Fantôme Strange Ghost | Brasserie Fantôme

Fantôme Strange GhostFantôme Strange Ghost
BA SCORE
72.5%
Liked This Beer
3.91 w/ 182 ratings
Fantôme Strange GhostFantôme Strange Ghost
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme
Belgium
fantome.be

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by rastaman on 09-11-2002

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#7,682
Reviews:
125
Ratings:
182
Liked:
132
Avg:
3.91/5
pDev:
14.83%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
49
Gots:
18
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 182 |  Reviews: 125
Reviews by SammyDavisJrJrJr:
Photo of SammyDavisJrJrJr
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Saison Dupont tumbler @ a bit under cellar temperature. Enjoyed with John Hiatt's Slow Turning (on vinyl!)

A - The body has a cloudy, rich amber color. The head is plentiful, with 2+ fingers of rocky head with tight bubble that really stick to the glass. Looks tasty, if that makes any sense...

S - Some underlying nutty, chocolatey and malty sweetness provides some complexity to the aroma, which is dominated by sourness. Alcohol is present the the aroma.

T - Lots of sourness with green apple-like tartness. The almond and chocolate sweetness again gives the taste buds something else to work with. There is a mineral presence in the finish, but almost no earthiness.

D - If I didn't know better, I never would have called that this was a Fantome product. Quite accessible actually, like some of the more exciting Alvinne products I've had (Cuvee Freddy... yum), with sourness meant to accent the other flavors of the beer. Part of me missed the earthiness that I expect from Fantome products, but at the same time, I'm not sure that would have worked at all in this beer. Short version... good beer, but don't expect this to taste like licking a mushroom and black-pepper coated horse-blanket.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of kojevergas
3.96/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another Fantome...had to buy this when I saw it at a Binny's in Chicago in spite of its hefty $16.99 pricetag (I'm used to seeing Fantome at $14.99).

BOTTLE: Green Glass. Green pry-off crown cap covers an internally housed cork. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz format. Simplistic label design. Imported by the Shelton Bastards.

8% ABV. No style is indicated on the label, but the Shelton Bastards' website identifies it as a saison and "Belgian ale brewed with spices and herbs."

Served chilled into stemware.

Has a healthy carbonation pop upon removal of the cork, but there's no egregious overflow or a carbonation explosion as one would find in other Fantome beers (e.g. Artist).

HEAD: ~2cm in height. Off-white in colour. Somewhat frothy, somewhat creamy, soft looking...not a robust head, nor a distinctive one. Lasts a good 8 minutes, which is pretty impressive at 8% ABV.

BODY: Murky yet somewhat vibrant, indicating an unfiltered ale but a lively one with plenty of lingering hazy sediment and yeasty dregs/lees. Sort of an amber-brown. Nontransparent.

It's an interesting appearance for a saison...the haze is there, but its body colour isn't your usual pale copper. Enticing and lively, but not unique or special.

AROMA: Berry tea. Bursts of subtle berry. Bready amber malt. Treacle. White pepper. Delicate amber malts. Complex loose leaf tea-redolent herbs. Dried rose petals. Hibiscus. Rose hips. Possibly sage. White lotus flowers.

It's a very floral tea-evocative aroma, making for a pleasant inviting scent that promises a brew with many layers of subtle delicate flavours. Not a funky saison by any means, nor a brettanomyces yeast or wild flora-emphatic one, but seemingly unique and certainly curiosity-rousing. I can't wait to try it.

Aromatic intensity is average.

TASTE & TEXTURE: As soft as saisons come, with some prickly spice (white pepper in particular) giving the texture some oomph, helping coax additional depth of flavour from the flavour profile without making this otherwise refreshing ale dragging, rough, scratchy, or coarse on the palate. Hits soft tea-like notes of fruit, herb, and flowers, nailing rose hips, hibiscus, white lotus, rose petals, etc. On par with a fine loose leaf tea, never betraying its high ABV. Dried orange peel, a hint of clove, orchard pear, brown sugar, apple skin, dried berries, rosemary...the intricacy of this beer seems unrivaled, yet it's anything but aggressive. Kisses of fennel and anise from the Belgian yeast.

Remarkably soft amber malts sit in the background, giving enough pungency to the malt backbone to support the delicate flavours in this subtly executed ale without eclipsing them or rendering the beer too sweet. Attenuation is near perfect, but there are no traces of brettanomyces yeasts or wild microflora; it's quite a clean saison inasmuch as saisons go. No off-notes, though there is a scintilla of green apple that less experienced drinkers might wrongly flag as such.

Balanced impressively well, going for delicate subtle flavours instead of big bold overbearing ones. Proof a saison needn't be a funk bomb, and that complexity can be present without huge flavours. Depth of flavour is nice, and flavour duration and intensity are above average.

Smooth, wet, silky, perfectly carbonated. Not oily, gushed, hot, boozy, astringent, harsh, rough, or otherwise problematic.

The softness of the mouthfeel helps accentuate the loose leaf tea vibe of the taste, elevating the beer as a whole.

OVERALL: Fantome again proves itself one of the finest producers of the saison style on the planet, if not the finest (depending on your tolerance for inconsistency). I admit I've had buyer's remorse after opening a few Fantome ales; this is not amongst them. Terrifically executed, Strange Ghost lives up to its moniker and delivers a strange - if not unique - expression of the style, staying true to tradition but bringing ample intricacy of flavour to the table via unique selections of herbs and spices. A brew any discerning drinker would enjoy, and a beer I'd happily recommend to friends. Easily amongst the best saisons out there in my book, and dangerously drinkable for its high ABV. Exceptional.

High B+ (3.96) / VERY GOOD

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.48/5  rDev -36.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

2007 release. Not my cup of tea at all. I place this beer in the same category of Cynic, Avery 12, and Rabid Rabbit. It’s just too damned herbal. The aroma and flavor are just completely overbearing with Italian Seasoning. Seriously, this beer is a thyme bomb, it’s a rosemary baby, it’s oregano origami…well you get my point. In addition to the Italian herbs it’s also spicy: cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, maybe even a little cumin or curry. Wtf? Beyond the herbal/spiciness is a miniscule amount of barnyardiness and a lot of lemon but that’s a bout it. About the time I notice the lemon, I’m starting to sneeze. There must be chamomile in here too. The color is great, pale yellow straw with thick white head, moderate carbonation, and a surprisingly creamy body. Drinkability is terrible. This is the only Fantome beer I don’t like. In fact, this is the only Fantome beer that I don’t love.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large green bottle, capped and corked, best before July 2013 (!) notched onto the side of the label. $14.99 @ DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY.

Belgian pale ale? I dont think so, this pours murky, rudy and fully clouded medium chocolaty brown, with a medium tan head that slowly fades and then leaves a healthy splash of delicate and fine lace.

On the nose I'm picking up some ginger, some leafy spice, earthyness and of course, with a Fantome brew a hint of sour and damp mustyness.

Interesting and flavorful brew. Funky spicing, herbal flourishes, earthy, all with a hint of sour, more mustyness, a note of ginger and horseradish.

Love the Fantome brews, different, interesting, flavorful, complex and always worth seeking out and savoring.

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Photo of Mora2000
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours a dark brown color with a large, off-white head. The aroma is full of cherries with some spices and toffee mixed in. There is a little bit of pepper and some yeast mixed in.

The flavor has some lightly tart cherry notes in it, as well as some toffee and a little bit of funk like you get in some of the Fantome saisons. There is also some earthiness in the flavor.

Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of williamjbauer
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of rastaman
3.23/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not one of my favoured fantome brews. Quite spicy and gingery, tart acidic, earthy aroma and taste. A little unbalanced and astringent, still as of the other fantome brews, very interesting, give it a go.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.8/5  rDev -28.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has a dense but clear body that glows a reddish-brown hue like the color of ice tea. The thin yellowish-white head fades to a thin ring with micro bubbles gliding up the side of the glass to the surface.

S- The smell of spring water is strong with an earthy note but a very clean and light smell. As the beer warms there is a light medicinal herbal smell that is mysterious.

T- This beer taste of earthy beets with cinnamon and a hint of mint. The strong flavor of picojoule and licorice with a soapy flavor and tea leaves in the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a slippery texture.

D- I guess I could give this beer high marks for creativity but it would get low marks for drinkability. This beer is rough for one glass but I couldn't get through the whole bottle.

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Photo of acurtis
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%

Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

appearance: amber red, almost copper, with an amazingly thick head that took some time to dissolve into lace and what not.

smell: kinda smelled like the farmhouse it was brewed in. very earthy. almost like fresh cut grass and pine trees. not to mention a nice oak barrel aroma. there were defnitely some spices goin in here as well. with so much going on, it was difficult for me to tell.

taste: what is this i'm tasting? clove? basil? pine? wow, very strange indeed. definitely not unpleasant, but very much not what i was expecting. the alcohol taste is almost non existent to the taste buds 'cause your mind is on 30 other flavors that you're just not expecting.

mouthfeel: crisp, bubbly and refreshing. nice dry finish

drinkability: i could do a bomber, and then i'd have to move on. my mouth felt fooled and confused.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Don't even know what to call this color...dirty reddish/brown, sort of muddy looking, with a huge, fluffy, everlasting beige head.

Big herbal aroma, reminding of evergreen/spruce trees. Lots of succulent fruit character, especially young and nearly unripe berries of all sorts. A different sort of mineral tone, and a good one at that. Perfume-y and flowery as well. This is an incredibly enticing, enjoyable smell.

The taste doesn't come off quite as complex as the smell, but there's nothing to regret on the tongue. Mostly berry sweetness, big lemony citrus, a very earthy character (presumably the yeast) and very strong herbal tea. A slight pucker in the finish, also fairly dry and quite crisp. Maybe a tad over-carbonated/tingly for my liking, but not abrasive.

Yet another Fantome beer that is fully satisfying, unique, totally drinkable and, well, just plain wonderful. And delivered with the naturalness and old-school artisan craftsmanship they're known for. That's how they roll over there, apparently.

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Photo of Sammy
4.54/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Amber colour. Amazing aromas of thyme, fennel. Light-medium mouthfeel , undercarbonated- wonderful, creamy, citrus, ginger, anise, lemon Herbal tea yeast-cola . Smooth, alkcohol well disguised. Mondial 2005. Get it, drink it. Another Fantome I will have again.

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Photo of augustgarage
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A Fantôme bottle with a best by date actually marked! Best before July, 2013. Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Troubadour tulip.

Burnt umber body, cloudy but revealing a gradient of highlights from chocolate to chamoisee to copper. A fluffy mountain of mottled wheat colored foam recedes to a lasting finger of soft peaks. Dense creamy lacing clings to the side of the glass like fungus sprouting from a log.

Rye, sourdough starter, cocoa, capsicum, and humid stone (like the bottom of a well?) fragrances.

An odd ("strange"?) yet coherent assemblage of flavors on the palate ranging from strawberries and melon to cardamom, sesame, and wild yeast. Toast and maple notes are hinted at mid-palate, but a complex "barnyard" sourness along with some alfalfa-like hop notes balances out the sweetness. Faint lactic tartness and esters vie for your attention throughout. Bready, faintly tart finish but still quite smooth. [My girlfriend's assessment: "It tastes like an attic."]

Soft, pillowy, medium-bodied mouthfeel. ABV is perfect for the style.

Excellent dark farmhouse ale, though one of the sweeter offerings from Fantôme I've sampled...

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Herbal (oregano?, rosemary?), spicy (coriander, cinnamon,, ...nutmeg?), fruity (orange peel), and grassy - the Strange Ghost is certainly unusual!

It pours a hazy deep amber body beneath a full head of creamy off-white foam that holds quite well and leaves some very nice lace about the glass.

The nose is spicy, herbal, and a touch lemony with just a little bit of malt in the background. There's barnyard character here but it's somewhat overshadowed by the herbs.

It's medium bodied and surprisingly a bit creamy in the mouth with a very fine, restrained, natural carbonation. (And I'm not sure a zestier carbonation would work as it would accentuate the spiciness).

The flavor delivers the same herbal, spicy, and citrusy character that the nose does with some grassy and floral hops thrown in over a lightly sweet and honeyish malt. Surprisingly, it finishes fairly short and straightforward - dry but not bitter, with some lingering honey, herbs, and orange peel (and, perhaps, anise and cinnamon).

It's a little bit odd at first, but it grows on you; and you have to give them credit for originality. Nicely done!

 1,136 characters

Photo of ElGordo
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from the 750ml corked bottle into a wine glass. Body is an opaque golden-amber color topped by a small, lively white head. Aroma of typical funky Fantome Belgian goodness - spicy, with a touch of mustiness. Palate is a fairly sweet malt character up front, tempered by a mild herby character (licorice, sweet basil). Towards the back of the mouth some astringency develops, followed by a strange finish that is heavy on notes of spruce and wintermint. Body is again typical Fantome - nicely carbonated, with a lightly creamy character. Quite interesting, and enjoyable, but not the easiest-drinking beer around.

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Photo of scott
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

V.07

Fantome is Fantome. Unique, unleashed and unafraid. Sometimes dangerously inconsistent. I love them. This last batch (portfolio 2007) has left me unimpressed. To me, the signature has been duplicated by someone.

Very expressive pour, with a billowing head. Fluffy/medium-tightness/enormous.
Dark amber with passive carbonation lingering in the background.
Smell is of spruce tips and herbs followed by a light malt backnote. Minty and pleasant in the mouth. Lime.
This is easy to drink. Refreshingly crisp due to the lime highlights. A unique twist, but nothing to twist my panties into a bunch over. Try it.

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Photo of grownfool
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of prototypic
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Strange Ghost pours a dark amber or copper color. It's very hazy, but has really nice garnet highlights when held to light. A vanilla colored head caps it off and stands nearly two fingers tall. It recedes to a surface covering quickly, but holds there for a while. Lacing was sticky and moderate.

The nose is interesting. It's earthy, herbal, and spicy up front. There's a little pepper, light cinnamon, and ginger. It's a little musky and grassy throughout. Belgian yeast is noted, but isn't nearly as prominent as I'd hoped. There's a hint of sour cherry, but it's very subtle. Other secondary flavors include leather and tobacco. Alcohol is masked extremely well. It's not bad, but it's not great either. It's just...a little out there.

The flavor is similar to the nose. It is spicy and a little herbal up front. Light ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon mix well with pepper. Earthy notes are strong throughout. There's a bit of a grassy flavor, but it's not vegetal. A little sour cherry and tobacco are noted at the secondary level. There's a little Belgian yeast, but more would be better. A light hoppy burst kicks in late. It's a little bitter, but adds some zeal. That alone kicks the flavor score up a notch. Alcohol is damn near absent completely. Finishes spicy, herbal, bitter, and slightly dry.

Strange Ghost has a body that's on the very light side of medium. It feels too thin. A little more of a malt presence would probably resolve that issue. Nonetheless, it's not bad by any stretch. Carbonation is low, and it's nearly smooth. Drinkability is good. The flavor is pretty good, and is definitely interesting. The 8% abv is deceptive. For a beer that size, it goes down easy.

Strange Ghost is interesting beer. I wouldn't call it a BSPA. It seems more like a Saison, but it's not quite that either. It's...strange. It's not my favorite Brasserie Fantôme release, but it's still good beer. I'd prefer a little more Belgian yeast and more body (malts?). Not that Brasserie Fantôme cares what I think. Good beer in any event. Definitely worth picking up a bottle. Do it.

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Photo of cjacobsen
2.68/5  rDev -31.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured a cloudy brown with about an eighth inch of head. Reddish tints to it, almost a maroon.

Smelled sweet and fruity. Decent amount of plum with a wine sense to it. There's a lot of spices in here. It almost has a fake nose of a sour.

There was a lot of taste up front but it diminished almost as quickly as it hit with the mid taste and ending being almost nothing. There was a lot of citrus peel and spice and fruit, but it really blands out.

The beer was kind of tart on the tongue, kind of like a more sour saison, but it was flattened out and not at all what I expected.

This beer is weird. I'd go beyond strange on this one. From a brewery that I hear a lot of great things about and have had some great stuff from, this wasn't really much of any awesome shock. It was actually kind of a let down.

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Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of Evahflow
4.62/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Small cap of head on a Murky Deep Amber/Browish body.
S- Classic Fantome funk out of the gate. Jazz Apple/Anjou Pears, Musky Melon, Some Herbal Tea like Spices, Tannic Dark fruit(Berries/Cherries)
T- Classic Fantome yeast Combo Described in the smell(Apple/Pear/Melon) Unidentified spicing really hitting all the right notes in the background. A slightly sweet Cherry Juice tartness to the finish. There is a lot going on in this one.
M- Very lightly carbonated and rather creamy. Medium-low bodied.
O- Overall this is the best fresh Fantome I've had in a while. Tons of flavors and too easy to drink. This is an unreal beer experience.

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Photo of Orrshow
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to Goldorak for passing this on in CanBif 2006. Much appreciated.

Appearance – Pours a nice reddish color reminding me of the inside of a grapefruit. It’s quite cloudy and has a lot of off white head on top. The head dissipates some and about half a centimeter retains throughout leaving some lacing.

Smell – Lots of ginger and apple cider aromas. There is lemon spice, coriander, grapefruits, sugar, and cinnamon. I smell herbs as well as pine trees. Extremely pleasant.

Taste – Apple cider is very prevalent to start. I taste some sourness, lots of ginger, coriander, and herbs. It tastes just as it smells leaving me somewhat confused as there are other flavors I cannot pinpoint. Although its nice, it is somewhat faint compared to the smell.

Mouthfeel – A little thin with a very appropriate carbonation. Not bad.

Drinkability – Very good. I enjoyed drinking this a ton and downed the bomber fast. Hid its 8.0% ABV well. Now I’m near drunk.

Hope I can taste more from this brewery some day. This was a very nice beer.

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Photo of zonker17
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Cloudy light brown draft pour, small foam ring, no lacing. Clean nose with some dried fruits, leather. Super spicy flavors, clove, anise, some fruit sweetness. A bit above average body and carbonation.

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Photo of nesta
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

purchased a 75cl corked bottle and served in a glass.

to me the taste is very strongly characterized by ginger, almost to the point where it is the only taste i can pull out. also a number of other herbs and spices, it seems like coriander, possibly some earthier spices like cumin, perhaps some thyme or rosemary as some others have suggested. a refreshingly citrus like quality exists, which compliments the ginger/herbal flavor nicely.

the head is virtually nonexistant after a few seconds, it is a relatively dark copper color, and it smells absolutely wonderful.

i really like this beer, but i couldnt drink it all the time and could understand other people not liking it particularly well.

all in all i think its as much of an artisinal beer as anyone could hope to brew, and i think its magnificent, but i could also say its not for everybody and not for every occasion.

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Fantôme Strange Ghost from Brasserie Fantôme
Beer rating: 72.5% out of 100 with 182 ratings
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