Name: Éphémère (Apple)
Country of Origin: Canada
City & State: Chambly, Quebec
Style: Fruit / Vegetable Beer
Alcohol Content (ABV): 5.50%
First Brewed: 2002
Copper color with brilliant orange tints and a thick, persistent foam. Charming nose with plenty of fruitiness and a distinctive note of fugue. Complex and warming in the mouth, with hints of dessert fruit such as dates; a very long, but dry, finish.
It’s weird that a Canadian brewing company can produce such good Belgian beers… but they have figured it out. Not sure if they get their ingredients (yeast, barley, malt, hops) from Belgium, but Unibroue has always done a great job with their beers. I have never had this one, and I was sad to learn that the other three are no longer made. I bet a peach beer would be delicious! I am also a little nervous about this particular bottle… there was some residue under the cork, so I hope the bottle (the beer) is good. If not, I am sure we will taste it. It poured fine, and looks great in the glass… so I am sure it’s OK.
I could actually smell this as I was pouring it. The beer is brewed with apple juice and coriander. Since I like apple juice, I am sure I will enjoy this! Let’s drink, people!
In the Glass: The beer poured like a typical wheat based beer. It has a nice orange color to it, and not much head to speak of. The beer does have a nice thin white later on the top. The fuzz (I will call this head fuzz) sits there just begging to be consumed. I hope this tastes like apple juice… or I am going to be sad! I really want some apple juice. Can you tell?
Nose: They also use nutmeg in this beer, and that is the first thing I smell here. I expected more apple aromas, but the nutmeg is a nice compromise. A second whiff gives me a nice apple aroma, but makes me think of hot apple cider with… you guessed it, nutmeg on top! Speaking of apples, pretty sure Sheryl put a new soap in the bathroom. It’s apple!
Flavor: Before I drink this, please note that I am listening to Eric Church right now. Yes, Drink in My Hand is playing. Perfect drinking song! Oh, and I have a Captain and Coke beside me. Diet Coke, but still. The flavor, at first, is nice, but then some weird flavors take over. The finish is the best part, but we will get there. The beer is simple, clean, and easy to drink, but the flavor is weak and lacking. I am not getting much nutmeg, but the apple juice really comes through. (The burp is loaded with apple, too.) They use Granny Smith apples, which isn’t my favorite apple. But still, the apple should, in a beer with apple in the name, be more prominent. This is the first Unibroue beer I haven’t been impressed with.
Mouthfeel: The beer is thin, smooth, and VERY easy to drink. It has a low ABV, so you could sit here and chug a bomber and never know the difference. I think more bubbles might help this bottle. Not much really going on here, and what bubbles are there are toward the back of the palate. For $7.99 I expect much bigger/better flavor.
Aftertaste: This is the best part of the beer. It quickly becomes drying, and leaves a nice apple flavor in the aftertaste. Imagine chomping into a crisp apple in the middle of the summer… the flavor that lingers 5-7 minutes later is what I am experiencing here. The aftertaste is good, but not enough to get me to appreciate the beer past mediocre.
Thanks for trying Unibroue, but this is not your best effort. If the cassis, cranberry, and peach beers were anything like this, I can see why it was narrowed down to one… but I am curious why this one. If this is the best of the four, that’s too bad. Now I want to get a bottle of the raspberry. Know anyone in Quebec?
Éphémère (Apple) – The bottle says: “Éphémère is a seasonal ale brewed with apple juice. It offers a fragrant green apple bouquet and a remarkably well-balanced mouthfeel. Truly, a refreshing summer delight in every sip.”
Honestly, I’m not in the mood to review this beer tonight. I’m in the mood to just drink it! Maybe that’s because I’m hungry; I haven’t had much to eat today. So let’s just jump right in. This one was a bomber, so we each got almost a full pint out of it. Which means – more beer! But also more calories, unfortunately. Anyway…
The beer is a golden honey color in the glass. It’s kind of thick, but not overly thick. Whatever head was there has quickly dissipated. I see little bubbles forming at the top, so I can only assume that it’s at least a little bit carbonated. It smells… fruity and sour. I know, I’m moving through this quick, but I’m ready to find out how it tastes! I hope it’s good, because I have almost a full pint of it sitting here next to me.
First sip, and… this beer has a complex flavor. It is somewhat carbonated. And there are fruit and sour flavors. Okay, but honestly – it has a horrible aftertaste! This beer is complex, which I like, and I think I would even like the flavors if it wasn’t for the awful aftertaste you get at the end. This is probably going to be a weird way to describe it for beer connoisseurs, but to me it tastes like one of those Faygo carbonated drinks… I’m pretty sure they have citrusy flavors, like maybe pineapple or something? Except the diet version. I wanted to drink beer, not diet pineapple Faygo. I’m serious, that’s what it reminds me of. Kind of gross, honestly.
While I do like the initial flavors of this beer, the aftertaste completely ruins it. It’s just not pleasant to drink. I’ve only taken a few drinks and I already want something else to wash it down with. Definitely not one I plan on buying again.