Fantôme / Jester King Del Rey
Brasserie Fantôme

Fantôme / Jester King Del ReyFantôme / Jester King Del Rey
Write a Review
Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Belgian Saison
Ranked #1,944
Ranked #41,495
3.58 | pDev: 17.04%
Brasserie Fantôme
Fantôme / Jester King Del ReyFantôme / Jester King Del Rey
Reviews: 20 | Ratings: 96 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of scottfrie
4.28/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

8oz pour on tap at THG.

A: Dark, slightly opaque, golden iced-tea amber with a thin cap of off-white foam.
S: Musty nose with damp basement funk, a kiss of golden fruit, and subtle earthy/peppery spice. Musty overall.
T: There's definitely the characteristic fantome yeast flavor with a clean, slightly medicinal, bitterness mixed with mushroomy funk. There are notes of wheat up front, along with a subtle kiss of acid. I get a subtle honey sweetness with touch of soft fruit. Honey lingers in the aftertaste. Mushroom funk really sticks out with a damp basement quality. Peppery spice and a touch of coriander throughout. Tiny hint of stone fruit in the finish. Hint of bandaid, but mostly mushroomy.
M: Medium body, drying mouthfeeel, with a lingering earthy bitterness and splashy tingly carbonation.
O: A nice funky, musty, saison. Great to have a fantome beer on tap for a change.

 891 characters

Photo of Jwale73
3.67/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours the color and clarity of honey with a thin, consistent skim across the surface. Nose expresses notes of honey and tropical fruit. Taste follows nose with the merest hint of pepper added in. Mouthfeel is light in body with a watery consistency and an even carbonation. Overall, an interesting beer; however, it was served a bit cold. A warmer temp might open things up a little more.

 393 characters

Photo of Thomas_Wikman
4.3/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I bought Fantome Del Rey from the Jester King Brewery in Austin, Texas. They typically feature the best of Farmhouse Ales, Wild American Ales, and other styles, from around the world, in addition to their own items. I thought this one was very nice, tasty and refreshing. In the case of Fantome Del Rey it is not allowed to sell in Texas without Brasserie Fantome having to pay for expensive local licensing fees. Well, Jester King stepped in and sold it as its own. Thank you, Jester King, for bringing the best of Belgium to Texas once again.

Look: Amber, apple juice colored, with a thick white head.

Aroma: The aroma is pretty nice. It’s sweet, yeasty, and fruity.

Taste: It's sweet, tart, honey, yeasty/funky, bready, fruits, pineapple, orange, lemon green apple, overall a complex inviting aroma and taste.

Feel: medium mouthfeel, nicely carbonated, refreshing.

 873 characters

Photo of Lingenbrau
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly murky orange with a tiny white head. Smells very sour with a touch of malty, sugary goodness. Taste was deceptively sweeter than expected, with a nice light tartness. Tastes like a honey glazed melting pot of fruits. Feel is medium with decent carbonation, a touch acidic, and pretty smooth. Overall, this was a unique beer to say the least, and very good overall. Cheers!

 395 characters

Photo of PDXAmbassador
4.55/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2014 batch tried for the second time, July 2016.
Poured crystal clear dark gold, head lingers throughout the entire process of drinking the glass.
Smells funky, very sweet -- strawberry, fruit, definitely Fantome unique yeast. Some skunking too (green bottle).
Taste is amazingly sweet -- I don't mean it has a lot of residual sugar, but that when it hits the tongue there is a burst of flavor like strawberries, pears, apricot, lots of peach juice. A bit of balancing bitterness and a bit of tartness too. I'd be happy if it continues to sour in the bottle. Absolutely deliciously fruity. A fair amount of orange peel flavor too. And under it all, a dark earthy flavor from the rumored truffle addition. Delicious.
Mouthfeel is lovely. Moderately high carb, a bit of drying mineralogy, no overdone tannins. Pretty perfect.
I love this beer. One of the sweetest, purest examples of Fantome I've had. I see this only improving over the next several years.

 955 characters

Photo of puck1225
3.85/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into a snifter. Dark gold orange color, a bit cloudy. A thin head and light lacing. A sour - sweet smell. The taste is sour and earthy with honey and spice. Good carbonation makes this beer light and refreshing.

 233 characters

Photo of mynie
4.42/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark for saison, bordering on Amber with minimal fizz. Smells great: very tart and funky with a nice kick of skunk. Tastes like it smells, intense but well rounded. Tart cherries up front, sour acid and skunk, ending on earthy nodes.

This is dank, earthy, and complicated, but there was nothing in here that was the slightest bit unpleasant or off. I have no idea where the negative reviews are coming from.

 418 characters

Photo of aleigator
3.43/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Has a hazy, orange, slightly earthy, color, with a decent, fizzy head.

Reveals aromas of flowery hops, acidic, tart citrus peel, bready malts, with honey on top of that unique melange. Also introduces an interesting interplay between pungent herbs and slightly funky, old leather with sweet honey binding the different flavors together.

Begins with a yeast supported, herbal hoppiness, coated up by dough malts and a crisp, tart lemon note, accompanied by young green apple. The hops are quite prominent in this one, due to garden herbs and fresh cut grass, with a honey infused, slightly slick dry bitterness. While malts begin dough, with just a honeyed hint to them, they turn quite sweet during the finish with even more flowery honey. Defined by a fitting carbonation, the beer finishes surprisingly sweet, with glazed malts and honey, topped by slightly dry and funky herbs. Also got a clove spiciness to it, accompanied with a yeasty sweetness, reminding me somehow of a tripel.

 987 characters

Photo of HeadyTheElder
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

There must be some bad bottles out there, because what I'm drinking is very good. Nice bright citrus and other fruit. Some nice earthiness. Nicely carbed for the style.

 169 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.05/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Kind of a murky orange brown with a small white head. The aroma is fully of subtle funk with notes of orange, pineapple, and spicy wheat. Flavor is similar but more earthy than the aroma. Medium body and carbonation with a fairly sweet finish. Not sure why this isn't rated higher, I know fantome can be inconsistent, but this bottle at least was quite good.

 362 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
1.92/5  rDev -46.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2

Label is sexy as fuck. The beer- not so much. Turbid deep gold with notable carbonation. Smells sweet and sickly. Cooked corn, mushroom and vomit. Awful.

 153 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.17/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2

BOTTLE: 1 pint 9.4 fl oz green (ugh...) glass. Has Fantome's signature cap design: an unbranded silver pry-off cap over an internally housed cork.

Imported by the Shelton Bastards. Expectations are sky high; Fantome is the best saison brewer worldwide as far as I'm concerned, and Jester King is no slouch either.

Served cold into a tulip and allowed to warm over the course of consumption.

No bubble show forms as it's poured.

HEAD: 3 fingers wide. White colour. Aptly creamy, full, and thick. Retains well - for abut 7-8 minutes. No lacing sticks to the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

BODY: Vibrant mango-copper colour. Translucent but nontransparent. Glows.

Appears well-carbonated - perhaps overly so. It's not a unique or special looking saison, but it does look good - though I hoped for visible yeast sediment and a bit less apparent filtration. Where's the saison haziness?

AROMA: Overt, strong aromatic intensity: notes of heavy funkiness (including perhaps some off-putting gym sock notes in addition to the usual brettanomyces barnyard character), overripe fruit peel, hints of lemon zest, Belgian pale malts, and vague spices - white pepper, maybe? Its most pleasant note is sweetbread, complemented nicely by fruitcake - but then, this is meant to be a saison... It lacks the intricate spice profile I've come to expect from Fantome, and doesn't boast a Dupont-esque milkiness either. The funkiness seems out of control and based on the aroma the yeast character seems off. Off-putting notes of cheese/mold, and bitter rind don't help. I'm not too sure about this one...

TASTE: Hmm...tastes more like a Belgian pale ale or Belgian IPA than a saison. Dominant notes of fruitcake and sweetbread eclipse any intricate spicing which may otherwise have been present; the lack of white pepper is a big disappointment. The out-of-control yeasty funkiness runs rampant, throwing out notes of mold, cheese, and bitter rind, but none of the refined barnyard character you'd hope for from brettanomyces. Don't look for Dupont-esque milkiness; you won't find it. Nor will you find the peppery spiciness both Jester King and Fantome do so well in their own respective saison style beers. I wonder if this is another victim of the collaboration craze.

Belgian pale malts. Generic floral hop character. Biscuity yeast. A sour apple off note. Overripe fruit is so sweet it bothers, but the one-two punch of the off-putting sweetness and the equally off-putting rind-y bitterness is dreadful. Phenolic as all hell; the yeast weren't happy eating the malts in this one...

It's wholly imbalanced to the extent that it never quite feels like a gestalt whole - and I'd go so far to say that it misses the style entirely. Flavour duration, depth, and intensity are average. Lacks the complexity/intricacy needed to succeed as a saison.

If I consider it an infected Belgian pale, I find myself enjoying it a bit more. In any case, it's clear this needs serious work. I just don't like it.

TEXTURE: Smooth, wet, supple, nicely soft, near perfectly carbonated, and medium-bodied. Great overall presence on the palate. It's a shame the flavour profile provides little nuance or intricacy for this well-executed mouthfeel to accentuate.

Not gushed, oily, hot, boozy, scratchy, rough, or dragging on the palate.

OVERALL: Not the world class offering I hoped for given the breweries involved. Fantome is known to suffer from severe batch variation, but the subpar scores for this specific beer indicate the entire batch maybe should not have made it to market. To it credit, it does disguise its ABV well; I'd guess it's about 6% from taste alone. I'll finish it and forget it. Disappointing coming from the best saison producer in the world, but not undrinkable. What happened?


The off-notes (especially the phenols) grow more and more rampant as it warms. Drink cold if you must drink it.

 3,902 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.31/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to GRG1313 for sharing this one at his tasting.

Pours a murky orange-brown with a foamy bone head that settles to a partial film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, earth, spice, funk, and skunk aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, earth, spice, and funk flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice and funk bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is an above average beer with a skunk presence that detracts from the drinkability on this one.

Serving type: bottle.

 667 characters

Photo of jrenihan
3.8/5  rDev +6.1%

It's hard for me to understand why this beer is so lowly rated. Hard because it doesn't have a particularly strong or unusual flavour: i.e., it doesn't seem like a "love it or hate it" beer (let alone a plain "hate it"). I think it is quite good. A bit funky, some spices and fruit, and a strong dose of sweet malt. The sweetness is a bit much and the aftertaste is a bit tiresome, but otherwise it is quite good. I wouldn't hunt it out nor would I buy it again, but unless there is huge variation between the bottles (which is possible), I don't understand the hatred for this beer.

 583 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.09/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Cloudy orange. Medium white head. Big collar.

Smell - Citrusy and a little toasty. Kinda bready and fruity. Very yeasty.

Taste - Fruity and doughy yeastiness up front. Citrus behind it. Very odd sickly sweet flavor followed by an aggressive toasty bitterness.

Mouthfeel - Medium heavy and medium carbonation.

Overall - It's a little weird. Kind of an artificial flavor I can't pin down.

 441 characters

Photo of babaracas
3.82/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a turbid dull darker orange with amber edges, fast fading fizzy white head. Smell: apricot jam, dried orange peel, clove note, caramel, stale/musty grain + earth, coriander-ish spice. It's got a lot going on...enjoyable weirdness if not the most inviting. Taste: huge hit of overripe peach, clove, milk caramel, mashed banana and champagne. As in the aroma it fades into a kind of stale grain flavor with a salty and mildly acetic edge to it. Mildly spicy finish. This is very interesting and not easy to parse, so I understand why it has mixed reviews.

 559 characters

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.25/5  rDev +18.7%

Purchased at Bier Cellar in Portland, ME - around $20 - kinda steep.
Pours an orange color with a little white lacing/foam. Signature Fantome funky aroma - although mild.
Hints of rye and fruity saison-like yeast. Taste is a little sweet malty rye, slight noble hop, and that Fantome funky flavor. I really like it a lot. Not sure why its rated so poor, but perhaps I am biased as Fantome is my favorite.
Either way...its not just an "ok" beer IMO. Worth it for sure. Glad I got a second to cellar to bring out the funk a little more!

 541 characters

Photo of stakem
1.99/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

750ml corked and capped bottle poured into a matching Fantome tulip. The brew appears a muddy light brown color with ample carbonation that produces a heavy volume head when poured down the middle of the glass. Some spotty lace sticks to the glass.

The aroma is funky with an earthen note of stinky cheese, mushrooms, more dirtiness, a hint of cardboard and a little bit of diaper/dumpster. As it breaths, it picks up a pretty bad aspect like cooked cabbage. The taste is strangely sweet and earthy like soot mixed with cream corn. A bitterness of pulp and light fruity quality gets slightly rindy. The sweetness is just too much to enjoy this.

This is medium to full bodied. It has a strangely creamy texture that is smooth and warming with a tingly spice and alcohol. This beer is in a really awkward place right now. Despite being in the fridge for days undesturbed, it pours like soup and has an overall feel like it just isnt finished. It is so sweet that it seems like it is unfermented. Maybe some age will help this out but right now its pretty bad. It pains me to say it since I love Fantome but wow, why was it sold in this current state?

 1,150 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.56/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

weird beer, actually, one of the weirdest I've ever had. its bronze colored, thick and sludgy burnt orange, cloudy and full of sediment and a tall off white head. the nose is like no other, weird as anything, and not all the way appetizing. distinct white truffle mushroom oil coming from this, its like the smell outside of the burger joint by my house. unmistakable. there is also a dried either apricot or peach aroma, in among the weird fantome yeast and belgian style base beer, grainy and maybe a little stale already. a very curious beer, i could keep smelling it forever, not because its yummy, but because its so strange, doesnt even really smell all that much like beer. the taste sort of starts a little slow for how insane the nose is, its almost under flavored until about mid palate, and then it too gets real bizarre. flavors of that dried orchard fruit, more apricot this time, and a lot of sweet mid caramel malt. belgian yeast does what it can to penetrate the density, but it can't cut through, influencing this beer less than we had all probably hoped it would, given the two parties responsible for birthing this weirdo. the truffle thing is barely there in the taste, its all aromatic. finish is long and funky stale, a little sweet, and just filling to me, thank goodness we were sharing the bottle. not a beer i would ever buy again, but its certainly one interesting brew, something worth trying for the adventurous.

 1,441 characters

Photo of champ103
1.47/5  rDev -58.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 1.5

A: Pours a hazed golden orange color. A one finger white head forms, and recedes after a minute. Light lace.
S: Moldy, earthy...yes truffles. Plastic, phenolic, even metallic. Ridiculously revolting. I just...good god, no.
T: Well, yeah. Again, good god, I just don't get why anybody would make this? Musky, earthy, moldy. There is a phenolic and plastic yeast character. This is abysmal. Please, somebody, tell both of these breweries that this is one of the worst things ever.
M/D: A moderate body and carbonation. After that, just dirty, moldy. The definition of not clean. Yep, I don't ever want to drink this again.

Shame on both Jester King and Fantome. Maybe one of the worst beers I have ever had. While I am not the biggest fan boy of Jester King, I do see that they at least care with most of their releases. This is like Tom Hanks playing in one of those god awful and brain dead Dan Brown novels turned movies. If beer is to be taken as seriously as wine, these types of releases need to never happen. Worse then that, if craft beer wants to be taken more seriously than macros, this needs to be abolished.

 1,120 characters

Fantôme / Jester King Del Rey from Brasserie Fantôme
Beer rating: 82 out of 100 with 96 ratings