Nostradamus | Brasserie Caracole

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926 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2001

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Ratings: 926 |  Reviews: 522
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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Photo of datamike
4.95/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a nice chestnut brown with medium carbonation. Aroma is of candy sugar, raisins and dark chocolate - overall a very sweet smell, but not cloying.
Taste is similar to St. Bernardus 12, but perhaps even more balanced and rounded. Toffee, caramel, chocolate and sweet malt are all present along with the perfect amount of hop bitterness to make an exceptionally balanced sipper. Slight alcohol taste present at the finish, but never solventy, hot or overpowering.
Flavor definitely is improved at the recommended drinking temp of 50-55f.
The perfect Belgian Strong Dark Ale? Perhaps...

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Photo of theWrkncacnter
3.87/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz corked bottle. Pours a deep hazy brown with a small head with some good lacing. Smell is strong of sweet pears, almost like a dessert wine. Taste is very good. A good amount of sweet carries over from the smell. Tastes of pears with some good malt character and some lingering bitterness. Taste is not as sweet as you'd expect from the smell. Not too complex but very good, a nice dry finish. Mouthfeel betrays a bit of the alcohol content, but otherwise good. Drinkability is high, a very good brew. I'd definitely buy this again if I was looking for a good 22oz belgian.

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Photo of peabody
3.65/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours out a cloudy dark Ice Tea color with one finger of off-white suds and lots of lacing already appearing on the chalice.
Smell is sugar/caramel with a slight yeast aroma.Upon swirrling, you can smell raisin and plum and cherry. The alcohol is pretty strong here.
Don't drink this cold. As it warms the flavors seem to increase and the watery initial flavor goes away. Still it is a less than perfect mix of good tastes. Mostly sugar and yeast and water.
Mouthfeel is oily,which is a good thing, and alcoholy,which is not such a good thing here.
Can't rate this high on drinkability either cause of the high%abv.

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Photo of sabrills70
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

750ml corked and caged bottle with a best before date of 6/08. pours a medium brown with a small quik fading head and minimal lace. Aromas of rich malt, brown sugar, sherry and dried fruits. Lots of nice flavors here - similar to the aromas. Very low carbonation though which surprised me - too low I think. This beer is tasty but the extreme low carbonation kind of throws it off. Perhaps I just got a bad bottle?

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Photo of Steve188821
4.35/5  rDev +7.4%
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 +7.7%
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 +11.1%
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 +1.2%
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 -31.9%
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%
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 +3.5%
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 +16.5%
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 +12.3%
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 -25.9%
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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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
Beer rating: 4.05 out of 5 with 926 ratings