Last week, I got an email from some guy named Dany. Oh, it's the brewer from Fantôme, and he ran across my recent review of Fantôme Saison, a beer that has been inconsistent, but great (he said it's not always perfect, but he doesn't want to do the "same basic commercial work, like ... too much belgian brews"). We exchanged a few emails, and Dany recommended that I try out Brise-BonBons, which he said "USA amateurs" seemed to enjoy because it's more hoppy than your typical Belgian stuff. Fortunately, I just happened to get my hands on a bottle of this stuff, so I cracked one open this weekend, and yep, this one is competing for the very best Fantôme I've ever had. As the bottle sez:
With joy and a little bit of mischief, Fantôme brewer Dany Prignon dedicates this very bitter beer to all of the many varieties of brise-bonbons - literally, ball-breakers - in the world. Specifically, this beer is meant for wise-guys, braggarts, pains-in-the-ass, muck-rakers, troublemakers, know-it-alls, stuffed-shirts, blow-hards and bores, as well as nut-cracking, wind-bag, prattling-on, self-appointed experts on everything, and nose-in-the-air snobs, convinced they can do anything better than you. Dany intended to make a beer too bitter for a normal person to enjoy. The problem is, everyone loves it! Guess we're all just a bunch of brise-bonbons sometimes...So I guess it's time to break some balls:
Fantôme Brise-BonBons! - Pours a cloudy yellow gold color with a couple fingers of fluffy white head. Smells deeply of funky Brettanomyces, lots of earthy aromas, a little yeasty spice, but also a sorta brightness to it. A kinda lemony bubblegum aspect, but, uh, better than that probably sounds. Perhaps even some hops up in the mix. Really nice nose, actually. Taste starts off sweet and spicy, like a Dupont-style saison, but then that funky Brett moves in, bring that earthiness and maybe some bright lemony tartness too. It finishes with a really well matched dry bitterness, presumably from the hops. Mouthfeel is perfectly carbonated (effervescent might be an overstatement, but it's got a high carbonation), crisp on the palate, refreshing, and dry. Overall, this is right up there with my favorite Fantôme experiences, fantastic beer. A-
Beer Nerd Details: 8% ABV bottled (750 ml capped and corked). Drank out of a tulip glass on 5/3/13.
If I may name-drop Dany again, he also recommended I try some Magic Ghost, that saison brewed with green tea that looks like straight-up ecto-cooler. I just happen to have recently acquired a bottle of that stuff as well, so keep an eye out for a review in a few weeks.