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Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

768 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 768
Reviews: 494
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.33%
Wants: 45
Gots: 49 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 768 | Reviews: 494 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, served at 50 degrees C.

Dark caramelly cola brown with glowing amber edges. Tall, not too rocky, dirty beige head, with good retention and lacing. Big caramel aromas mix with dark candy sugar, stewed fruits, figs, light vinegar, madiera, subtle chocolate licorice, cedar, molasses and madeira. Very nice, very complex.

Tangy, woodsy, vinegary malt notes up front, soon complemented by dark fruits, sweet candy sugar, and rummy alcohol. Tangy-ness sticks around through the otherwise malty finish. This strong dark ale has some nice oud brown qualities (vinegar tang, wood) mixed with fruity, yeasty, fruit cake malty sweet Quad qualities. Nice. Full-bodied, with pinpricks of rolling, tickly carbonation. Dangerously drinkable, too!

alexgash, Apr 29, 2007
Photo of kajerm
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A snifter on tap at the Firkin in Libertyville; pours dark caramel brown with an off-white one finger head. It looks and smells like a Belgian Strong Dark ale-- tons of roasted malts, dark fruit, and some esters from Belgian yeast.

This is my favorite style for a reason. The flavor is complex, with a ton of figs and malts along with some fruity esters. If I had the fortune of seeing another one of these I could probably pick out more. Past a point I'd probably be making stuff up, but I'd be drinking this beer, and that's good enough for me.

The mouthfeel is heavy and chewy, and complements the flavor profile perfectly.

It's about as drinkable as any other BSDA (not very), but it's an oustanding example of the style. Very similar to Gouden Carolus Cuvée van der Keizer/Grand Cru of the Emperor in pretty much every aspect.

kajerm, Apr 08, 2007
Photo of datamike
4.95/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice chestnut brown with medium carbonation. Aroma is of candy sugar, raisins and dark chocolate - overall a very sweet smell, but not cloying.
Taste is similar to St. Bernardus 12, but perhaps even more balanced and rounded. Toffee, caramel, chocolate and sweet malt are all present along with the perfect amount of hop bitterness to make an exceptionally balanced sipper. Slight alcohol taste present at the finish, but never solventy, hot or overpowering.
Flavor definitely is improved at the recommended drinking temp of 50-55f.
The perfect Belgian Strong Dark Ale? Perhaps...

datamike, Apr 06, 2007
Photo of theWrkncacnter
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz corked bottle. Pours a deep hazy brown with a small head with some good lacing. Smell is strong of sweet pears, almost like a dessert wine. Taste is very good. A good amount of sweet carries over from the smell. Tastes of pears with some good malt character and some lingering bitterness. Taste is not as sweet as you'd expect from the smell. Not too complex but very good, a nice dry finish. Mouthfeel betrays a bit of the alcohol content, but otherwise good. Drinkability is high, a very good brew. I'd definitely buy this again if I was looking for a good 22oz belgian.

theWrkncacnter, Mar 31, 2007
Photo of peabody
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy dark Ice Tea color with one finger of off-white suds and lots of lacing already appearing on the chalice.
Smell is sugar/caramel with a slight yeast aroma.Upon swirrling, you can smell raisin and plum and cherry. The alcohol is pretty strong here.
Don't drink this cold. As it warms the flavors seem to increase and the watery initial flavor goes away. Still it is a less than perfect mix of good tastes. Mostly sugar and yeast and water.
Mouthfeel is oily,which is a good thing, and alcoholy,which is not such a good thing here.
Can't rate this high on drinkability either cause of the high%abv.

peabody, Mar 24, 2007
Photo of sabrills70
3.25/5  rDev -20%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750ml corked and caged bottle with a best before date of 6/08. pours a medium brown with a small quik fading head and minimal lace. Aromas of rich malt, brown sugar, sherry and dried fruits. Lots of nice flavors here - similar to the aromas. Very low carbonation though which surprised me - too low I think. This beer is tasty but the extreme low carbonation kind of throws it off. Perhaps I just got a bad bottle?

sabrills70, Mar 13, 2007
Photo of Steve188821
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The apperance is ruby with a large head which leaves a nice lace on the glass.

S - The smell is of raspberries and figs.

T - The taste is again raspberries and dark ripe fruit.

M - The body is light with good carbonation.

D - The drinkability is good, however due to the high abv, one is enough.

Steve188821, Mar 05, 2007
Photo of barefootbrewer
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a cloudy brown with a cream colored head – some lacing. The smell is strong of caramel and malt – filled me with anticipation. The taste is bold and malty…also a little sour and fruity. The mouthfeel is very full, but not chewy. This is a very delicious beer, I find it quite drinkable and highly recommend it!

barefootbrewer, Mar 04, 2007
Photo of jim102864
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours with a very robust head from the bottle into my Duvel tulip glass. A beautiful brownish, copperish, redish appearance. Lace bubbles up aggresively during the pour but settles nicely leaving patches of lace on the glass. This is an aromatic Belgian...something that's been lacking in some of the stuff I've recently reviewed both Belgian and otherwise. Strong notes of candied sugar, ripe pears, orange peals, raisens, and dates even. Yes, finally an aggressive brew and not just from an alcohol perspective. More ripe fruit in the taste. You really can perceive the candied sugar. Nice, full mouthfeel. Slightly bicuity. Chewy but not overly so. This brew just embraces your palette. It's sweet and then migrates its way down and the alcohol presents itself; it's light but oh so nice. I'm a virgin to this brew no more and will make an effort to seek it out again. Can't wait to try it on tap should it ever appear in my area or somewhere during my travels. Make a point to grab this at your next opportunity.

jim102864, Feb 25, 2007
Photo of meadhead
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A good strong dark
with a smooth, refreshing
flavorful feel:

(too generic?)

A little sweet caramel malt
burgundy yeast esters,
and just a hint of bitter hopping-
with a well-blended ABV
and an easy drinkability
This is quality stuff.

Pours a dark murky brown
with a small
quickly fading head

A remarkably mellow and
non-alcoholic smell
taste is a good medium
dark fruit zing and rich malt

Mouthfeel is fantastic
with a moderate carbonation
that compiments the flavor
and hides the ABV

Good drinkability:
you can sip it
or swig it
and still it refreshes!

meadhead, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of Minkybut
2.73/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured beer from bottle to a tumbler at 45 dgrees. Beer was a cloudy brown most likely too cold. Beer had a bready smell and a slight hop smell. big fat tan head with fine bubbles and great lacing. Beer was ver Abbeyish tasting and the alcohol just was way too overpowering blowing away any taste sensation. I will not buy again.

Minkybut, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of arguemaniac
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This reddish-brown ale features fruity aroma with slight notes of brown sugar. The palate features lots of complexity, with flavors that offer varying degrees of subtlety and richness: multi-layered fruitiness (some apple, raisin, and some other dark fruits), a touch of smokiness, a bit of caramel grain, some definite malt sweetness, and a nicely dry, oaky alcohol character. Hop bitterness is fairly muted.

Very nice, hides it’s alcohol quite well, and very complex with lots of great flavor subtleties.

Highly recommended.

arguemaniac, Feb 19, 2007
Photo of Neehan
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into chalice.
Dark ruby with a smaller than expected head and minimal retention. Even swirling brings out little head, its best appearance characteristic is in its color. Very fruity, mild citrus in the smell with a touch of darker spices. Incredibly smooth and fruity in the flavor. Fruitiness and smooth taste make it quite drinkable. A bit less complex than I had expected, but damn good.

Neehan, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of Hampton73
4.7/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ML Bottle, poured with a nice head that leaves lace on the glass. Pretty reddish brown color with little bubbles.

The aroma is very impressive, with dark fruits, malts, and alcohol blending nicley.

The flavor mimics the aroma, only better. Complexity and goodness are the words that come to mind. The Belgian yeast has been tamed to avoid the extreme flavors they can produce.

Mouthfeel is nice, with just the right amount of carbonation to balance the viscosity of the beer.

One of my favorite Belgium Brown ales.

Hampton73, Feb 17, 2007
Photo of objectivemonkey
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best by date of 09 2006. I'll take that with a grain of salt, thank you.

Into a tulip glass, pours a dark and heady russet brown, moderate carbonation on pour, with a nice off white foma on top settling down to a thin bubbly film in the center, ringed around the edges, and the rest a wispy film over the brown goodness. Aroma is rich, full of dark fruits, figs, plums, mollases, some cherries, some brandy, everything well put together, very nice. Taste is similar to the nose, a lot of fruits, plum and brandy seem to stand out, cherries in there, a wonderful balance of all things tasty. The mouth has the right body, the right carbonation, it warms nicely, its fantastic, I love it. This is pretty much what I think of when I reach for a Belgian Strong Dark, very high quality beer, and an excellent find on my part, on sale at Cellar's for an $8 four pack, I'm stoked cause I have three left, yesss!!!!

objectivemonkey, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of TheEclecticGent
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer on tap at Melton's App & Tap in Decatur, GA. It was poured in a small Caracole tulip glass.

Appearance: The color is an opaque auburn/brown with a dense tan head that slowly dissipated into a thin layer. This beer produces decent lacing.

Smell: The aroma is of fermented, aged, or dried fruit like apples , raisins, dates, etc. This scent is shared with a yeasty malt smell.

Taste: malty with light spices and deep aged fruit flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium with light carbonation.

Drinkability: The flavor is very pleasant and complex.

TheEclecticGent, Feb 01, 2007
Photo of jettjon
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750ml caged cork bottle, marked “lot F” and “Best before end 6-08.” Decants with a small pop, served at about 45 degrees into the cervoise and allowed to warm for about 10 minutes. Body is a medium reddish-brown with numerous tiny bubbles slowly rising up. One finger brown-tan head slowly fades leaving a thin sheet and minor lacing. Nose is of dark fruit, cherries, and sweet malt with a bit of alcohol. Taste definitely improves with warming; warm alcohol right up front, a solid malt backbone, dark fruits (cherry and plum), somewhat peppery. Dry, rather average finish. Dry overall. Mouth is semi-viscous, softly bubbling with full carbonation, very gentle on the tongue, smooth and velvety. Good mouth. Drinkability is good overall; the 9.5% ABV is evident but nicely integrated.

Overall: A very good strong dark ale, though I’ve had better. Definitely better when warmed. Good call.

jettjon, Jan 26, 2007
Photo of charlieme
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got a 750mL bottle for Chistmas. Great head when poured which dissipates into nice thin layer. Deep copper color, just a bit cloudy. Has a fruity smell and a bit of a liquorice taste. Let it warm to proper temperature before tasting. A strong beer... be careful.

charlieme, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of russpowell
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
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

russpowell, Jan 19, 2007
Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +1%
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.

Billolick, Jan 05, 2007
Photo of srrn
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep cloudy brown with slight garnet hue. I poured this too agressively but head reduced to good lacing. Smell of brandied cherries and spice. Taste much the same with a pleasant bitterness on the sides of the tongue in the aftertaste. We buy this less often than other Belgian brown ales however it is a great brew we'll keep in rotation.

srrn, Jan 02, 2007
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.

TheManiacalOne, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of crazynipple
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received a 33cl bottle from my sister who lives in Belgium (thanks sis!) The best before date was 06/2007.

I chilled it to 50 deg F, and drank it from a Leffe glass. It poured a deep red, with some foam but not too much. It has a rich mouthfeel, and an aroma of spices. Very sweet. For me, one of the best Brune beers.

crazynipple, Dec 25, 2006
Photo of mmmbeer
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 mL bottle, best by 06/08, brewed with specialty and roasted malts, spiced with Saaz, bottled unfiltered and unpasteurized. It pours a yeast-laden dark rust with light carbonation and a three finger, fluffy, almond head that leaves nice lacing. It smells of rich malts/grains, with dark fruits, various berries (raspberry, redcurrant, strawberry?, kiwi?), and maybe some port. The flavor starts off rich and malty (molasses, carob?, light chocolate), but also quite sweet, with notes of roasted malts, pear/melon, apple?, fennel/anise, powdery/spicy yeast, clove/medicinal phenols, and a small dose of green hops that deliver a mild bitterness. The body, though tingly, is medium to full, dry, and leaves a medium finish. Overall, a complex, malty beer that starts off rich but becomes sweet and fruity. Would definitely revisit.

mmmbeer, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of RedHaze
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle in Bastogne, Belgium. 333ml bottle, with a best before date I can't decipher.

Pours a dark mahogany, with a massive three finger head that seems to take an eternity to fade to a thick cap. The lasing that's left behind completely covers the inside of my glass.

Smell; lots of dark fruits, with plums and dates being dominant, but there's also a little bit of dark purple grapes. Sweet caramel malts are present, with some nice spices coming through, but I'm having a hard time picking any specific spices out. Improves as it warms.

Taste; sweet caramel and toffee malts hit me at first, followed by a ton of dark fruits. Plums, dates, grapes and some figs are all present, and mixed with just some hints of alcohol. The finish is once again sweet with brown sugar and molasses. I know I've said this is sweet a couple of time, but it doesn't come off as sickeningly sweet to me.

Mouthfeel/Drinkabilty; mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, just a touch on the syrpy side, with a smooth carbonation. Drinkabilty is really good on this one.

Another beer that I've been putting off for a while, more due to no being sure how good it would really be. Now that I've tried it, I wish I had several more bottles for future consumption. A very nice before bedtime beer.

RedHaze, Nov 27, 2006
Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 768 ratings.