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 dankbrew21
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2 oz, 9% ABV Best Before 2010

A- Chalky dsark brown. Little to no light coming through. Beautiful two finger head with a soft cloud like appearance.

S- Dark fruity, mild spice, heavy malt. Dark cherries and raisins.

T- Pretty smooth on the tongue, yummy malts. Nuggety, cheeries, raisins and some brown sugar. Slight alcohol burn in the back of the throat. Great carbonation.

D- Medium.

A very good Belgian brown!

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Photo of theghost3
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Labelled as a Belgian Brown Ale. Pours a hazy, brown with ruby & orange notes; not as dark as I would have expected. There's a 3-finger thick off-white head. The head dissapates quickly into a thin head that remains throughout. Moderate lacing.

Smell is strong of alcohol, kind of like brandy. There are also hints of brown sugar, chocolate, phenols, caramel, and dark fruits. The taste is prevalent of alcohol & caramel with some dark fruits & spices.

Mouthfeel is very carbonated, which eventually deadens the mouth. There's a sort of brandy or whiskey alcohol warmth as well.

This is a drinkable dark that's not a fruity as I expected. The alcohol is not subtle at all.

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Photo of arizcards
3.96/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a 330 ml bottle from Sportsmans in late November for $4.59.

Beer poured brown with a huge tan head that is hanging around quite nicely. Nose is big malt with hints of alcohol and fruityness. Taste is good but not overly complex, dark fruits and big malts dominate with a slightly dry phenolic finish. Mouthfeel is quite wonderful, very smooth as it glides across the palate. Overall drinkability is good. The abv is very well masked. Quite the delicious beer. Definitely one to try if you like the style.

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Photo of Lambstrong
4.19/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Dark amber brown with a very thick tan head. You can see the high carbonation level. Very nice head retention. Very good lacing.

Aroma: Brown sugar is how I would describe it. Sweet. Beyond that, I don't detect anything else.

Taste: Pleasantly unexpected roasted malts and a dark chocolate flavor takes over. There are spices in the background. Nutmeg? I really wasn't expecting these flavors since I could not detect anything in the aroma. What a great surprise!

Mouthfeel: Not as carbonated as it initially appears. Medium bodied and just enough carbonation. Very pleasant.

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Photo of JonMich13
4/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into my Val-Dieu snifter.

A = Murky burnt orange brown. Small off white head that fell quick. Little lacing.

S = Bouquet of caramel/toffee/honey/butter with intense dark fruit notes.

T = Strong sweet fruits with caramel malt backing. Alcohol pleasantly comes through toward the end with only a hint of bitterness. Very well done.

M = Mouth is nicely balanced between the medium body and carbonation. Goes down easy and finishes nice.

D = Very easy drinker. SweetnessABV a little strong to be a session, but could work through 2 or 3 easily.

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Photo of HeyItsChili
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured from a bottle into an oversized wine glass. Pours cloudy brown with a medium khaki head.

S - Dark fruit, rum alcohol essence, candy.

T - Sweet roasted malt, dark fruit, figs, brown sugar.

M - Substantial, sort of chewy yet no thicker than medium bodied.

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

Recommended by my beer man in Brandon FL.
Poured from a 750ml bottle onto my tulip glass.

A: Brownish with a beautiful deep reddish tint. The head was aprox. 2 inches and light beige in color.

S: Sweet malt, Prunes, faint bananas (Foster) and there are some fresh herbs in there...maybe celery seeds.

T: Initially there is some malty sweetness followed by a little bitterness that balances the palate, along with a nice hint of alcohol...not a burning one though. As the beer warms up, it becomes very friendly to the tastebuds leaving you wanting more.

M: Fizzly and mouth coating at first, but then it becomes a bit more liquefied, however it does not affect the flavor.

This is definitely an excellent beer in my opinion, but I would drink a Corsendonk Brown Ale before this one, if I had the choice.

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Photo of grayburn
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a ruby brown with a wee little head that became a ring before too long...I guess I'll chalk that up to the alcohol.
The smell is surprisingly all malt up front...I was expecting a bit more esters and fruity yeasty goodness, but this is very nice.
The taste is the same, it starts off with some nice sweet dark maltiness and gradually fades into a more belgian-like fruitiness.
The mouthfeel is good, on the lighter side, with good carbonation.
This beer is pretty easy drinking, I shared it with another and definitely could have split another bottle or two.

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Photo of giblet
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

good and rich. poured well into the glass with a rich brown color and nice thick head. good steady carbonation. good lacing down the glass. rich toffee aroma. the taste was sweet. a bit too sweet for my taste but good nevertheless. a tinge from the abv felt at the finish.

suckem up and movem out.


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Photo of estereich
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I want to preface this by saying Brown Ales are not my favorites. This one is really good. It pours a nice brown with a bit of orange, almost no head and a tad on the cloudy side. The smell is nice, fruity with a hint of toffee. The toffee comes out stronger in the taste. Front end is toffee and dark fruit, back end nicely highlights malt and the same dark fruits. It is surprisingly sweet and mild considering the 9% alcohol. In my humble opinion, this is a very good beer.

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Photo of cdizinno
3.71/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: mild head that died back quickly with some lacing. Cloudy brown, almost chestnut with a dark amber brightness

S: floral scents overpowered by pollen or honey aroma. Very complex. Figs and raisins also.

T&M: complex full bodied with a sweet dry aftertaste. Fruits and flowers.

Very nice beer. I've also had this on tap and recall it tasting just as good, maybe even better.

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Photo of tempest
4.03/5  rDev -0.5%
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 +4.2%
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 +10.4%
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 -10.4%
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 +6.7%
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 +0.7%
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 +17.3%
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 -1.2%
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 -14.8%
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 +8.1%
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 -1.2%
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 -1.7%
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 -4.9%
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 +4.9%
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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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 915 ratings
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