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Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

820 Ratings

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Ratings: 820
Reviews: 505
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 49
Gots: 63 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole visit their website

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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Ratings: 820 | Reviews: 505 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of mmmbeer
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
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.

Photo of RedHaze
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

Photo of BlackAngus
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark cloudy brown, brownish head that lasted well.

S - Yeast, malts, dark fruits, hint of hops.

T - Sweet, dark fruits, bready flavor. Caramel, toffee.

M - A tad thin in my opinion, but clean. Very well carbed.

D - I wouldn't seek it out, but it's not bad. Glad I tried it.

Photo of sinistrsam
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dull hazy brown with a great tan head that stuck around for a good while and left decent lacing.
Aroma is a very pleasant yeasty, doughy and malty presence with mild fruits, raisin being the first that comes to mind. Very mild hops if any.
The flavor was of mild spice, raisin, some malt and yeast, but faded quickly and didn't give much besides what I've already mentioned. I will say the very high ABV was well-disguised and not overpowering at all.
The feel was pretty disappointing; the sweetness fades quickly into a mild tart or sour feel, then fades more into a watery and bland experience I don't expect from Belgian browns.
Very drinkable, but the question is do you want to drink an entire one of these? A glass is worth having, and definitely a nice warmer on a cold autumn night, but there are better choices in the genre.

Photo of Byeast
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: deep , opaque , auburn/brown , with a creamy tan head that dissipates to a thin layer.

Smell: The aroma is of much sweet fruits like apple , pear , hint of darker grape , also some malt and bit of yeast.

Taste: An interestingly complex taste to this brew! Sweet dark fruits , pear , chocolate , some berries, dark and sweet malts , slightly herbal hop , and grape(dark).

Mouthfeel: very active carbonation creams up this brew.

Drinkability: This is one fine brew to savor. The flavor is very pleasantly complex. Just when you think you have a grasp on a flavor , it morphs into another , brilliant!

Photo of paterlodie
3.05/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

BBE 6-2006. Poors out almost without any head and what was there gone in a second and a brown and clear beer under it. Nose is lots of caramel, port, sweetish and obvious this one has some time on it despite having it in my fridge for almost a year and carefull storage in my cellar before. Not 100%shure but would say this one shows quiet some tomatojuice/sweet corn. Taste also very oxidised and with that sweet caramel and malts next to the warming alcohol. Not a bad brew for shure but missing sparkling freshness and IMHO not a great brew to age despite the 9.5% ABV.

Photo of mjc410
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Zeno's in State College. The pour into a half pint goblet raised no head, but rather a light tan glass ring. The body appeared as a dark ruby-copper, slightly hazy. It left sparse but sticky lacing on the glass. The nose wass not complicated, but quite nice. Notes of earth, caramel, and pepper. The taste almost felt oak-aged, with strong vanilla notes. There was also a strong caramel taste. Plain, but very easy, hid the alcohol well. Intense and rich, for what it is. The mouthfeel was medium, with low carbonation, lending the beer a velvety smoothness. Overall, this is an easy but great beer.

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.

Photo of oelergud
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Semitranslucent dark maple body, lots of carbonation and a huge topica-like head. Good retention but not much lace.
Caramel and buttery scent. Nice and spiced.
Very delicious sweet and strong caramel molasses flavors. Raisens, prune and smoke. Aftertaste is strong and lingering. Somewhat scotch at the very end.
Good full body, medium coating and sugary residue.
Highly drinkable and mild for the abv. Very tasty.


Photo of allengarvin
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This pours a dark, opaque ruby-brown with a tan head. Delicious aroma of roasted malts, with just a touch of burntness, caramalized fruits, dark bitter chocolate. Beautifully complex flavor, bready, roasted malt, coffee, together with lots of fruitiness, both ripe and pungent. Bitterness is moderate and the finish dries out a bit. Good mouthfeel though a touch watery.

Excellent beer, like all of the Caracole offerings.

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

I love this style, and this is one of the best.

What sets it apart is the sweetness that is paradoxically dry. Kind of like a licorice-chicory along with some faint plum and very mild, sweet chocolate. Nice appearance, though the beer itself is fairly murky. Subtle nose.

Really nice offering from Caracole, much more enjoyable than Saxo.

Photo of martymoat
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle corked.

A: poured in large wine glass, pours light murky brown with decent head, however head dissipates in about 4 minutes. Am wondering why I am drinking some this color brown at 10 am oh well.

S: gave a little swish and a sniff, smell of malt and alcohol beneath the light smell of fruitiness and some chocolate. Cannot find the hops in it and am not a huge fan of Belgium’s so I don’t really know what I’m looking for.

T: first sip and sweetness hits the tip of the tongue and the smell of the beer turns to taste and coats the mouth, maybe some orange peel tastes and other fruit tastes are there it seems but strong malt taste is dominant. Alcohol is very well hidden beneath all the flavor, * I’m on my second glass by now*

M: medium in body smooth, carbonation is good slightly bubbly in mouth, the longer you have in mouth the more alcohol comes to the front and the malt and flavors disappear.

Would drink again, however not at 10 am and would pair it with fruit and cheeses. Good beer to try if new to Belgium style beers.

Photo of mcallister
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draught at Boston's bistro and thank god it was.

This is the epitomy of a river ridiculed with waste bi-product. Murky, completely opaque sienna colored. Fine tannish head retains itself very well. Leaves little lace.

Sweet dried fruits dominate the nose, with a good helping of malt to even things out. Aromas of fig, prune, cranberry, nutmeg, and earhty flowery goodness.

Thick full round mouthfeel. Great balance and complexity. Fall spices of nutmeg, and cinnamon, big dried fig flavors, as well as white raisins. Other fruity earthy flavors with a sweet mouth coating malty finish that goes on for a good 30 seconds that leaves me somewhat dissapointed when it's gone. Yet I know I have another drink in my glass to savor all over again.

A belgian worth trying a second, or third time.

Photo of WetCoaster
3.77/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Slightly paler than average deep amber with active carbonation and a frothy tan head that dissolves into a sheet of foam fairly quickly. No real lace.

Smell: Very nice. Round, sweet cherry on top of a chocolate malt base. Fusels booming. Slightly buttery.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is thin, crisp and a bit bland. Taste is a less robust version of the aroma, sweet, slightly roasty malts, a bit vinous, slightly tangy. Bitters at the finish, with boozy fumes burning alll the way down.

Drinkability: Meh. Smells great, average flavor, bit too boozy overall.

Photo of jpkoch1962
3.57/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Got a bottle of this at a package store. Interesting label, and the bottle was corked. Served at 45 deg in pint glass.

Ale was a cloudy dark coppery color with a rich thick brown head that slowly dies.Plenty of sweet malts and spicy esters in the aroma. The front end of this ale begins with an earthy sweet caramel taste. The dominating flavors are choclate raisins and mollassis. This blended into an earthy spiciness. The middle retained the earthy character before it finishes sweet like a strong sherry. The alcohol content while high didn't overwhelm this brew. A cloying aftertaste lingered well after I finished my sample. My sample was perhaps a bit undercarbonated.

This would make a nice after dinner sipping ale. The sweetness in the aftertaste is the biggest drawback. Could have probably used a bit more Belgian spices (pepper or coriander), maybe even a small addition of bittering hops. The cork gave this ale a nice cellar earthiness that I liked.

Photo of Brian700
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a 750 ml bottle that poured a deep brown/garnet color with a tan head that sat about half an inch leaving decent lacing.

The aroma was of dark fruit and molasses with some mild spiciness.

The flavor is of sweet malt, dark fruit, molasses, cinnamon, and some mild alcohol warming.

This is full bodied with medium to moderate carbonation.

This is a pretty drinkable beer and I will definately by picking up some more of this one.

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

Served from 11.2 ounce bottle. Pours with one half inch of foamy tan head. Very deep brown body with hints of amber, burgundy and orange on the fringes. Head drops to about one quarter inch and sticks around for the majority of the drink.

Huge malt on the nose. A rull rush of aromas loaded with figs, prunes, anise, sweet grapes and touches of maple syrup. There is an ever-so-faint note of hops in the background. The moderately high ABV is noticeable but nothing too spectacular.

Big malt taste with a very sweet kick. Loaded with the flavor of sweet sticky buns, brown sugar and an earthy, charcoal goodness. Slight alcohol presence at the back of the tongue. The malt appears to have been toasted which isn't quite normal for a Belgian brown. But, it provides a great balance for the alcohol and overall sweet taste. The is an inklingly of hops in the background as it warms.

Mouthfeel is great with plenty of natural effervesence without feeling soda-like. Balanced and creamy with a pleasant finish.

The relatively high ABV and overall sweetness limit this to possibly two or three per sitting but this is a highly drinkable beer.

A one-off Belgian brown living up to it's namesake. Certainly worth a try and a well crafted beer in every sense.

Photo of dirtylou
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
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

Photo of ultralarry2006
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 ml.bottle into my Duvel tulip. Left a three finger plus head that quickly receded to long lasting surface skim, some slight lacing. Body was garnet. Nice looking.

Smell - dark fruit, like plums and cherries. Dark bread. Medicinal phenols.

Taste - same as the smell. Plums, cherries, dark bread, some medicine. Also, very well hidden alcohol.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, low carbonation,very slight hop oil slickness.

Drinkability - this is good, and goes down well. High abv limits the sessionability.

Photo of skizziks
3.82/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle into a Duvel tulip. Thick tan head with nice lacing over a deep mahogany body. Almost opaque, I couldn't tell if it was from yeast/haze or just the color.

Very interesting aroma with cherries, raisins, smoke, malt, and some floral hops. Takes a little while to take it all in.

It hits the tongue with a dollop of brown sugar, some raisins, honey, then a lingering sweet finish. Very nice, but it doesn't quite fulfill the promise of the aroma.

Mouthfeel is quite syrupy with low carbonation.

This strikes me as a beer which could be very variable in production as well as aging. I felt like it should have been better, but it was just a little lacking in complexity. A very nice Strong Dark regardless, definitely worth a try.

Photo of SilentSabre
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

This poured much like any other Belgian. About 20/80% beer/foam with an enormous foamy head that extended downward through much of the glass leaving only about 25mm of beer. After the foam collected to a much nicer looking 4cm or so, the beer appeared a cloudy brownish red colour. The khaki colour foam left nice, sticky lacing on the sides of my glass. The smell was classic Belgian: a bit of raisins, candied fruit, and alcohol; generous amounts of each. Almost reminded me of a tripel, only I don't care for most tripels, and I am really enjoying this. Taste was quite malty, plenty of candied fruit in the middle, and then a punch in the face with alcohol burn. It wasn't unpleasant, just strong. It is what you might expect a 9.5% Belgian to be. The mouthfeel was magnificent. Silky smooth with zero carbonation sting. Very pleasant to drink. So far, I have savoured each sip, rolling it around in my mought before I swallow it. In fact, this has the greatest mouthfeel I have had in a beer in at least 6 months. I am quite impressed with this, and will certainly buy it again. Smashing!!

Photo of ojiikun
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from the bottle into an official Caracole glass goblet/snifter at The Stumbling Monk.

Pours a dark, slightly ruddy amber. Champagne foam head with little trails of bubbles to match. Gentle but lasting fizz.

Immediate smell that's more like a lambic than a beer. Hints of malt, but lots of fruit.

Taste is intense: cool, earthy spices and sour fruit. By mid-glass the sweetness characteristic of the genre comes forward, riding on top of lots of nutty malt.

Tastes like a lighter version of Gulden Draak (a favorite of mine) but with more herbs.

Quite drinkable for 9.5%. Very clean aftertaste, just watch out for the carbonation - it can bubble up on you.

Photo of bonbini26
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ Starfish Brasserie in Bethlehem

Pours a cloudy brown, with an amazing aroma of warming alcohol, fruity, with hints of berries, plum, and pear. Very sweet. Rich & warming in the mouth. With a taste of liquorice, mocha, pear, toasted bready flavor. Malt also comes through and finishes dry and sweet. A great after dinner sipper.

Photo of rodrot
3.58/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark amber color into my Duvel tulip with a large 2 finger head that took a while to subside. Aroma was malty and spicy with a little bit of a wine aroma. Taste was a mix of malty sweetness, ripe fruit, hoppy bitterness and a sour/winey flavor in the finish. This beer is medium to full bodied and with it's hefty alcohol punch really hit the spot on a cool and cloudy mid-Spring evening. Well worth it for a $5.99 750 ml bottle.

Photo of sevineyes
3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle featuring a man flying on a book and looking through a spyglass on the label.

A: Poured with a little over a finger of head. Nice and dense, tan. Deep brown with reddish casts. Head completely dies after a while. No lacing at all. Starts making me think I'm drinking a hearty tea.

S: Malty aroma. Toasty. Salty. A bit smoky. In the end a touch of baker's chocolate. Not particularly big.

T: Very sweet. Maraschino cherry juice. Sugar-soaked rasins. Dark cherries. To me it's almost oversweet. Mellows in the mid-tones to berry-like flavors. Finishes nearly floral while still holding on to some cherry aspects.

M: Prickly carbonation, but not distracting. Quenching and satiating. Dries up a little near the end, but remains very wet overall.

Overall: An interesting juxtaposition between the aroma and flavor. The aroma was not at all what I was expecting going into it and then the flavor was not at all what the aroma led me to believe it might be. Some of the flavor combinations are reminescent of some colas.

Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 820 ratings.