You may recall a post of mine back in October, where I talked about the Fantôme de Noel and lamented because I couldn't get beers from this brewery in Asheville. I'm proud to say that there is a new ghost in town.
I've had several Fantôme beers before, but I was never able to find their signature brew, the Saison. I certainly never expected it to be on the shelf at Bruisin' Ales on my return to North Carolina. But lo and behold, there it was, and after pinching myself several times, I quickly grabbed a couple of bottles.
First, a little bit about Saisons. Often called farmhouse ales, saisons were originally brewed for farm workers to be drank in the summertime, but thankfully for us, they are now available year round. One of the most unusual characteristics of Saisons is the high fermentation temperature that yields an often spicy, peppery finish. Up until just a few days ago, my favorite beer of this style was the Avec Les Bons Voeux, brewed by Brasserie Dupont. But I think I have a new favorite.
Fantôme's interpretation of the style is just about perfect. A melange of fruit, earth, spice, and sour combine to form a wonderfully complex taste without any one element overpowering the other. This is a fantastic beer, and my long wait to try it was not disappointing in the least. I suggest you pick up a bottle of it while it is available, because when the ghost disappears it might be a long while before you see it again.