Founders Deca 10th Anniversary - Founders Brewing Company
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Ratings: 99 | Reviews: 75 | Display Reviews Only:
4.4/5 rDev +5.3%
Rusted raspberry with bright tangelo trim. The beer is crystal clear and develops a gorgeous glow with any sort of backlighting. In spite of very little visible carbonation, a standard pour generated a generous crown of pale caramel colored foam... that is beginning to lay down gauzy sheets of finely stippled lace. Eye candy without a doubt.
The nose throttles things back from great to merely good. More vibrancy would be wonderful, as would more depth. Warming should help on both counts. I get caramel and assorted fruits, primarily candied cherries. While there's a hint of the 'spices' noted on the label, they aren't very prominent.
One of the most amazing things about Deca (among many) is that the brewers have buried a 13.0% ABV extremely well. Alcohol is noted in the nose and it's barely noted on the palate. Mouth, tongue, esophagus and gullet beg to differ. It's far from hot, however. In fact, it's just about right given the circumstances.
Not that it matters, but this 10th Anniversary ale is more English barleywine than American barleywine. The label indicates, and the taste buds definitely agree, there's much more malt ('generous') than hops ('a touch'). On the other hand, I'm not sure that a 13.0% British beer has ever been brewed.
The flavor profile is reminiscent of one of the two best barleywines in existence... Midnight Sun Arctic Devil (Great Divide Old Ruffian is the other). This beer is good, but it isn't *that* good. As suspected, warming brings things into sharper focus and heightens flavor contrast.
Specifics include figgy pudding with dark rum and caramel sauce, sticky dates, candied citrus peel and small pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg. The beer is most assuredly sweet, although cloying is kept at bay by what tastes like at least 'two touches' of hops. Given everything else that's going on, it's difficult to appreciate the Belgian yeast. American ale yeast was used as well.
The mouthfeel doesn't give an inch in terms of quality. It starts out medium for the style and finishes at least medium-full. There's nothing but glassy smoothness and a whole lotta soft edges. That's a remarkable feat given the stratospheric ABV.
Deca 10th Anniversary Ale is special beer that deserves to be brewed again... and again... and again. I can't think of a more worthy addition to an already stellar lineup from one of my favorite breweries. Founders needs a barleywine. Founders needs *this* barleywine. And so do the rest of us.
11-30-2008 22:37:46 | More by BuckeyeNation
4.47/5 rDev +6.9%
Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a modest head that leaves a few dots around the chalice
Smell: Caramel, raisins and stone fruit
Taste: Opens with a rich caramel flavor that is joined, mid palate, by a rather fruity aspect; after the swallow, the subtle impact of the yeast and spices moves this barleywine in a rather unique direction; some earthy bitterness appears as well, but the age has taken the edge of the hops
Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation
Drinkability: A very nice barleywine that leans English rather than American now that it has aged a bit; the yeast and spices add an intriguing dimension
10-29-2009 12:37:44 | More by brentk56
4.08/5 rDev -2.4%
Reading the lable, I beleive that it may have been characterized wrong on this site. The bottle suggests that Belgian yeast was used along with American yeast, which explains a strong phenolic and ester content, but with a super crisp, cracker-like malt character. Otherwise, the beer has big, bold flavors of toffee, molassas, barley and an overall heavy sweetness. A very toasty, bready base gives the beer a lot of thickness and body. An underlying berry-like and apple tartness gives the beer a thinning, drinkable quality. The 10.5 percent alcohol is hidden well in the viscocity and ultimate sweetness. Although not overly complex, it drinks easy and has a very desirable crispness in the end. Thanks Nathan15.
01-28-2008 20:36:05 | More by BEERchitect
4.47/5 rDev +6.9%
I received this gem in a BIF sometime last year, and I had it sitting in the cellar ever since. Well I happen to notice it last week and decided to put it in the fridge to drink sometime down the road. After a long day, I came home and wanted something a little stronger this evening, so I decided to go with this one, as well it looked like it had the cure for how I felt.
Appearance - The pour was rather nice with a dark brownish amber with some nice highlights of a honey color laced in throughout. Very nice color, and nearly opaque from all the haze and cloudiness that was interspersed throughout. A smallish, maybe an inch high of off white colored foam came over the top of the glass. It hung around for a good couple of minutes before settling down to a thin film that stayed throughout the rest of the session. Very nice overall presentation, with a little bit of side glass lace throughout.
Smell - The aroma was rich and very sweet. What surprised me was there was no sense of alcohol in here at all, none, with a very sweet malt character to it. Lots of caramel and honey were all over this one, and blending in nicely with hints of cloves and grasses. Very mellow aroma overall with nothing really standing out or becoming overly heavy in any way. Just a very solid offering so far.
Taste - The flavor was soo mellow, and the alcohol soo well hidden I almost did not know what to do wit myself. This was literally tremendous in its nature, but its actuality was just sublimely mellow. A very nice honey soaked raisin like menagerie of earthy sweet flavors just opened up all around. Just richly complex and subtle, I am in awe with how well this was made. It is a phenomenal barley wine. Started out with a huge rush of caramel flavored toffee that was equally as sweet as it was mellow. Some nice underlying grains in the back really coming through, and all evidence of the 13% ABV is gone. This was almost too good to be true. Complex and earthy. There was a nice bit of light yeast flavors, some apples maybe, but this was mostly sweet bready malts we were dealing with here, and very good ones at that. A slight bit of a grassy hop note in the finish, but not too drying, was leaving a nice long lasting sweetness in the profile.
Mouthfeel - Really a lot of quality here with a rich thick Mouthfeel that was really just about perfect, a little more carbonation and it would have been. Thick, almost like a syrup in its consistency, it really drank like a true barley wine. Not slick at all, but very thick in the feel.
Drinkability - Here I would have to say that this was outstanding. This is a 13% barley wine, which drank like it was about 7%. I really never did detect any alcohol in it any way shape or form, it was just that good. I struggled not to drink this one too fast, as I found my sips getting bigger and bigger with each passing minute, really exceptionally drinkable.
Overall, I thought this was more then worthy from Founders. It was harsh and in your face like some other of their brews are, rather it took the subtle route to get your attention, and boy did it ever. I would love to get another one of these to see what a year or two could do to it. If you can find this one, get a hold of it now, its worth it.
04-19-2008 14:11:23 | More by mikesgroove
3.68/5 rDev -12%
The pour is a murky amber color with a small off-white head. Aromas of caramel, sherry, and overripe dark fruits. Also seems to be some toffee, bread, and oxidation. Surprisingly, there are still some hop notes to the flavor. Plenty of sugar and malt flavors, mostly caramel and toffee. Sherry-like oxidation and plenty of fruit character.
08-07-2012 16:41:24 | More by womencantsail
4.18/5 rDev 0%
Poured into an oversized wine glass a deep rich burgundy with some residual tawny hue a thinner off white head atop,whoo this is brash on the nose deeply malty and fruity with some vanilla rum notes,cherry,caramel,a bit of nutmeg as well the hops are very muted aroma wise at least.This is a sipper for sure,big sweet malty flavors dominate from the onset caramel and vanilla-like sweetness with deep dark fruity esters a mild nutty aspect underneath,the alcohol will kick ya as well but I like the pain finally a noticeable pine hop note shows thru late and emerges more as I drink more.Big chewey meal in a glass it cuts thru the bit of chill in the air here in WNY tonight,another killer brew from Founders they should be proud,cellar this if you can hold it.
09-17-2007 00:34:47 | More by oberon
3.98/5 rDev -4.8%
Thanks to Renee & Jim for this one! Review from written notes.
Cellared 2007 bottle.
Served in a tulip glass. Dark copper color, almost a fossil amber jewel tone when held to the light. Thin layer of off white foam that settles to a thin frothy ring that has a slight collar around the edges.
Spicy and bready aroma, lightly sweet with some oxidation creeping in around the edges.
Rich flavors of port and carob, toffee, plum, chicory. Soft carbonation, creamy feel, finishes dry. Alcohol seems to have mellowed out completely. It's aged pretty gracefully, and retained some interesting complexity. Definitely better than I remember it tasting 2-3 years ago.
01-23-2012 00:05:44 | More by emerge077
4.28/5 rDev +2.4%
22 oz bottle into a couple of snifters. Big thanks to HopDerek for splitting this one with me.
Pours a deep, clear ruby with a 1/2 finger of soft mocha colored head. Retains mostly around the edges, with some thin wisps in the middle. Swirling throws a rich cascade of lacing up, that lays in thick swathes on the sides of the glass. The aroma is very malty sweet, with notes of thick toasted grains, toffee, dark fruits, bread, and some fruity citrus. The hop character, that was probably more assertive when fresh, has faded into some smooth smelling herbal and spicy character. Touch of warmth as well in the nose, but anything to worry about.
The taste starts with a nice thick base of malts to it, with roasted grains and bread mixing with syrupy toffee sweetness. A flush of black currants and some more citrus style fruitiness fill out the middle. Finally, despite some age, hops still assert themselves in the finish with a light bitterness that not only balances out some of that heavy sweetness but also imparts a drying and spicy feel on the palate. The mouthfeel is full bodied with a surprisingly soft feel to the carbonation that then gives way to a more viscous feel towards the back. As a matter of fact, this defintely sips very nicely for a 13% beer.
Over a year and a half of cellaring has been kind to this, holding down the bitterness, allowing the sticky malts to shine, and most of all, tempering some of that high ABV. Hefty and flavorful, this was a most pleasant American Barleywine to sit down with.
05-13-2009 16:43:08 | More by Kegatron
3.88/5 rDev -7.2%
The beer pours a cloudy dark gold, almost brown color with a 1/4" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet malty scent that boasts of lots of pale malts and a touch of crystal malts. It's warm and inviting. The taste is good. It has a warm, malty flavor that goes down slow and easy and finishes bitter with some residual malt sweetness. The Belgian yeast is evident, but I'm not sure it's a good character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This isn't my favorite barleywine, but it's a good drinker. It's got some unique character that makes it a worthwhile choice.
12-03-2007 23:20:06 | More by WesWes
3.88/5 rDev -7.2%
Pours a dark golden amber/copper color with a one finger yellowish beige head that slowy fades into a thin ring. Minimal lacing left behind.
Sweet malty aroma with subtle hops and earthy spice. Hints of caramel, toffee, leathery malt and dark fruit.
Medium bodied with sweet caramel malt, rye, biscuit and toffee. Faint floral, earthy hops with a zesty spice character. Slick oily nouthfell with slight boozy sweetness and heat in the finish. Pretty tasty and complex with a well masked ABV.
07-13-2011 02:02:45 | More by corby112
4.08/5 rDev -2.4%
Thanks to Brad for hooking me up with this awesome extra in our trade. Poured from a bomber into a snifter and shared with friends. The brew appears a clear amber to ruby brown color through the body. A yellowish creamy tan head appears across the top ad quickly dissolves. Some spotty lace sticks to the glass with more of an orange to yellow look of the brew through the edges.
The smell is burnt sugar with hints of toasty to toffee-like grain. Some caramel sweetness as well as dark fruity quality. Raisons come to mind as well as brown sugar. Overall this is a fine smelling barleywine with big focus on malt and a bit of alcohol.
The taste is sweet and toasty with a burnt toffee to caramel flavoring. Dark fruits are evident just like the aroma led on. A touch of herbal hops break things up as well as a hint of solvent alcohol. Brown sugary sweetness resides in the mouth long afte each sip. Overall this is a well balanced offering with well blended flavors.
This is a full bodied brew with a thick and viscous feel. It had a big warming factor about it but maintains an ease of drinkability. Very nice arrangement of flavors and quite complex in the dark residual sweetness department. Not bad, I wouldn't mind having this again sometime. Thanks again Brad.
02-10-2012 20:44:01 | More by stakem
3.95/5 rDev -5.5%
A 650 mL bomber purchased at Capone's almost 2 years ago. Still has the rather exorbinant $25 price sticker on it.
A: The barleywine is a full mahogany red color, hazy throughout except for one small patch of bright orange glow near the bottom of the glass. A thick head has left a robust lace around the mouth of the glass.
S: The nose is very malty, bready with a raisin and brown sugar presence. Toffee aromas add a sweetness that matches the brown sugar.
T: A licorice sweetness, laced with some ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon gives the ale an interesting start. Having never read the label, I didn't know that the ale was spiced. A nice surprice. Behind the spice profile, a malt bomb is waiting to explode. Syrupy caramel and toffee define the malt body and support, in addition to the spices, a citrus hop profile that has clearly degraded. My first burp also had a coffee aftertaste, releasing an interesting depth that doesn't pop out of the taste.
M: The mouthfeel start off spicy, interesting for a barleywine. The malt body has a dry sweetness that mixes well with a mild (due to degradation) hop profile. A Christmas barleywine.
D: The spice profile is strange, almost out of place within this barleywine. It makes me anxious for the first wave of each sip to pass. What is left afterwards is a solid barleywine that I'd sip on for at least half of a day (a whole day may ruin me).
02-21-2009 02:40:00 | More by akorsak
4.33/5 rDev +3.6%
(Served in a tulip glass)
A- This beer has as dense brown body with a slight reddish glow at the base of the glass. The head is made up of big bubbles of light tan with a slight yellowish hint. With each sip the head slides down the glass leaving a trail. The carbonation is good and made up of lots of tiny bubbles.
S- The smell of sweet caramel malt and a soft hint of chocolate malt has a light pine note. As it warms there is a slight perfume hint to that caramel and a note of dark roasted malt in the background.
T- The taste of caramel and dark roasted bitterness give way to a light cream and white sugar note with accents of dates coming through as it warms. There is a light bourbon and cola note in the finish and a soft clove note aswell. The finish is pretty smooth and not really sweet.
M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel and a light slippery texture which is finished with nice alcohol heat.
D- This beer has a good balance of sweet malt flavors and nice alcohol heat. The malt had some nice complexity and the yeast flavors enhanced that. I didn’t notice any hops in the taste but I didn’t miss them at all.
08-26-2007 14:53:07 | More by rhoadsrage
3.45/5 rDev -17.5%
22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.
Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a scant 1/8" tan head over the slightly cloudy burgundy brew. Head is down to swirl quickly, with minimal fleeting lace. Aroma is sweet, fruity alcohol. Taste starts heavy on the sweetness, almost cloyingly so, giving way to the fruit, and then alcohol flavor and warming on the close. Mouthfeel is too syrupy for my tastes, and drinkability is limited by same. An interesting anniversary brew, but probably not one I'd search out again.
11-06-2007 01:20:42 | More by ppoitras
4.72/5 rDev +12.9%
Christmas tasting with biegaman and grub, luckily we were joined by ThatWineGuy who pulled this monster out of the cellar.
Pours a hazy amber/orange, thin off white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring, drops some lace spots on the glass. Smell is amazing, tons of toffee, alcohol, wood, fruit, dates, more toffee, this one is super caramelized, very rich. Taste is amazing as well, dates, very insane toffee, citrus, floral, some alcohol, nice hoppy caramel finish, very solid bitterness, very rich and caramelized. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, very thick and coating in the mouth, alcohol is superbly hidden, never would have thought this is 13%. Fantastic American Barleywine, I think my favourite this far. Thanks a ton Ron!!
12-28-2007 01:39:28 | More by Viggo
3.95/5 rDev -5.5%
Big thanks to siege06nd for sharing this one with us. Poured from a 22oz bottle into a snifter. It poured a murky, dark caramel color to it with just a few bubbles gathering around the edges of the glass. Just a hint of lacing as I drank it. Pretty nice looking for the style and age.
The aroma has a rich caramel and dark fruit presence to it. I get a little bit of an herbal, earthy spice to it as well. It does show some oxidization to it though with a little bit of a sawdust like aroma coming out. It wasn't a bad aroma for it's age at all, but I can easily see how it could have been better a few years ago.
The taste shows a rich maltiness to to it with raisins, caramel and brown sugar all coming out. I get some herbal bitterness in the finish that really helps balance it out. As I drank it I started to get a little more of a sweeter, candied fruit like flavor out of it. There is a little bit of residual citrus hops left in it, enough to tell that this was probably fairly hoppy in it's prime. The rich, deep malty flavors in it were very good overall though.
The mouthfeel is heavy and a little slick with carbonation being low. Great mouthfeel for the style. Overall I thought it had some really good flavors. It felt a little oxidized in the aroma, but that didn't really show in the taste. I thought it had a nice balance for the style as well. It was pretty good overall, but I can imagine it might have been a little better a few years ago.
02-05-2012 13:22:48 | More by billab914
4.75/5 rDev +13.6%
Bottle couresy of todd1. Thanks!
Pours a clear dark brown with a reddish purple hue and a tight dark beige cap of fine bubbles. The head fell slowly to a skim and rocky collar, leaving some fine lacing stuck to the glass. Rich toffee and caramel aroma with a refined citrus hop background. A little spicy, almost like gingerbread, faint pine, biscuit, alcohol, dried fruit. Really, really nice. Moderate bitterness, more emphasis on gigantic malt character, tons of toffee, caramel, nuts, sugar, bread crust. A little citrus, orange and tangerine, plus alcohol towards the finish. Dates mid-palate, along with other dried fruits. Spicy finish, again with the gingerbread, with lingering toffee and orange blossom. Exquisite texture, super creamy and smooth with delicate carbonation. Full bodied, nearly heavy due to the lowish carbonation, and just shy of sticky. Mild alcohol warmth. What a superb barleywine! This stuff is amazing, great balance and tons of flavour. Highly recommended.
12-19-2008 02:13:44 | More by DrJay
4.28/5 rDev +2.4%
This was a big time want of mine and was graciously provided back about this time last year in the Fight Club: Project Mayhem BIF... Czoch75 devastated my wants list... I shared this with the usual suspects over the weekend.... Thanks doesn't say enough.... Clint, you are a Rock Star!!
Deep amber.. very clear... sorta thin yellowish tan head... still nice lacing... pour looks viscous.
Nose shows thick caramel and a bit of unidentifiable spice and some background cherry.
Flavor is complex.... a bit of raisin and some figgy qualities... some mild yeasty phenols remind me slightly of white pepper and minor clove... but the proof is in the great malt profile... yummy ... Eric kept thinking this was "wood aged"? I don't think so, I was just amazed at all the flavor packed into the bottle.
Body was medium/full with a lighter than expected carbonation that lended well to the mouthfeel.
I was able to pick out the "Belgian" yeast qualities a bit, but overall, this was a very nice BW... I honestly believe it could still handle another year or two pretty readily.
Thanks again Clint for the beatdown... It was a good hurt ... Now when are we gonna do it again? :-)
05-12-2010 07:10:05 | More by JohnGalt1
District of Columbia
3.68/5 rDev -12%
From 22oz bomber to snifter on 2/4/12
-- Thanks for the vintage tick, Johnny --
A: Not the prettiest girl at the prom. It's an almost ugly shade of brown. A decent pour yields no lacing and a very minor collar. There's also a weird top lining to the beer, kinda thick.
S: Somewhat stale and quite piney hop oil. It's stodgy, like it's been in the cellar for half a decade (which it has).
T: Even this far in, it's still pretty damn hoppy off the bat. It's also got a really resiny quality to it. The mid is a touch sweet, and the finish features the malty spine and a touch of earth.
M: Like almost all of Founders brews, this thing feels great. Thick and rich, yet approachable and really well put together.
O: Nowhere near the top of the Founders depth chart, yet it's still a solid non-BA American Barleywine. I'd bet dollars to donuts that when fresh, this drank more like a DIPA then a traditional Barleywine, as the hops are rather pronounced and in your face.
All in all, I'd say get into this one if you've still got it, as the beer seems to be fading, and with haste.
02-15-2012 21:59:43 | More by Rhettroactive
Founders Deca 10th Anniversary from Founders Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 99 ratings.