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Noël - Birrificio Le Baladin

Not Rated.
NoëlNoël

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

104 Ratings
THE BROS
81
good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 67
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 13.52%
Wants: 4
Gots: 4 | 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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: SixpointJMH on 12-28-2003)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 104 | Reviews: 67 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

rolltide8425, Dec 13, 2012
Photo of francisweizen
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

francisweizen, Oct 01, 2013
Photo of Chrily
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Chrily, May 16, 2013
Photo of Douglas14
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dense, hardly transparent dark ruby color with a nice, typical Belgian head that leaves little lace on the glass (tulip), leaving me a little perplexed. The strongest point of this beer is its aromas: sweet malt, dark fruits, oak, some citrus, and the most interesting; damp (like a cellar). The taste is great as well...typical of a strong dark Belgian: sweet malt, dark fruit, banana (from the yeast?), and a little bit of a chocolate/burnt note towards the end.

The Noel has a medium-full body and is drier than most Belgians - a nice trait that separates this beer from its peers. It is extremely well balanced which gives it amazing drinkablitly.

Overall, awesome beer. I don't know exactly why, but I think it's extra cool that it is a strong dark from Italy. A definite must have!

Douglas14, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep deep brown murky brown alot of chunks and floatys with a creamy-like off white head that leaves a nice ring of lace behind as it settles.Aromas of roasted nuts and spiced cake mainly ginger and clove with some alcohol thrown in,wow this brew is rich dark fruit soaked in spiced rum is what I really get in the palate but not overly sweet has a drier finish to it wich is nice.Sharp alcohol hits more in the finish as I drink more and as it warms.This is a late night winter sipper not a middle of the afternoon summer brew but I'll drink it anytime a damn fine beer like the others from Baladin that I have had.

One other note I notice a real chesnut presence as well in the aftertaste as I drink more,man this is good.

oberon, Jul 17, 2005
Photo of rallison
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just purchased at Pizza Port Carlsbad's bottle shop.

Pours a relatively dark reddish brown color with a 1 finger semi-fizzy off-white head that recedes to just a bit of lacing.

Smells of Candi sugar, yeast and dark fruits. Very reminiscent of Belgian dark ales, but this is from Italy. Quite promising so far...

The taste does not let down. Dark fruits are immediately present, followed by the nice candi sweetness. A touch of dates and red wine. Not quite as complex as the best Belgians, but altogether very tasty.

Mouthfeel is pretty good - relatively carbonated with a medium body.

Drinkability is very nice on this one.

Recommended. May not be worth the $16 this one cost, but still a very nice beer.

rallison, Aug 01, 2007
Photo of Sephiroth
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with moderate foam and is dark brown. The aromas are very well blended. Smells like dark fruit cake with spices.

Taste is big and complex. Dates, prunes, and maybe some sugar. Holiday spices are there too. Mouthfeel is very good. For such big flavors, this beer is light on the palate. The 750ml is just the right size.

Sephiroth, Dec 25, 2005
Photo of corby112
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark amber/ chestnut-brown color with a huge tan foam head. Spicy aroma with hints of dark fruit, pepper, malt, cinnamon and alcohol. Flavor consists of a roasted maltiness mixed with a creamy dark fruit presence. Hints of cherry, plum, raisin, candi sugar and pepper.

corby112, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

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.

Beer-A-Lot, Mar 05, 2013
Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
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

eduardolinhalis, Jan 03, 2012
Photo of HellsBELLS24
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Spicy feel on the palate. Pours pretty well and has a nice dark color. head is white and is a moderate one. Has a small amount of fig flavor as well. I can not get this in Ohio so I had to go back to Michigan to buy it. Bought the last 2 bottles. I do recommend this brew around the holiday times. It has a nice brew-bubbly feel for the holidays.

HellsBELLS24, Jun 01, 2006
Photo of grub
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

christmas tasting hosted by biegaman on dec 15/07. he contributed this one. thanks jan!

750ml bottle, approx 1.5 years old.

pours deep brown with ruby edges. the small very fine light brown head drops fast and leaves some spotty lace behind.

aroma is great. light alcohol. caramel. big fruity nose - date, cherry, fig. bready malt. bit of dark chocolate. toffee. tiny hint of smoke.

taste is nice. big fruit again - date, cherry, fig, bit of raisin. light caramel. bit of alcohol. bready malt. touch of smoke again, but really mellow. light cinnamon and nutmeg hiding in there, but barely noticeable.

mouthfeel is good. very fine well integrated low carbonation level. medium large body. the super fine carbonation and big fruit almost make this one come across port-like.

drinkability is good. well balanced. i like the big fruity character in this one. very nice.

grub, Dec 19, 2007
Photo of Viggo
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Christmas tasting with biegaman, grub and ThatWineGuy, biegaman brought this one out!

Pours a clear red/brown, almost copper, thick tan head forms, settles down to a solid ring and layer, some lace spots. Smell is neat, sweet, caramel, very malty, spices, wood, apples, spice, unique. Taste is caramel covered apples, spices, lots of lighter fruits, almost tropical, bread, bit of a sour funk and spice finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, nice, smooth, interesting flavours, I like it. Thanks Jan!

Viggo, Feb 10, 2008
Photo of phisig137
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle pops open with a mighty loud pop, and pours a deep brown, with brilliant mahogany shining through. Three finger head has good retention, and leaves behind some delicate lace. Good amount of floaters, despite the gentle pour.

Aroma is of raisins and alcohol. thin malt caramel is also present.

Flavor is malt dominated, and backed by a gentle fruitiness from the yeast. Nice dark fruit esters combine well with the toffee like malt. Slight toasted grain presence and notes of coffee as well. Alcohol is well hidden on the palate considering the ABV. Mouthfeel is moderate and smooth, well carbonated. Drinkability is great.

Fantastic beer, and well worth the $12.50 this normally costs. I was lucky enough to find a bottle mis-marked at $4.99! Either way, it's worth seeking out and trying. Highly recommended.

phisig137, Apr 16, 2007
Photo of Quej
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown with a ruby red glow, chunky almost with lots of visible carbonation and laces quite nicely.
S - Smells sweet and malty, with lots of fruit flavours and a hint of sourness from the yeast.
T - Starts quite sweet and very malty, lots of flavours of dark fruit, cherries, blackberries and molassess. Has a dry quirky finish which helps to hide the high ABV.
M - Perhaps a bit overcarbonated, but nicely medium bodied, not too heavy.
D - Surprisingly decent for something so strong, dark and sweet.

Quej, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of OldSock
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance and Presentation – Noel in July… not exactly the right time for this beer, but who cares. 25.4 oz bottle with gold foil covering a big bottle cap. In my oversized wine glass the beer is dark like a porter, but with some crimson when held up to the light. It also has an everlasting big tan head that leaves nice lacing. Even though I poured carefully I can see little bits of “stuff” floating around in the beer; hopefully it’s supposed to be there.

Smell – Standard estery, spicy, malty Belgian ale smell as a base, but with the aroma of fresh flowers on top the base, not sure if this flavor is from the hops or if there is something else that was added. Really a unique aroma, alluring.

Taste – Similar to the smell in that the base has that excellent Belgian dark beer flavor, but with its own flavor laid on top. The base has big malts, coriander, dark fruits, and alcohol; the floral addition is great here as well.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied and creamy, but with prickly carbonation.

Drinkability and Notes – Not exactly easy to drink, because of the alcohol and little pieces stuff floating in the beer. That being said, this is a pleasing Belgian style ale that is substantially different from the norm. My first offering from Baladin, and after this I will certainly seek out more.

OldSock, Jul 20, 2005
Photo of Crosling
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Purchased in Milan, Italy and sampled one lonely night in Rome.

Deep Mahogany.

Pleasantly aromatic with notes of tangerines, peppers, dead flowers, pit fruit, toffee, vanilla, cocoa and dried fruits along with a very unique yeast strain.

Lovely. Front is cherries and cocoa. Tangerine, dried fruits and plums in the mid-palate. Lingering, alcoholic, finish.

I was expecting more but this beer was still very good.

Crosling, Jul 21, 2004
Photo of geexploitation
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Baladin's winter warmer pours quite dark, with some ruby highlights when held to the light. The head is off white, thick, and leaves a lot of lacing. Smell is rich with winter spices, plums, and black cherries. At lower temperatures, the alcohol in this beer is very forceful; warmed up a bit, the first palate sensations are sweetness at the front of the tongue followed by a big cherry sweetness and light alcoholic burn. Aside from the very forward alcohol, this beer is pretty smooth, almost silky, on the palate, with an initial rush of carbonation offset quickly by smooth malts and candi sugars. Overall, this is quite a good beer. It's not distinctive enough to justify the big price tag, but ignoring the cost it's a fine winter beer.

geexploitation, Apr 23, 2006
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This poured a nice, dark brown in color with a thick, heavy brownish-white head.

Smell – The terrific Belgian malts have a light yeast aroma. They are toasty with a bit of raw bread and some herbal spicing to boot. The sugars are light and fruity, reminiscent of dates and prunes.

Taste – The fruits come out a bit more at the taste. I can pick up now raisins and dates along with some light cherry. I’d say though that the toasted malt still dominates, although the lovely yeast made its presence felt as well.

Mouthfeel – This is medium to full in the body with some very good carbonation.

Drinkability – I had no trouble downing this champagne bottle on my own. The alcohol is almost absent in the flavor profile of this 9.0 juggernaut.

RoyalT, Nov 05, 2005
Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev +2%

Griffith, Jan 08, 2014
Photo of hiphops24
4/5  rDev +2%

hiphops24, Mar 01, 2013
Photo of Suds
4/5  rDev +2%
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.

Suds, Apr 17, 2009
Photo of gpblackgt
4/5  rDev +2%

gpblackgt, Jul 17, 2013
Photo of TubbyDullard
4/5  rDev +2%

TubbyDullard, Jan 23, 2013
Noël from Birrificio Le Baladin
88 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.