Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant) | Unibroue

222 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: 222 | Ratings: 369
Photo of Sammy
3.4/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.84/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: no lace to speak of. Amber with red-orange hues. Murky.

S: musty candy aroma. Very unique.

T: candy apple with lemon and orange citrus notes.

M: a little thick. Light to moderate carbonation.

Overall: Never seen this one to even try it. Glad I had the chance. I am picky with fruit beers. If they are too thick and too reminiscence of hot apple cider that has been allowed to cool, they arent for me. Thats what I get from this one.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Haven Gastropub in Pasadena, CA.

Pours a murky cranberry red with a foamy reddish-white head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of grain, black currants, and berry aromas. Taste is much the same with some slight yeast flavors as well. The fruit flavor is also pretty mild based on what I was expecting from the smell. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer but in my opinion it smells better than it tastes.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.62/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a little lighter than I expected it to. The color of the beer was a reddish looking orange color with a white foamy head on top that settles into a thin fizzy layer over top of the beer. The smell of the beer has a good aroma of the Black Currants along with some light spices in there too. The taste has a light wine like qualirty to it. It's a little tart but follows up with some sweetness too. The mouthfeel of the beer was light bodied and pretty refreshing actually. Overall this brew doesn't really compete with the Apple version in my opinion. I was still happy to have tried it.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.57/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Currant beers are always intriguing and surprising. Looks murky peachy pink in color, more like a wine cooler with its white and sparkling head. Smells like peaches, red wine, berry-like tart and a touch sour. Tastes of peach, blackberries, and grape skins (and many other sweet tart fruits) define the sweet and tart characters up front. Active and teasing carbonation acts on the palate. Develops musky wine like flavors in the body and throughout the finish. Finishes light, crisp, and refreshing all the while increasing alcoholic flavors. A great beer for getting your pansy buddies away from the Purple Haze.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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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 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 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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Photo of superspak
3.92/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best by 6/22/2013. Pours hazy reddish orange color with a fluffy 2-3 finger white head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Some nice foamy lacing clings to the glass as well. Aromas of big black currant grapes, coriander, orange zest, pepper, floral, wheat, and yeast spiciness. Damn nice authentic smelling fruity aromas, with good strength and balance. Taste of orange zest, coriander, black currant, pepper, herbal, wheat, and yeast spiciness. Pretty dry on the finish; with a bit of light lingering notes of lightly tart currants, orange zest, and yeast spiciness on the finish for a short bit. Nice flavor balance and complexity; though it comes out as being weak, the aromas had me thinking it would have a bigger amount of fruit flavor. No cloying sweetness or unpleasant flavors at all. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a foamy, crisp, and smooth mouthfeel that is good. No alcohol warming noticed at all as expected for 5.5%. Extremely refreshing and easy to drink. Overall this is a very good fruit flavored white ale. Very crisp and refreshing; with a good amount of fruit flavor and complexity. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.8/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The Cassis is not too much different from the other versions of the Ephemere except that the fruit flavor is a little bit lighter. It pours a hazy orange body with a touch of pink that's topped by a short bright-white head. It drops shortly to a thin lid of creamy foam and leaves next to no lace. The bouquet expresses a subtly sweet and slightly tart fruitiness that may or may not be cassis (it's just kind of non-descript). The body is light, and it's crisp on the tongue with a very fine-bubbled and gently effervescent carbonation. The flavor is only slightly "cassis"; and mildly sweet, with its tart and dark character balancing. It finishes short and dry. It's very delicate - very, very delicate - and quite one-sided, but it is refreshing. And at least it's not the syrupy sweet presentation of cassis that you normally find, because that's just so off-base. Nice, but probably not worth it. The other versions are better.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap 12/4/2011 at Rose Alley Ale House in New Bedford, MA served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light reddish brown color with a thin white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin on the glass.

S: The aroma contains berries, light Belgian yeast but not much else.

T: The taste starts out with tart and sweet flavors of the black currant. The malt character is very thin and there’s almost no hops presence but that is expected with this type of beer. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Smooth and crisp, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: A little tasty, goes down easy, not too filling, mild kick, good representation of style, it’s a decent option if you’re in the mood for this type of beer.

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Photo of mactrail
4.45/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful dark apricot color in the tall wine glass. Flavor is both buttery and fruity at the same time. Excellent carbonation with tiny bubbles makes for a rich, tart mouthful. Tastes like raspberry with a nose of plum. Pleasant, refreshing acidity. An enjoyable quaff. One of the best fruit-flavored beers I've encountered. Honest fruit flavor but beery. Had this at Church Key in San Francisco.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.59/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 ounce pint - Taco Mac in Canton, Georgia.

Appearance: Served up an opaque, rosy-russet hue with a small, though persistent, white head.

Smell: Softly fruity, scantly tart with thin, thin traces of herbs and subtle malted wheat.

Taste: Modestly tangy wheat malt, with a low sweetness upfront and throughout. Subdued cassis flavor, faintly tartish and including a tenuously tannic edge. Small hint of herb. Lightly fruity finish with a neutral grain quality in the background.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light body. Finely carbonated.

Overall: A decent, refreshing fruit brew that, while I didn't love, I did enjoy a bit more than the standard Éphémère apple.

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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 mdaschaf
3.85/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Pickled Pig

A: This beer was a hazy peach/pink/grapefruit color. There was a very tiny white head on top, but not much in the way of head retention or lacing.

S: Definitely fruity with some currant and a little bit of peach/orange and grapefruit. There is a slight tartness, but not strong at all.

T: Similar to the aroma, there is some nice fruit flavor - mostly peachy and orange with some other fruit, that I can only assume is cassis. It is pretty light with a slight tartness.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Had a slightly tangy thing going, but overall was rather smooth and easy drinking.

O: A pretty good beer, nice fruit flavor and easy drinking. Would be really nice on a hot day outside or with dessert.

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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 TMoney2591
3.5/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Blanche de Chambly fluted pokal at The Firkin.

Haven't seen this one stateside yet, so I jumped on it at the Firkin. It pours a hazy sunrise amber topped by a finger of pinkish-white foam. The nose comprises raspberries, white grapes, and mandarin orange syrup. The taste holds notes of red grapes, very light cranberries, light raspberries, light flowers, light blueberries, light toffee, and clove. The body is a rather light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a very lightly scratchy feel. Overall, a solid beer, but one that doesn't wow. I think I was expecting a currant-enhanced Belgian-style brew, but the fruit really took over and swallowed everything else whole, Monstro-style.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.65/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appears a golden copper cloudy hue with a white frothy head leaves even Belgian style lacing. Aroma tart currants touch of wheat sharpness along with the fruitiness, but has quite a tart mustiness to it all I'm digging it. Taste has a nice balance of tartness and sweetness with the currants finishes a bit dry with herbal hop character. Mouthfeel is lighter bodied slightly sticky with some residual sugars high spritzier carbonation levels. Drinkability to me is nice tart enough not extreme mild fruit sweetness makes this one of the more drinkable fruit infused ales.

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Photo of Billolick
4.25/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Large bottle, caged and corked, freshness indication says this one should be fine till 1-07. Pours a shimmering tone of peachy, melony orange, cloudy, with a almost pinkish head settleing to a film that leaves loose and wet lacing. Nose is of soft fruits, witha splash of yeast and spice. Fairly tart brew initially, sweet and spicyness comes in later. I love this style, so this one is a homerun in my opinion. Light, fruity, yeasty complexity underneath it all. Tasty, thirst quenching, fine drinking brew. Delicate summer dessert berr or would be fine with salads, fish, etc etcwould be interesting to pair w/ BBQ.

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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 feloniousmonk
4.22/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful pale peach color, massive head, thick and fluffy, slow to diminish...very likeable.

Enticing aromatics! It's a subtle mix of currant, a whiff of peach and apricot, all abetted by wheaty characteristics. A delicate fruit blend, and delicious.

Taste: a brisk bite at the front, tart for a touch, a blast of cool berry and grape, then all is mellow...very light currant flavor, more dainty than I expected...
...thought I had a wallop coming my way, but it's a dainty little dance on the tongue. Medium to light in body, tasty, tangy mouthfeel, softly evaporating finish...very nice. a sophisticated sipper, a sublime substitute for dessert when chocolates and such are not appropriate.
Chill and share with the significant other for a romantic evening...

I really, for some reason, expected a humdinger in this bottle, a slap-yo'mama kind of "Belgian beer"...not what they present, and who gives a darn, it's gorgeous just the way it is...sumptuous, serene...divine...

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Photo of GClarkage
3.6/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

04/20/06- Purchased at Draeger's in San Mateo, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, cageed and corked. Best by date on the back of the bottle. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Light peachy colored, spritzy, but staying power in the head. Leaves behind pretty nice lacing.

Smell- Fresh fruits (raspberries, strawberries, passionfruit) in the nose.

Taste- Nice flavor mix of fruits...tastes like some grapes, plums, raspberries and blackberries. Seems more realistic than artificial. More tart than I was expecting. Nice sweet and sour tango going on.

Mouthfeel- A bit too carbonated for me. Reminded me of a fruity champagne than a beer.

Drinkability- Same these guys for warm summer days. Quenching , nice flavor. Maybe good for a brunch instead of the champagne.

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Photo of Gavage
4.1/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy color combo of amber and orange with reddish highlights sporting a huge 2+" head. Some light lacing develop through the drink. The aroma is huge - berries and wheat tones can be detected without getting your nose near the glass.

The flavor is of zesty berry and wheat, with hints of honey and vanilla. Mouthfeel is crisp at the start and finishes dry. Lighter in body than expected. Drinkability is tough to rank - one bottle was extremely tasty and enjoyable, but one was enough in a sitting.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy pink color with a towering white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a very tart black currant scent that is refreshingly pleasant. The taste is good. It has a dry, pale malt flavor with a fine black currant finish. It's not as intense as a lambic, but it still delivers a good fruit flavor. The mouthfeel is good. It is medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good tasting beer. It has excellent aroma; a tremendous beer.

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Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant) from Unibroue
3.71 out of 5 based on 369 ratings.
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