Saxo - Brasserie Caracole

Not Rated.

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very good

372 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 372
Reviews: 230
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 11.79%
Wants: 11
Gots: 27 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  8.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 02-21-2002

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (10) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 372 | Reviews: 230
Reviews by GreenCard:
Photo of GreenCard
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

750 ml corked bottle purchased at Whole Foods in Coral Springs, FL.

Appearance: straw color, thick lustrous pure white head w/ great retention, great lacing, can't judge the clarity because the bottle sediment got stirred up in transit

Aroma: a pleasing floral hoppiness, some malt background and a slight tart note

Flavor: sweetness followed by an immediate tasty hop flavor and some bitterness, coriander comes in strong in the finish but not overpowering, a tart and sweet finish, but a tart/bitter aftertaste

Mouthfeel: light-bodied, crisp carbonation, some acidity, very refreshing, and very drinkable (the 7.2% abv is hard to detect)

More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice straw color with some light orange hue with a big fluffy white head that settles leaving sheets of lace behind,big citrus aromas some lemon and very ripe pineapple.Nice mix of spice, coriander and clove with some ripe citrus with a little smoke that lingers late.Pretty darn drinkable for the alc 8%,a nice offering liked it better than the Troublette.

Photo of brownbeer
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orangish-yellow pour with a nice, white head.

Doughy peach aroma with caramel, golden raisin, orange, and coriander.

Soft carbonation, malty caramel, and fruity banana notes with orangey citrus.

Overall, a very smooth and drinkable everyday Belgian beer.

Photo of Jason
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 11.2 oz slender brown bottle with a snail-humanoid holding a saxophone. “Best before end 2003” on the side of the label.

Appearance: Chill hazed pale orange yellow sunshine colour, nice head retention that keeps a dainty white lace.

Smell: Sweet and juicy aroma of sweet lemon juice that is almost lemonade-like, faint floral nose from either hops or fruitiness of the yeast. Light yeast and husky grain in the nose also.

Taste: A bit of coarseness in the crisp mouth feel from the grain and moderately high level of carbonation, light to medium body. Hop bitterness is up there, no holding back for the size of the body and is brings a whole level of new flavours from lightly pungent to citric floral. Graininess is hard on the taste buds but refreshing is a way also. Earthiness creeps up from the yeast with a side of woodiness, esters are a bit flamboyant. The estery alcohol brings a noticeable fruitiness of faint mango and pear. As for the alcohol its there and makes a warming mark on the palate. On the dry side but a trace amount of residual sweetness rolls on the tongue from start to finish.

Notes: Richly complex drawing on the grain flavours, hop character and by products of the yeast to push the envelope in brings full and bold flavours. Not as clean as other strong pales and more on the raw side.

Photo of merlin48
3.35/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip glass, this Belgian pours a chill hazed, medium gold body with an enormous, ivory head. Streams of microbubbles support the rocky head for several minutes and substantial, globs of patchy lace are left down the glass.

Aroma is of lemongrass, mild coriander, and a yeasty presence of dirty, old, wool blanket.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and highly carbonated.

The taste has a bittersweet character, that evolves into more bitter than sweet. Some tart, fruity citrus flavors keep knocking on the door, but the yeast and hops bitterness keep slamming it shut. This one is simply not balanced well, with very little malt assertiveness. Herbal hops and yeasty bitterness are in charge all the way through, and the finish is dry and yeasty bitter.

Lacks complexity, and too bitter and dry for my palate. Alcohol is hidden well, but this is just an average, strong pale ale.

Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belgian bomber bottle, caged and corked, purchased at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Pours slighly cloudy, lighter apricot amber. Typical and not too excitng head, and moderate lacing left behind. Nose of soft fruits, spice/hint of Belgiany yeasty. Easy drinking and quite pleasant BSPA, the 8% quite well hidden. Fruity and refreshing, this beer served as the steaming liquid for some clams and then went great with the clams and a plate of pasta. The finish has notes of pepper, spiced apricots, phenolic yeasties and more then ample Belgian tastyness. A thoroughly enjoyable offering.

Photo of Kraken
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into 20oz pint glass. Firm pour results in a 3 finger head that slowly diminishes. Color is a hazy amber with light sediment. Smells of yeast citrus fruits and an underlying sweet funk. Light funk and wheat on the tongue. Lots of carbonation, sweet finish. Mouthfeel is almost creamy, carbonation cleanses the palate. Highly drinkable, sweetness could become cloying.

Photo of ADR
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Large 750 ml bottle...very hazy slightly brownish bright ochre color, large white head with ripples across the top. Laces don't stick much, mostly residual sticking spots. Slighty funky aroma with some nice fresh fruit notes, some blueberry and grape. Mouthfeel approaches medium, carbonation is high and lightens things up a bit. Flavor is bright and new, not laden with much in terms of yeastiness -- much more expressive in terms of of wild honey and the sweetness of pears and cantelopes to start things off. A little bit of hazelnut and raisin creeps in, slight reminders of cough drops. Alcohol decently hidden, this beer is fairly straightforward but works well for me.

Photo of ByTor2112
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I hauled this back from KC. In the Chimay Goblet. Pours a beautiful blonde color with a one-finger head that hangs around and dissipates slowly. Lots of carbonation. The aroma gives a combination of citrus and earthy hops. The first taste on the palate is sweet with the hop bitterness coming and going. Complex, yet it tastes a little like a Saison. This blonde is awesome and would be great as an after-dinner drink. the alcohol is present but mild as it mingles with the sweetness and the herbal spicyness of the hops. A swirl of the glass actually rejuvenates the aroma. A good froth on the palate releases a good sour taste that adds to the sweetness and the well-rounded hops. This was very drinkable and I am starting to appreciate Belgians more and more. Cheers, Joe

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy dark gold color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light fruits - pears mostly but hints of green apples - with light Begian candi sugar and mild spices.

Tastes similar to how it smells. The fruit flavors are a bit earthier than the smell would suggest however the sweetness and spiciness are on par with the smell. Ending is crisp.

Mouthfeel is good. It has a nice thickness with active carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this is a good beer for the style but none of the flavors were intense enough to be anything more. Worth a shot.

Photo of JohnW
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale gold colour and slight cloudiness, and natural carbonation gave a slight but not dense head. Aroma is dry, yeastly, but somehow also slightly sweet, with hints of spices, citrus and maybe even pepper.
The taste was not what I expected, and seems very dry to start, though not really hoppy bitter, with the spices coming through first, then maybe hints of citrus and a slight sweet & sour finish. The carbonation tickles the tongue as it does down, giving it a slight zesty texture. This was less sweet than some typical Belgium ales, considering its alcohol strength, and I enjoyed it fairly well, though not sure I would want more than one serving at a time.

Certainly worth trying if you enjoy this style of beer.

JohnW (written and tasted while in Tampa FL June 2007)
B'ham UK

Photo of biboergosum
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle, 7.5% ABV. Weird sax-wielding jester depicted on the label.

This beer pours a hazy, medium golden yellow colour, with a teeming fistful of puffy, thinly foamy, and congealed melted marshmallow off-white head, which leaves some sparse reaching finger lace around the glass in its rather lazy wake.

It smells of semi-sweet grainy pale malt, zingy fruit - lemon, apple, pear, and pineapple notes are strongest - with some coriander and white pepper spice, and soft, earthy yeast. The taste is again somewhat sweet, raw pastry-like malt, more strong, yet now muddled golden fruit, peppery yeast, mild earthy hops, and a soft alcohol warming.

The carbonation is moderate, after that initial outburst, and persistent in its tight frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, quite smooth, and somewhat creamy, in a caramel pudding sort of way. It finishes bittersweet, the pale malt offset by some trailing warm spice and gritty hoppiness.

A pleasant, well-rounded strong Belgian ale, no edges here. Outgoing, and plays well with others, until, I suppose, that hidden alcohol strength becomes blindingly apparent, and engenders cravings for more heady, darker Belgian offerings.

Photo of mdaschaf
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes

A: Pours a straw/golden color, slightly hazy with lots of carbonation bubbles being released to the top. Nice fizzy head that had decent retention, but not much lacing.

S: A good bit of banana and some citrus - apricots and orange peel, some grass, and cloves. The belgian yeast also shines through a bit. A little bit of grain as well.

T: Light fruity yeast. some apricot, banana, and a little pear? Hard to tell though. Some grainy malt and light spices - pepper and cloves.

M: Light to medium bodied with lively carbonation. Pretty easy drinking.

O: Not bad, aroma/flavor were good, but seemed a little weak. Based on other reviews I would give it another try.

Photo of soper2000
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed Caracole's Amberee so I thought that I'd give this one a shot. Pours a beautiful golden hue with a medium sized white head. Aroma has a nice kick of spice to settle on top of an apple like fruitiness. Both of the Caracole beers that I've had to date have a really interesting earthiness to them. Quite a lot of spice on top of the earthiness. Fruitiness becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. Great drinkability. Excellent value to boot. I will definitely be seeing more of this in my future.

Photo of NJpadreFan
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Appearance- Light yellow with a small soapy head.
Smell- Strong peppery lemon with a hint of alcohol.
Taste- Very fruity, grape, apple, and pinapple come through a hint of alcohol in the end.
Mouthfeel- Light and crisp, almost wine coolerish.

Overall- A decent warm weather option. A little pricey but wouldn't turn 1 down.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure why, but most Caracole stuff I bring home is always full of effervesence, I've even had a couple gushers. This one threatened to gush but kept itself in check. Weird. Color is a gleaming gold with lots of bubbles and excellent clarity. Sticky lace like styrofoam clings to the glass as the head thins slowly. Excellent retention. Great looks to this one.

Aroma is dusty grain, sour chick pea (I'm not kidding), yeast, and light honey notes.

Sweeter, fruitier, spicier flavors than the aroma hints at...big honey, juicy pear, banana, clove, coriander. The sour/bitter pucker in the finish and yeast dirtiness make sure things don't get too nice and sweet.

Mouthfeel is light and buoyant, creamy while also significantly drying after the swallow. I remember my first Saxo knocking me out in the mouthfeel dept., and this one has done it again.

Very drinkable, barely showing it's 8% alcohol. Super-enjoyable, glad I got a 4-pack this time. Hey Belgium: I love you.

Photo of cokes
4.68/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750mL. 2002.
Waxy yellow crayon hued piled with a billowing stack of whipped heavy cream. Yeast pours turns this a clogged mustard, and makes the head eternal.
Wheat-based nose, with lemon drops, white breads, black pepper, clove, and applesauce.
Begins with a brisk pils-like dry snap. Saltines and white bread. Wheat unfolds, turning things doughier and accented with lemon muffins. Yeast complexity is virtually unmatched as it loudly and harmoniously touts melons, vanilla, peppercorns, apricot, apples, pears, clove, sweet basil, and corkboard. Even after 3 years, the hops end this with pizazz, drying with lemongrass and hay flavors, in the Hallertau vein. Alcohol is not just hidden, it's a total nonentity.
The mouthfeel sparkles with fine-grain carbonation floating a truly creamy body. It's the intersection of down pillows, cotton candy, Cool Whip, and seltzer water.
The drinkablity is staggering -- literally. It is difficult to enjoy this in less than gluttonous, grunting gulps.
Fantastic in every facet.

Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A fresh tasting pale. 8% is a surprise. Very good yeast aroma and honey yeast in taste. Creamy lemon, bit grass, spicy vanilla, moderately aggressive carbonation concommitant with being well hopped. Mid sip mint, abundant good malts for balance. Goes down smooth.

Photo of Reverand
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer from its yellowish orange appearance with white head that lasted to the last swig. Great hop taste with a nice lemon like aroma. Light in body with a lot of carbonation. Certainly worth a try.

Photo of tempest
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Monk's Cafe, served in a tulip

This is a simple but tasty beer. Sweet, but not cloying, and rich with fruity citrus flavors. I want to make this an ice cream its so tasty and candy-like. Really, it's like beer and fruit smoothie. Still, there's enough balancing bitterness and carbonation to make this a great warm-weather beer. Good for a fruity non-fruit beer.

Photo of Filosoof
4.65/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lovely harmonic and very drinkable beer. Perfect match with light goat cheese.

L: two finger top, clear pearls. Golden look.
S: a complete Belgian fruit garden with pear, apple and yellow prunes, but also tropical fruit like red oranges and grapefruit, under a lovely mist of hops;
T: biscuit, cream, yeast, medium hop.
M: harmonic body, alcohol well hidden, medium dry end.

One of my very favorites. Dangerously drinkable!

I expect of a beer to bring real joy. This is a classic example. The sun starts shining even when it is midnight.

Photo of andjusticeforale
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I bought a 750ml and drank this out of a Duvel glass.

This beer poured a really nice to a pale gold with a whiter than white fluffy head.

The nose was reminiscent of belgian malts, some twangy fruit and sugar, and some pilsener type aromas.

Sweetness and citrus were really prevalent upfront. There was a hoppy bitterness right in the middle, and the beer finished with a fantastic push of sweet wheat and vanilla malt. Absolutely great complexity.

The mouthfeel was extremely light here, amazing for a beer of 8%abv. As you drank more and more, it became a lot like watery sweet grapefuit juice. This was somewhat of a distraction. There was, at least, a really dry finish, without any memory of any flovor contained in the brew. Lighter than a lot of belgian blonds.

Altogether, there is a terrific drinkability here- combined with a sweet high end twang, it makes this a 750ml that you will not want to share.

Photo of KMcG
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A geyser!  I poured this from a 330 mL bottle and it was volatile. It rushed out of the bottle top, slowly oozing for about a minute.  I poured this into a small tulip shaped wine glass so only about half of the bottle would fit.  It is crystal clear straw yellow with a light active head about 1-2 fingers high. 

The aroma is full of lemon, honey and pear, and has Belgium yeast backing. 

The taste pretty much follows the nose, but there is a white bread quality that creeps in. When I first poured it, it was much brighter with citrus and honey, but as it aged, it mellowed. It has a slight bitterness from the hops that comes in on the finish.

The mouthfeel is big at first with lots of fine carbonation.  As it warmed, the carbonation decreased.  It's light o medium bodied and pretty dry. 

The alcohol is listed on the bottle as 7.5%.

Photo of hotstuff
3.44/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I found this brew to have a fruity and a citrusy aroma to it which I like. It had a medium head on it. There was a lot of carbonation in this brew. In my opinion this brew had a bitter aftertaste to it. All in all this brew was drinkable. It was not a drain pour. Which is not to say that I would drink this particular brew anytime soon though.

Photo of Goldorak
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Rastacouere and the gang for having a taste of this one, along with many others.

Appearance: Yellowish and opaque, with nice, thick head.

Smell: Very reminiscent of that unmistakable Unibroue yeasty odor, but with a side of anis.

Taste: Lightly sweet, almost hints of banana, honey, mild maltyness. Mouthfeel was okay, I'd say light to mid range. Not bad altogether.

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Saxo from Brasserie Caracole
87 out of 100 based on 372 ratings.