Bush De Noël | Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

880 Ratings
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 Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 880 |  Reviews: 466
Photo of rvdoorn
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: the beer pours a light amber-orange color, with a nice fluffy light brown head.
Smell: Sweet malts, caramel, dark fruits and spciy hops
Taste: Sweet malts, fruits, nuts, caramel and peppery hops. Perfectly balanced.
Mouthfeel: High-carbonation, creamy silk mouthfeel.
Overall: Very nice xman brew.

 303 characters

Photo of sfprint
4.4/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 2 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Drank out of a Bush glass.
A: dark apple cider, suspended sediment, no head, very slow and minimal rising carbonation. Pond waterish
S: Apple, peach, somewhat sweet but heavy, cidery.
T: Alcohol shockingly subtle for 12%, spicy and even slightly hot, reminds me of belgian blondes/ambers. perfect degree of sweetness, not syrupy. A hair of bitterness, excellent balance.
M: Barely tongue drying/astringent, mild to moderate sting,
O: Excellent, incredible balance, body and breadth.

 483 characters

Photo of emmasdad
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the small bottle a rustic brown color with a smallish light brown head. Aromas of caramel, yeast, brown sugar, dark fruits and booze. On the palate, this one is medium bodied, with flavors of booze, brown sugar, Belgian yeast and candy. A warming and delicious holiday offering.

 290 characters

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

25cl bottle, that's an exception in Belgium certainly for this kind of beer

A: Cloudy, dark copper colour, small but stable head

S: there' a lot happening: caramel, red fruits, malts, smells pretty great

T: roasted caramel, loads of spices like clove and nutmeg, malty finish

M: Creamy, normally i would say slightly undercarbonated but it works

O: this has a slight cognac feel to it, very alcoholic (now i know why it's a 25cl bottle). It's a good warming beer.

P.S. keep it for the winter, don't drunk it in June like i just did , it will probably taste better at 0° then at 25°)

 590 characters

Photo of mdvatab
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 25cl bottle into Ommegang chalice
No bottled on date

Aroma: BIG carmelly, butterscotch, sherry, and flat-out scotch. Faint sweet apple cider. Lots to find here!

Appearance: Hazy brown body with yeast in suspension (did not decant). Off-white head almost immediately disappears.

Flavor: Spicy scotch, sweet butterscotch (like a butterscotch candy), raisin, and spiced cider. Sweetness appears to come from both the malt/sugar and the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Alcohol is very warming. Med-to-low carbonation. Medium body. Slightly hot, drying finish.

Overall: Definitely a tasty winter warmer. I felt funny buying this out of season, but it's equally delicious around a campfire or firepit (or on the couch in front of the TV!) during the summer. There's some great complexity to both the aroma and flavor. Too rich, and too much alcohol to drink more than one, but definitely a treat to have once in a while!

 919 characters

Photo of loren01
3.47/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

 402 characters

Photo of nickfl
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with one finger of off-white foam on top of a clear, amber-brown body. The head settles fairly rapidly and leaves little lace on the glass.

S - Dark, fruity notes of malt and yeast. Red apple, plums, caramel, cloves, and coriander.

T - Spicy yeast notes up front with some toasty malt and toffee. More spicy notes in the middle with coriander and red apple as well as some clove. Caramel and toffee come up in the finish with spicy, almost hot alcohol.

M - Medium-thick body, high carbonation, and a slightly sweet finish.

D - Very complex and interesting. This beer has all of the classic fruity notes of a dark Belgian ale with some spicy notes that differentiate it from some other examples of the style. The alcohol is still a bit hot in the finish despite the six months or so of age that this bottle has on it. Definitely worth a try.

 854 characters

Photo of kingcrowing
3.17/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

25cl bottle poured into a chalice.

Pours a brown hazy color with a small light brown head that fades quickly, little lacing. Nose is very potent, boozy, malty, sweet and full of spices, caramel, yeast and candi sugar.

Taste is boozy and sweet, a bit sharp from carbonation. It's very complex and almost too much. It's hot on the way down and leaves a strong bready flavor. The mouthfeel is a bit syrupy. Overall, it's an ok beer but not outstanding.

 451 characters

Photo of brewdenver
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured in a red wine glass. Was in the mountains and was all that was available.

A: A nice red hue to this beer in the light. Head poured fairly big, but did not hold together for long. Minimal lacing and fingers around the glass.

S: Caramel, banana, breads linger in the nose. Very pleasant to smell.

T: The sweet side of the beer stands out first. Leading into the caramel and spices in the middle. Finishes smooth with a slight bread dough end.

M: Spritzy on the tongue and cheeks. Good body.

O: Excellent Belgium.

 532 characters

Photo of SuperSpy
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nutty brown with a three-finger tan head. Rather cloudy from all the yeast floating around. Decent head retention and lots of sticky lace.

A sweet, dark aroma. Brown sugar, fruit cake, prunes, raisins and a bit of dark bread.

Full bodied, and lightly carbonated. Lots of sweet flavors. It's similar to what's in the aroma. Brown sugar, candied fruits, dark cherries and a good helping of phenols. Overall it's reminiscent of sherry with all the sweet flavors and alcohol warmth.

This is a very good beer overall. I will have to stock up this next Christmas.

 562 characters

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

250ml bottle poured into shaker pint glass.

BBE 17/10/2007

A- Mahogany body with lots of yeast floaters, 3 finger creamy tan head with lots of lovely sticky lacing and excellent retention considering abv.

S- Malt domination, rich fruit cake, prunes, dark fruits, slight vinous note. Some wholemeal bread.

T- Liquid rich fruit cake. Some sweet sherry alcohol heat richess lingers in the finish. Detecting a wholemeal bread and lingering after the alcohol.Finish is suprisingly tea like.

M- Low carbonation, full body.

D- Age certainly hasnt hurt this one. A classic sipper. Excellent nightcap.

 599 characters

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

250ml bottle poured into a Delirium Noël bottle. It seemed appropriate!

A - Pours a very dark mahogany-colored body, bordering on the darkest levels of brown. It's pretty clear for the most part with lots of tiny bubbles of carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass, rising to replenish the head. Speaking of the head, it has excellent retention, and when it finally levels out, it leaves a half-inch thick cap that sits casually on top. Lacing consists of thick bubbles which sporadically stick to the glass, but it's nothing much special.

S - The smell is interesting and consists of multiple elements of various Belgian styles. The aroma has a nice phenol quality of it with plenty of bananas, figs, Belgian yeast, grapes, malts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and alcohol. Certainly unique and makes me want to get in and taste it!

T - After one sip I'm a bit overwhelmed. Where as in the nose the alcohol is more concealed and relegated to the back of the smell, in the taste it plays a more prominent role and is apparent from the start. Not to say that it doesn't integrate well with the taste, but don't expect it to be hidden. The spices of the nose are more subtle as well, but give the impression of cinnamon sugar coated raisins. The bananas and cloves curb each other to streamline the assortment of flavors into interesting combinations of flavors. The finish is long and sweet, and has a good mixture of sugar, grapes, and alcohol.

M - Mouthfeel is moderately light-bodied with good carbonation. Given the amount of bubbles seen in the glass, I was expecting a lot of carbonation but what is presented is definitely acceptable. Leaves a decent amount of coating on the palate.

D - Drinkability is moderate. It was a tough choice to pick this bottle given the size of the bottle and price, but I feel the size is a blessing for this beer. It's easy to drink and the flavors are interesting and work together great, but the alcohol will easily creep up on you. I keep getting drawn to drink, but the flavors are complex enough to delay the entire bottle over about 30 minutes or so.

 2,097 characters

Photo of gordavidson
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A clear, red/orange/brown liquid with a thick and creamy bone white head that settles to a thin covering.

S- Bananas, figs, brown sugar, hazelnuts, vanilla, and alcohol. Very inviting.

T- Sweet fruit, brown sugar, candy, and alcohol. Complex and tasty.

M- A bit light on the carbonation and the alcohol warmth on the finish is very noticeable.

D- A great sipper that would make for an excellent desert beer. The small packaging is greatly appreciated.

 458 characters

Photo of Radome
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 25 cl bottle into a Duvel tulip glass.

A - Color is a medium reddish amber and extremely clear. The head is beige, creamy and long-lasting with lots of Belgian lace on the glass. A beautiful beer.

S - The aroma is of malted grains, caramel and dark fruits. With the plum/raisin notes and a boozy alcohol background, it reminds me of a rum cake or alcohol infused fruitcake at Christmas. Despite all the complexities, it remains very clean and fresh smelling.

T - As in the aroma, clean grains are there, along with dark fruits. These fade into a long alcohol burn in the aftertaste.

M - The body is moderate to heavy, lightened a bit by carbonation. There is some hop bitterness, but at a low level. Hot alcohol is the dominant aspect of the mouthfeel.

D - This has some truly great characteristics, but I think the alcohol taste is so over-the-top that it blows out some of the finer taste complexities.

 924 characters

Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a brownish body with offwhit but big head that left a lace ring down the glass. A yeasty, nutty smell, citric orange, some floral hop bitterness and a touch of spice in the aroma. A sweet and bready/yeasty, even woody taste first hits my tongue along with minimal carbonation for a little sharpness that balances roasted and sweet malt tasts as well as a citrusy, orange, dark fruit flavor taste. The ABV is hidden well and this is an easy and very tasty beer to drink.

 476 characters

Photo of taigor
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into small glass.

A - Poured slightly hazy brown orange color with small head that quickly dissipated leaving almost no lacing around the glass.

S - Caramel, toffee and malts with hints of cinnamon and spices.

T - Slightly sweet to start with dark fruits, almonds flavor. Has a taste of bready yeast and slight malty dry finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation.

D - Very good and enjoyable Noel ale. ABV is very well masked.

 446 characters

Photo of WhiteOak
3.37/5  rDev -16%
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.

 250 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
2.98/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured from .25cl bottle into tulip glass. Pours a creamy white head. The aroma is very sweet and caramelly and I also found some sediments that I am not fond of though understand it's purpose. Christmasy spices like aniseed and licorice are quite obvious. Tha flavor is sweet, caramelly, syrupy, fruitish and alcohol is warming in the finish. Very low bitterness. Caramel is dominating, but it still isn´t too sweet. The palate is almost full bodied, quite soft and slightly alcoholic. Sugary and sicky on the lips. I am going against the grain on this one with my rating.

 574 characters

Photo of ToasterChef
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from my notes.
A: Dark amber/brown. Tan foamy head.
S: Malty spiced ale. Touch of cinnamon.
T: Dark fruit flavor--more like cranberry, not plum/prune. Bit of tartness, some fruit juice. Some alcohol in the finish. Vapors linger. Great strong holiday ale.
M: Medium body, lower carbonation. Not too much coat. Somewhat sticky, but it isn't distracting.
D: Very drinkable. Strength is fairly well hidden. Not over spiced. I'm glad I got a big pour!

 455 characters

Photo of aepb1
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Nice amber brown, clean body, white head and nice lacing

S- Belgian and boozy, nice malt belly and good spices

T- Wow belgian. Nice nutmeg and cinnamon in the aftertaste!

M- Full-bodied, bite from the carbonation and alcohol burn

D- Winter! No more than one, thankfully it's small but I really enjoyed this one

 317 characters

Photo of boudreaux
4.51/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - cloudy dark tan body with a 1/4 inch dense head around the top.

S - not very intense for such a strong brew; what I can smell are flavors of vanilla, caramel, apple, and the obvious notes of alcohol

T - true to the aroma; vanilla, alcohol, spicy hops, tart apple, and green pear; no one flavor overpowers the others, and all are very well represented; the alcohol actually brings everything together and provides a warming sensation, as well

M - warm, spicy, and sticky

D - As I find with the majority of Belgian ales I've had, this one is dangerously drinkable!

 570 characters

Photo of jminsc76
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Into a tulip, pours a very large beige head atop a murky amber body. Thick legs as I tilt, very pretty.

Aromas of rock candy and guava. A strong *whiff* is required to derive the bouquet - it's not that intense.

Flavors of candy, gingerbread, spices, and a slight quantity of funk. Reminds me flavor-wise of a mellower version of Jolly Pumpkin's Christmas Ale, a beer I just reviewed recently. Not too sure if it's heat I am tasting at certain points or just a mildly cloying malt bitterness. Hmmmm...

Mouthfeel is thin, insubstantial, and unsurprising considering the ABVs.

Overall, an excellent balance of flavors for a Christmas ale of this strength. I can tell why it's a classic, though, considering the mild degree of Orvall-like funk that differentiates it from the majority of other Belgian Christmas ales I have had. I would return again, but only one per session - this is a sipping beer that would follow nicely a large meal as a dessert aperitif.

 966 characters

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

25cl pour into a Scaldis Noel branded 'half snifter' at Alchemy, Murphys, CA.

The beer is colored much like a Dubbel, translucent rusty red. The head is impressive; a two or three finger pile of creamy light tan. In looks this is a lighter Belgian Strong Dark.

The nose has wonderful almost Flanders Red Ale-like sour fruit combined with clove spice, a little solvent, sweet malt, and candi sugar.

Flavors of moderate caramel, clove, other sweet spice, cough syrup, and toffee. I really like how it has that sour cherry going on too. A small bit of alcohol becomes apparent after warming, but not an unpleasant amount.

The mouthfeel was a bit fizzy at first but it calmed down near the end of my meal. It has a little acidity and a little chalkiness and isn't very thick for 12%.

I found it quite drinkable for a huge beer, though I sure did feel it. It seems like a melange of characteristics of different Belgian styles that works together well.

 957 characters

Photo of biboergosum
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

250ml bottle, procured in BC at the height of last summer, on a day exactly the polar opposite to what we are now experiencing. The label nicely echoes the scene outside my living room window as I crack this little guy.

This beer pours a cloudy, dark orange-tinted amber hue, with one finger of fast-disappearing, soapy off-white head, which leaves a few scant specks of mitochondrial lace around the glass for its effort.

It smells of zingy tropical fruit, baked dark sweet fruitcake, and subtle warming alcohol. The taste is strong, dark, and somehow nefarious black fruit, toffee malt, a bit of treacle, some mild Belgian spice, and softly yielding yeast.

The carbonation is on the low side, just a bare frothiness to be had, the body a hefty medium weight, and the smoothness is a bit moderated by an astringent alcohol edge. It finishes sweetly malty, fruity, estery, and oh so warming.

Overall, a nice, flavourful strong Belgian holiday ale, not too sweet, nor overly alcoholic (even at 12% – sacre bleu!) – how do they really do that? At any rate - a good choice to share with your loved ones at this time of year.

 1,131 characters

Photo of haazer
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Petite 8.48oz bottle poured into a Tulip.

A- Good amount of khaki head for the high abv. Very bubbly, dissapates quick though. Color is a ruby stone, with pink undertones

S- Good upfront fruity aroma. Mango, orange and tangerine. Medicinal and alcohol phenols. Buttery malts bring up the rear.

T- Tangerine flavor. Somewhat medicinal. The alcohol is incredibly warming, almost overwhelming how warming this is! But suprisingly for how warming the boozy taste is not there. Complex yeast flavor as well.

M- Smooth initial sip, very crips finish. Did I mention warming before? Good lord. Very faint burn from the booze.

D- Well I have to say, this beer has certainly sparked my interest. Good flavor, interesting smells. But what stood out to me most was the body warming this beer presents. You can taste the booze no question but it feels more like an 8 or 9% than a 12. I'm definitely going to have to check out this brewery in the near future.

 952 characters

Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
4.01 out of 5 based on 880 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.