Nostradamus | Brasserie Caracole

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932 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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Ratings: 932 |  Reviews: 525
Reviews by danadeny:
Photo of danadeny
4.17/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is labeled as a strong dark ale, but I would say this is a barleywine. The alcohol is very detectible at the end on the back of your tongue and fruity, raisin, maple syrup, and caramel flavors are all over the pallet. As well as a little hop in there. The smell is just that of a barleywine, sweet with a little bit of floral hops. As it warms the alcohol flavor gets stronger, and well does the fruit.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Beersnake1
4.18/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Purchased this at a local shop in Freiburg. Also my first time having anything from this brewery. Poured from fridge temp (maybe slightly warmer). Pours a nice dark brown with strong head that quickly dissipated. The nose is really nice - I'm getting a good about of plum and raisin, along with some bready notes. Taste is really nice - surprisingly strong with almost a licorice bite upfront. Very different from other Belgian dark ales, and definitely not in a bad way. Taste is really full and complex, with raisin, fig, plum, and toffee. Slight bitterness on the back end that lingers for a minute. Nicely balanced with a good creamy mouthfeel. Overall a wonderful offering from this brewery. I will definitely seek this one out again.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

"The blood of the just will be demanded of London,
Burnt by the fire in the year 66".

--Nostradamus (1503-1566)

[The Great Fire destroyed London in 1666]

Gorgeous, burnished copper-orange-red with bright orange peel trim. Nostradamus looks like a barleywine. The head is golden ecru in color (good) and is nearly featureless as it deflates (not so good). Although there's no lace, the fantastic color of the beer makes up for it.

The nose is unquestionably good, but I can't quite bring myself to bestow greatness upon it. Dark caramel and toffee share center stage. Also noted is a generous quantity of mellow, dark rum-soaked fruit. It isn't as spicy as some BSDAs, but I'm okay with that.

I love the flavor. My hope was that it would be a more explosive version of the nose... and that's exactly what it is. Like the nose, the flavor is dominated by figs and dates macerated in the finest dark rum. It also has an oaky character that puts me in mind of some of the heartier bourbons.

There's so much fruit flavor (plums in that sip!) that the beer is almost port wine-like. Spice still takes a back seat, but there's now an understand clove spiciness that adds character. All of the various members of the flavor profile meld into a beautiful, seamless whole. A remarkable achievement and a remarkable beer.

I was initially disappointed in the mouthfeel since I felt it was too light and too carbonated. It didn't take long, though, for both of those faults to be remedied. At the halfway point of the bottle, I'm becoming more and more impressed by the medium-full, well mannered, but still lively beer that greets my every sip.

Given my enjoyment of the only other Brasserie Caracole beers that I've had prior to today (Ambree and Saxo), I prophesized that Nostradamus would be to my liking. I'm impressed by this delicious BSDA and have no problem recommending it to anyone who likes great beer.

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Photo of Popsinc
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

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Photo of RoyalT
4.09/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This one was a murky brown in color, a bit on the light side, with a nice head that went down rather quickly but left some nice pits on top of the liquid.

Smell – There’s a ton of fun in this nose. The dark fruits are well-blended. I can pick up some cherries, plums, and a bit of tobacco, although I’m sure there are many more that I’m missing. It has some big sugary candy cane as well. The backbone is very bready malt, nicely toasted.

Taste – The alcohol and candy cane came out more at the taste, otherwise this tasted just like it smelled. I liked the balance a bit better at the nose, however.

Mouthfeel – Bigger than medium but not full in the body, this one has some nice carbonation and just a hint of alcohol.

Drinkability – This is an alcoholic sleeper, so watch out. I had the little 330ml bottle but a bomber will get your head spinning. Other than that, this went down quite well. I see some of the other BAs had this on-tap. What a treat that must have been!

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Photo of DaPeculierDane
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Porty and equal in complexity to a nice glass of porto. Dark, hazy plum-brown, barley wine like color. Large crown, short retention, little to no lacing. Nose is dominated strongly by dark caramels and toffees. Rum soaked dark fruits and banana come through in the end. Taste is a blend of rum and port. Oak is present adding a slight bourbon quality, but over all the dark fruits shine through best…mainly figs. More carbonated than most BSDAs. Medium body that improves greatly as the beer warms. (It seemed a bit thin at first but that went away as some of the carbonation settled out and the beer warmed). Very, very drinkable.

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Photo of beerhunter13
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of dcurrin
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: Brown 750 ml bottle, no freshness date though the alcohol is certainly high enough for an extended shelf life.

Appearance: Dark brown with bright ruby hues, mild chill hazed with a very active carbonation. Bubbly frothy lace that holds well from the higher carbonation.

Smell: Very noticeable racy solvent and estery higher alcohols, expressive fruitiness with some suggestions of berries, ripe pear and plum. A sweet aroma to say the least.

Taste: Brash biting carbonation, bit slick on the tongue. Big fruity juicy middle with mild herbal phenols and pronounced dark malt that throws some chocolate into the mix and feigns a chocolate covered berry flavour. Touch of hop bitterness slides in with the phenols to add some balance. Alcohols catch-up with the palate and lay down some heavy estery and mildly solvent warmth, fruitiness expands into some grape and dried tropical fruits. Malt comes through a bit more middle to end bread crust and husk, slightly puckering nuttiness from the yeast sets in also. Finishes dry and a touch fluffy.

Notes: Big, dry and in you face. Flavours flare out just about everywhere with a broad complexity. A brew to savour as a night cap after a big meal to settle the body … sip and enjoy.

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Photo of steelerguy
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
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.

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Photo of Pandaflute
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%

Photo of Todd
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

What a great beer. Complex and powerful, but also highly drinkable. Its fizzy carbonation also helps to make this beer deceivingly light on the palate. Would make a nice night cap, or pair nicely with rich chocolate sweets.

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Photo of R_Kole
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of bishopdc0
3.75/5  rDev -7.4%

Photo of TimoP
4/5  rDev -1.2%

Photo of petewheeler
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Brew at this level goes to show you that beer can be just as complex if not more complex than wine. I could see paring this with a light chocolaty treat or to as a digestif. Very tasty without any of the flavours being too much to handle.

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Photo of merlin48
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz bottle pours a cloudy, orange tinted brown body with a minimal, beige head that quickly drops into some attractive, sheet lacing.

Aroma is complex, with molasses and brown sugar fronting some bigtime maltiness. Quite spicy, with cloves, nutmeg, and cinamon.

Mouthfeel features a Belgianesque, explosion of carbonation, like a Pez candy tablet that melts on your tongue.

Taste is spiced caramel malt, burnt candy sugar, and an assertive alcohol presence of rum soaked raisins and figs. Some chocolate malt character comes on midway through. The alcohol maltiness is harsh, at times, and hurts drinkability.

This is a big, malty, strong dark ale with a lot of spicy character. The alcohol is in your face most of the way, but there are enough complexities in the spice and malt to make it an afterthought. Very warming, overall, but not my favorite for the style.

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Photo of BlueHammer
4.7/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

First sip reaction: excellent. This beer was served to me at the Half Door, in Hartford, CT. It was served still in the bottle and I poured it myself.

The lighting was a bit dim in this particular restaurant but it appeared to pour a light to medium brown color with a slight purplish hue. It appeared lighter still when held to the light. The smell was fruity but not overwhelming. It poured with a thick head that disappated quickly with no lacing. The initial taste was of raisins and prunes. The beer is served chilled but it warms immediately upon going down. It finishes sweet. Nostradamus is smooth and delicious, and quite literally had a taste that made me feel happy!

I nursed this beer slowly as I ate an appetizer. Intersting to note is that the taste did not particularly improve as the beer sat. In fact, it tasted almost stale within about 15 minutes.

It's a great beer! But I recommend drinking it fairly quickly!

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Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ouncer purchased at Cable Bev. in Bardonia, NY. No freshness info offered. This little beauty pours muddy dark brown, cloudy, under a typical medium tan head, that seems to leave moderate scattered lacing. Sugary, raisiny nose. Nice drinking brown Belgian, notes of sweet, rummy raisins, dark fruits and drying hops late. Pleasant, fruity, plummy, doughy ale. alcohol well hidden. NIce stuff, well worth a try or two.

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Photo of MisterDeeds
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
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.

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Photo of reitzbrewing
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%

Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to zdk9 for sharing this bottle.

The beer pours an orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is toffee with some earthy hops. The flavor is great. It is a mix of brown sugar, toffee, Begian yeast, alcohol and something resembling oak. The beer is very sweet and the toffee and brown sugar stand out. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of olradetbalder
3/5  rDev -25.9%

Photo of JohnnyBarman
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330mL bottle from the Conestoga LCBO. Never heard of this brew before, but looks intriguing.

Poured into a goblet. Deep caramel-chestnut, about a half inch of lively head that recedes into a sturdy ring. Some lacing.

Nose is brown sugar, caramel, some fruit - figs, raisins or grapes - mild yeast.

Initially quite dry, but this brew really deserves some extra breathing time before things really get going. Sweet and sugary at first, with some of that figgy fruit taste coming in near the finish, along with some chocolate and medicinal herbs. Not bad, actually.

Carbonation is quite aggressive at first - again, letting the brew breathe helped a great deal. It did help the give the brew a lighter quality, however.

Interesting Belgian dark that I found I enjoyed more and more with each sip.

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 932 ratings