Fantôme Brise-BonBons | Brasserie Fantôme

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Fantôme Brise-BonBonsFantôme Brise-BonBons

Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by goodbyeohio on 06-11-2005

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Reviews: 179 | Ratings: 360
Photo of Phyl21ca
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a very hazy dark orangey color ale with a huge foamy off-white head with perfect retention. Aroma of funky yeast with a side of horse blanket is very attracting. Taste is a mix between some sweetness and strong malt presence, sourness and funk from the yeast are just plain great and the slighter bitter hops finish is very rewarding. Body is quite full and alcohol is well hidden. Another masterpiece in this brewery line-up.

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Photo of biegaman
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appropriately enough for a Fantôme offering, Brise-BonBons is dressed in what looks like a ghost costume made out of a bedsheet; a white blanket covers much of the glass and leaves ghost-shaped blobs of cobweb-like lacing. Though an orange-gold colour, the beer is largely nontransparent due to its almost icy complexion.

What follows is an honest observation that, though written with a bit of humour, is meant to be taken entirely seriously. The aroma has more funk than George Clinton and owes much of it to a stark and pungent smell that strangely resembles urine... from an unhealthy liver.

Just as mold is repulsive and inedible except when it isn't (i.e, a veiny blue cheese), so too it goes in beer that, generally speaking, pungent and funky qualities are bad... except when they're good. Typically this is true only of lambics and other "wild"or bacterial-fermented beers, but it can characterize the odd Saison too. And Fantôme saisons are nothing if not odd.

The taste has that same acidic, urine-like dankness, a pungency that the homeless and dark alley dwellers will know well. It also offers, however (as the aroma eventually does too), more savory, spicy and fruity notes that include dried herbs, orange rind, straw, and lemon curd.

Still, the beer is distinguished by that mildewy farmhouse 'funk'. Its effects on the mouthfeel include not only the sharp acidity but also a tangyness that borders on sour. Curiously refreshing, it shows virtually zero of its 8% alcohol and has a dry, neutral, and rewarding finish.

Farmhouse ales have a chaos that is seemingly best controlled by Belgian brewers. Dany Prignon of Fantôme in particular has a mysterious way of summoning it and Brise-BonBons, perhaps more than any other of his offerings, explores the depths of this characteristic 'funk'. A very interesting beer that most people should find excellent, if not at least memorable.

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Photo of BradLikesBrew
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Another tribute to the subtle genious of Fantome. Even when they attempt to brew a beer too bitter for most people to enjoy, theystill end up with a balanced, complex, and approachable beer of excellent quality.

For all the hype on the label regarding this beer's bitterness, I would guess we are looking at APA level IBUs, maybe 30 to 40. But even then, the hop flavor really melds with the farmhouse yeast character so its hard to tell where one begins and the other ends. Brise Bon Bons is not you typical American hp bomb because it does not use you typical American hops (or hopping rates). Earthy, floral, peppery, and grassy. And really quite delicious. Calling it a hoppy Saison doesn't do it justice, but in the end that may be the best way to describe it. Maybe not as suited to the cellar as the flagship Fantome, but still a remarkable beer that I can't wait to try again.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy copper color that is topped by a frothy, almost three finger thick, pale tan head. The aroma is sharp and herbal with a bit of grassiness thrown into the mix as well; it is purely driven by hop aromatics. Though as I get used to the aromas a bit of soft fruitiness starts to pick through; notes of green apple and a hint of pear.

The taste is lightly sweet up front, but quickly takes on a sharp hop bite that leads to an herbal, astringent bitterness in the finish. There is some definite yeast driven flavors as well, including a light, mouth drying almost cotton ball-like, funkiness. There is a definite fruitiness here that the hops are trying to drown out, but can't quite do: I get notes of tart apples, pears and perhaps a hint of sour plums. Seems that Dany did not make this quite hoppy enough, I still get plenty of Saison like characteristics, though it is certainly is hop dominated. There are quite a bit of earthy spiciness here with notes of black pepper, a hint of allspice, perhaps even a hint of nutmeg.

The interesting thing about this beer is that this was supposed to be an unbalanced hop attack of a beer, yet it is instead quite a bit more balanced than perhaps many American hoppy beers. The upfront, characteristic, Fantôme fruitiness, and that touch of earthy spiciness really balances the hop character, especially as the beer warms up a bit. A spectacular failure, indeed!

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Photo of joe1510
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Bottle
Sam's Downers Grove

Brise-BonBons (AKA Ballbreaker) pours a brightly polished golden with glowing orange highlights when held to the light. A big fluffy white 3 finger head formed on the pour and as it ever so slowly rteceded left chunky lacing down my glass. Head finally settles to 1 finger of sticky meringue like stiffness.

This is one tasty smelling concoction. A medley of fruits start things off. Each seperate aroma is subtle but blended flawlessly with the next. Mildly tart green apples fade into juicy, dripping honeydew which in turn fades into a couple drop of orange juice. I believe I can smell some candi sugar as well, not sure if it's added but there is that sweetness. There's a mild tartness in there from the green apple but not really any of that "barnyard funkiness". Mildly grassy with as hint of alcohol occasionally.

The flavors are a little more subtle and unfortuanately a little too well integrated to pick out the individual flavors like I would like to. Grassy up front followed by the tartness of green apples. Mild honeydew mid palate is quickly taken over by an orange zestiness. Grassy hops show themselves again on the swallow and leave a pleasant moderate lingering bitterness. The bitterness grows as the bottle empties.

Body is light and zesty with prickly carbonation. Dry finish accentuates the hoppy finish. Very nicely done.

This is outrageously easy to drink. Thirst quenching but as soon as my thirst is quenched the dryness makes me need more.

Exceptional brew from Fantome. I'm glad I stumbled across this one. The label states "a beer too bitter for a normal person to enjoy". Not super hoppy but your tongue will feel the numbness. I won't hesitate to pick this up again.

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Photo of tmoneyba
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured hazy amber with an average fizzy white head that was mostly lasting with good lacing. Heavy yeasty citrus aroma. Light to medium body with soft carbonation. Medium sweet flavor with a medium sour finish of moderate duration.

This was a standout beer.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There's a sumo wrestler in a desert landscape speaking French. Whatever, let's drink it...

Hazed pale orange, brobdignagian bone-white froth, slowly settling.

Funky fresh aroma. Tart. Fruity. Lemons and apricots. Ginger and pepper.

Smooth entry on the palate, though the taste is entirely an odd animal here, utterly quixotic. A crazychop blend of spices and fruits, tart and sweet, zesty and tangy, and altogether refreshing. Bracing bitterness, who knows how much hops, swirling into the combined effect of all these other flavors.

Taste again: sweet, then sour, then mellow, fading, but citrus kick hanging on and lessening some...taste again: soft, sour, spicy, orange, mellow, cool, yum...
Taste again: lemon and spice, and super smooth.

A masterful, flavoful brew. A nice time spent with a bottle of Belgian beer.

(thanks to bditty187)

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Photo of callmemickey
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Murky orange-peach body. Almost no head whatsoever. Just a faint skim which left behind next to know lacing.

S: Pungent, tart funkyness. Juicy apricot, green apple, other citric notes. Slight pepper spice.

T: Much life the nose, this screams tart juicy fruit. Ripe green apple and apricot. Nice bitter graperfruit, and citric zest. Profoundly earthy and musty. Good barnyard character... earthy, hay, leather, and more.

M: Dry. Perhaps a bit light on carbonation. Had more of a juice like oily smoothness than I was expecting.

D: Another great interesting Fantome beer. Never boring and always enjoyable. This has a lot of the characteristic flavors seen in the other Fantome saisons with more of a bitter-hoppy complexion.

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Photo of dgallina
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml dark green bottle without freshness date.

Poured transparent golden peach with half-inch of white soapy head, very light lace. Fragrant with musty fallen leafs, black pepper, coarse yeast, powdery limes, and tannic wood. Nicely unified flavors in the mouth. Begins with sweet and sour limes, developing a rough hop, pepper, and earthy yeast center. Finishes with tannic acidity, more black pepper notes. Airy and sprightly body that tickles the mouth with constant carbonation. Leaves you wanting more with every sip.

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Photo of WillCarrera
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

750 ml bottle, no bottled-on date, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a hazy golden apricot color, topped with a big white head, nice lacing.

S- Lots of fruit, a really interesting, inviting perfumey aroma. There's a lot of light fruity aromas like pears, orange, maybe some citrus and spice, but the perfume aspect of it is what really puts this on another level, I've never smelled anything exactly like it before and am having a tough time putting my finger on it, but it's awesome.

T- The usual and very nice Fantome blend of yeast, spice and funk. Has some tasty fruit and floral flavors along with a prominent noble hop bitterness. Floral and perfume elements are very noticeable.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth with a dry finish.

O- Another tasty, fascinating beer from Fantome, and a real treat to drink.

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Photo of cracgor
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out an amber color. Transparent body with a cloudy just off white head. Carbonation can be seen floating up through this. Also leaves chunks of head to the glass. A grassy, wheat smell with some sour notes reminiscent of muscadine grapes and soda water. So I think this is supposed to be the Belgium version of Arrogant Bastard. It has the grassy/earthy feel I associate with Belgians, but a huge kick of bitterness in this one. It really isn't a hop bitterness. It tastes more like spices or char. It is an interesting beer. My only complaint is that it could be a little more balanced. Crisp and clean mouthfeel, no alcohol kick to it. Something I could enjoy year round.

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Photo of OldSock
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – 750 ml bottle from Colonial Spirits poured into an oversized wine glass. Relatively clear yellow on the first pour, closer to cloudy golden by the last pour, with a thin white head that leaves some sticky lacing.

Smell – Barnyard, cherries, pears, dates, toasted malts, and a big punch on earthy hops, what an amazing, complex smell. This has lots of dark fruit aromas from such a light colored beer.

Taste – Definite strong bitterness as the label describes, but it is far from overpowering particularly to my double IPA loving taste buds. The flavor is not as complex as the smell, but it still has a lot going on, toasted malts, some tartness, lots of earthy hops, and some fruit.

Mouthfeel – Medium light with a healthy dose of carbonation. The mouthfeel complements the flavor well, making the bitterness strong, but not lasting.

Drinkability & Notes – Easy to drink particularly after you stop noticing the bitterness half way through the bottle. Fantome at their best, this beer is truly unique and tasty.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle purchased from Joey at South Bay Drugs, capped and corked. The beer is hazy dark yellow with almost no head. The beer smells like classic Fantome, same amount of hops as the standard stuff from the brewery (but this bottle may be a little old). A little tart flavor, fruity apple-like flavors, nice barnyard funk. Earthy and musty and delicious. I really enjoyed this like all Fantome beers, less hops than I wanted but still very good.

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Photo of vladtheimpaler
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Usual 750 ml corked and capped bottle. Hazy golden orange, nice white head. Hoppy peppery aroma. Big malty flavors with plenty of hop flavor and bitterness. Usual big malty mouthfeel from Fantome. I detect Styrian Golding hops in use here. Malty hoppy finish, with those flavor hops really shining through. Its got to be Styrians. Rather straightforward and not as unusual as other Fantomes.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Immense thanks to ShogoKawada (and indirectly mikey711?) for the chance to try this - very difficult to locate on the West Coast ale. The story behind its brewing is similar to the Arrogant Bastard (i.e. a beer too bitter for normal people, dedicated to "ball breakers")...

Poured from a green glass 750mL capped-and-corked bottle into my Troubadour tulip. The cork emerged with much fanfare, though the bottom was coated in a thick layer of muddy yeast, unlike anything I've seen before.

Orange peel/Princeton orange gradient with faint amber highlights, though the liquid overall is rather hazy, though you can still make out the solid globules of lees. An immense but fairly active rocky head recedes to a hefty finger of burbling froth. Messy lacing smatters the sides, and a ghostly viscous layer of tears drags down the beige wheat-speckled bubbles.

Orange liqueur, old clothing stored in a closet, wood varnish, goat sweat, lots of floral notes, and other nameless aromas compete for your attention.

Quite sweet at first, bursting with ripe fruit, but followed immediately by a tart lemon-like flavor and then a wave of spices, malt, buckwheat, and a surprising level of bitterness from hops (more so than most from this brewery I've thus far sampled). The finish is dry and tart, suggesting buttermilk, pepper, mace, and lightly toasted grain.

Medium bodied, effervescent, and zesty mouthfeel.

Very refreshing in its way - a sort of "Belgian IPA" crossed with a wild ale and a saison...but hybridized quite successfully.

Worth seeking out if you like sour funky beers as well as hops...yum.

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Photo of brewtus
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL corked and capped bottle poured into a tulip.

(A)- Pours a hazy golden orange color. Produced a huge effervescent pure white bubbly head with good retention. Some lace. Love the color on this one.

(S)- A wonderfully dry and crisp earthy funk. Bits of lemon peel and a grassy, almost floral-like citrus.

(T)- A nice dry earthy clay quality with crisp lemon and citrus with a touch of spicy, piney hops.

(M)- A nice crisp carbonation level. A nice feel too of dry earth, lemon, and yeast. Minimal bitterness, though a much higher hopped Saison than your average one.

(D)- A great crisp and refreshing yet dry and hopped Saison for this humid and hot day. I still like their regular Saison the best still, though this is a great variation.

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Photo of jahred
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

What's this? A hoppy saison? Interesting, I though to myself...

Pours a cloudy, bright orange color with lots of bubbles rising from the bottom of my chalice toward a thick, offwhite foamy head. Beautiful, intricate patterns of lace settle on the glass as I raise it to my nose.

Mmmm. Definitely a saison. Smells earthy, bready, yeasty, rustic, and of course, just a drop funky. As advertised, the taste is quite bitter, but also very smooth. Lots of prickly carbonation dance on my tongue and mingle with earthy hop flavors. Bitter lemon and bitter orange notes, along with sweet honeyish malt and and intense black pepper flavor that signifies that this is definitely a saison, despite it's uniqueness.

Wow. 8% ABV and super hoppy, but this is ridiculously easy to drink. The alcohol warms my tummy as I finish my glass. Despite being low on cash, I went back and bought two more bottles. One is now in my closet - I can't wait to taste it in a few years.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

hazed gold in the glass with a thick tight white head that sticks around for the duration.
the aroma has got a lot of noble hoppiness it's floral herbal, slightly black tea like. i also find some lemon grass here and there.
the flavor is yeast driven with cracker and touches of tropical fruit. there is a lot of flowery, berbal noble hop flavor and a moderate amount of bitterness. the malt profile is a little more up front than you usually find with a saison, with some caramel and pilsener type maltiness backing up and rounding out. not quite as funky as some other fantome offerings, but with warmth you find some hay and just a whisper of blue cheese.
the mouthfeel is medium bodied with a finely bubbled moderate carbonation.
overall an interesting take on a vaguely belgina IPA kind of beer.

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Photo of corby112
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy dark orange color with a two finger frothy white head that slowly fades into a lasting cap/ring. Streaks of chunky lacing left behind.

Earthy aroma with lots of funky saison character along with some earthy hops, light fruit and zesty spice. Musty and slightly vegetal with hints of grass, straw and wet hay along with subtle apple, pepper and bready yeast.

Medium bodied with soft carbonation and a slightly creamy texture that counters that earthy/funky saison character. Slightly dry with some musty barnyard funk that's mildly bitter with some earthy hops, bready yeast, zesty spice and light fruit. Excellently balanced, complex and extremely quaffable.

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Photo of dogfooddog
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours straw yellow with a moderate fluffy white head. have read about the photosensitivity of this beer, hope it isn't damaged. from nose, I am OK - very peppery, spcy, with a strong background of typical fantome barnyard nose, hay, leather, organics. Very appetizing nose from this beer.

taste is a bit smaller than expected, very peppery (a very common spicy taste in this man's beers), with the pepper actually dominating into the finish, keeping more restrained barnyard/saison-type character in the background completely. It is there, but heavily understated in this beer. overall aftertaste fades very quickly.

overall very nice, peppery fantome beer, but to me it seems a bit understated.

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Photo of deapokid
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This Fantome seasonal is lightly carbonated and beautifully bright orange in color. It has little to no head and only the slightest of lacing, giving it a wine or fruit juice appearance. Definitely intriguing.

Scent is a complex combination of blood orange, clementine and tangerine aromas with mild hints of alcohol and rind. Very strong and sweet.

Taste is tart and sour; lemon, pulp, lactic acid and candied sweetness are all on display. A smoky musk peaks out in the conclusion, as does plum and prune. The final sips take on a dry, bitter character. A strange and fascinating experience.

Although it's rather sour, that sugary and dry finish adds a nice balance to the beer, making it toe the line between sweet and sour.

I've never had a Fantome that I could stop sipping. The layers of flavor MUST be deciphered and putting the glass down is like interrupting an adventure.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a golden tea hue with some strong bubbles and a thick head and film during the drinking phase of enjoying this beer. The aroma is a mix of very light musty earthy and some classic Euro candies. The taste starts with a mix of very fresh cut, green grass, light toast malts, and Stygian hops. The middle is all about the candy. The finish is semi-sweet with that hop note coming back. Pretty easy to drink and went very well with my rare steak, German potatoes and salad.

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Photo of facundoCNB
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

a hazy dark golden pour with 3 fingers of foamy white head and excellent lacing left behind (slow dissipation). aromas of fresh cut grass, bell peppers, white pepper, lemongrass, coriander.. this is a very nice smelling traditional saison. wow - this is one tasty treat.. the yeast profile is very funky.. almost plasticky but not in a bad way.. a very strange belgian yeast strain with almost a bologna like after taste.. lots of spice (coriander, maybe some belgian candy sugar.. dark, and grassy hops) with an overall bready and sweet profile and a slight bitter aftertaste. a lovely enjoyable drink, medium in body with light carbonation. this feels very sessionable, the alcohol is not present at all, and feels light enough to be able to drink this 750 all by myself.. glad i am! definitely a good experience. my first from fantome, and i felt very risky after reading so many bad reviews on quality control by the company.

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Fantôme Brise-BonBons from Brasserie Fantôme
4.06 out of 5 based on 360 ratings.
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