Well what ornate kinds of shit do we have going on in today’s review? Just another imported $50 500ml bottle NOTHING TO FUCKING SEE HERE. This is the legendary Xyauyu barleywine but one of the even more .RAR variants, aged in Islay Whisky barrels, so you know things are gonna get pretty peaty up in this bitch real quick. It came in a circle box, in a waxed bottle, you remove the wax and uh oh the princess is in another castle. A fucking cork. Not just a regular one either, a long deep cork that pounds way inside. When you finally open up this genie bottle, shit goes off the chain and you can see what those lazy ass italians are up to when they aren’t groping foreign women and pissing away the value of the Euro.
Birrificio Le Baladin
English Barleywine | 14.00% ABV
A: The cork finally eases out and this 2008 beast is ready to go full throttle. Well not exactly, this beer is famous for being flatter than 10 year old Kate Upton, and having absolutely no gas to it. For some people, they just write this beer off as a “poor man’s” Utopias, but haters gonna Baladin I guess. I could give a fuck less about the lack of lacing or carb because look at that beast. It sheets harder than southern Reconstructionists, and is just as furious. If Kuhnhenn can release massive flat barleywines and everyone’s foreskin is all pulled back, why not the italians, renowned for their foreskin?
S: This is seriously 1) the most peat forward beer I have ever had and 2) easily one of the most complex. I am gonna pull apart this strata like a horny geologist so you can get all up in these layers. First the peat and barrel sets its feet firmly in the paint and starts screening out every other aspect. This is like Home Depot garden aisle with a bit of Costco tire aisle mixed in. There is a huge smoke and earthiness not unlike sulphuric oak and deep char rounding out the profile. When the wreckage is cleared, there is a terrified citizen in the bombed out peat building, smelling all like caramel, mallowfoam, toffee, butterscotch and peanut brittle. Shattered to the core.
T: This is incredibly smoke and peat forward and the entire first taste is akin to just straight up sipping straight up peaty Scotch. The dude from Islay dug peat samples from six locations across Scotland – three of which were peat bogs on Islay. A practice steeped in tradition, lends “a sense of place” to the whiskies of Islay, playing an important part in the mysterious chemistry of malt whisky. This shit is no exception and just unloads both barrels in your face with deep oak, smoke, peat, and intense whiskey profile. The peat aspect is incredibly earthy and totally unlike the rauch aspects that some people may be thinking of, the shit is like hardcore gardening, planting GLADIOLAS MOTHERFUCKER. The backend is this fantastic sweet caramel, Rolo and Sixlet candy, a sticky sweet caramel apple, with some dank ass Heath bar finishing the experience. Very strange and inviting, like that volunteer gym coach who wasn’t on the school payroll and would just show up at games.
M: This is hot, drying, and incredibly sticky at the same time. The entire experience is a clusterfuck of different elements going on. The oak and smoke take front seat and contribute this cloying cigarsmoke finish that leaves you feeling like you have drysocket, but then the sugars replace that feeling with deep cavities, shit is straight up occlusal real quick. Go ahead and Bing that word, I will wait.
D: This is an incredibly difficult aspect to address because it really isn’t drinkable in the classic sense. I mean, it is tough to want to hang out with a 14% abv asshole all the time without getting in mischief and soaking the entryway down, smashing goldfish crackers on the carpet and shit. But in a certain way, this brash overpowering jerk has a certain charm. It took me 90 minutes to finish this 16oz bottle, and I don’t have no pussy palate. I am not going to address that inherent euphemism. But on a long enough scale, this is enjoyable as something that could be savored as a rare treat, tugging it along gently, massaging your palate’s lower colon to push for deeper results. The experience is worth it. $50 worth it. Stop being a sweet dick and embrace the peat.
Narrative: The baggage line at Moline/Quad Cities airport was really nothing to write home about, in the classic sense. It was a single carousel of lacluster luggage, largely from lamenting languishers, awaiting trips to Iowa or the 312. One bag had a special secret. Reggie Darwinson pulled the Samsonite equipage from the line and examined it at length. “Sir, you are gonna wanna see this-” Reggie radioed to his supervisor and massaged the cool wet exterior of the canvas bag. “What is it Reggie? Oh god what is that smell?” his superfisor fumed and examined the soggy sack, sticky and rancid, like a box of soaked cigars. They opened the bag and found a perfectly measured sack of fertilizer with Italian customers paperwork soaked in the muck and the mire. “Who would pay $50 just to send this? There is no baggage tag, just country of origin…Italy,” Reggie noted and pushed around the wet bog, discovering a series of obscure Italian chocolates in the muck. “I have never seen anything like this, sir…I am going to hang on to this,” Reegie stammered and wheeled the smoky mess home. He started at the luggage and wondered what would possess someone to do this, but it gave him a strange comfort to have it sitting there, in his shitty midwest apartment.