Nostradamus | Brasserie Caracole

514 Reviews

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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Reviews: 514 | Ratings: 898
Photo of Beelzebeer
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

330ml bottle, served in Chimay goblet, BB June 19th, 2014

A - Perfect. Dark dark mahogany, almost black until held to the light, dense creamy 2" head that lasts, nice lacing

S - Dark sugars, some leather. Typical for style. Maybe a little more faint than others. Could be my nose.

T - Hides the 9% well. A little burn when it's gone, but less than others. Light on the fig/date, more malty than sweet, raisin.

M - Very nice. A little chewy, little carbonation, very creamy.

O - Very nice. Good representation for the style. Think I might try to pick some more up before they're all gone.

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Photo of biegaman
3.84/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Nostradamus - the beer - reveals nothing. The dark brown colour and marble complexion make it so that you can't see anything inside. Saying much of anything about it is extremely difficult, especially since this bottle poured out completely flat (over-carbonation had made previous experiences quite messy, but decorative nonetheless).

Belgian yeasts have a serious talent for drama - they are typically loud with bombastic fruit and flaming spice - but this strain is actually quite tame. While you're likely to find traces of clove or pepper, the nose is actually rather sweet and simple. Brown sugar and raisins make a pleasant, if straightforward bouquet.

Many Belgian ales have layers of fruit flavour. This offering has only the one: raisin. Sure, I could entertain the notion of figs and prune, maybe even a squirt of orange juice, but essentially what you smelled is what you get - raisins and brown sugar. It is not as layered as a Quad and lacks the savory dimension of a Dubbel. Put another way: I feel I'm missing out a little...

The fact that Nostradamus is dark, high in alcohol and bottle-conditioned means it can age, which is good because the bubbles are as hyperactive as a classroom of kids with A.D.D. They sting the palate like small electric shocks, numbing it from the beer's more nuanced malty notes. Otherwise, however, it is smooth, satiating, and full of dark candi sugar sweetness.

Nostradamus has a seductiveness that has less to do with its flavour and more in its ability to help you forget about the world in the recesses of alcohol. Still, come cold temperatures and dark nights, it is an invaluable asset. And while fashions change with time, rich and malty strong ales such as this are truly timeless. My prediction: you'll like it.

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Photo of darky
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured into Saxo tulip/snifter

A: Murky,muddy brown. Minimal, but complete off-white head.

S: Ripe banana, hints of anise and coriander, bread-y yeasts. There's another component I cannot put my finger on, blueberry?. Near-zero alcohol on the nose. Extremely pungent, even at too-cold of a temperature straight out of the fridge, which is impressive in itself. Letting this one come up to temp before proceeding.

M: Creamy, with moderate but satisfying carbonation. Pretty much perfect here.

T: The smell of this beer is an edge-of-your-seat build-up to the actual flavor; here goes... Taste follows the nose but is markedly different on the back end in that it has a surprise (sourdough?) funk and nutty-ness to it. Wow. There is a lot going on here. I've never had anything like this before. It has many characteristics of a brown ale, but with the delightful bread and subtle fruit traits Belgians do so well. The malt is remarkably sweet, which also contributes to the aforementioned funk. Very hard to pinpoint, this.

O: My final thoughts are, this is like a Goose Island Nut Brown on steroids. A brown taken to stratospheric heights. Not for everybody, but really just excellent overall.

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Photo of jbsteiny
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I agree with the last reviewer that I think this beer is rated far too highly - I don't think, for example, it's as good as Chimay Blue, but Jason (for example) rated it actually slightly higher. Go figure.

Poured into a tulip a hazy reddish brown with gorgeous ruby highlights. Large initial tan head fades to a ring and scattered head, which leaves small amounts of spotted lacing on the glass.

Rich aromas of caramel, stewed and dried stone fruits, port, yeast, esters. Really nice. However, on the palate, this comes off as far too boozy and over-carbonated as well. May work after dinner as a digestif, but it's kind of a killer if you're trying to pair it with food or have in a sampling. Probably would improve with aging. At least it has a dry finish.

Probably not going to buy again, but always glad to try another BSDA. Increases my appreciation for those breweries who really nail the style.

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Photo of TerryW
3.24/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

I'm not understanding all the high scores for this one, because to me it comes across as a very average beer.

Looks good. Big head that's not out of control that settles to a heavy film and leaves gooc lace throughout. Cleat chestnut brown, reddish. Nose is gently fruity and sweet. Taste is fruity and sweet, malty, finishes with mild alcohol and some dryness. You can feel the buzz at 9%, but it's nice and warm rather than hurtful. Best drunk at room temperature or a little warmer as it has an unpleasant plastic chemical aftertaste when cold.

Drinkable, bur really just average, not worth all the plaudits here. Nothing leaps out to make you say wow. Uninteresting.

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Photo of mintjellie
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Deep brown colour with red highlights. Large beige head, good retention and lace. Fragrant with notes of cherry, brown sugar, plum, yeast and nuts. Boozy, but nicely so. Complex flavour - plum and cherry notes are underscored by a finish of gentle acidity. It's malty and slightly sweet as well, with cookie dough and toasted nut. This hides the alcohol well on the palate. Medium-bodied with abundant carbonation. Feels light in the mouth, but not in the thin sort of way. A beer that manages to be both approachable and somewhat complex at the same time.

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Photo of Kremlock
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in tulip glass.

A: Very dark copper with burgundy hues. Pours a very thick frothy white head with low-medium lacing.

S: Sweet, fruity notes. I pick up cherries with some sweet plum. There is a soft bubble gum scent present. Scent is soft and refreshing with smooth alcohol aromas.

T: Complex fruity flavours. Some cherries, raisins and plum but all on the sweeter sides. Finish is dry to low sweetness. I get a bit of holiday fruitcake. The malt is very complex with some nice sweetness yet the dryness of the finish balances it very well.

M: Medium body. Carbonation but has a bite on the tongue. Sweetness is not bothersome and the finish is great. I find the carbonation to have a bite but other then that...amazing.

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Photo of peensteen
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown with some ruby red coming through, cap of off white head, not much in the way of lace. Smell is yeasty and a little funky, followed by some herbal anise and dark fruits, corriander perhaps in there as well, plum, raisin, mild brown sugar, some metalic/sour points when cold that seemed to fall of as it warmed. Taste has lots of dark fruits with some spicy herbal flavours, touch of yeast, malty dark breads, raisin, a little sweeter and fruity in the finish. Medium carbonation, medium-full body. Nice dark belgian, nose is a bit odd but certainly drinkable and quite enjoyable, surely something that will age nicely.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip.

A - Classic dark brown color.

S - Fruity smell but not too sweet.

T - Delicious and malty. An easy drinker that I enjoyed.

M - Not a huge mouth, but this wasn't a problem.

O - A superb beer that I enjoyed as much as I'd hoped I would. I like it. I like it a lot.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Looks like a BB of Sept 13, 2013

Beer is very dark brown with reddish hints. A very large beige head fills a sizable portion of the glass. Good retention, quite a bit of lace.

Scent contains dark fruit. Prune, grape, raisin. Brown sugar and some bread.

Taste is like the nose. A strong focus on the dark fruit: raisin, grape and fig. Brown sugar and bready malt again. Sweet, but in a restrained way. Nice.

Full bodied, but not heavy. Moderate to high carbonation, but not irritating. Bready.

Overall, quite a nice BSDA. Not a world class beer but very nice. A pleasure.

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

330ml bottle poured in a goblet. ABV 9%.

A - Poured a dark brown with mahogany & copper highlights. A thin beige head quickly reduced to surface bubbles. Some lacing.

S - Candy, bubblegum, cherries, caramel, some spice. The typical Belgium yeast aroma is present.

T - Caramel, sweet, cherries, some dried fruit, some spice, herbal notes.

M - Medium carbonation, medium body, some stickiness, dry finish.

O - Pretty good.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.31/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

(4.25) A: Mahogany red with a solid height of dirty beige foam. Long lasting retention and streaky lacing.

(4.5) S: Initial wave of rich dark woods (oddly mothball like) along with some fruity bubblegum (with sour cherries), sweet toffee, and dried fruits (figs and raisins). Not overly boozy to the nose. Wonderful stuff with a very rich and refined aroma.

(4.25) T: Fruity bubblegum, overripe banana, cherries, nutty qualities, toffee backbone, brown sugar and spice. Not overly sweet with more focus on an earthy-malty side of things. Well balanced, subtle, and superbly smooth.

(4.25) M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Velvety texture with slight chewiness.

(4.25) D: Very tasty with quite an overall subtle yet refined taste profile with some wonderful flavours coming through. Would definitely purchase again.

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Photo of JohnnyBarman
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

330mL bottle from the Conestoga LCBO. Never heard of this brew before, but looks intriguing.

Poured into a goblet. Deep caramel-chestnut, about a half inch of lively head that recedes into a sturdy ring. Some lacing.

Nose is brown sugar, caramel, some fruit - figs, raisins or grapes - mild yeast.

Initially quite dry, but this brew really deserves some extra breathing time before things really get going. Sweet and sugary at first, with some of that figgy fruit taste coming in near the finish, along with some chocolate and medicinal herbs. Not bad, actually.

Carbonation is quite aggressive at first - again, letting the brew breathe helped a great deal. It did help the give the brew a lighter quality, however.

Interesting Belgian dark that I found I enjoyed more and more with each sip.

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Photo of ThinkAgain
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Dark chestnut color with a small light beige head that evaporates quickly to leave a few bubbles. Aroma of roasted malts. Flavor of caramel and toffee, a bit sweet, but nice balance. Medium body. Nice example of the style and would defiantly buy again.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

11oz Bottle from the Ottawa LCBO for 3.50$

Appearance - Hazy brown colour with an above average size fizzy beige head. It's hard to make out the level of carbonation showing and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 5-6 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Malts, dark fruits, yeast, anise

Taste & Mouth - There is a very high amount of carbonation and I can taste malts and some dark fruits. There is also a yeasty spiciness and some licorice/anise and some medicine like flavour. It ends with a spicy malty aftertaste.

Overall - Not as good as I was expecting.. there is a little bit too much medicine/anise like flavour and the carbonation level was too high. It's not a bad beer by any means, I was just expecting more.

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

A: Dark brown with reddish tints when viewed through the light. The Head is about a finger's width, off-white, with an infinite retention due to the steady stream of bubbles from the bottom of the glass.

S: Candy sugars, Belgian yeast, aggressive esters. A sweet and intensely alcoholic aroma.

T: Initial flavor is heavy on the fruit and alcohol. Almost sangria-like at first. Soon the richer malts kick in, bringing deep roasty flavor and a suggestion of chocolate. The hops take the strong flavors through to the finish, which is quite bready.

M: Lots of carbonation, But not syrupy like I was expecting, much more oily, though a bit sticky on the throat.

O: A really good beer. Complex, deep flavors. A nice combination of the flavors of a brown ale with the Belgian characteristics.

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

A treat to find at the local LCBO...

A - Pours a hazy dark brown colour, two fingers of beige head with solid retention and nice sticky lacing.

S - Sweet cloves, bananas, burnt sugar, dark fruit with figs and raisins and a hint of booze on the finish.

T - Flavours are dominated by sweet cloves, bananas and yeast esthers. The dark fruit notes come through alongside caramel and candied brown sugar with a peppery finish.

M - Medium bodied, fills the mouth and finishes surprisingly wet.

O - This stuff is quite tasty, a high octane brew that is dangerously drinkable. Nice to see this brew made it to the Northwest and will definitely be picking up an extra bottle or two before they're all gone.

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Photo of wordemupg
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

330ml bottle poured into tulip 20/12/12

A clear brownish amber, looks like root beer, two fingers of tan foam sits around for a while being sustained by a heavy stream of carbonation, just a few spots of lace

S brewers candy and brown sugar, its fruity with some sour cherry perhaps and a little yeast, almost has a woody vinous aspect but I just can't place it, I swear I pick up on some strong cinnamon as it warms

T some earthy leather and a little booze on top of what I smell, pretty solid brew with a good mix of fruit, spice and sugars

M light bodied for the strength but not thin, a few extra bubbles and a little heat on the way down, finish has a long but faint rum raisin thing going

O pretty nice Belgian, good all around and I like a beer where I can't pin point everything it leaves me thinking

I'd drink this one again, priced right and well suited for this chilly Winter night

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Photo of wisrarebeer
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was the only brewery that proved to be a bust when I visited Belgium. I walked in and there were two guys working but they only spoke French and didn't want anything to do with visitors. Bummer...

$8.99 for a 750ml bottle

A: brilliant copper-rosy color, clear, poured with a nice rocky head that quickly dissipated to nothing
S: medium nose, port-like with deep malt nose, hints of barley wine
T: deep roasted malt, port-like with good hop balance but malt dominates, some oxidation that actually plays well with style
M: very nice, deep, very drinkable for ABV, warming

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Photo of mooseo
4.47/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml into goblet.

A - Dark brown amber with a medium light tan head.

S - Bready malt, brown sugar, light dark fruit, banana. Very pleasant and inviting.

T - Sweet toasted malt, caramel, plum, raisin, banana and black cherry. Hints of spicy alcohol and Belgian yeast. Finishes bready mixed with a nutty/earthy flavor.

M - Silky and creamy. Medium bodied with a somewhat dry finish.

O - A delicious Belgian ale. Complex, flavorful, and easy drinking. The alcohol warmth slowly builds up. Phenomenal brew.

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Photo of deebo
3.36/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Second trip to Cambrinus in Bruges for the night, with so many beers and good prices this is always a must stop for beers while in Bruges.
A-Pours a ton of fluffy tan head. This brew is clear and dark brown with a little bit of red around the edges when you hold it up to the light. NIce lacing.
S-Surprisingly not much noted, weak barley with a corn adjunct twist to it. Plenty of Belgian yeast here.
T-Yeasty esters. Somewhat sweet raisiny malt.
M-Medium bodied and carbonated.
O-Surprisingly unexciting. A solid beer but I've really enjoyed other Caracole beers so I expected more.

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Photo of beergoot
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great reddish-copper (mahogany) body with a creamy, thick head. Powerful aroma, rich with malt goodness and succulent, ripe fruits (plums, raisins, and figs). Outstandingly robust taste infused with boldly sweet dark fruit esters and hearty caramel malt grains; there is a sublime alcohol warmth lurking in the background and a really, really nice subtle hop bitterness. Rich, smooth, heavy-bodied mouthfeel; sweet and chewy.

This is a pretty stunning beer overall, especially in the taste-department. Smoothly balanced and deep complexity make this a beer to savor and sip over a period of time. Big, beautiful, and well-worth seeking out...

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Photo of Marc_V
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

75cl bottle from Belgian Beer Nostradamus is a dark brown ale with a thick, beige head. The aroma is very complex with dark fruits, lots of yeast, malty, sweet, spicy, vinous. The taste is like the aroma very complex; the alcohol presence is very clear. Sweet, malty and spicy. This is a wonderful beer, ideal after a good meal

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Photo of srhoadsy
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served slightly chilled in a pint glass.

Pours a deep amber color with half an inch of quickly fading tan head.

Smells of raisins, sour cherry, burnt sugar and malt. Reminds somewhat of a good hard cider.

Taste here is all about the malt and yeast. Dark sugars, dried fruit and sour apples. Very interesting.

Mouthfeel is medium with a dry finish and a touch of alcohol burn. Mild carbonation.

All in all a very interesting beer. A mix of a brown ale and a sour. Not somethign I would drink every day, but would definitely try again.

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

Appearance: Dark red, almost looks like a barley wine. Head dissipated almost immediately.
Smell: syrup, molasses, candy sugar, dark stone fruits; black cherry, plum, dates, all of it covered in a layer of sweet balsamic. Fruity vinegar. Smells awesome.
Taste: Black cherry, sweet malt, molasses. End of the tongue has a puckering acidity. Dark fruits really come to the fore as this warms up. For 9% there is absolutely no booziness. Bready sweetness coming out with a very subtle counter balance of bitterness. Slight hints of a roasted malt. Closer to room temperature it picks up an almost bourbon barrel aged flavor that is really surprising. It's a little reminiscent of Firestones Double DBA.
Mouthfeel: Full side of medium. Thick with just enough carbonation to help clear the palate.

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Nostradamus from Brasserie Caracole
4.06 out of 5 based on 898 ratings.
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