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Alesmith Decadence 2012 Belgian-Style Quadruple Ale - AleSmith Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Alesmith Decadence 2012 Belgian-Style Quadruple AleAlesmith Decadence 2012 Belgian-Style Quadruple Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

165 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 165
Reviews: 38
rAvg: 4.13
pDev: 8.96%
Wants: 17
Gots: 48 | FT: 8
Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Quadrupel (Quad) |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Enish266 on 01-04-2013

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 165 | Reviews: 38
Reviews by ehammond1:
Photo of ehammond1
3.95/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap

Alesmith Brewing Company
San Diego, CA

Clear but very dark ruby and brown with a small dark brown head. This beer doesn't have the creamy persistence and body of a more traditional Belgian quadrupel, but it's still a pretty beer by any degree of measure.

Lots of dark fruit character in the aroma: plum, Belgian-style yeast, brown bread, and generous caramel/bready sweetness. Appropriate, though it doesn't stack up with the bold expressiveness of Belgian's best offerings within the style.

The flavor is similar to the style: Belgian yeast (banana), dark fruits (plums, and sun-dried cherries, and raisins), and sweet fruit cake and bread. Very nice. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden.

This is where quads separate themselves from the men from the boys, so to speak, and this is still very American/boy as opposed to Belgian: Trappist/man. Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

A great American quad, and I can't wait to sample the eventual barrel-aged version. This is a very, very good beer, but I happen to rate quadrupels very stringently.

More User Reviews:
Photo of Alieniloquium
3.08/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep red/amber. Small off white head. Thin collar with no wisps.

Smell - Fruity. Dark fruits. Caramel. A little buttery.

Taste - Dark fruits. Still a little buttery. Yeasty. Sweet.

Mouthfeel - Medium body with some booze. Low carbonation.

Overall - Disappointing. I usually like this series.

Photo of HalfFull
3.73/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Capped 750 ml. bottle poured into a globe glass. Pours a deep brown with crimson highlights and an inch of tan foam. Quite clear and with decent retention and light lace.

Aroma of caramel, bit of chocolate and some hints of barleywine like ethanol notes when initially opened and rather cold. Garners a bit more complexity with some warming but still a bit one sided for the style. Bit of rummy fruit and spice come forth with warming and convey to the taste as well. Dark cherry is prominent on the finish and accompanied by a lingering chocolate spice, even without any notable chocolate malt notes prior to the finish.

Feel is a bit viscous and oily with lots of caramel and not so much with chocolate and roast. ABV is hidden behind the sweetness fairly well as might be expected given the feel. Overall nice but not my fav. Still improving with warming however, think I'll check back after the other half of the bottle tomorrow. This beer really seems to peak at about 60 degrees F. so plan accordingly. Cheers.

Photo of LiquidAmber
4.38/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gavroche tulip. 2012 bottle, properly cellared. Pours a very dark red-orange with a fine half finger light khaki head with great retention and lacing. Aroma dominated by crackery biscuit malt, with mild elements of dark fruit, and caramel. The profile is a lot like an English old ale aroma. Flavor is different, with dark dried fruit, particularly dates and figs and plums, brown bread, brown sugar, vanilla and caramel, much more in line with a quadrupel. Nice complex fruit and malt finish with light Belgian spicing. Medium bodied with light creaminess. Although clearly a quadrupel, the malt flavor, like the aroma leans towards a malty old ale; the combination of quad and old ale flavors is quite tasty. Complex and warming, although the ABV is well covered. I've been delighted with all the Decadence versions and this is no exception. Alesmith is a master of these malty big ales. Well done.

Photo of DavoleBomb
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a goblet.

4.0 A: Clear deep amber mahogany color. One and a half fingers of creamy/frothy beige head. Retention is very good given the ABV and a short ring of lacing is left.

4.25 S: Doesn't smell at all like a Belgian quad in that there's no earthy tones, but it still smells great. Intense caramel, plum, fig, and vinous grapiness. Raisin, toastiness, dates, candi sugar, tobacco, and brown sugar next. Toffee and booze underneath that. Great complexity with surprising strength. The aromas haven't quite merged into a seemless integrated nose, but it's still exceedingly fulfilling.

4.25 T: Taste is exactly like the nose. Lacking in integration and earthy authenticism, but plenty complex and super potent. Plum, fig, and grape again lead the way. Caramel loses a bit of strength and joins the ranks of raisin, toastiness, dates, and brown sugar. Tobacco, candi sugar, and toffee. Tastes like it's ABV, but it isn't overbearing. Overall, quite enjoyable.

3.75 M: Medium body. Good moderate carbonation, which is spritzy but could be more so. Smooth enough. Good here.

4.0 D: Tasty brew that is good all around.

Photo of Zorro
4.45/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Deeply brown colored clear ale with a small khaki colored head.

Smell is sweet and spicy with a strong plum aroma. Little bit of banana and pound cake aroma. Vanilla and caramel. Quite a nicely scented beer.

Starts out sweet and fruity with a plum and banana after taste. On the sweet side you can detect the alcohol level a little by how it numbs the tongue but not any actual ethanol flavor. Some pound cake flavor. What stands out here isn't the complexity, it is how well it all works together. Simply a delicious beer.

Mouthfeel is good.

Overall and outstanding beer. This is well worth its price of $14 for a 750 ML bottle.

Photo of rdickey
4.57/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Like all AleSmith offerings, the bottle is an understated piece of art in itself. The beer pours a dark but clear mahogany, capped with a medium-sized off-white head. The head collapses pretty quickly under the weight of the ABV, but leaves pretty good lacing.

Smell: A pretty traditional huge quad nose comes up and hits you right in the… nose. Stone fruits dominate, but cloves and Belgian spices join it, along with bananas.

Taste: The taste follows the nose but develops differently. The stone fruits, which seem to evolve into a combination of plums and cherries, continue at the fore, but they are married nicely with the flavors that were previewed in the nose: black pepper, cloves, raisins and bananas. For a 12% ABV the alcohol is actually pretty well disguised, but it’s sort of like the Miami Heat disguising how big LeBron is; there are a lot of big guys on the court, but he’s still huge.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied. For a lot of really big beers like this (quads, big tripels), I love the idea of a little more zip to lighten up the massiveness of the taste. In most cases, though, I think that it’s a necessary tradeoff for the brewer, and I think that’s the case here.

Drinkability: This is an exceptional beer, but as with any Belgian it should not be treated as a toy. Even for an experienced reviewer of Belgian beers, this like a double-barreled blast from a twelve gauge. Approach with (enthusiastic) caution.

Photo of SebD
4.5/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: It has a nice deep brown color to it with some amber shining through. It has a nice dark beige head that dies down moderately slow and leaves some lacing.

Smell: The aromas definitely give out hints of dark fruit (raisins, prunes, plums), caramel and bready Belgian yeast.

Taste: Like the aromas, it has a some sweet dark fruit, alot of raisins and prunes, some plum, maybe cherries, sweet caramel, some spiciness (pepper and cloves) and breadiness from the yeast.

Mouthfeel: It has a low carbonation with a very nice overall balance and feel.

Drinkability: It's a very smooth drinkable beer accompanied with great flavors and aromas.

Photo of TangTKE402
3.74/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

A: Poured from a bomber bottle into a tasting glass. Amber brownish red with an ecru head and s touch of lacing.

S: Bright and acidic nose with granny smith apple, crystal malts, and bruit fruit notes.

T: raisins, belgian malts and bread in the mouth, with a tart, molasses aftertaste and hints of anise.

M: lighter than expected, with a syrup finish and hoochy hotness.

O: Strong and flavorful, but would probably benefit from aging.

Photo of Samuel906
3.59/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours very dark, a rich dark red. Lots of apple and lemon on the nose with some coriander other herbals and florals. Fantastic taste: cherry, apple, carmel, vanilla, currant, figs, cocoa and vanilla. Very complex, appealing, refreshing flavor. A little too sweet for my preference, but no booze. Great, true to style... One of the better quads I've had.

Photo of kojevergas
3.63/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Acquired for $13.99 at a local SoCal beer store. Really excited; I love Alesmith. 12% ABV confirmed. Decadence 2012 Anniversary Ale. 1 pint 9.4 fl oz black glass bottle with foiled-over standard unbranded gold pressure cap served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip (sorry, Alesmith, I don't have a goblet here) in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high. No best before or bottled on date, but the label does note that it will age nicely.

"Serve in a goblet at 50-55 degrees." Served cold, straight from the fridge, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger khaki colour head of nice cream, nice thickness, and very good (~4-5 minute) retention for the high ABV. Body colour is a luxurious dark ruby. Very rich and refined. Semitransparent. Somewhat translucent. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Quite appealing for a quad, but I have seen better. I'm extremely excited to try it.

Sm: Lovely dates and plums. Dark fruit is a highlight here. A bit of grape and fig. Ripe red apple. Caramel malty sweetness. Belgian yeast with accompanying slight spicy notes. Some raisin. Bready malts. Candied fruit. Appealing and inviting. No alcohol is detectable. It's not as natural as some of the best quads I've had, but it's quite nice. A mild strength aroma with interesting subtlety and complexity. I can't wait to try it.

T: Ripe dark plum. Light red apple. Some fig/dates. Plump dark fruit. Caramel malts. Biscuit malt. Pleasant sweetness in the body. I look for cloves and molasses, but do not find these notes. Light raisin/dried grape. A bit of alcohol does come through. All around, it's a rather fruity beer. The balance isn't ideal; Belgian examples of the style feel more cohesive and whole than this does. Hints of anise. Bready malts. Prune. Light sherry syrup. Built well, with complexity and some subtlety. But great beers in the style are far more complex and subtle. Plus they have better balance. This is tasty, but it just can't compete. I will say it's one of the better American attempts at the style that I've had.

Mf: Smooth and wet. Good carbonation. Good thickness, though it is a bit syrupy. Full body. Well done, but not without its flaws. There's room for improvement here. Sticky.

Dr: A drinkable quad that hides its ABV only decently. I'd try a smaller amount if it had some age on it. This is so clinical and brewed with modern American methods; it just can't match Belgian examples of the style. Overall, it just lacks the intentionality and cohesion demanded by the style. Sure, it's got many great notes, but it doesn't bring them together in a holistic way. It's a solid effort from Alesmith, but I'm not sure they're the best brewery to do Belgian styles. They might be better off sticking to heavy coffee stouts and floral IPAs.

B

Photo of draheim
4.35/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750mL into a chalice. Pours a deep reddish mahogany w/ a 2-finger khaki head that settles to a thin film. Moderate carbonation.

Aroma is big sweet dark fruits, caramel, molasses, toffee, spices.

Taste is sweet and fruity. Toffee, vanilla, prunes and raisins, dark brown sugar. 12% ABV expertly hidden. Nice lingering spicy heat in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is silky smooth, medium bodied, a little sticky with a semi-dry finish.

Overall an outstanding quad that hits all the right notes. Well done AleSmith.

Photo of IMFletcher
4.16/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tasted a lot more like an old ale than a quad to me.

Photo of Impfan
4.75/5  rDev +15%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Deep ruby pour, pillowy, off-white head that dissipates to a lasting ring, Aroma of chocolate, toffee, plum, rum, raisin, clove and Belgian yeast. It’s a beautiful scent, but it could be just a tad more prominent. Flavor mirrors the aroma, (with the addition of pepper) and is extremely elegant and seamless. I think the best compliment I can pay this brew is to say that it reminds me very much of a slightly lighter Westvleteren 12.

Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle into chalice, bottled in late 2012. Pours lightly cloudy dark ruby red color with a 1 finger dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings down the glass, with some moderate streaming carbonation. Aromas of big raisin, prune, fig, pear, apple, caramel, molasses, toast, toffee, brown bread, clove, pepper, candi sugar, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good complexity and balance of malt and fruity/spicy yeast notes; with great strength. Taste of huge caramel, molasses, raisin, prune, fig, toast, toffee, biscuit, pear, apple, dark bread, light chocolate, clove, pepper, candi sugar, herbal, and yeast earthiness. Lingering notes of dark fruits, caramel, toast, toffee, molasses, dark bread, light chocolate, biscuit, candi sugar, clove, herbal, and yeast earthiness on the finish for a while. Absolutely incredible complexity, robustness, and balance of dark malt and fruit/spicy yeast ester flavors; with an amazing malt/yeast flavor balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy, slick, and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an incredible Quadrupel style! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of malt and fruity/spicy yeast flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

Photo of srandycarter
4.25/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Cola brown, light tan head leaves quick, small spotty lace.

S - Toasty malt, sweet, boozy, some dark cooked fruit aspect.

T - Lush fruity center, malty, boozy, fair amount of bitter to prevent cloy.

M - Heavier bodied, viscous, good carbonation, good balance.

D - Nice offering. Very big on flavor and abv, however. Bought a grumbler (32oz growler) and that will be more than enough for one night.

Photo of Dope
4.19/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

No date that I can find. Not more than a few months old.

A: A nice dark brown/mahogany pour. Enormous fluffy light brown head. Head fades away very slowly, leaving just spotty lacing behind. Quite decent head retention however.

S: Big sweet and boozy dark fruits. Raisin, fig, prunes and plums. Some caramel and brown sugar.

T: Very sweet and smooth dark fruits. Again with the raisin, fig and plums. Get some nice cocoa mixed in with it too. Caramel sweetness throughout, quite a bit of it. Decent bit of belgian yeast spiciness in the middle mixing with brown sugar and fading into the finish. Stomach warming booziness. Lingering caramel sweetness between sips.

M: Heavy, thick, almost syrupy. Big.

O: This is a really nice american style quad. Surprisingly not a huge amount of belgian yeast character. It's mainly just loaded to the hilt with malty sweetness and dark fruits. Very tasty, just huge (750ml of 12% ABV...whew!). I enjoyed it a lot though, one of the better american style quads out there.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.23/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

On tap at AleSmith Brewing Company in San Diego, CA.

Pours a clear dark reddish-orange with a foamy dark khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Foamy rings and dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, and a distinct banana-like fruity aroma. Taste is much the same with a fruity flavor and an alcohol kick on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with some great aromas and flavors.

Photo of Enish266
4.2/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Alesmith. Reviewed from a couple tasters.

A - deep copper with minimal lacing.

S - sweet raisins. Nose is present and not overpowering. Hints of malt and toffee.

T - ripe cherry and dates. Bready notes and brown sugar dominate the middle palate. Alcohol is well-hidden and only comes through at the very end. Esters and cloves hide nicely in the background. Finishes clean and immensely quaffable for 12% abv.

M - light to medium carbonation. A little on the thin side but still coats the mouth and lingers for a few seconds.

O - A tasty brew and definitely one of the better American quads I've sampled.

Photo of srhoadsy
4.05/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Served chilled into a snifter.

Pours a deep rich sable color with half an inch light tan head that quickly recedes leaving light surface layer and lacing.

Aromas are somewhat subdued; caramelized sugars, dried fruits with a hint of grape must.

The flavors definitely outshine the aromas. Strong flavors of molasses, dried fruit and black cherries. Hints of vanilla and oak.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation and a sweet but crisp finish. Mild, lingering aftertaste and warming sensation .

Another winner from Alesmith. Very impressed with this beer, would make an excellent Winter Warmer. I wish I had another one to cellar for another year or two.

Photo of DrJay
4.03/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Clear and dark with a deep reddish brown hue and a thin light brown cap. Looks nice. Aromas of plums, alcohol, sugar, raisins and figs, mild maltiness, faint bread and banana character with a hint of vanilla. Rich flavour with notes of plums and chocolate, raisins and caramel, mild to moderate bitterness, mellow alcohol, and slight spice in the finish. Light banana and more bread crust as it warmed. Medium to full bodied with lowish carbonation. Decent texture with just a bit of warmth. It all came together quite nicely, making for an enjoyable beer.

Photo of Jwale73
3.98/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served in a tulip. Pours a deep mahogany with a translucent clarity and a dense, 2.5 inch, tan-colored head that sizzles and pops as it gradually collapses. Head dissipates into a band around the shoulders and thick swaths of lacing coat the walls of the glass as the brew recedes. Nose expresses vinous notes and a suggestion of candied fruit, as well as a trace of something herbal and a hint of malt; however, it's all very faint. Taste is much bolder, revealing milk chocolate, more vinous notes, some ethanol and a faint yeast presence. Mouthfeel is medium-light with an even carbonation and a silky/oily texture. There's also some residual heat at the finish that lingers at the back of the throat. Overall, this is a very good Quad. The pricepoint is a little high considering the value of St. Bernardus, but there is a great deal of character here. Well worth your time if you have the opportunity to try this beer, but I'm not sure I would recommend this beer for extended cellaring.

Photo of corby112
3.93/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Draft at AleSmith. March, 2013.

Pours a dark amber/chestnut brown color with a one finger off-white head that quickly settles into a thick, lasting ring.  Streaks of spotty lacing left behind.

Slightly spicy, vinous dark fruit aroma with a subtle pepper presence along with grape, raisin, fig and plum. Slightly syrupy/medicinal character but it's kept in check.  Smells a bit overly spicy with sweet malt and dark fruit.

Medium bodied with a slight medicinal presence that's stronger than the nose suggests.  Somewhat chalky with a touch of spicy pepper but the flavor is dominated by Belgian candy sugar, sweet malt and vinous dark fruit notes, notably plum, raisin and fig.  Goes down way to easy for 12%.  Very subtle warmth and little to no heat/booze.

Photo of mdfb79
4.14/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Got this about 1-2 months ago from Nugganooch and finally cracking it open; thanks Dane! 750ML bottle poured into my Chimay chalice.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown color with a reddish tint, two inches of light tan head and light to moderate carbonation evident. Light lacing on the glass.

s - Smells of raisins, cherries, dark fruits, toasted malts, sugar, yeast, plums, light bananas, bready malts, and light caramel malts. Really nice nose with lots of cherries and dark fruits; sweet, but not overly sweet.

t - Tastes of raisins, dark fruits, toasted malts, sugar, molasses, yeast, bready malts, spice, and light bananas. Not as much cherry and caramel. Still quite good though I like the nose a little bit better.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Smooth and creamy, and quite easy to drink. Does not taste like 12% ABV at all...very dangerous.

o - Overall I thought this was a great quad. Nose and mouthfeel are awesome; lots of sweet dark fruits and very easy to drink. No problem taking down a 750ML bottle by myself, would definitely buy it again.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.04/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass from a 750ml bottle.

Pours a rich and beautiful mahogany color with some midl amber hues and a gorgeous slightly translucent ruby/garnet color. There is a nice dense and creamy off-white ecru colored head that is sticky and has some great retention. As it recedes it leaves some mild sticky lacing along the sides of the glass and the head goes down to a nice thin mat.

Aroma is delicious. Mild notes of molasses. Some good caramel notes mixed in with ripened dark fruit such as raisins. Some nice clove notes and some banana as well.

The flavor is also delicious. Well crafted. There is a delicious sweet ripe banana note that is present as well with some stronger more prevalent molasses notes coming along the middle of the brew. Great notes of banana and some slightly fruity and mild chalky yeast notes. Fresh baked bread notes are perceived along the middle of the brew. There is some mild boozy heat but its not too intense and works well with the bready notes. As the brew warms there are some nice hints of semi-sweet cocoa notes and some slight bitter roast in the finish mixed in with the sweetness. The body is nice and full. Silky, velvety and smooth with a lower bit of carbonation and smaller bubbles that still clean the palette after every sip.

Overall, always impressed by AleSmith. this brew has an awesome body and mouthfeel that works perfectly with the layered and well blended flavors. This is a very good example of the style that seems to stick to traditional norms but shines. Well done.

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Alesmith Decadence 2012 Belgian-Style Quadruple Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 165 ratings.