Total Score: 7.65/10
Birra Baladin again? Yep, it’s #3 in my mixed 5 [read my review of Super Bitter for disclosure ‘n stuff]. So far Nazionale has been top-shelf, Super Bitter was interesting but not mind-blowing awesome, now on to Isaac, which immediately makes me think of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game for some reason… then my mind goes to Flight of the Conchords when Dave suggests that women like three things: “Men in kilts, Southern Comfort, and Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game”. This insight into my crazy sit-com addled mind has been brought to you by Lightspeed Briefs, as seen in your dreams. On to the beer, Birra Baladin Isaac is stylistically Witbier… hmmm, intrigued as to how this will turn out.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Cloudy pale tangelo body with a fairly fizzy (frizzante to the Italians) 2 centimetre white head that collapses to a lace ring yet still shows decent carbonation action… this one might be a three burps brew. 7/10.
S: Birra Baladin don’t cease to surprise with a fascinatingly spicy nose of coriander, nutmeg, mace and orange blossom. Candi sugar adds a big hit of sweetness, and some doughy yeast character comes through as well. At least at this stage this is the closest Birra Baladin have come (for me) to matching the original style. This is a classic Belgian Wit aroma. 8/10.
T: Begins musty/dry with a prominent yeast character that carries throughout the flavour profile. Notes of the above spices: Coriander, nutmeg and mace, along with that orange blossom come through mid-palate. Candi sugar is more restrained than expected. Finish is dry and cleanses the palate well. Balance is up there with some of the best Belgian Witbiers, so Birra Baladin really know their stuff, top notch! 8/10.
M: Really gassy it must be said – too far on this front – I had more than three burps (it was like 8 or 9!). Mid to light bodied, but yeah waaay over-carbed. 5/10.
D: Well so far Nazionale is still my pick of the bunch, but if you want a Birra Baladin that is stylistically as advertised then Isaac is your man. That said I like it how Birra Baladin and Birra Del Borgo come up with their own (sometimes bizarre) takes on established styles… if we can’t experiment with beer what is the point of brewing? So keep being interesting Italian craft brewers, we’re all liking where you’re going, cincin! 8/10.
Food match: A palate-cleansing brew like this would go great with duck.