Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Bush De Noël | Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
very good
460 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 460 | Ratings: 860
Photo of kimcgolf
3.16/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle to a sparkling orange-red with thin off-white head that lingers throughout the entire drink and leaves decent lacing on the glass. Beyond this appeaarance, I can sum this beer up in one word....ALCOHOL.

Try as I might, I could not detect any aroma or flavor other than the overwhelmng alcohol. Not sure if I just got a well aged bottle or this is the norm. All things considered, this was not a bad drink, but was much more like a mild whiskey than a strong ale.

 488 characters

Photo of mcallister
3.5/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Clean and clear amber mahagony in color. A small off white head leaves nice lacing behind.

Aromas of alcohol at the forefront with black cherry, dried fig, and dried berry aromas that lead into a thick belgian yeast. Everything seems like it is vailed however maybe from the alcohol?

Slightly thin and full of alcohol throughout the mouth. Rich fruity flavors do shine through however. Especially the berry, black cherry, and same yeastyness that hits the nose.

Because of the high alcohol could be difficult to drink more than one of these.

 550 characters

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.

 605 characters

Photo of
3.92/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz. bottle

Very hazy, amber fluid. Small, light tan head. Decent lacing.

Aroma very sweet. Bubblegum, tropical fruits, bananas. Some bread character. Alcohol.

Taste was similar to English barleywine. Sweet, bubblegum again. Alcohol very noticeable. Pepper at finish.

Medium + in body. Carbonation felt medium + and a bit acidic. Appearance of carbonation was fairly low. Quite drying.

Quite good, a nice Christmas ale. A sipper for sure, and I would certainly enjoy again. Now, I am looking forward to trying the normal Scaldis I have tucked away.

 566 characters

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.

 356 characters

Photo of Grundle20
3.76/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer is a deep amber with a big and well sustained eggshell white head. There is a slight haze with some yeast or other particulate matter left in suspension.

The scent is big and malty as expected. Very figgy with a slight biscuity note. The alcohol is very detectable which is really the only thing turning me off here.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
Although the scent presented that strong stinging alcohol presence the big malts in the taste manage to mask it about as well as you can mask a 12% ABV. There's an odd but pleasant combination of malts that is surprisingly reminiscent of cinnamon whole wheat waffles, I'm strange I know. The body is a little viscous and goes down slightly smooth with a little bit of an astringent bite from the alcohol in the fore. The finish is slightly raisin like but manages to clean up in the aftertaste.

Although I find this beer to be pretty good, I simply can't see myself drinking more than one at a time. It seems like it would be a good pair for a big holiday meal.

Bottom Line:
It's strong, it's Belgian, it's good,and it comes out once a year. Snag it while you can.

 1,161 characters

Photo of jjayjaye
4.47/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Scaldis Noel Premium

S - Big aggressive fruity nose from a foot away when the cork (finally) left the building. Tames down a bit but comes right back after it warms up some. First the raisins and fig-like fruit then a bit of alcohol.

A - Middle of the road hazy orange-red color. Not much of a head at all. Made the mistake of laying it down before i opened it - and after the struggle... a suspension of bits throughout.

T - Wow, I really like this. Malty raisins, orange and fig-like.

M & D - A full, smooth, creamy mouthfeel, not unlike what i expect from my favorite barleywine.

This was the last large (75 cl) bottle that Sam the Beer Man had in stock. I'll be going back for the small bottles in the morning.

Jan 2007...#2 beer of the year so far

 771 characters

Photo of DogFood11
2.95/5  rDev -26.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Scaldis Noel poured in a 750. Corked and topped with a large staple over the top serving as the cage. Interesting bottle. Poured into a small tulip it forms a milky loose head that leaves sticky lace behind. Very light in color considering the style. Cascading super fine carbonation. Copper body. Not all that inviting.

Some sweetened raisins, sweetened Tang, Grape candy and a spiced alcohol slammer that has a huge warming jolt to finish it. Surprisingly this is pretty sturdy in the body although it lacks some depth and the alcohol is hot, even with consideration to the 12%abv tag. My final analysis, the backdround flavors are nice but its hard to find it through the aggressive abv.

Pros: Decent flavor profile, Warms ya up.
Cons: A bit hot, failry shallow, not that interesting. Yikes.

Notes: Below average.

 826 characters

Photo of mynie
4.1/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

8.48 Oz bottle. What's up Dubuisson? You don't think I can handle the beast??!?!

(I don't know what that last sentence means).

Okay, pours out a very nice hazy amber with a minimal head that fades into a nice and retentive ring. More than respectable, considering the elevated alcohol.

Smells of very rich berries and fruit along with nodes of alcoholic yeast. The alcohol is very sticky and is whatever that word is that means "wine-like."

Tastes like bread and ripe fruit up front. Like a fruitcake, kinda, only not so sickly sweet. This gives way to hints of chocolate bock malt that continues the nice sweetness of the front. This malt is unexpected, as it's more of what you'd find in a weaker weizbock than in a heavy-duty Belgian. Ends on some intensely alcoholic yeast.

Different, to say the least. Well worth picking up.

 846 characters

Photo of 4thoseabout2bock
3.4/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Tried this side by side with a large bottle of refermented-in-the-bottle Scaldis de Noel Premium.

The Scaldis de Noel was $4 for a 25cl bottle. It had the 12.5% sticker at the bottom point of the neck foil.

Poured a reddish amber and a little cloudy. Much less head than the large bottle. A beigish creamy head did form and quickly dissapated.

The smell. Alcohol. Also some sweetness.

The taste, again, very strongly alcohol. The smaller bottle had some sherry/port like moments and was sweeter than the premium. But still, the alcohol was very assertive and almost burning.

I wonder why some bottles are listed at 12% and some at 12.5%? Couldn't find any info on this. Also searched but could not find any evidence of a date on either bottle in case the ABV was varying by year...

I love strong sweet beers, but this one was a bit harsh and not really enjoyable to sip. Also perhaps especially disappointing due to the high price point. This doesn't make me want to take the risk on Prestige.

If you bought one this holiday season and haven't tried it yet, I'd suggest aging a bit so the alcohol can mellow out.

 1,134 characters

Photo of rayjay
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep and dark, with a heafty body full of malts. Red and cloudy, with lots of chunky sediment. Boozy, with notes of alcohol and mild heat. Very hearty. Thick, with some syrupy sweetness. Zesty hops compliment the malts nicely. Spicy, kind of like a Christmas cake. Drinkability was a bit rough, due to the richness. I recommend it at 40-45°F, preferrably with some aging to mellow it out. Recommended, but don't go out of your way. Cheers!

 440 characters

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

Had this as a guest bottle at ABC upstairs during my visit back to Amherst end of 2006.

Pours deep brown with a slight reddish hue with 2-3 fingers foamy head, decent retention and well carbonated. Reminds me of Trois Pistoles. For a 12% ABV, smell does not have the telltale aromas. Nose is somewhat spiced but mostly consists of sweet dark fruits and maltiness. Taste follows with a well-hidden underlying alcohol dark rum-like quality along with the classic raisiny dark fruit flavors. Again, similar to Trois Pistoles but sweeter and more fruity. Overall, very good, I always like to see a good Strong Dark Ale.

 618 characters

Photo of ByTor2112
3.75/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tasted my first regular Scaldis this year so let's see how the Christmas brew fares: Pours an almost copper color, orange hues and some ruby red grapefruit color gets extracted with the light.
Aroma: Very sweet, slight caramel malt aroma but this is hugely overshadowed by the fruit aromas of raisins and grapes and sugar.
Mouthfeel: Alcohol is very evident but warming. I am trying my best to get just a small taste of any hop bitterness. Very sweet and sugary with the alcohol present to the finish. This beer is definitely made for sipping by the fire because this Belgian crept up on me. I was expecting something a little more complex, but I was not disappointed. Lots of fruits and sugars and malt wrapped up into a nice Christmas/Winter seasonal.

 757 characters

Photo of Phatz
4.25/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Scaldis Noël - (AKA) - Bush De Noël

Appearance: Pours a copper brown with a creamy off-white head and decent retention.

Smell: Ripe dark fruits, spices, bread cherries and Belgian Yeast aromas grace the nose.

Taste: This varies from the typical BSDA with hints of bubblegum phenols along with apricot notes and the classic plum, figs and raw sugar. Some spiced rum attribute bleeds through as well.

Mouthfeel: Well rounded. Malty and yet boozy / alcoholic just enough to nip at the cheeks.

Drinkability: Sensational. I really enjoyed this one and hope to find more at Stateline if is still there when I get back again.

Hope this is helpful.

 670 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.43/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A 25cl bottle with an attractive label, poured into a snifter. It was a pretty red/brown with a very small head. Aroma was spicy, with a little dark fruit. It had a spicy, peppery taste, but the taste was dominated by the alcohol. This is a beer to be sipped, but even so, I couldn't do more than one bottle at a time.

 318 characters

Photo of Damian
3.19/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Drank from a 25 cl / 8.48 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Connecticut Beverage Mart, Newington, CT

First, I must comment on this beer bottle's amazing graphics. The sparky hologram label depicting the snow covered brewery along with the foil covered top is quite a nice touch.

As for the beer itself, it poured a murky, muddy, copper-ish amber with a thin, light beige film of froth (no real head).

Smell was very sweet and alcohol (rummy) rich. Candied and brown sugar with alcohol soaked fruit and spices (alcohol soaked fruit cake possibly?). Hints of bourbon and vanilla as well.

Taste was completely dominated by the alcohol. Some creamy malts, yeastiness and fruity sweetness up front before the huge alcohol bite kicked in. The alcohol warming moved to the back of the mouth and became even more intense. Flavors such as brown sugar and possibly some hops were vaguely detectable, but they were quite overshadowed. Alcohol burn was felt in the throat and on into the stomach, where it warmed my belly.

As for mouthfeel, this beer was syrupy yet thinner bodied than expected. Also, the carbonation was minimal.

Drinkability of this beer was quite poor. With any beer that registers 12% ABV you can expect a big punch, but this was too much. The flavors were simply not strong enough stand up to the alcohol.

 1,315 characters

Photo of Absumaster
3.62/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer comes in a beautiful bottle with all these shiny holograms. Makes me suspect the beers quality.

Appearance is a bright dark amber beer with a very thin head.

Smell is malty and sweet, full of caramalts and some maltbitterness. No real alcohol smell or anything.

Taste is very malty and caramel, the dark malts give the beer a nice maltbitterness and roasted and slight burned taste. The alcohol is not so much in the taste, but I can feel it warming my throat. The beer is sweet and sticky and body is full.
It is just a bit too sweet and strong for me, at 12% it is more seeking the borders of what is drinkable and there always has to be a lot of body to balance, which is getting too sweet for me.

 721 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours clouded rust-colored with a thin, creamy head that thins, but sticks around.

The smell is of fruit-bread, leafy hops and peppery alcohol.

The taste is of caramel-candy sweetness, bubblegum and fruitcake. A rum-like, peppery alchol is assertive, yet does not interfere in the complex flavors. Wintery spices and alcohol make this a delicious brew to have on a cold day. The body is full. A bit sharp. Spiciness sticks to the tongue.

A slow-sipper to be sure. It's a treasure. Alcohol is noticeable, so drink this one nice and slow - Very fitting for a cold, wintery day.

 584 characters

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

Chestnut body with very nice clarity...and three fingers of polar white foam which retreats to expose 90% lacing coverage. Nose is warm and inviting, showing a striking balance between caramel malt, Candi sugar, alcohol, and Belgian yeast.

Entry shows an almost complete absence of CO² and sets the table for almost total sensory overload upon the arrival of the midtaste. Big candi presence with dark, rum-soaked fruits bask in alcoholic bliss. The finish shows p-licking sugar and a dry, pepper end.

This Noël is not for the faint at heart, but is a wonderful fireplace companion during the holiday season.

 616 characters

Photo of bjohnson
3.9/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my landlord for getting this for me as a Christmas gift.

A: Pours a murky dark rust color with a frothy one and a half cream colored head. Nice retention of the head. Nice lacing.
S: Huge sugary presence--seriously big. Extra sweet notes with a black raspberries and cherries. Slight spicyness of the abv is noticeable here.
T/M: Dark fruits of cherries, blackberries, and a lot of figs. Slight caramel malt notes also in here. Big dark burnt sugary notes. Pretty hefty body on this guy. Thick and juicy. High abv is definitely noticeable with a spicyness and a huge warming of the chest.
D: Drinkable, but a bit too syrupy for my palate. Definitely tasty, but this wouldn't be my first choice when choosing a noel brew. A sipping beer this is.

 761 characters

Photo of kenito799
3.3/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

25cl bottle labeled as "Scaldis Noel" with the same sparkly label as pictured on BA. Poured into wine glasses and shared.

Clear amber, little lacing or head.

Maltiness and alcohol in the nose. Fruity Belgian yeast aromas.

Flavor is mild and malty with balanced bitter finish. Alcohol is very apparent. Not bad, but there just isn't enough going on in the taste department to justify such a high alcohol content. Would be a decent dubbel at 7%. The alcohol limits its drinkability and I would rather save room for some more interesting stuff.

 550 characters

Photo of Byeast
4.14/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

06 Vintage in a Wrapped , corked, and caged 750ml- alcohol is listed at 13% this year.

Appearance: very deep and dark reddish amber color with a massive , offwhite and foamy head with good retention, that left lots of lace.

Smell: full maltiness , slight brandy , some fruity notes , bit of cherry , hint of nutmeg, some leafy hop, and some alcohol presence.

Taste: Super creamy and full bodied sweet maltiness blends with some fruity characters , slight fig and cherry , hint of pear, vanilla , slight cinnnamon, balancing hoppiness is restrained, definatly has some boozy / sipper quality with the alcohol but for it's strength it is incredibly masked.

Mouthfeel: slick and creamy.

Drinkability: Well im definatly not going to have a sixer of them , but i could! Very very drinkable , not just for its well masked abv , but the nice , complex balance of tasty winter warmer flavors. Exellent Xmas brewing!

 922 characters

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

Presentation: 25 cl holiday bottle, no freshness date. Poured into the cervoise, a medium amber color with a moderate amount of carbonation. Thick, creamy 2-finger head of brownish-tan foam that fades at a moderate pace leaving a thick cap and solid lacing to the bottom. A good looking beer. Nose cold evinces strong alcohol, dark fruit, and sweet malt; as it warms, the alcohol is well-masked. Tastes of sweet malt, an alcohol burn on the swallow, a touch of caramel malt and a mild finish. As it warms, more flavor complexity emerges and the alcohol is well-masked; this beer is best served cool rather than cold. Mouth is syrupy, smooth, with moderate carbonation on the tongue. Drinkability is good but it’s strong; enjoy in moderation. The 25 cl bottle (about 9 oz.) is about right.

Overall: A good, solid beer, but not exemplary of the style. A bit heavy on the alcohol bit unless served warmer.

 906 characters

Photo of brentk56
2.88/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

8.48 fl oz

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear light amber with a very modest head and poor lacing; frankly, looks more like a soda than a beer

Smell: Unusual medicinal aroma that is sweet but predominately phenolic; just smells plastic to me

Taste: Starts with a herbal sweet flavor that builds nicely and reminds me of a Ricola herbal cough drop; after the swallow, a golden raisiny presence takes over along with a woody flavor; smoked aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Thin, watery and relatively flat

Drinkability: Wow, what a disappointment to start my Christmas beer selection; perhaps I wound up with a poor bottle but this just isn't doing anything for me; guess I'll have to take another look at this one some other time based on the other reviews around here which are much more favorable than mine

 809 characters

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.

 654 characters

Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
4 out of 5 based on 860 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!