Xyauyù Barrel | Birrificio Le Baladin

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93
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102 Ratings
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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
Ratings:
102
Reviews:
27
Avg:
4.35
pDev:
9.43%
 
 
Wants:
42
Gots:
20
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 |  Reviews: 27
Photo of Sammy
4.04/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Texasfan549
4.55/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

 505 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Knapp85
4.44/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

 515 characters

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.09/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of BEERchitect
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
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?

 2,291 characters

Photo of kojevergas
3.57/5  rDev -17.9%
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 largadeer
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of olradetbalder
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of wethorseblanket
4.49/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of vfgccp
3.92/5  rDev -9.9%
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 millerbuffoon
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
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.

 461 characters

Photo of MarkyMOD
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of JAHMUR
4.75/5  rDev +9.2%

Photo of chippo33
3.8/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of 22Blue
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aasher
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%

Photo of liamt07
4.25/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of beernads
4/5  rDev -8%

Photo of dwagner003
4.03/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of clayrock81
4.21/5  rDev -3.2%
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

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Xyauyù Barrel from Birrificio Le Baladin
4.35 out of 5 based on 102 ratings.
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