Fantôme Black Ghost | Brasserie Fantôme

very good
146 Reviews
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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

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Reviews: 146 | Ratings: 188
Photo of kmpitz2
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a medium to dark brown in color without much head to speak of. The nose is full of caramel and roasted coffee. The taste was nice caramel, coffee and a hint of chocolate. Not exactly what I expect from a belgian strong dark, but it was nicely balanced, though a bit thin. The mouthfeel was a little watery initially, but seemed to thicken as the beer warmed. Drinkability on this one was really good...smooth, easy drinking and not offensive at all. I'd definately have this one again.

Edit: The second bottle produces more head. about 3 fingers, that falls to coat the beer very well. There is a slight sourness, as all Fantome beers have. I don't think I am going to change the numbers. Its a nice brew, but I think I hit the numbers right the first time.

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Photo of clvand0
4.1/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a nice tall head that settles quickly. Sweet aroma, lots of lemon, some kind of fruits. The flavor is less thick than I expected and it tends to change a bit as you drink it. Lemon is there for sure. Slightly tart. This is a good beer, but it didn't live up to the expectations that I had for it. I would definately have it again, though.

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Photo of nogoodreason
4.97/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A tesselation of beer, shapes emerging from other shapes and suddenly the whole picture is changed.

Opaque. Slightly darker than milk chocolate brown. The head is tan and fizzy. It's pretty, but nothing special, right?

Lemon, straw, earthy funk then a mildly obscured fruit cocktail then leather then that tart, earthy funk again, then some more leather then the fruit jumps out... what the hell is going on? There's a definite spice... I'll call it white pepper. This nose is incredible, and it simply won't stand still.

When is crosses your toungue, it's thinner in body than you'd expect, but it's not watery. It's bubbly enough, easy to sip. So unnassuming.

How do I describe the taste? Like the scent, it seems to change seamlessly from one shape to the next. At first, there's a lemony tartness with root celler must and funk. Then there's spicy white pepper, followed with chardonnay. It has some leather, and some strange, sundrenched flavor that I have no words to explain. Now it's Pumpernickel. One constant is the dark, musty aspect. If I was a ghost, I'd hang out in cellars as well.

When it finishes, it's Chardonnay with lemon zest in a root cellar. Next, it pretends that it's going back to that spicy white pepper but no, a moment later your mouth is filled with nutty cocoa powder. That taste hangs on your tounge forever.

I've had this beer before, but for some reason, this time I saw the ghost...

Phantasmal excellence.

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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 Boilermaker88
3.75/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presented in a capped and corked 750ml bottle with a pink label vice the blue one in the picture. No dates noticed on the label or the cork. Poured into a chalice, Black Ghost had a ruddy brown color and a modest beige head that quickly shrivelled up to a minor skim, leaving no lace behind.
The nose had a wide variety of aromas swirling about; caramel sweetness, dark fruit (think prune/fig), a touch of not-quite-ripe peach and green grapes, and a light peppery spice. Oh yeah, and the ubiquitous Fantôme earthy, dusty, musty smell that no one else seems able to replicate.
The taste had a real sweet start to it - caramel-dipped cherries, light prune flavor and a moderate bready malt taste. As each sip reached the mid-range a peachy, leathery flavor burst forth. Cocoa, plums (not really ripe yet), and tart grapes jump up and down on the tongue, vying for notice also. As it reached the back of the palate a mix of spicy bitterness and that funky, almost boggy, taste clung to the tongue. The relatively high ABV is very well concealed. The feel was medium in body, lush and smooth; very nice.
I don't know, something about the way Black Ghost finished with each sip kind of turned me off. It's hard to explain when I've liked the other offerings from Brasserie Fantôme. Something about this one had me thinking I was glad to be done with it and I wouldn't be running out to get more soon. Good, but not great, IMO.

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Photo of soper2000
4.72/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Green bottle with a pink "Black Ghost" label. After struggle with my corkscrew I finally got the cork out of the cork and crown bottle. Upon pulling the cork I could immediately pick up aromas of this remarkable brew. Decanting it into my tulip glass wafts even more aroma my way. The beer is a deep brown with a fairly large head. Smell is very interesting if not amazing. It has a strong musty smell that is balanced with hints of patchouli (sp?). Very interesting indeed. Initial taste i find a nice smokey flavor which seems to fade into dark fruity flavors over time. Some strong notes of plums and spice are now easily detected. Very fun to try to pick out all of the flavor profiles. Some black licorice comes through in the end. Mouthfeel is nice and thick. Drinkability, I'll rate high as I will definately be coming back to the ghost provided that I can find it. I definately have a new beer in my top 10 list!

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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 Gusler
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer removes itself from the 750ml green capped and corked bottle a muddy blackberry color with the head ponderous in size, the consistency creamy and the color tan, as it transmogrifies the leftover lace a thick and clinging curtain upon the glass. Nose is cotton candy sweet, big malt with hints of toffee and over ripe fruit, pears comes to mind, fresh and appetizing with the start lightly sweet, rich and thick with malt, the top moderate to almost full in feel. Finish is delightfully carbonated, the hops are spicy in their bite, some alcohol bitterness at the end and quite dry, a delightful beer, but then it is a Fantome.

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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 tavernjef
4.58/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out from a corked green 750 bottle as a caramel brown, heady from the get go, settles one thickly murked glass of eerie fogged dark opaque brown; what the hell is this stuff? Wow! Taller then an inch or so of smooth creamy and dense wet sandy brown colored crown. Settles down whimsically to a thin collar and fine skim; lacing in big spots mostly dripping back in slowly.

Aroma has a nice dark toffee/candied sense to it, earthy, lovely dusting of fresh and flakey/dusty bakers chocolate. There's a candy I can't quite place in there; black licorice maybe, or perhaps even those root beer barrels; what ever it is, it adds a funny but pleasing little candied spice. An interestingly complex and subtle nose that's really fun to take in.

Flavors are wonderful here, graceful, delicate, smooth, full , round, tangy, dark but not eagerly so, candyish but not sweetly so. A perfect melange of dark tanged roast and candy sweet malts. The chocolate dusting in the finish is absolutely outstanding. This is perfect in every regards of complex subtle layers in my mind. It's mind boggling; its seemingly simple, but as you dig in and start to enjoy; more and more things begin to wrok their way through and making the wonderment of complexities grow. Licorice notes make their way around the tangy darkish malts, bits of phenols float into the nose late which mix with a deep but lightly peppered cherry cough drop-like alcohol. Real late upon the mix makes some darker fruits of chewy fig and raisin. Drys out some in the finish with a semi-coffee roast, chocolatey dusted, phenolic whispers and more candyish things kinda tingling/singeing/burning. Again, that chocolatey dusting is fabulous!

Feel is undescribable, it has it all, and never less or never more then one thing or another. It's perfect! Full, tangy, sweet, spicy, alcoholic, creamy, smooth, round, dry, earthy, roasty, bold, sharp, and brash. Drinkable? You bet your ass it is! This is my first Fantome brew, so where does it go from here? Yikes. Great stuff!
A mega cool super thanks goes to truthbrew for the bottle!

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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.

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Photo of studentofbeer
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this one up before i read any reviews or had any, and didn't expect something so dark and mysterious from fantome. My 750ml had a pinkish background rather than the blue pictured.

The color is somewhere between a very dark brown and a glowing red, very wood-like, with a khaki head that poured a good two fingers and then fell to a very slight coating over the top of the brew. Definitely pretty.

Smell is dark and fruity-- multitudes of dark fruit, with cinammon, milk chocolate, black licorice and yeasty herbalness like grass.

The flavor pulls out the fruit flavor with plum, fig, a bit winey. Very restrained and complex, it's a little sweet from fruit and milk chocolate flavor but there's a definite sourness or astringency that comes from the licorice and herbs that balances this beer. Also some nutty flavors present. The final impression is dark and fulfilling, with flavor to adapt to a variety of foods.

Mouthfeel is fantastic--I love beers like this that have a hint of carbonation but are so creamy and frothy. It's medium bodied but goes down very smooth with just a prickle of carbonation. Perfectly balanced with the rest of the beer. Drinkability is excellent--the taste and mouthfeel make this one and easy sipper, and the 8% abv disappears in the decadent flavor.

I almost feel like this is what New Belgium's 1554 may be trying to obtain. While that's a nice beer, this offering from fantome hits on all cylinders.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.5/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.
Uncapping it...but, wait, there's a cork! Oh, anticipation....making me wait...POP!!!, and ...sour is the scent at first,, we pour...color is magenta, a deep crimson, dark and mysterious, big beigish froth that zips down to nada quick.

Aroma, tart, at first, then mellow, dark fruits dominate, sour citrus leads the way, but never goes too far...quite nice.

Taste it, already! Mmmm! Wow,plums, grapes, dates, even, ...mmmm, i like it. Very different from other Fantomes I've had. Simple, yet complex, flavor aplenty. The label pegs it as an "ale brewed with spices", but I'm not sure which. None jumps out, none screams and shouts, but, as I get deeper into this bottle, I like it more and more and the flavors flood every little center of my senses. Tasty, spicy, ...utterly enjoyable, in every way. Zip, zip, zip, Mr. Beer greets Mr. Palate with tastiness aplenty every time lip meets cup and the taste lasts for seemingly forever.
Goodness, it makes itself so familiar in the the mouth, it may as well pay me rent.

I need more, but my glass, and the bottle, is nearly spent...oh, so sad...I'll be dreaming of this for some time to come.

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Photo of silenius
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big frothy seashell colored head that is so active there is head in the bottle well after I pour it! The head in the glass settles to a nice active capping. The beer itself is a chestnut brown with some light sneaking through. Orange highlights twinkle in the glass.

Where to begin with the smells?? The smells are an intense mixture of leather, dark spices, molasses, coffee, chocolate, rum balls and a bit of coca-cola syrup. Very enticing.

Mouthfeel is more of the same with the spiced rum balls, dark spices, and cocoa and coffee showing through. This is one hell of a complex beer. The alcohol warms a bit as well and the taste lingers and lingers. Amazing stuff.

Mouthfeel is creamy and lively without a bit of prickle. It goes down smooth and lingers for awhile.

I will buy this again, but I think that more than one glass at a time would be overkill.

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Photo of Gavage
4.55/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Dark brown / burgandy in color with a nice 2" head. Lacing developed. The aroma was bizarre and like nothing else I could think of as roasted spiciness, fruits and earthy tones came together well. The flavor was more complex, and with each taste different tones came through - cherry, raisins, plums, spices, nuts, and yeast. The mouthfeel was smooth with a bit of crispness at the start. It finished smooth with a tartness, and the flavor was long lasting. Medium bodied. Superbly drinkable as the flavors are so complex and different, no boredom develops here.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

As this beer rests in my glass it shows a somewhat hazy, deep garnet color. It is topped by a light brown head that is quite thick & spawned by an aggressive carbonation. As with many of Fantomes beers you can get some variability between batches & even between years. The first bottle I had the aroma is ever so slightly sour, which, is joined by notes of raisin and fig. Surprisingly, to me at least, I get aromatic notes of chocolate and roasted malts, as well as notes of grain husks. The taste, well it is much different than I was expecting, there is a definite dark malt signature here. The finish is of husky roasted malt with a hint of burnt coffee. The roast character is similar to a subtle porter. Of course this is a Belgian brew so the yeast must contribute as well. Fruity notes of raisin, a certain nuttiness, and perhaps a light acidity, though this is fairly subtle. This bottle needs a year or so more age so that the dark malts can mellow and become better integrated, and perhaps gain a bit more in acidity.

The second bottle that I had was much more acidic in the aroma, though the dark/ roast malts were still in the nose. This bottle was like drinking chocolate in some ways. This bottle seems to be a bit more acidic, which really helps to smooth out the dark/ roast malt notes into soft chocolate notes. The extra acidity adds a wonderful balancing element to this beer, and it really starts to sing. The acidity is still fairly light but this beer now has a creamy chocolate middle which is quite tasty.

This is a new experience for me, a Saison with some dark malt character. I definitely like this, it is quite unique.

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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 TheLongBeachBum
4.88/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Presentation: A 750ml bottle, sampled at the Brasserie Fantôme Café during a recent Brewery Tour and sampling at the Café. The mainstay offerings were great, but thanks to Barry Smith, the Brewer at the Tigertops Brewery and a friend of Dany Prignon, a small group of us managed to share a bottle of what is often referred to as one of Dany’s masterpiece creations. Unlike the BA moniker, the bottle we enjoyed had a purple (as opposed to dark blue) and black background. The Black Ghost is a limited Edition brew, and we were all honored to be able to sample it – especially at the Brewery.

Appearance: Dirty, turbid, black, thick and dangerous. When held to the light, I knew there was something in the beer moving around, but it was almost impossible to see into this beer. I had the second glass and thankfully avoided the heavy sediment, or at least I think I did, it was hard to tell to be honest. The head was light brown, smooth and creamy it left thick rings on my Goblet glass every time I took a sip.

Nose: WOW. The aromas explode long before you get to stick your nose into this one. Dark chocolates, daffodils, freshly rotavated earth mixed with a strong smell of straw, polished leather and deep roasted coffee beans – they all permeate the air in a complex ménage. Goodness me, Artisanale Fantôme meets Starbucks!

Taste: Sharp tastes, big entrance that says “you’re gonna like me”. Lots of coffee beans in the beginning, bitter cherry syrupy liquor dark chocolates in the middle that rise to a very dry bitter latter third, ending with lots of farmyard flavors whilst a strong liquorice dominates the finish – intense amounts of liquorice coat the tongue, but mix well with the smooth creamy mouthfeel.

Mouthfeel: A Nip & Tuck 36DD, this is one full-bodied brew! Strong, aggressive, yet very smooth, creamy even thanks to the immense finely tuned small bubbled conditioning. Intense at times yet restrained in a strange way. The mouthfeel is big but never overwhelming. Creamy, yet sharp. Acidic, yet manageable. The alcohol and liquorice ultimately dominate the taste and mouthfeel, both coat the mouth with one serious Fantôme kick, you’re only as good as your last sensation, and what a sensation!! This is a very bold beer for sure.

Drinkability: It’s 8%, very rare, and I only had one 25cl glass of it, I wanted soooo much more of it. I would give serious thought to paying over the odds for this one again for sure. Incredibly drinkable and very Moorish.

Overall: AWESOME. Without doubt the very best Fantôme creation that I have had to date and I’ve had a few. I can safely report that the “rumors” about the Black Ghost being Dany Prignon’s best creation, are indeed fact!! What a creation – just when I thought Fantôme had let me down with the newest creation “Flop”, they go and astound me again with this offering. But that really is the very essence of Fantôme, they somehow make eclectic seem conservative.

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Photo of HiroProtagonist
4.97/5  rDev +29.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Fantome Black Ghost was served from a 750ml capped and corked bottle. In a Duvel tulip the beer was nearly black, with a vague murky reddish-orange brown quality. This was topped by an amazingly rich and creamy voluminous tan head that left thick blankets lacing where ever it touched. The extrordinarily multifaceted nose presented a creamy black cherry mocha-ness, accompanied by an invigorating acidic soda edge and aromas of rich musty earth, kiwi fruit, and flowers. On the palate, an assertively acidic yet creamy black cherry hits with superb intensity and vigor. Accents of ginger, red wine, and licorice arose and gave way to a sharp dry finish that held light lingering notes of mocha/coffee, cranberries, and cherry. These heavenly flavors were held up by a moderately full and smooth body, and were powered by a perfect degree of tingly carbonation. Its amazing how this beer (and Fantome beers in general) can attain such acidiity, yet exude such smoothness and creaminess at the same seems paradoxical. Once again, a Fantome brew has captivated and satisfied me to the core of my being. Another masterpiece from Dany, perhaps his crowning achievement!

Enormous thanks to skyhand for makng this experience possible!

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.68/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I still can't believe CaptainCougar could get his hands on this for me. Very appreciated Tom. Appearance is another winner. It's a dirty brown, full of yeast creating microcosms of clouds in the glass. Watch my stance: Imperial bottle-conditioned ale. Superb big foamy beige head, fully laced as the Fantôme tradition wants it. It looks marvellous. Infinitely complex aroma: earthy, chocolatey, intensely yeasty, lots of fantôme goodness at work in there. Acid peaks here and there, cherries, cinnammon, rhubarb, grapes melted in a little vinous profile. Delightful fantôme yeast taste, how do you do it Sir Prignon? Cobwebs (is it normal to enjoy this flavor?), moderately acidic, earthy, plain green leaves, sage, nutty, cranberries, juniper, oregano, nutmeg and other spices, english tea, wow! Add to this a long finish, eternal finish and a rather full, highly carbonated fitting body. What else do you want? It looks murky, it tastes murky. This is just as good as the great Hiver. Simply magic.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.75/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This very rare (?) brew poured out a dark burnt red colour, the colour of deer blood. The head was very large and off-white in colour. The aromas were out of this world and consisted of musty basements, alcohol soaked cherries and other dark fruits, lovely belgian floral hops and malts, yeast, candy sugar, and oak. The taste is wonderfully oak-y, cherry-like, and sour on the finish. I suspect Danny aged this brew in oak barrels for quite a bit of time. The mouthfeel was creamy and astringent at the same time, giving this beer an excellent drinkability. One of the best brews that I have had from Fantome, and that is saying soooo much. How the hell has this one not been reviewed before? If you love Fantome or if you just love the saision and flanders red styles, find this and buy it, no matter the's just THAT good!

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Fantôme Black Ghost from Brasserie Fantôme
3.84 out of 5 based on 188 ratings.
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