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In “Other Brewery’s Brews” I will present tasting notes and/or thoughts about beers that creatively inspire me.

Appearance 3/5: Warm amber color. Slightly cloudy. Firm white head that lasts well.

Aroma 3.5/5: Honey and hay. Peaches and rye crackers. Forest floor moist leaf tannic. Slightly piney.

Flavor 4/5: Pilsner saltine cracker sweetness. Boozy sweetness like invert beet sugar syrup. Pepper and pine in the astringent bitterness.

Mouthfeel 4/5: Medium bodied and slippery to start. Astringency develops around the edge of the tongue, the creeps to envelop the palate. Finishes dry with a long lasting resiny sticky bitterness.

Overall Impression 4/5: This very complex beer sits strongly on a tripod of Belgian Golden Strong, aggressive Czech Pilsner, and American Double IPA. It confidently expresses the stronger characters of all three of these styles while remaining balanced on three sturdy legs – clean malts, complex DIPA style hops, and warming alcohol. The yeast characters are in the honey/fruit background and peppery mouthfeel.

Very good beer, but why “Boo!”? Maybe because it’s scary delicious?

Santé!
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Fantôme Boo!
Fantôme Boo!

 

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In "Other Brewery's Brews" I will present tasting notes and/or thoughts about beers that creatively inspire me.

Tonight I review Fantôme Saison from Brasserie Fantôme.

Appearance 3/5: Light gold with a touch of warmth. Big fluffy white head.

Aroma 4.5/5: Earth and spices. Tart apples crushed right from the tree. King trumpet mushroom umami. Sweetly floral. Damp old timbers.

Flavor 4.5/5: Malts provide a clean and slightly sweet canvas for the circus of flavors. Tartness and herbs. Throughout an earthy funk. Touched by spices. Slightly tannic like green apple skins.

Mouthfeel 3.5/5: Light and astringent to start. Crisply effervescent. Finishes dry with a lingering herbal and slightly savory quality.

Overall Impression 4.5/5: Wow! Fantastic. Clean and crisp malt canvas splashed with spice, tartness, funk, sweetness, and blossoming herbs. An extraordinary beer. The restrained tartness and earthy complexity remind me of a natural and wild Asturian Sidra from Spain.

In my dreams I would wish to collaborate on a concept and recipe, and brew a beer with Dany Prignon of Brasserie Fantôme.

Santé!
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Fantôme Saison, Brasserie Fantôme
Fantôme Saison, Brasserie Fantôme

 

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In “Other Brewery’s Brews” I will present tasting notes and/or thoughts about beers that creatively inspire me.

Appearance 3.5/5: Crystal clear golden yellow. Nice fluffy white head that falls quickly and leaves a creamy top and nice lace.

Aroma 3.5/5: Very clean malt aromas, toasty saltine crackers, a little sweetness, and zero diacetyl (which I was fearing with a 100% pilsner malt bill). Hop characters are all herbal and floral as expected for all German hops; chamomile and chrysanthemum tea, echoes of sage and thyme.

Taste 4/5: Old world hop bittering brought to the right level to balance the Pilsen malt sweetness and residual sugars, then leave a crisp bitter aftertaste reminiscent of wormwood. Malts are sweet/slick/rich; but cleaner than most DIPAs this big. Sweetness fades pretty fast in the finish, leaving a long herbal/floral bitterness as you might expect in a bitter carminative herb digestif.

Mouthfeel 3.5/5:Medium body, slightly slick with an astringency in the finish that slowly develops as the residual sugars drop off.

Overall Impression 4.5/5: Yes I do love American craft beer, but I cut my “craft” teeth over 20 years ago before Stone existed. I had to go to specialty liquor stores and buy the best stuff being imported from Germany, the UK, Ireland, Belgium, and so forth. I even begged a business associate going to Belgium to close a deal, to bring me back a true Lambic – which he appropriately stuffed in multiple socks (clean or dirty I don’t know) to bring back in his luggage.

German hops, yes. I mean yes like “YES!”. Over the top carminative herbal and field flower floral aromas and bitterness. Perhaps the cleanest all pilsner malt fermentation I’ve tasted at this ABV level (no diacetyl is not easy to achieve all pilsner at this gravity).

Seriously good – and seriously impressive. And if you don’t get it, you need to immerse yourself in some of the best beers from the Old World for a while.

Cheers!
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Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA
Stone 17th Anniversary Götterdämmerung IPA

 

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