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Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

825 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 825
Reviews: 508
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.08%
Wants: 49
Gots: 69 | 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.
View: Beers (10) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 825 | Reviews: 508 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Noctilucus
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bought at Drankenhandel Geers.

Reddish brown (strong) double that starts off with quite a punch, slightly bitter and herbal; then the aftertaste takes over, giving it a more mellow character, yet a full, long-lasting one.

Complex brew, one to savour and that should be allowed to develop its full palate before the next sip/swig.
I for one am not surprised that it's received very good ratings overall... Gotta love the drawing of Nostradamus as a "caracole" :)

Photo of mithrascruor
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a chalice.

Appearance: Pours a hazy reddish copper-brown color. Nice foamy off-white/tan head looks really solid and has quite good retention.

Smell: Has a fairly sweet aroma with caramel, baked apples, and raisins.

Taste: Nice malty flavor of brown sugar and caramel, with raisins and other lighter and slightly acidic fruits. No real apparent sourness, but it tastes well-balanced. Slight bitterness in the finish and aftertaste, and just a hint of alcohol then too.

Mouthfeel: Surprisingly light-bodied (though not without some viscosity) and very smooth. It practically floats across the tongue with gentle yet prominent carbonation.

Drinkability: High ABV but easy to drink.

Wow, I wasn't expecting too much from this, but was really impressed! Looks nice, has a great flavor, and feels wonderful to boot. The flavors aren't too intense or rich, so I think this could work well with food or on its own. Definitely one I'll get again.

Photo of thedoubler55
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from bottle into tulip glass.

A - Cloudy and hazy reddish color, left almost no head at all and the lacing was barely there. The beer still looked quite appetizing to me.

S - Smell was very sweet, lots of maltiness. Some hints of cherries and lots of brown sugar.

T - Taste matches the smell, lots of dark fruits as well as sweet malts. Also hints of dark fruits as well as roasted brown sugar.

M - Medium mouthfeel not to much carbonation, but not bad for a dark ale.

D - Not a bad beer by no means, but do not think I can drink more than one in a session.

Photo of Avagadro
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Body is deep mahogany and quite clean. Lacing is impressive, as well as head formation and retention.

S: Bouquet is slightly muted, but is packed with wonderful notes of caramel, apricot, and chocolate.

T: Nostradamus boasts notes of chocolate and caramel upfront, only to deliver a delightful finish of apricots and clove.

M: Full bodied with a great display of carbonation.

D: A great brew fro, one of the smaller breweries in Belgium. Definitely worth a shot.

Photo of ozmodium
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

33cl bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Pours slightly hazy deep red brown. Minimal creamy head, no lacing.

S: Wild ester/fusels, sweet dried fruits (raisins and prunes), sour lactic acid, caramel malts, a funk that honestly reminds me of tequila!? Really boozy (ok it is 9.5% ABV, no surprise there). I don't know if i have all the words to describe this aroma other than really funky, unique, bizarre but delicious and complex. This actually smells completely different depending on where you put your nose in relation to it. Crazy!

T: great balance of fruity sweetness and lactic sourness. Just a hint of hoppy bitterness. There's that tequila again, aged, dark and complex. Tastes as it smells. Again, every sip has something different to offer, depending on your sipping "technique". This beer pleases my ADD.

M: Great body and carbonation. The high ABV warms the throat and sinuses.

D: As with any good Belgian dubbel/trippel this is no session ale, tho i have no trouble making it through a 33cl bottle. This would serve well as a dessert, with some chocolate or nice brie and preserves.

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

Pours a dark merky brown color with a decent head and lacing. Most belgians are better looking than this.

Aroma of dark fruits and Belgian yeast. Caramel and toasted sugars. Not super strong though.

Taste is great. Smooth and tastes just how it smells. Not too much dark fruits in this one but some. Lower end of Belgian yeast flavor too.

Mouthfeel is good. Smooth and nice carb.

Overall a nice brew that I hope to have again. It was tasty. Couldn't drink alot of it all at once though.

Photo of GBB
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Who saw this coming? Pours a dark amber to brown color that was cloudy. A decent off-white head when poured but did dissipate rather quickly and limited lacing.

The nose is light overall but a noticeable sugary and phenolic aroma really comes out. To start there is more of a white and brown sugar aroma with hints of malt and a light biscuit/bready thing going on. Noticeable yeast character some good and some bad. Nice plum and figs notes blend with a butyric and tannic aroma that is a bit off setting. Some spice pepper notes on the back end as well.

The taste is a bit more on par for style (Belgian's have style?). The sugar notes back way off and let more of the malt come out. A more generic malt taste with hints of bready and biscuit malt notes. A sugary note is there as well, but more of a brown sugar thing. The yeast backs off versus the nose but some lighter fruity tastes are there. Specifically a sugar plum and fig note. Some zesty almost citrus note that is a bit off for style. Some vegi notes on the back end that came out when it was warmer.

The body is moderate but does leave a lingering sweetness. Almost boarder line under attenuated but not really. Some noticeable fusel notes are a bit of a distraction. Overall some good complexity with the sugar notes and phenolics/esters but some off notes really distract.

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

Had this at the brewery in Belgium (poured from a bottle by the brewery owner).

Brown rusty color. No visible head and almost no lacing. Tastes of coffee, spices and maybe dark fruit. Starts a bit bitter and complicated like a strong coffee and mellows a bit in it's aftertaste.

Strong and smooth with a considerably more heavy feel in the mouth than any of the other Caracoles. Makes a good after dinner beer. Liked it enough to pack a bottle home to the states.

Photo of SuperSpy
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - A very dark brown and cloudy. A very nice, silky smooth head that dies down quickly but never completely dissipates. Although the head has died down enough to pull away from the edges of the glass, plenty of rising bubbles keep a nice little island of foam in the center.

S - The aroma is that of dried berries, plum, alcohol and a hint of caramel.

T/M - Well carbonated, providing a prickly yet very smooth feel as it rolls across the tongue. The flavor is sweet and malty in the middle with various flavors that meld so seamlessly it is difficult to distinguish them. The finish is a bit spicy and estery but once again it is difficult to determine where one flavor ends and another begins.

D - This is a perfect example of both complexity and drinkability. I highly recommend giving this a try, but make sure you have plenty on hand because you won't want to stop at one.

Photo of axeman9182
3.79/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, the last of my volunteer haul from BBF, poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours a fairly deep brown, without creeping into black territory. There may be a hint of maroon in the color as well, and Nostradamus has faint amber highlights. The head is somewhere between bone and khaki, and a decent roughly two and a half fingers in height. The problem is that retention is below average ofr the style, and and lacing is 100% nonexistent... very disappointing. The nose is a bit weak, and all I can make out are notes of chocolate and some plums and figs. It doesn't smell bad, but I hope there's a bit more to the beer than that. Nostradamus is a bit of an odd duck for a BSDA flavor wise. It's possibly the cleanest tasting beer of the style I've ever tried in that flavors imparted by the yeast are kept to a minimal clove background note. A wonderful bouquet of malty notes provide the lion's share of flavor. There's a very smooth milk chocolate presence, which I guess shouldn't be surprising given that the bottle identifies itself as a Belgian brown ale. There's also the expected sweet dark fruits showing up, noticeably so. Caramel plays more of a background note. There's also a slight warming sensation from alcohol, but Nostradamus stops well short of being boozy. If the chocolate was a little bit less overpowering I'd probably give it a 5, but as is it's just short of perfection. The body is very good, manages not to become to heavy, which is always a concern with such a big, malt forward beer. Carbonation is a bit uneven though, it explodes when it first hits the front of my tongue, but fizzles out quick, so that the beer starts edging into being syrupy by the end of the sip. It's a shame Nostradamus isn't much of a looker, because it's a pretty tasty beer, and a nice changeup from the standard BSDA.

Photo of Ambiorix
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle.

A: Slightly cloudy dark brown pour, tan head, decent lacing.

S: Raisins, plums, brown bread, spices.

T: Vinous, brown bread, molasses, alcohol warmth, dark fruit.

M: A little thin, but decent carbonation. Well attenuated.

D: Excellent, well-balanced. Sweet up front but a nicely dry finish and good carbonation to keep it from being cloying. I'm curious if the 750 ml presentation is different than the 330 ml.

Photo of mlazzaro
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great presentation in the bottle. Pours a brown ale. head is brown as well. Impressively transparent. very visually appealing. smells of dark candi sugar/ caramel. also aromas of clean smelling yeast. Fermentation is clean tasting. great flavors. easy drinking, smooth beer. I am absolutely amazed by this ABV, so well hidden. great complexities in the sip. balanced out wonderfully. really good brew. I wish I had more.

Photo of SPThirtyThree
4.79/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lot FGHX. 'Best before' code is confusing, but it seems to read 03/2012. Didn't Nostradamus predict the end of the world in 2012? Maybe it should just read "drink before the end."

Served just under 50°F. Synthetic cork pops with ease.

A: Nostradamus pours deep, deep, brown with fire red highlights against the light. It's clear enough to see all the way through. A half-finger yellowed brown head rises and falls to a cream, leaving pseudo-lacing that spiderwebs into thin strands on the glass and then falls into the brew.

S: The nose is an explosion of fruity and lightly-spiced esters. Most noticeable is a blast of bubblegum, followed by grapefruit, plum, and fig. There is an underlying heat, leading to a delightfully complex spectrum of scents. As it warms, the nose sweetens. Phenomenal.

T: Following up the great smell is a sweet, smooth, and hot taste. Alcoholic heat is present but subtle, and accentuates the raisins, plums, caramel, chocolate, cherries, and toffee. The flavor is well-rounded and balanced. Nostradamus is a candy bar in a bottle.

M: Full bodied, and slightly chewy, with good, soft carbonation. Surprisingly smooth.

D: High. One of my favorites!

Photo of cnally
3.17/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I see the future...a buzz...some PS3...

A mostly opaque caramel brown color in the body with an off white large bubbled head with a tinge of gold.

The aroma really comes strong with dark fruits, some fig, plum and currant. A well positioned dark toasted malt dominates between the fruitiness.

Flavor continues with the fruits. Dried fruits are more like it because the sugars taste like they are modified, like a dried apricot, prune, a musty flavor of sorts. There is an acrid off-flavor in there, which is entirely distracting, like iodine. Finish redeems some of the off-putting qualities, with a little bitterness.

Mouthfeel is nice, balanced, evenly carbonated and smooth.

Maybe I have an off bottle, but the flavor reminds me of bad batches I brewed when I used iodine. The off flavor is overwhelming. The feel is nice, but really, this is a big average beer for me to finish.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4


Appearance: Hazed reddish brew. A large head recedes to pretty much nothing.

Smell: Malt, brown sugar, wood, hint of smoke and dark fruits. As it warms some booze pokes through, still quite nice.

Taste: Fruity and very dry. Every sip yields a different flavor profile it seems. Bready and malty at times, with a herbal hop in the background. Some oak flavor is there. Remarkably clean finish. Some fig and date notes.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, crisp, dry and very clean.

Drinkability: A nice strong beer that doesn't stick to your taste buds like some examples of the style. This one has such a fine finish that it makes every sip heavily anticipated.

Photo of IronDjinn
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Jim at Sherbrooke for the sample. Came in a 330 ml brown bottle, abv. listed as 9%. Dark, dense nut brown in colour, turns to bright oaky highlights when held to direct light. Quick creamy beige head that settle to a thin cap.

Remarkable aroma that fills the room. Rich caramelized malts, figs, dates and raisins, milk chocolate and carob nut, currants, pear, and Gala apple.

Flavour holds toffee and sweet caramelized malt up front, dates and black currant rising in the middle, a little swish of milk chocolate, with mildly tart notes of pear and apple on the finish. Wow! I can't do it justice, it all works together amazingly.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, slick, with some brisk carbonation.

An incredibly well-crafted Strong Dark Belgian, very well put together. Enchanting even. This is one definitely worth seeking out.

Photo of IceTrey9785
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a mix-six pack at the store...

A: Poured the beer into a nice Burgundy glass -- really rich mahogany notes, with a really interesting lacing around the rim, and a few patches along the top of the brew...

S: The initial sensation is that of brown sugar -- I feel like I'm eight years old eating oatmeal again. Brown sugar and maple syrup really make up the aroma. There is also a hint of bittersweet chocolate, and caramel. A lingering note of black fruit follows -- I get some blueberry, blackberry, and fig after the brew has come to temperature.

T&M: The initial hit is definitely sweetness, but it is a balanced sweetness -- dark chocolate covered blackberries with a finish of strong coffee. The mid-palate erupts with this crisp vegetable notion -- similar to a dirt covered cucumber. I also find a tartness, or acidic quality that might ring of bitter coffee, but tends to take a more fruit-forward approach -- I can't place it directly, but I'm leaning towards lychee...(call me crazy). The beer is rich, but the texture is everything -- complex, and rough, but very smooth and everlasting on the finish.

This is excellent. I'm not sure that I want one every night, but the general degree of intellectual engagement in such a beer is amazing. I've never had to think THIS hard about what the hell I'm smelling and tasting. Super-complex, and very rewarding -- definitely in my top five favorite beers of all time...

Photo of vandemonian
4.29/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nostradamus has a light brown colour and a head that disappears fairly quickly. Some lacing is maintained at the edge of the glass throughout. The smell is of roasty coffee and is quite nutty.
This beer has a nice malty flavour with a sweet raison flavour too. There is a bitter coffee flavour that comes through in the aftertast and the alcohol is noticeable once the rest of the flavour fades away.

Photo of JRed
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep red in body with large off-white head resting on top. Alcohol, prunes, and syrup in the nose. Sugars, alcohol, rock candy, and syrup in the taste. Medium bodied with light carbonation. A sweet drink throughout with some burn from the alcohol. A typical Belgian sugar bomb.

Photo of TairyGreene
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excellent Brewery, not too pretentious or modern. Any Brewery still firing their boil with wood is okay with me.

Always been a long-time favorite. Mild fruit on the nose, with a sprawling grain feature and rustic clay-like indication.

Flavor is focused, I love that. Not to sloppy. The yeast is clearly familiar with these fermentables. Faint sugar left behind, with a decent attenuation and mild alcoholic twinge. Roasted malts work well in tandum with the dark-fruit esters. The yeast is clearly the star of this show.

Don't be afraid to let this beer age. I've had a few vintages from three to four years back, they soured nicely with an intentional flavor. Not accidental at all IMHO.

Photo of Pencible
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a translucent dark cherry with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like wild Belgian yeast with copper hops and caramel, with some raisin.
T: It tasted like raisins and caramel and Belgian yeast, with a bit of cocoa powder and aluminum. It had a bittersweet metallic aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with moderate carbonation.
D: This had a good scent and taste, but it wasn't super clean or complex. The body was good not great, but the alcohol was well hidden, so it wasn't difficult to drink. An enjoyable beer, but not one of my favorite dark Belgians.

Photo of aasher
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to zep9865 for bringin this one over. It poured a dirty, muddied amber with little to no head. The bottle was a little older so had a good amount of chocolate colored sediment. It smelled sweet, yeasty, and malty. It smelled very much like the GI Pere Jacques. The taste too was very, very similar to the Pere Jacques. It had a sweet, almost candied fruit flavor and the alcohol was well hidden. It drank very smoothly and was easy to drink. It was medium bodied and had a nice finish. This was a good, quality Belgian dark.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store Pub. Slightly hazy pour, but a very nice dark amber with a very tightly beaded off-white head that leaves some nice lacing. Subtle fruit, spice, and molasses aromas. Quite light in the nose, but well integrated. Tastes of gingerbread, banana, light spices, and molasses, but dry and a little spritzy. Smooth and quite perilously drinkable. Not my absolute favorite Belgian, but a solid choice.

Photo of djmitche
4.82/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At Villains in Chicago, and at Smaakcafe 't Poatersgat in Brugges. The head was coarse and foamy and fell quickly. The color is a dark brown with a distinct ruby tone - unexpected for a dark.

The nose has spur cherries and some vinegar, leading to the expectation of some sourness. But don't be fooled! The taste is warm and sweet, with a nice caramel background. The mouthfeel is full without bring heavy.

The finish has a funny, dull bitter "hook" to it that cuts the sweetness without going overboard. I love it - I just don't know what it is! I've only enter tasted this in St. Bernardus Abt 12 before.

Nostradamus is similar to Abt 12, but a bit more sweet.

Photo of perrymarcus
3.57/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle served in oversized wineglass.

pours a murky, amber/brown tone with a half finger of off-white head the dissipates quickly, some lacing. smell is sweet; dark fruits, yeast, and spices. first sip is very sweet, with a vague, almost wine-like quality. raisins, plums, malts, spices, and yeast. tasty, yes, but not delicious. moderately carbed with a full mouthfeel. all in all this is a solid beer; i'm enjoying it. that said, IMO there are much better representations of the style.

Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 825 ratings.