I’m generally not a fan of coffee based beers. I love coffee, but as usual with my beer, I have little or no need for a bunch of adjuncts or any extra, infused flavors. Having said that, I’ll never, ever pass up a chance to try a Fantôme that I’ve not had before. It’s always a thrill.
Pour is a pretty, brown body beneath a solid inch of light tan brown bubbles. Better looking than I was anticipating.
The nose offers a hint of the promised coffee, but the dominant element for me is a lightly acidic, low fruit ester. Nice.
The nose (of course) is a precursor of the taste, and I have this down as drinking like an Oud Bruin with a mild coffee infusion. The former character is great – I’m a big fan of the style – and although the coffee is completely unnecessary in my view, it doesn’t really detract too much from the overall experience. I’d also argue that it doesn’t add much either, but I guess that’s just me. The label offering the advice that there is a “Very Bitter Taste” is amusingly incorrect! Also noted on the label, “original 1 time brew darker than habitual”.
There are plenty of mild fruit esters, a touch of tartness, which are great and as and one would expect, and then the persistent, light coffee touch. Treat this as a ‘Coffee Oud Bruin’ and you’ll be pretty happy, even if you are just wishing for a classic, untouched version of the style. So many, many brewers couldn’t pull this off, Dany does.
Typical madness, typical (pleasing) results.