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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: 5
Gots: 7 | 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
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.

Photo of gpblackgt
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of relynnjr
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of TubbyDullard
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of wrightst
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Gww1864
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of ChaelCox
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of smithj4
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of ortie
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of athomasPSU
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Photo of Braudog
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Shared bottle at the Coastal Wine Connection’s monthly beer tasting. Poured a deep dark brown wtih a thin tan head. Lightly medicinal at first, but this mellows with a bit of woody bark-like flavors, lightly bittered with an almost currant-like fruitiness. Quite good. Only my second Baladin offering, but I’m impressed with their offerings. (#2674, 2/1/07)

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 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.

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

Dark brownish amber color body with a smallish tan head that left little to no lacing as it was consumed. Some fruity sweetness with a very mild spiciness underneath. Sweet dark fruits come on in the flavor before some yeast and spices show. Light alcohol is detectable as is some earthy notes. Pretty strong carbonation and fairy thick body. Easy drinking and pretty tasting stuff that’s worth a try.

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 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 baggio
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle@home

A: Copper/Red with a nice and quite light white head.

S: Spices, Herbs, Caramel, Dark fruit.

T: Caramel, Herbs, Spices (pepper among others), Licorice.

M: Sweet with a creamy but rather thin body. Alot of carbonation in this one.

This beer was extremely drinkable due to its high carbonation. Still, i hoped for some more body and more everything with this beer. Would i drink it again, yes indeed. Dunno if i would cough up the 10E this beer cost me tho. Give it a shot!

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 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.

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