AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel Aged | AleSmith Brewing Company

BA SCORE
92
outstanding
79 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score
Send samples
AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel AgedAleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel Aged
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States
alesmith.com

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.

BEER STATS
Ratings:
79
Reviews:
61
Avg:
4.38
pDev:
10.96%
 
 
Wants:
105
Gots:
10
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 61
Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -14.4%

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.01/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle pour at Woodshop 8 held at The Hermosillo in Los Angeles, CA.

Thanks to aussy13 for sharing this one.

Pours a murky brown with a foamy khaki head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of dark roasted malt, cocoa, bourbon, and wood aromas. Taste is much the same with bourbon and wood flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of roasty bitterness and an alcohol kick 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 has held up well until now but has a slightly better smell in my opinion.

 691 characters

Photo of t0rin0
4.75/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of westcoastbeerlvr
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of largadeer
4.7/5  rDev +7.3%
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.

 893 characters

Photo of zestar
4.25/5  rDev -3%

Photo of Thorpe429
3.95/5  rDev -9.8%
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.

 736 characters

Photo of mothman
4.59/5  rDev +4.8%
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.

 596 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3/5  rDev -31.5%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.65/5  rDev +6.2%
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,

 1,508 characters

Photo of womencantsail
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

 806 characters

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.4/5  rDev -22.4%

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.

 363 characters

Photo of MasterSki
4.35/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to d0b for bringing this one over for the the New Beer Sunday porter afternoon. Bottle #573 of 817. Served in my Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Nearly two fingers of dark mocha foam with solid retention and lots of spotty lacing. Pitch black brew, with just a tiny hint of brown at the bottom of the glass.

S - Huge vanilla, bourbon, and wood smell, particularly as the brew has time to warm. The base beer is full of molasses, roast malt, dark fruits, and maybe even a hint of coconut. There's also a slight barrel bacteria tinge in there. Wonderful stuff, although there might ever-so-slightly be more barrel than I like. The alcohol burns my eyes!

T - Lots of whiskey on the top of the palate, with sweet vanilla and malt at the tip of the tongue. It finishes with lots of rich vinous fruit sweetness and a surprisingly moderate aftertaste that is relatively free of wood or astringency.
The taste profile has a lot of the aged porter flavors that are more reminiscent of barleywines - kind of like Perkuno's Hammer at this point.

M - Medium body, mild carbonation, lots of residual stickiness. It's a little light for such an intense tasting and boozy brew, but it's still quite acceptable There's some nice alcohol warmth at the back of the throat after a while.

D - This is a slow sipper, especially compared to the Russian River porter. I'm pretty happy with the generous pour I got and while I'd love to try this again in a few years I don't really find myself reaching for another glass.

Really glad I got to try this rarity - looking forward to BA Speedway and (fingers crossed) Wee Heavy.

 1,605 characters

Photo of IrishColonial
2.75/5  rDev -37.2%

Photo of Gobzilla
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured almost black in color with dark brown highlights and a thin head that left a little lacing sticking to the glass.

S: plenty of sweetness in the aroma such as caramell, toffee, and brown sugar with great bourbon barrel character that showed nice vanilla notes but also with good roastiness and some booze there as well.

T: great bourbon barrel vanilla character on the palate which added nice dimension to it alongside caramel, toffee, and brown sugar sweetness, hints of coffee, good roasted malts and plenty of booze for the age of the bottle.

M: the brew was medium in body with fair amount of carbonation which had a sweet, roasty, slightly astringent, boozy and creamy finish.

O: I'm glad to have tried the base beer allongside the BA aged version. Honestly thought both were solid but I like the robust flavors the barrel brought out so I'll go with the BA version.

 884 characters

Photo of John_M
4.4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a treat to see this at the HOTD tasting at Dyan's place the other night. Many thanks to Devin for graciously bringing this beauty.

The beer pours a dark cola color with very good head retention and lacing. On the nose, this beer is just a thing of beauty (one of many I was able to sample this evening). There is chocolate, coffee, vanilla and cherry by the boatload, and happily flavors on the palate completely replicate the nose. This beer is more like a barrel aged porter milkshake, with the beer actually tasting more like a BA strong ale then a porter. Regardless, this beer is just delicious. There is some noticeable booze, as one would expect, but it's not the least bit intrusive in this beer. The beer is very rich, though no more then moderately sweet, and has an intensity of flavor that is astonishing. Mouthfeel is very soft and smooth, with an abv. that is pretty well disguised. There is some noticeable alcohol, but as noted above, it's really not the least bit intrusive.

A very fine beer, although clearly one that is not for the faint of heart. Exceptional.

 1,086 characters

Photo of HopHead84
4.77/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

 1,956 characters

Photo of DefenCorps
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Devin was kind enough to bring a bottle to a tasting last night. Much thanks!

The pour is black witha dark brown head with good retention, and some patchy lacework. It really does look attractive in my Urthel tulip

On the nose, there is an incredible barrel character. Big bourbon, vanilla, and oak blend ridiculously well with the chocolate from the base beer, creating a combination that's like an alcoholic chocolate milkshake. While the bourbon is huge, this doesn't smell particularly hot. Once this warms up, I get a little roast that pairs well with the oak.

On the palate, this is just a riot of barrel characteristics. Vanilla, bourbon and chocolate dominate, with plenty of bourbon as well, resulting in a truly decadent blend. Bitterness is reserved,and coffee is not particularly noticeable. Great finish, long and with sweet vanilla and mild tannins. Just exquisite. I would drink this all day

 909 characters

Photo of DrJay
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to grub for sharing this one! Bottle 679/817.
The beer was dark brown with ruby edges. It had a sticky tan cap, very fine with a few large bubbles ringing the glass. Spotty lace, great head retention. Aromas of coconut, burnt malts and chocolate, nutty, dry cocoa, a bit of toffee and a hint of rose petals. The flavour was a little boozy, bitterness was medium to low. Malts were soft on the palate, cocoa and coconut, a bit of licorice, lingering alcohol. Pleasant vanilla towards the end with a bit of roast/burnt character. Creamy, silky texture, very smooth, medium to full bodied with soft carbonation. It had a bit of warmth and malty dryness. Quite nice and very delicious. A rare treat that was very much appreciated.

 737 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.44/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jedwards for breaking this one out. Bottle 250/817. Poured the color and consistency of cola with a quarter inch, khaki-colored head that dissipates into a skim, but was refreshed with a gentle swirl. Some specks of lacing revealed during the tasting. Nose was incredible - bourbon, malt and a hint of booze. Flavors consisted of malt, bourbon, semi-sweet chocolate, butterscotch, caramel and toffee. Mouthfeel was medium in consistency and lightly effervescent with a slightly creamy finish. This beer was absolutely top notch. Delicious without being cloying, with a complexity that evolved as it warmed. A truly memorable beer, and perhaps one of the best I've had to date.

 686 characters

Photo of Viggo
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thought this would be a good one to ring in review # 2000!

750 ml bottle, big thanks to grub for sharing and Carlos for the massive hookup. Bottle #679/817, sampled alongside the regular Decadence, thanks to dschuster for that!

Pours a lightly hazed very dark reddish brown, thick tan head forms, settles down to a thick ring and layer, very rocky, lots of lace chunks stick to the glass.

Smell is great, very rich and intense, lots of butterscotch and toffee, coconut, vanilla, chocolate milk, light roast, bourbon, oak, alcohol, nice toasty malts, some raison and dark fruit, very rich.

Taste is similar, very heavy flavour, vanilla beans and butterscotch, alcohol, toffee, maple syrup, light chocolate roast, wood, coconut, raisin and dark fruit, a bit boozy and harsh but pretty excellent.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low to medium carbonation, some warmth going down and very rich. This stuff certainly is decadent, almost feels like a dessert. Wow this was good. Thanks to Russ and Carlos!

3000 here I come.

 1,023 characters

Photo of drummermattie02
4.5/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of TurdFurgison
4.42/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to jampics2 for bringing this to a Tuesday night tasting in northern OH (thanks Bobby!). This pours a dark brown color with a thick cap of tan foam. The aroma is completely perfect, the barrels used by Alesmith must have the perfect amount of liquor in them before the beer is added, they all end up being so appealing. Chocolate and vanilla, roasty sweet malts, bourbon, everything you could want and expect in a BA porter.

And it all comes through in the flavor, along with toffee-like malts, this is seriously tasty. No hops presence at all, this is a bourbon-heavy malt bomb that really satisfies. A slow sipper, i didn't want my glass to empty too quickly. Luckily there were only 4 of us and we all got strong pours, I made this last.

Medium carbonation, actually a pretty good amount of carbonation for a barrel aged beer, nice mouthfeel overall. This was as good as I'd hoped, highly recommended.

 919 characters

Photo of ArrogantB
4.2/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle generously sent to me by my cousin, thanks! Dark black color with a tan head. It smells like (teen) SPIRITS! It really smells like bourbon or whiskey or something but still it is quite good. The flavor has a lot of booze up front and barrel and then a delicious chocolate like flavor. This was not bad at all and I don't really care much for booze-barrel aged beers.

 379 characters

Photo of glid02
4.55/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

 1,109 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
AleSmith Decadence 2007 Imperial Porter Barrel Aged from AleSmith Brewing Company
4.38 out of 5 based on 79 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

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Subscribe