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Bush De Noël - Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

Not Rated.
Bush De NoëlBush De Noël

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

697 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 697
Reviews: 431
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 25
Gots: 39 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl visit their website

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Andreji on 12-08-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 697 | Reviews: 431 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of chadspivey


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

A: pours a dark amberish red with a one finger head that'll come back with a little rousing. good lacing too.

S: I smell apples, bready yeasts, and a big whiff of alcohol.

T: Well, for 12% it's not all that boozy in the taste. The taste is actually pretty comlex, some spices maybe and something like maple syrup, jplus that good old belgian yeasty bready stuff, and a hint of apples. There's more going on I just don't know what to call it.

M: lots of carbonation, and the alcohol definitely plays its part in warming the mouthfeel up.

D: For the ABV, and considering its a belgian, i'd say it goes down fairly easy.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 18:18:43 | More by chadspivey
Photo of eberkman


4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber-red into an Urthel tulip, producing little carbonation and the thinnest of heads that vanishes to a ring within a minute. Smells of toffee and alcohol above anything else. Pleasingly fragrant. The taste is the big winner -- buttery toffee way up front, giving way to pungent dark fruits (plums, raisins, cherries and figs), with almost a subtly maple-like sweetness and a warming alcohol sensation on the way down that I'd typically associate with a good cognac. Mouthfeel is creamy and oily, almost syrupy. A great smooth flow. Though I enjoy the sweet palate on this one, drinkability is only above average -- it's a little cloying to have more than one.

Still, a perfect late-night wind-down drink on a freezing night. I can't detect anything in the flavor that makes this a Christmas beer -- no egg nog or gingerbread spices or anything of that nature -- but it still fits the season nicely. And don't feel shortchanged by the fact that it's an 8.5 oz bottle. You'll feel this one.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2007 04:12:44 | More by eberkman
Photo of TheBeerWolf


4.72/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours an almost light ruby red leaving a small light brown head that dissipates pretty quickly.

S - The first thing that struck me as I opened the bottle was the great smell! A lively smell almost like a fine brandy with a hint of citrus in the background.

T - The alcohol makes itself know but intertwines with some very pleasant flavors. Just like the smell you get some nice brandy like flavors. Hints of butterscotch and dark fruits, with a background of pleasant spiciness. Leaves a bit of a citrus aftertaste maybe thats the hops.

M - The mouthfeel is pretty light but not watery at all.

D - I really like this beer but at 13% after getting through a bottle your pretty much done. At least for a little while ;).

Well a few notes. Not sure what year my bottle is as I just found it by itself on a unlabeled shelf in my liquor store but I kept in a wine fridge for a year before drinking it. My bottle says 13% while a lot of people report different percentages on theirs so not sure about that. If I lived somewhere where it was really cold this would be great to sip on a cold night. The alcohol is there though so if your not used to higher alcohol beers maybe stay away. Other then that I loved this beer. Even with all that alcohol it still is a lively beer to me.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2007 07:26:21 | More by TheBeerWolf
Photo of russpowell


3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
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

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2007 04:33:40 | More by russpowell
Photo of shivtim


3.48/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Scaldis chalice.
Nice clear ruby brown, with thick head that becomes a thin lingering sheet. Nice lacing. Nose is sweet raisin rum cake, some alcohol and malts. Taste is spicy ethanol with loads of syrupy sweetness. Alcohol really comes out more upon warming. Dry-ish mouthfeel seems to fit the beer. Decent holiday offering.

Serving type: on-tap

12-15-2007 15:28:06 | More by shivtim
Photo of vtfan77


2.9/5  rDev -28%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-12-2007 00:45:38 | More by vtfan77
Photo of gotbeer


3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This is an interesting brew. The taste is of caramel and molasses with cloying sweetness. There are notes of ripe fruits and some esters. Despite it's high ABV, it hides it's alcohol very well. A good nightcap, but one is enough for me. It's worth trying if you can find a bottle.

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2007 04:11:52 | More by gotbeer
Photo of scottoale


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

From a small 250ml. bottle with foil labels and neck pours a good looking orange-amber ale with 1/4" of off-white head. the head settles after ten minutes but re-kindles even larger with a couple swirls.

Thick malty nose, with fruitiness and alcohol coming through in a pleasant heap.

The taste is sweet and malty, with complex fruit flavor. Plum, fig raisen, green apple and more, with a somewhat hot, yet very pleasant alcohol finishing up as it goes down. Very tasty with a slightly tart aftermath.

Smooth and vapory...kind of thins the body of this heavyweight ale. At 12% ABV, this very apparent from the first sniff, right down to the very warming finish and highly drinkable for the style.

Tasty big ass beer, just the way I like them.

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2007 22:46:21 | More by scottoale
Photo of cabsandking


4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice red color with amber highlights and descent off white lacing. Smells like Hawaiian Punch (hell, yeah!), cherry, slight notes of florals, malts, and some alcohol esters. Big fruity malt range; plum, dates, raisons, licorice in spots, and orange. Alcohol is pretty hot but it does warm you up inside. Some sourness into the finish and gives up a little medicinal character. Overall a consistent cherry, sherry flavor thats more distinguished in the finish, has the feel of port wine. Medium to high carbonation and semi-smooth mouthfeel still leaves a little oiliness on the tongue. A very nice holiday brew, buy one now and leave it in the cellar for next Christmas.

Serving type: bottle

12-08-2007 16:37:15 | More by cabsandking
Photo of thierrynantes


3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer bottle (25cl), tasted in 2003.
Appearance: amber colour, beautiful white foam
Smell: delicate aroma of hops
Taste and mouthfeel: good balance between fruity and malt
Drinkability: a beer in the style Belgian dark ale (too strong for my taste)

Review added 12-6-2007, translated from french 1-30-2008.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2007 19:59:10 | More by thierrynantes
Photo of brantadid

New Jersey

2.4/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 1.5

Poured a medium brown color. Solid 3 finger, mounded head which was cream colored. Took about 20 minutes for the head to diminish. Fantastic lacing.

Smelled of igs and alcohol. Some yeast and barley in nose.

Some dark fruit and yeast in the taste. Alcohol completely overpowers everything in this beer. It is totally out of balance. Some seasonal spices like nutmeg, cinamon, and lots of cloves.

Flavor coats your mouth. Very high carbonation. The combination of really high carbonation, tons of cloves, and completely overpowering alocohol makes this a very difficult beer to drink. I really wanted to like this beer. I was looking forward to drinking it, but was very disappointed.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2007 04:31:59 | More by brantadid
Photo of NJpadreFan

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scaldis Noel

A- Hazy reddsih brown with thick floaty things throughout. Decent frothy head.
S- Dried fruits (raisin and prune), caramel, licorice.
T- Strong fermented dried fruits; raisin, prune, fig, pineapple, & cherry. Vanilla, caramel, and a touch of black licorice noted.
M- Thick, sweet, and fruity. No carbonation and a boozy touch to the aftertaste.

Overall- A nice nightcap beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2007 20:28:30 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of GClarkage


3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-28-2007 17:31:17 | More by GClarkage
Photo of bluejacket74


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

250 ml bottle. Served in a chalice, the beer pours a cloudy amber/brown color with a half-inch off-white head. Head retention is low, lacing is good. It smells like dark fruit, bubblegum, yeast, candy sugar and spice. To me the beer tastes the same as the aroma, with the exception of some caramel and a little bit of alcohol noticable in the finish. There's also a pleasing light sweet aftertaste. Mouthfeel/body is full, creamy and rich. After drinking it for a while, there's a noticable alcohol warming. Drinkability is good, it's a sipping beer but it's smooth and easy to drink. I think this is a good beer, I'd definitely drink this again.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2007 01:35:27 | More by bluejacket74
Photo of geexploitation


4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark amber, but nothing close to black or even brown, with a thinnish head that leaves only a dusting on top. The aroma is wonderfully complex, with notes of dark fruits, spice, yeast, molasses, bubblegum, and caramel. Beautiful. On the palate, predominantly fruity, with big spices coming up toward the end, along with a growing alcohol burn. Soft sweetness and soft carbonation -- except for the alcohol, the mouthfeel is spectacular. Overall, this is a nice, warming beer that's great for winter. Well done.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2007 03:18:06 | More by geexploitation
Photo of John_M


4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

It's beers like this that make this one of the best times of the year for lovers of big beers like myself. Have recently had this on tap at Max's and Mahaffey's.

The beer pours a light brown color, but with glints of amber and red. The beer has very good head retention and lacing and looks very impressive and enticing. The nose is sheer ectasy. It smells of sweet cherry cough drop, vanilla, Belgium spice and candy. The flavors on the palate replicate the nose. The beer is quite sweet, but with enough spice added in to keep it interesting. I just think of Christmas candy when I drink this beer. The beer is surprisingly light on it's feet for such a big beer, though it has a very warming effect, an indication of the 12% abv. The beer finishes well and, while a sipper, is surprisingly easy to drink.

An excellent beer. One of the more positive signs that winter is upon us.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2007 21:52:10 | More by John_M
Photo of CWiggins

North Carolina

4.65/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tomorrow will be one year since I first sampled and reviewed this beer. I haven't read the previous review in order to see how my impressions and tastes have changed.

It pours a dark, cloudy amber into my Tripel Karmeliet glass. It's a shame there are only 8.5 oz in this bottle; it only fills my glass just over halfway! The ecru head that forms is much taller than I recall. It lasts about five minutes and then fades to a decent lacing around the point of surface tension.

Ah, the aroma. You realized very quickly upon sniffing the brew that you're in Belgian strong dark territory. The tell-tale aromas of medium-dark malts, brown sugar, and candied fruits betray the style immediately. One wonders if tasting is really necessary.

Flavors of dark brown sugar, rich dark fruits, and warming alcohol invade the senses as it flows across the tongue and coats the palate. There are some winter spices present: nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon, to be sure. Hints of butterscotch and caramel may also be detected. The alcohol is strong, but is barely noticeable until the finish. Flavors of fruit, alcohol, and brown sugar linger far into the aftertaste.

Like many Belgian strong ales, this one has a creamy texture with medium carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2007 02:56:31 | More by CWiggins
Photo of largadeer


4.15/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

11-15-2007 01:51:35 | More by largadeer
Photo of IntriqKen


4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok...second review of this beer....9 months later and 9 months older.

Pours a medium dark tea amber with a half finger of white foam that melts very slowly to a top covering of sticky, lace producing white.

Aromas are light sugars, light brown sugar, lots of caramel, some fruits, and alcohol, but very subdued now.

Taste is sweet candied dark malts and lots of caramel with alcohol coming at the tail end. A bit of dark cherries and maybe some other dark fruits underlie everything. Strong but somehow balanced making for a very nice sipping desert brew.

Mouthfeel is moderately creamy and substantial enough not to be thin at all.

Aftertaste is dark candied fruits, caramels, and alcohol.

Aging this beer has done wonders for it. All of the roughness has mellowed away and lots of personality and versitily has begun to shine through. I'm sorry I only have one more bottle to try at a later date now. I'll be sure to store more from the 2007 batch when it becomes available.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2007 07:03:35 | More by IntriqKen
Photo of dnichols


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

I poured a 750 ml caged and corked bottle into a large cooled challis.

A: It poured into my chalice an attractive reddish-copper hue with an abundant beige two finger head. Held up to a backlight the Noel is almost cherry red accented with tiny floaties suspended and well distributed throughout the beer. The head slowly dissipates leaving a lattice of foam on the glass.

S: It has a healthy aroma of sweet brown malts up front with a complementing odor of plum fruitiness. From the moment I opened the bottle I was reminded of hot summer days sipping on toffee malts at the Dairy Queen. This is one sweetly pleasant and pungent brew. It has a strong and penetrating sensation on the nose.

T: A very pleasant taste. It tastes very of sweet malts reminiscent of caramels, milk chocolate, and figs. The rich sweetness hides the high alcohol content but I am reminded of the alcohols on the back side as my mouth dries slightly after resting following each sip. The malts define and dominate this beer. The hops are well hidden; almost non-existent

M: The rich sweetness hides the high alcohol content but I am reminded of the alcohols on the back side as my mouth dries slightly after resting following each sip. Mouthfeel somewhat like how I feel after filling my mouth with a fine milk chocolate.

D: I really enjoyed it; but feel it would be best experienced between November and March on a cool winter night after a heavy dinner. It is similar to a port wine…a wonderful after dinner drink enjoyed in moderation.

Comments: I was expecting something like the Bush Ambrée which I have had on several occasions. Needless to say I was pleasantly surprised. This is a real treat for a special occasion.

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2007 04:00:43 | More by dnichols
Photo of kkipple

South Carolina

3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-16-2007 19:12:59 | More by kkipple
Photo of Wasatch


4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to slcbrewer for this one.

Poured into a chalice a cloudy dark amber color, nice carbonation, nice little creamy off-white head, some nice islands and sticky lacing throughtout the drink. The nose is malty, prunes, figs, raisins, tangy/sweet, and some caramel. The taste is sweet/tangy, malty, slightly yeasty, nice touch of caramel. There is a slight chewy thing going on and the alcohol is hidden very well, nice warm feeling in the throat. A slightly dry finish. Medium body. Very drinkable, I liked the version of a BSDA, highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2007 01:22:58 | More by Wasatch
Photo of wcudwight

North Carolina

2.73/5  rDev -32.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Thanks to Prufrock, NCAA March Madness, and the Florida Gators for the beer.
Pours an amber/brown color with bright ruby hues. Off-white head rises to one finger and quickly falls. Sheets of lacing cling to the sides of the glass. Fine sediment suspended in the liquid.
Peppery alcohol smell with hints of dark fruits.
Huge peppery alcohol flavor mask just about everything else in the beer. Hints of dark fruits in the finish, mostly plumb flavors.
Mouthfeel is good. Rich and Spicy.
I really don't see me buying another bottle. It's not a bad beer, but with so many options, I doubt it will get much attention.

Serving type: bottle

05-12-2007 03:24:30 | More by wcudwight
Photo of jameaterblues

New York

4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

So I picked up a couple of these to see if they were still good, a random bodega had marked them down to $1.99 each so I plan on going back to try and clear out what they had left! 25cl bottle, no year or abv.

A- Great sparkley bottle that I poured into a goblet...lots of visible carbonation, dark brown in color with an orange glow, and a murky haze..
S-Big fruit(raspberries, blueberries, cherries, apple, pear, plum, prun, basically a whole fruit basket), Light festive spice from the hops and maybe some additional added, as well as some piney notes...a bit of sweetness and caramel too. As always with something this high in alcohol you can smell it just a bit.
T/M/D- big Spicy hops for this Belgian....more than I am used to in others of the style, accompanied by Big red fruit flavors, as well as the aforementioned caramel malts... Medium boded and a little boosey...the hops make this one extremely drinkable, and I am really glad to experience it for only $1.99..Not quite as warming as i expected, but maybe that is because its hot outside. I love out of season beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2007 03:26:31 | More by jameaterblues
Photo of Viggo

Ontario (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one is labeled as 12.5%, but I'm assuming its the same beer.

Pours a cloudy red/amber, medium off white head forms, settles to a ring pretty quick, some lace spots, lots of floaties. Smell is sweet, very rich, toffee and bread, molasses/brown sugar, fruits, sherry and alcohol, quite nice. Taste is sweet and malty, some toffee, citrus and fruit, yeasty bread, alcohol, very nice fruity finish, some spices as well, alcohol is pretty nicely hidden. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with medium to high carbonation. Pleasant warming as it makes its final journey, better than I expected.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2007 05:17:59 | More by Viggo
Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
90 out of 100 based on 697 ratings.