Beer Review: Scaldis Noël (Bush de Noël)

Scaldis Noel poured into a chalice. Copyright 2016 by Andrew Dunn.

The anniversary celebration continues here at the Belgian Beer Bureau. A year ago today, I wrote my first beer review, which featured Corsendonk Christmas Ale.

A year later, I am still reviewing every Belgian beer I can get my hands on. Thankfully, there are more than a thousand left to sample.

I’m also slowly and judiciously adding to my beer glass collection. My china cabinet is overflowing with chalices, snifters and goblets of all manner.

However, I recently picked up a special glass that I think is worth mentioning. Stella Artois, the second beer I reviewed, has sponsored the “Buy a Lady a Drink” campaign for the last two years. If you buy one of its specially branded chalices, then the money will go to buy a woman in the developing world fresh, clean water for five years.

Stella Artois “Buy a Lady a Drink” Honduras Chalice. Copyright 2016 by Andrew Dunn.

Each glass features artwork associated with one of the countries that benefit from the campaign’s charitable partner, Last year, the countries featured were Ethiopia, Honduras, and India. This year, the countries are Haiti, Kenya, and Peru.

I had planned to buy one last year, but supplies were very low. So I resolved to buy one this year. As luck would have it, one of last year’s glasses were still available from the actual charity. So I picked up the Honduras chalice.

Each glass is only $13 and is sold fromBoelter Brands via Amazon. I only add this because there are many, many people who are reselling the hard-to-find glasses for ridiculous prices. Avoid these resellers as their sales do not benefit the charity, which has a 95.38 rating from Charity Navigator and the seal of approval fromMatt Damon.

Stella Artois “Buy a Lady a Drink” Honduras Chalice. Copyright 2016 by Andrew Dunn.

So if you are looking for way-too-early Christmas gifts, this is a pretty good one for your beloved beer enthusiast.

Speaking of Christmas, since the first beer I reviewed a year ago was a Christmas ale, I have decided to review another one to mark the anniversary. This time I went with Scaldis Noël, also known as Bush de Noël.

A Christmas strong dark ale, Scaldis Noël is a product of the Brewery Dubuissonin Pipaix, Belgium.

Smell: At first, I didn’t think Scaldis Noël had much of a smell at all. The cicerone who served me said it would yield more nose as it warmed. He was right. I picked up caramel and yeast.

Sight: The beer pours a toffee bronze with a creamy head.

Taste: The flavor is a deep, rich strong dark ale spiked with cinnamon. There is caramel, and there are spices. However, this is not a cloying beer. The bitter backend keeps it from being too sugary.

Alcohol: Scaldis Noël is much like Santa Claus: fat and jolly. At 12 percent, you will feel it warm you all over as you drink it.

Overall: Man, I love this beer. It’s like a holiday party in a glass. It might just be my favorite Christmas beer of all time. I highly recommend it.

Bottom line: I paid $10 for my bottle at a bar. That’s not too far off what you’d pay in a bottle shop. But trust me, it is worth the price of admission.