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Noël | Birrificio Le Baladin

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NoëlNoël
BA SCORE
3.91/5
Very Good
128 Ratings
NoëlNoël
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Birrificio Le Baladin
Italy
birreria.com

Style: Belgian Strong Dark Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#14,798
Reviews:
75
Ratings:
128
pDev:
12.79%
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
17
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 128 |  Reviews: 75
Reviews by Douglas14:
Photo of Douglas14
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dense, hardly transparent dark ruby color with a nice, typical Belgian head that leaves little lace on the glass (tulip), leaving me a little perplexed. The strongest point of this beer is its aromas: sweet malt, dark fruits, oak, some citrus, and the most interesting; damp (like a cellar). The taste is great as well...typical of a strong dark Belgian: sweet malt, dark fruit, banana (from the yeast?), and a little bit of a chocolate/burnt note towards the end.

The Noel has a medium-full body and is drier than most Belgians - a nice trait that separates this beer from its peers. It is extremely well balanced which gives it amazing drinkablitly.

Overall, awesome beer. I don't know exactly why, but I think it's extra cool that it is a strong dark from Italy. A definite must have!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of Ochsenblut
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dated Nov 2010, this bottle is a little overdue. But considering the alcohol content and the storage condition, I think the review will be a fair one.

This beer is dark brown with a slight red hue. The head is khaki and subsides almost instantly, leaving a soda-like appearance.

Raisin, prune and what can only be described as freshly opened panettone (Italian fruitcake) pervade the senses. The taste is upfront and sweet. Its loaded with brown sugar notes, more raisin and tobacco. The alcohol is pretty well hidden and compliments the lingering tobacco taste. There is no hops presence to speak of, just malty sweetness. The aftertaste fades quickly to leave only a very faint reminder on the palate.

The malt profile is chewy and relatively thick, but the suspended carbonation makes it seem soda-like. This Christmas beer would have really benefited from lower carbonation.

Strictly speaking, Baladin Noel is an above average Christmas beer. It has most of the flavors closely associated with the season and the substantial body to carry them without feeling overwhelming. But as far as Yule-tide ales go, this one is lacks complexity and physical prowess. Finishing the bottle was easy, but I'm reticent to grab another.

 1,232 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of papat444
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From notes: Decent spices, pleasantly surprised by this one.

60 characters

Photo of timmy2b
4.06/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Quej
4.05/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark brown with a ruby red glow, chunky almost with lots of visible carbonation and laces quite nicely.
S - Smells sweet and malty, with lots of fruit flavours and a hint of sourness from the yeast.
T - Starts quite sweet and very malty, lots of flavours of dark fruit, cherries, blackberries and molassess. Has a dry quirky finish which helps to hide the high ABV.
M - Perhaps a bit overcarbonated, but nicely medium bodied, not too heavy.
D - Surprisingly decent for something so strong, dark and sweet.

 510 characters

Photo of mtbbaboon
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A friend of mine gave me a bottle of this, courtesy of his local beer club. I poured this into a Duvel tulip glass. Color is a dark brown. Moderate head that is rather fizzy. A good amount of sediment floats around the beer. A pretty good layer of lacing sticks to the glass.

Smells spicy up front. Dark fruit (grapes and figs) and sweet caramel malt, followed by a noticeable alcohol presence. The taste follows the nose. Rather sweet up front with a nice hop presence in there. As with the nose, the alcohol is noticeable in the taste. A bit of bitterness rounds out the flavor. A little more balance would be nice. Still a good tasting beer though. It's got a medium mouthfeel and is easy to drink, considering the style. Definitely a drinkable beer.

 755 characters

Photo of mltobin
3.84/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Griffith
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of deapokid
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of KAF
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of GatorBeerNerd
4.44/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This one puts the dark in dark ale. It is a very dark brown with amber highlights. The tan frothy head is about a finger thick at pour but quickly disappears to a thin covering across the top of the beer. It leaves minimal lacing as you drink it.

S: Wow, a lot of stuff going on in that aroma. You can smell the alcohol, fruity tones, and maybe a hint of chocolate. It smells in a strange way similar to a fig newton so maybe that is one of the fruits used. One of the most interesting aromas I can recall in a beer.

T: The fig shows up in the taste. Sweet candied sugars are present in the taste as well. The alcohol comes though a bit but not as much as expected with a 9% ABV. There seems to be just a small flavor of coffee as well which matches the smell. It is a very tasty brew with a lot of flavors, but I still wouldn't refer to it as complex which is why I gave it a 4.5.

M: Its a moderate thickness in the mouth, and has a nice level of on mouth carbonation. It is enjoyable to roll on the tongue.

D: For a 9% Belgian Strong Dark it is extremely drinkable. The after taste is just as good as the initial sip. If not for the warming affect of the ABV this one would be easily drinkable.

 1,203 characters

Photo of dsa7783
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 Pint, 9.4 fl oz, round, large bottle purchased from Super Saver in Somerville for $10.99...
Pours a deep, purple-colored hue with no carbonation or any head at all... barely any lacing around the glass, just a dark, blackish color with not much going on...
Very noticeable grape smell, with slight cherries and a hint of raisins...
Taste resembled the aroma, very similar flavor to a strong, spiked, malty, sour, grape juice that went down pretty smooth and lacked any strong alcohol interferences... Like many other Italian beers that I see in New Jersey, this one was also ridiculously over-priced and the cost mostly has to do with the "exotic" Italian factor... This isn't a superb beer to say the least - more mediocore than anything, and certainly not the best depiction of the style...
Not bad, but nothing above and beyond either...
For the price, it would be hard to recommend this one, yet at the same time, I wasn't completely dissapointed...

 955 characters

Photo of clayrock81
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured a somewhat brownish black body (not completely black) with good head and lace retention. A rather complex nose because I seem to pick up dark fruits like raisins and black cherry as well as some yeast, minor hopiness and then some sweetness that seems to be beyond caramel. Not the most complex beer but it's a light to medium body, not really chewey but there's some sturdiness there, is actually pretty smooth, some more raisins, dark/black cherries, hints of figs, some caramel or candi sugar sweetness comes out and then it has a spicy finish. A rather interesting beer that was worth a shot.

 603 characters

Photo of leroybrown10
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a dark amber with a one finger light tan head. Deep ruby color when held to the light.

Smells of cocoa, licorice, figs and dates. Some spice notes of nutmeg and cinnamon.

Taste is more cocoa and spice. Some dark fruits, molasses and caramel. A hint of vanilla.

Rich, smooth mouth feel with medium carbonation.

A good beer which has a Christmas feel and taste to it.

 378 characters

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of paco1029384756
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown color, with small, lasting head.

Scent of prunes, malts, slight chocolate, and spices.

Flavor is spicy with a subtle chocolate taste initially. Spicy grain flavor with the finish.

Mouth feel is clean with a nice bite.

I did enjoy this beer, but I do not think I will purchase it again at the price.

 321 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
3.74/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark brown with a small head.
Nose shows golden syrup, brown sugar, candi sugar, sultanas. Very sweet smelling.
Very similar flavours. Lots of rich sweet notes. Bready malt, golden syrup, dried figs and soft booze.
Needs more carbonation to help cut the overt sweetness.

 276 characters

Photo of randylangford
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Churchkey. Served in a snifter.

Pours a moderate brown color with just a touch of a reddish hue. A bit of head and lacing, but not as much as I'd expect for the style. The nose carries a good bit of Belgian yeast plus a light touch of spice. Nothing too complex or interesting, though it's fairly well done. Flavor is about the same. Not really much of a noel beer. Medium body and good carbonation. Not bad, but not something that I would seek out again.

 466 characters

Photo of nick76
3.26/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is sweet and yeasty with some chocolate. The appearance is brown with a large head. The flavor is like the aroma with plenty of alcohol for a 9%. The palate is thin. Overall it's pretty good but not that impressive. These beers have nice bottles but that just leads to frustration with the beer.

 305 characters

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of corby112
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark amber/ chestnut-brown color with a huge tan foam head. Spicy aroma with hints of dark fruit, pepper, malt, cinnamon and alcohol. Flavor consists of a roasted maltiness mixed with a creamy dark fruit presence. Hints of cherry, plum, raisin, candi sugar and pepper.

 281 characters

Photo of ricke
3.38/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown with a pale beige head. Some lacings.

S: Dark malts, ripe fruits, powdered cocoa, mild spices, caramel and hints of plastic phenols.

T: The taste is sweet with notes of caramel malts, ripe fruits, spices and sweet alcohol. The finish is mildly bitter with notes of spicy alcohol and herbal hops. The taste is not as big as the smell had me to believe. Slightly unbalanced due to too the alcohol being too powerful.

M: Medium body, smooth mouthfeel.

D: A good beer, but it lacks a little complexity and the alcohol is too prominent. Also, it felt like it developed poorly in the glass.

 603 characters

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Noël from Birrificio Le Baladin
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 128 ratings