Fantôme Saison D'Erezée - Hiver - Brasserie Fantôme
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Ratings: 617 | Reviews: 376 | Display Reviews Only:
2.93/5 rDev -26.2%
I'm usually a big fan of Fantome, but this was was a bit too much for me handle.
It poured an attractive Garnet/Rust color with little to no head. lacing is light. The inviting color was the best thing about the beer IMHO.
The smells were of orange rind and pine with a hint of tea. It's not a wholly unpleasant smell, just not too appetizing to me.
Tastes of unsweetened tea with some citrus. There are some spices in there, but they are hard for me to pick out. . . pepper?
All this aside, I still find myself enjoying it. I guess that's part of the magic of Fantome. I still wouldn't say it is highly drinkable.
I'll try it again next year.
03-02-2007 00:36:25 | More by BitterBrian
3.68/5 rDev -7.3%
Close one; I popped the crown off to find a small layer beer vinegar sitting above the cork, hopefully not a precurser to the rest of the bottle. The cork comes out with much effort, almost ripping it in half in the process. Finally, the last bit budges, exiting with a small pop, and the beer begins to foam. Thank God! My hands and the bottle are now completely covered in sticky old beer, but the rest of the bottle seems to be fine.
Artsy looking dark tan beer with an enthusiastic head. On the nose there is a tangy tart funkiness, a bit of vinegar reminding me of salad dressing, and light spices like corriander, curry, and clove. The beer equivilant of roasted wild game with all the trimmings. There is a resemblance to English barleywine.
Tartness takes over at first, but is soon dominated by the dense maltyness. Residual sweetness? Never; the finish is dry as a bone. Slight oxidation, which brings with it some dullness to the complexity. The barleywine component is here too; reminds me of Old Nick with a Belgian twist. Lets see...I detect sour fruit (maybe cherries), foie gras, dust, Brettanomyces, and a whole melting pot of other notes. Reminds me of an un-intimidating gueuze ale with a major grain bill. Very woody. Alcohol and hops are dectectible, if you know where to look for them. Warm in my stomach but not my throat.
Mouthfeel is very pleasing, with plently of bubbles which add some spice. Before long the head dissappeared, but enough CO2 is still dissolved to carry this complex ale with a heavy body (not a touch too heavy, though). Chalky. Half the bottle is getting the best of me, so drinability is low dispite the enjoyability.
Not my favorite offering from this brewery, although I'm not complaining. I wish I knew what it took to make beers like this. Cheers!
 It's 2 hours later and I'm still working on it...I need to add that the temp is now ambient, which has made the drinkability much higher. The flavors are blending in perfect harmony. I've changed my ratings to reflect this.
02-03-2007 02:19:20 | More by rayjay
4.45/5 rDev +12.1%
Dark turmeric with a candy apple blush. The beer looks very good and the crown of foam looks fantastic. It's pale beige with a pastel orange tint and is more dense than the heads on most Belgian beer. In fact, it looks like something one might see on an IPA. Shredded sheets of lace stick with authority.
How in the world does Mr. Prignon manage to recreate the seasons so faithfully in his beer? Hiver smells like winter potpourri, but in a good, beer-like way. Spices are clearly in charge, as they so often are in the Fantome saisons. It's difficult for me to make any sort of a positive identification. Cedar? Balsam? Sandlewood? Cotton candy? While I'm sure all are wildly off the mark, the nose couldn't be more on the mark.
No brewer in world puts out such consistently odd, yet such consistently delicious beer as Brasserie Fantome. It's instantly recognizable to aficionados and tastes like absolutely nothing else. Hiver's flavor profile is an almost exact match of its nose. That means, of course, that it's tremendously spicy. My fear is that it might become a little wearing by the time I reach the 700 ml mark.
I can see how a spice load this aggressive might be a polarizer. Count me a definite member of the cathode (positive pole) rather than the anode (negative pole). Each sip is truly electric! There's no way in the world I can adequately describe what I'm tasting, so I'll have to go with free association. I'd like to know what's in here, but that would spoil the fun; like learning how a magician performs his tricks.
The flavor profile has an spicy, herbal, woodsy vibe. It tastes like balsam, cedar, cinnamon, nutmeg and coriander. Who am I kidding? Those are my best guesses, but I've come to the conclusion that Fantome beer isn't meant to be dissected, it's meant to be enjoyed. That isn't a problem since I've been enjoying it since the first mouthful. The typical sourness is nicely supported by an early sweetness and a late bitterness. This stuff is too complex for words.
The mouthfeel is the only chink in the armor, although it's really more of a minor dent. I like it a lot, it just doesn't measure up to the excellence of the rest of the beer. It's a couple notches short of medium and has a pleasing slickness on the back end. A few more bubbles might have resulted in a more expansive, more lightly creamy mouthfeel.
Fantome Saison-Hiver might just be the most unorthodox beer that I've ever had from this most unorthodox of breweries. With the exception of Saison, and the possible exception of Brise Bons-Bons!, it's also the best. I've heard that Dany changes the recipes on his saisons from year to year. I have no idea what year I have before me (2005 is my best guess), but I'd say he picked a winning combination this time around.
02-02-2007 22:39:06 | More by BuckeyeNation
3.88/5 rDev -2.3%
Appearance: Pours a cloudy burnt orange with a poor head and spotty lacing
Smell: Crazy aroma of rotting melon, lychee, tart apples and, unfortunately, acetone
Taste: Starts out with a tart honeydew flavor that is joined by a bitter balsa wood flavor that becomes increasingly dominant; after the swallow, the balsa wood flavor persists and overwhelms the fruit; there is a touch of something herbacious, like cardamom, in there as well
Mouthfeel: Light body with low carbonation
Drinkability: Intriguing, but not as tasty as some of the other Fantômes in the lineup
01-24-2007 01:43:44 | More by brentk56
4.08/5 rDev +2.8%
Capped and corked 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours an orangish amber color with a large off-white head. The aroma is dry and floral that is malty and has some citrus, must and all of the farmhouse aromas that I have come to love from beers of this style. The taste is a bit sour and musty with some nice fruity flavors and a bit of peppery spice and hops. I would have liked the mouthfeel to have possessed a little more depth but it does not detract from the brew that much. Overall, this is another great beer from one of my favorite breweries. Definitely recommended to anyone looking for a great saison.
01-19-2007 05:16:39 | More by cjgator3
4.85/5 rDev +22.2%
A- Big off white head on a pretty clear dark orange/amber body with brown hues in it. Leaves a nice decent size head.
S- Big European hop character. Fruit like cherries and a hint of lime and maybe orange? Some caramel malts to balance it out and maybe even a bit earthy. A couple other things I can't manage to pin point too.
T- There is a lot going on in the flavor so I'm going to do my best to see if I can point out each individual one. Cheers, Belgium sugar?, caramel malts, hints of orange and lemon, bit floral hops (not much though), and it's sort of candish. It's very well balance and very complex.
M- Medium to thin body with low carbonation making it a very nice smooth beer.
D- This beer is just amazing. It's so easy to drink but at the same time so much going on in it. This could be a sipper or just a great beer to drink easily (just watch out since it's 8.00% abv). I think this just has so much going on in it and it is just excellently made. Right now I think if I had to only drink one more beer it would be this one just since I can see it covering most occasions. Shame it's not easier to get and cheaper. The only reason I didn't give this straight 5's is because I can see it getting a tiny bit better but I'm not sure how. I wish I could make it a 4.99.
01-12-2007 05:24:52 | More by BlindPig
3.83/5 rDev -3.5%
Pours a strong, super thick two-finger head. Looks a bit like bread in color and consistancy. The retention is awesome. The deep, deep amber, rust color helps bring out the sno capped head, bread-dough head gain so much appeal to me. The bubbles are a little hard to see in the deep amber, but look very nice amidst the light yeast suspension. The aroms is lightly tart and mildly malty. Gives the presence of tart melons. The taste laclkks on the fruit so to speak. Can still detect some tart honeydew. But the main stay is some light red, grapes. Musty and eartthy malts and hops. Very natural taste to this beer. Was very nice to sip while watching Super Size Me.
01-05-2007 06:00:25 | More by scruffwhor
4.45/5 rDev +12.1%
Pours a cloudy rich copper color with plenty of yeasy floaties and miniscule carbonation bubbles. The head is shortlived but produces a generous sheets of lace. The aroma is grainy with wet straw, whole grain bread with honey, stewed fruit, lemon and wild yeast. The taste is fruity and tart. Lemon and sour apple mixes with grainy malts, peppercorns, enigmatic spices and flowery hop essence. The mouthfeel is very full and thick, almost chewy. Carbonation is low and very smooth. The finish is subtly spicey, a little tart and quite long. Alcohol is non existent throughout.
My first Fantome and I am very impressed. Very complex and hard to describe.
12-16-2006 20:04:28 | More by CAMRAhardliner
4.43/5 rDev +11.6%
Appearance was very nice poured into a tulip glass, ruby red in color with a 1 finger tan head that stayed for a good while before settling to a nice film on top, and nice lacing around the glass.
Smell had hints of caramel, vanilla, spices, and a faint touch of fruit which all blended very well.
Taste has the vanilla and spices still there, with bitter oranges and pepper dominating the back of my tongue more bread and funky yeast coming out as this warms.
Mouthfeel this beer has a strange silky feeling from the vanilla and yeast on the front of my tongue, but the bitterness from the spices and fruit in the back of my mouth keeps me wondering what I will experience next.
Drinkability since this is the second time was able to enjoy this beer once in January and now today, I think this beer was really done right. I will be looking for this again when it is released this year and hopefully I am lucky enough to do the same comparison again.
12-09-2006 00:13:20 | More by BRoss242
4.1/5 rDev +3.3%
Since we're finally getting some bitterly cold and blustery weather around these parts lately I decided it was time to open up last year's Fantôme Saison DErezée Hiver that I picked up on sale in May or June. Like all Fantôme bottles, this one is crowned and corked. Served at cellar temperture into an Ommegang cervoise, this year-old winter offering is mahogany-bronze with a substantial amount of suspended yeast particulates and a modest greyish-white foam cap. The nose reveals a familiar Fantôme tart green apple funk with white pepper and slight uric acid notes. It smells "dry" if that makes any sense. However, this dryness does not carry over into the flavor. There is more of a demure sugary malt presence that takes over after a noticeable but overall meager lemon-tart smack at the very beginning of the sip. There is a definite Granny Smith apple character to the flavor, but more along the lines of a green apple Jolly Rancher interpolation. Sugary but not too sweet. Light, playful, and just barely slick mouthfeel. Low carbonation. Some dark leafy vegetal notes come through in the taste as it warms. This is a solidly drinkable beer, as are all the beers I've sampled from this brewery. Seems more appropriate for late winter than for late fall, when I drank it.
12-07-2006 04:46:08 | More by orfeu
4.13/5 rDev +4%
This brew pours a hazy ruby color. It's a bit darker than other saisons I have tired, but attractive none the less. The head is mamouth in size and lasts forever. The aroma is of orange, plum, honey, yeast and earth. The taste is more earthy than the aroma with the fruit and honey lingering in the background. The finish is mildly, but noticably hot. The mouthfeel is very much too style: light bodied and dry with a high level of carbonation. Overall, this is a very good beer that I would love to drink again. However, I would still rather have regular Fantôme, or Fantôme Saison DErezée - Été as I think they both were a little more complex.
11-07-2006 05:11:12 | More by KarlHungus
4.28/5 rDev +7.8%
Appearance: pours a hazy coppoer color with a 1" head that slowly fell to a thick surface foam. Spotty lacing developed.
Smell: vanilla, spices, and yeast are easily detectable by the nose.
Taste: yeast, green grapes, pepper, and vanilla are wrapped in a spicy and mildly tart citrus blanket. Mild bitterenss and hints of alcohol are noticeable.
Mouthfeel: very crisp. Medium bodied. Short aftertaste.
Drinkability: very flavorful and quite a different brew overall. Easy to drink and should be a must buy if you see it on the shelves.
09-27-2006 11:58:59 | More by Gavage
3.78/5 rDev -4.8%
Pours a hazy brown/orange, thin off white head forms, sticks to the glass, good retention. Smell is sweet and caramel, minor funk, spices, yeasty. Taste is lots of caramel, spice punch, little bit of vanilla and citrus, some sourness at the end. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium carbonation. Not bad, but after the Fantome Saison this one was a bit lacklustre.
09-14-2006 16:02:10 | More by Viggo
3/5 rDev -24.4%
Bottle: Poured a dirty dark yellow color ale with a small foamy head with minimal retention. Aroma of weird spice mix with some strong Saaz hops. Taste is incredibly dry probably from the mix of spices and hops but doesnt really excite my taste buds. Body is about average and carbonation is quite low. Not bad but just doesnt provide the magic that I usually find in Fantome beers.
09-05-2006 16:24:17 | More by Phyl21ca
3.9/5 rDev -1.8%
Light hazy brown with a very modest tan head. A little reticent as far as aroma goes, faint unidentifiable spice with mild citrus, dried fruits. A touch sour upfront, very earthy, somewhat musty, some dark fruity esters, candied orange peel, subdued yet sweet doughy malts and a touch of soy. Plus an added spice component that i can't put a finger on. Alcoholic spice through the back end, finishes a little dry. Really unusual. Medium bodied with fairly low carbonation. Almost the sort of carbonation I look for in my stouts. Alcohol is present, but not a hindrance. Weird, but good.
08-05-2006 13:47:29 | More by numenor1
4.18/5 rDev +5.3%
Opened up a 750ml bottle and received a cascade of foam. Following clean up, it poured a light brown/amber color with a slight haze due to some yeast I stirred up in my fumbling. The smell was earthy and yeast at first, the some type of spice, a whiff of alcohol, and finally a perfume/rose note. Taste was not as complex as the smell, with a tart citrus being the most apparent. You also got a bit of sweetness from the malt, and finished with a little pepper for seasoning. Mouthfeel was medium in body, and, surprise, carbonation was pretty high. I really liked this beer and found it very drinkable.
07-08-2006 20:35:27 | More by
3.9/5 rDev -1.8%
Reddish plum color with slight haze, fair bubbling. Head is short and doesn't last too long. Aroma is medium strong, with earthy notes, cherry and other dark fruit, and light spice. The flavor begins very subtly and lightly sour. It improves toward the finish which is rather dry and bready. Not much sweetness overall so I have to give credit for being very true to the style. The taste is not that strong, but its interesting and hard to discern. Mouthfeel is slightly thin, with lower carbonation, not bad. This was suprisingly very drinkable. Not one of Fantome's best but a nice saison...
06-09-2006 03:56:16 | More by bennetj17
4.35/5 rDev +9.6%
Pouring a creamy but thin off-white head, the plum/caramel color helps make this a great looker. The bubble activity was simply fascinating. While there was constant effervesence, a second body seemed to be moving around in the liquid. It's probably sediment, just what exactly I'm not sure, but I know I've never seen a beer quite like it. Great start.
The aroma is also totally unique. A bit mysterious, hard to close in on. Vinuous in general, but with a grape-iness that mingles with scents of leather and spoiled dark fruits. I'm also reminded of mushrooms marinated in a wine sauce. The yeast here produces some wacky traits. I like!
The flavor is not surprising after taking several whiffs, but it is indeed wild. Mirroring the aroma, it lays out a barnyard funk at the beginning of the sip, and also reminds of a variety of warm, overripe dark fruits: pomegranate, plum, grape, and even a peppery zing. There's even a bready heartiness here. The finish offers a long-lasting sourness. Lots going on here. Clearly a complex, fascinating, delicious, compelling beer.
05-29-2006 20:57:36 | More by Metalmonk
4.38/5 rDev +10.3%
Poured in everything. Looks like dark rust. Nearly opaque. A hardened soft glow seeks the center but doesn't even come close. A tall, all encompassing, cap of thick, luscious foam sweeps up the side of the goblet growing like the increasing wind of a oncoming storm. The top is tanned light brown in hue with a spot of brown leather in the center from the yeasty drippys. Tends to keep one heck of top sitting there the whole glass through; from pour to pour until the bottle is empty, the top is always sitting with a solid presense. Lacing is slow and low into the glass with patterns of thickly stringed blobby forms.
Aroma is soft and tender of a darkened tartness of citrus and smokey malts. Kinda grapey, kinda plummy, a certain funk of leather and wet, old wood simply keeps it interesting to the nose.
Flavors are simple in composure but complex in layers and length. Simple ways about it seem forebodingly dark and seeping into a sweet, deep tartness thats amazingly soft and supple. Flavors are a wave of mixtures making the overall current a tasty little display of dark grape and citrusy orange dusted with cocoa and semi tangy molasses. Very moderate really but lasting. Rides out for a tauntifingly, yeastified, sweet, and candied treat. The semi sweetness, sugared cookie doughness, and wood/leather funk hints is the make and mark of a great Belgian beer. And this smacks of that fact.
Feel is sublime! So succulant, so soft and tender. It works sublimely with the flavors across the palate. As if to unfold, or create a breeze with verve and steadiness. The body is just over medium and never strays from there. Texturized in fluffy stuff that yeasty things like to create. Perfect.
This is one very damn fine brew. That 8% and bigger 750ml bottle can catch ya off guard right quick if your not careful. A sipper, sure. But downable all the same.
05-26-2006 00:31:53 | More by tavernjef
4.4/5 rDev +10.8%
750ml bottle: This beer pours a very hazy red-tinged mahogany brown color. There was a small off-white head that dies off quickly. The aroma is pleasant, albeit a little weaker than I expected for this beer. The aroma is complex. It is appealing, with notes of caramel, sourness and Im not quite sure. It is definitely complex. The taste is good. Somewhat tart, a hint of pepperiness, some fruits, caramel, the list goes on. Very nice.
05-21-2006 20:11:05 | More by Boto
4.25/5 rDev +7.1%
05/16/06- Purchased at Sun Devil Liquors in Tempe, AZ.
Presentation- 750ml bottle, both caped and corked. No freshness dating. A code on the cork, but don't know how to read. Assuming either a 2003 or 2004 version as it was purchased in the fall of 2005. Poured into my Duvel tulip.
Appearance- Dark grape colored pour. One inch head which hoovers for a while. Leaves light chunks and streaks of lace.
Smell- What the hell? Some really different stuff going on here. A pretty strong scent of vanilla with a base of powdered sugar and a floral. and perfumy chamomile tea like scent. Odd for sure, but really nice. Smells more sugary than sour. Very earthy and dirt-like.
Taste- Damn, the taste is even weirder than the smell. This is a true definition of a sweet and sour beer. You could almost dump this over your pork, chow mein or whatever and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference. A really nice sweetness at first followed by a pretty sour mouth puckering right after. A mixture of fruits, but I can't tell which. Kinda like a smoothie with with a bunch of herb extracts that a sherpa from Nepal would give you while camping at base camp at Everest. It does have a definite winter feel though.
Mouthfeel- Well carbonated, afteratse is sour, but short lasting.
Drinkability- LongBeachBum was right on in his review. This beer will truly confuse many, if not most beer drinkers. It sure did to myself and BA member Spinlock who consumed this beer. At first sip I really didn't think I liked it, but as I got close to finishing it, I'd wished I had another bottle, if not 2 or 3. It grows on you. As usual, this is truly another outrageous beer from Fantome. I'm really glad I had the pleasure of trying this one and will look for it again in the future.
05-17-2006 05:55:41 | More by GClarkage
3.9/5 rDev -1.8%
Aroma recalls dark, burnt malts and burnt fruits. Some carmalized sugar and vanilla notes as well. Reminds me of a brown sugar coated fruit pancake that has sat too long on the griddle. Opaque red-tinted brown body with a two finger thick tan head. For is bready with a mild, wholesome sweetness and a crispness that starts at the tip of the tongue and stays strong enough to whipcrack the throat as you swallow. There is a pervasive toasty, grain flavor that reminds me a lot of sweet toasted wheat cakes. Not the most compelling Fantome, of the few Ive had, but it is interesting and certainly tasty.
04-24-2006 22:52:51 | More by Jredner
3.78/5 rDev -4.8%
Wine stained leather. Incredibly aromatic, milk chocolate, fruits (grape, currants), coriander, lactose and molasses. Subtle, funky, light bodied, lingering flavorful with a variety of fruit (grapes, apricots, raisins) and spice (coriander, wood shavings). Not as tart as I was hoping for. Well hidden alcohol, like every Fantome beer. Im not taking this to the grave with me but I still enjoyed it.
03-23-2006 21:39:08 | More by Crosling
3.88/5 rDev -2.3%
Only my second offering from Fantome,poured a hazy deep amber with a big fluffy slightly off white head that takes its time as it settles leaving a creamy mass.Whoa dont like the aromas there is funk and then there is nasty funk almost skunked and barnyard "stuff" when taking first whiffs that was a major turn off.The flavors do not reflect the funkiness of the aromas though dried fruits,prunes and raisins the Belgian yeast is quite perevalent as well with atouch of iron in the finish as well.Nice full creamy mouthfeel that goes down smooth oh so smooth.Damn if the aromas were not so out there is woulld be sublime as it is its a fine beer in it self.
03-02-2006 21:38:04 | More by oberon
3.68/5 rDev -7.3%
Just shy of a really good beer. After a good pop from the cork this poured very well into my Duvel glass. A turbid brown with a moderate haze as some of the yeast got in with the beer. nice big head that faded back. Smells fruity and spicy malt, with a woody smell of cut wood not piney or oaky just wood there is also a good amount of yeast and some funk. The first sip was a bit under whelmed as this is my first fantome. I was hoping for something better. It starts to grow and I am really tasting this beer. There are hints of oxidation in the fruit of the malt up front a nice funky yeast charcter that is through the middle that carries over to spice. It has a good body and the 8% is not even a factor. Easy drinker, but not something I would have regularly. Thanks to AB for the bottle.
02-06-2006 18:23:09 | More by Higravity
Fantôme Saison D'Erezée - Hiver from Brasserie Fantôme
89 out of 100 based on 617 ratings.