Just like you, but different
Fantôme Coffee Ruby. It is an unusual Sunday, a couple of reasons, mostly that there is Monday holiday, and the other is that it really is my Birthday. Although I’m going out later to celebrate there are a few hours where I thought I would enjoy a beer that has been in the fridge waiting for a special occasion. Such as today
Fantôme Coffee Ruby – a beer that appealed becuase it’s from a Country that I’ve never had a beer from, and the it’s Coffee, and that it’s a Belgian Strong. Most of the reasons to keep trying new beers. Then having purchased it it becomes a celebration beer. So that’s where we are.
Brasserie Fantôme produce the Fantôme Coffee Ruby in 🇧🇪 Soy-Erezée, Luxembourg, Belgium in the style that is a Belgian Ale – Strong Dark of 8.0% which makes this 4.7 standard drinks in New Zealand. I note with some trepidation that another app has this as “Farmhouse Ale – Saison”
Rather a lack of brewers notes on this one, a mysterious beer of sorts, so I had to improv the video caption.
If that is as bed as it gets then I’m good with that.
So, What could possibly go wrong?
Well I found another thing. There’s a cap (for the cap jar, more on that later) and then there’s a cork! Another trip to the kitchen.
Open with a really loud gun-pop. The aroma from the bottle is not in any sense bold or forward, and there is a lack of any particular hint or aroma.
Despite that rather excitable cork opening there was no foaming or release, but it is a terribly lively pour and you can tell fro meh first effort, a dark beer with a an off white full airy foamy cloud of head. no aroma is escaping that.
It is quite bitter to taste, and I might be doing this wrong, it might be too cold for instance, but that lack of aroma has translated to an apparent lack of defined taste. Madly then I had some spicy food nibbles just to see if that would draw out a flavour or counterpoint. The nibbles were nice. The result wasn’t as it might have gone in my head when I thought it through.
One of the other things to note is that there isn’t a hint that this might a stronger beer than usual, there’s no pinch or ping of alcohol that I can note. That enthusiastic carbonation also means that there are a lot of bubble in the sip, and in my experience this doesn’t assist or aid the taste experience.
As this has warmed up a bit the coffee becomes less shy, it’s not bold, and it seems to be a addition rather the reason for this beer, a faint mellow cold drip coffee smoothness, but it could be stronger/bolder.
So I don’t think this is a ‘Strong’ Ale, and I don’t think that this is a ‘Saison’ and I begin to doubt myself. I the end though I went with a leaning to Saison, which does nothing to how I feel about this as a beer, which despite the seemingly enthusiastic and glowing reviews really isn’t.
The pdubyah-o-meter rates this as 7 of its things from the thing. I really thought I was going to get a wordy experience, and sometimes I do, based on my usual random purchase based on desirability, uniqueness, and of course the more it costs the better it must be. Sometimes there is gap between delivery and expectation and that there is the disappointment. Sometimes the expensive things are just an illusion.
The double dip review
Music for this: Liam Gallagher – C’mon You Know. Which I brought as a present to myself today.
The Belgian Strong Dark Ale is a dark, complex, strong Belgian ale with a delicious blend of malt richness, dark fruit flavors, and spicy elements. Like a larger dubbel, with a fuller body and increased malt richness. Not as bitter or hoppy as a tripel, but of similar strength.
Beers in this category are gold to light amber in color. Often bottle-conditioned, with some yeast character and high carbonation. Belgian-style Saison may have Brettanomyces or lactic character, and fruity, horsey, goaty and/or leather-like aromas and flavors. Specialty ingredients, including spices, may contribute a unique and signature character. Commonly called “farmhouse ales” and originating as summertime beers in Belgium, these are not just warm-weather treats. US craft brewers brew them year-round and have taken to adding a variety of additional ingredients.