Review: Unibroue Éphémère Framboise (Raspberry)

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This is a beer I've been wanting to review for quite a while now but like many other beers.. I end up drinking this before I get a chance to review it! Unibroue's Éphémère Framboise (Raspberry Ale) was one of my highlights of summer 2006 when I lived in Quebec City. Back then, the only Unibroue beers available in Manitoba were La Fin du Monde, Blanche de Chambly, Maudite and Trois Pistoles - and only in six packs. Coming back to Manitoba I was envious of the 750mL corked and caged bottles.. but thankfully they're now the norm but now the standard 341mL bottles from Unibroue are rare here unless if the Sommelier case is around. Ah well.. but yeah, this beer was summer of 2006 for me. A few years went by and I tried to get this beer at the Liquor Commission but unfortunately the guy in charge of purchase orders flat out told me in a sort of a stuck up way that "nope, not going to happen" without even trying. Many Éphémère beers have been available over the years here in Manitoba.. Pomme, Cassis, Canneberge, Cerise, Poire and Bleuet with Pomme being the most widely available of the whole bunch. In this spring's Unibroue Sommelier pack, it was full of great treats - La Fin du Monde, Blanche de Chambly, Don de Dieu and.. Éphémère Framboise! Whaaaaat?! I was giddy as hell when I discovered that my "Summer of '06" beer was making a limited return. Of course, over the past few months I drank more than my share of the beer while I could, obtaining a few stainless steel bottle openers along the way. Now it's time for me to finally do a review of Éphémère Framboise!

Appearance: This raspberry ale a cloudy, reddish/peach colour with a moderate amount of carbonation and a good deal of white foam on top.

Aroma: Notes of homemade raspberry jam, light amount of other fruits making an appearance in here including pear and apples, a hint of tartiness to compliment the jam, light sprinkling of grassy hops to give it a bit of bitter aroma and a bit of a breadiness as well.

Taste: Like the aroma, I'm getting a great deal of raspberry jam popping out.. which I love, followed by a bit of a Granny Smith apple that gives off a light acidic taste that's reminiscent of Éphémère Pomme, a light tartiness that also leaves a lingering aftertaste on the palate, light breadiness from the yeast and candi sugar.

Overall Thoughts: The moment I first had this beer again after many many many years, after the first sip I thought "wow, this tastes exactly how I remember it!" which is rare seeing that beer palates change and beer recipes and consistency varies batch to batch over the years but I'm glad to see it around again.. even if this may be one of the last bottles I'll ever drink again, it's just great to relive one of the best summers of my life one more time.



Photo from 2008 - it was a gusher