Nostradamus | Brasserie Caracole

909 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: 909 |  Reviews: 515
Photo of bditty187
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
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 -36.9%
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%
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 +1.5%
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 -3.9%
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 +6.4%
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 +0.5%
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 +2.2%
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 +4.2%
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 +4.7%
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 +2.2%
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 +1.5%
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 -3.9%
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 +5.7%
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 -3.4%
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 -2.7%
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 -14.8%
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 -8.9%
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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Photo of Beerzebub
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Translucent red color, thick beige head that drops to a quarter inch, sticky lace.

Smells of pungent solvent, caramel, plum, golden apple, some brown apple, and hints of soy sauce and milk chocolate. A bit of alcohol peeks through the strong solventy esters. Smells sweet.

Taste takes a few seconds to kick in, and then basically matches the smell. Long finish, lingering solvent, plum, apple, caramel, with some tealike astringency. Moderately sweet, balanced by the caramel, astringency, and a savory component. Tasty.

Slick, oily. Can get too fizzy. Plenty drinkable.

Good interesting beer.

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

Thanks Vintange, Boardman, Oh for the recommendation.

A--brown-red tint, lacing is noticeable

S--tart smell..hints of vinegar.

T--good flavor, interesting aftertaste.

M--silky feel.

D--good, not outstanding, if you are a Belgian lover, worth a try.

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Photo of BMoney575
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled on 10-25-07

Pours a dark, semi-cloudy blood red, with a foamy off-white head that settles quickly.

Smell is uber-fruity, very deep and sweet. Tons of plum and raisin, and lots of sweet caramel malt. Very red wine like. A little Belgian yeast is in there too.

Taste is just like the smell, reminds me of communion wine. Very fruity and dark, and very floral. The finish is quite slick, with a very pleasant alcohol warming.

Mouthfeel is carbonated in all the right places, and keeps the sweet fruitiness from building up.

Drinkability is good, this beer is a bit sweet, but the alcohol actually balances the flavor.

Overall, a good beer, but pretty standard. Very well made, and definately worth a try.

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Photo of BeardedSquash
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Leathery brown pour with a smooth tan head that LASTS!

S: Molasses and heavy dark fruits, namely figs and dates. I catch some subversive yeast that I suspect is pulling the strings behind this beer.

T: Young sugar sweetness and burnt caramel contrasted by harsh grains. Bitter swallow followed by a metallic aftertaste. The alcohol is well hidden.

M: Medium bodied, but oily. Medium to high carbonation.

D: A heavy drink, only one a night. A good capper, but I'll bet it would really benefit from some age.

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Photo of geetlord
3.83/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark amber that was cloudy with yeast. The head was foamy and short lived but subsided to excellent lacing. The smell was mild but carried yeast and alcohol aromas. The flavor was yeasty with dark fruits like cherries and currants, slightly tart and with a little alcohol flavor mixed in. Overall I enjoyed this beer but found it to be more or less an average Belgian dark ale.

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Photo of bruachan
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

woooee...look at that head. i think it might crawl out of the glass. quite an effervescent brew. the head did finally settle but not without leaving plenty of itself on the glass. fine ruby color, as well

smells like it looks: cherry. very fruity aroma with a good backing of biscuity scents

good tasting brew: fruity with a hint of sour. robust bready flavors. lots of dried fruits. i'm enjoying this beer

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Photo of weeare138
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark chestnut toned brown with a foamy, tan head that slowly fades away into a frothy cap. Tons of thick, chunky lacing is left around the glass.
Smell is of caramel, brown sugar, vanilla, nougat, light cherries, dark fruit, and cocoa powder.
Taste is much the same as the aromas with a touch of plums and rum soaked raisins complimenting the mix.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied, estery, cocoa infusion that fades nicely into the deluxe smoothness of this beer. At 9.5%, I hardly noticed it.

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
4.06 out of 5 based on 909 ratings.
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