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Bush De Noël - Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

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Bush De NoëlBush De Noël

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

790 Ratings
THE BROS
98
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 790
Reviews: 448
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 37
Gots: 71 | 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: 790 | Reviews: 448
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

Wow!!

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...

Photo of macster
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2005 vintage. Pours from the bottle a slightly hazy amber-orange hue under a thick, dense beige head. Superb foam retention and thick walls of lacing coat almost the entire chalice as it drains. Aroma was pleasant, but somewhat underwhelming for a big holiday Belgian like this. Nice notes of ripe light fruits, cookie dough, biscuits, raisins and brown sugar are expereinced, but they seem quite reserved for one and the alcohol really shows way too much punch in the nose. Mouthfeel is very nice; crisply and lively carbonated with a slightly firm, thick finish. Flavor profile turns out to be a bit more pleasing than the aroma, but still a bit tame for a beer of this magnitude and style. Flavors of toffee, light caramel candies, licorice, brown sugar and vanilla wafers with a slight hint of banana are enjoyed. However, again the alcohol seems to play too much of a dominant role here as in the nose. Finish is sweet with just a touch of an earthy/herbal hop presence. Definitely worth a try, but I guess my expectations were a bit higher on this one.

Photo of kimcgolf
3.16/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle to a sparkling orange-red with thin off-white head that lingers throughout the entire drink and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Beyond this appeaarance, I can sum this beer up in one word....ALCOHOL.

Try as I might, I could not detect any aroma or flavor other than the overwhelmng alcohol. Not sure if I just got a well aged bottle or this is the norm. All things considered, this was not a bad drink, but was much more like a mild whiskey than a strong ale.

Photo of mcallister
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clean and clear amber mahagony in color. A small off white head leaves nice lacing behind.

Aromas of alcohol at the forefront with black cherry, dried fig, and dried berry aromas that lead into a thick belgian yeast. Everything seems like it is vailed however maybe from the alcohol?

Slightly thin and full of alcohol throughout the mouth. Rich fruity flavors do shine through however. Especially the berry, black cherry, and same yeastyness that hits the nose.

Because of the high alcohol could be difficult to drink more than one of these.

Photo of velo343
4.09/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a cloudy brown that looks like iced tea with a very creamy, large white head that sticks around for a long time.

Smell - Very fruity. Lots of orange, grapefruit, apples, and raisins. In short, there are plenty of esters to enjoy.

Taste - Lots of yeast flavor and a nice floral and grassy hoppiness that complements the esters very well. There is a taste of orange and pears.

Mouthfeel - Quite thick, with a dry finish that really cleans the mouth.

Drinkability - For being 12%, this beer certainly hides the alcohol well. A very flavorful beer that is a pleasure to drink.

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

11.2oz. bottle

Very hazy, amber fluid. Small, light tan head. Decent lacing.

Aroma very sweet. Bubblegum, tropical fruits, bananas. Some bread character. Alcohol.

Taste was similar to English barleywine. Sweet, bubblegum again. Alcohol very noticeable. Pepper at finish.

Medium + in body. Carbonation felt medium + and a bit acidic. Appearance of carbonation was fairly low. Quite drying.

Quite good, a nice Christmas ale. A sipper for sure, and I would certainly enjoy again. Now, I am looking forward to trying the normal Scaldis I have tucked away.

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

A: Almost a maple syrup color with a nice light head
S: Reminds me Christmas, hints of gingerbread and brown sugar.
T: Very pleasant, sweet to start with notes of honey and finishes with the nice warmth of alcohol.
M: Very smooth and silky
D: I definitly will try to get some more of this before the season is over, and it is very good on a cold night.

Photo of Grundle20
3.76/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
The beer is a deep amber with a big and well sustained eggshell white head. There is a slight haze with some yeast or other particulate matter left in suspension.

Smell:
The scent is big and malty as expected. Very figgy with a slight biscuity note. The alcohol is very detectable which is really the only thing turning me off here.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Although the scent presented that strong stinging alcohol presence the big malts in the taste manage to mask it about as well as you can mask a 12% ABV. There's an odd but pleasant combination of malts that is surprisingly reminiscent of cinnamon whole wheat waffles, I'm strange I know. The body is a little viscous and goes down slightly smooth with a little bit of an astringent bite from the alcohol in the fore. The finish is slightly raisin like but manages to clean up in the aftertaste.

Drinkability:
Although I find this beer to be pretty good, I simply can't see myself drinking more than one at a time. It seems like it would be a good pair for a big holiday meal.

Bottom Line:
It's strong, it's Belgian, it's good,and it comes out once a year. Snag it while you can.

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

Scaldis Noel Premium

S - Big aggressive fruity nose from a foot away when the cork (finally) left the building. Tames down a bit but comes right back after it warms up some. First the raisins and fig-like fruit then a bit of alcohol.

A - Middle of the road hazy orange-red color. Not much of a head at all. Made the mistake of laying it down before i opened it - and after the struggle... a suspension of bits throughout.

T - Wow, I really like this. Malty raisins, orange and fig-like.

M & D - A full, smooth, creamy mouthfeel, not unlike what i expect from my favorite barleywine.

This was the last large (75 cl) bottle that Sam the Beer Man had in stock. I'll be going back for the small bottles in the morning.

Jan 2007...#2 beer of the year so far

Photo of DogFood11
2.95/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Scaldis Noel poured in a 750. Corked and topped with a large staple over the top serving as the cage. Interesting bottle. Poured into a small tulip it forms a milky loose head that leaves sticky lace behind. Very light in color considering the style. Cascading super fine carbonation. Copper body. Not all that inviting.

Some sweetened raisins, sweetened Tang, Grape candy and a spiced alcohol slammer that has a huge warming jolt to finish it. Surprisingly this is pretty sturdy in the body although it lacks some depth and the alcohol is hot, even with consideration to the 12%abv tag. My final analysis, the backdround flavors are nice but its hard to find it through the aggressive abv.

Pros: Decent flavor profile, Warms ya up.
Cons: A bit hot, failry shallow, not that interesting. Yikes.

Notes: Below average.

Photo of mynie
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

8.48 Oz bottle. What's up Dubuisson? You don't think I can handle the beast??!?!

(I don't know what that last sentence means).

Okay, pours out a very nice hazy amber with a minimal head that fades into a nice and retentive ring. More than respectable, considering the elevated alcohol.

Smells of very rich berries and fruit along with nodes of alcoholic yeast. The alcohol is very sticky and is whatever that word is that means "wine-like."

Tastes like bread and ripe fruit up front. Like a fruitcake, kinda, only not so sickly sweet. This gives way to hints of chocolate bock malt that continues the nice sweetness of the front. This malt is unexpected, as it's more of what you'd find in a weaker weizbock than in a heavy-duty Belgian. Ends on some intensely alcoholic yeast.

Different, to say the least. Well worth picking up.

Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
3.4/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tried this side by side with a large bottle of refermented-in-the-bottle Scaldis de Noel Premium.

The Scaldis de Noel was $4 for a 25cl bottle. It had the 12.5% sticker at the bottom point of the neck foil.

Poured a reddish amber and a little cloudy. Much less head than the large bottle. A beigish creamy head did form and quickly dissapated.

The smell. Alcohol. Also some sweetness.

The taste, again, very strongly alcohol. The smaller bottle had some sherry/port like moments and was sweeter than the premium. But still, the alcohol was very assertive and almost burning.

I wonder why some bottles are listed at 12% and some at 12.5%? Couldn't find any info on this. Also searched but could not find any evidence of a date on either bottle in case the ABV was varying by year...

I love strong sweet beers, but this one was a bit harsh and not really enjoyable to sip. Also perhaps especially disappointing due to the high price point. This doesn't make me want to take the risk on Prestige.

If you bought one this holiday season and haven't tried it yet, I'd suggest aging a bit so the alcohol can mellow out.

Photo of rayjay
3.35/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep and dark, with a heafty body full of malts. Red and cloudy, with lots of chunky sediment. Boozy, with notes of alcohol and mild heat. Very hearty. Thick, with some syrupy sweetness. Zesty hops compliment the malts nicely. Spicy, kind of like a Christmas cake. Drinkability was a bit rough, due to the richness. I recommend it at 40-45°F, preferrably with some aging to mellow it out. Recommended, but don't go out of your way. Cheers!

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

Had this as a guest bottle at ABC upstairs during my visit back to Amherst end of 2006.

Pours deep brown with a slight reddish hue with 2-3 fingers foamy head, decent retention and well carbonated. Reminds me of Trois Pistoles. For a 12% ABV, smell does not have the telltale aromas. Nose is somewhat spiced but mostly consists of sweet dark fruits and maltiness. Taste follows with a well-hidden underlying alcohol dark rum-like quality along with the classic raisiny dark fruit flavors. Again, similar to Trois Pistoles but sweeter and more fruity. Overall, very good, I always like to see a good Strong Dark Ale.

Photo of ByTor2112
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tasted my first regular Scaldis this year so let's see how the Christmas brew fares: Pours an almost copper color, orange hues and some ruby red grapefruit color gets extracted with the light.
Aroma: Very sweet, slight caramel malt aroma but this is hugely overshadowed by the fruit aromas of raisins and grapes and sugar.
Mouthfeel: Alcohol is very evident but warming. I am trying my best to get just a small taste of any hop bitterness. Very sweet and sugary with the alcohol present to the finish. This beer is definitely made for sipping by the fire because this Belgian crept up on me. I was expecting something a little more complex, but I was not disappointed. Lots of fruits and sugars and malt wrapped up into a nice Christmas/Winter seasonal.

Photo of Phatz
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Scaldis Noël - (AKA) - Bush De Noël

Appearance: Pours a copper brown with a creamy off-white head and decent retention.

Smell: Ripe dark fruits, spices, bread cherries and Belgian Yeast aromas grace the nose.

Taste: This varies from the typical BSDA with hints of bubblegum phenols along with apricot notes and the classic plum, figs and raw sugar. Some spiced rum attribute bleeds through as well.

Mouthfeel: Well rounded. Malty and yet boozy / alcoholic just enough to nip at the cheeks.

Drinkability: Sensational. I really enjoyed this one and hope to find more at Stateline if is still there when I get back again.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.43/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 25cl bottle with an attractive label, poured into a snifter. It was a pretty red/brown with a very small head. Aroma was spicy, with a little dark fruit. It had a spicy, peppery taste, but the taste was dominated by the alcohol. This is a beer to be sipped, but even so, I couldn't do more than one bottle at a time.

Photo of Damian
3.19/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Drank from a 25 cl / 8.48 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Connecticut Beverage Mart, Newington, CT

First, I must comment on this beer bottle's amazing graphics. The sparky hologram label depicting the snow covered brewery along with the foil covered top is quite a nice touch.

As for the beer itself, it poured a murky, muddy, copper-ish amber with a thin, light beige film of froth (no real head).

Smell was very sweet and alcohol (rummy) rich. Candied and brown sugar with alcohol soaked fruit and spices (alcohol soaked fruit cake possibly?). Hints of bourbon and vanilla as well.

Taste was completely dominated by the alcohol. Some creamy malts, yeastiness and fruity sweetness up front before the huge alcohol bite kicked in. The alcohol warming moved to the back of the mouth and became even more intense. Flavors such as brown sugar and possibly some hops were vaguely detectable, but they were quite overshadowed. Alcohol burn was felt in the throat and on into the stomach, where it warmed my belly.

As for mouthfeel, this beer was syrupy yet thinner bodied than expected. Also, the carbonation was minimal.

Drinkability of this beer was quite poor. With any beer that registers 12% ABV you can expect a big punch, but this was too much. The flavors were simply not strong enough stand up to the alcohol.

Photo of Absumaster
3.62/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer comes in a beautiful bottle with all these shiny holograms. Makes me suspect the beers quality.

Appearance is a bright dark amber beer with a very thin head.

Smell is malty and sweet, full of caramalts and some maltbitterness. No real alcohol smell or anything.

Taste is very malty and caramel, the dark malts give the beer a nice maltbitterness and roasted and slight burned taste. The alcohol is not so much in the taste, but I can feel it warming my throat. The beer is sweet and sticky and body is full.
It is just a bit too sweet and strong for me, at 12% it is more seeking the borders of what is drinkable and there always has to be a lot of body to balance, which is getting too sweet for me.

Photo of jwc215
4.52/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clouded rust-colored with a thin, creamy head that thins, but sticks around.

The smell is of fruit-bread, leafy hops and peppery alcohol.

The taste is of caramel-candy sweetness, bubblegum and fruitcake. A rum-like, peppery alchol is assertive, yet does not interfere in the complex flavors. Wintery spices and alcohol make this a delicious brew to have on a cold day. The body is full. A bit sharp. Spiciness sticks to the tongue.

A slow-sipper to be sure. It's a treasure. Alcohol is noticeable, so drink this one nice and slow - Very fitting for a cold, wintery day.

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

Chestnut body with very nice clarity...and three fingers of polar white foam which retreats to expose 90% lacing coverage. Nose is warm and inviting, showing a striking balance between caramel malt, Candi sugar, alcohol, and Belgian yeast.

Entry shows an almost complete absence of CO² and sets the table for almost total sensory overload upon the arrival of the midtaste. Big candi presence with dark, rum-soaked fruits bask in alcoholic bliss. The finish shows p-licking sugar and a dry, pepper end.

This Noël is not for the faint at heart, but is a wonderful fireplace companion during the holiday season.

Photo of bjohnson
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my landlord for getting this for me as a Christmas gift.

A: Pours a murky dark rust color with a frothy one and a half cream colored head. Nice retention of the head. Nice lacing.
S: Huge sugary presence--seriously big. Extra sweet notes with a black raspberries and cherries. Slight spicyness of the abv is noticeable here.
T/M: Dark fruits of cherries, blackberries, and a lot of figs. Slight caramel malt notes also in here. Big dark burnt sugary notes. Pretty hefty body on this guy. Thick and juicy. High abv is definitely noticeable with a spicyness and a huge warming of the chest.
D: Drinkable, but a bit too syrupy for my palate. Definitely tasty, but this wouldn't be my first choice when choosing a noel brew. A sipping beer this is.

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Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
90 out of 100 based on 790 ratings.