AleSmith Decadence 2006 (Dead By Dawn) | AleSmith Brewing Company

106 Reviews
no score
Send samples
AleSmith Decadence 2006 (Dead By Dawn)AleSmith Decadence 2006 (Dead By Dawn)

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Strong Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.90%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by hoppymeal on 07-09-2007

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 106 | Ratings: 123
Photo of RblWthACoz
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A heaping pile of thanks to IntriqKen for this one. I also want to thank my roommate (or whoever it was that came over to my place to hang out while I was at work...) that locked the bathroom door from the inside. That was sweet of you. I guess I also need to thank God, or whatever supreme deity exists out there, that I don't have the sh*ts right now. Otherwise, this would end up being an interesting night. Does anyone have a paper clip?

Pours a fully fogged in reddish brown with a small creme head that falls to nothing fairly quickly. Nose is very leafy with some fruits mixed in. Definite wood noticed. Thick character overall. Excuse me. This is too good to write about right now. Let me just drink some more of this and come back to you.

Okay, okay. Let's focus here people. The flavor is a nice deep red. A slight bit boozy, but the body of flavor character meshes just fine and balances it out. Great earthy tones with a woody fruit thing. This just typifies a red to me. And an imperial no less. Feel is very nice. Great carbonation and a smooth liquid feel. This is extremely drinkable. Absolutely an amazing beer. At first I thought to myself that maybe I should be sharing this with someone. Then as I started to drink it I said, nah. I'll be greedy with this one. Just don't tell anyone. Our secret?

 1,318 characters

4.75/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Sampled on 10-30-07

I thought this beer was just right for all-Hallows eve.

A huge deep tan head has amazing staying power as it slowly fades from a full three fingers. It leaves scattered lace on the glass. Body is a "evil" deep blackish red, with the red hints only showing on the edges. Nose has seet yeasty spices that remind me of smickerdoodle cookies, sweet dark fruits maybe rasins and dates, with some oily hops. A very rich complex darkness enters the mouth on first sip. Burnt malt brings with it dark thick fruity notes and a very soft but consistant spicey feel. I also pick up a slight piney crisp hop character on the finish. The mouthfeel is decently thick and nicely numbing. Alchol is not up front and very well received. I was glad I picked this one it was spooky good.

 791 characters

Photo of jjayjaye
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Stoneman78 for the opportunity to sample this one.

Pours a slightly hazy crimson amber color with a big stiff sandy colored head that resists fading. A sheets of Belgian lacing left behind. The smell is aggressive and hugely malty, caramel and brown sugar with an overwhelmed citrus note. Lightly carbonated, the mouth feel is heavy, almost chewy and smooth. Full flavored, the caramel malt, brown sugar and molasses taste is very sweet. It also has an earthy yeast and doughy character that lingers appropriately. A real nice drinker. It reminds me some of a Great Divide or Southern Tier Barleywine. The 10% ABV is warming, but otherwise well integrated. Highly recommended.

 685 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.63/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of Bu11zeye: Poured a deep red/burgundy color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of sweet malt is reminiscent of a barley wine with some citrusy hops also noticeable. Taste is a mix between some barley wine type sweet malt with some bitter and citrusy hops also noticeable. Medium body with some good carbonation and no apparent alcohol. Overall, while this is not a bad beer I thought it was slightly one-dimensional and IMO over-rated.

 489 characters

Photo of Trueant1
4.85/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick pancake batter like head that coats the side of my st. Bernardus chalice.
Pours deep red color. Sits in the glass a perfect burgendy red. Looks superb!

The aroma when I opened this was off the scale!
Sweet toffie malts and ..this beer is 4 years old by now and smells of fresh hops! WOW!

The taste is beer perfection. Bready malts, with dark fruits that balance out by intence hop bitterness. Almost a chocolatey flavor. Even some licorice and figs. A lot going on here. Alcoholic bite on the aftertaste being balanced by the hops.

Mouthfeel is thick and coats the whole mouth like a milkshake. My only gripe ..if there really is too much carbonation.

Drinkability is awsome for a 10% beer.

Wish they would brew this masterpiece again!

 764 characters

Photo of charlzm
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 9/12/07.

Pours a lovely deep ruby/brown shade with a large tan head (hints of pink?). The foam is dense and settles in much the same way as Guinness, but much faster and with larger bubbles. The beer has lively carbonation; bubbles stream constantly up the sides of the glass.

Malty and brown are the words that pop into mind when the nose is sampled. Hints of... maple syrup? Port wine? are also lurking.

The flavor is unexpectedly thin, almost as if the beer is evaporating off the tongue. Honey and molasses are present, as is a brown sugar sweetness. Well, until the swallow. Then the malt of this beer pops out, accompanied by candied fruit I can't quite put my finger on (cherries? red grapes?). The finish is amazingly clean with almost no astringency and only a fleeting alcohol warmth. A vinous aftertaste flirts with the tongue and quickly vanishes.

How can a 10% beer be so light and drinkable?

 920 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.3/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a wonderful beer that really should be produced again. It pours a hazy reddish brown. Its not quite murky but it is hazy. The tan head is tall and thick and stays around for a while. Kinda mysterious looking. Definitely inviting.

The smell is very complex. There is a ton of sweet caramel malts in there and theres also some dark fruits to be smelled. Also a good amount of hops in the nose. There was a touch of alcohol in the nose but we can't hold that against them (it is 10% abv).

The taste is still fairly hoppy but then its only a year old. There are some piney hops present and lots of sweetness coming in the form of caramel and plum. The alcohol could be tasted at the begining but by the time you get half way through the bottle you won't notice it. All around beautiful flavor.

The body was nice and heavy and viscous. Very very drinkable beer that can consumed fast but whats the point. Enjoy it and know that you'll probably never drink this again.

 973 characters

Photo of illidurit
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. Huge tan head leaves massive lacing all the way down to the murky, reddish-brown body. Retention is incredible.

Aroma is similar to winter Yulesmith, with fresh pineapple scents on top of huge candied maltiness. I noticed some grape too.

Taste is, well, decadent. Rich caramel is the main flavor, with swirling notes of grapefruit and pine. Some lactic sugar and dark fruits here too.

Body is as full as it gets. The carbonation and the hops are just enough to cut through the sweetness and create a surprisingly dry finish. A little too rich to be extremely drinkable, but the 10% is hidden well.

 623 characters

Photo of jmalex
3.81/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thank you to KingG a.k.a. Joey for pulling this out of his personal stash for me when I went out to San Diego this past November. Thankfully it made it back on the plane.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Duvel chalice a very dark purplish mahogany red color with a 1-2 finger beige head on top. It shrinks down to just below a finger and holds there fairly well. Thick sheets of splotchy lacing cascade down the glass as I drink.

SMELL: A good balance of malt and hops are in the nose. Some slight caramel and bready malt comes out and marries with an aroma of resinous, citrusy, west-coast hops. Overall, I would've expected a stronger smelling beer, especially regarding the hops.

TASTE: Now there's the huge flavors I was looking for! The malt and hops duke it out at first for top billing. The malt is sweet and caramelly and gets accentuated by some sweet, sticky hops. The sweet beginning quickly drops out, and the hops win out big time. Massive bitterness comes on in the form of citrus and pine tree. The finish keeps these hoppy flavors lasting through, but also features a return of the sweet malt base, which is nice for some balance. A palate-assaulting beer for sure.

MOUTHFEEL: Thick and slick. A heavy carbonation lightens it a bit, but it's still a beast.

DRINKABILITY: I was all ready to say that you have no choice but to take your time to get through this one, but now I look over and see how much of a dent I've made in the beer already. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt, because after all, I should be able to get through this bottle no problem. And oh yeah, that 9.9% ABV? Nowhere to be found.

Damn, one hell of a beer. I'd been sick all weekend, so after taking a few beer-free days, this is one of a beer to come back to. It's a shame this will be the last time I get to have it.

 1,808 characters

Photo of timtim
4.4/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

hazy red with a tan head that holds well and leaves nice lace. even though this one has a little age on it, i was surprised to pick up a bit of lemon-lime/grapefruity/piney hop goodness intertwined with beautiful caramelly maltiness. i could be crazy, but i also could swear i smell a fresh cinnamon roll with that sweet icing you can buy at coffee shops in brooklyn. taste was well balanced and fairly complex without being overboard, and exhibited all that the nose promised and then some. mouthfeel was just what i expected from such a big, strong ale. creamy, smooth, and warming. my sister sent this to me from cali, and i'm not sure they know how nice a beer like this one can be on a cold, wet, east coast winter day. i really, really, really enjoyed it, although i'll have to move on to something with a little less oomph for the rest of the day/night. thanks sis, love you!!

 883 characters

Photo of dirtylou
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml bottle, obtained in secret santa 07 i believe

opened right before halftime of the soup-or-bowl. come on eli

appearance: gold foil on the neck...pours into a snifter - very dark amber/mahogany body, a huge creamy tan head with full retention really pushes this appearance up a notch

smell: thick caramel malty, syrupy booze covered plum, raisins and dates. walnuts and brown sugar

taste: super smooth, big time caramel malts, dates walnuts and raisin, boozy and woody, plum and other dark fruits. a nice solid offering from alesmith

mouthfeel: creamy, smooth, medium bodied, awesome

drinkability: pretty good

 619 characters

Photo of IntriqKen
4.53/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours with a large head of tan bubbles atop the reddish/brown ale. Bubbles last a long time and leave a pretty lacing on the sides of the glass as you drink.

Aromas are mainly dark malt with a touch of citrus hops and a little nuttiness.

Taste is a wonderful balance between the intense roasted hops and some really nice citrus hops. Lots of Pacific Hop presence in the end but never bitter or overpowering...just wonderfully balanced with the dark roasted malts which are very sweet but again, not overwhelming.

I think this may be one of the most balanced "big" or Imperial beers I've had. Great job (once again) Alesmith.

 627 characters

Photo of Halcyondays
3.72/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

750 mL bottle, bought on-sale at BevMo Cypress for $7.99,

A: Pours a dark cloudy head, with a white-tan head with great retention, though the bubbles were a little too soapy looking for my tastes, could be the age though.

S: Smells of heavy hop resin and thick chewy malt, quite robust.

T: Toasty malt hits at first, then a jolt, of pink grapefruit and pine, eerily similar to Double Bastard, though not quite as raw, I think the aging has helped to balance out the flavours though I've never had it fresh, you get what you pay for, this tastes exactly like I thought an Imperial Red would.

M: Resiny, and thick with oil, but smooth in its own right from the aging, expansive flavour profile.

D: Another good beer from Alesmith, this beer is certainly in barleywine territory now, similar to Old Guardian after a year or 6 months, but still has its own character. I'd like to see what 3 years does to this brew, I'm assuming it's about a year-1.5 years old right now, very good beer, though the hops and malt mixture can be too much at times, like Double Bastard is.

 1,071 characters

Photo of wcudwight
4.18/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to sirhc for the beer.
Pours an auburn color with a nice 3 finger egg shell colored head. Head slowly recedes and holds at a half inch. Thick lace makes stripes around the glass in rings.
Initial hoppy aroma gives to a heavy sweet smell.
Very good and balanced. Caramel and toasty maltiness. Hops mingle. They appear then give way to the sweet flavors then reappear. Very interesting, complex and smooth. Ever so slight alcohol finish.
Mouthfeel is smooth but a bit thick and syrupy.
Very drinkable beer. Taste like a very smooth barleywine. Worthy of an anniversary beer for one of the best breweries in the world(imo).

 627 characters

Photo of bennetj17
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Colour is a dark amber, almost brown looking, with good clarity when viewed in the light. Medium tan foam graces the top and settles slowly leaving a nice crust. The aroma is a nice resiny hop and caramel malt combo, reminiscent of an American Barleywine.

Caramel, nut and raisin sweetness accompany the flavor while the hops balance well but don't stick out as much as in the aroma. The finish is only mildly alcoholic with a light bitterness. The finish leaves a bit more to be desired although overall the taste is solid. The mouthfeel is not thick but does feel a bit syrupy. Carbonation is moderate and appropriate.

I enjoyed the beer although I had hoped for something more amazing. The malty sweetness was quite decadent although the complexity fell a bit short. I have to give it credit for being decently drinkable, as I would have expected to notice the alcohol more. Worth a shot if you get the chance...

 918 characters

Photo of RidiculedDisplay
4.11/5  rDev -1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Absolutely beautiful looking beer. Pours with a 2 and a half to three finger massive egg yolk color brown-yellow head, which settles into a finger after probably 3-5 minutes. Lacing is present and fizzy, with spots and fingers that last for a good time. The body, however, is where this shines. At first it looks a dark shade of brown, but hold it to a light, and it's a site to behold - a sapphire red that just is absolutely stunning to look at. May be in the running for the best looking beer I've ever seen.

Smell: Huge malt sweetness on this one - candy sugar, cotton candy, with a healthy dosing of lemon and lime hops. Cinnamon, yeasty dough, pepper spiciness. Pastries. A powerful, although predominantly sweet, aroma, which is saved from being one-note by the peculiar spiciness and inviting pastry-like aroma.

Taste: Orange and pine hops replace the lemon and lime I smelled in the nose. Pastry sweetness, again, with yeasty dough combining with the malt. "Red Vines"-like licorice flavor. Candy sugar. Slight hint of cinnamon and spiciness on the back end, sort of like a very mild "atomic fireball" candy. Unlike others seem to be, I'm not turned off by this one's sweetness - I think it does a great job of pulling out some interesting, candy and sweets-like flavors that are hard to approximate in this manner.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, not very astringent at all. Nice carbonation. Bit of prickliness from the spicy cinnamon-like quality, which, again, is very subtle.

Drinkability: Surprisingly drinkable for it's ABV. Very well masked.

 1,562 characters

Photo of jdhilt
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours with a one finger cream head that fades quickly to a ring leaving traces of lace. Cloudy amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Raisiny nose. Starts sweet, raisiny, smooth high ABV stays hidden until finish. However my drinking partner thinks it is more like a liquor drink than a beer. Pricey at $9.99 for a 750ml bottle from Hi-Time Cellars Costa Mesa, Ca.

 375 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark amber color with a pillowy beige head that retains well and splashes dancing waves of lace

Smell: Smells like a Caramello bar; alcohol comes through as well

Taste: Immediate blast of caramel followed by a dusting of cocoa powder; after the swallow, the sweetness fades for a while and some stone fruit flavors sneak in but the finish is long and sweet

Mouthfeel: Thick bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A nicely brewed beer, but a bit too sweet to drink in quantity

Thanks, njhcnwk, for the chance to try this one

 557 characters

Photo of CharlesDarwin
3.38/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Originally reviewed August 14 2007. 750mL Bottle. Thanks Andy! Aroma is a middle malt of candied apricots, fading oak leaves, toasted mixed nuts and some sweetness. Pours a deep ruddy amber, darkened with caramel and fused with a heady tinted foam of silky cream. Flavor begins with that dense thick malt texture familiar to the standard Evil Dead. One of the richer textures available. Initially there’s some serious lageresque malt quality with silky toffees, caramels, and toasted sugars, but these fade. Flavor confuses with higher alcohols, the signature AleSmith yeast minerals, and some heavily faded hops. There’s a biting, coarse celeriac bitterness and a hard rocky edge that really makes the back end unpleasant. Get the dill seed out of my mouth. It seems like a shame to put the lovely Evil Dead through this awkward transformation with more alcohol, magnified sweetness and dying hops. You can’t deny the magnificence of the malt build and feel or the nice concealing of the alcohol, but the hops are less than desirable and I think the yeast too forward. There’s still an unpleasant chemical mineral quality that’s still with me a while later. What is everybody getting so excited about?

 1,207 characters

Photo of NJpadreFan
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Alesmith- Decadence 2006 (Imperial Evil Dead Red Ale)

Big thanks to Rallison for this 1.

A- Murky reddish brown with a huge frothy head. Chunky lacing down the glass.
S- Cocoa powder, dried fruits like; prune, raisin, and fig. Caramel malt, vanilla, and yeast.
T- Sweet fruitness, figs, dates, prunes, raisins. Big dose of mild milk chocolate and sweet caramel with a yeasty oat bread.
M- Dried fruity sweetness with a mild chalky dryness throughout.

Overall- A solid Ale that really hid the 10% alc. Not a session beer but rather a good dessert or nightcap beer.

 567 characters

Photo of RoyalT
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This ale pours a nice reddish-brown in color with a huge off-white head that contains reddish hues and showed good retention.

Smell – There’s a woody sourness to the nose reminiscent of an oak-aged or barrel-aged beer. It’s like the mash from bourbon. Otherwise this has a thick malt base and a whiff of alcohol.

Taste – The wood and bourbon flavor comes through to the taste. I know this is not a “barrel-aged” offering from AleSmith but it sure tastes like it. There’s a subtle sourness that is more like a whiskey than a lemon. The malts are thick and slightly bitter and taste broken down like the ale has been cellared for a couple of years.

Mouthfeel – This is a big medium-bodied with a slight sweetish sour smack to accompany the high alcohol content.

Drinkability – The booze if up front and honest in this ASA. It is a pleasant drinker.

 873 characters

Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml Gold Tin

Thanks goes out to Callenak for this brew.

Poured into a chalice a nice deep clear mahongny color, nice carbonation, very nice thick creamy one finger tan head, which leaves some nice thick islands and sticky lacing. The nose is malty, slight hop, good dose of figs, raisins, plums, and caramel. The taste is just awesome to say the least, malty, slight hop, sweet, nice touch of tangyness from the fruit, slightly chewy, and some caramel notes. The ABV is hidden very well. Full body. Very drinkable, it's been awhile since I've had an AleSmith brew, but they are still very very tasty, this one was an extra from Street. This is not a kick in your face ASA, but smooth, delicious, flavorful ASA. If you can find some in your area, definitely pick it up. Thanks again Street.

 793 characters

Photo of Sammy
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found in Western Mass. A beautifully gifted bottle. Pours a golden yellow with an immense off-white head. C-hop aroma. An excerise in expertly crafted balance, with the malt at the forefront followed like a lion cub by the grapefruit and orange citrus hops. A tad of other flavours, toffee and chocolate and vanilla. Amazing balance, nothing overwhelming and a must try.

 370 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
3.7/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours hazy, dark amber, with a beige head of a half-inch.
Retention is average as well as some light lacework.
Aromatics are a balance of malt and hops. Caramel with some tropical notes. Buscuit notes with toffee and orange.
I was really loking for a blast of hops, which is definately lacking.
Mouthfeel is medium and tacky. Some creaminess cuts through a slightly syrupy character..
The pallet is heavy on the malt and medium on the hops. Plenty of caramelized sugar, and almost a bit smokey. Slightly roasty and drizzled with brown sugar syrup.
Bitterness is medium, and hop flavors are restrained. Mostly fruit notes coming through, and lacking any resinous bite.
Finishes sweetish and long.
Maybe a fresh example has more of what I was expecting.


 758 characters

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours into my glass a dark , dark, DARK red with a solid inch of creamy light tan head on top. Hold it up to the light to get deep, vibrant ruby red colors exploding from the glass. Aromas of deep rich caramel malts. Some toffee sweetness meets a solid citrusy, green herbal hop as well. Bold malt aromas here.

First sip brings a bold somewhat sweet caramel toffee maltiness. Flows into a slightly bready flavor that gets hit by big citric, green hops. Bitterness cuts through the malty sweetness. A dense, full bodied red that pulls no punches with a big malt body and the hops to back it up.

Mouthfeel is big, chewy and creamy. Goes down smooth with great carbonation. A big brew that manages to still be drinkable. Another tasty one from Alesmith and a worthy one for an anniversary release. Thanks to KingG for the trade.

 827 characters

AleSmith Decadence 2006 (Dead By Dawn) from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.15 out of 5 based on 123 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.