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Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant) | Unibroue

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Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant)Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant)
371 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 371 |  Reviews: 223
Photo of rootbeerman
3.4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours what I can only describe as a darker grapefruit juice. Head is only a finger thick bright white, and quickly fall to a halo around the glass.
S: almost all currant not much else.
T: lighter currant than the aroma would hint to, a touch tart and sour. Not much sweetness to speak of.
M: yes it is watery, yet crisp.
O: if it wasn't such a hot night at work this would be a plain simple fruit beer. But it was hot and this was very refeshing.

 452 characters

Photo of JOaikido
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

 417 characters

Photo of rtepiak
3.09/5  rDev -16%
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.

 709 characters

Photo of BasementBer
3.79/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Very intriguing color palate. Light pink grapefruit head with an orange body. Thick massive head of foam with medium lacing.

S: Smells like most unibroue's yeast but with a slight touch of fruityness.

T: Nose is fizzy like a wine cooler and full of fruit character followed by a body that is distinctly malt. The finish is crisp and refreshing.

M: Fizzy with plenty of carbonation and the spritey character of the cassis makes a touch of jazz in the mouth.

D: I liked this beer, it is not something you would go back to back on but it is an enjoyable venture into the fruit style without offending.

 606 characters

Photo of Arbitrator
1.68/5  rDev -54.3%
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 amccormi
3.44/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a half pint. It is somwhere between red and red-orange. The foam is very white and fizzy and dissapates quickly.

The aroma is a big blast of cassis fruit, really what I want from a fruit beer.

The flavor tastes kind of like regular Ephermer, wich leads me to believe that the use fruit flavor extract. It is lightly grainy, very dry, and a tad bit tart like grapefruit.

I always find these guys just a bit overcarbonated for my taste, leaving them a bit carbonic. Overall it is okay, but I would not really seek it out.

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Photo of scott451
3.75/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked and caged. A nice pop, and a burst of fruit smell, then poured into a Duvel tulip. A hazy, reddish orange with a bubbly off white head. Good retention.

Yeasty fruit smells. Fruit in front. Muted spicy malts. Another fruit burst brings up the rear.

Light body, moderate carbonation. A nice fruit beer but not to much character or complexity.

 355 characters

Photo of spinrsx
3.55/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml Bottle

Appearance - The beer pours a hazy pink colour with a very large size fizzy pinkish white coloured head. I can't see much carbonation due to the haziness and there isn't a whole of lacing going on. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it began to dissipate.

Smell - white wine (green grapes), cassis, breads/grains

Taste & Mouth - The beer has an average amount of carbonation and it feels very light on the palette. Most of the flavour consists of a dry white wine (or champagne?) mixed with slightly bitter cassis. There are also notes of breads and grains. It finishes with a sour cassis aftertaste.

Drink - Another beer that is not something I would typically drink but I'm happy I tried it. I can see how some might enjoy it, especially on a warm summer day as a refresher. Worth trying.

 817 characters

Photo of AdamBear
3.22/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-reddish gold with a thick light tan head, quite a neat site actually

S-i'll be honest, it smells like something in between a heavy belgian white ale and a champagne...leaning more towards the champagne...unfortunately. i'm afraid to taste it.

T-basically just tastes like a sour belgian wheat, not strong enough to taste like any champagne. the after-taste is full of the black currant which is quite pleasant. i didn't know what black currant was before i had the beer but its taste is easily recognizable.

M-medium to low carbonation but very smooth with a dry finish

D-not too bad, the black currant comes out more as you drink.

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Photo of StephenRich
3.96/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite brewing styles is Belgian. And one of the most beautiful things about Belgian brewing is that these days, you don't need to be a Belgian to brew like one. Unibroue, located in Chambly Quebec, has been brewing Belgian Style beers since 1990. Unibroue prides themselves on using only the finest natural ingredients, absolutely no preservatives, only partially filtering and bottle conditioning the majority of their beers.

Among their lineup of unique and exciting beers is the Ephemere Cassis, a wheat beer brewed with blackcurrant. Blackcurrant is a berry native to central and norther Europe, as well as Asia with a tart, mildly sweet deep raspberry like flavor. The Ephermere Cassis is really a thing of beauty. It is crisp and refreshing, sweet yet dry, and exceptionally quenching. It is a treat every time I open a bottle, and people are always stunned by its color and appearance - "I had no idea that beer could look like that!"

The Cassis is available all across Quebec, scattered throughout the United States, and its sister beer the Pomme is occasionally at the LCBO in Ontario usually for the Christmas release. It comes in corked 75oml bottles and a 341ml capped bottle; both bottle conditioned and 5.5% abv.

It pours like a wheat beer with huge effervescence, life and exuberance raising a pillowy and airy white and lightly pink head a good several inches off the surface of the beer - which is striking. It is a deeply opaque pink to red - fully deep with carbonation racing through it. Its really a gorgeous beer - its a very luminescent heavy red which glows into the white head. The nose is quite simple - sweet and light with ripe raspberries, strawberries and generic fruit. There is a faint note of wheat and vanilla in the background.

When you first sip the Cassis, the immensely delicate and excited carbonation plays off your palate and tickles you with flavors of fresh strawberries, light raspberries, and a meaty dark berry - the blackcurrant. Soft vanilla is floating in the background with light malt and wheat, but only ever so lightly. The Cassis does not make its presence known with power, it is a gentle soul trying to tease you into a relaxed state of fresh a fruity enjoyment.

It is really very light and wet on the palate. It has massive quenching and refreshing characteristics, mostly due to the bottle conditioning and its champagne like effervescence. But it is also dry and savory, balancing out the sweet tart flavors of the blackcurrant. Really it is a delight to enjoy, but I do wish it was richer. There are no hops to be found, the malt is really extremely light, and the fruit is more of a compliment to the mouthfeel rather than the star.

Enjoy it directly out of the fridge or ice bucket on a hot summer day on its own, with white fish and mango salsa, fruit salad, or light oil based pastas.

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Photo of ChrisCage
3.82/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

A- This is a different looking beer that's for sure! Pinkish cotton candy colored head is huge and retains very well, sinking eventually into a thick layer over the beer. The color of the brew itself is also pinkish with orange hues in the backround. Lots of fine columned bubbles rising to the top. Very modest amount of lacing and only small circles of foam cling to the glass. Very much has a red cream soda look, only the coloring is much more natural.

S- I'm not real familiar with black currants but this does have a primary aroma of black fruit and deep rich berries. There is a malty sweetness in the background that blends well with the tartness of the fruit.

T- Its' got a very natural tart berry flavor that is crisp and clean. There is some malt sweetness but there is a stale dry graininess hiding in the backround. I agree, it definitely has a bread/biscuit quality in the flavoring that lingers on the palate.

M- It's clean and crisp, yet feels full flavored all in one. The carbonation isn't overwhelming, but it is zippy and cleans the flavors out well, readying the palate for another taste.

D- This is a beer that I'd enjoy once every now and then but wouldn't have this on a regular basis. It's refreshing and great for a hot day but it wouldn't be my first choice. That said, it's very good for what it is....definitely give this a try!

 1,361 characters

Photo of kjyost
3.7/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Served in a 10 oz slender glass.

Pours an interesting light pink with a very pink head. Sadly, no real lacing. Aromas are a black currant (surprise) that isn't overly strong. There is also a little bit of yeast beneath the cassis. The taste is dominated by a light cassis without dominating the beer. It is still obviously a beer with flavours of bready malt in there too. Coats well, not sweet, but not a beer I could drink much of... My wife really enjoyed it too.

 467 characters

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.28/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 ml bottle into a La Fin Du Monde tulip at the Mondial beer festival. Pour was frothy and foamy. Aroma was musty. Pink grapefruit in color. Intense raspberry aroma with a tart witbier/blackberry taste. Leaves you wanting more. Wispy and delicious.

 262 characters

Photo of PEBKAC
2.88/5  rDev -21.7%
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.

 1,373 characters

Photo of Otterburn
3.28/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On bottle, different version than the one i got on tap.

the color of this one is an amber, orange, unfiltred, hazy look. white foam that dissapear
lots of carbonation

smell is fruity, classic unibroue yeast signature

taste is fruity, light and quite acid like citrus or so.

mouthfeel is quite watery, but not in a bad way, like a popsoda, very active carbonation

drinkability, for me this is too much acid,fruity
i can drink it on hot days but not my personal choice, taste is not quite good for me.

 506 characters

Photo of OskarL
3.11/5  rDev -15.5%
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!

 348 characters

Photo of cratez
3.48/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Chancey Smith's. I generally hate fruit beers, but this is the exemplar of the style. Glowing amber orange with a ring of white head and spots of lacing on the tulip. Smell and taste are mild yeast, perfume, flower pedals, sweet berry fruit, and a tart astringency from the black currant. Light-bodied mouthfeel is delicate and refreshing, but a little watery as well. Signature Unibroue spice produces a sharp, carbonated bite on the palate. Not much aftertaste. Overall, Ephemere Cassis is a nice treat now and then, especially on tap. A cut above others in the genre, and certainly worth a try at least once.

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Photo of ReFill31
3.87/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

341ml bottle poured into a pint glass.

A : Troubled look with kind of reddish color to it, almost purple. Great head and great retention.

S : Smells the fruit, of course. The smell of the fruit is a little bit strong, so it is difficult to find anything else.

T : Really sweet, we can easily taste black currant

M : Good carbonation, feels refreshing

D : Even if it is easy to drink, I would stop drinking this one after one or two. It is too sweet and too fruity to drink much

 485 characters

Photo of barleywort
3.33/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving: 341mL bottle into a brandy snifter.

Appearance: pours a rosy mauve colour with a two-finger rosy-white head with moderate lacing. Seemingly high carbonation leads to the quick death of the wispy head.

Aroma: candy-sweet impressions of strawberry and raspberry on the nose with not much else.

Taste: tasts holds the same notes as the aroma, with a juicy ripe strawberry taste that is suprisingly muted and subtle as opposed to big and bold. There's a fruity bitterness, although it doesn't make me think blackcurrant. There's even some hints of grape, but these corresponding flavours don't pull together into what I know as blackcurrant.

Mouthfeel: Not as carbonated as expected at first glance, but the sparkle is still there. Easily quaffable, perhaps a bit to easy; this owning to a light body.

Drinkability: Ultimately, I find it more akin to a less flavourful framboise than anything flavoured blackcurrant. It was a pleasant drink, but so light in body that it feels more like drinking juice that like drinking beer. Glad to have tried it, but I don't expect to actively seek it out again.

 1,110 characters

Photo of EsoxLucius
3.61/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of decimator
2.9/5  rDev -21.2%
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.

 616 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.38/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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.

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Photo of ZorPrime
3.1/5  rDev -15.8%
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 elricorico
3.65/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of BigBry
4/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Éphémère (Cassis / Black Currant) from Unibroue
Beer rating: 3.68 out of 5 with 371 ratings
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