Saturday, February 5, 2011

Birra Baladin Super Baladin

A few years ago, Clare and I attended a beer tasting of craft beers from Italy, which was sponsored by the National Geographic Society and hosted by Garrett Oliver, the brewmaster of Brooklyn Brewery.  We were able to taste a wide variety of Italian craft beers, including beers such as Nora, which is made by Birra Baladin.  Since that beer tasting, I always keep an eye out for Italian craft beers, because I think these beers are some of the best craft beers out there.

Recently, I came across beer produced by Birra Baladin, called the Super Baladin.  Birra Baladin is a craft brewer located in Piozzo, a city located in the Piedmont region in northern Italy.  The Super Baladin is the brewer's attempt to brew a Belgian Style Strong Ale or Belgian Style Dark Ale, much like Birrificio Montegioso's Demon Hunter, which is another Belgian Style Dark Ale that I recently reviewed.

The Super Baladin is reportedly based upon a Belgian abbey beer recipe that dated back to 800 A.D.  The beer pours a caramel brown, like most Belgian style dark ales that I've tried.  The aroma of the beer has floral hints, with some fruit, like bananas, and spices, like clove.  The beer is slightly syrupy, coating the tongue as you drink it.  It is also sweet, somewhat reminiscent of fruit like apricots and apples. There is also a faint taste of hops as you drink the beer.   At 8% ABV, it is also somewhat boozy, making it another beer that is best enjoyed one sip at a time. 

The Super Baladin is a very good beer.  It sells for about $18.99 a bottle but it is a little hard to find.  I have found the beer at Gilly's in Rockville, Maryland and State Line Liquors in Elkton, Maryland.


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