Bush De Noël | Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

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BA SCORE
89
very good
458 Reviews
Bush De NoëlBush De Noël
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
Belgium | website

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by Andreji on 12-08-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
458
Ratings:
851
Avg:
4
pDev:
16.75%
 
 
Wants:
53
Gots:
94
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 458 | Ratings: 851
Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

L: Pours hazy tea color under a thin cream colored foam collar that produces gothic window lace. S: Fruit, prune, toffee, over ripe fruit. T: Attacks with malty fruit, dark dried fruit, anise, alcohol, a hint of sherry and some light pepper on the finish. Moderate bitter hop accent. F: Medium body, the carbonation is very soft and fine. Mild warming. O: I look for this every Christmas.

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Photo of janubio
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Red brown colour, with small head that fades soon, good lace. Smell of pepper, cloves, cinnamon, aniseed, dark fruits. Medium to full body, with a rich, creamy and thick body. Taste is similar to the smell, chocolate, dark fruits, cinnamon, cloves, aniseed. Simply great.

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Photo of TheBeerWolf
4.72/5  rDev +18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours an almost light ruby red leaving a small light brown head that dissipates pretty quickly.

S - The first thing that struck me as I opened the bottle was the great smell! A lively smell almost like a fine brandy with a hint of citrus in the background.

T - The alcohol makes itself know but intertwines with some very pleasant flavors. Just like the smell you get some nice brandy like flavors. Hints of butterscotch and dark fruits, with a background of pleasant spiciness. Leaves a bit of a citrus aftertaste maybe thats the hops.

M - The mouthfeel is pretty light but not watery at all.

D - I really like this beer but at 13% after getting through a bottle your pretty much done. At least for a little while ;).

Well a few notes. Not sure what year my bottle is as I just found it by itself on a unlabeled shelf in my liquor store but I kept in a wine fridge for a year before drinking it. My bottle says 13% while a lot of people report different percentages on theirs so not sure about that. If I lived somewhere where it was really cold this would be great to sip on a cold night. The alcohol is there though so if your not used to higher alcohol beers maybe stay away. Other then that I loved this beer. Even with all that alcohol it still is a lively beer to me.

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Photo of interzen
4.68/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

330ml bottle poured into a Delirium Tremens tulip glass

Look: Dark mahoganoy, fairly clear with no trace of sediment. Not much going on in the head department, although there's a fairly consistent off-white foam cap. Looks fairly inocuous.

Smell: Yep, you can tell this is a Christmas beer - roasted malts, a hint of yeast and dark fruits by the bucket load. Think in terms of Christmas cake and you're not far off - stewed plums, raisins and a hint of citrus. This has got the lot. Given the ABV, it's not entirely surprising that there's definitely a hint of alcohol in there too.

Taste: Very similar to the smell - think in terms of liquified, fermented Christmas pudding and you're not far off the mark. Quite a rich set of flavours without being overpowering. The alcohol is very, very well hidden and only really hits you towards the end, the fruit and malt flavours being very much up front.

Feel: You'd half expect something like this to have a texture more suited for surfacing roads, but no - despite the heavyweight ABV and rich flavour this isn't nearly as heavy a brew as you might think. There's plenty of body, and the flavours and late appearance of the alcohol keep it interesting.

Overall: To sum it up in three words: pretty bloody good. I've had a few Belgian festive ales but this leads the pack by a country mile. Punches well above its weight in the ABV stakes, of course, but it has the flavour and mouthfeel to pull it off magnificently. Came as part of a case of 15 'random' beers and I'm glad it did. Excellent beer.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scaldis Noël (Bush de Noël) [750mL] is best served at a warm cellar temperatures (50-55°F) from a small snifter, tulip or goblet. This premium Belgian specialty ale pours up sublime with a voluptuous cream colored head that craggily sits atop a bright deep amber-mahogany body. Out-freakin-standing! The hugely complex aroma is pancaked full of intense dark fruit/spicy characters such as brandied cordial cherries, candied apples, carmelized pears, figgy/plum pudding, applesauce-raisin bread, mince meat pie, etc... and surprisingly there's even a whisp of Poperinge hops. Amazing! The flavor is ever bit as intense as the aroma and starts off with a pleasant bang of rum cake maltiness that's partially offset by a light bitterness. The complex underlying spiciness (allspice, clove, cinnamon) is ever present and combines with the bitterness and alcohol to bring some balance to this malty winter beast. The finish is warm & nourishing like "mother's milk" and could put down a dragon if overindulged. This is a delightful holiday treat best enjoyed with family & friends by the hearth after feasting. Suggested pairings include pralines, truffles or sweet breads. Here's to keeping Old Man Winter at bay!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of boognish523
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Scaldis Noel on tap. Poured thick with a medium sized head.

A: was almost peach in color, dark.
S: smelled of apples, sweet
T: Tasted of apples as well, refreshing, not overly alcoholic flavor considering ABV
M: Thick yet light with carbonation
D: Definately a good choice and will revisit this one until not on tap anymore.

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Photo of TastyTaste
4.65/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to LuckySevens82 for the sample.

Appearance: A very nice bugundy color, pertty much clear with a little visible carbonation. Nice head on the pour into my Schell's tulip.

Smell: Dark fruit and raisin. Alcohol makes it's presence known.

Taste: Sweet and fruity in the beginnning, but the middle is a very peppery hop and malt combination that ends with an alcohol burn on the way down. Strong and very sippable. Nice grape flavor lingers in the mouth. Fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Full and creamy, very good, this is a real treat for a cold December's night.

Drinkability: Great, definitely a beer that I can savor and enjoy.

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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.

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Photo of roblowther
4.63/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750ml corked and....barred? Not a cage but a metal bar bent across the cork & hooked on the bottle lip. Interesting! I manage to get it off with some prying & finegaling. Pours copper mahogany with a dense, rocky bone-colored head. The smell is oranges and plums, with a note of alcohol and brown sugar. I'm getting more enthusiastic. The taste is wicked smooth, with the fruits & sugars the smell promised but an oaky, mellow crisp finish. The aftertaste is a resurgance of the fruit that frankly, makes my mouth water. Alcohol comes on as the beer warms a bit. Wow! Mouthfeel is nice carbonation with a soft velvety untertone. Drinkability can only be expressed by my kicking myself for not getting more bottles of this during Christmas & the tracks I leave as I head towards my local to see if they have any left. Later!

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Photo of CWiggins
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
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.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review was from around Christmas time, on-tap at the Dunedin House of Beer:

A - Reddish amber like a Jerez Brandy, save for the small head that encircles the rim.

S -A rich Port nose is immediately apparent, segueing into some roasted grain and alcohol that transforms the vinous quality into a Cognac impression.

T - Rich buttery flavor has hints of everything decadent: cocoa, vanilla, caramel, honey, winter spice, and bubblegum; a citric, peppery and savory hop; and Cognac. Every one of those elements is present in only the most moderate level, with the exception of boozy Cognac sensibilities, of which there are plenty. This is a tremendously special brew on draft.

M - Nice, like a velvety barleywine; it is not syrupy either, despite low carbonation and relatively high viscosity.

D - This was a great selection for catching up with an old friend over the holiday; an exquisite sipper. Nice choice Z!

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Photo of ccrida
4.62/5  rDev +15.5%
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...

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.59/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served cellar temperature (i.e. in cold car for 4 hrs.), goblet.

Deep rosewood color, head recedes, some lace.

Smells mainly of ripe apple and pear, delicious. Also fig, sweet dark caramel, spices, a little rumlike alcohol.

Ripe golden apple, red apple, pear, fig. Some tannic astringency, like red apple skin. Wood. Vanilla. Spices, well balanced - cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and presumably others. Long finish - fruit, alcohol, spicy heat in the throat, and astringency.

Smooth, medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is appropriately low.

Drinkable even by normal standards. For 12%, almost unfathomable.

25 cl goes a long way. This is a real winter beer.

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Photo of olmatty
4.57/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer was sold a Scaldis Noel

Appearance- Poured a deep amber brown with a thick, creamy, tan head.

Smell- Raisins, Dried cherries and dark fruits, sweet caramel and toffee and yeast

Taste- Dark fruits and sweet malts like caramel, sherry and creamy yeast

Mouthfeel- Creamy and smoothly carbonated with lots of thick body

Drinkability- Incredibly smooth and quaffable for a huge 12% ABV.

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Photo of jwc215
4.52/5  rDev +13%
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.

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Photo of jeremy13586
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured in to an Orval glass.

Beautiful amber color. Left a two finger off-white head, but fizzled out pretty quickly

Cherry, figs, and raisin. Sweet with a bit of nuttiness and some heat from the booze.

The taste matches the nose pretty well with the addition of some caramel and spice. A very little bit of heat while drinking, but overall, this is a very dangerous beer.

Syrupy smooth. Medium body with an incredibly smooth finish.

Absolutely fantastic. I have a few of these sitting in my cellar, so it will be interesting to see how they evolve.

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Photo of boudreaux
4.51/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - cloudy dark tan body with a 1/4 inch dense head around the top.

S - not very intense for such a strong brew; what I can smell are flavors of vanilla, caramel, apple, and the obvious notes of alcohol

T - true to the aroma; vanilla, alcohol, spicy hops, tart apple, and green pear; no one flavor overpowers the others, and all are very well represented; the alcohol actually brings everything together and provides a warming sensation, as well

M - warm, spicy, and sticky

D - As I find with the majority of Belgian ales I've had, this one is dangerously drinkable!

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Photo of dpool
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
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.

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Photo of scottoale
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a small 250ml. bottle with foil labels and neck pours a good looking orange-amber ale with 1/4" of off-white head. the head settles after ten minutes but re-kindles even larger with a couple swirls.

Thick malty nose, with fruitiness and alcohol coming through in a pleasant heap.

The taste is sweet and malty, with complex fruit flavor. Plum, fig raisen, green apple and more, with a somewhat hot, yet very pleasant alcohol finishing up as it goes down. Very tasty with a slightly tart aftermath.

Smooth and vapory...kind of thins the body of this heavyweight ale. At 12% ABV, this very apparent from the first sniff, right down to the very warming finish and highly drinkable for the style.

Tasty big ass beer, just the way I like them.

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Photo of CampusCrew
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Scaldis- Huge belgo yeast aromas, fruity, subtle spice, another favorite and possibly the winner of the night. more like a quad for style

We did a large christmas and winter beer tasting panel and this was one of the many that we tried. Most of the beers we tried we solid including this one that the panel liked.

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Photo of AdamBear
4.5/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-nice maple colored with a nice cream colored head

S-smells like nice raw dark belgian grains and spices with salted caramel. smells really authentic and nice.

T-comes in with a really nice mellow taste of authentic dark belgian grains, caramels, black peppercorn, has a sweet rawness. a lot of subtle complexities and flavors. it's awesome. has a subtle matching after-taste. some warmth. not a lot.

M-high creamy carbonation with a nice semi-dry finish

O-this is actually an awesome christmas beer. I can't believe I've passed this up for so many years. I can't believe how much complexity this belgian holds. it's so tasty and it doesn't taste like 12% whatsoever.

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Photo of drpimento
4.48/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served at a good temperature with a large, foamy, frothy, cream-colored head that settles slowly, and good lacing. Color is a clear medium honey amber. Aroma is malt, candy sugar, caramel, spice, yeast. Flavor's like nose, sweet, then bitter, followed distantly by tang mixed with the candy sugar, yeast, and suggestion of hop. Body is good but carbonation a little weak. Finish is like flavor, strength is there, good quaffing.

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Photo of chrisdenny
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Chimay Tulip

A- Copper colored with hinting orange hue. Thin white head, dispensing out to a thin line around the glass.

S- First thing I thought was pear. Also smells a bit like apple as well. A bit of spice, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

T- Malty sweetness and candied sugar, followed by fresh apple/pear lingering on the palate. As mentioned above, the flavor does a good job of masking the ABV of this brew.

M- Well carbonated; feels very light and refreshing.

D- One of these will set you up nice; very warming if the temperature gets low.

I really like this beer, saw it on the shelf at Central Market and thought it looked intriguing. Then when I picked it up and saw it was a Belgian Holiday Ale, I had to get it...Glad I did, it was excellent.

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Photo of mmcave
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of jjayjaye
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
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

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Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
4 out of 5 based on 851 ratings.
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