Bush De Noël | Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

464 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

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Reviews: 464 | Ratings: 877
Photo of Czequershuus
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The beer pours an almost clear mahogany, with a very large head. The aroma features brown sugar, fig, cherry, raisin, plum, caramel, banana and clove. The flavor has lots of raisin and fig, with bubblegum, clove, booze, and chocolate. The mouthfeel is rich and full, but not sticky, with foamy carbonation. Overall this is an enormously flavorful beer with rich fruit and spice, a perfect Christmas Ale, with a solid core of booziness that I really enjoy.

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Photo of FBarber
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear burgundy color. Thin off white head dissipates leaving a small circle of tan foam in the center of the beer. No lacing is left behind. Beer appears thin to the eye.

Smell has notes of bread, red wine, dark fruits, prunes, raisin and caramel with a sweetness on the nose makes it reminiscent of fruitcake. Touch of alcohol is also noted.

Taste follows the nose with notes of red wine, dark fruits - prunes, plums, raisins - with caramel and some bready malts. There is a hint of alcohol - but its more of a warming sensation more than a distinct stand out flavor. Some spices - clove, pepper, and christmas spices come through.

Feel is a tad on the thin side, but that keeps it light even with the higher abv. The sweetness does provide some body. Medium carbonation. alcoholic warming sensation builds as you drink the beer. Dry finish on the back end.

Overall a lovely beer. So well done and flavorful. Perfect for a cold winter evening. A word of advice - drink this beer at room temperature, its so much better that way. The aromas and flavor really pop once it warms up.

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Photo of HopsAreDaMan
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This is, I think, the third time I have had this beer. I am still learning the subtleties of flavors in Belgium's, but I get that there is a lot going on in this beer. I look forward to seeing how it ages.

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Photo of delta490
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium light brown, opaque, with a thin ring of off-white head. It smells like burnt sugar and candied fruit. The taste is much the same. It's moderately light on the palate and mostly smooth throughout. There isn't much "Christmas"-y about it, but it's a really good strong dark ale.

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into snifter. Fizzy, but no head retention, and one patch of lace. Greyish brown, taupe color.

Nose is citrusy, with some brown sugar and banana.

The taste is magnificent. Rich milk chocolate, nuts, light clove, dark fruit. Alcohol taste is there too.

Mouth is carbed. Warm alcohol on the finish.

Great wintertime blanket. For fans of eisbock, dubbel, wiezenbock, and Belgian darks..

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.96/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

2015 Vintage.

Look: One finger white brown-tinged head, darkish amber body.

Smell: Dark fruits, banana, cherry, burnt sugar.

Taste: Same as above.

Feel: Medium body, high carbonation, upfront alcohol bite and warming finish.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated July 26, 2014 poured into my Goose Island snifter. Is this a BSDA or a Quad?? Whatever, it drinks more like I would associate a Quad to be....strong, dark fruit on the nose and finish, easy drinker at 12 percent ABV also.

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Photo of erk0607
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best By: 12/2017 Date - Look: Rich, medium mahogany brown with a slightly off white head and excellent foam. I poured it quite gently and still got strong, long lasting foam head.
Smell: Like caramelized bananas, a little bit of alchohol, dark fruits, dark malt
Taste: It's pretty clear this is a 12%er and would be an excellent aging candidate. Beyond that you get a strong malt presence, sweet sugar, dark fruits, banana
Feel: On the lighter side of the spectrum with a definite alcohol burn, somewhat unexpected but good nonetheless.
Overall: Excellent. I got a four pack, drank one, and will be leaving the other three to age a bit.

12/24/2016 Update on a Best By 12/17 bottle. As others have noted, this is a very sweet beer, even after aging out a year. Medium brown but the head was incredibly short lived this time around and turned to superfine lacing. Smells of cherry vodka or cough medicine but sweeter. Still get estery-banana-alcohol on the nose too. Taste: a lot more cherry, like an alcoholic Twizzler. Feel: medium body, noticeable alcohol but not quite burning. Overall: it's changed, and is still a super sweet/sugary beer

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Photo of teromous
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
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 stevoj
3.83/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

This would be a nice beer but for the alcohol burn which is ever present throughout the smell, taste and palate. Mind you, as a winter beer, the warming is nice, but due to the alcohol it is a sipper at best.

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Photo of Svingjo
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a slightly orange tinge and a finger thick tan head. The nose leads with a sweet malt, dark fruits, cotton candy, seasonal spices and toffee. The taste starts with dark sugary malt, dates, prunes and finishes with a earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel is a bit lighter than I expected with a silky creaminess and mild carbonation. For such a high ABV it doesn't have the alcohol burn one would expect.

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Photo of GreatStoutman
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Lots of good descriptions here so I won't go into that. I just wanted to mention that this was an extremely enjoyable ale for about 5 or 6 oz... after that I was working to finish it. I don't think that tales away from the product, but its definitely not quaffable!

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Photo of janubio
4.72/5  rDev +17.7%
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 LennyOvies
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

L- Vivid dark amber, slightly hazy and fully carbonated. Frothy tan head with low retention. No head left after a few seconds.
S- Belgian yeast, caramel, malts and spices.
T- Spices, sugar, dried dark fruits, dates, cinnamon and booze.
F- Warm, full.
O- Fairly good, interesting. But too sugary and boozy, overwhelms everything else.

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Photo of khmel
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is a beauty. Pour a mostly opaque copper-brown. Fine carbonation trails and a dense one-finger light beige head that dissipates to a thin ring, but that ring has crazy long retention. The nose is mild but enjoyable: malt, peppercorn, baking spices. The flavor is excellent. It is a wonderful balance of sweet-but-not-too-sweet maltiness with a hearty mix of Christmas spices that hits you in the middle and end. I'd say cloves and cinnamon are notable along with those mentioned in the nose. The finish also has a slight bit of hop bitterness that is just right. The mouthfeel is smooth and full-bodied with a dry-ish finish. All around an excellent Christmas brew!

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Photo of DannyB
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
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 josanguapo
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From elcervecero. In Teku glass. Watching Narcos 1x06. Great aroma and taste, like candy for children. The high ABV isnt much appreciable. Little foam that completely dissipates very quickly

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.86/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Hard to believe there's a more-premium version of this out there. This is right next to Roch10 in my book. Pours murky reddish-brown with lasting, clingy brown foam of the tinniest bubbles. Aroma is sweet, with ripe plum, raisin, caramel. Flavor is the smell translated, almost entirely. Nice and sweet, with some yeasty goodness amongst the candied fruit. Finish is slightly sweet, but very clean overall. Is there alcohol in this? Remarkably hidden at 12%.

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Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
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 goochpunch
3.93/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out an almost still amber body with practically no head. Smells of caramel malts, booze, and brown sugar. Tastes of sweet caramel, dried fruits, and warming alcohol. Full body, subtle carbonation. Slightly numbing on the tongue. A solid holiday beer.

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Photo of interzen
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
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 patre_tim
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown with an amber tinge, looks filtered, at least no cloudiness. Translucent. Lots of small and large bubbles. One finger of eggshell head.

S: Dare I say, skunk is the first odor. Dark fruits, cherry, hard cherry liquor like almost cough syrup. Orange liquor, like Contreau. Dark deep Christmas cake fruits in a sweet sort of liquor way. Skunk doesn’t stay though, its more of like a banana in time.

T: Deep rich maltiness, Christmas cake, even Christmas pudding with candied cherries, figs, candied orange peel. Bananas, like dried bananas, alcohol is definitely present but hidden to the end. At the end its clear on the back half of the tongue, and burns in the throat. Reminds me of the dark Trappist ales, but different.

M: Substantial but light. Big, light, and foamy carbonation. Splash of hidden alcohol on the back of the mouth and throat.

O: Excellent brew. Best I’ve had by this company. 9 out of 10 from me. Found and drank in Kunming, Jan 19th, 2015. Saw this in Bruges, Belgium at B2, but had to pass up for all the other choices. Glad I found it in Asia.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.99/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

12 ounce bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, cloudy, deep, dark mahogany color, with a finger of white head that quickly dissolved into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Very aromatic! Lots of dried fruit, such as prunes, raisins, dates and nuts, along with tones of toasted malt. Some notes of spices such as clove, cinnamon, and brown sugar. I get some toffee and Belgian yeast as well.

Taste: Exactly like the aroma! Tons of dried fruit, such as prunes, raisins, dates, followed by some spices of clove, cinnamon, brown sugar, followed by some toasted malt and finished by tons of awesome Belgian yeast.

Mouthfeel: Slightly chewy, with some good carbonation to tickle the taste buds. With an ABV of 12%, I’m surprised that there’s not more of a presence of alcohol on the palate. I mean there’s alcohol there, but its’ pretty well masked. Deceptively, so.

Overall: Jesus, this is another awesome Belgian Christmas beer! I love all of the stone fruit and spices which play really well with the malt and the yeast. Delicious! If you’re a fan of Belgian Christmas beers, and you’ve never had this beer, I highly recommend it! You will not be disappointed!

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Photo of absolutbc2001
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

On tap and keg aged for one year at Henry Street Ale House in Brooklyn Heights.

Look- last pour from keg! So a thin head and cloudier than normal. Dark walnut brown with a bit of a grey color added.

Smell- star anice, banana, malt and hops. Not overly strong but balanced and sweet, with a hint of a red fruit pino.

Taste- amazing. Complex sweet start that is pounced on by hops and bitter malt. Fineshesh long and strong with a trace of alcohol but nothing compared to its probably 13% alcohol and without extreme sweetness to cover it. Also slightly sour, which might be from last pou.

Mouth feel- a little over carbonated for my taste which makes it thin. However, very long and malty finish.

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Photo of logicalparadox
3.84/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

High octane, with lots of abbey ale quality. Lots of dark dry fruits, dark bread, and Belgian yeast notes, but the overall impression that I keep coming back to is a less sweet rum and coke, made with good rum!

Going down, you can easily guess this one packs a punch, but you'd never in your life guess it was 12%! Winter warmer, indeed.

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Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
4.01 out of 5 based on 877 ratings.
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