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Xyauyù Barrel | Birrificio Le Baladin

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Xyauyù BarrelXyauyù Barrel
BA SCORE
4.4/5
Outstanding
103 Ratings
Xyauyù BarrelXyauyù Barrel
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Birrificio Le Baladin
Italy
birreria.com

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 14.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by MasterSki on 01-13-2013

BEER STATS
Ranking:
#1,006
Reviews:
27
Ratings:
103
pDev:
9.09%
Bros Score:
0
 
 
Wants:
45
Gots:
20
Trade:
1
HISTOGRAM
 
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 103 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of jegross2
2.12/5  rDev -51.8%
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.

 1,534 characters

Photo of macesq
3.25/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of kojevergas
3.57/5  rDev -18.9%
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)

 4,997 characters

Photo of jalop
3.75/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of byronic
3.76/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of chippo33
3.8/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of vfgccp
3.92/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2010 bottle, opened 2015

A - Absolutely beautiful color. Crystal clear deep ruby mahogany body. Perfectly still with no head.

S - Rum cake, caramel, brown sugar, dried apricots, prunes, fig, and molasses.

T - Super sweet, but well balanced. Aged Sheri wine, carrot cake, raisins, touch of oak, vanilla, sweet cream icing, prune juice, dark honey, molasses, cognac.

M - Full and silky smooth.

O - Delicius and balanced in a way that it's hard to believe this is 14%, but the sweetness is overwhelming which makes it hard to drink.

 539 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of DaveHack
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of lucat
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of bradfordjohnson
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Kevinpitts
4/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Sweet beer. Period. Worth $45... No.

36 characters

Photo of CharlatanSin
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of ynnpar
4/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Maulucci
4.01/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of StoutSnob40
4.03/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Sammy
4.04/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.09/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of clayrock81
4.21/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

 500 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.21/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

 700 characters

Photo of 22Blue
4.21/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of FLima
4.23/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Light brown color with no head.
Aroma with notes of grapes, plums, caramel, wood and rum.
Sweet flavor with notes of grape based liquor, wood, plums, cherries, vanilla, molasses, figs jelly, rum, mild cocoa and coconut.
Thick body with flat carbonation. Alcohol of 14% just comes sneakily delayed with a pleasant warming sensation.
A twisted Barley Wine with great complexity as expected for the style. Hard not to compare this to a Port Wine, I could be fooled. Similar appearance, texture and flavors. It fit perfectly well with a proper Tiramisu.

 549 characters

Photo of bobhits
4.23/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

 485 characters

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Xyauyù Barrel from Birrificio Le Baladin
Beer rating: 4.4 out of 5 with 103 ratings
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