Xyauyù Barrel - Birrificio Le Baladin

Not Rated.
Xyauyù BarrelXyauyù Barrel

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BA SCORE
97
world-class

72 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 72
Reviews: 18
rAvg: 4.45
pDev: 9.44%
Wants: 34
Gots: 16 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Birrificio Le Baladin visit their website
Italy

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  14.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 01-13-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 72 | Reviews: 18
Reviews by eduardolinhalis:
More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.46/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Riding on the laurels of the ultra-famed Xyauyu, its a risky endeavor to embark upon a simplified barrel-aged version that brings about a sweeter, bourbon character- as if those the beer is lacking in complexity without it! Its savory, salty-sweet taste extends beyond beer and ventures into the world that I like to call- "barley liqueur".

Its relatively still tawny gold color is highlighted with a majestic glow of deep gold and bronze. Still, a ruby tone hints toward port wine. Its absolute still character further reinforces the notion of Port while a swirl of the glass sings the praises of glossy brandy-type legging instead of lace.

Its aroma evokes an immediate seduction of the olfactory sense. It arrests the nose with a super savory culmination of dried figs, dates, raisins and red grapes as the succulence of deep molasses, brown sugar, sherry and maple wrap around the fruits and hug them tightly. Its malty sweet scent centers as a waft of fresh strung tobacco, curing leather, coconut and sweet oak dances about its periphery.

An incredible array of flavors evade the palate and does so starting with sweet toffee, peanut brittle, black-strap molasses, maple, dense honey and vanilla that derive from malt and wood. But then comes the more common taste to wine fans in plumb, raisin, date, prune, blackberry and grape. But more obvious overtones come in the shape of sherry, port, soy sauce, peat and teriyaki. Still, with all those base flavors, the bourbon-esque taste of dry oak, vanilla, boozy caramel and char all complement the other complexities with ease.

With absolute decadence, the "barley liqueur" is sipped in order to reveal an oily coat of sugar and booze. Its silky, savory and velvety-smooth texture is laces with alcohol spiciness, light wood powdery feel from age and a certain sherry-like dryness for a slight lift of mouthfeel. It long and cloying feel allows us to dismiss the elixir as beer and to accept it as the replacement for Port as the after-dinner digestive.

And like other variations of Xyauyu, this high end variation simply trandscends the common notion of beer. It extends into the world of cognac and spirit even as the taste of barley, port, maple and bourbon doesn't make delineation easy. isn't that what complex ale should do?

Photo of jzeilinger
4.39/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours dark mahogany/burgundy color with a thick creamy layer of dark foam.

S - Pete, rum, dark fruit, and light oak.

T - Oak, rum, delicate spice, excessively light caramel, and brown sugar.

M - Thick/full bodied and has a fair amount of alcohol heat on the way down. Slippery and sticky.

O - Very boozy but well done.

Photo of Dope
4.41/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle is dated 2010.

A: Pours a dark red/brown. No head/lacing of course, this beer is still.

S: Boozy rum. Dates. Quite nutty, reminds me a lot of amaretto. Cocoa in there too. Lots of random dark fruits intermingling. Very unique, very strong.

T: Whoa. Was expecting a harsh, boozy taste and feel but nothing of the sort. It feels like drinking fruit juice at first. Smooth, sweet and fruity. Very so. Lots of dark fruits. Dates are prominent but there are raisins and stone fruit in general. Ultra sweet, cloyingly so especially with the lack of carbonation. Quite a bit of chocolate in here. Some dark sweetbread components meld in in the finish which only enhances the sweetness. It tastes like an ultra sweet rum mixed with amaretto but without any of the alcohol harshness.

M: Flat of course. Heavy. Ultra smooth, velvety even.

O: Wow, what a unique beer. I've had the copper and gold versions of this but this is just beyond smooth. It's liquid velvet. Zero alcohol, zero harshness at all which is stunning for a 14% barrel aged brew. Really must be tried to understand, it's unlike any other beer (except maybe Utopias). This is a sipper for sure, the heavy body and sweetness combined with lack of carbonation makes for a delicate brew to savor.

Photo of elNopalero
5/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the absolute highlight of my Italian beer drinking, and one of the most memorable beer experiences I’ve had recently. Absolutely fantastic beer. This hit all the right notes in a barrel-aged barleywine.

Served in a teku. My first teku pour and I’m hooked.

Poured a caramel-amber color, no foam, yet looks great with legs and lacing for days. The richly hued auburn color is practically glowing even in the dim lighting.

The Xyauyu has an incredible aroma. I found a bit of caramel; some sweetness; a buttery, butterscotch caramel with a little toasted coconut; rum; sugar; caramelized sugar… I keep going back to the same descriptors to convey the nuances and layers of this beauty. I could nose it for hours, easily.

Sip after sip I found a wonderful flavor. Rich and full bodied, smooth and sweet. I gathered toasted coconut, caramelized sugar just to the point of perfection tapering into a buttery (butterscotch) smoothness and finishing sweet without an indication of its high ABV. Well rounded, warming, and utterly, utterly delicious.

Review #850!

Photo of VelvetExtract
4.31/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a slick, oily brown. Swirling the beer leaves wine-like legs along the glass. Absolutely zero head. Really, really oily; looks like a port.

S-This is cool! It's one of the sweetest, most concentrated, sugary aromas I have sniffed in a beer. Normally I would reject such an aroma but here, it works. Dark liqueur, dried figs, raisins, plums and all the like. Loads of goopy brown sugar and molasses. A casing of oakiness. It looks like a port or even a sherry and it smells like one too.

T-About as deep and rich as my palate can comprehend. More of the same here. Ooey-gooey dried dark fruits. Viscous caramel, brown sugar and molasses. Simmering heat. A not-too-intrusive oaky component. Rum and dark liqueur, port and sherry. So rich.

M-Absolutely no carbonation; and it works here really well. Gooey, viscous, oily and super-full bodied. Has some heat but nowhere near an unattractive alcohol burn. Drinks like melted chocolate.

O/D-Very, very cool. I have had a different varietal of this series of beers and I didn't find it nearly as enjoyable as this one. Has the texture and feel of no other beer I had sucked back. Super pricey but perhaps worth a go once it a lifetime.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.31/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

500 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep amber. Syrupy consistency. Flat, as expected.

Smell - Rum and oak. Brown sugar. A little chocolate. Oxidation is nice. A little red wine. Smells like a port. Awesome.

Taste - Sharp port-like flavors right up front. Brown sugar. Raisins. Intensely sweet. Rum and oak. Boozy.

Mouthfeel - Flat and heavy. Syrupy consistency. Drinks like a port.

Overall - This is really great. Fascinating on every level.

Photo of jegross2
2.12/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 1 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.75

Reviewing the Xyauyu Barrel from Birrificio Le Baladin out of Italy.

Score: 35

Brewed in 2008, bottled in an unknown year. This beer is "oak aged," probably in ex-bourbon barrels. Served in a 2012 WLV Zwanze Day tulip and enjoyed on 06/12/13.

Appearance: Pours a dark bourbon copper color with a reddish hue. No head off the pour. No lacing, no retention. Looks as flat as a matzoh. 1/5

Smell: Super acetone-y. There's a nice vanilla cake and caramel aroma for a brief second, but then a pungent smell of cheap clear tequila with a dash of blue curacao and nail polish hits you over the head like a two-by-four. Hint of cigarette butts too. This horrible medley of stink lingers in the nose for a few seconds and each whiff seems worse than the last. The pungent stink grows as it warms too. Bleh! This one is almost un-smellable. 1.5/5

Taste: The nice vanilla notes from the nose come through much better in taste with a mix of caramel and sweet bourbon. No cheap tequila in the flavor, but there is still acetone (albeit substantially less than the nose). Raisin and fig towards finish. Not bad, certainly better than expected given the nose, but a total lack of carbonation and acetone flavors ruin its potential. 2.5/5

Mouthfeel: I've had soda that I left on the counter for an hour with more carbonation with this beer. Full bodied, very viscous. Soaks mouth with flavor. 3.5/5

Overall: I'll "show you" the drain. Don't ever buy this. In fact, don't even bother drinking it. Tickers beware.

Cost: $50 for a 500 ml bottle.

Photo of Etan
4.55/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle into a snifter. Brewed in 2008, aged in a rum barrel.

A. Pours an auburn-tinged brass, flat.

S. Raisins, thick honey, beautiful alcohol heat, light vanilla and oak and spice from the barrels.

T. Raw honey, coconut, grape liqueur, subtle rum and oak, vanilla. Almost mead-like.

M. Flat, but the body is not sticky or cloying, despite its viscosity.

O. This beer reminds of Xyauyu Gold, but with a subtle influence of tannins and rum from the barrel. Smooth and powerful. Up there with Gold as one of my favorites in the series. Just great.

Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.35/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

500ml bottle sealed with black wax and a cork.

5oz poured into snifter for a night cap.

2008 vintage (brewed in 2008).

Appearance: medium brown color with a mahogany hue when held up to light. The beer has many suspended particles noted. A few colorless bubbles sit on top of the beer, but eventually all bubbles disapate. Heavy legs on the side of the glass with no lacing.

Smell: Spicy and sweet. Massive oak presence. This beer smells a little boozey, but in the best possible way. Brown sugar, figs, dates, honey, maple syrup and a mildly spicy rum.

Taste: This is a balanced and layered complex beer; its sweet and rich, but at no time is there a cloying sweetness found within this beer. Brown sugar coated figs and dates start things off. Honey, tobacco, vanilla beans, and leather are next to meet your palate. Light caramel and lots of oak barrel is found mid palate. Toasted coconut, more caramel, honey, brown sugar, fig / dates, and mild rum all come together in the finish with a lightly bitter charred note from the oak barrel. All the different flavors meld together nicely, none of these flavors over power the other flavor and you can taste each profile distinctly. This is a truly complex flavor profile of this beer.

Mouthfeel: full bodied beer that is flat with not a trace of carbonation in this beer. Thick and syrupy. Rediculously smooth. Feels silky as well. There is no way I could have guessed this beer to be 14% abv; instead you would think maybe 9-10% abv at the most.

Overall: This is my first experience with any of the Xyauya beer from Birrificio Le Baladin. I would always look at these beers and not purchase them because of the hefty price tag. I purchased this bottle for 42 bucks and while it is definately over priced for my pocket book, I am glad that I made the purchase.

Photo of Damian
4.45/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Drank from a 1 pint 0.9 fl. oz. corked and waxed dipped bottle purchased at Craft Beer Cellar, Belmont, MA
Brewed in 2008
Served in a snifter

Review #925

The dark, copper-tinged mahogany liquid poured completely flat. Very cordial-like in appearance. When swirled, the beer left a thin coating on the glass that transformed into small legs.

Lots of interesting things happening in the aroma. Notes of caramel, maple syrup and dark fruits were immediately apparent. Dates, prunes and raisins were also noticeable. Slightly smoky. Strong oxidation notes gave the beer a distinct, port-like character. Pleasantly boozy. Overall, really complex and intense.

The flavor profile was also outstanding. It too was quite sweet, yet not cloying in the least bit. Burnt caramel and brown sugar notes came through strong. Loads of maple syrup. Grape-y and very port-like. A strong, rum barrel presence was noticeable, along with intense dark fruit notes. Figs, plums, raisins and prunes were apparent. Hint of cherry. Strong oaky/barrel notes on the back end. The oxidation process was obvious in the finish and added another layer of complexity. Some spicy notes were detectible as well.

Thick, syrupy and completely flat, the beer drank very much like an aged port. Slightly creamy and buttery. Palate coating. A pleasant alcohol warming brought this beer even further into "spirit territory."

Like Xyauyù Gold, this is an incredibly unique and complex beer that really pushes the limits of what beer can be. Aside from ports, sherries and other barrel-aged beers from this brewery, the only comparison I can make to this is Utopias. At $150 less a bottle, you might actually think of this as being a bargain.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.4/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jmgrub for sharing this one at Wowcoolman's tasting.

Brewed in 2008.

Pours a clear honey brown with no head. No lacing on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, toffee, raisins, rum, and wood. Taste is much the same with caramel, raisin, rum, and brown sugar flavors on the finish. There is a mild alcohol kick on the palate after each sip. This beer has a low level of carbonation with an almost flat mouthfeel. Overall, this is an excellent beer with really decadent aromas and flavors.

Photo of Roman5150
4.52/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Open Baladin, Rome

Appearance: dark mahogany brown, not quite black but close. Zero head.

Smell: bourbon, sweet raisins, plums, sugar, vanilla

Taste: very sweet, notes of honey, vanilla, figs, raisins dominate side by side with the bourbon, which doesn't overpower like a lot of barrel aged beers. Booze is well masked.

Mouthfeel: thick and syrupy, basically zero carbonation

Overall: one of the best barrel aged beers i've had. When in Rome, seek this out.

Photo of Thehuntmaster
4.38/5  rDev -1.6%

500ml bottle 14,0% Abv.
Served lightly chilled in a Snifter
2010 Vintage

Appearance: Xyuayu Barrel pours beautiful deep amber with bright golden-orange highlights when backlight. As expected, the beer is completely flat, with even the roughest of pours yielding nothing in the way of a head. Swirling results in sticky alcohol legs clinging to the glass. 4.25

Smell: This smells delicious – there is a big fortified wine character (sherry/muscadel) alongside rich dark fruits (dates, raisons, almost Christmas pudding like), a light soya sauce note, a little alcohol, some rum, oak, vanilla, brown sugar and rich caramel. I can really see why some people compare this to a watered down Utopias. 4.5

Taste: As the nose suggested, this is absolutely delicious. The initial flavour is fantastically sweet, with notes of brown sugar, caramel and vanilla. This fades into rum, fortified wine, oak, rich dark fruits some soy and a touch of alcohol. As good as the flavour is, the finish doesn’t quite seem to fit with the rest of the beer – I was expecting a lingering, sticky, sweet finish, however due to the oxidization the finish is very brief and rather flat. 4.25

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body, with some stickiness, but not quite as much as one would expect given the flavour profile. There is no trace of carbonation, but that is perfect for me. 4.5

Overall: Xyauyu Barrel is a fantastic beer and one I would love to have again, but I’m not sure that it is worth the huge price tag. I think a slightly stickier body and longer finish would push this beer into the world-class category. 4.4

Photo of Knapp85
4.44/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured out as a as deep amber color with no head on top there is no lacing either. The smell of the beer is sweet and slightly boozy with a hefty amount of wood and caramel on the nose. The taste is very good, it coats the mouth with sweet sugars and subtle rum-like spice notes. The beer is very complex much like the other versions. The mouthfeel is smooth, thick and slippery. There is a touch of stickiness to it similar to syrup. Overall it's a great beer, they all are and they have yet to disappoint me.

Photo of Wiggedout40
4.57/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The beer has no head whatsoever as well as no carbonation. It sits still with a dark rich mahogony color in the glass.
The nose is complex with only hints of the rum barrel it is aged in. To me it smelled almost like a glass of Bushmill's irish whiskey. It did not, however, taste that way.
The taste is somewhat sweet with and earthy with a smooth mouthfeel. You do get hints of the rum barrel but it does not overwhelm the barleywine. The barrel adds a small amount of woodiness. This is a great barleywine and is another great representative of the barleywines created by Baladin.

Photo of BMMillsy
4.21/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottle poured at Tipples Rare and Barrel Aged Beer Tasting. Pours a murky light brown or amber color with no head. Aroma of strong caramel and toffee malts, rum, booze, sweet brown sugar. Flavor is maple sweetness, brown sugar, figs, dates, and light rum fruity spice on the finish. Thick and viscous with essentially no carbonation at all. I came into this expecting to be disappointed but I really enjoyed this one. It can be had in small quantities--drinking much like a port but less harsh--and I assume the beer holds over a few days when recorked. At $47 per bottle, it better hold up as I don't see any good reason to drink this in one sitting. Recommended if you don't have to pay full price.

Photo of Lordquackingstic
4.73/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Many thanks to my ever so illustrious girlfriend for procuring me a bottle of this in Italy!

Bottled in 2008 and consumed in 2013, bottle #110/160. Poured into a Birra Baladin teku glass...seems appropriate!

A: Pours thick and syrupy into the glass. Deep, dark burnt amber with absolutely no head. Almost looks like a port wine. Completely still. Looks delicious!

S: Rum soaked currants, figs, sweet caramel, dark cherries, slightly oaky.

T: Dark fruits soaked in sweet rum, figs, wine soaked cherries...super complex, I can't even describe all of the flavor notes. The rum is definitely upfront on this one, but it's not overpowering. Makes me wish that more breweries could make rum barrel aged beers without it being too cloyingly sweet!

M: Completely still with a slight after burn from the 14% abv. Hides the abv very well. Very nice, but this is where the beer lacks a little bit. The mouthfeel could be a bit fuller than it is.

O: This is a really, really fantastic beer. Being that I just moved to Italy with my girlfriend made it easy and a wee bit cheaper to find this, but it's still super expensive here and I don't think I'll splurge to buy it again. Definitely worth the price tag if you can find it, if not just to have it once. Definitely pushes the boundaries of what a beer can be...wish it was cheaper and more readily available!

Photo of Pahn
4.87/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

500ml bottle into a snifter.

Appearance: Same attractive semi-translucent ruby as every other xyauyu. Headless due to intentional lack of carbonation, of course.

Smell: Sherry-like oxidized barleywine aroma. Not much barrel. Honey and brown sugar. Some sugary rum notes if you really sniff. Spicy booziness.

Taste: Teo's genius comes through again; a perfected barleywine from the first sip. Perfectly balanced coconut-oak and rum highlights match perfectly with the infinite malty depth of Xyauyu. This beer is what J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale wants to be when it grows up.

As usual, this is a beer that admits of grocery list reviews: brown sugar, various candied fruits, that rasiny sherry-and-sugar flavor of perfectly aged older-than-5-or-10-year-old English barleywines, just fantastic. Sweet but adequately cut by heat and spicy/smoky wood characteristics.

If you're familiar with Xyauyu, and you don't have so much money that $50 bottles of beer are no big deal to you, this is the flavor you're expecting/demanding when you buy this beer. Soaringly excellent; packed with refined flavor. Nothing garish at all, just all the best elements of barleywines done as well as possible. Rum barrel aging is as integrated and complimentary as possible. Excellent.

Mouthfeel: Slick, medium bodied, and outrageously drinkable. As ever, it's hard to decide what's more amazing: the amount of delicious flavor in this beer, or how easy this uncarbonated 14% ABV barleywine goes down.

Overall: What can I say? At a time of extreme craftsmanship and innovation in beer, Teo Musso is probably the most brilliant of the bunch. Xyauyu is a masterpiece, and the rum barrel aged version lives up to its pedigree.

Xyauyù Barrel from Birrificio Le Baladin
97 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.