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Bush De Noël | Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

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BA SCORE
89
very good
459 Reviews
Bush De NoëlBush De Noël
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
Belgium
br-dubuisson.com

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
459
Ratings:
857
Avg:
4
pDev:
16.75%
 
 
Wants:
52
Gots:
94
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 459 | Ratings: 857
Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into my Unibroue tulip.
Pours a "dirty" looking brown color with over an inch of head. This beer has a color to it that I've not had before in a beer. Has good carbonation, plenty of tiny bubbles racing to top of glass.
Smell is strong yeast with some fruits and alcohol notes coming through.
Has a very nice malty taste. Very thick with what tastes like some rum soaked cherries. Mouthfeel is very creamy and very pleasant. This is a very good belgian. To be honest though, I was expecting a little more spice or other tones to be in this beer. It is a Christmas offering after all. It's still a very solid beer.

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

Pouring this beer produces three fingers of foamy, off-white head. Head retention and lacing are quite good. The body is a light mahogany and red with some carbonation present and excellent clarity.

Rich, malty aromas with a brown sugar and raisin backing give this beer a very rich profile. Alcohol content is relatively pronounced tingling the nostrils before a cinnamon and nutmeg spice. Overall, the smells are relatively subdued.

A quick burst of brown sugar and cinnamon sweetness precede a dense blanket of alcohol. The alcohol flavors drop off quickly and settle in to a prune and ginger taste. The finish is quite warm and pleasing carrying the flavors long after each sip. A very nice beer in terms of complexity and balance.

The mouthfeel is a little thin but the mouth is thoroughly coated after each sip. Carbonation is negligible throughout.

Drinkability is good overall. The strong alcohol takes it's toll and deadens the palate. Conversely, this holiday ale packs enough flavor to counter. The bottle is quite cool as well.

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Photo of rajendra82
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The tiny 250 ml bottle was adorned with shiny Christmas regalia. When poured into a tulip glass, this looked clear, and pale, with a wee little head, or not at all like a Quadrupel. The smell was sweet and potent like a Sherry more so than a beer. Figs, cherries, and vanilla were present in the nose, but the overall smell was too mild in my opinion. The wine like qualities of the beer were in the forefront in the taste as well, with raisins, white grapes, mixed dry fruits being the primary tastes. It was a little nutty mid palettes, and exhibited spicy aftertaste. Warming and uplifting, this was a great beer concentrate to sip on this late hour.

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Photo of nkurz129
3.42/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Tiny bottle, 8 fl oz, and called Scaldis Noel, a Belgian Special Ale. I picked it up because I wanted something wintery to go with a hearty soup and it's glitzy label caught my eye on the shelf. Upon pouring, there is really no head and you can see the thickness as the beer leaves the bottle and clings to the glass. Perfectly transparent with a great mahogany hue, although not nearly as dark as, say St Bernardus or other quadruppels. The smell is very powerful, with almost wine-like overtones, defininitely some raisin notes. That is where I ceased to be very impressed. Certainly nothing wrong with this beer, but the taste is simple, molasses-like because of the 12% alcohol and very similar to the smell. It is not overwhelmingly thick like many beers of its high content and sweetness, but certainly a heavy beer.

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Photo of cjgator3
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled as "Scaldis Noel" in a small 8.48 fl. oz. bottle. Pours a murky dark brown color with a creamy white head. The nose is made up of caramel, sweet malt, dark cherries, ripe dark fruits and brandy. Mouthfeel is delightfully smooth and creamy. The taste is a bit boozy from the high ABV but it is surprisingly drinkable despite the 12%. It is a little sweet and toasty with some caramel and alcohol soaked cherries. Overall, this is a pretty solid holiday brew that is recommended to anyone on a cold night.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.23/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Rapidly falling swish cheese like head, raw oatmeal colored. Head is leaving debris like soap suds. Body is extremely cloudy, brown sugar simpy syrup color. I can almost guarantee I'll like a beer that looks like this. Something about the color...

S: Lot of alcohol here in the high notes. Toffee, plums, raisins, butterscotch and vanilla pudding. .

T: Immediate two level taste; Top is fruity cherries, raspberries, blueberry and blackberry. Bottom level is toffee and maple syrup. Yes, this beer is only going to get better as it warms. The alcohol does a poor job of hiding itself....or should it be.... I don't mind there being some alcohol prevalent in a winter warmer. Its supposed to warm you on a cold day. Loads of dark fruits add a substantial backbone which wavers between sweet and malty. Finishes extremely alcoholic with plum reserves.

M: Medium body with a full carbonation. Touch of fuzz but not overly so.

D: This beer would be stunning with some age to it. Three years and hold on! Regardless this is a nice quad and worthy of your attention.

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Photo of warmstorage
3.35/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

8.48 ounce bottle, states 12% ABV. Bottled as "Scaldis Noel", a "Belgian Special Ale."

Pours a cloudy murky brown with a medium, dense cream colored head which dissipates rapidly, leaving moderate lacing. Cellar temp, into a Chimay goblet.

Notably, no yeast sediment or floaties whatsoever in this one, even after sitting upright for a couple of weeks, and a very gentle pour (think a homebrew pour.) I like to swirl the yeast with the last ounce or so into another glass to taste it, so I always pour Belgians and bottle conditioned beers carefully.

Deep brown sugar aroma, with hints of spice.

Surprisingly mild tasting, the alcohol is not particularly evident, strong brown sugar, minimal spice, minimal hops noted. Lingers long with tingly sugar. I wouldn't have been surprised if you'd told me this was a 8% dubbel. Not a lot of character for a quad, kind if disappointing, really.

Overall, a very tasty beer, but it doesn't amaze me, especially at around $4 for a 8.48 ounce bottle at a liquor store.

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Photo of Beerzebub
4.59/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served cellar temperature (i.e. in cold car for 4 hrs.), goblet.

Deep rosewood color, head recedes, some lace.

Smells mainly of ripe apple and pear, delicious. Also fig, sweet dark caramel, spices, a little rumlike alcohol.

Ripe golden apple, red apple, pear, fig. Some tannic astringency, like red apple skin. Wood. Vanilla. Spices, well balanced - cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and presumably others. Long finish - fruit, alcohol, spicy heat in the throat, and astringency.

Smooth, medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is appropriately low.

Drinkable even by normal standards. For 12%, almost unfathomable.

25 cl goes a long way. This is a real winter beer.

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Photo of dherling
3.6/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a copper to orange color with a deep white head. Good head retention & minimal lacing The nose was rich, boozy & oaky, with some rasin and port-like notes. The taste featured some spice, alcohol, oak & apricot. Finished like a sherry or port, really dry, fruitty and burning. Had a rich, subtle carbonation.

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

Poured from the capped 8oz bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Body is a bright orange-amber color topped by a half-inch of creamy light tan head. Aroma of sweet malt, molasses, brown sugar, raisins and other dark fruit, with more than a little alcohol mixed in. Palate is deeply complex and sweet - dark Belgian malt, raisins, figs, brown sugar, and a touch of spciy yeast are evident. The significant alcohol makes its presence felt just before the swallow, leading to a nicely warming finish. Body is nice and a touch creamy, but not the thick creaminess I look for in a quad. Overall, though, quite nice and pleasurable to drink.

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Photo of phisig137
3.81/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tiny 8 oz bottle pours a beautiful copper amber color, with a one finger creamy head. Nice retention gives way to a ring of faom and nice lacing. The range of colors here almost mimic that of a tequila sunrise... all the way from brilliant red to light gold.

Aroma is malty, period. Huge malt and grain aromas, backed by some yeasty esters, and some prevalent alcohol. Not terribly complex, but a nice smell for sure.

Flavor is again, quite malty. Fairly sweet from front to back, and showing complex malt flavors. Light caramel is prevalent, along with figs and plums from the yeast. Alcohol is quite prevalent, but not harsh. Definitely improves as it warms from cellar temp to room temp. Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, although a little thin. Drinkability is decent, although the alcohol does make itself a little too forward for me.

I think with some time in the cellar this could be fantastic. It is a decent quad, and works nicely as a winter warmer. For some odd reason, I also think this would be a bit better with some spice in it. It's good as is, but for a ""Noel", I'd like to have at least a little spice to hide a bit of that alcohol.

One last note... I have noticed a HUGE variation in quality between the large 750 mL bottles of this beer, while the the smaller bottles seem to be consistently good. The large bottle is the better deal, when considering dollars/oz. But as far as the quality inside is concerned, the small bottles are worth it. Some large bottles are good, some are terrible; whereas the small bottles are always at least good, if not excellent.

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Photo of Beertracker
4.67/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Scaldis Noël (Bush de Noël) [750mL] is best served at a warm cellar temperatures (50-55°F) from a small snifter, tulip or goblet. This premium Belgian specialty ale pours up sublime with a voluptuous cream colored head that craggily sits atop a bright deep amber-mahogany body. Out-freakin-standing! The hugely complex aroma is pancaked full of intense dark fruit/spicy characters such as brandied cordial cherries, candied apples, carmelized pears, figgy/plum pudding, applesauce-raisin bread, mince meat pie, etc... and surprisingly there's even a whisp of Poperinge hops. Amazing! The flavor is ever bit as intense as the aroma and starts off with a pleasant bang of rum cake maltiness that's partially offset by a light bitterness. The complex underlying spiciness (allspice, clove, cinnamon) is ever present and combines with the bitterness and alcohol to bring some balance to this malty winter beast. The finish is warm & nourishing like "mother's milk" and could put down a dragon if overindulged. This is a delightful holiday treat best enjoyed with family & friends by the hearth after feasting. Suggested pairings include pralines, truffles or sweet breads. Here's to keeping Old Man Winter at bay!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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

I purchased this at Downtown Wine & Spirits last week. I let it warm to around 45º F and served it in one of my Chimay chalices.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy amber with a half-inch, beige head that thins to a sudsy film.

Smell: Very fruity, with notes of banana, raisins, dates and cherries. There's also caramel maltiness and the light scent of alcohol.

Taste: Fruity and sweet throughout. There are lightly tart hints of cherries and strong flavors of dark fruit. The finish is lightly bitter with alcoholic spiciness.

Mouthfeel: Full-bodied, moderate carbonation with a strong warming sensation.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable, given this is 12% alcohol.

Overall: A good quadrupel.

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

Picked up a 25cl (8.4 oz) bottle at AJ's in late February for $4.99.

The beer poured a cider color with plenty of unfiltered yeast with a long lasting floating head. Nose is of sour apples and alcohol. The first sip was a blast of dark fruit and alcohol. Subsequent sips have the sour apples coming thru, some caramel, and some light hops. Mouthfeel is getting creamier with each sip, nice! Overall drinkability is OK. It is a little too over the top for me as there is a huge emphasis on the warming alcohol. It is definitely a most interesting beer and is worth a shot in spite of the price tag.

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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 Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a clear medium amber color ale with a super huge foamy head with perfect retention. Aroma of strong caramel malt with some spices and sweet cherry. Dry raisins, figs and caramel are all well balance in this beer. Body is thinner then expected and alcohol is well hidden. Very good classic Belgian strong ale.

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

A dark amber beer with a slight haze. Has a small creamy off white head, with some nice lace. The aroma is mostly dried fruit, figs and raisins. There is a little spiceyness in the background before the alcohol starts to burn your nose. The dried fruit ( fig and raisin ) sweetness starts a the tip of the tongue. Then the peppery hops get to the back of your tongue. Followed by a nice dry tabacco note on the finish and then the alcohol warmth sets in. Nice.
Note: this came in a four pack with a glass. Inside the center of the glass it looked like there was a defect in the glass. But when the beer is poured into it it creates an interesting little tornado of bubbles.

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

Bush de Noel... too bad Dubya doesn't drink anymore!

Pours a light golden-copper color. There is a complex spice profile on the nose along with a fleeting suggestion of sweet fruit. On the palate the flavors meld together very easily. Mostly I get a sweet honey-ish malt element, with a medium finish. The overall sweetness manages, thankfully, to avoid being cloying or overwhelming. This beer drinks rather easily, especially considering its hefty ABV. Always nice to see a "holiday" beer that isn't your average Winter Warmer.

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Photo of nvsblman
3.45/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Hazy walnut brown with an off-white head. Some sticky lacing as I drink it. Malty, brown sugary aroma. Also a little black pepper. Sweet malty flavor too. Raisins, cloves, a little yeastiness, and a lingering spiciness work fairly well together. Medium bodied and well carbonated. This is a nice crisp and refreshing beer.

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

Small bottle as pictured (I'm told it's 8+ ounces; a gift from a friend, purchased at Hi Time Wine in Costa Mesa, CA for an unknown price.

I am a fan of the original Bush/Scaldis, and met the brewer Mr. Dubisson at the Brussels beer fest a year ago, so was very excited when my friend gave me this beer. However, I am not generally a fan of the Noel/winter style brews. So what to do? Well, try it, of course!

Pours a very beautiful amber color with a nice frothy head. Darker color than the original Bush. A moderate amount of dark yeast at the bottom of the bottle is left behind as I pour this into my Orval goblet.

Smell is surprisingly weak. My finacee agreed with me on this one. I let this warm from refrigerator temps, so that's not why. Slight sweetness (honey), clove spiciness, and bready malts. But there's just not a lot there.

Flavor- first punch is strong alcohol. Late Harvest sweet riesling honey syrup, but much darker and spicier. Raisins and other dark fruits. Pretty bloody good I must say!

Full rich mouthfeel, the alcohol is stronger than I like, but overall this is very good. A very good Bush beer!

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

(Served in a snifter)
The sticker on the bottle says 12.5% ABV
A- This beer has a hazy warm brown body with a thick creamy of off-white head.

S- The smell of soft sweet malt has a finish of faint bitter hops with a hint of alcohol.

T-The taste of sweet malt with notes of caramel and notes of light brown sugar hang on the taste buds. The finish has a nice soft hops bitterness that combined with the alcohol gives a good finish to the sweetness.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel and the fizz in the texture really gives it a foamy feeling in the mouth. A soft alcohol warmth enhances the flavor but enhances the foamy texture aswell.

D- It is a smooth mellow quad that doesn't have great character but it does have the sense that there is some spice hints that give it more depth. I can't detect the spices because they are to faint but they offer just enough flavor to compliment the malt.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.48/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Nice tan head with pretty delicate rings of lace. A brownish copper / amber with little white sediment floating in it. It actually creates a nice atmosphere.

S - Dates and alcohol, slight vanilla.

T - Alcohol is evident, can't be too upset at that with the 12 abv. Really sweet figs and dates. The taste is enjoyable, but not much depth there.

M - Thick, smooth and a bit cloying, not that bad though. The sediment is actually kind of crispy. Strange.

D - Rather nice considering the sweetness and abv. I just kept wanting more and more of this. This is one of the few quads I have actually enjoyed.

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

The beer poured into the chalice chunky amber golden with an off-white tall and extremely frothy head which rose very well and fell slowly to coat the glass.

The aroma was fruity with a strong banana impression when first opened, but as the head fell the aroma became more complex. The fruity ester profile remained, but an earthy and spicy component emerged. Behind the clove and cinannamon spice was a nice caramel malt component. All the phenols were enhanced by alcohol and as the head completely fell dark fruits, raisins and prunes emerged.

The flavor was comprixed of dark fruit flavors, raisins and prunes with a strong spice character. The spices were strong and seemed to be mostly clove and cinannamon. The flavor also had a nice caramel and candy flavor, but the alcohol in the flavor was tremendous in scope and almost out of hand.

The finish was dry with a lasting dark fruit impression and strong phenolic spice long into the aftertaste. Alcohol also permeated long into the aftertaste. The body was medium or just a bit more, but hard to nail down due to the carbonation level which was very high. The beer was more difficult to drink due to the huge alcohol presence and the extreme warming that occurred after consumption. Tame the alcoholic beast and lose the chunky appearance and this one would be truly world class.

750 ml bottle with an almost inpenetrable band (till you figure out it slides) covering the cork and then foil wrapped. Also came in a decorative tin.

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Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
4 out of 5 based on 857 ratings.
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