Nostradamus | Brasserie Caracole

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding
513 Reviews
NostradamusNostradamus
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole
Belgium

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

BEER STATS
Reviews:
513
Ratings:
890
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
14.29%
 
 
Wants:
60
Gots:
101
For Trade:
2
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Reviews: 513 | Ratings: 890
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.19/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a hazy/cloudy dark brown colored beer with a below average head which lack retention. Aroma consists of a strange mix of spices (cardamome??) and some very light roastiness. The mix of spices seems to be even more present while I drink this but the roastiness seems to have disappeared. Body is above average but carbonation could be better for Belgian Ale). Alcohol can be detected in the end, which I don’t particularly enjoy. Overall, this one leave me a bit perplex because I did enjoyed the spice but the lack of roastiness and the fact that the alcohol is way too detectable leave me hanging a bit.

 620 characters

Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich garnet, into a Caracole tulip. Plume of steady carbonation feeds a dense head of foam. Smells of plum & caramel malt. Reminds me of a Scotch ale or Wee Heavy almost.

Taste is very smooth, roasted malt, caramel, plum, slight mineral quality. It's nice how the plum comes through overall, it's a great flavor specific to certain Belgians (De Dolle Extra Export Stout also comes to mind).

Mouthfeel is smooth, very easy to drink. Nice roasty grain/malt aftertaste, with a mild sweetness that isn't overdone. My favorite offering from this brewery.

A 750ml bottle could easily disappear in a session...

edit: 33cl bottle serving, noted an odd medicinal note that stuck around, even after sitting in the glass for awhile. Could be an old bottle...picked up a 4-pack, hope this isn't a trend.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.41/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle acquired in Strasbourg, France, and poured into an An Brainblasta goblet in Belfort, France. Reviewed live. Bottle was unlabelled, with a plain blue cap. The shopkeeper had to identify for us per our query.

A: Two and a half finger head of slight tan colour, slight cream, and good thickness. Great retention for the high ABV. Nontransparent dark amber colour.

Sm: Alcohol, tinges of dark fruit, and caramel. A strong scent due to the alcohol.

T: Lovely dark fruit ester hops, caramel complementary of the full barley foundation, and some assorted layered amber hops that emerge fully for the climax. Alcohol is nowhere to be had. Some spices are present on the fringes. A bit of cream is there on the open. Nicely complex if a but unfocused. Very balanced.

Mf: Nicely coarse, especially for the climax, which coaxes out the flavour. Wet and nearly refreshing. Mostly suits the flavour of the body.

Dr: Very drinkable, with a high ABV that is unnoticeable, and adequate refreshment. Pretty fairly priced for an import at 4.40 quid in Strasbourg.

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with flecks of red. It had a foamy, off-white, two-finger head that left some nice lacing.

S - It smelled sweet. There were aromas of caramel and buscuity maltiness.

T - It tasted sweet and malty with floral hoppiness. A little alcohol taste, too.

M - It was soft and smooth. It had a warm alcohol presence. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice Belgian beer. Maybe a little pricey, but still very good.

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

"Belgian Brown" according to the label.

Pours a nice head in the snifter with plenty of lacing. Dark amber color. Robust nose of bananas and brown sugar. Flavors of caramel and candy. A touch of acidity with sort of a tangerine citrus edge. Hops come through in the aftertaste, rather bitter. Complex and murky flavors with a touch of sweet vermouth.

Good for after dinner sipping. I don't know how well this shows in the much-traveled bottle. I'd like to try it on tap to see if the flavors might be fresher and more focused.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, corked & caged. The cork is dated 1/2002 so it's just 10 months old. As is the case with most Caracole beers, I feel this needs to age a bit to dry it out a little and increase the carbonation level. This bottle is a bit young and I'm disappointed that I didn't age it. That said... ... A rough pour brings up a short and foamy light tan head that rests shortly over a slightly hazy and deep copper body. The head drops, but keeps a good collar and light surface covering throughout the glass. The nose expresses mild dark fruit and sweet toffee-ish malt with some clear alcohol. The body is light/medium with an exceptionally fine but limited carbonation that's very soft and smooth in the mouth. The flavor starts malty and stays malty, displaying a lightly woody character, some fruitiness (including ripe berries and a gentle cherry), a mild but quite sweet toffee-ish note, and a noteable alcohol. It's rich but not really complex. The bitterness is limited but balances well, and makes a minor appearance at the swallow. It finishes dry - probably more from a high alcohol content than bitterness - with a mild licorice-like note. A really nice beer that probably makes a better apertif or nightcap than it does dinner companion or drinking buddy.

 1,268 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
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 superspak
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into tulip glass, best before 1/28/2015. Pours crystal clear deep ruby red color with a 2 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a good amount of streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of big raisin, plum, fig, pear, apple, banana, caramel, toast, biscuit, candi sugar, light chocolate, bubblegum, herbal, floral, light pepper, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and dark malt notes; with great strength. Taste of raisin, plum, pear, apple, fig, banana, caramel, toast, biscuit, candi sugar, light chocolate, light bubblegum, pepper, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Fair amount of earthy yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, pear, apple, fig, banana, caramel, toast, biscuit, light chocolate, candi sugar, light bubblegum, light pepper, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Damn nice complexity of fruity/earthy yeast and dark malt flavors; with a great malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a smooth, crisp, and lightly slick/pricky mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is a excellent Belgian strong dark ale. All around great complexity and balance of fruity/earthy yeast and dark malt flavors; and very smooth and crisp to sip on for the ABV. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,574 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

 1,052 characters

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

On-tap 12/30/06 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a good-sized off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of yeast, apricot, dark fruits and caramelized malt.

T: The sweet tastes of caramel and apricot hit first. Quickly following are the strong Belgian yeast flavor and some hops bitterness that transition into the after-taste.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not very filling, ABV is well-hidden, overall it’s a very good beer, but it normally wouldn’t be my first choice.

 668 characters

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Gullifty's, Wayne, PA

Poured a reddish brown with a small tan head that recedes to a layer of bubbles. Bready aroma with a cavalcade of dark dried fruits. Taste of caramel and molasses; dark dried fruits: raisins, plums, black cherries. Finishes off with a sugar sweetness and an alcohol bite. Medium mouthfeel, a bit syrupy, but overall very drinkable.

 375 characters

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

Thanks for this bottle, carlos.
Poured into a Caracole tulip chilled.

A - Decants a caramel brown w/ a tan 3.5 finger head of full fluffy bubbles. The head hangs on for hours.

S - Warm scents of brown sugar and spice.

M - Full, malty, smooth and spicy w/ a mellow carbonation.

T - Deep full currant and raisin like vinous qualities w/ a touch of caramelized sugar and vanilla. Bitter fruit flavors like pomegranate and quince are complementary as well as subtle hints of molasses in the finish. The dark maltiness in the finish gives the flavor an overall depth of dark sweetness. A ripe banana flavor pervades the overall experience.

D - A very tasty brown belgian ale, but more than a bit strong (9%) and is filling so it is less than great in the drinkability. It has many layers and is complex in intensity, though.

 835 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle with a BBD of March 08 (batch F)

Pours an ever so slightly hazed chestnut (orange red when when held to a good light) with 3 fingers of sand colored head.

S: Chocolate & nuttyness

T: Chocolate, breadyness, a slight iron & brown sugar flavor up front. A pleasant warming alcohol sensation comes through as this ale heats up to room temp. Finishes fruity, warming with candy sugar nuances

MF: Prickly up front, giving way to mediun body & chewyness as this warms

Drinks alright to good, this is a good, not great Belgian brown that maybe could've stood some more aging

 596 characters

Photo of Jason
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
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 Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Eulogy (Philly) - served in glass chalice:

Dark caramel-colored with a thin, lasting head.

The smell is of caramel, brown sugar and some sour apple.

The taste is sweet - caramelish and brown sugar - with apple and pear fruitiness - Potent alcohol weaves in and out.

Medium-to-full bodied, smooth.

Sweetness and alcohol slow it down, but a smoothness and nice taste make it quite drinkable. Nice complexity. A nice BSDA to sip on!

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Photo of johnnnniee
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a solid dark brown with garnet highlights when held to light, smallish beige head sticks around but slowly becomes a cap on top. Caramel, prunes, burnt sugar, dark fruits fill the air as soon as I pop the cap on this bad boy. Sweet dark sugar malty aroma with nary a hop in sight, er ah smell. Taste is sweet, caramel, brown sugar, dark pitted fruit fill the palette. Hints of warming alcohol come and go but help to break up the sweetness. Has some doppelbock qualities to it. Thick body with a modest level of carbonation and a sweet almost syrupy mouthfeel. Great Belgian Strong Dark! I might have to see if I can get this locally.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bright crimson color, hazy, and gorgeous, huge, luscious head, a beigey-near-green thing, altogether a picture of beauty...urging me for the next sensory experience...ah, this is the stuff, the nose is tickled by this deliciousness, dark fruit, vibrant spice, grape and clove in harmony, alive and sizzling...perfectly plays out exactly what is desired..cheers to that...
A repetition on the palate, a revisitation by these same full flavors, a big buzz on the tongue, a rich, sumptuous repast, unmatchable...well, maybe...but i'm so content that I toss about hyperbole with utter abandon...spicy, zesty, rich and fruity, a tangible tingle all throughout the duration...zam, bam, boo-ram!!!
This is my first taste of this excellent ale, and I'm damned glad to have drunk it. "Belgian brown ale" says the label, but it's not like any other brown ale, from anywhere...possesses a zest that only the luckiest and happiest should take as their succur...and no matter what you were before, when you have it, you are one of them...I said "yum" already, right? No? Well, to nail it in the shell of the nut, ...there you go...yum, yummy, yummers...

 1,142 characters

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

Poured from the 11.2 fl oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Deep red chestnut brown, with an almost purple sheen to it for the body color. Head is only a finger tall but settles to a thin and creamy tan puck. Solid collar around, and a good amount of fine carbonation.

Classic Belgian dark notes on the nose, with some complexity. Good notes of raisin and figs, with a sweet caramel sense and candi sugar. Hints of mild acid and a bit of balsamic vinegar tucked away also. Clove. Nutmeg. Even some dark spicy brown bread crust too. very nice.

Champagne like crisp carbonation, slightly gaseous on the palate but doesn't take away too much on the flavor. Simple more raisin chewy quality in the mid palate. Some surprising cherry like sweetness as well. A bit of effervescent kick on the finish which is a bit unexpected but quite nice.

Comes off like a somewhat spritzy tight Belgian ale, but isn't overboard on the sweetness. Handles classic dark fruit component real nicely too. Solid brew.

 1,003 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +1%
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.

 422 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

04/10/06- Purchased at a B.C. Provincial Liquor Store in Kelowna, B.C.

Presentation- 11.2oz bottle. No freshness info indicated. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Deep chestnut in color, Pours with a full inch plus off white head. A nice thick ring remains throughout. Better than average lacing as well.

Smell- Smells very vinous in nature with dark fruits off plum and raisins. Maybe a bit of a earthy scent as well.

Taste- Started and finished this one at room temperature. Thick textured in nature. Sweet with a slight sour twinge in the swallow. Fairly heavy dose of raisins and grapes. As is leaves your taste a mellow dark malty flavor comes in.

Mouthfeel- Pretty thick. Not really creamy, but a heavier mouthfeel. A bit higher than average carbonation level as well.

Drinkability- Very tasty and flavorful. Nice dark fruit mixture. Worth seeking out and trying.

 893 characters

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

Got a bottle for $8.50 at Abe's Cold Beer. This reminded me a bit of the dark Unibroue's for the rich grape and date flavor. This beer drinks a little thinner, however, with a mellow, earthy/dirty spice aftertaste. It is on the sweet side, but it's fairly balanced and reasonably drinkable for the strength. The aroma was a touch weak, but still full of those pleasant fruit and herbal elements. I'd say this one is worth a try.

 428 characters

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

The beer pours a dark ruby red color with a thick frothy offwhite head that fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a wonderful malty scent that is both creamy and tart. It boasts of pale and crystal malts along with a fruity yeast aroma. The taste is good. It has a complex malt bill that is rich in Belgian crystal malts. It goes down easy and mellows on the finish. For having an elevated abv., it is a smooth drinker. The mouthfeel is good. It is a full bodied beer with adequate to good carbonation. This is a damn good brew. It has excellent aroma and taste; a good drinker.

 584 characters

Photo of Tone
3.63/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy brown color with some suspended yeast. 1/3 inch head of a maize color. Decent retention and decent lacing. Smells of tart malt strongly, then sweet malt and some slight fruit aromas underneath. Fits the style of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with high carbonation level. Taste strongly of tart malt up front, a general dryness throughout the brew, and some sweet malt in the finish.

 423 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.72/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another Caracole bottle from mmurphy525, thanks Matt. 330ml bottle into a tulip.

Pours a very dark mahogany, with some muted ruby highlights visible when held to the light. Foamy cream coloured head, with some mild retention and minor lacing. Nose of dried fruits, some raisin and dates, faint grapes, brown sugar and some sweeter notes. An almost roasted quality with a touch of vanilla. Taste holds some brown sugar, caramelized dark fruits with a relatively substantial alcohol punch. Lighter chocolate notes, and the mildest of metallic notes. Medium full feel with a significant effervescene. Alcohol stings and clears the nostrils here, and really impedes its drinkability. Maybe something I should've saved for the winter months.

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
4.06 out of 5 based on 890 ratings.
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