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Fantôme De Noel | Brasserie Fantôme

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BA SCORE
88
very good
356 Reviews
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Fantôme De NoelFantôme De Noel
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme
Belgium
fantome.be

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
356
Ratings:
623
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
18.11%
 
 
Wants:
30
Gots:
84
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 356 | Ratings: 623
Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2%

Poured a light brownish body with one finger offwhite head and contains a piney, spruce like aroma with what seems to be hints of dark fruits but I guess is the chocolate along with touches of yeast and sourness.
Beer has a bit of funk and boozy medicinalness that can be found in belgian saisons and the yeast gives it a smooth, bready feel.
A spicy, piney hop bitterness which leads to crisp finish is balanced with slightly sour dark fruit or cherry notes (can't really pick out one flavor) and with hints of chocolate/sugary sweetness.
Easy finisher as ABV is hidden and an interesting beer and one that only a brewery like Fantome would pull off (OK, maybe a couple of others).

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Photo of rand
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 750 mL bottle to oversized wine glass

Reviewed from notes, 12/21/2010

A: Pours a hazy caramel-orange with lots of carbonation. Little dots of lacing, frothy 1-inch head

S: Some caramelly bready yeast combines with sour cherries. Alcohol and holiday spice.

T: The caramel notes really jump out for the style, and like the nose combine with slightly sour cherries. Alcohol is almost completely masked. Nice back-and -forth of sweet-n-sour, with notes of white wine.

M: Fairly light and festive on the palate, nice for a holiday ale. Ample carbonation gives the beer an effervescent feel. Washed down clean.

There's a nice balance if disparate flavors, nothing is off. These weren't the flavors i was expecting from a holiday saison. Different and delicious.

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Photo of KFBR392
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%

Appearance: Pours with a massive head of about three fingers yet settles in to a rich bubbly half finger while drinking. Active carbonation is on the lower end for a saison but that makes sense with how big this one is. The color is lighter brown with some ruby red accents.

Smell: Exotic spices and cinnamon warm on the front, but some woody notes of oak and cedar balance them out. More of the traditional saison notes open up on the body with plenty of bright fruits and buttery doughy malts. Some dessert type aromas of chocolate and caramel pop up on the back end.

Taste: Herbal hops, root, and some spicy malts open up first. Some slight medicinal flavors hit on the body and that tartness plays well with the rounded spices and bready malts. Biscuit and cereal continue to shine into the finish and linger on the palate. Some pepper and cinnamon warm up the back end.

Mouthfeel: Highly drinkable, especially for a spiced saison. Carbonation is bright on the mouthfeel but fits without being distracting.

Overall: My second Fantome wasn't infected and turned out to be one heck of a beer. Spices play well off the moderate tartness and traditional saison notes. Happy I took a shot at this, should have grabbed a couple more since it was on sale.

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Photo of babaracas
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky red/orange/brown with a dense but quick-fading finger of cream colored foam. Wanted to be a gusher, but wasn't. Smell: caramel, dates, grain twang, doughy with spices... cardamom and maybe a tiny bit of clove. Plum as it warms more. Taste: unripe plum meets cocoa, brown bread, tons of caramel, with red apple skin, cardamom, maybe cinnamon? in the finish. It captures the winter / christmas beer motif very well without going overboard on sweetness or spices. Low carb, on the cusp of full-bodied, abv only hinted at in the finish.

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
3.27/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.75

Appearance - uncorks with impressive force, blowing the cork remover off the bottle as it rested on top for a moment. Wow. A quick pour into a Sam Adams drinking glass yielded one finger of beer and the rest foam, to the top of the glass. That's bubbly. This will definitely take some time to get the glass filled up. The head slowly fades back, showing a bright reddish amber beer below miles of drying manila foam.

Aroma - a little yeasty, a little sweetness, definitely funky. Light roasty elements with warming, along with some general savory like aromas.

Taste - maybe the first time I've ever picked up on the leathery component of this kind of beer, holding the first mouthful for a bit and just breathing. Has a smoky element too, and though I was concerned that this would be too funky to enjoy, it is not. The tartness, some general malt sweetness, and the aforementioned flavors make for an interesting mix of flavor. It's not really moving me towards the style as a pick, but it'll drink. The swallow shows a little more smoky/rauch type flavor as the abv warms the finish.

Mouthfeel - super-crisp with the bubbles, the bead will likely not quit for the entire bottle. Medium body with light slickness.

Overall - not a huge fan of the style, so these intense samples are more challenging. I am having no trouble getting familiar with the flavors at play and appreciate them, but this isn't one I'd get again.

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Photo of CloudStrife
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 750ml capped and corked bottle. A holiday ornament on the label.

A: Hazy orangish brown with minimal head. Decent amount of visible carbonation in the body. No real lacing left behind.

S: Light sour tart is the first thing I notice. A dark fruit aroma lingers in the background.

T: Nice blend here. Rich malt goodness adds raisin and plum to the mix. A hint of spiciness just adds uniqueness. Then the great tart character just dominates throughout. Alcohol is well hidden.

M: Puckering sourness at first takes a second to get everything in line. Light to medium body with a crisp and punctual finish. Nice and warming.

Overall I'm real happy with this beer. Havent been able to try any other Fantome beers and this one reminds me of a quad mixed with a sour. Try this if you can.

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Photo of alpinebryant
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Pours a slightly powdery bright blood orange color with some minor sediment floating in the bottle. Visibile carbonation coming up through transparency through the bottom of the glass.

S: Aroma of rich caramel and barleywine along with a light spicy finish. Sweet with some spices and herbs.

T: Flavors of rich sweet malt, some holiday spices that are faint but present. Most holiday beers have lots of nutmeg or cinnamon. There may be a hint of cinnamon in here, but I am guessing that the spices are locally grown if not wild as I remember reading Fantome likes to do. I think I can pick up some cardamom but who knows?

M: Thick and chewy with light carbonation. syrupy almost, at 10%, I really apprecciate the body as it is full and not overly carbonated .

O: Overall this is a good saison. I prefer lighter saisons however this is likely the highest abv I have had of the style that I can think of off the top of my head. It is clearly enjoyable and while not as good as Hiver or some other Fantome saisons I have had, it is clearly different and good for the winter season.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the green, corked 750 ml. bottle. Sampled on March 8, 2014. I had to use a corkscrew.

The pour is a slightly hazy bronze-brown with a long lasting cream colored head. A slight fog to the beer. It has been sitting for a few months.

The aroma is of dark toasted malts, pear, apple, and a little spice. A modest earthy hop note in there too that reminds me of something more boozy than I expected.

The body is medium to full. It is also smooth.

The taste has many of the Belgian malty and yeasty characteristics I enjoy. There is a kind of toasted biscuit note too. The finish tends to be dry and bitter. It lingers. It is really well balanced.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Tipples. Giving Fantome one last chance after nothing but infected bandaids. Bottle is corked and capped. Pours very dark red with a creamy one finger off white head that stays on for a good while. Aroma of hay, grassy and lemony hops, some other floral aromatics, more farmhouse funky yeast and some light spice. Flavor is sweet up front with some brown sugar and plums but balanced by some grassy hops and funky yeast. There is light spice to this as well. This is like a Belgian Strong Dark that somehow is light and funky like a Saison. A really really interesting and unique flavor profile. Medium bodied with adequate carbonation and pretty easy drinking, but also sweet enough to be happy with a small bit. This almost redeems past failures for sure. What a beautifully crafted brew.

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Photo of oceanside
2.26/5  rDev -42.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

They only thing I have to say is it had a taste akin to sucking on dirty pennies. There were many other flavors but after every sip I would get a strong metallic flavor. The cork crumbled when trying to open this bottle and I don't know if this had an impact on the taste or if the bottle was just simply bad. For me it was a great disappointment because it was my first fantome and it was a holiday beer to boot.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

a cool saison for the holidays with fantoms special yeast, which is awesome stuff thats made them famous. light rusty brown in color with a massive and lasting several inches of fluff off white head and some fish food yeast floaters. the nose on this is alcoholic and foresty, i get a ton of spruce or pine tree in this, and a small dose of roast malt. in the taste the pine is more reserved but still present. i taste the alcohol, and i like to in this style every once in awhile. 10% abv is a lot for a saison, but it works in this winter context. moderate spice and big body too. this is really well carbonated but it still feels much heavier than their other stuff. for 15 bucks I'm not sure i would buy this again, at ten bucks i would for sure. its in that zone for me, but a very cool take on winter/holiday beer.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass on New Year's Eve.

A: amber/bronze. A huge 3 finger head that lay in state for a while. Foamy tan bubbles and formidable lacing.

S: heavenly. Fruity, funky. Belgian yeast comes through with apricots and Brett.

T: follows nose with a sweet, sensuous cascade of fruit, funk and highly carbonated sensations. Fantastic.

M: medium to heavy with carbonation to die for.

O: one of my top 10 favorites. Best saison I've had, hands down. Highly recommended.

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Photo of thecheapies
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cork reads "Brasserie Fantome Soy 086/477044". Aged at least two years. No knowing how old the bottle was when I acquired it ($15.99).

Warm chestnut red-brown color with a very hazy look. Coarse bubbles escaped to the outer ring of the surface to form a popping halo.

Picking up a decent amount of sourness from far away after pouring the beer. Sour red apple, tart red plum, oaky vanilla, Flemish yeast, pinot noir, vinegary acidity, and hints of clove and star anise. Very fruity and fermented with some stand-up maltiness and a big funky yeast character. Divine.

Tart red plum, red grape, sour red apple, vinous notes, lemony acidity, oakiness, drinking vinegar, saison yeast, cheesy funk, light vanilla, and an attenuated malt base with some wheatiness. Follows the nose, but quieter. Clove-like spice comes and goes in tiny waves. Still bright for an ale with dark fruit flavors. Feels medium to medium-thin with a slightly acidic burn in the finish. The alcohol is extremely well-disguised. Carbonation is low, but very refined. Tight, maybe. An elegant twist on a Christmas beer. Two thumbs up.

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Photo of dar482
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a murky copper brown color with some reddish hues.

The aroma has a Belgian strong dark characteristic. Almost like Rochefort 8. A bit of alcohol, spice, tons of raisin, plums, figs, some caramel sweetness. Quite vibrant, almost a bit tart smelling.

The flavor again is this bright wonderful flavor. Almost a light red wine flavor. Tons of grape, plum skin, boozy raisin, a bit of spice and white pepper. A bit of caramel sweetness in there. The highlight is a strong drying on the end. The alcohol is well balanced and tastes very much like wine with its acidity and drying. It’s very much rice wine, plum wine, and a red table wine.

A really interesting brew. Super drinkable. Great with food. Perfect for wine drinkers.

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Photo of hustlesworth
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- when I popped the cork on this baby it literally knocked the hat off my head. Upon pouring, my tulip immediately filled with an expanse of airy beige foam. So far this is pretty intense. It slowly settles down over a hazy burnt reddish body with massive drippings of lace.

S- funky, spicy, earthy and fruity. All the things I love. It's big on peppery spice and and brett type barnyard funk with a nice background of sour cherries. Somewhat woodsy with suggestions of leather and just a hint of clove.

T- it's got that same indescribable "fantome flavor" as the others. Almost smoky but not quite. Almost petroleum like yet not really. Almost lavender but not so flowery. Almost cantaloupe and almost plum but neither of the two. A definite leading metallic edge gives way to a mild fruity tartness that magically transitions to a sweet chocolatey finish with only a whisper of roasted grain. Peppery spice pairs with leafy herbal hop bitterness in the end to balance the sweet. Even at 10%, there is only the slightest evidence of alcohol. Spooky.

MF- juicy and amply carbonated with a very dry finish. Residual very yeasty feel as well as the perception of tannins. Leftovers in my beard taste floral.

D- what a wholly unique flavor these fantome beers have. Hard to believe this one has such high abv the way it's going down. And a jingle jingle jingle

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Photo of beerdrifter
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up at my favorite beer store in Belgium, Dranken Geers. Surprisingly dark mahogany pour with a two finger beige head with decent retention and great lacing. The nose is funky and sour with hints of dark fruit, brown sugar, subtle cinnamon, a touch of cocoa, and a slightly vinous character. The taste follows suit with the funky sourness definitely the star along with some unexpected smoke entering the picture. Also getting hints of plums, black cherries, pine, ground pepper, subtle cinnamon and chocolate, and as in the nose, a very distinct vinous character. The mouthfeel is tangy and tart with above average carbonation with a bitter, dry finish. The 10% ABV is very well hidden. Overall, not at all what I was expecting, but very unique and kind of tasty in an odd way.

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Photo of Etan
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml into a tulip.

A: Pours a dark reddish caramel color with a large beige head.

S: Soft fig and raspberry-like acidity, caramel, mild clove and sweet grain.

T: Taste brings prune, tannic spicy bitterness, hint of cocoa, light plummy oxidation, molasses, vaguely herbal finish.

M: Medium-bodied with almost-frothy carbonation.

O: The aroma on this is really nice, with the taste being a little more rough around the edges with a bit of oxidation and the spices. Quite an interesting beer and pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A huge pop occurs after the cork is removed. The beer is a reddish-brown colour, and there is a mountainous beige head on top. Just enormous. Fades steadily.

Nose is quite spicy, a variety of spices present. Chocolate. Dark fruits. Yeast.

Flavour is interesting. Juicy dark fruits (including grape, plum and cherry), chocolate, spices, perhaps a bit of honey. Finish is slightly tart. A relatively dry beer.

Full bodied, moderate to strongly carbonated. A bit astringent. Dry.

Overall, quite good. Not the best beer I have had from Fantome, but far better than the worst!

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Photo of MarioM
4.8/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

750 ml poured into a RR stemmed glass

A: Nice and clear mahogany color, medium to high carbonation with a nice creamy light tan head. Nice moderate lacing from the lingering head. Very nice lookin beer.

S: Funky dark fruits with a light lactic sourness. A little weird but in a very very good way. A little chocolate and fruity candy.

T: Whoa! Light smokiness, funky funk, nice tartness, dark fruits and a whole lot f I don't know but I Like it a lot. Weird, complex, funky funk and delicious. Alcohol is not really coming throug but nice balance of flavors and incredibly interesting. Spice is just right for a Noel and very drinkable any time of the year. There's an incredible smoothness very similar to the Fantome Saison but with added comexites of the dark fruit character and delicious funky smokiness.

M: Moderate to high carbonation with good fruitiness ad light tartness with some dark fruit coming and staying till the end. Funky smokiness lingers and is very complex with dark fruitiness, so unique and I can not get enough of this beer! Yum!

O: An incredibly interesting beer by one of te most unique breweries in the world. I love this beer! Please try if you see it! Great complexities with a weird funky twist that just works.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Another new Fantome bottle, another lottery ticket. Saw this sitting on a shelf in Toledo and felt like rolling the dice. Fantome de Noel pours a glowing ruby and brown color with translucent that only peaks through at the edges. Such a volatile head; big, bubbly, and growing with the power of a thousand suns, it has a gray-ish tint and takes its time settling to a collar.

I take a sniff and I don't love it. Not right away, at least. I guess I didn't what to expect, but I wasn't expecting such a spiced Belgian style ale, which is how each whiff makes it seem. Heavy yeast, bread, bubblegum, and mild banana sweetness, spiced with tons of coriander, clove, pepper, even a faint twinge of mint. There's probably not actually any mint in this beer, but c'mon, just lemme have this one.

The aroma doesn't get any better with some warmth and/or time, although it does grow on me a little bit more, besides the fact that it's spiced more along the lines of a winter warmer than a Belgian ale even. The first sip opens up to a bit more fruit than was available in the aroma; mild plums and grapes and pear skins, sitting on top of a huge, yeast blanket that screams with more bubblegum and clove.

Fantome wouldn't be anything without the funk, and on top of being a science experiment spiced beer, this sucker is funky as hell. Cheesecloth, wet cork, damp hay, and a back-end chalkiness that I'm not sure whether is a product of the yeast, the malt, the spices, or Dany accidentally knocked a bucket of sidewalk chalk into the brew kettle and said "fuck it".

Very spiced and very heavy with a booming clove, pepper, and yeast-ladden and bone dry finish. Medium bodied, lots of carbonation, though the body is a little to heavy to be effervescent, it's just a touch away from a cream mouth feel. Another strange brew from Fantome, one that I did not enjoy quite as much as the rest. It's decent, sure, but one of my least favorites of the bunch.

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Photo of inlimbo77
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml, 2009
Lost Abbey tulip

A: Pours a brownish amber color. Lots of carbonation. Tight bubbles bottle carbed head. Lots of rushing bubbles.

S: Smells like it might have turned. Maybe just the Xmas spices and funk mixing.

T: It's very strange. So highly carbed it's like it's champagne. Muted spice bill is there. Funk. Weird off esters. Dry finish. So carbed.

M: Lighter side of medium. Very high carbonation

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Photo of Slatetank
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I had this bottle at Teresa's shared with tenderbranson69 enjoyed from two tulip glasses.

the color is a dark caramel brown with reddish hues and mostly hazed with thin tan cap that settles quickly with ultrafine bead. The lace sticks and carbonation is visible. The smell is very complex-it combines some stone fruit elements which bring to mind dark cherry and slight toasted grain aroma with slight funk from the yeast. The feel is great slightly tart with moderately high carbonation and semi sweet body with mild alcohol and light acidity with a very dry finish.

The flavor is very good the yeast does most of the work with some fruity belgian aspects which combine mild cherry tinges with subtle nutty malt tinges and light tangy yeast funkiness which has a slight dried fruit acidity with some mild sweetness from the malt toning the sour and spiced flavors slightly. A very interesting and drinkable beer, very flavorful and I am glad I tried it.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.71/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a vibrant red colour, cloudy but bright. Beige head, dense and thick, good retention. Lacing is decent.

Smells odd. Very sweet, with poached apple, cherry notes and merlot. Hint of barnyard funk on the midpoint. Otherwise, sweet.

Taste is more fruity again, with cherry, blackberry and some hints of peach. slightly dark, and mildly funky on the back with light phenolic notes. Coffee on here as well, otherwise all dark fruits and tart. The sourness comes as a bit of a surprise, but it's a welcome one.

Smooth enough, bit of fizz, bit dry, but alright.

Weird beer, no doubt. But balanced enough to be enjoyed.

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Photo of ehammond1
2.63/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.25

Bottle (2010?)

Texas Liquor
Carlsbad, CA

(Aged for...1+ - 3 years)

One of the prettier Fantomes. A slightly hazed light copper or dark amber in color with a very persistent, large-bubbled light khaki head. Somewhat sticky lines of stick left down the glass. A pretty, darker saison.

Fairly nice aroma, though it also seems fairly standard for Fantome (which is a good thing). Wet, freshly cut grass, along with some faded dark fruit character, a bit of an earthy, outside barnyard yeast character, and some dry hay.

The flavor, unfortunately, does not follow the aroma. Highly bitter, lots of smoke, some plastic, lots of sharp cinnamon, and asphalt/drag strip are all present notes here. I don't know how else to describe the strange things I'm tasting. Though, perhaps there's a touch of dark fruit.

Medium bodied with fairly high carbonation, though there are strange, sandy, solid elements to this brew. Not good.

I'm not going to be able to get through much of this guy. Though to it's credit, this beer does look and smell nice!

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Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Pours muddy orange-amber with creamy to almost light tan head that lingers well in Fantome tulip.

Smell is fruit, bubblegum, grass and hint of some spice.

Taste is similar to smell but a bit more muted. Hints of fruit and grass. Sweet maltiness with just a bit of tart. Minimal bitterness late.

Mouthfeel is a little thin but very drinkable and refreshing.

Overall this was excellent. I love Fantome.

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Fantôme De Noel from Brasserie Fantôme
3.92 out of 5 based on 623 ratings.
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