Fantôme De Noel | Brasserie Fantôme

Fantôme De NoelFantôme De Noel
Liked This Beer
3.91 w/ 634 ratings
Fantôme De NoelFantôme De Noel

Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
This ever-evolving offering is said to be spiced with honey, caramel, black pepper, coriander and (per usual with Fantôme) a number of other special secret ingredients. A rich, dark-flavored beer with lots of deep-roasted chocolate malt, but still fairly dry, with a hint of sourness at the core. It is very spicy, with some winter spruce flavor in the bargain. The wild yeast sourness also adds to its welcoming character.

Added by taez555 on 12-03-2001

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 634 |  Reviews: 359
Photo of Onibubba
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Much lighter pour than I expected. Almost a dark burnt orange. Fantastic rocky head that stays with the beer for the entire bottle. Awesome. Smell gets me excited - Almost like a Flanders Red! Sadly, that balsamic sweetness is not as evident in the taste. That is right along the lines of what I have come to expect from Fantome. Take the best characteristics of a saison and a tripel, a touch of barnyard, and that faint balsamic sweetness, and you are in the ballpark. Lovely. Body was a bit thin, but with all of that gorgeous foam lining my whiskers, it was not a major dissappointment. Drinkability was fine - alcohol a non-issue. A great beer from one of my favorite brewers.

Edit - Had this again in December 2010 from that year's bottling. Not the same beer. No Flanders notes at all, and very little of the Fantome funk. This really had a more traditional seasonal spice taste to it, and a nice breadiness. Just when you think you've got things figured out...

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Photo of TurdFurgison
2.69/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Loving Fantome beers as I do, this was a disappointing review to write. From a 750mL bottle, corked and capped, with smudges indicating best by Dec 2011 (I'm guessing this means it was brewed 1 year ago). The beer is dark orange, a reddish tint, clear with some fine floaties, thin frothy layer that never quite dissipates. The aroma was an immediate turn-off, it smelled more like an American barleywine than any other saison from Fantome. As different as each Fantome beer can be, they generally have shared some common DNA. This one just doesn't seem related to the others at all. Lots of caramel malt, some spice but not much, possibly only the bare minimum of hops based on smell. The taste is just the same, spiced barleywine. Probably the most unacceptable aspect to me was the thin mouthfeel, although that's unfair as the taste is really objectionable to me as well. By far this is my least favorite from the brewery. If you can try only one Fantome beer, let it NOT be this one.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip. Batch number and best before dates are not marked or notched in any way (though 2013 is the highest year).

The liquid is a hazy mix of rosso corsa and rust and casts an unusual light akin to that of dirty stained glass. Tiny bubbles attack the center of the liquid like an ascending swarm of bees. A thick, pearl-colored, mousse-like head leaves ornate parapets of lacing around the sides of the glass. Superior retention, shimmering legs.

Hops and spice merge in the nose - pipe tobacco, faint vanilla, sugar, maybe cardamom?, maybe cinnamon? - joined by a subtle wildflower bouquet contributed by the yeast, and a light malt base with hints of caramel.

On the palate, the tartness takes charge, with lemon, grape-must, and hints of Stilton. Some citrus bitterness from the hops. Mid-palate, the acidity is assuaged by cocoa and malt, which fades into espresso-dipped spice cake in the finish. Faint chocolate, white wine, clove cigarettes, and Shock Tarts linger on for ages.

Smooth, medium-bodied, effervescent, quenching yet sneaky in its alcohol.

More of a contemplative Saison (the wild notes almost bring to mind a traditional lambic) than one to drink down for refreshment after a few hours working in the heat.

A very interesting creative success from Fantome, one I look forward to every Christmas.

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Photo of Lunch
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from a 750ml bottle purchased at State Line Liquors in Elkton, Maryland (12/18/09) into fluted goblet at a seemingly appropriate temperature. This is my second offering from Brasserie Fantôme.

A: Lighter than expected, but It seems that various Belgian Christmas/Winter varieties greatly differ, pouring a rather deep and glowing orange copper with one finger of a slightly off-white head.

S: A lot of citrus come throught along with some caramel, Belgian yeast (wild?), and seasonal spices.

T: Very unique indeed. A caramel citrus hits the palate first along with a healthy dose of Belgian yeast and spice. A peppery quality and some sourness is there as well. A hint alcohol is felt in the finish.

M: Medium-bodied with appropriate carbonation and some slick creaminess.

D: Very drinkable, but the 10%abv. and sourness hinders slightly.

Overall this is a very nice and unique Christmas/Winter beer from Brasserie Fantôme that provides some familiar seasonal spice with some sourness. Recommended.

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Photo of WesWes
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark amber color with a 1/4" off-white head that quickly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has an outstanding pale and light crystal malt scent with a killer fruitiness and a mild farmhouse funk. The taste is good. It has an incredibly smooth pale and crystal malt flavor. It has a mild yeast fruitiness as well as a light caramel sweetness. It's dry with a touch of earthiness. This has to be one of the easier drinking saisons I've had. The mouthfeel is great. It is a medium/full bodied beer with perfect carbonation. This is a damn fine beer. Again, it's one of the most approachable saisons on the market. It's smooth as hell and at 10% abv., WOW what a drinker.

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Photo of flannelman808
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this earlier this year and was very disappointed with it. This Time must have been a different batch as it was very different.

A: Has a deep orange/Copper color and pours with a fair amount of white head. Good lacing and decent head retention.

S: I do pick up a steel quality on the nose along with some caramel and some citrus notes. Candied citrus rind perhaps.

T: No steel on the palate thankfully! Instead I get mildly acidic grapes and a nice toffee flavor. Some toasted cracker notes are present as well. Not a super sour beer but it is tart (and very good).

D: Good! the alcohol is very well hidden, flavors are delicious!

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Photo of philipquarles
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl bottle from 2008. Pours dark red-amber with a billowing off-white head. Copious lacing and lots of sediment. Smells quite spicy, with loads of clove and some pepper. Strong yeasty character with some breadiness. A bit of alcohol. Strong spicing again in the taste, this time with some coriander. Sweet at the beginning, with a bit of brown sugar character, and ending surprisingly dryly. Medium body. Not the disaster that a spiced beer from Fantôme could have been.

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Photo of theboozecruise
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked up from Macello's... poured into a Chimay goblet. Hazy dark orange color with an average sized creamy off-white head.

A very floral aroma to this one... like sucking in through a wreath of roses. Nothing telling as far as hops or malt goes, but a typical Belgian style to it.

The taste is different at first. Bitter and biting at first... a little bit of floral tastes at the end. Not exceptionally convincing either way. I'm just not feeling this one on the sips like I expected... disappointed would be the right word.

It's not bad at all... just not really a standout beer.l

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Photo of NorCalYeti
3.09/5  rDev -21%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

taste- slightly sour, woody

color- organic apple juice

clarity- cloudy

smell- apples, sourness, spices

body- light, dry, bitter-sour body

appearance- great color, carbonation, and head

overall impression- very interesting beer

notes- amazingly light and refreshing, left me wanting more sour notes and bite. hitting at the front of the tongue, fruity acid and hops are missing on the palate. this review is for a 2008 vintage tasted in 2008

glassware: tulip

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Photo of deapokid
4.83/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Grabbed a bottle of the 2008 at Capone's on Friday:

Wholly original look. Thick pumpkin color with copious amounts of sediment spiraling throughout the beer as it pours. A thin head with a nice amount of carbonation. This beer possesses a mysterious impenetrable color. I don't think I've ever seen such an interesting liquid with such an overwhelming amount of sediment.

Smell is subtle and floral, boasting grapefruit tartness, but not an overpowering sourness. Some spiciness can be detected as well.

Taste is unbelievable. A rich fruitiness takes over the beer mixed with holiday spicing (cinnamon, nutmeg) and a deep woody yeast flavor. It's subtly spiced, with all of the taste's melding well into a one cohesive liquid. Although it physically looks like a smoothy, this is never thick or rich, but very soft and delicious.

Beer coats the tongue with a smoothness that is surprising, especially with its citrus fruit flavoring. It's also suspiciously drinkable and I couldn't believe that this was packing a 10% ABV.

Simply put, this is one of most interesting and exciting beers I've ever tried. It's the perfect blend of a saison's ripe flavors and the spices of the Christmas season.

A masterpiece!

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

I bought it at Whole Foods

A- copper amber hue. Nice fluffly head that fades fast.

S- spiced fruit, metal, funk. Gets you excited about the first sip.

T- Mulled wine, spice, clove on the nose. Twang and lemony funk in the middle. Some smoke and chocolate on the tail. Very subtle; I expected the flavors to be bigger. At first, I was disappointed that it wasn't as huge as, say, Saison Athene, but I'm glad that it was subdued as it was.

M- Light, but with some substance. The mouthfeel is perfect.

D- I would drink this all the time if it wasn't so pricey

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Photo of chinabeergeek
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml green bottle with cork and crown cap. label has batch numbering scheme, but isn't utilized. tasted in late april 2009.

first pours are almost clear, though the sediment disturbs easily. dark amber with brown hue. big, foamy, light beige head, slowly fades to creamy, thin wispy layer. amazing curtain of unbroken, continuous lacing!

aroma: fruity w dried orange peel and yeast esters. lightly toasted, caramelized malts. faint funky farmhouse and footy odor whiffs. hay and grassy hop, more funky feet, melding with fruit and sweet spices.

taste: light caramel and fruity again, almost tropical. dried candied citrus peel. touch of fruity acidity, into mild, grassy bitterness, and more fruity fresh acidity, both continuing into the finish with light phenols and sweet spice.

medium body, with lots of fluffy, creamy mild carbonation, meeting a lightly acidic texture towards the end.

these recent batches of fantome offerings are much more fruity and almost tropical. not completely unwelcome, but definitely a bit unexpected.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A wonderfully delicious winter (x-mas) saison.

A: Mahogany colored body beneath a fluffy offwhite head... good retention and nice lacing left on the glass.

S: While the citric, wheaty, grassy notes typical to saisons are gone here. The ripe dark fruits, cola and caramel are a nice substitute. The characteristic earthy funk is present and reminds you what this is... a lovely dark saison.

T: Mirroring the nose in intricate fashion, this brew alternates between the sweet and the tang. The sweetness of the cola and caramel are well balanced by the funk. The dark fruits acting as the bridge... Pleasantly spiced without over stimulating the tongue.

M: Moderate in body... a little heavier than I'd prefer.

D: Delicious, if not overly dense (in body and flavor) to make this one a multiple sipper. However, I hope to find this next winter when it returns.

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Photo of weazal
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

S: Earthy, slightly fermented red apple and strong spices. Full aroma that's complex and interesting. There's a definable mustiness.

T: Full onslaught of dark fruit, spice, and carbonation on the outset. Caramel and the bubbly carbonation carries through until a clingy, metallic bitterness slowly enters and takes over throughout the finish.

Clearly well/uniquely crafted from a lot of other beers I've had. A worthwhile experience that seems to have different kind of layers.

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Photo of rye726
4.68/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my favorites from Fatome. Right up there with the standard saison. Pours a cedar brown with a silky tan head. The nose has tart fruits, funky yeast, sweet bready malts, damp soil, roting wood, horse blanket, and peppery spices. A clean, crisp body enhances the drinking experience. Perfectly balanced, a delicous artisinal ale.

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Photo of jwc215
3.86/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to wolfsblood for this 750 ml cork-capped bottle!

Poured into tulip glass-

Pours dark garnet - almost black - with foamy tan head. Plenty of lacing sticks.

The smell is of sour notes, with a "Fantome" character that is tough to describe. Some dark bread and earthy, herbal spicing. Not Christmasy or even particularly wintery. The sour is a bit too strong for me here, as it is a bit too masking.

The taste is sour with a touch of sweet dark malt. Anise and an herbal dryness mix in, as well as a "Fantome" funkiness.

The feel lags a bit. Relaxed carbonation with a body that, while smooth, almost has a watery touch coming and going. It does hold up, though, for most of the duration.

A different brew, as usual for this brewery. The alcohol is exceptionally well-hidden, helping this "disappear" dangerously quickly.

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Photo of RedChrome
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A hazy dark orange body in the glass. Huge tan colored head over two inches, took a few minutes to settle down. Insane amounts of carbonation bubbles rising. A spiderweb of thick lace.

Assorted spices dominate up front. Blend of cinnamon and allspice with some other faint unidentifiable spices. A citric acid and tart apple blend was strong behind the spice.

Lots of citric acid on the tongue. Spices come through in waves, and have a light pepper and a allspice dominance. A sweet bread flavor in the finish.

Nice thickness as the beer clings to all the surfaces. Carbonation tickles the tongue nicely.

A very good beer. This would pair nicely with bread pudding. Yet another good offering from Fantôme. Worth trying for yourself, or in the spirit of the season, sharing with a friend.

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Photo of DarthClayder
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Very little head, a light brown nutmeggy color that fades to a bight coppery orange along the edges...

Let's cut to the chase. Fantome makes some of the most unique beer on the planet. This guy tastes like a lot of very bubbly champagne, with a hint of aged red wine mixed with the smooth barley sweetness of a strong Belgian Dubble and some delicate holiday spice. It has many of the brilliantly complex and subtle characteristics of the Fantome Saison: orange, almost Mimosa-like citrus playground that's oh so delicately balanced into an effervescent saison; then the Noel adds a lot of barley color and mouthfeel with some added spice... like any Fantome, very hard to describe with words, unless you will tolerate me writing an epic poem about it... oh I'll do it.

Go take your 15 bucks and buy a bottle. Unless you haven't had the Saison yet, then spend 12 and get that first.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Belmont Party.

Poured clear copper/orange color with an average frothy off-white head that lasted with excellent lacing. Moderate to heavy yeasty, herbs,and earthy aroma. Medium body with a dry smooth texture and lively carbonation. Medium to heavy sweet&sour spice flavor with a medium to heavy sweet&sour finish of moderate to long duration.

Solid complex seasonal beer.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
4.51/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Woo-hoo! #200 review...figured I'd do a beer from one of my favorite breweries.

Pours a very dark brown color with an extra large-bubbled cream colored head. Fades rapidly to a nebular sheen, nearly soda like in appearance.

Mmmmm, exceptional nose here. Dark fruits, sour cherries, cheap cola and funky farmhouse scents. Intriguing, but not overly saison-like. There is some damp cedar wood notes in here as well.

Very flavorful for the thin body it has, Alot of funky wood and fruit flavors - strawberries, plums, red grapes, currants. Quite sour and definitely wild. Has some, but not too much holiday/christmas spiciness feel. Finishes dry and crisp.

A very tasty beer, but I think I like the regular Fantome saison a bit better. Not that I wouldn't buy another one in a heartbeat. I wish we could get this brewery in Tx. Thank you Fantome!

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Photo of charlzm
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Consumed 12/31/08 at Verdugo Bar.

Beer is a hazy orangeish-amber with a thin white foam skin. Some carbonation, neither too little or exceptional.

Aroma is tart and citric with a hint of "good" sourness.

Flavor is hard to describe, except to compare it to champagne mixed with ruby red grapefruit juice. Flavor is tart, though not mouth-puckeringly so.

Mouthfeel is unremarkable, save for a tiny amount of carbonation prickliness.

Not a complex beer, but very tasty. I easily finished the glass.

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Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml cap on cork bottle; freshness dating not indicated. Served at 53 degrees in my DT tulip. Poured a hazy burnt orange/red with a one inch off-white cap pitted with tiny bubbles. Head eventually receded into a frothy slick with some gaps in the foam. Sheets of lacing eventually coalesced into a semi-circular band of lacing. Nose was musty/skunky off the cork pop, but revealed citrus, yeast and spice in the glass. Taste consistent with nose up-front, but middle to finish was hard to identify - perhaps earthy with a slight mineral character. Mouthfeel fell between light- and medium-bodied. Effervescent and tingly on the tongue with some astringency detectable along the sides of the tongue, culminating in a light burn at the finish. Enjoyable offering from Fantome. Alcohol was well-hidden and a fair amount of complexity; however, I'm unclear as to what makes this a Christmas offering.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had from bottle while at Hamilton's in SD. Pours a dark brown with a light tan, fairly minimal head. Aroma is of chocolate, light roastiness, and yeast funkiness... like sweaty socks. The taste was a mix of that chocolate and an overall tart quality that combined with it. Very strange flavor, but I expected that from a malty dark saison from Fantome.

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Photo of ballewblake
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into my Duvel tulip.

One finger tan head, opaque brown-purple tint. Stout nose, malty. Good head retention. Stout flavors, dark malts, decent balance. I don't get how someone can call this a Saison; this review is based assuming the person whom entered the beer, entered 'saison' incorrectly. This is a solid Belgian stout, a great holiday sampling. Thanks to Beerdiablo for the offering.

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Photo of Atricapilla
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a tulip glass. First thing I noticed was how the beer really kept foaming in the glass...and in the bottle; after I had poured my glass, the foam kept slowly rising from the remainder in the bottle coming out of the top. That being said, the foam was fairly dense and a slight muddy color. The beer had a dark, cola color to it. The aroma was fairly complex; raisin, malt, date and cocoa. The flavor was different from traditional Christmas Beers, a lot lighter on the malt and not as sweet. The beer tasted of cola, cocoa, dark fruits and had a slight sour finish to it. There was also a hint of some exotic yeast, which pobably lent to the sour finish. Overall, very enjoyable.

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Fantôme De Noel from Brasserie Fantôme
Beer rating: 72.9% out of 100 with 634 ratings
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