AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 191 | Reviews: 136 | Display Reviews Only:
2.79/5 rDev -30.1%
2010 vintage (obviously). I don't have the "commemorative Decadence Ale glass" the label advises me to use, so I'm serving this into the closest shape of glass I have - a La Chouffe stem-tulip. 750ml dark brown glass bottle with intricate classy label and gold foil-ed over unbranded brass-colour pry-off pressure cap acquired at a SoCal bottle shop last year and served into a La Chouffe stem-tulip in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Cost was $20.00 USD. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given the brewery. Reviewed as an English-style old ale because that's the label identifies it as.
Served cold - straight from the fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a half finger wide head of khaki colour. It recedes too quickly - inside 20 seconds - for me to note the thickness or creaminess, but does leave a floater ring for an additional minute or so. No lacing at all.
Body colour is a very dark nontransparent translucent amber-brown. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible. I wouldn't call it rich, vibrant, or glowing. It's an intimidating appearance for a beer. Appears adequately carbonated.
Sm: Marshmallow, traces of what I think is oak, heavy residual sugars, some somewhat starchy dextrins, brown malts, biscuit malts, light toasted character, and very very timid hop character - if anything, I get a nebulous trace of herbal character, but nothing I'd call English. I also pick up on some murky fermented fruit - cherries and dark currants are most prominent. It's pretty bready, with plenty of brown bread crust character.
I don't know that I'm looking forward to trying it. It's a neutral aroma of average strength.
I don't find any of the stale cardboard notes that would indicate oxidation. I also don't detect any yeast character. There is some light alcohol warmth.
T: I dig the fruity character - there's some nice grape/raisin, cherry, and currant character. The foundation is bold, with plenty of (English) brown malts, biscuit malts, marshmallow, and dextrins. Brown bread character and accompanying bread crust is emphasized in the profile. I do pick up very light traces of cardboard, but oxidation is far from rampant here - it's light enough to be pleasant and complementary. If you've got a bottle, I'd drink it now. Plenty of caramel/caramalt. Heavy on the English malts, but I'm not finding any noticeable hop character. Toffee. A kiss of fig. There's also no yeast character. It has a pleasant alcohol warmth, but isn't boozy or hot.
Overall, it's enjoyable enough but isn't particularly complex, subtle, nuanced, or intricate. It's really just a middle-of-the-road old ale. I expected far better from Alesmith. Balanced and cohesive enough, but not gestalt. I'm unimpressed. Average depth, duration, and intensity of flavour for the style.
Mf: Feels a bit tannic to be honest, which I didn't expect. It's coarse and dry for the style - I'd say entirely too coarse - to the point that its coarseness and relative roughness on the palate is the beer's biggest overall flaw. A biteen stale (or "old" if you enjoy puns). Decent carbonation. Okay body and presence on the palate; it's certainly heavy. The texture is far rom ideal, and doesn't at all feel custom-tailored specifically to the taste.
Not gushed or astringent.
Dr: There are far better old ales available below this price point (North Coast's Old Stock Ale comes to mind). I certainly wouldn't buy this again; I'm not convinced Alesmith - as excellent as they are at American styles - is great at making Belgians or English beers. ABV isn't really all that well disguised. It's a sipper, but hey - it'll get you drunk.
This isn't an old ale for the discerning drinker, and while enjoyable enough, I'd caution friends from purchasing it at its MSRP.
12-27-2013 05:35:26 | More by kojevergas
4.43/5 rDev +11%
A: into a snifter, dark brown ale with a slim cap of tan bubbly head. Some lace motes trail down the sides of the glass.
S: dark wet fruits and dark booze; sugars like toffee and treacle, suggestions of floral and herbal autumnal spice
T: warmed in the glass to reveal a dark malty fruity base, full of dark sugars and orchard fruits; tastes like date, plum, raisin, and fig - fruits sift among a spiced character, reminiscent of warm winter holiday treats
M: creamy smooth, soft and slightly fuzzy; slightly sticky and with a flash of drying chalkiness on the close
O: nothing wrong with having an old ale with 3 years on it. Grand drinking experience.
10-27-2013 20:43:32 | More by Greywulfken
3.98/5 rDev -0.3%
750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.
Appearance - Murky brown. Small khaki head. Wispy with a small collar.
Smell - Really nice. Oxidization has set in, but it's sherry not cardboard and I like that in this style. Caramel malt and even a tinge of grapefruit hop still there.
Taste - Amazing, I still get hops. Grapefruit bite right up front before the brown sugar malt takes over. A touch oxidized, again, with sherry flavors. Toffee and slightly bitter in finish.
Mouthfeel - Thick, but not too sugary. The oxidation is very nice. Low carbonation.
Overall - Age seems to have done this well. I don't know about the style, though. I would have pegged it as an American Barleywine.
06-12-2013 18:04:31 | More by Alieniloquium
4/5 rDev +0.3%
A - Dark brown with a finger of frothy khaki-tan head. Fades fairly quickly.
S - Sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, caramelized malts, some dark fruit, dark caramel malts, toffee, English yeast, nuttiness, vanilla, and some booze.
T - Sweet caramel malts, brown sugar, caramelized sugars, raisins and other dark fruits, darker caramel malts, nuttiness, vanilla, English yeast, and some booze.
M - Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation. Smooth with a sweet and warming finish.
D - Nice balanced old ale. A touch on the thin side.
04-07-2013 03:35:58 | More by ngeunit1
3.24/5 rDev -18.8%
pours deep brown, creamy head. bit of a cola look.
deep dark fruit, some roasted nuts and toffee. sweet malt.
a bit oxidized, flat sweet malt and faint toffee and butterscotch. not a lot going on here.
nice smooth body, mild to moderate bite. bit of a dry finish.
ehhh past its prime.
03-25-2013 18:28:54 | More by hooliganlife
AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.