Fantôme Saison D'Erezée - Hiver
Brasserie Fantôme

Fantôme Saison D'Erezée - HiverFantôme Saison D'Erezée - Hiver
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Style:
Belgian Saison
Ranked #332
ABV:
8%
Score:
90
Ranked #5,876
Avg:
4.02 | pDev: 14.43%
Reviews:
412
Ratings:
745
From:
Brasserie Fantôme
 
Belgium
Avail:
Winter
Wants
  49
Gots
  88
SCORE
90
Outstanding
Fantôme Saison D'Erezée - HiverFantôme Saison D'Erezée - Hiver
Notes: Fantome's winter offering, available December through March or so. Brewer Dany Prignon changes his receipes every year, so we can't so for sure what this year's beer will be like, but it is sure to please lovers of Dany's beers.
Reviews: 412 | Ratings: 745 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Beginner2
4.06/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Now my 9th from Fantome, their issue is value. Every Fantome saison I've had has been worth having once. But not all are worth having twice. For Hiver, I'm sitting on the fence about twice... primarily because I had Hiver past its prime. Lot 18 is on the cork and I take that to be 2018. Saisons are better fresh and I'm guessing this was bottled over 18 months ago. But then, the recipe changes every year... so get it fresh.

That said, Hiver is definitely worth once. It's a good-Looker; big generous head with active protein from Fantome's famous yeast. Smells are more holiday spicy than fruity, which is understandable given the season. Tastes are balanced, but lack the richness I thought I was going to get from the yeast. In the mouth, Feel has sufficient bubbles but I'd like more rich. Finishes nicely dry.

I am a fan of Fantome. I have put them on my BBBL (Belgian Brewer Bucket List) and I'd like to check-off a visit sooner than later.

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Beginner2 from Illinois, Mar 20, 2020
Photo of REVZEB
3.86/5  rDev -4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

2019 batch Cloudy sepia body with a foamy white head and lacing. Phenols, caramel, biscuit, fruit cake, dried apple, and slight must. Taste has traditional saison spices, fruit cake, smoked malt almost like a rauchbier, apple, pear, lemon rind, and wet earth. Feel is bread yet not very thick, has booze leakage but stays dry. Not my favorite fantome, but not bad

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REVZEB from Illinois, Jan 15, 2020
Photo of puck1225
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured beautifully from a bomber into a tulip glass. Hazy reddish brown color with a fluffy, foamy head and excellent lacing. Warm spicy smell and taste. Fruit flavors, orange, lemon with cinnamon. Had it with Thanksgiving dinner.

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Photo of Bouleboubier
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(750 ml bottle; purchased at State Line... split between two fat tulip glasses... review transcribed from notes)

Tall head, dark copper liquid... malty, subtle raisin, cherry notes, soft lingering fruity spice... berry muffin... dry-ish, mildly peppery aftertaste, cherry gummy note... way more dry than sweet... Affligem Noel, mixed with spicy, earthy saison... one of the better Fantome I've had; intend to grab another (1609)

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Bouleboubier from New Jersey, Nov 16, 2019
Photo of jlindros
3.81/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

How have I not reviewed this?
Foamy creamy dense head, decent retention and lacing, semi hazy blond color

Nose super fruity with mild funk, grainy doughy wheat and sweet malt, little citrus and fruit cake

Taste more fruit cake, big fruit, little sweetness, candy with light alcohol, saison spices and funk, little bitterness, drier semi stick sweet finish

Mouth is med bod little sticky sweet, lighter carb

Overall not bad but doesn't get to the great fantome beers of the past

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Aug 21, 2019
Photo of PEBKAC
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from Tasty Beverage in Asheville a few months back. Best by 2020.

Duvel tulip. Needed to make room in the fridge. First world problems.

Copper, opaque brew. Long lingering head.

Smells hoppy, cereal malt, herbs, black pepper.

Taste is bitter & quite dry from the start. Big pepper presence. Lingering mellow aged hops from start to finish. Cereal malt. Herb-iness. Very easy. Not estery, spiced or yeasty in my opinion. Drank it too early?

Tasty.

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PEBKAC from New York, Jul 06, 2019
Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.69/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

It's definitely a foamy boi, pouring a massive light brown-colored head that's very long-lasting (sadly...) and textured almost like cream. The body has a dark chestnut hue to it, unlike a traditional saison. Of course, the head also leaves behind large splotches of lacing on the glass.

The aroma invokes one part winter warmer, one part saison. It's very heavily spiced with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove running rampant. Beneath that lies notes of black pepper, grass, and cedar. I don't pick up much of the malt backbone, with the saison yeast likely eating up most of the sugar. That sugar (both candied and malt-derived) presence is missed here, and would have done a good job ballasting the hefty spice characteristics. Still, points for a creative beer that has an element of cohesion to it.

It takes a few sips to really know what's going on with the flavor profile. The very first sip reveals winter spice, winter spice, and more winter spice. There are touches of caramel and gingerbread to round out the back end, but the main event is a bombardment of cinnamon, ginger, clove, black pepper, star anise, and allspice. Caramel malt isn't particularly evident at any stage, and fruity esters seem to come and go intermittently. It also seems to finish slightly hoppy (actually appropriate for a winter warmer). While I personally find it overspiced, I also really enjoy how rustic and...ahem...festive it tastes.

Dry, dry, dry. Not even off-dry like Dupont, but properly dry and almost parching. This is superbly attenuated, and goes down far too easily for an 8% beast. Carbonation starts off high, but calms down greatly after a while - the natural dryness of the beer keeps it easygoing.

Too spicy? Perhaps. Lacking supreme balance? Yep. An interesting and unique drink? Double yep. Ask me to describe it, and I'd either call it an incredibly rustic winter warmer or a slightly overspiced dark saison, depending on my mood (and my level of inebriation that evening...) I wouldn't exactly recommend this to neophytes, as it's an expensive bottle of beer that - while well crafted - may not be to everyone's tastes. Rather, this is something for the beer nerd who's sick of all the samey IPAs and pastry stouts all over the shelves and wants something truly out there.

3.69/5: Fantôme does what Fantôme does best - push the envelope

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Photo of janubio
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from Belgian Beer and Food. Pours a dark orange-brown colour, huge head with long retention,good lace.
Aroma is spices and herbs.Not sure, but I'd say, among them, cardamom, pepper, fennel, cloves, coriander, anis. Caramel too and. of course the Bretts.
Medium body, creamy texture, good carbonation.Sweet and dry finish.
Sharp taste that matches the aroma.
Complex, rich. Another great one from Fantome.

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janubio from Spain, Dec 25, 2018
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.99/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I chose to open this in my sink, and it turned out to be a wise decision because it was quite a gusher. It was a murky orange/brown color. My wife thought it looked like cider, and that was an apt description. There was a huge, fluffy, meringue-like head, and a lot of clingy lace.
Lots of spice in the nose, with a little bit of caramel and fruit.
Spice-forward taste: cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom. The spice lingered. Some caramel and some raisin.
Medium-bodied. A little too much spice for me.

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lordofthewiens from New Mexico, Jan 07, 2018
Photo of ordybill
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a chalice. The appearance is a very cloudy golden yellow color with a large white head. The aroma is mostly apple but does have an old beer smell to it. The taste is fruity with some yeast tossed in. It is slightly tart.

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ordybill from Georgia, Jan 07, 2018
Photo of rodbeermunch
3.31/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

For whatever reason it seems james always had the line on Fantome beers back around 2010 when I was getting into these for the first time.

Pour is hazy and amber, this is noticeably darker than your average or standard Fantome saison. Aroma hits a weird varied amount of smells, a little bit of barnyard funk, heavy on the spice rack, a little bit of malty caramel and coppery citrus.

Taste starts with the spice rack first, a bunch of stuff that obscures a traditional saison, heavy pepper, cardamom, coriander type of presence, assuming it is mostly yeast driven and not adjunct additions. Some dark fruit notes as well. Mouth feel contains a blast of carbonation that seems high, but then again, when I think about all those yeasty spice rack notes, I am glad the carbonation is this high. That caramel presence seems to be malt driven, this has an Oktoberfest/Vienna kind of vibe underneath the yeast.

A weird beer, kind of expected, would not repeat at a $20 price point.

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Photo of Ricelikesbeer
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Very interested to taste a winter offering from Fantome- sure there will be plenty of spices in this one, as it seems like a "wintery" thing to do. They say the recipe changes each year, it would be fun to try this year's version with a 2016.

L hazy/murky dark brown with ruby/orange highlights and a light white/tan head. medium carbonation with a small bit of Belgian lacing.

S: very spicy/ fruity and complex! There's certainly some funk in there too, not sure if wild yeast is at play but its likely.

T: This one is a bit aggressive and pungent up front, its slightly sour/acedic in the tongue upfront. The flavor does give way to some fruity esters/ horsey funk and Belgian spicing, but it takes a while. The warmer the beer is the more shines through. The sourness is a bit much here, and the flavors don't blend as well as some other fantome saisons I've had, but its still drinkable and has a nice aftertaste.

F: silky, lightly carbonated, goes down easy.

O: This one is a bit perplexing but is decent overall and still has the mark of a fantome saison. not my favorite bottle I've had but still a good saison nonetheless and very unique in its own right.

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Photo of SLeffler27
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The head builds to 1.5"", with an almond, rocky center and creamy edge, over an almost clear (SRM 8-10) amber ale. A thick webbing of lace develops on a Cisco Fisheye Pint glass.

A light skunkieness opens with a yeasty funk. Warmth brings out honey sweetness and cinnamon. Other features include honeydew, misc. spice, and dry white wine. All against a musty wet forest.

Sweetness balances against a mix of light bitter acidity. All flavors are subtle and delicate, highlighting pepper, lemon zest and white spice, (Sage, cardamom?). Spruce punctuates each sip, while a distinct undertone of undefined fruit caries through nose to tail. The finish is mild, brief, and pleasant.

A medium body, with a soft-smooth texture, and dry-light alcohol. Carbonation is soft, almost flat.

This beer expresses what a saison can be, and embodies the district yet subtle attributes of the style. Comfortable, homey, and down to earth. This is a soft spoken warm and gentle beer, with a rare depth of character. Paired with brie, or scallops, Hiver is exquisite. I enjoyed a bottle while watching the super bowl with my best friend. Yes, life is good!

The above review was with yeast in the bottle.

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SLeffler27 from New York, Jul 08, 2017
Photo of Dzu
4.31/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from bottle.
L: dark brown with a weak foam head.
S: rich plums, caramel , nuts
T: not saturated , red fruits and berries.
F: medium body and medium carbonation
O: gorgeous Belgian beer. Worth a taste.

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Dzu from Russian Federation, May 22, 2017
Photo of TX-Badger
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle from 2015 opened with friends. Lots of sediment at the bottom of the bottom, was careful not to pour it into glass. Pours a mostly clear darker yellow golden color with white head. Champagne yeast, spices, sweetness, and some earthiness on the nose; follows onto the palate. Medium bodied. Finishes with a champagne-like note.

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Photo of 86sportster883
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Wow! This beer really sets a high bar for what the style strives to achieve. I can't really add to the other reviews in any meaningful way. Just buy this beer and enjoy it. Had it on tap at the Bierstation in KC, and it was just as pleasant as it was unique. You don't even get a hint of alcohol and the yeasty notes are very subdued in this tap version that you rarely find.

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Photo of Prager62
3.98/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A bottle I purchased at a Hyvee in Iowa on a recent trip to Colorado poured in my footed Belgian ale glass.

Look- Pours a nearly transparent amber color with a generous finger of soapy off white foam.

Smell- Bready yeast, allspice, cinnamon, wet grass and a little sour funk.

Taste- Allspice, coriander, floral and caramel take center stage. There are grassy and slightly minty undertones in the finish with a hint of musty funk.

Feel- Crisp and slick up front with a semi dry finish.

Overall- A flavorful saison somewhere between a pumpkin beer and winter warmer. The spices are there but don't override the earthy-funky notes of the saison aspect of this beer. A delicate balance and crisp smooth feel that made this beer quite enjoyable for me. I'd give this a recommendation.

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Prager62 from Colorado, Oct 31, 2016
Photo of JackRWatkins
3.03/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: deep, hazy amber, soapy 1 finger head, decent retention
S: immediate sharp pepper and some subtle citrus and grain, a touch of astringency and sharpness coming through, hints of a dry cheesy funk that would be quite bracing if it were not so understated, (the cheese is not mild but it is not a super prominent feature), also a touch of white vinegar here
T: the pepper (upon literally comparing this with actual white pepper I can confirm that while I don't get white pepper in the nose I do get it in the taste) is so prominent here, it is immediately chased by the sharp cheese funk, they almost bleed into one another, there is a maltiness here as well though it's difficult to be more specific than that suffice it to say it doesn't seem like pilsner or pale malt, I think it may be a vienna or toasted malt of some sort (this will make more sense as the beer sits), some fruit notes do sneak out from under all of that pepper and cheese though they too are hard to pin down, maybe some white grape, lemon and pear, there is a bit of a lingering bitterness here as well though it doesn't stay on the tongue really, there's also a subtle sweetness in the fruit notes that as they say, you could blink and would miss
M: intensely dry, I love dry beer and this is almost too dry for the beer it is with for me
O: there's definitely a lot going on here, though I'm not so sure there is a lot to love, it's not a bad beer (it's definitely an assertive one) but I would have a difficult time selling this to someone on the experience of drinking it. It's certainly an interesting curiosity at a reasonable enough price but I would say if you are looking for a saison that tastes at least in some sense like what one would typically expect from the style, look elsewhere. That being said Fantôme beers in my limited experience are always something different and anything but typical though in this case maybe not in as good a way.

FINAL THOUGHTS: though it takes some of the pepper settling out considerably, there is definitely some vienna or otherwise toasted malt in here as well as a biscuity quality

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle (aged three years)
Pours a medium deep straw color with generous amounts of head.
Aromas are yeasty with tons of white pepper and spice.
Flavor is in line with aromas. Peppery, some light tang. Boom.
Finishes dry, which I love.
Overall, hope you like white pepper, this beer is well crafted and delicious.

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.43/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spring of 2016 - On tap at The Sovereign in Washington, DC. Poured into a large white wine style glass.

Disappointing. This beer is too smooth and with out that bite that comes with the carbonation, citrusy and bitterness combination the fruity flavors did not shine like maybe they could. 3.5

A - Very cloudy with an amber/cranberry-like color. 3.25

S - Generally lacking in the aroma department. Unremarkable. - 3.25

T - Definitely fruity with pears prevalent. 3.5

MF - Med body with a semi-dry finish. Almost creamy. 3.5

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Sludgeman from District of Columbia, Jul 06, 2016
Photo of superspak
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass; lot bj13, best before end 2016. Pours fairly crystal clear orange/copper color with 2 finger dense and fluffy off white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of peach, apricot, pear, apple, lemon, orange, berry, pepper, clove, coriander, lavender, hibiscus, light banana, brown sugar, toasted bread, hay, straw, grass, light musty funk, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and moderate bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of peach, apricot, pear, apple, lemon, orange, berry, pepper, clove, coriander, lavender, hibiscus, light banana, brown sugar, toasted bread, hay, straw, grass, light musty funk, and yeast earthiness. Moderate herbal bitterness, yeast spiciness, and light fruity tartness on the finish; with lingering notes of peach, apricot, pear, apple, lemon, orange, berry, pepper, clove, coriander, lavender, hibiscus, toasted bread, hay, straw, grass, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and moderate bready malt flavors; with a great malt/bitter/tart/spiciness balance and zero astringent flavors after the finish. Light-moderate dryness from bitter/tart/spiciness, increasing through the glass. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth, fairly sticky, and lightly grainy/creamy balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a great saison. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, spices, and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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superspak from Michigan, Jun 02, 2016
Photo of BergBeer
3.55/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Look: Hazy opaque burnt orange. Zero head. No activity.

Smell: Funky Belgian yeast, tart, slight Belgian sugar, dried hay, and a pleasant sourness that compliments the sugar notes.

Taste: Fresh green apples with a Belgian yeast funk greet the palate then a big pop of clove, green banana, sourdough bread, baking spices, and sour raspberries. Finish is earthy and grassy with a lingering saison funk.

Feel: Flat. Like zero carbonation. Body is medium and is slightly sticky. Finish is dry with mild booze.

Overall: A very interesting and complex saison with many levels of flavor enveloping each other in complimentary ways. It just a shame that it's flat as tap water. Bummer. Would be really interested in finding this on tap.

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BergBeer from Virginia, May 16, 2016
Photo of Ottoj55
4.11/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a chalice glass, straw yellow and haze, frothy white head and nice lacing. Smells bready with obvious fresh brett character or hay and earth, not horse blanket/barnyard and a hint of tartness. Tastes like a sour dough bread with nice underlying tartness and a touch of mystery spices. A bit of spiciness and clove like phenols become evident at the end and persist a bit too long for me. Full mouthfeel and some pleasant alcohol warming, finishes crisp and dry. A great beer, had no idea what to expect when I picked it up. A lightly tart twist on saison.

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Ottoj55 from Wisconsin, Mar 14, 2016
Photo of AndyAvalanche
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Comes out a golden straw yellow. There's a lot of sediment at the bottom but a fairly carful pour and you can avoid getting all of it. Still fairly hazy. White cap and some pretty decent lacing.

Smell is really nice. There's some nice bready aromas with a little bit of funky tartness in the back.

Taste is on par with the smell but I like it a little more. A doughy bread flavor with some cranberry like tartness that's almost but not quite sour, slight natural spice (not hot spice).

Mouthfeel is good. Very light bodied for how flavorful it is. Good balance with natural sweetness and has a tart dry finish. Very drinkable. Great beer a standard setter. I believe this is a 2012 bottle.

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AndyAvalanche from Massachusetts, Feb 18, 2016
Photo of stevoj
3.94/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Boise Co-op. Poured into Duvel tulip, muddy dark amber/orange, with adequate creamy head. Saison herbal aromas beefed up with some savory spices, and some malt evident. Taste follows with the spices taking more of the center stage, not overpowering, but wonderfully accenting the normal saison flavors. Body a bit thicker than normal, but can feel the effervescence.

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stevoj from Idaho, Jan 23, 2016
Fantôme Saison D'Erezée - Hiver from Brasserie Fantôme
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 745 ratings