Dismiss Notice
Microbrew Invitational
Join us June 3 + 4 in Boston and help us drink 300+ beers, ciders, kombuchas, meads, sakes and more!

TICKETS: beeradvocate.com/micro/

Bush De Noël | Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
89
very good
457 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
457
Ratings:
847
Avg:
4
pDev:
16.75%
 
 
Wants:
53
Gots:
93
For Trade:
1
Bush De NoëlBush De Noël
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Andreji on 12-08-2001

User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 457 | Ratings: 847
Photo of vtfan77
2.95/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

A- Deep brown/ burnt orange and a little hazy. A small and short-lived head leaves a nice white ring around the top and a touch of lacing along the sides of the glass.

S- Big malt aroma here, almost doppelbock-like. Sweet bread and caramel aromas are complemented by a touch of spicy alcohol . This seriously reminds me a lot of one of Castle Eggenberg's big beers.

T- Starts out with a nice malty taste, which is soon overcome by a big alcohol presence. The alcohol ends up being extremely prominent, almost to the point of being overwhelming.

M- Fairly thick, although not too much. Decent carbonation level. The alcohol also has a bit of an effect, seemingly numbing the tongue a little. Actually pretty nice.

D- Seriously hurt by the alcohol. One 8.48 oz bottle is more than enough.

I wasn't particularly impressed with this offering. The alcohol was just too high and not well-hidden at all. I've had the regular Bush (or Scaldis), and if memory serves me correctly, it tastes almost exactly like this, so I'm not really sure how this seasonal is a whole lot different. Overall, this beer reminds me of a less-drinkable Samichlaus. It's not horrible, but I won't get it again and I don't recommend it.

 1,211 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
2.98/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from .25cl bottle into tulip glass. Pours a creamy white head. The aroma is very sweet and caramelly and I also found some sediments that I am not fond of though understand it's purpose. Christmasy spices like aniseed and licorice are quite obvious. Tha flavor is sweet, caramelly, syrupy, fruitish and alcohol is warming in the finish. Very low bitterness. Caramel is dominating, but it still isn´t too sweet. The palate is almost full bodied, quite soft and slightly alcoholic. Sugary and sicky on the lips. I am going against the grain on this one with my rating.

 574 characters

Photo of TMoney2591
3/5  rDev -25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a (512) anniversary glass.

Rockin' a back-to-back with this and its wine-barreled cousin Scaldis Prestige de Nuits. Gots ta compare, baby! Anyway, this stuff pours a clear garnet-ruby populated by floaties and topped by a finger of relatively short-lived off-khaki foam. The nose comprises light red grapes, light fig, light dark wheat, very light clove, and a vague sense of Belgian yeast. In case you didn't pick up on the theme, everything is faint to my 'strils (though things intensify a bit with some time, but not by very much). The taste brings in more of the same, along with a mild vein of candied orange peel and a strong alcohol presence. So strong, in fact, that it's fairly oppressive. The body is a lithe medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a sorta/kinda drying finish. Overall, if you can get past the blast of booze, this ain't too bad a BSDA, if a touch ordinary.

 902 characters

Photo of wattoclone
3.03/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.25

As a fan of the style I had to try this iconic beer. It is certainly a complex ale, but for me it was not an enjoyable experience. Sweet and sour upfront with strong alcohol blast in the middle. Reminded me of an Oud Bruin I had. I did finish the 25.4 ounce bottle over 4 days, but it went downhill each day. There is caramel and fruit but the strong alcohol and sour funk overcame my palate.

 393 characters

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.07/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown 25cl bottle with sparkling blue foil around the cap and neck. Best before 13 Nov 2010, poured and reviewed on 5 Dec 2010.

The bulbous tulip glass (Palm Special badged) into which it was delivered into didn't show it off too well: sediment left the bottle and I was faced by a murky, reddy brown liquid with large lumps of gunge flaoting around within it. No head appeared, just a thin off-white collar and a weak wisp covering a third of the top surface. The sediment did eventually settle, but the beer never cleared, staying a cloudy mess throughout the tasting.

A smell of sweetish malts came from the glass, toffee being the main flavour I could detect.

The sweet toffee, mentioned in the aromas also appear in the taste, however the alcohol content plays a huge part in the taste too.

It claims to be the strongest Belgian Christmas Beer, not too sure that's true, but it has more than enough alcohol for me to handle.

Just a little too much alcohol for my tastes, a pity because the texture and flavours were fine, it doesn't need to try and blow your head off with every sip.

Difficult to score, because I really enjoyed the beer, even though I know I'm going to wake up with a headache!

 1,206 characters

Photo of nrbw23
3.15/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a reddish brown color with pretty much no head or lacing. Just a handful of bubbles and floaters in the brew.

S- Pretty sweet smelling. Picking up quite a bit of caramel, darker fruits and yeast.

T- A fairly strong mixture of spice and sweetness. Alcohol is hidden pretty well. Taste is figs, darker fruits, yeast, nuts, and booze.

M- A bit on the lighter side of medium and a fairly good amount of carbonation.

O- I think I'll pass on this one if it ever comes my way again.

 490 characters

Photo of GreenCard
3.16/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: dark copper, great clarity, narrow layer of tan foam that flattens out quickly but never quite disappears

Aroma: deeply malty, caramel, tiny touch of roast, wisp of hops, clovey, a bit fruity, alcohol

Flavor: sweet but not overly so, caramel, licorice, some subdued spice, rather firm balancing hop bitterness, peppery alcohol zip, finish is semi-sweet with a lingering caramel flavor and hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: full body, gentle carbonation, creamy, big bloom of alcohol warmth

Overall Impression: Nice beer. Hides its abv quite well. I'm not sure how different it is from the regular Bush (Scaldis). Damn thing sneaks up on you, though!

 665 characters

Photo of kimcgolf
3.16/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle to a sparkling orange-red with thin off-white head that lingers throughout the entire drink and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Beyond this appeaarance, I can sum this beer up in one word....ALCOHOL.

Try as I might, I could not detect any aroma or flavor other than the overwhelmng alcohol. Not sure if I just got a well aged bottle or this is the norm. All things considered, this was not a bad drink, but was much more like a mild whiskey than a strong ale.

 488 characters

Photo of midaszero
3.16/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Cloudy amber color with a little bit of slightly off white head that disappears quickly

S - Don't pick up very many smells they are all kind of faint but raisins, bread, and yeast seem noticeable

T - Sweet and malty can definitely taste some alcohol. No other flavors really stand out on this one but I can tell some spices were thrown in.

M - Thick body with medium carbonation

D - Good but not my favorite Christmas beer, but worth trying

 448 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
3.17/5  rDev -20.8%
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

Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
3.17/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: dark amber with an off white, small head, not much lacing
S: Sweet and some hops with cherries, thick bready malts
T: Vinous, figs and raisins, grassy and bitter, notes of cocoa and cola, syrupy
M: sharp, effervescent slightly cloying and sour and astringent for only a moment
O: much better than a lot of other winter warmer type beers, not overly spiced, malty with a bit of cloying sweetness and quick, sharp bitterness

 425 characters

Photo of GClarkage
3.18/5  rDev -20.5%
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 Damian
3.19/5  rDev -20.3%
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 jujubeast6000
3.2/5  rDev -20%
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 gregmurer
3.22/5  rDev -19.5%
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 champ103
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%
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 -18.8%
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 -18.8%
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 hopsleeroy
3.3/5  rDev -17.5%
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 -17.5%
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 rayjay
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
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 -16.3%
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 -16.3%
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 -16.3%
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 WhiteOak
3.37/5  rDev -15.8%
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

Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
89 out of 100 based on 457 ratings.