Saxo | Brasserie Caracole

very good
232 Reviews

Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by kbub6f on 02-21-2002

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Reviews: 232 | Ratings: 401
Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This one is fine. It is certainly worth the experience--but I left a bit wanting... Its simply missing that special something. There is nothing really distinct about this golden ale. Its a bit harmless and safe. The carbonation is average which makes the finish a little dull. And you'll get the usual fruity notes of a beer this style. I'd give the bottle artwork a 5/5, but otherwise, I've had many better in this style.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

330 ml bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 11/30/2014. Pours slightly hazy golden amber color with a 1-2 finger dense and fluffy white head with good retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Nice spotty soapy lacing clings around the glass, with a fair amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big lemon, orange, apricot, pear, apple, coriander, light pepper, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and compelxity of fruity/earthy yeast, spice, and moderate bready malt notes; with good strength. Taste of big lemon, orange, apricot, pear, apple, coriander, light pepper, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness. Light herbal bitterness/yeast spiciness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon, orange, apricot, pear, apple, coriander, light pepper, cracker, biscuit, light honey, herbal, floral, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, spice, and moderate bready malt flavors; with a nice malt/bitter/spiciness balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light dryness from bitter/spiciness as well. Medium carbonation and body; with a very smooth and lightly grainy/creamy/sticky balanced mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with zero warming present after the finish. Overall this is a very nice Belgian strong pale ale. All around good complexity, robustness, and balance of fruity/earthy yeast, spice, and moderate bready malt flavors; and very smooth and easy to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This is the 2nd of the 4-pack. So I am getting to appreciate this more... as often happens with me as I grow to discern those brewers who spend a lot of time on their yeast... as Caracole does.

Saxo looks great, even among the competition of Belgian blondes.
Smells like a master at work.
Taste has what seems like Caracole's unique yeast.
Feel is right, not too carbonated, but does have lingering spices that are not as yum-yum as the rest of the beer.

Caracole to me is becoming one of the more interesting brewers that are distinctly Walloonian, a place that seems to breed interesting brewers.

MJ's "Great Beers of Belgium" gave a long review (for him) "a Duvel-like beer with a deductively fresh fruitiness reminiscent of bananas and cherries in cream; smoothly seductive but penetrating and strong (8.0 vol)" and then goes on to talk about the ingredients.

2/27/17 Had on tap at The Map Room, my neighborhood bar that I go to, amazingly, every other year. They served Saxo too cold for me and I didn't have time to let it warm up. Still good, but the bottle fermentation is a better way for me to drink it.

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Photo of stevoj
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Bottle from Tres Bonne Cuisine. Deep golden body with soft white head. Light yeasty aroma hints at the flavor to come. Yeast, honey and sweet malt all taste elements. Fast finish with a hint of honey.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.79/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

on tap at the new wurstkuche sausage place on broadway downtown. neat little program they have running there. this beer looks a lot better than it is though, although to be fair, she had to change the keg halfway through pouring my beer, so some of these criticisms may be a product of that. it has a two inch snow white bright head on it, thick and lasting, really lovely sitting on top of a clear golden straw colored brew. looks fantastic in branded glassware. it smells good too, belgian yeast leading the way as expected, and its fruity like pears and perfume. the malt base is entirely inconsequential and uninteresting, but it doesnt matter. some hops to the taste, but the yeast is the star, a muted, reserved star, but to me it still shines brightly, it tastes really good. one would never know its as strong as it is, it drinks effortlessly. my only real issue with it is the carbonation, which looks like its there, i can see the bubbles releasing from the edges of the glass and bursting at the surface, but i cant feel any of that. its stillish on my palate, not dead and lifeless, but tired or lazy, and its unflattering to an otherwise very springy living beverage. still, i like the way it tastes, i like that its more hoppy than most belgian beer, and i like drinking beer out of the brewers glassware. worth trying for sure, and a cool companion to greasy meat, which is a poor way to describe the tasty food at wurstkuche

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Photo of babaracas
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear gold, fluffy white head, settles slowly leaving a few rings of lace on the glass. Smell: coriander, honey, pear, herbal, orange and peppery notes. Taste: pear, sweet apple and grape, coriander, biscuit, spicy and mildly grassy in the finish. This is pretty tasty. Best by 8/2015?

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle from Brewnbbq, thanks for the opportunity Jeff!
Pours a crystal clear deep golden color with a huge bubbly white head that has moderate retention. aromas of light sugary malt with bits of honey. Tart berry and pomme fruits come through nicely as well as some yeasty earthy esters. The flavor holds what the aroma promised, but adds a touch of warming alcohol. Medium body, sparkly carbonation. Nice brew, thanks for sharing!

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.71/5  rDev -5.1%

On tap at Wurskuche in Downtown Los Angeles, CA.

Raul's not trippin, but he's not hatin'. Light Beligian yeasts, met by more simple flavors and textures like a 3rd grade spelling bee. Some fruit, some spice, a bit sweet like Shirley Temple shaking a cocktail... Not memorable in the least, but easy drinking for those easy drinkers.

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Photo of FLima
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Hazy amber golden color with a two finger thick head with good retention.
Aroma of banana and pineapple, mint, Belgian yeast slightly funky, lemon, figs, honey and bread.
Refreshing and spicy flavor, notes of pineapples, Belgian yeast, pear, Cointreau liquor, apple puree, floral hops, coriander and a hint of champagne tartness. Dry aftertaste with a medium bitterness.
Medium body with effervescent carbonation. Alcohol of 7.5% abv is well disguised.
As its sister, Caracole Ambree, it is a unique and interesting beer, though this one is heavily condimented. Nice brew.

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Photo of atigerlife
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden with an ample white head. Lots of carbonation rising.

Aroma of light fruits and light malts. Hard to get a hold of the aroma.

Taste is of spices, fruit, honey. Has some hints of over-ripe citrus, but in a good way.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and quite cleansing.

Overall, a pleasant beer that I would happily partake in another.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a light to medium golden amber with a fine two finger white head with great retention and thick lacing. Nice aroma of Belgian yeast, bready malt, light fruit juice; apple and stone fruit, cloves. Flavor is light apple and pear juice, clove, light citus and bready malt. Medium bodied with a suprising creaminess. Tastes almost subdued after the aroma, but the light fruit flavor and malt are so nicely melded that this is a delight to drink. Finishes with faint sweet malt and Belgian spicing. Very difficult to believe that this light mellow ale is 8%, the alcohol is completely covered.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.46/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Saxo has a very thick, foamy, white head, an initially clear, golden appearance, with tight bubble streams and some lacing. The beer clouds up once the bottom contents are swished and poured in. The aroma is of sweet, sugary malt, some fruit, like figs, and grain. Taste is of those elements, with candy sugar, grain husk, champagne, and some underlying alcohol. Bitterness is present across the sip, as well. Mouthfeel is medium and the bubbles are very prickly. Saxo finishes dry, sweet, and fairly refreshing. Overall, this is a most excellent beer.


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Photo of metter98
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

On-tap at Thirsty Monk, Asheville, NC

A: The beer is crystal clear yellow in color. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down and left a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface and the sides of the glass.
S: Aromas of fruity yeast and pale malts are present in the nose along with some hints of white wine.
T: The taste follows the smell and also has notes of Belgian and fruity yeasts.
M: It feels medium-bodied and a little thick on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation. Notes of dryness are perceptible.
O: This beer has a nice amount of dryness and complex flavors from the yeast.

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Photo of GossageBrewery
3.19/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured this Belgian Strong Pale Ale from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a hazy pale yellow color, produced a nice white head, nice retention and left nice lacing on the glass. The aroma consisted of citric lemons, semi-sweet pale malt and floral hops. Medium bodied, a foundation of pale malt, lemon citric hop bitterness and eastery yeast. Finishes dry. Overall, nice version of the style, aggressively hopped and full of malt backbone. Nice session beer.

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Photo of darky
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottle, poured into a Saxo tulip

A: Pours a golden honey-amber with a persistent thick white head and lively carbonation,

S: Not extremely fragrant on first impression. Slightly citrusy with some grapes mixed in at first, transitioning to fresh baked bread as it warms.

T: All the usual Belgian hallmarks of sour yeast, breads, grape/raisin along with a very sophisticated hop character and an almost nutty finish. The character of the yeast becomes more apparent as you go. Highly drinkable and very pleasant.

M: Possibly the weakest aspect of this beer. While not too thin, just nothing to get excited about here, but this is really just nitpicking.

O: This would be a fantastic first round in a Belgian tasting. This beer would set the stage beautifully to be followed by a dubbel, tripel...quad. This beer is like Belgians - 101. Overall, I really enjoyed this, and I think it's a really good value. If you've never tried it, there is no reason to hesitate.

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Photo of Brandywine
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: hazy orange with two fingers of big bubbled white head.
Smell: apricot, dry white wine, green apples, hay, yeast, faint hint of coriander and spice.
Taste: bitter orange peel, lemon, green apple. Taste follows the nose. Lots of citrus and mild fruit with a layer of yeast.
Mouthfeel: medium with strong carbonation.
Overall: This is a solid Belgian strong pale ale across the board but nothing really special.

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Photo of bheilman
2.96/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Smells sweet. Taste is good. Strong bite for such an easy flavor. A bit astringent. I like leffe a lot and this does not quite meet that because of the bitterness. Leffe is smoother. I do like the label of the beer and the brewery does seem to offer traditional Belgian styles. I will try some of there other beers.

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Photo of WastingFreetime
3.81/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours out a cloudy golden amber color with an enormous four finger fluffy head that lasts for two minutes and leaves behind amazing sheets and curtains of lacing on the inside of the glass. Light body and carbonation levels, just a touch sticky on the surface of the tongue.

Smells strongly of Belgian yeasty funk, green and black tea blends, blueberry compote, and a light lemon peel / mango combo. Tastes of funky Belgian yeast with a middling-sized dollop of spicy phenols over the top of a blend of light pear and apple esters with a certain raw cereal graininess and a very light minty hop garnish in the finish. It's pretty good, but the bottled version is not nearly as good as the hazy memory from a certain special night of revelry in which I had it fresh from the tap... sadly, I had forgotten to bring my notebook along that evening and I am left with naught but hazy and nostalgic glowing memories of a draft pour that this bottle did not quite live up to... Ah, memories...

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Photo of Rifugium
2.85/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at City Tap House, Philly, PA

"Lemon, honey, and pear with a belgian yeast back…Wow" is what the beer menu promised. At $10 for a 10oz. pour, I requested a sample, and I'm glad I did, because this one did not deliver.

Slightly hazy golden-yellow pour with a thin ring of bubbles for a head. Muted aroma, toasted grains, light fruit esters. Taste was very bland and lifeless, very light, almost like a light lager, notes of mild yeast, pear and stone fruit, a hint of grass and tea-like hops. On the plus side, this beer sure went down easy, light-bodied, low carbonation, and a barely-noticeable 8%ABV. But the lack of any good flavor just made this a downer for me, and for the price, it just wasn't worth it at all.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.65/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks, CA.

Pours a slightly murky yellow with a foamy off-white head that settles to a small cap on top of the beer. Foamy streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, fruits, spices, and some perfume-like aromas. Taste is much the same with a slightly soapy flavor on the finish. There is a mild spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer that is pretty tasty but smells better in my opinion.

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Photo of KMcG
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A geyser!  I poured this from a 330 mL bottle and it was volatile. It rushed out of the bottle top, slowly oozing for about a minute.  I poured this into a small tulip shaped wine glass so only about half of the bottle would fit.  It is crystal clear straw yellow with a light active head about 1-2 fingers high. 

The aroma is full of lemon, honey and pear, and has Belgium yeast backing. 

The taste pretty much follows the nose, but there is a white bread quality that creeps in. When I first poured it, it was much brighter with citrus and honey, but as it aged, it mellowed. It has a slight bitterness from the hops that comes in on the finish.

The mouthfeel is big at first with lots of fine carbonation.  As it warmed, the carbonation decreased.  It's light o medium bodied and pretty dry. 

The alcohol is listed on the bottle as 7.5%.

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Photo of martyl1000
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Jacs (Madison). UnderwheIming. A nice flavor, to be sure. And refreshing on this hot summer afternoon. But although it resembles other Belgian pales with its Belgian yeast and round sweetness (like Atomium, Piraat, and Delirium Tremens), it doesn't measure up to others in character or distinction.

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Photo of mactrail
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich and spicy blonde ale. Hazy light amber in the tulip glass. Attractive sudsy carbonation, and it's sprightly on the tongue. Fairly light body.

Pleasant warm and buttery flavor. Aroma of cinnamon? this has the nicest spicy flavor. It's sort of the ideal user-friendly sort of Belgian flavor-- not too sweet with a slight tartness. Mellow malt with some of the estery spice flavors. Somewhat fruity but less intense that lots of Belgian-style beers. A nice touch of the funk with a little yeasty bitterness. Overall a very drinkable strongish beer.

On tap at Pizza Port in Ocean Beach.

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Photo of DARIVA
3.56/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Beautiful almost clear yellow beer with a beautiful head.

S: The smells of hops, pineapple and coriander.

T: The taste of hops, delicious fresh light beer.

M: Nice carbonation and a light foam feel.

O: Good beer for summer, well drinkable and a short finish.

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Photo of raszputini
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a bomber at Bruisin' Ales in Asheville. I was in the mood for something new and Belgian. This brew turned out very much like I expected and that is a pretty good description overall - rock solid, no surprises. Pours a cloudy light bronze with a fizzy white head that dissipates very quickly. Smells of light fruit, telltale Belgian yeast and coriander. Taste is light with non-citrus as well as light non-citrus fruit, also coriander and other "earthy" but light" spice. The elevated ABV is very well buried. Very nice. I will buy again.

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Saxo from Brasserie Caracole
3.91 out of 5 based on 401 ratings.
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