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AleSmith Decadence 2006 (Dead By Dawn) - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Decadence 2006 (Dead By Dawn)AleSmith Decadence 2006 (Dead By Dawn)

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

123 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 123
Reviews: 106
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 11.24%
Wants: 26
Gots: 8 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Strong Ale |  9.90% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: hoppymeal on 07-09-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 123 | Reviews: 106 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found in Western Mass. A beautifully gifted bottle. Pours a golden yellow with an immense off-white head. C-hop aroma. An excerise in expertly crafted balance, with the malt at the forefront followed like a lion cub by the grapefruit and orange citrus hops. A tad of other flavours, toffee and chocolate and vanilla. Amazing balance, nothing overwhelming and a must try.

Photo of t0rin0
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful beer that really should be produced again. It pours a hazy reddish brown. Its not quite murky but it is hazy. The tan head is tall and thick and stays around for a while. Kinda mysterious looking. Definitely inviting.

The smell is very complex. There is a ton of sweet caramel malts in there and theres also some dark fruits to be smelled. Also a good amount of hops in the nose. There was a touch of alcohol in the nose but we can't hold that against them (it is 10% abv).

The taste is still fairly hoppy but then its only a year old. There are some piney hops present and lots of sweetness coming in the form of caramel and plum. The alcohol could be tasted at the begining but by the time you get half way through the bottle you won't notice it. All around beautiful flavor.

The body was nice and heavy and viscous. Very very drinkable beer that can consumed fast but whats the point. Enjoy it and know that you'll probably never drink this again.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.9/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to drewone for sharing this one at jmgrub's birthday tasting.

Pours a murky crimson-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and toffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good beer that is tasty and still holding up well in my opinion.

Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a pillowy beige head that retains well and splashes dancing waves of lace

Smell: Smells like a Caramello bar; alcohol comes through as well

Taste: Immediate blast of caramel followed by a dusting of cocoa powder; after the swallow, the sweetness fades for a while and some stone fruit flavors sneak in but the finish is long and sweet

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A nicely brewed beer, but a bit too sweet to drink in quantity

Thanks, njhcnwk, for the chance to try this one

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.63/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Bu11zeye: Poured a deep red/burgundy color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt is reminiscent of a barley wine with some citrusy hops also noticeable. Taste is a mix between some barley wine type sweet malt with some bitter and citrusy hops also noticeable. Medium body with some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Overall, while this is not a bad beer I thought it was slightly one-dimensional and IMO over-rated.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Equal parts maraschino cherry and sunset coral with slices of juicy orange along the edges of the glass. What a great color for a beer named Imperial Evil Dead Red. A loud escape of CO2 on crown cracking was followed by the formation of an expansive cap of golden beige foam. It's a little stiff and unsticky, so I don't expect much lace. And don't get much.

The aroma is dead on for an Imperial red. It smells like the beer will have a sweet, caramel-like bottom end, with a top end of citrus fruity hops. I couldn't find the hop bill, but several of the C-hops must be present. Chinook at least. For what it's worth, no alcohol is noted in the nose.

It was inevitable given the ingredients, but Dead By Dawn tastes like an especially caramel malty American barleywine. That's what often happens when there's so much malt present and when the ABV approaches double digits. Imperial red ale... American strong ale... American barelywine... it doesn't really matter in the end. The only thing that matters is that it's good beer.

The flavor profile includes rivers of melted caramel, sticky dates, cherry pipe tobacco and candied citrus peel (orange and grapefruit). Alcohol is still remarkably well hidden, which is an amazing achievement. Warming brings about a whole host of welcome changes: bolder flavor; a more complete melding of the individual flavors; a smoother, more chewy, more creamy mouthfeel; and a lessening of the initially too rambunctious carbonation.

AleSmith has a permanent place in my top-10 favorite American craft breweries because they never disappoint, they usually hit the nail on the head (Grand Cru, Horny Devil and Wee Heavy) and they occasionally achieve true greatness (Speedway Stout, YuleSmith and IPA). Imperial Evil Dead Red... or Dead By Dawn... or whatever it's called, doesn't enter the upper echelon from these guys, but it's a fantastic anniversary ale that I'm enjoying immensely.

Photo of ygtbsm94
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, what can I say. For a South Carolina BA to have a bottle of this chillin in the fridge, in of itself is a miracle. To be able to sit and chill and enjoy it is a whole nother one! This just looks nice, big heavy 750ml bottle, foiled over the cap. Smooth slick looking design, gives you the chills. You know you are in for a heavy hitter with this one for sure. So we pop it open and see what we find...

A - Pours a very hazy and thick dark brown. Lots of red tones to it as well. Pretty much opaque, there was a tiny bit of light that was shining though on the bottom, but I stress a tiny tiny bit of light. A huge tow inch plus head formed on the top almost immediatly, then withered down to just a thin layer of lace that stayed on top for the rest of the session. A good amount of side glass lace was also present for this one. Looked very thick and mean, Dead by dawn for sure...

A - Smell was wonderfully sweet, almost candy like in its sweetness. Lots of notes of sugar and caramel. Sweet cotton candy of candy apple to go along with it. A slight note of hops, but soo sweet it more then drowns that out. Reminds me alot of Big Hoppy Monster at this point, but we will see where that goes.

T - Wow, this is a damn sweet beer. Total sugar overload from the start. This was Big Hoppy on roids. Lots of candy and caramel tones were destroying the taste buds from the first moment you sipped it. A great bitter hoppy finish came on a little bit later, some orange cream sickle and vanilla tones were present. Definatly a major compelx brew here, this was worked on extensivly Lots of malts made up the back, but the hoppy tones more then equaled. Super sweet maple syrup like on the dront. Really good brew, no hint of alcohol at all, none that I could etect, at 10% abv, WOW.

M - perfect is about the only word that comes to mind here. It started out highly carbonated, giving it the silky feeling as it went down. As it warmed and settled a bit, it took on a more serious and syrupy tone. Very thick, but yet light enough to go down well. This was truly a unique consistency and a faboulous beer. I cannot say enough good things here.

D - Just great. The only reason I did not give a five was because we know how strong it is. Otherwise I would be drinking this all night every night. Simply fantastic. If I could improve this I do not know how I could. It was just that good.

Overall, I really just don't know what else I can say. It was too damn close to being perfect. It was the best red ale I have ever had, by far. Not a touch of alcohol could ever be found throughout the bottle, which I ended up finishing myself in a night with ease. I have tried three beers from Alesmith and they are all in my top 10 so something good is definatly going on over there. Keep up the good work, I will keep seeking them out!

Photo of womencantsail
3.95/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a slightly hazy rich amber color with plenty of red notes to it. The head is bubbly and cream in color.

S: The nose is highly sweet, but what else do you expect from a 4 year old beer? Plenty of brown sugar and caramel with a feeble pine note.

T: Like I expected ,the flavor is also very heavy on the caramel with some sweet brown sugar and toffee notes as well. There is not much in the way of bitterness nor alcohol.

M: The body is quite full with a somewhat low level of carbonation. Not exactly syrupy, but it is rich.

D: A little too sweet without much else going on, and while the alcohol doesn't announce it's presence through heat, the beer still packs a bunch.

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.5/5  rDev -16.3%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark red body with a medium, off-white head.

Smell: Lavish, aromatic aroma full of caramel and dried orange slices. Subtle hint of chocolate and leather.

Taste: Bready, sweet maltiness with an abundance of rich caramel. Faint chocolate note. Tangy candied oranges. There's a strong bitterness, but it works well to balance the hefty sweetness. A hint of alcohol and even some notes of wood shows up on the dry, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: It remains rather drinkable considering the 10% abv. Another really good release from AleSmith.

Photo of largadeer
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark and hazy amber, just barely translucent. The head never completely disappears.

Smell: Strong and sweet - tropical fruit, alcohol, caramel, a bit of citrus.

Taste: Sweet but thankfully not cloying. The tropical fruity character carries over from the smell. This is pretty warming stuff - the alcohol isn't hidden at all, which may just be a matter of age. Hops are very much present, but nicely balanced. The citrus notes help balance out the sugary sweetness of the malt and alcohol.

Texture: Pretty thick and syrupy, with very fine carbonation. This is definitely a slow-sipping beer.

Drinkability: Even for the style this is a sipper; it's really heavy stuff with a strong alcohol presence.

Notes: This really isn't too far off from a well-hopped Barleywine. It's thick, chewy stuff, far from sessionable but very complex. It should improve with a few months age.

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of hops, some alcohol, caramelized malts, dark fruit and brown sugar.

T: The taste is bready up front with a hearty malt character followed by sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit. Then a strong but subdued hops presence comes in along with a mild alcohol bite. It's pretty well-balanced even if some of the balance has come with age. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of "Imperial Red" sub-style (before the trend started), this aged bottle overall was pretty good, but I have a feeling I would have liked this beer even more when it was fresh.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A heaping pile of thanks to IntriqKen for this one. I also want to thank my roommate (or whoever it was that came over to my place to hang out while I was at work...) that locked the bathroom door from the inside. That was sweet of you. I guess I also need to thank God, or whatever supreme deity exists out there, that I don't have the sh*ts right now. Otherwise, this would end up being an interesting night. Does anyone have a paper clip?

Pours a fully fogged in reddish brown with a small creme head that falls to nothing fairly quickly. Nose is very leafy with some fruits mixed in. Definite wood noticed. Thick character overall. Excuse me. This is too good to write about right now. Let me just drink some more of this and come back to you.

Okay, okay. Let's focus here people. The flavor is a nice deep red. A slight bit boozy, but the body of flavor character meshes just fine and balances it out. Great earthy tones with a woody fruit thing. This just typifies a red to me. And an imperial no less. Feel is very nice. Great carbonation and a smooth liquid feel. This is extremely drinkable. Absolutely an amazing beer. At first I thought to myself that maybe I should be sharing this with someone. Then as I started to drink it I said, nah. I'll be greedy with this one. Just don't tell anyone. Our secret?

Photo of MasterSki
4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle generously shared by dyan. Came in with pretty low expectations for six-year-old Imperial Red Ale. Served in a tulip.

A - Generous off-white foam settles to a thick collar, wispy patches, and splotchy lace. Transparent dark ruby-colored body. Carbonation has held up quite well.

S - There's a definite aged character, with some complementary port-like oxidation. However, the predominant flavors are a mix of red ale flavors like treacle and red licorice, and barleywine-esque milled brown sugar, maple, caramel, and perhaps a hint of chocolate.

T - The taste hasn't held up quite as well, as there's a bit more hollow and oxidized character, particularly late in the profile. There's also a bit of residual hop bitterness that came as a bit of a surprise. Still - shockingly good consider the original flavor profile and age.

M - Medium-full sticky body, lower carbonation, extremely mellow, with minimal alcohol, and a nice lingering, sticky finish.

D - Surprisingly enjoyable stuff - I was supposed to drink this with Dyan years ago and thankfully it appears to have aged gracefully. I'd certainly drink another properly cellared bottle, and I'm intrigued by the barrel-aged (and sour?) version.

Photo of drewone
4/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Gueuzedude
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled July 2007
Highly carbonated, the beer pours with a fluffy, large bubbled, initially four-finger thick, dirty, light brownish, tan colored head. That sits atop an opaque, dark brown colored beer that shows a brilliantly clear, bright, ruby color when held up to the light. The aroma is quite a mix of malt and hop notes; the malt character holds the edge, though just barely. Malty notes of chewy caramel malts, toasted, browned malts and brown sugar are quite noticeable. Mixed in with this, is an almost as strong hop character that leans towards sweet, candied citrus fruit (ruby-red grapefruit, lychee & candied orange peel). The caramelized malt character is almost roast-like in character; really it adds a touch of rustiness to this brew. The hops and malt aromatics really mix together quite strongly and at times are hard to differentiate. Really this is a mix of heavy handed crystal malts and American hop varieties; not bad but still a little jarring and not nearly as well integrated as one would hope. Both the hop and malt character are still quite vibrant.

Quite sweet and definitely thick and chewy; both are tempered a bit by a solid bitterness and an astringent dark malt character. The malt sweetness accentuates lots of hoppy fruit notes (tangelo, candied orange peel and a nice berry flavor) and at the same time is offset by sharper hope notes of pine, menthol and an astringent, almost green, bitterness. The bitterness in the finish is a mix of both the hop character, but also the dark malt notes, which adds a touch of harshness from the burnt crystal malts.

As the beer warms up a bit it becomes a bit less sweet and perhaps a bit more balanced. It seems to lose the harsher malt notes in the finish & the hop character becomes a bit more vibrant and fruity. Similar to the first batch of Oskar Blues Gordon I had back when it was in 750ml bottles. The maltiness actually adds a bit of a chocolate-like note along with a toasted malt character. Actually this really does get quite a bit better as it warms up; I had almost written this off and now I am quite enjoying it. The mouthfeel of this, once it loses the excessive carbonation (which never really got in the way of a beer of this heft), becomes almost creamy & rich, yet without being overly thick. I will admit that the aroma is still only good and not impressive. Still, I am quite happy with how this beer has turned out, especially since it started out with a bit too much of a harsh and astringent note.

Photo of Halcyondays
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle, bought on-sale at BevMo Cypress for $7.99,

A: Pours a dark cloudy head, with a white-tan head with great retention, though the bubbles were a little too soapy looking for my tastes, could be the age though.

S: Smells of heavy hop resin and thick chewy malt, quite robust.

T: Toasty malt hits at first, then a jolt, of pink grapefruit and pine, eerily similar to Double Bastard, though not quite as raw, I think the aging has helped to balance out the flavours though I've never had it fresh, you get what you pay for, this tastes exactly like I thought an Imperial Red would.

M: Resiny, and thick with oil, but smooth in its own right from the aging, expansive flavour profile.

D: Another good beer from Alesmith, this beer is certainly in barleywine territory now, similar to Old Guardian after a year or 6 months, but still has its own character. I'd like to see what 3 years does to this brew, I'm assuming it's about a year-1.5 years old right now, very good beer, though the hops and malt mixture can be too much at times, like Double Bastard is.

Photo of imperialking
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%

Photo of corby112
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml received in a past trade with JCB. Thanks again Jason!

Pours a deep, dark ruby color that's completely opaque with bright golden ruby edges when held to a light and a 1.5 finger light beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic streaks and chunks of lacing are left behind.

Sweet leathery malt aroma that is nicely balanced out by hints of dark fruit, earthy pine and citrus hops. I'm really surprised how hop-forward this beer still is given that it came out five years ago. Although it is still plenty hoppy, the leathery malt profile is most prominent with hints of caramel, toffee and biscuit.

Medium bodied and fuller than expected with a good balance of earthy and sweet hops and sweet, leathery malt. Only slightly boozy and not really hot at all with subtle warmth in the finish. Very complex with the sweet pine and citrus hop flavors complimenting the sweet caramel, rye, toffee and hazelnut notes. A bit dry and bitter but still nicely balanced. The malt backbone is slightly toasted with a nice dark fruit presence, especially dark cherry, grape and plum. I'm glad that this beer held up but I think it might have reached it's peak.

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, slightly cloudy, chestnut brown with a thick head that sticks around as a fairly thick cap- quite amazing for the abv. The smell is still slightly hot, but just slightly. Smooth caramel malt aromas as well as brown sugar, dark fruit, and a touch of clove. The flavors are very well integrated and the mouthfeel is quite a bit softer and smoother than I expected. Long sweet malt balanced by citrusy hops and spice notes along with a slight woodiness on the finish after the hops kick in. The slight tannic woodiness and hop bitterness blend beautifully together. Rich flavors, but surprisingly delicate in the mouth, primarily because of the airy creaminess. Really well done, I was glad to find some.

Photo of Zorro
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Clear deeply red colored beer with a very large and resilient reddish tan colored head.

The smell is sweet and malty with lots of dark fruit aromas mostly fig here with a strong hop aroma. Strong pine and woody hop aromas.

The taste starts out sweet and malty with a strong melon flavor accompanied by wood and pine resin. Malt flavor is mostly brown sugar and almonds. The taste is very much the same as a sweet Barley Wine.

The mouthfeel is quite thick.

Pretty easy to drink but I really expected more complexity to this beer. A bit on the sweet side if you like sweeter Barley Wines then you will love this.

Photo of jdhilt
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a one finger cream head that fades quickly to a ring leaving traces of lace. Cloudy amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Raisiny nose. Starts sweet, raisiny, smooth high ABV stays hidden until finish. However my drinking partner thinks it is more like a liquor drink than a beer. Pricey at $9.99 for a 750ml bottle from Hi-Time Cellars Costa Mesa, Ca.

Photo of brandoman63
4/5  rDev -4.3%

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AleSmith Decadence 2006 (Dead By Dawn) from AleSmith Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 123 ratings.