Bush De Noël | Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

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458 Reviews
Bush De NoëlBush De Noël

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

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Reviews: 458 | Ratings: 851
Photo of teromous
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The label has "12/08/2017" printed on it which I can only guess is the best-before date.

Appearance: Not much of a head ever forms on this beer. At 12% ABV it does not come as a shock. The body is a dark ruby red with hints of dark brown. Shadows are passable through the glass as its opalescence occludes much of what would normally be viewed. There is no head but a thin white ring forms around the glass.

Aroma: It has a light banana chip scent. Alcohol makes it through as well. Again for a 12% ABV beer it would be expected to smell some of the alcohol. There is just a bit of raisin but mostly this smells of dehydrated banana chips.

Taste: My first thought when drinking this beer is how much of a nice caramel flavor it has. It is a bit sweet but it has a bit of that burnt caramel flavor. Then there is this banana aftertaste. The whole thing reminds me of eating home-made banana nut bread. I can kind-of pick up the alcohol but it isn't strong.

Mouthfeel: The body is much lighter than I find normal Belgian Strong Dark Ales. It does have this slight effervescent kick on the palate which is nice and the nice coating quality is made apparent in the texture of the aftertaste.

Overall: I wouldn't really say this is an outstanding Belgian Strong Dark Ale but at the same time I feel it is higher than average given the limited but nice flavors and how well this beer hides the alcohol content while tasting it. Granted this beer is designed to be a winter warmer and I am drinking it in May. I would certainly buy it again and try it fresh for a re-review but under the current circumstances I would much rather pick something else up. It's not really a beer I would recommend unless you really love BSDA's and want to try something new. If that is the case you won't find anything new but it is an enjoyable enough beer.

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Photo of mcallister
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
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.

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Photo of ATPete
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

8oz bottle

A- Murky brown in color, small slightly sticky tan head

S- Toffee, tons of classic Belgian candi sugar, some alcohol boozy-ness and whiff of port wine.

T/M- Creamy in initial body becoming more and more viscous as the glass lessened. Some alcohol heat upfront as well atop very sweet malt, whiskey mash notes, some nutty flavors as well. Caramel is huge in this one, and the spicing is moderate. This bottle is a scorcher, very hot with booze, maybe a few months will mellow the '08's out some. Long lingering aftertaste which is mostly pleasant. I just dont know how many of these i can drink...

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Photo of eslemarc
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

8.48oz bottle in a goblet.

It has a very rich dark brown color, 3-4mm head of off-white cream, tightly gathered around the edge of the glass but puffier in the middle of the head. Minimal carbonation visible. The head quickly falls to sparse gathering around the edge.

The nose carries a great depth in the malt, very rich and fruitful. Very light notes of alcohol, maybe a very slight hint of pine hop. Mostly fruit malt sweetness and notes of yeast.

Light to medium bodied, much crispier than I expected even for a belgian strong, very strong in the booze department. It's quickly warming, very great winter warmer. Very big beer and very worth a taste.

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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-

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Photo of shivtim
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Served in a Scaldis chalice.
Nice clear ruby brown, with thick head that becomes a thin lingering sheet. Nice lacing. Nose is sweet raisin rum cake, some alcohol and malts. Taste is spicy ethanol with loads of syrupy sweetness. Alcohol really comes out more upon warming. Dry-ish mouthfeel seems to fit the beer. Decent holiday offering.

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Photo of budsboy
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

8.5 oz bottle

Reddish amber with a cloudy, fluffy white head that leaves a web of lacing.

Malty aroma, fig, dark cherry, pine and alcohol.

Cherry taste mostly, fig and wood spice as well, green tea and a flash of alcohol. So much cherry though -- like Luden's cough drop cherry flavor in a beer.

Medium bodied and lively, bubbly carbonation. The lightest quadrupel I've had.

Every bit of the 12.5 ABV is evident here. It is a sipper. My wife enjoyed it more than I did, and said the cherry taste was not as pronounced for her. So, there you go.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice tan head with pretty delicate rings of lace. A brownish copper / amber with little white sediment floating in it. It actually creates a nice atmosphere.

S - Dates and alcohol, slight vanilla.

T - Alcohol is evident, can't be too upset at that with the 12 abv. Really sweet figs and dates. The taste is enjoyable, but not much depth there.

M - Thick, smooth and a bit cloying, not that bad though. The sediment is actually kind of crispy. Strange.

D - Rather nice considering the sweetness and abv. I just kept wanting more and more of this. This is one of the few quads I have actually enjoyed.

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Photo of ypsifly
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Banded 750 with a cork that took an enormous amount of effort to disgorge. As soon as it popped it gushed. Not bad but its a bit annoying. No dates, poured into a chalice.

Dark amber with a fat head of off white. The head falls to a thin layer of foam in a matter of minutes.

Lots of alcohol and dark fruits in the nose. There's some cookie dough and spice underneath. Very strong smelling.

Smooth malts upfront followed by sugars, spiced bread, ripe plum soaked in rum, black pepper and alcohol. The booze isn't bad, nothing is ruined, and I actually like the warming effect.

The mouth starts off full but gets a little bit too much heat if you don't sip slowly. I could drink one small bottle and be done. A 750 by myself is gonna make for an early night.

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Photo of loren01
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a bubbly mahogany color small head that disspiates quickly not much lacing
S: Smell is sweet and fruity, Belgian style yeast also very evident
T: Dark fruit flavors are very strong as well as brown sugar and spices.
M: Medium bodied beer, carbonation is just fine
D: Pretty good Belgian sipping beer, alcohol is not well hidden, couldn't do more than one of these and one might be pushing it.

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Photo of akorsak
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I am drinking a 250 mL bottle poured into my small Ommegang goblet. The ale has warmed to room temperature.

Appearance: Dark coppery red, this ale pours with decent carbonation that leaves a good amount of lace around the goblet. The ale is clear, with no visible sediment.

Smell: The smell of cinnamon jumps out first. It gives way spices and a distinct smell of alcohol, the alcohol smells fairly muted though.

Taste: A very warming taste, the alcohol makes itself known in this ale. There are also a certain level of spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, maybe even plums).

Mouthfeel: The spices interplay nicely and result in a good mouthfeel.

Drinkability: The ale is 12% for chrissakes, severely harming the drinkability. Despite that, this is a good ale for a cold wintery night.

On a final note, 34 minutes until Penn State whoops up on the 'Noles. Go PSU!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Victoire in Rochester, NY.

This one wasn't all that interesting, some dark fruits and booze, a bit of Christmas-like spices. It was too sweet, and the booze was there a bit too much. Wouldn't really want to get this one again.

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Photo of nvsblman
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy walnut brown with an off-white head. Some sticky lacing as I drink it. Malty, brown sugary aroma. Also a little black pepper. Sweet malty flavor too. Raisins, cloves, a little yeastiness, and a lingering spiciness work fairly well together. Medium bodied and well carbonated. This is a nice crisp and refreshing beer.

 322 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
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.

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Photo of dedrinker
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bronze color with an off-white head. Aroma of amber malts and cooked nuts. The flavor has less of an alcohol bite as the regular Scaldis, and adds some toasty grains and holiday spiced nuts. Still a little crushed aspirin taste though, but at least it's a children's chewable. The bottle/ label is beautiful though.

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Photo of nkurz129
3.42/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tiny bottle, 8 fl oz, and called Scaldis Noel, a Belgian Special Ale. I picked it up because I wanted something wintery to go with a hearty soup and it's glitzy label caught my eye on the shelf. Upon pouring, there is really no head and you can see the thickness as the beer leaves the bottle and clings to the glass. Perfectly transparent with a great mahogany hue, although not nearly as dark as, say St Bernardus or other quadruppels. The smell is very powerful, with almost wine-like overtones, defininitely some raisin notes. That is where I ceased to be very impressed. Certainly nothing wrong with this beer, but the taste is simple, molasses-like because of the 12% alcohol and very similar to the smell. It is not overwhelmingly thick like many beers of its high content and sweetness, but certainly a heavy beer.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a multifaceted, murky amber color. Red and brown hues lurk within the haze. Cream-colored head is meager but has a nice, fine texture (probably could have used a more vigorous pour). Aroma is mainly fruit and alcohol. I think I noticed some apple up front, but the bouquet is pretty amalgamated, so who really knows. The flavor is medicinal and furiously alcoholic, with what tastes like caramel malt attempting to add some semblance of balance. The net effect is something akin to cough syrup, but not as objectionable. The warmth of the alcohol lingers for ages in the back of the mouth, while sweet malt lends a stickiness to the lips over time. Difficult to drink in anything other than tiny sips over the long haul; not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scaldis Noel. 8.48 oz brown bottle with no freshness date. Pours a hazymedium brown with a 2 finger head, good longevity and very nice lace. Some slightly toasted malt aromas mixed with slight dried fruit, sherry and a bit bready. Nice mild sherry and dried fruit flavors. The high alcohol ruins it somewhat as it overpowers the other flavors. A tasty beer that needs to either lower the alcohol or let it age two or three years. It should be a great one then.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.4/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The body is red at its heart, but the rest of the beer is a glowing orange color in . A thin line of tan head sticks around for a bit, but definitely doesn't leave any lacing.

The aroma has lots of cherry, some malt and a ton of booze.

Three flavors are equally powerful in this beer: malty toffee, candied sugar, and alcohol. Toffee comes first, and it is definitely my favorite part of the beer; it also saves this from being a cloying, alcoholic mess. The candied cherry is pretty powerful also, and it leads into a very strong, warming finish that includes the noticeable taste of alcohol. Simple and really boozy.

The body is rather thin for the high ABV, but the high carbonation makes the overall feel works pretty well.

Although lacking in complexity, this beer certainly does the trick of warming me up. With that said, it is pretty damn boozy and doesn't hide that fact very well.

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Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
3.4/5  rDev -15%
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.

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Photo of Grunewald
3.39/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 25cl bottle into a pilsner glass. It pours clear ruddy amber with some light suspended particles. The head is white head and leaves no lacing.

S - orange liqueur, spice and dried dark fruit

T - a biting sweetness, rum and liqueur flavors, marmalade, caramelized sugar and a spice medicinal finish (stock flavored cough syrup)

M - low carbonation, thick/viscous body, syrupy, somewhat sticky and a semi-dry finish that warms the stomach

D - a bit too sweet and cloying, but has a nice spicy flavors and warming feel

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Photo of kkipple
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got this on tap at the Moondog in Charlotte. Thanks, Tom!

The friendly tender poured this (well) into an 8.5oz goblet. Bush De Noel, or Scaldis, or whatever it is, is a clear rich red caramel color with a timid white head and orange highlights when held aloft. Pretty.

I'm trying to pin down this smell and can't. It's just... vague. Sweet, for sure, some spice and yeasty tartness, fruity esters, perhaps some cinnamon? Sort of a mess, not unpleasant, but hard to pick up individual scents.

I'm tasting upfront boozy caramel sugars and a tart lemony citrus note, along with a bit of... apricot? and a hint of roast. Sort of Dubbel-ish in a strange way. Pretty good.

Mouthfeel is a little watery, with a fine carbonation level and a medium sharpness, I suspect the yeast. Finishes dry and warm.

This is a decent Belgian. Drinkable, and vague, but nothing extreme or weird. Worth a shot, but I've had much better. I need to try this in a bottle.

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Photo of DannyB
3.38/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nice head, smell was as you'd expect from a Belgian strong holiday ale. Taste was as I was expecting, cherry cough syrup. Sweetness was not overbearing, but definitely sweeter than say a Troegs Mad Elf. About as you would expect in terms of booziness from a 12%er, average body. Fairly straightforward beer if you've had plenty of this style before and can guess what to expect from a holiday beer. I would not search this one out again at the price point available to me.

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Photo of WhiteOak
3.37/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A- Medium copper color. Minimal white head.

S- Dark raisins and golden raisins. Caramel malt.

T- Sweet malt flavor with treacle toffee and apple must. lacking spice and complexity.

M,D- On the thin end of the medium scale for body. A touch sticky.

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Photo of rayjay
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
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!

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