Raftman is a Belgian Pale Ale from Unibroue, made with smoked whiskey malts. The nose is floral, yeasty and bready, with a bit of lemon. The middle is fruity and light. Banana, apple, and pear are here. I have to say, I’m not picking up any smokiness from the malt at all. The finish is more of the same. The body is medium, and the alcohol is a pleasant 5.5% ABV. A nice refreshing beer that would be great for summer.
I give it a 4 out of 5.
I’ve previously reviewed Unibroue’s Apple variant of Éphémère, but tonight’s bottle is brewed with Black Current juice, Coriander, and orange peel. The result is a fruity beer that’s delightfully unsweet. The frothy champaign-ish head gives it a fizzy, carbonated texture, and there’s not much of a nose. The middle is spicy and heavily current flavored, but there’s an unusual lack of sugar that pegs the profile of this beer solidly in the “spiced ale” camp. It’s a medium bodied ale, and quite dry. The finish rounds out with some notes of plum, but again, without sweetness. Éphémère Cassis is a very unusual and enchanting brew.
I give it a 4.5 out of 5.
Blanche de Chambly is a Belgian White Ale (wheat beer) from the Canadian masters of all beers Belgian at Unibroue. The head is massive and foamy, as is expected from a wheat beer. Check. The nose is yeasty and floral. Check. The middle is subdued by the wheat, with notes of orange and honey. Check. More citrus is the finish, which is mild, and not bitter at all. Check. Yup, this is a wheat beer, and a marvelous one at that. This is the beer that you can use to teach Blue Moon fans what a wheat beer should actually taste like. Another outstanding beer from Unibroue, and one of the best, if not the best wheat beer I’ve ever had.
I give it a 4.7 out of 5.
Don de Dieu is a trippel wheat ale from the Belgian masters at Unibroue in Quebec. There isn’t much of a head to this beer. You get a lot of foam early, but it disappears rapidly. The nose is mild, which is pretty standard for a wheat ale, and it has notes of apricots, pears, and orange. The middle is tangy with mandarin, honey, pears, yeast, and a hint of alcohol. The finish adds pear syrup and vanilla to the mix. This is a medium to heavy bodied beer, and relatively high alcohol at 9% ABV. With the signature Belgian fruit and yeast, this is a lot more flavorful than a traditional wheat ale, so it will probably be a bit much for a Blue Moon fan, but it’s right up the alley for those who like big traditional Belgian styles.
I give it a 4.6 out of 5.
Éphémère Apple is a white ale brewed with apple must, curacao peels, and coriander from my favorite brewers in Quebec. The first thing that strikes me is that it isn’t sweet. This is not a cider-y apple beer, or a dessert-wine-like fruit beer. There’s definitely some strong apple flavors, but none of the sugars to speak of. The first flavors on my tongue are apple peel and coriander, and there’s some strengthening citrus notes towards the finish from the curacao. There’s an malt backbone throughout that’s understated as wheat usually is. This is a really nice, different fruit beer. Well worth a try if you enjoy Belgian lambics, or other fruit-based beer.
I give it a 4.6 out of 5.