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AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel AgedAleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel Aged

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
95
world-class

78 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 78
Reviews: 61
rAvg: 4.37
pDev: 10.98%
Wants: 107
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 78 | Reviews: 61
Photo of Urbancaver
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice light brown. Fairly Clear. Very nice bubbly head that almost completely disappears quickly. Smells of bourbon and vanilla with a sweet malty background. Some light roast on the nose as well. Tastes sweet and vanilla heavy. Some light oakiness on the tongue but the vanilla comes through strongest. Malts faid as the bourbon warms. Very smooth and well balanced.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
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.

Photo of clzcyclone
4.47/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I picked up two bottles of the oak-aged imperial porter after waiting in line for over an hour at the brewery. That was over two years ago, so needless to say, the suspense was intense when I decided to finally crack open a bottle.

The beer did not disappoint! I'm impressed. It was worth the wait.

A: A dark porter, not quite black, hint of auburn, espresso-like crema when poured from the bottle.

S: Bourbon. Raisins and figs. Vanilla. Honey.

T: Chocolate. Light-roast coffee. Alcoholic warmth. Tinge of anise. Oak. Bourbon.

M: Coats the tongue without being syrupy and cloying. Just right.

D: For its ABV and the oak-aging, it manages to still be quite drinkable. Quite comforting and warming on this rainy night.

Photo of CrellMoset
4.48/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Courtesy of another great midwestern trader, this one was poured in to a 22 oz. snifter. Bottle # 154/817.

Appearance: How is it that the barrel aged version of a beer could have an appearance superior to a non-barrel aged versions? Inexplicably, this one does, and it's not a minor step up - it's a huge step up. The color is similar - a smoky obsidian, opaque save for around the edges, with a nice two finger fizzy head that has superior sticking power compared with the non-bal version. But the lacing is remarkably improved, in a way that sort of makes me doubt the way I approach this sort of thing. Normally, one assumes that barrel aging thins a beer and its sticking potential and adds spirit alcohol and additional overtones and chemicals that disrupt the retention; at least, enough to overwhelm any retention positive that comes from the oak and the wood spike. Swirls and spikes and swaths of glittery bright tawny lacing decorate the sides of the snifter,

Aroma: Good, but not great. Mellow, aromatic, and solidly inviting, with a lot of good stuff going on. Toast and coconut mingle most expertly, both courtesy of obvious sources, though there's plenty of else to contribute here. Vanilla is sweet, and hints of cinnamon and oak are on equal footing with cocoa and bourbon to make for a pretty well-rounded nose.

Taste: An abundantly flavorful brew. First, let me echo everything I said about the non-barrel aged version of this beer. It's a quintessential porter, full of roast, toast, caramel, toffee, earth, cocoa, and stone fruit - from peaches and apricots to cherries and lychees, it's a fairly varied mouth. And certainly, the fact that it's an imperial porter sets it apart even further - it's a little more fruity, a little sweeter, and a little more ... well, everything than I imagine its traditional "joe plumber" porter would be. But I talked about all that in my previous review. What elevates this beer from a 4.5 to a 5.0 is the fantastic way in which the barrel aging augments, complements, amplifies, and enhances everything present in the base beer.

First of all, it's not intense. It's not over the top. And even when you sit there, hold it in your mouth, swirl it around ... it's refined, and well-blended. Perhaps part of that's the age - this beer is certainly four years old. But there's still a solid amount - and perhaps the right amount - of spice, energetic, bold, with enough counterbalance to the malt presence to make it refined, balanced, evenhanded. There's a slew of coconut and even more vanilla contributed by the barrels, but also a few wooden notes, including a very strong green oak note that actually does a decent job - at least for a while - of counteracting the bourbon presence. But the bourbon is enhanced significantly as this one warms, contributing a strong, sweet, toasty, earthy spice to the remainder of the experience. The sweetness here hits a true perfect balance, hitting that fantastically sweet sweet spot that lies right between "just right" and "just righter." Stellar.

Mouthfeel: Fat, a little sticky, slightly oily, but remarkably even, smooth, and velvety, with an excellent amount of lift. The carbonation on this lasts for quite some time, making for a creamy, toasty, bourbon-y milkshake sort of feel - thick but silky.

Drinkability: A step up. This paired marvelously with with some gouda, and I'm wishing I had some dark chocolate lying around. A beer that really exemplifies what barrel aging properly can accomplish, I enjoyed this much more than the -bal Speedway I had the other week for my 1200th review - much more balance and synergy going on here than in that beer. And the 10% - while noticeable and definitely present - wasn't too much of a hurdle to overcome. Definitely worth seeking out, though I imagine the supply has considerably dwindled at this point.

Photo of scottfrie
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of bwv99f
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance- dark pitch black small head foam some lacing. Smell - small touch of whiskey/boozy... taste -- dark chocolate since the bitterness is pronounced... caramel?? coffee ??? chocolate toasted Malta?? a combination of everything.g makesdelivers the beer as a yummy dark delicious beer.

Photo of mothman
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jer for sharing this long time want.

Bottle 463/817

Pours 1/2 finger of tan head. Color is a caramel brown/black like the regular version.

Aroma: Coconut, vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate, caramel, light roast. Top notch. Bomb aroma.

Taste: Coconuts, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, light roast, creamy, bourbon, and oak. Like a mounds bar.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends warm and roasted.

Overall, this was crazy awesome. The -bals did wonders to this beer. Absolutely amazing. One of the best porters I have had. Very drinkable.

Photo of Kaiser81
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Jerz for opening this bottle

A - It's just like it's little brother '07 Decadence:
"Black color, a thin light mocha-colored head. It dissipates fairly quickly leaving some ok lacing on my glass."
But it has a bit more lacing.

S - Very heave on coconut and vanilla. This smells more like a pina colada than a -bal imperial porter. There is a touch of barrel, and a lot of boooze on the finish (boooze was taken from my tasting notes).

T - The coconut and the vanilla really shine through on this. It's insane, and all of us who shared this bottle (Jerz, Mothman, VacaX, Pliny the Youngest, and myself) couldn't stop commenting on it. There's light roast, some American chocolate (as opposed to the rich and delicious European types of chocolate) and some light booze on the finish.

M - Medim body with light carbonation. This is spot on.

D - MORE NOW, PLEASE! Alesmith, you got this one right.

Photo of koopa
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml gold foiled bottle#112 of 817 poured into a Rodenbach glass.

Appearance: A vigorous pour results in a dark brown body with a 2 finger light brown crown that displays medium retention and good lace.

Smell: Nuts, oak chips, chocolate malt, vanilla, and toasted to lightly roasted quality...really nice but not extremely pungent 3 years later.

Taste: Light note of hershey's syrup over lightly roasted chocolate malt, pungent bourbon note, oak, a hint of almonds, and a whisper of vanilla. A tiny hint of bourbon alcohol appears in the finish. This is good stuff!

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with perfect carbonation and a nice soft yet crisp mouthfeel.

Drinkability: Extremely high for a double digit abv brew.

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.

Photo of ThirstyBird
4.3/5  rDev -1.6%
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!

Photo of jedwards
4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting for a good occasion to open this one up.

Poured dark brown with a surprisingly foamy head that quickly dissipated, but left a thin layer atop the entire glass. Smell is intense and only intensified at the beer warmed -- strong toffee and vanilla, distinct bourbon, and roasty but not burnt malt. Additional chocolate and light dark fruit notes as it warmed. Taste is equally complex with dark chocolate/coffee and caramel flavors giving way to a balanced bourbon and vanilla/oak finish with almost no hint of alcohol. Mouthfeel is amazingly creamy and full without being syrupy. I could easily drink more if I had it, and I wish I did.

Photo of Jwale73
4.44/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Arbitrator for bringing this to the PtY release. Sampled on 2/5/10.

A: The pour is nearly black with a nice layer of mocha colored head which leaves some spotty lacing.

S: The nose is full of rich chocolate, coffee, vanilla, bourbon, and a slight hint of oak. The alcohol is still noticeable despite the age of this beer.

T: Despite the fact that the beer still has some noticeable whiskey (and heat), it's still fantastic. The vanilla, chocolate, and coffee really work amazingly together to create a fantastic beer.

M: The body is quite full and creamy with a nice warmth that lingers on the tongue.

D: Even with the bit of heat that the beer has, it's still fantastic, and gets better each of the times I've had it. I really wish I had a bottle of my own to sit on for another year or so.

Photo of DrJay
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to grub for sharing this one! Bottle 679/817.
The beer was dark brown with ruby edges. It had a sticky tan cap, very fine with a few large bubbles ringing the glass. Spotty lace, great head retention. Aromas of coconut, burnt malts and chocolate, nutty, dry cocoa, a bit of toffee and a hint of rose petals. The flavour was a little boozy, bitterness was medium to low. Malts were soft on the palate, cocoa and coconut, a bit of licorice, lingering alcohol. Pleasant vanilla towards the end with a bit of roast/burnt character. Creamy, silky texture, very smooth, medium to full bodied with soft carbonation. It had a bit of warmth and malty dryness. Quite nice and very delicious. A rare treat that was very much appreciated.

Photo of Lothore
4.12/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of glid02
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 506/817 acquired via vacax - thanks!

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head dissipates slowly into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of vanilla, butterscotch, dark chocolate, roasted malts, and whiskey, in that order. As the beer warms the whiskey and vanilla aromas become even more pronounced.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors are overtaken almost immediately by large amounts of vanilla with sticky butterscotch undertones. Midway through the sip some of the heat from the barrels comes through but not enough to overpower the flavor profile. The ending is mildly bitter and leaves vanilla and dark chocolate flavors lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is sensational. It's got a perfectly viscous thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is very good despite the booziness. I finished my glass easily and could have a few more even though it may be against my best interests.

Overall I was not let down. Loads of barrel character mixed with a great base beer is up most people's alleys, including mine. Worth a shot.

Photo of gford217
4.2/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

Photo of nickd717
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
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.

Photo of Viggo
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thought this would be a good one to ring in review # 2000!

750 ml bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing and Carlos for the massive hookup. Bottle #679/817, sampled alongside the regular Decadence, thanks to dschuster for that!

Pours a lightly hazed very dark reddish brown, thick tan head forms, settles down to a thick ring and layer, very rocky, lots of lace chunks stick to the glass.

Smell is great, very rich and intense, lots of butterscotch and toffee, coconut, vanilla, chocolate milk, light roast, bourbon, oak, alcohol, nice toasty malts, some raison and dark fruit, very rich.

Taste is similar, very heavy flavour, vanilla beans and butterscotch, alcohol, toffee, maple syrup, light chocolate roast, wood, coconut, raisin and dark fruit, a bit boozy and harsh but pretty excellent.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, some warmth going down and very rich. This stuff certainly is decadent, almost feels like a dessert. Wow this was good. Thanks to Russ and Carlos!

3000 here I come.

Photo of grub
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks go out to seaoflament for hooking me up with this one. thanks carlos!

750ml bottle topped with gold foil. bottle #679/817. sampled oct 17/09 side by side with the non-barrel-aged version.

pours deep dark brown, not quite black yet still pretty much opaque. a small fine dark tan head forms, dropping slowly with lots of spotty lace.

aroma is great. bourbon and vanilla. oak. bit of coconut. light alcohol. coffee. dark and milk chocolate. caramel and butterscotch. multi-grain bread and biscuit.

taste is great. coconut and vanilla. bourbon and oak. dark and milk chocolate. whole wheat bread and biscuit. warming alcohol. just under medium bitterness level, but it comes across more as chocolate and coffee than hoppy. light roast. nice toasty character.

mouthfeel is excellent. medium-large body. silky smooth medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is great. side-by-side with the non-BA version, this one has definitely held up better. the oxidation is almost completely missing from this one, whereas the other seems a bit past its prime. this one has a great extra depth and dimension from the barrel. i loved this one fresh though and don't think the barrel-aged one stands much above it when fresh. good balance, slightly warming but still delicious. i love you, alesmith.

Photo of waltonc
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked this open to celebrate passing the Colorado bar exam today. Pours translucent black with an inch of tan head. Magnificent smell - bourbon, lots of vanilla, bitter chocolate.... Taste is more of the same. Very strong bourbon and vanilla notes. Fairly sweet. Not that hot in my opinion. Maybe this has cooled down since some of the earlier reviews. Or maybe I just have a higher tolerance for heat, I don't know. Body is medium with nice creamy carbonation. I don't care what the ABV is, this stuff is guzzleable. Wish it wasn't a one-off.

Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Limited alesmith, berry nice
these are worth whatever price

Alamo, in SD har
let's go grab this from the car.

Pours dark almond, ruby brown
head is decent, for this town

Aromas are nutty with lots of malt
chocolate, coffee, it's not my fault

Oak is definitely all up in here
It adds a nice dimension to this beer

mouth feel is really quite quite grand
drinkability? I'm a fan.

Photo of alcstradamus
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hard pour directly into the center of my glass yields 3 fingers of fluffy tan head on top of a near black body that glows with a red hue around the edges against a bright light. Good lacing left behind. Poured at approximately cellar temperature.

The nose on this puppy is big, bold, and beautiful. Huge barrel notes smack you in the face, mostly a tame bourbon smell with surprisingly little oak. I say "tame" in reference to smoothness and lack of burn, not in reference to strength because this is powerful. Fudge, vanilla, toffee, citrus hops, and the other usual barrel suspects are present but damn this is such a nice bourbon scent.

The taste can't possibly live up to the nose but it does its best to try. Tons of vanilla up front, almost like boozy vanilla ice cream. Some milk chocolate is present along with a slight hint of wood. I'm glad the wood is subdued here, because the bourbon is so f'ing big that a big woodiness would have made this too harsh. Now, don't get me wrong, it is still harsh in the sense that the bourbon is front and center smacking you in the face. But it is so smooth underneath it is unreal.

Full bodied with very soft carbonation, but perhaps slightly too much of it keeping this from a 5 (barely). I hate to be nitpicky, but here and there I find myself wishing this was a bit heavier on the tongue so the flavors had time to really marinate.

I could definitely finish this 750ML bottle by myself but I'm not so sure it would be a good idea considering the strength. This must be attacked slowly due to the bourbon strength, I will warn people in advance that this is a Bourbon County Stout level of booziness so it is a slow sipper and one that would best be shared. But I'll be damned if this isn't one of the better barrel aged beers I've tried.

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AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
95 out of 100 based on 78 ratings.