AMIDST THE PRESS of banana, lemon, and orange so characteristic of Unibroue’s other beers comes Éphémère, a Witbier embroidered with green apple must. The recipe is not quite a resounding success, but at least is a reasonable middle alternative between the citric emphasis of a standard Witbier and the often over-sweetened realm of hard cider. Fairly balanced at 5.5% with a pale yellow, moderate body and white fluffy head, Éphémère has a fresh, light appeal that ends up neither too cloying nor too underpowered. Per usual, the beer’s foundation is Unibroue’s familiar unfiltered, yeasty smack, but here the focus is more on the apple must’s tartness and feints at lambic sourness. Indeed, such aromas (almost like concentrated candy) dominate the nose, but are thankfully not so heavy on the palate. Being a Wit at heart, that fruit-forward opening is flanked by cooking spices (cinnamon, nutmeg), but not to the extent of a true mulled cider. Effervescence is a little less than most of Unibroue’s stable, and no discernible alcohol in the finish. Just as easily drinkable at a sunny picnic or as a snowy seasonal with pecans and brie.
Served: 12 oz bottled February 15, 2012