Fantôme Brise-BonBons
Brasserie Fantôme

Fantôme Brise-BonBonsFantôme Brise-BonBons
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Farmhouse Ale - Saison
Ranked #221
Ranked #4,175
4.09 | pDev: 12.22%
Brasserie Fantôme
Fantôme Brise-BonBonsFantôme Brise-BonBons
Notes: With joy, and a little bit of mischief, Fantôme brewer Dany Prignon dedicates this very bitter beer to all of the many varieties of brise-bonbons – literally, ball-breakers – in the world. Specifically, this beer is meant for wise-guys, braggarts, pains-in-the-ass, muck-rakers, trouble-makers, know-it-alls, stuffed-shirts, blow-hards, and bores, as well as nut-cracking, wind-bag, prattling-on, self-appointed experts on every-thing, and nose-in-the-air snobs, convinced they can do anything better than you.
Dany intended to make a beer too bitter for a normal person to enjoy. The problem is, everyone loves it! Guess we’re all just a bunch of brises-bonbons sometimes.
Reviews: 188 | Ratings: 383 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Snowcrash000
Snowcrash000 from Germany

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a very slightly cloudy golden amber coloration with a huge, fluffy head and slightly visible carbonation. Smells lovely of doughy, biscuity malt and quite vibrant, fruity yeast esters of apricot and green apple, as well as mild spice, bubble gum and some floral, herbal hops. Taste is a great balance of sweet'ish doughy, biscuity malt, quite strong fruity and spicy yeast esters of apricot, green apple, bubble gum, clove and cardamon, lighter floral, herbal hops and just a hint of funk coming through as well. Finishes with quite a dry, leathery bitterness and some fruity/spicy yeast esters lingering in the aftertaste. Effervescent mouthfeel with a rich body and strong carbonation.

While I'm not sure if this really is "too bitter for normal people to enjoy", as stated on the label, there is quite a profound, dry and leathery bitterness to this that is somewhat atypical of a Saison but does not become an end in itself, with the fruity and quite spicy yeast esters remaining in the limelight, backed up by some quite floral, herbal hops. The relatively high ABV is also evident, contributing to that certain bubble gum character. Highly carbonated, with quite an effervescent, fluffy mouthfeel. A somewhat unusual Saison that is still quite enjoyable for what it is, although I'm not a huge fan of the super-dry bitterness and high-ABV here. Maybe it is too bitter for normal people to enjoy after all.

Nov 17, 2019
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Stevedore from Oregon

3.34/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

750ml cork and capped bottle. Stemmed glass. Slightly golden yellow body, one finger white head. Big brett, leather, very dry wood. Just super dry on the palate, a bit of ester, slight wheat. Very dry on the palate, lighter bodied, bitter leather. This has way more brett than expected, very dry and leathery. Not my favorite cup of tea.

Aug 30, 2019
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Harrison8 from Missouri

4.14/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a foggy copper with two fingers of white foam that sits nearly indefinitely. Aroma is really plush and grainy notes of dark fruits, stone, basement, oak, clove and heavy bread yeast. There is a twinge of green grape that adds just a touch of sourness. Flavor profile is stone, dark fruits, clove, nutmeg, white grapes, and oak with a little earthy, bready malt behind. It opens up lightly sweet, but closes out bitter. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a touch of velvety pulp at the front that smooths out on the palate. Overall, yeast is a prevalent, dominate feature with bready, earthy malts and stone to round it out.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 750mL bottle.

Jul 27, 2019
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joaopmgoncalves from Portugal

4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank with friends in my basement in the 23rd of February of 2019.

Poured into a wine glass.

A: Body is yellow and quite opaque. Head is very straightforward with a big but not with much retention white head. 5mm to a 2mm head.
S: Aroma is very herbal, floral and slightly hoppy.
T: Taste starts off with a herby and sweet tone, then moving on to a more hoppy touch that's very crisp and delicious. This beer has been aged 2 years and tastes great.
M: Body is medium. Carbonation is perfect. Alcohol is unnoticed. Bitterness is medium.
O: This is one of my favourite Fantome beers.

Feb 23, 2019
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Dzu from Russian Federation

4.17/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from tap into pint.
L: turbid amber with a medium white foam head.
S: oversaturated flowers. Light berries.
T: unusual taste. Mead and flowers.
F: medium body and carbonation.
O: unusual taste. Worth a try.

Apr 29, 2018
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Beginner2 from Illinois

4.01/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is my 101st saison rated on BA, but only my 3rd from this brewery that specializes in the style.
Clearly, I've been missing something. And in the case of Brise-BonsBons, I'm missing something good.

With a fluffy head on a blonde body, BonBons is hard to argue with. (Amazingly, the same was true on the second night... of this bottle.) Smells are classic saison with an accomplished yeast at work, but not much more... or less. Tastes are an adventure with a solid malt base complexed by a saison yeast that really knows what its job is. On top of that sweetness comes some indescribable spicing: interesting herbs and probably too many hops for northern European kitchens. It turns out, the herbs complement the garlicky food; and the hops clean the plate for more food... but then they stick around and act like they are the show. On the second night, I had BonBons with a spicier red pasta sauce and the hops were tamed.

I will have BonBons again, but with spicy food.

Apr 10, 2018
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babaracas from Florida

4.19/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a lightly hazed medium orange with billowing, dense head of white foam; settles slowly to a half-inch cap, sheeting down the glass. Smell: graham cracker, pear and a little red apple, notes of orange peel and papaya, spicy and peppery, with a whiff of oxidized caramel malt. Taste: lightly boozed apricot jam, orange marmalade pop, juicy pear, not quite ripe cantaloupe, and notes of: allspice, black pepper, aged/subdued spicy hops, some clean bittering hops (plenty, but not excessive as the label suggests), orange juice, and - of all things - in the finish, salted boiled peanuts. Medium bodied, very creamy, lowish carbonation, finishing sticky and a touch drying. This is more straightforward (think no/minimal funk... really just a little cheesy pop at the end of the sip) and yet more nuanced than many of Dany's tomes... is it a faded "Belgian IPA", a baller hoppy Biere de Garde (my vote), or just another great beer from Soy? Doesn't matter, it's a win.

First of its kind on a 'tome, this has some kind of batch labeling: "lot bj 2 14 best by end of 2018"

Mar 13, 2018
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rodbeermunch from Nevada

3.41/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

James brought this to a bottle share in Reno. Pours a light hazy yellow with 3/4" white head. Ample retention. Aroma was hay, lemon, lime and a little white/green grape funk. A little more lemon and poo.

Taste goes right where the nose led you, there is plenty of lemon, a slight bitterness from the hops, more apple and grape in a very light way. Body is nice and well carbonated underneath it, light body. Hay notes stick around, moderate brett stickiness, not up there in chewy territory. Its interesting how you get Sprite like flavors and then restroom like notes in waves.

I dunno, it was drinkable and enjoyable on some levels, but on others it was like $15 for this?

Dec 26, 2017
Photo of josanguapo
josanguapo from Spain

3/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From Cervezasespeciales. In Teku glass. Playing Pilgrim Academy, the watching Black Mirror 1x01. Geyser. More funky, less balanced than their base saison, making it less special and more like many other saisons.

Oct 29, 2017
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ClavisAurea from New York

4.54/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

02/2014 release served cold in a teku

Appearance: deep straw colored with a massive creamy head of white foam. The beer poured fairly clear considering its microbial composition. I really love the bottle presentation with the crown cap and cork underneath. Very Belgian farmhouse

Nose: hay, funky Brett, sweet malts, spicy hop character, lemons, limes, slight acidic note, very nice and smells similar to Saison Dupont

Taste: follows the nose. hay, Brett funk but not too heavy, slightly tart and dry, spicy hops remain and add a significant amount of bitterness, lemons, lime, little acid. Delicious.

Overall: This one was a winner for me. I'm going to take more chances on Fantome in the future

Jun 25, 2016
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mick303 from Canada

3.9/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tulip glass, the beer is an attractive orange gold, with an attractive film cap and lacing. Aged for perhaps 1.5 years.

S - quite a unique and perculiar aroma, it is very farmy, brett aromas, but also some odd manure type aromas. Not altogether unpleasant, prickles of grassy, hay, rotting lemon, and an acidic character.

T - the strong citrus acidic character is immediately present, decaying lemons, with hay and a overall bitter character, slightly mineral and earthy. It shows some horsy brett character and gets progressively minerally and dry on the finish. As it develops I get a ton of earthy, herby complexities, enigmatic spices, pronounced brett funky earthiness with a bitter finish.

M - big feel but with a nice creamy maltiness, moderate carbonation, a noticeable bite to it and it really packs a bit of a punch that is thankfully balanced nicely by a big flavourful body.

Tasty, complex. But at this age the nose is slightly repulsive and the taste while very animated, is not put together and has some of the same somewhat less-agreeable flavours. A good swirl of complexities, with classic fantome flair.

Jun 14, 2016
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brewfunk from Georgia

4.53/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love that Fantome glowing orange with dense white head look

Aroma is that classic Fantome musty brett with some skunk thrown in.

Some nice, bracing bitterness up front, with spicy hop character to go along with the aromatics

Medium dry, good carbonation

A great saison

Oct 25, 2015
Photo of mynie
mynie from Maryland

4.03/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours gorgeous: bright sparkling orange with a large and retentive white head.

Smells... funky. Different. Very earthy, and the funk isn't cut into by any fruit or bacterial sharpness. It's really weird at first but I begin to like it after a few minutes.

Tastes the same, only with pronounced hop bitterness. Strange at first, but gets to be quite nice after a few sips. Starts off with earthen funk, moves into a more traditionally beery middle of peat moss, barley, and hay, and then finishes with a rather large dose of euro hops.

If you only had a sip or two of this, you'd probably hate it. But that's why you shouldn't review a beer after just a sip. This is really nice.

Sep 19, 2015
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scottfrie from California

3.72/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

750ml into tulip. The notches on the label are “b, c, June, 2014”.

A: The cork came out easy with a huge loud “pop” and the liquid started to foam up right away. Luckily I had my glass ready, but I did get a few chunks of yeast with the pour. The color is a fairly clear amber/caramel golden, and the huge foamy head is off-white or light tan. The head really frothed up with the pour and took some time to die down into a fuzzy and lasting film. The contents left inside the bottle continued to froth up for quite some time. Second pour was much more cloudy, as expected.
S: Interesting nose on this one. I get slight vegetal and medicinal notes mixed with sour fruits, musty yeast, nail-polish acidity and maybe some apple skins. The hops earthy are spicy with an herbal hint, but overall they are not especially fragrant. The nose is very musty overall, with no one scent dominating.
T: More flavors of hops than the nose let on. Luckily I’m not really tasting any of the cook vegetable/medicinal notes I picked out of the nose. Profile is musty cork, herbal, slightly leafy hops, and light funky tartness. This drinks pretty well, especially at warmer temperatures. I get hints of an almost boozy-like quality in the finish, but this beer isn’t that high in ABV. The aftertaste reminds me of fruit but without the sweetness, and there is a good dose of lingering leafy bitterness.
M: Very foamy but soft carbonation that kicks up on my palate. Medium body that’s on the fuller side, with a chewy, lightly greasy mouthfeel. The finish is lightly tart and mixes well with a decent punch of hoppy bitterness that lingers in the aftertaste.
O: The carbonation and the nose had me worried, especially since the last four or five tome beers I’ve reviewed have been dogshit, but this was quite enjoyable. I don’t know if I need to buy another bottle, but I’d certainly drink this again.

Jul 26, 2015
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utopiajane from New York

3.25/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Hazy sunshine yellow gold. Paler in the natural light. In the light of the room it has a sultry blush on it like a ripe apricot. Nose is funky, musty and has a light touch of wood. Vague citrus, discreet lemon peel and gentle but sweet hop herbal. Malty scent to the nose is bland cracker. Taste is good except the carbonation is lacking. The flavors are all met adequately by the beer. Nothing too out of balance. The funk gains a kind of prominence it did not want because of the lack of carbonation. The flavors do no travel the palate well, they just sit there. Juicy middle, hints of spice.

Lackluster in general. Lacking in personality and in pizzazz.

May 15, 2015
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Alieniloquium from Florida

3.23/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Clear golden body. Small white head.

Smell - Herbal hops. Pale malt. Smells a little skunked.

Taste - Grassy and herbal hops. Aggressively bitter right up front. Pale malt. Doughy malts. Yeasty and strong bitter finish.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Medium low carbonation.

Overall - I fear the green bottle skunked it a bit. Otherwise nice hoppy saison.

May 07, 2015
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HoppyBastard1 from Pennsylvania

2.27/5  rDev -44.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Worst smelling beer I've ever opened. Cloudy, lots of sediment. Didn't taste much better. Not sure if this was just a funky bottle or not, but it was bad, really bad

Feb 18, 2015
Photo of GJ40
GJ40 from North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +0.2%

Beautiful copper color with a big, fluffy white head. Nice funky aroma. Interesting flavor with malt, hops and funk. Very earthy and hearty. Has a slight IPA quality and a hint of sweetness.

Sep 27, 2014
Photo of bluejacket74
bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle. Served in a Unibroue tulip, the beer pours a cloudy golden/orange color with about an inch and a half off-white head. Head retention is good, and there's a small amount of lacing. The brew smells like peppery spice, earthiness, oranges, lemon peel, and some hay. It tastes like citrus (oranges, lemons), peppery spice, yeast, earthiness, grass/hay, pears, apples, funk and some bready malt. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it's smooth and has a good amount of carbonation. I liked this brew a lot, it's yeasty, spicy, fruity and good! I'd like to try this one again in the future. $13.99 a bottle.

Jun 20, 2014
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brewtus from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a tall skinny tulip glass. Pours very clear orange, three finger off white head that fades fairly quickly. Smell is lemony, hay, some fruit notes,banana, some orange. Taste starts off with some earthness, nice malt chaicture, Carmel notes, citrus, nice belgian yeast. The carbonation a is good, less than you'd expect from a fantome. Overall I am very impressed, this is different than the others I've had. It almost has the smell of an adjunct beer but has a lot of lemon and some funk. The signature fantome flavor is there but very subdued by the other complexities. I did drink this right out of the cellar, probably would have been crisper out of the fridge.

Apr 23, 2014
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StonedTrippin from Colorado

3.15/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

i have heard so many horror stories about fantome. about bad bottles, about ones that dont pour because they have turned gelatinous, and all sorts of others, but i had always adamantly defended fantome, having never had a bad experience myself, but this bottle was my first. the look is fine, quite a bright color orange to it and several inches of luxurious white foam, bubble bath style. it has some yeast sediment, chunky stuff, but nothing out of the ordinary for the style. the nose indicates that this bottle has been light struck. how can such an accomplished brewery so focused on quality continue to use green glass? especially internationally. its not just these guys, but so many european brewers. seems a shame, and like such an easy fix. this is definitely a victim of that, or poor handling, or both. skunky and it smells a bit like feet, behind sweeter grain and slightly wild saison yeast. my issue is the off aromatic, which turns into a similarly skunked out flavor. stale almost, just not good. i would score a little lower, but i know it was a bottle flaw, not a beer issue in its own right, but this was not the experience i had in mind. its also supposed to be bitter, but tastes incredibly sweet while its in the mouth, and only gets bitter on the finish, after i swallow. i dislike it because it doesnt taste real good, but i also dislike it because it isnt what it claims to be. a real let down, but i am attributing it entirely to green glass and poor handling, im sure this is an entirely different animal at the brewery or in belgium, and i will revisit it when i am fortunate enough to get there.

Mar 13, 2014
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ERDoc from Belgium

3.52/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Or at it seems like it could be...the rating is off of what I think it was to be based on everything BUT taste.
Bottle bought at the Belmont station in Portland Oregon. No date found or available when asked. So, buyer beware! I'm sure I paid too much for but hey, it's Fantome!
The taste straight kills it! Not in a good way at all either. Dooky! Pure funk aftertaste lingers like when your friend drops a giant deuce in your bathroom!
Too bad because its Fantome and they make great beers!
Wait... The label has a giant sumo wrestler on it!
I guess I can't say I wasn't warned.

Feb 13, 2014
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rudzud from Massachusetts

3.36/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

Picked this up a long while back. 2011 vintage.

A - Poured into my Duvel tulip a nice crystal clear golden hue with a two finger white head that fades to leave a creamy half finger blanket with light lacing. Quite nice.

S - Aromas of light green apples, lemons, floral fields, nice light funk. Super super appealing.

T - Taste is not nearly as good as the nose. Showing signs of age big time. Sweeter malts, the citrus is there but replaced by harsher alcohol. Fruits way off in the distance. Quite the opposite of the nose.

M - Mouthfeel is spot on for the style, nicely carbonated.

O - Overall, huge let down. So much promise to this only the have the taste fall flat. Ugh.

Feb 01, 2014
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DrinkSlurm from New York

4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle into proper Fantome tulip. Purchased at Henlopen Oysterhouse in Rehoboth. Golden, almost orange color with a fair amount of carbonation. Huuge fantome aroma...not surprising, but lots of noble hop presence. Flavor of slightly smoky biscuit malt, lots of noble hop, and classic fantome saison yeast. Its a bit sweet but finishes really dry - almost perfectly done for the style. Overall, its not my favorite Fantome but still wish I had more! As always, Fantome is delicious.

Jan 07, 2014
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Thehuntmaster from South Africa

4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle 8,0% Abv.
Served chilled in a wine glass.
No bottle date or vintage.

Appearance: Brise-BonBons looks fairly typical for a saison; with a lightly clouded bright golden-orange body topped by a massive white head. The head lasts fantastically well and leaves thick patches of lacing as it recedes.

Smell: I was a little worried about about this bottle given the recent talk of quality issues from Fantome, but the first sniff lets me know that this is just a good as the other Fantomes I have had and perfect for this hot summers day. Fantastic light citrus notes (lemon peel and some orange) combine with slightly musty yeast, a touch of dusty sack, grassy and floral notes, some pale malt, a little stone fruits and a touch of pear.

Taste: Given the description on the bottle I was expecting a fair amount of bitterness here, but both the bitterness and hop characteristics are very restrained (I wonder if this is an aged bottle?). That said, it is still absolutely delicious and I would be hesitant to change anything. Notes include: Lemon peel, orange, sweeter stone fruits, a lightly musty character, a little sweetness (honey?), pear, grassy notes and light meadow flowers. Even at room temperature there is no trace of alcohol noted.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is just about perfect for the flavour profile - light-medium bodied with just less than a high level of carbonation.

Overall: Brise-BonBons is a fantastic saison and was just perfect for a hot summers day. I could have easily crushed anothe bottle or two and will certainly be buying this one again.

Dec 23, 2013
Fantôme Brise-BonBons from Brasserie Fantôme
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 383 ratings