Amadeus is a bière blanche brewed by Les Brasseurs de Gayant in Doaui, France. Bière blanche is the French version of witbier or “white beer,” a Belgian style of ale brewed with spices, typically coriander and bitter orange peel. It was a lucky accident that I was able to try this beer a few weeks ago, when I spotted it on sale at Gomer’s, along with two other offerings from the same brewery, for a measly $4/bottle (or $3.50/ea for 6, so I bought two of each kind!). I liked the Amadeus enough to pick up two more bottles when I was over there the other day. Not bad for a beer normally priced at $9 for the 750mL bottle!
I thought these beers were a small Belgian brand, originally, as they are bottled in the standard 750mL cage & corked bottle. The guy at Gomer’s said they were good, and for the price I couldn’t pass them up. I have only had the Amadeus so far, but I really enjoy it.
Douai is south of Roubaix, France and about 1.5 hours west and slightly south of Brussels, Belgium.
Amadeus pours a cloudy yellow color with a fizzy head. Whereas most witbiers are on the orange side of color, this one is like a cloudy Bud Light. The other, more important departure, for Amadeus is that it is full of lemon on the aroma, rather than the standard orange flavors found in most witbiers.
Lemon really dominates the aroma, leaving little else to detect, but the aroma is soft, almost sweet rather than the acidic lemon you might expect. It’s almost like a lemon dessert, rather than the fruit or peel itself.
The same comes across in the flavor, which is dominated by a soft lemon flavor almost like a lemon pie. It isn’t sweet, necessarily, but it doesn’t have much bite. Combined with the high carbonation, this is a really nice thirst-quencher. The bottle recommends adding a slice of lemon to the glass, and while I don’t normally add fruit to my beers, I think it complemented the very lemony flavor, naturally. There really isn’t much else in the flavor for me… just lemon and I really like it!
As much of a heresy as this is, I think this would be a superb beer for a “shandy” (or radler, or alster, whatever you want to call it), which is typically a 1:1 mix of beer and lemonade or lemon soda. It’s such a light beer that it could easily be overpowered, so maybe a 2:1 ratio of Amadeus to lemonade would be better. In any case, what a perfect summer beer for such a concoction!
This beer also comes in tall cans, which I would kill for! Probably not easy to find those outside of France, but one can always dream! At 4.5% ABV, this is nearly a perfect summer session beer when you want something light and that you don’t have to think about too much. It would be killer with light white fish recipes, too. The only downside to this beer is that there isn’t much left on sale!