Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole
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Ratings: 757 | Reviews: 491 | Display Reviews Only:
4.95/5 rDev +21.9%
Pours a nice chestnut brown with medium carbonation. Aroma is of candy sugar, raisins and dark chocolate - overall a very sweet smell, but not cloying.
Taste is similar to St. Bernardus 12, but perhaps even more balanced and rounded. Toffee, caramel, chocolate and sweet malt are all present along with the perfect amount of hop bitterness to make an exceptionally balanced sipper. Slight alcohol taste present at the finish, but never solventy, hot or overpowering.
Flavor definitely is improved at the recommended drinking temp of 50-55f.
The perfect Belgian Strong Dark Ale? Perhaps...
04-06-2007 15:31:45 | More by datamike
4.9/5 rDev +20.7%
A - When I popped the top on this one, honey-hued foam began to slowly creep up from the mouth of the bottle like one of those expanding snake things you light on fire on the fourth of July. That head making machinery continues in the snifter as a four finger gargantuan brownish head rises like Godzilla from the sea of russet-with-blood-highlights brew. The head exhibits excellent retention for the high ABV, and lots of sparkling lace is left on the sides of the glass.
S - I could smell mellow marshmallow and milk chocolate before I poured it into the glass, but once decanted this really fills the room with sweet mellow aromas. Sticking my schnoz into the glass, I can smell loads of honey, pancake syrup on top of buttermilk flapjacks, Honeycomb cereal, french fries, and baked potatoes. Sweet, mellow, soothing, and amazingly complex.
T - Sweet, sweet, sweet honey, black licorice (good n' plenty), gooey chewy movie theater candy, and Mrs. Butterworth pancake syrup. Creamy, buttery diacetyl flavors are there in abundance with butter, butterscotch, and sour cream flavors. Honeycomb cereal with about a pound of sugar and whole milk in the bowl. Some tangy hay-like make an attempt to balance the sweet insanity, but don't quite have the muscle to overpower the honeyed sugary flavors of this desert brew. For some reason I taste french fries and twice baked potatoes...that is a very good thing IMO. This is pretty much sweet tooth curing candy, and the alcohol attenuation helps somewhat with the sweetness, but as long as you treat this as a desert beer, it's simply outstanding!
M - Thick, viscous, oily, buttery, and full bodied. This one is mildly carbonated, warm with alcohol, and slick with sugar. This finishes up with a long sweet alcohol laden aftertaste.
D - A little too sickly sweet for more than one, and the alcohol content could be a problem. This is an outstanding sipping beer, and it's just about perfect as an accompaniment to dark chocolate. I'm impressed. This is bottled candy.
08-20-2007 20:08:29 | More by pmcadamis
4.9/5 rDev +20.7%
The ancient greeks believed that the Titans preceded the Gods. It wasn't until that little ingrate Zeus and his cronies rose up against his wise and esteemed father that the Olympians ruled the earth. Let me be so bold as to say that if Unibroue is Zeus, Nostradamus is goddamn Chronos.
I'm proud to be giving this beer what I presume to be its highest rating thus far. Twice I've had it, and twice it's taken my breath away. This is simply one of the most well-rounded Belgian ales I've had. The sweet and yeasty character hits you full force, but a dark, fruity underlay is there to catch your fall. An argument for Belgian nationalism.
04-25-2004 04:49:17 | More by 86MonteSS
4.88/5 rDev +20.2%
Pours a brown/amber, cloudy. Decent head, decent retention, very nice lacing. Smell was fairly strong of alcohol, but not in a bad "this will taste awful" kind of way, more of a sweet alcohol way. Taste is incredibly smooth, with little to no alcohol taste. Very sweet, in a dark fruit sort of way. Good mouthfeel, slight warmth from the alcohol, good amount of carbonation. I would definitely drink more than one of these if I had another, and if I felt like getting slightly drunk. But I don't have one, and I don't want to get slightly drunk. But I highly recommend it!
01-10-2006 04:16:17 | More by spiffylubes
4.85/5 rDev +19.5%
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.
08-23-2010 00:16:09 | More by djmitche
4.83/5 rDev +19%
Even before opening the bottle, the sediment at the bottom hints this is going to be something special. The bottle categorizes this as a Belgian Brown Ale. Upon opening the bottle, an aroma of brown sugar penetrates the air. The aroma becomes stronger upon pouring. The color is of the ale is a murky dark brown with visible sediment that scatters about the bottom of the glass. The taste is a unique sweet and slightly sour flavored brown ale. A brown sugar flavor stays on the tongue, melting into a sweet aftertaste.
Nostradamus is a very good Belgian where the flavors of the yeast shine. It is not too thick or "syrupy". It also provides the health benefits of the sediment.
09-05-2011 15:45:45 | More by JohnnyHopps
4.8/5 rDev +18.2%
Lot FGHX. 'Best before' code is confusing, but it seems to read 03/2012. Didn't Nostradamus predict the end of the world in 2012? Maybe it should just read "drink before the end."
Served just under 50°F. Synthetic cork pops with ease.
A: Nostradamus pours deep, deep, brown with fire red highlights against the light. It's clear enough to see all the way through. A half-finger yellowed brown head rises and falls to a cream, leaving pseudo-lacing that spiderwebs into thin strands on the glass and then falls into the brew.
S: The nose is an explosion of fruity and lightly-spiced esters. Most noticeable is a blast of bubblegum, followed by grapefruit, plum, and fig. There is an underlying heat, leading to a delightfully complex spectrum of scents. As it warms, the nose sweetens. Phenomenal.
T: Following up the great smell is a sweet, smooth, and hot taste. Alcoholic heat is present but subtle, and accentuates the raisins, plums, caramel, chocolate, cherries, and toffee. The flavor is well-rounded and balanced. Nostradamus is a candy bar in a bottle.
M: Full bodied, and slightly chewy, with good, soft carbonation. Surprisingly smooth.
D: High. One of my favorites!
11-24-2010 22:30:54 | More by SPThirtyThree
4.78/5 rDev +17.7%
Thanks to Jim at Sherbrooke for the sample. Came in a 330 ml brown bottle, abv. listed as 9%. Dark, dense nut brown in colour, turns to bright oaky highlights when held to direct light. Quick creamy beige head that settle to a thin cap.
Remarkable aroma that fills the room. Rich caramelized malts, figs, dates and raisins, milk chocolate and carob nut, currants, pear, and Gala apple.
Flavour holds toffee and sweet caramelized malt up front, dates and black currant rising in the middle, a little swish of milk chocolate, with mildly tart notes of pear and apple on the finish. Wow! I can't do it justice, it all works together amazingly.
Medium-bodied mouthfeel, slick, with some brisk carbonation.
An incredibly well-crafted Strong Dark Belgian, very well put together. Enchanting even. This is one definitely worth seeking out.
10-25-2010 01:29:05 | More by IronDjinn
4.78/5 rDev +17.7%
Found this fine brew buried in the craft beer section at one of my local, usually uninteresting, package stores.
They didn't know how it got there, as it was not in their system.
After 12 minutes, I was even more intrigued as this single bottle of beer caused chaos in this store full of unworthy folks. I had to have it, so I negotiated a price with them to reassure them that they were getting their money's worth. They didn't... this beer is priceless.
(Bless the person that put it there.... bless you.)
Knowing the characteristics of a typical Belgian Brown....I immediately cooked up a complimentary dish before even picturing opening it. Garlic, red onion, kalamata olives, black olives, mushroom, red peppers, pepperoncini, basil, oregano, marsala wine, Quinta olive oil, oregano, Parmesan/Romano cheese blend, and Gorgonzola over spaghetti.
Of course, I ran the risk of this beer being nothing close to what I expected, but, I had a great meal nonetheless.
So I open Nostradamus and it looks like I may have been all knowing mind of the future after all....
The beer pours a copper brown color and has a thick, off-white head that laces beautifully. The head stuck to the glass forming a perfect concave from bird's eye view. And the head stood there...with no plans of subsiding.
The aroma over powered the over spiced air of the kitchen immediately. Rich toffee and sweet crisp yeast filled the nose with a very slight alcohol bite. The token Belgian spice cleans out the sticky aromas so that you may have another smell.
The taste was unbelievable. Too vague? Let me explain....
It starts with a smooth body and thin but loose carbonation typical of well done brown ales. Sweet toffee sticks to the palate as dark fruit and spice fades in and out. Add the perfect touch of bottom fermenting yeast? Lees maybe? And you have an unrivaled brown Belgian style ale.
Please, try this with a strong cheese. I tried with Gorgonzola and could not get enough. The competition of the sweet ale and pungent cheese cause a reaction a chemist could not explain. Only something I or Nostradamus could have predicted.
01-20-2009 00:44:00 | More by JordanChabot
4.78/5 rDev +17.7%
A: Hazy dark brown color, with a very bold substantial tan head. I'm not really getting lacing, even with a big head. After drinking for a while the head fades, but never leaves the top of the beer unaccompanied by a cap of white foam.
S: Lots of caramel right up front, along with some vanilla cream, and faint alcohol esters in the background. There's also a spice scent to it, like cinnamon or something. That last bit could just be me, but it reminds me a bit of cinnamon.
T: There is this soft flavor of caramel that just melts in the mouth. Even as the beer fades away, it just lingers there. It brings back memories of Halloween. There's a date flavor in there as well, ever so sweet and rich tasting.
M: The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and easy to drink. Soft bubbles wash the corner of my mouth as I drink this. It is so easy to drink this beer.
O: Oh man this is a good beer. I will naturally recommend it to those who are fans of Belgian beers, especially dark ales, but I think that fans of sweet stouts or dessert style beers will find this very appealing. I will look for this beer again in the future.
06-18-2013 01:34:41 | More by teromous
4.75/5 rDev +17%
not sure what to make of the date stamped on the back, but i know this one is at least a year old 0062010. bottle also says 9% abv, not 9.5. oh well, who's counting? not me.
A- pours a beautiful murky reddish brown that glows warmly when held up to the light. the color of this beer is fantastic and i don't even know what to compare it to. foam is khaki colored, dense and creamy, and leaves thick sheets of lace that eventually slide back down. i blame the booze.
S- extremely fragrant aroma of brown bread and sugar cookies, faint cinnamon and nutmeg spice, apple wood, pecan, pear, fig, date, prune, cherry, strawberry, melon, brown sugar, and pipe tobacco. mineral water aromas fade quickly as the brew warms. smells like dessert with a floral hop sprinkle. complex, impressive, and inviting with notes that range from sweet, tart, fruity, earthy, woodsy, and everything in between.
T- tastes very similar to the aroma but heavier with the dark malt. alcohol is hidden nicely but definitely felt on the way down! the flavor has a darker, breadier, more bitter edge than the cookie sweetness of the aroma, and that suits me just fine. at the onset of a deep sip, dried fruits such as dates, figs, raisins and prunes flood the palate, almost reconstituting themselves into a brief but tangy instant of fresh grapes, pear, and melon. deep rich malts take the wheel from there with dark bread, caramel, a hint of chocolate, and port wine. a leafy, somewhat tea like hop bitterness weaves its way in and out of the strong malts to meet some banana yeast flavor in the glorious finish. alcohol is deceiving by taste and smell alone, with just a puff of pineapple, but as i said before- you will feel it, and it will warm your ass up. this is one deliciously complex brew and definitely one of the best i've had of the style. finishes like the skin of orchard fruits.
MF- juicy and rich, high abv contributes to the feel nicely. absolutely perfect carbonation holds firm, distributes flavor, then washes clean with a subtle dryness and grainy feeling left behind. a bit of powdery yeasty feel is also appreciated. this bottle is definitely not over carbonated! alcohol is felt in the chest more than anything.
D- very glad i waited and didn't drink this one too young and i recommend everyone else do the same. ridiculously drinkable for such a big belgian! i don't even have any left to go with the prized amish bleu cheese, let alone all the extra exclamation points. the mother with these amazing complex high abv belgians is that i keep digging for more flavors and ways to explain them and then... the bottle just isn't big enough. now i got this french michel cracka with a telescope flyin around in my head i'm like bitch get out of there before something bad happens... (in the future!)
06-28-2011 06:36:07 | More by hustlesworth
Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 757 ratings.