muzzlehatch (4420) - Burlington, Vermont, USA - NOV 8, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
750 ml bottle shared with Da Montreal Crew at Fantômes and More! tasting. Dark caramel-maple color with a thick but fairly unstable white head...very delicate, subtle nose with wafts of delightful licorice and lilac, a living expressive floral bouquet with farmy qualities that are not over-the-top, merely enough to further transport you into the country...fairly sweet on the tongue with hints of cocoa, lots of peppery sourness and bitterness towards the end though honey-vanilla is met and smiled at along the way...lots of dry mineral qualities at the very finish, we descend into a dusty gravel pit, but emerge, somehow, refreshed and elated.
Goldorak (438) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 9, 2005
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Got this rare beauty right off the hands of the brewer when I visited in September.
Dark amber, with a compact off-white head. Looked more like a pale ale than a Saison, but it looked a lot nicer than some of the other Fantômes I’ve had.
Freshly cut flowers, mirabelle, coriander, brown sugar, anis, it all blended together to make sweet and spicy pot-pourri that I really enjoyed.
Full bodied, tangy and bitter, the hops seemed to really come out more in this one, and with the water he uses that probably comes out of a magic rock behind the barn, it tastes like mixing pepper flavored pop-rocks and fresh hops in a Fantôme Saison and mixing it with a little hay. One of his best I would say.
ClarkVV (4438) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - NOV 14, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
UPDATED: NOV 15, 2005 2005?? 750mL bottle (red pepper version) shared with the Montreal crew on 11/6/2005. Thank you so much Martin!
Pours a large amount of creamy, off-white head, very dense, not unlike an Orval head. Dark garnet and mahogany notes swirl about in front of an amber backdrop while miniscule bubbles rise from this unfiltered, bottle conditioned liquid. Plenty of lacing is left on the glass.
The aroma is a subtle mix of lightly sweaty saaz hops, round and clean caramelly sugar notes, light notes of forest underbrush and signature Fantome yeastiness. No pepper noted in the aroma, but my dreams would be realized in the flavor.
First few sips provide a soothing, moderately sweet brown malt blend of light caramel and toffee, with even the faintest hint of chocolate. A bit of bitter black licorice is noted towards the end, while the middle provides a rather muted hops sensation of light hay, green leaves and a slight nuttiness. Yeast apparency/influence is rather clean for a Fantome, but still flavorful and boasting much complexity. Shaping up pretty nicely, I do say, and I havent even got to the good part. . . . .
At first I’m a bit disappointed that I do not find the red pepper, but then after a number of minutes and some warming, there it is. Faint, subtle and tremendously underdone (though with red pepper, that is a good thing), but once I’ve locked on to it, I focus in and my enjoyment of this beer immediately doubles. Just a light capsaicin warming sensation on the very end, that tickles the throat. Once I like something, I usually want a lot of it, but this is just peachy. Just the right level that you couldn’t ever get sick of it (or I couldnt, anyways). And then we have the mouthfeel to discuss. Perfectly tight and expansive with just a hint of slipperiness on the end. There, that was easy. Now the hard part, where do I get more?!?!?!
tiggmtl (4545) - Vancouver, British Columbia, CANADA - NOV 23, 2005
4.4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Liquorice and red pepper notes are strong in the sweet, round, malty aroma along with an artichoke-like vegetal character that works surprisingly well. Opaque amber-brown with low, fine bubbled, off white head that lasts well and leaves some lace. Sweet, round malt flavour with plenty of cake-like yeast, liquorice, light roastiness and some green herbal/vegetal character.Medium body with soft, fine bubbled texture and lively but gentle carbonation. Bottle enjoyed with beerbuzzmontreal, ClarkVV, Goldorak, MartinT, muzzlehatch, Olivier_MTL, Rastacouere and Yowie.
Rastacouere (6161) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 6, 2005
4.3 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 17/20
Almond murky brown hue is immediately covered by a nice off-white head, procuring good lacing. Rather hoppy nose, floral, complex and dry. Potent spice blend offer anise and herbal nuances among a sea of earthy brown sugar touched malts. Most interesting aroma, but the taste seduces further, combining the acclaimed Fantôme mineral and gently lactic character with dry spiciness, orangey, licorice-like, earthy, seedy. It reaches its own grounds through darker caramelized and nutty malts, blending in nicely. Long finish bursting with peppers and powerful yeastiness. Powdery palate, very smooth, evenly distributed carbonation, medium bodied. Mystifying stuff.
beerbuzzmontreal (3488) - Montreal, Quebec, CANADA - NOV 10, 2005
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Pours a cloudy brown color with a thin offwhite head. Aroma of red pepper, licorice and coriander. Interesting flavor of red pepper, licorice, coriander, yeast and noble hops with a bitter finish. The body is light with an oily texture and soft carbonation. Another gem from Fantôme, santé!
vandemonian (32) - USA - JAN 7, 2012
3.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Sour smell. Tastes of lemon and dusty malt. Slightly roasty. Some sourness in the finish.
schuimkroaat (427) - Leuven, BELGIUM - SEP 18, 2005
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Brewed August 2005. 75 cl bottle. Colour somewhere between red brick and fallen autumn leaves, good haze, rich beige creamy head. Aroma of spinach and mint with yeast and spices. Malty taste with juicy background, immediately followed by strong pepper flavour and peppery-hoppy aftertaste. Thick body, lively carbonation. Tastes raw; I’ll age a second bottle - I’m curious what will come of it.
JorisPPattyn (8659) - Ursel, BELGIUM - JUL 7, 2006
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
1 yr. old. What is this, 1 Belgian and 7 Canadians? Intolerable!
Huge, dense yellow head over dark brown beer, opaque & funky. Very fresh smelling beer with garden herbs, dark malts, faintly sweetish (the licorice?) and resiny. Very inviting nose! Dry, extremely wry-woody flavour with dark & chocolate malts, spicey and peppery. Remarkably little sweetness, sugar is all fermented. Earthy, woody, forest-like flavours. Hint at acidity, but nowhere sour. Burning MF at swallowing. The chili? Certainly not "hot". Well bodied. Quite bitter-woody aftertaste. More "Ardennais" you die. But once again, a Fantôme I like very much. Thanks to my chairman-boss for this excellent gift!
harrisoni (15649) - Ashford, Kent, ENGLAND - SEP 22, 2006
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 17/20
Bottle at LCRBM 2006. Cloudy brown colour with a meaty aroma. Nice in mouth, some soft fruit, yeasty full in mouth. Just got some choc and this is really good, wish I could describe it better.