Xfumé (Lapsang Souchong) | Birrificio Le Baladin

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Xfumé (Lapsang Souchong)Xfumé (Lapsang Souchong)

Brewed by:
Birrificio Le Baladin

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
X Fumé 2006 Riserva Teo Musso was brewed in 2006 and bottled in 2008. This begins as Xyauyu, with the added 18-day infusion of smoked Lapsang Suochong Tea.

Added by Suds on 05-31-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 23 | Ratings: 37
Photo of DavidHume
4.99/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I asked the bar tender at Open Baladin Roma to surprise me, and this is what he poured.

Color is a deep brownish orange, with great legs and no head. It looks more like a liqueur than a beer. The aroma is filled with notes of smoke and fruit, like a hybrid between a brandy and a scotch.

The flavor is filled with caramel, toffee, figs, brandy, and a wisp of smoke on the finish. After 9 years in the bottle, it's incredibly smooth and impeccably balanced.

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Photo of Doppelbockulus
4.54/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

I realize I had mistakenly reviewed Fume. So here is the correction to that mistake, and I have deleted the erroneous review for Fume.

This is one of those beers that should make anyone say, "Wow."

It is a wonderful red amber color with no head and just a bit of sediment.

The smell is a bit unusual and is a combination of smokey wood and rubber erasers. Imagine rubbing one of those large pink erasers and smelling it next to a good glass of scotch.

The taste is mostly what I was expecting with the remaining mystery emerging just as pleasant as the defining flavors of each edition of Xyauyu. Loads of caramel come through combined with dark honey, whole wheat bread, and a bit of brandy. A light alcohol presence and dried raisins finish out the flavor. I wish I had a better ability to pick out flavors and describe them, because this is phenomenal.

The feel is very smooth and is very much like that of a great port. It is mildly warming and mildly tannic. Very pleasing.

Overall, I want more.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.56/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


2006 vintage into a snifter. The nectar is an orange copper and pours completely still. Great color. A swirl leaves an alcohol collar on the glass. The aroma is smoky, with elements of peat and beechwood blending with the traditional Xyauyù oxidation notes such as sherry and leather. Maple accompanies brown sugar and plum, toffee and caramel. The flavor has a candied sweetness with a lighter smoke presence from the tea. It lingers in the distance. Orange liqueur meets date, plum, sherry, nuttiness, leather, maple, and brown sugar. There's a slight spiciness from the tea. It's damn delicious. Lower full in body and completely still. The mouthfeel is sticky and smooth with ample alcohol warming on the palate. This was a great variation on Xyauyù. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Etan
3.71/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

500ml bottle, 2006 vintage, into a snifter.

A: Pours a translucent yet lightly dull amber with no head.

S: Soft, raisiny oxidation character, rich molasses, moderate peat-like smoke character. Pretty smoky aroma, although it blends into the other elements more as it warms.

T: Gentle vinous sweetness, mild earthy campfire smoke, figs, honey, dry maple.

M: Flat, medium-bodied.

O: This is pretty interesting, although I don't really like the combination of the smokiness of the tea with the oxidation character of the base beer.

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Photo of corby112
3.94/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2006 vintage.

Pours a dark copper/chestnut brown color with mahogany edges when held to a light.  Completely still with no head or lacing.  Definitely has legs though after an aggressive swirl.

Sweet, boozy aroma with a nice smokes malt character and Port/sherry like qualities.  Musty and leathery malt along with sweeter touches of hazelnut, caramel, toffee and dark fruit.  Can pick up a lot of booze but it's not as strong as in some of the other versions.  Becomes more complex as it warms with subtle honey and fruit notes.

Medium bodied with very delicate carbonation.  Not as still as some of the other treatments but almost flat. That little bit of carbonation really makes a difference.  Boozy sweetness with leathery and sweet malts notes and a  lingering smokey finish.  Strong alcohol presence along with sweet caramel, toffee, dark fruit and honey.  Fruit notes most prominent toward the finish with some fig, raisin and plum.  Smoke is all in the finish but it lingers and definitely adds another level of complexity.  Nice warmth in the finish but not as harsh as the other versions.  High ABV is relatively well masked.  Hard to believe how much more I like this than the regular copper version, especially the smoke presence.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.76/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

$9 for a 5oz pour at Max's today. Holy fucking fuck.

Mildly hazy, this beer is still with no head and is dark orange in color. The nose is rich, full and sweet with caramel, tea and mild smoke, along with some tobacco. Moderately fruity as well with bright notes - light plums and a little raisin character are noticeable. As the beer warms up, it gains a peaty note that just makes me swear in delight.

The palate opens sweet, full and excellent. Fantastic stuff! Mild oxidation is noticeable, this really is a showcase for what oxidation could do for a beer. A little smoke, some tea, this is so well-integrated. Full in body with a long sweet finish with balance between the team honey and caramel notes, with some toffee as well. So good!

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Photo of MasterSki
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle purchased at New Beer Distributors. 2006 vintage. Served in a tulip of some sort at Thorpe429's place.

A - It's still. Maybe a crust of bubbles from a hard pour. Transparent dark orange-brown body, with tons of suspended sediment - since this isn't bottle-conditioned I'm guessing it's leftover tea?

S - Massive smoked and slightly meaty character. The Lapsang Souchong is incredibly potent, even with the relatively short infusion time. There's a bit of alcohol bite in the Utopias mold, but it's appropriate for the 14% ABV and integrates well with the intense smoke, earthy tea, and sweet oxidized barleywine flavors.

T - The smoked flavors move further to the periphery in the flavor, and the alcohol gets dialed back a notch - as a result I actually think the flavor is superior to the aroma. Intense caramel and brown sugar flavors dominate mid-palate, with the smoked flavors showing up in the finish to provide balance.

M - It's still, but that's never been a complaint when it comes to this series of beers. Full bodied, with a chewy and smooth texture, and light alcohol warmth. It's a good example of style and flavor-appropriate mouthfeel, and the lack of bubbles makes it quite easy to drink.

D - For 14% this beer is pretty crushable (if you could afford it, that is). I'd love to have this again, but it seems to have dried up on store shelves as people have begun to notice how awesome the Xyauyu lineup is. I could easily share this 2-3 ways, or even drink it on my own with sufficient time. At six years old this beer is still going strong, and I can see it lasting another six years easily.

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Photo of mdfb79
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 03/30/12 notes. Thanks to Masterski for sharing this one; nice to finally meet you! 2006 vintage.

a - Pours an amber-red color with one inch of fluffy white head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells of smokey malts, fruity malts, bread, light caramel, and sugar. An interesting mix but pretty nice for a smokey beer.

t - Tastes of sweet fruity malts, smokey malts, bready malts, sugar, molasses, toffee. More fruit then the nose, very sweet taste.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty easy to drink; definitely does not feel like 14% ABV.

o - Overall a very interesting beer. A mix of smokey malts and sweet fruits, but it kind of works. I don't think I liked this one as much as most people but fun to try and would give it another shot.

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Photo of drabmuh
4/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Masterski for sharing this bottle. Why do Italians like putting so much tea in their beer? Do hops not grow anywhere in Italy?

Beer is amber and hazy, I sort of got the dregs from the bottle so I rely on others for the appearance here. White head, low retention, no lacing. Looks fine.

Aroma is roasty and sweet. Interesting, a little floral and tea-ish.

Beer is medium in body and surprisingly bitter, mixture of earthiness and tea with a lot of roast on the backend, apparently all from the tea. Interesing but probably not a repeat for me.

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Photo of Thorpe429
4.27/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to Masterski for bringing this one to the Stone tasting. Served in a SAVOR glass.

Pours a moderate caramel color without much of a head. Perhaps some legs after a bit of a swirl. The nose brings great notes of sherry, sweet malt, caramel, and light fruit, plus a lingering smoke character in the background. The flavor is similar with a greater emphasis on the smoke. Body is medium and sweetly chewy without really any alcohol. Really nice and smooth. Glad to have tried this.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.52/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by masterski. Thanks Alex!

Hazy and light orange, the beer is transparent with a small and fleeting head. The aroma offers ample smoke with some sweet, candied malt. Wow, this is delicious. Tea flavors emerge more in the flavor than the aroma. Quite tasty. Lovely feel. Silky smooth with a mild and delicate warmth. Fabulous for sipping. Would love to have this again.

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.62/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

500ml bottle bought at Il Regno di Gambrinus, Treviso. Poured in a wine chalice.

A: First of all, it comes in a beautiful black box and an also beautiful bottle with a dark gray label written Xfume. Pure classy. Baladin trademark. The beer, pours a dark deep amber nutty color with absolutely no head. Very few bubbles could be seen

S: The smell is a must in this beer. Simply great. Complex. First impression was a Port Wine. Barrel, dark fruits, plums, grapes and dates. And then you can also feel some sugary, some smoke, some malts and some alcohol. Really too much for a beer

T: Complex as the nose. Very fruity and liquorice, quite sweet too. Again, reminds a Port Wine. The woody taste of barrel and the hints of smoke gives this beer a unique character. Amazing. The caramel malt backbone reminded me that I was drinking a beer :). Well, difficult to describe it. Additionally, I would mention some earthiness and some oxidation in the taste...

M: The heaviest beer I've ever had. It's very creamy and molasses. Just like a liquor. No carbonation. Very soft despite the high ABV. Very sweet too which compromises a bit the drinkability

O: A fantastic beer. An incredible experience. Le Baladin quality

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Photo of afksports
4.41/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

We opened a 2006 bottle of this and I have to say. I am incredibly impressed.

First off, it's one of the most complex beers I've ever had. While it looks like any old malty beer in the glass, it smells like a balanced scotch. Less alcohol, of course, but all the smoke, peat, vanilla that you'd expect. Plus fruits, berries, and tea. Burnt tea? Black tea? I'm not entirely sure. Too complex for me. The taste has the same, and is like a sine wave in the mouth with about 3 peaks and 2 valleys. Clean finish but still a sipper because it's so huge.

I can't even really fully touch on this one. It's beyond me. A totally enjoyable brew. And I don't even like scotch, or smoked beers in general. Just a truly difficult beer to judge, and a wonder on the palate.

So it's no surprise today (day after), I'm hurting a bit!

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Photo of largadeer
4.47/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Xyauyu xfume
Thanks, Alex.

Amberish brown with a slight haze. Completely still, no head, no bubbles, but very leggy.

Excellent and very interesting aroma. A lot of smoke, with a distinct lapsang souchong tea quality. Rich, sweet abd oxidized, as with the other Xyauyu beers this has some amazing dark fruit esters. The leathery/earthy notes arehighlighted by the smoke.

Very sweet palate, sweeter than the nose implies. The smoke is still there, but it's beneath layers of dark fruit, sherry, toffee. Still, syrupy mouthfeel. The smoke really gives it a balanced finish. Very enjoyable, a nice twist on the regular Xyauyu beers.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.29/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

An ounce or so poured from a bottle into a Hill Farmstead wine glass. Thanks to HopStoopid120 for sharing.

A: Clear (but for a bit of sediment), still amber body that leaves nice legs. Expected.

S: Highly spiritous, with brown sugar, brandy, smoke, and a touch of solventy alcohol. Very nice.

T: Follows the nose: smooth, sweet, and spiritous. Tastes like a lovely brandy mixed with a port. The smoke lends a nice bit of complexity on the finish. Not too boozy at all. Lovely.

M: Sticky, thick, and flat. Ok, but a little oppressive when combined with the big sweetness.

O: I don't think my pockets are deep enough to shell out for bottles of this or any of the other big Baladin barleywines, but if I could I certainly would. Delicious stuff.


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Photo of John_M
4.67/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 2 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of bottle, served by the glass at the recent Italian beer festival at Max's.

This beer was very similar to the 2004 Xyauyù gold cap I had the same day. So my review will be pretty similar, with one exception. The beer menu indicated this was the 2006 version of this beer.

The beer pours a brownish amber color with virtually no head retention or lacing. In other words, this beer was completely still. While the beer may not have looked all that great, the aroma and flavor profile were outstanding. On the nose I got an aroma of sweet grape juice, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla and considerable smoked salmon. I know that combination might sound a bit odd, but it actually works very well in this rich, sweet, excellent barleywine. The flavor profile replicates the nose pretty closely, but if anything was even better. Given the richness/sweetness in this beer, I was amazed by how noticeable and prominent the smoke quality was in this beer. The flavor profile was otherwise dominated by cherry, toffee and caramel, with some nice oxidation notes in the finish. The slight oxidation seemed to work very well in this beer, and helped to counter some of the richness and sweetness. The finish was very smooth, long, and smokey, with the 13.5% abv. very well integrated into the flavor profile.

Age has treated this beer very well. Just an absolutely delicious, unusual BW from the folks at Baladin.

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Photo of BlackWednesday
3.78/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I’ve read a lot on Italian beer last year and was seeking the beer which could justify it. This is it. I missed out at GBBF and was highly annoyed. This makes amends. The smokey aroma was intoxicating. Remember that experience when you have German raunchbier for the first time? Yep this is similar! I LOVED the smell. Smoke, oak and sausage at the same time. The taste was very smokey; cheese, pepper, caramel and toast. I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of BearsOnAcid
4.63/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Lighter mahogany body, still with no head.

Peaty smoke up front in the nose with a gentle cognac aroma. Strong alcohol hits the senses, it was awfully harsh. Usual suspects of prunes, dates, and glazed raisins from the barleywine.

Before knowing this had tea in it (originally thought it was a smoked barleywine) I got an incredibly smooth tea flavor with a decent helping of smoke to it. It evolved into a decadently silky toffee and caramel malt sweetness. This beer is sweet but never cloying. Apart from the nose you'd never know this beer was high in alcohol. The flavor was so mellow and never burned.

This beer has a huge wow factor and is an incredible feat in brewing.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.55/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Absolutely fantastic on all levels. Much like the other Xyauyu beers it's got perfection written all over it. Orange in color, sweet and slight smokiness in flavor. Had a sugary aroma mixed with a faint scent of BBQ sauce. If only these beer could be sold cheaper, but these are like a once in a lifetime treat! I would drink these again in a heartbeat.

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Photo of Sammy
4.02/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Outstanding and expensive creation. In a word, chestnut honey and peat. The colour, chestnut reddish brown. The aromas: roasted chestnuts and honey. Soft mouthfeel. A sipper. Finished it over two hours. Would give it even higher praise if chestnut honey was not so prevalent and touted in this part of the world.

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Photo of tpd975
4.32/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big Thanks to GodisThunder for the share

A: Pours and orangish amber hue with just a few bubbles. Looks rather still in the glass.... just like it should.

S: Bold dark fruit aromas with a blend of sweet candy malts. Subtle smoke can be picked up along with a touch of wood.

T: Dark fruit with a nice blast of woody meaty smoke. Nice dose of caramel and toffee to sweet up the smoke. Very well crafted I have a man crush on anything Xyauyu.

M: Full in body, rich, sweet, smokey, and still.

D: Sippability is rather high on this one.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.15/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Inflatablechair brought this to the last tasting at Ditmier's house... Big props to Sam and Eric.. Thanks fellas.

Pours completely still .. very clear deep orange.

Thick honey and caramel... golden raisins.. smokey for sure.. the smoke makes me think of Peat smoked malt not German smoked malt.

Flavor reminds me of bacon.. sugared bacon... plummy with pureed dates ... the smoke gets to be too much for me, but is still pretty elegant overall. Thick body and no bubbles.. like a tawny port... decadent... I wonder how long a bottle of the xyauyu would last once corked.

Huge thanks Sam... I was surprised how much I liked this one.


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Photo of Suds
4.42/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is a made of Baladin's excellent Xyauyù barleywine, flavored with Lapsang Souchong smoked tea. It's a very satisfying brew. Chestnut in color and completely still, the beer is very transparent and comes from a corked bottle. The aroma is mostly English barleywine...booze, loads of malt, bread crust, and a bit of distant smoke. The tea comes out in the flavor more than the aroma. A touch of smoke and a little tea leaf flavor. Low hop flavor. Incredible malt sweetness....complex and satisfying. This is a serious sipping beer. Full mouthfeel...it reminds me of a port wine. Very viscous and very full. Excellent stuff.

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Xfumé (Lapsang Souchong) from Birrificio Le Baladin
4.36 out of 5 based on 37 ratings.
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