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Baladin Nora - Birrificio Le Baladin

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Baladin NoraBaladin Nora

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

282 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 282
Reviews: 130
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 61
Gots: 28 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-01-2002

This Egyptian inspired brew is spiced with ginger, myrrh, and orange peel ... very complex.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 282 | Reviews: 130
Photo of BDIMike
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very complex beer.
It poured beautifully with a highly carbonated golden, reddish hue. It had a nice thick white head that sat for a while.
The smell was very complex. It smells with a bunch of nice spices. I smelled orange and citrus and also pumpkin. At times you can smell the hops and other times a bit floral.
The taste was equally as complex. I tasted first the citrus and then ends with a lot of spice. It is a good spice that I couldn't put my finger on.
Mouthfeel is very sharp and carbonated. Good for a spiced beer.
The drinkability is very good for the type of beer it is. Usually a spiced beer is hard to drink a lot of, but this was surprisingly drinkable.

Photo of watchnerd
4.71/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer almost defies classification. Good head that deflates quickly, rich if murky color, and HUGE chunks of yeast upon pouring. Not much lacing. Some say it is best with food, but I think the opposite: drink this by itself to get the full experience. Not much hop presence, if any. Aromas of rose water, nutmeg, and feminine musk. A bit like sniffing panties while drinking beer.

Photo of Patrick999
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a cloudy gold into my snifter. Head kinda fizzy and doesn't retain all that well.

Smell - Very pleasant, sweet-smelling nutty aroma. Smells more than a bit like myrrh incense, which is a big plus in my book. I give this a 5 in smell for being the only beer I know of to smell like a stick of good incense.

Taste - Does not follow smell. It's not all that sweet. It's not sweet at all, tending toward the dry. This bottle is from 2005, so it has a little age on it. In fact, on the back it says I have the "Sour Edition," but I'm putting my review here. There's a bit of saison-like yeasty funk and a bit of sour. A little bitterness that doesn't seem to come from hops. Maybe that's the myrrh. Given the odd ingredients, though, this doesn't really taste so strange. It's not the out of the ordinary beer I thought it might be. Tasty, but damn do I love that myrrh/Nag Champa incense smell. I think I'd rather smell it than drink it. Aftertaste long on orange peel.

Mouthfeel - Pretty good. Crisp and carbonated, reminds me of a saison.

Drinkability? Well, I'm drinking it. The alcohol isn't all that much, and it would seem to go over well with many different foods. I like it and would buy again.

Photo of BeerBelcher
1.79/5  rDev -55.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1

I didn't really care for this beer. It had an oddly perfumed aroma, and a combination of yeastiness and cerealness in its flavor that I couldn't get into. More over, the excessive amount of floaties in this beer gave it a strange and unpleasant mouthfeel that was at the same time both slick and gritty.

Appearance was a hazy tan, with some light and dark specks in it which reminded me of eggnog. Aroma was perfume-y, and the first thought that hit me was "lavender." Taste was faint at first, intensifying as it warmed, and the emerging flavor was cereal-y and yeasty in a way that was unpleasant to me. The mouthfeel was a bit gritty due to the floaties present, but also a bit slick and slimy feeling. Much of mine went down the drain.

I was not a fan of this beer and would not recommend it.

Photo of kiya
3.48/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was expecting something dramatic to come out of this bottle considering the bottle shape and label design.

Pours a nice golden color with little to no head but with massive yeast clots... very little lacing brings up a great and strong floral scent.
Initially i was quite surprised that the overall flavor was so smooth. Nothing jumped out at me, i was sort of wishing something would.
The mouthfeel was one of the highlights for me, great levels of carbonation and a nice light feeling make this a great beer to drink a lot of, but it's not packaged or priced like a beer that's a session beer. Regardless, i loved bits and pieces of this, while overall i felt like it was missing something.

Photo of sleazo
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a red wine glass at Spuyten Duyvil

A-hazy beautiful orange. Lovely head.

S-there is that "horseblanket" aroma I love. Very nice odor without being too strong.

T- more funk with some lemon hits the tongue first. Also some cloves and a vague spicyness. Almost no hop character. Very much tart but a slight sweetness comes through as it warms.

M-refreshingly bubbly but not overwhelming. A nice medium body

D-very nice outdoorsy beer and very good with some brie goat cheese and brasaola. This is a very unique beer and one I will get again despite the high price.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy dark golden with a pretty nice head that fades to a thin cap and leaves some light lacing. The smell is intriguing with the aroma of lightly fermented honey, sweet orange peel, fresh ginger, and light muskiness. The taste is more of the same but a good deal more intense than the smell, with bright orange, a sweet and sour flavor reminiscent of fermented honey, ginger, and perhaps some grapes as well.There is alittle bit of a sweet spicy hit on the finish. Mouthfeelis creamy and spritzy and on the light side. Very refreshing and quite interesting.I'm definitely interested in their other products now.

Photo of Phatz
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a pale golden brown color with amber hues. The small head fades quickly in my snifter glass.

Smell: The aroma is an indistinct fruity sweetness with a touch of caramel and some nutmeg, ginger & vanilla spices.

Taste: This flavor is completely unique. It reminds me of a cross between boysenberry wheat and pumpkin with a Belgian yeasty attribute and pumpkin pie spices, nutmeg and coriander, orange and flavors of Christmas. Juicy fruity malt center and then some apricot juice and a pleasant apple cider tartness in the aftertaste. The is a hint of woodiness especially on the last pour that contained some of the sediment.

Mouthfeel: It is remarkably soft smooth feel and yet zesty in flavors with fine gentle carbonation.

Drinkability: This is so easy to drink I am not even sure how to describe it. One went down so nice and easy but as unique as is I wouldn’t session this. One is enough but I want to have more on hand.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is bubbly. Had this bottle for about 4 years, popped it open the other day.
Orange/copper body with huge carbonation white head. Kinda like champagne or coke. Settle quickly to a thin layer, some lacing.
Smell of soft fruit, some herbs and anise. Sweet malt perhaps
Taste is fruity, banana and blood orange, with hints of herbal spice.
Mostly, the carbonation is focused upon. Gives it a crisp sensation without the hops.
A good beer. Interesting. Good for pseudo-special occaisions.

Photo of jdhilt
3.58/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Explodes out of bottle with a thick creamy head that takes a while to fade leaving some lace. Cloudy amber color. Spicy/floral nose. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Flavor is sweet and sour, hints of pepper, different from other spiced beers. Pricey, $12.40 for a 750ml bottle from Tully's Beer & Wine Wells, Me.

Photo of jmz62565
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear orange with a medium white head that leaves almost no lacing. The smell is very "bisquity" with corriander,pepper, clove,banana, and a champagne "dryness' to it. The taste is crisp with a hop bite along with a creamy bunch of flavors. Cloves,banana,hops,corriander,pepper.and lemon make this a complex flavor mixture. The m/f is medium,but alittle syrupy and medicanal,but not bad. A decent beer,alittle flawed,but you can drink it easily enough. Cheers.

Photo of sloejams
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I've seen this a few times before, so finally one night out - I crossed it's path and decided to split a bottle with a buddy.

It pours golden orange color into the tulip glass. The scent is strong: vanilla, clove and coriander dominate. The taste reminded me of a ginger snap. There wasn't a terribly gingery taste per se, just the sugary and spice mix. It was a very interesting beer, that I enjoyed. I was drinking some Unibroue's offerings previous to this and that was more of my speed.

Photo of nouseforotacon
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fat-bottomed bottle from Italy with a neat looking label and a raised glass design that reads 'Birra Baladin'.

Pours out an extremely cloudy, hazy yellow-orange bottom with a full mound of foamy white head that evaporates to lacing quickly. Visible sediments.

Musty, funky yeast aroma. Dry white grapes that remind me of champagne. Subtle hints of banana, clove, and nectar fruit. Peppery and full on the nose, dry. Yeast is dominating.

Crisp, solid carbonation. Funky twang of sweet and sour, slices of lemon and peach/orange sweetness. Spicy, white pepper paired with coriander and more clove. A bit of banana on the tongue. White grape tartness. For me, this one is like a fruitier champagne with a sweet, caramel malt presence. Mouthfeel is nice; rich, light to medium body with a tart and spicy finish.

Interesting, really like a Belgian ale with amped up carbonation and some mouth puckering/dryness. Very champagne-like, but sweeter with the addition of malts. Worth a try.

Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Photo of athensbeermaster
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew starts with a nice light modest head. A hazy light golden color. The fullbody mouthfeel with spicy corriander and white pepper. Good small bubbles on the carbonation. Leaving some nice lacing on the glass. The simple way to describe this brew would be a luxurious hoegaarden with more exotic spices and a nice orangey sweetness. And a kick more alcohol !
Nora is expensive but well worth it, goes great with roasted pork tenderloin.

Photo of Suds
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew is a hazy golden, honey-colored beer. The head is dense, thick, and quite sticky. It sports an interesting aroma…a wheat-like twang, a little cinnamon and sugar, lemon and orange peel, yeast, and a slightly wild vinous character. It’s a spritzy aroma, very much alive, and almost champagne like. The beer is moderately dry, with a lot of malt and spice flavor. Soft mouthfeel, with a medium body, and a refreshing dryness. The spice, with some peppery notes, is accentuated in the finish. Although I’m usually partial to more traditional beers, this one is sure an interesting and flavorful brew.

Photo of DogFood11
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a tall pilsner glass it forms a nice white head that leaves sliding sporadic lace. Yellow body and tons of swirling rapid carbonation.

Ginger root, dirt, earthiness on the backside. This beer is all about the spices. Crisp mouthfeel. Floral is the base smell and it comes through in the mouthfeel, drying...and the taste. Fruits and spices are the dominant theme, Mango comes into play and even some vineous characteristics. Is it well put together? Yep. Is it rustic and more of a spiced and herbed tea than a good kick as beer?Yep

Notes: This was a nights worth of depth. So many spices and fruits that I'm spent and done for the evening. Not sure what could possibly follow this. I liked it and reccomend it.

Photo of arguemaniac
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautiful hazy golden with an initially robust white head that leaves behind thick, persistent lace. Sweet malt and ginger in the aroma. The flavor of this one, unlike so many other “herbed/spiced” ales, is pleasantly dry and more subdued. It’s got a nice ginger spice that is sharp but not too overbearing and a nicely balancing malty sweetness that features hints of honey, some definite pale malt fruitiness and a light graininess. The overall flavor is rich, spicy but still quite drinkable. Be warned, though, if you just can’t stand ginger in beer, avoid this one. Otherwise, highly recommended.

Photo of dherling
4.19/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served from a beautiful champagne like bottle, this was an excellent surprise when I went for dinner at Prune in NYC. Pours out a hazy light amber, with a champagne like head that dazzles, then dissapears. This has such a complex and unique nose to it, almost like something between a lambic and a saison. It has some apples, ande incense, and ginger in the nose. This continues to develop into white wine, some spice like cinnamon, and sourness (lemon, soap?). The taste is so very individual and expressive, banana, clove, grass, ginger, rain, citrus zest, corriander/cilantro, flowers, honeysuckle, pepper, and crysanthimum. I can go on, every time I drink it, I get something new. Wonderful! It's a little chewy in the mouth, and the finish is full of the honeysuckle and crysanthimum floralness, there's no getting away from it. A nice treat, but honestly, I can do only so much of it. A great beer experience, it's quite choice. If you have the means, I highly reccomend it.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of acrawf6
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out of a beautifully shaped 750 mlbottle. Hazy yellowish golden with white lightly foamy head. I do see a little sediment floating around.

Smell. Very interesting. A good light ginger aroma with a little cinnamon. Lots of fresh apples and apple peel tartness. very light and refreshing, and still nice and complex.

Taste. Initial taste is the fresh apple tartness. Also has tastes of a light chardonney. Very crisp. ginger is there, but not as much as in the aroma. has a yeasty taste to it as well. Aftertaste is a touch dry and tart, but under that is just a bit of sweet apple juice flavor.

Mouthfeel is very nice and crisp. A light carbonation that barely tickles your tongue.

Overall one of the more or most unique beers i've had. Very interesting and quite delicious.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.61/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 1 pint 9.4 fluid oz bottle.

Appearance- A doughy two finger head leads nto a very pale colored beer. This ancient style beer reminds of Blanche de Chambly by Unibroue. Very witbier in color. The best way to describe this beer is "liquid bread incarnate."

Smell- Imagine wonder made old world style. The generic kind of bread you would get in Cairo back in the good old days. This bread ould be ade with saffron, with a hint of green grapes and saffron.

Taste- Starts out as a green grape and white wine mix. This then leads into a bitter, yet and undefinable bitter flavor. I know they don;t use hops for this beer, but it does have a certain hop-like bitterness.

Mouthfeel- A palate of ancient times. Of beating, pyramid building, and mummification. A little yeasty, but the moldy kind, the bready kind. Has a good overall nuance of acidity and dryness.

Photo of GreenWBush
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I usually don't take into consideration the actual bottle and labeling in regards to the appearance score, but this time I have to. An absolute gorgeous keeper.

This one releases into my snifter with audible, whirring carbonation that continuously streams upward. Honey colored. Big head that fades to nil but leaves nice lace. The glass will be opaque with yeast flurry by the end of the bottle.

The nose is intense and vivacious with cinnamon, sour apple, lemons, and oranges. Tart. Quite Saison like in nature. Candi sugar, earthy yeast. Cider. Almost salty, hints of cracked pepper.

Dry as a bone, carbonation is like pop-rocks on the tongue.

Tropical fruit facade on the nose continues in the palate with a carbonation wall that obscures the malt flavors. I detect these only slightly, as a lingering oily sweetness.

Very similar to sparkling wine. What a centerpiece of beer conversation and tool to convert the unitiated. Only bad part of the flavor package is a slightly chemically after burp. Cider.

Wife likes this more than any saison she's tried. That's a major complement in my book. Substantial and smooth, but not too thick as to be refreshing. A winner!

I can't say thanks enough to Tom at the Blind Pig in Champaign, IL for the opportunity to try this.

Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Light haze, soft peach with copper highlights, topped by a thick finger of clingy, off-white head. Beautiful. Nose is fairly complex and inviting with notes of lightly sweet malt, kinda sugary and marshmallowy, wheat tang, fruit (banana mostly), pepper, coriander, and lots of citrus zest. Taste is centered around soft, tangy, sweet wheat malts. Notes of graham cracker, and banana cocktail, before spice and citrus zest take over. Finish is yeasty and peppery. Very soft mouthfeel, with a medium body. Very refreshing and complex. Different in a gruit sort of way, but way citrus-ier. Goes well with lots of different foods I bet.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the chalice clear medium amber golden with a white frothy head that dissapated immediately to leave a wisp at the surface of the liquid.

The aroma was yeasty with some spice nature. Spices emerged immediately upon pouring but lessened very quickly. Some Belgian yeast spice nature with coriander and a slight aroma of brett.

The flavor was low levels of muted spice, coriander and cinnamon with Belgian yeast character. Some slight brett character was emerging, but not strong and barely there. The beer began on the palate slightly malty and ended dry as a bone.

The finish was bone dry with lasting slight spice into the aftertaste. The body was medium and nicely accomplished. Probably the most interesting beer I have had from Italy, but nothing too exciting.

75 cl bottle. $12.49 at Lee & Edwards in Roanoke, Va.

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Baladin Nora from Birrificio Le Baladin
90 out of 100 based on 282 ratings.