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: 850
Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.7/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 330ml bottle with a BB of Aug 2013. Picked up from my local beer specialist - a treat for Christmas.

Poured into a Duvel chalice. A clear coppery-amber hue with decent carbonation and some visible sediment. Yields a large head of white foam that remains for a minute or so before subsiding to a surface layer. A sweet, fruity aroma with notes of caramel, candy sugar, yeast esters, bananas, raisins, dried fruit and alcohol. Warming and boozy.

Tastes of very sweet malt with a warm, spicy finish. Notes of bananas, yeast esters, brown sugar, raisins and dried fruit. Possesses a generic spicy quality (I don't think there are any actual spices in this beer). Hot - a big hit of alcohol upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and oily, with a prickly spiciness. Astringent; leaves the palate very dry. Aftertaste of sweet yeast esters and booze.

Interesting - not quite sure what to make of this one. It's imperfect; too sweet and the alcohol is overwhelming. However, it has a complex, fruity character and a warm spiciness that suit the style. A decent winter warmer - it's greatest flaw is a lack of balance in the flavour. Worth trying, though I probably won't be revisiting it.

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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 DaftCaskBC
4.33/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: 1/4" head over cloudy mahogany coloured liquid.

S: The smell is primarily yeasty and spicy

T: A combination of apples, spice, sweet malt, pepper, cloves, cherries, figs and pears

M: Thick viscosity and a high level of carbonation. Some warming from the 12% ABV.

O: A tasty and drinkable Christmas Belgian Strong Dark Ale. One of the better ones I have had.

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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 IPA35
4.07/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A brown beer, not cloudy and it has a white head that fades quickly.

Smells alcoholic, lots of dark fruits in there like raisin, dates, and dried plums. Dark malts. Dutch christmas bread, including the almond paste and ofcourse the raisins. Smells of christmas.

It starts out a little sweet. Not overly so. Quite nice and then the alcohol kicks in that pretty much overpowers the subtile fruity flavours. Quite spicy also.
Could use some more sweetness I believe.

As it warms up the sweetness comes out more, which is a good thing as it gets less overpowered by the spicy alcohol. As a result I am going to give it the extra 0.5.

The mouthfeel is quite thin but creamy. The carbonation is not too strong.

Overal a good beer. It needs to warm up a little before it gets more tasty.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with reddish highlights. Thin off-white head, which quickly disappears. Fairly easy to see through in spite of style. Nose is apricot, brandy, raisin, fig, alcohol. Very sweet, and you definitely notice the alcohol. Taste is the exact same as the nose, with the alcohol really coming through. Just short of overpowering though. Feel is full, with sweet/malt/alcohol in full force. Overall, this is a good sipper, and might improve with a couple years in the cellar. Cheers.

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Photo of bfields4
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a ruby amber brown clear body. Nice tight lacy head.

Big dark candy sugar flavors. Plumbs, dates, rasins lay the foundation brown sugar, nutmeg, and sweet vanilla rumish notes.

Flavor follows suit for the most part but the dark fruits are cut by a slight citrus that really complements them nicely. There's a bit of over-sweetness going on here though. The flavors are nice, but a little on the powerful side.

Almost overwhelming flavors keep this nice complex brew from pushing itself over the edge. A really good Belgian I would not turn down, but something is just not quite hitting the high note in this beer.

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Photo of Vixie
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a really nice red color with a bit of a tan head that doesn't last too long.

I like the smell of this one, I can smell the alcohol, but there is a nice sweetness there, fruit, and a hint of cinnamon. Kind of reminds me of the smell of cookies.

Spicy and warming fits the taste. Quite a bit of alcohol warming, and I can detect the alcohol fairly well. There is a bit of a peppery finish to this. enhanced a bit by the warming.

Feel is ok, the carbonation helps a bit.

Not the best in the style I've had, but is a nice sipper on a cold night. It is lacking the complexity of the best Belgians, but is easy to enjoy on a chilly night.

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Photo of warnerry
4.2/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

8.48 oz bottle poured into a Chimay goblet. Purchases in Nov. 2010, but I don't see a bottle date.

A - Pours a beautiful clear amber with one finger of off-white head. Head has little retention and leaves very little lacing.

S - Smells sweet up front with a lot of caramel and maybe toffee, raisins and figs, and some noticeable alcohol as well.

T - Taste follows the smell quite closely. Sweet, but not terribly so, with caramel malts, raisins and figs. A bit of alcohol is noticeable. Very nice.

M - Medium-full mouthfeel is slightly syrupy, with a bit of alcohol burn on the finish.

O - A very enjoyable beer on a cold night, and the small bottle is perfect for one person. I would definitely revisit this one.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.15/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Pours a reddish brown color with pretty much no head or lacing. Just a handful of bubbles and floaters in the brew.

S- Pretty sweet smelling. Picking up quite a bit of caramel, darker fruits and yeast.

T- A fairly strong mixture of spice and sweetness. Alcohol is hidden pretty well. Taste is figs, darker fruits, yeast, nuts, and booze.

M- A bit on the lighter side of medium and a fairly good amount of carbonation.

O- I think I'll pass on this one if it ever comes my way again.

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Photo of kevanb
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a half pint glass.

A: Amber color, not hints of oranges and tans. 1/4 finger of white head that dissipates quickly leaving a film at the top. Decent lacing, not too cloudy, not too clear.

S: Holiday spices come to the forefront, gingerbreads, nutmeg, lots of yeast, bits of toffee and caramel minimal alcohol.

T: Follows the nose nicely, grains and Belgian yeast lead the way, nutmeg toffee and gingerbread come into play. Some raisin comes in as well and a tiny bit of alcohol heat.

M: A bit carbonated for my preference, and quite astringent at times from the alcohol which could be masked a lot better, pleasant for the most part.

O: Not a bad Noel, not my favorite, but a solid choice to bring about some holiday cheer.

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Photo of magine
4.32/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet.

Pours a lively amber with some nice burnt orange coloring along the edges. Off white fluffy head settles to a wisp lacy island in the middle and patchy lace clings and builds along the edges. lots of bubble action here as they constantly rise to the top. Lots of bubbles clings to the sides of the glass here. The coloring here is a big winner. Good looking brew here.

Brew smells of dark fruits and yeasts. Raisins, grapes, cherries and maybe even some figs. Dark malts and good spicy nose here.

Brew is nicely carbonated upfront; good sweetness from the dark fruits. Then the smooth creamy malts in the middle. Brew finishes dry and very warming. This is a great tasting and feeling brew that is very complex and even has a certain amount of chewiness in the middle. Nice booze in here that is very pleasantly blended. Really nice carbonation and smoothness in the middle. Really good flavors here; the dark fruits, yeasts and malts all work so well together. Great stuff here.

This is an excellent brew to sample on a cold night. A nice sipper that will warm you up and has alot of complexity in it to keep even the most stubborn palate interested. Almost like a quad in many ways. Excellent stuff here, to bad I only found it in a 8.48 fl oz single.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I served this one in a tulip.

Appearance- The head barely musters to do anything. When all is said and done, there is only a ring of white foam around the glass.

The body is a dark auburn with copper highlights. There is some suspended sediment and slow bubbles rising in the glass.

Smell- Notes of chocolate, earthy yeast, some cranberry, and general spices. There's a little bit of rum quality to it from the booze. Not a bad nose, but it is not quite what I like.

Taste- On the tongue, the flavors are more buttery and toasty, with a little spice thrown in. And man, does that booze warm the belly! The alcohol lingers very long in the finish and feels a lot like a port.

Not as much cranberry, or citrus in general is noticed like on the nose. It is more cherry and candied. It is complex and rather enjoyable.

Mouth feel- Medium bodied and very slick. It is quite creamy, but man it is boozy. The finish is pretty hot because of it. It detracts a little bit, but it is still done well.

Overall- This Belgian dark is a spicy and boozy number with the fruity malt characteristics hanging back just a bit. It is a definite sipper that could have benefitted from less heat. Otherwise, the beer is well done.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.03/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

A real nice simple off tan colored head, picking up some of the body color which is a gorgeous dark copper red and brown. Head is kind of soapy but manages to stay for a pretty good time. Real nice looking beer.

Nose is classic sweet raisins, a little soft dark malts, and a good deal of banana.

Taste is chewy and even a bit spritzy. Fairly good carbonation on this, giving some soda like quality but letting the malts remain. Dark raisiny malts and a very prickly palate. Feel is just slightly wet but it works with the carbonation. Some very faint afterfinish of mild sweet chocolate and banana. Warming tongue brings licorice and toffee tastes as well.

Overall pretty solid, not much more to it than that. Doesn't come off as particularly boozy at all either.

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

Sampled from a little 9 oz. bottle that I stumbled upon at grassroots in Jacksonville.

A: Pours a deep rich red garnet brown into my pint glass. Just hints at a frothy head with no lacing to speak of.

S: Complex notes of deep estery fruits (plum, apricot, mango) on the nose. Not much hops presence, but smells like juicy fruit bubble gum all around the room.

T: Tastes like a typical Belgian Specialty Ale this time of year, with a sharp tang from the fruits on the tongue. The middle shows more depth and even some residual diacetyl butterscotch or rum notes. Alcohol is well masked. No overpowering hops bitterness. Typical of the style, there's just enough hops to balance the brew, probably used noble hops along the lines of Saaz or Halletauer.

M: Drinks easily and quickly. Di Di (vietnamese for little) carbonation and smooth/slick going down.

O: This beer is just about everything I like in a winter Belgian Specialty Ale. I'd love drinking it any time of year, but watch out. It's strong and will git ya drunk.

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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 callmeopus
5/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer is sublime perfection. Starting with it's ruby and caramel color, that is a little deceptive in it's lightness, and ending with a burning boozy bite. I get the aroma of vanilla, nutmeg, and fresh cut douglas fir, that brings up a snow covered field peppered with small, fully decorated x-mas trees. The taste is gentle and sweet with various spicy notes (like ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon) popping up here and there. Each sip varies from the other, but none are disappointing. Scaldis Noel finishes in the throat with a light burning bitterness.

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Photo of beerpirates
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this On tap @ kulminator

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.

Nice brew .

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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 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 flannelman808
4.37/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

loooong overdue for this one... so I had it fresh.

2011 vintage (most recent)

A: Burnt copper orange rose with good clarity. A thin white foam rims around the glass. poor-ok retention and poor lacing.

S: A breath of burnt orange peel followed by a waft of Werther's Original in the best sort of way. Macintosh apple and butterscotch.

T: Sweet rock candy broken up with lots of carbonation slowly smoothing out and resolving with a medley of ripe fruit. Black Plum, Bosc pear, and orange zest come to mind albeit faintly. Warming alcohol brings a numbing sensation to the gums and helps to further balance the sweet aforementioned flavors also leaving a suggestion of eucalyptus.

M: Rich meets the divided sky

O: One of my favorite belgian holiday beers if not my top selection. Price has fluctuated a little bit recently which is of some concern, however, as I review this it's cheaper than it was last year. I've yet to try this aged sadly and feel it may develop into something quite different and perhaps even better. aging potential shot in the dark... 2 - 6 years.

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

Picked this up at my local Whole Foods for $4.99.

Pouring into the SF Beer Week 2011 tulip. It's a slightly hazy amber with a 1-2 finger off white head that fizzled down and didn't fully retain. Sticky legs cling the glass after a swirl.

Toasty, caramel malts reach for the nose first not to be outdone by a cinnamon raisiny fruitiness.

Upfront malty sweetness undersells the strength of this brew. Caramel, light chocolate and prunes. Brisk, dry finish leaves a scant malty sweet on the palette.

Medium-light bodied with a moderate-high level of carbonation. Warming sensation without even a subtle pass at hot or solvent alcohol.

Wow…for the impressive ABV on this beer it's exceptionally smooth and drinkable. Great example of the style.

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Photo of BobZ
3.68/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

250ml 8.5 Oz. bottle. Poured into my Duvel Tulip.

Appearance: Small head maybe ¼” that quickly recedes to a cap. Deep reddish orange in color. Decent lacing.

Smell: Spicy alcohol with a bit of lightly toasted malt.

Taste: The spicy (maybe nutmeg) flavor is equally upfront with the alcohol. There is also an element of caramel from the malt. Not bad, as there is both depth and some complexity to these flavors.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and the alcoholic warmth cleans the palate.

Overall: Looks like a barleywine but taste much better, as mentioned above this beer is defined by its spice (makes sense for a Christmas ale) and it’s alcohol flavors. As Christmas beer go, the St. Bernardus is far superior.

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Photo of dorianmarley
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is deep brown with a pancake head and some lacing.

Nose is Starburst candy, roasted malt, and almond.

Taste is very dyanamic and constantly changing on the tongue. Bready, sweet malt fades into bright Starburst candy. Finishes with vanilla and almond. Alcohol phenols and rye flavors sizzle throughout.

Mouthfeel is not especially smooth, but does have some creaminess. The strong alcohol is constant, and can be distracting from the flavor.

Overall, a dynamic Belgian that does not disappoint. But it is a big beer that, at times, becomes unbalanced.

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

Pours a dark amber red color with a very tiny white head that disappears quickly. Scent is intense with the dark fruits. Tons of plum and fig. Very nice malt profile...again, the dark fruit aroma is crazy with this beer. Taste is initially raisin with hints of plum and figs. Nice prunes as well. A bit of apple. Caramel malt and a bit of alcohol. Finishes with some green apple and chocolate. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a bit of alcohol burn. Drinkability is high, until the high ABV catches up to ya. Overall, this is a very tasty holiday beer that would be very enjoyable on a cold night next to the fire.

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