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Nostradamus | Brasserie Caracole

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513 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole

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

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Reviews: 513 | Ratings: 890
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.

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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.

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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

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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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Photo of Mora2000
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
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 LiquidAmber
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a dark orange brown amber with a slight off-white head leaving a ring around the glass. Aroma of dark fruits, light spice and hint of sour. Sweet dark fruits, a bit of cherry and malts progressing to a bittersweet, somewhat dry finish. Nice progression of flavors; quite nicely made. Medium bodied with pleasant carbonation. Another nice Caracole.

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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.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Date best by Dec 06. This was given to me as a subsitute for another bottle of something else. At first I thought I would not like it, but it's very very good. I've had other brown ale's (domestic) and did not care for them at all, but this is another story. Pours a dark brown in color with a huge head. After awhile the head disapated and left some nice lacing. Scents of caramel and malt. There's a nice sweet taste with a medium body. At 9.5% and sweet in flavor, watch out, it will catch up to you in a couple of bottles.

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Very well carbonated. Pours a lightly hazy garnet-amber color. The head is a light brown and quite thick. Aromas of raisins, apples, plum, candied fruit, bit of tropical fruit, and malt. Predominantly sweet and quite carbonated. Finishes with a yeasty astringent bite and a tannic edge that helps to balance the sweetness. The alcohol is just evident in the finish as well. This is quite a fruity beer, the sweetness definitely picks up this perception. There is a bit of a acidic sourness in the finish that really sets off this beer, I wish that it were even more sour (but I am off like that). This is pretty straight forward, with nice fruity notes being dominant. As it warms up the fruitiness combined with the sourness gives me notes of cherries. This is quite a tasty beer, at first I thought it was not as good as the others from Caracole, but this one is growing on me and I definitely like it.

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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.

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Photo of biegaman
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nostradamus - the beer - reveals nothing. The dark brown colour and marble complexion make it so that you can't see anything inside. Saying much of anything about it is extremely difficult, especially since this bottle poured out completely flat (over-carbonation had made previous experiences quite messy, but decorative nonetheless).

Belgian yeasts have a serious talent for drama - they are typically loud with bombastic fruit and flaming spice - but this strain is actually quite tame. While you're likely to find traces of clove or pepper, the nose is actually rather sweet and simple. Brown sugar and raisins make a pleasant, if straightforward bouquet.

Many Belgian ales have layers of fruit flavour. This offering has only the one: raisin. Sure, I could entertain the notion of figs and prune, maybe even a squirt of orange juice, but essentially what you smelled is what you get - raisins and brown sugar. It is not as layered as a Quad and lacks the savory dimension of a Dubbel. Put another way: I feel I'm missing out a little...

The fact that Nostradamus is dark, high in alcohol and bottle-conditioned means it can age, which is good because the bubbles are as hyperactive as a classroom of kids with A.D.D. They sting the palate like small electric shocks, numbing it from the beer's more nuanced malty notes. Otherwise, however, it is smooth, satiating, and full of dark candi sugar sweetness.

Nostradamus has a seductiveness that has less to do with its flavour and more in its ability to help you forget about the world in the recesses of alcohol. Still, come cold temperatures and dark nights, it is an invaluable asset. And while fashions change with time, rich and malty strong ales such as this are truly timeless. My prediction: you'll like it.

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

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours a red-brown, with a full white head, with good retention, and really nice Belgian lacing.

S: Lots of yeast character, apples, and malt.

T: Brown malt hits on the first sip, with a bit of treacle maltiness and sweetness, then ends with a really nice red apple character, apple peel and a bit of a hop bite and carbonation.

M: Smooth and crisp, alcohol is very well hidden.

D: A very good beer from Caracole, easy to drink, even at 9%, they certainly know what they're doing.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

33cl Bottle, drank on the seafront in the excellent 'Schildia' Knokke-Heist, Belgium.

Slightly cloudy and dull looking, a muddy brown colour with a tan head.

Aroma and taste were both rich. Treacle sweet in both also. Would have liked more body for a 9.5% beer. Interesting enough, but without the 'umph factor' for me.

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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.

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