Noël - Birrificio Le Baladin
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
3.84/5 rDev -2%
Poured a somewhat brownish black body (not completely black) with good head and lace retention. A rather complex nose because I seem to pick up dark fruits like raisins and black cherry as well as some yeast, minor hopiness and then some sweetness that seems to be beyond caramel. Not the most complex beer but it's a light to medium body, not really chewey but there's some sturdiness there, is actually pretty smooth, some more raisins, dark/black cherries, hints of figs, some caramel or candi sugar sweetness comes out and then it has a spicy finish. A rather interesting beer that was worth a shot.
01-19-2014 15:58:52 | More by clayrock81
3.86/5 rDev -1.5%
Celebrating the holiday season Italian-style! Turns out its a lot like Belgian-style as the ale opens up with the familiar fruit and spice interplay as those darker, richer Belgian Trappist ales and with a familiar candied malt base. It warms the spirit, soothes the mind and makes families much more tolerable.
As the beer settles, it does so with the rusty, reddish-brown hue that casts subtle highlights through its yeasty veil. Its foam is eggshell-white as the creamy bubbles amass a blanket of froth that shields the beer from top to bottom throughout the session. The ale creeps along, leaving denoting concentric rings of lace in its memory.
Fruity and malty aromas align in the nose with raisins, dates, figs and cherries. Throw in the orchard fruit varieties of apples and berries for good measure, allowing a vinous red wine note to permit. The fruit is pulled together with lightly seared caramel and brown sugar for a taste that strikes the nose as "fruitcake" like. Spicy white pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg sides with the alcohol for a balance that seems like spiced rum.
Soft and supple to taste, the ale simply melts on the tongue with creamy sweetness- starting off with the sweetness of powdered sugar, light molasses, mildly toasted coffee cake and slight brown sugar. As the taste of dried dark fruit fold into the mix, its nutty date, fig, sultan and cherry flavors reinforce the fruitcake notion. And all those Christmas-type spices do much the same as the fruity-sweetness is in much need of balance. But the ale trails spicy and slightly wine-like as a tangy and tannin-like finish looms.
Only medium-full on the palate, the sweetness would imply richer texture, but the soft and creamy carbonation keeps the beer silky and somewhat "feathery". As alcohol as spice builds, drier impressions are left on the back of the tongue until the finish is left with only echoes of cola nut, toasted grain and mulled spice warmth.
Where greater amplification of the ale overall would aid its vividness, its delicate mouthfeel is what is truly intangible. It simply does what the Rochefort, St. Bernardus and Westvleteren of the world do. We have a winner based on palate sensations alone!
01-11-2014 17:21:46 | More by BEERchitect
3.88/5 rDev -1%
From a funky-shaped 750 ml bottle (code says L32/120) into a wine glass.
A-A normal pour produces about one finger of thick, khaki foam. The head hangs around for a minute before dropping to a thick cap that hangs around for quite a while. The beer is a dark-ruby hued brown color and very murky.
S-The aroma is malty and earthy, but less sweet than I would expect of a BSDA and a beer that calls itself holiday beer. There is some leather, prune, cocoa, and a touch of spice. The alcohol is noticeable and solventy in character.
T-The taste is similar to the smell with earthy prune, raisin, leather, and soil flavors. There is also some cocoa and a bit more spice like nutmeg and allspice. The solventy alcohol is also obvious, but it fits pretty well with the flavors and gives a bit of sweetness and warming.
M-The beer is soft and full in body. The carbonation is fine and foamy on my palate.
O-This is a tasty and somewhat unique beer. The flavors are complex and the warming, slightly spicy and alcoholic nature of this BSDA are mostly what I expect from a holiday beer. That being said, I could have used a little more sweetness to balance the earthy flavors. Glad I got to try to this and I would drink it again if given the chance.
12-29-2013 21:45:01 | More by spoony
4.15/5 rDev +5.9%
On tap at birch.
A - Pours a pitch-black color.
S - Grape, sour smells, some bourbon.
T - See smells. Some tar, some slight burning sensation.
M - Chewy, medium body.
O - A potent, bold, almost wine like beer. A bit different, but very solid. Worth a try.
03-05-2013 02:09:29 | More by Beer-A-Lot
Noël from Birrificio Le Baladin
88 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.