Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

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508 Reviews

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Reviews: 508
Hads: 852
rAvg: 4.07
pDev: 9.34%
Wants: 49
Gots: 76 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole

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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 508 | Hads: 852
Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.32/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Westmalle chalice. Best before 12/12. Lot FX. Thanks to Ian for the suggestion.

A: Tan head is loose and active. It fades quickly. Body is dark opaque brown.

S: Not getting much out the the aroma. Slight caramel sweetness?

T: Big yeast and fruit flavors, slight warming alcohol. Up there with the best.

M: Find a good balance of thickness and carbonation.

D: Overall a great example of this style. I would easily buy this again, and would like to try it next to some of my favorites to see how it stacks up. (547 characters)

Photo of BostonHops
3.47/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle served in oversized wineglass.

pours a murky, amber/brown tone while yielding a half finger of off-white head the dissipates quickly, leaving some lacing.

smell is predominantly sweet: dark fruits, yeast, and spices. first sip is indeed very sweet, with a vague, almost wine-like quality. raisins, plums, malts, spices, and yeast round out the primary players. i don't know if i could call it tasty. it's not bad, per se, just not really doing much for me. moderately carbed with a full mouthfeel. all in all there is enough here to like to keep it from going down the drain. that said, IMO there are much better representations of the style.

original review on: 08-15-2010 (691 characters)

Photo of Jadjunk
4.23/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on Tap at Summit's Snellville 3/29/12. Reviewed from notes.

(Appearance) arrives with a deep cream toffee head, retains above average. Color is a dark brown, little light let in through the head. Lacing is light but consistent and solid. Appearance is fantastic, upset only by an imperfect head quality. 4.5

(Smell) Belgian yeast, dark bread malts, potent Belgian spices, coriander and dark fruit make up a big part of the nose. Aroma is big and clean, nothing too off putting. Medium/High potency. Very Pleasant aroma. 4

(Taste) Mild spicy malt taste, followed by a very tasty malt and dark fruit backbone. Enough bittering flavors with the spice to keep it balanced. Very pleasant Belgian Brown Ale. 4.5

(Mouthfeel) Very mild carbonation pairs well with the style, accenting the spice and fruit tones without overbearing the palate. It could tone down a notch, but otherwise is very well done. Light alcohol presence, super sneaky. Medium body. Solid. 4

(Overall) As far as this style goes, I'm on board for another one of these. It's well worth it for another great Belgian beer. Try it if you can find it! 4 (1,123 characters)

Photo of ChillMike
3.73/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice reddish amber color with a two fingered light tan head that quickly recedes down. Not a bad looking beer.

S: Raisins, cloves malty goodness a bit of a hop. Not a whole lot, kind of reminds me of a barleywine.

T: Lots of raisin, clovey spice, high notes of alcohol. Again not a whole lot going on, that's not to say it's bad or even average. I'd just say it's not a very complex tasting beer.

MF: A tad on the watery side, but it does go down really smooth and it's appropriate for the style.

O: Not too bad, don't know if I'll pick it up again but if a friend had one out I'd definitely partake. (617 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half finger rapidly dissipating head on a murky brown with garnet hues body. Sweet dark fruit aroma but not too strong. Flavor is a touch watery but this is an old batch I think. Fruity, mostly strawberry, with a spices corriander note in the finish. Smooth, medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Overall highly drinkable and flavorful. (344 characters)

Photo of DARIVA
3.55/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown cloudy beer with a small head.

S: The smell of lemon is present good.

T: Sweet with a delicious lemon flavor.

M: Great feeling in ratio, delicious aftertaste, nice carbonation.

O: Very good combination, completely and well drinkable beer. (256 characters)

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml corked bottle into a New Belgium chalice. lot FX, best before 3/12, but still totally fresh with no cardboard taste.

A: Pours a dark chestnut brown, not cloudy, with a full, thick, big bubble head, 2" off a very slow pour. Second and third pours still very robust head. Good retention with solid lacing, which eventually dissipates to a thin foam layer with well defined nucleus.

S: Very fruity, driven by prunes and black cherry, with yeasty overtones. I don't sense any medicinal Rucola cough drops or much alcohol in the nose.

T: Nice balanced flavor, biscuity yeasty favors, offsetting dark dried fruits -- raisins, prunes, black cherries. The odd hint of Belgian candy sugar. The alcohol is very well hidden behind the other elements. The yeast comes in as the carbonation dissipates on the back of the palate. I'm not a huge strong brown ale fan, as the herbal and medicinal flavors often throw me off, but there's very little of that here.

M: Despite the apparent bottle age, quite fresh and crisp carbonation. The carbonation helps the range of flavors evolve from fron to back of each sip.

D: This is one of my friend's all time favorites, so I tried it based on her recommendation. Quite drinkable and one of the better strong brown ales I've had. (1,283 characters)

Photo of Immortale25
4.06/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Notches on the back label indicate best before the end of the 12th month of 2013.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a 3/4 inch tan head that retains well before reproaching to an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass and full amounts of surface foam. Thick, sticky lacing.

S- Fragrant Belgian yeast that's semi-medicinal along with notes of milk chocolate and raisin. A smidgen of glass and oxidation as well.

T- Much more raisin in the taste along with a very distinct barnyard aftertaste. Alcohol makes its presence known very quickly while the yeast hangs back and contributes to the profile only once in a while. The dark fruit is the main attraction in this one. Plums, dates, figs, even red grapes all make an appearance at one point or another.

M- Medium-high carbonation plus a weighty body. Sort of drying also.

O- Very good, but I like Caracole's paler offerings a bit better. (939 characters)

Photo of thain709
3.87/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage

A - Poured with a dark chestnut body that showed some ruby highlights...the head was small and light brown in vanished rather quickly, leaving just a small bead...not too much lacing was left behind

S - Deep, rich caramel and toffee...raisins, dates and other dark fruits...a roasted chocolate note as well

T - The flavors weren't as pronounced as the nose suggested...there is an all around sweetness present in the beer...the caramel and toffee do a nice job imparting those flavors and making dark and rich...the dark fruits and some Belgian yeast play a small part in the middle...if you search hard enough you can even pick up some slight spiciness coming from the yeast...chocolate provides a nice finish as it adds more sweetness as well as a slight roastiness

M - Medium bodied...might have fallen a bit, but the flavors that linger are nice...deep, rich, roasted with chocolate and caramel flavors

O - A big thanks to tnip23 for sharing a bottle of this with me for a birthday held up pretty well...I think some of the flavors may have fallen off, but it still has enough depth with strong flavors (1,148 characters)

Photo of chodinheaven
4.55/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A nice hazy ruby reddish brown colored beer with a big head on top that dissapates pretty slowly, leaving a bit of lacing with it. The head is foamy and a light tan in color. The aroma is subtly fantastic, slightly vinous with a nice sweetness from some dark stone fruits. A hint of chocolate floats through as well. A bit of booze evident in the aroma giving it that vinous quality that works really well with the chocolatey dried fruit aromas. Very pleasant, could sniff this all day.

Very pleasant tasting as well. It has the Belgian qualities of fruity yeasty flavors, with a background of caramel and toffee malt flavors that are brown ale-esque. Definitely a bit of bubble gum that is very Belgian in character. The fruitiness is remeniscent of this and cherries, maybe even a hint of apple or pear. Almost barleywineish even, but then in the end it drops off and returns to that toffee flavor and is distinctly just a brown ale on steroids. Some light cidery notes follow through from a the touch of booze that is most evident in the back and breath. This doesn't detract from the beer however as the booze is actually pretty well hidden by the fruity playfulness for the most part. Farther down the bottle, the hops become more evident and balance out some of the sweetness with just a faint touch of bitterness, just rounding out the beer very nicely. The mouthfeel is subdued for the first half of the bottle, finishing soft and smooth despite the crispness of the initial tasting. In the bottom half, a touch more carbonation and effervescence is evident, but the smoothness remains overall.

Definitely a sipper and one to share with friends, but make sure you get a good cross-section of this beer. The top half is a bit different from the bottom as the yeast sits down there. Also definitely let this one warm up to close to 55 degrees. This seemed ideal for all of the characteristics of this beer to shine. Great beer, definitely recommended by me. (1,966 characters)

Photo of ArrogantBastage
4/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into St Bernardus chalice

A: Pours a deep, rich brown with notes of garnet on the edges. Head is dense and off white that slowly fades to a thin ring.

S: Aroma is rich with figs, raisins, and dates. Sweet malt hides in the background along with alcohol and slight cherry.

T: Smooth with a mellow malt sweetness that is loaded with dried figs, raisins, plums, dates, cherries and walnut skins. Alcohol makes it's presence known with it's warming effect but only so in the finish. Very light bitterness makes its appearance in the finish.

M: Medium body with a carbonation level that causes the beer to take on a creamy feel.

D: Fantastic brew that I'll have to visit again. One that can be shared with friends or saved all for yourself. (777 characters)

Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

best before end date of 2012
A - dark brown with a reddish tint and a one finger head that leaves slight lacing.
S - sour cherries with a sweet background.
T - very much in line with the smell. A slight bit of tart with a sweet cherry yeasty base.
m - clean, medium body with good carbonation. Leaves just a touch of coating behind.
D - easy drinking but sipping and warming will bring out some more fruit notes. (412 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer appears relatively hazy and sunburst orange to ruby in color with a half inch of thick beige head that leaves plenty of lacing in its wake. The aroma brings cherries, malt, yeast - lovely. Sweet cherries balanced by classic Belgian yeast strain and a strong malt backbone. Great stuff. Some lingering alcoholic warmth in the finish. More sweet than sour for sure, but a subtle tartness keeps the sweet aspect (tempered by a delicious Belgian yeast strain) from ever becoming cloying. Cherries and yeast are the star of this show. A beer I will definitely have again. Recommended. (588 characters)

Photo of jayhawk73
4.42/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Huhzubendah for sharing this, thanks Matt

Pours a reddish brown color with a one finger cocoa head. Decent lacing on my New Belgium glass. The nose is raisin, rum, plum, cherry, and a slight sourness to it. Really complex and well done. The taste is nice, almost a Flanders red vibe or old bruin vibe. A sweet candy flavor as well in the taste. Feel is medium full with sweet candy/sour finish. Very complex in all aspects. Overall, a great beer, although I think it's listed in the wrong style. Cheers (513 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice looking dark red color with a light tan colored head on top. the smell of the beer was soft with some dark fruit and roasted grains on the nose. The taste of the beer has a little bit of a tart flavor in it with some sweet dark fruits in there too. It's also got a dry bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer was pretty good, it had a decent amount of carbonation to it. Overall it's not a bad brew at all, I would drink it again sometime. (475 characters)

Photo of Hex92
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite style, and this is a pretty tasty representative.
A- looks hood, but the head dissapated quickly.
S- I wish I could put my finger on it. It has a distinctive smell, but I just can't place it.
T- I likre this beer a lot. Very tasty. All the usual flavor you would expect from the style, but it reminds me of Paulaner Salvatore too. Very interesting.
M- maybe a bit thin DD, but not overly so.

Overall a good beer that I will buy again. (449 characters)

Photo of dorianmarley
4.03/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is murky brown with a perfectly thick head and very nice lacing.

Nose is plenty of spicy yeast and sweet malt. Also has a strong raisin smell, with cola and bread.

Taste is similar to most Belgian Strongs: plenty of grape, fig and sweet malt; breadiness all the way through with a splash of cola.

Mouthfeel has very smooth with medium carbonation. The alcohol has a nice warmth.

Overall, it is a fine Belgian Strong. (431 characters)

Photo of frankiepop
4.2/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

APPEARANCE: I love the Belgians when they dress up a strong dark brown ale with colorful drawing of gnomes, elves, or cartoon nymphs. You can enjoy a wonderful little fantasy scene on a dark blue and red label.

The cork on the liter bottle popped and heavy smoke floated over the rim. The very dark brown beer was poured into a big St. Bernardus glass chalice. It's dark brown and murky with a nice head nothing special as Belgium beers go anyway.

TASTE: Heavy flavored fruity flavored beverage here with a sweet after taste that lingers nicely. The strong flavors really socked it too my taste buds. It reminded me of my 1st Guinness or something. Good carbonation. This is what I am learning is a classic wonderful dark Belgium ale.

AROMA: A strong fragrance of dates, raisins, plums that sort of thing.

Provided you like St Bernardus Abbey 12, then you will likely be pleased with Nostradamus. Hopefully, American pubs in a few years will be stocking more brews like this. May change the entire atmosphere of the American pub scene.

In any event this beer goes down well with Vivaldi's Four Seasons or some nice Bach piano music by Glenn Gould The Goldberg Variations. (1,180 characters)

Photo of taigor
4.18/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass.

A - Poured dark brown cloudy color with huge off white head that slowly dissipated leaving lots of lacing around the glass.

S - Bready yeast and malts dominate the scent with hints of dark fruits.

T - Starts off sweet due to brown sugar and dark sweet fruits like raisins, plums and figs. Then yeast breadiness follows with caramel and malts.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

O - Exceptional BSDA that I would highly recommend. (465 characters)

Photo of StJamesGate
4.05/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear oxblood with good fizz and a creamy flan-colored head that leaves trails immediately. Canada mints, bubble gum and cola make a sweet nose.
Coffee liqueur, licorice, prune juice and a bit of port, a clove hit and nutmeg end with some wood.
Brown sugar finish and sappy linger.
Fizzy, medium to full, very chewy, no real heat.

Labelled as a "Wallonian brown ale".

Big, viscous, sweet ale. Intricate dark flavors, but I find myself wishing for something that would cut through them. The cloying eases off after it opens, but that takes a while. But very round, a good by the fire beer. (593 characters)

Photo of impending
3.92/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

750ml into a tulip. Pours a deep copper garnet, beautiful when back lit. Towering dense light tan colored head recedes slow leaving clumpy froth.

Aroma is spicy, upbeat and clean. Thick with a dab of a fragrance ingredient. Clove, ginger and a confectioners apricot.

A jumble of flavors tumble about, dark fruity bread with grape skin. A balanced dry. Subtle alcohol serves as a flavor component. Aftertaste begins as if it is about to show sour but stops shy. Thin to medium bodied lively mouthfeel.
jd (512 characters)

Photo of claytong
3.84/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

appearance - very bubbly dies quickly. lacing is sad. brown and thin looking. a bit nervous.

smell - okay, i got my money's worth. smells more like an english barleywine with candi sugar and obviously thinned out. lots of alcohol, and a bit of grain.

taste - alcohol especially as it warms, candi sugar, brown sugar, light malt, molasses?

mouthfeel - light as hell body, decent carbonation. way too thin. not impressed here (426 characters)

Photo of paxchristi
4.37/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz. bottle into tasting glass. Purchased from Trader Joes in Des Peres, MO.

Appearance: Pours a dark brown, almost PURPLE color. Thin, fastly dissolving head. A unique looking beer indeed!

Smell: Ester alcohols, dark fruits (plums, raisins) are the most obvious flavors at the front. I also catch a hint of very ripe pear and some berries. Underneath it all is some chocolate undertones that coat the fruity flavors. Its almost "black foresty." Stuck in the middle are some fairly dark malts. Impressive.

Taste: The flavors blend so well that it hides the esters, but still leaves a bit of a warmth in the throat. But the nose justifies the taste. Very complex. Its not really my favorite of flavors, but I can respect it for what it is. At the end is a certain nuttiness that gives a fitting end to its dizzying body.

Mouth: Oddly enough, high carbonation gives the beer the illusion of being lighter than it actually is. I bet one could put away one or two more of these simply because of this.

Overall: You know, this really is a complex, dark strong and interesting beer. The flavors go together so well, but they are flavors that I do not necessarily prefer. I might return to this one one day (as its a regular at my Trader Joe's). However, I do not think that this beer justifies a $18 price tag for a four pack. (1,340 characters)

Photo of Nerudamann
4.3/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a goblet glass.

Look - deep and dark brown in color, a little murky, with about a finger's worth of light khaki-colored foam that dissipates somewhat quickly.

Smell - richly malty, with hints of chocolate and molasses. Maybe a bit of a roasted quality.

Taste and Mouthfeel - malts are rich indeed, and alcohol is very much present. Maybe more so than what I've notice from barleywines. Also here there seems to be a chocolate or molasses like syrupy taste. Mouthfeel is warming, and texture is very well balanced!

Overall - VERY interesting brew, and definitely worth the taste. (609 characters)

Photo of JohnnyHopps
4.8/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Even before opening the bottle, the sediment at the bottom hints this is going to be something special. The bottle categorizes this as a Belgian Brown Ale. Upon opening the bottle, an aroma of brown sugar penetrates the air. The aroma becomes stronger upon pouring. The color is of the ale is a murky dark brown with visible sediment that scatters about the bottom of the glass. The taste is a unique sweet and slightly sour flavored brown ale. A brown sugar flavor stays on the tongue, melting into a sweet aftertaste.

Nostradamus is a very good Belgian where the flavors of the yeast shine. It is not too thick or "syrupy". It also provides the health benefits of the sediment. (680 characters)

Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 508 ratings.