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Fantome Brise-BonBons!

Fantome Brise BonbonsBrasserie Fantome is a small, Belgian brewery from the Walloon province of Luxemburg in Southeast Belgium.  They are most famous for their Fantome which is a golden/Saison-style ale which is particularly well reviewed.  I have yet to try it.  Fantome is a pretty rare find in the US and especially this far west.  You may have more luck on the east coast where their importer, Shelton Brothers, is located.

The Brise-BonBons! is a Saison-style beer that was brewed to be “too bitter.”  The name literally translates to “Ball Breaker,” as in this beer is a real ball breaker.  It’s hard to tell where this beer falls in the Fantome line (their webpage doesn’t translate via Google Translate).  I’m not sure if it’s a seasonal release, a limited release, or a full time product.  It’s certainly interesting, that’s for sure.

Appearance: Hazy, “dirty” blonde, off-white head with good retention.

Aroma: Spicy hops, earthy funk, touches of alcohol, chemical funkiness, straw, pungent hops.

Taste: Bitter, touches of solvent, Brett funk, round and silky carbonation that’s only mildly assertive.  Slight oily mouthfeel.

Overall Impression: I don’t recommend this beer for the faint of heart.  It’s a giant funk bomb.  The bitterness is nothing like an American IPA.  If you’re an IPA drinker thinking this is a Belgian attempt at an IPA, you’ll be very unhappy.  The huge load of European hops help add to the general funk and weirdness of this beer.  It’s bitter with a dry hoppy finish.  There seems to be a strong “wild” yeast presence in this beer.  If you like really funky beers, this is certainly one you’ll enjoy chewing on for an evening.  I enjoyed this beer.  Again, it’s not for everyone, that’s for sure.  If you want to truly experience a FUNKY beer and think about it for a few hours, you’ll get that and more by drinking this one.

Availability: Limited distribution, if your favorite beer store carries Shelton Brother products, ask them if Fantome is available to them.

8% ABV

2 thoughts on “Fantome Brise-BonBons!

  1. You know when you read something and it makes you think “Hmm, that rings a bell” well, that..

    I recently visited Belgium and popped into a brilliant beer warehouse called Dranken Geers near Antwerp. As soon as I read this I thought “I’m sure I picked one of those up, but can’t remember seeing it since I got back”, rushed to the beer stash and there it was.

    I’ve tried several beers from Brasserie Fantome and love a good saison. Each of them have been different from my expectations but all intriguingly excellent, this review gives me hope of more of the same, in fact I may even hit the keyboards myself. Cheers

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