Friday, 21 December 2012

Beer # 96 Nostradamus


Brasserie Caracole scrl

Flamignoul, Belgium
Strong Belgium Brunne (Brown Ale) 9.0 % ABV Brown Glass Bottle 330 ml.
$3.40 (Canadian) At LCBO 

As today is the so called "Mayan Apocalypse"I decided to slip in two beers with the end of the world theme. The first one is named after the French apothecary and seer Michel de Nostredame. Born co-incidentally on this date December 21 1503 (we think, it's disputed it may be the 14th) Nostradamus (Latin spelling) was a biblical and historical scholar in his spare time. He became famous for writing the book "Les Propheties de M. Michel Nostramvs" or as it is better know "The Prophecies." In his book he wrote short ambiguous poems called quatrains that supposedly foretold the future by examining the past.

There were three volumes in total. and about 1000 quatrains. Of these only 942 survive, published in an omnibus collection after his death. The quatrains are divided up into series of 100 poems that make up a "century." Nostradamus scholars have intently studied these poems for a clue to the future. Often using the vague nature of the poems to explain events that have already happened. One quatrain supposedly predicted the rise of Hitler, and Europe at war. One predicted the fall of the Twin Towers in New York., several go on to predict coming wars and potentially the end of the world, the return of Christ, and the battle of Armageddon. The key one has to remember is Nostradamus was also heavily into astrology. in the 1500's Astrology was still considered a science. And, as with today, Astrological predictions are conveniently vague to allow for broad interpretations. If you take your horoscope and read it at the end of the day instead of the beginning  often your mind will bend the words of the horoscope to fit the events that have already happened, leaving you with that whoa! did that just happen? feeling. However if you read your horoscope at the beginning of the day, chances are you will draw other conclusions and allow your mind to miss the events of the day without any connection, because you have already decided what will happen. It is similar with Nostradamus' predictions, looking back we can connect the vague dots in our mind now that we know what happened, but as a prediction tool it is completely useless.

La Brasserie Caracole is located in the province of Namur. The logo for the brewery is the snail, or a man wearing a metal helmet in the shape of a snail. The spiral shelled snail (Caracole) is the symbol of Namur and hence the name of the brewery.

Onto tonight's beer:

A slightly hazy light chestnut brown with a large fluffy light tan head made up of small bubbles. Head is very long lasting, leaving a slightly broken lacing on the glass. Aroma is very wheaty with mild banana, fresh fruit, and some clove. First sip is an incredibly light and bright fruity beer,with a tongue tingling effervescence. The high alcohol content is deceptive at first until you breath out and the alcohol heat warms your mouth.The finish is fresh grains floral hops, and a tinge of sour... not by any means unpleasant. Aeration gives us a rich caramel maltiness, oak notes, some vanilla and a hint of barrel aged whiskey.

Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 

Cost: 5/6 PASS
Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 6/6 EXCEPTIONAL
Re-Order:  6/6 EXCEPTIONAL
Experience:  6/6 EXCEPTIONAL

Final Thoughts:

The best brown ale I have ever had, and certainly one of the best Belgium beers I have ever had. Definitely a great way to toast the end of the world.



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