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Noël - Birrificio Le Baladin

Not Rated.
NoëlNoël

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

117 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 117
Reviews: 72
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 13.08%
Wants: 4
Gots: 6 | 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: 117 | Reviews: 72 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of LiquidAmber
4.32/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a very dark red brown with a two finger fine light tan head with good retention and lacing. Looks nice. Belgian strong ale aroma, dark and light fruit, sweet malt and Belgian yeast a spicing. Flavor of sweet caramel malt, dark and light fruit, a hint of citrus. A hint of cinnamon and cloves. Very nicely integrated flavors and a taste. Skates to the edge of being too sweet, but the flavors carry the sweetness. Medium bodied with sharp, active carbonation. I liked this quite a bit.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter.

Pours a moderate brown color with just a touch of a reddish hue. A bit of head and lacing, but not as much as I'd expect for the style. The nose carries a good bit of Belgian yeast plus a light touch of spice. Nothing too complex or interesting, though it's fairly well done. Flavor is about the same. Not really much of a noel beer. Medium body and good carbonation. Not bad, but not something that I would seek out again.

Photo of drabmuh
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer on tap at Churchkey, beer is brown and mostly clear but no head, low carbonation, no lacing.

Aroma is a little weak, mild spice, some malt, some yeast / breadiness.

Beer is about as thin as a beer can get. I forget I'm drinking while I'm drinking it. Odd, very odd, minimal flavors too, just too watery for me. Decent finish though. I won't have it again.

Photo of John_M
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today.

The beer pours a coca cola dark brown color with fairly good head retention and light lacing. Not getting a whole lot on the nose with this one... some light brown sugar and chcolate is about it. The flavor profile replicates the nose, but there's just a lot more richness and intensity than I was expecting (thankfully). There is also some vanilla and cherry, and damn if this isn't pretty tasty. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the finish is fairly long and moderately sweet. The alcohol is very well disguised; there's no way I would guess I'm drinking a 9% abv. beer.

While the pricing on this beer will likely keep me from ordering it again any time soon, this is still a pretty tasty beer from the folks at Baladin.

Photo of RyanDouglasWhite
4.68/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good head retention

Nose of caramel, light black pepper, esters, figs.

Palate is layered, balanced, and complex.

Long finish.

Overall a great beer. A hefty price tag as with most Italian craft, but this is something I will throw in the cellar for sure. Good job!

Photo of Stoutsman
1/5  rDev -74.4%

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured in a mug.

A: Pours a deep dark amber color. Many particles floating. Head is beige and bubbled. Medium size, small retention and practically no lacings

S: Sweet. Caramel, caramel malts, dark fruits (mainly raisins). Yeasts and flowery hops

T: Caramel malts, yeasts and dark fruits. Mild sweet upfront. Moderated bitter aftertaste. Some alcoholic notes in the end. An authentic Belgian strong dark ale :)

M: Medium body and carbonation. Lighter than I was expecting from a 9% ale. Good sweet-bitterness balance

O: High drinkability. My favorite Italian brewery

Photo of randylangford
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of JoeAmerican77
4.26/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge yeasty nose off the bottle, lots of spicy alcohol as well malts and slight caramels...Overripe grapefruit, pear and belgian styled yeast hit first followed by a hint of citric hops. Medium bodied yet the champagne carbonation gives it so much more. 9% hides well. All of this happens from a booze that looks like someone strained water through smoked tobacco, little bits of tobacco still floating round in there too, awesome.

I like it. Picked it up as my "Night before I get Married Beer", not a bad choice.

Wish me luck on the marriage thing ;)

Slainte

Photo of Cozzatoad
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle
Once brewed for the christmas period, now avialable all year. So that's it, christmas in october

A- Very dark brown, almost black. One finger of quite dense and thick off-white head, that has good retention and leaves some lacing on the glass

S- Dark malts on the chocolate side, with some dark fruits overtones (raisin, maybe more). A slight spiciness, probably from the esters, brings some light peppery notes

T- Very close to the aroma but maybe a bit of a letdown as flavours are not as distinct as the smell suggested. Delicate dark malts with hints of chocolate and liquorice, though still quite on the sweet side as sugar is easily detectable. Then some very light dark fruit notes, a subtle spiciness (pepper, orange) and a slightly acidic finish/aftertaste that reminds of red wine

M- Very light body for a 9%ABV beer, you'd actually say that this beer sits somewhere between 7/7.5ABV. Very smooth on both tongue and palate with soft, delicate carbonation. Not a big mouthfeel but a nice, delicate one

O- Drinkabilty is awesome for a 9%ABV beer. While strong dark ales are usually big in body and flavours, this one is a delicate beer that leans more towards subtle complexity (faint spiciness, that slightly vinous finish) and drinkability, with nice results

Photo of Knapp85
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a large bottle of this along with the Al-iksir at Shangy's in Emmaus. My intent was to buy this and hold onto it until Christmas time with the family. The bottle had a sticker indicating that it was bottled in 2005. This beer pours out as a nut brown color, there are hundreds of little flakes floating around in the beer. As they settled to the bottle it formed a blanket of white flakes in the bottom of the glass. The beer smelled a little spicy, some roasted notes as well. The taste of the beer was a little nutty, but primarily had some yeasty flavors in it along with some spice in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer had a good amount of carbonation left to it. Overall it was pretty good, Wouldn't need to have it again but it was fun to try.

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

Big head, lots of lace. Foremost taste is cola, chestnut, carmelization, honeyish, some roast. Very drinkable, carbonation right there. Brown, very malty, with a little acidic in the finish. Some dark fruit. A bit alcohol warming. Slightly above average mouthfeel.
Mike's bottle from Italy, via Jason. Drunk exactly three years after bottling.

Photo of Ochsenblut
3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dated Nov 2010, this bottle is a little overdue. But considering the alcohol content and the storage condition, I think the review will be a fair one.

This beer is dark brown with a slight red hue. The head is khaki and subsides almost instantly, leaving a soda-like appearance.

Raisin, prune and what can only be described as freshly opened panettone (Italian fruitcake) pervade the senses. The taste is upfront and sweet. Its loaded with brown sugar notes, more raisin and tobacco. The alcohol is pretty well hidden and compliments the lingering tobacco taste. There is no hops presence to speak of, just malty sweetness. The aftertaste fades quickly to leave only a very faint reminder on the palate.

The malt profile is chewy and relatively thick, but the suspended carbonation makes it seem soda-like. This Christmas beer would have really benefited from lower carbonation.

Strictly speaking, Baladin Noel is an above average Christmas beer. It has most of the flavors closely associated with the season and the substantial body to carry them without feeling overwhelming. But as far as Yule-tide ales go, this one is lacks complexity and physical prowess. Finishing the bottle was easy, but I'm reticent to grab another.

Photo of brystmar
3.13/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: dark brown and fizzy. One full finger of off-white head with OK retention. Sticky lace.

S: smells like a Belgian dubbel with some winter spices thrown in, though they are fairly faint. Shame.

T: really malty with some dark fruit, spices are subtle and show up at the end. Compared to other winter ales I've had, this one is fairly tame. Not bad, but not special or impressively complex.

M/D: too fizzy for my liking. Strongly reminds me of Coke. And if the feel isn't good, the drinkability isn't gonna be there either. I *really* enjoyed Super Baladin and had high hopes for this brew; still looking forward to Nora.

Photo of mexikrainian
3.56/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a Petrus long-stem chalice.

Aroma: sweet, malty with aroma of caramel, honey, raisins and spices.

Appearance: murky, dark amber with shallow, off-white head

Taste: acidic, slightly sour notes on the tongue initially. malty and and sweet on the finish.

Mouthfeel: medium body and unbalanced with medium carbonation

Overall Impression: not my favorite beer. too expensive for the quality.

Photo of mtbbaboon
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A friend of mine gave me a bottle of this, courtesy of his local beer club. I poured this into a Duvel tulip glass. Color is a dark brown. Moderate head that is rather fizzy. A good amount of sediment floats around the beer. A pretty good layer of lacing sticks to the glass.

Smells spicy up front. Dark fruit (grapes and figs) and sweet caramel malt, followed by a noticeable alcohol presence. The taste follows the nose. Rather sweet up front with a nice hop presence in there. As with the nose, the alcohol is noticeable in the taste. A bit of bitterness rounds out the flavor. A little more balance would be nice. Still a good tasting beer though. It's got a medium mouthfeel and is easy to drink, considering the style. Definitely a drinkable beer.

Photo of blakesell
3.65/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the strange shape I don't even want to guess what oz fits in this bottle bottle into a standard pint glass.

This is aged for at least a year, so we'll just call it 2008 vintage.

Appearance - Beer pours fairly thin for a strong dark, a clear brown amber with a pretty small head for what I was expecting after opening the champagne capped bottle (like nothing I've seen before, large size bottle cap with a champagne rubber thing holding carbonation in). Yeasty chunks fall to the bottom of the glass. Lacing is there, but again thin.

Smell - Smells like a Belgian beer. I would love to add some extra adjectives, but it's simple at best. My closest main beer that I've had to it is New Belgium 1554 which is a Belgian dark, nothing strong about it. It smells to be of average strength, which judging by the ABV, is impressive on it's own.

Taste- A rich cola carbonation and flavor, I'm getting a big RC cola flavor, some plum, no very dark fruits, but light dark fruits if that makes any sense. Pulpy ripe fruits, very much like a plum pear combo if that existed. I can't get past the soda and this is not a bad beer, but it is being detracted from by the perceptions that I'm getting here.

Mouthfeel - I may have rated this too high at 3.5 but the number stands. The carbonation is too high and the whole soda feel is simply out of place here. The richer fruits taste great here, I honestly was expecting more and I guess I shouldn't have let my expectations get the best of me here. Medium light in body, high in carbonation, low in overall mouthfeel.

Drinkability- It tastes light overall and a bit syrupy sweet. This isn't bad for the one time offering that I'm going to give it. For the price, it is no where near worth it. As a standard beer if I could get it for $6 a sixer, I still probably wouldn't go for it. but this will go down smooth for tonight. I will not be holding this against Baladin as a whole.

Photo of ricke
3.38/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with a pale beige head. Some lacings.

S: Dark malts, ripe fruits, powdered cocoa, mild spices, caramel and hints of plastic phenols.

T: The taste is sweet with notes of caramel malts, ripe fruits, spices and sweet alcohol. The finish is mildly bitter with notes of spicy alcohol and herbal hops. The taste is not as big as the smell had me to believe. Slightly unbalanced due to too the alcohol being too powerful.

M: Medium body, smooth mouthfeel.

D: A good beer, but it lacks a little complexity and the alcohol is too prominent. Also, it felt like it developed poorly in the glass.

Photo of jjayjaye
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a translucent dark brown with reddish hues and a loose shallow light tan head that fades quickly to spotty patterns of Belgian lacing. The smell is really sweet of grape, fig and plums that carries directly over into the flavor. The mouth feel is light bodied with a slight tangy character from the 9% alcohol. The fruitiness lingers well after the swallow. A reasonable drinker.

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep clear ruby color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with light dry fruits and fruity ester is quite enjoyable. Taste is a well balanced mix between some caramel Belgian malt with balanced sweetness, dry fruits and light fruity ester in the finish. Body is about average with good carbonation with no signs of alcohol. Well done but additional body and spices could have benefited this beer.

Photo of deadmonkees
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this in a bottle.

Appearance: Very dark, nice head retention!

Smell: Chocolate with fruit overtones.

Taste: Again, chocolate and somewhat sweet but not overly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Very Rich and extremely balanced with its carbonation and alcohol content.

Drinkability: One of my favorite beers. One of the best balanced (alcohol, sweetness, carbonation) beers in its style.

Photo of Suds
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Noel is an intensely dark brown colored beer, topped with a thick beige foam. It's a nice-looking brew, and the aroma is rich with chocolate, fruit (plum, pear, and cherry), and roasted malts. Wonderful aroma. The beer's taste is quite sweet, with the chocolate theme continuing from the smell. It's smooth and modestly carbonated. The alcohol is expertly hidden...you don't realize the ABV of this beer until you've had plenty. Low hop flavor (also aroma), this is a malt-centric beer. Well done.

Noël from Birrificio Le Baladin
87 out of 100 based on 117 ratings.