AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel AgedAleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel Aged

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BA SCORE
96
world-class

61 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 61
Hads: 79
rAvg: 4.41
pDev: 7.48%
Wants: 106
Gots: 9 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Porter |  10.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: scottoale on 03-13-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 61 | Hads: 79
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
2.83/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle shared by decaturstevo at PPRBSG09. Pours a cloudy brown with a tan head. Aroma is very boozy with lots of bourbon. Flavor is equally a bourbon mess. The bourbon dominated this beer completely. This beer is so one-sided I can't understand how this gets such high ratings. (278 characters)

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -22.9%

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep amber. Small khaki head.

Smell - Bourbon. Cardboard and some light sherry. Some caramel.

Taste - Lots of bourbon. Cardboard and sherry again. Caramel and some intense oak.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Oxidized.

Overall - Well it's boozy and very bourbony. And probably well past its prime. (363 characters)

Photo of tjthresh
3.6/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice clear dark brown but no head ever really develops. The nose with rich with vanilla and bourbon with a bit of oak. This is hot as hell. Bourbon, some oak and vanilla. Body is thinned out compared to original. There are not real signs of the original beer at all. Really kind of disappointing. (314 characters)

Photo of vacax
3.63/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle #507/817 poured into a tulip glass.

Black pour with a large dark tan head. Huge head fades down gracefully, but retains a nice coating that provides ample lacing as I drink. Nose is full of bourbon and a complex of related elements including vanilla, pipe tobacco, oak, and leather. Lovely aroma, though more of the chocolate present in the original could shine through.

This bottle has been resting for a good four months after the release, yet I am immediately aware that I will not be touching another one for a matter of years. The flavors that first hit my tongue are packed with oaky vanilla and leathery bourbon. All of the rich chocolate and roasty elements present in the base beer seem to blend into the finish that is heavy wth echoing sharp tobacco and bitter oak. This beer is still very heavy on the barrel. I did not taste this one "fresh" so hopefully this is smoothing out as the bottles rest.

Nice full body is delightfully slick and low-medium carbonation hits the spot. As much as I love the base beer, I have to say that this one is not drinking as nicely as the original is right now. The barrel qualities are still overpowering, as special of a beer as this is, definitely share this with a group of friends. (1,242 characters)

Photo of ehammond1
3.71/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2009) (608/817)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, itk1!

(Aged for ~4 years)

Very dark brown, very nearly black, with a small to moderately-sized dark brown head of small bubbles. Leaves the glass oily and spotted with stick. Pretty barrel-aged porter.

The aroma is the weakest aspect of this beer, and I believe age has not helped matters here at all. Especially at the cold temperatures, the main attributes were strong oxidation, leather, and some root vegetable characteristics, unfortunately. That being said, as the beer warms, truly nice layers of chocolate and a very mild bourbon and oak presence emerged. Overall, especially after reading how extraordinary the aroma was apparently in other bottles, the aroma was not great and was hurt greatly by time, is my estimation.

The flavor, however, was still quite nice, and not nearly as oxidized as the aroma. Nice layers of chocolates coat the mouth, along with a mild bourbon and oak character. There's some leather and oxidation as well. Alcohol is incredibly well hidden. Enjoyable, but not other-worldly.

A very full, rich, decadent, sticky sipper. Very nice.

Glad I got to try this one, but age did this bottle no help. Drink now if you got any of these leftovers sitting around! (1,248 characters)

Photo of djaeon
3.75/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle # 53/817. I went up last Saturday thinking hey would've sold out of this, as it went on sale on Friday. I was fortunate enough to get a bottle. When I got there at 1pm, they said they had about 2 cases left.

A: Poured dark with a light tan, two-finger head. Little retention. No lacing.

S: Strong bourbon smell.

T: This tastes like a straight porter, with a couple shots of whiskey dropped in. Makes me think the barrel aging was started in barrels that weren't empty yet.

M: Medium carbonation. I'm getting a very light version of the burn that happens when you take a shot of whiskey, but in a good way.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

D: Alcohol is evident, but not TOO strong. This is a sipper.

I think this is one that would age well. It's already 2 years old, and I'd be very interested in tasting it again in another two years. (841 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to a generous BA for bringing this bottle to DLD and to AgentZero for grabbing a tickable pour for me. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pour yields a nearly-black brew with a light mocha head that lasts for a bit before falling into a thin collar. The nose is pretty nice with some notes of vanilla, oak, bourbon, mildly-roasted malt, and chocolate. Pretty good complexity, but nothing out of this world. The flavor is on par with that--perhaps a bit stronger overall, though brought down by an increased alcohol presence. Good barrel character with bourbon, oak, and vanilla, though it's surprising there's still this much heat. Medium body and pretty smooth, other than the alcohol. Pretty good. Glad to finally have tried this one. (736 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.01/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to aussy13 for sharing this one.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with bourbon and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness and an alcohol kick 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 has held up well until now but has a slightly better smell in my opinion. (691 characters)

Photo of Lothore
4.12/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a deep dark brownish hue with a solid head that dissipates to some nice lacing.

S- Lots of bourbon notes, vanilla, roasted malts and hints of whiskey.

T- Thick and creamy. Chocolate and roasted malt make up the backbone and give way to a big bourbon presence throughout the entirety.

M- Thick with medium carbonation.

D- This was a huge beer and didn't quite come together for me but I still enjoyed it. (416 characters)

Photo of scottfrie
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2007 vintage generously split by ipa247. You're the man Jeff! Reviewed from notes.

A: Pours black with a finger of very dark brown head that receded into a thin collar which left some wispy lacing down the glass.
S: Notes of bourbon, coco nibs and sweet malts.
T: Easy going bourbon, sweet dark fruits, raisins, dates, honey, toffee, caramel and mellow coco powder. Finish is sweet and warm and the aftertaste is full of chocolate and marshmallows.
M: Full bodied, syrupy thick mouthfeel but not oily, with light carbonation. Alcohol has just the right amount of warmth.
D: A bourbon lover's dream. Fantastic bourbon flavor yet a great barrel aged mellowness. A very fine porter. (682 characters)

Photo of gford217
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750mL bottle, #539, poured into a tulip.

Pours dark brown out of the bottle and sits almost completely opaque black in the glass underneath a two-inch fluffy tan head that shows great retention and lacing, especially for a barrel-aged beer.

The aroma starts out with a big dose of bourbon and vanilla sweetness. As it warms, the underlying porter starts to show a bit more with dark roasted malts and sweet chocolate.

The taste seems to have a heavier dark chocolate presence up front with the roasted malts underneath. The finish is slightly dry with cocoa but is really dominated by the bourbon sweetness as a serious burn in the throat on the way down.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and sweet overall with the oak and bourbon really lingering after each sip, like chasing the porter with a shot of bourbon.

This is an excellent porter right now with a strong bourbon presence which adds a good bit to the underlying beer. I wasn't the biggest fan of the original Decadence 07, so this is definitely an improvement. That said, in a year or two this thing could be world-class. I hope I get the chance to find out. (1,121 characters)

Photo of ArrogantB
4.2/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle generously sent to me by my cousin, thanks! Dark black color with a tan head. It smells like (teen) SPIRITS! It really smells like bourbon or whiskey or something but still it is quite good. The flavor has a lot of booze up front and barrel and then a delicious chocolate like flavor. This was not bad at all and I don't really care much for booze-barrel aged beers. (379 characters)

Photo of OlieIPA
4.28/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured a little thin, but made up in big and frothy looking head...looked really light, similar to an IPA (in the head I mean). Lacing was pretty good, even though the head retention was lacking a bit.

S: WOW! Bourbon...Jack Daniel's Whiskey in fact. The dark malts seem to be masked a bit, but come through more as a caramel and toffee; one dimensional.

T: I thought the barrel aging was going to ruin this beer, but it actually isn't as potent as the aroma indicates. Molasses, caramel, toffee, and the chocolate come through...but are complimented with the robust bourbon characteristic. The alcohol bite is present, but could be settled down a bit. A winter warmer for sure.

M: I've noticed that Alesmith beers seem to be well carbonated, even after aging. Again, this beer continues this trend...but may be a little too much for this style (but hell, what do I know).

D: ABV is 10% and you can tell its there, but it does have a smooth quality that adds to overall impression of the beer.

Overall: A great beer that should be enjoyed by all beer geeks.!..a definite monster! Cheers! (1,099 characters)

Photo of ThirstyBird
4.3/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A big thank you to jedwards for sharing this one!!!
Bottle 250/817
Pours dark brown/black. Tan head mostly a big ring. Smell is rich roasted malt, chocolate, buttery. Huge flavor - chocolate, black licorice, butterscotch, bourbon, coconut and some alcohol. Active carbonation with a fine structure. Medium/full body - really nice and smooth. Overall this beer is really something - smooth, rich and delicious! (409 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 162/817

A - Pours extremely dark brown, thin tan head, some bubbly thin lace. Cascading bubbles up the sides.

S - Wood and booze, base malt backbone.

T - Ah. There it is. The core of this is the taste. Bright almost harsh wood notes, hard liquor influenced, balanced with a nice light coffee, cocoa flavor, bittered at the end to make it all sew together.

M - Sufficient carb, good coating and love the balance of this unwieldly beer.

D - Each sip begs another. I am already a little altered by this one, and only half way through, but I see no signs of tiring. (573 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to d0b for bringing this one over for the the New Beer Sunday porter afternoon. Bottle #573 of 817. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Nearly two fingers of dark mocha foam with solid retention and lots of spotty lacing. Pitch black brew, with just a tiny hint of brown at the bottom of the glass.

S - Huge vanilla, bourbon, and wood smell, particularly as the brew has time to warm. The base beer is full of molasses, roast malt, dark fruits, and maybe even a hint of coconut. There's also a slight barrel bacteria tinge in there. Wonderful stuff, although there might ever-so-slightly be more barrel than I like. The alcohol burns my eyes!

T - Lots of whiskey on the top of the palate, with sweet vanilla and malt at the tip of the tongue. It finishes with lots of rich vinous fruit sweetness and a surprisingly moderate aftertaste that is relatively free of wood or astringency.
The taste profile has a lot of the aged porter flavors that are more reminiscent of barleywines - kind of like Perkuno's Hammer at this point.

M - Medium body, mild carbonation, lots of residual stickiness. It's a little light for such an intense tasting and boozy brew, but it's still quite acceptable There's some nice alcohol warmth at the back of the throat after a while.

D - This is a slow sipper, especially compared to the Russian River porter. I'm pretty happy with the generous pour I got and while I'd love to try this again in a few years I don't really find myself reaching for another glass.

Really glad I got to try this rarity - looking forward to BA Speedway and (fingers crossed) Wee Heavy. (1,605 characters)

Photo of nickd717
4.38/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle via trade thanks to TheRealBastard. Big thanks as I thought for awhile that I might never get a chance to try the legendary AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter-Bal Aged.

A - Excellent appearance: jet black with a creamy tan head that lasts forever and good lacing.

S - Aroma is chocolate, roast, caramel, bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Smells like a great -bal aged beer.

T - Flavor is just a bit hot but very good, high on the bourbon, along with rich chocolate, caramel, toffee, oak, and vanilla. Complex with a long finish. Being in those -bals has done great things for this one.

M - Palate is extremely smooth and creamy with medium-full body.

D - Surprisingly drinkable. (688 characters)

Photo of Phelps
4.39/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks go out to Tlay10 for sharing this one on the fourth of July.

Looks: cola-brown and hazed to the point of near opaqueness, with notes of light amber and no head save a small khaki ring.

Smells: like sweet, sweet bourbon. The taste of the wood and liquor has become integrate with the base porter in the most amazing way. Vanilla extract, oak chips, toffee.

Tastes: like a heath bar. Milk chocolate, sweet toffee, vanilla, caramel. It's still a little hot, but nearly three years of age have melded the flavors wonderfully. The base beer reveals itself more as the brew warms, imparting toasty malt, chocolate and butter.

Feels: smooth. Medium-bodied and silky, it rolls around the tongue nicely. Carbonation is tingly, with a noticeably warming booze character.

Drinks: like maturity. It doesn't seem like Decadence 07 has completely reached its peak yet, but the flavors have become amazingly well-integrated and not overpowering in the least. A glorious beer. (977 characters)

Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a treat to see this at the HOTD tasting at Dyan's place the other night. Many thanks to Devin for graciously bringing this beauty.

The beer pours a dark cola color with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose, this beer is just a thing of beauty (one of many I was able to sample this evening). There is chocolate, coffee, vanilla and cherry by the boatload, and happily flavors on the palate completely replicate the nose. This beer is more like a barrel aged porter milkshake, with the beer actually tasting more like a BA strong ale then a porter. Regardless, this beer is just delicious. There is some noticeable booze, as one would expect, but it's not the least bit intrusive in this beer. The beer is very rich, though no more then moderately sweet, and has an intensity of flavor that is astonishing. Mouthfeel is very soft and smooth, with an abv. that is pretty well disguised. There is some noticeable alcohol, but as noted above, it's really not the least bit intrusive.

A very fine beer, although clearly one that is not for the faint of heart. Exceptional. (1,086 characters)

Photo of kleffman
4.4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split one of our bottles of this up finally, poured into my Decadence glass. Poured a very dark almost opaque brown/black with a frothy tan head that settled to a creamy ring. Aroma exploded with bourbon right away, and upon further examination vanilla and caramel come out, but not much of the original maltiness from the porter. Taste starts with a wonderful vanilla bourbon oak flavor with some warming alcohol, and as it warms this just gets more rich and balanced. Not a lot of the original porter leftover, just an incredible creamy boozy beer. I think with another 6 months or so of age, this is going to be outstanding, but it's already excellent. Very glad I got some bottles of this. (693 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured almost black in color with dark brown highlights and a thin head that left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: plenty of sweetness in the aroma such as caramell, toffee, and brown sugar with great bourbon barrel character that showed nice vanilla notes but also with good roastiness and some booze there as well.

T: great bourbon barrel vanilla character on the palate which added nice dimension to it alongside caramel, toffee, and brown sugar sweetness, hints of coffee, good roasted malts and plenty of booze for the age of the bottle.

M: the brew was medium in body with fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, slightly astringent, boozy and creamy finish.

O: I'm glad to have tried the base beer allongside the BA aged version. Honestly thought both were solid but I like the robust flavors the barrel brought out so I'll go with the BA version. (884 characters)

Photo of Chriscrundwell12
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle sharred with many BA's at this years Darkness Eve tasting. Thanks capra12 for sharing this beer.

A- The initial pour is a little darker than regular version, red hues come out as well, small bubbly tan head that dissipates quickly to nothing.
S- The aroma is very nice, love the vanilla and bourbon that comes out right away, roasted malts, slight coffee, slight chocolate, caramel, toffee, slight brown sugar.
T- Tastes almost identical to the aroma, perfect amount of bourbon comes out right away, sweet vanilla notes, caramel, slight roasted malts, brown sugar, really nice.
M- Medium/big mouth feel, well carbonated, smooth drinking, nice warmth as it goes down.
O- Really impressed with the Barrel Aged version, better than the original, adds a really nice layer of complexity that only improves the beer. (818 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.42/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to jampics2 for bringing this to a Tuesday night tasting in northern OH (thanks Bobby!). This pours a dark brown color with a thick cap of tan foam. The aroma is completely perfect, the barrels used by Alesmith must have the perfect amount of liquor in them before the beer is added, they all end up being so appealing. Chocolate and vanilla, roasty sweet malts, bourbon, everything you could want and expect in a BA porter.

And it all comes through in the flavor, along with toffee-like malts, this is seriously tasty. No hops presence at all, this is a bourbon-heavy malt bomb that really satisfies. A slow sipper, i didn't want my glass to empty too quickly. Luckily there were only 4 of us and we all got strong pours, I made this last.

Medium carbonation, actually a pretty good amount of carbonation for a barrel aged beer, nice mouthfeel overall. This was as good as I'd hoped, highly recommended. (919 characters)

Photo of maskednegator
4.43/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Your standard black body, but with a beautiful 3 fingers of tan head.
Smell: Bourbon, vanilla, espresso, coffee. Smells like it's going to be a hot beer.
Taste: Coffee, bourbon, chocolate, soy sauce. Whiskey flavors come without the whiskey heat. Vanilla does get lost a bit in comparison with what we get on the nose.
Mouthfeel: Viscous and coating, but enough carbonation to brighten it back up.
Drinkability: Extremely rich flavor, but almost no alchohol presence on the tongue.

Verdict: It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up. (578 characters)

Photo of Jwale73
4.44/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jedwards for breaking this one out. Bottle 250/817. Poured the color and consistency of cola with a quarter inch, khaki-colored head that dissipates into a skim, but was refreshed with a gentle swirl. Some specks of lacing revealed during the tasting. Nose was incredible - bourbon, malt and a hint of booze. Flavors consisted of malt, bourbon, semi-sweet chocolate, butterscotch, caramel and toffee. Mouthfeel was medium in consistency and lightly effervescent with a slightly creamy finish. This beer was absolutely top notch. Delicious without being cloying, with a complexity that evolved as it warmed. A truly memorable beer, and perhaps one of the best I've had to date. (686 characters)

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AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 61 ratings.