Decadence 2006 Dead By Dawn
AleSmith Brewing Company

Decadence 2006 Dead By DawnDecadence 2006 Dead By Dawn
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American Strong Ale
4.22 | pDev: 11.14%
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Decadence 2006 Dead By DawnDecadence 2006 Dead By Dawn
Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 123 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.89/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Thanks to drewone for sharing this one at jmgrub's birthday tasting.

Pours a murky crimson-brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to a film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, caramel, and herbal hop aromas. Taste is much the same with caramel and toffee flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of hop 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 good beer that is tasty and still holding up well in my opinion.

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Photo of MasterSki
4.2/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle generously shared by dyan. Came in with pretty low expectations for six-year-old Imperial Red Ale. Served in a tulip.

A - Generous off-white foam settles to a thick collar, wispy patches, and splotchy lace. Transparent dark ruby-colored body. Carbonation has held up quite well.

S - There's a definite aged character, with some complementary port-like oxidation. However, the predominant flavors are a mix of red ale flavors like treacle and red licorice, and barleywine-esque milled brown sugar, maple, caramel, and perhaps a hint of chocolate.

T - The taste hasn't held up quite as well, as there's a bit more hollow and oxidized character, particularly late in the profile. There's also a bit of residual hop bitterness that came as a bit of a surprise. Still - shockingly good consider the original flavor profile and age.

M - Medium-full sticky body, lower carbonation, extremely mellow, with minimal alcohol, and a nice lingering, sticky finish.

D - Surprisingly enjoyable stuff - I was supposed to drink this with Dyan years ago and thankfully it appears to have aged gracefully. I'd certainly drink another properly cellared bottle, and I'm intrigued by the barrel-aged (and sour?) version.

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Photo of DefenCorps
4.17/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle received as an extra from largadeer in our second trade many moons ago, split with Alex earlier today. Thanks, Chris!

Clear dark brown with mahogany highlights, there's a dense, brown head with excellent retention and lacing. While this beer was reportedly hoppy early on in its life, it isn't any more. Smelling like a nicely aged imperial red/barleywine, there's nice blend of brown sugar, red licorice, a little nutty malt, a touch of burnt sugar and some hop bitterness too. A little leather and wet tobacco are also present.

The palate has brown sugar, plums, raisins and a very nice fruitiness. While this beer clearly isn't fresh, it definitely isn't worse for the wear IMO.Moderately sweet with brown sugar, some vanilla , maple sugar, toffee and more burnt sugar than the nose would suggest. Bitterness is low, mostly from the mild wet tobacco-like flavors. Medium-full in body with smooth carbonation, this is wonderful on the palate. The flavors that linger on the finish are great too - dark fruit, tobacco, brown sugar and vanilla. Quite excellent, I'm glad I got to try it, this is very enjoyable

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Photo of JAXSON
3.92/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks Bennett for the bottle. Pours a hazy dark burgundy that looks chestnut out of the light, with a fairly lively tan head. Nose is super sweet, malty, chewy. Figs, dates, honey, raisins, toffee. Quite sweet in the mouth, lots of raisins and toffee. Dare I say, a "toffee bomb." Pleasant alcohol heat carries throughout the palate. Finish has a lot of toffee and dark chocolate. Carbonation is pretty sharp. Kind of dries out a bit after breathing. Has a lot of good things going on but the palate just feels a little sluggish and muddled, with that chocolate on the finish that comes across as oxidation. Still quite nice, like a big malty barley wine tending toward something else, old ale maybe with the way it expresses that oxidized finish.

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Photo of nickd717
4.15/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle thanks t0rin0.

Pours a slightly hazy dark mahogany red color with a one-finger tan head that lasts.

Great aroma, big caramel, dark fruits, and sherry oxidative notes.

Great flavor, barleywine-like and old but in a good way. Big sherry to go along with the caramel malt, with sweet candied dark fruits and maybe even some spice.

Any booziness in this is GONE like the ’N Sync song. Great beer, even after 4+ years. AleSmith, f-in’ A, they can brew.

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Photo of claspada
4.08/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a thick deep brown with ruby highlights and a nice creamy khaki head which recedes with ample lacing.
The aromas begin with sweet rich dark caramelized malts.

Toffee and dark fruits, leather, tobacco. Faint citrus and earthy hops which is surprising after 4+ years.

The tastes begin with dark fruit (dates, raisins) and toffee, light cocoa. As it warms the leather and tobacco flavors become quit dominant. The hop flavors are also in the background; earth and light citrus. No alcohol tastes but you can tell from the complex deep flavors this is a massive beer.

Mouthfeel is full with medium to low carbonation. Sticky and slick. If not for the carbonation and huge hopping which must have taken place, this would be cloying, but thankfully it is not.

Overall this has held up amazingly well over the years. It is really deep and complex and really heavy on the tongue. Not for the faint of heart. Most intense malt-bomb I have had to date.

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Photo of blackie
4.12/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

been sitting on this bottle for quite awhile (wish I could shout-out the source), probably since the release, back when Alesmith was still a buzzed brewery - you could certainly argue that age hasn't done it any harm

a: served in a tulip glass, the beer is a deep brown in color with ruby highlights, the head forms lightly but retains a healthy ring quite well

s: nose dosed with lots of heavily caramelized sugars - toffee and malt syrup, dark fruits, raisin, date, sweet alcohol, leather, fruit laced pipe tobacco, hops mild and/or very much faded, providing a meek counter to the strong malts

m: carbonated low, the body a malty, medium-full with a sugary slickness

t: heavy caramelized malt syrup flavors, fruity dark sugars, toffee, sweet tobacco, raisin and date, quite sweet, totally malt-forward, only a mild hop tinge at the finish, alcohol hardly evident

o: certainly a nice beer, and a definite malt-bomb, drinks well with the abv hardly showing

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Photo of corby112
4.03/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml received in a past trade with JCB. Thanks again Jason!

Pours a deep, dark ruby color that's completely opaque with bright golden ruby edges when held to a light and a 1.5 finger light beige head that slowly fades into a lasting ring. Sporadic streaks and chunks of lacing are left behind.

Sweet leathery malt aroma that is nicely balanced out by hints of dark fruit, earthy pine and citrus hops. I'm really surprised how hop-forward this beer still is given that it came out five years ago. Although it is still plenty hoppy, the leathery malt profile is most prominent with hints of caramel, toffee and biscuit.

Medium bodied and fuller than expected with a good balance of earthy and sweet hops and sweet, leathery malt. Only slightly boozy and not really hot at all with subtle warmth in the finish. Very complex with the sweet pine and citrus hop flavors complimenting the sweet caramel, rye, toffee and hazelnut notes. A bit dry and bitter but still nicely balanced. The malt backbone is slightly toasted with a nice dark fruit presence, especially dark cherry, grape and plum. I'm glad that this beer held up but I think it might have reached it's peak.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.67/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A huge thank you to an exceedingly generous BA for bringing this to our tasting. Review from notes.

Lovely garnet, quite clear, with a slight head that diminished quickly to a ring. Oh my, this is a sweet beer. I can tell just from the aroma. A burst of caramel, brown sugar, dates, and English toffee. Ever so slight hint of cocoa, but very slight indeed. This beer is immensely sweet, yet immensely delicious. There is no satisfactory description. Layers of goodness from the initial caramel, followed closely by toffee and plums, then a layer of what reminded me slightly of maple cognac, and finally, a long lasting and lingering sweet finish. Goodness, there should be no end to this beer. Carbonation is approaching the lower end of the spectrum, but it works nicely for this beer. Excellence indeed.

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Photo of Gobzilla
4.02/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a deep ruby amber in color with a brown and pale yellow highlights that had a thin bubbly head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: upfront on the aroma I got a mixture of caramel and dark fruit notes along with brown sugar lots of sweet malts and faint toffee notes.

T: the taste was also big on caramel flavors and malts with some toffee dark fruit accents but with slight brown sugar notes. It didi also have a touch of booze as well.

M: the brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, dark fruity, mild boozy, and sticky finish.

D: it drank decent but was definitely a sipper and was a tasty brew really glad I got to finally test drive this beer.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.13/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750ml bottle into an imperial pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep reddish brown color, with a large off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of hops, some alcohol, caramelized malts, dark fruit and brown sugar.

T: The taste is bready up front with a hearty malt character followed by sweet flavors of caramel, brown sugar and dark fruit. Then a strong but subdued hops presence comes in along with a mild alcohol bite. It's pretty well-balanced even if some of the balance has come with age. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, not too filling, strong kick, good representation of "Imperial Red" sub-style (before the trend started), this aged bottle overall was pretty good, but I have a feeling I would have liked this beer even more when it was fresh.

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Photo of jrallen34
4.42/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I drank this from the bottle into my Orval glass.

The beer pours a dark resigh brown with about a finger of tan head, good retention and great lacing.

The aroma is strong with tons of malt and alcohol. The malts present as mostly caramel with light hops, uncannly similar to a barleywine.

The taste is also very bwish, sweet caramel to start balanced by a light hopw finish.

The biggest problem here is the feel, light to the feel, not much of a finish.

Overall, this is a great easy drinker.

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Photo of glid02
4.35/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by a kind soul.

Pours a murky dark amber color with a small off-white head. The head recedes into a patchy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of rich caramel malts with a surprisingly large bittering influence from the three-year-old hops. Also present are hints of butterscotch.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Caramel malt flavors kick things off and are joined quickly by mild amounts of butterscotch and toffee flavors. Midway through the sip very mild amounts of actual hop flavors come into play - mostly leafy - but they do mellow out the sweetness of the malts, carrying through to a mildly bitter ending.

Mouthfeel is very good. It's got a smooth thickness with grainy carbonation.

Drinkability is also very good. I finished my glass very quickly and could easily have another.

Overall I was impressed with how well this beer held up however I wasn't impressed with how much I liked it given AleSmith's track record. Worth a shot if you can track one down.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.95/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The pour is a slightly hazy rich amber color with plenty of red notes to it. The head is bubbly and cream in color.

S: The nose is highly sweet, but what else do you expect from a 4 year old beer? Plenty of brown sugar and caramel with a feeble pine note.

T: Like I expected ,the flavor is also very heavy on the caramel with some sweet brown sugar and toffee notes as well. There is not much in the way of bitterness nor alcohol.

M: The body is quite full with a somewhat low level of carbonation. Not exactly syrupy, but it is rich.

D: A little too sweet without much else going on, and while the alcohol doesn't announce it's presence through heat, the beer still packs a bunch.

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Photo of Gatch
3.83/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A nice amber hue with a thick, bubbly head, beige in color.

S - Sweet, malty, alcohol.

T - Very malty, sugary, fruity. Complex but mellow from the aging. Nothing stands out though.

M/D - Very sweet and a bit cloying. Enjoyable and somewhat drinkable, especially for the presumably high alcohol content after all this time aging.

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Photo of muttyd
3.5/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Burnt sugar, caramel, and toasted malt aroma. Slight spiciness as well.

Very sweet beer. I can imagine that the 3 years of aging helped mellow it out, but this is one sweet beer. Flavor follows the aroma, but heavier on the sugar/spiciness. Sticky on the palate, alcohol well hidden.

I could not believe when I found this one hidden behind a bunch of other beers on the top shelf of a random liquor store, but I must say I was slightly disappointed. Overall a good beer, but not as balanced as I had hoped.

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Photo of HopHead84
4/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle opened with checkii in the penthouse suite of the US Grant on 9/25/2009. The beer is dark reddish brown with a one inch beige head.

The nose is dominated by rich caramel. The once mighty hops have faded to a subtle lingering pine. Some candied sugar is evident. There's a touch of oxidation.

The taste is also sweet and sugary caramel. There's a little bitterness and pine with a moderate booziness. The caramel is very rich and delicious. This held up surprisingly well.

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Photo of ffejherb
3.75/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Vintage 2006 750ml bottle into goblet on 10/4/09. Thanks to sholland119 for sharing!

A - Poured a deep brown body with a swirly tan head that reduced into a bubbly patch and spotty lace.

S - Warm and boozy with dark chocolate notes. The alcohol presence is a bit obtrusive, unfortunately, even after the liquid warmed up a bit.

T - Woody, oaky notes with lots of dark bitter chocolate and a hint of coffee that gains strength in the backend and through to the finish. The boozy alcohol presence presists throughout.

M - Full bodied and viscous with a smooth, oily texture and lightly carbonated mouthfeel. Lots of alcohol warmth on the palate. Finish is quite bitter and lingers for a while on the back of the tongue.

D - Like flames from a bazooka, this is really hot. The alcohol presence dominates almost to the point that it hinders the drinkability... even after three years of cellaring.

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Photo of srroos
4.28/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750mL bottle into a snifter. Dark amber with a large tan head which fades into a nice cap. Aroma is all malty sweetness: caramel, toffee, and brown sugar. Taste is very sweet: mostly brown sugar, maple and honey. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and highly carbonated, with a nice bitter finish. Slightly boozy, but still very drinkable.

An excellent beer that I'd love to get a hold of again!

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Photo of tpd975
3.9/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice reddish brown hue with a nice tall cream colored head. Pretty good retention and some lace.

S: Very much caramel and toffee forward. The hops are there but they have faded from the hop forward beer this once was.

T: Malty yummy sweetness. Tons of caramel, brown sugar, and gooey toffee. Subtle sweet piney notes from the hops. The slightest bit of oxidation was picked up. If you have one I would kill it off now.

M: On the fuller side of medium for the style, rich.

D: Tasty malty treat. Not the hop monster it once was, but it has settled into a nice smooth beer.

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Photo of younger35
4.3/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this brew many moons ago from BeerTruth in the original Fight Club BIF. It's been gently aging for at least 18 months now so let's dive into this tastiness. Drank from my Ithaca Excelsior tulip (ironically, also from BeerTruth in the same box).

Appearance- Pours a very dark crimson brownish with a nice one finger dark tan head. A thin cap and collar is maintained the entire beer along with a shit load of thick sticky lacing.
Smell- Smells like a sort of candied up Barleywine. Big and malty and sweet in the nose with massive amounts of caramel, butterscotch and toffee. Vanilla and a bit of alcohol creep in as well. The hops have turned and now are fruity and full of candied goodness. A bit of raw rock candy, red licorice and cherry cola all burst out of the glass.
Taste- Wow, definitely not what I expected as this thing is way more tame and balanced than what the nose led me to believe. It's a sort of lightly sweet brew with a very luscious fruitiness and a light candied aspect. Reminds me vaguely of Worthers Original. There is a slight bitterness that hangs toward in the background as the red licorice and candied ginger really show. The alcohol is very warm going down and a light bitterness really lingers.
Mouthfeel- Medium to heavy body with a very decadent (hey hey) feel. I can't believe how full bodied the beer is yet somehow it feels light and airy without being super carbonated
Drinkability- Really tasty brew that goes down fairly easy for the most part. I can't taste the alcohol at all but somehow as it mixes with the spiciness of the hops I can feel it all the way down the pipes. Very good brew though that I wish I could have tried fresh as well. Thanks Adam!

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Photo of joe1510
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4


This bottle came courtesy of errantnight and has been chilling in the cellar for a good 15 months, thanks Derek! Dead by Dawn shows off a beautiful cherry wood body with ruby highlights around the edges of the glass. A beige head grows to two fingers on the pour and as it settles down to one becomes incredibly dense and sticky. Sheet lacing is left behind after every single drink.

Handfuls of rich gooey caramel get things started with a faded but still surprisingly citric hoppiness evening things out. The citrus runs along the lines of candied orange and lime peel which make this beer very candy-like when combined with the massive caramel maltiness. There's a solid helping of toffee thrown in for good measure on the backend.

Again, rich, dark, gooey caramel lays it down right off the bat. The hops are back with fairly intense candied citrus in the form of orange and lime peel. You can tell the hops have faded but what's left gives the sensation of candy. The taste of lime peel brings with it a touch of saltiness. Toffee again brings up the rear and adds another layer of depth to this already deep brew.

The body has a moderate weight on the tip of the tongue but manages to pick up a little stick on its way through, never quite reaching full. The carbonation is there, moderate, but has a nice soft feel allowing the beer to work through at its own pace.

The caramel is big but never becomes overly sweet or sticky, and this is coming from someone overly sensitive to sweet beer. I had a hard time setting this beer down.

Age has done this beer well. Although the hops have faded the new shape they've taken add a ton of depth and character. If you have a bottle of this, pop it open and enjoy. It's sipping just fine. Thanks again for another hook up, Derek!

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Photo of hopdog
4.09/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottles acquired in trades with mreusch and WeeHeavySD (thanks!).

Poured a dark/deep amberish and almost brown color with a huge sized off white head. Aromas of caramel, earthiness, dark fruits, chocolate, and nutty. Tastes of caramel, dark fruits, nutty, and some citrus in the finish. Light alcohol in the finish.

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Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.81/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

big thanks go out to tayner for this bottle from a long while back.

Pours a deep glowing red/amber color with moderate haze and a light tan head that rises easily and retains fairly well leaving decent lacing.

Nose is full of american barleywinesque malt sweetness. Smells as if there used to be a significant amount of hops roamin around in here, but they might have faded.

Wow! I was expecting alot of old IPA type of flavor but this has actually matured quite well! Thick sweet caramely malt begins the flavor. A nice toastiness, without being roasty is apparent, along with deep candy-like sugary malt. There are some hops still alive in here, but really not alot. The finish is moderately bitter, but the sugary malt profile, as it lingers on for quite some time.

Mouthfeel is right about where it should be for a malty beer of this size. Nice and viscous, carbonation is a tiny tad low, but good overall.

Drinkability is a little tough on this one, but that was to be expected with a bigass malty ass brew like this one. Abv is actually well hidden by this time though.

Overall an enjoyable drinking experience, but i probably should have got to this one a few months ago, or maybe more. Still a fine beer, but nothing terribly incredible, as it is now. Another good one from Alesmith, a great brewery.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.23/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm pretty sure I got this from metallitone1, so, thanks for the chance Tim! Poured from a 750ml foil wrapped bottle into my nonic Imperial pint glass. Appears a clear medium chestnut/crimson color with around an inch of pillowy light ecru foam. The head lingers through the entire glass, leaving a moderate, sticky lace in it's path. A fantastic looking pour! Nose and flavor consists of sweet caramelized malts, and yes, some rather up front hops - orange to start followed by candied grapefruit and lemon peel. Toasted grains, a touch of pine, and even some dark fruit notes are detected as well. This strong ale falls somewhere between medium and full bodied and is certainly amply carbonated. If you are still sitting on one of these, open it up and enjoy...

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Decadence 2006 Dead By Dawn from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 123 ratings