Bush De Noël - Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

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Bush De NoëlBush De Noël

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very good

445 Reviews

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Reviews: 445
Hads: 801
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 10.3%
Wants: 42
Gots: 72 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Andreji on 12-08-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 445 | Hads: 801
Photo of nvsblman
3.45/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy walnut brown with an off-white head. Some sticky lacing as I drink it. Malty, brown sugary aroma. Also a little black pepper. Sweet malty flavor too. Raisins, cloves, a little yeastiness, and a lingering spiciness work fairly well together. Medium bodied and well carbonated. This is a nice crisp and refreshing beer. (322 characters)

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 25cl bottle with an attractive label, poured into a snifter. It was a pretty red/brown with a very small head. Aroma was spicy, with a little dark fruit. It had a spicy, peppery taste, but the taste was dominated by the alcohol. This is a beer to be sipped, but even so, I couldn't do more than one bottle at a time. (318 characters)

Photo of dedrinker
3.43/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bronze color with an off-white head. Aroma of amber malts and cooked nuts. The flavor has less of an alcohol bite as the regular Scaldis, and adds some toasty grains and holiday spiced nuts. Still a little crushed aspirin taste though, but at least it's a children's chewable. The bottle/ label is beautiful though. (315 characters)

Photo of nkurz129
3.42/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tiny bottle, 8 fl oz, and called Scaldis Noel, a Belgian Special Ale. I picked it up because I wanted something wintery to go with a hearty soup and it's glitzy label caught my eye on the shelf. Upon pouring, there is really no head and you can see the thickness as the beer leaves the bottle and clings to the glass. Perfectly transparent with a great mahogany hue, although not nearly as dark as, say St Bernardus or other quadruppels. The smell is very powerful, with almost wine-like overtones, defininitely some raisin notes. That is where I ceased to be very impressed. Certainly nothing wrong with this beer, but the taste is simple, molasses-like because of the 12% alcohol and very similar to the smell. It is not overwhelmingly thick like many beers of its high content and sweetness, but certainly a heavy beer. (822 characters)

Photo of MaximalC
3.41/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a multifaceted, murky amber color. Red and brown hues lurk within the haze. Cream-colored head is meager but has a nice, fine texture (probably could have used a more vigorous pour). Aroma is mainly fruit and alcohol. I think I noticed some apple up front, but the bouquet is pretty amalgamated, so who really knows. The flavor is medicinal and furiously alcoholic, with what tastes like caramel malt attempting to add some semblance of balance. The net effect is something akin to cough syrup, but not as objectionable. The warmth of the alcohol lingers for ages in the back of the mouth, while sweet malt lends a stickiness to the lips over time. Difficult to drink in anything other than tiny sips over the long haul; not for the faint of heart. (754 characters)

Photo of sabrills70
3.41/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scaldis Noel. 8.48 oz brown bottle with no freshness date. Pours a hazymedium brown with a 2 finger head, good longevity and very nice lace. Some slightly toasted malt aromas mixed with slight dried fruit, sherry and a bit bready. Nice mild sherry and dried fruit flavors. The high alcohol ruins it somewhat as it overpowers the other flavors. A tasty beer that needs to either lower the alcohol or let it age two or three years. It should be a great one then. (460 characters)

Photo of Hojaminbag
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The body is red at its heart, but the rest of the beer is a glowing orange color in . A thin line of tan head sticks around for a bit, but definitely doesn't leave any lacing.

The aroma has lots of cherry, some malt and a ton of booze.

Three flavors are equally powerful in this beer: malty toffee, candied sugar, and alcohol. Toffee comes first, and it is definitely my favorite part of the beer; it also saves this from being a cloying, alcoholic mess. The candied cherry is pretty powerful also, and it leads into a very strong, warming finish that includes the noticeable taste of alcohol. Simple and really boozy.

The body is rather thin for the high ABV, but the high carbonation makes the overall feel works pretty well.

Although lacking in complexity, this beer certainly does the trick of warming me up. With that said, it is pretty damn boozy and doesn't hide that fact very well. (894 characters)

Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
3.4/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tried this side by side with a large bottle of refermented-in-the-bottle Scaldis de Noel Premium.

The Scaldis de Noel was $4 for a 25cl bottle. It had the 12.5% sticker at the bottom point of the neck foil.

Poured a reddish amber and a little cloudy. Much less head than the large bottle. A beigish creamy head did form and quickly dissapated.

The smell. Alcohol. Also some sweetness.

The taste, again, very strongly alcohol. The smaller bottle had some sherry/port like moments and was sweeter than the premium. But still, the alcohol was very assertive and almost burning.

I wonder why some bottles are listed at 12% and some at 12.5%? Couldn't find any info on this. Also searched but could not find any evidence of a date on either bottle in case the ABV was varying by year...

I love strong sweet beers, but this one was a bit harsh and not really enjoyable to sip. Also perhaps especially disappointing due to the high price point. This doesn't make me want to take the risk on Prestige.

If you bought one this holiday season and haven't tried it yet, I'd suggest aging a bit so the alcohol can mellow out. (1,134 characters)

Photo of Grunewald
3.39/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 25cl bottle into a pilsner glass. It pours clear ruddy amber with some light suspended particles. The head is white head and leaves no lacing.

S - orange liqueur, spice and dried dark fruit

T - a biting sweetness, rum and liqueur flavors, marmalade, caramelized sugar and a spice medicinal finish (stock flavored cough syrup)

M - low carbonation, thick/viscous body, syrupy, somewhat sticky and a semi-dry finish that warms the stomach

D - a bit too sweet and cloying, but has a nice spicy flavors and warming feel (536 characters)

Photo of kkipple
3.38/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this on tap at the Moondog in Charlotte. Thanks, Tom!

The friendly tender poured this (well) into an 8.5oz goblet. Bush De Noel, or Scaldis, or whatever it is, is a clear rich red caramel color with a timid white head and orange highlights when held aloft. Pretty.

I'm trying to pin down this smell and can't. It's just... vague. Sweet, for sure, some spice and yeasty tartness, fruity esters, perhaps some cinnamon? Sort of a mess, not unpleasant, but hard to pick up individual scents.

I'm tasting upfront boozy caramel sugars and a tart lemony citrus note, along with a bit of... apricot? and a hint of roast. Sort of Dubbel-ish in a strange way. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel is a little watery, with a fine carbonation level and a medium sharpness, I suspect the yeast. Finishes dry and warm.

This is a decent Belgian. Drinkable, and vague, but nothing extreme or weird. Worth a shot, but I've had much better. I need to try this in a bottle. (959 characters)

Photo of WhiteOak
3.37/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Medium copper color. Minimal white head.

S- Dark raisins and golden raisins. Caramel malt.

T- Sweet malt flavor with treacle toffee and apple must. lacking spice and complexity.

M,D- On the thin end of the medium scale for body. A touch sticky. (250 characters)

Photo of rayjay
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep and dark, with a heafty body full of malts. Red and cloudy, with lots of chunky sediment. Boozy, with notes of alcohol and mild heat. Very hearty. Thick, with some syrupy sweetness. Zesty hops compliment the malts nicely. Spicy, kind of like a Christmas cake. Drinkability was a bit rough, due to the richness. I recommend it at 40-45°F, preferrably with some aging to mellow it out. Recommended, but don't go out of your way. Cheers! (440 characters)

Photo of warmstorage
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

8.48 ounce bottle, states 12% ABV. Bottled as "Scaldis Noel", a "Belgian Special Ale."

Pours a cloudy murky brown with a medium, dense cream colored head which dissipates rapidly, leaving moderate lacing. Cellar temp, into a Chimay goblet.

Notably, no yeast sediment or floaties whatsoever in this one, even after sitting upright for a couple of weeks, and a very gentle pour (think a homebrew pour.) I like to swirl the yeast with the last ounce or so into another glass to taste it, so I always pour Belgians and bottle conditioned beers carefully.

Deep brown sugar aroma, with hints of spice.

Surprisingly mild tasting, the alcohol is not particularly evident, strong brown sugar, minimal spice, minimal hops noted. Lingers long with tingly sugar. I wouldn't have been surprised if you'd told me this was a 8% dubbel. Not a lot of character for a quad, kind if disappointing, really.

Overall, a very tasty beer, but it doesn't amaze me, especially at around $4 for a 8.48 ounce bottle at a liquor store. (1,025 characters)

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

25cl bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a medium amber color with a finger of white head. The color of this beer is quite light for a BSDA.

S: Dried apricots, plums, prunes, and a hint of licorice. Nutmeg and orange bitter spiciness is there, but it's fairly restrained. Smells quite boozy.

T: Fairly light on the palate for the style. I get dried apricots, but not as much prunes and plums as the aroma. A bit of peppercorn and orange bitters. Overall, the taste is not nearly as complex as the aroma. This is also very, very boozy.

M: A bit light with light carbonation.

O: Not bad, but I'd like more dark fruit and more esters. Extremely boozy, too. (653 characters)

Photo of Daniellobo
3.35/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Somewhat enjoyable sipper, with prominent boozy profile and some rough edges.

Presentation: 25 cl brown capped bottle. Festive Christmas Scaldis label with the image of a town under falling snow printed wish shiny red, blues, and golden touches. Back label highlights succinctly the main intent and characteristics of the brew. Shows Alc. by Vol. (12%). Served in a snifter.

A - Medium to deep amber pour, frizzy 1/3" head with moderate retention, small surface memory and faint lacing.

S - Yeasty with some touches of dark fruit and a boozy dash. Not unpleasing, but rather subdued in any case.

T - Fruit and candy, prunes and booze, yeasty dash. Sweetness, over the fruity sense has a rough yeasty side to it. Booze with rough edges picks up the final caramel with a dash of spices.

M - Medium-body expanded by the booze with medium-light carbonation. In the finish there is a small astringency, and a sense of metallic harshness that I've also felt in other Scaldis, here it is actually almost well woven but one can clearly discern that it is part of the same family of brews.

D - Not too bad a slow sipper, although some harshness, both from the way that the alcohol operates but also from the flavor profile hinder its full enjoyment.

Notes: Maybe the best of the few Scaldis I´ve had. And while this might be the best, it still retains something characteristic of the brand that does not quite do it for me. I'll try to age the other one and see how it might change over time. (1,492 characters)

Photo of hopsleeroy
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 11.2 oz bottle. Deep ruby color with minimal white head. Smell was mostly of alcohol and yeasty spice. Sweet flavor with malt upfront and underlying spices. The sweet/alcohol flavors overpowered the more sublte spices/yesat flavors and left me wanting more balance out of this one. Interesting but a little too much for me. Mouth feel was smooth and velvety. Too much alcohol and sweetness to drink more than one. (425 characters)

Photo of kenito799
3.3/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

25cl bottle labeled as "Scaldis Noel" with the same sparkly label as pictured on BA. Poured into wine glasses and shared.

Clear amber, little lacing or head.

Maltiness and alcohol in the nose. Fruity Belgian yeast aromas.

Flavor is mild and malty with balanced bitter finish. Alcohol is very apparent. Not bad, but there just isn't enough going on in the taste department to justify such a high alcohol content. Would be a decent dubbel at 7%. The alcohol limits its drinkability and I would rather save room for some more interesting stuff. (550 characters)

Photo of champ103
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Pours a ruby red color. A large beige head forms with light lace.
S: Some toasted caramel malt. Lots of sweet candy aroma. Cherries, pears, apples. A complex aroma.
T: A sweet caramel malt and candy flavors. As it warms up, the beer becomes even more sweet. Cloying is the word that comes to mind. Fruity flavors that follow the nose. Burnt wood as well.
M/D: A full body that is syrupy and chewy. This has a huge ABV that creates a nice warming felling, and is obviously a sipping beer. Though I am having problems sipping an 8.5 oz bottle.

An interesting beer, but just doesn't do it for me. (597 characters)

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage

This is a boozy beer. Should've known coming from "Scaldis".

Pours a shiny brown, cola, ruby color. Little white head, settled to a thin collar and film

Aroma is just sweet. Sweet apples, caramel and booze. And this thing is a year old.

A touch more flavor than hinted in the nose. Caramel and sweet bread. Some fig and spices. Mostly though it's booze. Glad this was a small bottle. Good gravy! Perhaps a nice after dinner beer, or sitting on the porch in a snowstorm. (487 characters)

Photo of cnally
3.25/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Ho ho ho, or something like that. Noel always makes me think of Christmas. Right now all I am thinking about is the impending doom of cold weather and snow. Damnit.

The beers pours with nary a head, flat and wine-like as possible. Yeast particles abound and find a difficult time getting to the bottom of the glass. Slightly translucent reddish brown body.

The aroma is a very brandy-like one, sweet and cloyingly so. Major caramel aroma, some fruity esters--grapey--raisins more so.

The flavor is not quite as boozy or sweet as I would have expected. Even keeled sweetness mixed with a good dose of back-handed peppery bitterness, and while the booze flavor is lower for a 12%, it is one of the dominant flavors. Lack of depth from this style, in my opinion, with mild if barely noticable aspects of caramel, fig, and very slightly nutty. Relies big time on the bitterness and booze. A little different for this style.

The mouthfeel is a little watery but has the fizz and punch I love in a good Belgian.

Personally, I'm a little disappointed. I feel the beer doesn't take you on a journey as so many of its bretheren. Very two-note in the flavor, with little else to offer in its other aspects. I'll stick to any other Belgian Dark. (1,239 characters)

Photo of gregmurer
3.22/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 2

i'm pretty hard about drinkability and smell... two different reasons, first, the smell, nothing special.. it taste nothing... And drinkability... hmmm the mouthfeel is really good, the alcool is reaaally strong... but... it's too much present on the mouth... so... about that... 25cc are too much... that beer is too strong...
But, even if it's too strong... wow, it's incredibly great as a beer... it taste fully and incredible... (433 characters)

Photo of jujubeast6000
3.2/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed 11/7/2008 (bottle):

Pours a very dark brownish-red color body, smallish whitish head, diminishing. Very strong alcoholy aroma, dark fruit. Some light fruit like pear. Flowery too. Fruity taste. A little hot, but hides it well. Soft mouthfeel. Better as lt warms up. Kinda tasty when it's not cold. (307 characters)

Photo of Damian
3.19/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Drank from a 25 cl / 8.48 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Connecticut Beverage Mart, Newington, CT

First, I must comment on this beer bottle's amazing graphics. The sparky hologram label depicting the snow covered brewery along with the foil covered top is quite a nice touch.

As for the beer itself, it poured a murky, muddy, copper-ish amber with a thin, light beige film of froth (no real head).

Smell was very sweet and alcohol (rummy) rich. Candied and brown sugar with alcohol soaked fruit and spices (alcohol soaked fruit cake possibly?). Hints of bourbon and vanilla as well.

Taste was completely dominated by the alcohol. Some creamy malts, yeastiness and fruity sweetness up front before the huge alcohol bite kicked in. The alcohol warming moved to the back of the mouth and became even more intense. Flavors such as brown sugar and possibly some hops were vaguely detectable, but they were quite overshadowed. Alcohol burn was felt in the throat and on into the stomach, where it warmed my belly.

As for mouthfeel, this beer was syrupy yet thinner bodied than expected. Also, the carbonation was minimal.

Drinkability of this beer was quite poor. With any beer that registers 12% ABV you can expect a big punch, but this was too much. The flavors were simply not strong enough stand up to the alcohol. (1,315 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
3.18/5  rDev -20.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

11/27/07- Purchased at Plumpjack's in San Francisco, CA.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle with no freshness information. Poured into my Delirium Tremens tulip.

Appearance- Dark brown ale type coloring in the pour. About a 3/4 inch foamy head with a slight rim remaining as the beer is consumed. Light traces of lace left behind.

Smell- Dark fruits including raisins and plums with a bit of holiday spice kick...maybe clove? Seems like a caramel malt scent as well. Plus the ever present alcohol.

Taste- First few sip contained a decent matallic flavor. Fortunately this went away after the first three sips or so. Malty for sure with a caramel backing, but the fruit flavors didn't come through quite as expected. Plums and dates mostly, but that's about it.

Mouthfeel- Over carbonated, not as smooth with a slight alcohol finish.

Drinkability- Was hoping for much more than this after trying their regualr flagship beer the other night. A bit disappointed, but still not a bad beer...just average. Have a couple more to consume over the next few years. (1,054 characters)

Photo of kingcrowing
3.17/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

25cl bottle poured into a chalice.

Pours a brown hazy color with a small light brown head that fades quickly, little lacing. Nose is very potent, boozy, malty, sweet and full of spices, caramel, yeast and candi sugar.

Taste is boozy and sweet, a bit sharp from carbonation. It's very complex and almost too much. It's hot on the way down and leaves a strong bready flavor. The mouthfeel is a bit syrupy. Overall, it's an ok beer but not outstanding. (451 characters)

Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
89 out of 100 based on 445 ratings.