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Deca 10th Anniversary | Founders Brewing Company

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Deca 10th AnniversaryDeca 10th Anniversary
102 Ratings
Deca 10th AnniversaryDeca 10th Anniversary

Brewed by:
Founders Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 102 |  Reviews: 75
Reviews by Avagadro:
Photo of Avagadro
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Brown and cloudy with a tan head. Not a whole lot of retention, but I wasn't really expecting it from a brew like this.

S: Honey, caramel, cream, and spice. Not an incredibly volitile aroma, but what is there is pleasing.

T: Beautiful layers of flavor. Malty sweet with a low hop profile. Dried fruits are very present. Very tasty.

M: Medium to full body with a solvent-like slickness. Low carbonation.

D: A great brew in celebration of 10 years of quality beers.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of oberon
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into an oversized wine glass a deep rich burgundy with some residual tawny hue a thinner off white head atop,whoo this is brash on the nose deeply malty and fruity with some vanilla rum notes,cherry,caramel,a bit of nutmeg as well the hops are very muted aroma wise at least.This is a sipper for sure,big sweet malty flavors dominate from the onset caramel and vanilla-like sweetness with deep dark fruity esters a mild nutty aspect underneath,the alcohol will kick ya as well but I like the pain finally a noticeable pine hop note shows thru late and emerges more as I drink more.Big chewey meal in a glass it cuts thru the bit of chill in the air here in WNY tonight,another killer brew from Founders they should be proud,cellar this if you can hold it.

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Photo of Wildman
4.32/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a clear, very dark amber color and formed a small off white bubby head that left circular lace as it subsided. No carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, caramel and for lack of a better word, hard candy. The flavor was of malt, caramel and candy. The body was medium light and the finish was quite sweet. This is a beer that I realize needs some aging, which may soften the more sweeter tones in this beer. Another good beer from Founders, if a bit too pricey. What did they do, research Three Floyds?

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3.65/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a dark brownish amber body that is almost opaque. A strong pour creates an inch and a half of perfect tan head leaving scattered rocky lace as it slowly fades. Nose is a sweet and spicey mix with notes peppery yeast, cane sugar, and glazed raisens. First sip yeilds a syrupy sweet consistancey that has prune or raisen thickness to it. You also get a musty sappy hop feel that reminds me of a sweeter double IPA. Mouthfeel is a thick hue with an odd combination of honey and coriander like spices. Alchol is very well hidden for 13%, and only shows itself like a bit of cough syrup. Drinkability is good for such a beast of a beer but half a bottle will do nicely.

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Photo of WesWes
3.87/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a cloudy dark gold, almost brown color with a 1/4" offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a sweet malty scent that boasts of lots of pale malts and a touch of crystal malts. It's warm and inviting. The taste is good. It has a warm, malty flavor that goes down slow and easy and finishes bitter with some residual malt sweetness. The Belgian yeast is evident, but I'm not sure it's a good character. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This isn't my favorite barleywine, but it's a good drinker. It's got some unique character that makes it a worthwhile choice.

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Photo of mentor
4.94/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Bottle provided from VFerg long ago and this beer aged in my cool dark cellar for years. Pours a quickly disappearing caramel-tan head over a brilliant ambered brown liquid. Smells gorgeous fruity aged with some alcohol during the pour. To the nose, wonderful. Dark aged fruits of plum, cherry, heavily of raisin, and a nice grainy caramel. Silkingly wonder aged grains give an oxidation that comes across as caramel. Soft leather, mildly of clean alcohol, a dash of chocolate,

Tastes delicious. Wowzers! Happy 4th of July, I'm glad I've opened this beer for a special occasion. Rich thick malty with strong fruit from both the ferment and from malt that has aged in the bottle. Marachino cherry, very fig, mild blueberry, some blackberry, and an orange tinge. Has some character to it that I find in Southern Comfort. Very similar to Thomas Hardy's in regards to the caramel, toffee, and splash of chocolate character. Wonderful oxidation caramel character hasn't quite stepped into the realm of sherry yet. There seems to be a spice of some sort that I can't place. Not edgy enough to be clove. Not sure if it's ginger, but it's got a definite christmasy character to it. Starts off thick malty sweet which would be cloying except a clean alcohol steps in at just the right moment to sharpen things up a bit. Also a bit of a peppery zip right at the end to bring things to a dramatic conclusion. Modest carbonation and very drinkable (not gulps, but savor for the evening).

Not many people will remember the beer I'm about to reference, but Deca is similar in many ways to Heavyweight Brewing 2005 BA Old Salty when it had reached its aging peak. Deca is drinking incredible right now.

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Photo of akorsak
3.95/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A 650 mL bomber purchased at Capone's almost 2 years ago. Still has the rather exorbinant $25 price sticker on it.

A: The barleywine is a full mahogany red color, hazy throughout except for one small patch of bright orange glow near the bottom of the glass. A thick head has left a robust lace around the mouth of the glass.

S: The nose is very malty, bready with a raisin and brown sugar presence. Toffee aromas add a sweetness that matches the brown sugar.

T: A licorice sweetness, laced with some ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon gives the ale an interesting start. Having never read the label, I didn't know that the ale was spiced. A nice surprice. Behind the spice profile, a malt bomb is waiting to explode. Syrupy caramel and toffee define the malt body and support, in addition to the spices, a citrus hop profile that has clearly degraded. My first burp also had a coffee aftertaste, releasing an interesting depth that doesn't pop out of the taste.

M: The mouthfeel start off spicy, interesting for a barleywine. The malt body has a dry sweetness that mixes well with a mild (due to degradation) hop profile. A Christmas barleywine.

D: The spice profile is strange, almost out of place within this barleywine. It makes me anxious for the first wave of each sip to pass. What is left afterwards is a solid barleywine that I'd sip on for at least half of a day (a whole day may ruin me).

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Photo of Crosling
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color. Nose is impressive and awfully complex, mostly malty with roast, caramel and sugared fruits notes. Also traces of spices. Flavor is massive and thick. Lots of taste. Well aged malts, caramel, toffee, wild mountain fruit. Belgian-like in a way, but also like an english barley wine. Nice balance overall, including the spicing. Very tasty, well made beer.

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

Rusted raspberry with bright tangelo trim. The beer is crystal clear and develops a gorgeous glow with any sort of backlighting. In spite of very little visible carbonation, a standard pour generated a generous crown of pale caramel colored foam... that is beginning to lay down gauzy sheets of finely stippled lace. Eye candy without a doubt.

The nose throttles things back from great to merely good. More vibrancy would be wonderful, as would more depth. Warming should help on both counts. I get caramel and assorted fruits, primarily candied cherries. While there's a hint of the 'spices' noted on the label, they aren't very prominent.

One of the most amazing things about Deca (among many) is that the brewers have buried a 13.0% ABV extremely well. Alcohol is noted in the nose and it's barely noted on the palate. Mouth, tongue, esophagus and gullet beg to differ. It's far from hot, however. In fact, it's just about right given the circumstances.

Not that it matters, but this 10th Anniversary ale is more English barleywine than American barleywine. The label indicates, and the taste buds definitely agree, there's much more malt ('generous') than hops ('a touch'). On the other hand, I'm not sure that a 13.0% British beer has ever been brewed.

The flavor profile is reminiscent of one of the two best barleywines in existence... Midnight Sun Arctic Devil (Great Divide Old Ruffian is the other). This beer is good, but it isn't *that* good. As suspected, warming brings things into sharper focus and heightens flavor contrast.

Specifics include figgy pudding with dark rum and caramel sauce, sticky dates, candied citrus peel and small pinches of cinnamon and nutmeg. The beer is most assuredly sweet, although cloying is kept at bay by what tastes like at least 'two touches' of hops. Given everything else that's going on, it's difficult to appreciate the Belgian yeast. American ale yeast was used as well.

The mouthfeel doesn't give an inch in terms of quality. It starts out medium for the style and finishes at least medium-full. There's nothing but glassy smoothness and a whole lotta soft edges. That's a remarkable feat given the stratospheric ABV.

Deca 10th Anniversary Ale is special beer that deserves to be brewed again... and again... and again. I can't think of a more worthy addition to an already stellar lineup from one of my favorite breweries. Founders needs a barleywine. Founders needs *this* barleywine. And so do the rest of us.

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Photo of CortexBomb
3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pour is dark amber to red with a slight, off-white head on top. The nose betrays sweet malty aromas and spice...dark fruits.

The flavour of this is exceptionally sweet malts combined with a dominating herbal spicy combination. Caramel. Some dark fruits (plums) with some light fruits (pears). The herbal qualities were quite unique.

The mouth was thick and oily, heavy coating. The drinkability was simply ok.

The bottom line: A unique commemorative brew from Founders. A bit pricy, but it's worth trying out.

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Photo of ppoitras
3.47/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Marlboro, MA.

Poured into a heavy glass chalice, formed a scant 1/8" tan head over the slightly cloudy burgundy brew. Head is down to swirl quickly, with minimal fleeting lace. Aroma is sweet, fruity alcohol. Taste starts heavy on the sweetness, almost cloyingly so, giving way to the fruit, and then alcohol flavor and warming on the close. Mouthfeel is too syrupy for my tastes, and drinkability is limited by same. An interesting anniversary brew, but probably not one I'd search out again.

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Photo of SkinnyElvis
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from my cellar. Thin head. Amber in color. Smells sweet with a hint of booze. Taste is also fairly sweet with a bit of fruit in there; reminds me more of an English barleywine than an American. Mouthfeel is smooth for the ABV of 13%. ABV is detectable but this is a very drinkable big beer. Recommended. Thanks to fartingdog for this brew in a trade a while ago. I just dealt with 90 minutes of whiny crying children & this hits the spot.


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Photo of Beertracker
4.65/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Founders Deca (Tenth Anniversary Ale pours up with a modest effervescence that creates a tight, bubbly beige colored head that blankets the dark copper-russet brown body. The head retention is surprisingly good for being such a strong beer. The aroma showcases a bigtime maltiness with notes of burnt sugar, caramel flan & treacle pudding. The hops have become very subdued, but combined with the spiciness from the yeast offer herbal complexity interlaced with a tinge of fruitiness (dried orange, grape seed, oroblanco) that barely manages to escape the huge sweet toasted maltiness. The flavor is multifaceted with burnt caramel & honey sweetness upfront followed by a firm toastiness (graham crackers, gingerbread snaps) with a hint of chocolate. The hop bitterness has subdued and offers just enough to provide a smooth, balanced finish. This baby's strength becomes more evident towards the finish, but never detracts. Awesome stuff! I'd have to report that this Belgian-inspired barleywine has held up remarkably well over the seasons and is certainly a testament to the American craft brewer's spirit. Here's a late toast to Founder's 10th Anniversary!

Better late than Never!

CHEERS! Beertracker

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Photo of brentk56
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a cloudy amber color with a modest head that leaves a few dots around the chalice

Smell: Caramel, raisins and stone fruit

Taste: Opens with a rich caramel flavor that is joined, mid palate, by a rather fruity aspect; after the swallow, the subtle impact of the yeast and spices moves this barleywine in a rather unique direction; some earthy bitterness appears as well, but the age has taken the edge of the hops

Mouthfeel: Full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice barleywine that leans English rather than American now that it has aged a bit; the yeast and spices add an intriguing dimension

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Photo of DrJay
4.72/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle couresy of todd1. Thanks!
Pours a clear dark brown with a reddish purple hue and a tight dark beige cap of fine bubbles. The head fell slowly to a skim and rocky collar, leaving some fine lacing stuck to the glass. Rich toffee and caramel aroma with a refined citrus hop background. A little spicy, almost like gingerbread, faint pine, biscuit, alcohol, dried fruit. Really, really nice. Moderate bitterness, more emphasis on gigantic malt character, tons of toffee, caramel, nuts, sugar, bread crust. A little citrus, orange and tangerine, plus alcohol towards the finish. Dates mid-palate, along with other dried fruits. Spicy finish, again with the gingerbread, with lingering toffee and orange blossom. Exquisite texture, super creamy and smooth with delicate carbonation. Full bodied, nearly heavy due to the lowish carbonation, and just shy of sticky. Mild alcohol warmth. What a superb barleywine! This stuff is amazing, great balance and tons of flavour. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Viggo
4.7/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Christmas tasting with biegaman and grub, luckily we were joined by ThatWineGuy who pulled this monster out of the cellar.

Pours a hazy amber/orange, thin off white head forms, quickly settles down to a thin ring, drops some lace spots on the glass. Smell is amazing, tons of toffee, alcohol, wood, fruit, dates, more toffee, this one is super caramelized, very rich. Taste is amazing as well, dates, very insane toffee, citrus, floral, some alcohol, nice hoppy caramel finish, very solid bitterness, very rich and caramelized. Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with low carbonation, very thick and coating in the mouth, alcohol is superbly hidden, never would have thought this is 13%. Fantastic American Barleywine, I think my favourite this far. Thanks a ton Ron!!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer has as dense brown body with a slight reddish glow at the base of the glass. The head is made up of big bubbles of light tan with a slight yellowish hint. With each sip the head slides down the glass leaving a trail. The carbonation is good and made up of lots of tiny bubbles.

S- The smell of sweet caramel malt and a soft hint of chocolate malt has a light pine note. As it warms there is a slight perfume hint to that caramel and a note of dark roasted malt in the background.

T- The taste of caramel and dark roasted bitterness give way to a light cream and white sugar note with accents of dates coming through as it warms. There is a light bourbon and cola note in the finish and a soft clove note aswell. The finish is pretty smooth and not really sweet.

M- This beer has a medium-light mouthfeel and a light slippery texture which is finished with nice alcohol heat.

D- This beer has a good balance of sweet malt flavors and nice alcohol heat. The malt had some nice complexity and the yeast flavors enhanced that. I didn’t notice any hops in the taste but I didn’t miss them at all.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of jjayjaye
3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The first pour was a hazy red hued caramel color without a head and no lacing, but the last, warmer snifter, when poured aggressively yielded a full finger loose light tan head. A couple of seconds after the pour a thin film of bubbles manages to momentarily stir to the surface. It smells rich and syrupy; caramel malt and maple syrup. The mouth feel is very heavy and syrupy with negligible carbonation. Full flavored, the caramel and honey taste finishes with a salty aftertaste. Definitely a sipper. I really appreciate FFF producing something special to let us all celebrate this significant anniversary.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Reading the lable, I beleive that it may have been characterized wrong on this site. The bottle suggests that Belgian yeast was used along with American yeast, which explains a strong phenolic and ester content, but with a super crisp, cracker-like malt character. Otherwise, the beer has big, bold flavors of toffee, molassas, barley and an overall heavy sweetness. A very toasty, bready base gives the beer a lot of thickness and body. An underlying berry-like and apple tartness gives the beer a thinning, drinkable quality. The 10.5 percent alcohol is hidden well in the viscocity and ultimate sweetness. Although not overly complex, it drinks easy and has a very desirable crispness in the end. Thanks Nathan15.

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Photo of FtownThrowDown
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark ruby brown in color. There is a bit of a frothy ring of head around the perimeter of the glass. Smell is huge and robust. Plenty of toffee and caramel malts. Just the way a barleywine should be. Taste is more of the abundance of toffee and malt. Just a hint of hops in the end. Perfect balance to round out the beer. Huge and viscous mouthfeel. This has all the qualities of a world class barleywine. Everything that I look for in a barleywine. The ABV is so well hidden that I can't believe it.
My only complaint is that this was an anniversary beer and not a regular offering. Founders seriously needs to consider making this at least as a seasonal.

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Photo of KarlHungus
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to my good friend and fellow BA Kipling for snatching this up, and cellaring it for me for the better part of a year. It pours a cloudy brown color. The head is a quarter inch in height, and recedes quickly into sparse lacing, which is fine for a cellared barleywine. The aroma is so brash in both malt and hops that it is balanced. Caramel, anise, dates, plums, and fiery hops. It lights my nose on fire. The taste is full of malt upfront with caramel and toffee. Anise, dates, plums, and alcohol are present in the finish. The mouthfeel is full bodied with moderate carbonation, and a silky texture. Overall, this is one of the most complex beers I have every taste. It is a big beer that has a lot of subtle nuances, and tons of depth. I am glad I had the opportunity to taste this.

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Photo of SaCkErZ9
4.62/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I received this beer in a trade long ago, before I purchased my label maker to avoid such embarassment, but I have forgotten who sent this to me so thanks to whomever!

Pours from the 22oz bottle into a Lost Abbey chalice (my wife received her allowed and alloted 6oz taster glass), also received in a trade (Secret Santa one year, I think). Emerges slightly hazy and deep caramel in color. The head is wispy and basically extinct; age and alcohol do that to beers I suppose.

Aroma is really nice. The alcohol is certainly noticed and is a little boozy. Huge caramel aromas with dried apricots and pineapple. Earthy hops resonate. Perhaps a touch of oxidation.

Solid flavor profile. Sweet up front without being overly cloying. A bit of chocolate and toffee and even coffee appear in the middle. Finishes exquisitely; creamy, smooth, gentle, magnigicent. There is a touch of hop flavor with large earthy notes int the middle as well. This one is rather complex.

The alcohol is very warming but hardly noticed in the flavor of this one. The bottle indicates that this beer "cellars well". I'll say. A lovely beer that is perfect in nearly every regard in the BW category. At 13%, the abv is really well hidden making this one dangerous to drink. Alas, with a rain storm moving in, I will enjoy this beautiful bounty of beer from my screened in porch area, watching and hearing the rustling of the last remaining leaves in my yard as they are thrust about noisily and violently by the approaching winds and rains. Good to be in the South in "spring".

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Photo of emerge077
3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Renee & Jim for this one! Review from written notes.
Cellared 2007 bottle.

Served in a tulip glass. Dark copper color, almost a fossil amber jewel tone when held to the light. Thin layer of off white foam that settles to a thin frothy ring that has a slight collar around the edges.

Spicy and bready aroma, lightly sweet with some oxidation creeping in around the edges.

Rich flavors of port and carob, toffee, plum, chicory. Soft carbonation, creamy feel, finishes dry. Alcohol seems to have mellowed out completely. It's aged pretty gracefully, and retained some interesting complexity. Definitely better than I remember it tasting 2-3 years ago.

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Photo of grub
4.69/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

christmas tasting hosted by biegaman on dec 15/07. ThatWineGuy contributed this one. thanks ron!

22oz bottle.

pours red, nearly brown, with just a few tiny bubbles around the edges. no lace.

aroma is amazing. huge caramel blast. alcohol. big bread and biscuit malts. light pine. the big blast of caramel and alcohol just screams american barleywine. i don't even need to drink this one, but you know i want to.

taste is great. huge caramel. bit of alcohol - but more like 9% than 13%! big biscuit and bready malt. light grapefruit and pine. light tangerine. bit of sweetness in the caramel, but in perfect balance. tiny bit of minty/herbal character coming through in the finish. medium bitterness level.

mouthfeel is excellent. medium-low well integrated carbonation level. super smooth. nice medium-large body.

drinkability is great. perfect balance. you can tell there's alcohol in there, but not the full 13%. the huge malt is excellent and has some great depth. this is great stuff.

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Deca 10th Anniversary from Founders Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.17 out of 5 with 102 ratings