Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Brasserie Fantôme - Fantôme Saison
My sister was in town this weekend, so I thought it would be fun for her to take part in a little beer tasting. What started as a few bottles turned into, well, a lot. Here's a picture of the lineup for the night.
The lineup was (in order shown): The Bruery's Orchard White, Magic Hat's #9, Alesmith's Yulesmith Summer, Dogfish Head and Sierra Nevada's Life and Limb, Drei Fonteinen's Oude Geuze, Great Divide's Rumble (which is the only beer we didn't get to), Pretty Things' Jack D'Or, Hair of the Dog's Blue Dot, Midnight Sun's T.R.E.A.T., Dogfish Head's Theobroma, Fantôme's Fantôme Saison, and Sierra Nevada's Torpedo (not shown). Needless to say, it was a very fun night. Over the next few days, I'll be reviewing some of the beers we tasted, starting with today's review of #80 on the Top 100 - Fantôme Saison.
I first heard about Fantôme Saison while reading through beeradvocate's Top 100 list about a year ago. It definitely caught me eye if for no other reason than it has an awesome label. I made it a point to look through every beer on the list and try to remember the names in case I ever stumbled upon them in a bottle shop. Many times, I found beers by Brasserie Fantôme, but never the saison. When asked about the saison, a lot of shop owners told me that they were trying to get it, but it was kind of a rare find. Finally, a year later, I found it at the Pizza Port bottle shop (on the day of the tasting, no less). Figuring it was fate, I picked up the bottle and opened it that night.
Fantôme Saison pours a hazy golden color with a one finger eggshell-colored head. I got some aromas of apple cider, vanilla, lemon and a touch of barnyard funk. The "funk factor" wasn't as high in this as a saison like Dupont's, but this had just enough to let you know it was a proper saison.
The taste definitely didn't disappoint, but it also didn't impress me as much as I was hoping it might. I picked up some lemon, pear, fermented apple, champagne yeast and a nice dose of funk. The champagne yeast flavor dried out the beer a lot and left nothing but a bit of funk on the finish. The mouthfeel was way light for a beer packing 8% ABV, so it's definitely one that has the potential to sneak up on you. Overall, it was a great saison, but the Saison Dupont may still be the king of saisons for me.
Final Grade: A
Top 100 Beers Tasted: 26