Travlr (9999) - 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,
luckygirl (1223) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - DEC 13, 2006
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottled. Beer is murky, medium caramel colored with a larger-than-average, beige, mostly diminishing head.<P>
The aroma is distinct—pointed and piquant. It’s malty with a moderate-to-heavy note of deeply toasted grain, light notes of creme brulee and dark caramel; Hoppy with a light note of pine, moderate herbal note of rosemary and thyme; Yeasty with moderate note of horseblanket, trace of gorgonzola/blie-veined cheese; Moderate miscellaneous note of aspen tree bark, decaying leaves, light note of smoke.<P>
The flavor is moderately-to-heavily sweet, lightly-to-moderately bitter with a long warmish, lightly sweet, moderately bitter, trace acidic finish. Ends with a heavily bitter whip and a trace of astringency.<P>
The body is medium, the texture is watery and the carbonation is fizzy.<P>
Glad to have had it.
Beershine (5195) - The Sunshine State, Florida, USA - AUG 22, 2008
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Deep dark red-brown. Never loses its head as it sits. Blueberry pie. Flowers. Fruity crazy unique yeast. Like a breeze blowing through a field of orchid and hibiscus. Distinctive.
Ernest (6031) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 19, 2006
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Head is initially average sized, frothy, light brown, mostly lasting.
Body is hazy medium to dark amber, bottle conditioned.
Aroma is lightly to moderately malty (toasted grain), lightly to moderately yeasty (cobwebs, barnyard), with notes of autumn (dead leaves, bark), straw, leather, minerals.
Flavor is moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, lightly to moderately bitter.
Finish is lightly to moderately sweet, lightly to moderately acidic, moderately bitter.
Medium body, velvety/creamy texture, lively carbonation, lightly alcoholic.
Only 3 beers on RateBeer have "circus" in the name, oddly enough, and this completes the trio for me. I hate to sound tired, but if you like Fantome, well...you’ll like this. It’s got all the characters that make Fantome unique, and this bottle was in good shape, so...delicious. Kinda in the same ballpark as the Pissenlit or Automne...amber colored, scents of autumn (leaves, trees), etc.
reakt (950) - Greater London, ENGLAND - MAR 4, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
UPDATED: SEP 2, 2007 75cl bottle from The Beer Circus. Gutted to find out that the Circus was officially out of stock, but Graeme was kind enough to pull one from his limited personal stash. Deep raspberry in colour with malty beige head. Sparkling from the popping carbonation. Nose of red wine / dried dark fruits with notes of coffee, caramel, raisin and chocolate (very tootsie roll like). Taste is predominently prune and tobacco - might sound awful, but they really compliment each other. The 8% is initially quite subtle, but a long, warming alcohol finish tops things off quite nicely. I swear I can still taste it. Goes down an absolute treat.
puzzl (3237) - New York, New York, USA - NOV 18, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle from Larry. But not Shared with Larry, even though he was the last rater. Shared with Max. Vegetal, floral aroma, deep and yeasty, lightly tart, a little brett. Huge head that fades fast. Not firm. Big and bold flavor, like a souped up saison, lots of flower notes and a strong, earthy yeastiness. Delicious! Thanks, Larry.
FlacoAlto (3737) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - DEC 10, 2007
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A slightly vigorous pour produces an initially three-finger thick, amber tinged, tan colored head that leave just a touch of lacing on the sides of the glass. The beer is a dark, amber-tinged, plum color as it rests in my tulip glass, but shows an almost brilliantly clear, cranberry red color when held up to the light. An aromatic mix of earth-like note and fruit greet my nose as I take my first draught of the aroma. Aromas of plums (both tart & sweet), raisins, cloves, a touch of damp leather, something like mace, hints of tamarind and a touch of musty, yet distinctly, woody-black-pepper. The fruit notes are more concentrated up front, and it is not till you take a couple of successive draughts of the aroma that the earthy spice notes really start to become noticeable. This has a pretty nicely complex nose that one would expect from Fantôme; it is very enjoyable to spend a couple minutes exploring the aromas of this brew.
Lightly sweet, a touch more tart and it has a sort of tannic, almost woody astringency to it in the finish. The fruit notes is much more on par with the earth & light funk here in the flavor, but I still get ample notes of concentrated plums, raisins, a touch of tamarind, pears and even apple. Musty spice notes & that woody note provide a counterpoint to the fruitiness; as does the acidity, but this tends to meld into and accentuate certain aspects of the fruit flavors too. Soft turpene notes (clove, hints of mace and allspice) are joined by a woody black pepper note (not as distinctly as in the aroma though), a hint of earthy ginger, spicy oak flavors. Quite light bodied, yet that tannic / woody note adds some body and the spiciness almost makes this a sipping brew despite how quaffable it is. Some phenolic notes and a touch of alcohol adds some sharpness to the finish.
The second pour of this brew adds a bit of sediment, which definitely adds a yeast-like dimension to the brew (both in the flavor and in the taste). Spicy notes of allspice, cardamom and clove seem to be accentuated as well. While not as funky as some Fantôme products, this has a rich depth of flavor that I am really digging. I am not really sure where the wood-like notes are coming from (perhaps the cork, or maybe some weird secret ingredient), but they definitely add a very nice additional complexity to this brew.
WeeHeavySD (3359) - San Diego (Hillcrest), Oregon, USA - AUG 10, 2008
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
750 I feel honred to have had this a bottle from Chris of Ebenezer’s Personal Cellar. Pours dark amber red with a 2 finger tan head. Nose is sweet, really awesome. Taste is sweet and tart and nice, this was great.
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.
DocLock (7481) - Lower Pottsgrove, Pennsylvania, USA - AUG 23, 2006
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Thanks to Matta for this one. Pours hazy rubyish deep coppery with 3-finger tan creamy head. Aroma of funky caramelly malt, fruit, spice, vinous notes, and some brown sugar and nuts. The flavor is caramel malty, with that characteristic funky peaty note, and some figgy fruit, with brown sugary and slightly nutty finish. The taste was sweeter than the aroma might dictate. Gets a bit tarter as it warmed, but remained a complex drinking experience throughout.