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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of froghop
3.78/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

pour is a cloudy dark brown with a small beige head, good lacing.

smell is faint, musty, some dark fruits, almost a red wine smell.

taste is sour, dark fruits (prune, raisin, red grapes), malt in the back, some spice, dry ending, thick mouth-feel, some bitterness, sour lingering aftertaste.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.79/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle poured into my Chimay chalice.

A- Body is a very foggy murky brown color that pours with absolutely no head...and this glass exaggerates and maintains head very nicely. A lot of white yeast sediment chunks can be seen whirling about the body of this brew. The chunks are a bit too large and abundant for my taste.

S- Yeast funk, cola, and some dark fruit. Smell is mild but good.

T- A little bit of tart dark fruit upfront with a cola flavored background. Yeast is there too. The finish is consistent with the initial flavor and not much of a hop punch is offered.

M- The chunky yeast sediment detracts a little bit form the mouthfeel which isn't as smooth and creamy as I would like but it's still there and low carbonation.

D-Decent beer but I won't pay $14 for it again. Not the best in the Fantome lineup. I did enjoy it though

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

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

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

Initially tart followed by a grape/cider sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium , carbonation is low.

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

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Photo of gford217
3.8/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL cap and corked bottle courtesy of pghlee at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy reddish amber with a big thick head that recedes quickly to a collar and leaves spotty lacing.

The aroma is an interesting mix of sweet saison-like smells and spices with a bit of dark roasted malts and even a bit of sugary sweetness. On top of all of this is a hint of the typical Fantome funk...lots going on.

The taste is has the Belgian yeast backbone with a quick tart hit up front. There are some definitely spices, especially in the finish, probably coriander and some others I can't identify. Again, there are some dark roasted characteristics that make things very unique.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied for a BSDA if that's what you call this.

As usual, a unique brew from Fantome that has a whole bunch of things going on that doesn't quite come together perfectly. Interesting and tasty, but not great.

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Photo of Viggo
3.82/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 ml corked and capped bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing this. Had never seen this one in the stores until last weekend.

Pours a cloudy orange, very murky, thick light tan head forms, drops to a very thick layer, drops some nice lacing on the glass, looks pretty good. Smell is like Fantome, yeasty, some bready malty, funky, spices, sour/sweet, spruce, chocolate, quite malty, neat stuff. Taste is real sour, funky, vinegar and brett, chocolate, malty, grainy and biscuity malt, lemons, light bit of fruit near the finish, quite sour in the end, not too complex. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, pretty smooth and easy to drink, real nice sourness. Very drying in the finish, but a bit watery. Nice and very interesting but like most Fantomes just a bit watery and not as complex as they first seem. Thanks Russ!

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.83/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

trying to get ahold of some more fantome bottles so if you read this feel free to send some more my way.

Poured a beautiful clear brown with a huge frothy head. Smell was very spicey, grassy and earthy tones with a hint of sweetness. The taste was classic belgian and very nicely done. Fruitness and spices predominate, no hint of alcohol, which at 8%abv is incredible. Really smooth and effortless in drinkability. This is a fantastic brew, way too easy to drink, honestly the easiest 8% I have ever had.

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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 kmo1030
3.85/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown with a thin tan head. the smell is pretty faint. brown sugary licorice, with an almost waxy crayon aroma. hints or root beer as well. licorice is the most dominant flavor in the taste. root beer and molasses make there way to the fore a little later. some slight dark fruity flavors also show up mostly cherry and raisin. some faint peppery notes come out towards the end of the bottle. certainly not flat, but pretty lightly carbonated, with a thicker side of medium body that suits the beer well. overall 4.0, a decent strong dark belgian, that i would probaly not call all that strong at least in the flavor department. not bad by any means, but a little bit of a disappointment.

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

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

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

s: very spicy aroma, a hint of roasted malt

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

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

Worth a Try.

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Photo of Gmann
3.87/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Out of a 750ml capped bottle. ATTENTION BRASSERIE FANTOME how about putting a cork into your bottles!!! Most of my experience with your brews have been semi-flat. Anywho, off of the soapbox and onto the review. Pours a deep mahogeny color and after a dead hard pour I got a small soapy at first but firmed up head. The aroma is of lemons and green apple skins, sour and funky. Not what I was expecting from a dark brew. The taste up front is of lemons with some raspberry sweetness, perhaps some sour cherry. Not what I really expect from a BSDA, its not sugary with deep fruit flavors, kind of light with tart and/or sour flavors. Kind of refreshing, actually. The feel, feels a bit dead. Can use a good kick of carbonation. This is as soft as soft can be without being outright flat. Finishes with a tart/sour kick to keep any sweetness in check. I got probably a bit of an old bottle, I'm just not sure as the few bottles that I have had from this brewery have been exactly like this. So not sure if this is how they intended their beers to be or they are just old. Old or not this is a pretty refreshing beer, easy to drink, light.

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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 SwillinBrew
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm getting into sour beers so am giving this one a try.

A - brown coffee color with deep mohogany hues and a finger of beige head that's rather creamy.
S - scents of marachino cherries and fig.
T - A mix of flavors hit my tongue. Toffee, caramel, raisins, cocoa with a medium subdued, but present, tartness to it.
M&Dr - medium bodied, okay carbonation ending on a dry note. I didnt care much for this one. I'd drink it again, but wont go out of my way. Nice brew though.

EDIT: I had this again today and had to up my taste score. The tartness seems more present and i like it more.

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Photo of mrfrancis
3.88/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark brown with a thin white mousse that surprisingly laces pretty deep into the glass.

S: The nose is interesting, and as other reviewers have noted, is reminiscent of a sour Flanders red ale. Suggestions of black cherry, spiced pears, apples, oak, and lactic, funky yeast are very apparent on the nose.

T: Opens sweet and smooth with notes of caramel, red apple, black cherry, pear, dark bread, woody spice, oak, must, and lactic, sour yeast. The finish is tart and funky with a combination of spice, caramel, yeast, and fruit flavors. Surprisingly, there is no alcohol burn whatsoever.

M: Medium-bodied, dry, and firm with subtle carbonation. Easier to drink than one would expect.

O: This seems to be another one of those beers that I like and others don't. Regardless of what one thinks of it, it is very different from most Belgian saisons. Worth a shot.

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Photo of augustgarage
3.9/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750mL capped-and-corked green-glass bottle into my Oerbier glass.

Burnt umber-tinged bole liquid which glows a soft coppery chestnut when held up to the sun. Thick creamy wheat colored head which recedes to a half finger of whipped foam - superior retention, slow running sand-dune-like lacing with (oddly) phantom shaped tears.

Musty aromatics with dark fruit, and farmhouse (or maybe attic) scents along with faint malt, cocoa, loam, and spice. Very subdued overall.

The sour palate entry is unmistakably Fantôme suggesting Brett., crab apples, lemon zest, and Luxardo. Some noble hop notes along with lightly roasted speciality (and pils?) malt add depth, while there is a faint herbal/spice note (dandelions, cardamom, burdock root?) leading into an earthy, dry, mineral-rich (but still very tart) finish.

Creamy, effervescent, medium-bodied, and a touch astringent.

Supposedly this started out as a sort of hybrid of a Saison and an Irish Dry Stout - the former is much more identifiable here, but the malt profile, puckering sourness, and odd spice profile makes this brew truly defiant of style guidelines (and thus, that much more difficult to rate).

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Photo of ejquin
3.91/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Sunny and cloudy orange/brown with decent white head

S: Vinegar and acid. Sour cherries and brett funk.

T/M: Sour and bitter. Acidic with vinegar notes but a quick, short finish and dry.

M: good carbonation.

Ovr: Good, not great to me. Not as complex as I expected.

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Photo of Patrick999
3.93/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another Fantome I've not had.

Great looking pour from the 750ml bottle into my designated farmhouse/wild ale goblet. Not as dark as I would have expected from a beer named Black Ghost. Instead, it's more of a red ale. Excellent retention.

Has a pungent aroma typical of a Fantome. It smells sour, with some cinnamon overtone. I also smell vine-ripened tomato, believe it or not. Yes, like some fresh homemade tomato sauce.

Somewhat puckery, with some leathery sourness. Dry, and some definite herbal spiciness going on. Sour/bitter finish. 8% alcohol really nowhere, this drinks more like 6%. Tasty, for those of us who like this kind of thing, but somehow doesn't seem as interesting as some other Fantomes....which is not terrible criticism, it's still a 4.0 beer in my book. It might be a little over-spiced - there is so much of that going on that it actually blurs and diminishes the complexity.

Feel is very spritzy and light for a beer of this strength, but not that gassy.

Pretty drinkable. Though it's not the greatest Fantome, it's still very good. Spicy, but drinkability isn't diminished as a result. I wish it wasn't 8% ABV, I'm feeling it.

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Photo of OldSock
3.97/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – 750 ml bottle with cap and cork from Julio’s. In my goblet it appears as a hazy, dark brown liquid covered with a creamy off-white head that lasts forever. Lacing is equally creamy and long lasting.

Smell – Beautiful dark fruit and spice smell. So complex that it is hard to find words to describe it accurately. The fruit is mainly dark cherries with some raisons. The yeasty, spicy, earthy, wood undertones are wonderful. The whole thing just melds together seamlessly, perfect.

Taste – The front has a slight acidic twinge. The middle has most of the same flavors as the smell led me to expect, fruits, spices, wood, yeasty funk and earthy hops. Coffee appears unexpectedly as the predominant aftertaste. There is a slight lingering alcohol warming. For some reason the taste does not blend together as well as the smell did. The taste has many good components, but they fight against one another, sour and coffee do not mix well.

Mouthfeel – Medium-full body with strong carbonation. Good mouthfeel for the flavor, the head also adds a nice creaminess.

Drinkability & Notes – Pretty good drinkability, the complexity keeps me coming back for more, but I am never fully satisfied with the flavor I get. I feel like there is just too much going on in this, this never find that balance of flavors that makes an exceptional beer.

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Photo of jjanega08
3.98/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A= pours a hazy light brown color almost a deep amber color with a huge tan head coming out of it that barely let's me fill half beer half foam in my glass. The head is a little thick with tiny bubbles and falls at an average pace to a rocky meranguie finish. Pretty decent lacing is left on my glass.
S= belgian spicyness is in th beer. Notes of clove and darker fruits comes through... lots of grapes in it with prunes and dates. Some apples in it as well as a little funk I guess.
T= pretty darn good. It has some of the phantome sourness in it with the darker notes coming only from the nose after I breathe out. The sour green grapes dominate the flavor and it reminds me of the saison only not as good. A little less refined and more acidic. Pretty decent. After reading some past reviews noone mentioned the fact that it has a nice green grape sour bite. Sort of raw lemon as well. The dark dates and prunes I smelled are almost nonexistant just because the sourness washed them away. Delicious.
M= dry as hell and super crisp. Reminds me of eating a lemon.
D= great another solid beer from them that I have tried. Really makes me wonder how they put this unique sourness in these styles. Super dry smooth and refreshing. Impressed and ill be going back for it.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark brown color with a tan head. The aroma is full of spices, with some additional dark fruit notes and some strong Belgian yeast. The flavor is very complex. I get some light tartness and funk from the Belgian yeast, but I also get some spices, caramel malt, orange and apple notes. A slightly funky, spicy and fruit saison that works very well together. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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

Pours a dark brownish red hue, and makes a thick tan head. Musty aroma, like a barnyard, dark fruits like plums and cherries. Flavor is very interesting, cherries, bittersweet chocolate, spicy pepper, bakers yeast. Mouthfeel is thick and full on the palate, leaves a very rich coating on the throat. This is a tasty beer, well done and very interesting for the style. The funky characters take this to an unusual place.

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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 alexgash
4.03/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle.

Pours a dusky amber brown with orange edges. Tall, rocky, frothy, dirty khaki head. Good lacing. Caramel and sweet, sticky fruit on the nose along with metallic citrus (lemon) notes, cherry, musty barn, raspberries, and some grassy-hay accents. Interesting, as it seems most Fantomes are.

Flash of toasted malt up front before quickly turning to tart cherries and citrus. Sour, but not too puckering. Raspberries and strawberries mix with musty white grapes and pepper. Pretty good mix of tart and fruit and must. Medium bodied, with an oily feel. I don't know if I would call this a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but it's pretty tasty.

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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 bennetj17
4.05/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Brown murky appearance with tan head and decent retention. Minor lacing. The aroma is very vinous with a hint of cherry tart. Very winelike in the flavor also, earthy, fruity and lightly tart. There is a light sweetness to balance it out and I detect just the tiniest hint of coffee and chocolate. The mouthfeel is very silky and nice, good carbonation. Alcohol did not taste too powerful, but the fruity wine flavor tended to dominate which affected the overall drinkablility some. I always enjoy a Fantome and this was another unique one that I would recommend trying...

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