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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

272 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 272
Reviews: 128
rAvg: 4.02
pDev: 11.94%
Wants: 57
Gots: 23 | 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: 272 | Reviews: 128 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dogfishandi
3/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

big 25oz(?) bottle split amongst many friends at a party poured into a plastic cup. purchased at consumers on sale for 12$. i was unsure exactly what this was at time of tasting, never heard of it and had no idea what style it was.

from what i could tell it poured out a cloudy, hazy golden color, nice foamy white head with good retention.

acidic vinious aroma. very grapey and wine like.

no real funky flavors in the taste, but it has quite a bit of acidity and some sourness, similar to a wild or a belgian. again with grapey, vinious wine notes at the forefront. apricoty, pukey finish and aftertaste.

medium body. slightly tart. not very drinkable, the half pint sample i had was enough.

overall: IMO, not that great, my friends thought so as well. someone mentioned it reminded them of sam adams cranberry lambic which i agreed with. definatly not worth the 12$ price tag (and that was on sale!). one of the most wine like beers ive ever had.

Photo of BeerImmediately
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

25oz bottle into Orval chalice at cellar temp.

Pours with hardly any head over a fairly clear, dirty-blond body. Fair amount of yeast at the bottom of bottle.

Aromas are pleasant and inviting. White pepper, cardamom, flowers, and light citrusy fruits.

Quite light on the palate, with smooth flavors of orange, lemon, and faint spices. This would pair really well with fish or lemon-pepper chicken dish.

Mouthfeel was light, with a below-average carbonation level, and slight tang in the finish.

Overall, a really well put-together and easy drinking spiced beer that won't offend anyone.

Photo of Stinkypuss
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Nora

Appearance: Light gold, clear in color and nice effervescence as tiny bubbles rise and pop on the surface.

Smell: Ginger, light spice, sweetness (honey), perfume like elements giving off a nice scent but certainly an original one.

Taste: Mellow flavors of honey, curaco orange peel, sweetness is kept in check by some of the interesting grains used. Hard to categorize, this ale has all the makings of a Belgian style pale ale, minus the yeasty twang and the hops. Does that even make sense? Im not so sure, but the beer is tasty.

Mouthfeel: A luxurious feel, soft with a high level of carbonation. Semi dry and certainly sophisticated. Consider my palate educated.

Overall: This Italian product of Egyptian influence certainly exceeded my expectations, which were moderately high. The Egyptians must have had it pretty good if their beer was anything like this.

Photo of brystmar
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: pours a hazy golden orange; plenty of white head, average retention and lace. A plethora of sediment breaks up the effervescent body, making it difficult to distinguish the yeast from the bubbles.

S: spicy, malty, earthy, and yeasty with some citrus too.

T: similar to the nose at first with ample amounts of spice and fruit taking shots at my taste buds. Cloves and citrus give it an interesting twist. Even a touch sour! It's interesting how the different parts of this beer all pull it towards different styles: hefeweizen/wit, Belgian pale ale, saison.

M: medium-bodied; fizzy carbonation perfectly compliments this brew's flavor profile.

D: some may claim the somewhat-low ABV (6.8%) makes it easy to drink, but I beg to differ. One sip of this beer lets you know it was exceptionally well-crafted -- on par with the many Dogfish brews -- and the guys at this elite level of brewing simply know how to make beer easy to drink, regardless of style or gravity.

This is a prime example of excellence in beer, ladies and gents. Cheers!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 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.

Photo of wedgie9
3.9/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from notes. Tasted from bottle at The Purple Pig. Pours a cloudy pale orange with a thick white head that leaves heavy lace. Nose has the signature aroma of Belgian yeast with some banana and fresh orange peel. It almost smells like white wine with a grape and earth aroma. Flavor is bittersweet orange peel with some spices and banana yeastiness. The body is full and coating with lively carbonation and a long yeasty orange finish. There is an acidity that makes this beer great with food.

Photo of drabmuh
3.63/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

Photo of mht11
4.9/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Let's start with the bottle. It sets up the whole experience with Nora. It's a unique shape for a unique beer. The beer itself is exquisite, smooth and highly drinkable. So far I have tried Nora and Super and overall I am quite impressed with this brewery.

Photo of RedBrewer83
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip...

A: Pours a nice pale orange hue with a three finger head of frothy off white foam. Body is slightly opaque. Head falls off fairly quickly.

S: I wouldn't guess its italian! Smells belgian all the way, nice malt upfront blended with sweet honey and anise along with some citrus.

T: Follows the nose, a little earthy and dank but it pairs well with the bright citrus and honey notes and the anise comes through quite pronounced. Very complex and yet balanced, very impressive.

M: Rich and hearty medium body, nice smooth carbonation, a bit heavy for the style but overall very nice.

D: Very drinkable, only knock is a slight booziness for the 6.8%, needs to be a little more balanced, but very nice beer overall!

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.33/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured in a chalice.

Excellent beer, despite of the hype around Baladin. This first experience with Nora specimen was quite a surprise. Curious to drink the Super and the Xyauyù... (next reviews :))

A: First of all, the bottle art: Beautiful. A beer with such a "visual" cannot be a bad one... Pours an orange color with a fluffy and bubbled white head which does not remains for long and disappears leaving no lacings... Many particles floating around

S: Once opened, it spreads a nice perfume of herbs... Licorice, ginger, coriander(?), honey, etc. The spices blend quite well with the malts. Earthy yeasts tone can also be felt. Sweet: First impression is of a Belgium Saison

T: Sweet malts, honey and spices. Licorice is a must. Very herbal as the nose. Earthy. Very Complex. Good blend with the malt taste. Very light bitterness (by the style, I guess). No alcohol felt
M: Medium to heavy body. Very molasses (heavy mouth sensation). Good carbonation. Liquor sensation

D: High. Delicate and well done. It brings good reputation to the new generation of Italian beers... :)

Photo of rtepiak
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pale strong with herbs floating around at the bottom of the bottle. pour is a cloudy golden. thought i was getting a saison at first. but the head was leaner. nose was very herbal. quite of bit of licorice and peppery hops. palate was just that. pepper, licorice, coriander and a bit of an astringent citrus sweet. extremely herbal. undetectable abv.

Photo of DerBayer
3.38/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This brewery and this particular beer have been highly commended so I was really looking forward to it.

This is a pre-hopping style beer and honey and spices are used to balance out the malt.

This works quite well only that the main aroma is honey both in smell and taste and the other spices were hard to tell apart.

In all a good beer but not living up to the hype.

Photo of ccrida
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle poured into my large Gulden Draak tulip, Baladin Nora is a slightly hazy light orange with a orange tinged off-white head leaving scattered, foamy lace. Really interesting cap, with a plastic liner that reminds me of a stelvin.

Smell has a soft, delicate sweetness, orange-creamsicle, perhaps a faint incense quality as well.

Taste is complex, but the adjuncts are really well integrated without standing out to strongly in anyone direction, with the orange the most dominant, although I suspect it's amplified by fruity esters. Not sure that I can pick up the other spices to well, which is a good thing, although they're surely providing some delicate complexity, which has impressive depth.

Mouthfeel is very soft and smooth, but with a dryness to it I attribute to the spices.

Drinkability is good, a really nice Belgian style ale, complex without being overwhelming to the palate, digestible and smooth. Still, one 750ml bottle is plenty.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Travlr
3.78/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Cloudy orange color, with no head at all and no lacing to speak of.
S: Aroma of myrrh (just kidding). Bread and ginger.
T: Flavor starts with fresh bread and progresses rapidly to strong ginger and lemonade.
M: Medium body.
D: Interesting, but difficult to finish. Is this really a beer?

Photo of becktone
4.7/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes 9-14-09

Eye: This one pours a very hazy, copper-amber-orange color. Body is active with carbonation, and the head fromation and retention is decent. I'm looking at an off white head, creamy in texture, and smallish in size. Not really much to complain about, head could be a bit bigger, but this is fine. It works. Looks nice overall...combined with the aroma this one looks very appetizing.

Nose: Huge nose, fills the room. Big sweet malt aroma fills the room as it is poured. Up close this thing is spiced...not absolutely what spice it is right off the bat, but I can definitely tell that this has something in it that don't come from fermentation or "normal" ingredients...Can't quite put a finger on what this is...reminds me of an incense cone I had that my brother got me from germany...it used to go inside a little man that was poised rolling round a barrel of beer smoking a pipe, the smoke came out his mouth....Well it smells like that in a way, wood, but not oak, more like pine, but fresh and green. Not citrusy pine either. I love the smell of this beer. Underneath, if you look there is a sweet malt backbone. I really like the way this one smells.

Tongue: More malt comes out in the flavor than in the nose. That spice is still there. The oakiness or that fragrant incense dominates the finish. The middle of this one seems a little bland, but the front and the finish make up for it. Sweet and malty upfront, kinda just gone in the middle and at the end that incense, piney oakish flavor. I'm sersioulsy thinking that this is gonna be on my top list for spiced beers, different than pumpkin ales though. This is completely differnt. I really like this one. Great. Highly recommended if you're looking for something different. A step away from beer yet at the same time very beerish. Awesome!

Feel and Drinkability: Body is medium-heavy with low carbonation. Alcohol seems to creep through a bit. Low carbonation helps to complete this one. Upon closer inspection I think that the warmth from the alcohol and the spices-especially the oakiness/piney/fragrant incense-gives off a minty type of deal, like a menthol cigarette, but not as obnoxious or as strong. This is one that I'll gladly drink the rest of and will be on the look out for again. Such a unique beer, if you see this grab it.

Photo of robertjbell
4.18/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

At the Calgary distributor's tasting for Baladin's products we were all at a loss for what the heck this beer could be, as our knowledge of Italian was less than adequate to read their brochure. Thus the most we could get out of this beer was that it was somehow "Egyptian". In retrospect I am now aware that it is a herbed ale with ginger, rose etc. etc. Yet at the time of my reviewing the tastes were somewhat less than distinguishable

Appearance: Dark blonde coloration, opaque with a white and light head and minimal lacing

Nose: Slightly wine-like characteristics infused with light ginger notes, light citrus fruits as well

Taste: Coriander and peppery spices dominate, taste of alcohol comes through in a balsamic vinegar finish, slightly drying at the end

Mouthfeel: Full yet tart, enough carbonation to keep the beer interesting

Drinkability: Not a particularily memorable ale, and not knowing the additives did nothing to aid the drinking experience

Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a large bottle at Tap and Table in Emmaus, PA. They say the beer has some Egyptian inpriation, but it basically drinks and tastes like a spiced Belgian pale ale. It's very smooth and light on the palate with obvious orange peel and a white pepper finish. There are hint of ginger along with the vanilla spice and white bread. If you don't mind the spice, it's worth a try.

Photo of philipquarles
3.5/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a cloudy orange-gold with a fizzy white head that disappears rather quickly. Smells very spicy, with loads of ginger and something else that I'm guessing is myrrh. Slightly citric, floral, and with an overall bready malt character. The same spices are strong in the taste as well, along with floral notes and some earthy character. Quite tangy overall with a dry finish. Light-medium body that is pretty effervescent. Interesting to be sure, though overspiced.

Photo of adamette
3.68/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a bottle purchased at a great little store in Mantua, Italy while on tour there on or about 6 19 09. Label, in Italian, mentions that it is made with an Egyptian theme. Interesting.

A Opaque, light orange body under a minimal head.

S Soft grains, some spices, kind of a wheat taste. Nice.

T Taste of some spices (coriander?) with minimal malt and hops profiles. Nice taste, nothing that is capturing my imagination though.

M Moderate thickness, feel with a beefy 6.8 per cent ABV, some interesting tastes.

D Fine drinkability but this is not my favorite Baladin.

Photo of Parrotshake
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from one of those sweet-looking bottles this brewery favours. Rich orange colour, cloudy, not much head but pretty substantial lacing.

Very floral nose with grapefruit pith and honeycomb. Slightly tripel-y, with a belgian yeast/white wine character. Very interesting.

In no particluar order; pepper, grapefruit pith, tonic water/quinine, alcohol, licorice, muscat, cloves, orange flower water. Some graininess and an overbearing whack of floral, perfume sweetness in the finish, the latter of which keeps it from being a 5, although I'm sure that's the myrrh and it was intended... just a bit much for me personally. Still sensational overall.

BTW, I had a glass straight out of the fridge earlier and didn't taste half that stuff - if you have some, very lightly chilled is the way to go. Medium-full mouthfeel and enough carbonation so as the insane array of flavours don't linger too long and wear out their welcome. That is, if you're drinking it without food.

I tried it for the first time last week with a Spanish dish of roast pork loin stuffed with figs & prunes... probably the best food & beer match I ever had. Would do amazingly well with real sharp cheeses and the fruit perserves that are often served alongside, I reckon. It's expensive but I plan to keep a bottle on hand at all times.

Photo of Macca
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This pours a very murky dark orange colour with a generous head. A lot of sediment. Nice lacing.

Wow. The aroma really hits you. The ginger especially and other spice notes. Unfortunately it reminds me of the moisturizer my wife uses.

Lots of spices. The rose water is much stronger. Clove, ginger, is there anything that is not going on in here?

Medium bodied. Some sweetness

I can't say that I understand this beer but I like it, just don't know how much I could drink.

Photo of Hophead101
3.83/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

drank on 3.3.09 at home while working my ass off for a project that is due in a few days - I deserve a good beer at midnight. I acquired this beer through a trade with ineedabeer, thanks for the Nora. you gotta love beer trading.

ok - so I was not sure what to expect with this beer. I don't know if I have ever had an Italian 'microbrew'. But I have heard good things, so I figured I'd check it out.

To start off, when I opened the bottle, it unaggressively foamed over, so I quickly poured it into my glass. It poured a cloudy (and somewhat chunky) brownish, golden/peach color. With the bottle foam over I expected more head, but it was average and didn't last very long. It dissipated rather quickly which was slightly disappointing. The smell was a bit more mild than I was hoping for based on the style and ingredients. there was a mild citrusy smell, light malt base and some spice in the nose. There wasn't enough spice to truly discern the orange and ginger that was quoted, but you can tell something was there. maybe it was the myrh since I couldn't tell what it was. who knows.

Sorry to say it - but a bit underwhelmed with this beer. a bit spicy up front, but I still don't get that ginger - if I do - it is totally mild and behind the scenes. I get the orange and citrus in the taste, which is nice. The mouthfeel is creamy and palate coating at first, but leaves a sour and somewhat damp and sticky feeling in my mouth. A bit of phlegm hanging out in there which at first wasn't too bad, but is sort of getting annoying.

Ok - still not sure what to think. drinkability is pretty good (less the phlegm). I like it - then I don't like it - then I like it again. worth a try.

Photo of VIPbeer
3.48/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Purchased at Whole Foods on the Bowery with a bottle of Sella Del Diavolo and Nice Chouffe 08. Poured into a Lucifer Snifter. First impressions: the color is definitely a Saison. Orange-amber hue with the color of clover honey. Thin, pure white head with persistent retention- some lacing. The aroma is pungently bitter herbs and orange. This is certainly a good looking beer but something suprising is how little effervescence there is in this- it's very dry and the effect is somewhat flat on the tongue. Flavor throws a kind of a curve ball too. It was barnyardy, hay-like and with a strong perfume of myrrh. I know this beer is brewed with an ancient Egyptian grain and this drinks like an ancient recipe. I drank this solo and I think it's better suited to drinking with food than enjoying on it's own.

Baladin Nora from Birrificio Le Baladin
90 out of 100 based on 272 ratings.