Fantôme Black Ghost | Brasserie Fantôme

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BA SCORE
86
very good
146 Reviews
THE BROS
65
poor
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Fantôme Black GhostFantôme Black Ghost
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme
Belgium | website

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
Reviews:
146
Ratings:
188
Avg:
3.84
pDev:
21.61%
 
 
Wants:
40
Gots:
8
For Trade:
0
User Reviews
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Reviews: 146 | Ratings: 188
Photo of jrenihan
3.3/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle does not appear to be dated, despite the label having the ability to accommodate dating.

Beer is very murky and brownish. Not the "black ghost" advertised. Opaque. Large off-white head. Excellent retention.

Smell is yeasty, with some accompanying smoke. Malty, wood notes. Not what I expected!

Taste contains yeast quite strongly. Plenty of malt character, bready with a slight fruit flavour. Noticeable sweetness. Wood. Spices are quite evident but hard for me to single out- perhaps clove and nutmeg? Smoke is present in the flavour but not as strongly as the nose- strongest in the finish. Unusual flavour but not in a good way.

Rather heavy, with moderate carbonation. Oddly bulky, and quite astringent.

Overall, quite disappointing. The regular Fantome is certainly one of my favourite beers, but this one is not very good. The fruit elements are nice, but the woody character of the beer does not fit and does not work.

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Photo of Beaver13
3.32/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle, corked and capped. Pours a hazy reddish amber with sediment. The head is bubbly, white and creamy and retains well and laces the glass.

The aroma is grainy malts, funky yeast and acidic and tart fruits and some band-aid. Cinnamon comes out as it warms.

The flavor is some sweet fruits, and spicy funky yeast followed by a sharp tongue biting tartness and chocolate. It's pretty acidic and dry. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with creamy carbonation.

Overall, an interesting beer.I'm not sure what to make of it, but would try it again.

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Photo of LaPeste
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

750ml capped bottle from Vendome in North Hollywood $15.99.

A: Poured into a tulip glass. Dark Brown with hints of red, hardly any head. Looks inviting.

S: Smell is mild, chocolate, ripe fruit, yeast

T: Yeast, chemical, very slight sour, some ripe fruit

M: Slight carbonation, light bodied, not very well balanced

D: Alcohol is well concealed, easy to drink but it doesn't really make you want to

This is the second Fantome variety in two days that has disappointed. I think it's time for me to move on from trying them all.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle,

A: Pours a rusty dark brown, full white head, some lace.

S: Ruddy lemon, funk, some acid, lots of malt and winter spice.

T: Dark malt, dark fruit - currants, prunes, with some cinnamon. Lemons and limes, citric acid in there too. Pretty one-dimensional outright flavour akin with the nose.

M: Mild acidity, good body and drinkable for sure.

D: A weird beer, farmhouse and Old World. I liked it's weirdness, but not a beer, I said, hey I need to try this again. The dark Fantome beers haven't been really doing it for me so far.

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Photo of bobsy
3.33/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an extremely strange goose.

Dark brown pour with a tan head that laced well. Flanders red meets fruit lambic meets saison in the nose. Funk and sour fruit. Interesting and unexpected. Flavour has much of the same. The funkiness of a saison is there, but so is the sour fruitiness of a flanders red, coming to the fore with a big cherry character. This all combines somewhat uneasily with a light roast. Medium-light body with a spritzy carb.

There are certainly a lot of things going on here, and its an interesting beer, but it doesn't quite come together as I hoped. Still enjoyable, but I expected a bit more from Fantome.

Cheers to Eric for bringing this over a while back.

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Photo of stcules
3.36/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown, ruby edges. A beautiful beige head, compact.
The smell is sweet, something like fruity soda. Cherry notes. And a bit of cork, unfortunately.
But why don't they use decent cork?
After some while, casually, anise, heather, various spices.
Fruity notes in the taste, toasted malt, malty background. Sweet orange peel.
And, unfortunately, some cork again.
Some strawberry, too, lightly tart. Maybe blueberry.
Well, for sure not anonimous. A lot of thing to find.

 473 characters

Photo of ehammond1
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle

Acquired via online purchase

A murky, cloudy dark brown with a huge dark khaki colored head that stays and stays and stays, eventually cascading down into thick chunks of sticky lace.

A somewhat strange aroma of grass, hay, barnyard, some peat, and mild smoke character. Different than any other Fantome offering I've had. The smoke and peat character emerge more and more as the beer warms.

The flavor is too not like anything I've had before, though that's not surprising given Fantome's reputation. Smoke, peat, some feet, barnyard, grass, and a mild earthy hop character interplay with one another. It's interesting, but not one of the more pleasant Fantome offerings I've had.

Medium bodied with high, slightly creamy, carbonation.

I'm glad I tried it, but I don't need to have another. I wouldn't turn it down though, either.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.38/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle opened on 10.25.12.

A - Pours a murky brown with a very large, tan head that fades slowly.

S - Funk, oak, and a mix of spices.

T - Funky, leather, pipe smoke, earthy.

D - Good carbonation with a heavier body.

O - Dark, deep and dirty. Not sure about this one.

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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 GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear brown with an off white head.

Light citric fruit nose; light "green fruit" nose. Hints of sweet lime in the nose;

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with almost a "sour malt" character.

Flavors are big citric lime layered with nice fruity flavors and a hint of funk and light/sweet sour. Wonderfully balanced with all that is going on in this one and very drinkable, especially for Fantome.

Nice citric/lime/fruit/lightly sour finish.

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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 ritzkiss
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750ml shared courtesy of viggo I believe - thanks man!

Pours a ruddy brown with hints of cherry and tinges of purple - loads of yeast in the bottom.

This is one funky duck - makes me think Flanders Red meets Black Saison. Peppery on the entry with a serious funky sour cherry kick, fruit cake, vinegar, light lemon, caramel malt, some wood. Sour pucker ending, light sweetness throughout. Not bad but it seems kind of disjointed and the oddness sort of wears on you, just not that drinkable.

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Photo of JohnQVegas
3.52/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle into red wine glass.

Pours deep red brown, extraordinarily clear despite the darkness of the color - almost jewel-like in the way light breaks through every once in awhile. Fluffy two-finger light khaki head settles down to a thin sudsy cap with decent stickage.

Nose is beautiful - sour cherries break through right off the bat, wafts of green apples, anise seed, underlying soft cocoa, dark fruits - so much going on in this one. Incredibly subtle in terms of variety of aromas.

Taste is incredibly unique. Up front, is dry and intensely earthy. Musty tobacco, turnips (yeah), dark fruits, old leather, (light) green apples, cocoa and licorice as temps increase - this is one dank, savory beer. Lightly sour towards the finish. Loads of spices swirling around in there that I can't even begin to identify lend a dry bitterness on the long finish. I get very little sweetness from this, at any temp - it's dominated by musty earth tones, dirty, nutty, with other notes swirling in and out of the profile - umami. Interesting; I'm not finding instantly appealing, but I keep coming back to it. Totally sits outside the box of what you normally associate as the flavor profile for any beer - this one is dry and dusty, earthy, a must try, but this will not be everyone's thing - probably not mine, but glad I got a chance to try it.

Mouthfeel is light, medium-thin body, very light carbonation.

Drinkability is hard to decide upon. This isn't a flavor combo that I think I've ever really craved before. I don't really crave it now that I've tasted it either. This one seems more intellectual exercise than rewarding sensory experience to me - YMMV.

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Photo of stakem
3.6/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml poured into a matching Fantome tulip. This is the "noire de noire" version which I am uncertain if that makes it any different from the normal Black Ghost. In my glass, it appears a very clouded light brown color. When held to the light, it appears more of a deep copper to amber with some yellowish hints around the edges. A rich 2 finger cap of fluffy yellowish/tan head sits atop and maintains throughout the entire duration with a finger's strength supported by a constant stream of bubbles rushing to the surface. As the cap fades, it leaves strings and spots of lace sticking to the glass.

The aroma starts with a bit of dark fruit quality faintly reminiscent of apples and quickly turns to a spice like pepper. As it opens up, there is some leather quality to this that mixes with earth and something that is almost soapy. More earthiness comes out of this brew as it warms up, but it takes on more of a hop earthiness with a very muted note of citrus.

The taste is significantly more bitter than I was expecting. It has hop flavoring that is herbal, earthy, floral and rindy. When small sips are taken, there is a bit of fruit and citrus character but it is dominated by a wet leathery flavor. Mid palate a taste of dark graininess somewhat like chocolate is present but it dissolves fairly fast into the bitterness. The aftertaste is quite herbal and drying with a faint soapy flavor just like the aroma led on.

This is a medium to full bodied brew with a modest amount of carbonation that visually looks effervescent but in the feel it is spot on for the style. This brew really has me scratching my head. It was not what I was expecting and there seems like an exaggerated bitterness here that doesn't quite fully come from hops. I can only imagine that the mystery ingredient or "spices" here might be bringing there own level of bitterness into this brew. Of all the Fantome offerings I have had, this one is quite reminiscent of a cross between the second batch of Clos Preal and BBB Dark White. Unfortuantely, those 2 brews I just mentioned are among my least favorite of Dany's offerings.

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Photo of beethousand
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this out of the bottle; didn't enjoy this as much as other Fantome beers.

Interesting herbal aromas and flavors, but overall a bit too dominant, especially as the beer warmed up. The nose was the highlight of the beer; the taste and mouthfeel did not measure up to the nose. Dry and alkaline in the mouthfeel--there are a decent amount of drying characteristics created in the mouth by this beer.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.62/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice pop when the cork came out. Almost lost an eye. Pours a dark, but not impenetrable, brown in color with a thick fomay head that never quite disappeared. Nose was my favorite part--like a candy factory. Got some toffee, molasses, lots of sugars, grapes and prunes coming out of this beer. Flavor is a bit of a downer after the aroma--not as big as I was expecting. They are complex and pretty much the same as what I got out of the aroma, but more muted and dull. Almost like an eraser that does not quite erase a pencil mark. Does the job but not quite as perfect as you expect. Mouthfeel is nice and full and almost sticks to my cheeks.

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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 Phyl21ca
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a deep murky brown color ale with a huge dirty brown color head with good retention. Aroma of funky yeast, tart and strange spices. Taste is quite different from anything I had before and includes traces of unknown spices, roasted malt, funky yeast and a sour finish. Again, a very interesting experiment from Danny but IMHO not as good as the Strange Ghost.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml capped and corked bottle served at 48 degrees in my DT snifter. Freshness dating not indicated on the label, but cork reads 086/47704. Poured a deep mahogany with some ruby highlights when backlight. One inch off-white head with latte-like consistency with tiny pockets embedded in the cap - eventually recedes into a thin, consistent skim. Half moon swath of lacing coats one side of the glass; decent legs on this one. Nose is a bit musty/spicy, muted dark fruit with a vinous/acidic quality. Taste is quite dry and a little woody; not getting the typical sweet and malty I've come to associate with the style. A little tart and also getting some nutmeg towards the back. Moutfeel falls between light-and medium-bodied with a nice, consistent background carbonation that keeps it lively and refreshing. Not my favorite offering from Fantôme, but alcohol is well-hidden and there's a nice complexity and refreshing quality that makes it fairly drinkable.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.68/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle $14.99. Not nearly black, more dark brown with a funky aroma. Funky flavors like white grapes, malt, very little tartness, I wouldn't say this is quite sour. There is a little bit of dustiness to the flavor too. Overall, this is enjoyable if you like Fantome.

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Photo of MrSeth
3.7/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a nutty brown color, but once in the glass, it's black. 2" light brown head that sticks around for a while. Not any real lacing.

The smell is of molasses candy, fresh baked french bread, and musk.

The flavor, which is supposed to be a big secret, seems like anise [licorice neccos] to me. There are also plums and black cherries in the taste.

Good mouthfeel, very wet, a short finish with some pucker. I think this ale would be an excellent addition to Peking duck with white rice and Chinese broccoli.

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Photo of brushtachio
3.71/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My first ever Fantôme offering. Based on their reputation, I shouldn't be suprised to find a beer that doesn't seem to want to play nice with the other (sometimes legendary) members of it's style. This is the BSDA that sits in the back of the class, sporting a green goatee and making sarcastic comments everytime that holier than thou St. Bernardus raises his hand to answer yet another of the teacher's questions correctly. He may not be your favorite kid in the class, probably got put in there because he school didn't know where else to put him, but damn he keeps the class interesting.

Poured from a green bomber that was both capped and corked. Deep dark brown but far from black. Little to no head.

Probably served it a few degrees too cold but the smell definitely becomes more pronounced as it warms. Yeasty, musty but hinting at dark fruity sweetness that will suprisingly never show up in the taste. Sour twang in the nose proves a much more reliable agent of foreshadowing.

Taste has many of the components I expected and many I didn't. Each sip seems to emphasize one over the others giving you the impression that a vicious battle for supremacy between the flavors may be going on in the glass unbeknownst to you. Yeast, pepper, sour lemon, dried cherries, leather, earthy grass, my grandpa's bare dirt cellar.

Finish is very dry. Carbonation has some bite to it.

This is a sipper. One to give your palate a work out. One was enough but I enjoyed spreading the experience out for a couple of hours.

 1,524 characters

Photo of illidurit
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Dark brown color with a mocha head that's on the modest side considering the force of the pour. Aroma is very strange: lemon, leather, and some kind of spiciness do not exactly scream BSDA. Flavor is strong on menthol/lemongrass with an even white pepper note that dominates the finish. Musty and earthy, at times vegetal and at times fruity. Mouthfeel is a little thin and a little undercarbonated. Totally unique but kind of weird and I'm not sure I like the combination of flavor notes.

 512 characters

Photo of egajdzis
3.72/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a brownish red color with a thin, off white, creamy head and nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of sour cherries, brett, and oak. Taste was very oaky, with lightly spiced cherry. Spicy sweet with lots of oak. Dry finish. The taste does not live up to the aroma, by far. I am surprised this is not listed as a Flemish Sour?

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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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Fantôme Black Ghost from Brasserie Fantôme
86 out of 100 based on 146 ratings.
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