Birrificio Le Baladin

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British Barleywine
Ranked #65
Ranked #6,589
4.3 | pDev: 7.67%
Birrificio Le Baladin
Reviews: 6 | Ratings: 22
Photo of SLeffler27
4.53/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Pours flat (SRM6-7). This is a lightly fogged, dark gold amber, similar to light honey. A thin film coats the Glenncairn snifter for a long time without leaving legs. There are a few bubbles around the edge, but no other evidence of carbonation or head. Opalescent highlights are mesmerizing.

The aroma opens with strong toffee, immediately followed by very strong oak tannens and a wild yeast characteristic. This is not brettanomtycies, but rather more of a vinegar aroma. Upon second notice, the aroma is more similar to Chianti with peppermint notes.

The flavor follows wine characteristics on full display. It is quite sweet with a light sourness. Caramel and toffee play off brown sugar. There is also apple cider and lots of earthy fruit as it warms. The finish is long, mild and fruity with a light, bitter nibble.

The very full body is soft and smooth as Jersey cotton. Alcohol is obvious, though without heat, and in no way overpowering. Faint carbonation may only be a false perception due to the alcohol. This beer is palate soothing.

Lune is highly enjoyable and best shared, though it would also work as a meditative beer or while reading in an imaginary old world library, with big oak tables, wing-back leather chairs and a crackling fire. This is reminiscent of Communion wine at times, and is from a vintage bottle 2010.

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Photo of bshefftz
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

When is a beer no longer a beer? Like the Terre, this 8-year-old beer was $40 a bottle and was totally flat. So again, like the Terre, it had an interesting flavor - sweet, fruity, with an alcohol bite to the finish - but drank more like a sipping sherry than a beer. Since this is, after all, a beer, even a hint of carbonation would have improved the drink. Should I have run it through a soda stream? (For the record, I do not have a soda stream...). Overall, I'm disappointed and wish I'd spent my money on something else.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
4.56/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

2010 and 2012 vintages side by side. 2010 is the better one, sweet and nutty. 2012 shows a more intense wine character, a lote more tart... both are good and unique. Almost worth the outrageous $46.99 price tag.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.93/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a flat clear amber color ale with no head and no lacing. Aroma of caramelized malt with sugary notes and some vinous notes. Taste is a complex mix of oak and caramelized malt, vinous notes with light dry toffee notes. Body is about average with light oily texture with some warming alcohol notes. Quite a unique and interesting beer with great level of complexity.

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Photo of jrenihan
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2010 and 2012 at the same time. Ratings for the 2012, which I prefer. Incredible nose. Caramel and toffee, some fruit. Flavour is similar but not quite as exciting. Booze is notable but not overly strong. Quite sweet but not cloying. Uncarbonated, heavy, syrupy. Great. 2010 good but not nearly as impactful.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.7/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

2012 bottle poured into a mini-snifter.

Pours a color akin to white grape juice but settles into the class a deep caramel color. No carbonation or head shows on the pour or once in the glass. Slight sediment is visible, but in general, the appearance here should be highly praised and appreciated for the viscous, oily quality it possesses. I can't wait to drink what will surely be a sticky, tongue-slathering beverage. 4.5

Sticky oaken toffee and caramel leap out of the glass. Leathery notes blend with what almost appears to be dark chocolate. The nose suggest booze or some heavier alcholic beverage but in a way that doesn't overwhelm the nose nor suggests this beer will be overrun by whatever its barrel-treatment. I could marvel at this smell for a while on its own. 4.5

Oh my. The nose was holding back. Wine notes hit the tongue first, followed by oak, caramel, toffee and brown sugar. The wine flavors have their own layers, lending some pear and honey to the mix. Each sip feels like an exploration of the Carlsbad Caverns, where the deeper I get, newer and greater splendor awaits. Hyperbole that is not. The finish offers a slight booze flavor and closes out with grapes, raisins and plums. And it lingers and lingers and I can practically stop drinking and just salivate and enjoy what has dilly-dallied throughout my mouth. 4.75

With the first sip, you'll get a wine-like quality in the mouth: a tad dry, fruity, approaching tart. Then come sweeter, rich, thicker elements that coat the mouth and stick around. Honestly, I can't find a flaw in how this feels. Even the slight booziness feels right at home and welcome. 5

I poured myself about 3-4 ounces of this and have well managed to savor that amount. But as I approach the end of this pour, I am highly tempted to just finish the bottle rather than save it for some special occasion down the line.

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Lune from Birrificio Le Baladin
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 22 ratings