AleSmith Horny Devil | AleSmith Brewing Company

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390 Reviews
AleSmith Horny DevilAleSmith Horny Devil

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States | website

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: 390 | Ratings: 972
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It's unusual that I've never reviewed the Horny Devil because it's one of my favorite beers, and I've had more than a few bottles of it! Of course, in a way that does make sense because I'll quite often just skip the review and enjoy the beer to its fullest when I'm enjoying something that fits my personal tastes (mainly sour Belgians, but this one is good too!).

So what is it that catches my attention in the Horny Devil? Well, I guess it's the combination of softly sweet, and ever so lightly toasty, bready malt and low-key coriander. It's round and supple with a great drinkability.

It initially pours a very clear, brass-orange-gold body beneath a full head of white foam that dwindles readily to a thin collar leaving only thin webs of lace about the glass. The yeast pour brings it into full cloudiness.

The nose, however, redeems it with a rich, sweet, and bready malt that's accented by a delicate prick of alcohol and a minor waft of spice.

The body is medium and it's smooth and supple across the palate with a restrained, natural carbonation. However, in older bottles it does develop a bit more crispness.

The flavor is exactly as the nose suggests with just a bit more depth. The bready,vanilla-ish, lightly caramelish, and subtly toasty malt acts as the stage for some entertaining swirls of yeasty fruit, spice, and alcohol. It's basic, but very well-balanced and quite drinkable (with the exception of its strength).

In my opinion, 3 years seems to be the max on this one before it starts to shrivel up. It doesn't develop any more character through aging, and all that happens is that it becomes more crisp and dry. There's a wide medium ground, but I find it best fairly fresh - within a year or two.

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Photo of MiScusi
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Stone Brewing Co. Bright and shiney gold in color with a white head leaving very good lacing. A lot of belgian yeast and mustiness in the aroma, not as sweet or fruity as other Belgian strong pale ales. The taste was earthy, alcoholy, with light malt and sugars that had a slick feel to it. Almost the consistency of many double IPA's. I enjoyed this beer though, it's not like a lot of others in the style that are a little more thin and fruity but it does a good job of putting all the components together and making an interesting beer.
4 / 3.5/ 4 / 3.5 / 4

Sampled from a bottle 12/23/07. Much better than I remembered when having on tap at Stone. The smell was much better, had a nice belgian yeast mustiness plus a lot of fruitiness in it. The taste wasn't as dry and yeasty as some other belgian pale's like Damnation for instance.
4 / 4.5 / 4.5 / 4 / 4.5

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Photo of Bighuge
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazed pale appearance. Dark golden. Very little head. Slight off white collar. Lacing is spotty. Whiffs of alcohol, corriander, a little doughy yeastiness and spice come across my nose. Sweet aroma. The sweet corriander and orange hit the palate first, but it is quickly washed away by the sting of ethanol. But the alcohol blends into the nice biscuity maltiness and doughiness of the beer. Yeast properties are pretty big. A little fruitiness. Some baker's yeast. Phenolics. Pretty nice, eclectic flavor profile. The mouthfeel is lightly carbonated. And the body is about medium. Good drink.

Thank's for the horny beer Mr. Bum.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours beautiful clear light golden with small quickly receding head. Bubbles like champagne and they keep coming up from the bottom. Smell of coriander, honey, apples and pears. A little funk. Fruity flavor Very effervescent. Flavors follow the smell exactly, with some extra sweetness. Less dry than I expected from the aroma. Clean finish and light mouthfeel. Very nice. I liked this a lot.

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Photo of AlexJ
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark pour for a BSPA, deep amber orange, glowing from within. Head is large and frothy, retains well and deposits generous lacing.

Aroma is sweet and fruity, gently perfumed with notes of citrus, peaches, green apples, pear, mango, and plenty of spicey coriander and clove. Belgian yeast notes are pleasingly authentic.

Flavor is much the same. Ripe, harvest fruits are the main attraction; apples, peaches or apricot, pinapple, grape, and subtle citrus blended with coriander and baking spice notes. Finish dries out with grassy, peppery hops. Again, hard to believe this is not Belgian.

Body is nearly large, texture is soft and refined with a slick, dry mouthfeel and well concealed abv%, making it dangerously drinkable.

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Photo of cjgiant
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle no date:
Pours a straw-golden and very clear. Visible random bubbles form a starry night across the glass, rising slowly to supply the lid of foamy head atop the surface.

The nose hit me just before I started pouring, and was definitely what the label says - a spiced Belgian, in the ilk of Allagash White (though not a witbier). Belgian esters of banana with a little indistinguishable light fruit tart note as well. The coriander comes out more early, but is always present in the nose.

The notes from the nose are all represented in the taste. However, the banana takes a back seat to an apple pulp sweet-tartness (more of the former). The spice also bites into the palate early (perhaps aided by a prickly carbonation feel), and lingers in an almost white pepper taste in the end. The beer has a nice light feel to it, but the flavors add a depth to the beer to add a little heft to it.

Very enjoyable, but perhaps a little sweeter than I'd like. It crosses so many t's and dots a lot of i's for style, but is just off from being a home run to me. You shouldn't pass it up, though, if you have a chance to see for yourself.

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Photo of adamette
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review. Poured from the 750 ML brown bottle capped with a dark red foil covering that I bought at Save-On Tobacco & Beverage in Mentor for $12.99 a few weeks ago into my gold rimmed Brewery Ommegang Westvleteren style goblet. No observed "best by" date. I like how there is no label. The information is printed right on the bottle.

A Nice translucent golden body under an off white fluffy head that leaves trace lacing. There is visible sediment and lines of carbonation rising up. This is a really good look. 4.5

S Light malt and a pleasing coriander, organic, spice like presence. Light, interesting, inviting. I do not pick up a lot of alcohol which was a bit of a surprise considering the bottle's printed message indicates an 11% ABV. 4.0

T This reminds me of a Belgian Strong Pale Ale with a Saison attitude with the coriander. Candi sugar malt backdrop with coriander soft, light spice up front. It is really a unique taste. There is an appropriate heat from the alcohol but it is framed correctly. The best feature is that it is delicious. I do not know how it can be improved. 5.0

M Much carbonation makes this beer dance across the tongue and there is a fair abount of syrupy stickiness as well. That with the ABV makes for a big beer but it results in a very drinkable 11% ABV beer. 4.0

D As suggested, for the high ABV this is entirely drinkable since it really maintained my interest until the last sip. 4.0

Notes: This is the 5th consecutive AleSmith beer that I have rated. This one is a very enjoyable Belgian Strong Pale Ale from AleSmith, clearly a great brewery.

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Photo of SPThirtyThree
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear, pale straw with about a finger of eggshell head, which quickly disspates to some cirrus swirls and a collar of lacey foam.

The nose is dark and complex, with a blend of spices, coriander and dark fruit. There's a soft malt amidst a Chimay-like metallic tang and clove, fig, and musk.

The taste is surprisingly light and crisp, but otherwise as the nose suggests. There's a lingering heat in the taste and aftertaste. The heat is very stong, and almost fusel-like, but it's not overpowering or unpleasant. Candi sugar, toffee, clove, pennies, pears, plum, clove honey, and apricot are all present.

The flavor is sweet, tangy, and bitter, but spice dominates. It's very drinkable, especially considering the high ABV.

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Photo of flyingpig
4.44/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2012 Vintage (750ml) from Brewdog's Online Shop:
Another brilliant beer from AleSmith, the quality really shows through with this one and it is remarkably easy to drink despite the fact it comes in at 11% abv. and is packed with flavour. It's more fruity than I was expecting but the balance is great and the carbonation is perfect, helping the beer down far too easily for the strength of the beer. Simply put, this one is a must try for any beer fan and one that was well worth the very expensive price tag - definitely a beer that has aged well since I picked it up a couple of years ago.

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Photo of MattyG85
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Duvel tulip glass. Bottled on 07/03/13.

Appearance: Pours a bright and clear straw golden orange with a moderate amount of bubbles. About fingers of white head that slowly fade into a thin patchy layer. Leaves a good amount of lacing around the glass.

Smell: A yeasty and zesty fruit driven Belgian aroma. Belgian yeast upfront with hints of funk, clove, peppers, and some sweet candied sugar. Good hints of coriander spicing. Fruit esters of banana, pear, apple, and white grape along with citrus fruit hints of orange, pineapple, lemon zest, apricot, and slight mango. Pale malt with hints of grains, crackers, and biscuit. Slight honey like sweetness as well. Light hints of earthy and floral hops. A very good Belgian style aroma.

Taste: As zesty and good as the aroma, a big taste of fruit notes and spicy yeast. Upfront Belgian yeast with some funk and notes of clove, peppers, and a good dose of coriander spicing. Sweet Belgian candied sugar. Lots of fruit esters with notes of bananas, white grape, pear, apple, and citrus notes of orange, lemon zest, pineapple, mango, and apricot. Slight note of honey. Bready pale malt with notes of grains, biscuit, crackers, and slight caramel. Nicely earthy with some subtle hops in the background. A little taste of the alcohol. Very good.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high level of carbonation. Spicy, juicy, and fairly prickly. Pretty smooth and the alcohol heat is pretty mild.

Overall: A very good take on a Strong Belgian Pale Ale. Very good spice and fruit flavors. Pretty smooth for its size and ABV.

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Photo of unionturf
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I received a bottle of this from a friend on a recent trip to Ohio. We had it at a cook out and curiosity from a few friends and my wife all who don't like beer got the best of them....they tried it.

Pours golden and had a huge head that had to dissipate to finish the pour. Smell is good with coriander and spice...taste was excellent as stated above 3 non beer likers tried this and all 3 said in a surprised voice they liked it. They best described it as it had a cider taste.

MF and drinkability were excellent, I could have drank this all night...well maybe not all night since it's 11% but this brew hid the 11% well!

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Photo of clvand0
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a copper color with a small head that sticks around for some time. The aroma is comprised of an orange/corriander feel and sweetness. Smells great. The flavor is very malty and sweet with some spices (corriander/orange) and a bit of grainyness. Extremely well crafted beer. Loved this one and I'm looking forward to the other AleSmith beers.

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Photo of Bierlerner
4.46/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Golden copper. Hazy. Fluffy white head with great retention and lacing. Lots of little bubblies going on to keep a faint tiny head alive

S- Pretty typical of a belgian strong pale ale. Light aroma. Yeasty, bready, and little bit of fruit. Perhaps apple.

T&M - Outstanding and delicious. Apples, mangos, a bit of pineapple. Warming alcohol on the lips. Yeasty. Bit of peppery spice. Lemony grassy kiss with bits of honey and caramel. And subtle faint hint of hops. Light and playful carbonation for a creamy mouthfeel with a medium body. Pretty complex. Lots of layers in this beer. The 11%abv is there, but not alarming. Its pretty well masked.

O- Outstanding. Even though 11%, I could drink this beer all night long. Love it.

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Photo of Wildman
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a copper amber color and formed a small bubbly off white head that left trace lace as it subsided quickly. A small amount of carbonation is present. A nice aroma of malt, hops, coriander and plums. The flavor consisted of both malt and hops with background of corinader with some sweet fruity undertones. The body was slightly creamy and the finish a touch astrigent, yet bittersweet. Not a bad beer, but a bit pricey.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured cold into a standard pint, thanks to mac300 for sharing this.

A - A clear golden amber w/ a thin pale head.

S - Fruit loop scents and herbal hop w/ grassy clover scent. A cherry like malty fruitiness.

M - Thick full-on malt, spiced w/ heat of booze. The feel is bordering on viscous w/ warmth that lasts.

T - Well made complex ale flavors right off. Fruit and malt combine w/ cedar and sweet candy like tastes. An intense and fruity interpretation for sure w/ decent hop accents.

D - Strong in flavor and abv strength as evidence in the feel goes. A real easy drinker for the amount of punch it is packing. Sometimes gives the effect of a barleywine with the fruity intensity and plenty of wood accenting it.

Edit -8/19/09 previous review - a-4 s-4.5 m-4.5 t-4 d-4
Strange I had this very same beer 2 years ago to the day. Thanks foofaa for the deja vu!
Poured chilled from the 750ml into a sampler and refilled.
A - Golden pineapple juice color w/ mild haze and creamy snowy cap.

S - lots of coriander and tropical aromas of mango and lime, mild white pepper and aromatic hebal notes

M - Crisp, highly carbonated, spicey feel w/ sweet aspect, mild vinous touch w/ alcohol present and slightly dry finish w/yeasty fruitiness

T - A deep banana laced w/ lemony bright flavor and zesty nutty pepper edge. Plenty of coriander giving off both fruit and spice which is accented by the yeast w/ mild ginger-like flavors. The taste of kumquat is hinted at.

D - Fantastic beer, just phenomenal drinkability - wonderful to taste again after about 730 days -exactly.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

750ml bottle purchased in mid-October. Poured into my Chimay Chalice.

A- Body is a rich gold hue. Pours with a creamy 1 finger white head. Head fades to a smooth creamy eggshell appearance. Fogginess is medium and basically uniform throughout-though some tiny yeast particles can be seen floating throughout the body. Bubbles are constantly rising to the top-but that's a feature of the glass.

S-Smell is decadent. Probably the best smelling American BSPA I have come across yet. Nose is a perfect balance of bready Belgian Ale Yeast, citrus, Belgian candy sugar, and wonderful floral hop aromas.

T-Pleasant taste upfront with a nice balance of Belgian candy sugar, Belgian ale yeast, citrus, and coriander. The character of all the initial flavors stays strong for the finish but a big presence of floral hop flavor and hints of alcohol are added. Left to linger is a residual bitterness of hops and alcohol that has medium strength; and loads of sugary and bready sweetness to balance it out. A great bitter-sweet taste.

M- High carbonation and body consistency reflects the high alcohol content. Somewhat smooth from the yeast-but there could be a lot more here to balance the alcohol.

D-This is a very nice BSPA. I will buy this again the next time I am out-of state (as well as the Alesmith and Yulesmith IPAs). Alesmith is quickly becoming one of my favorites-but I can't get it unless I take an 80 min trip. The alcohol is quite noticable in the mouthfeel and this is a great example of my favorite style-but is not my favorite example. The mouthfeel could use some improvement. I do wish that more of these American-Belgians were brewed with the same craftmanship as this one.

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Photo of popery
4.47/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Excellent Belgian with a complex, well-melded flavor. The beer pours a cloudy golden color with thick, rich head. There's plenty of lacing. The aroma is excellent. I was surprised to find authentic, excellent Belgian ale aromas and flavor. The aroma is mostly spice, cloves and coriander seed. The flavor is a strong kick of candied apricot and sweet caramel. It's earthy and more complex than the majority of American made Belgian-style ales. It's accessible and very easy to like. Drinkability is great. The alcohol is barely felt, except as a pleasant warming sensation. The sweetness is delicious and never overbearing. It's an excellent beer.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
4.48/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Well this is one of those beers that took me by surprise: expectation verses final outcome. Poured from a 750ml bottle into my oversized Tempelier chalice/snifter. Pours a hazy straw color, with a massive frothy off-white colored head. Head rose to about 3 fingers with a normal pour. Decent retention, took about 5 minutes to dissipate. Never quite disappears though...remains as a creamy later on the surface. Leaves a nice creamy lacing...although it's a quick slider.

A aroma is very pleasant, although not very strong. Orange peel, flowers, wheat, and sweet fruits. Smells like spring time!

Flavor is fantastic! I dont why I expected a bit hoppier of a beer...but this is mellow and delicious. Lots of sweet smelling citrus fruit, orange peel, coriander, wheat, mildly funky. Big carbonation, light crisp mouthfeel. Biggest compliment I can say though is this is a great drinker! Everything about the consistency and flavor makes this beer extremely palitable. Great beer from AleSmith!

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Photo of ujsplace
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep golden colored ale that is actively carbonated and boasts a descent if fleeting head. Not much in the way of lacing - at least on the first pour.

Smells of sweet candied malt, yeast and coriander. Great nose. I could smell this all day. It's got my salivary gland going....

Tastes spicy; peppery, coriander and possibly some clove. The candied malt balances the spiciness and there is a faint hop. Very complex and well done - tasty. Finishes dry.

Medium, crisp and refreshing.

First I've had from AleSmith - thanks hon. A great brew. Love the style and this is more than worthy. I would highly recommend this BSPA.

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Few brewers are able to capture the traditional and authentic taste of Belgium like Alesmith does with Horny Devil. Its light, effervescent, powerful and chocked full of subtle complexities.

Upon the pour, the ale springs to life as large bubbles of froth race to the rim of the tulip and nearly overtakes it. As it continues to billow, it pulls away from the medium haze and golden straw body underneath. Incredibly strong retention and intricate lacing patterns reinforce the notion of Bruges right from the beginning.

Fruit and perfume waft about the nose and does so with a backbone of light wheat and champagne. Lightly earthy from hops and with a light pungent cork-like musty scent, the aromas are bold and graceful. Green apples, under-ripened oranges and a hint of spiced pear weave in and out of a dry white wine note just as coriander, white pepper and a hint of paradise seed tingles the nose, heading into that first sip.

Its taste springs to life with fruit and earth. As the dry taste of sparkling white wine bring about obvious white grape character, its also lightly cider, perry-like and decorated with dried orange peels. Lemon-like acidity fuels its dry fruit taste as the ale builds in a mild lemongrass hop character. Its buffer of light cookie dough, dry crackers and whole wheat lifts beautifully from the taste and allows the ale to close cleanly. Its spiciness of coriander and peppercorn play delicately on the late palate as one final champagne note trails in its finish.

Light on the palate, the ale is zesty as its carbonation springs from the tongue and as the acidity pangs on the mouth. It carries an arid feel that dries out beautifully in the finish with a crisp, minerally taste seemingly of plaster. Its dry warmth keeps the taste and texture returning to champagne.

Again, the ale is chocked full of understated complexity and finesse. Its balance and layering is easily overlooked, but are the details that give Horny Devil an authentic and genuine character.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My first beer from Alesmith and one that is definately deserving of an all '5' rating. Presented in a 750ml corked and capped champagne-style bottle with some red foil wrapping around the top of the bottle. The bottle itself has some very nice simple writing on it and a tidbit about how this is Alesmiths most award winning beer! This beer pours a beautifully clear orange colour with a little white head. The aromas are wonderful and consist of the following: citrus fruits, various types of malts, fresh hops, candy sugar, yeast, coriander, and various other spices, as well as alcohol. The taste was a wonderful blend of all of the above aromas. This was one really good tasting brew. The alcohol was well hidden, but the alcohol that was there blended well with all of the other complex flavors. The mouthfeel was a tad bit under-carbonated but it was very full and satisfying to say the least. The drinkability was awesome. I could have drank 2 750's of this stuff if I wanted to!

All in all this is one of the best, Belgian-style, strong-golden ales I have ever encountered.

A big cheers to EyeChartBrew for the bottles of this nectar that he sent me!

Update: I've since had many better BSPA's than this one. While it is still a damn fine brew, it is not deserving of all 5's!

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Photo of HipHop5
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Creamy 3 finger head. Retains for quite some time.
Patchy and sticky lacing on a tulip.
Deliver absolute rich spicy and sour bread Belgian yeast peach and tart fruits.
Elegant Orange copper and murky, with some sediments floating. Medium light body.
Caramel and sour right on first contact. Tart orange peel fruity hop bite and extremely dry spicy finish. Strong carbonation from bottle conditioning is really opening the complexity of this outstanding Belgian style ale flavor profile. Better at about 50 F to 55 F.
Well disguised ABV, still lives you with a warmth that makes you feel content and cozy inside.
It's a meal in itself:)

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Photo of blankust
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Served from bottle into chalice style glass

Appearance: Golden with 1 finger creamy white quickly dissipating head.
Smell: nice hoppy aroma
Taste: Can taste spices on front, buttery malt thoughout, very smooth and balances, hides 10% alcohol very well, very good beer.

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Photo of miadw3
4.5/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into a tulip.

A - The beer pours a beautiful golden orange with the color deepening nearer to the center. The head lingers, and leaves excellent lacing.

S - Smell is a combination of fruit (peaches, apricot, pears), pale malt, and coriander. Compliments the color perfectly.

T - Begins sweet with malt and fruit, and transitions into a bit of alcohol (11% after all) and spice. Finishes nicely with coriander.

M - Carbonation is perfect. Medium body, and very drinkable.

O - One of my favorite beers. Very refreshing on a warm day, and the varied, yet balanced, flavoring works well.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.51/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from 11/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a pale, clear orange amber. Nice snow white head leaving lacing. Looks very nice. Fruit, especially citrus and Belgian spicing aroma. Moderate heavy bodied, which is nice considering how pale this is. Complex fruit flavors and coriander with something happening through the taste. Ends with a spicy, peppery finish. Nice carbonation bite. Overall a pleasure to drink. Very nice.

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AleSmith Horny Devil from AleSmith Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 390 ratings.
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