Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.
NostradamusNostradamus

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

806 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 806
Reviews: 501
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 11.3%
Wants: 48
Gots: 59 | FT: 1
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: 806 | Reviews: 501 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +10.6%
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.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.18/5  rDev -21.9%
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 kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

Photo of jaydoc
4/5  rDev -1.7%

Photo of Knapp85
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
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.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev +2%
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.

Photo of largadeer
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.

Photo of biboergosum
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of emerge077
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

Photo of JAHMUR
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%

Photo of zeff80
3.93/5  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.

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.03/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of Slatetank
3.75/5  rDev -7.9%
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.

Photo of russpowell
4.28/5  rDev +5.2%
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

Photo of mendvicdog
3.5/5  rDev -14%

Photo of drabmuh
4.25/5  rDev +4.4%

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
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...

Photo of mactrail
3.68/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a dark ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful malty scent that is both creamy and tart. It boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a fruity yeast aroma. The taste is good. It has a complex malt bill that is rich in Belgian crystal malts. It goes down easy and mellows on the finish. For having an elevated abv., it is a smooth drinker. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate to good carbonation. This is a damn good brew. It has excellent aroma and taste; a good drinker.

Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Eulogy (Philly) - served in glass chalice:

Dark caramel-colored with a thin, lasting head.

The smell is of caramel, brown sugar and some sour apple.

The taste is sweet - caramelish and brown sugar - with apple and pear fruitiness - Potent alcohol weaves in and out.

Medium-to-full bodied, smooth.

Sweetness and alcohol slow it down, but a smoothness and nice taste make it quite drinkable. Nice complexity. A nice BSDA to sip on!

Photo of Mora2000
4.33/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to zdk9 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is toffee with some earthy hops. The flavor is great. It is a mix of brown sugar, toffee, Begian yeast, alcohol and something resembling oak. The beer is very sweet and the toffee and brown sugar stand out. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 806 ratings.