Nostradamus | Brasserie Caracole

911 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: 911 |  Reviews: 517
Photo of Steve188821
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - The apperance is ruby with a large head which leaves a nice lace on the glass.

S - The smell is of raspberries and figs.

T - The taste is again raspberries and dark ripe fruit.

M - The body is light with good carbonation.

D - The drinkability is good, however due to the high abv, one is enough.

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Photo of barefootbrewer
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a cloudy brown with a cream colored head – some lacing. The smell is strong of caramel and malt – filled me with anticipation. The taste is bold and malty…also a little sour and fruity. The mouthfeel is very full, but not chewy. This is a very delicious beer, I find it quite drinkable and highly recommend it!

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Photo of jim102864
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This pours with a very robust head from the bottle into my Duvel tulip glass. A beautiful brownish, copperish, redish appearance. Lace bubbles up aggresively during the pour but settles nicely leaving patches of lace on the glass. This is an aromatic Belgian...something that's been lacking in some of the stuff I've recently reviewed both Belgian and otherwise. Strong notes of candied sugar, ripe pears, orange peals, raisens, and dates even. Yes, finally an aggressive brew and not just from an alcohol perspective. More ripe fruit in the taste. You really can perceive the candied sugar. Nice, full mouthfeel. Slightly bicuity. Chewy but not overly so. This brew just embraces your palette. It's sweet and then migrates its way down and the alcohol presents itself; it's light but oh so nice. I'm a virgin to this brew no more and will make an effort to seek it out again. Can't wait to try it on tap should it ever appear in my area or somewhere during my travels. Make a point to grab this at your next opportunity.

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Photo of meadhead
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A good strong dark
with a smooth, refreshing
flavorful feel:

(too generic?)

A little sweet caramel malt
burgundy yeast esters,
and just a hint of bitter hopping-
with a well-blended ABV
and an easy drinkability
This is quality stuff.

Pours a dark murky brown
with a small
quickly fading head

A remarkably mellow and
non-alcoholic smell
taste is a good medium
dark fruit zing and rich malt

Mouthfeel is fantastic
with a moderate carbonation
that compiments the flavor
and hides the ABV

Good drinkability:
you can sip it
or swig it
and still it refreshes!

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Photo of Minkybut
2.76/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured beer from bottle to a tumbler at 45 dgrees. Beer was a cloudy brown most likely too cold. Beer had a bready smell and a slight hop smell. big fat tan head with fine bubbles and great lacing. Beer was ver Abbeyish tasting and the alcohol just was way too overpowering blowing away any taste sensation. I will not buy again.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This reddish-brown ale features fruity aroma with slight notes of brown sugar. The palate features lots of complexity, with flavors that offer varying degrees of subtlety and richness: multi-layered fruitiness (some apple, raisin, and some other dark fruits), a touch of smokiness, a bit of caramel grain, some definite malt sweetness, and a nicely dry, oaky alcohol character. Hop bitterness is fairly muted.

Very nice, hides it’s alcohol quite well, and very complex with lots of great flavor subtleties.

Highly recommended.

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Photo of Neehan
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into chalice.
Dark ruby with a smaller than expected head and minimal retention. Even swirling brings out little head, its best appearance characteristic is in its color. Very fruity, mild citrus in the smell with a touch of darker spices. Incredibly smooth and fruity in the flavor. Fruitiness and smooth taste make it quite drinkable. A bit less complex than I had expected, but damn good.

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Photo of Hampton73
4.72/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 ML Bottle, poured with a nice head that leaves lace on the glass. Pretty reddish brown color with little bubbles.

The aroma is very impressive, with dark fruits, malts, and alcohol blending nicley.

The flavor mimics the aroma, only better. Complexity and goodness are the words that come to mind. The Belgian yeast has been tamed to avoid the extreme flavors they can produce.

Mouthfeel is nice, with just the right amount of carbonation to balance the viscosity of the beer.

One of my favorite Belgium Brown ales.

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Photo of objectivemonkey
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best by date of 09 2006. I'll take that with a grain of salt, thank you.

Into a tulip glass, pours a dark and heady russet brown, moderate carbonation on pour, with a nice off white foma on top settling down to a thin bubbly film in the center, ringed around the edges, and the rest a wispy film over the brown goodness. Aroma is rich, full of dark fruits, figs, plums, mollases, some cherries, some brandy, everything well put together, very nice. Taste is similar to the nose, a lot of fruits, plum and brandy seem to stand out, cherries in there, a wonderful balance of all things tasty. The mouth has the right body, the right carbonation, it warms nicely, its fantastic, I love it. This is pretty much what I think of when I reach for a Belgian Strong Dark, very high quality beer, and an excellent find on my part, on sale at Cellar's for an $8 four pack, I'm stoked cause I have three left, yesss!!!!

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Photo of TheEclecticGent
3/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I had this beer on tap at Melton's App & Tap in Decatur, GA. It was poured in a small Caracole tulip glass.

Appearance: The color is an opaque auburn/brown with a dense tan head that slowly dissipated into a thin layer. This beer produces decent lacing.

Smell: The aroma is of fermented, aged, or dried fruit like apples , raisins, dates, etc. This scent is shared with a yeasty malt smell.

Taste: malty with light spices and deep aged fruit flavor.

Mouthfeel: Medium with light carbonation.

Drinkability: The flavor is very pleasant and complex.

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Photo of jettjon
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 750ml caged cork bottle, marked “lot F” and “Best before end 6-08.” Decants with a small pop, served at about 45 degrees into the cervoise and allowed to warm for about 10 minutes. Body is a medium reddish-brown with numerous tiny bubbles slowly rising up. One finger brown-tan head slowly fades leaving a thin sheet and minor lacing. Nose is of dark fruit, cherries, and sweet malt with a bit of alcohol. Taste definitely improves with warming; warm alcohol right up front, a solid malt backbone, dark fruits (cherry and plum), somewhat peppery. Dry, rather average finish. Dry overall. Mouth is semi-viscous, softly bubbling with full carbonation, very gentle on the tongue, smooth and velvety. Good mouth. Drinkability is good overall; the 9.5% ABV is evident but nicely integrated.

Overall: A very good strong dark ale, though I’ve had better. Definitely better when warmed. Good call.

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

Got a 750mL bottle for Chistmas. Great head when poured which dissipates into nice thin layer. Deep copper color, just a bit cloudy. Has a fruity smell and a bit of a liquorice taste. Let it warm to proper temperature before tasting. A strong beer... be careful.

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Photo of russpowell
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle with a BBD of March 08 (batch F)

Pours an ever so slightly hazed chestnut (orange red when when held to a good light) with 3 fingers of sand colored head.

S: Chocolate & nuttyness

T: Chocolate, breadyness, a slight iron & brown sugar flavor up front. A pleasant warming alcohol sensation comes through as this ale heats up to room temp. Finishes fruity, warming with candy sugar nuances

MF: Prickly up front, giving way to mediun body & chewyness as this warms

Drinks alright to good, this is a good, not great Belgian brown that maybe could've stood some more aging

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Photo of Billolick
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

11.2 ouncer purchased at Cable Bev. in Bardonia, NY. No freshness info offered. This little beauty pours muddy dark brown, cloudy, under a typical medium tan head, that seems to leave moderate scattered lacing. Sugary, raisiny nose. Nice drinking brown Belgian, notes of sweet, rummy raisins, dark fruits and drying hops late. Pleasant, fruity, plummy, doughy ale. alcohol well hidden. NIce stuff, well worth a try or two.

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

Pours a deep cloudy brown with slight garnet hue. I poured this too agressively but head reduced to good lacing. Smell of brandied cherries and spice. Taste much the same with a pleasant bitterness on the sides of the tongue in the aftertaste. We buy this less often than other Belgian brown ales however it is a great brew we'll keep in rotation.

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

On-tap 12/30/06 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a light brown color, with a good-sized off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of yeast, apricot, dark fruits and caramelized malt.

T: The sweet tastes of caramel and apricot hit first. Quickly following are the strong Belgian yeast flavor and some hops bitterness that transition into the after-taste.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easy, not very filling, ABV is well-hidden, overall it’s a very good beer, but it normally wouldn’t be my first choice.

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Photo of crazynipple
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I received a 33cl bottle from my sister who lives in Belgium (thanks sis!) The best before date was 06/2007.

I chilled it to 50 deg F, and drank it from a Leffe glass. It poured a deep red, with some foam but not too much. It has a rich mouthfeel, and an aroma of spices. Very sweet. For me, one of the best Brune beers.

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

330 mL bottle, best by 06/08, brewed with specialty and roasted malts, spiced with Saaz, bottled unfiltered and unpasteurized. It pours a yeast-laden dark rust with light carbonation and a three finger, fluffy, almond head that leaves nice lacing. It smells of rich malts/grains, with dark fruits, various berries (raspberry, redcurrant, strawberry?, kiwi?), and maybe some port. The flavor starts off rich and malty (molasses, carob?, light chocolate), but also quite sweet, with notes of roasted malts, pear/melon, apple?, fennel/anise, powdery/spicy yeast, clove/medicinal phenols, and a small dose of green hops that deliver a mild bitterness. The body, though tingly, is medium to full, dry, and leaves a medium finish. Overall, a complex, malty beer that starts off rich but becomes sweet and fruity. Would definitely revisit.

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Photo of RedHaze
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up this bottle in Bastogne, Belgium. 333ml bottle, with a best before date I can't decipher.

Pours a dark mahogany, with a massive three finger head that seems to take an eternity to fade to a thick cap. The lasing that's left behind completely covers the inside of my glass.

Smell; lots of dark fruits, with plums and dates being dominant, but there's also a little bit of dark purple grapes. Sweet caramel malts are present, with some nice spices coming through, but I'm having a hard time picking any specific spices out. Improves as it warms.

Taste; sweet caramel and toffee malts hit me at first, followed by a ton of dark fruits. Plums, dates, grapes and some figs are all present, and mixed with just some hints of alcohol. The finish is once again sweet with brown sugar and molasses. I know I've said this is sweet a couple of time, but it doesn't come off as sickeningly sweet to me.

Mouthfeel/Drinkabilty; mouthfeel is medium to full bodied, just a touch on the syrpy side, with a smooth carbonation. Drinkabilty is really good on this one.

Another beer that I've been putting off for a while, more due to no being sure how good it would really be. Now that I've tried it, I wish I had several more bottles for future consumption. A very nice before bedtime beer.

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Photo of BlackAngus
3.7/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark cloudy brown, brownish head that lasted well.

S - Yeast, malts, dark fruits, hint of hops.

T - Sweet, dark fruits, bready flavor. Caramel, toffee.

M - A tad thin in my opinion, but clean. Very well carbed.

D - I wouldn't seek it out, but it's not bad. Glad I tried it.

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Photo of sinistrsam
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a dull hazy brown with a great tan head that stuck around for a good while and left decent lacing.
Aroma is a very pleasant yeasty, doughy and malty presence with mild fruits, raisin being the first that comes to mind. Very mild hops if any.
The flavor was of mild spice, raisin, some malt and yeast, but faded quickly and didn't give much besides what I've already mentioned. I will say the very high ABV was well-disguised and not overpowering at all.
The feel was pretty disappointing; the sweetness fades quickly into a mild tart or sour feel, then fades more into a watery and bland experience I don't expect from Belgian browns.
Very drinkable, but the question is do you want to drink an entire one of these? A glass is worth having, and definitely a nice warmer on a cold autumn night, but there are better choices in the genre.

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Photo of Byeast
4.4/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: deep , opaque , auburn/brown , with a creamy tan head that dissipates to a thin layer.

Smell: The aroma is of much sweet fruits like apple , pear , hint of darker grape , also some malt and bit of yeast.

Taste: An interestingly complex taste to this brew! Sweet dark fruits , pear , chocolate , some berries, dark and sweet malts , slightly herbal hop , and grape(dark).

Mouthfeel: very active carbonation creams up this brew.

Drinkability: This is one fine brew to savor. The flavor is very pleasantly complex. Just when you think you have a grasp on a flavor , it morphs into another , brilliant!

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Photo of paterlodie
3.05/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

BBE 6-2006. Poors out almost without any head and what was there gone in a second and a brown and clear beer under it. Nose is lots of caramel, port, sweetish and obvious this one has some time on it despite having it in my fridge for almost a year and carefull storage in my cellar before. Not 100%shure but would say this one shows quiet some tomatojuice/sweet corn. Taste also very oxidised and with that sweet caramel and malts next to the warming alcohol. Not a bad brew for shure but missing sparkling freshness and IMHO not a great brew to age despite the 9.5% ABV.

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Photo of mjc410
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Zeno's in State College. The pour into a half pint goblet raised no head, but rather a light tan glass ring. The body appeared as a dark ruby-copper, slightly hazy. It left sparse but sticky lacing on the glass. The nose wass not complicated, but quite nice. Notes of earth, caramel, and pepper. The taste almost felt oak-aged, with strong vanilla notes. There was also a strong caramel taste. Plain, but very easy, hid the alcohol well. Intense and rich, for what it is. The mouthfeel was medium, with low carbonation, lending the beer a velvety smoothness. Overall, this is an easy but great beer.

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Photo of emerge077
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich garnet, into a Caracole tulip. Plume of steady carbonation feeds a dense head of foam. Smells of plum & caramel malt. Reminds me of a Scotch ale or Wee Heavy almost.

Taste is very smooth, roasted malt, caramel, plum, slight mineral quality. It's nice how the plum comes through overall, it's a great flavor specific to certain Belgians (De Dolle Extra Export Stout also comes to mind).

Mouthfeel is smooth, very easy to drink. Nice roasty grain/malt aftertaste, with a mild sweetness that isn't overdone. My favorite offering from this brewery.

A 750ml bottle could easily disappear in a session...

edit: 33cl bottle serving, noted an odd medicinal note that stuck around, even after sitting in the glass for awhile. Could be an old bottle...picked up a 4-pack, hope this isn't a trend.

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
4.06 out of 5 based on 911 ratings.
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