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Bush De Noël | Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

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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
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Reviews: 460 | Ratings: 858
Photo of woodychandler
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was curious to try this again, this time for a review, so I picked some up during my most recent visit to The Foodery (Northern Liberties).

From the bottle: "Brewed especially for the Christmas period, Scaldis Noel is a brilliant red amber ale that will delight the most demanding connoisseurs."

12%! Wow! I went with a gentle pour as I was uncertain if there were lees present. As such, I only got a brief sheen of head that quickly dissipated. Color was a deep reddish-amber (truth in advertising) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was hot with the alcohol really prevalent along with notes of dried, dark fruit. Mouthfeel was medium and the heat was pretty intense initially and as it faded, it tasted like liquid fruitcake. Finish was sweet, very fruity, almost vinous in its flavor profile. I am not sure just how I feel about this one. I know that the 8.48 fluid ounce serving size was just about right as too much of this could be too much. I also think that if it comes in a corked and caged format, cellaring might be in order to knock down some of the heat.

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Photo of warrenout330
4.89/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 8.48 oz bottle into a chalice

A- pours a honey color with a very little head, no lacing. As I see this beer now I believe its been on the shelf for a year or so... and yes I'm very happy for this

S- smells of figgy pudding, dark fruits, raisins, dried plums... very wine like, like a good muskat from the island of samos, Greece

T- sweet thick wine, raisins, muskat sweet grapes, dried plums, dark sweet fruits

M- sweet and thick bodied. Dangerously drinking for the well hidden ABv at 12%

O- quite a find we have here, thanks to my buddy. This is something I'd like to see with a couple of years more of aging since I am almost 101% this has been on the shelf for a year alreadt..

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Photo of bump8628
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice beer for cold winter nights, but the dinky 8.5oz bottles are still on shelves around here in June, so I picked one up. Rich with dark fruit and malts - plum, toffee, burnt sugar, molasses, figgy pudding (just kidding). Good balance between sweet and dry/bitter. Some spice adds complexity - clove, coriander, and nutmeg flavors. Alcohol definitely flexes, but not too much for the style. This would definitely knock me out on Christmas Eve. A Belgian Dark Strong with an English Barleywine slant. Good for the occasional treat. I might pick up a few for cellaring if only it was bottle conditioned.

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Photo of jeremy13586
4.52/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured in to an Orval glass.

Beautiful amber color. Left a two finger off-white head, but fizzled out pretty quickly

Cherry, figs, and raisin. Sweet with a bit of nuttiness and some heat from the booze.

The taste matches the nose pretty well with the addition of some caramel and spice. A very little bit of heat while drinking, but overall, this is a very dangerous beer.

Syrupy smooth. Medium body with an incredibly smooth finish.

Absolutely fantastic. I have a few of these sitting in my cellar, so it will be interesting to see how they evolve.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.05/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a Saint Somewhere wine-style glass. Aged one year.

A- Pours a reddish light brown color with a 1/2 inch beige head that retains a bit before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and light, spread-out surface foam. Average lacing.

S- Dark fruit, Belgian yeast, raisin and some sherry-like alcohol sweetness.

T- Smooth, raisiny flavor that's a bit toasty and sweet. Alcohol is extremely toned down compared to a fresh version I had a year ago. More sherry, dark fruit and a touch of oxidation.

M- A bit thin and is lacking liveliness due to the low carbonation.

O- Definitely better with a year on it, but still not stellar. I feel like, when it's young, it has good carbonation but is too hot. Yet, when it's been aged, it's balanced flavor-wise but becomes oxidated. Guess it's hard to pinpoint when this one peaks. Still, nice to sip on and acquire a buzz quickly.

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Photo of notchucknorris
4.35/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at pizza port Carlsbad

A: Deep amber color with a thin cream colored head. Some spotty lacing down the glass.

S: A good amount of dark fruit, Belgian yeast, candi sugar and bubblegum. Traces of raisin and brown sugar.

T: Tons of dark frui. Prune, raisin and plum with Belgian yeast, pomegranate and some burnt raisin skin on the finish. Delicious.

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Photo of lanamj
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in tulip 2010 vintage.

A- Pours a nice amber red with a solid one finger, white head. It holds strong and has good retention and lacing. Really a good looking beer.

S- Lots of red fruit upfront. I get cranberry, pomagranite, some sweet plum and raisin. I pick up the spice more towards the middle with aromas such as clove, coriander and cinnamon. Very nice and festive.

T- Sweet raisin and spice. I pick up some alcohol but for a 12% beer not much. It is very refreshing and clean. I get a lot of seasonal flavors and it accomplishes the flavor complexity rather well.

M- Easy drinking a little heavy on the carbonation, with even viscosity.

O- Very well balanced easy drinking Belgian Strong Dark Ale. The style is on of my least favorite but this beer seems to rate higher then any other of the style for me. It seems more age will generate a beautiful ale. Only time will tell.

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Photo of MaximalC
3.41/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a multifaceted, murky amber color. Red and brown hues lurk within the haze. Cream-colored head is meager but has a nice, fine texture (probably could have used a more vigorous pour). Aroma is mainly fruit and alcohol. I think I noticed some apple up front, but the bouquet is pretty amalgamated, so who really knows. The flavor is medicinal and furiously alcoholic, with what tastes like caramel malt attempting to add some semblance of balance. The net effect is something akin to cough syrup, but not as objectionable. The warmth of the alcohol lingers for ages in the back of the mouth, while sweet malt lends a stickiness to the lips over time. Difficult to drink in anything other than tiny sips over the long haul; not for the faint of heart.

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Photo of hustlesworth
3.55/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A- pours a muddy orangeish brown with about an inch of beige foam. The head holds strong for a moment and then, as if the gates were opened, it shot down to a thin disk.

S- fruity and winey with a bit of toastiness and a savory tomato meaty character. Date, fig, raisin, plum, alcohol, and spiced wine. There's some caramel and leather in there too. It just for some unexplainable reason smells like old Christmas things and It smells like being drunk and falling asleep on the couch after a holiday dinner.

T- sweet and dessert-like with alcohol heat. The flavor (and aroma) are less pronounced than I expected, even as it warms. There's some date and fig, the raisin-prune tartness is now nonexistent, and the flavor profile mostly consists of diluted fruit syrup with brandy and a mild phenolic bitterness. Traces of allspice and peppercorn peek out near the finish, which is pleasantly boozy like rum soaked dates.

MF- low, yet fitting carbonation smooths out the alcoholic feel with a cooling effect. Sticky and drying with a sturdy juicy quality.

D- i'm slightly disappointed in this one, but it's still not all that bad. I can't find a date anywhere on the bottle or cap, so I can't assess whether age comes into play or if it's just the nature of this beer. Alcohol, while not harsh or unpleasant, seems to drown out the complexities that I know have to be in there. I'd pass this one by in favor of other more reliable quads and BSDAs.

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Photo of Drinkerofales
4.08/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

There's that strange bottle size again.

Pours dark brown with red highlights. Head is light tan and large. There is some lacing from the quickly dissipated head.

Smell is candied dates, caramel sweet, and booze. Taste is almost burnt caramel and dark fruits with molasses. It has sweet and bitter which also reminds me of Sammiclaus.

Feel is actually smooth. It has a syrup like viscosity and low carbonation. While there is some heat on the finish, it actually fits in this beer.

A nice beer, I don't know what makes it a Christmas beer, as I don't get much spice, or celebratory feeling, except from the label.


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

A- Pours with a two finger head into my Ithaca Excelsior glass. Rusty, cherry/amber color with a off white head. Little touches of lace around the glass. Nice clarity and carbonation.

S- Cherry, honey, candied fruit, caramel, and a touch of alcohol. Some warm notes of gingerbread cookies as it comes to room temp.

T- Sugared fruit, honeyed caramel, gingerbread cake, really ripe bananas, brown sugar and allspice. Really warming and wonderful.

M- A bit hot on the tongue, but it really opens your mouth to all the candy and cake like flavors. Very warming and delicious.

O- Bananas, candied fruit, caramel, holiday cookies and alcohol... a wonderful drink for a February night.

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Photo of SLeffler27
3.8/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear, bright copper with a minimal beige head that immediately drops, leaving little lace and some film.

Spicy brandy with marinated fruit and spice cake aromas.

Spicy with sharp alcohol and a sweet, long finish. There are also some dark fruits, nutmeg, and a little Belgian barnyard.

Alcohol is as anticipated, while the carbonation is vigorous and the body is light.

An enjoyable sipping beer from a Scaldis chalice with cheese and hors d’oeuvres.

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Photo of Doppelbockulus
3.65/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This pours a light to medium amber. Very clear with a very light head.

Smells sweet and lightly boozy.

Taste reminds me of brandy. Lots of alcohol is present on the tongue, very similar to an abbey quadruple.

Mouth feels light and bubbly.

This one is not one I will have again unless I age one for several years to see what happens.

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Photo of ujsplace
4.39/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a chalice.

This brew is a deep orange - almost brown colored brew that has a foamy white head. The head recedes quickly, but leaves a nice coverlet on top with some clingy lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smells of cherries, plums, raisins and sweet candied malts.

Tastes spicy with lots of dark fruits up front, followed by a nice candied malt that leads to a dry alcohol finish. A complex ride. Letting it warm makes the flavors a bit more pronounced. A delicious brew. Such greatness in a small bottle.

Medium, chewy mouthfeel. Lively carbonation.

I love the style and this one does not disappoint in the least bit. I received this as a gift (thanks!) and this is truly one to look for again next year.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear dark amber with a finger tall off white head. The head reduces by about 50% over time but does not go away. There is no visible carbonation. Very good lacing.

S: Aromas blend with the scent of the alcohol, like a refined spirit, but not overpowering. I get hints of raisins/plums, caramel, and candy sugar.

T: Flavors are very strong - malty, sweet, and dark fruits- with a slight burn from the alcohol. Not as complex as others in the style but a pleasant flavor.

M: Medium bodied with low to moderate amounts of carbonation. Slightly sticky feeling.

O: Enjoyable but strong and the alcohol is not that hidden. Not a sessionable beer but one that is nicely enjoyed curled up in front of a fireplace on a cold winter evening.

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

Served (12 oz) in a tulip glass at Barley's in Greenville.

A clear dark amber with a fine, creamy tan head. The head has medium retention but leaves some very nice tiny-bubbled lacing.

Aroma: Has a clear alcohol presence but not objectionable; suggestive of fine cognac rather than just boozy. Approaches 4.5 -- very high for me for a beer with a 12% ABV.

Taste: Flavorful and refined, but not as rich or complex as some competitors (e.g., St. Bernardus ABT 12). Moderately malty, somewhat sweet, and quite fruity. Lightly spicy; more subtle than is often the case for a Belgian of this style.

Mouthfeel is not the strong point of this beer. It is admirably smooth but may be a tad under-carbonated. Warming but no burn from the alcohol.

O: Very well crafted seasonal brew with a high but well hidden/integrated ABV. A tad too sweet but nonetheless a fine Belgian well worth seeking out. Improved with warming. Exceptionally interesting and fun to drink.

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Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.3/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2011 Vintage.

A: Dull, hazy copper with thin white head.

S: Dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, and some alcohol.

T: Starts with some raisin before caramel and brown sugar. There is also a hint of alcohol and tartness. Finish has a bit of citrus hops with some cherry and warming.

M: Medium with light to medium carbonation.

O: Not sure there is a better beer for a cold snowy night.

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Photo of mindspin315
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thick off-white head, lots of lacing, solid amber color body, and very clean and clear looking.

Big raisin and candied sugar aroma. Get a bit of over ripe banana, clove, and various spices from the yeast.

A touch of alcohol comes through but blends in with the yeast flavor profile and candied sugars. The raisin aroma also comes through strong in the taste. Sweet upfront, alcohol comes through in the middle, and a slight pepperiness rounds out the back end.

Not the most complex Belgian beer, but has plenty going on to enjoy and appreciate.


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

Bottle given to me by my buddy Griff; a Belgian Christmas beer that we didn't quite get to during our blind taste test over the holiday.

Bottle poured into my New Belgium Globe.

A: A light shade of brown, somewhat hazy but I can still make out the shape of my fingers on the other side of the glass. A moderate off-white head sat on top but much of it dissipated fairly quickly. A thin-but-present ring remained through, though, and left good lacing on the glass.

S: Lots of spice, cinnamin, and barley-sugars. I can instantly tell this beer will be sweet.

T: Sweet with cinnamin and nutmeg spice, as indicated in the nose. The cinnamon and holiday spice arrive early and dominate throughout much of the flavor. Barley sweetness and notes of a spicy belgian yeast strain remain underneath but shine through a bit more prominently toward the end.

M: Light and spicy, with good carbonation and a good amount of sugary flavors left behind on the finish.

D/O: About mid-way through this glass I began to feel like the unbalanced sweetness was wearing on me. But there was enough flavor and spice in there to keep me coming back, and by the time I approached the bottom, this beer had warmed nicely and really opened up, with a touch of bitterness arriving on the back end that really rounded things out nicely.

My suggestion: Let this guy warm up. The benefit is significant here.

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Photo of ales4baldo
4.13/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

P-Nice snowy Belgian town. Truly a winter/Christmas beer.

A-Well didnt pour enough lol. Pours a light watery light brownish color. Foggy a bit and carbonation seems to be somewhat heavy. Didnt get much head on this one probably about half and inch.

S-Smells different than most Belgians considered strong. I get more of a pale ale on this sweet. A little sweet with the candy. The malts are in there and the yeast is present. Sweet bread is what i think of.

T-Different. Pretty heavy on the carbonation of the bat. Gives a little sting on the throat after the finish. Alcohol seems to be up on this bad boy. Everything mentioned above. The candy is delicious on this one. A little cinnoman as well and some raisin.

M-Big punch for a small beer. A mouthfull of carbonation and alcohol. Thats something you can expect in the Scaldis series. Medium bodied but strong.

O-Probably a beer that comes off to strong. After intial tastes there seems to be a lot of spice to this one. Almost like chillies. Heavy brew thats not to be drank quick. Good.

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Photo of micromaniac129
4.15/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Seems like a combo beer to me.
I get tastes of malts rich and complex with flavors of dark fruits like plums and raisons, candied sugar and yeast. On the finish I also get that old Flanders red ale with its sweet and sour taste.
To me this beer was relatively sweet but there was a sour aspect too being with a sour finish.
A good beer drinks thin;
A good beer that hides it's alcohol very well so be for warned.
I wonder how this would be cellared for a year or so.

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

Very interresting little beer! It poured a clear medium reddish brown and produced a two finger high, tan bubbly head. Not much retention and not much lacing as well.
The smell is of dark fruit like fig, plum and cherry, as well as caramell and honey.
Tasting the beer, the dark fruit palette is up front, followed by malty caramel and toffee flavors. The end is some yeast and citrusy hops, which bring good balance into the taste.
The crispy mouthfeel leaves a welcome tingle on the tongue and hides the warming effect of the alcohol.
A great Winterbrew, a little pricey, but a very good experience!

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.85/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look – medium brown color, very murky/fizzy-looking, much like a cream soda. About half a finger’s worth of foam that dissipates slowly.

Smell – very fruity, like a lambic or something along those lines. Smells more like a merlot than an ale.

Taste – the taste is much like the smell. Sweet, a bit fruity, dry, and just a little bite at the end, which probably comes more from the high abv than from a hop percentage.

Mouthfeel – surprisingly light, leaning more toward the watery side.

Overall – not a bad brew. I kind of wish that the bottle would be more toward the 12oz side, but I respect the “good things in small quantities” concept. Not bad or uninteresting at all to sample.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
3.25/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage

This is a boozy beer. Should've known coming from "Scaldis".

Pours a shiny brown, cola, ruby color. Little white head, settled to a thin collar and film

Aroma is just sweet. Sweet apples, caramel and booze. And this thing is a year old.

A touch more flavor than hinted in the nose. Caramel and sweet bread. Some fig and spices. Mostly though it's booze. Glad this was a small bottle. Good gravy! Perhaps a nice after dinner beer, or sitting on the porch in a snowstorm.

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Photo of Hopswagger
4.01/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

P: Poured into a tulip glass: a muddy brown strong brewed tea color. Few bubbles and a fast fading white head with slight lacing around sides once agitated.

S: Sweet Candice's malt followed by banana taffy. After a good swirl the aroma changes to a heavy bouquet of bubblegum. Almost Monty with a hint of spicyness.

T/M: Huge alcohol profile with timid hops and a bubblegum sweetness. The finish is full of dry astringent cherry flavor.

O: Very impressed with the dramatic sweetness and overall flavor profile that comes from such a strong brew. The sweet definitely caresses the sleeping alcohol dragon.

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Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
4 out of 5 based on 858 ratings.
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