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Baladin Nora - Birrificio Le Baladin

Not Rated.
Baladin NoraBaladin Nora

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

253 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 253
Reviews: 127
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 11.66%
Wants: 51
Gots: 16 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Birrificio Le Baladin visit their website
Italy

Style | ABV
Herbed / Spiced Beer |  6.80% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
This Egyptian inspired brew is spiced with ginger, myrrh, and orange peel ... very complex.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 253 | Reviews: 127 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
4.65/5  rDev +15.4%

On tap at the Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, IL

Poured a moderate gold with a few orange highlights. Plenty of visible carbonation bubbles. The nose is full of spices, along with some citrus and a tiny bit of earthiness. Flavor takes it up another notch with loads of well-balanced spice and intricacies. Very complex. Mouthfeel is good with the right amount of carbonation. Excellent drinkability, as the brew is intense yet quite quaffable.

Thorpe429, Mar 15, 2010
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

nmann08, Jul 14, 2013
Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%

A: The beer is very hazy golden yellow in color. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center and a thin collar around the edge of the glass
S: Moderate aromas of woody herbs and ginger are present in the nose.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and also has some added notes of spices and orange peels towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has an interesting mix of herbs and spices, but these aren't overpowering. It is a nice one to sip and savor.

metter98, Nov 24, 2013
Photo of brentk56
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with head that fluffs up billowy and then disappears quickly without much of a remembrance

Smell: Ginger, honey, a touch of funky yeast, and myrhh (I guess)

Taste: Starts with a spicy, ginger and citrus flavor that continues to build through the finish; mid-palate the sweet and sour flavors battle it out with the sour ultimately dominating (not sour like a lambic, but sour like a sweet tart); all kinds of interesting sub-flavors such as apple, chamomile, apricot and honey to name a few

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and a touch under-carbonated

Drinkability: Lots of unusual and interesting flavors goign on; hard to drink the whole bottle, however

brentk56, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev -10.7%

Hugely hazy, heavily flaked apricot. It looks like Birrificio Le Baladin chose not to filter out the ingredients that make Nora unique. The yellowed bone white head doesn't look great. Never large to begin with, it falls unceremoniously and doesn't look especially attractive in the process. In addition, it doesn't possess the stickiness that would allow it to provide a decent display of lace.

The nose is truly unique. My first, fleeting thought was Belgian pale ale, but the spiciness isn't very clove-like. Since I know what ginger and orange peel smell like, I must be smelling myrrh. That particular ingredient makes the beer smell like incense more than anything else (I'm transported back to Easter in church when I was a kid). It's interesting, but I think I'd prefer ginger or orange peel... which are nowhere to be found by the way.

Nora is a little more to my liking on the palate, mostly because the myrrh isn't so damned prominent. It's much more beer-like now. I'm still not thrilled, however. Even though the added ingredients virtually guarantee that there's nothing quite like Nora in the world of beer, originality and uniqueness, in and of themselves, have never been enough to impress me.

The beer is sweet and sour in nearly equal measure, reminiscent of an off-kilter saison. There's no real funk per se, but then myrrh is a bit funky all by its lonesome. I still don't pick up much ginger; it must have been added by the thimbleful. A whacked-out wit is also a valid comparison, thanks to the unmalted kamut (a cousin of wheat) and the tart orange peel.

Interesting, odd, different... all apply to the flavor profile. Unfortunately, it doesn't add up to delicious. Good? Debatable. Great? Not a chance. Maybe I'm just not in sync with some of these wacky Italian beers. Cassissona didn't knock my socks off, and Nora (although I like it a bit better) isn't out of this world.

The body/mouthfeel is both light and lightly sticky. It's hard to know just how big the body on an herbed/spiced beer should be, so it's hard to know if this one measures up. It works, I guess, but more heft and more viscosity would help give a little pleasure where the flavor comes up short. Carbonation is fine.

Nora is yet another unique Italian beer that doesn't live up to its reputation from where I sit. Any brewery can come up with a list of ingredients that sounds interesting on paper, but turning it into worthwhile beer is a whole 'nother matter. Maybe Super Baladin will be what I'm looking for.

BuckeyeNation, Sep 03, 2006
Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -13.2%

Bottle: Poured a clear light golden color ale with a large pure white foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some light fruity notes. Taste is sweeter then expected with a solid malt backbone and some light fruity ester. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed though too sweet for my own taste and different malt are hard to distinguish.

Phyl21ca, Feb 19, 2011
Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%

Delicate yet complex, this Saison-ish style beer has a bold acidic tone that chases a fruity/estery flavor from sip 'til finish.

The beer opens with an effervescent and lively pour of copper/amber hue. Medium haze allows for a slight glow. After the carbonation moderates, the beer remains relatively still with low head retention or lace.

Fruity aromas of apples, pears, and orange are met with acidic vinous character and light notes of white pepper, curacco, and cumin.

Flavors of fruit, spice, and white wine allow for a complex layering of flavor, but only medium in intensity. This allows for maximum drinkability but leaves the beer somewhat limited. These flavors are a direct result of the character of the nose, but with the peppery notes and tea-like herbal flavors comming to life along with a honeyish sweetness and late graininess (aided by the acidity and mineral taste).

Dryness of the acids and carbonation gives a spicy and snappy finish after the fullness of the bubbly senesation first. The mid palate is firm and medium that allows for a characterful transition from the early expansion to the late spicy dryness.

BEERchitect, Jan 14, 2011
Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

kjkinsey, Oct 10, 2013
Photo of Knapp85
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%

This poured out with a hazy golden color and a decent sized white fizzy head on top. The lacing is nowhere to be seen and the retention is gone within minutes also. The smell of the beer is sweet, a little boozy with some nice soft wheat like aromas. The taste of this beer is spicy, it has elements of pepper, and it also has some hints of apple and orange in there. The spices really set this off. The mouthfeel has a bit of a sting to it. The tastebuds are left tingling and dry after each sip. Overall I found this brew to be really interesting. If the price tsg was a little lower I could see myself buyin this one again in a heartbeat.

Knapp85, Jan 10, 2012
Photo of oberon
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%

I have to say the bottle is what got my attention right away but the beer itself stole the show,pours a hazy orange/golden with a nice blooming head that leaves some decent lacing.Aroma is yeasty,spicey,citruisy just a mix of some really good stuff.Taste is almost a cross between a Belgain Pale and a German Hefe Weizen spicey and clovey with a yeasty sweetness to it with a great citruisy fruity taste that lingers and gives it a great aftertaste.Wow what a great brew and incredibly easy to drink for the alcohol content I wish I would have bought more,next trip to Premiere Gourmet in Buffalo and Iam grabbing three or four.

oberon, Mar 29, 2004
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%

westcoastbeerlvr, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev -0.7%

JAHMUR, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%

Nice presentation in a custom shaped and embossed 25.4 oz bottle with a nice label. It pours a slightly hazy golden-peach body topped by a full and frothy white head that holds quite well. The nose is perfumey, floral, mildly spicy (ginger) and lightly fruity (apricot) with a gentle touch of alcohol. Very clean. It's medium body combines with a fine carbonation to create a gently creamy mouthfeel. The flavor displays a strong floral character, gentle spice and light fruit over a softly sweet malt. It finishes dry with a light touch of malt and a delicate spiciness (ginger). A very clean and somewhat complex ale that's well done and quite enjoyable.

NeroFiddled, Jan 18, 2003
Photo of Jason
4.2/5  rDev +4.2%

Artsy dark green 750 ml bottle with a freshness date stamped on the back label.

Appearance: Glowing hazy amber orange, decent lacing is all that comes from the slightly fizzy head.

Smell: Flower water, big on the ginger and wafting citrus in the nose. Fruity and spicy knock the nostrils over.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Solid crisp carbonation with a fluffy moderate body, sweet and spicy but more spicy than sweet. Blanket of ginger and a floral flavour extends wide … rose water. Spicy even more with a clove flavour or just a big spicy herbal and phenolic flavour on the tongue. Hops are in the shuffle but seem lost. Long bitter finish of yeast and spice. There is some thick husky graininess there, dry and soft in the after taste.

Drinkability & Notes: Extra points for being some damn interesting, so flavourful and expressive that it annihilated my taste buds for the rest of the night. I’d like to do a side by side tasting with Midas Touch from Dogfish Head and see what comes of it.

Jason, Feb 01, 2003
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%

RblWthACoz, Oct 21, 2012
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.8/5  rDev +19.1%

I saw this bottle for the first time today and was instantly taken with it. A beer I've never heard of, that looks ever-so intriquing? Let's go for it! Reminds me in shape of bottle and label design of another Italian beer I've seen in Michael Jackson's "Great Beer Guide" ("Isaac Birra Bianca") and a simple check on this site proves that they belong to the same family...so, I chill it and tackle it on returning home from work, and am I happy that I did!
Appearance: a light amber hue, with numerous floaties flitting about, though they settle soon, under a thick, fine, fizzy white head.
Aroma, deep and spicy, reminding me instantly of Duvel, and that's a nice feather in the old cap-ola!, yeah, there''s that crystalline, flowery, ethereal essence! Nice-ety, nice, nice! Utterly uplifting!
Taste: smooth, airy, light, fruity (some citrus, peach) angelic...I can't put my finger on it, but there's some subtle complexity going on in this ale, and it probably originates from the spices, coriander, ginger, and more that I'm not keen enough to detect. Very sophisticated, very...well, "elite", shall we say, it is not for everyone, nor should it be...absolutely magical, this brew, spicy and sweet and totally happy ...flies on gossamer fairy wings through the senses, tossing flavor out ever-so-daintily, lightly, happily, yummily...Persistent with flavor, though it continues to be rather light, though utterly unique , soft and sublime...Sigh....shall I put it in one word?...Gorgeous...
Nora, I adore ya!
(P.S., I didn't check the price until check-out time, and it was $11.99 for this 750ml bottle...awfully pricey, compared to others, but there really are no comparisons to this incredible brew, so this high tag may be deserved...

feloniousmonk, Nov 25, 2003
Photo of drabmuh
3.63/5  rDev -9.9%

Part of my #1 beer per style project, the #1 Herbed and Spice beer, kind of a fake style but whatever. Beer is poured into a Delirium tulip. These hybrid styles are odd. There is no way to guess what you are going to get here. Beer is light yellow with a slight haze, moderate to low carbonation, thin white head of small and medium bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass.

Aroma is gruit like. Sweet and spicy with an almost ginger-like or tea like quality.

Beer is medium in bodied and finishes pretty dry, it tastes like flowers....it's very flavorful, like lavender and tea leaves. It's deceptively strong flavored. Interesting but probably not my cup of tea.

drabmuh, Dec 11, 2010
Photo of WesWes
4/5  rDev -0.7%

The beer pours a hazy golden color with a thick frothy white head that fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a very mellow pale malt scent with spices and a fruity yeast finish. I heard from someone that it is supposed to have the aroma of an old cathedral. The taste is good as well. It has a nice pale malt flavor that boasts of spices. It goes down smooth and finishes a bit tart. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a fine spiced Belgian ale. It has it all: aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel; a good drinker.

WesWes, Sep 13, 2004
Photo of mendvicdog
3/5  rDev -25.6%

mendvicdog, Sep 10, 2013
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours a hazy, orange-copper color. It is well carbonated, which holds up a large fluffy light tan head. The aroma is reminiscent of a fresh cut crisp apple, plus I get notes of orange, ginger, a bready yeastiness, and an earthiness. The taste is lightly sweet up front, but finishes with a drying acidity that is quite pleasant. The carbonation is nice and prickly as the beer flows through my mouth.

The acidity and sweetness really accentuate the fresh apple character of this beer. Also the acidity almost seems to have a tamarind character to it. This is quite tasty, and has an herbal quality to it that only adds to the beer.

Gueuzedude, Sep 02, 2004
Photo of Halcyondays
4.15/5  rDev +3%

On-tap at Beachwood II,

A: Pours a light amber with a light white head, some lace.

S: Hoppier than I'd expect, grass with some nice herbal notes.

T: Ginger and orange peel are readily apparent. Slightly sweet malt, hints of grass and herbs. The added herbs come out much more as it warms.

M: Soft carbonation, smooth and medium-bodied, delicate and elegant.

O: I've known of this beer for years, but never got around to trying it since it's so expensive. Seeing it on-tap I jumped on the chance. Quite a good beer, complex, very tasty, a contemplative effort.

Halcyondays, Jul 30, 2011
Photo of Gavage
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

Comes in a unique bottle. The beer pours a golden color with a thin head that produces no lacing. The aroma is mild but very pleasant as citrus and floral tones are most prevelent. The flavor is unique and hard to describe. There is a malty sweetness that immediately hits the tongue but is balanced by some bitterness, citrus, spice, and yeasty tones. Somewhat like a belgian ale, but not really.

This has a thin mouthfeel and a clean finish. The carbonation levels are just right. The 6.8% ABV is not noticeable at all. Extremely drinkable because of its light refreshing texture and unique flavor. Not a cheap beer either - $12 in NJ and $15 in NY.

Gavage, Feb 09, 2004
Photo of corby112
4/5  rDev -0.7%

corby112, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of weeare138
4.18/5  rDev +3.7%

Appears a hazy light gold with a small head of white fluff that slowly fades into a mod cap and collar. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of nectarines, dried apricots, golden raisins, and mild spices. A nice blast of yeast and perhaps touches of Taft wheat.
Taste is of the aromas with a bready flavor and a more evident gentle spicing that melds with the malt profile. Subtle citrus notes come through.
Mouthfeel is wonderful. Chewy, sweet up front, sugary, filling out the palate, with a viscous wheat body, and mild tart notes with smoothness running down the tongue with a semi dry finish.

weeare138, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%

Shared with @LaitueGonflable and @tobeerornottobe.

Pours a lovely bright yellow colour, but hazed with some disturbed yeast sediment. Head is fine and bubbly, and the whole thing has a very refined, champagne-like look to it. Very fine carbonation, and a lovely depth to the body, that sits with the light colour, again giving it that sophisticated character. Nice.

Nose is bright and peppery, with spicy fresh characters and a sharpness like cedar barrels. It's clean and fresh and very, very excitingly fragrant. It doesn't have a huge amount of complexity, but it's really hard not to like it for what it is.

Taste is a lot more subdued, but here it comes back to the crisp dryness and the sophistication that it looks like. Very little of that cedar character, but here the citrus peel comes through really pleasantly, and it zings off the crispness on the back palate. Very smooth and clean.

Exceptionally fresh and drinkable, and very, very refined. It reminds me in some ways of a Bière de Champagne. Certainly the dry finish and sophistication give it this character. The spices are so beautifully done. They complement the style and the flavour of the beer, and never seem like a gimmick. In fact, this beer almost makes you feel like this *is* how beer should be made.

lacqueredmouse, Oct 01, 2011
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Baladin Nora from Birrificio Le Baladin
90 out of 100 based on 253 ratings.