I'm already getting in the winter warmer mood with this quad from Brasserie Caracole in Falmignoul, Belgium. In fact, my desire for quads has risen considerably in the past few weeks as it's been a while since I've bought a Rochefort 10 or a St Bernardus Abt 12. So far, I've resisted the temptation to open one of my five remaining Westvleteren 12s, but I can't say the same for the Chimay Bleu I was hoping to age for a year. Granted, it was a 2011 dated bottle but seeing as we're only six and a bit months into 2012, it may not necessarily be a year old. As such, I was hoping to hang on to it until Christmas, before my insatiable dark ale appetite struck. Also, I can still invariably find 2011 dated bottles in the shops so I'll replace it soon. What I can say is that I certainly enjoyed it more than the one I had a couple of weeks ago. Placebo? Perhaps.
The wonderfully packaged and named Nostradamus pours like a glass of Coke. There's a bit of an off-white head for a second or two, but ultimately the thing completely disappears and leaves absolutely nothing on top. This is despite the very lively carbonation clearly visible in the glass. Dark chocolate is the first thing I get on the nose. It's rich, dark and deep, with malt and wood following up but failing to smother the booziness at the back. It may not be very complex, but it smells delicious. It tastes delicious too, with toffee coming to the fore and a very strong, definite whiskey finish. It's incredibly warming and comforting, yet once again may be lacking in depth or complexity. None of this bothers me, and it's a beer I'll very likely try again. One thing I will say is that the whiskey finish might come on a bit too strong as time goes by.
So, it's not as deep or complex as some of the other quads I like, and it has very little of the dark or red fruit notes that I'd also expect, but it's a delicious beer that would make for a great winter warmer.