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AleSmith Decadence 2011 Maple Smoked Barleywine - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
AleSmith Decadence 2011 Maple Smoked BarleywineAleSmith Decadence 2011 Maple Smoked Barleywine

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

32 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 32
Hads: 117
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 10.13%
Wants: 17
Gots: 33 | FT: 0
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:
Beer added by: HopHead84 on 02-25-2012

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 32 | Hads: 117
Photo of jzeilinger
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark burgundy brown color with a generously thick toffee colored lacing ring.

S - Faded smoke/char, roasted toffee, figs, some smoked bacon, prunes, and lots of legs when the glass is swirled.

T - The smokiness and maple has faded quite a bit (big surprise), mostly dark fruit, a touch of woodiness, and noticeable alcohol warming on the back end. There some mild bitterness at the end and at the same time some of the maple starts to come through.

M - Thick, full bodied, boozy with a very dry finish, sugary sticky on the lips, velvet smooth on the tongue.

O - Nicely blended and evolves as it airs out in the glass.

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Photo of jrob21
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

HMOG donation. Brought this back from SD about a year and half ago and it already had about a year of age on it. Not sure what possessed me other than to get the Alesmith rate but I am not typically a big fan of smoke. It has to be done well and pretty damn subtle in order for me to like it. This one still has a bit of smoke going on which is exacerbated a bit by the maple as well. Personal preference here so don’t knock my rate.

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Photo of dar482
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The beer offers a barleywine base of sweet caramel with medium bacony smoke with a slight woody bitterness.

Age has probably helped this beer out as the flavors could be more imbalanced. It's drinking well.

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Photo of pat61
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Aged in cellar for 3 years.
Nose: faint smoke, sugar, dried fruit, plums.
Pours hazy chestnut under a 2" walnut tinted foam cap with a fine bead that persists and leaves fine lace. Some legs.
Has a rich palate with dark caramel, fig, a suspicion of sherry, plum, a hint of cola and smoke. The smoke is mild - it is not to Aecht Schlenkerla levels. Finishes with a moderate bitter hop accent.
Medium full body to chewy with above average soft carbonation. Even though this is classed as a barleywine it has a very Belgian feel to in in terms of texture and ration of aocohol to malt.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
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.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
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.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
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!

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Photo of ehammond1
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
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.

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Photo of dgilks
3.81/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of beagle75
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
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.

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Photo of ryan1788a5
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.

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Photo of Thorpe429
2.86/5  rDev -25.7%
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.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Greywulfken
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.

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Photo of jethrodium
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.

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Photo of PeterIngemi
4.12/5  rDev +7%
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.

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Photo of spdyfire83
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
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.

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Photo of cbutova
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
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.

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Photo of BigPlay1824
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

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Photo of zaphodchak
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
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.

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Photo of FosterJM
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
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.

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Photo of srandycarter
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
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.

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Photo of WeedKing4
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
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.

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Photo of casualcolors
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.

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Photo of mcallister
4.35/5  rDev +13%
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.

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AleSmith Decadence 2011 Maple Smoked Barleywine from AleSmith Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 32 ratings.