Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Fantôme Saison D'Erezée - Hiver | Brasserie Fantôme

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
395 Reviews
no score
Send samples
Fantôme Saison D'Erezée - HiverFantôme Saison D'Erezée - Hiver

Brewed by:
Brasserie Fantôme

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
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.

Added by Jason on 02-19-2003

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 395 | Ratings: 705
Photo of gr0g
2.52/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Very Brett-forward and one-dimensional. This has to be infected. Having read some reviews that mention smoke and Band-Aid notes, I get none of that. I also get none of complexities mentioned in favorable reviews.

Bronze colored, quite dark for the style, a head of about two fingers of foam. Tart aroma with acetic quality. Flavor is tart and one-dimensional, like a mediocre wild ale. This was my first shot at Fantome, and I knew the risks. Consider me another victim of their quality control issues.

 503 characters

Photo of spinrsx
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Beer review #1500 - 750ml Bottle

Appearance - Hazy amber colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. It's hard to make out the amount of carbonation showing and there is some fair lacing. The head lasted for around 4-5 minutes.

Smell - Breads/grains, clove/coriander, funky notes, grapes, lemons

Taste & Mouth - There is an above average amount of carbonation and I can taste breads/grains mixed with some lemon and some clove/coriander. There is also some yeast, green grapes, and a bit of funk. It ends with dry spicy/fruity aftertaste.

Overall - While it wasn't as good as I was expecting, it was still an excellent beer. It had a nice level of complexity that allowed me to taste different flavours with each sip. It was a touch too dry, but was still very drinkable.

 783 characters

Photo of sjones5045
2.65/5  rDev -33.6%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

First I have to admit is this isn't my style I find enjoyable. This definitely reminds me of a white wine beer. Smells very fruity and bitter and taste exactly how it tastes. Although i will say it is smooth and leaves minimal aftertaste which i guess if you like this class would be a big plus. Basically if you don't like white wine, like I don't, then you won't like this.

 375 characters

Photo of trxxpaxxs
4.41/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2012 vintage... seriously...

A: Pours an almost completely transparent lemon gold with one full finger of pure white head. The foam sticks around for a bit, but fades wonderfully over time. Nice bit of lacing as it drinks.

S: The nose is wonderful on this beer. I get lemon/lime citrus (almost like Gatorade), a bit of malt, and a touch of apple juice. I’m looking forward to this one.

T: The taste follows the nose almost exactly. I get a nice light malt sweetness right away followed instantaneously by that yummy lemon/lime flavor. A touch of spice enters in next with apple cider like qualities. The finish is dry, a bit yeasty, but really nice.

M: Medium bodied beer. It takes control of the palate straight away, the flavors dance, and the finish is just slightly drying.

O: Really enjoyed this brew. I know there are a lot of terrible bottles of this out there. But the bottle we opened is drinking wonderfully. I’d drink a lot more of this if I knew the bottle integrity wasn’t going to be an issue.

 1,018 characters

Photo of jtladner
1.57/5  rDev -60.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 1.5

I was really excited to try this beer, it was my first (and currently only) Fantome. The beer looked great, but unfortunately I seem to have gotten one of the skunked bottles that I have seen many people post about. Both the aroma and the taste were completely dominated by something that I can best describe as burning tires.

At first I though that maybe it was meant to be a kind of smokey saison, but after reading other reviews it is clear that this is not the case. Even if the taste had been intentional (which I am pretty sure it wasn't), it was not pleasant at all and most of it ended up going down the drain.

 619 characters

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours a murky amber hue. Huge, gigantic, billowing head. Head refuses to die quickly and leaves curtains of lace.

S-Crazy aroma. Almost a bit leathery or peaty. Supremely earthy. Incredibly musty. Stewed spinach. Very unique.

T-The oddest tasting beer I have had in quite a while. Sweetness is more noticeable here than in the nose. Also a bunch of bitterness by a crazily earthy hoppiness. The rest of the beer is just a plethora of wacky flavors. Wet wood, peaty moss, leather, decomposing vegetation, soil and peppery spice. A trip for sure.

M-Tingly bubbles. Medium to full in body. A weird, lasting bitterness.

O/D-My first Fantome. I have stayed away from the brewer due to inconsistency of product, high price and relative shelf rarity. Judging by how unique and odd this one is, I need to pay up and try their other offerings when available.

 855 characters

Photo of Immortale25
3.99/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Tapered Guinness pint glass. No freshness date.

A- Pours a murky dark amber color with a full three fingers worth of off-white head that retains good and long.

S- Initially skunky aroma that's common with these green glass imports but then the saison funk shines through and is driven by a lemony citrus from the spices and wheat.

T- Strange medicinal flavor that's puzzling as to where it's coming from. Is it the yeast? Is it the alcohol? Is it the spice? Like nothing I've ever tasted. A bit of a peaty smokiness is definitely there too. Not sweet, but also not necessarily bitter. Leaves me scratching my head.

M- A bit tart and dry with medium-high carbonation and a medium body.

O- A mystery of a beer but it's certainly unique, complex and quite drinkable. Not sure I would buy again at the $13 price tag (and it was on sale) but I'm glad I finally got to try one of Fantome's beers. Not your typical saison.

 934 characters

Photo of mahak213
3.8/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Not sure of the vintage, but I'm going to assume it's not the most recent since it doesn't taste like a smokey tire...

Appearance- Beautiful hazy golden orange with a huge, soapy white head. Tons of lacing, it really looks nice!

Smell- Herbal and fruity up front with a strange sweetness I can't really pin point

Taste- Sweet fruitiness up front, with big orange and grapefruit notes. Finishes herbal and slightly bitter. It's actually reminiscent of an very malty and earthy IPA

Mouthfeel- Medium body and light carbonation, finishes slightly sticky. Would have liked it to be a bit cleaner and crisper, but it's still nice.

Overall- A very unique saison, I don't get any of the typical funk or breadiness, but it's pretty nice.

 734 characters

Photo of MinorThreat
1.58/5  rDev -60.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 1.5

Served from a cork and cap bottle. This is the second bottle I have had from this batch; I wanted to give it a second chance after being very disappointed with the first bottle.

A-Hazy light rusty gold color with an impressive froathy head and great retention/lacing. This was the best part of this beer by a long shot.

S-Odd notes of rubber, grass, burnt hair and herbal hop notes. Very odd and off putting.

T- Atrocious. Burning rubber and solvent nail polish remover/alcohol. Chemical, harsh, and just dreadful. I have really enjoyed this one in the past but this batch is a disaster.

M-It honestly is so hard to get past the taste that the mouthfeel is hard to say. Oily yet effervescent and light.

O-Sadly I dropped 17.99ea on two of the worst bottles in recent memory. Will I give Fantome another chance? Of course. They have made so many great beers that it should be chalked up as an aberration. With that said, I will not be purchasing and Hiver till I am certain that the current batch is long gone.

 1,014 characters

Photo of Rutager
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance. Pours a lightly hazy, rich yellow-gold with two fingers of thick white head.

Smell. Light grainy malts and lactic sourness, some earthy funk and lemon, and a good amount of medicinal herby hops, aged I would guess ...being the experienced expert in brewing ingredients that I am. *rolls eyes* Hey, I know what tastes good to me and how to describe what I taste in relative terms. I think that's all that's asked for in these reviews, right? Anyways, back to it...

Taste. Whoa! Not what I was expecting. Big medicinal herbs, very earthy and fairly bitter with just a touch of lemon. There's a very slight tang, but not sour like I was getting from the smell. Woody and savoury herbs linger, but I can't quite say what they are. Possibly lemongrass, maybe even thyme. I dunno, but it's very interesting and gets better the more I drink (after the initial shock).

Mouthfeel. Medium+ body, lowish and fine carbonation.

Overall. One of the most interesting beers I've tried in recent memory. Lots of earthy, herby big flavour, but nothing offensive. So glad I took a chance on this grab from Belmont Station on a fairly recent trip to Portland.

 1,156 characters

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.57/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

750ml bottle into a tall tulip

A: Pours a hazy golden color with two fingers of dense white head.

S: Lemon peel, musty barnyard funk, clove, and a touch of wheat. This is a quintessential Farmhouse Ale. Lemon acidity builds as the beer warms.

T: Hmm, like tasting a completely different beer. Still musty with lemon and orange peel, but the acidity I got in the aroma is completely gone. I also get some plums and prunes along with a strong perfume spiciness.

M: On the thick side with low carbonation for a Saison.

O: The aroma on this is great, but the flavor is odd for the style, the spices are very strong, and the mouthfeel is too thick. It's still pretty good, though.

 680 characters

Photo of gcamparone
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 750 ml into a tulip. Purchased in Providence, RI. "Best by" dates go up to 2012 but none have been notched, leaving me to believe that this has been sitting for a bit.

A- Pours a hazy dull orange body with a small fizzy white head that reduces fairly quicky and leaves no lacing. Had to pour slowly as the bottle had a good half inch of settling.

S- Well this is unique. The first thing I picked up was an oaked-chardonnay-like white wine note, as well as pear, red grape juice, musty, lemon juice and orange peel aromas. Slight belgian funk in there.

T- Upfront it's pretty acidic, huge lemon juice and pretty vinegar-like on the start. The taste develops into a very tart, nearly sour fruity, citrusy, white grape character. The finish has interesting musty, woody, green tea and earthy notes. Slight funk and skunkyness in there. I'm not getting much as far as spices or malt. Not sweet at all, very dry.

M- Best part of this beer. It's light and has medium carbonation, and pretty refreshing.

I bought this beer because it was on sale for 5.99 and the guy at the counter just said they were trying to get rid of them. Was it worth that price? For 750 ml, yes. Would I pay the normal price for this beer? Absolutely not, I'd just buy a couple bombers of beer or a bottle of wine.

It may be past it's prime, but I still enjoyed it for what it was. It's not the easiest drinker in the world but worth a try. I do have to say, it tastes absolutely nothing like any other Saison I've ever tasted.

 1,518 characters

Photo of Kendo
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from the corked-and-capped green 750 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip. Body is light yellow with an ever-so-faint haze. A 1-finger bright white head settles on top, leaving behind a bit of lace.

S: Funk, spice and lemon peel are the primary scents.

T: Nice mix of flavors - sweet but lighter fruits (think apricot, pear, grapes), a hint of spice and lemon bitterness. Funkiness from the nose is not really there in the taste, though there's a bit of earthiness and a touch of tartness. Alcohol heat felt on the way down and into the belly.

M: Medium in heft with real good fizziness making it seem lighter.

O: Good stuff. My first Fantome and I'm not unhappy with it at all, despite paying around $18 for the bottle.

Note: I'm not sure how old this bottle is. I'm guessing I bought it about a year and a half ago. On the calendar on the side of the bottle, nothing is notched. It ends with 2012, however, which suggests to me that this bottle is at least 3 years old. If so, it's certainly no worse for wear, notwithstanding the green bottle. Reminds me of white wine at times; I'm going to pair it with a bunch of different cheeses and see what happens. . . .

 1,172 characters

Photo of stephens101
3.49/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Starts off with a retentive, full off-white head. A musty, farmhouse aroma flows out into the room. Color is reddish orange.

The funk flows on with some dried hay, oranges and vanilla working into the party. Very unique aroma that I can't quite put a finger on. There may be some soy in there...

Tastes is intense with a smokiness up front. Some hops, wet-hay funk, spice and a nearly unnoticeable fruitiness (lemon/orange) round things out.

Dry at the edges and creamy in the middle. A bit grainy at the back of the throat with little to no alcohol heat.

One of the most unique beers I've every tried, but it appears I'm just not completely ready for this kind of party.

 678 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.51/5  rDev -37.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Huge Fantome fan so I was excited to bring this one out from the fridge. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz green glass bottle with standard pressure cap over an internally housed cork served into a New Belgium stem-goblet in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Acquired for around $15 at Hi Time Wine Cellars. Expectations are through the roof given the brewery, which I respect and admire.

8.00% ABV confirmed. I like the label; that sort of cute humour surrounding a mischievous ghost.

Served straight from the refrigerator and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

Cork popped with ease. No beer surged out. Carbonation seems ideal. It's a fun bottle to open.

A: Colour is a clear white wine/peach as I pour. In the glass, the colour is a darker hazy yellow, semitransparent and translucent. Yeast particles are easily seen floating about. Head is a three finger beige colour delight, featuring good cream and thickness and excellent (8+ minute) retention for the high ABV. Not quite the milky white I see in some of the best saisons, but very appealing. Looks as it should for the style. No bubble show.

Sm: Butterscotch, caramel, lemongrass, light lemon zest, gose-esque salt, light tart lactic peach notes, bretts, banana, white wine/white grapes, pear, and heavy Belgian sugar/candi notes. A bit like one of those caramel popsicles you'd get at a fair. I get more and more depth of flavour as it warms. Bretts. I search for white pepper (my favourite characteristic of saisons) but don't find it. Perhaps it's subtly integrated. In any case, I'm not disappointed; with Fantome I always know I'm in good hands. A moderate strength aroma of masterful subtlety and complexity. No alcohol is detectable.

T: Salt, lemon zest, banana, milky caramel, fermented pear, dominant lactic bretty yeast notes, and vague white wine/grapes. Belgian sugar as the foundation here actually comes off a bit overwhelming, blocking out the intricacies of the more subtle notes. I don't find white pepper. Butterscotch comes through; too much for my tastes. The salt was unexpected but works here. The balance just doesn't feel as masterful as it did in other Fantome saisons I've had. It could well be personal taste. Hopping here is floral and minimal; the spices take the spotlight not the hops. And rightly so. The climax is more of that juicy pear zest joined with the lactic notes; I don't much care for it. Maybe it's a bit too sweet, as generic as that sounds? The caramel certainly bothers me. The complexity and subtlety here are unquestionable, but I'm just not big on this beer. No alcohol comes through in the flavour.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good body. Perfect carbonation. Good thickness. A bit sticky. Soft. Suits the flavours pretty well. I could see how someone who enjoyed the flavour profile would find the mouthfeel very helpful in delivering those flavours.

Dr: Unfortunately, this Fantome just wasn't for me. It's not as drinkable as most Fantomes because of the light saltiness (and for me personally because I don't really care for the flavours), but if you enjoyed it I'm sure you'd have no trouble putting it down. It hides its ABV well. I wouldn't buy this one again; there are quite a few Fantome saisons at this exact price that I love. I adore Fantome, but I just didn't take to this one.


 3,411 characters

Photo of TrappistJohnMD
4.01/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle served at Avenue Pub in NOLA.

Served in tulip glass. Nice golden color with thick chunky head that lingers well in glass. Lots of thick sediment in the bottom of bottle.

Smell is funky tangerine. Hints of plum and grape.

Taste is light malt, tangerine, funk, acidity, and moderate bitterness late.

Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied with heavy carbonation.

Overall this was really good. Worth the price.

 414 characters

Photo of Vonerichs
4.14/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Opaque golden body with a huge and persistent white head. There's a ton of yeast sediment despite a slow and cautious pour.

Funky yeast aroma, pear, lemon-lime, phenols, banana.

Young, unripe white fruits such as pear and grape are the initial taste. It's followed by lemon, and banana, then finishes with a peppery spice. It's well rounded and bursting with flavor.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with prickly carbonation. The mouthfeel is slightly sour in the finish.

This is an excellent representation of the style and one of the better saisons out there.

 563 characters

Photo of pmlondrigan
4.09/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ok so I keep a Fantome record. So often in the beginning of my craft brew journey I would buy Fantome only to have it be skunky and light struck (much like Saison Dupont can be). Right now including this bottle of Hiver I am 3 for 8. Not bad. Probably would be 4 for 8, but Fantome Boo was just too weird for me. Here we go...
Head retention is beyond belief, lacing is wonderful. Color is dark pale yellow. This Saison is opaque, but as it is a Saison thats ok.
My nose is met with a complex aroma of medicinal/band aid/phenol, sloppy pig trough, tobacco, and light lemon. This is a very earthy aroma. Typically Fantome yeast is a bit much on the phenolic side for me....but with the aid of the earth component this Saison has a rather intriguing and beguiling aroma.
My palate experiances much the same as my nose. An earthy rustic flavor that muddles together some light citrus lemon, zesty earthy hop bitterness....yes some of that hoof, pig hoof. A bit of medicinal band aid....is there brett in this? I don't know. Many people seem to think so....but as a brewer and brett lover I can't tell.
Dry but not thin....period.
There are some things that are off putting, but there are some things that keep me coming back for more, and more. I like it. Don't love it, but it is beguiling.

 1,289 characters

Photo of RickS95
4.24/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light orangey peach color. Light color, but still opaque. Head is fleeting and really non-descript.

I love the smell of a good saison, and this has the makings of a good one so far. Funky, fruity smell. Pear, green grape and pepper, maybe some Belgian sugar.

Most of what the nose picks up is present on the tongue. I'm getting a lot of the Belgian sugar, faint pear and pepper mixed with a strong alcohol profile. It's only 8% ABV, but it tastes like more.

Sweet, funky and tangy, fruity. Mid-sip it changes to spicy. In the finish, it's heat. Differently levels and differently feels. It's not a crisp finish as the funkiness simply coats your tongue, which I'm ok with on this type of beer. Medium-bodied.

Overall it's a solid representation of the style. It's not the easiest drinker in the world, but it's solid nonetheless. A bit on the expensive side. My first foray into the world of Fantome.

 913 characters

Photo of brureview
3.46/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I was a bit disappointed by this beer.

The beer was sealed by both a cap and cork. The beer had a huge head, 4.5 fingers in a tulip glass. The color was an attractive honey.

There was a mild lemon aroma from the head.

The mouth feel was fine- carbonated in accordance with the style.

The taste was a letdown. Lemon was present, but an off spice,which I couldn't identify, dominated the taste. The presence of the spice imbalanced the beer.

Overall: disappointing. Could have been more balanced. I prefer the American Saisons, and the Belgian Saison DuPont which is traditional.

 584 characters

Photo of BlackBelt5112203
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip at fridge-cellar temperature.

L – Deep gold color with a big 4-finger bubbly, rocky white head. Great retention and some patchy lacing. Clear with lots of bubbles.

S – Grainy malt, peppery and clove yeast, fresh orange and lemon esters, and a whole lot of funky Brett.

T – Starts off sweet with orange and lemon flavors and rapidly becomes filled with spices, herbs, and wood for none of which I can pick out specifics. Brett barnyard funk becomes apparent at about mid-taste, and earthy and floral bitter hops show up at the finish. Very complex and tasty.

F – Light-to-medium-bodied with great carbonation, a creamy and sticky but crisp mouthfeel, and a bitter, dry, spicy, and funky finish. A nice blend of all of these flavor sensations lingers wonderfully.

O – This may be the best saison that I’ve had. It is wonderfully complex while still remaining approachable. It has the perfect amount of funky Brett (finally!). One really interesting and awesome thing that’s happening on top of all this: the beer that is still in the bottle is growing a head. Literally growing. It started with none and now it’s almost up to 2 fingers. That yeast is still working hard! If I can ever get my hands on more from Fantôme, that will be a good day.

 1,298 characters

Photo of MadScientist
3.74/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: A slightly hazey, light amber beer with a finger of creamy and rocky white foam. The head has great retention, lasting a long time and leaving some lacing on the glass.

S: Initially a pilsner like Saaz hop and soft Pils malt aroma with that German import beer kind of light struck skunk. There are just enough faint aromas of orange and peppery phenols to let you know it's brewed with Belgian yeast. Moderately low German hops aroma, moderate Pils malt and a low soft alcohol.

T: Moderately-strong hops and orange peel-like bitterness with a moderate Pils malt sweetness dominate the flavor. There is a great tasting orange fruitiness with moderately-light peppery phenols. and a light spicy hops flavor.

M: Medium-light bodied with a moderately-high carbonation. It's slightly cream with a light CO2 dryness on the tongue.

O: A great beer that is just shy of excellent from the aroma being off. It might be from being misshandled in a green glass bottle that contributed to the beer being light struck but what ever it was the skunkiness overwhelms the fruity esters and spicy phenols in the nose. The fruit and spice is definitely in the flavor and their pretty wonderful.

 1,182 characters

Photo of Ryan011235
4.92/5  rDev +23.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a Bell's tulip on 1/2/13

I bought this in September 2012; I reckon it's from the previous winter.

As I take to pouring the beer, nearly the entire glass is filled with a rising cascade of crackling foam. The head eventually settles to about a finger's worth, though there is an off-centered, large upward protrusion of foam. Swaths and specks of bubbly, raised lace remain. I'm finally able to get a good take on the beer's hue; it is a clear, shiny golden color - very pretty.

Aromas of lemon and lime leap from the glass followed by strong juniper. This smells a lot like a botanical-heavy gin. Notions of white pepper, allspice, prairie grass, wild herbs and undertones of cracker. Ghost notes of ripe light fruit. Mild sugar cookie sweetness as it warms. The last of the beer has an apple pasty suggestion to it.

Spices dominate the flavor even more so. Pepper and herbal spices are in abundance, raked along the taste buds by effervescent carbonation. Likewise, with the gin. Lemongrass, fresh hay, spritzes of lime, grassy hops and a dry malt notion (a very dull or neutral bread/biscuit type of thing). Hints of grapes and apples. The body meanders within the medium-light range with perceptibility seemingly based on whether the carbonation is ample or more subdued as happens later on. Alcohol becomes appreciable as the beer warms.

I'm finding that this bottle does not get old. Often I find such peppery/herbal beers wear on me after a while; not this, though. Each sip encompasses fully the senses in ways that a great beer should. Ooooh, I wish I had more of this. One of the finest beers I have ever had.

 1,635 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.66/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml Burgundian bottle. Thanks be to DoktorZee for the early X-mas gift from his recent SoCal sojourn. 'Hiver' equals 'winter', of course, and beyond the name, the only other indicator of seasonal affectation is the general listing of 'spices' in the specified ingredient list.

This beer pours a slight cloudy, dark golden amber hue, with three fingers of puffy and thinly foamy off-white head, which leaves some randomly sized flecks of fuzzy lace around the glass as it very slowly seeps away.

It smells of moderately smoked, peaty malt, like Islay meets Havana, with a seaside medicinal character that I have to stretch a bit to relate to any farmhouse funk qualities of note, though horseblanket and wet musty grain come to mind, somewhat. The taste is much more approachable, relatively, right off the bat - a caramel-tinged grainy malt, some lingering fleshy smokiness, a surprising, bitter noble hoppiness, a prominent sulphur character, a bit of soft, musty barnyard, lightly wafting gasoline fumes, a touch of tanned leather, and some burgeoning vinous notes.

The bubbles are generally supportive, and little more, the body an almost medium weight, and actually smooth enough, given the swirling demons around this whole project. It finishes off-dry, the pale malt sweetness enough to successfully counter the not quite played out smoky medicinal, musty notes, as the bitter hops hang out in the background, laughing and lounging.

One hell of a complicated, complex, and very busy beer, mes amis. It swings wildly from the dankest of Scotch influences, to the (almost) serenest of softy malty, yeasty farmhouse incarnations. Apparently there are some generic 'seasonal' spices added to this unholy mix, but I am patently unable to discern their provenance, given the distracting otherness overtly on display here. Interesting to try, but not one I would choose to actively revisit.

 1,895 characters

Photo of jtmartino
1.32/5  rDev -66.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Wow, by far the worst Fantome beer I've ever had, and easily the worst version of Hiver yet. Unfortunately its current rating may be accurate for previous iterations, just not the current recipe.

It literally tastes like someone put out their cigar in a saison. If you've ever chewed raw tobacco, and enjoyed it, this would be your drink. Appearance is decent, and so is mouthfeel, but overall this beer is like a hybrid between chewing tobacco and a tart dark saison.

I can appreciate dark/black saisons, but the tart acidity of this beer does not mesh well with the smokey malt flavor at all. Easily one of the worst beers I've had, ever. I would rather drink a room temperature Corona without the lime.

 708 characters

Fantôme Saison D'Erezée - Hiver from Brasserie Fantôme
3.99 out of 5 based on 705 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!