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Decadence 2010 English-Style Old Ale | AleSmith Brewing Company

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Decadence 2010 English-Style Old AleDecadence 2010 English-Style Old Ale
Very Good
209 Ratings
Decadence 2010 English-Style Old AleDecadence 2010 English-Style Old Ale

Brewed by:
AleSmith Brewing Company
California, United States

Style: English Old Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 11.00%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
Same recipe as Decadence 2005.

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 209 |  Reviews: 139
Reviews by BucannonXC5:
Photo of BucannonXC5
3.99/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Type: 750-ml bottle (25.4 oz.)
Glass: AleSmith Barrel-Aged Reserve snifter glass
From: Bine & Vine in Normal Heights (San Diego), Calif.
Price: $18.00
Purchased: Feb. 26, 2016
Consumed: March 13, 2016
Misc.: Bottled in June 2010 (I think for month); Gold foil on bottle neck

Really looking forward to this one. Saw it become available in Bine & Vine’s online newsletter and picked up that day as part of a big purchase. AleSmith’s regular Old Ale was fantastic and I hope this is close. Hopefully it hasn’t past its peak.

Poured an auburn, caramel, murky color with 1-to-2 fingers of khaki tan, fizzy head. Average spotty lacing on the sides of the glass. Average retention. (Sight - 4.00)

Smelled dark fruits, sugary caramel, toffee, musky leather, dried tobacco, toasted brown sugar, brown bread, hints of oaky wood, light molasses and some candied dark cherry juice late. Lots of different flavors here. (Smell - 3.75)

Taste followed the nose somewhat. Very interesting flavors. Got dark fruits - grapes, dates, raisins, figs and even dried cherries - sugary caramel, sticky sweet toffee, earthy leather, tobacco, brown sugar, brown bread, some oaky wood, faint molasses, not as musky as the smell and maybe even a touch of vanilla. That alcohol is well hidden for 11 percent. (Taste - 4.00)

Medium body. Sticky texture. Soft carbonation. Long, smooth, somewhat warming finish. (Feel - 4.50)

Liked this a lot. Would have liked to have one fresh awhile back to compare, but this was really good for the style. May have underrated it just a tad. (Overall - 4.00)

3.99 | 89 | B+

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More User Reviews:
Photo of mikesgroove
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thrilled to finally be able to crack this one open, i wasted little time in decanting. i promised jess i would empty the fridge and that is exactly what i intend to do. served cold but brought up to room temp in a snifter.

Poured a deep hazy reddish amber, no real head or lace to speak of, just a syrupy looking liquid in the glass, no visible carbonation. Nice color but other then that pretty standard.

Strong alcohol notes were apparent immediatly, one I got past that there was some light sweetness coming up, mixed with a touch o toffee and vanilla. classic old ale. Very strong, almost overwhelming. Still alot of alcohol in this for sure. No real hoppiness to speak of, just some maltiness and a slight bit of a bourbon taste to it. definite vanilla notes and a long oak like flavor in the finish that as it hit room temperature started to morph on its own..still young the anb still showed a good bit, but as far as liquid feel, very smooth, not alot of life in it, but not too slick either. Had the constency of a cough syrup, a bit thick.

A bottle put in a snifter is an all night sipper. Really can't drink more then one of these, and a sip every 5 minutes is more then enough for me.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.12/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to snojerk321 for cracking this.

Poured into a tulip. The beer is very dark copper with a one finger fizzy beige head. Retention is good and a little lacing is left on the glass.

The aroma is very rich, and of toffee and some sugary caramel. Other flavors are of sugar coated dark fruits and some alcohol. This smells like it peaked recently, but it's fantastic nonetheless. The oxidization is at a low level, imparting sherry notes.

The flavor is also very rich, and the oxidization is a bit more noticeable here, with some cardboard added to that sherry. Notes of plums, brown sugar, toffee, caramel, candied fruits, nuts, and alcohol are present.

The beer is full bodied with a low level of carbonation. I'm really glad I got to try this. Drink it now.

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Photo of t0rin0
3.7/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not sure if my bottle has been abused but I didn't have quite the same experience that some of these other people did.

It poured hazy and red. Not much carbonation but it was a nice balance. The head was tan but didn't last.

The smell seemed right on the money when I read that this is an english old ale. It was mild but it had a strong sweet malt smell. There was some caramel and some sugar. I didn't catch nearly as much of that alcohol nose coming from the bottle but in my pint glass there was a tiny bit of it. Definitely smelled aged. I didn't catch any hop aroma and since the malt seemed so aged, I'm not sure that this beer really would hold up too much longer.

The taste was strong but not as impressive as I had hoped after reading some of these reviews. Somewhat complex and of caramel and alcohol. I can see the brown sugar taste that people are mentioning. The alcohol is a bit distracting and even though this has a real nice flavor, its not worth what I paid for it.

The body was heavy, which was nice, but the alcohol burn was strong. Drinkable if real cold but the flavors don't come out until it warms. No perfect temperature to drink this at in my opinion.

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Photo of jophish17
3.5/5  rDev -12.1%

Photo of bigdaddypolite
5/5  rDev +25.6%

Photo of mltobin
3.92/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of hooliganlife
3.27/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

2010 vintage

pours deep brown, creamy head. bit of a cola look.

deep dark fruit, some roasted nuts and toffee. sweet malt.

a bit oxidized, flat sweet malt and faint toffee and butterscotch. not a lot going on here.

nice smooth body, mild to moderate bite. bit of a dry finish.

ehhh past its prime.

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Photo of Cascadia
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Amazingly, I found two bottles of this at the Beer Stein in Eugene yesterday. I asked about how well they stored them and was confident they took good care of them over the last two years. I huried home and opened one up to try it, I had to make sure they were good...

And yeah, they're good. Nice head from the pour, dark ruby brown color that looks black until you hold it up to the light and catch the redness around the edges. Perfect looking Old Ale.

Smells like leather and dark raisons, with a slight sun-tea like nose. There is a small amount of heat in the nose, and being that it's 11%, I figured there would be.

Tastes is great. Very complex, smoke, leather, dark brown sugar, and a balenced hop bitterness. Again, perfect for the style. In fact, I'd say this one is a great representation of the Old Ale class. I only wish I had tried it two years ago to see how well it's aged. I'm gunna sit on the other bottle to see where it goes in a few months. Seems like this one is close to peaking.


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Photo of rye726
3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Up for review is a 750ml bottle of 2010 Decadence from Alesmith brewing company. Poured into a pint a cellar temp. Nice mahogany color with a silky tan head. Sweet malts, booze, hops and an interesting tart cherry presence. Medium body, a bit hot. Nothing too spectacular, may age well.

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Photo of mothman
3.58/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into NB Globe Glass

Pours 1 finger of creamy khaki head. Fades to a thin layer. Leaves some lace. Color is a hazed caramel brown with a slight ruby hue to it.

Aroma: Rich and malty. A strong amount of toffee and caramel mixed with some warming alcohol. A lot of dark fruits show. Shows a slight grassy hop profile. It is pretty much all malts and fruits. Some raisins show.

Taste: More booze shows here. Fairly boozy. Lots of toffee with caramel. Raisins, dried fruits, and candii syrup. A bit hoopy, but mainly malty.

Mouthfeel: Warming and creamy. Medium to full bodied with a medium amount of carbonation. Ends hot and sticky.

Overall, a fairly big old ale. Pretty malty, but still pretty good. A little bit slower drinking, but I expected that for the high abv. Decent English old ale. I would have this again.

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Photo of KAF
4/5  rDev +0.5%

Photo of Halcyondays
3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle, picked up at BevMo Long Beach,

A: Pours a super dark brown with a creamy off-white head, sticking around for a while, cool lacing.

S: Interesting malt nose (smells a bit aged already, there's a hint of oxidation). Soy sauce, BBQ sauce, prunes.

T: Complex malt flavour - some chocolate, vinous character/black currants, dark bread. Surprisingly hoppy (for the style, in San Diego you won't bat an eye), bringing some pine needles and white grapefruit. An intriguing character, but I was taken aback when the American style hop notes showed up on a self-proclaimed English Style Old Ale. Tastes good for sure.

M: Medium/full-bodied, with a hint of acidity. Carbonation is mild, but bites on occasion. EtOH is there, so close to taking over the beer at points, making it hot, but it never does which I was happy with.

D: A sipper, but easy to drink. After having the '08 Barleywine recently and seeing how well that did after 2 years of aging I would love to see where this goes in 2-3 years. Not the same type of beer, but pretty much sister styles. I love the malt flavours so I'd love to see what happens when the hops drop out. This beer is hinting at greatness in its future, only time will tell.

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Photo of Overlord
3.08/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Hmmm....I love Alesmith to death. I really do. Peter was really nice to me on the few occasions I've made it down, and I've been a pretty loyal purchaser over the years, and will remain so.

But I've not been blown away by the last two or three Decadence beers.

Pours a slightly ruddy light brown. A few bubbles, but no real head.

Smells faintly of malt, more strongly of kind of ... I don't know .... cherry? Some sort of strange fruit undercurrent. TAste is surprisingly nutty, malty, brown sugary and ... tangy? What is that? This tastes nothing like the 2005 Decadence. At least, what I remember of it. Too much fruit, too much alcohol bite, and that weird spicy/tangy aftertaste.


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

bottle graciously provided by bockyhorsey...

pours hazy a rich chestnut-y auburn brown with a small tan head and a bunch of spotty lacing.

the aroma has distinct barrel aged qualities to it yet it has not seen wood... oak, vanilla, tons of cognac spiciness, brown sugar, orange and cocoa butter. there's a nice oxidized/aged smell in the background that i am really digging into.

the palate is sweet for sure but never reaches cloying. astringency and nearly bitter spiciness clean off any residue and alcohol lends a hand to clean off the tongue.... the flavor has some caramel, cocoa butter, coffee, clove, cinnamon and vanilla in addition to the aroma profile... so rich. decadent possibly?

medium bodied with a lux mouth feel and the perfect amount of carbonation. bitterness and spice make it really easy to keep drinking!

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Photo of Jwale73
4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml bottle served at 52 degrees in my KTG snifter. Pours a semi-hazy mahogany hue with a loose, 1/8th inch cream-colored head that dissipates into a cluster of bubbles around the shoulders and forms an oily slick across the surface. No lacing on this beer. Nose expresses plums, figs, caramel and hazelnuts - definitely smells like an Old Ale. Taste follows nose - backbone is pleasant and malty with just a trace of oxidation to keep it from being overly cloying. I also get some grape juice as it warms as well as a sugary character and some earthy hops bittering at the finish. Mouthfeel is light-medium in body with a carbonation that falls somewhere between still and mild. There's also a trace of acidity, but surprisingly little heat despite the abv. All and all, I think this beer might continue to improve with a year or two more on it, but it's drinking pretty well right now. That said, I wouldn't recommend this one for long-term cellaring. Overall, a decent example of the style, but not worth seeking out considering the quality and accessibility of Fuller's Vintage Ale.

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

FtownThrowDown cracked this bad boy.

A: Murky, dirty brown. Not much head left but some decent lacing.

S: great mellowed alcohol and deep, rich malts.

T/M: Great rich and deeply but pleasantly sweet malts. A bitnjuttu and buttery. Deep and mellowed alcohol adds great depth. Maybe a touch oxidized but still enjoyable. Body is nearly full and nice and smooth.

D: 11% is pretty suprising but still drinks nice and easy.

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Photo of armock
3.73/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the brewery

A - Poured a dark brown color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of dark fruit and sugary sweet malt

T - Follows the nose with dark fruits very sweet malt and a touch of alcohol in the finish

M - This beer has a full body with medium carbonation to it

D - This is not my favorite at all but I really enjoyed this beer it has a very good taste thats pretty easy to drink its worth picking up a bottle if you still see it around

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Photo of claspada
3.97/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 edition.

Pours a hazy dark brown with amber hues and a frothy khaki inch or so of beige head that leaves a nice dose of lacing as the foam quickly recedes.

Aromas begin with a great deal of dark caramelized malts. Then your get a little toffee and light baker's cocoa. There's a little mustiness/earthiness, presumably from the hops, as well as some notes of fruitiness, maybe apple and/or grapes, presumably from the age or the yeast strain. Some hint of vanilla emerge as it continues to warm. It's hard to get past that musty/woodiness however; it's a smell I can't say I have gotten in any beers I have had of late or ever for that matter. Thankfully the unpleasantness subsides once the beer opens up, so note to all: ALLOW THIS TO BREATHE FOR AT LEAST 5-10 MINUTES!

The tastes begin with light caramel maltiness coupled with sweet bready malts and a lot of lesser toffee and darker caramelized malts. The earthiness is present in the background/finish and is not as obtrusive as it was in the aroma. Various fruits also join the party; red grapes, cider apples, plum, cherries, maybe some raisins. I definitely enjoy the taste a lot more than the aroma which continues to baffle me.

The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with medium, border-lining low carbonation. The finish is full and slick with plenty of malt sweetness. Some alcohol in the finish, but nothing major and does not affect the overall flavor profile.

Overall, this beer really confused me and put my taste buds and nostrils to the test for sure. I really enjoyed the flavors but the aromas never quite matched up. It definitely improved as the beer was exposed to the air, so maybe it just needed some time to open up; hey, it works with a good aged wine so why not a good aged beer. This is a quality beer for sure from a highly skilled brewing company. Not my favorite of their offerings and definitely also not my favorite Old Ale (thanks Kuhnhenn for ruining any other Old ale I ever sample again), but still a really quality beer.

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Photo of jlindros
3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Been sitting on this for a while, let's see how it held up.

Light fizzy head, murky dark brown chestnut color.

Nose mild oxidation, big aged soft malt, candy caramel, candy notes, little yeasty, candy sweet, little nutty toffee, fluffy.

Taste sweet candy, caramel, chewy nougat, fluffy almost marshmallow, aged soft brown, little oxidation, dusty, creamy brown malts, no booze, mild syrupy, little bitter earthy hop. Finish sticky, mild soft aged malt, lots of brown malt, little candy, no booze.

Mouth is med bod, lighter carb, no real booze.

Overall pretty good, held up pretty well, a touch of oxidation, otherwise a pretty nice beer.

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Poured a bronzish caramel color with good carbonation and a dirty white head

S: Caramel, toffee, brown sugar and English malts

T: Chocolate, some dark fruits, English malts, booze

M: Big body, I thought a tid bit overcarbonated

O: Good drink and another solid beer from AleSmith

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Photo of JDV
3.48/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared by miketd. Thanks!
Pours dark amber to maroon and is mostly opaque. Smell is light, thin aged, mellow sweetness, and tea leaves. Taste is hoppy caramel with a slightly watery sweetness. Still a surprising hop characteristic. Interesting, but I prefer the BA version highly as well as the 06 Decadence.

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Photo of enelson
4.25/5  rDev +6.8%

Photo of jayray
4.68/5  rDev +17.6%

Photo of CrellMoset
4.29/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 mL gold foil and capped bottle courtesy of Gueuzedude - many thanks to a great trader for a longtime want! Poured in to a 26 oz. customized and laser-engraved brandy snifter (thanks bro, and keep drinkin' the good stuff!).

Appearance: Pours a turgid, still looking, dirty cherrywood, slightly transparent around the edges but devoid of light microns under the surface. It really struggles out of the mouth of the bottle, looking fairly devoid of carbonation - what does one expect five years later? - but a somewhat vigorous pour does eventually coax it out of the bottle, as well as coax a half finger of light, tawny, sudsy head out of the depths. The retention is understandably poor, but I continue to remain surprised it popped up at all, even after its faded to a thin semi-crescent on the far side of the snifter. No surface lacing or side lacing rounds out the appearance on this understandably handicapped brew - need I mention the level of carbonation visible here?

Aroma: Milk chocolate and caramel dominates the nose, an interesting medley amidst a bunch of other much lighter and more ethereal notes. Faint, sherry-like oxidation mingles with brown sugar-drenched cherries, sugary peaches, faint maple syrup, a few berry notes ... the whole thing is very estery, light, sweet on the back end. This may be this beer's best aspect - complex and very nuanced.

Taste: Fruity doesn't begin to describe this one. Like Dr. Pepper, almost, with the amount of fruit and cola overtones here. I'll do my best to break it down. Here goes: Vanilla, cherries, peaches, chocolate, caramel, toffee, brown sugar, raisins, figs, wet cardboard, molasses, nectarines, dates, sherry, mandarin oranges, pears.

More a regurgitation than a review, I suppose. But this one's really quite the sensory overload. The malt base is sweet, strong, ranging from lightly roasted (caramel) all the way to dark (cocoa, toast). The fruit notes in this one are running crazy, though, absolutely roughshod over the tongue. From very light (peaches) to very dark (raisins) and with everything in between, this one is incredibly intense. Faint spiciness also contributes to the complexity here, as does a mature, woody, oxidized. I'm going back and forth on whether to give this a 4.0 or a 4.5, and I think I'll err on the side of being generous.

Mouthfeel: Meticulously carbonated, or perhaps not nearly as well carbonated as it was or should be, though enough that it actually works fairly well, with a nice, densely creamy mouth.

Drinkability: An intense beer that I think would have been a little nicer a year ago. Not terribly past its prime, but maybe just a little. At 11%, I was able to finish the bottle, but was certainly feeling the effects. In retrospect, I wish I'd been able to try this one side-by-side with its "recreation," the 2010 Decadence. Regardless, this is a beer I can tell was once great, world-class, even, and if not quite at that level is still pretty amazing. Drink 'em if you've got 'em, and relish what perhaps they once were.

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Decadence 2010 English-Style Old Ale from AleSmith Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.98 out of 5 with 209 ratings