AleSmith Horny Devil - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Horny DevilAleSmith Horny Devil

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831 Ratings

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Ratings: 831
Reviews: 366
rAvg: 4.05
pDev: 12.84%
Wants: 98
Gots: 144 | FT: 12
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 831 | Reviews: 366 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bitterbill
4.2/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours from foiled and capped 750ml a clear medium gold which turns to cloudy (further in to the bottle) with lots of bubbles and a medium sized head of foam that shrank very quickly leaving a fine layer with lacing.

The smell is very lemony and spicy with notes of yeast and a pretty strong nose of alcohol.

The taste, up front, is a very citric bitter/sour with the "mentioned on the label" Coriander and has notes of bread but... it's also very sweet, a Malt Liquor kind of initial impression is that the flavours aren't meshing very well together.

After a few more sips, I'm starting to "see" and appreciate the harmony that *is* actually there and this becomes a fine sipper. The sweetness that I complained about earlier is now well balanced and in fact taken over by the spice and citrus from the hops.

Oh and yes, there's certainly some warming from this 11%abv but Alesmith did a pretty fine job of hiding it. I might have to get some more of this for, what I'm sure will be, the upcoming harsh winter that is due here in Casper.

Bottom line: My initial impression was so-so but the more I sipped on this Belgian Strong Pale Ale, the more it pleased my palate. My hat's off to Alesmith once again!

Photo of sinstaineddemon
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - this belgian pours a dark amber in color, with a thin bubly, quickly dispersing head, there is a lot of fast moving carbonation, and though i managed not to pour any, there is a thick layer of sediment in the bottle

S - what a great fresh aroma from this ale, the corainder spiciness really comes through, along with the distinct breadiness and hoppiness i've come to love from quality Belgians

T - danm, this is great, perhaps its the week without a craft talking, but this is really really good, the spiciness is the first note, very tasty and of high quality, the yeasty breadiness gives it great tasting background, and the aftertaste subdues into a nice apple cider flavor

M&D - apart from being nearly thick and tasty, nearly chewy, this beer is warming, it warms the mouth, tongue, throat on the way down, the only drawback is the fizziness, but its so slight it doesnt take anything away from the beer, it upholds Alesmiths reputation handily

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.83/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Black95tt: Poured a light orangey color ale with a good foamy head with little retention. Aroma of spices is clearly dominating with some traces of the Belgian yeast. The spices that probably include coriander also dominate taste as well as slightly funky yeast, some sweet malt and a light dry finish. Alcohol is well masked which I appreciated but body was a bit too watery for the style.

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the Stuffed Sandwich

A: Vibrant and inviting - the color of orange blossom honey. The white frothy head dissapates fairly quickly, however bubbles continue to float to the top.

S: Floral essences give it a freshness that reminds me of a warm spring day. Hints of rose, camomile and lavender.

T: Very complex, and layered with flavors like vanilla creme, orange, clove, sweet lemon, jasmine, honey and cardamon. The sweetness hits the roof of the mouth in a juicy burst, while a slight bite nips the tip of the tongue. Nicely balanced througout the rush of flavors, with a strong finish.

M: Medium body with a low carbonation.

D: This beer is definately better on tap than it is in the bottle. Very much enjoyable on draft.

Photo of biegaman
3.8/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A huge thanks to HogTownHarry for this one!
Poured a glowing, glazed over golden colour. Some head that diminished quite quickly. A Belgian-esque aroma, certainly. A ton of coriander, maybe some ginger as well. A damp, heavy mouthfeel - thick, thick. Odd for this style. Some light booze can easily be detected, it gently coats the mouth which is nice. Hard to grasp much character, this is neither sweet nor sour nor much of any one adjective. Even the otherwise pleasent aroma is rather one-dimensional. A neat lasting resonance, but the exessive use of coriander makes the mouthfeel very gritty, leaving this beer with little grace.
This just doesn't pull off as genuine Belgian style ale, clearly an American interpretation, that while good, isn't 'as good' in my own, humble opinion.
Disapointing, this wasn't the complexion or finess I expected with Alesmith, its good, but rather bold without boasting much substance.

Photo of edchicma
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A definte split personality. It pours a cloudy yellow with little head...very unimpressive. Smell likewise is a touch of lemon and some subtle yeast...ho hum. Then, the taste kicks in..Jekyll and Hyde for sure! ...a full malty, citrus. smooth experience that must be sampled to be appreciated. The mouthfeel is almost beyond smooth...from front to back palate. For 11 abv this is unbelievably smooth on the drinkability scale. Get past the appearance and smell and experience a truly great brew.

Photo of TheBungyo
3.2/5  rDev -21%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

If ever I wanted to demonstrate the importance of appearance this beer would be my subject. Let me say that every Alesmith beer I've tried has been good ... strangely though, the two that had problems were both belgian style beers. It wasn't that they didn't taste good. They both lacked any head, carbonation, lacing and mouthfeel. This one poured like amber diluted with honey. No head, not even a shimmering of bubbles that vanishes instantly. Nothing. No lacing. I am not happy with this pour. I would have given it a 1 if the body didn't look so good. In other circumstances I would ponder as to whether or not I got a bad bottle but since this is the second Alesmith Belgian to appear this way I find that hard to believe. Smell is orangey, with honey and sugary sweetness. Taste is orangey diacetyl mingled with sweet sugary finish. This would be a very good beer if the mouth and appearance were fixed. Instead, mouth is extremely thin and boring. I'd have another, but only to make sure this bottle wasn't a fluke. I'm unhappy with this beer.
It may seem strange for me to thank Clickpush for this beer since I seemed unhappy with it but this was an extra he threw in out of the kindness of his BA heart. For that, I thank you my friend. I am definitely glad I got to try it.

Photo of Franchise
4.13/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dirty blonde leaving a very thin white lace. The aroma is honey, cloves, super sweet "natural honey candy" is what comes to mind. The taste mirrors the nose, very sweet, the alcohal is faint well hidden masking the 11% but warming. As this beer warms a bit candied orange, peach, and caramel all come to mind. The finish is smooth and lite, one that you need to sip and enjoy slowly.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.58/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Yeastified ripe pumpkin with butterscotch borders. It's immediately apparent that AleSmith doesn't have the same penchant for carbonation as most Belgian brewers because the head isn't explosive in the least. It's pale orange-tinted alabaster in color and is firmly creamy. No huge frothiness, no Alps-like rockiness, no slathered on Belgian lace. It isn't a bad look, but it can't hold a candle to the best of this style.

I like the nose quite a bit, probably due to the authentic Belgian yeast strain that, according to the brewery, was obtained from a Trappist monastery. Which one, they don't divulge. It may not be quite as complex as some, but makes up for it by being especially aromatic and especially spiced orange fruity. Coriander *and* clove? Very nice.

Although the head wasn't explosive, the beer itself sure is! I'll say one thing for AleSmith beer, like it or not (and I love it), it isn't shy when it comes to flavor delivery. Horny Devil hits the taste buds like a ton of very delicious bricks that are in no hurry to leave. I'm not entirely sure, but I think that I could identify this beer as a non-Belgian BSPA. Something about it is different, though it is very, very good.

For one thing, it's fruitier (oranges and apricots) than usual. For another, it's sweeter than usual. For yet another, the coriander adds a delightful 'other' spiciness that one doesn't usually taste in a beer of this style. Sweet, spicy fruit... all things that I enjoy. Especially when delivered in beer form by one of the best breweries on planet Earth.

Sweet has company. Bitter and sour, in their best Sunday finery and as well-behaved as can be, are present as well. I never doubted the Horny One's desire and I certainly don't doubt her performance, but--initially at least--I doubted her complexity. Now I'm not so sure. As the beer warms, I'm able to appreciate more nuance under all of the bright, bold, palate-crushing flavors. I can't get over how much the coriander adds and wish that other brewers would do something similar with their BSPAs.

I don't doubt the 11%, but man oh man, this has to be one of the most drinkable double digit ABV beers in existence. Some brewers can't mask 7% nearly this well. As I pour all but the final two fingers of beer into my glass (so far), I get loads of dark particles that just have to be coriander-crusted yeast. Even more flavor! Hot damn!

The body is full and lightly syrupy without being overdone. There isn't a great deal of carbonation left--there wasn't an abundance to begin with--though what's present is doing yeoman's work lightening things enough to keep the beer supremely silky in the mouth. Some might find the sweetness and stickiness unbecoming of the style, but I'm not one of them.

This beer is yet another example of the brewing excellence emanating from Southern California in general and AleSmith in particular. Style after style hits the bull right smack dab on the nose and Horny Devil is no exception. After drinking AleSmith beer, I always wish that I had picked up at least a case when I had the chance. That, more than anything else, is the mark of a world-class brewery.

Photo of cheers2beers
4.08/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Decanted into a snifter

Appearance: This beer pours a orangeish honeycomb hue with a bubbley slightly off white head. A minimal about of laceing can be found. A nice looking temptation indeed.

Smell: The aromas are honey, mango, wild yeast, green apples and a little sour punch with a nice alcoholic finish.

Taste: The flavors are quite nice. This is like the white wine of beers. Has sourness, fruitiness, floral notes as well a nice malty background followed by a mild hoppiness. Honey, peaches, honeysuckel and a touch of alcohol. Wild yeast is definitely detected. This is delicious!

Mouthfeel: This is full and slick for a Belgium Pale ale. Carbonation is subdued but it is there.

Drinkability: This is a must try if you have not had yet. I would love to have a few of these to devour in a session. Alesmith has become one of my top breweries.


Photo of waldowin
3.88/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle. Pours a honey color, with a thin white head that fades very quickly. Very little visible carbonation.

Smells of cloves, mandarins, honey, and cinnamon.

Tastes of honey, oranges, candy sugar, and finishes with a wash of grapes and cloves. Very, very smooth.

Mouthfeel is silky, smooth, and clean. The finish leaves a slightly herbal tingle in your throat, but overall has little long term effect on the mouth. This makes it frighteningly drinkable for something pushing 11%. Light, smooth, airy and creamy, and non-filling, means you can really get yourself into trouble with this stuff.

Photo of goodbyeohio
3.78/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of ppoitras
2.98/5  rDev -26.4%
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.

Photo of scottoale
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
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 !

Photo of chargerfanjess
4.3/5  rDev +6.2%
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.

Photo of watermelonman
4.22/5  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.

Photo of bennetj17
3.18/5  rDev -21.5%
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...

Photo of DrJay
4.25/5  rDev +4.9%
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!

Photo of Derek
4.7/5  rDev +16%
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!

Photo of AlexJ
4.43/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Photo of Backer2004
4.22/5  rDev +4.2%
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.

Photo of GClarkage
4.8/5  rDev +18.5%
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.

Photo of arizcards
3.98/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of RedDiamond
4/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

AleSmith Horny Devil from AleSmith Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 831 ratings.