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Bush De Noël - Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

Not Rated.
Bush De NoëlBush De Noël

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

782 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 782
Reviews: 444
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 36
Gots: 68 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl visit their website
Belgium

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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 782 | Reviews: 444 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2000 version, with 2002 expiry. I went with Steve Beaumont's recomendation that it was still good. Still aggressive carbonation, liked the yeast sediment at end. Spices worked, with fruit and booziness and rum. Worked fresh on tap at Eulogy's in May 2005 just as good. Had another bottle half a year after that and just as good.

Photo of t0rin0
3.93/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the Lucky Baldwins 10th Annual Belgian fest on 2/15/09.

Pours dark orange/brown and clear. Good lacing, medium retention, white-ish head.

Aroma is malty, boozy, caramel, and scotch.

Taste has a low bitterness, caramel, and scotch flavors. A little bit of spiciness creeps in from the background. Some booze present but not much, quite nice for 12% abv.

Body is thin and low CO2 levels actually work well for this beer. Enjoyable for sure but too boozy to drink a lot of.

Photo of spycow
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Best by 7/26/14.

Pours a murky dark copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Tiny streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, dark fruits, and a mild earthy, spice aroma. Taste is much the same with a grape juice flavor and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a pretty good level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice aroma and tasty flavor, but it's fairly boozy and strong.

Photo of djrn2
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -0.7%

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of Texasfan549
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of GRG1313
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy brown in color and poured with a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible as well as some yeast particles floating in suspension.
S: The smell is equally proportioned among moderate aromas of fruits, spices and sweetness.
T: The taste is rather sweet and very similar to the smell with flavors of fruits and spices. There are also hints of caramel and candi sugar in the flavors.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. There are some warming sensations from the alchol.
D: Alcohol is noticeable in the taste but is for the most part fairly well masked, which doesn't make this beer difficult to drink. It is better sipped given the high alcohol content.

Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -25.6%

Photo of brentk56
2.88/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

8.48 fl oz

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear light amber with a very modest head and poor lacing; frankly, looks more like a soda than a beer

Smell: Unusual medicinal aroma that is sweet but predominately phenolic; just smells plastic to me

Taste: Starts with a herbal sweet flavor that builds nicely and reminds me of a Ricola herbal cough drop; after the swallow, a golden raisiny presence takes over along with a woody flavor; smoked aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Thin, watery and relatively flat

Drinkability: Wow, what a disappointment to start my Christmas beer selection; perhaps I wound up with a poor bottle but this just isn't doing anything for me; guess I'll have to take another look at this one some other time based on the other reviews around here which are much more favorable than mine

Photo of kylehay2004
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

With intense alcohol and fruit flavor, this strong Belgian Ale shares the bed with caugh syrups and Jagermaiseter.

The pour is a little brighter on the amber side rather than dark as the name suggests. Creamy and decently bubbly, the weight of the beer keeps the effervescent muted. Nice creamy head laces fairly well, while retaining well considering the alcohol content.

Fruity and alcoholic, the nose brings in cherries, figs, and grape esters with a fruitcakes like (candied) sweetness and rummy (almost boozy) alcohol scents. Sweet and spicy to the nose.

Flavors start with a burst of cherry and fig. Raisons and red licorice can be found in the complex taste as the beer warms. Candied and dehydrated fruits from pineapple to cranberry give mild tartness/vinousness to the confectioner's sugar taste and estery composition. Delicious and decedent even with the alcoholic intensity.

Sweeter and sticky early, the beer's creaminess fades and ushers in the alcoholic spice with a prickly warmth. Sweet and dry in the finish, the beer sticks around, making it much more of a savory sipper than a more drinkable brew.

A good strong Belgian Ale that seems to be pushing the limits beyond proper balance and clean flavors. Adding stress to the palate because of its challenging strength, it's more like a brandy than with which the beer drinker's palate is accustomed.

Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear medium amber color ale with a super huge foamy head with perfect retention. Aroma of strong caramel malt with some spices and sweet cherry. Dry raisins, figs and caramel are all well balance in this beer. Body is thinner then expected and alcohol is well hidden. Very good classic Belgian strong ale.

Photo of jaydoc
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Candied orange peel with generous amounts of swirling particles and uprushing bubbles. Despite the high ABV, the head is a rocky glass filler. Golden ecru in color, it sets off the color of the beer quite nicely. Small sheets and spatters of lace are doing their level best to stick to the sides of the snifter and are succeeding admirably.

The powerful nose of brandy-macerated fruit wears its 12.0% ABV on its sleeve and wears it proudly. The beer smells like a holiday fruitcake that is heavy on fruit (cherries, dates, figs) and alcohol and low on cake. This is only my second quadrupel (Westvleteren 12) so style comparisons aren't really possible. It's a humdinger though. Did I mention the sinus clearing power?

Silky, rich, boozy, warming and delightfully delicious. My suggestion would be to drink Bush de Noel at room temperature, from a snifter, sip by sip, as I'm doing now. Any faster and the 8.48 ounce bottle will be gone before you know it. Although this is good beer, it doesn't quite have the intriguing complexity and the multifaceted depth that I love in the best high-ABV Belgian ales. There's nothing wrong with simple and strong, however, if the flavor is up to the task, as it is here.

As in many barleywines, alcoholic candied cherry is the dominant flavor. However, there's enough sticky toffee flavor that comparisons to cough syrup don't apply. This ale is sweet and is kept from being too heavy by a still boisterous carbonation and a mouthfeel that isn't as full as it seemed at first sip. I'm not a fan of alcohol that is this up-front, but I've certainly had plenty of 9.0-10.0%'ers that weren't as well-masked.

Thanks to the Family Dubuisson for this little bottle of Christmas cheer. Now that I've almost reached the bottom, I'm as warm and as toasty as if I was sitting by a crackling fire. Even if it isn't a life changing holiday beer that I'll come back to again and again, Bush de Noel is a right jolly old sipper that most should enjoy.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle shared and poured into a Snifter Glass

A – Poured a very nice reddish tinted light brown with about three fingers worth of tannish colored head across the top. Nice retention left behind more then adequate side glass lacing that stuck around with it throughout the entire session. Lots of carbonation was easily visible with streams of bubbles coming up from the bottom and also all over the inside of the glass. Nice classic dark Belgian look.

S – The aroma was very full and rich, albeit a bit lighter then I thought it would be. There was a good deal of spices evident from the very first whiff with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon even, a touch of earthy and grassy like malt tones, and the yeast giving off a very nice banana and fig like aroma. Not very heavy on the dark fruits, and there was definitely a hint of alcohol in there as well, which at 13%abv should not really come as too much of a shock.

T – The flavor was excellent; I was quite shocked at how mellow and smooth the profile was. Everything was blended together so well that you really had to struggle to find the alcohol in here. Lots of caramelized sugar notes and a nice sweetness to it before the belly of the beast, fully of rich winter spices came up to say hello. Very nice nutmeg and grassy earthy notes here blending very well. Yeast flavors were there, somewhat hidden and needed a bit of a warming up to really let their presence be known, but very nice flavors of bananas and apple with hints of raisin were clearly evident. The flavor was not as heavy as I would have thought for something so big, it was very well blended.

M – Very nice medium bodied ale. The carbonation was great and kept it from feeling too heavy. The finish was very strong with a long lingering spiciness that begged you to go back for another sip. Very smooth, as it was blended darn near perfectly.

D – This was superb for after dinner. It was so flavorful and so well blended that I truly could have kept sipping on this all night long, but again at 13% it is going to catch up to you one way or another. Great profile and carbonation led to a perfect balance of smoothness.

Overall I thought this was absolutely great. A fine example of the style and an even better example of what can be done with a high ABV beer when you really work to smooth it out. The flavors were so full, yet a delicate balance was struck, not allowing any one to dominate. This was one of my favorites of this season, and one I am sure to go back to next year.

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a darker shade of brown, it had a fluffy off white head on top that left a soapy lacing down the glass. The smell of the beer was spicy, plenty of yeasty aromas also. The taste of the beer was had some dark fruit sweetness that was balanced by the spices. The flavor seemed pretty good. The mouthfeel was pretty good, bubbly and warming, lots of heat from the 12%. Overall, I liked it, I found it to be great for the winter season.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

Photo of largadeer
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Extremely murky swampwater-brown. The head pours a bit thin and fades into a small ring.

Smell: Caramel, brown sugar, malt and winter spices.

Taste/mouthfeel: As the nose implies, this is a very malty brew. It's like a liquid caramel apple; syrupy-sweet and fruity. It brings to mind dried dark fruits (dates, cherries) and spiced nuts. It's very smooth stuff, with a well-concealed 12% ABV - there's no noticable alcohol. Thick and heavy on the tongue, this is definitely a sipping beer. The small 8.5 oz bottle is perfect for a single person. Recommended.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.92/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a murky, brown body with a full, though short-loved, off-white head.

Smell: Bready, yeasty, boozey aroma that smells quite sugary and packed with raisiny goodness.

Taste: Sweet raisin and fig fruitiness with flavors of toffee candy and brown sugar following. Bready malts. Freshly-grated spices. Dash of schnapps. Slight yeastiness. Warming alcohol presence. Drying, alcholic finish with a lingering taste of caramel sauce.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Rich and crammed with flavor, it drinks as well as a beer with this much booze in it can.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is your classic Belgian strong ale, and to me a beer that is versatile beyond just the Christmas holiday. 2013 vintage drinking well immediately. dark rum color to it, with an active but short lived cream colored head. I smell a ton of dried fruit and booze in this, alcohol soaked raisins and plums come to mind, as well as a classic dried cherry sweetness. the malt is darker, but not black at all, caramel and amber, bready in taste, with very little real spice flavor in this at all, just a prominent Belgian yeast strain and then the booze. its not as complex as some, but its put together well and allows the yeast to be the star here. I think this has range all through winter, regardless of when the holidays are. if its cold out, this is a fine winter warmer. it finishes a little sweeter than I want it to, which makes it a bottle to pass around. well carbonated though, and one of those beers you sort of appreciate that the booze level isn't hidden at all. a reminder of the season.

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Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
90 out of 100 based on 782 ratings.