AleSmith Horny Devil | AleSmith Brewing Company

397 Reviews
AleSmith Horny DevilAleSmith Horny Devil

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001

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Reviews: 397 | Ratings: 993
Photo of pat61
5/5  rDev +23.8%

I have had this a month old and have aged it 2 and three years and it is always good.
Nose: fruit, apricot to pineapple, orange, a hint of banana, slightly sweet.
Pours orange tinted amber with a slight haze under a bone white 1" fluffy foam cap. Lacy and has legs.
Palate: Initial sweetness dissolves into honey and a range of fruit flavors such as apricot, pineapple, melon, and peach riding of a malt backbone with a light caramel touch and a light hop accent on the finish.
AleSmith has nailed the Belgian Strong Pale Ale texture achieving a very rich, creamy texture, a medium light to medium body that belies the level of alcohol, depth of yeast flavors and complex malt action in the beer. The carbonation is fine and soft and above average. It has an underlying sweetness balanced by the alcohol and light hop touch. In no way is it cloying.

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Photo of Vylo
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Nice golden ale with small amount of head and a pleasant aroma I can't place. Taste is brilliant and feel is balanced.

I drank it slowly and it got better as it warmed, so try drinking it a bit warmer for a better taste.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
5/5  rDev +23.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - A clear cloudy golden color, 2 fingers of head, and tons of lace, love it

S - Belgian sweet candy, coriander. Spices.

T - Sweeet belgian candy, light malts, not much hops. So smooth and well balanced!

M - Full bodied.

O - Best Beer I Have Ever Had In My Life! I took one sip at the Alesmith brewery, and I told my fiance, "this is the best beer I have ever had". Unbelievable!

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Photo of brentlikesbeer
4.97/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Great beer. Fruity Belgian-style Ale. Noticeable coriander. Can be cloudy in some batches, but absolutely love this beer from my personal favorite San Diego brewery.

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Photo of Brushkanna
4.96/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

A - hazy cloud with tight bubbles and some lacing
S - sweet smell like ripe apples pears
T - pears and yeast with light bubbles
M - great light and a like some of the great Belgians
O - the best American Belgian style I have had in a long time - I will try to find another bottle

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Photo of TurdFurgison
4.89/5  rDev +21%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 750ml bottle into chalices. Golden color, clear, thinnish white head which clings to the glass nicely.

Smells spicy and yeasty. Tastes the same. I guess what I'm tasting is coriander, based on all the other reviews. I wouldn't have known the spice, but the effect on the beer is outstanding. An addictive taste. Even the aftertaste is addictive.

Recommended, even though it is a bit expensive. 750mL set me back $12.50.

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Photo of Hopdaemon39
4.88/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been looking forward to reviewing this beer.

Poured from a 750 ml capped bomber into an oversized wine-glass. Pours a hazy golden orange color with a fluffy 1+ finger head (even in the wine glass) with even retention and a few spots of lacing.

Smell is just funky enough- of course a good dose of Belgian yeast with some pale malt sweetness in the background. Not overwhelming funky smelling at all but not too mild.

Taste is exceptional- pale malt sweetness washes over the tongue at first, soon joined by the yeast, then a nice coriander note, easing back into an even blend of malt and yeast. Lovely.

Mouthfeel is also exceptional- light body with moderate to full carbonation. It is a thing of beauty. If you're in Cali and have not tried this beer- shame on you do it now! If not, just pay the 15 bucks and drink it for a special occasion. I cannot recommend it more highly.

Update: As I continue through the bottle, I notice more of a white grape flavor. Interesting.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.81/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

750 ml capped bottle poured into a Bruery tulip
10% ABV, bottled 07/09/13 on neck

A - Shimmering with vibrant clarity, this bright golden beer forms an effervescent white head which slowly dissipates to a thin skim of tight bubbles below an arch of white lace.

S - AleSmith's addition of coriander to this beer explodes out with force, keeping balanced and complimentary with the beer's classic yeast esters of clay and white pepper. Sweetness lingers throughout but never becomes cloying as this dry, champagne-like beer draws one in with sinister deception.

T - Sweet crystal candi sugar and pilsner malts lay a smooth foundation for Belgian yeast esters that closely reflect the aroma; a dash of white pepper and earthy clay. The yeast includes delicate suggestions of white grape and banana, which make a brief appearance before the healthy addition of coriander finishes out.

M - Carbonation dances on the tongue with Champagne-like effervescence, carrying the medium-light bodied beer through a sweet and soft feel to a dry and dangerously drinkable finish.

O - While many American brewers struggle to replicate Belgian style beers without coming off as an American counterpart, AleSmith's Horny Devil passes as the real deal, nailing not only the style but the use of a classic, hard-to-master yeast.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.8/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

One of the best, true to style Belgian Strong ale's I've ever tried from an American brewery. Ale Smith has hit it big here! Can't wait to try it again to see how my rating holds up. for now one of my top ratings. 4.9.

1-2016 update, opened up my other bottle that I have been cellaring for a year now. This beer is just as good as I remember it last year, and it might be even better. This holds up to any true Belgian from Belgium, 4.95

11/2016 update. Just finished my 3 bottle of this. Another 2015 cellared bottle and I have to say this is still a great beer but not as perfect as I originally reviews. It's just a little too sweat and clowy. As it warms it becomes a sugar syrup type creation. Still a world class Amarican take on this style, it's just a little on the sweat side. Rating dropped .25 through board. 4.65

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Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.79/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - pours a cloudy tangerine color, a thin bubbly head which dissipates to an uneven collar.

Aroma - the lip of the bottle and the cork smell like maple. The beer itself is a more basic nose of sugar, yeast, mixed nuts, and alcohol. It fades a bit but is still a great aroma.

Taste - big malts, Belgian candi sugar, and alcohol, everything where it ought to be. Then, on the swallow, this incredible roasted coffee flavor sneaks in from nowhere. Some alcohol warmth serves to enhance the nutty, roasty flavor. A great Belgian.

Mouthfeel - very solid body, level carbonation, some vapory alcohol feel.

Drinkability - liquid candy for adults. The roasty flavors take this beer up a level. Props to drewbage for this beauty. Another top notch winner from AleSmith.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.77/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

01/09/06- Purchased at Ledger's Liquors in Berkeley, CA

Presentation- 750ml bottle, top wrapped in silver foil. Poured into a chalice like glass.

Appearance- Darker orange colored pour. Fluffy white over an inch head. Condenses down to about 1/4 inch for the rest of the drink. Mid range sticky laces in a few places.

Smell- Doesn't really waft out of the glass. You have to stick your nose deep inside. When you get the whiff though, it is very nice. Huge fruity nose, vinous in effect. Kinda like and orchard smell. Orange, peaches, apricots and buckets of corriander.

Taste- As stated before, buckets upon buckets of corriander. This gives it it's huge orange drambuie type of flavor. Liquor or wine type of alcohol taste, maybe a slight amount of white pepper as well.

Mouthfeel- Middle of the road carbonation, super easy to drink as it warms. Very warming in the old tummy. Is 11% now as stated on the bottle rather than the listed 10%.

Drinkability- Goes down super easy and really hits you when you get to the end of the bottle. Will be buying this again for sure.

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Photo of russpowell
4.76/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours bronze into my Duvel Tulip with one finger of rocky ivory colored head. Above average head retention & below average lacing

s: Huge fruittyness: apricot, grapes, & candy sugar

T: Candy sugar, honey, apricots, with leafy & lemony hops up front. White pepper, pear brandy boozeyness with nice warming sense & pineapple as this warms. Finishes crisp with apple skins, & a bit of cinnamon, & some more pineapple

MF: Oily, low carbonation, pretty sticky & super balance

Drinks great for the ABV & style. Rivals anything I had in Belgium. AleSmith is quickly becoming favorite Cali Brewery!

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Photo of BergBeer
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

Look: Beautiful clear golden straw with a nice white head.

Smell: Huge Belgian candied sugar, Trappist yeast, orange, lemon, orange, pineapple, and sweet malt.

Taste: Beautiful! Orange, pineapple, lemon, Belgian sugar, slight peppercorn, earthy grassy tones, with an almost champagne finish.

Mouthfeel: Smooth on the attack but begins to dance on the tongue and goes down like champagne. Bright, bubbly, and almost delicate makes this just that much better.

Overall: So much flavor packed in to this beer that all mix into a sublime Belgian golden. Yet it is light and bubbly package holding together a beautiful beer. Amazed it is 10%. No hint at all. Artfully crafted and beautifully done.

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Photo of Celtics17
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

This is a big flavorful beer. It's a Belgian all the way through. Banana is the biggest taste I get. It's lovely all the way, along with small orange notes. This Belgian Strong Pale Ale has a nice refreshing , and sweet fruit quality.

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Photo of beeritron
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Horny Devil pours a hazy, deep gold color with a big, fluffy white head. The head remains thick after disappating just a little. Lots of lacing is left down the inside of the glass. The Smell is sweet and sour with a moderate hop aroma that is a little earthy. There is also a butterscotch and pear smell present. The coriander and spices used create a pleasant peppery scent. For an 11% beer, the alcohol is so well balanced that it is barely noticeable. The sweetness combines with the hoppiness and creates a wonderful flavor with a spicy aftertaste. Coriander, orange, and white pepper are noticeable in the taste along with bananas in the aftertaste. Horny Devil leaves the tongue tingling and yearning for more. The mouthfeel is thick and smooth with a nice effervescence. This is definitely one of the best beers I've had. I highly recommend it.

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Photo of Homers_Beer_Odyssey
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%

APPEARANCE - Cloudy orange with a 2-finger head that lasts. Good lacing.

AROMA/SCENT - Sweet, piney, herbaceous.

TASTE - Hoppy, piney, herbaceous, a little sweet. ABV well-hidden. A bit closer to an IPA than to a Belgian Ale.

MOUTHFEEL/PALATE/TEXTURE - A bit of carbonation.

VALUE - Reasonable.


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Photo of Jason
4.74/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 1 pint 9 oz champagne magnum that is corked capped and foiled. From their web site the reddish foil denotes that this is the 2001 vintage.

Appearance: Thin but fluffy white lace, decent retention. Slightly hazed with a golden orange going on copper colour.

Smell: Orange blossom honey and coriander, peaches and pears perfume through the nostrils. Sweet estery alcohols have an underlying spiciness. Hint of yeast is powdery and lightly nutty with some earthiness also.

Taste: Medium to full in body, creamy and slick mouth feel. Carbonation is at a moderate level but still holds the crispness. Alcohol is noticeable from the get go. Esters are quite flamboyant with both spicy and fruity sweet flavours. Peppery with tropical fruit flavours, vague pineapple and a peach-mango mix keep things on the complex side and give a slight wine-like impression. Hops are there with a bitterness and bitterness only, light but spicy. Phenols are there but slightly restrained, trace medicinal flavours are noticeable. Malt flavours are sweet and to a point close to syrupy, honey-like flavours with very light caramel and shortbread flavours within. Alcohol is warming to the body, earthy in the back with light yeasty flavours and remnants of the esters and phenols.

Notes: What effort put into this ale, richly complex with such a lush and complex character. Big on sweetness but the other attributes of this brew hold up strong to keep it in check. Other than the head lacking, perhaps from the carbonation being a tad low, this beer is near perfection.

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Photo of ILikeGoodCider
4.74/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed on 05.11.09 from a 750ml Champagne magnum. Capped & foiled with red (2001). Poured into a tulip glass as suggested by the bottle (it talks to you).

A: Fluffy white head, a bit thin. Retention is low. Orange-copper haziness.

S: Orange blossom & coriander, tropical fruits on the nose. I got some buttery (maybe honey) as well. The yeast seems light. Spicy alcohol lying underneath.

T: You can definitely tell the candi sugar is in there. Its got a nice sour thing going (probably from from the coriander). Very well balanced. A bit boozy, but the most tasty 11.0%'er on BA. The fruitiness in the background give this a wine-like complexity.

M: Rolls well around the tongue. Medium-to-full. Carbs are low but just enough.

What an outstanding beer. As I'm a newbie to the West Coast, I am truly impressed by Alesmith's effort here. I heard the hype walking into this tasting, so the bar was high - well played, Skip (& probably Tod).

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Photo of Crosling
4.74/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Another superb beer from Alesmith.

Poured a light peach. Nice head. Some lacing.

Fantastic nose loaded with banana esters, pears, mandarin oranges, sweet malts and lots and lots of coriander.

Delicious flavor. Mango, pineapple, peanut butter, green grapes, black peppers, banana and coriander throughout. This was one awesome tasting beer. Fluffy in the mouth and quite lovely. I want more.

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Photo of JohnnyMc
4.74/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A very decent Belgian style ale. Despite the strong abv there is not even the slightest hint of alcohol in the aroma or taste. This has almost a champagne type quality to it. There is a lot of malt in the taste, but it is balanced by the citrus and slight sweetness. A nice fresh slice of orange would go well with this.

The aroma has a fresh and slightly fruity smell that hints at the actual taste. A very easy to drink beer with a smooth finish and a very dry aftertaste. I would be interested in aging this at some point.

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Photo of cdkrenz
4.71/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Champagne bottle cellared above 45 degrees for a full year. Served at precisely 55 degrees.

A - Golden body with a great amount of carbonated action. The head is massive from the get-go in a pure white cloak. The stamina is extraordinary as it slowly fades leaving a meringue looking top... minus the toasty brown edges.

S - Pale malt, sweet alcohol, subtle SweetTarts and divinely hidden hops.

T - Thick malt flavor with a sweet finish. There's a certain Belgian yeast quality that doesn't overwhelm but is rather accented by the malts. There is no alcohol taste here even though the beer is 11% abv, which is rather amazing when you consider there are no roasted or heavy caramel malts evident in the beer. This is truly a world class bevy.

M - Coarse and abrasive in the beginning. As the bottle gets more and more shallow that abrasiveness wears out. This leads into a softer, easier drinking, medium bodied, thicker beer. It's nice and warm in the mouth, chest, stomach and eventually head. Even the finish drys nicely.

~ This is a fantastic beer. I don't for a minute regret holding on to it in my cellar for a year. When I purchased the brew I paid $11.99 at a super place in Orange, California called Hollingshead's Delicatessen. I look forward to going back, and when I do, I will pick up another bottle of this fine Belgian from Southern California.

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Photo of Derek
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This bottle is actually labeled 11% ABV.

An awesome brew, which I think is a little under-rated.

A: Pale yellow with a white head, a little retention & lace.

S: Alcohol, tropical fruit.

T: Bready malt sweetness is nicely balanced with hop bitterness. Earthy/spicy (presumably from the yeast), with some tropical fruit as well. It seems like it could have been fermented with different yeasts (or simply temperatures), then blended afterwards. The yeasty flavours really come through, as a Belgian Ale should!

The alcohol is certainly apparant, but doesn't seem as strong as it actually is... though it is pleasantly warming (especially in the finish).

M: Light to moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Awesome, considering the strength!

Thanks DrJay!

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Photo of mhewes
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A : Pours a nice cloudy golden with a thin white head that disappates quickly

S : Lots of citrus flavors in the smell

T : Starts off with a really sweet taste. You can definitely tell the candi sugar is there. Has a nice sour effect to it from the coriander. Very well balanced. I was surprised that I could not really taste the alcohol since it was 11%.

M : Good carbonation

D : This was easily drinkable and one that I would love to pick up again. An excellent brew.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Just 1 beer tonight-but what a beer! Up to this offering, I have tried 3 other Alesmith Beers; Anvil, India Pale Ale & X Pale Ale.

Presentation of the Horny Devil Ale (Vintage 2001) is just as restrained as the 3 above. Rather simple, almost basic, but now I know who Alesmith are, highly effective. The 1 Pint 9 fl.oz. brown glass bottle, just has a simple white motif, that is almost a 'trademark' of Alesmith. In this case the motif is a straight sided pint glass atop an Anvil, with the words ‘Horny Devil Ale’ underneath. On this occasion though, Alesmith have allowed themselves a little extravaganza & topped the bottle with a very dark copper colored thick champagne foil, that hides a steel crown cap, which in turn hides a well inserted Plastic ‘Cork’, some ¼” down from the lip (which made extraction a little more complicated than usual).
Drawing out of the rubber bung, gave a loud pop – but nothing else. No gun smoke, no frothing, rather an anti-climax after the struggle to remove it. The beer pours a hazy light copper color with some golden straw hue when held to the light. Minimal carbonation, results in only a handful of bubble streamers. Head is very thin, a mono-bubble tight collar, thickened at the interface with the glass wall & with a single patch in the middle revealing the bare copper colored beer. The pungent aroma of alcohol was highly prevalent as I poured this ale. Closer nosing reveals a more powerful smell of malts, with some feint hops in the background. The initial kick of alcohol gives a beautiful warming mouthfeel that introduces a complex somewhat fruity strong ale with some mild sweetness in the end. Warmth continues through the middle, but there is a minimal warming at the end. Lingering tastes are malt & some residual peachy sweetness.

I now know why Alesmith previously called this beer ‘Belgium Strong Ale’, for it describes it perfectly, & I also know why this is their most Award-Winning Ale. High alcohol coupled with extreme class; this is no street fighter, but more a martial arts expert. A late night beer that makes a perfect nightcap for those cold nights, & a great reminder of what I have to look forward to during my upcoming trip to Belgium.

Complaints? Er, well, only the lack of carbonation, but that’s all really & I feel this is nit-picking to be honest.

I have another Bottle of this, the reverse of the bottle recommends that it improves with age for another 6 to 24 months. I don’t know if I can wait that long though.

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Photo of freed
4.65/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Many thanks to weefishheads for sharing this. It was a large, nicely decorated 750ml bottle. About as attractive an item can be with horny painted on it. Poured, it shone pale yellow, a haze due to the sediment suspended in it. A very slight wisp of foam graced the top, but it was brief.

The aroma was ripe of apples and orchard. Yeast contributed greatly to the smells, though it was not overwhelming.

The taste was marvelous. mild pale malts, gala apple yeast and delicate spice combine to create a very subtle and pleasing drink. The near puree of sediment brush across your tongue as you drink, enhancing the experience greatly, and further suggesting fresh pressed apples.

Though a strong Belgian, there were not overtly strong flavors or sensations. It came across as a much lighter beer, and I was surprised to learn it was so highly alcoholic. I can't wait for next thanksgiving to share this at the table.

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AleSmith Horny Devil from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.04 out of 5 based on 993 ratings.
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