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AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old AleAleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

191 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 191
Reviews: 136
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 33
Gots: 43 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

Same recipe as Decadence 2005.

(Beer added by: jerz on 06-14-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 191 | Reviews: 136 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CharlesDarwin
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally reviewed on August 1, 2006. 750mL Bottle. This is a celebration beer, for many reasons. It’s my 600th rate. The ratebeerian who sent me this beer just celebrated his first anniversary for a wedding that I was the best man at, a year ago. Today is the first day of August, marking the autumnal swing of the avian world, where birds begin to head south. Friday, it’s my birthday. So this Anniversary Ale, of epic celebratory proportions is the perfect choice to mark all these occasions! I undress the bottle of its’ gold foil crown and pop the top. A light psst, then the silky pour into a goblet. Immeadiately, rich aged brandy soaked fruits tickle my nostrils. There’s incredible maturity in those alcohol tones, from aged bourbon black cake to maciated figs in cognac. Exotic dessert spices dance on the surface and waft gently up the nose. Pineapple, pound cake and a whole slew of indescribable nuanced characters erupt from the snifter. The pour is a fiery core of mostly clear ruby-hued liquors, with golden-orange fringes, a light carbonation, a fine mist of yeast particles across the beer and a lacy edge of tawny head. On the tounge, a elicitation of the aroma, with perky pineapple candies, rich creamed malts, replete with a touch of Marakesh spice and squeezed raisin juice. The alcohols unleash a fiery blast of warmth into the humours, but I’m not taken aback, only encouraged and pleased with the gentle heat and the sophistication it brings. In the middle, these fires meld with a tart candied lemon rind and the whole wash of sugary and creamy malt characters, in a heavenly blend of various sugars and grains. This is heavly refined. In the backend, there’s a light bite of British hop bite, but only so much to create balance, without overpowering what an Old Ale should be. Damn, I love balance. Here, I’m not taken aback by the lack of carbonation, or the alcoholic fury. This beer is worthy to be something to celebrate with any time. Later, I’ll use it as a deglazing liquid for butter sauteed nectarines and rainier cherries, and it will be delicious.

CharlesDarwin, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of nvsblman
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with the color, and almost the consistency, of dark maple syrup. About a finger of off-white head. The aroma is strong with caramel, also toffee, oak, vanilla, and a light alcohol note. The taste is sweet, but not too sweet. There is almost a rum-like alcohol flavor along with the caramel and toffee. Also some chocolate and dried fruit. Silky mouthfeel with just a little carbonation. This was really enjoyable, I'd love to pick up another one of these to try in a year or two.

nvsblman, Sep 22, 2006
Photo of jdhilt
4.75/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 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.

jdhilt, Sep 08, 2006
Photo of UnionMade
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautifully printed 750ml bottle, courtesy of Mikeys01. Thanks, brother!
Deep caramel, pouring nice and clear until the end. Minimal head, not too much there. No lacing, either. Big, malty aroma, thick with caramel. Juicy and raisin-like, with minimal hop presence. A trace of smoke. No real alcohol presence until it warms to room temperature. Clean aromas. Huge, malty flavor. Rich and syrupy, with heaps of molasses, fig and raisin. Just awesome. A malt lover's dream. Reminds me very much of a doppelbock. Almost as clean, too. Gentle carbonation contributes a light sparkle. Juicy roastiness and smoky characteristics. Glides across the palate like silk, coating the palate with a lingering, sweet flavor. Some sweet, fruity booze is apparent in the end. Tastes like it's already aged, with the soft quality. Light on the sherry tones, not particularly complex for a beer of this strength. Still nice. Smooth sippin' is what this one's all about.

UnionMade, Sep 01, 2006
Photo of Phocion
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Very dark brownish-amber with a modest head that quickly sinks into a light lace.

Nose is very sweet. Molasses, brown sugar, caramel, and toffee. Definite alcohol presence as well.

Sweet malts and alcohol. Not much for hops presence, but the same characteristics from the aroma are present in the taste, with more alcohol as well as somewhat fruity; figs in specific.

Very creamy and warm on the palate. Though this is definitely not a beer to slam, I see the bottle going quickly. This frightens me with the 11% ABV that this thing boasts. If you can still find a bottle, pick one up. It'll be worth it.

Phocion, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of Zorro
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Retired? This is a vintage ale it will never technically be retired.

After a strong pour I am rewarded with a red brown ale without a lot of head formation.

Smell is quite spicy and sweet to the nose. Lots of fig, prune and cinnamon in the scent. Fair amount of brown sugar and nut aromas here, this much more like a Belgian Strong Brown Ale to me scent wise. Toffee and chocolate aromas are also in this.

Taste is sweet and spicy with a strong hop bitterness at the start. Lots of sweet brown sugar and cinnamon flavor fights it out with the more than ample hop level for the attention of your taste buds. There is a fairly strong nut flavor here a lot like sherry. Lots of hop flavor here mostly strong citrus flavors with some cinnamon and ginger to it too.

Mouthfeel is extremely thick.

Strong ale here that does lack a bit in drinkability. This is a big strong hoppy beer that you will not be drinking as a lawnmower beer.

Zorro, Jun 25, 2006
Photo of blitheringidiot
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful gold foil wrapped bottle that couldn’t be more pretty. Painted bottle artwork on the back decries that this is a celebration of ten years.
P.S. Rusty rim awaits under the cap!

Auburn russet hue toped with a scant khaki collar. Lacks a head cap, but presumably makes up for it in awl-kee-hawl oomph!

Barleywine promise scents front this aroma attack with a touch of honey.

First swigs: Barleywine like essence that quickly offers a sweetness of dark fruit figs and black cherry. Half-warmed, this is a hot awl-kee-hawl boozer big beer. A generous flavor of candied Balgian sugar taste.

Feel is medium bodied with a booziness. Gentle carbonation that builds an easy drinker. Whew! Not good. Under carbonated in a way. This is one that should not be so drinkable.

Last swigs: Trust me when I say that this has a hint of BigFoot in it. Not for the faint of heart, as this has a hefty punch.

blitheringidiot, Jun 23, 2006
Photo of cheers2beers
4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served into a large wiesen glass.

Appearance: Pours a delightful shade of bronze mahogany. Wonderful fluffy 2-3 finger head rises up and leaves some nice lacing. Sedemsnt is noted.

Smell: Soft and sweet. I smell some nice nutty qualities, especially hazel nut. Thick and complex malt bill. No hops to speak of but thats not suprsing considering that this is so malty.

Taste: There are notably more hops in the flavor. I can detect some subtle citrus up front. Caramel and more nutty goodness can be noted as well. Very malty and lucious. Nice bitter alcohol tinged finish and delicious all around.

Mouthfeel: On the fatter side of medium. The potentcy of this ale tends to make it seem thinner than it is. Not bad by any means.

Drinkability: This is quite an easy drinking old ale, too bad it was only brewed once. I will try and get this again because it is complex and delicious.


cheers2beers, Jun 16, 2006
Photo of HimerMan
4.93/5  rDev +23.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 bottle; served in a Delirium Tremens glass split with Gaskill on 5/19/06.

Open/Pour – Aroma of chocolate and candied fruits, raisins and faint alcohol. Unbelievable pour, wonderful off-white head with a ruby brown hazy color. Absolutely one of the nicest colors to look at in this style of beer. Retention fairly strong, and light oil on the top.

Taste – incredibly smooth and refreshing, alcohol not present in taste - though the warming feeling exists. Nice malt flavor that is rich with sweet sugar water and very true to both English Old Ales and Belgian flavors; figs, raisins, light chocolate/toffee mixed with cream and sweetness.

Overall – perhaps I enjoy this style more than I would have ever thought. Stouts are still my overall favorite style – but this one seems to have peeked through an opened my eyes to new flavors.

Drinkability - You can age this for years, so keep it or drink it - it will be outstanding. Top-notch.

Truly an unbelievable beer. After being aged until 5/19/06 – it was amazing, and I have several more to age through the next couple years. If you have the ability to get this beer – you must.

Incredible beer from an incredible brewery.


HimerMan, May 22, 2006
Photo of Wasatch
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a very clear ruby red, not much carbonation, tiny head, some island lacing.

S - Scents of plums, sweet malts, raisins, caramel, and slight alcohol.

T - The taste is kinda sweet/tangy, slight caramel, nice warm feeling in the throat, due to the alcohol I'm sure, finishes dry.

M - Medium body, Well rounded brew.

D - Drinkable. I let this one sit for quite a few months (8-9 months). Very tasty, watch out for the 11% ABV. AleSmith is one of my favorite brewers.

Wasatch, May 21, 2006
Photo of PuckLSHS
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened this ale before the right amount of aging, but just couldn't wait to try it anymore. Not exactly my favorite Alesmith product though.

Classic old ale style. at 11% the beer warms the throat and goes down smooth with hints of caramel, chocolate and dark fruits. The smell is outrageous and full on this one, but just doesn't seem to match fully with the taste.

Mouthfeel is nice. Light carbonation and chewy texture give this beer some depth in the mouth. A full selection and not lacking in substance.

Not what I was hoping for with the beer, but it is drinkable. I would have rather had this beer when it was aged a bit more, but c'est la vie...it was still good.

PuckLSHS, May 07, 2006
Photo of Boolshot
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured medium dark amber from 750ml bottle, not much head, murky brown color. Smells like figs, malt, alcohol some mustiness. Flavors are slightly figgy, sweet, malty, nutty and some spice. the ABV is noticeable especially as it warms. Very good overall.

Boolshot, May 07, 2006
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.4/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chestnut-hued, under tight, tan top.

Earthy, nutty aroma, caramel flavor, mixed with spice and fruit esters. A heady, burgundy-esque blend. Noice.

Delectable and deep at once, a bold entry on the palate, hanging full with weighty flavors. Sticks long on the tastebuds, rolls around with imperious aplomb, a brilliant mix of delicious malt, and just enough hops. Lip-smacking delight.

11%? I can feel it coming on...this is a fine, fine barleywine that will put an excellent close to the day. Half the bottle left...means I'm gonna feel twice as good when it's time to hit the hay.

much thanks to beerhandy and BiF33 for the bottle.

feloniousmonk, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of kmcnair
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Now here is a beer that is going to mature very well... I can't wait to try this again in a few years. It was fantastic fresh and on cask, here's a bottle at 7 months.

Pours a caramelized amber hue and makes a tan crown of tightly packed bubbles that slowly fades to a shallow halo of suds.

Aroma is loaded up with dark dried fruits, namely black raisins, cherries and some roasted yet almost smoky malts and brandy.

Intense complex flavors that are all over the spectrum - roasted caramel malt, chocolate, vanilla bean, cherries, black currant, raisins and other dried dark fruits, alcohol is rather hot and very noticable (which is the only thing keeping me from putting a 5 for taste).

Thick, sticky, chewy and oily mouthfeel, full bodied and finishes with a sharp dry alcoholic bite.

Highly drinkable and will just sneak up on you... this is only going to get better with age. Find a bottle now before it is too late.

kmcnair, Apr 07, 2006
Photo of BeerManDan
4.47/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

What a pleasant surprise, from beginning to end. Popped the lid and poured this thick dark amber brown ale into my clear glass. There was no foam, which is pretty standard for this style ale. The smell of malts, fruit and hops filled my nose with a pleasant balanced aroma. The taste was really malty and fruity with a nice hoppy flavor, not over powering. Nice balance of fruitiness, with the malts mixed with sweetness, tartness and a touch of sourness. This is what I would call a barleywine type ale and I love it! Also, for the amount of alcohol, it is so smoooth with out the alcohol taste.

BeerManDan, Mar 21, 2006
Photo of Sephiroth
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to BeerBeing for the trade. Beautiful packaging, initial lacing and head, both are fading. Color is a nice, deep, cherrywood. Aroma is malty, roasty, and fruity.

Taste is huge. Malty fruits, dates, figs, raisins, with slight hops. Ever so slight roasted character. The mouthfeel is thick and chewy. Drinkability is good, but this is my only bottle. Thank god I'm getting more in a trade.

Sephiroth, Mar 13, 2006
Photo of Beertracker
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

AleSmith's Decadence Anniversary Ale is best served at cellar temperatures (50-55F) in a "commemorative" logo glass or a large brandy snifter. This potent elixir pours up smart & simple with just the perfect amount of carbonation. The gorgeously, inviting chestnut-ruby brown body is capped nicely with a small, persistent, cream colored head. This beauty even shows a bit of leg. The big, sweet caramel (e.g. caramel apple, toffee bits/molasses chips, muscovado sugar) aroma is wonderfully complex with hints of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Frangelico & Madeira. The flavor starts off luciously rich & somewhat chewy with lots of burnt caramel, toasted nuttiness and dried fruit. The bitterness never quite seems to catch-up to the huge maltiness, but the warming alcohol plays nicely into the finish. This chewy, full-bodied old ale carries plenty of character & warmth to bring color to any occasion. Enjoy this special vintage now or cellar for a special occasion. Here's to a "Decade of Decadence!"

CHEERS! Beertracker

Beertracker, Feb 26, 2006
Photo of CRJMellor
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep ark amber, red, mahogany and brown concoction with a fairly large ecru head. Nice amount of lace forms and stays throughout the drink.
Aroma of heavy caramel, some chocolate, figs and does of grain alcohol.
Flavor is fairly intensely sweet to start with a hint of roasted bitterness in the middle before finishing with a restrained but powerful alcoholic punhc.
Mouthfeel is big with just a wee bit too much "hot" alcohol pop. I think this will settle down with some aging.
Drinkability was solid. Some serious aging will make this Old Ale worth re-visiting in about '08 or '09.

CRJMellor, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma was spicy with lots of fruit cake aroma and rich malts...and lots of alcohol. Pour was hazy reddish brown with a smallish fast fading head. Flavor was sweet and malty with lots of spiced rum/fruit cake flavors that mirroed the aroma. Not quite as deep and complex as other Alesmith beers, but still fantastic.

Jredner, Feb 09, 2006
Photo of Bighuge
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Proud looking scarlet red appearance. This beer has got a glow to it. Head is beige and thin, but the residual collar leaves quite a good amount of spotty lace. Really thick aroma. Gooey caramel and sweet toffeeish malts lead the pack. Rummy alcohol and fig like tones as well. A little resiny hop character too. Great aroma. The first thing that I notice when tasting is the rich, luxurious malt tones. Clean and sweet. Caramel and toffee. Beautiful. Melons and figs and alcohol all mingle in as well. But really, for an 11% brew, the alcohol is intergrated nicely. I was hoping it wasn't going to be one of those spiked fruit punch like old ales and it isn't. This is very good. And, yes, decadent is the perfect word to describe it.

Thanks to the LongBeachBum for this Alesmith treat. Much appreciated man.

Bighuge, Feb 03, 2006
Photo of oggg
4.22/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml very classy, very slick silk screened bottle. An indulgence at O'Briens.

We used small curvaceous Unibroue glasses which were perfect for getting your nose right in there to inhale this ambrosia. A tawny brown with ruby highlights, low carbonation, little to no head. Again, a great glass allowed us to fully experience the gorgeous luxurious decadent pungent aroma of sweet caramel. Super intense, pretty much overpowering any hint of hops. No high octane alcohol smell, just a mild vinous aspect. Smooth down the tongue and throat, with low carbonation. Strong and intensely sweet caramel/toffee. A sipper because it is so sweet and huge. Alcohol noticeable but I would not have predicted 11%. Finishes, amazingly enough, on the dry side. No sickly syrupiness. Fairly neutral with just a hint of dark fruitiness.

Overall: wonderful smooth sipper. People say this one is still young; can't wait to see how this beer improve.

oggg, Jan 10, 2006
Photo of carln26
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured from the bottle a deep garnet color, mildly hazy, topped by a dense tan head that showed great retention. The nose has fresh bread a hint of sherry, a bit of dates on the finish. The taste has a bit of orange citrus, tawny port , a bit of toffee. The mouth feel is smooth and slightly rich. There is a bit of alcohol heat on the finish. . Good drinkability, although the heat is hurting that a touch.

carln26, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of clvand0
3.78/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I was pretty pumped up to try this beer. Pours a dark amber color with a small head that falls fast and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma let me know there was alcohol in it. Big notes of dark fruit, raisins. The flavor didn't stand up to the expectations I had. Flavors of caramel and the dark fruits, but it has a breadyness to it. Enjoyable, but not as much as I had hoped for. The body is on the thick end of moderate and the drinkability is good.

clvand0, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of ppoitras
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased from Julio's, Westboro, MA. Gold foiled cap, green bottle.

Poured into a Rapscallion glass, formed a 1/2" tan head above the amber red brew. Head fades, but not bad for the style, and lacing is nice and lasting. Aroma is vinous and relatively strong of alcohol. Taste is malt sweetness upfront, but the fruity alcohol eventually takes over, leaving definite warming throughout the mouth and throat. Mouthfeel is just a bit too hot for me, could be balanced by sweetness or something just a bit more, and drinkability feels the same heat, as it were. Certainly a memorable brew, as an anniversary brew should be.

ppoitras, Dec 01, 2005
Photo of connecticutpoet
3.58/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer was saved for a special occasion, and today being Thanksgiving, what better day o drink a brew called Decadence than the day when everyone shoves food into their faces until they want to sit on the couch and fall asleep?

This beer was a clear red offering, with a very thin layer of foam. Poured into wine glasses, as this was to be shared among several people.

Aroma was somewhat vinous, mainly rich malt with a slight mustiness (as expected of an old ale). Also slightly sweet and loaded with dark fruits.

Taste was of rich musty malt, very strong. There was some slight roasted character there as well, and a bit of sweetness. Very very strong... almost too much flavor. This one could have used more time to mellow.

Mouthfeel was full and rich, pretty good. Quite chewy and a bit oily. This one coated the mouth.

Drinkability... gonna have to take a little away on that one. The flavor was a bit too raw, too brash. I was glad that I had brought this to share. No way I could have done a whole bottle solo.

connecticutpoet, Nov 25, 2005
AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 191 ratings.