FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - OCT 15, 2010
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Purchased Beer Mania July 2010; Sampled September 2010
A soft, steady pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces an almost five-finger thick, lightly tan tinged head. The head has a long staying power and leaves ample thick layers / clumps of lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer is a murky light amber hue that shows a hazed, gold-amber hue and a plethoro madly streaming carbonation bubbles when held up to the light. The pronounced, fruity aroma is noticeable as soon as I start to pour this beer. This is definitely the dominant note here and it is backed by an earthy spiciness that reminds me of woody white pepper (without the heat), woody mushrooms and ancient, very dry wood that crumbles to dust as you touch it. The fruitiness reminds me of apples, nicely ripe pears and sweet / tart plums. The finish gets nicely spicy, almost herbal in some ways; the heat from black pepper like notes shows through here and the beer is just simply complex and aromatic in the finish. Boosting the complexity here is the malt character; certainly pale, with an ample straw-like quality, it also reminds me of dusty grain flour that is a touch musty and damp. The nose on this beer is everything that I could hope for from a Fantome; fantastically complex with a nice interplay of fruit, malt and spice aromatics.
Dry and effervescent as it first hits my tongue, the beer foams up as it rolls across my tongue. There is a touch of tartness here too, I wouldn’t necessarily attribute this to any wild influence, that helps accentuate the fruit notes that are otherwise muted by the lack of sweetness. The fruit notes lean towards star-fruit, perhaps a touch of melon, and something that I think of as a bone dry Perry. The finish gets musty and also has a herbal, woody pepper note, some esters and perhaps even some higher alcohols. The body is quite light, more so than Fantôme usually gets when it is young, though I have no idea how old this actually is. This drinks way lighter than the labeled 8% would suggest (though I often wonder how accurate this is from a brewery that is as high-tech as Fantôme is). There is a touch of yeast character in the finish that adds to the earthiness.
The flavor isn’t nearly as complex and inviting as the nose suggested, but it is damn good in its own right and I really like how dry and quaffable this is. This is definitely one of the high points of the Fantôme stable. I am excited and saddened that I have one more new Fantôme to try.
puzzl (3254) - New York, New York, USA - OCT 13, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle drank all by my lonesome. Pours a murky orange/brown that only becomes sludgier the further you get down the bottle, in typical Fantome style. The nose on this shows notes of wheat, unripe apricot, nail polish and charcoal. Not the best. The palate is muddy, flabby, with little flavors early on that transitions into a very yeasty, green, dull finish. Reminiscent of salad greens. This is a most disappointing Fantome, likely the worst I’ve had from their extensive line-up. It lacks the funk, the complexity, the craziness of their other beers.
ketchepillar (1172) - Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA - AUG 11, 2010
4.1 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
RBSG Tasting. Thanks to Rastacoeure. Cilantro, lemon zest, parsley. Super herbaceous and plain fucking awesome. Some cigar. Awesome. Peppery. Herb garden flavor lets down some though. A bit vegetal.
Savvy1982 (1705) - Lethbridge, Alberta, CANADA - AUG 7, 2010
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle at RBSG, from the super-kind Rastacoeure. Pours hazy gold, with a thin white head, and poor lacing. Nose is sweet persimmon, rosewater, cold cream, privet, perfume, wheat, soft yeast. Flavours of gentle wheat, persimmons, sandalwood. Extravagant and pretty. A very feminine and excellent Fantome.
CanIHave4Beers (3524) - Pouring Bus, Iowa, USA - AUG 6, 2010
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sampled at the Rate Beer Summer Gathering 2010 Grand Tasting. Pours a hazy milky blonde with a good head and good lace. The aroma is beautifully lemony with hints of citrus rind and zest. There is a mild farmyard funkiness in there as well proving a very nice match for the citrus. The flavor is initially like a lemon spritzer with a nice sourness and some cooking spice. The beer is very dry and nails the whole "sour saison" thing pretty damned well.
KyotoLefty (7134) - Kyoto, JAPAN - JUL 28, 2010
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Shared by Rastacouere at RBSG grand tasting. Rather like a kind of saison. Tangy, citrusy aroma, very cloudy, dark yellow, brownish yellow color. Very fruity, sour edge, a little bit of horse blanket, it’s very nice.
thewolf (11349) - Kolding, DENMARK - MAR 27, 2010
3.6 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle, bought @ Beer Mania, Brussels.
Pours muddy orange with a sublime, creamy, off-white head. Fabulous duration. Aroma is something else. Lemons, lime, tulips, lemongrass, oranges, peach and some malty sweet balance. Medium carbonation, extremely dry mouthfeel. Flavour has oranges, citrus, pomelo, peach, lime. Tart, fruity yet elegantly sweet. After 6000+ different beers, it is a relief that some places can still make beers that are unlike anything I’ve ever tried.
kask (25) - Møgeltoender, DENMARK - MAR 7, 2010
4.4 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 10/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 19/20
This beer I got myself during my latest trip to Belgium, where I visited the brewery. The master of the brewery is known for all the time to throw himself into new experiments. I had a long list of beers that I should have, but almost all of them were no longer in stock. Instead he had some brand new brews to offer, among others this saison, which is made on mandarins. Mandarins I consider as a child-friendly version of the orange, and therefore I had imagined something like an old wivesbeer, but now that I had travelled this long way, I decided to give it a chance.
I must admit that I became positively surprised. Hamoir is not at all child-friendly, on the contrary. The beer is extremely seasoned with shells of mandarins, which gives a bitterness so extreme as with an american IPA. Other notes are orange, citrus, ethereal olies, resin and tannic acid. The taste gives associations to a good retsina.
The appearance is unclear and yellowish, the foam/head is rather small. The Carbonation is rather soft.
The body is mildly full. The finale is dry and rather sourish. The alcohol you can hardly feel. This is one of the best and most strange beer I up to now have tasted.
beerbuzzmontreal (3490) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - FEB 3, 2010
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Pours a cloudy orange color with a thin white head. Strong aroma of spices and herbs including basil and oregano. The flavor has citrus with a blend of spices and herbs. The body is light with a creamy texture and gentle carbonation. Interesting.
Bragesnak (5395) - Aarhus, DENMARK - JAN 26, 2010
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
From Beermania, Brussels, Belgium.
Orange with white head. Aroma of lots of citrus aspekts. Flavor is orange, grapefruit, peel and lemon.