Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.
NostradamusNostradamus

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

508 Reviews
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 508
Hads: 852
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 9.34%
Wants: 49
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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Reviews: 508 | Hads: 852
Photo of delta490
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep brown with a thin beige head that quickly dissipates; a small thin disc of head hangs on in the middle of the goblet. The aroma is rich deep fruit and some alcohol. The taste is similar to the aroma but just a little bit more robust. It has a nice thick feeling to the body and a smooth finish. (307 characters)

Photo of smakawhat
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 11.2 fl oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Deep red chestnut brown, with an almost purple sheen to it for the body color. Head is only a finger tall but settles to a thin and creamy tan puck. Solid collar around, and a good amount of fine carbonation.

Classic Belgian dark notes on the nose, with some complexity. Good notes of raisin and figs, with a sweet caramel sense and candi sugar. Hints of mild acid and a bit of balsamic vinegar tucked away also. Clove. Nutmeg. Even some dark spicy brown bread crust too. very nice.

Champagne like crisp carbonation, slightly gaseous on the palate but doesn't take away too much on the flavor. Simple more raisin chewy quality in the mid palate. Some surprising cherry like sweetness as well. A bit of effervescent kick on the finish which is a bit unexpected but quite nice.

Comes off like a somewhat spritzy tight Belgian ale, but isn't overboard on the sweetness. Handles classic dark fruit component real nicely too. Solid brew. (1,003 characters)

Photo of babaracas
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear dark brown with slight reddish tint, cola like fizzy offwhite head. Smell: toasted brown bread, cola, cherry, brown sugar, peppers. Taste: cola, fruity: dried apricot, fig; brown sugar, brown bread, earthy and peppery in the finish. Easy drinker at 9% though the carb is a little aggressive. (305 characters)

Photo of Pbanks
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%

One of the best brown ales out there. Smooth texture and great taste. With a abv @ 9.0 makes it perfect to enjoy a couple at a time. Highly recommend. (153 characters)

Photo of PaulietheBrit
4.46/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear mahogany, with sparkling orange highlights, head builds high but loose with minimal retention and spotty lacing.
I get the fig, cherry, dark fruit aromas mingled with a malty biscuit sweetness.
The taste follows the nose for the fruit and malt, but then is followed by a boozy oak finish that leaves my palate dry.
The alcohol is nicely balanced by the fruits and leaves a pleasant warmth to remind me to sip again.
An easy drinking ale that is true to form. (470 characters)

Photo of BarryMFBurton
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%

This one really hit the spot. As soon as it was poured, a picturesque head of beige foam rose up above the muddy body, bringing with it aromas of estery dark fruits. Each sip was balanced and subtle in its complexity - sweet, slightly nutty malt, earthy mushroom, molasses, and rich fig and date flavors abound, a combination of tastes that left me chewing the palate slowly and deliberately. Truly a meal in a glass. (417 characters)

Photo of jjam1266
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

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. (431 characters)

Photo of cindyjeffsmith
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

appearance: Deep burgundy. Mostly clear. Big plush head on the pour that all but disappears. Still, a good looking brew. reminds of a sherry or a tawny port.
smell: Dark fruit, a little spice and a pleasant hint of rich alcohol. Nice.
taste: Again, dark fruit a hint of tart and a slight, pleasant burn in the finish.
overall: First time having this and not disappointed. Wonder what some age will do to this. Will find out. (424 characters)

Photo of ChristopherWIU-UTPA
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I drank this splendid Belgian beer at the Map Room in Chicago, Illinois. It pours brown, has a stormy look, and a moderate head. It has little lacings and decent carbonation. it has the taste of coffee, hops, and dehydrated fruits, it has hints of wheat and caramel. It has a strong body, very filling, strong after taste of coffee, and a little edge due to the alcohol content. (378 characters)

Photo of FLima
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Mahogany color with a two finger beige thick head with good retention and leaving a lots of laces.
Pleasant malty aroma, faint hay, chocolates, grapes and dark fruits. I could smell this forever.
Great flavor, heavy on spicy yeast which pleasantly stings your tongue, unexpectedly hoppy (it seems to have more than the 20+ estimated IBUs by experts) with notes of prunes, earth, herbal hops, light wood, roasted and nutty malts, bread crust, fig jam, candied sugar and licorice. Quite dry aftertaste with good tannins and a medium bitterness.
Medium body with appropriate carbonation. Really hard to believe alcohol is at 9% abv.
What an excellent Belgian Brown Ale, nice malty sweet and mild sour sensation and great complexity. Highly recommendable. (751 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 1/28/2015. Pours crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 2 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, banana, caramel, toast, biscuit, candi sugar, light chocolate, bubblegum, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and dark malt notes; with great strength. Taste of raisin, plum, pear, apple, fig, banana, caramel, toast, biscuit, candi sugar, light chocolate, light bubblegum, pepper, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, pear, apple, fig, banana, caramel, toast, biscuit, light chocolate, candi sugar, light bubblegum, light pepper, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and dark malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly slick/pricky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a excellent Belgian strong dark ale. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and dark malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering. (1,574 characters)

Photo of BuckyBeerBeaver
4.04/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

In the mood for a strong dark beer, Bucky bought a bottle of Nostradamus Extra Strong Brown Ale by Brasserie Caracole. Nostradamus came in a brown 330 ml bottle with a best before date of September 13, 2014, and was a healthy 9.0% alcohol by volume.

Brasserie La Caracole is an artisanal brewer located in the small village of Falmignoul, Province of Namur, Wallonia in southern Belgium, close to the French border. Their portfolio consists of four stock ales: Caracole, Nostradamus, Saxo and Troublette. All of these are bottle conditioned (secondary fermentation with yeast in the bottle), unfiltered and unpasteurized. Note the snail shell artwork on the bottle's label, which apparently is a recurring theme on the company's beers, with "Caracole" being the word for snail in the local Namurois dialect.

Nostradamus poured a hazy mahogany colour with hints of orange around the edges of the glass, and even through the slight haze plenty of fine, champagne-like bubbles were visible. Pouring produced about 2" of very long lasting beige coloured head that eventually faded to a 1/8" layer of foam that left some attractive lacing down the glass. This is a good looking beer! Its aroma was fairly subdued, with sweet dark malts dominating a mix of dark fruits and alcohol. The flavour is complex, starting with the sweet dark malts, followed by chocolate, cherries and molasses, a warming alcohol presence, finishing with a very mild bitterness. A fleeting aftertaste lingers that is both sweet and slightly bitter. Nostradamus had a creamy mouthfeel and I would describe it as medium bodied, with a fairly active carbonation that works well.

Overall, I'll have to try another one of these to try and pin down the additional fruit flavours that I strongly suspect are in the mix. At $3.40 per 330 ml bottle Nostradamus is a bit pricey, but not outrageously so.

Rating 8.15/10 (1,886 characters)

Photo of dank203
4.09/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

cool label on the bottle. loud pop of the cork. poured into a tulip. dark murky brown with ruby red. aromas have hints of brown sugar, licorice, some raisin and sour fruits. taste is very well balanced, brown sugar, spice, dark fruits, licorice, big burn. not overly carbed (273 characters)

Photo of CaptFrothy
4.21/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Been in the cellar for a while, has a best before l06092014 which I'm guessing is sometime in 2014.

Dark Brown cola looking 3 inch head that settles down to 1/2 inch.
Smells inviting, raisins mostly.
Tastes delightful, figgy raiseny fruitcake, with above average carbonation, but it's working tho I usually prefer more silklyness, the extra bubbles work here.
Mouthfeel is silky at first then the bubbles scrub the palate clear.

A beaut, every sip a treat, would revisit again in a heartbeat. (495 characters)

Photo of BrewerMike
4.4/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Brought this home in my suitcase from my honeymoon in Belgium, thankfully fully intact. We had a wonderful visit to the brewery and friendly tour and conversation with the brewer. Great brewery! This beer is quite a treat. Fantastic aroma and flavor of dark fruit, chocolate, and a slight finish of honey. Very drinkable for 9%abv. I didn't find it "light" necessarily, but very drinkable. A lot of flavor, very complex. One of my favorite beers and breweries from my trip to Belgium. Cheers! (492 characters)

Photo of KYGunner
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This poured a kind of murky look of cloudy dark auburn. The head was light and fizzy and trailed away.

The aroma was big on date and prunes with a fruit cake sweetness. There are some grain tones but then I catch some green Apple.

The first sip was a slap of alcohol but once my palate adjusted this was a smooth ride. I caught huge fig, red wine, maple and date at the front with a malty center. The end finished with a touch of hop bitterness, crabapple and raisin.

The feel could be tinny at times but was thick and full. The alcohol brashness subsided relatively quickly.

This was very nice and easily drinkable once you adjust with a very good array of flavors. (670 characters)

Photo of kaseydad
4.08/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A buddy brought this over to watch the NFL playoffs. Go Niners.

Pours a light brown murky color with a beige foamy head that stays. Light lacing.

The aroma is great. Plums, pear, grapes and brown sugar are at the front of this. Very pleasing. Some malt, raisins, orange and booze.

The taste is smooth and with fruity esters apparent. Darker fruits are present as is a touch of alcohol. Some wine-like flavors also. A tad dry on the finish.

Overall I'll admit I never heard of this beer before today though I was not let down. The big fruit aroma was awesome and was tough to stop this guy from whiffing. Flavor wasn't as strong, but a nice beer for the style. (664 characters)

Photo of Pegasus
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep reddish-amber with a moderate off-white head, thin glass-cating lacing, and moderate carbonation.

Aroma: Deep aroma of sweet caramel, bitter cocoa, earth, dark fruit, pears, bitter apple rind, and sweet and spicy alcohol.

Taste: Opens with an abundance of sweet caramel, soon followed by dark fruits. Sweet vinous alcohol carries throughout the taste. Other flavors drift in and out, including bitter apple rind, pears, and woody oak-like notes. Finishes with a lingering note that is reminiscent of bourbon.

Mouth feel: Smooth, soft, very full, and pleasing.

Drinkability/notes: Simply excellent, a potent and yet gracious ale, I hope to find this again.

Presentation: Packaged in a 750 ml brown glass Belgian bomber with a cork and cage, served in a New Belgium Brewing chalice. (802 characters)

Photo of Danimals_Beard
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep, dark brown. Smells like raisins and figs. Got that smell that Belgians usually have, but with a dark, rich fruity flavor. The taste reminds me of figs, raisins, an d plumb skins. The mouth feel is good and a little complex. Makes my tastebuds think. First time I've had a beer like this. I really enjoy it. (320 characters)

Photo of DelMontiac
3.86/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A friend brought this 750ml "Belgian brown" back from Missouri last week. No dating indicated on bottle. Interesting "trippy" label. We consumed this beer from Rose and Crown Pub English nonic style glasses. The cork released with a loud "pop" almost propelling itself from my fingers as I broke it loose from its firm grasp of the bottle. Quite chill hazed and bronze in color with some red hues in the mix. Off white 2-3 finger bubbly head leaves behind large webbing of lace. Highly vinous but slightly sweet vinegar to the nose backed my nutty brown malt. Flavor is very fruity, sweet, and quite tart verging on sour. Toasted malt lingers but is overcome by the tartness. Really not much in the way of hop bitterness. There is an obvious woody oak character in the back of this beer. Carb is pleasant and somewhat silky and feel is full. 9% abv provides dryness and warmth. All this leads me to think of this as a Flanders red ale more than what I perceive as a Belgian Dark Strong. The abv and location of the brewery in extreme South Belgium just miles from France has much to do with this terminology as well. I feel this is probably a beer that should be savored slowly with a meal at the dinner table to fully appreciate it. (1,233 characters)

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

250ml bottle served in a Duvel tulip glass.

A :Pours a dark amber to brown color forming a big bubbled, fluffy and fizzy tan head that dissipates quickly leaving only few spotty lacings in the glass

S: Classic Belgian Strong Dark Ale: Very sweet and fruity in the nose. Strong notes of dark fruits, like plums and raisins. Also strong notes of Belgian-like bready yeasts. Toffee, caramel malts, crystal malts. A bit spicy. Boozy in the end

T: Follows the nose. Strong notes of dark fruits like plums and raisins. Strong notes of toffee, candy sugar, caramel malts, roasted malts, crystal malts. A little bit metallic taste. A light bitter hop finish

M: Heavy body. Medium carbonation. Black fruits in the aftertaste

O: Good drinkability. Classic Belgian Strong Dark Ale (774 characters)

Photo of wspscott
3.74/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

750ml bottle in wine glass
best before 24052013 (I assume May 24 2013)
Courtesy of Ron

A: Crystal clear, brownish red color, thin, light tan head, no lace. That doesn't sound pretty, but this is a good looking beer, the sum is greater than the parts.
S: Definite "Belgian" nose, the yeast jumps out
T: A yeasty spiciness is very up front, the malts are more in back. There is a distinct raisin/prune note along with some dark sugars. Almost seems to be some brett in the back, but it is very subtle. A slight alcohol warming, but very muted for a 9% beer.
M: Crisp, tingly carbonation, seems to linger on the tongue a little too long. Slightly drying (tannins?)
O: An excellent beer even if it was past its prime by a couple of months, very easy to drink with lots going on. A great sipping beer. (798 characters)

Photo of brewskifan55
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter

A: Reddish amber with a one finger off-white head that takes it's time dissolving to tiny bubbles. Significant lacing.

S: Dark fruits (raisins, plums, dates), chocolate, malts caramel and Belgian yeast.

T: Richly rewarding with a Belgian delight following nose and amplifying. Sweet, thick, robust.

M: Medium to heavy. Lots of carbonation. Chewy. Semi-dry finish.

O: I predict, in the year 2035, this Belgian beauty will still be kicking ass. A fine example of the style. Recommended. (512 characters)

Photo of Samp01
4.12/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep hazy rusty red brown with a medium beige head. Aroma of caramel malt, some dark fruit and plum esters. Taste is of caramel malt, Belgian yeast, some dark fruit favors of black plums, figs, brown sugar with a bit of tartness and mild bitterness. Palate is medium body, smooth with mild carbonation, a slightly sticky mouth feel. Finish is caramel malt, Belgian yeast, dark fruit of plums, mild tartness and bitterness with some sweet brown sugar and alcohol on the end with some lingering sweet yeast and plums. Overall a very good, smooth and flavorful brew. (571 characters)

Photo of teromous
4.75/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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. (1,123 characters)

Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 508 ratings.