted pale malt and bready doughy sweetness. Kinda honeyish really, especially as it goes, with a solid mix of raw orange and lemon ascents, all the while keeping a firm little creamy sense and a wonderfully natural spicey kick that delivers a uniquely floral, fauna, earthy, grassy effect. A surprise awaits nearly every sip that wraps up all sorts of herbs and spices that'll keep ya guessing.
Feel is about medium, actually kinda dulled in comparison to the overall spicyness it carries. Which is, again, a unique complexity to the overall, taken in conception of how the beer is moving. It has a certain yeasty grab and underscored malty tang, but the complex spices and herbs really turn it into a whole nother complexion of texture and tone.
Wow, this has an immense complexity about it that fits the Fantome family very well. I really liked how it wasn't over the top all that much as its funkyness is quite tame. The sourness well controlled and the bitterness well-rounded in earthyness of herbs and grasses. There's nothing strange about a beer this good other than trying to figure out what exactly those spices and herbs are.
11-18-2007 15:23:36 | More by tavernjef
4.53/5 rDev +16.2%
Reviewed 9-22-2010 from a very fresh bottle.
How fresh? Standing next to the store clerk as he fills the shelf with a newly arrived case of Fantome Strange Ghost fresh.
Fresh Fantome is just awesome, and this beer did not disappoint! The beer poured with a huge, creamy head of foam. Cloudy, a rusty metalish brown color, close to home-brewed ice tea. Almost light cola, with a old brick red tinge to it. The nose was wild, with lots of spice & herbs in it. I'm picking up cloves, nutmeg, thyme,
even some cardamon. Fantome funk is there too, tart and fruity. Cherries, and figs like a spiced Christmas fruit cake! Strange indeed.
It taste like it smells. A inter-mix of spices and herbs, with a wonderful fruity tartness in the mouth. High carbonation at first then becomes soft and creamy. Good barnyard funk mixing in as the beer warms. There's just so much going on here, holiday spice, cherries, figs, fruitcake, fresh baked pie, candied fruit. Spice/ herbs all the way through the beer, not overpowering everything is in balance. Earthy, tart-funk, spice, fruity bubblegum in the finish. 8% abv is hardly noticeable as usual with Fantome beers, I'd call this a Spiced Saison.
Update: tasted this beer again a couple months later and the spice & herbs had dropped out the beer considerably, still there, but not as much as when I first tasted it. Became more tart/ sour with that barnyard funk and fruitiness present. Still damn good though.
Fantome beers are so delicate in the nose and palate, they transform rather quickly. I've got 2 more bottles in the cellar I'll see how it's tasting later this summer. Very refreshing brew.
04-21-2011 19:32:37 | More by CashMoneyVagrant
4.53/5 rDev +16.2%
Light brown with caramel and rusty highlights shining through the murky brew. A light tan film of foam rests lazily on the surface of the beer and sticks around for some time.
The aromas are straight from the spice rack... the whole spice rack! Everything from coriander, cinnamon, oregano, basil... the list goes on and on and is complemented by hints of freshly picked blueberries, and fresh cut pine.
The flavours are jus as diverse and complex. A bite of pine gum and rosemary strikes up front and is followed by refreshing hints of lavender and basil. The finish is dry and bitter with notes of fresh hops.
Many thanks to Goldorak for the bottle, this was a spectacular beer.
08-17-2005 18:55:03 | More by Beersignal
4.5/5 rDev +15.4%
750ml corked and capped bottle poured into a Fantome tulip.
A - Pours a dark, murky brown, with the plum looking color popular from many Belgian Strong Darks and Quads. Has a big, 2-finger pillowy head, very cavernous with wide bubbles. Very smooth looking and the head lasts a long time. Can see carbonation rising on the edges of the glass. Fantastic lacing as well.
S - The smell took me for a surprise, as I had two conflicting views of what this would be like. The saison label led me to believe it would be light, grassy, with some lemon zest, but the color had me thinking more fruity, complex and alcoholic. What I got was an amazing combination of both of these, a great blend of funky and sour, like some kind of mild geuze. The lemon zest comes through strong as well, being the predominant fruit. Tantalizing.
T - The taste is similar to the nose but keeps most of the sour while stripping the funk down a bit. Lemons, oranges, some light spices, but funky and sour at the same time. A geuze with more fruit influence and without the dryness. As the beer warms, the funk does seem to resurge a bit as well.
M - The mouthfeel is light bodied with low to moderate carbonation. Not mouth-puckeringly sour but it does play in the corners of the palate. Active on the tongue and keeps the flavors fresh. Finish is a bit bitter, bit sour, and a bit funky. Each taste is different.
D - Drinkability is high. While its easy to sip, this beer is also tempting to drink a lot of. I split this bottle with my roommate, but I could've easily expanded this beer to well over a few hours.
02-06-2011 23:28:37 | More by nhindian
4.5/5 rDev +15.4%
A bottle split with onix1agr and poured into two duvel snifters.
A- a steady pour yields a good three fingers of off white head that holds for a bit then settles leaving a nice spray of sticky lace, a solid foamy ring, and a thing skin on top. Hazy dark orange red in color with a awesome glow in the light.
S- tons of fruits and musty yeast bring a kinda mixed fruit cobbler feel to it. Light funk and a touch of tartness. I get peaches and apricots mostly with some lemon zest.
T- much like the nose the fruits and big and bold with peaches taking the lead. There's some other fruits in the mix as well. The funk is killer and play off the fruits and brings things to a new level. Light sour and tart hits with a background honey like sweetness. I get some super dry biscuity malts and a sweet baked good touch.
M- a bit less then medium in body with a smooth yet bright carb that really works well with the brew. Light pucker that gets the juices going.
D- this is a super cool beer. As with all of his brews this one is very different then anything else out there and its a good thing.
02-19-2011 23:32:44 | More by oglmcdgl
Fantôme Strange Ghost from Brasserie Fantôme
87 out of 100 based on 162 ratings.