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 Opethsprite
4.85/5  rDev +24%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a beautiful golden beer with an ample, white head that lasted for quite some time and left nice lacing. The smell is of citrus, wheat, honey, and hops, and the taste is much the same. It's a bit more subtle on the pallate, though, with apricot and lemon flavors throughout. Try this beer!

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Photo of HogHill
4.83/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I purchsed this single 33cl bottle for $ 3.99 at The Wine Society in Tyngsborough, MA. I poured it into my Hennepin glass, it had a beautiful straw yellow body highlighted with some golden tones. Creamy white one finger head tops it off.

The nose is medicinal phenols with the scent of oranges along with it. After letting this one warm up a bit I tasted and loved it. A little more hoppier than Duvel, the flavors on the front were of bread,with some sweetness from the fruitiness and some spice. It finishes rather dry because of a decent amount carbonation along with the hop bitterness. Very well balanced!

A very enjoyable beer to drink, one of the best belgian pale ales I've had in a while. The 8% was hidden well and I wished it was a 750 instead of a 330. I was a bit surprised by this one because it has very mixed scores. Saxo is on the top of my list.

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Photo of Reverand
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I really like this beer from its yellowish orange appearance with white head that lasted to the last swig. Great hop taste with a nice lemon like aroma. Light in body with a lot of carbonation. Certainly worth a try.

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Photo of cokes
4.68/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750mL. 2002.
Waxy yellow crayon hued piled with a billowing stack of whipped heavy cream. Yeast pours turns this a clogged mustard, and makes the head eternal.
Wheat-based nose, with lemon drops, white breads, black pepper, clove, and applesauce.
Begins with a brisk pils-like dry snap. Saltines and white bread. Wheat unfolds, turning things doughier and accented with lemon muffins. Yeast complexity is virtually unmatched as it loudly and harmoniously touts melons, vanilla, peppercorns, apricot, apples, pears, clove, sweet basil, and corkboard. Even after 3 years, the hops end this with pizazz, drying with lemongrass and hay flavors, in the Hallertau vein. Alcohol is not just hidden, it's a total nonentity.
The mouthfeel sparkles with fine-grain carbonation floating a truly creamy body. It's the intersection of down pillows, cotton candy, Cool Whip, and seltzer water.
The drinkablity is staggering -- literally. It is difficult to enjoy this in less than gluttonous, grunting gulps.
Fantastic in every facet.

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Photo of Filosoof
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lovely harmonic and very drinkable beer. Perfect match with light goat cheese.

L: two finger top, clear pearls. Golden look.
S: a complete Belgian fruit garden with pear, apple and yellow prunes, but also tropical fruit like red oranges and grapefruit, under a lovely mist of hops;
T: biscuit, cream, yeast, medium hop.
M: harmonic body, alcohol well hidden, medium dry end.

One of my very favorites. Dangerously drinkable!

I expect of a beer to bring real joy. This is a classic example. The sun starts shining even when it is midnight.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Besides beautiful beer, Belgium can be proud of bringing into being another exceptional invention, the saxophone, courtesy of Adolphe Sax. So, I lift this glass and raise it to Bird, Lester, Coleman, Coltrane, Sonny, Ornette, "the Jug", and the other giants of the golden horn.
Straw gold color, half opaque, immense head, incredible effervescence...gorgeous.
Nose is mostly spice and a little sidecar of fruit, pleasurable enough for repeated sniffs...airy, angelic...lovely.
Taste? I'd say "yum", but I've run that into the ground lately...big, juicy citric flavor matched with tingly spice (cardomom, coriander, ?) Ripe fruit, develops beyond citrus into peach,. apricot....delicious.
Mouthfeel is warm, full, if finally fading, and always replete with flavor, a ciric kick, and zesty effervescence. Never tastes like 8% abv, until the want another, and another, but it'll make you feel it tomorrow!
All in all, a very satisfying golden to luxuriate in while drinking in the complex and glorious beauty in a Ben Webster solo.

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Photo of corby112
4.59/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden orange color with a thin foamy white head. Spicy aroma with light fruit and slight alcohol presence. Very quaffable, slightly carbonated and spicy with a sweet, dry finish. Nice balance of spice and light fruit notes (apple, pear, grape) with a creamy mouthful.

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Photo of Damian
4.57/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Drank from an 11.2 fl. oz. bottle at Red Sky Restaurant, Southwest Harbor, Maine

Poured a bright, slightly hazed, honey amber color with a tight, foamy, two-finger, white head that faded to a thin, lasting cap. Excellent retention. Small drops of lacing trickled down the glass.

The aroma was intense yet smooth. A Belgian yeast strain was instantly recognizable. Sweet, fruity and spicy with strong notes of coriander, curacao orange, and Belgian candi sugar. Some hefeweizen-like characteristics (banana and bubblegum) came through as well.

The taste was quite similar to the aroma. The beer opened with a broad malty palate. Sweet, fruity and yeasty in a typical Belgian sort of way. Candi sugar, cotton candy and bubblegum were again noticeable. Spicy in the center with notes of coriander and clove. A touch of hop bitterness helped balance things out on the clean, refreshing finish. Orange peel was noticeable here as well. I found the beer to be incredibly well balanced, although some might argue that it is a bit too sweet.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied. Smooth, creamy, fluffy and full on the palate with a fine, mild carbonation. The liquid truly felt like a cloud on my tongue.

Drinkability was outstanding. This beer was refreshing and light yet packed with flavor. Furthermore, the 7.5% ABV was hardly noticeable. Pair this one with a mussel pot and some spicy shrimp or drink it solo for a refreshing treat on a warm summer day.

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Photo of Morris729
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a deep hazy golden color with a magnificent billowing white head that very slowly gives way to a thick and creamy lace. Nose is sweet fruit and fragrant lemon zest with some milder notes of yeast and peppery spice. Moderate in body with a lively and spritzy mouthfeel. Taste begins fruity with a good amount of spice (mostly coriander) followed by a somewhat earthy woodiness. Next comes a bit of grainy yeasts and a good deal of lemon tartness and crispness leading towards a bite of white pepper and a dry finish. A very fine Belgian ale to be had here and dangerously drinkable despite the 8% ABV.

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Photo of Andreji
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow. It's been a while since I've had the pleasure of finding such a nice beer considering I do live in beer hell. discrete and fairly 'un-referred-to' belgian that only makes me regret having but one bottle readily available.

The pour at first sight would have me think of a nice tripel: a thick but not too dense bright white head atop a golden orange body, clearly opaque but at times willing to allow some see-through, suggesting its thick body.

The smell, as soon as poured, fills the room by its enormous and pleasant strength. a sour citrus blend of fruits combined with a slight sting at the nose from a fairly hidden and beautifully balanced alcohol.

The taste seems like a perfectly achieved blend of sweets at first coming from a citrus (orange, grapefruit) feel and an immediate cola-ish sensation at the mouth; a slight alcohol hidden at the back accompanied by a bitterness not overshadowing the overall dominance of the sweet taste.

The mouthfeel enhances it all by accompanying the complexity of a dense brew with a subtly refreshing carbonation.

Man, I'd love to drink another one, and It's on the queue list for the next travels abroad.

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Photo of kmpitz2
4.49/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to clvand0 for sharing this one. It pours a cloudy straw color with a nice billowing head over top that falls to about 2 fingers. The nose is divine, with a lot of lemony and a nice peppery spiceyness. Wow. I could sit and smell it all night. The flavor is spot on to the nose, with a really nice lemoney sweetness and a beautiful peppery spice. Everything is well blended and very nice. The feel is moderate to thick, with a moderate carbonation. This brew goes down without a problem. The 8% is nowhere to be found. It is not filling or heavy at all. Damn. Great brew.

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Photo of JBogan
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful gold with plenty of bubbles feeding a thick foamy head which leaves minimal lacing.

The mainly citric aroma is offset by a small yeast presence.

The taste is also mainly citrus along with apples and peppery spice. The alcohol is completely hidden. Really very nice tasting.

Mouthfeel is also just about perfect. A medium to thick body with a good creaminess and perfect amount of carbonation.

Overall I was quite pleased with this beer. It was extremely drinkable and refreshing, and I look forward to the next time I have it again.

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Photo of allengarvin
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle, served about 44F. Soon as I finished untwining the wire cap, the cork BLEW out of the bottle with a tremendous POP, flew across the room, hit the ceiling and then the wall and then fell down. But the beer didn't gush out. Not the first time I've ever had a flying cork, but it's the first it didn't gush when that happened. Served it into a Duvel glass.

Pours a very cloudy pale coppery gold with a huge frothy head, long lasting, with excellent lacing. Big aroma full of notes of lemon-citrus and honey, with a spicy hop presence. Good sweet malt flavor up front, with a toasted wheat flavor that reminds me, oddly, of a lightly fried tortilla. Light green apple & lemony vanilla fruitiness, with a moderately high amount of grassy hoppiness, developing into a lingeringly dry finish. Hugely carbonated, with a medium-light body.

It's been about three years since I last had a Saxo, which is too long. I plan to stock this regularly from now on.

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Photo of soper2000
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I enjoyed Caracole's Amberee so I thought that I'd give this one a shot. Pours a beautiful golden hue with a medium sized white head. Aroma has a nice kick of spice to settle on top of an apple like fruitiness. Both of the Caracole beers that I've had to date have a really interesting earthiness to them. Quite a lot of spice on top of the earthiness. Fruitiness becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. Great drinkability. Excellent value to boot. I will definitely be seeing more of this in my future.

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Photo of clvand0
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours a cloudy yellow color with a tall head that has nice retention and leaves some lacing on the glass. The aroma has a lot of citrus/lemon as well as a lot of spices. Very nice. The flavor is exactly like the nose - lots of spices and lemony goodness. Very tasty. Moderated mouthfeel and drinkability is great.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a hazy straw blonde into a tulip with two fingers of loose white head. Very nice aroma with sweet/grainy caramel, green apple, lemon, and a hint of boozy warmth.

High carbonation and a light, dry mouthfeel. Candi sugar sweetness up front with lemon, hints of grape, and green apple with some gentle spice on the finish.

Really tasty and balanced with only a hint of booze in the aroma. Was afraid this would be a little too sweet but it was really easy-drinking (had a sort of "sweet Duvel" quality to it).

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.47/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Delirium Tremens glass. This is so hard to find in Columbus for some reason, but I was able to get it in Toledo...

Murky yellow appearance with a very thin white head. The aroma is bready and a little sour.

The flavor is really complex, with at least the following tastes: wheat, spicy hops, bread, bananas, and a toasty after-taste. It was really outstanding.

I'd recommend this to anyone, go out and try it. I think it's the best so far from this brewery.

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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 mzwolinski
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Mostly clear, gold in color with a moderate sized head. The aroma is rather tart, with hints of banana and green apple. Flavor is very smooth, and wonderfully balanced. Wheaty with hints of lemon, mildly spicy throughout, and finished with a gentle touch of herbal hops. Very flavorful for a blond. Body is fairly creamy and a bit viscous in the swallow. A really nice, very drinkable beer. Can't believe the ABV is as high as it is!

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Not sure why, but most Caracole stuff I bring home is always full of effervesence, I've even had a couple gushers. This one threatened to gush but kept itself in check. Weird. Color is a gleaming gold with lots of bubbles and excellent clarity. Sticky lace like styrofoam clings to the glass as the head thins slowly. Excellent retention. Great looks to this one.

Aroma is dusty grain, sour chick pea (I'm not kidding), yeast, and light honey notes.

Sweeter, fruitier, spicier flavors than the aroma hints at...big honey, juicy pear, banana, clove, coriander. The sour/bitter pucker in the finish and yeast dirtiness make sure things don't get too nice and sweet.

Mouthfeel is light and buoyant, creamy while also significantly drying after the swallow. I remember my first Saxo knocking me out in the mouthfeel dept., and this one has done it again.

Very drinkable, barely showing it's 8% alcohol. Super-enjoyable, glad I got a 4-pack this time. Hey Belgium: I love you.

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Photo of assurbanipaul
4.43/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a bright orange with a tall, white fluffy head. Nose is bitter malt, some hops, faint grass, strong lemon rind and spices. Microbubbles streaming throughout the glass.

Taste is bitter and astringent, like unsweetened orange juice. Light, blonde malts but lots of spice with yeast, citrus, lime, peppery flavors. At first, what impresses me as chlorine or cleanser off-flavors but after a while they seem to blend in with the greater profile.

After a little more and it warms a bit, the spices blend a lot better with the malt profile. An orange hoppiness comes through that complements the spices very well. Reminds me of a honey/lemon juice mix Mom used to make for sore throats. Another very complex brew with a kind of "in-your-face" brashness about it.

Medium on the palate, lots of body, finishes clean with little aftertaste. Absolutely no trace of alcohol flavors in the mix, extremely drinkable. Your palate comes out well-scrubbed by this brew. I like BeerAngel's "Belgian IPA" descriptor for this one.

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Photo of frank4sail
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hop lemon nose. Hazy "white beer" wheat look. Original taste of lemon and wheat with a smooth mouth. Lasting white head and lace. Slight alcohol finish. Very smooth blonde. A big wheat base is apparent which pumps the ABV. This beer is a Hoegarden on steroids!

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Photo of Gueuzedude
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Best Before 03/2006, 750ml bottle, Sampled January 2005
Pours a brilliantly clear straw gold color that is topped by a pale cream colored head that is held aloft by a large bubbled carbonation. The aroma is softly sharp, with herbal notes of lemon grass, fresh cut clover, and a fresh citrus character. The citrus notes are the strongest part of the aroma.

The taste is lightly sweet, yet dry, and fairly effervescent, as the beer lightly dances across the tongue from the carbonation. This beer finishes with a sharp bitterness, a bit of a biting astringency and a carbonic acid bite. Each of these notes help to balance the sweet fruity character found at the front of this beer. The beer has a light lemon-like citrus fruit character to it, but it also has some light herbal grassy notes to it as well. I get notes of vanilla, dandelions, a hint of mint (how quaint), and an herbal note that has, among other things, a component of basil.

This beer is quite tasty, and is really well balanced between the various beery components. Each of the 4 beers that I have tried from this brewery have been great, I highly recommend any brew from these guys. This is one of the best golden ales that I have ever had.

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Photo of ultralarry2006
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into my Duvel tulip. Left a big three finger plus biege head that quickly receded to 1/4 inch surface skim that did retain well. Some decent lacing at times, but not uniformly so. Body was a cloudy orange yellow. Looks really good, but would have liked better head retention.

Smell - fruity esters and some phenols. Mostly the banana thing, slight indication of cloves. Some hint of noble hops and a little toasty malt. Smells good and inviting.

Taste - like the nose. Fruit, mainly pears, some apples, and of course, bananas. Slight clove. Some herbal hops and toasty malt. It's very straightfoward, and very good, basically what a Belgian Strong should be.

Mouthfeel - full, smooth, moderate carbonation, very slight hop oil slickness.

Drinkability - this is very good, and it goes down really well. I should admonish against more than one 750 ml per session due to abv, and hence lowering drinkability points, but I don't think I can, so ... get another one, but only if you're not driving.

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Photo of dmarch
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This highly carbonated blond ale pours a clear golden color with a quarter inch head that lasted the entire time it took me to drink. The citrusy aroma was exceptonal and the citrus notes came through in the taste as well. The high alcohol also came through in the taste. The carbonation made this a very drinkable and refreshing beer, but with the high alcohol content I'd say this is pretty dangerous. I could see myself drinking several of these before the alcohol hits me.

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