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Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole


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718 Ratings

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

Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole visit their website

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 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 Halcyondays


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a red-brown, with a full white head, with good retention, and really nice Belgian lacing.

S: Lots of yeast character, apples, and malt.

T: Brown malt hits on the first sip, with a bit of treacle maltiness and sweetness, then ends with a really nice red apple character, apple peel and a bit of a hop bite and carbonation.

M: Smooth and crisp, alcohol is very well hidden.

D: A very good beer from Caracole, easy to drink, even at 9%, they certainly know what they're doing.

Serving type: on-tap

02-02-2008 00:27:01 | More by Halcyondays
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-31-2011 04:20:59 | More by mactrail
Photo of tempest


4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle for $8.50 at Abe's Cold Beer. This reminded me a bit of the dark Unibroue's for the rich grape and date flavor. This beer drinks a little thinner, however, with a mellow, earthy/dirty spice aftertaste. It is on the sweet side, but it's fairly balanced and reasonably drinkable for the strength. The aroma was a touch weak, but still full of those pleasant fruit and herbal elements. I'd say this one is worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

02-22-2009 23:08:22 | More by tempest
Photo of kojevergas


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 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.

Serving type: on-tap

05-13-2011 11:39:21 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Billolick

New York

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

11.2 ouncer purchased at Cable Bev. in Bardonia, NY. No freshness info offered. This little beauty pours muddy dark brown, cloudy, under a typical medium tan head, that seems to leave moderate scattered lacing. Sugary, raisiny nose. Nice drinking brown Belgian, notes of sweet, rummy raisins, dark fruits and drying hops late. Pleasant, fruity, plummy, doughy ale. alcohol well hidden. NIce stuff, well worth a try or two.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2007 02:12:23 | More by Billolick
Photo of jdhilt

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good carbonation - cork on the 750ml can blow off if you are careless. Pour slowly - ton of yeast left in bottom of bottle. Sweet raisiny nose, clear dark ruby color. Fairly smooth some fizz, with some hoppy overtones but this is a brew that should be mellowed. Small label is as if it were intended for a 12oz. $8.40 for a 750.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2003 15:45:42 | More by jdhilt
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2002 21:01:30 | More by Jason
Photo of Wasatch


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

Date best by Dec 06. This was given to me as a subsitute for another bottle of something else. At first I thought I would not like it, but it's very very good. I've had other brown ale's (domestic) and did not care for them at all, but this is another story. Pours a dark brown in color with a huge head. After awhile the head disapated and left some nice lacing. Scents of caramel and malt. There's a nice sweet taste with a medium body. At 9.5% and sweet in flavor, watch out, it will catch up to you in a couple of bottles.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2005 00:00:08 | More by Wasatch
Photo of biegaman

Ontario (Canada)

3.85/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nostradamus - the beer - reveals nothing. The dark brown colour and marble complexion make it so that you can't see anything inside. Saying much of anything about it is extremely difficult, especially since this bottle poured out completely flat (over-carbonation had made previous experiences quite messy, but decorative nonetheless).

Belgian yeasts have a serious talent for drama - they are typically loud with bombastic fruit and flaming spice - but this strain is actually quite tame. While you're likely to find traces of clove or pepper, the nose is actually rather sweet and simple. Brown sugar and raisins make a pleasant, if straightforward bouquet.

Many Belgian ales have layers of fruit flavour. This offering has only the one: raisin. Sure, I could entertain the notion of figs and prune, maybe even a squirt of orange juice, but essentially what you smelled is what you get - raisins and brown sugar. It is not as layered as a Quad and lacks the savory dimension of a Dubbel. Put another way: I feel I'm missing out a little...

The fact that Nostradamus is dark, high in alcohol and bottle-conditioned means it can age, which is good because the bubbles are as hyperactive as a classroom of kids with A.D.D. They sting the palate like small electric shocks, numbing it from the beer's more nuanced malty notes. Otherwise, however, it is smooth, satiating, and full of dark candi sugar sweetness.

Nostradamus has a seductiveness that has less to do with its flavour and more in its ability to help you forget about the world in the recesses of alcohol. Still, come cold temperatures and dark nights, it is an invaluable asset. And while fashions change with time, rich and malty strong ales such as this are truly timeless. My prediction: you'll like it.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2013 02:03:48 | More by biegaman
Photo of weeare138


4.13/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark chestnut toned brown with a foamy, tan head that slowly fades away into a frothy cap. Tons of thick, chunky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, nougat, light cherries, dark fruit, and cocoa powder.
Taste is much the same as the aromas with a touch of plums and rum soaked raisins complimenting the mix.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, estery, cocoa infusion that fades nicely into the deluxe smoothness of this beer. At 9.5%, I hardly noticed it.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2007 15:04:43 | More by weeare138
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.38/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Such an excellent beer. I miss the days when I would see this on tap practically once a month at Concordia Alehouse in Portland.

Had this on tap at Max's tonight.

The beer pours a cloudy orange brown color, with good head retention and excellent lacing. In the nose one gets a fabulous aroma of chocolate, banana and Belgium spices. The palate replicates the nose, with banana and chocolate, but also with some rootbeer and caramel. The caramel becomes more pronounced the longer the beer sits in the glass. This beer is sweet and medium bodied, but not the least bit cloying. There's a hint of tartnes in the finish that keeps this beer from becoming tiring to drink. The beer has a very soft, smooth mouthfeel, and is oh so drinkable. The abv. is very well hidden for the alcohol content.

An altogether excellent beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-23-2007 01:43:06 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Bighuge


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

This beer's kind of murky. Brownish auburn. Crimson highlights. A good sized light beige head of tiny, compact bubbles tops the beer and retains with the best of 'em. The nose impresses. Rum soaked cherries, figs and dates, brandy, molasses....pretty complex and enjoyable aroma. Fruitcake and bread pudding come to mind while tasting this one. Bready and yeasty to say the least. Dark fruits are noticeable. Plums and cherries. Brandy and ethanol. Also a little sweet bubblegum. Great blend. Great taste. This beer almost melts in your mouth as candy floss does. So silky smooth.

What a great beer. Many thanks to the man....marc77.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2003 04:14:31 | More by Bighuge
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

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

A: Poured a mahogany-brown with a soft creamy head.

S: a light fresh fruitiness (apples), cherries, caramel and some dark fruit (raisins).

T: Smooth and refreshing with a flavor that is clean and complex. Initial flavor started out with some sweet caramel and candy notes that are topped off with a rich palate of dried fruit (plums, raisins). There were some light lingering hints of figs, pears and plums as well a biscuit malting. The beer drank very vinously with a smooth light fruitiness from the yeast finishing things out.

M: The mouthful was medium full with a very smooth feel and maltiness, nicely carbonated leaving a light tingly sensation.

D: Very good, extremely smooth and tasty on the swallow and one definitely worth trying. A great complexity and layering of flavors makes this an incredibly drink.

Serving type: bottle

04-08-2008 22:36:10 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of Stinkypuss


4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4


Appearance: Hazed reddish brew. A large head recedes to pretty much nothing.

Smell: Malt, brown sugar, wood, hint of smoke and dark fruits. As it warms some booze pokes through, still quite nice.

Taste: Fruity and very dry. Every sip yields a different flavor profile it seems. Bready and malty at times, with a herbal hop in the background. Some oak flavor is there. Remarkably clean finish. Some fig and date notes.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, crisp, dry and very clean.

Drinkability: A nice strong beer that doesn't stick to your taste buds like some examples of the style. This one has such a fine finish that it makes every sip heavily anticipated.

Serving type: on-tap

10-26-2010 06:09:18 | More by Stinkypuss
Photo of glid02


4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy golden-brown color that darkens in the center of the glass and has a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of caramel malts with good amounts of toffee-covered medium fruits - dates and green apples with hints of pears.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malt flavors with large amounts of butterscotch and toffee notes kick things off. Hints if milk chocolate flavors enter into things shortly thereafter but fade quickly to allow for good amounts of fruit flavors - dates and plums mostly with hints of green apples. The ending is crisp and on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this is a nice beer but nothing special. Worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

04-23-2010 04:07:32 | More by glid02
Photo of Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

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

The beer appears relatively hazy and sunburst orange to ruby in color with a half inch of thick beige head that leaves plenty of lacing in its wake. The aroma brings cherries, malt, yeast - lovely. Sweet cherries balanced by classic Belgian yeast strain and a strong malt backbone. Great stuff. Some lingering alcoholic warmth in the finish. More sweet than sour for sure, but a subtle tartness keeps the sweet aspect (tempered by a delicious Belgian yeast strain) from ever becoming cloying. Cherries and yeast are the star of this show. A beer I will definitely have again. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 21:15:55 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of Gusler


4.15/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A bit foggy on the pour, the color deep red to almost purple and the head monstrous and frothy in texture. As it erodes it leaves a thick glutinous sheet to smother the glass. Earthy aromas, musk like vinous, hints of bubble gum and a very complex nose. Quite sweet at the front with a middling top, finish is tart, spicily hopped, moderately carbonated dry and somewhat alcohol bitter aftertaste, a real treat and not to be missed.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2003 08:48:43 | More by Gusler
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2007 15:24:45 | More by Slatetank
Photo of Georgiabeer


4.25/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Slightly hazy pour, but a very nice dark amber with a very tightly beaded off-white head that leaves some nice lacing. Subtle fruit, spice, and molasses aromas. Quite light in the nose, but well integrated. Tastes of gingerbread, banana, light spices, and molasses, but dry and a little spritzy. Smooth and quite perilously drinkable. Not my absolute favorite Belgian, but a solid choice.

Serving type: on-tap

08-27-2010 15:49:56 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of superspak


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

750 ml bottle into chalice, best by 12/2012. Pours crystal clear very dark reddish brown color with a nice 1-2 finger dense light khaki head with nice retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Some nice spotty lacing on the glass, with a good amount of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of raisin, apple skin, plum, molasses, caramel, toffee, earth, bread, toast, herbal, coriander, and light yeast spiciness. Nice and well balanced aromas with good complexity. Taste of raisin, apple, caramel, prune, toffee, grape, molasses, herbal, toast, chocolate, pepper, earth, coriander, and light yeast spices. Lingering notes of dark fruit, molasses, grape, caramel, toffee, apple, bread, light chocolate, pepper, and light yeast spices on the finish for a good bit. Nice balance and complexity of flavors; with no cloying sweetness at all. Medium-high carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a fairly slick and creamy mouthfeel as expected. Alcohol is extremely well hidden with pretty much no warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Belgian dark ale. Nice flavor balance and complexity; and extremely smooth to sip on. Really enjoyable stuff.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2012 03:28:08 | More by superspak
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lot F, Best before 09, 2007. This one's 9% abv.

A: Amber-brown, lots of off-white head, some retention, not much lace.

S: Dark fruit (prunes & raisins), dark caramel, sweet, bready malt.

T: Powerful dark fruit (prunes & raisins). Dark, almost burnt caramel. Bittersweet, but a little puckering fruityness as well. Some treacle and dark fruit-bread. Packed full of flavour.

M: Moderate body is highly carbonated.

D: Likeable and approachable, but not as digestable as some Belgians.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2006 02:54:17 | More by Derek
Photo of wordemupg

Alberta (Canada)

3.95/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into tulip 20/12/12

A clear brownish amber, looks like root beer, two fingers of tan foam sits around for a while being sustained by a heavy stream of carbonation, just a few spots of lace

S brewers candy and brown sugar, its fruity with some sour cherry perhaps and a little yeast, almost has a woody vinous aspect but I just can't place it, I swear I pick up on some strong cinnamon as it warms

T some earthy leather and a little booze on top of what I smell, pretty solid brew with a good mix of fruit, spice and sugars

M light bodied for the strength but not thin, a few extra bubbles and a little heat on the way down, finish has a long but faint rum raisin thing going

O pretty nice Belgian, good all around and I like a beer where I can't pin point everything it leaves me thinking

I'd drink this one again, priced right and well suited for this chilly Winter night

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2012 06:29:28 | More by wordemupg
Photo of dirtylou


4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, corked and caged, Bought at Steve's Mineral Point because I drove all the way out there and had to leave with something

appearance: pours a light amber mahogany, deep full tan head with full and creamy retention, well laced, full garnet body, rather hazy...a nice looking belgian for sure

smell: very complex...the most noticeable aroma being tart cherry, big thick malt structure, raisins, fig, brown sugar, sweet dark fruit, vinous alcohol touch, oak woody aroma...nice

taste: Tart cherries (the Door County tart cherries I bought at the farmers mkt this morning compliment it well)...sweet plum, graham, fig, brown sugar, raisin, vinous alcohol, sweet malt...a bit spicy, strong yeast presence, toffee. Tasty belgian

mouthfeel: carbonation is rather active, medium body, lingering alcohol on the tongue, well balanced

drinkability: pretty good

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2006 01:21:25 | More by dirtylou
Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 718 ratings.