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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 915 |  Reviews: 519
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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Photo of dstc
4.45/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with ruby hues to it. Has a thick foamy off-white head that falls slightly leaving a nice head and fine lace behind.

Bold sweet smell with the alcohol coming through and a nice herbal hint.

Bold full flavor hits you right up front. Sweet on the tongue with nice herbal flavors and a warm alcohol finish.

Full bodied feel in the mouth with a fair amount of carbonation.

Wonderful sipping beer. Very full flavored and complex. It was a joy to be sitting with a tulip glass full of the beer. Can't wait to have it again sometime.

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

Such an excellent beer. I miss the days when I would see this on tap practically once a month at Concordia Alehouse in Portland.

Had this on tap at Max's tonight.

The beer pours a cloudy orange brown color, with good head retention and excellent lacing. In the nose one gets a fabulous aroma of chocolate, banana and Belgium spices. The palate replicates the nose, with banana and chocolate, but also with some rootbeer and caramel. The caramel becomes more pronounced the longer the beer sits in the glass. This beer is sweet and medium bodied, but not the least bit cloying. There's a hint of tartnes in the finish that keeps this beer from becoming tiring to drink. The beer has a very soft, smooth mouthfeel, and is oh so drinkable. The abv. is very well hidden for the alcohol content.

An altogether excellent beer.

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Photo of BretSikkink
3.81/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown with red-amber highlighting, slightly hazy BSDA exhibits a large and foamy head. Retention is solid, and the intricate lacing is nice too.

Alcohol, ester-yeast flavors, and sweet caramel malt mingle in the nice but not very potent head.

High carbonation and big dark fruit flavor with a lot of sweetness and a lot of sugar. Flavor is very full, there's some phenolic flavor around the edges. Finish is dry, some nutty content towards the end of the palate.

Solid and complex brew, but not quite top echelon Strong Dark.

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Photo of bensiff
3.47/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured this milk chocolate colored brew from a 750ml corked bottle. It has a dense tan head that dissipates down to a bubble thin layer with a couple islands of thicker head. Aroma is sweet and tart at the same time with an alcoholic kick maybe a little chocolate and cherry too. There is a leathery cherry flavor intermixed with bitterness that seems more like citric acid than hops and the alcohol could use to be masked better. Beer seems thin for a the alcohol content.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
3.77/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is a rich, clear reddish brown; the head is thick when first poured but dissipates quickly. Aroma has strong overtone of brown sugar with an alcohol nip. Flavor is crisp, has some sweetness and bitterness, hints of caramel. It goes down lively and tingly, leaving a decidedly alcohol aftertaste. This is a sipping ale, to savor and enjoy.

I love the artwork on the label - it is a hoot!

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Photo of TPSReports
3.97/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gently poured this dark brown into my Chimay goblet. I don't think the beer minded.

Poured witha nice light coffee colored thin head. The yeasties were small and minimal. The color was dark brown but not so thick that you can't see through it.

Nice aromas of coffee, chocolate, and light yeast prevail.

A nice pleasant taste with little to no alcohol flavor -- somewhat rare for such a high alcohol brew. Very light carbonation. The taste follows the aromas very closely. it's nice drinking a beer that tastes the way it smells.

Mouthfeel is light and pleasant. This a a very drinkable high abv beer. A couple of these and you'll be feeling good.


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Photo of
3.85/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Firkin.

Poured a hazy orange/brown color. Pretty dark, but not opaque. Medium sized, creamy, light tan head formed. Some lacing chased the beer down the glass as I drank. Legs with a swirl.

Aroma was earthy and herbal. Alcohol said hello. Fruit aromas as well, figs, cherries, etc.

Sweet more than bitter, but well balanced overall. Sweet was fruity, again figs and cherries -- not dark fruits, no port character. Bitterness seemed to be herbal in nature and was mild.

Medium body and carbonation. Rather dry.

Quite good, I would certainly drink again.

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Photo of bjoyce12
3.63/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On tap at Publick House in Brookline, MA. Poured a copper-amber color with a tinge of purple. Slight head that dissipated quickly. Pleasant aroma, nothing overpowering nor especially memorable. That describes Nostradamus; nothing great, but not bad, either. Taste was good with slight fruity undertones and a strong alcohol kick. I thought that with a 9.5% abv that it would be a fuller, denser drink with more taste undertones, but that was not the case. It is a smooth beer, but with that much of an abv, I wouldn't have more than one.

Overall, not a bad brew, but there are far more superior choices out there, esp. among Belgians.

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Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle, served at 50 degrees C.

Dark caramelly cola brown with glowing amber edges. Tall, not too rocky, dirty beige head, with good retention and lacing. Big caramel aromas mix with dark candy sugar, stewed fruits, figs, light vinegar, madiera, subtle chocolate licorice, cedar, molasses and madeira. Very nice, very complex.

Tangy, woodsy, vinegary malt notes up front, soon complemented by dark fruits, sweet candy sugar, and rummy alcohol. Tangy-ness sticks around through the otherwise malty finish. This strong dark ale has some nice oud brown qualities (vinegar tang, wood) mixed with fruity, yeasty, fruit cake malty sweet Quad qualities. Nice. Full-bodied, with pinpricks of rolling, tickly carbonation. Dangerously drinkable, too!

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

A snifter on tap at the Firkin in Libertyville; pours dark caramel brown with an off-white one finger head. It looks and smells like a Belgian Strong Dark ale-- tons of roasted malts, dark fruit, and some esters from Belgian yeast.

This is my favorite style for a reason. The flavor is complex, with a ton of figs and malts along with some fruity esters. If I had the fortune of seeing another one of these I could probably pick out more. Past a point I'd probably be making stuff up, but I'd be drinking this beer, and that's good enough for me.

The mouthfeel is heavy and chewy, and complements the flavor profile perfectly.

It's about as drinkable as any other BSDA (not very), but it's an oustanding example of the style. Very similar to Gouden Carolus Cuvée van der Keizer/Grand Cru of the Emperor in pretty much every aspect.

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 915 ratings
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