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Bush De Noël - Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

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Bush De NoëlBush De Noël

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786 Ratings

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Ratings: 786
Reviews: 446
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 38
Gots: 70 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 786 | Reviews: 446 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of NJpadreFan
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.

Photo of GClarkage
3.18/5  rDev -21.1%
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.

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.

Photo of geexploitation
4.06/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of John_M
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
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.

Photo of CWiggins
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
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.

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 IntriqKen
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
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.

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.

Photo of kkipple
3.38/5  rDev -16.1%
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.

Photo of Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of wcudwight
2.76/5  rDev -31.5%
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.

Photo of jameaterblues
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.

Photo of Viggo
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.

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

8.48 oz bottle purchased at Sam’s chilled and poured into a tulip glass. The off white head rose and fell, lingers as a film centimeter off the surface. The body is a browned strawberry color with tiny peach highlights, its almost completely opaque. Smell is strong with wonderfully rich aromatics immediately accessible. I get tons of fruit esters strawberry, cherries, candied pears maybe the smallest touch of anise, a tiny hint of alcohol no really hop aroma, which is fine, because I’m in heaven. Taste as with the smell is wonderful, complex and immediately accessible. I get candied pears with rummed plums and candied apples, with a slow moving alcohol warmth. It would be so easy to drink this frivolously and feel its true strength, but I’m going my best. This is a great beer, I’ll pick up more if they are around, but I really wish the bottle was bigger. Until next year scaldis.

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

8.48 fl oz, "small bottle".

This x-mas seasonal pours a clouded burnt rusty color from its delightfully tacky-yet-festive bottle. A really tight, creamy head rests on top and retains beautifully throughout. Aromas of cherry and fig; heavy, earthy, and fruity. In fact, its a bit like tropical-Belgian if you can imagine such a thing. Smooth and full-flavored, dark, fruity caramel and clove-like spices with a bit of mustiness. Sweet honey, nuts, and spiced apples. A little warming on the throat, but aside from that, the alcohol is extremely well hidden. Make no mistake, this is a sipper, but the booziness level is very low from what it could be at 12% ABV. Lighter than I expected, the body is medium, which does assist the drinkability of such a potent alcoholic beverage.

I'll be sure to get a large bottle when the next "holiday season" rolls around, if I'm willing to spend the big bucks, if only to see how it compares to the little bottle. Pretty darn tasty overall, and a fairly deceptive ass-kicker to boot.

Photo of tastybeer
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Quite murky, olive-y orange brown color with a good tight bubbly white head. Nice variety of lacing and good, thin but yummy looking retention. Smells of cherries, prunes, raisins, dates, and currant maybe. Molasses, maple syrup, cinnamon spice, apples and cream are also evident. It is very fruity and bright but sweet and warm as well. Lengthy deep, and festive aroma. Though I'm having this on the wrong holiday it is still quite nice. Taste is sweet and smooth. The giant alcohol is hidden well by a variety of well blended flavors. A soft warmness gives it away though. This would be very good with warm apple pie and vanilla ice cream. Body is lightly full and mouthfeel is smooth, creamy, and gritty with spice. A bit of an unexpected and sudden bitter kick sneaks in at the finish. Very nice and quite enjoyable. I grabbed this one because of an out of season discount. 2.99 for the 8.5 oz bottle which is a great deal for such a yummy beery treat. This is also very drinkable for its high abv. Now I need to have it on xmas.

Good for the getting and certainly appropriate for winter holidays.

Photo of budgood1
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out of the small 25 cl bottle a clear light amber with floaties. thick rocky head and plenty of festive lace. sweet, candyish aroma...dark ripened fruits with light spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg. thick malty flavours accentuated by raisins, nuts, figs, and some fruitcake nuances...candy sweet with a spicy alcohol punch. nicely bittered to balance out the sweetness and booziness. doughy yeasty notes, too. ample body and smooth mouthfeel make for great drinkability for such a high ABV brew. sip and savor accordingly. definitely recommended.

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

It's been years since I've had this beer. I remember it being awesome, so let's hope things haven't changed. I also hadn't seen this beer in my area for some time until finding it again at the Butcher's Block for $4 for an ~8-ounce bottle. Maybe the price seems steep for retailers?

A nice red color with a foamy off-white head that leaves lovely lacing in my glass.

It smells of sweet fruit and caramel, with wine-like and earthy notes.

The taste is good. The high alcohol flavors mix with complex sweet and fruity notes, as well as musty flavors to create a really warming beer. Just think of other strong dark ales, then ratchet up the alcohol. The aftertaste is a little astringent, though.

The body is smooth and slick, thanks to the alcohol.

Overall this is a good beer and good for a rare treat. I don't think it's quite as good as I remember, which is probably only due to my rose-colored glasses.

Photo of msubulldog25
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Scaldis Noel
A 12% abv seasonal winter brew from Bush/Scaldis, most recently enjoyed last September after a tour of Dubuisson. Poured a miniscule 25cl bottle into twin goblets, barely 4 oz. each for me and my wife and enjoyed at our weekend getaway at the Oregon Coast, 02/25/07.

A: Caramel/ruby, generally clear, with a soap-bubble looking, eggshell-colored ½ finger head. Tiny fizzy carbonation produces a wisp of film on-top, a thin lacy gauze.

S: Mild, sweetly booze-soaked fruit. Rich, slightly burnt caramel. Sugary candy sweetness, through and through.

T: A very nice Christmas/holiday beer (despite it being two months to the day from Christmas). Huge syrupy caramel flavor, slightly browned & with lots of added cinnamon and nutmeg spiciness. Dry herbal finish, surprisingly bitter. Alcohol (rum) covered raisins – heat and hops burn almost like a barleywine. A delicious mouthfull.

M: Spicy, hot & tingly in the mouth. Big alcohol, developing on the tongue – wow! Medium/full mouthfeel and slightly carbonated.

D: A very tasty winter sipper…perfect in small doses on a rainy, chilly afternoon. Nice warming alcohol, a spicy & sweet treat. A seasonal to look forward to every year when the temperatures drop. And since we were playing games while we drank this, I shall christen it with a hearty “Yahtzee!".

Photo of Shiredave
4.4/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Arguably the prettiest little bottle in the business w/ its bright blue and red foil, sparkling silver snow over the welcomming lights of the snowbound Inn.

A blast of foam billows in the goblet kicking up a fluffy, rocky tan head, lace drips all around as it slowly quiets. Lovely red whisky color under a tawny sheet of fizzy foam. Flecks and flotsum of yeasty dregs stay suspened and swirl in the vigorous carbonation. A dark sandy trub remained in the bottle.

Aromas are remarkably soft - sugared fruit and brandy notes. Strong melon and cherry along side roasted grain scents of baking bread or fresh wort.

Warm full bodied and spicey with grassy hop flavor. Big malt body with firm alcohol character. Excellent fruit and berry flavors with port wine and Porter under / over tones. Dark grain character comes thru and balances the sharp hop and warming alcohol into an awsome sipping beer. Each sip explodes in the mouth with a flood of waxing and waning flavors.
Just right for a snowy Feb. day.
* The lil bottle is cute but it just tastes like more.

Photo of silver0rlead
3.58/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber with a thin tan head that doesnt retain well, kind of menacing. The aroma is intensely malty, with big dark fruit notes (blackberry, plum, fig, currant, grape) along with some candy sugar sweetness, a slight metallic hops presence and a touch of alcohol. The taste is similar to the aroma, with a big dark fruits presence, along with some candy sugar sweetness, metallic hops, and a strong alcohol presence. The mouthfeel is smooth with moderate carbonation, and drinkability is descent. An OK belgian, nothing spectacular here but worth trying once.

Photo of theopholis
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a slighty cloudy amber that looks like iced tea with a creamy, but small white head with little staying power. Just a tad bit of lace.

Aroma - Very nice melange of ripe fruit and rich, mature, caramel. Lots of malt sweetness, and very estery. Some bread in there to.

Taste - Wow. Very pronounced clean, fresh yeast flavor mixed in with a great malt sweetness and a nice floral hoppiness. Just a hint of some of the ripened fruits, especially pear and banana and raisins. Some nice esters buried in there too.

Mouthfeel - Body is good for the style; quite thick. Fairly over-carbonated, but it works!!!! Really brings out the fruit and ester flavors. Really get some nice CO2 burn on the lips and the back of the toungue.

Drinkability - Amazingly drinkable considering the alcohol content. The carbonation level is a bit high, but I say, "Give it a shot".

Photo of Enola
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


8.48oz bottle served in a Caracole glass.

Beer is a rusty brown color. There is a thin head and some lacing. No suspended yeast. The smell is brandy and wine like. The taste os this beer is apricots, prunes, several other fruits as well. The abv is listed as 12% and it honestly tastes like there is no alcohol present at all. This has become my favorite Belgian brew. By far. I could drink this beer daily. I will be picking up several bottles of this. As the beer warms, it has just a hint of a burn but not enough to detract from the overall opinion.

Photo of ccrida
4.62/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from a small bottle into a Westmalle chalice, the Noel is an amberish brown with a surprisingly large sized off-white head (for the ABV) with medium bubbles that left a sticky, clingy lace, but with very little carbonation. The aroma is mainly sweet malt and fusal alcohol, with a bit of grape and almond. The taste is very well balanced, and not nearly as boozy as the aroma would lead one to believe, primarily malty but with a nice sweet, nutty character that is exceptionally smooth, some caramel and grapes, with a touch of toffee. Served at about 55F, there is very little aftertaste, and an exceptionally rich, creamy, yet medium body that is highly drinkable. I was hoping for a bit more Belgian yeast complexity, but for the execution of such a strong beer, the Scaldis is really impressive. However, there is not much in the way of the traditional Noel spice flavors, so if your looking for lots of nutmeg and anise, you won't find it here. Still, this Noel is exceptional, probably more so because it doesn't rely on the spices...

Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
90 out of 100 based on 786 ratings.