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:
41
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 188 |  Reviews: 146
Photo of Oxymoron
4.19/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

How do you see a black ghost if they lights are out? Pours a lighter shade of black, if that is possible, that is similar to a schwartz if it were. Boarder line dark brown. Ok clarity, but a good soft white head. Did hide to the edge and very limited retention throughout.

The nose has more of a white wine characteristic more than anything else. Noticeable grapes with some minor lactic sourness on the backend. No real malt characteristic but there are some minor esters, plums and figs mostly. Some light funk and spices, pepper mostly. There is a noticeable oxidation that is somewhat sherry like.

The taste is more subtle than the nose. The winey flavors back off a bit but are still there. Some sweetness up front but the sourness comes out quickly. Doesn't take long to adjust, but once you do the yeast characters really come out. Some bready almost flour-like notes but light against the lactic sour notes. A bit of funk but not as much as expected. Almost smooth in the finish that I associate with diacetyl.

Overall I know this is very unique. Not a traditional Belg Strong (if that is possible). But closer to a gueze and a belg black (like 1554).

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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 dsa7783
4.2/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle purchased corked from State Line Liquors in Maryland...
Definitely does not pour black, but rather a burgundy, ruby-red hue with a massive-sized foamy head that retained impressive staying power and deposited a thin film of lacing...
Smell was replete with malts, slight alcohol, yeast, esters, caramel, dehydrated fruits...
Taste strongly complemented the aroma, however the alcohol was less noticeable on the tongue than in the nose... Included in the flavor was a strong, funky, pepperish essence that was pleasing without being too cloying or overbearing... As expected from this unique brewery, the taste is certainly different, with a distinct tartness present in the overall flavor...
Good, rich mouthfeel along with a superb level of drinkability for an 8% ABV brew...
Another winner from Fantome...
Recommended, and different from their usual Saisons...

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

Bottle from Dilly Deli.

Poured clear dark brown color with a large fizzy brown head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Aroma was as complex modetate spicy nutty sweet and alcohol. Medium to full body with a smooth texture and flat carbonation. Heavy dark fruit bittersweet flavor with a heavy bittersweet finish with medium alcohol bite.

Good strange brew.

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Photo of mdagnew
4.22/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle bought from belgianshop.com

Poured a dark mahogany red colour... Muddy brown head poured big and foamy and faded to nice layer...

Aroma - Strong fruits... as soon as the cork was popped i could smell fruit. Raisins and blackcurrents, some strawberries. Toasted caramel / bready maltiness, chocolate, coffee hints, nutty...

Taste – Not what i expected considering the aromas... Very fruity (red grape, blackcurrents, ripe bananas), strong wine / port notes, aniseed, yeasty, nice hop bitterness, spicy malts, bitter chocolate, fairly noticable alcohol...

Feel - Oily, light sharpness - quite dry... Medium body. Pretty drinkable..

Overall - An excellent, and very different, beer.... Highly recommended...

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Photo of DrBier
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of IBUnit63
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From 750 to Coronado pint...

Nice dulce de leche head topping caramel apple body

Sour aroma with bountiful yeast electricity backed by soild malt presenece, along with subtle vinegar notes.

Whooo-eee, dat's saaar. Crisp and clean though-yeast electricity delivers with mild yet strong malt and oak backbone. Slight piney hops and a little horse blanket in there. Nice stuff.

Tight sour pucker with even oak from start to finish.

This should be savored. Clean but tightness may preclude sessionability.

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Photo of yeahrick
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of m0ntels
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of afsdan
4.25/5  rDev +10.7%

Photo of
4.27/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle.

Poured a hazy, brown color with some red tones. Small light tan head.

Primary scent, for me, was anise. I also picked up some coffee, citrus and dark fruits. Finally, a bit of the typical Belgian aroma.

Taste was similar to aroma. Additionally, some alcohol showed through, and a bit of pepper at finish.

Medium + in body, with medium carbonation. Fairly refreshing.

Overall, this has replaced Hiver as my favorite Fantome.

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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 whartontallboy
4.28/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours out a dark reddish brown with a big beige head of foamy bubbles. Nice looking, head fades slowly.

Smell is all sorts of stuff thrown together. A dark raisiny fruit smell is immediately apparent, as is a substantial amount of alcohol, some grapes, cherries, chocolate, and general goodness.

The flavor is extremely interesting and marked by a somewhat harsh peppery bite that grabs the tongue and lingers down the throat in the finish. I haven't experienced anything else quite like it, but it really complements the earthy flavors of dark chocolate and fruit that run through the rest of the taste. There's a lot going on in this one, but the pepper and earthy character wins out.

The mouthfeel is nicely carbonated and somewhat dry.

Overall: I was looking forward to trying this one, and it delivered in a major way. Worth every penny of the nine bucks I spent on it, and a very enjoyable way to spend an evening.

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

Large bottle, capped and corked. Pours black with min. light shining thru, dark tan head, leaving luxorious lacing. Nose is licorish and dark malts. This is a full flavor dark ale, lots of burnt malt flavor, prunes, rum, dark chocolate and smoke. Also musty, earthy and more licorish. Not as phenolic and spicy as other Fantome ales, but this is a big, heady, complex brew, Belgian dark ale lovers must give this one a try.

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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 neonbrown82
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised by this beer. Not nearly as funky as I was expecting, but rather well balanced. Thanks to my friend Dave for sharing his x-mas present with me.

The beer pours to a dark brown with a nice amber hue. The head is fairly effervescent and retains through most of the drink. Looks good.

The smell is sweet, like candi sugar, with a hint of belgian funk and esoteric spices. Very interesting. Some funky stuff going on with the yeast. Has a hint of black anise and raisins.

The taste is very similar to the nose, though more intense. It is on the sweet side of dry. All of the flavors are mixed to perfection. The alcohol flavor is present, but it seems to enhance the other flavors quite well.

Medium in body, and fairly well drinkable. I am glad I was able to try it.

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Photo of ccrida
4.32/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle that I've cellared for a little over 6 months, poured into my cherished Fantome tulip, Black ghost is a murky chestnut with a large, light tan head with big, frothy bubbles, it grows like some kind of chemical reaction, but doesn't overwhelm the glass with foam. I've never seen such a violent, turbulent settling of a beer, with tons of bubbles agitating chunks of sediment. Once it settles, the spritzers remain to support a collar, but it doesn't leave a flex of lace. Looks like apple cider, with the last full pour looking almost turkey gravy thick!

Smell is very vinous, lactic tart fruitness, grapes and lemons.

Taste is fruity, musty, and vinous, with a light sourness that makes me glad I gave this a ½ year to age. There's a hint of vinegar reminiscent of a oud bruin, but also an herbal woodiness, damp but fresh. I wouldn't be surprised if this was using some bizarre ingredients, 'shrooms, herbs and moss by the taste, but who knows? Wow, incredibly complex, I really shouldn't have tried to categorize it. I love the fruits, tart lemons and sweet grapes, it's the Purplesaurous Rex of Fantomes! I particularly love the finish, sugary sweet. I was expecting more of a Belgian Stout, but this is perfect for the late fall season and my general mood today!

Mouthfeel is very light and dry, highly digestible. The dry pucker counters the stillness, and overall it's pretty silky.

Drinkability is great, a little tart, a lot going on, but really easy going down. I have to say I didn't have the highest hopes, but this is really fantastic. So glad I have another bottle or two in the stash, this is a totally unique, yet at the same time so totally trademark Fantome. This was my choice for cracking midnight on my 30th birthday, and I couldn't have chosen better.

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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 AKBelgianBeast
4.33/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow! This one pours a very intrigueing reddish brown thick cloudy glowing color. Good off white head that leaves some lace. Nose is very belgian, malty with some spice and sugar. The taste on this one is wonderful and remarkably unique. Very candy like. Good malt presence, but there is a sweet and sour aspect that is very desireable. There is a specific kind of candy this reminds me of I used to eat when I was a kid, but I can't think of it. A great sort of appley bite of flavor that shows up right through the middle there. Some slight spice, but not as much as the nose indicated. That thin candy flavor lingers on into the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a bit thin, but it fits well with the slightly sour mouthfeel. Drinkability is extremely good on this one, the abv does not make an appearance. Overall this is one of the most unique brews I have had in some time. Very tasty, and one I will surely revisit. Very complex. The only trouble is the goddamn bottle cost me $15 bucks! worth it for a special occasion though, thats for sure! good one!

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

750ml bottle, capped and corked. Lots of carbonation on the cork pop but no surge. The beer is murky, tan orange brown, lots of floating yeast particles. The smell is not really BSDA to me, more funky and Fantome-y. Sour apple cider, barnyard, and who knows what spices. The taste is not easy to nail in words, but has elements you'd associate with Fantome, some sour bite but not too much, a little fruity, maybe almost dusty. As with all their beers, this Fantome is unique and good.

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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.

 502 characters

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 merlin48
4.42/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, corked and capped, enjoyed slightly chilled in a chalice. Thanks to mntlover for bringing this one.
Appearance: Dark brown, but mostly clear, body with a small light brown head that quickly drops into a persistent film and collar of lace. Sheet lacing is present, but not pervasive.

Aroma: Not what I was expecting from a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, the aroma is closer to the Fantome Saisons, with a few notable exceptions. Fruity tart, funky and earthy yeast, grassy hops, citrusy tangerine and lemon, and an array of spices. Coriander and white pepper are prominent, as in the Saisons, but there is a definite note of anise.

Mouthfeel: Light medium body with low medium carbonation. Slick, and a bit oily.

Taste: Somewhat dry, with fruity notes of lemon, orange, and raisins. Earthy and grassy, with an old socks yeast character that is assertive. Quite spicy, with coriander, white pepper, and licorice. Alcohol is well hidden, but for an occasional retro-olfactory whiff. Spices become more herbal as it warms to room temperature. An odd note of chocolate malt makes a brief appearance and adds to the interesting complexity. Finish is dry and spicy, with lasting note of earthy yeast.

Drinkability: Very complex and interesting, with great drinkability due to its Saison similarities. Very much like a dark Saison in character. I've read that every bottle of this has different characteristics. I would certainly like to have another to see if this is so.

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