atpayne (615) - Zionsville, Indiana, USA - DEC 15, 2005
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Thanks to beerprincess at Indy 12/10/05 gathering. Brown with tan head. Vinegar fruityness in the aroma make it a unique. Roasted and chocolate malts with a vinegar based sourness that has moments of light fruityness. Definate tangyness in the character and a spicey presence.
jeffin7 (613) - Silver Spring, Maryland, USA - MAY 15, 2004
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Aroma of dark fruit, berries and soy sauce. Flavor of dark fruit, soy sauce,with a bittersweet chocolate finish.
joebrew (608) - Farewell Minny; Hello Puyallup, Washington, USA - JAN 6, 2007
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a nick dark brownish-black, with a nice tan head. Nice malty sweet nose with hints of a sour oakyness and caramel. The flavor is definately a belgian with the earthy mustiness, but is complemented by a nice spiciness that must be the black pepper as it is not your normal hoppy spice. The alcohol is very subtle and plays nicely with teh coffee-like earthiness. This is a great beer from this crazy belgian brewery.
jskendzel (602) - Washington DC, USA - OCT 17, 2003
4.1 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Caramel color with lively carbonation. Nice bubbles foaming up from the bottom and a moderately sized head. Nose is bitter with acidic notes. Taste isn't overly sour but is definitely bitter with a biting, spicy edge. Taste fades to a lingering sweetness and fruit. Alcohol unnoticeable. Mouthfeel is frothy and full which helps to back up the intense weedy-notes I'm picking up. Interesting saison.
jarspag (601) - San Francisco, California, USA - AUG 7, 2008
3.9 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle w/ Simon. Hazy amber color, aroma and flavor is very belgian...stays dry and fluffy. Not any annoying, xmas like sweetness, but some slight spice. Satisfying and tasty.
emerica56 (600) - Bristol, Rhode Island, USA - FEB 6, 2010
4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a dark nut brown color with a thin tan head and a nice pleasant aroma. It is full of dark fruits and black current with a mix of sour notes. As you sip on it there is an initial sour taste with the dark fruits in the background. There is a lot of funk and a good blend of carbonation. I personally like the yeast funk and dark fruit combination. it leaves a lasting impression on the palate.
FreshHawk (596) - Iowa City, Iowa, USA - JUN 12, 2010
4.2 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
A - Dark garnet chestnut color with an average sized, foamy, sticky off-white/toasted marshmallow color head. Decent retention with a nice layer of sticky lace.
S - A lot of dark fruit, especially a plum, fig, and other vinous, jamy fruits. Also plenty of spice with cinnamon, nutmeg, and some clove and pepper. A bit of a sweet bready aroma as well. Somewhat Christmasy with a spiced sweet bread aroma, but it isn’t overly Christmasy.
T - Similar to the nose with plenty of dark fruit and it is pretty plumy and slightly vinous. Good amount of spice with cinnamon and nutmeg being the strongest with some clove, pepper, and anise as well. Fair amount of Christmas flavors, especially the spices. Some sweet, dark bready malt base. In the background there is some more traditional Saison/Fantome spice and yeast.
M - Medium body with medium to high carbonation. A bit of a zesty feel, but a touch of smoothness as well.
D - Pretty drinkable beer with the ABV very well hidden. Spice and dark fruit combine well with the typical Fantome/saison flavors. Doesn’t overpower the palate.
Notes: Tasty offering from a great brewery, although this is not my favorite of their beers. Fairly Christmas like in the spices and dark fruit, but it didn’t necessarily strike me as a Christmas beer. All together this was an interesting offering from a good brewery, but I probably wouldn’t get it again, but it is worth a try.
minch25 (577) - Medford, Massachusetts, USA - MAR 16, 2008
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Pours chestnut brown, thick loudly crackling tan head. Very weighty alcoholic brew. Flavor of tart cherries, strawberry jam, bitter "cherry pits". Thick yeasty "sawdust" texture. Certainly interesting, even though it’s not really my favorite kind of beer.
mdi (573) - Nebraska, USA - DEC 25, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
75cl bottle at least one year old. Big pop from cork. Muddy, earth colored beer rushes into the glass with a big beige head. Sporatic lacing. Earthy, peppery malt, chocolate and brown sugar. Nice body. SPicy bitter finish. This brings to mind fall weather w/ a roaring fire outside. Earthy, somewhat smokey, some warming alcohol, pepper. So far, my favorite "christmas" beer this year...but this transcends that lable. A joy.
TheEnemy (564) - Chicago, USA - JAN 22, 2006
4.2 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 16/20
Pours a hazy dark reddish brown with a a great big fluffy white head that refuses to make any hint of a departure until rinsed out of the bottom of the glass. The room fills with musty, earthy, spicy slightly acetic aroma once the bottle is opened. Flavor is earthy, nutty-yeasty, hop-spicy, peppery, light to moderate hop bitterness, hint of sour grass, and a dash of licorice. Hard to find a more complex flavor profile than this, especially one that comes together so well. Big thick palate. What a wonderful winter treat.