Xyauyù Fumé (Islay Whisky)
Birra Baladin

Xyauyù Fumé (Islay Whisky)Xyauyù Fumé (Islay Whisky)
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From:
Birra Baladin
 
Italy
Style:
Barleywine - English
Ranked #27
ABV:
14%
Score:
96
Ranked #1,212
Avg:
4.37 | pDev: 8.47%
Ratings:
64
Status:
Active
Rated:
Jun 15, 2021
Added:
Jan 17, 2013
Wants:
  22
Gots:
  10
SCORE
96
World-Class
Xyauyù Fumé (Islay Whisky)Xyauyù Fumé (Islay Whisky)
Notes: None
Recent ratings and reviews. | Log in to view more ratings + sorting options.
 
4.56 by arzt from Russian Federation on Jun 15, 2021
Photo of JLK7299
4.34/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
by JLK7299 from North Carolina

Picked this up off a recommendation from a friend. Was on the shelf at OEC. Saved it for NYE. Very good. I love smoke but I think it was a little overdone in that regard. Very good though.

Jan 01, 2021
 
4.25 by DvdP from Netherlands on Oct 24, 2020
 
4.35 by Duffman79 from Connecticut on Sep 15, 2020
Photo of Damian
4.07/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
by Damian from Massachusetts

Drank from a 1 pint 0.9 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Ball Square Fine Wines & Spirits, Somerville, MA
Brewed in 2010
Served in a teku

The beer poured a completely flat and slightly hazed, dark caramel color. A small cap of light tan bubbles coated the liquid, but it was short lived. No lacing whatsoever. Tiny sediment particles coated the glass after each sip.

The aroma was quite peaty and smoky but not as punchy or as complex as I anticipated. Scotch barrel notes were most apparent. Moderately sweet with a subtle caramel-like quality too. Hint of tobacco. Bit of oxidation as well. Aged port came to mind.

The flavor profile was similar to the aroma but somewhat more interesting. Nice peaty, smoky quality on the front end. The smokiness was balanced by a sweet, fruity oxidized note. Dark fruits were apparent. Raisins, dried figs and prunes came to mind. Subtle vanilla notes appeared on the back end, along with some caramel-like sweetness. The oxidation intensified here as well. Woody barrel notes appeared on the finish.

Nice creamy mouthfeel. Medium in viscosity and somewhat syrupy. This definitely exhibited the texture of an aged port as well.

I have tried a number of the Xyauyù beers over the years, and have been a huge fan of each of them. This Fumè variant, however, was somewhat disappointing. While the peaty quality was neither too subtle nor too intense, it definitely masked the fruity, oxidative notes that were so prevalent in the others. I am curious as to how this nearly ten-year old bottle drank when it was younger.

Sep 22, 2019
Photo of DefenCorps
4.66/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
by DefenCorps from Oregon

Bottle, 2008 vintage that I picked up at Belmont Station 6or so years back.

A still dark caramel with no head or lacing, this beer has nice legs. The nose is sweet, smoky with dark caramel, dark brown sugar, peat, honey, nocino, a bit of burning bog, almond skin, walnut skin, a touch of raisin... This is endlessly complex and deep. The palate opens sweet and smoky with a strong peat character, along with bits of burning plastic, tempered tastefully by the strong sweetness. Layers of fruit, sweetness and smoke are present with a light floral note lifting the weighty smoke. Nutty, spicy, this is delicious. Toffee, a little bit of raisin, a touch of orange liqueur are present.
Full in body and with a long finish that integrates the smoke and the sweetness perfectly, this is marvelous. Clearly boozy but delicately warming rather that harshly burning. This balance is particularly impressive given the strong smoke character present too. Exceptional.

Sep 07, 2019
Photo of oberon
4.58/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5
by oberon from North Carolina

Insanely priced but it's a true gem,sweet but so smooth and velvety,smoky and deeply fruity with roasted nuts and a hint of peat.An incredible joy to drink....Outside of getting the bottle opened.

Jun 02, 2019
 
4.36 by BeerForMuscle from New Jersey on Apr 16, 2019
 
4.45 by Daniellobo from District of Columbia on Jan 14, 2019
 
4.25 by BdM from Netherlands on Apr 11, 2018
Photo of stevoj
3.74/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
by stevoj from Idaho

Bottle from Darrell. 2006 vintage. Big and boozy, plenty of heat. Sweet, but the heat is what all this about. Nice velvety texture, sweet finish. Ages well.

Apr 01, 2018
Photo of DoubleSimcoe
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by DoubleSimcoe from Pennsylvania

Had this at some bar in Philly; it was listed under "spirits"... 3oz for $9 or 6oz for $13.

Insane right off, brutal aromas of delicate peatiness, chocolate, hazelnuts, Ferrero Rocher and heavenly skies.

Drinks smooth and easy like milk chocolate, no trace of 14%. Still but full, beautiful, round and complete.

Of all the fancy expensive Baladin barleywines I have had, this is by far the best one.

And so this is, right now,the best beer I have ever had.

Mar 01, 2018
 
4.4 by liamt07 from Canada (ON) on Aug 25, 2017
 
4.31 by Doomcifer from Rhode Island on May 29, 2017
 
4.22 by Texasfan549 from Texas on Feb 24, 2017
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.28/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by NeroFiddled from Pennsylvania

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.

Jan 25, 2017
 
4.39 by kjkinsey from Texas on May 15, 2016
Photo of Jugs_McGhee
3.59/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
by Jugs_McGhee from Texas

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

Apr 17, 2016
 
4.63 by dcmchew from Romania on Mar 27, 2016
Photo of Marius
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5
by Marius from Netherlands

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.

Mar 26, 2016
Photo of Ciocanelu
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5
by Ciocanelu from Romania

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.

Mar 20, 2016
 
4.54 by DoKwan from Massachusetts on Mar 18, 2016
 
4.15 by 22Blue from Kansas on Feb 14, 2016
 
4.47 by aaronyoung01 from New Mexico on Jan 30, 2016
 
4.4 by sd123 from Georgia on Jan 21, 2016
 
4.55 by JakerLou from New Hampshire on Jan 04, 2016
 
4.3 by NateF90 from Connecticut on Dec 26, 2015
Photo of Johnct
5/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5
by Johnct from New York

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.

Dec 13, 2015
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.27/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
by ONovoMexicano from New Mexico

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.

Nov 15, 2015
Photo of bobhits
4.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5
by bobhits from Kentucky

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 thing 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.

Sep 13, 2015
 
4.09 by BMMillsy from Florida on Aug 21, 2015
Photo of Sammy
4.16/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
by Sammy from Canada (ON)

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

Jul 20, 2015
 
4.41 by Nordbier from Georgia on Jul 14, 2015
 
4.49 by Zekenyce from New Jersey on Jun 20, 2015
 
4.77 by SFCraft from California on Jun 18, 2015
 
4.88 by DavidHume from Virginia on Jun 17, 2015
 
4.44 by diamondlie from Connecticut on Dec 30, 2014
 
4.25 by BucketBoy from Pennsylvania on Dec 16, 2014
 
4.75 by TurdFurgison from Ohio on Dec 14, 2014
 
4.75 by Matagal from Brazil on Nov 12, 2014
Xyauyù Fumé (Islay Whisky) from Birra Baladin
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 64 ratings