t0rin0 (53) - Riverslime, California, USA - AUG 24, 2011
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Notes from Fantome tasting June 2010. Pours dark orange with a small beige head that lasts a bit. Aroma is of berries, sugar, chocolatey oxidation, and citrus. Flavor is citrusy with a good amount of sweetness, some musty funk, and some oxidation. Lightish body.
otakuden (1783) - Vero Beach, Florida, USA - MAY 21, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
There lies in Belgium a little brewery hamlet by the name Fantome. All of their beer bottles are graced by the visage of a mysterious, maybe even a little mischievous, ghost, or Fantome. Do you see where I am going with this? The Belgium Brewery Fantome is on the cutting edge of brewing in Belgium which leads me to two wholly different conclusions: they are brewing in olden traditions passed down for centuries; or they are brewing new traditions with age-old ideas. The brewery is supposedly haunted by the Fantome for which the brewery is named. Maybe there is a little ghostly magic in the works. Whatever it may be, Fantome concocts some of the wildest, most complex beers in Belgium.
Cloudy. Earthen brown. Hazy, resembling dirty laundry water. Not much head to speak of, but that is to be expected for some of the tarter saisons. A ringlet decorates while her nose reaches out, grabs hold of my senses, and drags me into her sumptuous depths. Spiced holiday bread, cinnamon, cumin, lavender, raisins, maple and crunchy, crystallized caramelized sugar, mint and candy cane, prunes and dates, and a solid backbone of dry, sour funk, and wood. I could smell my Beer Circus all day long, but then I would be doing a disservice to the brew inside, and I can’t have that. My first thirsty quaff is clean with sour and tart dry funk pervading my pores, seeping into my flesh, and mutating into a huge, silly grin of pleasure. Did I mention I love sour ales? Tart peaches and nectarines with their crisp, fuzzy, dry skin adding an extra punch. Heavy, spiced breads, slightly dry and crumbly while maple adds a fragile layer of sweetness. Chunky dregs stare seductively at me from the bottom of my glass while leather, earth and wood along with dank, dark barnyard funk fills my breath long into her finish. A few more savory sips and sweet, juicy dates mingle with the candied, dry fruit commonly associated with that enemy of man, fruit cake. All this might sound like a horribly balanced mish-mash of flavors, but the Beer Circus from Fantome is clean, crisp, and bracingly refreshing with each exciting flavor harmoniously mingling with the other. She doesn’t scorch my palate with dryness, but there is some nonetheless which only encourages me to savor each quenching quaff. As I reach those luscious dregs, I close my eyes for our final embrace: bliss.
Fantome is one of those Belgian breweries that I will always look forward to tasting. It’s almost as if each bottle is brimming with a whole world of flavors, textures, aromas, and surprises that even if one had a lifetime to take it all in, you couldn’t. For me, and for Fantome, that is a beautiful thing, indeed.
JMFG (1585) - Florida, USA - APR 13, 2009
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Courtesy TheCheeseMan. Slightly cloudy dark brown pour with a thick khaki head. Moderate funk, some sweetness, light dusty notes, some sweetness. The barnyard qualities on the taste are tempered by some sweet dark fruity notes, a different path for a Fantome. Very nice.
BlackForestCO (961) - Aurora, Colorado, USA - MAR 15, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle from moejuck, thanks Joe! Poured a bright rusty orange color with a 1/4 inch beige head that faded to a bubbly layer and left some spotty lacing. Some bright, funky citrus (orange flesh, tangerine, and a light berry) on the nose with some moderate barnyard grassiness and a soft yeastiness. Moderately sweet, lightly tart entry with some soft citrus (light lemon and a bit of lime skin) that transitioned into a lightly grassy barnyard yeastiness with a faint floral hoppiness finishing with some tartness paired with a drying oak. Soft carbonation and nice mouthfeel. A very nice beer from Fantome, I wish I had some more.
Crosling (1863) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - MAR 14, 2009
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pros: Really nice aroma (blueberry, mint, pepper, herb, barn.) Sweet, well extracted, very nice balance. Nice appearance. Lots of taste.
Cons: It’s weird. A little light in body. A bit oxidized.
The best Fantome I’ve had in some time.
GodOfThunder (1241) - Orlando, Florida, USA - FEB 19, 2009
3.9 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Special thanks to Cheeseman for sharing a rarity from one of my favorite breweries. Aroma is caramel and funk. Flavor follows suit, with barnyard funk, sweet caramel and just a bit of autumn spice. Another great Fantome beer.
smith4498 (2793) - Miami, Florida, USA - FEB 15, 2009
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle shared by TheCheeseMan. Pours hazy caramel color with off white head. Sweet caramel malt aroma with some Fantome funkiness. Funky yeast flavor with fruit, spices, pepper and tartness. Medium body with mild carbonation and a dry finish.
juiceisloose (1050) - Windermere, Florida, USA - FEB 6, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Courtesy TheCheeseMan. Pours a dark orange color with a small off white head. Tons of sudsy lacing surround the glass. The aroma shows some citrus fruit, spices, and lots of funky yeast. The flavor follows with the fruits and spices leading more toward the sour side to go with the funky yeast, and a grainy malt backbone. Medium bodied with good carbonation with a dry, and tart finish. Nice stuff.
Travlr (9840) - Washington, Washington DC, USA - DEC 22, 2008
4.6 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
1 pint 9 4 oz bottle. Cloudy red brown, explosive head that shot the cork across the bar. Light tan head. Aroma of pumpernickel bread and yeast. Taste of German black bread with sour finish. Incredible,
radiomgb (2143) - Peterborough, Ontario, CANADA - AUG 28, 2008
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep copper-amber in colour with a lingering off-white coloured head, good lacing. The aroma is sweet, floral, lots of citrus with a light sweetness and some yeast. The flavour is dry, apples, sweet, a fruit salad sort of mix, citrus, lightly tart. Sweet mouthfeel, medium body, medium carbonation. Finishes very dry, tart with lots of apples.
This is excellent, not overly tart but rather smooth. A different kind of saison, even coming from Fantôme.
750ml bottle obtained in a trade with TheCheeseMan, thanks Dan.
Opened on March 28, 2008