Fantôme Pissenlit | Brasserie Fantôme

234 Reviews
Fantôme PissenlitFantôme Pissenlit

Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-24-2002

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Reviews: 234 | Ratings: 485
Photo of
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle.

Slightly hazy, deep caramel color. Large, rocky, off-white head.

Floral and citrus, dandelions? Bit of toffee/caramel. Scent of earth -- very faint. Melons and some other tropical fruit.

Initially, bitter more than sweet - balanced out a lot as it warmed. Aftertaste of flowers and grass (again - not sure what dandelions taste like, so...). ABV incredibly well hidden. Somewhat bready in there, but really buried in the tart.

Medium in body. Medium - low in carbonation. Fantome is usually bubblier. Dry. Faint alcohol warming.

Not bad, but not as complex as other Fantomes. Hiver and Black Ghost are still my favorites, though. This one seemed to be all about the dandelion flavor, and there really wasn't that much other stuff going on, flavorwise. Very smooth, and quite easy to drink.

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Photo of trep
4/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle 2004 Vintage.

Murky golden hued body. Thin, white head on top. Aroma is very floral, like a bouquet of flowers. I guess the "brewed using dandelions" would have let me know that. Very grassy hops with a bit of sour funkiness, typical for saisons.

Very refreshing beer for Easter Sunday. Light bodied, high carbonation. Very sweet and estery. Hops are balanced to the sweetness of the malt and sourness of the, i'm guessing, yeast. Finishes dry with a bit of white-grape aftertaste.

Light bodied with a good bit of carbonation. Very very drinkable.

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Photo of cbl2
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2/23/2007 $8.99 750 mL 8.00% Bottled 2004.


Pours a brilliant dark copper hue infused with orange highlights. Topped by a thin haze of white foam that settles rapidly.


Herbaceous barnyard funk dominates with some notes of fresh flowers.


Great chewy mouthfeel that starts off with a wonderful sour aspect. Notes of tart cherries and fresh cut flowers vie for dominance. Finish is long and pleasantly bitter. Possibly the best Saison I've had since Southampton's Fleur. This has the same sensation of being brewed with fresh flowers, which is a very appealing flavor.

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Photo of scruffwhor
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a hazey apricot sienna. Good head with robust lacing. Good bubbles too. Very cool when some of the sediment mixes with the brew, it turns into a very opaque amber.

Smell- A floral bouquet of malt. Smells like Spring has sprung in Belgium mixed with ripe fruits.

Taste- Tastes lke a geat saison. Floarl, dry malts that make you smack your lips with both tartness and refreshing carbonation. You wouldn't know there were dandelions in this beer unless the lable told you. Great malts and some stale tasting hops.

Mouthfeel- Wet yet dry feel. Just great and very well balanced with a robust body. Very tight palate overall.

Another great saison from the saison masters at Fantome.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.63/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 2004. Cloudy, orange/mahogany appearance with a full 1/2 inch head settling into a nice crust. There are plenty of flavors to note in the smell: spiced fruit, alcohol, pepper smoke, an hint of clove and some floral funk. Interesting. The flavor seems much different from the aroma as the malt tastes caramel-like with an aged smokiness and watery finish. I pick up some melon and tangy fruit as we go along, but I think this might be getting past its prime a bit. The body is slightly thin with a carbonation that starts out with some umph, but falls flat in the end. This beer had a decent drinkablility, and based on the flavors I think it would be better to only age about a year perhaps. Even when I tried a different bottle 8 months ago it was more interesting...

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Photo of Jredner
3.74/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma is light and fruity with some concentrated floral and sharp sugary candy notes. The body is a caramel/orane color and holds a diminishing thumb thick, bubbly, tan head. Caramel is large in the fore with some bready undertones. Bitter citrus peel and muted spice notes appear mid range. Feels sharp and biting on the tongue. Slighly herbal note in the finish balances the sweet caraml that runs long into the aftertaste.

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Photo of Boto
4.35/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2004 bottle: I got a good sized "pop" when I pulled the cork, and then a small overflow. Fortunately, not much beer was lost. Needless to say, there is a quite large almost tan head on this one. The beer itself is a murky, lighter mahogany shade. The aroma is a tad lighter than I would have expected, but still quite nice. Notes of breadiness as well as some floral notes. Suprisingly tart taste, yet no fruitiness that you would usually expect with a tart beer. I’m trying to come up with a good description of the taste, other than pleasant. It is very complex and difficult to discern individual tastes. A very good brew.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.13/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coppery ripe apricot with a hint of coral red. I was expecting a hue much closer to dandelion yellow, but am not disappointed in the least. In fact, the color is the best part about the appearance. I am a little let down by the clarity though; perhaps a little yeasty murk is yet to come. The golden beige cap is creamier and less airy than on most beer of this style. A good look overall.

The nose is saison-like; no surprise there. It'll be harder to describe what makes it so. A warm, earthy spiciness is its primary feature, along with an enticing herbalness. I don't believe that I can pick out the aroma of dandelions though, largely because I'm not sure what they actually smell like (I'll resist the urge to go out to my backyard and find out). Not outstanding, but pleasant enough in a rustic, farmhouse sort of way.

Three offerings--so far--are hardly enough to make such a blanket statement, but I don't believe that Brasserie Fantome brews anything other than good (or freakin' outstanding) beer. Pissenlit is solidly in the good camp. There's no way that I can pick out the various flavors so I won't even try. Again though, nothing strikes me as obviously dandelion-like. It would help if I knew what the little yellow weeds actually tasted like.

There's a bit of a toasted pale malt sweetness underlying all the yeast and spices and herbs. The potpourri that is the latter two is appealing to me and is becoming more so the more I drink. Alcohol is next to absent on the palate, another Fantome trademark. Whatever sugar is present initially says 'adieu' by the finish so that the beer ends up favoring modestly bitter and drying. Crisp doesn't apply. Refreshing does. As does delicious. As does compulsively drinkable.

A fine storm cloud of yeast has now appeared in the glass (I'm in the bottom third of the bottle) and the fascinating color is some kind of beautiful. I don't usually break out the big numbers unless there's a better than decent display of lace, but what the hell. This is great looking beer.

The body/mouthfeel is neither light and airy, nor is it full and sticky; it's somewhere in the vast middle. It does have a quality feel though and the fact that there's something less than a Belgianesque amount of carbonation doesn't detract from my enjoyment in the least. A hint of stickiness on the back end is a nice feature.

Pissenlit is French for dandelion and translates as 'pee in bed' due to the diuretic properties of the plant. I don't feel a pressing need to finish this review (and I'm not in bed anyway), but I may feel differently once milliliters 600-750 have been consumed. If Brasserie Fantome didn't exist, beer geeks would have to invent it. I love the idea of a small, talented, dedicated, quirky Belgian brewer who thinks outside the box. And I love his creations even more.

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Photo of akorsak
2.59/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

This is a 750 mL bottle of Pissenlit 2003 served in a goblet. The ale is cold.

A: The saison has a hazy yellow-orange color with big head that does not lace well.

S: The smell is very funky, barnyard, almost unpleasant.

T: Taste has a slightly lactic, pucker edge. Flavor is very gamey and funky. There are no discernible flavors that grab you, as the beer has taken the natural fermentation too far.

M: Not good, the flavors are at once sour and harsh.

D: Below average, pass on this for Fantome Saison. Again Fantôme confounds me. The ale is cutting edge, but too far off said edge, making it difficult to enjoy.

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Photo of errantnight
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another success from fantome... although not as unqualified as their saison saison or the brise bons bons (for me, anyway).

Pours a much deeper, darker straw then I expected, distinctly brown hues with about a finger's worth of head into a tulip. Vaguely cloudy. Intriguing. Engaging. Me likey.

Aromas are distinctly floral and earthy. Muddied candy, if there were such a thing. A little sweetness in there. Rich and funky. Yum.

Taste? Just a hint of a disappointment. I'm not sure that I'm wild about it at first. Distinctly, and heavily, vegetal. Not quite the funky barnyard "real" saison thang. Which is incredibly innacurate to say, of course, this was merely my initial impression before I straightened myself out. And drank more.

Intended to be shared, this wasn't well received, so I consumed most of the bottle. Glad I did. This grew on me, and quickly. I kept thinking: "this tastes like daisies, and not just the way they smell. Like you ripped them up from the ground, roots and dirt and all, and somehow concocted a tasty beverage out of it." I hear this was brewed with sunflowers. Or something. Spot on. Malt notes are smooth, subdued, and definitely a little rich, but not toasty. This would perhaps be a better description of the mouthfeel, which is bigger than some saisons, but smooth, and the mild, refreshing vegetal notes (really, this is a positive) make this a delightful sipper (and at 8%, just right).

In the end, I don't love it, and won't revisit as frequently as other fantomes, but as with all their brews I've tasted, will always have a home in my fridge. Would love to experiment in the kitchen with this bad boy.

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Photo of ggaughan
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled on the 4th of July with my family. This 750 ml bottle did not have the label on it so I could not tell the year. The beer poured a hazy amber color with a thick white trademark Fantome head. Yummy. The aroma was a bit funky, earthy based on the yeast character of this brew and there was a bit of dried fruit notes as well. The taste is a bit tart and slighty sweet with some definite flavor of earthiness (grass and probably the dandelion flower that it was brewed with). The body is light to medium and made for a perfect summertime saison.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The hazy brownish orange body sports a big, tan head, from which emanates a semi-funky, somewhat tart aroma. The flavor of Pissenlit is rustic, earthy, and elusive... something I couldn't quite put my finger on... But I will say this: this brew goes down oh so easy. It's a unique drinking experience that I certainly must recommend.

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Photo of pentathlete
4.38/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Damn fine for a friggin' weed that I spend hundreds of dollars per year to clear from my lawn.

Poured into a couple of crystal goblets (for the wife and I) a cloudy dark hazy particle suspended liquid with a 1/4 inch head that stubbornly stuck around. No lacing. Horse blanket, green grass (no high tide, though, maybe an "oyster saison"?) and that dry Belgian yeast scent. Taste is a blend of dry malts and apparently dandelion (a hit of chlorophyll, I guess), just a treat of smooth flavor. The mouthfeel is full and satisfying. This is an incredibly easy beer to consume. If you can find it and enjoy.

EDIT: I looked at other reviews and I have to add that I did not notice a single sour note in this brew. Nothing vinegarish or tart that I could detect. This was an excellent saison with a "green" flavor, presumably from the dandelions. Check the dates...if this beer is fresh and well maintained then it should be a hit.

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Photo of deBeers
3.6/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was so much better once my palate adjusted to it. It was tart, acidic, almost like a cantillon I had that night, yet oh so drinkable once you could get into it. Very dry and SOUR but surprisingly irrestiblile if your taste buds don't run away. Hang it you think you can and it might just be a beer worth savoring because this is very unique..


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Photo of Sayson
3.9/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle capped and corked. 2005 vintage. Served in an oversized wine glass

a: opaque, amber in color, nice head good lacing.

s:floral, spicy, earthy and an underlying tartness

t: complex, a bit sweet, tart through and through

m: coating, very nice mouthfeel really interesting aftertaste residual tartness

d: This beer is not as drinkable as I expected it would be. It'sfull flavored and complex, but I don't long for the next sip.

Pissenlit is a great experience and the boys in Soy are to be commended for brewing a fine beer. Check it out.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.83/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is for the aged bottle I bought straight from the brewery. He apparently found it somewhere in the barn and didn't quite know what to do with it, I was more than happy to take it off his hands! Dated 2000, it didn't have a cork, just a crown.

Appearance: Quite a darker shade of brown, the head was more subdued and was greyer, and had a few dusky chunks in there...

Smell: Wowza! The caramel was bit more darker, it had sort of a scotchy, oaky/vanilla aroma to it, almost as if it were aged in wood!

Taste: It tastes a bit metallic at first, then it tasted earthy and more acidic than the younger one, it was salty, with balsamic vinegar flavors and a dry finish that had a more conspicuous alcohol presence. It wasn't a unanimous favorite, but I absolutely adored it!

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Photo of GClarkage
4.15/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11/01/05- Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle with no dating. Have had in storage for about 3/4 of a year. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Odd looking color for a saison. A very clouded orange, almost amber pour. Quite a large foamy head with moderate lacing.

Smell- Appropraite Fantome nasal candy. Funk for sure. Rotted lemons in a grassy field. Not a super strong stench as the regular saison that Fantome puts out. This one you have to actually sniff to get some. The other one eats through your skin.

Taste- Compared to the regualr saison, this one is much more subdued. Good tart lemon flavor with a bit of sweetness to go with the sour. Very earthy and floral tastes. Not sure what dandilions taste like, but maybe this is it? Whatever it is, it's very tasty.

Mouthfeel- Heavily carbonated approaching champagne and wine cooler quality.

Drinkability- If the bubbles would calm down this would be even better. Fairly difficult to drink the whole think due to the cabonation for someone going it solo. The taste is worth the try though.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.45/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Printemps 2004. Finally sitting down to another Fantome..this one brewed with dandelions of all things. Cork escapes with a nice pop...pours from the bottle a dark murky orange amber with a two finger head of billowy foam. Fast moving carbonation races up and allows the head to linger indefinetely. Aromas start with beautiful lemony grains, wildflower notes and light fruits (green apple, pear) abound with a well placed underlying earthy funkiness. Hints of cooked veggies with plenty of yeasty tones. Slight woody tannins. Immensely complex and's hard to describe with the written word the array of scents contained within my glass. Beautiful, funky, lovely....this is the aroma I live for in a truly artisnal saison. Thank you Dany!

First sip brings an elegant light fruity maltiness with notes of lemon, green apple and pear intertwined. Hints of cooked veggies and flowers weave in and out. I have no idea what dandelions taste like..but they must be contributing the vegetal floral hints here! Earthy, yeasty, woody funkiness works its magic and adds a slightly sour/tart twang to each subsequent sip. Slightly sweet with a wonderful aftertaste. I find this to be a magnificent saison. Much like the regular Fantome saison except with a more earthy, floral twist. Just another reason I love experimental brewing.

Mouthfeel is rather light with a vibrant carbonation. Slightly dry and exceptionally refreshing. Flavors hit every taste bud on the way down. I wish it was not so hard for me to find this brew or really any Fantome in general. I have yet to be disappointed. This is an all day drinkable saison even at 8%. If you enjoy true, artisnal this one out as you will not be dissapointed. A uniquely different triumph!

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Photo of putnam
4.2/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The color resembles the caramel color somewhere between the black and yellow on a roasted chicken carcass. Cloudy with murky sediment stirred up from travel. Lemon-drizzled zucchini bread aromas. Faintly herbal. Boldly spiced with hardened burned sugar glaze over nut meal and wild northern herbs flavors, along with a heaping dose of oak. Fixed chicory bitterness serves exotic, pulpy texture. Loaded with Brother's Grimm and Ali Baba images of roasted herb and spice flavor. This must have been made with a mortar and pestle as well as a kettle. The outcome is never heavy. Tonic-like, yes. Burnt root bitterness prevails on the lemony, oak-flavored finish.

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Photo of IronDjinn
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Came in a green 750 ml magnum, capped and corked. Second bottle of beer I ever had to apply a corkscrew to. The label is a folky ink line drawing, a figure blowing on the dandelion that is serving as the first "i" in the name of the beer, against a yellow backdrop, and surrounded by grey.

Pours out a cloudy Red Rose black tea-like hue, like home-made iced tea, a deep deep amber. Massive slightly off-white head, creamy and chunky with fantastic retention. Clingy nets of lace.

The nose is earthy and herbal, dandelion and nettle, I've passed through many pleasant mountain meadows that smell like this, reminds me of hiking. Light citrus and honey in the background, one has to really search for it beyond the surface.

Difficult to explain why I like it, even to myself, but I sure do like the taste of this stuff. Crisp biscuity malt drenched in honey, faint chocolate wafer, clover, light citrus throughout, a bit grassy with a very floral finish, slight herbal astringency on the finish thanks to the dandelions. Light and unassuming all the way through, and that's half the charm, it's all in the right place, even if I can't fit it all together on my own. A wonderful surprise, especially having the Black Ghost knock me on my ass in bewilderment. A fantastic experiment with the saison style, this herbal concoction rises to the top with its subtlety and charm.

Mouthfeel is rich and smooth, not as effervescent as I once anticipated, it is light, but not thin, manages to remain velvety.

This Pissenlit is a real treasure, crappy label and all, it's what's inside that counts, just like your mom and Oprah always told you. There's a subtle beauty to it, in the aroma, the taste and the mouthfeel, this is a beer that lets you know you don't have to be smacked over the head with extremes to experience the finer points of craftsmanship. If Phyl21ca were here at the moment, I'd hug him, but will also gladly salute him for the fine trade.

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Photo of UncleJimbo
4.18/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This saison poured a cloudy, iced-tea brown color with white foam that settled but clung to the glass a little bit. The smell was lightly tart. The taste was nicely tart with a bit of sourness and very low hop bitterness. The mouthfeel was dry and tart with medium body and medium-low carbonation. The lightly tart taste lingered pleasantly. This was a very nice and drinkable saison.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.59/5  rDev -12%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured an orangey color ale with a huge off-white head with perfect retention. Aroma of light spices which possibly includes cumin with some subtle funky yeast. Finish is slightly bitter but I would have expected a bit more at the end. Body is way too thin which kind of ruined part of the experience for me. Alcohol is well hidden. Overall, this is a very fine saison but I guess I was expecting another funky spicy monster which is not what this is about it seems.

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Photo of NoLiberty
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this beer from Fantome on tap at Red Bones in Boston.

Appearance - Pours into goblet with a full clean white head with high lacing. Body color is clean strong amber with orange marmelade edging.

Aroma - My initial recognition was a fresh water, sandy-bottomed pond. Musty and earthy with hints wild clover flowers.

Taste - Cranberry front, mild fruit middle with clean hop-crabapple finish and nice dry bitterness. The entire follow-through is reminiscent of fresh cut firewood, like sweet wet wood.

Mouth - Full-bodied with good building carbonation in the mouth. Foams and fills the mouth and carries flavors throughout palate.

Drinkability - This works about as well as nature can. Please more.

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Photo of TPSReports
3.68/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The large capped and corked bottle poured several nice glasses for friends.

This was my first beer from Fantome, and it was quite enjoyable.

Poured with a nice off-white head, and cloudy light amber/yellow coloring.

The taste was fruity with a large dose a wheat. Very little hops, but a slight malt finish. When I say fruit, I mean citrus -- lemons, grapefruits, oragnes and limes. Quite a thirst quencher.

This was a nice brew on an 82 degree humid evening in Northern Alabama in June.


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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.09/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a dark brown and clear, saisony with some organically-caused cloudiness. humongous head that craters quickly but evenly, sparse light lace. lots o' bubbles, almost champagnic. aroma is utterly orgasmic. equal parts sweet tripel-y butter indulgence and citrus hop-free grapefruit acid enrobed by the proverbial horse blanket blacterium. some macintosh apple hints in the nose as well. deep aroma brings out a burnt sugar.

taste is more bitter than expected, mostly botanical from the dandelion flower essence. sweet cantaloupe and honeysuckle all mixed up in the belgian sugar profile. finishes dry but not impairingly bitter.

expertly contrived for such an experimental, off-the-wall brew.

not a fruit/vegetable beer?

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Fantôme Pissenlit from Brasserie Fantôme
4.08 out of 5 based on 485 ratings.
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