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Saxo | Brasserie Caracole

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very good
231 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: 231 | Ratings: 399
Photo of bark
2.63/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

The colour is orange-yellow, the liquid is hazy. The very high white head sinks to a thin lid, leaving some lacing.

The strong smell is sweet and yeasty: Barley, fresh bread alcohol, bitter hops and a hint of honey.

The taste is sweet and yeasty with lots of warming/fiery alcohol. Some notes of flowers and birch sap. Lots of white sugar-sweetness and some dried fruits. The aftertaste is sweet with some yeast, clean bitterness and hints of flowers.

The carbonation is very strong, the small bubbles sharp. The liquid is a bit light.

An overly sweet and, to be frank, simple Belgian strong ale. There are many better ones out there.

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Photo of Long813
2.74/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

LOT: F C 3

A: Hazy golden body with an over load of white fluffy head. There was WAY to much carbonation in this beer, I poured a bit, then it exploded into foam. Lost half the beer and needed a major clean up. Not impressed. Retention and lacing is good though.

S: Faint fruitiness with pear as the strongest. Interesting yeast notes.

T: Light in flavour, but pear and yeast are the most prominant, finishing off with some nice spice.

M: Light bodied with high carbonation. Alcohol is slightly noticeable and it leaves a dry tingle in the throat.

O: Not the best of it's style and I can't justify the price.

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Photo of karengarys
2.76/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This pours a quite hazy amber with a nice fluffy white head. The foam ring sticks to the glass a bit, and runs back in slowly.

Smell is... um... to me... not good. Somewhat like skunk mixed with lemon juice. That is about all I pick up.

Taste is similar to smell. Mostly lemon juice. I guess there is a touch of hop. The good news is that the alcohol flavor is well hidden. Unfortunatley it is hidden under the flavor that resembles a bottle of reallemon brand lemon juice I use for cooking.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, somewhat creamy.

Finish is a bit clean, but with this much sour citrus how could it go wrong.

Well, this drink to me is only worth trying if you are into real experimentation, or if somebody hands you a glass/bottle for free. I'd drink it, but I wouldn't pay for it.

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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 TheDeuce
2.89/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Appearance-Pale Golden color, fizzy head that isn't as big as I thought it would be, the head fizzes away quickly.

Smell-sugary, a variety of sweet smells dominate.

Taste/Mouthfeel-sugar flavor hits upfront and stays there, some floral hops appear but very subdued.

Drinkability-would depend on your tastes but this is really sweet does hide the alcohol.

Overall-misses the bar compared to other Belgians, almost sickly sweet to me and lacks the complexity of others Belgians. Cellering might improve it. Not my favorite version.

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Photo of jwhawkins81
2.9/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Aroma - Coriander spice and a touch of aromatic hops.

Appearance - Cloudy yellow/orange big white head with a OK amount of carbonation.

Taste - Orange-ish flavor and spice. I'm underwhelmed. Alcohol is warming but not overly noticeable. There is a level of graininess in the flavor as well along with some yeast notes. Sorry but I'm just not impressed.

Notes - Plenty of carbonation made for a decent mouthfeel.

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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 stcules
2.97/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Compact foam, with a medium persistence.
The colour is blonde-orange, with some yeast in suspension.
In the smell it can remember a little a wit bie, with notes of fresh flower, light spices (pepper, and maybe coriander).
The alcohol (8%) is well hidden, the body is medium.
Taste is again spicy (pepper, anise), and citric.
After a while, when the beer is more warm, the smell is less good: it becomes more heavy...

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Photo of NJpadreFan
3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3


Appearance- Light yellow with a small soapy head.
Smell- Strong peppery lemon with a hint of alcohol.
Taste- Very fruity, grape, apple, and pinapple come through a hint of alcohol in the end.
Mouthfeel- Light and crisp, almost wine coolerish.

Overall- A decent warm weather option. A little pricey but wouldn't turn 1 down.

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Photo of RuudJH
3/5  rDev -23.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice labels on the beers from Caracole.
This one 33 cl bottle.

Boozy, sugary beer from this brewery. It's malty, but mainly it's just plain and ordinary to me.

Amber colour, with a decent head and decent carbonation.
Smell and taste are malty and boozy, with some mild bittersweet notes.

Rather average overall.

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Photo of Pullen
3.01/5  rDev -23%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Served in a Chalice

A: Pours a golden haze. Very little head that disappears quickly. Bubbles like Champagne.

Smell : Peppery Pear - like aroma

Taste: Not much of a balance in flavors...The alcohol overpowers the body of the beer. Perhaps this is the style of the Belgian Strong Pale Ale (This is my first).

Mouthfeel: Bubbly like champagne.

Drinkability: This is a beer I'd rather have with food. Definitely not a beer I prefer to drink on a whim by itself.

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Photo of thierrynantes
3.03/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sorry but this following comment is in french :

Appearance : blonde dorée développant une belle mousse compacte et tenace, bonne effervescence
Smell : nez malté et de levure
Taste and mouthfeel : elle est un peu piquante en bouche, léger goût de torréfaction. amertume bien équilibrée et prolongée
Drinkability : bière correcte dans le style Belgian strong ale

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.06/5  rDev -21.7%
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.

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Photo of sogrady
3.08/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

There's nothing really wrong with the Saxo, but it underwhelmed. The appearance is promising - with a hazy orange tint, but the taste fails to live up to those expectations.

The taste is adequate but undistinguished; citrus flavors balanced by a yeast undertone with an unfortunate sweetness. The alchohol is hidden well, and the beer is general very drinkable.

The sum of the parts just don't quite add up for me with this beer. It's not unpleasant, but neither is it impressive.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown cork and caged 0.75 litre bottle, best before 12/2009, drank 01/2009.

Cloudy orange, lemony colour with a cream coloured head.

The smells were all about Belgian yeasts and citrus fruits all bundled together and given a big shake.

I found the taste and mouthfeel too fizzy and sour, the citrus element taking over to much. The alcohol is well hidden, but the carbonisation was too much for me.

My bottle was 7.5%, not the 8% quoted above.

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Photo of kbnooshay
3.15/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured a gorgeous golden orange body with lots of haze and moderate carbonation. You can't see through this onevery well but it lets a good amount of light through. The off-white head is thick and foamy with miniscule bubbles.

Interesting fruit aroma. Slightly sour and very citrusy. The smell is oddly reminiscent of lipton brisk ice tea(lemon flavored) or the acidic lemon juice that you cook with. Slightly musty and weird.

The taste also has an odd musty earthiness to it but it isn't as apparent in the flavor as in the aroma. This brew is fairly balanced overall. The citric flavor and the hop flavor is pleasant. There is a lot of yeast flavor here which i believe is adding to the dryness of the beer. Bitterness is light and the alcohol is lightly detectable.

The mouthfeel is nice and adds a fairly drinkable element to the brew. The carbonation level is just perfect. The odd must flavor still nags me in the back of my head. If i knew what it was maybe it wouldn't bother me so much.

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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 CWiggins
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is only the third brew from Caracole to arrive in my area, and since I'm fond of the Nostradamus and Troublette, it certainly makes sense to sample this offering as well. Bought at Sam's Quik Stop in Durham, NC on 9/22/09.

It pours a hazy gold, with a billowy, fluffy white head that lasts only a short while. Holding it up to the light, one can see light through it but little else; shapes and images are not readable. Aromas of light fruit (mainly apple), spices, and a mild maltiness are detectable. It's not a strong aroma, but it is pleasant. The taste is full of lighter flavors, including (but not limited to) apple and pear, cardamom and cinnamon, and a nice, earthy hop bitterness at the finish that blends particularly well with the lingering fruit flavors. The warming alcohol is pronounced after the taste has subsided a bit, which is something I certainly appreciate. It's a bit fizzy for my taste, but it's light and refreshing while adding enough complexity to be interesting.

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Photo of kbub6f
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A big, white foamy, smooth head caps the pale, gold, slightly hazy body. Plenty of sediment. The smell is somewhat sour... some apples, some barbershop. The front is spicy/sour, leading through a tingly, fizzy middle to a dry, bitter, peppery finish. Alcohol is present. This has a little more flavor than the Troublette, but I still find it just a bit one-dimensional.

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Photo of ThaCreep
3.27/5  rDev -16.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Nose quite well fermented yeast, citrus perceives in the background. The taste is average, not great folly, just with a peach syrup rough but not that exciting and gives a too syrupy beer. This is not to do him honor. Slight aftertaste, unappetizing. A beer just average.

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Photo of GClarkage
3.29/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12/4/05- Purchased at John's Marketplace in Portland, OR.

Presentation- 11.2 oz bottle with a freshness timeline on the back label. Poured into my Stone Levitation tulip.

Appearance- Very pristine and clear darker golden pour. Beautiful bubbles arise from every part of the bottom of the glass. Huge clumpy white head and lace chunks everywhere.

Smell- A bit malty and a bit grainy at the same time. A clove like scent. Not really any classic Belgian Pale scents though.

Taste- Bready malt body with light sweetness. A decent amount of hop bitterness as well. Were are the spices? The corriander?

Mouthfeel- Pretty well carbonated, almost pils like.

Drinkability- Not bad, but can think of several other pales to buy instead of this one.

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Photo of jera1350
3.3/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Big thanks to Todd for sharing this one with me.

Pours a hazy gold with some chunks of yeast stirring about. A thick foamy cap of white on top. Very nice head retention.

More malty than fruity in the aroma, but both are present. A bit buttery as well.

Pretty light in the taste department. Pale malt with light sweetness and some very faint spice notes. Some pear and apple fruit detected, but overall the taste kind of drops off and is underwhelming.

The body feels quite light for a beer of its size. The carbonation is very nice and the beer has a dry feel.

A very easy to drink beer, but just not enough to keep my interest very long.

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Photo of merlin48
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip glass, this Belgian pours a chill hazed, medium gold body with an enormous, ivory head. Streams of microbubbles support the rocky head for several minutes and substantial, globs of patchy lace are left down the glass.

Aroma is of lemongrass, mild coriander, and a yeasty presence of dirty, old, wool blanket.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and highly carbonated.

The taste has a bittersweet character, that evolves into more bitter than sweet. Some tart, fruity citrus flavors keep knocking on the door, but the yeast and hops bitterness keep slamming it shut. This one is simply not balanced well, with very little malt assertiveness. Herbal hops and yeasty bitterness are in charge all the way through, and the finish is dry and yeasty bitter.

Lacks complexity, and too bitter and dry for my palate. Alcohol is hidden well, but this is just an average, strong pale ale.

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Photo of MrDanno96
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This beer caught my eye at the beer store because I play the saxophone. When I saw that it was an imported Belgian pale, I decided to give it a try. My bottle says 7.5% ABV.

A: Pours a dark golden yellow with one finger of head and minimal lacing.

S: I can smell the fruitiness while it's just sitting here on the table. Upon close inspection, it has a strong citrus scent, mixed with apples. Also white grapes, esters, light hops, and some grains.

T: Not as sweet as I was anticipating. There is definitely a sweet fruit flavor, but their is also a distinct hops and grain taste that is somewhat bitter. It's not unpleasant, but I like my Belgian pales to be sweet than this.

M: Warm boozy feeling blends nicely with the carbonation. The body is a little light and watery at times, but not overly so.

Drink: Not a bad beer, but not one of my favorites. It's a mediocre Belgian Strong Pale that doesn't quite stack up to elite brews like Delirium and Duvel. Don't be afraid to give this one a try, but don't expect a top notch beer. The bottle is pretty cool, though.

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Photo of BeerAngel
3.35/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a brilliantly clear golden color with a massive head and also has a large swarm of bubbles racing to the top as if I'd dropped an alka-seltzer in the bottom of it. The smell of spicey fruit, yeast, malt, and alcohol make up the aroma. The taste has a sharp carb/hop bite off the starting line resembling sticking your tongue to a 9-volt battery and slowly tapers off into a light fruit and spice with yeast and alcohol in the background. It is over-carbonated in my opinion as it creates an almost IPA/Belgian version of a style beer. I believe the flavor would benefit from less carbonation in a big way. It is a medium bodied beer that finishes slightly sweet. I'm a little disappointed in this one. Op uw gezonheid!

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Saxo from Brasserie Caracole
3.91 out of 5 based on 399 ratings.
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