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:
#7,696
Reviews:
125
Ratings:
182
Liked:
132
Avg:
3.91/5
pDev:
14.83%
Alströms:
0
 
 
Wants:
49
Gots:
18
Trade:
0
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 182 |  Reviews: 125
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.

 260 characters

Photo of acurtis
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%

Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of t0rin0
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

 4,213 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

2010: Batch variation is pretty wide for this beer, so i'm reviewing again (sour bottle). Label says BBD: July 2013.

This bottle more resembles Rodenbach, it's a dark red amber with a fluffy head. Acetic sour cherry nose, some leathery must and savory cookie spices. A touch of lactic sourness (yogurt, funky cheese rind) hits briefly too. Interesting and complex, not the spice rack saison I remember.

Tart stone fruit, cherry pits, grapes and dried fruit leather. Some peppery, earthy notes in the dry finish. Effervescent and full feeling, yet it vanishes quickly in the finish. Well balanced wild elements with malt and spices in check too. Everything works well together, and it's reminiscent of an Oud Bruin almost. Love it...

04-22-2007
A- / 4.2
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | drink: 4.5

Had this beer 3 times, now getting around to a review. This bottle is most certainly aged, according to the importer, at least 3-4 years.

Pours a reddish amber with fine clarity. Lots of lace, initially a 3 finger head, that dissipates to a generous skim. Belgian through and through.

Aroma is earthy, sweet, and herbal. Almost a licorice, with a good dose of pepper.

Flavors have mellowed somewhat in time, but still an eclectic and diverse palate. Anise, pepper, thyme, licorice, really a bouquet of herbs, with a bitter and peppery finish. Very drinkable, medium carbonation, favorable dry malty body. Check this out if you can find it.

 1,460 characters

Photo of oline73
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a murky dark amber color with a half finger of off white head. Has decent retention and lacing.

Smell: A bit sweet from the malt, mildly funky. Somewhat fruity, hints of mellon.

Taste: More sour and bitter than the other Fantome offerings I have had. Herbal and funky, again, I'm picking up what reminds me of mellon and some strong citrus notes. The finish is bitter, perhaps a bit hoppy.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with smooth carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I thought this one was pretty good, but didn't like it as much as the other Fantome beers I have tried. A bit too bitter in the finish.

 658 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Sample at the Mondiale 2005: Poured an extremely cloudy color ale with big thick head with good retention. Aroma of juniper and rosemary are extremely easy to detect. Taste is a mix between the rosemary and the Belgian yeast with a real farmhouse taste behind it. I really enjoyed this non-conventional beer.

 308 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

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

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before July 2013. Pours slightly hazy and cloudy ruby red color with a 2 finger fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big cherry, strawberry, apple, pear, pepper, clove, hay, straw, grass, caramel, leather, light funk, and herbal earthiness; slight oxidized cardboard note, but not bad. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity and spicy yeast esters. Taste of pear, apple, cherry, strawberry, pepper, clove, hay, straw, grass, floral, caramel, bread, light leather, light funk, and herbal earthiness. Lightly tart fruitiness on the finish; with lingering notes of dark and light fruits, pepper, clove, hay, straw, grass, floral, caramel, bread, light leather, light funk, and herbal earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast ester flavors; with a nice malt/spicy ester balance; and zero cloying flavors present after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a slick, fairly crisp, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with hardly any warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a damn nice farmhouse ale. Nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity/spicy yeast esters; very smooth to sip on. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,369 characters

Photo of mothman
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter

Pours a large layer of beige head head. Good retention with thick lacing. Color is a clear copper bronze.

Aroma: Really unique. Some roasted malts, a lot of spice. Brown sugar and mint. Some chocolate. Kind of malty.Lime. Very light farmhouse funk flavors.

Taste: Minty or lime flavored. Yeasty and bready malts. Some fruits. Kind of sour flavored. Sour apples. Astringent kind of. More sour than funky. Not big on the farmhouse area.

Mouthfeel: Spiced and soured. Medium bodied with a good amount of carbonation. Ends with a bit too much spice.

Overall, I enjoyed this, but it had a bit too much ‘strange’ spice. I wish it had a bit more farmhouse funk. The sour flavors were kind of enjoyable however.

 732 characters

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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 jlindros
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light fizzy head, darker toasted auburn brown color, murky.

Nose is sweet toasty malts, light saison malts, light spices, light herbs, bit of dark fruits and Belgian yeast.

Taste is toasty malts, little sweet, very slight wild barnyard funk, light tinny flavor, saison malts, some fruits like fig etc, light spices maybe cardamom, nuts, cinnamon (?), some spices at least, a dry finish with light funk.

Mouth is medium bodied with lighter but decent enough carbonation.

Overall I was a little disappointed, I know their beers are usually really good, but this was a little flat and sure strange. NOt a bad beer, but doesn't live up to the Fantome name.

 656 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Capped and corked bottle courtesy of bmanning.

Pours brown with a large, thick, and foamy tan head. Large amounts of lacing. Nose is quite strange. I get some mildly funky notes along with ginger, cinnamon, and other spices. However, the nose is dominated by something everyone seemed to describe as akin to swtrawberry seeds. Everything was incongruent and didn't really come together. Taste was much better with the apices integrating and the strawberry seed scent fading into the funk. Good mouthfeel like nearly all Fantome beers. Nice complexity and quite drinkable.

 572 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Glazed terra cotta with a hint of cherry red when backlit. What an interesting color. The bleached sandstone colored crown is tight-bubbled and is turning out to be impressively persistent. So far, imperceptable meltage has led to no more than a thick collar of lace. This might be the darkest BSPA on record.

The aroma is... strange. That's pretty much a given when it comes to Brasserie Fantome and is the reason why so many of us love their beer. It's also intriguing, fascinating and mysterious. I had no luck determining specific ingredients, beyond 'brewed with spices and herbs' seen on the label. The only one I'm (relatively) sure of is ginger. Perhaps cardamom as well.

Strange Ghost isn't as good as most of its fellow Fantome ales. It's still good beer, but it isn't especially good Fantome beer. That's what happens when the vast majority of your lineup is outstanding. I'm not even sure that it's strange, as least compared to the other offbeat stuff coming out of Soy. And it isn't a BSPA. Saison seems like a better choice.

The malt backbone is on the insubstantial side and doesn't contribute much flavor. Nor do the hops. That's to be expected when there are so many herbs and spices in the house. Specifics? Whoo boy. I'll stick with ginger and cardamom and... who knows what else. SG is also cedar-like and herbaceous and citrus juice sour. This is a tough one to nail down.

The mouthfeel is fairly typical of this brewery. In other words, it's light without being thin and isn't anywhere near as bubbled as your average Belgian ale. It works well enough, but it could stand to be slightly more full and slightly more carbonated.

On further consideration, Strange Ghost is a bit strange. If you've never had one of Mr. Prignon's creations, it's bound to be exceptionally strange. For those who are new to the wild, wacky, wonderful world of Fantome, I'd suggest starting with the out-of-this world Saison or the excellent four seasons saisons: Printemps, Ete, Automne and Hiver. Especially Ete and Hiver.

 2,029 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

nice dark brown with light ruby highlights that popped up around the outside and edges of the glass when held up. A nice sized tan head pops up on the top of the glass and sits there for a nice bit of time before settling back down and leaving a good amount of lacing around the sides.

Aroma is dominated by raisins and dark fruit early on. A really nice blend of light spices, roasted malts and almost a Smokey note start to permeate the air as it warms up and starts to come around full circle. Light notes of chocolate even find their way into the mix along with earthy malt notes and touches of figs. This carries over very well into the flavor as the first sips just spill dark fruits and spiced run notes all along the palate and a rich roasted malt note really starts to let itself be known. Really nicely done and a great blend of flavors. Especially as it starts to warm and fully opens up. Small hints of dark spices finish off the flavor as it rolls off the tongue and a nice and smooth

 998 characters

Photo of mdfb79
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 01/21/11 notes. Brought to a small tasting.

a - Pours a murky amber color with one inch of white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of herbs, fruity malts, spice, and yeast.

t - Tastes a little like pizza sauce, fruity malts, tomatoes, herbs, and spice.

m - Light body and moderate carbonation.

d - A tiny bit weird in the taste due to the tomatoes; not my favorite fantome beer. Wouldn't seek out again.

 426 characters

Photo of womencantsail
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Lee for this one. Always appreciate a new Fantome beer.

A: The pour is an opaque, dark amber color with a huge off-white head.

S: A very spicy and herbal nose with a lot of rosemary, sage, and perhaps even a little juniper. There is some fruit to it, too. Mild aromas of tart cherries and definitely a good amount of raisins.

T: The flavor starts off sweet with a light tartness. There are sour cherries and raisins, and even a bit of dates. Some sage and juniper gives is a strong herbal quality and there is a little bit of tart lemon on the back.

M: The body is medium and the carbonation is on the high side of medium.

O: Not surprisingly for a Fantome beer, this was a little bit different. I enjoyed it, but could have done without such a strong herbal presence.

 784 characters

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

Shared by drabmuh. Thanks Matt.

Sampled alongside twenty other Fantôme beers.

The beer appears a rusty, orange brown color. Mild haze with a small tan head after a careful pour. The aroma offers herbal, floral, funk, fruit, vegetable, and yeast scents. A lot of stimulus for the olfactory senses. The taste brings some apple notes, along with a light spice, though not with the same intensity as La Gillmoir or BBB Dark White. Candied apples and a fruity sweetness are balanced by a light funk. Medium to light bodied. Good feel. I would definitely have this again.

 568 characters

Photo of stakem
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle shared with some friends. Poured into a cervoise, this brew appears a darker than expected color of burnt red to caramel-like copper. A khaki head forms about 2 fingers strong very rich and creamy in appearance. The cap slowly recedes leaving patches of lacework on the glass. All together, the retention is pretty solid.

The smell of this brew is fruity with a suggestion of limes mixed with grass and garden herbs. Almost minty at times with a hint of pine and lightly funked yeast aspect. As it warms up, it smells quite tangy from a combination of the yeast, alcohol and fruited quality. Once warm there is a faint note of diaper.

The taste is fruity with limes. A touch of medicinal character with some herbal quality. It is quite tangy and fruited as the aroma suggested. Some caramel malt backing is evident with a residing sweetness on the tongue that mixes well with the fruited notes. The 8% abv is warming down the back of th throat. The aftertaste is a combination of toasted malt flavoring mixed with a hint of funky plastic but that is only after the brew has exceeded ideal temperature.

This is a medium bodied brew with a fizzy amount of carbonation. It is warming down the throat with a touch of yeasty spiced aspect. The lime flavoring was an interesting mix but it was well integrated and enjoyable. Almost tart at times but excessively drinkable. Fantome certainly revitalized my interest in the saison style with my last couple of experiences.

 1,480 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Fantôme Strange Ghost from Brasserie Fantôme
Beer rating: 72.5% out of 100 with 182 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston 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.