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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.

705 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 705
Reviews: 431
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 26
Gots: 45 | 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: 705 | Reviews: 431 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gusler
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer separates from the 25 cl brown bottle a shimmering copper color wit the head modest in size, creamy in texture and the color a toothsome light tan, the resultant lace circumnavigates the glass. Nose is sweet malt, hints of orange rinds, eggnog, start is sweet, and nicely malted, the top is fair to middling in its feel to the palate. Finish is modestly acidic, the hops apparent in their spiciness, and the 12 percent ABV quite noticeable by the slight alcohol bitterness in the desert dry aftertaste and the nice tummy warming sensation, a marvelous beer for a cold winters night.

Gusler, Dec 17, 2004
Photo of cokes
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I don't care for their regular offering in the least, so it took a while for me to pony up the $3.50 for the 8.whatever ozs of the Noel.

This tends to be available here year round, so I'm not certain on the year, but I'd guess it's the most recent version, or the one immediately prior.

Pours a darkish auburn-brown with a suprisingly healthy beige head for a brew of this girth.
Rum cake aroma with big, glimmering notions of orange rind.
Begins almost dryish, with a crystalized brown sugared, bready texture. Envokes the holidays with its fruitcake mainstays, all doughy, full of plum, raisins and sweet cherries, backed further with peach muffins, orange zest and kiwi. It's a welcome juxtapostion between the danker dark fruits and the brighter pangs of tropical fruit and citrus. Alcohol is partially cloaked, with only a few nods towards blackbery brandy. Hops are assertive with their earthen, brown plant bitterness. The balance here is key.
If anything it lacks a bit of the typical yeasty flair. In that sense, it comes across as more of a fruity, mighty tasty and ferociously downable barleywine as opposedto a "true" belgian brew.
Full bodied, but nowhere near as cloying as the standard. Despite the label claims of a "sweeter" brew, it isn't. Just more balanced, more complete, and much, much better overall.
This would be extremely dangerous in a larger package.

cokes, Nov 25, 2004
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

NeroFiddled, Sep 12, 2004
Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A murky, caramel mud with a mild head but consistent carbonation, with a large amount of yeast flakes (if you're into pouring out the bottom of the bottle.) Has the extra-sweet alcohol smell of a barleywine.

Yow! This is definitely sweeter than the regular Scaldis. Orangey, tangy, spicy, caramel flavor with an added malt whiskey\spiced rum blast. The milky smoothness and the carbonation make for a really interesting mouthfeel, thickened my tongue a bit after I finished. Definitely put some warmth in my belly, too strong for more than a couple though. Three will make you invincible.

PopeJonPaul, Jun 23, 2004
Photo of tavernjef
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazen orangey rust color, a thin whitish cap transfused to the top quickly and reverted just as quickly leaving a thin ring and very minimal strings of lace. Aroma is of heated alcoholic caramel and dark orangy citrus, a bit on the potent side, that 12% shows itself. Taste is a bit sharp, a subdued alcoholic twinge hovers within some sweet caramel and citrusy oranges. Floral hops in the finish with more warmth over the top. Feel is about medium bodied, creamy in areas where its not warming, then there's warming and more warming. This is one straight up boozy little brew. Smooth never-the-less and inviting, solid heat and good caramel topped fruitiness to help cover it up; some.

tavernjef, Jun 06, 2004
Photo of IrishRedRock
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Copper body, lacy sticky head. Pungent aroma of alcohol, fruits, cherries, lemons...and more alcohol. Like a spiced up barleywine on acid. Yeasty, dry and malty to start with, well hopped flavor towards the middle, and finishes somewhat tart, dry, and full of warming alcohol. Mouthfeel is perfection...I expected good considering the high ABV but it's even better. A real warmer that doesn't hide the alcohol, so I wouldn't drink a lot of this. The slightly smaller bottle is a good size. Nonetheless, a great nightcap on a cold night.

IrishRedRock, Apr 21, 2004
Photo of erica
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I split a cute little bottle of this lovely one. It was dark brown in colour, smelled fruity and boozy and sugary, almost wine-like. It tasted similar to the smell, very malty with flavours of caramelized-sugar, tart cherries, alcohol- which wasn't overpowering at all in the taste. There was a nice balance of the alcohol and the fruitiness of it all. Mouthfeel was a bit on the thick side, which is to be expected with a strong beer like this, and drinkability isn't rated too high because it is 12%abv, so more than one bottle in a sitting would probably get old. Overall this is a good example of a strong dark belgian, and I would definitely drink it again.

erica, Feb 16, 2004
Photo of francisweizen
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This brew comes in the neat little 250ml bottle. The appearance is great. A dark copper-like brew with a lovely tan head of foam that dies quickly. The aromas are very alcoholic, malty, sweet, fruity, with dark fruits, and nuts in the mix as well. The taste follows suit. This stuff is a taste explosion. Malts up front, and than the dark fruits and nuts in the middle. The finish is all warming booze, reminscent of rum soaked raisins or cherries. The mouthfeel is thick, and a little cloying, but the drinkability remains nice.

francisweizen, Feb 14, 2004
Photo of Andreji
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This christmas 2003 edition of the Bush noël is quite a pleasant brew.

A dark toned pour, rather below caramel to brownish with a small and fizzy dark tan head, eventually to fade and leave a little ring and lacing around the glass.

Nice fruity and aged sorta smell, with abundance in malt as well. not very strong though...

The taste is very good and complex; strong for the style and pleasant to descifre (even if, like me, you dont manage to at the end). The mouthfeel, with a balanced carbonation and cherry-on-the-cake sort of bitterness at the end is also very rewarding. This'll make me look forward to the next noël experience.

Andreji, Jan 27, 2004
Photo of aracauna
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hazy medium brewed tea. Amber and leather. Cream-colored head quickly fades to thin, fuzzy film. Aroma is big overripe fruit, spice, bit of good cognac and butter. Flavor is mellow and smooth, melon past its prime, a bit fuzzy. The main flaw is that it edges on cloying just a touch too much. The alcohol is hidden except in the warmth it provides going down.

aracauna, Jan 13, 2004
Photo of diablo14
3.53/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

wasnt as impressed as id hoped with bush noel. it wasnt so much the potency that got me as opposed to the effect the ABV had on the experience. the alcohol took over in the end which i found disappointing overall.

best drank at room temperature in a chilled glass, it poured a lovely deep amber color with a reasonable head and nice gentle bubbles rising up the glass (a duvel for records sake). smell was a mixture of robust malts, fruit cake like touches; peel, dried fruit, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of almond. thick in the mouth but still quite crisp, flavors were as revealed in the nose, the malts coming out more fully with some treacle like factors. as it got towards the end of any mouthful, the presence of hops was completely taken over by blasts of alcohol. i cant help but feel this beer would have been so much better served by toning it down a few degrees. not to mention it blew my head off after one bottle and these things dont usually hit me so easily.

this brew really doesnt need to be this strong. it takes away from what is otherwise a sensational beer. perhaps i should have had it with pud and custard, or even put it in the pud. as it stands just doesnt quite cut it for me, but considering the price i paid for it, im not going to complain too much.

diablo14, Jan 07, 2004
Photo of BeerResearcher
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cute little bottle! I let it sit for 10 minutes.
It pours a shiny burnt orangey amber color with a sudsy, foamy beige head and some trailing and sliding lace. A big sweet malty aroma is noticed instantly. A fruit soaked in rum bouquet is quite noticeable and lasting. Flavors of caramel malt and fruitcake with extra orange zest come to mind. A dose of over-ripe banana, candied sugar and taste of lemony bitterness mingle with peppery spices and cloves. A hint of piney esters along with the sweet and warming alcohol punch of dark rum. The mildly astringent camphor taste is present throughout.

BeerResearcher, Dec 26, 2003
Photo of GreenCard
3.15/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: dark copper, great clarity, narrow layer of tan foam that flattens out quickly but never quite disappears

Aroma: deeply malty, caramel, tiny touch of roast, wisp of hops, clovey, a bit fruity, alcohol

Flavor: sweet but not overly so, caramel, licorice, some subdued spice, rather firm balancing hop bitterness, peppery alcohol zip, finish is semi-sweet with a lingering caramel flavor and hop bitterness

Mouthfeel: full body, gentle carbonation, creamy, big bloom of alcohol warmth

Overall Impression: Nice beer. Hides its abv quite well. I'm not sure how different it is from the regular Bush (Scaldis). Damn thing sneaks up on you, though!

GreenCard, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of beergeek279
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in the 250 mL bottle, into a St. Bernardus goblet. The color is a dark amber, with a nice wispy white head. The smell is a strong phenol with definite alcohol. The taste is a strong fruitiness, fairly sweet, and the alcohol is very strong, but not overpowering the rest of the beer. Mouthfeel is well-carbonated. Drinkability, could have a couple more, but probably not too many.

Ahh...not too bad a Christmas beer. Scaldis is sure great for creating huge ABV beers, and this Noel is no exception. Good, and certainly one I'll have next Christmas.

beergeek279, Dec 24, 2003
Photo of granger10
3.85/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This was quite expensive but I had to try it. 2002 edition so it was aged a year. The appearance is a light orangish with a creamy smooth head. The nose was quite alcoholic with some hops. But the alcohol wasn't near as apparent in taste. It didn't really come through until I felt my belly getting warm. The flavor was a good mix of butterscotch, spices (cinnamon, etc.), and earthy hops. Tartness shows in the finish. It was complex but not spectacular. I'm glad I tried it, but that's just too expensive of a beer to not be spectacular.

granger10, Dec 17, 2003
Photo of BierReise
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

25cl Bottle Labeled Scaldis Noel Poured nearly clear with a really nice reddish orange glowing body and a rather small head on top. First aroma reminded me of a cinnamon cookie. Spicy with a hint of citrus and orange. Alcohol is very noticible in the nose. Mouthfeel is quite effervescent and crisp.Flavors are spicy, sweet malts but again the alcohol is there also. Overall not a bad seasonal. Thanks for the bottle John.

BierReise, Dec 09, 2003
Photo of crookedhalo
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a kind of rusty amber color with a nice thick beige head. Beautiful lacing. Now I can appreciate why the Scaldis goblet is so big for such a small bottle (8.5 oz.). No dating on the bottle, but this bottle was a overstock from last year's Christmas beers. Nothing wrong with an extra year under a 12% Belgain brew, nothing wrong at all. It has some green apple in the nose, accompanied with an "affirmative" in the alcohol presence. Nice malt and candi sugar aromas mixed with some spices, too. Very tempting looking brew. Within the first sip, you know you're not finishing this one quickly. Big alcohol with sweet malt undertones finishing very, very dry and spicy. Mouthfeel's dry, effervescent and alcoholy. This brew is great, can't say I could drink more than one, however.

crookedhalo, Nov 28, 2003
Photo of BeerBuilder
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a murky, raisin brown color with a thick creamy tan head. The aroma is sweet, and bready, peppery and spicy. The flavor is alcoholic, spicy and peppery with a sweet, bready maltiness throughout. It is a full-bodied beer that is very warming. A very tasty Belgian brew.

BeerBuilder, Nov 26, 2003
Photo of RoyalT
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – Clear, brownish-orange carbonating body with a modest head. It settled well on top of the liquid though and showed good retention.

Smell – Big BSDA aroma. The malts, super-ripe fruits, and sugars abound in this hearty brew. I warmed this for an hour before opening and now my whole house smells like Belgian Strong Dark Ale. The wife’s not too happy, but I’m in heaven.

Taste – Outstanding! This ale is everything about a BSDA that I love. The malts are excellent. The peaches, apricots, plums, dates, figs, and other fruits are full yet not overdone. The alcohol flavor is complimentary instead of invasive.

The bubble gum comes out second along with lip-smacking sugars. This one runs the gamut of brown and raw sugar, powdered, and table (refined). Looking for hops? Not in this heavy hitter.

Mouthfeel – A small alcohol sting and a very smooth, thick, chewy body makes this one a standout. It’s full-bodied and feels terrific in between the cheeks.

Drinkability – At 12.0 ABV I wouldn’t suggest pouring a six-pack of these into a beer bong or anything like that, but if you enjoy the style you MUST find a way to try this ale.

Update – I revisited this fella on Christmas Day 2004. It’s just as I remembered it. The malts tasted a little more yeasty and it seemed a little fuller. This is a great Noël.

RoyalT, Oct 18, 2003
Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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

WVbeergeek, Jun 03, 2003
Photo of MJR
3.98/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a rustic amber with both copper and red highlights. Small amount of chill haze. A light tan head pours a full finger deep and has fair retention and lacing.

Smell: Potent, with the alcohol poking through the candied fruit, spicy, and caramel notes. There's a touch of tropical fruit...pineapple and mango.

Taste: Complex with a heavy alcohol outer layer. I taste both candied and burnt fruit, caramel, a peppery spiciness, hops, and tropical fruits with a double-shot of vodka. Underneath all that is a touch of raison bread. Finishes with a firm bitterness, along with a charred dark fruit character. There are more hops in this than your average Belgian holiday brew. It's tasty, but the alcohol is very strong and blurs the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: On the heavier side of medium which is made lighter on the palate with a good deal of carbonation. Dry finish from the huge amount of alcohol. Very warming...

Drinkability: Decent for what it is. This is jet fuel made into beer. Go easy with it...or suffer the consequences!

'Thanks' to StevieW for sending this in our trade.

MJR, May 15, 2003
Photo of StevieW
4.33/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small 8.5 oz brown bottle. Shiny blue label depicts an abbey covered in snow. Again, I'm way behind the curve with this Christmas Ale, but oh well.
Medium copper in color. Shiny. Tight, fizzy tan head blew up then settled into a clumpy thin covering. Lots of sweet candy smells, toffee, and biting hop smells. Taste is very well recieved combination of the above. Starting with a sugery sweet candied toasted carmel malt sugary stickiness. Some subtle yeast flavors and a super charged hop presence for a belgian beer. Some cinnamon also slides by. Candied sweetness is really good and right for the season. Mild Alcohol heat comes through toward the end. Belly warming and resounding hop burps. Lingering hop bitterness on the tongue. Meduim to light bodied, alcohol presence is notable on the finish especially.
Overall a Christmas beer worth trying but I agree with the others a bit overpriced $4.99 for a small bottle. But dummies like me buy it, so It's not going to get any less expensive.

StevieW, Apr 07, 2003
Photo of beerluvr
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a virtually non-existant head, over cloudy amber liquid (lots of yeast floaters abound). The nose is predominantly havy malt with noticeable alcohol, and hops. The taste is very hoppy/bitter...pleasantly so! An alcoholic/liquor-ish warmth follows with lots more maltiness in the background. Finishes with a just-as-strong bitterness from the massive hopping they give this ale to balance out the heavy maltiness & alcoholic power. A "send the kids to the neighbors, I'm comin' home drunk"-type of ass-kicker! God bless Belgium.

beerluvr, Mar 30, 2003
Photo of feloniousmonk
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

At $4.99 for a tidy 8.48 oz. bottle, this is the champ for the title of most expensive beer I've ever purchased. Was it worth it? It was worth the try, but I don't imagine breaking the bank to stock up on this tiny powerhouse.
Muddy, dark brown in color, creeping on violet, with small yeasty particles floating about, and a small, diminishing head. Aroma is heady and deep, dominated by fruit associations of the grape variety. Sweet, but not too hoppy. Malt is predominant to an incredible degree. Full and fierce on the tongue, with hops showing off to give a good charge upon the palate. And alcohol follows into the fray, and never lets go...
One sip in, and I'm feeling drunk already! Look at me, one leg in the air, arm wrapped around a lamppost, swinging to no discernable rhythm, finger crooked inside the handle of a little brown jug, marked XXX, singing, "How Dry I Am"...
Body is full, flavor is thick and fascinating, and boozy!, texture is marvelous, altogether, a formidable and unforgettable beer!
However, the large grape/wine flavor, and the 12% ABV make me wonder how a glass of 14% Shiraz doesn't smack me up like Scaldis does?

feloniousmonk, Feb 06, 2003
Photo of Popsinc
4.13/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice amber colour. Spicey/sweet nose. Malty up front followed by a nice sweetness hinted by caramel & molasses and spicey, almost pepper finsh with an alcohol kick. Good sipping beer. Gets you warm fast so don't drink too quickly. Quite enjoyable. A pefect match for the christmas season.

Popsinc, Jan 08, 2003
Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
90 out of 100 based on 705 ratings.