Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

Bush De Noël - Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

Not Rated.
Bush De NoëlBush De Noël

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

453 Reviews
THE BROS
98
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 453
Hads: 837
Avg: 4
pDev: 16.75%
Wants: 51
Gots: 90 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
Belgium | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Bush De Noël Alström Bros
Reviews: 453 | Hads: 837
Photo of BMMillsy
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle as Scaldis Noel. Pours deep clear orange with small to medium head. Aroma of belgian yeast funk, pears, figs, apple, malt and slight alcohol. Heavy on the palate, but with light fruity flavors. Pears and plums abound with a hint of spice. Alcohol is hidden nicely, but the beer still warms going down. Very nice beer!

 324 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours copper with a large, lasting white head.
Nose shows brown sugar, golden syrup, sultanas and figs.
Very similar flavours, but with some soft booze rolling through. Very sweet, almost cloying.
Carbonation is way too high.
Not the easiest beer to drink.

 259 characters

Photo of ommegangpbr
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Not a pretty version within a style that is normally very visually impressive. Color is diluted cola color with cola like foam.
Scent is much more striking, even from afar. Developed yeast/sugar things going on. Fresh baked bread mixed with candy shoppe.
Probably the most impressive feature of this beverage is the 12% alcohol that is very difficult to detect. Seriously, very very difficult to tell it is that strong. Really quite smooth and enjoyable all around. Not at all sugary or syrupy in a style that can err in that way. Worth sampling and resampling.

 562 characters

Photo of elNopalero
3.53/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2012 Update:

Bottle opened after 2+ years of age.

I like the little bottle—it’s the perfect amount for a personal-sized serving of a high gravity beer. If this was in a 750 ml bottle I don’t think I’d get a chance to open it anytime soon. As it is I sat on it for over 2 years.

Poured a clear, light ruddy raisin-colored hue with a thin, tight lace ring.
The aroma has a dried stone fruit touch—raisin, fig, dates—but there’s an overpowering phenolic alcohol aroma that dominates and overpowers it. The aroma is off putting. The more time I spend with it the less pleasant I find it, unfortunately.

Flavorwise its lightly raisin/fig/stone fruit/fruit cake, with a caramel malt finish. The booziness doesn’t come across as strongly on the sip but it’s still evident.
What can I say. It still doesn’t excite me. Eh.

Previously: This has a light amber color with a good amount of lingering foam. There is a muted aroma belying a lot of flavor on the palate. Noticeable booze. At 12% there’s no where to hide but it still plays well. The malt profile dissipates rapidly under it, and it carries a bit of a bite. Another year on this and I think we’d be good friends.

 1,195 characters

Photo of coreyfmcdonald
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

25cl bottle into a snifter

A: Pours a medium amber color with a finger of white head. The color of this beer is quite light for a BSDA.

S: Dried apricots, plums, prunes, and a hint of licorice. Nutmeg and orange bitter spiciness is there, but it's fairly restrained. Smells quite boozy.

T: Fairly light on the palate for the style. I get dried apricots, but not as much prunes and plums as the aroma. A bit of peppercorn and orange bitters. Overall, the taste is not nearly as complex as the aroma. This is also very, very boozy.

M: A bit light with light carbonation.

O: Not bad, but I'd like more dark fruit and more esters. Extremely boozy, too.

 653 characters

Photo of Louski
3.59/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into Leffe chalice.

A: Pours a deep amber with about a finger's worth of head that I had to force while pouring.

S: Malty, fruity undertones are coupled with the sharp alcohol fumes.

T: Right off the bat the fruit, bread, and caramel are apparent but too quickly overcome by the alcohol. If only thise flavors could have held on. Sipping buys you a little time, but not enough in my opinion.

M: Paints a nice profile across the palate but again the alcohol heat crashes the party so I couldn't let it stay on my tongue long enough.

O: I think I expected a bit more from this one. The flavors are there, but the darn alcohol just took over. I enjoy a strong beer but this one just packed a little too much punch. I'll give it another go next winter to be fair.

 783 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.49/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Scaldis Noel 2007 vintage. 12%. Bottle served into a Samuel Smith's nonic glass at a tasting. I was rushed while reviewing so please excuse any lack of detail. Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours a rich caramel-auburn head. Understated. Lacks any head at all. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Oxidation, caramel, malty sweetness. Biscuit malt. Buried fruit. Nectary notes. A moderate strength aroma.

T: Biscuity and malty. Brown sugar. Alcohol heat on the aftertaste. Floral hops. Caramel. Well layered malty body. Some biscuity yeast and biscuit malt. A tasty balanced beer.

Mf: Excellent coarseness and ideal dryness to bring out the flavour. Good carbonation and thickness. Complements the flavours nicely.

Dr: Very drinkable and enjoyable. I quite like it. Hides its ABV well.

High B-

 813 characters

Photo of ummswimmin
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I had this beer for a birthday dinner last night. I thought it looked good based on the description in the menu, and I didn't know the brewer before now.

They served this beer with a cylinder style glass. From the initial pour I had about a finger for foam that came down really quickly. This led to almost no lacing on the glass. The coloring on this beer is a deep red.

The smell and flavor was spicy with a lot of dark fruits. This made for a very good sipper based on the feel and flavor. I really like the balance on this beer.

Overall, this Noel was a very good experience. I recommend buying this one if you come across it.

 633 characters

Photo of RickS95
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks the part of a winter warmer with it's rich, medium brown color. Translucent only if you hold it up to a light. The head is beautiful. A few clicks from offwhite, it's extremely creamy looking. Fairly uniform bubbles that last a good while and leave an attractive, thick lace when done doing their thing.

Very malty nose, mostly caramel. Slight spice character, though I can't quite pick out which spices.

It's strong and assertive, but the taste is very pleasant. Little to distinguish it as a holiday beer, it fits the bill as a strong dark ale. Dominant caramel malt flavor, with a side of anise and some alcohol for dessert.

At 12% ABV, it's a bruiser. Everything about it is strong. That said, it's very drinkable as long as you sip it. Sweet to start, spicy mid-sip, and hot in the finish, and the heat stays with you.

I'm glad I bought two bottles of this, though you only need one a night. A definite sipper, it's got good taste, feel and alcohol content. Very easy to sip.

 993 characters

Photo of puboflyons
4.16/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From the foil-wrapped 250 ml. bottle. Sampled on January 21, 2013.

It is a nice looking beer that pours medium amber with a kind if reddish note and a small head that settles to a ring.

The aroma is of caramel, dark malts, toffee, Belgian sugar and everything I would expect from a Belgian Strong Ale.

The body is full and smooth.

The flavor has a lot of upfront sweetness due to the caramel malts but there is a significant bitterness taking up the rear to end it. It really is no different than what I would expect from a Belgian Strong Ale but I was hoping for something a little more unique.

 599 characters

Photo of rundocrun
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Body is a mix of ruby and orange. Crystal clear. Two fingers of off-white foam with decent retention. Bubbles drift up very slowly--looks quite viscous. Moderate lacing.

S - Bright aromas of candied oranges, figs, baked apple. Lots of rich malt aroma here. I also notice undertones of subtle earthy and herbal hops.

T - Sweet orange and a mild pepperyness are first up on the palate. Intense malt sweetness carries through the middle, bringing with it a dry wheaty flavor and plenty of booze. Finish is unbelievably smooth, toasty, and clean for a 12% beer. Very sweet and no hop flavor with very mild bitterness.

M - Thick body. One of the thickest beers I can remember sampling. I consider myself a malt-head, but this was frankly too much for me. Good move on selling it in 8.5 oz. bottles, haha.

 806 characters

Photo of ElCommodoro
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This beer was out of this world. Way better than I was expecting from a Belgian brewer I'd never heard of. Great complexity, drinkability, and overall pleasant taste. An uncannily well-balanced mixture of dark malt and and dark fruit flavour are present in this beer, which is yeasty enough to be interesting, but light-bodied enough to be amazing. This is the king of winter warmers. I don't think anything could beat it for warming your cold nights.

 451 characters

Photo of Cylinsier
4.64/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

11.2 oz

Pours an opaque woody brown. Off-white lacing for a head.

Smells of caramel, cherries, bretty yeasts, mild nuttiness, a hint of spice and grassy malts.

Flavor of caramel, buttered bread, apples, almonds, a hint of scotch, and a mild hop bitter aftertaste.

Full body with fluffy carbonation on the roof of the mouth and notable alcohol stinging, plus a warming sensation going down.

Really fantastic, among the best of the best of Belgian dark ales. Scaldis now officially makes two of my favorite beers of all time. I'd been looking for this one for a few years now around Christmas and I am happy to say I am not disappointed. Definitely a sipper, doesn't much try to conceal its strength, which is fine by me. A must-try and will look to have this again and again.

 781 characters

Photo of MadScientist
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A bottle from last years

A: Medium copper that would have decent clarity if it weren't for all the floaters in there. The head is barely there with a just a collar of off-white bubbles.

S: Fruity with alcohol and a bit of spice. There is a a moderately strong aroma of prunes with a bit of malt sweetness and a moderate Belgian yeast spice that is mostly peppery. A faint earthy hops. Moderately strong perfumey alcohol aromas and just a touch of cocoa.

T: A moderate amount of malt sweetness and moderately strong prune and red cherries flavors again with a fair amount of alcohol. There is a light hops bitterness and no perceived hops flavor. The balance is fairly sweet with a sweet finish and a fruity aftertaste. There is a light cocoa again along a honey flavor that boarders maple syrup like.

M: medium-full bodied with moderately-strong carbonation. There is a decent amount of alcohol warmth but it isn't solventy or unpleasant.

O: A sweet, fruity Belgian Dark with a good deal of alcohol. No a bad beer but not my favorite of the style, while sweetness is perfectly acceptable in the style I prefer the drier versions.

 1,135 characters

Photo of PorterLambic
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nummy looking, clear, light chestnut brown. A light tan head sits atop. Well sized before dropping quickly to a film punctuated with an island of creaminess. Retention is pretty decent for the style.
Smell is rich with malt, spices and dark and light fruits (apple, grape, fig). Great balance.
Taste is the same: rich with lightly toasted malt, dark and light fruits, spices, wood, whiskey/cognac and a pretty good alcohol bloom. Balance is really good.
Smooth-ish and medium-bodied and supremely delicious. This is a seriously good brew. Warming, with a nice cognac-like glow flowing from the back of the throat. You can almost see the alcohol with every exhale and that ain't bad. It works as a nice limiting factor to the desire to just keep drinking this fine nectar. Slow down and enjoy!

 800 characters

Photo of Maltmaiden
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber. Little head. clear

S: Caramel malts up front. some alcohol. belgian candy. very light floral hops. Some metalic phenols.

T: WOW. Caramel malts and alcohol (warm and delicious) in the front. Dark fruit. Phenols and spice. Definitely great for a winter night!

M: Med-thick. Spicy and biting with the alcohol, especially at the end.

O: I was worried that this beer would have too much spice in it for me but it didn't. It was delicious! I would buy a ton of this stuff but it's pretty pricey.

 508 characters

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Best by 7/26/14.

Pours a murky dark copper with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Tiny streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, dark fruits, and a mild earthy, spice aroma. Taste is much the same with a grape juice flavor and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a pretty good level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a nice aroma and tasty flavor, but it's fairly boozy and strong.

 592 characters

Photo of RoamingGnome
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 Scaldis Noel

Poured from an 11.2 ounce bottle into a CBS snifter. Served slightly chilled.

A) A brandy colored brew. There was a full finger of off-white head. Nice retention and decent lacing.

S) An aroma of brown sugar. I'm picking up some of the yeast as well. There's a bit of raisin and spice. Some alcohol as it warms.

T) Very close to the nose. There is a pleasant sort of spicy sweetness. The 12% ABV is well hidden. A nice aftertaste as well, with just a little alcohol warmth, that's worth noting.

M) Medium-bodied lightly carbonated, starts out smooth, finishes a little bit sticky, before drying out a bit.

O) A nice holiday offering here, and quite a pleasure to drink on a cold New Year's Eve in Wisconsin. Glad to recommend this beer.

 760 characters

Photo of ncketchum
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to RoamingGnome for this one. Served chilled in a Chimay chalice

A - pours dark but clear brown with a reddish tint, a finger of cream head

S - sweet caramel, a bit of yeast, followed by some alcohol burn

T - again, a bit sweet with caramel and dark fruit up front, then some belgian yeast, followed by a good amount of booziness

M - fairly thin, well-carbonated, the alcohol is quite evident in the aftertaste

O - I liked this one. its a different style, but for me, it reminded me of samichlaus helles, but a thinner, smoother version

 548 characters

Photo of cocojoe
4.34/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Murky Amber Brown color. Very thin tan head that dissipates quickly.

S: Brown sugar, red grapes, figs, sweet molasses

T: Caramel, Brown sugar, caramelized bananas, belgian yeast notes attempting to break through, but are immediately cut by the very sweet dark fruit notes. Alcohol is prevalent and warming on the way down.

M: Kind of watery actually. Not necessarily in a bad way, but not as thick as I expected. Really helpful actually. Helps balance out the strong sweet qualities.

O: About as easy drinking as a beer of this high of alcohol could be. Love the aroma and flavor notes. Compared to other really strong dark belgian ales I have had, this does a great job of using that belgian yeast to add a lot of complex notes, without the yeast notes being to overwhelming compared to the dark, sweet body.

 816 characters

Photo of thecheapies
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

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

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

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

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

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

 526 characters

Photo of rangerred
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle into a tulip.

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

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

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

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

 722 characters

Photo of NuclearSoAndSo
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a beer mug.

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

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

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

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

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

 837 characters

Photo of MattyG85
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

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

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

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

 1,468 characters

Photo of Brandywine
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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

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

Mouthfeel: Comfortably full. Nice carbonation carries it through.

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

 700 characters

Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
89 out of 100 based on 453 ratings.