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I’m a big fan of Unibroue beers and this is an easy one to pick up in stores. The first time I’ve had it was at a restaurant where I ordered both versions of Éphémère, apple and blackcurrant, for my girlfriend and I. I had the blackcurrant and thoroughly enjoyed it. Since this is an easy enough beer to find in most grocery stores and white beers are perfect for summer drinking, I decided to pick up a case.
Éphémère Pomme is made in honor of this great fruit. Its lively effervescence, fresh and refreshing taste as well as its Granny Smith apple nose combine to offer you a unique sensory experience. It pairs extremely well with goat’s milk, cheeses, pork or duck. It has known such a success that you will now be able to appreciate its taste all year long.
Golden and hazy in colour with yeast cloudiness. Large three to four finger frothy white head. It dissipates rather quickly. Expected for a white beer. Really good lacing and a lot of carbonation streaming off the bottom of the glass.
Not as much apple in the aroma as I would have expected. I get a very spicy and yeasty aroma. Ginger and nutmeg are more prevalent. The apple is more subdued, but it is definitely akin to a granny smith apple. The aroma itself is sour. Reminds me a little bit of the Jolly Rancher candies. The spices and yeast definitely play a larger role here.
Again, as expected from the aroma, there are more spices in the taste. Ginger is more noticeable than the nutmeg. The apple flavours are more subtle. A very nice mix of sweet and tart going on. The body is very thin and watery (almost a bit grainy as well) and there is a lot of small bubbles in the carbonation. Expect to burp a few times. A bit of a dry and lingering aftertaste. This is where the tart green apple flavour shines. The aftertaste will stick with you for awhile and it’s a bit yeasty as well. The longer it lingers the less pleasant it becomes.
This is a decent beer but it’s not a favourite. I think the spiciness from the yeast overwhelms the beer in the wrong direction, masking a lot of the interesting apple flavour. The aftertaste also lingers too long in a bad way. On top of that, for some reason, the carbonation just does not sit well with me. I’m not opposed to drinking it but I don’t think I would go out of my way to have this again, especially when it’s counterpart, Éphémère Blackcurrant is better in my opinion.
All that being said, I think this beer would really work in conjunction with some nice goat and stinky cheeses. But I’m not reviewing a beer coupling, just how it stands on its own.
Style: Peat-Smoked Whiskey Malt Ale
DISCLAIMER: This is my first time reviewing a beer and my first time critically thinking about different aromas, flavors, mouth feel, etc. That being said, I love beer. I’ve always loved beer. I’ve travelled all over western Europe and sampled beer everywhere I went, been to beer tastings in the US and have enjoyed many pints in Boston brew pubs. As a point of reference for readers, it might be helpful to know that my favorite beer is Guinness.
I picked up this beer at my local grocery store, I wanted something I haven’t had before but couldn’t go on an all out search for a microbrew. Unibroue is brewed in Quebec and I’ve liked some of their other beers so I went for it. To be honest I don’t really care for Unibroue’s packaging but that shouldn’t and doesn’t take away from the beer.
Unibroue introduced Raftman to the Québec market in March 1995. This coral-hued beer has a unique taste that combines the smooth character of smoked malt whisky with the flavors of fine yeast. With this product, Unibroue commemorates the legendary courage of the lumberjacks and log drivers of yesteryear. During their long months away from home, these hardworking men would get together and settle their differences over beer and whisky, which are both made with malted barley. Unibroue had a great idea when it decided to bring the two together!
Appearance: This is a cloudy ale that falls somewhere between amber and golden. Head is beige in colour and doesn’t stick around for long, if you can get it to show up at all. I had to pour from a height to get the head I wanted.
Aroma: Decent strength in the aroma if poured with enough head. Notes of caramel, grain and a sweetness that is hard to describe (Unibroue says it’s apple). Hops aren’t detectable in aroma or taste. One thing I noticed or failed to notice is any hint of whiskey other than the grain smell.
Taste: A moderately strong taste, to me it tastes like any average wheat beer, especially ones I had in Bavaria. It was sweet as is typical with wheat beers but again I could not taste any whiskey flavors. The beer is over carbonated in my opinion; it gives a prickly feeling in the mouth.
Overall: This is a typical wheat beer, as much as the Unibroue website would like you to believe it tastes like whiskey, I can’t see it. The small intense bubbles take some getting used to if you’re used to less carbonated beers. It’s one of those beers that are good enough to drink yet you find yourself disappointed somehow. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll drink this over the Coors Light in my fridge any day of the week, and it’s a decent session beer, but it’s not whiskeyish in any way.