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The First Noël

Noël is something to sing about

First Thanksgiving, now Hanukkah, with Christmas and Kwanzaa right around the corner. The holiday season is in full swing, and with it a growing list of seasonal ales. And a Belgium ale that I had at Tap & Cork definitely brought tidings of comfort and joy!

Bush de Noël (Brasserie Dubuisson; Pipaix, Belgium; Belgian Strong Dark Ale; ABV: 12.0), known in the USA as Scaldis Noël, is a superb full-bodied beer. It pours a caramel color, with substantial notes of caramel malt, dark fruit, and molasses complimented by honey and floral hops. The latter is drawn out by placing hops flowers in the vats where the beer rests for four to six weeks. Noël is a sweet smooth tasting beer, and the considerable alcohol content, while prominent, doesn’t upset the balance of this exceptional Belgian.

The deliciously complex Noël is an ale worth reveling about.

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