Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant) | Unibroue

221 Reviews
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Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant)Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant)

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Todd on 12-10-2003

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Reviews: 221 | Ratings: 368
Photo of xuptygm
1.57/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I had this on tap in Victoria BC and thought it was just skunked or something.... so I tried it again in a bottle to no avail. The review is based of the bottled version.

A: pours a pink grapefruit color. Head is similar to that of coca-cola or any other heavily carbonated beverage. Leaves no lacing.

S: berry….if I didn’t know what this was I wouldn’t ever guess it was a beer.

T: …..not much. Carbonation overpowers what little berry flavor there is to it. Alcohol is unnoticeable. I don’t usually hate on any beer, but this reminds me of fizzy sugar water. Somewhat of a bitter finish.

MF: thin….waterlike, heavy carbonation.

O: pretty terrible beer really. I would not even call it beer myself. It seems more like a fizzy wine cooler, but with less taste than a wine cooler. Too bad, I was really excited for this one.

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Photo of Arbitrator
1.68/5  rDev -54.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Chilled bottle into a glass. A generous extra from youbrewidrink. Thanks!

A: Pours a wine cooler pink (yes, that's an actual shade) body, extremely murky but passing a brilliant glow against a lamp. The head is a long-lived finger of light pink foam that leaves some curtains during a sip.

S: Black currant. Actually, I could mistake this for blackberries as well; I'm not exactly a fruit connoisseur by aroma alone. A faint tannic quality from the skins. A touch of lemon.

T: Lightly grainy with small washes of fruit juice (again, currant) and a very light tartness. Possibly some lemon in there. This is remarkably underflavored. No off-flavors, but rather a complete lack of them.

M: On the dry side; everything has fermented out to the point where the beer has a thin, watery body.

O: Blech.

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Photo of rec
2.1/5  rDev -43.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

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.

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Photo of semihobo
2.38/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Picked up a 750ML for $5.99, best before 1-26-07.

Huge foamy head on the first pint, took up more than half of the glass, and took a while to settle. When it did, it left a solid sheet of head, quite nice. Barely any on the second pint, though. The beer itself is murky, I don't think I could tell it apart from cider from the supermarket.

Smells exactly like a Juicy Juice box, one of those "fruit punch" flavors. Some currant tang is there, but also apple juice and some wheaty lemon. Still, it's the juicy juice above everything else, with some alcohol. Kind of artificial.

Tastes like a kid's juice box also, but with some sour wheat added in. Quite tangy. The alcohol is very present but at only 5.5% it isn't that bad. Still, it's surprising that it's evident at all. The wheat adds a nice undercurrent to the fruit taste, but it's the cassis that dominates, leaving a sour finish in the mouth.

This is a very thin, watery beer, which is fine for the style in my opinion. Carbonation is pleasant, and helps to balance the sour fruitiness of the black currant. Goes down a lot like cider, actually.

I like other Unibroue products, which makes this even less satisfying. It's different than most other fruit beers I've had, but in the end, I just don't like drinking it very much. I wouldn't recommend it.

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Photo of Blakaeris
2.43/5  rDev -34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours clear and bright orange in color with generous carbonation. Head is minimal, soapy and dissipates quickly.

Smell is very sweet with an artificial fruitiness. Currant and light citrus fruit. Slight musty yeastiness.

Taste is exactly what the nose revealed. Extremely sweet. Initial fruity sweetness blends to a very dry tart flavor. Finish has a mild maltiness with an earthy yeastiness.

Mouthfeel is very light and bubbly.

I found this beer to be a bit of a disappointment. It is just too sweet for my pallet. Far too carbonated and sweet. This is the first Unibroue I didn't rave about. I won't get this one again.

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Photo of nickthetick
2.62/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: pours an opaque pink-red into an American shaker glass with a very thin skim of white bubbles that leaves no lacing.

S: fruity and tart, but not a whole lot of "beer" characteristics.

T: I get the black currents in tons. Also strawberry, sour cherries, black raspberries. Not malt or hop notes. A lot of berry and fruit.

MF: heavy and chewy, but no carbonation or bitterness to balance the cloying sweetness or heavy syrup like feel to it.

O: not a beer I would ever drink again, plain old bad. It has an unappetizing look and smell and the weak "beer" characteristics make this drink seem like a summer sugary drink.

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
2.83/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Coral/salmon body with almost no head. Microscopic carbonation. Aroma of sweet fruit, musk, and currants. Extremely assertive, Champagne like carbonation bites at the palate. Then flavors of cassis become ever so present. There isn’t much else going on beyond perhaps some metallic elements. Very one dimensional but I guess that’s ok with this beer. Pretty easy to drink if you can handle the carbonation. Not too sweet or robust on the fruit and very light bodied. My girlfriend loves it while I find it dull and lacking in character. Too each his own.

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Photo of Jredner
2.83/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Aroma triggers my brain to recall dirty cotton linens and musty fruits. Orange/amber in color with a quickly diminishing white head. Mild wheat malt flavors in the fore followed by the currants. Mild carbonation and a soft overall feel make it feel a bit stale, but it has moments of solid flavor and good mouthfeel before it finishes thin and watery.

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Photo of DogFood11
2.85/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

750ml bottle served in tulip.

You can tell its a well crafted brew with alot of work involved but it just didn't do it for me. Huge fruity grape/rhubarb/cherry type aroma that completely dominates the smell, taste, mouthfeel etc. Massive carbonation was a bit annoying and popping in feel. Some sour stinging in the throat and a filmy sour aftertaste that sticks on the roof of my mouth. Pink lemonade with lots of sugar comes to mind.

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Photo of PEBKAC
2.88/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A reintroduction to this beer, after a friend brought me one back from Canada not too long ago. That particular bottle got lost in a sea of other things being shared & I didn't really get an idea of what I has having.

A slow gushing bottle flops into my narrow Rare Vos tumbler. A couple inches of lightly dusted pink head sits atop a cloudy, off-amber, body. It fizzes up & settles like a neon dyed soda. Actually the color is sort of tough to describe. It's more like prosciutto with a shot of pink or salmon. Appetizing, as long as there is some sort of fruity smell accompanying it. ...And here we go.

Smell is a mix of kiwi strawberry juice box juice upfront, with a big splash of Sprite soda & V8 vegetable juice. Quite strange, but not a total wtf moment. More then a bit headache inducing, but with enough carbonation, it can be refreshing I guess.

Feel & flavor are actually mild in comparison to its first impressions. Dry, itchy straw wheat texture. Carbonation is quiet, but sizzles as it finishes.

Taste is a half-flat, half-oxidized generic wheat beer with an unpronounced watered down berry flavor. Almost like an artificial blue raspberry Gatorade, or a fruit-flavored tonic water, with just a touch more of an acidic bite. Barely tannic. Yeasty on the finish like other flavors in the Ephemere line. A bit of a gummy flavor too.

The colder the better.

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Photo of decimator
2.9/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.94/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Faintly foggy orange with a definite pinkish blush. There was a huge amount of carbonation initially, but within minutes it settled down to a few steady streams that are blip-blip-blipping up to one of the ugliest heads that I've ever seen. It's dirty white in color and has the harsh, unsticky, styrofoam-like look tht one might see on an NA beer. The foam disappears entirely between pours and, not surprisingly, deposits no lace. The beer looks wonderful. The head looks awful.

Ephemere smells like what it is: a wheat ale with black currant juice added. My only scent memory of currants (since I've never eaten the actual fruit) is from creme de cassis. To me, black currants smell like blackberries. In any case, the aroma contains a fresh fruitiness and an appealing yeastiness that makes me want to take a drink.

I'm pretty sure the beer isn't supposed to be this incredibly bitter and this dessicatingly dry. It tastes like a watered-down pale wheat mixed with tonic water (which is carbonated water and quinine) and a little berry juice. By 'isn't supposed to', I'm referring to the fact that it tastes much different from Emphemere Apple, which I enjoyed. The 'best by' date is 1-19-07, so age shouldn't be a factor.

I don't believe I've ever had a fruit beer that was this unsweet. Since fruit is naturally sweet, it doesn't make sense to brew a fruit beer that is seemingly devoid of all but a few sucrose molecules. It's getting slightly more palatable as I go, but this is still not a pleasant experience. I find it hard to believe that the flavor is intentional. If so, then Unibroue's idea of a good fruit beer is about as far removed from mine as is possible.

The mouthfeel is incredibly light and stops just short of fizzy. The lightness isn't surprising given Unibroue's penchant for brewing light-bodied beer (all of their lower-ABV offerings anyway) and given the fact that Ephemere means ephemeral. The mouthfeel might fit the style and the name, but I don't think much of it.

I was under the impression that the Ephemere series beers are similar in all ways except the fruit flavor. Maybe that was the intention and something happened to this particular batch to turn it into something else entirely, something that will make this bottle a struggle to finish. Maybe the Cranberry version that I have waiting in the wings will clear things up for me.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
3.01/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A 750ml bottle, with best before 1/19/07 on the label. A pretty red/orange color with a thick white head. Aroma was all sweet fruit. It tasted of currants, with a little maltiness. I thought it was very fizzy, like I was drinking champagne. An OK beer, for me a nice change of pace.

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Photo of Jason
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Orangey amber hue with a fluffy light pick head, excellent retention.

Smells of sweet fruit and a musty yeast with a hint of malt in the back.

Light bodied and crisp with a wet watery palate. Yeasty fruit clash with a grain malt throughout. Muted spices, dull fruit. Decent tartness form the fruit and fermented grain. Faintly soapy and pretty dry finish.

I'm not too impressed with this version of Éphémère, half decent at best. It did the job on this hot summer day.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750ml corked bottle - Pourred a light reddish brew with a huge bubbly head. Aroma of fruit is veyr present and resemble raspberry. Good carbonnation as with all the Ephemeres. Taste is very sweet with light tart aftertaste. I would have enjoyed this one with more tartness and less of that sweetness (it's almost like a glass of juice after a while). Definetely not my favorite from the Epehemeres series.

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Photo of jwc215
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Unibroue Éphémère Cassis

A pale pink body and an off white head. Aroma full of blackberry, with alittle Belgian/Unibroue fruity yeast strain. In the taste, bitter, light and fruity, though alittle watery. Black berry and a small portion of wheat lends a subtle tartness and is semi sweet. Mouthfeel is decently carbonated, thin and finishes clean and abrupt. Overall, a decent fruit beer, but Unibroue has much better offerings. They also make an apple version with a more assertive flavor profile.

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Photo of brentk56
3.03/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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

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Photo of rtepiak
3.09/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

had it at the park off rachel in montreal with some poutine from the near by 24 hour spot. must say that i love black currant period. i think its one of the best brewing fruits possible. end of story.

pour is hazy pinkish red with an off white head. nose smells like the base formula that they used to blend the black currant in... smells like plain old beer with hints of berry in the undertones. palate... and i mean with the beautiful fruit pulp that sits on the bottom of the bottle include... is ok at best. the beer is husky the fruit is crisp and mildly sweet. there is a meaty fruit rind quality that gives dimension to the bitterness. a tad sour... all fruit induced. but just flavored beer mostly.

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Photo of ZorPrime
3.1/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

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.

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Photo of JOaikido
3.1/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

750 ml bottle.

A- Orangy-pink with a light pink, massive, frothy head. Whatever other faults this beer has, this is what it should look like.

S- Good currant smell.

T- Too bland. Watery with a touch of sour fruitiness. A faint hint of the Unibroue yeast, but not nearly enough for my taste. Some decent currant notes.

MF- Light, drying. An OK hot weather feel.

D- Easy to drink but suffers from uninspired taste.

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Photo of OskarL
3.11/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A orange/amber cloudy color with a pink head that has really good retention and leaves some lacing.

Smells of sweet fruit, black currant, yeast and some malt.

Tastes a bit weak of fruit (strawberry, black currant and water melon), yeast and a bit of wet bread.

Light body with medium carbonation, probably really refreshing on a warm summer day!

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Photo of oline73
3.13/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I had this on-tap at Max's in Baltimore. Served in a goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy red/amber with a finger of off white head that fades to just a layer.

Smell: Surprise, this one is really fruity and a bit perfume like.

Taste: Fruity and slightly sweet. A bit tart, I think this was from the black currants. My only complaint is that I thought it was a bit watery.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the thin side with mild carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: I thought this one was just alright. I would have liked it to be a bit more tart and less watery.

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3.16/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a light pink with a fluffy head. Smell is slightly sweet with citrus notes. Based on appearance and smell I was expecting a fairly sweet beer. The taste is more crisp and tart. It's very light on the tongue and doesn't have mush after taste.

The currant flavor comes through a little but this has more of a citrus taste to me. As it warmed it developed a little more depth of flavor. It was very light and refreshing. It was a nice treat on a summer day but isn't something I would go out of my way to have again.

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Photo of TerryW
3.19/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Gotta go against the grain on this one. I fail to see the excitement in the Ephemere's, although as a rule I enjoy Unibroue's work.

Big head on pouring that settles out to a thin ring. Golden orange with a somehow bluish cast (or maybe that's just my imagination).

Smells deliciously of currants, but doesn't deliver tastewise. Just too thin, bitter and metallic. Interesting, but doesn't thrill me in anyway. I'll stick with some of the other U-beers.

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Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant) from Unibroue
3.71 out of 5 based on 368 ratings.
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