1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

768 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 768
Reviews: 494
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.33%
Wants: 45
Gots: 49 | FT: 1
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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Nostradamus Alström Bros
Ratings: 768 | Reviews: 494 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Morris729
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark chestnut color with a tall and foamy light tan head that slowly fades into a thick sheet of lace. Nose is rather complex with aromas of rum-soaked raisins, fig preserves, and some faint musty undertones. Fairly full-bodied and a bit syrupy in texture. Taste begins on the sweet side with notes of brown sugar and sweetened raisins leading to a bready and yeasty flavor. A mild spiciness follows along with notes of caramel and a bit of brandy that rounds out the finish. Thoroughly enjoyable brew here with a sweetness that becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. Some interesting pairings with many desserts could be done with this beer.

Morris729, Dec 28, 2003
Photo of ManekiNeko
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served slightly chilled in a goblet-like vessel.

Appearance: Murky ruby-esque brown topped by a smallish white head that quickly dissipates to a ring of bubbles at the perimeter of the glass. No lacing was left.

Smell: Predominant smell of sour cherries. Bits of woodsy goodness lurked in the background (read: barrel).

Taste: Big smack of Luden's cherry cough drop flavor that gives way to Belgian candi sugars and maltiness. Peppery hops and oaky notes on the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium in body. Decent carbonation made this a palate cleanser.

Drinkability: Relatively drinkable. A good mix of a kriek and an oud bruin, if you ask me. Best paired with desserts (I'm thinking cheesecake) and not the burger I had.

ManekiNeko, Dec 23, 2003
Photo of RedBaron
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I absolutely love trying new Belgian brews, and especially at Christmastime. This year I found this new puppy: Nostradamus. This dark brown ale was uncorked from a 25oz. bottle on a cold December evening. It was the perfect beer for a nice session of wrapping presents.

It poured nice and viscous, with a creamy tan head that sustained throughout the session. The color was a tawny brown, with some translucence. The nose was pleasantly malty, but considering the strength of this beer, it wasn't too 'sweet'-smelling--probably because I also detected a nice infusion of aroma hops. However, the malt does edge it out.

The first taste was characteristic of good, solid and creative Belgian brown ales--a nice yeasty, fruity character, and with a malt sweetness that satisfies greatly, but also a nice bittering hop component, as well. The body feel was solid, nothing missing in the middle at all. The finish was delightful, as the palate kept saying, 'give me more!'.

For a beer of 9.5%abv, this is a surprisingly smooth, not-as-rich-as you-might-think, brew. However, as I did move right along on this 25oz. gift, it did become obvious that not only was this a special beer, but also a strong one, as visions of sugarplums...er, Belgian candy sugar...danced in my head.

I'm not familiar with this brewery, Caracole, but they have an excellent creation with this prophetic offering.

RedBaron, Dec 20, 2003
Photo of crookedhalo
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 3.5

Cork dated 06-2001 bottling. Murky brown and ruby colored with a nice thick creamy tan head. Aromas of the faintest tart, like the skins from a black cherry, plus a big, overwhelming chocolate-like malt and some yeasty high-alcohol notes thrown in the mix; Complex. Tastes wonderful. Cocoa and vanilla with the faintest funky strawberry near the end. Seconds after the sip, it turns your mouth the smallest bit pucker. Mouthfeel is smooth, and silky...

crookedhalo, Dec 01, 2003
Photo of HardTarget
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving suggestion (55 degrees) and storage suggestion (Cool and Dark) No best by date. Plenty of dark sediment which I didn’t decant.
Aroma: A medicinal alcoholic smell with spicy notes and a caramelized banana hint
Appearance: Deep amber, clear when backlit. Tan head faded to a collar of tight bubbles
Flavor: Rich dark malt, brown sugary taste. Simple and direct, no hop bitter at the end, but dry and clean. Some of the banana comes through as well as a vinous/plum note
Mouthfeel: Medium heavy with a nice dry clean aftertaste. Well carbonated with a prickle. It’s creamy and warming, as the style should be.
Overall Impression: Quite tasty. A bit heavy and rich for a session beer, but the dry finish really triggers another sip. Slightly sweet, but it’s not cloying. Hides the alcohol very well. I’ll be looking for more of this: enjoyable.

HardTarget, Nov 25, 2003
Photo of assurbanipaul
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark ruby amber with a tall, tan foamy head. The aroma of cloves hits you right out of the bottle as it is poured. Other components in the nose are candy sugar, sweet plums, orange juice, light malts, some cola and berries.

The taste is spicy, lightly hopped, sweetish but not cloying. Well-carbonated, it warms the palate with alcohol but the presence of alcohol is only slightly included in the taste. Woody hints of fine oak whiskey emerge as it warms.

The high alcohol content is felt about halfway through the 22-oz bottle. The mouthfeel is syrupy yet balanced, very reminicient of a quadrupel.

assurbanipaul, Nov 23, 2003
Photo of kbub6f
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The hazy, dark brown beneath the medium-sized, fast, coarse, tan head looks promising. Plenty of malty, yeasty goodness in the sourish nose. Sweet, malty, thick, caramel body. Major alcohol and bitter chocolate in the finish. For me this is easily the best of the four Caracoles I've tasted. But to be honest, they didn't really blow me away.

kbub6f, Nov 21, 2003
Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This Belgian dark ale was excellent! It reminded me a lot of aged Chimay, yum! The appearance was a dark blood red/maroon colour with a nice tannish head. The aromas were all sweet malts, yeast, candy sugar, spices, and alcohol. The taste followed suit to the aroma. The mouthfeel was creamy and thick....very filling and the drinkability was great for a beer of this size!

francisweizen, Nov 11, 2003
Photo of mydeadguy
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle

Poured a deep woody brown with a hazy hue, and an inch of loose and fluffy tan head that drops quickly.
The nose is great, sweet fruit, alcohol and malt hints.
Taste is smooth and round, more fruit, warming alcohol with a fleeting appearance on the palate. Feels strong, but the body is considerably lighter than I had expected, very drinkable. a taste treat. quite a nice after dinner beer.. I'll be buying more.

mydeadguy, Nov 10, 2003
Photo of Popsinc
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: dark brown-reddish pour with a minimal off-white head.

Smell: a spicey and warm nose with hints of cinnamon, pepper and an underlying fuity sweetness.

Taste: very fruity palate with strong hints of molasses, black licorice and a good pinch of spice....again cinnamon and peppery. a medium body with a semi-sweet finish.

Mouthfeel: fairly lively and smooth.

Drinkability: an awesome beer that i fully enjoyed. it seemed to apir up nicely with some gouda cheese.

Popsinc, Nov 05, 2003
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well, well, a new beer hidden on the Shelves of a nearby Beer/Wine Store. I had the Caracole Xmas beer many years ago, & this is the new incarnation of the older Xmas beer called “Cuvée de l’An Neuf”. But this is much better I think. So strictly speaking I have never had this beer before – which meant that the “must have-must try” factor ensured a bottle appeared at the check-out with my regular stock-ups.

A 750ml tall, thin necked, brown glass bottle. The smallish obverse label has an intriguing picture of a dude who is a cross between a white-bearded Gnome & a Snail using a Telescope to look into the future?!
Cork & Caged, the cork was thrust out. Lots of gunsmoke. Cork dated 10/2002 – 1 year old – just right; any sooner would have been too early.

Appearance: Massive head when first poured, voluminous dark tan head, smooth & foamy, but as it collapses, it leaves little lacing. The body is a lovely chestnut brown – perfectly clear, only the last glass had the yeasty dregs. Solid levels of conditioning, maybe a little too much.

Nose: Pungent & absolutely gorgeous. Before the gunsmoke emerged, the tart fruity aromas filled the air. Analysis reveals a complex nose. Warming alcohols, dark berries, dark skinned fruits, molasses, thick chewy sticky toffee pudding (no custard), warm malts, some dark Rum soaked wood character & residual yeasts in the finish odors at the end. Wow! I better stop here; I’ll run out of words for the rest of the Review.

Taste: The Tastes reflect the nose, word for word. I keep getting a Dark Rum character to this beer!? It’s damned good & (now 12 months on) quite complex, dynamic beer, which has something different to offer with each mouthful. Superb!

Mouthfeel: I am astounded by this beer. Immense body, but there again it is 9.5% ABV. Nevertheless, it smoothly coats the mouth, like an oak-aged spirit & a 20 year old Single Malt Whisky it has a smooth warming effect that does not kick in straight away, but a few seconds after the swallow. A mighty beer.

Drinkability: Well, at 9.5% it is not a quaffer, but it sure drinks well. Bloody Dangerous.

The 750ml I picked up cost $6.99. A touch on the expensive side I thought at first, but on reflection afterwards, I would happily shell that out again for this lovely warming beer. An excellent, opulent, rich, fruity, dark high octane Brune & very impressive. I must get one more to keep for another 12 months, I bet this just gets better with age!

After a few of these, you too can see into the future…..

TheLongBeachBum, Oct 13, 2003
Photo of marburg
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tarnished penny color, fairly clear. Just the tiniest bit of yeasty haze came with the last bit. Frothed over a bit as the bottle was cracked open, and the carbonation displayed itself brilliantly in the form of a big creamy colored head as it poured. Vinous in the nose, and fruity to the tongue. Very complex with lots of flavors -- a little pruney with some grape skin bitterness towards the end. Peppery alcohol, amidst a flurry of coriander and other spicy flavors, snaps up the fruit and berry flavors and finishes crisply. Very well-crafted beer and supremely easy to drink for such a big brew.

marburg, Oct 05, 2003
Photo of cokes
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am quite concerned that my 750mL poured without a trace of head or carbonation. I knew I was in trouble when I pulled the cork straight out without so much as a sound. No pop, no hiss, just dead silence.
Nevertheless, while this bottle is clearly fucked, the beer within is clearly splended. Even though it is completely flat, I still enjoyed it.

Glassy, slightly murky dark rust bodied. No head, obviously.
Plummy, yeasty aroma with evident black cherries.
Taste is still stunning. Begins with a large wave of brown sugar sweetness. Fading towards cherry and plums, just as the nose promised. Lightly bready midsection. Alcohol becomes a player in a congruent way. Like a sweet red wine (which, in the given state, this could almost pass for). Spicy hues intermingle. Cinnamon mostly, and lots of it. Lightly woody, with ample cedar suggestions. Loads of grape notes. Brandy impressions later, but all told, alcohol is more of a nuancing factor than the 9.5% would suggest. The strength is only noticed in passing. The finish is dominated (and I mean DOMINATED) by the red grape sweetness. Light flourishes of yeasty bread and continuing cedar and cinnamon appear to accompany the finale. Hopping is not noticed, nor is it particularly drying.
Medium bodied, and lightly cloying due to the flatness.
Even without the carbonation, this would make a nice dessert beverage.
Even with my disappointment of receiving a flawed bottle, I'll still readily recommend it.
I still liked it quite a bit. And I am eager to try this as it was meant to be. Even a botched bottle of this is quite interesting and better than most beers.

cokes, Sep 28, 2003
Photo of Bighuge
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer's kind of murky. Brownish auburn. Crimson highlights. A good sized light beige head of tiny, compact bubbles tops the beer and retains with the best of 'em. The nose impresses. Rum soaked cherries, figs and dates, brandy, molasses....pretty complex and enjoyable aroma. Fruitcake and bread pudding come to mind while tasting this one. Bready and yeasty to say the least. Dark fruits are noticeable. Plums and cherries. Brandy and ethanol. Also a little sweet bubblegum. Great blend. Great taste. This beer almost melts in your mouth as candy floss does. So silky smooth.

What a great beer. Many thanks to the man....marc77.

Bighuge, Sep 21, 2003
Photo of pio
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

no head! a few piss bubbles on a flat orange brown color that reminds me of dried leaves. there are little suspended particles. why no head, is that right? can that be right? did i pour it too cold or something? whatever. a faint perfume of a spicy floral decay, a timid honey an underlying sugar maybe some butter toffee like scent a dark nutty malt odor rounding out the bottom. wow what a flavor though. a consistant honey flavor rides on a belgian poodle jumping through a hoop of real spice. the mouthfeel changes as it's tasted, first a crisp with the sweet start and and creamy in the middle with the spice and a drier wine afterfeel (if you will) that resides well with the spiciness. spices i detect include ginger, cinnamon, something i've never tasted before and have no idea how to identify (sorry), cocoa, dark toffee afterglow. there are some fruits and flowers too, all very ripe. do they have bannannas in belgium? there is a black (over-ripe) bannanna, a tad of apricot and orange oils. this is wine like but the flavor of grape or rasin is present but not very pronounced. there is a deep smokey malt way down there and on the way a roasty, toasty butter (not oily). the high alcohol % was never openly detected. it burps meekly. drinkability rated for one beer at a time, not a session beer, a special beer.

pio, Sep 02, 2003
Photo of lackenhauser
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful deep orange/amber color with a nice tan head.Malty and sweet,slightly spicy aroma.Big full bodied flavor-hints of orange, chocolate and coriander.Well rounded mouth feel-slight presence of alchohol.Overall a great beer-goes down smooth.The high alchohol is well disguised.I could see enjoying several of these in a sitting.

lackenhauser, Aug 30, 2003
Photo of taez555
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a small creamy tan head. The body was brown with just a tint of orange.

The nose was classic belgian. Chocolate, caramel, raisins, phenols, slight earth and wood, alcohol, yeast, slight hint of a sharp spice, and a touch of cherries as it warms.

The taste was rather sweet, almost syrupy sweet. A very fine high level of carbonation. Brown sugar, molases, grapes, raisins, dates. A nice light toasted malt taste. Bready. A slight woody earthy taste. It had a tart tannic, roof of your mouth, almost chalkly, bitterness. The alcohol deffinatly became more present as it warmed, giving it an almost cough syrup esque quality.

It ended with a very long tannic chalky aftertaste.

Overall it was just another great belgian. A little chalky as it warmed in the finish, but beyond that, for the price it's right up there with some of the better trappist ales.

taez555, Aug 23, 2003
Photo of clvand0
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark amber with ruby highlights and has a moderate fluffy head. The aroma is sweet with some spices. The flavor is very smooth - sweet fruit and toasted malts. The palate holds the toasted malts and is very nice. I really enjoyed this beer.

clvand0, Aug 09, 2003
Photo of BierReise
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep amber and cloudy yet a firey red when held before bright light. A thin tan dense head sits atop. Has a slight plumb aroma and I detect a bit of raisin as well. Full bodied and creamy with a slight dryness in the finish. Flavor is malty and slightly sweet. Not as fruity tasting as the others I just rated. Alcohol is well hidden. Quite smooth yet not as complex as the Rochefort 10 or St Bernardus Abt 12. Still an excellent ale that is full bodied and flavorful.

BierReise, Aug 07, 2003
Photo of stcules
2.93/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Muddy colour, with a beautiful creamy foam, with brown colour. Very persistent.
The smell is sweet (caramel), spicy and with the alcohol very evident.
At the taste: licorice, chicory, spices. A little too alcoholic and sweet.
Medium body.
The aftertase is quite persistent, with licorice, and some alcohol again.

stcules, Jul 27, 2003
Photo of JISurfer
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This was one beautiful beer. I am just now getting into the whole belgian beer "scene", so I figured this would be a good start, as well as the trappist that I have had. I really liked the bottle's design. It was kind of trippy, with the snail dude with the binoculars looking at stars and stuff. The color was a murky brown with a creamy super thick head, which I was totally into. The aroma was a hearty beefy smell with a little hint of floral tones. Taste was out of this world, eccept for the tinge of alcohol that was left behind, which brought it's points down. All in all a very smooth brew and I will definately be back for more!

JISurfer, Jul 23, 2003
Photo of TheDM
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew whose cork was dated 10/2002 poured a very invigorated head. Pour only 1/4 glass of this one or it will foam up and over flow your mug in no time flat! It had a large light brown head of small bubbles. Its body is a yeasty cloudy dark brown with a lot of carbonation rising. It had an aroma of hops and malt. It was initially bitter and had a strong after bite, but its bitterness was not so strong as to ruin the smoothness.

TheDM, Jul 13, 2003
Photo of jdhilt
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Good carbonation - cork on the 750ml can blow off if you are careless. Pour slowly - ton of yeast left in bottom of bottle. Sweet raisiny nose, clear dark ruby color. Fairly smooth some fizz, with some hoppy overtones but this is a brew that should be mellowed. Small label is as if it were intended for a 12oz. $8.40 for a 750.

jdhilt, Jun 02, 2003
Photo of daledeee
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Just got this in the small bottles. Nice looking wizard drawing on bottle. Pours beautiful head and nice dark color. Continues to fizz for sometime. Malt and fruit in the nose also bread or yeast, might be some banana.

Good carbonated bite. A hair sweet. Fruit and malt maybe banana. The flavor is complex. The alcohol is pretty up front. Somewhat numbing to the tongue. The finish is more roasted malt almost burnt tasting.

Update: The last bottle I tasted was earthy and dark cherry or currant prominent in the taste. Am I getting better at identifying or is this batch different.

I will definitely drink this one again.

daledeee, May 24, 2003
Photo of mzwolinski
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The other Caracole beers I had sampled left me with a fairly good idea that I'd enjoy this one, and so I've been saving it up for a night where I can afford to get into some 750ml 9.5% ABV trouble. Things looked good right from the pour. The beer is a deep, deep ruby in color, with a moderate-to-thin sized creamy and persistant light tan head. The aroma was an enticing blend of slightly sweet toasted malt, peppery alcohol spiciness, and lingering must. The flavor contines in much the same vein, though it adds a surprising character of dry fruit -- berries, grapes -- to the mix, substituting for the bready flavors often found in these beers. Toasty malt remains the dominant flavor, however, and lingers pleasantly in a long-lasting aftertaste. Saaz-like hop finish is mild but lends some balance. Full bodied with a overall dry finish, this isn't the most complex Belgian dark ale I've had, but it's pleasant and surprising nonetheless.

mzwolinski, May 11, 2003
Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 768 ratings.