Nostradamus | Brasserie Caracole

904 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: 904 |  Reviews: 514
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 djeucalyptus
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours a beautiful chestnut brown with red and amber accents into a tulip. A billowy three-finger caramel-tan head has decent retention, although slowly fades leaving behind nothing - save for a thin ring of light foam.

aroma is intoxicating. Aroma of caramel and malt with a healthy dose of Belgian fruity funk. bright cherries, apple cider, raisins, apricots, and a hint of rum. a bit of spice hides in the wings.

Taste is equally enjoyable and complex. figs, dates, plums and cherries with a woody, oaky rum essence. Some nice caramel malt and a bit of toffee to keep the spiced rum and fruit at bay. not fruity, but well fruited. almost reminiscent of a well-aged port with some belgian funk... delicious. as it warms, more woodiness and earthiness spring forth to my delight.

mouthfeel is powerful, but works well with the flavors. a bit thick with some aggressive carbonation. clean and smooth... the strong carbonation doesn't blow out the texture - it merely build it even more. a touch of bittering and a touch of sweet drying. this beer ven feels delicious.

This one is great for sipping and savoring, much as a tawny port. Drinkability is high for what it is - it goes down smoothly and the alcohol only rears its head subtly, which I absolutely love. This is one solid brew... an excellent example of the style, and definitely worth sampling.

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Photo of biggred1
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy chestnut with a big fluffy sand colored head that leaves beautiful sticky lace rings on the glass. Smells complex, notes of toffee, plum and lemon. Taste is also complex, raisins & cocoa with a tea-like bitterness in the finish. Gets real nice as it warms up, alcohol is very well hidden for such a powerful brew. Medium bodied and highly carbonated. Highly drinkable.

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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 ffejherb
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown, PA on 1/28/09.

A - Poured a murky brown body with amber highlights, mild carbonation and one-and-a-half fingers of bubbly tan head that retained well and left a bit of patchy lacing.

S - Complex aroma profile with sweet caramel and toffee notes, spicy Belgian yeast and dark fruit reminiscent of prunes and raisins. Subtle hints of dark chocolate and mint are also present. There's just a touch of alcohol in the back, but pretty tame overall for a 9.5% ABV beer.

T - Opens with quite a bit of sweet caramel malt and toffee notes, then segues into a chocolate aspect with a touch of spicy Belgian yeast to complement the sweetness. Finishes with tangy dark fruit, a bit of earthy hops and mint.

M - Medium to full-bodied with a rich, creamy texture and mild carbonation, resulting in a smooth mouthfeel overall. There is just a smidgen of heat from the alcohol content that provides a bit of warmth on the palate, but it is barely noticeable considering the high ABV. Finishes with a mild sour tang and a touch of earthy bitterness on the tongue.

D - Finally, a brown ale I can embrace. This is definitely not your typical ho-hum brown ale. Instead, I was treated to a smooth, complex brew that drank exceptionally well for a 9.5% ABV beer. Very nicely done!

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Photo of drperm
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle (750 mL) purchased August 2008; cellared until drinking date: January 2009.

This is a special beer.
Appearance: It pours (into my Caracole goblet!) a lovely burnt sienna with a creamy-white head. It's slightly cloudy, and yet retains a coppery shimmer nonetheless.

Aroma ("smell" seems so coarse and banal a word for something as luxurious as good beer): Uh-oh. My first thought is, "Oh, no. Run-of-the-mill generic bruin spin-off." Caramel sugar predominates, then leads into a polite hop balance and the ever-so-slightest funky-sour note. Ah, but wait. Let it linger in the glass, and in turn in the nose. It has much more to reveal...

Taste: Oh, this wins me over. MUCH more complex, creatively original, and satisfying than that first whiff would have led me to believe. White pepper, madeira, toffee, spring grass, walnut, and woodsy-hop with a tropical-citrus exit. And...what is that? Sulphur? (not in a bad way, but in a Burton-upon-Trent way). As it warms in the glass it continues to get even better and more complex.

Palate: Almost wine-like in its feel. Is there a high mineral content in the source water for this brew? Artesian well? This is exquisite.

Overall: Great, if ever-so-slightly sweet. Very vinous. This stuff is perfect with Chicken Marsala, and even better with spicy Senegalese peanut soup!!

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Photo of JordanChabot
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Found this fine brew buried in the craft beer section at one of my local, usually uninteresting, package stores.

They didn't know how it got there, as it was not in their system.

After 12 minutes, I was even more intrigued as this single bottle of beer caused chaos in this store full of unworthy folks. I had to have it, so I negotiated a price with them to reassure them that they were getting their money's worth. They didn't... this beer is priceless.

(Bless the person that put it there.... bless you.)

Knowing the characteristics of a typical Belgian Brown....I immediately cooked up a complimentary dish before even picturing opening it. Garlic, red onion, kalamata olives, black olives, mushroom, red peppers, pepperoncini, basil, oregano, marsala wine, Quinta olive oil, oregano, Parmesan/Romano cheese blend, and Gorgonzola over spaghetti.

Of course, I ran the risk of this beer being nothing close to what I expected, but, I had a great meal nonetheless.

So I open Nostradamus and it looks like I may have been all knowing mind of the future after all....

The beer pours a copper brown color and has a thick, off-white head that laces beautifully. The head stuck to the glass forming a perfect concave from bird's eye view. And the head stood there...with no plans of subsiding.

The aroma over powered the over spiced air of the kitchen immediately. Rich toffee and sweet crisp yeast filled the nose with a very slight alcohol bite. The token Belgian spice cleans out the sticky aromas so that you may have another smell.

The taste was unbelievable. Too vague? Let me explain....

It starts with a smooth body and thin but loose carbonation typical of well done brown ales. Sweet toffee sticks to the palate as dark fruit and spice fades in and out. Add the perfect touch of bottom fermenting yeast? Lees maybe? And you have an unrivaled brown Belgian style ale.

Please, try this with a strong cheese. I tried with Gorgonzola and could not get enough. The competition of the sweet ale and pungent cheese cause a reaction a chemist could not explain. Only something I or Nostradamus could have predicted.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a smallish tan head on top of a leather brown body. Smell comprised of dark fruits, figs, little citric hop notes and very mild roasted and sweet malts. A complex smell. A medium-bodied beer that made my face turn sour for a second, but then the beer flowed over my tongue smooth and a little creamy. Even finished sweet. A fruity taste along with sweetness with citric notes and touches of heavier fruits. Slightly dry hopping along with spices balance the beer out and complement its finish, although they're might just a touch of alkie burn. A great beer to slowly sip and enjoy.

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Photo of mdcrouser
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Brilliant brown and amber, with a great deal of suspended particulates floating throughout. A thin white ring of head sits atop this beer, serving as a magnet for tiny bubbles of carbonation rising to the top.

The nose is heavily yeasty, smelling (not surprisingly) like a good brewery or bakery where bread is being proofed.

Caramel and brown sugar flavors come to the fore as it comes to temperature.

Exceptionally light on the tongue, and a bit malty sweet, with crisp mouthfeel, this is a really easy drinking beer, but at 9.5%, not a sessioner.

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Photo of Gehrig
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Opaque mud brown color with burnt orange highlights, supporting two fingers of tan foam; good duration and ample lacing provide a good first impression. A good nose--not great, but good--with a good deal of fruit, especially plum, berry, and apple. I'd love for this to be a bit spicier, but it will do.

Excellent taste, very fruity and malty, smooth, rich and quite effervescent--but not overly so. Again, this could do with more spice, but this is where the exquisite mouthfeel ably assists the taste. Although the smell of this BSDA isn't quite up to snuff, the mouthfeel is. Effervescence and creamy malt co-mingle very well, drawing out the delicious fruit taste. I'm officially impressed.

Nostradamus is one that might require some time at room temperature, plus a little patience. It's really very good, a splendid BSDA well worth the attention of anyone who loves Belgian-style beer and especially aficionados of BSDA.


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

Poured this reddish brown beer into a pint glass. This belgian beer has brownish debree within the unfiltered beer. The foam that it presented was white in coloration. While it leaves a very thin laving. THe aroma that greets the nose is that of spiced fruit and caramel. While the taste matched it it also gave tones of the malts alcohol.

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Photo of JayQue
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice looking Belgian! Pours a hazy brown with reddish highlights into my Chimay goblet. Nice size white carbonated head that holds its own for a while despite the 9.5 abv. Leaves a sheeting type covering (I wouldn't call it lacing) on the glass when you tilt the beer up to drink.

Aroma is fairly mild for a Belgian. Some spiciness and fruit and a little alcohol.

Tastes good: spices (coriander?) Belgian candi sugar, caramel malt and raisins/plums. The alcohol is a hair too heavy but still not bad.

Mouthfeel is ok...a little richer and more tongue coating and a little less alcohol burn would be appreciated but it was good enough anyway.

Drinkability is good for a beer of its strength. I had a small bottle after another 6% beer and that was enough. Would make a good nightcap or after dinner beer

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beer bottle (33cl.), tasted in 2002.

Appearance : dark brown color, with tan foamy head.
Smell : sweet caramel malt aroma.
Taste and mouthfeel : very powerful, malty body accented with flavors of caramel and alcohol presence.
Drinkability : a good beer in the style Belgian strong dark ale.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Noted on the label as an 'Artisanal Belgian Special Brown Ale' and 9% ABV. It's very possible that the last time I tried this beer was at Brasserie Caracole more than two years ago. Picked up this 11.2 oz/330ml bottle on a whim a couple weeks ago; poured to a tulip glass.

A: Pretty - a dull, chestnut-hazed elixir residing beneath a mound of sparkling tan froth, cresting at 3-fingers and very slow to fall. Tight clusters of tiny carbonation rise on all sides. Very little lace sticks, but that's ok - the murky thickness and lasting heady presence are more than enough to merit a high score.

S: This may be the fault of my on-again-off-again nose, but I really don't get much from this brew, even as it warms. There's dripping caramel (and by that, I mean the gooey/melted sugary treat) and whiffs of a ripened, melon-like fruit, but they're pretty subtle.

T: Lots of grain and a sweet, candy-like spicing; screams 'Belgium!'. Yeast holds a raisin-like fruitiness, with cocoa, carob and toffee as near-equals. A tangy tartness, a zesty funkiness that captures all the fruit and grain and spice nuances. Ending is spicy, slightly dry in a peppered way and has some grasssy hopping. It's a complex brew that requires some mulling over.

M: Quite crisp and wonderfully carbonated, this is a busy beer in the mouth. Medium-full body, neither too bitter, nor too sweet. Veils its 9% weight well, though not entirely - a nice warmth, without being too obvious.

D: A fine Belgian Strong, worth of admiration and respect. All too drinkable, yet potent enough to be a once-only beer (or at least an end-of-night, sweet-dreams beer). Caracole has got a winner with this one; highly recommended.

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Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.48/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As the last beer of the night, this is a great caper. Served in a brewer-specific over-sized flute glass it looked opaque in the dimly lit venue, head was a finger of tiny white bubbles. The smell was not of beer but the smell of the season. This is an autumn beer. The name is appropriate because this is a contemplative beer; one to have while pondering and awaiting visions of the future. The taste was a pleasing blend of dark fruits. Raisin, plum, apple all have subtle presence here. For a strong beer this one is absolutely drinkable.

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

Poured from an 11.2oz bottle into a St. Bernardus chalice.

A: Pours a slightly hazed reddish-copper color with a creamy soft-pillow of light tan colored foam. The head retains for ages at about 1/2 finger and suddenly dissolves to a whispy skim and unbroken ring.

S: Delicious aromas of caramel, dark fruit, green apple, candi sugar, and spice. Also detected some elements of toasted malt and roasted chocolate malt.

T: Pretty much just read above. Incredible fresh-made caramel, spicy dark fruit, candi sugar, alcohol, toasted malt, cocoa, and underneath all of this is fruity Belgian yeast.

M: Thick, sweet, and creamy in the beginning, with a turn towards dry and spicy in the middle, and a finish that continues the dry theme but develops a distinct tangy edge.

D: Very good. It was hard to get more than a brief hint of alcohol but by the end of the bottle I was feeling it in my cheeks.

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

A murky, brown, dark copper beer with a thin head and a lot of yeast flakes.

Smell is caramel malty, with fruity, almost exotic fruit notes. A yeasty smell which probably comes from the yeast flakes.Some alcohol whiffs.

Taste is light bitter with a nice candisugar, caramel taste. Some alcoholic whiffs. A spicy taste that appear to be coriander and clove, or at least that's how it tastes. A nice rounding maltbitterness. To me a pretty standard Belgian beer, but that doesn't make it any less.

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

Uncorked a bottle of this at a barbecue, fantastic blend.

Poured a clear dark brown, with a 2 finger fluffy head. Head retention wasn't great, lasted only a few minutes before it was completely dissolved. Minor lacing.

Smells of green apples, yeast, raisin, and alcohol.

Taste is very complex. Dark fruit, mild baking spice, apple, yeast, and a slew of other notes before a moderate alcohol finish. As the beer warmed and as I sipped more, the apple flavor became stronger and more detectable, to the point where every sip I would taste green apples with a tiny hint of cinnamon.

Mouthfeel is a bit chewy, medium to heavy bodied, and a perfect amount of carbonation. Leaves my mouth feeling funky.

Drinkability is good. I'd have loved to have drank the whole bomber by myself but I shared it with a friend. Easy going down considering the ABV.

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Photo of twiggamortis420
3.13/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Cool label...I was unaware Nostradamus was a snail!
Murky brown color with a thin tan head that fades to a nice collar and film.

Nutty brown aroma is supplemented with a bit of yeast funk and some metallic cantaloupe rinds.

Anything but a typical brown. Bursting with alcohol, bitter roasty dark malts and a yeasty sweetness. This is a big beer and it lets you know it. Alcohol is a bit too forward for me.

This beer is not really my gig, but I could see this being better with food...flavorful food like gorgonzola or a pepper crusted T-bone.

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Photo of cvstrickland
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750-ml cork-in-cage bottle opened with a soft pop!, poured into a small tulip glass yields a golden-tinged orange-chestnut body capped with a finger of soft and grainy tan foam.The head reduces to a short collar that leaves a bit of fine lacing on the glass.

The smell of the drink is toasty and malty with quite a bit of fruit. A twang of yeast, dark plums, and a bit of alcohol come through as the drink sits for a bit.

The taste is fruity with a tart little snap and a finish reminiscent of lightly-sweetened cocoa powder. Grassy hops bring a touch of bitterness as unidentified spice adds depth to the palette of flavors. A note of plums arrives right on schedule, even as a dry, mildly astringent, funky yeasty character supplements the dusty dark caramel backbone of the drink. Dry banana comes through as the drink nears room temperature, and a warming sensation in the drinker is the only real indication of the copious booze in this one.

Smooth with fine carbonation, Nostradamus is extremely drinkable, and holding true to the drink's namesake, I predict that I'll buy another the next time I see it!

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

The Nostradamus pours a clear mahogany with a 1-2 finger foam head that dissipates pretty quickly. Tiny tight bubble pattern on the outside that moves up the glass when you drink and down to the source when you are finished.

The aroma is spicy alcohol with some dark fruit. The taste is malty sweet and finishes fruity. In the mouth it is a tad chewy but you do not get any alcohol burn, which is nice. You get a brown sugar smell as well. The spice & fruit linger on the tongue. Overall a very enjoyable BSDA.

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Photo of UFGUY2122
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a bottle into a chalice type glass that I have.

A-The head on this is unreal. Started at about 2 1/2 inches and retained for some time. Then receded and left webs of sticky lacing on the side of the glass.

S-Raisins, dark fruits, and the slightest hint of alcohol.

T-Matches the smell, malty with dark hops.

M-Great full-bodied mouthfeel with a moderate amount of carbonation.

D-This beer is dangerously smooth for the ABV. The amount of alcohol is barely detectable.

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Photo of Douglas14
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep, rich mahogony color with a nice creamy, tan head. It has great lace and good retention. The nose is heavily of candi sugar and dark fruits. The taste follows the smell but is more complex. Plums and cherries are very apparent long with carmelized sugar and roasted malt. Medium to full body. Great beer...highly recommended

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Photo of philipquarles
3.28/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured into a goblet, this beer is a dark brown with a medium tan head that recedes to a nice foam film. Lots of sediments present.

Smells of caramelized sugar, roasted malt, dark fruit esters, and very slight hops.

Taste is dominated by the sugar. Roasted malt and hints of coffee come in a bit later, along with alcohol and hops. Not very balanced, really.

Mouthfeel is decent; nice and thick, though there's a bit too much carbonation for a beer of this style, I think.

Overall, a beer that is too sweet to be anything more than a one-time sipper. Not offensive, but not what a Belgian Dark Ale should be, I think.

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Photo of daftafne
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip, this beer was a beautiful brown with a tinge of orange. A two-finger tan head adorned the crown and proved resiliant after settling down a bit. Smells delicious - rum, sugar, apples, raisens, melons, and a bit of bread. Very well balanced flavor - begins with raisins and mildly sweet rum then goes to apples and finishes with a small hop bite and some toasty bread. Medium body and just a bit sticky on the tongue. Fantastic brew!

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
4.06 out of 5 based on 904 ratings.
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