Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

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848 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 848
Reviews: 511
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 50
Gots: 76 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (10) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 848 | Reviews: 511
Reviews by NoLiberty:
Photo of NoLiberty
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Caramel body with oak edging with light head that dissolves to very little.
Aroma: Almost nothing on the nose. Slight malty sweetness with a muted character.
Taste: Malty front with dried fruit hints, sweet full body flavor in the middle and a crisp slightly sour finish.
Mouth: Fills mouth on surprising amount of carbonation and leaves mouth dry dry.
Overall a very solid beer and a good representation of a double-strong. Could certainly put a few away.

More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"The blood of the just will be demanded of London,
Burnt by the fire in the year 66".

--Nostradamus (1503-1566)

[The Great Fire destroyed London in 1666]

Gorgeous, burnished copper-orange-red with bright orange peel trim. Nostradamus looks like a barleywine. The head is golden ecru in color (good) and is nearly featureless as it deflates (not so good). Although there's no lace, the fantastic color of the beer makes up for it.

The nose is unquestionably good, but I can't quite bring myself to bestow greatness upon it. Dark caramel and toffee share center stage. Also noted is a generous quantity of mellow, dark rum-soaked fruit. It isn't as spicy as some BSDAs, but I'm okay with that.

I love the flavor. My hope was that it would be a more explosive version of the nose... and that's exactly what it is. Like the nose, the flavor is dominated by figs and dates macerated in the finest dark rum. It also has an oaky character that puts me in mind of some of the heartier bourbons.

There's so much fruit flavor (plums in that sip!) that the beer is almost port wine-like. Spice still takes a back seat, but there's now an understand clove spiciness that adds character. All of the various members of the flavor profile meld into a beautiful, seamless whole. A remarkable achievement and a remarkable beer.

I was initially disappointed in the mouthfeel since I felt it was too light and too carbonated. It didn't take long, though, for both of those faults to be remedied. At the halfway point of the bottle, I'm becoming more and more impressed by the medium-full, well mannered, but still lively beer that greets my every sip.

Given my enjoyment of the only other Brasserie Caracole beers that I've had prior to today (Ambree and Saxo), I prophesized that Nostradamus would be to my liking. I'm impressed by this delicious BSDA and have no problem recommending it to anyone who likes great beer.

Photo of Popsinc
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown-reddish pour with a minimal off-white head.

Smell: a spicey and warm nose with hints of cinnamon, pepper and an underlying fuity sweetness.

Taste: very fruity palate with strong hints of molasses, black licorice and a good pinch of spice....again cinnamon and peppery. a medium body with a semi-sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: fairly lively and smooth.

Drinkability: an awesome beer that i fully enjoyed. it seemed to apir up nicely with some gouda cheese.

Photo of RoyalT
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one was a murky brown in color, a bit on the light side, with a nice head that went down rather quickly but left some nice pits on top of the liquid.

Smell – There’s a ton of fun in this nose. The dark fruits are well-blended. I can pick up some cherries, plums, and a bit of tobacco, although I’m sure there are many more that I’m missing. It has some big sugary candy cane as well. The backbone is very bready malt, nicely toasted.

Taste – The alcohol and candy cane came out more at the taste, otherwise this tasted just like it smelled. I liked the balance a bit better at the nose, however.

Mouthfeel – Bigger than medium but not full in the body, this one has some nice carbonation and just a hint of alcohol.

Drinkability – This is an alcoholic sleeper, so watch out. I had the little 330ml bottle but a bomber will get your head spinning. Other than that, this went down quite well. I see some of the other BAs had this on-tap. What a treat that must have been!

Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Porty and equal in complexity to a nice glass of porto. Dark, hazy plum-brown, barley wine like color. Large crown, short retention, little to no lacing. Nose is dominated strongly by dark caramels and toffees. Rum soaked dark fruits and banana come through in the end. Taste is a blend of rum and port. Oak is present adding a slight bourbon quality, but over all the dark fruits shine through best…mainly figs. More carbonated than most BSDAs. Medium body that improves greatly as the beer warms. (It seemed a bit thin at first but that went away as some of the carbonation settled out and the beer warmed). Very, very drinkable.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Brown 750 ml bottle, no freshness date though the alcohol is certainly high enough for an extended shelf life.

Appearance: Dark brown with bright ruby hues, mild chill hazed with a very active carbonation. Bubbly frothy lace that holds well from the higher carbonation.

Smell: Very noticeable racy solvent and estery higher alcohols, expressive fruitiness with some suggestions of berries, ripe pear and plum. A sweet aroma to say the least.

Taste: Brash biting carbonation, bit slick on the tongue. Big fruity juicy middle with mild herbal phenols and pronounced dark malt that throws some chocolate into the mix and feigns a chocolate covered berry flavour. Touch of hop bitterness slides in with the phenols to add some balance. Alcohols catch-up with the palate and lay down some heavy estery and mildly solvent warmth, fruitiness expands into some grape and dried tropical fruits. Malt comes through a bit more middle to end bread crust and husk, slightly puckering nuttiness from the yeast sets in also. Finishes dry and a touch fluffy.

Notes: Big, dry and in you face. Flavours flare out just about everywhere with a broad complexity. A brew to savour as a night cap after a big meal to settle the body … sip and enjoy.

Photo of steelerguy
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

* My bottle is labeled 9% not 9.5% as indicated here

A - Pours an opaque, dark brown mahongany. Nice head, with medium carbonation.

S - Immediately smell ripe bananas as I poured. From the goblet had a nice banana bread with raisin smell.

T - Starts a little sweet with a caramel malt taste quickly followed by the flavor of prunes, dates, and dark chocolate. Finishes with a tang and some alcohol. Lots going on here, you really pay attention to each sip.

M - Starts sweet but finishes drier than you would expect. A little carbonic bit from the carbonation. Lot of flavor comes through with the crisp finish.

D - Dry but quite complex. This is a beer to savor rather than quaff. Had 750 ml which was as much as I would want in a single serving.

Photo of Todd
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a great beer. Complex and powerful, but also highly drinkable. Its fizzy carbonation also helps to make this beer deceivingly light on the palate. Would make a nice night cap, or pair nicely with rich chocolate sweets.

Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew at this level goes to show you that beer can be just as complex if not more complex than wine. I could see paring this with a light chocolaty treat or to as a digestif. Very tasty without any of the flavours being too much to handle.

Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle pours a cloudy, orange tinted brown body with a minimal, beige head that quickly drops into some attractive, sheet lacing.

Aroma is complex, with molasses and brown sugar fronting some bigtime maltiness. Quite spicy, with cloves, nutmeg, and cinamon.

Mouthfeel features a Belgianesque, explosion of carbonation, like a Pez candy tablet that melts on your tongue.

Taste is spiced caramel malt, burnt candy sugar, and an assertive alcohol presence of rum soaked raisins and figs. Some chocolate malt character comes on midway through. The alcohol maltiness is harsh, at times, and hurts drinkability.

This is a big, malty, strong dark ale with a lot of spicy character. The alcohol is in your face most of the way, but there are enough complexities in the spice and malt to make it an afterthought. Very warming, overall, but not my favorite for the style.

Photo of BlueHammer
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First sip reaction: excellent. This beer was served to me at the Half Door, in Hartford, CT. It was served still in the bottle and I poured it myself.

The lighting was a bit dim in this particular restaurant but it appeared to pour a light to medium brown color with a slight purplish hue. It appeared lighter still when held to the light. The smell was fruity but not overwhelming. It poured with a thick head that disappated quickly with no lacing. The initial taste was of raisins and prunes. The beer is served chilled but it warms immediately upon going down. It finishes sweet. Nostradamus is smooth and delicious, and quite literally had a taste that made me feel happy!

I nursed this beer slowly as I ate an appetizer. Intersting to note is that the taste did not particularly improve as the beer sat. In fact, it tasted almost stale within about 15 minutes.

It's a great beer! But I recommend drinking it fairly quickly!

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ouncer purchased at Cable Bev. in Bardonia, NY. No freshness info offered. This little beauty pours muddy dark brown, cloudy, under a typical medium tan head, that seems to leave moderate scattered lacing. Sugary, raisiny nose. Nice drinking brown Belgian, notes of sweet, rummy raisins, dark fruits and drying hops late. Pleasant, fruity, plummy, doughy ale. alcohol well hidden. NIce stuff, well worth a try or two.

Photo of MisterDeeds
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring from a 750 corked bottle, aged over a year in the great cellar of RixBeer.

A gorgeous looking velvety brown, bordering on rusty. Almost looks like a mulled apple cider. Nice thick foamy head that retreats quickly a lacy garter.

Great aroma of dark fruits and black licorice. Very inviting.

Taste is outstanding. Sweet mocha chocolate notes up front mingling with plums and spices, finishing with some black licorice and a touch of bitterness.

Very fizzy bubbles, which I normally don't agree with, seem to do wonders for this brew. It looks almost cloudy and rusty, yet the bubbles lend it an almost light and fizzy quality.

Drinkable is an understatement. I can now understand why this is so hard to come by. This is the ideal bottle to share over dessert, or for the perfect after dinner night-cap.

Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to zdk9 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is toffee with some earthy hops. The flavor is great. It is a mix of brown sugar, toffee, Begian yeast, alcohol and something resembling oak. The beer is very sweet and the toffee and brown sugar stand out. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330mL bottle from the Conestoga LCBO. Never heard of this brew before, but looks intriguing.

Poured into a goblet. Deep caramel-chestnut, about a half inch of lively head that recedes into a sturdy ring. Some lacing.

Nose is brown sugar, caramel, some fruit - figs, raisins or grapes - mild yeast.

Initially quite dry, but this brew really deserves some extra breathing time before things really get going. Sweet and sugary at first, with some of that figgy fruit taste coming in near the finish, along with some chocolate and medicinal herbs. Not bad, actually.

Carbonation is quite aggressive at first - again, letting the brew breathe helped a great deal. It did help the give the brew a lighter quality, however.

Interesting Belgian dark that I found I enjoyed more and more with each sip.

Photo of Byeast
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: deep , opaque , auburn/brown , with a creamy tan head that dissipates to a thin layer.

Smell: The aroma is of much sweet fruits like apple , pear , hint of darker grape , also some malt and bit of yeast.

Taste: An interestingly complex taste to this brew! Sweet dark fruits , pear , chocolate , some berries, dark and sweet malts , slightly herbal hop , and grape(dark).

Mouthfeel: very active carbonation creams up this brew.

Drinkability: This is one fine brew to savor. The flavor is very pleasantly complex. Just when you think you have a grasp on a flavor , it morphs into another , brilliant!

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Anam Cara.

Cloudy amber-brown in color with a frothy tannish-colored head. Nice lacing of the glass. Aromas are raisins/plums/other dark fruit mixed with caramel squares. Flavor carries many different sensations on the palate: cherry fizz cola, raisins, sugary caramel, some toffee, and a whiff of charred wood. Finish is dry, with hints of spice on the palate. Mouthfeel is just slightly thinner that expected, but still a very drinkable (read: sippable) beer. Great for a nightcap on a cold winter's night.

Photo of djmitche
4.82/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At Villains in Chicago, and at Smaakcafe 't Poatersgat in Brugges. The head was coarse and foamy and fell quickly. The color is a dark brown with a distinct ruby tone - unexpected for a dark.

The nose has spur cherries and some vinegar, leading to the expectation of some sourness. But don't be fooled! The taste is warm and sweet, with a nice caramel background. The mouthfeel is full without bring heavy.

The finish has a funny, dull bitter "hook" to it that cuts the sweetness without going overboard. I love it - I just don't know what it is! I've only enter tasted this in St. Bernardus Abt 12 before.

Nostradamus is similar to Abt 12, but a bit more sweet.

Photo of deebo
3.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Second trip to Cambrinus in Bruges for the night, with so many beers and good prices this is always a must stop for beers while in Bruges.
A-Pours a ton of fluffy tan head. This brew is clear and dark brown with a little bit of red around the edges when you hold it up to the light. NIce lacing.
S-Surprisingly not much noted, weak barley with a corn adjunct twist to it. Plenty of Belgian yeast here.
T-Yeasty esters. Somewhat sweet raisiny malt.
M-Medium bodied and carbonated.
O-Surprisingly unexciting. A solid beer but I've really enjoyed other Caracole beers so I expected more.

Photo of BGDrock
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: muddy, strawberry/rhubarb jam red/brown; pours a big, fizzling head with good retention

Aroma: not much coming forward, some fruit and spice, jam coming to mind again

Taste & Mouthfeel: fatty, yeasty flavour and mouthfeel jump out at first with mashed fruit; feels stronger than the 9%, good burn from the alcohol; some spice - cinnamon; toffee begins to come through strongly, nice and rich; great carbonation and medium body; yeast is unfiltered and has built some great character; cherry, cassis, banana, and even a little tart in the finish; flavours mesh but also surprise with each sip

Overall: love a good Belgian beer in this style and this one is an amazing example with wonderful depth, complexity, and full mouthfeel

Photo of jjam1266
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Pours a slightly reddish dark brown with a single finger of white foamy head. Lacing is nice and is long lasting. Smell is of figs and cherries and other sour fruits, but not extremely prevalent. Taste is again of dark fruits but very balanced by nice spicy hops. Hoppier than expected but very good. Alcohol comes in towards the end but gives the flavor a nice little kick that works well. Moderate carbonation. Quite a good brew.

Photo of ADR
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Murky burnt sienna color, yellow-tan head rises to over 1/2 a inch in a tulip glass. Laces are thick, but keep falling down the glass. Interesting aroma, malted milk whiffs, some sourdough tanginess with yeasty notes. Mouthfeel is solidly medium, well-spaced carbonation that's overall lower in volume. Lots of ginger in the flavor, grading into dark molasses. Gets clove-ridden late in the profile, some pears, bitters with more hop than many without an overly sweet or sticky impression. Cognac-like with some alcoholic heat in the throat. Pretty good in that its rich with some brightness but not too sugary.

Photo of Blackwolf
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bomber into an oversized wineglass.

A- Poured a deep rich mahogany colored body, with a cherry/light-brown fluffy head which settled quickly. A thin ring of semi-sticky lacing slowly slips down the sides of the glass at every sip I take. Just wonderful.

S- You know this is a belgian as soon as it hits the nose, bananas/plumb, yeast, caramalt, kinda nutty too. Very aromatic and enticing.

T- Caramalt forward, yummy belgian yeast, some dark fruit mid palate, then a bitter sweet finish with banana very subtle hop tangled with dark roasted nut. Very complex and balanced. Some alcohol says hello in the end too, with a lingering sour.

MF- Light-medium semi sticky body with medium carbonation. Dry finish that is somewhat warming. Lots of fruity flavors and yeast stick to the palate.

O- A very interesting belgian, and easily to be said a great one! I just simply enjoy every part of this fine crafted beer. You cannot be disappointed if you enjoy the style. Worth the buy at a reasonable price, give it a try!

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy golden-brown color that darkens in the center of the glass and has a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of caramel malts with good amounts of toffee-covered medium fruits - dates and green apples with hints of pears.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malt flavors with large amounts of butterscotch and toffee notes kick things off. Hints if milk chocolate flavors enter into things shortly thereafter but fade quickly to allow for good amounts of fruit flavors - dates and plums mostly with hints of green apples. The ending is crisp and on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this is a nice beer but nothing special. Worth a shot.

Photo of frankiepop
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: I love the Belgians when they dress up a strong dark brown ale with colorful drawing of gnomes, elves, or cartoon nymphs. You can enjoy a wonderful little fantasy scene on a dark blue and red label.

The cork on the liter bottle popped and heavy smoke floated over the rim. The very dark brown beer was poured into a big St. Bernardus glass chalice. It's dark brown and murky with a nice head nothing special as Belgium beers go anyway.

TASTE: Heavy flavored fruity flavored beverage here with a sweet after taste that lingers nicely. The strong flavors really socked it too my taste buds. It reminded me of my 1st Guinness or something. Good carbonation. This is what I am learning is a classic wonderful dark Belgium ale.

AROMA: A strong fragrance of dates, raisins, plums that sort of thing.

Provided you like St Bernardus Abbey 12, then you will likely be pleased with Nostradamus. Hopefully, American pubs in a few years will be stocking more brews like this. May change the entire atmosphere of the American pub scene.

In any event this beer goes down well with Vivaldi's Four Seasons or some nice Bach piano music by Glenn Gould The Goldberg Variations.

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 848 ratings.