Saxo | Brasserie Caracole

very good
405 Ratings

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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Ratings: 405 |  Reviews: 232
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 MaltyGoodness
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle

Pours a slightly hazed golden straw color with a fluffy white head that thins. Nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is very yeasty and bready with some spicy tones, pilsner malt, and a touch of hops.

Taste is a blast of Belgian yeasty and bready aromas with a nice spiciness. This gives way to the pilsner malt base with some noble hop flavors an a medium bitterness. Finishes rather clean with just a slight lingering yeasty flavor.

Medium body, zippy carbonation.

A solid Belgian ale in every regard, very good drinkability. The ABV is hidden, and didn't prevent me from finishing the entire 750 easily myself. You will be hard pressed to find a better beer in this style for the price. If you have access to this, snag it.

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Photo of icemonkey908
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml corked bottle. Appears a cloudy golden color. Head is quite large and fluffy initially but dies down to a thin trace after a few minutes. The aroma is very sweet and fruity. Hints of berries and banana are present. The taste is slightly tart and spicy but then finishes with a sweet alcohol flavor. Very carbonated mouthfeel. Overall, a very tasty beer, well above average.

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Photo of jettjon
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 750 ml caged cork bottle with no date noted, decants with an audible pop. Into the cervoise, a towering pillowy head of pure white foam is generated. Great retention; very slow creep down to a heavy cap and plenty of lacing. Slightly hazy golden yellow body with heavy carbonation. Very nice looking beer. Spicy nose evinces coriander, clove, and citrus, and as it warms, banana. Tastes sweetish and citrusy with a light spice/coriander/clove aspect, with slight alcohol warmth. Moderate flavor complexity. Mouth is wet with full carbonation, but smooth. Drinkability is good; the 8% ABV is well masked and despite the vigorous carbonation, it goes down smooth, and is crisp and refreshing.

Overall: Served cool, not cold, this one is a flavorful warm-weather quencher. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of meadhead
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
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

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Photo of gonzo138
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a semi hazy golden color with an awesome head that retained excellently and laced great too, great stream of carbonation coming up from the center

S- citrusy sweetness, a little bit of corriander spiciness thrown in there as well

T- matches taste, with the exception of a very light touch of hop bitterness at the end

M- great carbonation, light body, a little bit dry

D- could have quite a few of these even though its 8% ABV, a great beer

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Photo of kmo1030
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

faintly hazed gold with a strong
The aroma is dominated by perfumey citrus. it also seems to have some slightly wheat-y characteristics as well that are accompanied by a vanilla aroma that leans in a vaguely maple direction. sweet bready yeast is also present.
citrusy in the mouth as well with a sweet lemon quality and the same round vanilla character. just a bit of booze at the finish with a hint of grain. it's got a little bitterness that is remeniscent of lemon rind. with warmth it also develops a green sort of unripe, almost grassy character.
it's got a lighter side of medium body with fine active carbonation.
very nice drinkability, refreshing despite the 8% abv. something i'll pick up again if i see it.

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Photo of phisig137
3.57/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear light yellow color, with a one finger head. little retention leaves nothing behind at all.

aroma is mild and delicate. Slight yeast and apple aromas, along with a touch of alcohol.

flavor is slightly tart, abundant with light colored unripe fruit. I also get hints of some wheat like notes in there too. Only moderately hoppy on the finish. Mouthfeel is light and thin, aided by aggressive large bubbled carbonation. Drinkability is good.

A good beer overall, but not Caracole's best. It's well worth the $7 I paid for the corked and caged bottle, but don't expect a huge wow factor. Expect a well made beer, that I think needs a bit more hops to be right. A little remaining head or lace wouldn't hurt much either....

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Photo of Hampton73
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a pretty white head, that settles to a nice cover over the hazy golden liquid.

Aroma is very nice fruity, citrusy, with bread and yeast strong too.

The drinkability factor is too high for an 8% beer. It goes nice with dinner. The flavor is fruity and bready. It is very clean.

A very nice Belgian Blond.

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

Straw gold, not a great presentation but the head is quite nice. Eventually recedes to a quarter inch ring.

Not too incredible in the nose, weak fruits and spices, distinct yeast smells.

Pleasant, easy taste. Nothing jumps out, maybe a touch of spice. Dominated by yeast elements. Decent body, gets a little syrupy once the head is gone, serve before room temperature.

I like the shout-out to the saxophone and even if the notes aren't in perfect harmony, it's another serviceable beer from Caracole.

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Photo of Braudog
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled beer at Biergarden, Portsmouth. Brought out in a tulip. Hazy yellow with a well-laced head. The nose is light and yeasty. Flavor-wise, this is lemon-citrusy, flowery, with a bready yeastiness, almost like a strong, alcohol-laced witbier. Excellent. (#2693, 2/10/2007)

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Photo of GimmeAles
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a lightly hazy straw-gold. Vivacious 4-fingers of foam recede to a 3cm sheet sealing the glass to the end. Fleeting wafts of lemon, herbs and spice are noted first with bready-yeastiness rounding out a fresh, inviting nose.

Faded lemon-head candy, with a soft herbaceous hop twang greets the palate, followed by many levels of doughy bread and earthy yeast. Lots of fleeting yeasty funk add an air of exploration for this one. Floral, gingery spice is there and a light tea (chamomile?) character is present throughout with a hint of drying alcohol in the finish.

Finishes remarkably clean born about a soft carpet of crisp carbonation. Alcohol is scarcely noted save for its dizzying effects. Exceptionally quaffable except for the high ABV; would go very well with many, many foods. Lightly acidic, dry, crisp and subtly complex. Nice.

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

This beer poured a cloudy straw color with a large head and excellent lacing. The smell is sour with some spice notes. The taste is sour and spicy. It has sweet undertones. The mouthfeel is light and bright with carbonation. This is a delicious beer overall and has a lot of character, but is smooth enough to be quite drinkable.

 329 characters

Photo of hunteraw
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours light golden in color, huge white head that sticks around for a long time. Some lacing. Cute label.

Smell: Lots of Belgian yeast aroma, with citrus, some spice and fruit. Rather more citrusy than other BPAs.

Taste: Much like the aroma. For an 8% beer the alcohol is fairly well hidden. A bit rough around the edges, rather more "in your face" than others.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, carbonation on the high side.

Drinkability: Okay, but not quite "good" - glad I split the bottle. La Fin or Duvel win out any day.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a bottle at Delirium Café in Brussels.

Appearance: Pours a lightly hazy golden with a thick, fluffy, bright white head that leaves heavy lace.

Smell: Very peppery, with banana fruitiness, and light graininess.

Taste: Lightly sweet fruit upfront, with a significant peppery bite in the finish with a light bitterness.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation, light-bodied, dry finish.

Drinkability: Very crisp and refreshing, with a nice dry finish.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 11.2oz./33cl bottle to a Delirium tulip glass; split it with my wife. Our first taste of this beer since having some at Brasserie Caracole, where we learned that this beer's name honors Adolphe Sax; he hailed from the neighboring town of Dinant and is the inventor of the saxophone.

A: Pours a hazy, yeasty golden color, with a billowing white head. The head very slowly dwindles to a creamy film. When uncapped, the yeast in the bottle began to erupt and overflow the bottle - a mini-gusher...

S: Bountiful yeast and sweet grain smells. Bread dough, clove spice, crisp apple, sweet banana and herbal hopping. Yum, a big, bold mouth-watering strong Belgian pale.

T: Grainy malt, lots of spice and yeast. Slightly tart and with a fairly dry herbal/grassy finish.

M: Zesty and tingly mouthfeel. Medium body. Starts crisp but finishes a little gummy or sticky. Good, fresh, full...

D: For what it is, a straightforward spicy Belgian pale ale, this is a really good one. We definitely will enjoy this again and again. Just having one takes me back to the dusty, stone-walled tasting room at the back of the brewery. Recommended.

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Photo of dherling
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured out a clear dark gold color crowned by a chunky white head and lacing everywhere. The nose is bit malty and a bit grainy at the same time, rounded out by clove. The taste starts bready malt, a light sweetness. It then goes towards a decent amount of hop bitterness, but never develops the usual Belgian flavors I'm looking for. Mouthfeel was a bit flat, accentuating how poorly the flavors have married. Definitly drinkable, but too ordinary for me to care about.

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Photo of mmmbeer
4.17/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

33 cL slender Belgian bottle with "Lot G" and "06/08" notched on the back lablel, served a bit too cold at Michael's Bistro and Taphouse with a small snifter. It pours a clouded peach with a 2 finger, off-white head that would leave nice lacing if I weren't swirling so much to catch the aroma. It is quite tropical, with lemon zest, apple, pear, melon, oranges, peaches, and pineapple, along with light pepper and some spicy yeast. The flavor is similar, fruity, but not quite as robust as the aroma, along with notes of curacao and perhaps coriander on top of a medium body that is very refreshing for a beer of its strength. Overall a very nice golden ale, and one I would definitely drink again.

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Photo of riversider76
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a cloudy golden. Thin white head,little retention or lacing. Smell is sweet,yeasty and spicy, with a good bit fruit. Body is silky,light to medium,and carbonated. Taste is fruited, and spiced. Smooth, yet a bit of an edge in the finish. Alchol is present through out. Good stuff!!

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Photo of goochpunch
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

After spewing out all over my kitchen from the bottle, I managed to get some in the glass. Pours a really beautiful and vibrant golden, but it is littered with ton of suspended proteins. Head is here and there, leaving a thin foam up top. Smell is strongly of grain, spicy yeast, grassy hops, and bright fruits. I get mostly grain and yeast spice up front, followed by a fruity twang and some noble hops, finishing all up with a breadiness from the yeast and pale malts and an intense dryness. Mouthfeel is light and lively. This would have been ruined if there were lots of residual sugars left, and therefore, and a weighted mouthfeel. It's good at what it sets out to do, and I can respect that, but since this isn't quite for me, it's not optimal in drinkability.

Another hit from Caracole (RIP in TX).

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Photo of virtualshock
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Very cloudy, nice golden color. Lots of bubbles and a good thick head in my snifter.

S - I smell the yeast and what I percieve as a slight pineapple note. Just a hint of sweetness.

T - I can't really taste the alcohol, for 8%, that is unusual. The initial taste is sweet with a dry hops at the end. Nice.

M - The mouthfeel is as expected bubbly and pretty smooth.

D - I enjoyed this beer, the alcohol does not stand out in smell or taste. I can tell it is there after taking a drink and now that I have finished one on an empty stomach. This is my favorite belgian strong so far. Maybe, the artesian water gives this beer the little extra kick it has.

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Photo of martymoat
3.92/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: I uncapped the bottle and by the time I got outside with it the head was slowly starting to push itself out of the bottle like a volcano, just a lot slower. Pours light cooper in color, cloudy with head that starts strong then goes to a light dusting on top.

S: strong tart fruity smell hits the nose followed by slight malt presence.

T: fruits, flavors of grapefruit and orange peel, lead you into the light malt taste and to finish it leaves your mouth silky feeling with a slight honey after taste.

M: good amount of carbonation, very smooth.

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Photo of fartingdog
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Poured a beautiful slightly hazy gold color with a perfect white head. First smell was honey clover with earthy undertones. Initial taste was honey and an earthy yeast flavor. Aftertaste is a faint tartness/bitterness. Decent drinker. Out of the Caracole beers I've tasted, this may be my least favorite- it is a good beer for the style, but I think if I'm going for a Carocole, I'd rather get one of their darker beers which they seem to do a better job at.

Overall a good beer, good for the style, but not one for me personally to go out of my way for. Probably a good summer beer.

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Photo of cproioi
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a hazy yellow color that supports a huge white head that is very loud. If you listen the carbonation can be heard cracking and popping very clearly. The head leaves decent spotty lacing.

The aroma and taste is largely of Belgian yeast and a sweet candied fruit flavor. Every so slight fusal alcohol notes present. With a lightly hopped finish.

It's light-medium bodied beer that finished extremely dry with a little alcohol warming present in the back of the throat. To say this beer is highly carbonated would be an understatement. Upon opening this beer from my fridge after a couple of hours sitting there it starts fizzing everywhere and I lost about a quarter of it down the sink.

It's a nice beer that went well with a summer day. The dry finish was very thirst quenching. I like this beer and I would get it again easily.

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