Brasserie Fantôme Fantôme Chocolat (8.0% alcohol by volume) is a saison brewed with cocoa and chili pepper. My bottle has been kicking around in the cellar for 5 years and was 2 years old when I bought it. A big funky smell emerges as soon as you pop the cork and a little concentration picks out wet horse blanket, cocoa, fruit, a hint of pepper and some vegetable. Funky wet horseblanket dominates the aroma. It pours bright copper amber blanketed by a 1" ecru foam cap with fair to good retention. Fruit dominates the flavors lightly seasoned with cocoa, a hint of butter, mild pepper heat, pepper flavor, and mild funk. A near lemonade level tartness balances a mild pomme fruit sweetness up front and then the beer finishes dry as a bone. The pepper heat grows as you drink it but never becomes intense. Seven years in the bottle give the cocoa and pepper a very subtle presence while it also softens the funk and brings out more of the Brettanomyces' fruit flavors. High levels of carbonation give the beer a very creamy feel packed into a medium light body. The result is a very elegant, well made, classic beer that is a delight to drink. I rate it 90.
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