750 mL corked and capped, lot D-1-4-15 best before end 2019.
I approach with a fair degree of trepidation. Labeled as a Cascadian Dark Ale (Black IPA) that I don’t much care for, coupled with the Best Before date of “end of 2019”, and the relatively low ABV, I am wondering what’s likely to await me. Add Dany on the top of all of that, and well, you get the idea!
Corked jammed in hard, and comes up with a good pop. First problem alleviated, this IS carbonated. Pour is great. Beautiful jet black pour, high head, great retention, super lace. Hard to fault this at all on appearance. Head is a very light tan color.
Nose is solid, with a good hop whiff, rounded and not hint of oxidation.
Mouthfeel is light, slightly creamy off the top, and again, nicely carbonated. Happy with that too.
Tastes are initially as expected. Nice up front bitterness that rounds out to a back-end which is also bitter. Mouthfeel helps to smooth things out a little. As it warms and the palate adjusts it gets into significant Black IPA territory. As I say above, not something that I usually care for much. Not a lot of Belgian influence here in terms of yeast or a weird Fantôme element. This feels, drinks and performs like a standard Black IPA, but one thing that does stand out is the way this has held up. It’s truly remarkable in terms of carbonation, hop presence and and general fresh feel, which given the ABV, style and time is truly amazing. There’s a LOT of dark, dank, herbal, roasted hop bitterness here which is truly eye-catching. Not expected at all.
As usual Fantôme surprises and amazes, this time in a truly unique manner. There’s just no stopping the weird ways in which Dany can surprise and delight.