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Bush De Noël | Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

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very good
459 Reviews
Bush De NoëlBush De Noël

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

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

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 459 | Ratings: 857
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 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 NJpadreFan
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Scaldis Noel

A- Hazy reddsih brown with thick floaty things throughout. Decent frothy head.
S- Dried fruits (raisin and prune), caramel, licorice.
T- Strong fermented dried fruits; raisin, prune, fig, pineapple, & cherry. Vanilla, caramel, and a touch of black licorice noted.
M- Thick, sweet, and fruity. No carbonation and a boozy touch to the aftertaste.

Overall- A nice nightcap beer.

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Photo of levifunk
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This was brought to the last Madison, BA tasting.

2005 vintage.

a - dark cloudy. big head that dies fast.

s - caramel, dark fruit, cherry.

t - burnt caramel. big big booze.

m - medium body, but huge carbonation.

overall - decent beer, just too hot to really recommend. 4-5 years of aging should have done more to mellow out the beer.

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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 ThaCreep
3.51/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Perfume of the cellar, a feeling of old, rotten with the fruit liqueur second printing. The look is sweet and syrupy, sweet and mouth with a noticeable alcohol presence. A little cleaner on the palate, like Bush, but with strong caramel malt presence. The finish is syrupy and is immediately think of cognac. It goes very well as a digestive.

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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.

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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.

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

Beer bottle (25cl), tasted in 2003.
Appearance: amber colour, beautiful white foam
Smell: delicate aroma of hops
Taste and mouthfeel: good balance between fruity and malt
Drinkability: a beer in the style Belgian dark ale (too strong for my taste)

Review added 12-6-2007, translated from french 1-30-2008.

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a muddy orangeish brown with about an inch of beige foam. The head holds strong for a moment and then, as if the gates were opened, it shot down to a thin disk.

S- fruity and winey with a bit of toastiness and a savory tomato meaty character. Date, fig, raisin, plum, alcohol, and spiced wine. There's some caramel and leather in there too. It just for some unexplainable reason smells like old Christmas things and It smells like being drunk and falling asleep on the couch after a holiday dinner.

T- sweet and dessert-like with alcohol heat. The flavor (and aroma) are less pronounced than I expected, even as it warms. There's some date and fig, the raisin-prune tartness is now nonexistent, and the flavor profile mostly consists of diluted fruit syrup with brandy and a mild phenolic bitterness. Traces of allspice and peppercorn peek out near the finish, which is pleasantly boozy like rum soaked dates.

MF- low, yet fitting carbonation smooths out the alcoholic feel with a cooling effect. Sticky and drying with a sturdy juicy quality.

D- i'm slightly disappointed in this one, but it's still not all that bad. I can't find a date anywhere on the bottle or cap, so I can't assess whether age comes into play or if it's just the nature of this beer. Alcohol, while not harsh or unpleasant, seems to drown out the complexities that I know have to be in there. I'd pass this one by in favor of other more reliable quads and BSDAs.

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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.

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Photo of diablo14
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
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.

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Photo of Ellbert
3.56/5  rDev -11%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A nice head atop a brownish tinted brew. Head stayed and laced.

Smell: Spicy alcohol with sweet malt making appearance.

Taste: Sweet upfront with burnt caramel filling out the flavor. Alcohol and other spice kicked in towards the end.

Mouthfeel: Thick and chewy.

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Photo of silver0rlead
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy amber with a thin tan head that doesnt retain well, kind of menacing. The aroma is intensely malty, with big dark fruit notes (blackberry, plum, fig, currant, grape) along with some candy sugar sweetness, a slight metallic hops presence and a touch of alcohol. The taste is similar to the aroma, with a big dark fruits presence, along with some candy sugar sweetness, metallic hops, and a strong alcohol presence. The mouthfeel is smooth with moderate carbonation, and drinkability is descent. An OK belgian, nothing spectacular here but worth trying once.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.58/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nose is softly spicy, fruity, and malty with mild chocolate and soft roast. Smells pretty good.

Pours a clear translucent medium gold with moderate head. Looks good.

Sweet esters, creamy smooth almost like cocoanut, soft supple malt, mild notions of alcohol. almost sickly smooth. Grape-like fruit with notes of ripe apple. Tastes pretty good. Feels good. Pretty good drinkability.

Smooth, almost too smooth if that's possible. Very creamy and sweet.

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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.

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.59/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours with a firm head of small, off-white bubbles that rises just to the rim of my Mad Elf tulip. Beer is light sienna in color with near-amber highlights; possibly the lightest-colored quadrupel I've ever seen. After swirling the slightly viscous fluid, the head leaves behind a bit of webby lace, but nothing inspiring. No visible carbonation. Aroma is orangy and alcoholic... Grand Marnier with a lighter nosefeel--bullseye! Hints of cinnamon and lemon bread, with a finish of dry reeds. Very nice. Sip quickly though, because the alcohol will start to take over fast. First tastes are honeyish, alcoholic, almost mead-like; with more bitter orange peels, as in the aroma. There's an unusual aspect to the sweetness, however, that reminds me of sloe gin; and the hops seem especially grassy... fine for a Belgian Pale Ale, but here...? Again, alcohol really starts to become a flavor of its own--especially in the aftertaste--after the first few sips. Mouthfeel is full, semi-dry, and tingling with alcohol. Not a bad belly-warmer, but this simply isn't what I'd reach for when I'm in the mood for a quad.

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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.

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Photo of StaveHooks
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours a clear amber/red color with an off-white head.

S - Spicy, yeasty, fruity, figs soaked in brown sugar and alcohol. Candied plums and dark syrupy malt. Carmalized brown sugar, A quick swirl reveals lots of taffy/bubblegum and plenty of alcohol vapors.

T - Opens up big with spicy alcohol and dark Belgian candy. Rum soaked green figs, plums, green apple skins, and pears. Bubblegum and taffy esters. Cinnamon and nutmeg lace a strong caramel malt. Finishes dry with notes of pear and alcohol.

M - Low carbonation, somewhat thin syrupy body.

The alcohol is one of the main characters and is not shy at all. Great aroma and a nice sipper for a cold night. I would love to try the unfiltered version.

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Photo of dherling
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a copper to orange color with a deep white head. Good head retention & minimal lacing The nose was rich, boozy & oaky, with some rasin and port-like notes. The taste featured some spice, alcohol, oak & apricot. Finished like a sherry or port, really dry, fruitty and burning. Had a rich, subtle carbonation.

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Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
4 out of 5 based on 857 ratings.
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