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Bush De Noël - Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

Not Rated.
Bush De NoëlBush De Noël

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

445 Reviews

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Reviews: 445
Hads: 802
Avg: 4
pDev: 12.25%
Wants: 43
Gots: 75 | 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: 802
Photo of Sammy
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.76/5  rDev -6%
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.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
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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Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -3%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
2.88/5  rDev -28%
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

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
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.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of largadeer
4.12/5  rDev +3%
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.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

250ml bottle, procured in BC at the height of last summer, on a day exactly the polar opposite to what we are now experiencing. The label nicely echoes the scene outside my living room window as I crack this little guy...

This beer pours a cloudy dark orange-tinted amber hue, with one finger of fast-disappearing soapy off-white head, which leaves a few scant specks of lace around the glass. It smells of zingy tropical fruit, baked dark sweet fruit cake, and warming alcohol. The taste is strong dark, nefarious black fruit, toffee malt, a bit of treacle, some mild Belgian spice, and soft yeast. The carbonation is on the low side, the body a hefty medium weight, a bit moderated by the astringent booze edge. It finishes sweetly malty, fruity, boozy, and oh so warming.

A nice strong Belgian holiday ale, not too sweet, nor boozy (even at 12% - sacre bleu!) - how do they do that?

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, burgundy/mahogany color with a small, off-white head of thick foam. It left behind soapy patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of apple, booze, and was malty sweet.

T - The first sips hits you with some spicy yeast then sweet boozy malt flavors. There were several fruity flavors like apple, plum and figs.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a sticky sweet mouthfeel. A medium-bodied beer with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a nice Belgian beer. Very potent and sweet with a fruity presence.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.28/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.92/5  rDev -2%
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.

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Photo of nickfl
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a clear, amber-brown body. The head settles fairly rapidly and leaves little lace on the glass.

S - Dark, fruity notes of malt and yeast. Red apple, plums, caramel, cloves, and coriander.

T - Spicy yeast notes up front with some toasty malt and toffee. More spicy notes in the middle with coriander and red apple as well as some clove. Caramel and toffee come up in the finish with spicy, almost hot alcohol.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Very complex and interesting. This beer has all of the classic fruity notes of a dark Belgian ale with some spicy notes that differentiate it from some other examples of the style. The alcohol is still a bit hot in the finish despite the six months or so of age that this bottle has on it. Definitely worth a try.

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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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A long-standing bottle pours a clear reddish-copper body beneath a frothy head of off-white foam. Effervescent bubbles rise quickly from beneath, and the head retention is excellent considering its high alcohol content. It even leaves wide rings of crooked lace about the first half of the glass. The nose is enticing with notes of sweet dried cherries and dark caramel. It's delicately vibrant across the tongue with a carbonation that lightly tickles the tongue before allowing its light-medium body to become just slightly creamy. The flavor delivers the same cherry-like fruitiness and sweet caramel that the nose promises along with some floral and grassy hops and a decent slap of spicy alcohol that bursts onto the back of the mouth and tongue at the swallow. The caramel lingers in the mildly sweet finish with the alcohol doing more to dry it than the sublime bitterness that's present. And yet, the alcohol never overcomes or dulls the palate! This is a really well-balanced beer given its strength; and with just a little more complexity it could have a great drinkability. An excellent choice for a winter nightcap!

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap 12/29/09 at Julian's in Providence, RI, served in a snifter glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color, with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of dark fruits, caramelized malts, Belgian yeast and some spice.

T: The taste starts with a dark fruit and caramel sweetness that is followed by an alcohol bite, which you would expect from a beer with 12.00% ABV. Then a hearty malt character and a Belgian yeast breadiness come in. The hops presence is mild but where it should be for the style and provides some balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is a good Belgian-style beer to sip on for a while since it's so strong, but there are others in the style I would choose first.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.49/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Scaldis Noel 2007 vintage. 12%. Bottle served into a Samuel Smith's nonic glass at a tasting. I was rushed while reviewing so please excuse any lack of detail. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a rich caramel-auburn head. Understated. Lacks any head at all. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Oxidation, caramel, malty sweetness. Biscuit malt. Buried fruit. Nectary notes. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Biscuity and malty. Brown sugar. Alcohol heat on the aftertaste. Floral hops. Caramel. Well layered malty body. Some biscuity yeast and biscuit malt. A tasty balanced beer.

Mf: Excellent coarseness and ideal dryness to bring out the flavour. Good carbonation and thickness. Complements the flavours nicely.

Dr: Very drinkable and enjoyable. I quite like it. Hides its ABV well.

High B-

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Photo of Jason
4.4/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Creamy and deceiving, slightly sweet and peppery alcohol slowly warms the body. Big caramel and dark fruit flavours with hints of phenols that are almost bubble gum in taste. I'll have to go back to this one several times this winter being that one little bottle was not enough.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.18/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear dark ruby with some head that quickly dissipates and leaves some lacing on the way down. Nose is sweet and thick with malts. Flavor is a ride. Starts off with a smooth and slightly sweet taste that has a very minute tart kick in the back of the mouth. Slight caramel edge. Seems to be a bit of an oaky edge to it too. Alcohol is only slightly present...for being 12%. Feel is bubbly. Very drinkable. A good one to relax and sip the night away with.

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Photo of russpowell
3.84/5  rDev -4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

8.4 oz nip bottle pours caramel with 2 fingers of sand colored head into my Bush tulip glass. Average head retention & lacing

S: Slightly bready with butterscotch & a bit of vanilla

T: Dry with oaky vanilla notes up front along with boozeyness. Caramel & cherry as this warms, plus more dryness & boozeyness. Finishes dry with some leafy hops & a bit more caramel sweetness

MF: Chewy with some slickness & low carbonation

Drinks like a 12% abv beer, sooo dry . Still a nice one to warm the bones on a very cold winter's night

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.02/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've heard of Christmas in July, but I couldn't wait that long. Early June and there I was ordering a Scaldis Noel, yeah it was weird in my mind to order this beer during June but it was the special. This beer poured into my snifter with a ruby amber brown color with a full caramel toned aromatic head, and the added eye candy of lace clinging to the edges of my glass. Aroma full of dark roasts, deep tones of caramelized brown sugar, and nutmeg along with some other festive spices very good aroma here. Flavor, this is a winter warmer in my book, but definitely was a nice change up from typical summer beers. Full array of spices along with sweet fruit tones that blend harmoniously together, and well this beer just works try it. Mouthfeel is highly carbonated fuller body, and this beer is not too cloying very good year round beer not just a winter warmer. Very drinkable beer just between 12% alcohol by volume and the high amount of carbonation, I will go for something else after I am through with one of these.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 7/26/2014. Pours cloudy reddish copper color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty foamy lacing clings on the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big cherry, plum, raisin, apple, pear, caramel, candi sugar, clove, pepper, toast, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and malt notes; with great strength. Taste of big cherry, plum, pear, apple, raisin, caramel, candi sugar, toast, clove, pepper, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of cherry, plum, pear, apple, raisin, caramel, candi sugar, toast, clove, pepper, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and malt flavors; with a great malt/spiciness balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly slick, crisp, and slightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent Belgian strong ale. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/spicy yeast and malt flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

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