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

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 880 |  Reviews: 466
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Scaldis Noel.

Appearance: Poured on-tap into a Scaldis chalice. Sizable head on a mahagony/brownish body exhibiting fine clarity.

Smell: Creamy malt, Belgian ale yeast. Theres an overall pleasantness to the nose. After some time, there is a hint of ethanol, but not strongly.

Taste: Fairly standard belgian ale here. Malty, creamy, with just a hint of hops on the back end. The malts are mild and have a sugary flavor, paired with a mild roasted edge. Just the faintest hint of spice, which was nice.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: Medium to full bodied. Warming in the winter months. Although this is a fine beer, this year's vintage lacked character that makes a truly great Christmas beer. And perhaps it was too young when I had it.

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

When i visited the Kulminator in Antwerpen i got in a conversation with an older Belgian couple who sat there at a table. I asked them what they could advise me and they pointed out this beer. It was on tap and i got the beer in a Bush glass as it should be. Nice dark red/brown colour with a little head. Carbonation was not visible.

Taste was very nice. Sweet but not too sweet and some dry notes. The alcohol was well hidden in the flavour.

The older couple told me that this beer becomes an addiction; after the first glass there will come more...they are right! Good beer.

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Photo of alpinebryant
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip a orange slightly amber clear color with a small white head.
Smell of belgian candy sugar, some very light spices, and a light fruit aroma of pears and apple.

Taste of belgian yeast, light caramelized sugars, a very tiny amount of spice, almost not noticeable for a Noel brew, but pretty tasty overall. High amount of carbonation and a light to medium mouthfeel. very drinkable

Overall not a great beer but pretty good. price was about right for an import at $3, but of course I think there are better options out there in this category.

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Photo of BeerImmediately
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into tulip at 45 degrees, warming into the 60s through the review.

Pours with a booming 4F of off-white head over a clear mahogany body, with plenty of carbonation flowing up. Great lacing.

Aromas of light spice, caramel-to-molasses sweetness, light grape, and some rubber - strange, but true. After it warmed, it took on a cordial liquor quality.

Flavors start off with a light candy-sugar-like sweetness, grape-to-plum fruits, touch of dates after it warmed, and some peach fuzz.

Great, great mouthfeel - perfect carbonation keeps this 13% beer drinking like one half its strength.

Amazing drinkability for the style.

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Photo of impending
4.26/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


25cl into a tulip. Pours a ruddy orange/red copper, lighter than a typical strong dark. Minor head dissipated quickly, minor lacing.

Aroma is more of a belgian barleywine than a strong dark. The dark fruits do not dominate the nose - spices, yeast and solvent alcohol do.

Taste surprises as it tastes more like a strong dark than a barleywine ;) Sweet candied mixed dark fruits. Appropriately spiced Noel brew. The alcohol asserts itself in the finish but properly and welcomed after the initial sweetness. Medium bodied creamy mouthfeel.
hits another level of delicious at room temp

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Photo of crossovert
3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

250ml blue foiled brow bottle.

It pours a ruby/brown with a dirty tan head that rises very high. It recedes to only a few splotches of lacing.

The smell is that classic smell I love in these Christmas beers, It is dark and fruity with a big hit of dark bread and over that an almost vanilla/caramel like aroma, almost like bourbon. It is so awesome.

The flavor isn't as powerful as the scent, the alcohol takes over more in the taste, but it is still a complex, if sweet brew. Along with the big alcohol kick is some honey, caramel, some fruitiness, and some vanilla.

The mouthfeel is a bit thin for my liking, due to the small bottle size I also chilled this more than I wanted to, as it warms it gets more body and a richer flavor.

It will warm you. I'm not having it for Christmas, and it is still pretty much T-shirt weather out but it does have a nice warming sensation.

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

Live review. Poured from the 8.48 ounce dark brown bottle with blue foil wrap and featuring the glittery label on the front that I bought at Wet Your Whistle Wine Shop in Madison, Ohio a few weeks ago for $6 into my Brewery Ommegang Westvleteren style gold rimmed goblet. Coincidentally, the bottle was imported, as mentioned on the back label, by Vanberg & Dewulf, Cooperstown, NY. This is a (slight) coincidence since I chose to pour it (before reading the label) into the Brewery Ommegang goblet that I bought in Cooperstown!

A Very, very brief creamy, light brown head over a dark, wood like brown body with visible sediment floating about near the bottom of the goblet. The brief head is likely due to the high (12%) ABV. Good look, reminds me of a Quad or at least a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. 4.0

S Organic, grains of sweet malt, reminds me very much of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale and maybe even a Quad which it certainly has the strength for. The back label mentions that it is a "brilliant red amber ale." I do not pick up too much of an amber smell (not at least what one would consider a "western" amber smell). Regardless, this is an interesting smell, even if the alcohol is apparent. 4.0

T Sweet malt, grains but the alcohol is better hidden than the smell suggested that it might be. Significant Belgian yeast, candi sugar sweetness as well. Good tasting beer. 4.0

M Smoother than I recall that the on tap version was and this is welcomed in such a big beer. 4.0

D ABV would normally dictate a fair to below fair drinkability but the smoothness and the sweetness really help the drinkability in my opinion. 3.5

Notes: At a cost of 71 cents per ounce I was not too sure about this one but it proved worthy of my attention afterall.

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Photo of SFLpunk
3.69/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

25cL brown glass pry-top with blue foil. No date.

Appearance: Clear amber with almost no head.

Nose: Booze-soaked raisins and stewed fruits. New leather, too.

Palate: Prickly with alcohol. Medium-bodied and casually simple. Leathery with dried fruits and caramel. The alcohol sits right on top of this one.

I think the Premium version (bottle conditioned) is a "better beer" but this is hitting the spot right now. Like the big booziness. I was expecting more sugar sweetness, though.

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Photo of SolomonGrundy
2.5/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Great evening chilling with the Sebastopol old school at Russian River brewing so, being exceptionally drunk already, this may be an odd review...Pours a nice reddish amber...No head or lacing to speak of, so likely and old bottle. Darn...Huge, sweet aromas of candied figs and alcohol makes me think this will be a big-time winter warmer...lots of sweet candy in the nose..Flavor is the same...Huge sweet barleywine-ish qualities...Almost cloying in sweetness. Kind of overpowering. Finish isn't unique or good. It's typical for such a huge brew. This was a $3.99/8.48oz. bottle so it's way expensive, bringing drinkability down a lot...Not worth the price and way too sweet and alcoholic.

What I like Most: The ABV at 12%.

What I like Least: The price and lack of carbonation.

Verdict: Not worth it at all. Avoid.

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Photo of metter98
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is cloudy brown in color and poured with a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface. A light amount of carbonation is visible as well as some yeast particles floating in suspension.
S: The smell is equally proportioned among moderate aromas of fruits, spices and sweetness.
T: The taste is rather sweet and very similar to the smell with flavors of fruits and spices. There are also hints of caramel and candi sugar in the flavors.
M: It feels medium-bodied on the palate with a light amount of carbonation. There are some warming sensations from the alchol.
D: Alcohol is noticeable in the taste but is for the most part fairly well masked, which doesn't make this beer difficult to drink. It is better sipped given the high alcohol content.

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Photo of Gobzilla
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: poured a caramel brown with brown highlights and sediment floating around but had no head or lacing sticking to the glass.

S: I got lots of belgian yeast and booze upfront on the nose with slight pear, brown sugar, and licorice notes.

T: the belgian yeast and brown sugar are dominate on the palate but the booze, pear, and maple syrup add accents.

M: the brew was medium body with almost no carbonation that had a sweet boozy finish.

D: it drank pretty good considering the booziness but was not feeling to good about the ton of sediment floating in the beer. Its just not visualing appealing to me what so ever.

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Photo of levifunk
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
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 jdhilt
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Cork bounced off ceiling but pours a slight white head that fades quickly, leaving no lace. Almost clear amber color, with some floaties. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Dark fruit and alcohol nose. Flavor is sweet, dark fruit and hints of the very high ABV which label puts at 13%. Warming, nice strong ale. Worth trying at $18.95 for a caged and corked 750ml bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of ViveLaChouffe
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured 12/2009

It pours a murky reddish chestnut topped by a creamy, inch thick, khaki colored head. The head fades to a wisp but persists in that state. In the nose, it's boozy with dark fruit, sweet spice and yeasty.

There's a lot more dark fruit (raisins, fig, black currant) and sweet spice in the mouth. Now, there is certainly some booziness in the flavor and warming in the mouth (as well as warming as it heads down the gullet) but it's not harsh at all. It's lovely. Lots of flavors lurking about..vanilla, toffee, all that dark fruit especially raisin, sweet spice and just a hint of oak.

Smoother than you would expect, certainly smoother than regular Scaldis but make no mistake, this is a big beer. Big flavors, big sweet mouthfeel and the warming alcohol....leaves my ears hot by the end of the glass but an incredibly pleasant drinking experience. This might have to be one of my new Christmas traditions and, of course, I need to get some to cellar.

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Photo of Grunewald
3.39/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 25cl bottle into a pilsner glass. It pours clear ruddy amber with some light suspended particles. The head is white head and leaves no lacing.

S - orange liqueur, spice and dried dark fruit

T - a biting sweetness, rum and liqueur flavors, marmalade, caramelized sugar and a spice medicinal finish (stock flavored cough syrup)

M - low carbonation, thick/viscous body, syrupy, somewhat sticky and a semi-dry finish that warms the stomach

D - a bit too sweet and cloying, but has a nice spicy flavors and warming feel

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Photo of belenita
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Reddish, runny, maple syrup. Little foam that diminishes quickly, lacing on the edge.

S - spicy, cherry, like Dr. Pepper

T - Dates, dried cherry, prunes, somewhat peppery, a bit sweet

M - nice light/medium carbonation with a smooth finish

D - Yes, probably the best Christmas beer I've had yet.

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Photo of ThaCreep
3.51/5  rDev -12.5%
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 mdfb79
3.73/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from an 8.48 oz bottle into a tulip.

a - Pours a dark burgandy color with an inch of white head that quickly leaves. A little bit of carbonation evident.

s - Smells mostly of dark fruits and alcohol. Some yeast, spicem and sweet malts too.

t - Figs, plums, other dark fruits jump out first. Also some yeast and spice again, with alcohol hitting late in the taste.

m - Medium body and high carbonation. Some warmth from the high ABV.

d - A decent belgian dark ale. Some nice dark fruit to the smell and taste, but thought the high carbonation and how evident the high ABV was hurt it. I'd try it again and it's worth a shot, but wouldn't seek it out again. I think the smaller bottle definitely helps because this is a sipper for sure.

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Photo of ktrillionaire
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review was from around Christmas time, on-tap at the Dunedin House of Beer:

A - Reddish amber like a Jerez Brandy, save for the small head that encircles the rim.

S -A rich Port nose is immediately apparent, segueing into some roasted grain and alcohol that transforms the vinous quality into a Cognac impression.

T - Rich buttery flavor has hints of everything decadent: cocoa, vanilla, caramel, honey, winter spice, and bubblegum; a citric, peppery and savory hop; and Cognac. Every one of those elements is present in only the most moderate level, with the exception of boozy Cognac sensibilities, of which there are plenty. This is a tremendously special brew on draft.

M - Nice, like a velvety barleywine; it is not syrupy either, despite low carbonation and relatively high viscosity.

D - This was a great selection for catching up with an old friend over the holiday; an exquisite sipper. Nice choice Z!

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Photo of DanOLeary
2.61/5  rDev -34.9%
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 zeff80
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, burgundy/mahogany color with a small, off-white head of thick foam. It left behind soapy patches of lace on the glass.

S - It smelled of apple, booze, and was malty sweet.

T - The first sips hits you with some spicy yeast then sweet boozy malt flavors. There were several fruity flavors like apple, plum and figs.

M - It was crisp and sharp with a sticky sweet mouthfeel. A medium-bodied beer with a warm alcohol presence.

D - This is a nice Belgian beer. Very potent and sweet with a fruity presence.

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Photo of OttoPeeWee
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Head dissapates rather quickly as most of the Belgian strong dark ales do. I'm surprised at how this beer masks its 12% alcohol. It is more of a warming that any sort of medicinal taste. You can smell it however along with a burnt sugar smell.

The taste is caramel and maybe tobacco in a good way. This is truly a mix between beer and liqueur.

You could almost use a good cigar with this one!

I wish the bottle was bigger. If you like this try the Pere Jaques by Goose Island. Less abv (and less $) but well done in the same style.

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

A: Reddish brown color; lots of floating yeast that never settled out. Poured a 3 finger very large light tan head with fair retention. Lots of thick lacing.

S: Dark dark fruits, toasted malts. Lots of yeast notes and spice. Alcohol.

T: Big dark fruit and sweet caramel up front; figs, raisins, prunes. Hot alcohol comes in followed by a big malt breadiness. The hops presence is pretty mild coming in like white pepper in the finish along with a lingering sweetness.

M: Medium body. Ample carbonation. Slightly sweet and sticky in the finish. Plenty of alcohol.

D: Flavorful and complex. Quite a kick too.

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Photo of ProfessorHomer
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
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 Mora2000
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clear orange with a small white head. The aroma is caramel malt and dark fruit. Possibly a little bit of rum. The flavor is tons of caramel, dark fruit (cherries) with a lot of alcohol at the end. Relatively sweet beer. Medium mouthfeel and carbonation. The alcohol is present making it a sipper, but it is still relatively easy to drink.

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