AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel AgedAleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel Aged
79 Ratings
AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel AgedAleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel Aged

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: American Porter

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by scottoale on 03-13-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of jlb502
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of ZX6Chris
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of HopStoopid120
5/5  rDev +14.4%

Photo of whartontallboy
5/5  rDev +14.4%

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, 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 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 tpd975
4.9/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Big Thanks goes to Wetherel for the share. Thanks John!

A: Pours a very dark flat black hue. The head is mocha and color and rises nicely. Great retention shown with a nice smattering of lace.

S: Wow who knew Bourbon could smell so good. Lots of fresh virgin oak mixed with vanilla. Gooey fudge mixed with coconut. To call this complex would be an injustice.

T: Wow my first AleSmith barrel aged brew, and boy was it worth the wait. I thought this was a solid base beer, but the barrel turned this beyond world class. Lots of sweet butterscotch up front. Lots of oak, yet it does not overpower, it just tends to blend with the waves of flavor. Vanilla and chocolate play a huge role as well. Subtle coconut notes along with caramel, and just a touch of booze. Round the bases my friend this one is a Home Run!

M: Full in body, very rich, with goodness that just seems to cling in all the right places.

D: A true joy to drink. It may be a task but I could sit down with this one and sip all night. As I said to call it world class would be a crime. This beer is in a league that few are members of.

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Photo of Overlord
4.89/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5


I've not been the hugest proponent of Alesmith's barrel aging. Beer for beer, I'd stack them against any brewery in the world. But, frankly, I think I enjoyed the "regular" Old Numbskull, 05 Decadence, and Wee Heavy better than the BA versions (although the BA Speedway definitely was an improvement).

Well, the '07 Porter was a beer I thought might benefit from the aging. While I enjoyed it (gave it a 4.2), it was my least favorite of the Decadence line, and I generally preferred Alesmith's regular lineup. What it lacked was complexity.

Well, this BA version is a different animal entirely. And, it promises to get even better with age, when a bit of the booziness dies down.

Pours a dark blackish brown, with a big brown foam head. Smell is amazing. Bourbon, overlayered with chocolate, vanilla, caramel, and . . . is that roasted coffee? Maybe roasted malt. YOU MUST LET THIS BEER WARM UP!

Taste is also fantastic. Butterscotch toffee caramel, dark chocolate, and a hint of vanilla. And big bourbon. Tons of sweet, stinging bourbon. There's a nutty pecan taste. Funny that I have an aftertaste of coffee, but I don't detect any during the actual consumption. Mouthfeel is nice and creamy . . . appropriate for a porter, though my preference for thicker stouts may be showing through.

A phenomenal beer. A bit boozy right now: the alcohol is present. In a few years . . . wow.

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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 quinlin
4.8/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Hamiltons for pouring me one of the final tasters!

A - very dark brown, with a lingering tan head

S - toasty, a bit of chocolate, whiskey, vanilla, alcohol

T - tastes similar to the aroma. roasted malt,vanilla,hint of cocoa, definite presence of the whiskey barrel it was aged in.

M - creamy and full bodied. the burn of alcohol on the finish.

D - this beer was amazing and very drinkable. I wouldnt hesitate at the chance to have this beer again if i could.

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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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Photo of HopHead84
4.77/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I opened this up among a few friends and we did a side by side with the regular Decadence 2007. It was really interesting to notice the similarities and differences between the two beers, and to see the beginning and finished products of -bal aging done well.

-Bal Aged Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter pours black with a 1.5 inch light brown head. The retention is very impressive and the lacing is good.

We had this in the middle of a sour tasting to take a break from the funk, and the style shift was a welcome change to my senses. The complexity of the aroma is stunning. The bourbon character is really fantastic. Caramel and dark chocolate cut through the bourbon to deliver a delicate sweetness that works very well with the strong bourbon. The earthy hops I noticed in the regular version are present in the aroma of the barrel aged version, but are not as apparent. Vanilla and toffee are also present. I can't imagine a better aroma on a -bal aged Imperial Porter.

The flavor is just as good as the aroma. Caramel, chocolate, and toffee...with just a hint of coffee lurking in the shadows (please stay there). The bourbon flavor is awesome with this beer, but in 6 months to a year this beer will truly come into its own. It's just a little hot, which is to be expected. I'd give this a 5 if I didn't believe the flavor would improve with a little time. The finish is full of warming alcohol and the delicious toffee, caramel, chocolate, and bourbon I've been enjoying throughout.

The beer is full bodied with great carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and creamy.

This is my favorite of any of the -bal aged Alesmith beers that I've had (Speedways, Numbskulls, and Wee Heavies). In time, when the booze dies down a bit, this is going to be epic.

*update 4/19/2009*
This was opened by a kind soul at a tasting last night and the beer has developed some subtle notes of coconut in the nose and flavor. Fantastic. What a -bal aged beer.

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Photo of xnicknj
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

Photo of treyrab
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to my pal Tim for sending this one across the country. I pulled this out of the cob webbed cellar to put in the fridge last weekend to split with a few friends. Now, I am in the quest to get another.

A: This is really just an exquisite looking beer. It looks black to start, but when held to a light it is a crystal clear burgundy with nice brown hues. Completely translucent with a nice mocha tan head. Not black.

S: Perfectly blended aroma of sweet bourbon with nice touch of roated coffee, bitter black patent, bittersweet caramel and toffee. The burnt roast blends so well with the bourbon. The vanilla also plays a perfect role to wrap everything together.

T: One of the best bourbon aged beers I have ever had. Just exquisite and a perfect blend of bourbon and beer. The bourbon rises above all, but not to an extreme. The bourbon starts then blends with nice vanilla, bitter barley, and nice toffee. Not sure how this can get any better blended.

Overall, this is one of the best bourbon barrel beers I have ever had. I would love to get one to age.

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Photo of t0rin0
4.75/5  rDev +8.7%

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 zminor
4.69/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Mistakenly posted this under the non-barrel aged Decadence originally.
Served from a 750ml bottle into my Bruery tulip. Thanks Paul! Really wish you'd bought another bottle...

Pours very dark, but not opaque. A fair amount of light and clarity seeps through. A bit brown around the edges. Ebony, mysterious, and beautiful.

Nose is unbelievable. When I first took a sniff I had to take a step back. Very strong notes of espresso, vanilla, and perhaps a slight hint of alcohol as it warms up.

Mouth matches up the nose. Coffee is just as strong, but the vanilla gets slightly lost. More caramel, and the finish just keeps on going, and going, and going...

Mouthfeel is surprisingly light and crisp, which makes it very drinkable. I struggled to not give this beer all 5s, because its just that good. Truly on another level of porters.
Simply marvelous.

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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 stonequarrywest
4.67/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 348 of 817

Dark brown/black pour with a big one finger head..Moderate head retention and little lacing.

Aroma is a great big bourbon with caramel, chocolate, toffee, some vanilla

Can really really taste and feel the bourbon..Heavy duty. with some vanilla and caramel.
Great mouthfeel and carbonation. Alcohol definitely heats you up..

Well worth the wait

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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 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 PatronWizard
4.63/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've had the '07 Decadence and thought it was good, but nothing to scream about. Wasn't even really clamoring for the barrel aged version. Then OlieIPA and Aimstatus bring it to my house as part of a sick line up. And I drank ....

Pour produces a big frothy head. Creamy looking, big and small bubbles. Standing up at the edges. Black fluid. Looks pretty damn good.

Big bourbon scent. I mean huge bourbon scent. Kinda masks the other aromas. Like being socked in the face with a chamois that had been soaked in Gentleman Jack. A little boozy, but I'm excited now.

Taste is simply awesome. The bourbon is there in a big way but not quite as much as the nose would suggest. Right under the bourbon is a big bite of really rich chocolate. Decadence.

Incredibly smooth, right down to the beautiful warming sensation in my bellay. So aptly named. This is straight gluttony. Ridiculously good.

A big ass beer right here, not for wussies. It's actually shoving me around, pushing me around, showing me who's boss. I love big ABV and I question the honesty of the 10% on the label. I would guess 12%. Either way, HolyRolyPolyOlieIPA Batman, this stuff is great.

In a too-good-to-be-true evening line-up that included '09 Kate, '08 Abyss, Choklat, and Black Butte XX (another kickass imperial porter), the barrel aged Decadence was the one that made me pop a chub.

Overall: decadence

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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 mothman
4.59/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Jer for sharing this long time want.

Bottle 463/817

Pours 1/2 finger of tan head. Color is a caramel brown/black like the regular version.

Aroma: Coconut, vanilla, bourbon, oak, chocolate, caramel, light roast. Top notch. Bomb aroma.

Taste: Coconuts, caramel, chocolate, vanilla, light roast, creamy, bourbon, and oak. Like a mounds bar.

Mouthfeel: Thick and creamy. Full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends warm and roasted.

Overall, this was crazy awesome. The -bals did wonders to this beer. Absolutely amazing. One of the best porters I have had. Very drinkable.

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