AleSmith Decadence 2011 Maple Smoked Barleywine Barrel Aged - AleSmith Brewing Company
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Ratings: 68 | Reviews: 13 | Show All Ratings:
Reviews by jaasen64:
3.93/5 rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
750ml bottle, thanks Tom for sending this! Served in a Treehouse tulip.
A- Pours a slightly hazy caramel brown color with slight translucency along the sides of the glass, not much head and a fairly still top with some light bubbles, slight carbonation.
S- Aromas of caramel, maple, bourbon, vanilla, balanced malts, subtle smoke, and booze. Decent aroma strength, nice aroma, just a bit too boozey.
T- Rich caramel malts, very sweet caramel and integrated maple, bourbon, vanilla, slight coconut, finishes with more bourbon, very subtle smoke, and a very rich sweetness. Not bad tasting, fairly complex, just a bit too hot and a little bit overly sweet with the bourbon, caramel, and maple.
M- Medium bodied, low carbonation but consistent while drinking, a bit boozey but not to hard to drink.
O- This was a pretty interesting barleywine that had a lot going on but yet put it all together in a nice flavorful barleywine. I think this would taste a little bit better aged as the bourbon, maple, and caramel comes out a bit overly sweet while still maintaining a boozey presence.
Serving type: bottle
07-13-2013 00:55:33 | More by jaasen64
More User Reviews:
3.55/5 rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5
750ml brown glass (black glass?) bottle with black foil-ed over unbranded pry-off pressure cap acquired at Alesmith a year ago or so and served into an EKU 28 stem-snifter in me parents' gaff in high altitude Castle Rock, Colorado. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high given its current 90 rating, though I wasn't very fond of the base beer. 11% ABV confirmed per the label. The label features gold font and is classy and intricate. Style per the label: "Smoked Barleywine-Style Ale Brewed with Maple Syrup and Aged in Bourbon Barrels." 2011 vintage (obviously).
Served cold - straight from me fridge - and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.
A: No bubble show forms as it's poured.
Pours a one finger wide head of khaki colour. Nice creaminess and thickness. Nice smooth even consistency. Little lacing clings to the sides of the glass as the head recedes, and little remains for very long. Head retention is average - about two minutes.
Body colour is a translucent orange-amber of average vibrance. Nontransparent. No floating yeast particles/sediment is visible.
Overall, it's an appealing appearance for the style. I'm looking forward to trying it, but it's not unique or special. What I'd expect from a barleywine.
Sm: The maple is more subtle than I remember from the base beer - or maybe it's just covered up by the bourbon notes, which consists of ample vanilla and oak , but sadly no toasty character. Any smoke character is very restrained/faded. In my experience, smoke recedes with age. Plenty of typical barleywine malts - brown malts primarily. There's also some cream and some hints of fruit - faint cherry and currants mostly. Clearly, a suitable bourbon was chosen given the richness of the oak and seeming extent to which the barrel notes complement (if not develop) the base beer.
No yeast character, hop character, or overt booziness is detectable.
As it warms, the maple syrup emerges a bit more, lending some sweetness up front. The aroma does seem a biteen too sweet, but it's tolerable. It's a pleasant aroma of mild to moderate strength.
T: Ah. So much more well balanced and built than the base beer. The smoke has faded, to be sure, but there is a faint subtle hint of beechwood. The foundation is pretty standard for a barleywine: brown malts mainly, with some biscuit malt, caramel, and cream. The barrel notes are lovely and really complement the base beer nicely; I pick up lovely oak and some wonderful vanilla - neither of which feels artificial. Still, I would like some toasty character. The maple is much more reticent than would be ideal, unfortunately. I'd like it with a bit more wood.
It also boasts some faint burnt sugar, very light hints of leather, and a kiss of dark fruit (which develops as it warms).
Overall, it's a very cohesive build, but not quite a gestalt one. There's abundant complexity here as well as a fair amount of subtlety. The smoke and maple would provide nuance if they were more present, but having tried the base beer I'm glad they've faded. Fairly intricate. Above average depth of flavour. Average duration and intensity of flavour.
No yeast character comes through. It has a pleasant alcohol warmth which fits with the premise of the beer yet admittedly restricts drinkability.
Mf: Has a nice creaminess - especially up front. Smooth and wet. Nice thickness and body. Heavy on the palate, to style. Nice presence on the palate. As well as it complements the flavour profile, the texture doesn't come off custom-tailored to the taste. It's a biteen overcarbonated, unfortunately.
Not oily, astringent, gushed, rough, or hot - though it does have some pleasant alcohol warmth.
Dr: It's a sipper, to be sure, and is best consumed in the winter months. I'm surprised at its quality given the base beer used, but Alesmith has again shown their mastery over barrel aging and heavy American styles. It hides its ABV pretty well, but there's room for improvement. I'll enjoy killing this bottle alone and I almost wish I had another bottle. I'd recommend this to friends, and can verify aging has done it well. One of most improved-with-age beers I've had. I'd definitely buy it again just to see how it develops.
A lovely barleywine with well-integrated barrel notes that will please even the discerning drinker.
Serving type: bottle
12-29-2013 03:55:28 | More by kojevergas
4.11/5 rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25
Pours a dark chesnut brown color with mahogany/plum edges and a one finger off-white head that quickly settles into a thin, lasting ring. Spotty lace left behind.
Slightly smokey aroma with a prominent barrel presence yet it doesn't interfere with smoke, barleywine and sweet maple notes. Dry oak/toothpick with burnt sugar and subtle bourbon along with leathery malts, smoke, toffee, caramel and dark fruit. A bit of vanilla and coconut from the barrel along with charcoal, liquid smoke, fig, raisin, plum and date.
On the fuller end of medium body with a strong barrel presence that's nicely integrated into the barleywine notes. Damp oak, strong vanilla bean and toasted coconuts with decent bourbon flavor that's not overpoweringly hot or boozy. Spicy bourbon, vanilla and coconut followed by leathery malt, boozy sweetness, maple syrup, subtle smoke, date, fig, raisin and plum. Nice integration but still has prominent barrel and barleywine flavor. Smoke is a bit tame and there is some heat but the high ABV is well masked making this beer decently drinkable. A complex and flavorful barrel aged beer that doesn't hammer you over the head with bourbon. I enjoyed this beer and am looking forward to my other bottles.
Serving type: bottle
10-25-2013 20:21:36 | More by corby112
4.66/5 rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75
Beautiful looking bottle enjoyed on a crisp fall saturday.
Not the greatest looking beer. Murky, muddy dirty orange/ruby with a fizzing head that dissipates within seconds - pretty dense amount of sediment, but the alcohol legs around the glass are great. Well balanced aroma, very enticing. Sweet natural maple, boozy caramel, bourbon soaked oak and vanilla, some lighter barrel sweetness of coconut. Burnt brown sugar, toffee, cocoa powder - very light smoky sweetness, hints of cigar smoke when it warms as well as notes of dank attic must. Very light lactic oak sourness It tastes fantastic - sticky toffee, caramel, and maple sap. Big boozy bourbon caramel - vanilla, cocoa, maple.
Truly fantastic beer. I imagine that especially the smoke, but also maple have mellowed out a lot, which was probably was a good thing - they add their own subtleties and enhance the other flavors. Definitely some heat and booziness - works real well, drinking perfect. Truly outstanding barleywine.
Serving type: bottle
10-19-2013 17:13:42 | More by timc100
4.03/5 rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
Rusty orange and slightly opaque body. Short and thin head.
Strong aromas that are redolent of bourbon... Oak, vanilla, caramel. Maple syrup, brown sugar.
This beer does a great job of extracting the bourbon flavors. Oak and vanilla wit maple syrup.
The mouthfeel is thin and doesn't support the boozy bourbon aspect. Low carbonation
A really nice bw, especially if you enjoy bourbon. I wish it was a littler heavier but otherwise good aroma and taste.
Serving type: bottle
10-10-2013 01:38:45 | More by Vonerichs
AleSmith Decadence 2011 Maple Smoked Barleywine Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 68 ratings.