If you got into beer in mid-2013, please exit this review immediately and keep spouting your typical “FANTOME IS BAND AIDS” rhetoric, this review isn’t for you. Go attend a homebrew meeting or cicerones anonymous while we discuss some grown ticker shit.
Today we have a geriatric gem from before the Spin Doctors were cool. TRICK STATEMENT: Spin Doctors were never cool. Regardless, this is a ghost from the bygone era, some early 90’s discman shit that was pumpin hot in the streets of Soy back when people were watching DOUG and still dialing 411. This was right around the time that Fantome became “Fantome” and not Brassiere Prignon I believe, but before the iconic ghost showed up. The early bottles had these creepy bas relief women on them which almost evoke more of a spectre haunting vibe than the cartoon ghost.
Anyway, it is Ete, except 22 years old. JUST HOW YOU LIKE EM AMIRI- predictable age jokes. We still doin em.
Fantome, Soy, Belgium
Saison, 8% abv
A: The label unsurprisingly looks like shit and I half expected this whole affair to be a nightmarish descent into buttery cardboard world, getting my urethra swapped with rolled up sepia photos. WHO HASNT BEEN THROUGH THAT. But the carb was substantial even after two decades, it pours with a pillowy cloud of retention and a hazy murkiness that shined radiant and turbid. The cork was in really good shape too, not the necrophage blackness you usually get with old bottles, them Brabantiae corks be looking like wet death cast upon the Swamp of Sorrow.
S: The nose is a magical musky melange of honduran fruit harvesters sleeping in an old rickety barn next to some sweaty leatherworkers. The chubs were not insubstantial and the sheet depth of crazy lemony goodness coupled with wet Brooks leather saddles, crushed leaves after a rain, and a sort of brulee’d orange peel rounded out the experience. It has age, in that inexplicable amazing way that isn’t quite at “thrift store/elemtary school yearbook” levels of oxidation, but just old enough to put it on you because it isn’t self conscious about itself anymore it is mature and through with all the games and it fucks you back in a selfless way that has been through enough bad cellars to not care anymore, just primal nose fucking, no need to call back or put on airs, an authentic mature presentation that you hold in austere reverence simply because it aint about all that drama.
T: The taste has this cheesy, gristy, dupont left in a time machine sort of creaminess to it like the water from Oikos yogurt. You get Trix cereal milk, clementines, peeled tangerines, this brie rind, a really strange like earthy oiliness from some budding diacetyl tones that reminds me of some cave aged cheddar, and a long citrusy herbal closer that just lingers in the air like the sustain of a hollow body guitar. The whole affair cannot be imitated and the age takes those regular tomes to crazy new depths in the crypt.
This is an exceptional beer from a bygone era of bricklined mash tuns and 1 hectaliter batches, foraging for random items, and making beer for local consumption. It is inimitable fresh and with the brett metabolization given years to perfect its craft, it is like when Edmond Dantes gets out of jail in the Count of Monte Cristo and he has all these bad ass new skills and you can only golf clap at the revenge he takes. OH SHIT SORRY I AM THE ONLY ONE WHO READ DUMAS SHIT OK BACK TO THE TWILIGHT REFERENCES.
This would probably be at the pinnacle of fuckery to be like “seek this one out guize!” since I will probably never come across a ghost this ancient again, unless I get hella into Sepultura, tarot cards and exorcism, alas I have already graduated from the 8th grade. SHUCKS.
You review grocery store hefe’s and people say you are falling off, you review 50 bottle runs of Summation, people say you jumped the shark with homebrew reviews, but with 22 year old bottles of Fantome the WAT Index is so scrambled that I am confident people will just write this DDB shit off altogether.
Good riddance. the beer game was better when it was just Dre, Scarface and Esco.