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Noël | Birrificio Le Baladin

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NoëlNoël
BA SCORE
3.91/5
Very Good
127 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:
No notes at this time.

Added by SixpointJMH on 12-28-2003

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#8,915
Reviews:
75
Ratings:
127
pDev:
12.79%
Bros Score:
3.63
 
 
Wants:
7
Gots:
17
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
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Ratings: 127 |  Reviews: 75
Photo of Sammy
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big head, lots of lace. Foremost taste is cola, chestnut, carmelization, honeyish, some roast. Very drinkable, carbonation right there. Brown, very malty, with a little acidic in the finish. Some dark fruit. A bit alcohol warming. Slightly above average mouthfeel.
Mike's bottle from Italy, via Jason. Drunk exactly three years after bottling.

 343 characters

Photo of kylehay2004
3/5  rDev -23.3%

Photo of jaydoc
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

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

let me just preface this by saying that i love all the italian beer flooding the market right now, and my curiosity is through the roof, so it is with great enthusiasm that i get into this one, my first of these on tap, thanks to lucky pie in louisville. its got a nice red color to it, like that almost maroon red you see in old renderings of saint nick's coat. deep burgundy sort of, short lived off white head. it smells like dried cherries or cranberries, tart and sweet, but not wild yeasts really so much as a fruity tartness. the grain is heavy, but you would still never suppose 9% abv on this one. its creamy and well carbonated, and tastes like red malt, even rice starchiness, dried fruit, saison type yeast, and a mild spiced character. its perfect winter beer, unlike others, but fits neatly within the baladin family of beers i have had so far. one was enough, two tops, but i appreciate its uniqueness, which has been a common theme with their beers. worth trying for sure, and with longevity beyond the holiday season i think.

 1,042 characters

Photo of Knapp85
3.77/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a large bottle of this along with the Al-iksir at Shangy's in Emmaus. My intent was to buy this and hold onto it until Christmas time with the family. The bottle had a sticker indicating that it was bottled in 2005. This beer pours out as a nut brown color, there are hundreds of little flakes floating around in the beer. As they settled to the bottle it formed a blanket of white flakes in the bottom of the glass. The beer smelled a little spicy, some roasted notes as well. The taste of the beer was a little nutty, but primarily had some yeasty flavors in it along with some spice in the aftertaste. The mouthfeel of the beer had a good amount of carbonation left to it. Overall it was pretty good, Wouldn't need to have it again but it was fun to try.

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Photo of BEERchitect
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Celebrating the holiday season Italian-style! Turns out its a lot like Belgian-style as the ale opens up with the familiar fruit and spice interplay as those darker, richer Belgian Trappist ales and with a familiar candied malt base. It warms the spirit, soothes the mind and makes families much more tolerable.

As the beer settles, it does so with the rusty, reddish-brown hue that casts subtle highlights through its yeasty veil. Its foam is eggshell-white as the creamy bubbles amass a blanket of froth that shields the beer from top to bottom throughout the session. The ale creeps along, leaving denoting concentric rings of lace in its memory.

Fruity and malty aromas align in the nose with raisins, dates, figs and cherries. Throw in the orchard fruit varieties of apples and berries for good measure, allowing a vinous red wine note to permit. The fruit is pulled together with lightly seared caramel and brown sugar for a taste that strikes the nose as "fruitcake" like. Spicy white pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg sides with the alcohol for a balance that seems like spiced rum.

Soft and supple to taste, the ale simply melts on the tongue with creamy sweetness- starting off with the sweetness of powdered sugar, light molasses, mildly toasted coffee cake and slight brown sugar. As the taste of dried dark fruit fold into the mix, its nutty date, fig, sultan and cherry flavors reinforce the fruitcake notion. And all those Christmas-type spices do much the same as the fruity-sweetness is in much need of balance. But the ale trails spicy and slightly wine-like as a tangy and tannin-like finish looms.

Only medium-full on the palate, the sweetness would imply richer texture, but the soft and creamy carbonation keeps the beer silky and somewhat "feathery". As alcohol as spice builds, drier impressions are left on the back of the tongue until the finish is left with only echoes of cola nut, toasted grain and mulled spice warmth.

Where greater amplification of the ale overall would aid its vividness, its delicate mouthfeel is what is truly intangible. It simply does what the Rochefort, St. Bernardus and Westvleteren of the world do. We have a winner based on palate sensations alone!

 2,207 characters

Photo of brentk56
3.59/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy mahogany color with a distinctive head that hangs around for the duration and leaves splotchy lace all over the chalice

Smell: Lots of interesting fruit and spice flavors mix together - green apple, cherry and raisins on the fruit side and cinnamon and tobacco on the spice front; still, I cannot say I love the aroma

Taste: Fruity at the outset, with raisins and green apples that lead to a destinctively sour note by mid-palate; after the swallow, I pick up maraschino cherry and pear flavors, as well as tobacco and rum; oddly, some swallows are decent and others are marred by the phenolics

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body with lots of carbonation

Drinkability: I had high hopes for this one and, while it is pretty interesting, I am not sure I want to spend the $ to try it again

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a deep clear ruby color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with light dry fruits and fruity ester is quite enjoyable. Taste is a well balanced mix between some caramel Belgian malt with balanced sweetness, dry fruits and light fruity ester in the finish. Body is about average with good carbonation with no signs of alcohol. Well done but additional body and spices could have benefited this beer.

 472 characters

Photo of oberon
4.18/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep deep brown murky brown alot of chunks and floatys with a creamy-like off white head that leaves a nice ring of lace behind as it settles.Aromas of roasted nuts and spiced cake mainly ginger and clove with some alcohol thrown in,wow this brew is rich dark fruit soaked in spiced rum is what I really get in the palate but not overly sweet has a drier finish to it wich is nice.Sharp alcohol hits more in the finish as I drink more and as it warms.This is a late night winter sipper not a middle of the afternoon summer brew but I'll drink it anytime a damn fine beer like the others from Baladin that I have had.

One other note I notice a real chesnut presence as well in the aftertaste as I drink more,man this is good.

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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.

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Photo of smithj4
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of russpowell
4.19/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours mahogany with chestnut hints around the wide edges of my orval goblet with one finger of sand colored head. Very good lacing & a healthy film left on top

S: Bready with some pheonlic notes

T: Chocolate, bready, with fruittyness (dates, figs) up front. Leather, brown sugar, coffee, & oakyness follow. Iron, dryness & a little warming booze show up later. Finishes with a hint of expresso, dryness, breadyness & oakyness

MF: Medium-bodied with low carbonation

Drinks pretty easy for the abv, a nice fireside sipper. Easily the most comples & probably best (la rossa when good might give this a challenge) Italian bierra I've ever had! At $6.50 a 25oz bottle, a great deal! I know freshness & aging are factors, but this kicked many belgians & american clones right in the arse!

 795 characters

Photo of Jason
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of rolltide8425
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of JAHMUR
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of imperialking
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of jwc215
4.57/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours mahogany/ruby with a head that sticks around and leaves lacing on the glass.

The smell is rich, complex and certainly inviting. Winter spices with plums and maple - almost port-like. Slight warming alcohol.

The taste is of sweetened dark fruits - plums and black cherries. A plethora of well-mixed winter spices mix in. A touch of caramel also comes through. But, does not become overly sweet due an earthy, almost nutty taste that balances it out in the back. Alcohol is well-hidden, but a touch comes through to warm things up.

The feel is a smooth, almost airy, medium body. Almost chamagne-like.

This is complex, wintery (but not too heavy) - a nice holiday-time treat.

 691 characters

Photo of liamt07
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a very dark red brown with a two finger fine light tan head with good retention and lacing. Looks nice. Belgian strong ale aroma, dark and light fruit, sweet malt and Belgian yeast a spicing. Flavor of sweet caramel malt, dark and light fruit, a hint of citrus. A hint of cinnamon and cloves. Very nicely integrated flavors and a taste. Skates to the edge of being too sweet, but the flavors carry the sweetness. Medium bodied with sharp, active carbonation. I liked this quite a bit.

 529 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750ml
Gold Foil/Capped

Poured into a chalice a pretty nice dark brown color, with some nice carbonation, with a small/quick fizzy off-white head, which leaves a nice medium size island, and some sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, with some pretty nice dark fruits (grapes, figs, raisins, plums). The taste is very nice, malty, yeasty, with some very nice dark fruits. Medium body, ABV is hidden pretty well. Overall, this is a pretty tasty brew.

 460 characters

Photo of drabmuh
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Beer on tap at Churchkey, beer is brown and mostly clear but no head, low carbonation, no lacing.

Aroma is a little weak, mild spice, some malt, some yeast / breadiness.

Beer is about as thin as a beer can get. I forget I'm drinking while I'm drinking it. Odd, very odd, minimal flavors too, just too watery for me. Decent finish though. I won't have it again.

 362 characters

Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of afsdan
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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

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Noël from Birrificio Le Baladin
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 127 ratings
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