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Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

740 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 740
Reviews: 490
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 40
Gots: 38 | FT: 0
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: 740 | Reviews: 490 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AlexJ

North Carolina

4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Whoo-Hooo, review # 150 here!

Another new beer for me, Nostradamus pours out the color of cloudy, dirty cola. It sets forth a mighty head of off white foam that has good staying power for a beer this strong.

The aromas are caramel malts, cherries, red grapes, dark berries, cocoa, and delicate yeasty spice. It gets more intense as it warms.

The flavors are a bit more pronounced with more dark and juicy fruit, molasses, powdery cocoa a cidery sour note, and notable hop finish. Almost tastes like liquid raisin bread. Overall, it is slightly sweet, with a bit of musty, cellar flavor, which leads to a light, woody, dry finish with a slight notion of something sour.

Nice beer, certainly better than I expected. The body is on the light side of medium with ample carbonation, lending to the body of the beer. Smooth texture that is almost creamy on the tongue.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2005 00:31:26 | More by AlexJ
Photo of kmpitz2


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

Thanks to clvand0 for sharing this. It pours a dark brown color wih a finger of head that falls to coat the beer very well. The nose is complex, with some dark brown sugar or molasses, hints of dark fruit and some peppery spice and a nice whiff of alcohol in there. Wow. I really do like this. The flavor is smooth, with mostly dark brown sugar, but not sweet, and slight spicey fig. The feel is moderate with a minimal carbonation. Drinkability is as good as it gets. No hint of the alcohol in the flavor. Everything is well balanced and divine.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2005 23:32:05 | More by kmpitz2
Photo of dgallina


4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, labeled best-before 2006 and consumed in April 2005. Pours a clouded reddish-brown with quite impressive foamy tan head and medium lacing. Strong carbonation. Smells of strong and very sweet malts with balancing fruitiness and an underlying base of alcohol. Tastes very sweet initially, but develops good fruity complexity and finishes long, well carbonated, and with an extremely dry puckering sourness.

Extremely refreshing, light in body, and easy to drink for a beer so strong. Flavors are particularly complex and well executed.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2005 03:53:02 | More by dgallina
Photo of ADR


4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Murky burnt sienna color, yellow-tan head rises to over 1/2 a inch in a tulip glass. Laces are thick, but keep falling down the glass. Interesting aroma, malted milk whiffs, some sourdough tanginess with yeasty notes. Mouthfeel is solidly medium, well-spaced carbonation that's overall lower in volume. Lots of ginger in the flavor, grading into dark molasses. Gets clove-ridden late in the profile, some pears, bitters with more hop than many without an overly sweet or sticky impression. Cognac-like with some alcoholic heat in the throat. Pretty good in that its rich with some brightness but not too sugary.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2005 15:11:03 | More by ADR
Photo of sulldaddy


4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a slightly chilled corked and caged 750 ml bottle that fellow BA and great buddy Stopper hooked me up with. I am sampling in a large tulip glass.
The cork comes out with a loud pop and some fog/mist eminates from the opening immediately after. A good sign I think.
The beer pours a rather clear mahogany with strong ruby tints. A few small sediment chunks float around.
A large frothy beige head foams up and fades gradually with large craters opening up as it recedes.
Aroma is very nice, I get green apples, lemon, and cherry mixing with some cloves and candy sugar. Also a bit of grassy hops and a general musty smell as well. Quite interesting and appealing on the nose.
First sip reveals a fine and prickly carbonation that tingles my tongue and average body with a slightly syrupy texture that I find enjoyable.
Flavor is rich and complex with some light fruits up front, again the green apple but also sweet ripe pears. A bit of caramel and toffee play through the middle and brown sugar and hard candy sweet, but not cloyingly. Quite pleasant actually. This would make an incredible dessert beer and I am very impressed with it. I would be sure to buy this again now that I have sampled.

Thanks again Stopper!!

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2005 03:10:03 | More by sulldaddy
Photo of ghurux86


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml corked bottle. nice presentation, but i've seen better.
pours a cloudy medium brown color with a decent light tan head. head dissapates after a little while and doesn't lace much.
smell is very good. apples alcohol and malt among others. complex in smell as well as flavor.
flavor matches smell pretty closely. apples, maybe some grapes, alcohol is noticed in the rear but is masked rather well. malt is only slightly noticed in the flavor and smell.
mouthfeel is just about how i like it. pretty full bodied with a low level of carbonation, but it definitely doesn't taste flat, the carbonation levels are just about right.
drinkability lacks slightly but is still above average. i'd drink this one any day of the week but i couldn't drink it all night since the ABV is so high. I'm not saying that's a bad thing (I think it's a good thing) it's just that i couldn't drink it all night.
great brew overall.

Serving type: bottle

02-13-2005 08:52:20 | More by ghurux86
Photo of Shaw


4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown color with a tight off-white head. Its smell is complex: perfume qualities mix with fruit (plum?) notes and a little musty smell, as well.

The taste is very good. Rich, and complex, this beer has so many flavors. I note nut, caramel and fruit flavors that go with a slight tartness to give this ale a taste that is hard to beat.

The tiny bubbles almost explode in my mouth while drinking this. They give it an effervescent body.

This is a great Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Seek it out, it will not disappoint.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2005 07:16:25 | More by Shaw
Photo of WesWes

New York

4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2005 00:22:37 | More by WesWes
Photo of Dogbrick


3.65/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sampled at From The Vine beer tasting Jan 14th, 2005: This beer is a dark orange-brown color with a short-lived thin dark beige head. Thin lacing. Extremely sweet smell, with malt and a little yeast. Medium-bodied and very carbonated, with a mildly sweet character. Some spice and fruit are present, but all in all this beer is not really impressive for the style flavor-wise. The finish is sugary-sweet and malty. Not bad but nothing really makes this beer stand out.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2005 18:36:23 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of tavernjef


4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A beautifully deep and rich dark coppery brown color with a solid foam of ivory colored softness, creamy and firm, with amazing staying power, it hardly moves, settling slowly to a very thick remaining skim and fluffy collaring. Lacing in intricately woven belgian sheets making for one good looking Belgian brown.

Aroma is tangy and darkly fruitish, mild yet eager with some nice light mustyness, caramel, and brown sugar sifting around underneath.

Taste is tangy and dark with a slight grape aspect carrying over a wine like character, yet it lets enough caramel malt through to make it very interesting. Candyish in moderation, kinda zippy with a certain tang on the palate and lips. Mildly fruity, but mostly tangy and grapey with a great backing of caramel/toffee. Finish drys out mostly from the ABV with left over tangy bits and licorice notes.

Feel is fairly rich and tangy with sweetness encompassed within a solid medium body but lacks some complexity as it sets the same feel from front to back. Mild, tangy, and enjoyable, a nice drinker that bodes well even with the 9.5%. Exceptional drinking when served at the listed 55 degree serving temp., definately not one to be consumed cold.

Serving type: bottle

01-17-2005 02:40:28 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Quaffer


3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz. bottle. Picked this up in Dallas. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: A very murky, very deep brown. There were some amber highlights around the edge of the glass. An off-white head rose up to a little more than a finger and dissipated rather quickly. A thin ring of foam around the edge of the glass was all that remained after a short period of time. There was no lacing.

Smell: Slightly dry and dusty immediately after the pour. Then it settled into a very fruity aroma, but in a heavy sort of way. Candied fruits, plums, and sweet cherries dominated the nose. There was also some sweet malt that contributed to the smell. Pretty straightforward but nice.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and very smooth. Slightly coating and buttery.

Taste: A lot of malt presence, especially caramel. The fruit that was so prevalent in the aroma took a backseat in the taste. Sweet cherries lingered in the background from start to finish, but that was about all the fruit there was. The finish was dry with a light hops bitterness to balance out the sweetness, as well as some alcohol.

Very well done and well balanced.

Serving type: bottle

01-02-2005 21:21:45 | More by Quaffer
Photo of shippos

New York

3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

deep garnet color with a watery bubbley head.
soft aroma flowwery with a creamy sugary center, little estery and some alcohol. average mouthfeel with a good amount of carbonation that cleanses you palate. spicy alcohol and that unique yeasty spicyness mixes in the finish. head doesn't last long and becomes non existent after a bit. worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2004 15:47:48 | More by shippos
Photo of goodbyeohio


4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


this beer has a wonderful aroma, bringing to mind barrel-aged beers. smells of cherries, sugar, whiskey and wood. bottle uncorked with a loud pop, and pours a lighter red color with wonderful head retention throughout the drink.

the taste, however, leaves something to be desired. it certainly excels in the style, but leaves nothing to distinguish it. flavor matches aroma with little complexity and has a bit too much of an alcoholic aftertaste for such a smooth scent.

this beer is extremely drinkable with a nice warming sensation for a cold day like today. although, i wish it was a bit more for such an on-the-move indie brewery.

i would drink it again, and would love to try it on tap.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2004 00:26:29 | More by goodbyeohio
Photo of feloniousmonk


4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
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...

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2004 07:06:46 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh


4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Anam Cara.

Cloudy amber-brown in color with a frothy tannish-colored head. Nice lacing of the glass. Aromas are raisins/plums/other dark fruit mixed with caramel squares. Flavor carries many different sensations on the palate: cherry fizz cola, raisins, sugary caramel, some toffee, and a whiff of charred wood. Finish is dry, with hints of spice on the palate. Mouthfeel is just slightly thinner that expected, but still a very drinkable (read: sippable) beer. Great for a nightcap on a cold winter's night.

Serving type: on-tap

11-17-2004 01:38:17 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of GCBrewingCo

North Carolina

4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer poured very slightly hazy deep amber brown with an off-white head which retreated to the edges of the surface and did not really lace the glass.

The aroma was heavenly with deep dark caramel and deep dark fruits of raisins and plums and prunes. Strong malty backbone with deep biscuit/bready presence. Some artisanal yeast presence like farmhouse ales added complexity within the aroma.

The flavor was wonderfully bready with deep complex caramel flavors and dark fruits of cherries, prunes, and raisins. Some spice presence added even more complexity to the flavors. Alcohol flavors were surprisingly restrained and added yet another layer to the flavor. Some additional chocolate flavors emerge the more the beer warms to room temp.

The finish was just dry with lasting deep caramel malt and bready/biscuit flavors with spice. The body was medium full and well done. The alcohol only really rears it's head in the lasting warming effect that follows consumption. A very well done and very complex brew.

11.2 ounce bottle. This bottle came from my own stash, but thanks to poundboy I have a backup.

Serving type: bottle

11-12-2004 22:38:31 | More by GCBrewingCo
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Cloudy garnet color, with a nice head but only moderate lacing

Smell: Rum-soaked dried dark fruit, maple syrup, some floral tones and a trace of butterscotch

Taste: Subtle and understated, hints of various sweet and sour fruits, up front and a developing caramel flavor that builds by mid-palate; after the swallow, the sour tones play off the sweet malt

Mouthfeel: A blast of carbonation at the start makes this alcoholic whopper seem deceptively light; settles in warm and soothing alcohol on the finish

Drinkability: As this ale warms, it reveals more and more to the drinker; it begs to be treated like a fine cognac and deserves the drinker's attention

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2004 23:47:06 | More by brentk56
Photo of beerceller99


4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

33 cl. bottle. pours garnet colored with a slight tan head. A slight alcohol smell with figs, dates, and caramel. Light to medium bodied. Nice carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel. Taste is of dates, figs, caramel, and spicy, yeasty bread. Finishes with a slight alcohol tang to remind one of its 9.5%.

Wish I had more of this brew. Excellent.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2004 18:27:12 | More by beerceller99
Photo of silenius


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

I bought this inspired by the Brothers' visit to Brasserie Caracole described on the main page.

This is from a 750ml bottle and was served at 50 degrees F in a Duvel glass.

The beer pours a moderate chestnut brown. Sitting in the glass, it looks a bit like a buckeye with its brownish tinged head. Nice head on this one. A nice fluff to it.

Smell is interesting. If you just let me smell it, I might have identified it as some kind of odd dark hefeweizen since it smells like a mixture of ripe and green bananas covered in a light caramel sauce with a hint of bubblegum. Odd for a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, but very nice.

Taste is very good. Yummy in fact. It starts with the dark roasted caramelly flavor that transitions to a sweet dark rye taste that blends into a mashed banana covered in a light sweet syurp. Nice indeed.

The mouthfeel for this guy is superb. Austere and welcoming all at the same time. The creamy bubbles coat your tongue making it feel pillowy and then gently give way to a slightly woody snap that tells you it is time for another sip.

The sweetness in this beer makes me think that one at a time might be enough. Two would be too much. Like too much pie. Altough I can eat a lot of pie before tiring of it. Great job. I will buy again!

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2004 01:11:13 | More by silenius
Photo of twelvsies


3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer definately challenged me. First of all, let me say that I've sampled a wide variety of beer types and consider myself a fairly experienced beer drinker, but quite frankly this beer cofused me and I didn't know what to think of it. Maybe another try or more beers of this type will help to expand my palate, but here are my first opinions on this very complex beer. Looks more like a glass of wine than a beer. Dark red maroon color and very watery looking. No head or lacing at all. Smells very strong, almost too intense. Very alcoholic scent, bitter, grapey, red wine tinges in there as well. Taste is very interesting to say the least. It's a bit too in your face for me. The alcohol isn't masked at all, and there are so many flavors hitting your palate you don't know what to think. It tastes like wine at first, but then towards the finish it tastes like what it is, a strong Belgian beer. Feels very dry in the mouth, just like a fine wine. I found this beer pretty hard to drink actually, very acidic and abrasive.
Final notes: This is a very complex and interesting beer. Maybe it's just not my style, but I think it's too all-over-the-place for its' own good. I'm definately intrigued though and I'll get it again to see if my opinions change now that I have a frame of reference. What's the deal with this beer?? It's weird, in a weirdly good way. That's all for now.

Serving type: on-tap

10-01-2004 20:33:55 | More by twelvsies
Photo of Crosling


4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep Purple.

Heavily aromatic, mildly astringent, nose with notes of solvent, cellar mustiness, red wine, dark berries, brown sugar, caramel and nose hair burning alcohol. Not very pleasant.

The taste, however, is another story. Dry, with a lovely deep fruitiness of cherries, raisins and plums with brandy like alcohol and a finish of bubble gum, herbs and possibly candy sugar. A lover of merlot would enjoy this brew. The flavors blend so well together.

Serving type: bottle

09-05-2004 21:03:07 | More by Crosling
Photo of CharlesRiver


4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 11.2 oz bottle. I have been waiting to try this for awhile. I don't have the exact glass so I opted for a Duvel glass. The color is a light brown with a reddish tint. Very little head, which I am very suprised at. The smell is sweet, with hints of sourness. Almost punchy? Taste is much more pronounced. Kind of like a dubble or a oud bruin. Sour in the end and sweet in the beginning. Very well balanced just not that complex. I think this beer has so much potential, just lacks something that I can't place. I bit thin but I still like it.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2004 00:26:44 | More by CharlesRiver
Photo of HopHeadKen


3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle with funky blue label with picture of some sort of snail shell wearing horned wizard in space, looking through a telescope . . . Reminiscent of 1970's for me !

The ale is a hazy brown in the glass, but a rich copper color when viewed through a clear glass in bright light.

Rich creamy ivory head dissipates to a thin lace in a few minutes.

This beer has a sweet malt flavor; with the characteristic fruity
sweetness of Belgian yeast.
I was surprised that at 9.5% ABV the alcohol was barely perceptible.

Maybe I drink too many American Style Ales and Imperial Ales, but I couldn't detect the hops in this ale; not on the front end (aroma) nor on the back end (bittering).

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2004 16:36:50 | More by HopHeadKen
Photo of JohnnyDuvel


4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very nice and different. A little roastiness, quite a bit of fruitiness. A little sweet, quite creamy. A hint of cherry soda in there. This is a nice, unique Belgian offering. A little like the Three Philosophers. Will boot you in the rear, so go slow. I will buy this again (thanks WOB).

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2004 04:16:56 | More by JohnnyDuvel
Photo of Phyl21ca

Quebec (Canada)

3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2004 17:27:00 | More by Phyl21ca
Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 740 ratings.