Nostradamus | Brasserie Caracole

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925 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: 925 |  Reviews: 522
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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Photo of Beerzebub
3.95/5  rDev -2.5%
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 -1.2%
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 -0.7%
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 -0.5%
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 -5.4%
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 +2%
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 +2.5%
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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Photo of theformula
4.29/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

-Drink by date of 02/26/09

A: Pours a cloudy, garnet-brown body. 2 finger head, light brown w/ lacking retention (no surprise). Low carbonation and spotty lacing.

S: Fun-kay! Interesting aroma, a tart, fruit-loaded character. A distinct, cider-like note. Funky yeast w/ wild, subtle hops. Big aroma of red delicious apples. Not much alcohol noticeable. Some chocolate malts and caramel play out once it warms.

M: Light-med. body, low carbonation. Super smooth; nice.

T: Takes on a different taste than expected from aroma. A malt smack hits w/ caramel, chocolate and cherry. Ripe, boozy dark fruits (raisin, date?) and a prominent apple juice/cider twang; earthy yeast. Hops are nicely balancing and louder than I exepected, another plus. Finishes w/ a strong leafy hop bitterness, dry and tea-like. Good balancing act a good complexity.

D: Delicious, and funky. Unique beer and drinkable for the ABV. Richness hold this back some. A delicious, albeit warming treat.
Go find yourself some, unique stuff.

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Photo of unclederby
4.37/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Piraat tulip with a frothy, nearly two inch head which mellowed fairly quickly. Murky amber in color and no visible "floaties". Spotty lacing.

While it's still right out of the fridge, it's bouquet is of sour apple (apple cider vinegar), raisins, and a note of molasses. The pungent sourness lessens as it warms. A pretty fragrant brew nonetheless.

Taste is a little more on the dry figgy side as opposed to sweet raisins, with a dose of the sour apple and a just a hint of candy sugar and allspice. There is also an earthy quality about the brew that i can't quite pin down but relate to cedar. It tickles the tastebuds and the finish leans toward parching.

Nostradamus is medium/full in the mouth with a creamy viscosity and plenty of carbonation: bound to cause beer burps aplenty.

This is a fairly filling, high alcohol brew that would serve as a great digestif - though there might be a night here or there when i could put down two of these... pretty heady stuff.

Pair it with your favorite fruit pie.

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

Thanks for this bottle, carlos.
Poured into a Caracole tulip chilled.

A - Decants a caramel brown w/ a tan 3.5 finger head of full fluffy bubbles. The head hangs on for hours.

S - Warm scents of brown sugar and spice.

M - Full, malty, smooth and spicy w/ a mellow carbonation.

T - Deep full currant and raisin like vinous qualities w/ a touch of caramelized sugar and vanilla. Bitter fruit flavors like pomegranate and quince are complementary as well as subtle hints of molasses in the finish. The dark maltiness in the finish gives the flavor an overall depth of dark sweetness. A ripe banana flavor pervades the overall experience.

D - A very tasty brown belgian ale, but more than a bit strong (9%) and is filling so it is less than great in the drinkability. It has many layers and is complex in intensity, though.

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Photo of pmcadamis
4.9/5  rDev +21%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A - When I popped the top on this one, honey-hued foam began to slowly creep up from the mouth of the bottle like one of those expanding snake things you light on fire on the fourth of July. That head making machinery continues in the snifter as a four finger gargantuan brownish head rises like Godzilla from the sea of russet-with-blood-highlights brew. The head exhibits excellent retention for the high ABV, and lots of sparkling lace is left on the sides of the glass.

S - I could smell mellow marshmallow and milk chocolate before I poured it into the glass, but once decanted this really fills the room with sweet mellow aromas. Sticking my schnoz into the glass, I can smell loads of honey, pancake syrup on top of buttermilk flapjacks, Honeycomb cereal, french fries, and baked potatoes. Sweet, mellow, soothing, and amazingly complex.

T - Sweet, sweet, sweet honey, black licorice (good n' plenty), gooey chewy movie theater candy, and Mrs. Butterworth pancake syrup. Creamy, buttery diacetyl flavors are there in abundance with butter, butterscotch, and sour cream flavors. Honeycomb cereal with about a pound of sugar and whole milk in the bowl. Some tangy hay-like make an attempt to balance the sweet insanity, but don't quite have the muscle to overpower the honeyed sugary flavors of this desert brew. For some reason I taste french fries and twice baked potatoes...that is a very good thing IMO. This is pretty much sweet tooth curing candy, and the alcohol attenuation helps somewhat with the sweetness, but as long as you treat this as a desert beer, it's simply outstanding!

M - Thick, viscous, oily, buttery, and full bodied. This one is mildly carbonated, warm with alcohol, and slick with sugar. This finishes up with a long sweet alcohol laden aftertaste.

D - A little too sickly sweet for more than one, and the alcohol content could be a problem. This is an outstanding sipping beer, and it's just about perfect as an accompaniment to dark chocolate. I'm impressed. This is bottled candy.

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Photo of genog
4.11/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Review Number 50
Pours amber color with creamy off white head. Smell is of dark fruit, and slight alcohol. Taste is slightly high in some warming alcohol characteristics, as well as some dark fruits, and esters, I can pick out green apple. Highly carbonated beer that makes this a quick, and tasty drink. I notice my glass is empty again. Very enjoyable, and kind of reminded me of a Chimay.

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

This Belgian brown pours the color of orange blossom honey with a light tan head that holds well and leaves some spotty lace.

The aroma is sweet and yeasty with honey lemon and orange. Some malty wheat character as well. Mellow but well pronounced.

Sweet initially with honey and citrus. Begins to bitter in the middle with some starchy wheat and mild buttery hops. A bit of dark and red fruit. Apple cider. Dry in the finish with some booze present.

Moderate carbonation and some dryness. Smooth and clean throughout. Pleasant and well received with lots of character. Nicely different.

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Photo of kernalklink
3.66/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Great pour- the amber-brown brew created an amazing cloudy head that took minutes to dissipate. Huge fruity aromas- dried fruits, raisins, acidic plums, candy sweetness. Very malty on the first sip and so on- though the high carbonaton really slices the thickness up and makes it light and airy. I would like a little more balance, but the flavors are there for the most part. The is a slight warming alcohol burn, and a sour flash at the very end and a surprising creaminess to the finish. Good brew.

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

Pours rich reddish brown with thick, bubbly, tan head. Very active carbonation shown by many small bubbles moving through the liquid. The head dissipates slowly, eventually forming just a thin film after drinking for a while. The smell is complex, moderately malty with nutty and bread influences and a hint of brown sugar or caramel. Yeast is also apparent that is somewhat earthy, and there is a delayed truffle aroma. Very interesting. The taste is fairly sweet malt with some sourness and a hint of the earthiness noted in the aroma. The aftertaste picks up a little bitterness and enforces the earthy malt of the IF. TTh aftertaste is relatively long-lived and finishes up a little sour. The mouth feel is medium bodied and a little chewy with active to fizzy carbonation, giving a little bite on the tongue. The finish is moderately alcoholic. This is a tasty, complex belgium beer that goes great with game such as wild boar of venison. Also nice with a slice of artisan bread such as volkornbrot or pumpernickel. It was a little sweet for my taste, especially as it warmed a few degrees beyond the recommended 55 degrees F. I would definitely buy it again, especially for some interesting food pairings or for dessert.

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Photo of bodybyadam
3.93/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: The bottles have some of the best painting I’ve seen on labels before. I truly like the eclectic styling. Pours a deep dark brown liquid with a small bead around the edge of chalice.

S: The nose of sweet malts comes to mind.

T: The first sip is sweet malt and a distinct ETOH note with a fizzy character that also translates into the medium-full body. There are mild notes of apple but more coffee and roasted flavor. The sweet malt and ETOH come at you but not over powering in either, just enough to have a good balance with the other.

M: The medium body has a complex taste.

D: This is a well balanced beer.

Elbows Up,

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 925 ratings