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Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel-Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel-AgedDecadence 2007 Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel-Aged
79 Ratings
Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel-AgedDecadence 2007 Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel-Aged

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Imperial Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
None provided.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 61
Reviews by BeerTruth:
Photo of BeerTruth
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got this beauty from inkubus27, thanks man!

750 ml bottle with a gold foil top poured into a snifter. Bottle #266 of 817.

Pours a dark brown/black with a quick one finger deep khaki colored head that fades to an outter paper thin ring. Polka dot spots of stick hold on to the sides of the glass, nice looking brew. Smell is so rich with vanilla and oak, sweet and boozy. Underneath that is a cluster of dark fruits; dates, fig, and raisins. An absolute delight to sniff. Taste begins with more warm boozy goodness. Vanilla beans, roasted caramel malts, and gooey chocolate. Aftertaste has a bit of Bailey's and Amaretto in the mix. Complex flavors that get even richer as it warms to room temp. Full body, wondeful soft feel with a very light, but fitting, carbonation. I have a feeling this may be higher than the stated 10% abv, but either way this is extremely drinkable. If you love bourbon, you'll really enjoy this beer. I'm gonna go ahead and say this is better than the BA Speedway...I really want another bottle of this, like now.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of tjthresh
3.6/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a nice clear dark brown but no head ever really develops. The nose with rich with vanilla and bourbon with a bit of oak. This is hot as hell. Bourbon, some oak and vanilla. Body is thinned out compared to original. There are not real signs of the original beer at all. Really kind of disappointing.

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Photo of ehammond1
3.71/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle (2009) (608/817)

Acquired via trade
Thanks, itk1!

(Aged for ~4 years)

Very dark brown, very nearly black, with a small to moderately-sized dark brown head of small bubbles. Leaves the glass oily and spotted with stick. Pretty barrel-aged porter.

The aroma is the weakest aspect of this beer, and I believe age has not helped matters here at all. Especially at the cold temperatures, the main attributes were strong oxidation, leather, and some root vegetable characteristics, unfortunately. That being said, as the beer warms, truly nice layers of chocolate and a very mild bourbon and oak presence emerged. Overall, especially after reading how extraordinary the aroma was apparently in other bottles, the aroma was not great and was hurt greatly by time, is my estimation.

The flavor, however, was still quite nice, and not nearly as oxidized as the aroma. Nice layers of chocolates coat the mouth, along with a mild bourbon and oak character. There's some leather and oxidation as well. Alcohol is incredibly well hidden. Enjoyable, but not other-worldly.

A very full, rich, decadent, sticky sipper. Very nice.

Glad I got to try this one, but age did this bottle no help. Drink now if you got any of these leftovers sitting around!

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Photo of glid02
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 506/817 acquired via vacax - thanks!

Pours black with a one-finger brown head. The head dissipates slowly into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of vanilla, butterscotch, dark chocolate, roasted malts, and whiskey, in that order. As the beer warms the whiskey and vanilla aromas become even more pronounced.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Roasted malt and dark chocolate flavors are overtaken almost immediately by large amounts of vanilla with sticky butterscotch undertones. Midway through the sip some of the heat from the barrels comes through but not enough to overpower the flavor profile. The ending is mildly bitter and leaves vanilla and dark chocolate flavors lingering on the palate.

Mouthfeel is sensational. It's got a perfectly viscous thickness with soft carbonation.

Drinkability is very good despite the booziness. I finished my glass easily and could have a few more even though it may be against my best interests.

Overall I was not let down. Loads of barrel character mixed with a great base beer is up most people's alleys, including mine. Worth a shot.

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Photo of nickd717
4.38/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle via trade thanks to TheRealBastard. Big thanks as I thought for awhile that I might never get a chance to try the legendary AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter-Bal Aged.

A - Excellent appearance: jet black with a creamy tan head that lasts forever and good lacing.

S - Aroma is chocolate, roast, caramel, bourbon, oak, and vanilla. Smells like a great -bal aged beer.

T - Flavor is just a bit hot but very good, high on the bourbon, along with rich chocolate, caramel, toffee, oak, and vanilla. Complex with a long finish. Being in those -bals has done great things for this one.

M - Palate is extremely smooth and creamy with medium-full body.

D - Surprisingly drinkable.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -22.2%

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Deep amber. Small khaki head.

Smell - Bourbon. Cardboard and some light sherry. Some caramel.

Taste - Lots of bourbon. Cardboard and sherry again. Caramel and some intense oak.

Mouthfeel - Medium low carbonation. Oxidized.

Overall - Well it's boozy and very bourbony. And probably well past its prime.

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Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -14.2%

Photo of BOLTZ7555
4.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottle 292 shared by Sparky27 @ Hellbilly’s Holiday Tasting...THANKS ERIC!!! Pure ebony pour with a 1/2 inch creamy eggshell head that diminishes into a film that defiantly stays until the last sip. Incredibly fragrant. Vanilla, oak, bourbon, cocoa, and caramel fill the nostrils. Ignites the palate...rich, chocolaty, and complex. So much going on. Maple syrup, toasted marshmallow, and brown sugar. Thick and viscous. WOW!!! AleSmith ROCKS!!!

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Photo of diamondlie
4.18/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of jlb502
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to a very nice BA who traded me this bottle. I have had every BA release, and this one I just had to get ahold of. Having loved the original version, I knew this one could not be missed. Served at cellar temp and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 05/13/2009. Bottle # 442 of 817.

The pour was great, deep dark black in color with no light shining through on this one at all. Nice inch and a half of thick tan foam comes up and over the top and hangs around for what seems like forever before finally releasing into a thin cloud on top that coats the sides and the bottom soo thickly that you cannot even begin to see though them. Huge whiskey notes, biggest aroma of whiskey I have ever had in a beer. Light chocolate notes underneath and a hint of roasted malts and oak, but soo much whiskey,I have to give that a perfect, as for what it is, spot on. The flavor took a minute to get used to then turned into crack. Rich notes of whiskey and bourbon layered on top of a molasses and light vanilla that gets a touch lost until it warms up to room temperature releasing all that is lying underneath. Light chocolate note then peaks its head up before getting the smackdown by warming rush of whiskey in the finish. Smooth, full bodied, with a damn nicely crafted carbonation, this was a marvelous sipper, and the bottle on its own was all that was needed.

Overall,wow. The first whiskey BA beer that I can honestly say was like doing shots of whiskey, This is a must get,

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

Bottle #578 out of 817.

Pours a slightly fizzy rich dark brown/black with a head that dies quickly but leaves a creamy ring.

Huge whisky on the nose with some hints of oak and chocolate. Lacking a bit of balance, but I dig it.

Initially, the carbonation is slightly higher than preferred resulting in a touch of a fizzy body. After a few minutes and a few swirls, I now have a much more luscious body. Whisky, again, is predominant, but the imperial porter base beer lends some wonderful sweet chocolate and vanilla notes. Oak. Molasses. Cola. Fantastic, if not a bit over the top in the whisky.

Finishes with quite a bit of alcohol warmth and some burn. Some age will help with that (6 months or a year from now should be mighty tasty).

A mighty fine beer that, currently, lacks balance but is still very, very good. Some more age to soften that aspect and this could be perfect.

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Photo of scottoale
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

750ml. brown champagne style with full wrap-around label and a gold foil over bottle cap and neck. Bottle # 493 of # 817. Pours a black mahogany brown with a finger of mocha-tan creamy head. Nice lace left behind.

The nose is sweet vanilla and butterscotch, with maltiness and a wee touch of bourbon. This stuff smells insanely tasty.

The taste is a bit boozy upfront with lots of butterscotch and even more vanilla dominating the flavors. The alcohol kicks in a bit and more malt and butterscotch unfold into a dark fruity blast. Full and fluff-like, the flavor eventually winds down to a mello, warming as hell, oak-soaked finish. Soothing and medicinal at the same time. Amazing flavor that will become epic in time. Expect this.

Full bodied, excellent carbonation, barrel-aged beauty with a soft and creamy feel...the only thing that's holding this back from perfection is just a bit more ageing...but not much! Great job Peter and the whole AleSmith crew, hats off to ya!

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Photo of largadeer
4.7/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pitch black body with a creamy tan head that retains surprisingly well for such a big beer.

Smell: The scent of vanilla wafts from the bottle as soon as it's uncapped; this is like huffing vanilla extract. Rich chocolate and caramel form the backbone, with just a hint of roast in there beneath it all. This is a hot, boozy bourbon bomb.

Taste & mouthfeel: Massive vanilla flavor up front, boozy, bourbony heat coming up right behind it. Tootsie roll-like chocolate, caramel, faint tannins and roast. It's amazing how much the barrel transformed this beer; we drank it side-by-side with the non-barrel aged version and the difference was like night and day. Bittersweet in the finish, with a lingering note of vanilla. While this is still pretty hot, the barrel flavors are so spot-on that I really don't mind. Exceptional stuff that will probably improve significantly with age.

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Photo of vacax
3.63/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

Bottle #507/817 poured into a tulip glass.

Black pour with a large dark tan head. Huge head fades down gracefully, but retains a nice coating that provides ample lacing as I drink. Nose is full of bourbon and a complex of related elements including vanilla, pipe tobacco, oak, and leather. Lovely aroma, though more of the chocolate present in the original could shine through.

This bottle has been resting for a good four months after the release, yet I am immediately aware that I will not be touching another one for a matter of years. The flavors that first hit my tongue are packed with oaky vanilla and leathery bourbon. All of the rich chocolate and roasty elements present in the base beer seem to blend into the finish that is heavy wth echoing sharp tobacco and bitter oak. This beer is still very heavy on the barrel. I did not taste this one "fresh" so hopefully this is smoothing out as the bottles rest.

Nice full body is delightfully slick and low-medium carbonation hits the spot. As much as I love the base beer, I have to say that this one is not drinking as nicely as the original is right now. The barrel qualities are still overpowering, as special of a beer as this is, definitely share this with a group of friends.

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Photo of NittanyBeerFan
4.92/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A huge thanks to treyrab for sharing this one with me. I love beer, and I love bourbon, so I was really looking forward to this one. If I had to wait another 24 years to try another beer like this, I would anxiously start counting down the days. This was bottle number 340 of 817.

A: Lighter in color than I expected, but when it comes down to it, this is still a porter, not a stout. Held up to the light, ruby hues glow around the edges of the glass. A creamy head forms as it pours leaving a centimeter of head on top. While cooljosh was not able to get this to lace at all, the Decadence left a veritable spiderweb around my glass.

S: Chocolate and bourbon aromas rise from the glass in a perfectly even quantity of each ingredient. Toffee comes in to make this a 40-40-20 mix of three aromas that blend to create one of the most appetizing smells that I have ever tasted from a beer.

T: Absolutely fantastic. Every expectation that was set when I smelled this beer was met and exceeded. Vanilla bean, utterly unnoticeable in the nose comes hard and fast, mixing with the aforementioned chocolate and bourbon to create a theme park of deliciousness in my mouth. Bittersweet dark chocolate and toffee take over the finish among notes of sweet smooth bourbon. This beer is to barrel aged gems what the guitar solo in "One" by Metallica is to guitar solos.

M/D: The beer slides through the mouth and over the pallet more smoothly than Usain Bolt could run 100 meters. Ever flavor is intense, but no single characteristic of this beer stole too much of the thunder. Sublimely stunning from a flavor, complexity, and character standpoint, Barrel Aged Decadence is one of the best beers that I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying, from the first sip to the last.

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Photo of Kaiser81
4.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Jerz for opening this bottle

A - It's just like it's little brother '07 Decadence:
"Black color, a thin light mocha-colored head. It dissipates fairly quickly leaving some ok lacing on my glass."
But it has a bit more lacing.

S - Very heave on coconut and vanilla. This smells more like a pina colada than a -bal imperial porter. There is a touch of barrel, and a lot of boooze on the finish (boooze was taken from my tasting notes).

T - The coconut and the vanilla really shine through on this. It's insane, and all of us who shared this bottle (Jerz, Mothman, VacaX, Pliny the Youngest, and myself) couldn't stop commenting on it. There's light roast, some American chocolate (as opposed to the rich and delicious European types of chocolate) and some light booze on the finish.

M - Medim body with light carbonation. This is spot on.

D - MORE NOW, PLEASE! Alesmith, you got this one right.

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Photo of jedwards
4.61/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Been waiting for a good occasion to open this one up.

Poured dark brown with a surprisingly foamy head that quickly dissipated, but left a thin layer atop the entire glass. Smell is intense and only intensified at the beer warmed -- strong toffee and vanilla, distinct bourbon, and roasty but not burnt malt. Additional chocolate and light dark fruit notes as it warmed. Taste is equally complex with dark chocolate/coffee and caramel flavors giving way to a balanced bourbon and vanilla/oak finish with almost no hint of alcohol. Mouthfeel is amazingly creamy and full without being syrupy. I could easily drink more if I had it, and I wish I did.

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Photo of alcstradamus
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hard pour directly into the center of my glass yields 3 fingers of fluffy tan head on top of a near black body that glows with a red hue around the edges against a bright light. Good lacing left behind. Poured at approximately cellar temperature.

The nose on this puppy is big, bold, and beautiful. Huge barrel notes smack you in the face, mostly a tame bourbon smell with surprisingly little oak. I say "tame" in reference to smoothness and lack of burn, not in reference to strength because this is powerful. Fudge, vanilla, toffee, citrus hops, and the other usual barrel suspects are present but damn this is such a nice bourbon scent.

The taste can't possibly live up to the nose but it does its best to try. Tons of vanilla up front, almost like boozy vanilla ice cream. Some milk chocolate is present along with a slight hint of wood. I'm glad the wood is subdued here, because the bourbon is so f'ing big that a big woodiness would have made this too harsh. Now, don't get me wrong, it is still harsh in the sense that the bourbon is front and center smacking you in the face. But it is so smooth underneath it is unreal.

Full bodied with very soft carbonation, but perhaps slightly too much of it keeping this from a 5 (barely). I hate to be nitpicky, but here and there I find myself wishing this was a bit heavier on the tongue so the flavors had time to really marinate.

I could definitely finish this 750ML bottle by myself but I'm not so sure it would be a good idea considering the strength. This must be attacked slowly due to the bourbon strength, I will warn people in advance that this is a Bourbon County Stout level of booziness so it is a slow sipper and one that would best be shared. But I'll be damned if this isn't one of the better barrel aged beers I've tried.

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Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -31.4%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to a generous BA for bringing this bottle to DLD and to AgentZero for grabbing a tickable pour for me. Served in a SAVOR snifter.

Pour yields a nearly-black brew with a light mocha head that lasts for a bit before falling into a thin collar. The nose is pretty nice with some notes of vanilla, oak, bourbon, mildly-roasted malt, and chocolate. Pretty good complexity, but nothing out of this world. The flavor is on par with that--perhaps a bit stronger overall, though brought down by an increased alcohol presence. Good barrel character with bourbon, oak, and vanilla, though it's surprising there's still this much heat. Medium body and pretty smooth, other than the alcohol. Pretty good. Glad to finally have tried this one.

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Photo of grub
4.55/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

big thanks go out to seaoflament for hooking me up with this one. thanks carlos!

750ml bottle topped with gold foil. bottle #679/817. sampled oct 17/09 side by side with the non-barrel-aged version.

pours deep dark brown, not quite black yet still pretty much opaque. a small fine dark tan head forms, dropping slowly with lots of spotty lace.

aroma is great. bourbon and vanilla. oak. bit of coconut. light alcohol. coffee. dark and milk chocolate. caramel and butterscotch. multi-grain bread and biscuit.

taste is great. coconut and vanilla. bourbon and oak. dark and milk chocolate. whole wheat bread and biscuit. warming alcohol. just under medium bitterness level, but it comes across more as chocolate and coffee than hoppy. light roast. nice toasty character.

mouthfeel is excellent. medium-large body. silky smooth medium-low carbonation level.

drinkability is great. side-by-side with the non-BA version, this one has definitely held up better. the oxidation is almost completely missing from this one, whereas the other seems a bit past its prime. this one has a great extra depth and dimension from the barrel. i loved this one fresh though and don't think the barrel-aged one stands much above it when fresh. good balance, slightly warming but still delicious. i love you, alesmith.

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Photo of waltonc
4.82/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cracked this open to celebrate passing the Colorado bar exam today. Pours translucent black with an inch of tan head. Magnificent smell - bourbon, lots of vanilla, bitter chocolate.... Taste is more of the same. Very strong bourbon and vanilla notes. Fairly sweet. Not that hot in my opinion. Maybe this has cooled down since some of the earlier reviews. Or maybe I just have a higher tolerance for heat, I don't know. Body is medium with nice creamy carbonation. I don't care what the ABV is, this stuff is guzzleable. Wish it wasn't a one-off.

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Photo of IrishColonial
2.75/5  rDev -37.1%

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

Thanks to Arbitrator for bringing this to the PtY release. Sampled on 2/5/10.

A: The pour is nearly black with a nice layer of mocha colored head which leaves some spotty lacing.

S: The nose is full of rich chocolate, coffee, vanilla, bourbon, and a slight hint of oak. The alcohol is still noticeable despite the age of this beer.

T: Despite the fact that the beer still has some noticeable whiskey (and heat), it's still fantastic. The vanilla, chocolate, and coffee really work amazingly together to create a fantastic beer.

M: The body is quite full and creamy with a nice warmth that lingers on the tongue.

D: Even with the bit of heat that the beer has, it's still fantastic, and gets better each of the times I've had it. I really wish I had a bottle of my own to sit on for another year or so.

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Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter - Bourbon Barrel-Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.37 out of 5 with 79 ratings