Decadence 2008 English-Style Barleywine | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Decadence 2008 English-Style BarleywineDecadence 2008 English-Style Barleywine
Very Good
109 Ratings
Decadence 2008 English-Style BarleywineDecadence 2008 English-Style Barleywine

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: British Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by paytoplay on 06-14-2009

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 109 |  Reviews: 73
Reviews by tjmodica:
Photo of tjmodica
3/5  rDev -21.1%

More User Reviews:
Photo of Mora2000
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle courtesy of ericandersnavy.

Pours brownish red with a small off-white head. Aroma is sweet caramel with some vanilla. Very sweet aroma. The flavor is more sweet malt with some caramel, dark fruit and brown sugar. Medium mouthfeel and a very easy drinking high alcohol barleywine. No alcohol is detectable.

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Photo of glid02
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by Joe - much obliged!

Pours a slightly hazy dark copper color with a one-finger off-white head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with very faint hints of booze-soaked medium fruits. As the beer warms hints of toffee also waft out.

Tastes very similar to how it smells. Smooth caramel malt flavors that are somewhat grainy but certainly lean toward the sweet side of things. Mild toffee flavors work their way into things shortly thereafter before being pushed out by moderately boozy medium fruit flavors midway through the sip. The fruit flavors are made up of pears, dark cherries, and raisins. The fruit flavors fade out and allow the caramel malt and toffee flavors to carry through to a mildly sweet ending.

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

Drinkability is good. I had no problems finishing my glass and could have another.

Overall this is a solid beer for the style but wasn't as smooth as I'd hoped. It will likely improve as it ages further but I wouldn't expect it to get much better. Still, a solid beer from a great brewery and it's worth a shot to see for yourself.

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Photo of SoCalBeerIdiot
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of augustgarage
3.32/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 750mL bottle into my Spirit Sipper's snifter. 5 years on, and this is a bit past its prime.

Muddy opaque auburn body and a sandy brown head receding to a lasting collar and slick.

Old socks, stale beet greens, tobacco, and prunes in the nose - not the most inviting aromas, but not outside the style per-se.

Quite tart, palate is full of loam and aspirin - an odd medicinal leathery, floral mess of flavors. Oxidation comes to the front, but there are still hefty malt notes.

Syrupy, medium-bodied, low carbonation.

Not yet off, but I wish I had opened this two years ago...more like an old ale than a barley wine now...

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Photo of MASPuros
4.12/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper color with reddish hues. Lots of head and lacing.
S: Sweet smell; some cherries, dark fruits, brown sugar, very earthy.
T: Taste is very complex. Malty, little bit of sourness, and leathery
M/D: Sipper; bubbles dance in your mouth and make this easier to drink.

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Photo of hooliganlife
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of nickd717
3.98/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Can't believe I didn't already review this on BA. Well, I had a bottle again this weekend at a barleywine tasting. This is a unique one, that's for sure.

Pours a deep dark brown color with a lasting one-finger tan head. Looks excellent.

Aroma is caramel malt and toffee, vanilla, dark fruit, and some mild cherryish tartness.

Flavor is good, strong, and a little tart, with caramel and toffee, raisin, and sweet/tart cherry. As the name would imply, it is fairly decadent. This really is complex and I like it a lot. Despite being tart, I really don't think it's infected.

Body is medium for a barleywine and there is a little tart acidic bite. ABV well hidden.

I actually found myself going back for more of this despite my extreme drunkenness and it being 4am. That says something. Overall this is a solid beer, although I'm sure many won't get it.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.05/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

750 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottle #406/433. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Deep murky brown. Small khaki head. Wispy with a thin collar.

Smell - Nice barrel. Awesome oak and bourbon. Vanilla is really strong, too. Brown sugar behind the barrel. There's definitely an off aroma, though.

Taste - Definitely tangy. The barrel still comes through, though. Grapefruit citrus tang. The brown sugar shines through, too. Not a terrible infection, it has to be said, but I'd rather it weren't there as the flavors that do come through are great.

Mouthfeel - Spoiled by sourness, but not horribly so. Over carbonated.

Overall - Better than I expected when someone said we were having an infected barleywine. Still, nothing like what it could have been.

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Photo of bashiba
3.87/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a murky light brown with some reddish highlights, a thin layer of tan head, light lacing.

The smell was a bit sweet with a bit of toffee, alcohol, and a deep bread quality.

The flavor was lightly tart with a bit of a wild brett like character to it, big english caramel malt flavors of heavy bread, toffee and a a bit of cedar come through, at this point there are no hops left to speak of. The tartness is a nice counterbalance to the big malty and alcohol sweetness.

The mouthfeel is creamy and a bit warm.

Very easy to drink, and enjoyable, but a bit of a departure from classic English Barleywine.

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Photo of PowDay
4/5  rDev +5.3%

Photo of GRG1313
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dtx00
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Photo of Bung
3.7/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750. Paring down the cellar, time for this one to go. Very murky orangey brown pour. Nice layer of light tan head. Retains pretty well.

Aroma, caramel, toffee, brown sugar. Very faint citrus. Very light booze.

Taste quite tart up front, sour apple. No signs of infection anywhere, so I assume this was either intentional or this is fading already. A bit of burnt brown sugar, cookie dough. Mellows to a bit more to some toffee, caramel. Finishes with a little more citrus, and a definete smoke or pumpernickel. Very different.

Solid body, just enough carbonation. Alcohol really not present for 11%. Woah, check that as it warms, it warms.

Expectations were a little higher than the result, but still not a bad brew, as I have yet to have a bad one from Alesmith.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle: Poured a clear deep copper color ale with a quite large foamy head with good retention and some lacing. Aroma of light caramel malt with subtle toffee and a feeling of light tart notes. Taste is also a good mix between loads of caramel malt with balanced sweetness and no alcohol was discernable. Light tart notes are also noticeable thought not to the point were it is no longer interesting to drink this beer. Well brewed though lacking some complexity.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.17/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 received a while back.. sorry I can't remember who sent it to me and I lost my trading notebook from that time frame... Shared with inflatablechair at a minor tasting a while back... reviewed from notes.

Slightly hazy... deep orange red... nice lacing and cap

Nose has a big fruitiness that makes me think of cherries.. lite caramel and toffee essence... quite a bit of spicy alcohol.

Flavor reminds me of Stingo immediately.. raisins.. black cherries.. tons of yeasty esters.. definitely English... I know some people think this is infected, but I disagree... the esters in this beer are nearly off the chart for most English BW's... I would love to try the wood aged version, but I doubt I'll get the chance.

Thanks again to who sent me my couple of bottles... I will be sitting on the other for a long while, probably while trying to score a few more... I really enjoyed this one, but it does need more time in the bottle to really come together.


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Photo of mikesgroove
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured a very nice and thick looking ruby tinted brown with a small say about a finger and a half of white lace and foam on the top. Quick recession led to a decent but not impressive side glass presentation and virtually no carbonation was immediately visible. Smell was very sweet with candy like sugar and a rich malty smell, some light hops in the foreground, but they have been mostly mellowed out. A thick syrup like feel, with not a lot of carbonation was what was waiting for me. There was a nice sweet flavor to this, and a touch of alcohol was most definitely present. A good piney hop finish was there drawing out the flavors of fresh grass and a light bread like malt

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Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks Arbitrator. 750ml bottle to a tulip, a small light tan head tops a hazy copper body. Tart berry and toffee aroma, a bit of cherry pie filling, iron and spiciness. Figgy and fruitcake sweetness up front with earthy hop bitterness following. There's a solid toffee malt backbone. The body is medium-full and nicely balanced between malt sweetness and earthy complexity. Nice stuff, I hope to see this barrel-aged at some point in the future.

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Photo of vacax
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours with a vast and dense light tan head. Liquid is black cherry colored, with red cherry tones along the extremeties with a bit of backlight. A nearly solid coat of lace is left in my tulip glass. A beautiful barleywine.

The aroma is full of sweet spiced figs, light brown sugar, cookie dough, and abundant dark fruits. The taste is equally bursting with sweet stewed dark fruits. Some floral flavors of rose or geranium. The pleasant fruity sweetness is balanced by earthy hops, tobacco, wood, and fresh ground pepper. One of the better non barrel-aged barleywines out there. Medium-full body and medium-high carbonation. Ready to drink and ready to age.

Complex and accessible. I haven't heard whether or not Alesmith put some aside in barrels, but I am crossing my fingers on that one and hoping they did. Earthy, sweet, and highly drinkable. Alesmith celebrates another anniversary with a worthy brew.

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Photo of ShrLSU
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep mahogany color. A nice tan head that dies down leaving a light layer across the top. Lacing is very evident on the sides.

Aromas of apples, caramel and toffee. A slight bit of dark fruits as well.

The taste is very complex. Lots of malt, toffee, dark fruits, and apples. It has a potent boozy taste as suiting its style.

The mouthfeel is pretty thick and coating the mouth. Has some alcohol tingle at the end.

Overall a great beer and another winner from Alesmith.

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Photo of supercolter
5/5  rDev +31.6%

Photo of Xul
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a murky dark amber with a brown hue, capped by a short-lived 1 finger beige head. Moderate streams of bubbles are visible on the sides of the glass, maintaining a faint lacing in the head's absence.

S: Big caramel and toffee base, accentuated by lots of dark fruit - cherries, figs, even a vinous quality to it. There's a faint tartness lingering in the background, but it's actually a bit subdued from what I recall out of a fresh bottle.

T: Same basic components as the smell, although less sweet up front and the caramel isn't as predominant. The vinous quality is a bit stronger in the middle and pairs with the hint of tartness to create an interesting taste...but that quickly gives way to a brown sugar finish. I'm not sure if the tart/sour aspect was intentional, but while somewhat interesting, it does end up detracting from what the beer could be without it.

M: Full bodied and smooth, without being too heavy on the tongue. Very well done.

D: A definite sipper, but very drinkable.

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Photo of wethorseblanket
3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

Photo of Rhettroactive
1.25/5  rDev -67.1%

Photo of pperez38
4/5  rDev +5.3%

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Decadence 2008 English-Style Barleywine from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.8 out of 5 with 109 ratings