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Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.
NostradamusNostradamus

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

832 Ratings
THE BROS
91
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 832
Reviews: 509
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 49
Gots: 72 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole visit their website
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 832 | Reviews: 509
Photo of Metalmonk
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Lotsa gas release when popping the cap. Poured a smooth head, 1 finger width, and the color is a beautiful caramel-brown.

Raisins, prunes and brown sugar dominate the aroma, with nice maltiness also present.

The taste is where it's at, and this one has tons of complexity: malts command, followed by a subtle yeast funk and a chocolatey finish. Also in the background and aftertaste is something reminiscent of the dark corn syrup used in pecan pies. The 9.5% alcohol is well-hidden, you can hardly tell it's there. This ale is a real pleasure, it's my 4th try in the last couple years and it's always delivered pure satisfaction. So good I'm tempted to take big gulps.

Mouthfeel is both delicate and lively.

Despite the high ABV, this goes down easily and is absolutely satisfying. Should please any Belgian ale enthusiast of any persuasion.

Photo of charlesw
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oooh! I finally get to put my Caracole tulip to good use! Ah, and such good use it's starting out to be! Pours a beautiful deep amber/brown that still manages to be fairly clear. Medium-high head that's a dark cream color. Very tight bubbles that just do not go away. Smells wonderfully of malts! Malts! Malts! Raisin, caramel, bread, earth, sun, moon! No, wait, I'm getting carried away... Tastes like malts, man. Caramel, raisin, bread, earthy. Gently sweet and on the thicker side. Hey, if I had this on tap it'd be my every-day beer. But at 9.5% (which, hey, you can't even detect) a 750ml bottle is way more than too much for one person on any one evening!

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. Nostradamus pours out a brownish color with an off-white head that settles to a thin layer of foam. Dark fruit in the aroma, with tangy yeast, malt, sugar, and spices. Malty flavor with tangy fruit. The flavor is what you would expect from the aroma. A delicious cherry flavor stands out. Finishes with some spice, although not as strongly spiced as many beers in the style. This beer is similar to the Caracole Amber. Both beers have the same addictive flavor that makes it hard to put my glass down for very long. There is absolutely no sign of the 9.5% abv. Any fan of dark Belgian ales will love this for sure.

Photo of gotbeer
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a dry, flavorful beer. There are loads of fruit flavors- everything from pear, and melon to white grapes. It has some sweet flavors with a hidden alcohol presence.

It has a nice mouthfeel with some fizzy carbonation. Not much lacing on the glass as you drink.

It's surprisingly drinkable for a brew with this ABV.

Interesting and complex. Won't be an everyday beer (even if I could find it and afford it), but glad I tried it.

Photo of Prufrock
3.32/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz. bottle poured into a tulip.

nice color: deep brown at its thickest, fading to a reddish amber and a golden orange at the bottom of the glass. lots of floating dark sediment; i need to start pouring more carefully. half an inch of tan head.

strong metallic character to the aroma, which is otherwise a variety of dark, sweet aromas: molasses, raisins and brown sugar.

much less sweetness in the flavor, which is definitely weaker than expected. it has a pleasant feel, medium-bodied and lightly carbonated, but overall the taste shows very little presence. a little sugary sweet, a little malt, but overall an oddly empty flavor with a clean finish. nothing that offends (except the metallic aroma), but nothing that stands out.

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

Another great Belgian beer. I find myself enjoying and more and more the Belgian ales, and this is no exception.

Nostradmus presents a nice chocolate brown colour with a thick, off white head that thins out but lingers on.

The smell is malty, burnt sugar, but with a predominant acidic, metal scent. I can't quite explain; almost like rusty nails. The taste, however, is much better. Malts, hints of chocolate, caramel and candy sugars. Very enjoyable, almost a desert beer. Hints of alcohol.

This is a smooth drink beer, very velvety and enjoyable. The only thing hampering the drinkability is the high ABV.

Photo of spiffylubes
4.87/5  rDev +20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a brown/amber, cloudy. Decent head, decent retention, very nice lacing. Smell was fairly strong of alcohol, but not in a bad "this will taste awful" kind of way, more of a sweet alcohol way. Taste is incredibly smooth, with little to no alcohol taste. Very sweet, in a dark fruit sort of way. Good mouthfeel, slight warmth from the alcohol, good amount of carbonation. I would definitely drink more than one of these if I had another, and if I felt like getting slightly drunk. But I don't have one, and I don't want to get slightly drunk. But I highly recommend it!

Photo of riversider76
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber. Long lasting head and nice lacing. Smell was of fruit and roasted grain. You can smell the alchol. Taste was of rum rasin. Sweet,but not overly so. Finish was smooth,but with a nice burn.This is a very well balanced beer. One of the best I've tried.

Photo of Derek
4.17/5  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.

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

Appearance -- This ale pours a deep mud, red-brown color with minimal head and heavy yeast in suspension.

Smell -- Strong phenols and blackberry are the dominant smells. As the beer warmed I also noticed a slight hoppiness.

Taste -- The most prominent taste is a warm alcoholic burn followed by malts and roasted grains. This beer lacked in depth, but I will give it the benefit of the doubt as the strong alcoholic burn possibly indicates that I might need to age this one a bit. Overall, this is a tasty brew that could be made better by adding more flavorful ingredients. Nostradamus and Brasserie Caracole are vying for a market share in a competitive style and it helps if each brew would stand out.

Photo of sockeye101
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Now this is a beer that smacks you upside the head and has you asking "Yes Sir! May I have another!?!"

Right out of the gate the amazing complex smells let you know you are about to embark on a unique beer experience. The head was not as impressive as I was anticipating but it did remain throughout the drink and left a decent lace. But the flavors, oh the flavors...fruity, like apples and cherries and berries, and a then a thick rich coffee and chocolate with a warming alcohol at the end. Carbonation was on the mild end, which in my opinion helped bring out the rich coffee and chocolate flavors. The mouth feel was exceptional, one the best I've had recently. There is way more going on in this beer than I can put into words, it has a complexity that is difficult to describe.

Do not pass up this massive beer if you get the chance!

Photo of mcontr2
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Love the bottle art, the first time I have come across a breed of a wizard gnome and snail.
Dark purple, near opaque appearnce. Huge frothy head, sorta unexpected. Carmel malts say holla on the nose, toffe, grape/raisin, citrus(?) not as vocal but detectable.
Strong taste, not very robust, but firm and bold. Grape/raisin, cherry. Very complex. Argh, Ill through carmel into there too.

Rugby Drink up-ability- 0 . this is a tough sweet beer at 9.5%. take your time big boy.

Lounge, Steve Mcqueen/Shaft cool drinkability-5, goes well with Al Green.

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

"The blood of the just will be demanded of London,
Burnt by the fire in the year 66".

--Nostradamus (1503-1566)

[The Great Fire destroyed London in 1666]

Gorgeous, burnished copper-orange-red with bright orange peel trim. Nostradamus looks like a barleywine. The head is golden ecru in color (good) and is nearly featureless as it deflates (not so good). Although there's no lace, the fantastic color of the beer makes up for it.

The nose is unquestionably good, but I can't quite bring myself to bestow greatness upon it. Dark caramel and toffee share center stage. Also noted is a generous quantity of mellow, dark rum-soaked fruit. It isn't as spicy as some BSDAs, but I'm okay with that.

I love the flavor. My hope was that it would be a more explosive version of the nose... and that's exactly what it is. Like the nose, the flavor is dominated by figs and dates macerated in the finest dark rum. It also has an oaky character that puts me in mind of some of the heartier bourbons.

There's so much fruit flavor (plums in that sip!) that the beer is almost port wine-like. Spice still takes a back seat, but there's now an understand clove spiciness that adds character. All of the various members of the flavor profile meld into a beautiful, seamless whole. A remarkable achievement and a remarkable beer.

I was initially disappointed in the mouthfeel since I felt it was too light and too carbonated. It didn't take long, though, for both of those faults to be remedied. At the halfway point of the bottle, I'm becoming more and more impressed by the medium-full, well mannered, but still lively beer that greets my every sip.

Given my enjoyment of the only other Brasserie Caracole beers that I've had prior to today (Ambree and Saxo), I prophesized that Nostradamus would be to my liking. I'm impressed by this delicious BSDA and have no problem recommending it to anyone who likes great beer.

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

Another Belgian purchased and brought to my place by my girl.
This one was pretty impressive. Looked near amazing in a big wine glass. Murky, dark red/brown, thick head of large bubbles.
Smelled of fruit and something zesty.
Taste was sharp, strong, malty, with hints of cherry. Nice.
Thick in the mouth, and expanded when it hit the tongue. Smooth, just glides over.
We finished the bottle, and I felt quite warm. Would drink this one again without hesitation, but not after a first bottle.

cheers...

Photo of asabreed
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33 cl bottled poured into my Corsendonk tulip. And what crazy ass artwork. The man himself over an open book's flailing pages already predicting the future, wavey antennas whip-snacking over his head. Nice stuff to look at. And I didn't even get to the beer yet.

Appearance: Cloudy, hazy, thick brown color as far as the body goes, a little red toward the top. Very dark though, maybe darker than I expected. The head is insane. I can't even sip the beer yet because I'm still waiting for it to go down from it's ice cream-like state of appearance. Now as it goes down, huge clumps of foam are remaining as lacing, and the head's still beautifully thick.

Smell: Earthy yeast and some phenols at first. Then comes a Flemish Red-type sour apple skin aroma. Citrus, lemon peel, high acidity. Then some darker fruits like cherries or berries, with a tad bit of tropical fruit also in the nose. Then comes the figs, raisins, and prunes. Tons of stuff going on here and very complex and welcoming.

Taste: Burst of sweetness up front, kind of a meld between the malty and earthy raisin-like sweetness, then followed by the entourage of dark, candied fruit. However, the balance is pretty magnificent. It never gets overly sweet, as the yeast or hops or something curbs that by the end, leaving a slightly yeasty yet dry and fruity palate by the end.

Mouthfeel: Very creamy with slightest amount of spritzy nature to not make it too thick or cloying. Finishes velvety smooth.

Drinkability: Goddamn this is good, and I'll definitely be buying it again. I keep saying to myself, "Well, this may be biased since I like the style so much," but so many BSDAs lately have impressed me to not end, and this is one of them. And also it seems to be in a category of its own as far as flavor, with different things melding and dominating than most versions of the style I've had. Try it for sure.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy brown with ruby highlights and a huge, creamy tan head that retains well...a beauty of a beer. The aroma is dominated by that trademark belgian yeast, dark fruits, candy sugar and some toasted bread as well as some mild alcohol. The flavor starts off with some big dark fruit flavors (plum, fig, grape and cherry), followed by candied sugar, funky barnyard belgian yeast, toasted bread, alcohol and some light mineraly hops. This is quite a nice belgian strong ale, reminds me of the abbaye de rocs beers without the overwhelming funky yeast. The mouthfeel is full and rich, but drinkability is only slightly above average. A very nice belgian; complex, strong and tasty.

Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a cloudy reddish dark brown with a huge tan head. The 4+ inch head fell to about a half inch head where it acted like it was going to stick around for a while due to all of the bubbles rising to maintain it. There is some lacing left after drinking

Aroma: Unfortunately this fall in Houston is bad for those of us with allergies, so my senses aren't what they should be. I get noticeable alcohol along with some assertive plum/raisin aromas. There is a noticeable spiciness here that I don't know if it is from an actual spice addition or from reactions with the alcohol. As the head falls a bit, there is much more earthy and malty aromas coming out.

Taste: The taste is pretty much in line with the aroma. Some sweet malts along with some roasty ones are a big part of the flavor. Some raisin and a bit of spiciness is the most notable in the beginning. The middle of the flavor profile gives way almost entirely to the malty sweetness, along with a subtle floral presence. The finish is slightly resiny, but the carbonation makes it come across as more dry. Long into the finish, there is a noticeable alcoholic warmth that lasts the whole way down.

Opinion: I think that this is a pretty good beer, and one that I would definitely like to try again. I got a hold of a bad bottle of Ambree, so I had an eyebrow raised when I cracked this one open. I was pleasantly surprised. The alcohols are a little more noticeable in this beer as I would like, but you can't win them all. It is still a very approachable brew.

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

Appearance: Pours a very dark, cloudy amber color with a respectable tan, fizzy head.

Smell: Raisins and nuts with some alcohol in the background.

Taste: Nice balance of the dark fruits and the Belgian malty and yeast flavors. The alcohol comes in at the end, but is not overwhelming.

Mouthfeel: Light, smooth and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability: Very drinkable for the style. Goes down easy and the alcohol doesn't hit too hard.

This brew was a nice find at Surdyk's. I remember studying Nostradamus briefly in school and thinking he was interesting, so I had to try a Belgian ale with his namesake. Very worthwhile if it's available in your area.

Photo of walleye
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

rom the 750 botlle @4.59 which I thought was a good deal. poured a nice dark amber with a light tan head. aroma, plums, raisins, fruity, caramel, alcohol, malt. flavor plums and other dark fruits, raisins, with a nicec toych of alcohol, yeast. very good.

Photo of Sephiroth
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber with creamy looking foam. There are tiny little yeasties in there. Smells of sweet spicebread. Slight hop scent.

The taste is of bready malt, then dark fruit, even a hint of chocolate. This has a definite sweet finish. Light on the palate considering the flavor and ABV. Not so drinkable for me because of sweetness. I don't mind a sweet beer, but I wouldn't drink this all night.

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

It is a nice watery brown with a orange tint around the edge, chunky white head that yeilds plenty of lacing. Smells of good yeast musk and a sweet swirl of malt and a hint of alcohol. Well first off wow a very well hidden 9.5% beer. A nice slight sour hint up front fades into a pleasent mellow malt sweetness all covered in a delicious yeast flavors. It has a good body even for its thin appearance and is very easy to drink overall.

Photo of ommegangpbr
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I've had this a couple times, once in a small bottle and once (more recently) in a 750mL bottle.
I recall the small bottle's contents as being richer and sweeter while the large bottle's contents came out as much more like red wine. I got a good deal of oak, alcohol soaked fruits with a champagne dryness and crispness out of the large bottle.
Aging and bottling seem to have played their parts.
Either way it was enjoyable but I preferred the thicker, sweeter incarnation.
If I find this again I'll try it again.
Not my favorite for the style either way... alcohol content well hidden...
still pretty good all around.

Photo of scooter231
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This lovely beer pours a very pretty deep, bright ruby color with a fluffy, large tan head that lasts for quite a while and then disappates to a thin rim around the edges, leaving traces of lace.

Smell is sweet, mostly dark fruits- raisins and plums. Alcohol comes through, but doesn't overpower. Taste is slightly heavy. Sweet, almost like drinking dessert, but not cavity producing sweet. Fruits- raisins, plums, berries, a hint of pear. Alcohol is well-balanced. Some coffee in the background. A bit of dry, bitter hoppyness near the end, followed immediately by breadyness and nuttyness. A full range of flavors that harmonize quite well.

Mouthfeel is bubbley and chewy, a bit oily, and oddly fluffy in the back of the mouth. Highly drinkable considering the alcohol and sweetness- it's well-balanced, a nice end-of-the-day beer.

Photo of NoLiberty
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Caramel body with oak edging with light head that dissolves to very little.
Aroma: Almost nothing on the nose. Slight malty sweetness with a muted character.
Taste: Malty front with dried fruit hints, sweet full body flavor in the middle and a crisp slightly sour finish.
Mouth: Fills mouth on surprising amount of carbonation and leaves mouth dry dry.
Overall a very solid beer and a good representation of a double-strong. Could certainly put a few away.

Photo of Beertracker
3.76/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nostradamus should be served at (50-55F) from a stemmed tulip goblet or chalice. Bang! The cork shoots off the bottle like a rocket, so be careful not to put a hole in your ceiling. Pouring this one takes a steady hand and a bit of patience due to the carbonation & bottle sediment. The color is dark brownish with a rather muddy-murky appearance. The body is topped by a huge, lacy tannish-brown head that shows little sign of dissipation. The very aromatic nose has plenty of candied apple, zesty pear and fresh citrus notes along with hints of banana, mango and passion fruit. The flavor is lively, but sporadic with a light caramel-brown sugary maltiness that fades in & out along with a persistant cinnamon bark astringency. Some light bitterness creeps into the sweet, but rather warming finish. Maybe a little bit of tartness as well? This medium-full bodied ale is very deceptive on the palate. I don't think Nostradamus could have predicted that this strong dark ale would be so enjoyable and disappear so quickly! Enjoy Nostradamus as a nightcap or after dinner with a piece of apple crumbcake, cheese Danish or with a slice of freshly baked peach pie.

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 832 ratings.