Nostradamus | Brasserie Caracole

515 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: 515 | Ratings: 898
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Beachwood BBQ & Brewing in Long Beach, CA.

Pours a murky crimson-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of toasted malt, dark fruits, brown sugar, caramel, and slight spice aromas. Taste is much the same with a very grape-like flavor and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and easy to drink.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from 9/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a dark orange brown amber with a slight off-white head leaving a ring around the glass. Aroma of dark fruits, light spice and hint of sour. Sweet dark fruits, a bit of cherry and malts progressing to a bittersweet, somewhat dry finish. Nice progression of flavors; quite nicely made. Medium bodied with pleasant carbonation. Another nice Caracole.

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

Pours a beautiful dark brown with a tan head into a Teku glass. Lovely smell of malt, husk, and chocolate.

Slick and juicy, wonderful rich notes of dark fruits, chocolate, and a touch of molasses. The phenolic undertone is quite nice and balances out what would otherwise be quite the heady combination of flavors. The hops come through with an earthy note, adding even more complexity. Carbonation also lifts on the palate, making this very drinkable. 9%? That is news to me! Medium to medium-heavy bodied.

What better than a piece of Belgian chocolate to go with this sweetie?

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Photo of LeeryLeprechaun
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer opens with a nice POP! from the carbonation as the cork comes free.

Pour is a wonderful red brown with a solid two fingers of head on top of the beer. The foam sits atop the beer for the whole glass as this beer is slowly savored.

The aroma is of alcohol, some dark fruits, and sourness. It is that funky sour aroma you come to expect with sour beers but this one is well balanced and plays nicely with the malt.

The taste is malty to start with a nice mellow sour finish followed by some oaky aftertaste.

Overall this was an impressive beer I would recommend it to anyone who wants to broaden their beer horizon.

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

33cl poured into a tulip, it pours a lovely dark brown with dark red hues and a large (2 inch) tan head.

Smell: Fruit dominates the smell with figs, plums and even a little pear and cherry in there. Malts, alcohol and a little caramel provide the backbone of the smell.

Taste: Spices and medicinal alcohol lead the way for strong sweet fruity flavours similar to the nose but with more cherry and some blueberry in there even. Malt, caramel and some tingly alcohol finish off the taste.

Mouthfeel: Just enough carbonation to make this beer refreshing and deceptively easy to drink for it's ABV but not so much that it becomes a nuisance.

Overall: This is a very well balanced beer with lots of fruitiness and plenty of complexity in the taste. Lighter, fruitier and easier to drink than most of it's kin, definitely worth trying.

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Photo of chickenflea
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(bottle, 750ml) Tried on the recommendation of Nicolette at WoB near UCF in Orlando. Hazy, ruby amber color with a beige foamy head of medium size. Intensively nutty and toasty malty aroma with caramel, mocha beans and a Port-like alcoholic note. Sweet flavor, full-bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Toast-malty taste with caramel and chocolate flavors, as well as subtle notes of dried fruits and mocha; sweet and roasty bitter finish with a warming but non-aggressive alcohol and a slightly fruity aftertaste. Balanced and complex brew. Very enjoyable.

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Photo of merryjoulton
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a real nice deep brown with a head that fizzled pretty quick down to nothing. Smell is great. Gts some chocolate with a roasty malt and some good vanilla notes mixed in. Fresh basil too. Taste is very refined. Alcohol is masked very well so it is an easy drinker. Mouthfeel is full. Great brew.

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Photo of 51mmz0rz
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a Westmalle chalice. Best before 12/12. Lot FX. Thanks to Ian for the suggestion.

A: Tan head is loose and active. It fades quickly. Body is dark opaque brown.

S: Not getting much out the the aroma. Slight caramel sweetness?

T: Big yeast and fruit flavors, slight warming alcohol. Up there with the best.

M: Find a good balance of thickness and carbonation.

D: Overall a great example of this style. I would easily buy this again, and would like to try it next to some of my favorites to see how it stacks up.

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Photo of BostonHops
3.47/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

11.2oz bottle served in oversized wineglass.

pours a murky, amber/brown tone while yielding a half finger of off-white head the dissipates quickly, leaving some lacing.

smell is predominantly sweet: dark fruits, yeast, and spices. first sip is indeed very sweet, with a vague, almost wine-like quality. raisins, plums, malts, spices, and yeast round out the primary players. i don't know if i could call it tasty. it's not bad, per se, just not really doing much for me. moderately carbed with a full mouthfeel. all in all there is enough here to like to keep it from going down the drain. that said, IMO there are much better representations of the style.

original review on: 08-15-2010

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Photo of Jadjunk
4.23/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on Tap at Summit's Snellville 3/29/12. Reviewed from notes.

(Appearance) arrives with a deep cream toffee head, retains above average. Color is a dark brown, little light let in through the head. Lacing is light but consistent and solid. Appearance is fantastic, upset only by an imperfect head quality. 4.5

(Smell) Belgian yeast, dark bread malts, potent Belgian spices, coriander and dark fruit make up a big part of the nose. Aroma is big and clean, nothing too off putting. Medium/High potency. Very Pleasant aroma. 4

(Taste) Mild spicy malt taste, followed by a very tasty malt and dark fruit backbone. Enough bittering flavors with the spice to keep it balanced. Very pleasant Belgian Brown Ale. 4.5

(Mouthfeel) Very mild carbonation pairs well with the style, accenting the spice and fruit tones without overbearing the palate. It could tone down a notch, but otherwise is very well done. Light alcohol presence, super sneaky. Medium body. Solid. 4

(Overall) As far as this style goes, I'm on board for another one of these. It's well worth it for another great Belgian beer. Try it if you can find it! 4

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Photo of ChillMike
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice reddish amber color with a two fingered light tan head that quickly recedes down. Not a bad looking beer.

S: Raisins, cloves malty goodness a bit of a hop. Not a whole lot, kind of reminds me of a barleywine.

T: Lots of raisin, clovey spice, high notes of alcohol. Again not a whole lot going on, that's not to say it's bad or even average. I'd just say it's not a very complex tasting beer.

MF: A tad on the watery side, but it does go down really smooth and it's appropriate for the style.

O: Not too bad, don't know if I'll pick it up again but if a friend had one out I'd definitely partake.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Half finger rapidly dissipating head on a murky brown with garnet hues body. Sweet dark fruit aroma but not too strong. Flavor is a touch watery but this is an old batch I think. Fruity, mostly strawberry, with a spices corriander note in the finish. Smooth, medium body and moderate to high carbonation. Overall highly drinkable and flavorful.

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Photo of DARIVA
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown cloudy beer with a small head.

S: The smell of lemon is present good.

T: Sweet with a delicious lemon flavor.

M: Great feeling in ratio, delicious aftertaste, nice carbonation.

O: Very good combination, completely and well drinkable beer.

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Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4.18/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml corked bottle into a New Belgium chalice. lot FX, best before 3/12, but still totally fresh with no cardboard taste.

A: Pours a dark chestnut brown, not cloudy, with a full, thick, big bubble head, 2" off a very slow pour. Second and third pours still very robust head. Good retention with solid lacing, which eventually dissipates to a thin foam layer with well defined nucleus.

S: Very fruity, driven by prunes and black cherry, with yeasty overtones. I don't sense any medicinal Rucola cough drops or much alcohol in the nose.

T: Nice balanced flavor, biscuity yeasty favors, offsetting dark dried fruits -- raisins, prunes, black cherries. The odd hint of Belgian candy sugar. The alcohol is very well hidden behind the other elements. The yeast comes in as the carbonation dissipates on the back of the palate. I'm not a huge strong brown ale fan, as the herbal and medicinal flavors often throw me off, but there's very little of that here.

M: Despite the apparent bottle age, quite fresh and crisp carbonation. The carbonation helps the range of flavors evolve from fron to back of each sip.

D: This is one of my friend's all time favorites, so I tried it based on her recommendation. Quite drinkable and one of the better strong brown ales I've had.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Dogfish signature snifter. Notches on the back label indicate best before the end of the 12th month of 2013.

A- Pours a medium brown color with a 3/4 inch tan head that retains well before reproaching to an 1/8 inch ring around the edge of the glass and full amounts of surface foam. Thick, sticky lacing.

S- Fragrant Belgian yeast that's semi-medicinal along with notes of milk chocolate and raisin. A smidgen of glass and oxidation as well.

T- Much more raisin in the taste along with a very distinct barnyard aftertaste. Alcohol makes its presence known very quickly while the yeast hangs back and contributes to the profile only once in a while. The dark fruit is the main attraction in this one. Plums, dates, figs, even red grapes all make an appearance at one point or another.

M- Medium-high carbonation plus a weighty body. Sort of drying also.

O- Very good, but I like Caracole's paler offerings a bit better.

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Photo of thain709
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 vintage

A - Poured with a dark chestnut body that showed some ruby highlights...the head was small and light brown in vanished rather quickly, leaving just a small bead...not too much lacing was left behind

S - Deep, rich caramel and toffee...raisins, dates and other dark fruits...a roasted chocolate note as well

T - The flavors weren't as pronounced as the nose suggested...there is an all around sweetness present in the beer...the caramel and toffee do a nice job imparting those flavors and making dark and rich...the dark fruits and some Belgian yeast play a small part in the middle...if you search hard enough you can even pick up some slight spiciness coming from the yeast...chocolate provides a nice finish as it adds more sweetness as well as a slight roastiness

M - Medium bodied...might have fallen a bit, but the flavors that linger are nice...deep, rich, roasted with chocolate and caramel flavors

O - A big thanks to tnip23 for sharing a bottle of this with me for a birthday held up pretty well...I think some of the flavors may have fallen off, but it still has enough depth with strong flavors

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Photo of Rschis16
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A nice hazy ruby reddish brown colored beer with a big head on top that dissapates pretty slowly, leaving a bit of lacing with it. The head is foamy and a light tan in color. The aroma is subtly fantastic, slightly vinous with a nice sweetness from some dark stone fruits. A hint of chocolate floats through as well. A bit of booze evident in the aroma giving it that vinous quality that works really well with the chocolatey dried fruit aromas. Very pleasant, could sniff this all day.

Very pleasant tasting as well. It has the Belgian qualities of fruity yeasty flavors, with a background of caramel and toffee malt flavors that are brown ale-esque. Definitely a bit of bubble gum that is very Belgian in character. The fruitiness is remeniscent of this and cherries, maybe even a hint of apple or pear. Almost barleywineish even, but then in the end it drops off and returns to that toffee flavor and is distinctly just a brown ale on steroids. Some light cidery notes follow through from a the touch of booze that is most evident in the back and breath. This doesn't detract from the beer however as the booze is actually pretty well hidden by the fruity playfulness for the most part. Farther down the bottle, the hops become more evident and balance out some of the sweetness with just a faint touch of bitterness, just rounding out the beer very nicely. The mouthfeel is subdued for the first half of the bottle, finishing soft and smooth despite the crispness of the initial tasting. In the bottom half, a touch more carbonation and effervescence is evident, but the smoothness remains overall.

Definitely a sipper and one to share with friends, but make sure you get a good cross-section of this beer. The top half is a bit different from the bottom as the yeast sits down there. Also definitely let this one warm up to close to 55 degrees. This seemed ideal for all of the characteristics of this beer to shine. Great beer, definitely recommended by me.

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

750ml corked and caged bottle poured into St Bernardus chalice

A: Pours a deep, rich brown with notes of garnet on the edges. Head is dense and off white that slowly fades to a thin ring.

S: Aroma is rich with figs, raisins, and dates. Sweet malt hides in the background along with alcohol and slight cherry.

T: Smooth with a mellow malt sweetness that is loaded with dried figs, raisins, plums, dates, cherries and walnut skins. Alcohol makes it's presence known with it's warming effect but only so in the finish. Very light bitterness makes its appearance in the finish.

M: Medium body with a carbonation level that causes the beer to take on a creamy feel.

D: Fantastic brew that I'll have to visit again. One that can be shared with friends or saved all for yourself.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

best before end date of 2012
A - dark brown with a reddish tint and a one finger head that leaves slight lacing.
S - sour cherries with a sweet background.
T - very much in line with the smell. A slight bit of tart with a sweet cherry yeasty base.
m - clean, medium body with good carbonation. Leaves just a touch of coating behind.
D - easy drinking but sipping and warming will bring out some more fruit notes.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer appears relatively hazy and sunburst orange to ruby in color with a half inch of thick beige head that leaves plenty of lacing in its wake. The aroma brings cherries, malt, yeast - lovely. Sweet cherries balanced by classic Belgian yeast strain and a strong malt backbone. Great stuff. Some lingering alcoholic warmth in the finish. More sweet than sour for sure, but a subtle tartness keeps the sweet aspect (tempered by a delicious Belgian yeast strain) from ever becoming cloying. Cherries and yeast are the star of this show. A beer I will definitely have again. Recommended.

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Photo of jayhawk73
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Huhzubendah for sharing this, thanks Matt

Pours a reddish brown color with a one finger cocoa head. Decent lacing on my New Belgium glass. The nose is raisin, rum, plum, cherry, and a slight sourness to it. Really complex and well done. The taste is nice, almost a Flanders red vibe or old bruin vibe. A sweet candy flavor as well in the taste. Feel is medium full with sweet candy/sour finish. Very complex in all aspects. Overall, a great beer, although I think it's listed in the wrong style. Cheers

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Photo of Knapp85
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice looking dark red color with a light tan colored head on top. the smell of the beer was soft with some dark fruit and roasted grains on the nose. The taste of the beer has a little bit of a tart flavor in it with some sweet dark fruits in there too. It's also got a dry bitter aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer was pretty good, it had a decent amount of carbonation to it. Overall it's not a bad brew at all, I would drink it again sometime.

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Photo of Hex92
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My favorite style, and this is a pretty tasty representative.
A- looks hood, but the head dissapated quickly.
S- I wish I could put my finger on it. It has a distinctive smell, but I just can't place it.
T- I likre this beer a lot. Very tasty. All the usual flavor you would expect from the style, but it reminds me of Paulaner Salvatore too. Very interesting.
M- maybe a bit thin DD, but not overly so.

Overall a good beer that I will buy again.

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

Appearance is murky brown with a perfectly thick head and very nice lacing.

Nose is plenty of spicy yeast and sweet malt. Also has a strong raisin smell, with cola and bread.

Taste is similar to most Belgian Strongs: plenty of grape, fig and sweet malt; breadiness all the way through with a splash of cola.

Mouthfeel has very smooth with medium carbonation. The alcohol has a nice warmth.

Overall, it is a fine Belgian Strong.

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

APPEARANCE: I love the Belgians when they dress up a strong dark brown ale with colorful drawing of gnomes, elves, or cartoon nymphs. You can enjoy a wonderful little fantasy scene on a dark blue and red label.

The cork on the liter bottle popped and heavy smoke floated over the rim. The very dark brown beer was poured into a big St. Bernardus glass chalice. It's dark brown and murky with a nice head nothing special as Belgium beers go anyway.

TASTE: Heavy flavored fruity flavored beverage here with a sweet after taste that lingers nicely. The strong flavors really socked it too my taste buds. It reminded me of my 1st Guinness or something. Good carbonation. This is what I am learning is a classic wonderful dark Belgium ale.

AROMA: A strong fragrance of dates, raisins, plums that sort of thing.

Provided you like St Bernardus Abbey 12, then you will likely be pleased with Nostradamus. Hopefully, American pubs in a few years will be stocking more brews like this. May change the entire atmosphere of the American pub scene.

In any event this beer goes down well with Vivaldi's Four Seasons or some nice Bach piano music by Glenn Gould The Goldberg Variations.

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