“This is a tremendously delicious, textural, and fizzy county ale, bright gold colour, citric and sour, reminiscent of a good champagne or lambic but in a class all its own.
Fantôme – Golden ale, 8% alc. by volume, with a wonderfully musty and characterful aroma. There are many drinkers out there who believe this is the “Nectar of the Gods.” Certainly no other brewer makes beer like this, in Belgium or anywhere. How many beers of 8% plus offer such fresh fruitiness? A solid Belgian saison beer at its base, with an unusual overlay of fruitiness.”
Uncapped, uncorked then served in to a wide rimmed tulip. Fantôme pours a cloudy golden orange hue that’s capped off by a head that swells to about two fingers before it retracts and settles to a wispy overlay that laces well.
The aroma is incredible, every time we take a whiff we pick up some new scent. Initially we get a citric sweetness that has uncanny similarities to a lemon, lime and bitters. Our 2nd crack uncovers a fair amount of spice – clove, pepper, aniseed and lemongrass are the most discernible. Herbs also come through quite strong (mainly a minty tone), hints of fleshy mango and rockmelon, strawberry, barnyard and an all round funky sourness at its core. So much depth and character on the nose.
The texture of the beer is somewhat light and silky with a fairly decent body filling it out. The 8% ABV is well concealed. Mild acidity.
We taste a spicy warmth emphasized by a delicate heat from the booze upfront. Yeasty phenols, musty barnyard notes and tart citrus take charge through a slightly sweet middle of honey and apricot before she punctuates with a mildly dry, fruity and spicy finish. Good endurance on to the back end as well.
That’s a damn fine Saison! A true interpretation of the Wallonian style. It’s a melting pot of spice, herbs and tangy citrus with the musty barnyard notes and restrained sourness that makes it a perfect summer drop but could well be enjoyed in either Autumn or Spring. Very versatile, very tasty. Classy stuff.