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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: 34
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 womencantsail
3.93/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a dark chestnut color with a finger's worth of khaki colored head.

S: Sweet and toasty malts with a hint of roast and coffee. A bit of alcohol and dark fruit underneath the toffee, caramel, and maple notes.

T: Not nearly as sweet as I expect from most old ales. A slight bitterness to it, but not in the usual hop sense. Toasted and burnt malts/sugars to this one, with some toffee and molasses. A definite fruit character to it as well, mostly plums and cherries.

M: Medium to full bodied, smooth and subtly carbonated. Not exactly thick and syrupy, but not very light, either.

D: This alcohol makes its presence known here, and this one hits quite hard. The beer is good, but not great and I would be interested to see how this ages.

Photo of brentk56
4.45/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a burnt caramel color with an impressive, rocky head that leaves copious lacing behind

Smell: Dark fruit (dates and figs), licorice, caramel and wood

Taste: Opens with a nice blend of dark fruit, caramel and licorice that adds a hint of hops, scorched wood and molasses by mid-palate; after the swallow, the caramel flavors soften out the profile and blend beautifully with the dark fruit in the finish though there is a subtle hint of pithy hops that lingers in the aftertaste

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: To me, this is a really fine example of the English Old Ale style

Photo of Overlord
3.08/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmmm....I love Alesmith to death. I really do. Peter was really nice to me on the few occasions I've made it down, and I've been a pretty loyal purchaser over the years, and will remain so.

But I've not been blown away by the last two or three Decadence beers.

Pours a slightly ruddy light brown. A few bubbles, but no real head.

Smells faintly of malt, more strongly of kind of ... I don't know .... cherry? Some sort of strange fruit undercurrent. TAste is surprisingly nutty, malty, brown sugary and ... tangy? What is that? This tastes nothing like the 2005 Decadence. At least, what I remember of it. Too much fruit, too much alcohol bite, and that weird spicy/tangy aftertaste.


Photo of jjayjaye
4.13/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark mahogany hued maple syrup with a HUGE stiff light tan foamy head with a decent amount of hang time and Belgian lacing. The aggressive smell is the most dominant characteristic of this beverage; the malty, brown sugar, caramel, molasses, peat and tobacco nose REALLY compliments the flavors nicely. Adequately carbonated, the gentle tingle of the mouth adds just the right touch to the moderately heavy feel. Not quite creamy, but smooth...very nice. The malty caramel and peat character is mirrored nicely from the nose. The 11% ABV is integrated well and will get you there. I'm pretty impressed. Thanks to Geoi for the opportunity to consider this one.

Photo of flannelman808
4.3/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown in color with a red tint. fairly opaque overall. Topped off with an off white colored head. Good head retention and nice lacing...frothy.

S: Malty chocolate and toffee come through on the nose. Some woody presence is there as well. There is a little bit of a steel like note coming through as well too.

T: Woody bitterness and chocolate jump out front. wow this stuff is fantastic. So much balance for a beer this rich. Very drinkable as well! wow! The hops are still very present as the bitterness is still very much a factor and is very nice. However I am sure it will age really well too. Toffee and pine and bitter and sweet.... kick ass

M: rich and prickly all at once!

D: very high for what this stuff is!

Photo of vacax
3.45/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This Decadence is a dark mysterious brown with a few fingers of light chestnut head that is finely composed, with high retention and great lacing. I worked on this glass slowly, and quite a long while later there is still sticky lace on the side of my glass and swirls of bubbles on top the beer. The aroma is heaped with dark brown sugar, hazelnuts, maple syrup, alcohol, and some bubble gum esters.

The flavor is malty up front with caramel but the malt complexities are largely drowned out by lots of banana-like esters and alcohol. Thick cookie/caramel finish, doughy and a bit grassy. I can definitely see this improving with a few months on it, the alcohol dying down, the esters clearing up a bit, and the malts coming together, but right out of the gate this one is a bit rough. Medium body, not as substantial as expected, and moderate carbonation to suit it. Decent old ale, may be good with some age.

Photo of pwoods
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

FtownThrowDown cracked this bad boy.

A: Murky, dirty brown. Not much head left but some decent lacing.

S: great mellowed alcohol and deep, rich malts.

T/M: Great rich and deeply but pleasantly sweet malts. A bitnjuttu and buttery. Deep and mellowed alcohol adds great depth. Maybe a touch oxidized but still enjoyable. Body is nearly full and nice and smooth.

D: 11% is pretty suprising but still drinks nice and easy.

Photo of FtownThrowDown
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been holding on to this bottle for awhile. Read a few reports that this has peaked and is now declining.
Pours a murky burgundy in color. No head on the pour, just a hint of froth around the edges.
Smell is toffee and caramel. After my first sip, I do have to admit that I may have missed the peak on this beer by at least six months to a year. If you have one, I would drink it now. Still a good amount of alcohol after all these years. Decent beer.

Photo of tpd975
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to ibrew2or3 for holding back this bad boy for all these years.

A: Pours a nice vibrant amber hue with a thin off white head. No real retention or lace noted.

S: Wonderful Old Ale notes. Rich over ripe dark fruits melded with toffee, caramel, and molasses.

T: Age has done wonderful things to this one. Gooey sun ripened dark fruit. Chocolate soaked cherries, and dark dark molasses. Very subtle boozy notes in the finish.

M: Full bodied, rich, bold, goood!

D: It's a sipper, but a damn fine one.

Thanks Dave!

Photo of HopHead84
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to snojerk321 for cracking this.

Poured into a tulip. The beer is very dark copper with a one finger fizzy beige head. Retention is good and a little lacing is left on the glass.

The aroma is very rich, and of toffee and some sugary caramel. Other flavors are of sugar coated dark fruits and some alcohol. This smells like it peaked recently, but it's fantastic nonetheless. The oxidization is at a low level, imparting sherry notes.

The flavor is also very rich, and the oxidization is a bit more noticeable here, with some cardboard added to that sherry. Notes of plums, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, candied fruits, nuts, and alcohol are present.

The beer is full bodied with a low level of carbonation. I'm really glad I got to try this. Drink it now.

Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle at 52 degrees.

Pours clear dark mahogany with a ruby tinge. A quarter inch head of beige settled into a partial skim coat on the surface and revealed some minimal tacky lacework.

Aromatics lead off with chipped toffee, dried figs, and cocoa-dusted oak. Slightly roasty with an earthy booziness and rich caramel.

On the full side of medium bodied with a chewy, doughy mouthfeel. Carbonation is light which is good for the style.

Caramel-laced malt, oaky tannins, and roasty undertones start the palate. A whisky-like booziness quickly steps forward along with plenty of toffee, leather, and dried figs.

Finishes with lingering roasty malt, oaky earthiness, and boozy warmth.

Theres a surprising amount of oaky overtones for a non barrel aged beer here. Lacking the classic vineousity found in a great Old Ale though.
Certainly will serve me well while I settle in after another ten inch snowstorm.

Photo of hellbilly
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle graciously provided by bockyhorsey...

pours hazy a rich chestnut-y auburn brown with a small tan head and a bunch of spotty lacing.

the aroma has distinct barrel aged qualities to it yet it has not seen wood... oak, vanilla, tons of cognac spiciness, brown sugar, orange and cocoa butter. there's a nice oxidized/aged smell in the background that i am really digging into.

the palate is sweet for sure but never reaches cloying. astringency and nearly bitter spiciness clean off any residue and alcohol lends a hand to clean off the tongue.... the flavor has some caramel, cocoa butter, coffee, clove, cinnamon and vanilla in addition to the aroma profile... so rich. decadent possibly?

medium bodied with a lux mouth feel and the perfect amount of carbonation. bitterness and spice make it really easy to keep drinking!

Photo of magictrokini
4.43/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear brown, with a slight cream head. Aroma is heavy with chocolate malts, alcohol, and candied fruits. Figs and cherries are faint and boozy. Taste is thick with sweet malts. Chocolate and toffee blend with the fruit, to form a slightly chocolate-covered-cherry candy taste up front. The cherries and caramel linger. Finishes with a slow and sticky alcohol burn, cognac flavor, without the dried fruit. Viscous mouthfeel. Easily drinkable, while maintaining complexity.

Photo of hopdog
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared courtesy of egajdzis.

Poured a dark and cloudy amberish color with a small sized off white head. Aromas of alcohol, dark cherries, caramel, and some other dark fruits. Tastes of cherries, caramel, light chocolate and a little sugary. Decent amount of an alcohol burn. Smooth body. I'm glad I got through this one prior to Eric calling the aroma hair spray...

Notes from 9/30/05

4.2/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am excited to see how this one has aged, although this is my first bottle and probably my only one I will have to try so I really have nothing to compare it with.

Carbonation crackles and creates an inch of rich tan head that fades in minutes leaving just a skim and short lace. Body is a full deep ruby brown like brown dark toned leather.

Nose is amazing and if I didnt know better I would have thought it was a barrel aged beer. Tones of oaky bourbon dark candied fruit, toffee sweet malts and buttered creamy rum.

Enters the mouth with shockingly hot alchol, its not horrible but not what I was expecting from a beer aged three years. Carmalized malts really strain to showcase through the dry alchol feel on the palate. Roasty nuts and dark toffee notes arrise as you continue to drink and the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is a mmix of sweet, dry, bitter and a noticeable thickness that hangs on the back of the taste buds. Solid drinkability, but alchol does hurt this a bit. I was really excited by the nose.

Photo of Crosling
3.9/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Gorgeous looking ruby color, with a small and quickly diminishing head. Apricot, cherry and plum aromas, with hints of caramel, but the main aroma is harsh alcohol. Flavor is malt accented, with hints of caramel and toffee, along with a variety of fruits. It is hot, possessing a lot of ethanol character in the flavor, and especially the aroma, but I still find it to be pretty tasty. I do have four more bottles to revisit for different ratings. Pretty brash and in your face.

Photo of JDV
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by miketd. Thanks!
Pours dark amber to maroon and is mostly opaque. Smell is light, thin aged, mellow sweetness, and tea leaves. Taste is hoppy caramel with a slightly watery sweetness. Still a surprising hop characteristic. Interesting, but I prefer the BA version highly as well as the 06 Decadence.

Photo of avaulteriam
3.48/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Meh, I'm still not big on Old ales or English style BWs. Nose is very fruity, some dark fruits. Big beer with a vinous character. Nothing special, in my opinion. Reddish tinged brown with offwhite head. Nose is sweet and malty, a bit musty and vinous.

Photo of ArrogantB
4.33/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this in a trade with a Cali BA, either oodeftone or Metallitone1, can't remember. Either way, thanks! I went into this already having tasted the barrel-aged version first and not havign had this fresh. It was a dark ruby-orange, decent head at first, looks similar to the barrel-aged but less murky. Nice smells of candy, grapes, cognac and barleywine. The flavor was toffee, caramel, really nice. I will say this is better barrel-aged because it adds a boozy, bourbon-vanilla but still the regular version is an excellent barleywine/old ale and the 11% ABV is completely hidden. I'm glad I still have one bottle of the BA version, mmmm.

Photo of genog
4.35/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

pours a reddish brown type color. Sparkling body creating a somewhat glow. Light thin layer of white bubbly head sits on top

Aroma is very nice, but subtle. Caramel malty with some sugary sweetness. Pinch of hops pokes through.

Taste is roasty with sweet fruits and candy type sweetness. Raisins coat the backbone brining to mind a great mellowed out barleywine.

Mouthfeeling is very thick and coats the tongue. Makes this a nice sipper.

Photo of GClarkage
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

04/24/08- Purchased at High Times Wine Cellars in Costa Mesa, CA.

Presentation- 750ml bottle, sealed in foil and capped. 2005 edition supporting their 10th anniversary. Poured into my St. Bernardus chalice.

Appearance- Slight murky off brown color, maybe a cough sryup orange tinge around the edges. Good and strong 3/4 inch head of foam upon pour. Leaves some sticky traces of lace on the finish.

Smell- Heavenly! Tons of sweet roasted caramel, brown sugar and a medly of dark fruits (plums, dates and figs). Right on the crack of the bottle the scent escaped and filled the air. Not quite as strong a scent in the glass, but still tremendous.

Taste- Old ales are rather new to me. Pretty sure I have only reviewed a handful if that. This beer just blew me away though. Identical to the nose as a blend of caramel candied malt hits you strong. Brown sugar seems to be a bit more restrained than the nose would have suggested. Plums and dates soaked in what seems like whiskey or bourbon also add to the experience.

Mouthfeel- Just a touch too much carbonation is the only things I can fuss about. Very creamy and viscous.

Drinkability- Damn. I am so friggin glad I have another bottle of this stashed away. Think I'll save it for a few more years and crack it on some special occasion. One of the best beers I have set my mouth upon.

Photo of hustlemuscle
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

No head, but a soft pour to split the bottle. Not to mention it was 2 years old at the time...

nice reddish orange, with golden highlights. Fruity, tangy, vineou, touch of whiskey/rum/brandy or apple cider. Drying. Smells of airy fruit.

English, all the way. As big a session beer as you can find. Enjoyable.

Photo of t0rin0
3.68/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not sure if my bottle has been abused but I didn't have quite the same experience that some of these other people did.

It poured hazy and red. Not much carbonation but it was a nice balance. The head was tan but didn't last.

The smell seemed right on the money when I read that this is an english old ale. It was mild but it had a strong sweet malt smell. There was some caramel and some sugar. I didn't catch nearly as much of that alcohol nose coming from the bottle but in my pint glass there was a tiny bit of it. Definitely smelled aged. I didn't catch any hop aroma and since the malt seemed so aged, I'm not sure that this beer really would hold up too much longer.

The taste was strong but not as impressive as I had hoped after reading some of these reviews. Somewhat complex and of caramel and alcohol. I can see the brown sugar taste that people are mentioning. The alcohol is a bit distracting and even though this has a real nice flavor, its not worth what I paid for it.

The body was heavy, which was nice, but the alcohol burn was strong. Drinkable if real cold but the flavors don't come out until it warms. No perfect temperature to drink this at in my opinion.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy, ruby-red body with a small, bubbly, off-white head.

Smell: Aroma of spiced caramel, syrup-soaked pound cake, dried fruits, fire-toasted wood, and fine tobacco backed by an earthy hop scent.

Taste: Spiced caramel malt flavor with a moderate sweetness to pair with the moderate earthy hop bitterness. Light cherry fruitiness. Hint of coffee along the way. Woody, bittersweet finish with a lil' kick of alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Chewy mouthfeel.

Drinkability: I can easily imagine this was brash and hot when first released, but 2+ years have tempered its harsher characteristics and coalesced it into a fine beer.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.28/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Candy apple red with ripe orange edges. Backlighting results in a wonderful, warm, firelight glow. The smallish cap is the color of lightly buttered white toast and lasts much longer than expected given the way it looked immediately after the pour. The glass is barely touched, unsurprising given the ABV, but the beer itself looks great.

The nose is nice without being 'knock your socks off' stupendous. It's primarily caramel malty with aromas of brown sugar and brown fruit (fallen apples and figs). I'm reminded of a wee heavy for some reason, although there isn't any peat. A musky, earthy hoppiness gives the nose yet another dimension.

I imagine that Decadence has mellowed during its two year sleep. It's obvious that it was a rip snorter when younger, since one can still detect the echoes (more than echoes, actually) of a considerable alcohol presence. It doesn't taste like it should be aged much longer, though. One more year at most.

Brown is still the order of the day. The flavor profile consists of well-toasted brown bread (with some pumpernickel cocoa and some rye spiciness) drizzled with caramel and dusted with brown sugar. The fruits noted above are still present as well. Decadence isn't that sweet, however, since the alcohol cuts through each mouthful like a knife through warm butter.

I don't believe that this 10th Anniversary release was aged in whiskey barrels, but it sure tastes like it. I should have said 'whisky', not 'whiskey', since it tastes more like a dram of Scotland's finest was added at some point along the way. On second thought, it just might hold up for a few more years.

While the mouthfeel isn't as decadent as the name would suggest, it's beginning to come into its own as the beer nears room temperature. There's a stealth viscosity that it becoming more noticeable each time I upend the glass. A barely audible 'pffft' on crown cracking led me to expect a quiescent mouthfeel... which is exactly what I'm getting.

Decadence Anniversary Ale isn't the best old ale that I've ever had, but it has enough going for it to justify the name and gold foil-bedecked bottle. AleSmith continues to impress. I'm enjoying this one and I look forward to seeing what future Decadences have in store.

AleSmith Decadence 2010 English Style Old Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 194 ratings.