Xyauyù Fumé (Islay Whisky) | Birrificio Le Baladin

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51 Ratings
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Xyauyù Fumé (Islay Whisky)Xyauyù Fumé (Islay Whisky)
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 01-17-2013

BEER STATS
Ratings:
51
Reviews:
16
Avg:
4.3
pDev:
9.3%
 
 
Wants:
21
Gots:
10
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 51 |  Reviews: 16
Photo of Doomcifer
4.31/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Texasfan549
4.22/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.28/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Birrificio Le Baladin "Xyauyù Fumé (Islay Whisky)"
on tap @ Bir & Fud, Roma, Italy
5€ / 5 cl glass

Notes: Listed at 13.5% ABV. Little head. Clear dark copper/russet brown. The alcohol is clear in the nose alongside notes of Sherry, caramel, Demerera/brown sugar/molasses, and wood/oak. The flavor is soft, sweet, sugary with caramel of all sorts, and subtle red & dark fruits. The alcohol remains clear, and along with the wood it dries the finish as there's little bitterness. There are suggestions of Scotch whiskey in the finish, but not the sea, salt, and peat of an Islay version. Dextrinous and medium-full in the body. Very little carbonation. Thumbs up.

 666 characters

Photo of kjkinsey
4.39/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of kojevergas
3.59/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Riserva Teo Musso "Xyauyù Fumé" 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 carbonation "plop" of all time. "Lotto L063/140." 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 (if you can even find this Xyauyu variant there).

Expectations are high seeing as this is currently one of both Beeradvocate and Ratebeer's Best Beers from Italy (#5 and #2, respectively). Reviewed live as an islay whisky 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

Laphroaig or Caoli Ila barrels are not indicated, but my understanding is that this is barrel aged in one of the two. Spends 12 months in barrels per Baladin's website.

Paired with chocolate as recommended by Baladin.

HEAD: None. No lacing. Shares the same gorgeous brandy-like legs of Xyauyu Barrel when the glass is tilted.

BODY: Not as tawny as Xyauyu Barrel; more of an orange-amber. Translucent and somewhat transparent. Clean; devoid of visible lees, yeast or sediment.

Like other Xyauyu offerings, this definitely has more of a liqueur-like look than a beer appearance. I appreciate it for what it is, but if we're judging it strictly as a barleywine, it's not a great appearance overall.

AROMA: I really search and dig deep trying to find the Islay whisky, and all I come up with is some faint muted peat - and it's so faint, I doubt anyone would find it in a blind tasting. Hardly the smokey peaty aroma you'd associate with Islay distilleries' whisky. I don't find any wood either. This is consistent with the aroma of Xyauyu Barrel, in which rum wasn't noticeable hardly at all - but at least Xyauyu Barrel offered some sugarcane.

More wine-like than whisky-redolent, with notes of Madeira wine and sherry - both of which are much less expressive than they are in their Xyauyu Barrel counterpart; maybe rum accentuates grape more than whisky? Faint plum, faint prune, maybe some gooey marmalade...I'm surprised at the reticence of these fruit notes, especially since they're so much more vivid and distinctive in Xyauyu Barrel.

Malts take a backseat to the liqueur-like fruity character, making this less a beer and more a liqueur in my view. While it does offer a blip of marshmallow, in terms of the style there's little here that's appropriate...no toffee, rich caramel, oxidation, graham cracker, rich maltiness, et al.

Aromatic intensity is actually mild. I find this less boozy than Xyauyu Barrel...actually, the alcohol presence is quite well hidden.

TASTE & TEXTURE: Gooey and jammy, with a liqueur like thickness and alcohol warmth. Unlike Xyauyu barrel, this isn't overtly boozy; the alcohol warmth is a nice underscore to the subtle fruit notes. Speaking of which, I'm getting gooey notes of orange marmalade, apricot, plum, white dates, maybe prune...it's not as "dark" in its fruit character as, say, a quadrupel, but it's got a lot of fruity complexity and the jamminess and thickness of the mouthfeel accentuates that well.

Oily and slick on the palate, but not sticky or syrupy per se (thick though it is). Coating, smooth, wet. Warming and somewhat filling, but not heavy or overbearing. Definitely full-bodied; it's not a beer I could drink one bottle of in a single sitting. Carbonation is low as can be, which plays into the barley liqueur vibe aptly.

Where is the whisky? There's a kiss of peat in the body, but none on the open or finish...hardly the expressive peaty smokey Islay whisky character I hoped for. Okay, I didn't expect a Bruichladdich level of peat, but even Laphroaig barrels should offer far more than this does. No whisk(e)y spiciness, no oak barrel, not even any general wood flavour.

What it does offer is a subtle Madeira wine and sherry wine character which suits the gooey fruitiness nicely. It's a balanced beer, and an enjoyable one. Okay, Xyauyu Barrel is more intricate in its build, but this, perhaps, is more harmonious. I quite like it.

OVERALL: Its disappointing lack of the Islay character it's billed to showcase holds it back, but I find it a less boozy, more balanced (if more shallow) offering than Xyauyu Barrel. Not much of a barleywine, but then it really isn't trying to be; that designation seems more for marketing than anything else. I'd love to see Baladin throw Xyauyu into some Port Charlotte or Octomore barrels and really commit to peat and smoke; this could easily be world class if properly executed. More drinkable than Xyauyu Barrel even if it's still more a liqueur than a beer, and easily comparable to Boston Beer Co.'s Utopias - and I think that says it all.

B (3.59) / GOOD

 4,983 characters

Photo of dcmchew
4.63/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled at a tasting. Hazy brown pour, no head or carbonation visible. Smells like cocoa, nuts and bourbon. Tastes like cocoa, milk chocolate, chestnuts, whiskey, sugar, figs and coconut. Medium body, no carbonation and alcohol in the aftertaste.

 246 characters

Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Murky copper color with no head. Aroma has dark sugar, dark fruits like figs and dates. Taste starts sweet and fruity with figs, plums, raisins, dates. Finishes slightly bitter with a light whisky note. Body is flat and syrupy. Really complex taste, sweet, dark fruit forward, with very well hidden ABV.

 303 characters

Photo of DoKwan
4.54/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Photo of 22Blue
4.15/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of aaronyoung01
4.47/5  rDev +4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Photo of sd123
4.4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of JakerLou
4.55/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Photo of NateF90
4.3/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Johnct
5/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I tried my hardest not to give it a perfect 5, but that's what it is.

I've had a little under 900 beers now, and this is by far my favorite. It is it's own style, a "Birra Da Divano" as Teo calls it. It means "Couch Beer", the reason being, I assume, if I won the lottery tomorrow I would purchase 500 bottles of this and never leave my couch again.

This was a vintage 2010 drank in 2015. It poured flat, absolutely no gas or bubbles. The color was translucent. It looked like bourbon or perhaps a flat cola. The smell was beautiful, permeating throughout the room. Pure Whiskey-Barrel-Aged yumminess.

The taste was perfect. It's exactly what I would look for in a perfect barleywine. Well, if that's what you call this beer. Straight smooth whiskey (but not overpowering in the slightest) complementing the Xyauyu's base flavors. The aftertaste was nonexistant. Never have I had a beer with such powerful flavor that immediately faded.

It tasted like it was a nice 7% or 8%.

I came.

 988 characters

Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.27/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

1 pint 0.9 fluid ounces bottle into an oversized cognac glass.

Pours more like a liquor, still and viscous. Amber and dark brown in color, it looks like a rum with some barrel aging. I love it though. 5

There's some heat, smokiness and ash and mesquite BBQ, with lighter caramel and chocolate. Actually, that's a lot of caramel. This massive Avery cognac glass may make a huge difference. 4.25

This has a booze-laden sweet potato and marshmallow taste to it. There's smoke and ashtray joining this flavor with a slight vegetal flavor crossing with scotch. The overall flavor is a smoky, sweet, smooth scotch. 4.25

This is thick, viscous and sweet like a digestif but with a smokey pervasive feel that takes you to a campfire. 4

Well, this ain't quite the Gold Label Xyauyu but it's still pretty bomb.

 806 characters

Photo of bobhits
4.92/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Go buy this beer! If you haven't had it, you must and I can't imagine anyone doesn't want a second.

Sampled with a group of friends last night and the look of awe from people who'd never had anything like this before was rather rewarding. Even some fairly big craft beer drinkers were just floored.

This is a brown, clear bodied beer, with nice red notes when held to light. Zero carbonation and frankly it's amazing looking. The difference in this beer and the rest of the xyauyu series is that while amazing beers and truly transcendent for beer, really nobody has this kind of end product, but for all the praise, it's a really sweet over the top beer. It needs something to balance it a bit, bring down the sugars so they complement and enhance, vs over powering. Add in Islay peat and smoke and turn turns out we have a solution! I'm a big fan of smokey peaty whiskey so I might be biased here, but the peat doesn't dominate this beer. It is the primary flavor, but in doing that it allows the port and sherry like elements of the beer to complement both making the sugars and fruits a great complement to balance out the smoke, but more importantly it actually makes them taste better.

The end result is what might very well be the best think I've ever had. I almost regret sharing 90% of the bottle with friends, almost. I can also attest that of the Barrel, the Fume, and the Gold the overwhelming consensus was that this was the best. It wasn't even close and I honestly think people were slightly disappointed at the others because we started with this one.

 1,586 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.09/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Sammy
4.16/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Incredible bottle sharing at cask republic, stamford. Pure whisky aroma. Dense smoke and body. Great bw.

104 characters

Photo of Nordbier
4.41/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Zekenyce
4.49/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of SFCraft
4.77/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of DavidHume
4.88/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Photo of diamondlie
4.44/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of BucketBoy
4.25/5  rDev -1.2%

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Xyauyù Fumé (Islay Whisky) from Birrificio Le Baladin
4.3 out of 5 based on 51 ratings.
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