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AleSmith Decadence 2008 Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Decadence 2008 Barrel AgedAleSmith Decadence 2008 Barrel Aged

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

70 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 70
Reviews: 34
rAvg: 3.88
pDev: 24.74%


Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  11.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

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

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: HopHead84 on 06-15-2011)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 70 | Reviews: 34 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of unitmonster
unitmonster

California

4.97/5  rDev +28.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at the BA Speedway Stout/Decadence release party.

A - Dark brown, almost looks like a stout. Holding it up to the light you can really start to see its a barleywine.

S - Amazing bourbon notes and a hint of sour to it. I picked up three tasters of BA Speedway and BA Decadence for my friends and I in line, and I thought the Decadence was the Speedway because it smelled so good.

T - All I have to say is wow. The taste blew me away. I was debating with my friends as to which brew was which, and I thought because of the hype that my Decadence had to the the Speedway. Bourbon, dark fruits, oak, and that slight sourness make it a top notch beer.

M - Very light for such a big beer. The tartness really evens things out.

O - I love this beer. I will continue to trade for more of it.

Serving type: on-tap

08-02-2011 01:07:41 | More by unitmonster
Photo of badboyrsl84
badboyrsl84

California

4.95/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks lessurluck for sharing this

Pours a caramel color in the glass. No head at all, only hint of a head is the lacing around the glass.

Smells - aging is present, Bourbon, vanilla, sweet sugar, some oakyness caramel, and toffee.

Taste - the beautiful Bret is present but it aids this beer on the way down. It doesn't hinder any of the other flavors to this beer but yet it makes it more unique. Sweet caramel, vanilla, Bourbon, sweet sugar.

Overall- I couldn't be happier with the way this turned out!

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2011 00:09:45 | More by badboyrsl84
Photo of hamilton23
hamilton23

California

4.6/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the release

A: Dark brown with some red highlights around the edges. Creamy beige head with lots of retention. Slow to dissipate.

S: Bourbon, slight tartness, vanilla.

T: Vanilla, bourbon, a slight tartness...like a nice wine.

M: Slick, well carbonated.

O: I was convinced that I was not going to like this beer after Peter described the beer in the newsletter. WOW...he completely undersold this beer with that description. It is spectacular. I thought it was actually better than both the BA Speedway and the Coconut Vanilla Speedway that were on tap that day.

Serving type: on-tap

06-17-2011 15:52:04 | More by hamilton23
Photo of mikesgroove
mikesgroove

South Carolina

4.58/5  rDev +18%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

one of the last beers i got to crack open before the latest illness. poured into a jackie o snifter, bottle 453

dark brown in color with a huge head of tan that just towered over the top of the glass. Settling down smoothly and evenly it produced a thick coating of lace all along the sides of the glass. Rich vanilla and woody aromas are being picked up almost immediately. Huge notes of oak and subtle caramel and toffee and truly dominating here for sure. Warming only brings this out further, rich and decadent, sweet aromas just building off each other here. The first sip is divine, subtle, and rich and perfectly carbonated it simply rolls across the tongue with a gentleness that is unheard of. Vanilla and caramel merging with oak like notes and such a strong dry finish, it was near perfection.

Serving type: bottle

08-15-2011 01:45:12 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of jethrodium
jethrodium

California

4.53/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle courtesy of dmsohyea. Thanks Ian. Sampled side-by-side with the regular version. Pours a translucent dark brown with a small light tan head that has goon retention and leaves a decent amount of lacing on the glass. The first whiff is huge bourbon with some vanilla and oak. Underneath this lies a lot of the flavors present in the base beer. Raisin and plum with some brown sugar. A bit of cherry and light alcohol as well. A little bit of tartness is evident from the smell. The aroma is pretty amazing. The initial taste is relatively sweet with some brown sugar. Then comes the big bourbon, vanilla, and oak. Hints of plum and cherry as well. The finish has a decent tartness to it. No real alcohol present in the taste, which is quite surprising considering how prominent the bourbon is. Medium body. Low to Medium carbonation. A unique and amazingly delicious beer. The -bals really did wonders here, taking an average barley wine and turning it into a world class beer. The sweetness of the base beer is balanced out here, and the tartness somehow works wonderfully.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2011 23:19:47 | More by jethrodium
Photo of Klym
Klym

California

4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at release. Review from notes.

Smells of bourbon, brown sugar, and various tart fruits. Smell made me much more interested than I previously had been.

Taste was very unique. Slightly tart fruit tastes like younger grapes and cranberry fighting to take the forefront of the flavor with spiced, brown sugar booziness-- a fun battle to have take place on your tongue. Carbonation was full and added to the flavor pop. I found the worried-about 'tartness' really was more of a fascinating mouthfeel/flavor aspect than it was something foul, and pretty mild at that.

Definitely a unique brew that I wish I could've tried more of, but am very glad I had the chance to try.

Serving type: on-tap

06-17-2011 17:38:06 | More by Klym
Photo of Luvzsurfrz
Luvzsurfrz

California

4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had a small taster on tap 6/15 at the release, and also opened a bottle on 6/18 amongst friends!

A: Opaque mahogany, with a tan head that dissipates quickly.

S: Bourbon notes hit first, followed by a caramel, chocolatey, mild fruitiness.

T: Upon first taste, the caramel sweetness hits with a strong dark fruity undertone, plums maybe? The bourbon flavoring is moderate and continuous with each sip.

M: Medium to moderate carbonation, and very smooth going down.

O: Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this beer, more than I thought I would. Glad I have another bottle to save.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2011 18:03:45 | More by Luvzsurfrz
Photo of Sideswipe
Sideswipe

California

4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewery.

The beer is a very dark mahogany color. No light penetrates it. Head is a frothy tan foam which recedes quickly. The nose is bourbon, chocolate and oak with a hint of sweetness. Taste is a surprising melange of bourbon and tart cherries. It starts out with huge chocolate notes which give way to flavors of caramel and dark fruit. A tart, sourness enters toward the end and the finish is a lingering tartness with chocolate and subdued bourbon heat rounding it out. Feel is light to medium with a lower level of carbonation which works well here. Overall this was pretty darned good. I liked the complexity of the bourbon and sourness combined with the smooth chocolate and caramel qualities. Glad I was able to try this. Recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2011 17:29:49 | More by Sideswipe
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Shared by GT. Thanks man!

Bottle 195/433

The beer is cola brown with a small tan head. The aroma brings a potent dose of oak, funk, malt, toffee, booze, vanilla. The flavor offers toast with vanilla, bourbon, oak. Complex and wonderful. Present sourness throughout. Amazingly, this works quite well. I am really surprised how well the sour character and robust barleywine components mesh together. Medium bodied with moderately low carbonation. Light warming alcohol in the finish. Overall, this was thoroughly enjoyable. I could sip on this all night.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2012 16:11:14 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of MasterSki
MasterSki

Illinois

4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Carleton (SpdKilz) for the share. Bottle #72 of 433. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

A - Quick-dissolving tan foam settles to a thin collar, leaving behind no lace. Turbid orange-brown body.

S - Prunes and dark fruits, bourbon, vanilla, light oak, and some mild tart and sour notes mixed in. You can tell there's an infection, intentional or otherwise, but it integrates pretty well in to the flavor profile.

T - The taste has less of the sourness, although there's still a touch of acetic acid present. More barleywine-esque flavors - burnt sugars, dark fruits, oaky vanilla, bourbon, and surprisingly well-hidden alcohol.

M - Medium-bodied, with a sticky and chewy texture to it. Lower carbonation, tannic and dry finish, and amazingly little alcohol present.

D - This is a very good beer, with the sourness working quite nicely. I'm not sure how it will age, but right now it's highly enjoyable. I'm sad I only had a glass, as I think I could have tackled a bottle of this one over the course of an evening.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 02:13:30 | More by MasterSki
Photo of pastradul
pastradul

California

4.33/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at release.

was looing forward to this brew since i had the regular recently and I liked where the brew has gone.

first smell is sour lactic followed by some deep vanilla bourbon.

the taste is great. up front is a quick cherry kick on the tongue then follwed by a dry mid palate that has a nice malt profile... the bourbon and wood take over in the back of the palate and finish very dry...

I think this is one damn unique brew and look forward to seeing where it goes from here.

Serving type: on-tap

06-17-2011 05:43:37 | More by pastradul
Photo of HopHead84
HopHead84

California

4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

6/15/2011

On tap at the release at Alesmith. 

A: Deep reddish brown with a big frothy beige head with good retention.

S: Chocolate, caramel, and cherries with an evident lactic sourness. Light bourbon notes exist alongside vanilla and oak. No booze. The lactic dark fruit profile is quite powerful.

T: The flavor is quite nice, surprisingly. Lightly tart, with prominent notes of chocolate and caramel, as well as a strong lactic dark fruit profile. I detect plum, grape, and cherry. Bourbon maintains an evenhanded presence throughout. Very complex. Finishes with an upper moderate lactic sourness that lingers with chocolate and dark fruits.

M: Lower full in body with moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky and smooth.

Overall: Unique, and much better than I expected. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: on-tap

06-15-2011 16:53:20 | More by HopHead84
Photo of largadeer
largadeer

California

4.28/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Arthur for sending this rarity.

Dark auburn with some haze. Pours with a finger of tan head that eventually settles down to a very thin collar.

Equal parts malt, barrel and funk on the nose. Bourbon and toffee, old leather, minerals/iron, slight meatiness, figs. Light acetic acid, a ton of brett. Unusual stuff for sure.

Complex and surprisingly nice palate. Not overly sour necessarily, but there's a definite wild element to it. Leathery, earthy funk, sweet toffee, figs, currants - there's an oddly harmonious balance here. A moderate bourbon barrel element, oak, vanilla. Finishes with light tartness, cranberry, leather. A nice accident.

Serving type: bottle

08-13-2011 20:32:13 | More by largadeer
Photo of yourefragile
yourefragile

District of Columbia

4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle shared by Paul that he apparently scribbled on with a sharpie to indicate the barrel aged nature of it. J/k.

Dark brown with thin tan head. Some wisps of lacing and a collar throughout. Very interesting aroma of bourbon, vanilla, brown sugar, cherry, mild tartiness and light funk. Flavor is a little less weird; strong toasted malt base with leather, oak and bourbon and some very mild cherry tart and tang in the finish. Creamy and soft body and a pleasant balance of sweet barley wine and tart sourness in the finish. Weird, but good.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 19:41:30 | More by yourefragile
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.22/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

732nd Review on BA
Bottle to snifter

Clusterfork7
Not sure which BA brought this

App- A muddled dark auburn with some even darker highlights throughout and a little bit of a pancake like ½ finger of head to it. A nice bit of sliding lace and legs.

Smell- Really wasn't expecting to smell any sour on this but was slight damp cherries on top of the normal barleywine bourbon and malt aromatics.

Taste- This was pretty damn good with the mix of flavors to it. Still retained the barrel notes of the oak and the vanilla but the cherry added a velvety layer of flavor.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated with a rich vanilla note

Drink- A very unique take on a classic style. This barleywine is quite large and has some very balanced flavors. I love the barrel notes and the tart subtleness.

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2011 17:44:03 | More by FosterJM
Photo of xpimptastikx
xpimptastikx

Texas

4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bottle received in the Light Whale BIF

A - dark amber, rootbeer, thin sheet of khaki head.

S - cherry, toffee, vanilla, oak.

T - dark fruits, caramel, light sourness lingers.

M - medium body, light carbonation, slight sour and tannic finish.

O - A really interesting "intentional" infection that worked very well. It was actaully one of my favorites at a bottle release tasting.

Serving type: bottle

12-30-2011 01:07:22 | More by xpimptastikx
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Lunch, served in a snifter, at the time of this review this is the #9 English Barleywine, awesome, top 10 barleywine. Thanks Paul.

Beer is brown to copper with a thin off white head of small bubbles. Low carbonation, low lacing.

Beer has a mild woodsy aroma with some toffee, dark sugars, mild malt and an overall sweetness.

There is a sherry like quality to this beer, perhaps a sign of oxidation? It is sweet, medium in body and kind of coats my palate with the sweetness of the beer. Interesting overall, I liked it but I think it has probably peaked based on the mild oxidation I tasted throughout the beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2011 03:00:48 | More by drabmuh
Photo of SpdKilz
SpdKilz

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thanks to metallitone1 for this beer. Shared with others at Zwanze Day 2011. Bottle #72 of 433. Taken from notes.

Appearance – Pours into a Cantillon tulip with a somewhat hazy brown color. It looked similar to the BA Cuir we opened up a bit later on.

Smell – A nice malty, bourbon aroma mixed with vanilla, brown sugar and a hint of tart funk.

Taste – The first impression is that this is a tasty BA Barleywine. Oak, vanilla, plentiful bourbon characteristics, plums, cherries, hints of chocolate, maple syrup, and brown sugar. Then, as the sip finishes there is a slight, restrained tartness.

Mouthfeel – Medium bodied, moderate carbonation.

Overall – I had heard this was an “infected barleywine” and was curious to try it. This really was an enjoyable experience. Whereas I have drain poured a few unintentionally infected beers in the past, this one was far from a drain pour. The subtle funk was not a turnoff but added to the beer. Everything was well balanced as of now, though I am curious to see if the funk takes over in the future and becomes overbearing. Glad I was able to get this beer.

Serving type: bottle

10-24-2011 23:48:21 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of womencantsail
womencantsail

California

4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer pours a dark amber/mahogany color with a finger or so of khaki head.

S: Not surprisingly for an Alesmith barrel aged beer, the nose is full of bourbon. Lots of vanilla, oak, and maple syrup, too. There's a bit of leather and a nice tart cherry note. Plenty of sweet caramel and brown sugar as well.

T: The flavor is much the same. Huge bourbon and vanilla flavors to this one with some oak and more bourbon. A touch of chocolate covered cherry and a subtle tartness on the finish.

M: Medium in body with a medium carbonation.

O: I had my doubts about this beer, but they were put to rest. Really a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2011 14:45:03 | More by womencantsail
Photo of thagr81us
thagr81us

South Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Massive thanks goes out to thunderroad12 for sharing this one with us during the ORF '11 release! Bottle #178 of 433! Served from bottle into a sampler snifter. Poured a dark red-brown with a half finger off-white head that subsided to a minimal amount slowly. Maintained decent lacing throughout the glass. The aroma was comprised of sweet malt, caramel, wood, sweet alcohol, and subtle sour. The flavor was of sweet malt, caramel, wood, sweet alcohol, and subtle sour cherries. It had a medium feel on the palate with medium carbonation. Ovearll this was a pretty good brew. For this one to be known to have an infection it was a pretty nice Barleywine. The barrels really helped this one out and made it quite pleasant. The sour cherry note was quite nice and added to the complexity of the brew, but I hate to say that it would have been a nicer brew without it. Still really glad I got the opportunity to try this one and would do so again and again given the chance.

Serving type: bottle

08-16-2011 11:50:38 | More by thagr81us
Photo of Jwale73
Jwale73

Rhode Island

4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to jedwards for sharing this beer (a truly generous BA). Bottle # 209/433. Pours a hazy mahogany hue with a loose, off-white head that dissipates into a cluster of bubbles along the shoulders with a residual soapy slick across the surface. Nose expresses whiskey notes, a buttery quality, caramel and maple syrup all on a malty backbone. Taste follows nose - sweetness prevails upfront with a slight tartness that follows and a buttery character at the finish. All these qualities combined keep it all from being cloyingly sweet. Mouthfeel is medium-light, slightly acidic and there's also a trace of oiliness to the texture. Carbonation is just shy of still. Overall, a really complex and interesting brew. I can't say that I've ever had a slightly sour English Barleywine, but I like it.

Serving type: bottle

09-15-2011 00:36:32 | More by Jwale73
Photo of AgentZero
AgentZero

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to SpdKilz for sharing this at Zwanze Day. Thanks also to TurdFurgison who originally shared this with me.

A - Cloudy brown beer with a bit of read. Off-white head didn't stay for very long and left only minor stick on the glass.

S - Good bourbon and oak with a little bit of vanilla. As far as something barrel aged goes, this has the qualities you would want from something that's been sitting in a bourbon barrel. Brett funk is not distracting, rather complimentary.

T - Nice malt and bourbon profile with good brown sugar and a nice bit of cherry tartness. The vanilla and oak are neither harsh nor overbearing, rather about spot on.

M - Medium bodied, pretty smooth with some moderate carbonation.

O - This is a great tasting beer that I've been fortunate enough to sample two times now. Would not turn this down, and would love to have it again. Drinks pretty easy.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2011 23:12:14 | More by AgentZero
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle pour sampled at mrbubbler's tasting courtesy of mrbubbler himself.

Pours a slightly murky dark brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of bourbon, wood, dark fruit, and brown sugar. Taste is the same with a slightly sour edge to it. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barrel aged beer but the sour aspect in the flavor is somewhat interesting.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2012 03:36:47 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of Sean9689
Sean9689

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks, largadeer!

A - Pours a darker reddish/brown, slightly hazy, tan head, thin collar, some whisps on top.

S - Barrel, bourbon, sweet toasted malts, dark fruit, and brett funk. Very strange, to say the least, although pretty enjoyable for all the craziness.

T - Not as sour or funky as I was expecting. Oak, bourbon, dark fruits, light to moderate sour funk. The bourbon is nice and smooth and compliments the beer along with the oak. Hmm, this is an odd beer...but...good.

M - Medium, light carbonation, creamy oak finish.

O - Well, it's like nothing I've ever had, in a good way. The bourbon, oak, and funk play along nicely with one another. Really wasn't too sure what to expect but after it was all said and done, I enjoyed this one. Give it a whirl!

Serving type: bottle

08-18-2011 14:36:00 | More by Sean9689
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.05/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Lunch for bringing this bottle to the barrel-aged barleywine tasting yesterday. Big want of mine getting slayed via the SAVOR snifter.

Pours a nice copper color with a half-finger off-white head and some spotty lacing. Thin collar.

The nose starts off with good notes of caramel and brown sugar. Bourbon in the background with slight vanilla. Very slight bit of tart cherry works its way in, adding some nice complexities. The flavor is a great combo of malt and bourbon with oak and vanilla in the background. Cherry comes out more with a very slight tartness as it warms, creating a really interesting mouthfeel.

Very nice brew that I was quite happy to try.

Serving type: bottle

08-21-2011 13:29:05 | More by Thorpe429
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AleSmith Decadence 2008 Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 70 ratings.