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Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

NostradamusNostradamus

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

718 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 718
Reviews: 488
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 10.81%


Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole visit their website
Belgium

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001)
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Ratings: 718 | Reviews: 488 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of philipquarles
philipquarles

Connecticut

3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2008 22:34:04 | More by philipquarles
Photo of TLove
TLove

District of Columbia

3.25/5  rDev -20.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2009 03:59:47 | More by TLove
Photo of Prufrock
Prufrock

Massachusetts

3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2006 21:11:13 | More by Prufrock
Photo of scottyshades
scottyshades

Florida

3.28/5  rDev -19.4%
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

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2008 01:47:54 | More by scottyshades
Photo of shippos
shippos

New York

3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2004 15:47:48 | More by shippos
Photo of BedetheVenerable
BedetheVenerable

Missouri

3.33/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2009 03:50:08 | More by BedetheVenerable
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.38/5  rDev -17%
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.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2008 12:55:50 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of deebo
deebo

Minnesota

3.38/5  rDev -17%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2012 00:44:53 | More by deebo
Photo of GossageBrewery
GossageBrewery

Missouri

3.38/5  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.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 17:02:19 | More by GossageBrewery
Photo of ThaCreep
ThaCreep

Belgium

3.4/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

Serving type: nitro-bottle

05-28-2011 18:09:30 | More by ThaCreep
Photo of JBogan
JBogan

Nevada

3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky medium brown with a nice creamy one finger head. Minimal lacing is left in it's wake.

Smells of anice and dark fruits.

Tastes also of anice and dark fruits, mainly figs and raisins, along with an alcohol edge.

Mouthfeel was thick and smooth. Somewhat oily going down but ends with a bit of stickiness.

This is a well made brew, although there are many other beers in it's catagory whose taste I prefer over this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 22:13:14 | More by JBogan
Photo of GRG1313
GRG1313

California

3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-02-2009 06:35:25 | More by GRG1313
Photo of BostonHops
BostonHops

Massachusetts

3.43/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle served in oversized wineglass.

pours a murky, amber/brown tone while yielding a half finger of off-white head the dissipates quickly, leaving some lacing.

smell is predominantly sweet: dark fruits, yeast, and spices. first sip is indeed very sweet, with a vague, almost wine-like quality. raisins, plums, malts, spices, and yeast round out the primary players. i don't know if i could call it tasty. it's not bad, per se, just not really doing much for me. moderately carbed with a full mouthfeel. all in all there is enough here to like to keep it from going down the drain. that said, IMO there are much better representations of the style.

original review on: 08-15-2010

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2012 02:39:36 | More by BostonHops
Photo of mdcrouser
mdcrouser

Missouri

3.45/5  rDev -15.2%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2009 03:03:19 | More by mdcrouser
Photo of bensiff
bensiff

Washington

3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this milk chocolate colored brew from a 750ml corked bottle. It has a dense tan head that dissipates down to a bubble thin layer with a couple islands of thicker head. Aroma is sweet and tart at the same time with an alcoholic kick maybe a little chocolate and cherry too. There is a leathery cherry flavor intermixed with bitterness that seems more like citric acid than hops and the alcohol could use to be masked better. Beer seems thin for a the alcohol content.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2007 02:55:08 | More by bensiff
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2007 23:26:15 | More by largadeer
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.48/5  rDev -14.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2011 16:15:17 | More by kojevergas
Photo of joeskirkie
joeskirkie

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've been looking for beers I can drink from my oversized wine glass lately...

It's a cloudy murky dark brown with a light biege head.

Theres a malty rasberry aroma.

Taste is fuity, and oh yes theres alcohol. If I didn't know better I'd call this a barley wine.

It's warming and relaxing. Not that it's bad, but I couldn't have a lot of these cause they'd just put me to sleep eventually.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2006 01:30:10 | More by joeskirkie
Photo of BigJim5021
BigJim5021

Indiana

3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle pours somewhere between amber and brown with a very small tan head. Easily the smallest head I've ever managed to put on a Belgian beer. Hmm. Must be past its prime.

The aroma is quite sweet. Caramelized sugar and toasted malts. Light clove. Just a little bit too sweet for me.

The flavor is definitely on the sweet side as well. It's good, but time has muted what may have once been there. Given that this bottle was near the end of its lifespan (if not past it, as the notches on the back were off-the-mark), the alcohol has completed subsided.

Mouthfeel suffers from the age as well. The carbonation is well below what I like in my Belgian brews. It's still got a decent body to it.

This is by no means a bad beer. I think that I'll need to get ahold of a fresher bottle to give it another stab. But hey, how could I pass up a $6.49 bottle of this stuff?

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2009 05:54:46 | More by BigJim5021
Photo of bskrtz
bskrtz

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A) Cloudy root beer, tan leather with little to no lacy white head

S) Sweet pastries, candy, raisons, figs & dark fruit. Emphasis on sweet

T) Candied sugar and classic Belgian malts. Root beer, sweet/sour mash... it's all there

M) Full bodied & dense but lacks carbonation despite effervescent secondary fermentation. Tingly bubbles but still flat.

D) I had very high hopes for this 9% ABV beer, and by high hopes I emphasize high. But the beer fell flat as in flat beer. If it were draft I'd blame the bar but I poured these (plural) from 11.2 ounce bottles. It's good when compared to others, but the Belgians set the bar high.

Serving type: bottle

10-01-2009 01:49:03 | More by bskrtz
Photo of canucklehead
canucklehead

British Columbia (Canada)

3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a brand new beer in the B.C. liquor stores with it's
companion, Saxo. Being a Belgian beer and a high alcohol
content, I anticipated an intense brew. The colour was very dark,
almost porter like in hue. The head was thick with beading
staying to the side of the glass throughout . I couldn't sense much
of a nose which surprised me given the strength of the beer.

Initial tasting provided strong wine like qualities and a decided
alcoholic mouthfeel. This beer is slightly coarse but compared
to La Chouffe it offers more complexity in the mid body. I will
put a bottle down for a year or so to mellow out some of the
more potent esters. I can reccomend this as an after dinner
sipping beer or an accompaniment to some strong cheeses.

Serving type: bottle

03-10-2003 11:57:13 | More by canucklehead
Photo of delmet
delmet

California

3.53/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Good stuff, but I have had a lot better. Beautiful color, but not much of a head.Smooth on the palate, with a warm alcohol feeling at the end. Caramel and sweetness come to mind. Nice lace at the end. One can do better and a lot worse. Unfortunately, it is not one of those beers that bring you down on your knees.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2008 02:07:20 | More by delmet
Photo of twelvsies
twelvsies

Maine

3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer definately challenged me. First of all, let me say that I've sampled a wide variety of beer types and consider myself a fairly experienced beer drinker, but quite frankly this beer cofused me and I didn't know what to think of it. Maybe another try or more beers of this type will help to expand my palate, but here are my first opinions on this very complex beer. Looks more like a glass of wine than a beer. Dark red maroon color and very watery looking. No head or lacing at all. Smells very strong, almost too intense. Very alcoholic scent, bitter, grapey, red wine tinges in there as well. Taste is very interesting to say the least. It's a bit too in your face for me. The alcohol isn't masked at all, and there are so many flavors hitting your palate you don't know what to think. It tastes like wine at first, but then towards the finish it tastes like what it is, a strong Belgian beer. Feels very dry in the mouth, just like a fine wine. I found this beer pretty hard to drink actually, very acidic and abrasive.
Final notes: This is a very complex and interesting beer. Maybe it's just not my style, but I think it's too all-over-the-place for its' own good. I'm definately intrigued though and I'll get it again to see if my opinions change now that I have a frame of reference. What's the deal with this beer?? It's weird, in a weirdly good way. That's all for now.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2004 20:33:55 | More by twelvsies
Photo of jpkoch1962
jpkoch1962

Indiana

3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got a bottle of this at a package store. Interesting label, and the bottle was corked. Served at 45 deg in pint glass.

Ale was a cloudy dark coppery color with a rich thick brown head that slowly dies.Plenty of sweet malts and spicy esters in the aroma. The front end of this ale begins with an earthy sweet caramel taste. The dominating flavors are choclate raisins and mollassis. This blended into an earthy spiciness. The middle retained the earthy character before it finishes sweet like a strong sherry. The alcohol content while high didn't overwhelm this brew. A cloying aftertaste lingered well after I finished my sample. My sample was perhaps a bit undercarbonated.

This would make a nice after dinner sipping ale. The sweetness in the aftertaste is the biggest drawback. Could have probably used a bit more Belgian spices (pepper or coriander), maybe even a small addition of bittering hops. The cork gave this ale a nice cellar earthiness that I liked.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2006 01:20:15 | More by jpkoch1962
Photo of kelticblood
kelticblood

Massachusetts

3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance wasn't too impressive as far as carbonation is concerned. It did however have a nice dark brown color with chunky bits of yeast floating around. Very complex aroma hinting at cherries, hops, strong malt notes, and copper. Aroma became more complex as it warmed and got some air. The potent mouthfeel and finish seems to overpower the taste. Raisins and plums are hinted in the taste. Strong Carbonation coupled with a high ABV and strong phenol bitterness seem to hide any real flavors. Very rich malty and dry finish with a strong lingering bitterness. No brew for rookies, but worth a try. Bottle lists this as a Artisanal Belgian Speical Brown Ale

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2009 21:49:44 | More by kelticblood
Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 718 ratings.