Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.
NostradamusNostradamus

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

848 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

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

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.
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Ratings: 848 | Reviews: 511
Photo of Brent
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Great label art with a children's book-like snail theme. Caged and corked, and the cork fairly leaped from the bottle as soon as I started to remove it. I noted an interesting hops vine design on the cork. Aggressively carbonated, with a tight, soda-fizzy head and lots of bubble streamers up the glass. Poured a medium cola brown.

My overall impression of the beer was that it just needed something more in any category to be noteworthy. Not sweet, and perhaps just a bit more fruit sweetness would have added some dimension. Not a great deal of bittering, nor significant yeasty phenols. As the beer warmed, a little caramel malt was present, but, again, not enough to make much of a statement. Really quite average in every department. I suppose the bottle art lead me to expect some creativity, and I was let down.

Photo of Radome
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served from bottle into goblet.

A - Cloudy and opaque with a medium brown color. Head is almost non-existent, but there is a little lacing on the glass. There is a large amount of dark brown, clumpy sediment. The beer looks a little "muddy" and not all that appetizing.

S - Smell is sweet and savory at the same time. It is all malt and no hops, as expected for the style. There is a thick musk like mushrooms and Asian plum sauce that doesn't sound nice, but makes me want to take a sip.

T - Taste matches the smell with sweet and savory malt and yeast notes. I get the plum sauce again and other dark fruits, as well as savory notes almost like soy sauce. It is complex, but also a bit muddled to me.

M - Thick mouthfeel and almost totally flat. Better carbonation would help lighten the experience a bit.

D - I can't help wondering if I got a bad or very old bottle. The first impression of muddy and murky held throughout. This was very disappointing based on the beer and brewery's reputation.

Photo of Enola
3.08/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

This beer poured into my Chimay chalice a nice dark brown. There was a thin head with good retention. The most notable thing about the smell is the immediate alcohol presence. The taste is brown sugar, molasses and there is a deffinate alcohol presence as well. The mouthfeel is dominated by the alcohol notes. This beer lacks a smoothness to be very drinkable. A potent brew.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Cool label...I was unaware Nostradamus was a snail!
Murky brown color with a thin tan head that fades to a nice collar and film.

Nutty brown aroma is supplemented with a bit of yeast funk and some metallic cantaloupe rinds.

Anything but a typical brown. Bursting with alcohol, bitter roasty dark malts and a yeasty sweetness. This is a big beer and it lets you know it. Alcohol is a bit too forward for me.

This beer is not really my gig, but I could see this being better with food...flavorful food like gorgonzola or a pepper crusted T-bone.

Photo of Long813
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown body with a finger of off white head and lots of lacing.

S: Full of dark fruits, fig, plum, some brown sugar. Dark roasted malt dominates.

T: Dark fruits and brown sugar. Some other spices and high presence of alcohol.

M: Medium-heavy body with load of carbonation. Alcohol presence is to much and aftertaste is off.

D: Not my favourite brew, thought it wasn't as balanced and it could have been.

Photo of cnally
3.17/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I see the future...a buzz...some PS3...

A mostly opaque caramel brown color in the body with an off white large bubbled head with a tinge of gold.

The aroma really comes strong with dark fruits, some fig, plum and currant. A well positioned dark toasted malt dominates between the fruitiness.

Flavor continues with the fruits. Dried fruits are more like it because the sugars taste like they are modified, like a dried apricot, prune, a musty flavor of sorts. There is an acrid off-flavor in there, which is entirely distracting, like iodine. Finish redeems some of the off-putting qualities, with a little bitterness.

Mouthfeel is nice, balanced, evenly carbonated and smooth.

Maybe I have an off bottle, but the flavor reminds me of bad batches I brewed when I used iodine. The off flavor is overwhelming. The feel is nice, but really, this is a big average beer for me to finish.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.19/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy/cloudy dark brown colored beer with a below average head which lack retention. Aroma consists of a strange mix of spices (cardamome??) and some very light roastiness. The mix of spices seems to be even more present while I drink this but the roastiness seems to have disappeared. Body is above average but carbonation could be better for Belgian Ale). Alcohol can be detected in the end, which I don’t particularly enjoy. Overall, this one leave me a bit perplex because I did enjoyed the spice but the lack of roastiness and the fact that the alcohol is way too detectable leave me hanging a bit.

Photo of sabrills70
3.2/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750ml corked and caged bottle with a best before date of 6/08. pours a medium brown with a small quik fading head and minimal lace. Aromas of rich malt, brown sugar, sherry and dried fruits. Lots of nice flavors here - similar to the aromas. Very low carbonation though which surprised me - too low I think. This beer is tasty but the extreme low carbonation kind of throws it off. Perhaps I just got a bad bottle?

Photo of safaricook
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought at the Bierparadijs in Meer, Belgium.

Poured it into my Jopen Snifter creating a fine bubbled beige head of almost two fingers that dissipates fast into a rim leaving no lacing. Body is murky darkest brown almost black with a touch of red.

smells of malt, plums, coffee, alcohol

very dominant taste of slightly bitter espresso, malty sweetness, some alcohol and slightly metallic taste and little sourness

fine bubbles dance softly on the tongue, warming alcohol, not really refreshing or special in any way

Not a bad beer, but it just doesn't appeal to me. It is probably the overpowering coffee taste that is pleasant on the nose as it is balanced by other flavors that I am not able to taste. I don't think that I will drink this again for the said reasons, but you should give it a try at least once.

Photo of GBB
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Who saw this coming? Pours a dark amber to brown color that was cloudy. A decent off-white head when poured but did dissipate rather quickly and limited lacing.

The nose is light overall but a noticeable sugary and phenolic aroma really comes out. To start there is more of a white and brown sugar aroma with hints of malt and a light biscuit/bready thing going on. Noticeable yeast character some good and some bad. Nice plum and figs notes blend with a butyric and tannic aroma that is a bit off setting. Some spice pepper notes on the back end as well.

The taste is a bit more on par for style (Belgian's have style?). The sugar notes back way off and let more of the malt come out. A more generic malt taste with hints of bready and biscuit malt notes. A sugary note is there as well, but more of a brown sugar thing. The yeast backs off versus the nose but some lighter fruity tastes are there. Specifically a sugar plum and fig note. Some zesty almost citrus note that is a bit off for style. Some vegi notes on the back end that came out when it was warmer.

The body is moderate but does leave a lingering sweetness. Almost boarder line under attenuated but not really. Some noticeable fusel notes are a bit of a distraction. Overall some good complexity with the sugar notes and phenolics/esters but some off notes really distract.

Photo of TerryW
3.24/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I'm not understanding all the high scores for this one, because to me it comes across as a very average beer.

Looks good. Big head that's not out of control that settles to a heavy film and leaves gooc lace throughout. Cleat chestnut brown, reddish. Nose is gently fruity and sweet. Taste is fruity and sweet, malty, finishes with mild alcohol and some dryness. You can feel the buzz at 9%, but it's nice and warm rather than hurtful. Best drunk at room temperature or a little warmer as it has an unpleasant plastic chemical aftertaste when cold.

Drinkable, bur really just average, not worth all the plaudits here. Nothing leaps out to make you say wow. Uninteresting.

Photo of TLove
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle into Palm snifter.

The sweet/sour balance is heavy on this beer, as is the dry finish. Head holds well, though doesnt really fill the glass in the way you'd expect. Color is a beige brown with a tint of orange.

An interesting blend stylistically between a BSDA and a brown gueuze, with cherry, rum, apple, and a spicy, dry finish. Some red grape on the tongue, with cherries, some light spices.

The carbonation is almost chewable. The flavor sits, oddly, at the carbonation, despite letting the beer sit for some time. 9% ABV not overpowering, but the finish is very dry and very sour.

Photo of philipquarles
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a goblet, this beer is a dark brown with a medium tan head that recedes to a nice foam film. Lots of sediments present.

Smells of caramelized sugar, roasted malt, dark fruit esters, and very slight hops.

Taste is dominated by the sugar. Roasted malt and hints of coffee come in a bit later, along with alcohol and hops. Not very balanced, really.

Mouthfeel is decent; nice and thick, though there's a bit too much carbonation for a beer of this style, I think.

Overall, a beer that is too sweet to be anything more than a one-time sipper. Not offensive, but not what a Belgian Dark Ale should be, I think.

Photo of shippos
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

deep garnet color with a watery bubbley head.
soft aroma flowwery with a creamy sugary center, little estery and some alcohol. average mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation that cleanses you palate. spicy alcohol and that unique yeasty spicyness mixes in the finish. head doesn't last long and becomes non existent after a bit. worth a try.

Photo of Prufrock
3.32/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

nice color: deep brown at its thickest, fading to a reddish amber and a golden orange at the bottom of the glass. lots of floating dark sediment; i need to start pouring more carefully. half an inch of tan head.

strong metallic character to the aroma, which is otherwise a variety of dark, sweet aromas: molasses, raisins and brown sugar.

much less sweetness in the flavor, which is definitely weaker than expected. it has a pleasant feel, medium-bodied and lightly carbonated, but overall the taste shows very little presence. a little sugary sweet, a little malt, but overall an oddly empty flavor with a clean finish. nothing that offends (except the metallic aroma), but nothing that stands out.

Photo of scottyshades
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was a little disappointed in this beer because it fits the mold of the average Belgian Dark (not to say that that is necessarily bad).

A: Rich brown pour with a billowy off-white head that puffs out of the top of the glass. A decent retention can be noticed that leaves a fine but present lace.

S: Sweet...figs, dates, sugar (brown) and alcohol on the nose

T: Like I said before, very average...it tastes like every other belgian dark on the planet. But I did taste notes of figs, dates, molasses, and perhaps toffee in addition to a strong initial taste of metal.

MF: Perhaps in my opinion the least persuasive aspect of this beer. The mouthfeel did not convince me at all...A poor aftertaste, and it just made my mouth feel unconfortable

D: At 9.50% you cant exactly call this guy a session beer, but one of these with dinner doesnt hurt anything

Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.34/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 750ml corked and caged brown bottle with a cool, trippy label. Best before 3/2010 clearly notched.

Appearance: Slightly hazy dark mahogany beer with a big, thick whipped light-tan cap. Nice sheet lacing and good retention from this one.

Smell: BIG dried apple and oaky cider notes. There's some sweet caramel in here, as well as a little dark fruit and booze as well. Overall, this is a bit too cidery and fruity for me; I'm not sure if it was supposed to be like that, but there could definitely be some more malt in here.

Taste: Tart spiced apples. There's not a brett/lactic sour presence here, but there's definitely a hit of fruity acidity. This is surprisingly dry as well. Finishes with a bit of baking spice. Again, I'd like to see some more malt character here.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, and lusciously soft

Drinkability: Medium...splitting this with the wife was even a bit more than I wanted

Conclusion: This is pretty interesting, kind of like a spiced version of Pommeau de Normandie (a Norman apple cider/Calvados mix). It's esoteric, funky, but a bit over the top for me, a little bit too brash, boozy, and spicy (especially considering the brewery doesn't use spices in this beer) for me.

Photo of BlackHaddock
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl Bottle, drank on the seafront in the excellent 'Schildia' Knokke-Heist, Belgium.

Slightly cloudy and dull looking, a muddy brown colour with a tan head.

Aroma and taste were both rich. Treacle sweet in both also. Would have liked more body for a 9.5% beer. Interesting enough, but without the 'umph factor' for me.

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 GossageBrewery
3.37/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured this Belgian Strong Dark Ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a dark brown/reddish color- produced a nice tannish head, great retention and left excellent lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of plums, pears and yeast. Full bodied, there is a foundation of roasted malt, pear, plum, chocolate, berries and belgian yeast- dry finish. Very complex flavors, this is for sure beer that is to be sipped. Complex flavors remind me of drinking a dark red wine.

Photo of ThaCreep
3.41/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Reddish brown. The nose feels strongly the cellar, maturation and black fruits almost moldy. The roasted malt is perceived quickly on the palate in the style strong dark Belgian beer. But especially a mouth recalling both the Madeira and Porto. It looks like a bit of a beer that has made ​​the cellar for a few years too. The finish is heavy in this style of ripe red wine which gives it a blood flavor, slightly sweet but it is not the level of beer that quickly reveals itself still disgusting.

Photo of kojevergas
3.41/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle acquired in Strasbourg, France, and poured into an An Brainblasta goblet in Belfort, France. Reviewed live. Bottle was unlabelled, with a plain blue cap. The shopkeeper had to identify for us per our query.

A: Two and a half finger head of slight tan colour, slight cream, and good thickness. Great retention for the high ABV. Nontransparent dark amber colour.

Sm: Alcohol, tinges of dark fruit, and caramel. A strong scent due to the alcohol.

T: Lovely dark fruit ester hops, caramel complementary of the full barley foundation, and some assorted layered amber hops that emerge fully for the climax. Alcohol is nowhere to be had. Some spices are present on the fringes. A bit of cream is there on the open. Nicely complex if a but unfocused. Very balanced.

Mf: Nicely coarse, especially for the climax, which coaxes out the flavour. Wet and nearly refreshing. Mostly suits the flavour of the body.

Dr: Very drinkable, with a high ABV that is unnoticeable, and adequate refreshment. Pretty fairly priced for an import at 4.40 quid in Strasbourg.

Photo of GRG1313
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown/black, a bit thin and clear and the color is not all that appealing, with a tan head.

Nose is of creamed sweet carmeled coffee and undertones of Belgian sugar and fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium to thin but there is character to make up for the lack of viscosity.

Flavors are layered and with lots of character. The flavors follow the nose - Belgian fruit and malted coffee. Abit short on flavor and character. Not bad at all - just nothing special.

Photo of mdcrouser
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brilliant brown and amber, with a great deal of suspended particulates floating throughout. A thin white ring of head sits atop this beer, serving as a magnet for tiny bubbles of carbonation rising to the top.

The nose is heavily yeasty, smelling (not surprisingly) like a good brewery or bakery where bread is being proofed.

Caramel and brown sugar flavors come to the fore as it comes to temperature.

Exceptionally light on the tongue, and a bit malty sweet, with crisp mouthfeel, this is a really easy drinking beer, but at 9.5%, not a sessioner.

Photo of largadeer
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber-brown with just a hint of transparency. The eggshell-colored head disappears a lot quicker than I'd like, resigning to a small ring around the rim of the glass.

Smell: Sweet and caramelly with noticable alcohol. Slightly metallic as well.

Taste/mouthfeel: Caramel malts and spices come out first, followed by a pleasant ripe fruitiness. The finish is overly hot and boozy, making me think that this beer would be much nicer with some age. Overall a good beer, definitely appropriate for the season. I'd be interested in trying a bottle that has been cellared for a year or so.

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