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Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant) - Unibroue

Not Rated.
Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant)Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant)

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352 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 352
Reviews: 220
rAvg: 3.68
pDev: 15.22%
Wants: 23
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Unibroue visit their website
Quebec, Canada

Style | ABV
Fruit / Vegetable Beer |  5.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Todd on 12-10-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 352 | Reviews: 220 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of EsoxLucius
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%

i had this after La Fin Du Monde, so maybe this is a little unfair because of expectations... either way...

A: interesting, i'd never seen a strawberry-cream cheese colored head before until now. the fluid is a pinky orange. head is nice and fluffy. lace is well pronounced throughout.

S: berries and yeast, some sweetness, but i can smell some bitterness as well.

T: minor malts with citrus and woodland berries. i like it, i've never had a beer like this before. it's a little yeasty.

M: slightly better than average, i wasn't expecting such a bitter bite at the end.

D: specialty only, enjoyed once in a while, far from an 'everyday' drinker.

i liked it, but compared to La Fin... La Fin is win.

EsoxLucius, Dec 19, 2009
Photo of decimator
2.8/5  rDev -23.9%

341ml bottle poured into a tumbler.

A - Poured a hazy opaque red with pink hues. It produced a big fluffy head that quickly reduces to a 1/8" everlasting cap. Not much lacing.

S - A nice aroma of sweet cherries and flowers.

T - Surprisingly there's not much sweetness. Mostly tasting some cherry & cranberry like tartness. My taste buds read this as bland beer mixed with fruit juice. It doesn't taste artificial or overly sweet which is a good thing but the overall flavour profile could use more depth. I mostly just taste fruit.

M - Average.

D - It's not bad overall but not something I would seek out again.

decimator, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of biegaman
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%

Éphémère Cassis will certainly catch the eye of beer/cocktail drinkers and children alike; wine drinkers may be less impressed, its complexion is similar to a rosé wine, albeit slightly more mauve than pink (the light really seems to emphasize fuchsia). Its head, which is tall and bubbly and very champagne-esque, is tinted carnation pink. It's very chichi.

The aroma may actually appeal to children even more than the appearance. It is sugary sweet and delightfully fruity, something like a candy. But despite being luscious and succulent it isn't terribly artificial - an ambrosial rose-water like perfume renders it more delicate than synthetic and endears the nose. Strawberry is noted more than currants.

The taste isn't nearly as colourful as its looks and smell let on. A very skimp base of pale malts make for flavours of damp bread and straw, nothing more. The fruit, or more accurately the fruit juice, must have been used sparingly; those flavours are faint and indistinct. It isn't imperceptible to the senses but it's certainly blurred - I taste strawberry, passionfruit and watermelon more than black currant. It's a very muffled fruitiness.

The fact that it doesn't taste overtly of fruit is both a positive and a negative. The pro: it isn't saturated in an artificial, candy-like syrup that lends it more resemblance to a snow-cone than a tasty malted beverage. The con: this isn't exactly all that tasty of a malted beverage and is actually in desperate need of an extra splash of flavour.

It's beginning to feel a lot like a piece of gum that I've been chewing for far too long. The flavours are breathless and stale. I keep thinking more warmth or oxygen might help but it seems to be becoming more tasteless. Its ultra-high carbonation comes kicking and screaming, causing thoughts to shift to a watered down champagne cocktail.

Although I don't dislike it, I'd be inclined to call Éphémère Cassis a failed experiment. Reason being that it doesn't sell you on the fruit and the base beer is simply too dull without it. It reminds me of a weak, breathless rosé wine. There are simply too many better alternatives (better fruit beers, better wines, better cocktails and juices) to choose from when looking for something summery, fruity or refreshing.

biegaman, Dec 09, 2009
Photo of ZorPrime
3.13/5  rDev -14.9%

The beer pours as pink color without any head at all... should have been more aggressive, however this beer has no head. I get some fruits in the nose, mainly cassis (duh!), but nothing else... On the taste it is slightly more complex than the aroma. I get some fruity notes followed by yeast, typical of Unibroue. The "finale" is all fruity. Not bad. In the mouth, the beer feels thin bodied and it also feels like champagne. Not my favorite at all. Not a bad beer, however Unibroue is able to achieve a lot more IMO.

ZorPrime, Nov 19, 2009
Photo of elricorico
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%

From a bomber, pours a peachy dark pink colour, and generates a large foamy pink yead. Takes plenty of time for the head to settle and a little lacing is left.

Smell is a mix of cherry-like sweetness, some tartness and yeastiness. Something in there gives a bit of a champagne impression as well, though I can't pin it down.

Sweet and tart right off the bat, the mix of flavours almost gives a cream soda impression. Some faint funkiness is delivered to the back half of the mouth.

Light bodied, and fairly well carbonated. Mouthfeel is fine, though it doesn't add a lot to the beer.

Maybe not as easy to down as some fruit beers with similar ABV, but still isn't a slow beer to drink. I haven't had one of these in years, and either my tastes have changed or it isn't quite as good as I remember, because it just didn't hold up to my memories of it. Still probably my favorite of the Ephemere's.

elricorico, Nov 02, 2009
Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev +8.7%

We have enjoyed all the other Ephemeres, so was happy to see the Cassis back on store shelves (and got a free Unibroue glass with a 750ml bottle).
Pours a dark pink color, with apricot orange hilights. Thick and fluffy light pink head. Decent retention, thin sheets of lace. High marks for unique look.
Smells of sweet black current and the typical Unibroue yeast. The same flavor as the aroma, but not as strong. Slightly sweet and tart black current taste. Nicely balanced flavors.
Medium bodied with lots of carbonation and non-stop bubble streams. A very drinkable fruit beer, not overy sweet and sugary or artificial tasting. Might be my favorie of the Ephemere series.

BigBry, Oct 19, 2009
Photo of bloberglawp
3.73/5  rDev +1.4%

Pours a hazy purplish amber, nice head but dissipates, no lace.

Aroma : soft black currant aroma, some hints of fresh cherries and apple. Not much else, but its expected. Flavor is a slightly tart and fruity acidic ale with delicate malt profile, a little a american wheat beer. Some sourness from the fruit (but not in any way a real sour ale). Medium bodied, easily drinkable.

A solid fruit beer.

bloberglawp, Oct 12, 2009
Photo of wordemupg
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%

750ml bottle corked and caged pouted into corsendonk chalice on sept17 2009

A fairly cloudy orange peach in color, decent pink head that hangs around but leaves no lace.

S heavy fruity floral smell, pretty rare for a beer

T very floral with lots of fruit and some mild yeast

M good carbonation and a little creamy

D different but good in it's own way, I might drink it again just for the color

worth a try, it's something unique

wordemupg, Sep 18, 2009
Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%

On-tap at Chancey Smith. Pinkish-blackberry colour. Sweet aroma, taste is both tart and sweetish yet drying finish, and a bit above average mouthfeel. All of these qualities show improvement in the formulation from previous years of the cassis. Average more or less for a fruit beer.Asserive carbonation.

Sammy, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of GodOfBeer
3.88/5  rDev +5.4%

Pours a cloudy pinkish red with a nice thick white head, some lacing.

Smells fruity, raspberry, cranberry, and some black current I suppose? Some light citrus and grainy notes.

Tastes like black currents up front, somewhat sour, tart and a slight hop finish, some spices detected, cloves and black pepper maybe, but still a bit too sweet.

This is a very thirst quenching and drinkable beer, one of the best fruit beers I've had for sure.

GodOfBeer, Sep 07, 2009
Photo of eat
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%

Pours a bubbly dark-pink/orange with a big fluffy light-pink head. Definitely a unique looking brew. Minimal lacing and retention.

Sweet black current candy. Smells like those blackberry five-cent jelly candies. Some Unibroue yeast in the background but the nose is dominated here by black current candy. A little bit of the vomit smell I found with the apple version but not nearly as much, just the slightest bit.

The black current candy found in the smell is really mellowed-out in the taste. Not nearly as sweet as I was expecting it to be; actually quite enjoyable. More of the bitterness of real black currents as opposed to a manufactured candy taste (like Ephemere Apple. A little like blackberry wine gums. This is not a complex beer; it pretty much only features black currants. Not much else going on here.

Pretty nice mouthfeel. Medium bodied with an appropriate high carbonation. Usually the extreme Unibroue carbonation is borderline too much but I think it suits this fruity beer well.

This could be the most drinkable fruit beer I've had. Their apple version is too sweet for me but the bitter black currents here almost act like hops in a way, balancing out the sweetness. While I'm not a big fan of fruit beers I think I would buy this again if I felt like drinking a refreshing fruity beer on a hot day (possibly with a girl who isn't completely sold on beer yet).

eat, Aug 16, 2009
Photo of Proteus93
3.63/5  rDev -1.4%

Updating a review written in 2009, as I recall it being a rather old bottle:

A: Almost a peach-orange hue. Light salmon-colored Head forms nicely, topping the glass well up the neck--an appropriately chosen Unibroue tulip. Retention is decent, receding to a solid collar that maintains itself all the way down.

S: Soft and fruity, the black currant coming out nicely. Wheaty, light, and mellow, with some hints of the added spices coming through.

T + M + D: Fruity and soft wheat flavors. The currant is a highlight, with just a modest amount of tartness that balances quite nicely. The coriander comes out with a bold, yet balanced, flavor. Light in body, easy to drink, and refreshing. It's not too bad--not too complicated or complex, and sometimes that's just right!

Proteus93, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev +4.6%

On vacation in Montreal, don't recall seeing this back home in Alberta, so grabbed a bomber for the hotel room.

This beer pours a cloudy orangish-pink, much like grapefruit juice, with lots and lots of puffy, foamy pink-tinged head, that melts away quickly, leaving sparse lace around the glass. It smells of sweet, tart black currants. The taste is mild black currant bitter fruitiness up front, followed by a nice soft wheatiness. The carbonation is a bit on the high side, the body smooth and light, and it finishes fruity - sweet and tart, as it began.

As a fan of black currants in every form I've yet encountered them - parents' garden, French Creme cookies, and Chambord liqueur - this goes down well. Nothing too complicated - a level application of the eponymous fruit to a decent base ale.

biboergosum, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of tdawgydog
4/5  rDev +8.7%

This was one of my favorite beers while I was at the Mondial de la Biere in Montreal. Although I have enjoyed many of Unibroue's beers in the past I have never seen their Ephemere beers in my local beer store.

A - The very generous 4oz sample poured a nice rose color into my new Maudite goblet. A thin head quickly dissappeared.
S - There was a strong scent of blackcurrent but nothing too overpowering.
T - The sweet taste of the blackcurrents offset the beer nicely. It was not overly sweet. I wouldn't equate this to Ribena sweetness.
D - Really enjoyable, especially on a warn summer day.
M - Goes down really smooth. I'm hoping to find a few bottles of this at my local beer store the next time I trek over there.

This was the one beer that I got additional tastings of while at Mondial. I'm really hoping to find this locally.

tdawgydog, Jun 08, 2009
Photo of Yetiman420
3.2/5  rDev -13%

Served in a Unibroue tulip glass (my standard vessel of choice for all beers).

Pours a glowing hazy copper brown color. Rapidly fading 1.5 finger, light-tan head.

Aroma has a slight currant and musty tartness to it.

Flavor is murky and difficult to pull any dominating characteristics other than the full body of wheat and light currant. Not at the top of my list for Unibroue beers.

Yetiman420, Jun 02, 2009
Photo of brentk56
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%

Appearance: Pours a slightly haze rose color with a nice head that fades all too quickly, leaving nothing much behind

Smell: Smells like watered-down Ribena; little complexity

Taste: Up front, there is a nice slightly sweet/slightly tart black currant flavor but the beer fails to build from there and fades like a typical fruit flavored American Wheat

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: I was expecting a lot more from the concept; this beer lacks the Belgian complexity I was expecting

brentk56, May 15, 2009
Photo of JohnQVegas
4.1/5  rDev +11.4%

Pours pink-orange, almost coral, with a big white head with just a hint of a pinkish hue.

Nose is very fruity - tart, sharp, slightly astringent - very much black currant, kind of soft-drink like.

Taste is wheat with a definite astringent black currant tartness asserting itself as the primary element in the taste. Very clean, crisp dark-fruit tartness that complements the very subdued sweetness from both the fruit and the wheat.

Very effervescent carbonation and a light body, both work well with the taste. Very refreshing, well done.

JohnQVegas, Mar 27, 2009
Photo of mwilbur
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%

Poured from 750 mL bottle into cervoise.
A: Nice orange color (slight red hue with backlighting) with carbonation producing a bubbly 1/2 inch thick white head that quickly dissipates.
S: Cassis, citrus, and light hops.
T: Nice cassis melding with citrus notes. Background note of hops...very similar to aroma. Straightforward, but well balanced. Not too sweet or fruity.
M: Light and effervescent. Crisp, cool, and refreshing on the palate.
D: Very, very drinkable. Could easily have more than one bottle (esp. with ABV 5.5). A nice refresher for sunny, warm days. Good with dessert, fruit, chevre, or by itself as an aperitif.

mwilbur, Aug 24, 2008
Photo of canucklehead
4.15/5  rDev +12.8%

Like most ephemere bers this is a crisp , bubbly saison like beer with black currant notes on the nose and the finish. What I like about this beer is its lightness and balance with the fruit. Belgian in aspect but almost Farmhouse French in mouthfeel this is nice Spring beer

canucklehead, Mar 29, 2008
Photo of rec
2.03/5  rDev -44.8%

A cloudy amber body fills the glass, with an energetic bubbly head that quickly dies down without any noticable lacing.

It smells like Ribeena soda, and that's about it. For those of you unaware, Ribeena is a blackcurrent syrup, that has also been sold as a pre-mixed carbonated beverage.

The taste is like an aforementioned blackcurrent beverage, only watered down leaving a washy, unsatisfying flavour, not dissimilar to flavoured water or over-diluted cordial. Yuck.

The carbonation is high, suiting this light, sharp framboise, but it doesn't make up for any of my dislike for the flavour.

Definately not one I'd recommend, and far worse than Unibroue's apple offering, in my opinion.

rec, Dec 02, 2007
Photo of scoobybrew
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%

This was poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A - slightly cloudy light amber color with a nice head that settles quickly into nothing (no retention at all)

S - fruity, lambic-like black currant scent

T - very fruity with a sweet and contrasting sour flavor that is slightly lactic in nature, but very tasty and lambic-like

M - smooth light body with medium-low carbonation

D - This is a nice fruit beer to have with cheese & crackers. While I do enjoy the lambic–like aspects to it, it's fairly one–dimensional in nature.

scoobybrew, Nov 30, 2007
Photo of MTNboy
4.22/5  rDev +14.7%

Appearance- It beautiful more red, a little purple and gold color. It is hard to explain but cool. A very nice head and a lot of lace.

Smell- Very fruity odor as soon as the bottle was opened. A strong wheat beer like smell.

Taste- Awesome flavor. Unibroue pulled off their usual magic. Great beer taste with the essence of currant and a hint of a little citrus. The grain and yeast are present in the taste as well.

Mouthfeel- Spectacular smoothness and great hearty body.

Drinkability- A great dessert beer or evening sipper.

MTNboy, Sep 07, 2007
Photo of jwc215
3.03/5  rDev -17.7%

Cage-corked 750 ml bottle poured into a Unibroue glass:

Pours slightly hazed orange/amber witha thick head that fizzles down to a vanishing patch. A bit of trailing lace slides down the glass.

The smell is of black currant juice in an artificial way typical of the style. Slight wheat tang in the back.

The taste is of black currant juice - again, in a rather artificial way, though not overwhelming - with some wheat tang. There's a slight touch of vague spiciness in the finish.

The body is light and effervescent.

I thought this great brewery would do something to make this one different than a pedestrian/run-of-the-mill fruit wheat beer, but ... well, I think that this one is just that. Better to save this for the fruit malt beverage crowd, IMO.

jwc215, Sep 02, 2007
Photo of Boto
4.2/5  rDev +14.1%

750ml bottle: This one pours slightly hazy with a slightly pink-hued golden body. There was also a large head that also had a pinkish tinge to it. The head doesn’t last long, or leave any lacing. Subdued aroma of black currants. Mild taste of black currants with a medium-light wheat body. Slight tartness, not sweet. The taste is light and refreshing. Nice.

Boto, Aug 26, 2007
Photo of sleazo
4.47/5  rDev +21.5%

$6.49 for 750ml at Eagle provisions. Cork was really stuck in there and broke in two as i was trying to open this one. i had to use a cork screw to get the other half out. Poured into a big red wine glass.

A-Hazy orange hue with hints of rose in it. There is a big soap foamy head that starts off at three fingers and winds down to one. lacing is good and sticks to the sides of the glass.

S-Sweet and tart currants are the first thing you notice. Slight funk and a bit of yeast as well. Smells wonderful if you like currants and I do.

T-Tart and lemony at first then pushing through with a bit of sweet currant flavour. the follow through is pleasantly bitter. The yeast is there throughout but it doesn't have that same tried and true unibroue taste which is nice. The bitter, sweet and tart all go well together. The currant flavour is subdued and this tastes like a good fruit lambic.

M--Very effervescent and light. The bubbles work well with the balance as the flavours get to all parts of the tongue.

D-This is a damned tasty beer, another unibroue offering done just as well as the Belgians.

sleazo, Aug 17, 2007
Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant) from Unibroue
83 out of 100 based on 352 ratings.