Éphémère (Cranberry) | Unibroue

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Éphémère (Cranberry)Éphémère (Cranberry)
195 Ratings
Éphémère (Cranberry)Éphémère (Cranberry)

Brewed by:
Quebec, Canada

Style: Fruit and Field Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.50%

Availability: Spring

Notes / Commercial Description:
As its name suggests, Éphémère is an ephemeral ale that comes and goes with the seasons. It was developed as a series to feature a seasonal fruit in a refreshing, lightly spiced white ale. The label depicts a fairy, an ephemeral spirit associated with fruits picked at the peak of ripeness during each harvest season. She first appeared in the spring of 2001 and has since been celebrated on a variety of seasonal fruit ales such as apple (brewed all year long), cranberry, blackcurrant, peach, raspberry and blueberry.

It has a delicate cranberry flavor which gives it the perfect sweetness-acidity balance.

2014 - Only available in Canada

Added by kbub6f on 02-27-2003

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 195 |  Reviews: 105
Reviews by Pegasus:
Photo of Pegasus
3.55/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Hazy medium golden color, with a prominent, dense head, which retains fairly well. Thin, fine, and unbroken lacing adorns the glass walls.

Aroma: Cranberries ans spicy wheat malt dominate the aroma, presenting a slightly sweet aroma, somewhat like a wine cooler..

Taste: Sharply tart cranberries vie with spicy wheat for supremacy. Tangy sour apple notes present as well. A mild wave of tart and sour cranberries bring the taste to a close.

Mouth feel: Smooth and very full, with soft carbonation, and just a hint of zestiness.

Drinkability/notes: A rare example, a cranberry beer. Would that there would be more of these.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of biegaman
4.06/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Éphémère Canneberge (Cranberry) isn't red at all but instead a bright yellow that's sunny as the southern Mediterranean. (Be skeptical of vibrantly colourful fruit beers - those that use syrups or juices - but know that brewing with real berries typically lends little colour.) As is characteristic for Unibroue beers, this one has a head half the size of a cantaloupe.

The aroma is reminiscent of flower blossoms, apricot jam, and orange marmalade - all great things but none remotely cranberry-like. The only semblance of red berries would be in dried, sweetened form (think along the lines of an Ocean Spray product). No matter, this is a positively wonderful bouquet and far more complex than anything that hangs off an end aisle at the supermarket.

Cranberry is an autumn fruit but this ale, with its zestfulness and citrus fruit notes, is terrifically and decidedly summer-like. That's because it is, at its base, a Witbier (which explains the delightful orange marmalade flavour and white pepper-like piquancy). And this being Unibroue the yeast certainly factors in too; fresh bread, savory herbs, and peach and pear esters round out the profile.

Cranberries are unmistakably more tart than sweet, so it's a little odd that the real story here be honey, marmalade and canned tropical fruits. But in all this there remains a little tartness, enough anyway to conclude each sip with a tangy little bang!. And while the acidity is not dagger-like, there is enough of it that, for the thirsty, it's just what the doctor ordered.

Éphémère Cranberry may be my favourite of the series. It admittedly does a pitiful job at capturing the essence of the fruit but is nonetheless a genius little recipe insofar as easy quaffing and warm-weather drinking is concerned. Those who appreciate the dry, spicy berry flavours of Tavel or Bandol rosé, and even those who prefer chugalug pink-tinted plunk, should love this.

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Photo of Popsinc
3.18/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Cloudy orange pour with a huge head. The nose of cranberry and also hints of raspberry and maybe some apple. Aagain, like the other Ephemeres, the taste is very subtle and mild compared to the nose. The cranberry had a decent tartness to the finish but also what seemed like a watered down finish. It lacked body. I think i prefer Peche & Original out of the 4 Ephemere brews.

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Photo of RoyalT
2.95/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance – The body was a very light orange in color, almost like Triple Sec, which came as a surprise. The head was modest and went down quickly.

Smell – The cranberries are very light and not at all natural. There is some sour lime notes in here as well along with a faint malty background.

Taste – Again, there’s little natural cranberry flavor in here, and the sourness is a bit much for the smallish malts.

Mouthfeel – This is a little bit fuller than light-bodied with little carbonation and an overly sour mouthfeel.

Drinkability – I doubt if I’ll make it all the way through the bottle, but I’m going to try. It was just too sour and lacked the depth of fruits that I look for in the style.

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Photo of cam477
4/5  rDev +9.6%

Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on tap at Lunar Brewing...was a bit suprised to see it on tap! Arrived in it's very own Unibroue tulip glass a cloudy straw yellow with a billowing head of creamy white foam. Some nice lacing on the side of the glass as well. Aromas here started out with some light grainy wheat tones with a fresh, tart berry aroma that was quite nice. The cranberry aroma was quite noticeable.

First sip brought a light, elegant pale/crystal maltiness along with a great tart, slightly acidic cranberry flavor. I was amazed at how well placed the real cranberry flavor was in this beer. It was not at all syrupy or artificial. The underlying Unibroue house yeast worked nicely along with the fruit flavor. Easily the best cranberry brew I've ever sampled. Unibroue seems to have a knack at integrating wonderful real fruit flavors to the Ephemere line.

Mouthfeel is light and airy with a slight creaminess. Refreshing and utterly drinkable...a very well proportioned fruit beer. If you enjoy cranberries then this is well worth seeking out. I wish I could find this in bottles. After this and the green apple..I'm very excited to go out and try the cassis.

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Photo of Billolick
3.83/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Large bottle, with freshness dating and caged and corked. Pours light tangarine, cloudy and showing off a moderate almost white head. Head dissolves to a thin tiny bubble film. Lacing is minimal. Nose is sugary sweet and just a wiff of fruit. Light, fresh tasting and sweet. Cranberry flavors not really distinct, just a fluffy candy sweetness. Pleasant hot weather beer, decent with light fare. Probably would be a crowd pleaser with the ladies.

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Photo of aquazr1
3.58/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Photo of dwvarner77
2.87/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a straw yellow with a slight slight hint of pink, and has a big, billowing head. The head falls, but leaves a finger of carbonation.
The aroma is grainy, a lot of wheat and a little tart cranberry. The flavor is very grainy, with some wheat and a hint of cranberry on the finish. Mouthfeel is somewhat carbonated but slight; easy to drink because there's not much there. Not very substantial overall, would like a little more aggressive body or more of a sour cranberry. I'd have to say the other versions of Ephemere were more impressive.

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Photo of chinchill
3.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle served in a Porter Bar goblet.

After at last opening the wire and cork seal, I was able to pour a fizzy golden-amber beer. The head soon died down to a thin partial coat but rather high carbonation was evident in the prickly mouthfeel. The nice fruity aroma seemed to reflect variety of fruits, including apples, and not just cranberries. Likewise for the flavor. The fruit addition here is limited to a level that allows the light malts and fruity yeast flavors to appear. Sweet aroma but moderately tart and lightly bitter flavor.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
2.9/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

(Served in a tall flute)

A- This beer poured a hazy straw yellow body with a thick white head that turned rocky but lasted for a bit. There was a strong carbonation of tiny strings of bubbles. There was no sign of any coloration from the cranberries.

S- The slight tart yeasty note had a faint lemon hint and a light earthy funk which was very faint. There was a light sugary cereal note like Fruit Loops in the background.

T- The pale malt taste had a slight sweetness with a faint lemon soapy hint. There was a very faint sweet cranberry candy note that I probably would have missed if it weren’t printed on the bottle.

M- The mouthfeel had a medium texture that was due to fizz more than anything.

D- There wasn't much depth to this but it did have some faint notes of interesting characters. It did have some artificial flavor qualities, which put me off a bit. I kept think it was almost a wheat beer with fruit loops in it.

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Photo of Brenden
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This hazed pale yellow brew shows some depth while still shining, developing a bubbly whitish head that displays pretty good retention and stick.
The Belgian spicing is unassuming, showing softly from front to back and just laying a firm foundation for the beer without overdoing it or being understated. It gives up very soft spicy and earthy notes, a bit of a mix as far as light kitchen spices and sweetness. It lets the cranberry stand out pretty well without taking over the brew, everything working together to be gently tart as well as softly sweet in a way few brewers can master.
The feel is equally soft, a very light body that doesn't lack depth. It moves nicely, staying soft while a gentle crispness never stops nipping and it stays smooth the whole way through.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.47/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy yellow glass with a wonderful 2 finger head reminisent of belgiums. Head melts to fine lacing on the edges and the glass.

Aroma is an unusual sweet fruit that I can't identify...not really cranberry...just a sweet fruit with a slight belgium yeast mix in it. I really LOVE the aroma for this brew and enjoy smelling it deeply between every sip.

Taste is definately cranberry...fresh cranberries....nice sweet malt with the bitterness of the cranberries drying the mouth afterwards.

I am not sure how to describe this brew because it is unlike anything I've had....the belgium infuence is most definately there...but the fruit throws it off style wise so I can't really identify it.
Wonderful brew...I really enjoy this...
Aftertaste is drying and not cloying at all...tiny cranberry aftertaste...nice bitterness...
I'll drink it again, most definately.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.63/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Full 20oz chalice at the Common in downtown Edmonton.

This beer appears a cloudy, medium golden amber hue, with one skinny finger of fizzy, weakly foamy dirty white head, which leaves a bit of paramecia lace around the glass as it quickly bleeds away.

It smells of semi-sweet cranberry sauce, somewhat edgy wheat grain, a weird additional apple fruitiness, faint yeast, and a hint of white white grapes. The taste is yeasty dark fruit, not altogether identifiable as cranberry, but they're surely in there, candi sugar, laid-back wheat and bready pale malt, and more under-fermented white wine must, the fruitiness therein doing well (or not) to mess with the titular fruit's hegemony.

The bubbles are pretty low-key, barely a frothy edge presents itself, the body a decent medium weight, and mostly fruity in its adequate smoothness. It finishes on the sweet side, the wheat malt, cranberry fruit salad, and vinous notes carrying us out.

Once again, Unibroue does well by the guest fruit ingredient, by not overly relying on it - in fact, here it gives it a fair bit of short shrift, allowing that wine character to almost overtake. Nothing as complex as its stronger Belgo-phile offerings, but still, a tasty enough Belgian-style fruit beer, as ever was.

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Photo of Sammy
3/5  rDev -17.8%

Photo of NeroFiddled
3.85/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow-gold body that's topped by a short bright-white head that drops slowly to a thin lid of creamy foam. Lacing is minimal. The bouquet expresses a generic, slightly tart fruitiness that's not clearly cranberry (although fresh cranberries offer only a limited fruitiness themselves). The body is light, and it's crisp on the tongue with a very fine-bubbled and gently effervescent carbonation. The flavor is only mildly sweet, with its tart character balancing; and it finishes short and dry. It's very delicate, and quite one-sided. It's refreshing, but not much more. Of all of the fruit-enhanced versions of the Ephemere, this one seems to offer the least character. In many ways like a glass of dry sparkling wine.

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Photo of swamiswamu
4.17/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

14 oz. serving at Chocolate Bar

Yellowish hue with a healthy head served in a Unibroue tulip glass. The aroma is all cranberry, real cranberry not sweetned. The first hit of flavor his a perfect wit, then it goes into a sour cranberry that balances out to a lambic-like flavor. IMO fruit beers only work when the true essense of the fruit is allowed to shine though and that was the case here. The tart, sour taste dominated and made for an excellent brew.

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Photo of BigJim5021
3.94/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.22/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Originally reviewed on February 28, 2005. 750ml bottle. Pours a clouded yellow, with a crisp white finger of head. Aroma of rubbery esters and tart dry cranberry skins. Tarts the nose. Watery flavor, with a hint of the tart fresh dry cranberry juices flowing over the tounge. Wheat is estery with the belgian yeasts. A touch of mingled spice. Finish is evaporating and lifts the dryness to the roof of the mouth. Lacks a real strong flavor in my opinion. JP has it right, it could be either a quenching summer brew or served warm in late November, both sound fantastic. But it couldn’t hold up to food. It’s greatest quality to me, is that it isn’t offensive.

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Photo of atlbravsrno1
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of CDBeerDisappear
3.3/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

a - Light pilsner color with fine bubbly head.

s - Lightly fruity with a nice cranberry aroma.

t - Disapointing, tasted like cranberry soda water.

m - Thin lightly carbonated acidic

d - I have to pass on this one. I immagine that there are people out there for whom this would be a treeat but it was not my cup of cranberry tea.

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Photo of elricorico
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of CortexBomb
3.68/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out cloudy, yet pale yellow with an enormous white head which does not want to dissipate. Smell is strongly wheaty with a cranberry edge...sweet as well.

Flavour starts off with a nice, sweet, yet tart cranberry flavour which then combines with the wheat and some malty edges. Finish is perfect, a tart kiss. Very refreshing. Not my favourite Epherme, and not as distinctly fruity as the other versions, but still distinct and tasty.

Mouthfeel, nice. There are tingly spots at the right places and in the right quantities. The beer is very light bodied, but that is to be expected. Drinkability is good, no problems drinking this one. The fruit flavour is very distinct, but not so overwhelming as to make it hard to put down.

I love Unibroue's offerings almost top to bottom, and this is just one more beer by them that is well worth having in the fridge. Definitely a better summer beer than a winter one though.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

From the 750 ml. corked, caged bottle with an expiration date of 07-25-2016. Sampled on November 22, 2015.

The pour is peach-yellow with a modest head that fades some but never dissolves.

The nose features the cranberry as it should but I pick up the Belgian toasted bread and mild spiced characters underneath.

Light to medium body but creamy too.

The taste is basically mellow with a big cranberry sweetness. Mile bitterness to finish. Easy to drink but you have to like fruit in your beer. I am ambivalent about that.

This is the first time I have seen some of the other Ephemere variants in New Hampshire. I have had the more available apple.

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Photo of akorsak
3.82/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a 750 mL bottle served in a Chimay chalice.

Appearance: The ale pours as a golden ale without any hint of red dye or cranberry. There is little head, and what head there is is primarily caused by the attenuation at the bottom of the chalice. The ale is hazy, but there are no significant sedimentary floaters.

Smell: There is a very appreciable fruit aroma here. There is also a geueze-like mustiness, although this beer is not openly fermented (to my knowledge).

Taste: The taste is much better than I expected. I am not a fan of cranberries, but this ale is very muted in its use of cranberries. They are clearly present, but they do not overwhelm. Outside of the cranberries, a minor wheat taste emerges. The wheat compliments the cranberries.

Mouthfeel: The ale has a high carbonation level. The bubbles, in conjunction with the cranberry wheat cleans the palate, leaving it a little dry. The dryness forces one to take another sip and enjoy it all over again.

Drinkability: At a low ABV (relative to other Unibroue ales), this beer is certainly a beer that I could drink several of. The taste surprised me and, while it is no Ephemere Apple, it a an interesting and well made ale.

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Éphémère (Cranberry) from Unibroue
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 195 ratings