Nostradamus | Brasserie Caracole

915 Ratings

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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Ratings: 915 |  Reviews: 519
Photo of axeman9182
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, the last of my volunteer haul from BBF, poured into my Duvel tulip.

The beer pours a fairly deep brown, without creeping into black territory. There may be a hint of maroon in the color as well, and Nostradamus has faint amber highlights. The head is somewhere between bone and khaki, and a decent roughly two and a half fingers in height. The problem is that retention is below average ofr the style, and and lacing is 100% nonexistent... very disappointing. The nose is a bit weak, and all I can make out are notes of chocolate and some plums and figs. It doesn't smell bad, but I hope there's a bit more to the beer than that. Nostradamus is a bit of an odd duck for a BSDA flavor wise. It's possibly the cleanest tasting beer of the style I've ever tried in that flavors imparted by the yeast are kept to a minimal clove background note. A wonderful bouquet of malty notes provide the lion's share of flavor. There's a very smooth milk chocolate presence, which I guess shouldn't be surprising given that the bottle identifies itself as a Belgian brown ale. There's also the expected sweet dark fruits showing up, noticeably so. Caramel plays more of a background note. There's also a slight warming sensation from alcohol, but Nostradamus stops well short of being boozy. If the chocolate was a little bit less overpowering I'd probably give it a 5, but as is it's just short of perfection. The body is very good, manages not to become to heavy, which is always a concern with such a big, malt forward beer. Carbonation is a bit uneven though, it explodes when it first hits the front of my tongue, but fizzles out quick, so that the beer starts edging into being syrupy by the end of the sip. It's a shame Nostradamus isn't much of a looker, because it's a pretty tasty beer, and a nice changeup from the standard BSDA.

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

330 ml bottle.

A: Slightly cloudy dark brown pour, tan head, decent lacing.

S: Raisins, plums, brown bread, spices.

T: Vinous, brown bread, molasses, alcohol warmth, dark fruit.

M: A little thin, but decent carbonation. Well attenuated.

D: Excellent, well-balanced. Sweet up front but a nicely dry finish and good carbonation to keep it from being cloying. I'm curious if the 750 ml presentation is different than the 330 ml.

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Photo of mlazzaro
4.16/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great presentation in the bottle. Pours a brown ale. head is brown as well. Impressively transparent. very visually appealing. smells of dark candi sugar/ caramel. also aromas of clean smelling yeast. Fermentation is clean tasting. great flavors. easy drinking, smooth beer. I am absolutely amazed by this ABV, so well hidden. great complexities in the sip. balanced out wonderfully. really good brew. I wish I had more.

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
4.79/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lot FGHX. 'Best before' code is confusing, but it seems to read 03/2012. Didn't Nostradamus predict the end of the world in 2012? Maybe it should just read "drink before the end."

Served just under 50°F. Synthetic cork pops with ease.

A: Nostradamus pours deep, deep, brown with fire red highlights against the light. It's clear enough to see all the way through. A half-finger yellowed brown head rises and falls to a cream, leaving pseudo-lacing that spiderwebs into thin strands on the glass and then falls into the brew.

S: The nose is an explosion of fruity and lightly-spiced esters. Most noticeable is a blast of bubblegum, followed by grapefruit, plum, and fig. There is an underlying heat, leading to a delightfully complex spectrum of scents. As it warms, the nose sweetens. Phenomenal.

T: Following up the great smell is a sweet, smooth, and hot taste. Alcoholic heat is present but subtle, and accentuates the raisins, plums, caramel, chocolate, cherries, and toffee. The flavor is well-rounded and balanced. Nostradamus is a candy bar in a bottle.

M: Full bodied, and slightly chewy, with good, soft carbonation. Surprisingly smooth.

D: High. One of my favorites!

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Photo of cnally
3.17/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

I see the future...a buzz...some PS3...

A mostly opaque caramel brown color in the body with an off white large bubbled head with a tinge of gold.

The aroma really comes strong with dark fruits, some fig, plum and currant. A well positioned dark toasted malt dominates between the fruitiness.

Flavor continues with the fruits. Dried fruits are more like it because the sugars taste like they are modified, like a dried apricot, prune, a musty flavor of sorts. There is an acrid off-flavor in there, which is entirely distracting, like iodine. Finish redeems some of the off-putting qualities, with a little bitterness.

Mouthfeel is nice, balanced, evenly carbonated and smooth.

Maybe I have an off bottle, but the flavor reminds me of bad batches I brewed when I used iodine. The off flavor is overwhelming. The feel is nice, but really, this is a big average beer for me to finish.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
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 IronDjinn
4.75/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to Jim at Sherbrooke for the sample. Came in a 330 ml brown bottle, abv. listed as 9%. Dark, dense nut brown in colour, turns to bright oaky highlights when held to direct light. Quick creamy beige head that settle to a thin cap.

Remarkable aroma that fills the room. Rich caramelized malts, figs, dates and raisins, milk chocolate and carob nut, currants, pear, and Gala apple.

Flavour holds toffee and sweet caramelized malt up front, dates and black currant rising in the middle, a little swish of milk chocolate, with mildly tart notes of pear and apple on the finish. Wow! I can't do it justice, it all works together amazingly.

Medium-bodied mouthfeel, slick, with some brisk carbonation.

An incredibly well-crafted Strong Dark Belgian, very well put together. Enchanting even. This is one definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of IceTrey9785
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Part of a mix-six pack at the store...

A: Poured the beer into a nice Burgundy glass -- really rich mahogany notes, with a really interesting lacing around the rim, and a few patches along the top of the brew...

S: The initial sensation is that of brown sugar -- I feel like I'm eight years old eating oatmeal again. Brown sugar and maple syrup really make up the aroma. There is also a hint of bittersweet chocolate, and caramel. A lingering note of black fruit follows -- I get some blueberry, blackberry, and fig after the brew has come to temperature.

T&M: The initial hit is definitely sweetness, but it is a balanced sweetness -- dark chocolate covered blackberries with a finish of strong coffee. The mid-palate erupts with this crisp vegetable notion -- similar to a dirt covered cucumber. I also find a tartness, or acidic quality that might ring of bitter coffee, but tends to take a more fruit-forward approach -- I can't place it directly, but I'm leaning towards lychee...(call me crazy). The beer is rich, but the texture is everything -- complex, and rough, but very smooth and everlasting on the finish.

This is excellent. I'm not sure that I want one every night, but the general degree of intellectual engagement in such a beer is amazing. I've never had to think THIS hard about what the hell I'm smelling and tasting. Super-complex, and very rewarding -- definitely in my top five favorite beers of all time...

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Photo of vandemonian
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nostradamus has a light brown colour and a head that disappears fairly quickly. Some lacing is maintained at the edge of the glass throughout. The smell is of roasty coffee and is quite nutty.
This beer has a nice malty flavour with a sweet raison flavour too. There is a bitter coffee flavour that comes through in the aftertast and the alcohol is noticeable once the rest of the flavour fades away.

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Photo of JRed
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep red in body with large off-white head resting on top. Alcohol, prunes, and syrup in the nose. Sugars, alcohol, rock candy, and syrup in the taste. Medium bodied with light carbonation. A sweet drink throughout with some burn from the alcohol. A typical Belgian sugar bomb.

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Photo of TairyGreene
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Excellent Brewery, not too pretentious or modern. Any Brewery still firing their boil with wood is okay with me.

Always been a long-time favorite. Mild fruit on the nose, with a sprawling grain feature and rustic clay-like indication.

Flavor is focused, I love that. Not to sloppy. The yeast is clearly familiar with these fermentables. Faint sugar left behind, with a decent attenuation and mild alcoholic twinge. Roasted malts work well in tandum with the dark-fruit esters. The yeast is clearly the star of this show.

Don't be afraid to let this beer age. I've had a few vintages from three to four years back, they soured nicely with an intentional flavor. Not accidental at all IMHO.

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Photo of Pencible
3.7/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: This poured a translucent dark cherry with moderate tan head.
S: It smelled like wild Belgian yeast with copper hops and caramel, with some raisin.
T: It tasted like raisins and caramel and Belgian yeast, with a bit of cocoa powder and aluminum. It had a bittersweet metallic aftertaste.
M: It was slightly thick with moderate carbonation.
D: This had a good scent and taste, but it wasn't super clean or complex. The body was good not great, but the alcohol was well hidden, so it wasn't difficult to drink. An enjoyable beer, but not one of my favorite dark Belgians.

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Photo of aasher
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
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 Georgiabeer
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
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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Photo of djmitche
4.82/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

At Villains in Chicago, and at Smaakcafe 't Poatersgat in Brugges. The head was coarse and foamy and fell quickly. The color is a dark brown with a distinct ruby tone - unexpected for a dark.

The nose has spur cherries and some vinegar, leading to the expectation of some sourness. But don't be fooled! The taste is warm and sweet, with a nice caramel background. The mouthfeel is full without bring heavy.

The finish has a funny, dull bitter "hook" to it that cuts the sweetness without going overboard. I love it - I just don't know what it is! I've only enter tasted this in St. Bernardus Abt 12 before.

Nostradamus is similar to Abt 12, but a bit more sweet.

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Photo of perrymarcus
3.57/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

11.2oz bottle served in oversized wineglass.

pours a murky, amber/brown tone with a half finger of off-white head the dissipates quickly, some lacing. smell is sweet; dark fruits, yeast, and spices. first sip is very sweet, with a vague, almost wine-like quality. raisins, plums, malts, spices, and yeast. tasty, yes, but not delicious. moderately carbed with a full mouthfeel. all in all this is a solid beer; i'm enjoying it. that said, IMO there are much better representations of the style.

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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 metter98
4.39/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer poured cloudy amber-brown in color with an off white head that quickly dissipated into a thin layer of bubbles that consistently covered the surface.
S: There are moderate, sweet aromas of dark fruits in the nose.
T: Like the smell, the taste is rather fruity and sweet and has some complexities with hints of spices.
M: It feels medium-bodied and smooth on the palate.
D: The beer is very easy to drink and the alcohol is masked from the smell and taste.

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Photo of crossovert
3.72/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

11.2 oz bottle.

Pours a dark brown with a fizzy off-white head. The head dissipates rather quickly and leaves no lacing.

The smell is ripe with raisins, dates, purple grapes, wine tones, brownie, and just overall sweet dark fruit flavors.

The taste is similar, a malt bomb filled with every dark fruit flavor under the sun. There is some more caramel and toffe in the taste as well as a hint of coffee.

This one is heavy and alcoholic, but it provides an array of malt flavors perhaps unmatched by any other brew. It is complex but a bit too sweet and alcoholic but overall a solid brew.

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Photo of zeeksterusa
4.65/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

drinking it now in Belgium...

- green apple aroma, really amazing, need to experience this

- smooth taste, highly drinkable

- beautiful color, incredible appearance

- bright smell with tons of depth in every sip

- more to come after my night...


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Photo of Radome
3.06/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Served from bottle into goblet.

A - Cloudy and opaque with a medium brown color. Head is almost non-existent, but there is a little lacing on the glass. There is a large amount of dark brown, clumpy sediment. The beer looks a little "muddy" and not all that appetizing.

S - Smell is sweet and savory at the same time. It is all malt and no hops, as expected for the style. There is a thick musk like mushrooms and Asian plum sauce that doesn't sound nice, but makes me want to take a sip.

T - Taste matches the smell with sweet and savory malt and yeast notes. I get the plum sauce again and other dark fruits, as well as savory notes almost like soy sauce. It is complex, but also a bit muddled to me.

M - Thick mouthfeel and almost totally flat. Better carbonation would help lighten the experience a bit.

D - I can't help wondering if I got a bad or very old bottle. The first impression of muddy and murky held throughout. This was very disappointing based on the beer and brewery's reputation.

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

Appearance: Nostradamus pours a turbid and dark amber-to-rust brown along with a moderately high, fluffy and beige crown which leaves the insides of the glass disinherited of lacing.

Smell: Floral as funkadelic hippies on a midsummers meadow, a deep cherry-syrup sweetness, not all too surprising but all the more mesmerizing as it's intermixed with a malty caramel-aftertaste.

Taste: Overall rather sweet, notes of sour apples, dark fruits immersed in rum pop up during this ride, finished off with a slightly caramelly with a mellow bitterness in the end.

Mouthfeel: Full, smooth and with a very warming feel thanks to the alcohol present.

Drinkability: Wonderfully poised in its respective sensory compartments and thus -- strikingly pleasant.

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Photo of GPHarris
4.47/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a one finger thick tan and bubbly head into a tulip glass that left a nice sheet that eventually settled into a very thin ring. the body was a reddish-purple with the slightest of haze.
s - sweet like caramel and toffee with a hint of cinnamon and spice.
t - dark fruits like raisins with a hint of breadiness. the finish was more winelike.
m - creamy and bubbly.
d - delicious! i have never even heard of this beer until i saw it in a wine shop that has a great beer selection. i will go to this one again and again.

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Photo of unseenbyyou
4.68/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank a taster of this at local beer bar in Alhambra:

It was my first taster of the night, and definitely stood out against all other beers--save for bosteel's tripel

The color was a beautiful brown with a hint of red and gold... not much head

Smell did not strike me...nothing given away to the nose

the taste, now that is where I was happy to be drinking a belgian...some spices, but no taste of alcohol whatsoever, smooth sailing the beginning and at the end, the beer was smooth, only drawback, it did not leave a lasting impression on the tastebuds like a barrel aged beer does

drinkability..for 9.5% abv it was immensely drinkable, like an abt 12 or delirium noel...just goes down so easy

highly recommended

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Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy golden-brown color that darkens in the center of the glass and has a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of caramel malts with good amounts of toffee-covered medium fruits - dates and green apples with hints of pears.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Sweet caramel malt flavors with large amounts of butterscotch and toffee notes kick things off. Hints if milk chocolate flavors enter into things shortly thereafter but fade quickly to allow for good amounts of fruit flavors - dates and plums mostly with hints of green apples. The ending is crisp and on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is also good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall this is a nice beer but nothing special. Worth a shot.

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 915 ratings
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