Birrificio Le Baladin

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Belgian Strong Dark Ale
Ranked #137
Ranked #16,703
3.88 | pDev: 12.89%
Birrificio Le Baladin
Very Good
Reviews: 135 | Ratings: 267 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of VoxRationis
4.26/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Decanted from an 11.2 oz (330 ml) bottle into a Teku glass at Scalini Osteria in Bronxville, NY; production information not clear to me, but code stamp 019/180-5 (produced some time in 2019?).
A: Pours a hazy amber color with ochre highlights, a one finger, off white head, spotty cap retention, and limited lacing.
S: Slightly tangy/tart. Aromas of caramel, honeysuckle, and whiskey, largely.
T: Semisweet and slightly tart. Flavor from caramel, molasses, cocoa, honey, and definitely whiskey. A bit boozy, actually. Bitterness sufficient to keep it from becoming too sweet.
M: Medium bodied with strong carbonation. Creamy and smooth.
O: This is a really flavor forward interpretation of a Belgian Strong Dark Ale. Lighter while retaining complexity and stood up to/complemented Osso buco extremely well. Really enjoyed it.

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Photo of drtth
4.14/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The slightly hazy reddish dark amber colored beer pours out into a Duvel glass with a 1/2” finely bubbled light tan head that recedes very slowly to a cap and then to a thin island of foam on the liquid while leaving a ring and some patches of foam on the sides. Sipping creates a couple of arches and several patches of foam that cling to the sides of the glass.

The aromas include some fruits and some biscuity malt. The fruits include some apricot, some green apple, banana and orange. In addition, there’s also some vanilla, some almond and some floral character.

The flavors are much as expected from the nose with the biscuity malt, the almonds and the fruits showing up front. The fruits include apricots, green apple, orange and banana. In the background there’s both some malt sweetness and some light earthy, grassy bitterness from the hops.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and smooth with some finely bubbled light carbonation. The fairly long finish begins as the fruit flavors and malt sweetness slowly begin fade, to be followed by the vanilla and almonds that also fade to leave behind the very light earthy, grassy bitterness that eventually closes the show.

Overall I’d say this is an enjoyable and drinkable beer. The aroma/flavor profile is complex and interesting. The light bitterness is just enough to ensure that the sweetness does not cloy. I’d be happy to have this one again.

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Photo of woodychandler
4.07/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

We are right in the heart of the 2018 Winter Olympics & as such, I am delving into my foreign/import stash to venture into worldwide territory.

From the bottle: "Amber Beer"; "Floral"; "Bottle-conditioned".

I Pop!ped the cap & began a slow, gentle pour into the awaiting glass. Knowing that it was bottle-conditioned, I left some of it in the bottle for a final pour after the bulk of the review was completed. Unbidden, it formed a dense, one-finger cap of foamy, tawny head that simply refused to dissipate. Color was Deep Amber/Light Copper to Copper (SRM = > 13, < 17) with NE-quality clarity. Nose was very sweet, obviously malt-driven, with notes of almonds and bananas. Mmm. Mouthfeel was creamy & full. The taste was not as sweet as the nose had led me to gird myself for. Instead, the nutty almond-like taste was prevalent with just a touch of banana-like sweetness. It was obvious that the yeast had done its job. I have to say, I think that it should be identified as a Belgian Strong Dark Ale, given its coloring and the way that it fits this site's style description. Finish was dry, quite nutty, slightly musty from the yeast & very tasty. As to that last, I found myself drinking through it rather quickly, perhaps more quickly than I should have at its ABV, so be warned that it also has that quality. The last pour from the bottle was muddy, as expected. i adhere to a "Waste not, want not" mentality, plus I find that the lees keep me a regular guy. The nuttiness was a little more pronounced on the nose. The taste was both nutty and bananas & that was making me crazy! Ha. That marks a good place to stop.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.16/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On-draught @ Baladin Open Torino for 4.50 euro.

Has a darker malt backbone than suits the style usually, bending bready. Belgian yeast is obvious, but the complexity of its spiciness is limited, if not replaced by the stronger presence of a doughy flavour. Belgian pale malts, maybe some Caramalt or caraMunich. Apple. Vague indistinct fruit. Average depth of flavour. Not much intricacy or nuance here.

Texture is medium-bodied, smooth, and soft.

Not strong work from Baladin, but drinkable. I definitely wouldn't want to buy it at export prices, but I do like it for the simple Belgian style ale that it is and it hides its ABV decently.


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Photo of TonyLema1
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

L: copper color, thin tan head, cloudy
S: fruity and grainy
T: dark fruit, Belgian yeast
F: medium body, good mouthfeel
I: not a bad example of the style, but a beer that I won't revisit

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Photo of dgmirelli
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

great copper color with fine head and lacing, smell was of grain and fruit with a taste of brown sugar and slight hop sense, feel was full and deep with ok carbonation. brewery is on track

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Photo of BrewAskew
4.16/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours to a permanent white head that lasts and laces. Aroma is spicy, sugary estery goodness. Flavor is the same. Very good. Mouthfeel is just right. Worthy.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml Bottle
Beige Foil/Capped

Poured into a chalice a nice slightly cloudy golden amber color, nice carbonation, with a nice one-finger creamy off-white head, which leaves a very nice big island and some sticky lacing behind. The nose is very nice malty, yeasty, lots of fruits (banana, green apple, cherry). The taste is very nice, malty, nice touch of yeast, and a nice complex touch of fruits, very nice tart/bitter/sour note. Medium body, ABV hidden very well. Overall, this one surprised me, very nice/complex brew. Recommend!

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Photo of Bmunge
3.09/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 2.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Served in a tulip style glass. Pours a slightly cloudy, copper color, looks like cloudy apple cider. Head is very light and quickly dissipates. The nose has strong notes of apple, fall spices, and bread with plum fruit and ripe banana. The taste carries ripe fruit, tart apples, molasses, booze, and grain. Very little carbonation with a finish of booze on the tongue. Overall a interesting brew but a bit hard to finish on your own. I would rather drink a Trappist quad for the price.

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Photo of farrago
3.5/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Wispy head at best, a momentary coating across the surface, minimal stickiness to the lacing as well. The liquid is fully opaque and murky, at its core it’s a reddish brown, nearer the surface an orange to yellow hue, hard to peep any carbonation bubbles. The nose is somewhat simple, raisin bread, clove, banana, German chocolate cake and plum, cherry, apple fruit, more lees and yeast than finished breadiness, nothing actively opposes the sweeter elements, smelling it feels like walking through quicksand. Full-bodied, very low carbonation, here too it layers itself like wet cement. Toffee, butterscotch, dark chocolate, maple syrup, hint of orange peel. Nutty like walnuts or nuts you’d use in baking. Scone, black bread, tries to get sour but stays sweet. Glances of bubblegum and banana, the more you sip the boozier it seems. Clove, cinnamon spice mostly upfront, then gets leafy in the manner of wet forest floor matter, “sous bois.” The flavors have initial intensity but not much staying power and given its palate heaviness it becomes somewhat of a chore to finish.

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Photo of EMV
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Had on-tap at Champs in State College, poured into a tulip glass.

L: Pours a golden orange... semi hazy with a big fluffy head.

S: Herbal and sweet... honey and citrus... yeasty.

T/F: Yeasty and carbonated with lots of different flavors going on. Definitely on the herbal/medicinal side. Bananas and citrus, cherries and almost floral (but not hoppy). I didn't pick up on the promised sour notes which was a disappointment.

O: Not a bad beer... a bit herbal/medicinal and I don't think I could drink more than one in a sitting. Still... a nice change of pace and complex enough to be interesting. I'd definitely like to sample it again sometime.

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Photo of Bitterbill
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

A clear copper coloured brew with a small but long lasting head of foam, great lacing.

It smells very grainy, a bit fruity, noticeable hop presence. More whiffs in and it gets strongly caramel malty.

Malty sweet, not so much grain, light fruitiness. Very smooth, near perfect mouth feel yet, a bit lacking somehow when I take the price tag into account. +$18 for a bottle.

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Photo of JaimeLondon
4.05/5  rDev +4.4%

First italian beer that I make a review!
Has a nice hazy dark amber color with a persistant cream foam.
Smell and taste resembles some fruit liquors and has some floral and other fruit touches.
Maltiness is stronger in the end.
The beer is quite balanced, the smell is strong but is not easy to feel the alcohol in the tongue.
Carbonation and body are at good level, not to high.

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Photo of devilben02
3.38/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours from the bottle with a nearly opaque medium brown color that makes me think of mashed raisins for some reason. The aroma has some brown sugar notes, some yeast, and a little bit of mossy hops, all of which are very subdued. The flavor is more assertive, with raisins, some grassy bitterness, a little alcohol, and more brown sugar. The light-medium body and fine, active carbonation are ok, but it all leaves the beer feeling a bit thin. Overall, this beer is nicely fruity, but it lacks the complexity I wanted and comes across as a watered-down Belgian dubbel.

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Photo of jazzyjeff13
3.34/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

A 250ml bottle with a BB of May 2014. Acquired ages ago from the GBBF in 2012, and stored in my garage. The label doesn't explain much, but the beer is described as 'double malt' with flavour evolution.

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Bottle conditioned. A deep, hazy reddish-amber hue with chunky floating sediment and medium carbonation. Yields a small head of frothy white foam that lasts for a moment or so before collapsing to a thin surface layer. Aroma of sweet, fruity malt with hints of raisins, dried fruit, sherry, brown sugar, caramel/toffee, fruity yeast esters, subtle spice, oxidation and faint stewed leaves. A warming whiff of booze in the background.

Tastes of rich, fruity malt with a lingering finish. Notes of raisins, dried fruit, sherry, brown sugar, caramel/toffee, fruity yeast esters, oxidation, stewed leaves, faint roasted malt and a touch of earthiness. A hint of alcohol in the background. Quite sweet, followed by a mild yeasty character upon swallowing. Mouthfeel is smooth and tingly, with light carbonation and good body. Yeast coats the palate. Somewhat astringent, accompanied by an aftertaste of sweet malt, dried fruit and yeast esters.

This one is hard to judge, as it isn't easy to categorise and compare to similar beers. I also don't know how much it has 'evolved', but there is a degree of oxidation present. It looks a bit murky and lacklustre, while the aroma and flavour are pretty sweet and fruity. Plenty of yeast character and mild port notes. Body is OK. Drinkability improved as it warmed to room temperature. A so-so beer; nothing really wrong with it but hard to recommend. No need to hunt it down.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.35/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed out of a brown 8.4 oz bottle at Beer Kitchen. No dating on the bottle that I can see, but that doesn't really matter, given the style. Poured into a Belgian-style tulip glass.

Appearance - Much darker than any BSPA I've had before, a murky reddish brown, much like an unfiltered cider might look. There looks to be a significant amount of sediment in suspension after the pour. The head is very small, only a quarter finger of off-tan foam that quickly dissipates, leaving little to no lacing or foam visible after the initial head has departed.

Smell - Very fruit forward, with notes of plum, pineapple, apricot, pear and some notes of spiced apple cider. Give that there are no additives listed for this beer, I can only assume that the huge fruit basket elements come solely from the yeast used. There are also spicier elements, with hints of clove and nutmeg.

Taste - The assault of fruit continues in the taste, with notes of rum, apple cider, pineapple, apricot and pear. The fruit characteristic is so dominant that it almost lends a bit of sour/tartness to the beer like you might expect from ripe strawberries or currants. Not like the vinegary or citric sourness you get from a lot of styles that will leave your mouth puckering, but sour-like all the same.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied and low carbonation, which I think is probably the biggest downfall of this beer. With more effervescence as is often standard with this style of beer, the explosion of fruit flavors would probably come across much better. Finish is a bit sweet.

Overall, this is a very unique beer, but one that appeals to the point that I'm likely to pick it up again. I think some more carbonation and a bit more bitterness would serve it well, to avoid allowing the huge fruit presence to overtake the beer.

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Photo of JuicesFlowing
2.32/5  rDev -40.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a tulip glass.

Look: Hazy caramel body. A tan head that dissipates to nothing. No lacing.

Aroma: Caramel, sour fermented apples.

Taste: Super, super sour and tart. Only a faint toffee or caramel presence comes out before being destroyed by sour tartness and a fermented apple note.

Mouthfeel: Bright.

Overall: I bought this on sale. And I'm wondering why it was reduced price. Maybe I'm missing the point of this beer, because to me it tastes old and sour.

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Photo of 57md
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Light copper with a honey hue in the edges. There was practically no head on this offering, but the nose was fruity and potent nonetheless. The flavor profile included bananas and a nutty essence accompanied by honey sweetness on the finish. This beer is a bit hearty, bordering on syrupy. The malt is present though not at all overpowering, That said, it certainly adds to the sweetness of this beer.

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Photo of Sludgeman
2.82/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a small tulip at Rustico.

This beer is too sweet with almost no carbonation. A beer I will never have again.

A - Pours an amber colored with almost no head.

S - The aroma is like a sweet wine.

T - Fruity, sweet, grapes, no bitterness.

MF - Medium bodied, low carbonation.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.44/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 250 ml bottle I brought back from Italy.

This pours a golden burnt umber amber color with nice lacing. The aroma is on the sweet side, with hints of stone fruits, raisin, and a rummy characteristic that runs sweetish and ever-so-slightly boozy.

I found the flavor to be pleasingly complex. It’s a slightly sweet strong ale, reminiscent of a Belgian strong ale with its rummy, floral and stone fruit characteristics. As it opened I found a honeyed amber presence take hold. Pleasingly effervescent.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.67/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle pour at the bottle share held at Chloe's inside Golden Road Brewing in Los Angeles, CA.

Pours a murky orange with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Lots of sediment is seen suspended in the beer after the pour. Smell is of malt, honey, and lots of fruity aromas. Taste is much the same with a cherry liqueur flavor on the finish. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with some fruity and boozy qualities that are quite nice.

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Photo of FLima
3.62/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Brown orange murky color with floating particles. It poured a 2 finger head with good retention.
Mild aroma of Belgian yeast, a bit sour like in lambics but milder.
Mouth does not follow nose. Sweet malt taste with some earthy hops, prunes and figs. Aftertaste has a mild but pleasant bitterness.
Light to medium body with light carbonation.
Relatively with good drinkability, very smooth. Interesting that the smell is quite different from taste, and how capable they were to disguise the 8% ABV. Flavor a bit thin compared to other top beers from its style.

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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.54/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours ruby/copper with a quickly fading head.
\Nose shows brown sugar, chocolate, toasty malt, spicy phenols, caramel, dried figs. Very similar flavours.
A bit too sweet, with loads of caramel, golden syrup and brown sugar. Some booze follows.
Too much carb.

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Photo of drpimento
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle opened with a nice "pop" and with a large, foamy, frothy, light tan head that soon mostly settles, and a little lace. Color is a clear, orange copper except for loads of particulates in suspension. Aroma upon first opening was waves of caramel malt, then it is lots of kinds of fruits, and yeast. Flavor’s like nose, sweet in front and then balanced with some carbonic tang plus hop and yeast bitter. Great body and perhaps slightly light in carbonation. Finish is like flavor, slowly tapers and is quite pleasant. Very nice brew!

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Photo of John_M
3.99/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hard to believe, I know, but on cask during the Italian fest at Max's.

The beer pours a reddish orange color with minimal head retention and light lacing. Teh nose is attractive, as I pick up sweet tea, wine, a hint of sour and some light underlying cherry. The flavor profile replicates the nose in this moderately sweet beer, and there's just enough wine and light sour to counter that sweetness. Mouthfeel is fairly full, with a soft, long, very smooth finish. This is really easy to take. Alcohol is almost unnoticeable, and so this is a very easy beer to drink and appreciate.


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Super from Birrificio Le Baladin
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 267 ratings