jstraw (1967) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - MAY 16, 2012
Hazy caramel-amber with big, flotsam, beige head / Delicate nose of orchard fruit, oak, caramel, and brett / Light to medium body, lively, mildly tart and acidic, alcohol not apparent, with excellent balance and dry, ever so lightly bitter, finish / Earthy, delicate flavors of green apple, rotten apple, cherry, chrysanthemum, buttered caramel, chocolate, oak, hay, and wet fur / Great stuff, as usual for Fantome. zebra (2138) - Illinois, USA - DEC 21, 2016
750-ml bottle from binnys Hyde Park. translucent honey color, good head, fizzy at first, classic funky saison nose, saison lemon-pepper, clear but restrained spices, sweet, super balanced, medium body, herbal finish, drinkable. joyeux noël à tous. psuhorrorshow (1) - USA - APR 14, 2007 does not count
A rich and very tastey treat for the holiday season. At 10 % abv, it also leaves a nice, warm feeling. Too bad it only comes once a year with Christmas. yannickh (16) - on, BELGIUM - JAN 12, 2012
niquelle j adore cette bière à boire au coin du feu en famille dommage qu il ne fasse pas asse froid :q jcr (2705) - Jasper, Indiana, USA - MAY 25, 2008
UPDATED: DEC 16, 2008 750 ml bottle. Wonderfully complex. A beer that seems to open itself to different aromas and flavors the more you drink. Large, lasting head. Dark amber body, hazy. The aroma is sweet at first, with molasses and caramel, but also shows hop notes of pine. It is heavy with earthy mustiness. Also full of spices, specifcally clove, nutmeg and cinnamon. Some hint of fruit, especially cherry. Great balance of sweet malt, earthiness and spices. The flavor is moderately sweet, light bitter and moderately acidic. Medium body, velvety texture and lively carbonation. Dry finish. Love the complexity and myriad flavors. Thoroughly enjoyable and world class.
NYHarvey (2153) - New York, New York, USA - DEC 17, 2005
Courtesy of Secret Santa.
I just had this at a Florida RB Tasting, but I was rocked so it was nice to get a bottle to enjoy at my leisure....ie sober.
2004 vintage. Aroma is STRONG and imparts spice and chocolate malt. I found that odd, but welcome. Hazy light brown with a head that is creamy and screams drink me. The flavor is highly chocolate in the fore, but fades to strong coffee flavor due to some sourness in the finish. This is a flavor I love immensely and actively seek out. I can’t believe how well the chocolate malts reach their potential in this style. It tastes like a spiked chocolate/coffee with a complex funky saison thrown in and it really makes a statement. The flavor is beautiful and the feel of the beer is amazing. A fantastic MUST TRY beer.
And at 10% the alcohol is amazingly well masked. I’d guess 6.5% if asked based on the flavor. Floback (550) - Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - MAY 24, 2007
UPDATED: OCT 10, 2007 750 ml bottle. Knightly Spirits aims to please. Pours a ruby-tinged black and tight webs of tan lace. Tireless and always skunky with a touch of chalk and hay on the nose. Crisp with spicey-yet-subtle notes of Dewar’s scotch and granny smith apples. Head is a huge, tinted brown and the nose is caramel and malt. Perfectly sour with yeast. One of my all-time favorite beers due to its complexity, smoothness, and intrigue. afireinside96 (923) - Mountville, Pennsylvania, USA - MAY 21, 2008
Wow, what an incredible beer! It takes all of the best characteristics of a saison, porter, and a sour and rolls them all into one magnificent brew. Pours a very deep brown with a creamy tan head that lasts through the entire glass. Notes of apple, cherry, chocolate, and yeasty spiciness are detectable in the nose. The flavor, oh the flavor, is bitter roasted coffee as it first hits your tongue then it migrates into a tart citrus and goes back to bitter in the finish. Each sip reveals more subtle nuances, apple, raisin, plum and spice all make an appearance at some point during the show. It finishes dry with a lingering roasted bitterness. Not at one point was anything overwhelming, just a beautiful parade of flavors carried on a smooth, slightly bubbly liquid without a hint of alcohol flavor. I’m really kicking myself right now that I didn’t buy two bottles. Do yourself a favor if you see this and buy a few bottles. Heathen (1500) - Wilmington, Delaware, USA - FEB 6, 2009
THOUGHTS: My first Fantome. I didn’t even know there could be a dark saison. I almost didn’t get to try this the night I opened it because I couldn’t find a corkscrew. I think need one was another beer first for me. An incredible beer. I can’t wait to try more Fantome beers. Hid alcohol incredibly well. If I didn’t have a little cold this might have received a perfect rating. It was like a sour porter. Not all that Christmasy, but I guess it was Christmasy for a saison.
TECHNICAL: Bottle. Poured a dark, brownish red that was nearly black in the glass, but still had red highlights. It also had a large to huge, off-white head that slowly diminished. The aroma was light roasted, milk chocolate, mild coffee malts, cocoa powder, moderate yeast, sour fruit, a little fruit, and once the yeast is added, a slight funk. The flavor started sour and lightly sweet; and finished very sour with and average duration. There was sour fruit, along with some wood and maybe smoke, some yeast and very light coffee and cocoa powder. The light to medium body was a little creamy then fairly dry with very fizzy carbonation and a moderate astringent finish. I went down easy. beermatrix (1497) - Twin Cities, Minnesota, USA - APR 5, 2005
Aroma seeps sweet cookie dough, tobacco juice, charcoal wood, and pruny-date filled fruitness. Notes of black licorice, ginger bread spice, and chocolate persist with a very lesser amount of sour yeast funk then what I though it was gonna have. Which is fine by me.
Strangely beautiful and ever-changing dark brown velvet (blackish in most dull light) with a big bubbled dark cinnamon cap thats very active. The body is also; very active, with lots of cascading foam squirming up the sides when first poured. The cap slips away fairly fast and then keeps the thinest of thin collar. Very minimal lacing in tiny dots.
The taste is immaculately woven with subtlities and super smooth in the effect of some amazing drinkability. Massive sweet malt thats very level and calibrated to reach only the specified amount for perfect interaction, allowing only so many and so much of the dark fruits pass through. Dates, pale raisin, plum, and prune all come to mind as its slowly baked into a soft breadyness. Rolling smooth spices of cinnamon, anise, and black licorice spackle the middle areas. Finishes with heavy chocolate laced within lighter smokey cedar wood chips and a topical dry yeast spice that reminds me of ginger bread cookies spritzed with orange. Finish fades off super, super slow with chocolate muffins and blackened rye spice. Wow, what a yummy ride!
10%? You gotta be kidding. It never seems that ABV beefy - ever. The body is Oh so smooth and delicately easy on the palate the whole way through. Its not quite full really, but doesn’t necessarily need to be as its overall smoothness speaks for itself. Constant and consistent, the way any great brew oughta be.
Wicked-quick gone from my glass. This stuff didn’t last nearly long enough. Even with the 750ml. I’ll be sure to get more of this next time I see it. Superb stuff!