clutchrogers (90) - Broussard, Louisiana, USA - FEB 26, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
from winter 2003. removed the cap and the cork started pushing out. poured with all head. foam kept creaping up the bottle neck. I had to pour two glasses to keep it from overflowing the bottle. light floral hop aroma. bready yeast, herbs. the color is copper amber color. hops, nuts herbs, a light caromel, sweet berrys (blueberry?). a slight alcohol pepperyness. chocolate in the finish. cherrys too. A very flavorful beer. I tasted this at fanome during january. Dany said that he had to make a dark winter beer for the US and Canada, cause thats what people expected. I still have the belgian version that I will try on a later date.
BückDich (5464) - McCall, Idaho, USA - FEB 16, 2004
4.5 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark hazy brown color with lots of whit head and lacing that stays for a long time, lots of carbonation. The aroma has a lot of caramel and toffee with some sweet maple and nice belgian qualities to it. The flavor is very semi-sweet with a touch of alcohol and sweet fruit/fig/raisin/brown sugar; delcious. The finish is moderate and average with a bit of alcohol. This was a great BSA, I was thinking more like a dark saison, but it's tasty and delicious.
Sham (1845) - Seattle, Washington, USA - FEB 16, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark mahogany with a very large off white head and nice lacing. Big aromas of caramel, fruits (grape/prune), and yeast and bread. Flavors are nearly the same as the aroma with the caramel coming out a bit stronger. Very strong fruits coming out as well. Many spices. Alcohol. Big body and a strong and spicy palate. Very nice Belgian from the Fantome.
JMerritt (1915) - Macomb, Illinois, USA - FEB 8, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Dark red-brown with a large, off-white head. Excellent head retention and lacing. Musty, spicy (cinnamon) aroma with hints of alcohol and green grapes. Grapes and plums dominate the malty, cobwebby rich flavor. Very full mouthfeel is moderately carbonated. Finish has a definite cinnamon hotness to it that lingers for quite a while. Alcohol is well hidden in the flavor.
sayravai (4707) - Helsinki, FINLAND - FEB 8, 2004
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
UPDATED: DEC 21, 2004 (Re-rate 12/2004) Muddy brown color with medium, tight and beige head. Quite sour, very peppery cherry flavor. Medium-bodied, quite carbonated but bearable palate. ABV hidden well. Very interesting, quite sour, but actually quite nice brew (or at least this bottle was much better than the one before :).
(original, was 4-3-4-3-8 = 2.2) Spicy and sour cherry aroma.
Bottle popped up loudly and kept foaming for several minutes after opening! Muddy dark brown color, tanned head. Stingy banana aroma with cherry. Sour cherry flavor - very strange and not exactly pleasant. Carbonated, acidic and sour palate. A strange combination of kriek and strong ale. Goes down better after few sips as the alcohol takes over the strange flavor. Even thought the bottle was bad, but I guess this is normal reading others’ comments. Not my kind of beer, however.
iwantalambic (1478) - St. Louis, Missouri, USA - FEB 2, 2004
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
750 ml bottle, capped and corked [2003 version; sampled Feb ’04 ]: dark orange-brown translucent caramel. A full light brown creaminess on top. Textured aroma of burnt raisins, prunes, all spice, mint, pine, medicinal alcohol, strawberries, and anise. Almost shocking palate: sweet blueberry and boysenberry alcohol and strikingly fresh cracked pepper. Full malty flavours that are most noticeable in the finish; towards the back of the mouth. Strong Fantôme yeast, leather, cherry-oaky sourness, strong licorice, dry baker’s chocolate, toasty-buttered grain and a not-so-subtle mustiness. A wonder to behold on a cold, snowy February eve. . .
Dorwart (2485) - Robbinsville, New Jersey, USA - FEB 1, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
UPDATED: APR 3, 2005 OK. I finally had a chance to try another one of these. Much better this time. Thin foam head with decent carbonation that keeps a wisp of bubbles on the surface. Alcohol, raisins and prunes in the aroma. Color is a dark mahagony red with pretty good clarity. Rich fruity flavor dominated by raisins, brown sugar and prunes. Nice alcohol warming as it goes down. Finish is a little dry and slightly sour. Little tart. My dad did not like this one so I am forced to drink the whole 750. Gee what a shame. Much better than the first attempt. Rating adjusted.
Unlike MJR (and a couple of other ratings), a very subdued opening. No pop, no carbonation, expected more. Poured into my Orval trappist glass very unimpressive. Thin, almost no head with no carbonation. Aroma is kind of transparent. Very week with little to note. Some malts and a bit of caramel. Color is a muddy reddish/brown. Flavor is sour with some fruit. Not very good. Same with the finish. I am really starting to think that this bottle is contaminated/bad after reading the other reviews. Very dissapointing after spending 10 bucks on the bottle and waiting patiently for the right night to try it. Score reflects my dissapointment. If I ever try again, I will revise my rating.
cb (810) - Roeland Park, Kansas, USA - JAN 22, 2004
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
French toast aroma w/perfect amount of maple syrup on top. Garnet color. Chewy dense malts slapped against a juicy cherry. Carmelized honey banana flavors, creamy dark fruit esters. Somewhat astringent hoppiness comes out as brew warms. I didn't get a lot of funkiness out of this brew which I didn't mind. And I kept thinking of whips and leather and chains. I'm not sure why, perhaps it was the devilish look of the ghost. And Santa looking oh-so-frisky.
Jokes (1453) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - JAN 20, 2004
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A dark brown body with occasional red-hued streaks dancing with themselves. The initial head is gigantic, but eventually settled down to a manageable, tight, light brown head. The aroma is staggeringly strong and complex. Strong, dark cherry, plum, fig and raisin, caramel, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, licorice-like alcohol, mellow oak and a funky tartness that is a combination of vinegar and dried horseshit. The body moderately thick and causes the tongue to tingle with its alcoholic strength. Spicy and sour, occasional sweetness comes through at times to throw your perception into disarray. The finish has a nice bitterness that is both unexpected and refreshing. The bitterness compliments the dry alcohol and funky spiciness. This is another outstanding, complex experiment from Fantôme and another winner in my book.
pivo (2647) - GERMANY - JAN 20, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Vinous nose of plums and cedar chips. Murky ruby-brown color and no head. Wine-like malt body with cherries, chocolate and balsamic vinegar. Toffee in the middle turning to a spicy clove end. Atringent and sour. Chalky mouth feel. Complex and unusual. Cool.