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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.

194 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 194
Reviews: 136
rAvg: 3.99
pDev: 10.78%
Wants: 33
Gots: 44 | 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: 194 | Reviews: 136 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of kmpitz2
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very deep amber color with a finger of head that falls to a light coat over top. Nose is rather complex. I get notes of raisin, fig, cocoa with light alcohol notes. I would guess this to be along the lines of old ale...checking style shows me this is right. Flavor is strong. Starts with a dark chocolate, moving to sweet caramel coated fig, finishing with a very light hop. Very nice balance. Feel is all about thickness. Very small carbonation, but its very smooth. The beer is really nice right now in its infancy, so I can only hope it gets better over some age. Drinkability is high on this as well. It is very smooth and well melded, only to become better with age. Nice brew.

kmpitz2, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of SheepNutz
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A big shout out to Chris for bringing this one! 750mL bottle poured into a snifter. It pours a deep brown-red color with one finger of head. There's minimal lacing on the glass. The smell is intoxicating. A huge nose, with lots of dark fruit. There's a good bit of cherry and raisin, and a hint of alcohol as well. The taste is sweet and mellow. A great dark fruit flavor. A lot less alcohol than the aroma would have you to believe. Very flavorful! The mouthfeel is very thick and strong. The drinkability is great for an 11% brew. A really nice beer.

SheepNutz, Nov 23, 2005
Photo of DogFood11
3.7/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a crystal clean light copper appearance. A bit of lacing and marginal head. so so.

picked up some dark fruits that are light and mostly malted.

Hop presence is subdued. cinnamon and ginger come through. Is this the yulesmith toned down? regardless its a fine beer that I would seek out at a cheaper price. way to proud of this one.

DogFood11, Nov 21, 2005
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured into the glass crystal clear amber with a tan and low head which formed slowly but lasted well to lace the glass.

The aroma was malty with a strong caramel malt presence coupled with a nice fruity character. The fruit was dark cherries and raisins coupled with a nice nuttiness. No hop aroma, but a nice slight spicy phenol was present from alcohol.

The flavor was nicely accomplished with a nutty, caramel and toffee malt flavor which contained a sizeable bittering component. The beer was biscuity, but not overly so with a toasty character and a dark caramel thrown in for good measure. The bittering was at the first of the flavor and was resinous and piney.

The finish was not quite dry with a sizeable resinous and piney bittering lasting long into the aftertaste and taking some nuttiness and malt flavor along for the ride. The body was full, but not viscous. The carbonation was low and correct for the style. The alcohol was really only a factor in the aroma and the warming after consumption. A very nice old ale, should age out very well and I am glad I elected to pick up a bottle when I had the chance.

750 capped and foil sealed bottle. Purchased at Papago in Phoenix.

GCBrewingCo, Nov 14, 2005
Photo of kmo1030
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

rich dark red hued brown with a brown head that hold up decently. looks real tasty in my snifter. the smell indicates tha this clearly has some alcohol in it. lots of vinous dark ripe fruit is in there too, plum, fig, and raisin. there is also caramel, toffee, and butterscotch with hints of chocolate covered cherry and brown sugar.
the taste starts in with very sweet butterscotch and moves to the dark fruits. there aren't any surprises here, it is very like the aroma as far as the fruitiness is concerned though some of the tangy aspects are missing. the is a significant amount of vanilla wood flavors that i didn't detect much in the aroma. as it warms there is a little bit of a maple flavor. i'm finding a bit of a walnut flavor that is adding some biterness. the alcohol has some bite here reasonably boozy at the back end with warming on the way down.
very full bodied with mild carbonation, suiting the beer quit well. drinkability suffers some as it's a little much to take at times and i'm kind of wishing i had someone else who was interested in sharing this with me. i should be able to make do though, this is a quality and pretty tasty beer; a sipper to be sure though. it does seem a little young though. if i see this again for a reaonable price i'm gonna pick one up to put away for at least a couple years.
(music: marilyn manson - portrait of an american family)(heh.)

kmo1030, Nov 13, 2005
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up one of Alesmith's tenth anniversary limited edition brews at Hollingshead's Deli for $9.99. The gold foil wrapped 750ml bottle is actually a dark green and the lettering has an old colonial days look to it. I used a large snifter.
Decadence had a clear dark brown coloring and a thin light tan head. Minimal lace was present as the head shriveled down to a tiny ring.
Whew, talk about boozy! Very sweet with lots of dark fruit and alcohol notes enveloping an underlying woodiness. This applies to both the aroma and the taste. Dates, raisins, plums are the fruits noted and there's a subtle peat flavor that's a welcome addition. As Decadence warms, the port-like alcohol fumes really get ramped up and just come wafting out of the glass. In short order you can feel this one. Decadence really hits its stride at about 55-60°, reaching its greatest complexity before being overcome by its booziness. The feel is surprisingly full and rich, almost chunky; quite appealing.
I enjoyed Decadence quite a bit but found the high level of alcohol to be a serious limiting factor. The alcohol just stands out a little too much for me to handle very much. Nonetheless, it's still another quality offering from Alesmith.

Boilermaker88, Nov 12, 2005
Photo of RoyalT
4.05/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance – This Old Ale poured a muddy brown in color with some light orangish highlights. The head on this 11% ABV anniversary ale was short and sweet.

Smell – Oh, this ale just reeks of alcohol and wood. There are some good malts in there I’m sure, and I can actually pick up some of the fruits like grapes and dates, but the wood and booze really do dominate. Cool.

Taste – Kapow! The anvil picture on the bottle says it all. The wood and alcohol remind me of Old Woody. They are big and heavy handed, trumping any sort of malt profile that may be in the ale. The “sherry or port-like” description from the BJCP really fits here. It’s more like a hearty sherry with hints of tawny port.

Mouthfeel – This is a bit fuller than medium-bodied with some stinging alcohol warmth that gets you buzzing after the first sip.

Drinkability – This is a hardcore version of the style well worthy of the 10th anniversary moniker.

RoyalT, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of MuddyFeet
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a red tinted brown color. Like a cherry. At first I could not get a head to form, but I quickly corrected my pour and got a centimeter deep head with extremely tiny bubbles madly rising from the bottom of the chalice. That quickly receded to some larger condensations of head around the edges. Some stringy lace.

Nose is very bland. Tried hard to drag out much at all--some malts, alcohol and a little bit of hops. However, nothing in particular.

Flavor is not all that complex. Rather sweet with a big mule kick of alcohol towards the end. The sugars come through as particularly sweet. Some overripe plums, figs and cherries. Some bittering hops, but the bitterness quickly recedes. Kind of makes me think of a red wine that was accidently carbonated.

Full body and bit syrupy. Feels like a carbonated red wine--especially the alcohol burn and the way it lingers in the mouth and the back of the throat.

Served slightly chiled but the flavors improved as it warmed. Very drinkable but unfortnately strong enough to put me out for the night.

MuddyFeet, Oct 20, 2005
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Sampled December 2007
A vigorous pour produces a fat, one-finger thick, amber tinged tan colored head. The beer sits in my glass a dark amber hued, brown color, but shows an almost brilliantly clear, cranberry color when held up to the light. The carbonation is visually slight, with only a few lonely bubbles working there way through the glass at a time. The aroma has quite a dusty malt character to it, with lots of toasted grain notes and browned artisanal bread crust aromatics. It still has a sweet smelling character to it, which definitely accentuates fruit notes of berries and perhaps some raisin like aromas. The hot alcohol that was in this beer when I first had it seems to have toned down significantly as it just plays a role in the background; it produces some aromatics notes that make me think of molasses rum. The aroma has a bit too much of a grain husk like sharpness to it, but it still has vastly improved.

Sweet and viscous feeling, this beer definitely has a creamy mouthfeel to it. The slight carbonation adds just a touch of a sparkle towards the finish. Dark, toasted malt flavors play a big role here; sharp, roast grain husk notes, toasted bread flavors, something that almost seems wood like at times. This is still a bit hot in the finish, the alcohol definitely supplies ample warming character here, which isn't actually all that bad on this uncharacteristically cold, AZ night. Slightly fruity, though not as much as the aroma would have suggested, flavors of raisins, a touch of berry notes and at times a hint of cherry. These notes are joined by complimentary flavors reminiscent of toffee, a hint of vanilla and molasses. The alcohol, along with the fruit notes provides something like the finish of a brandy. A solid, yet initially unnoticed because of all of the malt sweetness, bitterness is found in the finish, it lingers a bit and slowly wins out over the malt sugars. Most definitely a chewy, sipping beer; thick and rich, a beer to be savored slowly over an evening in front of the fire.

This has definitely vastly improved ; initially it was something I would only just want to drink a full glass of. It still has a ways to go though, and I still think that it will improve for at least another year, if not even significantly longer. The beer still needs to soften up a bit, and a bit of oxidation should add some needed complexity.

Sampled October, 2005
Pours a clear rich amber color and is topped by a frothy amber tan colored head. The aroma is fruity and malty; a mix of sticky toffee, cherry, and sharp alcohol. The aroma seems a bit too strongly towards the alcohol side of the spectrum, at least initially.

The taste is quite sweet and full in the palate, and the finish has a strong, hot alcohol note to it. In the finish is also a roasted astringency that has notes of coffee. As my palate becomes used to it the beer loses its initial sticky sweetness; it still tastes strongly of caramel and toffee but becomes a bit more richer. This beer is definitely on the young side, in fact this needs at least 6 months, but probably more like 2 years before it comes into its own. This beer actually has quite a bit of potential, but I wish that the brewery had brewed this two years earlier for this 10 year anniversary. I expect my ratings for this to go up as time passes.

Gueuzedude, Oct 18, 2005
Photo of meathookjones
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark cherry wood like color with a decent sized tan fluffy head. Some scattered lace clung to the glass as it was consumed. Deep rich sweet malts with some toffee and caramel and a big dose of ripe fruits. As it warms the alcohol starts to slowly creep out a bit. Taste begins with some sweet caramel and dark fruit flavors. Some smoky undertones and a bit of bittersweet chocolate. Toasty malts were there as was an alcohol component. A bit hot, maybe but I thought it didn’t hurt it much. Quite warming feel to it and its also pretty damn thick. Almost syrupy but not quite. Pretty good drinkability for a big beer like this as well. I would love to see what this does in time. Good stuff fresh though in my opinion.

meathookjones, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of OStrungT
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a gloden brown with a brownish orange head. The head fades slowly leaving a decent amount of laces. When held up to the light, see a deep ruby tint. It has a malty aroma. I an detect the alcohol in the aroma. I also detect some molasses. It sort of smells like a barley wine. I detect very little in the way of hop aroma. This beer tastes like a mild barley wine. Not as aggressive, but I taste some similarities. The alcohol is very present in the flavor. It slightly warms my throat on the way down. It tastes malty and sweet. It is a little thinner than a barley wine. It goes down smooth, very smooth. The flavor is not as aggressive as you would think form the alcohol content. I think this beer would probably not make a very good session beer because of the high alcohol content. However, with the mild flavor, it might be an all nighter.

OStrungT, Oct 07, 2005
Photo of francisweizen
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle @ Sputen Duyvil, split amongst friends. This was served to us in some excellent big-ass crystal glasses at Sputen (i'm pretty sure that they are Riedel Sommeliers Bordeaux glasses). The liquid within these glasses was a dark walnut-tinged ruddy ruby brown with a nice almond head of foam that lasted, but left insignificant lacing. The aromas were quite "nutty" as well, with some definate dark sugar and dark fruit notes as well as the nuttiness. This one is definately ramped up a bit and suited well to lay down for a bit, as it is quite "hot" right now. The taste is "hotter" still with some fiery booze competing for your attention amongst the melange of nuts, dark fruits, various sugar sources, and some nice yeast complexities, which are in no doubt due to the four strains used in this libation. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and velvetty smooth, but the hotness hurts the mouthfeel and drinkability of this behemoth. Still at 11% i've had many hotter than this, and this is quite the nice English cum Belgian old ale here. This should be pimp worthy in five years time. Buy some now, and celebrate your good decision in 2010.

francisweizen, Oct 06, 2005
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 750ml dark green glass flask like bottle with a dimpled base. Thick gold foil covers the simple brass colored crown cap, no cork. Nice to see the return of the small Alesmith Anvil printed on the bottle in a shiny rich gold. Has the words ‘Decadence Anniversary Ale’ in a scripted white font with the words ‘English Style Old Ale’ in a gold Arial font. The small print at the base lists the Decadence as 11% Alcohol by Volume. The reverse of the bottle, explains the background to the 10th Anniversary special release from Alesmith. The print also states that this should keep for between 6 to 36 months, or longer and recommends not refrigerating this until ready to drink, then serving it at 50-55°F.

Appearance: I chose my trusty Duvel goblet for this one. A soft dispassionate ruby hue shines through the mid brown body when backlit. The head only manages to cover the surface immediately after the gloopy pour, but it soon breaks to a bubbly mass that rescinds like a melting ice cube forming a smooth puddle. Once settled it sits on the desk and the chestnut fluid suffers from the lack of a head and can only muster a thin tan colored halo in the end. It looks flaccid and the minimal carbonation doesn’t help out.

Nose: The nose has a rich warming dimension like heated molasses, the malts have a luxurious feel but there is also a sharp slightly raw alcohol presence with some chewy nutty character, but moreover a brown sugar finish with some of that fine British institution hidden right at the death of the aromas….Marmite, which isn’t all that strange given what it is….aah My Mate Marmite.

Taste: The alcohol rises throughout the experience and is always prevalent. At first it melds with the malts and molasses, but it soon peaks in the back third to remind you of its double digit strength. A rich cross-section of malt flavors fill the palate from start to finish with a little candy sugar and dark fruits. Like a good Brandy, this is much better when allowed to fully warm in the glass. Let this one breathe when you open it, I did, I learnt that from the first bottle I shared with fellow BA’s OCBrewFish and SwillinBrew at Hollingshead Delicatessen a week ago. This one really needs the warmth to reveal its best qualities at this time, but sadly it can expose the scorching alcohol too.

Mouthfeel: The alcohol is a little too front and square right now, I’m sure it will rescind with time. Malts are supporting and the molasses add depth.

Drinkability: After half a bottle I got used to the alcohol but the molasses and its associated sweetness still lingers and bothers me. A little time should improve this, rounding the alcohol and soothing the brown sugar cane sweetness.

Overall: It feels like Alesmith have gone back to their roots a little with this one. I’ve been burned with a few of the ‘newer’ 750’s from Alesmith in the past, and this is the first 750 I have picked up since then, thankfully it was worth the investment. A nice enough libation right now, but I feel that this one will need a little more time to reach its epoch. I picked up a couple more of the Decadence to cellar, it will be interesting to see how it develops, whilst I don’t expect a marked increase, I think it may well improve a little in the next 6-18 months and have a more rounded profile, but I suspect that if it is left too long the lack of carbonation will kill this one.

Not that bad for $9.99 and definitely worth trying, but if I was to shoot straight from the hip I would say that this is not one of Alesmith’s best brews to date for sure, and a little disappointing if I am completely honest. I still find their Bombers (IPA, X and ESB plus Yulesmith) the better offerings from Alesmith, their 750’s seem to lack the complexity and quality that they want to project for the high price. I expected a more complex and rounded brew from the Decadence. Looks good on the shelf, but falls short.

BTW – Don’t forget to let this one warm up to room temperature to get the best from it.

TheLongBeachBum, Oct 03, 2005
Photo of Longstaff
3.73/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Murky brown body with a bubbly off white head after being pulled from the handpump. Spicey alcohol aroma with brown sugar / molasses mixing in well. Flavor was mostly derived from fruity alcohol that was not overpowering or fusel driven, but warming and pleasant. Only minimal malt undertones could be detected due to the alcohol flavors being so up front. Medium mouthfeel made this somewhat drinkable for a late night sipper.

Longstaff, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of weeare138
3.85/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks much to egajdzis for this...
Appears a deep amber red with a soapy white head. Lots of spotty lacing sticks to the glass.
Smell is of candy, toffee, light caramel, figs, and a bit of a chemical aroma reminescent of Aqua Net.
Taste is of candy, dark fruit, caramel, toffee, along with alcohol that's present and a hair sprits.
Mouthfeel is smooth, spicy, full bodied brew with abv evident.

weeare138, Sep 30, 2005
Photo of BrewMaster
3.6/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On cask at O'Brien's in San Diego on 9/2/05.

Appearance: On cask this beer is certainly a beauty to look at. Creamy tan head cascading in the glass of brownish red beer. Excellent head retention and beautiful lacing as it is consumed.

Smell: Resiny hop scent with some strong sweetness backing it up. There's not much else in the nose. Some slight toastiness and caramel, but mostly a sugary hop scent.

Taste: Wow, this beer is vinous and sweet with flavors of fig, raisin and toast. Even from the sweet nose this is not what I expected. It's hoppy with an alcohol middle that is syrupy and resin-like. The ending is long with more caramel and sugar along with a hop bitterenss. Each flavor is quick and supported by the rich malty base. The darker raosted malt flavors stand out with a brown sugar and molasses quality.

Mouthfeel: Thick and full bodied and syrupy. The incredible amound of sweetness in this beer makes it feel even thicker. Nonetheless this beer is quite smooth if you can get over the initial shock of sweetness.

Drinkability: The sweetness of this beer really borders on cloying. Too much of a good thing can turn bad. This beer is not bad, but not one of Alesmith's best. I look forward to trying this from the tap or bottle to taste the difference versus the cask.

BrewMaster, Sep 13, 2005
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AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 194 ratings.