Bush De Noël | Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl

464 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

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Reviews: 464 | Ratings: 877
Photo of CHADMC3
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The reddish amber body showcases a downy white head with generous carbonation bubbles developing and subsequently leaving a fair white lacing in its wake for the duration.

The aroma consists of sweet candy sugar, fruit such as plum or nectarine, carbonation, and floral hops.

The fruit is much more pronounced in the flavor, and appears to be more along the lines of dark cherries, specifically in the aftertaste. Fruit and sugar strong up front but balanced by the floral hops overall. Temperature is vital to enjoying this beer, new flavors continue to appear as it warms, additional spices, and even dark wood notes.

Slightly thicker than I expected, somewhat syrupy, with milder carbonation than anticipated, but overall quite enjoyable.

The excellent flavors and easy drinkability causes one to remember to sip this high abv beauty. Another great Belgian Dark to enjoy on a cold evening, up there with the best in its style.

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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.

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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 clickpush
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pour: 25cl bottle to goblet. Hard pour yields only a 1 finger off-white head that quickly descends to decent lacing and a large halo. Scant webbing remains behind on the glass. The beer is a super cloudy red/light brown hue. No visible carbonation.

Nose: Bread and yeast, fresh dough, notes of raspberry and caramel and brown sugar. Hints of tart/bitter almond skins. Melting bars of milk chocolate. Sesame crackers? Quite faint for such a big beer, though no alcohol fumes which is impressive. Perhaps it's a bit colder than optimal.

Mouth: Sweet and full bodied. Residual sugars balanced nicely by the esters and alcohol. Prominent flavors of bananas and cookie dough. As it warms there's a spicy alcoholic finish that comes out, warming the palate and exciting more flavor. Also appearing is it warms is the subtle balancing character or the hops. Mouthfeel is creamy, chewy and delightful - the absolute perfect presence in my mouth, coating my taste buds and tickling them with fine, precise carbonation.


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Photo of Pencible
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a clear mahogany with fluffy tan head.
S: It smelled like rich dark fruits (prune, plumb, raisin) with wild yeast and brown sugar and candi sugar, and a bit of biscuit and esters.
T: It tasted like sweet caramel and brown sugar and raisin, fairly earthy and dry, with a little esters and wild yeast and alcohol. It had a sweet aftertaste with some alcohol heat.
M: It was oily with smooth natural carbonation. Nice of draft.
D: This was a fantastic dark Belgian ale with delicious scent and taste. Not super complex, but still very enjoyable. Alcohol was noticeable, so it was better to sip but not challenging to finish. Age would probably help improve and mellow this beer, but it's already excellent fresh.

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Photo of erk0607
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Best By: 12/2017 Date - Look: Rich, medium mahogany brown with a slightly off white head and excellent foam. I poured it quite gently and still got strong, long lasting foam head.
Smell: Like caramelized bananas, a little bit of alchohol, dark fruits, dark malt
Taste: It's pretty clear this is a 12%er and would be an excellent aging candidate. Beyond that you get a strong malt presence, sweet sugar, dark fruits, banana
Feel: On the lighter side of the spectrum with a definite alcohol burn, somewhat unexpected but good nonetheless.
Overall: Excellent. I got a four pack, drank one, and will be leaving the other three to age a bit.

12/24/2016 Update on a Best By 12/17 bottle. As others have noted, this is a very sweet beer, even after aging out a year. Medium brown but the head was incredibly short lived this time around and turned to superfine lacing. Smells of cherry vodka or cough medicine but sweeter. Still get estery-banana-alcohol on the nose too. Taste: a lot more cherry, like an alcoholic Twizzler. Feel: medium body, noticeable alcohol but not quite burning. Overall: it's changed, and is still a super sweet/sugary beer

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a hazy medium to dark coppery amber with a half finger fine ivory colored head with great retention and pillowy lacing. Rich aroma of caramel malt, dark fruit, brown sugar, Belgian yeast and spicing. Wow, flavor is sweet caramel malt, pear, light and dark stone fruit, sweet syrup, bready Belgian yeast, cinnamon and clove; both warming and a bit boozy, almost reminiscent of a fruit liqueur. Sharp bitter finish with residual sweetness. Medium, creamy body. A warming, sweet, intensely flavored dark strong ale with all the Belgian spicing and yeast elements expected. Perhaps a bit on the boozy side, but if approached as a strong, but tasty sipper, perfect for the holidays. Definitely a candidate for aging to mellow out the alcohol.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750ml bottle shared and poured into a Snifter Glass

A – Poured a very nice reddish tinted light brown with about three fingers worth of tannish colored head across the top. Nice retention left behind more then adequate side glass lacing that stuck around with it throughout the entire session. Lots of carbonation was easily visible with streams of bubbles coming up from the bottom and also all over the inside of the glass. Nice classic dark Belgian look.

S – The aroma was very full and rich, albeit a bit lighter then I thought it would be. There was a good deal of spices evident from the very first whiff with hints of nutmeg, cinnamon even, a touch of earthy and grassy like malt tones, and the yeast giving off a very nice banana and fig like aroma. Not very heavy on the dark fruits, and there was definitely a hint of alcohol in there as well, which at 13%abv should not really come as too much of a shock.

T – The flavor was excellent; I was quite shocked at how mellow and smooth the profile was. Everything was blended together so well that you really had to struggle to find the alcohol in here. Lots of caramelized sugar notes and a nice sweetness to it before the belly of the beast, fully of rich winter spices came up to say hello. Very nice nutmeg and grassy earthy notes here blending very well. Yeast flavors were there, somewhat hidden and needed a bit of a warming up to really let their presence be known, but very nice flavors of bananas and apple with hints of raisin were clearly evident. The flavor was not as heavy as I would have thought for something so big, it was very well blended.

M – Very nice medium bodied ale. The carbonation was great and kept it from feeling too heavy. The finish was very strong with a long lingering spiciness that begged you to go back for another sip. Very smooth, as it was blended darn near perfectly.

D – This was superb for after dinner. It was so flavorful and so well blended that I truly could have kept sipping on this all night long, but again at 13% it is going to catch up to you one way or another. Great profile and carbonation led to a perfect balance of smoothness.

Overall I thought this was absolutely great. A fine example of the style and an even better example of what can be done with a high ABV beer when you really work to smooth it out. The flavors were so full, yet a delicate balance was struck, not allowing any one to dominate. This was one of my favorites of this season, and one I am sure to go back to next year.

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Photo of boulderaz78
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Had to pack most of my Rochefort 10's to take home to Austin, TX since it's not sold there. I did share one Rochefort 10 with my wife, which set my palate into a tizzy, then followed it up with a Scaldis Noel which was an amazing way to wrap up our Christmas visit to Miami. The color is lighter and redder than the Rochefort, but the body is still rich and the taste is perfectly Xmas. Not as hearty as the Rochefort 10, but still has plenty of heft to it. Savor and enjoy!

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Photo of HogHill
4.29/5  rDev +7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Scaldis Noel poured a caramel brown. There isn't much of a head, just some light tan lacing on the rim of the glass.

The nose consists of molasses and dark fruits. Classic Belgian strong dark ale aroma here.

First sip is powerful, a bit warm (though it is 12% abv). After a little time, Scaldis Noel warms up and similar flavors to the aroma come through, the dark malts and molasses, and a bit of alcohol. Improves as my palette gets used to the flavors.

Scaldis Noel is an excellent quadrupel, it is definitely high quality beer to come back to during the Christmas season each year.

Notes: purchased as a single 25 CL bottle from Colonial, the bottle's packaging is nice, a red and blue christmas scene with a shiny, glitter like effect.

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

I don't care for their regular offering in the least, so it took a while for me to pony up the $3.50 for the 8.whatever ozs of the Noel.

This tends to be available here year round, so I'm not certain on the year, but I'd guess it's the most recent version, or the one immediately prior.

Pours a darkish auburn-brown with a suprisingly healthy beige head for a brew of this girth.
Rum cake aroma with big, glimmering notions of orange rind.
Begins almost dryish, with a crystalized brown sugared, bready texture. Envokes the holidays with its fruitcake mainstays, all doughy, full of plum, raisins and sweet cherries, backed further with peach muffins, orange zest and kiwi. It's a welcome juxtapostion between the danker dark fruits and the brighter pangs of tropical fruit and citrus. Alcohol is partially cloaked, with only a few nods towards blackbery brandy. Hops are assertive with their earthen, brown plant bitterness. The balance here is key.
If anything it lacks a bit of the typical yeasty flair. In that sense, it comes across as more of a fruity, mighty tasty and ferociously downable barleywine as opposedto a "true" belgian brew.
Full bodied, but nowhere near as cloying as the standard. Despite the label claims of a "sweeter" brew, it isn't. Just more balanced, more complete, and much, much better overall.
This would be extremely dangerous in a larger package.

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

2000 version, with 2002 expiry. I went with Steve Beaumont's recomendation that it was still good. Still aggressive carbonation, liked the yeast sediment at end. Spices worked, with fruit and booziness and rum. Worked fresh on tap at Eulogy's in May 2005 just as good. Had another bottle half a year after that and just as good.

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

Small 8.5 oz brown bottle. Shiny blue label depicts an abbey covered in snow. Again, I'm way behind the curve with this Christmas Ale, but oh well.
Medium copper in color. Shiny. Tight, fizzy tan head blew up then settled into a clumpy thin covering. Lots of sweet candy smells, toffee, and biting hop smells. Taste is very well recieved combination of the above. Starting with a sugery sweet candied toasted carmel malt sugary stickiness. Some subtle yeast flavors and a super charged hop presence for a belgian beer. Some cinnamon also slides by. Candied sweetness is really good and right for the season. Mild Alcohol heat comes through toward the end. Belly warming and resounding hop burps. Lingering hop bitterness on the tongue. Meduim to light bodied, alcohol presence is notable on the finish especially.
Overall a Christmas beer worth trying but I agree with the others a bit overpriced $4.99 for a small bottle. But dummies like me buy it, so It's not going to get any less expensive.

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Photo of theboozecruise
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Original notes:

Beer #4 at a recent beer tasting, this one was preceded by the Dupont Avec Les Bon Voeux... and it's quite a change of pace.

Darker in color, brownish-red with a thick white head. The aroma is mixed between sweet smells and some fruit.. very nice.

You can feel the alcohol in this one... the strong 12% isn't masked all that much. That's not really a bad thing, just something of note that hits on the first sip. Once you get past that, a sweet maltiness takes over, delicious.

This is more of what I was expecting from a Winter Warmers tasting, bold, strong, and warms you up!


Trying this one again, this time a bottle from the above tasting has been aged for nearly two years. Since it's Christmas Eve, time to break it out!

I set it out for a bit to warm up to 50 degrees or so... then poured into a goblet. It's a deep red color, very bubbly, with a fizzy white head. Good retention.

I can pick up the alcohol on the nose, as well as raisins and malts. My notes on the taste above hold true... it might be more mellow with two years of age on it... either way it's a fantastic beer.

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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 FBarber
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours a clear burgundy color. Thin off white head dissipates leaving a small circle of tan foam in the center of the beer. No lacing is left behind. Beer appears thin to the eye.

Smell has notes of bread, red wine, dark fruits, prunes, raisin and caramel with a sweetness on the nose makes it reminiscent of fruitcake. Touch of alcohol is also noted.

Taste follows the nose with notes of red wine, dark fruits - prunes, plums, raisins - with caramel and some bready malts. There is a hint of alcohol - but its more of a warming sensation more than a distinct stand out flavor. Some spices - clove, pepper, and christmas spices come through.

Feel is a tad on the thin side, but that keeps it light even with the higher abv. The sweetness does provide some body. Medium carbonation. alcoholic warming sensation builds as you drink the beer. Dry finish on the back end.

Overall a lovely beer. So well done and flavorful. Perfect for a cold winter evening. A word of advice - drink this beer at room temperature, its so much better that way. The aromas and flavor really pop once it warms up.

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Photo of RunForYourBeer
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
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 absolutbc2001
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

On tap and keg aged for one year at Henry Street Ale House in Brooklyn Heights.

Look- last pour from keg! So a thin head and cloudier than normal. Dark walnut brown with a bit of a grey color added.

Smell- star anice, banana, malt and hops. Not overly strong but balanced and sweet, with a hint of a red fruit pino.

Taste- amazing. Complex sweet start that is pounced on by hops and bitter malt. Fineshesh long and strong with a trace of alcohol but nothing compared to its probably 13% alcohol and without extreme sweetness to cover it. Also slightly sour, which might be from last pou.

Mouth feel- a little over carbonated for my taste which makes it thin. However, very long and malty finish.

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Photo of marcobrau
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A quadrupel, eh? Then this would be my favorite quad.

I've been a pretty big fan of original Bush (Scaldis) but I'm starting to be a bigger fan of this version. Poured into its own glass, this beer displays a deep reddish-amber hue and soft, thick head of foam. The white foam falls and leaves sugary lace down the side of the glass. This ale has a complex aroma and intoxicating creme brulee aroma that fades away too quickly. The first slick sip is full of sugary malt sweetness. A slight fruitiness emerges towards the middle, followed by a warming, bitter, finish. Really outstanding. I'm a bit surprised by the almost over-the-top bitterness in the finish. Almost drinks like a fine, spiced liqeur. Frighteningly easy to consume for a quadrupel. I would like to see how these flavors might change over time -- perhaps I'll horde some of this stuff until next year.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle dated July 26, 2014 poured into my Goose Island snifter. Is this a BSDA or a Quad?? Whatever, it drinks more like I would associate a Quad to be....strong, dark fruit on the nose and finish, easy drinker at 12 percent ABV also.

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Photo of khmel
4.31/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This beer is a beauty. Pour a mostly opaque copper-brown. Fine carbonation trails and a dense one-finger light beige head that dissipates to a thin ring, but that ring has crazy long retention. The nose is mild but enjoyable: malt, peppercorn, baking spices. The flavor is excellent. It is a wonderful balance of sweet-but-not-too-sweet maltiness with a hearty mix of Christmas spices that hits you in the middle and end. I'd say cloves and cinnamon are notable along with those mentioned in the nose. The finish also has a slight bit of hop bitterness that is just right. The mouthfeel is smooth and full-bodied with a dry-ish finish. All around an excellent Christmas brew!

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

Single 25cl bottle poured into a tulip. No date on bottle.

Appearance: The head died down quickly to nothing - no lacing as I drank it down either. Bubbles do move up slowly through the liquid, which is a nice reddish orange - very clear.

Smell is unusual - when cold you can smell the alcohol, but as it warms up it takes on a definite wine-like smell. A pleasant grape-like mustiness and some other fruit like smells with a hint of alcohol at the end. It's very appetizing.

Taste: Strong cherry flavor right up front - just right, not too sweet and not too tart. Some caramel flavors towards the end and other sugars as well, but again, not too much that it would be cloying. If there are hops present, I can't find them, but maybe their bitterness is balancing out the other sweet flavors. Quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: Very carbonated, not at all watery...maybe even a bit slick and oily but not in a bad way when combined with the spiciness on the tongue.

Drinkability: Definitely a sipper, and definitely a winter warmer at 12% ABV. A pleasant experience with the meal and afterwords for savoring.

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Photo of eberkman
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep amber-red into an Urthel tulip, producing little carbonation and the thinnest of heads that vanishes to a ring within a minute. Smells of toffee and alcohol above anything else. Pleasingly fragrant. The taste is the big winner -- buttery toffee way up front, giving way to pungent dark fruits (plums, raisins, cherries and figs), with almost a subtly maple-like sweetness and a warming alcohol sensation on the way down that I'd typically associate with a good cognac. Mouthfeel is creamy and oily, almost syrupy. A great smooth flow. Though I enjoy the sweet palate on this one, drinkability is only above average -- it's a little cloying to have more than one.

Still, a perfect late-night wind-down drink on a freezing night. I can't detect anything in the flavor that makes this a Christmas beer -- no egg nog or gingerbread spices or anything of that nature -- but it still fits the season nicely. And don't feel shortchanged by the fact that it's an 8.5 oz bottle. You'll feel this one.

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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.

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Photo of yen157
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy brown liquid with white suds ringing the glass. Very rich, malty aroma with some alcohol, peaches, and spicy hops in the nose. Great toasted malt flavor and some caramel somewhere in there, too. Some hop flavor provides the right amount of balance but still leaves this beer way on the malty side. Body was thinner and carbonation higher then expected, but so what. The alcohol was very noticeable (not in a bad way) and warming. A good beer overall, but I think I’ll stick with Samichlaus as my big winter beer from a little bottle, for now at least.

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Bush De Noël from Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
4.01 out of 5 based on 877 ratings.
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