Avant-Garde Artisans Brasseurs' Doux Bisous Witbier

I met up with the folks over at Avant-Garde Artisans Brasseurs a few weeks back and Renaud from AG tried to send me home with a large box of beer that I couldn't possibly take home with me.. so I had to pick a few beers from the box the ones I absolutely wanted to try.. I really wanted to try them all but in reality my luggage couldn't support it. Not only that, the one beer that popped out most at me (a funky pilsner) ended up exploding in my luggage anyways!

Avant-Garde owners Renaud and Shawn have been awesome to me the moment I met them at Mondial last year! Awesome peeps that make awesome beer! They've announced that they're finally opening up their own brewery after brewing at Oshlag for the past few years, which they hope to have open sometime early next year.

It was Shawn's birthday yesterday so I decided to finally try out one of the many beers they sent me, I decided on Doux Bisous, a Belgian-style witbier brewed with Jasmin and Kaffir lime leaves. The beer tops out at 4.8% ABV, but I think this beer popped out immediately as soon as Renaud showed me his stash of beers for me to try - I love Avant Garde's labels, they usually have a story to accompany the beer, but for this one.. it's all about the ingredients!

Appearance: Pours a cloudy, light, light, light yellow body that's more reminiscent to a very light gose rather than a Belgian-style witbier. The beer has a light amount of carbonation and a nice 1/4 finger's worth of foam that's not going anywhere.

Aroma: Light sweetness with notes of botanical/herbal scents to it. The jasmine is definitely the first thing I notice here, giving off a light floral, botanical, herbal aroma that all I can describe is the smell of fresh laundry, a nice calming aroma. I don't think I've ever had anything with Kaffir lime leaves in it before, but it gives off a nice light citrusness with a light leafiness to it. There's a light amount of lemon aroma, a fruitiness that reminds me of fresh apples right off the vine. This is quite a subtle beer aroma-wise, so far.

Taste: The fresh picked apple scent I experienced in the aroma pops up again immediately as I take my first sip of this beer, I'm kind of thinking this might be from the jasmine - it's somewhat sweet, yet immediately transitions to a lingering herbal and leafy taste to the beer. There's a light lemony presence to it, not much coriander surprisingly, but I do get a very nice bubble gum presence in here. For mouthfeel, it's lighter than your typical Belgian witbier, but it's very easy to sample and I think the herbal/leafy notes of jasmine and Kaffir lime leaves gives it a unique take on the style.

Overall Thoughts: I feel like I've tried this beer before, but as a saison through another brewery. It has an eerily familiar taste to it, but I will never know why! Witbier was my favourite crafty style of beer when I was starting to experiment with trying out new beers in the mid 2000s, so it's nice to see something that's a bit of different than the usual hefty, hazy, coriandery witbiers I'm used to. This one is light, floral, leafy, mildly citrusy and has a hint of bubble gum sweetness.

Thanks Renaud & Shawn for being awesome hosts every time I see you guys! Also, thanks Stef (AKA Oni, AKA The Drunk French Canadian) for holding on to the rest of the beers until I'm able to send you some beers in exchange!

Renaud also owns Bières Jukebox, which I've reviewed in the past, as far back as 2013! As for Shawn, he used to be the assistant brewmaster over at Brasserie McAuslan, I still have a few beers from back when he was there. It's a small world out there!


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