Brasserie Fantôme is housed in a farmhouse in the quaint Belgian town of Soy. It’s brewing equipment is haphazard and antiquated, mostly salvaged from the original Brasserie d’Achouffe brewhouse. Beer is made about once per week, and bottling is done by hand. They offer only one style of beer, the venerable Saison, but they do brew it in over 20 different variations. Some of the beers are made only once, and some are limited to only 700 bottles annually. Even then, there is dramatic bottle variation between batches.
The variations are nearly are impossible to find and are often intriguing (mushroom beer?). They often feature intense fruit and herb flavors that push the limits. They are highly sought after, but there are some critics who think that these beers are famous for no other reason than due to their scarcity. However, there is little arguement about the brewery’s flagship Fantôme Saison. It is a remarkable beer.
Aromas of oak leaves, apples, and white pepper are intriguing in this Saison. There is even a bit of peach and cinnamon in there, too. On the palate, a bright freshness springs forth, despite the high alcohol. The fruit keeps moving, with tart pear flavors melding into lemongrass and allspice. A note of mushrooms and fresh compost flicker in the background, turning this beer into the beer equivalent of a Pinot Noir. Highly Recommended.