AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale - AleSmith Brewing Company

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AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old AleAleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale

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BA SCORE
89
very good

136 Reviews
THE BROS
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Reviews: 136
Hads: 203
rAvg: 3.98
pDev: 6.78%
Wants: 36
Gots: 40 | FT: 1
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:
Beer added by: jerz on 06-14-2010

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Same recipe as Decadence 2005.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 136 | Hads: 203
Photo of Boilermaker88
3.92/5  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. (1,226 characters)

Photo of RoyalT
4.05/5  rDev +1.8%
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. (941 characters)

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.68/5  rDev -7.5%
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. (1,062 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.87/5  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. (3,332 characters)

Photo of meathookjones
4.27/5  rDev +7.3%
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. (719 characters)

Photo of OStrungT
3.95/5  rDev -0.8%
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. (861 characters)

Photo of francisweizen
4.03/5  rDev +1.3%
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. (1,139 characters)

Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.7/5  rDev -7%
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. (4,056 characters)

Photo of Longstaff
3.7/5  rDev -7%
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. (427 characters)

Photo of weeare138
3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
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. (399 characters)

Photo of BrewMaster
3.61/5  rDev -9.3%
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. (1,301 characters)

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AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 136 ratings.