Baladin Nora - Birrificio Le Baladin
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Ratings: 252 | Reviews: 127 | Display Reviews Only:
4.38/5 rDev +8.7%
1 pint 9.4 oz bottle is really interesting to behold. Served into a tulip, it pours a slightly hazed, orange/golden body with a large, three finger tall, creamy white head. Head sticks around for several minutes and deposits a moderate amount of patch lace on the glass.
Aroma: This is where the fruity and floral adventure begins. Honeydew melon, white grapes, apple cider, fresh orange pulp, peaches, and notes of tart lemon, are all noted in the aroma at some point in the sipping experience. Lots of floral notes are just as elusive, with fresh blooming lilacs and rose water notes jumping in and out of the bouquet. There is a definite spice profile, as well, but it's restrained and exotic, impossible to pinpoint but quite intriguing.
Mouthfeel: Dry and soft, medium bodied, with some effervescent carbonation. Very nice.
Taste: Fruity and floral, as the aroma suggests, but more complex. Peaches, lemons, strawberries, and honeydew melon are complimented by an intricate floral component of wild rose and lilac. An earthy yeast presence and the subdued exotic spicing keeps the florals and fruits in fine balance. Some herbal and floral hops bitterness helps, as well. This retains a dryness throughout, that compliments the fruity sweetness very well. Reminds me a bit of Fantome Saison blended with a Belgian pale ale. Very tasty.
Drinkability: I really like this one. Definitely, it's different than anything I've ever tried, but overall it has some characteristics of a fine Saison tucked inside the myriad of exotic spices, florals, and fruits. A bit expensive, but worth the effort to seek out. I would never have guessed this was brewed in Italy, if I were tasting it blind. No hint of the alcohol content is able to poke through all the complexity here.
04-03-2005 12:15:15 | More by merlin48
3.63/5 rDev -9.9%
03/04 is stamped on the back of the bottle, don't know if that is a bottling date or a drink-by date. The Baladin website says this is modeled off of an ancient Egyptian beer, that's very cool in my book. Nora is cloudy peach-orange in color, the head is short and creamy. The aroma is lightly sweet and of orange peels. The smell also contains just a tiny bit of spice. The taste is lightly sweet and citrusy. Spices are noted as a means to balance out the beer. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth which leads to great drinkability. This seems like a good choice for summertime.
03-25-2005 01:15:51 | More by Gagnonsux
4.25/5 rDev +5.5%
This is a little unusual. Doesn't really taste like anything I've ever had before. It is however, quite tasty. It poured a cloudy orange with some tiny bits of what I would guess to be yeast and other debris. Nice fluffy white foamy head that subsides to a thin white ring arong the perimeter of the glass. The smell is quite sweet and certainly contains alot of spice and quite a bit of an apricot smell. The taste is much less powerful than the smell. The taste, like the smell, has some spice and some apricot to it, but much less concentrated than the smell. The mouth feel is very pleasant. I can't tell if it has no carbonation, or if it is carbonated but has tiny, tightly knit bubbles. Either way, it's quite easy to drink. Very pleasant.
02-05-2005 05:27:31 | More by SilentSabre
4.8/5 rDev +19.1%
Vaguely hazy but it is basically clear, the liquid is a beautiful gold in hue with a slight coppery highlight. The head was an active, bubbly white foamy mass that rested gracefully on top of the beer. Head retention was fair; it quickly turned to a soapy island with naked pockets, thin collar. There was no subsequent lacing. On a whole the appearance is attractive. The nose is soft. The potency is moderate. In fact it seems a little fickle, at first anyway. The more I sniffed the more I noticed. Flowers. A greenhouse filled with flowers on a sunny day. Can a beer smell sunny? Nora does. Traces of fresh honey, light sweetness too. Peppery. Spicy, ginger it seems. Fruity, apricots and peaches I believe. Malt is cracker-like. Herbal. The nose is great; it is like Duvel mixed with a saison. If the smell were more forceful it would be perfection. Inviting. The palate is unique. I translated a blurb on Le Baladins website but that didnt quench my thirst on this beer. Regardless, I think this is a fantastic beverage. It is so light in body, so soft with its touch and yet some flavorful. There are tons going on with this beer yet my tastebuds dont get slaughtered, they get rewarded. This beer is amazingly complex. I can think of very few beers that have such a vast flavor and none taste like this one. The palate is dry and sweet and spicy and herbal and fruity. Details the dryness is cracker-like at times. However the overall dryness is like Brut Champagne. Nice. The sweetness is soft and playful, kisses of honey, very light caramel notes. Juicy. Fruits are in play. There is a citrus zip, apricots, peaches, and a smidgen of grapes. Spiciness seems to be, in part, derived from ginger. Peppery. Then it becomes herbal towards the back, before ending on a sweet note and the slightest bit of alcohol heat. On the whole the palate is very tasty. This beer is amazing; it is so delicate! It is beyond comparison. Medium in body, the carbonation is moderately high (but not lively enough, IMO, as this beer is just a little tacky) but the mouthfeel is very pleasant and ideal for the flavor profile. Is this beer drinkable? Yes, you ass! Havent you been reading my review? The delicate flavors could be matched with equally delicate foods like fish or waffles at brunch. Maybe even a very, very mild cheese and some rye crackers. Maybe the best pairing for this beer is a couple glasses so it can be shared with friends. I really like this beer; I wish I could drink it again (soon). But I havent seen it in my usual hangouts (not in Nebraska because we dont get shit here, I mean in Kansas City or Iowa City). I purchased this bottle in Burnsville, MN. Unforgettable. World Class.
12-09-2004 20:55:55 | More by bditty187
4.05/5 rDev +0.5%
Appearance: The beer is a peachy, cloudy pour color with a smally fuzzy rim of head.
Smell: Very faint nose until it gets warm. There are hints of honey, malts and liquor.
Taste: It has a sweet, thick vanilla/caramel start. Then it blends to a brandy style alcohol finish.
Mouthfeel: The body grows in teh mouth...really grows. At first it is syrupy, then it feels very foamy, and then it fades gently away.
Drinkability: This a smooth drink for special occasions, would pair well with any meal that is heavy in carbohydrates and salty. Its a little expensive versus the beer's quality.
11-19-2004 20:21:02 | More by GuinnessSmurf
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.
09-13-2004 17:42:59 | More by WesWes
5/5 rDev +24.1%
I've just drunk a Deus with friends and this ancient review (1.29.03)called for re-doing. It is the same product as then. I gave it all 5s then. Steep mousse. Exotic, winy bouquet. Tart tangerine succulence is offered in the palate-drenching interlude between nose and cheek. It is chewy young fruit braised with age. I renew my perfect scores for this elixir. It satisfies one's spine.
Here's the original text:
Named after the proprietor's wife who claims Egytian heritage, this beer contains near eastern flavorings such as myrrh as well as more conventional Belgian seasonings such as orange peel.
Exquisite aromatics...the balance...!!!
Vegetable ash, ginger, orange pith, sea foam, pebbles...clear and bright with fractal complexity. Every firm element (rocks, citrus peel) is disputed by a hedonistic one (iris, vanilla) Again, just as with the Super Baladin, the bubbles are intricate, milled to a state of fine-ness that boggles the mind. Fluffy, piercing, bright pinpoints of gas serve as the primary structure here. It is dry and so drinkable.
09-13-2004 03:34:21 | More by putnam
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.
09-02-2004 21:27:36 | More by Gueuzedude
4.2/5 rDev +4.2%
pours out a highly carbonated copperish colour, with a big foamy snow white head. lots of must and fruit aromas. ample head leaves lots of lace. initial estery flavours of ginger, honey, melon, apricot, and orange. all very subdued and intertwined. malt tilts toward the caramel spectrum, although very lightly. ghostly spicy...alcohol lends some pepper. there is a flowery aspect of this ale that i'm not sure comes from the light hopping or the fruity essence. the mouthfeel is astounding. with all the charged up carbonation, i was expecting a soda like fizzy mouthfeel, but i am pleased at the silky smooth, well rounded and succulent body of this ale. goes down exceptionally well. some warming in the belly is detected, also. finishes light and dry with a bit of musty fruit lingering in the aftertaste. this is a very nice quaffer and a sweet treat in summer. recommended!
08-10-2004 00:08:47 | More by budgood1
3.38/5 rDev -16.1%
Medium gold, almost orange with a pale tan, frothy and vigorous head. Candy, citrus and mild bread notes on the nose. Similar to a belgian pale ale, IMO. Sweet, spicy finish. Some ginger is noticable, along with some white peppercorns. Sugary throughout. Slightly yeasty finish. Good mouthfeel overall. Flavorful and coating, but not heavy. A nice brew. Not sure of the style they were going for; belgian pale ale meets a spice beer, i guess. Solid. Give it a try if you find it.
08-04-2004 16:37:24 | More by winomark
4.05/5 rDev +0.5%
Pours out a hazey orange amber with a large off-white head. Sweet is there very much, but in an unusual way. Almost Belgian in style, but with a twist. Spicey turns down the sweets with some citrus and pepper, and maybe ginger. Tastes very interesting. Mouthfeel is solid. Certainly worth checking out. A very good brew.
08-04-2004 00:08:32 | More by scottum
4.4/5 rDev +9.2%
Presentation: A fantastically super sexy dark green glass bottle, which looks like a Bowling Skittle. Embossed on the upper portion with an angled straight sided pint glass and the words Birra Baladin. The small front label located at the base simply says Nora Ale, Product of Italy, 6.8% Alc.Vol. and looks like a pastel colored stained glass window at times. An even smaller reverse label has lots of crappy information written on it for the idiots amongst us. It also has a small typed code of 103 at the base, does this mean Bottled October 03? Maybe!? This is all finished with a crown cap covered in a thick copper colored plastic which has the words Birra Baladin CAN 117/T embossed on the top.
Appearance: Hmmmm, what type of Glass??? Well I settled for a tall thin curved sided Ourdaller 0,3 ltr Glass flute from Luxembourg. It suited this one well, as the carbonation was high. The body has a very golden glow iridescent in nature, nuclear in its shining capacity when backlit. A massive white head quickly forms a pillowy smooth transient affair that is at least 2 deep. The head fizzes and it settles. Lots of streamers, but little inherent carbonation. The sun drenched golden toasted body looks fantastic.
Nose: Fruity nose, a mix of light sugared orange and lemon fruit slices entwined with light ginger snap crackers and a smattering of spicy black pepper set amidst a light toasted malt body.
Taste: Beautiful smooth entrance that is spiky at times thanks to the high carbonation levels. Soft feel mixed with an orange tinged ginger ending that ruins any semblance of normality - thank goodness! Floral at times, fruity at others, overall this is always a rather complex tasting beer and is immensely fascinating. A gorgeously fruity Ale.
Mouthfeel: Like the bottle, it has a thick base feel with a light top end. A well-balanced beer with immense posture. An incredible fruity ale that has bold orange zest and ginger character with herbal spicy qualities. Black pepper sprinkles the mouth amidst the orange peel finish.
Drinkability: Its expensive, but it is the sort of beer that I would not mind paying to drink all night once in a while. The fruity spicy feel is quite stupendous.
Overall: Superb! Italian beer gets such a bad name, but sup this beauty and you will forever be transformed these dudes know what they are doing for sure. Worth the money you bet it is!!!
This Review is dedicated to fellow BA MrJimCat, for he is the one that put me onto this beauty during the BA NYC Rally in November 2003.
Highly Recommended and well worth the coin. Took me a while to find it, but it was well worth the wait. Cheers SirJim!!
05-23-2004 07:21:49 | More by TheLongBeachBum
4.15/5 rDev +3%
What I noticed first about this bier was the amazing amount of yeasty sediment in the bottom of the bottle. Huge chunks came out into my glass even after a careful pour.
The color is medium orage with a nice head that dissapated readily. The aroma is reminescent of a nice Hefeweizen, clove, coriander, etc. Although this bier is more distintive in palate and leaves a nice spicy peppery aftertaste.
This is quite pleasent yet a little powerful in the wrong places. A strange comment, I know, but I only mean that it is very good yet somehow unremarkable as in; "I don't believe I'll drink many of these."
05-14-2004 01:06:25 | More by BierManVA
4.05/5 rDev +0.5%
Amber colour, lightly veiled. It has a compact and creamy foam, good persitence.
The smell is floreal (geranium, daisy, flowers). Fruity (apricot, pineapples in syrup). Cane sugar. Spices.
The taste is fruity too (apricot), and very floreal. Harmonious and good, "creamy" and inviting.
In the aftertaste apricot and fruitness again, and good, sweet spicy notes.
This is a beer hardly to define and to classify in a style. But it is surely interesting to prove. And very good to drink.
05-10-2004 19:07:42 | More by stcules
4.22/5 rDev +4.7%
I'm not messing around tonight. Nora's first and Super is next. You see, I got these two for free.
Nora's nose is amazing. It's mainly dominated by spicy peppers but has some distinct fruity notes of coriander, watermelon, apricots and some ginger.
Intensely fruity throughout. Numerous spices: cinnamon and peppers. Peach, dates, apricots, bananas and lemons are well pronounced. No bitterness. Very low hop level. Numerous spices and weird stuff in this brew. I would love to know the ingredient list.
I'm going to the brewery in July. Hoorah!
Be aware of the yeast on the bottom as I did not know this was bottle conditioned.
05-05-2004 05:35:04 | More by Crosling
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.
03-29-2004 23:08:54 | More by oberon
4.08/5 rDev +1.2%
Appearance Light orange in color with a bit of carbonation and a decent head.
Smell This bouquet is just full of smells. The spices are very heavy, especially the ginger. I can also pick up some white pepper and coriander and even some green, leafy-type of herbs, like a subtle oregano or something like that. The fruits are very light and mellow. The melon and light, soft tangerine stand out.
Taste This is very light, like a nice, fruity fume de blanc. It actually does turn a bit grape-like. I remember having a light white wine flavored with apples just north of San Diego a few years ago, and this reminds me of those lovely flavors.
Mouthfeel This was light but not thin-feeling, with heavy spices that gave the ale a bit of chalkiness.
Drinkability Only the Italians could make a light, sexy sipping ale like this. I would highly recommend as an aperitif or with a lighter meal, such as baked fish or any type of pasta in a white cream sauce. You gotta love Nora and pesto!
Comments I suggest refrigerating this fifth-sized bottle in between pours.
02-18-2004 02:03:13 | More by RoyalT
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.
02-09-2004 19:50:24 | More by Gavage
4.43/5 rDev +9.9%
Cardamom and clove nose and palette backed by light grain. Though barely hopped, everything is in wonderful balance here. Nora is smooth, light, yet sweet and viscous at times. Above all, this is exotic and unlike anything I've ever had. The Web site makes no claim to actually spicing this beer and if the cardamom is a product just of the grain and yeast then this is an absolutely stunning achievement for beer.
It drinks mostly like a wheat beer, but with a ton more character and a spicy zing you won't have ever encountered before.
01-19-2004 00:01:15 | More by ngandhi
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...
11-25-2003 09:12:31 | More by feloniousmonk
5/5 rDev +24.1%
You know that feeling? When you're out somewhere and you catch a scent that fleetingly fills you with warmth and blocks reality.
Hazed Summer sunset. O for the redolence! Pungent with sandalwood, grapes off the vine, paved nature trails and sensous bathing. I can't stop sniffing, burlap and rose petals and lavender and something savory I can't tell. I'd give it a six for smell if only I could. But the flavor's not too far behind, no. Floral sweet as in chewing clover blossoms--you know the purple ones in your yard in Spring--yet grounded in spice and grit and well-traveled roads and longing. My oh my I feel dirty trying to describe the experience like I'm betraying a lover.
11-19-2003 02:40:35 | More by inebrius
District of Columbia
4.08/5 rDev +1.2%
What a delicious and unique brew!
The thin, white head fizzles out quickly. The nose is sweet and spicy with notes of grain and even some orange rind. Smooth but crisp on the palate with a great mouthfeel that lingers just long enough to help the flavors come through -- very floral at first, developing further with spicy herbal tones (can't seem to pin them down, though...almost reminiscent of Saaz hops) and fruit appearing in the finish...almost a little bit of orange or apple. Long, smooth finish (the spice comes back!).
Highly recommended. =)
11-16-2003 22:27:54 | More by chrisjvr
4.38/5 rDev +8.7%
This is truly a unique beer. Either you are going to *really* like it; or you'll dump it, in my opinion.
Appearnce: Nora pours a hazy golden with a large white head. The head quickly dissapates.
Nose. The aroma is quite interesting. It's a sweet/dry/herbal/floral smell. It almost reminds me of Campari. I can't quite place it, but I like it.
Flavor: It's highly carbonated, complex, and well balanced. The use of hops for bitterness is replaced by herbs and this makes a nice change.
Penso che questa birra abbia un sapore magnifico!
10-03-2003 03:06:46 | More by jcalabre
4.72/5 rDev +17.1%
Short story: It's like drinking a tulip. Really.
Long story: A neat, distinct label that matches the other beer I've had from the brewer is affixed to the shapely, unique bottle featuring a raised logo above the label. A smooth, coated, gold foil covers the top of the bottle and the cap.
The pour reveals a nice hazy orange beer with a fabulous aroma. After the first sip, the whole experience became something like sniffing a tulip long and hard with your eyes closed. Spicy (ginger, tiny bits of vanilla bean), citrusy, fruity, floral... Zero hop flavor or aroma, but all the extra flavors more than give this beer an abundance of flavor and aroma.
A fabulous beverage.
02-02-2003 19:59:08 | More by marburg
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.
02-01-2003 13:26:12 | More by Jason
Baladin Nora from Birrificio Le Baladin
90 out of 100 based on 252 ratings.