Baladin Nora | Birrificio Le Baladin

BA SCORE
90
outstanding
334 Ratings
Baladin NoraBaladin Nora
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Birrificio Le Baladin
Italy
birreria.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
334
Reviews:
146
Avg:
4.04
pDev:
11.14%
 
 
Wants:
77
Gots:
56
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 334 |  Reviews: 146
Photo of acurtis
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of kylehay2004
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of kjkinsey
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.99/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have been getting really really into the Italians lately, and these guys are among the best. this is a cool little beer, definitely overpriced, but they all are I feel like from Italy. a wheat base it feels like, hazy and just bronzed a little, with a tall white head. it smells herbal, but I cant place any of the herbs. its not quite tea, not quite dried flowers, not quite citrusy, but in proximity to all of that. still it seems simpler than that on the taste, delicate for sure, with a really distinct and pungent yeast strain and a definitely fruit quality in the finish. a touch of sweetness like clover honey brings it together, and the hops are like dried straw in a field. carbonation is awesome, feel is rich and round for what it is. I had a really hard time picking out exactly what the spices in here were, but the whole is a really nice drink. I wish we could get four packs of this for what single bottles cost, that's my only complaint

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Photo of Knapp85
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out with a hazy golden color and a decent sized white fizzy head on top. The lacing is nowhere to be seen and the retention is gone within minutes also. The smell of the beer is sweet, a little boozy with some nice soft wheat like aromas. The taste of this beer is spicy, it has elements of pepper, and it also has some hints of apple and orange in there. The spices really set this off. The mouthfeel has a bit of a sting to it. The tastebuds are left tingling and dry after each sip. Overall I found this brew to be really interesting. If the price tsg was a little lower I could see myself buyin this one again in a heartbeat.

 641 characters

Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of metter98
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is very hazy golden yellow in color. It poured with a quarter finger high white head that died down, leaving a patch of bubbles in the center and a thin collar around the edge of the glass
S: Moderate aromas of woody herbs and ginger are present in the nose.
T: The taste mostly follows the smell and also has some added notes of spices and orange peels towards the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer has an interesting mix of herbs and spices, but these aren't overpowering. It is a nice one to sip and savor.

 603 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
3.65/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Delicate yet complex, this Saison-ish style beer has a bold acidic tone that chases a fruity/estery flavor from sip 'til finish.

The beer opens with an effervescent and lively pour of copper/amber hue. Medium haze allows for a slight glow. After the carbonation moderates, the beer remains relatively still with low head retention or lace.

Fruity aromas of apples, pears, and orange are met with acidic vinous character and light notes of white pepper, curacco, and cumin.

Flavors of fruit, spice, and white wine allow for a complex layering of flavor, but only medium in intensity. This allows for maximum drinkability but leaves the beer somewhat limited. These flavors are a direct result of the character of the nose, but with the peppery notes and tea-like herbal flavors comming to life along with a honeyish sweetness and late graininess (aided by the acidity and mineral taste).

Dryness of the acids and carbonation gives a spicy and snappy finish after the fullness of the bubbly senesation first. The mid palate is firm and medium that allows for a characterful transition from the early expansion to the late spicy dryness.

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Photo of brentk56
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear golden color with head that fluffs up billowy and then disappears quickly without much of a remembrance

Smell: Ginger, honey, a touch of funky yeast, and myrhh (I guess)

Taste: Starts with a spicy, ginger and citrus flavor that continues to build through the finish; mid-palate the sweet and sour flavors battle it out with the sour ultimately dominating (not sour like a lambic, but sour like a sweet tart); all kinds of interesting sub-flavors such as apple, chamomile, apricot and honey to name a few

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied and a touch under-carbonated

Drinkability: Lots of unusual and interesting flavors goign on; hard to drink the whole bottle, however

 708 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear light golden color ale with a large pure white foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of sweet malt with some light fruity notes. Taste is sweeter then expected with a solid malt backbone and some light fruity ester. Body is quite full with good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Well brewed though too sweet for my own taste and different malt are hard to distinguish.

 415 characters

Photo of zestar
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of DrBier
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Thorpe429
4.62/5  rDev +14.4%
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 oberon
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to say the bottle is what got my attention right away but the beer itself stole the show,pours a hazy orange/golden with a nice blooming head that leaves some decent lacing.Aroma is yeasty,spicey,citruisy just a mix of some really good stuff.Taste is almost a cross between a Belgain Pale and a German Hefe Weizen spicey and clovey with a yeasty sweetness to it with a great citruisy fruity taste that lingers and gives it a great aftertaste.Wow what a great brew and incredibly easy to drink for the alcohol content I wish I would have bought more,next trip to Premiere Gourmet in Buffalo and Iam grabbing three or four.

 628 characters

Photo of jlindros
4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big creamy head, nice lacing, hazy yeast chunk murky orange

Nose floral malts, golden Belgian malts, sweet floral orange candy, esters, faint phenol

Taste sweet candy malt, candi sugar, orange candy, floral citrus and fruity esters, juicy, little biscuit toasted grainy malt, touch bitterness.

Mouth is to fuller bod, decent carb

 333 characters

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice presentation in a custom shaped and embossed 25.4 oz bottle with a nice label. It pours a slightly hazy golden-peach body topped by a full and frothy white head that holds quite well. The nose is perfumey, floral, mildly spicy (ginger) and lightly fruity (apricot) with a gentle touch of alcohol. Very clean. It's medium body combines with a fine carbonation to create a gently creamy mouthfeel. The flavor displays a strong floral character, gentle spice and light fruit over a softly sweet malt. It finishes dry with a light touch of malt and a delicate spiciness (ginger). A very clean and somewhat complex ale that's well done and quite enjoyable.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.01/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A:Pours a cloudy dark peach/apricot to copper in color with moderate amounts of small black yeast particles in suspension along with light amounts of visible carbonation and some dark orange highlights. The beer has a finger tall off-white head that quickly reduces to a large patch of extremely thin film and a thin ring at the edges of the glass. Light to moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Light to moderate aromas of citrus/orange rind, ginger, and myrrh. Additionally, there are slightly stronger aromas of spicy black pepper and lighter notes of honey. Just a touch of yeast.

T: Upfront there is a light amount of pale malts and Belgian yeast (similar to a Belgian Pale Ale) which is then followed by the interesting herbal/spicy notes. First there is a strong flavor of spicy black pepper and some honey sweetness. That is followed by ginger, citrus/orange rind, and myrrh.

M: Just heavier than light bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Slightly dry in the finish.

O: This is pretty interesting as the beer initially has a smell like a Belgian pale ale that then the spicy notes really come out and take over. The taste is similar to the smell and there is quite a bit of complexity to both. Enjoyable but not sure that I could have more than one of these in a session.

 1,307 characters

Photo of mendvicdog
3/5  rDev -25.7%

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.6/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hugely hazy, heavily flaked apricot. It looks like Birrificio Le Baladin chose not to filter out the ingredients that make Nora unique. The yellowed bone white head doesn't look great. Never large to begin with, it falls unceremoniously and doesn't look especially attractive in the process. In addition, it doesn't possess the stickiness that would allow it to provide a decent display of lace.

The nose is truly unique. My first, fleeting thought was Belgian pale ale, but the spiciness isn't very clove-like. Since I know what ginger and orange peel smell like, I must be smelling myrrh. That particular ingredient makes the beer smell like incense more than anything else (I'm transported back to Easter in church when I was a kid). It's interesting, but I think I'd prefer ginger or orange peel... which are nowhere to be found by the way.

Nora is a little more to my liking on the palate, mostly because the myrrh isn't so damned prominent. It's much more beer-like now. I'm still not thrilled, however. Even though the added ingredients virtually guarantee that there's nothing quite like Nora in the world of beer, originality and uniqueness, in and of themselves, have never been enough to impress me.

The beer is sweet and sour in nearly equal measure, reminiscent of an off-kilter saison. There's no real funk per se, but then myrrh is a bit funky all by its lonesome. I still don't pick up much ginger; it must have been added by the thimbleful. A whacked-out wit is also a valid comparison, thanks to the unmalted kamut (a cousin of wheat) and the tart orange peel.

Interesting, odd, different... all apply to the flavor profile. Unfortunately, it doesn't add up to delicious. Good? Debatable. Great? Not a chance. Maybe I'm just not in sync with some of these wacky Italian beers. Cassissona didn't knock my socks off, and Nora (although I like it a bit better) isn't out of this world.

The body/mouthfeel is both light and lightly sticky. It's hard to know just how big the body on an herbed/spiced beer should be, so it's hard to know if this one measures up. It works, I guess, but more heft and more viscosity would help give a little pleasure where the flavor comes up short. Carbonation is fine.

Nora is yet another unique Italian beer that doesn't live up to its reputation from where I sit. Any brewery can come up with a list of ingredients that sounds interesting on paper, but turning it into worthwhile beer is a whole 'nother matter. Maybe Super Baladin will be what I'm looking for.

 2,517 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of smcolw
4.04/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Short lived head which settles to barest of rim bubbles. No lace. The color is a dirty amber/dark tan. Cloudy.

The aroma features almonds, fermented honey, and toasted caramel. I get a mild metallic nose.

Semisweet with some definitive unfermented sugars. I get a strong flavor of honey. The spice is subtle and complex. This fades on the swallow where the warmth of alcohol comes on strongly. Full bodied with the sugar base but the carbonation is also elevated. The aftertaste is short and reminiscent of the aftermath from a hard candy.

 543 characters

Photo of Jason
4.18/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Artsy dark green 750 ml bottle with a freshness date stamped on the back label.

Appearance: Glowing hazy amber orange, decent lacing is all that comes from the slightly fizzy head.

Smell: Flower water, big on the ginger and wafting citrus in the nose. Fruity and spicy knock the nostrils over.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Solid crisp carbonation with a fluffy moderate body, sweet and spicy but more spicy than sweet. Blanket of ginger and a floral flavour extends wide … rose water. Spicy even more with a clove flavour or just a big spicy herbal and phenolic flavour on the tongue. Hops are in the shuffle but seem lost. Long bitter finish of yeast and spice. There is some thick husky graininess there, dry and soft in the after taste.

Drinkability & Notes: Extra points for being some damn interesting, so flavourful and expressive that it annihilated my taste buds for the rest of the night. I’d like to do a side by side tasting with Midas Touch from Dogfish Head and see what comes of it.

 1,011 characters

Photo of Gagnonsux
3.63/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

03/04 is stamped on the back of the bottle, don't know if that is a bottling date or a drink-by date. The Baladin website says this is modeled off of an ancient Egyptian beer, that's very cool in my book. Nora is cloudy peach-orange in color, the head is short and creamy. The aroma is lightly sweet and of orange peels. The smell also contains just a tiny bit of spice. The taste is lightly sweet and citrusy. Spices are noted as a means to balance out the beer. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth which leads to great drinkability. This seems like a good choice for summertime.

 575 characters

Photo of vfgccp
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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Baladin Nora from Birrificio Le Baladin
4.04 out of 5 based on 334 ratings.
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