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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 KarlHungus
4.52/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a cloudy brown-amber color. The head is one inch in height, and recedes into a small cap of lacing. The aroma is of caramel, dates, anise, and brown sugar. The taste is soft and strong. Anise, dates, brown sugar, molasses, and black licorice. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a silky texture, and fine carbonation. Overall, this is a very good Belgian Strong Ale. I could easily drink this again.

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

on tap at great lost bear
deep red hue, almost ruby with little head upon arrival.

aromas are of very ripe fruit, fruitcake, chocolate, touches of yeast spice.

the taste is incredibly wine-like. just beautiful, rich and fruity palate, sliken and slightly sweet, subdued bitterness and ample carbonation.

just reeling, the aromas are profoundly fruity and the chocolate nuances are very un-roasted in character. lots of rich ripe flavors, a truly different beer, worth checking out. loved it.

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Photo of delmet
3.55/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Good stuff, but I have had a lot better. Beautiful color, but not much of a head.Smooth on the palate, with a warm alcohol feeling at the end. Caramel and sweetness come to mind. Nice lace at the end. One can do better and a lot worse. Unfortunately, it is not one of those beers that bring you down on your knees.

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Photo of beerthulhu
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a mahogany-brown with a soft creamy head.

S: a light fresh fruitiness (apples), cherries, caramel and some dark fruit (raisins).

T: Smooth and refreshing with a flavor that is clean and complex. Initial flavor started out with some sweet caramel and candy notes that are topped off with a rich palate of dried fruit (plums, raisins). There were some light lingering hints of figs, pears and plums as well a biscuit malting. The beer drank very vinously with a smooth light fruitiness from the yeast finishing things out.

M: The mouthful was medium full with a very smooth feel and maltiness, nicely carbonated leaving a light tingly sensation.

D: Very good, extremely smooth and tasty on the swallow and one definitely worth trying. A great complexity and layering of flavors makes this an incredibly drink.

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Photo of avalon07
4.33/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: When poured from a bottle to a tulip glass, had a deep, brownish-amber color and a thick consistency. Very big head and good lacing.

S: There was strong aroma of apples, yeast, spices and some malt.

T: The apples were at the forefront of the taste, but you get a wallop of spices (nutmeg) abd yeast. Very complex, well balanced.

M: Had a typically high (among Belgians) carbonation rate and a smooth finish.

D: This is an extremely drinkable beer. Zesty, complex, smooth and not at all bitter.

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

Nostradamus poured a brownish-red with a nice, frothy head that stayed around for a while. It smelled very sweet, with tones of pear and fruit coming out, along with some earthy and malty tones as well. The first drink was great, with the fruits coming out, pear and tart green apple predominately. There was some spiciness to it as well. I could tell the high alcohol content was there, but not overwhelmingly so.
Overall, this was a very good belgian brown ale and will pick it up again.

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Photo of Patrick999
4.02/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From the small bottle at cellar temp, poured into one of my oversized sturdy yuppie-ish goblets. Whenever I use these glasses, my beer looks delectable, and Nostradamus is no exception. Crown of head settles but doesn't quit. Seems a tad lighter in color than some Belgian Strong Darks.

Woody, rummy aroma with a burst of grape. A little different than traditional Trappist takes on this style...it doesn't smell quite as clean and spicy. Almost smells like a Dogfish Head big beer, maybe a Raison D'Extra, with the woody vinous thing going on. Aroma not lacking. Seems different for the style, but excellent.

Taste is of big juicy rum-drenched raisins with a perceived oak. A pleasant sweetness, not at all cloyingly so. A little hop bitterness gnaws through. Warming from the 9.5% alcohol apparent.

Feel is nice, not a hard bite of carbonation at all.

Drinkability - not one to pound, this should be sipped and savored like a good red wine. Seems to share some of the tasting notes of a pinot noir. A worthy choice.

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Photo of bditty187
4.27/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy, peachy-amber-brown in hue; beige head, at the apex the foam was a healthy one finger tall. Head retention was excellent. A thin, soapy collar lasted the entire consumption. Subsequent lacing was spotty and not widespread (I think other times I've had this beer there was more lacing but maybe not). Overall, the appearance is largely unremarkable but it leans more towards pleasant than off-putting.

Generally speaking the nose is fruity and malty. Specifically I detect a good bit of apples and berries upfront. Peppery hints arrive in the middle and by the end aromas of caramel and toffee are noticeable. Somewhere in the bouquet is a tickle of grapes, cloves, some rum and even wood. Moderate potency; it is complex while not being overwhelming... softly rich and clearly inviting.

The palate is quite vinous and malty with notes of grapes, apples, figs, cloves, caramel, rum, wood, toffee, and molasses with some slight booziness by the finish. While this review is from the bottle I've had this on-tap dozens of times and I think it is killer on draft, it is one of the few Belgian beers that excel from the keg. I digress, I love the notes of dark rum and caramel, the addition of peppers and apples really makes the palate shine. Fairly sweet but not near cloying; plenty fruity... lightly spicy too; all told, I really love the flavor profile!

Medium-light in body, moderate carbonation, the mouthfeel is light and airy but filling enough. The mouthfeel is quite pleasant and fits this beer well. I also like the slightly tart and dry aftertaste, it is like malty red wine!

To call this beer drinkable is to undersell the definition of drinkable. I drink Nostradamus fairly often; I think it is a great beer at a great price. I was surprised to see I had not reviewed it (okay, I wasn't... I've slacked off reviewing beers quite a lot. Anyway...) so I finally sat down and put my thoughts down on this fine Belgian beer. In sum, Nostradamus is a damn good beer that I have no issues of recommending to somebody looking for a dark, malty Belgian ale with good complexity

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Photo of charlzm
2.56/5  rDev -36.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Draft, consumed 01/19/08 at Naja's Place, Redondo Beach.

Golden, burnished appearance with one finger head. Aroma is dark fruit (raisins, dates, figs, etc...) and green apple that increased as the beer warmed. Lacing and active bubbles throughout glass. Flavor was somewhat sweet and crisp. Green apples again. As beer warmed, the green apple character increased to the point of being the dominant flavor.

Not a good encounter with this brew.

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Photo of aromatorio
4.67/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought this beer was exceptional. I was told it was a quad, but I guess it is a BSDA.

A: Looks good. Not as cloudy as I thought it might be. Dark, dark amber. Good head. A little yellow, decent retention.

S: Big bouquet. In my face sweet, light notes hiding under some molasses? Honey?

T: Sweet, delicious. Hardly any hops lurking under all the delicious malt. I barely notice the alcohol until the whole glass is gone.

M: It feels flowery on the tongue. Lighter than I thought, creamy in a way that I'm not used to for ales like this.

D: Almost too drinkable. There aren't many beers I can slam down like this. Only after all the beer is gone do I notice the buzz that I've acquired.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.12/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 750 into Ommegang chalice. Light to medium carbonation is visible in relatively clean, copper body. Relatively thin but well-formed head; decent lacing.

Aroma is powerful even before bringing glass to nose; heavy, bread-like base with nice mellow alcohol burn and spice profile - almost an herbal tea (chamomile?) quality to it in the background. Opens up very nicely as it warms. Amazing scent.

The first sip or 2 is a little tinny, but after a little needed time there's nice nutmeg and ginger-snap, slight vanilla - a little citrus tang (mellow orange/zest) with a bit of banana bread in there. Herbal tea is present here as well as on the nose - nice, natural honey finish.

The honey-like characteristics make this very soothing; the alcohol burn is definitely present but competes well with the sour tang.

Easy to sip and savor, but the heavy alchohol content offers a recommendation for a full stomach! Maybe I was tired but a chalice full of this really kicked my @$$ a bit. A pleasurable beating, but wow - powerful and very enjoyable stuff. I look forward to finishing the rest of the 750 (capped with a wine stopper) very soon (after dinner, that is).

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Photo of jwc215
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
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 watchnerd
4.32/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Yeasty plum cherries aromatically swirled in alcohol esters waft into the nose on the first sip when one looks into the cloudy brown red of dark cherrywood through light foam and little lace that moves to cherryberryraisin taste on the tongue that is slightly sweet, but not overly so, no bitterness to be found, when you realize it's so quaffable and tasty that you're already buzzzed.


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Photo of dsa7783
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Recently sampled Brasserie Caracole's Saxo and their Caracole Ambree, and was modestly impressed by both... Their Nostradamus sample is by far the best of the three... Pours with a beautiful and impressive foamy and frothy head that exhibited some staying power... head floated on top of a dark, mahogany brown colored hue... Nice, subtle smell of figs and prunes reveal a terrific taste of dehydrated fruits, brown sugar, caramel, slight vanilla, and nice malts... A really impressive Belgian sample, full of thick, rich, creamy character and flavor... Nice, flavorful and filling mouthfeel leads to a good drinkability that only took a knock due to the rather hefty 9.5% ABV and seriously thick and rich flavor... If you're looking for a creamy, malty, and rich brew, look no further than this one... Definitely recommended...
Copped a 750 ML bottle from Gary's in Madison for about $7.99...

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Photo of stevecee2003
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from 750 ml bottle. Deep reds and a nice frothy head.

You get that smell immediately! Sweet. Yeast. Some apples, and I agree with others, some plum and berries in there.

Fruity taste, that may or may not overwhelm your tongue. Then the heavy alcohol comes in. You can't discount that, but the high content is effectively hidden in all the sweetness. This is one complicated, and well crafted beer!

Drinkability is questionable for me. Just SO strong on the alcohol front. Perhaps good for the end of an evening. This is not a "session" beer anyway. But, if you are sitting around with some friends, trying out some GREAT beers, this is certainly one of them.

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Photo of Halcyondays
4.23/5  rDev +4.4%
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 udubdawg
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

330 ml bottle, best-before date looks like March of '08.

Pours a reddish brown color, not quite clear, even before I spied the yeasty chunks about to slip into my glass and stopped the pour a couple ounces short. Despite the murk it looks pretty good in the light. The head is sizeable but very fleeting in tan bubbly froth. Barely a speck of lace left.

Aroma- and flavor-packed. Really well done. There's a LOT here. Alcohol is easily noted and at times the brew is downright boozy but there's more than enough else to keep it from being a distraction. Lots of plum, some raisin, maybe a bit of cherry. Caramel with a bit of a darker molasses edge. Not as sweet as expected in the finish, which is very welcome. Thought I'd get more spiciness after I noted some clove in the aroma but even that was muted in the flavor - I guess that is to be expected with so much competing with it.

Pretty full body, smooth and palate-coating, soft carbonation. Impressive. Not quite easy drinking, but I went through it pretty fast - too fast for 9.5%. I suppose my only "complaint" is it'd be hard to drink a less flavor-filled beverage after this. Oh well, hand me another of these!

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Photo of ElGordo
4.15/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Body is an orange-amber hue, topped by a huge, sticky, fluffy, off-white head that hangs around for quite some time. Aroma of sweet, slightly roasty malt, bubble gum, light melon, and a hint of black pepper. Palate is sweet caramel malt up front, with some fruity hops and sweet esters from the Belgian yeast emerging mid-palate. Finish is sweet and malty, with some peppery notes.
Body is nice and full, but not sticky. The ample carbonation can be a bit foamy without proper care. This is a highly drinkable beer, especially given its high alcohol content. Perhaps this is one to be careful with, as it does not give many clues to its potency. Drink up, and take care.

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

It pours a hazy and generously carbonated orangey amber, hinting at a central column of light brown. Two fingers of khaki head de-puff slowly to a foamy sheet. Sticky twists of lacing tape the inside of the glass.

The aroma is a sweet, grain blanket floating berry, melon, dates, and raisins. Esters spice with clove and mint, and crisp with green apple. Toffee and brown sugar abut an eddy of alcohol.

Upon sipping, a poignantly sweet malt profile slips in with molasses, brown sugar, raisins, and juicy honeydew melon. Esters are more subdued here, with hints of zesty clove and crisp green apple. The alcohol is ready and quite able. A downbeat of residual sweetness and earthy doughiness are dried by the mildest bitter touch, and the finish is a blend of sweet and savory. It has a rich, crafted, comfortable character.

Medium bodied, it's suitably sticky, soothingly carbonated, and crisp on the palate.

It's a happy Belgian that stands a few steps above the standard issue. It's reasonably complex, well blended, and pleasurable to drink. And despite an ABV that speaks loud and clear, it goes down with a smooth and enjoyable way about it. It may not jump out, but I'm predicting that in the future I'll be seeing more of Nostradamus.

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Photo of sfoley333
3.9/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured on tap at pizza port carlsbad 12-30-07 at $5 a 12 oz glass. Poured a brownish clay color with a white head. Smell is green apples with sourness and a slight vingear smell. Taste is tart with sweetness of orchaids fruit, a definte belgian influence on the thick dark fruit maltiness. Mouthfeel is full and lush with a smooth carbonation. While a good beer, its strong flavor and warm alcohol feel, it is really sipping beer.

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Photo of Graham5161986
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a cloudy (make sure you shake gently while pouring) deep copper with a bubbly 2 finger head with disappointing retention. Lots of visible sediment.

S: aromas of cherries, plumbs, and caramel malt.

T: strong fruity and spicy. Bitter hoppy finish and the high ABV is hidden quite well. Also nice hints of yeastiness.

M: Medium bodied, slightly creamy, good carbonation

D: This beer is pretty strong so the drinkability suffers a little. Nevertheless, it masks the 9% ABV very well and is a pleasant spicy brew to sip. Another great beer from Caracole.

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a dark brown color with flecks of red. It had a foamy, off-white, two-finger head that left some nice lacing.

S - It smelled sweet. There were aromas of caramel and buscuity maltiness.

T - It tasted sweet and malty with floral hoppiness. A little alcohol taste, too.

M - It was soft and smooth. It had a warm alcohol presence. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice Belgian beer. Maybe a little pricey, but still very good.

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

Poured from a bottle a dark amber-brown with a light tan head and small touches of lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet Belgian yeast, apple, and plum.

Taste is sweet yet tart with the yeast, apple, plum, plus the alcohol that makes an appearance.

Lighter mouthfeel, slick, and fizzy in carbonation. The alcohol adds a nice warmth.

A good example of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Not among the best, but definitely a nice beer.

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Photo of largadeer
3.46/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Amber-brown with just a hint of transparency. The eggshell-colored head disappears a lot quicker than I'd like, resigning to a small ring around the rim of the glass.

Smell: Sweet and caramelly with noticable alcohol. Slightly metallic as well.

Taste/mouthfeel: Caramel malts and spices come out first, followed by a pleasant ripe fruitiness. The finish is overly hot and boozy, making me think that this beer would be much nicer with some age. Overall a good beer, definitely appropriate for the season. I'd be interested in trying a bottle that has been cellared for a year or so.

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

Damn, I tried to drink this while it was cold...not a good idea. This brew is a deep amber with shades of brown and red. A nice head that retains well and leaves spotty lacing. Smell is floral, spicy, and fruity. Alcohol scent comes across more like a wine than anything. Taste has hints of caramel and spices, with a big apple cider flavor to it. Pears and even grape come through. Again, reminds me of wine. Mouthfeel is somewhat creamy and full. Definitely slick on the tongue. Decent drinkability. This beer definitely needs to warm up before consuming. The proper temperature will bring out the best here, otherwise you might get the wrong idea.

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