Fantôme Circus | Brasserie Fantôme

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Fantôme CircusFantôme Circus
Very Good
26 Ratings
Fantôme CircusFantôme Circus

Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Goldorak on 11-11-2005

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Ratings: 26 |  Reviews: 22
Photo of t0rin0
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Reviewed from notes. Shared with friends, I had at least a 10 oz. sample.

Bottle exhibited the typical ghostly wisps of smoke when opened. Color was darker than the regular Fantôme Saison, a slightly darker flat brown. Aroma had some tartness, more earthy and less grassy that the regular offering.

Taste is malty, with mild tartness, and more mellow, somewhat less spicy than other Fantômes. Lower carbonation makes this very easy to quaff, but I tried to restrain myself. Was this really a "black market" bottle or a crafty marketing ploy? Either way it tasted great.

 579 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.08/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

If you ever wanted to read my thoughts on a Fantôme beer, well, here's your shot.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy brown body with a tall, beige-colored head that fizzed out fairly quickly.

Smell: Caramel and cinnamon enveloped in Fantôme's typical mustiness as well as some spices and a bit of white wine.

Taste: Mildy sweet taste with flavors of caramel and crispy toffee with a pinch of sea salt and a tart-sour twang similar to a 50-50 blend of a dry white wine and ginger ale.

Mouthfeel: Thinnish body with a somewhat oily texure and only a light amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Though decent, it seems fairly toned down when held up against some of the other Fantôme beers I've tried.

 709 characters

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Dunt for sharing.

Copper body, mild haze with an off-white head. Damp, musty, funky, basement. Perhaps some mint and assorted herbal notes.

 150 characters

Photo of stakem
4.05/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Thanks Dunt for saving me a pour of this! It pours a dark, murky brown color of pond water with a thin khaki topping of bubbles that have a tight small bubble pattern. Some patchy lace sticks to the glass when swirled.

The nose is tart almost like cranberry or currant with a fruity jam-like sweetness intertwined with tartness making for a complex and contrasting mix. There are earthy funk aspects blending to cork and mild oxidation.

The taste is tart like the previously mentioned cranberry/currant and possibly pomegranate juice with some molasses or caramel malt sweetness to balance. A slight earthiness and herbal bitterness gets noted towards the finish.

This is a medium bodied brew with a classic fantome funk inclusion but also a fruity tartness and deep maltiness. This is really different and super enjoyable. I would love to get my hands on more of this. Its showing its age a bit but unique and enjoyable enough to want more.

 945 characters

Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A slightly vigorous pour produces an initially three-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head that leave just a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer is a dark, amber-tinged, plum color as it rests in my tulip glass, but shows an almost brilliantly clear, cranberry red color when held up to the light. An aromatic mix of earth-like note and fruit greet my nose as I take my first draught of the aroma. Aromas of plums (both tart & sweet), raisins, cloves, a touch of damp leather, something like mace, hints of tamarind and a touch of musty, yet distinctly, woody-black-pepper. The fruit notes are more concentrated up front, and it is not till you take a couple of successive draughts of the aroma that the earthy spice notes really start to become noticeable. This has a pretty nicely complex nose that one would expect from Fantôme; it is very enjoyable to spend a couple minutes exploring the aromas of this brew.

Lightly sweet, a touch more tart and it has a sort of tannic, almost woody astringency to it in the finish. The fruit notes is much more on par with the earth & light funk here in the flavor, but I still get ample notes of concentrated plums, raisins, a touch of tamarind, pears and even apple. Musty spice notes & that woody note provide a counterpoint to the fruitiness; as does the acidity, but this tends to meld into and accentuate certain aspects of the fruit flavors too. Soft turpene notes (clove, hints of mace and allspice) are joined by a woody black pepper note (not as distinctly as in the aroma though), a hint of earthy ginger, spicy oak flavors. Quite light bodied, yet that tannic / woody note adds some body and the spiciness almost makes this a sipping brew despite how quaffable it is. Some phenolic notes and a touch of alcohol adds some sharpness to the finish.

The second pour of this brew adds a bit of sediment, which definitely adds a yeast-like dimension to the brew (both in the flavor and in the taste). Spicy notes of allspice, cardamom and clove seem to be accentuated as well. While not as funky as some Fantôme products, this has a rich depth of flavor that I am really digging. I am not really sure where the wood-like notes are coming from (perhaps the cork, or maybe some weird secret ingredient), but they definitely add a very nice additional complexity to this brew.

 2,346 characters

Photo of cjgator3
4.07/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Capped and corked 750ml bottle poured into a tulip glass. Pours a hazy dark brownish amber color with a small off white head. The nose is tart with malt and dark fruits. The taste is malty with some peppery spice and an earthy hop bitterness. The mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated but it seems to be too thin. Overall, this is simply another great offering from Fantome. They consistantly seem to churn out fantastic products. Granted, this is certainly not their best product but not bad either. Too bad this only a limited release.

 533 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.2/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Capone's...
Appears a hazy copper toned amber with plenty of fallout lingering throughout the liquid. A one finger off white head quickly fades into a mild cap and collar. Scattered streaks of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of wet hay, aromas of grapes, raisins, earthy, musty, melons, mushrooms, and a small dose of brown sugar.
Taste is of oakiness, vanilla, and tart lemon with pumelo zest.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, filled with juiced orange, melons, earthy must, and mild hops.
Pretty damn good.

 527 characters

Photo of wl0307
4.22/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle at the Beer Circus, East Croydon, in April 2005. The corked and capped 750ml green bottle states that it's brewed by Fantome "for the Biercircus at London", so I guess it's pretty much a special honour accredited to the best Belgian bar in London? No freshness info. given on the beer label. Served in a large Burgundy bulb wine glass.

A: pours an ebony hue, with some ruby glows when seen against light; a thin-layer of beige beer head results from force-pouring, but dissipates rather fast to a rimmed foam. The carbonation seems to be softened greatly due to ageing, and the whole appearance lookes rather like a stout...
S: very settled and delicate nose, not as loud as most pale Saison I've tried; a flow of fruit esters prevails upfront, on top of a fruity note mixed of apple+cherry+sour plum+pear, laced with a delicate vanilla edge as of dark chocolates, a sour edge of wood barrel like red ale, and, coming with it, a vinegary hint of red-wine vinegar... The funky, yeasty note is still there, along with a light touch of pungent blue cheese (gorgonzola?), but much milder than other Saisons or Biere de Garde I've tried. Lovely, complex, yet so understated.
T: a roast-malty flavour accompanies a restrained, sour-fruity flavour (like the aroma) to prevail on the palate; the rather clean palate is followed quickly by lots of chewy, mildly aromatic and very faint, coffee-bean-ish roastiness of dark malts, faintly licorice, and a dryish edge of charred woodchips and wood barrels, while the vinegary sourness is subdued here, providing only a kickback to balance the overall palate. Slightly tangy and tannic mouthfeel sustains in the finish.
M&D: pretty light on the mouthfeel and the alc. hides extremely well for a 8.0%abv. Saison; it could benefit from a slightly more lively fizziness, but this beer is really good as it is. Smooth on the palate and blissful... this is my first "dark saison" and I immediately fall for the style~~ Three cheers to Beer Circus and Fantome!

 2,013 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
3.9/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a corked and capped 750ml bottle.

Appearance- Pours a super thick and robust three finger head into a tulip glass. Color is a port like, dep ruby with copper highlights. Good lacing and even better retention of the head to a thick film.

Smell- Pretty bland. Doesn't develop even after warming up. Some hints of altered malts with a sugary haze. But pretty muted all around.

Taste- When the beer ius fresh from the fridge, it tasted just like Haribo gummy bears. I was totally astonished and pleasantly surprised. As it warms, the tartness is more saison like with hints of tart wheat and Belgian, herbal malts.

 633 characters

Photo of ccrida
3.86/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From a 750ml bottle into my fantome tulip, Circus is a clear ruby color with a huge, light sand colored head that is very rocky leaving huge hunks of foam on the sides of the glass. Brilliant!

The aroma is alluring and complex, with mint, pine, cider, phenols, clove, pear, sherry. Unlike any beer I've ever smelled, including most of the other fantome's.

The taste is equally intriguing, but ultimately with less appeal, and none of the funk I like in some of this brasserie's brews.
Clove, baby diapers, acetone, apple cider vinegar like acidity, but with a soft sweet backbone to wrap it all up, tasting much better then those specific flavors might sound! The initial taste is a bit off, and gradually improves though the finish. Generally, there's a lot of spiciness going on that makes it hard to pin down. A fairly clean finish with a whisper of clean alcohol.

The mouthfeel is medium light with a semi-crisp amount of carbonation.

In spite of the complexity of this one, it was pretty easy drinking if you choose not to savor it, as it's generally pleasant and inoffensive. The flavors are strong enough to build up on the tongue to gain significant momentum for the second half of the bottle, which compensates for the booziness, which is higher then most fantome's, even though they're all apparently 8% exactly!

 1,340 characters

Photo of Holland
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%

Photo of hopdog
4.42/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle.

Poured a medium and murky/muddy orangish color with an averaged sized off white head. The color darkened up as I got towards the bottom of the bottle. Aromas of yeast, fruity, spicey, caramel, green minty herbalness and floral. Tastes of the same herbalness, apples, pears, yeast, and citrus. Light tart finish.

Notes from: 4/27/07

 348 characters

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer poured into the chalice deep amber wtih an off-white and long lasting head which rose moderately, but stayed around to lace the glass.

The aroma was nicely estery with a strong fruit impression followed by caramel most notably. A light tartness was present and a very low spice.

The flavor was light and low with an earthy and ever so slightly grassy hop presence. The main flavor was chocolate and a low level caramel without being overly sweet. As the beer warmed the bittering increased and became more citrusy and interesting, also as the beer warmed a nice peppery spice became increasingly present.

The finish was dry with a lasting bit of very light tartness coupled with chocolate and caramel which were at very low levels yet lasted into the aftertaste. The body was medium and though the carbonation was fairly low, the mouthfeel was creamy and nice. Incredibly drinkable but not very complex in flavor.

750 ml bottle, purchased at Knightly Spirits in Orlando.

 991 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.1/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Review from notes. This one poured a deep tea color with a moderate clarity. Three fingers of light tan head sat atop the beer with a solid cascade of bubbles working towards the surface. The head stayed around well into drinking this one. The aroma presented notes of candied raisins and brown sugar. There was a moderate acetone-like note as would be found in an oud bruin, but not as strong as that style. There was a moderate wet straw character and some mustyness, but not as prevalent as other brews by Fantome. Flavor was much more bold than the nose. Immdeiately there was a strong floral character, with a moderate mustyness behind it that really gave it an edge. It moved to a deep fruityness, a hybrid between cherry and raisin with a moderate tartness that just touches the sides of my tongue. The finish was musty and raisiney. It was a nice combination. The mouthfeel was moderate, with a very solid carbonation, but not so much that it just turns to foam by nucleation points in my mouth like others from this brewery. This was a pretty nice brew. I thought it came together pretty well and id definately didn''t take too much for me to kill the bottle myself.

 1,190 characters

Photo of Crosling
4.15/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled Ale.

Pros: Really nice aroma (blueberry, mint, pepper, herb, barn.) Sweet, well extracted, very nice balance. Nice appearance. Lots of taste.

Cons: It's weird. A little light in body. A bit oxidized.

The best Fantome I've had in some time.

 251 characters

Photo of Drew966
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fantome Circus pours a reddish brown with a thin tan head from a green 750 ml corked and capped bottle. The aroma is amazing, ripe red fruit, sugar and a touch of alcohol are noticeable. The fruit isn't as powerful in the flavor as it is in the aroma, but it is still there and still full bodied, but there is also a herbal or medicinal quality to the beer as well. Fantome beers never cease to amaze me. An excellent beer, drink it if you can find it!

 452 characters

Photo of ElGordo
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

So, um, I'm not supposed to have this beer. As the previous poster mentioned, the entire release was intended to go to Beer Circus in London, but there was a shipping mixup and some of it wound up in the States. No ATF approval means no legal sales, although it's interesting that it still has the US surgeon general's warning and deposit info. Anyway, a couple of cases wound up in Oregon, and my co-workers bought one, so here I am with my own bottle.
Pours a light brown with orange highlights, topped by a large creamy tan heads that subsides to just a nice thin coating after a couple of minutes. Aroma of tangy Belgian yeast and some dark fruit, along with a touch of sweet malt. This one somehow avoids much of the characteristic Fantome funk.
Palate is mainly a lightly sweet caramel malt up front, with more complexity emerging towards the finish. Aromatic herbs, black pepper, and a good bit of astringency all come through. Finish is mostly astringent, with some lingering herbiness. Body is well-carbonated, but truthfully is a little thin. As always with Fantome, a very interesting beer, but maybe not as adventurous as some of their other offerings.

 1,168 characters

Photo of Goldorak
3.12/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Dark brownish red, almost no head at all.

Smell: It had plenty of barnyard mustyness, but with a side of roasted nuts and maybe a little smoky too.

Taste: Dry brewer's yeast, the usual mouth-puckering sourness and metellic taste but with just a touch of sweetness, aftertaste was like coffee grinds and body was a little thin. Not his best stuff, but a nice rare oddity that I was glad to try out.

 415 characters

Photo of clickpush
3.3/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured 750ml bottle to tulip glass. Medium brown body with a small soapy like head that reduces shortly to a cap of thin lace. Everything about this beer seems mediocre - the aroma has hints of funk and fruit but also of cardboard. In the mouth it's the same - the flavors don't coat the whole tongue, don't present the depth that you expect from a Fantome beer. The light body is lowly carbonated and has a somewhat slick mouthfeel. Some farmhouse flavors coming through a Belgian-brown style. I have a feeling this was a much better beer directly after being released.

 570 characters

Photo of PerHops
4.25/5  rDev +7.3%

Photo of silenius
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Well, then. I didn't realize that I wasn't supposed to have this beer! I bought a bottle at the Map Room today and savored it over an hour and a half.

When I bought it, the bartender said the bottle he had was more like a Flanders Oud Bruin. I got none of that. Ahh, the variability of Fantome beers!

A: Pours a hazed ruddy brown with a healthy foamy head that dies a slow and beautiful death finally forming a blanket on top the beer. No lacing.

S. Very light smells here. Molasses, cocoa, light brown sugar maltiness.

T: Chocolate, brown sugar, vanilla, more molasses and a perfect balance with the hoppy bitterness. Truly wonderful.

M: Dry and fluffy with a nice bitter aftertaste from the hops.

D: Very easy to drink.

I thought this was more of a Dubbel in character than a saison. But do I really want to pigeon-hole any Fantome beer?

 862 characters

Photo of mymrnngjckt
3.77/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very drinkable fantome porudct. Picked up a bottle of this at Capone's and enjoyed a few days later.

A: A borwnish murky color. A lot of yeast sediment in this one.
S: Strong Caramel / Malt smell
T: Stong malt finish. Tastes much darker than it actually is.
M: Minimal carbonation in this product.
D: I would drink another one of these. Especially in the fall.

I am a bit biased because I love Fantome products. This is one of the better ones.

 455 characters

Photo of Cascadia
3.65/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got a bottle at the Bier Stein in Eugene.

A- Nice ruby/amber color and good carbonation. Not a very big head, but nice and soft.

S- Earth, estery, with some fig. Belgian yeast smell as well.

T- carmel, sour, a bit of fruit and some yeast taste. Not what I was expecting, but I guess that's Fantome for ya. Almost a ice tea aftertaste. A lot more malt in the taste then most Saisons, hard to call it a Saison really. Almost more like a dark belgian ale.

M- Lots of carbonation, tons of bubbles. Fells good in the mouth

D- overall, a good beer, not my favorite Fantome, but glad I bought it. I think there are better saisons out there. This one does go down easy, though.

 684 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Fantôme Circus from Brasserie Fantôme
Beer rating: 3.96 out of 5 with 26 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.