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Baladin Nora | Birrificio Le Baladin

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Baladin NoraBaladin Nora
342 Ratings
Baladin NoraBaladin Nora

Brewed by:
Birrificio Le Baladin

Style: Herbed / Spiced Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.80%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This Egyptian inspired brew is spiced with ginger, myrrh, and orange peel ... very complex.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-01-2002

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 342 |  Reviews: 148
Photo of Ralphs66
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of putnam
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

 1,080 characters

Photo of pohldogg356
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of splendidsplinter
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of andrewlampert
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of inebrius
5/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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.

Get it!

 697 characters

Photo of diegominach
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of Vylo
4.97/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Opened this bottle with low expectations. I've been burned before with beers from italy, so I wasn't sure about this one.

Color was golden. Light head, but still looked healthy.

Smell was citrus, apples and oranges came to mind.

Taste was... a blast. Very smooth, complex and pleasant. I was expecting something totally different.

Mouthfeel was very well balanced. Good carbonation, went down easy.

Overall this has suddenly jumped into my top 5 beers. Highly recommended to have with bread/crackers. Absolutely delicious.

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Photo of sprat1960
4.96/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Dark, cloudy, unfiltered appearance. Orange-brown in color. Wonderful sweet smell. Delicious full citrus, spicy flavor. Minimal carbonation, fairly flat. Full bodied feel in the month; fairly heavy. Great flavor. Delicious. I had two glasses when at a restaurant tonight and want more!

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Photo of mht11
4.9/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Let's start with the bottle. It sets up the whole experience with Nora. It's a unique shape for a unique beer. The beer itself is exquisite, smooth and highly drinkable. So far I have tried Nora and Super and overall I am quite impressed with this brewery.

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Photo of sublimesipping
4.82/5  rDev +20.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured into a standard italian table wine glass and drunk from the apartment terrace in Spolleto, May 2011. Have been seeking to further my Baladin education and this one is the best for me so far. The complexities begin with the nose, honeyed sour sweet, excellent head on the pour, great glass lacing, the belgian yeast makes for a candied carbonation. the first sip discerns a taste profile that reminds me of Duvel, only deeper richer. The color and the glass lacing are the same but a more complex flavor profile; wasn't sure of the spice notes, thought ginger and per BA I guess I am right othe spices I cannot identify but find this beer extremely, extremely drinkable and balanced. Great finish makes me more than ready for the next sip. No discernable alchohol burn, the beer is so smooth. Would pair with a fish or chicken couscous, would be so yummy. A great eye-opening beer from a game-changing and ever-evolving brewery.

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Photo of bditty187
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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 Baladin’s website but that didn’t 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 don’t 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! Haven’t 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 haven’t seen it in my usual hangouts (not in Nebraska because we don’t get shit here, I mean in Kansas City or Iowa City). I purchased this bottle in Burnsville, MN. Unforgettable. World Class.

 2,713 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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...

 1,747 characters

Photo of sanhedrin
4.76/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

S: Interesting. Was a bit colder than it should have been when I started, and didn't really give up much to the nose. As it opened a malty sweetness became apparant. Didn't really catch the spices in the aroma, though.

M: Light, fizzy.

T: My first reaction was... celery seed? Even cold the spices came through nicely. I don't know what's in there, exactly, but it sure is good. There's a hint of sourness in the background but nothing on the level of a Lambic. Maybe a little coriander in there? Very interesting stuff. Like a Flemish Red crossed with Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray. Finishes very dry. Delicious, super-drinkable. I don't usually associate spiced beers with "summer brews" but this one was crazy refreshing on a blazing hot day. Would go great with Indian food, I think. Definitely be buying more of this one...

 820 characters

Photo of AxesandAnchors
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of soulcougher
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of marburg
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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.

 681 characters

Photo of Gww1864
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of watchnerd
4.71/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer almost defies classification. Good head that deflates quickly, rich if murky color, and HUGE chunks of yeast upon pouring. Not much lacing. Some say it is best with food, but I think the opposite: drink this by itself to get the full experience. Not much hop presence, if any. Aromas of rose water, nutmeg, and feminine musk. A bit like sniffing panties while drinking beer.

 384 characters

Photo of becktone
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From notes 9-14-09

Eye: This one pours a very hazy, copper-amber-orange color. Body is active with carbonation, and the head fromation and retention is decent. I'm looking at an off white head, creamy in texture, and smallish in size. Not really much to complain about, head could be a bit bigger, but this is fine. It works. Looks nice overall...combined with the aroma this one looks very appetizing.

Nose: Huge nose, fills the room. Big sweet malt aroma fills the room as it is poured. Up close this thing is spiced...not absolutely what spice it is right off the bat, but I can definitely tell that this has something in it that don't come from fermentation or "normal" ingredients...Can't quite put a finger on what this is...reminds me of an incense cone I had that my brother got me from germany...it used to go inside a little man that was poised rolling round a barrel of beer smoking a pipe, the smoke came out his mouth....Well it smells like that in a way, wood, but not oak, more like pine, but fresh and green. Not citrusy pine either. I love the smell of this beer. Underneath, if you look there is a sweet malt backbone. I really like the way this one smells.

Tongue: More malt comes out in the flavor than in the nose. That spice is still there. The oakiness or that fragrant incense dominates the finish. The middle of this one seems a little bland, but the front and the finish make up for it. Sweet and malty upfront, kinda just gone in the middle and at the end that incense, piney oakish flavor. I'm sersioulsy thinking that this is gonna be on my top list for spiced beers, different than pumpkin ales though. This is completely differnt. I really like this one. Great. Highly recommended if you're looking for something different. A step away from beer yet at the same time very beerish. Awesome!

Feel and Drinkability: Body is medium-heavy with low carbonation. Alcohol seems to creep through a bit. Low carbonation helps to complete this one. Upon closer inspection I think that the warmth from the alcohol and the spices-especially the oakiness/piney/fragrant incense-gives off a minty type of deal, like a menthol cigarette, but not as obnoxious or as strong. This is one that I'll gladly drink the rest of and will be on the look out for again. Such a unique beer, if you see this grab it.

 2,325 characters

Photo of WyoCoyote
4.66/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Not a big spiced ale fan, but if they were all like this one it might change my mind

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Photo of fluffypaste
4.64/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Photo of ZappaCat
4.63/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Get a e-newsletter from my favorite beer store every week, and the description for this beer grabbed me enough to check out BA reviews. I can say this was one of the rare occasions I bought a beer based solely on the reviews I read on this site.

I was not let down!

Sexy looking bottle with a trendy label had a stay fresh cap (seals the bottle with a plastic nipple thing on the underside). Cracked and poured into an imperial pint glass. Hazy medium gold color with a splash of reddish in the bulbier part of the glass. Carbonation is alive and loud, dissipating quickly like a fresh cracked 2 liter of Coke would when poured into a glass. No lacing to speak of, but this is certainly still a quality beer.

Aroma is lightly spiced, floral, and slightly citrusy. I can't help but think of Allagash's tripel when sniffing this one. Now I'm excited.

Flavor is awesome! Splashes onto the middle of your tongue and the flavor creeps outwards to the sides. Spices are notable, but never overpowering. Again, I'm reminded of an Allagash, but with a slightly 'flatter' flavor and mouthfeel. Hops never come to the forefront, but there is a similar complexity in the flavor that keeps things interesting. Every sip tastes a bit different. Some pulls are citrusy, others spicy. Keeps you guessing and leaves you smiling.

This beer is a a total pleasure to drink. At 6.8% ABV, it would be all too easy to drink two or three if the price tag wasn't a bit on the steep side (12 or 13 dollars if I recall correctly). I originally chose a 4 for "drinkability" in the pull down menu above, but as I've been sipping on this fine ale and writing this review, I moved it first up to 4.5 and then finally to 5. I'd recommend this brew to anyone, whether they be a fan of beer in general, or even a wine connoisseur. This is certainly one for anybody who loves the "spiced" style. Drink up. Amazing!

 1,885 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Bavarian Lodge in Lisle, IL

Poured a moderate gold with a few orange highlights. Plenty of visible carbonation bubbles. The nose is full of spices, along with some citrus and a tiny bit of earthiness. Flavor takes it up another notch with loads of well-balanced spice and intricacies. Very complex. Mouthfeel is good with the right amount of carbonation. Excellent drinkability, as the brew is intense yet quite quaffable.

 437 characters

Photo of MostlyNorwegian
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

11.2 oz bottle served into a Reidel wine glass.
A wheat beer with a blend of myrrh, ginger and orange that is like incense in a glass for the nose. The wheat gives it a clean followthrough for the mouth with a gentle carbonation which doesn't over power.
Take your time with this. It is a sipper.

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Baladin Nora from Birrificio Le Baladin
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 342 ratings
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