Saxo | Brasserie Caracole

BA SCORE
87
very good
405 Ratings
SaxoSaxo
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Brasserie Caracole
Belgium

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
405
Reviews:
232
Avg:
3.91
pDev:
11.51%
 
 
Wants:
14
Gots:
34
For Trade:
0
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 405 |  Reviews: 232
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 Graham5161986
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
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 TheDeuce
2.89/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Saxo...

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 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 Patrick999
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

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Photo of wchesak
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of the 11.2/330 mL bottle into a Abbaye du Val-Dieu chalice

Appearance - blonde amber, poured with a lot of carbonation that stayed after the head settled, a little bit of lacing as the glass emptied

Smell - a little yeasty, slightly fruity (apple maybe), and cinnamon notes, a alcohol presence at the end

Taste - tart, lemony flavoer to it, the alcohol tastes is present but only towards the end, the abv is hidden very nicely

Mouthfeel - carbonation is definitely noticeable but not overpowering, nice bite to begin with but eventually smooths out

Drinkability - just while writing this im almost done with one, its a great balance of carbonation with sweet notes and smoothness

Will have to try out the 750 mL next time

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Photo of watchnerd
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle.

I plowed through the entire bottle while eating Greek pizza and watching American Idol, a testament to the superb drinkability of this beer. I never would have guessed it was 8% ABV from the taste and didn't even realize that I was at least 1 sheet to the wind until I got up for a bio-break. This stuff can sneak up on you!

A very yeoman-like, competent, straight-up-the-middle interpretation of a Belgian blonde, not particularly unusual or unique, but nonetheless highly competent, drinkable, and enjoyable.

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

Saxo poured a light copper, with a nice, fluffy white head. It smelled sweet, with ginger, cinnamon, and other spices. It tasted very sweet, with cinnamon and pumpkin coming through. It was slick and burned a little as it went down.

This was a very good beer and am looking forward to having some more of it in the future.

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Photo of dsa7783
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ML bottle bought caged and corked from Gary's in Madison for about $7.99... "Belgian Blond Ale" on the logo sticker with a sea-shell creature holding up a saxophone... Pours a lucid, clear, applejuice color with a nice foamy head that soon dissipated... some rising carbonation is present... smell is very sweet, with an apple, pear, fruit, and alcohol aroma... although not entirely strong, the 8% ABV is noticeable in the ultra-sweet yet light taste... flavor has a strong floral and grapefruit essence with esters and a grainy candy taste... not completely blown away by this sample, but a pleasing depiction nonetheless... a very sweet, sugar-laden brew... Not bad at all... Certaily worth a try...

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.39/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly clouded straw gold with minimal head. Nose is strong with a lemon citrus tone and yeast. Some alcohol present. Flavor is tart and tangy with a leafy lemon like flavor. Seems to be a touch of mint on there as well. Feel is nice and even with a smooth level of carbonation. Oh so drinkable. The flavor profile is so smooth and easily drinkable. A damn good BSPA, though lacking the complexity that other heavy hitters carry.

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Photo of DaveFL1976
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the first time I've had a Saxo, and I wasn't sure what to expect. This brew pours a bright golden colour, with a fluffy white head that settled down to a thin skim in my Duvel tulip glass in relatively short order. The smell is excellent; almost liek a saison. It's got a bit of that funky, sparp Belgian character that I love. The taste is rather light, fruity and a bit sharp, and the 8% alcohol is hidden very well. Still, I keep thinking Saison with this beer (which is not a bad thing!). Mouthfeel is mediumly carbonated yet lively. A sweet aftertaste stays on the tongue after the swallow. Drinkability is pretty darn good.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
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 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 bruachan
3.6/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

i can't say that i understand the image on the label. a sax-playing jester snail?

very light straw gold. pale. vibrant carbonation keeps a sudsy white head afloat. from this foam emanates strong spice aromas. little hop. plenty of nice, lightly fruity, pils malt

more spices when i finally sip the beer, though of a much more earthy denomination. it's lively yet full of sweetness. the bitterness is tea-like, and a little flimsy

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Photo of IPAcraig
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
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 TheManiacalOne
4.31/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

On-tap 8/26/07 at Track 84 in Warwick, RI, served in a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a bright gold color, with a large white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is kind of faint but contains Belgian yeast, banana, light malts, some spice and a little bit of hops.

T: The taste starts out a little malty and sweet with flavors of banana, Belgian yeast and spices. The hops presence is pretty decent for the style and provides a brief, mild and pleasantly bitter bite. The after-taste is sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, light-to-medium body, light-to-medium carbonation, very clean finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down quite easily, not too filling, good kick, very good representation of style, this is an excellent beer to stick with for a whole evening, especially if you’re in a Belgian kind of mood.

 851 characters

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

750 ml brown bottle, caged and corked.
Served in an oversized wine glass.
Lot F; Best before end: 06.2008.

Golden straw with brass highlights; chill haze. Mildly creamy, white head with good retention as a mellow sheet. Spotted and thick lacing with an artistic-like pattern.

Yeasty-phenolic aroma with a distinct herbal profile: basil, rosemary, thyme; also a bit of clove. Salt-cured smoke-like quality. Odd aromas, but they grow on you.

Dry, earthen herbal tones: basil, thyme with an active clove and corriander spice. Faint hints of candied sweetness amidst a sea of phenolic flavor.

A light, medium in body; smooth on the palate. The carbonation is kept in check for a bottle conditioned Belgian.

An interesting Pale; bland at times and very phenolic in flavor, but not unpleasant.

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

Served in a tulip glass at Map Room 6/23/07.

A: Hazy, pale gold color with a creamy, pure white, and 1 1/2 finger head.

S: Tangy fruit, earthy hops, with a slightly funky dirt aroma. Appealing in an odd way.

T: See above and add in a spicy yeastiness, with a slight sweetness at the forefront that turns dry and tart towards the finish.

M: Dry and spicy.

D: A great balance between sweet, tangy, funky, dry, and spicy. Refreshing.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
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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Photo of dstc
4.3/5  rDev +10%
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 John_M
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at Max's the other night. My "dessert" beer after tasting through some Southern Tier ales.

Pours a hazy yellow gold color, but with very impressive head retention and good lacing. This beer looks very impressive. On the nose one gets intense lemon, but with a hint of sweetness and gingerale. The beer is pretty tart on the palate, and I assume a good bit of lambic has been mixed in with the golden ale. The beer is very much on the light side and the abv. well disguised. Flavor is a bit one dimensional IMO, but it's a very, very drinkable beer. It finishes just a bit dry at the end.

Nothing outstanding here, but a good solid beer.

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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.

 985 characters

Photo of JohnW
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pale gold colour and slight cloudiness, and natural carbonation gave a slight but not dense head. Aroma is dry, yeastly, but somehow also slightly sweet, with hints of spices, citrus and maybe even pepper.
The taste was not what I expected, and seems very dry to start, though not really hoppy bitter, with the spices coming through first, then maybe hints of citrus and a slight sweet & sour finish. The carbonation tickles the tongue as it does down, giving it a slight zesty texture. This was less sweet than some typical Belgium ales, considering its alcohol strength, and I enjoyed it fairly well, though not sure I would want more than one serving at a time.

Certainly worth trying if you enjoy this style of beer.

JohnW (written and tasted while in Tampa FL June 2007)
B'ham UK

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Photo of Toddv29424
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a slightly hazy golden color with a large head that dies down quickly. Smell is typical Belgian, with a yeasty sweetness and no hint of hops. The initial taste is refreshing, as there is nothing that really jumps out at you. As it goes down a slight yeast consistency starts to develop, and a bit of sweetness like honey as well. A hint of pepper and coriander toward the end. This beer finishes with a refreshing and near neutral taste, but it leaves behind a syrup-like film on the tongue.

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

Cloudy, tawny colour with a thin cap of beige foam. The head reduced quickly to a ring, but stuck around for quite a while after that. Some lacing. Fruity aroma of apples and apple peels, some caramel, with a spiciness that was close to cinnamon. Flavour was fruity, with apple up front, caramel and mild spice, some pear along with light acidity, and earthy towards the end. The finish had a pleasant warmth. Lowish carbonation with a medium body and a bit of slickness. Very enjoyable overall. There's some complexity here, but it didn't detract from the drinkability at all.

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Saxo from Brasserie Caracole
3.91 out of 5 based on 405 ratings.
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