Fantôme La Gourmande | Brasserie Fantôme

89 Reviews
Fantôme La GourmandeFantôme La Gourmande

Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-25-2003

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 89 | Ratings: 107
Photo of dacrza1
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A New Year’s Eve night capper as the ball dropped, so the senses of this review may be slightly hampered...reddish brown opaque body with a frothy white head that leaves no lace in a La Fin du Monde snifter....strong and dark....for sure, herbal and citrus aromas--tough to identify for my neophyte nostrils (Shan laughs at my thoughts of prunes)...intirguing lack of presence--a soft body built for summer, with a slight acidity--otherwise, pillow soft at 7.0 alcohol, indeed a triumph... fruity (grapefruity?) wheat with a hops presence, tart and medium-bodied finish...chosen out of season, this saison acts like a winter warmer minus the weight of the winter... I will return to this beer--and this review--in the summer, when the season may heighten an already impressive experience...

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Photo of tavernjef
4.04/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Been holding on to this for a long while, close to 8 months, waiting for an evening with friends to share it with. Yeah for friends, as we poured this out and smelled it right off the bat. However, and first most, lets see how it looks as the color is a dull peachy orange with somewhat of a murky glow to it. Once the last of the bottle is emptied it becomes much more clouded and yellowed. Not much action in the form of foam though. Just a breeze of large bubbles loosely float about the top for a small breif minute. Minimal lace in a few light, thin strings and some dots.

Ahh, the aroma, Fantome's usual high ended citrusy funk with a twist of old white grapey sourness, spicy salts and peppered herbs, and one large lemony barnyard fart on top.

Taste is a firm yelp of deep, darkened sour lemony goodness backed by some funky touches of yeast, floral dried herbs, crunchy spices, and a slow sea salty pale malt stale cracker moody backing. Quite tangy and loud in the mouth with a big but well tamed sourness that wrangles the tongue into a quick pinch of soured, dulled lemon, weird other tangy citrusfied funk of old, over ripe stuff , just a drizzle of barnyardyness, and a buzz of yeasty fluffy dryness closes out the finish late.

The body is a bit low and under a mediumness and not as bold as it probably once was. Maybe due to age? Not sure, but it seemed to be a bit underwhelming when going with other Fantome goodies that have that zip of boldness, malts, and buzz of yeasty girth.

I liked that this seemed tamer and a bit more mellow then I'm sure it once was when fresh. A fun tangy, soured ale to be much like other Fantome brews.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.5/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a one finger light tan head that goes quickly to a ring leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color with some yeast left in bottle. Medium carbonation and medium bodied. Yeasty/hoppy nose. Flavor is mild spice and woody herbs. Clean finish. $18.00 for a 750ml corked bottle from Ebenezer's Restaurant and Pub Lovell, ME.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Bu11zeye: Poured a hazy medium beige color ale with big foamy head with good retention and great lacing. Aroma is quite sour with some funky yeast also discernable. Taste is a mix between sourness and some oak as well as some light funky yeast and it finished on some dry notes. Body is full with some great carbonation. Another interesting experiment from this brewer which doesn’t meet all my expectation (a bit too dry and more funk would have improve this beer) but it is still enjoyable and wouldn’t mind having another go at.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.69/5  rDev +13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I bought this somewhere in Mass last year, it was due to be poped open.

Appearance: Creamy orange, it was opaque and had a bit of sediment, but not enough to gross me out. My glass had a thin ring of lacing, from afar it looked more like a lambic.

Smell: Really interesting aroma of fruits, mainly mangoes and peaches canned in syrup. Just the perfect amount of cork character and light funk to give it an aura of mystery.

Taste: Perfectly smooth carbonation, tastes like a melon ball wraped with a piece of prociutto and topped with cracked pepper. It was that combination of fruity refreshment, peppery finish and salty, dry and dusty aftertaste that makes me fall in love with this strange Beer style over and over again.

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Photo of Truh
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Fancied myself an epicurean with this one on 5/15/2007. Veritable amphora, poured twice in a large snifter, a kind gift from Delerium.

Starting 1/2-inch of precambrial foam that subsides to a touch of halo with just a hint of lace heading south. Sort of a honey mud orange hue with a whisper from the screaming banshees of Z-space going on, as far as carbonation is concerned. Orange blossoms, honey dew melon, corriander, and a touch of allspice play rock, paper, scissors on the nose. Up front mix of lemon rind, fresh cut basil, and oozing hop combs on the tongue, all of which is shanghaid by a quick tart tangy head of chafered lime zest. Medium body, and muchos drinkibales.

For a winter, I was expecting something a bit darker and thicker, but I would welcome more winters with a similar profile as this one.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium golden with a white frothy head that takes a while to settle. Pretty good lacing. The smell is fairly faint, there is a definite delicate sourness and a pretty floral aroma- hard to define, but its not hoplike, more like an alpine meadow. The taste and mouthfeel are light, crisp, and lemony sour with a spicy coriander like aftertaste. This one is not acetic really, its more like there is the tiniest hint of verjus blended in. Lemon cream on the finish. A little lighter and spicier than some of the other Fantome offerings. Refreshing, and great on a hot day, but lacks some of the complexity of the best that Fantome has to offer.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.39/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Attractive bright hazy orange color. Modest egg shell head and lace.

Smells of dried apricot, blood orange, lemon, sultana, coriander, cinnamon, honeysuckle, slight damp earthy funk and musty leaves. Ripe and inviting.

Plenty of acidity, crisp and refreshing, fairly dry. Fruit similar to the nose, with amplified juicy blood orange and apricot. A moderate dose of hop bitterness like bitter greens and citrus. Restrained funk in the background, and subtle coriander and cinnamon. Delicious.

Light but grippy mouthfeel. Very drinkable.

Excellent stuff.

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Photo of Gavage
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: hazy ruby amber in color with a one finger head that slowly falls to a thick surface foam that lasts forever. Spotty lacing develops during the session.

Smell: pepper and clove spices wrapped in a earthy goodness. Just a nice spicy aroma.

Taste: spicy yeast, pepper, clove, green apples, and a nice bitterness are based in a solid malty profile. The earthy features make this an interesting beer.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Very crisp at the start, less prickly at the finish. Short aftertaste is surprising based on the bold flavors.

Drinkability:overall this was one enjoyable beer. I could have cracked another bottle of this stuff, but this would not be considered a session beer at all.

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Photo of emerge077
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cork is extracted with a pop, and a waft of smoke.
Pours with visible carbonation into the tulip glass, with 1/4" of foam capping the clear amber Saison. Tiny champagne bubbles rise through the high-clarity liquid.

Aroma of overripe fruit, with a metallic mineral note at first. The bottle is 2 years old at least, so this could be attributed to some degree of oxidation.

Initial taste of mildly tart fruit (lemon rind) and malt/grain, most likely the Spelt listed as an ingredient. Mild Gueuze funkiness. Dry earthiness is fleeting in the finish. Carbonation enhances the mouthfeel, its understated but keeps it velvety.

One bottle is no problem in a sitting, this is a nice seasonal that may be best enjoyed in the springtime.

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Photo of Foxman
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours a hazy and carbonated, visually resonant reddish amber. Three fingers of pithy beige head swell and dip soon to a surface film. Ghosts of lacing schmoo the inside of the glass.

The aroma carries sweet toasted malt, with caramel and berry, along with clove, pepper, currants, and crisp apple. A passing horse-hair earthiness drops away to allow a mellow rill of alcohol to flow through.

Upon tasting, a light toffee malt sweetness joins a rounded acetic tanginess reminiscent of tart citrus. Spicy esters deliver clove, pepper, a dash of coriander, and a more general yeastiness. A very muted drift of alcohol ventilates the middle. A soft bite of biscuit carries through to a crisp green-apple cleanliness. The finish lingers just-so dry and gracefully bitter. It's Fantome, and that certainly says a lot.

Between light and medium bodied, it coats nicely, but knows when to move along dryly.

It's about saison with a twist, and Fantome, as usual, makes it happen. It's clean and refreshing, as the style entails, and it has a touch extra to keep the interest high. Drinking this bottle is a wonderfully easy thing to do. Finding Fantome on my local shelves is simply inspirational. Maybe South Jersey isn't the black hole I've been complaining it is.

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Photo of Ego
3.42/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

the unhaunted fantome...

big soapy head calms down rather quickly, very dark compared to most saisons, dark brownish with ruby hues, a tad murky even on the initial careful pour. good

sourness and funk, not quite a geuze but it wants to lean in that direction, apples with a hint of cinnamon, just a touch of that strange barnyard-ness manure-ish odor.

taste etc...
carbonation is like almost flat soda, this might be one of the less extreme fantomes I have ever tasted, we have slight apples, green pears, a hint of sugary sweetness, mind you, most of this is subdued, if I tasted this blind I might think it was a watered down cantillon product. This isn't bad but I suppose they have set the bar so high themselves that an average beer for them seems disappointing to those who rave about their products.

not worth going out of your way for but maybe a good one to pick up for neophytes to slowly introduce them to various styles of belgian beer wizardry.

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Photo of brentk56
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy light amber color with a fluffy head tha declines quickly to 1/4" and then persists, leaving a few shards of lace

Smell: Green apple, lime, lemon and funk aromas

Taste: Starts with a spry blend of lime, lemon and green apple that grows increasingly tart, mid-palate; after the swallow a cedar flavor perks up that blends with the tarty fruit flavors; the finish is startling, with a peppery blast that comes out of nowhere

Mouthfeel: Light bodied with prickly carbonation

Drinkability: Not my favorite Fantôme, I did find this grew on me; very subtle and, ultimately, delicious

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy orangy color, some carbonation, the head fizzles away quickly, very light lacing around the edges. Scents of yeast, malts, slight hops, spices, apples, and grapes. The taste is slightly tangy, slightly bitter, citrusy, with a nice dry finish. Medium body, a well rounded/complex brew. Alcohol content is hidden very well. Very drinkable, this is a totally different kind of saison compared to Saison Dupont. Highly recommended will buy again if available.

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Photo of Jredner
3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Whoah..unexpected aroma. Woody, almost cedary with lots of spiciness, citrus zest, hay must and fresh mown grass. The body is a brownish/orange but fairly bright. The head is a fluffy two finger thick Belgian classic that is constant as the northern star....immovable indeed. Slightlyt woody in the fore...very spicy...lemon peper seasoning almost...citrus and pepper are very concentrated. Sweet orange, apricot jam flavors throught the middle. Some apple notes. If you can work up a burp you’ll notice some mildewey/funky aromas lingering in the air in front of your nose....nice! I love how Fantome beers can seem so low key and yet still sooo damn concentrated and full of range. That cedar like woodiness lingering into the far aftertaste is amazing.

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Photo of gonzo138
3.92/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a cloudy orange-golden color, has very little head that did not retain or lace well

S-has the typical belgian farmhouse aromas, semi tart, a little citrusy, not as spicey as other saisons but still nice

T-complements smell, citrus flavor is very present, not too spiced, has a somewhat bitter sweetness to the finish

M- light in body, low carbonation for a saison, moderate dry feel

D- goes down very easy, a nice saison, not my favorite one (for either the style or the brewery) but still very nice, would probly drink/buy again

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pristine tangerine with fewer bubbles than I'm used to seeing in a Belgian saison. No surprise that the cap is thing of beauty. The pastel orange foam is a little too firm to be called mousse-like, a characteristic that allows it to persist seemingly forever. Very little lace graces the glass and even less manages to hang on.

I don't drink beer from this brewery as often as I'd like, so it's hard to remember what each one smells like. It seems to me though that each offering's nose is slightly different (and very good), while retaining a 'house similarity', for want of a better phrase. This one is mildly farmhouse funky, warmly spicy and a little herbal.

I wondered how a wheat saison would taste and now I have my answer. La Gourmande is impressively sour while retaining the spicy yeastiness and orchard fruitiness that Fantome is known for. Each sip is an exercise in puckeriness and acidity that would make many a Flanders red proud. In fact, I wonder if this beer uses a different yeast strain since it's hard to believe that this degree of tartness is completely wheat-related.

To be more precise, spelt is the grain used (epeautre on the label), not the typical wheat that most wheat/wit/weizen beers use. While it's a simply another species of the same grain, who knows, maybe it tastes vastly different when used in brewing. In any case, something is giving the beer a dizzinging amount of sourness and makes it stand out from the rest of the Fantome line.

Green apples, unripe pears and lemon zest make up the bulk of the flavor profile, as the usual yeasty spiciness takes a backseat. I'm not sure if this beer is brewed year-round or if it's a seasonal, but it seems to me to be a perfect summer beer. The body favors the lighter end of the spectrum even without a ridiculous amount of carbonation. Fewer bubbles means that 750 ml should be no problem at all on a hot day. Or any day at all.

I appreciate what the brewer attempted to do with La Gourmande. It's just that the sourness is cumulative and is beginning to wear on me now that I've entered the final third of the bottle. Less than average Fantome beer is still light years ahead of average. If that isn't the mark of a world-class brewery, then I don't know what is.

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Photo of dgallina
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml dark green capped and corked bottle. No bottled-on or best-before date.

Pours into the tulip deep and clear golden straw. Huge thin foamy head that recedes rapidly to a blanket of cream and nice lace. The aroma is big with musty earth, leaves, dry powdery yeast, lemon and orange rind, white pepper. Flavor is sweeter than you anticipate from the smell. But the initial malty sweetness is overtaken by earthy funk, white pepper, bitter orange peels in the center. Finishes with a combination of dry toasted malt and leafy earth. Medium-light body with strong carbonation. Mellow and complex, but probably not for the beginner due to the strong strong earthy vibe.

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Photo of Gusler
4.37/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer before decanting pours from the 750ml green capped and corked bottle a clear gold with a perfectly sized cream white head, the lace a thin silky sheet to cover the glass. Nose is spicy, hints of orange peel, crisp and fresh, with a tart backing; start is sweet, like carbonated fruit juice, light profile, back tart, and the top light in feel. Finish is burly in its acidity, with the tart sweetness carrying all the way to the chalk dry aftertaste, a yummy for the tummy.
(Note): After decanting, the nose has more earthy tones, and the color become quite cloudy as one would expect, I don’t know about you, but I love the “dregs”!

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Photo of Crosling
4.06/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky tangerine with a large and distinct head of foam. Aroma is heavily spiced with hints of orange peel, curacao, cocoa powder along with a touch of sour fruit (tangerine especially) and strawberry jam. Flavor is bursting with fruit and spice; the fruits being a blend of peaches and nectarines while the spices are loaded with orange zest (coriander, bitter orange peel), along with a suprisingly dry and herbaceous blend that I can’t quite identify. This is my 13th different Fantome beer and this has by far the most spice character. Very delicious.

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Photo of bditty187
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, peachy gold in hue with some bronzy amber interwoven, I can see a steady stream of animation dancing northward to the white head. At its highest point the foam was three fingers tall, head retention was very good. The bubbles slowly faded to a cap, which as still a finger high. A smaller cap lasted the entire consumption. The subsequent lacing didn’t cling to the glass all that well, every time a little residue built up, it slid back into the head. While the appearance is typical of Fantome I still haven’t tired of looking at their gems.

I smell marshmallows, orange candy, lemongrass, and tropical fruits primarily. Secondary aromas consist of herbs, coriander, an old fruit cellar, a dilapidated barn… somewhere in the distance. The bouquet is soft and delicate. While the nose is layered and lovely while it is not the widest Fantome nose I’ve enjoyed it is still complex and inviting. Moderately low potency; I can’t wait to take a sip.

The palate is bright, much livelier then the nose indicated. First of all, where did this acidity come from? It is very much welcomed. Invigorating citrusy notes, lemonade, orange zest… followed by a sprig of herbs. In the middle, the malt is found, hints of grain and caramel, crackers. At the finish a woody residue develops; as does some light funky barnyard notes, tropical fruit and pepper. The alcohol is very well hidden; I can feel it in my belly but not in the taste. The aftertaste is juicy… fruity and herbal. Ho hum, yet another really good beer from Fantome. I love Saisons. I love Fantome’s Saisons. What really shines in this beer is the low acidity, moderate bitterness, faint malty notes, and huge fruity/candy qualities. All this adds up to a tasty, well-rounded and passive aggressive beer. Yummy!

Medium in body, low but natural carbonation, the mouthfeel is relaxing and soothing to swallow. It fits the flavor profile very well. I think this beer would pair well with a hearty salad topped with a mild bleu cheese dressing.

Wow, this beer is super drinkable! 750mls are like 7oz nips; way too small. I’m sipping away my bottle all too fast… I just can’t set my glass down. Subtle goodness abounds. I purchased my bottle in Lincoln, NE… of all places. Anytime I see Fantome locally (which is like never) I buy some. This might be my favorite brewery in the world. Recommended.

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Photo of goschool
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up a bottle of this at Red Carpet Wine in Glendale. The pour is a hazy orange with gold hues. The white head leaves thin lacing. A zesty lemon sourness combines with the citrusy, peppery, yeasty saison aroma. The taste is as if a Belgian strong pale ale and a tripel went to a barnyard and got loaded on gueuze. Glory B, da' funk's in La Gourmande! I wanted to go out New Year's Eve, but this Fantôme and a Curb Your Enthusiasm marathon is pretty, pretty, pretty good.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.46/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a bottle for my New Years party.

Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a nice white head of foam. Nice foamy lacing.

Smells nice with hints of sweet malts, coriander, citrus fruit and yeast. This sample had that musty aroma of a green bottled beer.

Nice nutty malt sweetness with a tea-like flavor of mint, corriander, and citrus fruit (orange peel). Very nice and smooth.

Nice beer, very smooth and balanced. Awesome brew!


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Photo of grassrootsVT
3.87/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

shared a bottle, poured into nicey wine glass.
pours with little to no carbonation, no head retention [no head to retain!!], due, likely, to the high acidity of the beer. boy, was i surprised with this one!! i was expecting something along the line of the blaugies spelt saison, judging by the name of the beer. i was mistaken. this certainly is, at first impression, a pseudo lambic....the fantome yeast character is still present in the nose and the taste, but it appears that some sour barnyard character has blended with the house strain. is it lactic? brett?
a highly drinkable [for the style] sour. color is about the same as the standard saison - an amber orange - this one smells of earthy funk, musty, lemony citrus...some sort of shampoo like character [i'm using the nature's gate organic].
i'm impressed with this one, but not enough to return to it time and again. one bottle is enough for me...there is one more waiting for me in my basement, perhaps the carbonation level and the appearance will fare better.... i would prefer to return to their other it just me or are people's scores for this one inflated like the grading scale in some ivy league university?
to class this as a gueze, perhaps, may be a better style orientation. i understand that saison is an 'open' and interpretive style...but...??

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazy peachy color with a finger of head that falls to a sparse coating over top. Very nice color. Nose is light lemon and spice and light barnyard mustyness. Nothing too heavy here. Flavor is definately more spicey than the nose. Almost a spearmintyness and tea in the finish. Very nice. The mustyness is there, but not heavy. Very nice beer. Feel is moderate with an active carbonation. Very drinkable beer. I realy enjoy the minty tea quality. I dig it.

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Fantôme La Gourmande from Brasserie Fantôme
4.15 out of 5 based on 107 ratings.
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