Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 26/10/2018 (1064 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
With rating graphic: 3.5/5 Pints
I went to a wine festival for the very first time in my last weekend — the Brandon Wine Fest. While I felt a bit weirded out that I was going to a wine fest rather than Vine Lines’ Diane Nelson, I made sure to try as many different styles of wines that I could.
In the end, my favourites of the show were the meads at Killarney’s Rigby Orchards Estate Winery — their White Mead, (fresh) Cassis Mead and their Mead of Pink Apple were absolutely tasty!
As for actual wines, my favourite samples of the night were Conquista Reserve Malbec by Prestige Beverage Group ($29.95 per 750mL bottle), Wallaroo Trail Chardonnay out of Australia by Arterra Wines ($11.99 per 750mL bottle), and lastly, Nero Nobile All’Espresso, a combination of red wine with hints of fine coffee. This one reminded me a bit of the ‘Caribou” liqueur because of how sweet and smooth it was! This one is coming soon to Brandon for $14.52 per 750 mL bottle.
So, in this week’s First Draught you were expecting me to review a wine? Ha! You thought wrong! The weather in the past week and a half has been absolutely beautiful to the point that it feels like autumn has finally hit the Prairies! For this week’s edition of First Draught, I decided on a nice fruity ale that compliments harvest season.
What’s the beer, Cody? It’s Unibroue’s Éphémère Fraise & Rhubarbe (Strawberry & Rhubarb) Ale. Unibroue’s Éphémère line is generally their fruit flavoured beer line that ends up being the last beer savoured out of a Unibroue Taster Pack, no matter the season.
I sampled the Fraise & Rhubarbe edition of the beer back in early July and it’s definitely better than their pear, blueberry, apple, cranberry editions of the beer. Actually, Fraise & Rhubarbe might be their best version of the beer yet … after Cassis (Blackcurrant).
Pouring the Éphémère into a glass, I notice a very liberal amount of carbonation right from the initial pour. Once the thick off-white head dies down a bit, it gives off an appearance of a cloudy golden straw to an orange body with a good amount of carbonation taking place in the glass, with a bit of a fizziness that’s reminiscent of a carbonated soda.
The aroma of this fruit beer is exactly what I feel like what we should have experienced in early September — rather than getting a bunch of snow, we should’ve been able to pick a bunch of fruit and rhubarb. The aroma is a liberal medley of strawberries and rhubarb, but I’m mostly getting a fresh, right from the farm strawberry jam presence.
If you’ve ever had Vancouver’s Fuggles & Warlock’s The Last Strawberry Wheat Ale, this is what it’s reminding me of, but without the addition of lactose to give it creaminess.
The taste is on point with the aroma — it’s sweet, more reminiscent of a strawberry pûrée rather than an extract, so it gives it a bit of the “down on the farm” presence to it. This beer reminds me of a homemade family jam from the ‘90s but with yeast added to give it a bit of a breadiness to it, while the rhubarb gives it a vegetal presence that’s giving it a bit of a celery taste … but really isn’t taking over the profile at all.
The aftertaste is a light strawberry sweetness with a light acidic presence that lingers for a while, but wow … this reminds me of a nice homemade family jam recipe from back when I was a 90s!
Drinking this beer, I got flashbacks of my grandma’s homemade bread combined with butter and homemade strawberry jam back when I was a pickier eater than my mother. Well, I’m still a picky eater … but I do wish we had Portuguese chicken here in Westman!
Unibroue’s Éphémère Fraise & Rhubarbe (Strawberry & Rhubarb) is available in 750 mL bottles at Liquor Marts for $6.55 per 750mL bottle at 10th & Victoria and Corral Centre locations. 5.5 per cent ABV.
Unibroue’s Winter Taster Pack will be out in the coming days, Their Blonde de l’enfer and Don de Dieu will be part of the taster pack, alongside Blonde de Chambly, Maudite, Trois Pistoles and La Fin du Monde. Expect cases to be available in Manitoba within the next month!