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Des de Moor
Best beer and travel writing award 2015, 2011 -- British Guild of Beer Writers Awards
Accredited Beer Sommelier
Writer of "Probably the best book about beer in London" - Londonist
"A necessity if you're a beer geek travelling to London town" - Beer Advocate
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"One of the top beer writers in the UK" - Mark Dredge.
"A beer guru" - Popbitch.
Des de Moor


From the cellar: Prignon Fantôme La Dalmatienne (Blond)

Prignon Fantôme La Dalmatienne

Fantôme La Dalmatienne

ABV: 8%
Origin: Soy (Erezée), Luxembourg, Wallonie
First published: 26 March 2001

Another review from the written for the pioneering Oxford Bottled Beer Database (OBBD). I’ve left it uncorrected — so please read it in that historical spirit. Like all products from this brewery, availability and consistency can be erratic, and a dark version has been more familiar in recent years.

Another interesting beer from an innovative micro in Belgian Luxembourg, from a range stocked at Bottles in east . The brewery’s flagship product is the difficult-to-categorise Fantôme: for background notes, see my review of that beer.

Here they seem to have set themselves the difficult task of brewing a bone-dry beer to a high gravity, and boy, have they succeeded. The contents of the champagne-style bottle are a delicate blond, and the bottle-conditioned beer pours lively with a good head, forewarning of its hoppiness from the start with its intense hop aroma that also includes other herbal hints, like savory and sage.

The palate, apart from being very slightly phenolic and a little yeasty, is utterly, unforgivingly and astonishingly dry, all 8% of it without a shred of sweet malt, and I suspect that there’s another bitter herb in there as well as hops. The beer finishes with an overwhelming grapefruit bitterness that lingers long way back in the throat. This is a very different bitterness to that found in, say, hoppy beers from the US, much more austere and less floral in character.

I must admit it was too intense for me, and arguably overbalanced – I took a very long time to finish the bottle – but if you enjoy bitter spirits like Jägermeister you would probably appreciate it more. The brewery’s trademark jolly ghost on the label is overwhelmed by dalmatian-dog style black spots, but I’m still trying to puzzle out the significance of the name. Any ideas?

2 comments to From the cellar: Prignon Fantôme La Dalmatienne (Blond)

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