1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.
NostradamusNostradamus

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
91
outstanding

803 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 803
Reviews: 500
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.33%
Wants: 48
Gots: 59 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole visit their website
Belgium

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)
View: Beers (10) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Nostradamus Alström Bros
Ratings: 803 | Reviews: 500 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of goodbyeohio
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

ok-

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.

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...

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.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
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.

Photo of brentk56
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

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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).

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).

Photo of Phyl21ca
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.

Photo of danadeny
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is labeled as a strong dark ale, but I would say this is a barleywine. The alcohol is very detectible at the end on the back of your tongue and fruity, raisin, maple syrup, and caramel flavors are all over the pallet. As well as a little hop in there. The smell is just that of a barleywine, sweet with a little bit of floral hops. As it warms the alcohol flavor gets stronger, and well does the fruit.

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

Appearance – This one was a murky brown in color, a bit on the light side, with a nice head that went down rather quickly but left some nice pits on top of the liquid.

Smell – There’s a ton of fun in this nose. The dark fruits are well-blended. I can pick up some cherries, plums, and a bit of tobacco, although I’m sure there are many more that I’m missing. It has some big sugary candy cane as well. The backbone is very bready malt, nicely toasted.

Taste – The alcohol and candy cane came out more at the taste, otherwise this tasted just like it smelled. I liked the balance a bit better at the nose, however.

Mouthfeel – Bigger than medium but not full in the body, this one has some nice carbonation and just a hint of alcohol.

Drinkability – This is an alcoholic sleeper, so watch out. I had the little 330ml bottle but a bomber will get your head spinning. Other than that, this went down quite well. I see some of the other BAs had this on-tap. What a treat that must have been!

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

From the quirkily-labelled bottle comes a dark red, light ruby, almost slightly purple coloured brew; cloudy and robust. To call it "dark brown" would be a discredit. Dark tangerine perhaps, but suffice it to say there are a great deal of different shades in the beer. The head was not overflowingingly massive, but just right. Dark cream/coffee colour, intensely creamy with slow moving screen lacing. In the aroma I first detect must, dark mouldy yeast qualities, which is not unpleasant. Next I smelt the dark malty sweetness, a warm alcohol note, and spicy fruit, nuts. There are strong grape juice aromas, and I definitely smell sharp aged cheese, which is singular. Sweet candy, with some sour/acidic smells too. The sweetness is not cloying, but complements the dry musky yeast expertly. The taste is quite unique, with dark malt sweetness and fruity yeast. Sugary sweet liquidy fruits, dry yeast finish, smooth syrupy on the middle. Prunes, overripe peaches or tangerines, and some caramel, bready cereals, toasted flavours, and saltiness. The lees tasted separately give all the same flavours except the potency is doublefold, and it looks as thick as melted caramel. Mouthfeel is full, lingering, syrupy, dry, with medium carbonation. High alcohol, extremely sweet mouthfeel followed by high dryness does not render this extremely drinkable. Perfect for an occasional indulgence, though.

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

Poured a deep rusty brown with a white head. The head receded to lace fairly quickly, but there is more than enough carbonation in the brew to keep that up to the bottom of the glass, I think. The aroma is sweet, with hints of currants, plums, and an alcoholic caramel malt. The flavor is sweet and rich, with a neat spiciness about halfway through and lingering in the finish. Alcohol notes cut through intermittantly, but it's a swirling mass of caramels and fruit. This beer is very carbonated, and blinds the tongue with each sip, letting the thick malt character in through the back door unnoticed until he cracks you over the head with a pipe wrench. Very good beer, definitely on the "will purchase again soon" list.

Photo of mickeymac
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 750 ml bottle with an interesting-looking snail-elf on the label, it pours a slightly hazy brownish-red. The head is thick and full of little bubbles, leaving little spots all around the glass. It smell of dark, ripe fruit with the musty smell characteristic of many Belgians. The taste is raisin and ripe grapes at the start but continues to develop as it sits a while. It's a bit like drinking a goblet full of thick sugar water but somehow it manages to avoid being cloyingly sweet. Just a bit of hop bitterness keeps things nicely in check. In short, the taste is pretty remarkable. The alcohol, while warming, is almost absent in the smell and taste, making it dangerously drinkable. Very nice stuff.

Photo of cbl2
3.03/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance:

Opaque brown with a monster head on it.

Smell:

Mainly pear, the canned variety in syrup.

Taste/Mouthfeel:

This one screams belgian ale. It is bursting with carbonation and sweetness on the tongue that barely masks a powerful taste of alcohol. Not overly complex, this one reminds me of many other belgian brews that have come before it. A good beer, but nothing worth rushing out and experiencing.

Photo of mntlover
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a wonderful brown with red highlights nice full beige head that settles to nice cap of little bubbles. Smells of dark fruit plums, figs with some spice. Tastes sweet molasses presence of rum soaked fruitcake then the alcohol kicks in and warms the belly. Brew has good mouthfeel carbonation makes it seem little lighter then it is. Drinkability is good would be a good beer for winter to warm your insides. Not the best of this style, would probably be better if alcohol was more subdued so other flavors would come out more.

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

I poured this from a corked magnum with a serious POP launching from the bottle when that cork was let out. This brew has highly active carbonation – it’s practically boiling! It forms a soft beige head of one finger in depth and releases a peppery fragrance with delicate earthen malts. It is orange-cinnamon color with a tight, spicy flavor profile. The flavor is crisp and punctual with an abrupt finish.

This is a luxurious treat. The taste is slightly tart with some alcohol presence. Everything about it is ultimately relaxing, exotic, pleasant. The bottle tends to drip a bit. But what the heck. So do I.

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

Clear, brilliant brown color... a soup scum of beige on top.
While pouring, it realeased very spicy brown sugar and molasses aromas. With a nose in the bowl it offers a broad base of muffin, cocoa, milk and roasted sasafras root elements. On the palate can be found a boozy eruption of sweet Asian spices, yams, raw walnuts and new leather. The texture is supported by vigorous mousse rather than glycerin. Minimal bitterness on the medium-length finish allows alcohol fumes reminiscent of solera brandy to keep rising. These are punctuated with notes of savory and sweet spices - think Tunisian hearth smells.

Overall a very clean, well executed bottled beer. I shouldn't have worried.

Photo of Dukeofearl
2.9/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I have read a number of very good reviews about this beer, but once I tried it, I could not understand them. This beer may have some interesting things going on in it, but the alcohol was so overpowering (both on the palate and in the effects it had on me) that I could not enjoy it. I've had stronger ABV beers where you barely notice the alcohol; in this brew it was all I could notice. I split the 750 into two sessions and tasted on two different days to make sure it wasn't bad biorythems or something. Maybe it was a bad bottle. Having said all that, it was a medium brown (translucent- almost thin looking) with a small head that quickly vanished. Aroma had alcohol, malt, sweetness, vanilla (?) and slight yeast. Flavor was alcohol, alcohol, and alcohol. Hidden behind was some malt, soft bread, nutty tones and perhaps a bit of bite from hops. Drinkability- I could barely finish either glass in two sessions because of the alcohol.

Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle pours a cloudy, orange tinted brown body with a minimal, beige head that quickly drops into some attractive, sheet lacing.

Aroma is complex, with molasses and brown sugar fronting some bigtime maltiness. Quite spicy, with cloves, nutmeg, and cinamon.

Mouthfeel features a Belgianesque, explosion of carbonation, like a Pez candy tablet that melts on your tongue.

Taste is spiced caramel malt, burnt candy sugar, and an assertive alcohol presence of rum soaked raisins and figs. Some chocolate malt character comes on midway through. The alcohol maltiness is harsh, at times, and hurts drinkability.

This is a big, malty, strong dark ale with a lot of spicy character. The alcohol is in your face most of the way, but there are enough complexities in the spice and malt to make it an afterthought. Very warming, overall, but not my favorite for the style.

Photo of rkhaze
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful reddish copper with a big bubbly tan head and loads of carbonation.
Earthy, bready malt aromas. Brandy, red fruit, pineapple and yeast.
The smells were subtle compared to the complex flavor. Tastes like a brandy soaked fruitcake. Rich bready malt, brown sugar, dark corn syrup and fruits. The alcohol was present but melded well into the flavors. The earthy tart yeast shows up to tame the sweetness and balance it out. Nice hopping in the finish. Great job!
Medium to full bodied with a rich, full and creamy mouthfeel. The intense carbonation served to lighten it up a bit.
Top notch drinkability for such a big beer.
I really liked this beer. Good balance, great complex flavors and a nice job of hiding the alcohol.

Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 803 ratings.