Fantôme Black Ghost | Brasserie Fantôme

BA SCORE
86
very good
188 Ratings
THE BROS
65
poor
Read the review
Fantôme Black GhostFantôme Black Ghost
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme
Belgium
fantome.be

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
188
Reviews:
146
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
19.27%
 
 
Wants:
40
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 188 |  Reviews: 146
Photo of hwwty4
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I have to publicly thank my darling Sister for bringing this to me from Colorado.

Poured a corked and capped 750 into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer pours a pale root beer brown with a massive 4-inch cap that leaves some sticky lacing down the sides of the glass. Crazy head retention. It seems like there is always a inch of frothy capping sitting on top of the beer. The aroma is odd, yet complex. Up front comes an odd underlying sourness, that doesn't derive itself from brett or green bottle funk. Very subtle, yet pronounced. Next comes a light cocoa powder, a bit of nutmeg, an overall nuttiness, and just a bit of over ripe apples. The flavor is amazing. The profile starts out with just a slight bit of bitter bakers chocolate. Followed closely by nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. Almost no fruit is available in the profile. A very light bit of sulfur from the green bottle funk, along with a base sourness. There is almost a coffee astringency to the very end of the flavor profile. I'm very torn on the mouthfeel. For a Saison, it would be great. For a BSDA, it's just not quite right. It's thin and dry, leaves the palate screaming for another sip. I love it, it's the type of mouthfeel I find in my favorite Saisons but this isn't a Saison, but, honestly, it really isn't a BSDA either. It's more or less a hybrid of the two styles. Overall, I find it exciting. Love it. Really looking forward to reviewing other Fantôme beers.

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Photo of carln26
4.35/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a deep black color, I mean a dark stout color with no real highlights. The tan head was thick an rich with an immense carbonation. I poured this into a Unibrou Don de Dieu glass, and the head overwhelmed the glass, and overflowed. The nosr has a sweet caramel and date character backed by a delicate spice. Cinnamon, orange peel, light pepper, and something more mid-east in nature (almost the incense you smell in church during the holidays). The taste has the malty sweetness up front with more of a toffee character here, then a big spice component in the middle. The orange peel, and cinnamon along with the unidentified spice comes back through, There’s a little nutmeg in there too. The finish has more hop character, a little hop flower and grapefruit, along with a mild alcohol warming. Very full, rich mouth feel, and a good drinakbility. Another great offering from the craftsmen at Fantome.

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Photo of Caudalie
1/5  rDev -74%

Photo of errantnight
3.09/5  rDev -19.5%
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 mzwolinski
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown in color, with a thin, light tan head. Only moderate funkatude in the aroma, compared to other Fantomes. More malty than most, with some dark fruitiness and a slight spicy character.

The flavor is quite spicy -- hints of nutmeg, perhaps some cinnamon -- something of a burnt character. Plum like fruits lurk in the background, and a somewhat musky/earthy character is present throughout.

Medium bodied, with a dry finish. This is quite, quite nice. A nice winter warmer if you ask me!

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Photo of homebrewhawk
4.12/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a Tank 7 tulip. Bottle conditioned. Poured a reddish brown with a finger of off white head. Fruity aroma, Belgian yeast spice, and a touch of sourness. As it warmed pepper came out in the aroma. Sweetness up front. A bit of tartness. Pepper lingers in the finish, but is not overwhelming. Light to medium bodied. Very easy drinking. Another interesting beer from Fantome.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.92/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I got a bottle of this last night and was blown away. I actually was so riled up about the beer (and a little tipsy, admittedly) that I deleted my whole review cause I wasn't paying attention. Oh well, gave me an excuse to go get it again tonight! Let me just start off with this... HOLY FUCKING SHITBALLS. This beer is nothing like I could've ever imagined. So complex. Pours a dark dark almost black brown color with a good amount of head that sticks around long enough to tell some ghost stories. When I poured this I thought my socks smelled real bad but it turned out to be the beer. I don't know why that dirty, stinky, rotten, cellar puddle smell is so wonderful, but somehow it is. That funk-nastyness comes out in the taste as well, so odd and moldy tasting. Once again, I don't know what it is that makes this grossness taste good, but it's doing it's job. Maybe it's the ghost... BOO! In addition to the garbage taste there's a nice, flavorful Belgian dark ale in there. Ripe dark fruits galore, chocolaty, some figs and prunes or something. Also a nice alcohol taste to it, like aged bourbon or whiskey barrel flavor. Nice woody character. A bit wine like. I could stay here and drink a few of these and create a super long list of all the odd tastes I'm getting here but I'll let you experience it for yourself as you should. I sometimes sit around and try to think of a "new" color. It never works. I always think I get there and then really it's just a combination of two other colors. Well this to me is a totally new taste. Really amazing. If I could rate it higher than 5 I would. Nice medium smooth mouthfeel here. A real pleasure, challenge, and overall experience to drink. Every sip is a new little adventure. I know I'm getting a little carried away here but this beer is so insane. Go scare yourself.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.77/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: Pours a very dark reddish brown with a little bit of a purple tinge. The head is bubbly and ferocious, but dies down quickly to a thin collar.

Smell: The smell is a wonderfully sweet mix of grapes and fruits, as well as candi sugar, but it still manages to maintain that signature Fantome "farmhouse" smell.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is a super sweet malt focused mix of plums, grapes, and a nice hay taste. The flavors are complex, interesting, and well rounded, but just don't quite taste as good as I think they could. There is room for imporvement. The yeast flavor is also quite detectable as the glass warms up. The mouthfeel is rich and full.

Drinkability and Overall: Not a bad beer, but far from Fantome's best. The flavors aren't cutting it for me. I think either this could be better tasting, or this beer just isn't for me. Anyways, Fantome should stick with the Saisons, it's what they do best.

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Photo of Higravity
4.85/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

It pours a light brown with a hazy quality as the yeast was pretty disturbed with a rather large head that died back and ringed the chalice. Smells of cocoa, malty fruit and yeast. Quite possible the most unquie blends of taste, chocolate, cheery, cinnamon like from Apple Jacks cerral, with a malt base and wrapped in a yeast buzz that makes the whole thing vibrate and slowly melt into the tongue. Way too drinkable something I would gladly drink all day.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.37/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Ugly as hell. Muddy, sceptic tank brown, with zero head, and plenty of weird sediment. Reminded me of the mixtures I used to make with apple juice, 5 different food colourings and half of my mother's spice rack back when I was a kid.

Smell: Horseblanket, frankincense, plums and/or mincemeat fruit, minty freshness. Ho yeah!

Taste: Very acidic, tart with raspberry and blackberry tang, milk chocolate, oak and an all around aura of funkalishiousness, if you don't mind the expression.

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Photo of BrewMaster
4.18/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served from a 750 ml corked bottle. poured with a nice stiff head. dark brown color with a slight reddish hue.

aroma was verey strong with burned caramel and a slight sour cherry scent.

flavor had strong and sweet taste. definately a hint of cherry but also a grainy vegetable taste. light to medium boday that sits well on the tongue. it has a lot of flavors that I just can't identify. it excites all parts of the tongue with different flavors. very complex and very drinkable.

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Photo of malcontent
3.43/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Actually not all that dark with a hazy, deep garnet appearance. Head starts strong and then recedes to a thin layer across the top. No real lacing to speak of.

Mildly fruity esters, soft vinegar and a terrifying undercurrent of patchouli.

Oh, this isn't at all what I expected. Sour (cherry) right off the bat followed by a subtle herbal quality and a finish that is rather woody.

Thin mouthfeel isn't at all what I'd expect from a Belgian, let alone one brewed by Fantome. I do in fact like this beer quite a bit, it just doesn't strike me as particularly well-made. However, I shouldn't have any problem finishing the bomber...

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Photo of necoadam
4.73/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Wow.

Poured out a dark dirty ruby/brown color with a huge head that had to settle down, no matter how slow I poured it.

Smell was good, but I thought it was a little light. Some good fruit notes came through. Grapes, cherries, prunes, dates, various spices. Some yeast aromas also hide in the background.

Taste. Damn was this good. Fruit, wood, spices, hops, yeast, it's all in here. Every sip you take, it seems you find something completely different. As it warms up, you can really taste the spices in this brew. But for all I know, it seems like every fruit and spice known to man kind is here in. So complex, so tasty, so good.

Mouthfeel was medium to full bodied. Carbonation was perfect I thought. The flavors last quite a while after you finish it, which is bittersweet in a way, once you've run out, it seems like it's mocking you to get more, but on the other hand you can really enjoy the flavors after it's all gone.

Downright excellent. And to think how much I paid for this, it seemed like a steal. Just an amazing beer.

Special thanks to Venom for pointing out where it is.

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Photo of robbyc1
3.63/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Its an insane amalgamation of a Belgian strong dark ale paired with a dry funky Saison type ale. Dry, deep malty, Very dry, lots of malt, but very dry, interesting, but hmm. Some chocolate in the back, what can I say , unusual, what else would you expect from this brewer.

Famtome has a deferential style from usual folks. Dry, dry, what else to say, it's unusual, can't really get another, too unusual. Will continue to try their other brews, though, on to that Xmas one...

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Photo of blakesell
4.3/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the 750ml capped and corked bottle into my favourite Belgian style glass.

This bottle doesn't look quite like the one pictured here, I would guess that I have the more recent vintage, the label is pink instead of dark blue.

Appearance- Cork comes off with a nice pop, but not a lot of carbonation rising in the bottle. Beer pours a hazy brown red hue, nearly purple with gigantic chunks of yeast floating around in the glass. There is a finger and a half of foamy head that dissipates pretty quickly for a Belgian, and lacing clings to the sides lightly.

Smell- This beer smells funny, ha ha funny, cracked black pepper and spices upfront, there is a malty yeasty sweetness, and a strong sour backbone as Fantome is prone to giving off. Brettanamyces, and a little Lacto Bacillus giving a slight wild scent, a chocolate covered raspberry in there as well, a lot of smells in this beer. A little oak, a lot of red winy notes, no hints of alcohol or hops.

Taste- Creamy, more of the acidic dryness that was in the smell, very yeasty profile giving some nice estery flavors on the tongue. More red wine notes again, very similar to a good Cabernet, this could go well with a juicy steak, or some stinky cheese which I plan to pair with it after this review. That sour funk is not overpowering and invites me to sip further. Tangy fruits are pretty thick in the taste as well, and the peppery spices, almost a sour cherry fruit flavour.

Mouthfeel- Creamy, not warming, highly carbonated, medium full bodied, refreshingly puckering.

Drinkability- Pretty high on the drinkability scale. I'm glad I have another set back for cellaring, and if I find more, I'll cellar them too. Dany from Fantome really knows his stuff.

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Photo of ngandhi
4.4/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Black Ghost is a tough beer to classify, with wholly unique tendencies toward brown ale, Flemish sour brown, and other styles, perhaps best described generically as a "spiced beer."

Earthy hazelnuts and deep cocoa-infused cinammon. Mexican hot chocolate. Fascinating profile with a surprisingly liquid mouthfeel. Licorice. Complex malt. Somewhat wild, almost pungent, acid on the nose that, though calm, adds a component that makes this beer virtually limitless and certainly out of the confines of any one style.

Relax, relax.
ng

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Photo of UDbeernut
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle poured into tulip glass. La Cave du Vin in Cleveland had this classifyed as a saison. Don't know if they or BA is right... It doesn't matter really.

a: deep amber/blackish color, slight head that reduces to light lacing. Minimal carbonation.

s: very spicy aroma, a hint of roasted malt

t: i have never had a beer like this. Very interesting taste. Black Licorice flavor dominated the mouth with spicyness adding complexity. Very nice. Alchohol is slightly noticable, but provides a nice warming sensation

m&d: for an 8% ABV brew, it is very drinkable. Medium to light bodied, I am impressed with this beer despite its low BA rating.

Worth a Try.

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Photo of sweethome
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a ruby hue.. Big spicy nose - coriander, hops, and an earthiness. A yeasty flavor attacks upfront, followed by a strong perfume spice. A roast malt flavor builds and mixes well with the spices. Corriander is present throughout, anice flavor blend well with the roast. A fine beer with a unique combination of flavors that really works.

The complexity of flavors from this brewer always seem to satisfy.

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Photo of rayjay
4.8/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm loving this one. Most of their beers are saisons, as this is, but it closely resembles a cask-conditioned old ale. Big foamy head, which eventually fades; a lightly carbonated beer. It's as black as a porter. It's got a fruity (plums and raisins), salty, tart, and slightly chocolately smell and flavor, with some roasted notes. It's got a tart, wine-like finish. Like most Dany's beers, the hops are very hard to find, the flavor is rich and complex yet highly palatable and quaffable, and it's highly herbal like an exotic tea. Mouthfeel is like well water, but with a much lower pH. One of my favorite Fantome beers so far, next to Primtemps. If you've never beer lucky enough to try Courage Russian Imperial Stout, this is a great 2nd choice. Highly recommended. Cheers!

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Photo of ark57
4.53/5  rDev +18%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I must say that I did not think that this was much of a Flemish Ale. It more of reminded me of a stout with belgian flare. With that said this beer is fantastic and should be sought out by all who like the unusual or enjoy the beers from this brewer.

It pours a dark brown (almost black) with a ruby tint and a big light brown head. I took one sniff and knew this was going to be great. It smells of roasted coffee, but there is also a farmhouse funk (musty, yeasty, some spiciness). The roasted barley jumps out in the extra creamy, smooth body and there is a thin tartness. There is some funk and licorice in before the lingering roasted dryness. Simply amazing.

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Photo of Raymond69
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark cloudy brown. Small head , no lacing.

Getting a slight caramel sweetness on the nose. Slight funkiness is also present.

Initially tart followed by a grape/cider sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium , carbonation is low.

Overall a decent beer that probably find it's way into my cellar.

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Photo of clickpush
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle brought over by a friend for a tasting. Poured a light brown color, lots of bubbles and okay lacing. Interesting that it's supposed to be the darkest of the Fantome line, considering how light the body looks. Aroma is slightly funky, slightly roasty, and slightly chocolaty. The flavor is more roasty than almost any Belgian beer I've had. It's enjoyably light and slightly burnt, but the flavor profile pretty much ends there. None of the complexity or wild yeast flavors we've come to know and love from Fantome. The 8% is well masked, the mouth feel is light and active, and drinking is easy. Flavors, however, fall disappointingly short.

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Photo of Realale
4.73/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Purple label bottling. Opaque brownish-black with an extremely fine mocha head that stays at a persistent cap leaving good lacing.

Nose is European bready black licorice over slightly sweet yeasty brown bread. Nice green leafy note, that eventually melds into something like wintergreen. Tons going on, but the overall effect is a bit muddled.

Medium in the mouth with wave upon wave of brown malt, licorice and a bit of tart raspberry fruitiness. There is great acid structure which keeps the beer lively, when it easily could have tumbled over into a formless maltfest. Extremely long with intense chocolate notes echoing seemingly forever.

Caressing, wonderful mouthfeel. Very drinkable for what it is, and an excellent companion at the table. Fascinating stuff.

As an aside, I had to put the partially full (note the optimism) bottle in the fridge whilst I put my kiddos to bed. When I returned to it about an hour later, the contents of the bottle still held a 1/2" head from the last pour I made. Now THAT is head retention.

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Photo of yankeeheel
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a faux brown which reveals itself as a candy apple red when held to light. Minimalist head and scant lace. The head is one of those that bubbles real fast and fades, like soda. Smells slightly oaky and sugary with a little bit of leather and fruit. Interesting but not great. The first sip is a little harsh and undesireable, but a after some warming this brew opens up and reveals itself. Lots of cherry and grape here. Moderately sweet with a almost suede like body. Finishes slightly dry with a little bitter chocolate essence to it. I really think this a beer best left in the dark for a while. I think that with time the flavors may meld a little better than they do as a "green" beer. Though not bad I really wasn't so impresed that I'd seek this out again.

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Photo of mjc410
2.9/5  rDev -24.5%
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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Fantôme Black Ghost from Brasserie Fantôme
3.84 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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