Well, up until now, our exposure to elderberries was a certain taunting French knight in Monty Python’s Holy Grail stating that “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!” This of course made us aliens assume that elderberries did not smell very nice so we were understandably curious to try a beer made with them. To be fair, we did source some actual elderberries for comparison.
The Beer Aliens discovered two things about the “aroma” of elderberries. One, when very cold, their initial aroma when crushing the berries in our human food analyzing is a strong pleasant sweet smell. Two, when not very cold, the initial aroma of elderberries is not so pleasant. Since Monty Python knights did not have refrigerators, we can excuse them using the aroma as an insult. How does this apply to the aroma of Unibroue – Éphémère Sureau? — well, it matches the berries themselves. The aroma when opening the bottle and pouring it into the glass is pleasant, sweet and definitely berry. If you let said poured glass sit until room temperature, you may not enjoy the resulting aroma which can only be compared to fruit past its prime.
That being said ( to borrow a human phrase we recently overheard), Unibroue – Éphémère Sureau tastes like elderberries, which we are happy to report do not match their aroma when warm. This beer pours a cloudy pink color with a head of similar hue. The first sip is a blast of the slightly tart berry flavor followed by the telltale flavor of Belgian yeast. As this was a new flavor combination for us to process, we had to really study this beer in order to decide if we liked its flavor.
Tasting more like a dessert wine and not tart enough to be called a sour, Unibroue – Éphémère Sureau is a well made fruit beer that is easy to drink. The decision of if a particular human (or alien) likes the flavor is more defined by their like or dislike of elderberries themselves than the beer. We do recommend finishing this one cold due to the aroma change at room temperature, but the flavor remains the same.
Overall, Unibroue – Éphémère Sureau is a welcome addition to the Unibroue – Éphémère series. If you are not a Monty Python knight that uses elderberries as a paternal insult, then you should be able to enjoy Unibroue – Éphémère Sureau again and again. We look forward to analyzing more the beers in the Unibroue – Éphémère series.
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