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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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 508 | Hads: 852
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)

Photo of freneticamnesic
4.14/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass

A - pours deep, dark red with a two-finger brown/beige head

S - roasted nuts were most present here

T - Roasted barley and sweet toffee, leading into smokey hops and a dark chocolate finish

M - very carbonated at first, smooths out very quickly

O - Very well balanced, enjoyable Belgian amber. Nothing really stood out or set it apart for me, but it was definitely very nice, complex, and enjoyable. Certainly a beer I will return to again. (471 characters)

Photo of GossageBrewery
3.37/5  rDev -17.2%
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. (477 characters)

Photo of BGDrock
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: muddy, strawberry/rhubarb jam red/brown; pours a big, fizzling head with good retention

Aroma: not much coming forward, some fruit and spice, jam coming to mind again

Taste & Mouthfeel: fatty, yeasty flavour and mouthfeel jump out at first with mashed fruit; feels stronger than the 9%, good burn from the alcohol; some spice - cinnamon; toffee begins to come through strongly, nice and rich; great carbonation and medium body; yeast is unfiltered and has built some great character; cherry, cassis, banana, and even a little tart in the finish; flavours mesh but also surprise with each sip

Overall: love a good Belgian beer in this style and this one is an amazing example with wonderful depth, complexity, and full mouthfeel (742 characters)

Photo of Beelzebeer
4.56/5  rDev +12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle, served in Chimay goblet, BB June 19th, 2014

A - Perfect. Dark dark mahogany, almost black until held to the light, dense creamy 2" head that lasts, nice lacing

S - Dark sugars, some leather. Typical for style. Maybe a little more faint than others. Could be my nose.

T - Hides the 9% well. A little burn when it's gone, but less than others. Light on the fig/date, more malty than sweet, raisin.

M - Very nice. A little chewy, little carbonation, very creamy.

O - Very nice. Good representation for the style. Think I might try to pick some more up before they're all gone. (593 characters)

Photo of biegaman
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
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. (1,774 characters)

Photo of darky
4.36/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into Saxo tulip/snifter

A: Murky,muddy brown. Minimal, but complete off-white head.

S: Ripe banana, hints of anise and coriander, bread-y yeasts. There's another component I cannot put my finger on, blueberry?. Near-zero alcohol on the nose. Extremely pungent, even at too-cold of a temperature straight out of the fridge, which is impressive in itself. Letting this one come up to temp before proceeding.

M: Creamy, with moderate but satisfying carbonation. Pretty much perfect here.

T: The smell of this beer is an edge-of-your-seat build-up to the actual flavor; here goes... Taste follows the nose but is markedly different on the back end in that it has a surprise (sourdough?) funk and nutty-ness to it. Wow. There is a lot going on here. I've never had anything like this before. It has many characteristics of a brown ale, but with the delightful bread and subtle fruit traits Belgians do so well. The malt is remarkably sweet, which also contributes to the aforementioned funk. Very hard to pinpoint, this.

O: My final thoughts are, this is like a Goose Island Nut Brown on steroids. A brown taken to stratospheric heights. Not for everybody, but really just excellent overall. (1,198 characters)

Photo of jbsteiny
3.78/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I agree with the last reviewer that I think this beer is rated far too highly - I don't think, for example, it's as good as Chimay Blue, but Jason (for example) rated it actually slightly higher. Go figure.

Poured into a tulip a hazy reddish brown with gorgeous ruby highlights. Large initial tan head fades to a ring and scattered head, which leaves small amounts of spotted lacing on the glass.

Rich aromas of caramel, stewed and dried stone fruits, port, yeast, esters. Really nice. However, on the palate, this comes off as far too boozy and over-carbonated as well. May work after dinner as a digestif, but it's kind of a killer if you're trying to pair it with food or have in a sampling. Probably would improve with aging. At least it has a dry finish.

Probably not going to buy again, but always glad to try another BSDA. Increases my appreciation for those breweries who really nail the style. (905 characters)

Photo of TerryW
3.24/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I'm not understanding all the high scores for this one, because to me it comes across as a very average beer.

Looks good. Big head that's not out of control that settles to a heavy film and leaves gooc lace throughout. Cleat chestnut brown, reddish. Nose is gently fruity and sweet. Taste is fruity and sweet, malty, finishes with mild alcohol and some dryness. You can feel the buzz at 9%, but it's nice and warm rather than hurtful. Best drunk at room temperature or a little warmer as it has an unpleasant plastic chemical aftertaste when cold.

Drinkable, bur really just average, not worth all the plaudits here. Nothing leaps out to make you say wow. Uninteresting. (672 characters)

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

Deep brown colour with red highlights. Large beige head, good retention and lace. Fragrant with notes of cherry, brown sugar, plum, yeast and nuts. Boozy, but nicely so. Complex flavour - plum and cherry notes are underscored by a finish of gentle acidity. It's malty and slightly sweet as well, with cookie dough and toasted nut. This hides the alcohol well on the palate. Medium-bodied with abundant carbonation. Feels light in the mouth, but not in the thin sort of way. A beer that manages to be both approachable and somewhat complex at the same time. (556 characters)

Photo of Kremlock
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in tulip glass.

A: Very dark copper with burgundy hues. Pours a very thick frothy white head with low-medium lacing.

S: Sweet, fruity notes. I pick up cherries with some sweet plum. There is a soft bubble gum scent present. Scent is soft and refreshing with smooth alcohol aromas.

T: Complex fruity flavours. Some cherries, raisins and plum but all on the sweeter sides. Finish is dry to low sweetness. I get a bit of holiday fruitcake. The malt is very complex with some nice sweetness yet the dryness of the finish balances it very well.

M: Medium body. Carbonation but has a bite on the tongue. Sweetness is not bothersome and the finish is great. I find the carbonation to have a bite but other then that...amazing. (731 characters)

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

Deep brown with some ruby red coming through, cap of off white head, not much in the way of lace. Smell is yeasty and a little funky, followed by some herbal anise and dark fruits, corriander perhaps in there as well, plum, raisin, mild brown sugar, some metalic/sour points when cold that seemed to fall of as it warmed. Taste has lots of dark fruits with some spicy herbal flavours, touch of yeast, malty dark breads, raisin, a little sweeter and fruity in the finish. Medium carbonation, medium-full body. Nice dark belgian, nose is a bit odd but certainly drinkable and quite enjoyable, surely something that will age nicely. (629 characters)

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip.

A - Classic dark brown color.

S - Fruity smell but not too sweet.

T - Delicious and malty. An easy drinker that I enjoyed.

M - Not a huge mouth, but this wasn't a problem.

O - A superb beer that I enjoyed as much as I'd hoped I would. I like it. I like it a lot. (286 characters)

Photo of jrenihan
4.07/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looks like a BB of Sept 13, 2013

Beer is very dark brown with reddish hints. A very large beige head fills a sizable portion of the glass. Good retention, quite a bit of lace.

Scent contains dark fruit. Prune, grape, raisin. Brown sugar and some bread.

Taste is like the nose. A strong focus on the dark fruit: raisin, grape and fig. Brown sugar and bready malt again. Sweet, but in a restrained way. Nice.

Full bodied, but not heavy. Moderate to high carbonation, but not irritating. Bready.

Overall, quite a nice BSDA. Not a world class beer but very nice. A pleasure. (576 characters)

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

330ml bottle poured in a goblet. ABV 9%.

A - Poured a dark brown with mahogany & copper highlights. A thin beige head quickly reduced to surface bubbles. Some lacing.

S - Candy, bubblegum, cherries, caramel, some spice. The typical Belgium yeast aroma is present.

T - Caramel, sweet, cherries, some dried fruit, some spice, herbal notes.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body, some stickiness, dry finish.

O - Pretty good. (425 characters)

Photo of Digimaika2
4.31/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(4.25) A: Mahogany red with a solid height of dirty beige foam. Long lasting retention and streaky lacing.

(4.5) S: Initial wave of rich dark woods (oddly mothball like) along with some fruity bubblegum (with sour cherries), sweet toffee, and dried fruits (figs and raisins). Not overly boozy to the nose. Wonderful stuff with a very rich and refined aroma.

(4.25) T: Fruity bubblegum, overripe banana, cherries, nutty qualities, toffee backbone, brown sugar and spice. Not overly sweet with more focus on an earthy-malty side of things. Well balanced, subtle, and superbly smooth.

(4.25) M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Velvety texture with slight chewiness.

(4.25) D: Very tasty with quite an overall subtle yet refined taste profile with some wonderful flavours coming through. Would definitely purchase again. (832 characters)

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