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AleSmith Decadence 2008 Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Decadence 2008 Barrel AgedAleSmith Decadence 2008 Barrel Aged

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

71 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 71
Reviews: 33
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 24.68%
Wants: 40
Gots: 32 | FT: 2
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: 71 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2.8%

t0rin0, Aug 12, 2012
Photo of spycow
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

spycow, Jan 17, 2013
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

UCLABrewN84, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of zestar
4/5  rDev +2.8%

zestar, May 05, 2014
Photo of Thorpe429
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
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.

Thorpe429, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of nmann08
3/5  rDev -22.9%

nmann08, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of GRG1313
4/5  rDev +2.8%

GRG1313, Nov 25, 2011
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.5/5  rDev -10%

ygtbsm94, Mar 14, 2013
Photo of mikesgroove
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

mikesgroove, Aug 15, 2011
Photo of womencantsail
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

womencantsail, Jun 30, 2011
Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%

westcoastbeerlvr, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of largadeer
4.28/5  rDev +10%
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.

largadeer, Aug 13, 2011
Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

MasterSki, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

drabmuh, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of mdfb79
2.83/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From 10/28/21 notes. HUGE thanks to nmann08 for sharing this one. 2008 version, bottle 53 of 433, poured into a tulip.

a - Pours a murky mahogany brown color with one inch of tan head and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells sweet dark fruits, sour fruits and lactic notes, and some roasted malts. Sourness is odd and leads me to believe this will be infected, though it isn't bad.

t - Tastes of very sour dark fruits, bourbon, oak, roasted malts, fruity malts. Unfortunately, this one is definitely infected as the taste is very sour and full of sour cherries and dark fruits. Not the worst thing in the world but not that great and I'm sure not that they were expecting/going for.

m - Medium body and low carbonation.

o - Overall a disappointing beer that seemed infected. I seem to me in the minority on here rating it...not sure if other people got lucky with their bottles or just enjoyed the infection way more than I did, but to me this one is not worth seeking out, especially considering the rarity/what you'd probably have to give up to land a bottle. Definitely go for the BA Speedway instead.

EDIT: Looks like this wasn't necessarily an "infection" or problem and more in line with what they may have been going for. Not changing my scores, but good to know I didn't have a rogue bottle.

mdfb79, Nov 01, 2011
Photo of yourefragile
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
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.

yourefragile, Aug 21, 2011
Photo of ejimhof
3.5/5  rDev -10%

ejimhof, Nov 24, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Huhzubendah, Nov 25, 2012
Photo of billab914
1/5  rDev -74.3%

billab914, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of HopHead84
4.28/5  rDev +10%
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.

HopHead84, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of Rhettroactive
1/5  rDev -74.3%

Rhettroactive, Dec 14, 2013
Photo of thagr81us
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

thagr81us, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of AgentZero
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

AgentZero, Sep 19, 2011
Photo of Jwale73
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
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.

Jwale73, Sep 15, 2011
Photo of FosterJM
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
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.

FosterJM, Aug 22, 2011
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AleSmith Decadence 2008 Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.