Total Score: 4.45/10
The last of my Birra Baladin mixed 5 comes with a tinge of sadness, they were nothing if not different beers, and being fairly seasoned at this “drinking stuff” it was nice to have something a little different. Not sure when I’ll get a chance to try another Birra Baladin, I’ve not found them anywhere, and I was gifted these brews from a rep. In any case, if I do see another Birra Baladin please make it Nazionale – that has been my favourite of the bunch [don’t count your chickens yet Doc, you’ve still got Open Rock ‘n Roll to review]. Yes, true weird voice in my head that’s probably early signs of dementia expressed in square brackets – you never know, Open Rock ‘n Roll might be better… though I’m cynical.
Poured from a 330ml bottle into a Duvel tulip.
A: Uh-oh: crazy secondary fermentation yeast particles floating around in this opaque brownish brew… same thing happened with Wayan, and it wasn’t pretty. Oh well, 3 out of 5 bottles were perfectly fine, can’t win them all. Head is off-white, dense, and provides minimal covering. 5/10.
S: Spicy yeast notes mingle with musty cardboard characters… it’s not great, sorry Birra Baladin, this is going to be another bad scoring beer for you. Whiffs of brown sugar trying to vie for attention with cardboard, it’s like some sort of Bruegelesque nightmare here (Google his The Triumph of Death painting to see where I’m coming from). 4/10.
T: A thin veneer of dark fruits gives way almost immediately to ethanol, at 7.5% ABV this is unusual and I attribute it entirely to the in bottle refermentation. Bold yeast character of musty cardboard throughout the palate is another example of refermentation. Finishes with a sharp spirit note and aftertaste has a grape spirit, or grappa, note… this isn’t even the worst thing I’ve tasted – I would still drink this over a VB. Still, it’s a shame that I didn’t get to try Open Rock ‘n Roll at its best. 4/10.
M: Mid to light bodied and over carbonated from the referment. 6/10.
D: Yep. Not great that this refermented, but them’s the breaks in the beer reviewing game – sometimes you get a brilliant fresh American IPA, and sometimes you get a refermented (whatever style this was) brew. Will it stop me from drinking Birra Baladin again if I see it on a shop shelf? Maybe. Will I drain pour the rest of this glass? Yes, most likely. 5/10.
Food match: No point giving you a food match on this spoiled beer.