Saxo | Brasserie Caracole

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Very Good
409 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: 409 |  Reviews: 234
Photo of Metalmonk
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
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 JohnW
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
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 -5.6%
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 +9.5%
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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Photo of NJpadreFan
3/5  rDev -23.1%
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 +2.6%
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 +11.5%
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 +3.3%
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 +6.4%
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 +3.3%
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 +5.1%
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 -8.5%
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 +10.3%
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 +5.1%
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 +11.5%
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)

 275 characters

Photo of GimmeAles
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
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 -0.5%
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 -3.1%
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 +11%
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.

 462 characters

Photo of msubulldog25
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
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.

 1,148 characters

Photo of dherling
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
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 +6.9%
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 +0.5%
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 -1.5%
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 +3.3%
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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Saxo from Brasserie Caracole
Beer rating: 3.9 out of 5 with 409 ratings
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