AleSmith Horny Devil - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Horny DevilAleSmith Horny Devil

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BA SCORE
90
outstanding

370 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 370
Hads: 897
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 12.22%
Wants: 104
Gots: 174 | FT: 10
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Belgian Strong Pale Ale |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 370 | Hads: 897
Photo of goodbyeohio
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

cool ass bottle, flashy foil, great silkscreen job.

pours a hazy golden amber, see-thru with sugar-glazed distortion. not much in the way of head here, a constant ring with some floating mold-like islands of dead carb.

big belgian sugar aroma which captures a nice mix of clover honey and fresh, tart apple juice scent. further warming brings hints of thick mango puree and canned pineapple sweetness. a varitable fruit salad in the bspa-insipired nose.

belgian malt bomb is bold and solid in flavor. age has softened it a bit, added some quirks like raw pumpkin flesh and something smoother and phenolic for balance. the coriander is a welcome spice addition but not influential or overwhelming.. perhaps partly lost in the shuffle of a year. mild spice hints add to the earthier side of this brew, which is lacking.

a good sipper. strives to be well rounded, but seems to be on the cusp of age-inspired destruction. don't think this will improve too much further than the 18 months have pushed it. good beer for a u.s., overall iffy for something wrapped up so pretty. (1,083 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
3/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Giving this one another try, want to like it. Let's see how it goes...

750ml bottle purchased from Julio's, Westboro, MA. Red foiled cap, green bottle.

Opened with the teensiest pfft, and microscopic bubbles can be seen in the brew. Not particularly hopeful... Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a lazy, big-bubbled yet uneven head above the orangey copper (still apple juice colored) brew. Big bubbles lasting around the edges, but no longer much of a head, with some delicate lacing. Aroma is some spices, with a sweet fruity tinge to it as well. Taste is pervasive spices, with granular sugary malt component coupled to a light fruitiness, and alcoholic close. Mouthfeel and drinkability are still lacking due to low carbonation, but at least this brew was better than my last experience. Guess I won't bother to revisit this again. (846 characters)

Photo of scottoale
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one on-tap yesterday, at the source, AleSmith Brewery, doesn't get any better (or fresher) than that! Served in a 12oz plastic cup, it's light yellow-gold with a nice white foamy head and some tell-tale lacing to the end.

The smell is sweet and fruity malt, as a Belgian Trappist smells from it's country of origin, very distinct. Notes of alcohol and a bit of yeast come through, as well.

Fruity, sweet, notes of coriander and yeast, the high-alcohol then rips through and gives the message: danger, high potency, proceed with caution and ENJOY this big a$$ brew.

Good medium body to this lightish looking ale, don't let the looks fool you, or you'll get hurt...11%ABV, I think so. This one surely fits it's style, even though it looks like a Belgian blond, it just tastes like a Strong Belgian brew...period ! Enjoy ! (838 characters)

Photo of chargerfanjess
4.35/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery, very thin white head with small amount of lace. Tons of spicy phenols and herbs in the Belian aroma. I could smell this all day long. Very tight small bubbles that explode this effervecent aroma. Taste is good a little too much phenols for me but still a good taste. Excellent on the palate wanting more after the crisp finish. Very drinkable brew for this high alcohol brew. (398 characters)

Photo of watermelonman
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a nice deep gold with a small head that didn't last long. Lace is minimal.

The smell is nice and strong but coriander and spice are so powerful that nothing else can come through. It doesn't dominate the taste, however. Pale malt, esters, and a bit of alcohol are all present. Spice and coriander come strong in the finish. The mouthfeel is fairly sharp while drinkability is great for the alcoholic content. (426 characters)

Photo of bennetj17
3.17/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Virtually no head developed when I poured this alcoholic monster. Only a tiny ring appeared after some time. Its a bright gold/copper color with tiny floating specks of matter floating about. Nice color, but without much head it seems dull. The smell is citrusy (orange)and hoppy, but not that potent. The alcohol doesn't come through that strong in the aroma suprisingly. The flavor takes time to develop. Sweet and fruity at the start, slowly becoming sour and alcoholic at the finish, almost way too alcoholic. Not very bitter, but the alcohol rides too high and ruins the flavor in my opinion. The mouthfeel is a bit flat and it feels thin also. I liked where they tried to go with this but it became hard to drink after while, and I usually like strong brews... (766 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear gold topped by a rich white head. Spotty lace throughout. Toasted malt aroma with rich fruitiness and a hint of spice and coriander. There's also a bit of alcohol that peaks through as it warms. Bready sweetness hits you first, but is quickly balanced by a restrained bitterness. Spice fills out the mid and leads into the finish, where it combines with mild alcohol warmth and dryness. Full bodied and palate coating, rich texture, low carbonation. The alcohol is masterfully blended into the character of the beer, making it a dangerously easy drink! (558 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle is actually labeled 11% ABV.

An awesome brew, which I think is a little under-rated.

A: Pale yellow with a white head, a little retention & lace.

S: Alcohol, tropical fruit.

T: Bready malt sweetness is nicely balanced with hop bitterness. Earthy/spicy (presumably from the yeast), with some tropical fruit as well. It seems like it could have been fermented with different yeasts (or simply temperatures), then blended afterwards. The yeasty flavours really come through, as a Belgian Ale should!

The alcohol is certainly apparant, but doesn't seem as strong as it actually is... though it is pleasantly warming (especially in the finish).

M: Light to moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Awesome, considering the strength!

Thanks DrJay! (776 characters)

Photo of AlexJ
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark pour for a BSPA, deep amber orange, glowing from within. Head is large and frothy, retains well and deposits generous lacing.

Aroma is sweet and fruity, gently perfumed with notes of citrus, peaches, green apples, pear, mango, and plenty of spicey coriander and clove. Belgian yeast notes are pleasingly authentic.

Flavor is much the same. Ripe, harvest fruits are the main attraction; apples, peaches or apricot, pinapple, grape, and subtle citrus blended with coriander and baking spice notes. Finish dries out with grassy, peppery hops. Again, hard to believe this is not Belgian.

Body is nearly large, texture is soft and refined with a slick, dry mouthfeel and well concealed abv%, making it dangerously drinkable. (733 characters)

Photo of Backer2004
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hits a powerful punch . . . I really would like to try one of these on my own, not just as a taster. Great balance of hops, the alcohol is barely noticeable. Taste out of this world, one of the best tasting Belgian Strong Pale Ales I've had the experience of tasting. This is my first AleSmith but definitely not my last. I think I can pick up a Speedway Stout and enjoy it just as much in the next few weeks. (409 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.77/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

01/09/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle, top wrapped in silver foil. Poured into a chalice like glass.

Appearance- Darker orange colored pour. Fluffy white over an inch head. Condenses down to about 1/4 inch for the rest of the drink. Mid range sticky laces in a few places.

Smell- Doesn't really waft out of the glass. You have to stick your nose deep inside. When you get the whiff though, it is very nice. Huge fruity nose, vinous in effect. Kinda like and orchard smell. Orange, peaches, apricots and buckets of corriander.

Taste- As stated before, buckets upon buckets of corriander. This gives it it's huge orange drambuie type of flavor. Liquor or wine type of alcohol taste, maybe a slight amount of white pepper as well.

Mouthfeel- Middle of the road carbonation, super easy to drink as it warms. Very warming in the old tummy. Is 11% now as stated on the bottle rather than the listed 10%.

Drinkability- Goes down super easy and really hits you when you get to the end of the bottle. Will be buying this again for sure. (1,090 characters)

Photo of arizcards
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up a 750 ml bottle from AJ's back in August.

This beer pours a golden orange color with very little lacing to note. Nose is sweet, of spices and belgian candy. Taste is sweet and slightly of pepper spices and belgian yeast, somewhat smooth, and an alcohol warming finish in the belly. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and lively on the palate. Overall drinkability is good. The ABV is very high and it is well masked in the taste. It is worthy of a try but rather expensive and one of those special occasion brews. (518 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle Pours a cloudy straw yellow, no carbonation, no head, but some lacing. Scents or orange, coriander, a little alcohol. Nice taste tangy, sweet, with a hint of alcohol. Medium body. Very drinkable at 11% ABV which the bottle sez. I like this offering from AleSmith, very nice would buy again and recommend to people. (327 characters)

Photo of RedDiamond
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Odd how I dislike most Alesmith beers yet enjoyed this one, while apparently the rest of the world sees things the other way around. There’s no other way to explain this: there’s something wrong with the perceptions of the rest of the world.

I particularly enjoyed the smell of Horny Devil, which captures a pleasing barnyard essence offset by a slight whiff of ginger ale. Very classy. The body is clear autumn yellow with a few flocs, casual carbonation, and minimal head. The taste is golden rustic and traditional with very little evidence of the 11% ABV. A late surge of coriander compliments the finish though something in the end does manage to fall flat, perhaps as a result of poor cellaring. I would definitely seek this again. (744 characters)

Photo of carln26
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark gold color, very clear, with virtually no head at all (What the heck?). The aroma is very rich. Orange, coriander, yeast in the form of fresh bread (and I live above a bakery). This is one beer where the aroma pretty much exactly matches the flavor. Distinct coriander and orange zest that is backed by fresh baked bread (Sourdough). Sweetness that reminds me of Jolly Ranchers (Orange flavor). The mouth feel is slightly tacky, yet is still a bit light. There is a ton of alcohol here. Possibly a bit too much. This could hurt the drinkability. (550 characters)

Photo of mentor
2.74/5  rDev -31.7%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

750 ml bottle provided by Eyedrinkale as part of BIF20, thanks much! Shared with three other BAs at a quiet gathering in late November, 2005. Pours a small amount of bubbles on the surface. Not carbonation foam, bubbles like you could get from water. Crisp orange gold liquid with some fine particulates suspended. Smells carry brandy and bourbon (my wife says it smells metallic). Caramel and alcohol sting. The taste is Halloween candy caramel...that is cheap and waxy. Funky phenolics are minimal, but there is a sour character. Green apples and mango. Creamy mouthfeel, but the flavors just don't come together on it. (621 characters)

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Gotta appreciate the breweries that put an extra effort into the presentation. Let's rip into this baby! After the *fwssk!* and the gunsmoke whisp cleared from my 750 barrel, this Belgian ale fills the glass with a medium amber vitreous hue, containing a few sparse rising bubbles to the razor thin head cap island floating around the thin khaki collar. Careful attention was paid to so as not to disturb the yeast in the bottom. Some

Initial scents are spicy peppery dough. Generous aroma. Some detectable awl-kee-hawl esters are present. Belgian characteristics abound with a hint of latex.

First swigs: Dry slightly tart doughy and a dry finish. Candi sugar leaves a slight dry hay linger. Middle is smoothed over with the sugar which evokes a slight vanilla bean. (last yeast pour: A milkshake! fizzy head. Still hidden ABV.)

Although smooth as silk, a syrupy characteristic develops. A bit warm in the thoat. One of the thickest Belgian ales, which is a trick in itself with the delicate appearance.

Last swigs: Reminds me of Kwak a little bit. It;s a darn good Belgian Strong. Sprung $11 smackers at Tops Liquors in Phoenix for the 750 mL. Probably can get comparable cheaper, but still, it's good. Bottle says 11% ABV. Thanks to me for sharing the bottle.

Beer is good. Happy Belgian strong beering. (1,324 characters)

Photo of OStrungT
3.67/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a golden brown with a white head that fades very slowly leaving a lot of laces. It smells slightly spicy. It also smells slightly honey like. Not much in the way of hops. I hate to say it since I like most AleSmith beers, but I am not too fond of the aroma of this beer. This beer tastes quite syrupy. It is very sweet. Very sweet. I taste alcohol. It is very strong. It has a malty taste. Almost Barley Wine like. I detect some spicy like flavors to it. This beer is carbonated well. It leaves an alcohol like aftertaste. This beer is quite aggressive. I dont think this beer would make a good session beer. It is quite alcoholic and the aggressive flavor might be a bit much. This beer is good to try, but dont go out of your way. (748 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.89/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 750ml bottle into chalices. Golden color, clear, thinnish white head which clings to the glass nicely.

Smells spicy and yeasty. Tastes the same. I guess what I'm tasting is coriander, based on all the other reviews. I wouldn't have known the spice, but the effect on the beer is outstanding. An addictive taste. Even the aftertaste is addictive.

Recommended, even though it is a bit expensive. 750mL set me back $12.50. (437 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.12/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Well, this is a disappointment. Poured as flat as warm milk. The bubbles that did come out in the pour looked like the clear, fomay bubbles that sometimes appear in a glass of water when you pour it out of the sink's faucet. Without any carbonation, the mouthfeel in this beer was less than impressive. Kind of like walking without crutches after you break a leg, there was nothing to make the alcohol pop but for the burn that rises out of the back of the throat. Also, I have a feelingt eh flavors would be more pronounced and come across as "fresher" if there was carbonation. As such, the flavors are dull and <ahem> flat. Sugars and spices come through in the malts. Candied oranges. Slight hints of yeast but nothing that truly jumps out at me. The ABV really brings out a bit of a burn after a while.

Note: Towards the end of the bottle I decided to pour a glass of apple cider and compare. Not too much of a difference. (936 characters)

Photo of bruachan
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

from the hudson acme

my bottle doesn't look like the picture: mine's green
very pale in color; looked like white wine in the bottle. in my glass it's a similar color to the dreadnaught i had last night, but a little lighter. what does that mean? a light pristine amber. a efw bubbles reach for air, but only a collar with a splotch in the middle (either an island with a barrier reef or a volcano with a cinder cone in the crater). conclusion? the color is really nice, and i'll allow for some head to be killed off by alcohol

the smell reminds me of the saison de pipaix i tried this summer: port and white pepper with a citrus tang. there's some alcohol aroma that comes through in this one, but only enough to serve as a reminder that this beer is a little stronger than natty ice (this aspect grows as the beer warms. now it's a little too much)

after smelling this brew i was not prepared for what i tasted. i'm not going to cry "false advertising," but mom was right when she told me not to judge a beer's taste by its aroma. while the nose was subdued, my tongue is attacked by coriander and white pepper, galvanized by a backbone of alcohol heat. at first it seems very spritzy, even though it's not highly carbonated. the attack subsides and i'm left with the residual effects of some spice, but mostly a funky, porty sourness that makes me crave brats and kraut. i get some cinnamon in there, too (1,416 characters)

Photo of Shaw
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I brought a bottle of the 2001 vintage (purchased in 2005) back to Fla. from San Diego and shared it with my beer buddies.

It has the orange color of a tripel. I'm surprised to see it classified here as a strong pale ale, but I can see why. My bottle is labeled at 11 percent ABV. There isn't much of a head.

The smell is all coriander, which is why I was thinking this was a tripel.

The taste is quite sweet. The 11 percent ABV is very well hidden behind the coriander, spice and malt flavors.

The mouthfeel is nice and smooth, the body is light but not too light.

Overall this is a good beer. Quite sweet, so be aware of that. And with the high strength, I suggest you split the 750 mL bottle unless you have a while to enjoy this brew. (753 characters)

Photo of eclectic
3.3/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep orange/amber.. fruity aroma with hints of apple and peach.. The taste is less complex than I had expected. Initially sweet and yeasty, with a spicy malt finish… a noticeable alcohol flavor detracts from the overall taste. Medium bodied yet thin at the same time… Overall a rather boring beer with very little redeeming qualities...Would not have this again. (372 characters)

Photo of Sixpoint
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A deep amber color, almost brown.

An aroma of alcohol, spicy phenolic esters. I also get an abundance of malt, bread, and a sweet toffee aroma.

Candy-apple sweet toffee crunch surprise in the palate.

Low carbonation and a full-bodied flaovr. The sweetness is cut by hops and spice.

Finished malty and spicy. LIttle hop flavor in this one. Real warming in the finish. Fantastic holiday beer. (406 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's unusual that I've never reviewed the Horny Devil because it's one of my favorite beers, and I've had more than a few bottles of it! Of course, in a way that does make sense because I'll quite often just skip the review and enjoy the beer to its fullest when I'm enjoying something that fits my personal tastes (mainly sour Belgians, but this one is good too!).

So what is it that catches my attention in the Horny Devil? Well, I guess it's the combination of softly sweet, and ever so lightly toasty, bready malt and low-key coriander. It's round and supple with a great drinkability.

It initially pours a very clear, brass-orange-gold body beneath a full head of white foam that dwindles readily to a thin collar leaving only thin webs of lace about the glass. The yeast pour brings it into full cloudiness.

The nose, however, redeems it with a rich, sweet, and bready malt that's accented by a delicate prick of alcohol and a minor waft of spice.

The body is medium and it's smooth and supple across the palate with a restrained, natural carbonation. However, in older bottles it does develop a bit more crispness.

The flavor is exactly as the nose suggests with just a bit more depth. The bready,vanilla-ish, lightly caramelish, and subtly toasty malt acts as the stage for some entertaining swirls of yeasty fruit, spice, and alcohol. It's basic, but very well-balanced and quite drinkable (with the exception of its strength).

In my opinion, 3 years seems to be the max on this one before it starts to shrivel up. It doesn't develop any more character through aging, and all that happens is that it becomes more crisp and dry. There's a wide medium ground, but I find it best fairly fresh - within a year or two. (1,741 characters)

AleSmith Horny Devil from AleSmith Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 370 ratings.