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Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

820 Ratings

(view ratings)
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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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.


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

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

Corked and caged 750 that is undated, poured into a chalice.

Chestnut brown with a large head that is light tan and threatens to overrun the glass. Good retention leaves thick sheets of lace when it finally starts to recede.

Raisins, earthy malts, belgian sugar, a little yeast, and a whiff of alcohol make up for a classic BSDA nose. Dark, a little fruity, with some candy and booze. Nice.

Tastes slightly vinous without even hinting at anything sour. More like raisins and some plums that were breifly soaked in alcohol and then dusted with a pinch of sugar. Nice malt backbone that is most noticable towards the end. Alcohol is barely noticable in the finish.

Nice full mouthfeel that hints at syrup in the middle, but is wiped clean by the finish. Strong but drinkable.

Photo of GnomeKing
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The taste of tart fruits is distinct, and there's a moderate dose of malt and alcohol. Other than that, there's not a lot going on here. The flavors are pleasant and subtle, and I enjoyed drinking it, but there wasn't a lot here that encouraged me to keep drinking. I started paying closer attention, hoping to detect the wide range of flavors I expected, but I didn't find them. My experience is that many Belgian beers are better in the bottle than on tap. I would like to try this one again, in a bottle, to see if that holds true.

Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 750 at Steve's Liqour here in Madison. Broke it out to celebrate moving into my new place.

Popping the cork reveals a dark rusty, murky amber color with yeast sediment, and a nice off-white head. Smell was spicey, with lots of dark fruits, and some caramel malts. Taste was more of the same - intense spicey clove, plum and prune and a sweet malty finish. You can definitely feel the 9.5% at first, but after a glass you kind of forget about it until it puts you to sleep. Mouthfeel is crisp but smooth. One bottle is definitely all you'll need of this bad boy. But what a tasty bottle it is. These belgians are growing on me.

Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A terrific beer. Has all of the characteristics of a great Quad with other qualities that make it work well. Dark fruits, confectioner's sugar and sweet bread carry the aroma and initial flavors. Much more malty-sweet with brown sugar and maple combined with the candy sugars. More prevailant with plumbs, dates, figs, cashews, and a touch of chocolate. Not quite prunes or raisons, which is a good thing. Slight toasted character. Body is a touch fuller than most Trippels. Strong alcohol flavors throughout, but become a little medicinal toward the finish. Finishes both dry and sweet.

Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date best by Dec 06. This was given to me as a subsitute for another bottle of something else. At first I thought I would not like it, but it's very very good. I've had other brown ale's (domestic) and did not care for them at all, but this is another story. Pours a dark brown in color with a huge head. After awhile the head disapated and left some nice lacing. Scents of caramel and malt. There's a nice sweet taste with a medium body. At 9.5% and sweet in flavor, watch out, it will catch up to you in a couple of bottles.

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

Bottle: 11.2 oz capped, interesting label with gnomes, best by 9/06

Appearance: Red-brown, nice thick initial head that dissipates quickly to a very thin layer, but is easily riled up again with a few swirls in the snifter

Smell: Candied fruit, sweet, warm spices, a little brown sugar and caramel

Taste: Very nice, a tad sweet, candied fruit comes through again, slightest hint of alcohol (would never guess 9.5% on taste)

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy, very nice

Drinkability: Too easy for the ETOH level. One is enough for me given the sweetness. Does have a very nice plum-like aftertaste.

Overall: A very nice Belgian brown.

Photo of Paddez
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this up in beer store 'De Dorstvlegel' and had it a few hours ago with a barbecue involving lots of grilled meat. It was a sort of weird combination, but it worked for me.

Appearance: Pours a dark brew with an off-white, soapy head that transforms into a layer of foam. The brew has a red hue when hold into the light. Nothing overly intresting to look at.

Smell: Dark Fruits, toffee and some faint spices. Sweet ... appetizing.

Taste: Sweet: Figs, plums, roasted malts, caramels. Dry finish
Nice and quite convincing. This stuff has a high 'Gouden Carolus' factor.

Mouthfeel & Drinkabillity: Medium body, Quite drinkable despite it's sweet character.

Conclusion: Quite a nice brew this If this stuff was easier to find I'd defnitely buy more of it. Recommended!

Photo of erica
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A Monday night at the Steelgaarden is a quiet night. I came here to enjoy a fine Belgian beer, and after what seemed an eternity (I'm bad at making decisions..), I finally decided on a Nostradamus. I knew I've had it before and liked it. I never had it in a small (11.2oz) bottle before though. No matter, a 750ml would've meant I'd be stumbling home.

To begin with, this beer was not much to look at. It was a clear reddish brown, with no head. When poured, or swirled, there was only a sudden bubbling, but then ever so quickly the tiny bubbles got shy and faded away. The aroma of this beer was great though. It was almost like a vanilla pound cake, a very desserty-type smell. Sweet and warm. A bit spicy but really a brown sugar or vanilla smell to it. Taste was even more of the same, and then some. Molasses, vanilla, alcohol, a tiny bit of spicy cinnamon or clove?, caramel, no, toffee, and a tinge of a roasty aftertaste - actually what it really reminded me of when I swallowed was raisin bran, strange as that may sound, before morphing into a very dry grapey aftertaste. That's the redeeming quality of this beer- if not for the dry aftertaste, it'd be like drinking syrup. Too sweet. Hot too. When I was nearing the end of my glass, I was reminded of Oerbier, which I hadn't had in a while. But yes, it is a bit similar to that, in it's toffee-roasty-dry-sweetness. A world of contradictions, yes, but the only way to describe this one. Mouthfeel was average- fizzy despite its appearance, and it had a bit of a numbing effect on my tongue and slipping down my throat it warmed me up all over. Drinkability was so-so, mostly because of the sweetness. Although the dry finish does wonders to cut the overwhelming sweet taste, it still is in the front, so would get sickening after more than maybe 2 of these. Plus the high alcohol would, like I said earlier, send me stumbling home if I treated it like a session beer. It's a good beer overall, and I will have it again. Just not a whole night of it.

Photo of kabonski
3.81/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A great beer with dessert or even with a light dinner. A good choice on a hot night. Should be seved in a goblet style glass. Tast changes as beer warms. This is a strong beer. After having two I could feel myself getting buzzed! Overal I would rate this beer a 7.5 out of 10.

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

Purchased as a 750 from Groton Market, bottle date says to enjoy by September 06.

Nostradamus poured a beautfiful deep brown with some ruby tones, and a perfect light tan head that was about an inch in my St. Bernardus chalice.

This beer smells deliciously fruity. A little bit of toffee and some raisins in the nose too.

Nostradamus tastes very sweet from a dark fruit influence of raisins, prunes and also some caramel. There is a small but definite sour presence here, and that's not bad, it adds to the complexity of this brew.

This feels moderately carbonated and medium bodied. It leaves a slight stickiness on the tongue.

At 9.5 % this one is not the best for a session, but a 750 does go down very nice, you'll definitely feel it. Best paired with a meal or a nice chocolate/caramel dessert.

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

Pours a gorgeous, slightly hazy, ruby red/brown combination with a huge, fluffy, tan head.
Smell is roasted malt, cherry, tart apples and oak.
Taste is malt, cherry, oak, hops and alcohol (as it warms). Great balance and nice complexity. Flavor lingers and fades nicely.
Mouthfeel is smoooth. Medium/full body. Warms the throat all the way down.
Drinkability is very high and it only gets better as it warms. Suggested serving temp. is 55 F. Pour it, let it sit for a bit, and enjoy. This is a great beer.

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Drank from a 11.2oz bottle, poured into goblet (not brewery's goblet).

Appearance: Dark brownish red. Carbonation was good, but the head sank down quickly to form a thin layer over the liquid.

Smell: Sweet fruity aroma. The smell is not completely consistent between the small bottles and the 750 ml bottle (but it's been 3 weeks since I had the larger bottle).

Taste: I'm not really good at describing complex flavors, but I'll try. It had some fruity flavors, with maybe chocolate as well. I could taste the alcohol some, but apparently this is strong beer (the bottle says 9.5%). I really like the flavor, but not my favorite.

Notes: I will drink this again, but it won't be an everyday beer or even a special occasion beer. Just a strange beer which passes the test. The trippy "Alice in Wonderland-ish" drawings on Caracole bottles are cool. The drawings are the reasons I tried these beers. I heard the the brewery is pretty new, maybe 15 yrs old, so this isn't some ancient brewery masterpiece.

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