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Bush De Noël - Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

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Bush De NoëlBush De Noël

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780 Ratings

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Ratings: 780
Reviews: 444
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 12.16%
Wants: 36
Gots: 67 | 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: 780 | Reviews: 444 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kendo
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got it on-tap at Lionheart in Albany, where the tap handle says "Scaldis Noel" and they serve it in two options: a small glass for $4 (happy hour prices) or $6 (regular prices); or in a larger glass, probably about 8 - 10 oz, for $6/$8. I of course went for the larger glass. . . .

A: Dark amber body with a very small white head that settles quickly to a minimal film. Despite the lack of head, however, it leaves rings all the way down the glass.

S: Very nice nose -- dominated by fruit and alcohol with a bit of malt in there too. Cherries, raisins and figs or dates come to mind, along with ripe apples, with a big hit of booze; rum, I think -- maybe even spiced rum.

T: Sweet and hot. Think spiced, rum-spiked apple cider and you kind of have the idea. Fruit is most evident early in the sip -- cherries again, along with the dried fruits (raisins, prunes), but at the back of the mouth is overwhelmed by a spicy heat. I swear I get some true spice in there as well -- i.e., cloves or even cinnamon sweetness. I also thought of bubble gum sweetness at one point too. In the end it finishes VERY hot, as you can feel that 12% ABV at the back of the mouth, down the gulley and warming the belly.

M: Good feel to it, with a pretty clean finish despite the fruity sweetness. The alcohol heat seems to re-boot the palate. Heavy in weight/heft.

D: This is a definite sipper -- the booziness sends that message loud and clear -- and at 12% ABV you don't want to have more than one. But that one will be tasty and enjoyable.

Photo of BeerResearcher
4.02/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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

Pours a rich amber with a pillow head with lacing (unusual for high abv). Smell is rich, malty, yeasty, belgian sugar. Taste is rich also...malty, alcohol phenols, brandylike quality. Mouthfeel is warming, surprisingly smooth. Very drinkable considering high abv.

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

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A real nice simple off tan colored head, picking up some of the body color which is a gorgeous dark copper red and brown. Head is kind of soapy but manages to stay for a pretty good time. Real nice looking beer.

Nose is classic sweet raisins, a little soft dark malts, and a good deal of banana.

Taste is chewy and even a bit spritzy. Fairly good carbonation on this, giving some soda like quality but letting the malts remain. Dark raisiny malts and a very prickly palate. Feel is just slightly wet but it works with the carbonation. Some very faint afterfinish of mild sweet chocolate and banana. Warming tongue brings licorice and toffee tastes as well.

Overall pretty solid, not much more to it than that. Doesn't come off as particularly boozy at all either.

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 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.

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

250ml bottle bought as a single from Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA. Festive blue foiled cap.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" beige head above the reddish caramel-hued brew. Head stays as is, thick and foamy, and lacing is excellent, especially for the style. Aroma is spicy Belgian malts and yeast, with a tincture of piercing alcohol at the end. Taste is sweet and spicy upfront, with ample malt presence, and fades into an all-encompassing warming effect, with perhaps the slightest step into the land of "whoa, boozy". But this a is Quad, after all, so what else would be expected? Mouthfeel and drinkabilty are both good, with the drinkability being of the "I would revisit" variety, not the "I'll have three in a row" variety.

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

poured with abrillant honeyish amber hue and with a vibrant amount of carbonation created a tightly packed fluffy pillowy white head.
dry aroma with some grassy notes and is flowery, hops i assume, and an underlying rich malty background.
peppery and spicy taste with the alcohol hitting you first and then followed by a cleansing bit of carbonation.
this beer definetly changes as it warms up and breathes for a bit.
the aromas pop out more and become more pronounced, the malt in the taste certainly jumps out at you leaving you with a dry hoppy very spicy and hot aftertaste.
drinkable, definetly but certainly a sipper.

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

Thick and foamy lightly burnt, off white head that cakes the goblet's sides with intricate lacing. Garnet with shades of oak and maple.

Semi-sweetened molasses, toffee, and caramel malt aroma. Big overtone of chocolate and cream. Sweet, dark fruit soaked in alcohol: raising, plum, cherry.

Creamy, semi-sweet caramel and toffee flavors with a near sour apple tartness. A faint citric quality that is well balanced with the sweet, deep chocolate qualities of this Quadrupel. The alcohol presence is carefully placed; not to drown out the natural flavors.

Borders full bodied; creamy, sharp, and a touch of spice.

The abv% is well used and disguised. Good flavors and well worth a try. A wonderful beer at room temperature.

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

This one was recommended by Red Carpet Wine in Glendale, CA. Poured into a Duvel tulip, the beer didn't give much of a head at all with a moderate pour; the beer retains little of what was left, and little lacing was present after I began to drink it. A very pretty dark-red beer through a little light passed through. The nose was Belgian yeast, malt, and a slight bit of alcohol. A bit less than I expected from such a hyped beer, but it was certainly a memorable smell. The taste was good but, again, not what I was hoping for; relateively malty, spicy, and yeasty -- not as complex as I was expecting. Lightly carbonated, but at 12% a.b.v., this one was a sipper that went slowly. I certainly enjoyed the beer, but perhaps a bit of cellaring make this one more intersting.

Photo of aforbes10
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours into my goblet a red amber with small sediment floating around. short, creamy looking head, laces like a cottony spiderweb. smells malty, hint of cherries, alcohol. Taste is of strong spicy malt, dark chocolate, hot alcohol, caramel. hints of nutmeg. very tasty. Creamy and full bodied. velvety. A small bottle, but a big drink.

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

250ml bottle served in a tulip glass.

A: Pours a beautiful deep amber color forming a small yellow head that quickly disappears leaving practically no lacings

S: Very sweet and grainy in the nose. Very fruity too. Strong notes of grapes and wood: Reminds a Port wine. Also caramel, candy sugar, caramel malts, some flowery hops and alcohol in the very end

T: Follows the nose. A very sweet beer in the mouth. Caramel, candy sugar, a lot of caramel malts, grapes, oak. Mild hoppy bitterness in the end and alcohol too

M: Heavy, creamy and molasses. Medium to low carbonation. Bittersweet aftertaste which is more sweet than bitter

O: Delicious beer. To be enjoyed as a wine due to its "high" ABV. Warming up and suitable to the winter time. Recommended

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

Poured from tiny 25cl bottle. Dark orange and clear, with thickest head I've seen yet.

Smell is subtle, maybe because of the thick head. Smells kind of like a barley wine.

Taste is sweet and burns a little. I can definitely taste the alcohol. I thought it would taste more like LaTrappe quadrupel or any of the other more "common" quadrupels. But this tastes more barley winey.

Not bad, very strong, but not a repeat for me...

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

Presentation: 25 cl holiday bottle, no freshness date. Poured into the cervoise, a medium amber color with a moderate amount of carbonation. Thick, creamy 2-finger head of brownish-tan foam that fades at a moderate pace leaving a thick cap and solid lacing to the bottom. A good looking beer. Nose cold evinces strong alcohol, dark fruit, and sweet malt; as it warms, the alcohol is well-masked. Tastes of sweet malt, an alcohol burn on the swallow, a touch of caramel malt and a mild finish. As it warms, more flavor complexity emerges and the alcohol is well-masked; this beer is best served cool rather than cold. Mouth is syrupy, smooth, with moderate carbonation on the tongue. Drinkability is good but it’s strong; enjoy in moderation. The 25 cl bottle (about 9 oz.) is about right.

Overall: A good, solid beer, but not exemplary of the style. A bit heavy on the alcohol bit unless served warmer.

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

Candied orange peel with generous amounts of swirling particles and uprushing bubbles. Despite the high ABV, the head is a rocky glass filler. Golden ecru in color, it sets off the color of the beer quite nicely. Small sheets and spatters of lace are doing their level best to stick to the sides of the snifter and are succeeding admirably.

The powerful nose of brandy-macerated fruit wears its 12.0% ABV on its sleeve and wears it proudly. The beer smells like a holiday fruitcake that is heavy on fruit (cherries, dates, figs) and alcohol and low on cake. This is only my second quadrupel (Westvleteren 12) so style comparisons aren't really possible. It's a humdinger though. Did I mention the sinus clearing power?

Silky, rich, boozy, warming and delightfully delicious. My suggestion would be to drink Bush de Noel at room temperature, from a snifter, sip by sip, as I'm doing now. Any faster and the 8.48 ounce bottle will be gone before you know it. Although this is good beer, it doesn't quite have the intriguing complexity and the multifaceted depth that I love in the best high-ABV Belgian ales. There's nothing wrong with simple and strong, however, if the flavor is up to the task, as it is here.

As in many barleywines, alcoholic candied cherry is the dominant flavor. However, there's enough sticky toffee flavor that comparisons to cough syrup don't apply. This ale is sweet and is kept from being too heavy by a still boisterous carbonation and a mouthfeel that isn't as full as it seemed at first sip. I'm not a fan of alcohol that is this up-front, but I've certainly had plenty of 9.0-10.0%'ers that weren't as well-masked.

Thanks to the Family Dubuisson for this little bottle of Christmas cheer. Now that I've almost reached the bottom, I'm as warm and as toasty as if I was sitting by a crackling fire. Even if it isn't a life changing holiday beer that I'll come back to again and again, Bush de Noel is a right jolly old sipper that most should enjoy.

Photo of beerluvr
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of lstorie3
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

found the color a little curious. I expected a much darker beer and when it poured a burnt orangish color, I was wishing it was either a little darker or a little lighter. It did pour a nice thick head though. had held up and laced nicely. The aroma is very much a strong Belgian ale with hints to break, must, cheese, raisins. Now that I think of it sort of like a fruitcake, but maybe it’s the seasonal label influencing me. First sip a full mouth-feel and a noticeable alcohol tingle. Very sweet followed by a little bitterness. Nice alcohol burn and a little warmth in the cheeks. A very good Christmas beer. One to sip and enjoy on a cold night.

Photo of jminsc76
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Into a tulip, pours a very large beige head atop a murky amber body. Thick legs as I tilt, very pretty.

Aromas of rock candy and guava. A strong *whiff* is required to derive the bouquet - it's not that intense.

Flavors of candy, gingerbread, spices, and a slight quantity of funk. Reminds me flavor-wise of a mellower version of Jolly Pumpkin's Christmas Ale, a beer I just reviewed recently. Not too sure if it's heat I am tasting at certain points or just a mildly cloying malt bitterness. Hmmmm...

Mouthfeel is thin, insubstantial, and unsurprising considering the ABVs.

Overall, an excellent balance of flavors for a Christmas ale of this strength. I can tell why it's a classic, though, considering the mild degree of Orvall-like funk that differentiates it from the majority of other Belgian Christmas ales I have had. I would return again, but only one per session - this is a sipping beer that would follow nicely a large meal as a dessert aperitif.

Photo of Jeeb
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of beergoggles32
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Furlinator
4.04/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Cinnamon spice banana bread. Very good.

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 Immortale25
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. Aged one year.

A- Pours a reddish light brown color with a 1/2 inch beige head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and light, spread-out surface foam. Average lacing.

S- Dark fruit, Belgian yeast, raisin and some sherry-like alcohol sweetness.

T- Smooth, raisiny flavor that's a bit toasty and sweet. Alcohol is extremely toned down compared to a fresh version I had a year ago. More sherry, dark fruit and a touch of oxidation.

M- A bit thin and is lacking liveliness due to the low carbonation.

O- Definitely better with a year on it, but still not stellar. I feel like, when it's young, it has good carbonation but is too hot. Yet, when it's been aged, it's balanced flavor-wise but becomes oxidated. Guess it's hard to pinpoint when this one peaks. Still, nice to sip on and acquire a buzz quickly.

Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy brown in color and poured with a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible as well as some yeast particles floating in suspension.
S: The smell is equally proportioned among moderate aromas of fruits, spices and sweetness.
T: The taste is rather sweet and very similar to the smell with flavors of fruits and spices. There are also hints of caramel and candi sugar in the flavors.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. There are some warming sensations from the alchol.
D: Alcohol is noticeable in the taste but is for the most part fairly well masked, which doesn't make this beer difficult to drink. It is better sipped given the high alcohol content.

Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
90 out of 100 based on 780 ratings.