Éphémère Sureau (Elderberry)

Éphémère Sureau by Unibroue
Judges Ratings 
1 Review
77
Aroma:
22 / 24
Flavor:
29 / 40
Appearance:
6 / 6
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
12 / 20
Description 

Éphémère Sureau (Elderberry) is a Belgian style fruit-wheat ale brewed using a balanced blend of elderberry fruit and flowers.Its berry flavours, subtle floral notes and hints of tropical fruit evoke Muscat grapes™ notable bouquet from the very first sip. Éphémère Elderberry features a slightly cloudy and seductively reddish color with purplish hues, topped by a creamy pink head. Its medium bubbles and sustained effervescence make it a fun and refreshing choice when unwinding after a busy summer day.

Profile

ABV: 
6%
Judges Review 
Jessica Sullivan's picture
Judges Rating:
77
Aroma:
22 / 24
Appearance:
6 / 6
Flavor:
29 / 40
Mouthfeel:
8 / 10
Overall Impression:
12 / 20

Éphémère Sureau is a fruited white ale; it is being evaluated against Category 29: Fruit and Vegetable Beer. For this style, I look for the fruit addition to be prominently featured, and to be balanced with a well-executed base beer. 

The aroma of this beer includes a strong fresh-strawberry smell, with rich floral and honey overtones, a low orange and grapefruit undertone, and slight vanilla. There was no evident hop character in the aroma, allowing the base beer and fruit to shine. There was a low spiciness and low levels of rose-like esters. Overall, the aroma was very complex and enticing, though I wouldn't have guessed that there were elderberries in this beer (and I work a lot with elderberries!)

The beer iteslf was an appealing reddish copper with a hint of purple. There was a slighltly-pink white head with moderate-to-low retention. The beer was quite hazy (appropriate for the style), and I found that the haziness added to its mystique.

In tasting the beer, I was first struck by a low sourness that dissipated quickly, then by a low hop bitterness that lingered. The fruit flavors were far weaker in the taste than in the aroma -- I got low levels of strawberry and watermelon, and very low levels of orange. The finish was so clean that the beer nearly disappeared as soon as I tasted it -- the base beer took perhaps too much of a back seat in this particular brew; the wheat and malt characteristics that I might expect were almost entirely absent, save for a generic very low sweetness. Overall, the aroma promised complexity and balance, but the flavor, in this bottle did not deliver -- the beer seemed almost watered down.

The mouthfeel was pleasant -- the beer had a medium body, moderate-to-low levels of carbonation, and no astringency. There was a sense of crispness to drinking this beer, like the feeling your mouth gets when drinking fruit punch on a hot day.

Overall, this is a refreshing beer with an outstanding appearance and aroma. In my particular bottle (which was tasted after having stored it for several weeks in a refrigerator), I wished for more flavor -- I wanted more fruit and more base beer presence. A bolder base beer and a stronger elderberry flavor would have made this a truly exciting brew!