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Nostradamus - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

767 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 767
Reviews: 494
rAvg: 4.06
pDev: 11.33%
Wants: 45
Gots: 48 | 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
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Ratings: 767 | Reviews: 494 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.33/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 750ml corked and caged brown bottle with a cool, trippy label. Best before 3/2010 clearly notched.

Appearance: Slightly hazy dark mahogany beer with a big, thick whipped light-tan cap. Nice sheet lacing and good retention from this one.

Smell: BIG dried apple and oaky cider notes. There's some sweet caramel in here, as well as a little dark fruit and booze as well. Overall, this is a bit too cidery and fruity for me; I'm not sure if it was supposed to be like that, but there could definitely be some more malt in here.

Taste: Tart spiced apples. There's not a brett/lactic sour presence here, but there's definitely a hit of fruity acidity. This is surprisingly dry as well. Finishes with a bit of baking spice. Again, I'd like to see some more malt character here.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, and lusciously soft

Drinkability: Medium...splitting this with the wife was even a bit more than I wanted

Conclusion: This is pretty interesting, kind of like a spiced version of Pommeau de Normandie (a Norman apple cider/Calvados mix). It's esoteric, funky, but a bit over the top for me, a little bit too brash, boozy, and spicy (especially considering the brewery doesn't use spices in this beer) for me.

BedetheVenerable, Nov 24, 2009
Photo of donkeyrunner
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Clear, dark, copper color with a large beige head that shrinks but never leaves. Nice bottle art.

Smells like tart dirt and leaves; an earthen sour. Fruit and nutcake malt, spices, rum raisin and figs, brown sugar and cinnamon, and on, and on...complex stuff here. Rusty alcohol becomes more pronounced with warming.

Herbal and fruity with bits of chocolate and gingerbread. Boiled honey dryness. Again, a rusty copper alcohol becomes more pronounced as it warms. Super fizzy carbonation works for this beer but I still wish it wasn't so fizzy.

It's the bees knees.

donkeyrunner, Nov 21, 2009
Photo of Vengeance526
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark reddish brown color with a nice sized tan head that retains well and leaves only a little lacing.

Aroma is very spicy and fruity upfront with clear notes of raisins, figs and cherries.

Taste again showcases some raisins and figs but also has a distinct hit of lemon with dark cherry, honey and brown sugar. Spices are present throughout. Alcohol is present in the taste the whole time, but not so powerful as to hinder drinkability.

Medium body with very prickly carbonation at first, but soon becomes very smooth. Overall this was very tasty and the initial aroma was very inviting. The alcohol made its presence known right from the start but I don't feel like this detracted from the experience in any way.

Vengeance526, Nov 15, 2009
Photo of MisterDeeds
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pouring from a 750 corked bottle, aged over a year in the great cellar of RixBeer.

A gorgeous looking velvety brown, bordering on rusty. Almost looks like a mulled apple cider. Nice thick foamy head that retreats quickly a lacy garter.

Great aroma of dark fruits and black licorice. Very inviting.

Taste is outstanding. Sweet mocha chocolate notes up front mingling with plums and spices, finishing with some black licorice and a touch of bitterness.

Very fizzy bubbles, which I normally don't agree with, seem to do wonders for this brew. It looks almost cloudy and rusty, yet the bubbles lend it an almost light and fizzy quality.

Drinkable is an understatement. I can now understand why this is so hard to come by. This is the ideal bottle to share over dessert, or for the perfect after dinner night-cap.

MisterDeeds, Nov 07, 2009
Photo of rapidsequence
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Corked and caged 750 bottle. $8.99.

Appearance: Clear ruby colored. Thought it might be darker. Big head that I expect from a belgian dark, but it doesnt stick around. Really not much lacing.

Smell: Boozy fruitcake. Liquor soaked dates and raisins. Bready yeast is a little spicy. Not the most interesting or complex of this style, but really good since the appearance left me a little worried.

Taste: A fair amount of detectable alcohol. Alcoholic dark fruit and a little spice. The finish is long bready, malty, and spicy. The taste is not quite as good as I thought it might be after smelling it, but quite tasty.

Mouthfeel: Very bubbly. Feels nice. It was a little thin but gets just right as it warms up. The mouthfeel is really great.

Drinkability: Overall this is really nice. The alcohol is a little prominent. Its good, but not fantastic especially since it has to be compared to some of the best beers in the world. There are better choices for the price, but this is pretty widely available, so thats nice.

rapidsequence, Nov 06, 2009
Photo of BarrelO
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2oz bottle poured into a Caracole snifter. Lot F, best before end 2012. At least, that's what I think the notches meant.

A: Medium-dark brown with a typical Belgian head.

S: This shit is bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. Seriously, the smell is pretty much all bananas. Also some caramelized sugar.

T: Even more bananas. They're balanced out by spicy hops and just enough alcohol to be perceptible.

M: Medium to heavy, not too carbonated.

D: It's not quite as contemplation-inducing as other BSDAs. It is, however, an outstanding dessert beer. Be warned, though. If you're not big on bananas, stay far away.

BarrelO, Oct 03, 2009
Photo of GRG1313
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a medium brown/black, a bit thin and clear and the color is not all that appealing, with a tan head.

Nose is of creamed sweet carmeled coffee and undertones of Belgian sugar and fruit.

Mouthfeel is medium to thin but there is character to make up for the lack of viscosity.

Flavors are layered and with lots of character. The flavors follow the nose - Belgian fruit and malted coffee. Abit short on flavor and character. Not bad at all - just nothing special.

GRG1313, Oct 02, 2009
Photo of bskrtz
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A) Cloudy root beer, tan leather with little to no lacy white head

S) Sweet pastries, candy, raisons, figs & dark fruit. Emphasis on sweet

T) Candied sugar and classic Belgian malts. Root beer, sweet/sour mash... it's all there

M) Full bodied & dense but lacks carbonation despite effervescent secondary fermentation. Tingly bubbles but still flat.

D) I had very high hopes for this 9% ABV beer, and by high hopes I emphasize high. But the beer fell flat as in flat beer. If it were draft I'd blame the bar but I poured these (plural) from 11.2 ounce bottles. It's good when compared to others, but the Belgians set the bar high.

bskrtz, Oct 01, 2009
Photo of WoogityBoogity
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - Tall, creamy tan head. Body is a hazy dark brown.

S - Sweetness from barley is most noticable. Light detection of esters, but not much. Practically no hop presence.

T - Very mellow compilation of malted sweetness, with accentuating phenols backed by alcohol on the finish. Very moderate leves of ester are present, but don't comprise or stand out in the palate. Very tame bitterness; faint hop character.

M - Very welcomed cream texture with high carbonation levels. Warming from ABV is evident, but not unwelcomed.

D - Nothing unexpected, everything expected per style.


Everything you'd want in a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, from a small Belgian brewery.

WoogityBoogity, Sep 19, 2009
Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2 ounce bottle - $3.99 at Total Wine & More in Atlanta, Georgia. Served up in a Caracole snifter.

Appearance: Pours out a brown-amber body with a finely textured, medium-sized, off-white head.

Smell: Sweet, sugary maltiness of toasty caramel and brown sugar covered with a heady scent of ripe fruits soaked in peppery alcohol and some smaller notes of spice and dehydrated herbs.

Taste: Malty tastes of toasted dark caramel, light cocoa, nutty nougat, and dark brown sugar transitions to a particularly strong, fruity mix of figs, tart pears, and even red currants. Heavy, generous layering of both sugar and ground spices. Slight earthy herbal aspects. Finishes semi-sweet, though there is a lot of drying, warming alcohol at the end of it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Medium-high carbonation.

Drinkability: Both flavorful and nicely complex, though the alcohol and warming nature of the brew slows my progress to small, thoughtful sips. Thankfully though, the airy carbonation does a fine job in aiding the overall drinkability of this brew.

ChainGangGuy, Aug 29, 2009
Photo of erz316
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Caged and corked 750ml bottle, with a best before of 06.2009, served in chimay chalice

A - well it actually looks just like a chimay red. turbid body with a dark orange-copper colour with ruby highlights, and a great lasting head, the colour of which is a medium beige. this beer looks fantastic; the body is perfectly the right colour: dark, but not so much that light cant make its way through; just enough translucency to give justice to the colour of the body, which is far from a muddy completely opaque brown of the majority of dark strongs. masterfully crafted. and the big, excellent retaining head is just more eye candy; it eventually becomes this silky smooth and creamy looking surface (the head is indeed quite creamy!). I guess the only slight improvement is that the body could be a slightly bit less transparent, and there could be more lacing

S - the nose could be more potent, but is nonetheless good. the top notes are of a very fresh cut fruits, citrus, and an almost grassy note; continued in the foreground is this toffee flavour joined with some dark sweet malts. mixed in the midground is this sweet smell of artificial cherry, like a cherry jolly rancher (which happens to be my favorite of those candies). the cherry flavour masks the dark booze soaked fruits, but lets just enough out to have it blend with the cherries to give the sweetness. the nose is incredibly enticing, especially when one gets to the fruity mid and base notes, however, the nose is simply not strong enough for me.

T - overall taste is a slightly cocoa powder, fruity and boozy beer. initial tastes are of rum soaked fruits, quite sweet but with a good kick from the alcohol; good malt backing as well, though their direct sweetness gets smothered by booze, the fruity accents show that they are indeed there. main flavours of the initial: boozy prunes/figs, alcohol (semi-dry), light caramel flavours with the dark malts. the finish is a lighter array of the fruits, though they are majority of the flavour; a semi-acerbic hop presence comes out of nowhere, really; alcohol is also a medium dry. the aftertaste is to die for: lightly cocoa powdered fruits that have been soaked in rum. so incredibly delectable! improvements? not many, but I guess the cocoa could be mixed with the fruits throughout the whole process, and the booze be a bit more like rum: less dry more sweet molasses. but really, this beer kicks some serious arse.

MF&D - this is an extremely creamy, velvety beer. the brew is so incredibly mouthcoating, ive never had anything like it before. the brew is a full medium body, but the carbonation pumps it up to a heavy feeling brew, all without bloating me. the carbonation is spectacular, it is abundand and very small scale, which benefits the creaminess of the brew. utterly perfect and enticing, this brew has nailed the feel of a dark strong right on the head. the only problem with the drinkability is that the alcohol might be a bit too pronounced.

erz316, Aug 24, 2009
Photo of BigJim5021
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml bottle pours somewhere between amber and brown with a very small tan head. Easily the smallest head I've ever managed to put on a Belgian beer. Hmm. Must be past its prime.

The aroma is quite sweet. Caramelized sugar and toasted malts. Light clove. Just a little bit too sweet for me.

The flavor is definitely on the sweet side as well. It's good, but time has muted what may have once been there. Given that this bottle was near the end of its lifespan (if not past it, as the notches on the back were off-the-mark), the alcohol has completed subsided.

Mouthfeel suffers from the age as well. The carbonation is well below what I like in my Belgian brews. It's still got a decent body to it.

This is by no means a bad beer. I think that I'll need to get ahold of a fresher bottle to give it another stab. But hey, how could I pass up a $6.49 bottle of this stuff?

BigJim5021, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of ShogoKawada
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 sitting on the clearance rack. Done and done. Bottle says "Best before end 2009". Sweet.

A- Corked and caged. Cannot for the life of me get this cork out. There we go. Pours a healthy amber with an active and thick head.

S- Sugar and clove; sweet and spice. Smells like red grapes. Caramel and toasted malt.

T- Spice and boozy fruit. more boozy, less sweet, but all in a good way. Fruit is tart, like a blackberry. Good spice that blends with the flavors rather than contrasts. Very drinkable.

As I get 1/2 way through, the sweetness of the fruits come out. I taste apricot, honeydew melon, and lemon zest. Truly tasty.

M- Strange. Thick, creamy head, but not much carbonation in the beer. Still, goes down like water, and at 9%, you know that's a measure of quality.

D- Pretty high, one of the most stealth ABVs I've come across yet. Coupled with a solid flavor profile and we have a pretty damn fine beer. I'd certainly buy this again or give as a gift.

ShogoKawada, Jul 29, 2009
Photo of steveshields
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nostradamus is probably a great Winter time beer. On a hot summer night, it doesn't do much for me. It is delicious, but I can't wait to re experience it during the next Chicago winter.

It pours a deep amber, not completely opaque like some darker brown ales. This one didn't pour much head, but maybe I was too cautious after having poured a frothy Gouden Carolus earlier.

Smells, again, like a winter night, like a potpourri of some kind...spicy, Xmas-y. Straight vanilla. I agree with someone else who said molasses. Definitely unique and a beer to try if you like Belgian beers. This one definitely smells exotic.

Tastes really good. Very, very sweet and fruity, a bit of fruit punch. Spiced fruit punch. Cinnamon sticks and graham crackers. I would pair this with oatmeal if I were a wealthy man that woke up with good beer and cheap breakfast every day.

The mouth feel is fine. Normal, a bit syrupy. No harsh linger or alcohol residue.

Drinkability? Like I said, I can't do this beer on a hot summer night. It's making me not dread the winter, though. I can't wait to sip this in front of a tv screen with a fireplace video on it and a down comforter on my crummy couch. Winter beer. I can't wait.

steveshields, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into a Glass

Smell - an aroma that makes you want to try it, very feint not what i was expecting but maybe due to my nose being slightly plugged

Appearance - pours thick brown with thick three fingered hazelnut heat that takes a few minutes to calm to a finger

Taste - sweet and think, a hint of molasses, i like every sip more than the one before, this brew is quickly growing on me, mildly bitter after taste, definatly complex but not at the point of too much of a good thing, definatly a beer to try on multiple occasions

Mouthfeel - on the thick side but smooth, carbonation and spices tickle the tongue

Drinkability when i poured it i thought i was not going to like it and my first sip made me think it was a mistake but going through this beer opened my eyes, although the higher ABV makes it something you would not consume in as high quantitys

, Jul 22, 2009
Photo of jwhawkins81
4.43/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aroma - Alcohol and maybe dark fruits. Really an intriguing aroma.

Appearance - Relatively dark amber maybe a true brown ale. An off-white tan head with decent carbonation.

Taste - Dark fruits and a lot of flavors following the nose with a woody flavor for good measure. A complex beer that isn't overwhelming. Extremely interesting and good.

Notes - Plenty of carbonation with a good mouthfeel. A really good beer, no kidding.

jwhawkins81, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of damienblack
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours standarad dark brown into my snifter. Huge initial head that dissipates quickly. Smell is typical belgian sweet candi sugar. Taste... it's like a Belgianized brown ale. Kind of roasty, plenty of malt body, but with some interesting candi sugar, and that Belgian yeast strain that gives it that zestiness. Mouthfeel is just coating enough, not much to comment on. A slight bitterness and alcoholic warming, pleasant. Also a bit nutty. A very interesting Belgian beer.

damienblack, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of FleeVT
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml slender brown bottle with label notched for batch and best before dates.

A: Bottle has a very thin layer of yeast at the bottom. Pours a hazey amber brown with hints of orange on the edges. Good carbonation action from the pour leave a finely topped creamy head that hangs around.

S: Sweet and malty fruitness; grapes, blackberries, and currants. Alcohol content comes on strong on the nose with a medicinal quality.

T/M: This one shocks the tongue. Lots of carbonation and some spiciness. A bit of caramel contributes to the fruit cocktail from the nose. Alcohol comes in at the back to warm and dry out the palate. Leaves residues of raisin and maple syrup.

Big beer that warms the whole body. Represents the style extremely well. May be a bit strong on the alcohol taste.

FleeVT, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A 330ml bottle poured into my basic snifter glass. The ale appears a deep crimson chestnut color with at least two fingers of foamy, lingering ecru head. A great looking pour. Nose and flavor are of faint alcohol, dried cherries, raisins, prunes, sweet malts, bittersweet chocolate, mild banana notes, quite complex. Bordering on full bodied with ample carbonation. Great drinkability.

ClockworkOrange, May 28, 2009
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared with the wife on Valentine's Day. I can't believe I haven't had this beer before this.

a three finger biscuit brown head easily rises to the top of my glass leaving a wall of lace as it slowly fades. Body is a deep brown murky hue. Nose is super sweet with up front honey, mellon and sunflower like butteriness. With first tip the sweetness is more subdued with a initial up front yeasty nutty feel. there is a substainsial sweetness that runs with a bit of biscuity graham cracker feel. Thick and honey like on the end of the palate. mouthfeel has a slight bitter feel and some mineral notes are there. Nice carbonation throughout. Drinkability is solid.

SPLITGRIN, May 24, 2009
Photo of theboozecruise
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from an 11.2 oz. bottle into a Chimay goblet... brown with hints of crimson. A finger or so of off-white head, creamy.

Smells like a Belgian ale... a little bit of fruit and the alcohol presence is there. The taste is more of the same... the alcohol comes through pretty strong in this one. Very well balanced, a quite nice brown ale.

theboozecruise, May 17, 2009
Photo of kelticblood
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance wasn't too impressive as far as carbonation is concerned. It did however have a nice dark brown color with chunky bits of yeast floating around. Very complex aroma hinting at cherries, hops, strong malt notes, and copper. Aroma became more complex as it warmed and got some air. The potent mouthfeel and finish seems to overpower the taste. Raisins and plums are hinted in the taste. Strong Carbonation coupled with a high ABV and strong phenol bitterness seem to hide any real flavors. Very rich malty and dry finish with a strong lingering bitterness. No brew for rookies, but worth a try. Bottle lists this as a Artisanal Belgian Speical Brown Ale

kelticblood, May 14, 2009
Photo of colts9016
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this from xhermit, thank you.

Poured into a goblet at 50 degrees.

Appearance: A dark reddish copper color with a two finger head. The head is an Ivory color that is creamy and foamy. The clarity of the beer is mostly hazy. There are some lacing on the glass.

Nose: A very nice rich malty sweetness. There is some caramel, biscuit, toasty, phenols, and alcohol. There is some nice fruity esters, a hint of floral and dried raisins.

Taste: A very rich malty goodness. There is some caramel, biscuit, a nice toastiness, a hint of alcohol, and phenols. There is a nice fruity esters with a touch of floral and dried raisins. On the end of the beer there is a nice peppery spiciness.

Overall: The mouth feel is creamy and lightly carbonated. The body of the beer is medium and the finish is light. This beer to me is a bit flat. The flavor are delicate and with a very nice rich malty goodness. The beer to me doesn't stand out for a great Belgium Dark Ale, but it is descent.

colts9016, May 06, 2009
Photo of steelerguy
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

* My bottle is labeled 9% not 9.5% as indicated here

A - Pours an opaque, dark brown mahongany. Nice head, with medium carbonation.

S - Immediately smell ripe bananas as I poured. From the goblet had a nice banana bread with raisin smell.

T - Starts a little sweet with a caramel malt taste quickly followed by the flavor of prunes, dates, and dark chocolate. Finishes with a tang and some alcohol. Lots going on here, you really pay attention to each sip.

M - Starts sweet but finishes drier than you would expect. A little carbonic bit from the carbonation. Lot of flavor comes through with the crisp finish.

D - Dry but quite complex. This is a beer to savor rather than quaff. Had 750 ml which was as much as I would want in a single serving.

steelerguy, May 04, 2009
Photo of JBogan
3.43/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky medium brown with a nice creamy one finger head. Minimal lacing is left in it's wake.

Smells of anice and dark fruits.

Tastes also of anice and dark fruits, mainly figs and raisins, along with an alcohol edge.

Mouthfeel was thick and smooth. Somewhat oily going down but ends with a bit of stickiness.

This is a well made brew, although there are many other beers in it's catagory whose taste I prefer over this one.

JBogan, May 01, 2009
Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
91 out of 100 based on 767 ratings.