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AleSmith Decadence 2011 Maple Smoked Barleywine - AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Decadence 2011 Maple Smoked BarleywineAleSmith Decadence 2011 Maple Smoked Barleywine

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

102 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 102
Reviews: 28
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 10.65%


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

Style | ABV
American 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 02-25-2012)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 | Reviews: 28 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of vfgccp
vfgccp

New York

4.51/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - On point for a barley wine. Deep mahogany body with a creamy, aged-paper white head. Nice retention and outstanding lace.

S - Smooth and smokey with a gentle sweetness. Salty bacon, soft smoke, caramel, and a deep raspberry dark chocolate.

T - Fantastic smokey bacon flavor. Crispy bacon, sea salt, molasses, bitter charred wood, touch of booze, and smooth caramel.

M - Super smooth with a long, mellow, semi-sweet salted caramel finish.

O - Reviewed fresh and 3 years old; fresh the profile was a lot more bacon forward, but what little the aged bottle lost in bacon it gained in spades in smoothness.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2014 23:38:30 | More by vfgccp
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium

Florida

3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Reddish amber. Big bubbles in an off-white head.

Smell - Sweet maple and malt. A little smokey, but not intense. A counterpoint to the maple, I suppose.

Taste - Lots of maple. The smoke is secondary. Looking for more depth to the malt. Smokey flavor is minimal but sustained into the finish.

Mouthfeel - Lighter than I expected. Too light, maybe. Bitter.

Overall - Not impressed by this. The idea is good, but not enough malt complexity to keep it interesting.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 18:11:25 | More by Alieniloquium
Photo of barleywinefiend
barleywinefiend

Washington

4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured into a HoTD tulip it presents a deep burgundy-reddish concoction with a nice tan cap which leaves a great head, lots of retention and plenty of lacing. Beautiful. For a three year old barleywine it could not get any better.

S: Big maple on this bad boy, sweet and decadent living up to its name, plenty of bourbon and wood on the nose with a scent of caramel, toffee and sweet brown sugar. A nice smoke to it, not a meaty like smoke but charred wood meets campfire. Perhaps a little bit of faded pine resin to boot and a pungent booze sting on the nostrils.

T: Sweet maple stickiness upfront coupled with bourbon from the barrel. My oh my. A bit of smoke and heat appears ushering loads of sweetness; decadent caramel, toffee and some brown sugar. As I roll it across the tongue it opens and flourishes into a boozey sweet monster with lots of complexity. Some leather and tobacco come out amidst the smoke and maple. The finish is oh so warm and sweet; like liquid candy and booze.

M: Well carbonated, nice sting booze, sweet full body presence here but not overly boozey, stinging or cloying considering all that is going on.

O: This beer is magnifico right now. I do believe it may have been a bit to hot and sweet in 2011. Time has done this beer well and it was a great birthday beer and great barleywine to add to my kill list. Thanks mjn78 for seeking this out!

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2013 01:37:29 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of ehammond1
ehammond1


3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2012)

Alesmith Brewing Company
San Diego, CA

(Aged for 1 year)

A gorgeous barleywine. Flawless, in fact. A near-clear burnt amber with a very persistent, moderately-sized creamy khaki-colored head. Leaves messy, irregular spiderwebs of lace down the glass. Gorgeous.

The aroma is very, very nice, which actually makes the flavor seem worse in comparison because the flavor isn't nearly as nice as the aroma. Sweet toffees and caramels, mild maple sweetness (though I'd probably name it "honey," without the obvious prompting), and a nice, hidden smoke character.

The smoke is far more present in the flavor than in the aroma, which is disappointing to me, as I'm not the hugest fan of smoke-forward beers. Sweet maple and caramels combine, along with a bit of an alcohol kick.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Good, but I wish the smoke was tamed further in the flavor, as the aroma is quite nice.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 06:34:55 | More by ehammond1
Photo of dgilks
dgilks

Australia

3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Clearish red-amber colour with a smooth, light tan head. Good head retention and lacing.

Smoky and fruity. Sweet. Alcohol. Interesting but a little one-dimensional.

Sweet malt with lots of alcohol. Plenty of bitterness. Nice smoke notes. A little simple but it works.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Simple and quite creamy.

A lovely barleywine. Simple but good.

Serving type: bottle

01-09-2013 08:16:25 | More by dgilks
Photo of beagle75
beagle75

Iowa

3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a goblet.

A: Clear, dark amber color with less than one finger of diminishing ginger-tinted foam head. Scant lacing remains on the glass.

S: Ripe mixed fruit, bubble gum, and a double dose of wood smoke all add interest to an abundant caramel backbone. No alcohol is detected.

T: Begins off-dry, with an early burst of carbonic acid that scatters the refined crystal malt. Woodsmoke is present in the middle where acidity still causes problems but begins to recede. The finish is mildly bitter, with previous smoked malt that tapers off slowly in the presence of pernicious carbonic acidity. No alcohol is detected.

M: Medium to thick viscosity, extreme acidity that burns the palate and sinuses, with moderate carbonation.

D/O: Although flawed, this beer makes an effective argument for the incorporation of wood-smoked malt into a weakly-hopped barleywine. Acidity is beyond annoying here, presenting a legitimate barrier to enjoyment that goes so far as to be painful at times.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 23:49:27 | More by beagle75
Photo of ryan1788a5
ryan1788a5

Massachusetts

4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle poured into a large snifter.

A: Pours a nice burnt sienna color. Mild haze. The cream colored head settles into just a thin wisp after a little while. Spotty and scraggly lacing coats the whole glass.

S: Robust malt scents of chocolate covered caramel chews, nuts, and a slight woody presence. Good layer of smoke and campfire. Sugary maple. Dried fig and golden raisins.

T: Cocoa powder, milk chocolate, bread crust, nuts. Slight spicy alcohol burn. A thin blanket of smoke covers everything. Dried fig and golden raisin. Caramel and sugary maple. Brothy. Drying finish of wood, light smoke, powdery chocolate, and dried fig.

M: Thick, chewy body. Very filling and mouth-coating. Light carbonation. Deliciously smooth. Great mouthfeel. Warming alcohol. It seems as though you could spoon it out of the glass.

O: As its name would suggest, this beer is indeed decadent. The dessert-like aspects of it are quite appealing, right down to the thick but silky-smooth mouthfeel. Great restraint and great balance too; the smoke and maple complement nicely and never threaten to steal the show. A year in the cellar really seems to have smoothed it out, and it's hitting its stride right now. Drink it up if you happen to have a bottle stashed away.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 09:47:39 | More by ryan1788a5
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

2.83/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served in a mini snifter. Pours a moderate brown color with a moderate off-white head that recedes fairly quickly. The nose brings a moderate dosage of smoke alongside just a touch of maple and some caramel and bread sweetness. Flavor has smoke again, and it is a bit overbalanced toward this. Malt in the background. Hints of maple. Body is medium and rich with quite a bit of sweetness. Interesting, though not something I’d necessarily want to come back to.

Serving type: bottle

12-15-2012 19:02:17 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of ThePorterSorter
ThePorterSorter

Missouri

3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

the beer pours a slightly hazy dark brown that's lighter than expected and has a thin head that dissipates quickly. the nose is sweet and slightly smokey with a touch of booze. the beer drinks like a barley wine sweet and boozy with a touch of smoke. its mouthfeel is not as velvety and decadent as I'd hoped, but it makes a nice dessert beer after a large thanksgiving meal...I'd try this again, but it didn't blow me away.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 22:02:32 | More by ThePorterSorter
Photo of Greywulfken
Greywulfken

New York

4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Uncertain 2011 bottling date, but aged at least 11 months...

A: center-pour into a tulip yielded an amber-brown ale with red-orange highlights and a tan two-finger head; dropped lacy motes as the head receded

S: toffee malts and maple smoke

T: nice smokiness to the big malty flavors of toffee, resin; starts sweet with maple accents; very subdued hop bitterness - pick up some on the mid-palate; some alcohol slips through on the finish - this beer was probably a little more coarse when it was fresher - but now it assumes a slightly wine-like character in flavor

M: medium-to-full bodied, mild carbonation; moderately chewy, sticky, and resinous

O: on the sweet side for an American barleywine; the maple and smoke flavors give it some distinction, and it is a fairly decadent beer: rich in sugars and malt, filling; a sipper; warms well (as would be expected) - shares some old ale/Scotch ale flavors like orange and peat, but the body is denser. A good barleywine from a great brewer. It was only a $13-14 bottle in my area (NY), and with an 11% abv, it was well-priced and I'd recommend it, particularly to those who enjoy the style and similar styles.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2012 01:05:04 | More by Greywulfken
Photo of jethrodium
jethrodium

California

4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Pours a slightly hazy light cola brown with small white head that sticks around for a while and leaves a good amount of lacing on the glass. The aroma is smoky with caramel, slight maple, and a small amount of alcohol. The initial taste is sweet with some caramel. It is also smoky, meaty, and has a bit of maple. The finish has a light bitterness along with some smokiness. There is also a bit of lingering maple. Medium body. Low carbonation. This was better than I was expecting.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2012 05:02:15 | More by jethrodium
Photo of PeterIngemi
PeterIngemi

Massachusetts

4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Split a 750 ml poured into a duvel glass

A: pours a murky amberish brown with half a finger of amber/tan colored head which dissapates quickly into a film.... A little bit of spotting

S: caramel covered apples, raisins, brown sugar and delicious toffee and maple smoke, this has a great nose. I was afraid that the smoke might be overwhelming bit it blends in with the nose beautifully... There is a hint of alcohol in there as well that becomes more apparent as this one warms.

T: much like the nose except the smoke is turned up a bit, caramel and toffe notes along with brown sugar and a touch of raisin, at first the smoke
Comes in with a slight campfires bite, bit is then subdued by the malt and takes on a more Mapely note. but honestly the smoke is a bit heavy for me.

M: heavy bodied with low carbonation, drinks like apple cider i feel, dry on the finish with a touch of lingering smoke.

O: this is a very good and unique brew, and a very nice barleywine, te smoke is a touch to much for me, but this is deffinatly a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2012 02:46:54 | More by PeterIngemi
Photo of spdyfire83
spdyfire83

Ireland

3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

271st Review
75cl bottle to wine glass
Vintage: 2011

Thanks ricoch3t for this birthday gift!

A: Medium chestnut brown. 2+ (light tannish mocha) fingernail head on soft pour.

S: Smells of roast pig, smokey, and maple. Deep, rich, and complex. Hints of caramel sweetness and dark malt. Quite interesting and inviting.

T: Taste follows smells, but mostly smokiness here with a touch of sweet maple and caramel. Very smooth, but the ABV is quite distinct (could stand to mellow a bit).

M: Full bodied with loads of carbonation.

O: A really fun beer to try and one that I think would go excellent with breakfast - a huge stack of pancakes, sausage links, and eggs. The only things that could make this a bit more enjoyable would be: 1) slightly less smokiness, and 2) age to let the booziness mellow a bit.

Serving type: bottle

08-12-2012 16:20:46 | More by spdyfire83
Photo of cbutova
cbutova

Massachusetts

3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Poured into a slim a pint glass with a ruby dark red body. Off white head forms to a nice size but falls quick. Nice cloud and great webs of lace.

S- Big dark fruits and caramel. Some smoke, spice and nutty malt accompanies this.

T- Maple sweets and smoky flavors come out here to mix with the big caramel Barleywine backing. Also some yeast spice, raisin, cherry and nut malts.

MF- Creamy thick body with lower carbonation levels. Bitter nutty finish with some alcohol heat to help you ice fish.

Big with some smoke and maple going on. The Barleywine aspect is strong but it's nice.

Serving type: bottle

08-11-2012 02:44:39 | More by cbutova
Photo of BigPlay1824
BigPlay1824

New York

4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a snifter

A: pours an extremely hazy deep amber color with two fingers of frothy cocoa brown head which dissipates rather rapidly and leaves a ton of lacing on the glass
S: nice deep maple notes with an incredibly deep sweetness and a really nice freshly cut wood note
T: really an incredibly well balanced barleywine, begins with a really nice malt backbone with a solid woody note and a sweetness which sneaks in through the finish and lingers beautifully on the palate afterwards as it becomes deeper
M: gentle carbonation tingle up front, drinks with a wonderful thickness as ive come to love in the style, finishes nicely without any alcohol burn but does have a slight sticky sweetness to it, maybe the maple syrup perhaps
O: this was a really incredible barleywine, really phenomenally well balanced and delicious, really wish i had some more to tuck away although it is pretty much perfect now

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2012 00:41:00 | More by BigPlay1824
Photo of zaphodchak
zaphodchak

Virginia

4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish body, hazy, with fine light tan head.

Big bold nose, bit of maple and a kinda American barleywine vibe.

Woody body with ample maple syrup, but really refined. A bit tangy.

Kinda standard body.

Nice, rich, kinda like what Voodoo Doughnut should've been like.

Serving type: bottle

06-17-2012 01:52:14 | More by zaphodchak
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1346th Review on BA
Bottle to Excelcior Tulip
750ml gold foil wrapped

2011 Vintage

App- A lot of color in the glass. A good mix of Ambers, crimson, browns and yellows. A solid quick receding two finger head with no cling or lace. A nice medium density and clarity.

Smell- A lot more subtle than I was thinking it would be and for that I was very happy. A light smoke note with a little bitter hops and moves into a stinging booze with a damp orange and a small sweetness of the maple.

Taste- It's a bit smoky but not over powering. A little char like a campfire with some smooth and creamy malts and has like the nose a smooth damp orange flavor. The bottom of the bottle was much better and was a bit smoother and richer than the top pours.

Mouth- A small fuller medium body with a creamy medium carbonation. A rich malty flavor with some damp orange and a smoky residual flavor remains.

Drink- This was a tasty beer. A bit tangled but could be more layered to say the least. I would like to lay a bottle down for a year or two.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2012 04:15:53 | More by FosterJM
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Dark, thick somewhat clear amber. Not much head nor lace.

S - Sweet caramel, smoke, maple comes out very well.

T - Woody, malty, astringent, not much sweetness in actual taste, boozy.

M - Pretty close to flat, not much volume in flavor contrasts, ok balance.

T - One small one is enough.

Serving type: cask

06-01-2012 04:16:08 | More by srandycarter
Photo of WeedKing4
WeedKing4

Ontario (Canada)

3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up at city beer store in San Francisco. pours a clear, chestnut brown. tastes very malty with some smokiness coming through in the finish. Didn't detect much maple in the flavor. You can tell this is a big beer with the alcohol content. I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed with this. The label description sounded awesome, but didn't follow through in taste.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2012 04:24:22 | More by WeedKing4
Photo of casualcolors
casualcolors

California

3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Handles its components well; for a smoked beer (which I have little tolerance for) and a beer brewed with something as sweet as maple syrup, there's a surprisingly nice balance, and nothing is particularly overbearing. That said, and especially given its namesake, there's a certain intensity missing (ala Abacus) that sadly I seem to personally require out of my barleywines these days. Drinks well, is only mildly cloying, is well balanced by a hint of smoke, and is generally a well put together brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2012 07:46:57 | More by casualcolors
Photo of mcallister
mcallister

Ohio

4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Chestnut in color and very carbonated. A large head of light tan erupts to 2 finger high then slowly fades leaving a thin sticky layer of lace in its wake.

Light smokey aromas. Maple covered bacon and country ham, toffee, date, sweet crusty bread, some citrusy notes with a nutty aroma on the end.

By the other reviews coming in I was thinking I may be disappointed. However this beer is rocking. Deep and complex with layers of flavor with each sip. Starts semi sweet with maple, plum, fig and date, golden raisin and thick cut bread. Then the smoked malts really shine through on the mid palate and finish. Hints of meat, cherry, lavender, a burnt clove flavor, and long bitter finish.

The heavily carbonated pour didn't transfer through to the mouth. Things are lightly carbonated creamy and vibrant. A delicious beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2012 21:11:14 | More by mcallister
Photo of Drinkerofales
Drinkerofales

California

3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours clear brown and copper, with purple-crimson in the light. A huge khaki head dissipates quickly to leave some chunky spotty lacing, and a constant supply of bubbles leaves a nice ring.

Smell is maple and wood, just as advertised, some roasted malt, and booze.

Taste is similar, but less in some ways, and more in others. The maple is definitely less, and there isn't a whole lot of smoke, but there is some wood and char. Booze rears it's head, and some very bitter piney hop on the finish.

It's a bit bubbly, and it kind of detracts from the smoothness of the beer. Some burn on the finish reminds you that you are drinking a barleywine, and these two aspects mellow out a little as it warms and airs out.

This is one that will definitely improve with age, and I will be picking some up to do just that.

DOA

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2012 18:31:01 | More by Drinkerofales
Photo of nataku00
nataku00

California

3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a murky brown mahogany color with two fingers of tan colored foamy head. Head dissipated quickly, leaving some light lacing and a thin collar. Some carbonation visible at the edge of the glass, rising slowly.

Nose is toffee, toasted malt, esters, and sweet woody and earthy smokiness. Not overbearingly smoky when the beer is somewhat cool.

Taking a sip, smoked malt comes through along with some of the toffee. Fairly savory on the tongue, like toffee covered bacon. Middle of the tongue, some sweet esters come through. Finish is mainly smoke, though subdued. Good balance of smoke and sweet barleywine flavors, though not super complex.

Medium body with some surprisingly decent carbonation for an 11% beer, soft and lively on the tongue. An interesting smoked beer that I haven't been completely put off by due to being overwhelmed by the smoke.

Serving type: bottle

03-30-2012 23:11:20 | More by nataku00
Photo of kojevergas
kojevergas

Texas

3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on-draught (I saw the pour meself; it wasn't a cask) into a plastic taster cup at Alesmith's tap room in March. Reviewed from notes. Expectations were high given the brewery, style, and description. Maple smoked? Sign me up!

A: Pours a half finger head of nice cream, good thickness, and bad retention. Colour is a maple brown-copper. No visible yeast particles. An appealing appearance.

Sm: Maple, light hops (mainly floral), toasted malt, and caramelized malt. A balanced mild to moderate strength aroma.

T: Maple throughout, with clean caramelized malts. Full bodied. Nice cream. Caramel. Hints of spices and bread. Balanced but simple. Well built. Not particularly subtle. Where's the smoke? Too timid.

Mf: Smooth and wet, with some nice cream. A biteen too thick. Suits the flavours nicely.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable, but very simple for the brewery. Disappointing in this regard. I don't know what effect the aging had. The maple is a nice touch. I'd have this again.

B

Serving type: on-tap

03-30-2012 04:08:37 | More by kojevergas
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky brown with a khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small streaks and dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt and some subtle smoke aromas. There is no real maple presence in the smell. Taste is of malt and subtle smoke flavors but there is a maple flavor that I am able to pick out. This beer has a good level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a good barleywine but it tastes better than it smells. I really wish the smoke and maple would be more apparent in the aroma and flavor.

Serving type: bottle

03-25-2012 03:07:51 | More by UCLABrewN84
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AleSmith Decadence 2011 Maple Smoked Barleywine from AleSmith Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 102 ratings.