Fantôme Strange Ghost | Brasserie Fantôme

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Fantôme Strange GhostFantôme Strange Ghost

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 rastaman on 09-11-2002

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Reviews: 122 | Ratings: 173
Photo of expatsteve
4.77/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to kathleen for the opportunity to try this--what a great brew this turned out to be!

Appearance: Ruby honeycomb in color; cloudy. Pours a big 2/3 inch head, leaving nice thick suds cover. Low viscosity.

Aroma: Glace ginger, lemongrass, honeycomb--golden raisins, a little vanilla in places. Some nice pine bitterness and a few grassy notes. This beer really has a unique nose.

Taste: Spruce, ginger, pineapple, fresh galanga root, apple cider, and just a little pine. The closest thing I've ever had to this was a pineapple ginger cake. Unique, amazing, refreshing. While this beer shows affinities with a number of other notable belgians--La Fin Du Monde, Duvel, on occasion LaChouffe--its flavor is unique and this beer captures a complex set of complementary and contrasting notes. A strange ghost indeed--albeit it a benign and higly agreeable spook...

Mouthfeel: Nice and light, leaving this full flavored beer completely drinkable. Low carbonation adds to the refreshing qualities of this beer.

Drinkability: Simply awesome. This is a beer I wish I could drink again and again and again. This is the kind of brew that could sell me on belgians for the rest of my days.

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Photo of Crosling
1.89/5  rDev -51.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 1

Typical Fantome appearence, possibly slightly darker. Vibrant, spice-led aromatics, with hints of spinach and herbs. Yes it is very aromatic, but I didn’t like the smell, at all. Flavor is again, heavily overspiced and to me, the spice flavor comes out tasting like mold. Yes, it tasted moldy to me....with perhaps a hint of rosemary, herbs and ginger. Complete drainpour for me.

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Photo of clvand0
4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tough to find, but I managaed to finally get one. Pours a dark orange color with a tall head that has nice retention and leaves plenty of lacing on the glass. The aroma is just weird. Spices everywhere. Ginger, lemon, coriander ... who knows what else. Just spices and then some more spices. Smells great and very strong! The flavor is a lot like the nose. It's a funky Belgian beer basis with just tons of spices thrown in. Some tartness and slight acidity in there as well. Finish is quite dry. This beer is definately bizarre, but very tasty (and weird).

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

holy confused hell. this beer is a rollercoaster ride of haze, a blur of consciousness that really has no words meant for description. for those of you seeking out something new, something unique.. here it is.

medium brown and clear, thick viscous cream head leaves solid lacing on the glass. nose bleeds pine resin and bay leaves. extremely.. well, strange. bizarre is actually closer to the truth.

the first sip of this beer will really throw you for a crazy ass loop. instead of tasting anything resembling any other fantome, i'm presented with what can best be described as the outdoors in a bottle. whereas many of these wilder belgian ales have a funky outdoor taste, this one has a fresh outdoor taste... pine needles, birch tree branches, green grass, flowers, and zippy spice additions. the body manages to flow down the throat in a luxurious, silky manner.. not expected for something so obtuse. there is so much going on in this beer, yet it maintains a fabulous drinkability both for its flavor conglomeration and the fact that its 8%. some licorice and thyme in the finish add nicely to the array.

by far, the strangest ghost from fantome and extremely/highly recommended for anyone seeking out something outside of the box. i dont know how much of this beer i could actually drink... but i can certainly appreciate the craft that went into it.

on a side note, i dont think this would age well. i cant imagine the mess that these delicate flavors would become over time.. drink FRESH.

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Photo of bitterdestroyer
3.49/5  rDev -10.5%
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 akorsak
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am drinking a 750 mL bottle poured into an Ommegang goblet

Appearance: Pours with a vigourous head, approximately 3 finger's worth. The head dissapates slowly and leaves a nice ring of lace. The beer itself is a little too dark to be a BSPA, IMHO. It is coppery-red with no visible sediment (yet, the bottle is not empty) yet a hazy appearance.

Smell: This beer smells like a flower shop. There are so many natural, funky aromas here that it is difficult to isolate. I smell pine (but not in a hoppy sense), lilac, fresh mint and maybe even juniper. To sum it up, there is a whole boatload of aromas there that do not dominate the overall smell but add a nice element.

Taste: It's like drinking the rainforest! There are so many natural, woody flavors here. There is a light hop presence that gives some bitters to the tongue, along with ginger, mint and pine.

Mouthfeel: The spices and fauna in this ale mix well together, but they also conspire to dull the tastebuds.

Drinkability: This beer, despite its 8% abv, is very drinkable. The melange of spices and flavors, at the very least, make this a must try.

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Photo of silenius
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is my least favorite Fantome tasted to date. It is not bad, it is just not as stellar as the rest.

Pours a darker golden brown with a little clouding and a nice vigorous head. Very little lace.

Smell is strong with coriander, black pepper, and orange peel.

Taste is on the light side with a thin sweetness up front that gives way to the coriander and pepper. It finishes with a dull hoppiness.

Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side without much carbonation felt. A tannic drying is felt as well.

Pretty drinkable, but not my favorite.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.69/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

2005 Release

Presentation: 750ml green flat-based flask. Cork and capped. Label is exactly as per the BA Avatar. Labeled as ‘Cat S 8% vol’, like most Fantômes. No BB date but for some ‘strange’ reason, sorry couldn’t resist, the bar code on the reverse label is covered in white-out.

Appearance: Rather good for a Fantôme, gorgeous red hue sits inside a fused deep orange that has a turbid stature but mysteriously seems to clear as the brew settles after a while when it develops a coppery-amber body. Crushed tan brown head quickly rises on the top up but slowly leaks like a party balloon to reveal a flaccid surface that exhibits a minimal head after only a few minutes. Carbonation is typically Fantôme, light lacing early on.

Nose: Odoriferous in the hyperbolic extreme. Immensely spicy, metric tonnes of Thyme, Nutmeg, Coriander and Oregano flakes with some Parsley thrown in for good measure, they all cloak this brew. Fuck me sideways, this just has an incredible nose….just pungently packed with a myriad mosaic of herbs and spices that form an amazing gabardine. This is one of those brews that presents a different angle each time you whiff it. Inhale away… incredibly obese nose.

Taste: Diabolical in a Good-Bad-Good wayl!! How can I explain this one? Well it’s like having a full 5-tier McCormick Spice Rack pummeled into your face whilst taking all of a full 12” Herbal Enema…..oh my, it starts with everything and finishes with Pumpkin Pie. I’m still coughing up fauna and pulling assorted ferns from my rectum. After a few mouthfuls it develops a gorgeous bitter trait that rises as the latter half of the 750 is demolished. Lingering hop bitterness coats the cheeks and forms a twisted mélange of seriously extremely spicy and indomitably herbal. Does this make me a Pagan!?

Mouthfeel: Pervasive, resilient and tough with a talcum soft footprint. It lasts a lifetime after the swallow. Grassy with some slick earthy tones. Scintillating bitterness tingles in and amongst the residual growing things. This really is very good.

Drinkability: Gone in 60 seconds…well about 15 minutes actually.

Overall: Hmmm…….this is a real Ghost Story, an Odyssey of sorts…..3i’s…..Infectious, Intriguing and Inestimable…..this *IS* Fantôme. Someone very prophetic and much cleverer than me (not hard) once said that “Fantôme: they are the very best of beers, and they are the very worst of beers”, Lord knows I’ve had both ends of the spectrum from Soy’s finest; but this is one of Dany’s best.

Well Worth Seeking Out, if for nothing else but just the nose.

Music: Motörhead – Iron Horse/Born to Lose.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light orange body with a tall light tan head that leaves a light lacing around the glass. The very potent and odd hits you hard on that first sniff. A whole lot of spices and herbs are going on in the aroma with a lighter underlying sweetness from fruit. They definitely emptied the spice rack in this brew with all the different spices going on. The flavor was equally interesting with the onslaught of herbs and spices taking center stage. The light fruit sweetness complements the crazy mix of spices quite well. Not really any noticeable funk through all the spice. Smooth and pretty drinkable after you get used to it. This definitely the most spice packed beer I have ever had. Unique and tasty I will have to pick up some more.

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Photo of NoLiberty
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Head pours full but dissipates to low rumble with light lacing. Body color is luminous, light, brilliant, tangerine almost in the light with amber to rose edges. Edges almost maple syrup in color
Aroma: Very mild. Nice ginger nose with some sweet fruit, but overall doesn't add much to the taste.
Taste: Sweet basil front with a strong ginger middle and clean tangy dry hop finish.
Mouth: Front-loaded and doesn't fill the mouth as much as hoped for. Throaty mild aftertaste.

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Photo of Goldorak
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Rusty copper, with a creamy, condensed milk head.

Smell: The most varied mix of spices as I have ever smelled...You got mint, ground pepper, basil, thyme, lavander, cloves, it's like he emptied his spice rack in there! And it was something new at every whiff. Unbelievable stuff.

Taste: Pretty complex, quite heavy on the spices. In fact, it reminded me of my Dad's spaghetti sauce! The aftertaste had the bitterness of dandelion leaves. The alcohol was nowhere to be felt, an impressive feat for an 8%. I thought I'd get tired of it after a while, but not at all. I'm glad I have a few more to cellar.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sampled August 2005
Pours a slightly hazy, pretty, ruby-orange color that is topped by a light cream-tan colored head that is held aloft by a persistent, good carbonation. Wow, the aroma is quite interesting, it is fully herbal with notes of sage, thyme, rosemary & pine being quite evident. Underneath the herbs is a nice fruitiness reminiscent of plums and raisins, there is a bit of a tart citrusy note here too. Reminds me a bit of a German herbal liquor.

The taste is fairly dry up front, with just an ever so soft touch of sweetness. As the herbal qualities of this beer take hold, it dries out considerably in the finish. What an interesting beer, I really almost don't know what to say. The beer has a definite tartness to it, which is especially evident in the first half of a draught of this beer. The tartness and the fruitiness of this beer make me think of a tart orange. As this beer warms up it becomes quite a bit softer and smoother as it looses some carbonation as well. The herbal note is still quite evident though with Sage leading the lineup.

This beer is almost an aperitif, it would be perfect preceding a night of noshing on roasted lamb, but the herbal character also make it useful as a digestif. All in all a very interesting beer from Dany. I really am enjoying this, even though the balance is perhaps a little bit too much on the herbal side.

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Photo of Beersignal
4.54/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Light brown with caramel and rusty highlights shining through the murky brew. A light tan film of foam rests lazily on the surface of the beer and sticks around for some time.

The aromas are straight from the spice rack... the whole spice rack! Everything from coriander, cinnamon, oregano, basil... the list goes on and on and is complemented by hints of freshly picked blueberries, and fresh cut pine.

The flavours are jus as diverse and complex. A bite of pine gum and rosemary strikes up front and is followed by refreshing hints of lavender and basil. The finish is dry and bitter with notes of fresh hops.

Many thanks to Goldorak for the bottle, this was a spectacular beer.

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Photo of yen157
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Clear, orange-red body, medium-fine soft head. Nose is quite intriguing. Coriander, orange peel, something like basil, and another herb or two. Rosemary maybe. Smells like heavily herbed pasta sauce. Light tartness lingers behind it all. Taste is bigtime spice rack. Lots of sage and white pepper. (Perhaps that wasn‘t rosemary after all.) Bitterness is very delicate and doesn’t really seem to be from hops. Nice moderate body and carbonation is appropriate. Good stuff. Flavors really build, so I don't know how "drinkable" this is. Beer may even age well.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
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!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bottle sampled at the 2005 Mondial. I was super happy to see this and even happier when I tried it. This used to be the rarest of rare Fantome brews, but now it is in the states, flaoting around in quite a few local establishments. Although it does command a hefty price tag, this beer can almost be used as a benchmark beer in artisinal-wild-craft-saison-micro-brewing! Dark ruddy amber coloured with a small head of off-white that doesnt do much in terms of head or lacing. Not the nicest looking brew, but what Fantomes are? I give it a 4, as it looks good to me, cuz I know what is waiting for me inside! Aromas are out of this world! Ever hear that song "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" by Simon and Garfunkel ya know that one with the line "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" from the LP aptly titled "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" oh, you have? Well obviosuly Dany has as well, since this beer pretty much reaks of the above mentioned spices, especially thyme, I also get white/black pepper notes, and maybe even a hint of garlic mixed in with some funky yeast notes and maybe some buttered brioche bread malts. Taste is funky with yeasty, peppery, hoppy saison notes and bread as well as the crazy spices that were used in this brew. I heard a joke that Dany took all of his spice rack, and perhaps little dregs of almost every beer that he brews and he just threw it all in the kettle for this one. That may not be too far fetched of an idea after trying this one! mouthfeel is a bit acrid and strange due to the cooking spicies used in this and wierd lactic twang can also be felt in the mouth. Drinkability would be awesome for me, but after a while this one is just *TOO COMPLEX" now how often do you hear a seasoned BA say that. It is still quite drinkable, but a 750 by yourself may be a bit much for some, not for me it still gets a 3.5 there. "Strange Brew" indeed!!!! Hot Damn!

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Photo of easement
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up strange ghost when they didn't have what I was looking for. The label was pretty funny and I hadn't heard of the brewery brfore so I thought I would give it a go.

The flavor starts off very citruis and finishes off very woody and spicy. It's orangy and okay. The wood flavor resonates for a great deal of time. It just keeps going.

I detect hints of nutmeg and sage.

It had a good inch of head the entire glass. I expected it to wither away, but it held on strong.

I paid 12 bucks for the bottle, which I think is a little overpriced. but it would be right on the money for 10 dollars.

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Photo of Rastacouere
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Rusty orange. Extremely foamy head, sticking on the glass like there’s no end, beautiful lacing capacity. Awesome core pencil shavings yeasty nose. Granite rockiness, overwhelming wood notes. Incredibly complex and jumping at you. Lime and pepper yeasty interplays. It smells like chips, it smells like cedar resin and spruce. Very green aroma, tea like chamomile notes with more spice depth reminiscent of sage and thyme. Very fun to sniff and decorticate, but there’s no way you can figure what’s in there. Rooty greenish flavours. Mellow chillies, spice blend, cumin and maybe even salt. It is very dry in mouth, campfire like or moreso sawdust like dryness, earthy and highly pleasant, just not as enticing as the fiery aroma. Creamy palate, light carbonation, perhaps not as lively as most Fantôme.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of Sammy
4.54/5  rDev +16.4%
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 HopDevil
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

The 25.4 fl oz had a white Casper looking ghost screened on it. A bit odd I thought but it's what's inside that counts of course.

Appearance: nice effervescence and color. The head was spritzy and piled up nicely, stayed awhile too till it sagged enough to leave behind some sticky lace around the rim.

Nose: Definite orange citrus, herbs and spice

Mouthfeel: Not the best characteristic of this style or this example of style. Still it was firm and juicy, not bad.

Taste: Peppery, dry, crisp, lip smackin some grassy herbal flavors, a little of the "horse blanket" taste and aroma. Nicely sour but not overly so. (the proprietor, a great guy, who loved Belgians did not like the sour taste... hmmmm, more for me) Finish was dry and gave me a hint of yeasty pears. Did you ever eat a grape that had a bit of wild yeast on it? A bit of that flavor came through in the finish.

Drinkability: eminently drinkable, An, the proprietor of the fabulous Mekong Restaurant at 6004 West Broad St. in Richmond VA, was so gracious. When he learned how much I love sour Belgians he proceeded to pour me three glasses of the Strange Ghost. (we kicked the bottle)

Why you should dring the Strange Ghost: Not for everyone but for those who like this style you won't be sorry.

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Photo of rastaman
3.23/5  rDev -17.2%
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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Fantôme Strange Ghost from Brasserie Fantôme
3.9 out of 5 based on 173 ratings.
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