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Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

510 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 510
Hads: 866
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 14.29%
Wants: 52
Gots: 83 | 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 (12) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 510 | Hads: 866
Photo of Sammy
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown with white head. Yeasty medium mouthfeel. Some tart dark fruit, on sweet side, with brown sugar and nuttiness, cloves and other spice. Barnyard aroma. Alcohol presence and astringency surprising. Strong carbonation. Thanks IPFreely. Good but not outstanding Belgian.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a murky crimson-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, and slight spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a very grape-like flavor and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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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.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half finger rapidly dissipating head on a murky brown with garnet hues body. Sweet dark fruit aroma but not too strong. Flavor is a touch watery but this is an old batch I think. Fruity, mostly strawberry, with a spices corriander note in the finish. Smooth, medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Overall highly drinkable and flavorful.

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Photo of metter98
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured cloudy amber-brown in color with an off white head that quickly dissipated into a thin layer of bubbles that consistently covered the surface.
S: There are moderate, sweet aromas of dark fruits in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather fruity and sweet and has some complexities with hints of spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and the alcohol is masked from the smell and taste.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice looking dark red color with a light tan colored head on top. the smell of the beer was soft with some dark fruit and roasted grains on the nose. The taste of the beer has a little bit of a tart flavor in it with some sweet dark fruits in there too. It's also got a dry bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer was pretty good, it had a decent amount of carbonation to it. Overall it's not a bad brew at all, I would drink it again sometime.

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Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy garnet color, with a nice head but only moderate lacing

Smell: Rum-soaked dried dark fruit, maple syrup, some floral tones and a trace of butterscotch

Taste: Subtle and understated, hints of various sweet and sour fruits, up front and a developing caramel flavor that builds by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sour tones play off the sweet malt

Mouthfeel: A blast of carbonation at the start makes this alcoholic whopper seem deceptively light; settles in warm and soothing alcohol on the finish

Drinkability: As this ale warms, it reveals more and more to the drinker; it begs to be treated like a fine cognac and deserves the drinker's attention

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

A terrific beer. Has all of the characteristics of a great Quad with other qualities that make it work well. Dark fruits, confectioner's sugar and sweet bread carry the aroma and initial flavors. Much more malty-sweet with brown sugar and maple combined with the candy sugars. More prevailant with plumbs, dates, figs, cashews, and a touch of chocolate. Not quite prunes or raisons, which is a good thing. Slight toasted character. Body is a touch fuller than most Trippels. Strong alcohol flavors throughout, but become a little medicinal toward the finish. Finishes both dry and sweet.

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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.

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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.

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

330ml bottle. Looks like whoever slapped the labels on it may have had a few rounds' worth of the product beforehand. Not sure that I want 'snails' associated with the beer that I'm about to drink, though. Nostradamus could have predicted that.

This beer pours a very dark, bronze-tinted brownish amber colour, with a teeming amount of tight, creamy pale beige head, which leaves a haphazard paint job of lace around the glass when it eventually exits the building.

It smells of caramel/toffee malt, sour dark fruitcake, Belgian yeast, and a wee boozy twinge. The taste is dark, slightly toasted caramel malt, tart 'n sweet candy, some coffee and tobacco earthiness, and herbal yeast, which all together do a bang-up job of alcohol obfuscation.

The carbonation is on the low side, barely a tic or a poke to sate my palate's curiosity, the body a decent medium weight, and somewhat sugary in its gritty smoothness. It finishes clean, and mostly dry, surprisingly, all herbal and softy grainy.

A mildly strange one, this is. Lots of standard sweet and boozy BSDA character up front, but the overarching, various drying notes, coupled with the thoroughly integrated big ABV as things move on, make this more than a tad special. Nice to drink, and even nicer to drink the next, I would venture to guess.

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Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich garnet, into a Caracole tulip. Plume of steady carbonation feeds a dense head of foam. Smells of plum & caramel malt. Reminds me of a Scotch ale or Wee Heavy almost.

Taste is very smooth, roasted malt, caramel, plum, slight mineral quality. It's nice how the plum comes through overall, it's a great flavor specific to certain Belgians (De Dolle Extra Export Stout also comes to mind).

Mouthfeel is smooth, very easy to drink. Nice roasty grain/malt aftertaste, with a mild sweetness that isn't overdone. My favorite offering from this brewery.

A 750ml bottle could easily disappear in a session...

edit: 33cl bottle serving, noted an odd medicinal note that stuck around, even after sitting in the glass for awhile. Could be an old bottle...picked up a 4-pack, hope this isn't a trend.

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with flecks of red. It had a foamy, off-white, two-finger head that left some nice lacing.

S - It smelled sweet. There were aromas of caramel and buscuity maltiness.

T - It tasted sweet and malty with floral hoppiness. A little alcohol taste, too.

M - It was soft and smooth. It had a warm alcohol presence. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice Belgian beer. Maybe a little pricey, but still very good.

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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.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle - $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Atlanta, Georgia. Served up in a Caracole snifter.

Appearance: Pours out a brown-amber body with a finely textured, medium-sized, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet, sugary maltiness of toasty caramel and brown sugar covered with a heady scent of ripe fruits soaked in peppery alcohol and some smaller notes of spice and dehydrated herbs.

Taste: Malty tastes of toasted dark caramel, light cocoa, nutty nougat, and dark brown sugar transitions to a particularly strong, fruity mix of figs, tart pears, and even red currants. Heavy, generous layering of both sugar and ground spices. Slight earthy herbal aspects. Finishes semi-sweet, though there is a lot of drying, warming alcohol at the end of it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Both flavorful and nicely complex, though the alcohol and warming nature of the brew slows my progress to small, thoughtful sips. Thankfully though, the airy carbonation does a fine job in aiding the overall drinkability of this brew.

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

750 ml bottle, corked & caged. The cork is dated 1/2002 so it's just 10 months old. As is the case with most Caracole beers, I feel this needs to age a bit to dry it out a little and increase the carbonation level. This bottle is a bit young and I'm disappointed that I didn't age it. That said... ... A rough pour brings up a short and foamy light tan head that rests shortly over a slightly hazy and deep copper body. The head drops, but keeps a good collar and light surface covering throughout the glass. The nose expresses mild dark fruit and sweet toffee-ish malt with some clear alcohol. The body is light/medium with an exceptionally fine but limited carbonation that's very soft and smooth in the mouth. The flavor starts malty and stays malty, displaying a lightly woody character, some fruitiness (including ripe berries and a gentle cherry), a mild but quite sweet toffee-ish note, and a noteable alcohol. It's rich but not really complex. The bitterness is limited but balances well, and makes a minor appearance at the swallow. It finishes dry - probably more from a high alcohol content than bitterness - with a mild licorice-like note. A really nice beer that probably makes a better apertif or nightcap than it does dinner companion or drinking buddy.

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Photo of mactrail
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

"Belgian Brown" according to the label.

Pours a nice head in the snifter with plenty of lacing. Dark amber color. Robust nose of bananas and brown sugar. Flavors of caramel and candy. A touch of acidity with sort of a tangerine citrus edge. Hops come through in the aftertaste, rather bitter. Complex and murky flavors with a touch of sweet vermouth.

Good for after dinner sipping. I don't know how well this shows in the much-traveled bottle. I'd like to try it on tap to see if the flavors might be fresher and more focused.

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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.

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

On-tap 12/30/06 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a good-sized off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of yeast, apricot, dark fruits and caramelized malt.

T: The sweet tastes of caramel and apricot hit first. Quickly following are the strong Belgian yeast flavor and some hops bitterness that transition into the after-taste.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not very filling, ABV is well-hidden, overall it’s a very good beer, but it normally wouldn’t be my first choice.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks for this bottle, carlos.
Poured into a Caracole tulip chilled.

A - Decants a caramel brown w/ a tan 3.5 finger head of full fluffy bubbles. The head hangs on for hours.

S - Warm scents of brown sugar and spice.

M - Full, malty, smooth and spicy w/ a mellow carbonation.

T - Deep full currant and raisin like vinous qualities w/ a touch of caramelized sugar and vanilla. Bitter fruit flavors like pomegranate and quince are complementary as well as subtle hints of molasses in the finish. The dark maltiness in the finish gives the flavor an overall depth of dark sweetness. A ripe banana flavor pervades the overall experience.

D - A very tasty brown belgian ale, but more than a bit strong (9%) and is filling so it is less than great in the drinkability. It has many layers and is complex in intensity, though.

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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.

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

First had: on tap at Gullifty's, Wayne, PA

Poured a reddish brown with a small tan head that recedes to a layer of bubbles. Bready aroma with a cavalcade of dark dried fruits. Taste of caramel and molasses; dark dried fruits: raisins, plums, black cherries. Finishes off with a sugar sweetness and an alcohol bite. Medium mouthfeel, a bit syrupy, but overall very drinkable.

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Photo of russpowell
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle with a BBD of March 08 (batch F)

Pours an ever so slightly hazed chestnut (orange red when when held to a good light) with 3 fingers of sand colored head.

S: Chocolate & nuttyness

T: Chocolate, breadyness, a slight iron & brown sugar flavor up front. A pleasant warming alcohol sensation comes through as this ale heats up to room temp. Finishes fruity, warming with candy sugar nuances

MF: Prickly up front, giving way to mediun body & chewyness as this warms

Drinks alright to good, this is a good, not great Belgian brown that maybe could've stood some more aging

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1%
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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bright crimson color, hazy, and gorgeous, huge, luscious head, a beigey-near-green thing, altogether a picture of beauty...urging me for the next sensory experience...ah, this is the stuff, the nose is tickled by this deliciousness, dark fruit, vibrant spice, grape and clove in harmony, alive and sizzling...perfectly plays out exactly what is desired..cheers to that...
A repetition on the palate, a revisitation by these same full flavors, a big buzz on the tongue, a rich, sumptuous repast, unmatchable...well, maybe...but i'm so content that I toss about hyperbole with utter abandon...spicy, zesty, rich and fruity, a tangible tingle all throughout the duration...zam, bam, boo-ram!!!
This is my first taste of this excellent ale, and I'm damned glad to have drunk it. "Belgian brown ale" says the label, but it's not like any other brown ale, from anywhere...possesses a zest that only the luckiest and happiest should take as their succur...and no matter what you were before, when you have it, you are one of them...I said "yum" already, right? No? Well, to nail it in the shell of the nut, ...there you go...yum, yummy, yummers...

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 510 ratings.