Baladin Nora - Birrificio Le Baladin

Not Rated.
Baladin NoraBaladin Nora

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

289 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 289
Reviews: 132
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 65
Gots: 32 | 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: 289 | Reviews: 132
Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The color of the beer is dark golden moving toward orange capped off by a nice fluffy head that dissipated quickly. The aroma is spicy and sweet with some earthy herbs. The beer is light on the palate with a bit of carbonation. The flavor is complex: sweet fruit in particular oranges, spiciness, dry with some residual bitterness and acidity. The finish is long and dry. This beer is complex and very unique and I like it for that. I could finish off the 750 mL bottle in no time.

Photo of elNopalero
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Brought this back from a trip to Rome. I like the design of their bottles and even the fonts in their labels. Waxed bottle, cork held in place without the aid of a cap or cage. That’s a first for me.

Poured this into my Baladin teku. Seemed appropriate enough!

This has a pleasing pumpkin-amber orange tinged glow to it with tight bubbling on the foam. I could wax poetic but the point is it looks fantastic.

I’m struggling to place the aroma. It’s akin to a Belgian-style triple, with a light, floral, fruity ester characteristic. There’s a slight must to it, reminding me of white grapes, with just the faintest whisper of lavender and orange blossom on the margins. Wow. Fantastic, layered and complex.
Each sip lit an explosion of flavor on my palate. I get the same floral-fruity complexity, with a great combination of orange blossom, clover honey, and a touch of ginger spice. There’s an almost-champagne effervescence to it, keeping it light and delicate.

Opens with amber honey, orange sweetness, floral essence, light, delicate and inviting.

Yes, it’s that good!

I am glad I saved this for a special occasion as it deserved my full attention. This review is a little bittersweet, as this is the last of the brews I brought back from my Italy trip. Alas, now all I have left are my memories.

Photo of jcalabre
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.
Highly Recommended.
Penso che questa birra abbia un sapore magnifico!

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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: It’s 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!!

Photo of merlin48
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of clvand0
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to merlin48 for bringing this one our way. This one pours a cloudy yellow color with a small head that falls off fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is just wild. Tons and tons of flowery aroma, with a lemony kick. The flavor is just as odd. Tastes like chewing on flowers, mixed with a little bit of pepper. Just wild. The mouthfeel is slightly thicker than expected, but very nice and very drinkable. What a strange and tasty brew.

Photo of tetu
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy tinted golden color with all kinds of stuff floating around in there. Aroma is spicy and yeasty at first but the more I smell the more I get a sweet citrus fruit (tangerine). Spicy with ginger taste. It is hard to describe it perfectly. It has some sourness to it which I wasn't expecting, but it is balanced with sweet citrus. Strange aftertaste, kinda metalic, maybe the myrrh? Medium body with the perfect amount of carbonation imo. Very clean tasting. Very good drink. Easily the best beer I've had from Italy.

Photo of jreitman
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Highly carbonated and almost champagne like. Hazy gold with a persistent white head. Only slightly bitter. Spiciness in the nose and in the mouth with some sweet and fruit flavors. As it warms the sweetness comes out a bit more.

Photo of wspscott
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle in Duvel tulip
date looks to be 02/10 in my fridge since last December from wife's xmas present (2010).

A: Pours with a thin white head, crystal clear, dark gold color.
S: Very fruity with a little bit of malt sweetness.
T: Lots of fruits (pears and apples), sweet but dry at the same time, no hint of hops. The bottle says 6.8% alcohol which seems surprising, this could be a 4% beer without any problem. I don't get any hint of spices, the flavors seem to be mostly yeast driven with a little bit of malt character. I would guess that this is pils malt a small bit of hops for bittering and a very interesting yeast, plus some spices .
M: Lots of carbonation and a slightly creamy feel makes this a very easy beer to drink.
O: A very interesting beer, very different from anything I have had before, it is very easy to drink, but has a lot going on. I probably would not buy this often because of the price, but I wish I could afford to have this all the time. Highly recommended.

Photo of RedBrewer83
4.32/5  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 lacqueredmouse
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

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 brystmar
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
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 eduardolinhalis
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
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 Gavage
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of SilentSabre
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

Photo of Crosling
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm not messing around tonight. Nora's first and Super is next. You see, I got these two for free.

Muddy Peach.

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.

Photo of champ103
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Avenue Pub in New Orleans

A: Pours a murky, cloudy golden/orange color. Almost no head and no lace forms. Kind of lifeless.
S: Lightly tart and acidic. Herbal tea like aromas, ginger, other spices. Passion fruits like mango and papaya. Really interesting, and everything works together.
T: Love it. Tart and acidic apple skins. Almost apple cider like. Herbal tea, ginger, and passion fruits. Lots going on that all intermingle perfectly.
M/D: A medium body with crisp carbonation. So smooth at the same time, with a nice dry bite. So easy to drink. Something I can enjoy all day.

I am really glad to have come across this. A great beer, and something I will grab in the future if I see it. Recommended.

Photo of BEERMILER12
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy golden copper color with half a fingers worth of head

S: Nice and spicy, fairly sweet with a few sour tinges here and there. Spices are complex and theres not really much I can specifically pick out. Smells wonderful though

T: Subtle yet complex spicy notes accent the sweetness of the malt base. Fairly tart to begin with, but that quickly fades into the malts. Again, hard to really pick out what spices I'm getting, but they are very nice and work well together

M: Light-medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation that quickly removes any aftertaste. The carbonation level removes the overall taste almost too quickly to realize what the spices really do as well. I wish it was a little softer or not so carb'd

O: A very interesting and complex spiced beer that keeps you coming back for more. I wish I had more than the 8.45 oz. bottle, but that's all they had in stock. Definitely recommended

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 tekk9
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a nice golden amber color. An off-white head disappeared quickly but left a trace of itself. It smell earthy and spicy, but not overpowering. There is a hint of a woody smell. The flavor is wonderful. Not too sweet, but a little sweetness. I taste orange, but not citrusy. It definitely has an earthy taste upfront followed by a mild herby spiciness. It is medium bodied and nicely carbonated. Definitely a quality beer. For some reason it makes me crave Jamaican Jerk Chicken.

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 budgood1
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

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!

Photo of Parrotshake
4.19/5  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 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.

Baladin Nora from Birrificio Le Baladin
90 out of 100 based on 289 ratings.