TAR (2387) - Lafayette, Colorado, USA - FEB 1, 2005
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Golden orange. Frothy foam puff produces webby lacework. Remarkably bright musty & peppery yeast fragrance with sage and cork notes. Elegant herbal hop and peach whispers. Tight, downy-soft carbonation blankets the palate. Hugely herbal Brewer’s Gold flavor caresses a subtle blend of perfume and camphorous sage. Periodic flashes of cottony dryness, not unlike licking the skin of a peach. Virtually weightless, throughout, with a drop of rosewater softness coinciding with a floral hop base and a delicate tingle of peach acidity. Interestingly, there’s only a glimpse of richness, which solely is a result of the nutty yeast and ever so slight cacao, which peak during the latter half. Appetizingly dry finish with musty yeast and an equilibrium of spicy & fruity esters combined with an artfully understated duo of leather and cacao, which quell the remainder of the soft acidity. Yeast pour imparts iron acidity while seemingly amplifying the cacao and hops. It’s truly miraculous what kind of esters and flavors Dany manages to pull out of his yeast, time after time. He’s achieved an inconceivable level of complexity in a beer where the malt presence is next to nil, which is what makes this all the more impressive. Calling this “adventurous” almost feels like I’m insulting it. It’s that good.
Crosling (1863) - Loveland, Colorado, USA - JAN 31, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: FEB 14, 2005 There is something undeniably special about opening a Fantome beer, especially one like this, which probably won’t ever reach us here in the States. A picturesque color of orange rust with a large, frothy and lasting head of white foam. A bit of apple butter, strawberry jam, cocoa powder, ripe fruits and if you sniff incredibly deep, herbs and coriander are present in the aroma. The chocolate or cocoa powder flavor is light, but obviously apparent. Big strawberry jam flavor, with hints of peach, cocoa, coriander and ripe fruits. People clearly are not taking enough time with this. This is a beer where you need to savor and enjoy the entire bottle, because the beer at 50 Degress was totally different from when it warmed to room temperature. Dany Prignon is a magician. This beer is incredible.
rauchbier (3499) - Isle Of Beer, Lincolnshire, ENGLAND - JAN 31, 2005
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle, courtesy of Gunter March. Bronze with a faint haze, good lasting white head and moderate condition. Gentle fruity herbal aromas with a suggestion of chocolate and a definite smoky phenolic edge. Quite sweet in the mouth with the chocolate much more apparent and the smokiness drifting off a little. Sweet finish with a faint fruity tartness and a lingering low dry chocolate powder note.
duff (5484) - Lund, SWEDEN - DEC 19, 2004
2.8 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Bottle. Didn’t do a hell of a lot for me. Quite dry and yeasty, with a slightly dusty, musky character, very light hit of chocolate, with some slight sourness, like it was slightly infected or something. There wasn’t much flavour, but it seemed to cover the palate OK. A little dissapointing though.
kook (2033) - Perth, Western Australia, AUSTRALIA - DEC 12, 2004
3.3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Cheap hot chocolate and light prunes in aroma. Light cloudy brown with beige head. Sweet fruity flavour with some light chocolate and spice notes. Medium smooth. Ok.
MrRomero (1973) - Nolanville, USA - NOV 29, 2004
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Delirium Cafe, 2004. Pours a slightly hazy orange with a large off white head. Light cocoa aroma, subtle. Not as much chocolate as I expected. Yeasty, light hops and fruit in the flavor. A nice Fantome product but no more extraordinary than any of their other offerings.
JorisPPattyn (7547) - Antwerpen, BELGIUM - NOV 22, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Hazy orange-amber; fluffy yellowish head, shards of lace. Dark, roasted malts nose, citrus, spicey. (Sweet) chocolate - or do I smell this by suggestion? Bitterish to quite bitter, flowery, dry cacao powder, and, very markedly, sesame oil. Little sourish tang. Long, soft-bitter aftertaste, always coloured by the sesame flavour. Titillating MF, quite carbonated, medium bodied. Another spice-balanced marvel by Dany Prignon. Not my favourite, maybe, but impressive all the same. Cacao powder taste is unmistakable.
Ernest (5896) - Boulder, Colorado, USA - NOV 18, 2004
4.3 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled at Cafe Delirium, Brussels. Head is initially large, frothy, off-white, fully lasting. Body is hazy medium amber, bottle conditioned. Aroma is moderately malty (toasted grain/bread), moderately hoppy (flowers, lemon), lightly yeasty (barnyard, cobwebs), with notes of coriander, orange peel, peach, hint of chocolate. Flavor is moderately sweet, moderately acidic, lightly bitter. Finish is lightly sweet, moderately acidic, moderately bitter. Medium body, velvety texture, lively carbonation. Fabulous aroma that was very hard to define for me but ultimately the chocolate element was very very light and not always apparent. Which was a relief, although a little more wouldn’t have hurt. Beautiful as-expected balance and mouthfeel, and simply another jewel in Dany’s crown as far as I’m concerned. Awesome.