1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 71 | Reviews: 33 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of billshmeinke
2.08/5  rDev -46.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Review from notes. Thanks to Vahe (...I think).

Decadence 2008 BA 259/433
Ruby colored with a ring of beige head. 3.5
Cheesy, phenolic, weird dark fruits, some mineral, and alcohol. 2
Sweet, ripe, dark fruits (plumbs). Minerals. Cheesy funk. 2
Medium bodied, lightly carbonated. Slightly tart. 2
Fuck this. This is an infected beer. Own your mistake and dump it next time. Don’t pretend you made something cool. 2

billshmeinke, Sep 16, 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 nickd717
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, thanks to largadeer for this great tick. -Bals, -bals, -bals, I love 'em!

Cloudy dark brown in color with reddish hues and a small light beige head.

Fruity aroma with dark berries, caramel, and a little tartness evident.

Good flavor with sweet caramel, oak, bourbon, prune, fig, and good tartness.

Medium-full bodied with lower carbonation.

Pretty good overall, but not much better than the non-bal aged version.

nickd717, Aug 26, 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 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
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 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 Sean9689
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

Sean9689, Aug 18, 2011
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 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 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 unitmonster
4.97/5  rDev +27.8%
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.

unitmonster, Aug 02, 2011
Photo of jethrodium
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

jethrodium, Jul 31, 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 badboyrsl84
4.95/5  rDev +27.2%
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!

badboyrsl84, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of Luvzsurfrz
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
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.

Luvzsurfrz, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of Klym
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
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.

Klym, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of hamilton23
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

hamilton23, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of pastradul
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
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.

pastradul, Jun 17, 2011
Photo of Sideswipe
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Sideswipe, Jun 15, 2011
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
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
AleSmith Decadence 2008 Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 71 ratings.