Bush De Noël | Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

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very good
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 HogHill
4.29/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Scaldis Noel poured a caramel brown. There isn't much of a head, just some light tan lacing on the rim of the glass.

The nose consists of molasses and dark fruits. Classic Belgian strong dark ale aroma here.

First sip is powerful, a bit warm (though it is 12% abv). After a little time, Scaldis Noel warms up and similar flavors to the aroma come through, the dark malts and molasses, and a bit of alcohol. Improves as my palette gets used to the flavors.

Scaldis Noel is an excellent quadrupel, it is definitely high quality beer to come back to during the Christmas season each year.

Notes: purchased as a single 25 CL bottle from Colonial, the bottle's packaging is nice, a red and blue christmas scene with a shiny, glitter like effect.

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Photo of unclederby
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Noel poured into my chalice an attractive reddish-amber with not much of a head. Particles floated abundantely and sparse dots of carbonation were seen.

The smell is sweet, with predominate notes of dark, overripe fruit. Maybe some caramel malt, and sour apple on the nose as well...
Pungent in a way, with a bit of apparent alcohol.

Taste is of fruitcake... raisins, prunes, plums, honey and a sweet biscuity overtone. Some mild spiciness as well (ginger, nutmeg). It is very sweet but just short of cloying, with noticeable alcholic warmth. Comparable to rum.

Hops become detectable.

Mouthfeel is oily and contains a surprising amount of carbonation (based on appearance). Not wholly full but viscous enough. Coats the throat with an alcoholic burn that lingers just a bit.

This is one that appreciates room temperature, as it really becomes more interesting and complex then and it's near over the top sweetness becomes more subdued...

This Belgian "barleywine" is a nightcapper for sure, and one is satisfying enough and a call to hit the sack. Lest we forget, it's plenty strong.

Note: i would love to try an aged version of this, as i think it would be absolutely outstanding.

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Photo of fartingdog
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked it up at Ledgers- something they dug up from the back, so it's been sitting in the storage room for probably close to a year. Probably had this last about 8-10 years ago.

Small bottle. Med brown color- lighter than a standard Belgian quad. Thin head (could be as it was a little too chilled). Left most yeast in the bottle.

Started off a little too cold, so some of the flavor was masked, but was easily drinkable. As it warmed a little the flavor started to rise and was becoming almost too enjoyable, meaning it wouldn't last long. Cupped in my hands to bring it to about room temp- should have left it a little cooler as some of the earthy tones were becoming over-prominate. Alcohol notes weren't as strong as i expected for a 12%-er, and not as sweet or thick as other high octane beers, so in a larger bottle, this could sneak up and sucker punch you. Nice aroma, rich, earthy.

I have really been enjoying the high-alcohol beers, so this was an easy drinker, with a little bit more of the earthy 'belgian' flavors vs. the rich syrupy flavors many stong beers have. I will definitely put this in my xmas reserves in the cellar.

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Photo of weazal
4.36/5  rDev +9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

S: Absolutely delicious aroma of caramel, apple, and dark candied fruits - all drenched in honey. There's a dose of spices too, particularly clove and pepper. Overall, very much raisin sweet bread.

T: The alcohol and sweetness dominate, elbowing each other aside throughout the tasting. Warming brandy, honey, sweet bread, and peppery at the end. About what you'd expect from the aroma.

Exactly the warming, delectable beverage you'd want to get tipsy with on cold, snowy evenings!

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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 boblog
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Apperance: Dark brown/black, small head very little lacing. But then again I was in a dark bar.

Smell: Strong malt, no hint of hops, and warm alcohol.

Taste: I picked up on some nice raisin like flavors, and the typical hints of spices in a x-mas type brew. Still overall it leaned on the strong malt/alcohol flavor.

Mouthfeel: Heavy, creamy, and warm

Drinkability: I enjoyed this beer, although I wouldnt recomend having another one after this as it would probably taste like nothing. Still after finishing this beer I wanted another but knew that would probably be too much, so I have drop the drinkability score for nothing else than sheer strength of taste and alcohol.

Overall: Great beer.

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Photo of dill
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: 8.48 fl oz bottled poured into a flute glass. pours amber with a cream-colored head which is thin and settles quickly.

S: smells of raisin bread, very yeasty.

T: enters a bit hoppy with the strong taste of alcohol settling in the throat. as it warms, a strong earthiness wraps around the tongue which in the end leaves a bit of spiciness.

M: not particularly thick with a light fuzziness on the tongue.

D: this was a really nice beer to sit and ponder the complexity of. with a strong taste of alcohol, it's definitely one to enjoy as it warms the body on a cool night.

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Photo of IIKaRuII
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber, with a very bubbly finger sized head. This beer is very carbonated and just has a very clear look. Smell has a lot going on with it. a lot of sweet malts. Very citrusy smell. almost acidic. very hoptastic finish. Taste is very good. Has a almost acidic taste. A pleasent blend of hops. it still hasnt stopped bubbling by the way... im getting a little bit of lemon with it. for a 12 % ABV this is pretty drinkable. drink one of these and you could have a slight buzz going. after finishing this had to pull the drinkablility down .5% because this has a really bitter finish. but really not bad

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Photo of chadspivey
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of Luchman
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A: Pours dark red/amber, but clear, with no head.

S: Smells good! Sugary cherries, figs,raisins and other dark fruits, with a sweet caramel malt, maybe even some chocolate, little spice and cloves. Slight smell of alcohol that is inviting.

T: Cherries and the fruits are the most present that is balanced by the malts and spice. Ends with a subtle warming.

M: Perfect. Fits the beer really well. Medium to full body with a slightly syrupy consistency.

O: Pretty tasty and complex. I would buy this again.

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Photo of ProfessorHomer
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Scaldis Noël - what can I say but "Wow!" What a HUGE seasonal. Had this on-tap at world-famous (but exceedingly odd) Mahar's bar in Albany.

Appearance: Deep reddish/brown in color with nice big white head. Nice lacing on glass.

Smell: Malty, you can smell the aroma the alcohol prominently, as well as raisins, figs, cherries, prunes and plums, even. Rummy too. Like liquid Christmas!

Taste: Yes, you can taste all those and the big alcohol presence to boot. Like being kissed by the Christmas beer goddess herself. A HUGE beer very balanced between malts, hops and alcohol. Sip slowly!

Mouthfeel: Big bodied with long, spicy/ sweet finish. Lightly carbonated.

Drinkability: A very dense, complicated BIG seasonal beer

A very long, slow drink. Outstanding, in fact! Would loved to have had a pipe with it, but no smoking in NY bars. I already look forward to redrinking this beer next Christmas!

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Photo of hrking
3.91/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at The Fickle Peach in the downtown beer mecca of Muncie Indiana..per capita the greatest craft beer city in the US..no shit!.. Poured a golden hue with a nice lacing.. Noticeable fruity Belgian esters from the yeast and Candi sugar is obviously used in the brewing process. Easy drink ability for what I would say drinks more like a triple..nice winter treat!

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Photo of davedahl
3.69/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This was a 10oz tap-pour from Binny's in Chicago's south loop. It was poured into a chalice glass, nearly to the rim, with no head. Hmm.

The color was a beautiful sandy auburn and hazed - not chill haze real haze.

The smell is sweet ripe fruits, little citrius, yeast and alcohol. Complex big nose.

Taste is more ripe sweet fruits (pineapple!?) tangerine then carmely malt in the middle and a white pepper alcohol burn on the end.

Mouthfeel is almost effervescent with the high carbonation and high alcohol, maybe some lactic bite, pleasant sweet aftertaste.

Very good - but not great. There's TONS going on with this beer but all seems very confusing/busy.

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Photo of thesilverhand
4.12/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The last of my Christmas gift stash for this year.

Pours a clear deep amber red, with a finger's width of off-white foam on top. Not bad.

The aroma is sweet, fruity, woody, boozy. Reminds me of port wine. Very nice.

Sweet up front, lots of fruitiness. The alcohol is very apparent late, with a dry, hot finish. Not unpleasant, but definitely a sipper.

Quite smooth and dry, not much carbonation.

Overall, a very pleasant winter treat, warm and tasty to be sipped on a cold, windy night.

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Photo of VoiceOfTheSoul
3.17/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: dark amber with an off white, small head, not much lacing
S: Sweet and some hops with cherries, thick bready malts
T: Vinous, figs and raisins, grassy and bitter, notes of cocoa and cola, syrupy
M: sharp, effervescent slightly cloying and sour and astringent for only a moment
O: much better than a lot of other winter warmer type beers, not overly spiced, malty with a bit of cloying sweetness and quick, sharp bitterness

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Photo of mindspin315
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thick off-white head, lots of lacing, solid amber color body, and very clean and clear looking.

Big raisin and candied sugar aroma. Get a bit of over ripe banana, clove, and various spices from the yeast.

A touch of alcohol comes through but blends in with the yeast flavor profile and candied sugars. The raisin aroma also comes through strong in the taste. Sweet upfront, alcohol comes through in the middle, and a slight pepperiness rounds out the back end.

Not the most complex Belgian beer, but has plenty going on to enjoy and appreciate.


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Photo of DanOLeary
2.61/5  rDev -34.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma: Lasting for only a moment right out of the glass comes the aroma of a champagne-like spice aroma. This is followed by a peppery phenolic yeast character and alcohol notes. Caramel malt profile rounds out the nose. There is a fusel alcohol profile dancing around in the aroma that is light, but slightly off-putting.

Appearance: Pours a light apple red to honey amber in color with crystal clarity. The head forms initially but almost immediately fades to but a trace of bubbles around the edge of the glass. The appearance of effervescent carbonation produces a constant stream of carbonation bubbles rising to the surface.

Flavor: A tangy bite of grapefruit rind blended with caramel sweetness. These come together on the tongue with equal strength but the flavor moves toward a nearly harsh alcoholic bite in the middle. This fades to another sting of alcohol in the dry finish with a bit of nobel hop bitterness becoming present.

Mouthfeel: Light body with high carbonation. The carbonation tricks the perception of body, though doesn't hold firm enough to fill the mouth. There is a lot of alcohol warming the throat and mouth with a burning astringency. Puckering and drying in the finish with an alcoholic "cooling" effect in the throat and mouth after you breath out.

Overall: You certainly won't be mistaken at the 12% ABV of this beer because alcohol takes part in nearly every aspect. There are positive aspects of this ale, phenolic yeast aromatics and caramel malt character, but nearly everything is overshadowed by a burning alcohol presence. If there were some malt backbone to back this up with more body and sweetness, this beer would be a very nice sipper. As it is, this Belgian may pair well with a robust cigar or a T-Bone Steak.

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Photo of talkinghatrack
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

a - Looks like Santa if you squint a bit. Big snowy hat, reddish caramel in color. Lots of yeasty bits holding their ground evenly in the dense liquid. Looks fantastic held up to the light.

s - Sweet honey, flowers, a little boozy while still inviting.

t - Sweet malts with a clear alcohol hit throughout. Tangy in the middle and warming as it goes down. Would have liked a little more alcohol masking but it does an above average job with its giant 12% ABV. The sweetness smooths the ABV while just keeping things a step below being cloying.

m - Thin to medium body. Great carbonation level - lots of strong ales go overboard with the bubbles.

d - Great sipper for a single serving. A little harsh on the raw alcohol on the back of the throat but very solid overall. Probably ages great if I had more patience.

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Photo of Brandywine
3.93/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark but clear burnt orange poured a fingers worth of an off white head. Big alcohol legs aren't a surprise.

Smell: Like a quad. Herbal phenols, dark fruits, spiciness, sweetness.

Taste: Reminds me of an amped up La Trappe. Starts off with sweet fruitiness and finishes dry with the herbal tones. It's a big rich beer but the flavored are relatively mellow and well melded. Next to no alcohol in the flavor, which is impressive for a 12 percent non-barrel aged beer that isn't even that sweet.

Mouthfeel: Comfortably full. Nice carbonation carries it through.

Overall: Super easy to drink. Can't believe how smooth this beer is. Not aggressive in flavor but still quite enjoyable.

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Photo of lanamj
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip 2010 vintage.

A- Pours a nice amber red with a solid one finger, white head. It holds strong and has good retention and lacing. Really a good looking beer.

S- Lots of red fruit upfront. I get cranberry, pomagranite, some sweet plum and raisin. I pick up the spice more towards the middle with aromas such as clove, coriander and cinnamon. Very nice and festive.

T- Sweet raisin and spice. I pick up some alcohol but for a 12% beer not much. It is very refreshing and clean. I get a lot of seasonal flavors and it accomplishes the flavor complexity rather well.

M- Easy drinking a little heavy on the carbonation, with even viscosity.

O- Very well balanced easy drinking Belgian Strong Dark Ale. The style is on of my least favorite but this beer seems to rate higher then any other of the style for me. It seems more age will generate a beautiful ale. Only time will tell.

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Photo of montecristo2
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass. Served it at around 55 degrees.

Nice thick pillowy head with a full amber color.

A nice aroma- a balance of hops malt.

A sweet, malty taste- something I expected from a Christmas beer, even more so it seemed since I had it in May! A slight hop presence, just enough to try to balance out the very sweet malt.

Due to the 9.6 abv, this is one for the end of the night when you're about to call it a day.

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Photo of Intelligentsia
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of luvND
3.95/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P: One of my all time favorite bottles, festive, colorful, reflective snow, puts you in the mood of the season. 8.5oz

A: Reddish-orange, nice dense head, not too thick

S: Nice, candied fruit, apricot and pear, yeast

T: Sweet up front, the candied fruit comes through again, big alcohol aftertaste, not much hop to speak of.

M: Good, not great. Maybe a touch on the light side.

D: Again, good, not great. Probably a good thing given the high alcohol.

Notes: A really nice but not over the top/great beer. I will say that I try to get at least one or two bottles every Christmas for the bottle alone, it just makes it feel like Christmas.

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Photo of velo343
4.09/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a cloudy brown that looks like iced tea with a very creamy, large white head that sticks around for a long time.

Smell - Very fruity. Lots of orange, grapefruit, apples, and raisins. In short, there are plenty of esters to enjoy.

Taste - Lots of yeast flavor and a nice floral and grassy hoppiness that complements the esters very well. There is a taste of orange and pears.

Mouthfeel - Quite thick, with a dry finish that really cleans the mouth.

Drinkability - For being 12%, this beer certainly hides the alcohol well. A very flavorful beer that is a pleasure to drink.

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Photo of NuclearSoAndSo
4.44/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a beer mug.

Appearance- Pours a deep brown with about a half finger light brown head.

Smell- Smells like cherries or plums; dark fruits, maybe some grape notes. Smells kind of like wine to be honest, and you can pick up on the alcohol.

Taste- Fruit flavors are upfront with a definite alcoholic bite. Heat kicks in for the aftertaste. Again, this reminds me of wine, and in a good way. Festive.

Mouthfeel- Medium carbonation and a very smooth mouthfeel. A beer to savor slowly.

Overall- I saw this at the liquor store (not sure how long it may have been aging there) and decided to splurge a bit for Christmas and buy a bottle. I'm very glad I did, because this was a treat. Pretty strong and relatively pricey, but worth it in my opinion. I split this beer with my good friend and might make it a Winter-time tradition.

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Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
89 out of 100 based on 458 ratings.
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