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Noël - Birrificio Le Baladin

Not Rated.
NoëlNoël

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

118 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 118
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 5
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Birrificio Le Baladin visit their website
Italy

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Dark Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: SixpointJMH on 12-28-2003

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 118 | Reviews: 72
Photo of RazorX67
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

let me just preface this by saying that i love all the italian beer flooding the market right now, and my curiosity is through the roof, so it is with great enthusiasm that i get into this one, my first of these on tap, thanks to lucky pie in louisville. its got a nice red color to it, like that almost maroon red you see in old renderings of saint nick's coat. deep burgundy sort of, short lived off white head. it smells like dried cherries or cranberries, tart and sweet, but not wild yeasts really so much as a fruity tartness. the grain is heavy, but you would still never suppose 9% abv on this one. its creamy and well carbonated, and tastes like red malt, even rice starchiness, dried fruit, saison type yeast, and a mild spiced character. its perfect winter beer, unlike others, but fits neatly within the baladin family of beers i have had so far. one was enough, two tops, but i appreciate its uniqueness, which has been a common theme with their beers. worth trying for sure, and with longevity beyond the holiday season i think.

Photo of leroybrown10
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amber with a one finger light tan head. Deep ruby color when held to the light.

Smells of cocoa, licorice, figs and dates. Some spice notes of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Taste is more cocoa and spice. Some dark fruits, molasses and caramel. A hint of vanilla.

Rich, smooth mouth feel with medium carbonation.

A good beer which has a Christmas feel and taste to it.

Photo of JaimeLondon
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best italian beer drank till now.
It has a beautifull dark brown color and a great creamy (and of a cream tone) foam.
Aroma and taste are malty, full of dried fruits as well as an incredible chocolate biscuit feel, there's some coffe too.
Body is perfect, carbonation at great level. Alcohol is well hidden but gives a nice feel.
If you're in Turin, Italy, make sure you go to a Baladin bar and take this one.

Photo of BuddhaBrowett
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of timmy2b
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ianjsullivan
3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Photo of RickS95
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It's close on color with a really rich brown pour. It's dark brown, but there's no hint of black like in other Belgians. The head never really impresses with a thin start and a quick dissipation. Inside the rich brown is a lot of little floaties.

You can pick up dark fruits like raisins and figs, but also a little bit of alcohol. While sugar doesn't usually have much smell, you can detect the addition of sugar in this beer. There's an oaky, bourbony scent as well.

It's very malty with no sign of hops whatsoever. The cane sugar shines, if that's a good thing. Very caramelly, slight chocolate note. Maybe a touch of vanilla.

It's very sweet, but not over the top. Kind of unbalanced, there's no hop presence to temper the sweetness and the alcohol doesn't really cut the sugar either. Barely medium bodied, it could use something else. Despite these misgivings, it's easy to drink and would make a good dessert beer because of the likeness to caramel and toffee.

In a strange way, I kind of like this beer. It's too sweet to have on a frequent basis, but I'm glad I added this to my collection. The alcohol content is nice and while it's not a great beer, it's closer to good than it is to bad. Some weaknesses, but overall a good beer.

Photo of bconsidine
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Bitterbill
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

It pours a cloudy dark brown, small head of foam, near no lacing left behind.

Smells of dark fruits, yeasty, some spice, almost a tartness to it.

Fruit is light in the taste as is everything else. A bit of a shy brew except for the abv. I get some bready notes from time to time as I do some vanilla notes. Very slight tartness.

Pretty light bodied with, I think, too much carbonation.

Not bad but not worth the $$$

Photo of lmaduells
3.25/5  rDev -16.7%

Photo of kylehay2004
3/5  rDev -23.1%

Photo of athomasPSU
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of relynnjr
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

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.

Photo of Gww1864
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of ortie
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of BEERchitect
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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!

Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of spoony
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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.

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Noël from Birrificio Le Baladin
87 out of 100 based on 118 ratings.