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Saxo | Brasserie Caracole

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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: 400
Photo of adam42381
4.12/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes at World of Beer - Fort Myers on 11/20/11.

Poured on draft into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Pours a medium honey gold with a 1 finger white head. Decent lacing.

Smell: Sweet Belgian yeast, floral notes, clove and a sweet fruitiness.

Taste: Sweet floral and lemon notes up front followed by Belgian yeast in the middle before ending with a touch of clove at the finish. Aftertaste is sweet with a touch of bitter hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a good amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Good drinkability. The alcohol is well-masked.

Overall: Good beer overall. Definitely worth a shot.

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Photo of fatmusic14
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750 mL poured into a mug, as my glassware game is not quite where it should be.

Appearance - kind of weak, not quite as hazy or bright as you would expect from a Belgian Blonde. Kind of underwhelming

Smell - totally redeeming. Stinks (in the best way) of honey and bay leaves, slight minty aroma. Herbal in the purest sense.

Taste - flavorful, but simple and leaves a little to be desired. Not sure if my expectations were too high going into this bottle, but I was hoping for something a little more complex. Levels just not there for this one.

Mouthfeel - very nice level of carbonation and good drinkability. Better than your average Belgian Blonde.

Overall - Grab a 330 if you can. I'm not too deep into this 750 and not so excited about the finish. Kind of a confusing drink, where some elements really rise above the average blonde, while others simply fall short - however, the alcohol level is hidden very well.

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Photo of mariposafan
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

330ml bottle fills my Duvel tulip with a bright golden body toppeed with a huge, foamy head that lasts and lasts.

The aroma is different. More floral than yeasty or malty it reminds me of a saison. Not a bad thing. Just a little weak, though.

The flavor is also a little different. There's some yeast but more floral hops with only a touch of maltiness in the background. Very little of the distinctive flavor that I associate with Belgian beers. The big problem is a hop bitterness that is too forward - not like an IPA but definitely more than I look for in a BSPA. Definitely detracts from what is otherwise a different and interesting flavor profile.

The light to medium body is fine but the carbonation is an assault - far too prickly, though I suppose it helps to cut the bitterness.

Overall it seems to be less than the sum of its pieces. It's not bad - I wouldn't turn one down if it were offered - but it's nothing like competitive with Duvel or Don de Dieu in the style so I don't think I'd buy it again.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This poured out as a hazy looking yellowish gold color. The smell of the beer was of grains and some bready Belgian yeast. The taste of the beer reminded me a little bit of a wheat beer more than a Pale Ale. The flavors were soft and finished with a little bit of a bitterness in the back of the tongue. The mouthfeel of the beer was drinkable and had a lot of sporatic carbonation. Overall this beer was decent I think, nothing too exciting but it was nice to try.

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Photo of spinrsx
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

330ml Bottle

Appearance – Clear yellow/amber colour with a large size fizzy white coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some fairly good lacing. The head lasted for around 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell - Wheat/grains, lemons, green grapes, pears, coriander

Taste & Mouth - The beer has a high amount of carbonation. I can taste wheat mixed with lemons, white grape juice, and some light pear. There is also a bit of a clove/coriander spiciness. The fruit flavour is really very refreshing and the beers taste is well balanced. It finishes with a tart fruity aftertaste.

Overall – The alcohol is well hidden and the flavours work really well together. This beer is ideal for the warmer weather and my glass was empty before I knew it. I'll pick this one up again for sure.

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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 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 Florida9
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Popped the cork and it immediately started gushing, but luckily it wasn't much. Heavily carbonated. Glass was 80% bubbly white head and it took about 5 patient pours to get a full glass. Beer itself is a darker yellow. Head leaves some light lacing.

S: Aroma is very delicate. Lightly floral with some bready yeast.

T: The taste is better than the smell. Lightly sweet with a light tartness to balance it out. A little floral. Some lemon, a little pear and green apples. Mild Belgian yeastiness makes a presence on the finish, but it is rather fleeting.

M: Light body with heavier carbonation. A bit prickly on the tongue.

O: A solid Belgian pale ale. Delicate and lightly flavored, but an easy drinker as well.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a Delirium glass. Beer is yellow and really clear, heavily carbonated, big head, white bubbles, some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is sweet with a mild yeastiness to it.

Beer is light in body and heavily carbonated on the palate. Nice yeast and floral flavors of the beer throughout. The finish is a little dry but not overly so. This is a solid decent beer from a good brewery. Used to be a staple of mine when I was stranded in the former beer desert of Florida. I would and have had this again.

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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 liamt07
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from mmurph525, 330ml bottle into a tulip. Thanks Matt.

A big soapy white head of 3+ fingers appeared before the pale gold body with a light haziness revealed itself. Splothcy lace. Nose is typical of a Belgian Strong Golden, reminiscent of Duvel in many respects. Spicy, light floral, with a touch of alcohol and a prevalent sweetness and some light fruity notes - maybe a hint of pear. Taste is spicy with a high carbonation to compliment it, sweet malts take over as the carbonation trickles away with a flash of alcohol that isn't too subtle. Some mild graininess also. High carbonation with some good drinkability. Not something to usurp Duvel of its title in the style, but certainly pleasant and a nice example.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.55/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes

A: Pours a straw/golden color, slightly hazy with lots of carbonation bubbles being released to the top. Nice fizzy head that had decent retention, but not much lacing.

S: A good bit of banana and some citrus - apricots and orange peel, some grass, and cloves. The belgian yeast also shines through a bit. A little bit of grain as well.

T: Light fruity yeast. some apricot, banana, and a little pear? Hard to tell though. Some grainy malt and light spices - pepper and cloves.

M: Light to medium bodied with lively carbonation. Pretty easy drinking.

O: Not bad, aroma/flavor were good, but seemed a little weak. Based on other reviews I would give it another try.

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Photo of THECPJ
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes:

appearance: golden yellow with an 1 finger off white head

smell: bready, citrus, banana, clove

taste: bananas, cloves, biscuit, bread

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body,

overall: refreshing Belgian Pale Ale. Will definitely have again if given the opportunity.


 310 characters

Photo of trevorjn06
4.4/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an appropriate blonde color with a thick, rocky head that recedes slowly.

Aroma is earthy yeast, stone fruits (peaches, light plums), some hop character and restrained bready malt. Subtle and straight forward, quite pleasant.

Flavor is much more reserved than most Belgian ales (as blond ales are supposed to be). There is sweet pilsner malt, soft, lightly fruity yeast character and some mild hop character that is lightly spicy and earthy. The finish is moderately dry and leaves soft yeast flavors, some alcoholic warmth and bready malts.

Mouthfeel is "soft" and smooth with tight bubbles and a medium/light body. Medium/high carbonation.

Overall this beer does not stand out as much as the first time I tried it, but at that point I had only tried 3 or so Belgian ales. This is an excellent beer and dangerously drinkable. Highly recommended.

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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 avalon07
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a bottle to a tulip glass. Had a golden-yellow color and a mostly cloudy texture. There was a big, fizzy/foamy, long-lasting head. Not a whole lot of lacing.

S: There's a big, fruity component to the aroma, along with malt and some yeast.

T: Tasted of light fruit (lemon, e.g.), malt, some yeast, and a definite alcohol ester. Slightly grainy, but not distractingly so. A very solid, vibrant flavor.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a dry finish. Medium-bodied.

D: A well made, very drinkable beer.

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

330 ml bottle into a pint glass

A: Pours a magnificent head of loose white foam. Slightly cloudy golden yellow. No lace?

S: Bread, apricot, honey, banana pudding.

T: This is really nice. Opens up with varying flavors as it goes across the tongue. Notably, a light hop butter with huge malt fullness. A myriad of fruit from dried bananas, apricots, orange juice and golden raisins; all understated. Alcohol plays well.

M: Rich and thick with only minimal syrupy-ness.

D: High ABV, but very nice on a sunny evening.

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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.

 616 characters

Photo of Beejay
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Medium amber with rose tones. A nice white fluffy head on top. This is some thick and solid foam! Slightly Hazy.

S: Fruity with the emphasis on berries. There is a nice strawberry sweetness that pairs well with the yeast character. Perhaps some spice notes as well. Smells good.

T: There are some nice spice notes, and more light berry flavors. There is definitely a nice belgian yeast characteristic here. Perhaps a touch of booze in the finish. Tasty.

M: Medium in body, the carbonation is effervescent and the finish is DRY..

O: Very tasty. I would definitely get this again. The finish is perhaps a bit too dry, but overall it is very enjoyable.

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Photo of jlindros
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light fizzy head, golden yellow blondy hazy looking.

Nose is sweet, honey, Belgian golden yeast and fruits, light straw, hint of floral hops.

Taste is light, little sweet, honey, light candi sugar, Belgian golden malts, yeast, and fruits, refreshing but light, drier finish with lingering Belgian golden malts.

Mouth is med to lighter bodied with decent carbonation.

Overall not bad, a little lighter than I expected, but very drinkable, especially for 8%.

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Photo of ferrari29
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer poured from bottle into Tulip Stemmed glass

A - Beer poured with one and half finger foam, which was white and held very well; thin amount of lacing and mild amount of carbonation; orange/copper cloudy body

S - Sour grapefruit smell comes up from the beer; subtle orange and lemon notes come up; slightly floral; malty and sweet back-end

T - Belgian yeasty fruit taste from orange and coriander ingredients; subtle spice hints; retro-olfaction consists of yeasty notes

M - Very effervescent; bubbly and fuzzy on the tongue and palate; lighter flavor and body than the Caracole brew I just tasted

D - Good and unique; I would definitely have a few more; a beer to be enjoyed sip after sip

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

330ml bottle, 7.5% ABV. Weird sax-wielding jester depicted on the label.

This beer pours a hazy, medium golden yellow colour, with a teeming fistful of puffy, thinly foamy, and congealed melted marshmallow off-white head, which leaves some sparse reaching finger lace around the glass in its rather lazy wake.

It smells of semi-sweet grainy pale malt, zingy fruit - lemon, apple, pear, and pineapple notes are strongest - with some coriander and white pepper spice, and soft, earthy yeast. The taste is again somewhat sweet, raw pastry-like malt, more strong, yet now muddled golden fruit, peppery yeast, mild earthy hops, and a soft alcohol warming.

The carbonation is moderate, after that initial outburst, and persistent in its tight frothiness, the body a solid middleweight, quite smooth, and somewhat creamy, in a caramel pudding sort of way. It finishes bittersweet, the pale malt offset by some trailing warm spice and gritty hoppiness.

A pleasant, well-rounded strong Belgian ale, no edges here. Outgoing, and plays well with others, until, I suppose, that hidden alcohol strength becomes blindingly apparent, and engenders cravings for more heady, darker Belgian offerings.

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Photo of chickenflea
4.27/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Lightly hazed, dark copper body with a full fingers worth of meringue-like, whitish foam. Fair amount of spiderweb lacing on the way down.

Smell: Foundation of lightly sweet-scented maltiness on which sit fruit notes of pears and apples. Also, a good snap of spices, smelling of everything from clove to pepper.

Taste: Sweet, sugary pale maltiness slides in before the spicy taste of cracked cloves, white pepper, cardamon, and even a bit of cinnamon. Fruity, faintly tart tastes of apples and pears along with some soft floral tones. Light bitterness. Drying, warming finish with a lingering spiciness and (still lightly) tart fruitiness in the aftertaste,

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium-high carbonation. Lightly sticky mouthfeel.

Drinkability: A good Belgian brew - you get some upfront sweet maltiness, a complex spice character, and a nice display of fruitiness. A little bit of everything.

 913 characters

Photo of ocelot2500
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden slightly orange color with a soft white head that leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Smells of golden fruits with some yeast.

Tastes of a good dose of fruits and some spice. Fruits have apple and pear notes with some peaches. Sweetness is at a minimum and the beer is fairly dry. Yeast spice adds a clove touch to the mix.

Mouthfeel is medium full with a smooth amount of carbonation.

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Photo of ludachris
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Its murky orange body resembles the streams of iron laden water close to beaches that I've become familiar with down East. 3 fingers of fluffy, meringue-like head is produced after a steady pour, leaving whipped patches of lace across the glass as it slowly recedes.

The nose is both sweet and spicy. Orange cream, banana, and hints of unripe pear mingle with noble hops, Belgian spice, lemon peel, coriander, and a pronounced wheat character. It sort of remindes me of a an amped up Witbier.

Take the base notes of lemon peel, coriander, and wheat from a Witbier, crank up the spice a touch, and add a zesty and earthy noble hop character to the finish with some fresh yeast and you have this beer. The fruity notes that pair so well with the Belgian yeast that I've come to expect in a BSPA are nearly non-existent. It's interesting, but not exactly what I was looking for.

The resemblance to a Witbier is also apparent in the feel, seeming a tad watery and thin for the beer's registered style. Still creamy and smooth with a good balance. The higher ABV is well disguised. It's easy to drink but not pleasurable enough to warrant a higher score.

This was a bit of a let down for me, being one of the few BSPA's I haven't thoroughly enjoyed. A "Double Wit" may be a more suiting title for this. There's nothing really wrong with this beer; possessing a good nose, taste, and feel, it's just not what I was looking for. Worth a try, but as long as Duvel is readily available to me, I'll be sticking to it.

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Saxo from Brasserie Caracole
3.91 out of 5 based on 400 ratings.
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