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Nostradamus | Brasserie Caracole

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916 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: 916 |  Reviews: 519
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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Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.48/5  rDev +10.6%
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 +7.9%
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 -3.2%
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 +3.7%
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 -22.7%
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%
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 +3.7%
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 +12.8%
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 +5.7%
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%
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 +1.5%
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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Photo of johnd513
4.1/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this beer from a 750ml bottle into a chalice.
Pours a redish brown color. This beer is on the sweet side andsmells and tastes of malt, raisins and some plum flavor. The drinkability is high considering the abv. A little pricey but certainly worth trying at least once.

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Photo of k4df4l
3.76/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a stemmed tulip yields ample off-white foam over a lovely caramel colored body. Fruity & alcoholic nose with strong apple and raisin aromas..faint bready tones underneath. Flavor is initially sharp as you are greeted by the ample zesty carbonation and then the fruity flavors promised in the aroma. Apples, pear, fig & raisins over a light sweet malty base. Subtle peppery spice, alcohol & faint yeast round out the experience as it finishes plenty dry and warming. As the glass warms, the malt begins to sweeten the flavor and firm up the body adding another dimension to the brew. Overall a very nice beer with plenty of flavor though out the glass.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.35/5  rDev -17.3%
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 bunnyhustle
3.79/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into chalice. Pours a suprising ruby-brown color. Much more red than expected, a thick, creamy, off-white head with great retention and lacing. Smell I did like so much. I found it to be way too strong of alcohol, some bread and yeast, but mainly alcohol. Taste I did love though, I think this is the first beer I've had where I genuinely dislike the smell but love the taste. Wonderfully complex, fruity (apples inparticular), malty, sweet, a kiss of alochol, it was great. Mouthfeel is light due to a moderatly high carbonation. Overall a very good beer.

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Photo of scottyshades
3.33/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I was a little disappointed in this beer because it fits the mold of the average Belgian Dark (not to say that that is necessarily bad).

A: Rich brown pour with a billowy off-white head that puffs out of the top of the glass. A decent retention can be noticed that leaves a fine but present lace.

S: Sweet...figs, dates, sugar (brown) and alcohol on the nose

T: Like I said before, very average...it tastes like every other belgian dark on the planet. But I did taste notes of figs, dates, molasses, and perhaps toffee in addition to a strong initial taste of metal.

MF: Perhaps in my opinion the least persuasive aspect of this beer. The mouthfeel did not convince me at all...A poor aftertaste, and it just made my mouth feel unconfortable

D: At 9.50% you cant exactly call this guy a session beer, but one of these with dinner doesnt hurt anything

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Photo of Bierschenker
3.73/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a « Chalice »
When poured it gave a full head. Egg shell/brown white colour. Cream like but with larger bubbles as well. Part of the head remains.
The colour is reddish brown with a passive presence of carbonation.
The scent is a predictable: heavy malt and yeast with fruity syrups. Figs and freshly baked bread.
Taste is strong, but I can cope. This can’t be everybody’s cup of tea. Taste is a bit to metallic, it’s overpowering. Heavy malt, yeast and alcohol.
Aftertaste gives strong nut, caramel and chocolate.
Mouthfeel is creamy
Not an all-rounder, but an example for it’s style

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Photo of lightindarkness
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle in an oversized tulip.

A very easy pour left a wispy galaxy-like swirl of head with a ring of varying bubble sizes atop a deep hazy brownish-orange body. Suspended particles are tiny but plenty. A good swirl in the glass releases a full creamy colored frothy head.

Oooh, rich bready caramel and fig on the nose, earthy and sweet fruit with firm floral notes and a banana estery, almost acetone nose, though not too strong or phenolic. Rich and full.

Taste has caramelly malt up front. Smooth flavor, rich, but not overpowering. Some date and fig fruitiness blends with bready caramel. Grain flavors rise at the finish and mellow with only slight alcohol taste. A moment of rusty metallic flavor, but gone before I can nail it down. Overall taste I find personally appealing for the style.

Feel is smooth, with a fuller medium body and nice soft but notable carbonation. A little syrupy/oily in the middle with a slightly sticky finish, full for the style, though not too heavy. Alcohol is mildly detectable, mostly in warming the stomach.

Bordering on rich, this is a nice example of some characteristics I prefer in the style (dark fruit and rich malt balanced with yeast strain). Fairly well done with most high points very well hit. Abv detracts some, but I still think it's rather drinkable.

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Photo of gunnerman
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft at the Mellow Mushroom in Delray Beach, FL. Pours an amber rustic orage with a minimal head, but does keep a ring around and nice lacing on the glass. Smell is of fresh figged fruit with a slight hint of banana. Taste is pretty amazing with a bready fruity sweet taste, overall an awesome brew and a pleasure to have this on draft.

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

Pours a clear translucent red hued amber color with a shallow fizzy light tan head that fades quickly, leaving a spotty pattern of lacing. The smell is an earthy light fig malt. Brightly carbonated, giving the mouth feel a lighter texture. The 9.5% ABV is really well hidden in the taste, but there is some heat on the way down. Really quite drinkable. The earthy fig flavor is lighter than i'd expect from this style, yet it lingers nicely after the swallow. Really glad that i had the opportunity to consider this one.

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Photo of smellsofstout
3.94/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy reddish brown. Nose is sweet with alcohol, malt, and banana Alcohol and sweetness, yeast and some nice slightly exotic fruit notes. Cherries, honey, banana and spice in taste. Very smooth mouthfeel and bitter sweet finish. Pretty good.

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Photo of dreadnatty08
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a slightly cloudy dark amber and caramel color with plumes of dense, meringue like tan head. Aromas are quite fruity, more dubbel like than BSDA. Lots of raisin, caramel, plum, along with quite a bit of spiciness. On the palate, really quite a bit more of the same with a thick rum raisin like character really coating the tongue. The finish is a touch too sweet IMO but nowhere near cloying. It is certainly a rich malt bomb with a spicy finish. Overall, a pleasant drinker, but not as memorable as Saxo.

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

This beer pours a cloudy darker amber color with a large amount of head. Head takes a little while to dissipate. Taste most strongly of nuts with noticable effects of the alcohol. Very easy to drink with a great mouthfeel, this was one enjoyable beer. I would recommend and purchase again.

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Photo of MrMonkey
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with brighter orange highlights and a thick, creamy light tan (almost caramel colored) three-finger head that seems to last forever. There's a steady stream of bubbles rising up the center of the glass. Great retention.

Nose is sweet and spicy: brown sugar, caramel covered apples, dark cherries, raisins and a hint of cinnamon. There's a slight whiff of alcohol and Belgian yeast.

Taste is biscuity malts up front with notes of green apples, cherries, raisins and black currants. It's very earthy with strong yeast and red wine flavors, and a warming alcoholic finish.

Medium-bodied, vinous mouthfeel. It coats the mouth, but the carbonation keeps it lively.

Drinkability is good, but the ABV keeps this one a sipper. Still, I could enjoy a couple of these.

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 916 ratings
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