Hairofthedog (419) - San Diego, California, USA - DEC 7, 2004
4.4 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
Soury and flowery w/ fruit and sweet notes, slightly vinious. Dark reddish brown and poured w/ awesome head and lacing. This was a big beer! Caramel and soury fermented fruit, vinious and sweet, it was all over the place. Really good effervescence and body.
badgerben (5013) - Blaine, Minnesota, USA - DEC 7, 2004
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Dark red color with a medium head. Very nice aroma of malts and bananas. The taste is like a thick and heavy wheat bread. The banana backs off but is still present. Alcohol is slightly hidden, but definitely shows up. Damn fine.
robertsreality (2460) - Minnesota, USA - DEC 7, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Dark Red Coloring With Tan Head. Cherry, Yeast Aroma. Good Warming..From Middle On...Cherry..Hops, Dry and Bitter. Quite Good.
davesarman (159) - Waconia, Minnesota, USA - DEC 3, 2004
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
750 ml bottle, bought at Blue Max on 9-15-04 for $10.49. Nice dry, musty, woody Belgian-like aroma. Not overtly spicy, but some spice notes are there. Color is a nice deep ruby-brownish with good carbonation and a thick long lasting collar of tan foam. Taste is rich, fruity, slightly spicy, definitely malty. Description claims honey, caramel, coriander, black pepper. Can detect the honey and caramel easily. Takes some searching to find the coriander and black pepper, but that’s ok. A little goes a long way with those ingredients. Deep fruity notes of raisins, figs, plums. I would say slightly spicy, not very spicy. An exceptional winter beer that strikes the perfect balance between spicy and malty. One of my new winter faves!
fly (1468) - austin, Tejas, Texas, USA - DEC 1, 2004
4 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
Mon dieu! Une biere tres magnifique! Warming, acidic, floral, complex, bla bla bla - I just got lost in it and started forgetting about words and descriptors and let my senses take over the euphoric state I was approaching. Thank you Fantome.
matta (1140) - Tampa, Florida, USA - NOV 29, 2004
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 17/20
I found a Vintage 2003 bottle for only $9!!! HAhahahahah! And there is a store here in town that is charging $19.99 for the same shit! HAhahahahah
Ahhhhhh!!!!! I thought I had a bad bottle when I poured the beer because there was such a lackadaisical head, nearly nothing… but a small wispy tan froth. The body is a dark murky amber.
The aroma and flavor come across with a great depth of spices and sweet toffee and caramel malt. Tremendous suggestions of apricot, plums, pears, honeydew, raisons, and dried orange peel are most noteworthy. Danny must have emptied the spice rack into this batch! Fantastic notes of coriander up front, a hint of cinnamon, clove and cardamom are mid taste, and then I pull a wild notion of GINGER and Black Pepper Corn. In the center of my tongue I grab the slight warming spiciness of ginger… and I eat a lot of ginger! This is one Awesome combination of Holiday spice and sweet toasty malt, and the 10% abv is hidden like a ghost!!
What continually amazes me about this brewery is how F-ing innovative, yet completely natural Fantome’s beers are. They are extremely complex but always come across as an effortless act. I am always leveled by Fantomes Offerings…. And again, this is no exception!
humulus (339) - Salem, Missouri, USA - NOV 28, 2004
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Aroma of rich musky yeast like cave primoidia. A yeast and herbal quality with a light sweetness. Not much complexity and not what the price or reputation would imply.
Silphium (3193) - Traverse City, Michigan, USA - NOV 21, 2004
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Ruddy brown body with suspended sediment, medium off-white head. Flowery, toasty aroma with hard-to-discern spices. A bit fuller than other Fantomes I’ve sampled, fairly sweet and toasty and quite herbal with plenty of spices, flower petals, and a long herbal finish. Kind of like a peppery tea sweetened with dark candi sugar. Even with the heavier emphasis on malts, the classic Fantome herbal, spicy bouquet ends up dominating the beer. Something about this beer reminded me of cranberry sauce.
FlacoAlto (4176) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - NOV 20, 2004
4.4 AROMA 10/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 18/20
2004 Bottling, Sampled November 2004
This beer has an incredibly enticing aroma of slightly acidic apples and raisins as I pour this beer. It pours a semi-hazy rich amber color, and is topped by a full tan to light amber colored head. The aroma is quite fruity from a distance and as I go in for a closer smell the sharp acidic fruitiness becomes more apparent and is joined by notes of chocolate, and a very subtle spiciness that hints at cinnamon, clove, liquorish, ginger, vanilla. Basically this smells like a rich, fruity, subtle spice cake. The aroma is quite intriguing and is on par with the best from the Fantôme Brasserie.
The taste is soft and creamy up front, but finishes with a rich note of chocolate, which seems to be derived from roasted malts. As I let the flavors linger in my mouth, I get a definite dark malt finish that is reminiscent of a lightly roasted breakfast blend coffee. This beer is quite tasty, and I really like the abrupt transition between creamy soft and fruity upfront to the chocolately roasty finish.
I go in for another round of sniffing, and I start to pick up notes of fresh herbal fennel, a hint of vinegar (which seems to be only a suggestion from the spicy character here, as opposed to actual acetic acid), a finish that has a damp cellar-like character to it, and some definite notes of ginger aromatics. There is a certain, entirely obvious, yet not so much that I can pick it out, spice here in the nose that I should recognize, but just can’t quite put my finger on, what is it? Egad, the aroma of this beer is just intoxicating, the beer is at about 58*F (15*C) and is at the perfect temperature for smelling. Ok, it is now a 1/2 hour later, and I have had a revelation, I am pretty sure that this aroma is cardamom, it is in the taste as well.
The taste, while not quite as intoxicating as the aroma, is quite enticing and strikes a very good balance between soft notes and notes of more solid sharp character. The soft notes that I get consist of notes of apple, plum, tamarind, vanilla, raisin, and cinnamon. The sharp notes that I sense remind me of coffee, sharply acidic apples, a certain woodiness, a light herbal character, definitely a combination of light astringent notes, and that lingering chocolate note really hits my taste buds.
Dany has done a masterful job of pairing his house character with subtle spiciness and a hint of rich roast malt notes. This is my perfect ideal for a Christmas Saison. What a complete treat.
2003 vintage, Sampled November 2003
beerguy101 (5360) - Newark, California, USA - NOV 3, 2004
3.7 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Dark brown color. Small white foamy head. Aroma is fruit, tart, sour, barnyard funk, must, raisins, plums etc. A medium bodied Belgian Strong Ale. Malts are fruity, plums, cherries, and raisins. Nice bright yeasts. Nice fruity sour tartness and barnyardness. Touches of chocolate and coffee. The flavors balance out and smoothes out somewhat as it warms. A funky weird beer, but what else would you expect from Fantome! Mouthfeel is full and round. Finish is clean and dry. Aftertaste is slightly sweet.