This beer intrigues me. Eiraphiotes isn’t “ranked” on Beer Advocate, but only because of its close proximity of release here in NC.
The initial smell that came through was most definitely of the grape from the chardonnay barrels. There was a hint of light malt, but also some banana, too. It was pretty straight forward. In my experience, pilsners never really have a unique smell to begin with, so all these aspects must’ve (mostly) come from its aging process. Not a lot, but a welcome change.
I really like the taste of this, especially since I typically don’t care for pilsners and this was really unique. The beer had an immediate bite that is definitely from the wine cask. After that, it was a bit smooth in the middle and a hint of grape on the finish. I suppose it’s similar to the aftertaste of a regular glass of wine, but obviously subdued. I mouthfeel was smooth, but not thin. The best part is simply that it didn’t taste like any other pilsner I’ve had. Between the grape and a backbone of oak, it’s quite enjoyable. I’d love to know what hops were used as those blended just slightly with the other flavors and started to come through as the beer warmed. At that point, more fruit tastes came through, including the same kind of sweet banana from the smell.
This beer started as a pilsner/wine blend and ended up tasting more like a great hefeweizen. Good beer.