Xyauyù Barrel
Birra Baladin

Xyauyù BarrelXyauyù Barrel
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Barleywine - English
Ranked #14
ABV:
14%
Score:
95
Ranked #795
Avg:
4.42 | pDev: 8.6%
Reviews:
34
Ratings:
127
From:
Birra Baladin
 
Italy
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  53
Gots
  21
SCORE
95
World-Class
Xyauyù BarrelXyauyù Barrel
Notes:
Reviews: 34 | Ratings: 127 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Damian:
Photo of Damian
Damian from Massachusetts

4.45/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

Jul 20, 2014
More User Reviews:
Photo of BEERchitect
BEERchitect from Kentucky

4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
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?

Sep 06, 2013
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
Jugs_McGhee from Colorado

3.57/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Riserva Teo Musso "Xyauyù Barrel" Birra da Divano.

BOTTLE: 500ml. Comes packaged in a cardboard tube redolent of whisk(e)y packaging. Brown glass. 2011. A black wax cap covers the cork. Its removal yields the softest carbontion "plop" of all time. "Lotto L190-199/130." Cost was a wallet-shattering 28.50 euro at a bottle shop in Turin, Italy. Still a better price than I've ever seen stateside...

Expectations are high seeing as this is currently both Beeradvocate and Ratebeer's #1 Beer from Italy. Reviewed live as a rum barrel aged barleywine per Baladin's website (though the label makes no mention of a style aside from "top-fermented beer." Served chilled into stemware.

Alcohol content: 14%
Sugar density of the wort: Plato degrees 36
Color: EBC 40
Bitterness units: IBU 13
Serving temperature: 12/14°C

HEAD: None. No lacing. Like Sam Adams Utopias, it does have that clear patina of a boozy brandy-like sheen when you tilt the glass - and to me that replaces the (lack of) head as a style-appropriate characteristic. What legs!

BODY: Murky. It's brown, but orange hues are exposed when it's backlit (i.e., it's textbook tawny). Semitranslucent. Nontransparent. I see no yeast/lees or sediment within. Dark.

Has more of a liqueur like look than a beer look, but it's generally appealing. I imagine this would get poor marks in a blind tasting.

AROMA: Madeira/port wine, sherry, gooey notes of dark fruit (dates, plum, prune), raisin, sweet sugarcane, marshmallow, malty sweetness, neutral rum (with an accompanying warmth that borders on boozy), orange marmalade, wine-soaked damp wood, and a note I'd call faux-oxidation in that it lacks the intangibles that accompany heavily aged oxidized barleywines but also lacks any "cardboardy" off-character.

Its gooey booziness is again suggestive more of a liqueur than a beer; in any case, Italian liqueur and wine-making influence couldn't be more evident - and one should love that Baladin is bringing an Italian flair to the style. In terms of the barleywine style, though, I'm missing the heavy caramel, toffee, and malt-forward presence you'd expect.

No hop character whatsoever here (to style). No overt off-notes.

Aromatic intensity is moderate. I did expect more of a rum-soaked fruit taste than what I'm getting.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Gooey all the way through, with a smooth wet body and low low low carbonation; some might call it flat, but in a beer like this - that goes for a liqueur-like consistency (and nails it) and flavour profile - such low carbonation is apt. Unrefreshing, of course, and definitely syrupy, thick, oily and viscous. Alcohol warmth is obvious, and is amplified by the rum. Some drinkers will find this heat off-putting and distracting from the flavours, but it does play into the rum barrel vibe to an extent.

Malts take a backseat to the dominant fruit notes. Dates, prunes, orange marmalade, a blip of raisin/grape, sugarplum...it's a very liqueur-forward brew, in some ways nodding to rakia and in others nodding to the fruit profile seen in rich Madeira/port dessert wines. A sherry wine sweetness is also obvious. All of which is to say: where the hell is the rum? It doesn't harmonize with the fruit, and aside from adding to the noticeable booziness of the beer, I'm not seeing what it's contributing. The said can be said about the wood barrel, which is so backgrounded and reticent it barely adds any cohesion to the flavour profile.

No hop character here, to style.

Treacle. A subtle hint of leather.

There's a definite marriage of texture to taste; both work together to serve the liqueur schema of the brew. The viscosity of this really emphasizes the gooey fruit notes.

OVERALL: I doubt I'd correctly identify this as a beer if I was served it without knowing beforehand - and is that a bad thing, necessarily? I'm honestly not sure. This would make a great digestif, but that doesn't mean it's a good expression of the barleywine style. Frankly, it *isn't* to style - but that doesn't mean it's a bad beer per se.

Some compare this to Sam Adams Utopias, and drinking it I can see why. But as boozy as it is, it's far far FAR less drinkable than the very best barleywines; indeed, it seems oddly committed to its alcohol warmth.

I have mixed feelings about this "beer," but ultimately I love that Baladin is doing its own thing. I might buy this again and recork repeatedly to use it as an aperitif or digestif, but it's not the hearty sipper of a barleywine that can be finished in one sitting one might hope for (nor is it a beer I'd want to finish while sitting on the couch, contrary to Teo at Baladin's intent).

Worth trying as a great example of a country bringing its own tradition to beer, but if I wanted a (true) barleywine, I'd sooner spring for a Danish, English, or American example at a third or less of the price.

I appreciate its uniqueness, but I won't be able to finish the bottle by myself. Definitely a beer for sharing, if you're not recorking.

B (3.57)

Apr 16, 2016
Photo of jzeilinger
jzeilinger from Pennsylvania

4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Mar 18, 2014
Photo of SLeffler27
SLeffler27 from New York

4.47/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is clear, very dark amber with ruby red highlights and no head or lacing. The single most defining characteristic of its appearance is the thick, syrupy coating it leaves on the Glencairn snifter.

Strong alcohol fumes carry sweet fig, raisin, vanilla, caramel, and distinct peat. Oxidation is an additive quality of sherry and rum.

The strong taste of Crème Sherry is quite sweet with distinctive raisin, fig, coconut, vanilla, and rum. The character of this beer seems to continuously develop as it warms. The finish is short and mild.

A dense, smooth body with a syrupy texture that coats the palate. Strong alcohol is not hot and there is zero carbonation.

This beer is liquid candy which I aged for seven years. It was well worth the wait, as each sip delivers on the promise. I savored while reading and listening to Baroque music.

2008 Release, aged in Rum Barrels

Jan 31, 2016
Photo of elNopalero
elNopalero from California

5/5  rDev +13.1%
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!

May 15, 2013
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

4.31/5  rDev -2.5%
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.

Mar 14, 2014
Photo of Dope
Dope from Massachusetts

4.41/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

Feb 17, 2014
Photo of BeerForMuscle
BeerForMuscle from New Jersey

4.39/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Apr 15, 2019
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

3.94/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This one, also still, has a merlot sort of look to it--dark red, almost black, with a fluid, silky still surface. It's quite pleasant to look at under the light.

Taste is tobacco, dark red grape, raisin, and lots of fig. It's almost wine like, as it's super smooth, but there's no heat or booze, and it's quite unique with a hard to pinpoint earthiness.

This one was even more difficult to rate than Lune, as it was a little more difficult to interpret, but I preferred Lune more, as this challenged my palate a little too much.

Feb 18, 2020
Photo of jroof1
jroof1 from Massachusetts

4.5/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mar 28, 2019
Photo of Duffman79
Duffman79 from Connecticut

4.46/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Sep 14, 2020
Photo of kdown
kdown from California

4.25/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Apr 10, 2019
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim from New York

4.56/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

2005 vintage. Missing a cap. 16oz. oz. corked bottle into a Brooklyn Brewery snifter.

Pours unsurprisingly flat. I get notes of soy sauce, raisin, chocolate, fudge, roast, booze, and prunes. Super deep, rich, and aromatic. Beer opens chocolate, raisin, and fudge. I get sweet soy sauce, brown sugar, and maple, and molasses in the middle. Boozy at the back. Vinous at times with more raisin, fudge, and dried prune. Brown sugar and booze at the finish. Long, lingering, sticky, and sweet and velvety molasses aftertaste. Body is full with no carbonation. I can't express how spot on this feel is despite the lack of bubbles. Really coats the palate and is wam, viscous, and rich going down with a long, lingering, oily aftertaste.

This beer is a perfect expression of the style. Absolutely amazing.

Mar 01, 2021
Photo of Sammy
Sammy from Canada (ON)

4.04/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dec 13, 2015
Photo of lucat
lucat from Italy

4/5  rDev -9.5%

Aug 16, 2014
Photo of kylesobrien
kylesobrien from Canada (QC)

4.34/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had the pleasure of trying this one at the Mondiale de la Bière. Looked for Xyauyù while in Europe this past month, but never saw it anywhere.

Pours a syrupy brown, essentially zero carbonation, very very faint wisp of white head. Aroma is boozy, slightly sweet, dark fruit, caramelized raisins, very rich.

Loads of malt flavours -- waffle cone, honey, deep caramel, more dark fruit, pleasant undercurrent of tobacco. Sweet but delicious, definitely a slow sipper to enjoy. Not much noticeable hop character at all, which is just fine. Calling this an English barleywine almost seems a bit of a stretch, this is very wine/liqueur-like. Would love to sample it again, delicious.

Jun 08, 2018
Photo of drewone
drewone from California

4/5  rDev -9.5%

Apr 22, 2013
Photo of largadeer
largadeer from California

4.5/5  rDev +1.8%

Oct 04, 2013
Photo of bobhits
bobhits from Kentucky

4.23/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured last night with a large group of friends.

Much like the other beers in this series that body is brown with red highlights, great legs, dense body yet perfectly clear.

The nose is sweet on this one, with a bit more raisin and oak coming through. I'm getting more of run barrels than a bourbon or an oak.

The flavors play off those same aromas with sugar, rum, and fruits all commingled.

An exceptional beer, but I don't believe the barrels added any real value here.

Sep 13, 2015
Photo of mltobin
mltobin from Connecticut

4.55/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oct 31, 2017
Photo of Griffith
Griffith from Connecticut

4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Jul 05, 2014
Photo of ynnpar
ynnpar from England

4/5  rDev -9.5%

Jan 18, 2013
Photo of PhineasMcClintock
PhineasMcClintock from Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +7.5%

Apr 11, 2013
Photo of clayrock81
clayrock81 from Florida

4.21/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a copper body with no head or lace at all. The aroma is boozy (rummy) and has notes of wood and dark fruits. Beer is sticky and coats tongue for very slow and enjoyable sweetness. While the booze adds a little heat on the finish it never overtakes the beer and the sweetness is comprised of caramel/toffee, raisins, plums and figs and again I get this boozy, rumlike sweetness (vanilla? I normally think of bourbon barrels giving off). Excellent beer and worth trying if you can get some.

Jul 25, 2015
Xyauyù Barrel from Birra Baladin
Beer rating: 95 out of 100 with 127 ratings