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 goodbyeohio
4.08/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

pours a familiar dark, showing only the slightest hint of red glow under some intense light. a brownish head that shrinks over minutes, although it leaves something behind. some carbonation is happening here.

lacing is spectacular.. very tight-knit with a beautiful gravity effect with each tilt of the glass. entrancing.

aroma is fantomey, if such a word exists. awfully tart in the nose for something so dark. wheat, something roasty, and something citrusy combine for what seems to be a richer fantome scent experience.

taste... first thing that hits you is the bitterness of the oft-quoted 'horse blanket' in the back of your throat and an alcoholic bitterness heading down. this leaves me with a hint of chocolate and some astringency. following sips surpass the bitter and allow a bunch of fruity, sweeter tastes to emerge. cherries, ginger and clove.

mouthfeel is light and bubbly, perfect counterpoint to the complexity of the body.

average drinkability, will edit if i finish the bottle and change my mind :).. overall, my 2nd favorite fantome to pissenlit, happy i had the opportunity to try one. bottle #2 goes underground for now.

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Photo of ithacabaron
4.02/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown into my oerbier glass. Hey -- I thought this was supposed to be Black Ghost, not Brown Ghost. A small head fades down to a film. Not all that impressive, folks.

Smell is interesting, but, on the whole, pretty clean and muted. Slight floral notes collide with the smell of Hershey, PA. Interesting

Taste is a much larger landscape of sensations -- this one's a shape shifter. Strong notes of dandelion leaves, a subtle but deep fudginess, and flashes of cold steel land on the tongue. Very saison-like, but also a winter warmer. It's hard to wrap your tongue around this one, but I like what it's doing.

Mouthfeel is nice. Perhaps a little less would have been good in order to taste all the sensations more completely, but all in all, not bad.

Drinkability is very good -- the 750 was a nice session.

All in all, I could definately see spending another evening with this brew, if only to try and figure more of it out. Sometimes Fantome can be a touch up and down with quality. This brew, although disappointing in a few categories, makes up for some of its brothers' failings with its unique yet coherent profile on the palate.

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

03/19/05- Purchased at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Presentation- 24oz bottle shared by three BA members (hslater, axisjones and gclarkage) $15 for the bottle, poured into tulip glasses.

Appearance- Almost pitch black in color. Light and smooth looking head with above average lacing.

Smell- Dark, sweet and fruity scents. Not sure what the main scent is, but there is a managerie of them.

Taste- Damn, what's up with Fanotme. You can never figure out what the hell to make of any of them. All I can say it that they're all outstanding so far. This one has hints of raisins, prunes, maybe plums? Then it has a bit of bitterness almost like a brown ale. Then I taste a bit of roasted coffee flavor like a stout?!?! WTF!!!!
Damn you Fantome for making a mockery of my taste buds!

Mouthfeel- Moderate carbonation, can't really detect the alcohol, nice mouth coating experience.

Drinkability- I WILL be searching this one out again. Another true enigma created by Fantome.

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

Appears a ruddy sediment filled brown with a tall foamy light tan head. Not much lace was left but the head stayed afloat atop the muddy body. Wow this is one interesting brew, the aroma has all sorts of odd scents coming at you. Strong barnyard funk, sweet and tart fruit and a mix of spices. Interesting roastiness or burnt scent is in the background. A lot more was going on to the point it is ridiculously complex. Taste was equally as complex with a mix of fruits, funk, spice and the kitchen sink. I was fairly confused drinking this as to all the flavor coming together so well. Something I would have to have a few bottles of to really appreciate though I enjoyed this one. Ends on a odd roasty burnt cocoa note. Almost medium with a real smooth creamy feel to it. Its pretty damn drinkable for the complexity and oddity that it is. Definitely one of the most unusual beers I have ever had, worth seeking out.

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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 IrishMike
4.52/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

bottled 2005 (purple label) and purchased from my local liquor store at $8.99 for a 750ml bottle. Cork was nearly impossible to remove, or perhaps i'm just a wuss.

Appearance- Pours into the glass with a menacingly dark color (deep brown, almost black) with a 1" dark tan head that strangely dissipates into a very large ring around the glass. In the center lies a massive pool that initially refuses to go anywhere. A little lacing to top it off. Let it settle for three minutes or so, however, and the head and lacing are completely gone. There's something about this that seems almost.... mysterious...

Smell- there's quite a bit going on here, that's for sure. A very earthy and natural tone sets the stage, gently blending into a yeasty and, oddly enough, coffee odor. Dark chocolate and that belgian spice character also noted. Slowly changes over the process; seems to take on slightly different notes every time i take a wiff.

Taste- a beer that can be both sedate and strong all at the same time, the beer seems to actually build momentum from the start of the sip until the end of the aftertaste. More and more seems to compile itself over time; starting out with a musty and earthy character (eating dirt? nah, that seems a bit harsh), then the yeast flies in, out come the spices, dark fruits, the dark chocolate, the expresso, and everything else. Really starts out small and then explodes. Long (and i mean somewhere in the realm of ten seconds) after i swallowed, a roasted bitterness and warming sensation abruptly entered. This beer tastes weird. Weird in the best way possible.

mouthfeel- I'm generally a fan of full-bodied brews (i.e. extremely heavy), something that i usually don't associate with Belgian beers. But this actually had quite a nice mouthfeel to it, very full and rich.

drinkability- I'm halfway through this bottle as we speak and there is absolutely no signs of me slowing down. This beer is such a curious creation that i'm actually finding myself drinking more and more in a futile effort of trying to figure it out. I expect that this entire 750 will be gone within the hour. I assume then tomorrow i'll purchase another bottle to try the same thing, and so the cycle will continue. Frightening drinkability.


There's something i can't quite figure out with this beer. I mean, yeah i certainly enjoyed it (perhaps a little too much), but it also frustrates me drinking it. Every time i think i have it completely figured out, it changes on me. Evil. Pure evil. Black Ghost is indeed a apt name for this mysterious brew. Buy it if you enjoy a good challenge.

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Photo of danadeny
4.48/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Purple labeled version. Something about this beer (i can't put my finger on it) is delicously drinkable. Dark brown bubbly body, off white frothy head. Smells yeasty, musty-earthy, slight fruit, and a espresso-chocolate, almost too complex, i was getting confused wondering if i was really smelling all this. tastes of chocolate and coffee aftertastes. awesome ballance, light sweetness, hard to pick out some flavors, earthy-musty, light roasted malt, light bitter hops.mouthfeel is watery smooth. drinkability is high because of it's overall ballance.

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

Label Lingo and bottle babble: Oh so spooky black Casper ghost over a castle with a pink background. 8% ABV. Brewed with spices. Back label recounts the fabled mystical lore of Fantôme.

Capped & corked bottle popped open with a solid thrust! Pours out into a narrow tulip with dark cloudy orange brown russet hues topped off with a khaki taunt head cap that settles to a frothy ¼” rock coating.

Molasses cake and carrot cake scents front the distinct aromatic profile. Spices of nutmeg, spice wafer and pepper.

First Swigs: Spice wafer and nearly Wheatsworth cracker malts. Some hints of cola and musty wet leather meets vanilla. Quite complex. Lingering maple nougat candy aftertaste. Some awl-kee-hawl vodka notes and yeasty pinch flavors. Through the offering, some woody bark notes and walnut essence become more prominent. Hell, coconut macaroon flavor, too. Milky cream suggestion.

Mad props to the soft shush carbonation that caresses the tongue. Delicate light body. Drinkability is helped and hindered by the unique factor. This has a sharp signature flavor that aids to the appreciation while yielding a proper time & place style.

Last Swigs: Toasted macaroon meets wisps of vodka and walnut. Rorschach test in a bottle. Each BA review is a diary. You could put the flavor of your first break up with your girlfriend and it would fit this beer. The flavors roll on like a piece candy straight from Willy Wonka that evolves into a variety of palate pleasers about every ten seconds, and evoke ideas from a memory bank. Maybe more flavors exist but my fingers are tired of typing. Thanks to fellow BA PopeDX for the gift 750 mL bottle, as this called for a special celebration to try. Today is my first day of official unemployment. A style debate could possibly be going on here. What style is licking a 9 volt battery? 45/4.34

Beer is good. Happy beering.

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Photo of Beersignal
4.09/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Murky brown with a medium head that fared average in the retention department, no lacing really but I wasn't expecting any from this beer.

At first smell, this brew reminded me of a Flanders ale (Rodenbach Grand Cru, or Duchesse de Bourgogne) with its rather pungent acidic and fruity aromas. It was a welcome change from the hoppier and maltier ales which I have been drinking as of late.

The flavours of this beer were right in line with the aroma profile. Fruity and tart with a dominant undercurrent of green apples and grapes. The beer's vinous traits were accented by a bracing dryness towards the finish that, I think, would make it a perfect apéritif before sitting down at a table for a long meal or as an accompaniment for this feast. Surprising dryness for a beer with this high an alcohol content.

Very hard to find in Canada, I want to extend many thanks to Goldorak for giving me this bottle as a Christmas present. I owe you one Martin!

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

Froathy, active light brown head fades quickly to a film leaving some strings of lace. Earth aroma with a bit of tangy dark fruit. Dark brown, almost black colored beer with a ruby hue. Creamy chocolate with some roasted malt and a bit of raisin. Barely bitter cocoa/coffee flavor towards the end with a pinch of alcohol. My stomach is warming up slowly but surely. Soft, creamy mouthfeel and a body just thick enough to hold all that flavor. Strange, but interesting aromas that give only a subtle hint of flavors to come. There's all kinds of stuff going on in there, half of which I can't quite describe, but all of it I like. Unique, almost strange, but definitely good.

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

Pink and black label, limited edition 750ml bottle corked and capped, 8% ABV.

Pours out to a slightly hazy very deep brown with scant sediment, forming a large light-tan head with very good retention and nice lacing. The aroma is very enticing..lots of musty basement, mold, Belgian sour funk, farmhouse, stinky leather shoes and dirty socks...I love it. The mouthfeel is smooth with a medium-dense, at times oily, body. The carbonation is just right...not overly zippy as many Belgians can be. The taste is wonderful...begins with tons of rotting fruit, black cherry, and a touch of sour funkiness, although it's not very tart...the middle is rich with tobacco, subtle cocoa powder, and leather. The "spices" this is evidently brewed with is not noticeable, although some warming alcohol gives me a pleasant sensation in the belly, though never hampering the palette. A touch of tartness and chalk rounds out the spry yet mellow earth finish. The aftertaste is tobacco and leather. Bitterness is mild and earthy.

This is just a wonderful brew. Smooth and easy drinking yet so rich and full of nuance. I love all the funky flavors and aromas going on here. Now I want to try the whole Fantome line-up. This was just absolutely stellar!

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Photo of Bighuge
4.45/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Deep russet brown appearance. Not much light gets through this one. Thick crop of beige foam that appears to be stained with blood. Retention is outstanding. Lace is quite adequate. Aroma of black cherry, boysenberry, wet cardboard, musty yeastiness and cedar. The flavors are quite subtle, but yet so damn complex and varied. I'm getting a lot of fruit juice like qualities. Dark fruits. Currants. Blackberries. There are also traces of rum-like alcohol qualities, but not a lot. There's a nice dry snap from the hops. Yeastiness is musty in character. Body is light and the carbonation is low to moderate. Nice feel in the mouth overall. And quite an enjoyable brew overall.

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Photo of maxpower
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Cloudy and hazy dark plum in color, small creamy brown head that leaves some lacing in the glass that doesn't last, chocolate and yeasty aromas. Plum, cherry, chocolate-toffee and spicy flavors. Medium bodied with not much carbonation, almost flat mouthfeel, finishes with a pleasant sourness.

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

Pours a deep caramel brown with a light brown, rocky, head. Retention is low, but provides a fine creamy layer and a sticky lace. Aroma is of malt, caramel, spices, and is lightly tart. Flavor has a caramel sweetness with dark fruits chocolate, pepper and an unexpected tartness. The finish sneaks up and has a nice surprising dryness. Palate is medium bodied, peppery, light effervescence and creaminess and a lingering hop bite. Black Ghost evolves and changes character, aroma and flavors throughout. A well-balanced yet complex beer without heavy, intense flavors and palate.

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

Appearance – This one poured a very dark, dirty brown like muddy pond water. The head was small.

Smell – The aroma here is light, even at room temperature. The light fruits are sour and somewhat dark. There’s a dominant deep grape side to this nose. I can also pick up some hearty prunes.

Taste – Wow, did this ale come alive at the taste. The prunes are huge and very dark. The dates seem dipped in a light chocolate sauce. There are also some light zesty citrus notes and big, powdery spices. On top of all this, there’s a wonderfully strong yeast base.

Mouthfeel – This BSDA is medium-bodied with some sharp, leafy bitterness. It just explodes in the mouth.

Drinkability – I’ve never had anything quite like this. It is a must try for any Belgian beer fans. I’m sure I haven’t even come close to catching all of the flavors here. What a treat.

Comments – Big thanks to skyhand for mustering up the willpower to save some of this for me.

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