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Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

833 Ratings

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Ratings: 833
Reviews: 509
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 51
Gots: 72 | FT: 3
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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 833 | Reviews: 509
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.

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

Scarlet maroon body sits in my chalice, looking very inviting. Poured at cellar temp, I believe this beer can hold up to the scrutiny. Nostradamus’ smell is sweet and funky, dark fruit and spice. Taste is sharp and earthy, fruity and slightly woody. Alcohol provides a nice tingling sensation at the end of the sip. A very good beer, but doesn’t blow me away. In the style, there are many world class beers, and this is good, but not one of them.

Photo of Sammy
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Brown with white head. Yeasty medium mouthfeel. Some tart dark fruit, on sweet side, with brown sugar and nuttiness, cloves and other spice. Barnyard aroma. Alcohol presence and astringency surprising. Strong carbonation. Thanks IPFreely. Good but not outstanding Belgian.

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

Cork says Brie-Brij Caracole Falmignoul Dinant 01/2003.
This brew pours a rusty amber and emanates a good sized head which quickly subsides. Smell fortells high alcohol, fruits, and even more alcohol. It smells sweet.

Initial flavor blast is sweet berries. A mild chocolate note, followed by prickly carbonation. This brew seems to float on the palatte enabling you to enjoy all the flavors. Nothing is overbearing or intrusive. Well balanced this brew is. Talk like Yoda I must not.

I am not usually a fan of this style of ale, but this is well crafted and quite easy to drink. I agree with other reviews stating that this would be well paired with chocolate. Well worth a try.

Photo of granger10
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice deep burgundy color on this one with a gorgeous tan head. Lacing is decent. Aroma smacks me of port wine and figs. Taste has more of that potent sweetness but with a drying yeast character in there as well. Chocolate is noticeable along with caramel, currants, and a light fruit taste. Very nice. Sweet up front, alcohol in the middle, and drying in the finish. An all around good beer to be enjoyed here!

Photo of whynot44
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Medium bodied, very cloudy dark amber/garnet color with a substantial tan head that disappears fairly quickly.

Aroma is somewhat vinous with notes of brown sugar, rum, figs, plums, cinnamon and coriander.

The taste is also malty and yeasty with sugary spiced fruits - plums, dark cherries, figs, raisins - and rum. It starts sweet and then dries out somewhat toward the end. Spicier than most Belgian strong Dark Ales. Slightly peppery but very well balanced.

Smooth, almost oily, very drinkable with only a bit of alcohol warmth to warn you. This stuff could sneak up on you. After more than one bottle you, too, could be making prophecies no one can understand.

Flavor develops more as it warms up, so take your time and savor it slowly.

Photo of AlexJ
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of kmpitz2
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

Photo of dgallina
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Photo of ADR
4.02/5  rDev -1%
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.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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!!

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.

Photo of Shaw
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
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.

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 833 ratings.