Bush De Noël - Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

Not Rated.
Bush De NoëlBush De Noël

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

798 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 798
Reviews: 448
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 40
Gots: 72 | 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: 798 | Reviews: 448
Photo of thecheapies
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Chestnut red/brown with an everlasting ring of foam. Not much lacing.

Sweet caramelly malts with roasty cereal grain. No hops, just malty sweetness with a Maillard effect. Light pomme fruitiness.

Rich, wooly, and boozy with caramel and toffee and candied apple. White grape, roast, candied orange, mild mulling spice, and alcohol sweet. Huge xmas beer.

Extremely big in strength. Soppy body and medium carbonation doesn't make good after the booze.

A classic in my book. A beer I drink every year despite its deficiencies.

Photo of rangerred
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into a tulip.

Pours a clear medium brown with a half finger tan head. Pretty decent head retention and lacing.

Aroma of fruitcake, figs, and burnt caramel along with brown sugar and molasses. Quite a bit of alcohol as well.

Alcohol comes through immediately in the flavor and lasts through the finish. Plenty of dark fruit and cinnamon along with clove and banana from the yeast. Lots of dark fruit and caramel too. Bitterness is light to moderate with a thick and sticky mouthfeel. Finish has lots of residual sugar and evens turns a little bit watery.

Overall, a decent beer but does a poor job of hiding the high abv. The flavors are pleasant, however, and this is a better than average christmas brew.

Photo of NuclearSoAndSo
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a beer mug.

Appearance- Pours a deep brown with about a half finger light brown head.

Smell- Smells like cherries or plums; dark fruits, maybe some grape notes. Smells kind of like wine to be honest, and you can pick up on the alcohol.

Taste- Fruit flavors are upfront with a definite alcoholic bite. Heat kicks in for the aftertaste. Again, this reminds me of wine, and in a good way. Festive.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation and a very smooth mouthfeel. A beer to savor slowly.

Overall- I saw this at the liquor store (not sure how long it may have been aging there) and decided to splurge a bit for Christmas and buy a bottle. I'm very glad I did, because this was a treat. Pretty strong and relatively pricey, but worth it in my opinion. I split this beer with my good friend and might make it a Winter-time tradition.

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 8.48 oz. bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Can't tell which year this was bottled, but it was purchased very recently.

Appearance: Pours a deep and hazy amber orange with a fair amount of sediment. Moderate bubbles and about one finger of off white head that quickly fades into a few thin patches. Leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: Nicely spicy and fruity Belgian aroma. Belgian yeast with a fair amount of clove and pepper spices. Big toasted malt aroma with hints of caramel, toffee, oak, and biscuit. Burnt Belgian candied sugars. Hints of apple and subtle banana. Lots of undertones of dark fruits including raisin, fig, dark cherry, plum, and grapes. A fairly hot scent of booze. Nice complex aroma.

Taste: Like the aroma hints, a good Belgian taste of sweet dark malts, yeast, and fruits. Belgian yeast with some clove and pepper like spicing. Toasted malts with a good taste of bready biscuit, sweet caramel, toffee, toast, and a little oak. Candied Belgian sugars. Complex notes of fruits including apple, pear, banana, and a variety of dark fruits including raisin, dark grapes, figs, dark cherry, plum, and dates. Alcohol heat is noticeable but fairly tame.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with a moderate amount of carbonation. Creamy, juicy, and fairly smooth. Alcohol heat is present but still pretty smooth considering its 12%.

Overall: Another really good Belgian ale. Big and fruity while still maintaining some smoothness.

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

Appearance: Dark but clear burnt orange poured a fingers worth of an off white head. Big alcohol legs aren't a surprise.

Smell: Like a quad. Herbal phenols, dark fruits, spiciness, sweetness.

Taste: Reminds me of an amped up La Trappe. Starts off with sweet fruitiness and finishes dry with the herbal tones. It's a big rich beer but the flavored are relatively mellow and well melded. Next to no alcohol in the flavor, which is impressive for a 12 percent non-barrel aged beer that isn't even that sweet.

Mouthfeel: Comfortably full. Nice carbonation carries it through.

Overall: Super easy to drink. Can't believe how smooth this beer is. Not aggressive in flavor but still quite enjoyable.

Photo of righthereisay
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ounce bottle poured into Corsendonk Christmas glass. Removed from the refrigerator 45 minutes ahead of the pour.

Very nice amber pour, with an off-white head that was purposely delivered. Very nice lacing that lasts a while.

Smells a little sweet, some caramel and toffee, and maybe fig. No alcohol smell (to me)

Tastes great. Not too sweet, taste of caramel, malt, no raisin like other Belgian beers. No alcohol at all (to me)

Medium body. A little thick.

Definitely a nice treat. You could drink more than 1, but you had better monitor your intake....

Photo of AdamBear
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-nice maple colored with a nice cream colored head

S-smells like nice raw dark belgian grains and spices with salted caramel. smells really authentic and nice.

T-comes in with a really nice mellow taste of authentic dark belgian grains, caramels, black peppercorn, has a sweet rawness. a lot of subtle complexities and flavors. it's awesome. has a subtle matching after-taste. some warmth. not a lot.

M-high creamy carbonation with a nice semi-dry finish

O-this is actually an awesome christmas beer. I can't believe I've passed this up for so many years. I can't believe how much complexity this belgian holds. it's so tasty and it doesn't taste like 12% whatsoever.

Photo of StoutHunter
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl's Bush De Noel a few weeks ago for $4.49 at The Lager Mill. Well it looks like this will be my 500th review and to celebrate this milestone I thought I would try something that I normally wouldn't pick up and since Christmas is right around the corner I thought this would be pretty fitting, so lets see how it goes. 2011 vintage. Poured from a short and foiled 250ml brown bottle into a tulip.

A- The label looks nice and it has a good holiday feel to it. It poured a nice and hazy caramel brown color that took on a nice copper colored hue when held to the light with a half fingers worth of tan head that quickly faded to a thin ring that eventually faded away. This beer looked nice, the color was pretty good, but the head was just a little disappointing.

S- The aroma starts of with tons of malts that have a very high amount of sweetness and impart some slightly grainy, caramel, candied sugar, and a little bit of yeasty spices. After that comes the fruits which show up a lot, the dark fruits show up first with some figs and raisin aromas followed by a pretty big apple aroma towards the end that gives it a hard cider like aroma. I also get an alcohol aroma that lets you know it's there. The aroma was good, it had some nice complexity and it was pretty true to style.

T- The taste seems to be pretty similar to the aroma and it starts off with loads of malts that have a higher amount of sweetness and impart some nice caramel, candied sugar, and dark bread flavor. After that comes the fruits, there's some dark fruit flavors with grapes showing up the most followed by a nice apple cider like flavor, the combination makes for a flavor that's a little similar to wine. After that comes some slightly spicy Belgian yeast, a little bit of oak, some pretty warming alcohol towards the end. On the finish there's pretty much no bitterness, just some of that warming alcohol and some sweetness with a sweet, grape and cider like aftertaste. This was a good tasting beer, it was pretty true to style and the flavor had some good complexity to it.

M- Fairly smooth, a little sticky, a little creamy, on the thicker side being medium bodied with a slightly lighter amount of medium carbonation. I really liked the mouthfeel on this beer, it was pretty good and I liked that it wasn't that thickit would have made it even stickier.

Overall I thought this was a good beer and a good example of the style, it had all the aspects that I look for in a good Belgian Strong Dark Ale with some nice complexity to go with it. This beer had pretty good drinkability, it was fairly smooth, the alcohol wasn't overwhelming, and the flavors held my attention nicely, I think one would be enough for me, I know it's a pretty small bottle, but this beer is pretty potent and it's pretty damn sweet, so one would be all I would want. What I liked the most about this beer was it's complexity, it was the highlight of this beer and the mouthfeel was pretty damn good also. What I liked the least about this beer was expensive it is, if it was a little cheaper I would buy it more often. I recommend giving it a try if your in the mood for a big beer. I would buy this beer again, but probably only one bottle to have for the holidays, it's a little pricey, but it makes for a good and strong beer to celebrate the holidays with. All in all i was happy with this beer, it was good, but it didn't blow my mind. This is my first time having anything from this brewery and it made for a good first impression and I would be willing to try more of their beers. This made for a good beer to celebrate my 500th review with, it's been a fun two and a half years and I don't see an end in site, Cheers to BA and good beer.

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Nice brown-bronze color. Decent head. Lots of carbonation bubbles.

S - Hints of fig. Not a lot of real descernible smells to me.

T - Very smooth. Classic Belgian taste. At first, i thought there's no way this is a 12% abv beer. But toward the end, you could tell it had a lot more bite. Upon drinking my second one, the alcohol became much more noticeable. but still a very well-bsalanced beer.

M - A tad light for the %, but not watery.

O - Enjoyable. Very easy drinking. I wrote at first that it was quite easy to down too many. but after two, not really a problem. I will enjoy this again. Good beer.

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

A-a cloudy amber with a fingers worth of white head that sticks to the glass and leaves some nice lacing around the top

S-sticky malt, caramel, lots of fruity sweetness, apples, figs, raisins, and Belgian yeast.

T-Definitely tasting the alcohol in this one. Caramel malt, raisins, light spices, and an oaky finish

M-medium to full body and spicy carbonation

Overall a real sipper due to the high ABV, but the alcohol doesn't mask the flavors which is good.

Photo of Darkmagus82
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a 10 oz chalice glass

Appearance – The beer was served a red-amber brew with a one finger off white head. The head faded fast to give a good level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is sweet of dark fruit aromas and a nice spicy and lightly boozy smell. The fruit aromas are of cherry and fig while the spice is of a light clove. A light nutty aroma is also present rounding out the other aromas nicely.

Taste – The taste starts out with the dark fruit detected in the nose with big tastes of raisin, cherry, and prune. Mixed with these are some other sweet candied sugar flavors. A light spice flavor then comes to the tongue along with some flavors of malt. Soon however , a good dose of alcohol flavor comes to the tongue in the form a brandy and wine like flavor. This when combined with the dark fruit flavors leaves a very warming taste on the tongue in the end.

Mouthfeel- The body of the beer is on the creamier and thicker side with a carbonation level that is slightly higher then would have been expected for a 12 % brew. The creamy body was very nice for the fruity and boozy flavors with the carbonation level at a bit of a higher level helping with the drinkability, without being overly carbonated and taking away from the tastes. Not bad.

Overall – This was a robustly sweet and flavorful brew with a very nice warming feel. A nice beer to sit and sip alongside the Christmas tree. Delicious.

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

250ml bottle served in a tulip glass.

A: Pours a beautiful deep amber color forming a small yellow head that quickly disappears leaving practically no lacings

S: Very sweet and grainy in the nose. Very fruity too. Strong notes of grapes and wood: Reminds a Port wine. Also caramel, candy sugar, caramel malts, some flowery hops and alcohol in the very end

T: Follows the nose. A very sweet beer in the mouth. Caramel, candy sugar, a lot of caramel malts, grapes, oak. Mild hoppy bitterness in the end and alcohol too

M: Heavy, creamy and molasses. Medium to low carbonation. Bittersweet aftertaste which is more sweet than bitter

O: Delicious beer. To be enjoyed as a wine due to its "high" ABV. Warming up and suitable to the winter time. Recommended

Photo of TMoney2591
3/5  rDev -25.6%
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.

Photo of woodychandler
3.83/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was curious to try this again, this time for a review, so I picked some up during my most recent visit to The Foodery (Northern Liberties).

From the bottle: "Brewed especially for the Christmas period, Scaldis Noel is a brilliant red amber ale that will delight the most demanding connoisseurs."

12%! Wow! I went with a gentle pour as I was uncertain if there were lees present. As such, I only got a brief sheen of head that quickly dissipated. Color was a deep reddish-amber (truth in advertising) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was hot with the alcohol really prevalent along with notes of dried, dark fruit. Mouthfeel was medium and the heat was pretty intense initially and as it faded, it tasted like liquid fruitcake. Finish was sweet, very fruity, almost vinous in its flavor profile. I am not sure just how I feel about this one. I know that the 8.48 fluid ounce serving size was just about right as too much of this could be too much. I also think that if it comes in a corked and caged format, cellaring might be in order to knock down some of the heat.

Photo of warrenout330
4.89/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 8.48 oz bottle into a chalice

A- pours a honey color with a very little head, no lacing. As I see this beer now I believe its been on the shelf for a year or so... and yes I'm very happy for this

S- smells of figgy pudding, dark fruits, raisins, dried plums... very wine like, like a good muskat from the island of samos, Greece

T- sweet thick wine, raisins, muskat sweet grapes, dried plums, dark sweet fruits

M- sweet and thick bodied. Dangerously drinking for the well hidden ABv at 12%

O- quite a find we have here, thanks to my buddy. This is something I'd like to see with a couple of years more of aging since I am almost 101% this has been on the shelf for a year alreadt..

Photo of bump8628
4.39/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice beer for cold winter nights, but the dinky 8.5oz bottles are still on shelves around here in June, so I picked one up. Rich with dark fruit and malts - plum, toffee, burnt sugar, molasses, figgy pudding (just kidding). Good balance between sweet and dry/bitter. Some spice adds complexity - clove, coriander, and nutmeg flavors. Alcohol definitely flexes, but not too much for the style. This would definitely knock me out on Christmas Eve. A Belgian Dark Strong with an English Barleywine slant. Good for the occasional treat. I might pick up a few for cellaring if only it was bottle conditioned.

Photo of jeremy13586
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured in to an Orval glass.

Beautiful amber color. Left a two finger off-white head, but fizzled out pretty quickly

Cherry, figs, and raisin. Sweet with a bit of nuttiness and some heat from the booze.

The taste matches the nose pretty well with the addition of some caramel and spice. A very little bit of heat while drinking, but overall, this is a very dangerous beer.

Syrupy smooth. Medium body with an incredibly smooth finish.

Absolutely fantastic. I have a few of these sitting in my cellar, so it will be interesting to see how they evolve.

Photo of Immortale25
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. Aged one year.

A- Pours a reddish light brown color with a 1/2 inch beige head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and light, spread-out surface foam. Average lacing.

S- Dark fruit, Belgian yeast, raisin and some sherry-like alcohol sweetness.

T- Smooth, raisiny flavor that's a bit toasty and sweet. Alcohol is extremely toned down compared to a fresh version I had a year ago. More sherry, dark fruit and a touch of oxidation.

M- A bit thin and is lacking liveliness due to the low carbonation.

O- Definitely better with a year on it, but still not stellar. I feel like, when it's young, it has good carbonation but is too hot. Yet, when it's been aged, it's balanced flavor-wise but becomes oxidated. Guess it's hard to pinpoint when this one peaks. Still, nice to sip on and acquire a buzz quickly.

Photo of notchucknorris
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at pizza port Carlsbad

A: Deep amber color with a thin cream colored head. Some spotty lacing down the glass.

S: A good amount of dark fruit, Belgian yeast, candi sugar and bubblegum. Traces of raisin and brown sugar.

T: Tons of dark frui. Prune, raisin and plum with Belgian yeast, pomegranate and some burnt raisin skin on the finish. Delicious.

Photo of lanamj
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip 2010 vintage.

A- Pours a nice amber red with a solid one finger, white head. It holds strong and has good retention and lacing. Really a good looking beer.

S- Lots of red fruit upfront. I get cranberry, pomagranite, some sweet plum and raisin. I pick up the spice more towards the middle with aromas such as clove, coriander and cinnamon. Very nice and festive.

T- Sweet raisin and spice. I pick up some alcohol but for a 12% beer not much. It is very refreshing and clean. I get a lot of seasonal flavors and it accomplishes the flavor complexity rather well.

M- Easy drinking a little heavy on the carbonation, with even viscosity.

O- Very well balanced easy drinking Belgian Strong Dark Ale. The style is on of my least favorite but this beer seems to rate higher then any other of the style for me. It seems more age will generate a beautiful ale. Only time will tell.

Photo of MaximalC
3.41/5  rDev -15.4%
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.

Photo of hustlesworth
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a muddy orangeish brown with about an inch of beige foam. The head holds strong for a moment and then, as if the gates were opened, it shot down to a thin disk.

S- fruity and winey with a bit of toastiness and a savory tomato meaty character. Date, fig, raisin, plum, alcohol, and spiced wine. There's some caramel and leather in there too. It just for some unexplainable reason smells like old Christmas things and It smells like being drunk and falling asleep on the couch after a holiday dinner.

T- sweet and dessert-like with alcohol heat. The flavor (and aroma) are less pronounced than I expected, even as it warms. There's some date and fig, the raisin-prune tartness is now nonexistent, and the flavor profile mostly consists of diluted fruit syrup with brandy and a mild phenolic bitterness. Traces of allspice and peppercorn peek out near the finish, which is pleasantly boozy like rum soaked dates.

MF- low, yet fitting carbonation smooths out the alcoholic feel with a cooling effect. Sticky and drying with a sturdy juicy quality.

D- i'm slightly disappointed in this one, but it's still not all that bad. I can't find a date anywhere on the bottle or cap, so I can't assess whether age comes into play or if it's just the nature of this beer. Alcohol, while not harsh or unpleasant, seems to drown out the complexities that I know have to be in there. I'd pass this one by in favor of other more reliable quads and BSDAs.

Photo of Drinkerofales
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There's that strange bottle size again.

Pours dark brown with red highlights. Head is light tan and large. There is some lacing from the quickly dissipated head.

Smell is candied dates, caramel sweet, and booze. Taste is almost burnt caramel and dark fruits with molasses. It has sweet and bitter which also reminds me of Sammiclaus.

Feel is actually smooth. It has a syrup like viscosity and low carbonation. While there is some heat on the finish, it actually fits in this beer.

A nice beer, I don't know what makes it a Christmas beer, as I don't get much spice, or celebratory feeling, except from the label.

DOA

Photo of Thickfreakness
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours with a two finger head into my Ithaca Excelsior glass. Rusty, cherry/amber color with a off white head. Little touches of lace around the glass. Nice clarity and carbonation.

S- Cherry, honey, candied fruit, caramel, and a touch of alcohol. Some warm notes of gingerbread cookies as it comes to room temp.

T- Sugared fruit, honeyed caramel, gingerbread cake, really ripe bananas, brown sugar and allspice. Really warming and wonderful.

M- A bit hot on the tongue, but it really opens your mouth to all the candy and cake like flavors. Very warming and delicious.

O- Bananas, candied fruit, caramel, holiday cookies and alcohol... a wonderful drink for a February night.

Photo of SLeffler27
3.8/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, bright copper with a minimal beige head that immediately drops, leaving little lace and some film.

Spicy brandy with marinated fruit and spice cake aromas.

Spicy with sharp alcohol and a sweet, long finish. There are also some dark fruits, nutmeg, and a little Belgian barnyard.

Alcohol is as anticipated, while the carbonation is vigorous and the body is light.

An enjoyable sipping beer from a Scaldis chalice with cheese and hors d’oeuvres.

Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
90 out of 100 based on 798 ratings.