Fantôme Black Ghost | Brasserie Fantôme

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Fantôme Black GhostFantôme Black Ghost
Very Good
188 Ratings
Fantôme Black GhostFantôme Black Ghost

Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by francisweizen on 01-06-2004

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 188 |  Reviews: 146
Photo of Caudalie
1/5  rDev -73.9%

Photo of SpeedwayJim
1.33/5  rDev -65.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Thanks to capra12 for this one. 75ml corked and capped bottle into a Cantillon tulip.

Pours a 2 finger frothy, cream colored head with good retention. Beer is a clear dark grape juice color. Lacing is stringy and patchy with good cling. Thin but oily legs. Very pretty.

This one smells something awful. Notes of peppercorn, coriander, tart dark fruit, dust, and must... all of which would be ok if it wasn't for the overwhelmingly tart vomit odor emanating from this brew. Yikes.

Opens roasted malt, rust, pepper flakes, poppy seed, and dirt. Tastes like someone dug up a grave and put the soil in this beer. Aftertaste of bitter ash, dirty water, and rust. It doesn't get much worse than this.

Light bodied with moderate carbonation. But really, how do you get a feel for the body of a beer that you can barely keep down? Goes down (unfortunately) thin and with a bit of booziness. Finishes messy with a harsh, linginerg, punishing aftertaste.

I can say with confidence that this is the worst beer that I've ever had the displeasure of reviewing. Like someone took dirt, ash, rust, and all things vile, mixed it into a saison, and bottled it. A miss if there ever was one.

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Photo of BrewMonkey
1.63/5  rDev -57.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours amber to brown with off white head, not too much, recedes quickly without much lacing on the glass.

Aroma of sour cherries, grape juice, grape candy, bready yeast, sour fruit and a slight alcohol tickle.

Holy god that's awful tasting. The level of sourness attacks your tongue, beating it into a fetal position at the back of your throat. Mouthfeel is biting, that's all I can really say.

I think there is some kind of wierd flavor behind it all, but for gods sake, what's wrong with the reviewers giving this an A? It makes no sense whatsoever. If I served this to a group of 100 people, I'm fairly positive 98 of them would spit this back into their glass. Simply horrifying to the point that I wonder if the brewer is simply f'ing with people. And I think the Saison they make is one of the top 3 beers I have ever had. Bleh.

Edit: A few sips later I just need to add....disgusting. I'm starting to wonder if we got a bad or old bottle because some are suggesting this beer should be black, and ours was certianly dark amber, but nowhere near black. There was also a ton of goopy sediment at the bottom, far more than you would typically find in a bottle conditioned beer. So I suppose there is a chance this bottle was spoiled, and I hope so, because it was terrible. But since this is very difficult or prohibitively expensive to get, I'll have to stand by the review of the beer we had.

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Photo of tdrshayden
1.82/5  rDev -52.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

The aroma has me baffled; funky peppery, yeast aroma. The flavor doesn't get much better, spicy apple with a faint hint of chocolate, but unfortunately the peppery flavor overpowered everything else. Not sure if the bottle has turned bad or this is really what the beer is supposed to be. This is perhaps the worst beer by Fantome that I have had yet.

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Photo of NoHipTee
1.86/5  rDev -51.4%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

This beer pours a very opaque light brown, almost orange. Medium head. Chunks of ??spices?? Sinificant amount of sediment in the bottom ot the bottle and in my slowly poured glass.

Smell is a pleasing sweetness that eludes to a smooth experience.

The taste is far from smooth. An sour tangy bite that left my tastebuds searching for redeeming qualities. The sweetness was barely enough to help me past the thought that this must have been a brewers error.

Mouthfeel too much sediment to get past and the complex flavors did not linger long enough to leave anything but a sour aftertaste on the tip of my tongue.

Low drinkability. Did not enjoy my venture into the roots of traditional style beer making.

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Photo of AlexFields
1.95/5  rDev -49.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.25

Photo of Holland
2/5  rDev -47.8%

Photo of Naerhu
2.03/5  rDev -47%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Upon opening, this beer shot out all over the place. Huge amounts of carbonation everywhere. Whats up with that!

A - Opaque brown red body with a fin tan brown head.
S - Tart sour aroma, creamy celery, nice yeastyness.
T - Sour, tart and bitter. Raw vegegable bitterness, Rotting apple skins. Vinger.
M - Light body, light carbonation. This would proabably be different experience if the bottle didnt blow up when we opened it.
D - This tastes nasty, so avoid it.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
2.04/5  rDev -46.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Presentation: 750 ml bottle purchased at LaBodega (Riverside, CA), late August, 2005 for $11.99 and consumed on 9/8/05. From the fridge, warmed, 25 minutes before opening.

Pours an attractive semi-cloudy medium brown with a nice tan head that drops quickly to a partial cover.

Aroma: at first sniff, smells like a typcial Belgian Strong Dark Ale, rich malt, with a coffee/espresso-bitter chocolate nose. But even moreso, there was something in the aroma that was just WRONG. I've smelled this before- when was it? Oh, yeah, it was on another Fantome product I had a year or so ago. Can't describe it, but it's a yeasty, nasty smell. After my nose got over that shock, it went away and I didn't smell it again.

Flavor- I don't swear much, but all I can say is Holy Shit, what's wrong with this beer? It has a decent moderate malt flavor as the base, but there is a sharp, nasty organic something unlike anything I've had before. Organic sour, nasty sour (just for point of reference, I like gueuze and Sour Brown Ales), but this is awful.

Drain pour. I tossed about $8.00 worth of beer on this one. I won't be back to try it again.

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Photo of akorsak
2.06/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I am drinking a 750 mL corked and caged bottle, poured into an Ommegang goblet. It is close to room temperature, an optimal temperature for the ale.

Appearance: The ale pours with a vigorous head, about three finger's worth. The head holds for a good period of time and leaves a nice lace behind.

Smell: The ale smells very gamey and natural. There is a hint of oxidized metal in the smell, although from what I've read of other reviews, that is most likely done on purpose. The aroma is more saison than BSDA and is not impressive.

Taste: The taste continues the aroma's oxidized element. There is a light hoppy note that is not impressive.

Mouthfeel: If one insists on drinking this, it should be done quickly without regard for mouthfeel.

Drinkability: There are better ales from Fantome (Saison and Brise Bon-Bon to name two) that drinkers should try.

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Photo of adamette
2.14/5  rDev -44.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Live review. The third of four consecutive Fantôme beers that I purchased for $13.99 one day at the Beer Engine in Lakewood. I have been wanting to drink these since I got them a few months ago and now is the time as I approach my 800th review. Poured from the 1 pint, 9.4 oz. green bottle which was corked and capped but removing the cap resulted in no carbonation release, it was all held in by the cork. Lot # and "best by" date not marked on the label of my bottle. The little chart is there but nothing is marked. The cork has the exact same mark as the regular Fantôme Saison, 086/477044. Poured into my gold rimmed Ommegang "Westvleteren" style goblet.

A Light brown, creamy head that started out as about 2 inches but dissipated down to a thin layer on top of the brown/orange translucent body. Good look that is reminiscent of more classic Belgian Strong Dark Ales. 4.0

S Strong Belgian yeast, malt smells. Sniffs taken later in the bottle pour revealed more of the rotten, putrid tastes that I describe below and so I am going to lower my smell rating from 3.5 to 2.5

T Not good. I am a fan of Belgian beers and Fantôme beers in particular but this one has a rotten kind of taste that is not welcome. I don't know if that is the "Noire de Noire" aspect or what but it makes it difficult to drink. Behind the rotten grains taste is the malt and probably the yeast but it is difficult for me to get past that rotten wood taste. I have reason to believe that the beer was fresh and not skunked since removing the cork released a fair amount of "mist." 2.0

M Sharp with the rotten tastes, strong, not well hidden ABV and malt. Not a good feel which is heavily influenced by the taste. 2.0

D Not good at all. I drank about 14 ounces of it and simply could not keep drinking this beer. I could not believe it but it became a drain pour after a few minutes of consideration. 1.5

Notes: A big dissapointment due to the rotten grains taste that I got. I would not recommend this beer unless someone can advise me that this bottle was not typical.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.44/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Moll for this one. Served in a Fantome tulip. Nose has a bit of light caramel with some bread crust. Slight nuttiness and dry yeast. Flavor is a bit tannic and oxidized. Odd. Another one I wasn't really a fan of (same night as Sante-16!), but I'm glad to have finally tried it and knocked it off my Fantome wish list.

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Photo of craytonic
2.5/5  rDev -34.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Black opaque, decent head, no lacing, off-white foam

Smell: Best part of it, roast malts and a bit of funk

Taste: Charred, burnt malt, musty leather, sour fruit, burt coffee, burt toffee, espresso, blackstrap molasses. Very bitter and acidic.

Mouthfeel: More porter than BSDA

Drinkability: Didn't finish it, I know this varies a lot from year to year and batch to back, I think this one must represent the low point of the cycle.

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Photo of aforbes10
2.62/5  rDev -31.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a dark brown, mudwater color. small rocky head that doesn't last. looks, uh, uninviting. Smells peppery, with anise, caramel, raisins, sweet smells. taste is extra tart, an almost vegetal sourness like sucking on the stem of a plant. Lemony and dry on the finish. some grapefruit. sweet malt. odd flavors dont come together all that well. mouthfeel doesnt fit the flavor...too heavy i think. yeah, not my favorite from Fantome. Too aggressively tart without any backbone. Interesting, i suppose, but i wouldnt have another.

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Photo of pwoods
2.73/5  rDev -28.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750ml dark green corked/caged bottle. Purchased at Dilly Deli, poured into a chalice. No dating.

A: Pours a ruby tinted mahogany that glows when backlit. Not quite a fingers worth of head forms and dies fast. Some wisps of lacing.

S: Not as sweet as expected, nor as yeasty and spicy. Has a nice muted pepper aroma with dark, earthy, husky bread notes.

T/M: More of the dull pepper side with the bread, too. Not very sweet at all and just lightly yeasty. It's more on the.. IDK, savory side... rather than sweet/fruity. Body is medium though it feels watered down and lacking much carbonation.

D: I must say that I'm pretty disappointed. Lots of people rave about Fantome but this seems off the mark. Oh, and $14/bottle.

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Photo of Jason
2.78/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Presentation: 750ml green magnum with no freshness date. Evil looking Casper on the label.

Appearance: Hazed dark brown hue, spritzy lace has trouble retaining an head at all.

Smell: Dirty rag of wood floor cleaner, vanilla and musty basement.

Taste & Mouth Feel: Crisp and smooth on the palate. Muddled herbal flavor up front, some sort of pepper (white peppercorn?) with a very mild heat hits middle to end. Thyme, root veggies, mineral, lemony twang and basic cellar must in the palate. Finishes with a dry earthy tone and warmth from the alcohol and peppery flavor.

Drinkability & Notes: Sorry but this does nothing for me, I love the rest of the Fantome brews but Black Ghost is an odd ball ale. I will certainly save the rest to cook with. A beer like this shows the other end of the spectrum of what beer can beer.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
2.79/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml from somewhere in Colorado, I can't honestly remember where I got this or how much I paid for it. Into a NB Globe.

A: More red in color than anything else has an off white head, not quite an inch worth that recedes to a cap about a quarter of an inch thick. Decent clarity on the initial pour. Interesting looking beer.

S: Pretty light in the nose initially, quite phenolic, after it breathes a bit of a spicy profile starts to show itself and a few burnt malts. Definitely not a typical Fantome beer. Black pepper is definitely in there as well. Not sure on this one.

T: Very odd, some lacto notes and maybe a bit of funk, and then a weird malt profile of slight roast and and a bit of a pilsner malt bite to it as well. After that there are some pretty distinct notes of black pepper. Pretty decent amount of bitterness in the finish. Maybe just a touch of oxidation in there as well. Hmm...I'm not sold on this one. Strange, and really not that enjoyable, seems really watered down for a beer this 8%.

M: Very light bodied, fairly strong carbonation, also fairly dry. Once again, very watery beer.

D: Probably my least favorite beer, to date, from Fantome. Very watered down and strange tasting, I'm going to have to say that the black pepper flavor is not pleasing at all to my palate and that's the main spice that stands out for me. Not very enjoyable, but I will finish the bottle. A rare miss from Fantome.

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Photo of SFLpunk
2.8/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750mL green glass bottle with wine cork and cap. No date marked on label.

Appearance: Had to rough it up a bit to get 1/2 inch of tan head on top of clear tawny body.

Nose: Fairly simple with soapy notes and some clove and hazelnut notes.

Palate: Medium to light bodied and a little too clean. Some moderate biscuit-like malt notes, more clove and a little tanned leather. Finish is odd, and there's something almost medicinal about it.

Notes: Disappointed for sure. I've liked other Fantome beers, and heard this was killer. Will pass on it next time.

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Photo of IronDjinn
2.88/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Came in a 750 ml green magnum, capped and then corked, the first time I ever had to utilize a corkscrew to open a bottle of beer. Immediately started to froth over once it was open, I had to pour it quickly into a chalice, which in turn created a massive creamy tan head. Purple label with an old-timey black ghost lurking over a grey computer generated castle.

A murky opaque brown appearance to the body, cloudy and a bit swampy, I feel like I need some galoshes on to wade in there. And of course topped off by the above-mentioned massive head with amazing retention.

The aroma is a contrast of effervescense and funk, at first light and citrusy, moving towards raw earthy tones. Spices in the middle: sarsaparilla root, licorice, tall fresh grass, clover honey, carob nut.

A big whammy on the flavour, I wasn't expecting that at all. Lambic-like at first with it's stark acidity, white grape peels and fresh lemon, yet after a while it mellows out with a bit of honey and carob, towards a spectrum spanning finish of deep black soil and bark, a bit leathery with Turkish coffee grounds. Some bready malt is apparent in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is thin from the acidity, not much body to it, but it does become creamy at times. This is definitely something to be appreciated by the lambic and gueuze crowd, complex in the span of its flavour profile, but not very solid or balanced. More like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. Still, many thanks to Phyl21ca for the sample to try.

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Photo of mjc410
2.9/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I spontaneously decided to crack open the last of my Fantôme beers after almost a year in storage.

The pour into my La Moneuse glass (like the bottle, from NJ) raises a hefty one fingered tan head over a truly opaque black body. The lacing sticks together, and falls slowly in sheets.

The nose, true to Fantôme form, is quite pungent. It smells of alcohol, raisins, a bit of maple, pepper, and some dark fruit. As always, I feel at a loss to describe smell to its full extent, but this is nice.

The taste is right definitely too acidic, but tastes spicy, with some mint, dark sugars and fruit. That's all I can say, really.

The mouth is medium, with also medium carbonation.

Overall, this is disappointing. It may be old, though; but I'm unlikely to even see this beer for a long time, let alone drink it.

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Photo of yoko
2.99/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Most notable visually was the mounting tan head that exceeded 3 fingers in a Rapscallion snifter. Within minutes a gentle blanket with a swatch of darker sediment settled. With each taste a cascading lace adorned the glass. The brew poured a murky dark chocolate/black which allowed for no light to pass. The nose was the delight of this Black Ghost coming up sour with a cocoa base note. Sweets of black cherry/prune blend with the berry tartness of bosen and goose berries. Citrus, yeast, pepper, must, and carbonation finish the nose complex. The mouth and taste, for me were a disappointment, especially after my brethren's reviews. Mouthfeel was on the low end of the medium continuem; the last 2/3rds swept by an imbalanced dominance of carbonation and its subsequent bite. Dried grasses finished as did a bitter bite residual which remained after the upswing midway through the taste sample as did a dry yeast with musty hay notes. The finish thinned out reminding of a seltzer yet a high seated musty bitter remained in the palate.

The nose is the nicest part of this beverage. This kind of carbonation is not of my suit, nor do I find it in harmony with the overall character of this style. With all the hype I was dearly disappointed.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a hazy deep amber with a light tan head. In the aroma, sweettarts, small roasty malt, and a small caramel presence. In the taste, somewhat watery, and a small white grape fruitiness. A smooth and medium mouthfeel, with a dry, sour, maltiness in the aftertaste. Kind of watery, small tartness, ok, but expecting more from Fantome.

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Photo of CelticAleMan
3/5  rDev -21.7%

Photo of errantnight
3.09/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Well I keep ticking off the Fantomes... and as much as I LOVE regular ole Fantome, only the Hiver has really made my toes curl.

Pours a hazy, brown, dirty looking liquid with initially promising finger and a half or so of head... that dissipates rather quickly. Minimal lacing, although reasonable retention. It's just a bit murky looking since it's thin around the edges.

Aroma is really, really enticing on the other hand. Forward sour cherry notes with a bit of ripe fruit and supporting horse blanket funk. Mmmm!

Unfortunately, on the palate, the question is how did the aroma miss making it to the gullet? Smacks of a beer with wild yeasties that have gone on far too long. Thin, with subtle aromatic notes of flowers and herbs muddled and minute behind a sharp twang of cherry. Kind of like a flanders red minus the velvety texture and rich malty brown beer notes.

Maybe I overrate the mouthfeel, but it feels like a nice, easy, drinkable Belgian. The flavor just got stripped out, and I'm not sure beefing up the body would fix that (although perhaps by packing the flavor back in, the body would be beefed up, but that's not the same).

It's innocuous, smells great, and is refreshing. For $15 a bottle. No thank you.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.14/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

750ml capped and corked Burgundian bottle. Casper's evil twin graces the label. Thanks to hoppypocket for the trade.

This beer pours a cloudy, near-opaque murky brownish-amber colour, with tons of tiny rising bubbles, which seem to make the foamy, puffy, but heretofore stabilized beige head grow before my eyes, above the glass, into a weird set jello like state. Anyways, after a coon's age, I get some weakly distributed spotty lace around the glass.

It smells of smoldering tire fires, meaty caramel malt, earthy yeast, woody Islay peat, singed leaves, BBQ'd dark fruit, cheesy funk, battered coriander and black pepper, tanned leather, and herbal, soapy hops. The taste is thankfully dialed down a bit, the smoke restrained to a certain degree, yet it still permeates everything - the peppy, funky yeast, the fleshy black fruit, the sweating leather, the cocoa-tinged bready pale malt, the bludgeoned, and indistinct spice, and the herbal, leafy hops.

The bubbles are, as noted, a bit retarded in their over-ebullient nature, but actually settle down after more than a wee spell, the body medium-light in weight, and hardly smooth, as that cannot possibly be this one's game. It finishes mostly dry, the lingering ashy, peaty, and just plain smoky essence hard to define otherwise, even if there is other stuff with more pleasant things going on.

Wow. Wasn't expecting that. So, take a gentle, easy-drinking style, and lay waste to it - literal scorched earth, baby! Christ on a crutch, I have to work to find something nice to say about this. Ok, um, the overbearing smoke and overreaching carbonation aren't everything here - it just seems like it most of the time. Might make a good grilling marinade, I suppose.

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Fantôme Black Ghost from Brasserie Fantôme
Beer rating: 3.83 out of 5 with 188 ratings
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