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Saxo | Brasserie Caracole

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Very Good
416 Ratings

Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole

Style: Belgian Blonde Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 416 |  Reviews: 235
Reviews by Douglas14:
Photo of Douglas14
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful, exceptionally clear golden color with a soft, white head that doesn't have much staying power or leave much lace. The smell is strongly of yeast, barley, straw, and a bit of spiceyness to it. The taste follows in a similar manner but isn't as complex as I would like it to be. Again, straw and yeast make a dominant presence with some clover, maybe. The Saxo feels light and airy in the mouth due to the surging carbonation, which is an enjoyable feature. Although BA says it's 8%, my bottle shows 7.5%, but who's counting..either way, you definitely don't notice it, and it sneaks up on you...a nice surprise, I suppose.

Overall great beer...glad I finally reviewed it after drinking it many times.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of IPAcraig
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a slightly cloudy gold with a massive white head. A good looking beer.

The first thing I notice in the nose is a slightly sour aroma, a bit of a barnyard aroma. It also has a bit of a toasty/nutty notes as well. Good, but I wasnt expecting the sourness, and I wanted a bit more spice from my Beglian Strong Pale Ale.

A good tasting beer, but not what I was expecting from a BSPA. The biggest flaovr in this beer is the toastiness I get from it, combined with a bit of an unexpected hint of chocolate. A very dry beer, with a slight hint of light fruit but no spice.

A very drinkable beer despite the alcohol. However this is not the flavor I crave for BSPA. A good beer, but I will stick with Duvel and the like.

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Photo of Mnteti
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of largadeer
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Hazy blond with two fingers of head. Very nice retention.

Smell: Very estery; mango, banana and spices at the forefront with a hint of citrus.

Taste & mouthfeel: Closely mirrors the smell with a big spicy banana bread flavor. Undertones of orange peel, green apple and clove. Light-to-medium in body. Sweetness makes this more of a sipper, and I could see it becoming slightly cloying in large quantities.

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Photo of Dzu
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of GreenMountainBoy
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of YvesB
2.53/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Photo of Patrick999
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the 750 into a tulip glass, plenty of head and retention. Just a shade or two shy of Duvel, appearance-wise.

In the aroma, I pick up sweet pear and a touch of hop. Pretty strong fruity sweetness.

Powdery yeast, check. Fruity, slightly peppery? Check. Light hop presence? Check. Well-hidden alcohol? Check. Looks like we've met all the requisites of a quality BSPA.

Feel is good, nicely carbonated without going overboard. Maybe not quite as silky/creamy as Duvel can be, but quality.

Drinkability is high, as you'd expect. All in all, nothing terribly stand-out here, but no real weakness either. Easily enjoyable beer.

 638 characters

Photo of weareallfalafel
4.01/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of mikesgroove
3.06/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I purchased this one a couple months back and I just got around to trying it last night. I had heard some good things from a few friends regarding it, so I decided to give it a try with dinner. A 750ml bottle served at 45 degrees and poured into an over sized wine glass.

Appearance - The pour was rather nice. A very hazy golden yellow appeared before me. Lots of carbonation streaking up toward the surface throughout the session, giving it a very nice champagne like look. A big three inch high head of white fizzy foam came up immediately and then settled down to about one finger high pretty quickly. It seemed to deposit some side glass lace initially, but towards the end of the bottle almost completely faded with nothing left at all.

Smell - The aroma was rather light if I am being honest. I was expecting this to be much bigger then it was, but instead it just had the lightest of aromas. Some nice yeast though, with the essence of apples and pears coming through, a touch of apricot in the back. Some light grassy like hops floating around as well. Not bad, just too light. Definitely some grain in here to. I have seen better, though it was still decent.

Taste - The flavor followed through on the aroma almost exactly. Not being really bad in anyway, just way too light for my tastes. There was a nice presence of fruity yeast, but you almost had to look for it, which was unfortunate. Hints of pears and apricot again, maybe some light apple. Nice bit of grainy like flavors and a touch of grass in the finish. A decent profile for sure, just way too light for me. No hint of the alcohol, which was good, but it was just rather bland.

Mouthfeel - The feel was pretty decent though, with some good carbonation for most of the session. Nice light airy feel to it, though by the end of the session, a lot of the carbonation had faded and it started to thicken up again.

Drinkability - As far as being sessionable due to the alcohol content, it was excellent, as I did not even think it had much at all. Though to be honest, the flavor was just not enough for me. As it warmed it started to become too sweet and grainy, and rather bland. I just was not feeling this one towards the end of the session.

Overall, I have had much better in the past. It was just not my thing what so ever. Not a good representation of the style, and just way too bland of a Belgian. There are much better ones out there, this is pretty much just average.

 2,452 characters

Photo of DMcGirr
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of dstc
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle with date on back into a tulip glass. Slightly hazy golden color with big white head with good retention and fine lacing.

Smells sweet and flavorful. Lemony, flowery and a little grainy.

Nice flavor. Somewhat fruity but clean. Refreshing with a slight bitter hoppiness.

Nice clean mouthfeel. The beer is well carbonated which you could tell from the pour.

I first had this at a beer tasting at a new market in South Florida and ended up buying a six pack. Have had other Caracole, all of which were enjoyable and this one also falls into that group. I guess I better try more of their beers. If you haven't done so already, try this beer.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | 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 stiff competition of Belgian blondes; billowy head that recedes so I can drink.
Smells like a master at work. Fruit like this does not come from an average yeast.
Taste has what seems like Caracole's unique touch. Full, complex and fruity and balanced.
Feel is right, not too carbonated, but does have lingering spices that are not as yum-yum as the rest of the beer. But goes well with herby foods... of which I've had a smorgasbord of by now.

Caracole to me is becoming one of the more interesting brewers that are distinctly Walloonian and huddled in the Ardennes, a place that seems to breed interesting brewers because it is a transition from France to the Germanic north.

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 for a while.

2/27/17 Had on tap at The Map Room, my neighborhood craft beer 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.

4/18/18 Found another 4-pack (dusty bottles, too, at Binny's.) C'mon guys. You're either missing something or Caracole's yeast has put a hex on me... or both..... Just to test this theory, I think I will have Saxo side-by-side with their amber at dinner.

6/18 finished me last of the Saxo and their amber 4 packs. I am going out right now to buy more... before too many find out about these treasures.

 1,853 characters

Photo of Tone
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pale golden color that appears clear. Decent head that dissipates rather quickly and little lacing. A clearly dominate fruit aroma with a tinge of honey. Fits the style, if not just a little weak. Crisp body with a sweet initial feel and a dry finish; average carbonation. Overall a good beer, easy drinkability but a little weaker than then the Belgian Blonde's I'm used to.

 375 characters

Photo of Pundit_of_Potability
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

 422 characters

Photo of rapidsequence
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

11.2 oz bottle. $4 something from Magnolia in Lynchburg.

Appearance: A little darker than I expected. Clear and dark gold. The head is rocky and uneven, and pokes the top part of it out of my tulip. Good retention, ultimately leaving a couple little floating blobs and some thin lacing. Continuous bubbles like champagne.

Smell: Spicy belgian yeast with a slight funky twang. Light fruity esters. Good, but not as big and complex as some.

Taste: Yeasty and quite spicy more than sweet and fruity. Just slightly hoppy, but the sharp carbonation makes it a little bitter upfront. The finish is again sweet, spicy, and yeasty.

Mouthfeel: Very high carbonation-- slightly too high. If you leave it in your mouth, it gets foamy and feels like PopRocks. That's obviously a detractor. The sticky sweet finish is pretty nice though.

Drinkability: This is a pretty solid BSPA that is more on the spicy than fruity side. Extremely stiff competition in this category, so the beer is obviously way better than its rating may suggest.

 1,027 characters

Photo of RaulMondesi
3.71/5  rDev -4.9%

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 t0rin0
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle a very hazy lemon-gold color with a white foamy head.

Aroma of Belgian yeast, banana, citrus, and cloves.

Taste matches the aroma. A nice combination of flavors from the Belgian yeast, banana, cloves, and the warmth from the 8% alcohol.

Lighter mouthfeel, smooth and dry, and very light and fizzy carbonation. The warmth of the alcohol circulates around the palate and throat.

This is a very nice beer and one I'd never noticed until a recent trip to Trader Joes. Pick one up if you can.

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Photo of jophish17
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of meadhead
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

wheat-ish phenol grain
citrus grass hop
slight bannana-clove yeast
effervescence on top

pours a hazy lemon yellow
with a quick receding head

tastes complex and rich
yet also moderated

drinks good and fairly easy
for a strong belgian pale

feels full and yet thinned
with a refreshing sail

 308 characters

Photo of Graham5161986
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a hazy, golden colour with a 2 finger white head that has decent retention and leaves a slight lace - typical for a Belgian blonde.

S: fruity and spicy (apples and parhaps even a bit of a sweet tomato flavour??? kinda like ketchup), floral hops

T: wow, quite an intersting, but delicious flavour. light fruitiness with a constant floral hop character throughout. I stand by it - I do taste a little bit of a ketchupy sweet flavour too. A bit of spice in there too - very good but a bit too sweet.

M: light and crisp, slight cream and a smooth, dry, just slightly spicy finish

D: I like this beer alot. for 7.5% ABV, it is very easy to drink and its lightness makes it even easier. Nice, interesting flavours and a crisp, well-balanced mouthfeel. I've bought it before and I will buy it again. Call me crazy, but it really reminds me of ketchup-flavoured chips :-) Well done Caracole.

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
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!

 431 characters

Photo of mltobin
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Halcyondays
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA.

A: Looks magnificent in a glass, burnt yellow-orange, with a big puffy, white head with oustanding lacing as the beer is drunk.

S: Some Belgian fruity yeast esters and noble hops. Pretty standard for a Belgian Strong Pale Ale.

T: Definitely some banana, clove and white pepper from the yeast. The hops are very evident at the end, this is quite a bit more bitter than the average Belgian Strong Pale Ale. The flavors are good, but I thought they were a bit muted for the style, still enjoyable though.

M: Smooth, creamy, big, a little spritzy when colder, I found it similar to La Fin du Monde.

D: A very good beer, not the best BSPA I've ever had, but very enjoyable and drinkable for the style. Having it on-tap was a plus. Big thanks to the Thirsty Traveler Kevin Brauch for turning me on to this little brewery in Belgium.

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Saxo from Brasserie Caracole
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 416 ratings