Saxo | Brasserie Caracole

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: 401
Photo of AZbelgian
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this at Brasserie Caracole in Belgium (poured from a bottle by the brewery owner). Our bottle at the brewery indicated 7.5% ABV not 8.

A Wallonian blond ale with a golden color and smell of fruit and spices. It has a slightly heavier in the mouth feel than it's lighter cousin Troublette. Also not quite as tart as Troublette but still has a fair amount of lemon and coriander zest in the flavor.

Very wheaty, in fact the brewery owner told us the beer is a 20% wheat brew. The beer is named after Adolphe Sax (inventor of the Saxophone) who was from the nearby town of Dinant.

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Photo of impending
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


La Trappe. Poured a golden straw. Minor head retained nicely, decent lacing.

Excellent aroma. Lots of fruits both sweet and citrus, doughy yeast, something unknown but floral and distant anise perhaps.

Taste is the epitome of smooth. Spices and yeast dominate. Mildly sweet and fruity, fairly complex within a narrow range. Zero bitterness in the finish, the hops are just for aroma. The finish is the sum of all flavors and evaporates rather quickly. Mouthfeel is light and slightly prickly.

The smoothness makes this stand apart from many strong pale ales. It is the perfect intro for those who do not like hops, those who shy away from bitter.

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

Served in tulip at 39 degrees F.

A: Warm clear honey body, light white head. Head dissipates without leaving much lace.
S: Nutty grassy and yeasty.
T: Peach skin and loquat peel, caramel malt, a little yeast. A very straightforward ale, well presented and balanced.
M: Good carbonation, fairly crisp, with more alcohol warmth than expected.
D: Very drinkable. Not a whole lot to ponder, and nothing to complain about either.

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

on tap @Delirium Cafe Reserve Tokyo

Appearance: dark yellow, orangeish tints with bright yello high lights. great logo, served in caracole tulip glass. substatial light, quick head. lacing is good

Smell: noble hops, sugar like sweetness, tangy orange

Taste: had this a couple times, and what always strikes me is the sourness of it. Its like an orange crossbread with a lemon, then counterbalanced with a sugary sweetness. estery. as it warms up spicy notes come into play as well

Mouthfeel: high carbonation mixed with heavy taste give it that belgian mouthfeel, medium

Drinkability/Overall: I tasty beer if you like sour type fruits. not especially complex or refined, but tasty. unfortunately the tastes build up quickly so not a real drinker

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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 barleywinefiend
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured a yellowish color with good carbonation and a nice white head

S: Yeast, spice, fruits, honey

T: Lightly sweet with hints of banana, honey and some wheat

M: Light to medium bodied, nice feel

D: Very good indeed. this was a favorite at the Parkway Tavern

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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 jsprain1
4.34/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Appearance is a hazy, yet intense orange. The head retention was not very good, but what little there was left some sticky lace.
S- Smell is spicy, yeasty, with fruit esters coming through, a bit lemony as well.
T- It is somewhat sweet, but the emphasis is on the yeast and spice flavors with hoppy and fruity flavors existing in the background. The finish has a bit of an alcohol glow to it, that only got more powerful as it warmed.
M- full bodied, warming alcohol, high carbonation that is slightly prickly, yet all in all it's a very substantive beer.
D- This is a complex, layered beer that is flat out well done. It is not a session beer for me, as after a couple of these, one might get a little worn. I actually really enjoyed this beer, and would recommend it, though maybe not as one's first bspa, as it is rather aggressive with some of its flavors and with the alcohol warmth.

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

11.2 oz bottle. $4 something from Magnolia in Lynchburg.

Appearance: A little darker than I expected. Clear and dark gold. The head is rocky and uneven, and pokes the top part of it out of my tulip. Good retention, ultimately leaving a couple little floating blobs and some thin lacing. Continuous bubbles like champagne.

Smell: Spicy belgian yeast with a slight funky twang. Light fruity esters. Good, but not as big and complex as some.

Taste: Yeasty and quite spicy more than sweet and fruity. Just slightly hoppy, but the sharp carbonation makes it a little bitter upfront. The finish is again sweet, spicy, and yeasty.

Mouthfeel: Very high carbonation-- slightly too high. If you leave it in your mouth, it gets foamy and feels like PopRocks. That's obviously a detractor. The sticky sweet finish is pretty nice though.

Drinkability: This is a pretty solid BSPA that is more on the spicy than fruity side. Extremely stiff competition in this category, so the beer is obviously way better than its rating may suggest.

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Photo of boss302
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: deep gold to light brown in color through the 12 oz Saxo tulip shapped glass, nice thick head. Head reduces with time, but remains leaving a nice lace on the glass.

S: coriander dominates, slight ester with very little hop aroma.

T: high Carbonation, very clean crisp and very little hint of the high alcohol content other than a little sweetness.

M: full bodied, again with little notice of the higher alcohol until the aftertaste, which is noticeably warmer.

D: definitely worth getting if you can find it, overall a very nice beer.

Definitely recommend!

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Photo of VerbingNouns
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

330mL poured into a tulip

A: Cherry auburn, foggy, lots of white foamy head that produces delicate lacing.

S: Fruity and citrus-hoppy with a crisp end. Maybe a little spicy.

T: MUCH hoppier than it smells, but without a trace of bitter. The fruit from the smell is hidden by the citrus. There's also a hint of honey. As it warmed up, I found some cherry notes and it tasted a little hotter, but mellowed out again before the end.

M: Sharp carbonation is pretty overpowering, and any refreshing aspects of the smell and taste are lost. After warming up a bit, the carbonation also mellows.

D: While initially really impressive, it started to peter out early on. The cherry coming out in the taste was really pleasant, but on the whole, this beer is jarring in how different its smell and taste are. I'd probably recommend it more as an autumn brew than for spring or summer.

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

Appearance - 4.5 - This was obviously bottle conditioned, with lots of sediment in the bottom. Beer was straw colored, just a tiny bit cloudy. Swarms of large bubbles rise through the glass constantly. The head is bright white and made up of large soap-like bubbles. It starts out fluffy and about ½" thick and slowly fades to a single layer of large bubbles.

Aroma - 4.0 - Light, inviting aroma. No hops, just a little sweet malt and a large hit of honey.

Flavor - 4.0 - Flavor is surprisingly light but bitter, not at all what I expected from the smell. There is a sharp bitterness accentuated by the CO2 acidity of the high carbonation. A flavor of noble hops is the first thing to jump out, followed by honey notes, but without sweetness.

Mouthfeel - 3.5 - Light body and lots of prickly carbonation. Very dry finish, even astringent, which is surprising after the strong honey aroma.

Overall Drinkability - 4.0 - Very nice and drinkable; seems more like a hopped dry mead than a beer.

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Photo of DoubleJ
3.49/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm just before the "3/10" date marked on the bottle. 750 ml bottle, on to the beer:

Into my chalice it goes, the beer features a light golden color, hazy, with a moderate sized head and merely fair retention. Smells like...a strong pale. There are echoes of aprictos and a little candi sugar to be smelled. It's also a little grassy.

The overall flavor is ligther thean expected. Dried apricots dipped in sugar is the best thing to resembele the flavor. Mmmm, those are good in real life. Delicate overall. The liquid is very light in the mouth, and to be honest, is on the watery side. A little carbonation at the end hits the palate and provides a peppery flavor.

I expected a little stronger tasting beer, but it's still a pleasant ale overall.

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Photo of JBogan
4.48/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful gold with plenty of bubbles feeding a thick foamy head which leaves minimal lacing.

The mainly citric aroma is offset by a small yeast presence.

The taste is also mainly citrus along with apples and peppery spice. The alcohol is completely hidden. Really very nice tasting.

Mouthfeel is also just about perfect. A medium to thick body with a good creaminess and perfect amount of carbonation.

Overall I was quite pleased with this beer. It was extremely drinkable and refreshing, and I look forward to the next time I have it again.

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

Reviewed from my notes. It has an opaque dirty/tarnished gold color and a white foam head. There is some great lacing. The aroma is a good combination of earthy yeast and floral hops. Saxo has a great smooth, malty flavor with just the right amount of hops. It has a clover honey sweetness that I really like. It's a full bodied beer. There is a medium amount of carbonation, but it feels lighter than it is. It's as close to a perfect mouthfeel as I can recall having. It is also sumpremely drinkable This glass in front of me will go down very easily. I could drink Saxo all night.

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Photo of clayrock81
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy orange with frothy two finger head that stays around and leaves lace. A classic sour yeasty funk of orange and citric notes along with hints of sweet malts. A prickly, lively beer thanks to carbonation, that citric flavors like orange and dark fruit flavors (hints of apricot and pear) poke through in a light to medium bodied beer. Some caramel and candy sugar sweetness as well mix with the beer for a smooth ride that finishes crisp and clean.

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Photo of Billolick
3.97/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Belgian bomber bottle, caged and corked, purchased at DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY. Pours slighly cloudy, lighter apricot amber. Typical and not too excitng head, and moderate lacing left behind. Nose of soft fruits, spice/hint of Belgiany yeasty. Easy drinking and quite pleasant BSPA, the 8% quite well hidden. Fruity and refreshing, this beer served as the steaming liquid for some clams and then went great with the clams and a plate of pasta. The finish has notes of pepper, spiced apricots, phenolic yeasties and more then ample Belgian tastyness. A thoroughly enjoyable offering.

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

750ml bottle acquired as a gift from my good friend and ever-evolving beer geek, Dave. Refrigerated for about eight months, the drink by date reads 03/09.

Served at between fridge and cellar temperature in a Duvel tulip.

Appearance- Consistent with a well done SBPA, the beer pours a brilliant medium gold with a rocky three finger head. Minimal lacing.

Smell- Tart apples, flower petals, and a spicy Belgian yeast that carries the zingy hop aroma. Earthy malts lay back undermneath it all.

Taste- It is great to note that the alcohol blast that some beers of this style exhibit are nowhere to be found... the balance here is terrific, going between sweet and puckering at first, then easing into a smooth, delicious drink that plays down the spices.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- One of the finest textures of any Belgian beers I've sampled, the mouthfeel is stunning... smooth and rolling foam that only gets better the longer it's there. A pleasant surprise from the depths of the fridge, I'll gladly recommend this to any fan of the style.

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Photo of brownbeer
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orangish-yellow pour with a nice, white head.

Doughy peach aroma with caramel, golden raisin, orange, and coriander.

Soft carbonation, malty caramel, and fruity banana notes with orangey citrus.

Overall, a very smooth and drinkable everyday Belgian beer.

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Photo of Grunewald
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured from a 330ml bottle into a tulip glass. It pours yellow amber. It is semi-clear with lots of visible particles abound. The large head collapses fast and leaves minimal lacing.

S - heavy citrus fruit (like a marmalade), strong esters and strong spicy yeast

T - syrupy malt, fruit, light citrus, light hops and an alcohol-malt-spice finish

M - medium carbonation, medium-thin body and slightly dry finish on the tongue

D - great smell and balanced taste

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Photo of berley31
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured with a average-sized, white head that hung around for awhile and left some nice lacing on the glass. Body is a burnt-orange color, and hazy.

S: Aroma of yeast, spices, and some citrus fruit (lemon?). Very, very faint scent of alcohol.

T: Nice flavor, with the spices and citrus coming through most prominently. A bit of alcohol warmth in the finish, but not very much considering it's 8% ABV. A slight bite in the finish as well, which is nice.

M: Light-to-medium bodied, slightly creamy, with average carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable at 8%... not the best Belgian strong pale ale I've had, but it's still very good, and very solid. And does it earn an extra point for having a snail playing a saxophone on the bottle/glass? Yes. Yes it does.

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Strange: This looks awful and great at the same time. The pour is murky pale, almost straw-coloured (the colour reminds me of american adjunct lager). But the head is great, beautifully rich white, really large and longlasting (reminds me of Tripel). Some nice lacings.

S: Lots of yeast (hints of Brettanomyces?). Really fruity, mostly citric notes. Faint hops and malt.

T: I can sence wheat and bananas in this malty beer that holds some faint bitterness and yeast.

M: The aftertaste is not as long as I like it to be, but it holds some sweetness and faint bitterness. The body as well as the carbonation is medium.

D: A rather nice beer, but nothing to write home about since the belgians make lots of better Strong Pale Ales.

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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 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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Saxo from Brasserie Caracole
3.91 out of 5 based on 401 ratings.
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