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 BuckeyeNation
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sunny mimosa with a splash of orange juice. The beer is lightly peppered with fine yeast and the occasional bubble can seen zipping up to a fantastic looking head. The alabaster colored crown, a study in Belgian beer excellence, is leaving one of the most extensive, stickiest lace displays that I've seen in quite some time. Whatever else it is, this is gorgeous beer.

The nose manages to meet the sky-high bar set by the appearance. It's different from any Fantome beer that I've smelled thus far, but still manages to smell like a Fantome beer, if that makes any sense. It's fruitier than most saisons and has a tropical vibe that I'm enjoying immensely. A whiff of yeasty funkiness is evident, although it's far from the defining characteristic.

Brise-BonBons! is wonderful beer in the wild and wacky way that only Dany Prignon can manage. A quick glance at the label tells me that he named it 'ball breakers' and intended it to be too bitter for the normal person to enjoy. Most of the hopheads I know aren't normal people, so where does that leave us?

I wonder whether this is one of the original bottles and is over a year and a half old, or whether it continues to be brewed and I got a relatively fresh one. It isn't overpoweringly bitter, so I'm guessing the former. No matter, it has held up remarkably well and is still much more bitter than the average saison. Assuming, of course, that a style like saison has any sort of consistent rules.

Noble hops are front and center, yet don't overwhelm the other members of the flavor profile. Lemon zest, lemongrass, unripe pears, tamed white pepper and clove make the biggest impressions on the palate. As with most all Fantome beer, Brise-BonBons! is dizzingly complex and its code is not easily cracked. Thankfully, I have 750 ml to try to figure it out.

Perhaps the best part about the beer is the interplay among bitter, sweet and tart. I'm enjoying letting them play off one another in interesting and varied ways as each (large) mouthful progresses. I have no idea what herbs and spices have been used, or whether any have been. I suppose it's possible that a killer yeast strain is responsible for the nearly limitless number of flavors, but I find it hard to believe.

The mouthfeel, while still good, isn't quite as wonderful as the rest of the beer. It's on the lighter side of medium and is nicely carbonated. It just doesn't have that buoyancy, that effervescence that I've come to expect in a world-class Belgian ale.

I wasn't too happy with my last beer from this brewery (Speciale de Noel). Thankfully, this one gets things back on track, reorders the cosmos to a place where Fantome beer is at or near the summit of brewing excellence. If I have one of the original bottlings, I hope to be fortunate enough to taste a more current batch. My balls are still intact, so I welcome the opportunity to test them against a fresh bottle of Brise-BonBons!

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Photo of jonnylieberman
4.46/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Dany does it again...

Appearance: Having what may just be my favorite all-time beer label, Brise-BonBons! pours a pale orange with a massive head -- plenty of clinging lace.

Smell: A very citrus-y nose with some light berry notes. Some Saison yeast is apparent and appropriate.

Taste: Sweet, bitter and refreshing. A real explosion for your pallate, yet subdued -- quite elegant. There is a restrained bitterness -- more pronounced than other Saisons -- that is lingering and pleasant. Lots of Low-coho hops. A nice tartness as well. Very yummy. Strawberry and even a little raspberry is apparent, as is some sort of tea.

Mouthfeel: Fantastic. Full, yet not filling. Strong carbonation works well with the tart and the bitter. Dry, but the fruitiness prevents it from being too dry. Very nicely done.

Overall: 8%? You have to kidding me. The mouthfeel indicates a solid 5% session beer. For reals, this beer is excellent. I highly encourage you to seek some out. I have one more bottle after this, and then a trip to the store.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

peachy and cloudy with loose clumpy foam floating there, calling out to me. smells of the standard fantome horse blanket with a welcome citrus tinge, black pepper and hints of fresh-cut salami.

divinely light and smooth saison/lambic, with the accent lifted off the sourness in favor of a chewy, botanical hoppiness rounding out the experience. aggressively hopped for a belgian. and mysteriously, this experimental brew yields such a refreshing and light body for something so full of flavor and alcohol.

awesome, bubbly, drinkable. another great entry from fantome, one that succeeds in its bizarre nature.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Kind of a glowing orange body. Thick looking. Quite hazy. Cigarette stained white head. Great blend of musty yeastiness, fruitiness (nectarines/apricots) and hoppiness on the nose. The aroma is earthy and hearty as many of Fantome's brews are. The earthiness translates onto the buds nicely. Grassy hop notes are definitely present. As is a bitterness not usually associated with Fantome (or Belgian brews in general for that matter). A little acidity is noted and paired with its accompanying tartness. But it's very low key. Lemon zest and orange rind come into play as well. Hop derived in all probability. This is nice tasting for sure. The mouthfeel is soft. Just a little bit of a prick from the CO2. Body is approaching medium. All in all this is another solid brew from Fantome.

Many thanks to my freind in Long Beach...Darren.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into an Ommegang goblet that I like to use for saisons. Looks to be pouring nearly check that, there's some late carbonation, but still not too much. Unfiltered apple juice color with very light carbonation. Not the most attractive beer I've ever poured. Thankfully, though, it isn't quite flat. This is still disturbing, though, as I have had issues with other bottles of flat Fantome.

S - As always with Fantome, an interesting nose. A little like apple juice, with some strong vegetal/herbal notes coming through. Some rose and/or lavender petal, some cooked asparagus, with a tinge of a tart, leathery aroma.

T - I could swear I've had this beer before. Be honest, is this a Jolly Pumpkin beer? Did someone change a label on me? This is supposed to be Fantome's hoppy beer, isn't it? If that's the case, where are the hops? I don't taste any noble hops, much less American hops, which raises the very real possibility that this is not a fresh bottle. I see "best before" notches on the bottle, but none are notched, so I have no idea. Oh well, I'll go with the flow. This *is* both bitter and sour at the same time, though I'm hard pressed to suggest that the bitterness I'm tasting comes from hops. A leathery, sour fermented orange juice hits first, giving way to a grassy taste....wheatgrass. Weird....and now a bug just flew into my beer. That's a first. Was that random coincidence, or was there something in the beer that attracted the insect? This being Fantome, I'm leaning toward the latter. I fish the insect out of the beer with a spoon and soldier on.

F - I like my farmhouse ales to have more substantial carbonation than this. This has the soft carbonation of a barleywine twice its strength. It feels limp on the palate, though it has the benefit of not being as burpy as a normal saison.

D - I'm on my third glass of this, and I'm only beginning to "get it." I think I have a pretty well-traveled palate, but even so this one was a bit of a struggle for me. I wouldn't buy again unless I can be assured of its freshness. No point in buying a hoppy farmhouse ale that isn't hoppy, is there? Also, looking at some of the reviews below me, the low carbonation seems to have been a problem for others as well, so there might be more than a few bad bottles floating around out there. Will re-review and adjust my score if I ever get to try a hopefully-representative bottle. This was not a hoppy farmhouse ale, this was a funky wild ale lacking in carbonation.


Well, I was able to sample a better bottle, and I am going to have to eat my above words. Appearance was a ton better. Aroma carried more of the crisp hop I expected while still maintaining that Fantome flowery/leathery aroma. Great clean flowery hop on the palate - hoppy for a saison, not DIPA hoppy mind you. Very enjoyable. I don't think I'll be doubting Dany's beers anymore - after a rocky start when I first tried his stuff, he's been on a string of superlative winners with me.

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Photo of khiasmus
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Venturing into the old farmhouse on a cloudy day... The sunset of muddy orange and a thick cloud cover that leaves streaks across the sky. "Do you think she's still here? She's been dead for 12 years you know..."
The door creaks open and the aroma smacks me in the face. Old horse blankets in a tattered pile in the corner, along with the musty, woody smell of the dusty barn itself. Some sorts of small animals have been urinating on the blankets as well, the faintly wet aroma also slinks slowly into the nostrils amidst the heft of the other notes.
A bit of hard-tack for you? Or a slice of fruit? Green apple and a good cheese chunk as we ransack the place looking for any clue as to her whereabouts. The aromas mingle with the flavors we are enjoying, and give the whole thing a library-bookish-wet-horse-blanket appeal, a musty way of remembering... Isn't it interesting, once again, how smells can bring back the most poignant memories?
I light a cigarette, trying to cooly shake off the chill in my bones. A floor-tile loose, the thick wood with a brass handle... "pull it up, pull it up!" And there she is, still clutching the vial of poison that ended the story.
"But how if she's under here, how...?" It gives you a few minutes. She must have closed it behind her.
No sense in not draining it... A dry touch to the lips, somehow velvety carbonated after all this time... A bitterness in the finish, must be the hemlock, and the astringency of the whole mouth upon each swallow... A hint of the green apple comes back up with bile, I'm going to die, I'm going to die... Sleep now. Sleep, and remember. You have lived a full life, you can die happy.

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Photo of clvand0
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

orbitalr0x brought this one my way. Pours a light orange color with a huge head that falls slowly and leaves lots of lacing on the glass. The aroma has quite a bit of European hops as well as slight spice and some funk. The flavor has a lot of the typical Fantome yeast, funk and spice. Quite a bit of hop flavors and bitterness for a Fantome beer, but not over the top. The mouthfeel is moderate and the drinkability is very good. This is a very nice hoppy saison.

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Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of kmcnair
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased this tonight at O'Briens with the intention of taking it back to Tampa with me for the holidays. Nope, not gonna happen... cork is coming out right now.

750ml bottle, capped, corked, pours a hazy yellowed orange hue and makes a dense and creamy white head. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is dominated by musty, barnyard yeastiness, there's some banana esters somewhere in the background, but this is mostly funky. Strong honey and caramel malts can be found along with a bunch of earthy, grassy hops.

Flavor opens with a medium bittering on the tongue, some tart citrus fruits, spicy pepper and a very earthy hop taste. A light sweetness lingers and there's a really subdued hint of green olives, chewy bitter finish. This is an explosion in my mouth, the flavor profile here is insane.

This is incredibly well balanced on the palate, starts with peppery carbonation and becomes creamy, finishes very dry.

This is a very interesting and tasty offering from Dany Prignon. The more I sample from Fantôme, the more respect I have. This beer is awesome, has everything I like about a saison and is really hoppy. I will have this again and that is a friggin promise.

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Photo of imaguitargod
4.51/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This one's kinda a toughie to review. At first pour, it was horrible. Way to vinegary with a heck of a lot of citrus flavor. Then as it warmed up a bit, it lost a lot of its vinegar taste. Turns out that this beer really settles. You can hold it up to the light and see where all the ingredients settle. I recommend turning the bottle upside down and right side up a few times and then pour it out.

As I got to the second pour from the bottle, where everything had settles, that's when the real taste came out. Upfront citrus flavor with a little bit of an apricot back end. Still a little vinegar bite but nothing that I would say was horrible. On top of that, the taste dynamics change with every sip which makes this one hell of a complex beer to drink. Not quite worth the price tag but if you find it, it's a pleasant if I could just find the Fantome Chocolat...I have a feeling everything from this brewery is classic.

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Photo of VWBuggirl
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This pours a golden yellow color, almost verging on orange, with a nice white fluffy head. It has a nice low-key fruity scent that seems on the sweet side, I get strawberry mostly.

The taste is exceptional. The sweetness definitely comes through, but it isn't syrupy and fits the beer well as it finishes with a bit of tang. The mouthfeel is exactly what I wanted, not thick, but not thin either, and it has the right amount of carb to it as well.

Great beer, and I will pick it up again next time I find it.

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Photo of brewfunk
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
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

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.54/5  rDev +11.8%
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

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Photo of jwc215
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml cork-capped bottle:

Pours deep amberish golden with a thin off-white head that leaves plenty of lacing.

The smell is of lemon with spicy yeast - as is common with the brewery, the spiciness is a bit tough to describe, but smells wonderfully refreshing - this one in citric bitter sort of way.

The taste is of lemon and citrus - bitter with some sweet and sourish notes underneath giving it a wonderful balance while putting the bitterness in the front. An awsome yeast strain adds to the complex enjoyment of it - spicy, slightly peppery breadiness. There's a rounded herbal bitterness in the finish.

It is super smooth and creamy. Light-bodied with a creamy texture and a refreshing effervescence help to make this dangerously drinkable. Alcohol is very well-hidden.

This has a nice bitter touch that is wonderfully balanced. Highly drinkable. Very enjoyable. Another winner here from an outstanding brewery!

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Photo of ejquin
4.59/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Murkey and golden with white head.

S: Saison like smell with a beatiful "funk" mixed in. Sweet and sour. Smells almost like a nice cheese.

T: Sweet, then sour, then hops burst up, and fade. They linger on a long semi-dry finish. The sweetness balances the hops out beatifully and prevents them from being too over the top.

M: Slick, medium weight with good cabonation level.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 1 Pint 9,4 fl.oz green glass bottle, corked with a crown cap. The unusual looking black, white & yellow label had me perform a double-take look tonight whilst literally chilling in the walk in cooler at one of the few great beer stores which I visit on a regular basis whilst spying for new brews. This sexy beauty was appropriately on the top shelf and once carefully lifted off I just knew it wasn’t going back there. Was this really a Fantôme?? Oh Yeah, the rarely seen Brise-BonsBons! Another whacky label is perfectly suited to this creation from Dany Prignon. This one is described in a rather long-winded way by the Shelton Brothers as a beer dedicated to “Ball-Breakers”. Typically Fantôme, it doesn’t need a fresh by, or born on, date and it is listed, like nearly all Fantômes, at 8% ABV.

Appearance: My Rabbit made easy work of the pristine Cork which extracted with a reassuring thud soon followed by a satisfying "thruppp" along with some light gray gunsmoke. The beer rose up the inside of the bottle quickly as it stood, in fact before I could remove the extracted cork from my Rabbit the foam was out of the top of the bottle anda quick pour was necessary. A thick rising off-white mass soon forms as the Brise-BonBons! is released from its captive container. Light hazed apricot body fleshes out with a hazed furry peach aura. Medium carbonation but the head has some excellent staying power throughout. Nice sheet lacing formed during each swig from the glass leaves a random assortment of patterns on the glass walls.

Nose: Not as funky as some Fantômes but it retains a resilient barnyard character which acts as a solid base for the aromatic hops and sour tangerines plus whatever else was lying around Soy’s favorite farmhouse at the time no doubt. Has a fruity dimension about it.

Taste: Gorgeous bitterness kicks this one off to a great beginning right from the starting stalls. Balancing effects from the yeast, soft fleshy oranges, some citric herbal spice and a dry sour middle. The finish is astringent, nicely hopped yet the backing malts never waver in their subservient role. Striking spicy hop licks in the end, lingering funky bitterness. Bloody great.

Mouthfeel: The conditioning is firm but the carbonation is low key, rounded, soft and yet undeniably perfect in its poise. No hint of any alcohol, all that is subsumed by the bitterness and dry texture which

Drinkability: Oh my, this is **very** drinkable….if it is supposed to be a beer too bitter for normal people and a ‘Ball-Breaker” – well, it fails. This one gently plays and caresses my balls, I just can’t get enough of this, it is an absolutely enthralling libation that I just could not put down. I enjoy De Ranke XX but this beauty has an even more attractive profile, soft carbonation and lots of “drink me” DNA. I could really go for another 750 of this one right now!

Overall: Funky Fantôme Finally meets some bitter Hops as opposed to the aged kind so often used just as a preservative in Belgium!! It’s a great blend too, and it works really well for me. A very bitter Fantôme, a tasty experiment that works extremely well….I should have gotten more of these, but I think the beer store only had one case and I it wouldn't have felt right to walk out with a Six-Pack of these, but I wish I had now. I don’t think they will last long on the shelves so do not pass these by.

At long last!!!! Another “bitter” hop laden brew from Belgium to join the incredibly small but very select band that already exist, at this rate we could be into double figures soon.

Impressive and Highly Recommended.

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Photo of laituegonflable
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a pale golden colour with a slight cloud. Head is off-white, light specks of lace but big, fluffy, generous look otherwise. Great.

Smells saisony, but sweet. Cinnamon toast with notes of quince, peach and raspberry. Horsey funk as well, oxidised vinegar, but all very well balanced to entice and uplift. A treat.

Taste starts off quite tarts, and gets even more so. Vinous with champagney notes, lemon curd, raspberry vinegar and of course that organic barnyard funk. Light spice notes, peach fruit and even guava. Vanilla comes through on the back, providing some sweetness late. Lovely mix, really as though it were deliberately and cleverly thrown together, but still with a rough, untamed edge.

A bit of pull on the mouthfeel but it works well. Nice and dry on the finish which helps to counteract that late sweetness.

Clever beer. All the right funky notes but patched up in all its oddities to make it refreshing and supremely drinkable. A memorable drinking experience.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy peachy color with a very light and patchy coat of head over top of the liquid. Very active carbonatin cascades through it. Nose is moderate spicey and grassy noble hops. Good grassy notes with a light lemoney malt behind it. Smells nice. Flavor is full of grassy noble hop and fantastic musty barnyard notes. Nothing is too strong, but everything works really well with the other flavors. I like the balance on this one. There is a light bitter that hangs on the end, but nothing too lingering. Tasty. Feel is moderate with a moderate carbonation. Very good on the pallate. I really enjoy this brew. Its the third or fourth hoppy saison that I've had, and I think this needs to be done more often. Such a good combination.

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Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.64/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No dating on the bottle (no label either...), but from most recent batch. Poured into a Saison Dupont tumbler at cellar temperature while listening to Bjork.

A - Plenty of white head with a pale hazy gold body. Decent lacing and good head retention.

S - Tannins, slight resin, candi sugar, and floral/apricoty hops all highlight a bright pale malt aroma. Good shallot and blue cheese-like earthy funk manages to be quite expressive, but not overtake the beer. Mineral aromas help to firm up and round out the whole experience.

T - This beer was nice last time I had it, but not bitter even by Belgian-Beers-That-Have-Crossed-the-Atlantic standards. This is a much different experience. Nice assertive bitterness in the finish, ranking up with many of the other assertive Belgian IPA styles I've enjoyed (Urthel, Houblon Chouffe, Hopsinjoor, etc.). Starts out with a sweetness reminiscent of a lemon-shakeup, with mineral, leather, blue cheese, pineapple and apricot undertones. The funk builds and starts to overtake the sweetness towards to swallow, with a big earthy climax right at the swallow that helps intensify the hop bite at the end. Hops provide a nice grapefruit and pepper flavors to the finish, which is mostly dry and earthy with a slight sweet lemon quality lingering.

M - Slightly oily mouthfeel, with nice mid to full body and crisp carbonation. Right on the money as far as I'm concerned.

D - Wow, I thought this beer was good the first time I had it, but this was much better. This bottle I know is quite fresh (within two weeks of delivery to the store) verus the last bottle I had (no idea...), and freshness makes a huge difference in this beer (duh...) Another fantastic product from Fantome, best effort from them I've had to date.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.64/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This smells amazing. Big hops, in the Belgian sense, very floral, herbal, sharp, and dusty. Then, the array of oddness that is Fantome: very creamy, and buttery, with a nice fruityness, full of bananas and a touch of citrus. And a thick layer of the Fantome funk, which isn't so much "barnyard" as it is, compost/garbage-meets-moldy cellar-meets-sweaty sock. Mmmmm... doesn't that sound great?? Yeah, my favorite. Oh, I see I skipped over the appearance section, I was just too excited by the aromas flying out of this glass. Solid, slightly hazy orage, bright, with a big white head which settles to a 1/4 inch foam coating. Taste does not disappoint. Purposeful complexity. This is definitely the hoppiest of all the Fantome's I've had. Don't know which came out first, but this seems one of many Belgians that are bittering up their beers a bit lately. I like it. Adds a whole new dimension to an already complex beer. Contrasts the sweetness perfectly, clashing with the fruity bananas and cream boquet. And a nice, almost English style toffee, buttery butterscotch. Slightly oily hop resin finish. Texture is big and lush at first, but finishes dry and airy. Excellent. I've got a little theory going here. If the brewer was intentionally going for this, it's genius. If it's a remarkable accident, he's still a genius anyway. But it seems like this beer is really a hybrid of several different styles or approaches, from all over the world. It's got some big hops and nice "American" bitterness. It's got a sweet, fruity, banana spice vibe of the best German hefeweizens. And, a carmelly, buttery, toasty softness of a great English ale. Captures the essence of so many other great approaches to beer, while still remaining true to the Belgian farmhouse saison, Fantome style. Ball breakers indeed.

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Photo of ccrida
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 750ml bottle (with no cork, which I thought was odd) into a tulip glass (my Fantome glass is packed away but this one is pretty similar, though not as curvy), "Ball-Breakers" is pretty much a perfect looking saison in my book. Cloudy, pale orange straw, with a medium, creamy white head that was slow to subside to a thick collar, leaving some creamy foam coating the side of the glass and a little, widely spaced lace. Love it.

The smell is really nice as well. As with all saisons, this really opens up as it warms, so be patient if your pulling it from the fridge, and better yet leave it out for a while first. The aroma is chalky bi-carbonate and spicy noble hops, fresh flowers, tropical fruits, hefe like clove esters and a touch musty earthiness.

The taste is equally complex, and very good. Not nearly as bitter as the label would lead one to believe, but my perspective from Portland is undoubtedly different then Dany's in Soy. The tastes are similar to what I outlined in the aroma, it is tart and dry and very refreshing, a tad sweet but sour and super highly attenuated from the brettomyces. Damn this is good!
The mouthfeel is light and slighty effervescent, and compliments the taste in being very thirst-quenching. This really makes me think of the historical origins of Saisons, If I had a barrel of this to sip from all day I think I could really get into farming!

This drinkability is so high, if only it weren't so pricey. But man is it good.

Update: I had a second bottle of this last weekend (4/15), and it was very heavy on the CLOVES. Still very good, but the cloves were much more dominating then I remember them being in my first bottle...par for the course with Fantome I suppose!

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Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.65/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer poured into the chalice clear amber orange with a white and frothy head which rose tall and fell very slowly to lace the glass.

The aroma was earthy and fruity with a very slight acidic sour note to the nose. The aroma contained a waft of alcohol that was at a low level and some spice combinations that were muted and interesting. The aroma was also lightly floral along with the fruitiness and the spice was peppery and nice.

The flavor was bitter and earthy with a really nice peppery spice bite to accompany the sizeable bittering component. The peppery spice flavor was worthy mentioning twice and it complemented the almost grassy and nearly resinous hop presence.

The finish was dry with a lasting hop bittering and spice flavor long and very pleasant into the aftertaste and beyond. The body was medium and the carbonation gave a creaminess to the mouthfeel. The alcohol was restrained with only hints of a presence in the aroma and no appreciable warming post consumption.

750 ml capped and corked bottle. I've been waiting a very long time to get this beer and finally it made it's way to Brawley's in Charlotter where it was snagged. I gotta get more! $13.99.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle, Spuyten Duyvil (one of the 12!! Fantôme available at Spuyten these days) Amusing very artisanal label. Immense rocky white head raises above the delicious golden and hazy body. A gentle, soft malt background supports a surprisingly big hop bite for Fantôme. But what a marvellous hop bite.. Parsley laden herbal/grassy character with the typical Belgian floweriness, leafy and lemony, spicy and fieldish. The yeast brings a definite farmhouse character through its heavily white peppery and barnyardy covers. Very spicy, algae and oregano reminiscent, plus the usual inexplicable that, that day, made the difference between 8’s and 9’s. Medium bodied, naturally airy, expanding mouthfeel with perfect carbonation. Surprisingly restricted acidity despite the hoppy leanings. Very attenuated and saisonish in its sheer essence. A real frontrunner this one, might even be an opus, I’ll definitely have to try it again, it doesn’t feel right that I rate it this high (comparing to the other beers I gave such scores), but there is just nothing I dislike in there, it takes what I like about beer and throws it in a bottle. Its looks and mouthfeel are far beyond criticism while the rest is just Dany Prignon playing with hops… sounds simple if you don’t know the man’s magic background, but those who do can imagine the results.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is the best Fantome beer I have had, to date. This particular bottle has at least three years on it, perhaps closer to five.

A - It pours an orange-amber hue with a voluminous white head and good lace.

S - The aroma is caramel-buttery, alcohol, vinous grape and apple juicy. It also smells hoppy-bitter and possibly tart or sour, brett-style.

T - I am shocked at the taste; it is very much like red wine. Evocative of Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir with aged hops. Very dry finish, again like wine. Slightly tart or sour, but again in a red wine type of way. Wow, there is so much complexity and delicious flavor in this beer that I am stupefied and at a loss for adequate description. I am gonna stop writing now and finish this bottle.

M - Light- to medium-bodied, the feel goes from initially wet to a dry finish.

D - Exceptional. Highly recommendable.

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Photo of CAMRAhardliner
4.76/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love Fantome beers, and this one has been near the top of my 'Beers I Must Try' list for a long time. 12.95 at Downtown Wines in Boston. The Flemish Sumo wrestler on the label alone makes this beer worth the money.

It pours an intriguing reddish, orange color with some haze and a dense reverse blizzard of tiny carbonation bubbles. The head is huge and creamy and blankets the glass in cream, not just lace. A sizable head lasts till the very last. The aroma is of granny smith apples, melon, lemon zest and a yoghurty acidity. Some herbal, earthy notes also fill the nose.

An expansive bitterness greets my tastebuds followed almost simultaneously by a sour, tart fruit flavor. Bitter hops and funky barnyard mustyness mix with tropical fruit and fresh sea air. The mouthfeel is thick and full with a messaging carbonation blanket.

This is a fantastic hoppy Beligan ale. Too complex for me to decipher with justice, and much too drinkable.

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